It's not rare for a contestant to blow American Idol judges away to the point that they proclaim the song "good enough to be on the radio." It is rare, however, that it's actually true. Thursday's Ladies' solo night on Idol was one of those times.
Angela Miller, a young singer we met in New York and who looks like a charming combination of Miley Cyrus and Allison Williams, starts off the show by ensuring that she's the most memorable person of the 47 girls performing solos. Sitting at a piano and singing "You Set Me Free," Miller leaves the entire panel speechless. To be completely honest, I failed to take a single note aside from "HOLY CRAP" because like Keith Urban, I was a little baby bird in Miss Angela's hands. She actually sounded like a professional singer. If this girl is not part of the Top 12, it will be a grave injustice.
RELATED: 'Idol' Recap: Nicki's Jar of Hearts
Candice Glover also makes herself a singer to watch, as she's done every time she's performed, singing Alicia Keys's "Girl on Fire." There's nothing surprising here, once again, Candice appears to put forth no effort for a phenomenal performance. We can't watch this girl go home prematurely again after she was cut last year. Next up is Janelle Arthur, a picture perfect little country singer. I truly want to like her, but it's hard to separate her from every adorable blonde country singer who's hit the Idol stage since Carrie Underwood hit it big.
Then comes Zoanette Johnson, the woman who continues on in this competition for reasons beyond comprehension. She takes the stage with a drum kit and performs a song she made up on stage that basically consists of her singing the judges' names at them. I have no idea why the judges react to her so positively. The woman has a voice, but she has no idea how to use it. You can give someone John Coltrane's saxophone, but that doesn't mean they can use it. Perhaps they're seeing Zoanette through some kind of filter that smooths out the horribly grating pieces of her voice and her inability to complete a song without stopping, during her solo audition. Somehow, this woman makes it into the top 20... even after Randy brought the 24 girls out and cut four of them without warning right then and there. My mind is a pretzel. I cannot comprehend this continual surprise.
RELATED: 'Idol' Recap: Yeah, Dude Looks Like a Lady
But in order to fit in the surprise ladies' cut and the leftover cut from last week's guys' solos, the night cut the performance element short, so here's what you need to know:
-Shuba Vedula dared to sing Mariah's "Miracle" in front of Mariah. But she sounds like a cruise ship impersonator of Miss Carey. Somehow, they still love her.
-Kezban performs an original "song" and says it's like "watching my child take her first steps today." That child fell down. The song was awful, no one understood it and she was sent home rather unceremoniously.
-Ashlee Feliciano, the girl whose parents have a large foster family, is ill when she hits the stage, but that doesn't explain why the first half of her performance doesn't match the second half, or why she was able to hit a beautiful falsetto note without issue. The main problem was that her performance was boring and that's what sent her home.
RELATED: 'Idol' Recap: Anything But Ladylike
-Melinda Ademi sings Jessie J. They love it. She's upbeat. She's a tad obnoxious and a bit innocuous for my tastes, but I'll keep it zipped until Vegas.
-Kree Harrison's backstory finally comes out. She lost both her parents, years apart. It's a sad story, but luckily, it's not what defines her. When she sings, she sounds like an updated Patsy Cline in a sea of Carrie Underwood and Leanne Rimes clones. She stays on.
-The judges have Adam Sander sing for his spot in the top 20 guys, but his rendition of "Taking Chances" is so godawful I'm not sure how he ever made it in the first place.
-Josh Holiday also sings for his life, but he's always been boring, like the Tuesday afternoon singer at a Casino. He goes dramatic, but it's hollow. And to top it off, the showoff splits his pants and he's not even going to stay.
-When they cut eight guys, it includes Adam Sanders, Josh Holiday, blonde kid with glasses whose name we never learned, and the adorable David Leathers Jr. (Sorry, buddy.)
-On the girls side, Stephanie Schimmel is eliminated in order to save the always-smiling Rachel Hale, though in all honesty, neither girl really has the chops to continue on.
Do you think Angela Miller could make the Top 12? Did your favorite get cut?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Michael Becker/Fox]
From Our Partners:
Kate Upton Bares All in Nothing But Body Paint: Video (Celebuzz)
Bradley Cooper Dancing Is Surprisingly Awkward, Sweaty (Vh1)
In our quest to bring you the best TV reading, sometimes we have to look... backwards. That's why we have Thursday TV Throwback, wherein each week our staff of pop culture enthusiasts will be tasked with bringing back some of the best television clips that have been forgotten by time, space and the general zeitgeist.
This week's theme: '90s Couples We Love!
Television isn't always the best barometer for realistic relationships — and in fact, it's often the exact opposite. And yet we look back on '90s television through such misty eyes, especially when it comes to our favorite made-for-TV relationships. There's the seminal favorite, Boy Meets World's Cory and Topanga. The steamy adult affair between ER's George Clooney and Julianna Margulies. Heck, even the animated love between Doug (of Doug, obvi) and Patti gets our vote. We love them, and they love... well, also them.
Looking for a quick splash of romantic nostalgia? Here's what our staff picked...
Kate Ward: Sam and Clarissa on Clarissa Explains It All
Okay, so they weren't really a couple. But every time Sam climbed the ladder to visit his best gal pal, the room was rife with sexual tension. And yes, I understand I might have to report myself to my neighbors for merely writing that sentence.
Matt Patches: DJ and Steve on Full House
DJ and Steve started dating young — maybe too young? — but they gave hope to all the middle schoolers of the world that perhaps they'd find love too. Then they broke up in the seventh season and crushed America's hearts. They were perfect together! Thankfully, the producers knew that, Steve eventually returning for the series finale to take DJ to prom. All was right in the world once again.
Kelsea Stahler: Felicity and Ben on Felicity
The great thing about Ben and Felicity (besides the fact that it brought Scott Speedman into our lives and made us all want to move to New York) was that some of the greatest beats in their four-year saga were moments that didn’t involve a rooftop kiss in the moonlight or running through the airport. Those things happened too, but it was moments like this one, in which all took was a signature Speedman look and a few choice words to give teenage-me (and let’s be honest, 2012-me) butterflies.
Michelle Lee: Angela and Jordan on My So-Called Life
Maybe part of me rooted for geeky Brian Krakow, but Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano were the perfect doomed high school couple. You just knew that Broody McBrooderton would eventually break her heart — and that then Claire Danes would break our hearts, and we'd love it. And cry into our flannel shirts.
Brian Moylan: Donna and Graduation on Beverly Hills, 90210
90210 had lots of great couples: Brenda and Dylan, Kelly and Brandon, Kelly and Dylan, Brandon and that girl who took drugs, Kelly and that guy who took drugs, Donna and David, Steve Sanders and his mirror, that girl from the Noxema commercial and Dylan. Oh so many great couples, but none was better than Donna Martin and Graduation. May they live happily together for eternity.
Abbey Stone: Lindsay and Nick on Freaks and Geeks
Lindsay and Nick's relationship might not have been perfect (heck, they couldn't even make it through one season), but it was moments like this that made sure you never stopped rooting for them. The tenderness and compassion they so clearly felt for one another is the stuff legendary romances are made of. And the true tragedy of it all is that Freaks and Geeks' untimely cancellation prevented these two crazy kids from realizing their true potential as a couple.
Aly Semigran: Doug and Carol on ER
Ross and Rachel were cute and all, but when it came to '90s TV romances, no one even came close to the smoldering Doug (George Clooney) and Carol (Julianna Margulies). Their chemistry was off the (medical) charts and when they reunite in her last episode, there wasn't a heart that stopped fluttering. (You should probably get that checked out, by the way.)
Marc Snetiker: Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World
You can't talk about the beloved couples of '90s television without giving due attention to the pair that taught an entire generation about real love. Cory and Topanga's fairy tale relationship spanned seven hilarious and heartbreaking seasons and included marriage proposals, honeymoons and unfortunate middle names. But perhaps most remarkably, as they fell in love with each other, we fell in love with them.
Michael Arbeiter: Doug and Patti on Doug
In the history of American television, no tale of romance has been so sincere, so relatable, so heart-wrenchingly close to home as the unrequited love felt for Patricia Mayonnaise by classmate Douglas Yancy Funnie. Eleven-year-old Doug’s first day in the town of Bluffington brought him through a cataclysm of new experiences: deciphering the Honker Burger’s hieroglyphian menu, dealing with town bully Roger Klotz, facing off with the legendary Nematode. But nothing had as profound an effect on Doug as laying eyes on Patti for the first time. Throughout their time together, Doug endured heartbreak after heartbreak pining for Patti. He was humiliated in front of her at a horse riding field dream, passed up as lab partner in favor of new kid Fentruck, and famously frightened by the prospect of dancing with her at the box social. But in a testament to the unparalleled beauty of true love, Doug never lost the will to carry on. Even when he thought he had no chance with Patti, he upheld his love proudly. Even when he was plagued by a front-and-center zit, was caught red-handed composing a banjo ballad for his beloved, thrust full force into an incredibly awkward movie date — hell, even when he accidentally knocked her dead mom’s house down — Doug never gave up. He embraced his love for Patti, for there was nothing inside of him of which he was prouder. Doug Funnie was a talented artist, a skilled musician, a dedicated dog owner, and a steadfast friend. But above all, he was a lover. A lover of a girl named Patti Mayonnaise.
Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
Thursday TV Throwback: Memorable '90s Commercials
Furby's Back! (And 6 Other '90s Toys Worth Reviving)
14 Bumpin' TV Theme Song Remixes For Summer
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
Hollywood delivered a one-two box office punch this weekend with big openings targeted to adult and family audiences.
Minority Report reported the majority of moviegoer votes, claiming first place with $36.9 million. Lilo & Stitch, which out-grossed Minority on Friday, wound up second with livelier than expected ticket sales of $35.8 million.
Insiders had projected only an $18-20 million launch for Lilo. Minority fell into the $30-40 million range that Hollywood handicappers had anticipated, although some had gone out on a limb speculating about a $50 million kickoff.
With stiff competition on two key demographic fronts, all three Top Five holdovers suffered big drops. Scooby-Doo slid 55 percent to third place with $24.4 million. The Bourne Identity fell 46 percent to fourth place with $14.8 million. The Sum Of All Fears skidded 41 percent to fifth place with $7.9 million.
Driven mostly by Minority and Lilo, ticket sales were up nearly 16 percent from this weekend last year. Key films -- those grossing $500,000 or more -- took in $159.4 million versus last year's $137.7 million.
THE TOP TEN
20th Century Fox's opening of its and DreamWorks' PG-13 rated sci-fi fantasy thriller Minority Report took first place with a hot ESTIMATED $36.9 million at 3,001 theaters ($12,296 per theater).
Directed by Steven Spielberg, it stars Tom Cruise.
Minority's average per theater was the highest for any film playing this weekend.
"We had terrific results in big cities, urban and suburban (and in) sophisticated (markets)," Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder said Sunday morning. "The audience breakdown was 52 percent male, 64 percent 25 and over. (It had) great scores all around, especially from the younger folks even though they weren't there in the bigger numbers. But they actually had the better scores. So that bodes well for the future."
Focusing on the weekend day by day, Snyder noted, "We had a decent bump from Friday to Saturday. It seemed to be a little bit soft in the bump there for all movies. But we were up 13 percent. I've got $11.9 million for Friday and $13.4 million for Saturday -- 13 percent up. And 13 percent down (estimated) for Sunday to $11.6 million."
Minority's reviews, Snyder said, "were spectacular. There's always some negatives in there, but overall across the country it was a really wonderfully reviewed movie."
In Friday's grosses Lilo out performed Minority. "I've got them at $12.5 million on Friday and we were $11.9 million, so they were (ahead)," he said, pointing to the animated hit's strong matinee showings that day. "Lilo & Stitch's average was $4,000 for the matinees on Friday. Our average was $2,325. When they ended up having the same basic average when day was done, what it tells you is that they had the possibility to crank all day long with a much shorter movie. We have a two hour and 22 minute movie and ended up with one main show at night."
Is Minority's length a drag on its grossing potential? "It's a slight one," Snyder replied, "especially with a movie that kind of plays adult. Eventually we will get more and more teens, but (right now) we're not getting those 15 year olds that will be in there at 11 o'clock. So you really get that one main show. And it's a long show, so your eight o'clock show is your main show and that's what you've really got to work off of.
"Saturday you can get two shows, but Friday's a one show (day). I think that's how the grosses end up as they are. They cranked all day long, had a short movie and probably had five great matinees and we were working off really one main show at night."
Buena Vista/Disney's PG rated animated family appeal feature Lilo & Stitch arrived to much better numbers than expected, placing second with a colorful ESTIMATED $35.8 million at 3,191 theaters ($11,218 per theater).
Written and directed by Chris Sanders, it was produced by Clark Spencer. Its original score is by Alan Silvestri.
"We are thrilled," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning. "We never anticipated coming in in first place (but) I truly believe that's where we're at. In our hearts, we truly believe we're number one. We will speak as though we're number one."
Whatever Lilo's ranking for the weekend, Viane said, "The amazement here is that this is the second best opening in June on an animated film we've ever had -- second only to The Lion King (which opened to $40.9 million the weekend of June 24-26, 1994)."
Focusing on Lilo's terrific numbers, Viane said Disney is, "a very happy place. It's great. It's amazing how this one apparently didn't show up on some people's radars. But obviously the public was out there in masses. I was over at the Promenade (multiplex in L.A.) yesterday and I cannot tell you how many kids walked into the theater with those little Stitch cuddly dolls. It'll be an eminently successful film. I think the directors and the animators and everybody (who worked on the picture) did a magnificent job."
Warner Bros.' PG rated family comedy Scooby-Doo stumbled two steps to third place in its second week with a still sizable ESTIMATED $24.36 million (-55%) at 3,447 theaters (theater count unchanged; $7,067 per theater). Its cume is approximately $101.2 million.
Directed by Raja Gosnell, it stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini and Rowan Atkinson.
"It's the first hundred million dollar movie of the year for us," Warner Bros. Distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "$101.195 million in 10 days. We're very thrilled about it. We've announced a sequel (for 2004). We're going to build a franchise on Mr. Doo. Audiences still love this movie. I'm very pleased with that hold considering the $35.8 million that Disney (grossed with Lilo)."
Universal's PG-13 espionage thriller The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon slid two pegs to fourth place in its second week -- holding respectably given Minority's strong opening -- with an ESTIMATED $14.76 million (-46%)) at 2,643 theaters (+5 theaters; $5,585 per theater). Its cume is approximately $54.1 million, heading for $85 million.
Paramount's PG-13 rated thriller The Sum Of All Fears dipped one notch to fifth place in its fourth week, holding its own in the face of strong competition from Minority with an ESTIMATED $7.9 million (-41%) at 3,039 theaters (-191 theaters; $2,601 per theater). Its cume is approximately $97.4 million, heading for $120 million or more in domestic theaters.
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson and produced by Mace Neufeld, it stars Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman.
"I think the biggest (film based on a Tom Clancy book) was $122 million. Whether or not it surpasses that is a question mark at this point," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning, noting that Fears was impacted by both Minority and Bourne. "We're very happy with the hold. Obviously, we would have liked to have held better than the 41 percent, but given the level of the competition it's a good hold."
MGM's R rated World War II drama Windtalkers retreated three trenches to sixth place in its second week with a wounded ESTIMATED $6.7 million (-54%) at 2,898 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,312 per theatre). Its cume is approximately $26.7 million.
Directed by John Woo, it stars Nicolas Cage.
Morgan Creek's MPG-13 rated urban appeal basketball theme comedy Juwanna Mann opened in seventh place via Warner Bros. to an unexciting ESTIMATED $6.0 million at 1,325 theaters ($4,528 per theater).
Directed by Jesse Vaughan, it stars Kevin Pollak, Tommy Davidson, Kim Wayans, Ginuwine and Lil' Kim.
"The picture played (best) predominantly in the urban ethnic markets and did little to cross over (into mainstream situations)," Warners' Dan Fellman said.
Warner Bros. and Gaylord Films' PG-13 rated drama Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood fell two slots in its third week to eighth place with a less divine ESTIMATED $5.69 million (-36%) at 2,310 theaters (-197 theaters; $2,461 per theater). Its cume is approximately $46.4 million.
Directed by Callie Khouri, it stars Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner, Ashley Judd, Shirley Knight, Angus Macfadyen and Maggie Smith.
"It had the best hold of any of the wide releases, only down 36 percent," Warners' Dan Fellman said. "And with the strong mid-weeks that this picture's getting we'll be past $50 million by the end of the week (and) heading into the $60 millions."
20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm's PG rated franchise installment Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones dropped three rungs to ninth place in its sixth week with a slower ESTIMATED $5.1 million (-46%) at 2,107 theaters (-294 theaters; $2,421 per theater). Its cume is approximately $279.8 million, heading for $300 million in domestic theaters.
Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace took in $431.1 million in domestic theaters. Its worldwide total (domestic plus international) was $923 million.
Directed by George Lucas, it stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Columbia's PG-13 sci-fi fantasy blockbuster Spider-Man, down three pegs in its eighth week with a less energetic ESTIMATED $4.4 million (-41%) at 2,278 theaters (-424 theaters; $1,932 per theater). Its cume is approximately $390.2 million heading for $400 million-plus in domestic theaters.
Directed by Sam Raimi, it stars Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Sony Pictures Classics' PG-13 drama Sunshine State to a sunny ESTIMATED $92,000 at 10 theaters ($9,202 per theater).
Written, directed and edited by John Sayles, it stars Jane Alexander, Angela Bassett, Gordon Clapp, Edie Falco, Miguel Ferrer, Timothy Hutton, James McDaniel and Mary Steenburgen.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front this weekend IFC Films' PG rated romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding added a few more theaters in its 10th week with a still impressive ESTIMATED $1.7 million (-1%) at 459 theaters (+4 theaters; $3,785 per theater). Its cume is approximately $16.3 million.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
Miramax's PG rated comedy The Importance Of Being Earnest expanded in its fifth week to an uninteresting ESTIMATED $0.5 million (-18%) at 201 theaters (+21 theaters; $2,487 per theater). Its cume is approximately $4.2 million.
Directed by Oliver Parker, it stars Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson.
Think Film's R rated dark comedy The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys went wider in its second week with an uneventful ESTIMATED $0.2 million at 76 theaters (+67 theaters; $2,510 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.3 million.
Directed by Peter Care, it stars Kieran Culkin.
Miramax's R rated classic drama Cinema Paradiso: The New Version added theaters quietly in its second week with an ESTIMATED $28,000 at 7 theaters (+4 theaters; $4,000 per theater). Its cume is approximately $67,000.
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, it stars Philippe Noiret.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $159.42 million, up 15.74 percent from last year when they totaled $137.74 million.
Key films were down about 1.00 percent from the previous weekend of this year when they grossed $161.01 million.
Last year, Universal's opening week of The Fast and the Furious was first with $40.09 million at 2,628 theaters ($15,255 per theater); and 20th Century Fox's opening week of Dr. Dolittle 2 was second with $25.04 million at 3,049 theaters ($8,212 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $65.1 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $72.7 million.