It was two-for-one night on "AI4" tonight, with both the Cleveland and Orlando auditions crammed into one hour. We all know the drill by now: plenty of bad singers, and a few good ones. But, like last week's Las Vegas edition, there wasn't much to get excited about on either end of the spectrum.
For the talented folks tonight, the watchword was "potential." Of all the contestants we saw who made it on to the next round, not one had the whole package. Whether it was looks or nerves or consistency, each one of these singers has something they'll need to improve upon in a major way in order to make it on to the top 12.
Guest judge L.L. Cool J added little to the commentary, but did provide plenty of hugs when female contestants didn't take their rejections well. L.L. seemed mostly amused at both the good and the bad, and seemed to side with the majority in every vote.
As usual, the show kicked off with a solid performance, this one by Jaclyn Crumb, who had the right look, if not the composure. Though she seemed to be almost shaking with nervousness from the moment she entered the room, Jaclyn ended up belting out an incredibly solid vocal performance. Unfortunately, there wasn't much more to it than the vocals. She stood stock still, almost as if she might fall over if she tried to take a step. Of course, the judges were impressed enough with her voice to send her to the next round, but she'll need to let loose quite a bit if she wants to make it in Hollywood.
Scott Savol did not have the look at all. Heavyset, with squinty eyes and a pinched face, he looked like anything but the next American Idol. But when he delivered a star-quality version of "Superstar," the judges were as surprised as the audience. Scott made it to the next round on a unanimous vote, but the expert wardrobe and makeup staff at "AI" will have their hands full trying to craft him into a pop star that America will vote for.