Saturday night I went to see the American Idols LIVE show at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Accompanying me was my friend and fellow American Idol nut Loren, whom I’ve known since 6th grade. Although Tim was invited along as well, he opted to spend the evening with Michele and Lisa instead.
My golden ticket to American Idols Live! (08/05)
After having dinner at a nearby and inexpensive Vietnamese restaurant, we walked over to HP Pavilion, which was packed with thousands of other American Idol fans. It was like being with family. :)
Some of the many crazy fans in the audience. (08/20/05)
The only thing that brought us down, however, was the simple sign we saw posted on the door stating that Bo Bice will not be performing due to illness. At first I thought it was just one of those things where he had a cold and wasn’t able to sing, but after some Web research later, I learned that he had emergency surgery due to an intestinal blockage. Ouch. Maybe he should have had that bran muffin for breakfast after all.
No Bo for us. (08/20/05)
The show’s #10 runner up, Jessica Sierra, opened the show with the Bus Boys’ “Boys are Back in Town,” the Miracles’ “Shop Around and Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart.” She was pretty good, but seeing her again reminded me of why she didn’t make it to the Top 5.
The dreadlocked Anwar Robinson came out next, singing Dionne Warwick’s “A House is Not a Home” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
Next up … one of the Idols that I was especially looking forward to: Constantine Maroulis. Constantine opened his set with The Black Crowes’ “Hard to Handle,” and then segued into “My Funny Valentine.” He closed his set with the one song I was hoping he would sing: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Like the time he sang it on the show, it was fantastic.
The amazing Constantine had everyone on their feet with excitement. (08/20/05)
Nikko Smith came out next, singing Sisqo’s “Incomplete,” Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.” Scotty “The Body” Savol followed, opening with Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” which I liked on the show and during the concert. But then he went into some other forgettable song, followed by Hall and Oates’ “She’s Gone.”
Just when I thought I had enough of Scott Savol, he ended up doing an amazing duet of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Jessica Sierra. Anyone that knows me knows that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is like one of my favorite songs. Ever. And their duet lived up to my high expectations.
Nadia Turner finished off the first half singing Ashley Cleveland’s “Power of Love” and Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” She closed the set with “Try a Little Tenderness,” which was off the hook!
Bad-ass Nadia rocked the house. (08/20/05)
After a 20-minute intermission, Anwar came back out and sang Stevie Wonders’ “Superstition” with my other favorite contestant Vonzell. Vonzell is just one of those performers that makes me smile. She continued on with Alicia Keys’ “Karma,” Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” (which was amazing) and the Emotions’ “The Best of My Love.”
The diva-licious Vonzell did her thang. (08/20/05)
And then there was little Anthony Federov, who sang a few mostly forgettable songs, like Paul Young’s “Every Time You Go,” and Marc Anthony’s “I’ve Got You.” I do have to give Anthony props for singing a song in Spanish, which he did well.
At this point, Bo Bice was supposed to come out. Instead they played a pre-recorded clip of him singing “Vehicle,” which is probably the one song he did the best during the entire season. Afterward, Constantine, Nikko, Scott, Anwar and Anthony sang “Sweet Home Alabama” in homage to Bo.
Finally Carrie came out singing Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon,” which was really fun. She kept the momentum by singing a rousing version of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” Then in what was probably her finest performance of the evening, she sang Heart’s “Alone” the same song she sang on 80s night when she squeezed her way to the frontrunner position.
This year's American Idol, Carrie Underwood. (08/20/05)
She closed her set with her single, “Inside Your Heaven.” Towards the end of the set, the other performers came out singing backup, bringing the song to a grand finale.
Then they did that thing where they pretended it was the end of the show and gave the audience a chance to demand an encore, which we did. At first, Carrie emerged and sang “Bless the Broken Road,” which is probably one of the most pleasant ballads I know.
Nikko, Anwar, Scott, Carrie, Vonzell, Anthony, Nadia, Constantine and Jessica close the show. (08/20/05)
The rest of the gang came out after Carrie’s song and sang an inspiring version of “Lean on Me.” They closed the show with John Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the USA,” which had everyone on their feet. Despite the whole situation with Bo, I had a really good time.
P.S. If you're interested in reading Loren's version of our American Idols Live experience, click here.