The Miracle of Sundance Head

The Miracle of Sundance Head Day on "American Idol," aka Sure You're Talented But He's the Son of 60's Rock 'n Roll Icon Roy Head So He's In And You're Out Day.

Remaining "Idol" wannabe's were transferred from downtown Los Angeles to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium where once again we watched them on the Elevator Cam as they rode up one floor to judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson to find out whether they made it through to the real competition.

By the end of the broadcast, judges chose their 12 guys and 12 chicks.

This year, judges perfected their bad-news-delivery-of-good-news technique.

Like this:

"You weren't one of the better singers. Unfortunately you're -- going to be seeing a lot of us!


"We have decided not -- to exclude you!"

Or, our personal fave:

"You haven't - failed!"

By now we all know Lakisha Jones has the best voice -- no competition -- and has that all important touchy feely back story so important to American Idol producers -- single mom, adorable little daughter, dreary bank job.

They could save everyone a lot of time here and just give Lakisha the crown and the recording contract. Simon said as much on the show, when he told her "You know, you're a great singer -- that's why you're through" as she shook hands with the judges and thanked them.

But Fox has to fill its primetime schedule with something through the end of the 2006-07 TV season in May and, sadly, "Standoff" is not that show, ditto "Justice," "Vanished," "'Til Death," "Happy Hour," or any other new series to which Fox subjected us in the fall.

Meanwhile, Fox's other spring sure thing, "24," is running kinda lame this year and Fox may have to scrub it of those important torture scenes that do so much to bring in viewers, if Department of Homeland Security deems them too dangerous for West Point grads to continue watching.

So Lakisha's win will be drawn out over the next several months.

Either that or she'll get whacked by viewers, sign a recording contract anyway, maybe land a role in a movie that becomes a hit, get nominated for an Academy Award and do a slew of interviews to promote the flick in which she talks about how she suffered "Idol" abuse. Whatever.

There were virtually no surprises in the judges' choices. All known backup singers made it through. Ditto Jack Osbourne look alike Chris Sligh. Paul Kim swore if he made it through to the semi-finals he would never wear shoes again, but would always wear the same pair of underwear. He got through too.

Several chicks made it through even though in the clips we see from the Hollywood rounds -- presumably the best the producers could find -- they were terrible. But, of course, they're hot. Like Alaina Alexander, who sounded like a beagle puppy when you're trying to take a thorn out of its paw.

Finally, there was just one "guy" slot left and two guys: Jason "Sundance" Head, son of Roy Head, and Tommy Daniels.

Tommy had been very relaxed in the waiting room, letting one of the pretty chicks play with his curly hair. On the elevator ride with Jason, he cut up -- he knew Jason had messed up badly during Hollywood tryouts, not only screaching off key but forgetting words to songs.

But, of course, Jason is the son of Roy Head.

So the judges told Tommy they liked him since the first day they met him, and they told Jason they liked him a lot during auditions on the road but that he was very weak in the Hollywood rounds -- and then they gave Jason the last remaining slot.

Tommy gave the Elevator Cam the finger, with both hands, on the ride back to the waiting room. Jason consoled Tommy, telling him that if he becomes a star he will hire Tommy to be his bodyguard because he's such a big guy.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 15, 2007; 8:16 AM ET "American Idol"
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I agree that the Sundance thing is an outrage. This is the stage where I stop watching the show because America always breaks my heart (I'm talking to you, Kelly Pickler). I'll continue to read your "We watch so you don't have to" though so I can stay abreast of this important news.

Posted by: KG | February 15, 2007 9:22 AM

And as for the last two girls -- the one who didn't get picked was MUCH better in the clips they showed. I really have no idea what is going on, but there don't seem to be more than a couple of good voices in the whole bunch!

Posted by: Washington | February 15, 2007 9:24 AM

This is just a repeat of what we saw during tryouts. Great singers who are passed over in favor of okay (or in some cases terrible) singers who have THE LOOK. As much as the jusged claim that this is a singing competition. We all know that's a lie.

Posted by: LeahP | February 15, 2007 9:25 AM

I agree with KG. I was stunned that Sundance may it through. He forgot the lyrics of his song. Tommy was so much better. I hope Tommy get a record contract and next year see him at the Grammys giving AI the finger.

Posted by: Lisa | February 15, 2007 9:46 AM

Lisa, please, he may have been better, but that's not saying a lot. The only Grammy that guy is going to see is from his couch.

Posted by: Rosslyn | February 15, 2007 10:08 AM

First of all people, since when does ability to sing have anything to do with being a "pop star". Britney Spears anyone?

And second, it's a reality TV show. Their goal isn't to find a really talented singer as much as it is to keep you watching the show.

That said, Sundance was horrible. He ain't winning.

Posted by: Justin | February 15, 2007 10:12 AM

Agreed - Sundance? Dreadful. And there was one of the girls, I forgot her name, but when they were showing the clip of her singing during Hollywood Week, I thought it was for the purpose of amusing us by how flat she was singing. But instead, she went through. The hell? I'm with DeM - Lakisha's the girl.

Posted by: h3 | February 15, 2007 10:29 AM

Can someone confirm? I thought Lakisha was a local MD girl, but on she's listed as from Michigan. Either state, she's great!

Posted by: Befuddled | February 15, 2007 10:47 AM

From what I can gather, she grew up in Flint, Mich. but now lives in Fort Meade, MD.

It gets confusing when they list "hometown." Does that refer to where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you currently reside? Where your mama lives?

Posted by: TL | February 15, 2007 12:48 PM

Record labels are looking for a commodity that they can sell. They want a return on their investment. It's not "play money." Just because you sing well doesn't mean that you're marketable. It's a business. If you can't be packaged in such as way that you can sell "records" (whether you use one or more of your voice, personality, sexuality, vocal engineering, or whatever), then it's no surprise if you don't get a recording contract (or a slot on AI). It may not be fair, but it's their investment and they don't have to be.

Posted by: MoneyMaker | February 15, 2007 1:37 PM

I am so glad you watch so I don't have to. I just shake my head with the way the decisions are made. The only thing I would miss would be a melt down by Paula, but with your descriptions, it is better than watching. And, if not, I can always catch it on you tube.

Posted by: mht | February 15, 2007 1:53 PM

I don't watch the show at all, except I was flipping around the channels last week (the week before?) and saw this one woman that I really liked. She sang (scratch that, she ROCKED) Whipping Post and was really channeling Janis Joplin. The judges all said they really liked her, for one because she was different. Simon said he was voting for her "1000%." Of course I didn't get her name, but I'm curious if she made it through? Anyone know who I'm talking about or what happened to her. I tried to look at the 12 girls who made in online, but there are a few that don't have pictures posted, so I can't be sure.


Posted by: tl | February 15, 2007 1:58 PM

"Anyone know who I'm talking about or what happened to her?"

She's Tami Gosnell. Of course, she didn't make it because she doesn't have "the look." Too bad. She was a very unique and authentic singer. I can't stand the outrageous favoritism shown Head. He was terrible with a capital "T".

Posted by: Paze | February 15, 2007 2:49 PM

The Janis Joplin girl made it almost all the way, but wasn't picked for the final 24. I liked her too. Really disappointed in the judges' choices this year.

Posted by: msl | February 15, 2007 2:51 PM

It's kind of obvious that there are some slanted decisions for the 24. I think at this stage they are passing on some weaker contestants to enable judge favorites a chance to get to the top 10. They're playing the odds.

While Lakisha vocally stands out, is she packageble? Last year I was a big Taylor fan, but why hasn't he gotten an album out yet? I don't think they know to market him.

Posted by: Ron | February 15, 2007 3:37 PM

Drat! I really liked Tami! Tami, wherever you are, I'd buy your CD!

Posted by: tl | February 15, 2007 4:24 PM

"Last year I was a big Taylor fan, but why hasn't he gotten an album out yet? I don't think they know to market him."

Seriously? The CD has been out for months. It's just that no one is buying it now. That is why you aren't hearing about it.

Posted by: Craig | February 15, 2007 4:52 PM

"60's Rock n Roll Icon Roy Head"??????

I was around - although just a wee thang - and never HEARD of the guy. Wiki'd him and didn't even recognize his "hit".

Icon-scmicon. And his little runt, too.

Posted by: KiKi | February 15, 2007 5:00 PM

There was a singing competition? I was too distracted by Simon's horrible orange spray tan and his insincere "sweethearts", Sweetheart.

Posted by: ExCap | February 15, 2007 5:13 PM

Hate to admit that I know this, but could it be that they didn't let Tommy into the final 24 due to the fact that he has a criminal record? He was convicted of a DUI in 2004 and arrested for a hit-and-run in 2005.

Posted by: Eric | February 16, 2007 11:33 AM

No one's buying Taylor's album?? Get over yourself. I bought it, and it's pretty good for an Idol album - it just doesn't fit conveniently into a current radio market, like the Nickelback-lite pap on "Daughty's" album. That pre-fabbed pseudo-rock boy band is a joke, no matter how many albums they sell. A DJ on a local rock station calls them "the Spice Boys." Perfect.

Posted by: My Wallet Chain | February 16, 2007 3:12 PM

The men were dreadful. The women except for 3 or 4 were no better. The last couple of nights have been boring to watch to say the least.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 9:26 AM

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