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Von Smith of 'American Idol'
Singer: VON SMITH
Song: "You're All I Need to Get By"
Monkeys As Critics' Take: Von's lost about 25 pounds since the Hollywood Round. He also professes his desire to atone for the notorious shouting audition in did in Hollywood. It starts off quiet, but when it gets toward the chorus, the yelling begins. Von knows when he's about to shout, because he opens his mouth extra wide and drops the microphone by a foot. So when the arm starts to go down, press mute. He wears his technique on his face, cutting off words with his teeth, steering the melody with his lips. These are, of course, things that every singer does, but most of them have learned to control the external manifestations of what's really an internal process. I suspect Von is also a pretty poor poker player. I'd say it's a cruise ship performance, but if you were on a cruise ship, he'd be too loud. So it has to be an outdoor venue. Theme park? Sure.
Pestilence, Famine, War and Simon Say: You know what's funny about tonight for Randy? Randy thinks this is the right way to kick off a show, calling it a "hot performance," that his finding himself. [Oh Randy, why must things always be so funny for you? And why do you refuse to let that humor just speak for itself. I can imagine going to a comedy club with Randy and having him go, "Yo, Dan, you know what's funny about Dane Cook?" Actually, if he said that, I'd be really curious and I'd let him continue.] Kara also thinks Von is coming into his own, telling him "It's about doing it when it has meaning." Paula's sure that America's going to remember Von and that he knows how to control himself. "You remind me of Clay Aiken," Simon says. He adds, "You've got the same dress sense," telling him he looks appalling, but says his voice reminds him of Clay's. I'm not just saying this because the Claymates scare me, but Von's voice isn't in the same league as Clay's and just because he's "theatrical" doesn't mean he needs to be compared to Mr. Aiken.