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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 5, 2004

'Idol' judge Simon not counting on Jasmine at all

 •  'Idol Chitchat' discussion board
Poll: Who's next to leave 'Idol'?

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Jasmine Trias vulnerable? Fantasia Barrino and La Toya London in a class by themselves?

Jasmine Trias
Yep. At least, that's the latest gospel according to "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, who offered up those nuggets after last night's Big Band performances.

If Cowell is correct, Hawai'i's Trias will be joined in the bottom three on tonight's viewer-voting results show by George Huff and Diana DeGarmo. While all of the five finalists drew strong marks from the judges, Cowell finally tabbed his favorites to win the whole thing: "Honestly, Fantasia," he said. "You and La Toya are in a different league."

Whether those words affected the voting remains to be seen. Hawai'i has attempted more than 4 million landline calls to support Trias in each of the past two weeks. Her performance, while not overwhelming to Cowell, was solid.

The 17-year-old Maryknoll High School senior sang "The Way You Looked Tonight" with a romantic demeanor, plus "It's Almost Like Being in Love" with a jazzy, up-tempo flavor. She received mixed reviews — and though Cowell didn't quite mention it, he certainly implied it: Trias might be eliminated tonight.

'American Idol'
  • 7:30-8 p.m. today (one singer eliminated)
  • Fox (KHON-2)
"It was OK, a very good performance," said Randy Jackson.

Paula Abdul agreed, saying: "I really enjoyed that; I see tremendous growth ... good job."

Then came Cowell: "I will disagree. She's been steady, consistent. But you're vulnerable ... you had to pull something out of the hat. You didn't. Pleasant is not good enough."

For her part, Trias presented herself with vocal sweetness and a straightforward effort. She looked glamorous, with pulled-back hair, a flower tucked at the back of her head; she was bangled and bejeweled in jeans worn with a green blouse with an open back.

"I thought she was great; she did her best," said Rudy Trias, Jasmine's dad, in a phone conversation after the show. "At this point, it's hard to tell who'll be in or out. I hope Hawai'i keeps voting — we thank everyone for their support."

Verizon Hawaii has estimated that perhaps 1 million connections are made and 98 percent of the votes from the Islands are for Trias. No one — except AT&T and Fox, who aren't telling — knows how many text-messages are sent in Trias' favor.

Huff's "Cheek to Cheek" was pleasant; his "What a Wonderful World" was a much better whirl for his blues style.

Jackson said Huff "picked two great songs ... really safe. It was just good. It was all right." Abdul, predictably, was complimentary ("truly enchanting") and Cowell pulled out his "you could go on any cruise liner (and hear a talent like Huff's)."

DeGarmo sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Get Happy." She had verve and energy to spare, prompting a rave from Jackson: "This girl's da bomb. Very good job." Abdul cheered, "You picked two songs that suit you beautifully." Cowell had his expected barb: "Absolutely your style of music ... but you're 16 sounding like 50 in a contemporary song contest — there's no relevance. You are an old soul."

London and Barrino drew raves.

London sang perfect, theatrical (as in a stage musical) versions of "Too Close for Comfort" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." Abdul predicted millions of sales if London recorded these kinds of songs.

Barrino, a tad wobbly on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," was exquisite and eloquent on "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" Abdul cried and Jackson said "it's all about tone — subdued but still unbelievable."

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com, 525-8067 or fax 525-8055.