Idol’ tour meets expectations

Ruben, Clay, Kimberley Locke, Trenyce, Carmen, Kimberly Caldwell, Ricky, Julia and Charles; put all those names together and you have one of the best tours of the summer.

You have Ruben with his sweet velvet voice and the new Luther Vandross, Clay — an angel sent from heaven, his voice is heart-pounding and makes your knees shake. You have Kimberley Locke, a talent that is never forgotten, any electrifying voice that is doing it for the “big girls.” You have Trenyce, one of the reasons to go see the show with fire-shooting and a voice like no other. She knows how to, in the words of Missy Elliot, “Work It.”

Then you have Ricky, Charles, Kimberly Caldwell, Julia and Carmen who lit up the stage with their own renditions of music from Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Christina and Pink.

The show starts off at a fast pace with Charles Grigsby entertaining the crowd with his lyrical and dancing styles. He shows off his moves, and the show moves on to Julia DeMato. A change in pace as they slow things down, she sings Beautiful by Christina Aguilera as though DeMato wrote and recorded the song herself.

Other acts are next but I am not going to give away the whole show. Then one of the moments that everyone is anticipating, Clay Aiken gets on the stage and begins his single, “This is the Night.” The crowd goes wild, women scream, girls wear shirts that say “My Bootie is Shakin for Aiken.” And with all this chaos, Clay remains calm and belts out the song that I want to be played at my wedding.

After Clay sings, it is time for America’s Choice as your American Idol, Ruben Studdard, to hit the stage. He begins with “Superstar” — and that is indeed what he is. His voice is smooth like a baby’s bottom, and he entertains the crowd with his cute dimples and Alabama style.

Act 1 is now done, but the best is yet to come. All of the contestants enter the stage and begin a spectacular collection of songs from the BeeGees, followed by performances that rocked the concert. Kimberly Locke sings “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and then singles from the anticipated albums of Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken — both scheduled to come out in stores Aug. 19 — the crowd could not contain themselves. At this point, I wonder what is left and Ruben Studdard delivers his other single, “Flying without Wings” and everyone is out of their seats, clapping and swaying to the song. Then just when I think it can’t get better, all the contestants get on stage.

But if you want to know what they sing, you will have to see the show. All I can say is “God Bless the USA.”

Grade: B

— Eileen Langford