Archive for January, 2007

Tonight, Idol traveled to the land of the “Southern Trinity” (Studdard, Bice and Hicks) to see if there were any more Idol finalists lurking among the camellias. Birmingham may be “the place where idols are born” but more than a few Hollywood dreams died a slow and agonizing death at the hands of Randy, Paula and Simon. Let’s take a look at this evening crop of hopeful auditioners:

Erica SkyeDental Dancer
She sounded drunk to me, or more like a wounded basset hound. No tone, flat money note, and didn’t know when to call it quits. 3 strikes and you’re OUT…

Katie BernardMinnie Mouse’s Southern Cousin
I must say her singing voice was definitely better than her speaking voice but was all that drama with the husband necessary? I’m beginning to think the producers are turning this show into American Idol: The Search for a Soap Star — yikes! Anyway, she may have made it to Hollywood but my hunch is that she won’t get far.

Tatiana McConnicoArticulate teen
This year’s Paris Bennett without the whine! I liked her song choice and her overall presentation. I’d say all her training is paying off. Definitely one to watch.

Diana WalkerTons of Fun
No breath control what-so-ever because of her size but her tone and pitch were just aiiiight. I found her to be the most affected singer I have seen in 6 seasons because she tried to throw in every vocal trick in the book. Ouch.

Bernard Williams IILost long member of the Jackson 5
Nice tone, smooth sound and honest delivery but I’m beginning to wonder if those rumors about Paula are true after what she said. He was NOT off pitch at all. In fact, I liked the fact that it was not in a higher, screechy key. Move over, Courtney Love — I WANT PAULA’S JOB!!!!

BTW, if the rumors are true, I pity the fool who thinks Courtney Love would make a good Idol judge. That person must be smoking some bad crack…but I digress…

Margaret FowlerBig Bird’s Granny
Ok, which producer put her up to that?? After experiencing that bird brained performance I have to agree with Simon about where this show is going.

Jamie Lynn WardThis year’s Kellie Pickler
A tad nasal but it she does have a sweet sounding voice when she’s not pushing it. I knew she’d get through just because of the back story but she’s got enough talent to at least get to Hollywood. I don’t expect much after that.

Chris SlighStand up comic
Surprisingly good voice and he’ll need that dry sense of humor to get through this competition. I really liked this one and I’d keep an eye on him because he might be this year’s dark horse.

Victoria Watson“Give me a head with hair…”
Pure, sweet tone but not right for this competition. They could have at least said that much instead of leaving her with the impression that she couldn’t sing. She was sincere – they were not.

Lakia HillThe total package?
Could you find the pitch in that picture? I couldn’t. That package may have been wrapped a bit too tight because the contents were a bit scrambled. At least she was polite and said “thank you.”

Nichole GatzmanPageant Queen
She has a pretty dark tone for a 17 year old and maybe after a year or two of vocal training she just might have a good shot at making the Hollywood round. Actually, I liked her but I guess I’m a bit “old fashioned.” I hope she considers trying again.

Brandy Pattersonneeds a better bra…
…and a voice transplant…and an attitude check…and a hearing aid…and a phone to call Simon…and a bodyguard after calling Randy “fat”…and a MUZZLE! Sheesh! Where DO they find these people??

So, as we head on to our last audition stop in LA tomorrow night (thank you, LORD!) I seem to have stumbled upon a spoiler list for the TOP 24! The source says it is about 75% accurate and after reviewing it I hope there are some discrepancies because there are some folks not on the list that should be, IMHO. I’ll let y’all ponder this list while we wait for tomorrow night’s episode.



1. – Sanjaya Malakar


2. – Sundance Head


3. – Phil Stacy


4. – Matthew Buckstein

(San Antonio)

5. – Thomas Daniels


6. – Nick Pedro

(NYC / homeboy from my area)

7. – Chris Sligh


8. – Chris Richardson

(New York)

9. – Brandon Rogers


10. – Rudy Cardenas


11. – Blake Lewis


12. – Tom Lowe





1. – Denise Jackson


2. – Melinda Doolittle


3. – Leslie ?

(Audition song- Baby I love you / city unknown)

4. – Gina Glockshen


5. – Perla Meneses


6. – Anna Kearnes


7. – Antonella Barba

(NYC / the better of the two friends)

8. – Jordin Sparks


9. – Heather Reed


10. – Laura Gossett

(San Antonio)

11. – Jory Steinberg


12. – April Walsh

(San Antonio)

And don’t be shy — leave you comments and let’s try to get a discussion going. I’m sure there will be some agreement or dissention with the list.

Until tomorrow — carry on!

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Greetings, Idolites!

Well, it’s about time we get an episode with more than three decent singers! I am a happy camper for sure! Even with the obligatory colorful characters, New York’s abundant talent pool thankfully showed up in force to audition for the judging troika and a tired looking Carol Bayer Sager (who needs to stick to writing the songs that make the whole world sing).

Anyway, let’s get to my view of tonight’s hopefuls and hard-of-hearing from my red leather couch:

Ian Benardo the Token Flaming Jewish(?) Gay Guy
What a joke! His 15 minutes are already spent. I’m bored with him, too! Go get into your YUGO and drive home to Teaneck. Buh-bye!

Sarah BurgessDaddy’s Girl playing hooky
She’s got the back story AND the voice to back it up. Played the sympathy card and won over the judges. Guess this is the new way to make it to Hollywood. Let’s see how she does there.

Fania Tsakalakos Constantine’s Long Lost Cousin
A fashion and vocal mess. ‘Nuf said.

Ashanti JohnsonThe Comeback Kid
Good voice, good performer but poor choice of song, even though she did hit those “only dogs can hear” notes quite well. However, the whole “Days of Our Idols” thing…one word…LAME! She was sincere and the producers made her out to be pathetic. Very poor taste.

Amanda ColuccioJersey Girl #1
Definitely a trained voice however it’s another poor song choice. Also, she was pouring it on just a tad too much. Pretty enough to get the golden ticket but I don’t see her going any further than the Hollywood Round.

Antonella BarbaJersey Girl #2
Good raw talent. Pure, easy-on-the-ears sound with a solid, natural delivery. She is going to be one to watch because she has that IT factor the Brit is always spouting off about. BTW, I wonder how many true friends Simon really has after that type of a comment.

Clifton BiddleYour Average Joe
Chris Daughtry without talent. Not even average. Ouch. Next.

Phillip Burtonthe Big Mouth
WHAT was THAT about? Next.

Jose VadellGreen Haired Boy
One word – disastrous. Next.

William Van StoneNot what he appears to be
Not gonna say it. Wouldn’t be prudent. Next.

Kia ThorntonLast but not least
A little breathy but she’s got the pipes. Delivery was a little over the top and the song choice could have done her in but the voice could not be denied. Could be a contenda.

Jenry BejaranoMama’s Boy
He’s only 16 years old? Whoa. Voice needs work but here’s another one with the IT factor. He may be too green to get past the Hollywood Round but I’ve been wrong before.

Nakia ClaiborneMiss Energy
Needs more control over her voice but she’s got a great personality. Not ready yet.

Sarah GoldbergUrban Cowgirl
Can you find the pitch in this picture? At least she admitted she’s tone deaf, like we didn’t already know that. What did she think she accomplished with this audition? It looked and sounded too much like someone who wanted to show off there acting skills to get attention. Ya never know…

Antonio Torres Toe-tapping Sinatra wannabe
What’s with the dropping of the “r?” Where are they finding these people? Help!

Jory SteinbergCanadian Gal
Nice, powerful voice. Definitely a natural. And being pretty doesn’t hurt.

Porcelana PortinoBoot Camp Girl
Definitely unique and my hubby says she’s definitely HOT (but he doesn’t like her voice). I say she’s done her homework and got her look together to match her singing ability. Let’s see what happens next in Hollywood.

Christopher HenryThe Look-a-Like
He’s a countertenor, folks, and pop promoters don’t know what to do with a voice type like that. Too bad, because he actually was very good.

Rachel ZevitaOpera Gal
Gotta love these trained classical singers that want to be rock stars. I seem to remember someone 30 years ago who thought the same way…that would be ME, peeps! Anyway, the kid’s got moxie and she just might be a good enough chameleon to make it past Hollywood to the Top 36. We shall see.

Chris Richardson A chip off the old Timberflake
He’s got the classic boy band sound but he’s pretty good.

Nicholas PedroComin’ Back for More
He’s a homey from my neck of the woods and I have to give him props for having the guts to come back and try again. I hope he learned his lesson last year and is ready to take on all comers this time because he really has the voice and the appeal that could take him far in the competition. Said it last year and I’ll say it again — keep an eye on this one.

Julie Isadora Furman The Clairvoyant Cowgirl
I wasn’t sure if she was singing or speaking in tongues. Either that or she was on crack. That just looked and sounded painful. What a way to end the first decent episode of the season. Blech.

So, there you have it for this week’s hopeless hopefuls. Next week’s trip down to Sweet Home Alabama looks…well…typical for Idol this season. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Keep me bookmarked and check back often. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and ya never know when I might be revealing some interesting information. BTW, did you read the post before this one?

I’d scroll down if I were you… 😉

Carry on!

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One of my many reliable sources has clued me in on who the “big celebrity guest performer” is that will be on the “big show” midway through the season. I just hope this person is correct because I have a smile on my face from ear to ear over this info.

So, could the iconic musical guest be…


Sir PaulMacca

Stay tuned…

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AI6’s stop in Memphis was anything but spectacular and I’m starting to see a pattern emerging. Could it be that the producers are more concerned about good tv rather than finding true singing talent for America to judge? If that’s the case and they continue down that road they might just find America’s attention span dwindling down to nothing. In season’s past we would have seen at least two dozen good singers by now, with many of us picking our early favorites and discussing their chances. I’ve found out more about the Hollywood hopefuls off of other AI blogs and fansites than from the auditions themselves and that’s can’t be good. I think the producers need a reality check. My advice? Return to a more balanced display of good and not-so-good auditioners before even the hard core fans tire of this parade of fools.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that rant off my chest, let’s take a look at tonight’s bumper crop of contestants (heaven help us!):

Frank Byersthe Cheerleader
And what was wrong with that? I didn’t find it that over the top and believe me when I say that I know a bit about “hambone” performers!

Timika SimsMiss Personality
Can we talk about nasal for a moment? And the diction was non-existent.

Chris Riverathe Homeboy
That had to be a put on. Looked and sounded like a surfer dude on crack. Ouch.

Alexis Parteejingle, jangle gal
What is with these kids? Can’t understand a dang thing they are saying.

Jason “Sundance” Headfamous son
This boy can sing the blues! Nice tone and good performer but Simon’s comment about Taylor was totally unnecessary.

Wandera Hichyestrange name, stranger gal
Good voice, terrible diction, coulda been a contenda but just not good enough for our expert judges. Humm…

Travis McKinneyemotional guy
This is NOT a rap contest, my friend. No, no, no! NEXT!

Danielle McCullochBritney look-a-like
She may look like the Spears chick but she sounds a million times better!! I like this one – but the hair needs a makeover.

Topher McCainPaula’s biggest fan
I’m not quite sure what to say about this one — too much baggage for me. I kinda agree with the karaoke tag so I’ll go with that.

Janita BurksMiss Thang
She was everything one should NOT be at an audition. I think the producers just wanted to see her attempt to fall out of her dress. Dirty old men…

Sean MichelCastro’s American Son
Bad choice of song but good vocal tone. I was surprised! Guess you can’t judge a book by its cover. He’ll be interesting in Hollywood, that’s for sure.

Melinda DoolittleThe Wallflower
Step up to the front of the stage, young lady! That was really good. Needs an infusion of confidence if she’s going to make it through Hollywood.

Robert Lee HolmesThe Pretender
Good thing Elvis had left the building because he would not have appreciated that audition. Ugh.

Phil Joel StacyProud Papa
Nice high tenor voice but he has an odd way of starting his songs. Let’s see how he does in Hollywood.

One last observation: I think the montages have reached an all time low with the hunka, hunka burnin’ love spot. That was pathetic.

I hope the stop in New York tomorrow night shows more good talent but I’m not holding my breath. I REALLY CAN’T WAIT for Hollywood…

Carry on!

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…or as close as someone got to piecing several different accounts together.

Now, don’t you wish IDOL would just show us the uncut versions of their auditions?

BTW, feel free to compare and contrast the two versions of Always and Forever. I’ll pass along my opinions later.


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Ah, Seattle…where it not only rains constantly but it rains BUCKETS constantly!  Maybe it was the moisture in the air or that the contestants were all wet — either way, tonight’s crop of Idol wannabes were certainly lacking in the vocal talent department.

At least Paula was back to “normal.” ‘Nuf said.

Ok, here’s tonight bumpy crop of “singers:”

Brandon GrovesUncle Sam
when at first you don’t succeed, WHY in the hell do you try again? What will he come back as next year?

Jennifer Chaptonthe hotness
Other than being a fashion reject, her performance left me cold. Give me a break…Buh-bye.

Amy Salgadothe mom
Bad intonation, equally poor self-esteem and the bad attitude of the male judges made this gal look more pathetic than need be. Randy is getting about as mean as Simon this season, which could upset the delicate balance of the judging troika.

Darwin Misha Reedy the evolution stopped here!
This woman will definitely not be bringing sexy back anytime in the near future. Ouch!

Tommy DanielsMister Thang
Smooth presentation and a cocky personality but he was a good singer.  First one of the night.

Melissa Colleen Stavrosvery different chick
She sounded ok until she tried to force the high notes.  I hate it when they do that!  Too bad, she reminded me of Vanessa Oliveraz from Season 2 and I liked her a quirkiness.

Blake Lewisbeat box boy
Nice, clear tenor with an actual personality. Over the top? For Simon, yes.  But he was good to go and the early talk is that he does well in the upcoming Hollywood round.  One piece of advice…lose the rooster hair.

Shyamali Malakarconfident sister
Beautiful tone in her voice but the song did nothing to help her show it off. Glad she made it and hoping she makes it through Hollywood.

Sanjaya Malakar Stevie Wonder clone
Best male voice I’ve heard so far in the competition. Another one rumored to have done well in Hollywood.  Let the battle of the siblings begin…

Nicholas Zitzmann the sway-back
And this geek shall inherit NOTHING from Mr. Aiken.  Way to kill Unchained Melody, dude!  Clay version is still the definitive Idol performance to date and even Simon can’t argue with that!

Rudy CardenasLatin lover type
Definite boy band sound but smooth enough to give him a golden ticket. This year’s Ace with a Latin twist.

Kenneth BriggsLord of the Rings
Lots of misplaced confidence but he had guts to go in there.  

Jonathan Jayne Big boys don’t cry
Haven’t heard one person make it through by singing God Bless America and this one kept the tradition going.  This song should be banned along with Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Eric ChapmanTaylor Hicks Clone
Stick to the day job, hair boy!  And watch where you put that hair gel…

Anna KearnsAmazon woman
Loud, in your face, but the vocal tone was not as colorful as her personality. She’s just interesting enough to make it to Hollywood.

Jordin SparksNFL daughter
16 years old? With that big a voice? I loved it! Needs lots of refinement but she is a natural. Top 24 material for sure.

Steven Thoenbig red
Someone had to have dared this boy to try out because that was horrendous. I hate it when Bohemian Rhapsody is tortured like that… Was he really for real????

Another low number of golden tickets handed out tonight.  From what I hear, the other stops faired much better than the first two so we all got royally tortured with this season premire.  I can only go up from here, I hope!

BTW — here are some confirmed tidbits for future episodes:

1) Looks like Diana Ross has been booked to work with the finalists a la Barry Manilow and others.  Wonder if it will be from her songbook or Motown in general?

2) The producers have secured a Beatles night for later in the season but did they manage to talk Sir Paul into helping out?  I sure hope so.  He was, is and always will be my favorite Beatle.  Wonder if his soon-to-be-ex-wife will make it into this season’s Dancing with the Stars?  (that’s a current rumor)

3) Did Simon really mean that the finalists will be performing ABBA songs this season?  Say it ain’t so…

Looks like we’ll have LOTS to talk about this season.  Please let your voice be heard and comment away!  D0n’t be shy — I’m not!

Carry on and if you like techno-gadgets, check out GeekBrief.TV!

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It’s season 6 of the best show on TV! Welcome to my new home for all things IDOL, y’all! I think we’re gonna have some fun here and I can’t wait to lauch the video podcast portion of this blog a little later in the season. However, until then, this written version will have to do. Come on along for the ride!

Tonight’s opening episode was everything I HATE about the early audition process —

1) More folks looking for their 15 minutes of fame than for a shot at being THE American Idol

2) More commercials than show content (but, then again, this happens on most of the result shows as well)

3) Pointless “artistic” packages that may have been funny on paper but really bomb on tape (wrecking a popular Prince number will definitely not help to get the Artist back on the show)

I guess I’m a purist — spare me the pointless airtime and show me more real vocal talent rather than useless freaks and heartless cruelty towards contestants who, for some strange reason, think they have talent.

But enough of my rant. Let’s get on with my take of tonight’s show from my red leather couch (I really have one – HONEST!)

I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting the Twin Cities twice in my lifetime – the second time having the unique opportunity to record an album (as they were called in those days) at Prince’s Paisley Park studio. That’s a story for another blog. Anyway, the good folks in this neck of the wood are a little quirky but solid citizens all. Unfortunately they were not portrayed as such, leaving America to think that there is absolutely no talent in an area that has produced many cutting edge musicians. Sad.

To that end, here are my observations at what was presented tonight. My comments will be brief, to the point, and usually irreverent. Let the train wreck begin…

Jessica Rhodeadmirer of Jewel
that had to be difficult to sing in front of her Idol and, yes, she sounded a LOT like her but it wasn’t that bad, just affected. No need to pull her down in front of one she looked up to. Simon is starting the new year off with a bang…

Troy BenhamAmish poser
You’ve GOT to be kidding, right? A 15 minute seeker if ever I heard one.

Jesse Hollowayrobot voice boy
I’m speechless…and it takes a lot for me to get that way…why did he even come back? I also love it when they start the phrase in one key and end in another.

Charles MoodyThe operatic Apollo Creed
Actually, he had a nice, clear voice but he sabotaged his own chances by using a gimmick. They might have taken him seriously otherwise.

Denise Jackson16 year old crack baby
1st good raw talent of the night — powerful, on pitch and with attitude. Looking forward to more from her and I hope she’s not all back story.

Perla MenesesShakira wannabe
I think she could be this year’s Michaela Gordon — annoying with a limited voice. Male judges more interested in her look than her talent — and she does have a language problem.

Tashawn Mooretie girl
It took me a whole three minutes to figure out just what song she was slaughtering. YIKES!

Matthew VolnaMr. Personality
If he had one, he didn’t bring it with him to the auditions. Sheesh.

Jarrod FowlerReagan Idol
Nice voice, really nice voice. Just a bit pitchy but I liked him. Chalk up another for the armed forces.

Trista Giesethe king of the Forest
Are you kidding me? Was that for real? Just another Warholian looking for those 15 minutes…if not, that was truly sad.

Stephen Horstthe voice teacher
Definitely musical theatre quality and Randy was waaay out of line with his comments. Note to future contestants — DON’T ever admit to being a voice teacher when you audition.

Michelle Steingasperky gal
Odd song, good voice. I’d like to hear more and I’m glad I will.

Dayna Dooleyboss’ secretary
Back story better than her voice. Didn’t care for the soap opera innuendo from the male judges -they were obviously not thinking with their right heads.

Matt SatoCalifornia Dreamer
16 years old…too tight on top…not sure I would have put him through because I think he needs more seasoning.

Rachel JenkinsMechanic girl
Decent voice but the key change in the middle was a bit jarring. I figured her story would help her through but she was good enough to go.

Sarah KruegerKat wannabe
Different, confident but affected. Sometimes blonds make it through no matter what…

Jason Andersonprop boy
I just don’t care for it when they make fun of a contestant rather than simply saying NO and thanks. Most will argue that it makes great TV but after 6 years it still sounds cruel and degrading.

Brenna Kynersuperfan
WHY did she bother auditioning for this show? WHY did she even tell them she had a degree in vocal performance? OUCH…

Josh FlomGravel Boy
Too much rock, not enough depth. Maybe in a year or two he might shake some of that false sound and develop his true voice.

Final annoying moment of the night:

I don’t know who thought it would be funny but why don’t they just mark the door they want the contestants to leave through? It’s just adding insult to injury and I tire quickly of such sight gags anyway.

I’ll just be happy when we get to the Top 24 and I’m sure I’ll say that over and over again until we do.

Do you agree with my assessments? Let’s hear from you, loyal readers!

Until next time — carry on and always drive on the right side of the road!

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