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Archive for May, 2007

…and a big “well done” to Blake.  Now the FUN begins…

Carry on!

J

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 It was party time at my house this evening as I invited a few of my favorite people to come on over and watch both the Idol Final 2 Showdown and the Dancing with the Stars Results show with the hubby and I.  During commercials we were also watching the Red Sox /Yankees  baseball game  (Sox won, of course!!!) and consuming mass quantities of food and drink.  Can you say multi tasking at its best?  I think I can say that a great time was had by all and I was able to get a chance to watch and listen to others take in the competition. 

 

Btw, this show can NEVER again say that it is strictly a SINGING COMPETITION after last week’s “das boot” of Melinda Doolittle.  They need to own up to the fact that it’s a total package of decent vocals, commanding stage presence and the ability to form a solid voting fan base.  If a contestant has only one or two of those criteria then they CAN lose to someone who has all three yet has weaker vocals.  After the new Idol is crowned I will have more to say on how the show can be more honest and perhaps return to some of elements that originally endeared it to all of us.  But getting back to the real reason why you came to read my blog, here’s how my friends and I hear the sound of music from our positions on the red leather couch and chairs:

 

 

Blake Lewis

You Give Love a Bad Name – (“Do over” from this season’s performances)

He made a very good song choice to start the night off with and certainly knows how to work the audience, that’s for sure.  My hard rock loving friend STILL didn’t like this rendition but I thought he did a good job, despite some weak singing (gotta agree with Simon and Randy ).  I think Paula thought she was judging Dancing with the Stars with her wanting to give him three 10’s for his performance (we’re weren’t sure if she even KNEW where she was tonight but it didn’t really matter because she just isn’t a credible judge any more).  All in all, a good start and a solid performance.

 

She Will Be Loved – (Personal Choice)

Maybe he will get hired to tour with Maroon 5 because I sounds a lot like their lead singer, colored with a hint of Sting now and again.  He tried to showcase his vocals in this slower, laid back number yet I found him to be a little screechy in the upper register, to which the others watching with me agreed.  We also agreed that Simon was absolutely right when he said the song was safe and a little boring.  I’m sure it delighted his fans but after hearing this groups songs over the last two weeks and seeing them live last week, I’m not too impressed with them.

 

This is My Now – (Selection from the Songwriting Competition)

 Ok, no one has every started from all the way back on the set before — that gets artistic props for sure — however, his vocals were weak for the song, which I thought was also weak (it was a split decision with the group overall on the winning number).  The judges were correct that this is not the type of song that suits his voice and style.  Something also tells me he may have purposely sabotage his own chances of winning by giving a less-than-impressive performance of this song.  But, I could be wrong about that.

 

Overall, he did well on the first number, but lost steam by the end of the third.  Perhaps he wants to come in second?  We’ll see…

 

 

Jordin Sparks

Fighter – (Personal Choice)

She chose a current and solid rock song to start her night off.  It did little to show off her great pipes but she needed to come out strong and show her marketability with the buying public.  To her credit, I could understand every word she sang better than the original but to my dismay I didn’t like her facial expressions on this number. 

 

A Broken Wing – (“Do over” from this season’s performances)

PERFECT CHOICE and a good vocal contrast to Blake’s second number!!!  This was a great song for her earlier on and it suited her to a T tonight as well.  She may not have all the subtleties and vocal nuances down yet but she has lots of room to grow given her age.  She just loves to take risks and it usually works in her favor.

 

This is My Now – (Selection from the Songwriting Competition)

Now this was “Taylor” made for her and she gave it every bit of emotion she had. It really is a schlocky song but I think her arrangement was a tad more rock n roll and she used her power vocals wisely to bring it all home.   She SHOULD be singing this number again tomorrow night if I have anything to do with it.

 

So, from our vantage point, everyone here agreed that Jordin DID wipe the floor with Blake vocally but that he was better at connecting with the audience.  I’m not sure how that’s going to translate with the voting public but if this has ANY shred of a singing competition left in it, Jordin just might pull it off and win.  I know I’ve done my part in voting for her this evening and even with her again, she stands the most to gain by winning Idol this season.   Blake, at number 2, will of course get a recording contract and make his own kind of music which will suit him better. 

 

So, I won’t be watching the finale live tomorrow night as I will be working but I will be using my hour ride home to stay connected to someone who will be watching and telling me who wins.  Now that we’re at the end of this season, I don’t plan on going anywhere until January.  In fact, I plan on ramping up my video podcast and keeping all you Idolites informed and entertained as we wait for Season 7 to roll around.  I guess we’ll all be STUCK IN IDOL together until then, eh?

 

Stay tuned and carry on!

J

 

PS — CONGRATS TO APOLO AND JULIANNE for winning Dancing with the Stars 4!!!  You two were my favorites from Day 1 and I am SO glad you won!! 

 

dancingmay21.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I ran into some information on the web regarding the format for the finals of the competition and thought I would share it with my loyal readers.  Check it out —

 

For next week, the three songs both performers will be singing are 1) a song from the songwriting contests, 2) a song of their own choice, and 3) a song from earlier in the season.

 

Pasted from <http://www.buddytv.com/articles/american-idol/breaking-news-press-conference-6635.aspx>

 

What songs do YOU think Jordin and Blake should choose for their “do over” as well as for their choice of the season?  I’ll give you my selections in a day or two, until them PLEASE share your thoughts with the rest of us!

 

Carry on!

J

 

 

 

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Ousted ‘Idol’ finalist Melinda Doolittle “had an idea” she’d be eliminated

 

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2007

 

If home viewers, the studio audience and even the judges were shocked at the outcome of last night’s American Idol live results show that revealed the sixth season’s Top 2 finalists, imagine how Melinda Doolittle must have felt. But apparently she wasn’t as surprised as one might think when she discovered she’d be leaving the competition.

 

“You know, when [Idol host Ryan Seacrest] called me up front — just by the nature of the show and how it normally goes — I kind of had an idea that it would be me,” Doolittle revealed during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. “So I was kind of taking deep breaths and kind of ready to go to the next step. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was possibly going to lose it, but it was a happy occasion because I made it this far. I’m kind of glad it turned out that way.”

 

Considering the 29-year-old Brentwood, TN resident was widely considered by many — including judge Simon Cowell — to be one of the front runners to take home Idol’s sixth season crown during next week’s finale, Doolittle tried to offer explanation for why the “almost 60 million votes” cast by viewers based on Tuesday night’s penultimate performance episode weren’t enough to keep her in the competition.

 

“First of all, I was up against two amazing contestants. That was part of it to me. I love [Idol 6’s Top 2 finalists, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis] and I think they did a fabulous job on Tuesday night,” she said. “But also, I know that I was probably getting a little bit of the older vote — which is great — and I had a lot of people come up and say, ‘I voted for you five times last night it was so good!’ Sometimes [older Idol viewers] might not spend the full two hours voting or anything like that, and that’s okay. But I really feel like personally I won because of where I ended up in the competition.”

 

One of the reasons why the former background singer might have appealed to older Idol audiences is because she was the oldest of the sixth season’s finalists. However Doolittle was unsure if her age factored into her getting ousted on the doorstep of the finale.

 

“It may have figured in, in may not have. I don’t know. It’s speculating,” she said. “It could just be that more people liked Jordin and Blake, and I’m okay with that too. I don’t know exactly how much it played into it. I read in certain places that maybe it did… that’s definitely a possibility.”

 

Idol fans have been wondering since Wednesday night’s results show if Seacrest used a double entendre during the live broadcast and prematurely revealed it was Doolittle who was about to be eliminated. Fox aired Sparks’ hometown visit first during the broadcast, followed by Lewis’. Doolittle’s was to air following a commercial break, and Seacrest said, “After the break, Melinda’s going home.”

 

“I think maybe either I didn’t notice or [thought] he was just talking about the package they were going to show about me going home to Nashville because I knew I was the next person for them to show,” Doolittle explained. “So I just assumed that’s what he was talking about. I’ve heard a lot of speculation about that, but I don’t think it was that at all. I think he was kind of getting us ready for the next package they were going to show… The only thing to me he could have been talking about was the package. I don’t think it was even a slip, I just think that was what he was talking about. I was completely fine with it. It didn’t phase me at all last night.”

 

Ironically, Doolittle’s tendency to repeatedly appear surprised when Idol’s judges heaped praise on her vocal praises had been one of Cowell’s few constant criticisms of her performances.

 

“[The surprised look] is part of my personality, plus coming out of singing background for so many years, I get so used to having to sound like other people, that American Idol was my first time really stepping out and finding what my voice really sounded like,” said Doolittle. “So the fact that people liked it and were giving me good comments was surprising to me. It was a great honor, but it always kind of shocked me just at first.”

 

While she may have not been too surprised at her elimination, she appreciated that her fans were.

 

“It feel wonderful and I’m so grateful for people actually being shocked by it. At this point in the competition, it’s kind of like, ‘Well there’s only three of us, so one of us has to go home.’ But I’m just grateful that people wanted me to stick around and believed in me. That means the world to me. It means the world to me.”

 

She may have been the oldest of the sixth season finalists, but Doolittle said you’re never too old to learn something new.

 

“The biggest thing that I will take away is that I know that I was really scared to do this at the beginning, and the fact that I was able to step out and do it even in the midst of fear kind of just gave me an outlook on how strong God has helped me become and how much I’ve grown from it,” she said. “I found my own voice as opposed to my own voice singing background and I couldn’t have asked for more from this experience.”

 

Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for more about Doolittle’s exit interview, including how she serendipitously was cast for Idol’s sixth season; where her support came from during her Idol journey; and if the hair on-top of her head throughout the experience was her own.

 

Pasted from <http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/ousted-idol-finalist-melinda-doolittle-had-an-idea-shed-be-eliminated-5191.php>

 

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From Mandisa’s myspace blog:

Well it is a sad sad day as I sit in my hotel room here in Grand Rapids. I should have been able to tell by the prevalent chill I felt when I walked off of the airplane that something wasn’t right. Or maybe it was the fifty missed calls and texts that should have clued me in. But it was finally the voice of my friend Bryan that broke the news…Melinda’s time on Idol has come to an end.

Sorry I didn’t get to write last week. I was on a massive radio tour and I was not able to watch the show until this weekend. Was sad to see Lakisha go but nothing compares to tonight. I am kicking off another week of appearances and performances that culminates in LA for the finale next week. I so expected to have my “I love Melinda” sign waving in the audience (As a matter of fact, I still may!) She had a long and successful run but I will tell you like I just called and left a message telling her…it only begins now.

I know that we all get caught up in who finishes in what place but I am learning that one’s success has less to do with the order of your elimination, and more to do with how you carry yourself on the show with the time you had. I know that Melinda’s elimination was a blessing in disguise. Certain things come along with the title of “American Idol”. Some of those things are good. Some are not. After my time on Idol I see eliminations a lot differently than I did before my experience. Like me, Melinda loves God with all of her heart. Because of that, her steps are ordered. She wasn’t eliminated merely because of a song, a faulty phone line, a judge’s comment, or anything else. She was “invited to exit” because God has a plan for her that goes beyond what our human minds can understand. He also has a plan for Jordin, Blake, you, and everyone else in the world. We don’t always understand it, but because He is a loving God, we can always trust it.

Will you join me this week in praying for my girl? Pray for peace, understanding, and faith. Finally, ask God to make His plans clear. And while we’re at it, let’s lift up Jordin and Blake. They have a busy week ahead of them and I can only imagine the pressure they must be facing. Let’s pray for good rest, health, creativity, and humility.

I love you guys!

Disa

www.myspace.com/mandisa

She’s right. Very much so. Melinda WILL be fine in the long run. Blake and Jordin DO need our prayers for this very tough week ahead.

Something to think about, I suppose…

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Then again, this IS American Idol — the one singing competition that is more about popularity with little girls than true vocal and performing ability.

Or its all about what will make “good TV” according to the producers.

Not to take anything away from Blake and Jordin, but Melinda was the best singer and performer this season — heck, she was the best since Clay Aiken to grace that stage.  I have my suspicions as to how she ended up third:

1) the vote got split between her and Jordin, allowing Blake to get more than her.

2) the producers wanted a younger winner this year and not someone as old as last year’s Idol, Taylor.

3) her fans got too complacent and allowed Simon’s glowing remarks of last night to let them think she had it in the bag.

I will admit that I voted for BOTH Melinda and Jordin last night because I agreed with Randy that based on vocals alone they both deserved to be in the finale.  Blake is a great performer and an astute musician but his vocals had been weaker and erratic over the entire 11 weeks.  I guess I’m one of the few that still believes that this is a SINGING COMPETITION and not just another reality TV show.  Boy, I am stupid or WHAT?

I’ll calm down…eventually…but I’m really rethinking my viewer loyalty to this show.  This has surly been a strange season and I think this show HAS run its course.  Too bad.  I’ve truly enjoyed it.

We shall see…

J

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After six seasons of American Idol one would think I would know better than to get all upset over the predictable and inevitable “stacking of the deck” against one of the contestants.  It seems we’ve all “heard that song before” and this Top 3 night was simply more of the same old script.  Could Simon have BEEN more obvious in his quest to manipulate a Melinda/Blake finale and send Jordin packing?  We all know that he HATES teenagers in the finals and if I recall correctly gave Diana DeGarmo a similar hard time in Season 3 (not like she could have really beat Fantasia anyway).  I just can’t abide trying to make America vote in a way that validates the judges’ wishes and not the will of the viewers.  We are NOT that dumb.  We know what we like and who we like. 

 

Ok, I’ll get down of the soapbox…for now…

 

I was also VERY disappointed tonight by the absence of the one and only Mr. Clive Davis.  While I personally think his is as swarmy as they come for music executives, he is the definitive Idol-maker and still wields major clout in the biz.  His master touch was sorely missed and the ensuing bad choices testified to his absence.  BTW, since when do the producers of this show have the music creds to choose songs for the contestants???  Are you kidding me?  The songs chosen for Melinda and Jordin were deplorable while Blake was given a song that was handpicked to make him look as good as possible. 

 

More obvious manipulation.

 

Can you tell I’m really HOT tonight over what transpired?  Of course, having this show scheduled one hour before finding our who made the finals of Dancing with the Stars didn’t help my mood much, either (Yeah, Apolo!).  Note to TV programmers: Don’t let these two shows go up against each other next year — I can’t take the stress of TWO competitions at one time! 

 

All of that being spewed, here’s how I heard tonight’s vocal cornucopia from my red leather couch:  

 

Jordin Sparks

Wishing on a Star – (Simon’s Choice)

This is not one of my favorite songs but she sure sang the heck out of it.  I was waiting, however, for the “K” word but Simon slammed the arrangement (and thus her vocal of it) where I thought the jazz vibe couldn’t help but improve an otherwise insipid song.  Randy rightly acknowledged that she came to secure a place in the finale and she did make something out of very little with her performance. 

 

She Works Hard for the Money – (Producers’ Choice)

You have GOT to be kidding me!!!   Ok, she sang it the best she could  but WHY choose a song like that for her?  It did NOTHING to showcase her talent and EVERYTHING to bring her down a notch or two with the voters.  Way to go, PTB!  You showed your hand with that one!

 

I, Who Have Nothing – (Personal Choice)

I was glad to see her pull out ALL the stops and sing her heart out (even besting her first outing with this song) but I believe TPTB have stacked the deck against her making the finals.  That would be a tragedy because of the last three standing, she would have the most to gain by being in the finale.  I’ve like this child from the get go and while I go back and forth as to whether she should win or not, she needs to place at number 2 in order to get a decent recording contract.  That may not happen now and we have the producers and Simon to thank for that.

Definitely on the bubble but I’m voting as much as I can for her to survive.

 

 

Blake Lewis

Roxanne – (Paula’s Choice)

Now THAT was Karaoke with a big K.  He didn’t seem to be comfortable with the song from where I was sitting but as you saw, the judging troika did not see it the same way I did (hubby was the one who pinpointed the uneasiness with the song).  Don’t get me wrong — his vocal was decent but it sounded almost like a Sting copy most of the time.  I also thought he dropped a few lyrics.  Didn’t matter, I suppose.

 

This Love – (Producers’ Choice)

Ok, now he gets a GOOD song from them, especially so he can beatbox? We knew that would come out tonight only he needed to be careful not to overdo.  He was truly in his element and with his edgy, current vibe will make a great recording artist no matter where he places. 

 

When I Get You Alone – (Personal Choice)

I have never heard this song before tonight but I have only one comment it — what a way to butcher Beethoven!   UGH!  Hooked on Beethoven was better in its day.  Having said that, I have to say that Blake brought his “A” game tonight and went at it with everything he had.  He deserves a place in the finale given his performances but only if everything was equal.  In my view, it was not.

Could be on the bubble but only if other voters feel like I do.  If not, he’s safe. 

 

 

Melinda Doolittle

I Believe in You and Me – (Randy’s choice)

Subtle and soulful — I loved it!  She came through Randy’s little test with flying colors and at least for one night we didn’t have to hear the “never do a Whitney song” mantra.  Way to go, girl!

 

Nutbush City Limits – (Producers’ Choice)

WHAT????   YIKES!  They had to be searching pretty to try and come up with something that she might bomb on but as usual that was NOT to be the case!  She was able to show her “inner Tina” again and it worked.  We’ll probably never hear that song again for 20 years but at least it was given a proper rendering at the hands of a master singer.

 

I’m a Woman – (Personal Choice)

I absolutely LOVED it!!!  And bringing out the backup singers has to be a little homage to her humble beginnings.  How fitting.  I agree with Simon for the first time tonight — she does deserve a place in the finals, hands down.  We all know that no matter where she ends up she will be a winner but for consistency and sheer vocal brilliance, she does deserve to win it all.

She WILL be safe — Simon has made sure of that.

 

 

Where does that leave us?  Well, my prediction for the “odd person out” has to be, and I HATE saying this in print, Jordin  but I hope and pray that won’t be so.  Honestly, folks, any two from these three will make for a great finale in a season of so-so performances all overshadowed by the “Sanjaya factor.”  My advice for next season?  Return to some of what has made this show a great success:  better selections for the Top 24 (less backstage drama, more obvious vocal ability), more focus on the contestants themselves (what ever happened to the “Halfway Home” show?) and bring back the WILDCARD show!!!!!   That might help if the shark hasn’t already been jumped…

 

Carry on as we wait for the results and kudos to the Top 3 for leaving us with some of the best performances of the season!

J

 

PS — looking forward to hearing Elliott tomorrow night! And if you can guess what song I got my title from this evening (and who sang it), well, you obviously spend waaaay too much time on Google (just like I do!).

 

 

 

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