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Archive for May, 2008

Boy, I hoped this would happen but with Idol one never knows. Congrats to DC for pulling an well deserved upset and making Simon LeBrit eat crow on national TV! I loved it! He won this contest on his own terms by remaining true to himself up to the bitter end and for that, he earned my respect and admiration for being a TRUE musician. Now, don’t let Clive and the boys wear you down…

Congrats, too, to Archie for singing his heart out and showing what a true singer is made of. IMHO it was right that he didn’t win because he is a little too young to be put through the music industry grinder and with a voice like his he needs to be nurtured slowly so that we can enjoy his singing for many years to come. And once he turns 18 he can ditch his Dad and be his own musician. Winning Idol would have made any of that much harder, if not impossible.

So let’s raise a glass to the winner and runner up! Thanks for a great season and may you both continue to touch the world with your music!

Carry on!

J

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Tuesday’s Live Blogging!

Wednesday’s Live Blogging!

Yep, we’re gonna try it again and this time you don’t have to go somewhere else to find it — thanks, WordPress!!

Come join us for one or both nights of Idol’s final songfest for this season. I’m sure their will be surprises and stupidity for everyone (can you say – CLAY AIKEN?? maybe…maybe not…)

C ya!

J

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We’re almost there – can you believe that the finale is next week? Boy, this season has certainly flown by! It’s been an interesting, entertaining yet strangely familiar ride from the auditions to now, sort of reminding us of another vocally powerful “Search for a Superstar” – the season of Clay/Ruben/Kimberley (Season 2). The caliber of vocal talent this year has been nothing short of spectacular with a nice variety of shades and stylings — with, of course, a few characters thrown in for effect. Actually, I haven’t been bored much or wanting to slap the voters too often this season and that in itself is a GOOD thing! With a strong Top 3 there will be a deserving winner no matter who gets the most votes and we ALL win when that happens. Kudos to the judges for getting it RIGHT this season and giving us a strong field from which to choose from.

Speaking of choices, this was “Pick” night, when everyone gets to pick a song: Judges, contestants and even the dreaded PTB. It’s a night when the judges have to be really careful NOT to harp too much on song choice because in 2 out of 3 cases the contestants had no real say in the matter. In fact, I got really annoyed when they briefly started to go down that road but I guess old habits die hard. Now, we had a little twist this time around where the two male judges ceased an opportunity to jab each other’s choices for their Idol but that proved more comical than detrimental. Paula actually chose well for her Idol and was refreshingly coherent tonight – good for her!

So, with the DH and puppy by my side, here’s what it looked like from my comfy red leather couch for this week of interesting picks and very few pans:

David Archuleta

And So It Goes – Billy Joel (Paula’s pick)

That. Was Beautiful. Sigh. Absolutely gorgeous! Most mature vocal and performance of the season from this young man. What more can I say – but, as if we didn’t know, Simon tried to let some steam out of the kid’s engine. Nasty Brit.

With You – Chris Brown (Arch’s pick)

Thank God he finally did something upbeat however he was bottoming out on many of the lower notes and I couldn’t tell if it was a register problem or if he was out of breath. Give him his props for trying to be current and interesting.

Longer – Dan Fogleburg (TPTB’s pick)

This boy wants to win it bad. That was another very mature and vocally sound performance. This was the first night I saw him trying to connect with the lyrics and he did a stellar job, IMHO.

Syesha Mercado

If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys (Randy’s pick)

Nice controlled vocals but a little too close to the original for me. I hate it when the Brit and I happen to agree. She does have a solid instrument.

Fever – Peggy Lee and others (Syesha’s pick)

Best. Song. From. Her. Ever! Definitely made the song her own (and a difficult feat with this overdone number) and performed it with style and sizzle. Send this child to Broadway now and get her away from Simon…FAR away! Personally, I don’t want her to win Idol because she has a better career waiting for her than being lead around by the nose by 19 Entertainment. Let the Davids fight it out. Seriously, she has grown on me over the course of the season and I could kick myself for ruling her out at the beginning of the Top 12. She’s got talent and chops to spare and I hope she goes as far as she can, with or without Idol.

Hit Me Up – Gia Farrell (TPTB’s pick)

At the risk of showing my age, I was not familiar with this song at all. In any case she sang really well tonight, this one included. Was it enough to get to next week? Vocally I would say “hell, yeah!” but I’m not sure she has enough of a fan base to pull it off. That is, unless she gets the sympathy vote tonight for being run over by the judges (could that have been some reverse psychology on their part?). BTW, Simon’s remarks after this song were the most intelligent ones I’ve heard him utter this season. About. Damn. Time!

David Cook

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack (The Brit’s pick – what WAS he thinking?)

He HAD to do something with that song and, dang it, he did!!!! Nice upper register work and a solid, money note ending. Go figure.

Dare You to Move – Switchfool

Ok, I have heard this song – now I don’t feel so old. It was classic Cookie and, like Paula, I wanted to hear more of it as well. That’s the problem with songs that can’t do a beginning, middle and end in a minute thirty. No surprises but no fouls either.

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Two words: SLAM DUNK! And, no surprise, we all know who the Brit wants to win…I know, it’s only a TV show…

I won’t pick a bottom two or a “das boot” this week because no matter which way it plays out, all three deserve kudos for what they’ve done to get this far and with any combination it is setting up to be a great finale this year. Just remember, we could end up seeing another “Melinda elimination” this year so don’t rule anything out. Either way, I’ll be buying my tickets tomorrow for the tour this year because this is a very interesting and entertaining group of contestants and I would like to see them live.

Carry on!

J

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I hate Top 4 week. Period.

For most of the previous seasons, this has been the week where the obvious weak link pushes out a front runner and spoils the whole mix.

Tamyra Gray. LaToya London. Anthony Federov. Chris Daughtry. These are the folks that SHOULD have moved on to the Top 3 but didn’t. Folks with strong vocals and performances that could have made their fan bases relax at time when every vote was crucial.

The spoilers? Nikki McKibbin. Jasmine Trias. Vonzell Solomon. Katherine McFee (even though Elliott Yamin eventually came in third she was weak link that week). Folks who may have had a stellar performance once in a while but had fans who mobilized at the last minute because they knew it was now or never.

Have we learned nothing from Idol history? Guess not, because we are once again poised to see a worthy competitor bounced due to the dialing and texting frenzy of a misguided fan base trying to get their Idol to go-all-the-way – even though they don’t deserve to. Hummph.

I HATE Top 4 week.

Having said all that, let’s proceed on to that view from my comfy red leather couch for this dreadlock dreadful week:

David Cook

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Solid vocal performance but I didn’t feel any UMMMPH behind it. It was like he was just strolling through it. Notice how Simon used the phrase “copy cat” rather than using the “K” word so he wouldn’t be so harsh on him. I have a feeling that the Brit would be more comfortable promoting him than any of the others so he won’t be jinxing his chances of winning at this point if he can help it.

Baba O’Reilly – The Who

Oh man! I wanted to hear the WHOLE song – that was just a taste of what I know he can do with that number. I guess I’ll finally get out my shopping cart at iTunes and pick me up a download of the full song. The arrangement was not-so-hot but he did his best around it for sure. Better than the first song and more of who he is as a performer. He needs to get past this week to make it to the finals. Here’s hoping we don’t experience another Daughtry moment but I’d be afraid…VERY afraid…

Syesha Mercado

Proud Mary – Ike & Tina Turner / Credence Clearwater Revival

This is a tough song to try and make your own but I think she did a better job just trying to avoid sounding and looking like Tina Turner, even though she did do the hair flip. She gave it her own vocal spin but stayed true to the song and the girl can certainly shake her booty! She continues to ride the wave she created back on ALW night.

A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

Very controlled, very vulnerable performance with a killer vocal ending and not as many vocal gymnastic tricks as there COULD have been. Kudos to Simon for not slamming her after Randy did, which I thought was uncalled for. She certainly has been the most improved contestant this season and has literally matured before our collective eyes. If Brooke’s fan base wanders over to her side she just might have a chance of getting to the Top 3, which she truly deserves to do.

Jason Castro

I Shot the Sheriff – Eric Clapton / Bob Marley

Unfortunately, he chose the reggae version over the more familiar Clapton rendition and completely lost me along with probably most of the viewing public. The judges slammed him big time and they were right to do so because at this stage of the competition that performance was unacceptable. I wonder if he is trying to see how far he can go without really trying hard – or is he simply bored with the whole process and ready to go home?

Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds / Bob Dylan

If this boy doesn’t go home tonight it will be a crying shame. Now he’s forgetting the words on top of singing just so-so? Can you say Sanjaya? Both performances tonight were sub par at best and his attitude was truly unprofessional. I don’t think he’s taking the whole experience seriously or could be believing his own press. It’s time to call it a day, Spicolli, and go “party on” somewhere else. Please don’t be this year’s Nikki McKibbin!

David Archuleta

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Vocally the best of the first round by a long mile. The pipes on this child are amazing and he showed that all that bedroom-in-front-of-a-mirror practicing can pay off. The Brit thought he struggled at the end while I thought he was a tad nervous and started off a little weak – no matter – he connected emotionally and vocally and that’s what all of them should be doing at this point.

Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

Kudos to the kid! Sensitive, warm vocals with an endearing performance that left my hubby wanting to hear more (and that’s saying something!). Not since Clay Aiken has there been a contestant this consistently good but would winning be the best thing for him? Clay certainly has benefited greatly by NOT winning so I’m not sure what I would wish for this talented young man. In an event, unless his fans haven’t benefited from history and become complacent, he should glide into the finals.

I hate this. The only one I feel deserves “das boot” this week is Jason Castro but I can’t shake the fact that a shocker could be in the works. I won’t even venture a guess as to who that could be from the other three but I’m really hoping that America and the PRODUCERS get it right for once in seven years and send the least deserving home at the right time. Please?

Carry on!

J

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