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Archive for August, 2008

Another “down and dirty” Idol review this week, peeps, (I’m away from home and doing this on the fly), and it was the BEST Beatles show with spot on judges’ picks and some great performances. It’s gonna be a tight race to the finish since all the contestants are finally bringing their “A” games. Here’s what I saw on the laptop for this week (and might just watch again — it was THAT good!):

Earl Stevenson

With A Little Help From My Friends

Well if the “curse of the first” holds up, we should be saying “buh bye” to this boy finally! I will note that he actually sounded pretty good this week by channeling the Joe Cocker version of the song and he kept the stage prowling down to a respectable minimum so that actually could work in his favor. Great…NOT! I want him gone so I’ll predict some bottom dwelling for this boy this week.

Mookie Morris

Come Together

The more I see and hear this boy, he sure does remind me of a mellower Steven Tyler (who also covered this song with Aerosmith) but with the same stage charisma that draws the audience in. He has proven each week that he knows how to present the oldies to a new generation but his fan base is a trifle fickle. He also received the strangest judges’ comment of the night — “…a jumbo pot of umm, umm good?” Sass is as bad as Simon – what does that mean? Should be safe but one never knows.

Theo Tams

The Long and Winding Road

Perfect song choice for the piano man but, IMHO, it was just a tad over the top. No matter. Great vocals, great delivery, and — have you noticed — he’s getting that Idol makeover BIG time! This one is still my pick to GO.ALL.THE.WAY! Should be safe if Canada knows what’s good for them!

Mitch MacDonald

In My Life

Another perfect song choice for this high pitched honey and it quite the risk to do the first verse with minimal backup. He truly is a good, solid performer and very comfortable on stage. Good for him, even though I’m still not that keen on his sound. I think he just might go another week but I can’t be sure.

Drew Wright

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I usually like this young man but a grunge version of this song just didn’t do it for me. Good vocals, not much screaming, fine guitar weeping but I guess I am more partial to the original. But, since the judges were all over him with accolades I will defer to them and say that he just might avoid the bottom this week. Who knew?

With all that said and done, I’ll declare that my choices to occupy the bottom of the totem pole this week are:

Earl Stevenson (because I’ve had enough of his theatrics) and

Mitch MacDonald (because his song wasn’t as flashy as the others and that might dissuade some voters)

with “das boot” going to Earl Stevenson just because I want him gone, gone, GONE! Will I be happy or sad this week? We’ll see…

Carry on!

J

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One unhappy camper here, people!

The last woman standing on Canadian Idol has been dismissed before hitting the Top 5 and this American is definitely crying “foul!”  She certainly was not the worst in the vocal department this week and her performance was more outgoing and natural than in weeks prior.  So what happened?

Two things:  first, whoever suggested that outfit and look for her was dead WRONG!  While Zack’s comment was a tad over the top, it showed that the look casted a dark pall over her performance and I guess Canada felt that to be true.  Second, it’s another case of the curse of going first — with at least two other strong performances and a surprisingly good showing from our friend from NS, Amberly was all but forgotten because she didn’t stand out enough.  It’s too bad that this very talented vocalist could only make it to sixth place.

With five guys left and the Beatles songbook being tackled next week, this should prove interesting…

Carry on!

J

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Sorry I’m a little late with my reviews this week but my normal Canadian video junkie was out of commission and I had to scramble and find a new supplier. Good thing I hit pay dirt at You Tube and was able to see the show but not in the correct order of performance. I was able to figure out who went first and last but the rest are a toss up so if you are one of my OCD fans, I apologize for the disorganization.

Anyway, it was a celebration of Canadian artists this week with Simple Plan as the mentors. They seemed like a decent group who wanted to help our contestants succeed and I think they must have given them some good advice because most of them appeared to up their game. I can’t say enough how much I’m enjoying CI and it’s very eclectic musical themes this summer. I don’t think I can look at AI again without noticing the BIG differences between them and wishing they’d get their act together.

So, without further ado, here’s the view from my trusty laptop this week with many thanks to another great Canadian poster:

Amberly Thiessen1, 2, 3, 4 (Feist)

I haven’t heard Brooke White sing this on the AI tour yet so this was a preview of the song for me. While not enamored with the piece, I thought this was the best performance this little lady has given so far in the competition. She looked relaxed and joyful, her voice was clear as a bright bell and she worked the stage well instead of hiding behind her guitar. I didn’t like how they dressed her and made her up to be a pop tart because I believe the “girl-next-door” vibe works for her so I hope this transformation doesn’t lose votes instead of gain them. Should NOT be in the bottom three but she did go first so ya never know. BTW, I think Zach is auditioning for Simon’s spot on the American show when he leaves…Elvira? Please. She didn’t look THAT bad.

Drew WrightThat Song (Big Wreck)

This one wants to be Canada’s answer to David Cook for sure. It was an OK performance, vocals were good when he wasn’t screaming over the band, but I felt he was concentrating too much on his playing the guitar and not enough in entertaining the audience. I’m not sure his cherub good looks are going to carry him unscathed to the Top 5 so look for him in the bottom three this week.

Theo TamsSweet Ones (Sarah Slean)

Other than the “lounge lizard” velvet jacket (which made him look a little cheesy), that was another great performance. The vocals (with just a hint of growl) were spot on, his musical treatment of the song was driving in places and “come hither” in others and I have to agree with the boys from Simple Plan, he makes singing and playing look effortless. If he’s not safe this week, Canada is just not as hip as I think they are. This boy is my pick for the top spot, definitely.

Mitch MacDonald Love This Town (Joel Plaskett?)

Definitely an indie performer for sure, he does very well in his own genre but his vocal tone can be grating. Not tonight, however. It fit the song and he kept it simple so the performance was very sincere and likable. A props for choosing a song almost no one was familiar with. This could buy him another week in the competition and I’d like to see him stay after many weeks of calling for his departure. Good job.

Earl StevensonLittle Bones (The Tragically Hip)

I guess I’m not hip because I just don’t GET this guy (and I really liked Taylor Hicks)! He sings OK but he always looks like he’s been hitting the bong before each performance. I like my Idols a tad more serious about what they’re doing and I just don’t understand WHY the judges love him to death. Canada, do me a favor? Send this boy home packing. I just can’t take him anymore.

Mookie MorrisMagic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)

I liked the scratching vibe that was added to this classic rock song and this boy definitely had the charisma to pull it off and draw the crowd in. I wasn’t as sold on his vocals because I thought they weren’t as good as I’ve heard him to be and I think that might hurt him with some of the more savvy voters. He needs more time to grow vocally but he’s got the performing side of it down pat.

So, the bottom dwellers for this week would have to be:

Mookie, (because he needs more work vocally and this IS a singing competition, isn’t it?)

Drew (because he tried too hard with the vocals)

and Earl, (for being just too Earl-ish this week)

with “das boot” probably going to Drew Wright because Canada doesn’t have the ***** to get rid of Earl or Mookie just yet. However, don’t be surprised if Mitch goes home because voters just might be done with him at this point. We shall soon see if I’m correct…or not…

Carry on!

J

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This is one of my quick, down-and-dirty reviews so let’s just get to it. With Sir Tom Jones giving them some sage advice, it looked and sounded to me that most of them listened and tried to switch it up a little this week.

So, how did I rate the contestants this week? Here are my observations, brought to you again from my trusty laptop and my equally reliable Canadian video supplier:

Mark Day Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)

Odd choice for an odd personality but he does sing rather well and actually did a decent job vocally. The performance was a little flat for me and I felt that while he did a good job vocally he really didn’t connect with the lyrics. Going first is usually the kiss of death so expect to see him among the bottom feeders this week and could be going home.

Mitch MacDonald Jealous Guy (John Lennon)

For weeks I’ve had this guy pegged to leave and he’s still here – wassup with that? His voice IS unique but it’s just not my cup of tea and while his performances have always been high charged they just fall flat with me. Nice enough guy but with a less than enthusiastic reception from the judges this week, he just might make it to the bottom three — finally!

Drew WrightCreep (Radiohead)

He sure is a versatile musician and singer but I just did NOT enjoy this particular song choice. I’m sure it appealed to the younger set but I felt it did nothing to show off either his personality or his true vocal abilities. Since the judges loved that he “brought it” to the stage this week, he should remain safe for yet another week.

Theo TamsYou Had Me (Joss Stone)

Three words: The. Complete. Package. And this boy was worried about working the stage? That was one killer performance with the requisite matching vocal to tie it up in a nice big bow. If this kid isn’t safe no one is! He is the one to beat for sure.

Mookie MorrisLola (The Kinks)

This child is so retro and while it does work for him, he is still very young and needs a lot more vocal training. His lower register was very rough but when he kicked it up an octave it kicked butt big time. He won’t win the competition but he just might have enough life in him to make it to the Top 5. However, he could still be bottom dwelling this week but he probably won’t go home yet.

Amberly ThiessenPut Your Records On (Corrine Bailey Rae)

I just love her voice — sweet, easy on the ears but quietly powerful all at the same time. This was a good song choice for her and getting out from behind the guitar was just what she needed to let her personality shine a little bit. She needed to change things up at this point and hopefully this will keep her out of the bottom three because she needs to be in the Top3 for sure.

Earl StevensonChange the World (Eric Clapton)

Dr. Strangelove gets the pimp spot this week and with a weak song choice and an equally strange performance he might just make the bottom three this week, if I could have anything to say about it. However, the judges are just so in love with him I have a feeling he’ll be safe yet again. Rats. Maybe I’m just too old to get where this guy is coming from and I definitely don’t want anything he might be smoking.

My choices for the cellar dwellers this week? They would have to be:

Mark, (for going first and being just a pitch off pitch)

Mitch (for a truly flat performance)

and Earl, (for really not living up to his usual hype this week – the performance was blah even for him)

with “das boot” probably going to Mark Day because I just believe his time is up in this competition. We heard the judges name four of the ones to beat and while there were no surprises there, Mark just doesn’t fit the profile they are looking for. Tomorrow night can’t come soon enough for me…

Carry on!

J

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