Archive for January, 2010

Got to admit, peeps, I thought the 1st two stops had much more bankable talent than this week’s sojourns into Tunesville. Could have been my frame of mind when watching. Could have been the producers holding back on some good stuff. Could have been not much to choose from. But when you see Bagpipes and Disney characters in a lot of shots, one kinda presumes that the talent might be a little lacking. Just sayin’…

Chi-town was touted as the largest stop on tour, with 12,000 hopefuls queuing up for the 15 seconds of fame. Our guest judge for this stop was Shania Twain and from what was presented, she appeared to be the most polite judge ever. Some are even calling for her to have a permanent seat at the judge’s table. I’ll reserve my remarks on that subject until I see what Ellen does later this season. Besides, Kara is still my gal – she’s knowledgeable, talented and knows how to play with the big boys. Love her! Anyway, let’s get back to how the talent stacked up:

Katelyn Epperly

pretty girl with a pretty voice and a pretty good backstory. Thank God the 1st one was good this week.

Amy Lang

Broadway baby and a Seacrest stalker. Less shtick and more singing, please. She actually could sing but killed her chances by going over the top.

Charity Vance

they are growing them younger this year. I like this kid – wrong choice of song but a young, sweet voice that she didn’t push on a big old diva tune. Might have a good chance in Hollywood.

Angela Martin

3rd time around and last shot because of her advanced age (that is, if you consider 28 OLD!). She still sounds great and should go to the top 24 this year unless she gets hit by a car or something.

Curly Newbern

I hate in guys try to sing higher than I do. I’ve never seen Simon laugh out loud before but he did this time. Buh-bye

Alannah Halbert

Clueless. Period.

Brian Krause

Tiny Tim???? I think I might have seen everything now on AI. Ugh.

Harold Davis

no relation to Sammy for sure (if you’re asking ‘Sammy who?’ you’re too young). Too rough around the edges and couldn’t take it like a man

Chantelle Graczkowski

one hot mess

John Park

smooth, easy singer with a nice bottom register. Should make a good showing in Hollywood after flirting with the lady judges.

Paige Dechausse

Ambitious song selection but she put her own spin on it. Pitch was a bit sloppy but she’s got some chops. Maybe she should have waited another year but let’s see what she can do from here.

Justin Ray

a bit of a screamer with a bad hair do.

Keith Semple

Definitely a Bryan Adams clone.

Marcus Jones

just ok. Guess we had to have some men…

While there were only 10,000 IDOL wannabes in Orlando, the best of the rest had to contend with a slightly hung over male judging team that could not abide the female bonding of Kara and guest judge Kristin Chenoweth, a personal favorite of this Broadway baby. She can sing rings around most vocalists these days and that’s probably what irked Simon the most because she knew what she was talking about. I loved seeing her on the small screen but I wasn’t too wowed by the rest of what I heard:

Theo Glinton

What is that???? Too over the top for my taste. That must be some tee shirt they kept blurring out, too. He could be on Broadway but not on AI.

Seth Rollins

the old standards are the best for showing off a good voice and this dude has a nice, smooth sound. I hope he can step it up in Hollywood.

Jermaine Perifoy

again with an old standard and they really do impress in an audition. Might do well in Hollywood but not a slam-dunk for beyond.

Shelby Dressel

what God take away in one place He gives back in another -great vocal production within her limitations and a winning personality. I like her and hope she does well in Hollywood.

Jay Stone

Blake Lewis he is NOT. Sorry. Won’t last past Hollywood I’m sure.

Janell Wheeler

A little bit country on a difficult song – not bad, but not too impressed.

Brittany Starr James

Decent r&b stylings but not very original. Won’t last the week in Hollywood.

Kasi Bedford

Too rough around the edges but they seemed to liked her – what do I know…

Cornelius Edwards

Splits and rips will get you to Hollywood every time. Not sure about the voice, though.

Bernadette & Amanda DeSimone

A sister act from the Jersey Shore – #1 was decent/#2 was trying too hard. Neither really deserved Hollywood, imho.

Jarrod Norrell

problem child for sure – ‘nuf said.

Matt Lawrence

A bank robber? Seriously? That’s a novel backstory. Very convincing blues singer with a really good voice – strong yet not screaming. I hope he makes it to the Top 24.

Let’s hope the next two stops are more memorable. If not, I might be a little concerned with the lack of real talent this season – and the show needs a strong showing this time out if it expects to survive without the Brit next year. Piers Morgan as replacement, anyone? 😉

Catch you later!

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**Note: Because of my changing and unusual work schedule I might not get to post my reviews immediately after each episode. Please don’t hate me for that. Just keep on checking back to the blog and I’ll get them up there in a day or two. Thanks for understanding!

Night two of the AI Season 9 auditions finds us back in the city that brought us Clay, Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson. Other than the quick shot of the guy in the sumo suit I had high hopes for the talent at this venue. I discovered quickly that this would not be another banner year for this otherwise fruitful stop on the AI audition train.

Here’s what I heard and saw from my red comfy couch on this evening:

Dewone Robinson – are all the first auditioners going to suck this year? Oh Laty….laty…it’s over…go away now…

Keia Johnston – a little bit of a screamer but a nice overall sound. Won’t get past Hollywood, however. Needs help in the wardrobe department for sure.

Miriam Lemnouni – a Faith Hill clone that should quickly get dismissed in Hollywood’s first round.

Noel Reese – a bright sounding Whitney Houston clone. Another first round dismissal.

Tisha Holland – is this her second time around? Actually, after consulting the AI website, she’s been down this road a couple of times before so that’s why she looked familiar to me. However, this time her soulful and warm vocals got her the golden ticket. Now let’s see what she can do in Hollyweird.

Jermaine Sellers – this year’s Danny Gokey is a very smooth and skillful singer. Should make it through Hollywood unless he hits a huge bump, like not being able to sing well with others.

Christy Marie Agronow – don’t quit your day job, honey, ‘cuz you’re already on TV. That may have been a poor career move as well.

Vanessa Wolfe – has a definite Dolly Parton vibe to her and a decent voice. Great poor girl backstory – a Tennessee Eliza Doolittle. Hubby likes her a lot – I just hope she can survive Hollywood. But she is what this show is really all about – finding raw talent.

Jesse Hamilton – bad luck, bad teeth and I could smack Mary J. Blige for laughing so much. In fact, they all lose points, including the production folks, for their treatment of this simple chap. I hate these auditions the most.

Holly Harden – it’s Kellie Pickler 2.0! (ugh!) but she actually has quite a good voice. Another good ol’ country girl that I hear did NOT make the Hollywood cut. Oh well…

Lathan Davenport – I thought this one was a girl until I looked a little closer to the name. Ouch!

Hansel Enriquez – what’s with this dude’s name? (Does he have a sister named…never mind…) Nasal and no hope for advancement.

Blake Smith – Miss Spears may have changed his life but not for the better.

Mallorie Haley – definitely a country version of Janis Joplin and I kinda like it because she wasn’t screaming the lyrics. Hollywood bound and I hope she can stick it out because I would like to hear more from her.

Antonio “Skiiboski” Wheeler – he walks the talk but he’s so full of himself that he gets in his own way. I’m with the Brit on this one. I hope Hollywood trips him up big time.

Lauren Sanders – too soft and shallow a voice for this competition

Carmen Turner – a Kelly Clarkson clone with a limited vocal range – she won’t last long in Hollywood.

Bryan Walker – a singing cop backstory – he scared me a little when he said he was singing a la Ruben but he has pretty good chops. A little too much vocal calisthenics for me but he might just do well in Hollywood

Lamar Royal – a very angry singer who looks waay older than his is. I also hate it when they can’t take constructive criticism.

General Larry Platt – a very funny end to the night and probably going to be a very popular You Tube video. We should see him reprise his song at the finals.

OK, that’s my take on this group. Who do YOU think has a chance so far to GO.ALL.THE.WAY? Drop me a comment and let’s get the discussion going! Later, Idolites!

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Happy New Idol Season, folks!

I had planned to be back in the blogging saddle earlier than this but yet again my best laid plans were interrupted by real life and God’s will.  I’ve learned not to argue with either of those two realities so I’m simply happy to be back giving my POV to all things Idol.  In any case, as I was preparing to watch tonight’s first installment I heard the news that my favorite Brit is leaving the show at the end of the season.  What gives?  First, Paula jumps ship and is replaced by Ellen DeGeneres (I’m still not over that – even though I couldn’t stand Paula’s antics and lack of concrete critique at least she was a musician of sorts).  Now the Brit decides he wants to make more $$$ selling and starring in his X Factor’s American franchise rather than sticking with the vehicle that made him who he is today.  And everyone is now tolling the death knell for the show itself – again.

Interesting timing, don’t you think?

Ya know, this could actually work out for AI in both the short and long run.  Everyone will want to tune in for Simon’s last season so that will keep ratings from slipping this year.  Then, everyone will want to see who gets chosen to replace him and how well (or not) said replacement will do in Season 10.  My two cents on who should fill the seat?  Perhaps one of the former IDOL contestants – either Clay Aiken or Justin Guarini would be an interesting choice – so that the once judged would now be in the position of judging the next generation.    How Ellen does this year will also factor in on the judging equation so at least there will be plenty to talk about this year.

Speaking of plenty to talk about, let’s get to tonight’s first auditioners.   As I’ve done in the past, I will give you my uncensored impressions as I wrote them while watching the show from the confines of my comfy couch.  The “darling hubby” (DH) was watching with me and sharing his views as well so you might see those comments here and there.  My two dogs didn’t lift their heads from slumber at all during the show so no one was totally terrible to get their attention.    😉

So, from my neck of the woods ( I actually live an hour from Boston), here’s what I heard and saw this first IDOL night:

1 -Janet  McNamara // pull up those jeans up, girlfriend, because we almost had embarrassing butt-cleavage.  I just knew that she was gonna be a trainwreck from the word GO.  Too bizzaro for me. Buh-bye!

2 – Maddy Curtis // “tug at your heart strings” back story.  Only 16 year old but she’s  got a sweet voice and demeanor to match with a little bit of soul as well.  Off to Hollywood with her!

3 – Pat Ford // Ok,  a GLEE geek if I ever saw one – complete with bad riser choreography.  Not happening here.

4 – Jennifer Herch //she has a nice jazz feel to her voice – loved the unusual version of  “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”

5 – Claire Fuller // strong country sounding vocals but could be a forgettable performance

6 – Jess Wolfe — soulful voice with good control. I wouldn’t mind hearing more from her

7 – Amadeo DiRocco // this gumba is from Providence, go figure – (looked more like Johnston to me and I was correct!) – he’s actually pretty good – a little affected but a good strong voice – Hollywood won’t know what hit it…

8 – Derek Hilton //  white guy can’t sing like black guy trying to sing a gay Brit’s song – that may not have been politically correct but it is a pretty accurate assessment of what I heard.

9 – Mere Doyle // ok, screaming is NOT my cup of tea and I’d love to talk with her vocal coaches about that audition.

10 – Luke Shaffer // 1st guy tonight with some real vocal chops.

11 – Ben Bright // nice, old school vocals

12 – Andrew Fenlon // too much ‘tude for me – Simon & Kara had every right to get in his face – trying to be Michael Buble and failing miserably – and yet he was totally clueless as to why he didn’t make it.  Needs to buy an attitude adjustment or enroll in a charm school course.

13 – Bill Bloom // uh, no.  Just no.

14 – Michael Ryan // musical theatre geek in the negative sense of the term – NO

15 – Ashley Rodriguez // big, solid soulful sound with definite commercial value.   She could be a contender

16 – Tyler Grady // white boy with soul – BIG surprise – retro hip with a good voice to match and very polite, too.  I liked this one.

17 –  Lisa Oliveira // I had a vision of this chick not going to Hollywood – by the way, she mispronounced the town where she is from (Bill-er-ric-ca??).  Not a real New Englander, if you ask me.

18 – Ryan Keane – ouch

19 – Mike Davis // he’s got the Bahston accent down, that’s for sure – a little rough in the  pitch department to start but he settled down and actually grew on me.

20 – Katie Stevens // another touching back story.  It’s a  young voice with lots of different colors and she’s 1/2 Portuguese, too!  That gets points in my book.  She’s one to keep an eye on.

21 – Joshua Blaylock // thin but good country vocal sound.  Also a very likable guy.

22 – Justin Williams // Another LDS boy with a good back story who was also in the top 50 last year.  However I do LOVE  this guy’s voice!!!!!  Was the talk of Twitter this evening so that should help him.

23 – Norberto Guerrero // what’s with the hair, dude? – weird, surreal voice (DH said it was like fingernails on a blackboard)

24 – Bosa Mora // easy listening voice – a little lacking in the stage presence department but that could be fixed by Hollywood.

25 – Leah Laurenti // one big, old voice with lots of control and color. I would watch this one very closely, however she needs more stage presence and confidence if she wants to succeed.

There you have it – my first review of the new season.  Can I keep up with the pace?  How long will it take me to write my next installment since I can’t watch it live tomorrow night?  How many times will Simon and I agree this season?  Can I ever agree with Ellen?  Will my gal Kara keep raising the bar for both contestants and judges?

You gotta come back for those answers and more!  See ya!

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