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Archive for the ‘Blake Lewis’ Category

I haven’t exactly been jumping for musical joy with this year’s crop of male contestants. The lack of “oomph” makes me long for the seasons were an even distribution of the sexes was not important (and the wildcard round was still in play…ah, the good old days…). I can’t yet put my finger on it but it could be that instead of showing us their true personalities, they have had to try and second guess what the public wants to hear on each of the theme nights. I went into tonight with a lot of hesitation and not a lot of confidence that I would enjoy the show…boy, was I wrong…read on…

 

 

Luke Menard – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

I have liked this boy’s voice and delivery since Day 1 and the judges (mainly Randy and Simon) have knocked him since Day 1. Tonight, Randy thought it was corny and Simon dismissed him totally, telling him he has no chance whatsoever of making the cut – that some the man who’s already made up his mind as to who IS going to win this season and we’re not even into the Top 12 yet! Luke may have started out a little shaky but he did go first and he settled in real fast. Vocally, he was right on – particularly in the upper register where he power sang those notes instead of screaming or stretching too thin. He connects with the audience and actually looked like he was having fun finally! He took the criticism like a man and I hope the voters stay behind him and put him through because, like Paula said, this IS a SINGING COMPETITION!

 

David Archuleta – Another Day in Paradise

The “anointed one” gets behind the piano and shows that he’s a little vulnerable. By that, I mean that sitting down did NOT help his vocal production and it made him pitchy – until he stood up and it all clicked in again as usual. While I didn’t like the song choice at all, he did well enough to make it through to the Final 12 – no question. But it is good to see that he hasn’t peaked too early.

 

Danny Noreiga – Tainted Love

Can this boy be any more nauseating? Between the over-emoting performance and the overly stereotypical gay ‘tude I can’t stand him AT ALL and if he doesn’t go this week, we are in for “Sanjaya Redux” this season. Come on, gang – resist the VTFW kool-aid and dump the dude this week!!

 

David Hernandez – All Coming Back to Me Now

I’ve liked him and his voice all this time but I HATED the song choice! I didn’t think it did a thing for him. The vocal got thin and scratchy up high and he drifted into the pitchy lane in a few spots. I get the impression that Simon would rather have him around than Luke so he gave him a little push in that direction. One more thing: I hope this boy does NOT become the Antonella Barba of this season. OK, he was a male stripper – move on or disqualify him but don’t drag it out for weeks.

 

Michael Johns – Don’t You Forget About Me

He does have a sorta Jim Morrison vibe about him, now doesn’t he? I thought he did rather well tonight and I thought the song choice was perfect for him (contrary to what Simon said). I agree with his rock/soul sound but I think he’s more soul than rock and if he can click into that, he is going to go very far.

 

David Cook – Hello

Interesting…the grunge version of Lionel Richie’s song …not sure if I liked it but I will admit he sang it quite well and made it his own. He is an original, that’s for sure and an intelligent musician to boot – this year’s Blake Lewis for sure. Not my cup of tea but he deserves to stay in this competition just for taking the risk.

 

Jason Castro – Hallelujah

Even with the vocal glitch at the very end, I thought he took a great risk with this difficult song and he actually pulled it off! Great vocal most of the time, a vulnerable performance without the guitar to hide behind and I agree with Paula that he has great phrasing. He is getting better and to send him home now would be a mistake because I think the best is yet to come from him.

 

Chikezie – She Fills Me Up

The last guy of color in the competition slams it home with a great vocal turn on this song. I’m not sure I’d agree with the cabaret label but then again since I’ve done cabaret I wouldn’t put that performance in that category (and there is nothing wrong with cabaret or Broadway, you narrow minded Brit). We need his vocal color in the Top 12 and I hope American feels the same.

 

This was a better set of songs for the guys so far this year and it’s going to be harder than I thought to disengage two more from the collective. However, my choices for “das boot” this week would have to be – and this is solely based on performance — Danny and David H. Let’s see who agrees with me and not with VFTW.

 

The gals have a tough act to follow so until tomorrow night…carry on!

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Come one, come all! The Live Blogging experiment continues tomorrow night at 8pm EST/7pm CST/5pm PST. Just click here and join the fun! I make lots of irreverent comments, take polls, show videos, and everyone can add their own POV to the proceedings. What better way to watch IDOL than with others!

See you there — carry on!

J

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    Happy New Year!

    I know I have been away far too long from my AI friends and fans so I guess this is as good a time as any to start cranking up the creative wheels again and get this blog back on a regular schedule. Speaking of schedules, I’m sure most of you saw that FOX has released the broadcast schedule for season 7 of Idol and I was VERY glad to see the Hollywood rounds getting two episodes again instead of last season’s disappointing one. Now in case you’re one of the three people who haven’t seen the press release, I’ll post it here so you can reference it throughout the season:

     

     

    2008 American Idol Season 7 Schedule

    Tuesday, January 15

    Auditions (Philly)

    Wednesday, January 16

    Auditions (Dallas)

    Tuesday, January 22

    Auditions (San Diego)

    Wednesday, January 23

    Auditions (Charleston)

    Tuesday, January 29

    Auditions (Omaha)

    Wednesday, January 30

    Auditions  (Miami)

    Tuesday, February 5

    Auditions  (Atlanta)

    Wednesday, February 6

    Auditions (Could be “Best of the Worst” – I hate those!)

    Tuesday, February 12

    Hollywood Part 1

    Wednesday, February 13

    Hollywood Part 2 – Top 24 Revealed

    Tuesday, February 19

    Top 12 Males

    Wednesday, February 20

    Top 12 Females

    Thursday, February 21

    Top 24 Elimination

    Tuesday, February 26

    Top 10 Males

    Wednesday, February 27

    Top 10 Females

    Thursday, February 28

    Top 20 Elimination

    Tuesday, March 4

    Top 8 Males

    Wednesday, March 5

    Top 8 Females

    Thursday, March 6

    Top 16 Elimination – Top 12 established

    Tuesday, March 11

    Top 12 Perform

    Wednesday, March 12

    Top 12 Elimination

    Tuesday, March 18

    Top 11 Perform

    Wednesday, March 19

    Top 11 Elimination

    Tuesday, March 25

    Top 10 Perform

    Wednesday, March 26

    Top 10 Elimination

    Tuesday, April 1

    Top 9 Perform

    Wednesday, April 2

    Top 9 Elimination

    Tuesday, April 8

    Top 8 Perform

    Wednesday, April 9

    Idol Gives Back 2

    Thursday, April 10

    Top 8 Elimination

    Tuesday, April 15

    Top 7 Perform

    Wednesday, April 16

    Top 7 Elimination

    Tuesday, April 22

    Top 6 Perform

    Wednesday, April 23

    Top 6 Elimination

    Tuesday, April 29

    Top 5 Perform

    Wednesday, April 30

    Top 5 Elimination

    Tuesday, May 6

    Top 4 Perform

    Wednesday, May 7

    Top 4 Elimination

    Tuesday, May 13

    Top 3 Perform

    Wednesday, May 14

    Top 3 Elimination

    Tuesday, May 20

    Final 2 Perform

    Wednesday, May 21

    Season Finale & Winner

     

    Other than another installment of Idol Gives Back, which I have mixed feelings about, it should be another interesting year of bad auditions, questionable judging and America getting it wrong at least ten times, if not more. Has Idol become predictable? In a way, yes — but it still manages to provide enough angst and raw emotions from both contestants and viewers to keep it the main topic of water cooler conversation from January to May. Couple that with the lack of any viable competition due to the writers’ strike and it should top the Nielsen’s easily again this year. There will, however, be some changes and additions and I am looking forward to them. From what we already know:

     

    ****Less focus on guest mentors and more on the contestants themselves in an effort to get to know them better. I would hate to see the producers do away with mentors altogether (especially the music god himself, Barry Manilow, who is due for another visit this year) because some of them, like Barry, really do care about the kids and want to see them do their best. However, last year’s over-emphasis, I believe, did take away from getting to see the contestants as regular folks just like us and allowed one very charismatic individual to get more attention for his non-singing antics than he deserved. Let’s hope the producers have learned a lesson from this.

     

    ****Allowing the contestants to show other sides of their musical abilities is certainly a welcome addition. Most of the other big Idol franchises already allow this and I believe it does help show how musically well rounded an individual is or isn’t. As a musician myself, I think it takes a lot more than a pretty voice to make it BIG in music or to achieve longevity in this field. Building on skills and gifts, as well as the occasional reinvention of the artists, helps to keep their creativity alive and, hopefully, keeps them out of becoming boring or trite to the listening and buying public. Since most Idol contestants haven’t traditionally had much experience or “dues paying” prior to being on the show (there are exceptions, obviously), they seem to lack the staying power of others who have taken awhile to “make it.” However, the public seems to think that if a musician isn’t ALWAYS in the news or on TV or on the radio that they have somehow “failed” at making a career of music – which is not necessarily true. Being able to judge a contestant’s full musical potential may begin to tip the scales away from those with just great voices and towards the “total musical package” types – something that may not be a bad thing. I guess we’ll have to see what the producers put forward this year for us to judge (and it had better be better than last year…).

     

     

    If you’re like me, with the holidays now a fond memory and the writers’ strike making TV more of a vast wasteland, you’re just as anxious for Idol to get going. It’s only a little longer, folks… get those TiVOs and DVRs primed and ready… we’re almost there and I’M READY! Are you?

     

    Carry on!

    J

     

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This looks about right, gang, but I’m not surprised our sweet Melissa placed at 5th overall and that an under-rated Diana De Garmo ended up last. The top four were dead on IMHO but I would have thought that Daughtry’s numbers would have been a little closer to Clay, given his ability for radio airplay. Then, again, those Clayfans know how to “stand by their man” on any given day!

You can read all of the article and the hilarious comments here.

What say you all? On the money or all washed up? Let the discussion begin!

Carry on!

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…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!! 

 

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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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