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Archive for the ‘David Hernandez’ Category

And so it begins again…Season Seven’s Top 12 showdown commenced tonight with a new intro and a new soundstage.  Mildly impressive on both accounts if I do say so.  Very futuristic looking but after about five seasons of looking the same, anything is a welcomed improvement.

 

However, what I wanted to be impressed with was the way the contestants would handle the very impressive Lennon and McCartney songbook.  With more number ones than any other songwriters, bar none, these songs are very well known and have been covered time and time again by countless singers, as well as slaughtered endlessly by many a karaoke barfly.  As I thought, there would be some passable performances, a few large clunkers and a BIG surprise performance or two.

 

I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

 

So, without further ado, here was the view from my red leather comfy couch for this evening:

 

Syesha MercadoGot to Get You Into My Life

Not what I had picked for her and while her vocals on the verses got lost in the orchestration (and lost their pitch along the way), she funked it up enough to make a decent impression.   Randy and Paula were lukewarm but Simon loved it – who knew?  IMHO, Chikezie  might have done it better but we’ll never know.  The big question – did she make a good enough “going first” impression  to keep her in the competition another week?  We shall see…

 

ChikezieShe’s a Woman

Now here’s a real obscure one and the twist from bluegrass to punk was brilliant!  He handled both ends of the vocal spectrum like a seasoned performer – I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!   Even Simon agreed!  That was a slam dunk vocally, visually and totally made up for him not singing my pick.  I think I may have underestimated this boy and I’m looking for much more from him in the weeks to come.

 

Ramiele MalubayIn My Life

I wasn’t sure someone would dare trot out this weeper but I’ll admit that she sang it with true heart and conviction.  It was downright sweet with no vocal problems I could hear.  I thought she was smart to give it a straight delivery but as I could have predicted, the judges hated it thoroughly.  These three don’t like anything that smells of B-O-R-I-N-G and I hope she gets the sympathy vote because it wasn’t that bad!!!!

 

Jason CastroIf I Fell

I had considered this one for him but I wasn’t sure what kind of shape his falsetto was in to pull it off successfully.  He might have done a little better job with it had he been standing and not sitting to play his guitar (which I do give him props for using on the first finals show).  As for the song itself, I have to agree with Randy about not changing up such a familiar melody and with Simon that it was good enough to keep him another week but nothing more.  He’s young…he’ll learn…

 

Carly SmithsonCome Together

Interesting…and absolutely SMASHING!!!  It was vocally amazing because she didn’t scream it but rather sang it with conviction and diva strength power.  That was the RIGHT song for her, it really was and with the Brit-stamp-of -approval, she should be around until the bitter end.  I’m liking her a lot, even if she IS a ringer  😉

 

David Cook  Eleanor Rigby

Well, I held my breath on this one – afraid that I would experience the grunge version of this classic and instead I got the Daughtry version of it.  The orchestration overwhelmed his vocals on the verses and I had to strain to hear the words but he did rock the refrain AND he did it sans the axe.  I give him some props for that.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call it brilliant but he didn’t kill it so he’ll be around for awhile.

 

Brooke WhiteLet it Be

Was she struggling to breathe sitting at the piano and playing or was that song sitting too low for her – or both?  I just did NOT dig her performance tonight at all even if it was heartfelt and sincere.  I really like her but I may be the only one who didn’t what she did with this song tonight.  Remember, music IS subjective…

 

David HernandezI Saw Her Standing There

I accidentally left him off my list last night but I had chosen either Yesterday or Help for him and since I haven’t done well at all tonight in matching the songs with the singers I didn’t expect to score big here.  Little did I know the child would take one of my favorite Beatle songs and run it literally into the ground.  Vocally it was weak, the runs were overdone, and it wasn’t a convincing performance overall – thank you, Randy, Paula and Simon (I’ll buy the desperate angle on this one) for agreeing with me!  He could be bubble material tonight for sure. 

 

Amanda OvermyerYou Can’t Do That

Another obscure selection that got the sassy rock treatment from Ms. Gravel Voice.  It sure stirred up the crowd but I would have preferred Get Back from her.  It was just “aw-ight” for me and maybe because I knew the original well, coupled with the fact that she blew the roof off last week I just didn’t warm up to it as others did.  Well, at least Simon agreed with me…what does THAT say?

 

Michael JohnsAcross the Universe

To quote the Brit, “are you serious?”  Not one of my favorites from the collection, that’s for sure, but I will admit it was sincere, compelling and for the first time, a strong vocally melodic performance.  I disagree with the boys and firmly agree with Paula (yikes!) – it takes a lot to step to center

stage and sing with quiet conviction and in spite of the vapid song, he did rather well.  He’s a keeper for the time being.

 

Kristy Lee CookEight Days a Week

Hummm…a country version complete with fiddles and choo-choo train rhythms…I don’t think it worked because her vocals were not up to the task at all – the arrangement overshadowed anything that she could have done.  It was more of a train-wreck than anything else and since she’s been on the bubble a bit the last few weeks she might just have cancelled herself out with this one.  She was the vocal “weak link” of the evening for sure.

 

David ArchuletaWe Can Work it Out

The heir apparent gets the pimp spot this week and when I heard he was singing the Stevie Wonder soul version of this tune, I just wasn’t sure the young one could pull it off.  Unfortunately, for the first time, he let them see him sweat.  Ouch!  He dropped the words in both the first and second verses and was a little all over the boards vocally.  He obviously was NOT comfortable with the song or the genre and he did let it show in his performance.  This is where we finally saw the 17-year-old insecure teen that I knew was in there somewhere.  Will this performance get him “das boot” this week?  Hardly.  But he has to watch his back now because no less than four other contestants are moving up the ladder rapidly and could pass him if he has another bad week or two.  PS – he should have done Can’t Buy Me Love…but what do I know…

 

So, my first bottom feeder three of the Season Seven finals are:

David Hernandez

Kristy Lee Cook

Syesha Mercado

with “das boot” going to the train wrecked Kristy Lee Cook. 

 

Carry on!

J

 

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…alright, I don’t have  a real secret but I do have some opinions to share on this week’s Top 12 as they attempt to sing from the Lennon-McCartney songbook. 

 

I’ve been a Beatles fan since my Mom bought me their first record album when I was 5 years old ( you youngins will have to look those up on the Internet so see what I’m talking about) and while I was really excited about this in the beginning, the more I thought about the songs and the singers the more I got concerned.  Part of the charm of the Beatles is understanding how they were such innovators in the 60’s – that what they did and how they did it was so far ahead of its time.  How that will translate in the new millennium on a popular reality TV show where half the audience, not to mention the contestants, are unfamiliar with most of the collection is anyone’s guess.  Maybe that’s why it’s taken seven years for the producers to convince the remaining Beatles to allow the use of the songs.

 

As I researched the collection in anticipation of this week’s competition, I was surprised at how many songs the kids should NOT choose, lest they want to hear from Simon that they are cheesy, cabaret or karaoke.   Now, I have no insider info as to what the contestants have chosen to sing but as a singer myself and a vocal coach on occasion, I went through the catalog and tried to match what I feel would be the best song for each of the Top 12 singers.  For some I came up with two possibilities and – who knows – maybe I’ve guessed a few for real but we won’t really know that until tomorrow.   Let’s see what I’ve come up with and whether or not I’ll be on the money…

 

Amanda Overmyer – Come Together or Get Back

Ms. Gravel Voice will do no wrong if she picks either of these tunes.  They also give her a chance to stomp around the stage and give off more rock diva vibes. 

 

Brooke White – Ticket to Ride

The Carpenters’ remake of this song is perfect for her.  It’s slower and very pensive and would continue to show  Brooke off as this year’s balladeer. 

 

Carly Smithson – I Saw Her Him Standing There or Eleanor Rigby

We all know she can sing but Carly needs to have more vocal fun as well as do some stage strutting and the first one should do the trick.  The second choice might be a bit safe for her but depending on the arrangement, could be a killer performance as well.

 

Chikezie – Got to Get You Into My Life

Perfect soul number for our soulful guy.  Just pick an arrangement that doesn’t make him look or sound cabaret and he should take this number our for a great vocal spin.

 

David Archuleta  Can’t Buy Me Love or All My Lovin’

He’s already sung Imagine so he needs to change it up, get out of the slow lane and have some fun.  The first one is my real choice but either would get the little girls all fired up to vote like crazy for him. 

 

David Cook  Revolution or Day Tripper

Either of these hard driving rock numbers could continue to cement David as THE rocker of the competition. 

 

Jason Castro – A Little Help From My Friends or Hard Day’s Night

Either one of these choices will be a stretch for our dreadlocked cherub but he likes to take risks.  Give him a killer arrangement and he should do well again this week.

 

Kristy Lee Cook – We Can Work it Out

Her smoky, country style should work with this piece.  She was the hardest one for me to try to match up.

 

Michael Johns – Back in the USSR or Something

He could continue down the hard rocking path with the first or switch up and go tender with the second – either one should showcase his distinct vocal style.  Besides, I think the second would be a surprise if he chose it.

 

Ramiele Malubay – The Long and Winding Road or The Fool on the Hill

Both are unexpected for this gal but that would make it a risk worth taking for her at this stage.  She needs a show stopper to get some momentum going for her and again with the right arrangement either one could work.

 

Syesha Mercado – Hey Jude or I Feel Fine

She also needs something to make her stand out and not sound like the last two weeks’ choices.  I think she’d be killer on the first one while the second one would be very unexpected. 

 

These are just MY suggestions and I’d be surprised if I got any of them right so we’ll just have to wait and see.  In the meantime let me know if you think I’m on the money or all wet and be sure to check back tomorrow night or early Wednesday morning for my review.

 

Carry on!   J

 

 

 

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Real life can be a b*tch sometimes and right now in my line of work, it’s absolutely abysmal.  I’ll spare you the boring details and just tell you that between now and Easter Sunday (3/23) I might not be able to be as timely in my posting as I have been (translation – my posts will be even later than usual…sometimes) so please be patient with me.  I’ll try to make it worthwhile.

 

Here are my comments on the Top 8 Gals’ performances of last Wednesday night.  I would have picked Kady and Syesha for “das boot” so having picked Danny and David Hernandez to go, I’m 2 for 4 and 7 for 12 on the Top 24 – after seven seasons I’m finally getting better at this!  Huzzah!

 

Aisa’h Epperson – I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Nice to hear her back in good form this week.  Strong vocal, lively performance, spunky personality – this gal is smokin’ and she did a great job especially with a Whitney song.  Good rapport with the prickly Brit – just keep smilin’, girlfriend!

 

Kady Malloy – Who Wants to Live Forever

BIG risk taking on a Queen song, particularly not one of their more well known but a very powerful anthem that needs the power vocals.  Controlled vocals, sincere performance and a must-win attitude but I must agree with Simon on her lack of emotion coming through.  Most likely due to inexperience in performing but if she can’t connect with the audience then she is in trouble.

 

Amanda Overmyer – I Hate Myself for Lovin’ You

Got to admit but that was one kick-a** performance of the Joan Jett classic.  Actually sang in tune and found the melody this week, strong command of the stage and just the right rocker edge to pull it off.  The site-which-shall-not-be-named won’t need to help her tonight because she’ll get plenty of REAL votes.

 

Carly Smithson – I Drove All Night

Big song for an equally big voice – she really knows how to sell a song and I don’t understand why Simon is going on and on about her abysmal song choices.  I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.  Anyway, this gal is about as safe and safe can get and will go really far in the Top 12.

 

Kristy Lee Cook   Faithfully

She really has a big old voice in that little body but could do with a little less screaming on the high notes – just not attractive.  I’m not sure about the song choice, however, but she has great diction and I could understand the words for the first time!   I agree with the country twist but the performance was a tad subdued and that’s where some of the other gals may make a bigger impression than her.  Could be on the bubble.

 

Ramiele Malubay – Against All Odds

The little gal with the big voice and equally large stage persona – great song choice, controlled performance (maybe a tad too much) and the camera just loves her.  She deserves to stay and get the chance to get better each week. 

 

Brooke White – Love is a Battlefield

Despite a few dropped pitches here and there that was a strong acoustic version of this Pat Benatar classic.  She is the true dark horse of this competition and I think she’s Top 5 material for sure because she makes intelligent musical decisions and is not afraid to take a risk. 

 

Syesha Mercado – Savin’ All My Love for You

Not a great song choice and it sounded too much like last week’s pick.  I was not impressed at all but giving her the pimp spot this week was an attempt to keep her in the competition and it just might have worked, given the judges’ positive or neutral comments.

 

Final thoughts — it’s a shame Aisa’h left before her time because she really was a diamond in the rough and would have grown into a great performer and crowd pleaser.  I wanted Luke to stay but deep down I knew he would go.  Kady just wasn’t consistent and Danny…well…let’s just say his final performance was his best and leave it at that.

 

Check back in a day or two…I’m working on choosing some Beatles tunes for our Top 12 that I think they should perform this week.  Maybe I’ll even get a couple right.  Who knows?

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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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Hey folks!
As my real life races towards Easter, I am having to work more nights and many longer days than usual so until at least the end of March live blogging is out for me. I’m not so sure it’s actually been a great thing since NO ONE has been joining me yet many have been reading it later. I may as well go back to what I was doing for the past few years and that way y’all don’t have to keep bouncing between two sites. WhatEVAH!

Also, I might…and let me be careful here…MIGHT be able to begin an audio podcast as soon as next week to welcome in this year’s Top 12. I really wanted to do a video blog but I think I was shooting a little too high to start with. An audio one will allow me to learn the process and get something out more regularly since I am literally a one woman show. What YOU can do for me is to download it and let me know what you think, how it can improve, and supply me with questions to answer or info to pass along.  Come on, I have to start somewhere and I can use a little help…please?  😉

Having said all that, check back later tonight when I’ll have my review of the Top 8 guys as they slaugher sing their way through 80’s Night!  Oh boy…

Carry on! 

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…but the WRONG two gals left tonight and that’s a shame.  Jason & Robbie deserved “das boot” but Alexandrea either picked the wrong song or over thought her initial performance (tonight’s was WAAAYYY better) while Alaina probably suffered from the “too many long haired blonds syndrome” and got lost in the shuffle.  I give also give the 16 year old major props for pushing through and singing her final song (and it was great to see the gals stand behind her literally, singing every note with her).    What a shame – Amanda or Kady  would have been a better choice given their poor performances but they might have bigger fan bases than I thought – that and the fact that the idiots at VFTW have backed Amanda in their campaign to keep deserving talent from actually doing well on this show.  Some folks have too much time on their hands…

So, I’m 5 for 8 and we’re on our way to the last week of the semi-finals.  Let’s hope they all bring their “A” games next week and give us a great show!

Carry on!

PS – and it’s ABOUT time the Beatles catalog get’s the IDOL treatment.  Just don’t screw it up…

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