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Archive for the ‘Finals’ Category

Ok, folks, this is going to be a “drive-by” review of tonight’s performances because I am in the throes of preparing for the holiest three days of the Catholic Church year (that’s the day job, y’all!).  Good thing Idol airs before things get cranked up.  So, without further ado, here was the view from my red leather comfy couch for this evening:

 

Amanda OvermyerBack in the USSR

I had considered this for her but wasn’t sure she’d do the melody proud, which she didn’t.  It was a bit of a rhythmic mess, a little screechy around the edges and a bit of the same ol’ stuff we’ve seen her do since Day 1.  I agree with the judges – she needs to show us another side… if there is one…

She’s safe because I few others need to go before her.

 

Kristy Lee CookYou’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

She didn’t even know this song…am I old or what?  Vocally, she was bottoming out on the low notes and, if I can be a purist, I didn’t like her tinkering with the well-known melody.  Performance-wise, she is a bit wooden on stage and has trouble connecting with the emotions of the songs she sings.  She WAS better than last week but ANYTHING would have been.  She’ll be a bottom feeder again this week.

 

David ArchuletaThe Long and Winding Road

I wanted him to do an up-tempo but after last week I just wanted him to nail the song and performance and he did so with room to spare!  Talk about redemption!  Great vocal, nice nuances, emotionally connected to the lyrics – THAT’S what he does best and he showed he is mature enough to come back and do it up right.  If the screaming mosh-pit is any indication, he continues to be safely in the lead.

 

Michael JohnsA Day in the Life

I didn’t choose this one for any of the contestants because I wasn’t sure they could cut it down to a minute thirty successfully – and I was right!  He sang it well and gave a safe, yet respectable performance but the song was so disjointed I did nothing for me.  Just another time the Brit and I see eye to eye, I’m afraid.  He needs to knock one a song of the park and soon or he won’t even make the Top 5.

 

Brooke WhiteHere Comes the Sun

I’ll say right up front that I’ve never liked this George Harrison number  however this is the second week in a row I haven’t liked her performance and this week I believe it was due to the dreaded wrong song choice.  She didn’t do much with an extremely simple melody, it sat too low for her and it was just a boring performance overall.  I guess getting her out from behind instruments isn’t a good idea after all?  I don’t think she’ll bottom feed unless the rest of the lineup sings like there’s no tomorrow…  😉

 

David Cook  Day Tripper

I GOT ONE RIGHT!!!!  HUZZAH!!! And it was MAGNIFICANT!!!   I knew he could blow them away with this one and that he did!  Throwing in the voice box was an interesting twist and while that was the least favorite part of the performance for me, the rest was outstanding.  He is the true dark horse of this season and is no danger of becoming a bottom feeder any time soon.  Rock on, dude!

 

Carly SmithsonBlackbird

A ballad from the Irish Lassie and she nailed it BIG TIME!  It’s an odd little song but she found all the nuances and her vocal command of the highs and lows was spot on.  Absolutely beautiful.  I knew the Brit would hate it because anything with strong, true emotions gets the “over indulgent” criticism from him – definitely not a sensitive guy that Mr. Cowell.  No matter – she continues to fight the Davids for the top position and I predict that they will be the Top 3 when all is said and done. 

 

Jason CastroMichelle

I understand getting in as much in as one can in one minute thirty but the tempo of the song was a bit too fast and that altered the true meaning of the song.  Then to top it off, he grinned way too much as he was singing and that tells me he didn’t get what the song was all about – a shy boy trying to get out his feelings for this girl.  If he would have used his shyness to help sell the song, we would have heard hearts melting all over the land.  I will say the best thing about the performance was his vocals – his tone color was perfect and he sang it with ease – but that was lost in translation.  He’ll be safe but maybe he shouldn’t be.

 

Syesha MercadoYesterday

What a vulnerable and heartfelt performance!  Vocals were almost spot on (I’ll be she was a bit nervous after her trip to the bottom last week) and the melodic liberties were subtle and effective.  A better song choice for her than Brooke

 

ChikezieI’ve Just Seen a Face

OK, we went back to the same well again this week and it didn’t “shock and awe” this week as it did last week because the song itself just didn’t lend itself to it.  JMHO but he should have stayed in the slow lane time around – I did NOT like the bluegrass bend tonight.  And what was with the harmonica?  He’s no Taylor Hicks, that’s for sure.  He needs to establish himself vocally and then take risks.  Right now, he could end up bottom feeding if others feel the same way I do about it. 

 

Ramiele MalubayI Should Have Known Better

Nice job!  I wouldn’t have picked this for her but she was connect vocally and emotionally with the piece and he looked like she had fun with the it.  I was having a problem with the arrangement because it didn’t help her with the delivery AT ALL but despite that, I think it saved her for another week. 

 

So, this week’s bottom feeders are:

Chikezie

Kristy Lee Cook

Michael Johns

with “das boot” (hopefully and finally) going to Kristy Lee Cook. 

 

One last thing — the contestants are now allowed to wear ear monitors????  I wonder how contestants from other seasons would have faired with such a technological helper…

 

Carry on!

J

 

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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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Here’s a look at France’s Idol show, Nouvelle Star

Wow, and I thought Sanjaya was as unusual as they get…

It’s going to be a looooooooong 7 months.

Carry on!

J

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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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Ousted ‘Idol’ finalist Melinda Doolittle “had an idea” she’d be eliminated

 

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2007

 

If home viewers, the studio audience and even the judges were shocked at the outcome of last night’s American Idol live results show that revealed the sixth season’s Top 2 finalists, imagine how Melinda Doolittle must have felt. But apparently she wasn’t as surprised as one might think when she discovered she’d be leaving the competition.

 

“You know, when [Idol host Ryan Seacrest] called me up front — just by the nature of the show and how it normally goes — I kind of had an idea that it would be me,” Doolittle revealed during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. “So I was kind of taking deep breaths and kind of ready to go to the next step. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was possibly going to lose it, but it was a happy occasion because I made it this far. I’m kind of glad it turned out that way.”

 

Considering the 29-year-old Brentwood, TN resident was widely considered by many — including judge Simon Cowell — to be one of the front runners to take home Idol’s sixth season crown during next week’s finale, Doolittle tried to offer explanation for why the “almost 60 million votes” cast by viewers based on Tuesday night’s penultimate performance episode weren’t enough to keep her in the competition.

 

“First of all, I was up against two amazing contestants. That was part of it to me. I love [Idol 6’s Top 2 finalists, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis] and I think they did a fabulous job on Tuesday night,” she said. “But also, I know that I was probably getting a little bit of the older vote — which is great — and I had a lot of people come up and say, ‘I voted for you five times last night it was so good!’ Sometimes [older Idol viewers] might not spend the full two hours voting or anything like that, and that’s okay. But I really feel like personally I won because of where I ended up in the competition.”

 

One of the reasons why the former background singer might have appealed to older Idol audiences is because she was the oldest of the sixth season’s finalists. However Doolittle was unsure if her age factored into her getting ousted on the doorstep of the finale.

 

“It may have figured in, in may not have. I don’t know. It’s speculating,” she said. “It could just be that more people liked Jordin and Blake, and I’m okay with that too. I don’t know exactly how much it played into it. I read in certain places that maybe it did… that’s definitely a possibility.”

 

Idol fans have been wondering since Wednesday night’s results show if Seacrest used a double entendre during the live broadcast and prematurely revealed it was Doolittle who was about to be eliminated. Fox aired Sparks’ hometown visit first during the broadcast, followed by Lewis’. Doolittle’s was to air following a commercial break, and Seacrest said, “After the break, Melinda’s going home.”

 

“I think maybe either I didn’t notice or [thought] he was just talking about the package they were going to show about me going home to Nashville because I knew I was the next person for them to show,” Doolittle explained. “So I just assumed that’s what he was talking about. I’ve heard a lot of speculation about that, but I don’t think it was that at all. I think he was kind of getting us ready for the next package they were going to show… The only thing to me he could have been talking about was the package. I don’t think it was even a slip, I just think that was what he was talking about. I was completely fine with it. It didn’t phase me at all last night.”

 

Ironically, Doolittle’s tendency to repeatedly appear surprised when Idol’s judges heaped praise on her vocal praises had been one of Cowell’s few constant criticisms of her performances.

 

“[The surprised look] is part of my personality, plus coming out of singing background for so many years, I get so used to having to sound like other people, that American Idol was my first time really stepping out and finding what my voice really sounded like,” said Doolittle. “So the fact that people liked it and were giving me good comments was surprising to me. It was a great honor, but it always kind of shocked me just at first.”

 

While she may have not been too surprised at her elimination, she appreciated that her fans were.

 

“It feel wonderful and I’m so grateful for people actually being shocked by it. At this point in the competition, it’s kind of like, ‘Well there’s only three of us, so one of us has to go home.’ But I’m just grateful that people wanted me to stick around and believed in me. That means the world to me. It means the world to me.”

 

She may have been the oldest of the sixth season finalists, but Doolittle said you’re never too old to learn something new.

 

“The biggest thing that I will take away is that I know that I was really scared to do this at the beginning, and the fact that I was able to step out and do it even in the midst of fear kind of just gave me an outlook on how strong God has helped me become and how much I’ve grown from it,” she said. “I found my own voice as opposed to my own voice singing background and I couldn’t have asked for more from this experience.”

 

Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for more about Doolittle’s exit interview, including how she serendipitously was cast for Idol’s sixth season; where her support came from during her Idol journey; and if the hair on-top of her head throughout the experience was her own.

 

Pasted from <http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/ousted-idol-finalist-melinda-doolittle-had-an-idea-shed-be-eliminated-5191.php>

 

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