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Archive for the ‘Phil Stacey’ Category

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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I about lost my hot chocolate over this GREAT video by Grey Blackwell found on the Raleigh News and Observer website. I just HAD to share this with y’all so ENJOY!

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I couldn’t resist using a Bon Jovi song in the title since, along with the fact that tonight the singers are paying homage to the career of Jon Bon Jovi, there is a rare DOUBLE ELMINIATION this week.  I’m not so sure the producers should have played the “charity” card with the contestants but we’re kinda stuck with this mess.  Speaking of a mess, I thought last Wednesday night’s drama known as Idol Gives Back was, in a word, lame.  Not that raising money for worthy causes is lame, but sort of “pre-empting” a reality show competition to play Jerry Lewis was a little in that vein.  I felt that it slowed the momentum and rhythm of the competition, especially since there was no more Sanjaya to talk about, to the point where some of the less committed viewers might start to fade away.  Let’s hope that theory doesn’t get reflected in this week’s voting because who ever had a bad week last week may not be able to rebound this week, even with another 4 hour voting window.  Idol needs to stick to what it does best and so far this season it has gone so far afield that it could be “jumping the shark” as I type.   I’d hate to see that happen.

 

So, now that I’ve made you wait longer than I’d like for my opinions on this week’s “rock-a-thon,” let’s get to how I heard the music from my red leather couch:

 

Phil Stacey / Blaze of Glory

For the third week in a row his boy has roared out of the gate and given a solid vocal performance while managing to NOT creep the viewers out too much!  He’s been making me think twice about his chances because of his solid singing but given the fact that he may have taken a little too long to warm up, he may be going out in a Blaze of Glory this week.

I’d like him to be safe but he might be on the bubble.

 

Jordin Sparks / Livin’ on a Prayer

I have loved this child for taking chances and up until this week she was able to beat the odds but, even by her own admission, this was NOT her night.  I don’t think she did as bad as the judging troika made it out to be but between bottoming out on the low notes and trying just a tad too hard to be a rocker chick, she had her first truly bad night of the competition.  Normally that would not be a cause for concern but because of last week’s elimination that wasn’t, she could end up in jeopardy or worse and THAT would not be fair.  Good thing there is a four hour window to vote tonight…now, where’s my phone?

Will make her safe if I have to vote all night!

 

Lakisha Jones / This Ain’t a Love Song

The hubby and I totally agreed on this one — she ended with a bang but it shouldn’t have taken her the ENTIRE song to get there!  KiKi has been struggling for the last three weeks and while this song was a good vocal and performance song for her, she made us wait too long for the payoff.  Now, either folks will forgive her for that and vote to keep her in or they will have had enough and she’ll be gone.  I can’t say for myself which way I’d like to see it go and I feel badly for that because she has a great talent.

This one is TOO close to call!

 

Blake Lewis /You Give Love a Bad Name

That was GREAT!!!  Even my hubby loved it!  I was waiting for the judges to slam him but they, too, were stunned by how masterfully he took this song and gave it a whole new slant while still remaining true to the essence of the song.  This boy IS a musician and even though I don’t fancy his brand of music, his is no less talented and special.  Top 3 material for sure — if not Top 2.

If last week didn’t hurt him too much, he should be safe. 

 

Chris Richardson  / Dead or Alive

If I had too choose, I’d say that was a DEAD performance.  Didn’t care for it at all.  There will be too much comparison to last year’s superb rendering by Chris Daughtry, meaning that might just have been the nail in the coffin for the faux Timblelake.  I won’t be sorry to see him go.

Should be on the bubble and Daughtry should be singing him HOME this week.

 

Melinda Doolittle / Have a Nice Day

I was a little nervous about this gal singing this genre but she just continues to “shock and awe” me!  By channeling herself a little Tina Turner ‘tude, she once again showed us all that SHE CAN SING ANYTHING!!!!  I’m beginning to think she actually SHOULD win because she has been in the competition since the beginning and has pretty much out sung all comers.  She kinda deserves the title, don’t you think?

Miss Doo-a-LOT is once again SAFE!

 

So, my bottom three for this week?  I would have to say  Lakisha, Chris and Jordin with the double “das boot” going to Lakisha & Chris.  I’d say we have an interesting Top 4 this year with Phil as our dark horse, Jordin having to play “catch up” after this week, Blake riding a strong musical wave and Melinda still out distancing the pack. 

 

That is, unless, TPTB have another plan…  😉   We shall see…

 

Carry on!

J

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…because I can’t seem to keep my eyes open to finish my post. I guess my body is reacting to all the stress I’ve been under for the past 9 months and instead of rushing something to put up tonight, I should be able to finish it by mid-afternoon tomorrow. Sorry for keeping you in suspense but I will return before you know it!

Thanks!

J.

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Even though I’m not a huge fan of country music, I do enjoy listening to those who are both “a little bit country & a little bit rock and roll.”  Martina McBride is one of my favorite in that vein and it was good to see her work with the remaining seven contestants.  Her performance tomorrow night will surely be a highlight.

 

BTW — what was Constantine doing there on Country Night??  Scary.

 

In the last couple of seasons country night has been very good to some of the Idols and tonight was no exception — even though it was apparently obvious that a few singers were our of their depth.  But there were more ups than downs, thankfully,  so without further ado here’s my take on tonight’s singfest from my comfy red leather couch:

 

Phil Stacey / Where the Blacktop Ends – Keith Urban

Well, well, well!  I think we’ve found the genre that this boy excels at!  That was a solid, soulful performance and I’ve haven’t seen him this relaxed since this whole gig started.  It was a great song choice, he worked the vocals and the crowd with ease and he made me forget about his “Uncle Fester” look for the first time.  I’ll disagree with Simon and say this HAS saved him for at least another week…that is, unless American is deaf…or the script is wrong…

I’d say he’s safe but he could end up on the bubble or out on his…

 

Jordin Sparks / Broken Wing – Martina McBride

In a word — FANTASTIC!  She built that song from the ground up vocally and emotionally and sold it BIG TIME!  It even made Simon a believer (probably for all of 10 seconds) and I hope he didn’t jinx her by proclaiming that she could win based on that performance (think Clay Aiken and a host of others).  Guess I’ll be spending another Tuesday night voting for this fearless seventeen year old.

SAFE…if y’all know better…

 

Sanjaya Malakar /Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt

I used to love this song…sigh…

It’s all been said before.

 

Lakisha Jones / Jesus Take the Wheel – Carrie Underwood

Got to agree with Martina on this one.  Her believability on the number was undeniable and I may have detected a little pitch movement but not to the extent the judges were blowing it out to be.  It may not have been a great choice for her but not much in this genre would have worked with her style anyway.  I thought she did as well as she could have and I liked it.

Hopefully not on the bubble because she really did well.

 

Chris Richardson  / Mayberry – Rascal Flatts

Another week of “I don’t like this kid’s voice” and the nasal problem really was prominent.  Since all three of the judges panned him, he might be in trouble this week.  One can only hope…

Hopefully on the bubble.

 

Melinda Doolittle / Trouble is a Woman – Julie Reeves

GREAT song choice and one that I just might download for my iPod.  I loved it!  Along with Jordin that had to be one of the best performances of the night – no doubt about it.  She’s so good it’s scary and I’m glad Simon asked her to refrain from the “you really like me” look and response to the judges’ comments — that was getting a tad old.  How can you NOT vote for her?

Safe.  Safer.  Safest.

 

Blake Lewis /When the Stars Go Blue – Tim McGraw

Country is not his “cup of musical tea,” that for sure but he did try to make it his own.   It was a valiant effort and he did sound nice in his upper register but I wasn’t as sold on it as the judges were.  One tip: don’t wear argyle when singing country — just not right.

Should be safe but stranger things have happened.

 

Overall a decent night of singing BUT WHAT was up with Ryan & Simon???  Sniping does NOT suit either of them.  Plus, I think Simon has had enough of all the hype, is losing any objectivity toward the whole Sanjaya thing and in acknowledging that “this has been funny for awhile” pretty much pleaded with the public to end the insanity.  Will they?  They should.  Please?

 

So my choices for tonight’s bottom three are: Phil, Chris and Sanjaya with “das boot” going to Chris (in a “shocking” move even though it should be you-know-who).  With this year’s Sanjaya factor I have been not been as accurate in my predictions but this is a strange year for the “singing” competition and one, I hope, doesn’t get repeated in the near future — if there IS a future.  Sometimes, too much of a good thing is just too much.  I pray this is not the case here. 

 

Carry on!

J

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