Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ruben Studdard’ Category

Phabulous Philly

Hola, friends! This week we move on to Philly and with Clay Aiken in attendance — how can we lose? Clay’s never at a loss for words, especially when he’s at is snarky best. It’s also nice to see the show paying attention not only to winners but those who made a big splash in music/entertainment without having the title.

My only burning question of the night is — what’s with Harry trying to rock the white t-shirt a la Simon Cowell? Please don’t give into the dark side, Harry! You will NEVER be Simon and that’s a good thing!

Ok, then – let’s see who impresses the judges on this stop:

Gianna Isabella — 15 — Jackson, NJ — House of the Rising Sun
Mom is Brenda K. Starr (80’s pop star – I Still Believe)
Reminds me a little of her mom – big, strong voice
pretty vocal colors when not screaming (why do they all try that?)
hopefully not too young – would like to see her survive Hollywood

Derek Huffman — 21— Coventry, RI — Angel in the Morning
Obviously NOT a Claymate (or even someone who as actually watched Idol)
1st to bring in a boombox as accompaniment
Not great vocals
Reminds me of too many kids I’ve bumped into in RI

Issac Cole — 15 — Emlenton, PA — ?
The country version of the Bebs
“acappella song with guitar”
I think he’s too young — voice needs to mature
Harry gave him great advice but they shouldn’t have put him through

Sarah Strum – 17 – Centerville VA — Lips are Moving
bright, bubbly and full of personality
she has a solid but young voice
confidence a mile long

Ellis Banks — 25 — Indianapolis, IN — Born This Way
a Nicki Minaj impersonator? Ouch!
Didn’t do GaGa an justice at all

Jenn Blosil — 23 — Brooklyn, NY — Radioactive
Very nasal but a unique sound
Quirky, free spirit
Can’t figure her out — is it an act or not?
Hollywood will sort it out for sure

Harrison Cohen — 17 — New York, NY — No Time original
good guitar player and the song is really good
not a bad singer – a little on the boy band side mixed with Jewish runs

John Arthur Greene — 27 — Raleigh, NC — Somebody Like You
one heck of a backstory but great attitude
Broadway Baby but really didn’t sound that way
nice voice and great stage presence
credit for singing a Keith Urban tune

Carry me back Denver and Little Rock

Something tells me they saved the crazies for the second week of auditions and if the coming attractions are any indication there will be even more next week. Great… (sarcasm) Let’s not worry about that now and take a look at this interesting group:

Amber Lynn — 28 — Provo, UT — ?
a little Ricki Lee Jones like with a lot of soul
just ok for me

James Gray Dawson (the 8th) — 23 — Provo, UT — Sun Comes Up
I don’t like the faces he makes but the voice is good (yet somewhat affected)
good guitar player

Emily Wears — 25 — Solon, IA — Bring on the Rain
professional auctioneer – not bad, either
pretty little voice but slightly under supported at the beginning (nervous?)
got better as she felt more comfortable but I agreed she shouldn’t go on

Chris “CJ” Johnson — 28 — Memphis, TN — Make My Dreams Come True
working musician
yes, he’s a guy with a guitar but he was really engaging going old school with a Hall and Oates song
good voice

Ethan Coots — 15 — Nashville, AR — Stormy Monday
breeds American Fox Hounds
Blues/Southern Rock
VERY young voice but he does feel the music
needs a lot of work, however
a really tough one – even the judges were torn on this (I agreed with Harry that he is too young for AI)

Mary Williams — 23 — Belfast, TN — ’Til I Can Make It On My Own
definitely an old school country singer
nice, warm sound and a good delivery
Even though Keith didn’t like her I’m glad they put her through

Xavier Soller — 26 — Newtown, KS — Friends in Low Places
(one of my favorite songs 😉
great personality but pretty affected (almost sounded like an imitation)

Terrian — 18 — North Memphis, TN — Happy
a real natural singer with a sincere, warm voice

Leann “Blue” McIsaac — 23 — Traveling Nomad — original
she actually had a decent voice but too colorful for this show

Tommy Stringfellow — 17 — Bentonville, AR — Gimme Love
Nice, easy, true tenor voice
just different enough to make it through

Tywan “Tank” Jackson — 29 — Ashtabula, OH — Superstar
if it can work for Ruuuuuubin it can work for this boy
he was a little out of breath so he shouldn’t have busted a move
before he sang
not a bad sound – smooth tone on a big voice

John Wayne Schulz — 27 — Salt Lake City, UT – The Dance
I DID remember him (Season 10) and now with a heartbreaking backstory
still sounded as good as I remembered
great performance

Leah Harbert — 24 — Moriarty, NM — Chain of Fools
She lost me at rewinding and singing to a Brittany Spears cassette – ouch!
Was there even a melody present???

Jordyn Simone — 15 — Los Angeles, CA — Who’s Lovin’ You
Whoa!!! That was really unexpected
A real natural singer and performer – an old soul

Kassy Levels — 17— Dallas, TX — ?
good performer but highly affected from what little I heard

Rhea Raj — 18 — Princeton NJ — How Will I Know
different take on the song but voice was a little weak

Jake Dillon — 22 —- Sandsprings, OK — Danny’s Song
such an easy voice to listen to and thank you, Keith, for sending him through – he may just be a dark horse ***

Ashley Lilinoe — 20 — Kane’ohe, HI — Black Velvet
she sings with clenched teeth and I was not impressed
can you believe I agreed with J-Lo?

Andrew Nazarbekian — 20 — Moscow, Russia — To Make You Feel My Love
Too much vocal calisthenics but he has a really pleasant voice when he sings it straight

Elvie Shane — 27 — Caneyville, KY — House of the Rising Sun
They bookended this show with this number – oy!
But this guy was really smokin’ – a barroom singer but highly engaging
***

So, my watch list for Hollyweird continues to grow – here’s who I added on after this week’s tryouts:

Harrison Cohen
Terrian
John Wayne Schulz
Jordyn Simone
Jake Dillon
Elvie Shane

Let me know who you liked and passed on this week and whether or nor you’re agreeing with our judging panel by adding your comments to the comment box. Next week will be the last 1st round auditions before the Hollywood phase so we’ll be going back and forth again between the five cities. Personally, I’d rather we concentrate on one city at a time but what do I know… 😉

See you all next week!

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

    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

     

Read Full Post »

idol_topper.jpg

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!

Read Full Post »

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28  /PRNewswire/ — American Idol Rewind is back, and this time the popular syndicated series will highlight Season 2, the year that put American Idol on the map with legendary talent and unprecedented ratings. Premiering Saturday, September 29th in most syndicated markets nationwide, American Idol Rewind will feature an introduction from Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, narration by runner-up Clay Aiken and the best never-before-seen clips and interviews to-date.

 

This year on American Idol Rewind, viewers will get to see all-new, exclusive interviews with over 30 contestants from Season 2 as they sit down and reveal what it was like to be a part of the American Idol experience. American Idol Rewind will catch up with Top 12 contestants — Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke, Josh Gracin, Trenyce (Cobbins), Carmen Rasmusen, Kimberly Caldwell, Rickey Smith, Corey Clark, Julia DeMato, Charles Grigsby and Vanessa Olivarez — as they reveal their personal take on what really happened during Season 2 and how they felt during the audition process and Hollywood Rounds.  Rewind will also highlight other Idol contestants who made it through to Hollywood, along with those who failed “spectacularly,” and will recap the episodes that helped secure everyone’s favorite series into television history.

 

In the September 29th premiere, viewers are greeted by Idol winner Ruben Studdard as he introduces the new season.  Viewers will then hear from runner-up Clay Aiken, as he guides us through all seven audition cities and looks back on where American Idol Season 2 began its new search for the next music superstar.  In New York City, Simon, Paula and Randy have high expectations, hoping the city that never sleeps will provide a wealth of talent.  Between the bad and the very bad, it doesn’t take long before the judges let the contestants know what awaits them in the audition room if they can’t deliver.  Some will make it through, others will head home and, in the tradition of American Idol, everyone will walk away with something to say.

 

American Idol Rewind is nationally syndicated and premieres on Saturday, September 29th.  Airtime varies by market; check local listings or visit http://www.tvguide.com/listings for more information.

 

American Idol Rewind is produced by American Idol producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment and distributed by Tribune Entertainment.

 

Pasted from <http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,187978.shtml>

 

Read Full Post »

I was just made aware of this interesting development (actually, I found it in USA Today Online)- check it out…

 

It’s Season 2 of ‘American Idol’ all over again

 

LlrubenstuddardAmerican Idol fan alert: Saturday is the premiere of syndicated series American Idol Rewind. This year, the show will highlight Season 2 of American Idol. Rewind is hosted by Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard (shown here in a photo from earlier this month at a St. Louis event) and narrated by runner-up Clay Aiken. It will feature new interviews with more than 30 contestants, including Frenchie Davis and Julia DeMato, and will highlight new footage and clips from the season. Check local listings for air time.

By Tom Gannam, AP

 

So THAT’S what the Aikenmeister and the Rubinator have been up to lately! Stay tuned…I have a feeling this season of Rewind will be the most watched EVAH!

It’s deja vu all over again!

 

3

Read Full Post »

Thanks to Ms. Marmalade at the Clackhouse (a Clay Aiken fan site), we now have an episode guide for Rewind’s Season 2 shows:

Sept. 29: N.Y. Auditions

Oct. 6: Miami/Detroit Auditions

Oct. 13: Atlanta Auditions

Oct. 20: Austin Auditions

Oct. 27: L.A. Auditions

Nov. 3: Nashville Auditions

Nov. 10: Best of the Worst

Nov. 17: Hollywood Week Pt. 1

Nov. 24: Hollywood Week Pt. 2

 

December — reruns of the auditions/Hollywood episodes.

 

Jan. 5: Group 1

Jan. 12: Group 2

Jan. 19: Group 3

Jan. 26: Group 4

Feb. 2: Wildcard Show

Feb. 9: Top 12 to 11 – Motown songs guest judge-Lamont Dozier

Feb. 16: Top 11 to 10 – Movie songs guest judge-Gladys Knight

Feb. 23: Top 10 to 9 – Country rock songs guest judge-Olivia Newton-John

Mar. 1: Top 9 to 8 – Disco songs guest judge-Verdine White from Earth, Wind, & Fire (top 8 to 8-no Corey Clarke)

Mar. 8: Top 8 to 7 – Billboard #1’s guest judge-Lionel Richie

Mar. 15: Top 7 to 6 – Billy Joel songs guest judge-Smokey Robinson

Mar. 22: Top 6 to 5 – Diane Warren songs guest judge-Diane Warren

Mar. 29: Top 5 to 4 – ’60’s songs & Neil Sedaka songs

guest judge-Neil Sedaka (2 songs performed)

Apr. 5: Top 4 to 3 – Bee Gees songs guest judge-Robin Gibb (2 songs performed)

Apr. 12: Top 3 to 2 – random, judge’s, & favorite song choice

no guest judge (3 songs performed)

Apr. 19: Final 2 – original song, Beatles’ song, cover song (3 songs performed)

Aprl. 26: Finale – 2 hour finale 1st hour is fluff (auditions, interviews),

2nd hour top 12 singing top 2 singing a finale song again

 

 

 

 

Looks like we’ll have a LOT to talk about so get ready as we prepare to take a stroll down “memory lane.” Even when Season 7 gears up, we can still devote time to Rewind. Looks like FUN to me!

Carry on!

Read Full Post »

Well, gang, I have returned!

For those of you who are familiar with hard drive crashes, it takes a LOT more time than you anticipate to recover lost information, even if you do have it backed up.  The “reader’s digest” version of my problem is that any info written in the bad sector of my HD may have been backed up but it was corrupted and thus unrecoverable.

In plain English, I saved 85% of my files but I lost most of my work folder, 400 mp3s that I need for work and an entire presentation that I have to give in 3 weeks for a national gathering of my profession.

One could say that I’m a little stressed out right now.  Oh heck, I’m downright FREAKING OUT!!  But it could have been worse and I am thankful that it wasn’t.

Anyway, this little setback has kept me from attending to you all here on the blog and for that, I apologize.  But, I have been thinking about how to “kick it up a notch” around here until the beginning of Season 7 and I just might have the answer.  Now, hear me out…this could work…maybe…

On September 29, American Idol Rewind will begin showing Season 2 and I thought that this would be a great time to begin the podcast portion of the blog.  You see, those of us who have been with the show since the first show have our definite opinions on who was the real winner of this season and maybe seeing the shows with fresh eyes might generate some great discussions.  Also, it gives me some time to experiment with segments  and get experience in front of and behind the camera in anticipation for the upcoming new season.  I think it’s worth a shot and unless I jump into the deep end of the podcast pool I might never feel that it’s the “right” time to launch the show.

Now, be forewarned — I’m sure my first attempts will be rough but I will try to concentrate on good content first and then ramp up the visual/technical stuff as I get a better handle on it.  I would hope that you will tell me what you like and what you don’t like so that I might get better at it.  Together, I think we can come up with something enjoyable, entertaining and exciting.  I’m willing to risk it — are you?

I’ll try and be more regular with my entries here until I get my first podcast up after the 9/29 episode.  Any input or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Carry on!

Read Full Post »

While we wait for the final 3 this coming Tuesday, let’s go in reverse a few years and check out the Top 5 of Season 2 performing a group medley. This year’s group sound as well together as the Season 2 kids — and that’s a BIG compliment! Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Oops, I did it again! 😉 I used a song title to accurately describe the goal our four songbirds were shooting for tonight. Unfortunately, they would get no help whatsoever from the Barry Gibb/Bee Gees Songbook on what was toted as “boogie night.” Actually, it was more like “bogey night” at the local golf course — with more balls landing in the beach (sand trap) rather than on the green and no hole-in-ones in sight. These kids showed what little they knew of the Gibbs’ musical legend and had multiple problems with song selection, key choices and overall musical interpretation.

 

I’m beginning to believe that this IS the worst season of Idol, even surpassing Season 3 for that dubious title. Whatever happened to the great amateur talent search I came to know, love and obsess over these last 5 years? It’s showing its true colors as just another reality series and God knows we have quite enough of them.

 

So, was there anything left for me to critique this week from my vantage point on the red leather couch? You betcha! With the added bonus of TWO song performances (it’s that time again, folks!) let’s see what I managed to come up with, shall we?

 

Melinda Doolittle

Love You Inside and Out

I was a little nervous about how she would do with the Bee Gees songbook but she managed to apply her usual brand of great vocal technique and killer performing instincts for yet another slam dunk. Perhaps her slow and steady nature can win this race. I wouldn’t be sad if she did just that.

 

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

I can’t take it anymore — give her the title and be DONE with it! She is just too good.

SAFE is the only word I can think of for her at this moment.

 

 

Blake Lewis

You Should Be Dancin’

Well, he came out of the gate with a bit of a pitch problem and had a tough time recovering mentally after that. I’m not sure the beatboxing worked for this song but I thought he had a decent falsetto and pulled off staying on it for the entire song. He’s gets props from me for that. I would have rather heard him put his unique spin on Jive Talkin’ instead. Just MHO.

 

This is Where I Came In

“Contemporary rebel” — Paula, that is a perfect label for him. He certainly marches (or dances) to his own beatbox band and that’s why I like him a lot. Do I want him to win? Not really, but he DOES have a bright future in the music biz. I have a feeling the other two talking heads were gunning for his departure but I hope the voters see his musical worth and keep him on that stage to sing another week.

On the bubble but his fans should keep him alive for one more week.

 

LaKisha Jones

Stayin’ Alive

Uh, her chances of doing that are not so hot after this number. Why does she continue to throw away the advice of her mentors?! That was the third time she didn’t listen and the third time she got panned for it. I can certainly understand singing a song “my way” but sometimes others DO know better and are more objective. She has a lot to learn about dying to her own interests if she plans on advancing in the music business.

 

Run to Me

My main comment about this song? KiKi don’t do “soft” well at all. I’m not just knocking the ending either. I felt she was weaker in the bottom register any time she was there and then resorted to screaming at the end, which made her go hoarse at the very end. Simon was correct about her being vulnerable and unless Blake’s fans are asleep at the phone, she will be the one hearing Daughtry’s song tomorrow night.

On the bubble BIG TIME and it just might POP!

 

Jordin Sparks

To Love Somebody

She’s BAAAACCCCKKK and I’m lovin’ it! I’m just like Randy when I keep harping on the fact that she is ONLY 17 but that’s what makes her so amazingly good. Her composure, control and overall confidence is way beyond her years, allowing her to wrap her vocals around a melody and sell it convincingly. She would benefit the most from winning this competition and I believe she won’t really have a career without doing so. Guess you all know where my votes are continuing to go, eh?

 

Woman in Love

OK, were the judges smoking crack before her performance because neither my husband nor I heard what the three of them where hearing. That child sang the freaking heck out of a very difficult song and while I might have heard a bit of pushing once or twice it was NOTHING like the critique that the judging troika was spewing in her direction. And we’re not watching this on some 20 inch no-name brand TV — we’re talking a 42 inch Sony Bravia HDTV with a Yamaha 7.1 surround sound (and the bass was truly a tad LOUD tonight – the band needs to watch that!). I’ve been impressed and happy that she’s taken more risks than any other woman contestant, providing us with some of the more memorable performances in the year of vocal drought. As I’ve said before, she is the prime example of what this competition started out to be. Let’s keep her in this so that she can have a decent shot at winning.

Should be safe but I trust no one so I will vote like heck for her!

 

 

Where does that leave us? Well, my prediction for bottom two has to be Lakisha and Blake but this is traditionally the week of the upset so don’t be surprised if Melinda lands there instead of Blake. Who will get “das boot?” It should be Lakisha but may I remind everyone that both Tamyra and LaToya never made it passed the final 4, while Clay…well, I’m not gonna get into that fiasco again…

 

‘Nuf said.

 

Now let me go vote and then chew my nails until the results show…

 

Carry on!

J

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »