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Archive for the ‘Taylor Hicks’ 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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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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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!

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Ok, so I’m a “Weird Al” Fan AND and Idolmaniac – this video is the perfect combination of the two (and they thought Clay Aiken’s Invisible was creepy…). Enjoy!

Got some interesting tidbits to share with you in the next entry so y’all come back now, y’hear?

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!! 

 

dancingmay21.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Mandisa’s myspace blog:

Well it is a sad sad day as I sit in my hotel room here in Grand Rapids. I should have been able to tell by the prevalent chill I felt when I walked off of the airplane that something wasn’t right. Or maybe it was the fifty missed calls and texts that should have clued me in. But it was finally the voice of my friend Bryan that broke the news…Melinda’s time on Idol has come to an end.

Sorry I didn’t get to write last week. I was on a massive radio tour and I was not able to watch the show until this weekend. Was sad to see Lakisha go but nothing compares to tonight. I am kicking off another week of appearances and performances that culminates in LA for the finale next week. I so expected to have my “I love Melinda” sign waving in the audience (As a matter of fact, I still may!) She had a long and successful run but I will tell you like I just called and left a message telling her…it only begins now.

I know that we all get caught up in who finishes in what place but I am learning that one’s success has less to do with the order of your elimination, and more to do with how you carry yourself on the show with the time you had. I know that Melinda’s elimination was a blessing in disguise. Certain things come along with the title of “American Idol”. Some of those things are good. Some are not. After my time on Idol I see eliminations a lot differently than I did before my experience. Like me, Melinda loves God with all of her heart. Because of that, her steps are ordered. She wasn’t eliminated merely because of a song, a faulty phone line, a judge’s comment, or anything else. She was “invited to exit” because God has a plan for her that goes beyond what our human minds can understand. He also has a plan for Jordin, Blake, you, and everyone else in the world. We don’t always understand it, but because He is a loving God, we can always trust it.

Will you join me this week in praying for my girl? Pray for peace, understanding, and faith. Finally, ask God to make His plans clear. And while we’re at it, let’s lift up Jordin and Blake. They have a busy week ahead of them and I can only imagine the pressure they must be facing. Let’s pray for good rest, health, creativity, and humility.

I love you guys!

Disa

www.myspace.com/mandisa

She’s right. Very much so. Melinda WILL be fine in the long run. Blake and Jordin DO need our prayers for this very tough week ahead.

Something to think about, I suppose…

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