Archive for the ‘Top 24’ Category

Ok, this is my first attempt at reviewing Canadian Idol and I must say I am enjoying this contest very, VERY much.  A great group of contestants, good and constructive judging and the host is GREAT eye candy!  Who could ask for anything more!  If I wasn’t so tired I would have reviewed both episodes but come back tomorrow and I should have the other one up after a few hours of sleep.  Gotta love the IDOL format!

Lindsey Barr– Age: 26

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Dropping the guitar so her inner entertainer can break free…watch out!

Burning Love — Elvis Presley

My audition notes have her as a saloon singer with a bluesy edge and a good stage vibe. She seemed to give more of the same in T.O. and it got her a shot at the 24. I’m not sure if choosing an Elvis song was the way to go and being the first one out of the box is stressful in and of itself. I found her a wee bit karaoke even though I know her voice is that dark and her stage motion was a bit of a train wreak but she didn’t really sing badly. I feel she may have been trying a tad to hard to make a good impression and it could cost her. Seems the judges and I agree on this one: song choice is EVERYTHING! Contestants should make that their mantra for the entire season!

Definitely on the bubble unless she’s got a lot of friends or appeals to barflies.

Martin Kerr – Age: 25

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

“A wandering minstrel, I…”…until he got married.

Lost Together – Blue Rodeo

I had no notes from the auditions for this singer but I have to admit I instantly liked him. I also have never heard of this song or group before so I wouldn’t know how close he was or not to the original. I did like his performing style — very comfortable and confident — but it might be too “coffeehouse” for some. Vocally, he was solid in both pitch and tone. I certainly would like to hear more from him and see whether or not he can change things up style-wise. Glad the judges were willing to give him a chance to grow.

Should be safe for now.

Gary Morissette – Age: 21

Hometown: Fruitvale, British Columbia

The very first (goofy) online contestant!

Good Golly Miss Molly — Little Richard

Uh…very…ENERGETIC…He IS a little goofy, isn’t he? But intriguing. He took a VERY different spin on this old rock n’ roll chestnut and swung it into the 21st century. Comfortable on stage, plays his ax well and has that gravel grit rocker tone to his voice. I could stand to hear and see more. Seems like rockers are here to stay on the Idols, eh?

On the bubble but may have the fans to pull it out this week.

Tetiana Ostapuwych– Age: 25

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

If at first you don’t succeed at American Idol…try the Canadian version!

Feelings – Albert Morris

I was familiar with this contestant through her run on AI but she didn’t make it past the Hollywood Round. Up north, she has made it into the Top 24 but I still wasn’t impressed with what I saw and heard. Here, she takes a classic slow ballad and turns it into a trippy jazz vocal. I’m not sure I liked it but it just may be that I don’t like her whole demeanor. I agree with Zack — BIZARRE song choice.

She should survive to next week due to the favorable judges reviews.

Mitch MacDonald – Age: 22

Hometown: Port Hood, Nova Scotia

“Traditional” singer turned indie musician.

Follow Through – Gavin DeGraw

Boy, his vocal tone is extremely BRIGHT and high but he has a distinctive sound. Good stage presence, plays well and does distract from his singing. I’m just not sure how far he can go with his type of sound. Judges gave the thumbs up for him as well. He definitely is likeable.

Should be safe but you never know.

Paul Clifford – Age: 26

Hometown: Port Moody, British Columbia

Is the third time finally the charm?

Broken – Seether

Another rocker boy with piercings and a hard edged voice. If I understand correctly this is his third shot at CI and he’s finally cracked the Top 24. I’ll give him props for hanging in there and believing in himself and his dream. He was good, nothing spectacular, and even though I’m not familiar with the song, he did well enough IMHO to go through to next week.

Should be safe because I might already have a following after three years trying.

Earl Stevenson – Age: 22

Hometown: Lloydminster, Alberta

The Canadian Taylor Hicks with a Jason Castro aura

All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Well, that’s one of the most ambitious song choices of all the Idol selections I’ve heard – the Dave Matthews rendition of a Jimi Hendrix cover of a Bob Dylan song. Yikes! These Canadians are real risk takers and as a musician myself I LOVE IT! Not the best singer of the bunch but he’s unique and believable as a performer. I liked him enough to want to see him again.

Should be safe because the judges loved him so much.

Lisa Bell – Age: 27

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

One half of the Top 200 sing-off

Long Train Runnin’ – Doobie Brothers

She kind of reminds me of a more mature Jordin Sparks but with not as big a voice. However, she does know how to use it and she sings big and broad. Nice turn with this Doobie Brothers classic — good energy while working the audience well. She needs to stick around because she seems like an innovator and I want to see what else she can do.

Another safe singer.

Mookie Morris – Age: 18

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Named after a home run hitting baseball player.

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Love the name, love the stage presence, good vocals, and he’s a cute boy toy. Perfect combination for a pop star and this young kid might just be on his way to that. He’s still a little rough around the edges but if he can learn and grow in this competition he should be a serious contender for the top.

Very safe and on his way to the Top 10 for sure.

Drew Wright – Age: 28

Hometown: Collingwood, Ontario

The quiet fire…hummmm…

Under Pressure – Queen w/David Bowie

I really like his voice and he has great control over it – from the highs to the lows and everything in between. Tough song choice but he worked it out and chose the best parts of it to show off his tone colors. He has oodles of talent and he left me wanting to hear more – and that’s a GOOD thing!

Should be safe because he was so different than the others.

Oliver Pigott – Age: 27

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Brotherly Love, Part 1

I Hear You Knockin’ – Dave Edmunds

Can we say overkill? I didn’t like anything about his performance. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Thank you, Zach, for putting my feelings into words.

Too weird to be safe but I don’t know if Canada will go for it. We’ll see.

Katherine St-Laurent – Age: 17

Hometown: Otterburn Park, Quebec

Youngest with a lot to prove.

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

I got a little distracted by her accent and her falling into that “I must scream the high notes” mode but this child CAN SING and at her age that was a darn good job. She has a sweetness to her voice as long as she doesn’t push it and chose a great song to show it off. Looking forward to much more from her.

Should be safe for a very long time if the judges and I have anything to say about it.

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First time in awhile that I was able to nail three of the four departing contestants – I guess my good ear was working just fine these past two days.  I will admit that I purposely didn’t want to pick Joanne because I wanted her to get another chance.  That wasn’t her best performance by a mile and she is capable of much better but it wasn’t to be.  Why they paired her with Amanda I’ll never know — that gal wasn’t going anywhere and I think most folks were aware of that.  Amy was no loss and she showed that again with her sing-off.

Now with the guys it was plausible that either Colton or Chikeze could get “das boot” given their performances while Garrett was a no-brainer.  All in all, the right folks bowed out tonight and the rest better step up their game because it only gets harder from here.

Carry on!

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Notes from my comfy bed this evening courtesy of my laptop, DVR and Slingbox (best gadget ever invented!)


Kristy Lee Cook – Rescue Me

Hummm…the gals are sure in it to win it tonight.  Even with an obvious cold, she sounded and performed better than three quarters of last night’s male contestants.   I liked the country color she brought to this golden oldie and she’s a contenda fur sure!  I might agree with the wrong song choice but I felt she did the best she could with what she had. 



Joanne Borgella – I Say A Little Prayer

Whoa – she’d better be really sick because that was NOT a good performance and I think she can do better.  Pitch problems, low energy and an uneven delivery – even though I like her and want her to stay she has to step up her game, get well and go for it. 


Alaina Whitaker – I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

This is a younger, more lively Carrie Underwood and I like her a LOT!  She’s got a lot of charisma and a solid voice to match.  Definitely one to watch…


Amanda Overmyer – Please Don’t Go

The rocker chick lives and sings the blues!  She’s the authentic one of the bunch and so far is not compromising her sound.  The dark horse of the bunch but she’ll be around for a good long while.  She’s starting to grow on me as well.


Amy Davis – Where the Boys Are

We haven’t seem much of this gal up to now and believe me what I saw tonight was NOT worth waiting for.  She killed this great Sedaka song and NOT in a good way (and she’s no Kim Locke either!).  Gotta give it to Paula for being positive but it won’t be enough to save her.


Brooke White – Happy Together

Far and away a better rendition than last night!  She sounded good, knew how to work the camera and looked like she was having a good time.  She’s another one that’s growing on me and Simon just can’t seem to figure her out — GOOD!


Alexandrea Lushington – Spinning Wheel

WHOA!  She’s quite the performer and she blew the roof off the place!  The vocals suffered in a few places but it didn’t matter – as Randy would say “I was entertained!”  The song is a tough one to interpret but she gave it her all and I think she’ll be around for awhile. Good!


Kady Malloy – Groovy Kind of Love

I like the sultry tone and when she was on, she was really on but there were some definite pitch problems – something tells me it was a bad song choice.  She’s a great vocal mimic and could make a career of just that but I have to agree with Simon about her finding her own sound and shining.  She needs to watch her expressions when reacting to the judges critique because she vacillated between looking like she was going to cry and wanting to punch Simon’s lights out.  I had high hopes for this one but,,, 


Asia’h Epperson – Piece of My Heart

What is it with Joplin this year?  Every gal seems to want to take a crack at her but she did make it her own and just SANG the heck out of it.  Good job and see you next week!


Ramiele Malubay – You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

Oh boy, did I like this performance or what!   This child has oodles of talent and knows how to use it.  I agree with Randy – very classy indeed.  She’s got some great vocal qualities and I see some great things ahead for her.  Great big things from such a small package indeed!


Syesha Mercado – Tobacco Road

Tough song for a tough-a** singer – great pipes but can reign them in when needed.  She’s safe to sing another week.


Carly Smithson – The Shadow of Your Smile

She looked sick but except for one place, sure as heck didn’t sound like it.  She reminds me of a young Linda Eder with a touch of Cher’s exotic nature thrown in.  Great rendition of this song and while I can understand some of Simon’s ranting, I think he was just at the end of a long ride on the cranky train this evening. 


The tale of the tape comes tomorrow night — my picks to leave are:


Guys:  Garrett and Colton

Gals:  Amy and Kady





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Notes from the Couch for this first semi-final round:


David Hernandez – The Midnight Hour

It’s really tough for some to go first but not this one – I’ve like this guy since I first saw him.  Powerful tenor voice that can rock without screaming but he blew it at the very end. Too bad – I think his nervousness got the better of him.  Simon sounded like he was eating a little crow on this one after he basically said last week that he wouldn’t go far without a miracle   The song’s arrangement suited his style and I happened to like it, too.    One thing – what’s with the overpowering reverb? 


Chikezie – More Today Than Yesterday

Not sure if it was the song’s bad arrangement or just overwhelming nervousness but he spent the first half of the song under pitch – something no one picked up on.  I liked the tone quality and ease of singing but not the presentation of this song. 


David Cook – Happy Together

Weird hair, strange vocal sound – haven’t figured this one out yet but thank God they didn’t fool around with this song’s character too much!  One of my favs and he  did a decent job on it.  I liked it.  His camera work and mic stand work could make him this year’s Constantine incarnation.


Jason Yeager – Moon River

I love a smooth, effortless male voice and this dude has that in spades.  Started out a little hesitant but came on strong after the key change – could have been too low to start with.  Personally, there are worst things than being called “cruise ship-like” – at least it was a “lounge lizard” impersonation. 


Robbie Carrico – One

Most polished performance of the night – knows how to command a stage.  Soaring tenor with a sparkling tonal quality. 


David Archuletta – Shop Around

This year’s token LDS entrant and a former STAR SEARCH winner.  Most natural performer of the lot and he’s only 17!  I love his soulful voice. This one is a contender for sure and  COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY!


Danny Noriega – Jailhouse Rock

2 snaps up for this dude – very uninhibited performer.  Interesting song choice that could have backfired but didn’t.  He and David will be competing for the teenage vote for sure. BTW, can you say SANJAYA?  Just watch…


Luke Menard – Everybody’s Talkin’

Lots of tenors this season and this handsome tall drink of iced tea has the sweetest and easy-to -listen-to one.  Great job on this song (can you tell I don’t agree with the judges) with an effortless falsetto – didn’t understand the “pitchy” part.  I think I’ll vote for this boy just b/c Simon dismissed him.  He should stick around and did a LOT better than a few of the others before him. 


Colton Berry – Suspicious Minds

Talk about not connecting with the meaning of the song – that was a “cabaret performance” if I ever saw one.  And the judges LIKED him and not Luke – well, except Simon who is at least honest to admit he only looking for a recording artist. 


Garrett Haley – Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do

Frampton/Leif look-a-like that we haven’t seen much of up to now and with any luck, will be gone after tonight.  Not a great song choice even if he did sound like Sedaka.  I’ll agree with the boring comment.  What get’s me is that they put him through and not Kyle…I don’t get it…


Jason Castro – What a Day for a Daydream

Give the boy credit for bringing his axe on stage for this song – good job with a very familiar old song and boy was a surprised when Simon agreed with me! 


Michael Johns – Light My Fire

OK, Randy compared him with another Aussie Michael Hutchence from INXS and I have to strongly disagree.  He wasn’t all that with the song and I felt he was holding back.  He’ll be around for awhile.


Let’s see how the girls do…

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With the 7th Season of American Idol looming the distance, the Rewind of Season 2 just about to premiere, and other Idol competitions going on continually around the globe, I’ve been doing some thinking about the franchise in general and our version in particular. From what I’ve read, not all Idol competitions are conducted in the same way – for example, contestants in other countries are allowed to play instruments while performing. Also, over the last 6 seasons, there has been a lot of adjustments made in the American format, some good and others not so good.

Since the last season brought much criticism and lower ratings, perhaps this is a good time for the average fan like myself to play “Thursday morning director” and make some suggestions as to how the show can improve before it begins its next outing. Who knows – maybe someone will be listening…?

Here are three suggestions for the honorable producers to consider – if they haven’t already done so:

1) Bring back the Wildcard round!
I believe this step in the competition was used for the first 3 seasons and then dropped in favor of the 12 guys/12 girls elimination. I think it could still be used because it could give one guy and gal, particularly one who may not have gotten a lot of air time up to this point, another chance at the final 12. Remember, if it weren’t for the wildcard, Clay Aiken would never have made the finals in Season 2.

2) Bring back the Guest Judge/Mentor!
I know I’m bias but Barry Manilow is the best example of this. When he was asked to be a judge in Season 3 he asked if he could work with the contestants and the rest is Idol history. However, probably because of Simon’s alleged dislike of guest judges, the mentors only show up to work with the group and then disappear (or reappear on the results show to hawk their new CD). I believe if a mentor has spent time helping the cast, he or she should get a final say on their performance. It also gives the fans another view of the performance, especially during the middle of the season when we are sick of the usual “I’m feeling it, dawg,” “You’re so special” and “You’ll never make it in this competition” type of dribble. A fresh set of ears is a blessing at that point. (BTW, Barry was on Seasons 3 & 5 so that means he should be back again this year – especially if there is a 70’s night! He has proven to be the best mentor on the show.)

3) Give us less bad auditions and more of the Hollywood Rounds!
Last year the producers, in perhaps a drunken stupor, decided to chop up the Hollywood Rounds and condense them into one night because it wasn’t “good TV” – thus not allowing the fans to see more of the talent or back stories of the contestants (a HUGE complaint about Season6 in general). The editors should be able to combine and compile enough film on these rounds to both keep us interested and provide us with the emotional angst to get us behind our favorites. On the flip side, the ever increasing number of bad audition shows really don’t keep fan tuned in the rest of the season because the folks who fancy those episodes are all about watching train wrecks than good singing. The fans who vote passionately are the ones that should be served or they will continue to fall away as they did last season.

Ultimately, the main focus should always be on the contestants and their quest for the title. The more we know about them and their road to Idol, the more invested we become in their outcome. The show has proven that it can produce that type of TV and get both great ratings and loyal viewer. They can do it again. I’m sure of it. Sometimes returning to one’s roots is the best thing.

Now, may some of you out there have your own “three wishes” for the upcoming season so why not share your vision with the rest of us? Let us and TPTB know your concerns and maybe it will help to give Idol the boost it needs going into Season 7. Leave your comments below and let the voice of the people be heard!

Carry on!

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At least the gals did NOT disappoint tonight, unlike last night’s narcoleptic nightmare known as the Final 8 guys.  It’s shaping up to be a lopsided Top 12 with guys most likely leaving first, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.  Let’s see what I saw from my red leather couch on this night of glorious girl singing:


Jordin Sparks / Heartbreaker – Pat Benitar

Give that kid HUGE props!  She can rock on withOUT screaming!  I love it and I love me some Pat Benitar!   She has a power voice yet some great control for one so young. This child is a dark horse and might just make it into the Top 5.  She gets my vote tonight for sure. 

Safe and Top 12 bound!


Sabrina Sloan / Don’t Let Go – En Vogue

Now THAT’S a voice!  It’s a large, controlled instrument that she knows how to use but I will agree that she seems to be holding back a little in the performing department.  Something tells me I should vote for everyone EXCEPT the ones I think should go home tonight.

She should be safe but she may not have as big a following as some others.


Antonella Barba / Put Your Records On – Corrine Bailey Rae

Yes, let’s put those records on to drown her vocals out!  She is clearly out of her league vocally but Simon is right, she has gone as far as she can go in this competition and it would clearly be a shame if she makes it to the Top 12 and a more deserving singer gets “das boot.”

Can we be done with her now?  Send her back to Jersey, please!


Haley Scarnato / If My Heart Had Wings – Faith Hill

A safe, popish song that was most likely intended to show that she sings well but there was no WOW to it.  I didn’t like the song choice either and I usually like Faith Hill.  I haven’t been able to warm up to her style

On the bubble BIG TIME and should go home, IMHO.


Stephanie Edwards /Sweet Thing – Chaka Khan

I saw her nervousness for the first time tonight and that made for a shaky performance.  She’s been solid the last two weeks and this was not the time to make mistakes but she is only 19.  I like her and I hope she has enough support to make it to the Top 12 because she deserves it, unlike some others.

She’s could be on the bubble but I hope not.


Lakisha Jones / I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston

What can I say?  She held her own on that BIG signature number and sang it very well without over emoting like some do.  She’s been a lock for the Top 12 since day one so why would she NOT make it?  See you next week, honey!

If she’s not safe, no one is.


Gina Glocksen / Call Me When Your Sober – Evanescence

That WAS edgy but it WAS pitchy in many spots.  Screamers are not my favorites in the competition but she is fun and comfortable in her own skin – an asset for sure.  I’m still not totally sold on her but she is Top 12 worthy.  BTW, I’ve never heard that song before and may not want to again.

Should be safe unless the “VFTW factor” kicks in.


Melinda Doolittle / I’m A Woman – Maria Muldar

She looked and, more importantly, SOUNDED like a winner tonight!  We might just have our Season 6 Idol right here because she IS the complete package and a genuinely nice gal to boot.  Simon is so sold on her and Lakisha it isn’t funny. 

One word: SAFE!


I’ve got to admit that the gals have it all over the guys so the next level of the competition should be very interesting, to say the least.  The cast offs from this week will tell us just what kind of influence VFTW has over this show and if the rest of America can’t compensate for the power voting, then the show and it’s format are in jeopardy.  I’d hate to see that but, perhaps, the producers have brought this on themselves.  More on that later.


So what are my choices for the ever precarious “das boot – ladies’ style?”  Gotta be Antonella and Haley, based solely on vocals and performance.  Anyone else would be a travesty – but then again, that would be in typical and frustrating AI style. 


I can’t wait to see the outcome of this!  Carry on!

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Feeling MUCH better today, thanks, and I’m ready for some IDOL!  Since I was out tonight supporting my local theatre, I watched this show in fast forward — the ONLY way to avoid those pesky commercials. 


Anywho, here’s tonight’s view from my red leather couch thanks to my DVR that just loves to fast forward through the endless commercials:


Gina Glocksen / Alone – Heart

Way to rock out — and in a snappy dress to boot!!  Great song choice, just a tad pitchy but not dreadful, and a solid delivery that she took and made her own in spots.  I’m not buying the “I don’t know who you are” crap from Simon – he’s just trying to confuse the masses again.  Should be safe but being first is sometimes a curse.


Alaina Alexander / I’m Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks

Stop looking down her dress, Ryan!  How obvious!  Anyway, I’m not ready to say that was good singing ’cause it wasn’t.  Sorry.  She just doesn’t have a pleasing tone quality and she a bit too gawky as a performer.  Nice eye candy but not easy on the ears.  On the bubble BIG TIME so I’d send her home — PLEASE?


Lakisha Jones / Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & the Pips

It’s hard to try and not sound like another karaoke version of this song but I found it a bit boring at first.  Then she kicked something in and as Randy would say “worked it out” by the end.  Don’t get me wrong – voice and delivery were great but I think the show should just retire this song.   She’s safe no matter what.  


Melinda Doolittle / My Funny Valentine – Rodgers and Hart, composers

She started out a bit tenuous but then worked the jazz vibe in and KICK SOME SERIOUS BUTT!!!  I loved it – better than Constantine in Season 4!  She is a smart, savvy and sincere performer and I hope America can appreciate it.  She it quickly becoming my pick for this year – and Simon liked her, too!  Better be safe or I’ll scream!


Antonella Barba / Because You Love Me – Celine Dion

Perhaps her brother should have entered this competition instead of her.  Let’s get serious here – this child’s voice is so thin it always sounds like it ready to give out at any moment.  Besides being, yet again, another bad song choice, her delivery is so fake I’m not even sure she could be sincerity if she wanted to.  America, PLEASE ignore Vote for the Worst and do what needs to be done here.   Send this child HOME before she does any more damage – like taking a more deserving gal’s place in the Top 12!


Jordin Sparks / Reflection – Christina Aquilera

I’m not sure this was the right song for her because I heard her struggling through about 3/4 of the piece.  Maybe she was too emotional over the dedication package — who knows?  At 17, she is an amazing talent and quite the little cut-up (I loved how she was trying to be shorter than Ryan at the end).  She needs to stick around to help “keep things real” in this competition. She’s got to have enough fans to keep her safe even if she wasn’t as good as last week ‘cuz she was head and shoulders better than the “A” twins.


Stephanie Edwards /Dangerously in Love 2 – Beyonce

She needed more air to spin that money note because she does have it but I just feel the song was too big for her.  Randy was right – the performance was “Beyonce Lite” and I’m not sure she would want to be pigeon holed into a category at this point.  Since the other two liked it, I’m sure others will agree.  Should live to sing another day.


Leslie Hunt / Feeling Good – Nina Simone (forgot her last night) & Michael Buble

We have our first repeat song of the season and I enjoyed her version UNTIL we got to the lousy scat singing at the end. I happen to love her smoky alto tone and she seems to know her strengths but Simon is right – she’s being overshadowed by more powerful voices so that she subtlety may not  On the bubble but I wished she wasn’t.


Haley Scarnato / The Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston

Is she serious?  Boy, did that smack of “Carnival Cruise singer” to me!  I’ve never been a fan of the song and even though she looked as if she was having a good time, I wasn’t having to listen to it.  Haven’t liked this chick since Day 1 and I know she is trying her best but if you’re going to make it in the biz, you need to LISTEN to the criticism and try to improve.  On bubble but might just eek out one more week.


Sabrina Sloan / All the Man That I Need – Whitney Houston

Surprise to hear some pitchy spots and, even worse, some shouting.  Why do they DO that?  I agree with the Brit – wrong song choice but she’s got pipes.  Personally, I think she got cold hanging around waiting to sing last.  That’ll do it some days.   She’s safe regardless – at least Simon and I hope so.


In closing, at least I’m starting to see the beginnings of a real competition for the Top 12 spots but America (and that VFTW site) can be fickle and cruel, sending folks home who shouldn’t go and leaving others to continue to make us real musicians crazy.  Again this is a SINGING COMPETITON that can be good TV on its own without the constant manipulation from many different fronts. 


The choices for my infamous “das boot – ladies’ style” are the same as last week:  Alaina and Antonella — PLEASE?????  Anyone else might be a crime.


I’ll try and get in a Results Show blog tomorrow night.  Wish me luck on my first day back to work!


Carry on!

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Check out this guy, dudes and dudettes! I’ll tell y’all what I think later.


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I had originally intended to review last week’s result show but I had a killer week at work and ran out of time. Couple that with the fact that I’ve been on my back for three days now with a stomach virus and I’m going to keep my comments short and sweet for this week’s showcase of vocal styling from the guys — which had to be better than last week — and it WAS!


BTW – loved (tongue in cheek) the touching shout-out to Jennifer Hudson, which was more self promotion than heartfelt congrats. Guess they had to say something especially since she neglected to thank the show in any way during her acceptance speech.


So, without further ado, here’s the view from my red leather couch (under my warm quilt and propped up with pillows) for tonight:



Phil Stacey / I Ain’t Missing You – John Waite

Solid opening vocals, not doubt, I get the feeling he’s not that comfortable on stage because his movements are wooden at best and just plain awkward all of the time. Also, it’s more distracting to keep the mic plastered to your mouth – move it out of the way sometimes so we can see the facial expressions. Gotta be safe even if Simon doesn’t seem to like him.


Jared Cotter / Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

I never liked the sneakers with suit look. Now that I’ve said that, his vocals were a bit tight but his showmanship was definitely lively, getting Paula all shook up in the process. I was going to say the “K” word but Simon said it for me. Safe due to the face pull down.


A J Tabaldo /Feeling Good – Michael Buble

Well, that was a surprise! Very good vocals (a few problems but nothing major), a great song choice (wouldn’t have expected that song from him) and a solid, relaxed delivery. Good for him because I would have predicted his demise tonight since nothing I had heard up to this point impressed me. He CAN sing and I am now taking notice. Safe even if you’re not a Buble fan.


Sanjaya Malakar / Steppin’ Out – Fred Astaire et al

Dressed to impress? Didn’t expect that type of a song from him and I didn’t think it was a bad as the judges made it out to be. They are always telling the contestants to take a risk and I felt he did. It was WAAAAY better than last week’s offering but he’s just so green when it comes to performing that he lags behind the others. On the bubble because half the audience won’t be familiar with either the song or the genre – too bad.


Chris Sligh /Trouble – Ray Lamontagne

I liked the song choice, I liked the performance, I loved the dedication – 3 for 3! I thought he sang it better than Taylor and for a brief moment his vocals reminded me of Roy Orbison. I really like this guy and so far, he can sing just about anything. Safe, safe, safe AGAIN!


Nick Pedro / Fever – who hasn’t sung this?

One word – SMOOTH! I really liked it and that’s not just because he’s my homey. He got a little ahead of the music toward the end and kinda missed one of his final scats but the whole package was solid. He has such a nice tone to his voice and I’m glad he showed it off in spades tonight. Note to Simon – Nick’s a Portuguese guy from my area and while you think he has a charisma problem I’m just glad he’s not cocky and strutting is stuff constantly (Nick will know what I mean). He’d better be safe OR ELSE I will hunt you all down for not voting – where’s my phone??


Blake Lewis / Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai (who?)

Beatbox boy is back and that had to be the strongest vocal of the night!!! The scat was prime and he is so comfortable on stage it’s insane! He’s a big time contender and a lock for the Top 12. Now, can someone explain to me just who this Jamiroquai is…? So safe it’s ridiculous.


Brandon Rogers / Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

Uh, nice dedication but WRONG song choice! I didn’t like it AT ALL because it did nothing for him vocally or performance wise. He’s not standing out from the pack and won’t be around for next week based on that showing. Should be going buh-bye after that.


Chris Richardson / Geek in the Pink – Jason Mraz

Nice tone but tight (and not in a good way) in too many spots. First time I’ve totally DISagreed with our judges this season. I wasn’t impressed. Period. I’d could see him leave but he probably won’t.


Sundance Head / Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

That performance should get him out of VOTE FOR THE WORST this week! A very strong performance that he needed to get him out of the slump he was in. He does have powerful, bluesy vocals and he needs to choose songs, no matter what genre, that capitalize on that. Safe on his own merits.


To sum it up, the boys brought their “A” game finally and it gave us all a great show to watch. IDOL is BACK, my friends (I was getting a tad worried…)!


My choices for “das boot” this evening? Brandon & Sanjaya And since I went 0 for 4 last week I wouldn’t go by me at this point in the game…


Carry on!

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Well, kiddies, anything HAD to be better than last night’s snoozefest and by golly the gals did NOT disappoint!  Many more contenders than pretenders brought their A game and that’s a good thing because for the first time since the show started I was beginning to lose interest.  Not that seeing Ryan and Simon go at it verbally isn’t entertaining enough (it’s not, really) but I love AI because it is a SINGING COMPETITION!!!!!  Hear that, producers — a SINGING COMPETITION!!!!   Just thought I’d reiterate that little fact. 


Anywho, here’s tonight’s view from my red leather couch thanks to my DVR that just loves to fast forward through the endless commercials:


Stephanie Edwards – Age: 19

Hometown: Savannah, GA

New chick on the block with supportive parents.


How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore – Alicia Keys


Having heard very little from this one prior to tonight, I really liked what I heard from this college girl.  Strong opening performance, great song choice, and a good, solid vocal tone to match.   She’s got some jazz and blues colors to her sound and that could help her with many of the upcoming genre nights.  Put this child into the safe column for tonight and I’m looking forward to much more from her in the coming weeks.


Amy Krebs – Age: 22

Hometown: Federal Way, WA

All eyes are on her first time for sure!


I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt


Nervous and pitchy won’t get this gal to the next round, that’s for sure.  She did better in her higher register but bottomed out too much down low.  A poor song choice and a forgettable performance from one we haven’t seen much of.  On a bubble that might just burst by tomorrow night.


Leslie Hunt – Age: 24

Hometown: Chicago, IL

The dog walker.


Natural Woman -Aretha Franklin


Wrong, wrong, WRONG SONG!!!!!   I really liked her voice when I heard her during the Hollywood Round but, and I hate to say this, she was a little too white to sing this song — in sound and delivery.  Kelly sang the crap out of this is Season One and she came nowhere NEAR that experience.   I am afraid for her after this performance and I agree with Simon that she looked and sounded uncomfortable.  Will be on the bubble but shouldn’t be.


Sabrina Sloan – Age: 27

Hometown: Studio City, CA

The valley girl.


I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin


WHOA!  This gal is a force to be reckoned with onstage.  Her persona is outrageous, her voice, while a little to nasal for my taste, is solid and strong and she could sell a song to a deaf person.  She certainly did her homework and came out swinging.  I’d keep me eye on her, that’s for sure.  Safe, safe, and more safe.


Antonella Barba – Age: 20

Hometown: Port Pleasant, NJ

Jersey girl with attitude.


Don’t Want to Miss a Thing -Aerosmith


Something tells me she just missed her chance to go onto the next round. Bad song choice, pitchy and overly nervous, no emotion — what else can I say?  Bailey Brown should have stayed over this gal based on this performance.  Send this chick home in a body bag – NOW!


Jordin Sparks – Age: 17

Hometown: Glendale, AZ

Youngest gal with a famous NFL dad.


Gimme One Reason to Stay Here – Tracy Chapman


She reminds me of a younger, hipper Kim Locke and she can wail out a tune at all of 17 years old.  I like her sense of humor as well – just a tad giggly but she IS a high school junior.  She took a big risk with this song but I’m not sure this was the best song for her to show off everything she’s got.  That said, she pulled off enough to make the judges take notice in a positive way.  She held her own and she should be safe.


Nicole Tranquillo – Age: 20

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

The hard working voice major.


Stay -Erykah Badu


Why are all these white girls trying to get their funk on?  I’m not getting it.  Yeah, she’s got a great range and she showed it off but it was the WRONG SONG for her. I agree with the self-indulgent comment from Simon – looked to me as if she just wanted to sing this song on TV. Period.  I’d like to hear her do something else before I write her off.   Probably safe but who knows?


Haley Scarnato – Age: 24

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

The wedding singer.


All Coming Back to Me – Celine Dion


Does this make sense – I thought she was singing too pretty for this song?  Maybe it’s the wedding singer in her but her smiley performance didn’t  match the pathos of the lyrics.  The breathy, pitchy ending didn’t do much for me either.  PS — watch those 40’s comments, Brit!  Should be safe because she’s pretty but I’d lose her quickly based on what I heard.


Melinda Doolittle – Age: 29

Hometown: Brentwood, TN

The early front runner


Since You’ve Been Gone – Aretha Franklin


Now THAT’S singing!  How great was THAT?  She blew most of the contestants out of the water and she’s too legit to quit!   Grade A performance from a singer who definitely knows her strengths and weaknesses and is a sweet, unassuming person to boot!  Safe with a capital S due to her incredible, God-given talent.


Alaina Alexander – Age: 24

Hometown: West Hollywood, CA

Who is the chick?


Brass in Pocket – The Pretenders


Did she just pretend to sing that badly?  Ouch!  My ears are still bleeding and there is nothing about her delivery that could even remotely redeem her in my eyes and ears.   As Hall and Oates sang – “She’s GONE…”


Gina Glocksen – Age: 22

Hometown: Naperville, IL

It’s about time.


All By Myself – Eric Carmen


Ok, I get her now – she’s just redeemed herself with me.  That was a kick a$$ performance and I liked it.  Perfect song for her but the money note was a tad screechy.  This just might be her time.   Safe for sure.


 Lakisha Jones – Age: 27

Hometown: Fort Meade, MD

You can take this voice to the bank.


And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going – Dreamgirls /Jennifer Holiday


Was this a little dig at our gal Jennifer Hudson on the eve of her Oscar win?  Hummm…  She sang the stuffing out of that song and was very good but NOT as good Miss Hudson.  Sorry.  I felt a little disconnect with the words at one point so the others need not book their plane tickets home YET — but they should watch their backs.   She’s a big time contenda and could be one of the one’s to beat. 



To sum it up, I think the boys need to go back to the drawing board and come out swinging next week if they even THINK they have a chance at winning this competition.  The girls displayed much more depth of talent and personality – even a few of the ones we had never really heard of before tonight.  Again it’s going to come down to who can intelligently choose the right song to showcase their strengths — just ‘cuz you like a song don’t mean you should sing it in public!  I think this competition just got interesting.


“And in the end…”  my choices for my infamous “das boot” for this week are:


Guys —

Sanjaya & Sundance

Gals —

Antonella & Alaina


Let’s see how I do this year…I’m not holding my breath or anything like that…


Carry on!

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