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Posts Tagged ‘Randy Jackson’

We’re almost there – can you believe that the finale is next week? Boy, this season has certainly flown by! It’s been an interesting, entertaining yet strangely familiar ride from the auditions to now, sort of reminding us of another vocally powerful “Search for a Superstar” – the season of Clay/Ruben/Kimberley (Season 2). The caliber of vocal talent this year has been nothing short of spectacular with a nice variety of shades and stylings — with, of course, a few characters thrown in for effect. Actually, I haven’t been bored much or wanting to slap the voters too often this season and that in itself is a GOOD thing! With a strong Top 3 there will be a deserving winner no matter who gets the most votes and we ALL win when that happens. Kudos to the judges for getting it RIGHT this season and giving us a strong field from which to choose from.

Speaking of choices, this was “Pick” night, when everyone gets to pick a song: Judges, contestants and even the dreaded PTB. It’s a night when the judges have to be really careful NOT to harp too much on song choice because in 2 out of 3 cases the contestants had no real say in the matter. In fact, I got really annoyed when they briefly started to go down that road but I guess old habits die hard. Now, we had a little twist this time around where the two male judges ceased an opportunity to jab each other’s choices for their Idol but that proved more comical than detrimental. Paula actually chose well for her Idol and was refreshingly coherent tonight – good for her!

So, with the DH and puppy by my side, here’s what it looked like from my comfy red leather couch for this week of interesting picks and very few pans:

David Archuleta

And So It Goes – Billy Joel (Paula’s pick)

That. Was Beautiful. Sigh. Absolutely gorgeous! Most mature vocal and performance of the season from this young man. What more can I say – but, as if we didn’t know, Simon tried to let some steam out of the kid’s engine. Nasty Brit.

With You – Chris Brown (Arch’s pick)

Thank God he finally did something upbeat however he was bottoming out on many of the lower notes and I couldn’t tell if it was a register problem or if he was out of breath. Give him his props for trying to be current and interesting.

Longer – Dan Fogleburg (TPTB’s pick)

This boy wants to win it bad. That was another very mature and vocally sound performance. This was the first night I saw him trying to connect with the lyrics and he did a stellar job, IMHO.

Syesha Mercado

If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys (Randy’s pick)

Nice controlled vocals but a little too close to the original for me. I hate it when the Brit and I happen to agree. She does have a solid instrument.

Fever – Peggy Lee and others (Syesha’s pick)

Best. Song. From. Her. Ever! Definitely made the song her own (and a difficult feat with this overdone number) and performed it with style and sizzle. Send this child to Broadway now and get her away from Simon…FAR away! Personally, I don’t want her to win Idol because she has a better career waiting for her than being lead around by the nose by 19 Entertainment. Let the Davids fight it out. Seriously, she has grown on me over the course of the season and I could kick myself for ruling her out at the beginning of the Top 12. She’s got talent and chops to spare and I hope she goes as far as she can, with or without Idol.

Hit Me Up – Gia Farrell (TPTB’s pick)

At the risk of showing my age, I was not familiar with this song at all. In any case she sang really well tonight, this one included. Was it enough to get to next week? Vocally I would say “hell, yeah!” but I’m not sure she has enough of a fan base to pull it off. That is, unless she gets the sympathy vote tonight for being run over by the judges (could that have been some reverse psychology on their part?). BTW, Simon’s remarks after this song were the most intelligent ones I’ve heard him utter this season. About. Damn. Time!

David Cook

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack (The Brit’s pick – what WAS he thinking?)

He HAD to do something with that song and, dang it, he did!!!! Nice upper register work and a solid, money note ending. Go figure.

Dare You to Move – Switchfool

Ok, I have heard this song – now I don’t feel so old. It was classic Cookie and, like Paula, I wanted to hear more of it as well. That’s the problem with songs that can’t do a beginning, middle and end in a minute thirty. No surprises but no fouls either.

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Two words: SLAM DUNK! And, no surprise, we all know who the Brit wants to win…I know, it’s only a TV show…

I won’t pick a bottom two or a “das boot” this week because no matter which way it plays out, all three deserve kudos for what they’ve done to get this far and with any combination it is setting up to be a great finale this year. Just remember, we could end up seeing another “Melinda elimination” this year so don’t rule anything out. Either way, I’ll be buying my tickets tomorrow for the tour this year because this is a very interesting and entertaining group of contestants and I would like to see them live.

Carry on!

J

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“Yo, Adrianne…!” Idol is back and if the first two shows are any indication, it’s a leaner and less meaner edition of what we’ve come to know and love over the last six seasons.  A balanced package of good and bad auditions, more heart wrenching background stories from the get-go and Simon grows a sympathetic hearts?  YIKES!  It’s Christmas all over again! 

 

So far I’m digging what has come out of the first four hours and first two audition stops – ok, we had to have the obligatory bad impressions of Kelly Clarkson hits as well as shots of crowds in hot stadium seats singing for the cameras  but for the most part, the editing was tighter and moved through the worst folks faster than Taylor Hicks was dropped from this label (big mistake, Arista, but that’s another blog).  We haven’t seen anyone with instruments yet, but hopefully that is forthcoming.  I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing some good musicianship but I am struggling a little with the number of semi-pros supposedly auditioning and making it to Hollywood (Carly Hennessey and Kristy Lee Cook come to mind).  I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to wanting to find the best UNTAPPED talent in AMERICA but some of the back-stories  are  compelling enough on these folks to want to give them a shot.  I guess I’ll wait and see if Hollywood takes some of them out and see who makes the top 50(?) this season.  Now, I still wish they would bring back the wildcard round…

 

Let’s get on to my 10 second takes on the featured contestants from the first two stops.  First up…

 

“Philadelphia Freedom, shine on me…”

 

Joey Catalano – “the biggest loser…NOT!”

I was pleasantly surprised by the nice, smooth voice  because after the build-up I wasn’t sure what would come out of his mouth.  For a change I wasn’t disappointed by the great personal package/bad voice syndrome — and he’s a gentleman to boot!  Looking for more good things to come from this young man in Hollywood.

 

Yuka – “walk like an Egyptian”

Wasthis guy for real???  Likes Mr. Bee Gees, eh?  Ouch.  At least Simon didn’t totally blast him for being a bad singer.

 

Melanie Nyema – “Taylor’s Backup singer”

Up beat personality… nice voice… but Mindy Doo she ain’t.  Bit of a let down.

 

James Lewis – “the tour guide”

Anyone who says he’s unique makes me nervous – Moses couldn’t go down any further that where that dude sent him.  The canary yellow suit didn’t help, either.  Reminded me of LOUD MOUTH FROG

 

1st set of forgettables:

Nick Stano – “Clay Aiken, he ain’t”

Sybill White – “too many musical personalities to deal with”

Zhengzhong Yu – “too sing song for me…”

 

1st set of brief but great voices:

Junot Joyner – “now THAT’S what I call the blues…”

Jose Candelaria – Even in Spanish, it was good!

Jonathan Baines – I liked this kid a lot!

 

Temptress Browne – “Mama’s little Linebacker”

In waaay over her head but what a sweet girl.  Simon really was nice to her and I like that he’s showing  his humanity a bit more, particularly with those who aren’t trying to use the show for their 15 minutes of fame (nah…folks don’t really DO that DO THEY?)

 

Mark Hayes – “he thinks he’s funny… HA!”

Never sing a Christmas song to audition…doesn’t work unless you’re Bing Crosby.

 

“Udi” Sampat – “Hammer-time?”

Sings like an accountant and I should know (my hubby is one and he can’t sing either!)  Nice, delusional fellow who should stick to counting beans.

 

Alexis Cohen – “one scary vet”

Sings on pitch and could make it as a cover band singer but definitely NOT as an AI contestant. However, how much do the producers wind these people up?  It’s just not necessary and it’s NOT good TV, trust me.

 

Angela Martin – “a good mother”

Good, strong voice but I agree with Simon that she needs to lose the “wedding singer” posture and develop her own style.  Her back story will have everyone rooting for her and her daughter.

 

Loud — LoudER – LOUDEST!

Alyse Wojciechowski

Teresa Anello

Brandi Park

 

And in the totally WEIRD category…

Milo Turk – “the worst singer-songwriter EVAH!”

 

Kristy Lee Cook – “Outback cage-fighter”

Very country, mellow alto, more like Carrie than Kellie.  I didn’t notice the 60’s vibe but on second listen, I could hear it. She could also be our first “ringer” of the season – someone who has already tried to make it and failed.  We’ll see.

 

Ben Haar – “A Max Klinger wanna-be”

Any guy who dresses like Princess Lea and looks like Jabba the Hut is bucking for a Section 8!

 

Pedro Rivera – in a word, NO!

 

Shekhinah Bathyehudah – “Channeling Patti LaBelle…”

…and badly, I might add.

 

Paul Marturano – “Paula’s latest stalker”

He actually has a decent voice but the song was way too creepy – ingenious but creepy nonetheless.

 

Beth Stalker – “Little Liz”

Lovely alto voice that’s more suited for cabaret work but Randy & Paula put her through anyway.  Shouldn’t make it past the Hollywood Round.

 

Chris Watson – “A legend in his own mind…”

…but he CAN sing and he IS good.  Hubby thinks he’s a pretty boy and I agree.  Hopefully the judges will chew him up and spit him out in Hollywood.

 

Christina Tolisano – “Princess Lea, duh…”

A strangely, wooden performance.  She can sing but had no affect whatsoever.  The costume did in any legit chance of getting the judges’ attention.

 

Brooke White – “the Nanny”

Sweet voice and heartfelt deliver.  She’s GOT to be a Mormon.  Reports are that she’s another ringer.  Hummm…

 

After Philly, the groups heads south:

“It’s a kinder, gentler audition process deep in the heart of Texas…”

 

Jessica Brown – “Rehab Momma”

Compelling back story, seemed to catch the attention of the judges from the get-go,

nice, country sounding voice – sounds like a recipe for a golden ticket.  Wonder if she’ll get through the Hollywood Round unscathed? 

 

Paul Stafford – “big time baseball man”

Elliot Yamin he is NOT but seems like a lot of fun to hang with. 

 

Beth Maddocks – “Kelly wanna-be”

A “disaster” of an audition, fur sure.  High, shrill and lifeless. No ma’am.

 

Esteban Deanda

Victoria Metz                3 “bad” (and not in a good way) Amigos

Drucilla Wideman

 

Alaina Whitaker – “Carrie looks like her”

Big, strong country vocal with a big, strong country ego to match.  Will probably go out clubbing in Hollywood instead of practicing because she obviously doesn’t need it…*ugh*

 

Gregory & Mia Tobias – “Opera twins”

It sounded like a butchered version of something from “A Light in the Piazza” but it was so bad I really can’t be sure.  Opera it wasn’t.  Confusing it was!

 

Bruce Dickson – “The 19 year old Virgin”

Ok, this back story is the oddest one I’ve seen in the seven years of Idol.  I thought he shouted too much but I thought he had a good voice.

 

Pia Easley – “a model background singer”

Looks a bit butch for me but she has a great sound.  Ought to be interesting when she gets to Hollywood.

 

Brandon Green – “a most unusual collector”

I can’t resist but… at least it wasn’t like nails on a chalkboard!  I thought he shouted a tad and he didn’t need to because he could hit those notes but he sounded good.

 

Kayla Hatfield – “a true survivor”

Wow! Another Joplin clone but this one had more of the voice to handle the song and got the sympathy vote from Simon, no less.  Won’t last past Hollywood.

 

Another group of “thanks, but no thanks…”

Erick Maudlin

Charles Markham

Tristan Clements

 

Kady Malloy – “a very impressionable gal”

She has a great voice and can mimic some of the recent “greats.”  The advice they gave her should be taken as gospel before she gets to Hollywood.

 

Douglas Davidson – “I don’t want what he’s on”

Too weird for words and a monotone to boot.  Just what was in that water bottle? By the way, didn’t he look a little like Bill Gates to you?  

 

Angela Reilly – “the newlywed”

Another wedding singer but with worse moves.  At least she could carry a tune but not very far.  No need to but the new hubby on the spot – how rude!

 

Kyle Ensley – “the politico-in-training”

Broadway nerd meets QUEEN – yikes! BUT…he did have a decent voice and sang with conviction ( I disagree with the academic comment).  Won’t last past Hollywood but he will be interesting to watch. 

 

Tammy Tuzinski – “her heart will go on…but her voice…”

Is there a personality in this person?  Or a voice?  Talk about your “deer in headlights.”  Unfortunately, that was painful.

 

Colton Swon –

Whoa!  Strong voice, different hair but you can tell he’s in a bar band.  I’m glad he went through on his talent but Hollywood will be another story.

 

Ok, what was with all the cross-gender craziness?  Stoopid.

 

Drew Poppelreiter – “I guess his tractor’s sexy…”

All-American boy with a decent voice  who will get chewed up and spit out in Hollywood. 

 

Kyle Reinneck – “guy-liner from hell”

Rocker dude with a bottle tan?  I’m confused.  And the singing (or lack thereof) confused me even more.  Daughtry has nothing to worry about.

 

I was waiting for the Kelly Clarkson tribute and I wasn’t disappointed – drat!

 

Nina Shaw – “Kelly’s Homegirl”

What’s with the “old fashioned” critique?  I’m with Randy on this one – I liked her voice.  I think they made her a tad nervous with all the bantering before she sang (rewind it and see what I mean) and that may have taken some wind out of her sails but I figured she’d at least make it to Hollyweird.  From there, it’s anyone guess…

 

Renaldo Lapuz – “Liberace Meets William Hung!”

Well, at least he sang with conviction and reckless abandon…AND…he got a hug from Simon (priceless!).  Now, let’s all link arms and sing…”I AM YOUR BROTHER…”

 

Next stop – SAN DIEGO and the return of the Statute of Liberty…See you then!

 

 

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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!

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