Thursday, April 22, 2010

Idol Gives Back- Top 7 Eliminations

Hello Blog Readers!

I apologize that I was unable to write about Tuesday's episode in time to make a prediction and recap the performances.  I still wanted to follow up and say:

HALLELUJAH!  Tim's time is up!

If only this had happened earlier in the season (perferably in the semi-final rounds) then this season may have been salvageable.  Still, Tim provided some interesting moments (ummm... the knee slide?!) but thank goodness we will not have to sit through another episode of his cheesy fake smile... and the judges comparing him on the "Tim scale". 

I have to admit though... I thought Tim had too strong of a following to go home this week.  When I watched the performances I said that Aaron or Casey would be going home, and appropriately they were in the bottom three with Tim.  I'm not complaining... but for once I was actually a bit surprised that Tim WASN'T safe. 

In other Idol Gives Back news:
  • Does Idol not know that America depends on DVR's?  Not only did they mess up Glee for America on Tuesday by running 5 mintues late... but then they went SUPER long on Wednesday with Idol Gives Back.  I heard Ryan's claims that we should set our DVR's later so to not miss the elimination... so I set mine 15 minutes later.  THAT wasn't even long enough.  Sheesh! 
  • I loved Alicia Keys as the mentor this week.  She seems so real and down to earth.  I'm jealous that the contestants each got to hang with her for a bit.  I think she gave some pretty decent feedback too.
  • Was it just me or were the performances on Idol Gives Back a little underwhelming? 
    • I love the Black Eyed Peas, but that performance left a lot to be desired. Fergie sounded way off... and all she really had to say was "rock that body" about 527 times. 
    •  And what in the hell was that Joss Stone debacle?  I personally don't understand why Joss Stone is still around or asked to perform at stuff like this but she shows up all the time.  I mean, She hasn't even had a charting single in the US top 40 in her entire career.  She should be a has-been.  And her performance proved why!  Ew.
    • I can't knock Elton John... especially singing Your Song.  I mean... its a classic.  Too bad my DVR cut off not even halfway through :-(.
    • Mary J...  I give her respect, but even that performance seemed a little off to me.  Maybe it was just the night.
  • Wandy Sykes and George Lopez were mildly funny.  I appreciated the realness that they have about the show.  It was funny to have them making fun of American Idol ON American Idol.  I especially loved Wanda talking about how they make the contestants sing after they are eliminated.  "Here! Sing and remind us how bad you are and why we didn't vote for you!" lol...  Maybe that's why Tim didn't sing again at the end.  We could hope (even though its more than likely just because they were already way over in time). 
  • Carrie... I love me some Carrie Underwood.  I love that song and I love her whole new album.  It almost seems like that song was meant for Idol Gives Back or Inspirational Songs week.  It was just a perfect fit.  And as always... she looked flawless. To me, this was the highlight of the night. 

So on to next week!  I read that Ryan announced that next week will be SHANIA TWAIN week!  I am SUPER excited that Shania will be back to mentor.  To me, she was the best guest judge of the entire audition process, and maybe EVER.  She actually gave the contestants great advice and feedback, and I think that now we are down to six contestants that she will really be able to help them out.

Singing songs from the Shania Twain catalog will be interesting, especially for contestants like Mike and Lee.  I'm sure Crystal and Siobhan will be able to find a female-ish song they can connect to... and Casey and Aaron already have a country-ish vibe to them.  Mike and Lee might have a hard time, but then again, maybe this will be the time to push them out of their comfort zone and shine?!  We'll see. 

I've been looking over the Shania Twain song list, and I will see if I can come up for some good suggestions/predictions of what the contestants will sing. 

Until then... here is my Idol ranking of the contestants going into next week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top 9 (pt. 2): Songs of Elvis

After a bit of a hiatus, I am glad to be back with a recap of tonight's performances!  Lat week was quite interesting with the judges choosing to use the save so early on in the season... will it prove to be a good decision?  We'll find out tonight if Mike has it in him to have a worthy comeback performance.

The mentor this week is Adam Lambert, which I am surprised by excited about.  I was definitely an Adam fan last season.  I think the stage presence and showmanship is something that we have been drastically missing from this season, and maybe he can perk them up a bit.

An interesting fact that I didn't realize is that Adam is the first contestant to come back as a mentor.  Wow.  It's true!  Thinking back, we haven't had Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood back (which I think that would make sense to have one of those two)... so Adam has got to feel pretty lucky and honored to have that under his belt. 

Ryan talks with Adam at the beginning of the show and they talk about Adam's signature belting of high notes.  Adam says that you have to stick your tongue out for it to be effective.  Ryan's response? "My tongue is not as talented as yours".  C'mon Ryan... now you are just asking for it.  Really?  I mean there are enough gay rumors about Ryan as it is... and with the gay banter back-and-forth with Simon, Ryan really doesn't need to add any more fuel to the fire.  Anyway... Ryan is just ridiculous. 

Let's get on with the performances!


Crystal Bowersox- "Saved":  During her mentor session with Adam, you can tell that he thinks Crystal is just head and shoulders above the rest.  I mean, he didn't come out and say it, but you can see on his face that he knows she will be in the final.  He suggests she try the electric guitar instead of the acoustic and she does so. Halfway through the performance, and no surprise here... I love it!.  I think its out of Crystal's comfort zone, but she still made it her own.  I loved that it was up tempo at the beginning and then she slowed it down at the end.  The whole thing from start to finish was just awesome.  The bad thing about Crystal going first is that I don't have anything to look forward to for the rest of the show... and the only way the show can go is downhill.  The judges love it too (again, no surprise). 

Andrew Garcia- "Hound Dog":  It's awesome that Adam called Andrew out for not giving much in his performance.  "I'm bored" he said.  THANK YOU ADAM for saying what America has been thinking for weeks.  That's just what he needed to hear.  Would he put this advice to good use?  OF COURSE NOT.  I thought this was awful.  I mean... not Tim awful... but still, awful.  There is no way that this would ever exist as a single on a record... and no way we would ever hear this on the radio.  It's just really bad karaoke.  I'm so over him and ready for him to go home.  I'm glad the judges ripped him.  Will America please listen to them?  He. Needs. To. Go.

Tim Urban- "I Can't Help Falling in Love":  Omg... could he pick a more predictable song?  I mean, really.  If there was ever an Elvis song that would allow Tim to play up to his tween/cougar crowd, this is it.  During his mentor session, I love that Adam says "I pushed him out of his comfort zone".  Maybe that is my mind being a little dirty... but it was just funny to me.  :-)   Ryan introduces Tim as "Turban" before his performance.  Really?  That's a horrible nickname for someone.  As Tim starts singing, I am waiting for this to be a trainwreck.  And waiting...   And waiting....  Hold on.  Is this for real?  Am I actually not hating a Tim Urban performance?  Yes!  I think this is real!  For once, I actually don't think this was too bad!  His voice isn't too bad and he changed the song up from what we normally are used to hearing.  Ummm... wait a second, is that Ryan dancing in the aisles with a large man?  WTF?  Has Ryan officially lost it tonight?  Sheesh.  Anyway, back to Tim.  As he finishes, he doesn't take the super high falsetto that Adam suggested, but he ends strongly.  In my opinion if there was ever a Tim performance that would keep him safe from tomorrow's double elimination, it is this!  It's unbelieveable, but I think he honestly pulled it off.  The judges like it as well.  Even Simon says that he went "from zero to hero".  This is just crazy!  I figured that with a double elimination that there was no way that Tim would survive... but clearly, I am wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Tim in the top 7.

Lee Dewyze- "A Little Less Conversation":  Adam was right on the money when he said that Lee doesn't do anything with his face when he sings!  I am liking Adam as a mentor because he is giving really good contructive feedback.  Would this feedback help?  Well, obviously this was just the recommendation that he needed... Lee showed so much more emotion in his face this week!  He moved around and seemed more loose and free on stage.  I really though it was great.  With this song choice, it could have been cheesy and predictable, but Lee actually put a really cool spin on it.  His raspy voice was in tune (for once, I think it was in tune the entire song!) and it gave the song some edge that made it cool and relevant.  In my opinion, this was his best performance ever!  The judges really like it, although Kara and Simon get into a discussion about whether or not Lee needs to smile more on stage.  Lee, almost on cue, gives a super cheesy Tim-Urbanish fake smile and I love it!  Lee is being true to himself and not putting on some fake grin to get tweens to vote for him.  Lee gains some cool points from me this week.

Aaron Kelly- "Blue Suede Shoes":  Why did Aaron seem so nervous and scared while meeting with Adam?  It was kinda humorous to me actually.  Just as Aaron promised us last week, he was going to do something a bit different and perform an uptempo song instead of the ballads-ala-Rascal-Flatts he's performed every week so far. This could have been a disaster... It wasnt' quite that caliber... but to me it was just so-so.  He seemed awkward out there trying to move around to the beat and "dance" (I use this word loosely).  I just felt that he was trying way too hard.  Just be yourself kid.  Unfortunately, if that gets you kicked off, it gets you kicked off...  But better to be eliminated for being yourself than for being someone you're not... and with two elminations this week, I'm not so sure that Aaron will be safe.  The judges agree with me... and think that it got better when the song was slowed down.  Still it wasn't good.  Simon was a little harsh... but he's Simon so he can be.  Overall, I'm worried for Aaron this week. 

Siobhan Magnus- "Suspicious Minds":  So it's the moment you've been waiting for... Siobhan meets Adam.  Well maybe some of you have been waiting for it.  Personally I don't see the similarities.  Adam is in a whole other league if you ask me.  Adam's mentoring session was far from as exciting as the Idol producers probably hoped it would be when the these two got together.  When we found out that Siobhan was singing Suspicious Minds, I actually thought this could be a great song choice for her.  This performance really left me unimpressed though.  I STILL think she sounds nasally when she sings and I cant' believe that the judges don't call her out for it.  At the end, I have to say that she stepped it up a bit... but overall, I am not loving this at all... and can't believe she's being compared to Adam Lambert.  The first three judges like it, but Simon regulates and preaches truth.  He calls it erratic and tells her that a lot of people won't like it.  Agreed.

Michael Lynche- "In The Ghetto": Tonight is a big night for Michael.  After his save last week, would he be able to rebound.  Adam tells him that he just needs to connect.  The song he chooses is "In The Ghetto".  At first, I was like "really??!?".  Not to be racist (but I guess it is a bit)... but why does the only African American left in the competition gotta sing the song named "In The Ghetto"???  Seems sensitive to me... but if he's OK with it, I'll give it a chance.  To me... this performance was exactly what Mike needed!  He performed it SO well and it really sounded current!  I could hear a performance like that on the radio!  To me... its the best performance of the night so far.  He needed a good night, and he stepped it up.  The judges comments were short (due to time)... but they all liked it and Simon said it was MUCH better than last week and proved they were correct in saving him. 
Katie Stevens- "Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do?":  I like Katie.  I admit it.  I really do.  I want to like her more... and I really think she has some potential.  After last week's beautiful "Let It Be" I hope tonight she can keep the streak going.  I think this song choice is great!  Kara has said that she needs to sing a song she can connect with, and obviously she is aggrevated with the judges juggling back and forth with her, and just wants to know "what do you want me to do?"!!!  As she starts to perform, I am liking her attitude!  Part of me wishes she would just push it a bit more... like she's giving 90%, but I want 100%.  During this, I can see hints of Kelly Clarkson singing "Respect" with that I'm-really-sweet-but-I'm-gonna-act-like-I-have-attitude look in her eyes.  The judges like it (Ellen says its was really "horny"... lol) but Simon said it was loud and annoying.  Honestly though, I think it will probably be enough to get Katie through another week. 

Casey James- "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy": I was assuming they were leaving Casey until last tonight because his bluesy vocals would lend themselves well to Elvis tunes.  I was expecting a whole lot, and unfortunately, Casey didn't deliver.  It wasn't horrible.... but it just wasn't the great performance that I had imagined.  I think I had built it up in my head that Casey could have "a moment" (sorry for using the judges over-used term).  It was OK.  He seemed a little disconnected from it.  I think Casey could have benefitted from doing a more recognizeable song.  He could have connected more with the audience.  Overall, I wanted marvelous and I just got "meh". 



My personal ranking of this week's contestants:
1. Michael Lynche
2. Cyrstal Bowersox
3. Lee Dewyze
4. Kate Stevens
5. Tim Urban (did I really just rank him top 5? What is this show coming to?!?)
6. Casey James
7. Siobhan Magnus
8. Aaron Kelly
9. Andrew Garcia

Elimination Predictions:
With two eliminations this week, it makes things a bit interesting!  I hope that it is finally time for Andrew to go home.  I really think this is it.  He was already in the bottom two last week, so we know his fan base is waning.  I honestly think that it will be Andrew and Aaron.  Aaron was underwhelming... and he was the other person in last week's bottom three, so we know his fan base isn't quite as strong either.  If its not Andrew or Aaron, then the only others would be Katie and/or Tim.  I only say Tim because I have hated him every week and he has made it... so with this being the first week I have actually tolerated him, America will probably send him home.  And Katie is the weakest of the three girls... and obviously America doesn't like the girls this season (the first three elims were all female)... so I could see Katie slipping to the bottom two as well.

With that said, I still strongly believe that the eliminated contestants tonight will be Andrew and Aaron.

The past two weeks!

Hi everyone!

I apologize for being absent from the blog the past two weeks.  I was off on my cruise for the first week, and then last week my mom and aunt were in town visiting from Michigan (not to mention that I was pretty sick last week).  So unfortunately, my blog time got cut short.

Here's a couple notes about the last two weeks:

  • Bye Bye Didi:  Big SAD FACE for Didi being eliminated way too early.  I will blame it on the cruise and the fact that I wasn't around to vote for her.  The performance of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" WAS bad though.  But still, we can add Didi to the now long list of contestants that should have lasted longer than several others who are still in the running.  I'll miss her and hope that someday we will see more from her!
  • Katie steps it up:  Last week I was blown away by Katie's "Let It Be".  This is the Katie I remember seeing during her audition and Hollywood Week when I thought she would make it far in the competition.  I'm glad to see she's doing better.  Hopefully she can keep up the powerhouse performances.
  • Casey is rockin':  The past two weeks with "Hold On I'm Comin'" and "Jealous Guy", I feel that Casey is really proving himself.  I like when he rocks out and adds his bluesy vibe.  I've been really impressed with him.
  • India.Arie on Idol: I almost fell off the couch when Michael said he was singing "Ready for Love" by India.Arie, one of my favorite artists of all time.  I thought he did this song justice and put an interesting male vibe on it. I loved it. 
  • Andrew still sucks:  Enough said. 
  • THE SAVE IS USED!  I agree that using the judges save on Michael was a good idea.  If he would have went home #9, it would have been way too early (although I had a feeling since top 12 that Michael would be one contestant who would go home earlier than expected).  Although I agree with them using it, I am worried that it may have been a bit too early.  Now there is a possibility that we will have another surprise boot before this thing is over.  If Crystal goes home top 5 or some crazy shiz like that, I will officially have a freak out.  But, Michael has to feel really good that at top 9 the judges were confident enough in him to use the save.  Pretty awesome!
OK!  That's it for now... I'm getting ready for tonight's performances and I'm so excited!  :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vacation!

Hi blog readers!

I just wanted to give you a heads up that I will be out on vacation this week and will be unable to write a recap!  :-(  I hope you will catch up with me again the following week for top 9.  Until then... enjoy the top 10!

And do me a favor... don't vote for Tim Urban this week.  I don't care how well he does... he REALLY needs to go home.  :-)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top 11: Billboard #1 Hits

Tonight we will be hearing Billboard #1 hits.  Wow Idol!  Way to come up with a creative theme.  It was rumored that the theme would actually be "Teen Idols Week" which I thought would be much more fun (and cause some contestants to be pushed out of thier comfort zone).  I think that maybe this was actually the planned theme week and it was changed at the last second... because the producers had Miley Cyrus planned to mentor and Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas schedule to perform on the results show.  Oh well... we get to sit through another boring night of Billboard #1's. 

During Miley Cyrus's video package, I was surprised that she actually sounded somewhat non-annoying.  She seemed pretty genuine about being selected to be a mentor, and didn't have this "I'm a celebrity" attitude.  She checked her age and experience level at the door and just said she is here to help the contestants as much as possible.  I appreciate that. 

On to the performances!

Lee Dewyze- "The Letter": I like that he brought the horns and backup singers down to the stage.  Thanks to my parents that listened to oldies all the time, I knew what this song was as soon as he said it.  I thought that it could be a great fit for his rock voice.  It's an easy song to make "rock".  The problem was... Lee turned the arrangement into some jazzy, awkward hybrid version.  At points, his voice sounded really good... but I don't think the arrangement did anything to assist him.  Would he record a song like this?  At this point in the show, we need to start learning what type of recording artist these singers will be.  I didn't get any sort of feel out of this that it truly is the type of artist Lee will be.  Ellen goes on about this "favorite pen" thing.  Is this her way of replacing the "unripe banana" now that Alex is gone?  Kara says its his best (surprise! I disagree with her!)... but Simon brings it back home by saying it was corny and didn't define him as a legitimate recording artist.  I 100% agree. 

As we come back from commercial, Ryan gives us a fun fact that previous Idols have provided 261 Billboard number ones since they show started back in 2002.  REALLY?  That seems like ridiculously high to me.  I really don't understand how that is possible.  I mean, I understand that there are many, many genres of charts and that any Idol could have been number one on any of them... and many songs may have been #1 on different charts at the same time.  But TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE?  Really?  I think my next challenge will be to figure out what they all are.  Or at least see how many I can name....

Paige Miles- "Against All Odds": Paige, Paige, PAIGE!  OK... so I really have been wanting to like you.  I was totally against you at first... but I want to like you.  BUT NOW... you go and choose Against All Odds?  Seriously?  How many times has this song been sung on Idol?  Oh yeah... this would be the SEVENTH time in only NINE seasons.  Not only did you pick a totally predictable, unoriginal song... but this was a HORRENDOUS performance.  I mean... like REALLY bad.  (Looking back on what I've typed so far, I apologize for my OVER USE of caps... but I can't help but have a horrible emotional reaction to this).  There were so many bad notes, and it was sooooo uninspired.  I mean, she had laryngitis last week and sounded a bajillion times better.  I actually agree with Kara when she says that it was the worst vocal of the whole competition so far.  It really is!  And that says a lot when we have some gems like Tim Urban's "Apologize" this season.  I've only heard two singers out of 11 tonight... and I am already 100% certain that Paige will be in the bottom three and 99% sure she will be eliminated tonight.  Simply unbearable.

Tim Urban- "Crazy Little Thing Called Love": During Tim's mentor session with Miley she tells him that he's not boring.  Ummm... well can you teach him to exude that on stage if you are getting that in person Miley?  He's a snooze fest to me.  He starts to perform, and I get this horrible empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  That feeling when something you completely love goes off the deep end.  That moment when Mariah Carey shows up on TRL selling ice cream in a skimpy t-shirt.  That moment when you are halfway through Miss Congeniality 2.  It's that feeling when something you feel so passionate about just bombs in your face.  And that thing is the show American Idol.  I honestly feel bad for 19 Entertainment and American Idol this season.  After listening to Paige and now this flaming pile of poo??!?!  I mean this season is just so completely below other seasons that I can't believe it.   OK... off my soap box and back to Tim.  The vocals were horrible.  He looks like a cheesy Osmond.  He slid around on stage to make himself more exciting?!!?  It's gonna take more than that.  At this point, it makes me sad that either Tim or Paige will actually stick around and go on tour.  At this point, I'd rather have Lacey back!  Sheesh.  On a positive note... things can only get better... right?  Right?  Please?

Aaron Kelly- "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing": OK... can I admit it?  Maybe its the teeny-bopper, pop lover in me, but Aaron is growing on me.  Sure he's been boring and predictable, but he is likable... and the makeovers have really helped him in the style department.  I mean, looking back at his audition video and seeing what he looked like then compared to now, he's just got to be living a dream to have stylists and coaches helping him along the way.  Part of that whole mentality makes me like him more.  And... I did think it was quite cute that he was talking about his crush on Miley Cyrus.  Aaron... I feel you buddy.  When I was your age, I had a crush on Mariah Carey... give it some time buddy... give it time.  BUT ANYWAY...  It is cool that he sang "The Climb" for his audition and now he gets to be mentored by Miley herself.  And the fact that she gave him props is pretty awesome.  Must have been a great moment for him.  Now on to his performance.  Like I said before about Aaron being predictable: is it sad that when Ryan said he was singing Aerosmith that I automatically knew what song it would be out of all the Aerosmith songs to choose from?  I mean this song is just the type of song he's been singing the whole time so far.  At this point though, with who's left on the show, being predictable and singing songs you are good at isn't necessarily a bad tactic.  Sing well enough to get by... and let all the other flaming piles of poo get all the boo's and hisses.  It makes sense.  The tricky part will be once the crappy people are gone to see if Aaron can turn on the pizzaz and make some bold moves to continue getting votes.  Speaking of votes, I think Aaron will get plenty of them tonight.  I don't think this performance was amazing... but he's got his niche groups of fans that will love that song and call in plenty of times for him.  It was just good enought to get him by, like I was talking about before.  But let's be real... performing after Paige and Tim was nothing but a guaranteed improvement.  The judges agree that there were issues with the vocal (probably because he's under the weather)... but agree that it was good enough to get him through.  Simon says there is "zero chance" he will go home.  I agree!

Crystal Bowersox- "Me & Bobby McGee":  Can I start off by saying that Crystal in a mentoring session with Miley Cyrus is soooo humorous to me??  I mean... Crystal should be mentoring Miley!  Finding out that Crystal is singing Janis is like a guaranteed homerun, right?  As the song starts, I am impressed that she has stripped back the arrangement and gave it a very delicate introduction.  Can I just add that she looks AMAZING tonight?  Having the hair up and the simple yet beautiful dress were just compliments to her natural beauty.  The vocal definitely had the first signs of "pitchiness" I've heard from Crystal all season... but the funny part was that it seemed to not even matter!  The way she got into the performance and let go a bit made her voice get pushed a little bit and it was great!  I want to send her a Thank You card for actually making this season (and tonight's show) worth watching.  The judges all love her (of course).  Ellen and Kara seem to think she needs to let go even more.  Kara suggest she puts down the guitar, and Crystal responds that she "has big plans" for next week.  Hmmm.... interesting.  Simon tells her to not change a thing (and I have to agree).  He goes on to say that one of the best versions of that song he's ever heard was performed by Pink (my all-time favorite artist) and that Crystal's version is right up there with it.  Yay for a name drop for Pink on Idol... and yay for Crystal bringing this show back to what its all about.  (Now can we please get a night where Pink is the mentor on Idol?  I mean... Miley Cyrus??!?  C'mon...)  Simon also says that the only thing gimmicky about Crystal is the rug she stands on for her performance.  Crystal invites Ryan to have a seat with her on the carpet and you get to see some more of her personality.  She says she likes the carpet because the stage is cold and gray, and the carpet makes it a bit warm.  I love that about her.  What isn't to love? 

Michael Lynche- "When A Man Loves A Woman":  Here's my deal with Big Mike... he's either going to be in the top 4, or he's gonna get eliminated in the next three weeks.  He's one of the those contestants that I can't put my finger on in terms of fan volume and relatability.  He's had some vocals that are off the chain... but I have a bad feeling that people may not be voting for him!  It makes me sad... because my gut is telling me that some of these horrible people are gonna last longer than him.  Like I said, he'll either be around for a while... or go soon... and I certainly hope its the first option.  He's a flower amonst the many weeds of this season.  Tonight's performance proves that.  Sure the song choice was pretty predictable and boring... but in a way it was smart.  He's got a masculine sex appeal about him and singing a song like that may get a lot of females to vote for him.  In terms of the actual performance, the vocal was decent.  The judges thought it was pretty cheesy and over the top.  I can't disagree really.  It was sort of karaoke.  But really, really good karaoke.  Still... not matter what happens, we will be seeing Big Mike on the tour.

Andrew Garcia- "I Heard It Through The Grapevine":  During Andrew's mentor session with Miley, she encourages him to put the guitar down... and Andrew says he's nervous about that.  I would be too after last week's Rolling Stones debacle where he didn't play the guitar.  To me "Grapevine" is one the best songs of all time.  So much good soul vibe to it.  Too bad Andrew didn't have any soul vibe at all.  I'm totally over him.  He went from frontrunner status to back of the pack for me.  Tonight's performance was just wrong.  He was trying to exude some sex appeal... but that was a bad idea after direcly following Big Mike.  Although Big Mike's sex appeal was cheesy, at least it was honest.  Andrew's sex appeal was forced, awkward and unwanted.  The judges don't like it either.  Of course, Kara has to name-drop "Straight Up" (let's make it 5 straight performance weeks in a row).  Simon disliked tonight so much that he goes back on his raves of Straight Up saying that maybe the judges overrated him that week and that it was just a "cute version of a Paula song... not like hearing Beethoven for the first time".  TRUE.  I'm glad that the judges are finally seeing that Andrew is not all he is (or should I say "was") cracked up to be.

Katie Stevens- "Big Girls Don't Cry":  Katie chooses this Fergie song and I actually think this could be a great choice for her.  Kara's been asking her to sing a song more fitting for her age and I think it was smart for Katie to choose the first song tonight that actually occured in the last decade.  Now on to the vocal.  Well, it was obvious that Katie's voice is underdeveloped, especially compared to Fergie's natural raspiness.  (Maybe she needs a couple world tours and and alcohol addiction to get that Fergie raspiness?)  It was all over the place in parts... especially the places where she tried to change it up.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't wonderful.  I think its definitely an improvement though.  Kara comments that this is the genre she should go for "pop with r&b leanings".  Part of me agrees that Katie would be good going a JoJo route, singing songs like "Get Out" and "Too Little Too Late".  Still, I just don't see her really fitting in anywhere in radio mainstream music.  Musical theatre?  Perfect!  But I don't see her selling millions of albums and selling out stadiums.  Not going to happen.  Still... all that complaining aside... Katie has done enough to make it on the tour.  I am confident saying she will be safe tomorrow night. 

Casey James- "The Power Of Love": OK... so I have to admit that I saw the list of songs the contestants were singing before I watched thier performances.  When I saw he was singing "The Power Of Love" I thought it was the Celine Dion version not the Huey Lewis verison.  The thought of him taking that ballad and rocking it up was intriguing to me.  But... of course I was wrong.  The Huey Lewis version is actually a GREAT fit for his voice!  Although a great vocal fit, this song is naturally cheesy (I mean... its Huey Lewis...) and so that isn't doing him any favors.  It's just nothing that he can 100% connect to and make for a show stopping performance.  For my listening pleasure, I personally really liked it.  I think the song fit his voice and he did a great job singing it.  His electric guitar skills are also superb... and I really like it when he plays it.  The judges like it.  Ellen calls it the best vocal of the night so far (ummm... were you sleeping through Crystal?).  Kara says that Casey is ready to record an album right now.  Simon totally disagrees with Kara and says that it was cheesy and sounded like it was from 25 years ago.  Kara disagrees and says he made it current.  Ummm... really Kara?  Were we listening to the same song?  Yes, he sang it well... but there wasn't anything current about it.  When it comes down to it, Casey will be around next week for sure....

Didi Benami- "You're No Good":  Didi talks to Miley about her nerves on stage and is happy to find out that Miley gets nervous too.  I mean, its like comparing apples to oranges here... Didi on the Idol stage in front of 500 people... Miley in an arena with 50,000+ people... but still, I feel bad for Didi that her nerves are such a problem.  But it doesn't help when Ryan introduces her saying "the pressure is on!".  As she starts singing it is obvious that this song is perfect for her singing style.  The only thing is that this is another mean-toned song so it doesn't allow her to smile!  I think she's such a bright happy personality that she could really connect with a happy song.  Still, I think this performance is pretty decent.  There were some pitch issues... but again, in comparison to others tonight, she's still golden.  The judges really slam her... and that frustrates me.  It seems like the people who were worse (Tim & Paige) weren't even slammed as bad.  I think the judges need some Q-tips to clean out their ears when it comes to Didi.  I still think there is no chance we would see Didi go home this week though.

Siobhan Magnus- "Superstition": Oh. My. Gawd.  I really cannot stand to listen to Siobhan talk!  During her video package, she just seems so awkward... almost that she's doing it on purpose to put on a show, and to me that is not endearing.  I want someone who's real.  I mean... c'mon... as the American Idol she's gonna need to do tons of public appearances and interviews and TV shows.  Is this the type of person you want to listen to?  Give me a Kelly or a Carrie or even a Kris Allen who are real, relatable and likable.  Her vocals over the past few weeks have been hit or miss with me... but the fact that I cannot listen to her talk is consistent every week!  And tonight's hair???  Are trying to pull a Carrie Underwood "Alone" moment tonight?  Because I doubt that will happen.  Doing Stevie Wonder is like putting on a big pair of clown shoes... they are impossible to fill.  I have to admit that for the first two-thirds of the song, I am actually really impressed with Siobhan's ability to stay on pitch and roll with the vibe of the song.  It's actually pretty good!  At the end she tries this shrieking thing that she did last week again... and I'm still not loving it.  Adam Lambert did some shrieking last year... but to me it was different.  Oh wait... I realized why... because his shrieking was at least IN TUNE.  Not just screaming for the sake of screaming.  Simon (again) says that people will either love it or hate it.  As much as I liked the first part of it... I'm definitely not in the love it category.  Just something about it and about her.  Also, while listening to Siobhan I realized something else about her.  Her voice is really nothing memorable.  I mean, I think to be the American Idol you have to have a memorable look, memorable personality, and voice that is distinct and recognizeable as soon as it is heard.  I mean, even our worst Idol ever, Taylor Hicks, had the trifecta of look, personality and distict recognizable voice (no matter how much you loved or hated any of those three parts... at least you knew who he was!).  With Siobhan, I'll give her credit that her look and personality are memorable... but are we going to hear Siobhan's voice on the radio and go "oh yeah... this is the new single by Siobhan Magnus!".... I highly doubt it.  People are saying that Crystal and Siobhan are neck-and-neck so far in the competition, but I have to say that this is the area where Crystal trumps Siobhan.  Crystal has a memorable look, personality and voice that make her the whole package in my opinion.

My personal ranking of tonight's contestants:
1.  Crystal Bowerox

4. Michael Lynche
5. Didi Benami
6. Siobhan Magnus
7. Casey James
8. Aaron Kelly

26. Lee Dewyze
27. Katie Stevens

73. Andrew Garcia

3,247. Tim Urban
3,248. Paige Miles


Elimination Prediction:  Well first of all, if Tim and Paige aren't in the bottom three... something is ridiculously wrong.  Andrew should also be there.  This elimination is big because it determines which 10 contestants will be on the tour.  So the question for me becomes who would I rather see on tour?  Personally, I think I'd rather see Paige over either of the guys, simply because she would bring a different vibe from the otherwise vanilla lineup of girls.  Tim is probably who I would least want to see on the tour.  Not having him there would make the girls and guys numbers even (five and five... makes for better choreography... lol...) plus, not having tim there would save on my ear drums when all the 13 year old girls scream their faces off for him.  So in terms of touring, I would say keep Paige and boot Tim. 

I could speculate some other scenarios, but I think I will have some faith in America this week (after they got it right last week) and I will say that the bottom three will be Andrew, Tim and Paige.  I think it will be a toss up between Tim and Paige for the eliminated contestant, but for the sheer fact that Tim had the Vote for the Worst crew... and he is somewhat more recognizeable and memorable... Paige will be the person eliminated tonight. 

Who do you think it will be? Vote below. I have removed Crystal from the list because the voting widget only allows 10 choices (and there is no way she would go home tonight anyway). VOTE VOTE VOTE!



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally. America Gets It Right. (Top 12 Results Show Recap)

Can I get a Hallejulah up in here?  (like a praise-the-lord hallejulah, not a Tim-Urban-singing-"Hallejulah")... America finally gets something right.  After last week, we needed a week like this so that we all didn't lose hope in this process. 

But anyway... let's talk about some other parts of the show before we get to eliminations.

At the top of the show, Ryan and Simon have some awkward conversation about their banter the week before.  Ryan approaches Simon at the judges desk and Simon tells him that he is getting too close and it is making it uncomfortable.  Simon asks Ryan "do you want to do my job?"... Ryan replies "I'm happy with my job".  This whole thing is just dumb to me.  It's all put on and fake.  But... I do somewhat agree with Ryan's statement last night that Simon should really try to give more constructive criticism.  But anyway...

David Cook performs a Rolling Stones song... Jumpin' Jack Flash.  Wasn't that some movie from the 80's with Whoopi Goldberg?  Speaking of 80's.... the only thing interesting about the performance was David's odd new hairstyle.  You know in the 80's and 90's when girls have themselves that big poofball in the front using lots of hairspray and a blow dryer?  It almost seemed like David was doing the reverse of that, as he had this awkward poofball on the back of his head. 

David announces he has a new album that he can't wait to get out.  While watching him, I can't help but think back to his season and realize how boring Season 7 was too.  I mean the final four were David, Archie, Syesha and Jason Castro?  Snoooooze....  Maybe I was just so energized over Adam Lambert making things so interesting last season that other things just pale in comparison.  Probably a strong reason why I am so bored with this season too (even though I still love it... lol). 

Orianthi performs her song "According to You".  Meh.  Nothing special.  In fact at times she was pitchier than most contestants this season!  I was hoping for more but it was just... well... meh.

Ke$ha performs her hit "Blah Blah Blah" with 3OH!3.  As Simon says "Just Boo me now and get it out of the way".... some of you probably hate Ke$ha... but I just think she's fun.  This performance wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  When this song comes on, I can't help but dance around a bit.  Something you might not all know is that this performance shows the "magic of television".  If you looked around the stage while it was going on, none of the contestants were sitting on the couches, and none of the judges were in their seats.  This is because Ke$ha's performance was actually taped at the dress rehersal of the show and then edited in to make it look like it happened live.  A fun tidbit I learned when I went to an Idol taping last season.  :-)

Also tonight, it is revealed that "the judges' save" will be in play again this season.  I was wondering if they were going to bring it back again.  Nothing had been mentioned thus far.  Personally, I wonder if they were NOT going to bring it back, and then after last week's farce they decided they needed an insurance policy to ensure they don't lose any other contestants.  I mean... they pretty much need the judges' save just for Crystal, because they know that if they lose Crystal this season will go right into the crapper. 

OK... so on to the eliminations.  Just to recap my predictions, I thought the bottom three would consist of Didi (because she sang so early on in the show, and may have been forgotten), Andrew (because hopefully American is over him like I am over him) and Lacey (because she was the worst of the night...).

The first name Ryan calls is Paige.  Boom.  Paige is in the bottom three.  Although not predicted, I am OK with this.  Going down the line, the next person is Lee.  Lee is safe.  Now at this point they skip over Andrew and Tim and go to Siobhan.  The fact they skipped those two means something.  Siobhan is safe... and so is Aaron.  This leaves Andrew and Tim on the top couch and Ryan asks both of them to stand up.  Now... I never thought I would ever say this... but part of me was actually rooting for Tim Urban, for the simple fact that Andrew would be in the bottom three.  Honestly though, either of them being in the bottom three is fine with me.  Ryan announces that Andrew can take a seat and that Tim is in the bottom three.

After another performance and commercial, we come back and its time to find out who the third person in the bottom is.  The first name Ryan calls is Didi.  Although it would be very unorthodox for the first person called to be in the bottom, I am still very nervous for Didi.  Thankfully, she is safe!  Next is Crystal.  We got through some unneeded conversation with her... but she does get to defend herself from Simon's comment the night before where he said she seemed like she wasn't in trouble and that she already won the compeition.  Crystal defended herself very graciously.  She said that the competition is wide open and she never feels safe.  Although I disgree with the fact that its "wide open", I appreciate her being humble and gracious.  Crystal is (of course) safe.

Next is Katie, followed by Big Mike.  They are both safe. 

This leaves Lacey and Casey.  Did they do this simply because it rhymes?  Does anyone really believe that there is a chance Casey could be in the bottom three at this point?  In my opinion there is absolutely NO chance.  And of course, I am right.  Lacey is the final person in the bottom three.

OK... so looking at the bottom three standing there... Paige, Tim and Lacey... its hard to not have flashbacks to last week and think of Katelyn, Alex and Lilly.  I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from last week.  Can't you just see Katelyn slowing down a Stones tune and playing it delicately on the baby grand?  Or Alex giving some of his crazy-weird white boy soul to a Mick Jagger vocal?  And let's be real about Lilly... that old school rock stuff is right up her alley and she could have given a unique twist on any of the songs performed last night. In my opinion tonight's bottom three all should have been home last week!  So to me... it doesn't even matter who goes home.  America got it right.  Finally. 

Ryan asks the judges if there is anyone they would consider using the judges' save on.  Simon says there is one.  REALLY?  WHO?  Out of those three?  The only person I could fathom would MAYBE be Paige... only because they keep talking about her potential... and the fact that she was sick this week.  But still... Paige will never win this competition. 

Ryan sends the first person to saftey and it is Tim.  We are left with Paige and Lacey.  The tears start flowing... and we hear that they have been roommates so it will be particularly sad. 

When the verdict comes down, America decided that it was Lacey's last performance.  Paige returns to the couches and now it is Lacey's turn to sing one more time to try to win the judges over and get them to use the judges' save.  Lacey chose to sing "The Story"... the song that she performed last week (and the only song I have ever actually liked by her).  For some reason this whole "choose what song you want to sing" thing is new to me.  I though I remembered last season for the judges' save that they just performed the song they sang the night before.  If they can pick which song they want to sing, that may change things up a bit. 

Nonetheless, Lacey performs and the judges unanimously choose to not save her.  Big surprise!  There was no way that the judges would use the save on her... or use it this early. 

So we say goodbye to Lacey.  I'm not torn up about it.  She was cute, and had a good, unique look, but thats about where it ended for me. 

Below are my new Idol contestant rankings.  Each week after the eliminations I will post a photo ranking of the contestants in my personal opinion as a culmination of their entire time on Idol.  Here it is:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top 12: Music of the Rolling Stones

So it should come at no surprise that I am less that excited about tonight's top 12 performances.  After last week's eliminations, I feel that there are undeserving people that have made it to this stage of the show, and it makes me a bit sad.  Nonetheless, the show (and the blog) must go on!

This week we have a true dramatic opening... that is more like it!  An actual reason to have a dramatic opening unlike last week's boys performance show where it just seemed stupid and awkward. 

We get to watch a clip about the Rolling Stones... and I have to admit that I can't think of more than four Stones songs off the top of my head (sorry classic rock lovers... I'm a pop music fiend).  It should make my opinion of tonights performances a bit more interesting.  Let's get started!

Michael Lynch- "Miss You": 
(video) Mikes family was very musical... his mom was a big supporter of him in music and in sports, but passed away when he was in high school. His wife didn't know he was so musical until one day he picked a guitar up out of the blue.
(performance) It's got a good neo-soul rockish vibe to it.  His falsetto is really good.  I think Big Mike is someone who could really surprise us in this competition.  We knew he was good during Hollywood Week, but did we know he was this good?  He's the antithesis of Andrew Garcia who peaked early... Mike is just now coming into his own and really impressing me.  Kara says Mike was "hot on stage"... Simon thought it was a bit corny, but he sang it well.  He even called it "a bit desperate".  I couldn't disagree more.  I actually really liked this performance... and I think its definitely solidfied a spot for him in the top 11.

Didi Benami- "Playin' With Fire": 
(video) We meet Mommy Benami (which I love that nickname by the way!  lol...) who seems like a sweet supportive mom, and Didi is happy to have some family support out here in L.A.  She hasn't had any family out here for her since she moved here 6 years ago.  We also learn that her mom is too nervous to actually be in the room while she sings because she is afraid she will make her daughter nervous.  Cute!
(performance) This performance is very serious, and its weird to watch Didi perform without smiling.  This song isn't really made for Didi... but I'm not sure if there is any Stones song would be.  I think she really tried and gave it her all though.  The end notes were definitely a bit shaky.  For me, this is probably my least favorite Didi performance so far.  And of course... the one week I am kinda unsure about Didi, the judges like her and think it is a great song choice!  FIGURES!  Why is it that the judges and I always disagree about Didi?  One thing I love about Didi is that what you see is what you get.  I don't feel like she is putting on this fake persona for the camera.  With some of the other contestants I am waiting for them to break out of this holy-crap-I'm-on-TV shell that they are in.  With Didi, I don't get that... I think she's being true to herself, which I appreciate.

Casey James- "It's All Over Now":
(video) Casey is from Cool, Texas.  How ironic is that for the "coolest" contestant of this season?  Casey's family is also musical and actually admits that he's the least talented out of everyone.  Not sure if that is slamming himself, or giving props to his family?  lol...
(performance) As this performance starts, I'm glad that Casey has the electric guitar back out and that he's choosing to do a rock performance versus the slow acoustic performances that we become accustomed to.  One thing I notice different about Casey tonight is a look in his eyes where he seems like he is actually really trying hard to give the best performance possible.  I agree %100 with Randy that Casey could have a career in the line of Kenny Wayne Sheppard or Johnny Lang.  That rock/blues guitar is the way he needs to go.  I love Ellen's comment about "most women" will love him... LOL.  I really love Ellen.  Kara thinks its Casey's best performance to date, and I have to agree!  This will help him sail into next week! 

Lacey Brown- "Ruby Tuesday":
(video) Lacey is a pastor's daughter.  I actually wouldn't have suspected that with her semi-antiestablishment vibe she's got going on with her hair and everything.  Her dad is super supportive of her and talks about how proud he is because she used to be so shy and now she's on a stage in front of millions.
(performance)  The song starts with strings.  I think this is a great choice for matching Lacey's delicate voice.  OK... here's my deal with Lacey.  Her voice is actually very distinct and recognizeable... and that is one quality that is definitely needed to be an Idol winner.  My problem is that this distinct voice is often pitchy and almost sounds under developed.  It's so shaky in parts... and maybe that is because of her nerves.  Her dad did talk about how shy she was growing up, so maybe she still has some nerves being in front of this bigger audience.  The judges are a mixed bag.  They aren't jumping out of her skin about it.  Simon says she over-thinks it and just needs to go with the flow a bit more.  I think instead of going with the flow, she should just go..... home.

Andrew Garcia- "Gimme Shelter":
(video) Andrew's dad said that he thought he son was going to be a custodian because he had a thing for keys!  Way to have some high aspirations for your son Mr. Garcia!  Plus...I'm gonna need Andrew's mom to look a little more awake in the next video clip.  Go to the Mrs. Yamin School of Idol Parent Excitedness or something! She looks unexcited about this whole thing. 
(performance) Andrew takes the stage with no guitar tonight.  Maybe he actually is trying to get away from the I-acoustically-remake-female-pop-hits vibe that he is known for.  Unfortunately for me, I think Andrew without a guitar is somewhat boring and unmemorable.  This performance wasn't anything to get excited about.  Kara says that Andrew didn't conenct to the song... and I agree.  Seriously, what is happening to tonight?  I'm agreeing more with Kara than Simon?  This is not usual.  And OF COURSE, because it's impossible to go an entire episode without it, Simon has to name drop the "Straight Up" performance.  Let's make that four straight performance shows in a row that the judges HAVE to mention it!  It's making me grow more and move over Andrew.

Katie Stevens- "Wild Horses":
(video) The only thing I got from her video clip was that ADORABLE picture of her as a baby in a cooking pot holding a wooden spoon.  On second thought, its kinda weird and scary.  Keep your children out of cooking pots!  That is dangerous. 
(performance) In terms of this performance, I think its definitely a small step of improvement for Katie.  For once, I didn't get a total pageanty vibe from her.  She definitely is likable and had a lot of potential to be a pop star... especially in the young Disney pop of today like Demi Levato and Selena Gomez.  I think she COULD get there... and may actually be a contestant that could surprise us.  She hasn't peaked yet... and if she improves a bit more and peaks at the right time, she could stay a while.

Tim Urban- "Under My Thumb":
(video) Tim comes from a family of 10 kids... and is happy to finally be Tim Urban instead of "one of the Urbans".  We see a bajillion family photos and in every one of them Tim has that horrible cheesy smile.  Errr....  Resting on your laurels, eh kid?
(performance) Tim arranges this song with a reggae vibe and tries to pull the Sublime card with an acoustic guitar performance.  To me, he's selling it... but I'm not buying.  I'm over his boring wholesome, cheesiness.  Note to Tim: We already have a previous winner that did your whole schtick, but did it better than you.  His name is Kris Allen.  He was a little more real and likable.  It was his down-to-earthness.  Everytime you talk, I feel like you are trying to hard.  And I thought the performance this week showed you were trying too hard too.  Please go home.  Soon.

Siobhan Magnus- "Paint It Black":
(video) Whats up with Siobhan's crazy hair tonight?  Holy makeover!  Especially compared to the video clip where she's wearing those horrible glasses.  She is so weird!  I don't know if I can get over the weirdness. She's got a big family too.  Maybe this explains her weirdness because she had to take on some sort of persona to stick out amongst all those other kids!
(performance) The song starts off almost sounding like a deranged music box... like you would hear in a horror movie.  She speeds up the song a bit and it seems to get a bit better.  But... it's like she's trying hard to be Evanescence.  Then... she hits that note.  For those of you that watched, you know what I'm talking about.  You know... THAT note.  To me, its as bad as Danny Gokey's note he hit last year during "Dream On" (click for a short reminder).  I really cannot understand this performance.  Simon puts it best when he says that some people will love it, and some people will hate it... but its better than being boring and in the middle of the pack.  I have to agree with him.  That is exactly what got Adam Lambert to the finals last year.  I actually had some reservations about Siobhan this whole night... and then at the end, when Ryan gave Siobhan those horrible glasses again.. for some reason there was something likable about her.  She's quirky and weird, yes... but she's just a fun awkward girl who now gets to be fun and awkward in front of America.  She's growing on me, but I think I may fall into the "some people will hate this performance" category.

Lee Dewyze- "Beast of Burden": 
(video) Lee's pictures from his past were adorable... and its cute that he didn't want people to watch him practice.  He's very down-home and so is his family.  This makes me appreciate and like him a bit more.
(performance)  Lee definitely had a good look to him... but I still just see him as a drunk, stoned frat guy.  Lee did a good job of switching up the arrangement and the vibe of the original song.  He did a decent job with the performance... but it was kinda boring.  I still don't understand Simon's claims that Lee has this wonderful fantastic voice.  I'm not sold on that.  I think he has a very limited range as compared to almost every other contestant.  He hits certain notes and his raspy voice sounds more than strained and underdeveloped.  I'm unimpressed tonight.

Paige Miles- "Honky Tonk Woman": 
(video) We learn the sad story that Paige's dad passed away when she was just four years old.  For those of you that didn't read the reports, Paige was SUPER sick this week and the doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis... so I am really interested to see if she can pull tonight off. 
(performance) The song choice was interesting for me at first... but as she got into it, I think it actually worked for her.  She's not going to go the country route... but she did have those semi-yodeling notes in there that actually sounded good.  For being sick, she did a great job.  She hit some big notes and actually hit them pretty accurately.  I would have loved to see how good it could have been if she wasn't sick. Although I still feel like I would have rather seen Katelyn or Lilly in her place, overall this wasn't as big of a trainwreck as I had originally expected.

Aaron Kelly- "Angie":
(video) He's been in lots of talent shows and we learn that Aaron's mom isn't his biological mom.  I have to say that the makeover was good for Aaron!  He looks a bit older and definitely more appealing to the camera.  The fauxhawk is kinda working for him. 
(performance) I'm actually not hating this performance, which is surprising me because he was one of the contestants that I thought deserved the boot last week.  He actually did really well, in my opinion.  The song choice was pretty good and it was in tune, which with those two qualities alone makes it much better than other performances tonight. It may have been a bit safe... but at this point in the game, a safe performance may have been exactly what he needed so I don't necessarily disagree with him for that.  All in all, this was better than expected. 

Crystal Bowersox- "You Can't Always Get What You Want": 
(video)  Crystal started writing music when she was 10 years old?!?  That is awesome.  It makes sense why she is so good now. As we see video of her dad and pictures from her past, you know that Crystal hasn't had an easy life.  This makes her all the more appealing and makes her story of making it to Idol even more endearing.
(performance) I love the look on Crystal's face as she walks down the stage to the microphone.  It is almost as if you can see a thought bubble above her head that says "You people have no idea what is about to hit you after all the crap you've heard tonight... I'm about to blow this thing out of the water".  And what can I say other than she did!  There is a reason they keep Crystal to last.  Idol knows that she is the only thing making this somewhat exciting this season.  I mean, can we even consider what this top 12 would look like without her in it?  OMG... it already is the worst top 12 ever, but it would be ATROCIOUS without Crystal.  The thing that makes Crystal better than all the others is that she is very organic.  When other contestants like Lacey and Aaron are practicing each line of the song riff by riff, Crystal just performs and riffs come when they come.  It's natural for her.  I will say right now... that if Crystal doesn't win this season, there is a huge problem with Idol. 


Here is how I rank the contestants after tonight's performances:
1. Crystal Bowersox
2.  Casey James
3.  Michael Lynche
4. Didi Benami
5. Siobhan Magnus
6. Aaron Kelly
7. Paige Miles
8. Katie Stevens
9.  Lee Dewyze
10. Andrew Garcia
11. Tim Urban
12.  Lacey Brown

Elimination predictions:  One thing that makes the top 12 results show a bit more interesting is that we now have the "bottom three" back into play.  During the semi's, the producers could set up the show however they wanted, putting people in what would look like a "bottom two" next to eachother, but if you listened carefully they never actually said it.  So tonight will be the first time when we will actually see who is near the bottom in the polls.  For example, Andrew Garcia made two appearances in the "almost-got-eliminated" spot, but for all we know he could have had more votes than any other guy and Idol is just playing with us.  (Personally I would like to hold out hope that he actually DID have a low amount of votes!)

I think that the bottom three will be interesting tonight.  I think Lacey should and will be there for sure.  The other spots could surprise us.  The next two logical choices would be Paige and Katie.  I think we could see an appearance from either Lee or Tim, but the whole "Vote fot the Cutest" brigade may keep them both safe.  I also wouldn't be surprised if we saw Mike or Didi in the bottom three, only because their performances were very early on in the show, and although in my opinion good, they weren't huge standout performances to make people remember to vote for them.  Personally, I would love to see Andrew in the bottom three.

OK... I'm gonna give this my best shot:  The bottom three will be Lacey, Didi and Andrew.  Lacey will be the one eliminated. 

Overall, tonight was not as much of a trainwreck as I anticipated.  What are your thoughts?

Please vote in my poll below. The widget I use for making the poll only allows 10 choices, so I've removed Crystal and Siobhan from the running because there is 0.000000004 percent chance either of them are going home.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Check out this site!

I love the commentary on Entertainment Weekly's "Idolatry".  Check out this link and watch the 3 videos about last week's eliminations:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/03/14/american-idol-alex-lambert-lilly-katelyn-why/

Friday, March 12, 2010

Really? Seriously? You've got to be kidding, right?

OK readers... I've given myself a few hours to cool off after that episode.  I think if I would have written immediately it wouldn't have been pretty.  I know it's still three weeks before April Fool's Day... but was this a bad joke?  Sheesh... 

Let's start with the few good things that happened last night:

The group number:  Just as I predicted, the Buble` choice was "Haven't Met You Yet:" and it actually wasn't too bad.  Clearly lip synced AGAIN, which I hate... but at least it seemed as if they gave the contestants some lip sync lessons before tonight.  It was a drastic improvement over the "I Gotta Feeling" mess last week.  Plus, I can't help but love it and smile because I just watch Crystal the whole time in the group numbers.  It is obviously so painful and out-of-her-realm to do these cheesy group numbers that it makes it even more entertaining.  I appreciate her faking a smile and making it look like she's actually enjoying it, when deep down inside she's like "give me my friggin' harmonica and guitar and let me be!".

The other good thing was the performance by Matt Giraud and Scott McIntyre.  The two of them performed this duet on the Idols Live Tour last summer and I remember really enjoying it then as well.  A couple notes about it though... if the whole band is wearing sunglasses, can we get an extra pair for Scott please?  He deserves his Ray or Stevie moment.  And also... let's be real about Matt Giraud.  Hearing him tonight makes me realize just how atrocious the guys really are this season.  Matt's vocal skills easily blow every guy from this season out of the water.  And Matt was FOURTH place out of the guys last year... meaning there were (arguably) three guys better than him!  This season really is subpar.  Gosh I hope it gets better!

Now let's move on to the not-so-good things about last night... which were basically the other 90% of the whole show. 

(Let's just pause for a quick reminder of my elimination predictions after the performance shows: Paige, Lacey, Aaron and Andrew.  Ouch.  It pains me to write that again after watching.)

Ryan starts off the eliminations.  We've got 12 empty stools, and the girls are first up.  The first girl Ryan calls to the front of the stage is Didi.  I immediately get a pit in my stomach... because I'm sincerely worried for her.  Ryan and the judges talk about the consistency issue... but Didi has been consistantly good in my opinion!  Obviously America thinks so too because Didi is safe and in the top 12!  YAY!  We are off to a great start!

Siobhan is next.  That feather in her hair is annoying me.  As I said before, she's starting to win me over a bit with her performances but she annoys me when she talks.  It's so awkward that is almost seems fake.  I just want some authenticity!  It's not a surprise that Siobhan is safe.  She takes a seat next to Didi.

Next Ryan calls up Paige and Katelyn.  One is safe and one is going home.  My initial reaction is that this is great!  Katelyn has been one of my favorites so far, and even though her "I Feel The Earth Move" did not really move me... it was WAY better than Paige's "Smile" that made me frown.  Ryan goes to Simon, who says that Paige has the most potential of the two of them.  Really?  Did you hear Katelyn's version of "The Scientist" a week ago?  That was far more impressive than any of Paige's performances thus far.   Ryan finally makes the announcement and Paige is in the top 12.  WHAT?  Really?  After that HORRIBLE performance on Tuesday?  It really was the worst of the whole bunch.  I am in shock. 

Of course, as Idol always cruelly does, Katelyn now has to sing the song that essentially got her booted from the show.  Her repeat performance IS a reminder of how bad of a song choice "I Feel The Earth Move" was.  She could have picked SO many other songs and had an easy ride to the top 12.  If she would have done "The Scientist" this week, I don't think we would be seeing her go home. Remember how Simon took credit for Tim doing well this week?  Well I think Simon should take the credit (or in this case, blame) for Katelyn going home!  She specifically said that she was trying to not be "corny" as Simon had called her... and in that process she lost all her self-identity.  She needed to be comfortable being herself, corny or not, and just go with it.  I know that some people really didn't care for her, but I will honestly miss Katelyn.  In fact, I voted for her on Tuesday... that's how much I wanted her to make it through to the top 12.  I was holding out hope that she could really provide us with some momentous performances that would get her far into the show.  She had that cute Kelly Clarkson likeability that drew me in.  Sheesh....

0 for 1.  Good start. 

Now on to the guys first elimination.  Instead of calling them individually, Ryan calls up the entire back row to step forward.  This includes Tim, Todrick, Lee & Casey.   Just great!  My guy predictions will have to be incorrect too because both the guys I said would be eliminated are still sitting on the couch now.  Sheesh.  (I think "sheesh" is the keyword for tonight's episode).

First, Ryan sends Casey to a stool.  Not surprising.  In fact, out of all the guys, I feel that he was the most predictable to move on to the top 12.  Next Ryan talks to Tim, and immediately sends him to safety.  Really?  Does anyone remember "Apologize" the first week?  To think that the guy who did that performance is now in the top 12... that just floors me.  He should have been gone weeks ago.  Thank your mommy and daddy for good genes Tim, because the only thing that got you through is your looks. 

Now we are down to Todrick and Lee.  To me, this is pretty easy to predict.  It's gotta be Todrick. Although I didn't want to see him go tonight, its hard when he is up against Lee who seems to be another leader of the guys pack.  Ryan makes the announcement and I am indeed correct.  Lee is safe and Todrick is going home.  As Todrick sings "Somebody To Love" again, its hard to not think that America even got this one wrong.  Sure, I know he was at the bottom of the pack, but that performance was much more entertaining and impressive than almost all of the other guys performances last night.  At least he showed some life in the performance and moved around the stage.  Tonight, the performance seemed even better than last night.  So again, I am left with a sad feeling.  I think versus all the other vanilla in the guys group, Todrick could have brought something interesting and entertaining.  Do I think he would win the whole show?  No way... but he was good enough to last a little bit longer. 

0 for 2.  Sheesh. 

For the next two eliminations, we see the remaining 4 girls and 4 guys all out on the couches together.  First, Ryan calls up Crystal.  Let's be real.  There's no way she's going home.  Thankfully I am right. Crystal gets a seat on the stools, but doesnt' have an immediate overjoyed-ness about her.  I think maybe the stress of this night is a little much for her.  She's such a sweet person that I think its hard for her to see anyone go.  Still, this girl is more deserving of a place in the top 12 than anyone else in the studio tonight.

Then, Ryan calls up Michael.  Again... let's be real. After last night's performance there is no way he's not moving on.  Again, this is correct.  Ryan makes a jackass move and asks "can you fit on one stool?"  Are you flippin' serious Ryan?  Rude!  Is Idol managed by Southwest Airlines now? 

Ryan then calls Lacey's name.  Really?  She's not in the bottom two?  Well maybe Ryan is just playing with us and will have her sit back down.  I have confidence in that.  He asks her some question about what sort of artist she is or what songs she will sing in the competition.  Lacey responds but all I hear is Charlie Brown's teacher voice... "wah wawah wah wah wahhh"... she keeps talking.  And talking.  And talking.  SHUT UP already!  I didn't like you before and this isn't helping.  Then Ryan tells her to take a seat on the stools.  Ummm... what?  Exsqueeze me?  Baking powder?  Did I just hear that correctly?  Even if you read my review of Tuesday, you'll see that I thought she did pretty good with that performance, but over the three weeks she has been the least impressive of all the girls in my opinion.  Who is voting for her?  (Not Vote For The Worst... they are already responsible for Paige getting through).  Really?  Is there some red-head brigade out there that is trying to get her through?  Wow.  Tonight is effed up. 

Next up is Aaron.  I'm puzzled again.  Why isn't Aaron being left for the final two?  He HAS to be going home out of him, Alex and Andrew... right?  WRONG.  Aaron is sent to safety. 

At this point I feel like I am in some crazy time-warped twilight zone.  This could quite possibly be one of the most unexpected episodes of Idol since Chris Daughtry's elimination. 

We are left with Alex and Andrew for the boys and Katie and Lilly for the girls.  I predicted Andrew to get the boot, so I'm sticking by that.  Out of Katie and Lilly, it HAS to be Katie.  I mean Lilly is one of the frontrunners, right?  Then my mind starts to play tricks with me.  Why would the producers leave Lilly with Katie in the final two if she isn't getting eliminated?  You would think she would have been one of the "for-sures" that Ryan would have just sent to safety and been done with it.  Gosh... my mind is playing so many tricks with me, I'm wondering if I'm caught up in some crazy Shutter Island scenario.  Who knew Idol could play so many psychological games with me?  I'm just a fan of the show!  Leave me alone! 

Ryan brings Alex and Andrew up to the front.  I know Andrew has been a frontrunner since Hollywood Week, but he's really failed to overly impress me in the last three weeks.  I see much more potential in Alex than I do in Andrew.  Ryan gives thier recaps and AGAIN brings up the "Straight Up" performance.  Can one show go by without referring to this?  I'm so over it. 

Ryan makes the announcement.  Andrew is safe and moving on to the top 12.  My stomach turns.  I feel sick for Alex.  As Alex stands on the stage, he starts to tear up and it's breaking my heart!  He makes some reference to him messing up because he didn't have enough confidence.  I hope he doesn't go home with that attitude of blaming himself.  Alex... it was America that messed this one up.  I was really excited to see where Alex could go in this competition.  Just like Ellen said... he was a banana that was beginning to ripen.  Too bad America just threw this banana in the trash!  Errr.....

The show goes to commercial, and when we come back you see half the contestants up on stage still hugging Alex.  Alex turns and looks at the camera and his is a pile of mush.  His eyes are red from crying so hard.  Gosh America.  Really?

0 for 3.  Sheesh.

Finally its Katie and Lilly.  I mean... c'mon.  Katie's got to go.  Although I don't have anything against her, and didn't predict her to leave, when she's up against Lilly, its almost a given.  Kara makes a comment about Lilly knowing who she is but maybe not having as strong a voice, and Katie having a strong voice by not knowing who she is. 

Ryan makes the announcment... and Katie is... SAFE!  REALLY?  Seriously?  You've got to be kidding, right?  Lilly is out of the competition.  This is just insane.  Sure her "I Fall To Pieces" wasn't a #1 hit... but she had Tuesday's pimp-spot and she still didn't make it through?  This is insanity!  Lilly has been a favorite of mine since Hollywood Week... since before we even really knew her name and she was just "the girl with the white hair".  Out of the girls left, she was easily one of the most recognizeable and entertaining.  Sure her vocals may not be like Jennifer Hudson, but she was likable and unique... at least in my opinion. 

Ryan rolls the goodbye video and I am sitting on my couch in utter shock that we are actually watching Katelyn, Todrick, Alex and Lilly's highlights.  This is just insane. 

What is even harder to understand is that we are going to have a top 12 that includes people like Paige, Lacey, Tim, and Aaron??!?  These four should have fallen victim to the semi-finals eliminations.  Taking that one step further and thinking about the Idols Live Tour... this means that at least two out of those four contestants will make it on the tour!!!  And that is if we don't have yet another shocking elimination next week????  Un-flipping-believeable.  I'm already considering not even attending the tour this year.  I would have much rather seen any of tonight's eliminated contestants on tour over Paige, Lacey, Tim or Aaron. 

So I leave tonight's recap with a sense of sadness, frustration and confusion.  I don't understand how that really happened. 

0 for 4.  Sheesh.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ummmm.... WTF America?

I can't even talk about the results tonight just yet...

For real America?