Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top 11 Perform Elton John Classics

Hi Guys!  Remember me??  Sorry for the absence.  I've had a stressful, packed couple of weeks!  In my AI absence, we only had one casualty--Karen left us two weeks ago.  I truly didn't (and still don't) think it was her time yet, but they don't seem to think my vote should trump everyone else's.  I don't get it either.  Last week, Casey received the lowest number of votes somehow, and the judges elected to use their one and only save on him!  His stunned, about-to-throw-up-or-pass-out reaction will be one we'll get to relive and relive and relive like Groundhog's Day throughout the rest of the season.  I'm glad he was saved--it's ludicrous to get rid of him this early in the competition!  With that.....on to the show!

The Top 11 perform Elton John classics!

Across the screen, we read....Hope has been renewed.  But no more second chances.  Maybe getting rid of the "save" this early was a good thing.  We don't have to hear Ryan Seacrest proclaim that someone MAY be leaving us tonight, every week.  Got old quick for me.  Anywho......

The judges come out of the giant garage door.  Randy has gone Johnny Cash on us in his all black ensemble.  Jennifer has on a copper purple one-shouldered sparkly short dress with hula hoops on her ears.  Steven wears a black jacket, white jeans, and a patterned black and white dress shirt.  Ryan wears a navy double breasted suit.  Very dapper.

We take a look at Elton John's variety of schnazzy getups.  This man likes getting his dress-up on.  My favorite were always the glasses.  And that he wore his costumes as if they were perfectly normal, like everyone else had one on too.  That's style!  In honor of the very "stylish" Sir EJ, the kids all get to glam up for a photo shoot. 
They say that for Elton, "Every line counts--evey word means something."

First on stage is Scotty McCreery, wearing a black leather jacket, jeans, a grey tee and boots.  Jimmy the Coach tells us that some people think Scotty is a one trick pony, but Jimmy says that's the best one trick he's seen a 17 year old do!  While coaching Scotty, he calls him a "natural elegance".  Scotty's voice is nice and smooth on "Country Comfort", the one Elton country ditty he could find.  He says, "Love you Grandma" in the middle of the song, and melts the hearts of all the mothers/grandmothers out there.  Good going, scrounging up a new fan base.  The last note is on the bottom of the piano.  He tells us that he's playing his new guitar, "Scarlett".  Randy says that he has seasoned so fast.  Loves how he is so comfortable and in-the-zone.  Good job, Scotty.

Second is Naima Adedapo.  She'll sing a reggae version of "I'm Still Standing" because she says she can relate to the lyric.  Jimmy says that reggae can be hard to keep in tune, but this could be special.  She wears a white and rainbow jumpsuit, red pumps, and far less accessories than usual.  Truthfully, I didn't hate it.  She kind of seemed in her element.  I can see her trying to put something like this out.  Jennifer tells her she thinks this is not a song to mess around with, but agrees that she took it where she wanted to.  Randy thinks it was kind of corny.  Steven entertains us, saying, "Boom-Shaka-Laka, Baby".  He says, "Good for you for picking a song that fits you."

Paul McDonald is up to sing "Rocket Man".  He wows us with his white roses suit again, with a red shirt and black tie.  He says he had to, one more's Elton John week!!  He's on the acoustic guitar, and has some nice moments.  Especially when he goes up to the high note the first time.  He whispers the last few words.  It wasn't too bad.  I'm not a big fan of his, but I liked it almost as much as his "Maggie May".  Steven talks about how it's ok not to hit every note, and that Paul is his cup of tea.  Yeah, I can see that!  Jennifer thinks he's holding back...that he has more to give.  I think that's a good analysis.

Pia Toscano is up next.  Jimmy tells her that she's somewhere between Fergie and Axl Rose (??) and not to worry about Randy's longing for her to sing up-tempo.  As a friend said, "If Scotty can do country every week, and Naima do African dances, Pia can sing ballads!"  She'll sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" wearing a nude/silver sequined short dress with nude platform pumps.  She looks gorgeous.  And when she opens her mouth, daffodils and sunshine come pouring out.  This girl is one to watch!!  She gives a massive run at the end, which I sometimes do NOT enjoy, but hers was amazing.  Steven says she's done it again, and agrees that SOME people (Randy) were wrong about "no ballads".  Jen says she takes us to an other-worldly place.  Randy agrees that she slays ballads every time and that he was not saying don't sing ballads anymore, but that she should switch it up a little.  They all tell her to surprise them next week.

Stefano Langone takes the stage.  Jimmy works his vocal cords to the bone, making him repeat lines in the song "Tiny Dancer" until he got what he wanted.  Stefano wears a grey vest and suit pants over a white unbuttoned dress shirt, and white sneakers.  He pulls off the suit and sneakers combo better than anyone else I've seen!  I'm a big fan of Stefano, and tonight is no different.  I loved it!!  He approaches the judges table at the end to take J-Lo's hand, and Randy attempts interference.  Jennifer likes how he's been taking their critiques and connected more with the audience.  Randy liked the money notes and tells him he's "right on!"

The sweet Southern Belle, Lauren Alaina is our half way point tonight.  Jimmy says her voice plays well to Elton John.  She sings "Candle in the Wind" wearing a black sequined short dress, wrapped by a taffeta black train.  Her hair is wavy, and she has long drop earrings.  She reminds me of Olivia Newton John when she started out.  Young, 70's country...gorgeous her perfectly.  Steven says, "I've loved you since the moment you laid eyes on me."  (!!)  He also tells her that if she keeps singing like that, she'll be able to afford the rest of her dress.  (!!!)  Love some Steven Tyler.  Jen says that this is the first time that eveyone in America got to hear what they heard at the first audition.  Randy says that it was one of the greatest Lauren Alaina songs--very pro--very hot!

James Durbin sings "Saturday Night's Alright" wearing a short sleeve back graphic tee, ripped black jeans, a scarf, chains, and a leather vest.  His hair is 10 feet high.  During his performance, he tosses the mic stand, does a great herky (sp??) off the piano, and they set the red piano on fire.  Good job pyrotechnic team!  Oh, and he sounds good, too.  Jennifer tells him it's like a full performance.  She forgets it's a competition show when he sings.  Randy likes how much he enjoys himself.  James tells Ryan about the fire, "I didn't want to have a"Pepsi" moment.  Ryan reminds him that the show is sponsered by Coke.  Oops!

Thia Megia is up next.   We learn that her brother is named Clia Megia.  Hmmm.  She will sing "Daniel".  Jimmy tells her that we have to believe her in this song.  She says she can relate to it because her brother went away when she was young to college.  She wears a short white, belted lace one-shouldered dress.  Still no color.  She does seem more connected to this song, and to the audience.  I still think she's pretty amazing for 16.  Jennifer likes this place in her voice, and how she internalized the words.  Steven says she sang a great EJ song well.  Randy thinks she is still playing safe, but liked it.

A newly trimmed Casey Abrams takes the stage.  Thank goodness.  Jimmy tells him to change everything.  He'll be singing "Your Song", one of my favorites.  It's just Casey on a stool and the piano.  He wears a grey suit, a striped button down over a black tee.  The performance is controlled and subdued. Still Casey, but calmer.  They all congratulate themselves for saving him.  Randy calls it brilliant and tender.  Steven likes how he is different every time.  Hopefully, he'll get the votes this week. 

Next up is Jacob Lusk to sing "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word".  He gets a thrilling surprise visit from Mary J. Blige, one of the artists who covered that song.  Jimmy advises him to not over-dramatize the song.  Jacob??  Over-dramatize??  I'd be so shocked.  There must have been a sale on grey suits over the weekend, because Jacob has one too.  He only wears the coat, though, with black dress slacks, a black dress shirt, an untied red bowtie and his red hanky.  I liked him better tonight than in the past few weeks.  He stayed on key, pared down the runs.  He makes some creepy faces tonight though.  Thought he got Bells Palsy there for a minute.  Steven loved it.  Jennifer says you don't see that last note everyday.  (?)  And Randy wanted him to hit the modulation harder.  Still not a fan, but I don't think I'm in the majority yet.

Haley Reinhart gets the pimp-spot.  Jimmy wants her to bring all of the parts of Haley that we've seen (moves, tone and style) together at once.  She sings "Bennie and the Jets" while laying. then sitting on the piano wearing a cute floral green and purple low cut sleeveless dress.  This was a great song for her!  The B-B-B-'s of the chorus were a little Buh-Buh-Buh for me, but that's my only complaint.  The judges loved it, and I'm glad to hear them give her props instead of tearing her down this week.  Randy declares it the best performance of the night!!  Steven simply says, "You.  Sing.  Sexy."  That's all there is to say, then, huh?  :)

Well, tomorrow night we lose 2 of them.  Who is it going to be??  I don't even know if I can predict, but I'll go out on a limb and say Thia and Paul may be done.  We'll see very soon!!

Til then~That's All I Know!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AI--Songs From the Year You Were Born, Or Songs From Birthyears Guaranteed to Make Me Feel Old

Hello Again Everyone!  We get started tonight with the judges and Ryan telling us that they (and we) will be giving to Japan and the victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami.  Nice.  And, This. Is. American Idol.

Tonight we'll take a journey to visit the parents of each contestant, see baby pictures of them, and here how they've been singing since they could breathe.  Cute. 

First up, Naima Adedapo.  She will be singing Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" from 1984, wearing another Naima creation, complete with hair feathers, bib necklace, coin belt, scarf bracelet.....  I like jewelry and accessories as much as the next person, but girlfriend wears more on stage than I wear in a week!  A few seconds in, and I'm thinking this is not good.  It doesn't get better.  Steven must've been getting a drink, because he says he liked it!  Jennifer agrees with me though, and tells her that one pitchy week, she could give her a pass for, but two, not so much.  I think Naima's time may have run out.

Paul McDonald and his chompers are next, with a song from his birth year, also 1984.  He chooses Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", wearing a grey suit, floral shirt, and bolo.  It's ok, but I'm pretty sure I don't like him on anything except Rod Stewart.  Maybe Brian Adams??  Next week he should try "All For Love", by both of them (and Sting)!  My favorite part of Paul's performances is how he stumbles around the stage a la Captain Jack Sparrow.  I've thought it every week, but don't remember if I've mentioned it yet.  ;)   Jen blames his bad notes on a sinus infection. Randy likes that he put a "Paul-Spin" on it. Steven also forgives his off notes and says he defines” a cool dude and loose mood”.  That's just what we were thinking, ST.

1995 is the year that brought us Thia Megia.  Dude.  She will sing Disney's Pocohontas theme song, "Colors of the Wind".  Being a huge Disney music fan, I say YEA!!  She wears a very long mesh-looking nude colored flowy dress.  Pretty, but we gotta get this girl in some color!!  She opts for champagne, nude, beige and white a little much for my tastes.  I like the song, and I like her singing it.  Randy says he's bored, but I disagree.  I have a feeling America will agree with me. :)

Next is James Durbin, and his year....1989.  He'll sing "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi.  He wears a black leather jacket, khaki t-shirt and black pants, and his usual great accessories, including custom-made studded boot covers, and his tail.  James is quite pitchy.  I even liked the effort the first time around, but in listening to it again, heard a LOT more wonky notes.  He's better than that.  I don't know if it was the fact that he jumped around the stage the whole time?  Come on, James.....loved you last week, bring it back next week.  Steven warns James not to get too "pop-py".  I don't think we need to worry about that.  Randy mentions the pitchiness, but liked it overall.

Haley Reinhart steps up to the plate, singing "I'm Your Baby Tonight" by Whitney Houston, circa 1990.  She looks cute in a red blouse and black hot pants & heels.  She also has wicked red lips, which cause her troubles later when she wears it on the rest of her face.  Doh!  I liked the song ok, but the judges did not. Randy is still confused by the fact that she chooses Alicia Keys, Leanne Rimes, and now, Whitney.  Since they pick from a list, and all these ladies were on the list, I don't get the confusion. He's not saying that she shouldn't sing these people's songs, just that they are different.  She has already been in the bottom three, and it wasn't a stellar performance, so I think she could be on the Stool of Shame again. 

Next we go to 1989 with Stefano Langone, singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Simply Red or Teddy Pendergrass.  Great choice for him, and I like the Irish nod this week.  He wears a black suit, white high tops, a pink untucked button down over a white tee.  Randy and I both think this is the best of the night, telling him he "slayed it".  Jen says he "could take this thing". I'm glad for him--good kid!

Pia Toscano takes us back to 1988 (the year I graduated from high school!!) to sing Whitney's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go".  Whitney WAS everywhere in the late 80's, so we can't be too surprised hearing another of her songs.  At least Pia can most likely do it justice.  She does a dance mix version of the song, and looks gorgeous in her white shiny off the shoulder jumpsuit, turquoise necklace and ring, and long wavy hair.  She has a terrific full voice in her high notes.  Very good sound, and at least ties Stefano for the best of the night.  Randy says Pia is "IN IT TO WIN IT!"  It's a little early to call, though, Randy!

"Can I Trust You With My Heart" by Travis Tritt is Scotty McCreery's choice from 1992.  He has yet to stray from his country ways, but I guess he needs to stay within his preferred genre while he can!  He is cool and casual in boots, jeans, caramel suede jacket, and a light blue button down shirt.  His sound is good, as usual, and the girls in the audience really seem to like him.  One really nice high note at the end solidified his performance.  Judges liked him too.

Karen Rodriguez is next up, singing Taylor Dayne's "Love Will Lead You Back", a personal favorite from that year.  She has a Marge Simpson-esque bun on her head, and wears a Star Trek Next Generation short black and white dress with black knee-high boots. 

Crazy, but I kinda like it.  Looks a lot like our Latina judge tonight, if you ask me!  I think Karen does well with this number, and I think she'll survive this week.  Steven says he likes her "Ethnic What-It-Is-Ness."  Oh, Steven, you are a keeper. 

Casey Abrams will entertain us with Nirvana's 1991 hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit", playing bass guitar.  He wears a Khaki green jacket over a lavendar tee & loose tie, and dark jeans.  I love the green and yellow lights on stage that give an electric eery feeling. 

Even though we hear more of his low register than normal, J-Lo points out that he is a little "screechy-screamy".  I agree with her, but I generally liked the performance.  Steven says he has the "goop" that great stuff is made from.

Lauren Alaina wears a mask over her nose & mouth because she has the flu.  She'll be singing "The Only One" from 1994 Melissa Etheridge.  Honestly, this is the best Lauren has sung since Hollywood week, even with the flu, so I'm excited for her.  She looks darling in fringy camel suede boots, jeans, a white top & sparkly tan jacket.  She is in surprisingly good voice, and the judges all like it.  Jen says she stays true to the flavor of the song, but makes it her own.  Randy tells her she should have a cold every week!

1987 is Jacob Lusk's birth year, so he will sing "Alone" by Heart.  I haven't heard a male version of "Alone" before, but Jacob is just the man to pull it off.  And I would be wrong.  Kinda hated it.  Didn't like him last week, and didn't like him this week.  The judges, however, heard a completely different song than I did, because they LOVED it.  ??????????  Steven says gospel had a baby and named it Jason Jacob.  I'm sorry, but Steven needs to spend more time in church.  For many reasons, but one is that there is actual talent there.  Jacob doesn't do it for me, and I would be fine if he sat in a Stool of Shame this week.  Ah, well.

Favorites this week--Thia, Stefano, Pia, Scotty, Karen, Lauren

Only ok for me this week--Paul, James, Haley, Casey

Didn't do it for me AT ALL--Naima, Jacob

Well, what did you think?  Do we agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

That's All I Know!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

13 Becomes 12 - A Quickish Summary

Ok, so the show was finally only an hour.  So, since they cut it quick, so will I!  You're welcome.

Ryan tells us that 30 million votes came in.  Also, the judges will use the Idol Save again.  It can be used to veto America's poor judgement one time between contestant #13 and #6.  Once we get down to 5 kiddos, the Save cannot be used if it hasn't already.  It was inacted a few seasons ago in case we ever overlook someone like what happened to Chris Daughtry the year he should've won.

After showing us the Idol Mansion the kids will live in, we start the GROUP SONG.   You either love it, or you hate it.  I usually love it.  Michael Jackson is featured.  The boys and girls dance and lip-sync their way through MJ's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "Rock With You", "Black or White", and "Man in the Mirror".  Most of the solos are good, save for one by Stefano that was a little wonky.  Good compilation.

Next is the Ford Commercial.  This time we focus on.......the Ford Focus.  Cute vid.  It can be seen on the website, if you'd like.  The kids are peeling-off and rolling-on wallpaper, creating a stage for them to sing on.  All the while, driving around in gold, red and white Ford Focuses. 

Last of the fluff, we see the gang go to the premiere of Amanda Seyfried's "Red Riding Hood". 

Now, DIM THE LIGHTS.  Here we go.

Karen is the first contestant to move to the STOOL OF SHAME.  Jacob and Stefano are safe.

Adam Lambert sings his new song, "Aftermath".  This is an acoustic version.  With the exception of one obnoxious run, I liked it.  He says a dance mix of the song is available also, and proceeds go to the Trevor Project and It Gets Better Campaign. 

Ryan gets Lauren Alaina to apologize and cry over her performance last night, before sending her back to the couches, safe.

The other two girls on the stage, Ashthon and Haley, are the other two sent to the STOOLS OF SHAME.  Ryan declares that everyone else is SAFE.  Ok, weird.  But, good for them. 

Diddy Dirty Money is performing next, featuring Skyler Grey.  I like Skyler, but I can pass on the DDM part, especially Ms. Black and her funky-hair-a, and Ms. White's straight-jacket dress.  No words.  P-Diddy does his thang, and he gives advice to the kids. 

FINALLY: Dim the Lights!
Karen, you are here for another week.
The one who may be eliminated tonight is.......Ashthon.  Haley is safe. 
Ashthon sings the Diana Ross song from last night, but it falls short and the judges do not use the Save on her. 
Ashthon sees her goodbye video, and the tears flow.

So, was your favorite spared??  Or was your money on Ashthon??  Tune in next week to see the kids, and then come here for the wrap-up.  Thanks for stopping by!!

That's All I Know!


American Idol Lucky 13

Here we are with the Lucky 13 American Idol contestants, now vying for the Top 12 slots!  Judges and Ryan take their places, and we jump in with both feet.

Lauren Alaina is their first offering tonight.  She is singing Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine", dressed in black jeans, a belted seafoam green ruffly top with large stones, huge white hoop earrings, and cutie-patootie ballet flats.  She is decidedly country again this week (a surprise, no??), and it fits her youth and personality.  Again, we are used to thinking of her as a sultry, rockish sort of sound, so it's strange to see her peg herself as a country girl, but if this is the way she ends up going, I think she could live in the KellyClarksonMeetsRebaMcIntyre world.  The judges are confused, and want the old Lauren back. 

Casey Abrams is up next with Joe Cocker's version of "A Little Help From My Friends".  He is wearing a black leather jacket, black pants, and a white graphic tee.  He has a silver chain hanging from a button on his jacket to a button on his hip pocket.  He is wonderful, attacking the song as usual.  He has my vote, and no way is he going anywhere after this performance.  Steven says he is a Rainbow of Talent and a Plethora of Passion.  Love it.

Ashthon Jones sings "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" by Diana Ross.  She is wearing a silver one-shoulder hugging floor length dress, with huge silver hoop earrings.  Hair is good and big.  Her song is nice, but a little rocky at the start; too big for her, IMO.  It doesn't help that I'm not familiar with the song.  If the rest of America doesn't connect with it either, this could hurt her.  Jennifer says she has confidence in her, Randy is worried for her, and Steven calls her a real professional & amazing.

We call Paul McDonald up next, who is singing "Come Pick Me Up" by Ryan Adams.  I've heard of the guy, but don't know the song.  Again.  I hope they don't pull out unfamiliar stuff all through the season.  I'm a snob...I like to sing along.  Paul is wearing a black military suit with thick red piping, a red shirt and black tie.  His style remains the same as we've seen him before.  At least we can say he knows what kind of artist he is going to be.  His Elaine Benes moves around the stage are hard for me to watch.  I think this is a guy that I will only like with certain songs.  Jennifer says she likes to watch the audience while he's performing because they "get it".  Randy says it wasn't the most exciting song.

Next, we'll hear from Pia Toscano, who sings Celine Dion's version of "All By Myself".  She wears a gorgeous gold, one-shoulder short dress with a long peach satin train.  Her long wavy hair is down.  What a powerful, full voice!  Wow!  Jennifer shakes her head and tells Pia she has left her speechless.  Randy reminds us that no one should tackle Whitney, Celine or Mariah (the big 3), but that Pia has that quality.  Says her notes are dead on.

James Durbin is up with "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney.  Oh, you have my attention.  This is one of my favorites!  If you have never heard the Bryan Duncan version of this song, look it up.  Mmmm-hmmm.  Oh yeah...James.  He is wearing black jeans, white tee, burgundy/black vest, wallet chain, cross earring, and black scarf.  Missing is the tail.  I'll admit, it was a bit shaky at first, but he got in the sweet spot, and was right on.  His upper register is to die for.  The ending subdued.  Yep.  Randy says "First Judas Priest, now you slay Paul McCartney."  Calls him "dangerous".  Steven says "If there was a ever a review to say about you, you just sang it!"  Yep.

Haley Reinhart is taking on "Blue" by Leanne Rimes, wearing a deep "V" navy ruffly long dress with huge tassle earrings.  She has vocal acrobatics this week that really work.  I like her ability to change genres, but sing with the same feeling.  Jennifer likes that America is getting to know her now.  She's unique and special.  Randy says there were good parts, but it was boring and sleepy.  Neh.

As soon as Jacob tells us he will be singing R. Kelly, we know we're in for the Space Jam wonder, "I Believe I Can Fly".  Not a fan.  Jacob is wearing a grey suit, red pocket hanky, stud earrings and a red & white checked tie.  He starts out in a different key than the band is playing.  Interesting choice.  A choir in blue robes joins him, and he finds the band's key.  Whew.  My ears were bleeding.  His last high note was the only redeeming quality in my mind.  The judges disagreed with me completely.  Randy called it "pitchy in the middle" but everything else was great!  Uh hun.  We heard different performances, for sure.

Thia Megia comes up with Michael Jackson's "Smile" next.  Unfortunately, she calls the songs originator Charlie Chapman.  Close.  :)  She is wearing a cool graduated white and grey dress, belted with a black bow ribbon, and black heels.  She starts in strong controlled voice, and adds a beat to it after the first verse.  It's pretty good and different.  The judges liked the beginning a lot more than the middle to end.  Jennifer tells her that her strength is in her angelic voice. 

In between singers, Steven Tyler shows us his "Biggest Fan".  It's a big fan.  Hehehe.  :)

Ryan calls Stefano Langone to the stage.  Stefano will sing "Lately" by Stevie Wonder.  He is in a black leather jacket with grey sleeves, a light blue button down, loose plaid tie, black pants and hightop sneakers.  He has the teeniest-tiniest little soul patch under his bottom lip.  He has one of my favorite performances of the night.  He is great voice.  Randy says that he slayed it.  Steven loves the arrangement.  Go Stef.

Karen Rodriguez is up with Selena's "I Could Fall in Love".  Her earrings are monsters; very cool silver 8s with stones hanging from them.  Her hair is in a severe ponytail, she has a large cuff bracelet, and a black sequined jumpsuit a la Selena that she designed!  Jennifer starts her critique with the kiss of death:  you look beautiful.  Uh oh.  Yeah, the judging went down from there.  I worry for her.

Scotty McCreery will bring us Garth Brooks' "The River".  I am not a big country fan, and don't know much by GB at all, but I gather that this is a biggy in the C & W world.  Scotty is wearing jeans, a chambray button down with fleur de lis pattern, and his cross necklace.  His signature country sound is undeniable.  I maintain that he is not long unemployed.  Randy agrees with me, saying he could put that on a record now.  Scotty says "What's a record??"  JK.....He's young, remember??  Steven says he is riding high and did Garth proud.

Last is Naima Adedapo and her ghetto-fabulous outfit.  Words really fail to describe the mess she was wearing.  She sings Rhianna's "Umbrella", which I am a fan of.  We are not big fans of Naima's "Umbrella", though.  She hip-hop dances around the stage pretty well, but it leaves her too out of breath to do any of the singing afterward.  This is probably why most of our singers stand still.  I know it's why I stand still.  :)  Randy gives out the most "Yo's" I have recorded so far, but I don't remember if there were any other words in there.  Jen says she's got fire, girl.  She also tells her she needs to work on her control.  I agree.  I think she can do better than this, but expect she'll be around to get another chance. 

My ratings........

Top marks to --- Casey, Lauren, Pia, James, Stefano, Scotty

Meh --- Haley, Thia, Karen, Naima

Could do without (at least tonight) --- Ashthon, Paul, Jacob

That's All I Know!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Your American Idol Top 13!

You can cut the tension with a knife!  Tonight, we are letting up to 12 kids go at once. 

We see the Semi-Circle Couch of Grace on stage left, while the boys and girls are separated on stools. 

The judges are introduced, and Ryan chit-chats with them about what we should expect tonight.  America has voted for the Top 5 boys and the Top 5 girls.  The judges will then have some of the leftovers "sing for their lives".  Apparently, if you are not chosen by America or the judges, you will be executed out back at the end of the show by the producers.  Alrighty-then.

Dim the Lights, and away we go!

Scotty McCreery and Robbie Rosen are called up first.  Ok, I'm already on edge.  They can't give 2 spots away bang, zoom, right off the bat.  So, that means someone I like is already on the chopping block!  Stress, people.  Roll footage on both of their journeys thus far, and Scotty is told he is safe, and he moseys over to the Couch of Grace.   Robbie has not made the Top 10.  Boo. 

Jordan Dorsey, Clint Jun Gamboa and Jovany Barreto are finding out their fate next.  Jordan and Clint are told..........that karma sucks and they are not in America's Top 5 boys.  !!  Jovany is also not joining Scotty on the Couch.  They all have the chance to be saved by the judges in a bit, though. 

We leave the boys, and go to the girls.  Roll footage on their journeys with AI.  Pia Toscano and Lauren Alaina are up.  They were given Pimp Spots, being last and next to last.  They have both been heavily focused on in early shows.  Lauren Alaina is our first girl in the Top 5!  Pia joins her on the Couch, because she has made America's cut also! 

Next, Ryan calls on Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Julie Zorilla.  Both had wonky performances this week....I don't think it looks good for either one.  This is the end of the line for both of them.

Kendra Chantelle, Ashthon Jones, and Karen Rodriguez come centerstage.  Ashthon is told she is not in the Top 10.   Karen Rodriguez has made it to the Couch!  America has not chosen Kendra...she scoots back to the stools. 

Back to the boys.  Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, and Tim Halperin come up.  I don't think we have any surprises here.  Jacob & Casey are AI darlings already, and Tim was pretty forgettable in comparison this week.  Casey and Jacob are IN the top 10!  Sadly, Tim is told he is not. 

Flip flopping again back to the girls, Naima Adedapo, Lauren Turner and Thia Megia join Ryan.  I loved all of these, but we are running out of places.  Naima and LT are not in the Top 5 girls.  Thia is in though!  She joins the others on the Couch.

Next up for the guys are Brett Loewenstern and Paul McDonald.  These two were about equal in my book.  Brett is a young cutie, with a lot of personality and sparkle.  Paul is a seasoned vet in Nashville with a completely different style than we have seen here.  Paul is IN and Brett is OUT.

Last for the girls, we hear the fate of Haley Reinhart and Rachel Zevita.  Haley has the best hair, but is that enough to keep her in the competition?  And my son likes Rachel's sound a lot.  We will be seeing more of Haley!  Rachel is not in the Top 10.  Sorry, CJ. 

Last two boys, James Durbin and Stefano Langone await their fate.  Only one spot remains, and both of these boys deserve it.  James joins the other 9 on the Couch of Grace.  Stefano has not made America's Top 10. 

The judges would like to hear from 6 of our performers. 

They choose Ashthon first, and she decides to sing Jennifer Hudson's "And I Am Telling You".  Randy says he feels her passion.  Steven Tyler says she brought it.

Stefano is next, and he sings " I Need You Now" by Smokie Norful.  Jen says, "You have me shaking up did very well."

Kendall Chantelle is chosen next, and she repeats "Georgia On My Mind".  Randy tells her that it started slow, but you rocked it at the end."

Jovany takes the stage, and sings "Angel" by Jon Secada, in English and Spanish.  Jen says he did a good job, and did all he could do.

Naima comes up next, and sings "For All We Know" by Bill Evans.  She breaks down at the end, almost too emotional to finish the song.  Steven says, "You came from deep down inside; you brought it to me."

Robbie Rosen is the final one chosen to "sing for his life".  He chooses "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" by Elton John.  Randy tells him that it was very nicely done.  He says that this is so hard tonight.

After the break, and J-Lo's new video premiere, we hear the fate of the six who performed for the last places on the Couch. 

The judges seem to debate right up until the moment they revealed who they'd chosen.  They decide on Ashthon, Stefano and Naima to join the 10 on the couches. 

So, this is our Top 13 on American Idol:
Ashthon Jones
Casey Abrams
Haley Reinhart
Jacob Lusk
James Durbin
Karen Rodriguez
Lauren Alaina
Naima Adedapo
Paul McDonald
Pia Toscano
Scotty McCreery
Stefano Langone
and Thia Megia

Can't wait for next week! 

That's All I Know!!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Idol Girls Night

After an exciting night for the boys, it's time to see what the girls have to offer!  Let's jump in!

First on stage, Ta-Tynisa Wilson singing "Only Girl (In the World)" by Rhianna.  She's wearing a cute, flouncy zebra print dress, complete with petticoat and white shoes and jewelry.  In my opinion, she is shaky, sharp and pitchy throughout.  Not a fan of this performance.  J-Lo and Steven Tyler are fans, and love her for it.  Randy is the voice of reason, and agrees with me that this wasn't a good opening. 

Naima Adedapo (winner of coolest last name) is next, singing an upbeat jazzy version of Ella Fitzgerald's "Summertime".  We are told that she designed, but did not sew, her canary yellow dress with bell sleeves, white lace at the neck and a train.  Her dreads are pulled to one side, and held with a flower.  When she turns around, we are treated to a massive colored back tat.  The song is great for her, style and voice!  With a surprise ending note, she solidified the judges praise.  Jennifer tells her she is an "exotic flower" in a garden.  Naima is thrilled and tells her that her name means "exotic flower".  Good call Jen!!  The boys agree that she nailed it, and I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing more of her.

Kendra Chantelle steps up to sing "Impossible" by Christina Aguilera.  She's in all black leather and silver chains, with wavy blonde hair.  She has a good range, and successfully pulls off loads of runs.  Her upper notes are a bit shrill for me though.  Could've done without those.  I seem to remember thinking that back in Hollywood, though.  I think shrill must be a trademark of hers.  The judges are very pleased with the performance--telling her she is hot, the whole package, a fighter, and just scratching the surface.  Randy even compares her to Lauryn Hill. 

Next quarter starts with Fiona Apple's "Criminal" sung by Rachel Zevita.  This is our girl who tried out a few years ago singing opera for the judges.  I don't understand anyone auditioning with songs that are clearly out of the genres that AI caters to.  Have you heard opera on the show before?  Then why bring it to your tryout?  Anyway......Rachel tosses off her black cape to reveal her red & black slinky dress, black and jewel bracelets.  She throws the mike stand to the ground and prances around the stage.  She's very into it, but the judges aren't feeling it.  Steven calls her Broadway-ish and Jennifer asks her who she really wants to be.  She has some talent, but I don't think she's found her way yet.

Karen Rodriguez takes the stage with a Spanish/English version of "Hero" by Mariah Carey.  Her 70's retro teal, one shoulder drapy dress looked great, complete with large hoop earrings and volumized hair.  She has great modulations and really connects to her song and her audience.  I like the emotion that her voice exhibits.  She says, "Love you, Mama" as she finishes.  So sweet.  The judges are equally impressed, and she's not going anywhere.

Big-haired Lauren Turner is next, singing "Seven Day Fool" by Etta James.  I'ts not a familiar song, and I hope that doesn't hurt her.  She's wearing a silver and black sparkly dress with a black belt, black tights & shoes.  She wears big black chandelier earrings and bangles on her wrists.  She has a robust alto voice, and I love it!  She moves, she has soul and I wanna hear more.  The panel loves her.  Steven says she is a perfect, full, complete sentence.  Great description of her!

Diana Ross Ashthon Jones takes the mike with "Love Over Me", a very risque Monica song.  Her hair is wider than she is, a very cool trick!  She has on a denim bustier, black leggings, beaded necklace and cool multi-finger ring.  She exudes attitude.  She has great vocal control.  Nice.  Randy thinks she could do something bigger, and wasn't crazy about the song-choice.  Jen and Steven enjoyed it.

Beautiful Julie Zorrilla comes out to sing Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway".  She's wearing Skater Barbie's white beaded short dress with a bib jeweled necklace and platform wedges.  I love this song & have high hopes!  Unfortunately, I was not impressed.  The judges really tear her up, all agreeing that this song was not right for her.  Bummer.  I think she has a stronger voice and more personality than she showed tonight, and I think she is in trouble.

Haley Reinhart is next with Alicia Keys' "Fallin".  I'm totally jealous of her perfect spiral perm.  She's in a little black dress with gold racer stripes on the sides, black pumps, huge long black earrings and a very cool square gold ring.  She kind of copies Alicia in her runs, but makes the song her own overall.  Good.  J-Lo tells her she has different colors in her voice.  Randy doesn't like it--calls it "karaoke".  Haley is shocked.  I am too.....not karaoke, as far as I'm concerned!  Steven comes back with "If I agreed with you, then we'd both be wrong!"  Love that guy.

Youngest contestant, Thia Megia, takes the mike to sing "Out Here On My Own" by Irene Cara from Fame.  Her champagne colored ruffly dress is awesome!  She starts the song a capella.  Amazing.  I am a fan.  She has such a rich tone.  So strong.  The judges are wowed, and we all can't wait to hear more from her in this competition.

Reba McIntire's "Turn on the Radio" is to be sung by Lauren Alaina.  She's the only contestant dressed casually, in jeans, a sparkly black shrug, black boots, and a heart graphic tee.  She looks young and cute, and confident.  She turns a country tune into a pop/rock sensation.  She is the bomb.  We all know the trio love her, as she's been a show-favorite throughout, and the love-fest continues. 

Last is Pia Toscano, singing "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders, one of my all-time favorite songs!!!  She looks great in a sequined black sheath dress, cinched in at the waist, black hose & heels.  She owns it.  Way to go!  Strong vocal, ending on a full-voice high "oo".  Impressive.  She gets a standing ovation for her efforts.  Obviously, we don't worry about Ms. Toscano!

Well, there you have it.  We've heard from the boys and the girls, and now America will decide who gets to stay, who gets to go on tour this summer, and ultimately, who is our Season 10 American Idol!  Happy voting & I'll break down the Results Show next time. 

That's All I Know!!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Idol--Top 12 Guys Take the Stage!

We’re finally here!  The real stage, the backup singers, the audience, Steven’s bleep cover on a stick!  So exciting!!  
Tonight is guys’ night.  The top 12 male choices from all that America could offer.  Well, almost.  We lost some fabulous talent in Hollywood week that made these 12 decisions highly questionable.  If the likes of Brett, Jordan, Clint, Tim, etc. don’t bring it tonight…..  we’ll REALLY question the dismissal of Jacee Badeaux and Chris Medina.
First up is Clint Jun Gamboa with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious”.  Clint is channeling Harry Potter this week.  I have a feeling we’ll see a plethora of eyewear, a la Danny Gokey from him this season.  He’s wearing jeans, fun red sneakers, a plaid shirt, and a jacket made of combination leather and fabric.  He sounds pretty good.  I’d say going first on the first real night would be quite nerve-wracking, but I think he got passed his jitters pretty quickly, and had a solid performance.  Judges seemed to like it….Steven said “Beautiful.  Started and ended strong, brilliant, nice going.”  Randy and Jennifer both agreed. 
I wonder if America will remember the performance.  And, will they forget his actions in Hollywood week?  We’ll see. 
Next, we have Jovany Barreto singing “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain.  He is wearing a gray jean/gray vest combo over a white shirt with a couple of button undone.  Looked nice, but he could’ve gone shirtless and picked up a few more votes, methinks.  Another solid performance.  Nothing to write home about, but no problems either.  What a smile.  Two of the judges liked this one as well.  They seem to be easing the contestants into the critiquing process.  Randy says, “I hate to be the one to break up the apple cart”.  Huh?  Mixing some metaphors, are we?  He says it was just ok.  We feel the same about your grasp of the English language.  Doh!
Overly confident Jordan Dorsey takes the mike in black pants, a royal blue tee, and suspenders that are revealed when he strips off the military jacket.  He sings “OMG” by Usher.  Jordan would be the one who made group members audition to be in his group in Hollywood.  I’d say we should expect a lot.  We are collectively not impressed.  Steven says, “You have moves, but it wasn’t my favorite performance of yours.”  Jennifer concurs with, “I’m not sure who you really are.”  I think we may not see much more of Jordan’s big head if he doesn’t choose songs that are better suited to his voice, because he does have a nice sound in certain genres.  He needs to stick with those, though.
Tim Halperin sings Rob Thomas’ “Street Corner Symphony/Come On Over” wearing a layered look of tee shirt, button down, and a blazer with cute whiskery jeans and a chain that may or may not have a pocket watch attached at the end.  I remember being very impressed with him at the piano in a duet with a girl at the end of Las Vegas week.  Unfortunately, this song doesn’t do justice for his style or voice.  Ugh.  I wish he would’ve chosen better.  The judges agree that this wasn’t his night.  I hope he can live through this one!
Brett Loewenstern’s hair takes the stage, looking more kempt than usual, wearing a gray outfit with Mister T’s Silver Collection around his neck.  As he begins to sing The Doors “Light My Fire”, his hair flips to and fro.  Randy says he had someone counting 14 hair flips during the song.  Impressive!  I actually liked his take on The Doors, and thought it was a good fit.  Randy tells him he was a bit pitchy, but all other comments were positive.  I’m glad he did well…we all like the kid at my house.
Current rocker, James Durbin is up next.  He’s got his spiky faux-hawk, many bracelets, jeans, gray tee, denim shirt-jacket rolled up to show yellow sleeves underneath, and a tail coming from under the back of his shirt.  Nice.  James sings Judas Priest’s “You Got Another Thing Coming”.  A first appearance for Judas Priest, I believe.  He rocks it like a good rocker should, and the judges and America are equally awed.  Son, CJ hopes he is not a one-trick pony, but time will tell.  For now, I think we’ll see more of James and his tail. 
Robbie Rosen sings Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of An Angel”, a song I normally pass on because of it’s link to dying animals.  But, interestingly enough, Robbie changes it enough for the good that I hardly recognize the song.  Even with that, I’ve heard him a lot stronger than tonight.  I don’t think he’s in trouble, but I think he’s a lot better than this.  Steven and Jen like it, but Randy agrees with me.  Weird.  I do hope we get to hear more from him.
Country star in the making (and I mean soon), Scotty McCreery takes the stage to sing John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters From Home”.  I am not familiar with the song because I don’t listen to much country, but Scotty is the bomb.  Good voice, cute kid; he will be snatched up to Nashville before most of us hit the pool this year.  The judges adore him, and we don’t worry about his fate in this comp at all.
Stefano Langone is next.  This is just a likeable guy.  He wears a red v-neck tee with a black leather jacket and black jeans.  He sings “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.  This is the most current song, and he does a great job with it!  One wonky note, but a good effort overall.  The trio like him, and he’s told that he could be on the radio.  Good for him—I like him.
Established Nashville vocalist, Paul McDonald takes the mike in all black.  He becomes Rod Stewart before our very eyes, with his version of “Maggie May”.   Funny enough, to watch him, he staggers around the stage like Captain Jack Sparrow.  A strange one, he is.  He is called quirky, unique, joyful and a character by the judges.  All in all, I think he’s good to go for now.
The two we have all been waiting for are saved for last.
Jacob Lusk is dressed for church in his navy suit, pink plaid tie, and paisley pocket handkerchief.   He belts out Luther Vandross’ “House is Not a Home” as only Jacob Lusk can.  The guy has chops.  I was happy that he toned it down from what we saw in Las Vegas.  While extremely good, he was quite over the top for me in Vegas.  All three judges are at his feet again, and Jacob is not worried about his standing with American Idol.
Last tonight is Casey Abrams with "I Put a Spell on You", by Jay Hawkins and a host of other people.  Personally, I like the Bette Midler version from “Hocus Pocus”, circa 1993.  He’s wearing a suit coat over a gray button up shirt, over a tee with dark pants.  Casey is a dream.  He reminds me of a friend from high school—amazing talent!  My favorite of his was when he played the bass in Hollywood, but he gives it his all in each performance!  Love him.  The judges love him too, and Jen calls him SEXY.  Probably made his year!
Well, that’s it for the guys…tomorrow night, the girls.  Can’t wait!
That’s all I know!