American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Week Night Two

6 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nWhen last night’s episode ended, Gabby Zonneveld had a mini-panic attack while singing what she said was “Down by the River” by Delta Rae but was actually “Bottom of the River”.  I thought her guitar string broke or that she sliced her finger open. She lost her place in the song. Harry runs up to the stage to help her get back on track. I love that man. He tells her take a deep breath and relax for a little while.

Kelley Kime steps up (her little girl Hope sang the song from Frozen and was the ½ of the audition number given. Katherine Winston also performed “Wild Horses”. Jennifer commented that she was much better than she remembered. Gabby comes back. And Keith gives her an “Alright!” shout of approval and her peers in the audience rose to their feet and cheered her on. They all made it through to the next round.

The next line is called up and includes Andrew Annello who sings “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. Maddie Walker is also among the singers in the line. Alexis Gomez takes on Carrie Underwood. Andrew is the only one going home. This is such a shame because I enjoyed him more than Maddie or Alexis.

Cody Fry performs in the next line. He and three others make it through.

Loren Lott chose my least favorite solo to hear sung— “Radioactive”. She is among some others in the line that makes it through. I don’t know how though as it wasn’t good.

Shi Scott is strange. There is something about her voice in this particular song that grates on my nerves. Rayvon Owen is also the next group. Rayon gives me goosebumps. They both made it through. Clark Beckham is hot on the trail to the next round. Daniel Seavey thinks he has the chops to be the next American Idol and sings a song just for Jennifer. They are through to group rounds. I would like to see Rayvon and Clark in the top 10.

Dakota Suarez wants to be the first drag queen on Idol. It wasn’t good. That’s too bad because I was rooting for her. And they showed a few contestants that I don’t remember who did poorly who would be leaving the competition. Jax has a crush on Qaasim Middleton. Hey, love happens. Look at Jillian Jensen and Alex Preston. He is on to the next round which makes it more likely for something to happen with Jax. Also through are Nick Fradiani, Quentin Alexander, and Zack Kaltenbach.

Time for group rounds! They are to pair up in groups of 4 but it is totally up to each individual to stand out.

“Double Stuff” performs first and it contains David Oliver Willis, Clark Beckham, Jesse Cline, J. None, and Mr. Crispy. They take on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” They went to bed early last night and morning rehearsal did not go well. It was a strong group according to the judges. All four are through.

“Sheba Squared” featuring Shi Scott, Big Sexy Ron Wilson, Andrew Bloom and Adam Ezegelian sing P.Y.T. I liked Shi better on this song. Keith also agrees she sounded better than the day prior. Andrew is the one going home in the group. I am surprised.

Steffi Ledbetter, Maddy Hudson, Tyanna Jones and Reno Anoa’l make up the youngest group named “The Dream Team.” They sing “I Want You Back.” Lyrics were forgotten. Jennifer said it was shaky and not the best group performance they have seen. Steffi will be going home. I don’t agree with that. I felt that Maddy on this song was the one to leave.

Michael Simeon, Hunter Larsen, Jaq Mackenzie, and Nick Fradiani are part of “Team Dimples.”  I will bet good money Jaq came up with that name. Jennifer thinks it’s cute. Ugh. I hate this song (Magic’s “Rude“). I turn the radio station to a different one only to find it on THAT station as well. It was played so much I never want to hear that song for the rest of my life (say yes, say yes, ‘cause I need to know). I liked Michael the best. Everyone is going through.

The next group is “Sal’s Gals” featuring Jax, Sal Valentinetti, Kelley, Kaitlyn, and Alexis who was having a panic attack, and I started having one for her. They take their places and Alexis says that you have to go on as a performer whether you feel well or not, but once on stage she collapses. And with that they announce a “take 5” and the episode will continue next week.





American Idol Rush Week Girls’ Night

19 02 2014

I’m very upset. I don’t understand some of the judges picks. But let’s start with what we have before I go on a rant.

I like the new stage and the new feel. Jennifer Lopez looked stunning tonight. Harry and Keith are also looking great. Only 10 people will sing based on who impressed the judges saw during dress rehearsal and 5 will be going home. This year Randy Jackson will be the mentor and conduct workshops. He wants to see the contestants learn from their experiences the prior week. The workshops bring together vocal coaches, musical director Rickey Minor, stylists, movement coaches, and….spiritual advisors (?????) Billy and Julie Mauldin. Well, okay, but what if we have atheists among the group? Also coming to share wisdom with the contestants are Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry.

First pick

Majesty Rose York: Adam Lambert happens to be her favorite American Idol. She sings “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Adam thinks it is the perfect song; it fits her personality and style. I thought the guitar is more like a crutch for her right now as I watched her performance. I think she would have done better without it. Her clapping was out of time with the audience (or vice versa) and it was distracting. She ditched the guitar finally towards the end of the song. The vocals were great though. Jennifer thought her voice was amazing. The whole place was on their feet and it was a very good start. Harry said she did a fantastic job. Keith said she has this breezy thing about her and had good vocal range.

Second pick

Kristen O’Connor sings “Turning Tables” by Adele. Chris Daughtry said he got chills on her first note. He offered her some great practical advice regarding stage presence. As I listened, I heard weird breaks in her phrasing and that she ran out of breath (it seemed). But there was nice control in her voice towards the end. Harry thought it was a really powerful performance. Keith said she has killer range but the breathing issues were likely from nerves. However, she got control of it halfway through. Jennifer felt she had the most special tone to her voice. She could hear her recording records tomorrow. The timing was off with the band but about halfway through she locked in and got it together.

Third pick

Briana Oakley. “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. Vocal coach Antonio Sol said that in her movement she was either not feeling it or seeing it coming through from within herself. I think she is still having connection problems. I used to be a big fan of her voice, but there are times where there are issues but then she shows a good stretch for a little while. It was inconsistent. The part I had issues with made me want to close up my ears. Keith loved the clarity in her tone and compared it to Irene Cara. The last quarter of the song she found the voice. He reminded her that she cannot be smiling when she is talking about being a warrior. Jennifer said she looked scared. She had the sound of a young Whitney Houston. The thing that has to come together is the performance quality and the connection to what she is singing. Harry said the high notes are not triple axels. She did a fine job but to be wary of it (the high notes) just because they get applause.

Fourth pick

Jena Irene (that’s GINA, not JENNA). She wants to sing “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones. Chris Daughtry said she has to work on her confidence. There were moments where she was questioning everything she was doing. Oh poor Randy. He pronounced her name incorrectly. She is a rocker girl!!! I loved it. She had a very powerful voice. It seems she took Chris’ advice. I think she almost sounds like Ann Wilson from “Heart.” At this point, this is my favorite of the night. Jennifer said it was sultry and one of her favorites. Harry asked her in one sentence what the song was about and she replied, “Darkness.” Keith said she was one of his favorites since the audition cities. He likes how she holds the microphone stand.

Fifth Pick

Bria Anai. She hopes to get some styling advice. Adam said there was a lot of arm pumping going on. She sang Melanie Fiona’s “Wrong Side of a Love Song.” I had goosebumps. The last note was rough in her lower range but otherwise I thought it was fantastic. Harry, however, thought it sounded like she was shouting, but otherwise was fantastic. Keith said to try not to overshoot the runway, but she still has the lips (a reference to her signature style). Jennifer said she had “star” written all over her. She needs to work on staying in control.

Sixth Pick

Marrialle Sellars: Let my rant begin. WHAT do the judges find SOOOO fascinating about this girl? I have yet to see any performance that I have liked. More talented singers have been sent home because she took this spot. She decides to sing “Roar” by Katy Perry and I do not even like what I hear in rehearsals. Adam tells her to slow it down (too frantic). He told her she has the goods but she needs to learn how to take her time. I do not see it. I don’t know how she keeps getting picked over and over. I did not think she deserved the spot in the top 15. I really dislike this song. It is totally off key and amateurish. It is my least favorite vocal so far of the night. Keith said her voice and ability to perform are much better than what they saw tonight. It was not the right song to shine on. It was not the best tempo. “It was karaoke baby.” (The first “baby” of the evening I believe). Jennifer wished she would have brought her guitar out. This was not the best showcase of who she is. She let the crowd get away from her a little bit and it affected her performance. Harry said her intonation needs working on (the ability to stay in tune). She must start singing in the pocket. He wished she would have brought her guitar and wished she showed more of the “superstar” that he knows she is. (REALLY????? SUPERSTAR????? WHEN HAS SHE EVER DEMONSTRATED SUPERSTAR ON ANY OF THE PERFORMANCES WE’VE SEEN????)

Seventh Pick

Jessica Meuse wants to sing “Drink A Beer” by Luke Bryan. Chris Daughtry felt her voice was better than her guitar playing and wanted her to step away from it and challenge herself. However, she opts for the guitar. For me, sometimes she sounds like Stevie Nicks. She is in the middle for me in terms of where I like her. However, it was very nice to hear something soft instead of going big. Jennifer said she was nervous; however, the soft and the heart she connects to. She loves her country tone. Harry said she brings something different to the table that is fresh and exciting. Technically she needs to watch for intonation, too. She goes sharp (per Harry maybe nerves). He wanted to feel what she was singing about, but again it may be nerves. He felt there was a wall between them. Keith said he was going to root for someone from Slapout, Alabama. There was, however, a disconnection between lyrics and the facial expressions.

Eighth Pick

Emily Piriz. She decides to sing “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter. This shows me that she does not learn from others’ mistakes. Randy calls her out on it too reminding her that he is not sure the judges are going to like that song. Adam says she has to start the song more aggressively. The chorus is the punch line. The song will only work if she sings it like a rock star. She sang it well but I felt weird watching it on stage but I am not sure exactly why. Perhaps it is because it is not a song for the Idol audience. Harry asked her to say the first two lines of the song (which she does) and he says he understands she is not interested in the storyline (based on what she said during the interview). He asks her now that she is 18 does she really want to be singing that kind of song? Keith said to Harry, “It’s a touchy subject, Harry.” Harry responds, “Literally!” Keith said one of the things is this–about standing in front of the mirror for hours to bring out the rock chick. He gets that but a real artistry is through expression. It is not about standing in front of the mirror and pretending to be anyone or tapping into anything. Jennifer said she did very well. She liked it and that it was the most relaxed performance thus far. She loves her and hopes she is in the top 5. Ryan said to Emily that “Harry is in Daddy mode there.”

Ninth Pick

MK Nobilette. Her challenge is to stay connected to the song. She chooses “All of Me” by John Legend. Her lower range is rough. I liked her voice about 75% of the time. She had the emotional connection to the song so took those words and her challenge to hear. Keith said it was the perfect song choice. Jennifer said it was making people feel something. It was true sentiment and she loved it so much. Harry said she was an elegant, articulate singer. The defeatist attitude he saw during Hollywood week was gone. She belonged here.

Tenth Pick

Malaya Watson. Adam loves her runway style and Chris says her voice is stupid (good). I had goosebumps. She sang “Hard Times” by Ray Charles. It was the best performance of the night. She has such a personality for such a young woman. Jennifer says the second “baby” of the night. Jennifer said she is one of those powerhouse singers and is amazing. Harry wants to eat a donut (it was so sweet). He looks forward to watching her settle.

Neco or Ben?

Ben. I’m shocked.

Rest of My Rant

Final part of my rant. How can these judges put through Marrialle Sellars time after time after time and not see the talent in Jillian Jensen is so much more? I just don’t get it. It is the same thing I felt about Savion Wright being cut. I will say a prayer that she is one of the judges’ wild card picks. The comeback kid!!!!





American Idol Season 13 Final Judgment Part 1

13 02 2014

The talent is abundant; the spaces few. Only 15 girls and 15 boys will go through to the live rounds next week. They had one last chance to impress the judges with their own instruments or the full band or both.

Some standout performances for me were Jillian Jensen (FINALLY they show her!). Her original song was beautiful. Malaya Watson was out of this world. I cried listening to Sam Woolf’s original song that he wrote about his mother leaving. I had goosebumps. My opinion about him has radically shifted. I think it was a mistake letting Keri Ann Roche and Jesse Roach. They were unique.

Here is the list of those going through based upon what was seen this evening:

Guys

1. Spencer Lloyd

SpencerLloyd

2. George Lovett

GeorgeLovett

3. Sam Woolf

SamWoolf

4. Maurice Townsend

MauriceTownsend

5. Dexter Roberts

DexterRoberts

6. Emmanuel Zidor

EmmanuelZidor

7. Jordan Brisbane

JordanBrisbane

8. Malcolm Allen

MalcolmAllen

9. Alex Preston

AlexPreston

Girls

1. Emily Piriz

EmilyPiriz

2. Jillian Jensen

JillianJensen

3. Malaya Watson

MalayaWatson

4. Bria Anai Johnson

BriaAnaiJohnson

5. Jessica Meuse

JessicaMeuse

6. MK Nobilette

MKNobilette

7. Kristin O’Connor

KristinOConnor

8. Andrina Brogden

AndrinaBrogden

Going Home

Madelyn Patterson, Michael Simeon, Lebryant Crew, Sabrina Lentini, Keri Lynn Roche, Jesse Roach, Casey McQuillen, Nica Nashae, Leah Guerrero. A few others whose face/name I could not place and the names were not said.

Not Sure

They showed solos by Shelby Ann Marie Miller and Connor Zwetsch who performed original songs that were less than stellar. They did not go before the judges so I am assuming they went home.

Cliffhanger

They leave us on a cliffhanger. They ask Casey Thrasher and CJ Harris to come up together and sing more before they can make a decision. The previews say that only one of them will be going through. These guys are both very talented. I would very much for them both to go through.

CaseyThrasher

CJHarris

According to the press release, America will get to vote on who the final contestant will be to round out the top 30 on Thursday night, February 13, 2014.





American Idol Season 13 Boston/Austin Auditions

17 01 2014

Hey, it rhymes (Boston/Austin)! So now that I already previewed the episode, let’s review.  Logo

Marrialle Sellers: “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The judges liked it. Oops. Keith “loved it.” I’m a no. It was pitchy dawg. I like her look though.

Troy Durden, a 29-year-old club singer, from Boston, MA, doing “Over The Rainbow.” I thought the performance was going to be a disaster but it wasn’t. He has a good sense of humor. He gets 3 yeses. I would say yes as well. Keith asked him to do the song while twerking and Troy happily obliges. They all say, “It’s a long shot, but it just might twerk.”

Sam Woolf, a 17-year-old student from Bradenton, Florida. He has had a tough life. He sang “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran. I got goosebumps. If you are a first-time reader to my blogs about singing and dancing shows, my goosebumps never lie. The young ladies are going to like him; he has a good vibe. He got 3 yeses.

There is a collage of singers who all received a yes. Kevin Cassidy, Ethan Thompson, Lindsay Pedicone. I liked all three especially Ethan. Lindsey might struggle with theme nights though. All three made it through.

And then, TA-DA Jillian Jensen. This woman has problems. I didn’t like her AT ALL. (SARCASM METER HEAVY TILT). I ADORE HER. Glad she made it. I would have stopped watching had she not. Her face was priceless when Harry Connick Jr. jokingly said “no.” She sounds as brilliant as ever.

Taylor Hildack (aka The Winker) is a jazz vocalist at a community college. She tried singing, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. I didn’t think she was good enough. It was sharp and flat and all over the place. Jennifer said yes, but Harry and Keith said no.

A collage of clips with contestants getting “no” responses was next along with the fallout from the responses.

Stephanie Hanvey, a 16-year-old lifeguard, from Howell, New Jersey was up next singing Jessie J’s “Price Tag.” I did not like her gaspy breath at the end of all the lines of lyrics. The judges, however, gave her three yeses.

Morgan Deplitch, a 15-year-old student from Somerset, MA. “My mother loves you.” Poor Harry. She tried singing “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter. It was too breathy for me. Harry did not like that she was a 15-year-old singing that song with those lyrics. Jennifer said he was being such a dad. But Morgan is through with three yeses.

James Earl made me laugh. He did not even know what a Walkman was and reminded Harry that he is “old” because he wasn’t even born then. He sounded weird, like he was imitating three different singers while he was singing an original composition and add helium to that mix. He did not get to advance.

Jacqueline Verna, age 18, a student from West Chester, PA. Harry is not impressed with her pentatonics (i.e. the vocal gymnastics). As soon as Jennifer said, “come back next year,” she started walking out before Harry even got a chance to say “no.” And Keith had said yes so Harry could have changed his mind.

Austin Percario, a 17-year-old student from Warren, New Jersey. He comes with a stage mom. And he looks like Justin Bieber. Two strikes already for me. But WAIT! He makes a point to say that mom will NOT be with him if he makes it through to Hollywood week. He sings, “Titanium” by Sia. I’d like his voice if he got rid of that breath issue. He makes it through to the next round.

Kaitlyn Jackson, a 15-year-old student from Norwich, New York. She sings an original song that she wrote for her grandfather after he suffered a heart attack, but before he passed away the next day. She has a beautiful voice, and yes, I got goosebumps. Wow! At 15 she could keep her composure for her tender age in a song that is emotionally charged for her. I am thoroughly impressed. Three yeses. And in keeping with the Austin/Boston rhyme night, Jennifer says, “She’s smart and has heart.”

It is now day two in Boston. Keith London, a 21-year-old, who does odd jobs, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania. He sang, “Roar” by Katy Perry. If someone can improve this song in any way, they have my vote. I loved this acoustic version. Keith thought it was fantastic. Harry said okay. Jennifer loved it. Keith thought he was unique. Keith and Jennifer put him through to Hollywood week.

From Tauton, Massachusetts, Sam Atherton, age 23 and unemployed, boldly states, “I don’t practice anymore” because he thinks he is that good. This is going to be a complete disaster. A true artist never stops learning and practicing. Keith tells him to do the worst of the three songs he wants to sing for them. He croons part of his original “….love doesn’t last forever…” and I’m hoping neither does the rest of the song. Harry chimes in the same sentiment. This guy creeps me out. He claims that he is a better musician than JLo, Keith and “Tony Connick Jr” combined.

In a new segment called #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome, Christine singing “House of the Rising Sun is presented. Fifty-six percent says Hollywood and 44% say “IdolHome.” She is through.

Shanon Wilson, age 24, is a student from Houston (where I live) in the house! I was not sure about him until he went into the falsetto. The falsetto sold me. He is through to the next round.

I think Stephanie Petronelli, age 22, should stick to cheerleading. She said “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter and while it was better than the version heard by Morgan, it wasn’t great. Harry was a “no.” Jennifer said yes, and Keith was on the fence, but ultimately said yes. However, Harry said he changes his vote if it meant all four cheerleaders. (Such a funny guy).

The focus changes to the Austin auditions. Keith was wearing a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. It’s unclear if Jacob Fortis, from Heartsprings, Arkansas is through or not (maybe we find out on Thursday’s episode).

Durann Cree, age 17, a student from Austin tried to sing “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” by Carrie Underwood, but she was not ready yet. Jennifer said “yes” but she had a lot of work to do. Keith and Harry, however, said no.

Micheal (not a typo) Gonzales from Waco, Texas, age 18, builds trailers. He is a “hell no” for me. Lyden McCown, age 28, a store manager from Jacksonville, Texas, and Nikki Pool, a 19-year-old student, from Sherwood, Arkansas, journeys also end there. This was followed by another collage of “yes” responses of unknown contestants. Isabell Gallegos, a 17-year-old student from Cedar Hill, Texas is through to the next round as well.

Savion Wright, from Jasper, Texas, suffered from ADHD with a lot of behavior issues until he found music. Music was his medicine (I love that). He sang an original song and I am now a fan!! Goosebumps! Harry jokes that he is going to have to learn how to be nice to people. They played with him telling him “no.” He says his mom is JLo’s biggest fan, but I think he is wrong because, Savion, all she sees is you in this moment.

The next group of three all received yeses from the judges. I liked the little bit I heard from Terrica Curry, a 20-year-old recreation center staff member, from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Out of the three, I liked Justin Fira, a 24-year-old valet attendant, the best. I fear that Shelby Comey, a 15-year-old student from Mason, Texas, is going to be eaten alive in Hollywood. She sang “Delta Dawn” and I did not like it at all.

“Up To the Mountain” was the song choice for Madelyn Patterson, a 22-year-old hairdresser from Jackson, Georgia. She was a surprise to me and I loved it. Goosebumps! She got two yeses. Harry wanted to give her some advice, but he said he would save it for Hollywood.

The next three contestants also made it through to Hollywood. I liked Viviana Villalon‘s Maroon 5 song on the ukulele. I also liked Savannah Young, a 17-year-old lifeguard from Odessa, Texas. But Ben Boone is the one that I liked the most. He is a 22-year-old student from Pineville, Louisiana and has a very unique voice. I also liked his eyes. Jennifer said it was her first goosebumps for the season.

I thought Malcolm Allen, a 21-year-old grocer from Wrightsville, Arkansas, but I was very surprised. He does not need an air guitar in order to compete. If he could marry music, he totally would. I like his sense of humor, but it was the thing that made me first think his performance would suck. He received a triple yes from Jennifer so the boys’ opinion did not matter.

Rolando Guerrero, a 21-year-old server from Bastrop, Texas, was overcome with emotion at seeing his idol, Jennifer Lopez. She said she wanted “to crush his face.” He planned to sing, “Hold It, Don’t Drop It.” I wanted to love it, but it was not good. He receive three no’s, but I don’t think he left feeling like he lost anything. He got to meet and hug JLo.

Poor Harry Connick Jr. He gets no love. No one seems to know him, and Idol catches all the contestants who freely admit to it. They should get an immediate “no” for not doing their homework.

Then the best part of the night walks in. In walks Sugar Land, Texas resident, Munfarid Zaidi. I think he believes there is a film called, “Something About Harry” because he goes to sleep reading Harry’s Wikipedia entry. Harry goes over and picks him up, showcasing the fact that Harry indeed works out. Thank goodness Munfarid is pretty thin. Harry tells him to blow them away on the first song and he will “pick him up and hold him like a baby” for the second song. Munfarid sings “Crazy For You” by Adele. He surprised me because I figured it would suck, but it didn’t. I love him! Harry holds him for song number two, which he decides to sing, “I Just Want You Close.” Jennifer and Keith are beside themselves in hysterics. What an awesome way to end the premiere episode.

That made it 20 tickets from Austin, 25 from Boston, and 1 from Michigan (the first audition they showed at the top of the show) for a grand total of 46.

Next up: More from Austin and San Francisco.





American Idol Season 13 Preview

13 01 2014

It works! It really works! I was worried that American Idol had lost its spark. The diva bit from last year got very old very quick (love Nicki and love Mariah, but you just don’t mix two chemicals together sometimes). I worried that after Harry Connick, Jr.’s mentoring last year, he would take the place of the long-winded Mariah. At least during the auditions, he was concise and humorous, playing well off of Keith’s quick-wit which we have come to love. Jennifer Lopez fills out the three-person judging team very well, slipping back into her old shoes like they were comfy slippers.

I’ll have to sum up much of what I saw since most of the contestant names I cannot say. The first person they put through in Boston I thought was off-key, but she got 3 yes votes. The club singer I thought would be a disaster was not. Some were just average.

And then, there she was….is that????? IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to have to remain silent about it, but apparently her name was already released in a newspaper. She is part of the Boston auditions–the person who SHOULD have gone through on The X-Factor, Ms. Jillian Jensen. (Chill out people; I’m not giving out spoilers). But does she make it? My lips are sealed. If she makes it through and if she makes it through Hollywood week, she will have a huge advantage. She has worked hard these past years obtaining 158,068 followers (as of this writing) on Twitter, which will translate into instant votes for her.

The Winker was a no for me (and Keith agreed with me on that one). Stage-Mom Boy was too breathy for me but he has the clean-cut Bieber look that the young girls will adore. The contestant with the initials M.D. also was a bit too breathy for me. The young lady who is 15 and performed her own song gave me goosebumps. On day 2 of the Boston auditions, K.L. took a popular song and made me like it more, which showed great musicianship. The young man who claims “not to practice anymore” and thinks he has “perfect pitch” is deluding himself. I was mildly impressed with the Houston contestant I’ll call Mr. Tackler, but when he hit his falsetto, he won me over. The cheerleader was okay; I expected her to do worse than she did.

Next up was day 1 of the Austin auditions. I might have to go buy Keith’s album for wearing a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. It does not get off to a good start. There were a lot of no responses before getting to a few yes responses. The Tall Boy from Jasper sang an original song and I liked it. The person with the initials M.P. gave me goosebumps. I thoroughly loved the worship pastor. Based on the 2010 census, Mission, Texas has a population of 77,058. Is there room for more than one contestant from Mission? The young man from Sugar Land made me laugh. After a montage of contestants who could not remember Harry Connick, Jr.’s name (or that he was even a singer prior to his acting career), MZ from Sugar Land only had eyes for Harry. He goes to bed every night reading the Wikipedia of Harry’s life. But can he sing? Tune in to find out.

After Boston and the first day of Austin, 45 golden tickets were handed out. I think there is still life left in this old girl.

Don’t forget there is a screening of Wednesday’s episode tomorrow in select cities; click here for more details.   In addition, an interactive LIVE Q&A will appear in satellite venues, as well as streamed www.americanidol.com and www.livestream.com, beginning at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT.

As always, I thank Fox Broadcasting and the Fox VIP program for the privilege of watching the screeners.  I’ll be live-tweeting the evenings of Idol.  Follow me at PBMom.





The XFactor: Top 16 For Season 2

25 10 2012

Demi Lovato made a very bad decision and let victory slip from her hands. She decided to choose Paige Thomas, CeCe Frey, Jennel Garcia, and Willie Jones for her team. It was not a surprise that she sent Nick Youngerman home, but JILLIAN JENSEN? Demi, have you LOST YOUR MIND? She is the only one in this competition who sings from her soul. Last year, I was screaming when Melanie Amaro was not picked, only to be relieved that Simon got to pull some strings and have an extra person on his team. I can only hope now that the same special circumstance might be granted to Demi so Jillian Jensen can be asked back. Willie Jones, while he seems to be a nice young man and has some talent, has nowhere near the level of singing ability and emotional connection that Jillian Jensen makes to every song she sings. Jillian is last year’s Melanie Amaro. Demi stated that this competition is not only about singing ability but about other factors (meaning, perhaps, that she does not have “the look” or “the vibe” that some of her other contestants have. Demi, you are crazy! Jillian DOES have the XFactor. The only thing that I can think is that Willie brings in a different type of voter–the country crowd which provides some variety to Demi’s team.

This decision makes as much sense as not putting Panda Ross through to the judges’ homes.

I did like that CeCe Frey lost her spots and shed some conceit in the process (a good thing). She always had a good voice, but I could not make any connection to her other than irritation at the way she was presenting herself during the auditions. It was a smart move on her part. If Jillian Jensen does not get to return to the competition, then I am throwing my support at this point to Jennel Garcia. However, that will depend on Jennel’s performances each week.

Baseball threw us a curve ball with programming last week. With a rain delay, Fox Broadcasting began showing a repeat of Ben and Kate. Then with the rain still occurring and the game still in delay, they showed exactly 2-1/2 of the decisions: Britney’s choices, L. A. Reid’s choices and 2 of the 4 of Demi Lovato’s choices. But the game was still in rain delay, so instead of just showing us the rest of Demi’s choices, they started showing the last episode of The Mindy Project and then cut it off in mid-stream as the game returned.

In addition to who we lost in Demi Lovato’s team, we said goodbye to James Tanner and Reed Deming on Britney’s team. I thought Reed would get to stay and Britney would send Beatrice home. On L.A. Reid’s team, I thought Tate Stevens and Tara Simon would go home (Tara being my new irritation), but instead he sent Daryl Black home (in addition to the obvious Tara Simon). Simon sent Dope Crisis and Playback home. In this group, Emblem3 is a great annoyance to me, and they did not perform well at the Simon’s home.

The teams look like this:

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults: CeCe Frey, Jennel Garcia, Willie Jones, Paige Thomas

CeCe Frey

Willie Jones

Britney Spears‘ Teens: Beatrice Miller, Arin Ray, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White

Beatrice Miller

Arin Ray

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Diamond White

L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s: Vino Alan, Jason Brock, David Correy, Tate Stevens

Vino Alan

Jason Brock

David Correy

Tate Stevens

Simon Cowell‘s Groups: Emblem3, LYLAS, Lyric145, Sister C

Emblem3

LYLAS

Lyric145

Sister C

YOUR TOP 16

The Top 16





The XFactor Simon & Demi’s homes

12 10 2012

The day of the division of the contestants arrives. In the end, there will be 24 acts. After a brief montage of the contestants saying why they deserve to stay, the announcements are made.

Guest mentors at the judges’ homes will be will.i.am, Nick Jonas, Marc Anthony and Justin Bieber. The groups will be broken down into four groups. What is very cool is that I tweeted a few weeks back that I heard a rumor about who would get what bunch, and the rumor proved to be true.

DEMI LOVATO

Group: Young Adults Over 25
Guest Mentor: Nick Jonas
Where: Los Angeles, California

Contestants who made it through: Cece Frey, Willie Jones, Jennel Garcia, Nick Youngerman, Paige Thomas, and Jillian Jensen.  Interestingly Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of KISS’ Gene Simmons, was not invited. It must be cold there in his shadow, trying to make your own way. On the one hand when you are turned down, you wonder if it is because of the family connection; on the other hand, you wonder the same thing. It is a tough place to be in. They did not show any of her singing, so I’m guessing it was not good enough. Also going home included Lyric Da Queen, and Ally Brooke.

JENNEL GARCIA:   At her “home”, Demi gave her some stage advice about not flipping her hair so much.
Song: “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

I thought she did a great job and only had 1 episode of hair flipping. You could tell she was trying to use their constructive criticism to improve her performance. Nick thought it was great. Demi thought her advice before the show somehow took light away from her performance.

WILLIE THOMAS:  No preadvice given (at least on camera).

Song:  He decides to sing “Nobody Knows It But Me” by Babyface AGAIN.  This could be great or this could be a disaster. I was pleasantly surprised. He has an incredibly nice voice.  Nick: He’s a star (I would not go THAT far), and that Willie has to define himself as country or R&B.

JILLILAN JENSEN:  During the advice session, Demi tells her how excited she is to be working with her. She has an incredibly voice. She laughed at herself about her John Mayer squinting look
Song: “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles

I got goosebumps and that is the tell-tale sign of who is going to win. I’m never wrong. Nick thought she was “sexy..”. She pulled off a beautiful song without giving into crying, but showing a full range of emotion.  My PREDICTION:  She wins.

NICK YOUNGERMAN
Song:  “Tik Tok” By Kesha.

I think it was too silly. Nick Jonas said he liked it. Demi said she could not tell if she liked it or hated it.

If you want to do a Tik Tok cover, you do it like these guys, VerseCity (now The Anthem):

PAIGE THOMAS is up next. She got air-time advice before she went on. I noticed she is wearing a leopard-spots print. Was that a dig to Cece, who she feels has been her competition?
SONG: “Turn Up the Music” by Chris Brown

The song makes me a little sleepy. Demi said she has a lot of insecurities. Nick pointed out this, “Can you get her back to the way she used to sing in the auditions.

CECE FREY: Demi, as diplomatically as possible to tell her that “sometimes her character on stage is unlikeable.” That led Cece to tear-up and Demi said that if she were to put some emotion like THAT into what she sings, it would be great.

SONG: “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO

After the pep talk she likely could not change songs, so I’ll give her some leeway on that.  I did roll my eyes when I heard the title, but I was surprised that it was good. It looks like she heeded the advice and toned it down a bit. Nick and Demi thought that she took direction when very well.

 

SIMON COWELL

Group: Groups (was this to give a dig to Paula since all her groups went home quickly; that Simon can handle the groups and she could not?)
Guest mentor: Marc Anthony
Location: Miami, Florida

Three of the groups who were came in as groups made it through to the judges’ home. Many single contestants were brought back in and they created 3 new groups.
Groups who made it who auditioned as groups:
1) Sister C
2) Dope Crisis
3) Emblem3

The three groups created
1) Playback
2) Lyles
3) Lyric 145

PLAYBACK: (Members: Josh Metzler, Owen Stuart, Austin Corini, Brandon Hassan, Johnny Maxwell) Simon said that each of them were lacking a little something, but together as a group they are stronger.
Song: “You’re a Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

Personally I did not care for it. I felt it was dull. There were no harmonies which is essential for a group. Marc Anthony was bored; he wanted to look at planes. Simon disagrees.

EMBLEM3 (Members: Wesley Stromberg, Keaton Stromberg, Drew Chadwick): Their cocky faces were smacked down when Simon said, “If we shake hands on a deal and you renege, I’ll kill you.” The other contestants inside the house were making fun of Drew Chadwick who always seems to have his shirt open. Hmmm. The Dmitry Chaplin of The X-Factor.
Song: “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police

I don’t like the way Drew sings and he missed his cue into the verse. Simon did notice. He felt they had lost their way a bit. Will that hurt the group or not? Marc said the younger one was lacking confidence, but he likes them.

SISTER C: (Members: Cirby, Carli, and Celbi Manchaca) Simon’s comments were to them: “Are people going to like you” because they come off a little “standoffish.”
Song: “Leavin” by Shelby Lynne

I like them better when they are singing gospel/R&B type of music versus turning up their intense country twang on a country song. I really could not stand their music before tonight, but tonight’s song was one I could like. Simon liked them. Marc thought it was a home run.

LYRIC145 (Members: Lyric Da Queen and the group previously known as ONE4FIVE members Jamelle and Julien Joseph).
Song: Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus

I loved it. It was my favorite song done by any of the groups tonight. Marc Anthony was thoroughly impressed and felt like she is a superstar.

DOPE CRISIS: (Members Jesse Stearn and Eli Brown):
Song: “Super Bass” Nicki Minaj

I did not like them. I don’t think they can sing. Simon and Marc Anthony think they did well, but how far could you push them?

LYLAS: (Members Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani Hamilton, Camila Cabello). Simon shares that this is the moment that can change their lives.
Song: “Impossible” by Shontelle

They are a bit more marketable versus Sister C. They did a great job.

 

MY PREDICTIONS

The three I think earn the spot for Demi’s group: Cece Frey, Jennel Garcia, and Jillian Jensen. Definitely Nick is gone because of his song choice. I’m unsure between Paige and Willie. Willie picked the same song he bombed on, so does that earn points or detract points? Paige’s song was just plain boring and her confidence is dipping.

The three groups I think earn a spot on Simon’s team: Sister C, Lyric145, and Lylas. Playback may get through because Simon liked them. I don’t like the cockiness of Emblem3 (Drew hurts their cause). Dope Crisis may get through, but I’m betting they don’t.