American Idol Season 12 Top 5 Perform

21 04 2013

I can say I am 100% confident that a girl will win American Idol this year. And if I can be so bold, two ladies will occupy the top 2 spots. All kidding aside, there are some camps who believe that some of the less talented boys got through Vegas week to make sure that there would be a girl winner this year.

I only got to watch the first round of the top-5 performance night before I had to run to work, then a sick kid, more work, and here I am on Saturday just now watching it. How I managed to stay away from the spoilers of who went home is beyond me.

Tonight are songs from the year the contestant was born; second round is songs from divas. And the performances were dedicated to Boston in light of the bombings there (and here we are, on Saturday, and they have been caught, one dead, one captured). Jimmy would give back-stage critiques after the judges had their say.

Candice Glover


Song 1:  “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul from 1989

I thought she was nuts when I heard the song choice but I absolutely adored it. The people who have been most successful on Idol are the ones who, while on the show, we’re able to take songs and make it sound like an entirely different song. Candice has the ability to do that. People who just turn songs into covers with no changes are singers, not artists. Candice is an artist. I loved that Keith indirectly insulted Paula by saying he did not realize this was a good song. Jimmy did not like her song choice.

Song 2: “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston

I got goosebumps! Enough said. Mariah was very emotional about the performance.

Candice

Candice Glover

Janelle Arthur


Song 1: From 1989 Vince Gill “When I Call Your Name”

I don’t know the original at all. I was bored. She may be a singer and a performer, but not an artist. This was always my problem. I would not ever let my walls down. I could sing, but I never had the ability to emote. But Janelle does better with her guitar. All the judges liked it except Keith. Keith’s opinion matters here because he is the country artist. Jimmy agreed.

Song 2–Dolly Parton “Dumb Blonde”

Again I have never heard this song. This was better than her first song. It did not require much pulling from her emotional base. It was upbeat and fun. Keith did not like the song choice.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

Kree Harrison


Song 1 from 1990 “She Talks To Angels” by Black Crowes

I really like Kree because she can crossover into genres. I did not think this was her best performance though. I felt like she was very tired. I still think she will be in the top 3. Nicki and Mariah had an exchange where Nicki told Mariah to “simmer down sir.” Jimmy did not think it was strong enough.

Song 2: Celine Dion “Have You Ever Been In Love”

Her lower range is tough. When she ventures past her speaking voice range, she does well. Her last note wavered in and out of pitch. But I liked that she pushed her voice to its full vocal range.

Kree

Kree Harrison

Angie Miller


Song 1 From 1994 “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders

At the beginning of the song she was singing the words but not feeling them either regardless of her dedication to Boston. I think because she made the song faster it did not allow for the heartfelt emotion that should have been felt with every word. Maybe if she did the first verse slower, and then picked up the tempo it would have been better. And can we please have a performance by her that does not include the dry-ice effect on stage? It is getting old. Whether it is Angie or Amber who makes it into the top 3 will be interesting. Amber is the better singer, but she is not connecting with the audience for some reason. Angie was a bit pitchy when she made the key change in this song, but no one is voting the girl from Boston home so she will be safe. No one made any criticisms either. Even Jimmy liked it.

Song 2: “Halo” by Beyonce

I think this was much better than her first song. Exceptional! Fantastic song choice. She really pushed herself in that song. Her risk paid off.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb


Song 1 From 1994 MARCH 17??? My birthday but definitely not birth year! Mariah Carey “Without You”

Amber, I love you, but this was absolutely the wrong song choice. At some points it seemed like the notes were just under where they should be. I did not feel the emotion of the song either, the desperation that is required on this–I would rather be dead than live without you. Part of that is her age and the lack of experience of feeling a love that deep. Teenagers think they have loved so deeply that they could just die when it is gone, but they lack the emotional maturity to really understand that. Perhaps you should have thought about God and how you would feel not having His love as I know you have deep church roots. Nicki felt what I was feeling. It was a gutsy choice to try with Mariah. Jimmy agrees with Nicki.

Song 2: Barbra Streisand “What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life”

SHE KILLED THIS SONG! I think she is going to be in the bottom 2 because of her first song was not great.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

I think Janelle is going home not because she is not good, but she is no longer in the same league as the rest of these ladies.

RESULTS SHOW

What? Clay Aiken is on? As usual, I fast-forward through the group number. With few exceptions, I don’t like them. He sounds as great as he always has. I do understand now what Jimmy was saying about Kree now that the previous performance was shown. Latoya London is in the house.

Clay

Clay Aiken

Fantasia–I love her haircut (for me!) That was fantastic!

Fantasia

Fantasia performs

Whoa, Amber is safe!!!!!! Janelle is in the bottom. But will they use the save?  It was 2 for using the save and 2 against so she does not get a second chance.





American Idol S12 Top 9 perform

21 03 2013

I’m back!!! Well I never left but I have been without a computer to do blogs since March 3th. My favorite 3 were the top 3 last week. As much as I love a story of someone overcoming adversity, I was surprised Lazaro came in 4th since he did not have a strong performance. I was not shocked that Curtis went home. His notes were slightly off the entire song. I think people just could not relate to the overdramatic theatrics that can provide a powerful show in a gospel choir but does not translate well to a pop performance.

Tonight the top 9 perform songs by The Beatles. I bet you Angie sings “Imagine.”

Charlie Askew and Aubrey (what’s her name) were invited back to the stage where the #11 slot in the Idol tour was to be awarded.  Aubrey Cleland won that spot.

Kree Harrison–A Little Help From My Friends

Sounded great. Good way to start off the show despite her having a cold. Keith loved it. Nicki feels she has started to become a superstar in front of their eyes. Randy thinks it was da bomb. Mariah thought it was fan-friggin-tastic.

Kree

Kree Harrison

Burnell Taylor–Let It Be

He does not know this song??? This could be a disaster. I think he screwed up the lyrics. I’m not really fond of how it turned out. It sounded like a constipated version of the song. Nicki felt he caressed the song. Randy said he made it his own. Mariah really proud of him. Keith felt he was soulful.

Burnell

Burnell Taylor

Amber Holcomb–She’s Leaving Home

She looks fabulous. It was different enough from the original that I liked it. Amber has a fantastic tone to her voice, but sometimes I think she gets too nasal and the enunciation falls off especially in the lower ranges. There were times the emotional connection to the song disappeared. But instill love bet and she is still in my top 5. Randy said it started slow and unsure but once she got into the power notes, then she was in her element. What? She did not know this song either? Come on! Mariah did not know this song either? These are classic Beatles songs, not the obscure ones. Geez! Mariah thought it was fearless and fantastic. Some parts were detached though. Keith said it was his absolute favorite Beatles song of all time. He reminds us that the songs 46 years old now. She made it as fresh as if it was just written this morning. Nicki said her vocals are unmatched, but she was too much in her brain thinking about it.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

Lazaro Arbos–My Life

Slightly off-key in spots. A little sleepy although the key change was a good thing. I wonder if he is only going to be able to sing ballads. His confidence is improved this week. It did not “wow” me. And Lazaro, I know the feedback is hard to hear, but the only time you can cry is if lyrics move you or you have won. If you cry, people will think you cannot handle the pressure of the music industry. Mariah commends him on his bravery. She may have preferred an acoustic guitar. Keith said choosing the key of the song is important. The key change would have been the place to start at and modulate from there. Nicki still feels that Lazaro is not back to the old Lazaro and they need to stop putting him in a room with Jimmy (oh snap!). Randy said it was his worst performance ever and that it was out of tune from beginning to end.

Lazaro

Lazaro Arbos

Candice Glover–Come Together

She is my favorite in the competition. I loved that she did an up-tempo Beatles song. It was even different from Michael Jackson’s version. Oh my! She can sing ANYTHING, even ROCK! I might like her rock image the best. Keith loved seeing this vibe. It was killer. Nicki loved her vocal but sometimes she wants Candace to wear it on her face always. Randy thinks her voice is CRAZY. Mariah said it was like a prize fighter. She murdered the song.

Candice

Candice Glover

Paul Jolley–Eleanor Rigby

Rough start. He did not nail that falsetto. I did not like this song for him until he hit that power section. The falsetto at the end was nice. Nicki did not like his performance because it was safe, bland and forgettable. I think Lazaro’s performance was more that than Paul’s. Randy said he felt Paul was disconnected from the song. Mariah thought it was a great song choice. He has to give as much emotion on the softer notes that he gives on his power range. Keith said this is his second-favorite Beatles song. He was not a big fan of the end falsetto note, but there were moments in the middle where he has a pop/rock edge that he likes (which goes with Mariah’s feedback, too). Keith does not hear country with him.

Paul

Paul Jolley

Angie Miller–Yesterday

Well, well I was wrong. Why does everyone applaud when a singer holds a note for more than 5 seconds? Some of her notes were flat and sharp, but it was okay. She did things that were different enough from other versions I have heard, but it might have been too slow. She is still in my top 5 as well. Randy said it was stellar. Mariah said it was a respectful version of it but showed her voice. She loves her look tonight, too. Keith said it was his favorite Beatles song (oh, Keith, you are so funny). He said there were moments where he could tell she was thinking of all the things people told her to stop doing, then she would stop and become Angie again, and it drifted in and out of those things. But in the end it does not matter to him. Nicki said it was unbelievably amazing and then something that was bleeped out.

Angie

Angie Miller

Devin Velez–The Long and Winding Road

He is my favorite male contestant. He can do so many amazing runs with his voice. That last run gave me goosebumps. Devin is back! Mariah has no words for his performance. It would be a travesty if he did not go through. Keith said, “THAT is my favorite Beatles song”. So funny. Keith says all he feels is missing is a little bit of emotion. Nicki looked at him like he was crazy. Nicki gets bleeped again! She thinks he IS connecting emotionally. His performance is truthful. Randy thinks Devin is back tonight. (I said it first Randy).

Devin

Devin Velez

Janelle Arthur–I Will

Confession–it’s been a long time since I heard this. It’s hard to go up and down on the notes like that, but I was bored. Sleepy, sleepy bored. Almost as much as LAZARO’s song. Keith thought it was beautiful. Nicki said she looks like a swan goddess. The performance made Nicki more obsessed with Janelle. Randy says Janelle is back tonight. One of the best performances of the night. Mariah thinks she gave an eloquent performance.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

My top 3 for tonight: Candice, Devin and a tie between Angie and Amber.
My bottom 2 for tonight: Burnell and Lazaro

And thank you to ALL the contestants for NOT doing “Imagine” tonight.





American Idol Finale — And I’m Going To Be There — Pinch Me!

23 05 2011

I am going to the AMERICAN IDOL FINALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Did I use enough exclamation marks?)

How did I manage this? Keep reading. 

The first week of May was a very exciting week for me. At the beginning of the week, I had won two $25 gift certificates to My Fit Foods in our local area. I decided to go ahead and donate that back to my son’s school for autism so the children could take a field trip one day, maybe a lesson centering on nutrition. Later in the week I got another swag package from @OFFICIALFOXVIP to promote the season finale of Fringe.

Fringe wall light

Fringe night light.

Fringe squish sticky ball

Fringe squish sticky ball

The very next day I got ANOTHER package, this time from a program I participated in back in January with Fox where they sent out Red Vines to celebrate the move to Friday nights (thanks to my friend Nadine for that wonderful hookup). This was similar to my package I had gotten the day before, but this time it included a signed Fringe script!!!!
Signed Fringe script

Signed Fringe script

Being with Fox VIP, I have had access to previews of Fox shows not yet aired, swag, and a few internal contests. I have also met interesting people and continue to enjoy getting to know them. The previous week we got a notice that one of the Fox VIP group would be going to the American Idol finale. I hesitated at first, making sure that if I did win, I would be able to fulfill this commitment. Having a trip in the middle of the week in the month of May had three strikes against me: 1) The trip itself and my waxing and waning health; 2) my husband would have to take the 3-hour journey every day to take Patrick to school and stay with him after school; 3) I was supposed to have a big meeting with the school district in the month of May and trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules was becoming nightmarish; this would mean another 3 days someone was not available. However, the other side of me said, “When are you going to get enough opportunity like this with the odds of winning so favorable. You’ll regret not entering, and as you see in this entry “Life Without Regrets” I would not want that to happen. Oddly enough, when I sent in my entry, I told my husband, “I’m going to win this.” It was that sixth sense feeling that I often get, a gut feeling that has saved my life and rarely has been wrong. Perhaps it is because I am a Pisces. In our private group, we were making jokes about who was going to win and I said, “I’m very sorry but my horoscope said I was winning.”

Friday, May 6, 2011 is when the name would be drawn. Friday was also the day of Patrick’s school’s Mother’s Day celebration–a picnic at the park. I had left at about 11:15 a.m. We had a wonderful time. When Patrick used his IPad & Proloquo2go program to give me a Mother’s Day greeting, I was moved to tears. It was the best Mother’s Day gift EVER.

Patrick and his teacher

Patrick and his teacher at Mother's Day Picnic using the IPad to tell me something.

I came home and shared this day with my husband. I sat down at my computer to start working when I saw the email from Fox asking me to call them. Then I remembered: This was the day they were drawing the name for the contest, and I let out a scream that I won to my husband.

The phone then rang. It was a parent of a child with autism who really needed to talk with me. I just could not ask her if I could call her back. If you are a parent with a child with autism, you know that sometimes you need to talk to someone immediately. I would want someone to be there for me. The phone call lasted until almost 5 p.m. Fortunately, Los Angeles is 2 hours behind or I really would have had to call her back.

I dialed the phone number and reached the person with whom I needed to speak. I screamed, “Did I WIN?????” With the banshee screech I let loose, I’m surprised I did not rupture her eardrum.

The possibility of James Durbin being named the American Idol this year was exciting to me. The autism community speaks often of him and what a wonderful role model he is to the world. Of course, we know James will not be in the final 2, but I will get to see him perform.

I will fly out Tuesday afternoon. My friend and I will be having dinner at LA Market, where Nona from Hell’s Kitchen last year is now working (Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant). On Wednesday, I plan to have lunch with my brother-in-law who lives in the LA area before I go get my tickets at the Fox tent, and then on to the American Idol finale results show. I do not know where I’ll be sitting in the audience, but I feel blessed to be there. The people at the hotel say there is not a bad seat in the Nokia. My sign will hopefully say “Houston Warrior Moms Love James.” Something to that effect, but definitely the Houston Warrior Moms part will be on there. That will depend if I can find the right supplies in the area of the hotel. No cameras or phones are allowed into the Nokia. After the finale, I hope to meet up with another person I know for dinner. Then Thursday, I’m on the plane home again.

I hope to post updates here, on Facebook and/or on Twitter (Follow @PBMom) as I can access the hotel computers. Hope you’ll follow along this wonderful journey with me.





American Idol Top 4

12 05 2011

I think next season, American Idol should put a poll on-line of what “theme weeks” we want to hear. This week it seemed to be “one of these things is not like the other.” The contestants were asked to pick a song that inspires them. In the second half, they chose from a list of lyricist Jerome “Jerry” Leiber and composer Mike Stoller, who brought you long-ago hits like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog”, “Stand By Me” among many others. These song choices were mentored by Jimmy Iovine and Lady Gaga. I was looking forward to seeing the awkwardness of Lady Gaga and Scotty McCreery.

James Durbin got the sweet spots of both opening and closing the show. Part of being a contestant is choosing smart songs. While the audience is tired of hearing “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, especially given the resurge in popularity because of “The Sopranos” ending and for it being used in “Glee,” Randy Jackson is not. James did pick wisely; however, once again, his pitch was off. The last few shows when he is singing in his usual register, he has been mostly sharp. I think James enjoyed his time with Lady Gaga who helped him to move his hips better. When James does this, it is sexy (not so much on Scotty, see below). James closed the show with “Love Potion Number 9.” When comparing him to the other contestants, he is the most talented of the ones that are left. When comparing him to other Idol seasons, he is not quite there yet for me. He is my pick to win this year.

Haley Reinhart picked a self-indulgent song (“The Earth Song”) versus a song that is what she would produce as an artist. Perhaps she thought doing Michael Jackson was a risk, but it did not pay off. By the end of the song, she was screaming like a banshee. You could hear the strain in her voice. Wardrobe is making her wear that horrid red lipstick again. Randy and JLo had some issues with it; Haley did not take what she felt to be an attack well. The music industry is not for the timid, but one also needs to know their place within the music industry. She is a rookie and when professionals are giving her advice, even if it comes off as criticism and not constructive criticism, she should be eager to accept the advice and take what she can from it and apply it to her music. People who talk back to the judges are generally voted off, especially when it begins to go on and on. She told the judges, “That’s NOT the top of my range” and “You don’t have to say it again.” I had a feeling that the judges or maybe even Jimmy Iovine gave her advice during the earlier part of the week and she did not take it to hear. She enjoyed her time with Lady Gaga (I bet she is singing with her during the finale show). Even with Lady Gaga, however, she appeared a bit snarky. When Lady Gaga suggested a way to put a dramatic point into her song, she retorted, “Why?” It wasn’t a “why” as in, please teach me; it was more of a “why” like “why are you criticizing me.” I thought how she sang the song during the rehearsal sounded great, but it never translate to the stage, it seems. I’d like to see her do a stripped down song with no growling in it. The song in rehearsal had that. In the end, “I Who Have Nothing” was much better than her first song.

I had some thoughts that maybe the producers were going for reverse psychology in the voters. Perhaps they really want Haley in the final 3, but she wasn’t going to get there with the number of votes she was pulling in. So they set her up to take a fall with harsh criticism during the first number and then she is redeemed in the second number. I can tell you that people who would not have voted otherwise for Haley said in Twitter last night that they would be voting because of it. Whether her talking back turned off more voters than she gained trying to protect her, we will soon discover on the results show. There is one fan for sure of Haley’s — Casey. Did you see them cutting to him in the audience several times and he way-over-the-top support of her? Casey’s pheromones were on fire.

Scotty McCreery is a smart young man. People who chose patriotic songs do not get voted off. I think it was Kelly Pickler who did this when she was in jeopardy of being voted off and she was saved for another week; Simon told her it was a brilliant move. In light of the death of Osama Bin Laden by US forces, “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” was either a Rudy Giuliani move that will turn people off, or secure his place in the final 3. Poor Scotty. I was embarrassed for him with Lady Gaga. Was he old enough to even be in the same room with her? “Young Blood” by the Coasters was an embarrassment. I hated the weird Casey-like exaggerated eye movements. Note to Scotty: Please don’t try to move your hips or pelvic thrust; it’s just not sexy. I think he is secure in the final 3.

Lauren had the best night since her audition. I do not know what happened to this feisty young lady who auditioned and had the guts to sing a duet with Steven Tyler in the audition. It seems like she came to the stage and lost her nerve or was intimidated by the competition. I still do not believe that she believes fully in herself. She picked a smart inspirational song: “Anyway” by Martina McBride and did a wonderful job. Her time with Lady Gaga helped break her out of her shell and she performed a great rendition of “Trouble.” She came onto the stage very confident. But is it too late? I think this will all depend on the audience’s reaction to Haley.

I was thinking perhaps we could morph Lauren and Haley and create a new contestant called “Laley.” Laley would have Lauren’s voice and sweetness and Haley’s confidence.

Steven Tyler’s secret password this evening was “beautiful.”  Everything was ‘beautiful.”

If I have to call it, I think James and Scotty are definitely in the top 2. I think Lauren sneaks by because of Haley’s backtalk.