American Idol Season 14 Top 12 Girls Perform

27 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nTonight the top 12 girls of Season 14 perform in Detroit. First to perform is Lovey James. She sings “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. It was a very, very rough start. Her low range is a hard place for her. I didn’t care for it. Jennifer thought it was a great start. Harry thought it was a strong job. Keith said it got better and better as the song went on (so that made it great). Again, where is the critical feedback so they can learn?

Adanna Duru is next. I’ve had mixed feelings about her along the way. She is singing “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. I applaud her effort to make it sound different, but it was not good either. Sorry. Keith thought it was a really good performance. Jennifer thought she was going for blood. She said she will learn when she gets that excited to learn how to stay in control. Harry said when it got loud it got slightly out of control. However, the first part of that tune was the best he’s actually heard her sing. He called her dangerous.

Ohio native Alexis Gomez is next. She sings “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert. I don’t like country music, but that is MUCH better. The show for me starts here. That was excellent. Harry said she is so lovely and talented, but he doesn’t remember having a twang like that. He cautions her about it because it made her sound like she was imitating the record. That is a valid point. Keith loved it. He said when she isn’t comfortable playing the guitar, get rid of it. Jennifer loved it and loves her.

Joey Cook brings her accordion to the stage. I think this may not be a smart move for Idol.  That will only last so long before a judge says something about it.  She sings “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban. That’s brave. Keith is laughing and clapping. I don’t know what the original sounds like. She has such a wonderfully unique voice. She is so quirky, too. Keith is standing up. Jennifer says to him, “I bet you never heard the song like that.” Keith lets out a “wooooo.” Jennifer said that was all of the best things about her—incredibly unique. Harry said that if Keith and he ever had a kid that is what the music would sound like. Keith said it was fantastic. She took a song and made it hers.

Katherine Winston goes next singing “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars. It was a little bumpy during those first few notes but I love her voice. Keith said it was really nice but don’t forget to feel as she is singing. Jennifer said she has a magical quality to her voice and it is special. Harry thinks she is a phenomenal vocalist but questions her song choice with respect to the show (by singing ballads)? What? Other people sing ballads. When has this been a problem? She is getting all my votes tonight just because of that bizarre comment from Harry.

Shannon Berthiaume sings “Who Knew” by P!NK. It was not good. When it speeded up, she did not keep up with the band. Oh my—make it stop. Harry said they have seen a lot of polish especially from the guys who look like they belong there. One nice thing is the fact that she is so green but that novelty is going to wear off so she needs to be more energetic and more committed to the lyrics and things like that. Keith said that P!NK is such a phenomenal singer. Her songs sound like anyone could sing them but they can’t. He did not think it was a good song choice. Jennifer said they (Harry and Keith) hit it on the nose and she is a phenomenal singer and she is here because of that.

Loren Lott sings “Note to God” by Charice. It already sounds flat when she starts. Then I liked it for awhile. Then I think I didn’t like it again. I went back and forth about it the whole entire song. Jennifer said it was very brave and good job. Harry said it was powerful. Keith said it was good and she was going to give them a run for their money.

I was looking forward to Shi Scott’s performance. She choses “Umbrella” by Rihanna. I think this was a bad song choice. Keith said it was powerful, gutsy, and it was a bold performance but she didn’t get him with that song choice. Jennifer said they didn’t get the best of her with that song. Harry said she is very talented but it wasn’t the right song for her.

Another country girl is Maddie Walker. She sings Shania Twain’s “Love Gets Me Every Time.” Parts of it were fine; parts were not, but not horribly so. There were moments when she was just under the note. Harry says that sometimes her voice sounds a lot older than she is. He thought it was a good solid performance. Keith said that out of all the Shania songs that particular one is not great to show off her abilities but there is a character in her voice that is compelling. Jennifer agrees. She didn’t think it was the right song to pick on the first night to wow America.

Sarina-Joi Crowe picks “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J to sing. This gave me goosebumps. I was grinning from ear to ear. She is going to go far in the competition. Jennifer said she rivaled Jessie J on that song. It was pretty impressive. Harry said that was really, really strong. Keith said it was the perfect combination of loose and tight. It was right on point.

Jax is another one of my favorites. She chooses to sing “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra. Goosebumps again. That was fantastic. Keith loved it. He loves her artistry and originality. Jennifer said they are so lucky to have her this year. Harry agrees and that she is one to watch. Two powerhouse performances in a row.

Tyanna Jones is another favorite. She sings “Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor. It was a rough start. I think she was nervous. When she got to the chorus it got better. But it seemed like she was just under the note. I’d love to see her sing a Janelle Monae song. It was solid. Harry said she is in the ridiculously talented category. Keith said don’t be afraid to tell the band you can sing something in a slightly higher key. Jennifer said for her to just be her. There is something beautiful about her and her voice is from God himself.

The guys are much stronger this year. I had a hard time yesterday picking four for my bottom guys; I don’t have a problem here with the ladies. My bottom girls are Lovey James, Adanna Duru, Shannon Berthiaume, and Maddie Walker. My top favorites were, in order, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Jax, Tyanna Jones, Joey Cook and Katherine Winston tied for the next spot.





American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Night 3

12 02 2015

Group Night Continues

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nLast week’s episode ended with contestant Alexis Granville who was about to pass out on stage right before they were about to sing for the judges. After she gets the all-clear from medical personnel, “Sal’s Gals” tries once again to perform. Sal Valentinetti did well with his part but it sounded weird with his voice with this song. I had mixed feelings about Alexis’ performance as well. Jax, someone I love, sounded weird too and the weird drama in the performance was odd. It was like all these voices just did not belong together and it was a bad song choice. Alexis and Jax go through. Sal, Kelley Kime and ? are cut. I really like Sal. He has a kind heart and he should come back next year.

Emily Brooke in the group “Three to One Brunette” has food poisoning. Keri Lynn Roche, Jake Black and Riley Bria developed a backup plan in case she couldn’t perform. I enjoyed the entire group seeing “With A Little Help From My Friends.” All of them are through.

The next group all went to college together at Belmont University. They form the group Boulevard (Blvd). They change up the song “Since You’ve Been Gone.” Cody Fry, Rayvon Owen, Piper Jones and ?. I didn’t like the arrangement. It dragged. I liked Rayvon out of this bunch. The song was not suited to Cody’s voice and Piper was a little off in the beginning. Harry liked the arrangement and was his favorite group of the day. Everyone is going through.

“Team Yup” sings “Love Runs Out.” Tiffany Stringer is the only showcased singer in the group and I don’t recognize any the three guys joining her. Tiffany is from Southlake, Texas. I didn’t like what I was hearing and neither did the judges as no one makes it through.

“Vital Signs” performs next. Will their vitals be strong or will they go into cardiac arrest? They sing “I Want You Back” but will they be wanted back? Adanna Duru sings first. The judges liked her during the auditions but I didn’t see the magic there. It was average. There are better and more unique voices in the competition this year. Cindy Maslov is not shy about saying she is in this for herself. She voice is about the same as Adanna. Denise Napoli is a Sayville girl and I won’t let my high school rivalry with them cloud my judgment. (Patchogue Medford HS here baby). It too sounded very similar to the others. Camille Peruto was the only voice that got my attention. Adanna and Cindy are through; Denise and Camille go home.

Daniel Seavey, Qaasim Middleton, Trevor Douglas and (woot!) Savion Wright. “LKYCO” is their group name (Ladies Keep Your Clothes On). Awesome! What happened to Trevor? Poor Daniel looks terrified. “The Story of My Life.”  It was a weird arrangement but I feel good they are through. And they are!

Hollywood Anderson was caught up in the experience and flirting with all the ladies. “Team No Sleep” seemed to be an appropriate name. Hollywood didn’t perform his captain duties to Laurel’s approval so she assumed control and seemed to be bossing people around. He sang first and he sounded exhausted. Laurel Taylor Taunton didn’t sound any better. Amber Kelechi needs a few more years for her voice to mature. I stand by my statement that the judges felt sorry for her and thought by allowing her to come would be a gift. Monica sounded terrible and Brittany didn’t get a solo part. Oddly, in the end, Amber sounded the best of the bunch. Hollywood and Monica go through.

Alexis Gomez sounded great in her group. Loren Lott still is not doing anything for me music-wise. Quentin Alexander did well in his group. It appeared they and their entire groups made it through.

Lovey James, Jess Lamb, Kory Wheeler and Karla Davis sing another one of those songs I am sick of—All About That Bass.”  They made me forget that I hated that song. I loved all their performances. Kory and Karla did not make it through. I am sorry. That was the wrong call. They deserved those spots and Hollywood and Monica in the other group did not.

“Rocky’s Crew” consists of Rocky Peter, Rich, Tanya Mackenna and Trent. Tanya is the only one going through to the next round.

A lot of cuts follow of many unnamed contestants but include Cindy Jo Scholer, the bear killer.

Team “Soul Connection“’s Heatherle Spires did not want to be in the group anymore. She seems to be upset that the group went to sleep and she doesn’t feel they have her back. She refuses to sing with them (so she says to the crew). She has to sing. They start off “Grenade” sounding great. Also in the group were Erika David, returning contestant Sarina-Joi Crowe, and Adrianna Simon. I thought Sarina-Joi stood out but all the ladies sounded good except for Adrianna. The only one who does not make it through was Heatherle.

Mark Andrew, Vanessa Andrea, Katherine Winston and Alex Shier sang together. Mark is my favorite but they sounded wonderful together. Mark, Katherine, and Alex are through.

In another group, Angelica and Tion make it through. Jelly and Regina make it through in their group.

“Grenade” is performed by yet another group. Jackie Nese did not sound good in this song. Maddie Walker did not either. I don’t recognize the other two. Jackie is the only one going home in her group. She is gracious about extending support to the rest of the group.

“Garrett’s Girls” include Garrett Miles. He sounded a little off his game. I know he didn’t make it through but I think his ‘girls’ did.

The last group to perform was “Violet Vixens” who sing “Somebody To Love” by Queen. Joey Cook fell apart during rehearsals and she forgots her lyrics during her performance but cleverly covers it up by inserting her own words that the people hearing her mess up–well it’s all in their imagination.  That was a cute cover. I like Joey’s uniqueness and I hope she goes through. Shannon Berthiaume sounded great. Naomi Tatsuoka dropped the drama from auditions and that allowed me to enjoy the beauty of her voice. They didn’t show the one girl singing solo. I hope the three they did show make it through. They are all through.

Solo night tomorrow!





Amercan Idol Season 14 Kansas City Auditions

21 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nThe American Idol bus went to 11 cities and stand-out contestants were invited to Kansas City. Zack Kaltenbach lives in Lee’s Summit and went to the same high school as David Cook. He decides to sing “Grenade” by Bruno Mars which is not really a good audition choice. Harry said it was a flat audition. Keith says the voice needs work. Jennifer says yes and Keith says yes.

Naomi Tatsuoka, age 24, from Portland Oregon is quite the personality but will her voice match? Goosebumps! But then there were these weird moments where she lost me from being over the top. The panel got mixed vibes from her. Keith said she can tap into emotion without the dramatics. Three yeses.

Jhameel, age 24, suffers from OCD and explained very eloquently why he presents himself the way he does to satisfy the tic in his brain. I like his voice. He is unique. Keith thought it was unusual. Yes to Hollywood. I thought

Jasmin Pinena was going to walk in and bomb the way they were setting it up, but this Bronx girl delivered–at first–but she went flat and never recovered from being off key. And the shouting was not good. Jennifer was grimacing. It was a no.

Lovey James (real name Kirsten). She sounds good but it sounds like the original singer of the song. She gets three yeses.

Jess Lamb, age 28, from Cincinnati, Ohio felt she was ready to finally audition. Love her. Harry was someone who inspired her and he looked like a beaming proud papa when she played. Jennifer says she is an artist. Keith said he would stop and listen at an open mic night. Harry says she is the definition of creativity. Harry indulges her in a piano jam and it really makes her day!

“Big Sexy” Ron Wilson is a 24-year-old accountant from Gretna, Florida who was discovered on the bus tour. Feeling shut out by his serenade to Jennifer, Keith and Harry talk and walk out the door. Jennifer loved it. Harry thinks he needs to balance his singing with showmanship. Three yeses.

Ian Subsara, a 28-year-old theater actor from Alden, NY should probably stick to acting. His rendition of “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” was not making me feel like dancing at all. The judges have a little fun with him. It is a no from all.

Ashley Lusk, age 15, from Eureka, Missouri, has a good voice. Not sure about unique though. Josh Sanders, age 26, who is in music retail, from Kannapolis, North Carolina has a great voice. It was so great to see returning contestant Casey Thrasher from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All three are through.

Joey Cook wants to bring uniqueness back to mainstream. I love her blue hair by the way. She is a 23-year-old server from Woodbridge, Virginia. I really like her voice but I think the accordion should have not have been in there. It was overshadowing her great vocals for me. Keith said she was his favorite voice of the whole day. Jennifer and Harry love her too. Three yeses.

Alexis Gomez is a self-described hippie, Mexican, hillbilly cross. She is a 22-year-old Spanish tutor from Dayton, Ohio. I love her look and she has a good country voice, but remember I don’t like 99% of country music. Jennifer loves the whole package. Harry thinks she was good but not spectacular. Keith was a no. Jennifer says yes. Harry says yes.

Anton Bushner, a 19-year-old farmhand from Parsons, Kansas tells Keith he is his favorite country singer. He is an interesting person. When he sings, his personality completely changes. Keith was tearing up. Harry likes the way he stands, likes the way he shows respect for Keith. Three yeses.

Stephanie Gummelt , an 18-year-old cashier from St. Joseph, MO chose to sing an original song. She has an interesting folk vibe. Jennifer really likes her. Harry wants her to put more breadth of experience behind it and he is a no, but Jennifer and Keith say yes.

Ashley Stehle, age 15, a lifeguard from St. Charles, MO brought a heartwarming story with her. Her parents have been deaf her entire life but through technology her father would hear her sing for the first time. She chose the wrong song. Her father looked like he died and went to heaven but how in the world would the judges be able to say no to her. Jennifer shares that she is having trouble singing a capella. She is switching keys, singing flat. Harry compliments the love of her family and commitment but she is not ready. Keith says it is so heartbreaking because she is a beautiful girl. She asks for one more chance. But the judges all say no and Keith says how heartbreaking it is. I want to support the judges for making a hard but correct decision.

Ellen Petersen is a 22-year-old bluegrass band performer from Branson, MO. Ironically Keith was wearing his Branson MO t-shirt to the auditions that day. She has a sweet voice and anyone who can yodel impresses me. Everyone loves it and they think there is so much more in there untapped. They have a little fun with “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song. Jennifer had never heard of it before. She claims they didn’t have that in The Bronx. I was living in Brooklyn and they got it there.  Perhaps just wrong decade.

Kohlton Pascal is a very insightful young man for being 21 years of age. He travels around playing his music. He sings an original song for the judges. He has a unique voice. Three yeses.