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.





American Idol Top 8 — Songs of the Cinema

14 04 2011

When American Idol first started this season, I chalked up the judges not giving constructive criticism as them trying to get comfortable in their new roles. A few weeks in, Jennifer Lopez began giving really great advice to all the contestants. Randy chimed in with the occasional outright criticism about how he didn’t like it, but no real advice on how to make things better. Steven Tyler is jazzed just to be there. That period of constructive criticism did not last very long; now all we see week after week is a love fest. I know there is a discrepancy between what they hear in the audience versus what we hear on the television (and at times Simon would come back and say how something was horrible or better after he listened back to it later), but it cannot be that much. What exactly is in their drinks and why do they keep dubbing out comments (I experienced this on Directv and a friend on Comcast said the exact same place was dubbed out on theirs). The judges need to do their job–judge. It is not pleasant. It is not easy. But Scotty doing an Elvis song last week was excruciatingly painful for me to listen.

Tonight it was “Songs of the Cinema.”

Paul opens for the show with another loud outfit. It does set him apart in the style department, but this is not Project Runway. He chooses “Old Time Rock N Roll” by Bog Seger. He stated that every time he goes out there, he imagines he is doing his encore. I think he needs to dial it back a bit and think about just performing a good show. Paul seems like a happy, upbeat, pleasant individual–the kind of person I like to hang out with. The question is this: Would I spend my very tight budget in this hard economic times on music he makes after Idol? My answer would be no.

Anyone can sing a Miley Cyrus song better than Miley Cyrus. She has a good recording voice, but every time I have seen her perform live, I cringe. Jimmy Lovine tells Lauren that she sang the song “The Climb” from The Hannah Montana Movie better than Miley Cyrus. Again, not hard to do. Lauren has a good voice, but she was all over the place. I had such high hopes for Lauren when I saw her at the audition. This was better than Paul, but still no goosebumps.

If American Idols of days past have learned, never ever sing a song that talks about “leaving”, “goodbye” etc. Stefano wants to take it to the next level with another ballad, this time from Boyz II Men. Singing “End of the Road” might just seal his fate as the person who goes home this week.

I cannot comment about Scotty. I just do not like country music. Scotty has a good voice and people like him despite him sounding exactly the same on every song. I went to get my dinner at this time.

Presenting “Nature Boy” or “In the Air Tonight” to Jimmy Lovine and why-am-I-here Will.i.am, they tell him to go with Phil Collins. Casey sticks to his guns and does “Nature Boy.” While I am partial to the Celine Dion version, I was not sure, at first, if I liked it or not. I listened to the song later without watching him and I enjoyed it a great deal more.

Haley needed to go home weeks ago. From seeing Nigel Lythgoe’s reaction to her a few weeks ago when they panned the camera over to him, I think he is her biggest fan and might explain some of what is going on with her. I feel insulted as a woman the way she acts–slutty. Singing “Call Me” by Blondie from American Gigolo did not help her cause with me one bit. It was a blonde mess. This must be the year of Idol grunting: Casey does it and Haley does it. In order for Haley to win me over, she needs to: 1) get through this week and 2) dress simply and sing without all the gimmicks. Let me hear your natural voice.

Someone found the guts to say what needed to be said: Jimmy Lovine. He told Jacob not to lecture the American people. Jacob appeared to take this to heart. I was worried about Jacob’s choice: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. After Clay Aiken did an amazing job on this song, it was bound to be compared to it. I tried very hard to judge it just on its own merits. If I closed my eyes and just listened to the song, I enjoyed it a great deal.

Closing the show was James Durbin singing Heavy Metal, a Sammy Hagar song that he was doing for Cole from Make-A-Wish. On the guitar was Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne’s gang. I love James and have him in the top 2 spots on the show. This performance was not his best, but it was a crowd-pleaser. James just loves being a rock star and brings in the whole audience.

My top 3 (in order): Casey, Jacob, James

My bottom 3 (in order): Paul, Stefano and Haley with Haley going home (my wish) but I think this might be the “End of the Road” for Stefano.

Who are yours?