American Idol S15 The End…Or Not?

9 04 2016

And the winner is…….

I’m just kidding. There are 2+ hours of filler before we find out who wins the very last spot as an American Idol.

President Obama made a speech at the beginning in a pitch to get people to vote and exercise their rights as citizens to vote in elections.

The opening number included Idol contestants from previous seasons. My mind instantly went to one Idol who will there be in spirit, Michael Johns. His death was so sad. The song started with the top 3 of this season and then moved out of to the broader focus that included all the contestants from this season. Then more contestants. I recognized Nick Fradiani, Diana DeGarmo, Katharine McPhee, Jessica Sanchez, Colton Dixon, (was that David Archuletta, too, next to him), Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, Allison Iraheta, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, Ace Young, James Durbin, Carly Smithson, Jasmine Trias (from season 3 who wore a flower in her hair), Bo Bice, Scotty McCreery, and Caleb Johnson. I am sure there are others I will see and be shocked at how much they’ve changed (like Bo Bice).   Tonight I believe more often than not we will be saying to ourselves, “Oh yeah, whatever happened to” fill in the blank.

Brian Dunkleman, the co-host of season 1, joined as a surprise guest, a nice book-end to the beginning of Idol history. But the jokes he continued making got old and they didn’t get many laughs in the audience. Awkward.

Trent and La’Porsha teamed up to sing “It Takes Two” by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston with pictures of their journey this season playing behind them.

Season 10 and 11 judge Steven Tyler began a series of retrospectives of their participation in Idol. Later Nicki Minaj shared her wishes. Notably absent was diva Mariah CareyEllen DeGeneres sent a video.

Former seasons 8 and 9 judge Kara DioGuardi performed and I wished she hadn’t. She is a better songwriter than singer.   Also among the people in this medley segment were Colton Dixon from season 11; a duet with season 1’s Justin Guarini and season 6’s Jordin Sparks; season 2’s Kimberley Locke; Tamyra Gray (season 1); Allison Iraheta (season 8); Larry Platt from season 9 (“Pants on the Ground” song fame but was never a contestant); finally ending with Pia Toscano (season 10). Sanjaya was spotted in the audience in a “Where’s Sanjaya” segment.  Glad he didn’t sing.

When Kelly Clarkson was visiting a few weeks back as a mentor, since she was pregnant and it was unlikely she could attend the show, she pre-recorded a montage of all her most popular hits. It showcased why we love her and the show that served as a gateway to all the music she brought to our lives. The medley ended with the song that started it all, “A Moment Like This.

Male Idol rockers did a medley of songs. The members included Bo Bice from season 4 (the biggest physical appearance change I have seen yet this evening); Caleb Johnson from season 13; Constantine Maroulis (season 4); James Durbin (season 10); and Chris Daughtry (season 5).

Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood (season 4) joined forces to sing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” originally by Stevie Nicks featuring Tom Petty (Tom Petty actually wrote the song). I wish Carrie would have had a crossover rock career. When Carrie sang rock songs on Idol season 4, they were my favorite and had me looking at her like a winner.

Next was a country medley of songs starting off with Diana DeGarmo (season 3); Skylar Laine (season 11) who wasn’t sounding so great; Kree Harrison (season 12) who I loved during her season also sounded not so great either (you were pitchy dawg). They were then joined by the boys are of country Bucky Covington (season 5); Ace Young of season 5 (who is married to Diana DeGarmo); and confusingly Constantine Maroulis (season 4). Constantine filled in for Josh Gracin who declined their invitation because he didn’t want to sing a medley of covers with other contestants (per his report on tasteofcountry.com). Then Lauren Alaina (season 10) and Kellie Pickler (season 5) came on stage. Lastly Scotty McCreery (season 10) came out.

Harry Connick Jr presented a very emotional segment along with his friend, Marley Fletcher, from The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in the heart of the 9th Ward in New Orleans to sing “What a Wonderful World.”

He then introduced some of the best singers Idol has had on center stage.   Katharine McPhee (season 5) and Casey James (be still my heart from season 9) singing a duet; Carly Smithson (season 7) doing a solo; Clay Aiken (season 2) doing a solo; Ruben Studdard (season 2) and Amber Holcomb (season 12) doing a duet; and finishing up with Jessica Sanchez (season 11) in a solo of ‘The Prayer” where the others joined at the end.

Jennifer Lopez sizzled up the stage with her new song “Ain’t Your Mama.”   I would have loved to see that in person. That was stellar. And she ended with “Let’s Get Loud” to get Idol pumped up, the perfect halftime song. This whole thing left me breathless.

Season 3 ladies Latoya London, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson performed a trio “Bridge Over Troubled Water. Jennifer Hudson sang a solo of her song from Empire “Remember the Music.Brandon Rogers (season 6), Clark Beckham (season 14), George Huff (season 3), Danny Gokey (season 8), and Elliott Yamin (season 5) banded together to sing a medley of Motown hits.

Fantasia came back to do some of her song, “Ugly.” Latoya London (season 3) came back on stage with Taylor Hicks (season 5) “Knew You Were Waiting for Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. Season 11 Joshua Ledet took the stage; wow he looks fantastic. He sang “It’s a Man’s World” by James Brown. He rocked that stage!   And more Idol joined in. Candice Glover (season 12) and Melinda Doolittle (season 6) along with a variety of other Idols including many of the season 15 contestants to sing “Joy to the World.” Even Harry Connick Jr was up dancing.

A tribute to David Bowie was done featuring Idol winners Phillip Phillips (season 11), Lee DeWyze (season 9), Nick Fradiani (season 14), David Cook (season 7) and Kris Allen (season 8) which included Bowie’s hits “Starman” from 1972, “Rebel Rebel” from 1974, and “The Jean Genie” from 1972.

Next was a playback of the worst or funniest auditions or moments during the early years with Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Ryan Seacrest including that awful Simon and Paula kiss. Randy and Paula came on stage and of course you were just waiting for Simon to make a “surprise” appearance. Paula and Randy gifted Ryan with the American Idol sign that Ryan will put it on his nightstand. Simon didn’t have a black T-shirt on. He dressed up for the occasion. Fatherhood looks good on him. And just when you thought the surprises were over out pops the non-surprise, William Hung who performed “She Bangs.” He ultimately released an album which sold 200,000 copies and made it to number one on Billboard’s Top Independent Album chart. He now works for the LA Sheriff’s Department as a technical crime analyst. Ryan Seacrest did a little dancing with him on stage.

Contestants throughout the 15 years shared how much they loved doing the Ford video segments. Trent and La’Porsha received keys to their cars for this year.

Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood sang her song “Something in the Water.”   She got tearful when talking to Ryan Seacrest.

Now it is time to learn who is the winner is of the very last American Idol. The winner is TRENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am just as shocked as he was. With everyone chanting La’Porsha’s name in the audience the night before I felt certain the win was hers. He deserves it just as much as she did but I thought it was hers. I thought Trent was going to pass out. Jennifer pointed to Keith as if she was saying, “you called it.” Jennifer looked shocked and Harry looked shocked too and mouthed “wow” to Jennifer. Trent was sweet when he said that La’Porsha pushed him during the competition.

Ryan Seacrest then signs off the show by saying, “We say to you from Hollywood, goodnight America.” The room goes dark and you hear him say “for now.”   For now? What the hell does that mean? Do they think in 10 years from now, they’ll bring back like X-Files for a limited event? Let American Idol die in peace and go out on a high. They weren’t going out on tour for that very reason so what makes them think bring the show back is “going out on a high?”

I heard later on during the Twitterfest that the producers were going to shop the show to another network. If this is true, it is a mistake. American Idol is forever associated with Fox Broadcasting and to try to resurrect it as the same show or anything that has the name American Idol even if it is in a different format, is just a mistake. American Idol had a great run but like all things, they come to an end, and so should this.

Thank you American Idol for the many years of entertainment; you will live on in television legend.  Guess I will need to get back to blogging about other things, too.





So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 18 Perform, 2 Go Home

17 07 2014

Opening Number

Song: “How It’s Done” by District 78
Choreographers: Christopher “Pharside” Jennings and Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz (From Academy of Villains dance crew)

I loved it!

Judges

Mary, Nigel and Misty. Mary and Nigel changed chair places tonight.

Bottom 3 Guys and Gals

Bridget, Emilio, Emily, Stanley, Jourdan, Teddy

Routines

Dancers: Jacque and Zack
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Keone and Mari
Song: “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Me: Goosebumps! Totally out of their genre and it was lovely. I believe their chemistry.

Judges: Mary was feeling it. Nigel loved when it went around the stage and wasn’t so tight. Misty thinks they make a great partnership. They are not tapper and ballerina; they are dancers!

Dancers: Jourdan and Marcquet
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “Disappear (Demo Version)” by Mikky Ekko

Me: Jourdan did a better job than Marcquet. You could tell he was not completely comfortable in this genre.

Judges: Nigel thought it was good. He said that they were an interesting couple because he was not personally connecting with either of them. OUCH. He said that there was a slight lack of discipline in Marcquet’s work. Misty said she saw Marcquet this week in his partnership versus last week. She thinks there is something missing in his partnering technical wise. Jourdan is strong, has the lines, the energy but her face needs to match what her body is doing. She wants the audience to feel the passion she is giving through her body. Nigel added that he is not sure if there is a lack of vulnerability with Jourdan; he can’t put his finger on it. Mary said the first stance as magical. She agrees with everyone. Jourdan’s execution is amazing but there is some magic that isn’t there. She likes how Marcquet it leading her in his partnering but he has to watch his technique.

Dancers: Jessica and Stanley
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nikka Costa

Me: It was fun but I didn’t feel any connection to it otherwise.

Judges: Misty mentions her face again and Stanley too (both overdid it). Their bodies are doing enough. Stanley has to carry the “wow” extensions to other parts of the routine. Mary loved the whole piece. She encouraged Jessica not to oversell. Nigel worried about the overreaction with her face. Stanley needs to save some of his strength for his core.

Dancers: Bridget and Emilio
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis
Song: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Me: That made me happy (pun intended). Technically I have no idea if they did well or not.

Judges: It made Mary happy too. They were jiving it. She loved every second of it. Bridget picked up the technique better but Emilio’s energy made up for it. So impressive. Nigel reminded Emilio that Fik-Shun never pointed his toes once last year and he did really well. He does not understand why they are in the bottom 6 this week. Misty said this is the perfect example of not overdoing it in the face. Bridget was perfection tonight. She was light, precise and beautiful. They made her happy too.

Dancers: Emily and Teddy
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone

Me: I felt the pain and desperation but no goosebumps. I think Emily did a better job than Teddy (better lines, extensions and emotion).

Judges: Nigel liked these “ugly” lifts Tyce put in there because love is not all beauty. He thought it was great. Misty said Emily’s body was speaking French. She was singing with her body. Misty is. Fan of Teddy. He transcends to every genre. Mary thinks there isn’t anything Emily can’t do. This is the first time she has been mesmerized by Teddy.

Dancers: Casey and Brooklyn
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble

Me: That was fun. I think they took Bonnie’s criticisms during rehearsal to heart.

Judges: Misty was impressed. However she did see some technique-face in there sometimes during things she was not comfortable with. She just needs to get comfortable with movement outside of ballroom. Casey was so fabulous. Mary thought it was a fun number. She loved every second of it. She thought Casey was on fire. Nigel told Brooklyn she needs to mature very quickly.

Dancers: Valerie and Ricky
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Lacey Schwimmer
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

Me: Immediate goosebumps. I expect perfection from Ricky (because he is going to win this year) but I am so impressed with Valerie. They have fantastic chemistry and they are my favorite couple. The dance was so joyful. LOVED IT!

Judges: Mary was crying. Nigel was on his feet. Mary said it was magical and dream-like. Ricky’s top line was so amazing. However he has to work on that leg action. Valerie’s feeling was so perfect and she is so beautiful up there. She has to watch her top line. Nigel won’t talk about their technique but their performance was beyond reproach. Misty said tonight was Valerie’s night. Ricky is beyond what they are used to seeing.

Dancers: Carly and Serge
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Senile” by Young Money featuring Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne

Me: I really enjoyed it most particularly when they were standing more still in that middle section. Carly did a better job than Serge. Serge was too straight.

Judges: Nigel thought it was a tough one for him. He knew how hard they had both worked but he does not think it is going to drive people to go vote. Misty somewhat disagrees. She thinks it is important to educate the audience in how difficult it is to switch genres. Serge continues to impress her. She thought Carly was great tonight. She loved it. Mary loved it too. Carly was a beast in this. She felt serge worked so hard too.

Dancers: Tanisha and Rudy
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Song: “Sing Sing Sing (Part 2) by Fosse (original Broadway Cast)

Me: Wonderful. I think Rudy needs to be careful of his facial expressions.

Judges: On their feet. Misty felt they embodied everything they needed to be. They were the closers! Mary said it was a show stopper. She will remember that number at the end of the season. Nigel gave warren a trophy 30 years ago for tap dancing. Tanisha had the technique and what Rudy lacked in technique he made up for in personality.

Artist Performance

A Great Big World performed “Say Something” with the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir. Very lovely. Not the same emotion as it has with Christina Aguilera but it was sweet.

Going Home

Based on tonight, my guesses were Jourdan and Stanley. They decided to go this week with America’s vote. And Stanley and Jourdan are leaving. I think Marcquet is in danger of being in the bottom next week. Possibly Serge. Jessica might be in the bottom for the girls.





American Idol S12 Top 3

9 05 2013

It’s 4:00 p.m. on results night. Work and family just did not allow me to do a proper blog for this critical point. So let me say this:

Candice Glover for the win!

And I’m truly split on Kree and Angie. Both had good moments and not-so-good moments. I wish Idol would stop making Angie look like she is an angel in heaven with the white smoke on stage, the softer lens they seem to be using when she is singing. Do they not have any other creative ideas to use as a backdrop for her? Kree has better stage presence just because she has had more experience. Kree’s story about her parents dying when she was so young had me sobbing. Kree–Angie — Love you both. I know getting that crown feels like it is important, but it is really not. What matters is what you do after this show–the choices you make, the mistakes you will inevitably make, but learning from those and the desire to not settle, to keep improving is what determines a winner, not who had people dial/text a number or Supervote on AT&T.

Not only do I think everyone in this top 3 will be okay, but Amber Holcomb is also in this category. Such wonderful talent and I have enjoyed this season a great deal.

Postnote update:  And stop having them sing P!NK.  Amber did not do well with hers, and last night the two songs done by Angie and Kree of P!NK were not great.





American Idol S12 Top 4 Again

2 05 2013

After the unsurprising surprise twist last week, the top 4 were allowed to sing again since the judges never used the save all season. The votes tonight will be added to the votes last week to determine who is going home. Tonight’s songs are “now” and “then.” The “now” selection has to be from 2013. The “then” had to be on a list of standard classics.

All the ladies looked fabulous this evening. I have no doubt that all will be successful after the show is over. But here is my rundown for tonight (I’m behind on my blog from last week–so I think I’ll just skip. Most of the performances last week were lackluster anyway. This week, I wasn’t thrilled about Mariah and Nicki fighting.

Angie Miller

Song 1: “Diamonds” by Rihanna

I lived it but I hope we aren’t going to get ballads all night tonight. A little sleepy sometimes. She cracked in a few places. Keith thought it missed the mark. Nicki said it was bland and lackluster. Randy agrees with Keith but liked the leather shorts (okay?). Mariah: Girl–I love you but condense your comments!

Song 2: “Someone To Watch Over Me”

This could have been a really big song for her. It was sleepy for me. Her vocal is nice but it was not a standout performance (for me). Keith loved it. Nicki gave her some performance tips. Randy thought it was an amazing vocal.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb

Song 1: “Just Give Me a Reason” by P!nk

That was rough. She sounds like she is singing just under the note. She has done much better in the past. Nicki said there was no emotional connection (I agree). Randy said it was not stellar.

Song 2: “My Funny Valentine”

Goosebumps. Phenomenal. I felt she was very connected to the song. It was flawless perfection. The judges gave her a well-deserved standing ovation. She became very emotional because she thinks that she has no shot of going through next week and was openly tearful. I felt so bad for her. It was not a fake cry just for votes. Note to Amber: Jennifer Hudson did not win Idol either–look how far she went. It is what you do with the opportunities you get and you must passionately pursue your dream.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

Candice Glover

Song 1: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars

Candice IS BACK! Last week I was so disappointed that she wasn’t pouring her heart and soul into his music which I have seen her do multiple times in the past. I also love her hair. I had goosebumps (see my goosebump history–it has never steered my wrong). Randy said it was amazing. Mariah and Keith thought it was a winning performance. Nicki said she deserved a standing ovation and Mariah stands up after the others and pretends to throw glitter on her.

Song 2: “You’ve Changed” by Billie Hollday

Goosebumps AGAIN!! Her voice is also perfection during both songs this evening. She receives another standing ovation.

Candice

Candice Glover

Kree Harrison

Song 1: “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood

I loved it. She looks lighter in spirit this week even though this was a serious song. She was looking downright depressed last week. Keith thought her voice was full but there was a disconnection between what he was hearing (a full band) and what he was seeing (an intimate setting with an acoustic guitar).

Song 2: “Stormy Weather”

She looks beautiful. I felt she was very connected to the song. She did not take Harry Connick, Jr.’s advice. I thought that was a good thing because I loved the way she did it. The judges, however, did not like her song choice. They thought “God Bless The Child” might have been a better song for her, for example.

Kree

Kree Harrison

So my picks for tonight are: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie

Last week my picks were: Angie, Candice, Amber, Kree

It will be interesting to see who goes home tonight. David Cook will be on!





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 Top 6 Perform

12 04 2013

Yes I’m two days behind. I have no clue at this point as I am typing this as to who is going home (watching on the DVR). This season is really great with these talented contestants, so I really did want to write something, but likely an abbreviated version. Writing blogs is my hobby; I have a real full-time job, a child with a disability and this week a norovirus (not confirmed by lab tests but it fits the profile) hit our house. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Two themes: Songs from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. And the second are “songs the contestants had actually wished they had written.”

Angie Miller

Song 1: “Anyone Who Had a Heart” by Dionne Warwick

A bit pitchy again. I think she is at her best at her piano. The song choice was boring for me and making me sleepy. She looks terrific but her song choice is not going well.

Keith points out that he doesn’t hear singing the passion and I think his point is valid. She has not had much experience in that department, and many times I think she is pretending (that is “acting” like an actor who also does not have much experience. It will come as she ages and I think her album should be Christian contemporary, like Colton, because that is where I see her shine and where she moves me as a singer.

Song 2: “Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe

It is risky doing an unfamiliar song. I had not heard of it. This was better than the first one. This has a contemporary Christian feel to it and she did great. The judges loved it.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb

Song 1: “I Say A Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick

It was good. The very low notes were difficult for her (she was slightly flat there). Again another sleeper song until the ending. She did put her own spin on it which was good.

The judges loved it (to the point Nicki declared her her new favorite).

Song 2: “Love On Top” by Beyonce

Liked how she used the backup singers at the beginning. She looks like a pop star. I thought this song was better than the first and on some of the noted I did feel like it was Whitney. At the end it got slightly pitchy but it was nice to have an up-tempo song. Judges loved it too.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

Lazaro Arbos

Song 1: “Close to You” by The Carpenters

No comment. No, I will comment because in this blog I am already irrelevant so it does not matter. It won’t churn votes for him because I have criticized. It was horrendous. Lazaro, dear one, you are a good guy but this song was hardly ever in key. The judges agree with me. Mariah–condense! Tell him all this after the show. The other two judges want to speak.

Song 2: “Angels” by Robbie Williams

The beginning was rough. His lower register needs a LOT of work. This was better than the first song, but it was still not good enough to stay.

Lazaro

Lazaro Arbos

Kree Harrison

Song 1: “What The World Needs Now is Love” version of Jackie DeShannon

I want to see Kree, Amber and Candice in the finale. She really can cross genres easily. I loved the interpretation of the song and making it different and a song from Kree. She has never disappointed. MARIAH– Condense! This is not Camp Mariah. You have other fellow judges.

Song 2: “Help Me Make It Through The Night” by Kris Kristofferson

This happens to be one of the few country songs I like and I loved this unplugged version. If I bought a country CD it would be Kree. It was beautiful. Great job! (Nicki called it a Kreedom show). All the judges loved it.

Kree

Kree Harrison

Janelle Arthur

Song 1: “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” by Dionne Warwick

Underwhelming. She does work the audience and stage well. There were moments that were sweet and effortless. I thought there was emotional disconnection in this song. Some notes were flat.

Song 2: “The Dance” by Garth Brooks

Her lower register is rough. She again had beautiful notes and notes that were sharp or flat. Unfortunately this is nowhere near the level of the other girls, so I put her in the bottom 2 with Lazaro. The judges were not impressed.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

Candice Glover

Song 1: “Don’t Make Me Over” by Dionne Warwick

America–this is your next American Idol. Week after week she is perfection. If she does not win, I will support her career. I haven’t picked it wrong yet. The judges gave her a standing ovation. By the way, all of my 50 votes went to her. She won me over during the auditions and that feeling has not changed.

Song 2: “Lovesong” by The Cure

BEST performance EVER this season 12. I loved her taking the rock star and making it bluesy. I would actually buy a ticket if she ever came into town. What a FANTASTIC way to end the show. Keith got up and bowed to her from the ground. Mariah threw a glitter bomb. Candice was very moved by the support in the studio. Truly AMAZING!

Candice

Candice Glover

My picks in order: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie, Janelle, Lazaro

RESULTS SHOW

Jimmy called Lazaro’s performance an Ambien milkshake (so funny–I need to borrow that). Amber is in e bottom two? You are crazy, America, and I am not just saying that because she is from Houston. FINALLY! Lazaro is in the bottom and I KNOW the judges will not save him.





American Idol S12 Top 7 Perform

4 04 2013

AmericanIdolLogoInstead of having no blog at all because (insert numerous excuses here), I’m just going to keep it short.

Last night’s American Idol was….disappointing. Very, very disappointing. It was ROCK night and only a few rose to the occasion. The group numbers and/or duets were painful to watch. It was cute to see that Burnell has a crush on Amber; however, we have an engaged Idol couple right now–Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young. I also got tired of Ryan Seacrest asking the contestants why they did so crappy. Was he also at a loss for words? These people are being groomed for professionalism and how professional is it to be asked why they did not remember the lyrics (because they never heard of these songs before) or why did they have such a bad performance when usually they are always so good (because they had too much to learn that week or they are not feeling well, etc.) When someone goes to a concert, can you imagine them saying to crowds that paid hard-earned money hear: Hey y’all. I’m sorry I forgot the lyrics on that one. I’m so tired going from city to city playing for all of you. Candice did a great job, but after hearing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” from Adam Lambert, well, no one could sing that better except for the Rolling Stones.  But Candice was my favorite. Amber Holcomb was my next favorite. Next was Kree despite her rough note. Angie Miller. You have a problem. You have no life experience so while your wind machine blew tropical-storm-force wind in your face, you could not put the emotion that was necessary of the lyrics from “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence to the song. You do best when you sing your original music. “Bid my blood to run, before I come undone…” With your Christian roots, I doubt you’ve ever felt love this deep at your tender age. It’s not your fault. However, you need to pick songs where you can emotionally connect. Then Janelle. Janelle, my dislike of what you do has nothing to do with you. It’s me. I got so sick of my mother playing country music that I grew to dislike it so much. And your twang seems to be growing every week. What’s up with that? Then Burnell and then Lazaro. I love challenges turned into triumph, but Lazaro is not performing on par with what needs to come from the Idol winner. You should be proud you got this far, but it is really time for you to go home until the tour. You should not have worn those pants last night; when they went out for the wide shot, I felt like I was looking at pictures similar to Anthony Weiner, or you were having a Jon Hamm moment. Or perhaps that is why people keep voting for you and I missed it until tonight.

Don’t forget that you can pick the theme for an Idol show by tweeting with the hashtag #ATTIdolTheme. Based on these performances last night, I’m going to suggest TV Show Themes, Songs of the Circus, or One-Hit Wonders





American Idol S12 Top 8 Perform

28 03 2013

Music of Motown. Smokey Robinson is guest mentor.

Candice Glover–Smokey cried at her performance last week. This week she chose “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. Preach girl! She is always spot on. She laid down the gauntlet! I believe she is untouchable. Keith said tonight was her best performance (for her). Nicki said she stayed in it emotionally completely. Randy said she was crazy good. Mariah said she wants to hear more of that jazzy sound.

Group song–Kree and Janelle–country version of “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. I preferred Kree over Janelle. This song was not a good choice for Janelle’s voice. Nicki said that Kree looked like she flew in to sing with an Idol contestant. OUCH. Randy said Janelle’s pitch was off night and Kree outshined her. Mariah said it was a sisterhood moment. Then I walked out of the room to ask my husband a question and Mariah was still talking when I got back in. Keith said it worked really well. He felt they could have walked around more but he was glad they had each other’s back in that lyric-slip moment.

Lazaro Arbos — “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. I think Jimmy was going easy on him this week because he has gotten such flack the past few weeks about his mentoring of Lazaro. Lazaro has enunciation issues but this is the best he has done since the auditions. Randy thinks it was better than last week. Mariah said she hears Randy about the pitch problems. His confidence was back. Keith thought Smokey’s advice was fantastic. This week was better than last week. Nicki feels he was back this week. Nicki said he gave her everything she needed and wanted. She said when he stopped listening to Jimmy, he did a great job.

Janelle Arthur “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes. I was bored. Mariah said it was her at her finest. Keith thought it was fearless. He thought it was beautiful. Nicki thinks she shines when she has her guitar. She seems to be smiling a lot more (but is smiling during this song appropriate?). Nicki does not think that her voice is where it normally is. Randy thought it was one of her best performances.

Devin Velez–“Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Flawless to me. I like this but Adam Lambert’s is still my favorite Idol cover of the song. Keith says he has to stop thinking about things so much and relax but he has style. Nicki said he looks like a ripe banana and that is a good thing. Amazing job. YES sir. (He was wearing a red jacket, but I think she meant she wanted to eat him all up figuratively speaking). Randy thinks Devin is back tonight. Best performance from him in weeks. Mariah loved it.

Group number:  Amber, Candice and Angie–I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by The Supremes & The Temptations. Fantastic and they get a standing ovation except for Mariah. Mariah said it was A-plus amazing.

Burnell Taylor“My Cherie Amour”–Stevie Wonder. He had a nice voice but there’s nothing about it or his performances that stand out. He always sounds like he is right under the note and I think he mispronounced the word “amour.” Nicki thinks he is artsy. Randy loves his choices. Mariah loves him looking debonair. He gave it a modern twist. Keith said where is Ron Burgundy when you need him (and what the hell does that mean, but I love that Keith loves Anchorman). Keith likes him too.

Angie Miller“Shop Around”–The Miracles. She needs to work on her stage presence when she is not behind the piano. I felt there were opportunities to interact with the good-looking guitar players that would have made that performance stand out more for me, but I think because of her faith and her age, she is reluctant to do that. Nicki said she tried to show a different side of Angie and she does not need to do that. Randy thought it was pitchy.

Amber Holcomb–“Lately“–Stevie Wonder. I loved it. My second favorite performance of the night. Mariah: She is a tour de force. Mariah was bleeped! That’s funny. Keith agrees. It was the right song. She felt it (the song). It was beautiful tonight. Nicki said it was out of this world. When God created those vocal cords….. Randy said it was the best vocal of the night.

Group number:  Devin, Burnell and Lazaro–“I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops (which ironically is at this moment playing on Shark Tales on my son’s DVD). This performance was TERRIBLE. Their voices do not complement each other. Nicki hated it. She told them to get off the stage. I LOVE HER HONESTY.

Kree Harrison— “Don’t Play That Song” Aretha Franklin. Her voice is really growing on me. Randy says she was one of the best in the competition. She is here to stay. Mariah commends her for doing the song. She loves her and she is here to stay. Keith loves her. Nicki says she is a queen.

My top 3: Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison.

My bottom 3: Burnell Taylor, Lazaro Arbos, Janelle Arthur





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 S12 Boys’ Hollywood Week

10 02 2013

AmericanIdolLogoAfter these two evenings, I have judged the judges: Keith Urban: The Witty One. Nicki Minaj: The Realist. Randy Jackson: Phoning It In. And Mariah Carey: Working It Out. Some choices left me absolutely baffled, both in a good way and not in a good way. Nicki seemed to contradict herself quite often on Wednesday night.

Round One: Sudden Death: A capella

They would be judged in groups of 10.

Made it (may not a complete list): Adam Sanders, Adrien Madison, Bill White, Bryant Tadeo, Burnell Taylor, Charles Allen, Charlie Askew, Chris Watson, Christian Lopez, Clifton Duffin, Cortez Shaw, Curtis Finch, Jr., Dan Wood, Darien Moses, David Leathers, Jr., David Willis, Devan Jones, Devin Velez, Elijah Liu, Frankie Ford, Gabe Brown, Griffin Peterson, Gurpreet Singh Sarin (The Turbanator), Jason Jones, JDA, Jessie Lawrence, Jimmy Smith, Joel Wayman, Johnny Keyser, Joshua Stephens, Kareem Clark, Kayden Stephenson, Kevin Quinn, Lee Pritchard, Lazaro Arbos, Mario Jose, Marvin Calderon, Mathenee Treco, Matheus Fernandes, Micah Johnson, Nate Tao, Nicholas Mathis, Nick Boddington, Papa Peachez, Paul Jolley, Peter ?, Ryan Conner Smith, Sanni M’Mairura, Scott Fleenor, Tony Foster, Jr., Trevor Blakeney, Vincent Powell, Zach Birnbaum.

Who did not (for sure): Brian Rittenberry, Dr. Calvin Peters, Dustin Watts which were all surprises to me. Karl Skinner was not a surprise, but he is so gracious about it. No tears, no drama. Just a thank-you.

Pic1

Round 2: Groups!

Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe announce that THEY would be deciding the groups and that you could not change your group. They did, however, get to choose their name and song from a list of 20 songs. Even though they were performing in groups, the judges would make decisions on the individual performance.

Group: Nick Boddington, Gabe Brown, Mathenee Treco, Matheus Fernandes
Song: “Somebody to Love” by Queen

Comments: I thought they did a good job. Nicki did a fake-out for Gabe and made our hearts skip for a minute; however, they were all sent through.

Group: “Normal Hills” with Johnny Keyser, Kareem Clark, and 2 individuals I cannot identify.
Song: “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops

Comments: Although he picked the song, Johnny was singing a different tune when he realized he was not ready. He said “they” picked a song that he did not know. Johnny sounds horrible. He forgot the lyrics. Kareem Clark is off-key and forgot the lyrics. Forgetting the lyrics should mean automatic disqualification. When Johnny says he has “never” heard the song before, Keith Urban asks, “What planet are you from? I’m from AUSTRALIA and I know that song.” Kareem is sent home and the other three, including Johnny “Why Is He Still Here?” Keyser.

Group: “Couch Potatoes” with Curtis Finch, Jr., Charlie Askew, and Nicholas Mathis
Song: “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars

Comments: Charlie was not feeling well. While Nicholas rallied with his teammate, Curtis says that he would like to show him the bus home because he is there to win. Okay then; we know where he stands! I got goosebumps. Sarcastic Keith: “That was alright.” All of them made it through.

Group: “Four Tones” with Micah Johnson, Vincent Powell, Marvin Calderon, and David Willis.
Song: “Hold On, I’m Coming” by Sam & Dave

Comments: They all made it through.

VincentPowell

Four Tones with Houston’s Vincent Powell

Group: Zach Birnbaum, Nate Tao, Cortez Shaw, Elijah Liu.
Song: “She’s Some Kind of Wonderful” made famous by Grand Funk Railroad

Comments: I got goosebumps on this one, too. All of them are through.

Group: I don’t recognize any of these guys other than Jimmy Smith.
Song: “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

Comments: They forget the lyrics and I am not sure who makes it through other than Jimmy who I see later in the solo rounds.

Group: “The Taylors” Paul Jolley, Bill White, and two people I don’t recognize.
Song: “Amazed” by Lonestar

Comments: They all forgot their lyrics. Keith said, “Somethin’ like that.” Randy said, “I’m so happy that that ended.” Paul and Bill make it through. The other two are sent home.

Group: “The B Side” with Gurpreet Singh Sarin, Mark ?, Chris ?, Peter ?, and ?
Song: “Payphone” by Maroon 5

Comments: This was HORRIBLE. They also forgot the lyrics. Randy: “Hang up the damn phone.” Keith: “Adam Levine is still alive and he’s already turning in his grave.” Then the shocker: The judges believe they can all get better and PUT THEM THROUGH? SAY WHAT? Nicki goes out in the hallway and tells them that they were her favorite group there. What are they mixing in the Coca Cola that day?

The judges take a break and when they come back, Keith Urban is the voice of sanity: “Let’s raise the bar a bit here.” Nicki says, “This is not about entertaining; they have to have the voices.” Dear Nicki: I gave you exhibit A, Taylor Hicks. He was entertaining while having an average voice.

Group: Jason Jones, Dan Wood, Jessie Lawrence
Song: “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

Comments: Dan was horribly off key. I would not have dedicated that song to Mariah and Nicki if you didn’t plan to blow them away with it. Harmonies were sour, too. Keith: “If the word ‘wrongest’ can be used, it was the wrongest song for you guys. The song is by One Direction but you were Four Directions.” Nicki: “All were equally bad actually.” All of them go home.

Group: Ryan Conner Smith, Devan Jones, Devin Velez, Adrien Madison
Song: “Payphone” by Maroon 5

Comments: Ryan suggests they sing it a capella but they sing it slowly. Keith did not like they chose to sing it that way (either choice). Ryan goes home.

DevinVelez

Group: Burnell Taylor, Tony Foster, Jr., Mario Jose, Darien Moses
Song: “She’s Some Kind of Wonderful” made famous by Grand Funk Railroad

Comments: Burnell is the weak link in this group; the others have stronger voices. The judges, however, send Tony and Mario home. What the hell? They let the group that forget the lyrics go through with Nicki telling them they are her favorite, yet they let two talented people in this bunch go home and let sleepy Burnell go through? Letting Mario and Tony go home was a true injustice.

Group: “Super 55” with Lazaro Arbos, Joshua Stephens, Scott Fleenor, and Christian Lopez
Song: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys

Comments: Lazaro did not know the song. Joshua said that Lazaro was “holding them back.” But, Joshua, you sounded off-key and it was not good at all. You cannot blame him for your own performance. Scott forgot the lyrics (and Keith says, “Close enough.”) Lazaro muddled through the lyrics but was at least on key and had a great ending note which seemed to take the others by surprise so I’m guessing it was a spontaneous change. It was a yes for Lazaro and Christian and a no to Scott and Joshua. Afterwards, Josh says, “I feel like I helped this person that ended up taking the slot that I wanted, which is frustrating.” “Wanted” and “deserved,” dear Joshua, are two different things. You have to be responsible for your own performance.

Group: Country Queen with Trevor Blakeney, Lee Pritchard, JDA, Joel Wayman
Song: “More Than Words” by Extreme

Comments: None of them were good in my opinion. Lee forgot the words. Jda was off-key. Trevor forgot most of the words. Trevor was visibly upset, “I’ve never failed anything in my life.” You did not fail Trevor; you made it this far and that is quite impressive. Keep trying, buddy.

Group: DKSK with Kayden Stephenson, David Leathers Jr (who was in the final elimination in the 2012 Vegas round), Kevin Quinn, Sanni M’Mairura (Pearland BOY!)
Song: “Longest Time” by Billy Joel

Comments: The judges were surprised by the key change which got the judge’s attention. When Kayden started singing, Mariah’s face said it all: “Oh God, please do not let this be happening; I don’t want to say no to that young man.” Sanni and David are through; Kevin and Kayden are not. Nicki: “If you’re going on just the voice, just the voice, we made the right decision.” WHAT??? Her “favorite group” was not about “the voice”, it was about, what she considered strictly on entertainment.

DSKS

DSKS with Pearland’s Sanni M’Mairura

Group: Papa Peachez, Adam Sanders, Frankie Ford, Charles Allen
Song: “American Boy” by Estelle

Comments: Frankie has a power struggle with the group and pushes ego when his musical knowledge does not match the groups. Excuse after excuse. Asthma issues, then sobbing. The only one who is decent at all is Adam Sanders and maybe Charles Allen. Nicki asks Papa Peachez and Frankie to step forward. Nicki: “Frankie you fell apart for me today. Keith fought for you, Frankie. Your spirit filled up this room.” To Papa Peachez, Nicki shared this, “If it were not for 1 person changing their vote you would be going home. You are too complacent right now in the competition. You have to step up.” And then she tells Frankie he has to go home. Keith says, “Frankie Returns to Hollywood.” Then Frankie, in a grief-stricken rant, says, “You will not deny me.”

Other people who did not make it through group round: Griffin Peterson and Clifton Duffin.

Thursday Night: Solos with the Band

The solos will be performed and decisions will be made in groups of 8. They can let the band play or they are allowed to play their own instrument with the band. Forty-three remain and half will be cut.

First group of 8: Paul Jolley is a nervous wreck and overcompensates with words which annoys the judges. He sings, “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. I did not think it was good enough; it was just under the note. Nicki begs of him, “Give us 1 minute of professionalism!” Keith quirks, “Be Jolly.” Lazaro Arbos sings “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. It is better than the group performance, but I don’t know if it is good enough for the top 10. Curtis Finch, Jr. sings, “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. It was not as good as we have heard him before. I did not like his song choice. All three of these guys are through.

PaulJolley

Paul Jolley

The second bunch included featured songs by Devin Velez singing, “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. I had goosebumps. It was awesome. I bet you he makes the top 10 boys. Gurpreet Singh Sarin had a chance to redeem himself and chose to play guitar with the band. He sang, “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles and did a smashing job. Cortez Shaw of Dallas sang, “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb and did well. He also redeemed his group performance. Matheus Fernandes has begun to make me feel uncomfortable.  He seems to keep playing the “The Glee Project” part. Whether this is his genuine personality or the persona he played for “The Glee Project” and served him well there, so he felt there was no need to grow from that, I am really not sure. He had an excuse about not singing with a band before and then was cracking jokes again about his appearance. He sang “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson but it sounded angry. He seems to feel the need to drop to his knees with every song he sings. It was a very bad song choice. It was terribly executed. He was always under the notes. This “Glee-like” drama does not belong in American Idol. Nicki gave it to him straight, “Sometimes things go from being inspiring to becoming you wanting a pity party. Once you’re great, we don’t even notice your height. You don’t have to milk that…ever again…ever. Be you. Be great. And just rest in your talent after today. Devin, Gurpreet, Cortez, and Adam Sanders (performance not shown) were sent through but Matheus was sent home.

DevinVelez2

Devin Velez is one of my favorites

The third bunch included Nicholas Mathis who sang “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Keith Urban was so cool doing background sound effects (of what the music would do) for him. He was always just under the note, not quite flat, but not quite there. Then he dropped to his knees but for different reasons I think than Matheus did. He looked like the song was wearing him out physically because it requires a lot of breathing, lung power and breath control. He was just visibly out of breath. Keith said, “When you said chasing a dream, I felt like you were chasing the song.” Nicholas asks for one more chance because he is doing this for his kids (and I think Keith’s point was he should be doing this because it is his calling in life). As he exits, he says, “Get me a song to sing.” I did not understand that comment. He got a song to sing in the solo rounds–one he picked in fact. Nicki kept a watchful eye on Papa Peachez. He decided to sing, “You and I” by Lady Gaga and Nicki rolled her eyes when he started singing. It is the best I have heard him sing in Hollywood but it is not good enough for a place in the top 20. Nicki says, “I’m pretty sure that flame is completely burnt out. I am so disappointed. I don’t know why you would choose that song.” Jimmy Smith tries to redeem his group performance and sings “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. He has a sweet voice and he did a great job.

JimmySmith

Jimmy Smith’s redemption

In the fourth bunch, Nick Boddington, who made it to the Vegas rounds last year, chose to take a risk and play the keyboard and did one of my favorite songs, “Stars” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Although he was no Amanda Brown from The Voice it was still a good performance and I got goosebumps. I hope he finds a place in our top 10. Charlie Askew uses his charm to win over the judges. He decided to do a talking intro to the “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. He is an interesting quirky person (and I’m quirky and I like that) but he does not have the best voice. Nicki said, “I am obsessed with you.” His response? “Baby I could say the same thing.” And then my favorite line I’ve heard all year, “I glorify weirdness.” Can I use this as my catch line, Charlie? LOVE THAT LINE! Both of these guys go through as does JDA and Mathenee Treco.

NickBoddington

Nick Boddington is another of my favorites

The fifth bunch started with two singers doing the same song, “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri: Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon. Burnell is not doing too well. He is more right under the note than he was singing on the note. Marvin was not great, but was better than Burnell, even when he cracked on that end note. I’m upset that Burnell is going through. Is it just because he’s from Baton Rouge? Marvin is also going through as well. Micah Johnson then performs. He sings, “I Told You So” by Randy Travis. It was good but there were no vocal Olympics. He was far better than Burnell. Then they tell him no for this year. This is just NUTS.

They also let go: Gabe Brown, Sanni M’Mairura (WE STILL LOVE YOU IN HOUSTON SANNI!), and Nate Tao. And Johnny Keyser is still there? WHY IS HE STILL THERE?

Top 28 (I’m showing 32 names, the ones in bold are the ones I know are through; not sure if others are through and/or others are missing)?: Adam Sanders, Adrien Madison, Bill White, Bryant Tadeo, Burnell Taylor, Charles Allen, Charlie Askew, Chris Watson, Christian Lopez, Cortez Shaw, Curtis Finch, Jr., Darien Moses, David Leathers, Jr., David Willis, Devan Jones, Devin Velez, Elijah Liu, Gurpreet Singh Sarin (The Turbanator), JDA, Jimmy Smith, Joel Wayman, Johnny Keyser, Josh Holiday, Lee Pritchard, Lazaro Arbos, Mario Jose, Marvin Calderon, Mathenee Treco, Nick Boddington, Paul Jolley, Peter ?, Vincent Powell, Zach Birnbaum.

There is a twist to the boys, however. Next Thursday they will not have to perform, but 8 of them will still need to go home.

Next week: Hollywood Week Girls Style. Let the Hunger Games begin.