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.





American Idol Season 13 Top 12 Perform

6 03 2014

LogoTonight’s theme was “home.” The contestants were to do a song that defines that and what it means to them. Does it mean their town, their family members, or something else? What does “home” represent to them?

Was I the only person who was hoping the ladies would grab Ryan Seacrest and put him in the mosh pit with them?

Jena Irene

Song: “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall: Symbolizes her family and how she was raised.

My thoughts: I liked it. I really like the uniqueness of her voice. I also like that she makes it a little different so it does not sound like the original.
The judges: Keith: Likes her stage presence, that she was coming to life. He was not mad about that specific song for her, but liked the way she started to move around. Jennifer said she is on the precipice of really blossoming on the stage. She loves how she can make the song her own. It is the mark of an artist. Harry said he liked the switch in the melody. He wanted to see more energy from her especially at her age.

Alex Preston

Song: “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw

My thoughts: I adore his grandmother. I’m such a fan of Alex. He had a few little breath issues. And it was a bit pitchy for him. But I still loved it because he tried to change the song for himself.

The judges: Jennifer said he looks like he belongs on stage. It wasn’t his best vocal performance. The arrangement did not quite fit the song. It overtook his vocal and performance. She advised him to be careful with that balance. Harry said he is so used to hearing him at an intimate context (yet last week he didn’t like the intimate performance). It sounded similarly to what Jen said. He didn’t think it was a home run but admires him for trying to do something different this time. Keith thought the word instability came to mind for the performance. The song was around him instead of him being “in” the song. Another giveaway is the loss of breath at the end of phrasing.

Jessica Meuse

Song: “White Flag” by Dido

My thoughts: If this song has been in her set for years, it should have sounded better. I prefer when she sings from a dark place. This was not a good song choice for her.

The judges: Harry said she normally is so in tune. She was so off here. She really wasn’t present in the performance. Harry gets booed. Keith loves her musicality. With pitch and that (what Harry was saying), he does not always agree. Jennifer said she is with both of them. She feels like she is comfortable but it is not coming off that way to the audience. It was so sharp through the whole thing. But if she would have been singing with so much more conviction, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Dexter Roberts

Song: “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry

My thoughts: It was nice. I’m sorry that I’m not a big country music fan. I like him and the puppies are adorable.

The judges: Keith said it was the perfect song. He took liberties with the phrasing. He showed his vulnerable side. Jennifer said she feels like they are being a little hard on everybody tonight. She liked that he surprised her. Harry wants to be completely honest. It was unquestionably the best performance of the night (so far). It was a great performance.

Emily Piriz

Song: “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez

My thoughts: I have mixed emotions about the Marine boyfriend video. On one hand, they could just be celebrating and being grateful for his service. On the other hand, people feel obligated to vote for her just because of that and sometimes it pays off and sometimes people hate being manipulated and refuse to vote because of that. As far as her performance, the band guy looked uncomfortable when she was singing and dancing next to him. It was in tune but it did not have enough oomph to get me up and want to dance or sing along with her which is the purpose of the song.

The judges: Jennifer said she did a really good job. She loved it but she is biased. Harry said he thought it took a lot of courage but she has to match the intensity of the locomotive train. She has to drive the train and the production was too big for her tonight. Harry gets booed again. Keith loved it. Harry says back to Keith that he wants her to improve. Keith said to be more confident.

Caleb Johnson

Song: “Working Man” by Rush

My thoughts: My favorite so far tonight. He could honestly go on tour right now.

The judges: Harry: He is the most consistent performer on the show. Always consistent, but he knows how he feels before he goes on to sing. What can he bring to rock and roll to make it modern? How can he not be predictable? Keith said he is one of the best singers he has heard in a long, long time. It was a bold thing. Keith talks about rock and roll and the need for a band. His challenge to Caleb was how does he get that thing going on without the band around him. Jennifer said it is what she has been waiting for all night. Great job tonight.

MK Nobilette

Song: “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

My thoughts: Once again, they put her name up as MK Nobillette. She looks terrified. I don’t know if that is what caused her to lose breath control and be off key. The message that came across to me was she feels defeated and feels like what is the point (because she was in the bottom 3 last week).

The judges: Keith said she needs to connect with how she looks with how she sings. If she isn’t going to not use the guitar, throw it behind her and grab the microphone. Jennifer said she needs to keep pushing herself. She will get there. It was a sweet performance. Harry gets the feeling that she does not want to be there. He advises her to work on the things that are hard, that make her uncomfortable and she will improve.

CJ Harris

Song: “Waiting on the World To Change” by John Mayer

My thoughts: He is still sharp over the note. I’m starting to think it might be a bad habit that is just hard to change. But I loved the emotion and connection he had with the song that we could feel as well.

The judges: Jennifer said he looks great tonight. She loved the performance of that song. Harry said he sang consistently sharp, but it was alright because he had conviction. Keith said all that is missing now is to make the song more of his own and not just do a straight cover. Where is his artistic take on it?

Sam Woolf

Song: “Just One” by Blind Pilot

My thoughts: It was a sweet performance. I think putting him in a more intimate context was better than what he did last week where he was lost on stage. But I worry about this. Will he be able to play in a big venue or is this more coffeehouse?

The judges: Harry: Emotional dynamics–there has to be a change–there is just one beat with him emotionally. He needs to try something else. Keith: He understands what Harry is saying. The tone of his voice is like “butta.” If he made an album of original songs, he would buy that record. Jennifer said he has to push outside his comfort zone.

Malaya Watson

Song: “Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann

My thoughts: It was a better song and performance from last week. More mature. There was a lot of heart in that. But there were still moments that were really rough.

The judges: Keith stood up. Keith said it was a beautiful song baby. (First baby tonight). Encompassed vulnerability and range. Great job. Jennifer had goosies. She was all there for the story. And she had tears in her eyes because she is so proud of her. Harry said this felt very focused and it was risky. There were a few little problems but the message was there.

Ben Briley

Song: “Turning Home” by David Nail

My thoughts: I have no opinion about this.

The judges: Jennifer said the feeling was there. Harry did not connect with it and he felt it was shouted. Harry has a record number of boos in one evening. Keith lost the story and emotion from him. He wants him to worry less about the technicality.

Majesty Rose York

Song: “Fix You” by Coldplay

My thoughts: The emotion was there, but the song was off key in parts it needed to be in key. I liked it in the beginning but when she tried to go big, that is when her voice failed her. She reminds me more of a Tracy Chapman type of singer.

The judges: Harry enjoyed the beginning. Jennifer said she tried to do something but it didn’t work. Keith said they would see her next week.

So in summary, tonight’s Idol was VERY disappointing. The only person who nailed it tonight was Caleb. MK is in serious trouble. She has a lovely voice but her lack of confidence in herself will ultimately be her downfall. Jessica might be in trouble as well. Picking a song is so crucial. And having a theme and having to pick a song that reminds you of home but may not be a good song for your voice all have to be considered.





The Following Season 2 Preview

18 01 2014

TheFollowingPreviewLogoThe first five minutes of The Following‘s episode “Resurrection” had my adrenaline rushing at warp speed. It’s a year later. Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is trying to adjust to all the changes in his life and we find him in a much better space than he was at the beginning of season 1. He has a new job teaching criminology and is enjoying it very much. With the anniversary of Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) death approaching, people still loyal to Joe have hatched a plan to resurrect the cause in these very creepy Joe Carroll masks. Bronx trains are never fun to ride; this time is no exception.

There are many new faces joining the cast, including at least three alumni from Dexter: Keith Carradine, Valerie Cruz, and Sam Underwood. Sam was creepy as Zach Hamilton on Dexter and his role here raised the bar to a whole new sinister level. I found it odd that two cast members, Valerie Cruz and Connie Nielsen, look very similar to two cast members in season 1 of The Following. I doubt that is a coincidence, but you never know with this show. Joining the cast is Jessica Stroup who plays Ryan’s sister (not the same sister from last season). I like the brother/sister interaction that takes place between them.

What things are the same: Flashbacks to fill in storyline. If one looks carefully, there are little tidbits of things relating to Edgar Allan Poe throughout the episode. A lot of people die (and die horribly).

One criticism I have heard from people is that so many characters were followers of Joe Carroll in season 1 that it almost became ridiculous, especially the number of people within the law enforcement community. There is a fine line between fascinating and ridiculous. Oddly enough, it did condition my behavior as I find myself wondering while watching this episode which ones are friends and which ones are foes especially one particular individual.  I like that I cannot predict the outcome of a show or which characters are good or evil. It makes for a suspenseful television viewing experience. I know that by the end of the show a song for my childhood will never be listened to the same way again.

The Following returns on Sunday, January 19, 2014, after the NFC Championship Game.

(My thanks to Fox Broadcasting and Fox VIP for allowing me the privilege of watching the screener)





A Letter to My Child with Autism on His 18th Birthday

17 12 2013

At 11:57 a.m. on Sunday, December 17, 1995, you came into this world. Your birth was difficult. There were just a few months between 5 months and 14 months where I thought things were ironing themselves out. Life for your young 18 years has been grueling as you tried to navigate a world that overwhelmed you every minute of your waking day. My heart always aches for you. As your mom, I tried my best to try to make it better for you, like a mother putting a Band-Aid on a boo-boo. But your boo-boo is so deep and consuming that the task was just impossible. This was nothing I could fix and that has been the hardest thing for me to accept. I am not sure that I will ever be able to accept that you will not get to experience all the things my friends’ children will–college, a career, a significant other, marriage, children of your own. My faith in God is challenged at every turn. How could a God exist that allows you to suffer so much? God did not do this to you. I think it was a perfect storm of genetic predisposition and human errors. As what happened in my own life, God said, “Okay, this has happened to you–but trust me to find a different path for your journey.” Your path just happened to be through a tropical jungle that required a machete to move forward.

Either the day after you were born or the week after you were born.

Either the day after you were born or the week after you were born.

I have no doubt that we have pursued every avenue that gave you the best chance to overcome your challenges. As my mind tries to focus on all the things you cannot do for yourself, all I need to do is watch the video from Son-Rise when you were 3 years old where all you did was “mantra chant” and turn pages of your book. There was very little eye contact.

I am so proud of all the work you did coming from your world into ours. How scary that must have been for you. I think of the scene from Lord of the Rings where the fellowship crosses the bridge in the Mines of Moria, all the forces around them trying to stop them from crossing.

Autism is the Balrog.  YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!

Autism is the Balrog. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!

I have described you often as my life teacher. I have thought that I was the conduit to help you achieve whatever your purpose is in this life. If it were not for you, I would not have created the special needs ministry at St. Anthony’s–the countless numbers of people who were helped that may not have been. Your life and struggles have been shared with thousands of people. There is no doubt in my mind that you have influenced some decisions they have made in their own lives. Perhaps they are grateful for things they never thought to be grateful for–like the gift of just eye contact. Because of you, I have met extraordinary people. I have achieved a superhero level of patience. I have become a warrior not only of your rights, but the social justice rights of all people. I have learned not to make judgments of people. I have more compassion. I have always had a survivor’s strength, but your issues caused me to find strength even deeper than I could ever imagine.

Patrick & me at his 16th birthday party.

Patrick & me at his 16th birthday party.

The tears that flow so easily from my eyes today are a mixture of joy and pain. No parent wants to see their children struggle.  I don’t know what our future together looks like, but as long as I breathe, I will do everything I can to make sure you have the best life possible and to help you fulfill your destiny in this lifetime.

The seas may be smooth or rocky, but we will navigate them together.

The seas may be smooth or rocky, but we will navigate them together.

I love you pumpkinator. Happy 18th birthday!

 

 





Almost Human Previews

12 11 2013

I know my international friends have been complaining that they haven’t been able to see the 8-minute preview on Hulu.  I thought it was not out there.  I don’t know if this is what Hulu has, but if you combine the first 3-minutes of the show with the additional 8-minute preview, this is going to give you a good idea what the show is like:

Here is the first 3-minutes of the show:

 

 

Here is another 8-minute segment of the show (not exactly right after the original 3 minutes, but HELL YEAH, you have just now gotten to see 11 minutes of the show.

Thank you to @SilkenSoul for testing the links to be sure our international friends could get access to these particular YouTube videos!

Are you excited? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!





The Following Season 2 Teaser

25 10 2013

“The Following” returns to Fox Broadcasting on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 9/8 central!





Advanced Screening of Almost Human

17 10 2013

FOX and Eventful are giving fans in three winning cities that Demand it! the most, an advance screening of FOX’s fun, adrenaline-fueled drama ALMOST HUMAN. FOX is putting the power in the hands of the fans to Demand it! and win an exclusive free screening of ALMOST HUMAN anywhere in the country before it premieres Monday, Nov. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

ALMOST HUMAN fans can vote for their cities online NOW at http://eventful.com/almosthuman. In the three cities that receive the highest online vote tally by Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5:00 PM PT, FOX will host a free advance screening of ALMOST HUMAN at a local theater. Any city in the country has a chance to make it to the Top Three!

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer J.J. Abrams (“Fringe,” “Lost,” “Revolution,” “Person of Interest,” the “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” franchises) and creator/executive producer J.H. Wyman (“Fringe,” “The Mexican”), comes ALMOST HUMAN. Starring Karl Urban (the “Star Trek” and “The Lord of the Rings” franchises) and Golden Globe Award nominee Michael Ealy (“Sleeper Cell,” “Common Law”), the new series is set approximately 30 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. ALMOST HUMAN will follow the week-to-week missions of JOHN KENNEX (Urban), a detective and sole survivor of a devastating police ambush, and his robot partner, DORIAN (Ealy), as this buddy-cop duo solve cases and fight to keep the lid on dangerously evolved criminals in this futuristic landscape.

ALMOST HUMAN is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc., in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series was created by J.H. Wyman, who wrote the pilot. The series is executive-produced by J.J. Abrams, Wyman and Bryan Burk. Kathy Lingg (“Person of Interest,” “Revolution,” “Fringe”) and Reid Shane (“Fringe”) are co-executive producers. Brad Anderson (“Fringe,” “The Killing”) directed and served as co-executive producer on the pilot. “Like” ALMOST HUMAN on Facebook at Facebook.com/AlmostHumanFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @AlmostHumanFOX and join the discussion using #almosthuman. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @AlmostHumanFOX.

(Via Press Release)

Related Links: https://pbmom.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/jj-abrams-jh-wyman-talk-about-almost-human/

Related Links: https://pbmom.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/first-look-almost-human/

 

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