American Idol Season 13 Hollywood Rounds Week One

13 02 2014

LogoThe contestants have no idea that there is a twist this year in the audition process. Some people will have to sing for their life in an airplane hangar. The judges were divided on the talent of these people. I’ll give you the short version (my opinions):

Johnny Newcomb: I do not think it was good enough.
Connor Swetsch: I liked it; first time hearing her.
Ali Jane Henderson: I loved it; first time hearing her.
Caitlin Johnson: I did not like it. It was bad compared to the first three. I was not a fan of hers in the San Francisco audition.
Adam Roth (the sound healer): I still do not like his voice.
Tristen Langley (Nikki McKibbin’s kid): Not bad.
Morgan Deplitch: No for me; off pitch; last time in Austin she was too breathy.
Stephanie Petronelli (the cheerleader): I still do not like her voice.
Rich Lafleur: Goofed up.
Eric Wood: Liked it; liked him in Austin, too.
Alyssa Siebken: Not good enough.
Neco Starr: Liked him.
Khristian D’avis (aka fake-accent girl): No from me.

They were broken up into two groups. One group would be returned to the airport; one group would be going to the next round. There were 20 people in group 2 who were taken to the hotel. Among those going home was Caleb Hartsfield who is from my sister’s city of Asheville. Too bad; I liked his voice.

There are 180 people going into Day 2.

Day 2

On this day, they put them in lines of 10 and have them sing a capella or with an instrument. In the first line, George Lovett, Sandie Lee, Brandy Neely, John Fox, and Majesty Rose York were through to the group round. Going home were Jack Janowicz from the Omaha auditions, McKenna Dennis from the Austin auditions, Viviana Villalon also from the Austin auditions, and very surprisingly Samantha Calmes who was one of my favorites.

Out of the next group all we know is that Spencer Lloyd would be staying.

In the next group, I thought Austin Wolfe had a good voice. I loved Bria Anai‘s song. I did not like Selena Moreno‘s song, not just because she goofed up but she is not on the same level as some of these other singers. Going through to group rounds were Austin Wolfe, Jessica Meuse, Bria Anai Johnson, Shanon Wilson. Selena Moreno and Lauren Ogburn from the Atlanta auditions would be returning home.

In the next group, I like Sam Woolf but he may not be ready for Idol (at least this year’s talent) Keri Lynn Roche‘s song I loved. I was a “no” for Ayla Stackhouse. I adore CJ Harris. John Martin Davis and Ayla Stackhouse as well as another male who was standing in the forward line in a blue plaid shirt who I cannot identify were going home. Keri, CJ, Sam, and a few others I cannot identify by face are through to the next round.

Alex Preston, Sydney Arterbridge, Jesse Roach (Cypress, Texas), Brian Watt, Jade Lathan, Lindsay Bell, David Luning and a few others are in the next group. I loved Alex. Sydney’s vibrato bothers me. I liked Jesse. Brian has a nice voice but when I listen to him compared with the others, it is just not as good as some. Alex, Jesse and a few unidentified individuals have made it through to the next round. Brian, Jade, Sydney, David and Lindsay are going home.

Madelyn Patterson is in her own segment for #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome. I felt it would be #IdolHome as I did not enjoy it. Sixty percent felt she would remain in Hollywood and 40% said she would be going home, but she is through to the next round.

In the next group, they showcased Kenzie Hall and Quaid Edward. I don’t think Quaid is ready but he will get there at some point. Kenzie has such an interesting sound and niche in the competition. Kenzie is through and Quaid is sent home.

Then there are 10 people who make it through (but they were in a bunch of different groups). Ben Briley (I did not like this version of “Stars”.) Briston Maroney (Royals? This is a “no” on the song choice for me but the sound of his voice is unique). Dexter Roberts (The one I liked the best out of these three men). Rachel Rollier (I like her voice). Maurice Townsend (Wonderful). Casey Thrasher (Very nice. He did so much better than his audition). Tiquila Wilson (Loved her). Emily Piriz (I did not like her voice today). Malcolm Allen (Goosebumps).

Munfarid Zaidi from a close-by town of Sugar Land, Texas always adds the fun factor to the show. I think Idol needs at least one. I liked Ethan Thompson‘s performance. Austin Percario was okay. Love the rocker Caleb Johsnon. I think Stephanie Hanvey‘s performance to too affected. I loved Kristen O’Connor‘s solo. I also loved Emmanuel Zidor‘s solo as well as Briana Oakley and Jesse Cline. Keith London made an odd choice in song. I loved his voice but I agree with the judges. Allie Odom, Symphony Howlett, Olivia Diamond, Keith London, and Donald Reed are through to the next round as well as Munfarid, Ethan, Austin, Caleb, Stephanie, Kristen, Briana, and Jesse.

For the last line, Malaya Watson was up. I am not sure about her based on this song. I enjoyed Jena Ascuitto‘s performance. Savion Wright, a local Houston favorite (as well as my own), sang a song for his brother who had recently died (at the time of Hollywood week). On February 5, 2014, the Sabine County District Attorney released a statement that said he has turned the ongoing Alfred Wright case over to the Texas Attorney General’s Office. I love Savion. I had goosebumps. All three contestants are through.

Groups

Immediately, Casey Thrasher, Ben Briley and Dexter Roberts teamed up to form the Backstreet Cowboys. Austin contestants Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson teamed up. Matthew Hamel, Jessica Meuse, and Clark King teamed up. Clark was losing his voice. Matthew and Jessica found other groups.  Malaya Watson, Christine Collins, Olivia Diamond and Queen Bulls teamed up. Clark King decides to drop out.

Veterans from Season 12 of American Idol, David Oliver Lewis, Sarina Joi Crowe, and Tony Foster Jr. teamed up to form “Three More Days“. They choose “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It was lovely! Well done! But not everyone can go through and this time it was Tony’s turn to go home. He was genuine when he expressed a desire to know why so he could learn from the experience. I thought that was pretty wonderful instead of pouting and demanding to know why. Harry tells him that he looked at his feet too much. Tony has a wonderful attitude. I hope he comes back next year.

Dexter Roberts, Ben Briley and Casey Thrasher, the “Backstreet Cowboys” sing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was the first country boy band and it worked. I loved it. All of them are going through to the next round.

Neco Starr, George Lovett and another individual did “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I enjoyed this. Paula Hunt, Andrina Brogden and another unknown individual teamed up. MK Nobilette and Briana Oakley were part of another group and they made it through to the next round. Brandy Neely, Emily, and Kenzie Hall were all through. Spencer Lloyd, Megan Miller and Alyssa Siebken teamed up. Megan forgot the lyrics. The group fell apart. Alyssa was sent home but she felt that she was set up by the others.

Other people leaving after group rounds were Madisen Walker, Keith London, Austin Percario, Stephanie Petronelli, and Adam Roth. Tiquila Wilson respectfully quits; she does not feel this is the correct path for her.

The next group consisted of CJ Harris, Caleb Johnson, Tyler Ahlgren and Matthew Hamel also sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. Caleb reminds me of the rocker Meatloaf. CJ and Caleb are through; Tyler and Matthew are sent home.

Members of the group “Collision” were all through. The group “Clarity” was made up of Jena Ascuitto, Sikenya Thompson, Munfarid and Allie Odom. Sikenya barely had a voice. She had lost her confidence. The judges encouraged her to push through and she did. Unfortunately Allie was the weaker link and someone has to go.

Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson sang “Royals.” I thought it was fine. But John J. Fox of Magnolia, Texas (the town right next to me) is going home.

The next group was Nica Nashae, Stephanie Hanvey, Cara Watson and Jessica Meuse. Stephanie’s mom was overbearing, trying to run the show. I really dislike stage moms like this. The psychology behinds it suggests that they are pushing their children to achieve recognition for themselves. They sing Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies.” Stephanie was terrible and she goes home, not without some final words from mom.

Terrica Curry, Carmen Delgina and Emmanuel Zidor teamed up to become “Love’s Angels.” Only Emmanuel makes it through.

Loud & Fierce members Malaya Watson, Queen Bulls, Christina Collins, and Olivia Diamond did not do very well. Out of all of them I liked Malaya’s performance the best. They, however, are all through.

At this point 77 contestants remain. Solo rounds start on Wednesday, February 12.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Austin Auditions

22 05 2013

Minnie Driver joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe in Austin.Logo

JFreeze is a mini-Cyrus. He is a bit too young to be on the show; however, he IS going to Disney!

Hayley Erbert, Topeka, Kansas

Great dancer but she is not like Amy Yakima who has been the best contemporary girl I have seen so far. She gets a ticket to Vegas.

Donovan Gibbs, El Paso, Texas, age 18

I am not sure if that was lyrical hip-hop, but it was fabulous. He had me at the first note. The judges bring mom and dad down and send dad to the stage for a dance off. Donovan is going to Vegas!

Dannon O’Brien, Austin age 20

This was one of the more interesting background interviews. Their family runs a charitable haunted house and how adores doing it. Mom says it helps him to release that creative side of himself. He has a lot of strength in those legs. He is one of those people whose dance you will remember. His dancing had a great deal of emotion in it, particularly toward the end. Going to Vegas!

Shane Garcia, age 20, Tamarac, Florida (bone breaking style of dance, footwork and animation.)

When he said that he began dancing to speak freely, I became very emotional. I am not sure I can watch bone-breaking dance without cringing. But it also makes sense to me. There are moments of fluidity with the footwork, the animation with its abrupt movements, mixed with the twisting nature of the bone-breaking. I can only imagine that having a problem stuttering may be very much like that in his real world. Put him through to Vegas judges! It is a yes to choreography instead. Ugh! But then good news–he is through to Vegas.

Daniela Bustillos, age 21, Austin

She is living the American dream, having immigrated here and discovering all the freedoms that were not available to her in Venezuela. Nigel asked her mom to take his seat at the judges’ table. She was an average contemporary dancer. She has some skill there that could be helped with the talent from the show. Yes to choreography. I did not think it was strong enough. But she is through to Vegas.

Nick Muckleroy, age 21, from Houston (Whoop, whoop!)

He is a strong dancer. I wish he did not try so hard to keep eye contact with the judges. It felt out of place. I think it would have taken it to another level by getting lost in the dance and it bringing us in with him–like quicksand. He has beautiful lines and great strength. He also melded several types of dance within the audition. What he did with those splits where he moved forward by flexing his thigh muscle–something I have never seen before. Mary felt it was a religious experience. He is going to SOAR to Vegas. I will definitely keep the home boy in my Vegas sights.

Guess who’s back? The Xcercist, Hampton Williams! And his baby, Kiera (age 4). OMG. She is ADORABLE? And his girlfriend. The audience ATE it up. So did I. Darlecia Goggins is the girlfriend. They are 3 tickets to Vegas. Check this out.

Next week: Boston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





American Idol Season 12 San Antonio Auditions

1 02 2013

The San Antonio, Texas Idol auditions were carried out at Sunset Station, also known as the building of 1000 lights (The Depo). For some, those lights were on, but nobody was home. For others, they got their bright yellow ticket to the Hollywood rounds.

First up was Vincent Powell, originally from Austin, Texas, who now makes his home in Houston, Texas. He is a praise leader. He chose B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby.” Mariah was groovin’. He made it previously to the Hollywood week during season 11 but did not get through; then he thought it would be his last year to audition and make it through, but the rules have been changed. Will this be the time his star shines? I think so. He is top 10 material.

VincentPowell

Vincent Powell

The Brothers Bacerott (Derek and David) took up way too much air time and time from the judges. They were trying to sing Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” David was trying to channel a bad Elvis imitation. He thinks he is hot. Not only could they not stay on key, they could not harmonize. The boys were very passive-aggressive. This is what they want to do. They want feedback, but apparently no constructive feedback that might save them a lifetime of pursuing something that cannot be theirs. Sometimes the truth IS a negative–the difference between what you want and what you have the talent to do. I could never build a house. But I am an excellent pet sitter. I would never attempt to build a house because it would never meet safety standards. But I have other talents and gifts I can give the world to make it a better place. Mariah tries to help but David will not be quiet. David: “But you guys were very negative.” Randy: “But it is the truth.” Then Nicki realizes they were in a state delusion. She says, “You guys were great, but it is a no from us.” Then David says, “Don’t lie to us.” Randy: “You have terrible attitudes.” Them: “We have great attitudes.” I liked Nicki intervening and said, “Your part of the audition is done.” Where is the Gong Show hook when you need it?

Savannah Votion has a lovely voice, singing, “At Last” by Etta James. Etta James seems to be real big this year at all the auditions. She will get to Vegas week I think. One comment: Watch what you wear. On the side view, you could see your abdominal fat hanging over your pants and that is just never attractive. But I’m definitely rooting for her.

SavannahVotion

Savannah Votion

Like a coyote, I was howling when Ricky Jo Garcia was singing. Randy was thoughtful: “It wasn’t good enough today.” I’m not sure it would ever BE good enough. Another person who has been deluded by people around her that she could sing well.

Cristabel Clack is another worship leader in the group. I had goosebumps. She sang, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. I got goosebumps. I think we’ll see her move through Hollywood and onto Vegas. Mariah loves her. I adore her hair, too.

CristabelClack

Cristabel Clack

Jordan Difani nominated his wife, Ann, a former Miss University of Arkansas. Randy Jackson surprised them at a football game. She sang, “Stronger” by Faith Hill. Her voice is good, but I did not like her performance. If I closed my eyes, it was better. Not sure exactly what was making me feel uncomfortable, but sometimes it is like that with me. Keith: “There’s a lot of faith in there.” Ann: “I hope you felt the passion.” Mariah: “He meant “Hill.” Randy Jackson: “Faith Hill.” Mariah said she liked that she had an anchor (referring to her love of country but she could crossover into pop per the contestant), and then Marian did a quick head-check to Nicki because it was this same topic that caused that big argument in Charlotte.

AnnDifani

Ann Difani

Victoria Acosta spends a lot of her time singing in mariachi groups. She sang, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” She has a good voice, but I thought it was not a good song choice. That is one of those songs that really need instruments behind it to sound okay. It did look forced. Randy asked her to sing in her style, which she did, and it was much better. Hopefully when she gets to Hollywood she can transpose that passion in that style of song into the choices they are given to sing.

VictoriaAcosta

Victoria Acosta

Stefan Jones, Ongela Clark-Falkquay and Carolyn Jackson were all branded outlaws. That was a cute segment.

Papa Peachez is an interesting fellow. He said he felt like a big black woman trapped in a little boy’s body (a little white boy’s body). He decided to perform an original song. I’m adoring what I’m calling “Keithisms” “Papa Don’t Peach.” I was 100% surprised they said yes. He is interesting, but he’ll be swallowed alive during Hollywood week and nothing but peach pits will be left.

PapaPeachez

Papa Peachez

Sanni M’Mairura is a Pearland, Texas resident (a community south of Houston). For 16, he is adorable. If he does not make it through Hollywood week, he should definitely consider trying out for So You Think You Can Dance when he turns 18. He has a GREAT attitude. I liked his voice. He sang, “Who’s Lovin’ You” by Michael Jackson.

Sanni

Sanni M’Mairura

Adam Sanders looked like Jimmy Kimmel with a wig on. I heard some on Twitter calling him a Latino Adam Lambert. This young man would have been completely happy if he just met his idol Mariah that day. He said he felt he was R&B, Soul or Pop. This was either going to be really, really good or bad, but given that he has the last spot for the day, it is likely going to be spectacular. He sang, “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. GOOSEBUMPS. He will be in the group going to Vegas after Hollywood. I have NO DOUBT. TESTIFY! He got a standing ovation.

AdamSanders

Adam Sanders

The number of people who made it through to San Antonio was not given, but I would guess, if it is the typical amount, somewhere in the 40-50 range. Next up: Long Beach, California on the Queen Mary.





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.





The XFactor Boot Camp Task Two

8 10 2012

Sixty enter the stage, only 24 will move on to the judges’ homes. They paired up the acts, both having to sing one song. Both could make it. One could make it. None could make it. The pressure was too much for some of the singers with a combination of being off-key and forgetting the lyrics. For some, they only forget a few words; others completely shut down and drew a blank, knowing that they likely ruined their shot. Manipulations were afoot as well, the more dominant personality trying to convince the less dominant individual that the song choice was a good one, or in some cases ignoring the comments said that they did not want to do the song.

TARA SIMON vs. JENNEL GARCIA
(“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac)

Jennel expresses her feelings that she did not want to sing that song and Tara commits to it anyway. Jennel’s demeanor and even the way she dresses are different. She looks nervous and it is a weak song for her. Tara, bubbling with overconfidence, performs worse than Jennel. Tara was overly affected. Britney Spears looks like it is painful to listen to it. Tara still thinks she rocked it after the commentary. Note to Tara: When the judges say that they don’t like the “song choice” it is a polite way of saying you sucked singing it without it being a personal attack.

VINO ALAN vs. DAVID CORREY
(“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye)

David starts out dissing the judges and calls them “roadblocks to his dream.” That is not a good start, but his vocal is okay (not perfect, but okay). Vino messes up his lyric (which I did not even catch) but the judges did not notice. They DO notice he has anger management issues. Vino sounded okay as well. I liked how David said he had great respect for Vino and wants them to go through together.

PAIGE THOMAS vs. CECE FREY
(“Secrets” by OneRepublic)

Paige said that Cece wanted to do “Secrets” and she did not agree and left the room saying that. Paige talks to a vocal coach and says she feels she is getting played in the matter, but gets a pep talk from the vocal coach that she has this moment and she has to make it work. When the judges asked how the song was picked, there was silence, followed by Cece falling over her words about how “they” picked the song which I did not buy. Cece wants to win “like oxygen coming out of my lungs.” Nice thought but carbon dioxide is what comes out of your lungs. Paige forgets the lyrics. Her lower range is OFF! She is flat. I did not like it at all. Cece is too affected. She needs better stage presence (less affect). I think this song is the worst she has done so far. She, too, is flat. Cece thinks she should go through instead of Paige just because Paige forgot the lyrics.

JASON BROCK vs. BRIANA WRIGHT
(“Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia)

They only show Jason singing and the song is not good choice for his voice.

L3VEL vs. EMBLEM3

They did not show this challenge.

DIAMOND WHITE vs. DINAH JANE HANSEN
(“Stronger [What Doesn’t Kill You]” by Kelly Clarkson)

This was a slow version of the show. Dinah’s lower range is rough. It sounded like both were trying to sing the song just a little bit faster than the piano player. Diamond’s lower range was a tad bit rough as well. The song was too slow– too sleepy– for me. Dinah is worried because she forgot the lyrics but I did not notice. Diamond reassures her (I like that–you can be competitors without being a cut-throat).

BEATRICE MILLER vs. CARLY ROSE SONENCLAR
(“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People)

Two 13-year-olds battle. Beatrice needs to get control of her excessive vibrato. She looks like a young Maria Bello. For 13-year-olds I guess they did well, but I thought it was too flat and sharp so I did not care for either performance.

SISTER C vs. LAUREN JAUREGUI
(“These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding)

I just do not like Sister C. Nothing personal. Their twang grates on my nerves. I am not a country music fan, but there is some country music I can listen to that sounds nice. Britney also thinks they are. Lauren did a great job.

BRANDON HASSAN vs. REED DEMING
(“Secrets” by OneRepublic)

Both are flat. I would choose neither.

JULIA BULLOCK vs. ALLY BROOKE
(“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan)

Both were flat but Ally was slightly better.

JEFFREY ADAM GUTT vs. UNKNOWN
(“If I Die Young” The Band Perry)

This is country music I can listen to. They did not show much of his singing, but it was rough in spots but I think he will get through.

WILLIE JONES vs. TATE STEVENS
(“Nobody Knows It But Me” by Babyface)

Willie got nervous and forgot most of the lyrics. But I think for the short time Willie is singing, he sings it better than Tate. Tate is overconfident that he nailed it. The judges think Tate threw Willie under the bus and try to decide if that is a good thing or not.

ARIN RAY vs. NORMANI HAMILTON (Houston girl!)
(“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction)

Hers was very hard to judge. It was weird and difficult to describe. It was like she was hitting these one notes for a second and moving on to the next note with no carrying over of the note to the next. It sounded like she didn’t even say, “you’re beautiful” and forgot a line of lyric before it. He was sour, flat on notes. I think the higher range was too much for him.

FREDDIE COMBS vs. JESSIE BRYANT (Houston boy!)
(“Up On the Roof” by The Drifters)

Both of them forgot their lyrics. When you forget the lyrics this badly, you have to have brought something awesome to the previous songs you have done to get through this next cut. I don’t think either of them will make it through.

JILLIAN JENSEN vs. LATASHA LEE ROBINSON
(“Stay” by Sugarland)

Whenever I hear, “I’m very confident”, 99% of the time that overconfidence is what will knock them down. Latasha forgot the lyrics. Jillian rocked it. I liked that she even tried to help Latasha out by saying Latasha knew the words before she came out. Jillian is my favorite to win and if she makes it all the way through, I will be voting for her.

NICK YOUNGERMAN vs. ONE4FIVE

Nick forgot his lyrics. They did not show the group performing.

JORDAN SHANE vs. UNKNOWN

Jordan forgot her lyrics.

CAMILA CABELLO vs. UNKNOWN
(“Your Song” by Elton John)

It was terrible.

OWEN STUART vs. UNKNOWN
(“Sexy and I Know It” by LMAFO)

The 10 seconds or less that they showed sounded okay.

LYRIC DA QUEEN vs. UNKNOWN

Did not show enough of the song to judge.

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK

In one group going to the judges’ homes, I definitely see that Cece and Willie have made it (because of her spots and his haircut). It looks like possibly Jennel and Arin, too. But I could not make out the other contestants viewing from the backs of their heads or quick back/side shot.  In the groups it looks like Sister C is there.

Cece in the red dress; Willie in the jean jacket.

PEPSI XFACTOR FLAVOR CHOSEN

It was Demi’s choice of Dragon which Simon insists was his choice, too.

But the question remains: What happened to Panda Ross!?





The XFactor Boot Camp Task One

4 10 2012

The X-Factor Boot Camp Task One      

The contestants hopped on a plane to the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach in Miami, Florida for the next phase of auditions and eliminations. Some rose to the challenge. Some cracked under the pressure. And the judges wondered how they could have put through others.

The groups we saw tonight included Emblem3, Group Citizen, Sister C, L3vel, and Jetset. I don’t care much for the group sounds this year at all.

Tonight we also heard too many people try to do Whitney Houston. Some did fairly, but they should tell them no Whitney songs and no Adele songs and maybe no Mariah songs either. Diamond White, Paige Thomas and Trill Cece Frey all did, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney song. For a 13-year-old, Diamond did a pretty fair attempt. Paige did better than Diamond, but she seemed to be out of breath.

Diamond White

Cece–well I don’t care for her at all. The young woman needs a lesson in humility. She is conceitedly overconfident, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident am I? How about 25?” Her conceit comes off in the song. Instead of connecting with the song and the audience, it was more about her beating Paige’s audition that immediately preceded hers. All ladies will make it through this task.

Trill Cece Frey

Paige Thomas

Austin Corini sang Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” most recently done by Adele. He has a very nice song, but this song was very boring. It’s unclear if he was in the final bunch making it through to task 2.

Austin Corini

The judges seemed to like Dinah Jane Hansen, Lyric Da Queen, Jason Brock, and Carly Rae Sonenclar.

Carly Rae Sonenclar

San Antonio girl Jessica Espinoza did well (in my opinion), but the judges in the end send her home.

Jessica Espinoza

Vixen Jennel Garcia performed Gavin DeGraw’s sexually charged “Sweeter” that certainly got a response from not only the judges but some of the male contestants.

Jennel Garcia

This year’s Josh Gracin, Vino Alan has a strong vocal performance on the song “Bad Company” and is put through to the next round.

Vino Alan

Then came the awful vocals: Johnny Maxwell (rapper who forgot his lyrics), Annie-like-looker Jordyn Foley, Manny Acosta, faint-at-heart Trevor Moran, feeling-good Nick Perrelli, and pastel-purpled Jake Garza. I really felt sorry for Jake because I have been on stage when the words just do not come out in front of a large audience and you crack. Of that group, Trevor Moran definitely does not make it through.

Tara Simon who showed Simon more than her animal-print dress murdered Queen’s “Somebody to Love”. Freddie Mercury must be turning over in his grave. She thinks she nailed it. Somehow they let her through.

Tara Simon

Willie Jones is an anomaly. I am not sure what to make of him. He has good and bad moments within the song, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” by Kenny Chesney. He is through to the next round.

Willie Jones

They divide the singers into groups. Group A includes: Diamond White, James Tanner, Jason Brock, Vino Alan, Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas, Sophie Tweed-Simmons (the daughter of KISS rocker Gene Simmons), David Correy, Carly Rae Sonenclar.

Group B includes: Jessica Espinoza, Rizzloe Jones, Jordyn Foley (at which point I knew exactly where this group was going—home), Trevor Moran, Ben Westphal and Quatrelle Smith.

Group C includes: Jeff Gutt, Cece Frey, Tate Stevens, Freddie Combs, Nick Youngerman, Willie Jones, Johnny Maxwell, and Jillian Jensen.

Groups A and C get to stay; group B is sent home. My advice to Cece Frey: While your conceit and overconfidence might get you through to the next round with the judges, remember that America will be voting for you and no one really likes you right now. I suggest a healthy dose of humility if you want to stay any longer than week 1 once the voting begins. People will vote for a humble person who gave a good attempt, not even perfect, but good, but will quickly send home people like you.

I leave with the question America wants to know:  WHERE IS PANDA?

Panda





XFactor Season 2 Auditions So Far

25 09 2012

I am burned out on singing shows. American Idol, The Voice, XFactor. It takes a lot to move me anymore. I had preconceived notions about the addition of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on the show. My greatest criticism of XFactor last season was that it felt too much like American Idol, all the way from where they sat to judge, a similar format of judging the initial auditions, and why I thought The Voice Season 2 was more successful than XFactor Season 1. Having finally caught up on the auditions shows of the XFactor Season 2, I have to say that change is GOOD. I do not know all the technical talk about how the filming process is done, but I like how 1) they are bouncing back and forth from city to city, not showing all the auditions from each city at a time and 2) they are interviewing people, and not just the ones who are going to make it through. You can see the reactions of the people competing for spots for boot camp before they hit the stage and after they exit. I like seeing the judges in between shots, talking among themselves. I like the variety. And shockingly enough I love the addition of these two female judges.

As with every season, I question some of the choices the judges have made. So far none of the groups impress me. And Cece Frey made me burst out in hysterics because she looks like Jadzia Dax from Deep Space Nine, no insult intended to Terry Farrell:

Cece Frey

Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine

It would be impossible to recap all the audition shows, so these are some of the contestants I’m keeping my eye on:

Ally Brooke (San Antonio, Texas)

Carly Rose Sonenclar who auditioned in Providence, Rhode Island

Diamond White (even has a star-like name), Detroit/Los Angeles

Jason Brock, San Francisco

Jessica Espinoza, San Antonio, Texas

Jillian Jensen, Rochester, Massachusetts, who made me cry

Panda Jones

I hope Panda is feeling better and that we will see her at boot camp.

Who are some of yours favorites this year?