Thursday, April 17, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 7 Performances

Idol is down to 7 contestants, so I hope these kids know it's time to get serious.

Ryan tells us they have some surprises for us tonight. I wonder if the surprise is that the contestants figured out how to sing. Nah. That's not it.

Fashion statement: Jena is in way too shorts shorts and Alex and Sam look like geeks with their polo shits buttoned up so tight.

Tonight's theme: Competitors Choice - kids pick songs for each other.
Randy asks the kids what they think the others should sing. There are some interesting ideas thrown out. Can't wait to se what the choices are.

Caleb - "Family Tree" - Kings of Leon - chosen by Alex
Alex and Caleb met Kings of Leon at the hotel and were invited the their show.
Definitely the right song choice for Caleb. Rick Minor jamming out on stage too. Very good performance.
Keith - That was a good choice. Great job.
Jennifer - You did it again. Pretty amazing.
Harry - Great song choice. Great way to start the show.
First Kings of Leon performed on the show.

Jessica - "Gunpowder and Lead" - Miranda Lambert - Chosen by Sam
Good vocals, but she needs even more attitude to pull off this song.
Jennifer - I love your voice. This is the first time I've heard you a little bit off.
Harry - There's a lack of rhythmic delivery when you perform. Go back to the hotel and dance to some funk music and watch yourself in the mirror. Feel the music when you move.
Keith - Your voice is the thing I love about you. Tonight you lacked energy on the song. The energy dissipated and my attention faded.

awwwww!!!! Ryan's buddy Demi Lovato is in the house and Ryan brings her out and has her sit in the waiting area with Randy.

Oh boo!!! Duets again. These kids are terrible at duets.
Sam and Alex - "Let Her Go" - Passanger
Both playing guitars. Well, at least their voices don't clash. Blah performance. Too laid back.
Harry - It was saccharine. Sweet, but.
Keith -  I don't like to critique the duets because you're not a duo.
Demi - It had good energy. I would have wanted to hear you guys do more. It was definitely sweet. I would have wanted something more exciting, but you sound great together.

Now Terry Bradshaw (former NFL Quaterback and current Fox Sports analyst) is on the stage with Ryan and the judges.  Terry also sings and plays gutar. He even released a country album ages ago.

CJ - "Gravity" - John Mayer - chosen by Caleb
With guitar. Good choice for CJ. He sounds good. I might even say he is singing in tune. Not clashing with the backup singers. Nice job. Best I've heard from CJ.
CJ's mom is in the audience with his little son. Poor little guy is clueless, but they do have headphones on him to block the noise level.
Keith - That was a good choice and a good performance from you too. Every time I hear your voice in a song like that its a bullseye.
Jennifer - Every week your getting more comfortable up there. Think about being exciting when you perform. One of your best performances to me.
Harry - You have the ability to connect with the audience. Personally, I think that was your best performance to date.

More guests in the house:
Matin Garrix - 17 yr old singer - (He sounds British) - How to deal with fame at an early age. "Keep the right, good people around you and stay humble.
Ronda Rousey - UFC Womens Bantom Weight World Champ
Mother told her, "dispute all the reasons you ever doubt yourself, and al the reasons your competition should intimidate you, nobody has the right to beat you."

Dexter - "Muckalee Creek Water" - Luke Byran - chosen by CJ
With guitar. Good ol' country song for the good ol' country boy. Definitely sounds country, but can't understand the words for anything. Dexter needs to work on his diction if he wants to get national recognition.
Keith - I like that song. Be careful not to oversing the melody when the song has an intensity to it.
Jennifer - I liked this for you. This had a darker quality to it. Al of you need to step up your game ow. Push yourselves vocally, and performing. That was a good job.
Harry - I liked the different breakdown and singing out of synch at the end. I want to hear you sing differently from the original, make it your own.

Duet - Caleb and Jena - "Gimme Shelter" - Rolling Stones
First Ryan asks a viewer question - Who would you like to duet with?
Jena says Haley Williams from Paramore
Caleb says Ryan and they sing part of "Heaven" by Bryan Adams
Good song for the screamers in the group. It was ok, I guess. Not my kind of song.
Jennifer - That was a moment. Great.
Harry - That was cool.
Demi - You Killed it. That was so awesome.  Demi wants to sing with Jena.

Alex - "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran - chosen by Dexter
With guitar, of course. I like his voice and this is a good song choice, but I have a problem. I can't watch Alex perform. His movements and facial expressions are very awkward and distracting to me.
Jennifer - It was the perfect song for you.
Harry - It was a perfect song for you. There is great beauty in smaller performances. My favorite performance so far.
Keith - you have signature things that you do and when you put them in songs, they're so natural, because you respond so natural. Loved it.

Sam - "Sail Away" - David Gray - chosen by Jessica
With guitar. Sounds good, but when he isn't looking into the camera he is looking at the guitar like he isn't sure if he is hitting the right chord. Still not looking at the girls in the audience.
Harry - You are a work in progress, progress being the operative word. You're progressing.  My problem with this performance is familiarity. People know this song, but it's not like Hey There Delilah.
You need song everyone can sing along with.
Keith - I agree with Harry on the progress. The problem is you're 17 and we can't get life experience out of you in weeks. You're doing a good job considering.
Jennifer - When I looked at the monitor I saw you trying to connect. Good job.

Trio time. The three from the 205 - Alabama.
Jessica, CJ, and Dexter 
Randy calls them Idol Antebellum
"Compass" - Lady Antebellum
Never put these three together again Idol. They don't blend well. Solo parts ok. Song was too big for them.
Harry - Even tougher to judge this trio. Out of tune. I'm going to forget it. because there were other positive things you did tonight.
Keith -  I think the singing together wasn't great but I liked what you did singularly and I liked the guys voices together. there was a bit of everything. Like a shish kabob.
Jessica - "Well, we all had a great time and are all blessed to be here."
Demi - Jessica has a beautiful and individually you sound great when you performed individually, but as a group it didn't come together as it should have, because you aren't a band. (This sounds like Demi is auditioning for a judges spot.)

And as we come back from commercial, Terry Bradshaw is playing guitar with the band. Glad we missed most of that.

Jena - "Creep" - Radiohead - chosen by Caleb
At the Piano. Yep. That's "Creep." She stays at the piano for the entire song. Baby grand with  a chandelier hanging above it for "Creep."
Keith - I loved it.
Jennifer - It was so beautiful.You will be here for the long haul.
Harry - You are an incredible talent. Best performance of the night. You did some major damage tonight.

Top 4 for me: Caleb, Jena, CJ, Alex
Bottom 3: Dexter, Sam, and (Unfortunately) Jessica
Dexter might be going home, but this one is hard to call. He has a lot of support in the country votes. Might be another surprise: Sam out.
I really have no clue any more. The voting demographic has drastically shifted this year.








Friday, April 11, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 8 Results, Again

Well, someone will definitely go home this week.

The post performance clip this week has the kids saying Harry was hyper, Sam and Ricky nelson are both odd and confused, and Alex expressing his hurt feelings over JLo's honest criticism of his song arrangement.

The ford commercial has the contestants driving around LA playing "Would You Rather" and then all landing at a theater and playing "When The Saints Go Marching In."  They managed to get Malaya playing the tuba this week. Probably a good thing since she bombed last night.

Results:
Dexter, Caleb, Jessica, and CJ

Randy thinks:
Dexter is safe, Jessica is safe, Caleb made Harry happy, and CJ was smart to take the octave up at the end of his song.

Ryan says: Caleb, Jessica, and Dexter are all safe.  CJ is in the Bottom 2.

Results:
Sam, Malaya, Alex, and Jena

Randy thinks:
Sam proved himself this week but is 50/50, Malaya missed some big notes and may be in trouble with the votes, Alex's arrangement may have been a little too far from the original, and Jena's performance was good enough to keep her out of the bottom.

Ryan says: Alex, Jena, and Sam are safe. Malaya is in Bottom 2.

CJ and Malaya are the Bottom 2 this week and Malaya is going home.

Looks like I was correct this week. CJ and Malaya were bottom 2. I said three with Alex in the mix, and I think Randy was hinting Alex was close to trouble too.

Next week's theme: Competitors Pick. Each contestant will chose a song for the other 6 and then each contestant will need to chose him/her song from the list of 6 songs.  This might be interesting.






Thursday, April 10, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 8 Do It Again

Well, since the judges decided to save Sam last week, we have another installment of the Top 8 performances this week. This time the theme is The 80's.

Although none the these kids were even born in the 1980's, some interesting music was born in that decade. I hope the coaches have helped the kids chose some appropriate music for tonight.

We have a guest mentor this week. Season 7 champion David Cook is in the house to help the kids prepare. I hope they listen to Cookie. Of all of the Idol champs, Cook would be the one with the most 80's knowledge. And he has actual musical training, so he should know what he's talking about. "If you're not taking the chance and putting yourself out there, one of the other contestants is."

Keith comes in with extensions in his hair to look like a very long 80's mullet.

Jena - "I Love Rock and Roll" - Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Cook wan't too sure of the drastic change in the beginning but grew to like it.
Intro was ok, even with the tempo change, but the softer part is too low and not supported. Other parts seemed to be shouted. I didn't like it.
Keith - Cool to start at the piano, middle the key was too low, you sailed at the end. I love the originality you always bring to your performance.
Jennifer - For me, it languished in the middle. I wanted you to amp it up and it was a little low, but you put your stamp on it.
Harry - I wasn't a fan of the arrangement, but I did love that you are trying and manipulating these arrangements. I suggest make it less choreographed.


Dexter - "Keep Your Hands To Yourself"  - Georgia Satellites
Cook tells him to enunciate and work on moving on the stage.
Playing electric guitar.  The guy playing the electric accompanying him is totally jamming and upstaging Dexter. He does sound better and clearer on the words, but still awkward on moving around the stage.
Jennifer - It really felt good today.
Harry - I'm still thinking about last week which was really good. Nice job.
Keith - You seemed stiff at times. Thinking about too much stuff.  Always do something unexpected.

Sam and Alex Duet - "The Girl Is Mine" - Michael Jackson
Both on acoustic guitars.  Sounds good. I don't know the song. (Sorry. I was never a big MJ fan.)
Harry - Asks Sam about what he has changed since last weeks almost elimination: practice and connecting.

Malaya - "Through The Fire" - Chaka Khan
Cook calls her a firecracker and gives her input on not hitting the power spot too suddenly.
Another song I've never heard of, but I was listening to country and folk in the 80's.
I may not know this song, but I do know that this performance is not good. No support on lower register. Can't even tell what she is singing at times. Malaya keeps winking at the camera. Weird.
Keith - No doubting your vocal ability. Try to lay back into it more. Chill out.
Jennifer - Your the baby of the group. You need to relax.
Harry - Not a lot of people can hit that Chaka note, however, it sounded like the entire performance was geared up for that moment. You sacrificed some of the early song thinking about that note.

Harry goes into the "mosh pit" for the next duet. Has a young girl on his shoulders for the song.
Caleb and Jena Duet - "It's Only Love" - Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
It's ok.  More scream than I like on that type of song.
Harry returns to the judges table with a girl on his shoulders. Very odd.
Jennifer - I fell that the duets are working and they'll are loosening up.

Jessica - "Call Me" - Blondie
Jessica saw Cook perform in Birmingham. He is impressed. Cook tells Jessica that her vocals are spot on, but he doesn't think she is enjoying it at all. Smile. Acknowledge the camera.
Looks like she listened. Looking a little more animated and happy. Movement around stage looks more natural than before.
Harry - You need to feel the grove.
Keith - I'm still waiting for you to release into it fully.
Jennifer -  When you sing a song like that its "Call ME" don't call any other girl "call ME." Blondie is the epitome of sexy cool. If you can't tap into that, then that isn't the right song for you.

Sam - "Time After Time" - Cydni Lauper
Cook tells Sam to use the cameras. "You're in the top 8 of American Idol. Own the stage, don't waste it. You've got too much talent."
Sounds really good seated in pit playing acoustic, but he seems to be staring at the camera, and ignoring all the girls standing around him.
Keith - I loved that you did that with the acoustic, solo. Your vocal is all there, you just need to loosen up.
Jennifer - I thought you did a great job tonight. I saw you trying to feel the words.
Harry - You looked into the camera almost the whole time.  Go on youtube tonight and watch Ricky Nelson. He was similar to you.

CJ and Malaya Duet - "I Knew You Were Waiting" - Aretha Franklin and George Michael
Yuck. I don't have much to say about that.
Jennifer - You two are cute.

Alex - "Every Breath You Take" - The Police
Cook listens and then asks Alex if he is nervous because of the tempo. Cook gives Alex lots of technical advise and tells him to emote the song, not be perfect.
I don't like this performance. He lost the melody, which I happen to like a lot.
Harry - It sounded like a new tune, but there is a difference between a performer and an entertainer. At some point the coffeehouse treatment is going to catch up with you in this competition. Be more of an entertainer.
Keith - I know exactly what Harry is talking about and David Cook touched on it too. I commend you for taking that much work on. If you were on tour and performing that night after night, that would be just sweet as.
Jennifer - I disagree with you guys. I missed the melody of that. To change it that much, just lost the soul of the song.

Dexter and Jessica Duet - "Islands In The Stream" - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
One of my favorite songs from the 80s. They butcher it up. YUCK.

CJ - "Free Fallin'" - Tom Petty
Cook says CJ really impressed him and made him excited about hearing the song again. Cook gave him pointers about the arrangement of the song.
I agree with Cook, I like the arrangement. CJ has to do something to stay in tune. Better but still off at times. Odd how he hits the big notes and falls off the normal stuff.
Jennifer - There has never been a contestant I have rooted for note by note, like I do for you. It started off a little shaky, but by the end, you hit the chorus, you touched people's hearts.
Harry - There is a connection you have, virtually every time you get up there. When you hit the high notes, you were much more in tune.
Keith - That was a great rendition of that song. The great thing about your voice, you have a survivor tone in it. You may to this to me, you may do that to me, I am going to prevail and rise up. I'm gonna survive. That's the part I love.
CJ praised Cook for his expert help to himself and all of the others, saying he is an awesome dude.

Ryan tells us that Randy wore spandex when he was part of Journey back in the 80's.

Caleb - "Faithfully" - Journey
Cook has an odd connection with Caleb, wearing similar shirts to rehearsal. (Cook looks much better in his version.) Cook says give the song a little more reverence. Cook tells Caleb about connecting to the audience at home too. "Pull your heart out and put it on the table."
Caleb sounds good. The piano is too loud for me. Keith is so silly. He has the "lighter" app on his phone up for the performance.
Harry - Exciting watching you walk out because everybody was anticipating two things. One, a really strong consistent vocal, and the fact we have wanted to hear something with more subtlety. I wanted to know if you could do it, and you did. Nice work.
Keith - It was killer. It was a perfect song for you. I got my lighter up there. It was a lighter moment, an eighties flashback. It was all function.
Jennifer - It's no small task to take on Steve Perry. Its like one of the gods. I could tell you couldn't wait to get to the power part.


So there it is another mediocre week. Caleb was pretty good on solo but I hated the duet with Jena. I didn't like Jena's solo much either. CJ was better, but not good, on the solo, but I hated the duet with Malaya. I also hated Malaya's solo. Alex and Sam were good on the duet, but I hated Alex's solo and Sam is still so awkward, even though he sounds good.  Dexter sounded good on his solo, but is awkward on stage. His duet with Jessica was awful to me. Jessica's solo was one of the better ones, in my opinion. What a terrible mixed bag of nothing we were presented this week. And it seemed like Cookie was really trying to help them. Maybe they are beyond help at this point.

I think bottom 3 are Malaya, CJ and Alex. (The older audience will not tolerate the butchering of The Police classic.) Might be time for Malaya to exit, but then again, anyone could leave at this point and I won't shed any tears. Sorry.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 8 Results

Idol is sticking to the 1/2 hour result show format again this week. It's fast, but I think it worked last week.

Randy says Caleb, Dexter, Jessica, Jena should be safe tonight.

Video recap of the after show dinner has the kids all happy about how well they performed on the show. Everyone is giving Sam advise about connecting with the girls.

Results: Safe - Dexter, Jena.

The kids have a Ford commercial where they are all drying around and talking about driving.

We have a nice performance by Daughtry featuring Idol alum, Chris Daughtry.  "Waiting For Superman" is a good song. I might just buy it on iTunes.

Results: Safe - Caleb, Jessica, and Alex.

Bottom 3: Malaya, Sam, and CJ.

Singing for the save: Sam.  "Babylon"

Jennifer: The judges are unanimous. They use the save on Sam.

Sam is showered with confetti as the guys run on stage and hoist him up. (Really Idol. He is saved for one more week. He did not win the whole shebang. Save the confetti for the finale. Or David Archuleta's return to the Idol stage.)

So we do it all again next week. I knew they would save someone this week or next, because idol had an extra week worked into the schedule. They had to do something.

Next week's theme: Songs From the '80s. That should be interesting. Caleb, Jessica, and Dexter should be fine. Lot's of songs for them to chose from. The others might be a little challenged.

American Idol 13: Top 8 Performances

Tonight's theme: Back to the Start
Songs from each contestant's audition, plus duets.

Jessica - "Blue Eyed Lie" - Original song
I like her song. She sounds good. They have her standing on a cylindrical platform in the center of the stage.
Keith - That was great start to the show. It was great to hear the song with the whole band. You need to work on the lack of movement in your lower body.
Jennifer - When an artist sings their own material, it is great because it tells us more about that person. I loved the performance.
Harry - You standing on the cylinder was cool presentation. I disagree with keith. if your intensity level of singing is there, then you don't have to move. Watch the dead space right before the very end.

CJ - "Soul Shine" - The Allman Brothers Band
CJ has his guitar and starts to sing, but Idol is interrupted in my area with a news bulletin so we miss CJ and the judges comments on his performance.

Duet - Jena and Alex - "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink featuring Nate Reuss
Alex is just so awkward. They sound pretty good together. Alex loosens up a little by the end.
No judges comments for duets.

Sam - "Lego House" - Ed Sheeran
Sam is center stage with his guitar, but surrounded by lamps.  Very odd. This boy has a good voice but need to learn how to smile. He looks so uncomfortable when he smiles.
Harry - I've decided we shouldn't be saying 'confidence' to you but instead, 'connection.' When you hear all of the girls screaming for you, all you need to do is acknowledge them. It's ok to be shy and sweet, but make a connection with them. Vocally, nice job.
Keith - You're getting better each week. You're getting looser. It doesn't need to be perfect, it needs to be soulful. There's no soul in perfection.
Jennifer - Tonight, America got a glimpse of the magic of Sam Woolf.

Duet - Jessica and Caleb - "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" - Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
Decent job. They have fun with each other.

Malaya - "Ain't No Way" - Aretha Franklin
Very soulful, but very old fashioned also.
Keith - Malaya on Fy-yah. You were in such control. Fantastic.
Jennifer - You're blossoming into a star right before our eyes.
Harry - You're doing everything right. That was a very strong performance.

OH NO! The real-time voting is back again.
Voters over 21: jessica, CJ, Sam, Malaya
Voters under 21: Sam, Malaya, CJ, Jessica

Dexter - "One Mississippi" - Brett Eldredge
He is seated on a stool center stage.  Nice job. Soulful country. Dexter turned and thanked the backup singer who sang with him.
Jennifer - Well, you showed us. We asked for more and you delivered.
Harry - It was great to hear you sing. It was the perfect song and you snag it perfectly. I was touched by it. (Harry acknowledged that Dexter thanked Allison for the great job she did accompanying him.
Keith -  Don't get hung up on the sound of your voice.Think about the lyrics and communicate that. You have everything else.

Duet - Malaya and Sam - "Lucky" - Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz
They were better apart than singing together. Their voices didn't mesh for me. Some of the parts seemed too big for Malaya.

Jena - "Rollin' In The Deep" - Adele
Something just seems weird about this performance. I didn't hate it, but something seemed off. Maybe the tempo was too slow.
Harry - I thought you did a great job. It's gonna be tough on the others.
Keith - What I loved so much, you took the song and made it your own. I thought that was bold and I loved every second of it.
Jennifer - My advise to you to come out here each week and blow everyone away. I think you can do that.

Duet - CJ and Dexter - "Alright" - Darius Rucker
Both guys playing guitar. It was ok but I wasn't thrilled over their voices together.

Caleb - "Chain of Fools" - Aretha Franklin
The rock version. Pretty good.
Keith - Killer. You deliver every week. You're a blues warrior, a soul conqueror, and a rock and roll viking.
Jennifer - When I watch you , I feel that you have been waiting all of your life to do this. Well done.
Harry - I would love it if you would do something not-so-loud. All the great rock singers have done something softly. let's try something else next time. Nice job tonight.

Alex - "Fairytales" - Original song
I liked the song at auditions and it's even better with the band.
Jennifer - You've stayed true to yourself.
Harry  I liked that you did an original. I like the arrangement.
Keith - It's a good sign when others are singing along with your original song.

Real-time voting again:
Over 21: Dexter, Jena, Caleb, Alex
Under 21 Jena, Dexter, Alex, Caleb

My Top 3: Jessica, Alex, Dexter
My Bottom 3: Jena, Malaya, CJ (after viewing online)

If anyone except CJ is going home, the judges will use the save.




Friday, March 28, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 9 Results

We have a newly condensed 1/2 hour results show this week, so this review should be a quick read.

Randy tells us his top 3 of the night were Caleb, Malaya, and Jena.

Results: Contestants announced safe will be shown on the big screen this week instead of Ryan reading their names.
1. Jena
2. Malaya

Janelle Monae performs "What Is Love" from the soundtrack to the new movie Rio 2.  It's a fairly big production with a Brazilian- feel band and dancers wearing feathered costumes.

Back to Results:
3. Alex
4. Jessica
5. Caleb
6. Dexter

Bottom 3: Majesty, Sam. CJ   (Well, I was correct on CJ and Majesty in the Bottom 3)

Singing for the save: Majesty - "Let It Go"    (I still think it should have been CJ)

NO GO - No save - Bye Majesty


Thursday, March 27, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 9 Performances

So this week's theme is "I'm With The Band" and the performances are the be with the band on stage with the contestants. We'll see how that goes.

First we get a video of Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump of The Fall Out Boys doing a Q and A with the kids. They actually had some solid advise about staying healthy and getting along with your band mates.

Now we have a group performance. Well, actually trios performing different songs.
Sam, Alex, and Majesty perform "Clocks" by Coldplay.
Dexter, Jessica, and CJ perform "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones.
Jena, Caleb, and Malaya perform "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark" by Fall Out Boy.

Performance time finally starts:
Alex - "Don't Speak" - No Doubt
Alex has his trusty guitar to protect him again. Simple beginning, then band is slowly added in. This sounds pretty good. Kind of a Mraz sound to the song. I do wish Alex could walk around a little. It's like he is frozen in place in front of the mic stand. I wonder if there is something Idol is not telling us about Alex. He is very talented and has a very unique voice, but he is just so awkward on stage.
Keith - You have your vibe, but it needs an edge to grab my attention.
Jennifer - It lacked energy.
Harry - I'd like to see you move around more during the performance.

Majesty - "Shake It Up" - Florence and The Machine
Her clothing style tonight is more her age and current profession, instead of kindergarten  teacher. I feel this is an odd song choice. Florence is a lot different than Majesty performance-wise. I'm not liking it much.
Jennifer - That's the Majesty I love. Vocally it was all over the place, but for performance, I give a 10.
Harry - Your so talented. I still waiting for you to connect. I liked you performance.
Keith - I think that was a great song for you. You need to center your performance.

Dexter - "Boondocks" - Little Big Town
Dexter has his guitar on him again and is glued to the mic stand. Actually, this might be a good move, because he sounds a lot better this week.
Harry - Generic. You need to make the song your own.
Keith - You could have had a hit with that song if you recorded it first.
Jennifer - Good job.

Malaya - "The Long And Winding Road" - The Beatles
(Disclaimer: I am already biased against her with this song choice because David Archuleta killed it during season 7.)
She is dressed appropriately for the song choice. And she has new glasses. She is making distractedly awkward arm and hand movements. She is ok, but not great.
Keith - Gosh that was beautiful baby. That performance showed me your spirit.
Jennifer - You stole the opening number. Your so blessed.
Harry - You get the award for the consistently improving. Keep working on your craft.

Sam - "Hey There Delilah" The Plain White T's"
Sam is playing his guitar and only has another guitar and partial drum set to back him. Not much "band" has the theme states. This sounds like a Sam song. He has a nice voice but needs some energy injected into the performance.
Jennifer - You need to have someone to single out that you sing to, to give more meaning to what you sing.
Harry - I see you in this type of environment; very stripped down performance.
Keith - Don't think about each note so much. Be looser.

Jessica - "Rihannon" - Fleetwood Mac
I don't like this performance as much because she sounds too much like Stevie Nicks, but isn't delivering it in the same way. Better not to be compared to the original. I do like Jessica's zebra stripe outfit. his was an ok performance.
Harry - Nice job. this may be my favorite performance of yours.
Keith - I love the outfit. You need to work on performing without the guitar, so you will be more comfortable and can move around.
Jennifer - Your confidence is growing. Now work on drawing us in.

CJ - "If It Hadn't Been For Love" - The Steel Drivers
CJ has his guitar and is backed by an upright bass, a tambourine, and a cajon percussion box. Guess he didn't get the "Band" memo either. Poor CJ. He has passion, but can't sing in tune for the life of him. This might be his swan song tonight.
Keith - Clever song choice. You need to know the difference between the sound of the song and the feeling of the song.
Jennifer - I never get tired of your voice, but the middle of this performance was so off.
Harry - Performing is like a juggler; there's a lot to keep going at one time.

Caleb - "Dazed and Confused" - Led Zepplin
Now THIS is a band song. Good Choice Caleb. The rocker has arrived and he is in full-on head-banging mode. Keith and Jennifer are rocking along. The audience loves the performance and so do I.
Jennifer - That performance was sexy. if you wan to be the front man for a rock band, you have to have that.
Harry - These were lofty goals to reach with this song, but I just don't know how you could have done any better. It's tough to follow that.
Keith - Tonight's called "I'm with the band" but your such a good front man, it's like the band was saying "I'm with the singer."

Jena - "Bring Me To Life" - Evanescence
Jena is releasing her rocker girl tonight. The vocals seem to be there, but some of her movement on stage are stiff and it's not always possible to her her vocals.
Harry - You were actually able to follow Caleb. Really, really strong.
Keith - I love that every performance you deliver. Good. Job.
Jennifer - You sound phenomenal. I wanted you to be more messy on stage. Throw yourself into it more. But great job.

My top 3: Caleb, Jena, Jessica

My bottom 3: CJ, Majesty, Malaya or Dexter

Time to go home: CJ

Results show performance by:  Janelle Monae



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

HE'S HOME!! WELCOME HOME DAVID!!!

The most wonderful 10 second video I have ever watched. Take a look and see what I'm talking about.



Isn't this the best video ever?

Of course, by now you have already memorized each and every word uttered by the one and only David Archuleta in this quick yet powerful video. But watch it several times and you will not only hear the words, you will also feel each word as they cascade from his lips, especially the second time he says "I'm home." You almost want to cry for him as he says these words.  This video was even more than I expected. Thank you David, um, Elder Archuleta, for thinking of all of your fans at a moment when most would only be thinking about themselves. You truly are a remarkable person.

I am happy to report that David was able to surprise me with the timing of this video. I have to admit, I'm a bit of an investigator. I love to know what is up and usually don't give up on a quest until I have found my suitable answer. As time drew near for David's return, people started to speculate on the actual date David would return home. Since his mission call was for two years, and he started this on March 28, 2012, people assumed he would return on March 28, 2014. That was a fairly logical assumption, but not correct.

While perusing the blogs of David's fellow missionaries serving in Chile, I learned that an adjustment had been made in the timing of missions when two new mission areas were added in Chile. These additions had to be made at the beginning of a month and so some time had to be shaved off of a cycle. Add to this the fact that missionaries go home on Mondays and new missionaries arrive on Tuesdays, I had surmised David would be leaving Chile on Monday, March 24, 2014 in the late evening, when missionaries usually depart from Santiago, Chile and arriving home to Utah in the afternoon on March 25.  This is what the other missionaries leaving David's area were scheduled to do.

But they pulled a fast one on me with Elder Archuleta. To be able to be home and post a video announcing his return by 3:24 CDT on Monday, March 24, 2014, David had to have departed from Chile on Sunday. They tricked us. Good for them. The other missionaries were able to return home to their families without the craziness of David arriving at the same time. I'm sure they all appreciated this a lot. This also allowed David to sneak in without a lot of unwanted fanfare, just family, as it should be.  Good job everyone involved.

Friday, March 21, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 10 Results


Our "after the show" segment has the kids discussing Keith and Harry disagreeing on everything and Caleb and Ryan impersonating each other.

Results: Malaya, Jessica, Dexter
Dexter has a video message from Florida Georgia Line
Dexter in the bottom 3.

Jennifer Lopez performs new single, "I Luh Ya Papi".
We have an appearance from former Idol contestants (although they are never identified as such) Pia Toscano, Jessica Sanchez, and Allison Iraheta as JLo's backup singers. There is a special appearance by some rapper I don' t know, French Montana. Jennifer and her dancers are in bedazzled Daisy Dukes. I will not offer an opinion on the song, since this kind of music is not my forte.

Results: Alex, Majesty, Caleb
Caleb apologizes for peanut comment last night. he did not mean to make fun of people with peanut allergies.
Majesty is in the bottom 3.

Harry introduces a new band out of Louisiana, Royal Teeth. There song is called "Wild."  they have an interesting sound. I will need to hear more from them to decide if I like the sound or not. The audience seems to like them.

Results: Jena, MK, CJ, Sam
There is a video message for CJ from Hunter Hayes.
MK is in the bottom 3.

So I got 2 out of 3 in the bottom 3 correct: MK and Dexter.

MK sing for the save but Harry says NO SAVE. 

Bye, bye MK.

I hear that next week's theme is "I'm With The Band."  The kids will be lead singers for Rickey Minor and the band, performing their favorite songs. (How odd. Isn't that what they do each week?)

Janelle Monae will perform on the results show.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 10 Performances

Theme for the week: Songs from the Top 10 years 2011 thru now.


So, I had some problems this morning and didn't get a chance to write this post. I did get a chance to watch the show, so I will add the details in tomorrow.

Just so you know; if you didn't watch the top 10 perform, you didn't miss a thing. Alex was good. Jena was ok. Jessica was ok. Sam was ok. The rest were blah and/or awful. Sorry, but that's what I think.

Songs:
MK - "Perfect" - Pink
Dexter - "Cruisin'" Florida Georgia Line
Jena - "Clarity" - Zedd featuring Foxes
Alex - "The Story of My Life" - One Direction
Malaya - "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
Caleb - "Edge of Glory" - Lady Gaga
CJ - "Invisible" - Hunter Hayes
Jessica - "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
Majesty - "Wake Me Up" - Avicii
Sam - "We Are Young" - fun


Top 4 - Alex, Jessica, Sam, Jena

Bottom 3 - MK, CJ, Dexter

Maybe it's finally time for MK to depart the contest.  Guess we will see in a few hours.

***************************************************

So here's the blow by blow of the performances:

MK - "Perfect" - Pink
The stylists got a hold of MK this week and put red streaks in her bleached very blonde hair. She is also wearing a girly looking t-shirt.
She starts the song singing into a mirror. Then the performance is boring. Oops, she messed up the lyrics by coming in at the wrong time and throwing everything off. Second half of the song is a big mess.
Keith - There was a moment when you didn't come in at the right point.  You need to look like you own the stage.
Jennifer - I loved the beginning where you were singing into the mirror. When you got thrown off, you lost it.
Harry - I did not think that was a strong performance. You have a beautiful voice. You could make a great record in the studio, but I'm worried about the live performance.

Dexter - "Cruisin'" - Flordia Gerogia Line
Randy tells Dexter to work on his diction.
The song has a simple beginning which is very nice. The band and audience join in but Dexter doesn't really change the dynamics of the song. It's kind of flat and boring now. One problem I have with Dexter's performance, his voice and the voices of the backup singers don't blend well.
Jennifer - The good thing about top 10 songs, the audience knows them so get them more involved.
Harry - I don't think that was a good performance because you didn't do anything different. The performance was without joy and you seemed to be meandering around the stage.
Keith - I think it was a good song choice. I really liked what you did at the beginning. It was a nice change. It would have been better to perform the whole song like that.

Jena - "Clarity" - Zedd featuring Foxes
EDM - electronic dance music - on Idol. That's different.
The stylists got it rightthis week with Jena. She looks her age - 17.
Harry - I was wondering how you would do that song. Singing the melody that Foxes sing, Now I'm beginning to see who you are.
** Time for a debate between Harry and Keith about a comment Harry made about "not too much melody in that song."
Keith - I love that tune. That was the best performance of the night, so far. You looked comfortable yo there.
Jennifer - You sounded so great. I wish the performance was longer.

Alex - "The Story of My Life" - One Direction
1st One Direction song sung on Idol. Alex is worried about what the Directioners will thing.
Very simple and nice start with acoustic Alex. Alex and his guitar are awesome. It is odd and funny how he marches in place when he sings upbeat songs. He actually looks so much more comfortable up on stage this week.
Keith - That was great. It was like you merged American Authors with One Direction and did your own Alex thing with it and made it your own.
Jennifer - I loved it. I thought you vocal was beautiful and I was so in the song with you. You owned the stage. You remind me a little of Buddy Holly with that vibe. You evoke greatness.
Harry - To me, you just hit the bulls-eye on the artistry target. You have been so consistent in artistry and I'm beginning to get who you are. Nice job.
**Ryan brings out a laptop to check what the Directioners are saying on twitter. They liked the performance and there is a tweet from Niall talking about how difficult the song is solo.

Malaya - "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
The old Malaya is back. The stylists got rid of the flat iron this week. Nice.
It's odd to hear a girl sing about being a man, but she has some nice vocals. her dynamics were great this week.
Jennifer - I was ready to hate on you with that song but it didn't effect me at all. Beautiful.
Harry - I like how sincere you were in interpreting the lyrics. I do want you to ask for help on how to do runs that work with the chords the band is playing.
Keith - Well done for sticking with the original lyrics. I'm hearing more control in your voice.

Caleb - "Edge of Glory" - Lady Gaga
This week's twitter question is for Caleb. What's the best way to get away from the stress of the competition? Caleb says they all play pranks on each other. Then he says something about Alex being allergic to peanuts so they put those in his socks and underwear. (I would hope he is just kidding. That wouldn't be funny at all.)
The tempo of this song has been slowed down too much. More of a rock ballad but Caleb doesn't give it the right dynamics for that type of song. Bad choice.
Harry - I liked the halftime groove and putting your own spin on it, but  I've seen you do better. A for originality though.
Keith - You have a killer tone. It was an interesting choice. I didn't dig the halftime feel. It was inconsistent with the weight of the song. I thought your voice was too big for the song.
Jennifer - I'm kind of between the two. I liked the halftime, but it was lacking feeling for me.
**Keith and Harry switch seating and imitate each other. Harry sounds strangely close to Keith's accent and tone, while Keith uses all of Harry's complex musical terminology in one sentence. They should go on the road as a comedy team.

CJ - "Invisible" - Hunter Hayes
I'm not so sure about this choice for CJ. Hunter's voice is much different, higher, than CJ's.
Strings open the song and then CJ's first note is sharp. Ouch. He stays sharp and sings too softly the entire song. He's got passion but needs to do something about singing in tune.
Keith - I really like you a lot, but tonight was a little shaky staying in tune. Work on staying in tune.
Jennifer - We are all rooting for you. No doubt your heart was in it. You killed it in rehearsals, but not here.
Harry - I specifically don't go to rehearsals because I don't care what you do in rehearsal. I want to see what you do when the red light is on, and what you did tonight was off. You must get your pitch working for you.

Jessica - "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
Starts out Jess and her guitar. Very nice. This is a weird song, but she is performing it well. Only joined by a very minimal band
Jennifer - I was very happy with that performance. It felt really good to me. Right in your wheelhouse.
Harry - I felt that the smile on your face amde me wonder how you were interpreting the lyrics. Many time you have a one dimensional performance. You seem to be in a box and I'm waiting for you to get out of the box.
Keith - I thought it was good. You made it your own. It had this 60's country pop thing to it, without the lyrics.
**We have a slightly heated discussion between the judges as to he meaning of the lyrics and how the song should be sung. I think Jennifer was right when she said it is supposed to the a dichotomy between the happy tune and the serious lyrics.

Majesty - "Wake Me Up" - Avicci
Majesty looks kind of scared up there with her guitar. Just a small, intimate band on stage with her. This is a rocky start. Hard to hear her and scared. It takes a while before I recognize the song. Not to good.
Harry - I really liked what you did with that song. (Really?) I think you are really smart. Nice job. ( Did he hear the same song I did?)
Keith - I disagree with Harry. I like you a lot, but the reason that song works with Avicii and Aloe Balcc singing is the fusion of dance and folk. To me, straight folk was just too much one thing and it didn't work for me. I didn't care for the arrangement.
Jennifer - Tonight I saw something in you I've never seen before, a little fear, in the beginning. You can't let it effect you on stage. Half way through you got comfortable.

Sam - "We Are Young" - fun. featuring Janelle Monae
I don't feel that the lyrics are suitable for his age, but I guess I'm just old fashioned.
His voice is fine. He is more comfortable playing the guitar tonight than last week when he was just standing there.  He does a decent job, but I don't like the song choice.
Keith - I want more time to speak to you, but I'll have that next week.
Jennifer - I loved it. You sounded beautiful.
Harry - Self-assertion. Come out of the stage and own it. You still seemed timid.