Thursday, March 26, 2015

American Idol 14: And Then There Were 9

The judges' save was taken of the table last week when Harry, Keith and Jennifer decided to save Qaasim Middleton, so this week two contestants had to go home.

This week's theme: The '80s
Idol had told us to watch for special surprise guests on this show. I wondered which '80's relics they would dig up.

The answer came quickly as David Hasselhoff brought Ryan the official results envelope. In case you weren't around in the '80s, "The Hoff" was the lead actor for the TV shows Knight Rider and Bay Watch. He also sings. Well, he tries to sing, which was evident on this show.  He sang a medley of '80s songs. "The Hoff" was never considered a successful recording artist in the U.S., but in Europe, he is very popular.

This week, '80s icon, Boy George, helped Scott Borchetta mentor the kids. After a clip about Boy George, the contestants helped Boy George sing his hit, Karma Chameleon.

Later in the show we were "treated?" to a performance of Push It by Salt-n-Pepa.

The Top 9:

Daniel Seavey
You Make My Dreams by Hall and Oats
The young girls must be voting this season, or young master Daniel would have been headed home after the lackluster performances he has delivered recently. He sounds better this week than last week. The judges seemed to like this performance a little better too.

Quentin Alexander
In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Very mesmerizing performance. I really appreciate when an artist can deliver a performance in a way that I hear the words to an older song in a new light. He is very original. The judges loved the performance, too.

Joey Cook
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Joey looked like '80s Cyndi Lauper dressed her. Unfortunately, the performance didn't measure up to the outfit. Joey seemed to be a little reserved or off somehow. Harry said he thought she was distracted too. Keith said she had moments of inconsistency. Boy George came out and gave her a hug.

Tyanna Jones
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
The arrangement was more EDM then classic Whitney. Tyanna was dressed like a 16 yr old again this week and she looked so much more comfortable up on the stage. Good performance.

You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
I liked the beginning and the end when it was just Jax on the piano. The band in the middle kind of drowned her out. Not a bad performance, she just needed a little different arrangement.

Nick Fradiani
Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson
No guitar for Nick again this week, but he had a nice acoustic backing for the first verse. I liked this performance a lot. Nick had a nice energy about him. You can still see that he is a little shy and reserved, but his vocals are great and I think he is growing in confidence.

Clark Beckham
Every Breath You Take by The Police
Boy George and Scott wanted Clark to change the key but he kept his first choice. Clark accompanies himself on the piano. This made the performance very personal. I loved it and JLo got "goosies."

Qaasim Middleton
Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer
Qaasim told us he wanted to concentrate on his vocals and not jump around the stage this week, and that's exactly what he did. His vocals were pretty good. The "pop" was gone from the performance, but that worked for this song.

Rayvon Owen
Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
Kind of a boring performance. Yes, he sang the lyrics just fine, but I didn't feel any connection to him or the song. I think since he is a vocal coach, he is more tied up in the technical part of the song than in the emotional part of the performance. He is technically fine, but there isn't any life in his performances.

So this week we said good bye to Maddie Walker and Adanna Duru. I won't miss Adanna, but I really wish Maddie had stayed in the competition. We have now lost the only country artist in the competition.

Ryan told us to look for something new with Twitter next week. I guess we will be able to vote with Twitter now.

My favorites of the night and the one I want to see leave next week.
Top 3: Clark, Nick, and Quentin
Bottom 3: Rayvon, Daniel, and Qaasim
Going home?: Rayvon

Thursday, March 19, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 11 Vie For Ten Slots

This week we had the Movie Night theme. Nile Rodgers from the band Chic helped mentor the kids and performed "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers with the kids to open the show. (I think this was a tacky, inappropriate song to perform considering at least three of the kids are minors. JMO)

Jeff Gordon brought Ryan the envelope with the official results and invited the kids to perform the National Anthem at the race this Sunday.

Final we get to the Top 10 results:
Adanna Duru - "I Love You, I Do" from Dream Girls by Jennifer Hudson
The beginning is very difficult to hear. She needs to work on projecting when singing in her lower register. I felt this was a fairly boring performance.

Daniel Seavey - "Lost Stars" from Begin Again by Adam Levine
He sounds flat. His voice just isn't matching Adam's falsetto and just sounds off. I don't feel any connection to the song.

Rayvon Owen - "Stayin' Alive" from Saturday Night Fever by The BeeGees
Very boring arrangement. It was too slow, and much of his falsetto vocals were buried in the backup vocals. Blahhhh

Nick Fradiani - "Danger Zone" from Top Gun by Kenny Loggins
No guitar for Nick this week. He does a nice job. He seemed to be loosening up on the stage.

Joey Cook - "Mad World" from Donnie Darko by Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules
No instrument for Joey this week. She gives a very haunting performance of this song while seated on a stool, center stage. Simple yet riveting performance. Beautiful.

Tyanna Jones - "Circle of Life" from The Lion King by Elton John
Very shaky start on this song, and she never really recovered. She had pitch issues for the first time this season. And the poor girl looked so uncomfortable in the platform stilettos she was wearing. Let her be 16 and wear flats if that's what she likes.

Jennifer Lopez performed the song "Feel The Light" from her new DreamWorks movie, Home, that's coming out this week. It's a very pretty song and Jennifer looked like a princess in the ball gown she was wearing.

Quentin Alexander - "You're The One That I Want" from Grease by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
He totally revamped the song, giving it a very slow tempo.  His performance highlighted the lyrics and it would have been very haunting, if his pitch would have stayed on point.

Maddie Walker - "Let's Hear It For The Boy" from Foot Loose by Deniece Williams
We are told that Maddie had been sick all week and didn't have much practice time. We weren't told what was wrong. Her vocal s were ok, but the song had no pop. No energy.

Kenny Loggins dropped by and performed "Foot Loose."

Clark Beckham - "Sunday Morning" from Cheaper By The Dozen 2 by Maroon 5
This was a wonderful acoustic performance with just Clark and his guitar. Great job. Second to Joey's as best of the night.

Jax - "I Want To Grow Old With You" from The Wedding Singer by Adam Sandler
This was a cute song and just right for Jax. It was a laid back performance without any power moments though.

Qaasim Middleton sang for the judges save.
"Come Together" from Across The Universe by The Beatles
He gave a very passionate, intense performance. Definitely one of the best performances of the night.
The judges used their one save of the season on Qaasim.
Based on that performance, I agree with them. (And now we don't have to worry about the save any longer.)

My favorites on the night: Joey, Clark, Nick, Qaasim
Least favorites: Rayvon, Daniel, Adanna, and sadly, Tyanna

Ryan told us that next week we will have a double elimination.
Next week is '80s theme. Oh boy. I think the only one of the contestants who had even been born in the '80s is Nick.

Friday, March 13, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12 become Top 11

American Idol Season 14 is just flying along now. Wednesday night the Top 16 became 12 and on Thursday night their numbers were cut by one again. I'm getting dizzy from the whirlwind process Idol is using this season. I can only imagine how the contestants must feel. Hopefully, the rest of the season won't be as crazed as this week was.

Thursday night's theme: Party songs
Here are the results:

Rayvon Owen
Burn by Ellie Goulding
Beginning was kind of awkward. The syncopated rhythm was weird for him. Too much of the song was in a really high falsetto that I didn't like at all. But I guess I'm wrong, because the judges loved him.

Maddie Walker
She's Country by Jason Aldean
Good song choice for Maddie. She had the right attitude and energy for the song. She did a really good job. Ryan told us afterward that Maddie was sick and in a lot of pain earlier and she headed out for medical help. Whatever was wrong, she didn't show it during the performance.

Joey Cook
Fancy by Iggy Azalea
The arrangement was a jazzy, big band sound version of the song. Joey looked beautiful and was so much more comfortable on this song. Great job on this song. The audience loved it and so did the judges.

Clark Beckham
Takin' It To The Streets by The Doobie Brothers
Clark played piano on this song. He was great. Sadly, it was an Idol "chopped" version of a great song. I wanted much more. It would have made the performance even better.

Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Sadly, I didn't like it as much as her previous performances. I like the remake of older stuff that she usually does. Her voice isn't as cool as it normally sounds either. I wonder if Scott Borchetta is trying to make her into Taylor. Judges agreed with me.

Qaasin Middleton
Jet by Paul McCartney and Wings
Qaasim plays the electric guitar? Who knew! It was really weird watching the one person who normally is all over the stage just stand in one place. I didn't like the weird arrangement of a great song. His vocals are still rough, but it wasn't terrible. Just odd.

Adanna Duru
Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars
She didn't move around as much as in past performances and her vocals stayed more on point. She stayed in control. Judges agreed with me.

Tyanna Jones
Tightrope by Janelle Monae
She was spot on with the syncopated beginning of the song. She was very comfortable with this song, even as far as dancing around during part of the performance. Best of the night.

Daniel Seavey
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Daniel played the guitar again. The song was ok. He seemed comfortable, but he just isn't as strong as some of the other contestants. He is just 15. I think he should have waited a year or two. He is a cutie and will stay in the competition for a while, but he does have a lot of work ahead of him.

Quentin Alexander
Rolling In The Deep by Adele
Not sure if I would call this a "party song," but I liked the performance a lot. Quentin is a very interesting guy.

Nick Fradiani
Wake Me Up by Aloe Blacc
Nice acoustic version of the song. Nick held back and didn't play his guitar until the chorus set in. He spoke a couple lines of the lyrics too. He got a little shouty in the middle but reigned it back again. All things considered, I thought it was a really good performance.

And that left Sarina-Joi Crowe singing for the judges' save.
Neon Lights by Demi Lovato
Her voice was shaky at the beginning and she never really reached the power needed to deliver this song. Her movements on the stage looked very awkward this time, too. The judges said NO SAVE.

My rankings on the night:
Tyanna, Joey, Nick, Quentin, Clark, Maddie, Adanna, Daniel, Jax, Rayvon, Qaasim

Thursday, March 12, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12 Revealed

So last night Idol pulled off a major feat. They managed to chop the Top 16 down to the Top 12, have each of the Top 12 sing a redo of their audition song, and crammed all of this action into a one hour show. At times it seemed to progress at break-neck speed, discombobulating to the poor contestants, but Ryan just hustled everyone along anyway. In trying to reformat the show to keep the audience "happy," I feel that the performances by the kids are suffering. More than once, a performer stumbled on the beginning of their song. This new Idol on fast-forward is a little too much for me. Tonight we are scheduled for a two hour show, so I hope the kids have time to breath for this one.   In the meantime, here's the results of the audience votes from last week. We have the voter choices for the Top 10 plus 2 judges wild cards.

Sarin-Joi Crowe
Love Runs Out by OneRepublic
Sounded off key to me. Even worse when the backup singers came in. Good to see judges acknowledge pitch problem too.

Rayvon Owen
Wide Awake by Katy Perry
Kind of boring at first, but got better farther into song. He was good, but didn't blow me away.

Daniel Seavey
Straight Up by Paula Abdul
Poop kid was scared to death when mentor Scott Borchetta called his name and he had 10 seconds to get on the stage and sing. My least favorite performance from Daniel, who I normally like.

Maddie Walker
Suitcase by Gwen Sebastian
Started off ok, but it didn't really go any where. Unfamiliar song won't help her any either.

Tyanna Jones
Wings by Little Mix
I think her pitch is a little off too. Lots of power and energy, but Idol has this all too messed up tonight with their ear pieces or something.

Nick Fradiani
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
Starting off by himself playing guitar was a good choice. He found the right key that way. Nice job.

I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
She started off playing the piano and was totally captivating. Not quite as good when the band joined in, but still a nice performance. Keith and Harry didn't think she needed the band at all.

Qaasin Middleton
Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
I don't know what key that song was supposed to be in, but that was awful. And I like Qaasim. The audition with the band was so much better. Lots of energy though.

Clark Beckham
It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World by James Brown
Once again a stellar performance by Clark. Very soulful and powerful.

Joey Cook
King of Spain by the Tallest Man on Earth
She is so cute and awesome, playing her mandolin, with this quirky song. And she didn't freak out before the end of the song this time.

Quentin Alexander
Royals by Lorde
He is very emotional before he takes the stage so the performance is a little shaky and he starts crying before the end. I actually love him. He is so different than he normal Idol contestants. I hope he is in the running for a while.

Adanna Duru
You And I by Lady Gaga
I'm really trying, but I just don't like this girl. And there are the growls again. And the off key screaming. Why her?

Top 6 Girls:
Sarina-Joi Crowe
Maddie Walker
Tyanna Jones
Joey Cook
Adanna Duru

Top 6 Guys:
Rayvon Owen
Daniel Seavey
Nick Fradiani
Qaasim Middleton
Clark Beckham
Quentin Alexander

Good bye to Adam, Mark, Alexis and Loren. At least two of you were robbed. Can't wait to see what tonight's two hour show brings us.

Friday, March 6, 2015

American Idol Season 14: Top 16

Well, this week we got the first results of America's votes revealing the Top 16 and I must say, I am not completely pleased with the outcome. The girls' results are about as I thought, but the guys' results are not. Two of my favorites were eliminated and the one guy I thought sold not have even made the Top 24 advanced. BOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!  Oh well, that's Idol for you. Here's what happened this week.

Idol was still in Detroit this week. First, Aretha Franklin performed "I Will Survive."
We also meet the Season 14 mentor, Scott Borchetta. Ryan tells us he launched the career of Taylor Swift. I did a little research and found out that Scott is the president and CEO of Nashville-based Big Machine Label group.

It was MoTown week.

Top 8 guys and what they performed this week:

Daniel Seavey - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by Marvin Gaye
Good job. Maybe the key was a touch too low, but he pulled it off. Judges agreed with me. Wearing a brown suit and bow tie. Too cute.

Mark Andrew - Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations
The absolute right song for him. His age is a definite advantage. He knows who he is and what works for him. Oddly, the judges didn't love the song choice. They all thought it was too jam-band.

Rayvon Owen - My Girl by The Temptations
He had on a new hat. I didn't like it. The performance was very sweet. His voice was good. He can definitely hit the high falsetto notes. It was good, but didn't blow me away.

Adam Ezegelian - I Want You Back by The Jackson 5
YUCK!!! My least favorite Top 12 guy advances, so that means one of my favorites goes home. I don't like this guy screaming and growling at me. What is wrong with America? Who voted for this guy?

Clark Beckham - The Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
Started off with just Clark and his electric guitar, which sounded great. Then he was joined by the band and back up singers. He had a couple of rough spots with intonation, but over all, he was really good. He knows what he is doing, if TPTB don't mess him up. Keith said he should have skipped the band altogether. I agree.

Nick Fradiani - Signed, Sealed , Delivered (I'm Yours) by Stevie Wonder
Nice intro, just Nick. Jam picks up with the band. Very nice job. Great vocals. Nick is the other "old man" of the group and he also knows what works for him. He is my favorite.

Qaasim Middleton - I Wish by Stevie Wonder
Qaasim was definitely into the song. Lots of movement, but it might have been too much. Vocals weren't perfect. But he is a great entertainer.  The audience loved him and so did the judges. Jennifer tells him not to lose the vocals when he dances.

Quentin Alexander - Master Blaster (Jammim') by Stevie Wonder
Quentin's outfit has a tribal look to it and he be reggae "jammim' to the song." I liked it. He is different, but in  a good way.

Sadly, we say good bye to Savion Wright, Trevor Douglas, Michael Simeon, and Riley Bria. This was a hard night. I really liked all four of these guys and wish that any one of them had continued instead of Adam. Oh, well. There are still some extremely talented guys in the competition. Now, for the girls.

Top 8 girls and what they performed this week:

Tyanna Jones - Rockin' Robin by Michael Jackson
I really appreciate the fact that this girl dresses her age. Cute and conservative. Her momma is doing a great job. For someone so young, this girl is very smart. This was a great song for her. Strong performance. I loved it.

Loren Lott - I Wanna Be Where You Are by Michael Jackson
Her voice is good, but her goofy demeanor is getting to me. She is just too "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh"and giggling all the time. The performance was good though.

Maddie Walker - I'll Be There by The Jackson 5
This was a really good performance. It was great to hear something not country from her so we could hear the quality of her voice, especially after her last flat performance. Keith liked that she didn't try and do Michael's runs in that song. I agree with him.

Joey Cook - Shop Around by The Miracles
This was a very funky performance. I liked it a lot, although Joey looked like she was about to explode at any moment by the end of the song. I'm glad she held t together. Very unique. I hope America keeps her around for a while.

Sarina-Joi  Crowe - You've Really Got A Hold On Me by The Miracles
Accompanied by a solo guitar only. Really nice job. Great song choice and arrangement. I like her voice. She is growing on me.

Adanna Duru - Hello by Lionel Richie
I liked the song choice, but her arm movements were distracting and I hated the dress she was wearing. It was way too tight and too short. And she wasn't singing in tune either. Blah performance.

Jax - Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
The arrangement was changed to a major jazz piece. Very different from the original song. Not bad but so different it will probably offend some die-hard MoTown fans. Jax does have a fantastic voice though, so I hope America keeps her around for a lot longer. JLo and Harry didn't like the arrangement either.

Alexis Gomez -  I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops
She looks cute, even though she is barefoot on stage. For some reason she is singing with a weird southern accent, which I don't remember her speaking with normally. The singing wasn't in key either. Another blah performance.

So we say good bye to Katherine Winston, Lovey James, Shannon Berthiaume, and Shi Scott.

My favorites for the Top 12 are:
Daniel, Clark, Nick, Mark, Quentin, Qaasim

Tyanna, Joey, Jax, Sarina-Joi, Maddie, Loren

We'll see what next week brings us. Hopefully, not another major disappointment. Send Adam home America.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Top 12 Guys and Top 12 Girls Perform

I had company all last week so I'm running way behind with this post, so here is a short review of what happened.

Idol took the Top 24 to Detroit to perform before a live audience for two weeks. This was the first day of the audience vote. We get the results next week and cut 24 to 16.  First up, the guys.

Adam Ezegalian - I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister
Very scary. He looked like a mad scientist in a suit and sweater vest screaming at the audience.

Michael Simeon - How Am I supposed To Live Without You by Michael Bolton
Sadly, it was kind of bland for me. Michael has a better voice than that.

Savion Wright - Hey, Soul Sister by Train
I like Savion and this was a good performance, but not great. I think TPTB had the kids out in the awful cold temperatures in Detroit for too long. Three rough vocals so far.

Mark Andrew - The Weight by The Band
Perfect song for his raspy, gravely voice. The cold didn't get to him.

Trevor DouglasBest I Ever Had by Gavin DeGraw
I like this kid. He's talented and funny. Cracking voice. Cold or 17. Nor sure. Definitely not his best.

Clark Beckham - When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge
Awesome. Hopefully the young voters recognize his talent. Best so far.

Rayvon Owen - Jealous by Nick Jonas
It was ok. High notes didn't always sound right to me.

Daniel Seavey - I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Played a Vox Mandelin. He did a really good job on the intricacies of this song.

Riley Bria - Homeboy by Eric Church
Not bad, but needed something.

Quentin Alexander - I Put A Spell On You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Very eccentric looking young man, but I like him. He's different. Very soulful, emotional performance. I hope America voted for him.

Nick Fradiani - Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
My absolute favorite to win the whole thing. Perfect song choice. Great performance. I would have loved to hear the whole song. The best of the night.

Qaasim Middleton - Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
A showman in the making. Very entertaining to watch. Great choice.

And the girls.

Lovey James - Love Runs Out by OneRepublic
She used to look more country, but now she is a pop singer. I'm confused. It was ok but not great.

Adanna Duru - Rather Be by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
I've never heard this song before. Slow start, then she starts screeching at me. Not my cup of tea.

Alexis Gomez - Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert
Too much twang and not enough attitude. Miranda she is NOT.

Joey Cook - Somebody Like You by Keith Urban
Playing her accordion. She is so quirky, but it works for her. Song sounds like a polka, but it is actually good. And Keith loved it too. Best so far. for the girls.

Katherine Winston - Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars
Definitely a folk singer. She sounds pretty good, but she looks so scared or sad or something. I really haven't been blown away by her, but this was much better.

Shannon Berthiaume - Who Knew by P!nk
Bad song choice. Needed to be in a different key, at least. She has a decent voice, but she is so inexperienced. Idol is going to kill her.

Loren Lott - Note To God by Charice
Never heard the song before and can't stand Charice. Sounded shaky at first but the power kicked in at the key change.  Good job.

Shi Scott - Umbrella by Rihanna
Scary see-thru dress. I didn't like the performance. Way too screechy. Totally the wrong song.

Maddie Walker - Love Gets Me Every Time by Shania Twain
She has a great country voice, but this song wasn't a great choice. Kind of boring.

Sarina-Joi Crowe - Momma Knows Best by Jessie J
Great job. Attitude and vocals both worked with the song choice.

Jax - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra
Perfect beginning. Great power and attitude.

Tyanna Jones - Lips Are Movin by Meghan Trainor
Popular song. Needs to be in a higher key for sure. Decent job, but would have been even better in a higher key.

My choices for the Top 16.
1) Nick
2) Clark
3) Savion
4) Mark
5) Daniel
6) Quentin
7) Trevor
8) Riley (or Qaasim or Rayvon)

1) Jax
2) Joey
3) Tyanna
4) Sarina-Joi
5) Loren
6) Maddie
7) Katherine
8) Lovey (or Alexis)

I still believe the guys are much stronger than the girls this season. The only girl I see with a chance of winning is Jax. Several guys have a shot at winning the whole thing, including Nick and Clark.

Friday, February 20, 2015

American Idol 14: Hollywood Showcase #1 and 2 and The Final Judgement

There are 48 contestants left in the running for this year's American Idol title. TPTB have not actually told us the names of all of the Top 48, and seeing how we seem to be on the fast track with the shows this season, it's just not going to happen.

This week Idol cut the contestants from 48 down to 24. Next week live performances and viewers votes start.

For the shows Idol shows clips of the contestants live showcase at LA's House of Blues as well as Hollywood Week performances as the contestants head into "The Final Judgement." Here's the contestants advancing:

Michael Simeon
Loren Lott
Adam Ezegelian
Lovey James
Adanna Duru
Maddie Walker
Clark Beckham
Daniel Seavey
Tyanna Jones
Rayvon Owen
Shannon Berthiaume

Joey Cook
Katherine Winston
Alexis Gomez
Quentin Alexander
Savion Wright
Mark Andrew
Trevor Douglas
Nick Fradiani
Sarina-Joi Crowe
Qaasim Middleton
Riley Bria
Shi Scott

So there we have it; The Top 24 for Season 14 of American Idol.
My favorites for the girls so far: Jax, Tyanna, Loren
My favorites for the guys: anyone except Adam Ezegelian.

Once again, I think the guys are the strongest in the competition. While Daniel, Trevor and Riley are extremely talented, I think Nick or Mark deserve the win the most. They have paid their dues and are both extremely talented too. As of today, Nick should win, but you never know how the viewer votes will go. It all depends on how many teenage girls decide to tune in to watch and actually vote. Next week will be very telling, and I can't wait to see what happens.

So next week, tune in to Idol on Wednesday and Thursday and get ready to vote. Unfortunately, I will be hosting company and might not be able to post anything about the show until the next week.

Friday, February 13, 2015

American Idol 14: Hollywood Week #3 and 4

Once again this is the easiest way for me to catch up on Idol for this week.

We witness the rest of the group rounds and then the solo competition.

Day #3: Those advancing to solo round.

Alexis Granville - 17 - Zachary, LA  (The Panic Attack Queen)
Jax - 18 - East Brunswick, NJ

Riley Bria - 17 - Springhill, TN
Keri Lynn Roche - 25 - Detroit, MI
Emily Brooke - 15 - West Palm Beach, FL
Jake Black

Cody Fry - 24 - Notrhfield, IL
Rayvon Owen - 23 - Richmond, VA
Piper Jones - 24 - Nashville, TN

Adanna Duru - 18 - Diamond Bar, CA
Cindy Maslov - 24 - Granite Bay, CA

Daniel Seavey - 15 - Portland, OR
Trevor Douglas - 16 - Fort Worth, TX
Savion Wright - 22 - Jasper, TX
Qaasim Middleton - 18 - Brooklyn, NY

Alexis Gomez - 22 - Dayton, OH

Loren Lott - 22 - San Diego, CA

Quentin Alexander - 20 - New Orleans, LA

Hollywood Anderson - 22 - New York, NY
Monica Pidoy

Lovey James - 16 - Portland, OR
Jess Lamb - 29 - Cincinnati, OH

Tanya MacKenna - 23 - Carlsbad, CA

Erika David - 25 - Fremont, CA
Sarina-Joi Crowe - 19 - Columbia, TN
Adrianna Simon - 24 - Las Veags, NV

Mark Andrew - 29 - Eden Prairie, MN
Katherine Winston - 18 - Lenox, MA
Alex Shier - 19 - Port Huron, MI

Several people Idol only identifies by first name:
Jelly (Joseph)
Regina (Bennett)?
Angelica ?
Gina Venier

Maddie Walker - 16 - Ankeny, IA

Joey Cook - 23 - Woodbridge, VA
Shannon Berthiaume - 17 - St Paul, MN
Naomi Tatsuoka - 24 - Portland, OR

Day #4:Solo Rounds
Cut 80 in half today.

Loren Lott
Daniel Seavey
Shi Scott
Quentin Alexander
Maddie Walker
Trevor Douglas
Michael Simeon
Nick Fradiani
Emily Brooke
Rayvon Owen
Jelly Joseph
Clark Beckham
Mark Andrew
Alexis Gomez
Shannon Berthiaume
Katherine Winston
Joey Cook
Tyanna Jones
Riley Bria
+ more

Next week the contestants perform at The House of Blues before a live audience and then they are cut to the Top 24.

So far my favorites for the girls are: Jax, Tyanna Jones, Lore Lott.
So far my favorites for the guys are: Nick Fradiani, Daniel Seavey, Clark Beckham, Michael Simeon, Trevor Douglas.  I also like Savion Wright, but they didn't tell us if he advanced or not. I sure hope so.

Beyond a few exceptions, I believe the guys are stronger again this year.

Friday, February 6, 2015

American Idol 14: Hollywood Week #1 and 2

I'm running a little behind this week so here is a rundown of the first two episodes of Idol for Hollywood Week.

The judges ask some contestants to perform first this season, but they are not telling the contestants why they are singing on day one. Ryan tells us these are some of the most memorable auditions. Of course, last season, this first performance was to cut a lot of people, so everyone is freaking out.

Included in the first performances are: Jax - 18 -East Brunswick, NJ; Mark Andrew - 29 - Eden Prairie, MN; Emily Brooke - 15 - West Palm Beach, FL; Sal Valentinetti - 19 - Bethpage, NY; Adam Ezegelian - 21 - Wantagh, NY; Tyanna Jones - 16 - Jacksonville, FL; Hollywood Anderson - 22 - New York, NY; Shannon Berthiaume - 17 - St. Paul, MN; Adam Lasher - 27 - Danville, CA; Garrett Miles - 25 - Phenix City, AL; Trevor Douglas - 16 - Fort Worth, TX; Joey Cook - 23 - Woodbridge, VA; Amber Kelechi - 16 - Memphis, TN. I see Savion Wright returning from last season is also part of this group. There are 38 in all.

Harry calls all who sang up on the stage and tells them they were among the most memorable from auditions and are all through to the next round. Everyone else sings for their lives the next day. 174 must sing, half will go home. Of course, we have to see a few meltdowns in this part, or it's not Hollywood Week.

In normal Idol style, we aren't told all of the names of the contestants going through or going home. Here are the ones we do know continue on to group rounds: Reno Anoa'i - 16 - San Francisco, CA; Jaq MacKenzie - 15 - Santa Monica, CA; Erica Washington - 24 - Mobile, AL; Casey Thrasher (not named but I recognize him from last season); Michael Simeon - 21- Lumberton, MS ; Ron Wilson - 24 - Gretna, FL; Gabby Zonneveld - 16 - St. Paul, MN; Kelley  Kime - 23 - Fairfax, VA;
Katherine Winston - 18 - Lenox, MA; Maddie Walker - 16 - Ankeny, IA; Alexis Gomez - 22 - Dayton, OH; Cody Fry - 24 - Northfield, IL; Loren Lott - 22 - San Diego, CA; Rayvon Owen - 23 - Richmond, VA; Shi Scott - 19 - Belcamp, MD; Clark Beckham - 22 - Whitehouse, TN; Daniel Seavey - 15 - Portland, OR; Qaasim Middleton - 18 - Brooklyn, NY. Also continuing: Nick Fradiani - NY Audition; Quentin Alexander - New Orleans Audition; Zack Kaltenbach - KC Audition.

Time for all-night rehearsals for group rounds, otherwise known as the meltdown round. First one with a problem is Alexis Granville. She can't find a group until Sal Valentinetti takes her in. I'm sure we will see more problems from her, but I 'm just going to report the positive.

David Oliver Willis - 23 - Mount Dora, FL (Returning from last season)
Jesse Cline - 20 - Ashland, KY
Clark Beckham
J. None - 24 - Orlando, FL (with Mr Krispy, his teddy bear)

Shi Scott
Ron Wilson
Adam Ezegelian

Maddy Hudson - 16 - Pleasanton, CA
Reno Anoa'i 
Tyanna Jones

Jaq MacKenzie
Nick Fradiani - 29 - Guilford, CT
Hunter Larson -20 - Malibu, CA
Michael Simeon

Time for Alexis Granville to faint again.

My favorites so far for personality and voice: Adam Lasher (Carlos Santana's nephew), Garrett Miles (blind since birth), Trevor Douglas (science geek), Nick Fradiani, Jaq MacKenzie.

Friday, January 30, 2015

American Idol 14: Episode #8 - San Francisco Auditions Part 2

The final installment of the audition rounds is once again from San Francisco.

Adanna Dura - 17 - California
"You And I" by Lady Gaga.  Nice voice. Very happy girl.

Hunter Larson - 20 - Malibu, CA
"That's Life" by Frank Sinatra. Gritty tone to her voice.

Tara Honda - 22 - California
"I Feel The Earth Move" by Carole King. Nice voice, fits the song well.

Daniel Seavey - 15 - Portland, OR
This kid hates it when people tell him he looks like Justin Bieber, which he kind of does. He is nothing like Bieber. He plays piano, guitar, cello, sax, drums, violin, bass, and more.
He plays piano for "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Excellent piano skills. He is very nervous but still has moments that are fantastic. He is totally adorable. Second song on guitar. Great guitar skills too.
Harry says Daniel is not ready yet, but Keith and Jennifer give him a chance in Hollywood.

Rocky Peter - 27 - Dunbar, CA
Rocky was American born, but his father abandoned him and family and sent them back to Nigeria where they were homeless, eating from the trash. He is there to change his life.
Rocky sings an original song, "Wrong Choices" and plays guitar. He has a beautiful, very soulful voice. Keith loves him , but isn't sure Idol is right for him. He gets 3 yeses to give it a try.

Jaq MacKensie -  15 - Santa Monica, CA
Attends a Fine Arts High School. Carrying guitar, but doesn't play it on camera. Original song. Her voice sounds really young, but she looks older than 15. She seems very talented.

Tyanna Jones - 16 - Jacksonville, FL
Middle kid of 11. Family was homeless for a while and lived in a church.
"Wings" by Little Mix. She seems very shy, but loses that shyness when she sings. Good voice.
Harry says she is very talented with a lot of potential, but work to do.

And that is it for the audition rounds.

Next week we are in Hollywood with over 200 contestants melting down, I mean, vying for the Idol crown.