Thursday, January 29, 2015

American Idol 14 Auditions #7 From San Francisco

This week we have auditions from San Francisco. Again, here are the golden ticket winners from Audition show #7.

Katherine Skinner - 15 - San Francisco
Very odd young lady. Her psychic cat told her to audition. "Shake It Out" by Florence and The Machine. Not a bad voice, but an unusual character. JLo tells her she is talented, but she is "CRAY," as in crazy. Judges put her through to Hollywood.

Ryan Pinkston - 27 - San Francisco
Very smiley guy. Very exact in his performance.

Erika David - 25 - Fremont, CA
"No One" by Alicia Keys.  Keith says No, the other two yes.

Chandler Leighton - 20 - Los Angeles
"New York State of Mind"  Very good

Andrew Bloom - 17 - Yorba Linda, CA
Plays guitar. "Too Close" Good job. Good looking young man. Good spirit.

Kellyeann Rodgers - 24 - Memphis, TN
She is listed as a voice teacher and she sounds like it. And they usually don't go far on Idol. But she sounds great and is headed to Hollywood.

Reno Anoa'i - 16 - San Francisco
Plays the ukulele. Samoan ancestry and comes from a huge family. He has a very sweet voice; Hawaiian sound. I think he is talented, but too young to survive Idol's pressure.

Rayvon Owen - 23 - Richmond, VA
"Wide Awake" by Katy Perry. He has a nice tone to his voice. Major passion in the performance. Good job.

Maddy Hudson - 16 - Pleasanton, CA
Backstory says she was bullied, especially in middle school. She has a more grown up look to her and her talent level is Awesome. Kids were probably jealous of her. Insanely soulful performance. "Resentment" The judges totally loved her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

AI 14 Auditions #6: Harry Goes Home

This episode of American Idol is set in New Orleans, Harry Connick Jr's home town, and the birthplace of Jazz.

Once again, I'm only talking about the Golden Ticket winners.

Angelica "Jelly" Joseph - 26 - New Orleans
""Rollin' In The Deep"  Powerful, soulful performance. Spunky. 3 easy yeses.

Tiffany Stringer - 16 - SouthLake, Texas
Girl is in cheer and dance team in high school.  "Want You Back" by Cher Lloyd.
I didn't like it at all, but she is definitely cheerful. Harry says no, but Keith and Jennifer say yes.

Grayson Turner - 15 - Spartansburg, South Carolina
Sings in a band with his girlfriend. Plays guitar. Sings original song "Chasing Shadows." Interesting voice and nice song. Yes X 3.

Quentin Alexander - 20 - New Orleans
Definitely has a different fashion sense. Grew up in the infamous 9th ward of New Orleans. Jennifer called it half tribal, half Pilgrim. I think "Royals" is a strange song choice, although he does a good job and I love his voice. I expected a much more unusual song with more attitude. He gets 3 yeses.

Mikey Duran - 19 - New Orleans
Went to the same high school as Harry. Plays guitar. Original song "My Demise" is pretty good. Interesting voice too. Keith loves the song. 3 fast yeses.

Nalani Quintello - 19 - Orange Park, FL  - back from last season
Tori Martin - 20 - Azle, Texas - Plays guitar. Wants to be the next female country star.
Hope Windle - 24 - Hot Springs, Arkansas  - No from Harry
Alexis Chapa   - Twitter Hollywood or Home vote

Ricky Dale Hendricks - 17 - West Monroe, LA
Big Keith fan. Plays guitar. "The Thunder Rolls" Nice voice. Lots of natural raw talent. Judges really like him.

Dakota Suarez - 18 - Falfurrias, Texas
Drag Queen. Voice isn't half bad. Harry says no, voice isn't quite there. Jennifer and Keith say yes.

Adam Lasher - 27 - Danville, CA
Uncle is Carlos Santana. Adam has a broken right thumb but still plays guitar. He has a great voice and plays well, even with the broken thumb.

Erica Washington - 24 - Mobile, AL
Had a daughter at 18 and seems like a very nice classy woman. "Halo" is her song. Great dynamics, beautiful voice.  Yes X 3.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

AI 14 Auditions #5

This show the Idol team visited Minneapolis to hunt for the next American Idol.

Once again, I am only writing about the Golden Ticket winners that are headed to Hollywood.

Shannon Berthiaume - 17 - St. Paul, MN
She looks scared to death. "House Of The Rising Sun" is her tune. Very powerful, but raw performance. Yes X 3.

Montage of yeses:
Morgan Ovens - 24 - Venice, CA   Plays guitar.
Gabrielle Noe'l - 23 - Minneapolis, MN
Courtney Guns - 23 - Bemidji, MN

Vanessa Andrea - 25 - Minot, ND
Air Force wife.  Mother of 3. Plays guitar. "Some Kind of Wonderful" - raspy voice, nice laid back song.

Zach Johnson - 20 - Fargo, ND
"Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley. A little too much imitation for Harry. Don't sing with a country accent if you don't speak with accent. Keith likes him a lot. Jennifer asks for song without the accent. Harry immediately hands him a ticket. Zach tells Keith he is trying to go to his concert in South Dakota, and Idol is there to record Keith keeping his word. "I've Got Friends In Low Places."

Aaron Bissell - 17 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Plays guitar. Coffee house performer. Mellow voice.

Cindy Jo Scholer - 26 - North Branch, MN
Outdoor enthusiast who shot a bear with a bow recently. Patsy Kline "Crazy" Too much going on with her attire and musical presentation. Keith and Harry both say yes, but lose the extra stuff.

Jacob Tolliver - 20 - Portsmouth, OH
Currently playing Jerry Lee Lewis in a show in Vegas. Plays over-the-top piano to "Great Balls Of Fire."  Harry says mimicry won't win Idol. Keith asks for him to sing himself and we get Sam Smith's "Stay."  A little too high a key for my taste, but the judges like it better. Yes X 3.

Hannah Mrozak - 16 - Richfield, WI
"Something Got A Hold Of Me" by Etta James. This girls has a powerful voice beyond her years.

Mark Andrew - 29 - Minneapolis, MN
Works for family landscape business. Has a baby at home now so its time to try out. Plays guitar.
"Soul Shin" Perfect voice for that song. Keith asks for another song. "Be Like You" from Jungle Book. His voice sounds great for this song too. Shows more range and funkiness.  Yes X 3 for Mark.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Episode 4 of American Idol 14 Audition Rounds

Idol is in Jennifer's hometown of New York for this show. Keith is out and the guest judge is Adam Lambert.

Sal Valentinetti - 19 - New York
This guy is very, very, very New York Italian. Singing "Fly Me To The Moon" by Sinatra. Sal makes $100 off of Harry since he knew the actual name of the song. He is very old-school, but has a great voice and is an interesting character. Harry says not what they are looking for. Adam says people at home will love him. Jennifer loves him. He is headed to Hollywood.

J None - 24 - Orlando, FL
Carrying his childhood teddy bear, Mr Crispy. It's for strength do to asthma.  "My Prerogative"
Not bad. Harry playing with the bear was distracting.

Jax - 18 - New Jersey
Dad is a retired NYC fireman injured at 911. Plays piano. Very beautiful version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand." Judges love her.

Najah Lewis - 20 - NY
Subway musician. Plays guitar. "Pay Phone" by Maroon 5. Interesting. Voice is good. Guitar skills are limited.

Tion Phipps - 20 - Madisonville, Kentucky
He has a decent voice and goes to Hollywood.

James Killian Dunn - 21 - Connecticut
He sings a high falsetto and Adam says no, but Harry and Jennifer put him through.  Another one to be eliminated fast in Hollywood.

Shi Scott - 19 - Maryland
Starts to freak out, but Adam talks her through it. Amy Winehouse wanna be. Needs her own style. No from Adam. Yes from Harry and Jennifer.

Eric Lopez - 19 - NY
"The Show Must Go On" by Queen.  I can't hear the melody of the song. Adam isn't blown away. Jennifer says no. Harry says yes. Eric talks Adam into a yes.

Maddie Walker - 16 - Ankeny, IA
"Suit Case" Second audition.

Courtney Zahn - 21 - NJ

Jackie Nese - 17 - NJ
"Born This Way"

Qaasim Middleton - 18 - Brooklyn, NY
Music student. Parents are both musical. Dad is in the cast of Stomp. "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder. Has guitar along but doesn't play it. Great job. Judges loved him.

Adam Ezegelian - 20 - NY
"Born To Be Wild" is a bit too wild for the judges. Adam says for something different and we get Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" which sounds great.

Katherine Winston - 18 - Massachusetts
"If I Didn't Know Better"  Plays guitar.

Travis Finlay - 20 - NY
Accepted to Berklee College of Music, but didn't get scholarship money. "Stay" Voice sounds good. A few too many runs in the song, but he has great potential.

Nick Fradiani - 28 - Connecticut
Girlfriend, Yanni, auditions first with "The Cup Song." She is good but not for Idol. Nick sings Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Plays guitar.  He's really good.

"Hollywood" Anderson - 22 - NYC
Subway musician. Sings original song, "My Best Friend." The song is great and so is he. Jennifer says she wants to record the song. "Hollywood" was homeless and a man from the shelter gave him a guitar and taught him to play. The judges love, love, love him. Harry says the best audition of New York.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

AI 14 Auditions Round 3

This episode completed the Kansas City, MO stop, including the best auditions from the 11 bus tour stops across the country.

Ronterius "Big Ron" "Big Sexy" Wilson - 24 - FL
"Let's Get It On" was sung almost exclusively to Jennifer. The guys left the room, pretending to go out for a burger. He got 3 yeas so we will see how Hollywood goes.

Ashley Lusk - 15 - MO  
Short clip of audition. Performs with guitar.  I didn't catch the song.

Josh Sanders - 26 - NC
Another short clip. Performs with guitar.

Casey Thrasher - 23 - AL
Casey was robbed last season, being eliminated at Hollywood rounds. I'm glad he has returned this season. It is not mentioned that he is a returning contestant. Once again he plays his guitar and sounds great.

Joey Cooke - 23 - VA
This girl is different and is playing the accordion. "King of Spain" is an unusual choice from a quirky young lady. She has a cool voice and the judges warn not to be too far out there.

Alexis Gomez - 22 - OH
This girl describes herself as hippie/country/hillbilly. She is good on her guitar and has a decent country voice on "Little White Church." Keith says no, but Jennifer and Harry say yes.

Anton Bushner - 19 - KS
He is a huge Keith fan and sings Keith's "Tonight I Wanna Cry." Sounds very country, because he is. He's a farmhand. The judges love him.

Stephanie Gummelt - 18 - MO
She plays the guitar and performs an original song. Very strange squeaky voice when talking. Not so bad singing. Harry says no, Keith and Jennifer say yes.

Ellen Peterson - 22 - Branson, MO
Ellen plays banjo, so of course her audition song is "I Want To Be A Cowboy Sweetheart." She is pretty, has a good voice and good banjo skills. The judges love her a lot.

Kohlton Pascal - 21 - NY
Kohlton plays guitar and travels around the country playing music to make enough to ride the bus to the next location. Basically, he is homeless. He sings an original song. He has a deep, dark voice. I'm not sure he will fit in with Idol and each of the judges warn him of this, but they are willing to give him a try. I actually hope it works out for him.

The only non-golden ticket winner I will mention here is a young lady named Ashley Stehle. She is 15 and both of her parents have been deaf her whole life. Her father recently was fitted with new technology so that he can finally hear her sing. Sadly, she has problems staying on key when singing a cappella so the judges say no. They agree she has a nice voice, but she needs more training before she auditions for something like this show.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Round 2 of AI 14 Auditions

The second round of AI auditions started off in Nashville and end in Kansas City. Again, here are the golden ticket winners.

Andrew Annello - 22 - Alabama
He's an actor with ADHD. Yes, he is.
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered"  Not a bad voice, but way too much silliness and Harry calls him out on it. Harry asks for something serious and Andrew gives them a much better version of "My Girl."
Yes x 3

Loren Lott - 21 - San Diego, CA
Loren is an actress. I see a theme for the night.
"Treasure" by Bruno Mars is delivered much like Andrew delivered "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," with too much theatrics. Harry wants something else more her. Keith asks what she would sing if she were home washing the dishes and the girl proceeds to at out washing the dishes and singing. I don't like her voice, but Keith and JLo say yes.

Trevor Douglas - 16 - Fort Worth, TX
Finally a guy with a guitar, not an actor. This kid is a science geek. Seriously, a geek. JLo even refers to him as a geek. He's pretty good singing "Sing" by Ed Sheeran. No problem with the falsetto part at all. Yes x 3

Piper Jones - 24 - Nashville, TN
We don't get to see very much of this girls audition, but we have just enough to tell this girl can SANG.

Kelley Kime - 23 - Fairfax, VA
Kelley comes with her 3 yr old cutie-pie daughter Hope, who is allowed to sing, yep - you guessed it, "Let It Go." The judges give the kiddo a golden ticket and pray her mom is good too. Fortunately, she is pretty good on "Sunday Morning." I doubt mom would have actually advanced if her daughter wasn't there. Look for much more back-story material from this single mom.

Garrett Miles - 26 - Alabama
Garrett has been blind since birth. Dad is along as his roadie.
"Proud Mary" countrified version. Garrett has a nice original voice and plays guitar really well too.
He tells JLO he loved her in Selena, and asks to play "Como La Flor" for her. He's even better on that song. I love this guy already, but I do wonder if he will be able to handle the strangeness of Idol. I hope so.

Clark Beckham - 22 - Tennessee
Clark is a street performer in Nashville. Yep, that's with a guitar.
He has an atypical song choice, "This Is A Man's World."  He has a decent voice, but I agree with Keith; he needed more intensity in the performance.

Gina Venier - 24 - IL
This gal is a one-man-band. She comes equipped with a guitar, a cajon, and a shaker. She uses the cajon (the wooden sound box in the percussion family) and shaker on "Put The Gun Down." Its a funky performance. That's a good thing in her case. She shows great rhythm and has a distinctive voice. Think original, like my favorite Jessica Meuse from last season.

Alex Shier - 19 - MI
White guy with guitar. JLo remembers him from last season's auditions and says he has really improved and grown as a musician. He has a raspy voice. Keith and Jennifer send him through. Harry still isn't impressed.

Cody Fry - 24 - IL
Another WGWG. This guy has tons of experience. He has already been touring. Dad is a composer and Cody sang the kids parts in jingles when he was a kid. We get a very folksy version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." The judges love him.

Hector Montenegro - 24 - FL
A singing male cosmetologist who also plays guitar. He actually isn't half bad on "Too Close" by Alex Clare. yes x 3

Sarina-Joi Crowe - 19 - TN
This is her fourth time to audition. She gives us some "Love Runs Out" and the judges are happy. She is better than last year.

Alison Peratikos - 19 - NY
We just get a quick glimpse. I didn't catch the song.

Jake Black - 26 - Murfreesboro, TN
Another short clip. He's playing guitar with an Ed Sheeran song. Kind of a beatbox kind of thing.

Steffi Leddbetter - 20 - AL
The third in a set of quick clips. I'm not sure what she sang.

And last, but not least, for the Nashville auditions, returning from season 13, the guy that I thought was robbed:
Savion Wright - 22 - Jasper, TX
He plays a song from his idol, Eric Clapton, "Change The World" and he is even better than last season. Savion's confidence and talent have grown. The judges only hand out compliments, but Savion asks what he should work on before Hollywood. Nice touch. Harry tells him some technical harmony chords on guitar. I can't wait to see how he does in Hollywood.

Finally, time for some KC stuff.

Zack Kaltenbach - 22 - Lee's Summit, MO
We have a lot of story but not a lot of pizzazz in the performance of "Grenade." He promises he will work hard and since he has a good "presence" Keith and JLo give him a chance. Oh well, someone has to go home during Hollywood week.

Naomi Tatsuoka - 24 - Portland, OR
She is a strange chick, always messing with her glasses. She starts kneeling on the floor for "Someone Like You" and makes the whole thing overly dramatic.  Harry tells her she threw in everything, including the kitchen sink. And somehow the judges put her through to Hollywood.

Jhameel - 24 - Oakland, CA
The back story warns us that Jhameel is Pre-OCD and he paints his face and does things to keep his symmetry. He brought each judge a different origami piece he made. He plays guitar and performs T-Pain's "Buy You A Drink."  He's not terrible and since the judges seem to like quirky this year, he is going to Hollywood. He won't last the first day in the chaos of Hollywood week.

Lovey James - 16 - Portland, OR
She performs "Break Free" and is good. She has a very 16 yr old girl voice. I would say Hollywood week would eat her alive, but the back story says she has been competitively dancing for years, so this shouldn't be a shock to her.

Jess Lamb - 28 - Cincinnati, OH
Jess is a very quirky chick who looks like she could be regularly performing here in Austin, Tx at any number of clubs. She has great piano skills and a good voice. She gives us a great original version of "Ain't No Sunshine" and then after she gets to play piano with Harry. She is truly blown away by this opportunity. I hope she can survive the craziness of Hollywood. This gal has talent.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Idol's Back and So Am I

Life got in the way, but after an extended break from posting on this blog, covering David Archuleta's activities, and writing my second novel, I have decided to start working on all of them again.

I actually didn't stop writing, as I have been writing posts for my husband's photography blog, Covering The Limelight . If you haven't checked it out before, we cover some of the great live music and other interesting events happening around Austin, Texas. Give our blog a look if you have time.

So, I wasn't going to spend time blogging about Idol this season, but my daughter talked me into doing some limited coverage. I think that will work better for me. I tend to get to wrapped up in the show and want to say too much. This year will be different; not so detailed. This will be more bare-bones, especially of the auditions. So here we go. Season 14 of the show America loves to hate on: American Idol.

The Idol producers started the show off with a very smart move, playing a music video performed by this season's Top 24 contestants, in silhouette, so we couldn't see exactly who they are. This video to Michael Buble's "Feeling Good"sounded great and showed the world that the judges have made some wise decisions this year. And if this means the format has gone back to an evenly split M/F Top 24, TPTB have made wise decisions too.

During the show we also saw clips of the "cattle call" auditions which TPTB have not really shown before, so maybe we are on the way to a new and improved Idol this season. After last years dismal shows, and boring winner, the show needed some improvements. Here's hoping.

I'm happy last year's judges are back. Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr have a nice relaxed chemistry, not seen since Simon and Paula left the show. Even better than the chemistry is the fact they all KNOW music. The number of audition cities was cut this year, but each of the judges' "hometowns" were covered. I put hometowns in quotes because Nashville is Keith Urban's adopted home. The stops also included New York for Jennifer and New Orleans for Harry.

Show #1 gave us Nashville auditions. Here are the golden ticket winners shown.

Riley Bria - 17 - Tennessee
Keith recognized Riley as part of the Grammy Foundation students who performed on stage with him once. Keith said the kid can really shred on electric guitar, but on this day Riley performed an acoustic version of Keith's "Georgia Woods." Riley seemed like a natural. His voice was very pleasant. The judges loved him.

Priscilla Barker - 19 - Mississippi
She is the youngest of 10 kids. She performed "Delta Dawn" accompanying herself on guitar. Priscilla is very, very Southern , with one of the strongest accents I have heard in a while, but she did a good job on the song. JLo isn't blown away, but the guys give her a chance.

Cameron Bedell - 25 - Kansas
Another guitar player. We hear a kind of jazzy version of "You're The Best Thing"
He makes it to Cali, but I doubt he will be around long.

Amber Walker - 15 - Memphis, Tennessee
Her back story tells us she is from the "poorer" side of town. No guitar for Amber. Michael Orland accompanied her on piano during "HeartBreak Hotel." Harry says he likes her and she has potential, but needs more training. I agree. JLo and Keith give her another chance in Hollywood.

Kory Wheeler - 26 - Nashville
Another guitar player in the house. This guy works at a coffee shop across the street from the auditions. He's pretty good. JLo gets "goosies." Three big yeses from the judges and Ryan walks him across the street to ask the boss for the rest of the day off.

Michael Simeon - 20 - Mississippi
Another guitar player. I recognize this guy from somewhere. (I read online he auditioned last year.)
He sings Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and gets three very fast yeses. Michael asks Jennifer to dance with him and she reluctantly accepts. Harry says he will play piano and Keith takes the kids guitar and they play "Stay With Me" while they dance and Michael sings. And it wasn't creepy, which is odd.)

Emily Brooke - 15 - Florida
She plays guitar also.  We get a great version of Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" and Emily gets three yeses.

Not a bad show. We only had to watch one complete "bad audition" (and it wasn't terrible) and saw a couple of clips of no-goes. I bet the next episode gives us a few more "bads".  I wasn't totally blown away by anyone, but Emily and Riley were probably my favorites of this show.

If you missed this episode, AI posted on their Facebook that it is available to watch on their web page. If nothing else, watch the music video by the Top 24 shown at the beginning of the program.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Idol 13: And The Winner Is...

Well it's a wrap. American Idol Season 13 has concluded and the winner is...the rocker, Caleb Johnson. No, I am not surprised. Anyone who faithfully watches Idol should have seen this coming weeks ago. That doesn't mean I agree with the results, but it is what it is.

As disappointing as the results might be, parts of the finale show were actually pretty good. I will write about all of the performances manana (that's tomorrow for all of the non-Spanish comprehending peeps out there) so check back later.


Performances and commentary on the night:

The show started with "the box" everyone had to wait in before proceeding to see the judges. This time Caleb and Jena are there together and when the light flashes, they enter the stage for the finale. Caleb sings "We Will Rock You" by Queen and Jena sings "I'm Just A Girl" by No Doubt. Together they sing "It's Only Love" by Bryan Adams. They sound pretty good. I hope this is how the rest of the show proceeds.

Next up on the night "Home" with Sam Woolf. He sounds good, until Phillip Phillips comes on stage and then he loses the "ooooooo's" tone. Phillip takes over and sings his new single "Raging Fire" while Sam is now a backup singer in the band. Short-lived duet, but I love P2, so I won't complain too much.

Jennifer Nettles takes the stage to sing "That Girl," then she is joined by Jessica Meuese for, of all things, "Wrecking Ball." Jennifer and Jessica sound great together. I'm surprised how much more I like this song with Jennifer and Jessica singing it. Of course, I'd like it better if my cat meowed it rather than hearing Miley sing it.

We are now tortured by a performance from Jennifer Lopez of her new single, "First Love." If JLo put on some clothes and quit the sexually explicit gyrating all over the stage...Oh that's right, America's family show isn't for families any more...Keep going JLo. NOT MY CUP OF TEA!!!

"Love Gun/ Shout It Out Loud" by Caleb and KISS. Yes, Caleb's dream has come true. The old guys with the platform shoes and makeup have happily accepted the offer to sing with the next great rock star.  Lots of pyro and strobes for these guys. Caleb actually looks small next to the mega platforms. Keith and Harry are rockin' out. Harry looks a little out of place in the velvet tux jacket though. Ryan brings out Caleb's "little" brother to meet his Idols. Houston is as tall as the members of KISS, but he isn't wearing platform shoes, just the black and white face makeup.

Hey, my predication from last week came true. Aloe Blacc is performing with all of the Idol Guys tonight. "The Man" is the song for Aloe, Sam Woolf, Ben Briley, CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, Alex Preston, and Caleb Johnson.

The final Ford video has Majesty and Sam filling Caleb and Jena's "riders," dressing room wish lists. Caleb and Jena are surprised with brand new 2015 Mustangs, to boot.
Then Jena and Caleb introduce us to their musical mentors. Dr Sheri Jaffurs is Jena's choir teacher and Josh Sawyer is Caleb's guitar teacher.(I didn't know Caleb played guitar. I've never seen him play.) The two mentors receive 2014 Ford Fusions. (and manage to act like they didn't know they would get cars, even though mentors have received Ford cars for the past 3 seasons, at least.)

Time for the Idol Girls to hit the stage, but first Demi Lovato sings "Don't Really Care." Then Majesty Rose, Kristen O'Connor, Emily Piriz, Malaya Watson, Jessica Meuse, and Jena join Demi on "Neon Lights."

Next we have Jena at the piano for a little of Paramore's "Decode." Then Paramore joins her on stage for "Ain't It Fun." Jena sounds pretty good with Haley Williams. This song is fun, especially when all of the big yellow balls/balloons are released and we can't find the stage or the judges table any more.

It's time for a legend. No, Wait! it's time for John Legend singing "You And I." Malaya Watson joins him for "All Of Me" which isn't as good as the Idol producers were hoping. Malaya's voice doesn't work quit right with Mr Legend's.  How sad.

Jason Mraz is obviously a very giving friend, because he is actually sharing the stage and his new single "Love Someone" with Alex Preston. This is by far the best performance of the evening,and maybe even the whole Idol season. These two sound awesome together.

Next we have a very bad idea. Randy and Ryan's family have talked Ryan into singing tonight. he will be singing Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting For You" and it is awful. Richard joins Ryan, but doesn't seem to pleased to have Ryan howling on stage with him. Thank goodness that is over. Stick to hosting, Ryan.

Time for a little country music from Darius Rucker as her performs "True Believers."  CJ Harris and Dexter Roberts join Darius for "Alright."  It it was alright.

Caleb and Jena do a singing intro for Lady Antebellum as they perform their new single "Bartender." No Idol were involved in this number.

In a "Idol First," Randy, Harry, Keith and Jennifer take to the stage together to perform Cyndi Laper's "True Color" and Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." JLo oddly sounds like a little girl on "True Colors," but Keith kills it on guitar during "Go You Own Way." Harry plays keys and piano and Randy is on bass. Jennifer shows her instrumentalist side by beating the heck out of a tambourine while spinning in circles. The producers should have recruited a "big name" drummer for this number. (Not to take anything away from the Idol Band drummer. He did a fine job. Just seemed weird not knowing who he is.)

And, finally, The Winner of Season 13 of American Idol is............. Caleb Johnson. (But I already told you that at the start of this post.)

Here's a little behind the scenes info not included on the program:

According to Twitter posts, MK Nobilette, who finished 10th this season, was absent from the show due to illness. (That must have been some illness, to miss the finale.) She will be on tour this summer.

Former Idol contestants spotted during the show and on the Idol Red Carpet:
Phillip Phillips - only Idol alum to perform - Winner, Season 11
Jessica Sanchez - Runner up, Season 11
Jeremy Rosado - 13th place, Season 11
Haley Reinhart - 3rd place, Season 10
Casey Abrams - 6th place, Season 10
Didi Benami - 10th place, Season 9
Scott McIntyre - 8th place, Season 8
Allison Iraheta - singing as a backup singer with Idol Band - 4th place, Season 8
Blake Lewis - Runner up, Season 6
Mikalah Gordon - 11th place, Season 4

(Out of the 12 previous seasons of American Idol, out of 120 top 10 finishers alone, these are the only Idol Alum the producers could muster up to represent the Idol dynasty. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. Are all of the rest sick of TPTB or out on the road? Only one previous winner and two runners up. Please Idol. Get your act together for next season. )

Idol prognosticators had a few interesting points about how to predict the winner which I found interesting.
1. If you win the coin toss for placement in the finale and chose to go first, you will lose. (This is what Jena did.)
2. if your name does not have double letters in it, and especially if you shorten your name and lose the double letters, you will lose. (Jena did this also when she dropped her last name of Ascuitto.)
3. if you are from a Northern State and up against someone from a Southern state, you will lose. (That's three against Jena.)
4. the winner is never in the bottom 3. (Jena was a wild card pick to continue in the Top 13.)
5. majority gender in top 3 wins. Alex, Caleb and Jena were top 3. (Jena loses again.)
6. the contestant with the fewest hairstyle changes wins. (Jena loses that one too. Major change for her.)
Just a few weird things to make you think.

Well, that's it for Season 13 of American Idol. It is what it is. I'll see y'all next year for Season 14.

American Idol 13: Top 2 Performances

This week the show has moved to a bigger theater: Nokia Theater- LA Live. Ryan tells us the audience is over 7000.

We see a video of Jena taking Caleb to Prom (not) which is actually a chance for them to destroy the mock prom decorations as the fight it out for the Idol championship.

There are three rounds for this show: Idol creator Simon Fuller's pick, the reprisal of the artists favorite song, and the winner's single.

Round #1: Simon Fuller's pick

Jena - "Dog Days Are Over" - Florence and the Machine
6 drummers are on stage with Jena playing toms and basses. She moves around a lot, but her words seem mushed together on the up tempo parts.
Keith - Good song choice. the way you owned the stage is the sign of a real pro. You did have a few breath control issues from the adrenaline.
Jennifer - The energy in the room can be overwhelming. The little nerves were fine. Good start.
Harry - It was fantastic. You were walking in time to the drum s and then in double time.

Hey, Idol found a new job for Randy. He brings out the jumbo numbers for each contestant so the audience knows who to vote for.

Caleb - "Dream On" - Aerosmith
There is a string section on stage with Caleb.Caleb's pitch sounds off on the "softer" beginning. He's attached to that mic stand again. Hope he doesn't hit one of the little girls in the pit with that thing while he is throwing it around. and there is the screaming spot for Caleb.
Jennifer -That's what you got to do, Carpe Diem. That may have did it right there.
Harry - As powerful as the ending was, don't forget when you sing in your lower register to give it the same power too.
Keith - I thought the way you arched was great.

Round #2 - contestants favorite performance

Jena - "I Cant Help Falling In Love" - Elvis
She's at the piano again. It's good, but I'm not sure it's as good as the first time.
Harry - I can tell you have studied others performances of this, but what makes you different is you can make it unique and special. Absolutely beautiful.
Keith - You did this two weeks ago and it was so good you inspired someone else to do it (a finalist on The Voice). that shows your a leader, a trailblazer, and that's he mark of a true artist.
Jennifer - What happens is your soul comes through when you sit at the piano. I think you're amazing.

Caleb - "Maybe I'm Amazed -  Paul McCartney
Caleb starts out standing at the piano but he too quickly moves away to center stage. He moves into the power vocals too soon also.He makes this a "screamo" song this time.  The skull medallion he's wearing is very out of place for this song.
Keith - I love that Paul wrote that song for Linda. It's a deep, emotional song. Don't get caught up in the gymnastic element and loose the meaning of it.
Jennifer - Your power is so undeniable, and I felt you holding back the headbanging. This is a different song. This was missing more heart. Needed less power.
Harry - I share their sentiments. Changing gears - You two are heavyweight fighters. How did everyone vote so far? All three voted for Caleb for round one. Harry and Jennifer say Jena won round two, while Keith says it was a tie. So basically they are tied.

Round #3 - winner's single

Jena - "We Are One"
this song has that EDM feel she likes. It works for her. she's walking around a lot. Good stage presence.
Jennifer - I've never heard that song before. I thought it was really good. it suited you.
Harry - I wondered what that song would sound like live. It was just as strong as the studio.
Keith - I loved this song. it was perfect for you.

Caleb - "As Long As You Love Me"
Beginning sounds awkward and jumbled to me. whole thing done in the screamo voice. He needs to ditch the mic stand instead of walking around with it all the time. The performance was EH! And we end with flash pots and strobes.
Harry - The way I look at it, you were Joe Frazier and Jena was Muhammad Ali. the puncher vs. the boxer. Good luck America.
Keith - This is insane. I'm dying to see what happens tomorrow night. It's been an amazing night. Congrats to both of you.
Jennifer - You gave it everything. It's going to be a tough night for everyone. Good luck America.

And to end it all. the rest of the Top 13 come on stage to join Jena and Caleb in a rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away."  Jena sounds much better than Caleb on this song.

And there you have it. I don't know who will win. I don't care who wins, for that matter. My favs didn't get to the end. Most didn't even get to the Top 13. Oh well. Let's see what happens on the finale. Idol found some big names to drop in and sing. That part should be good.

Friday, May 16, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 3 Results

So it has all boiled down to his night. One more goes "home" and we are left with the two people battling for this season's championship tile. It's really sad, but for the first time since I started watching AI back midway through season 6, I really don't care who wins this cheesy show.  And that is sad. I mean, I even had a favorite back in the debacle known as season 9. If I could have a favorite back then, I should have a favorite this season, right? I had favorites early in the game, but I have had to wave goodbye to them and have been left with mush and screaming. And that makes me sad. Well, it's too late now to just give up, so I'll finish off this season and then see what happens next year.

Ryan starts off the show by showing off his new puppy, a black Lab named Georgia.

Randy's comments and the Idols after show chow-down are combined into one clip and all I got out of it is Randy loved Jena, Caleb lost it and killed the mic stand, Alex had never played drums and sang at the same time before rehearsal, and Jena mutilated have hamburger.

The Ford commercial this week was also the announcement of the first single for the kids. Each of the Top 3 have already recorded the song that will be their first single. The songs for the top 2 go on sale on iTunes right after this show.
Alex - "I Love This Feeling"
Jena - "We Are One"
Caleb - "As Long As You Love Me"

Video from Jena's Hometown visit to Farmington Hills, Michigan
Announcement of Jena's Finale duet - Paramore

Alums visiting Idol tonight: Danny Gokey (3rd Season 8) and Elloit Yamin (3rd Season 5)

Scotty McCreery (Winner Season 10) performed his latest single, "Feelin' It"

Video of Alex's Hometown visit to Mont Vernon, New Hampshire
Announcement of Alex's Finale duet - Jason Mraz (No surprise there)

Video of Caleb's Hometown visit to Asheville, North Carolina
Announcement of Caleb's Finale duet - KISS

Results time:
Jena is safe.
Caleb is safe.
Alex is #3.
Alex sings his song "Fairytales" as his swan song. I don't think he opened his eyes once during the performance. Guess it's easier not to fall apart that way.

So we have Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson as the final two for season 13 of American Idol.

This year the kids perform on Tuesday, May 20 in a one hour show and we learn the results on Wednesday, May 21 in a two hour extravaganza. Well, we hope its an extravaganza. So far the guest lineup is pretty good. In addition to all of the partnering already mentioned during this week's performance and results show, Idol has announced Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc will also appear. Not sure who they will perform with. I'm thinking Aloe would be perfect with the guys, since Demi is with the girls. Not sure about Lady A.

Again here's what we know for sure.
Caleb - KISS
Jena - Paramore
#3 Alex - Jason Mraz
#4 Jessica - Jennifer Nettles
#5 Sam - Phillip Phillips
#6 CJ and #7 Dexter - Darius Rucker
#8 Malaya - John Legend
#9 Majesty -
#10 MK -
#11 Ben -
#12 Emily -
#13 Kristen -
The girls - Demi Lovato
The guys -
The top 10-

I'll be on the lookout for more updates as we get closer to Wednesday, so check back here for new additions to this list.