Friday, March 30, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 9 Results

Ok. This will be a direct and to the point recap of the results show this week. Too much going around around here for extra details and comments.

First, the guest performers this week are Nicki Minaj and Season 10 champion, Scotty McCreery. Well, these two couldn't be much different, could they?

Ryan has breaking news for us. Aerosmith is going on tour this summer and the tickets go on sale Saturday. The tour is called "The Global Warming Tour." Thanks for the warning Ryan.

Several of the kids received tweets from their Idols after performing this week. Jonny Lang contacted Phillip. Carrie Underwood contacted Hollie. Lifehouse contacted Colton. Mariah Carey contacted Joshua.  DeAndre got the best surprise because Eric Benet actually came to the show to meet DeAndre, who was truly surprised by his idols appearance.

The Ford music video was set to "I Wanna Rock" and had the kids stacking old TVs up while their alter egos, dressed up as rock/metal band members, performed on the TVs.

We also got to see the video of the kids moving into the mansion in Hollywood Hills. It's big, it's over-the-top Hollywood, and I hope it isn't haunted like the one last year.

Ok, now to the important stuff. Remember, I'm only posting Jimmy's comments and the results.
Elise, Phillip, Hollie-
Elise- Jimmy loved it. She was a dark horse but now she's coming on strong.
Phillip- Jimmy is now convinced Phillip can win the whole thing because Stevie Nicks likes Phillip and believes in him. Remember, last week Jimmy hated Phillip for not taking us advise about how to perform. "We are witnessing an American Idol, big, big star being born here."  (I told you that last week Jimmy.)
Hollie- she is technically right , but emotionally behind the pack.
Hollie- Bottom 3, Phillip and Elise are SAFE.

We are now tortured with the nail-scraping-across-the-board sound of Nicki Minaj. Please mute your televisions if you are a fan of David Archuleta because I don't want your hearing to be damaged by this YUCK! The bad news is she sounds just as terrible when Ryan interviews her. Nicki wants to sit in as a guest judge on Idol. Jennifer tells her there is not enough from at their table. JLo also looks like she just might scratch out Nicki eyes if she tries to sit by her. OUCH.  Steven does not look humored by Nicki's comments either.

Colton, Joshua, HeeJun-
Colton- Jimmy says Colton was good but not good enough. He didn't follow through on the night.
Joshua- Jimmy says he delivered 85% of the song because he got too emotional and cried, causing his throat to close up.
HeeJun- Great to see him come back this week, but Jimmy doesn't think he sings as well as the other 8 contestants.

Colton is SAFE. Joshua is SAFE. HeeJun is in the Bottom 3.

Scotty McCreery is back. He's singing "Water Tower Town."  Awesome!  This is a fun song, if you like country music, which I do. Jimmy looks and sounds like a proud Papa as he comes out to present Scotty with his platinum album plaque.

Skylar, DeAndre, Jessica-
Skylar- Jimmy likes her but feels that she needed to pick a song with more melody to it.
DeAndre- Jimmy is middle of the road with DeAndre; doesn't love, doesn't hate. he thinks DeAndre needs more experience, but the girls are loving him so it's hard to say how far he'll go.on the show.
Jessica- What she does with her vocals is not easy for those 20 years older than her. Jimmy thinks the show needs a little girl power since they have had so many guys win in the past.
Jessica is SAFE. DeAndre is SAFE. Skylar is in the Bottom 3.( I don't agree with this, but I guess someone has to be there.)
Bottom 3 this week: Hollie, HeeJun, Skylar.
HeeJun is singing for his life this week.
Sorry HeeJun. The judges like you but it's time to go bye-bye.

So, here are the results compared to the twitter/FB rankings I took before the performance show and my predictions.
Actual voters Bottom 3:       Hollie, HeeJun, Skylar   with HeeJun going home.
Twitter/FB   Bottom 3:         Joshua, Elise, Hollie      with Elise going home.    1/3 correct but wrong going.
My prediction Bottom 3:      Hollie, DeAndre, HeeJun with Hollie going home.  2/3 correct but wrong going.

I wonder who's voting. 

Just for curiosity I check twitter and FB tonight to see how many new fans have joined in now that TPTB advertised the twitter accounts all show last night.

Colton: 128,969 followers, 78,154 likes
DeAndre: 38,827 followers, 27,028 likes
Elise: 32,952 followers, 17,991 likes
Hollie: 40,227 followers, 21,775 likes
Jessica: 87,283 followers, 69,981 likes
Joshua: 30,569 followers, 22,229 likes
Phillip: 116,435 followers, 33,552 likes
Skylar: 43,787 followers, 24,711 likes

Thursday, March 29, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 9 Sing

This has been an emotional week in the land of the Archuleta, but life moves on and Idol was able to take my mind off of things for a couple of hours so I am grateful for that.  Before I start the recap, here are the rankings from twitter and facebook this week.

As of 10AM CDT on 03/28/12:
Colton has 93,341 twitter followers and 60,911 likes on facebook.  He also retweeted David Cook's   farewell to David Archuleta so I give him extra kudos for that.
DeAndre has 31,949 followers and 24,178 likes.
Elise has 24,129 followers and 13,768 likes.
HeeJun has 87,070 followers and 30,901 likes.
Hollie has 31,013 followers and 19,646 likes.
Jessica has 70,542 followers and 62,601 likes.
Joshua has 23,816 followers and 20,001 likes.
Phillip has 90,659 followers and 29,896 likes.
Skylar has 33,577 followers and 22,278 likes.

Top: Colton/Phillip/HeeJun/ Jessica    Jessica/Colton
Bottom: Joshua/ Elise          Elise/Hollie/Joshua

This weeks theme: songs of their idols
Guest mentor: Stevie Nicks - someone with actual talent, awesome.

Tommy Hilfiger gives the kids some good advise for a change. "Fashion is now, style is forever. Create your own style, image."  What a novel idea, Tommy.

This week we get individual songs and trios as well.

Colton- Lifehouse- "Everything"-
"People say they found music, but for me, music found me through church."
Stevie says she has been watching and she knows Colton and he should never cut his hair for anyone.
Colton's performance starts soft and builds. Definite power and passion in this performance. he feels what he is singing. Falls to his knees at the end.
I really like Colton, not because he has the most incredible vocals but because he knows who he is and what he wants to do and isn't afraid to tell people about it. I think he has a great voice for Christian Rock and that's what he wants to perform.
ST- Colton, you are a dream come true for a judge on Idol. You sing a song like it should be sung. You have star quality.
JLo- I was moved. You sang beautifully with composure and control.
Randy- The white coat is fly.I feel your heart and passion in everything you do. You don't hide it, but lay it all out there, here's what I do. That performance was unbelievable. I could be looking at a contender for the title.

Skylar- Miranda Lambert- "Gunpowder and Lead"-
Stevie sings harmony with Skylar- awesome for her.
Skylar is a definite country star. She sounds like Miranda (even my son, who prefers country to rock now, thinks so.)
JLo- You have unbridled, can't keep it in the can, energy. You won over the crowd.
ST- That was over the top. Beautiful. (and some rambling stuff about Galveston that didn't makes sense.)
Randy- Mississippi was in it. You were telling a story. You showed your upper range that not many female country stars have.

Our first trio of the night- Colton, Phillip and Elise singing a Steive Nicks/ Fleetwood Mac medley.
They sound great on these songs.
ST- That was most excellent. You nailed them.

HeeJun- Donnie Hathaway- "A Song For You"-
Jimmy says we got HeeNewJun this week. Stevie says it's going to be beautiful.
He does sound much better with this song. I can still have some of the accent in there. He's still missing some of the consonants at the end of words.
Gets a standing O from the judges. Not sure if that is really deserved for vocals, IMO.
ST- HeeMan, you did it, you turned it around. It's so natural, you don't know how good you are. You let that song sing you.
JLo- What are you doing up there? Beautiful tone and vibrato. When you connect, you move people.
Randy- Not perfect, but the Heejun we selected came back tonight.
HeeJun- I don't want to let people down, especially me.

Jason Derulo, in a bedazzled neck brace cause he broke his neck practicing for tour, tells us about the Idol/ Coke songwriting contest he is taking part in. the song he is writing is "Undefeated"

Hollie- Carrie Underwood- "Jesus Take the Wheel"
Stevie tells Hollie her heart must come out in the song and relates story of her mother's recent death.
Hollie really seems to connect to the song more this week. A few pitch problems in the lower end but overall a good performance. Hollie is teary-eyed at the end.
Randy- Always dangerous to take on Idol winner's songs. You were a little pitchy in lower register. (Hey, that's what I said too.)
JLo- I disagree with Randy. I felt you connect with the song. One of your best performances.
ST- I'm not gonna mess with Jesus or Carrie, but I wish you sang a different song. Just ok for me. I didn't hear your full range.

DeAndre- Eric Bennet?- "Sometimes I Cry" (Hey, this is my mantra these days.I should learn this song.)
"He is a pure R&B singer, just like I want to be."
Stevie says slow down the song. Watch for the camera and connect with the audience more.
I don't know this song at all. Starts out fine. No wait, there's the screaming upper range, falsetto again. I have a really hard time understanding the words when he goes into this sound. he's struggling to keep looking at the camera and closing his eyes to hit the notes.
Standing O from the judges. Really??? I don't hear what they hear obviously.
ST- 100% passion. That was beautiful. You gave prince a run for his money. (Well, that explains it. I don't like Prince either.)
JLo- People pick up your phones and vote for DeAndre. I need to hear his voice some more.
Randy- That was beautiful. That's who you are. DeAndre's back.

Jessica- Beyonce- "Sweet Dreams" (Another song I don't know. Not a Beyonce fan.)
Stevie says Jessica is a good student. She slowed it down and made it a ballad. She's changing the ending.
I like this song from Jessica. I really like her dress. It's fun and young and not slutty.
JLo- Beautiful rendition. Left us wanting more.
ST- Beautiful performance. Love the dress.
Randy- Stars are born. You innately have this unbelievable talent. Colton, this girl wants it too.

Next trio, DeAndre, HeeJun and Joshua sing a Michael Jackson medley. It's ok. DeAndre is the only one of the three that looks right and sounds right on this medley. The hand gesture are really awkward for Heejun and Joshua. No moonwalking permitted for you Joshua.
JLo- that was perfect, but it's good you're not here for So You Think You Can Dance.
Ryan- We have a new group - Three Directions

Phillip- Jonny Lang- "Still Rainin'"
Stevie- "I think he will be very famous. He has a certain magic." Mic Fleetwood would have wanted him in the group in 1975. Stevie sings with Phillip and he wants her autograph. Jimmy and Stevie both think Phillip looks like Lindsey Buckingham in 1974 and he does.
Phil is wearing shades of brown , not gray, tonight and has his guitar. Awesome song choice and performance. He is himself.
Standing O from the judges.
JLo- When you sing, I feel that you want us to feel the music. You make everything else go away.
ST- Every song you sing you own. it's in your body and soul.
Randy- I'm sure Jonny is proud. I love the artist you are, the individuality.

Joshua- Mariah Carey- "Without You"
Joshua has chosen one of the 5 most challenging songs in popular music. Very few guys can sing like that. The chorus is a magic trick.
I didn't know Mariah sang this song. I don't listen to her much. Joshua is doing a good job. God emotion in it tonight. Oops, maybe too much emotion as he cracks a little.  Standing O from judges.
Randy- Mariah would be proud. That was flawless and emotional. Brilliant.
ST- Everyone is pushing themselves beyond their limits tonight and that's what you did. Pushed yourself to an emotional breakdown.
JLo- You're a phenom, an angel from heaven. That voice is God-sent. Amazing. So beautiful.

Third trio is up. Hollie, Skylar and Jessica( the short girls) sing Madonna hits.
I'm not a Madonna fan but the girls sound pretty good and they look gorgeous.
Randy- Very fun. So Cool.

Elise- Led Zeppelin- "Whole Lotta Love"  (Really? Led Zeppelin? Jimmy has some major connections to get these songs cleared for this show. Wish that would have happened when Archuleta was on the show. The world would have never doubted him at all if he got to sing what he wanted to sing.)
Elise has sung this song with her band. Jimmy isn't convinced she can do it. "She walked in and murdered it."
Stevie says Robert plant would be proud. (Man are they name dropping on this show.) Stevie says they are kindred spirits and she would hire Elise if she needed someone.
This is definitely her best performance for me. She is doing a great job. She has the right "gravel and grit" in her voice for this song.
JLo- You made me get up. Real Rock Star stuff.
ST- No body can pull that off. You made Robert Plant proud.
Randy- That's the hardest song in the world to sing. (Really? That might be a little much there Randy.) You did an amazing job.
Ryan points out that Elise 's pants are very similar to Steven Tyler's. No fringe on bottom of leg for ST though.

So my picks for the top and bottom:
Top: Phillip, Colton, Jessica
Bottom 3 prediction: Hollie, DeAndre, HeeJun (Maybe. It's hard to say.)  Going home- maybe Hollie, but I hope not.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

MUCHAS GRACIAS DAVID ARCHULETA Y VAYA CON DIOS

Four short years ago, on January 22, 2008, my life was changed forever. I didn't realize it at the time, but knowing what I know now and doing what I am doing right this very second (Writing a blog entry about a person whom I have only met once for about 10 seconds), I now realize this day was a huge turning point in my life. Today I am a different person because of one simple act, turning on my television and watching a silly reality singing competition.

January 22, 2008 was the day I, a very lost, very confused , very sad, very sick and very tired wife and mother of two teenagers, saw my first glimpse of hope in the world. If you are a follower of my blog than you know what occurred that January day four years ago that changed my world. If not, that's the day David Archuleta appeared on my television during his audition for American Idol.

I was inexplicably drawn to David from the moment I heard him sing. As time has gone by, I have found myself even more entranced by this young man. It is not just his voice that draws me in, although I know I have never heard anyone else like him, ever. There is just something special about him that feels so comfortable, so positive, so reassuring, it makes me want to follow his every lead, to know about his every thought. And, since that January day in 2008, I have learned everything about this young man that is possible for a mere fan to know without stepping over the line to creepy stalker. Consequently, the more I have learned about David, the more I have actually learned about myself.

Over these last four years, David has taught me many things about myself and the world as a whole and has introduced me to many new and wonderful friends along the way. I am now a much more confident, self-assured, positive person. I no longer feel lost and confused about what I should be doing with my life. My sadness over many disappointments and losses in life has been replaced with a new hope for a brighter future. My pains have been washed away and replaced by sheer happiness. No, David is not the only reason I have a new outlook on life, but he is a major part of it and he is responsible for making me look for the causes of and answers to my problems.

Over these four years, I have been healed both mentally and physically by the sound of his marvelous voice. I have been shown that it is possible to live in this world without being torn apart by it. David has brought me great happiness on many occasions and he has shown me that it is ok for me to just be me. David, by living his life as an example, has shown me many ways I can be an example also.

Now, my life is about to take another turn, and David is once again helping me through it. Without knowing it, David is helping me prepare to experience a major life change. This change will come in the form of the absence of two very important young men from my life: one, the young man who I have come love much like a son, David; the other, my actual son, Brandon.

First, in a matter of days, David will be leaving the limelight for two years as he embarks on his Mission for the LDS Church. It will be difficult for me to adjust to not knowing where he is and what he is doing each day. The world of social media has made it very easy to keep up with David each and every day. This will probably not be the case over the next two years. We fans might hear news about David once in a while, but definitely not every day as we are used to now. It makes me sad to think that we won't see is happy face and read his joyous tweets each day, but I know he is doing what God is calling him to do at this time in his life, and that makes it easier for me. Knowing that these last four years have flown by so quickly makes two years seem not so long either. I can adjust to his absence. I'll wait for his return.

David is actually doing me a huge favor by leaving at this time, for he is helping prepare me for a much more difficult event to take place in my life in a few months. My own son's leaving, my baby taking flight from our nest, will be considerably more difficult for me to handle. You see, my son, the youngest of my two children, will be graduating high school on June 1. I knew this day would come and I have looked forward to it in some ways. What I did not expect is what Brandon has decided to do with his life. He has enlisted in the Navy.

While I am extremely proud of his decision and excited for him, I am also very sad that I won't have him right here near me each and every day, to hug tightly, to laugh with, to lean on when things aren't quite right. He is an incredible young man, not unlike David in this regard, and I will miss him dearly. I will miss his wit, his logic, his knowledge, his strength, and his incessant ribbing of me about all things David. A day does not go by that Brandon doesn't tease me about something that happened that he knows reminds me of David. I can be in the middle of a terribly mundane or sad day and all he has to do is say "David" and I start to smile. He is the only one in my family that has this talent. My daughter might understand my ODD a little better, but Brandon understands me better than anyone else. Our minds kind of work in the same way, if that makes sense. He is definitely my child, through and through, and I will miss him insanely, but I also know that he is doing what God is calling him to do at this time in his life. His time serving our country will be an amazing growing experience for Brandon and he will gain unfathomable knowledge about himself and life in general along the way. I am excited for him and the adventure he will undertake starting in September. It will be difficult not being able to communicate with Brandon any time I want (cell phones and texting have made everything just too convenient), but I'm sure that after some time, I will grow used to the idea. I will survive the transition. Thanks for giving me some practice time, David.

Over the last three years I have learned one way of dealing with things happening in my life is for me to write about them. That is the reason this blog is in existence. I started it to deal with my ODD (obsessive David disorder) and give me an outlet for communicating with other fans. This little blog has since lead me to more creative writing projects including my short story blog and the completed novel I am in the process of presenting to literary agents. All of these projects have come from the simple act of  following the lead of one young man whom I happened upon on my television set four short years ago.

Of all of the writings I have attempted for this blog, my favorite thing has become the acrostic poem. These types of poems can be very simple, using only a word or two, or quite elaborate, melding together complete sentences. I like to use them when describing David, because I can paint a description of him for various different circumstances. I used this form when I wrote about Chords of Strength and Christmas From the Heart. I have even used this type of poem to explain fan reactions to concerts.

So, here is my latest acrostic poem describing the amazing young man who has changed my world these last four years. Thank you David. I pray you will have an amazing experience these next two years and you will positively affect all those whom you come in contact with along the way, just as you have affected me. See you when you get back.

F   faithful, fearless, friendly
O  observant, overachiever, optimistic
R   radiant, resolute, respected
E   eager, earnest, enlightened
V   visionary, vulnerable, virtuoso,
E    exuberant, expressive, exquisite
R    resplendent, role model, righteous
M   mysterious, mature, multifaceted
O   outrageous, open-hearted, original
R    random, rare, real
E    energetic, enterprising, extraordinary

D   determined, deliberate, distinguishable, dynamic
A   adventurous, adaptable, admirable, amiable
V   valuable, versatile, virtuous, vivacious
    imaginative, inspirational, influential, indomitable
D   David

Friday, March 23, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 10 Results

Okay everyone. The results are in and ...  well I need to recap the show first before I get to the results.

The show tells us "the hammer falls as one of them goes home." Let's not get violent now guys.

Speaking of violent, that is some beyond HOT PINK dress Jennifer is wearing. MY EYES!!!!

The entertainment for tonight's show is "pop sensation" Lana Del Ray ??? and Haley Reinhart from last season who happens to have a new single out right in time the the show.

The top 10 perform "For the Longest Time" and I like it. This might be the best group song since season 7.

The kids get to play hide and seek while singing "You Found Me" for the Ford video.

Ryan tells us that the Top 9 will be moving into the Idol mansion for the rest of the season.

Once again, Ryan will be calling the contestants to center stage in groups for their results. I'll only be writing about Jimmy's comments here, not the entire recap of each performance.

Hollie, Skylar, Elise-
Hollie- Jimmy says he knew she might have problems interpreting the song. this was her worst night of the competition but she will stay.
Skylar- Jimmy says this wasn't her best performance. She must get more creative and grow.
Elise- Jimmy says he was worried about her doing an unfamiliar song but she transformed during this performance. She is at the top of the heap.
All three are safe.

Lana Del Ray performs. This song is supposed to be about video games, I think.  UH, NO.  Anyone else feel depressed now?  Hey Casey Abrams is in the audience tonight. Obviously to see Haley, not Lana.

It's Steven Tyler's birthday this weekend but Ryan didn't get him a cake. Instead he got Joe Perry to drop by Idol and lead everyone in "Happy Birthday."

DeAndre, Joshua, Jessica-
DeAndre- Jimmy was unhappy with DeAndre about jumping all over the stage.  Says he needs to study the songs and know what they are about. This performance is going to hurt him.
Joshua- Jimmy says he didn't understand the song and over sang the bridge.
Jessica- Jimmy loved this performance. He said she took a simple song and expanded it. Great job. Ryan says Billy Joel emailed and said he liked her rendition of his song.
Jessica and Joshua are safe.  DeAndre is in the bottom 3.

Haley Reinhart performs her new single so she can make some money for Jimmy.  The song is called "Free" but she is in a birdcage and growling at us.  She has been spray tanned way too much. The good news is she sounds and looks much better than Lana.

Erika, Heejun, Phillip, Colton-
Colton- Billy Joel emailed saying that Colton did a great job. Jimmy thinks Colton is the third horse in the race with Jessica and Joshua.
Phillip- Jimmy is mad that Phillip didn't take his or Tommy's advise and is scolding him on national television.
Erika- Jimmy says Tommy, Bold. Erika, Brave. How did he get her to change her look so drastically the day before performance?  She should be at the top of the heap with this performance.
Heejun- Another one Jimmy is mad at. Jimmy equates his performance to a bad Adam Sandler movie that goes straight to DVD.
Colton is safe, but Ryan fakes him out again.
Erika is in the bottom 3, but before heading to the stools, she runs over to Elise to pick up her "shakers" and tells America "I'm bringing the party with me."
Phillip is safe. HA Jimmy
Heejun is in the bottom 3. Well, looks like those Twitter followers didn't vote last night.

Jennifer says it will be a loss no matter which one leaves.

Hey, the kid from "Touch" is sitting in front of Casey.

Bottom 3: DeAndre, Heejun, Erika
DeAndre is safe.  Heejun is safe.

Erika is singing for her life. (I don't know why they torture the kids with this, we can tell be the expressions on the judges faces that they are not going to save her.)

NO SAVE TONIGHT.  Lot's of boooo's from audience.

Bye Erika.

Before I'm out of here for this week, let's see how the Facebook and twitter rankings did.

Most twitter followers: Heejun = bottom 3.
Fewest twitter followers: Elise = safe.

Most Facebook likes: Jessica = safe.
Fewest Facebook like: Erika = Bottom 3/Eliminated

Looks like Facebook is more accurate than Twitter this week.  I'll try this again next week, if times permits.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 10

I seem to be running behind in my posts about AI these last couple of weeks. Too much going on I guess. Before I start with the recap of this week's performances I have the stats on the contestants Twitter "followers" and Facebook "likes" as of March 20, 2012.

Contestant         Twitter                      Facebook
DeAndre           27,908                     20,807
Hollie                26,592                     16,668
HeeJun             79,306                      27,873
Skylar               28,518                     19,181
Phil                    76,785                     25,728
Jessica               53,382                     49,859
Joshua               20,465                     17,089
Elise                  20,034                     10,816
Erika                 37,508                       9,993
Colton               74,096                     44,433

Top 4- Heejun, Phil, Colton, Jessica / Jessica, Colton, Heejun, Phil
Bottom 3- Elise, Joshua, Hollie / Erika, Elise, Hollie

We'll see if these stats play in this week with the voting public.

So, on March 21, 2012 the theme is songbook of Billy Joel. This could be interesting or it could be a disaster.

We start out with the tearful goodbyes for Shannon last week accompanied by Billy Joel's "And So It Goes."  This song now is a good sign that it won't be performed during the show, which makes me very happy.  David Archuleta owned this song when he performed it for Top 3 on Idol in Season 7. I didn't really want to hear it this year unless someone exceptional sang it.

This week mentoring with Jimmy is Diddy. Well, what can I say?
We will also hear from Tommy Hilfiger about each contestants "style."

DeAndre- Tommy loves DeAndre's hair and only wants to make a small style change.
"Only The Good Die Young" Jimmy and Diddy are bickering between themselves and giving too much personal info about what the song means to them. Jimmy tells DeAndre to sing the first lines to JLo because she is Catholic and will understand what it is about. HUM
I think DeAndre sounds great on this song. Not too much falsetto, Nice job.
ST- "First, I thought it was too happy, but isn't that what the world needs."
JLo- "I thought it was a great way to start the show."
Randy- "Great job, but didn't WOW me."

Erika-
"New York State of Mind" - Jimmy and Diddy- "hold back, don't oversing."
Tommy- talks Erika into cutting her hair.
OMG, her hair is really short and black. She looks amazing. She sounds pretty good too.  I think this is her best performance so far.
Randy- " I love the look. Loved the vocals."
JLo- "I didn't recognize you at first. Beautiful vocals."
ST- "You put a lot of personality into that. Outstanding."
Ryan says the folks on twitter are loving the new look too.

Joshua-
Tommy wants him in a tux/ black tie. A more polished look.
"She's Got a Way" - he has never heard this song before and is not comfortable with it.  Diddy says Joshua is a very vulnerable artist. Tells him to put aside whatever is bothering him and connect with the song.
Joshua stars out seated and soft but vocals rise when he does. He is joined by the Idol Gospel choir. I like it. Gospel Billy, who would have thunk it?
JLo- "Billy wrote his life in his songs, and I need you to connect to those words more. It was still beautiful."
ST- "I don't know that song. You made it come to life for me."
Randy- "You said at the mentoring, you felt defeated. Never feel defeated. with a voice like yours, you're always ahead.

Skylar-
"Shameless" - Silly girl is awestruck by Diddy. Diddy says the song feels forced. Make it from the heart.
Tommy wants to try to evolve the look without abandoning the boots. He wants to match the color of the boots to the outfit she wears. No duh.
Well, looks like she threw out the style advise, no boots at all tonight and I hate the dress. Don't like the "bubble butt" look.
Skylar starts out seated on the steps. The key is too low and she is pitchy. Better once she stands.
Randy- "Pretty good, but not your best. Too low at beginning."
JLo- "Fearless not shameless."
ST- "When you it a chorus you do it with conviction. Good."

Elise-
"Vienna"  Jimmy is afraid of her singing a song people don't know. She is 100% sure this is what she should sing. Diddy advises starting song at mic stand.
Tommy says she is very layered up like she is hiding her body. He wants her to wear high waisted bell bottoms with a short jacket.
And she doesn't take his advise at all, long dress with long sheer vest. OK
She starts at the mic stand and then walks through the audience much too quickly for the song tempo. I liked the start and the end back at the stand is awesome. Great run at the end. I like this performance of hers the best so far.  Standing O from all.
ST- "Great singing. You were all over the place but still stayed in the room."
JLo- "I'm so happy for you. America got to see your personality for the first time."
Randy- "This girl is unbelievably talented. That run you did at the end is so incredibly difficult."
Two of her vocal students are in the audience and Ryan invites them on the stage.

Phil-
Tommy tells him "you need help" but Phil says "I's just simple and want my music to come through first." Tommy says gray is the worst color for the stage. He needs a different look or America won't vote for him because he won't look like a star.
"Movin' Out" Diddy tells him to put down the guitar and get out of his comfort zone. Diddy brings in girls for Phil to practice singing to. he doesn't care about the girls.
Awesome- Phi is in two shades of gray playing his guitar. LOVE IT. He is himself and no one else. 
JLO- "I felt you were taking a little aggression on your mentors. You are who you are. Perfect rendition of that song."
ST- You took that song and Phillip Phillipsed it. Really good job. Glad you wore gray." Then Steven threw Phil his black shiny scarf.
Randy- "Those that do, should. You know who you are. That was on of the best renditions of that song ever."
Phil- "I'm not about image, I'm about the music. If they don't like it, that's ok. If they do, that's ok too."

Hollie-
Tommy says she looked like an old lady last week. She wants to dress in sparkles and glitter. He says that's ok too.
"Honesty"- Jimmy and diddy say she needs to realize that the world is not perfect. She needs to work disappointment and anger into this song.
Her new outfit is ok with me, my daughter hates it. We both liked the dress last week.
She starts out ok, but doesn't look comfortable. Too bad, she is off key and cracking at the end.
ST- "Tonight you were over thinking and pitchy."
JLo- "The sound of your voice is one of my favorites this year but you have to nail those notes."
Randy- "The chorus was great, the verses, not so much. I could feel you thinking."

Heejun-
"My Life" Heejun asked Jimmy and Diddy how to deal with last week's criticism. they said to use it as fuel and not take it personally. He is still bummed.
Tommy thinks Heejun is testing him by saying he wants to emulate female singers styles. Maybe he is. "Find your own style."
Heejun is dressed in white shirt with bowtie and black jacket. Boring look. Song starting very slow and soft.
WAIT. Heejun is back. He rips off the jacket and shirt to reveal multicolored t-shirt over orange dress shits. And rocks the song all over the place. This performance is full to the brim with attitude. Definitely not his best vocals, but boy is it fun.
JLo- "I love that you brought a little fun to tonight. I really enjoyed it."
ST- "I'm a little tongue-tied. The music business will kick your a**.  At some point, you will need to take it a little more serious."
Randy- "Not best vocals. At least you had a good time. I was entertained."

Jessica-
Tommy says since she is so petite, to make sure that a dress is really short or really long.
"Everybody Has a Dream"- Diddy said he didn't believe her. She was over singing. To much vibrato will get you in trouble. To me, she looks so young and innocent and shy in this mentoring session. Maybe, no makeup did it.
This is a really nice job. "This is my dream" is a great line. It is her dream and you can tell. I would have left out the choir but other than that, great.
Standing O
ST- You have gone beyond my judging. When God was giving out vocal chords, you were so at the front of the line. Thank you for letting me hear you sing , baby."
JLo- "Thant song was written for you. Defining song."
Randy- "It takes consistency to win. You have a moment every time you step on the stage."

Colton- Tommy asks "What's your image?' Colton wants to create his own style. Tommy says he is very capable of being a star, but he is worried about the hair. (Colton isn't)
"Piano Man"- Jimmy says this song is tailor-made for him.  Diddy "I wanted to buy that record when he got finished with it."
Colton is center stage with a red piano encircled by lights. He is AWESOME.
JLo- "You sing with pure feeling. I had goosies from the minute you started. Great job.
ST- Your choice of chords when your voice resolved was stunning.
Randy- "What I love is that you said to Tommy you want to be an individual. That was very sensitive, and touching. You're a rock star.

Ryan asks Colton what he was thinking as he waited to start out tonight.
"I've been praying before this whole thing. Tonight's a big moment for me and I was just collecting myself and saying God use me. I want Him to shine through first and foremost.  (Yes, you tell 'em Colton. No backing down.) 

So here are my favorites on the night in order #1 to #3  and my bottom 3.
Top 3: Colton, Jessica, Phillip
Bottom 3/4: Elise, Heejun, Skylar and Hollie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 12, CORRECTION Top 11 Results

This has been a awkward week on American Idol as Jermaine messed up and was eliminated (disqualified) from the show on Wednesday (actually it was Tuesday night at rehearsal.) So, instead of going down to the Top 11 on this show, we are possibly dropping to the Top 10, which means, we will find out who goes on the summer tour this year. Or TPTB might decide to take 11 on tour again. Or the judges might use their one save. Or, Oh who knows what might happen. This is American Idol, after all.

Tonight Daughtry and Demi Lovato are in the house. Well, at least one of them have Idol roots.

Jennifer is on the cover of Vogue Magazine that comes out tomorrow and we get a preview. Yeah, she has clothes on. she also gets in a plug for her new single and new video coming out later this month.

Tommy Hilfiger is the new image consultant for American Idol.  He starts next week, so I guess we will see Colton's hair style changing soon and Phil will be wearing uncomfortable clothes that will look strange on him. Maybe he can update Heejun's style away from the bow tie. Can't wait for next week.

The Ford video is next and the Idols are scaring each other in a haunted mansion while singing "Ghost Town."  Never heard this before. It sounds kind of campy.

Once again Ryan will call the contestants to center stage in groups and we get to see highlights from the previous night and comments from Jimmy. I'm only writing up Jimmy's comments unless something really important is said or happens.

Phil, Skylar, Elise, Joshua
Phil- "He went beyond the call of duty and gave a new definition to a sick day at AI."
Skylar- "Song wasn't exactly right for her. She's better than that."
Elise- "She killed this song last night. Captivated me."
Joshua- "Can't sing that song much better than that. Percy Sledge called and loved it. We should have all contestants eat crawfish before they sing."
SAFE- Joshua, Phillip, Skylar
Bottom 3- Elise

Demi Lovato is in the house. "Give Your heart A Break"  She is looking pretty good. This is not my favorite song, but its ok.  Contestants don't seem to be bowled over by it.  Polite applause at the best.

Colton, Shannon, DeAndre, Jessica
DeAndre- "the judges might be right about it not being the best song choice for him. When contestants come in they have 3 song choices and if those aren't right ,we might change it. The singer gets the final say. this isn't T-Ball; not everyone gets a trophy and an orange slice."
Colton- "Steven said it was the wrong song. I agree with him. Randy is confused- the song does matter."
Shannon- "Shannon is at her best when she doesn't push too hard. She pushed and showed weaknesses."
Jessica- "Jessica wanted to do an up tempo song and I supported her. She doesn't want to be an opera singer from a talent show. If she goes home, we should all go home."
SAFE- Colton, Jessica, DeAndre
Bottom 3- Shannon

Daughtry is rockin the house with single "Out of My Head."  He is staring a new US tour on March 20.

Erika, Heejun, Hollie
Hollie- "Hollie was fantastic."  Jimmy didn't like her "old lady" dress.
Heejun- "There will be an Asian Pop Music explosion, not sure if Heejun will be part of it. He needs to find some tempo and do something drastic."
Erika- "there's a trap on AI and it's called over singing, and Erika fell into it last night."
SAFE- Hollie, Heejun
Bottom 3- Erika

Judges are not happy with the bottom 3. All are upset that Elise is there, don't mention the other two.

Ryan tells us that Elise is safe. Ryan tells us "It's down to Shannon and Erika. One of them could lose it all, right after this."

Erika is going on tour.

Shannon must sing for her life. Will the judges save her tonight?
(Why are they doing this now? If they save her, are they going to let her go on tour? Will they drop someone else from tour next week if they keep her now and she is not the one eliminated next week? This is dumb!!!)

The judges will not use their save tonight!!!
Why did they even make her sing again?

BYE BYE Shannon. Will we see you on The Voice next year? Maybe X Factor with Simon?



Well, I got 2 of the bottom 3 correct, but definitely not the one going home. Maybe I'll do better next week.

American Idol 11: Top 12

I'm running behind on this post today.  It's Spring Break in Austin, my son just got back in town last night, and my husband and I have been checking out the SXSW Music Fest which started Monday night.  Might I suggest catching a show by Alabama Shakes if they are in your area. Awesome young singers.

BUT NOW, it's Idol time.

Ryan tells us there is a controversy this week in Idol land. One of the finalists was eliminated on Tuesday night. We have to wait to find out who it is.

This week's theme: songs from the year they were born. That means we will hear songs from 1983 thru 1995 and we get to see baby photos of the contestants and judges+Ryan.

This week we have the expertise of Wil.I.Am along with Jimmy Iovine mentoring the kids. Not my favorite mentors.

Phillip- born Sept. 20, 1990. His parents tell us that he was a very sick as a baby and almost died.
Phil had surgery for kidney stones a few days ago, right after his mentoring session, but is back to sing for us.
Black Crows- "Hard to Handle"  and Phil does not have his guitar with him for this song. Very nice job.
Randy- "You sound amazing. Do that song as a single when you're through with Idol. JLo- Loved it.  ST- You picked the right song for your voice.

Jessica- born Aug 4, 1995.  She was a little diva.
Gloria Estafan- "Turn the Beat Around"  Wil.I.Am calls her a "swaggernaught" because she has outer space swag.  Jessica looks beautiful and sounds pretty good. The audience loves it, the judges- not so much. they tell her she should sing ballads.  They didn't like her voice with the beat of this song.

Heejun- born 1989. His parents don't speak English.
Richard Marx- "Right Here Waiting". Heejun is fighting his accent with Jimmy's help?
he sounds very breathy but I think it is better than the last two weeks. Decent job.
Randy- didn't like it. "Pitchy" Wrong kind of song.  Ryan asked if Heejun was "emotional" and Heejun said that his girlfriend is in the audience.

Elise- born July 29, 1983.
"Let's Stay Together" We get a melding of Elise and Pres. Obama singing this song. Creepy.
She's ok. There is something about her that doesn't sit right with me. I haven't put my finger on it yet.
The judges are falling all over themselves over her performance. ???

DeAndre- born 1994. 
Came into mentoring wanting to sing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" but Jimmy and Wil talked him into singing "Endless Love" by Luther VanDross and Mariah Carey. I like both songs. He has a nice start, no falsetto right off the mark. Nice job but lacking some power, IMO.
Judges didn't like the song choice at all.

Shannon- born Oct. 21, 1995.
Wasn't sure which song to sing. Jimmy had a suggestion for a song. No wait, this is a plug for a new phone and wireless Beat Box from AT&T. Great commercial Jimmy.
Mariah Carey and Boys 2 Men- "One Sweet Day"
To correct breathing problems on song, Will suggests laying down when practicing. Weird???
Shannon has a sweet sound to start off, maybe a couple of pitch problems here and there. Not a bad performance.
The judges admit they were terrified when they heard this was the song. JLo says "not an easy undertaking, but a beautiful job.

Colton- born 1991. Colton got to meet his Idol, Chris Daughtry, earlier in the week.
White Lines- "Broken Heart" an obscure song.
Great job. He now owns this song. He rocked it.
JLo- didn't know the song, but "I think you look pretty when you sing."  ST- "wrong song for you."  Randy- "the song didn't matter,  You were dope."

Erika- born 1985. Mom said she was always loud.
Bryan Adams- "Heaven"  Well, this is one of my favorite songs and I only like Bryan Adams and David Archuleta singing it so she is in trouble already.  Jimmy suggests some changes to make it her own.
This is terrible. I don't like it at all. And the judges agree with me. JLo tells Erika that she looks beautiful, which she does but they all agree, song is a classic, not to be messed with. Randy- "Don't let anyone tell you to change what ain't broke."

Jermaine is the one kicked off the show due to legal matters. In March and Nov of 2011, criminal charges were brought against him for use of fake names. He currently has 4 warrants out for him. Didn't disclose legal problems to TPTB. BYE BYE.

Skylar- born 1994. Parents tell us she use to hit her head into stuff when she was mad. OK?
Bonnie Raitt- "Love Sneaking Up On You".
Jimmy and Will tried to talk her out of this song. Will suggested a Coolio song so she could do "Ghountry" ghetto country, but she held her ground. Good.
The song is sassy and great.
The judges loved her. JLo- "You killed it."

Ryan surprises Joshua with a huge tub of crawfish from Louisiana.

Joshua- born April 9, 1992. He is the youngest of 8 kids and a preacher's son.
Michael Bolton- "When A Man Loves A Woman"
this is the best performance of the night by far. Awesome!!!
The judges are on their feet halfway through the song. They all love him.
Randy- "No words for that."

Hollie- July 5, 1993- British born
Celine Dion- "The Power of Love"
Hollie looks absolutely beautiful and sounds fantastic too.
JLo- "There were one or two little things, but it would be silly to say them." One of the best of the night.  IMO- Only Hollie and Jessica should be allowed to sing diva's power ballads. The rest of the girls don't compare.

Steven says Heejun might be in trouble.

My rankings from best to worst:
Joshua, Hollie, Phillip, Colton, Jessica, Skylar, DeAndre, Shannon, Elise, Heejun, Erika.

It wouldn't surprise me if TPTB don't eliminate anyone else tonight, since they kicked Jermaine off the show, but i could be wrong. I thought I heard Ryan say that they would go down to the top 10 at the next results show. They have been known to change their minds though.  Guess we'll see soon enough.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Language of Love

Three years ago, on March 12, 2009, something special happened in the ArchuWorld.  In my opinion, this was the event that changed everything else. This one simple act was the catalyst for all that was to come. This was the first time, post-American Idol, when David Archuleta stepped out of his comfort zone and sang in Spanish at one of his concerts. It was only a few lines of the Selena classic, Como La Flor, but the impact on the audience (highly Hispanic in San Antonio, Texas) and David was immense. I want to thank the brave woman who shouted to David from the audience "Sing something in Spanish."  The tiny, packed-to-the-gills San Antonio bar lit up at that prompting and so did David. He wasn't really sure what to do at first, but thankfully his mother had just joined him on tour and she knew what to do. Thank you, Lupe, for encouraging David to share those few lines with us. It was magical.

Here is a new poem I have written in honor of this special anniversary in the ArchuWorld. I hope you like it.

The Langauge of Love

I don’t know how to say this,
You’ll probably think I’m nuts,
But I’ve found a brand new language
And it’s sent down from above.
It’s a special kind of language
I’ve only heard one speak.
It isn’t from a certain land,
But from a heart so sweet.


It started out one cold wet day
In San Antonio,
The twelfth of March, 2009,
And from that day it’s grown.
A young man came to town that day,
Some simple songs to sing,
But from one verse a voice was born
And a new language took its feet.


Now you might stop and wonder,
What is she talking about?
What is this special language
No others know about?
What man is this that has a Voice
Which speaks like no one else?
What happened on that cold March day
That caused their hearts to melt?


The young man’s name is David
And much like the one in Psalms,
He sings of God and good and love
And ways to make us strong.
But on this day he made a choice
That changed so many lives
Because he sang some simple lines
In a language I’ll call Love.


He had not planned to do it,
It wasn’t on his list,
But when a voice spoke from the crowd
He asked for his mom’s assist.
We all knew he could do it.
He has the right degree.
He just needed some extra coaxing
To bring out this ability.


The first words came with trepidation
As they stumbled from his lips,
But soon a joy surged through the crowd,
And brought him more confidence.
He saw the spark the words had brought
To the eyes of those he’d blessed.
He felt the love we sent to him
And returned it back again.


It was just a group of simple words
In a language foreign to many,
Yet the meaning of those Spanish terms
Was as crystal clear as any.
The joy and power of the songs
Left no doubt in the minds of fans,
This young man has a special gift
Heard through a language of Love.


Our David’s grown and we’ve now heard
Five languages cross his lips.
And to this day he has not failed
To reach our hearts with bliss.
The tongues he speaks are more than words,
They are his heart and soul.
And that’s why I’ll never forget the day,
He first spoke his language of Love.

 

I am so happy my daughter was able to capture this on video. Thanks, Amanda!

American Idol 11: Top 13 Results

Well, it's time to say goodbye to one of the top 13 contestants. I doubt if it will be one of the girls. The judges get the final say this week and I'm sure they will want to even out the guy/girl ratio this week.  I can't wait to see how the twitter rankings compare to the actual results this week.

We get performances from Lauren Alaina and Mary J Blige later in the show.  Oh, and the top 13 perform Stevie Wonder's "As" and it is not a total train wreck like many of the group performances have been the last couple of years.  Of course, the guys (minus Phil) have same awesome awkward dance moves thrown in to the performance. Looks like the girls are doing good just strutting across the stage in those platform stilettos. Oh, the ford commercials are back. this one features giant Idols strolling the streets of LA while singing "Big Time."

Before we find out who has made the bottom 3 for the guys and the bottom 3 for the girls Jimmy has some words for us. " God mass produces billions of people (Jimmy knows just how to alienate himself from the millions of Christians who watch this show doesn't he?), in my opinion, too many, but in the case of Whitney Houston, he stopped everything, and made one by hand. he made an extraordinary human being, and that's why it's so difficult for these girls to sing these songs. (Then why did they saddle them with these
monsters, especially so early in the competition?) As far as Stevie Wonder's concerned for the boys, that's no walk-in-the-park either."

Contestants are called to center stage in groups. We get a quick review of their performance and the judges comments before we hear what Jimmy had to say about each contestant. I'm only writing what Jimmy had to say here.

Jessica, Elise and Hollie---
Elise- "Elise got hit with the Whitney stick. Songs not in her genre- she is in trouble."
Hollie- "Fantastic!"
Jessica- "The best performance I've even seen of anyone on American Idol." (Obviously, he wasn't watching season 7 and David Archuleta.)
Jessica is safe. (Of course) Hollie is safe. Elise is in the bottom 3 girls.

Heejun, Jermaine, Colton---
Heejun- "If I made a record with Heejun, the last thing in the world I would do is take a Stevie Wonder song. it showed all of his flaws."
Colton- "Colton takes great direction, but I don't think he's found his musical direction yet."
Jermaine- Jennifer is right, he was thinking too hard. Steven is wrong, Armani doesn't make suits that big."
Colton is teased by Ryan again but is safe. Heejun is safe. Jermaine is in the bottom 3 guys.

We get a plug for Jennifer's new talent search show with ex- hubby Marc Anthony, "Q Viva!" (I actually watched the first episode and really liked it. They have some incredible dancers for the show so far.
Lauren Alaina drops in to sing "Georgia Peaches" and she is looking beautiful. She changes up part of her lyrics to say Randy Jackson instead of Alan Jackson, which is cute.

Erika, Shannon, and Skylar---
Erika- "Not her fit in music. She took it, enhanced it and did a terrific job."
Shannon- "Nerves got the better of her. She needs more experience."
Skylar- "Jennifer said she didn't like the nasally sound at the beginning, I like Nasal."
Erika in bottom 3 girls. Skylar is safe. Shannon in bottom 3 girls.

Phillip, Jeremy, DeAndre, Joshua---
First things first- Ryan to Phillip- "I heard you went to the hospital today."  Phillip- "No, just the doctor. I'm ok."
Joshua- "He's very, very good but I'm concerned we'll get bored with his voice after a bit."
DeAndre- "DeAndre was a pleasant surprise. He just did the song."
Phillip- "Great musician both vocally and instrumentally. He came knowing who he is and that's a great advantage."
Jeremy- Stevie Wonder ballads are custom made for Jeremy's voice, but he did not deliver at all. I think Jeremy will go."
Phil is safe. Jeremy in the bottom 3 guys.
DeAndre is safe. Joshua is in the bottom 3 guys.
Ryan announces Erika and Joshua are safe.

Mary J Blige sings latest single "Why."

Jermaine, Jeremy, Elise, Shannon---
Steven Tyler says Jeremy might be leaving.
Jermaine is safe.  Shannon is safe.
Judges must decide between Jeremy and Elise to save.
Elise is saved by judges.  Good Bye Jeremy. Sorry to see you go. I really liked you.

We get Scotty McCreery's "Please Remember Me" as our exit song this season.


Let's see how the twitter rankings did or did not factor into the results.
Heejun- 48,496    SAFE
Phillip- 44,395      SAFE
Colton- 42,629     SAFE
Erika- 31,697       Bottom 3 girls
Jessica- 22,738     SAFE
Skylar- 16,162      SAFE
DeAndre- 16,003   SAFE
Shannon- 13,340   Bottom 3 girls
Hollie- 13,294       SAFE
Jeremy- 11,142    Bottom 3 guys - Eliminated this week
Joshua- 9,412       Bottom 3 guys
Elise- 7,939          Bottom 3 girls
Jermaine- 4,123    Bottom 3 guys
It seems to be somewhat accurate, except for Erika and Hollie who have flipped places. And either Jermaine's fans don't do Twitter or Jeremy's forgot to vote. Or Idol decided to get rid of the guy that the judges kept instead of Jermaine back at Top 24 reveal. Just saying!

Let me know what you think of the show.

See y'all next week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13

So, we have made it to the Top 13 for this season of AI and I believe this might be the strongest group since season 7. There are some really good singers still in the running and some very interesting characters as well.

Before I talk about the show tonight I want to give some very important information about the popularity of each contestant. I will base this on the number of followers each has on Twitter as of tonight. Then after the results show I will be able to compare the numbers and see how accurate this method of ranking is. At this time, I am not following any of the contestants on Facebook, but I might start later. For now, Twitter will be my barometer of social media rankings.

Heejun- 48,496
Phillip- 44,395
Colton- 42,629
Erika- 31,697
Jessica- 22,738
Skylar- 16,162
DeAndre- 16,003
Shannon- 13,340
Hollie- 13,294
Jeremy- 11,142
Joshua- 9,412
Elise- 7,939
Jermaine- 4,123

Now, on with the show.

This was the 400th episode of American Idol. Sounds like a big deal, but that didn't really get as much hype as I thought it would.  There is a new monkey wrench thrown in to the judging mix this week.  This week is a battle between the guys and girls. The two groups will be judged separately since the guys are singing Stevie Wonder and the girls have been burdened with Whitney Houston songs. The judges will be told who is the low vote getter from each group and then they will have to pick who stays and who goes home.  This week May J Blige is mentoring with Jimmy Iovine. 

Joshua- "I Wish"- "This song is totally out of my comfort zone."  A little constructive help from MJ and he's off.  Joshua is bopping and prancing around on the stage. Definitely different than previous weeks. He sounds good and looks fairly comfortable up there. Randy- "Flawless" JLo- "Felt your performance." ST- "You listened to Mary J and nailed it."

Elise- Wanted to sing "The Greatest Love of All" but Jimmy switched her to "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and she is not comfortable with it at all. She had never heard the song before and this move has totally thrown her off. JLo- "I don't think this was your best." ST- "Your unique voice needs just the right song" and this wasn't it Jimmy. Randy- "It felt like you were boxing with the song" and now it looks like she is about to cry. Poor girl.

Jermaine- "Knock Me Off My Feet" - MJ and Jimmy love him and his voice. He sounds ok but this definitely does not knock me off my feet. He looks glued to the stage. Not much movement. Audience loves him. ST- "That song fits you like an Armani suit" JLo- Relax and feel the song. Relax your face. Randy- "Loved the verses but not the chorus."

Erika- "I Believe in You and Me"- MJ tells her that her voice is like steak and potatoes, not celery and peanut butter. She starts out low but sounds great. Perfect song for her.  Randy- "Amazing voice, unbelievable tone." JLo- goosies starting with the mentoring session. ST- "It was perfect."

Colton- "Lately"- Jimmy immediately says that Stevie is "not his wheelhouse" and asks Colton to play one of his original songs for them. Then he tells Colton to rely on his vulnerability when he sings.  He sounds awesome. Made the song his own. ST- "Amazing, outstanding"  JLo- "Your heart came through. It was great." Randy- "Not perfect but the last part was flawless." Ryan comments on Colton's smoldering eyes to America. "You can hear the girls screaming in Hacienda Heights."

Shannon- "I Have Nothing"- MJ says "I can see you thinking. Stop running for the big notes." this poor girl is so nervous. She is missing notes big time. She looks so uncomfortable up there. Shannon knows that she blew it. And the judges agree.

DeAndre- before we hear about this week's song choice, Ryan talks to DeAndre about his save last week and DeAndre freaks over the video of himself crying. "Laud have mercy."  This week is "Master Blaster" and it is definitely reggae to the max. He sounds good.  Not so much falsetto this time around and I like it much better.  I do feel that the staging of the song is a little distracting though with all the pseudo-smoke floating through the background. ST- "Jamaican flavor"  JLo- "You have rythym and soul."  Randy- "You showed another side of you tonight, You nailed it."

Skylar- "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" Jimmy and MJ say hold back some on the chorus the first time. I like this performance. Countryfied Whitney. JLo- "You are like the definition of composure. Amazing." ST- "A thing of beauty." Randy- "What I love about you is that you can sing any song."

Heejun- First Ryan shows us Heejun's silly Twitpics. "All is Fair in Love"- MJ is caught off-guard by his voice. He has won over Jimmy and brings him an autographed photo. This is an interesting sound for the song. He seems almost too soft at the beginning but he gets better as it goes along. Last note is the best of all. Heejun bows to the audience and the strings section accompanying him. JLo- "I love you." ST- "Fantastic" Randy- "it wasn't perfect, but it was really good."

Hollie- "All the Men That I Need"- Great advise from MJ on hitting the last high note. This girl has such a big voice for someone sooooo small. She is beautiful and so is the performance. Randy- "Dude, you nailed it."
JLo- "We might have a sing-off between two girls in the final." ST- "That was really nice."

Jeremy- "Ribbon in the Sky"- MJ says she likes him and "there is something about his voice that I love."
This is a sweet song from a really sweet guy. he does a really good job on a really difficult song. Jennifer looks like she will cry. ST- "Great song, nice passion." JLo- "I love to hear you interpret a song." Randy- "Not the best, need more swag for this song."

Jessica- "I Will Always Love You" Jimmy wants less vibrato and I agree. Jimmy and MJ a amazed by session. She starts with a beautiful a Capella beginning. Incredible performance. Standing O from all. Randy- " This is one of the best talents in the whole country." JLo- "It was beautiful." ST- "You just made 40 million people cry."

Phillip- "Superstition"- This performance was just over the top good.  ST-"You're a very interesting character. You have a lot of 'forget-about-it' in your voice." JLo- "you made it your own and you killed it." Randy- 'You drive your own car in your own lane and I love it."


So here are my ratings for the groups: best to worst
Girls: Jessica, Hollie, Erika, Skylar, Elise, Shannon
Guys: Colton, Phil, Joshua, Jeremy, Heejun, DeAndre, Jermaine.

Well see how I did.

Friday, March 2, 2012

American Idol 11: The Finalists Revealed

The big night finally arrived. The show opens with a montage of the top 24's videos.  The judges are ready for the show, but Jennifer looks like she forgot part of her clothes.  Man that dress is short. And it seems that Ryan still can't locate his razor.

Ryan tells us that there were over 33 million votes cast over the two nights but half of the contestants will be going home tonight. We are about to meet the top 5 guys and top 5 girls and then fight it out for the judges 3 wildcards. Ryan is calling contestants to center stage in groups.

Chase, Phillip, and Jeremy are up first. (A short recap of their performance and judges comments and then we hear the opinion of Jimmy Iovine, the mentor for the show and Mr Music Mogul of Idol.  I will only be writing Jimmy's comments or comments about Jimmy's comments here. )
Jeremy- Jimmy says great voice, nice person, but that's not enough to keep going on Idol.  (I disagree.)
Chase- Jimmy says good looking but not fresh or original.  (I agree.)
Phillip- Jimmy says Idol needs more original artists like him- would sing him on the spot. (I agree.)
Only Phillip is in the Top 10

Jessica, Hollie, Brielle, Hallie-
Hollie- Jimmy says she's a little girl with a big voice, with the right material she can be great. (I agree.)
Brielle- Jimmy says she has charisma but made a bad song choice and it will hurt her. (I agree.)
Hallie- Jimmy says this was her best show, she has a good voice, but there are too many blonds. (?)
Jessica- Jimmy says she has talent from a to z and he would sign her tonight, one to beat (I disagree some)
Jessica and Hollie are in the Top 10.

Joshua, Heejun, Adam-
Joshua- Jimmy says he's the real deal and he is looking forward to working with him but doesn't want Sister    Act III on the show. (I happen to like Christian artists on the show. Keep your opinion to yourself Jimmy.)
Adam- Jimmy says he is confused by Adam. He needs to combine the "large black woman" side of him and the white guy and find and artist. (I disagree Jimmy. I like both sides of Adam.)
Heejun- Jimmy is confused by Heejun. He doesn't like the funny guy and says this is not American Comedian. (I don't think Jimmy laughs very much so I can see why he doesn't like someone who does.)
First big surprise: Joshua and Heejun are in the Top 10.


Baylie, Chelsea, Skylar, Shannon-
Skylar- Jimmy says she blended soul and country for great rock and he would vote for her. ( I agree.)
Baylie- Jimmy says has all the pieces but didn't come together. Out of tune, out of here. (I agree.)
Chelsea- Jimmy says nice voice but not original.  (I agree.)
Shannon- Jimmy says he really likes her but thought her dress looked like prom, needs a stylist. (I liked her and dress.)
Shannon and Skylar are in the Top 10.


Aaron, Creighton, Reed-
Reed- Jimmy says really talented but to cabaret, thought he was at night club.  (I like but not on Idol.)
Aaron- Jimmy says he was confused by Aaron and it was too cheesy. (I disagree.)
Creighton- Jimmy says he has an interesting voice but it is screechy up top and it annoys him. (I disagree.)
No one goes to top 10.

Elise, Erika, Haley, Jen-
Jen- Jimmy says nice voice but don't sing Adele. (I agree.)
Erika- Jimmy likes this girl, she has music in her blood, she's a natural. (I agree.)
Haley- Jimmy says she sang the whole song out of tune and she was robotic. (Sorry, but I agree.)
Elise- Jimmy says she pulled off the Adele song. She needs own music though.  (I agree.)
Elise is in the Top 10.

DeAndre, Eben, Colton, Jermaine-
Jermaine- Jimmy likes him and could listen to his album. Ready to work with him for best songs. (Yeah)
DeAndre- Jimmy says he has enormous potential but needs a vocal coach. (I agree.)
Eben- Jimmy says he is talented and has potential but it's too early. (I agree.)
Colton- Jimmy says he is one of the most talented. He should take it slow, pace himself on the show and he could win. (Best comment I heard from Jimmy. I agree.)
Colton and Jermaine are in the Top 10.

Time for the wildcard sing-off. Judges will pick 6 to sing and then put three into the finals.
Randy calls Jen. -"Oh Darling" It starts out slow, then picks up. Not sure this is  the best song.

JLo calls Jeremy.-  "I Know You Won't" This is filled with passion galore. Hitting those high notes. He wants this for sure. Jeremy breaks down in tears at end and so does JLo.

ST calls Brielle.- "Someone Like You" This is too big for this girl. Pitchy. Judges don't like it either.

Randy calls DeAndre.- "Georgia" Starts off showing the nice lower register. I want to hear more of this sound. Ok on the upper and falsetto too. Mixed well this time.

JLo calls Erika.- "Edge of Glory" Well this is different. First time I have ever liked this song. Awesome.

ST calls Reed.- (Really? Out of all those left we get Reed?) "Use Me" Odd song choice. Lots of erratic movements and scatting but not enough just straight singing this time.




Top 10: Phil, Heejun, Joshua, Jermaine, Colton, Hollie, Skylar, Shannon, Elise, and Jessica.
Wildcards:  Erika, Jeremy, DeAndre.

Yes, I am very happy with the majority of these choices.

Next week the girls sing Whitney Houston (glad we're getting it over with so soon) and the guys are singing Stevie Wonder (I think it would have been more fun to switch that around, but that's just my opinion.) Guest mentor is Mary J Blige. Hummm????  We'll see how that goes. 


And how did my top pics from different auditions fair in this process so far. (I only chose top 3.)
From Savannah: Phillip was my #1 and Colton my #3.
From Pittsburg: Heejun #3
From Galveston: Skylar #3  

I think I might need to listen a little closer on the auditions next year. In my own defense, we did not see the auditions for Hollie, DeAndre, Joshua, Jeremy, or Jessica so I had no way of predicting these 5 as finalists.

American Idol 11: Top 24 (25)- The Girls

Ok, I am running behind by a whole day now since I didn't get to watch the girls sing last night. My husband and I were at a taping of the PBS show Austin City Limits watching the incomparable The Civil Wars perform.  They were amazing. I will post a review and pics of this performance either Friday night or maybe Saturday, but first, I need to get this week's Idol squared away.  So, without further ado, here's the lowdown on the girls.


Ryan starts us off asking if one of these ladies will be the first female winner in 5 yrs. Well, that all depends if there is a really good looking teenage guy in the pac or not and if the girls can actually sing.

Chelsea Sorrell- "Cowboy Casanova" Carrie Underwood.  Not a great song choice. Song is too big for her. She has a good country voice but I don't think she has enough power to take on Carrie. Randy didn't like the song choice. JLo said she sounded nasally and it sucks going first. Steven tells her to watch her phrasing.  Ryan asks if she is having problems breathing. 

Erika Van Pelt- "What About Love" She sounds good and seems confident.  ST agrees with me on confidence. JLo thinks she could have done more. Randy says she is showing an Adele style.  Call the fashion police- they have ruined her hair. It's too straight and flat and the outfit looks matronly. Help her, Jennifer.

Jen Hirsh- Adele "One and Only" is not a great choice for Jen. It's just ok for me. Not enough power. I didn't connect to it. JLo says Jen is confident but had problem at the end. Randy says he loves her voice and she is one of the best singers this year.

Ryan asks Randy to comment on the guys performances the night before compared to the girls so far. Randy is having a reality show check and admits that the judges went a little too easy on some of the guys. After watching at home, not everyone was as wonderful as they heard in the studio.  OOPS.  Looks like the audience vote did not go as they had hoped and its time to cover their backsides.

Brielle Von Hugel- One comment on her back story.  She's a high school cheerleader. That explains a lot.
Otis Redding "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" is an interesting choice. The start is too low and really shaky. She improves when she changes keys and stands and walks around. Though her dress is cute, I don't think t is appropriate for the song or for moving around on the stage. Steven tells her she has a great sense of the blues. JLo says she is a true performer and she is severely underestimated by all. Randy says the key was too low at the start, but the middle was better. (That's what I said!)

Hallie Day- "Feelin' Good" I like the slower start, very bluesy, soulful. I like the song but I'm sure a younger audience will not find this interesting. JLo says she looks and sounds beautiful, but she lost it in spots. ST says her voice is old-timey and he likes it and hopes the style is coming back, like with Adele. Randy doesn't comment but instead asks Hallie where she sees herself fitting in as an artist.  She says Soul and R&B.

Skylar Laine- "Stay With Me" She is sassy, confident, and totally rockin' the stage. This was really impressive for so early in the competition. This girl knows who she is. I really like this girl. She just might win it. Randy calls her a rockin' country girl and says she's a mix of Reba and Kelly Clarkson. JLo says she loves her energy and her twang and the song and calls her a country Tina Turner. ST calls her a pistol.  Skyler tells Ryan that she can't breathe in her dress.

Baylie Brown- "Amazed" by Lonestar. Baylie is stunning. This is a beautiful song that I happen to love and I'm sorry to say that Baylie is totally murdering the song. Off key for a lot of the song. She is really struggling. I don't think her beauty is going to save her unless the American Idol voting public is suddenly all teen and twenty something guys. St tells her she is pretty but this was not the best song choice and he has heard her better. JLo says she's beautiful but the nerves got her. Randy says shaky, pitchy in spots (like the whole thing)- not great.

When we came back from commercial Ryan tells us that Baylie said she couldn't get her heart to stop racing. Her dress was too tight to breathe properly. Ryan asks Jennifer what she could do about that and JLo responds "wear looser dresses."  And on a personal note, Ryan needs to shave.

Hollie Cavanagh- Christina Aguilarra "Reflection" Such a big song for such a little girl but she does a decent job.  Seemed a little off at the beginning but she really improved at the key change of the chorus. ST tells her she hit the high notes perfectly. He also wants her to let her hair down next time. (She had her hair pulled up in back making her look old. JLo loves her and thinks she could win the whole thing. Randy says it was hard to take on that song. Part were a little rough but many parts she slayed.

Haley Johnsen- "Sweet Dreams"  Not a dream at all.  Terrible. Sounds like she is singing in a different key than the band and backup singers. JLo is kind and says she isn't sure this was the right song. ST says it wasn't perfect but she had good stage presence. Randy is the only one with any guts tonight. He says it was a nightmare not a dream. It was a train wreck.  Randy is right.

Shannon Magrane- "Go Light Your World" by Christian artist Cathy Tricole. Wow. For a 16 yr old she is really stepping out on a limb with this song. It is a beautiful power ballad and she nails it. Randy says she is calm, cool, collected. "I'm a fan." JLo says for someone so young, she sings with such passion and the performance gave her goosies. ST says "you started out low and gospel-ly and then my reality check bounced (What?)  Ryan asks why this song.  Shannon tells Ryan that she knew it was a risk but it was in my soul, my gut, I had to sing it.

Jessica Sanchez- Tells Ryan that she has been having throat problems all week and doctor told her vocal chords are swollen and she is worried about singing this time.  "I Love You, I Do" is not  a song I know. it sounds old. No problem for Jessica. She is hitting all of those notes. she gets a standing O from the audience and the judges too. Randy says "that girl can sing" and one of the best of the last two nights. JLo says she has swag and attitude beyond her years. ST tells her she has exceptional timing.

Elise Testone- Adele's "One and Only" This is not an original idea as Jen sang it earlier. Elise does a much better job all around.Started out with Elise on piano then she is up and powering through the song. I like this much better than Jen's rendition. I feel her connection to the song. She gets a little emotional and cuts the last note short, but really good job overall. ST says she blew it out of the water. JLo says Elise might be the best singer this season. Randy says she is a force to be reckoned with, but in the next breathe e tells her the this was not her best performance.  When Ryan asks Elise about the flowers in her hair she tells him that the flowers are from the expensive room service trays.

Well, there you have the girls for season 11. I'm not sure why, but I am not feeling a strong connection to many of these girls. Here's my favorites of the night in no particular order:
Hollie
Skylar
Shannon