Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts on Memorial Day

Thoughts On Memorial Day
by Margy Moore



Today I wish to honor those
Who’ve laid down their lives for me.
The brave men and women, the Heroes,
Who died to keep me free.

They swore to protect and defend our land,
To keep us all safe and sound.
They died with honor, for they took a stand,
Which to me was quite profound.

They were sons and daughters, husbands and wives,
And they came from all over the states.
Dedicated to ensure our land survives,
But an enemy controlled their fates.

They gave up all so others might
Return safely to friendly ground.
These defenders of everything good and right
Even helped keep my family sound.

The men of my family honor the tradition
Of serving the land that they love.
They’ve always been willing to follow the mission
And defend the country they’re proud of.

My Grandpa served in World War I,
On a ship, in the waters near France.
He cooked the meals, not fired a gun,
While heroes gave our family a chance.

My Father served in World War II,
He fought Hitler’s troops and won.
He made some friends and lost a few
But returned to his home when done.

My Uncles served their country proud,
In Korea and the South Pacific.
They were blessed by God to be allowed
Safe returns from wars horrific.

And now my Son will take his turn,
For in the Navy he soon will serve.
I pray to God for his safe return,
As America he strives to preserve.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

American Idol 11: The Finale

All I can say right now is
Phillip Phillips
and
YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recap to come tomorrow.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


All righty. I needed a little family time last night for a pre-graduation cap and gown photo shoot for our son, (hubby is a photographer) and a little sleep, but now I'm ready for a recap of the fun, and pain, and merriment of last nights American Idol Season 11 Finale. It had a few big moments, but overall it was a little more laid back than some of the finales have been. 

Since this night was a celebration of the accomplishments of this years crop of contestants, it was kind of weird not seeing Phillip more during the two hours. I'm sure he had to take it easy not just during the show, but also during the times leading up to this show, when the others were all out there rehearsing.

Now here is my recap of the night with my opinions on the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.

The introduction video showing clips of the Top 2 performance night was fittingly set to Phillip's "Home."

The Top 3 through 12 all took to the stage dress in various versions of white with silver to perform Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby." We also get professional dancers, probably from Nigel's dance show, to do some impressive dance moves while the kids sing.  Oops, Joshua tried a dance move and failed. Stick to the singing there Josh. leave the dance moves to the pros.

Judges and Ryan are introduced finally.  Ryan tells us that there were a World Record number of 132 Million votes for the finale. Then he introduces Jessica and Phillip.  They are dressed in all white also. (Phillip actually looks good in all white. Maybe he should branch out on the clothing colors.) Ryan asks if they were able to sleep last night. Jessica says a little but Phillip says he got 9 1/2 or 10 hours sleep. (That must be some good pain meds.)

First "solo" performance is Phillip singing with the front man from Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty.  Phillip is now dressed in real "comfy" clothes. He is beaming as he gets to sing with one of his heroes.  They sing two songs: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising." Awesome. (And on a personal note, these are the only two CCR tracks I have on my iPhone. Funny coincidence.)

Next we must suffer through a video montage of judges with crazy auditions and stuff.

Next up, Joshua performing Elton John's "Take Me To The Pilot." (Glad Ryan told me this is Elton because I didn't have a clue.)  Joshua introduces his Idol and inspiration, Fantasia. (She is clad in a hideous bedazzled body suit that ... well, let's just leave it at that.) I don't know what this song sounded like when Elton sang it, but it is gospelized now. And they both screech their way through the poor song. (I am happy to report that my "mute button" on my TV is working just fine.)  Elton might be calling his reps to have Idol banned from using his music ever again after this thing. On a positive note, Joshua looks sharp in his silver lame jacket.

Who knew that Jimmy is a really funny guy?  Well we all do now that Idol put together a video of all of the outtakes from Jimmy's commentaries about the performances. He seemed to have a problem remembering Jennifer's name, repeatedly calling her Jessica. He explains that his daughter is Jessica and with a contestant named Jessica also, he just couldn't get the names straight. 

We have a performance by the Top 12 girls with guest performer, Chaka Khan. The girls sing "Ain't Nobody" and "Through the Fire" before Jessica  and Chaka Khan join the join them for "I'm Every Woman." The girls are all wearing various sequined dresses. Ms Khan is wearing a bedazzled brown body suit. (She actually looks better in this than Fantasia looked in her black one. Of course, my dog would have looked better in that than Fantasia did.)

This week's Ford video is a compilation of clips of each contestant in the top 10. Nice way not to single out Phillip for being absent from many of these videos.

Ford also gave two tickets to the show to the person who had the greatest mentoring impact on both Phillip and Jessica. Phillip named his Brother in Law, Ben Neil and Jessica named her long time family friend, Robert Talon. Each of these men also received a Ford Escape for their thanks. They were both honestly surprised by this announcement.

And following Idol tradition, Both Jessica and Phillip were presented with keys to their own Fords. They get to chose what they want.

Then we have Rihanna performing "Where Have You Been." She arrives in a big cube. The theme of the production is tribal.

Skylar Laine performs "Turn on the Radio" with Reba McEntire.  They sound great together. Skylar is rocking it with her Idol and you can tell she is thrilled.

Our next fun video clip is honoring Steven Tyler. We are told this is from his dressing room, but is it? I'm not sure. Steven has playboy bunnies lined up in the doorway as greeters, carries around an actual live sloth for part of the tour, wants to sell perfume from a live skunk that is available, is totally hilarious for the whole thing , and ends with a live monkey sitting on his shoulder. (This is one of the best parts of the whole show.)

Just so we don't forget why this show is happening in the first place, Jessica comes out to give us a reprise of "I Will Always Love You" and is still putting in too much vibrato for my taste. But she looks beautiful in this more age-appropriate blue gown.

Next we have the Top 12 guys singing "America," "Cracklin' Rosie," and "I'm A Believer" before Colton introduces the legendary Neil Diamond. Neil and the guys sing "Sweet Caroline." This performance is awesome even if Neil isn't quite as powerful as he use to be. (Personal note here: I had flashbacks to season 7 during this whole performance. Neil Diamond was a mentor that season. David Archuleta sang "America" and "Sweet Caroline" as his performances that week and "Cracklin' Rosie" was featured in the group song.)

The absolute best video of the night was the one honoring Randy as a judge and his silly comment about singing the phone book when a contestant is versatile and can sing many styles. We have the Top 3 thru 12 literally singing  the phone book. They and Michael Orland on keyboard are all wearing choir robes and holding phonebooks out as though they are hymnals singing about really random stuff in the phone book, like tummy tucks. Joshua is featured as the over the top gospel singer. You can tell they really had fun making this video.  After the video, Scotty McCreery presents Randy with his own Yellow Pages Phone Book.

Next, we have a couple of songs from Jennifer Lopez: "Goin' In" featuring girl dancers and "Follow The Leader" performed with rappers/ hip-hop artists Wishin and Yandel. Oh, and there are a bunch of guys dancing and running all over the stage. (Playing follow the leader, I guess.)

Ryan tells us there are (supposedly) a lot of Idol alums in the audience. We are shown Lauren Alaina and Taylor Hicks (He is really there a lot. He needs a life.) and then Ryan introduces Ace Young (season 5 finalist) and Diana DeGarmo ( season 3 runner-up). Ryan invites them into the stage, and Diana is totally clueless what is about to take place. Ace proposes to her in front of Ryan, and all of the world. it was so sweet and he was shaking as he tried to put the ring on her finger. And she said yes. 

While everyone tries to pull themselves back together from this lovefest moment, Hollie takes the stage to sing "You"ll Never Walk Alone" and is joined by Jordin Sparks. I wish I could imitate the totally cute Tex/Brit accent Hollie had when she said "Sparks." It was almost as "awww" worthy as the proposal just a few minutes before. These two beautiful young women did a wonderful job of this very big and powerful song. Kudos to the brain who put these two together with this song.

Idol is mourning the loss of a friend of their show, Robin Gibb of the BeeGees and so a tribute is in order. The Top 12 guys are called on for this number. I just wish they had left out the backup singers and let the guys just sing it themselves. I heard notes clashing in there. We hear parts of "Words," "How Deep is Your Love," "To Love Somebody."

Next, we are told is a duet from Jessica and Grammy winner, Jennifer Holiday. They are performing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."  At least Ms Holiday knows what the appropriate dress is for someone her age. No body suit this time. I have to make a confession: I have never heard Ms Holiday sing this song. I'm not sure I have ever heard her sing any song for that matter, and I am not a fan of this kind of singing. I'm not even sure this was singing. I thought the two of them were going to rip each other's heads off. The faces this woman was making while singing would scare many people to death. I had a difficult time watching this. I muted the TV through part of it too. (Sorry if I offended anyone with this comment. Just keeping it real, for Randy.)

And speaking of scary faces and screaming ... Aerosmith takes to the stage for a couple of songs: "Legendary Child," a new song and "Walk This Way," a oldie but a goodie. (Steven could have worn Fantasia's body suit, if he wanted too.)

And for our last performance of the night (sort of) we have Jessica and Phillip with a subdued and lovely performance of the Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes classic, "Up Where We Belong." 

So, it all culminated in a few moments on stage, Phillip and Jessica, side by side, and the presentation of the official envelope to Ryan by the British guy from the company in charge of tabulating all of the votes. After a world record 132,000,000 (Yes, that's million) votes cast, the winner of Season 11 of American Idol  is  ..................................................... Phillip Phillips. 

Scotty McCreery hands Phillip his trophy. Phillip is in shock. A guy runs out on stage and sticks a mic stand in front of a confused Phillip and Ryan takes back the trophy and hands Phillip his guitar. The music starts for Phillip to sing "Home" and Phillip really doesn't know what is happening. Phillip starts to sing, then starts to cry, watches the immense amount of confetti fall on everyone and the marching band drum across the stage and then looses it the rest of the way. He takes off the guitar, hands it to Joshua and heads to the audience and his parents' arms.

And there we have it readers. The final installment of Season 11 of American Idol is history.  It has been different to say the least.  I am going to miss this silly show.



Now, I'll have to go back to real life and the two-year absence of the real reason I started this blog. Hurry back David. Life is a less "sunny" when you're away.



American Idol 11: Top 2 Perform

I can not believe I'm saying this because it means this is already the end of May, but last night was the final performance show for American Idol Season 11. Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez each performed their last three contest songs and now we just have to wait a few more hours to see which one will be crowned the champion. In reality it probably won't matter which one is named the "winner" since both will probably have successful careers. It isn't up to Idol anymore. Their careers now rest in the hands of the record label and their own abilities to handle what the labels throw at them. It will all depend on their strength of will to know what is right for themselves. I believe that Phillip has this strength in him already. Jessica, being so young, still has to find this ability. She needs to sing what she knows she can and should, and stop listening to people who are only in it for the money. She needs to listen to things Phillip has said all along. One of my favorite things he told Ryan was that he wasn't worried what others said about him, he just wants to perform. If people like his music he is ok; if they don't, he is ok too.

Yesterday, before the show, I looked back on my comments from this season to see what my first impressions were on the two contestants. Phillip was one of the contestants we saw on the very first audition episode from Savannah. He was the last one shown that day and I loved him from the start. He auditioned with "Superstition" without his guitar which was good, but then he was asked to do something else with the guitar and totally blew away everyone, including me, with "Thriller."  Jessica, for some reason, was hidden from us for quite a while. We heard a lot about her on the blogs and around the internet, but Idol didn't let us see her until the Top 70 Vegas rounds. Then she was shown in a group with DeAndre Brackensick and another female singer. She sounded pretty good and definitely powerful. It was just a little taste of things to come.

So, with all of that said, and the finale only a few hours away, here is what I heard and saw on my TV last night.

We start off with a nice introduction telling about the dreams of these contestants and how they can come true if they don't let them slip away.

Enter the judges and Randy is wearing his "Dreamsicle" jacket again.

Ryan asks for his traditional cheer-off for each contestant. Sounds like we have more P2 fans in the audience than JS fans tonight.

Ryan explains we will have three rounds: the producer's choice (Simon Fuller has to have his say), the contestant's favorite performance reprised, and each contestant's "winner's single." (For some reason these songs are usually lame)

Ryan tells us that Phillip won the coin toss and has elected to go second.

Round 1: Producer's choice
Jessica- "I Have Nothing" - Whitney Houston (surprise! a diva ballad)
This song might be too big for this girl tonight. I hope she can handle it. 
Jessica doesn't move well in this dress. Only choice is to stand in one spot most of the song. She sounds pretty good. It seemed to be missing something, but not bad for the first one out tonight. She has to be nervous. I hope she has something else planned for her reprise choice instead of another ballad.

Phillip- "Stand By Me"- Ben E King (Really Simon, after the terrible trouncing Joshua got from doing "Imagine" last week you ask Phillip to sing another song associated with Season 7 runner-up and Idol all-time favorite, David Archuleta. Are you trying to do him in, or what?)
Phillip is seated on a bar stool playing his guitar. It's a nice performance. Definitely a P2 twist to it. Very different than David's so I won't even go there on a comparison. (Of course I love the way David sings this some. He means every word of it, and it shows.)

I really don't think Simon Fuller chose the right songs for these two tonight. He wasn't very original in his thinking. At least he didn't pick "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" for Phillip. That would have totally doomed him.

Judges verdict on round 1: J- "Battle of the opposites." R- Round 1 to Jessica. Jennifer agrees with Randy. Steven doesn't say anything.

Jason DeRulo has completed his Coke's Perfect Harmony song that Idol viewers helped write. It's ok. Nice beat and nothing vulgar in it like many hip-hop songs out there. His girlfriend, Jordin Sparks, is singing along in the audience.


Round 2: Contestant's Reprisal
Jessica- "The Prayer" (Oh no, another ballad)
I normally like this song, but Jessica doesn't need to sing another ballad tonight and especially not one that she always overdoes the vibrato in. Jessica looks very tired just standing there on the platform all statue-like. Her voice sounds off to me. Maybe she is just exhausted from it all. She is ok but not stellar.

Phillip- "Movin'Out"- Billy Joel
Thank you for giving us something that has some life and movement to it Phillip.
Phillip starts out standing at center stage, just him and his guitar. Very subdued beginning, but then the rest of the band joins in and everything picks up, including Phillip.  A new energy takes over and  a smile is on his face. This lights up the audience too. Awesome ending with lots of power and somewhat of a growl. I love the "dischord" ending. Very nice job and the audience is up and loud.

Judges verdict on round 2: ST-Jessica took it again. R-dead even. JLo-Phillip wins that one for me. We've heard Jessica do that before. That was authentic Phillip Phillips right there.

Round 3: "Winner's single"
Jessica- "Change Nothing" (We know nothing about this song.)
We have Jessica seated on a white baby grand piano. This is another slow tempo song. This one is a pop ballad and it is not that good. Jessica sounds ok, but the song itself is yuck. Jessica really looks tired now. She is working too hard to make this song something it is not. Her power notes sound way off to me, kind of strained.  Nothing special about this performance.

Phillip- "Home" (Nice title, I wonder what it will be about. Maybe next years exit song?)
We have Phillip standing center stage with his guitar for an acoustic beginning. Nice sound.  He is joined by another acoustic guitar and a tom tom. Great beat to this song. sounds like Mumford and Sons, whom I happen to really like. this is a really good song for an American Idol "first single" performed on Idol song. He adds a marching band drum corps to the stage and it really is like a Mumford and Sons performance. They were here in Austin in March and had my son's high school's marching band on stage with them and it was awesome.
And we end with the audience and the judges on their feet. The only Standing O of the night.

Randy- "I loved the song, I loved you, I loved the production, I loved the marching band. Everything about that was perfect. That was the best performance of the night. Reminds me a little of Mumford and Sons." (YES)

J- "What was so moving about that was that it was so different. I couldn't think of any other singer or band you sounded like. That was a Phillip Phillips song."

ST- "By virtue of your vulnerability and style, you have made the world your home my friend. I heard a little Paul Simon in there and other ungod-like creatures in that. You were perfect. You are the Man."

And to totally seal the deal for me tonight, while Ryan is babbling on about the plethora of voting numbers for tonight, Phillip is just standing there surveying the 7,000 person audience at Nokia LA Live.  He seems to be just soaking it all in. 

As we leave, Phillip and Jessica stand at stage left hugging each other and Scotty McCreery treats all to one last live performance of "Please Remember Me" on the Idol stage before he passes the crown on to another season's champion. 

If the audience has any say in the matter the champion should be Phillip. Did America agree with the studio audience? I sure hope so. I know I voted for Phillip.







Friday, May 18, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 3 results

I'm finally have the time to get this post together. Silly real life has to get in the way.

The show started with a nice surprise; a montage of video clips from homecoming this past weekend set to Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."  I've always loved that song.

This week's guest performaers are: Season 8 runnerup, Adam Lambert and The King's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

We get rolling with a performance by the Top 3 of "Got To Get You Into My Life."  (It' was, as Randy would say, just ok. Phillip looked a little like a "third wheel" singing with Joshua and Jessica.)

The Ford video is partialy in black and white with an old Keystone Cops theme. The music is "Cinema." Just Jessica and Joshua. I hope Phillip can participate this week. He hasn't been in several of them. I'm sure Sunday when they shoot the commercial is his "rest so he doesn't collapse from the pain of the kidney stones" day.

Results will be distributed throughout the show.  Well, the recap of what the judges said with Jimmy's opinion will be.

First up, Joshua-
Jimmy says Joshua had a good not, but not his best. The judges were very generous on "I'd Rather Be Blind" because it was not Standing O material. "Imagine" didn't work for him because it was an overemotional performance of a subdued song. That was not the right song for him to sing. "No More Drama" ad something missing in the performance. He gave Joshua a song without enough melody. Even though he was not perfect, Joshua belongs in the finale.

Next we have a stupid skit showing Jennifer talking to critters from "Ice Age- Continental Drift" that JLo does one of the characters for and the Top 4 are shown visiting the studio where the sound track is being recorded.

Next we hear from "Music Royalty" (Her dad was Elvis) Lisa Marie Presley. She has a new album coming out (I didn't know she had an old album or could even sing) and she sings (if that's what you want to call it) "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (ain't that the truth). As my daughter so astutely noted, "she looks stoned or something." And her voice is not great. In fact the only part of the performance I liked was the band's outfits. They looked like they were dressed by The Mad Hatter or Johnny Depp or something. Nice top hats boys.

Results:
Jessica-
Jimmy says - "My All" didn't come together and wasn't enough to win no matter what Steven says. The Aerosmith song didn't really work for her either. "I'll Be There" wasn't the right choice either. Even though her voice reminds Jimmy of MJ the song didn't work in the two minutes she had to perform it in because she had to sing a part intended for a lower voice. He picked the wrong song . he still believes that she is worthy of singing at the Grammy's/ (I'm not so sure that is a good thing. Has he heard some of the junk being sung at the Grammy's? Oh, I guess he has since a lot of that junk is signed to his label.)

Ryan gives us a very short tribute to Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco, who passed away on Thursday from cancer.  he talks to Carol Bayer Sager, songwriter, who was friends with Ms. Summer and Jimmy.

Now for Adam Lambert.  Adam was the runner-up to Kris Allen in Season 7. I have never been a big Lambert fan but he does a good job on his new single "Never Close Our Eyes." 

Results:
Phillip-
Jimmy says- On the judges choice "Beggin" Phillip does a great job. His sound is becoming more and more original.  On Phil's choice of "Disease" by MatchBox 20 he applauds phil as a risk taker but says this song was a snooze-fest. (I thought it was a very nice performance.) On his performance of "We've Got Tonight" Phil won the night.  This was the best performance of the night and possibly his best performance of the season. Phillip hits notes Jimmy didn't expect him to hit (did Jimmy want him to crash and burn on the song if h didn't think he could hit the notes?). Phillip brought all of the emotions from the homecoming trip to the stage for that performance.

Judges say:
R- Good luck. They all have big careers in front of them
J- We love all of you. I'm so connected to each one of you. It's a toss up.
ST- "I love you guys so much because you have the courage to have a dream, and if you don't have a dream, then there's no way for one to come true."  (Remember, Steven is in songwriting, lyrics mode right now.)

So, we finally each the results. Ryan tells us that after nearly 90 million votes...

JESSICA AND PHILLIP will be in the finale next week.

Joshua sings us out with "This is a Man's World" and goes into the audience to bring Mom on the stage for the end of the performance. 


Well, there you have it. One of my favorites has made it to the finale.  YEAH PHILLIP!!!!!

Next week Idol tries to sabotage itself and moves everything up one night.  Performances are Tuesday night and the Season 11 Finale Results Spectacular will be on Wednesday night. (Idol performances on the night of the crowning of the Dancing With the Stars Champion. This is why DVR's were made. Right?)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 3 Perform

Well, we have 3 contestants left in the show now. They are all very different so this could go any way.  Just for grins I took a look at Twitter to see how many followers each of the 3 now have and I made a disturbing discovery: One of the judge's favorites still has a very small following as compared to the other two. Jessica has around 329,700 followers, Phillip has around 280,900 followers but Joshua only has around 98,900 followers. Now from what I've read, Jessica has a lot of followers in the Philippines, so her larger number is understandable, but why is Joshua's so much lower? Weird.

This week there are 3 songs for each contestant: Round #1 will be the Judge's choice, Round #2 will be the contestant's choice, and Round #3 will be Jimmy's choice (maybe like what kind of song he thinks they should record). We will also watch the hometown visit videos for each contestant before they sing their choice.

A quick scan of the audience shows all of the Top 12 are there for the show. (Hi, Colton. Hi, Skylar. Ahhh, Poor Hollie doesn't get a break.)

Round #1: Judge's choice

Joshua- "I'd Rather Be Blind"- Etta James
Randy says he picked this because it's an R & B classic and just right for Joshua.
I think Joshua sounds pretty good when he's not screaming, but of course he must scream. Nice scatting near the end of the song. Standing O from the judges. I'm kind of tried of those. (Just a personal observation- something seems different about Joshua is week. His demeanor on stage seems a little arrogant to me. maybe a little over confident. Definitely not as humble as he has been.)
ST- This is another Joshua moment. Out of 70,000 there is only one American Idol and you sang like that One tonight.
J- You brought down the house again.
R- You're such a classic stylist, this fits you like a glove. Modern R&B needed a lift and you could give it.

Jessica- "My All"- Mariah Carey
Jennifer says this song can show more tenderness than the power ballads she has been singing.
I guess this is what they mean by "vocal gymnastics" in a song. She is up and down the scale. I think it needs less vibrato on those few longer solid notes holds. No Standing O from the judges this time.
R- Absolutely beautiful. One of the best times a Mariah song has been performed on TV. Excellent.
J- I could tell, oooo, it's hard. I wanted to show people that you could handle something like this in a beautiful way, and you did.
ST- You'll be the last one standing here, I believe. (Didn't he say basically the same thing to Joshua?)

Phillip- "Beggin'" Madcon
Steven says this song has a strong melody and he wants to see if Phillip can follow and hit it.
Phil is on stage with his guitar and a nice rockband backing him.  I love this performance. The lyrics are a little boring but that isn't Phil's fault.
J- Steven said we picked the song for the melody, but you can't help it. You had to mess with it. It was great.
ST- I hope you write your own songs because you could be a new-age "Boss," Springfield.
R- We were just at the Phil Phillips concert right there, y'all. That was another incredible performance by you.

Ryan asks "who won that round?": R- Joshua, J- Phillip, ST- on the fence.

Round #2: contestant's choice and hometown visit

Joshua- Westlake, LA (outside of Lake Charles)
"They are really acting like I'm Barack Obama."
Song: "Imagine"- John Lennon
(Poor Josh doesn't know that long-time Idol viewers won't like this because David Archuleta sang this season 7 and owns it now. Also the Claymates won't like it since he sang this season 2.)
It's ok, I just have a hard time not hearing David's voice in my mind. Oops, he screeched. Not good.
ST- Beautiful. Another Thank You God moment.
J- It was pulled back and controlled. Beautiful.
R- "Why that song?" Josh- I didn't know what to sing and on the way to rehearsal I heard this on the radio and it had a strong message and that's what I wanted." R- Another stellar performance.

Jessica- Chula Vista, CA (San Diego)
Jessica says she was home schooled and didn't have many friends and was surprised to see guys chasing her car at home. They flew her to SD on a helicopter. She performed at the USS Midway Museum with her dad there. Dad is in the Navy Reserves. (I thought he was supposed to ship out a couple of weeks ago? hmmmmm)
Song: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Aerosmith
I don't like the ugly brown jumpsuit she has on.
Well, Steven Tyler she is not. Sounds off on that last power note- cracked it too. There were way too many violins on the stage for this song.
ST- You took a great song and made it greater. Beautiful
J- That was amazing. That note at the end sent everyone into the heavens. (Really?)
R- You've chosen really tough hills to climb tonight with these two songs (but she didn't chose the first one) but you delivered.

Phillip- Leesburg, GA (Albany, GA)
Phil visits his dad's pawn shop and dad is packing a pistol on his hip. Don't mess with the Phillips boys.
Song: "Disease"- MatchBox 20
Nice easy jam. Phil is seated on trunks with his guitar and a bongo player and the blond girl on sax. I really like this It's kind of mellow but that is who Phillip is. Really good performance. No screaming except from the audience.
J- That was easy from you but not the wow performance we needed right now. It was good.
ST- I feel the same way. You were Phillip Phillips but I didn't love it.
R- I didn't like it either. it was such a subdued moment, you could do that in your sleep. I wanted a bigger moment. i was just ok.

Round #3: Jimmy's choice
Joshua-"No More Drama" - Mary J. Blige
Jimmy says that during Mary's performance of this on the Grammy's she took them to church and she combines R&B with the magic of church, just like Joshua can.
Joshua sounds like he's straining to reach some of those upper notes. His bouncing on the stage seems to be double time to the sway of the backup singers. It's very distracting to me. Scream Josh, Scream.
R- At this point, it doesn't matter what you sing (that is not what you just told Phillip). You have laid everything out on that stage. People should just stand up and vote for you anyway.You have true star potential. (Does that mean he doesn't like this performance but people need to vote for Joshua because he is Joshua and the anointed one? Are TPTB going to make sure he is in the finale? I'm confused. How about you?)
J- You're spontaneous. Out of this world. (she actually said a lot more about taking off his jacket and loosing his in ears, and stuff)
ST- That was beautiful. it was over the top. (He says that a lot.)

Jessica-"I'll Be There"- Jackson 5
Jimmy wanted something to appeal to the older audience yet fit Jessica's age. (So He chose something from my childhood?)
Beginning is ok. She sounds awful on the key change on the bridge. Way too low for her. it was ok after that. Judges Not standing, barely clapping.
ST- That song reminds us of don't bore us, get to the chorus. (?) You nailed it.
J- That was a good choice from Jimmy. Good tone but you needed Jermaine for that one part. But you came back and killed it at the end.
R- I liked it ok. I didn't love it. Never had a moment, moment. I would have preferred Mariah's version instead.

Phillip- "We've Got Tonight" - Bob Seger
Jimmy says he wanted to find a song that addressed his fans both female and male. This song is emotional and romantic but with a dark edge. Also the melody is so good, maybe Phil will want to stick to it.
Phillip is seated on a stool, no guitar. Starts with just Ray Chew on piano but they are joined by a string section later.  Nice job. Phillip is holding to the melody. Phillip kind of looks nervous. Might be that the cameras are zooming in on him so much. We finally get a little smile right before the end.  Nice job.  Standing O from the judges? Wow!
R- Jimmy this was the perfect song at the perfect time. and Phillip, your best performance ever. (Really?)
Finally, you had a giant moment. You showed you can sing the melody. This boy right here is in it to win it and he's ready. (Poor Phil just stands there with his hands in his pockets, smiling.)
J- There's 20 million girls out there who are wishing you were singing that song to them. It was really, really sweet. Just like a lullaby.
ST- That was beautiful. You just showed you've got all that passion wrapped up inside of you. that was over the top with passion.


And there we have it. The Top 3 performances are a wrap.  I have no idea who will be in the finale. I hope one of them is Phillip, but at this point anything is possible. Jessica should have been gone weeks ago, if America had its say. Phillip was never in the bottom 3, but neither was Colton until he was eliminated.

I will be delayed learning about the results as I am attending  Martina McBride's concert here in Austin tonight. Be nice to each other and I'll have my recap of the results show up mid-afternoon on Friday.





Tuesday, May 15, 2012

REMINDERS OF YOU

My latest creation. 2014 is suddenly seeming like a long time from now.

Reminders of You, David


I saw the sun shine bright today,
It reminded me of you;
Because each brilliant, gleaming ray
Made me happy through and through.

I heard a poignant song today,
It reminded me of you;
Its words told us we must display
Loving hearts in all we do.

I read a Bible verse today,
It reminded me of you;
For in it I was told to pray
And that all His words are true.

I smelt a fragrant rose today,
It reminded me of you;
The scent took all my cares away
And transformed my point of view.

I traveled past a field today,
It reminded me of you;
The flowers in their vast array
Bloomed with a beautiful hue.

I saw a butterfly today,
It reminded me of you;
With graceful beauty on display,
Of the world, but unequaled to.

I tasted a new dish today,
It reminded me of you;
For all the foods in this café
Were from lands you’ve traveled to.

I saw a raindrop fall today,
It reminded me of you;
And the tears we fans cried the day
We fondly bid you adieu.





Friday, May 11, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 4 Results

After this show the Top 4 become 3 and prepare for their epic Hometown visits this weekend. But before I get to what happened on this results show, I have a couple of updates to take care of. 

1) Phillip told reports after the performances that he will be having major surgery before the summer tour to take care of his kidney stone problem. Poor guy has persevered week after week in total pain. He is amazing. Most people would have folded long ago. He will be rewarded for his effort, I'm sure. 

2) The "6" lapel pins that they guys are wearing are in support of disabled vets. It's to show that they have not been forgotten.  The group is  http://www.gotyour6.org/

Ok, on with the show.

First we get a mini collection of past top 3 homecomings. Sadly we don't see David Archulea's this year, but we do see glimpses of Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, and of course,Scotty and Alaina from last year.

We get a red carpet intro for the judges and Ryan and then the top 4 also.
The guest performers this week are David Cook and Jennifer Lopez.
Ryan tells us that summer tour tickets go on sale Friday and Idol is giving a free ticket to every audience member at this show.

We have another performance from the top 4. This time they sing the song they should have done on performance night, The Mamas and The Papas "California Dreaming." 

Lots of extra time tonight so we have a lengthy behind the scenes tour of the making of the Ford video for this week.  Joshua is excited to be the first to drive the first Ford electric car in a commercial. I am sad because once again Phillip is not participating in the commercial video. The song is "Feeling So Good" and the setting features environmentally friendly magical flowering gardens. 

Ok , time for some results. Ryan usually doesn't do a couches or chairs deal for the final 4, so we will see what happens this year.  70 million votes this week.
Once again I will just give a synopsis of Jimmy's comments here.

Phillip-
Jimmy says Phillip is at the beginning of coming into his own. On the first song he finds his true identity and voice by deviating from the original song instrumentation and making it his. On the second song, Phillip sang it like he wrote it. Everything about the song performance came together. If he would have heard this at a club, he would have signed Phillip on the spot. (Pretty high praise from Jimmy, since he is already figuring out how to spend the money he will make on Jessica and Joshua.)

Hollie-
Jimmy says he purposely did not mentor on song choice for any contestant this week. The first song worked for her, even though it went against everything he has told her not to do. The second song did not work.

DAVID COOK is back to perform his new single "The Last Song I'll Write For You."  I like it. Definitely the signature Cookie sound. Very Nice.  Rumor has it David left his label, RCA. Since he has not completed his three record deal, I wonder how that happened.  It will be alright Cookie, Archuleta has proven the world continues to turn even without the big-wigs in your corner. Hey, maybe the two of you can start your own label when he gets back. You can call it D-Squared. Later, when the Idol contract is fulfilled, Phillip could join y'all and you would have P2D2. Just an idea.

Joshua- Jimmy says Joshua sang the wrong song for his California song when he did "You Raise Me Up." He says gospel is fine but not all the time. He would talk him out of recording songs like this. On 'Man's World" James Brown and Joshua Ledet came together and created a piece of magic rarely seen on Idol. He said Joshua sounded like he was speaking in tongues at one point.

Jessica-
Jimmy said Jessica did a great job on Etta James' "Steal Away" but is impersonating a great older jazz-blues singer a good idea for a 16 yr old, NO. And the growling trick gets old. She needs to be discouraged from doing that. On "And I'm Telling You" she brought all her artillery in the right proportions. She murdered it.

Jimmy says last year he knew Scotty would win, but this year he has no idea who will be in the finals.

Time for Jennifer Lopez's performance. A little promo from the guys for Jennifer's summer tour. Time for "Dance Again."  Lots of lights and male dancers and some drums too.  I like the beat. I can understand the lyrics and they're not profane. Even the auto-tune isn't overdone and annoying. Jennifer's outfit is sexy without being vulgar. I say this is a WIN performance and i don't normally like this type of music.

Ryan brings out the remaining 4 and asks he judges how each contestant has changed over the duration of the competition.
ST- "How has Phillip changed?"  Phillip went from "I don't care" to finding who he is and he still doesn't care, but that's what we love about him.
J- "Hollie?" She went from the shy, unsure of herself, crying girl with the big voice in Austin at the Season 10 auditions to the calm, collected performer of the first song this week.
R- "Joshua?" I thought he had mad potential at the season 10 audition but I'm so glad we told him to come back this year. he has really grown.
J- Do you agree with Jimmy about not using her trick as much?"  I wish I could use that great "trick."

Results: 
Jessica is going to Homecoming.
Joshua is going to Homecoming.

We go to commercial and leave Phillip and Hollie hanging. BOOOOOO

Phillip is going to Homecoming.

Hollie is a very classy young woman and doesn't cry. She sings "The Climb" and makes the other contestants cry and Jennifer too.

Now Hollie has time for a fun media jaunt through the talk shows before getting ready for the finale.

I can't wait for next week. P2 FTW.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 4 Perform

We are down to four contestants left in the running for season 11 of American Idol. Where did the time go?  And what in the heck is that jacket Randy Jackson is wearing? Well, at least he is colorful.  And why are Ryan, Randy and Steven wearing lapel pins with a "6?" What's that for?

Tonight's line-up introduction of the contestants looks like Idol is trying to be the poster child for diversity in the music industry: Caucasian guy in his twenties, blonde late teen girl, mixed race mid-teenage girl, African American late teen guy. Very interesting to say the least. Phillip is the only white guy with guitar left in the competition. Is it just me or have we not heard if the other three play an instrument?

As we get rolling, we find out the themes for this week are "songs with California connections" and "songs you wish you had written." Interesting ideas, but we will see how this works out. Before each song we get another retrospective on each contestants Idol journey.

Phillip- Creedence Clearwater Revival- "Have You Ever Seen The Rain"
This just so happens to be a song from one of my all-time favorite groups. I hope Phillip can do well with this song.  I like it. The song fits his voice well. He hits his stride in the first chorus. Interesting syncopation makes it his own. Nice job.
ST- You're living proof that the road to success is always under construction. You are something else.
J- You had this Joe Cocker quality I hadn't heard before. It was perfect for that song.
R- You started a little rough. When you hit the first chorus, your vibe lightened up and it was sensational from there on out. If you have a good time, then we (the judges) have a good time, and they (the audience) have a good time.

Hollie- Journey- "Faithfully"
Now this could be a tricky song since Randy used to play with Journey. This is one of my husband's favorite bands so I know this song too. 
She sounds good. I like it, but something about the look in her eyes isn't right. Her eyes look puffy or irritated. I think that wind machine is the cause. Not the first time this season that machine has been blowing someone off the stage.
R- You are peaking at the right time of the competition. You did Steve Perry proud.  Hollie wants the have the whole thing.
J- It's emotional watching how much you've grown. It was very beautiful.
ST- I've watched you blossom. Creativity is a very delicate flower and you can make it bloom by giving it positive affirmations as Jennifer did. Your choice of song was over the top again. Beautiful.

Idol lets us know that Jason DeRulo is still working on that new Coke sponsored song he will be performing at the finale. I hope it turns out better than some of the old song contest entries of past seasons. At least the winner won't be saddled with it.

Joshua- Josh Groban- "You Raise Me Up"
This is my favorite Groban covers. (No, JG did not write it or first record it.) It is also the song that I most want to hear David Archuleta cover on his next album (entitled, "Begin." due out August 7, 2012).
Joshua is dedicating this to his dad because he supports so many people.  Very nice.
Joshua is center stage on some sort of platform (it has a back support) I don't like the beginning of the song. Kind of weird phrasing for me. Much better by the chorus.  Now the Idol gospel choir joins him and he kicks into screaming at me. This song is so powerful, you don't need to scream. The choir encircles him and, yes, you guessed it, the stage rises. Very corny effect. And Joshua screams at me some more.
J- Another great performance from you. I loved the "dramma" with you raising up. Really, really great. Keep it consistent til the end.
ST- You sang your little tush off. I can't tell you how much I love the way you sing.
R- What you are doing now is validating what we say. if you are a great singer, a great artist, you can sing anything. I think you are an amazing artist with a Ginormous career ahead of you.

Jessica- Etta James- "Steal Away"
In her intro Jessica tells us that since singing is the only thing she has ever concentrated on for her whole life "I can't do anything but sing."  IMO, that is not a great plan. The child is 16 and has no other interests?  Oops
Didn't Jimmy tells us a couple of weeks ago that he would make sure she sang age-appropriate songs? It's not happening. At least she is dressed better this week. I saw Etta James perform and Jessica is definitely not Etta James.
J- Jen babbles about the growling as seen on the intro clip from when Jessica was 7 yrs old. "When I think about all the great female singers out there today, your contemporaries, you're one of the best. (She never really says anything about This performance.)
ST- I loved it. I'm currently doing an Etta James song myself (well at least he is the right age group) and you nailed it. You're shaking off the old you and changing. Good for you.
R- I loved the whole vibe of that. She's 16 and she's singing Etta James. The blues is so much soul and so much heart in it and all that pain and for you to be able to tap into that your vocals were ridiculous.

Duet time-
Phillip and Joshua- Maroon 5- "This Love"
They actually sound much better as a duo this week than they did last week. the judges love it and compliment Nigel for the song selection.

Hollie and Jessica- The Bangles- "Eternal Flame"
Total opposite of the guys performance. Who on earth arranged this song for them. This is too low for Hollie and too boring for Jessica. They both look so uncomfortable sitting in these dumb fabric swings, going back and forth. Hollie's shirt gets stuck in the contraption to make it even more stressful for her. 
R- It's weird. J- It's fine. ST- it didn't match the guy's performance. (No Steven, it didn't. it was awful.)

Adam Shankman and Julianne Hough drop by to promo their new movie "Rock of Ages." Shankman tours the Idol mansion with the kids. He makes Phil kiss Jennifer in a poster of the judges hanging in the house. We all get a preview of the movie. it stars Tom Cruise, Julianne and a bunch of other stars. I must remember to MISS THIS TRAIN WRECK.

Now all 4 contestants must perform together to Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl (guy) Like You.
Wrong song for Joshua, Works fine for Phillip, Hollie sounds better than Jessica.
Thankfully we don't have to hear from the judges on this one.

Next round- "Songs you wish you wrote" and Jimmy is mentoring.

Phillip- Damien Rice- "Volcano"
Jimmy says last week he was nervous about Phillip but this week he came in with his voice in a different place. Volcano sends a message that he can record something like this and not sound like anyone else.
I actually know this song. Phillip sounds amazing. Just Phillip with his guitar, a cello, and a female backup singer. Awesome performance.  Yes!
ST- I agree with Jimmy, I heard the musician that time. I never heard you sing like that before. That was beautiful.
J- Very few people could pull that off on a competition show and it's a real testament to who you are. it was one of the most beautiful moments a contestant has ever had.
R- So Yo! That's what's up right there. I love you because you're your own guy. Amazing. Great.

Hollie- Bonnie Raitt- "I Can't Make You Love Me"
Jimmy says you can't get a girl with more soul and more feel than Bonnie. The problem people have been having with Hollie is she comes without emotion. Then he tells her, "Don't over sing."
I think she is holding back too much. There are yellow stage lights blinding us and Hollie. Hollie looks very sad. She is singing ok but I think she needs more power. This is in the wrong key, too low for her in parts.
ST- it felt a little short in dynamic range and how you can sing. Sorry baby.
J- You should have used the hook to sing to America "I cant make you love me" not been so literal. Emotion got the better of you and you had too much vibrato.
R- For me it wasn't so much the maturity of the song, to me now, you need moments. You need things to give big vocal moments. the wrong choice at the wrong time. for me.

Joshua- James Brown- "It's a Man's World"
Joshua says this is for Mom because she is the backbone of the family.
Jimmy tells Joshua to save his voice and then relates a silly story when he worked with James Brown one time and someone came in between songs to comb Brown's hair for him.
Joshua needs to stop talking about the weird faces Phillip makes while singing because his are just as weird. Time for some screaming. I knew that was coming. I have never cared for this song and still don't. Why is Joshua singing through clinched teeth?  Well, it's a Standing O from the judges, surprise, surprise. Get ready for the over the top praise.
ST- neither man nor woman has ever sung that good with that much compassion, ever. i never heard anything like that in my life.
J- I think people at home thought like I did that they've seen everything you have to give, we hadn't.
R- I think that's one of the greatest performances in the history of any singing show. if you want to know what singing is really about, please watch Joshua Ledet.

Jessica- Jennifer Holiday- "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"
Jimmy says he was disappointed when Jessica sang "Proud Mary" but when you challenge her, she comes back ferocious. If she hits it on this performance, "It could be game over."
Jessica is wearing a really weird outfit. Daughter called it her circus clothes.She is standing in just one spot. Looks like they glued her there. Probably because she looks awkward moving around the stage. She is screaming and growling at us. She really can hold a note for a long time. Standing O from the judges. Here comes the OTT praises again.
ST- Another winning performance. Just over the top.
J- it seems like its gonna be a real race to the finish. This is crazy. There's nothing to say. You just let out so much.
R- I don't know what's going on tonight but with this performance, and Joshua's last , and Phillip's, you guys are in it to win it. this is one of the hardest songs in the world to sing and you got up there and slayed it.

And Randy lets us know that Julian Lennon (I wondered who that guy they keep showing is) is in the house tonight. (Let's put him on the spot and see what he thinks of Idol tonight. Thumbs up from Julian.)

And that's the end of this week's pressure cooker, I mean performances. 
I have a terrible feeling Hollie will be leaving us this week. Of course, fourth place isn't bad. it might actually be good. Not as long a contract to fulfill with Jimmy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

BEGIN.




Credit: @HanneDenmark


So yesterday the Archuleta fandon was thrilled to receive news that David's fifth solo album will be released on August 7, 2012. The album, entitled "BEGIN." will be a collection of both covers and original pieces. Quite a bit of talk has been circulating about the unusual title for this album. Speculation about David's message from this one-word, punctuated proclamation (yes - he always has a message for us) has run the gamut from links to a quote from Mother Theresa to David restarting his career to countless other theories. I've thought about this for a while and have decided it will be necessary to learn the titles of and hear the words to the songs on this album before I can take an educated guess as to the message he wishes to convey to us this time.

That said, I did a little research as to the meaning of the word "begin" and synonyms for this word. This made me start to ponder and so a new poem was born. This is a variation on a poetic form I have attempted before, the cinquain. Below is a Butterfly Cinquain for "BEGIN."

BEGIN.

Begin.
Arise, Create.
Give birth to new ideas.
Embark on a journey of hope.
Break ground.
Prepare to open up your heart.
Motivate others. Lead.
Make lives better.
Start now!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 5 Results

There's only five left and three of them I like a lot so I will probably be sad after the results are announced.

Tonight's guests are Coldplay and Carrie Underwood.

We immediately go to some results.
Joshua: Jimmy says his performance is tough to beat. His first song was very good. His second song, "To Love Somebody," the sky opened. It was the best performance this year. Of course, he's safe tonight.
Ryan asks Joshua what kind of music he wants to record: Music with a message that speaks to people.
Jimmy is correct. Joshua is safe.

Ford Music Video- depicting a fairy tale: "Dream Life"

Coldplay- "Paradise"  Interesting stage decor with neon glow in the dark graffiti look to everything. It was okay. (It was recorded, for sure. Wouldn't want to make a mistake on live TV or have a less complicated setup.)

Hollie and Phillip:
Hollie: Jimmy says this was a critical week for Hollie. She pulled off the first song. "River Deep, Mountain High" was the most believable he's seen her. The second song was competent. She killed the first song. She is safe.
Phillip: Jimmy says first, Phillip should be commended because the way he is feeling, most people would have quit. He is strong. That said, he had two really bland songs this week. He has a lot of backing in the competition but he should be in the bottom 2 this week.
Wrong Jimmy: Hollie in Bottom 2, Phillip is safe.

Carrie Underwood- single off her new album "Blown Away"
Yep, just like it sounds, there's a storm playing on the screen behind her. The wind machine is about to blow her dress to places it should not go. And now we have debris flying around the stage like we are in a tornado. I don't know any of the song lyrics, but I don't know if this will set well with all of the people that have been hit with tornadoes lately.

Skylar and Jessica:
Skylar: Jimmy says she's a fighter. She suits up and shows up every night.  Her first song was exciting. The second song was strange. Too much weird stuff going on up on stage and the country vibe didn't work. He wasn't thrilled with the performance but she doesn't deserve to go either.
Jessica: Jimmy says Jessica singing "You Are So Beautiful" was just that, so beautiful.  It took you on a journey. She is the best singer in the competition but "Proud Mary" was a travesty. Her dress was way too mature for her. Somebody is trying to do her in. Middle America will not appreciate this style. Steven VZ wanted to talk her out of that song but Jimmy didn't back him and he should have. This performance will hurt her.
Jessica is safe. Skylar is in the bottom 2.

So the bottom 2 are Roomies, Hollie and Skylar.

Before we get the results, we get to see another recorded performance by Coldplay. This time the lead singer is holding his crotch while singing. Lovely, NOT.

Okay, Ryan has the results for us. I knew I wouldn't be happy tonight. These two are my favorites left in the competition. 
After nearly 60 million votes:  Skylar is leaving the show tonight.

After an emotional hug from Hollie, Skylar watches her exit package with Ryan and sings along to Scotty's song. Nice touch there girl. For her encore performance Skylar sings "Gunpowder and Lead" and totally rocks the stage. Funny, the only total-package performer who knows how to use the whole stage has just been voted off.  The good news, Skylar will be fine. Country music knows that you don't have to win the competition to win America's heart. Just ask Kellie Pickler, Lauren Alaina., Casey James, and many other former Idol contestants. Skylar Laine will be a star.

American Idol 11: Top 5 Performances

Idol is moving right along this season. We have 5 contestants remaining on the show. In my opinion, any of the five could win this thing.

This week we have two themes: Songs from the 60's and British Pop. Each contestant sings two solos and a duet or trio. Jimmy has brought in his god friend "Little Steven" Van Zandt. (I'll refer to him as VZ in this recap) Right off the bat, we see that these guys  have an interesting relationship and will be very funny mentoring together.

Hollie- "River Deep, Mountain High"- Ike and Tine Turner
VZ tells Hollie that she need to get rid of the part of her that needs to please people. She's got to act like she doesn't care who they are or what they think.
I love Hollie's dress- updated 60's look with lots of wow and pow. She has a different look to her tonight, more confidence and attitude. She nails the song. Awesome job. The whole stage is full of people with band and backups but she is in charge.  Nice job.
Standing O from Steven and Randy joins him. All three judges loved it. JLo says "We saw a different type of Hollie out there tonight."

Phillip- :The Letter" - The Box Tops
VZ tells Phillip to go with a different key and melody change up. It's ok to be himself. Jimmy isn't sure it will work for a tv show.
this is a definite change from the origianl song, very jazzy/bluesy. I like it. I think he made it more current. the band in the song is great.
R- You made it your own. You vibed it up. I loved it.
J- I don't know the original song. it lacked melody for me, but you made it your own.
ST- I missed the melody but you get away with it like the Stones get away with it. Wave your freak flag.

Skylar- "Fortunate Son" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
VZ and Jimmy changed her song.Jimmy says this will fit her much better.
Yes, the mentors were right. Song is perfect for Skylar. It works with her voice nicely. She is a rocking country girl with tons of energy tonight.
J- You're getting more comfortable out there. Showing lots of energy.
ST- "You love music and music loves you." Fabulous. I loved it.
R- Fogerty and all would be proud. "This girl was born to do this."

First duet of the night:
Phillip and Joshua- "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" - Righteous Brothers
Very uncomfortable intro with Ryan. I'm sure the guys are kidding but they don't really seem happy to be singing this song together.
Well, this is an odd song and an odd pairing. It's ok, but I definitely don't want to hear it again.
ST- that was good. Just embrace the uncomfortable.
J- Just sing it to the girls.
R- You were uncomfortable, but when you let go, it came alive.

Jessica- "Proud Mary" - Ike and Tina Turner
VZ and Jimmy wanted to talk her out of singing this song. They don't like it because everyone has to sing it at some point when breaking in. VZ suggests a change-up at the beginning on the piano. Jimmy says this is a tall order for her.
I don't like the dress she is wearing. She is too skinny and way too young for the dress. She sounds ok but she is not Tina and definitely should not try to dance like her. It just looks way wrong. IMO, this is the wrong style song for Jessica.
J- You are a little Tina, a little Beyonce. I liked seeing you move.
ST- "The only thing that gives experience a run for its money is a 16 yr old. You sounded great."
R- It was barely ok for me. You took on the biggest dragon of the night. It really didn't sit with me.

Joshua- "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" - The Temptations
VZ says he can't go wrong with this choice. Jimmy says Joshua has a gift because only people with gifts can do that.
Joshua is wearing an unusual jacket with contrasting sleeves. I think he sounds really good on this song. this is the kind of stuff he should record.
ST- You've got to be one of the top two Idols of all time. You sing so fine, it was great.
J- You are a throwback from another era.
R- You can bring R & B back in a different sort of way.

Round #1 is over. Judges say Hollie , Joshua, and Skylar won the round.

Hollie- "Bleeding Love" - Leona Lewis
VZ says to keep it intimate. Sing to one person.
Hollie is seated on the baby grand. she looks beautiful again and she sounds awesome.
ST- "I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!!!"
J- it had a very beautiful and intimate quality. That was amazing.
R- "You're 2 for 2 tonight. You're peaking at just the right time."
Ryan compliments her change since the tear-filled audition almost two years ago in Austin.

Phillip- "Time of the Season" - The Zombies
VZ is excited that this song is close to the original melody but suggests Phil improvise at the end.
Phillip is seated on a stool playing his guitar. Sounds like he is struggling to hit the upper note. ( Either he is or the backup guy is.) The song needs more guitar. I don't really like this performance. It's too soft and slow and he has to really reach for those upper notes.
R- it was a more relaxed Phillip tonight. You really can sing melody. it needed more guitar.
J- It was very mellow.The verses fit his style. He did a good job.
ST- "I'm glad you chose that song and I'm glad you sang melody. You sang it well."
(OK, I guess they didn't hear what I heard. Maybe it was the backup singer struggling on the upper notes.)

Next group number:
Hollie, Skylar and Jessica- "Higher and Higher" - Jackie Wilson
Hollie looks and sounds the best out there on this song. they are all wearing the outfits from their 60's number. It's ok.
ST- "Girls, Great! Weird arrangement, but you sang the hell out of it."
J- Seeing the 3 of you up there side by side is a treat. You all have such great voices and range. You moved well. "You're just so cute. Little dolls."
R- You all sounded great. The arrangement was a little weird. Very nice job. Girl power.

Skylar- "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" - Dusty Springfield
VZ and Jimmy had her laughing a lot. VZ says that Dusty Springfield was the first lady of the British invasion and had country roots.
This sounds like a country ballad to me. It really works with Skylar's "Reba" type of voice. Nice job.
R- "Flawless! I'm believing you." Peaking at the right time.
J- "You're winning the hearts of America."
ST- "You brought that song to the 21st century."

Jessica- "You Are So Beautiful" - Joe Cocker
Jimmy says she needs rougher music to go with her voice not pretty piano.
She is seated on the floor with pillar candles in front of her and fog about to engulf her. This is so much better than "Proud Mary." Nice job. Simple and pretty.
ST- Once again you showed America how beautiful your voice is.
J- You took your time and did some beautiful things. Great job.
R- "So Pro!"

Joshua- "To Love Somebody" - The Bee Gees
Jimmy changed the song choice for Joshua. VZ is blown away when Joshua leaves for 15 minutes and comes back with an awesome performance of a song he didn't know.
This song starts out nice and builds power. he gets a little screachy for my taste but It is a good performance. Standing O from the judges.
R- "Wow! The fact that you can take something like that that you've never heard and deliver it like that, you have to be born to do that. you are one of the best singers, ever, on this show. That was incredible."
J- There are so few people who can perform that way, with that much passion. I think you're on of the best singers I've seen in 50 yrs."
ST- You're such a great artist. To take the song, go in a back room and learn it in 15 minutes, that's what an artist does. that would be a hit right there.

Well, that's the show. I don't know how to rate these performances. IMO, Hollie had the best night. Both of her songs were awesome. Joshua and Skylar were good on both songs but not as good as Hollie. Phillip was good on his first song and Jessica was good on her second song. At this point in the competition there is no telling how America will vote. Will the teen girls keep Phillip out of the bottom 3 once again or will they lose interest in him this week like they did with Colton?  I'll go out on a limb and say Jessica, Phillip and Skylar in the bottom 3.