Thursday, February 28, 2013

American Idol 12: Vegas Sudden Death #3 Girls

This show we see the final 10 girls fight for 5 spots.  A couple of these girls have had really limited air time so far. Can't wait to hear them for more than 5 seconds.

Melinda Ademi- 19- She is a music major at Hunter College in NYC. She is back from Season 10. We learn that her family were refugees from Kosovo.   "Nobody's Perfect"  is the song choice. We have heard others sing this already this season. I'm not blown away by her performance.  Keith- You have so much raw talent.  Nicki- I liked it, but I didn't love it.  Randy- It was ok, but you didn't have enough big moments. You might be in trouble tonight. Mariah- In this venue, your nerves got to you.

Candice Glover- 23- She's back from Season 11, where she was cut in Vegas. "Natural Woman" is the song.  Nice job, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Keith- Baby that was beautiful. Great song choice. Sings "You're a natural singer."   Nicki- You were definitely born to do this. Your confidence is worth a billion words. Randy- You're one of my favorites in this whole competition.  Mariah- Very nice.

Juliana Chahayed- 15- high school sophomore. Dad sings in Arabic. five siblings all talented too.
She is a very tiny girl and she is playing a very large guitar. "Skyscrapper" is the song. It's been slowed down a lot. Maybe too slow. She is struggling to hold those high notes for so long. Not a great song choice
Keith- That guitar is so big it looks like a cello. Nerves were there. I like your purity though.  Nicki- You are one of the few people here with a signature sound to your voice. You seem timid and that may not work here.  Randy- I love the honesty of your delivery. I thought it was a good performance.  Mariah- there was an angelic quality to your performance.

Jett Hermano- 25- Family is watching in the Philipines. She gave up a full academic scholarship to persue music. "Only Girl In The World" is the song. Jett is playing the piano. Much slower version of the song. Jett stays at the piano. She has a nice voice, but the song goes no where. Keith- I love the unique arrangement and your musicianship. Nicki- I liked the arrangement but I never felt a climax in the song. Randy- The first part was beautiful, but the middle needed more. Mariah- I enjoyed the first part of the song.

Cristabel Clack- 29- San Antonio, She is a worship leader. She toured with the award winning Gospel group Israel and New Breed for two years. She is married with three kids.  "No One" is the song. Yikes, she cracked several of the notes. She sounds a little tired to me.  Keith- I love your voice. I think you have great potential.  Nicki- I love that song for you but your rasp seemed to be a little out of control.  Randy- I think you were on point. Mariah wants to see her do more gospel type music.

Aubrey Cleland- 19- from Oregon. Wanted to be a vet because of grandparents farm.
"Sweet Dreams" is the song. I don't know this song. This girl has got some long legs accented by the short dress. She sounds a little flat on a couple of the notes but overall she's good. Keith- What I love about you is your balance of poise and fire. You have such a fire in your voice. I loved it.  Nicki- I am obsessed with you. For the first time someone came out here looking and feeling like a current artist.  Randy- I'm a great fan of you too. You are a great commercial artist. I would sign you right now.  Mariah- I think you're limitless.

Rachel Hale- 22- Arkansas but attending Belmont College in Nashville studying music composition.
"Nothing But The Water" Grace Potter- Interesting song. I haven't heard it before. It might be a little low in some parts. She kind of fades here and there.  Keith- I haven't seen that side of you before. The song got on top of you in parts.  Nicki- Where did this burst of crazy confidence come from? (Rachel says she has been praying for confidence. Randy and Nicki mock her "Prayers") Randy- I was happy you chose an up tempo song. Mariah- I may have heard "you" more on other songs.

Breanna Steer- 18- From LaPlace, Louisiana- Family lost everything in Hurricane Isaac.
"Bust Your Windows" is the song. I have never heard it before. It has a bit of a Latin Beat to it. She is definitely believable singing this song. Nice voice.  Keith- I dated a girl like that many years ago.  I don't know that song, but I love it. You sang it right.  Nicki- You and Aubrey are the most current and could have record deals right now. Randy- You're the other one I said I'd sign right now. You brought us drama. Mariah- I love that song and your presentation. Amazing job.

Janelle Arthur- 23- From Tennessee and a country girl.  This is her third shot at Idol.
"Just A Kiss" by Lady Antebellum. She seems to be missing something tonight. Not the best song for her.
Keith- I love that song with the three voices but it has a limiting melody in the chorus. Not the best choice to show what you can do.  Nicki- A lot of that felt a little flat tonight. You seemed disconnected. 
Randy- You are my favorite country singer in the competition. I love that song, but it wasn't right for you. Mariah- There's not an ounce of pretentiousness about you. That was not quite the right song for you.

Zoanette Johnson- 20- Lives in Tulsa, OK but originally from Liberia. Her family fled from there when she was 2 to escape the civil war. Tonight Zoanette is sporting out of control blond afro hair.
"Circle of Life" from Lion King. Interesting choice now knowing where she is from. The vocals aren't perfect, but you know that she means every single word she is singing.  Nicki and Randy are "feeling it." A very theatrical performance. Standing O from Keith, Nicki and Randy. (I don't think Mariah can get out of the chair without help.) Keith- Good Lord! I love that I have no idea what you are gonna do, and I sometimes wonder if you do. Forget the king of the jungle, Kudos to the Queen of the Jungle.  Nicki- I an so proud of you. Your unforgettable. That song was such a smart choice. It matches who you are and where you're about to be. Randy- this is the reason she's here. That spirit is what it's all about. 
Mariah- Your spirit is too big to be contained.

And that's all of the girls.
My picks to continue on: Breanna, Aubrey, Candice, ????? Rachel was just ok, Zoanette was ok. I'm really disappointed in several of these girls.

The Results:  The judges did not need Jimmy's help tonight. (Guess we hear from him with the guys again)
Zoanette- Moving on
Melinda- Home
Juliana- Home
Aubrey- Moving on
Cristabel- Home
Candice- Moving on
Jett- Home
Breanna- Moving on
Rachel- Home
Janelle- Moving on



Thursday, February 21, 2013

American Idol 12: Semi-Finals: Vegas, Guys #2

Ryan reminds us that this is "Sudden Death" and 5 guys will be going home at the end of the show.

Paul Jolley- Song: Keith Urban's "Tonight I Wanna Cry"  Not bad for the first one up. He sounds a little tired or nervous.  Keith - is honored that Paul has chosen to sing his song. Nicki- says that his voice sounds stressed. Randy applauds the possibilities of crossing genres with country. Mariah - says he started out very intimate and grew.

Johnny Keyser- Song: "I Won't Give Up" Nice job. No vocal gymnastics but good. Keith- that was good, but you sounded a little nervous. Nicki- I didn't see nerves. It wasn't your greatest vocals but you were sexy. Randy- Just an ok performance. Mariah- I love your commitment to music.

JDA- This guy makes Adam Lambert look normal.
Song: "Rumor Has It"  This is a very strange performance, in my book. Not my cup of tea. Keith- I applaud your originality, but your movements were too scripted for me. Nicki- "Work it girl." Your vocal wasn't good today. Randy- The vocals were off because of the performance. Mariah- I thought you were confident.

Kevin Harris- 28- Montgomery, Alabama (first time we've been introduced to him)
Song: "Everything I do, I Do It For You" His voice is pretty high. He seems to be a little off from the backup singers. No that good. Keith- I love that song- It was good for you. Nicki- Great song for you . I loved everything you did. Randy- I was bored. I didn't love it. Mariah- I love that song, but I wish you had done something else.

Chris Watson- 25- Delaware- (A little more bio than we have had before.)
Song: "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay"  Chris' outfit has been bedazzled including his head wrap/scarf. He is bouncing around a lot and it is affecting his vocals. Flat at the end. Keith- Your voice was not the best. This was not the song for you. Nicki- You are the prettiest man I have ever seen in my life. That was not the best song, but I love you.  Randy- I love you and your look, but not the song. I was bored.  Mariah- I was surprised by the song choice. Not your best vocals.

Devin Velez- 18- Chicago- high school student
Song: "Listen"  Sounds kind of too low at the beginning but I really have never heard this song before. Singing part in Spanish, that will get him Brownie Points with the judges. Keith- You made a connection with me with those vocals. Nicki- Good plan to sing in Spanish. Randy- I thought it was amazing.(Really Randy?) Mariah- Don't over judge yourself. Nice job singing in Spanish.

Elijah Liu- background- half Chinese, half Mexican. OK
Song: "Talking To The Moon"  He sounds nervous. Very high voice. I personally don't like it. Keith- Perfect song choice, but not great vocals. You have a pop star look though. Nicki- "I don't care about that song, I want to have your baby." Randy- I love you, but that was not a great vocal. Mariah- I thought you had a couple of great moments.

Charlie Askew- Charlie tells us he got fashion advice from JDA and bought at a Hollywood vintage shop.
Song: :"Rocket Man"  And we thought Elton was theatrical. Charlie was shaking but for some odd reason, I loved it. Charlie has been unleashed on the world. Keith- "It's like Freddy Mercury had a love child out of Woodstock" I loved your originality. Nicki- The most interesting song choice of the night.  Randy- "I don't know what's going on right now." Mariah- I love the song choice. You've had better vocals, but this was fantastic.

Jimmy Smith- Still smiling. Looks like a country star.
"Raining on Sunday" Another Keith song. this guy is country through and through. He is ok but the song just doesn't have any big "wow" moments. Keith- It's hard to critique someone singing your song. Good job. Nicki- Good vocals, but kind of boring. Randy- Not great tonight, boring.  Mariah- Not the best vocals, but there's still something about you that America will see.

Curtis Finch Jr- He is from a gospel singing family
Song: "Don't You Remember"  Sounds like he is over singing the beginning to me. He has some strange gestures and facial expressions that are distracting to me.  Keith- Preach on Brother Curtis. I feel thoroughly cleansed of my sins. Well maybe not thoroughly. It was really beautiful but some parts were over performed. Nicki- You raise the bar every time. Nice to hear your lower register. Randy- You can sing anything, but keep it younger. Mariah- You always move me to tears, but relax a little.

My picks to move on: Curtis (although I don't like him, the judges do), Charlie, Johnny  (I really don't have a clue besides Curtis. Several were boring. All had some big flaw.

Results:
Curtis- Going On
Jimmy- Home
Kevin- Home
Elijah- Going On
JDA- Home
Paul- Going On (Jimmy Iovine saved him)
Chris- Home
Charlie- Going On
Johnny- Home
Devin- Going On

I can't say I agree with this outcome.  I would have kept Johnny and said good bye to Elijah or Paul, but no one asked me.

See y'all next week.

American Idol 12: Semi-finals- Vegas Girls #1

So, I forgot to set my DVR and missed the first 4 minutes of the show but my brain clicked on just in time to see the introduction of the first 10 girls to perform.
Fortunately I have done my research and know that the show was recorded before a live audience and that we will hear from 10 of the top 20 girls on this episode. They will be cut to 5 by the judges at the end of this show. if there is a tie, Jimmy Iovine is on hand to be the tie-breaker. Thursday we will see half of the guys perform and next week we will repeat the process with the other half of the girls and guys.

Jenny Beth Willis- 17- Jr in high school- Holcomb, Arkansas- This is our first intro of this girl. Just saw clips in group before. Jenny is very country. Looks like she is trying to pull off the Lauren Alaina look with a black and pink prom dress and black western boots. The boots are ugly- they look way too big on her tiny legs.  Poor girl looks nervous.  Song: "Heaven, Heartbreak, and the Power of Love" Not a terrible performance, just not great. Keith - Not the best song for you. Randy- You never quite got in sync with the band.

Tenna Torres- She's 28. This is her last shot at Idol. Song: "Soulmate" I'm not familiar with the song. It's kind of soft to start. Tenna has a weird posture and arm movements. It's very distracting to me. I guess it was ok.
Keith- showed control. Nicki- Nice tone. Loose the hair, it makes you look old.

Adriana Latonio- 17- Anchorage, Alaska- First time we've seen this girl. Tiny girl in a bright red dress. Song: Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way"  She seems very confident. She has a very expressive face. Nice job. I like her. I think she's Filipino. Keith- Now the night has started. So good. Nicki- Little tiny thing but commands the stage from the second she walks out.  And yes she is Filipino. Randy- this girl is born to do that. Mariah- A+.

Brandy Hotard- Song: "Anymore" Not the right song for her. Too slow, too simple. She doesn't seem to connect to the song. It's only ok. Keith- emotional connection inconsistency. Nicki- Why are you smiling when singing "my tears"?

Shubha Vedula- Starting out at the piano. Kind of a mysterious intro. No wait it's a Gaga song. Song: "Born This Way" She leaves the piano and tries to rock the song. The child is so darn skinny. Her movements are very jerky. Sounds like she is throwing is Chants from India. I like her but I don't like this song performance at all. She should have stayed at the piano.  Keith- You crammed in a lot. Made it confusing, but I still like your voice. Randy- You're 17 with unbelievable talent but you put in too many runs. Mariah- I would have preferred you stayed at the piano.

Kamaria Ousley- Oakland, CA- sang back up for Ditty Dirty Money and some others. Song: "Mr Know It All"  OUCH. She is not on key with the band at all. Obviously she can't hear herself and the band. Total disaster. And a bad song choice too. Randy- You're worst performance of the competition. I didn't like anything about it. Double OUCH.

Kree Harrison- demo singer in Nashville. Her mom listened to Otis Redding and her dad listened to Stevie Ray Vaughn. (Very good taste) Kree is dressed very simply in jeans and an oversized button down shirt. Song: Up To The Mountain  The judges are loving it. This is beautiful. Nothing flashy, just awesome vocals. Keith- You are such a natural born singer, you don't over try. Nicki- I would be very afraid if I were any of these other girls here tonight. when you sing, you make love to the song. Randy- another natural born singer. Mariah- When you sing, you are lost in the song. You're not trying to be any where. You sang the hell out of that song.

Angela Miller- She looks beautiful, not flashy. "Nobody's Perfect" is a good choice for her. She's very comfortable on the stage. This is the girl with major hearing loss, yet you can't tell at all. She sounds perfect.
Keith- You have a big gift. We'll have more time to find adjectives to describe you. Nicki- I love you Angie! Randy- You are one of my favorites in the competition and I think America is witnessing the building of a superstar. Mariah- Your potential is limitless.

Isabelle-  She looks beautiful. We are reminded she had weight problems as a teen. Song: "God Bless The Child". She has a very nice voice but the song sounds old fashioned. I think she has a "show tunes" kind of vibe. It do well on Broadway. Nicki- You look beautiful. Randy- It was a bit old fashioned to me. You have a big voice but the arrangement was old. Mariah- A simple arrangement would have been better.  And standing next to Ryan, she is at least 6 inches taller than him.

Amber Holcomb- 18- Houston, TX- she was cut in Vegas last year. She says she was shy last year. She looks classy Song: "My Funny Valentine" It;s an old song but doesn't sound "Big Band" so that is good. Nice job. Nice run at the end. Keith- Amber, why do you make it so hard on everybody else. So great to watch. Nicki- That vocal was A+++. Randy- You have to believe in yourself. Mariah- I love your interpretation of that song.

OK. While the judges decide, here's what I think will happen:
Moving on: Adriana, Kree, Angela, Amber, Isabelle (or Tenna)
Going home: Jenny, Brandy, Kamaria, Shubha, Tenna (or Isabelle)

Results:
Jenny- Home
Brandy- Home
Tenna- Going on
Kree- Going on
Isabelle- Home
Angela- Going on
Kamaria- Home
Amber- Going on
Shubha- Home
Adriana- Going on

Sorry Shubha, I really liked you, but not on this Gaga song. Word to the wise; Colton Dixon went home on a Gaga song last season too. Don't do Gaga on Idol.

Friday, February 15, 2013

American Idol 12: Hollywood Week #4

This is it. We finally will be introduced to the Top 20 girls and Top 20 guys by the end of this show, but first we get to see some solo performances from the girls.

The show starts with a reminder of the girls from the previous seasons who have been triumphant. Background music: Jordin Sparks "Battlefield"

Tonight the girls can sing one of the songs from the pre-approved list or an original song. They are accompanied by the Idol band.

Angela Miller- singing an original song entitled "You Set Me Free". She is accompanying herself on baby grand and the band joins in also. I wonder if she wrote the whole thing or someone helped with the arrangement for the band?  This is an incredible performance. The song is awesome and so is Angela. The judges are floored. Standing "O" from all 4 judges. She receives the highest praises I've heard from this crew this season.  I THINK SHE IS MY NEW FAVORITE.

Candice Glover- "This Girl Is On Fire" -yes, she is. Nice job. More praises from the judges.

Janelle Arthur- "I Told You So" - Perfect song for her voice. Nice job.

Zoanette Johnson- She is accompanying herself on drums. OK.  She had another song ready but changed her mind at rehearsal with band. She just made up this song. That could be the kiss of death, but since she sang the National Anthem at her original audition, I bet this won't phase the judges either. Oh, the song is about the judges. It's insane, disorganized and, yet somehow, scarily entertaining.   The judges love it. Stroking those egos, are we?

First group results: Candice, Janelle, Jett (didn't see her performance), Angela, and Zoanette all advance.
Kiara Lanier (didn't see her performance either) is sent home.

Shubha Vedula- "When You Believe" - Very Nice. Mariah is touched by the performance as she and Whitney had the duet on it.

Juliana Chahayed- 15- Woodland Hills, CA-  (we haven't seen her perform before)  "Landslide"- She does a lovely job on it. I hope we get to hear more from this girl.

Kez Ban- We see that Zoanette took her shopping for a special dress for the performance. Kez is singing an original song, her favorite one. Of course she is playing her guitar. The song sounds like something that would have worked in a 1960's Beat-Nik coffee shop. Not bad at all, just not Idol material. Nicki sends her home right away. KezBan is sad to leave and Ryan puts her to work working with a boom mic.

Ashlee Feliciano- "A Thousand Years"- Ashlee says she isn't feeling well but she still sounds good. She hits a very high falsetto ending on the song.

Melinda Ademi- 19- Yonkers, NY- (Have we only seen her in the groups?)  Finally an uptempo song. Nice job.

Kree Harrison- 22- Woodville, TX- Demo singer. (First time for background info on Kree) She has chosen to sing "Stars" by Grace Potter because it reminds her of her parents. She lost her dad when she was 12 and lost her mother when she was 19. She has a really nice voice. Keith got chills from her performance.

Next set of results:  Lauren ?, Kree, and Melinda advance
Ashlee , Briana Oakley, and Sarina-Joi Crowe head home.

So at the end of the solo rounds there are still 24 girls remaining and only 20 are advancing. Lauren Mink, Holly Miller, and Ariel Sprague (I remember her from last season, but didn't even know she was there this year) are going home. We have a sing-off for the final spot.

Stephanie Schimel- "Home" It's sweet, but let's see what else we have.
Rachel Hale- the happy girl- Now this is a powerful performance. I think we have a winner.

Yep, I'm right. Rachel is safe and Stephanie heads home.  We now have 20 girls.

Time for the slaughter in the guys group. They made them wait a week to see which 8 are not moving on in the competition. (I wonder if it was actually a week or that was just said for editing for television?)

Sing-off time for the guys.
Adam Sanders- He's from my hometown of San Antonio. Singing "Taking Chances" by Celine. He sounds a little flat, off from the band.  We will see what else is offered up but Adam is only 19 and can come back next year.
Josh Holiday- 22- Celeste, Tx (No, not tow Texans against each other. Who do I route for?)  Josh wants to be a gospel singer. Josh is singing "Georgia" and he is doing a really good job. Maybe a little too passionate. He falls to his knees and splits his pants.

Ok, time for who's going home.
Peter Garrett (first time to hear his full name), Marvin Calderon, Devin Jones, Kenny Harrison (never saw him before), Will White (haven't seen him either), Tony Foster, David Leather Jr, and Adam Sanders are all heading home. This is the second year in a row that David Leathers has been eliminated at the last cut..

So now we have 20 guys and 20 girls. Our next round is in Vegas. Each contestant will have one song and one chance to prove themselves. It's "Sudden Death."

So here are the names of the top 40 that I was able to spot on the stage or saw perform:
Girls:
Angela Miller
Brandy Hotard
Breanna Steer
Candice Glover
Cristabel Clack
Isabelle
Janelle Arthur
Jett Hermano
Juliana Chahayed
Kree Harrison
Melinda Ademi
Rachel Hale
Shubha Vedula
Zoanette Johnson
+ six more

Guys:
Burnell Taylor
Charlie Askew
Cortez Shaw
Curtis Finch Jr
Devin Velez
Gurpreet Singh Sarin
Jimmy Smith
Johnny Keyser
Josh Hoilday
JDA
Lazaro Arbos
Nick Boddington
Paul Jolley
Vincent Powell
+six more

Right now my favorite guys are Charlie Askew and Lazaro Arbos.
My favorite girls are Angela Miller, Shubha Vedula, and ...I'm just not sure after that. Some very promising girls this year, but we will see who survives next week and who the Idol audience will vote for.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

American Idol 12: Hollywood Week #3

Good news everyone. It's time for another round of Hollywood Week on American Idol. This time the girls have arrived. Time to wake them up and get the drama rolling. 

Ryan tells us that there are more girls than guys this year and that some of these girls are really good. (I'm pretty sure we have been told this in previous seasons also, so we will wait and see if it is true.) Ryan says "some of these girls are standing on the verge of greatness." I'm sure all of them are on the verge of a breakdown. Just wait until they hear that the groups have been picked for them. 

So this will work just like last week: 10 per line, each sings A Capella for a few seconds, contestants chopped after each group.

Mariah Pulice- the girl with the eating disorder- "Gravity"- she is ok- kind of shaky at the end.
Angela Miller- not sure what the song is- she sounds good.
Victoria Acosta- mariachi singer from SA- "Killing Me Softly" - I like it a lot. 
Angela and Victoria advance--- Mariah heads home.

A quick montage of cuts: Ashley Smith (crazy talkative girl), Ann DiFani (razorback nominated by husband), Sarah Restuccio (Superbass girl) , Halie Hilburn (puppet girl).

Next we have two good country girls pitted against each other.
Janelle Arthur- She sounds like Patsy Cline
Rachel Hale- "the happiest contestant"- still smiling 
They both advance.

Candice Glover- the girl back from last season who is getting a little too much promo time, IMO.
Megan Miller- the girl who auditioned on crutches- all healed up now- "Titanium"
Candice advances- Megan heads home.

We see clips of lots of girls we've never seen before now.

Isabelle- from the NY audition- Berkeley School of Music- She is an easy yes and advances.

Kez Ban- the person who doesn't fit in any category of group actually went to Hollywood. She says she is getting a cold and cracks a note but still advances.
Also advancing are Briana Oakley (who was bullied after appearing as a talented kid on Maury Povich show), Melinda Ademi (?) and Ashley Feliciano.

In all there are 76 girls advancing to the group rounds. YIKES!

Time for the drama. Producers pick the groups again. Girls aren't happy about that plan. They have a list of 20 songs to pick from for their performance and many problems arise from this challenge.

There is a lot of DRAMA during the practice time. Kez Ban has to have food and leaves the group to go and eat. Zoanette Johnson is in a group with country singers and is freaking out over the song choice. Haley Davis feels sick and leaves group to get sleep without knowing the song lyrics. Not as much drama as in previous years. No one fainted yet.

Oh, here is a new twist. Suddenly everyone thinks it is fine to write the lyrics on there hands instead of memorize them. How professional.

It's time to judge the groups but Randy is tied up in the studio so the Newbies go it alone for a while.

The Swagettes- Candice Glover, Melinda Ademi, Kamaria Ousley, Denise Jackson
They sound great together. Nice harmonies, know the lyrics. All move on to the next round.

Raisin' Cain- Morgan Leigh Boberg, Lauren Mink, Brandy Hotard, and ? 
They are very southern country and Nicki is talking like she is from Georgia or Mars or somewhere. 
All 4 advance.

Almost Famous- Savanah Votion, Lizz Weiss, Daysia Hall, J'Leigh Chauvin
"Somebody That I Used To Know"  or at least that was what they were trying to sing. YUCK!! No lyrics  No harmony.  What? No way!!! Why is Daysia advancing? She was as bad as the others.

The Dramatics- Cristabel Clack, Kriss Mincey, Janel Stinney, Onya (?)
Lots of pre-performance drama with Janel not feeling like she fits in. Poor baby. 
"If I Die Young" used to be such a good song, until this group got a hold of it.  Wait. the judges have lost their minds and all 4 advance. Randy, DAWG, where are you? The kids are going crazy.

Time for a montage of disasters.
A few "shining stars" prevail in the dismal performances. Shuhba Vedula, Sarin-Joi Crowe, Aubrey Cleland all advance to the next round.

Urban Hue- Tenna Torres, Kiara Lanier, Jett Hermano, Seretha Guinn
"American Boy" YUCK X4
Nicki -"That was pain-ful. What was that? Not a good song for you guys." Seretha is sent packing but the other three advance, somehow. 

YEAH!!! RANDY IS BACK!!

The PooSnaps- Erin Christine, Zoanette Johnson, Lauren Bettes, Isabelle
Zoanette was freaking out over the song choice until Michael Orland set her straight. 
"Knock on Wood", the Motown version is presented to the judges.It is weird and Lauren is sent home.

Handsome Women- Courtney Calle, Shira Gavrielov, Liz Bills, Alisha Dixon
Group struggled with song. Liz had a melt-down and was missing from the group when they wanted to practice. The performance is a train wreck. Liz is the only one singing in the key the band is playing in. Liz is the only one advancing. Shira is not happy with this decision and challenges the judges. Randy tells her she couldn't sing today, and he is absolutely correct.

For You- Stephanie Schimel, Alex Delaney, Kallie Therinae, Holly Miller
They decided to change their song two hours before their performance. "Somebody That I Used To Know" needs to be retired from the Idol playlist now, because it has been butchered all it can be. Train Wreck would be a compliment for this mess. Holly and Stephanie advance to next round. What?

The Dolly Chicks- Brandy Neelly, Brittnee Kellogg, Kree Harrison, Haley Davis
Haley doesn't feel good and heads to bed at 2:30 while the others stay up all night. Haley is reading the lyrics from her arm as she is singing. Nicki outs Haley on disrespecting the judges by not knowing her lyrics. Haley, Cree, and Brittnee advance. Brandy Neelly is the classy chick of the night saying "When it's your time, it will come together." 

The Misfits- Kez Ban, Janel Arthur, Breanna Steer, Angela Miller
Kez didn't get along with her group. Kez left practice to get food and they headed to bed. When Kez wasn't ready to go to the venue, the group left without her. Despite all their struggles, they are really good. Everyone knows their parts and they sound great together. All 4 are advancing and Kez skips off the stage.

The next show we get the girls solo performances with the Idol band. Ryan says "one singer stuns with a break-out performance. (They show Angela Miller at the piano and the judges giving a standing "O" but we will see if this is true or creative editing.) 

Next show the TOP 20 girls and the TOP 20 guys are revealed. 

I'm not too sure about favorites on the girls yet. There were too many new faces with too little voice time.  


Friday, February 8, 2013

American Idol 12: Hollywood Week #2

We're back for a second night of the guys. Tonight we get one more solo performance. This time they can perform with the band or accompany themselves on an instrument. tonight, half of the remaining 43 will be cut.

Paul Jolley- Nerves are getting to him so he is freaking out back stage. It's not good when you come out and start crying in front of the judges. Singing Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" and doing a good job, but you can still see how tense his face is. He has a big voice. Just needs to not be so nervous. He is lectured by Nicki on letting the nerves get to him. He needs to be more professional. (Easy for her to say when she is already famous.) 

Ryan tells us we will here cuts after every 8 performances.

Lazaro Arbos- He is singing Gaga's "Edge of Glory" and I really like it (which is surprising since I don't like Gaga stuff.) Lazaro seems so confident out there this time. It's nice that the producers did not show him struggling to speak this time. Let his singing speak for him.

Curtis Finch Jr- He is introduced as an early front runner. I like his voice but not his cocky attitude. He lost me as a fan yesterday the way he talked about Charlie. Curtis sings "Jar of Hearts." Mariah says he was "absolutely beautiful."

First Results: Yes for Paul, Lazaro and Curtis. e don't know who was booted this round.

Devin Velez- 18- Chicago. Nice to get a little info on this guy finally.  Devin says he sang Bocelli for this first solo and received a standing "O" from the judges (too bad we didn't get to see that.) While others are freaking out back stage, Devin is totally calm. Singing "Wonderful World" and doing a nice job. Very soulful. Good techniques. Keith says "You are born to sing." 

Gurpreet Singh Sarin- Accompanying himself on guitar- "Georgia" sounds great. You can hear this little bit of an accent when he sings but it is good. He does a little scatting at the end. Nice job.

Cortez Shaw- Very short clip of "Sunny". Sounds good.

Matheus Fernandez- He is nervous and it shows. This is his first time to sing live with a band. He sings "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Not a great choice. Nicki says he has a great voice but needs to get past the "pity party" and just rely on his voice.  I agree with Nicki. (That is a scary thought.)

Second round of Results: Matheus gets a NO and is headed home.  Continuing on are Devin, Gurpreet, Cortez, and Adam Sanders (who we did not see perform this time.)

Nicholas Mathis- 23- Chicago- He wants to provide a better life for his kids (don't we all.) Seems like a nice guy. He is not singing in the same key as the band. Just a little off. Keith gets to talk to him about getting past the nerves.

Papa  Peachez- What in the world is he singing, it is awful. So not the right song for him. Nicki is really disappointed. She says "The flame is now completely burned out."

Jimmy Smith- He needs to pull it together and have a good performance. Singing "Landslide" and he sounds really good.

Third round of Results:  Nicki opens telling the guys "this was one time to fight for your life, and if you didn't, you should be upset at yourself."
No to Nicholas and Papa.  Moving on Jimmy, Johnny Keyser, Vincent Powell (didn't hear him) and someone else unnamed.

Nick Boddington- Nick is taking a chance and accompanying himself on keyboard. Singing "Stars" by Grace Potter. He sound good. Keith tells him "You nailed it."

Charlie Askew- Charlie is doing jumping jacks back stage to get pumped up for his turn. Charlie gives a little monologue as an intro to the song. Singing  "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye. Really nice job. He is so confident out there for this performance. Nicki says "Today you became an artist in my eyes."

Results: Nick B., JDA (didn't hear), Meetheny (didn't hear) and Charlie are all moving on. We aren't told who went home this round.

Burnell Taylor- sings "Jar of Hearts" and it is OK

Marvin Calderon- also sings "Jar of Hearts" and he is OK too.

Both Burnell and Marvin are moving on.

Micah Johnson- singing "I Told You So" by Randy Travis. He does an OK job, but is a little off at the end. Mariah says she was surprised by the song choice. "I like to see you do more with your voice."
Micah gets a NO for this season, but leaves like a true sailor, with his head held high. "I've been through a lot worse."

We also say good bye to some of my favorites: Sanni, Gabe Brown, and Nate Tao.

Ryan tells us this my be a short-lived victory for some of those passed through. Nest week, the girls perform and then on Thursday, 8 more guys will be cut.  OUCH!!!

Idol Drama For The Win!!!!!

My favorite guys: Lazaro (not just because of his story; he has a great voice), Jimmy Smith, Charlie Askew (an interesting character with a good voice). I want to see more of Devin Velez before I pass judgement on him, but  he sounded good on this performance. I like Paul Jolley's voice, but he needs to pull it together, soon.

Next week, the girls hit the stage. Does anyone remember the girls? I don't!!!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

American Idol 12: Hollywood Week #1

Sorry I'm running a little behind with today's recap.  Life got in the way.

So the contestants are chosen and the nightmare known as Hollywood Week has begun. It's time for us to say Hello to some new contestants we did not see at auditions and Good Bye to some who were questionable yeses to begin with. And then there are always those who just can't hack the pressure.

To start the week we have a change from the normal Idol routine: The guys and girls have been separated. I like this idea. Since the contestants are to be narrowed down to 20 guys and 20 girls, might as well start off that way.

First up we have guy vs guy (vs drag queen).  Keith says "this feels a little like The Hunger Games. We'll see who gets to the weapons first."

Round #1 is an a Capella, sudden death, sing-off. Some groups on the stage. Individuals sing one at a time and then everyone gets a yes or a no.
Micah Johnson - Y, Peter ? - Y, Meetheny Treco - Y, Devin ? - Y, Nate Tao - Y, Gabe Brown - Y, The Turbanator (Grupreet) - Y.
Karl Skinner- N, Dustin Watt- N, Dr Calvin Peters- N.
Cortez Shaw- returning from last season- from Dallas- sings "I Will Always Love You" and the judges are mixed. Nicki absolutely hated it. Somehow he gets to continue on.
Curtis finch Jr- Y, Frankie Ford- Y.
Lazaro Arbos- the young man with the studder- sings Robbie Williams "Angel". Nice job, but it's hard to listen to this without thinking of David Archuleta singing it. And no one compares to David singing it.
Lazaro gets a Yes. And he is in tears.
Trevor Blakney- 24- Corinth, MS- US Army Sgt.- Yes, Bryant Tadeo- 23- Hilo, HI- Yes,
Charles Allen- 22- Saginaw, MI- Yes.
Brian Rittenberry- He guy with the wife fighting cancer- get a NO.
Matheus Fernandez- Y, Johnny Keyser- Y, Charlie Askew- Y.

Round #2- the Group round
Another change: The producers have chosen the groups for the first time this year. the will also be performing with the American Idol Band.

Of course, some groups jell right away and some clash. We get to see the clashing. Always a good idea to put two country artists, Trevor Blakney and Lee Pritchard, with the two "divas" of the contest, JDA and Joel Wayman. They name the group Country Queens.  There is also friction and troubles with Lazaro Arbos' group and Charlie Askew's group.

The performances:
The MatHeads- Matheus Fernandez, Meetheny Treco (returning from last season), Nick Boddington (returning from last season), Gabe Brown sing "Somebody to Love" and they are fantastic. Awesome harmonies. All advance.

Normal Hills- Johnny Keyser, Kareem Clark, +two others sing "I'll Be There" and Johnny is off because he had never heard this song before. (Really Johnny?) Kareem is off key. Kareem goes home and Johnny and his friends advance.

Group with Charlie Askew, Curtis Finch Jr, Nick Mathis. As a Christian, I am really disappointed in Curtis. Here he is singing all these Gospel songs and then he is treating Charlie like some second class thing in his way to reaching stardom. I'm glad Nick was able to support Charlie and Charlie pulled himself together in the end. Song of choice: Bruno Mars, "The Lazy Song." All three advance.

The 4 Tones- Micah Johnson, Vincent Powell (From San Antonio auditions), Marvin Calderon, and David Willis- 21- Mount Dora, FL- worship leader. All Advance.

Nate Tao, Cortez Shaw, Zach Birnbaum-15- Cherry Hill, NJ,    Elijah Liu-18- Rowland Heights, CA
All Advance.

A montage of bad performances and forgotten lyrics has two guys advancing: Paul Jolley (we saw him in Baton Rouge) and Will White(Don't know anything about him).

The next group with the Turbanator (Gurpreet Singh Sarin), Peter ?, Mark ?, and another guy, are a total train wreck yet the judges keep all of them.

Last Minute- Dan Wood, Jason Jones Jessie Lawrence and another guy sing a One Direction song that Keith says "went in four directions" and they all go home.

The next group, Ryan Connor Smith, Devan Jones, Devin Velez, and Adrian ?,  decides to sing a Capella, even though there is an awesome band to accompany them. They needed the band. Ryan goes home.

MoFlo- Burnell Taylor, Tony Foster Jr- 25- Oklahoma City, Mario Jose-24- Concord, CA,
Darien Moses- 27- Boynton Beach, FL  Not that great for Burnell but they keep him and send Darien and Mario home.

Super 55- Lazaro, Josh Stevens, Scott Fleenor, Christian Lopez- 17- Martinsburg, WV. Josh (and Scott to some extent) did not click with Lazaro. Negative statements from Josh about working with Lazaro. Sing Beach Boys that Lazaro has never heard before. Lazaro rises to the occasion and so does Christian. Josh and Scott head home.

Country Queens- Trevor forgets the lyrics completely, Lee is off. The Queens part of the group advances. (I'm not sure why). Way too much time spent covering Trevor's melt-down.

DKSK- David Leathers Jr, (who was the last contestant cut in Vegas last season), Kayden Stephenson (the boy with Cystic Fibrosis), Kevin Quinn- 15- Wilmette, IL, and Sanni M'Mairura (fro San Antonio auditions). Kayden struggles with some lyrics (this is all way too much for him to deal with, IMO). David and Sanni advance. Mariah is in tears for Kayden. (I think Mariah just needs to help the boy get a recording contract now and not deal with Idol at all.)

A couple of more good byes to Griffin Peterson and Clifton Duffin.

Last group: Frankie Ford, Papa Peachez, Adam Sanders, Charles Allen. Charles and Frankie are not getting along. The song is a wreck. Frankie says he has been struggling with asthma and he forgets all his lyrics and has a complete meltdown. Nicki lectures the group after a comment about "Big Personalities" and then lectures Papa about taking charge of his own performance. We say good bye to Frankie. 

Tomorrow the guys go from 42 to 20. OUCH!!!!






Friday, February 1, 2013

American Idol 12: Oklahoma City Auditions

So we have come to our last stop for this season of American Idol auditions; Oklahoma City.

We start out with the contestants giving us a little "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO klahoma, where the wind goes sweeping down the plains."

Idol reminds us that Carrie Underwood is from Oklahoma.

First up is a small-town bus audition winner.
Karl Skinner- 27- Joplin, MO
"I Feel Good" is a little loud and crazy. Seems to startle the judges when he begins. Keith asks his to sing something with his guitar and we get an original sing which is better than the first choice but still not that good. For some reason unbeknownst to me, he gets Yes X4 and we will see him again in Hollywood.

Time for a few verses of "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" to lead in to a montage of not-so-beautiful  auditions.

Nate Tao- 24- Reston, VA- sing language teacher
Both of Nate's parents are deaf and they are worried about him auditioning because they don't know if he can sing. "For Once In My Life" by Stevie wonder is a great choice for him.  I love his voice and spirit. I can tell he wants to sign along as he sings. Keith says his singing is effortless. Nicki says he has a unique tone.  Yes X4 and he will continue on to Hollywood.

Halie Hilburn- 27- Vernon, TX- horse trainer
Halie is also a ventriloquist and has brought "Oscar" in for the auditions. They are singing a duet to "I Want To Be Your Cowboy Sweetheart" with Oscar doing howls and yodeling at the end. This girl can yodel without moving her lips. Why did she not audition for America's Got Talent? She is actually pretty good. Nicki asks for 15 seconds with Oscar and Halie is even better. Yes X3 Randy still doesn't get it. Judges convince her to ditch the puppet and we leave with Oscar sticking out of a trash dumpster.

Zoanette Johnson- 19- Tulsa, OK
Singing "The National Anthem with Flavor". I personally prefer my NA basic, with respect. This gal is scary, makes weird gestures and facial expressions while singing, and has forgotten the words. Keith falls out of his chair when she hits the ultra high notes, which actually are the correct notes. Randy says "You are a whole party by yourself." The judges have lost their minds and Zoanette gets Yes X4 and a ticket to Hollywood.

Time for "A storm of tears to flood OKC." Lots of girls crying because they were rejected and one guy crying because he gets a golden ticket. All of this to lead into the crying girl's adult replacement.
Anastacia Freeman- 25- Ardmore, OK
"Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton has never sounded like this before. The judges are unanimous on NO. She tells them that God told her to audition and Idol puts together a whole dramatization skit about her vision.

Kayden Stephenson- 16- Tulsa, OK
Kayden was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 18 months. He knows that he won't live to be very old so he wants to everything he can  while he can. He wants to inspire other kids to try. Singing "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder.  He looks and sounds so much younger than he is. He has a very sweet voice. Nicki thinks he sounds like a baby MJ and I concur. I don't know how he will be able to handle the pace and pressure, but he has Yes X4 and a Golden ticket to Hollywood. Maybe someone will see his audition and just help him get a career going without the Idol craziness. That would be the best for him.

Well, Ryan tells us 45 golden tickets were handed out in OKC. Too bad we only saw a tiny part of the goodness and a lot of the crazy.

And speaking of crazy, We have one more audition: Pepper
Of course Pepper is not a contestant, she is Steven Tyler, in drag.  Too funny.

Next week "Hollywood Week" begins.
At the end of that the gang will be cut to 20 guys and 20 girls.  It should be a barrel of crazy, as usual.

Favs from OKC: Really only one sort of, Nate Tao.
I like Kayden but I don't think this is right for him.