Monthly Archives: March 2014

American Idol – I’m With the Band (just not the rock band)

**sidenote to those who are playing the game, there was an issue with last weeks post and my ability to post it but I’ll post the results from this and last week, tomorrow morning! Sorry about that but moving back into a house is a little time consuming! 

Ok so going into tonight, I thought this was supposed to be like, rock band songs, I dare say epic rock songs… and I thought the only reason the first few people weren’t rocking out, was because they all knew that Caleb was going to KILL IT, and so they just decided to go different and hope for the best (I see it on Top Chef a lot – where contestants know they can’t pull off the tast, so they just cook something really good and hope that it generically fits into the category.

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Michael Slezak clearly thought the night was about Rock as well!

Maybe that was the case but by Malaya, I realized, it was more than likely just the most vague category ever – Songs Performed by Bands. I mean really? We couldn’t narrow it down any further than that?

Once I got over the theme being as generic as humanly possible, I did think the night overall was a victory. I can’t say that there was a terrible performance at any point last night. I was disappointed with some performers, but no one had a bad performance. To me, the worst performance was that opening Fallout Boy compilation number (and Caleb’s jacket. I also hated that part of the performance). I really liked the band being more of a fixture on the set instead of background. It was fun to see the contestants performing as they would in future shows, like when they’re on tour. It’s something they should probably get used to after all.

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In case you were wondering who the rock stars are…

As expected, Caleb and Je(gi)na were the clear winners. Their performances literally SOARED above everyone elses, and I dare say Jena’s performances was one of my favorites of the season, to date. Caleb Johnson‘s version of Dazed and Confused and Jena Irene‘s  version of Bring Me To Life were exactly what I was expecting from both of them. They are both such complete stage performers and they both do rock impeccably well. I mean, if I were Caleb I’d demand a band behind me for all performances, personally. And as far as Jena, I only hope that she sticks more closely to rock than electronica. I just think she has so much more of a home there, and a bigger fanbase at that. I’m pretty sure Angie performed Bring Me to Life, and for what it’s worth I’d just like to say that Jena slaughtered Angie’s version by comparison! And seriously, where can I get that skull shirt because I want it like, yesterday.

Now, while I was clearly happy with the performances by the above-mentioned performers, I think I was more happy with some of the up and comers of the competition who really stood out tonight after a bit of wavering in episodes passed (where I wondered if I should be questioning who my favorites were – yes Majesty, I’m looking at you). There was 1 performer that I believe is completely still holding his own (hey Alex!) and 3 performers I think really showed what they were made of tonight (Malaya, Majesty and Jessica). So let’s talk about those 4.

Ok so Alex Preston. Where do I begin with dear Alex. At first I was angry with his performance. I mean, in what way is Don’t Speak an epic rock song? I don’t know that I’d consider Don’t Speak an epic rock song (although I would consider the album it’s on to be epic in it’s own right). I mean, it’s in the rock genre (though leaning towards the pop-variety), and it was a big hit. But if this was a venn diagram, they’d be in different circles. I had to push that thought aside (ala my Top Chef theory), because I did think this was a fun and interesting version of the song. I do get that Alex said he still hoped they respected the artistry, and I have to believe they would/did. I did. And he got my votes all over again.

Now Jessica, man, I was just really on the fence with her performance. My friend Jessi and I (my real friend, I’m not calling Ms. Meuse my pal) have a love/hate relationship with this song. She loves it. I’m ambivalent and she hates that I don’t love it like she does. So, I’ll just say that for the song that Jessica Meuse sang,  I thought she did very well, and I really think Fleetwood Mac is totally in her wheelhouse, which I thought was pretty obvious by the performance (minus that horrendous outfit).

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And if we’re going to talk about hideous outfits, lets just get it all out on the table…

 

Anyway, I did really think Jessica’s performance was very well done and I hope it keeps her out of the bottom three tonight! It was only a matter of time before she did something by Fleetwood Mac and I’m glad it was this song, for the sake of my dear friend. haha. I’ll just say that while I know Fleetwood Mac is most definitely a rock band, they’re more hippy rock, and I kind of would have liked to see Jessica do something a little bit harder like she did earlier this season (but she did do it earlier this season so I guess props to her for mixing it up some more).

The other two ladies, Majesty Rose singing Shake It Out and Malaya Watson singing The Long and Winding Road were performances that I thought showed both exponential growth in the competition, and their ability to really know their songs, on stage. With Majesty, . I mean to be honest, if I were to describe Majesty’s performance in gif form, it would be this…

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I mean seriously, Jen was right – vocally, it was kind of a mess. I did think it was much better at the beginning than it was at the end. That said, performance wise it was just thrilling to watch. She has the smile and audacity of a performer and I love that about her. She wins me over with performance, but her voice is getting there! And if anyone won favorite outfit of the night, it was most certainly Majesty (not that it factors into my decision-making).

Malaya was kind of the opposite. Performance was a touch boring. Just a touch. But she is just getting better and better every week. She’s clearly heeding the judges’ advice and that’s something I love about her. She’s a learner, and she’s clearly strong willed and motivated to do better each and every week! Was it just me or was this the best she’s sounded all season? Besides her audition song, I really think this was her best “eyes shut” performance – as in, with my eyes shut, did I like the voice…

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Seriously though, can I just be Malaya’s friend? She embodies so much of the goofy energy I feel I too embodied at her age (and really, it hasn’t changed much in 15 years).

And now we move onto my 3 least favorites of the night. I can’t even say their performances were straight up bad… but they were definitely, without question my least favorites. So in no particular order (ok they’re in the order I believe they fell in…)

Sam Woolf – Hey There Delilah  (Plain White T’s)
Was it just me or was the idea of a band with Sam and Alex fronting it, amazing? They look like they could jam well together! I feel like that could be so much fun. More fun than Sam Woolf performing on his own that’s for sure. I mean, this song is great, but it’s not rock, and it wasn’t ever epic. I was definitely over the song (and his shirt) well before the song was over. I mean his voice is so good, it’s just so boring. But he’s got his Grammy, and lights… I mean, yes, this is exactly the right music for him but I mean, what’s new a different and unique about him? He seems so disconnected, and I might’ve been mad when he couldn’t just understand that it helps to convey actual emotion… But then to cover he says he was thinking about his Grammy? I mean… ughhhhhh….

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I’m powerless against the love of the elderly!

Dexter Roberts – Boondocks (Little Big Town)
Oh sweet, stupid Dexter. Ok look, I can’t say anyone else had done an “epic” rock song, but this was not a rock song. This is a country song, and THEN a rock song. All the judges were speaking to me. Harry was right. Generic Generic Generic. I’m always interested in Keith’s opinion too, especially when it comes to Dexter because he brings the country perspective. And to some extent, I agree with him that if someone hadn’t sung it first and he was, he’d be big. I get that. But maybe that’s country. I dunno. Then there was Jen whose insight I also agreed with, don’t give us an anthem every week. Excellent point. Even Ryan was speaking what Dexter needed to hear – “Can you go outside your wheelhouse” – Dexter claims he can but I mean, put your money where your mouth is buddy.

CJ Harris – If Hadn’t Been for Love

This was a fun song/performance. He was still giving me that “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” vibe, but I wouldn’t say it like it was a bad thing. I would say that Harry criticizing his pitch for the third week in a row was… shall we say…

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I forgot to take a picture of who I voted for but it was basically those top 6 performances. Maybe 5. I don’t remember if I actually voted for Majesty or not (hopefully the rest of the world remembered).

Categories: American Idol, Television | 1 Comment

American Idol – It’s All in the Lyrics

Tonight was quite bizarre for me. Parts were the same, like how I knew a good 70% of the songs but was pleasantly surprised by a solid 20% (and only utterly displeased by 10%). The confusing part was the judging. I mean, Harry was definitely still his smart self (although I did disagree with some opinions), meanwhile Jennifer (yes, I feel like she’s earned the Jen instead of the JLo) was, for the most part – who I agreed with the most. And then there was Keith. Man, he was Randy-ing all over the place last night! Not nearly as badly as Randy, but he wasn’t my favorite person last night.

I also thought the emphasis on song lyrics was especially obscure tonight. Between Harry talking about Jessica’s “look” during Pumped Up Kicks or Sam singing a certain verse from We Are Young (Idol didn’t really mention it but twitter seemed a-buzz). At least they were kind to Malaya for not changing the lyrics to When I Was Your Man.

Let’s talk about some contestants. I’ve arranged them from most to least favorite, although some are tied for my love (I’ll leave you to guess who those may be).

Alex Preston – Story of My Life

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Alex is probably the smartest guy on this show (maybe he and Caleb can battle for that title). He’s played so many excellent song choices and I think One Direction was another feather in his cap of this “idol concert” as he put it. This is the only One Direction song I know/own, and it’s new enough to have never been done on Idol. Finally, he didn’t have to compete with previous performances of the same song! I thought he did it well. And his voice, mixed with playing the guitar, made it quite different from the boy band version, so that was quite pleasant too. Was it just me or was JLo fangirling a little bit? I think that this will also help him a lot with the ladies. Or should I say, the ?Under 15” crowd.

Caleb Johnson – Edge of Glory

This song was pretty close to perfection. I never want to like Caleb but I swear to god he forces me to. EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK. ok really only since last week, but still. I don’t know what Keith or Jen were saying because I was enthralled by this performance. It might be that I like any Lady Gaga song as long as she’s not singing it (I wear, I always hear covers/parodies of songs and love them and then realize they’re hers). I do think he could have had a little more build up throughout the song, and maybe rocked out just a little more (words I never thought I’d say to Caleb) but overall, it was minor. I enjoyed it buddy. Keep it up.

Malaya Watson – When I Was Your Man

I was a little surprised that Malaya would sing Bruno Mars again, only because last time she didn’t get great reviews. That being said, I think a slow song was a much better choice than her first Bruno selection. Call me a sucker for a piano arrangement (although I would’ve been happier had she been playing it herself), but I thought her performance was great. I agreed with Harry that I thought she was completely present in her performance. As I mentioned above, I liked that they complimented her not changing the lyrics (I think that’s weird, personally). I re-listened to Candice Glover singing it last year and she did the same (and I don’t think she did it much better than Malaya). Sidenote – Harry gets extra adorable points for getting Malaya flowers. So sweet J

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Jena Irene – Clarity

I’d never heard this song but when I heard it was “electronic”, it was pretty clear why I’d never heard it. Not exactly in my wheelhouse of musical knowledge (is that even a grammy category?). The song was fine, but all I could think of was the hardcore Cleopatra vibe I kept getting from her outfit. It was like… bad Cleopatra costume, meets Robin Sparkles during her dark period, meets a bedazzler, obviously…

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My excellent “ghetto photoshop” skills 

I can’t believe they’re complimenting her pants though. Those were hideous.

As for this song, it fell closer to the “paint it black” performance than the “original song” performances, but for my first trip down the electronic genre trail, it wasn’t a bad ride. Who knew I’d be seeing it again before the end of the episode! 

Majesty York – Wake Me Up

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I’d never heard this song, or band for that matter. I watched the music video during the commercial break and I really loved it and also realized they sing that “Oh Brother” song from a stop smoking commercial, which I love more. This was probably a better choice for Majesty than the commercial song though. And either way, the important thing is that I thought Majesty really redeemed herself. I thought it was a fantastic song choice and I thought she did so well. I hope she loosens up to where she was before she was in the bottom 3, but I think as long as she is sitting on the couch this week and not a stool, she’ll be back to form by next week!

Jessica Meuse – Pumped Up Kicks

So yes, I wanted Alex to sing this (but I liked Alex’ choice). Jessica is not someone I would think could pull it off but I thought she totally did. It fits lyrically to a country tune, and I really liked that she sang it in the same vein I believe Foster the People would sing it. Would “ironically” be the right word? I feel like I never use the word ironic correctly. I agreed with Jen that I too was worried about the pick but it was way more in her wheelhouse than last week. Side note – I still have to say that I really hope Jessica sings a Kacey Musgraves song at some point. I think this was the only performer where I completely disagreed with Harry (and Keith too, to some extent)

Sam Woolf – We Are Young

Ok so you know how everyone was mulling over Jess and her performance vs the lyrics in the song and half the judges/host said how they didn’t really listen to the lyrics when they first heard the song. That’s this song for me. Personally most of it just sounds like 4 lyrics, on repeat for 4:12 minutes. Who knew it was about some guy beating up his girlfriend and then getting forgiven or something? I still feel like I don’t know. And honestly, in this instance, I don’t care. It bothered me more how slow he sang the song compared to how fun. sings the song. How did he make a fun song boring? It did get better, and I do think Sam is improving in his song selection so I think he has that to hang his hat on.

And now for the bottom 3 of the evening… 

Dexter Roberts – Cruise

Picking good songs? How about picking boring songs that are completely predictable? I mean, did I or did I not call this??? I really wish someone had actually bet me that he wouldn’t sing this! I would be rolling in dollers by now. I will say that this was one of the better songs he’s performed. And he moves around the stage/interacts with the audience well. I’m really glad that Harry called him generic though because that’s exactly what he is.

MK Nobilette – Perfect

I remember Kree sang this last year, but I don’t really recall anything fantastic about it, but it was better than MK’s. I’d never think someone like MK would pick this song. Pink in general seemed an odd choice to me. I think the best point made with regards to this performance was Harry’s criticism in general, that, if you can’t sing a song as good or better than the performer, then don’t sing it. Had she changed it up a bit, maybe, but she did nothing original with the piece and thus, had to be left in comparison to Pink herself and she doesn’t really stand up.

CJ Harris – Invisible

Ok so… Melinda Doolittle, when she doesn’t like a performance, she tries to say 3 nice things. So, let me say 3 nice things

1. I really like the strings
2.
  I like that Harry doesn’t watch rehearsals
3. ::crickets::

Maybe there will be a lot of people saying this, but the only thing “invisible” on that song, was the pitch.

So anyway, we’ll see who gets the bottom 3 of the evening but me thinks… sorry, me hopes, that it’s these folks. I doubt CJ will go home, but a girl can dream.  

Categories: American Idol, Television | 1 Comment

American Idol – Guessing the Top 10

So originally I thought the theme for this week was “Billboard Top 10” but then I realized through reading some Slezak, that it was actually Billboard Top 10, from 2010 to present! Now that, I like! I love when they have to sing modern songs, most of which I’ve probably heard. But what should they sing? Makes it a little harder to decide. At least with categories like this, it’s most likely songs the contestants know and love. Without actually doing the heavy investigating as to what songs have been in the Top 10 in the last 4 years, I can immediately think of things I’d like to hear, and things I’d rather not. If this were last year, I feel like I’d know every pick – Angie would pick Jessie J, Candice would pick Drake, Kree would most definitely be belting some Carrie Underwood. This year, I feel like the contestants are a touch more original, but not sooooo original that we can’t think of a few ideas. Mostly I just hope no one sings Royals, Radioactive or Wrecking Ball. Or Safe and Sound. I swear, I hear that on the radio on the DAILY not to mention in commercials. GO AWAY CAPITAL CITIES! Er… actually, GO AWAY TOP 40 MUSIC STATIONS! Anyway, I think it’s safe to say all of the above-mentioned songs have been heard enough so far this season/year in general! So, let’s get on with what I think we’ll hear/what I’d like to hear.

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Ok so if Alex wants to be predictable, I feel like he’d sing Say Something. If he wants to surprise me, couldn’t Blurred Lines be fun? Preferably this version – 

And speaking of fun, I could totally see him going with one of their songs. Ie – We Are Young or Some Nights (although I could also see them singing Some Nights as a group tomorrow night). Oh also, what about Pumped Up Kicks and maybe doing it on the drums or something? I mean come on, that’s got Alex written all over it!

 

 

Caleb-Johnson_1032-281x300So I don’t think Caleb even has the opportunity to be predictable because when you look at top songs, big hair metal bands aren’t really plentiful. If anything, I could maybe see him doing some Gaga (Born this Way) or Pink (Pretty much any song that isn’t slow). Something with more of a growl to it. And I feel like either of those would be good for him, and help him play off the success of his Adele song last week. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too unpredictable and rock out to a Justin (Beiber or Timberlake). I also wonder if Jack Black has had any recent successes because that could be fun just based on Caleb.

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Where Caleb and Alex tend to be on the more predictable side, CJ practically bathes in it. As such, I feel like Home, by Phillip Phillips would be a good guess. Actually, any of Phillips’ 3 songs would be… less than surprising.  Maybe something by The Band Perry? Personally I think it could be fun to see him throw out a Taylor Swift song but most of her songs are just about impossible to be sung from a male perspective.

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While we’re speaking about Country, let’s talk Dexter. When I briefly looked at the Billboard charts, there was only 1 single country song in the last 2 years, and since Dexter is literally the most predictable pick, I would like to call it now that he will sing Cruise, by Florida Georgia Line. Wanna take bets? This is the only pick I’m making that I’d be willing to guarantee. Time will tell but I’m telling you, I’m going to be right.

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So if we were going for obvious, I’d probably pick some One Direction. I could even see him covering All of Me by John Legend, maybe getting into some piano action. I could also see him performing Say Something (if Alex doesn’t). Now, for unpredictable Sam, wouldn’t it be cool to see him cover Young the Giant’s Cough Syrup, or Demi Lovato’s Heart Attack but done acoustic like this… Could be fun! Honestly, I feel like that song will be covered, but quite possibly by one of the ladies. If Sam really wanted to surprise me, I was kind of thinking something like Maroon 5’s “One More Night”.  Could be really cool.

As for the ladies? Well that’s a lot harder. There are so many amazing female singers. Not to mention the fact that the girls are a lot more unpredictable than the boys this season (minus Caleb)!

Ok so instead of actually picking songs for the girls, I’d really rather just pick singers… I’ll try to do both though.

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I found a cover of Jena singing Beautiful Disaster on youtube and now I’m made Kristen already ruined that possibility. I also saw a cover of the song Payphone which was pretty stellar as well. But I’m not out of ideas for Jena. Ok so call me crazy, but wouldn’t it be fun to hear to sing “Die Young”  by Ke$ha, but making it a more melodic slow song? Piano style? Or Firework but in the same style? Really no matter what she does, as long as it involves a piano, I’m sure I’ll like it.

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So the obvious suggestion is Teagan and Sara. I mean, come on. Closer is a clear guess. One thing that could be fun was if she played Pink’s, “Just Like a Pill” but the Teagan and Sara cover of it? I think that came out too long ago, but technically that cover is one they played in a concert I saw of theirs last year. So does that count? Check it out. It’s great.

For the sake of realistic guessing in the non-lesbian category, how about “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri? Oh, and maybe, what about Imagine Dragons “Demons”. That could also be fun if MK plays an instrument. Does she? I could also maybe see Caleb singing this.

If you thought I had a lot of ideas for the previous contestants, I can’t even begin to narrow down my ideas for these ladies! I mean, it’s like, impossible.

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For Jessica, obviously I lean more towards songs I think she might’ve covered prior to Idol (since that seems to be her thing to date) and I lean towards Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” or “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)“. I don’t think she’ll pick anything “pop” though. I see her still going towards the rock genre. If she wanted to surprise me, in a fun way, I’d say she should belt out “Set Fire to the Rain” but in a more rock context. It could blow me away… potentially. I will say, if Jessica wanted to step outside of rock and maybe prove she can belt (where Majesty’s weakness lies) I could see her doing some Florence and the Machine. That’s only if she can actually belt though. If not, see above suggestions.

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I hate to steal ideas from Slezak but when I read that he wanted Malaya to sing “Bulletproof” by La Roux, um… yeah! Great choice!! YES YES YES!! I hope she does sing that. It also made me think of that song “Titanium” by David Guetta. She has proved she’s good at belting and she needs a more loud fun song. Part of me sees her going Miley, but girl has a lot of music knowledge so I feel like she’ll surprise us.

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I see Majesty singing Rihanna. Sure, I’d love for her to redeem herself by belting something out perfectly, but I see her going more fun, lighthearted non-belting. She’s young so I feel like she’ll shy away from any kind of belting note in lieu of something a little more safe (but still good! I know you’re going to pull it out this week Majesty!). Maybe Majesty can do one of Queen Bey’s more subtle songs?

Ok so that’s it. Have fun and I can’t wait for some new current music tonight!  Time will tell what gets picked!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

American Idol – The Quasi-Shocker!

So they said it was going to be a shocker at the end of the show. To me, the only shock was that America (mostly) picked the correct bottom 3. Had they replaced Sam for Dexter, it would’ve been much more accurate, and had Dexter gone home instead of Ben, they would’ve hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, the results ended up with us saying goodbye to the biggest Tennessee Vols fan to ever grace the Idol stage.

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It was a bit of a surprise to see Ben go home. He was the only one that really got any negative attention from the judges last night (that I saw. I’d like to believe Dexter did for his utter lack of originality in song choices). I still think Dexter would’ve been my pick to go home, but these didn’t really totally shock me or anything. Shocking would’ve been like… (G)jena. Maybe CJ (although not totally). It’s crazy to me that at this point in the season there’s not anyone that really stands out to me as the definitive best. Maybe that’s good but I still wouldn’t mind some like, top level performances to really have someone that truly stands out as a front runner.

Was Ben going to win? Probably not. Did I think he’d go further than he did? Sure. I mean, I had him being in the final 4. But, it is what it is. At least I wasn’t the only one to have him in the top! The funny thing about this week though, only 1 person even had a single person in the bottom 3, correct. Half of us had Majesty winning this thing (and I still think she has potential to).

So with that, lets see where the points fell this week and how they’re adding up overall!

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Congrats to Erica for first place for the week, to Pat (sorry you aren’t further up) for being the only person to pick anyone right in the bottom 3! And I guess congrats to my husband for being in first overall (goes to show you that barely paying attention while your wife watches a show, can get you good picks afterall! haha.

Best parts of the night?

1. Jena complaining that Keith got her name wrong again.

2. Munfarid showing up after Harry’s performance!

3. That Malaya wasn’t in the bottom 3. Ditty for Jessica because I don’t think you should be in the bottom just because the band screwed your performance up!

Up next week: Billboard Top 10 Charts!

Now there’s a theme I can hypothesize about 🙂

 

Categories: American Idol, Television, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American Idol – Songs That Also Happen to be in Movies.

Disclaimer: This post features some heavy criticism in the beginning but don’t worry, it gets better.

I hate to start with things that happened last week, but I really need to mention it. Randy. Ok we all know I hate him. I’ve yet to find someone that likes him, actually. And in the mentor role, he’s terrible. To get in a fight with the actual judges about them being to harsh was RIDICULOUS. First of all, the criticism for the most part, was well deserved. The performances last week were very lackluster and the contestants needed to hear that. If you ask me, the performances tonight made it very obvious who took the criticism and worked with it, used it as motivation. That’s what the criticism is supposed to do! Randy obviously wouldn’t know any of that because he’s been praising terribleness for years.

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Ok that’s all I have to say about last week. Moving on.  To one more gripe.

Ok so kids – when the people say the theme is Cinema, I just believe that the song needs to be something that’s pertinent to the movie. It would be even better if they’d picked songs that were actually written for the movie. Actually, I think if I’d picked the theme, it would’ve been “Songs written for movies” just so the contestants had a touch less wiggle room. I never thought I’d want a more defined theme night but this one was just too vague. They basically just picked their songs and then googled to see a movie that it was in.

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Thank you Jon Stewart, for understanding my emotions. Ok so lets talk about these “Songs that happen to be in Movies”. As far as the episode is concerned, I started when Ben was about to go on and then watched the beginning afterwards, so lets just talk about everyone in that order, shall we?

I should also mention that there was a terrible windstorm so as the performances went on, I’ve included a scale of windiness.

Ben playing Bennie (and the Jets) – 27 Dresses.
Windiness Level: Uncomfortable

As mentioned when the others were imitating him, Ben has a lot of hats, but he should stick to wearing them. I like him a lot more with the hat. Also, you know Hailey Reinhart killed this song/performance, right? It would be hard to live up to (and spoiler alert, it didn’t). I thought it was funny, re-watching Jimmy talking to Hailey, how he told her to bang on the piano, and then in Harry’s critique he tells Bennie the same thing. Just more proof that Jimmy was a way better mentor than he who shall not be named. I will say I don’t think this was nearly as bad as some other performances that the judges praised, so I was a little surprised to see him criticized the way he was (once I’d watched all the performances).

Majesty Rose – Let it Go – Frozen
Windiness Level: House Shaking

When I heard Majesty was singing Frozen, I had a lot of pre-conceived thoughts – Dangerous to sing such a popular song (but maybe she’ll mix it up?) There are some big notes and she had better hit them or the whole performance will be shot to hell (well, it’s Majesty, I think she can belt if she needs to, way to be brave!) The good – she did mix it up and I liked that. Bad – she did NOT hit that note, making it by far Majesty’s worst performance to date. As bad as the performance was, the judging was SOOO much worse! I wondered if Harry’s voice was removed and replaced with a producer or something? Harry isn’t one to praise when a person just did.not. hit THE note. Period. Twitter proof he was possessed? Exhibit A:

And then Keith is weirdly dropping his kids names? Why? Why does he seem so enamored with this performance? It didn’t make any sense to me. It was like he and Jen just talked about how much their kids love that song, and not the quality of the singer. At least Michael Slezak’s twitter was on my side.

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Caleb Johnson – Skyfall – Skyfall
Windiness Level: Mostly gusty with a touch of light flickering. 

And-now

I can’t make up my mind at all whether this is good or not. I believe I am as completely as speechless as JLo. I’m honestly confused. Is it because I’m not just a fan of the song? Done well but not my jam? I did very much enjoy that it was completely different in a good way, from the previous Caleb performances! It reminded me of one of the songs they play at the end of The Following (by the by, that link is TOTALLY worth a listen). And if you like that link, feel free to click this one to hear many more!

MK Nobilette – To Make You Feel My Love
Windiness Level: Maybe not terrible at this moment?

Ok so one might say this song choice was similar to that of the 27 Dresses pick. That would be wrong though. Reasons? 1 – This song is WAY more pertinent to the movie. 2 – She’s seen the movie  and has a reason for liking it (what a novel idea) 3 – Her performance in general, WAY BETTER. Freaking awesomely better. This had to be my favorite MK performance to date and I genuinely hope it keeps her out of the bottom 3.

I don’t want to take anything away from MK’s beautiful performance, but I’d be remiss to not mention this one little tidbit about the song – I have to say, while the song may be pertinent to a movie,  I can only think of TV when I hear it. I hear the performance and I think  Rachel Berry singing it on Glee. GUT.WRENCHING. I mean gut – freaking – wrenching

)

Alex Preston – Falling Slowly
Windiness Level: Distracted once again, explaining to people
why Once was such a fantastic Broadway show.

Big balls to perform this when Kris Allen, and the combo of Bowersox/Dewyze, those were huge shoes to fill. That said, I thought it was quite lovely. The best performance of this song on the Idol stage? Meh… no. But as Harry said, it was “Simply stated and elegantly done”.

Gjena Irene – Decode – Twilight
Windiness Level: The news commercials are telling
me that the gusts are up to 55 mph. Awesome.

This was my favorite “imitation” scene. I loved that everyone was wearing a choker and  I’m glad Malaya finally acknowledged that (G)jena’s name is spelled wrong.

You know, I wanted to hate this because it was Twilight, but at least she (I think she said) she heard the song before she saw the movie. And, you can’t deny an amazing song or performance.

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I’m with JLo, how was she in the bottom 3? Girl needs to be on this show if those are going to be her future performances. Piano’s always help. Banging on the pianos, even more! This performance just blew any other performance out of the water, tonight. It was by FAR my favorite. If I could’ve voted for her 100 times, I would’ve.

Malaya Watson – I’m Changing
Windiness Level: Please don’t let this roof collapse…

I so glad she wasn’t singing “And I’m Telling You”. I thought she did a great job. Not the best, but great. She certainly hit that note (the first time – maybe not every time). She still needs to work on her control but she’s getting a lot better, week to week.

And then I started watching the earlier part of the show…

Sam Woolf – Come Together – Across the Universe
Windiness Level: Wondering how much long the power will be on….

This was the first Sam Woolf live performance that I wasn’t completely bored with. I can’t say I was completely not bored with Sam either though. He’s just really stiff on stage. I wish there was a little more performance. I think Harry’s “pretty good job” was an accurate assessment. It’s too bad I didn’t watch Sam first. I mean, by now I’ve said twice how you shouldn’t play songs that were done amazingly well by other Idols. Sam has forced me to say it a third time. Carly Smithson. Carly Smithson. Carly Smithson. (not to mention the 10 others that have also performed it)

This song does make me laugh because when we got Beatles Rock Band, this was one of the songs, and I never realize how BIZARRE the lyrics were, until we got rock band and sang them. Wow they’re weird. Just google “Misheard Lyrics” and “Come Together” and see what you get.

Jessica Meuse – Sound of Silence – The Graduate
Windiness Level: When did it get so cold?

I do not think this was Jessica’s best performance. Unfortunately for Jessica, it really seemed like a lot of that was the band (like, a solid 70%). I don’t know if they made last minute changes or something? I think though, that if I were her, I’d just sing with her and the guitar. Before the band started this performance was beautiful. It just didn’t end that way, very unfortunately for Jess.

CJ Harris – Can’t You See – Blow
Windiness Level: Well, the power went out.
But not until after CJ’s performance, thankfully.

I’m glad I watched the show in the order I did and I’m glad that this was the last performance I saw for the night. I get to end the show on a really high note. Metaphorically speaking, obviously. I don’t think I loved this performance as much as I loved (G)jena’s. And I have to look at overall performance too, but this brought CJ’s cred closer to where it was when the auditions were ending. Good on ya, CJ. I hope you continue in this direction (also, this was my favorite movie of all the movies picked tonight).

Sorry Dexter Roberts, but as you saw, the power went out and I never got to see you. I was going to search for your performance but then I saw that you sang “Sweet Home Alabama” and I figured, well, I’ve seen that performance from Dexter like, 5 times now. I don’t think I need to see it again. Amiright?

So as for how I voted, here was the breakdown (yes, I probably should’ve given CJ more, but I just didn’t think it was worth it).

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 10.30.15 PMbreakdown:

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American Idol – Down to 11

Hey folks!

Sorry to take so long but I left all my “materials” at work and finally got it home to put together this post.

This week we said goodbye to the person everyone was predicting would go home:

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I can’t say I’ll miss (I’ll be lucky if I even remember them come seasons end) these two ladies. However, with the mixed bag of contestants, there are really only about 2 (maybe 3 depending on performances) that I’m still ready to see go before I start having mild shakes about who I’ll want to go home next. I mean, yeah I’ll want to win the game but not at the expense of the people who I personally want to win the game.

Speaking of which, lets get to this years Top 12 game! We have a solid 11 people this year, with a varying list of Top 12 contestants. One great thing about the game this year (and the season too, I suppose) is that it’s so up in the air how contestants will do in any given week. And now, with Emily gone by the wayside, it’s only going to be that much more difficult week to week, to predict who will be in the bottom. Let’s see how the folks at home picked their top 12, shall we?

picks12While I was pretty happy to be 1 of only 2, to pick the correct person to go home, I was not the one who won the week (I blame Gjena). Nope… the standings after week 1 are as follows:

weekly12I’m happy with my quite respectable 2nd place (especially since it’s only 0.50 away from first!). And if I have to come in 2nd place to anyone, I’m happy it’s my oldest best friend! Way to go Jess! You picked all 3 of the bottom 3 correctly! Too bad you just didn’t pick them in the right order. Maybe next time 🙂

NEXT WEEK: Songs from the Cinema! 

I’m super excited about songs from the cinema! There’s nothing I like more than a soundtrack! I just hope the contestants pick some good songs. So far I’ve been pretty happy with the eclectic song choices and that they aren’t all ballads this year. Man that was boring. I’ll try to start making picks of what I’d like people to sing but I was just too busy the last week to make any decisions/come to any ideas. Not to mention, I don’t even really know any of the contestants favorite movies. Maybe that’ll be the little tidbit I’ll learn about the contestants tonight!

 

 

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American Idol – Top 12 (with Real Time Results, for better or worse)

Ok so first and foremost, I think it’s imperative that we talk about this whole “Real Time Results” situation that we had mid-episode tonight.

nothing turns out right

Originally, I’d thought that real time results would be kind of interesting to see. And really, I did agree with the way the results were shaping up. The thing is though, I felt like after seeing it, that it was dirty and just not right. And unfair to those not only who’d recently performed, but those who had yet to perform and ultimately never had any results shown. It just seemed wrong. Twitter agreed with me.

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Ok thanks. I needed to get that off my chest. I really hope that whoever they poll on how “new parts of the episodes” are going, realizes what a terrible idea this is and that it’s need to stop… and really, that’s only the second terrible new idea (lest we forget the super terrible decision to keep Randy Jackson employed) of the many new things this season – most of which are quite lovely).

So moving on, the theme was Home. I did some background as to where everyone was from, and was going to post about some possible song choices, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, they weren’t picking like, songs from their hometown, it was songs that remind them of home, and how does one really even wage a guess as to what reminds people of their home. It could be anything. And it pretty much turned out to be a completely random smattering, which I liked. I liked that there were songs from bands I’d never heard of. I liked that there were choices to sing songs I wouldn’t have thought were in that artists wheelhouse and I liked most of the performances tonight (most).  I definitely had 3 clear favorites and a pretty clear Top 6. I definitely know who I’d be happy to see in the bottom 3 this round, that’s for sure. So first, lets talk about my faves (and no, grannies, grampas and puppies did not help weigh my decisions… for the most part).

Dexter Roberts – Lucky Man
Fayette, AL

PUPPIES. Ok so if anything trumps how much I like the elderly, it’s puppies. Newborn ones at that with their little smushy faces! Lest we also forget, my dream job…

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PUPPY BOWL!

I don’t know if it was him saying that he was singing it for someone that wasn’t around anymore, but this did really seem like a song you’d play at a funeral in Alabama, and everyone is doing shots at the end. Just me? Or maybe like, a guy singing it to his wife on their wedding night? I could also see that. Vastly different scenarios but they both fit well I think. Either way, I thought Dexter sang it well, and with a LOT of emotion which I really liked as well. I don’t think I’ve really seen that from him so far so it was nice to seem him really feel the music he was playing. I should also mention though, while checking out the super vote this week… this guys picture. He’s like the Chandler Bing of this seasons head shots. I mean, what is this face?? I probably would’ve given him more votes but I think the weird face distracted me.

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 9.00.02 PM

Ben Briley – Turning Home
Gallatin, Tennessee

Ok a couple of things about Mr. Briley. 1. How old is this kid that he’s already married? He seems like he’s 18 to me. I have to assume he’s older but still. 2. I love his humor. I know I have a soft spot for the funny guys on the show. I can’t help it, but at least usually they can sing well. Case in point – “There are 120 people in my family from my grandparents down. I’m here because my family voted for me.” And then none of his family shows up. It just made me laugh. As for the performance, I thought this was a spectacular performance. The Friday Night Lights background was a nice touch and fit the song well, too. The thing with Ben is, as I wanted to like CJ, and as likable as Dexter seems, Ben just really is likable. I’m all in. In performance, in attitude, his humbleness, everything about him just seems so genuine and I thoroughly enjoy that about him. Harry is just causing me to want to vote for Ben a million times. and I did. Ok just 50 times. But you get my drift. I pretty much had to completely disagree with Mr. Connick, Jr. on this one. *Sidenote, was anyone else shocked to see JLo eating a deviled egg?

Majesty York – Fix You
Goldsboro, TN

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Me watching Majesty

I didn’t even write anything during Majesty’s performance. I just watched her. She has that connection with the audience that so many are lack this season. I just look at her and I see the next American Idol. I see it all over her face and in her performance. The only other thing I’ll say is that this song always reminds me of Glee (the only song Shue ever performed that I enjoyed). The only 2 bad things I could even think to say are in the direction of the audience, and the stylists – Audience, you can’t clap to songs like this. Stylists – I don’t know what that flower/jean outfit is. I support her unique style but I don’t support prints on jeans. Or jean jackets. And while we’re talking about the stylists if I could also just mention a one Alex Preston. His performance was fine but there was one very important thing I COULD NOT stop looking at.

EXHIBIT A

EXHIBIT A

Who said – yeah that rolled up pants look is so in right now, especially for men. You should definitely roll those pants up, 6th grade 90s girl style. And then JLo says she loves the suit and the rolled up pants? It doesn’t work on him. It doesn’t work on anyone. YOU SHOULD NOT ROLL UP PANTS! If this could be a commandment I would make it one. Situations where rolled up pants are acceptable: ___________________ ! NEVER. Maybe if you’re in an actual flood and water is up to your ankles, or you are a female romantically strolling the beach at night and carrying your flip flops. THAT.IS.IT…. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGH. 

Anyway, I guess now should be the point where I touch on the rest of the contestants, I’ll just roll it out in order of performance. Minus Alex because really that’s basically the review I wrote for him, above.

Gjena Irene – Suddenly I See
Farmington, MI
I love this song (and KT Tunstall in general). I thought her voice fit the song really well, too. She seemed kind of quiet in a lot of parts in the beginning though. She got louder so I guess it was fine. This song fits her so much better than the slower songs and the rock songs she’s picked in episodes past. Also in a turn of events from comments made moments ago, I actually kind of liked the eclectic way she was dressed tonight with the leopard under the jean shots. Not a look that I can probably pull off but I liked it.

Jessica Meuse – White Flag
Slapout, AL (as if anyone could forget)
First and foremost, I just have to say how amazing her hair looks tonight. I thought Dido was a really weird pick for her, but when she started singing, I actually really liked it. And the fact that she had a country twang, I thought it was enough to make the song sound really different. There’s a chance for me that this was one of the best performances (spoiler, it probably tied for 4th overall). It was a touch nasaly but that could be because of her twang. As for the judging of this lovely performance

asif

I don’t think that Keith should’ve sung, to show her anything. That was awkward. I didn’t think she was sharp at all, or flat for that matter. I think for me, JLo’s criticism was pertinent. She wants to convince herself that she’s comfortable on that stage but she’s not yet and she needs to get there. the other two though, not so much. I thought they’d at least applaud her on the originality of her song choice. And while I try to stick to only voting for my top 3, I will be pity voting for everyone to keep her.

Emily Piriz – Let’s Get Loud
Orlando, FL
Super cute video from her boyfriend. Weird that he shot it in his car and weird that they would do it before her performance. I mean, as if the show isn’t emotionally draining enough! Wouldn’t it have been nice to do it afterwards and not be filled with all your feels as you are about to perform? Might’ve worked if it was some love song but because it was a JLo song, it was just a weird place to show her the video. I thought this song was ok but didn’t showcase any kind of singing ability. It showed a bit of a fun side but not like, an ability to sing well. I think it probably helps her in the long run because it does show a fun side, but it didn’t show singing ability and I think that could (and maybe hope it does) hurt her.

Caleb Johnson – Working Man
Ashville, NC
So, funny story. My husband likes to play this game where he quizzes me about who sings songs on the radio. Every time it was a Rush song, I always thought it was Styx. It drove him crazy. So now I just say it constantly (and believe it probably half that amount of times). As for Caleb, I was told by 2 Rush fans that he was nailing it. The thing is, I’m just not a Rush fan. And I’m not a Caleb Johnson fan. I’m just not. Sorry friends. I thought Harry was pretty spot on in his question about what he’d bring to rock music. “What are you going to do, to bring Rock forward? What can you bring to make it not predictable?” To me, he’s going to become something of an Adam Lambert in that regard (how he’s going to be the new frontman for Queen), I could totally see him become a new front man for an old band.

MK Nobilette – Drops of Jupiter
San Francisco, CA
I just don’t know about this performance. This is just reminding me of that website “Lesbians That Look Like Justin Beiber”. The only advice I can give MK (if I’m even one to give advice) is this:

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CJ Harris – Waiting on the World to Change
Jasper, AL
I think this was probably CJ’s best performance since his original audition. This is the CJ I wanted to go through to the Top 12 (although if he winds up in Bottom 3, I’m pretty ok with it). I’m with Keith that it was a bit of a cover, but it wasn’t a bad cover. CJ’s girlfriend remind me of this song called Mother Lover

Sam Woolf – Just One
Somewhere Michigan but really Bradenton, FL

Grampy annnnnnnd cute kids? What’s more to love about Sam? I’ve never heard of this song/band. The tone of his voice is like buttah, but yeah, it’s a little boring. Astute judgment, Keith. As for what I think Sam needs?

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Yeah that’s right. I’ve brought Ursula into this twice. But for Sam I mean more in his voice than in his body. He just needs to mix it up a little more for me. Not his voice just his song selection. I’d love to see him doing something a touch more up-tempo.

Malaya Watson – Take me to the King
Southfield, MI
“I aint trying to be on those stools again. They weren’t even comfortable” Preach it girl! Malaya seemed kind of downtrodden this episode. I feel bad that she was in the bottom 3. I want her to be happy Malaya again. The beginning was a little shaky to me, but it got better, and once the back-up singers came in, I really started to come into it, and enjoy it. It’s a little weird to me but I feel like the louder she sings, the better she sings. Get it girl! I know you have it in you! You still got my 50 votes as always 🙂

And with that, it’s time for me to make my picks for how I think the Top 12 will shape up! I have to say it’s exponentially harder this season than last! Than any previous season really. It’s so hard for me to decide who I think will be in the top and who will be out next. But, for the love of the game… and to publicly declare so none of my fellow guessers feel I cheated in any way, here are my Top 12:

01. Majesty Rose
02. Jessica Meuse
03. Sam Woolf
04. Ben Briley
05.Dexter Roberts
06. Malaya Watson
07. Jena Irene
08. Alex Preston
09. Caleb Johnson
10. MK Nobilette
11. CJ Harris
12. Emily Piriz

Oh and in case you were wondering who got my votes tonight…

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 9.58.20 PM

 

Categories: American Idol, Television, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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