Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sunday Dinner – Testing some new recipes

So now that American Idol is finally over, I’m basically wondering when Top Chef is starting. We also have a garden that is fully done as far as the planting/cleaning portion is concerned. Now we are just waiting for those home grown vegetables to grow!

Anyway, I think all these things lead me subconsciously, to cooking a lot more. Winter lasted so damn long I was just buying cookbooks to bide my time…. I was really happy with my selection.

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My neighbor Noelle told me about this one by Michael Symon. She said all the recipes she’d tried had been good and most cook really fast as long as you are prepared with all your ingredients when they start. We’ve cooked a few so far and I don’t think any have taken longer than 30 minutes. So far, I’ve made the Frittata with Fontina and Fried Salami (amazeballs), he taught me how to make some dressing that I ended up using in a fish recipe the other day (that’ll be on the blog at some point because it was good times). The newest one I tried was also a take on another recipe. I think I’d do it differently, if I did it again, but it was good! Good as hell, if you will…

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Yup, Eggs in Hell. This is actually a bit of a donated recipe to the cookbook, as it’s actually Mario Batali’s recipe. No wonder it’s so delicious! No offense to Michael Symon, of course.

Anyway, the recipe said to make the recipe and then top it with bread, but I decided it might be fun on top of some pasta. What isn’t fun on top of pasta?

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What I was actually most worried about were the eggs. For one, I’m not usually a “runny egg” fan… I like them fried, as nature intended. However, I’m always one of those people who likes to try something every couple of years, to see if maybe my taste buds have changed their minds. It worked with oranges and most citrus, tomatoes, bratwurst (still not with grapefruit, tuna fish, pickles or olives). I wanted runny eggs to be one of those things I like. They just look so good.

So, since I don’t really like my eggs that way, I never have to cook them that way, so this runny egg recipe was something I’m not familiar with. It seemed a lot like poaching an egg, except instead of water, it was tomato sauce. We actually made twice the sauce and kept half to freeze and eat later because it was good. My husband and I both like some zip on occasion, and this was a great way to accomplish that. And it’s simple which I love. I do not like a sauce with 100 ingredients. This one had 5. Garlic, onion, jalapenos, tomatoes and basil (crushed red pepper, optional, we opted).

I thought the eggs were a tiny bit overcooked but when we punched into the eggs, they were definitely runny, so I suppose, mission accomplished.

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So, do I like this particular recipe because the egg gets pretty mixed into the pasta and just kind of becomes part of the sauce. I still don’t think I’d like it on my plate at breakfast with just toast to wipe it up with. Blech. I’m not there yet. But this way, it was really good.

So anyway, check out the book. It gets 2 thumbs up from this girl!

photo 4Oh, it’s also good topped with some parmesan cheese for that saltiness. I used linguini because it was what I had, but I would’ve preferred if it were angel hair pasta. And I do wish I’d had some good crusty garlic bread to go with it!

And one more time, in case you missed it, get the recipe, RIGHT HERE! 

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Categories: Recipes, Sunday Dinner | 1 Comment

American Idol – Winner, Winner – Part II

If  you’d asked me at the end of the finale who I thought was going to win, based on performances, I’d say Jena, but based on the judges opinions/the way Ryan was speaking to the contestants, it seemed pretty obvious that Caleb was the favorite. So when he was announced the winner, it wasn’t all that surprising. Just a little depressing. There’s a little thing that I’m quite biased about, for better or worse. I don’t like contestants who’ve had to try out multiple times, to be on the show. I do realize it’s a bias and it’s probably the wrong opinion to have, especially seeing some of the judging panel over the last few years… but it’s my opinion, and it is what it is. So in that regard, I was still team Jena at the end of everything. So I guess maybe I did care a little bit about who won.

But let’s talk about the super fun finale night! Complete with Zack’s comments (in red) on the show (when he decided to speak up)

Before the show started: Wait – it’s 2 hours? Seriously? But wasn’t it on yesterday?

Oh how naive you are about Finale shows, my love.

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Jena and Caleb sing We Will Rock You, I’m Just a Girl and It’s Only Love

This performance really set the stage, so to speak, for the night to come. It was so fun, they sang wonderfully and the judges weren’t even on stage to muck things up! There’s nothing better than the singers being on screen the whole time, singing without the fear of being cut-away-from, to show all of JLo’s emotions. This might have been my favorite performance of the night, just for that reason! Ok it’s not, but still. You get my drift.

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Sam Woolf and Phillip Phillips singing Home and Raging Fire.

Hey it’s Phillip Roberts! Phillip Phillips

It was weird how little they had Sam sing. I wouldn’t even really say he sang with PP so much as he introduced him, by briefly singing Home, and then Phillip busting out a fantastic new song.

Wow that guy (Philip) is way better than that other guy (Sam). 

Agreed. That guy knows how to put on a show. He’s slowly creeping up as my favorite Idol winner! Though Kelly still has my heart in that regard.

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Jessica Meuse and Jennifer Nettles singing That Girl and Wrecking Ball

This lady (Jennifer Nettles) looks like your cousin (Meghan – for the family reading this)

 This was by far my favorite vocal duo. I thought the whole thing was fantastic and it gives me more hope for Jess as a performer. Jessica should’ve sung Wrecking Ball sometime earlier in the season. Maybe she sang it in her audition at some point? It’s not a song I would’ve thought of her to sing, but I thought she and Jennifer did an amazing job! Way to go!

It made your latter performances where you looked awkward standing a midst a group of girls, forgettable. This performance will be how I remember her, for sure! It was most definitely her best performance of the season.

These two are a way better pairing because I didn’t even notice it wasn’t who was supposed to be singing with her

Side note – Jennifer Nettles kind of sounds like Linda Rondstadt. She could easily cover Total Eclipse of the Heart. Get on that Jen!

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Caleb Johnson and KISS singing Love Gun and Shout It Out Loud

Ok so this was a really fun performance. Personally, KISS freaks me out. Those tongues… the makeup… the shoes… there’s so much about it that I just frankly find weird… That said, Detroit Rock City is a fantastic movie! Of the two songs Caleb sang I liked Shout It Out Loud more, but that’s probably just because I don’t know the song Love Gun. Either way, it was still fun and Caleb brought a lot of excitement to the stage, which is expected, but it’s also appreciated.

Zack on Caleb: Silence. That means he likes it. When he appreciates music he doesn’t talk over it. I’ve learned that watching Idol with him. 

Aloe Blacc and the Idol Guys singing I'm the Man

Aloe Blacc and the Idol Guys singing I’m the Man

I was not aware of Aloe Blacc, or this song. I’m ok with that. I will say that Sam sure did the best in that guys group. When he sings with the other guys you can really tell how much better his voice is. And he even seemed a touch more playful on the stage! Way to up your game Sam. And if you ask me, after hearing the dress rehearsals I wish they would’ve said, hey, CJ, Dexter, why don’t you sit this one out. Stupid contestant agreements.

Then there was a weird break in the musical entertainment to have a weird skit starting with Sam and Majesty getting crap for Jena and Caleb… it was weird. But it did end in a bunch of people getting Ford cars.

I want a brand new mustang. Why won’t you let me have one? Because they are expensive and you have a car.

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Demi Lovato and the Idol Girls singing Don’t Really Care and Neon Lights

How tiny as Jena that Demi Lovato made her look small? I feel like Demi is supes short? This was that part I was talking about earlier, how Jessica looked painfully awkward on stage. I think it’s more that she’s just awkward around a big group of girls I feel bad for her. It’s just not her bag, but it is what she signed up for I guess. It also reminded me why Kristin and Emily left first. Wow that was bad. I mean, WOW.

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Jena Irene and Paramore sing Decode and Ain’t It Fun

I know this Paramore song! I’m not entirely sure how because I can’t fathom Zack knowing a pop song that I don’t know… but I’ll move on. I loved Jena’s outfit with the leather pants and the neon yellow shirt. That was fun. I also loved the piano opening, for obvious reasons. The only thing I didn’t like about to performance were the balloons!

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First of all, it made the performers impossible to see, and distracted completely from the performance, in general. And all I could think about was – I hope there’s not someone with a fear of balloons in the audience.

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Malaya Watson and John Legend singing You and I and All of Me

John Legend has charisma for days. Did I love Malaya? I mean, as a person, yes. This performance maybe wasn’t the best choice of songs. The best part about her performance though, was just how into it she was. I felt like she was really savoring that moment.

*Is everyone in the audience wearing neon?

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Alex Preston and Jason Mraz singing Love Someone

Alex and Jason Mraz were pretty good. Zack usually is super vocal about his distaste of Alex (hence our house division over him, in general), and he seemed if nothing else, tolerant of the performance. Probably because it was really good, ZACK! haha.

For me personally, I have to believe that the best/surprise performance of the night, belonged to Mr. Seacrest himself.

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Ryan singing Right Here Waiting was worth watching the entire show. But when Richard Marx showed up, probably dying a little on the inside, all I could think was how I wished Ryan was Linda Rondstadt. And also, how good Richard Marx looked. Seriously though, Ryan, don’t ever sing, but you were adorable attempting. It makes me happy that a guy like this knows he can’t sing, and is in on the joke.

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Darius Rucker with Dexter and CJ singing True Believers and Alright

Darius Rucker – Dexter – CJ

Not bad. I mean, it was fine. Look how cute Dexter is on stage 🙂

And now, my only true gripe about the performance (but it is mixed with some love) was the fact that they end the show, the most important moment in these two kids lives, with a performance by the JUDGES/shitty mentor?????

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The Judges Sing… For a minute, I thought it was really good, until twitter informed me that “auto-tune microphones” are a real thing, and that JLo probably wasn’t actually singing. I dare say Randy was my favorite part of the performance. Dude can play bass. Ok that’s a lie. Harry was my favorite. Why? He was on the piano! Der! Keith was also really fantastic. But that weird JLo voice on True Colors? That’s going to haunt my dreams.

So that was the night (oh and Lady Antebellum sang, also). In the end, it looked like this and with a male performer back in the winners spot, all was right in the Idol world!

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Congratulations Caleb. Way to give hope to all those people who tried out for Idol multiple times and finally got onto the show.

Categories: American Idol, Television | Leave a comment

American Idol – Winner Winner, Part I

Well, I know I said that I didn’t care who would win (that’s still true) but I’m quite pleasantly surprised that of what I watched (because I did boycott at least 2 things) I wasn’t completely bored. It was a great two nights of music.

That said, the two things I boycotted… first, “Round 2” – I knew it would happen deep down (I think I even called it), but I thought maybe they’d prove me wrong.

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Once again, aka THE THIRD TIME this season, we’ve heard a repeated performance. I mean really, how many times did we need to hear them sing something they’d already sung? Was it that impossible to have 3 different songs to learn? Or alternatively, not do it the first two times, so that when you did it on Tuesday, it would just remind us how far you’ve come. It’s nice in the finale. It’s just not nice when it’s happened twice before already.

Just to make it completely clear, here are the times repeats on TV are acceptable:

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Times it isn’t acceptable:

ON REALITY FUCKING TELEVISION!!!

Part of the reason reality TV is successful, is because it’s fresh and NEW. It’s not the same old thing over and over again. Idol apparently didn’t get that memo. If there’s one major flaw of the new producers, it’s their acceptance/want to have contestants perform songs they’ve sung before. There are lot of performance based reality TV shows and none of them do it, and I don’t know what the producers were thinking, allowing idol to do this. Maybe it’s because they know we sat through 500 versions of Wrecking Ball (spoiler alert – we heard that one too, but at least it was amazing)

The second thing was, as you might expect, JLo’s performance on the finale. By skipping it, I caught up on my recording way faster than I wanted to, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

So let’s talk about the voting night. Obviously, I didn’t listen to Round 2 because I remember them singing their respective songs. As for their first and third, well there’s plenty to talk about.

ROUND 1

So for Round 1, we had Caleb singing Dream On and while Jena belted The Dog Days are Over. For me, Jena was definitely more interesting/unexpected than Caleb but Caleb was the better performance. It makes you realize that this show is really more about performance than it is about ability to sing. Or, maybe they just assume that everyones singing ability being equal, it is more about the performance? That’s probably what their intent was. So anyway, for me – I’m going Jena for round 1.

ROUND 2

Exhibit A (AKA – 2 freaking weeks ago)

ROUND 3

Just first and foremost, about the original songs, it was really nice to be surprisingly pleased with both songs. Usually I think one is terrible (and it’s usually the girls, when the final two are a boy/girl combo). I mean, not everything can be A Moment Like This. These songs weren’t that, but they were good. I was happy.

JENA IRENE – WE ARE ONE

The great thing about Jena was that this was her best performance of the night. It was great to see her really embrace the song and perform it so well. If you’re going to go out, go out singing better than your competitor (I think you did that, personally)

CALEB JOHNSON – AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME

Ok a fee things about Caleb’s song – and my issues with Caleb. For me, Caleb has always been a little more “Rock of Ages” than “Rock”. Does that makes sense? There’s just something that’s not genuine to me, about him. I did think this was a fantastic song for him, and if I heard correctly (I checked, and I did), the lead singer of The Darkness wrote the tune. Now that guy is a rock performer! What I found out while googling who wrote the song, was that Kelly Clarkson was actually going to perform it, at one point! Now that’s something I’d like to see!

Categories: American Idol, Television | 1 Comment

American Idol – Season 13 Finale Predictions

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So here’s the thing about the Idol season finale. Maybe this is controversial… probably not… but I’ll say it either way.

I do not care who wins this season of idol.

I wish I did. I really wish I cared, but I haven’t cared less, since the season with Ruben and Clay (I was #TeamKimberly). Yes. That’s the actual last time I didn’t care about the Top 2 finalists. I mean, that’s really saying something. I mean sure, the person I’ve wanted to win may not have won, but almost always the person I wanted to win, was in the Top 2.

This season was different though. It started with so much potential. Great new competent-seeming judges. Great contestants and some fresh producers full of new ideas… So much could’ve happened. And yet, so much didn’t.

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There was only one person who was even remotely interesting and she was voted out in the Top 08. Did I think Malaya would be in the Top 2? Probably not. But I mean, to only care about 1, maybe 2 contestants (ok 3, I forgot Majesty) in the whole Top 12… that’s not saying much.

If you look throughout seasons, there’s almost always those truly memorable performances. I’d say that Jena’s version of Creep was probably as close as we got to one of those “take your breath away” moments but if you look at what I have in my personal Top 30, I don’t know that Creep would make it in, and as such, I’ve got to consider this season a fail.

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I just don’t see either Caleb or Jena reaching the full level of success. I see Caleb getting a Taylor Hicks level, and as for Jena… she’s a wild card. But she’s a wild card that I assume isn’t reaching to the Kelly/Carrie levels of success.

It’s just sad to see so many super talented contestants throughout the years, and I do think some truly talented people tried out this year. I just don’t think anyone except maybe Jessica has any money making potential. And I see Jessica’s potential more in the form of song-writing than I do singing. She kind of reminds me of the girl in Coyote Ugly.

So tonight, we start the beginning of the crescendo that is the Idol Finale. As for me, I’ll be pulling for Jena but I just don’t know if I really… no, I definitely know, I don’t really care if she wins or not. I just have to hope that everyone gives stellar performances over the next few days (with no songs that I’ve already heard before – which I currently believe to be impossible).

Categories: American Idol, Television | 1 Comment

American Idol – And Then There Were 3!

So here’s the thing about tonight. There were two things that I genuinely HATED about this episode of American Idol. First, and I’ll get it out of the way quickly – what in the freaking HELL was that song about taking a selfie? I’m allll for a summer jam (and I own a lot of what would be classified as terrible by most song writers), or a catchy tune that doesn’t make a ton of sense, but this was just awful on so many levels.

Why is the show so obsessed with selfies in the last few episodes anyway? Are the judges that self-centered? I mean, not Keith, he clearly thinks only about his lovely wife… but I mean, JLo and Harry? Clear narcissists, right? I won’t even get into that body roll thing that was going on with JLo during Caleb’s last song? Twitter sums up my personal reactions quite well:

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Now, the second thing, far more major than anything regarding selfies. Why oh WHHHHYYYY for the SECOND F*CKING TIME THIS SEASON did we hear contestants sing a song that we’ve heard them sing before? The category of “audition song” was bad enough – and at least we heard at least one or two original performances. This was literally just the contestants cities, picking their favorite performance.

Is it that hard to find new songs? I never would’ve thought that to be the case. Last I checked, there’s an almost infinite amount of songs out there in the ether. Why on earth would we have to hear a whole round of songs that we’ve heard before? I mean sure, they did a great job on that last round. Every song was fantastic (Jena’s being the best, if I say so myself) but why on Earth did I need to hear it again? Does the world know how much other TV is out there? I missed the season finale of Criminal Minds, catching up on Fargo, pretty much anything else I hadn’t seen on my DVR… all for songs I’ve seen them sing before? I just don’t understand.

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I will not be talking about the last round anymore. I promise. If you want my opinion, you can look here, here and here. Enjoy!
Now, as for the first two rounds… those we can talk about! So, lets!

Round 1: Randy’s Choice

Caleb Johnson – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
This would be the first of what I imagine was something around a quarter of the show, talking about Caleb’s illness. I mean sure, he wasn’t the first to come down with something and as one of the obvious front runners, it is troublesome that he’d get sick so late in the game. That said, did we need it shoved down our throats by the resident Idol doctor? I don’t really think so. Isn’t it better to just perform well or not well, and then maybe bring it up afterwards? I don’t know if I would’ve preferred more filler from the judges or if I was ok with Caleb standing but not talking, to Ryan.
Oh also, he performed and it wasn’t that good. Probably because he was sick. Also, Randy is terrible at picking songs. Did he just ask the contestants what they were going to sing?

Alex Preston – Bastille – Pompeii
I actually heard this song for the first time, earlier today (the radio station I listen to is giving away tickets to their show) This was most definitely not my favorite performance of Alex’ from the night. Was it bad? Not so much. Was it as good as either of the other two performances? Definitely not. I will say though, that this performance was nice to see. All of Alex’ performances were. He was the only contestant that really brought it in the night, and this performance for me, was just the beginning. I also felt bad that it seemed like something either happened with the mic, or maybe Alex stepped away from it? I’m not sure, but either way, I really liked the drums, and I really liked the overall ending of the performance. I think one of the judges said it (or maybe I imagined me critiquing him on tv) but someone, including myself, really enjoyed him stepping out from hehind his stringed instrument and beginning to finally engage with the audience.

Jena Irene – David Guetta – Titanium
I could’ve SWORN this songs been done by other idols (maybe it was just in the audition round?) but apparently I’m wrong. I just thought there was someone that had done this better. Possibly I’m just thinking of the actual song? Because the song wasn’t good enough to distract me, all I could really focus on was how they put Jena in that harness. WHY? Were they worried she was going to fall or something because A) it wasn’t tight and she could’ve flipped out of it with one misstep and B) she’s an adult. Why does she need a harness? This was by far Jena’s worst performance of the night, but I’d still put her second to Alex in this round.

My pick for the Winner of Round 1:

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Round 2: Judge’s Pick: 

Can I just say that of the 3 rounds, the Judges most definitely had my favorite picks of the night. I was worried with JLo involved in the picking but I like to believe she was outsmarted by the witty HCJ and Keith into good songs that possibly challenge them just a bit?

Caleb – Imagine Dragons – Demons
I know he is losing his voice but really the song wasn’t bad the whole time. This was the song that really drove home my anger about the emphasis on him being sick. Why even mention it? I mean, I get you want to conserve your voice so in that regard you kind of have to, but it would be better if you didn’t have to. Kudos to Harry for not adding to the “sick person” hype. And shame on Jen and Keith for the complete lack of criticism. To you, I only have to say:

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I also wanna just add in a little Slezak input (since he posted before me and as always, I completely agree with what he’s saying)

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(This was the point where I had to stop to acknowledge Jennifer’s hair. It’s amazing while she’s talking to the judges). 

Alex – Rihanna – Stay
This was kind of a weird pick for Alex. I don’t really know the song but I thought Alex did it very well. This was that angsty song I needed last week. I’m glad he fulfilled that little need I had. I do have to say though, that his outfit was the equivalent of that selfie song. Which I can’t believe I have no mentioned TWICE in this post. Barf.

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That said, I dare say this was one of my favorite performances of the evening. Definitely the best original performance!

Jena – Demi Lovato – Heart Attack
I seem to like Demi Lovato songs so much more when other people are singing them. I didn’t feel that right away, and I’m sure I’ve heard it better, but the chorus of this was good. It worked up to being good. And by the end, I loved it. I think this was probably the judges worst song choice as far as performance was concerned, but it wasn’t terrible.

The best thing, was right before Jena’s performance! At first, as I’m watching Jess, I’m thinking, what’s she doing with her hand, then they finally panned out to my girl, and yes, there was Malaya proving we’re best friends.

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Did anyone else see the Hunger Games salute? How perfect was that? I mean, possibly a touch weird but so is Malaya. And so am I! To you I say,

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I am Katniss in this regard, right? Malaya is my Prim.

My pick for the Winnerof Round 2:

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Yup that’s right. For the performance that matter, I think Alex took both rounds. I will only say that, as for Round 3 it wasn’t a sweep:

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Yup. Creep was just too good of a performance. It was like brand new all over again and if there were any final performances I liked, this was it. Yes, this one only.

And that’s it! Let’s see who will be gracing our FINALE show next week!

Almost!

Almost!

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

Americnan Idol Top 4 – Make Up, Don’t Break Up

Tonight was really weird. I was super psyched for the break-up songs from my love of angsty heartbreak. It really is the best tool to write a good song! And yet, tonight, it was the Make-Up Songs for me. I think that’s only because the contestants knew it would be the last song the world would hear for the night, so of course they had to be the best. Had they done break-ups last, I would’ve got that angst filled torture I love so much.

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The only bad thing about everyone having a great final song, was that you had to go back and look at the first 2 (Break-Ups and Dedications) to really pick the stand out performances of the night. I didn’t think anyone had 3 good songs (although if we’re comparing to last week, Caleb was like a shining star coming out from the ashes). I think tonight I’m just going to talk about my favorites from the first two rounds, and then really dive into the third round. How’s that sound to everyone? Good? Ok, we’ll see how it goes. Let’s get moving!

Break- Up Songs

Easter closet break up

To be fair, I think the bigger reason I hated this round was that A) Nobody chose a song I wanted to hear (how are you not gonna cover Adele or TSwizzle in a category about break-ups?) and B) Alex wasn’t nearly angsty enough. What happened to the Alex from Say Something? Man, I wanted to cry by the end of that. THAT was angst! That said, Alex Preston was still my favorite this week. Too Close was a pretty great performance and was different enough that I didn’t even recognize the song at first (it wasn’t so much that it was that different, so much as I only know the chorus of that song). Either way, I knew that he’d be my favorite because his break-up style is my break-up style. He throws himself into his emotion. Great things probably come from his heartbreak (his story was even about all the great songs he wrote post-break ups). The other contestants don’t handle break ups like Alex and I do:

Caleb – Broken up with? Maybe I’ll stalk you for a few weeks and if you still don’t want to get back together, I’ll just move on from you to whatever other girl is willing to worship the ground I walk on (and seriously, You Give Love a Bad Name? I mean, I knew something along those lines was coming, but it was just entirely too cliché for me. I wanted another Adele song, or just anything slower and more heartfelt than what he did.

Jessica – Jessica doesn’t seem to be the type to really harp on a bad break up. She seems like she’s going to grab the bull by the horns and get on with herself. Her song showed that. I’m not going to let a miserable relationship hold ME back! The problem is – if you sing Since U Been Gone, in the House that Clarkson built, you really have to SHINE! You have to be PERFECT. And Jess, you aren’t Kelly Clarkson. I’m sorry girl. Someone maybe should’ve advised you….

13th Annual Race to Erase MS Sponsored by Nancy Davis and Tommy Hilfiger - Show

Like… I dunno… This freaking guy?

Jena – This little lady seems like the type that is probably super sadsies locked in her room not wanting to talk to her mom and having her dinner slid under the door (however you do that). But on the outside/at school – she’s puts out more of a Jessica-like “I’m Over YOU!” vibe. Even though she isn’t really feelin’ it. Heartbreaker was definitely my second favorite performance. She at least had the feeling that I think Jessica lacked in her performance.

Dedication Songs

After Hours with Glenn Hollis on 97.1 WASH FM

After Hours with Glenn Hollis on 97.1 WASH FM

I wish I’d known this was a category. It was a perfect in between category for make-ups and break-ups. Reminds me of calling the radio station to dedicate love songs to my bf in middle school and high school and HOPING to hear it on the radio!

This was by FAR my least favorite category. I dare say I didn’t like anyone but if truth be told, I did enjoy Travelin’ Band and I’m Yours*. I still thought Caleb Johnson’s was a touch predictable, but when you do predictable really well, you forget about your anger at the song choice #amiright.  Now as for Alex Preston, I’m Yours was a super ironic pick, for me. Hence the asterisk. When Alex said it was a dedication to his girlfriend I just thought – since when is Sam Woolf, Alex’ girlfriend?

(It’s a good thing they actually showed her – AI13 contestant Jillian Jensen)

(It’s a good thing they actually showed her – AI13 contestant Jillian Jensen)

I mean, a Jason Mraz song? Really Alex? I think he either chose it because he missed Sam being on the show, his jammin’ buddy, or now that Sam was finally off the show without a 3rd attempt to bring him back, Alex finally had the ability to say “Hey Sam, this is how you do a Mraz song, buddy!”. What do you guys think? Either way, I thought this was Alex’ best performance of the night. It was fun, it was him, and he was good enough that rather than write any complaints, I just kept talking to my pals about how much I hate his rolled pants and how he must only be doing it at this point as some kind of warped good luck charm? As for the other two…

Jena – Honey, you haven’t bad a bad song in a while. I thought Gaga would be a really great choice for you. I’ve wanted you to sing Gaga for a minute… but this wasn’t the right Gaga song. I think Born This Way would’ve been so much better. Bad Romance was just…

brit kinda bad

Jessica – Dear. This was the point in the night where I really decided that Jess was definitely going to be on Bus 1 after tonight. She just couldn’t continue to perform songs that were done so much better by the actual performers. It’s a bad look (and sound). I get that she wanted to play a song for the haters, but Pink is just such a presence and Jess didn’t take on that persona in her version. It was far more vacant than Pink has ever/will ever be.  This was just a 2/2 in the bad song choice department for Jess. I was just happy she didn’t go 3/3.

Make Up Songs

making up (1 of 3)

I know, I’m as shocked as anyone that this was my favorite category. I mean, I was having trouble even deciding what a “make-up” song even is. I mean, I literally have a playlist on my computer at home, of “break-up” songs that’s 4 hours long! I couldn’t even find 1 song that really felt like a make up song, in my current music. And after hearing the song choices by the contestants, it was pretty much just 4 love songs. I was ok with it though, because I thought it was a stupid concept. Anyway, I want to definitely talk about all of these songs because as far as I’m concerned, this is really where the show started. One would’ve thought it was the finale the way the contestants brought it tonight!

Alex – Yellow (Coldplay) – While Alex was my 4th place of this round, it was just the 4th best. It’s funny that he chose Coldplay because as you know, we are a house divided about Alex, and we are also a house divided on Coldplay, so it was fitting he’d choose a Coldplay song to sing! This was a lovely song. He sang it well, but I do worry that with the strength of this last performance by Jessica and the fact that he basically voted Sam off last week, this could be his swan song. I don’t think it will be, but it could be, and I wouldn’t be miserable about it.

Caleb – Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney) – This performance was my 3rd favorite of the round. This tone was actually more of what I was looking for when Caleb was singing the break up songs (hence me liking it more, I believe). He showed what he can really do with his voice, which was lovely. It was gentle when it needed to be (something I was really wondering if Caleb could do – especially after he botched the Aerosmith tune last week). I think it finally showed some restraint. I also think it was his most a-typical pick. While I didn’t know what to pick, this wouldn’t have crossed my mind (I don’t think Paul McCartney in any way makes me think of Caleb). In that regard, I thought this was stellar.

Jessica – You and I (Lady Gaga) – There is no second place here. This is just a tied for first moment. My friend Jess called this song for Jessica and if this is what she gets when she calls a song, I hope she starts calling a lot more. I thought Jess kind of knew this might be the last big performance she’d get and she knew she’d have to make the most of it. But wow.

 SeriousClapping

I mean, tell me she didn’t? This performance was EVERYTHING. If nothing else, I hope she sings this song on the tour because it was everything it needed to be.

Jena – Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley) – FIRST. FIRST. OK, TIED FOR FIRST! Again, this was what I was looking for in the break-up songs, but it still gave me what I was so missing in the first round! Why they didn’t end with this show was beyond me! When I saw the piano I knew I was in good hands. And oh was I ever. I just melted with Jena on this performance. Sweet, striped down perfection.

And now we see who moves on, tonight! All I can say is that I’m super happy that the show stayed under 2 hours because I was worried there for a minute!

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American Idol – Break Up to Make Up Predictions

Ok so this theme only bothers me because there are only 4 contestants left (and because Candace Glover isn’t on the show this year – that girl can kill a Break-Up song).

I love break-up songs. The thing is, it’s one of those times when (for me at least), you’ve just broken up with someone and your life feels a little like this

crying rain

mixed with a little of this…

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and finally, a little of this…

Know my Pain

The thing here is, no one knows your pain. The only thing that knows your pain is your ipod, on shuffle, going through the songs that just get you right now. That’s how I always feel (even though I’ve never been broken up with since the invention of ipods… I’m just that old. haha). For me it was more a mix tape, recorded from the radio. But no matter how you slice it, listening to music just makes sense when you’re upset that love has abandoned you. Make-ups though? I don’t even think that’s a genre really, is it? I mean, I know there are songs begging for people to come back, and songs about being on love, but do people really write songs about getting back together? I dunno…

While compiling my list of songs I think everyone should sing, I basically just looked at other peoples suggestions as far as make up songs, and they were mostly just love songs, mixed with a few songs about begging people to get back together and/or not break up. So, that’s kind of what I went with, but I’m much more passionate about the break up songs. It’s just nature. So without further adieu, here’s my list of what I’d like to see sung this week… something tells me I won’t be as accurate this time around.

Also for the record, I knew the exact lyrics I wanted to talk about for EACH break-up song, because I’m pathetic. And a romantic, all rolled into one 🙂

Alex Preston 

Break-Up Songs: I’m not gonna lie, I had to narrow this down from like, 15 potential choices. I narrowed it down to 4 (you’re welcome) and that’ll have to do because really, Alex has the perfect “break-up song voice” for me. His angst is EXACTLY what I want to listen to when I’m moping.

Tiny Vessels by Deathcab For Cutie

Lyric: And tiny vessels oozed into your neck and formed the bruises that you said you didn’t want to fade, but they did and so did I that day…..

This is a song about a guy who doesn’t love a girl like he thinks he maybe should love her. It’s definitely about a girl that loves the guy more. Which I mean, if you’re a girl broken up with by a guy, that was probably the situation.

This is basically my top choice because I’m hell bent on getting a Deathcab song on TV. I know it won’t happen, and I know Ben Gibbard is probably totally fine with that.

Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams

Lyrics: Nothing specific but this is kind of about a guy who broke up with a girl and wishes her back, even though his friends think she’s bad news… my favorite lyric (and illustration of said lyric) is from this lovely lyric video:

ryanadams

A guy I was dating actually put this song on a CD that he made for me saying it reminded him of me, and I kind of hated the song (I still kind of hate Ryan Adams)… then we broke up and I liked the song so much more… weird how things work.

Nobody Knows by the Tony Rich Project

Lyrics: Like a clown I put on a show, the pain is real even if nobody knows, and I’m crying inside and nobody knows it but me.

Talk about the quintessential break up song! I mean look at those lyrics! Every lyric is break-up perfection.

Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake

Lyrics: Girl I refuse you must have me confused with some other guy. Bridges are burned, now it your turn to CRY! CRY ME A RIVER!

Oh the angst that happens when Brit Brit breaks your heart. I could also kind of see Jena singing this one for some reason. But it has a falsetto that Justin shines at, that I think Alex would sing wonderfully. Especially with his hipster guitar!

Caleb Johnson

Caleb is pretty much the opposite of the angsty break up song that I love and desire when in such a position, however, he does have the voice of the empowered post-break up strength you eventually get when you’re like “that’s it, I’m done. And I’m gonna be so much better now!”

Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

This is the only song I have for Caleb because I’m that dedicated to it as my choice. I know it’s a duet but I also know that Caleb can totally pull it off. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if he could do it Dan Band style 🙂

End of the Road by Boyz II Men

Lyrics: Just read all the lyrics. It’s the whole song. And who doesn’t know all the words anyway? I mean, well, if you’re a girl, anywhere from age 28-40, I think you know all the words, right?

Ok I know I said only one but this one just came to me while looking up some stuff on youtube. The reason I think this would be great is because I just think it would be a good chance to redeem himself for that disaster of a slow song last week. Do I think he could do it? No. Do I think he will do this? Also no. However, it could be great if he were able to pull it off!

Jena Irene

Jena was also a little tough to pick for. She just isn’t my genre. Actually, none of the contestants were except Alex. This is definitely Alex’ week to shine! But I digress. And I have a few suggestions!

Back to Black by Amy Winehouse 

Lyrics: We only said goodbye with words. I died a hundred times. You go back to her, and I go back to us.

Ok so yes, I’ve wanted Jena to sing some Amy for a minute now. But this is a great song. A great break-up song, and it would fit Jena’s voice so well. It’s definitely the female angst which is fine (though not really comparable to the guy angst that I tend to swing towards for a good break up song)

Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton

This would be kind of a shock for Jena to sing and I really don’t expect her to sing it, but it’s a great break up song (again, where’s Candace when you need her?). I know the video shows that the BF just died, but if you look at the lyrics, it’s definitely a break-up worthy song. “Bring back those nights where I held you beside me! Unbreak my heart, say you’ll love me again, undo this hurt you caused when you walked out the door and walked out of my life” I mean, really.

Jessica Meuse

Ok so for some reason, while again, she’s not my voice for break-ups, I did think of a lot of break up songs that would suit Jessica! Second only to Alex. So, here’s my list for Jessica:

You Oughtta Know by Alanis Morrisette 

Lyrics: All of them!

I mean come on. This is like, Jess HAS to sing this! This is the EPITOME of a break up song! A revenge break up song, no less. If Jess doesn’t sing this, I’ll be disappointed. That’s all I’ll say.

Nothing Compares to You by Sinead O’Connor

Lyrics: It’s been 7 hours and 16 days, since you took your love away. I go out every night and sleep all day, since you took your love away…

And doesn’t Sinead just look heart broken in the video? As long as you’re not watching the version from SNL anyway. haha. I could just see this song with kind of a rock/country vibe behind it. Little guitar mixed in. It could be good.

Torn by Natalie Imbruglia 

Lyrics: Nothings fine I’m torn. I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel, I’m cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor. Illusion never changed, into something real…

I just love this song. It’s definitely a fantastic break up song, and it’s kind of pop-y which I think would be nice to see Jessica kind of delve into. I also think she needs more of an empowering break up song than a sad one.

Make-Up Songs

As for Make-Up Songs, I’ll just cover them quickly because it’s not the category I really care about…

Alex – I Miss you (Incubus), White Flag (Dido) or Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)

Caleb – We Can Work it Out (The Beatles) or Please Forgive Me (Bryan Adams)

Jena – My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson)

Jessica – Underneath it all (No Doubt) or It’s Your Love (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill)


Possible Duets:

9 Crimes by Damien Rice I hope this gets the duet treatment but there isn’t really a “right” girl for the duet this season. Kree would’ve been a good fit for the girl in this!

Lyrics: Leave me out with the waste this is not what I do, it’s the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you, it’s the wrong time for somebody new, it’s a small crime and I’ve got no excuse…

This one is more about cheating than breaking up, but whatever. It’s still angsty and perfect.

Love the Way You Lie by Eminem and Rihanna

Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Forget You – CeeLo

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American Idol – The Top 5 Play for America!

Wow America, you really are like me!

giphy (1)

Just picture me as Ellen, and America as Kate McKinnon

I couldn’t believe how quasi-spot on I was with the set of songs. I did follow along with the tweeting when they were asking people to pick songs and I’ll say that legit – I did see some of these suggestions, and just happened to agree with them, but that totally counts!

Some of them were just straight out of left field, as in, I saw no one that recommended them, but that’s not to say someone didn’t. I’m curious how many options they were given. Probably 5 or 6. This was the first time though, that they didn’t seem to be singing songs they’d sung 100 times before. Which may have been the first time this season that’s happened! It was definitely one of the far more enjoyable nights of the season, to date!

Alex Preston

Sweater Weather (The Neighbourhood’s)

I thought I’d never heard this song (which would’ve been fine) but it turns out, it was just the band name that threw me off (I’ve definitely never heard of The Neighborhood’s). The nice thing about what people requested for Alex, is that he’s a less typical contestant, so it makes sense he gets more obscure songs, right? I thought he did a great job picking it up a little bit as Jason suggested, but it still fit the troubadour style that Alex embodies – which I’m totally ok with. And I thought it was a lot better than the original, actually. Maybe Alex was doing well because he was performing for his celebrity crush?

Say Something (A Great Big World)

Ok so yes, ahem…

alex

EXHIBIT A

Oh yes, 1 for 2! I’ll take it!

I loved this song. It was exactly as good as I thought it would be with Alex singing it. Yes, a touch karaoke in that he changed almost nothing about it, but it’s a harder song to do well, so in that regard, I thought it was fantastic. It’s just one of those really popular songs right now so if you screw up any parts of it, it’s going to be blatantly obvious, so the fact that he did it so well, only impressed me more. I’ll touch back on this little topic.

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Yes… we’ll talk about that again

Caleb Johnson

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (Aerosmith)

Ok yes, I’m happy that Alex picked an Aerosmith song (as I suggested) but come on… this one? How many times has this song been done on Idol?

caleb

This doesn’t even include when Lauren Alaina sang it to Stephen Tyler. le sigh…

And he was (at first, singing it TERRIBLY) but then he hit that glory note and I was like – whoa there! That was intense. It was still really bad though. Definitely the worst of the night. And the fact that at least 6 other Idols performed it better, needs to prompt the judges to bring up the terribleness of that opening. And yet… crickets! I don’t know what JLo was doing saying it was beautiful because the opening was anything but.

what just happened

And then she says she liked how he made it a ballad and it gave her goosies. In what world was that not a ballad? Ok sure, “power ballad” but it’s still a fucking ballad. And in what way was it any different from the way Steven Tyler sings it? I’m sure curious how the only honest critic of his performance, was himself after the commercials!

oh my god

Still of the Night (Whitesnake)

Silly me. I had no idea this was a Whitesnake song. I was definitely thinking of this Still of the Night. I didn’t know this song, but as expected, Caleb rocked it out pretty well. The thing is though, I feel like Undo It was sooo good, that he has to really set those standards and I know know if Caleb did that tonihgt. I just hated how JLo and Keith were standing. Stay siting down. I’m with Harry. You’re a judge. I dunno. At least they haven’t done it much this season. I felt like when it was JLo and Stephen, it was every performance except Hailey.

Sam, Jena and Alex – Best Day of My Life

I only have 2 things to say about this performance. First, I wasn’t paying attention. Secondly, If you’d had your eyes shut, I don’t know that you would’ve known Sam was even singing. Possibly it was also because I wasn’t paying attention.

Jessica Meuse

Human (Christina Perri)

Ok I’m pretty sure I don’t know this song. Yeah, I didn’t. This would be the first of the two times tonight I didn’t know the song, the other being Jessica’s second performance.

Jim-Halpert-The-Office

I really liked this song for Jessica though. I thought she did a great job expressing herself and really connecting. I don’t understand JLo’s critique at all. I guess when she can’t say bad things about Jess, she just says confusing things? Harry and Keith weren’t much better, but I think it was definitely an excellent start to Jessica’s night! She really has a great voice when she’s singing something a little slower. It’s like the more I think about her performance, the more I liked it.

 Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Ray)

I loved Jessica’s dress. That needs to be said first and foremost. And her performance was fine. The thing is though, was it still kind of boring? At least in the beginning. It did pick up. Here’s the problem with it, and with Sam’s while we’re speaking about it – it’s just not a song I like and so I tend to think the song/performance is boring (At least she can connect with the audience unlike some of her competition, yes Sam, still talking about you).

 

Sam Woolf

Sing (Ed Sheeran)

This is a catchy song but the whole time I was just thinking – I’d really like to hear Ed Sheeran sing this… I didn’t think I’d heard the song but the beat sounded so familiar, so I looked it up, yes, on my ipod. Ed Sheerans is definitely way better! And it’s all about that falsetto that Sam was severely lacking. How JLo could even consider  saying she liked it that way is beyond me! Please, watch both performances and tell me who’s better. Please.

ED SHEERAN                         SAM WOOLF

I dare you to tell me that Sam’s is better. But seriously, don’t. I’ll want to punch you in the face. Also, this.

sam and alex

 How to Save a Life (The Fray)

snooze andy cohen

Yeah, that sums it up.

JENA

My Body (Young the Giant)

It was like Florence and the Machine and Gwen Stefani’s powers combined, when Jena sang Young the Giant. I thought this was fan-tastic! I mean, like, I was drooling. I just couldn’t understand why they weren’t praising her overall performance more. Harry talking about how she moves well? JLo saying she’s memorable? I mean, just say that she slayed that song. And she sang it well!

*minor note, it would’ve been nice for the stylists to not make you look like Waldo.

Valerie (Amy Whinehouse)

Ok so yes, I was right. Well, sort of. I was right that she’d sing Amy, and I was right when I warned her not to sing Valerie. She was noooooo Santana. And trust me I know because Santana just re-sang it on the 100th ep of Glee. It was another case “right singer, wrong song”. I mean, to an outside judge, you probably thought it was fantastic. And honestly, did it make me think any less of Jena? Surely no! But as far as this song, I just can’t hear anyone else sing it. Period. Not until I hear someone do it better. This wasn’t it for me.

 

And with that the night was over! And in about 5 minutes, we’ll find out who’s dunzo for the Top 04!

 

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