Author Archives: baccalabloggala

About baccalabloggala

I like cooking, crafting, pinning, friends, family and my dogs. I listen to more NPR than one would think is humanly possible. I watch a lot of tv, most of it the crappy kind that people my age won't admit to. That's it for now. I'm not good at writing about myself.

American Idol – Ask And You Shall Receive

Well they asked for our suggestions and from what I saw, there were some made, all be them stupid and pretty lackluster. I don’t blame America though. I mean, I sort of do. But is there really anyone that inspires you this season whose initials aren’t LR? For me, the answer is no, and tonight only made that clear to me.

crystal

From what I read, sure, the contestants weren’t given much to work with as far as song choice goes. Though I still kind of think it was just the assistants of producers tweeting suggestions that they could work with. I just can’t not believe in the Big Brother that is the American Idol producers. I mean really, in what world do they really leave things up to the public?

But lets get to talking about the performances. I would only talk about the second half because those were the only good ones, but I guess it’d be wrong of me to ignore the trainwreck that was 80% of the first half of the show. The only real nice thing I could say is that they got the elimination done at the beginning. Thanks for that. I thought it would be good for Sonika in the second performance which wasn’t exactly to be, but I guess it just makes it easier to see who should go next week.

Also, I’m not going to talk about the contestants in order because I think the 3 guys can basically be lumped together, 2 of the girls can, and one of the girls is practically standing on the stage accepting her crown at this point.

LaPorsha-Renae

 MacKenzie Bourg
Wild World by Cat Stevens
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson

MacKenzie was one of two performers that I thought had 2 solid performances. I would’ve said that Wild World was a pretty solid performance, but then he did Billie Jean and that was pretty amazeballs. I didn’t even realize that was the performance he was going with. It didn’t even make me long for David Cook’s rendition (which up until now had been my favorite performance of this song on Idol). Though I do think both used the Cornell version to go off of. It’s interesting that while Mackenzie and David’s were similar, their voices are so different, you wouldn’t really notice it. David brings a rock twinge while MacKenzie has his singer/songwriter vibe.

I also wanted to say, and this goes for Trent’s cover of Simple Man and Dalton’s cover of The Sound of Silence as well, the songs are old enough that I’m pretty sure most of them weren’t born when they came out, and I’d guess many of them hadn’t really been super familiar with the songs they performed (which I think is kind of a plus). But to me these performances just sounded like they were given lyrics and told to create the song, and if you want to see real artistry on stage, I think that’s where you have to look for it. What do you do with words on a page?

Trent Harmon
Counting Stars by OneRepublic
Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Can I just say that I always thought the song was called “Counting Cars”? Is that a song? Actually never mind. I think I’m thinking of that song Chasing Pavement. Anyway, that song was borderline terrible. I’d call it easily tied for 3rd worst performance of the night. I’d really rather not speak of it ever again. But Simple Man is another story. I really loved Trent’s rendition. It was unique. Trent also has the growl that I think this song requires, so I really think this was a good choice for him. And definitely the better song to do second! My Idol watcher friends tried to tell me “Shinedown has one that’s better” but it’s not really about what cover of a song was better than another cover (because this wasn’t the best cover of the night). Shinedown’s sound is nothing like Trents. And in fact, I just listened to it, and I think I liked Trent’s more. So there.

Dalton Rappatoni
Numb by Linkin Park
The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

See: Trent Harmon. It’s basically the exact same review. I would only like to add (with regards to Numb) that it seemed so choppy. Like, every word could’ve been a couple seconds longer and instead it was cut off worse than me driving home from work. I’m the one getting cut off, for the record. I’m the song in this scenario.

Sonika Vaid
Let it Go by Idina Menzel
Clarity by Zedd

Sonika really brought nothing to either performance. I forgave her with Frozen because it’s a hard song that doesn’t really seem to be in her range. It was just weird but I blamed it on her nerves. Being in the bottom 3 cannot be easy for a girl with confidence issues. Maybe she just needs a Confidence Man to show her how it’s done?

1x08_SawyerFlash2

Sonika, you’re really sweet, but I fear you did nothing to save yourself next week.

Tristan MacIntosh – Independence Day by Martina McBride

Oh Tristan, I knew you’d be going home when you uttered the name Martina. I did like the somewhat tuned down version of this song but not enough to think we should keep you. Honestly, I’m just mad that you were here tonight when it should’ve been Avalon.

Top05 - fists

But, I only went with the person being voted off so that I could finish with the only contestant that is giving me LIFE this season.

LA’PORSHA FREAKING RENAE
Ready for Love by India.Arie
No More Drama by Mary J. Blige

Man, how did I love these performances? Let me count the ways…

  1. The song choice, while expected for her voice, was not expected as far as what I thought she’d pick.
  2. Her outfits were… better… 
  3. The tears. All the tears.

Top07 - emotions

She’s just so good. Can we just give her the crown now, please? Thanks!

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American Idol – #IdolRequest

I actually really like this theme. I’m not saying the American Idol viewing audience is super original in their suggestions, but I like themes that involve me, or make me feel like I have an input. I read each contestant will do 2 songs so I’m wondering if there will be some kind of secret theme or what. Will only 5 be the peoples requests and the other 5/6 will be electoral college requests? Nothing like a little voting humor to get you through the day! It’s funny.

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Ok so anyway, the show songs come at the request of the people! Thusly, I have scoured twitter for answers. What are the people requesting? I didn’t personally put any requests out. Fear of rejection I suppose. The suggestions were interesting though. Mostly typical, but some good original suggestions. I figured I’d include a little synopsis of what I saw, along with my personal suggestions, although it should be noted that most of my suggestions are just suggestions from twitter that I saw and liked. They aren’t original ideas unless otherwise noted.

La’Porsha Renae

What you’d expect: Literally everything you’d expect. Comically expected. Patti, Aretha, Tina, Diana, “that song from the Dreamgirls soundtrack”.

Things I liked even though they were a little obvious: The Circle of Life, Lady Marmalade

What you wouldn’t expect: Florence and the Machine, Purple Rain, Skyfall, Kiss from a Rose.

What I’d like to hear: I really liked that Purple Rain suggestion, but personally I was thinking Tracy Chapman, Fast Car. Wouldn’t that be good?

 

Trent Harmon

What you’d expect: Sam Cooke, Maroon 5, John Mayer

What you wouldn’t expect: Kenny Loggins (3 cheers to this person), Nick Jonas, Phil Collins.

What I’d like to hear: Who cares what I thought! For the sake of Kenny Loggins, I’ll say Danger Zone!

top gun danger zone

MacKenzie Bourg 

What you’d expect: Every hipster band I’ve never heard of. And Justin Beiber. Also a fair amount of original song suggestions.

What you wouldn’t expect: Peter Gabriel (props to that person), Dust in the Wind (technically this person just asked that Dalton or MacKenzie sing this), Billie Jean.

What I’d like to hear: The Only Exception by Paramoure. I also saw some Lady Gaga suggestions that I think could be good.

Sonika Vaid

What you’d expect: Mostly Celine Dion, a fair amount of Christina Aguilera, and then a Demi Lovato or two. Ariana Grande.

What you wouldn’t expect: Nothing really.  This was kind of proof to me that people don’t really think about Sonika as a contender. She had the fewest suggestions and no original suggestions. I still think she can do one of the “expected” songs well though.

What I’d like to hear: I actually think Lady Marmalade could be good for her. Maybe. It would at least (hopefully) take her out of her comfort zone. I also saw a suggestion for Bittersweet Symphony that I really liked the thought of.

Dalton Rappaton

What you’d expect: Overwhelmingly, Panic! At the Disco, followed by My Chemical Romance, and an original song, Stop. I hadn’t heard it but I checked it out here, if you’re interested.

What you wouldn’t expect: Bon Jovi, Audioslave (which was suggested a lot – is he more metal than I realize?), Dust in the Wind by Kansas (?!?), the Sound of Silence cover by Disturbed.

What I’d like to hear: I can’t really decide. He unfortunately doesn’t interest me enough, clearly, to think of something I’d want to hear him sing. I thought about it for a solid 10 minutes, nothing came to mind.

Tristan MacIntosh

What you’d expect: Someone actually suggested “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”. I mean what does that even mean? Did she not sing that as a duet last week? Sara Bareilles – is she considered country?

What you wouldn’t expect: That hardly anyone suggested country songs. Isn’t she supposedly a country singer? And no one is suggesting country songs for her?

What I’d like to hear: I heard a few suggestions from one girl, for a couple different Jewel songs, and I feel like that could be a good spot for her, musically, to rise to the occasion. I mean, if not now, when? Or I want her to go home. Those are my options.

LiveShow01 - LeaveNow

 

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American Idol – Top 06 – American Idol Songbook

It’s so hard deciding if this episode was the Top 8 or the Top 6, but there were 8 performers so that’s what I’ll go with.

This was an interesting night because I’d just gone back the day before and listened to a lot of the “most performed song” performances so they were nice and fresh in my mind. Turned out that my cutoff of 6 performances was a little off (there was definitely one contestant that chose a song only sung twice). But I guess expanding the songbook at least makes for a more interesting evening. And interesting it was. It really showed off to me, how talented a lot of these contestants are. It also had me really arguing back and forth at myself as to who should be saved. Should it be Sonika or Avalon? It was definitely the hardest “who to keep” I’ve seen all season. Besides times where they obviously chose the wrong people to keep (yes I’m looking at you Tristan and Gianna).

The night opened with duets and with the way they went (best to worst) I was a little worried the night would go like that. But I was pleasantly surprised. But I also thought the duets would be commonly performed songs. Then the first three performances were songs never performed on Idol. Were they great performances? Well, one of them was, yes I’m looking at you Trent and La’Porsha! And the Sonika/Avalon pairing wasn’t bad either. The other two well…

brit kinda bad

But really I’m ready and willing to download “See You Again” when it’s available on itunes. I didn’t realize how well their voices compliment each other. And while I wasn’t a fan of Trents performance of Stand By Me, this really reminded me that it’s not his time to go home yet.

I did think it was interesting that the only people to sing a duet of a song that’s been done (now, more than any other song on American Idol), were Lee and Tristan. If anyone didn’t need to be compared to better performers, it’s them. But guess what, we did. And guess what? They were probably the worst of the 9 total performances. That doesn’t even include Lauren Alaina who had it as her audition song. Well, one of them. I do hope that the ability for comparison makes people realize who should go home (I guess at least America was half right).

So let’s talk about these performances. We’ll just go in order. I think that’ll be easiest.

La’Porsha Renae – Come Together by The Beatles 

I think, if anything, this song in Idol history, is really synonymous with pretty great performances! The only bad one was Sam Woolf (ok and Qaasim – I had really wished Quentin would sing that song). I think for the most part, the only people who pick this song, are people who know they are going to kill it, and they all did (mostly). So if I had to compare La’Porsha with the previous 6 performances, I’d place her solidly in the middle, leaning toward glass half full. It’s astonishing because when compared to her fellow contestants, she’s leading the pack, but when you compare her with those who sang the song before her, she’s stuck in the middle for me. Carly Simpson just sang it SO well. She’s my favorite by leaps and bounds. That said, I felt like La’Porsha did kind of channel her growl that made the performance what it was.

Other Performances: Carly Smithson (Season 7, Top 12), Kris Allen (Season 8, Top 04), Crystal Bowersox (Season 9, Top 9), Candice Glover (Season 12, Top 09), Sam Woolf (Season 13, Top 11) and Qaasim Middleton (Season 14, Top 11)

MacKenzie Bourg – You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker

I think MacKenzie made a pretty smart song choice. He’s not really like anyone else who’s sung it before. It was definitely Taylor Hicks best performance (I dare say it’s worth a re-watch), but I didn’t love this song with Jessica or Danny sang it. And either way, MacKenzie doesn’t compare to any of them musically. Had someone like Sonika done it, she’d be immediately compared to Jessica – and could probably hold her own – but comparing MacKenzie to any of these three, is almost like comparing apples to oranges.

Other Performances: Taylor Hicks (Season 5, Top 03), Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 03) and Jessica Sanchez (Season 11, Top 05)

Trent Harmon – Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Trent did really well, but he took a huge risk. The 4 other guys who covered this song had really great performances. Phillip had a great soulfulness, Archie’s voice just stands out as clearly the best of the group, and weirdly, I thought Gokey brought almost a country twang to it. He wasn’t country though, was he? Either way, Trents, for me, fits somewhere higher Phillip but lower than Archie. He did have a lilting quality to his performance that I enjoyed. I do agree with JLo though that I didn’t like his look as much tonight.  Bring back all the scarves (unless they’re covered in mono still).

Other Performances: Bo Bice (Season 4, Top 05), David Archuleta (Season 7, Top 04), Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 08) and Phillip Phillips (Season 11, Finale). – Also I’m starting to wonder if this night could’ve just been called “Things Danny Gokey sang”.

Tristan McIntosh – A Broken Wing by Martina McBride 

I’m not gonna lie, when I heard the song choice I was like – has this even been done before? But when she started it I remembered Jordin Sparks singing it in the Finale. And I guess she sang it in the Top 07 as well. And then I saw Jessica Sierra sang it and she still rings out in my mind as a “gone too soon” contestant! This is another time where comparisons hurt the performer. Listening to Jordin and Jessica sing this, and Diana too, to some extent, it just makes you realize how much farther Tristan has to go in her vocal coaching. She’s not to the caliber of the other ladies. Especially Jordin. I’m honestly shocked she made it through tonight. But I’m going to try not to dwell on it…

nothing turns out right

Other Performances: Diana DeGarmo (Season 3, Top 11), Jessica Sierra (Season 4, Semis), and Jodin Sparks (Season 6, Top 07 and Finale).

I was fine with Tristan being picked because I thought, maybe it’ll be Dalton and Lee in the bottom and that will be fine. Surely it wouldn’t be Avalon AGAIN!

shirley

but then it happened…

Dalton Rapattoni – Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

I was also starting to wonder if no one would sing a Stevie Wonder song… most performed artist, after all! But alas, we were stuck with Dalton singing a classic (probably one of my favorite) Beatles songs. I did not even have to look this up to know that David Cook crushed Dalton as far as this song is concerned (I also didn’t need to look it up because Dalton kind of sucked except at the end there). I was never sure if I liked David Cook but this performance made me think I might. I didn’t really start liking him until he sang Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey. That was a really great performance! I also have to say that re-listening to Michael Lynche’s performance, that was really great too! Better than Dalton for sure. Also I could only find Paul Jolley’s studio performance of this, not his real version, which makes me think it might’ve been terrible. It was the week he was voted off, after all. Long story short is that but for Paul, Dalton was probably the worst performance of the previous performances of this song. And don’t even get me started on the judges reactions. I mean…

Me watching Tyler

Me watching Tyler

Other Performances: David Cook (Season 7, Top 12), Michael Lynche (Season 9, Top 09) and Paul Jolley (Season 12, Top 09).

And then we were left with the poor terrified bottom 3. Well, 2 of the 3 were definitely scared. I think Avalon was just like – screw it, I got this.

Avalon Young – P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson 

My bigger beef with Avalons song was that only 2 other people have sang it. Is that really an Idol classic? I don’t think so. That said, I think she did great. This was probably the first performance where I thought that the performer was better than any of their predecessors. Which is why I think she probably should’ve been saved, but I’ll get to my arguments for saving Sonika too. I was really torn with that elimination. But here’s my pitch for saving Avalon – more interesting song choices, excellent performance under pressure, overall great attitude, would probably be my friend. And did  I mention how good her performance was?

Other Performances: Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 13) and Justin Guarini (Season 1, Top 04). Justin’s unfortunately was either recorded before people were putting videos on the internet, or it was forgettable enough that no one remembered to put it on the internet.

Lee Jean(ValJean) – Let it Be by The Beatles

This was Daltons performance all over again. Just hearing what he’d be singing reminded me of Brooke White’s version of Let it Be and how stellar it was. Did she cry in it? I would probably put it in the Top 25 greatest performance on Idol. What that means is that it unfortunately focused in on the connection that Lee just didn’t have to the song. I feel bad for the kid. He did look really defeated while performing, I’m sure the nerves were really bad, but this just wasn’t good. I did feel so bad for him when he spoke before the judgment, because he was just adorable. I just think he needs a few more years. I really think he could have a great career and hopefully this is just his jumping off point. Also it should be noted he was way better than Burnell’s version of the song, if it’s any consolation.

Other Performances: Brooke White (Season 7, Top 12), Katie Stevens (Season 9, Top 09) and Burnell Taylor (Season 12, Top 09).

Sonika Vaid – I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston

Sonika picked probably one of the hardest songs in Idol lore. It’s been performed (very well) by many of the greats. Was she better than those ladies? No. But did she hold her own? Abso-freaking-lutely. Arguments for keeping her: Holding her own against the likes of JHud, Jessica Sanchez, Trenyce, Vonzell, Katherine… she challenged herself and really showed she should be on the show. I think picking a song that’s been done a lot and doing it well, says a LOT about the quality of a singer.

Other Performances: Trenyce (Season 2, Top 11), Leah LaBelle (Season 3, Semis), Jennifer Hudson (Season 3, Top 08), Vonzell Solomon (Season 4, Top 10), Katherine McPhee (Season 5, Top 06), Lakisha Jones (Season 6, Semis), Shannon Magrane (Season 11, Top 13) and Jessica Sanchez (Season 11, Finale).

And with that, we are left with a Top 6, which I assume will go down to 4 next week and then one at a time after that? I wish it would go one at a time from here on out but I don’t know if they’ll give me that much in this shortened season. Time will tell!

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American Idol – Thoughts on the Theme – Most Performed Songs

Well if you ever thought that the American Idol Producers had completely fucked up a theme night, and that there was no possible way they could pick a worse theme (see “Favorite Performance”), well you’ve lucked out because tonight, tonight is by far, the WORST theme idea in the history of theme ideas. Folks tonight, welcome to American Idols tribute to itself:

Most Performed Songs on American Idol

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The most performed songs on Idol aren’t even really good songs. I have this spreadsheet of every song performed on American Idol, from the semifinals forward, for every season. I know the facts. Not only that, but performing a song that’s been performed upwards of 6 times (which I’m assuming is the cut-off number), you’re going to be compared to all those other performances. Will they be better? There’s a chance. But there’s also a really good chance that one of these performances was legendary and should’ve been retired post-performance, but instead, contestants still try to reach the unreachable. But anyway… I do like numbers and statistics, so lets look at the most performed songs (by my numbers) and see what we think folks will be singing. I’ll also note when one of those songs has been done already – because they have, unfortunately. I mean, it wouldn’t be a most performed song otherwise, would it?

Topping my charts with 8 performances were 3 jams. Can you guess?

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
Performed by:
top06 - idontwannamiss

Best performance – For my taste, I think I’d pick Allison Iraheta. I feel like Josh Gracins was also good but I couldn’t find a video of it and I don’t remember it well enough.

When a Man Loves a Woman
Performed by:

top06 - whenaman

Best performance: Clark Beckham. I think I mentioned it… 

And the only song I’m not sick of hearing over and over again:

I Have Nothing
Performed by:

top06 - ihavenothing

Best Peformance: Probably Jessica Sanchez? Jennifer Hudson? Vonzell? Katherine? I think I’d say anyone except Shannon and Leah. I even went back and listened again and they’re the only less than remarkable performances. I also learned from Katherine McPhee’s performance that David Foster actually wrote the song. What up Former Mr. Yolanda.

It should also be noted that of those 8 performances of When a Man Loves a Woman – 2 were bottom 2 performances and 2 were eliminating performances. But hopefully we won’t hear this song because Trent already performed it last week! And oddly enough, I could see it sending him home (if he wasn’t a white 20something male). “I Have Nothing” also had one of each (but does it really count as an elimination song if it’s in the finale? No.), and “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” didn’t have any “bottom 3” material… though some of them should’ve been.

There are also 6 songs that were performed 7 times, 12 preformed 6 times and 29 performed 5 times. I think personally, let songs become “5 timers” and once they hit that mark, don’t allow contestants the opportunity to sing them again. I mean, I realize it doesn’t matter now, but that would’ve been my rule, if it were an option. And according to one blog/website, Simon actually had a list of banned songs, which the writer agreed, was far shorter than what the list should’ve been. Then he included his list of songs that should be banned and for the record, this is basically the same list I’d make. Maybe one or two possible adjustments but this is pretty solid. Michael Slezak also has a list of 20 songs he’d ban and I’m 100% on board with it. We could probably use this list as the song list for tonight, if you ask me.

But anyway, if you want to see the full list of Most Performed Songs, check out the bottom of this blog. I will say this category also had me wondering – who do you think is the most performed artist? Well, lucky for you, I have that information for you.

excited-baby
I know. Calm down. It’s a lot to take in.

 So, I do have to say there’s a bit of a caveat as to the Top Performed singers/bands. See, it all goes back to theme nights. See, of the Top 11 (there’s a reason I looked through 11), all but 2 had a theme night dedicated to them. And the other two are Motown artists, and we all know that Motown has been a theme 5 times. Also, it should be noted that the Top 3 performers all had at least 2 dedicated theme nights. So without further adieu, the most performed person on Idol is:

top06 - steviewonder

Not bad right? I don’t know who I thought it would be but I didn’t think it would be Stevie. The guy did have 2 theme nights though. Not to mention how many other themes he fits into – Motown, Soul, any decade specific theme from the 60’s forward. Probably a lot of the Billboard themes too. It doesn’t hurt that the guy has a boat load of hits. His songs have been done on the Idol stage a staggering 62 times! Isn’t that crazy? As for the other Top 11?

top06 - most performed artists

The Beatles (also 2 theme nights) – 53 times
Elton (also 2 theme nights) – 36 times
Whitney Houston (1 theme night) – 34 times
Elvis (2 theme nights), Marvin Gay (no theme nights) and Michael Jackson (1 theme night) – 26 times
Queen (1 theme night) – 25 times
Bill Joel (2 theme nights) – 23 times
Aretha Franklin (no theme nights) – 22 times
Kelly Clarkson (1 theme night) – 20 times

Now you see why I had to go out to 11. Had to fit my girl Kelly in. And she’s the only Idol on here so I felt it was worthy. If I’d had to go out to like, 20th place, I wouldn’t have bothered.

and finally, for those who wanted that song list, here you go! Have fun guessing what over-performed song will be performed tonight!

top06 - mostperformed

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American Idol – Top 08 – The Right Save

You know last night, I was really angry. The things I was angry about started with the format. I really thought there was a show change to announce the people going through at the beginning of the show, and then have them perform. It made sense. Then nobody is super nervous while performing. I think we all realized the effects of making someone sing when they’re super nervous that they may be cut. Last year the save performances were some of the worst. Sure you’d love people to step up to the challenge and have the best performance of their lives, but these are very young teenagers. Can we really expect that? Why force them into what will be (to date) the most stressful day of their lives, to see if they have what it takes to still perform. I feel like that just breeds mental breakdowns, even in the strongest of candidates.

I tried to see the bright side – that at least we’d get to see 10 performances tonight, but I don’t think it’s worth it if it’s not going to be the best performance they can give. And if they’re in the bottom 3, odds are they won’t be.

Other things that made me mad that I won’t spend too much time on included but were not limited to: having Demi Lovato sing (sorry but can’t we just have former Idols perform? Are you really saving them all for the finale? Or was Demi the only one with enough balls to come on and perform after Kelly Clarkson?), having Harry Connick Jr sing (who sounded like a Jimmy Buffett record on slo-mo) when we shouldn’t be focusing on THE JUDGES! No one watches the show because they love Harry Connick Jr. music. Or JLo. Or Keith for that matter. They watch it for the talent COMPETING!?!?!?! and finally, the American Idol voters.

America is really screwing it up. I mean, if they screw it up this badly in March, what are they going to do in November…

shudders

The good thing is that the final save was left to the judges and they in fact, did the right thing. I had a hard time admitting it because I do like Olivia as a performer, but Avalon was the right save in this scenario. We still have a lot of entertaining acts left, so it doesn’t sting as much. And Avalon by far, had the best performance of the people fighting to be saved. So let’s talk about my favorites of the night, starting with my Top 3…

Avalon Young – Earned It by The Week(e)nd

Avalons performance was my favorite for a lot of reasons. For one, the pressure she was under could’ve easily cracked her. I liked the seated performance, her voice has a quality that just impresses the hell out of me, and not that it had anything to do with the performance, I really liked her pre-show attitude. Sure I worry when she says she’ll never step out of her comfort zone (I’m ok with that when it comes to clothes and make-up, but you’ll never grow if you don’t do it musically).

La’Porsha Renae – Halo by Beyoncé

I felt like La’Porshas outfit really showed me where she was going with her performance. When I saw her and her new hair (why can’t I find on the internet what she named it! Shameful, internet!), I felt like this was going to be something good. And it was really good. It’s hard to not think she’s the one to beat, so I’m not even going to question it. La’Porsha – the crown is yours to lose, girl.

MacKenzie Bourg – I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston 

I really liked this performance a LOT, but then I heard Harry say he wished that Mac had done the song acoustic and I was like… oh yeah, I want that version!

please

I’m not going to take away the goodness that was this performance, only that maybe, when everything is said and done, you could do an acoustic version? I also have to say I didn’t agree with Harry that MacKenzie likes to do things “differently, like Dalton”. Um, no he doesn’t. Have we seen him do that yet? Oh wait, he did the medley of judges songs for his audition. See, I totally forgot about that part of you MacKenzie because you haven’t don that since your audition. But I guess that was you doing it tonight. Well done, sir.

Honorable Top 03 Mention (aka 4th):

Sonika Vaid – Since You’ve Been Gone by The One and Only Kelly Clarkson

I know I did a top 4 last week, but we’re down to 8 contestants so I just felt like a top 3 was enough. And Sonika definitely didn’t deserve to be Top 3 today in my eyes. But what almost made me put her there (performance aside) was stupid Harry Connick Jr. You’re not going to keep telling her how good she is? You fall over for half the contestants (maybe not you personally, Harry but your judges table) and you aren’t going to continue telling Sonika that?

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Folks, welcome the Hailey Reinhart of Season 15!

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I don’t think this was Sonika’s best performance, especially after her performance last week, but I’m still seeing improvement and I still think she can come out of that shell and give us more. I think this just wasn’t the right song this week. The One and Only is too fresh in our minds.

And then there were the people I was fine with saving, but now might be in my bottom 2:

 Dalton Rapattoni – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

 Was it just me or was this Daltons worst performance to date? It felt very “Dalton” to me… but not in a good way. I guess I just don’t think the punk-effect should be given to this song? Or maybe he just didn’t do it in a way that appealed to me but the song felt very slow and the performance felt like it lasted minutes longer than anyone elses. This was just the complete definition of lackluster to me.

Trent Harmon – When A Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge

You know, its hard not to compare apples to apples when you perform a song on Idol that’s been done many times before. And it’s been done a LOT. So I figured I should do that. In fact, I actually ranked the performances (see below) and decided Trent was roughly 4th. I don’t think it was a good song choice for him and truthfully the performance made it clear he should not be getting my vote this week.

  1. Clark Beckham (season 14) – I loved Clark and his performance.
  2. Michael Lynche (season 9) – This was straight up fantastic and basically tied with Clark’s. I only put Clark first because it was a touch better, and because it was the first one I thought of while watching Trent.
  3. Joshua Ledet (season 12) – While I hated Joshua, this was one of his best performances. I can’t wake that away from him. But the screaming at the end kept me from putting him in first. He also was better at facial contortions than Trent. And that’s saying a lot.
  4. Trent Harmon (current season) 
  5. Stefano Lagone (season 10)  – He literally only got this position because I liked the falsetto he had in the opening lyric. I hated the rest.
  6. Justin Waddell/Christina Christian/Gedeon McKinney – Literally do not remember these people at all. But 2 are from season 1 and the last was from season 5 which was 10 years ago, so I don’t feel bad. The internet just told me that they also sang the song.

And finally, we have the 2 that I wish hadn’t made it through but their performance made me think, woah, maybe I should re-think this? But probably not… but maybe… but I’ll regret it:

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Lee JeanValJean – Use Somebody By Kings of Leon

I still am not sure this young boy has what it takes, but I think he’s the most modifiable. That’s a word right? I think he (so far) has been pretty good at taking advice and he is growing, but I don’t think he’ll grow fast enough to become a real boy a contestant in the Top 4.

Tristan McIntosh – Go Rest High on that Mountain by Vince Gill

This was a great song and I didn’t know it. So I was happy to hear a new song that was good. And it was a good performance, I think. The problem mostly, was that she shouldn’t have made it through AT ALL based on her performance last week and it really hurt me that she got through over Olivia because it just was not deserving. The same goes for Lee JeanValJean. Neither of them deserved a pass. But Tristan deserved a pass even less. Sorry girl, but the crying to Scott nonsense, the crying in other episodes nonsense… I’m sorry but you’re 15 and you’re clearly not ready. I mean, I’m a crier. I get it. But I wouldn’t put myself into a situation like that if I knew I couldn’t handle it. She should probably take a page out of Shi Scott’s book. I think that was her name?

As for Olivia…

Katniss Salute

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American Idol – The Rush to 8

So here’s where I would usually write what I think everyone will be singing based on tonight’s theme. But in last weeks episode they didn’t mention anything about that. Just that we’d go down to 8 next week.

not how this works

In past seasons, by the Top 08, we’d have already seen at least 3 different theme nights. Sure, usually they were crappier/vague ones like “Motown” or “The 60’s”, but by the Top 08 we’d really start getting to songs that mean something to the contestants. In fact Top 08 is usually one of my favorite themes – Songs from the Year You Were Born. But more importantly, by the Top 08, we’d be nestled right in the middle of kind of knowing the contestant and getting a better idea of their style, what we’d like to hear them sing, what they shouldn’t sing, etc. I mean, by this point we’d have seen them sing probably at least 4 times or so. With these particular Top 10, we probably have seen snippets of them performing 5 times, but that includes their auditions, not just them along on stage in front of the audience.

This season, rather than getting to know the contestants through their song choices/ability to sing said song choices, they seem to just be singing whatever the hell they feel like and then we decide if we liked it. I mean, if I wanted to be watching The Voice, I’d be watching The Voice (which I do, but I prefer American Idol, for many of the above referenced reasons). This is not what I signed up for. I want theme nights. I want them to have to sing songs that aren’t in their wheelhouse. I want them to delve deep out of their comfort zone to wow us with a performance we didn’t realize they had in them (that’s not to say that hasn’t happened once or twice this season, but it could happen more).

How are we supposed to see who can survive under the pressure? I mean sure there’s pressure. Their lives are all going to change over the next few weeks, I’m sure. But that doesn’t mean I’ll end up loving them by the end of the season, like I’d prefer. I need to be woo-ed. I need to find out our common interests, both in music and in life. I’m not getting these things this season and it’s kind of annoying. Not only that, but we’re also getting spoilers of song choices for this week, which I know was always available for those who wanted to find it, but now it’s just out there, not even hidden to find. I miss the days when Ricky Minor would just post a set list and you had to guess who was singing what. Or we just heard what theme night it was and everything was a complete guess. It made the show more fun for me.

I guess I just don’t understand why you would change so many things about a show in the final season, when it’s the final season.

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You barely changed anything substantial in the first 14 seasons (besides maybe the credibility of the judges) but this, it’s final year, you’re going to make shorter and more terrible than any other season?

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And yes, this is slowly becoming my new favorite meme.

Anyway, if you would like to be spoiled and know what the song list for tonight is, you can read here. For the record, I haven’t looked at the song list because I like to keep what little excitement I have.

Or if you’re just sad American Idol is ending like this and feel like crying, watch something that’s worth crying over. I swear I can just look at her face in the beginning and start crying all over again. Oh Kelly Clarkson you sweet angel, you.

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American Idol – Top 10 – Kelly Can You Handle This?

Well she came back, and she came back with a vengeance! If you didn’t watch, and I don’t know why you’d be reading this if you haven’t, but you should really watch this. And if you already watched it and are just like me who wants to watch it 15 more times? Well, here it is!

I mean, is she the best or what? Were there 10 performances before her because I don’t even remember. All I remember after the show was, well, a lot of liquid emotion coming out of me. It looked a little something like this:

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But I mean seriously how good was that? The best kind of music is the kind that forces you to feel something. Even if that something isn’t happy or joyous. Kelly clearly knows this about me.

And can we seriously talk about how fantastic she was as a judge? I mean you can take any person who has ever been on idol, ever. I’ve never had a contestant I cared more about than Kelly Clarkson, in anything, ever. But you know what they say, you never forget your first. She’s just perfection in every possible way. She has a great voice, she’s been there before. She understands the contestants. She knows what it’s like to be in all of those seats, and she was there before all of them, minus Ryan. I feel like her being there really made me hate all the current judges, but really it just made me long for Simon and Paula. It also made me appreciate Ryan a little more, for some reason. But mostly it just made me wish that Kelly could be on this last season for all future episodes. I mean what a gift those contestants got by getting to hear her thoughts and opinions (and stream of consciousness ramblings). Man, she’s the best.

ryan-lochte-in love

But alas, I can’t talk about Kelly forever, as much as I want to. Maybe I’m just delaying talking about the heartbreak I suffered at the beginning of the episode, when  Jeneve and Jenn were standing there as the top 10 were announced. Hearing Lee and Gianna and Tristan’s names being called just crushed me harder and harder with each name. I wouldn’t say it brought me to tears to see them leave, because really I think they wouldn’t have made it much further than halfway. And if anything, the current 10 makes it pretty obvious as to who will be going home next (I hope). So anyway, let’s talk about the Top 10.

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I decided to only vote for the people I really liked, and not the 8 contestants that I wanted to stay. I figure focusing my voting on only the people I really like will not make me bitter. It won’t but it’s a thought. So tonight, I voted for 6 people. I definitely had 2 favorites though, of those. So let’s get into it.

Sonika Vaid – Bring Me to Life by Evanescence

I know most peoples favorite tonight was La’Porsha – and rightfully so. But for me I think the winner of the night was Sonika and it was for one reason only. Because she really came out of her shell and had a true performance tonight! She actually looked like she was on stage at a show and not just standing in front of people singing for them. I even thought the prom dress she wore worked with the performance (is she trying to set some kind of record for most performances in a prom dress because she’s got to be close at this point). I just liked how different it was from every other performance she’s given to date and for that reason, she gets my top pick/vote for the night.  I hope she keeps it up and I look forward to (hopefully) more surprises when it comes to her song choices.

La’Porsha Renae – Diamonds by Rihanna

The only reason La’Porsha is coming in second is because she’s consistently good. Don’t worry, she’ll probably be first next week. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me. By my account 2 people have covered Diamonds, prior to La’Porsha. I had to look them up because I couldn’t remember after La’Porsha blew me away with that performance. Turned out it was Angie Miller and lady judge, Jennifer Lopez (mostly, technically Harry and Keith were on stage for it too). La’Porsha just killed the performance for me. The Kelly’s (that’s what I’m calling me and Kelly, because we’re a team, obviously) had the exact same reaction to this performance.

laporsha_reaction

Dalton Rapattoni – Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s

I’ve said a few times before that I think Dalton is really great for song choice and tonight wasn’t that much different. It’s not totally my style but I still appreciated the performance and if I was still in high school, it most definitely would’ve been a panty melter. At my adult age, the real song is the one that does it for me. Dalton’s version took a lot of romance out of the song, but I think that actually worked for him. It just reminded me of this CD I had years ago called Punk Goes Pop, and if I was in college still, I’d be dying for this song to be on that CD. Now there are about 10 of those CD’s and I’m sure this will probably end up there if it hasn’t already. But either way, I enjoyed it.

Olivia Rox – Unconditionally by Katy Perry
MacKenzie Bourg – I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

For both MacKenzie and Olivia, I basically had the same thing to say so I’ll just combine them here.

shrugs

I thought both performances were good. Olivia’s a little more than MacKenzie. But I See Fire is one of my lesser favorite Ed songs (and something tells me we’ll be hearing a lot of him this season), and I’m generally not a Katy Perry fan, but I thought both did well enough to continue in my Top 5 space. They weren’t any kind of stellar performance though.

Avalon Young – Stitches by Shawn Mendes

It’s funny that Kelly said that she made her like songs that she wouldn’t normally like. I agree with the latter part of that statement. I don’t generally like the songs Avalon picks. But at the same time, she doesn’t really do anything to make me like them. She does things that make me like her though, and isn’t that just as important? I also really liked her make up tonight and I’m ready to take bets on whether or not they get her into a dress by the end of the season. I also wonder if she’s ever sung a ballad to the judges. She looks like she could harness a lot of emotion in her voice and I’d love to see that. But not a slow R&B song. I need something with emotions that I can relate to. Maybe a Kelly Clarkson song? haha.

So that’s everyone I voted for. I thought about voting for Trent Harmon but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. His cover of Like I Can was not his best performance. Something was just off about the whole thing. Something tells me he’ll still make it through because there were still 3 performances that were most definitely worse than him… but I couldn’t in good conscience vote for him when I just didn’t find it vocally appealing.

As for the final 3, Lee JeanValJean, Gianna Isabella and Tristan MacIntosh, if I could vote 3 off, I probably would. But at least having 3 people makes me feel comfortable that the two going home are in this group and I won’t be heartbroken until next week (I hope). The thing about all 3 of these people that I didn’t like, is the same thing that JLo said America seems to love – their fifteeness.

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And with that I’m done, and ready for next week! And in case you’re wondering america’s opinion of tonights performance, here’s the rankings I saw, hot off the tvline presses (glad to see the Kelly’s and America are on the same wavelength):

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American Idol – Top 14 – Almost Deja Vu

So… anyone notice anything about last night show that drove them absolutely crazy? Let me just remind you of a little graphic I made of things that are ok to have repeats:
repeat
Still no American Idol songs on there – and yet, here we are, with another night of repeat songs. I don’t know what producer thinks it’s a good idea but it drives me absolutely crazy. I mean we are JUST getting to the live shows! Why are you singing songs that we JUST heard? Hopefully if nothing else, this is them getting it out of the way early so they don’t do it again. I read that the reason they got to do a repeat song tonight is because they still had to learn a song for tomorrow (even if they don’t end up performing).
Another thing that bothered me was that with all the hype of the return of the one true Idol.
Top09 - KellyClarkson
Then I was just sadsies when I realized she’s not on until tomorrow, which I suppose is acceptable but really, way to toy with our emotions, producers.
So right in the first 5 minutes, which I missed, they announced the Top 4 and then decided they would be gracious enough to let us decide the other 6, finally! Securing a spot in the Top 4, in probably one of the most obvious of selections, we had:
Dalton, Olivia (convenient she doesn’t have to sing tonight because I heard she was in the hospital yesterday with flulike symptoms… Just a suggestion – maybe check for mono), the guy with mono Trent and La’Porsha. I mean, I call it obvious, but it’s a very solid top 4. Probably the exact top 4 that I would pick. Though I figured there was a chance for the night of performances to sway me. But that was also before I realized everyone was doing repeats.
So, instead of talking about everyone in order, I thought I’d talk about them in the order in which I voted for them!
The first person to get my vote for the night was none other than the ethereal lady herself, Jenn Blosil, singing True Colors.
top14 - number1pick
So, Jenn was the contestant where I realized that the contestants might just be doing songs they’d done before, because I definitely remember Jenn’s last performance of True Colors and thinking it was the PERFECT song for her. Cyndi Lauper has got to be her spirit animal. Tonight really wasn’t any different for me. And I gave her top pick because she was really the only performance that I even remembered (there would eventually be one more). I thought she held her own and while I don’t think it was the best vocal of the night, I do think that for me, it was worthy of my top pick. I’m definitely still team Jenn. I wonder if her fans have a name yet because I have thought of one – the JennBlossoms.  Is that too 90’s because if I was going to become a member of a superfan club, that’s a good name for one. ijs. Tell me I’m wrong, folks.
And now, for the next 3 I voted for, of the remaining 9…
top14 - top04
Yup. All girls. I love the ladies this season, what can I say? I don’t even really love all of these girls, but I love various things about them/their performances. Remember 30 seconds ago when I said Jenn was one of 2 performances I remembered? Any guess who the other one was? If you guessed Jeneve Rose Mitchell, you’d be right! And you must have because anyone that doesn’t remember Jeneve’s performance of Ring of Fire was either not watching that episode, or are deaf. I mean, what I loved about it was that it was one of the only performances that really was different from the song. To me, song choice is one of the biggest parts of becoming a successful American Idol and Jeneve really recognizes that. Maybe it’s just that I like the songs she picks (because I do tend to poo poo on songs I don’t know) but I think it’s also the originality she brings to the songs she picks, that makes her a standout to me. She, as I said with Jenn, isn’t the best singer, probably not even the best performer, but she has something that I think makes her necessary to be on the show. Now, the other two ladies, Sonika Vaid and Avalon Young, those girls can sing! They are, by far, the best singers in the competition. I mean Sonika is straight up flawless when it comes to her voice. Her only faults are that she’s probably gonna be another Pia Toscano/Jessica Sanchez – but with a little less stage presence. I think ratings wise, she’ll go the way of Pia, but she has the instrument of Jessica and I really hope that she uses this competition to grow her ability to be on stage because when she perfects that, she’s really going to go places! She even has the name of a star! As for Avalon… well… let’s just say that I am nothing if not “all over the place”. I love Avalon as a person, she has a great voice and she looks like a young tomboy Demi Moore… ok ok, maybe a young Kyle Richards.
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Either way, these are all great things about Avalon, but I just am not buying what she’s selling. I think it’s song choice. I’m not the biggest R&B fan and that seems to be the genre that is her sweet spot. It doesn’t matter though, I am willing to forgo my dislike of her song choices, because I’m already smitten and I like her too much not to vote for her. She definitely deserves to be on the show, 100%. She may not be for me, but I think there are a lot of people that would really want what she’s selling.
Now, in case you were wondering, I really did only want to pick 4, because they’re the only ones at this point I care about getting in (not including contestants that are already in the top 4). But, since I knew we had to pick 6 contestants, that’s what I did. And my final two picks were for MacKensie Bourg and  Tristan MacIntosh, and I hate myself a little bit for voting for them, but here’s why I did (and why I didn’t want to). I mostly didn’t want to because I don’t think Tristan is really ready yet, and she picks songs that I think make her sound worse than she actually is. She’s kind of the exact opposite of Avalon for me. I think she picks great songs (meaning songs I like, not songs she should be singing), but there’s just something about her that I don’t like. Maybe it was the little meltdown she had when she didn’t get the song she wanted, maybe it’s the producers shoving her story line down my throat? I don’t know. But I picked her (and MacKensie) because I just think they’re destine to make it to the next round, whether I vote for them or not – and truth be told, that’s the only reason I didn’t want to vote for MacKensie, because I feel like he’s not going to have any problem getting the votes he needs to fly through to the next round. I mean, original song, clearly better/more creative than his show competitor, Thomas. And I just COULD NOT vote for Thomas. Will he make it in, probably, but not by my hand. Now, MacKensie I can at least acknowledge without a lot of resentment, that he’s a shoo-in for the Top 3 unless he really screws something up. Not to mention he’s consistently either the first or last contestant and let me tell ya, there is a REASON that producers do that. Trust.
Now, as for the folks I didn’t vote for – Manny Torres, Gianna Isabella, Thomas Stringfellow and Lee JeanValJean, well, the reasons are pretty simple. One is fine but forgettable – and still hasn’t done a song I enjoy listening to – again, R&B, two are clearly still to young, and one has an annoying fucking hiccup at the end of his songs that drives me up the WALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!  I was so glad when Harry actually said something to Thomas because up until then I was under the assumption (and I have to assume Thomas was too) that the judges actually liked that weird thing. I mean, I think this was the first time that criticism was brought to his attention, at least by the judges. I’m pretty sure twitter has made him well aware – that is if he can sort through all the “swoon” tweets that I’m sure he’s also getting. I’m lying. I looked on twitter and I couldn’t find anyone complaining about his voice. I only saw people complaining about Harry. Ugh.
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At least from my own personal discussions with people about this show, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not the only one who feels this way about his voice. I’m just the only one tweeting about it.
So with that we move on to night 2 where we will see the Top 10(?) perform and then vote for the Top 8? Are we voting again tonight? I have no idea. Is there a theme tonight? Don’t know that either. Though I think the answer is no. But the good news is…
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American Idol – Can we Vote Yet?

Is this bothering anyone else as much as it’s bothering me? I mean how many weeks have we been watching this season (and keep in mind, there are actually only 5 more weeks left until it’s OVER!), and we haven’t been able to vote a single time? I wasn’t mad about this last week because I think the judges picked just about everyone I would pick (minus picking Gianna over Stephaney). But this week stung. Seeing super qualified people that didn’t really get a lot of screen time, lose out, in favor of contestants who were heavily featured and have by some crazy metric “a good storyline”

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Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I am still really glad that Jenn made it through despite her poor performance yesterday. But to see Tristan (and Lee and Manny for that matter), make it through over Amelia, it just wasn’t something that I wanted to see. And I really thought she was good enough. Even if you put both performances up against Pickles (which I’ve learned is Kellie Pickler’s nickname and I love it), Amelia had an outstandingly better performance. Tristan SCREAMED of not being ready for this yet. I would also be mad about Shelbie had I not already had it in my head that she wouldn’t go through.

While I did like Adam and CJ’s performance, I don’t feel anything by them not being selected to move forward. But Amelia…

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So with that, lets just talk about the duets in order, so I can get talking about Amelia out of the way as quickly as possible.

Amelia Eisenhauer and Kellie Pickler – Suds in the Bucket

I seriously LOVE Kellie Pickler. She’s one of my favorite idol contestants. I never thought she’d win or anything, I just loved her personality. And I love when she’s on Ellen! Seriously, do yourselves a favor and watch this, this and this (my personal favorite). How she doesn’t have her own talk show is beyond me, because I could watch her ALL day. But back to Amelia, I know I said I loved her and then I spend a paragraph talking about how much I love Kellie Pickler. I should use my Tristan paragraph for this conversation since I didn’t really have anything nice to say about Tristan. Alternatively, I have a lot of nice things to say about Amelia. I thought her performance was easily in the top 4 of the night. If not the top 3. She held her own against Kellie’s voice and that is not easy (see: Tristan’s performance).  I loved the fiddling. I loved the song (one that I totally forgot about how much I loved – and quickly downloaded). I just loved everything about this performance, and I’m really going to miss Amelia. #gonetoosoon.

Kory Wheeler and Haley Reinhart – Bennie and the Jets

Sweet Kory. I thought this was a good last performance for you. I think we all knew this would be the last time we’d see Kory. I don’t think anyone believed he’d really crack that Top 7, but he played great back-up vocals for Haley. And if you thought I could spend a lot of time talking about my love of Kellie Pickler’s personality, I can also talk that long about how much I loved Haley’s voice. But what I really need to talk about is a one Jennifer Lopez. I think it needs to be addressed that that lady is a straight up LIAR. I’m sorry Jen but you are not remembering history correctly. Between you, Randy and Steven, you sabotaged Haley. You never wanted her to succeed and you were always more critical of her than any other contestant, to.a.fault. Man that really infuriated me. I wish someone had made a youtube montage of all the times the judges were straight up jerks to Haley, so that I could prove my point but just trust me on this one. Google proved it pretty well though:

haley

Lee Jean (Valjean) and Chris Daughtry – Home

My best friend was asking how Lee pronounced his last name and I told her “like John, or a french person saying legion with a lot of emphasis” and she goes “Oh like Jean Valjean”. Yes. Exactly like that. And now I will never call Lee anything else. I was hoping that I could actually forget about him after this somwhat drab, not great performance… no such luck though. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling he’d be picked – first was a load of crap – but I knew he’d be in. It’s not that he’s a terrible performer or anything, but he’s 1 of 4 performers (5 if you include those that didn’t make it through to the top 14) that I just think are too young for the competition. And the judges can’t even help but bring up his youth… and yet here he is, still on stage like the other 3 (Gianna, Tristan and Thomas).

don't make sense

CJ Johnson and David Cook – The World I Know

It’s funny because when they were prepping this next package, I was looking at CJ and thinking – is that what David Cook looks like now? Turns out I almost completely forgot what David Cook looks like. And it fit with this song because when it ended all I could think was – I’m going to forget about this by tomorrow. Also I spent most of the time trying to remember who sang this song. I thought it was the Goo Goo Dolls but was reminded that it’s Collective Soul.

Manny Torres and Jordin Sparks – No Air

I actually thought this performance was pretty decent. Sure I was thinking the whole time how much taller Jordin is than both Manny and Ryan, but I was still able to concentrate on the performance, which meant it was good enough to at least hold my attention. I still really didn’t think Manny would make it through. I would almost say I was borderline shocked, because I thought at least CJ got more screen time, and Adam had 2 really solid performances. But they went with Manny. I’m not mad about it or anything. Mostly just indifferent. I feel like I’m going to be very critical of his performances when it comes voting time.

Jenn Blosil and Constantine Maroulis – My Funny Valentine

It might come as a shocker to nobody, but this was my favorite performance of the night. I thought Jenn did a great job redeeming herself from last night. And maybe I was just still defensive of Haley, but I got really defensive of Jenn when Harry laid in his criticisms. Thank god for Keith, who probably saved her tonight. I owe you one, Keith! Also, for some reason I got it in my head that if John Stamos (who doesn’t really have a bad singing voice) had Constantine’s singing voice, he would probably be the perfect person. And then I had to reminisce about the time he covered that song Forever (by the Beach Boys) on Full House. Let’s all reminisce, shall we?

Also, it should be noted that I prefer the music video he did for this, but I liked this video more as far as quality of the video on youtube. Plus who doesn’t love a good gospel choir?

Tristan McIntosh and Kellie Pickler – Best Days of Your Life

And after the best performance of the night, we had the worst. Tristan, look, you’re going to be a great singer, but compared to the experience of some of the older contestants on this show, and definitely compared to Kellie, you are just not ready. Her singing seemed faulty at best and she didn’t really embrace the stage either. The later part is forgivable but the former – sorry honey. Just can’t root for ya. And have I mentioned how much I love Kellie Pickler?

Olivia Rox and David Cook – Light On

So, now I’m convinced that it was a million little Olivia’s that got David Cook his win on American Idol. Right? How was I so amazed by how star struck she was with one of the least memorable American Idols (next to Ruben and Taylor and probably Caleb and Nick when it comes down to it). It’s funny how many times the white guys win Idol and yet their often some of the least successful. Case in point: David Cook. But I digress. I thought this performance was really good and I think it was definitely a good paring of voices and a pretty decent song, no less. I must say the song choices tonight were far superior to the song choices last night. And last week for that matter.

Adam Lasher and Haley Reinhart – Can’t Help Falling in Love 

Part of me thought this was fantastic. Part of me thought, this is the performance to beat, but every time I looked up at Adam, I was grossed out. I don’t know why but he just skeeved me out last night. His face with that haircut made him look weirdly chubby, and his “come have sex with me eyes” that he was giving Haley were definitely creepy. But when you didn’t look at them, it was amazing. But then once the show was over, I got super pissed all over again. Just another smack in the face to Haley, as neither contestant she sang with made it through! I’d like to believe it wasn’t just one final f-you from the Judges and that in fact, Haley just sounded so much better than the other two, that it made them look bad… but I really think it was just one more final dig by Jenny from the Block.

MrPotatoHead_Angry-eyes-eye-brow-powder

Those are my angry eyes.

Dalton Rapattoni and Chris Daughtry – Higher Ground

I thought this was a fine, middle of the pack performance. Nothing more, nothing less. But like Lee, I was sure that Dalton would make it through. Unlike Lee, I’m ok with that happening, if for nothing else than Daltons really great ability to pick a song. It’s an important characteristic of an Idol contestant, for me.

Trent Harmon and Jordin Sparks – To Love Somebody

I am a sucker for a boy/girl duet as opposed to a same sex duet. And I thought Trent again, sounded really good (against my want for him to sound really good). I just have this fear he’s going to make it to the Top 2 and I’m going to hate every second of it because I am bias and I do want a girl to win and I’m scared that if he makes it into the top 2, he’ll win. And is that really the last American Idol you want in this world? It isn’t for me, I can tell you that much.

Shelbie Z and Constantine Maroulis – Bohemian Rhapsody 

When I saw they were doing this song my first thought was, why? Seemed like a difficult song, especially to do just a small portion from it. But I thought they absolutely killed this performance. And while I didn’t really have Shelbie in my Top 7, I was sure she’d be in the judges after that performance. Then I heard their critique and was really surprised. I didn’t see anything negative coming at all. But there it was. I only say that Amelia was robbed more than Shelbie because Shelbie has been on reality tv singing competitions before, and I just like Amelia’s voice a little more – but really all things considered, Shelbie was just as much if not more robbed by the judges than Amelia.

Also, in case you were wondering who America’s favorites were over the last 2 weeks, it looks a little something like this:

favoritestop24week2

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American Idol – The Remaining Dozen

It’s kind of like the dirty dozen. I did almost call this post “The Mono-filled Dozen” because was it just me or did a lot of tonights crew look mono-ridden? Especially the boys!

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Tonight was really interesting. It’s hard for me to compare it to last week because honestly it’s hard for me to think back to last week. I think I have stomach flu PTSD. But from what I recall there were a handful of good performances, and last night was no different. There were exactly 4 contestants that I really liked, and then one more that I hope still makes it through. I feel pretty good about that because it means that the judges can allow in those 5, and then they can still allow 2 more without me blowing a gasket. It’s a win win for everybody.

So let’s go through the contestants from tonight and I’ll try to do another “say one nice thing/one criticism” for each contestant and we’ll see how it goes.

Shelbie Z – Work Hard, Play Harder

+ I thought she was a great way to start the show because I knew she’d be really energetic and most likely, a solid performance.

– While the performance was solid, it was also somewhat forgettable. To me, it was just like every other performance she’s done to date. I just want to see her maybe connect with a song, do a song with some emotion and not just one with a good glory note at the end.

Manny Torres – Adventures of a Lifetime

+ He was one of my favorite guys going into tonight.

– Well… the minus is with myself I guess. I’ve been poo-pooing so many of the guys this season, and I think the only reason I really liked Manny was his energy and his attitude. Listening to his song tonight (and after hearing the remaining contestants), I thought he was actually one of the worst performances by a guy tonight. These things happen though. I wasn’t that attached at this point so now is probably the time to drop off this bandwagon.

Kory Wheeler – Let it Go 

+ I didn’t have anything against the performance itself.

– And as for the minus… nice-to-meet-you-i-already-forgot-your-name

Amelia Eisenhauser (or is it Eisenhauer? I’ve seen it both ways) – Wake Me Up 

+ I learned to like this song when Majesty Rose sang it last year (two years ago? really? that was two years ago?) and I thought Amelia made it sound even better. She really picked a good time to come out with a great song! And she was one of the very few that picked a great song to sing tonight so I feel like that deserves a little bonus clap!

SeriousClapping

– I really don’t have any. I guess my only negative is that I worry that she’s competition for Jeneve, and vice versa. I hope people don’t forget about her because I feel like she’s gaining a good momentum at this point. I hope it continues!

Jenn Blosil – Sorry

+ I really really really wish I had one. And if anyone was wondering about that one person I want to go through even though they didn’t have a good performance, if you didn’t guess Jenn, you don’t know me very well.

– It was just… it was not good. It was so out of tune. Part of me wondered if she had some kind of Adele mic issue going on but I think we all know that wasn’t it.

brit kinda bad

CJ Johnson – I’ll Be. 

+ He sang very well.

– That song… oh god that song. Do you know HOW MANY times that song has been performed on idol? If ever there was a time to discuss poor song choice, it was with CJ. Nothing against CJ, but seriously, everything against CJ. Know your idol history, brah. He could’ve done so well with some kind of rock song (even slowed down to an “I’ll Be” pace) but this song was terrible, and he changed nothing about it so to me, it was just a guy who’s pretty good at karaoke singing a song I’ve heard 100 times at karaoke.

Lee Jean – Runaway

+ Good song choice, and Lee is a cute kid.

– Much like Kory Wheeler… I just thought it was forgettable.

Trent Mother Fucking Harmon – What Are You Listening To? 

+ What most surprised me tonight… and I know, this is shameful what with all my resistance to him getting to this point in the competition. I hate myself a little bit for even saying this… but I really liked Trent tonight!

– Just me over here hating myself for liking Trent. Hopefully it goes away. Lord knows his mono hasn’t. More negatives, this was the best performance of the night, if you ask me.

Know my Pain

Tristan McIntosh – Good Girl 

+ When compared to Gianna, who I think is her biggest competition, I thought she was stellar.

– I feel like she was really sharp at points of her performance. She didn’t really have a good amount of stage presence (though I felt I could say that about a lot of people last night) and compared to the rest of the girls in this competition, she just isn’t Top 10 material for me. Maybe in a few more years or something.

Adam Lasher – Black and Gold 

+ Adding to the list of people I thought I was “so over” that I ended up really liking, is Adam. I genuinely enjoyed his performance tonight and for me he was second only to Trent.

– I did agree with Harry’s criticism of his tempo but for me it was negligible. I just hope he keeps singing songs like this (a song I don’t think I’ve ever heard).

Dalton Rapattoni – Rebel Yell 

+ Dalton is one of the very few people this season who really know how to pick a song. He is so creative with his song choices and it’s something I genuinely REALLY like about him. If I had to pick a Top 7 for myself, he’d definitely be in it. And I didn’t have that feeling going into tonight.

– I’m obsessing over whether his eye color is real because the blue eyes throw me off. They don’t look natural to me – but if they are – then maybe he’s just a Cal Ripken/Frank Sinatra/Bradley Cooper type with strikingly blue eyes, yet dark features? I mean it has been known to happen.

Olivia Rox – Confident 

+ I wasn’t familiar with the original song but after listening to it, I think I actually liked Olivia’s version more.

– She really doesn’t have the vocal power that Demi has and it really showed in this performance. I think had I not listened to the original song, I would’ve liked Olivia’s performance a lot more, but I can’t un-listen to it.

So, with that, I think if I had to pick a Top 07 (and boy do I wish I could do something like, I dunno… VOTE!?!?!?!? I would) I would pick:

Olivia, Amelia, Trent, Adam, Jenn (with hopes that tonight was a screw up), and probably Dalton and CJ. So many more guys than I thought I would root for, but it is what it is! Being as they only kept 2 guys last week, it’s probably appropriate that I have 4 guys that I think are worth saving this week.

And for the duets tonight, who do you think will perform with whom? We’ve got David Cook, Chris Daughtry, Constantine Maroulis, Kellie Pickler, Haley Reinhart and Jordin Sparks. That’s a lot of rock and not a lot of rockers tonight. And I pity whoever gets paired with Haley because they’re probably going to sound terrible. Here are some guesses from me, but their just wild guesses. No grounding in actual fact or reasoning…

David Cook – Olivia and Kory
Daughtry – CJ and Dalton
Constantine – Trent and Adam
Kellie – Shelbie and Amelia
Haley – Jenn and Tristan
Jordan – whoever is left? Manny and Lee? Actually that isn’t too bad a pairing.

We’ll see how many I get right but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the answer is zero.

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