American Idol – Duets

Duets just makes me think of Gwenyth Paltrow (and Huey Lewis but that doesn’t fit with where I’m going here). And that just makes me think they should’ve done some kind of Sliding Door situation, instead of Duets. I don’t know how that would work but I think it would be great. For me the duets were a bit on the lackluster side over all. I liked the concept and as soon as Lauren and Emily started singing it made me think about how this is a pretty interesting challenge. You’re singing with people who were the best of their season. You’re at this point only in the Top 24 of your season. It’ll be interesting to see how people compare to the top contestants. Maybe the Top 24 are as good as these guys. I mean they’re saying that there’s more talent in this season than ever before!

Sure they say that every season but this season it actually has some credibility just because everyone who was sitting on the fence as to whether they’d audition, got off their asses and did it. Or so they’d like us to believe 🙂

Emily Brooke and Lauren Alaina
Flat on the Ground by Carrie Underwood

Emily loves a sheer overlay. Lauren definitely stood out far more than Emily, which I have a feeling could happen a lot with these first 24 duets. I mean, Ryan said it – these are seasoned performers at this point, even if none of them are really all that famous yet. As for Emily, I just think it was a good pick for her if she wanted to hide her voice, and glob on to Lauren’s voice. All this performance made me do was miss Lauren as a contestant. She was great for the show.

Thomas Stringfellow and Nick Fradiani
Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

Weird combo. I mean, I’m sure Thomas was hoping for Alex Preston. That’d be too matchy matchy. I do feel like Thomas was looking at Nick like, oh my god that guy is so hot. No? Was that just me?

As for this performance, I just wish Nick was singing the whole time so I didn’t have to hear that hiccup. It was back in full effect tonight. I didn’t really love either of them singing this though. It seemed a little choppy and rushed.

Also Harry, stop praising that Creep performance.

Top07 - Notcool

Stephaney Negrete and Ruben Studdard
Superstar by The Carpenters

Rueben hit the nail on the head with what Stephaney was lacking from yesterday. She’s lacking that ability to let go and be free on stage. She’s got the voice and energy, she just needs to relax and petit all out. Is he teaching now? I didn’t realize they were billing her as a Pia Toscano type.

Also, Luther Vandross is JLo’s favorite singer of all time? Wouldn’t have guessed that.

Sonica Vaid and Caleb Johnson 
Skyfall by Adele

I was only going to be happy if they sang a song for Beauty and the Beast. I mean they said they were doing something theatrical. I love seeing how naive Sonika is but truthfully it’s only going to hurt her this season. I just think I would’ve liked it more if Caleb wasn’t singing (and for the record this was the only performance where I thought that). I do think that he helped her get out of her comfort zone… a little.

little

Jenna Renae and Scotty McCreery
See You Tonight by Scotty McCreery

Jenna just seemed like a fan that happened to be able to sing, that Scotty pulled up on stage. Also there are very few women that I think look better in a fedora, but I really like that look for Jenna. Her not wearing one made me really take notice and wish she was. That feels like a backhanded compliment but it isn’t meant to be.

La’Porsha Renae and Fantasia
Summertime by George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess

what just happened clapping

This required a double gif for me to explain my emotions about this performance. It was great. Is it possible La’Porsha is even better with a duet partner? I mean they were really flawless, I have to say. It was the highlight of the show, and I don’t usually feel that way about Fantasia, but as a duet, I liked it!

Also, their height difference in the practice round was amazing. I’m kind of dying to know what their actual heights are. I didn’t think Fantasia was that tall. Also, I LOVED Fantasia’s shoes! I tweeted her to see what they were but alas, no response.

Mackenzie Bourg and Lauren Alaina 
I Hope You Dance by Leanne Womack 

“I was hoping I’d be taller than you” – so cute. Adorable. He really is. And you know Lauren is a huge flirt. God love her. Excellent song choice for them and I think showing that he can compete with Thomas for the ladies, was a really good move for Mackenzie. Mackenzie > Thomas. For serious.

Gianna Isabella and Nick Fradiani
A Beautiful Life by Nick Fradiani

This reminded me of the end of a tv show graduation. And Gianna looked like she was the freshman standing next to senior Nick. She looked SO young. I think the keds were a bad idea. Heels would’ve helped age her up a little bit. She’s so goofy and cute but it does read so young.

I will say that JLo has a tell. And I could tell she’s already mentally voted Gianna off the show. “I’ve gotten rejections from so many other auditions” – hey Gianna, maybe don’t say that.

Avalon Young and Ruben Studdard
Flying Without Wings by Ruben Studdard

snooze andy cohen

I stand by my belief that Rubens victory song was one of the worst in the series. That said, they did a really good job. It was a little boring, I mean we’re at the 1.5 hour mark at this point, I needed something a little more upbeat – thought seeing the pairing I was pretty sure it’d be a smoother song. They were still really good. I didn’t really expect Avalon to go that way musically but it was a nice divergence.

James VIII and Caleb Johnson 
Give Me Shelter by The Rolling Stones

James was a really good guitar player next to Caleb singing the Stones. Maybe he should just leave the show and tour with Caleb? I think that’s a good idea. Do that Mr. VIIIth.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell and Scotty McCreery
Gone by Montgomery Gentry 

That was very country.

Jordan Sasser and Fantasia 
I Believe by Fantasia Barrino 

Um… you know, we all know my feelings on Jordan.

mckayla-maroney-not-impressed

And then FINALLY we got to who would stay and who would go! And I was actually really happy with who stayed. Sure, I wish Emily could’ve been a little better, but I think she earned her position. And I think that if there were an 8th person picked, it would’ve been her. I also really thought they’d keep Stephaney over Gianna. That was a bit of a shocker to me. And while originally I liked Gianna more, I think Stephaney would’ve been the better add.

SAFE: La’Porsha, Sonika, Avalon, Gianna, Jeneve, Thomas and Mackenzie.

OUT: James, Jordan, Emily, Stephaney and Jenna.

And just as a friendly reminder of who’s left to perform next week, we have: Jenn Blosil, Amelia Eisenhauer, Olivia Rox, Shelbie Z, Tristan McIntosh, Adam Lasher, Kory Wheeler, Lee Jean, Manny Torres, Trent Harmon and CJ Johnson (I bolded the 7 I hope stay in)

And the returning Idols will be: David Cook, Chris Daughtry, Constantine Maroulis, Kellie Pickler, Haley Reinhart and Jordin Sparks.

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American Idol – The First 12

Ok so first off lets address the elephant in the room… or should I say, the elephant that’s not in the room – the producers of American Idol.

Dearest Simon – What made you think that it was a good idea to not let America vote when it came to the Top 24? Did the judges really need another shot at narrowing the playing field before you let America get their hands on it? Sure, I get irritated with America sometimes when it picks the wrong person (don’t worry, I’m not getting political), but to not give us a right to vote until it’s time to get down to the Top 10?

rude

All I have to say is that the judges better do a better job than America in picking the Top 14, or I’m gonna be super pissed.

I mean voting is what draws us in! It’s what makes us care about the show! …which I guess is political because it’s the reason I think you should vote IRL. To care about America. Trust me. Start voting and paying attention and I guarantee you’ll understand the importance. But if you’re scared to vote… just start with Idol. You’l be voting for president in no time, I promise!

Ok so lets talk about the real reason we’re here. The judges! Oh sorry, I was still in “producer” mindset. I meant, The Contestants! I was wondering which 12 they’d pit up against each other and I was happy with this selection. Though I do think next week will be harder. I decided, so as not to be too mean, to try and say one thing I liked about the performance, and one thing I’d change (or straight up disliked).

Stephany Negrete – Mama Knows Best 

+ I LOVE her energy. I was thinking how the producers must be really obsessed with her to have her start out a show two weeks in a row – but when you watch her, you realize it has more to do with just getting people into the show! And I get that.

– What I wish she’d work on is her… a certain I don’t know what. She was just so close to a really good performance but it just lacked something for me. Mojo wasn’t it but I think it did have to do with connection.

And congrats on knowing all those languages.

Mackenzie Bourg – Say Something
+ He’s one of my favorite guys this season – which is saying A LOT because that’s a very short list this year. And what I thought would be a plus for him, ended up being what I didn’t like 😦
– Perfect song choice for him (I thought). I think not doing something “original” was probably a good idea. Do a crowd pleaser. Thing is though, this is def not as good as the original. And I’ve listened to the original a lot. It even came up in my FB “on this day” today. I saw a lot of people that really loved it, but I just wasn’t on that list today. I still hope he’s in for the guys tonight though.
Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.35.09 PM
Jeneve Rose – The Sad Animal Song aka Angel 
+ She basically plays every instrument. And harp is HARD! And how often are you seeing people singing while playing the harp? But I thought  the harp was a nice touch. I loved that Jen admitted she was the one not sure about her – SHOCKER. Glad Jeneve won her over.
– that 90s meets 1800s look. Not sure about that one. It was giving me Seinfeld puffy shirt flashbacks too (not necessarily a bad thing).
Jena Renae – My Church
+ Memorizes song lyrics easily? Me too! That’s probably going to a plus for her if she stays in this game, which I really hope she does. I think she had just as much energy as Stephaney and a better song (which I really liked – had to google and find out what it was).
– Her position in the competition! Sad face. I hope the judges remember her. I think if nothing else Keith will. Fingers crossed for my little dark horse!
James VIII – Love Lockdown
+ He’s got a nice smile and he seems really good at playing guitar…
– … in a bar. He seems like the guy I would see at This guy seems like the type that won’t make it through this week. But, Caleb made it through 2 years ago so anything is possible.
Sonika Vaid – Safe and Sound 
+ Plays by ear on piano? Talent. And with pitch like that, is it even surprising how well she takes to piano? She has, hands down, the best voice in this competition.
– She needs the energy of Stephaney or she’s going to be forgotten. You’re halfway there picking a t-swizzle song, but you’ll be all the way there if you can do an upbeat song. Just remember no one likes a ballad every single week.
ballads
Gianna Isabella – I Put a Spell on You
+ I do like her more than Tristan, but i think Tristan, unfortunately, is the better singer. This also made me notice that they separated a lot of the “similar” contestants. I think that’s very interesting as to how we’ll be shaping up the Top 14. I realize none of this is about Gianna but honestly, it’s because I already kind of forgot her performance. It’s not a good sign. The only thing I do remember…
– that last note wasn’t great.
Emily Brooke – I Am Invincible 
+ She’s really good at getting autographs.
– “That wasn’t the sweetest and most beautiful part of your voice” – jlo. I think that sums it up. Poor girl. Competition is hard.
Avalon Young – Love Yourself 
+ She’s proving she isn’t who I thought she was, and from this point forward, I will not call you “She’s All That” girl. I liked hearing “this is the only way i’m going out on this stage”. It means a lot to stay true to yourself. And your voice was wonderful. You made me not hate a Justin Beiber song.
– You picked a Justin Beiber song.
Jordan Sasser – All By Myself. 
+ I liked your haircut.
– I wish you were all by yourself, at your house, and not on American Idol. I think Harry could’ve stopped with “I didn’t like that”. I know, it’s rude, and this guy hasn’t done anything to me, but he’s also not going to do anything to me, to make me like him. Sorry friend.
Thomas Stringfellow – Creep
+ Far less hiccup noise making.
– Way too many swaybots. Le sigh…. what would Idol be without them?
LaPorsha Renae – Proud Mary
+ She loves a movie soundtrack – I agree. Much of my iPod is movie/musical related!
+ Her JJ key earring, which I’ve mentioned.
+ That she was the only one where I actually stopped writing and watched/jammed along with. #teamlaporsha
– It was a little karaoke. I saw proof of your originality in your first performance so I know it’s in there, but this was very straight forward. But I still loved it. Excellent work for your first almostlive show.
And now, since I’m already running late, let’s see who they keep!
For the record, the 5 I think (it’s a fine line) they say goodbye to are: Thomas (probably not gonna happen. I know, I live in a world of pipe dreams. It’s definitely not to Thomas), Jordan, Emily, James, and then I guess either Gianna or Jenna, in which case I’d hope Gianna. Jenna doesn’t have a quasi-famous mom to help her out.
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American Idol – Your Final Top 24

I mean, they are “ours” even though we haven’t begun the voting yet. Honestly I’m about 80% happy with the top 24, now that we know who they are – though I have to say I think I only really knew about 6 of the contestants we saw get the boot and of the 6 I was really only even remotely upset about one of them.

I mean come on, was Jessica Cabral really not connecting so you just kick her off the show? No performance or anything?

why

How are we know since you didn’t feel like showing her performance, just telling us. How’s that for not connecting with your audience? I realize there were a lot of good females this season, but for me it just makes me think – do we really need an even number of guys and girls? Does that help anyone? Are the guys the ones that get the ratings? What is the rationale? This is the only point in the contest where you pick a certain number per gender. I just don’t get it.

don't make sense

Also, welcome to my new favorite gif. I say this all the time, thanks to a lady I encountered at a grocery store. I had no idea it was also in a movie. But I like it.

Anyway, let’s talk about the 12 guys and 12 girls that are our Top 24.

Jenn Blosil – The Eccentric 
23 from Brooklyn, NY

Emily Brooke – The Repeat
16 year old from Wellington, FL

Amelia Eisenhauer – The Fiddler
15 year old from Nashville, TN

Gianna Isabella – The Daughter
15 year old from Jackson, NJ

Tristan McIntosh – The Crier 
15 year old from Nashville, TN

Jeneve Rose Mitchell – The Off-the-Grid-er
15 year old from Crawford, CO

Stephaney Negrete – The Looker
21 year old from San Diego, CA

Jenna Renae – Who? 
23 year old from Williamson, NY

La’Porsha Renae – The Mother
22 year old from McComb, MS

Olivia Rox – The Jax 
16 year old from Agoura Hills, CA

Sonika Vaid – The Voice
20 year old from Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Avalon Young – The Tomboy
21 year old from San Diego, CA

 

Shelbie Z – The Country Singer
23 year old from Sumiton, AL

Looking at this list of girls, it gives me angst to think that there may only be 6 of them on the stage after this coming round. If I had to pick a top 12 I think it would be about 8 girls and 4 boys. Maybe even 9:3. I was able to bold the 6 I think should definitely make it to the Top 12. It’s a mix of wants and needs, and I know, Jeneve is not on there. Neither is the arguably best singer, Sonika. But look – I’m trying to be realistic. Jeneve was starting to falter in the last performances I saw and I worry Sonika doesn’t have the stage presence for the big show. So I made realistic cuts… but if I’m wrong, it’ll be fine with me (well, depending on the 6 or so that make it in). I will say that if I could pick 8, I’d throw in Jeneve and Sonika.

Mackenzie Bourg – The Hipster (but not as hipster as Stringfellow)
23 year old from Lafayette, LA

James VIII – The Eighth
23 years old from Orinda, CA

Trent Harmon – Patient Zero
24 year old from Amory, MS

Lee Jean – The Youngun’
15 year old from Blufton, SC

CJ Johnson – The Rocker 
28 year old from Memphis, TN

Adam Lasher – The Santana Relative
23 year old from Danville, CA

Dalton Rapattoni – The Green Day Boy Band-er
19 years old from Dallas, TX 

Jordan Sasser – The Soon-to-be-Divorcee
27 year old from Raleigh, NC

Thomas Stringfellow – The Newsie
17 year old from Bentonville, AR

Manny Torres – The Entertainer 
20 year old from Flushin, MI

Kory Wheeler – The Coffee Guy/Repeat
27 year old from Nashville, TN

I couldn’t even pick 6 boys that I wanted because I just don’t want 6 boys picked. But what can I say?

giphy-5

I will say that I’d put money on the other 2 contestants being Trent Harmon and Thomas Stringfellow. Both of whom I’m REALLY not liking. I can’t pinpoint why I don’t like Trent, besides all the scarves and the fact that he probably infected half of the contestant pool. And Thomas Stringfellow’s weird “upseak”/hiccup thing he does at the end of each line. That hiccup thing makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Or ears, as it were.

no no no

I would comment on performance but I felt like we really didn’t see a lot and the ones we did see, were from people we see a lot of and they did about as they have been doing, so I won’t.

The other thing that really bothered me about this episode was the judges telling the contestants whether they were in or out. They kept explaining it like it wasn’t their choice. I guess I wouldn’t say it angered me, so much as confirmed that I think the producers are the ones making the picks. Not the judges. Sure they have influence, and I’m sure they each had one contestant they fought for. And for the record I think they were:

Harry – Jeneve Rose Mitchell

Jennifer – Stephaney Negrete

Keith – Actually I think he just kind of went with the flow. He just seems like that type of person. I’m guessing his favorite was also a producer favorite.

But yeah, thanks Harry, for confirming you don’t really pick who is making it onto the show. I was probably naive for thinking it was the judges. At least post-Simon.

I did do some google research because I really had no idea where the show is going from here, this final season. Maybe I wasn’t even right that the next round goes to 12? I really have no idea. Turns out it seems we’re doing a Top 14!

Thanks for the info MJ!

Thanks for the info MJ!

So, we’ll know who the Top 14 are by the end of next week! Exciting stuff 🙂 Looking forward to the upcoming nights! And I hope the Thursday’s 2 hour shows actually have contestant performances because 2 hours with only mentoring and whatnot, that’s not anything I want to see.

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American Idol – Room With a New American Idol

I don’t know about you but as soon as I saw who was in each room. I mean, I definitely recognize one of these girls as the one who auditioned with the guy… screams

But when you really looked at the breakdown of talent in the 3 rooms, it was pretty easy to see that Room 2 was probably on the way out… Take a look for yourself. I even highlighted the ones I thought were talented 🙂

room 1

roop 2

room 3

If you ask me, the next American Idol was in Room 3. I mean, there was a solid pool of talent there! Look at all those red arrows! I mean, if I have to accept Michelle Marie in order to have  the rest of contestants in room 3 be safe, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

So with that lets talk about favorites of the night (in order of appearance)! Spoiler alert, they’re all ladies 🙂

Olivia Rox – Original Song “Crazy Love”

For your choice to debut a new song

SeriousClapping

(same for you Mackenzie Bourg – and truth be told, I thought your song was better). Good call to do it on this night. Break out the originality a little further into the competition, when you’re looking for one more wow. Not only that though. Her voice is still solid and this being the 3rd time performing on tv, I think she’s proving that she is consistent, which is really important.

Sonkia Vaid – One Last Time by Ariana Grande
Jessica Cabral – Up to the Mountain by Patty Griffin 

I put these two girls together because they just have the most beautiful voices of this competition. I will say that during Sonkia’s performance, the background singer was a little distracting but I think overall, her voice showed through and I think she’ll be fine. I think they probably both need a little help with the actual performance part of their jobs, but they’ve got the voice thing down. Though lack of ability to perform does eventually make me hate contestants (not as much as poor song choice) so they probably should get to working on that before the live shows.

Jenn Blosil – True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

Oh my sweet flower, Jenn. What a perfect song choice. I hope she’s not having a breakdown because I really like her. And she has no need to be that sad because her performance, of what I heard, was fantastic! Honestly I thought I’d just be happy she made it through group night, because unique flowers like Jenn don’t always… but at this point I really want her to go further. I need to see her sing live! Come on Idol fans! Let’s make sure Jenn gets to the live shows and stays there!

loveyou

And now for a few comments about the remaining contestants we saw:

Stephaney Negrente – Set Fire to the Rain I think this girl has a really good voice, but when she sings, she sounds like she had a problem with saying the letter R. It was like “I set fiyah to the wain”. Was that just me hearing that?

Thomas Stringfellow – A Thousand  Years Ah yes, Newsies guy… This was my least favorite male performance of the night, but his hipster vibes gave me a strong feeling he’d be safe. He just reminds me of a younger Alex Preston. And where the hell is he, nowadays?

Avalon Young – One Last Time I don’t feel like I really got to hear her performance but for a little snippet, but I’d like to believe it was solid. The last note was a little rough though. Hoping it was a fluke and you’ll be back to belting shortly.
One Last Time by Ariana Grande – She thought she could have done better, although the little snip seemed fine!

John Wayne Schulz (sans hat) – John 3:16 John, sweet John. I know you didn’t make it through. And I hate that (I think) an idol producer stole his hat, so that he wouldn’t wear it. But seriously though – It’s crazy how much younger and hotter he looks without the hat. It’s a totally different look. Do I think he should try singing without it more often?

hint yes

Tristan McIntosh – What Hurts the Most Crying because of her emotional connection… really? This early in the season? Seemed a little contrived to me. Sure you didn’t just figure out a story? Maybe she should’ve sung “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? How’s that for a life lesson? Man how long can I go without finishing a sentence with a question mark? haha.

Mackenzie Bourg – Original Song “Roses” Briefly mentioned him above but he should know, he was the only guy I really liked tonight. I mean I liked John Wayne, sexually, but I liked Mackenzie, musically. Sure Lee and Thomas were fine, but Mackenzie was where it’s at.

Shelbie Z – Alone Listen, truth be told, I just can’t decide if I like her. It’s mostly that I know she’s already tried out for The Voice. I just think that if you made it a certain distance in one show and didn’t make it, what makes you think you’re going to make it on this one? I know that’s mean, and she has a voice like a mack truck so I do think she deserves to be where she is at this point, I just don’t know how much further I want to see her go. We’ll see. She could always win me over!

 

 

Kory Wheeler – Fix You Love this song, do not like Kory Wheeler. Darren Criss still has the best version of this song.

Well that just lead to a “Glee Music” shame spiral. Who am I kidding? There’s no shame in my Glee game. haha.

James VIII – Wicked Game Oh that guy is still here!

Lee Jean – Stitches Ok well… Lee is cute. He’s pretty good, but I still feel like he’s really young. I mean he’s 3 years younger than Sarah. I think he’s full of potential, I just wish he was a year or two older.

Sara Sturm – Somewhere Only We Know Sara is fine. She does have a good voice, but compared to the competition, I don’t see her in a Top 5 situation. I could see her Top 24 though. I if I hadn’t seen her pre-performance, I would’ve guessed she was one of the people with mono laryngitis

Emily Brooke – What Hurts the Most Great voice. She gets better every time I hear her. I didn’t even notice the key problems. Also I loved her dress.

Malie Delgado – Stitches / Mionne Dynasty – Chains (Laryngitis girls)
Have we seen either of these girls, to date? They were both fine through their respective illnesses that aren’t mono. Something tells me this will be the last time we’ll see these two…

Joshua Wicker – 1000 years  I didn’t really remember this guy was still on the show, and his performance wasn’t anything that special, but I was sad seeing him say goodbye as a Room 2-er. He seems like a real good guy.

CJ Johnson – Go Your Own Way Honestly, CJ should’ve been in my Top. I think he would’ve probably been my 5th. I just liked the enthusiasm he brought to the performance. I would’ve liked to see more of it.

Jeneve Mitchell – Danny’s Song Oh Jeneve… I really really wanted you to be in my Top 5 again… but this was truly not your best performance. I really hope that this was just a minor set back and you’re good enough and that’s why the judges kept you – because they know this. I’m still rooting for you, Jeneve!

Dalton Rapattoni – Hopelessly Devoted to You I know he was saying group night was tough on him but dude, I’ll tell you what I told Tristan… man up. Life is hard. The music industry is hard. Get used to it. I did really like the song choice because we all know I love a song from a show, especially a show I just watched live! To be honest, I liked Sandra Dee a lot more.

There were definitely some people I missed seeing *cough cough* La’Porsha *cough cough* but it’s nice to see they’re still through so we’ll hopefully see them one more time tonight (or next week, whatever).

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American Idol – Hell? More like helluva virus.

You know, what’s funny for me, is that I watch reality TV a lot – not the funny part – and usually I HATE group challenges, but for all the reasons I hate it on other shows, I love it on Idol. Yes, the “finding a group” part makes me really anxious for the poor actually nice souls, who can’t get a group, but once the groups are set, I’m all in and I’m ready for the realness. Maybe the real reason I love Idol Group night is because these are still kids so it’s ok for them to act this way (whereas it’s unbecoming of the contestants on Project Runway who are straight up adults). I also like htat you get to see a lot of the behind the scene idol staff get really pissed at these kids. And I’m not gonna lie, I like that part.

American-Idol-Michael-Orland-Face

And this guy is the best.

Based on all the group night contestants, I think we got narrowed down from 190 last night to around 80ish tonight? Not bad. I honestly didn’t realize they cut that many yesterday but I guess they were just limiting showing that part. They certainly didn’t limit group night and I’m thankful for that. Instead of going through EVERY.SINGLE.GROUP. I’m just going to talk about my favorites. And then some notes on some of the other groups that I felt I needed to discuss.

And first and foremost, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss Patient Zero, Trent Harmon. And since he wasn’t a group, lets talk about him first.

wayne mono

This guy definitely has mono.

He was by himself in a group anyway. Seriously… all I was thinking the whole show was, who is going to come into the final round before the live shows with mono? I realize Trent probably isn’t making out with everyone but still… ugh. It’s just gross. But then, to be allowed to sing by yourself because of your super contagious illness? Sorry but I feel like that’s a little unfair, no? He was good but is he going to win? I feel like that answer is no. I mean, I know he’s dealing with mono but that’s nothing compared to the stress of group night, and not having to deal with that (I feel) is going to ensure a better performance right off the bat. That said, I do appreciate that he stayed in the competition and performed under the stress of illness – but think about all the people he’s infecting. Every kid saying they felt like they were getting sick, I’m assuming now has mono.

And now that I have that out of my system, let’s talk shop.

For the record, almost all my favorites, aren’t because I liked the whole group, but moreso, a person in the group stood out to me.

Team: The Sistahs
LaPorsha Renae, Marlena Johnson, Tonie Starr
Song: Staying Alive

So where I had to listen to 2 relatively bad auditions of Renegades, I liked listening to Stayin’ Alive two times in a row. The first one being terrible and this one being the redeemer. This was so good. And of all the performances tonight, this was the only one that I had zero complaints about. This was the Candice Glover “Hit ‘Em Up Style” of this season and in case you need a reminder…

Man this kind of makes me miss Melinda! And I mean, god damn was Candice Glover good (I still follow both on twitter).

Team Blue Eyes (though Blurry did seem more appropriate)
Jenna Renae, Jordan Sasser, Kelsie Watts and Kory Wheeler
Song: Treasure by Bruno Mars

It’s not that I thought anyone was bad in this group, but being with Jenna, I just couldn’t help but think the rest might be out because she was just SO good. Her voice was above and beyond her group on EVERY level. Although maybe stop with the hat. I’m honestly amazed with ever step forward Jordan gets.

Team: Smooth Soul
Joy Dove, Daniel Farmer, Lindita
Song: Domino by Jessie J

Am I a little obsessed with “team player” Joy Dove? Yeah. I kind of am. Do I think she’s the best singer? Not really (especially after recently listening to Candice Glover) but she’s fun. I like that she’s gonna do Idol, and she’s gonna do it her way. She truly is a team player, which may hurt her, but I don’t really see her making it to the Top 24 as it is. As much as I do love her attitude and team player-ness. Is there any way we can just keep her on for color commentary or something?

Team: Rebirth
Manny Torres, Malie Delgado, Christian Easen
Song: Too Close by Alex Clare

After 2 super boring performances this was a welcome audition. Sure, it was still a song that we’ve heard 3 times now, but the other two times were shorter clips so I’m ok with it (and group night is kind of notorious for that anyway). And like I said, with their energy and good singing, I felt like it was just better. I think Manny is gonna prove to be a very good performer in this show. He has a great attitude. And I’ve decided, I will settle for nothing less than the whole package. I want performer AND singer!

impress me

Team: Unknown.
Chynna Sherrod, Terrian and 2 others

Song: Rather Be by Clean Bandit

I loved the last line where the girls were right in front of the judges. They were really good. I would be interested in knowing their team name though. Or you know, all the contestants names… maybe it’s not necessary.

shrugs

I just wanted to mention one other thing too… did anyone notice that Scotty B is goatee-less this season? Does this mean that last season was evil Scott and this season is good Scott?

cartman-evil-and-cartman-we

So, those were my favorites overall, but I did take notes on everyone else and that’s below if you feel like continuing to read 🙂

Let’s talk about the montages first. Was anyone else shocked with the good talent that got the montage treatment, because I was!

Montage of 3 groups:

Amelia Eisenhour, Lee Jean, Tristan McIntosh and 4th person (Too Close) – Fiddle girl is still good without the fiddle! Yey! Also, having recently started watching Real Housewives of Potomac, I think Tristan looks like Ashley from that show. The young one. Their voices are similar too.
Avalon Young, Colette Lush and 3rd person Group (DJ Got Us Falling in Love) – Still loving Avalon! Maybe if that’s the style she’ll be singing she can actually keep her style? Doubtful…
Jeneve Mitchell Group (I Need You Now) – Obviously they only needed to show her because she was obviously the star of her group. Though apparently her whole group, whoever they were – oh there’s that girl who rode a mule, now that’s a group that probably got along real well! Not sure who that 3rd girl was.

 

Jessica Cabral, Zach Person, Elvie Shane and John Wayne Schultz
Song: Too Close
Mackenzie Bourg, Kayla _________, Juno and Ashley Lilinoe
Song: Unsure
Cameron Richard and other group members
Song: Too Close?

Of all these people I was just glad that Jessica made it through, and I also think Mackenzie sounded better than I remembered. The judges really brought it as far as advice is concerned. Work hard! You think you’re exhausted now? Wait til your career starts. You fall? Get back up and keep performing! The song sucks? It doesn’t matter, make it your own.

Team Something with Brian 3 names, Josiah and Jaci are all out. I’m ok with it.

And now for the rest of the true group performances we saw…

Team: Milk and Cookies
Jenn Blosil, Lynnzee Fraye, Bri Ray and Sara Sturm
Song: Drag Me Down by One Direction (?)

I just love Jenn. She steals every part of the show for me. I do remember liking Sara too but I don’t think we’ve seen the other two girls before. They were all really good, especially making me not even guess in my wildest imagination, that this was a One Direction song. My favorite was obviously Jenn (are you shocked?).

shocked

Team: Singing Out Loud
Lindsey Carrier, Ashley Lusk, Michelle Marie, Shelbie Z
Song: Undo It by Carrie Underwood

I didn’t know who Lindsey was and I don’t really like Michelle anyway, but I was kind of hoping that they’d only keep Shelbie. Her voice was above and beyond the rest.

Team: Chicken Noodle Soup
Kassy Levels, Dalton Rapattoni, and Anatalia Villaranda
Song: Treasure by Bruno Mars

I thought this group was really weird (not totally surprising) but they were fine singers. I really didn’t like the song for them, and I LOVE Bruno Mars. I did notice at this point, I feel like only like, 2 people so far, have been eliminated. Who are they cutting?

Team: Envy
Stephany Negrete, Andrew Nezerbakian and Sonika Vaid
Song: Problem by Ariana Grande

Based on the lead up, and their choice of team name, I was sure none of these people would go through (though I was really hoping Sonika would because come on, she’s legit the best of the last 3 groups – only because we weren’t really able to hear Jessica Cabral sing). After they were done I was just thinking – this group was WAY better than Team Chicken Noodle Soup. This is also where I decided I hated all the song choices for group night. Why have there been so many I don’t know? Am I that out of touch?

Team Trick or Treat
Marcio Donaldson, Kacye Hayes, Jon Klaasen, Kylle Thomason
Song: Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars

Ok Marcio, I’m kind of in for you bud. And now I have identified the mystery guy who was not under any circumstances touching Trent Harmon (Kylle Thomason). This wasn’t my favorite group but I think they were definitely in what I’d call the “better half”.

stayaway

Team Las Varequas
Eliz Camacho, Gianna Isabella, Dana Ordway
Song: Hit Me Up Style by Blue Cantrell

This is a classic group night song! I mean, these 3 girls had to really show up because there is a high bar set… and thy name is Candice Glover (see above). I thought these girls were fine. I was shocked they kept Gianna with her word flubbing but she has been featured a LOT so maybe it’s not a complete surprise. Now, as for Regina George Eliz Camacho…I mean, you can’t really have that attitude with a voice like that. Gianna looked so confused and uncomfortable up there. It was definitely her worst performance to date.

Team Good Vibes
Joe Dahmen, Jessica Paige, Olivia Thai, and Alesana Tolai
Song: Me and My Broken Heart by Rixton (who?)

The was just bland x1,000. Joyless was a good way to describe it, H-dog.

Team ______________?
Jessica Baker, CJ Johnson,
Zach Joseph  and Jess Kellner
Song: Renegades by Ex Ambassadors

I.HATE.THIS.SONG. It’s right up there with that ex’s and oh’s song… all over the radio and nothing I want to hear. It’s just EVERYWHERE. I do like CJ though. I was a little surprised they let Zach go because I thought they were equally talented, but I’m also ok with less 20 y.o. white guys.

Team ______________?
Bryson Dunn, Joey Hendricks, Thomas Muglia and Thomas Stringfellow
Song: Renegades by Ex Ambassadors

And just as I mention the song is everywhere, 2 groups do it in a row? I realize group night can be repetitive with song choice but come on, two times in a row? Boooo… [pic]

Team Soul Cats
Drew Angus, Marshall Cunningham, John Arthur Greene and Laurel Wright
Song: Staying Alive

Well there’s always one (or three) groups like this, and this was that group. Shot lyrics, goofily running around the stage, it’s just not pretty. I’m honestly surprised they kept any of these kids.

 

 

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American Idol – Tens of Groups

190 contestants, one hour of show.

stampede

Just imagine the wildebeest are the contestants and little Simba is the Idol Crown.

Being that it was only an hour, I wasn’t surprised at the number of contestants we actually saw (24). It’s interesting that of the contestants we saw singing, besides the two montage of nos, most people we saw sing, made it through (20 of the 24).

james-van-der-beek-clapping-gif-dawson-b7279382-sz624x350-animate1_zpse885157d

So, if you want the list of who made it through from each group of 10 we saw, just see below. As for this, I’m just going to talk about a few people I loved and a few people I was really surprised they kept. Honestly though, I’m fine with keeping folks I think are bad, as long as we don’t lose anyone I thought was good, and in this case, that’s how it was 🙂

So – what I learned from Hollywood Week, Round 1…

1. As you may remember, I was on the fence about liking Dalton. I still am, but I do like him more after he was talking to Jaci about beating her on a bigger scale. Why did I find that endearing? Who knows. My heartlessness? Maybe because it’s pretty obvious he’s the better singer.

2. I’m still obsessed with Jenn Blosil. Or JBlo, which I now unfortunately for her, am going to call her forever. I really don’t think she’ll win this, just based on types, but that girl is going places, I’m sure of it (I also really like Olivia, who was in her group).  People I am also still obsessed with include but are not limited to: Jessica Cabral, Jenever Mitchell (who I’m still going to talk about), Sonika Vaid, LaPorsha Renae and Manny Torres.

3. Jessica Cabral is so good. Like, dreamy good. Like, so so so so so good.

Top08 - Love You

I think by far, she has the best voice in this competition. I mean, there’s definitely competition for her, but this is her fight to lose.

4. I loved LaPorshas performance as much as I loved her homage to Janet.

janetkey laporsha

I still hate the storyline of LaPorsha bringing her kid and putting so much emphasis on being a single mother (it’s not just her, it’s all the people with the backstories), but you can only hate on something so long before you just have to drop it because it’s not even them anyway – it’s the producers – and when they’re really good, does it even matter, really? No. It doesn’t. LaPorsha was so good. I loved her rendition of Roar! Though I’m curious to see how she pulls of a Janet song. Here’s hoping I get one of those before her run is over!

5. So Melaney Huber, the girl who overcame cancer to perform, did anyone catch her mom talking to her, post-dismissal? “I love you anyway” – um, what? So you would’ve loved her more if she’d made it but you guys you’ll love her still even though she’s not famous? I’m just going to chalk it up to being out of context or that she said it the wrong way and hope that I’m right.

6. Jeneve Rose Mitchell. Girl, I know I already said I’m obsessed with you once in this post but does it really hurt to mention it again? I don’t really care. I am. I’m so glad I put her in my Top 5 because she is SO deserving! I just love her and I really hope she succeeds. I think if I could personally pick a contestant for the live shows, I really think I’d pick her. She just looks like she can put on a good show. I want to see her in front of a band so badly! I hope she makes it to the showcase show and then kills it.

7. Does anyone think of Tracy Flick from the movie Election when they see Michelle Marie? Because I see a mixture of Tracy, Rachel Berry and Becky Johnson (the former two being Glee characters). Just google it. Or just trust that I’m right. Either is fine.

8. Dude, Trent… I know this is a kissing disease but I really hope he was the last to use that mic because I feel like everyone would have mono otherwise. And what is the break like between Hollywood Week/Group Night and the next round? Is dude gonna have time to feel better before then? Because I mean, sometimes you’ve gotta medically inactivate people. Poor guy looked TERRIBLE. Did you see the black guy at the end talking to Trent?

stayaway

He’s saying “Are you ok man?” – so funny. Like, I’m happy for you dude, but stay the F away from me.

And finally. I think the biggest question of all… why was Jimmy Kimmel holding a stone chair and a potato? I couldn’t get a screen gran on Idol but I did find the One Direction episode of Kimmel and there it was (and now I know the context). Oh also, the 1D Potato has a twitter.

So with that, we move on to the best night, group night! And as promised, below is a list of who made it through, of the people I saw.

Through:

Jordan Sasser
Dalton Rapattoni
Jaci Butler
JBlo
Thomas Stringfellow
Olivia Rox
Jessica Cabral
Sonika Vaid
LaPorsha Renae
Manny Torres
Daniel Farmer
Sara __________
Lee Jean
Shelbie Z
Jeneve Mitchell
Gianna Isabella
Tristan McIntosh
Michelle Marie
Trent Harmon
Miranda Poh Scott
Emily Brooke

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American Idol – Top Auditions from Season 15

So, in case were wondering what’s going on in Maryland, well just consider winter this white walker, and Maryland is Jon Snow.

white walker

It did give me a lot of time to dick around on the internet though, you know, in between shoveling and trying to make sure my house doesn’t look like a food hoarder lives there. I saw a post over at MJ’s that I kind of loved. She actually has a ton of really great nostalgia posts that I highly recommend if you like the show. The one I’m talking about in particular though, was her list (I think) of the Top 25 auditions on Idol, over the last 15 seasons.  I’m not sure if she included this season because I didn’t see anyone on it from this season – but that said, of the 25 on there, I’m not sure anyone that auditioned this season, was worthy of that spot. But I also don’t think all the people that made it from Season 14 should be on there.

no shade

My personal reasoning for the list looking like that is two fold. One, it’s just easier to find auditions of more recent contestants. I’ve tried to look for a contestant from seasons 3 or 5 before and it’s just not there. Especially if you can’t remember their exact name, which can be difficult at times. I also think it’s because in the earlier seasons, there were more bad auditions than good and we often wouldn’t see the kids who made it to the Top 24 until they were revealed. I can’t tell you how many “Who are they?”‘s I let out in the early seasons. That’s definitely one plus of the newer years in that we got to see more talent early on and I do like that a lot. So I’ll just let it lie and be happy with the list. I mean, those were 25 solid auditions, and a fun way to spend yesterday, reminiscing – because in my snow induced haze, I thought Idol was on last night.

That said, I got to thinking about who my favorite auditions were from this season. First, I did a top 15 (a top 5 from each week of auditioning) and that you can find at the bottom. But I also picked from that, a Top 5 overall. These are 5 people that I’ll be supes upset about if they don’t make it into the live shows, even though I’m already preparing for the thought that only one or two might make it that far, because I know my type isn’t always America’s type…

 Hollywood05 - Disappointed

Don’t worry, NPH is always America’s type. He just had the right facial expression for my emotions. I digress. Here are my Top 5 and some more information about them, should you like them enough to investigate them a little more thoroughly.

Also, it should be noted that my top 5 for this are all female. Sorry dudes, you didn’t make the cut this time. If I had to pick a guy, it would be Dalton Rappatoni. Dalton, consider yourself in my Top 6. Honestly you might’ve made it to my Top 5 but in looking up some stuff on you I saw you’re in a boy band. Well, you were (or are you still?) in a boy band. A disney boy band. I just don’t know how I feel about that. I need some time to think about it.

This is in no particular order except for the order I wrote them down as I was thinking of them:

top5auditions

Wow do I have a type or what? Apparently I like white chicks that play instruments! haha. Whoops. Well, I likes what I like. What can you do?

  1. Jeneve Mitchell – As I mentioned in my original post about liking Jeneve – she fills a lot of my checklist for idol material – plays an instrument check kooky in a good way check excellent voice check! But with all quirky contestants, especially ones that maybe don’t have too much involvement with stress and big shows and no sleep and dealing with other people, maybe don’t do as well succeeding on. I do hope she makes it past group week though because she’s someone that I do think should be seen! On the plus side I did see that she has a website and has most of your standard social media accounts, so I think she’s a little less “off the grid” than we thought. I think that can only help her! Also it should be noted that there’s now another reason I like her – all the animal/dog posts on her facebook page! Maybe I should add “Animal Lover” to my checklist?
  2. Olivia Rox –  I go back and forth with Olivia. For one, she reminds me a lot of Jax (good and bad), she’s tried out for other shows (not my ideal but at least I’ve never seen her on another show) and she has a famous parent (I’ve stated my objections to this before) but the fact is, I like Olivia, I think she has a great voice and she clearly knows what she’s doing up there. I think she’ll be an excellent selection for this season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her well into the Top 10, if not the Top 5. The only thing she could’ve done better to woo me, would’ve been to play a good original song. The next best thing to that is to put an original spin on a song I’ve heard 100 times and that she did! Oh and Olivia has her own website too, in case you were wondering.
  3. Jenn Blosil – Oh sweet Jenn… how do I love you? Let me count the ways…
    jennblosil2I love Jenn. I really don’t see my love affair getting to last too long with Jenn, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed. And I’m already following her on twitter so at least I have that. I also liked that when I looked to see if she had a website (and my gut said she didn’t) all I found were some amazing google image pictures, and a great selection of youtube videos of her original songs which I HIGHLY recommend you listening to (seriously, she wasn’t for sure in my top 5 until I started listening to her on youtube and was like – how is this chick not famous yet?)! Her twitter isn’t bad either.
  4. Jenna Renae – Jenna is kind of, unfortunately, one of my more forgettable Top 5-ers. I did like her a lot, and a lot of people had her as one of the best auditions but when I looked at her I still had to think – wait, who was she? But when I re-watched her audition and looked at the notes I did have down, I mean, she definitely deserves the Top 5. It was a toss up between her and Jessica Cabral but listening to both again, Jenna is the clear victor. Please retract my statement about Jessica being my A1 from Day1. It might be Jenna. Jenna also has a website but it’s far down the google search so I kind of wonder how up to date it is, but it looks current. Also by the google image search, I think there’s also a body builder with her name.
  5. Avalon Young – As yes, Avalon. The Laney Boggs to American Idols’ Zach Siler. The Eliza Doolittle to Professor Higgins. You get my drift. I love Avalon. I think the way she came in she’s a little forgettable but with a great name, and a look with a lot of potential, I think we’ll be seeing a lot of her this season. And if we don’t, well I hope I see a lot of her elsewhere because she’s pretty great. She also had my favorite website, in case you were wondering. It’s like a mix of music/social media/tumblr.

So those are the 5 that I’m desperate to see make it to the live show, and below are the other 10 that I’d be super pumped to see in the live show, but will understand if they don’t make it, even though I’ll most likely believed they were robbed and the likes of Johnny VIII, that guy with 3 first names or that guy who’s probably getting divorced. But here’s hoping for a solid Top 24!

Top 5 from Week 1 – Jeneve Mitchell, Dalton Rappatoni, Olivia Rox, Sonika Vaid and LaPorsha Renae

Top 5 from Week 2 – Jenn Blosil, John Wayne Schultz, Chris “CJ” Johnson, Thomas Stringfellow and Amber Lynn

Top 5 from Week 3 – Jenna Renae, Manny Torres, Amelia Eisenhauer, Jessica Cabral and Avalon Young

I almost tried to pick a top 24 but I honestly couldn’t. I think I could pick 20 I really liked but 24 was like pulling teeth. Why don’t they just do a Top 15 and then go from there?

So who are your Top 15? Does anybody have some favorites that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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American Idol – The Final Auditions

You know it’s funny. I was thinking about how this last audition day would be. Would they try to bring back some of the OG audition contestants? The traditional ones you used to see every year. Like, spaced out hippy chick, person who doesn’t speak english, bikini girl… you know the likes. I also wondered if any old judges would come back for the final round of voting. so we could all reminisce about days of yore?

swoon2

But I guess I was the only one with those kinds of dreams. Because this was basically like any audition the last 3 seasons, minus the judges talking about how it was the last one at the end of the episode – which to me really didn’t even sound all that genuine. Sometimes I wish they’d just kept the show with the original judges. To me the only one who really should be allowed to reminisce about Idol days of yore, is the one who’s been there through it all – Mr. Ryan Seacrest. And we didn’t even get to hear the guy talk about his time (thankfully he’s actually been doing some interviews so I have kind of heard his thoughts on the matter).

The one thing I really did like this episode, was truly how much talent there was. If I thought there was a lot last night, tonight just doubled down. I wouldn’t say that I think everyone will make it through, by any means – but I think some of the ones who did will most certainly be in the Top 24. At least, they better. Because I am S-M-I-T-T-E-N. I did have a clear Top 4 though (couldn’t narrow it down to 3). So, without further adieu, lets talk about those folks!

Jessica Cabral – 21 year old from Worcester, MA
Song: Brand New Me 

Ah Jessica, my A1 from Day1. As in, from the first time I saw you, even though you were the first contestant, I knew you’d be my favorite from the night. And I really hope Harry didn’t jinx her by saying that he’d be shocked if she didn’t make it VERY FAR. Because if she doesn’t make it very far, Harry…

your fault

Zach Person – 18 year old from Houston, TX
Song: Next-Door Neighbor Blues

I’ll just mention that as per my last post, my next 3 were a tie. I couldn’t decide who I like more. To be honest, my next 4 were kind of a tie. I just liked different things about all of them. As for Zach, well I’ve always had a thing for Zachs. haha. But seriously, his musicality was great. He made me want to pay attention to his performance and I can always appreciate that. I don’t know how far he’ll go, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to see him.

Manny Torres – 20 year old from Flushing, MI (I think?)
Song: This Love

Ok so I really didn’t think I was going to like Manny. His pre-interview stuff was a little too much for me. But he was entertaining. And I really loved his performance of This Love. It was pretty original and he sang very well so I knew he’d have to be in my Top 3. Why not book end the first contestant and the last, right?

Avalon Young – 21 year old from San Diego, CA
Song: XO (Beyonce) 

Ok here’s the thing with Avalon – was I the only one that saw the Impending “She’s All That” theme? You know, where the girl who no one notices, the tom boy or the nerd, whatever, gets found by a person who just changes a few things about her, takes off her glasses, dresses her up a little bit and then bam, she’s a bombshell whose getting everything she ever wanted. Trust me, it’s a common movie theme. The thing with these movies though is that secretly the girl was pretty the whole time and filled with talent but no one saw it because she had glasses and overalls on. Come on people, see through it! But anyway, I do hope this happens for Avalon, without having to get the makeover, because I liked her tomboy looks. But something tells me Idol is going to have a field day with this one. I just hope it ends well for all parties, because I think Avalon has tons of talent and potential.

And an honorable mention will go to 15 year old Lillian Glanton. Her voice was fine but what I really liked was her song! That’s the only reason I don’t think she should really be in my Top 5. So I only had a Top 4 with Lil as an HM. But her song was great. And I think if you sing well enough as a really good song writer, you’ll get your message out there. I definitely think Lillian is going places!

And now for a few final thoughts.

  1. How many times DO you think Ryan was hit in all those 15 years? Like, how many times has he been hit/attacked/tackled? I bet it’s a lot. More than the average job. Shockingly, this was the only even remotely close picture when I googled “Ryan Seacrest Attacked”

091911_kathyryankiss

Way to go Kathy Griffin. It also reminded me of this, though:

cohenseacrest_featured_photo_gallery

  1. I loved Harrys comment about the entertainment business when that chick with the star dress came in. He said “where else are you going to get a job interview dressed like that?” (ironically too – I think – was that she didn’t “get the job”) but man, as someone that has sat on her fair share of interview panels, it had me thinking how great interviews would be if they were more like idol auditions, come in, tell me a little bit about yourself, and then sing a little number to prove you’re worthy of this job. A girl can dream. I should also be glad interviews aren’t like that because I cannot sing.
  2.  To a one, Mr. Brian Dale Brown – please please please, don’t ever do that Scooby Doo impression again. Harry was better and he just gave it a try (bad sign). I was fine that they let him through to be auditioned by the judges…

liar

Fine. I was lying. He was just too much schtick. Sorry Brian. I do appreciate your love for the show and am happy you finally got in front of a judge, but that is where my happiness for you ends.

And there we have it… moving on into the world of Hollywood Week, Group Night and all that other fun stuff. Feeling pumped!

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American Idol – And We Have a Contender!

Tonight felt like a really great episode. Maybe it’s because I watched it late and with fast forwarding through commercials the whole episode only took me about 20-25 minutes to watch. And the contestants were really good! In fact, I have my first Chorus Line moment of the season. I hope she gets it, god I hope she gets it. She being Jenna Renae and it being a spot on the live show! There were a lot of really good contestants though, most of which I’d be happy to see move on to the Top 24 (I have to imagine at least 3 will get in from this batch, that’s my guess). And in a suprise similarity to previous episodes, my top 3 this week are again, all females!

bitches get stuff done

And I do really hope that these ladies get stuff done because to be honest, I’m partial to a female winning the final season. It’s only right to bookend it with another Kelly. Or Carrie. Or even Fantasia. So anyway, lets talk about my Top 3 of the night, and then mention a few others:

Jenna Renae – 23 years old from Williamson, NY
Song: She Don’t Love You

Jenna was just wonderful. Her singing just completely drew me in. I also liked the note about how her parents used to listen to show tunes with her. It’s always a solid start to a musical background, no? I think it is as long as you aren’t too theatrical, which she definitely wasn’t. She was just the right amount of attention grabbing in a very good way. On the whole,

howitsdone

My second 2 are a tie. I really don’t know who I like better.

Emily Brooke – 16 year old from Wellington, FL
Song: Careless

Emily was great. I didn’t recognize her face but I did recognize her name and then when they flashed back to her audition last year I realized who she was. It’s amazing how different someone can look in just a year! Then, like I did with John Wayne from last episode, I re-listened to what I could find of her from last season and I have to say, you’ve come a long way (in a year) baby! Although her voice is just as good, she just seems more composed and more ready to take on the season. She’s still young, don’t get me wrong, but I do think there’s a big difference from a just barely 15 to an almost 17.

Amelia Eisenhauer – 15 year old from Nashville, TN
Song: Many Rivers to Cross

So the reason for my tie between Em and Am, is that Em has kind of already had her chance, while I think Am might be a little too young to get her first chance, as she is only 15 at of this moment. Well, as of the moment this was taped. She could be 18 by now for all I know. Either way though, she had an aggressiveness about her audition that really drew me to her. She seemed very… commanding. Which I think is rare for a young performer. It’s one of the reasons you don’t want a 15 year old on stage, but since she lacks that problem, I’m fine with moving her into my Top 3 position.

As for honorable mentions the only thing I can say is that I really liked Mackenzie Bourg‘s medley. I didn’t really like him, because to me he was just 1,800 other auditions I’ve seen. He didn’t really stand out to me beyond the excellent compilation of songs, which I still support him doing, just maybe not being the one who sings them. He was also kind of a whisperer, which I found very odd.

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Some final thoughts:

  1. Ugh Clay Aiken – who knew you’d be on so much of the final season after all that hate you spewed about the show that made you a D-Lister… Was Aiken really the best that Idol could get for that job? I just feel like there are so many better options. But I guess the better people are busy with their better things. So I guess it makes sense. But to try and be Simon with that half-shirted guy? I mean come on. You are not, nor will you ever be, Simon Cowell.
  2. If I were handing out awards for make-overs, Adam Lasher would not be on my list. How did you go from cool rocker to looking like a crooner from the 30’s? It may be someones look, but it’s not mine. I say stick with the Santana vibe, personally (but again I go back to Brenda K. Starr’s offspring – if you have a famous parent/relative, why are you coming to Idol in the first place? I mean playing the nepotism card works pretty often.
    rudd-everytime
  3. Finally, of all the “tough decisions” the judges have had to make this season, none of which they’ve really even argued about – did you really have to use the blind guy are your example of good people who aren’t “good enough” when you keep every 15 year old who walks through the door? Mario, I think you were robbed! Sure you might not have made it to the live show, but you had more of a chance than a solid quarter of what I’ve seen go through.  And while I would be angry and need justification, I then remembered – didn’t this guy try out for The Glee Project? I feel like he was eliminated early from that too… so if Ryan Murphy didn’t think he’d succeed in that space, I’m ok with Idol not taking him.

And with that, we move on to tomorrow where we’ll have the LAST audition episode EVER for Idol. I wanted to make a bunch of “penultimate” references on here, because it’s a word I love, but Slezak used it in his headline and I didn’t wanna look like I was copying – so I’ll just say that I hope Slezak and I are just similarly minded. I mean, we definitely are. He just hasn’t noticed me yet… haha

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Categories: American Idol, Television, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Idol – Wasted on the Young

Listen, if I had a choice, to only pick people in their 20s or only pick people in their teens on my final season, I’m sorry but I’ve got to go with the 20 year olds. They’ve put in their time. They’ve committed to this passion, and to some extent, they’ve probably spent some time trying to make it on their own before they decided that maybe the only way to get that big break, is on Idol.

Sure, maybe that also means they were never good enough and that’s why they are in their 20s with no record deal, but I’d argue that’s not the case. The thing with teenagers is proven time and time again, there comes a point where it’s proven that they just aren’t ready. Sure I will see a 15 year old from time to time that I would definitely beg to put through, but just let me be mad about you not letting them through. I will probably forget their name within the week anyway.

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It’s really not that big a deal. Think about the past winners. Even when they lowered the age you could try out, we’ve still never had a winner younger than 17. There’s a reason for that. And even with those numbers, only 3 of those contestants were under the age of 20. At this point it’s pretty clear that Idol won’t learn from their mistakes, but to all you young children who get kicked off the show, just know that it’ll be ok. You really were just not ready, as the judges probably told you when they let you through anyway. So with that, lets talk about some of my favorites from last night.

There were 14 ticket winners and I couldn’t pick a top 3. I went with a Top 4.5 instead which I think you’ll just have to deal with. Also where last time I picked almost all girls, I think it was mostly for the guys last night. I only had 1 girl in my Top 5 (though I think Mary was close).

Amber Lynn – 28 year old from Provo, UT
Song: Unaware
James VIII – 23 year old from Provo, UT
Song: Sun Comes Up 

So Amber Lynn is my for real Top 5, while James is the half I spoke of. For a first audition, I thought Amber was going to be very tough to beat. Her voice was wonderful and she has a sweet quality that reminds me of Molly Syverson from the first season of Fargo. Like a hipster version of her. Or troubadour version of her?  The thing about James is that when I wasn’t looking at him I liked him a lot more. Maybe he can be Ambers guitarist on her tour? I mean, he’s a solid back up vocalist I’m sure. And definitely deserved the ticket in his own right. I just think it was a little difficult going after Amber because she was great. An excellent way to start the show!

Thomas Stringfellow – 17 year old from Bentonville, AR
Song: Give Me Love

This kids look needs some work, but I’m not going to hold it against him. It’s mostly just that his hair reminds me of the Joker or something. I can’t put my finger on it. What he really reminded me of is a character from Newsies. He’s like a really colorful newsboy. But anyway, I thought he picked a great song and he played it quite well. I know, another teenage white guy, but he was good. I can’t discount him.

John Wayne Schulz – 27 year old from Salt Lake City, UT
Song: The Dance

I did remember him and I thought I liked him but looking back at my notes, I couldn’t find anything about him so maybe I didn’t, but if it came down to you and McCreery and he won, you couldn’t have been that bad. I think he’s a perfect “come back” contestant and I do hope he lasts a little longer this time! His song was super great. I even looked back at his first audition for comparison and this one was definitely better. I think it was the guitar he brought with him this time. His look certainly hasn’t changed a bit!

CJ Johnson – 28 year old from Memphis, TN
Song: Dreams Come True

Here’s the thing, that whole spiel earlier in this post, it was for Chris. To me, this is the guy that American Idol is about. Well, one of the contestants. He does remind me of a lot of winners (Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, David Cook) but on that same note, I guess maybe that’s why I figured he’d be a shoo-in. I mean, he’s been practicing this craft a while and he’s got stage presence. He doesn’t seem like the type that would freeze up on stage or forget lyrics. Those are the contestants I appreciate.

I’d like to give an honorably mention to Tank Jackson as well. I think had he not done all that dancing first, he probably would’ve sounded a little better (being that he seemed really out of breath when he started). Although, you do have to do some dancing on stage so maybe it’s good to get a little workout in before you sing to make sure you’re up to par?

Finally, just some little notes to mention/thoughts to leave you with as we get ready for a 3 day weekend…

  1. I’m a little surprised we didn’t just cancel Idol altogether last night to pay tribute to Alan Rickman and just rewatch the entire Harry Potter series. It’s something I’m considering doing this weekend. Or just an Alan Rickman marathon since my favorite roll of his isn’t Snape anyway, it’s Metatron from Dogma. Obvs. But the only character I ever loved was Snape. Always.
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  2. If I HAD to pick an under 18 year old, I’d pick Ethan Kuntz. He looked like a human version of Bobby from King of the Hill and I can appreciate that.

    bobbyethan

    I also wonder if it was just that he had a baby face that made him seem so much younger. I mean, don’t get me wrong – he IS young, but I also think he looked younger than he is, compared to other boys his age.

  3. And then I just need to talk about Mary Williams really quick. She was very good. Like I said, she was probably my 5th or 6th pick. But honestly, her audition was almost lost on me (I had to rewind) after her line about “I’ll ride anything, I mean, #YOLO”. I know that’s out of context (she was talking about how she rode a foxtrotting mule) but it made me love her so much more… I just find her very amusing and I hope to see her again, since I won’t get to hear that girl that wouldn’t stop talking about her chickens.

And with that, we are complete week 2 and I believe (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that the auditions conclude next week and then we’re on to Hollywood Week! Things sure are moving quickly for this abbreviated season (which will probably still feel like what a season is supposed to feel like and not some kind of long drawn out madness that it usually is)!

 

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