Posts Tagged With: clark beckham

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

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

American Idol – Season 14 and the Winner Is…

This was a really interesting and entertaining finale.

I went in with a bad attitude. The performers seemed kind of lame. Either outdated or too new for met to have heard of. And then there were the remaining two contestants (who I tried not to even focus on because really they’re usually featured relatively little in the finale) were boring.

The show, I thought, was fantastic. It was one of the better finales with a myriad of great performances and that’s all I ever wanted in this show. So thanks for that, American Idol! I watched the finale and just kind of wrote out free thought style… so, enjoy!

So, all that said about how great the finale was… That first song…

brit kinda bad

Sorry, but that was just really bad. Really bad. The imperfections in Clarks voice were abundantly noticeable and the song… I mean, Fall Out Boy? Meh… Not a fantastic show opener, but the show would go up from there.

Tyanna Jones and The Jacksons 
“I’ll Be There/ABC/I Want You Back”

Ok so, I think Tyanna sounded as good, if not WAY BETTER than The Jacksons. I get that everyone sings with someone but I mean, I just like Tyanna. She didn’t really seem to fit in with them like I thought she would. I bet she’d fit Janet and Michael. Not these 3. I definitely think Tyanna has the best moves of anyone that was on Idol this year.

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1980:  Photo of Janet Jackson  Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Top 06 Girls with Nile Rodgers
“We Are Family/Le Freak/I’ll Be There/Good Times”

This just makes me MISS Sarina, and was Adannas voice really that good? And man do I miss Joey, that feeling hasn’t gone away. This is so good. If anyone could grab that lost look Maddie had at one point, I’d appreciate that to add to my gif cache (I got an image but it’s not the same). This grouping of songs was amazing. I hope they did that rap in as a tribute?

Top 05 Boys with Ricky Martin
“Mr. Put it Down/Living La Vida Loca/She Bangs/Cup of Life”

Ricky Martin is super hot, there is no denying. This song is crap. Thank god he likes a medley too! They’re like the sampler platter of music. And sampler platters are my favorite. I loved Quentin singing Livin La Vida Loca but when they were singing with Ricky to She Bangs, totes my favorite.

Adanna Duru with Janelle Monae
“Yoga”

Janelle Monae singing my new favorite song! I love this Yoga song. The whole first verse is like, the best right now. Did you actually catch the lyrics?

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I knew a guy was gonna sing with her but he did not look like I expected. haha. I love this song so much. My favorite is when she’s like “So get off my areola” I mean, what a line. That’s writing, right there.

Prince Roy, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull
“Back It Up” 

I have never heard of Prince Roy (or is it Prince Royce? I couldn’t tell) but I like the name. Sounds fancy. Is it just me though, or does he sound like someone you’d hear on the new Finding Nemo movie soundtrack. It just sounds like a disney song. I liked it a lot more when JLo joined it in though. And it was definitely out of the disney category once Pitbull joined in.

Joey Cook with Echosmith
“Cool Kids”

Do I like this song? I kind of do. I see myself singing along to it occasionally. Maybe I do, but I don’t think it’s enough for the iTunes purchase (I’m out of the gift card money so I have to be more flexible). Do I like this song? I’d say about a minute and a half through the song I was over it. There’s actually some radio station that only plays the first minute and thirty seconds of songs. I think it’s a brilliant idea because most new songs are too long and most people now have way shorter attention spans. I mean, Billy Joel said cut it down to 3:05 but I say why not 90 seconds? This is 2015. But seriously, how much does this make you miss Joey? She’s so fun to watch.

Keith Urban
“Even the Stars Fall For U” 

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Keith is the best. How can anyone not like him?

Rayvon Owen with Jamie Foxx 
“In Love By Now”

Um ok, so I think if I had to pick a favorite song tonight, vocally, it would 100% without question be this performance. What a great job. Jamie Foxx did way better than I thought he’d do. Although I never thought he’d do poorly, I just dont’ think I’ve really heard him sing anything slow. Plus next to Rayvon, I could see him sounding worse, but their voices blended perfectly. I really hope this one gets on iTunes because I’ll definitely get it!

I loved seeing Clark and Nick giving the cars to their musical mentors. I love seeing that kind of stuff. Always makes me tear up a little bit.

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Daniel Seavey with New Kids on the Block
“Step By Step/Hangin’ Tough/The Right Stuff”

Daniel playing with 5 grown up better singing Daniels – it’s like they’re playing with 1991 Joey McIntyre… so that made it quite fitting that they opened the song together. This is just getting my teenage heart RAGING. There’s something about seeing Jordan on stage that just makes me swoon, to this day. Daniel who? Their moves have kind of slowed down a little bit but that’s ok. They literally played all but one of my favorite songs so how can I be mad? (But I mean, if you could’ve played Tonight, that would’ve been great).

Quentin Alexander with Vance Joy
“Riptide”

I wonder if people ever get to request acts to play with them or if it’s just first come first serve of who’s available? I don’t see why Quentin would pick Vance Joy but I could see a producer looking at a list and thinking they’d be good together. Maybe he said he wanted to sing with them – I have no idea. Either way I really liked it.

Chris Brown and Pitbull (oh was Qaasim Middleton there too?) 
“Fun”

Is the background music for this Beat It? Also when Pitbull came out did anyone think that the last time he was out it was a different person? I feel like he looked really different performing with JLo than he did when he performed with Chris Brown. It was him both times, right? I didn’t really feel like I heard Qaasim sing anything but that’s ok. I hate Chris Brown so I was trying to not even really pay attention, to be honest.

Jax with Steven Tyler
“Love is Your Name/Piece of My Heart”

I just… his voice reminds me of my childhood. Well, high school. I know I wasn’t obsessed with early Aerosmith at first and I certainly can’t claim to be because most of the stuff I liked came out when I was in middle school/high school, not when my mom was. Basically from Get a Grip on, although when Nine Lives came out, I started going in reverse order. That was also when we saw them on tour. I think they only sang like, 2 songs from that album. haha. Rightfully so. It’s not a bad album though. Ok so back to Steven and now with Jax – I loved them singing Piece of my Heart and it just made me mad that Jax isn’t in the running, all over again. I also really enjoyed Jax’s weird walking in front of the judges – again, gif makers, if you would… maybe I need to figure out how to get in the gif making business.

Clark Beckham with Michael McDonald
“Takin’ It to the Streets”

I’m glad Clark is having fun with this (even though it’s a repeat song… which now I’m sure means Nick will also be doing a repeat song). I do like the kind of dueling pianos feel. The only thing I like more than one piano, is dueling pianos.

Finale - 05pianos

Nothing modern but I can’t say it was bad. I did enjoy it. I think he’s… actually I wonder if he’s really who anyone wants to win? I mean, Nick is the hotter of the two. But Clark is the one you bring home to dad. But Nick feels that way too sort of, I mean, he’s hot so dad should be fine with him…

Nick Fradiani with Andy Grammar (aka – Nicks doppelganger) 
“Back Home/Honey I’m Good”

Ok so Nick, what did I say about repeat songs? REPEAT SONGS NICK. At least it was just a little bit of repeat. I’ll allow it. Only because i’m having a hard time telling the difference between Nick and this lead singer. They could be brothers. How do so many people know this band/this second song? I’ve never heard of this band. First time was when Nick sang it the first time. This was an entertaining little performance.

*Side note, it really is nice to see how much fun the contestants seem to be having tonight.

Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr.
“Diamonds/Locked Out of Heaven”

I wasn’t sure I’d like the judges performance after last years weird weird weird… (what other word could you use?) performance… Locked out of heaven was my fave.

And now, the massive moment, a culmination of a season of hard work – according to Ryan.

And the winner is………………………..

NICK FRADIANI.

Finale - 06Nick

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American Idol – Season 14 Finale – Part I

I have to say, watching the first five minutes, I was pretty ready to turn off the show. In fact, let me just vent out some re-tweeted twitter feelings and my own personal feelings as I was watching the opening of the show… These people kind of sum up a lot of my feelings.

 

Finale - Tweet02

 

And as for what I tweeted out at the results of the instant elimination:

Finale - Tweet01

The truly worse part was that I tried switching to the O’s game instead and they were losing 10-2… my night was turning into a very literal lose-lose scenario. Not to mention having to fight with one of the guys I watch Idol with because they tried to say that Nick and/or Clark were just as creative as Jax….

eye roll

The thing people don’t realize is that as they’ve voted off the contestant that gave the best show (of the remaining 3, and arguably of the season), while they were saving people “just good enough” – they’ve wound up with 2 pretty attractive guys who are utterly BORING. The shows been getting progressively more boring as the entertaining acts have been voted off (Joey, Quentin, and now Jax) and we’re left with a guy stuck in another era, and a guy who sings karaoke versions of bad songs.

I know, it’s hard to believe that I’m talking bad about my boy Clark. I did like him for a looooong time, but over the course of a few months, he’s done nothing with song choice to show any kind of sense of modernity, and while hotter, is showing signs of being the next Taylor Hicks. Nick is basically just a really good karaoke singer. He is Kris Allen, David Cook, Lee Dewyze and to some extent, he’s Phillip Phillips. The list goes ON and ON. And what do all of these guys have in common (excluding Phillip Phillips), they’re some of the least successful winners in Idol history, and this upcoming Idol, he will fall right into that trap as well. The great thing about Jax (and Quentin and Joey) was her originality and her artistry. She created and had a vision for a show. I don’t think Clark or Nick have that originality in their pinky finger.

no shade

The only hopeful caveat is that Nick never sang any of his original music on Idol. Maybe it’s unique. Maybe he’s some great songwriter that we just don’t know about… but I mean, can’t we all agree that if the songs were good, he would’ve tried to debut a few? Ala the contestants from last season? Maybe the producers said “no original music” this season – I can’t, off hand, think of any live shows that featured original music – although this season, are there that many original songwriters? Did any of them bill themselves as such? I mean I’m sure they’ve all written songs but were they any good? In case you are interested in hearing any of Nick’s original music, you can look here (oh hey Mumford and Sons knock-offs).

Anyway, I’ll try not to be too bitter as I go through each round:

Round 01: Clark “Georgia on My Mind” and Nick “Bright Lights”

Winner: Nick (barely) and definitely NOT the audience.

I HATE repeat song choices as a theme. That’s why I say that we the audience lost. And while they may not have done it 3 times like they did last season, they still did it twice, which is still too much for me. How many songs are there in the world that they would ever need to repeat a performance? But that’s not the fault of the contestants.

Clarks version of George On My Mind was one of my favorite performances of the season. It reminded me of a lot of what I loved about Clark early on in the competition. Disguised amongst a bunch of other contestants he seemed flawless, and early on he was… but his problem is that he never grew and this song this time, it was just a reminder that he was good. This performance wasn’t as good as the first, but it was good. As for Nick, it was a better performance for him that it was on the Top 05 week (which is why I decided to give it to him). It was still a shitty song by a quasi-shitty 90’s band. I mean these two with their song choices… you’re KILLING ME. I mean, fine you sang it well, but I need songs with meaning and with emotion. Now’s a good time to bring up an article I read about how White Dudes with Guitars Ruined American Idol.

Finale - UltimateIdol

Round 02: Clark “Aint No Sunshine” and Nick “I Won’t Give Up”

Winner: Clark-y boy.

It’s interesting that Clark got off the piano and stepped up to the guitar, but it was a good move. It honestly made me like him more. Maybe he wouldn’t be a terrible Idol? Yes. Yes he would. I can’t discredit a good performance but I can say he wouldn’t be a good American Idol. Not without a few more years of solid experience. And mostly it was better than Nick because I consider Jason Mraz to literally be the WORST song choice and anyone who picks him, I know I’m going to hate. No shade to Jason Mraz. The shade only goes to the guys who wanna be him. Guess what guys, he’s already him. And it’s just all terrible. That’s the only way I see it. He might as well have sung I’ll Be.

Round 03: Clark “Champion” and Nick “Beautiful Life”

Winner: Nick by a LANDSLIDE.

The thing is, Clarks song was SO bad. I mean really really bad. Those weird like, talk-y pauses… I don’t even know what to call it. It just wasn’t right. I don’t think it had to be a terrible song, the lyrics weren’t too bad, but like, the way he sang it I just didn’t get it. It was so weird and terrible. As for Nicks song, it was way better. Was it good? Yeah. Was it boring? For sure. Will it get him the win tonight? Probably.

And now, we move onto the Idol Finale, Part II to learn who will not make American Idol any money…

bethanny fell asleep

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American Idol – You’ve Got to Steal the Show

Well, I have to say as far as this season is concerned, this was one of my favorite episodes. It was filled with fantastic music (I’m beginning to wonder if other people shouldn’t be picking the songs for the contestants more often?)

Top03 - Focusgroups

And by focus groups, I mean me.

To me it just makes sense to have people who know what they are doing, to help steer the contestants toward the right song choices. Or give them a better list of songs! I think either would be helpful. I thought all the picks were completely spot on tonight though as far as the judges and Scott Borchetta’s picks. So without further ado, let’s talk about the night, and who thought the winner of each round was!

Round 1: Borchetta Pick

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Winner: Jax – My Generation

This was a perfect song. I’ve been thinking about it and I feel like Borchetta is really rooting for Jax. I think he sees her as an artist he can definitely work with, and who fits his model unlike some of the other contestants*. That’s just me personally.

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And with the perfect song choice – I think Jax definitely won round one. She stands out from the boys which is always a plus! It was definitely a perfect song for her. She does gritty (and broken down) better than anyone else on this show. She just throws so much emotion into her performances unlike the remaining contestants, and I really appreciate that.

*I think he would’ve liked to see Tyanna or Quentin do well, too. 

**Side note – I would also like to take this time out to recognize Scott for being 1 million times the mentor that Randy Jackson was. He’s no Jimmy Iovine (who will always be my number 1) but thank god he’s no Randy Jackson either. 

And final note, did Jax’s key necklace remind anyone of anything?

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Runner Up: Nick Fradiani – Because The Night

I seriously love this song. For so many reasons. None related to Nick (obvs) – did you know that Jimmy Iovine produced it? True story. The Patti Smith one, not the 10,000 maniacs one. I heard the 10,000 maniacs one first… unfortunately also a true story. I thought Nick did a great job. Nothing completely standout but definitely and solidly second best of this round. If he did nothing else, he brought an energy to the early part of the show, which I appreciated.

Rayvon Owen – Want to Want Me

Did I say he should sing a Jason Derulo song? Because I think I did. Also, I don’t know if ever thought I’d say these words… but I’m over the falsetto. It makes me feel like he’s a one trick pony and he keeps pulling that trick out at the end of his number. It’s almost annoying to me at this point. He needs to go at least one song tonight without it. Preferably 2. Actually, ideally it would’ve been 3 but obviously that can’t happen now.

Clark Beckham – Beautiful Day

“I wanna be comfortable being uncomfortable” – sorry brah, but I don’t see U2 making you uncomfortable. Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, any kind of heavy metal – that is what I see making you uncomfortable. U2 is practically what you already sing. and I could actually see him singing day to day. The bigger problem – I seriously hate this song. And most of U2 (anything that isn’t on the Joshua Tree album). I was in the vicinity of a U2 concert once in Baltimore and all you could hear was Bono talking! No one wants your opinion on crap AT A CONCERT. Do it in an interview. Not while you’re on stage. People paid good money (for some reason) to hear you sing, so how about you do that? I do think Clark did a fine, tied for 3rd best job in this round, except for that one note he held for a second too long (twice). Other than that it was great.

Round 2: Hometown Pick 

home

Winner: Nick Fradiani – Guilford, CT – Back Home

Was it just me or was the Mayor of Guilford, CT or the Governor of CT? Who was it? It doesn’t matter (It was the governor, Dannel Malloy). He looks like a more rugged version of Stephen Colbert to me. I’m probably totally wrong. Shit I can’t even remember if it was the Mayor or Gov? I love that Nick plays with his dad. I’d never heard the song Nick sang, but I really liked it! Again with a fantastic song choice. I still consider Nick somewhat average, but he had the best song choice and a good enough performance to put him in as the winner for me.

Runner Up Also Winner: Jax – East Brunswick, NJ – My Immortal

I wish she would’ve sung “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” but My Immortal was lovely. I read earlier she was dedicating it to a classmate. These songs remind me that Jax actually has a really great voice. I thought this was a great song. This maybe should’ve been the winner and really it was probably tied for winner. I mean, it had piano, it had great vocals, it had emotion… it had every single thing it needed to have. Bravo Jax. You are 2 for 2, lady!

Clark Beckham – White House, TN – Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

“I have a dream… to do music… for the rest of my life” – Clark Beckham

Isn’t that poetic? haha. Not exactly MLK. Anyway, I really liked this performance. I think Harry fights for Clark because Harry is a lot like Clark. They have an older genre that they have to make sound new. I’m with Keith wanting to hear angst. I loooooove angst.

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Rayvon Owen – Richmond, VA – As

So, I was basically an hour or so from where Rayvon was on Saturday. I only realized it when we were at a gas station and I saw a headline in the local paper about it. I thought about trying to convince my husband to take a detour but was all “landscaping this” and “vegetables that” and “we’re already 3 hours from home” – we were on our way home from here – and decided against it. I’m just curious what it would look like to see it in person… Maybe another time. Though it seems I could’ve met Elliott Yamin, and he was a favorite of mine, mostly for this.  So anyway, this performance was fine, but kind of forgettable. I did like that he seemed a little more into his performance, which I think could’ve really helped him if this wasn’t the Top 4 but maybe around the Top 8.

 Judges Pick

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Winner: Combo – Clark with a Rayvon chaser.

Clark Beckham – Earned It

Well, the song was called “Earned It” and I think it’s what the judges were kind of insinuating to Clark that if he wants it, he has to earn it. Clark definitely earned it. Wow. Well, you earned enough of my love to win this round. I don’t know that it earned you the victory of the night, but having a strong last song is more important than having a good first two songs (as long as they aren’t wretched performances). And the suit didn’t hurt. Did he sing any Adele this season? Because I feel like a good way for him to show he’s modern, is to sing some Adele. He kind of seems like he wants to be a male Adele, a bit like Sam Smith… maybe he could sing some Sam Smith but that’s too close a comparison and Sam Smith’s voice is better so it wouldn’t work. But he should sing that Adele song “Don’t You Remember?” What’s great is that that is an angsty song, so just by singing it he’s halfway to the angst we all desire.

Rayvon Owen – You Are So Beautiful

This was perfection. I knew from the moment I heard the first notes that I was going to love this. And I looooved it. I luuurrvved it. I wanted to make out with it. The guys are just bringing the panty melters late in the game. Clark was one thing but then Rayvon so closely after? I mean come on… this is too much too soon.

Jax – Misery Business

Ok so does Ryan always have a back-up blazer? He must, right? This was fine but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I really wish she’d finished on a higher note. I mean, it wasn’t bad for me, just the weird lilting parts of it. It didn’t fit for me. Maybe it was the acoustic piece? Would I have liked it more with a full band? Maybe… We’ll never know I guess. But JLo’s advice was on point. You’ve Got to Steal the Show (at the END of the show). This was just such a weird arrangement and she seemed weird on stage with it. It wasn’t like she sang poorly at all, it was just a bad song. Judges, sorry but you were the weakest link this round.

Nick Fradiani – I’ll Be.

Keith Mother F-Ing Urban – who has watched Idol and hasn’t heard this song?

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This was only the perfect song because I think it should remind everyone how average this song is and how average a Nick Fradiani concert would be. I mean, he’s still average for famous person talent levels, not normal person talent levels. It’s a different category that he’s in but he’s still average among the famous and even that’s tough. Does that even make sense? I think it does?

 And with that, we said goodnight to Rayvon and we move on to a pretty solid Top 3. I’m pretty pumped about next week and I hope the song choices don’t let me down!

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American Idol – What’s in a Theme?

So, as some of you may know, we’ve been a little preoccupied with things in Charm City. Going into tonight, I had no idea what the theme would be, and I honestly wasn’t sure it would even be on because of all the “breaking news” interruptions. Anyway, at first I was bummed that I haven’t even had the energy to do anything fun in the last few days.

Anyway, I missed most of the intro to the show because the Police Commissioner was giving a press conference and I thought that might be a little more important to watch.

My friend Stephanie and I sitting in front of the Commissioner at Opening Day

My friend Stephanie and I sitting in front of the Commissioner at Opening Day

Although it really didn’t provide new information so that was a bit of a waste… if anything it’s just frustrating. I was back when the singing started though (and still checking back for updates on CNN during commercials – maybe commercials are good for something).

Ok so the theme as far as I could gather was – “Judges Hometowns” and “Songs that represent Gravy”?

Also, just to quickly mention who the contestants met at Big Machine Records – A Style Icon lady, A&R, PR and Marketing… Ok first of all I still don’t get what A&R is after the explanation. The audio image? What does that even mean? I feel like even though Scott brought these 4 contestants to 4 other people and yet to me they seem like they all do the same thing. I mean, if nothing else, I think it all falls under PR, right? The only thing I gathered from talking to any of these people was Scotts concept of “Start with crazy and walk backwards”. I love that kind of advice. I think that might be my new “ideas motto”

Clark Beckham

A song for NY (which really has to be the easiest, right?) – Living for the City

Clark, listen, I really like you. And I see how Stevie Wonder fits your voice just wonderfully… but how many Stevie Wonder songs have you done now since you started auditioning? I’ll tolerate it this time because you do it well (the piano always helps), but you worry me with these song selections that you’re going to turn into Taylor Hicks when I’d rather you go the way of Timerblake. You know? Let Justin be your spirit animal! I still want to like you the most but you’re losing me.

Gravy Song: Your Man 

Ok just quickly – I LOVE RASCALL FLATTS!! Listen Clark. The thing about this song is that, it’s been done. While you’re quite different from Scotty McCreery, Scotty’s is the only version I want to hear. I want that deep country voice telling me to lock the door and turn the lights down low.

I was really put off by Clark saying “If this song loses me the competition, then I don’t want to win it” – that kind of turned me off. I’m totally with Scott saying he’s on the fast track to the Holiday Inn because I mean, where’s Taylor Hicks right now? Furthermore, I really didn’t like anything about this performance. I mean, it was sung well but it lacked any kind of desire… which I think Scotty brought to it (as much as he could). I’m also with JLo wondering how this was his Gravy song because I don’t see how this song is what Clark is at his core.

Jax
(just calling that she’ll obvs do a NY song as she’s from there)

A(nother) song for NY: Empire State of Mind Part II

I never knew that there was a Part II to Empire State of Mind… Is this just Alicia Keys version on her own cd? I mean, I think Jay-Z did it a bit better… there’s a reason I know that one and not this one. I don’t think I really liked Jax’s performance but I think it had more to do with the song. I did like the raspy-ness that her cold gave her (or whatever she was ill with). I think I would’ve just rather her perform the Hova version. What’s unfortunate, for both Nick and Jax, is that they apparently have dogs named Jeter… so I feel like I have to hate them (even though they’re from NY which is usually the only acceptable yankee fan). I guess at least they aren’t named Rodriguez.

a rod roids

Gravy Song: Human

This was my favorite performance of the night (since Quentin and Joey didn’t break in to sing their own songs… which would’ve been great). My only complaints would be the one really loud background singer, and that kind of really long pause that she had in the middle. I can’t say a single other bad thing. Oh and also she looked really uncomfortable at the end when the song was over.

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Nick Fradiani

A Song for ______ – Bright Lights

Is this a NY song? Nashville? Wikipedia says they’re from Florida? (and here we go again with themes that don’t fit…) It’s called Bright Lights so maybe it’s about NY? Is this the first Matchbox 20 song? It can’t be (Just checked. It’s the 3rd thanks to Sam Woolf and Phillip Phillips). I thought this performance was fine. He’s like, a better hotter version of a few former Idol contestants. I mean, he’s enjoyable but he’s just not a showstopper to me and I hate that he’s now peaking. I can’t deny it. JLo is right. It’s just that like, for me, he’d be a great show opener. That’s kind of how I feel about him. And then maybe he becomes a Rob Thomas or like, John Mayer but then there’s all those Ryan Cabrera’s who like, maybe have a career maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s that he reminds me too much of Kris Allen? I can’t figure out why I don’t like about him. WHAT IS IT? I think it’s just every song choice is so expected. He lacks any kind of surprise to his performances (ok I’m really starting to miss Quentin now).

Gravy Song: What Hurts The Most

This was another fine song choice for Nick. Still not totally surprising but maybe a little more since it’s technically a country song? He just never changes anything. I’m gonna be so mad when he’s in the Top 2.

done with you

Rayvon

I like him so much more without a hat on. I hope the marketing lady said “you should take that stupid hat off”. If I were marketing him, that’s most definitely the first thing I’d say.

(Finally) A Song for Nashville – Need You Now

This song was gorgeous. There’s no denying that Rayvon has the best voice of anyone on this season of show. It’s impeccable. He’ll make a great 4th place (or 3rd if Clark keeps letting me down). If Nick is the Rob Thomas of this season, Rayvon is the Kenny G.

Gravy Song: Believe

The thing I really liked about this performance was that it really felt like this was Rayvon. To me the song Believe is like, kind of a love letter from Justin Beiber to his fans, and if anyone deserves a love letter from Rayvon, it’s his fans keeping him there through 4 saves and a vote to stay in this week. This was my favorite performance and my favorite vocal of the night. And when he said he dedicated it to his mom?

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Tyanna

Ok so – 1. Did they let her pick which song she’d sing or was this her song for the Judges City, in which case – did no one have a song about New Orleans (besides Harry)? 2. Couldn’t they have just let her perform her song first? Would that have been that big of a deal?

I’m not sure how I feel about going back to the voted off contestant singing after being voted off – BUT – I mean at this point you have to be kind of proud of the position you’re finishing in. You’re on the tour, and Tyanna – she picked a PERFECT song to leave on (whether she feared going home or not). She made me excited. She almost made me forget she was voted off minutes ago. I think I would’ve preferred to hear at the end of the night, but doing it in the middle, I guess at least there’s still more show? It’s less sad? I don’t know…

And with that, we move on to the Top 4! Pretty excited for next week 🙂

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American Idol – Quasi-Arena Anthems (as expected)

Ok so was it just me or did tonight kind of suck? When I finished watching last night, it was kind of a mix of the following emotions:

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Know my Pain

I have to admit I was a little heartbroken that Quentin went home when I think it was clear that he’d be the better of the two to take on the tour…but then I thought about it a little more, and honestly, since Joey is also out, I’m thinking that the tour isn’t even where it’s at. It’s at [the party that is] the Quentin Alexander/Joey Cook concert! I mean that’s where the performances are. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Clark/Jax/Tyanna in concert, but I’d rather see Clark, maybe with Tyanna opening for him, and then a secondary concert with Quentin/Joey. I mean, no they don’t have the best voices, but they can clearly put on the best show. So, now I feel more at peace with them keeping Rayvon.

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Ok I’m lying, I’m really going to miss not having Quentin performing (and I missed Joey more than I thought I would). Quentin got the boot because he’s not going to acquiesce to cheesetastic group performances, in general. This show cannot mold to his idea of artistry and for that, he’s better without them. ::justbeokwithitKelly::

Tonights episode just felt different and not as enjoyable as a night of Arena Anthems should be. What struck me though – this season – is that we don’t have any of those big female voices along the likes of Candice Glover, Jessica Sanchez, Jennifer Hudson, etc, etc, etc. So I think I kind of knew going into this that I just wouldn’t be impressed with many of the performances and I was right – I wasn’t. Although I was more unimpressed with the song selection than I was with the singing. I wasn’t aware that Yesterday, Heaven or that Sam Smith song, were Arena Anthems. It’s to be expected though. It shouldn’t have even been a theme they tackled when no one is that kind of performer (this season, at this point. Sarina hasn’t been on the show in WEEKS). I know you think they’ll fill arenas (they will) and be great (meh), but they just don’t seem like – super power singers – to me.

Also just to hopefully cut down on words, I’m combining my critique of the performances. You’re welcome. 

Jax – Are You Gonna Be My Girl Guy/White Flag
Arena Anthems sung: .5

Are either of these Arena Anthems? I can’t say I consider Jet or Dido sell-out arena performers. But I digress (until the next performer). I don’t usually have a problem with changing lyrics but I did not like her saying guy. It really bothered me. Can’t say exactly why, but honestly that was all I could think about while she was singing this. I think it was the way she had to extend the word “guy”? I will say her energy was good to start the show with and when she did get to her second number, all was forgiven. White Flag was my performance of the night. It was wonderfully understated and simple and matched Jax’s voice perfectly. It was EXACTLY what she needed and she nailed it. And a piano never hurts #putapianoonit

Nick Fradiani – Harder to Breathe/Maggie May
Arena Anthems sung: 2.5

Way to be the only contestant to actually sing what I think are 2 arena anthem songs. I think Maroon 5 and Rod Stewart are definitely arena fillers. So as for the Maroon 5 song, Not bad. Predictable, fitting in his groove, and probably one of his best performances. Better than Jax’s first even. But for some reason, probably Clarks existence, Nick will just never be my favorite. But his song choices were my favorite tonight as far as “sticking to the theme” goes. And what a great choice Rod Stewart was! I hadn’t even thought about him but what a great pick. Why do I associate him with the NJ folks we were talking about last week? I’m like, 100% certain Rod Stewart is not from NJ. The accent is kind of a giveaway. But that’s the era, and Nick definitely owns it. I like that he’s found his zone. I mean, if you have to sound like an era, that’s not a bad one. I’m still not gonna vote for him though. Sorry bro.

Zacks Comment on Harder to Breathe: He’s better when the volume is lower ::as he turns down the volume::

Clark Beckham – Yesterday/Boyfriend
Arena Anthems sung: 3.0

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this was the first “this is not an anthem” song of the night. It also was probably definitely one of Clarks worst performances when it comes to pitch. If you want to see what it’s supposed to look like, check out Lea Michele. And Boyfriend was not only a bad song choice but a bad song. I mean don’t make me link to another Glee performance but Sam (whatever his real name is) sang it way better. Clark, I really like you but this was an off week and part of me wants to not vote for you just to punish you for this situation. I guess even the best can’t be “on” 100% of the time.

Tyanna Jones – Party in the USA/Heaven
Arena Anthems sung: 4.0

I think Part in the USA would qualify if nothing else than for the fact that I’m sure it’s on a Jock Jams somewhere. Who the F knows where Heaven became an anthem ANYWHERE. I actually really liked both of her performances. I think Party in the USA was the best of the first performances. While none of them really showed vocal ability, this one was a great performance which, on nights like tonight, I like the fun stuff and her singing wasn’t bad. That’s the most important thing. As for Heaven, the performance was fine but like,

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How do contestants even pick songs they don’t know? What draws them to the song? And who suggests the song to them? The vocal coaches? Why would you suggest Bryan Adams for an Arena Anthem, and who even put that on the list of possible songs? No comprende.

Zack’s comment on Party in the USA: This isn’t supposed to be good, is it?

Quentin Alexander – Light My Fire/Shake It Out
Arena Anthems sung: 6.0

Well Quentin, way to be the only other person to sing 2 solid Arena Anthems. And SO SO well. Quentin picked two great songs. I didn’t know if he would perform them as great as I wanted, but he was one of the best combined performances of the night if you ask me. Light My Fire was fine, but Shake it Out was actually on fire. The only think that bothered me about any of it was stupid Harry at the end asking about auto-tune. STFU Harry. Come on. Ugh. I’m starting to really hate you. Don’t make me hate you.

Rayvon Owen – Something that wasn’t an anthem I’m Not the Only One/Go Your Own Way
Arena Anthems sung: 7.0

Honestly, when I knew Rayvon and Quentin were in the bottom I just wanted to hate Rayvon. Not for anything personal towards him but because I thought it wasn’t fair that Quentin was in the bottom mostly for his row with Harry last week. I mean I think we can all agree that’s the reason he went home, whether we want to bring it up or not. As for Rayvon, I didn’t love the first performance but the second one was hard to compete with. That falsetto proved he was literally throwing EVERYTHING out on the table to get that last save (enjoy it until next week, friend).

I guess 7 Arena Anthems out of a possible 12 isn’t that terrible, but I think I was being generous. It was really 6 plus 2 halves. Maybe I’m just crestfallen because I still haven’t heard Quentin sing Prince… one day!!

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American Idol – Channeling Channing?

So this week was really busy. I didn’t get a chance to watch the show live until today. I tried watching Wenesday but I was baking up a storm so I really wasn’t paying total attention until Tyanna’s second performance and even then I was just exhausted and fell asleep before the show ended – so I missed all the hype, I missed trying to vote for a save (and this was the first time the person I would’ve picked didn’t make it through – yes, I would’ve chose Joey over Rayvon). I also didn’t get a chance to vote for those that were safe – which makes me a little worried about next week because I would’ve liked the opportunity to give Quentin as many votes as possible. I’ll just have to hope that the world is on my side next week. Stranger things have happened.

I really liked the added Borchetta commentary. I thought his advice was so interesting. “Make sure you look people in the eyes and connect with people when you meet them” “It’s ok to have that attitude of ‘Love Me or Hate Me’ because people will always have their opinions” “It’s ok to do that [dip your toes in the weird pool]” though I wish I could’ve heard what he said to some of the others that they didn’t show.

Tyanna – Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

Just quickly – I loved her shirt and would love to know where she got it, ASAP! And I like her headband too Ok now to her performance – Her voice is great. The song itself…

snooze andy cohen

I hope the other song selections are a little more interesting. This just wasn’t the big show opener I wanted. Not that that’s Tyanna’s fault that she was called first.

Clark Beckham – Superstitious

Clark is just getting exceptionally hotter as weeks go on, no?

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I know this is from the second performance but it was the hottest of that nights performances, that I could find. I mean he’s like the puppy dog you can’t stop looking at, but hotter (only when he’s singing though… he doesn’t really do anything for me when he’s being interviewed). It’s funny in a way he’s a lot like Taylor Hicks but he’s hotter and with a better voice. They sing a lot of the same style of songs though. And now it makes me want Clark to cover some Sam Cooke and some Ray LaMontagne. Ray more than Sam, but both, please. But anyway, Superstitious was great. The great thing about Clark is that he is a performer. He’s so entertaining to watch (as many contestants this season are) but he just also has a level of talent instrumentally, that really push him over the edge for me, as leader of this pack of contestants. I just don’t see anything stopping him at this point in the show. Time will tell though. And song choice as always, is critical.

Jax – Piece of My Heart

 So, this is kind of a song that has been done like, a million times on Idol. Yet, no one really stands out to me as a version to top (although if I had to pick it would be Hailey because she just killed everything and she had that gritty tone that is just mesmerizing). Jax’ wasn’t either but I did think it was good. The only thing I didn’t like about her performance was the pink fringe on her outfit. And some of her facial expressions. Also now I really want to hear her sing Bobby McGee. Can you please make that happen for me? Kthanks.

Nick Fradiani – American Woman 

 Nicks performance was a lot like Tyannas to me. It wasn’t bad at all. It was perfectly fine. It just wasn’t – a wow. It wasn’t Clark (and honestly I’m surprised that he has been safe so many times when I feel like many of his votes would/should go to Clark. But, since they’re both safe – I’ll live with it. To compliment him I thought he was a touch more entertaining than when Tom Petty does this song. He’s a little more laid back than Nick here.

Quentin Alexander – Are You Gonna Go My Way

Well, it wasn’t Prince, but it was Lenny, so I’m happy. He did it exactly as I expected and really shined. I love how he just embodies the attitude of what he’s singing. I mean, this is the show I would want to go to, of everyone this season (Clark included). I mean, he’d have a Kanye level of performance. Just in that artistic level, that is. I mean, I saw Kanye in concert back when no one knew his opening act, Rihanna – and it was phenomenal. The guy can put on a show, and I’m sure Quentin can too!

I’m not gonna talk too in-depth about “the fight” because I think Slezak covered my thoughts on the matter, quite nicely.

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And I mean, it’s all anyone who watched the episode is talking about. I’ll just say that I thought Quentin was totally justified in saying it sucked. Something can suck, and you can still be happy you’re in. It’s ok, Harry. And Quentin is an emotional guy. #teamquentin.

Joey Cook – My Funny Valentine

Well I guess her favorite song made it’s debut… and no, she was NOT Melinda. BUTT – this was one of her more… a true vocal. It wasn’t her kitschy voice. It was her real voice. It wasn’t great, but I appreciated the moment, if that makes sense. You could tell she was really emotional though (and this was only performance #1). This did remind me that the one thing I’m really glad about with this revised format, is how we don’t have contestants singing that wretched final song as they are led off stage and out of the spotlight. This is way better. So for that, I am thankful of the new format.

Rayvon Owen – Long Train Running

I think by now Rayvon is fine in this final moment – maybe it’s even giving him an edge? Just in that he’s ok with being in that position after 3 weeks of being in that position. He clearly has way more of a fanbase than I thought he did. I have to say though, this was his worst performance in my opinion. I mean, the Doobie Brothers? I just don’t see it for you.

brit kinda bad

And now, we have performance #2 round: 

Clark Beckham – Moon River 

When I saw this song choice I was like – really? Moon River? What a drab song. And it was a drab song… except for this:

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Sorry did I already post that? My bad. But I mean, is he trying to channel Channing? It’s mostly the hair and the eyes and the suit for me, I think. And he’s playing at the piano? I mean come on. How can it be boring when he’s sooooo dreamy? 

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And to be honest, it wasn’t boring. I’m guessing that’s because of the piano… but still, it was more entertaining (and just as well sung) as I thought it would be.

Tyanna Jones – Proud Mary 

I’m on the fence about Tyanna’s second performance. This was a little slow for my liking and I kind of wish the whole thing had been fast. But she sang it SO WELL! I just like when she gets into a performance so I either want a slow song, or a fast song, but I don’t want both in the same song. I think that’s just a preference thing though. Ultimately I liked it and overall I thought she had a solid night.

Nick Fradiani – Only the Good Die Young

I associate this song with somber matters. I feel like I’ve heard it at more than one funeral and so while it should have a jovial meaning of a guy trying to get a girl to go to the dark side – for me it’s not quite like that, so in that regard, I did like his take on the song. It has more meaning to me, sung Nick’s way – than it does the regular way it’s sung. It was everything I needed in a Nick performance that the first one didn’t give me. This was one of the best arrangements I’ve heard this year, and definitely the best I’ve heard from Nick.

Quentin Alexander – The Sound of Silence

Who knows, maybe it was my anger at Harry earlier in the night and my defense of Quentin, but I thought this performance was quite good. Quentin just does a moody ballad so well. I’d never pick a Simon and Garfunkel song but this was great and I think it was a lovely performance. He gives good emotion, what else can I say?

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And I’m definitely more mad at Ryan than Harry.

“I thought you were gonna hit him”
“I was raised way better than that”

Excellent response. I’m sure Quentin has a great mother! He’s an artist. A lover, not a fighter – why would you say that? I liked what he said in an interview post-show “I’m glad that people understood because those are the people I am trying to reach”

Jax – Beat It

This was ok for me. It wasn’t my favorite. It wouldn’t be in my Top 5 of Jax’ performances. It was another “fine” performance, and I can appreciate an upbeat song, especially from Jax. It was just – I don’t know, I wouldn’t have picked the song and I just… meh. It just wasn’t singing to me. It’s the same reason I didn’t want Nick singing Livin’ on a Prayer. MJ is definitely a classic though!

Rayvon Owen – Always On My Mind 

Does this song remind anyone else of Practical Magic and this creepster?

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Anyway, Rayvon is just that guy. When it comes down to the line, he gives the performance that he needs to give in order to be safe. It’s so hard to vote against him when his pitch is just perfection in every way. I’m almost glad I didn’t have the chance to vote because it would’ve been really hard to decide who to save. His voice is just exceptional.

Joey Cook – Somebody to Love

This performance was much more Joey than her first performance. And really, I think this is the way I want to see her. I can’t say that I didn’t like her showing she could sing the real way, but I think it’s just more fitting (did I just say that?)

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and a good final performance to see her. Unfortunately for Joey I think as second performances go, Rayvons was better but for the night, I think I would’ve voted Joey. I don’t know. It’s hard to look back on what I would’ve done. But where Rayvon has the voice, I think Joey has a good enough voice, and can really give a performance. I think she’ll have a future, if nothing else. So that’s good.

Yeah so anyway, I didn’t vote for anyone this week, but here’s what the twitter was looking like at the end of the show, in case you were wondering how close it was –

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American Idol – What Makes a Classic?

So for me, when I think Classic, I always think of Classic Rock, and Jazz because America is just clinging to the fact that they created the Jazz movement. I actually did a search of what bands are considered American Classics and made myself a little word cloud:

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This list doesn’t include foreign artists even if they were popular in America – IE – The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, Radiohead or  even the Canadian songstresses I love so well, Celine Dion or Shania Twain. I’m not sure if Idol was thinking the singers had to be American but when I think of an American Classic or Idol Classic as it were, I think – Americans. I also think of a crap bag of songs! So, instead of guessing what the contestants will sing, I will guess/offer up who I would like to hear them cover. Also, just for the record I re-read this/added stuff from when I first wrote it a few weeks ago (thinking they’d do it then). Weirdly they’ve actually sung a few songs from my list in their live performances, already!

I’ll go easiest to hardest:

CLARK BECKHAM

I really need to see Clark cover a Billy Joel song like, yesterday. I need to see him sitting at the piano belting out some Billy Joel like nobody’s business.  It’s not just me either. When Idol first announced the Classics theme WAY back in the first live episode, a lot of people wanted to see Clark do Piano Man or Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. I can’t disagree but I think Movin’ Out would be the ideal song for him. And since they’re covering two songs this evening, well, I think I’d really like to see him do an Eagles cover. Or maybe if he wants to step outside of his comfort zone, which I mean, it’s about time – how about a Michael Jackson cover? Or a Jackson 5 cover?

QUENTIN ALEXANDER

Ok I think we all know that I wanted his Prince cover yesterday, as well. Any song. I don’t care. And, just because sometimes obvious choices are the best choices, and because Jimi Hendrix isn’t American, his other option for me would be Lenny Kravitz. I think he could probably do a super cool but maybe also super moody version of Are You Gonna Go My Way. He’d probably kill American Woman (wait would Clark sing that well, too? Do I want Clark to sing Lenny? Maybe?)

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TYANNA JONES

Well now that the easy ones have come and gone, now comes the people I had to think about. I didn’t have to think too hard about Tyanna but I did have like, almost too many ideas. I’d love to see her do some Janet Jackson, some Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross? There are just an abundant amount of things I want to hear her sing! I just want to hear her sing forever!

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If I had to pick any specific songs I’d probably say River Deep Mountain High, Proud Mary, and if she really wanted to wow, I think What’s Love Got to Do with It would be in order. Just not Nutbush City Limits. That song just creeps me out.

RAYVON OWEN

I again go somewhat traditional for Rayvon. I mean, he needs to really accentuate that falsetto that he masters so well. And who’s good at that? I think Stevie Wonder is always a solid choice for him (although I don’t tend to like Stevie songs on idol as they’ve been done to death). He could do some Frankie Valli, Smokey Robinson (that might be my #1 pick). Tracks of My Tears anyone? I’d say Prince but I don’t want to jinx anyone else singing it. I demand Quentin singing him!

NICK FRADIANI

If I were being lazy, which I am wont to do, I’d just repeat Clark’s suggestions. They have a very similar tone so I mean, it works. However Nick seems a little more back and a little more Jerz. So I’m going to suggest 2 of Jerseys finest, Bruce and Bon Jovi. I lean towards Jon Bon because he was hotter and I think people can associate the two because of their respective hotnesses. Now, which song? Anything buy Livin on a Prayer or It’s My Life – they aren’t singing songs, if you know what I mean. Haha. He can’t do You Give Love a Bad Name but he could do Wanted Dead or Alive or BED OF ROSES!! YES!! ::swoon::

Also it should be noted someone said he should sing Matchbox 20 and to that person, I say, Shoot Yourself. And you’re welcome for me not calling you out to all 50 people who read this blog.

JOEY COOK

Joey joey joey… this took me a while because I don’t really think Cyndi Lauper is a classic, nor do I think she should go a cover after that last Cyndi problem… part of me thinks she could pick Madonna… but maybe there’s someone more her style. I don’t know. I don’t consider her style classic like I do Clark or Nick. Or any of the guys for that matter. I think I’m gonna go with Babs on this just because I mean, I feel like that’s someone Joey may look up to? Who am I kidding? That’s not true. Well, I mean she may look up to her for being a great female singer but that would be the extent of it. Is Tiny Tim considered a classic? I even looked up who Joey lists as influences and I haven’t even heard of half of them.

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She did say that My Funny Valentine by Frank Sinatra is a fave song of hers, and he’s DEFINITELY a classic so I mean, I guess that’s a possibility but – um hi Melinda Doolittle – you can’t compete with this so don’t try!

JAX

UGH. I don’t even know. I’m sure if she saw the laundry list of folks that were recommended to her – seriously who are her fans recommending Demi Lovato? NOT AN AMERICAN CLASSIC! Can we agree you need to be at least 30 to be considered a classic? I mean, that’s how it goes with cars? I could also see her doing some kind of NY classic, since she’s from there. While I was looking up Joey’s influences, I looked up Jax’ as well and all of her favorite songs are DEFINITELY classics! Bridge Over Troubled Water (which I imagine she likes because of her dad being a firefighter and post-9/11 influence of the song), Bobby McGee and Don’t Rain on My Parade. If she sang any of these I’d pick Bobby McGee!

Ok so that’s it. I know the spoilers are out there but since I already wrote this I’m not going to look and just hope for the best with my picks!

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American Idol – Please Define Gravy.

Tonight was interesting. Kind of annoying but mostly entertaining, which is what I like in a Reality Competition Show. I mentioned how the theme was kind of annoying and basically the most vague thing ever because it wasn’t even #1 songs, it was like, songs on Billboard from 2012 – present or something.

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Also, when they were introducing the double-mentors tonight, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo (talk about people I know nothing about), was it just me or was the stuff on Jason Derulo like, made up or something? The only thing I remember about him is that he dated Jordan Sparks, and when he came on Idol to help write a song or something and he had like, a full neck brace thing.

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I think maybe he fell while he was breakdancing? I can’t remember… but something like that. I checked him out on the Hot 100 and he actually did have a hit with the song Whatcha Say (remember how I said there were songs I didn’t think I knew but when I listened to them, I realized I’d heard them – this was one of those songs). Turns out the only song I really know of his is called Riding Solo, which I’m not a big fan of. Florida Georgia Line has never had a Hot 100 hit, but I imagine they’re all over the Country charts.

So as for the song choices, I was literally half right.

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Not as right as I thought I’d be, but right enough I suppose. And I was happy with most folks song choices so it worked out. Lets get into the actual performances, shall we?

Jax – Poker Face

Is it just me or is Jax trying to sing more and more like Joey? I don’t know if they just have somewhat similar styles with very different looks, so I didn’t notice it at first? Anyway, I hated this performance. Her voice is fine but I didn’t like this arrangement. Jax is a very polarizing contestant for me. I see her star power but I just don’t know if I like her or her voice.

Jen is very right in her comments that it wasn’t relatable and she didn’t connect to it. Also, her bun is really bothering me and I’m gonna need her to fix her hair immediately. A crawler? What the fuck is a crawler? I tried googling it and nothing even came up. However twitter was rife with comments.

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Nick Fradiani – Teenage Dream

Well I knew he was singing this or Adele so there’s that. And here’s the thing Nick, you are not Blaine Anderson. I did like when you got a little more “rock” toward the end though which helped me separate the performances. So good on you for that. Also now I kind of want to see Chris Daughtry try this song on stage. Also can we just take a moment to remember the second time Blaine sang Teenage Dream in NY at karaoke night? Let’s just only let Darren Criss sing Katy Perry songs (and never let Harry).

Quentin Alexander – Latch

This was the biggest – Whaaaaa? – as far as song choice was concerned. I definitely thought Rayvon was going to sing Latch. But I will say, I really liked hearing Jason Derulo sing it so maybe he isn’t a terrible singer? You wouldn’t know it from his actual songs… But back to Quentin. I was pretty confident he could sing it and that it was something out of his comfort zone (although it sure seemed to fit in his comfort zone, didn’t it?). I liked it. There were definitely some off notes but they weren’t like, screeeeeech bad. They were just… well they weren’t great. The performance was wonderful though and I was totally fine with it. I love his opinions on art and style. It’s great. He truly is an artist. But seriously… those fingernails. If you thought twitter was talking about JLo’s bun? They were positively buzzing over Quentins weird ass nails.

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Joey Cook – Wrecking Ball

I loved the crab hands thing that Jason was talking about. Joey “Crab Hands” Cook. It’s always bothered me that she does that and I’m glad he said something. And I hate her mouth… ugh. I think Miley did this better. Miley had so much emotion in her performance where Joey just did not. And how she was just holding her hand open instead of just clawing them up – it didn’t make it better. So anyway, Miley was better. And this wasn’t different enough.

Clark Beckham – Make It Rain

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I was saying it would be Tyanna or Clark when wondering who would be the next one picked. (and then my internal monologue went – God I hope Tyanna gets some votes. She had two not so great performances in a row. I’m scared) But back to Clark and his excellence. I’m also glad he did this performance. It was better, just as I thought it would be, than the original, by FAR. Hello best performance of the night, even without hearing anyone else. I had to rewind it and watch it again. This was just magnificent. Just keep doing what you’re doing, pal!

Tyanna Jones – Stay

Way to go America. I wanted it to be Tyanna and it was! As for whether I thought she’d sing Rihanna, obviously, I did not. I thought she did it very well though. I don’t know the Rihanna song well enough to compare the performance so in that regard, I probably like it even more. She did a really good job controlling her voice. And way to get back to a much better vocal performance! And then she was crying and then I was crying and then Zack was crying. Ok Zack definitely wasn’t  crying… or even paying attention. But I was, and it was emotional. Aw grammies. They’re the best.

So for the record, pre-performance I felt I was not going to vote. I was mostly fine with the idea of letting them go up for the live vote without my input. They both picked songs that played to their strengths, and they it was obvious they knew what they were doing with their respective performances. They brought out all the stops they had left as the only two contestants who have currently been saved on the show.

As for Rayvon, singing Adele – Rayvons voice is just like butter. As he was singing, I was just like – yeah, I’m definitely voting. When he kind of loosened up at the end it was what I needed it to be. The thing is, Outkast, that isn’t a song you have to sing. You don’t have to show off your voice. You’re just performing, which Qaasim is so good at! He might be the best performer on the show next to Quentin. So, spoiler alert: I voted for Rayvon. Multiple times. Because ultimately this is a singing competition. Not a performer competition.

With 2 minutes to spare in the voting, Qaasim had over 1K votes more. With no minutes left, he had about 500 less votes. 4,800 to 4,300. So you could say I was more than surprised when I heard that Qaasim was going home, as I was in the act of coming to terms with Rayvon going home. But I was happy to see Rayvon safe for another week, however I feel like it will be his last safe week, unless he has an even better performance that he’s hiding from us?

So with that, here’s who’s left! And who I voted for 🙂

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American Idol – Billboard Night Predictions

Hi all! So, another Wednesday is upon us and American Idol is all new tonight with Billboard’s Hot 100 as the theme I thought the theme was #1 songs, and so I did some research about all the Billboard #1 songs – it’s no short list. There have been over 1,000 #1 songs since they started the poll in 1958, coincidentally the year my mom was born! In fact, it was started the exact WEEK she was born and the first #1 song was called Poor Little Fool by Ricky Nelson. Also, since I was already checking it out, Chicago’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry was #1 when I was born, many years later.

There are actually a lot of interesting facts about the Hot 100, many of which you’ll probably hear tonight. For example, Boyz II Men and  Mariah Carey’s One Sweet Day has the longest consecutive run in first place with 16 weeks! There have been only 22 artists to have a song debut at #1. I honestly thought there would be way more than that! And an American Idol holds the record for biggest/quickest climb to #1. Kelly Clarksons My Life Would Suck Without You went from 97th to 1st from one week to the next! And many of the Idols winning songs, have been #1 on the charts as well (Kelly, Carrie and Clay Aiken if you’ll count him even though he wasn’t a winner)! If you love trivia, here’s a great link for you to check out all the fun stats!  Let me just say that the Bee Gees were like, SUPER popular in their heyday. I mean, great band, I’m just a little surprised at just how well they did.

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Anyway, as is the usshhzzz (how do you spell that? the abbreviated word for usually? ush? yoush? does it matter?) I saw all the songs getting sung tonight. The good thing is that I didn’t see who’s singing them. This is actually my favorite. I love knowing what’s going to be sung and then guessing who is going to sing it. They haven’t done this in like, 2 years so it’s nice to see they did it tonight! So, here are the list of songs we get to hear:

“Hey Ya!” – Outkast
“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
“Set Fire To The Rain” – Adele
“Make It Rain” – Ed Sheeran
“Stay” – Rihanna
“Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus
“Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
“Latch” – Disclosure

My issue with the list – I thought it was supposed to be #1 songs, not just songs ON the list!

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I can say for certain that these songs would be ones I’ve heard if they’ve been #1 on the hot 100 list. I knew every single Hot 100 song until I was looking around 1975… and even back to 1958 I bet there were only a handful of songs I’d never heard. I googled the ones that didn’t look familiar and I had heard most of them at some point. So I did a quick Wiki search of the songs I was relatively sure weren’t a #1 song.

Make it Rain by Ed Sheeran – the highest it got was #34 and Latch by someone called Disclosure (although f/ Sam Smith who I do know), peaked at #28! Then I just decided to look them all up and the only other “not #1” was Stay by Rihanna. Which I should’ve known. I mean, if you wanted to sing Rihanna, she has #1 songs on there. Rihanna has had 9 singles reach #1 and she was featured on 3 songs that did. I mean come on. But I digress. Why did you have to pick Stay? It peaked at #13 so was it really that great a song? Do Lisa Loeb’s Stay! That at least was a #1 song!

I listened to the two songs I’d never heard – Latch and Make it Rain. Now there are some guys that should have a #1 single by now! What is America doing with themselves, anyway? Ok sorry, tangent there… After listening to both, I’m relatively certain Rayvon will sing Latch. He’s got a Sam Smith quality about him that I’m sure will shine (even if he does go home tonight). As for the Ed Sheeran one, I’d like to believe it’s Clark, but it could definitely be Nick. I think Clark could make it sound even better than the almost techno/autotuned version I heard on YouTube. Why on earth would you autotune Ed Sheeran’s voice? I don’t get it? Anyway, I think Clark’s got this angsty gem all day!

As for the obvious song choices well, I wouldn’t say any of them were totally obvious. Jax – the queen of the twitter reveal – already said she’s singing Gaga so obviously Poker Face is her song. I’m totally cool with this and based on the numerous covers, I think she’ll do great. May I suggest though,

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The Rachel Berry/Idina Menzel version.

I mean, her voice is a more exaggerated version of Rachels voice already so I think it would work perfectly (she doesn’t even come close to Idina). I also have to believe that Qaasim is doing Hey Ya. It just makes sense. And he’s not really good at not picking the obvious song choice. Good song choice for him though. Doesn’t really involve singing so that will probably help him (although ideally he’ll be in the bottom 2 tonight).

That leaves us with Adele, Rihanna, Miley and Katy. And yet the remaining contestants are Joey, Tyanna, Nick, Quentin. Quentin has already covered Adele so I’m doubtful he’ll do Set Fire to the Rain, but I mean, I’d be TOTALLY fine with it if he did.  Something tells me he’s going to be covering the Rihanna song though. It’s got a good angst to it that Quentin just DOES. Yeah. I’m gonna need him to do Stay. But then who would sing Adele? Based on the remaining contestants I’d have to guess Tyanna, but why do I feel like she’s going to sing Teenage Dream? I just don’t see Nick singing it and I see Joey doing Wrecking Ball. I hope she goes deep with it to. I’m gonna need her to or she could be out with yesterdays leftovers. She was good last week but I’m still remembering that performance from two weeks ago and I need to forget that. Ok so we have Quentin singing Stay, Joey singing Wrecking Ball. That leaves either Tyanna or Nick singing Set Fire to the Rain and Teenage Dream.  I’m gonna go Tyanna singing Katy and Nick singing Adele… but that doesn’t sit well with me.

So to recap, I’m guessing the night will looks like this –

QAASIM MIDDLETON – “Hey Ya!” – Outkast
JAX – “Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
NICK FRADIANI – “Set Fire To The Rain” – Adele
CLARK BECKHAM – “Make It Rain” – Ed Sheeran
QUENTIN ALEXANDER – “Stay” – Rihanna
JOEY COOK – “Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus
TYANNA JONES – “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
RAYVON OWEN – “Latch” – Disclosure

Oh and just for shits and giggles, this came up while I was looking up something about Wrecking Ball and I just want everyone to relive this moment in history because I could watch this guy REGULARLY! DO MORE OF THESE, DUDE! Call Me Maybe was totes my favorite!

I guess we’ll see 🙂 Hope everyone enjoys the episode tonight!

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