Posts Tagged With: Dalton Rapattoni

American Idol – Ask And You Shall Receive

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

crystal

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

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

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

LaPorsha-Renae

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

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

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

Trent Harmon
Counting Stars by OneRepublic
Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

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

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

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

Sonika Vaid
Let it Go by Idina Menzel
Clarity by Zedd

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

1x08_SawyerFlash2

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

Tristan MacIntosh – Independence Day by Martina McBride

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

Top05 - fists

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

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

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

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

Top07 - emotions

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

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American Idol – Top 06 – American Idol Songbook

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

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

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

brit kinda bad

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

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

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

La’Porsha Renae – Come Together by The Beatles 

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

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

MacKenzie Bourg – You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker

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

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

Trent Harmon – Stand By Me by Ben E. King

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

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

Tristan McIntosh – A Broken Wing by Martina McBride 

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

nothing turns out right

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

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

shirley

but then it happened…

Dalton Rapattoni – Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

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

Me watching Tyler

Me watching Tyler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonika Vaid – I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston

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

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

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

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American Idol – 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:

Top10 - shrugs

Lee JeanValJean – Use Somebody By Kings of Leon

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

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

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

As for Olivia…

Katniss Salute

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

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

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

874236sobbing

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

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

ryan-lochte-in love

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

CcHnvGpVAAE7W_w

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

Sonika Vaid – Bring Me to Life by Evanescence

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

La’Porsha Renae – Diamonds by Rihanna

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

laporsha_reaction

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

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

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

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

shrugs

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

Avalon Young – Stitches by Shawn Mendes

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

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

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

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

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American Idol – Top 14 – Almost Deja Vu

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

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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?

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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 – Day 2 Auditions

Sorry, couldn’t think of a clever title. Not sure why. I guess it’s just because it was a pretty run of the mill episode. Lots of good talent, over dramatic judges stealing the show, same old. The nice thing, as was brought up by said judges, was how many awesomely talented females that San Francisco and Arkansas had! If the auditions continue to go like this, we’re gonna be in for one heck of a season. And if they don’t, then something tells me the winner is going to come from Arkansas or San Francisco!

I will say, even with all the talented ladies, of my top 3, a guy did happen to make it. Though if I had picked a top 5, there would still probably only be one guy. So with that, let’s talk about my favorites. I couldn’t put them in order this time. I don’t know if they were all that good or just that none of them were good enough to warrant me declaring them my favorite. Or maybe it’s just because I liked them all for very different reasons.

Let’s talk about the boy first.

Dalton Rapattoni – 19 year old from Dallas, TX
Song: Phantom of the Opera

Dalton was great. When I hear vocal coach, I usually assume it’s someone who tried to make it but maybe didn’t have that kind of luck. This guy was different. And he proved that with his song choice. Taking Broadway and giving it the American Idiot treatment? And then doing it really well? I mean, that’s a win win win to me. I’m not sure how far the guy is going to get, but the fact that he brought such an original song choice makes me hope he’ll make it to the live show. At least for the time being. Things could always change the more contestants I see.

jim-carrey-meme

Olivia Rox – 16 year old from Agoura Hills, CA
Song: When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars

So apparently this little lady was also on Americas Got Talent, but since I don’t watch that, I’ll forgive her for trying out for multiple shows. And honestly I’ll forgive her just because I liked her so much! Obviously I love a musician and she somewhat proved she can play multiple instruments. She really did remind me a little of Kelly Clarkson (minus the being from a quasi-famous musician family). I will say that I think of everyone I’ve seen so far, I think she has some of the most potential to make it to the live show. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her.

Tristan McIntosh – 15 year old from 
Song: Why Baby Why

Ok so I know, there was her whole story with her mom and all. I’d be lying if I said tears weren’t shed. How can you watch those homecoming surprises and not? I mean those things are just the sweetest. But I have to say that usually people with those kinds of stories, I tend to not like – just because – why need the story? But luckily for Tristan, she was freaking great. Plus she played the piano. I really can’t decide if I like Tristan or Olivia more… but I guess I have time to work that one out.

cantdecide

And now for some honorable mentions:

La’Porsha Renae – There have been so many good versions of this song on this show (and by contestants post-show), so obviously I have to compare. I think she definitely held her own in that it was different enough and still good. I’m just not a huge fan of the runners. But for a runner I enjoyed her. She did the runs better than anyone I’ve seen so far this season.

The montage singers (Jessica Clarke, Ameet Kanon and Kayla Mickelson) – I thought all of these girls seemed really good, but since they were montaged together I feel like I didn’t really get to form an opinion. As such, I will continue with my lack of  formal opinion, until I see them again.

Brandyn Burnett – Ok for one, I really liked his original song. Sure the lyrics were a little amateurish, but I couldn’t have written that song. And honestly I was a little jealous of Harry being able to hold him while he played piano, even though I did think it was supes unprofessional for Harry to do that but, it is what it is at this point.

professional

Some other thoughts on the show:

  1. People, stop bringing your babies. I get it, you’re proud of your kid. Maybe you think they give you a better shot because who wants to tell you no, when you’re holding a cute little baby (lord knows they can’t say no when you bring your Larger than Life American Idol fan parents to the audition). It’s annoying. The sob stories can be bad enough but we don’t need your baby there.
  2. Also, don’t bring live animals. I feel like that should just be a given anyway, but apparently it’s not so lets just make sure we all get that memo.
  3. Finally, ladies, and yes, Brook Sample we’re all looking at you. Please, repeat after me: Sorry, not sorry. Stop apologizing! Is it to get more compliments or is it a lack of confidence? I really can’t tell. Brook, if you’re reading this, which I suppose is possible since I’ve had an Idol or two google their name and find this blog (for better or worse), please read this article and then please stop apologizing. I think at this point it’s just like a vocalized pause for you, and not an actual apology, but you really shouldn’t.
  4. Finally, Cameron Richard (pronounced Rish-aah-ed). You’re so cute. I don’t know how far you’ll go, but I can appreciate you audition, and what I basically wanted to point out is that Harry was spot on. Check out Young Paul McCartney next to Cameron:

richardmccart

And with that, we have until next week when we see another round of hopefuls! Cheers.

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