Monday, September 17, 2012

The Voice: Blind auditions Night 4

Night 4 of the blind auditions and the teams are starting to shape up!

First up was 17 year old Melanie Martinez. She has an interesting look, very cute. She performed an acoustic version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" while playing a tambourine between her feet. That was cool! She has a very cool modern voice and she made great note choices. I really like her. Blake, Adam and Cee Lo turned. Went with Adam.

Next was the creator of the Cupid shuffle, Cupid himself! He decided that he would sing his song because he felt that song that was his one hit had put him in a box. So then why do it? I still don't understand all the logic by this questionable song choice of his. If you want to prove you're more than the song, then show it by doing something else. It was also a weird song choice to do on a vocal competition show. No one turned. Cee Lo immediately knew who he was and questioned why he would do that song. He asked him to sing something else. He did and showed he could sing. Just a poor song choice. I had never heard his song before so if he went on there for some self promotion of his song, then good job!

Next was Brian Scartocci who sang Stevie Wonder's "Isn't she lovely". He's a single dad of 2 kids which I can relate to as I was a single Dad for 4 years. I always like to see fathers being fathers to their children. Although it sounds like that's what the norm should be, in this day and age unfortunately its not. Broken homes and lack of parental figures are the root of so many issues in society nowadays, it's sad. Anyway, he has a very nice voice. Blake, Adam, Cee Lo turned. Chose Adam.

Next up were Husband and wife duo Beat Frequency who sang Katy Perry's "ET". They have an interesting sound and good harmonies. Only Xtina turned.

Next was Tyler Lillestol who sang Usher's "U got it bad". It was only ok. No one turned.

Next was Liz Davis who sang Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the party". She has a good look and strong vocals. Adam, Xtina and Blake turned. Blake unashamedly used his ACM award to recruit her. Went with Blake.

Next up was Alaskan Youtube sensation Jr Aquino. He sang Bruno Mars' "Just the way you are". He was a little shaky with his notes from being nervous I think. Xtina, Adam and Cee Lo turned. Chose Cee Lo.

Next was Agina Alvarez who sang "Turn the beat around". She mentioned in her backstory profile that she had been signed twice before. She was looking for a third time? What happened with the other two? Most artists are lucky to ever be offered even once. Her voice was very dark and her vocal performance was way too over the top. As Xtina said, she started out at 10 and stayed there, there was no color to her vocal performance. No one turned.

Next was Nicholas David who sang "Stand by me". Very cool voice. Only Cee Lo turned.

Next was 17 year old LaGuardia Performing Arts High School student (local NY girl!) Alessandra Guercio who sang Miley Cyrus' "The Climb". She has pretty good vocals and a good look. Adam and Cee Lo turned. Chose Adam.

We were shown some other singers. Adam, Blake and Xtina each got one.

Last of the night was 16 year old Avery Wilson who sang David Guetta's "Without you". In his backstory profile we were shown how supportive his Dad has been in guiding him to pursue music because he believes in his talent. I could relate to that as I always push my daughters to pursue their dreams and develop their talents. He was very good! All turned. Chose Cee Lo.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

X factor: Auditions night 2

I really enjoyed the first night of X Factor and was looking forward to night 2.

First up was Johnny Maxwell. He sang an original "All these people". It was a pretty good song! His vocals were ok but his rap style was passionate. He got 4 yes.

Next was Lexa Berman. Similar to The Voice's Domo, this over-confident, over the top singer calls herself a triple threat. She sang "Too close". She had rather average vocals. The judges didn't like her over-confidence. Only Simon gave a yes. There's nothing wrong with strong confidence in this business, in fact you need it! BUT, when that confidence spills over into conceit and over the top self-promotion then that's going to work against you more often than not. Hopefully a lesson learned for her.

Next up was Jason Brock. He was very confident and had an over the top, funny personality. This was confidence done right. He sang Billy Joel's "NY state of mind". It was a cabaret type performance BUT it was a very good cabaret style. There's a difference! He had really good vocals. LA loved him and he got 4 yes.

Up last and in this case the best was left for last was 13 year old Carly Rose Sonenclar. She is cute and was very nervous backstage. She said she was going to sing "Feeling good". LA was like uh oh since that's a grown up song and you need serious vocals. Something told me she'd be good however for having the guts to pick that song. Holy crap. What a mature voice. I knew she'd be good but I wasn't expecting her to be GREAT!! A star was definitely born. She got a standing O from everyone including backstage. She obviously got 4 yes. Great way to end the show.

The X factor: Season 2 Night 1

I DVR'd and just finished watching the X Factor for the first time. I really liked it. I didn't watch the first season because those of you who have read through my blog know that I'm not a fan of Simon and his critiquing style but with the additions of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato I and my family had to watch. I'm glad we did watch it because I really love them as judges. Simon even seems to be a little softer... so far.

First up was nursing student Paige Thomas. She is very pretty and it's a shame that she was putting her dream aside and just working instead. I understand it but so many talented people let their dreams fade instead of pursuing them. I'm glad she auditioned. She has a great image and voice. She sang "I'm going down". She got all 4 judges to say yes.

Next was 50 year old baggage handler Shawn Armenta. Said he was a singer/dancer and sang his own song "Candy girl". Got a no from all 4 judges and then got nasty with the judges. It seems he needs to handle his own baggage! Lol.

We got to see clips of Britney and how she's a no nonsense judge. I like it!

Next was 13 year old Reed Deming. Although he didn't seem to like being compared to Justin Bieber, he sure was trying to be compared to him. BTW, being compared to a super successful singer is never a bad thing. Just saying. Anyway, he sang Bruno Mars' "It will rain". Simon asked for the song to be stopped, asked for him to do a new song. He sang "Grenade". Decent voice but seems to imitating too much. He got all 4 judges to give him a yes.

Next up was Kaci Newton. She was very insecure which is already going to hurt her performance. Her makeup was way overdone. Too pageant-ish. Sang Katy Perry's "Firework" with her own unique flair and style. It was not good. Simon gave his critique and she began to sing again! Why do contestants do this? She got a no from all 4 judges.

Next up was flamboyant Quatrele Da'an Smith who showed up in a bridal veil and heels. I didn't expect him to be good. He sang Lady Gaga's "Born this way". He was good!! It all worked together once he began singing. He got a yes from all except LA Reid who didn't seem to get him and said no.

Next was former boy band member Vincent Thomas. He sang Elton John's "Sorry seems to be the hardest word". Bad song choice. All the judges told him no.

Next up was the male trio Emblem 3 who sang their original song "Sunset Blvd". Very good! They got 4 yes.

Next was Don Philip who sang 10 years ago with Britney who remembered him. He was saying this was his last chance at trying to make it. When asked what he was doing the past 10 years, he broke down. It was sad to see. I really felt for him. He sang "Halo". Not a good song choice at all. Britney looked very uncomfortable and sad listening to him and knowing she would have to give him a no. He got a no from all the judges. It was just heartbreaking to see. He was totally distraught backstage at having "hurt" Britney. I felt so bad for him. I hope he can deal with this somehow and move on with his life. I also hope he never ever stops working at his dream and music. He may not make it as a singer but maybe he can apply his passion to producing or making music for others. I wish him luck.

Next up was Jennel Garcia. She's a sweet girl with a nice look. She sang Grace Potter's "Oh la la". She has a very good voice and when the music began that sweet girl turned into a different person! Very good performer. She got 4 yes.

Last up was Jillian Jensen. She had a rough upbringing with being bullied in schools to the point that she's still traumatized and unable to let go the pain she felt. She sang Jessie J's "Who you are". She let all that pain out in the lyrics and in her voice. She was crying, the judges were crying (well Demi sure was!), the audience was crying. She got a standing ovation from the audience, judges and everyone backstage. Demi went up to the stage and gave her a hug and pep talk. Demi let her know she's been there and that she'll be ok. I've always liked Demi but seeing her do that really made me like her more. That was a nice tender moment, there was nothing contrived or fake about it. Kudos to Demi. Jillian was vindicated in front of all those bullies that put her and her music down as she got a yes from all 4 judges. What an emotional way to end the show!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Voice: Blind auditions Night 3

To compete with and try to take ratings away from The X Factor debut tonight, there was a 3rd night of The Voice. A bit of overkill. It's already too quick of a turnaround between Season 2 and Season 3, now they're over-saturating things on the first week. Time will tell if this ploy will work in the ratings. Anyway...

First up was Samuel Mouton who sang "Redemption Song". He has a cool reggae voice and sounds very authentic but I wonder if can he bring that to other styles of music? All turned but Blake. Picked Adam.

Next was Former Dreamstreet member Chris Trousdale who sang "I'm glad you came". Not the right song to show off his vocals. No one turned.

Next was Nigerian refugee Nelly's Echo (cool meaning behind the name!) who sang "Ain't no sunshine". Very nice guy. Very good singer, he made excellent note choices. Adam and Xtina turned. Went with Xtina who turned first for him.

Next were mother & daughter duo Allison and Crystal Steele who go by 2 Steel Girls. They sang Carrie Underwood's "Before he cheats". They were good but I feel they need to stay away from low notes. Blake and Cee Lo turned. Picked the obvious choice Blake.

We were shown how Cee Lo kept losing out on contestants. Xtina beat him for 2 others and Adam beat him for another.

Next up was the overconfident and over the top contestant Domo. In the intro to her, she called herself the Lady Gaga of China? Lol. This was the first and only time I've ever seen the Voice mock a contestant as they made a little montage of her touting her talents(?). She finally stopped talking about herself and got on stage. She sang The Pussycat Doll's "Don'cha". Way over the top performance. Only Cee Lo turned. The other coaches were laughing at him and telling him he's got a handful with her. It should be good TV to see her in the battle rounds and at rehearsals.

Last was Nicole Nelson who sang another of my all-time favorite songs "Hallelujah". I love her look and vocal style. Her performance was WOW. Love her. They all turned. She picked Adam. Great way to end the night.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Voice: Blind auditions Night 2

Onto Night 2 of the Voice blind auditions!

First up we were shown Adriana Louise who sang Jessie J's "Domino". She is pretty and has a good voice. All turned. Xtina really liked her, she picked Xtina.

Next was Casey Muessigmann who sang "Sweet Home Alabama". Blake & Cee Lo turned. Went with Blake.

Next up was Aquile who sang one of my favorite songs of all-time, Elton John's "Your song". He has a very cool look and smooth voice. One of my favorites so far. All but Blake turned. Picked Xtina.

Next was Leann Rimes tour production coordinator Ryan Fogarty who sang "Tomorrow". He has a good voice. I was just as surprised to see that no one turned as I was to wonder why Leann hasn't helped him herself.

Next was Mackenzie Bourg who sang "Pumped up kicks". He has a cool vibe to his voice. I really like his voice. Cee Lo turned so he was on Team Cee Lo.

Last of the night was Julio Cesar Castillo who sang "La Bamba", the first contestant to do his audition entirely in Spanish which was very cool. Blake and Cee Lo turned. Went with Blake.

After 2 nights, Adam has 2 contestants. Blake has 4, Cee Lo has3 and Xtina has 4.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Voice is back! Blind auditions night 1

The Voice is back! Season 3 and all 4 coaches are back. Christina, Adam, Cee Lo & Blake. I feel the turnaround for Season 3 from Season 2 was too fast but I guess NBC is trying to milk all they can out of the show and while they still have these coaches. It must be hard on the coaches who are in the middle of projects and have to work around them to honor their commitments to the Voice. Anyway, Season 3 has begun and I'm watching...

Once we got past the usual Coach introductions, we got to Night 1 of the blind auditions. I always look forward to this part not only because it's our first glimpse at the contestants but also because I love to see the coaches trying to woo the contestants to be on their teams.

The first contestant we saw was Terry McDermott who sang The Who's "Baba O'Reilly". He was very good. Adam, Cee Lo & Blake all turned at the last second. He went with Blake.

Next was De'borah who sang Train's "Hey soul sister". She had a real androgynous look which was interesting visually. Her voice also had an androgynous tone to it. She had a really cool vibe and good vocals. She was a really good performer. Xtina and Cee Lo turned. She picked Xtina, quoting trusting her "voice within" which I immediately knew meant that the song and Xtina meant a lot to her. She confirmed as much backstage. That must be cool to have a song mean so much to you and then get to work with that artist. I'm happy for her.

Next was Gracia Harrison who sang "I want to be a cowboy's sweetheart". All except Xtina turned. Very good singer. Great yodeler. She went with Blake.

Next was Garrett Gardner. He's 16 year old and dedicated his performance and career to his late dad which I found touching. He sang "Have you ever seen the rain?". Very good voice. I was surprised and disappointed for him when no one turned.

Next was Devyn Deleora who sang Xtina's "Ain't no other man" which was daring. I thought she had a good voice but felt it needs some work. Xtina, Adam, Blake turned. She went with the obvious choice Xtina.

Next was Bryan Keith who sang Bruno Mars' "It will rain". I really liked the cool tone to his raspy voice. All turned. Picked Adam.

Next was returning contestant Daniel Rosa. He sang his own interesting version of Gotye's "Somebody that I used to know". This time, Cee Lo and Blake turned. He was shocked that they remembered him. Went with Cee Lo.

Next was Anita Antoinette who sang "No woman, no cry" by Bob Marley. She had a very cool vibe to her voice. I was surprised that no one turned. Adam and Cee Lo told her this song has to be felt, not sung. She asked if she could sing it acapella and then rocked it. Got a standing ovation from everyone, so she had her moment but unfortunately it didn't change her fate. She was so upset afterwards.

Next was Joe Kirkland who sang The All American Rejects' "Gives you hell". He has an interesting rock voice. Adam & Blake turned. Picked Adam.

Next was Jessica Sharpe who sang "Son of a preacher man". She showed a good solid voice. No one turned.

Last contestant of the night was Trevin Hunte who sang "Listen". In his backstory, we heard him tell us that he was denied getting into a performing arts school because he needed 4 teacher referrals and one of his teachers refused to give him a referral and even had told him he'd never make it. IMO, that's vile. A teacher should encourage dreams and show the student towards whatever potential they have, not the opposite. He has an amazing voice. All turned except Adam. Cee Lo won him to his team.

It was a good first night for the Voice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The American Idol season 11 winner is...

Here we go, American Idol season 11 finale time! The top 12 opened the show with Bruno Mars "Runaway Baby". Very good but I kept expecting Bruno to come out to join them!

Phillip performed with John Fogerty of CCR, they did "Have you ever seen the rain" and "Black moon rising". Pretty cool.

Joshua sang "Take me to the pilot" by Elton John. Fantasia joined him on stage.

The top 12 girls sang "Ain't nobody", "Through the fire" and "I'm every woman" (which she joined them on) by Chaka Khan who looked and sounded great. She was the first in what was definitely a Diva night of performances.

Jessica and Phillip introduced their mentors and gave them cars! That must've been such a great feeling to be able to do that for someone who supported and influenced them so much. Then Ryan gave Jessica and Phillip keys for their own cars! Very cool.

Rihanna performed her new single "Where have you been?". She sounded and looked great as usual.

Skylar sang "Turn on the radio" with the one and only Reba. That was very cool and must've been an incredible moment for Skylar.

Jessica sang "I will always love you". Excellent.

The top 12 guys sang "Coming to America", "I'm a believer", "Sweet Caroline" (which he joined them on) by Neil Diamond.

The top 12 sang the phone book in response to a cliche Randy uses way too often as was evidenced by video clips from the season. Funny stuff!

JLo performed. Lil Jon was her DJ. Flo-Rida came out to rap, then Wisin y Yandel joined her to perform. Pretty cool.

Ryan brought former Idol contestants and current couple Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo on stage where Ace proposed to her. She said yes. That was very cool and sweet.

Hollie sang "You'll never walk alone". Jordin Sparks joined her on stage. They sounded amazing together.

The top 12 guys sang Bee Gees songs as a tribute to the recently departed Robin Gibb. Very nice, I like that they were able to put something together so nice on such short notice.

Jessica sang "And I am telling you" with Jennifer Holliday. OMG, what a powerhouse performance!! They brought the house down. Jessica was able to not only hang with the incredible Ms. Holliday but she looked impressed with the young Jessica. The sky is the limit for Jessica with the right songs.

Aerosmith finally performed.

Jessica and Phillip sang "Up where we belong". They sounded very good together. Very appropriate lyrics for the moment.

Winner announcement time! I am a Jessica fan and wanted her to win since the first show with the top 12 but I knew Phillip's single was much stronger and that a girl hadn't won since Jordin. Both thanked the fans. The winner is Phillip.

As much as a fan I am of Jessica's and can't wait what she does on her debut album, I must say that I admire all Phillip was able to do considering his health issues and all the pain he was enduring all season. He tried to sing his single but when the confetti started coming down, it all seemed to hit him and hit him hard. It was so touching to see him just leave the stage and go to his parents in what was a proud and touching moment for both he and his family. Congrats Phillip! Can't wait to see what you do and what music you'll bring us but first, go and get well Mr. American Idol!! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American Idol - the Final 2 sing

The show begins and we see how big the place is and how nice the stage is. It certainly has that big time, big moment feel.

Once again we'll have 3 rounds of singing for Jessica and Phillip. The first round is a song that Idol Producer Simon Fuller picks:
We are told that Phillip won the coin toss and has opted to go second. Smart move since this guarantees that he closes the show and leaves that very important last impression.

Simon Fuller had Jessica sing "I have nothing" by Whitney. Excellent start for Jessica. Simon had Phillip sing "Stand by me". Not really a powerhouse song for Phillip to show his style but it is something different for Phillip to show. It was very nice although a little bland. The judges felt Jessica won round 1. I agree

Jason Derulo performed. Good to see him performing and without his neck brace.

Round two was up next and it was the contestants favorite song of the season. Jessica sang "The Prayer" by Celine Dion. Excellent as usual. Phillip sang "Moving out" by Billy Joel. Not the best song choice at this point but it's probably the one he felt he got the best critique for. Steven felt that Jessica won this round. JLo felt Phillip won this round and Randy felt it was a tie. That was rather typical of the judges to try to make things seem more even. I felt Jessica won this round as well.

The last round was the contestants singing what will be their first single. Jessica sang her single "Change Nothing". It was not what I expected, it was not the best song or the best song to show off her tremendous vocals. I think she was let down by whoever picked this song for her at this important moment. Hopefully her management and record label will do a better job of getting her songs for her debut album. It started slow but I think people will be able to relate to the lyrics. The judges didn't like the song either but felt she made something out if it.

Phillip sang his single "Home". Very different from what I expected but very good. Much better song choice for his voice. Judges gave him a standing ovation, loved it. Not only do I think Phillip won this final round but I think his single may have just won him the show. We'll find out tomorrow!