Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Top 10 does their birth year songs

Interesting theme for the night. The judges seemed a bit passive tonight and the performances were on and off all night. Not the best AI night for sure.

First we got Ramiele doing Heart's "Alone" which was a risky choice considering that song distinguished Carrie Underwood as a frontrunner when she did it. Ramiele was said to be sick and I can see how that probably affected her singing and pitch but still, the song seemed too big for her. She did some nice solid big notes in there though. All in all, I am becoming more disappointed with Rami as she still hasn't stepped it up like she should be able to. It seems she doesn't know how to pick a song to best highlight her vocals.

Jason's version of Enrique Iglesias doing "Fragile" was not good. "Fragile" is such a great song, one of my all-time faves so I was hoping Jason, who I have been a fan of would do something good with it. However, it never reached where he was trying to go with it. Hearing Jason agree with Simon that his guitar playing was sloppy and that maybe he should've practiced more really disappointed me. Is Jason getting complacent this early in the show? Not good.

Syesha sounded great. Very professional sounding vocals and performance. She has stepped it up since being in the bottom 3 in the first week. Good for her.

Chikezie sounded good last night as well, even though Randy and Simon didn't seem to like it.

I was not crazy about Brooke's performance. Maybe it was like with "Fragile" in that "Every breath you take" is one of my all-time favorite songs and The Police and Sting are 2 of my favorite artists. Just sounded like Brooke never got on the attack with the song and that lack of edge and urgency that Sting brings to the song was very missing IMO.

Michael was very good and has shown that he can do Queen well. IMO Queen should consider approaching him for the band as he is a much better choice than Paul Rodgers who made me cringe trying to Queen songs. I am a HUGE fan of Queen and especially Freddie Mercury and only George Michael had impressed me up to this point doing Queen songs. After last night though, although he's not nearly in the same league as Freddie or George, I think he would make a good frontman for Queen.

Carly, why did you have to pick "Total eclipse of the heart" to sing? Aaaaaah! That is one song that I have heard so much in my life that if I never hear it again in my life that is a-ok with me! LOL! Man, she deserves to be in the bottom 3 just for picking this song! Ok, not really but it was brutal to sit through hearing that song. LOL!

What did David A. sing? Seems very few know! Listening to the radio this morning, the DJs were discussing it and one of them actually knew the song and mentioned how this song spent 20 weeks at #1 in Australia where the artist is from. It was an ok performance. Hard to compare it to anything though. Simon made a comment of how he'd be shocked if David picked this song and the DJs mentioned how it was a dig by Simon at David's dad who is rumored to be picking the songs for David to sing. Interesting.

Kristy made a great choice to pick a song that would be hard to get her voted off. Simon was right to say that it may have been the smartest song choice a contestant has ever picked. I love that song too.

I wasn't crazy about David Cook's performance and even more so since he didn't give Chris Cornell any credit for the song idea. For those that don't know, Chris Cornell did the original rock version of this song that David C. did last night. Chris' version is much better. Not cool of David to not give credit where its due, especially since you're covering the person's version of it.

All in all, I didn't like last night much. My bottom 3 picks are Ramiele, Chikezie and Jason. Jason is safe and Chikezie goes home.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

AI Eliminations - Top 10 is reached!

Tonight was the AI eliminations to get to the top 10 and what a weird show it was.

The opening show Beatles medley was not very good. They should just scratch that one right off the tour IMO.

I had 2 out of 3 right. Carly was just a crazy pick by America to be in the bottom 3. Very strange. Thankfully she was saved. However, so was Kristy. She was last contestant standing again and she even mentioned that yesterday in her video clip. I was not sad to see Amanda go at this point. She just was too uncompromising and not really offering any different looks or sounds. I'm sure we'll hear some more from her in the future but she'll need to listen to people in the business when they tell her to change things up a bit. Only AC/DC can get away from doing the same things year after year. :)

America may have had the bottom 3 a bit off but they weren't wrong in their choice of who to send home. Good luck Amanda!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AI does Beatles x 11!

Another night of AI doing Beatles songs! Fun! Not really. LOL! Not the biggest Beatles fan and it led to me agreeing with Simon more than ever last night! Blech! LOL!

Amanda opened the show and I hate to say it because I liked her whole rocker chick vibe and look but I agree with Simon in that she needs to change it up. Her performances are becoming more and more like one big performance and unfortunately you've seen one performance and you've seen them all. I hope she changes things a bit. Her voice reminds me of Dilana who was on RockStar INXS except that Dilana knew how to use her look and voice to its best advantage. Let's see if Amanda can change before its too late. I did like her defense of trying to show what it would be like to see her in a show but she also has to adapt a little to the show that she's on. Like Chris Daughtry did, he never changed who he was but adapted the songs within the show's format, etc. to show him in his true form.

Kristy went next and while her voice was better, her performance was rather bland. She just needs more experience.

David A. is back as I knew he would be. There was no way he'd have 2 bad performances in a row and he didn't disappoint. Great song choice and very good performance.

Michael just didn't do anything for me again with another indulgent song choice. Its cool to do songs that mean something to you as you can give more emotion to the lyrics but at the same time, this is a competition and he needs to draw the line at doing indulgent songs as opposed to doing songs that can really let him show off his vocals.

I liked Brooke's song choice and the performance was nice BUT it did seem a bit too cutesy, as was some of her faces up there when the judges were offering their critique. It wasn't nearly on the level of Melinda Doolittle's "aw shucks" attitude but it was getting in that area. I'm glad to hear her say that she would be getting back to her style of performing next week. I assume that means she'll go back to playing behind a guitar doing her best Phoebe from "Friends" impersonation! =)

David Cook was good but he also has to change it up a little. I think last week's judge's glowing comments went to his head a bit. This week should help humble him a bit.

Carly was very good! Loved her explanation for picking the song "Blackbird". Something that all artists can relate to. I still don't understand how Simon works with artists since he just doesn't show that he understands or can relate to them the way Randy and Paula do.

I was not crazy about Jason's song choice or performance. I'm still a big fan though.

Syesha totally redeemed herself last night with that performance of "Yesterday". I loved everything about her performance, she was very into the song and it showed.

I liked Chikezie's vocals until the song went all country again. Not sure what to make of the whole thing. It left me with mixed feelings. I hope he's safe though.

Ramiele's song choice was more upbeat but it still bored me a little which is disappointing because I really like her.

Bottom 3 is interesting to pick this week as few were really good. I'll say that Chikezie, Kristy and Amanda are the bottom 3. Amanda will be safe and Chikezie will go home. :(

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wk. 1 - The Final 12 goes down to 11

I was 3 for 3 but I got the safe person and person exiting wrong. :(

David should've been the safe one. I don't think he deserved to go yet and wonder if this vote for the worst crappola that seems to go on every year is already rearing its ugly head. Based on the performances, Kristy should've gone but maybe David's controversy caught up to him. We'll see if another bad performance goes unpunished next week.

Syesha seems to have been handed a little humility and hopefully she steps it up next week.

Oh well. I think we'll hear a little more from David H. in the future.

Wk. 1 - The Final 12 sings!

They introduced the new set and I liked it. Not a drastic change except for the band and the audience being much closer to the stage and around the judges. The band so spread apart is kind of weird but it works for the show.

Big night for AI with being able to do songs off the Lennon & McCartney catalogue. BIG songs! Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Beatles fan but I do respect their music and lyrics especially. For those of you that follow my music, you know that my lyrics tend to lean towards deeper topics so I definitely appreciate their lyrics. I agree with Simon that these songs can be tough if you pick the wrong songs.

Syesha started off the show and I liked that she undersung for once but it seemed like that made her boring. I think the song was too big for her and her performance was forgettable. That's what you don't want to be on AI.

Chikezie absolutely did a Charlie Brown on the pitcher's mound to me and blew my socks off! :D
His arrangement was amazing as was his performance. IMO he was the performer of the night and had every reason to be as happy about it as he was.

Ramiele needs to stop singing about losing her friends that she's just barely begun knowing on the show and start concentrating on the fact that this can make a career for her! She really needs to step it up! C'mon Ramiele!!

Jason continues to provide solid singer/songwriter performances. I'm a fan!

Carly was very good but I wasn't overly thrilled with her performance for some reason.

David Cook has improved with each show IMO and he definitely is becoming a dark horse in this competition. Another very good performance.

I'm a fan of Brooke's and I loved her emotional, heart-felt rendition of "Let it be" which is one of the greatest songs ever written IMO. I love that she also played the piano. Randy's comment that this was probably something she has dreamed about since she was a kid was so right on. Randy always seems to "get" what the artists are doing (or trying to) and where they are coming from as artists.

David Hernandez was good but it wasn't the best song to do what he was trying to do. I have to say that I liked Tiffany's version better! :D

Amanda, Amanda, Amanda... I'm just not feeling her anymore. It just seems like the same song and performance over and over. She needs to change it up a bit.

Michael Johns vocal performance did nothing for me. I liked how he performed it though.

Kristy's idea of country-fying "8 days a week" sounded like a good idea in theory but in practice it was a trainwreck. That was the worst performance and arrangement of the night. As Simon would say, it was absolutely dreadful. :(

David Archuleta finally stumbled and I'm sure that the other contestants were privately a little happy about it. There were rumors that they were getting upset with all the publicity he's gotten and how some have said that he's already the clear-cut winner. Simon tried to open that door a little with telling David Cook that he's becoming a front-runner. I expect David A. to come back strong though. He was clearly not comfortable with the song or lyrics but could it all have been a pre-calculated mis-step by David? Hmm.

Randy was on with his advice and critique as always. Paula too stepped it up and didn't just parrot what Randy was saying. Simon was his usual rude self. I cannot stand his disrespecting Paula and I'm glad that Paula spoke up when he rudely told her to shut up. He also needs to pay attention to the show that pays him so well. His saying "what is the Irish girl's name?" is inexcusable and disrespectful. At least have the respect to remember the names of the singers who are counting on you to help them build a career in this business. Also, his childish jabs at Ryan need to stop. It has nothing to do with the show and its just a waste of time.

All in all, it was a good night but I think the bottom 3 will be Kristy, David H. and Syesha with David H. being safe. Kristy goes home tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Semi-finals Wk.3 eliminations

Well, I think America got this one mostly right and so was I! ;)

I agreed with Kady and Luke going home even though I like them both.

I had a feeling that the controversy and negative attention would catch up with Danny. He seems like a sweet kid though and its a shame that his past caught up to him and we won't be seeing more of him. I think he added some personality to the show.

I wasn't happy to see Asia'h go but I probably wouldn't have been happy with any of the other girls leaving either. AI lost a classy contestant in Asia'h though. I was watching the local FOX station's news tonight after the eliminations and I was upset to see former contestant Constantine (that's upsetting enough! LOL!) on there saying that he wasn't surprised to see Asia'h go because as he put it, "who would buy tickets to see her in concert?". Talk about nerve!

I liked them all and I wish them all the best! Unlike some other former AI contestants, I hope to hear more from them in the future!

Semi-finals Night 3 - the girls

We're almost there! We're almost down to the Top 12. Lots of good singing tonight. It will be hard to see someone go after tonight's performances.

The show began with Asia'h Epperson and sounded great doing Whitney Houston.

Kady Malloy went next and I noticed more of an effort from her to be "on" with her smiles and personality. Unfortunately for her she picked a slow sad song which didn't let her show more of her personality. Her vocals however sounded very good IMO. Side note: I love that Queen song she did. Freddie Mercury recorded this song "Who wants to live forever" when he had already been diagnosed with AIDS and knew he was going to die soon. At that time in the 80s, AIDS was basically a death sentence and he had already begun losing weight and feeling the physical ravages of the disease. I can understand writing a song like that when going through something like that. That whole writing about life's pains and bitter experiences is something us songwriters use to express our emotions of negative things to try to make something positive and useful for others out of it. I'm an emotional singer and like to use my emotions to drive my lyrics but I can't imagine myself being able to sing that song going through what he was going through.

Amanda Overmyer has been fading to me. I didn't like her performance. She was looking down most of the time and looked like she was either distracted or trying hard to remember the lyrics. She also didn't show much emotion in her face. Her vocals sounded good but I can't rave about her like the judges did. Wish I could. :(
I hope she picks it up when she makes it to the Top 12.

Carly Smithson sounded good. I felt like she really picked it up last night and I loved her power vocals.

Kristy Lee Cook's country version of Journey's "Faithfully" was very good.
Journey is one of my all-time favorite bands and Steve Perry is one of my all-time favorite singers (but you already knew that from reading my personal bio, right?). In fact, Journey's "Escape" album is what turned me onto rock music! Before that I listened to disco and pop. Journey opened my eyes and ears to another world and the rest as they say is history. :)

I wasn't particularly wowed by Ramiele Malubay's performance but I think she is definitely headed to the Top 12.

I loved Brooke White's acoustic performance of Pat Benatar's "Love is a battlefield". It sounded like something Pat would do in concert to make the song different. Brooke definitely is showing a real artist side to her that should take her far. I disagree that the band should've come in half-way. I can see the song done like that but I really liked Brooke's interpretation of the song.

Syesha Mercado was good.

Overall, I think all the girls were good in their own ways while some were really good. Who do I expect to go home? Being that Kady was in the bottom 3 last week and that Simon trashed her again, I think she'll be going home tonight. I think Kristy is the second to go. I don't know how popular they are but I could also see Asia'h and Amanda being in danger tonight. I hope they stay though!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Semi-finals Night 3 - the guys

Final night for the guys to show their stuff and lots of stuff going around the net about 2 of the guys that made it for an interesting night. To AI's credit or discredit (depending on how you look at it), they kept the focus on the singing and didn't discuss the rumors and internet stuff going around.

Luke Menard opened the show with a not so good version of a Wham song. Simon seemed to be already tired with having to be there and give his opinion. He of course had to be give his "opinion" in Simon fashion.

David Archuleta went next and was cool to see him using the piano for his Phil Collins song "Another day in paradise" which is one of my all-time favorite songs. For those of you familiar with my Vogue's Rogues songs, my song "A view from a gutter" is inspired from this Phil Collins song. Anyway, I liked David's singing although I wasn't wowed by it as I usually am.

Danny Noriega is one of the 2 with the internet buzzing about his past YouTube rant about baby Jesus, etc. I found his performance pretty good but I wonder how the internet buzz will affect people's votes for him. I think he will definitely feel some sort of backlash for it.

David Hernandez has the internet and offices abuzz with word of him being a stripper in a gay club so who knows how this affects him votes-wise. It adds some backstory to what otherwise had been a contestant with a bland personality. Singing wise though, he was one of the best of the night.

Michael Johns didn't do anything for me with his singing last night. Seems to be trying too hard to be the next Michael Hutchence and there will only be one of those.

David Cook's rock version of Lionel Richie's "Hello" was interesting. I liked it but wasn't totally crazy about it. It was a very risky and bold song performance though.

Jason Castro was the vocal performance of the night! Jason knows his singer/songwriter style very well and he knows how to make songs work into that style. He continues to impress me. I predict that he is going to make a record company out there a lot of money after he's done with AI.

Chikezie was good. I like how he stylized his vocals to fit the song. Simon's focus on that Whitney Houston had done the song, even though Chikezie listed about 3 other performers of the song in the past and even though Whitney wasn't the original singer of this song, was just dumb. Without knowing the other versions, Simon again had an incomplete idea from which to judge his opinion on.

All in all, the guys were very good last night. I wonder how the controversies surrounding David and Danny will play out with the votes but I think in the end it won't matter on Thursday. I think Luke goes home and Chikezie.