Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you for your support in 2010!

As the year comes to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you all for all your support and love in 2010. I hope to have your continued support in the coming year! I've been hard at work on a new album and I'm really excited about it and about you all getting to hear it. I should have a first single off the album in January and the album itself should be out in early 2011.

It's been a long time between albums. TOO LONG. It's been a long journey of personal problems, distractions and tragedy but I am finally ready to get back to doing what I love. My new album is titled "El Camino Espiritual" (the Spiritual Walk) and is almost like a diary of the past few years in my life. I hope you will share in my journey through my new music. Thank you to all of you who have shown me your support in the past few years, especially through the time when my mother passed. Your support meant the world to me and really helped inspire me. I can't wait for you all to hear my album and I so look forward to getting out there and performing for you all in 2011! I can't wait to meet you all. Lots of appreciation and love for you all!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm on Facebook now! :)

For those of you that have been asking me if I'm on Facebook, I am now!! :)

My facebook fans page is

Make sure you go to my FB page and hit that LIKE button so you can follow me there and give me your support on there as you've done with MySpace. To all my Myspace friends, unlike some other artists - I am not abandoning my Myspace page nor my Myspace friends. That just isn't my style. I'll just do my best to keep up with both sites the best I can. :)

I'll be looking for you on Facebook! ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting to record finally!

I had wanted to begin recording in August but had some delays obviously. I have taken the time to upgrade my equipment, fine tune the songs and get a lot of pre-production done (including work with a label-mate). I am just about ready to get in the studio and get to work though. Am excited! Can't wait for everyone to hear the new material.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Songwriting thoughts

Practice on the new album songs is coming together and I'll be having some down time with my family in about 2 weeks before beginning recording in August! Can't wait!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Songwriting thoughts

All songwriting for my new album "El Camino Espiritual" is done! Been hard at work writing music since late May and today was the last day of songwriting. Feel very good about the songs and what they represent in relation to the album concept. I can't wait for everyone to hear it. Next up, practicing the songs and more songwriting that I'm doing for 2 other artists and then onto recording! Busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol finale - Lee wins!

Good finale tonight!! Crystal and Lee the final 2 and a night of cool performances.

All the performances got me thinking and I told my family as we all watched that I hope to not see Bret Michaels making a surprise appearance and in the very next segment there he was! It was cool to see him on the AI stage and the respect being given him, just wish he'd slow down but I gotta give props to him.

I really loved the AI alumni song with all the former Idol winners (except for David Cook) singing for Simon. Very nice!!

Janet Jackson's voice sounded so eerily similar to her brother Michael's when she came out singing her slow song. Wow.

Very cool to see that Lee won! Not feeling his U2 remake and I feel that was a lazy choice for him by whoever picks that as a finale song and debut single. I look forward to seeing what he does as an artist. A lot of this season's contestants should have nice careers ahead of them. Congrats Lee!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Songwriting thoughts

Working in the studio today on my new latin album "El camino espiritual" (the spiritual walk) and today in particular I was working on the title track. The song is about memories and loss stemming from rough times I've had in recent years and the loss of my mother.

When I write songs, they usually come from a very personal place. I am a very open book to whoever really takes the time to listen to my lyrics. I usually have an easy time writing songs because of this, because it comes from a personal place and from thoughts that I need to express. Well, I knew writing the lyrics to the title track would be hard so chose to hit this song first so that I could address all these emotions head on and use them as the foundation for my album. I knew it would be hard but I didn't expect them to hit me like a Mack truck. It had been a while since I had dealt with these emotions and had repressed them. Opening a healing wound was not pretty but necessary. It was what I needed to say and I hope everyone can feel that when they hear it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST & Celebrity Apprentice finales

Big night of TV, tonight was the finale of Lost and the finale of Celebrity Apprentice where Bret won! :)

I watched the LOST finale and taped the CA finale but flipped back and forth to see who won.

The LOST finale was very good. Turns out that a lot of fans figured it all out way back in Season 1 with their theories of purgatory. I like how they brought all the characters stories to a head and resolved many of the storylines, even though this was really all about Jack and his road to redemption. Ben's story ending was sad as he stayed behind to resolve things from his life. I believe in the idea of purgatory and I thought that LOST portrayed it sort of how I view it all so I really liked the ending and how it was all done. Am sorry to see the show end and the end of seeing some beloved characters but I am looking forward to seeing what all these actors will do in the future.

It was hard to see Bret walk out there for the finale with a bad limp. It reminded me of all he went through but his positivity shone through and he represented that and what being a good person is all about. Everyone, including his fellow finalist Holly Robinson, were all pulling for him and after showing such dedication - how could he lose? He deserved it. He did a great job. So did Holly. Congrats to them both.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why Bret why?

I just read that Bret plans on being at the Celebrity Apprentice finale :/ Dammit, I admire his dedication and drive but listening to your body and being around for your family are more important! I hope he's not pushing himself more than his body is ready for. :/

Get well Bret!

Just saw last night that Bret had suffered a warning stroke. :(

Bret Michaels has always been an Idol of mine. Just something about his style and songwriting that I relate to in a big way. "Rock of Love" in all its seasons showed me too much of Bret (lol!) but it also kept him relevant which is something for an 80s hair metal band singer in 2010! He's a survivor, along with Bon Jovi and a handful of acts from that era. Anyway, I'm pulling for him and wanting him to take it easy. I know he feels an obligation to us fans to go out and tour but I don't think there is any real fan out there who wouldn't understand if he just took some months off to be with his family. Somehow, it just doesn't seem to be in Bret's blood to sit and wait to get better. I admire his drive and ambition but I also want to admire it for years to come! My prayers are with him and his lovely family. Get well Bret!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

American Idol - the Top 3 sing to get into the finals!

Interesting night last night for American Idol. This was the top 3 singing 2 songs (artist's choice & judges choice) to help America decide who should be in the Final 2 and it didn't seem to live up to the hype of the night.

That is except for my pick for AI winner - Lee Dewyze! He was totally on with both of his songs and his confidence was at an all-time high. He had the eye of the tiger and it was very evident that he was there to lay claim to the title last night and not wait until the finals. IMO, he did it. He showed last night that he could raise his game and I think he can still raise it even more next week!

Casey took the safe route and didn't really bring anything new or unique to the table last night.

Crytal's take on Melissa Etheridge's "Come to my window" was solid but didn't compare to the original and Ellen's choice of Paul McCartney's "Baby, I'm amazed" was not only a quite interesting song choice but one that challenged Crystal vocally like no other song did all season.

All in all, I agree with the judges that Lee put himself in the finals with his performances last night. I think that Crystal will be in the final 2 with Lee next week as Casey's performance was rather lackluster BUT there is something about him that has brought him to the top 3 so it wouldn't surprise me to see Crystal go home.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol's Final 4 give it a go!

Wow, was not really expecting Aaron to go home last week. At least he went home because of Sinatra week which is nothing close to the genre he will do as an artist. Again, it was a weird category to pick with only a handful of contestants and so late in the season.

So, last night we got to see the Final 4 doing Music from the movies. Interesting category but too broad this late in the season as well, IMO. Jamie Foxx returned as a mentor and he did a real good job. I like how he challenged the contestants and I like how he put it in a plain manner to them how he would reward their performance with either receiving a "Contestant" or "Artist" t-shirt from him based on how he thought they did. I really liked that. I read that he was a name that was out there in the rumors and I think Jamie may have been doing a bit of campaigning for the soon to be open judge's chair. After last night, I think he might not be such a bad choice after all.

Lee opened the show doing a Seal song? Not sure that "Kiss from a Rose" was such a good choice and the judges were all over him after his performance. I thought he did well considering the difficulty of the song but he could've picked a better song. My oldest daughter mentioned that he could've done the Goo Goo Dolls song "Iris" from the movie "City of Angels" (one of my favorite movies!) and I must say that would've been a great choice for Lee.

Michael did an MJ song ("Will you be there") from the movie "Free Willy" and I thought he sounded great and I loved the choir and the gospel feel he brought to the song. The judges didn't like it much, thought it was too safe(?!) for him and then there was a whole impromptu skit on what "Free Willy" was about since Simon lives under a rock and never heard of the movie. Lol.

We got a real nice duet with Lee and Crystal next.

Then Casey came out with a ukelele to do a rather bland version of "Mrs. Robinson". He almost went in a Beatles like direction with it that would've made it more current sounding and much more interesting but then he went back to the bland.

Speaking of bland, Crystal did a song from "Caddyshack"(?!). Lol! At least it was a Kenny Loggins song but I didn't agree with Ellen that it was better than the original. It once again was very coffeehouse-ish to me. She is what she is and she doesn't look to deviate much from that at this point.

We got another duet with Michael and Casey that was real good too.

I think the bottom 2 will be Casey and Michael and I would think that Casey gets sent home as the Top 3 gets set.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

American Idol takes on Sinatra?

Still not happy that Siobhan was sent home last week. So my full rooting for Lee begins! :)

This week we had Sinatra week with Harry Connick, Jr as the mentor. He was very good as mentor - the most well prepared and helpful mentor that has been on the show. He also was very involved with the overall show's performances by playing and supplying musicians from his band. Very cool. I really don't get having Sinatra week this late in the season since it really doesn't show us anything that they are going to be doing as artists, which is something they've been stressing all season - especially Kara.

Aaron went first and I thought he did a good job. Casey on the other hand was way out of his comfort zone and looked real stiff.

Crystal did a nice job but once again decided to get mouthy after receiving less than favorable critique. She would be better served being quiet and listening to the constructive critiques that she is getting from judges that like her. She is showing that she's not as open-minded as she should be and that she will need to have any sort of commercial success.

Michael did a real nice job and Lee ended the show with a confidant and strong performance.

I think the bottom 3 will be Casey, Aaron and it should be Crystal who needs a little humbling but I wouldn't be surprised to see Michael in the bottom 3 since he's been there before. Either way, I think Casey goes home today.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

American Idol - Siobhan goes home :(

The bottom 3 was Casey, Michael and Siobhan and Siobhan went home :(

I don't agree with the result. I totally think America got this one wrong. I'm sad to see her go. The show has lost a bit of its spark with her loss and lord knows the show needs it this season. I totally look forward to seeing what Siobhan does in the future. Pretty much more than anyone on the show except for Lee. The girl is talented and has a very bright future ahead of her. Onward and upward Siobhan!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

American Idol does Shania songs!

I was wrong. I admit it. They voted someone off last week during inspirational week?! I was very surprised and even more surprised to see it was Tim who finally got sent home. It had been long coming but it holds true to past Idol shows when someone who keeps slipping by even though they have sub-par performances finally gets sent home when they actually hit their stride and start doing better and the judges start praising them a bit. I think the judges employ a bit of reverse psychology on America when they want someone they feel is undeserving to go home. Interesting to watch really.

Well, this week was Shania week and while I thought they were going to do country songs, instead it was only Shania songs... which is not a bad thing at all. She was a decent mentor in the advice she gave the contestants.

Lee opened the show and he did a pretty good version of "Still the one". It took him a bit to get into the groove of the song and what he wanted to do with it though. The judges really liked it though. In fact, everyone was pretty darn good this week!

Michael was solid with his song. Casey stripped everything down to an acoustic performance and I think it was his best performance to date.

Crystal's performance again suffered from more of that coffe-house sameness. Even Simon had to make the coffee-house reference finally. Nice to see Simon not praising Crystal for once. Her comments back to the judges that sometimes smaller is better sounded to me as if she was being defiant to their advice/critique and trying to educate them? Really now Crystal? This was the first time that I saw her sounding close minded to trying to make her sound more accesible. I think she really needs to start thinking about that because she is really limiting her potential by only wanting to play/sound folksy but then again, maybe that's all she wants. Either way, it was a rather bland performance.

Aaron was in his element and soared to the heights he failed to reach last week. One of his best performances to date.

Siobhan closed out the show with "Any man of mine" and it started off a bit weak but ended strong.

All in all, everyone did well for what they do. This was a show where everyone's individual style shone through. Picking a bottom 3 from last night is difficult. I say the bottom 3 will be Michael, Crystal and Casey with Michael going home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idol gets inspired!

So, I was 2 for 2 last week. Have been pretty good this season with picking who's in danger and who goes home but I'm not tooting my own horn (toot, toot!), it just has been rather obvious week to week who should go home, ahem... except for Tim. o_O

This week is inspirational song week with Alicia keys as the mentor. Alicia was ok as a mentor. We didn't really get to see or hear too much from her. What got more of Lambert last week. What's up with that?

Casey went first and did an ok version of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't stop". His voice didn't seem in sync with the music until the choruses. I was more impressed that he was actually playing with one of Lindsey Buckingham's actual guitars than with Casey's performance.

Lee went next and was very good in his performance of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer". His best performance to date.

Tim did yet another emo/folk version of another song, this time the Goo Goo Dolls "Better Days" which is a favorite song of mine.

Aaron Kelly did R. Kelly?! While Aaron thought he could fly with his song choice, I don't think he got off the ground with it until the very end. Why didn't he do a Garth Brooks song? Garth has plenty of songs with inspirational messages. Same for Keith Urban. So many better options than what he picked.

Siobhan took on Mariah & Whitney's "When you believe" and I thought she did a really good job of hitting some crazy notes effortlessly. The judges didn't seem too impressed by her and Kara said that while she was technically very good that she didn't see who she is an artist. Isn't this a singing competition? So shouldn't a very good technical performance on a hard song be praised? The judges are giving too much conflicting advice this season. Simon didn't and won't like anything Siobhan does because he wants Crystal to win (he has stated she is his pick) and Siobhan is clearly a threat. So is Lee. I like that Siobhan didn't look upset by the critique and instead stood up for herself but she needs to work on getting her thoughts out faster and more clearly. She sounded a little too Paula-ish last night while explaining herself.

Michael did "Hero" and I think that was a real bad song choice for him vocally. It just didn't work. Simon sometimes seems to have no clue though. He said the song was about Spiderman?! DOH!!!

Crystal ended the show with a really solid performance. It just seems a bit too similar to everything else she does though and I'm rather skeptical of the tears. Alicia had told Aaron that if he got to the point of tears by the end of his song that he could bring it to another level but it was Crystal who had the last song on the show who did so. These contestants are competitors and being on last is an advantage as you are the last impression on the audience before the show ends, ending it with tears makes it a talking point and plays to the viewers sensitivities. She said she was overcome because her Dad was there for the first time but this is a girl who has stated she has performed around the world so I'm sure he's been to her shows before. Then when they showed the highlights with the phone numbers again, they replaced her ending in tears with a clip from rehearsal I would assume because she was not crying at song's end. I hate to be skeptical, I really do... especially when it comes to performances but it just seemed too out of character (she's been criticized for being too stoic and standoffish in the past, even Simon made a comment regarding this at the end of the song) and too coincidental with the Alicia Keys advice to Aaron Kelly earlier in the show. Anyway, it was a solid performance nonetheless.

So who goes home? No one! It's "Idol Gives Back" week and no one ever goes home during that week. It would be the wrong message to send, now wouldn't it? Let's talk inspiration but kill a contestant's dream this week. Talk about mood killer. Should be a good "Idol Gives Back" show tonight.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

American Idol does Elvis!

Interesting show last night. Idol alum Adam Lambert was the mentor. First Miley, now Adam, who's next Justin Bieber? LOL. All in all though, Adam did a good job giving advice and pushing the contestants to challenge themselves.

With it being a double elimination week, the pressure was on. It was Elvis week! While Elvis may seem like an easy choice of music to do - Elvis' versatility, talent and presence still somehow comes through on the songs. The songs speak and show Elvis' range and talent in a way that no written word can.

Crystal went first and I've just lost my connection to her. Her performances seem the same and I'm not seeing the growth or potential in what she brings as an artist. She is good, no doubt, but I just can't see her singing out of her niche into an area where she will sell lots of records or fully go mainstream.

Andrew went next and did "Hound Dog" and his voice sounded thin and I found the performance rather dull. I don't know if its the arrangements but a good singer can overcome that and he just hasn't been rising to the occassion. I've been complaining about the arrangements and that they should get a new house band or house band leader and I may just get my wish as I heard House band leader Ricky Minor will be headed over to the Tonight Show to take over for the departing Kevin Eubanks. Can't say I'll miss Minor but I will miss Kevin! Lol!

Tim did a good job singing "Can't help falling in love with you". I think the Emo/folksy vibe might just be his thing! :D

Lee did a very good job with his song and I think he was the best of the night. It was good to see him smiling. He has a good smile that can get him a lot of votes! Lee needs to work the smile! Lol!

Aaron tried to sound Elvis-y on his version of "Blue Suede Shoes" but the song cast too big a shadow on little Aaron.

Siobhan's version of "Suspicious minds" was good but she's been better.

Michael was very solid with his song performance.

Katie sounded good with her song vocals but her performing still leaves me flat and unmoved. That's not a good thing.

Casey's song was very good. I really think he will be an interesting country or blues rock artist. I'm very interested to see what direction he goes in as an artist.

2 going home tonight so I will say that the bottom 3 (will there be a bottom 3?) will be... on second thought I'll just say the two that I think will go home - Andrew and Katie with Aaron in trouble as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Big news coming! Sign up for my mailing list!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

American Idol - the save gets used!

A very interesting results show tonight! America sure is shaking things up this season! Lol!

Ryan promised that the results would be surprising and they were! Little Aaron, Big Mike and Andrew were the bottom 3!

I was surprised by Aaron and less so by Michael who has seemed to be a little too confident since the show started and more as the show has gone on. Andrew didn't surprise me. He's been coasting for too long.

Michael was the one in jeopardy and with his wife in tears in the audience, the judges decided to use the one save of the season. Michael gets a scare and a reprieve. Very interesting show! Double elimination next week!

American Idol does Lennon & McCartney

Top 9 went last night and did Lennon & McCartney songs. It promised to be an interesting show for sure. There was no mentor last night so the contestants were left on their own to work out these classics. I must say that I expected a few bad performances but I think everyone did a nice to very good job.

Aaron came out first and did a rather sleepy (as Randy put it) version of the "Long and winding road". I agree with Randy that the arrangement wasn't very good. I've been complaining about the band and their arrangements all season. Their lackluster arrangements and performances are hurting the contestants performances a lot IMO.

Katie picked "Let it be", an all-time classic and I was expecting it to be a trainwreck of sorts but not only did she sound great but I believe she had her moment last night with that performance. Everything about it was great. Kudos to Katie!

Andrew did "Can't buy me love" while playing guitar. Randy thought the arrangement (once again!! GR!!!!) overpowered what he was trying to do and Simon thought it came across as cheesy. I thought it was pretty darn good though. Andrew sang it nice and looked like he was having fun up there. Good to see.

Michael did a solid version of "Eleanor Rigby".

Crystal did "Come together" while a guy played along on a didgeroo? I found out her performance very coffeehouse-ish.

Tim did a decent version of "All my loving". Casey did a good version of Lennon's "Jealous Sky".

Siobhan turned the vocals down and did a very sweet sounding version of "Across the universe".

Lee ended the show with a rather pitchy but high energy version of "Hey Jude". I liked it.

REALLY hard to pick a bottom 3 which I wouldn't have thought. Knowing the category if you would've asked me before the show, I would've said the bottom 3 would be Tim, Katie and someone else but after hearing them its real hard to pick 3. I will say that Tim will be in the bottom 3 and I'll also pick Andrew and Aaron. Since I'm not even sure that will be the bottom 3, its hard to say who will go home but I will pick Tim (he's gotta go sometime doesn't he? LOL!).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol - Didi goes home

I was 3 for 3 in who I thought would go home. Tim, Katie and Didi. In the end, Didi's song choice did her in. I really am a fan of Didi and hope to see her do something good in the future. I'll be looking forward to it!

American Idol does Soul / R&B

American Idol did Soul / R&B last night with Usher as the mentor. Before I go onto my thoughts about the show, I want to comment on Usher. He was absolutely hands down the best mentor I've seen on this show. He challenged the contestants, gave them great advice and taught them how to focus on things to up their performances. I really thought he gave great advice that not only would help the contestants but any aspiring singers watching the show. Can't wait to see him perform tonight!

Onto the show, this genre of music would seem to favor some contestants and not favor a lot of them but for the most part the contestants did surprising well.

Siobhan opened the show with Chaka Khan's amazing "Through the fire", definitely a challenging song. Siobhan has the voice to do it. She didn't do it well though. Maybe because of the time constraint of the song and really just having to jump into the big parts right away or maybe she didn't have enough time to rehearse it to get it right. I don't know what went wrong but it was disappointing and was sad to see her devestated by the critique. I don't think she's ever sung anything bad in her life and the critique seemed to sting her. She'll learn from this and she'll be back strong though. Simon must've been happy to see his threat to Crystal winning stumble a little. He better enjoy last night because she won't stumble again!

Casey went next and did a really good version of "Hold on I'm coming". Same for Michael with his acoustic version of "Ready for love".

Didi was up next and did "What becomes of the broken hearted" and she just never seemed to connect to the song with her vocals even though we saw in the video package that she has a deep emotional connection to the song. Maybe that worked against her? Whatever it was, she just didn't sound good singing it. Ryan, perhaps in an attempt to garner her some sympathy votes, tried to get her to disclose why this song was so personal to her but she wouldn't bite and disclose anything. Good for her. It may hurt her but I'm glad she stuck to her guns on that.

Tim went next and we got this whole mini-interview with Ryan about how he is Teflon Tim who just keeps on despite the criticisms. He picked an Anita Baker classic and surprisingly didn't murder it. It was boring but otherwise solid. After the judges gave their critique, Simon joked that it didn't matter what they said because he would still get the votes. Grrr! :/

Andrew finally showed his potential by doing an acoustic version of Chris Brown's "Forever".

Katie did Aretha's "Chain of fools" and while she sang it well, her performing of it was rather emotionless except for the side to side head bob she kept doing.

Lee rocked on "Treat her like a lady". Sounded great! I could definitely see that recorded now and sounding contemporary.

Crystal did Gladys Knight's "Midnight train to Georgia" on piano and then got up to and stood before us and did a strong performance to finish it off. I used to be a huge Gladys Knight fan growing up and that song is one of my all time faves so it was nice to see it done so well. I don't agree with Simon telling Crystal to not change because her folky coffeehouse-ish style is unique. I think that in showing more versatility and the ability to command the stage without the guitar would make her even more unique and showcase her true overall talent even more.

Aaron finished the show with a good version of "Ain't no sunshine".

Its hard to find 3 for the bottom 3 but I will say Didi is definitely in danger, along with Tim and I'll say Katie. I think Siobhan will get a pass this week, at least I hope to not see her in the bottom 3. Although Tim shouldn't be there, I think we'll see Didi go home :(

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goodbye to a wrestling legend! Thanks HBK!

I'm a big lifelong pro wrestling fan, especially of the WWE. So are my daughters, they were raised on 80s rock, pro wrestling, baseball and now NASCAR. All favorites of mine of course! Lol. I know a lot of people don't like or get wrestling but I really admire these athletes who put their bodies and lives on the line every night for our entertainment.

Yesterday was WrestleMania 26 and we got a great match with the phenom Undertaker against the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Great match with great storytelling in the ring. Undertaker is undefeated in WrestleMania with a 17-0 record and though Shawn came close last year, he wasn't able to stop the streak. An obsessed HBK challenged Undertaker and Taker agreed under the condition that if HBK lost, his career would be over. HBK said if he couldn't beat Taker it wouldn't matter. Shawn lost in a touching ending in which he basically told Taker to end his career because he had no fight left. It was a great and touching WrestleMania moment to see the crowd show their appreciation to HBK as he left the ring.

Tonight we got to hear Shawn's farewell speech on RAW to end the show. It's quite an accomplishment in wrestling to have a 25 year career and retire on your own terms. HBK gave the adoring crowd a wonderful, heartfelt speech that brought tears to my eyes. (Hey, I told you I'm a big wrestling fan!) The crowd showered him with nice chants and HBK replied to their chants. It was a great moment for a great wrestler with a legendary career.

I hope Shawn has a great rest of his life with his loved ones. He's earned it. Thank you for the memories Shawn. It's been a blast!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idol - 1 goes home, the Top 10 are set

I was 3 for 3 with my picks! Paige, Tim and Katie were in the bottom 3. Katie got saved first and then it was between Paige and Tim. Paige was picked to go home. The judges have a "save" vote that they can use to save someone that they think America have gotten wrong and Simon (rather rudely and insensitively) informed Paige she was going home because they wouldn't save her.

Its a shame because she is a very good singer but her song choices definitely did her in. She almost seemed overwhelmed by the process. I wish her well and hope she can find someone that can help her make the right song choices for her voice.

American Idol do #1s in week 2

Interesting show last night. The Idols do #1 songs. It should've been good, could've been good... it just wasn't with a few exceptions.

Miley Cyrus was the mentor and she's not a bad choice considering her experience recording, performing and being on the charts. However, some of her advice like understand your fans, etc. sounded hollow in light of recent comments by her that she doesn't understand her fans, doesn't like country music, etc. I'm not sure how much of her advice the Idols actually followed but she seemed happy to be there and they seemed happy to meet her so that's all that matters.

Lee went first and did a very bluesy and cool version of "The letter" by the Boxtops. An old song for sure but I thought he made it sound good. Very Huey Lewis and the News, which is funny because Casey did a Huey Lewis song that I thought failed to connect, match or surpass the original.

Paige went next and her song was Phil Collins "Against all odds" and it was a disaster!! One of the worst performances ever on the Top 12 stage and that's saying a lot! She is sooooo much better than that and I really felt for her. She seemed lost up there. She's probably going home today considering she was in the bottom 3 last week.

One disaster followed by another potential disaster with Tim performing Queen's "Crazy little thing called love". I recorded this song and tried to make it a fun irreverent over the top vocal when I did it and I have mixed feelings on whether or not I achieved that, its just a hard song to do right. Tim tried to do the same thing and although it could've been much worse, it was ok for what he was trying to do.

Aaron was battling laryngitis but did a decent job tackling Aerosmith's "I don't want to miss a thing".

Crystal was next and did Janis Joplin which I felt was very typical and what one would expect her to do. She also pretty much performed it like I thought she would and didn't find it very contemporary at all. If the judges got on Lee for not sounding contemporary with his song choice then they should've gotten on Crystal as well. Very coffeehouse-ish song choice and performance. When getting critiqued she intimated that we'll see her sans the guitar next week so I'm looking forward to that. Looking forward to something a little different and less indie from her.

Michael did a decent albeit a bit loungy version of "When a man loves a woman".

Andrew did "I heard it through the grapevine" and he sounded good vocally but his performing of it and the wayhe attacked the lyrics and phrased things was a bit on the frenetic side. He continues to underwhelm me. Very disappointing.

Katie picked what should've been a perfect song for her voice in doing Fergie's "Big girls don't cry" but I don't know what it is with her voice that just doesn't connect well. Her tone never seems to find a groove or have any excitement to it. I keep hoping she does well but she also continues to underwhelm me.

Casey did Huey Lewis' "The power of love" and while it was decent, it just failed to have the excitement and attack of the original IMO. Kara though was overboard in her praise of what was just a decent performance. She has come down with a bit of Paula-itis lately. LOL.

Didi did a very sultry Pussycats Doll style version of Linda Ronstadt's "You're no good". I got what she was trying to do and thought she succeeded in showing a different sexier side. The judges however were mixed on it.

The fearless Siobhan ended the show with her take on a Stevie Wonder classic. She rocked it of course and was the best performance of the night IMO. Simon, who seems intent on pushing Crystal, said it wasn't so good and that he didn't like her screaming. Funny how they never complained about Adam Lambert screaming on every song last season. Just Simon showing his favoritism to Crystal and he knows that Siobhan is a very clear and present danger to Crystal winning. I liked Siobhan's comeback that she loves the high notes and wishes she could have a song of just high notes! Fearless!

I think its clear that Paige will go home tonight but in the bottom 3 with her will be Tim and Katie or Didi.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idol - Wk. 1 elimination

Elimination night and we got to see Orianthi and Ke$ha do their thing on stage.

We had Paige Miles, Tim Urban and Lacey Brown as the 3 contestants in jeopardy. Tim got the save? I don't get it, don't see the infatuation with him and have heard that he's the one is pushing this season so that may account for the votes he's getting. Paige shouldn't even be in this group. Unfortunately, Lacey's lack of experience caught up to her and she was sent home but she went out with class and a great attitude. I will miss her amazing eyes and wonderful smile and wish her nothing but the best. I hope to hear more from her in the future.

American Idol does the Rolling Stones!

First night of the main event with the Top 12 and they get to do Rolling Stones songs! I was expecting it to be an interesting night and hoping to get some "satisfaction" from the Idol hopefuls!

Michael kicked it off with a good version of "Miss you". Good way to start the show. Simon tried to get snide with his comments to Michael and Ryan marched right up to him and told him to give constructive criticism and you know what? It seems that either Simon had asked Ryan to call him out and remind him not to be so mean or what Ryan made something in Simon click because the rest of the night Simon was very good with his advice. Kudos to Ryan!! You can't see it but I'm giving Ryan a standing ovation for that! LOL!

Didi came next and did "Play with fire" and though the arrangement was rather boring, she showed some strong vocals on that song. Is it just me or have the arrangments of the songs been rather blah this season? Maybe its time for a new house band or new house band leader? I don't know, even the background singers sound off on certain parts. What is going on this season?

Anyway, Casey was next and he came out playing guitar. Solid performance.

Lacey was a bit tentative with her vocals in the first half of the song but sounded real good for the second half. I agree with Ellen in that it was weird that she was standing for the slow part but sat down for the fast part. I also agree that she's thinking way too much out there and overplanning her performance instead of letting it be spontaneous. Her video package before her performance told the real story though, as her Dad said that she doesn't have much performing experience other than in church. Well, she's getting quite the education now! She'll be a better performer for it.

Andrew came next and while he sounded decent and better than he has in recent weeks, his voice just sounds so thin. Hard to overcome that. He has to choose his songs carefully. Still, it was a decent performance.

Katie, hmmm... I really like her but her voice always sounds a bit dark and it throws off the whole sound of the song. Then again those arrangements don't help.

Tim did "Under my thumb" as a reggae song which might work if it was The Police doing that with Sting singing it but not with Tim and that horrible house band. Not good.

Thank God Siobhan came next and quickly made us forget Tim and his performance. Siobhan has jumped to front-runner status in my book. This girl is fearless and not afraid to perform or belt out the big notes. Loved her version of "Paint it black", love her!

Lee did a solid performance but he'll need to pick it up to stand out.

Very good performance by Paige. Her strong vocals were on full display.

Wasn't crazy about Aaron's performance but again, the arrangement was rather boring and brought down the song.

Crystal's performance of "You can't always get what you want" was very coffee-house-ish. It wasn't end the show worthy. She'll need to pick it up, that indie cool vibe will only take her so far.

All in all, the Idols did a good job tackling the Rolling Stones. Siobhan had the standout performance. I think Andrew, Katie and Tim are in danger but if there's any justice - Tim should be going home.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Today marks the beginning of a rough week for my family and I as Sunday March 21 marks the 1 year anniversary of my mother's passing.

Although I am largely at peace with her passing and know and feel that she is watching over us and in a better place, a week like this week brings back a ton of memories from a year ago and that is still rough to deal with. For instance, a year ago today was the last time I spoke to my mom before she went into cardiac arrest and then into a coma the next day.

They say time heals all and it has healed a lot but this is the first year still and this is still a milestone that is hard to deal with. I just want to thank all my friends and fans for the support you've shown because it does help and it is very appreciated.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

American Idol - the Top 12 revealed!

Ryan opened the show by telling us 2 important things, that we might see some surprising eliminations and that next week's Idol will feature music from the Rolling Stones! Very cool!

The first shocker of the night came in the form of eliminated contestant Katelyn Epperly who I thought might be in danger based on her Tuesday night performance. The other girl to go home was the way cool Lilly Scott who I also feared might go home based on her kind of out there performance on Tuesday night. Katie and Paige made it!

On the guys side, we saw Todrick Hall eliminated and although the final 2 were Andrew Garcia and Alex Lambert, Alex was the one that was eliminated in a very emotional elimination for the contestants. It seems this bunch of contestants are very close knit which is good to see.

Interesting voting by America. Looks like its going to be a real interesting season for AI based on some of the voting we've seen so far.

American Idol - guys last chance to make the Top 12

This was it, the guys last chance to make the Top 12. Who would sink? Who would swim?

Lee Dewyze opened the show and he did Owl City's "Fireflies"? Not exactly a song that showcases vocals and even though he tried to make it a little more rock, there wasn't much he could do with it.

Alex Lambert was up next and this kid has grown in the past few weeks like no one else. There is a special tone and quality to his voice that is way beyond his years. If he can just get his experience and performing to match, watch out! Very good vocal performance.

Tim Urban came next and he did Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah". I love this song and I was scared he was going to butcher it but he nailed it and had his best performance of the season!

Andrew Garcia was up next and he continues to disappoint with his song choice and vocal performance, this time doing Christina's "Genie in a bottle"? Really? When I heard he was going to do Christina before they went to commercial, I was hoping he'd do "Beautiful" or "The Voice Within", never did I think he would do "Genie in a bottle"! Not good.

Casey James was next and he did a decent performance of Keith Urban's "You'll think of me". I'm a big Keith Urban fan and he did the song justice somewhat.

Aaron Kelly had a pitchy performance of LoneStar's "I'm already there". Kara got on him for not being able to live those lyrics and Simon finally had to stop Kara from saying this to the contestants to which I agree. You don't always have to have lived your lyrics to be able to sing them. As Aaron defended himself, yes... you can sing the song as a story with you being the storyteller. Good for Aaron and good for Simon for hopefully putting an end to Kara's misguided rants about that. Simon was in a particularly positive and helpful critiquing mood. Nice to finally see one night of that from him! Could it be he's happier now with his recently announced engagement? Could it be that Jay Leno chastised him the other night for being so mean to the contestants, using Simon's harsh critique of Haeley Vaughn for reference? Simon even admitted to Leno that he watches the show later and wishes he could take back things he said. Could it be he's just trying to be nicer to get audiences to like him more and watch his X Factor show? Or maybe it was just an aberration for the night, a temporary night of saneness for Simon? LOL! Nonetheless, it was real nice to see.

Todrick Hall did Queen's "Somebody to love" and being a big Queen fan, I was hoping he wouldn't butcher the song and he didn't. It wasn't great but at least he performed to the song and gave it energy. Nice to see on a show where everyone was a bit boring.

Michael Lynche finished the show with a very good vocal performance that brought Kara to tears?!

If I have to pick 2 to go home, I would say the 2 that would go home are Todrick Hall and Andrew Garcia.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol - girls last chance to make the Top 12

Big night for the final 8 girls. This is the make it night for 6, break it night for 2. Who will be the 2?

Katie Stevens went first and did Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway". Why take on Kelly Clarkson with everything on the line? She listened to the judges who wanted her to do something younger and more current. She did that but then they felt like they still don't know what type of artist she wants to be? This is a singing show and we find that along the way. You can't ask that question at this point and then throw theme nights at them that have nothing to do with the artists they are going to be. Regardless, her vocals weren't on point and she seemed to be thinking too much up there instead of just letting loose with the vocals as she needed to.

Still loving Siobhan Magnus! I just love her style, quirkiness, stage presence and those vocals of hers are outstanding. She can make it to the end and has the cute type of personality that could make her very popular. Watch out for her!

Lacey Brown's performance was very good and she definitely brought her best yesterday. She may have just put herself into the top 12.

Katelyn Epperly did Carole King's "I feel the Earth move" while playing behind a small synth piano on stage and I agree with the judges that it seemed like she was playing at a party instead of singing to get into the top 12. Weird choice of song too.

Didi Benami was back last night! I liked her emotional singing and what she did with the song although it was rather slow paced. Too many ballads tonight!

Paige Miles did "Smile" and it did sound as if she was having a hard time with it. We found out that she was rather emotional singing that song since she's such a big MJ fan. I can understand that since that was MJ's favorite song. I still think she sounded ok and not as bad as the judges made it out to sound.

Crystal Bowersox rocked Tracy Chapman's "Give me one reason". Her vocals were so clear and strong. Loved it.

Lilly Scott ended the show with a weird song choice of a Patsy Cline song and I just don't see how that played into showing what type of artist she is going to be (the judges theme of the night). She sang it well but I just didn't get it. Simon thought it was a weird choice especially on a night where she needed to bring it.

I think the girls overall were very solid with some really good performances. If I had to pick out 2 to go home, I would say that Paige Miles is one and the other would be from Katie Stevens, Katelyn Epperly or Lacey Brown (though I think Lacey is safe). Let's see what the guys bring tonight. Hopefully its more than they've brought the past 2 weeks.a

Friday, March 5, 2010

American Idol - 4 more go home

Well, last night we saw 4 more go home - John Park who went out with a great attitude and with much better vocals than Tim Urban who survived another elimination night.

Jermaine Sellers was sent packing as I figured he would be with his mouthiness and over-confidence. He talks a good game about being humble but doesn't follow it through. Hopefully this teaches him something as he has talent but needs to bring down the ego down a bunch of notches.

Michelle Delamour went home. I was going to say that I thought she should go home but I thought that she would get by on image and on the judges recommendations. I'm glad America saw through the judges and made their vote known. Michelle is good but not as good as others. I think we'll hear more from her in the future.

Then there was the emotional elimination of Haeley Vaughn. Could that have been any harder to sing the lyrics of "The Climb" while being eliminated? Poor girl. She seemed to be really loved by the other contestants as they all were very emotional with her elimination. How could you not like Haeley and her perpetual smile? I wish she lived closer to NY to be signed to my label! I wish her the best. I hope she gets teh vocal training she needs and we get to see her again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

American Idol - the top 10 girls are back!

Was looking forward to the show last night. Was expecting the girls to really be on their game and I wasn't disappointed. I was following the Crystal Bowersox through Ryan's twitter and was hoping that she would be there and not be disqualified because of her health issue. From what I read, there was an online article speculating that Crystal's health problem was related to her diabetes which she's been hospitalized for in the past and which she's suffered from since age 6. I was real happy to see that she was there!

Crystal went first and though she looked tired, her voice sounded great. I was very impressed that she could sound like that having spent the day before in the hospital and obviously having at least one less practice than the other girls did. But this girl is a true artist and she was confident and prepared. Simon was very impressed.

Haeley Vaughn went next and I thought she sounded good, although her lisp was interfering with the clearness of certain notes. I liked the way she did embellishments and ad libs to Miley's "The Climb" and I found it a very current song for her. The judges however didn't like it finding it pitchy (the lisp thing), her not connecting with the song(?!) and that she still needs vocal training (I agree). Simon of course had to pile on and be stupid after starting off his critique by saying he didn't want to make it worse. Guess its hard for rudeness to control itself. :/

Lacey Brown was next and she took Kara's advice to do Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss me" and as soon as I heard Lacey singing it I thought it was a bad choice. When did the judges suddenly get into giving the contestants songs to do at this early part of the show? She sounded decent but IMO, the song did nothing for Lacey and I found that she imitated it too much. I hope Lacey can get it together next week, if she makes it.

Katie Stevens sounded solid although I found the arrangement and her singing rather boring for the first part of the song. She has a much better voice than that. The judges expressed the same frustation with her.

Didi Benami did "Lean on me"? Why? This girl has it all, the looks, the voice and performing skill but she makes bad song choices for her voice. She sang it well but it certainly wasn't anything to write home about. Hopefully she also can get it together if she gets a chance to come back next week.

Michelle Delamor was next and she decided that she was going to do a Creed song?! I didn't like the arrangement at all. She sang it well and Kara said she loved and bought it. Simon said he liked it too. I think he just sees her look and thinks Leona Lewis 2.0 and that she'll be a good looking singer for the show but I just don't see her voice being in that league. She was my least favorite performance of the night.

Lilly Scott is flat out cool. Love her vibe, love her look, love her vocals. She definitely has that IT factor. Kara made an interesting point about her (which can apply to Crystal Bowersox as well) that she can be a game-changer as to the type of artists (indie style singer-songwriters) that would consider auditioning for Idol in the future based on the opportunity she is opening for them with her good performances that are making the judges rave about her.

Katelyn Epperly did Coldplay's "The Scientist" on piano and sounded real good despite the extra slow arrangement that the judges weren't too crazy about, they did like her vocals though.

Paige Miles did a really cool version of Kelly Clarkson's "Walk away". Her vocals were good although some of the higher notes thinned out. Ellen loved it but Simon didn't.

Siobhan Magnus! I love this girl! I love her quirkiness, her down to earth attitude and this girl can sing!! She's fearless too! Took on an Aretha song and rocked it out and hit an amazing high note that was a great last impression to end the show.

The girls rocked it out last night. They definitely showed that they were back and ready this time. Good show! Too bad, the girls can't take up some of the guys spots as the guys may have a hard time finding 6 good singers to make the Top 12 the way they are going.

Hard to pick 2 to go home from last night but since 2 will go home, I will say that Haeley Vaughn and Lacey Brown will go home, with Didi also in danger :(

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

American Idol - the Top 10 guys sing

Its that time of the week, AI! Tonight, we were expecting the top 10 girls and we were thrown a curveball when the show opened with the guys standing before us! Wasn't expecting that! If I would've gone on Twitter ( earlier today, I would've seen that Ryan (who I follow) had given a heads up about the guys singing tonight in one of his tweets because Crystal Bowersox had to be taken to the hospital earlier in the day and couldn't perform :( OK, so the guys got a curveball thrown at them, I wanted to see how they responded and if any of them could hit it out of the park. While no one hit it out of the park, there were definitely some line drives in the right direction and definitely a different ballgame from last week. Sorry for all the baseball references, just excited about baseball season finally getting underway in spring training. Let's go Mets! Yeah, Mets! I know, I know but I'm a diehard Mets fan so gotta root for them! :)

The show started with Michael Lynche who did a solid version of a James Brown song.

John Park was next and he was much better than last week. Solid performance. Simon said it was forgettable but compared to some of the performances tonight, John's was very solid in comparison.

Casey James went up next and did a Gavin Degraw song while he played some electric guitar which was cool. I do have to agree with Ellen though that he sings very stiffly and at times looks awkward up there for some reason.

Alex Lambert was up next and his video package showed us that he's just a scared kid up there because of his lack of experience. That's important for the viewers to know. A lot of this season's performers have little experience and it shows. Does that make the show better because its truer to its roots or should this show be for those ready to take that step to being signed? I go with the latter just because of the nature of what the show is geared to, to a record contract but it is cool to see singers with little experience getting this type of platform to show their stuff and grow. Alex certainly grew from his experience last week and showed much more confidence and a little more personality while singing. Could that have been because he had the security of singing from behind a guitar while seated? Could be. Regardless, he does have a real nice voice. He will learn a lot about performing and about himself from his time on the show.

Todrick Hall did yet another out there song choice and performance, this time with Tina Turner?! Is he that scared to do a guy's song? He mentioned not wanting to be compared to the original singers as his reason for his song choices but considering that he is a singer/dancer, I think he would best be suited trying to do songs from singer/performers like Usher, Neyo and even Michael Jackson although he is nowhere near their level. Maybe that's what holds him back. Nonetheless, it was another bad performance.

Same for Jermaine Sellers. While he does rocks the onezie as he put it and that was hilarious, his singing is all over the place and over the top. He's also very mouthy with the judges and seems very over-confident. Funny that he mentioned that's how its done in church since I read somewhere that he was on a BET channel reality show looking for gospel singers and didn't make it so it seems he doesn't have the singing thing quite as figured out as he thinks. Being an emotional type singer myself, I agree with Kara that he's picking good songs but killing them as he's just going off instead of focusing on the message of the lyrics and letting those emotions show.

Andrew Garcia has been a huge disappointment so far. Not a bad song choice but his voice sounded so thin singing it. No power, barely any emotion, no real charisma, where has Andrew gone? Where is the guy that dazzled with that amazing Paula Abdul rendition? He's gone from front-runner to also ran and I think he might not even make it with how he's going. Wherefore art thou Andrew?

Aaron Kelly just keeps doing solid performances. He's definitely a contender. With better song choices and a little more experience and confidence (which he'll get on the show), he can go far!

Tim Urban had a chance to make up for last week's mess and while he did sound slightly better, it was still a sub-par performance. He needs to find a groove for his voice. The judges like his look but get put off by his singing. Ellen once again offered her harshest criticism to him. Simon gave him a confidence boost by saying he disagreed with the other 3 judges and liked his voice. Nice touch by Simon.

Lee Dewyze went last and had an excellent song choice doing Hinder's "Lips of an angel". While he was a bit pitchy, doing rock is not about technique and he does rock well. Best singer of the night. Still needs to work on his performing though as he was called out on it and admitted that he wasn't as comfortable in front of a mic stand as he is singing from behind a guitar.

All in all, the guys were waaaaaaaaaaay better than last week. My choices for bottom 2 are Todrick Hall and Jermaine Sellers with Tim Urban also in the mix.

A bittersweet day

Feeling a bit melancholy and quiet today. One year ago was one of the proudest moments of my life (right up there with the births of my daughters and my wedding day). One year ago I got to bring my mom home after spending months in the hospital and physical therapy rehab to get her strength and health back. It was a proud moment for me to see her back in her own house and I'll always remember how appreciative she was for my having been there. 19 days later though she passed away and that's why this day is bittersweet. I'll always treasure the memory (and all the other memories as well of course!) and it will always bring a bittersweet smile to my heart.

Friday, February 26, 2010

American Idol - Top 24 eliminations

The night began with an over the top dramatic moment by Ryan letting us know that 4 would be going home. I was hoping that it wouldn't be any of my favorites but you never know with Idol. I must say though that we were so underwhelmed by the singing this week that we didn't vote not even once which is a rarity in our house.

Well, I was 1 for 4 and was not happy with America's voting! I think 2 of the eliminated contestants should've made it to see another week.

First up we had a final 2 in the first row of Janell Wheeler and Katie Stevens. I was shocked that Janell was even in the bottom 2, let alone eliminated. Sure, she did a weak version of the Heart song but she showed in Hollywood that she could sing. She just didn't bring it and it cost her. Sad to see her go. Haeley should've been in the bottom 2 but it looks like America likes her which is not a bad thing since I do too. Janell sang the Heart song as her swan song and sounded really good! Darn it! If only she had sounded like that on Tuesday!

Next up we got to see Allison Iraheta return and do her latest single "Scars". She looked and sounded great.

Back to the girls eliminations! Lacey makes it through?! OK. Ashley Rodriguez and Didi Benami in the final 2 for the bottom row? Didi? Really? She's one of the front-runners to get in IMO. Easy choice of who's going home and so it was Ashley who I had picked to go home, who indeed was going home. Once again, Ashley's facial expressions showed a non-friendly arrogance that probably hurt her the night before as well. Ashley still sounded average on her swan song.

We come back and now its the guys turn to face the dramatic Ryan eliminations. In the top row we got a final 2 of Tim Urban and Joe Munoz?! Joe certainly can't be going home so early especially being one of the more solid singers and one of the better performers of both nights? He gets sent home! America got it wrong! Tim Urban definitely got the sentimental vote due to the thrashing the judges gave him last night. I hope Joe can use this to move onto big things because he has the voice and performing skills to make it.

Next up we got to see the reigning Idol Champ Kris Allen come on to sing a very powerful version of "Let it be" while we saw video footage of his humanitarian trip to Haiti. This all spotlighted to me why Kris won AI in the first place as he's not only a nice guy but a former youth minister who also has done missionary trips. I'm glad we got to see this side of him because I think he's a great role model.

The last eliminations were up and the final 2 in the bottom row were Alex Lambert and Tyler Grady. Both have pros and cons so this was a toss up on where America would vote. I was still rather surprised to see Tyler go home as he does a certain rocker and fun vibe that I thought America would be interested in seeing a little more of. Instead they went with the rather bland Alex, although I think his time may come soon. I think the contestants will definitely miss Tyler's happy go lucky attitude.

All in all, last night's eliminations put all the singers on notice that anyone can go home and that they better step it up! First week jitters are out of the way and now they should settle into a routine of it all so hopefully next week's vocals are way better than this week. A lot of the singers were missing in action this week so hope to see them back next week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Idol - the Top 12 guys give it a go

Night 2 and tonight's its the Boys Night out. After the disappointment of Ladies Night, I was so looking forward to the guys taking the stage and letting America see that they were ready to give the girls a run for the Idol crown. However, after watching yet another frustrating night of not so good singing and performing, I'm wondering if there will be enough good singers to be voted into the Top 12! Bring back Taylor Hicks! At least, he knew how to pick a good song and make us feel good while we watched him. Hell, at this point even Sanjaya is looking like a good alternative! At least I liked Sanjaya and found him entertaining from early on.

The show got started with Todrick Hall who decided to try what the judges have asked for and do something risky. It sure was risky to do a Kelly Clarkson song! Then to do it the way he did it, Todrick Todrick Todrick. Sometimes the musical ideas we hear in our heads should stay there, on this I know. His version of the song would've been good to dance to (which is probably why he heard it the way he did since he's a dancer) but to sing and show off vocals, it wasn't all that great. The idea was good, again the execution was off. Simon's comments saying it was stupid was stupid. For the most part I found myself agreeing with Simon tonight (which is strange since I usually find myself thinking more along the lines of Randy) but he was way out of line with his comments to Todrick.

Aaron Kelly did a solid performance and I can see him easily making it in on the boy band look and young girls votes.

Jermaine Sellers' killed the Oleta Adams song and by killed I don't mean that in a good way. He oversang and tried to do too much with the song, instead of just attacking the emotions of the song with his voice. He just attacked. Not good.

Tim Urban's video was real nice. He seems like a real genuine nice guy and it was nice to see him get a second chance but he picked the wrong song and then made it worse by singing it badly. I really felt for him as he stood there taking all the slings and arrows from the judges. Even Ellen couldn't find something nice to say, saying that maybe if the viewers listen to him with the sound down he can get in on his looks - man, that's lowdown "E". Tim saying that he switched songs at the last minute was good to know but the damage is done, we can only judge and vote on what we hear.

Joe Munoz who we were barely shown at any point before, brought it and I liked his performing and vocals were nice and solid. He was the best of the night IMO.

That 70s show castoff Tyler Grady's performance was a bit too imitating of what he's seen in the past from his music Idols and his vocals were not very good. He has a lot of frontman potential if he can just match the vocals to the style.

Lee Dewyze seems like a real nice, humble guy and I liked his choice of a softer styled rockish song but when he went for the big voice, it killed the tenderness of the lyrics and I'm glad that the judges gave him good constructive criticism on what he should be doing because they like his voice and so do I.

John Park oversinging of "God bless the child" was just too much. He has a good voice but sometimes less is more especially for a song like this. He could find himself in big danger tonight. I'm glad that he got to explain why he picked the song though.

Michael Lynche picked a Maroon 5 song to do? M5 is cool and all that but its not exactly the best vocals to try to do or imitate. He gave it a funky, upbeat rendition but it just seemed too rushed to me. I wasn't crazy about his trying to be so chummy with the judges and I'm glad that Ellen put him in his place and told him to listen. She got him to listen. Good for Ellen!

I honestly don't have much to say about Alex Lambert's performance, it was a very forgettable performance. He reminds me of Rob Thomas in vocals and looks but he just looks so bored while singing that it turns me off and makes me tune him out. He was warned about that during Hollywood week, still has to pick it up in that department.

OMG with the Casey James stuff! It was funny at first but to do a whole skit on it while Casey was waiting for his critique was rather lame and childish the longer it went on. I guess the judges have to amuse themselves when the singers aren't doing it though. Casey's song choice was ok but the vocals could've been better. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter with Casey - this guy will go a long way with viewers with his looks.

After a long night of mediocre singing and performances I was sooooo looking forward to seeing Andrew Garcia who had done nothing but great performances in all that we were shown of him. He was to be the saving grace of the night and even left for last as to leave us viewers with a strong last impression of the guys and then he came out and did Fall Out Boy? Really? I couldn't believe what I was hearing was the same guy I proclaimed as one of the final 2 with Crystal Bowersox. That performance and his vocals for it were so disappointing. I think he'll be safe for now but he's got to get back to what made us all think he was a frontrunner.

I don't know where AI goes from here but if these singers don't get past their jitters and poor song choices then this may be a horrible season for AI. Has Paula put a jinx on AI? Something happened between Hollywood week and now to a lot of the singers, I hope they can find their magic and soon!

Hard to pick from so many mediocre performances last night but if I had to pick 2 to go home it would be Alex Lambert and Jermaine Sellers. I think Tim Urban will get a sympathy vote but he'll probably only get this 1 week pass from viewers. Should be an interesting elimination night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

American Idol - The Top 12 girls sing!

Finally, after weeks of auditions, guest judges and Hollywood week we get to voting for the singers that will grace our TVs for weeks to come before we crown the newest American Idol.

So last night we had the Top 12 females and we started off the show with a statement from Simon saying he thinks the winner will be a female. I agree. Was excited to hear the girls. Then they sang and I wasn't excited anymore and wasn't so sure a female would win this season after all, at least not based on first impressions.

Paige Williams went first and she obviously comes from the Christina Aguilera school of singing. While it works for Christina who has an absolutely amazing voice, it didn't work so well for Paige, especially considering the song she was singing, or should I say over-singing. She can sing though. Just need better song choices.

Ashley was next up and she went for a Leona Lewis song which would be smart if she did it and sang it well since Simon discovered Leona. To not do it that well in front of Simon though was very risky and while she gave a good performance, that's not what she needed to do with that song. I like Ashley but with every performance of hers I'm less impressed. She has to step it up.

Janell Wheeler was next and I was expecting big things from her but her performance of Heart's "What about love" was very weak and the song swallowed her up. Very bad song choice, one of the worst of the night.

I like Lilly Scott. I think she's got a way cool vibe and look but I really didn't like her song choice or coffee house performance. C'mon Lilly, you can do better than that!

Katelyn Epperly finally got the show back on track with a good performance. I didn't like her outfit though. Trying too hard.

I really like Haeley Vaughn and want to see her succeed but she may not be ready yet. Her concept of what she wanted to do with the Beatles song was good but the execution needed better planning. She was a little too all over the place with her vocals and her outfit was too cutesy. She has a lot of potential though.

I was pulling for Lacey Brown to make it after coming so close last season. I wanted the judges to know they made a mistake last season in taking Megan Joy over her and then she went and did a very all over the place version of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide". It was the worst performance of the night. Such potential and she blew it. I think she'll be one of the girls going home on Thursday. :(

Michelle Delamor has the looks to be a pop star but then she goes and tries to tackle Alicia Keys' "Fallin" and tries to do it with a very thin voice. No no no! Another bad song choice, the night was full of them. The judges seemed to love her although I think it may be based more on image than vocals from what we heard last night.

I like Didi Benami and she gave a good performance though I would rather she had picked a better song to show her vocals than Ingrid Michaelson's "The way I am".

Siobhan Magnus was hardly shown to us before tonight but she can definitely sing, took on a challenge in doing Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" and she has a good look as well. They mentioned she's a dark horse (which was cute and Kellie Picler-ish in that she didn't know what that meant) and I agree, the contestants better watch out for her.

I have already said that Crystal Bowersox would be in the final 2 and while she didn't do anything to discourage me from that prediction, I do now wonder if she truly gets what to do as they hit the show and they begin doing themes? She seemed to not understand some of the critique as it pertains to what she does but she also did seem to be all ears and open to it, so that's a good sign that could make her even more dangerous.

Last but certainly not least was Katie Stevens and while I agree that she chose an old fashioned sounding song that she probably wouldn't do on an album, she did show very good vocals. I'm a fan.

All in all, the girls didn't live up to expectations but I think they'll step it up having some jitters out of the way and some constructive criticism of what they should be doing.

My 2 that I think will go home are Ashley Rodriguez and Lacey Brown. Haeley Vaughn will also probably be in big danger of going home.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Idol - the Top 24 revealed!

The show last night got right to business showing us the remaining contestants who did or didn't make it. For the most part I'm very pleased with the Top 24. Most of them were easy to pick out from the many contestants they showed us. They either had good/great voices, had that special IT factor or in some cases BOTH! This season's AI should be very competitive. Can't wait to hear the girls sing next week!

I was very happy to see Jannell Wheeler, Lacey Brown, Ashley Rodriguez, Krystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, John Park, Haeley Vaughn and Andrew Garcia make it.

I was sad to see Nikki Nix and Tori Kelly not make it. Tori definitely has star power. It was very hard to see Angela Martin not make it. I loved how tender Kara was with her in giving her the news. I have become a big Kara fan. She's very cool. Anyway, I don't know why Angela didn't make it but there was news that her mom went missing back home while Angela was in Hollywood so maybe the judges felt that this could become a bigger situation and one that might even require Angela to drop out from the show later in the process? Like I said, I don't know - am just speculating as to why when she was so admired by the judges and the fans. I really hope that life gives her a break and some label comes calling her way. I wish that for a lot of these contestants as a matter of fact.

At the end of the show they showed us the Top 24 and I noticed that Chris Golightly had made it but he wasn't shown to us as making it in or as being shown in the introduction dance montage at the end of the show. This morning I read that he was dropped due to a contract dispute which is a shame. I was pulling for him but I don't understand singers/musicians who don't get the business side of things. You can't just go out there trying every which way to make it, there has to be a plan and once you sign into a contract then you have to be ready to honor it. Hopefully whatever contract he was already under brings him success. So, Chris was replaced by Tim Urban. I wonder who will replace Michael Lynche who supposedly is out? My money is on Thaddeus Brown who was the last male cut even though as the judges put it, he didn't do anything wrong. Just didn't have enough room for him and didn't think him better than the ones they picked. I think he'll be brought in as a replacement and that last cut drama that saw him inconsolable at not making the cut, might just be the ticket that gets him into the top 12 on a sentimental fan vote if he's in as a replacement.

As of now, as of this early moment my picks for the Top 2 to make it to the finale are Krystal Bowersox and Andrew Garcia. As of now, they just stand out and above everyone else in terms of vocals and that IT factor. Crazy things happen on AI though! Like I said, should be highly competitive!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

American Idol - Hollywood week - the first 7 revealed

So, we finally got to see and meet the first 7 of the 24 that will move onto TV for our votes!

We were shown how grueling it was and its always interesting to see the timeline of how long the days/nights are that the contestants/judges/band go through. We also got to see a lot of the final auditions that would make or break some of the contestants.

The contestants were broken into the usual 3 rooms and while they tried to make it seem as if any of them might be in danger, it became pretty clear to me that Room 1 was full of locks to move on, Room 2 had singers we barely saw (except for Mary Powers who they kept showing us to throw us off) and wouldn't make it and that Room 3 was singers that made mistakes and were getting in on their overall Hollywood week.

From Room 2, I was sad to see Charity Vance go. She is really good and I'm not sure why she didn't make it. Lloyd Thomas is a good guy and there for the right reasons so I was sad to see him go as well. Hope Johnson has a lot of potential but needs work, hopefully she'll work on things and come back next season. Mary Powers was just over-confident. Her final audition was vocally strong but performance-wise was too arrogant and aggressive looking. That was something that the judges were clearly looking at as Ellen had previously called out a contestant on that.

I was happy to see a lot of the people from Room 3 make it - Shelby Dressel, Ashley Rodriguez, Jannell Wheeler, Lacey Brown, Angela Martin, Haeley Vaughn.

With the 2 rooms it got cut down to 46 contestants. From there they have to cut 22 contestants to get down to the top 24. The final verdict on whether they are in or not was to be made on the Americal Idol stage at the Kodak Theater?! Wow, there's all sorts of things cruel with that! To make it so far after months of anticipation and work and to make it onto the stage that could make your dreams come true only to be told on that very stage that you are going home before ever truly making it on there must be so crushing. Yea, its life. Its what the show is. But put yourself in those shoes of something you love with a passion and making it through all those challenges only to have it yanked away from you at the last moment? :(

I was happy to see Michael Lynche make it. Unfortunately I read in the TV Guide that he was ousted because his Dad broke the confidentiality agreement of the contract all contestants and their families must sign. What a way to lose out. Didi Benami and Casey James were easy locks IMO to get in, happy to see them in. Kara's leg kick when she hugged Casey was funny, funnier that Randy called her on it! I was really not happy to see Shelby Dressel cut. I felt bad for Jessica Furney, she tried to make her case but it was too late. Too bad. So close 2 years in a row.

That's all we got last night but tonight the complete 24 will be revealed. Can't wait!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The non-filtered mouth of John Mayer

Just read an article about the John Mayer controversy over his Playboy interview comments regarding his "hood" status and Jessica Simpson. I'm not a big John Mayer fan, I'm not even what I would call a casual fan of his but I do admire his guitar playing talent. However, what little I have heard about the guy is that he is a egotistical, boastful jerk. This is clearly seen in his Playboy interview. "Hood status"? LOL! Really John? I doubt you'd be recognized in the hood if you ever dared to venture there! Trying to sound cool for the sake of just trying to sound cool never works, don't you know that by now? It's not like it ever works for you. Then you go on and on about Jessica Simpson who didn't do anything to you other than care about you. From all I've ever heard, Jessica's only fault in the relationship as in her relationship with Tony Romo is that she's been too clingy and smothering. Not exactly a crime. This is a girl who cared about Mayer and he takes the opportunity to boast about how sexual she is and how he couldn't get enough. Really? Kissing and telling is not cool, no matter who you are. But with Mayer who doesn't seem to have a filter between his brain and mouth like the rest of us have, in his mind I think he thought he was complimenting Jessica. Instead this fool just setup a reputation for her that others will now try to exploit. Its hard enough for celebrities, especially female celebrities, to find people to trust enough to get into relationships with without this sort of bs being thrown in by some ex-lover. I don't know Jessica but from all I've read she is a sweet girl who has been really hurt by her past breakups and she really doesn't deserve to be talked about like that. No one does. As a casual fan of Jessica's, I've seen her grow up (just like Britney, Christina, Mandy, etc.) and it makes you somewhat protective of them as a fan and you want to see them be happy and normal. After all, they give us joy through their music so its logical to want them to be happy as well. I know a lot of people don't think that way but oh well. Anyway, I hope John realizes that he just didn't damage himself with his ignorant, run at the mouth comments. I see him apologizing profusely over his "hood status" comments but while serious, I see those as just plain ignorant whereas I see his comments about Jessica, very vile as this was a girl who loved him. Apologizing to the fans and realizing that you need to control your mouth and think before you speak is all good but I really hope that he apologizes to Jessica. Hopefully he already has. Hopefully he learns from this and realizes that its never cool to try to make yourself sound cool, leave that to other people to say or not say.

American Idol - Hollywood week (Solos and Group night)

We got Hollywood Week this week! We're almost to meeting the top 24! As expected, lots of ups and downs this week watching some favorites soar to the next round and others fail to make the cut. We also got to see a few new faces that impressed!

We finally got to see Ellen and as I expected (although I wasn't happy with her becoming a judge, she's grown on me through interviews and shown herself to be not only a fan of the show but of the contestants that go up there to be judged), she was prepared and taking it very seriously. It got on my nerves that a lot of times the contestants thought she was making jokes when she was being serious in giving critique.

From the solo auditions on night 1:

Katie Stevens really rocked it. Skiiboski didn't impress but you gotta love his confidence. Poor Vanessa Wolfe, her nerves and inexperience got to her. I'll miss her, really wanted her to make it further. Andrew Garcia just continues to impress, his interpretation of Paula's "Straight up" was great! I was sorry to see Maegan Wright go. Same for Amadeo. Jannell Wheeler sounded really good. Haley Vaughn did good which made me happy because I really want her to move on. Mary Powers sounded great. Lilly Scott has a very unique voice, really liked it! I liked watching Michael Lynche's saga as he did the auditions while going back and forth to the phone with his wife who went into labor! He had a nice groove to his song choice. Nice! Tim Urban moved on although I thought he only sounded decent with his David Cook song choice. Maddy Curtis had a real bad song choice. Sorry to see her go. Casey James had a rocking audition with his blues guitar. Very cool. Didi Benami had a great audition that I loved! Crystal Bowersox had a very good one as well and even had her fellow contestants helping her on the chorus! Very cool to see and hear.

So they whittled the contestants from 181 to 95 and we saw a lot of contestant's go and a lot of dreams dashed. :(

Next up we got the dreaded Group Night where its always drama with groups competing with each other and even fighting within their own groups. Well, this season was no different. Unfortunately, this is when we see the bad side of some of our favorites. Not my favorite segment of Hollywood week but its good for the judges to see who can work with others and how well and who is willing to put in the effort and time necessary to put on a good performance in a very strict and limited deadline.

Onto my group night thoughts:

I thought the standouts were Charity Vance, Tori Kelly, Jannell Wheeler, Casey James, Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens.

I was happy to see the following move on to the next round - Ashley Rodriguez, Micheal Lynche, Hope Johnson.

I was sorry to see go - Seth Rollins (I thought he sounded good), Kimberly Kerbow and Mark Labriola who forgot the words to their songs, Matt Lawrence and Dave Pittman.

Next week is the last round and then the top 24! Ryan Seacrest has said on his twitter that next week's shows are the most intense and emotional Hollywood week episodes ever. Oh no! =(

Friday, February 5, 2010

American Idol Auditions - Denver and best of the rest!

Final week of auditions before Hollywood week!

This time they went to Denver and we got a return guest judge in Victoria Beckham who IMO is looking too thin! She would make a good permanent judge to replace Simon when he leaves at the end of this year. Under the original configuration we had the opinions of judges from the executive (Simon), performer (Paula) and producer (Randy) viewpoints. Then they added the songwriter (Kara) perspective. With Ellen coming on, they are replacing the performer POV with that of a fan which is cool as Paula did that too. I've heard names like Mottola, Iovine and even Jamie Foxx (?!) to replace Simon but I think Victoria would be a far better choice from what I have seen of her.

Anyway... back to the auditions!

First up was Mark Labriola who complained that he's always getting compared to Jack Black because of a very slight resemblance but then went and tried to act and talk like Jack Black! Doh! He had a decent although pitchy voice and made it to Hollywood.

Kimberly Kerbow had a very good look and a decent voice. She reminded me of a redheaded Hilary Duff (who my daughters love!).

Casey James had a cool look and voice but the judges thought his personality was rather bland. Uh, could he just have been nervous? Maybe!

Tori Kelly had a nice voice.

We moved on to Day 2 and we got to see a lovely video package of an arrogant and very full of himself Austin Paul who as expected was not as good as he seems to think he is. Nor did the judges like his attitude, they seemed to catch on pretty quick that he was just there to pump up his resume with the ladies and of course his already over-inflated ego.

Next up was Nicci Nix who has a way cool name, is a baby speaking girl who came from Italy for the audition and her voice was very good.

Haeley Vaughn is a black girl who wants to sing country pop which makes her very unique and she knows that would set her apart. I certainly would want someone like her and her attitude on my label! I really liked her. She had a very bubbly personality and nice voice.

The show ended with bikini boy Ty Hemmerling! Hilarious!

Night 2 of AI auditions was a look back at the auditions from all the cities they went to, to show us other contestants who made it (and those that didn't as well). There were some real good contestants!

First up we got Amanda Schectmman who had a nice look and voice but her pleading was a little too Tatiana-like for me.

Next up we got to see Lacey Brown who had come down to the last spot to make last season but lost out to Megan Joy. She has a real nice voice and really intense eyes. She knows what to expect and do in Hollywood so hopefully she makes it to the next part after Hollywood.

We only got to see the next 2 briefly. Rachel Hubbard had a real nice voice and look. Genesis Moore had a very nice voice.

Personal trainer Michael Lynche had a nice soulful voice.

We got to see a video package on Didi Benami who was doing the audition in her BFF's memory. Her BFF had passed away and she did a very passionate audition that connected with the judges, although Simon didn't seem too impressed for some reason. She has a very good voice and look.

Aaron Kelly had a good look and voice and seems like a real nice kid. He would make excellent boy band material and I think if he makes it past Hollywood then he'll make into the Top 12 because I know the young girls will burn up the phone lines to get him in. LOL!

Lastly, we got a video package on Hope Johnson who grew up very poor. She is very pretty and has a decent voice with an interesting tone.

That's it! Time for Hollywood week next week! Hollywood week is always hard because we get invested in a lot of the singers and their stories and the challenge of Hollywood week is how to stay focused. Some of these singers have never been out of their state or small towns and they get caught up in all the firsts that they are doing that it throws them off from their purpose to be there. Then there's always the group challenge that ruins a lot of contestants chances when they are paired up with people that they have nothing in common with or don't get along with. Its rough. I wish them all luck. Ellen has mentioned in interviews that since she wasn't at the auditions that she has studied hours of auditions to familiarize herself with the contestants and by the looks of the Hollywood week preview, Ellen will pull no punches and be a good fair judge. Next week should be good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

American Idol Auditions - Los Angeles and Dallas

Good week of auditions on AI and interesting casting of guest judges as well.

We started with seeing auditions from Los Angeles and day 1 was Avril Lavigne as guest judge. Avril did ok as judge. We didn't see her do much other than laugh at some of the auditions.

We got the circus going right away with super-sweaty contestant Neil Goldstein who seemed to sweat more and more right before our eyes! LOL! He also had this weird vibrato going on with his voice. Thankfully we won't be seeing him sweat in Hollywood.

Jim Ranger had a cool Kid Rock / southern rock vibe.

Next up we saw a video package on life-long martial artist (?!) Damien Lefavor who could neither sing or do martial arts. No wonder we saw Avril laughing so much!

We then saw rocker grrl Mary Powers who had a good voice and whose 8 year old daughter wanted to meet Simon. He was very cool to the little girl and made her day.

We got a video package of all the Adam Lambert inspired contestants. Then we got to meet AJ Mendoza who said he had sent a demo to Adam and that Adam only had good things to say about it. He then went and gave his best Adam Lambert impression. There's only one Adam and it would stay that way after that audition! LOL!

Day 2 was Katy Perry as guest judge. At first, she seemed like a good judge until they showed her bickering and being catty with Kara who is an actual judge on the show and has shown herself to be very knowledgable on what she's talking about.

Day 2 brought us some good contestants to watch and hear.

We got to see a video package on Andrew Garcia and then watched him sing. He had a very good voice, the best up to that point. He also sounded and reminded me visually of Danny Gokey. That's a good standard to be compared to!

Tasha Layton who is a minister by night had a good look and voice. Nice to see a lot of spiritual and genuine people trying out.

The show ended with foster child Chris Golightly who sang with great passion to his voice. I really connected with him and think he has a lot of potential. He reminded me of Justin Guarini in look and voice. Hopefully that's a good thing as I think Justin should've had a better career than he's had and better than a lot of the lucky ones that came after him with lesser talent that got farther in their careers because AI was a bigger show when they were on.

Night 2 of auditions brings us to Dallas and we got Neil Patrick Harris as a guest judge. Being a big "How I met your Mother" fan, it's cool to see Barney up there judging. Suit up!

Dallas brought a lot of good talent!

Lloyd Thomas had a nice voice and looks to be a great Dad. I can get behind that!

Kimberly Carver had a nice voice and I liked her bubbly personality.

Poor Dexter Ward was convinced he was the next American Idol but then tried to do a Shai song (which for those of you that don't know is one of the best accapella songs ever done IMO and considering it has amazing 4 part harmony, shouldn't be done by a solo singer), it just showed he was not close to being ready. Felt bad for him. He was devestated. :(

I know its the cool thing to sit and point at the singers who fail on this show but at the same time, these are kids/young adults who for the most part have a passion for singing and singing brings them joy. Its hard for me to see some of these singers go down in flames and to see their emotions well up as their dream is burst of not only making it to Hollywood but also a lot of times to even think that they can sing well. Its a cruel truth that sometimes needs to be said but sometimes a more tactful way should be used with some of the more passionate contestants that lack the talent to go further. But I know that won't make for good TV, now will it? :/

Up next, we got Erica Rhodes who we found it was on the kids show "Barney & Friends". As a Dad of 3 kids, I've seen my fair share of Barney and recall seeing her on the show and being on the show for a long while. Don't recall seeing Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato on Barney but I definitely remember seeing Erica. Anyhow, it was cool to see her still doing entertainment and singing. They had her sing the Barney "I love you" song and I thought she sang that better than the song she auditioned with. Again why do a song with 4 part harmony? In this case En Vogue's "Free your mind". I also didn't feel that she needed to wear the leather and whip getup to make an impression.

We got to see a video package on Dave Pittman and the challenges he faces with Tourrette's Syndrome. He had a great voice and Neil Patrick Harris broached the subject of him having Tourrette's syndrome to which Dave acknowledged it. Things like this are good to see because a lot of people think that Tourrette's is just random cursing, etc. and its good to show a more common face to the condition.

Onto Day 2 of the Dallas auditions and we get new guest judge Joe Jonas but unfortunately we got to see more of him in the video package of who he is and getting to the auditions. We barely saw him give input as well. He only got 20 minutes of TV time too. Weird.

Todrick Hall amused with a very funny original song that showed that he also had a real good voice to go along with his song-writing talent.

Maegan Wright had a real nice voice and tone.

Lastly, we got a video package on Christian Spear who had leukemia at age 4. Again, real nice to see a survivor's story and another story of inspiration. I know a lot of people just want to see the trainwrecks but in a time of recent news where we hear about wars, earthquake disasters and economy woes I would much rather hear stories of inspiration to get to know the singers that we might be listening to for the next few weeks/months than seeing some failed audition. Anyway, she had a nice voice. It's going to be hard to see a lot of these genuinely nice people not make it through Hollywood week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

American Idol Auditions - Chi-town and Orlando

So this week we got AI auditions from Chicago and Orlando and both towns hoped to have lots of promise, only turns out that Orlando lived up to some promise as Chicago hardly got any golden tickets to Hollywood which was surprising.

First up was Chicago and the guest judge was Shania Twain and she was very good as judge.

Chicago had an interesting mix of characters and the 2nd day of contestants was brutal in trying to find anyone to give a golden ticket to. Here are my contestants of note from Chicago:

First up was Katelyn Epperly who was there because her parents were divorcing? She said she had always felt jaded about doing the AI audition in the past and was contemplative about not having both parents for support at an event of hers. As a child of divorce myself I can understand some of her thoughts but I found the way it presented as her reason for doing the audition as strange. Regardless, she had a nice voice and a good look.

Amy Lang was getting on my nerves with her antics before she even went before the judges and I'm glad that she kept her over the top ways with the judges and got sent home. Wouldn't be able to take much of her. Tatiana last season was enough! LOL!

Charity Vance was very cute and had a nice tone to her voice.

It was good to see Angela Martin back for another try, she's had a lot of bad luck in her prior tries in Hollywood and is getting one more try to hopefully have everything go right. Hopefully this is her season. Regardless, I have to say that I admire her tenacity and persistance.

John Park had a nice voice and tone and it would be nice to have an asian male make it onto the show.

Paige Dechausse got her story given to us and it was quite a story. Here she is an asthmatic and showing that she wasn't letting that hold her back. Gotta admire that! She had a nice voice too.

With that we move to the Orlando auditions where Kristin Chenowith was the guest judge for the first day only. Her and Kara really got along and it was very amusing how they kept themselves entertained and Simon on his toes. Hopefully Kara and Ellen can have this sort of chemistry, if they can then this season of AI will be more entertaining than usual.

Lots of good contestants from the Orlando auditions:

Seth Rollins - We saw his story of him being a Dad of an autistic child, something that is becoming all too prevalent in our society today. Hopefully he can make it onto the show and help raise awareness of the challenges of raising an autistic child. He had a real good voice and seems like a real good guy and father. Those are qualities I can definitely admire and support!

Jermaine Purifoy was another contestant that refused to give up and tried out again and made it this time. He has a real good voice.

Shelby Dressel didn't let a problem with her facial muscles stop her from trying out for her dream and I was real happy to see her make it. She has a great attitiude that can inspire a lot of people. She also had a real nice tone and voice.

Vocal beatboxer Jay Stone was interesting with his ability to sing and beatbox at the same time but we've seen that sort of thing before with Blake Lewis. He did have a decent voice though so it'll be interesting to see how far he makes it.

Then there was Cornelius Edwards and his painful looking jumping split! Forget that his pants tore, I'm surprised that's all that tore! He made it but honestly, I was too busy recovering from his painful looking split to remember if he could sing well or not! LOL!

We got to see sisters Bernadette and Amanda Desimone and I found them both to have good personalities, looks and voices.

Then came the Jarrod Norrell who gave it up to God before singing his rendition of "Amazing Grace". While it wasn't good and the judges weren't very kind, I found that he didn't want to leave as his way of showing passion but he had to listen and respect too. I will say that I don't agree that he needed to be handcuffed to be ushered out (we've seen worse and more dangerous seeming contestants and they haven't gotten this treatment) BUT we don't know what else happened that wasn't shown so I assume they did that because they needed to. Sad that what should be a positive thing turns into something like that.

Lastly, we got Matt Lawrence and his story of how he spent 4 years in jail as a youth and how he wanted to make something of himself to repay his parents for all the pain and grief he put them through. Very noble and he looks as he's learned from repaying his debt to society. He had a very good voice and picked a real good song to audition with.