Friday, December 30, 2011

Feliz Ano Nuevo! / Happy New Year!

Feliz Ano Nuevo Sonadores!! El '12 va ser un ano muy grande para mi. Espero seguir teniendo su apoyo en el nuevo ano! Deseo que el nuevo ano sea lleno de alegria, salud, amor y paz para todos Uds.! Los amo mucho!! :)

Happy New Year Dreamers! '12 is going to be a big year for me. I hope to continue having your support in the new year! I hope that the new year is full of happiness, health, love & peace for you all! Love you all!! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mensaje de Navidad para todos / Christmas message for all

Hola sonadores! Te deseo una Navidad muy Feliz! Que Santa te traiga lo que deseas! Puedes ver mi mensaje de Navidad para Uds. en mi canal de Youtube!

Hi dreamers! Wishing u a very Merry Christmas! May Santa bring you what u wish for! You can see my Xmas message for you all on my Youtube channel!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A special Thanksgiving message for my Dreamers!

Dreamers and sonadores,

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment to give a special and warm thanks to all of you for your support. Thank you for all the positive and cool messages and comments, and also for all the orders and downloads of my single and album (digital & physical). Your support means everything to me and I hope you are enjoying the new music. I'm working on lots of surprises for you all!

I want to wish you all a wonderful day with your loved ones. May the spirit of giving thanks fill your holiday season.

Thank you for your support and love. I appreciate you all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

You can now buy the download of my album!

Hey dreamers!

If you go to my official site at you can now not only buy the download to my single but also to any song on the album and even the entire album! You will also be able to hear song samples of all the songs on the album! Enjoy! :)

Thanks for your support!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day benefit concert with Bret Michaels!

Yesterday was Veteran's Day. I am very patriotic and support our troops. They are putting their lives on the line and making the ultimate sacrifice in some cases for our safety and for our freedom. They do it out of patriotic service to our country and I respect that. Whether the mission they are sent on is right or wrong, I will always support and show respect to our servicemen and women who are doing a job and putting their lives on the line so that we can enjoy ours.

My wife and I went to a benefit concert in support of the troops. It was a rather awesome night of music and patriotism. The night began with Honor Vet founders talking about the organization. Both founders are in their early 20s! Then we saw a trailer for the movie "Red Tails" which is about the famed Tuskegee Airmen. To our surprise, an actual Tuskegee Airman was there! That was VERY cool. Afterwards, one of the stars of the movie, Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. was introduced and spoke with the crowd. It was quick but very cool. Then Senator John McCain was introduced to the crowd. His son is one of the founders of Honor Vet so he was there to support his son. Then we got onto the music which began with an all-star band consisting of members of Phish, Blues Traveler, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and more! A good night of music. AND this was all BEFORE Bret Michaels hit the stage with his band! During the intermission, the lights came on and sitting next to us was Sen. John McCain! He was totally mobbed for photos and autographs and was very gracious as he accommodated everyone, including me! I got to take a photo with an American Hero - Sen. McCain on Veteran's Day! How cool is that? Then it was time for Bret to rock! As you know, I'm a big fan of Bret and Poison so I had a blast! Bret totally rocked and the night was a rousing success in my book. Totally awesome and memorable.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Tiempo para decir la sorpresa! Si van a mi sitio oficial, ahora tengo mas canciones de mi nuevo album para oir alla! Si van a la seccion de "Music", pueden ir a las paginas de mi discos y ver que canciones de mi discos estan en el audio player. Tambien puedes ver cual es mi linea favorita de cada cancion! Algo muy cool para todos mi sonadores! :)

Time for a surprise! If you go to my official site, I now have more songs off my new album for you to hear over there! If you go to the "Music" section, you can go to my album pages and see what songs off my albums are in the audio player. Also, you can see what are my favorite lines from each song! Something very cool for all of my dreamers! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Justice for MJ

The verdict against Conrad Murray came in today and I'm glad to see that justice has been served. I hope that MJ's soul can now rest. I also hope his family and especially his children can finally find some closure.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rock of Ages rocked me!

My oldest daughter bought my wife and I tickets to see "Rock of Ages" on Broadway to celebrate our anniversary today. As everyone knows, I love 80s hard rock and hair metal so I was really looking forward to the play. We had to endure a freak snowstorm to get there but it was awesome. I won't spoil the plot of the play for anyone who might want to see it but I will say that if you like the music of that era, you will love this play!

One thing that I took away from the play besides all the amazing and talented singers/actors in the play and the great live music being played, is how the songs were used within the play. It reinforced to me of the power of music and how a song can be one thing to someone and something different to someone else based on what is going on within their lives. There was one moment where Poison's (my favorite band from that era!) song "Every rose has its thorn" was used and it was sung by about 5 or so different characters from the play, all with very different storylines. It was so cool to see how the song applied to each of them and their situations. The power of music. Such a wonderful thing.

St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series!

As you all know, I'm a diehard Mets fan but what many don't know is that the Cardinals are my second favorite team. I'm a huge fan of Pujols (I hope he stays with the Cards) and he is my favorite player outside of my Mets. David Wright is my favorite current Mets player. Mike Piazza is my favorite all-time Met, along with Tom Seaver.

Anyway, this is about the Cardinals who just won the World Series in dramatic fashion. This was such a great World Series with some of the most competitive games in the history of the Series. The Cards just wouldn't quit and were a team of destiny against a very strong Rangers team. Congrats to the Cardinals, the city of St. Louis and to the fans of the Cardinals (some of baseball's best and most devoted fans). Congrats to the 2011 Champions!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My latest reading material

I've recently revived my interest in astronomy, ancient history and ancient mysteries. I really like to learn about the past and the how and why of things, especially things that have yet to be explained even in this modern day and age. It's something I've always been interested in but haven't taken the time to read or explore further. Now though, I'm taking my spare time to read and journey through time and space. It's a wild ride!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Society's Soul on Twitter

My alt-rock band Society's Soul is now on Twitter at!

Follow and get to know about Society's Soul and what it's about. Also, get to know all the latest as it happens since I'll be headed into the studio soon! New single soon!

P.S. - Society's Soul is a separate project from what I'm doing solo as Mario M. (El Rockero)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Exclusive interview for WCR News subscribers!

I did an exclusive interview for my record label's newsletter that will be sent this Friday to all subscribers! Sign up now before Friday to get the interview! It takes less than a minute to sign-up for the monthly e-newsletter and it's free!

WCR News sign-up

Friday, September 30, 2011

My new album "El Camino Espiritual" is now available!

Dreamers y sonadores!

My new album "El Camino Espiritual" is out today! You can go right now and order it at I'm so excited to share my new music with you all. I want to thank you all, for all your support and patience over the past several years. Even though I had delays that couldn't be helped, you all stuck with me and I actually saw my fan base grow! An artist can't ask for more than that! So, thank you. I hope you enjoy my new album. I share a lot of emotions and personal thoughts in this album. It is by far my most personal album to date which says a lot since I write and sing from a very emotional place. I hope you see and feel my spiritual journey through my songs and I hope that if you are going through your own spiritual journey that my songs can help you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Terra Nova - dinosaurs + Spielberg = happy me!

Tonight was the debut of Terra Nova and I really liked it! I'm a big dinosaur fan and I just love watching dinosaur related movies and shows. When I was young, I wanted to be a fossil hunter. I used to read lots of books on dinosaurs. In recent years, the dinosaur field has really exploded with new discoveries and I've tried to keep up with it. Yup, I'm a dinosaur nerd! Proud of it too!

I really loved the first 2 Jurassic Park movies and liked the dinos in the 3rd one. The books were really good. I hear there's a new Jurassic Park movie in the works, looking forward to that. So, when I heard Spielberg was involved with Terra Nova, I was there and wasn't disappointed. The human characters are pretty good too! ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

My new album will be out on Friday 9/30/11!!

Hello dreamers!

I autographed copies of my new album "El Camino Espiritual" that will be out this Friday 9/30 and if you sign up to my record label's mailing list & the mailing list on my official site AND you order the album, then you will receive one of the autographed copies! Limited time only! Thank you for your support!!

Hola sonadores!

Yo hice copias autografiadas de mi nuevo álbum "El Camino Espiritual" que saldrá este viernes 9/30 y si Ud. se inscribe a la lista de correo de mi sello discográfico y la lista de correo en mi sitio oficial y ordenas mi álbum, recibirá uno de los discos autografiados! Mas que por un tiempo limitado. Gracias por su apoyo!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Download my single on my official site!


You can now go to my official site and buy the download of my single right on my site's home page! Go check it out now and get your download of my single "Que sera".


Ahora pueden ir a mi sitio oficial y comprar el download de mi sencillo ahi mismo en mi pagina de Home. Ve ahora a ver y busca tu download de mi sencillo "Que sera".

Friday, July 8, 2011

The space shuttle's last flight

Today the space shuttle Atlantis took off on its final flight and mission. I watched the launch and flight into space with a taste of bittersweet. It is always amazing to watch one of man's greatest accomplishments, to launch a vehicle into outer space but this was also sad to watch knowing it was the very last space shuttle flight. I've always been a big fan of NASA and am a big believer that man should continue its exploration of space and finding better ways to get farther out into the galaxy. It's man's destiny to go beyond Earth. It angers me that the government and NASA have shut down the space shuttles without any replacement vehicle in the near future. I understand that the shuttles are old and need to be replaced but how can they shut them down and decommission them without having a system ready to go? Just seems short-sighted to me. I also think that having our astronauts shuttled to and from the space station via russian rocketships as something that shouldn't be happening. I hope NASA shows a better plan for the future.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big news on my single & album!


Today my record label World Conquest Records announced that my single "Que sera" will be released on July 15th and also released the CD covers for my single and upcoming album "El Camino Espiritual"! Go to now to go see them and to pre-order my CD single now!

Any pre-orders for my CD single before July 15th will be personally autographed by me! Go order your copy now! Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Voice finale, the winner is...

Tonight was The Voice finale and it was a really good show filled with cool performances (some ok, some good and some great). The final 2 came down to a contrast of styles with Javier Colon against Dia Frampton. Javier's inclusion in one of the early The Voice commercials was what got my interest in the show early on. I saw this guy doing this amazing version of a Cyndi Lauper song and thought wow, this guy is really talented. I have to see this guy and hear more. Dia's style and voice is also really interesting but IMO the easy winner was Javier. Indeed, Javier became the first The Voice winner but I suspect that we'll be seeing and hearing lots from a bunch of these contestants. The Voice's season was real short but it was very good and I'm already looking forward to the next season of it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My new official site! :)

Hey dreamers!

Go check out my new official site - Lots of cool stuff on there for you all to check out. Make sure to sign up for my mailing list!


Vaya ver mi nuevo sitio oficial - Hay muchas cosas cool alla que todo uds. puedan ver. No olvides inscribirte a mi lista!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Proud parent!

Busy week for me, (on top of everything else), my 2 young daughters are graduating this week. My youngest is graduating 5th grade tomorrow and my middle daughter is graduating in 2 days! I'm soooo proud of my little ladies of course! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Voice

You all know I love American Idol and watching new talents discovered and developed before our eyes. I've also watched CMT's Next Superstar which was very good. Now comes "The Voice". At first the concept seemed curious but then I saw a 14 minute teaser and I found myself really wanting to see it. The talent shown on the teaser was just so good. I can't say the show disappointed in any form. The talent was very good and the concept of the blind auditions for the judges who just had a voice and no image to go by was very fresh and cool. The judges had good chemistry and I liked how competitive they were with each other and how there was even a bit of trash talking going on. I'm really looking forward to more episodes of this show!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cool video I saw today

I saw the video today for Brett Eldredge's song "Raymond". First time I've heard the song and saw the video and the video really touched me. It reminded me of my mom when she was rehabbing in the nursing home. I remember seeing so many older folks there that wouldn't get visits from family or friends. One of the things that the administration at the place always used to rave about my family was that we were always there to visit my mom and I was always on top of any issues she needed addressed. It was so sad to hear them tell me that many of the patients there wouldn't have any visitors at all, not even once a week. They were just dumped there and forgotten by their families and former loved ones. That's really tragic. No one should spend their last days alone and feeling unloved. I want to do something to help this and bring awareness to this, I guess this is my start to doing that. I really recommend checking out the video, search for it - it's worth seeing.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sad news about a great Mets player

Just read some news today about former Mets great Gary Carter being diagnosed with brain cancer. Doesn't sound good. :(

I'm a huge Mets fan, even though I've lived most of my life in the Bronx (Yankees territory). I've always liked the underdogs and root for them so it was natural for me to like the Mets growing up. The '86 team was a great team that is still celebrated today and Gary Carter was a huge part of the heart and energy of that team. Gary always showed lots of heart and determination, many days he spent getting his knees drained so he could go and play that night. For a catcher to have his knees drained every day and then going out and playing 9 innings shows heart and determination beyond the norm. I know Gary will use that in this fight as well and I wish him the best in this, the fight of his life. He and his family are in my prayers.

American Idol season 10 finale!

Well, here we go. AI finale night! Lots of cool performances and we get the winner!

All the contestants did Lady Gaga's "Born this way". Very cool.

James performed "Living after midnight" & "Breaking the law" with Judas Priest. Way cool to see Priest on TV!

Jacob performed "I smile" with Kirk Franklin. I love this song. Gladys Knight came out to join. I have always been very awed by Gladys Knight since I was a kid. This was too cool.

Casey performed Queen's "Fat bottomed girls" with Jack Black. That was er... mighty interesting. Lol.

The Top 13 girls performed a Beyonce medley of "Single ladies", "Irreplaceable", "Get your body", "If I were a boy" and "Deja Vu". Beyonce came out to do Crazy in love. That's big!

Haley performed "Stepping out" with Tony Bennett.

Lil Jon & TLC performed. The girls came out to join TLC on "Waterfalls". Weird to see TLC without Lisa. :(

Scotty performed "Live like you're dying" with Tim McGraw.

Mark Anthony performed. JLo came out to dance for him. Lol!

The top guys performed a Tom Jones medley, Tom came out to sing "It's not unusual" with the guys.

Lady Gaga performed "The edge of glory". Great performance as usual.

Lauren performed Carrie Underwood's "Before he cheats". Carrie joined her. How awesome was that for Lauren to sing with her Idol? Cool.

Beyonce performed her new single "One plus one".

A spiderman performance? 'Nuff said.

Steve Tyler performed his great song "Dream on".

Official results time! Scotty was calm & cool. Lauren was hyperventilating. And the winner is... Scotty!! Congrats to the newest American Idol!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Congrats to the 2011 American Idol winner!

So, tonight was the AI finale and it was filled with good performances by contestants who should have good & interesting careers ahead. I'll be listening out for their music!

In the end, Scotty won America's vote over Lauren. I'm happy for Scotty, he seems to be a good kid and he has quite a career ahead. But my winner is still Lauren and I will look forward to hearing more from her and wish her a great career.

Congrats to both, they're both winners. Fans of country music such as myself are winners as well as we'll be hearing plenty of good country music from these two for decades to come. :)

American Idol: Lauren & Scotty sing for our votes!

So.... I had a problem with my phone app and it wiped out all my notes for last night's AI :/

So, I guess that means you'll get a short version of my AI thoughts instead. I can just see some of you celebrating my brevity so settle down! ;)

I wasn't happy to hear of Lauren's vocal problems but she looked determined and not defeated by it so that was good to see.

Scotty sounded good doing his favorite song of the season. Lauren sounded really good doing her favorite song, the raspiness actually added a nice quality to her voice. I gave the oh so slight edge to Scotty in that round.

The next round was doing songs that were given to them by their Idols. George Strait picked a good song for Scotty but I felt he had a little trouble with the higher notes. Carrie Underwood picked a real good song for Lauren that I think she would've really done well had her voice been better. By this point she was beginning to lose volume in her voice.

The last round was Iovine giving them what will be their 1st singles. Scotty's song was nice for a first single but Lauren's song was so strong and perfect for her that I think it removed any doubt as to who the winner of Idol should be.

In case you're still wondering then here's my pick for American Idol 2011 winner - Lauren!!!! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

American Idol - the Final 2 are chosen!

Tonight's the night we found out who the Top 2 contestants for American Idol winner would be.

But first we had performances to see and also see the contestants triumphant and touching returns to home.

We saw Haley go home. Very nice to see all the love shown to her. She has a big career ahead of her.

Next we had the pop-opera trio Il Volo performing. Interesting. An opera version of the Jonas Brothers?!

We next get to see Scotty go home. He was very touched at the outpouring of love throughout the day. While singing his always talked about cover of Josh Turner, he got to meet Josh Turner himself as he came out on stage while he was singing the song for the crowd. Very cool moment!

Nicole Scherzinger performed. Big fan of Nicole but couldn't believe how thin her voice sounded tonight. She is a waaaay better singer than that song showed. Just my opinion.

Next we got to see Lauren go home.  Very touching moment when she saw the storm damage in her area and state. Sang for the crowds that came to see her.

The results finally! Scotty in the final 2. Lauren in the final 2. Haley goes home :(

I wasn't too big a fan of Haley when she first began on the show. She didn't seem to take it seriously enough but little by little she rose to the ocassion as she was beaten down week after week with bottom 3s and harsh criticism that the others didn't seem to get thrown their way. She blossomed and won me over. I look forward to seeing her career. I'm a fan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

American Idol - The Final 3 sing for our votes

Tonight's show began by showing us that Beyonce was this week's mentor. That pretty cool.

Tonight's show was broken up into 3 segments. Idols picking their song; Iovine's choice and judge's choice.

Idols pick segment went first.

Scotty did Lone Star's "Amazed". Was pretty good.
Lauren did Faith Hill's "Wild one". Very good.
Haley did Led Zeppelin. Had her Dad playing guitar which was very cool. Even though she tripped, she rocked it!
All 3 judges said Haley took Round 1!!

Iovine picks segment went next
Scotty did Thompson Square's "Are you gonna kiss me or not". Interesting choice. He did a good version of it but it felt subdued without the female dynamic of the original song. I can't believe Randy compared this performance to a Garth Books performance. That's hyping the performance waaaay too much. Smh...
Lauren did The Band Perry's great yet very sad song "If I die young". Very good.
Haley did Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon". Interesting choice but very good.
Steve liked Lauren; Randy & JLo liked Scotty in Round 2.

Judges pick went last
Scotty did Kenny Rogers' "She believes in me". Very good.
Lauren did one of my favorite songs ever, Leann Womack's "I hope you dance". Very good.
Haley did Alanis Morissette's "You oughta know". She rocked it!
Steve picked Haley; JLo & Randy picked Lauren in the last round.

I think Haley has a chance but Lauren and Scotty seem to be the favorites here so I expect Haley to go home tomorrow :(

Thursday, May 12, 2011

American Idol - another Idol goes home

James & Scotty opened up the show doing the Brad Paisley / Keith Urban duet "Start a band". I love this song but I didn't like this much.

Haley & Lauren did Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder & lead". They both sounded great.

Lauren named the first Idol in the top 3!

Lady Gaga video performance while the Idols watched which was rather lame. Enrique Iglesias performed "Dirty dancer" & "I like it". Jordin Sparks did her new song "I am woman". Great performance! The slimmed down Jordin looked great (not that she didn't look great before) and rocked it! We saw the video premiere of Steven Tyler new single "It feels so good".

Haley is in!! She's had the hardest road to the Top 3. I'm so happy for her!!!

Scotty in, James out. James went out singing. I respect that he flew the flag for rock/metal and flew it proudly. I will be following him in the future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

American Idol - Idols do 2 songs again

So this week the Idols are doing songs that inspire them & songs from the Leiber & Stoller songbook. Lady Gaga is the mentor this week!

James began the show with Journey's "Don't stop believing". I am a huge Journey/Steve Perry fan and Perry was the reason I started to do rock music so I looked at James performance a little more critically than I normally would. It was a good performance but sounded like of a Rock of Ages performance.

Haley did MJ's "Earth song". Great performance! I did not agree with Randy or JLo. They just seemed to slam her to the point that it was almost shunning her in favor of the others. I did not like how they treated her.

Scotty did Alan Jackson's "Where were you when the world stopped turning". Good performance. Timely. He knows his audience well.

Lauren did Martina McBride's "Anyway". Her best vocal performance to date. Loved it!

Ryan asked the judges who they thought won the round and Randy said everyone except Haley did well. What was his problem with Haley tonight? >:/

Haley did "I who have nothing". Good advice from Gaga. Great performance again. The judges loved it. Haley just did her thing again. Maybe they should've listened better on the first song too.

Scotty did "Young blood". His performance was too cartoony and over the top.

Lauren did Elvis' "Trouble". Gaga gave her great advice. She looked great & sounded great.

James did "Love potion #9". Good performance but too indulgent at the end.

I thought everyone was good so I will go by past bottom 3's and say that Haley will go home but should get people voting for her if they feel she was criticized too harshly tonight like I thought she was.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Idol - another idol goes home

It's that time for another Idol to go home. The Idols performed to open up the show.

We got a funny video segment with the Idols in the kitchen with Gordon Ramsey. The Idols were making omelettes with Gordon judging. LOL.

Lady A performed their new single "Just a kiss".

We got a video segment on how they choose their songs & clothes.

James up first. Iovine felt James showing emotion was not good & hurt him. I totally disagree. Ryan had James start a group.

Lauren up next. Iovine felt she held back and would be in the bottom 2. Lauren was asked to be in the other group. She looked very sad and scared. I felt so bad for her but this is what the show is about.
We got another Gordon Ramsey segment with the Idols. JLo performed.

Jacob up next. Iovine didn't like either performance. He was asked to stand with Lauren.

Haley up next. Iovine defended his song choice and felt she was the best of the night. Sent to stand with James.

Scotty up last. Iovine liked the 1st song. But not the 2nd song as much. Scotty safe. Asked him to stand with the group he thinks is the bottom 2. He refused. Ryan walked him to the group that was safe - James & Haley safe too!

Lauren a mess. Poor girl. Jacob looked like he wanted to console Lauren but was sad himself. Jacob was sent home. :(

I definitely will be watching to see what Jacob does in his career. If he follows Randy's advice of doing R&B ala Luther then he will have a big career. I hope that's where he goes with his music.

American Idol does new gen & older gen songs

Interesting theme to last night's show - doing a song from their generation and another song from their parents generation. Pretty broad categories.

We were shown that Sheryl Crow was this week's mentor. She gave some good advice and had some good insight.

The Idols would do the new gen songs first and then come back later and do the older gen songs.

James went first and did "Closer to the edge" by 30 seconds to Mars. Iovine seems to not like older metal/hard rock and felt that this more modern rock fit James better. I don't think this song did much of anything in showing James range and I found it solid but average. His second song "Without you" was way better though and we saw that it meant a lot to James as well. I am an emotional singer myself so I not only really liked it but also know that when you know a singer feels what he's singing, that leads to magic on stage and we saw that last night.

Jacob decided to do the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet "No air" as his first song. He also decided to try to sing both parts and not only was the idea not a very good one but the execution of it was a mess. NOT GOOD at all. His second song was Nazareth's "Love hurts" and Sheryl showed him how to approach the song and it seemed he mimicked her delivery at the start of it. It was good but a bit too all over the place.

This second song was the first time of the night where we saw Iovine giving bad avice to a contestant. He told him that he has to be careful with just being the Luther guy. Really? Luther is a legend and is right where Jacob should be aiming his sights vocally and musically. To have Jacob leave his comfort zone and away from where he is going to be an artist at this point in the competition is not only short-sighted but risky. Another piece of advice that Iovine gave to another contestant was really bad too. More on that in a bit. Was Iovine stacking the deck against some or was it just really bad advice?

Lauren went 3rd and she did Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the floor". It was a good performance for a 16 year old but nowhere near what Carrie does. I think in a few short years that Lauren will be near Carrie's level vocally but Carrie brings so much more to a song than just her vocals, she also brings attitude and an emotional connection that Lauren still is failing to grasp IMO. That's my biggest complaint with Lauren, she sings great but I just don't see that emotional connection to the lyrics. Hopefully it will come with age and experience. Still, with all that said, she sounded really good. Her second song was "Unchained melody" and I basically feel the same with this performance as her first. Really good but not totally connected to the lyrics.

Scotty went 4th and he did Montgomery Gentry's "Gone". I found his singing pretty good but his performing was vastly improved! He didn't do too much of the weird mic holding and he was commanding on stage. I liked the performance a lot. His second song was "You're always on my mind" and his vocals sounded really good. He's definitely constantly improving and working on little things to get better.

Haley went 5th and was given a song by Iovine that was an unreleased Lady Gaga track. At this point in the competition, that was highly risky. She was hesitant at first but did it after getting Miss Gaga's blessing. She was right to be hesitant to do a song that nobody knew. Turns out as usual, there's a reason why the song was unreleased. It wasn't very good by Gaga standards. Haley gave it her all but the song let her down and the judges came down hard on her for it. Felt bad for Haley. She followed it up with an amazing powerhouse performance of "House of the Rising Sun". She brought it and by the end she knew she had nailed it and sent a statement to the judges and Iovine to let her do her thing. Performance of the night by far.

I expect Jacob and Haley in the bottom. I think Jacob goes home tonight.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

American Idol - a fan favorite goes home

Well, tonight is that night of the week on AI when someone goes home.

The Idols opened the show as usual. Pretty cool. Crystal Bowersox performed.

Haley was up first. We got a new format where we saw last night's performance along with the judges critiques. Then we get Iovine's opinion on where he thinks the singer is at. I like the new format. Haley is safe.

Scotty called next. Ryan told him to wait for his verdict. Scotty seemed surprised by this. Lauren called next & told to wait for her verdict as well. The talked about young frontrunners are being made to sweat it out while they wait.

Casey was called up & made to wait too. James was called up, but he was told he's safe.

Jacob up next. Scotty, Lauren & Casey called up to join Jacob. Lauren safe.

Bruno Mars performed his new single "The lazy song". Cool performance.

Jacob was told he's safe! Casey & Scotty in the bottom 2. Casey out! I read on Twitter that what we saw wasn't necessarily the bottom 2 but it's good to see them make the Idols feel the heat a little, in case they are getting too complacent or confident. Sad to Casey go but he's left his mark on the show and had lots of great moments. It will be interesting to see where his career goes as he's not a typical Idol. I'll be following his career. Good luck to him!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American Idol does Carole King

Tonight's show was the Idols doing Carole King songs. The show opened with a Carole King history segment. Very cool.

We were shown that the mentor in the studio this week was Babyface, nice history segment on him.

Jacob opened the show with "Oh no, not my baby". Really good. I like how much Jacob was moving and enjoying the song.

Lauren went next and did "Where you lead". Really good. I like how she performed. Beforehand, we saw that she met her Idol Miley in the studio. Miley gave her (and all aspiring artists ) good advice.

Casey & Haley did "I feel the earth move". Really good by the not so secret Idol couple. ;)

Scotty did "You've got a friend". Really nice. He was given good advice to use a different voice for the song and he did with a real nice result. For those of you who know my VR material, they know I covered this song on our "Desecration of an Innocent World" album so I have a warm spot in my heart for this song.

James did "Will you still love me tomorrow". He did the song acapella to begin, then he went into a cool rock vibe for the rest of the song. I really liked it. Really good. Best of the night IMO.

Lauren & Scotty did "Up on the roof". They sounded nice together although Lauren outshined Scotty. She's definitely gaining confidence in herself and her abilities.

Casey went next. He was solid and had a nice cool vibe to his song.

Haley did "Beautiful". Really good.

Jacob & James ended the show with a duet. That was rather strange since the show usually ends with an Idol performing. They sounded good.

Everyone sounded good this week so picking a bottom 3 is rather difficult if we were going on that and not the past. But going on the past, I will have to say that the bottom 3 will consist of the 3 that have been there - Jacob, Casey & Haley. I think it could go either way but I think Haley will be safe and Jacob will go home. :(

Proud Dad!

I'M SO PROUD. My daughter was secretly nominated by her school and was told today that she was chosen as 1 of the Top 20 Latino students in NYC by the Hispanic Achievement Awards. She will receive her award in a pre-game on-field ceremony on Saturday and we'll spend the rest of the game as guests in one of their skysuites. Enemy territory for us since we're Mets fans but its for a good cause!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

American Idol sends another home

It's that time of the week when Idol sends someone home.

The show began with Jacob, Haley, Stefano & Lauren singing Train's "Hey soul sister". Very nice, tight harmonies.

Casey, Scotty & James did Coldplay's "Viva la vida". Individually they sounded really good. Together they had good harmonies.

Casey & Jacob called on first - Jacob in the bottom 3 :(

David Cook performed.

Lauren, James & Stefano called up. Stefano in the bottom.

Haley & Scotty called up last. Haley in bottom :( Ryan told Haley she was safe.

Katy Perry did ET.

Stefano goes home. Will be interesting to see where his career goes. He made a lot of fans on the show, including one lady judge! Lol.

American Idol does 21st century songs

So last night AI did 21st Century songs which is rather lame since it just basically means recent songs. However, it does show us what type of artist the contestants think they might be. Better they call it influences night.

The night began with Pink's "So what" done by Paul, Pia, Thia, Naima, Ashthon. It was just bad. I've seen better sung and performed pieces at theme parks. I don't know what Naima was doing but it was just too young and amateur for her to be doing that. I was disappointed by her performance. Thia was invisible again next to the others. She has to fix that somehow as she moves forward in her career. Karen was ok for what this was, she looked great through. Ashthon looked great as well with her new look but her solo debuted some baby voice that is way beneath her vocal abilities. Paul sounded cool in the song until he paired up with Pia. They did not sound good together at all. Pia sounded and looked great as usual. Weird seeing the castoffs in a song since the songs are usually things we see in preview of seeing it all again on the Idols tour. Not a good way to start the night. Very amateurish.

The show finally got under way and before each singer's time on stage we saw a video package of the other Idols giving their funny and sometimes LOL thoughts on their fellow contestant. Scotty got the treatment for his weird mic holding and head tilting. I think Haley said it best that she thinks he was a flutist in another life. LOL!! Scotty did Leann Rimes' "Swingin'". I thought it was going to be rough since Leann's song is fast but I liked the arrangement they came up with. I did find his vocals good for the arrangement albeit a bit boring.

James did Muse's "Uprising". I really liked his look & how he did the song vocally. I was expecting it to be even more over the top and theatrical but it was still really good.

Haley did Adele's "Rolling in the deep". Very good! There were parts in there that were even better than the original. Haley has been coming on strong in recent weeks!

Jacob did Luther's "Dance with my father". Very good as usual. Since it was a tribute to his father and he had already broken down doing it in the studio, I was expecting him to be more emotional in this song but he was able to reel it in. I thought it was a good moment when we saw Iovine relate to Jacob and open up a little.

Casey did Maroon 5's "Harder to breathe". It was ok vocals for me. He did take the opportunity to kiss JLo though. He won because he can always claim that! I'm sure JLo felt Casey kiss her but was thinking of Stefano instead! Lol.

Stefano did Neyo's "Closer". Really good.

Lauren did Sara Evans' "Born to fly". Very good. I really liked it. I was pleasantly surprised to see the judges challenge her to let herself fully shine. I always thought Lauren knew how good she was but when watching her listen to the judges, Lauren looked like she really didn't know and the teary eyes we've seen of her on elimination nights when she's called up is actual fear of being eliminated. I don't think she has to worry though. If she does let loose, watch out.

Everyone was pretty good last night so it's hard to say who will be out. I think the bottom 3 will be Casey, Stefano and Haley. I think Haley will be safe and Stefano will go home, although Casey going home wouldn't surprise me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Idol hopeful goes home

Well, another going home tonight. Should be interesting who is in the bottom and who goes home.

Lauren & Scotty did "American Honey". Lauren sounded great but I thought Scotty was pitchy and brought the song down.

Haley & Casey did "Moaning". Haley looked and sounded great. Very stylistic song by both. They sounded good together.

Lauren, Scotty, Haley & Casey were called up first. Haley in the bottom 3.

Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson (who looked great!) did their #1 hit single "Don't you want to stay". Kelly looked to be having a godo time being back on Idol.

Jacob, Paul, James & Stefano did "Mrs. Robinson". Then Ryan told Stefano & Paul that they were in the bottom 3.

Rihanna performed "California King Bed". I really like this song. She looked great. Cool to see 80s rock band Extreme's Nuno Betancourt playing guitar in her band. One of my favorite 80s era guitarists.

Ryan got to the results. Haley was safe. Paul sent home. Unfortunately I wasn't surprised as I had predicted he would go home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

American Idol does movie songs

The show began with Ryan telling the audience that JLo was named People's most beautiful woman in the world.

It was movie song night. Should be interesting to see what the Idols pick.

Paul did Bob Seger's "Old time rock n roll". I like Paul a lot but I found it to be like a theme park style performance. Just trying too hard to be the show opener.

Lauren did Miley Cyrus' "The Climb". It was ok but I did not like it more than Miley's version.  Iovine's comment that she can do it better than Miley probably didn't help as it put that in people's heads of comparing the two more than listening to Lauren's version.

Stefano did Boyz II Men's "End of the road". Stefano has to learn to dress like an artist and not look like he's going to go play basketball or hang out. Especially for the style of songs he does. Look the part, it will help him stamp his image to his performing. Good vocals. 1st performance of the night I liked.

Scotty did George Strait's "I cross my heart"". Nice vocals but nothing new.

Casey did Nat King Cole's "Nature boy". I like that he stuck to his guns and didn't let Iovine change his song. Casey made the artistic choice like a true artist should. I can see what Iovine was saying about it playing small compared to the other performances but Casey's performance was damn cool for Idol.

Haley did Blondie's "Call me". I really liked it! Vocals were really good. That is not an easy song to sing. I didn't agree with Randy or JLo. Karaoke? No way. I can understand them saying that it wasn't a songwriter style song as compared to the others but she was definitely strutting her vocal chops with that song.

Jacob did "Bridge over troubled water". Iovine rightfully scolded him for preaching to America last week before doing his song and it resulting in his being in the bottom 3. I hope Jacob has absorbed that lesson fully but he seems the type that does learn from his mistakes. He started off slow and had a slow buildup but there was a nice payoff at the end. Has America forgiven him though or have they written him off for his comments last week? That will remain to be seen. The public can be fickle and easily turned off. It can take a lot to win them back.

James did Sammy Hagar's "Heavy metal". Stuck to his guns about doing the song but sounded ignorant about the business in explaining himself to Iovine and Hopefully a lesson learned for him! Iovine was having a rough night with some of the Idols rebeling against his advice. Not what they'll be able to do under his or most labels so they better not get used to that. Anyway, cool performance although I don't know how it will be received. Zakk Wylde!!! Enough said. I like that James is flying the metal flag for all us rockers out there.

On a side note, I agree with the criticism that the judges are being too nice with the contestants. Only Iovine is being tough with them. The judges need to give more critique on the vocals and performances. Also, I found myself watching with some disinterest for the first time ever last night. Having Pia eliminated, Jacob in the bottom 3 and some anonymous sources saying that Scotty and Lauren are always in the top 2 votes really makes me question the credibility of this season's Idol. Great talent to be sure but something seems to be wrong with their system. X-Factor must be salivating at this thought and looking at AI's ratings this week carefully.

Bottom 3 - Paul, Haley and Jacob. Casey could also be in danger. I think Paul goes home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

American Idol shocker!

The show started innocently enough with a rock medley by the Idols.

Stefano, Casey & Lauren were called up first. As I predicted, Stefano was in the bottom 3.

Idol alum Constantine performed "Unchained melody".

Paul, Pia & Scotty were called up next. Scotty was told he was safe. Paul looked resigned to the bottom 3 next to Pia but he was told he was safe! Pia? Pia in the bottom 3? What the hell? Ok, calm down I said to myself. No disrespect to Stefano but he was still there so all was good. Pia would just get a scare.

Then they showed us a TMZ media training segment. Ok.

James, Haley and Jacob up last. James safe. Haley looked resigned to being in the bottom 3 like Paul but just like Paul it was front-runner Jacob who was in the bottom 3! Jacob in the bottom 3? Talent-wise I don't see it but I can see it for him telling America that if they didn't like his performance, they need to look in the mirror. That wasn't a wise decision to say that on a show where you are looking for votes. Looks like he turned a lot of people off with that, he'll have to get himself back in people's good graces and stay away from arrogant comments like that.

Iggy Pop performed. Whose idea was that? Iggy Pop is not PG friendly and they wound up not being able to do close-ups on him, cutting away and censoring him. Iggy was just doing his thing but I don't think that's appropriate for this show. Just stupid. Makes AI look desperate for water cooler moments. More on that in a bit.

Results in. Jacob was told he was safe. Lesson learned I hope. Pia and Stefano, Pia out! The judges and audience were stunned & angry. I, like the audience and judges, was stunned. America got it wrong. BIGTIME. Pia is hands down the most polished and talented singer on the show. She will be the biggest star to emerge from this season and although she's out, she'll be just fine. She has a HUGE career ahead. I absolutely detested that the AI producers played up her dedicating things to her grandfather in her video package, all the while getting as good a close-up on her as they could in the hopes they would get her crying. To her credit, Pia did not give them that satisfaction. She kept it together till the show was over and had Jacob to bawl into. :(

Why was she out? I've heard lots of theories today, lots with some truth to them - girls don't vote for girls, they vote for the cutest guys; that the judges didn't push her to own the stage more; that voters felt she was going to be fine either way and voted for others more in danger; that since texting came into the vogue as a way to vote and became cheaper to do, girls have had problems on AI as girls vote for the guys; here's something that I don't see being mentioned though - what if it was done for ratings? The Casey watercooler moment was huge and spoken about all the way up to the next show. For TV, that's big especially with X Factor around the corner. Could the producers have played us all with the Casey moment? To show that this season's show is very unpredictable. In all my years watching AI since the beginning, America has never been this unpredictable or inconsistent with the contestants. When the Casey show began, Ryan advised us to stay tuned to the very end and that it would be a shocking vote. The producers knew the judges would use the save. They also know what a front-runner being voted out would do for the show's ratings as being unpredictable. As is the camera on Pia's face to catch some tears. All for ratings. This is a TV show after all. However, it can also be said that to get rid of a front-runner can be dangerous to ratings as people can get turned off to even watching. Right now, I think it's a very perilous time for AI. They had so much goodwill going with this cast of contestants and the new judges. All that can be gone right now as people seem truly disturbed that someone with Pia's talent could be ousted. This upset goes down in AI's history with the likes of Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson. Just like those 2, I predict she will far outshine whoever wins the show this season. Team Pia!

American Idol does songs from the Rock n Roll HOF

Interesting theme we got last night for Idol. Songs from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Lots of great music and good choices in there.

We were shown that Gwen Stefani helped the contestants with their wardrobe choices this week. Lots of hit and misses in that department this week. helped mentor the contestants in the studio and he gave some good advice for the most part.

Jacob did MJ's "Man in the mirror". This is one of my all-time favorite songs. Everything about it, the lyrics, the music, MJ's vocals - just everything a song should be. Jacob did the song justice, he was very good! I'm glad that he changed to this song from the song he first thought of doing. It's good that he stuck to his convictions and a song he believed in more than just a song he could sing well. I admire that. That's the sign of an artist.

Haley did Joplin's "Piece of my heart". For this song she was very good but she has to get away from the constant annoying growling she does and just sing. The song choice was rather typical since the judges have mentioned Joplin to her before. I would've preferred to see her do something different than what was expected.

Casey did CCR's "Have you ever seen the rain" while playing the upright bass. Nice moody vocals and performance. Very cool vibe.

Lauren did Aretha's "Natural woman". It was her best performance so far. She looked great makeup -wise, outfit wise there was potential there but too much going on. You could definitely see the Stefani influence there. Kelly Clarkson's rendition of this song in season 1 is still Idol's standard for which anyone who tries to do this song will be judged.

James did George Harrison's "While my guitar gently weeps". Very nice, love how he ended it strong.

Scotty did Elvis. Good vocals but his mic holding is strange. It gets to the point that it's distracting from his performance. At this point I'd rather hear Scotty, than see him. That will make for good radio songs from him at least! ;)

Pia did a fast song finally. Not the best song but she worked it out. Slower songs are definitely her strength. The outfit was horrible IMO.

Stefano did Percy Sledge's "When a man loves a woman". It was a nice performance. I like the emotion he shows. JLo's intent stare while he was performing was funny! I think JLo had all her people on the phones to vote after the show! She is most definitely his cougar fan!

Paul did Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues". Very energetic. Nice vocals.

Although the song choices didn't turn out to be as good as I had hoped, the performances were all good to very good. Not a stinker in the bunch which makes picking the bottom 2 very difficult this week. With that said, I will go with 2 who have been in the bottom 2 before. Stefano and Haley. Paul could also be in danger. Jen won't be happy but I think Stefano goes home tonight.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol - 2 go home in 1 night

The show began with a video segment that said we will be shocked by who goes home. Sounds like it will be an interesting night!

Scotty & Lauren did a duet of Carrie Underwood's "I told you so". It was really good! Too bad we didn't know it at the time, so we could relish it more but this turned out to be the best performance of the night, established artists included. Afterwards, both were told they were safe.

Naima & Jacob did Ashford & Simpson's "Solid". It was not. Very karaoke. Naima deservedly in the bottom 3 after last night's mess.

Fantasia sang. That's all I will say about that! :x

Haley, Pia & Thia did Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream". Haley oversang it. It's like Haley doesn't know any better of when to go for it and when to just sing. It's getting rather annoying. Pia easily outclassed her with her pure tone when it came to her part in the song. Thia had no solo part, that probably was a hint. Thia in the bottom 3.

2 for 2 with my predictions about the bottom 3. I'm glad America heard what I heard.

Paul, James, Casey & Stefano did a poorly rehearsed medley. Either that or it was just sloppy as hell. They did sound good when they got to "Band on the run" though.
Afterwards, James was told he was safe and Stefano and Paul were left to sweat. I had mentioned those two would probably be in danger as well. America! You and me are in sync! ;) Paul in bottom 3.

Jamie Foxx & performed a song for the upcoming movie "Rio".

Ryan, who called himself the "buzzkill" (What? Did I hear him use the wrestler nickname I gave him in a previous post?), told us the results and Naima & Thia were sent home. Paul is safe. He better pick better songs for his voice from now on.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American Idol does Elton John

Last night the Idols tackled Elton John songs so of course the show began with an Elton John retrospective which was very cool to see. Doing Elton John songs when 2 contestants are going home just upped the pressure even more than usual. EJ songs are not easy, especially those early in his career when he was able to sing in a higher range.

Scotty went first. Did a solid job as usual but I agree with the criticism that he is becoming a one trick pony. Gently strumming a guitar didn't change that. He has to change things up a little. Just a little so it's something a little different. BUT he does know his audience and playing up to grandma certainly didn't hurt the votes. ;)

Naima did a reggae version of "I'm still standing". Good idea but it was just too restrained. She's so concscious of not being pitchy that she's being very deliberate with her singing and it's sucking the life out of her voice. She's in a tough spot vocally and I don't think she'll have the time to work it out.

Paul did "Rocket man" which I thought was a real bad choice for him and even more so after he said in his video package that he had done a cover of it with his band before and it was a disaster. It was just ok but he picked a song with a high range and didn't go for the notes.

Pia did "Don't let the sun go down on me". Very good vocals as usual. No need for her to ditch the ballads but I do agree that she should at least try to do a more mid-tempo style of song. I don't agree that she should be up there stomping her foot to emphasize notes ala Celine Dion. That's Celine's thing, let Pia be Pia.

Stefano did "Tiny dancer" which is a real hard song. You don't get points for degree of difficulty on Idol, you either sing well or you don't. He didn't reach the notes of the song. Was kind of drab. Disappointed by the song choice and performance. :/

Lauren did "Candle of the wind". Very nice vocals as usual but I don't see her connecting to the lyrics in an emotional way.

James did "Saturday's night alright for fighting". Really good! That's what I've been wanting to see. Busted out all his rocker moves and was working it. The flaming piano was rather cheesy and inappropiate to the song but it works for Idol.

Thia did "Daniel". Good vocal but very laid back. Rather boring.

Casey did "Your song". This is one of my all-time favorite songs, love the lyrics and melody. He was very good. He seemed very happy with his performance.

Jacob did "Sorry seems to be the hardest word". Great choice. Loved his vocals and the emotion he shows while singing. Lauren and Thia can take some notes.

Haley did "Benny & the Jets". She didn't shy away from the notes and went for it. I was happy to see that. I liked it! Very good vocals and performance.

So, 2 will go home tonight. Who will it be? I think Naima and Thia will go home tonight. Stefano and Paul are also in danger.

Final mixing on my album is done!!

FINAL MIXING ON MY ALBUM IS DONE!! I have put in a lot of long hours over the past year working on Aria Cortes' debut country album and my latin album but the time has come that both albums are done! :)

It was a big undertaking to not only work on my album but on hers as well. As the main songwriter for her album and of course writing all the songs on my album, it was quite a challenge to go from not having written a song in years to writing over 20+ songs especially when the songs for Aria's album were very different (country, pop) from what I was writing for myself (rock, blues, pop). It was a fun challenge though. I don't know if I'd ever take the undertaking of doing 2 albums at once again... ah, who am I kidding? Sure I would! Lol. Honestly, I needed something like that to get out a lot of pent up creative ideas that needed to come out. After all I've gone through personally in recent years that have prevented me from doing what I was meant to do and love, the songwriting process was very therapeutic. As always my songs come from the heart and the songs on my new album are even more so since they are born from mourning, heartbreak, disappointment and trying to remain positive and optimistic despite it all.

Then it was the harder job of recording and producing both albums which has been a LOT of work. It's a long process that Aria and I began last summer and although I've wanted the albums to come out faster, things like this can't and shouldn't be rushed. But now that the mixing is done, the creative process is complete and now it goes to manufacturing and getting the CDs ready for you all!

I can't wait to share it with you! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour is tonight! Do your part

Those of you who have been following me since my Vogue's Rogues days know that I am very environmentally conscious and that I am very active in environmental and wildlife issues, both here in the US and globally. With that said...

Earth Hour is tonight at 8:30 pm! Lights will be turning off around the world at
that time in a global show of support. Join me along with the world in showing your support by turning off your lights for one hour.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Final mixing has begun!

I began final mixing on Aria Cortes' debut country album yesterday (I also wrote most of the songs on it and produced it!) and will finish it today. For those of you who have signed up to the World Conquest Records mailing list, you know all about Aria and my ties to her ;)

You can also know all about my album news and more so make sure you hit the link and sign up! Oh, did I mention you get a free download of one of my songs for signing up? ;)

After I am done doing the final mixing on her album, then I will be doing final mixing on my album!! Then that's it, the creative and production work on my album will be through!! I'm almost there!! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol - the Top 10 are set

Tonight was the night that we would find out who would be in the American Idol Top 10 which is a big deal to the contestants since it means they'll be doing the summer tour and increasing their exposure. Lots of money at stake for them!

As the show opened we got to see footage of Marc Anthony mentoring the Idols both before yesterday's performances and after. He helped them with monitor issues, live performing tips and just gave them a lot of great advice. He was a very good mentor.

The Idols did an excellent rendition of The Supremes' "Ain't no mountain high enough". Then the doors parted and I was expecting Smokey Robinson when out came Stevie Wonder! Awesomeness! Even Steve Tyler was in awe.

Then afterward they all sang Happy Birthday to Steven! Now that's how you open a show!

Ryan came to ruin the mood (lol) by getting to the business they were there for. He mentioned that tonight's bottom 3 would be shocking and to stay tuned to the end of the show. Interesting...

Pia, Scotty, Lauren were called up as the first group - they were all safe

We were shown a wrestling segment from the house which was cool since I'm a huge wrestling fan. WrestleMania 27 is next week!! Cena, Rock, Miz! Stone Cold! HHH, Undertaker! Ahem... ok, let me get back to topic. Lol.

James & Paul were called up next - then the doors opened and out stepped Hulk Hogan! As big wrestling fan James went crazy, Hogan announced they were both safe & then he laid the smackdown on Ryan! That's what Ryan "the buzzkill" Seacrest gets for being the mood killer! Lol.

Jacob, Thia, Stefano were called up - this time though only Jacob was safe. Thia and Stefano were in the bottom 3.

Naima, Haley, Casey up were the final 3 to be called up - I expected Haley in there but it was Casey in the bottom 3!?! My only guess as to why he was in the bottom 3 is that people assumed he was safe and didn't vote. Was Casey going to be another victim of the assumption non-vote? Or would he be safe?

Jennifer Hudson came out looking and sounding great and did a song of her new album.

Thia was the first to be told she was safe. Stefano looked so sad but was saved. Casey was the one to be eliminated!! Casey began to sing to see if the judges would use the save. The judges looked downright angry that he was up there as he's clearly a judge's favorite (I think he's a fan favorite as well, so much so that people thought he was safe). The judges stopped Casey mid-song and told him that it was crazy that he was up there singing for the save. They immediately told him that they were going to use the save on him. The place erupted! Casey was overcome with emotion. This guy has been in the hospital for transfusions twice while being on the show and hasn't missed a show. That says how much he wants this so that emotion was real and raw. GREAT Idol moment. Ryan then told him that it was a pre-determined rule that should something like the save being used at this point happen that the summer tour would now be the American Idol top 11 and that he was going to be on the tour! But "Buzzkill" Ryan had to bring us all back to reality as he stated before the show went off the air that next week would mean 2 contestants would be going home!

Except for the end of the season final shows, this was by far Idol's best show ever. I'm happy Casey got saved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The American Idol 11 do Motown

Tonight's show is Motown tunes so should be a good show and challenging for some. The show opened with a very nice Motown history segment. I've always admired Motown's philosophy of being like one big family and this segment spotlighted that and its great music.

Tonight decides the Top 10. Only the top 10 get to go on the summer tour so they all have to bring their A game since the summer tour = $$$$ for the singers.

Casey went first with Marvin Gaye's "I heard it through the grapevine". Nice interpretation of the song. Really good.

Thia did Martha & the Vandelas' "Heatwave". Her lower register was great in the beginning of the song but she staggered a bit as she went higher. Seemed to have trouble with the words? Seemed to not connect with the words, lacked a little bit of the conviction needed. Started with lots of promise but turned out just ok.

Jacob did Marvin Gaye's "You're all I need to get by". Sounded great. Met my expectations of how good he would sound.

Lauren did The Supremes' "You keep me hanging on". Sounded good but the vocals never really took off. Seemed to stay in a safe zone of the song and didn't seem to really connect with the song either.

Stefano did Lionel Richie's "Hello". Not his best vocal. Too many dark notes in the verses. I liked where he went with the parts but vocally he didn't get there. Jen is funny. Did she really say "fine... check" to him? JLo the Cougar! Lol! I think Marc and the twins need to talk to her. Lol.

Haley did Smokey Robinson's "You really got a hold on me". I'll keep this short. It was oversinging overkill.

Scotty did Stevie Wonder's "For once in my life". The beginning was really great but lost a bit when he went into the higher register. The arrangement was decent. I'm sure Nashville songwriters already have country songs in mind for him. He's going to have himself a nice country music career.

Pia did Stevie Wonder's "All in love is fair". Stunning look & vocals. Just great.

Paul did one of my favorite ever Motown songs by one of my favorite Motown singers. He did a pop version of Smokey Robinson's "The tracks of my tears" while playing guitar. Very cool arrangement & vocals. I really loved it.

Naima did Martha & the Vandelas' "Dancing in the streets". She did surprisingly well and showed that she listened to the judges critiques. She was much more deliberate with her vocals to keep a consistent tone. She sounded good. She even threw in some african dancing to the song and smartly kept the vocals to a bare minimum after her very energetic dance segment. Very cool.

James ended the show with Stevie Wonder's "Living in the city". Man, I like him but it was just another OK performance from him IMO. I like him a lot but with his range, I keep expecting more. I also didn't like how much he played up to the camera, made the performance cheesy. I would've preferred Naima's performance as the show ender.

So, who loses out on the tour and money - everyone was very good except for one so filling the bottom 3 will be interesting. My bottom 3 would be Haley, Thia and Stefano. After being in the bottom 3 every week so far, Haley will be sent home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Solemn day for my family and I today

Today is the 2 year anniversary of my mom's passing. She is greatly missed. It is still tough on my family and me but we are thankful for having had the love and caring of such a wonderful mother and grandmother.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Idol - the Top 12 sing for our votes

The show began with the judges and Ryan letting us know that tonight's performances will be available on iTunes after the show and all proceeds from sales will go to Japan aid and relief efforts. Tomorrow they will let us know how we can text to donate through them. Nice. Would be nicer if JLo made the same offer with her top 10 iTunes download, even if it was for a limited time.

Anyway, the show got underway and the contestants will be singing songs from the year of their birth so I was happy since that meant we should get lots of 80s stuff. As you all know, I love my 80s music! :)

Naima started off the show and did Tina Turner's "What's love got to do with it". I hated the contemporary vibe made for the song. She was too loose with the song vocally and it wasn't very good at all. I don't know what's happened to Naima. I like her but she seems to be going backwards here. JLo said she is too pitchy & Randy didn't like it. Agreed.

Paul did Sir Elton's "I guess that's why they call it the blues". He was sick and you could hear it in his voice, struggling throughout the song. Not very good.

Thia did Vanessa Williams' "Colors of the wind". Kind of a safe choice but also a good choice for her. Her voice has a very pure, mature tone. She looked great and showed a lot of confidence. Very good but she has to kill the vibrato in her voice, it was getting overwhelming and too noticeable at times towards the end.

James did Bon Jovi's "I'll be there for you". Now you all know that I'm a huge Bon Jovi fan so this had better be good. Didn't like the way the band did the music, very cheesy sound. Even the guitar solo annoyed me with its cheesiness. Also, James chose a very weird spot to start the song. His vocals were ok & the hi note was surprisingly not as good as Jon's, then he had to throw in a Adam Lambert finishing note which was off. Was very disappointed with this performance. Also, did I notice a hint of over-confidence? I hope not.

Haley did Whitney Houston's "I'm your baby tonight". She took on too big a song and started off a little rough but got it working from the middle on. Felt bad for her with her microphone/lipstick issues. Randy is right when he said that she needs to figure out who she is.

Stefano did Simply Red's "If you don't know me by now". Good song choice. Sounded really good. Best overall performance of the night - vocally & musically. JLo is definitely a fan. Watch out Marc! Lol.

Pia did Whitney Houston's "Where do broken hearts go?". Horrible cheerleader band version. I'm not liking how they are raving about these producers' ideas when they are just butchering song arrangements left and right. Pia rose above the horrible arrangement. Sounded great as usual.

Scotty did Travis Tritt's "Can I trust you with my heart?". Sounded really good but his performance style has to grow a bit. He always strikes the same pose and just stays stuck there throughout the song. That'll get better with time I'm sure.

Karen did Taylor Dayne's "Love will lead you back". I was a huge fan of Taylor Dayne and her music back in the day. She was an under-rated vocalist. Loved this song of hers. Karen sounded good but doesn't have the thickness to her voice that this song needed. Kind of like the problem Ashthon had with her song choices. I also don't get how they show us Karen telling Iovine that she doesn't want to become the bilingual singer yet when she sang the song, there she was doing it bilingually again. If you do something, do it and be proud of it. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Being bilingual sets her apart, she should embrace it.

Casey did Nirvana's "Smells like teen spirit". The whole thing was kind of on the weird side, the performance & a horn in the song from the band was all just... strange. Good vocals but it was one of those performances that was better to be heard and not seen. I don't think that's what Casey was going for. Lol.

Lauren did Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the only one". Nice song choice. She also was sick. Good vocals though.

Jacob did Heart's "Alone". A very risky song choice. He didn't start off on the right spot but once he got into the heart of the song, it rocked. Not his best but still good compared to a lot of the singers tonight.

Lots of choices tonight for the bottom 3 unfortunately. I don't know how many iTunes sales will be made form last night's show so hopefully the producers can come up with something better tomorrow night. Japan needs all the help and donations it can get. Just for the record, it's easy to make $10 donation. Just text REDCROSS to 90999. I did it and it literally takes seconds. Please take a moment and give.

Back to the bottom 3 - I think making the bottom 3 this week will be Naima, Karen and Haley. I think Naima goes home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol - The 1st contestant to go home is...

The show began with Ryan informing us with the news that Casey is in the hospital again. I hope he's ok and I hope they can get control of his situation. Considering that he needed another blood transfusion I'm amazed how he was able to perform last night. What a trooper! The show must go on indeed!

Holy crap! We were shown the mansion the contestants are staying at. Those that know me know that I don't impress easily but wow, what a house!

Next up, we got the 1st group performance and it was a Michael Jackson medley! The singers sounded great doing MJ's songs.

Time for the drama!

Jacob, Stefano and Karen were brought up first. Ryan said you are all safe so they start celebrating & then he goes, except for Karen who was in the bottom 3. That's just lame. Not the fact that Karen was in the bottom but to play with someone's emotions like that just for the shock value of it is wrong.

Lauren, Ashthon and Haley were brought up next. Lauren was really down on herself for her performance yesterday. She was holding back tears and showing not only her age but the intense pressure these contestants are dealing with in the shadow of their dreams and hopes. Ryan redeemed himself and gave her a break. After seeing her reaction, he told her he wouldn't drag it out for her and told her she was safe and could go back to the couch.

He then told Haley & Ashthon they were in the bottom 3 with Karen. He then told the rest on the couch they were safe & they didn't know what to make of it since that is so different from what they usually do. Weird how it was done but definitely unpredictable. This eliminates the contestants feeling too comfortable by the order they are picked to come down to her the verdict on America's vote.

After good performances by Diddy and Adam Lambert, we got to the main event. Who would stay and who would go home. Karen was safe. So the final 2 was Ashthon & Haley. Ashthon was the unlucky first contestant to recive the least votes.

She then got a chance to sing for the "save" but realistically we know that the judges reserve that save for 2 or 3 of the top singers should they ever find themselves in the elimination zone. Well, Ashthon sang her Diana Ross song again and she sounded great but no surprise, was not saved. JLo was very upset when giving her the news.

I think Ashthon has a lot going for her - a good image and voice and lots of confidence (which you can't teach) and once she finds the right songs for her voice, she'll do big things. I wish her well. I'm a fan.

American Idol - we get the show underway with the Top 13

Last night, we finally got the AI machine rolling as the top 13 sang for their future careers. The singers were going to sing songs of their favorite singers. With that we got some interesting insight into some of the singers tonight. There was no messing around as we got right to the contestants singing!

Lauren went first which made me happy that I didn't have to wait for a favorite.She did Shania Twain's "Any man of mine" and while it was solid, it was just too safe. She didn't really challenge herself. She seemed confused and hurt by the judges critique which wasn't harsh at all. This is the problem with the young singers, they lack the experience to know exactly where to go with a song and they aren't used to rejection & criticism. I hope Lauren gets it together soon.

Casey went next and did Joe Cocker's "I get by with a little help from my friends". Great song choice for him since I get that Joe Cokcer vibe from him when he performs. He employed a smart use of the choir for the song. Performing experience counts for a lot at this point in the show.

Ashthon did Diana Ross' "When you tell me that you love me". She looked great, she looked the part of Diana Ross. She sounded good but her voice is on the thin side and it showed in some points, a bit of a safe song choice. I agree with Jen that she should've picked a better known Diana Ross song.

Paul did Ryan Adams' "Come pick me up". I really enjoy his 70s performing style, he has a cool, having fun on stage and having fun with the music vibe. Again, the performing experience shows. He started slow but his vocals were good.

Pia took on Celine Dion's "All by myself" which was impressive in and of itself. She looked great and sang great. She was the standout of the night once again. She has a great career ahead of her.

James did Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm amazed". Surprising influence. He was good but for some reason I expected more from him with the song, he was very solid nonetheless.

Haley surprised me as well, she did Leann Rimes' "Blue". It was a solid vocal performance but not comparable to the original.

Jacob did R. Kelly's "I believe I can fly". I was very excited by the great song choice. While he hit some amazing notes, he had a real pitchy moment in the transition from the verse to the chorus. That was a product of the song being shortened due to the show format but the band could've come up with something better than that transition that he obviously wasn't feeling.

Thia surprised me with her influence as well. She did Michael Jackson's "Smile". I'm still not used to the idea that Michael is no longer with us but am thankful that he left such wonderful music behind. She also had a bad transition and I also had a problem with the song arrangement of this song. The judges also felt the same, the jazzed up version of the song was just not necessary at all. The beginning was good till the jazz music started, turned her performance from good to just ok. I hope the youngsters on the show are more vocal with what they want to do and are comfortable with than being pushed to do things that may not work. They have to learn to trust their instincts.

Stefano did Stevie Wonder's "Lately". He showed very good vocals. He showed why he deserved to be there.

Karen did Selena's "I could fall in love". This shouldn't be a very hard song for Karen to do but she stumbled all over it. It was not very good, she didn't do much with the song.

Scotty did Garth Brooks' "The River". Great song and good song choice by Scotty. He was solid but some of the notes seemed too big for his range.

Naima ended the show with Rihanna's "Umbrella". I was surprised by Naima's influence since Rihanna hasn't been around that long and considering everything else that Naima has sung on the show. Her performance was very different for Idol, she gave us a performance complete with dance moves and rap. Had a real nice transition from the rap section to the singing part. I don't know how much that performance or song choice tells us about Naima the artist though. She's given us a lot of different looks and sounds and hasn't painted a clear enough picture to let us know who she wants to be as an artist. I hope she figures this out soon because she has a great image but has to get everything else to catch up to it.

I see the bottom 2 as a battle of the wildcards with Ashthon and Naima. I see Naima going home tonight. :(

Monday, March 7, 2011

Come visit my YouTube channel!

Hello my dreamers!

Guess what? Now you can see me on my official Youtube channel! I'll be posting videos on there with me talking about my new album, my likes and much more! I'll also be posting concert clips, events, news and announcements! Come visit my channel and get to know me better. See you there!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Idol eliminations, the Top 13 is set!

It was craziness tonight! We got the top 13 tonight in one wild, intense round! No dragging it out for ratings over a few weeks. It was all or nothing yesterday for some and all or nothing for the lucky few that were picked as wild-card options. We got our top 5 guys and top 5 gals and then the remaining 14 had to hope to be picked for a wildcard sing-off for the wildcard spots! Yikes! Serious nerves and pressure for the contestants, judges and us fans!

They were brought up in duos or groups by Ryan and told whether they were in or not:

Scotty in the top 10
Robbie not in which was very surprising
Clint not in (looked ill while awaiting the verdict and looked worse afterward!)
Jordan not in (not a surprise after his diva antics in Hollywood week and his performance yesterday)
Jovany not in
Lauren, Pia both in (no surprise there - they are 2 of the best on the show)
Ta-tynisa, Julie both not in
Karen in (no surprise there)
Ashthon, Kendra not (I was surprised that neither Ashton nor Kendra made it in, they were good!)
Jacob, Casey in (no surprise there, 2 of the most talented singers on the show)
Tim not (no surprise there, we weren't shown him much nor did he have a good performance)
Thia in (no surpise there)
Naima, Lauren not (I like Naima but her performance yesterday was shaky; I was surprised that Lauren didn't make it, she has strong vocals)
Brett not in, Paul in (I really like Brett but he wasn't the strongest vocalist so I was happy to see that America didn't go for the sentimental vote and went for the stronger vocalist in Paul)
Haley in, Rachel not (No surprise with Rachel but slightly surprised with Haley getting in after her performance over Lauren, Ashthon or Kendra)
James in, Stefano not (James was a no-brainer but I wasn't happy to see that the numbers game caught up to Stefano. It was messed up that the best buds had to go up against each other for the last spot)

So, with the top 10 announced, we were told that there would be 6 wild card picks.
Ashthon was picked first which I was happy about, she definitely has something. She did "And I am telling you" - her voice is not the thickest for this song but she attacked it & gave it all she had. Not much more you can ask from a singer.
Stefano was picked next! He sang "I need you now" - great vocals and runs, couldn't have done it better. Jennifer looked very happy that he nailed it, she seems to be a fan and supporter of his.
Kendra was picked next! She did "Georgia on my mind" - started slow but did great at the end
Jovany was picked next which was surprising. He did "Angel" - really nice. JLo's quote that he did all u could do didn't bode well for his moving forward. Not exactly a vote of confidence.
Naima was picked next. She did "For all we know" - really nice but too safe a choice
Robbie got the last wild card spot! He did "Sorry seems to be the hardest word" - great choice for him and his vocals were spot on

After some deliberation and a JLo video we got the judges decision on the final 3 Wild card picks- Ashthon, Stefano and in a surprising pick Naima was chosen over Robbie.

All in all, I am very happy with the top 13 that will be going forward. I just wish they had made it a top 14 and included Robbie. It's a shame he (and Kendra) couldn't be included but I expect we'll hear much more from them now that they've gotten great exposure on the show.

Message to my fans / Mensaje para mi fans

There is a song on my new album that represents what I feel & believe in and in the song I call myself a dreamer. You believe in me, so from now on I will call all my fans my "dreamers". Hi my dreamers!! :)

Hay una cancion en mi nuevo album que representa lo yo siento y creo y en la cancion yo me llamo un sonador. Tu crees en mi, pues de este momento adelante yo voy a llamar todo mi fans mi "sonadores". Hola mi sonadores!! :)

American Idol's top 12 girls sing!

Last night we got to hear the Top 12 females and as I expected, the girls on this season of AI are very strong!

Ta-tynisa Wilson went first and did "Only girl in the world". I had hoped she had stepped it up from earlier showings but this was not very good. Rihanna is not known as a strong singer (although I disagree with that) but she was clearly outsung by Rihanna. The song was way too big for her.

Naima Adedapo went next and did "Summertime". She was very good. Loved her style.

Kendra Chantelle did "Impossible". I must say I love her name, it's just such an artistic name. She was very good. Great image, loved her whole look. She had it all working and sounded really good.

Rachel Zevita just had a weird song choice. She had a decent vocal performance but the song choice was her downfall.

Karen Rodriguez did a bilingual version of "Hero". Very smart song choice and very smart to do it bilingually and set herself apart that way. She looked great. Sounded great.

Lauren Turner did "7 day fool". Very good vocals, she can definitely sing. Very cool song choice.

Ashthon Jones showed good vocals and lots of confidence on stage. Interesting performance, she performed as if she was doing a concert and not a vocal competition. That was different. Not sure if it was different in a bad way though.

Julie Zorrilla did "Breakaway". Why did she pick that song? I love the great arrangement by the band but she didn't work it at all. I found her vocals only ok. She's better than what she showed last night.

Haley Reinhart did "Fallin'". I didn't like it and agreed with Randy that she overperformed & oversang the song. All that she did was un-necessary.

Thia Megia did "On my own". Amazing vocals. So poised for her age.

Lauren Alaina did "Turn on the radio". Great natural performance & vocals. It seemed so effortless for her.

Pia Toscano did "I'll stand by you". Nice understated yet very strong performance throughout the song but she absolutely killed it at the end with some amazing note choices. Great performance. The best of the night.

I think after last night that Ta-Tatynisa and Rachel Zevita are in danger.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

American Idol - the Top 12 males sing for our votes

Last night, we finally had the Top 12 males sing for our votes. I think that the females are much stronger this season so I was looking forward to seeing who would step up and claim their spots. Some definitely took the moment to put their stamp on the show and let the other guys (and girls) know that they were ready to compete!

I like the new set, it helps prepare them for the show with the bigger feel and bigger audience. The band sounded tight too. When we got our first look at the judges as they walked out, their star power really struck me. Definitely had a bigger feel with having Simon, Kara and Ellen replaced by music stars JLo and Steven Tyler.

Clint Jun Gamboa went first and he did "Superstitious". He's not a favorite of mine but he was good, just a bit too over the top.

Jovany Barreto did "I'll be". His voice sounded thin. I agreed with Randy that it was just ok and that the ending had a karaoke feel.

Jordan Dorsey did "OMG". He tried but Usher he is not in voice or performance. I felt he did the worst of the night and when we heard the replay of the performances at the end of the show, it was confirmed.

Tim Halperin did "Streetcorner symphony". I like him and I think the song choice was good but something about his singing of it was way off with the music. Sounded very subpar.

Brett Loewenstern did "Light my fire". I'm a fan of Brett's and he had good vocals but the song choice was weird IMO. I just don't see him doing that type of music as an artist so I found it entertaining but not believeable doing it.

James Durbin did "You got another coming". That was cool to hear a Judas Priest song on AI! The band did it well too. I had lots of complaints about the last band so I was happy to hear the music yesterday. Good stuff! Great song choice & performance for James.

Robbie Rosen did "Angel". Nice version although it sounded somewhat Broadway-ish. Sweet vocals though. Robbie's just got a smooth voice. He reminds me of Barry Manilow in lots of ways.

Scotty McCreery did "Letters from home". Good performance.

Stefano Langone did "Just the way u are". Good performance but a little pitchy, especially when he went into his higher register. Hit a really bad high note too. Should've done something different to avoid that bad high note.

Paul McDonald did "Maggie May". Very good song choice for his voice and image. I really liked it.

Jacob Lusk did "A house is not a home" by the late great Luther Vandross. Jacob amazes me. In all my years following AI (which is from the beginning), Jacob is the first to give me goosebumps every time he sings. He just has the gift to reach into the emotion of a song and let it spill out for us lucky listeners. He is my favorite singer this season. I can't ever see him being in danger on the show and I pick him as the winner right now.

Casey Abrams did "I put a spell on you". Great performance. I love his style and fearlessness on stage.

I see Clint and Jordan in danger.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Idol - Final picks for the new season!

Over the past 2 nights we got to see some more performances from favorites doing Beatles songs and final solos. Some soared to new heights and some failed :(

First we got to see the vocal coach from hell. I know that Idol wants these singers to do good and to see if they can handle the pressure but a vocal coach should be stern but nuturing. No need to tear these youngsters down with crude comments. Their confidence is already shaky as is. Since they showed her as the vocal coach from hell, I hope they realized that she isn't the type of coach needed for this job in the future.

First, we got to see the contestants in Vegas doing Beatles tunes. Here are my thoughts on some of my favorites:

Pia Toscano & Karen Rodriguez - very good
Naima Adedapo, Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk - good, sounded good together
Rachel Zevita - really good
Lauren Turner - very good
Tim Halperin, Julie Zorilla - very good
Lakeisha Lewis - very good voice
Kendra Chantelle, Paul McDonald - very good
Scotty McCreary - really good
Lauren Alaina- really good
Casey Abrams, Chris Medina - cool performance
Robbie Rosen - very good as usual

We finally get to see who stayed and who was going home. My thoughts...
My favorites moving onto the top 24...

Naima Adedapo - happy to see her make it, she has that IT factor with her image and voice
Haley Reinhart won me over
I'm a big fan of Karen Rodriguez and Robbie Rosen
I found Tatynisa Wilson cute but she's going to have to pick it up
I'm happy that Julie Zorilla, Rachel Zevita, Lauren Alaina, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, Pia Toscano, James Durbin, Casey Abrams, Thia Megia and Brett Loewenstern all made it!! The girls are really strong this season!

I was sad to see Hollie Cavanagh not make it. Telling her that if she continues working and comes back next season that she can win it is nice but doesn't ease the sting of getting this far this season only to not make it. Hopefully she will try and get a chance next season.

We hadn't really seen Lakeisha Lewis before this week and the girl can sing. I hope she tries again next year as well.

I was sad to see Chris Medina not make it but he made some strange song choices that didn't work. If he can find who he wants to be as an artist, he can be very successful. He definitely has a lot going for him with his story and character as a person.

It was sad to see Colton Dixon and Jacee Badeaux lose out to Brett Loewenstern but either decision would've been sad with those 3 left and only 1 spot left open. I was happy to see Brett make it as I really like his personality and character but I think that Colton was the most talented of the 3. I really like Jacee but he still needs a little more work. I hope he and Colton come back next season.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

American Idol - Hollywood week finale

Tonight we got to see the final solos. Here are my thoughts on my favorites:

Haley Reinhart- sounded great
Ashton Jones- was bold, taking on dreamgirls
Thia Megia- great voice, great note choices
Sophia Shorai- really good voice, I really like her performing style
Carson higgins- crazy dude, good performance
Chris Medina- what did he do? :(
Julie Zorilla- played keys, sounded good
Brett Loewenstern- sounded good
Robbie Rosen- very good
Casey Abrams- He used an upright bass for his solo - that's bold and different! He has such a soulful voice! Very good!
Lauren Alaina- very good as usual
Jacob Lusk- crazy runs & such a great range, loved his performance & emotion

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

American Idol - Hollywood week - group night

Tonight we got the always interesting group round where we got to see how some people act and interact with others. Not always pretty. Here are my notes on tonight:

Tiffany Rios was arrogant with her solo and then was desperate to find group afterwards. I would like to think she learned a lesson but I don't know, she doesn't seem the type to admit mistakes. Not good.

Ashley Sullivan quits then is talked back into continuing. How can you try out for Idol, make it this far and then even think about quitting? Getting that far is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you have to make the most of it and not fold up under the pressure.

Jacee Badeuax was thrown out of his group but found a group with kind-hearted Brett Loewenstern. I was happy to see them in the same group. I didn't buy Clint Jun Gamboa's reason for ejecting Jacee from the group. Not one bit. :/

I was very disappointed by Jordan Dorsey's diva behavior and quitting on his team without any remorse. I know its a competition but it says a lot about him. :/

I can't believe Paris Tassin is out. She totally blew her part. :(

Thursday, February 10, 2011

American Idol - Hollywood week - Part 1

Finally we get to Hollywood week where we get to see how some of our favorites will do and get to meet some new singers that we haven't seen yet. Here are my thoughts on some of my favorites and what I thought of them making it to the next round or not:

Brett Lowenstern- yes!
Rachel Zevita, Thia Megia, Casey Abrams :)
Peppy Victoria Huggins - her melody let her down badly during her solo
Paris Tassin, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina :)
Teen USA Stormi Henley :(
Chris Medina :)
Jacee Badeaux, Robbie Rosen, Hollie Cavanaugh :)
Jacqueline Dunford :)
Scotty McCreary :)
Travis Orlando :(

168 move forward to the next round

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

American Idol auditions hit San Francisco

Here are my notes from the auditions in SF.

Stefano Langone- crazy story about an accident that Stefano had, he had the multiple huge scars to prove it! I found him very passionate and he had a really gd voice
Clint Jun Gamboa- interesting look, I found him somewhat annoying for some reason though. He has a good voice.
Julie Zorrilla- pretty girl, very gd voice
Emily Anne Reed - really interesting voice
James Durbin- amazing voice & range; very Adam Lambert like but he seems to have a better knack for when to use his range; could he be the winner?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

American Idol hits Los Angeles

Here are my notes for American Idol auditions from Los Angeles - with all the musicians and singers out there I was very surprised by the lack of great talent from there. At least that we were shown. The ones that we were shown were very good though.

Tim Halperin- good voice, smooth
Karen Rodriguez- myspace auditioner, very nice voice, I like her style
Heidi Khzam- very pretty, good voice
Brothers Mark & Aaron gutierrez- nice voices, Mark seemed to have the more potential of the two

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

American Idol hits Texas

These are my notes on the Texas auditions and singers that impressed me.

Corey Lovey- very nice voice
Hollie Cavanaugh- nice voice, too nervous, glad she got a chance to show her stuff in Hollywood. I hope she gets it together.
John Wayne Schulz- very good country voice, nice guy
Courtney Penry- too over the top with her personality, too schmoozy, had a good voice though. No need for all that other stuff unless she was just trying to stand out. You don't want to stand out for negative things though.
Jacqueline Dunford- very pretty, really good image, good voice
Nick Fink- boyfriend to Jacqueline, nice smooth voice
Janelle Arthur- nice girl, very nice voice
Casey abrams - good voice, I like his jazzy style of singing, very different

Friday, January 28, 2011

American Idol auditions hit Music City (Nashville)

Well, last night we saw AI auditions from Nashville and I was expecting lots of great talent from there since Nashville is to aspiring musicians what Hollywood is to aspiring actors. Frankly, I came away disappointed by the talent that showed up. Thankfully, it was not a total loss as there was some really good talent so we didn't have quantity in great singers from Nashville but we did have quality.

Some of the notables:

Scott Bolin had a real nice voice, as did Chelsee Oaks.
Ms. Teen USA Stormi Henley obviously had the looks and a nice voice to match. The judges weren't totally convinced on her voice though, saying it was the smallest voice they've let go to Hollywood but they did send her on though.
Adrienne Beasley had a real nice story of love and color-blindedness as she is african-american but was adopted and raised by an elderly white couple. She has a real nice voice but needs some work to get consistency in her voice.
Jackie Wilson and Jimmie Allen both had nice voices.
Matt Dillard had a real nice story of how his family has raised over 700 foster children over the past 20 years. That's awesome. Everyone should know the love of a family. I was happy to hear that he had a real nice tone to his voice that matched his personality.
Then there was the Kelly Clarkson of the auditions - Laura Alaina is a supersweet young girl with a big heart and although she seemed unassuming and even shy about her talent, once she opened her mouth to sing her personality and voice shone through. This girl can go all the way if she gets through Hollywood and believes in her talent. I just hope that the nice girl can get through Hollywood week. I'm rooting for her!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol auditions in Wisconsin

Last night we saw AI auditions from Wisconsin and the talent there was very good, especially the younger talent. I was very impressed by not only the singers but by their stories of desire and adversity.

We started off the auditions by hearing Scotty McCreery. A 16 year old aspiring country singer who had a nice baritone country voice. I just wonder how he would be able to adapt to other styles like AI requires.

Next we saw Emma Henry and her story of travelling all the way from Colorado for the audition and how she's wanted this all her young life. Real nice girl with a cool look. I loved her raspy-ish voice and all the character it had in it. She had to fight to be given a chance but I was happy to see her get her golden ticket to Hollywood. I hope she surprises the judges and prove them wrong that Hollywood would be too much for her.

We saw Naima Adedapo's story of how much she wants to be a singer and how she dreams of it while working at a local arena. I can totally relate to her as that's how I think most singers (myself included) feel when we go to concerts, etc. I really loved her look and felt her desire. LOVED her voice! Definitely a favorite and another I can see in the Top 12 this season.

Jerome Bell sang and he has a good voice but I felt he was a little too all over the place with his vocal performance.

This Megia had a real nice look and sweet personality and had an outstanding voice. I wonder if she was just mimicking Adele with the Adle song she chose though or if she can do that with other songs too? We'll find out in Hollywood.

Harvard grad / White House Intern Molly DeWolf Swenson had a funny story of Randy accidently popping her in the mouth as he ran in giving everyone high fives. He totally missed her hand and pooped her in the mouth and didn't even know he did it! Lol. Somehow I knew this multi-talented girl could sing and sing she could, I really liked the smokiness to her voice. Nice!

Day 2 brought us:

Haley Reinhart who had auditioned and not made it last year. Well, she put in the work and gave a strong audition to get herself to Hollywood. Pretty girl.

Tiwan Strong had a real nice style to his voice and a real cool vibe. The real show though was when he ran outside to celebrate with his family/friends and one of them stole his moment because she got a charly horse! LOL!!!! My family and I were dying at how his moment was stolen by Ms. Charley Horse and how he kept trying to celebrate only to keep being interrupted by her screaming about her charly horse! We rewinded it on our DVR, we saw that his family were rolling their eyes at her as if she does this all the time! Too funny!! My daughter went on Twitter and saw that charley horse was trending. I guess everyone else found it funny too! :D

The singing accountant Steven Beghun got through to Hollywood but I didn't really get his voice.

Unassuming Scott Dangerfield had a real nice that was unexpected.

Steven Tyler fan Alyson Jados gave a good audition with her cool rocker vibe.

The last story and singer of the night was totally heartbreaking. We saw and heard Chris Medina's story (complete with video of the day he proposed) of how his fiancee was in a car accident 2 months before the wedding and suffered a life-changing brain injury. She's now in a wheelchair and to his credit, he is standing by her and helping her mom take care of her. He still is hoping for the wedding he planned with her. Totally heartbreaking. :(
He has a real nice voice and made it to Hollywood. Helluva guy I must say. The judges asked him to bring his fiance into the room so they could tell her he made it. Very touching.