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.