Thursday, March 29, 2012

American Idol - Results night, down to 8!

As the show began, Eric Benet came out to meet Deandre which was a really cool moment.

We also got a glimpse of the Idols getting to go to the Idol mega-mansion. Now that was a mansion!!

Elise, Phillip, Hollie were called up first
Iovine felt Elise had it all together with her looks, style and voice. Felt she's coming into her own. Felt Phillip is a big star. If Stevie likes something she's rarely wrong. Felt Hollie lacks experience and emotion. Something that puts her behind everyone else.
Hollie wound up in the bottom 3.

Nicki Minaj performed.

Heejun, Joshua, Colton were called up next
Iovine felt Colton didn't keep his emotions in check. Felt Joshua's emotions hurt him too. Felt Heejun got the message last week but isn't as good as everyone that is left.
Heejun was in the bottom 3.

Scotty McCreery performed. Iovine presented him with a platinum record which was really cool and let the Idol contestants see how much their lives can change in 1 year.

Skylar, Deandre, Jessica were called up next
Iovine didn't think Skylar's song had enough melody in it. Felt Deandre still has something missing. Feels his falsetto can be off putting, which I agree with. He has to mix it up more. Feels Jessica is doing some amazing things.
Skylar wound up in the bottom 3 which surprised me.

Skylar was safe. Heejun sang for the save. No save used on Heejun.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

American Idol - The Top 9 sing

The show began with Hilfiger giving the Idol contestants a style lesson. Some seem to take this seriously, while others aren't which I find rather disrespectful. I don't know how Mr. Hilfiger must be feeling about this.

Stevie Nicks was this week's mentor which was very cool. I think Stevie Nicks just exudes cool. The theme of this week was Songs of the contestants Idols which is a pretty darn cool theme of the week.

Colton was up first. Stevie knew him which he was wowed about. I like when you can tell that the mentors actually watch the show. Colton picked the song "Everything" by Lifehouse because he said its his favorite worship song. I like that Colton doesn't shy away from showing his Christian roots with his music. It was a good performance.

Skylar was next. She choose to do "Gunpowder & lead" by Miranda Lambert which was a rather mature and interesting song choice to do on Idol. Jimmy felt she needed to really bring it this week. Well, she brought it. I thought she sang and performed it really well.

Next up was a trio performance by Colton, Elise and Phillip. They sang a Stevie Nicks medley. Colton and Phillip sounded great. Elise sounded good.

Heejun was next. He wanted to show more seriousness so he chose "For you" by Donny Hathaway. Jimmy was impressed with his song choice and openness with the song. Felt he made a huge stride forward. He did really good. It seems he took last week's wakeup call seriously but the question is will the audience buy it or are they fed up with his antics up to this point?

Hollie went next and her song choice was "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood. She got great advice from Stevie about bringing believability to a song. Stevie spoke about her mom's passing 2 months ago which I could totally relate to. :( Hollie felt honored that Stevie shared that deeply personal thought with her. It got pretty emotional. It helped as Hollie was really good.

Deandre was next. He choose the song "Sometimes I cry" by Eric Benet. Stevie gave him good advice on pulling back and playing more to the camera. He gave a very nice performance with some crazy notes.

Jessica was next and she chose the song "Sweet dreams" by Beyonce. Stevie loved that she made the song into a ballad. Gave her an ending to try but left it to her to decide to use or not. She loved it. Great performance and execution.

Deandre, Heejun and Joshua did an MJ medley. It was ok.

Phillip went next and chose "Still raining" by Johnnie Lang. Stevie said that he would've been asked to join Fleetwood Mac. Says he's a star. He was very good. It was definitely his style and felt like a song I would expect in his concert.

Joshua was next and he chose "Without you" by Mariah Carey which I felt was a rather odd song choice. Jimmy says the difficulty level on this song is Top 5 but feels he can pull it off. It was good but nowhere near the original. He got emotional during his performance.

Hollie, Skylar and Jessica did a Madonna medley. Very good!

Elise closed the show and did it in style! She chose the song "Whole lotta love" by Led Zeppelin which I felt was an excellent choice for her since this is the type of songs she does with her bands at clubs. Finally a rock song up her alley! Stevie likes her and sang with her in rehearsal which Elise felt honored by. Good song choice. She totally rocked it! It was her best performance to date IMO!

My bottom 3 would be Heejun, Deandre and Joshua with Heejun going home.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Voice - Battle rounds 4

Night 4 of the Battle rounds! The last night of the battles!

Cee Lo picked Wade to go against James Massone. He gave them "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper to sing.
Wade was mentored by Babyface.
James Massone was mentored by Ne-yo. Was very nervous & lacking confidence because he didn't know the song?! How can you not know such an iconic song by Cyndi Lauper? It just goes to show that if you want to be a singer then you should listen to all forms of music and not limit yourself to one specific genre.
Cee Lo was moved by their performance in final rehearsal which was cool to see.
Even though he didn't know the song initially, my vote was for James in this battle. Cee Lo picked James.

Adam picked Nicolle Galyon to go against Mathai. He gave them "Love song" by Sara Bareiles to sing.
Nicolle Galyon's mentor was Robin Thicke. She was going to sing with a piano but it wasn't working so Adam took away the piano from her performance in final rehearsal which I thought was a real good call.
Mathai's mentor was Alanis. She gave her excellent advice to honor the song. I found her on-stage charisma off the charts.
My vote was for Mathai. Adam picked Mathai.

Xtina picked Moses Stone to go against The Line. She gave them "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones. A very interesting song choice by Xtina for the non-rockers to sing.
Moses Stone's mentor was Lionel Richie. They made him sing it which was cool because it showed that not only could Moses rap but that he also had a good singing voice. In battle, Moses showed off some good vocals.
The Line was menotred by Jewel. She told them that she D
didn't want it to be so happy sounding. In final rehearsal, Xtina told The Line to be more aggressive. In battle though, they were still overshadowed by Moses.
My vote- Moses.  Xtina picked Moses.

Adam picked Karla Davis to against Orlando Napier. He gave them "Rich girl" by Hall & Oates to sing but upon hearing some run throughs in rehearsal he felt it wasn't working and changed it to "Easy" by The Commodores.
Karla Davis was mentored by Alanis who told her that she needs to find that big voice within.
Orlando Napier was mentored by Robin Thicke who gave him great advice on getting the vowels right and clear in the songs. It's very basic thing but something that some singers don't get, especially when it comes to performing in this type of format and even more so when recording.
My vote- I agreed with Blake that it was only an ok battle. But I gave the edge for unique tone to Karla. Adam picked Karla.

Blake picked Naia Kete to go against Jordan Rager. He picked "I'm yours" by Jason Mraz for them to sing.
Naia Kete was mentored by Kelly Clarkson. The bar was set higher for Naia since the song is up her alley style-wise. That meant she would have to bring it which she did in battle.
Jordan Rager was mentored by Miranda Lambert. She had no confidence in the song and it wound up her undoing.
My vote- Naia. Blake picked Naia.

Cee Lo Tony Vincent to go against Justin Hopkins. He gave them one of my all-time favorite songs to do, "Faithfully" by Journey.
Tony Vincent was mentored by Babyface.
Justin Hopkins was mentored by Ne-yo.
My vote- Justin. Cee Lo however picked Tony.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Idol results night

Results night after a lackluster Billy Joel theme night. Should be interesting.

The group sang "The longest time". Pretty good.

Hollie, Skylar, Elise were called up first
Iovine felt Hollie might be in trouble after last night. Felt Skylar didn't do her best last night, is better than that. Feels that she needs to show growth, she's too good for that. Felt Elise transformed and did great. All were safe.

Lana Del Rey performed

Joe Perry surprised Steve with playing Happy Birthday for him on guitar as the audience sang. Very cool to see.

Deandre, Jessica, Joshua were called up next
Iovine thought Deandre didn't connect to the lyrics. Said he told him to have fun not to frolic. LOL!! Good description though. Lol. Felt Joshua didn't connect with the song and needs to figure out how to progress. Felt Jessica did great.
Deandre was in the bottom 3.

Haley Reinhart performed her new single. She looked great. The song was cool.

Colton, Phillip, Erika, Heejun were called up last
Iovine thought Colton did a great job. Felt Phillip needs to accept the advice given. Felt Erika deserves to be in the top this week. Felt Heejun is disrespecting the system. I totally agree with all that he said except for Erika being in the top.
Erika & Heejun were in the bottom 3.

Deandre and Heejun safe. Erika would have to sing for the save.
Erika sang for the save but was not saved. Erika went home.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

American Idol takes on Billy Joel

Tonight was Billy Joel theme night. I'm a big Billy Joel fan so I was looking forward to seeing how the Idols handled his songs and what songs they chose. Steve Tyler made a comment that if you can't sing a Billy Joel then you can't sing... would that be an omen I wondered.

Tonight's mentor was Diddy. I was happy to see Diddy (I really respect what he has created for himself with his businesses). He had really good advice to give.

Deandre went first and did one of my favorite Billy Joel songs "Only the good die young". Diddy & Iovine said if he doesn't have fun with the song he will be DOA on stage. He took the advice too literally and was a little too bouncy all over the stage. I don't think the advice helped. He was just ok.

Erika sang "NY state of mind". Diddy told her to think like a NYer to sing this song. Hilfiger had her get a short punk cut and dyed her hair black. She looked very different. I'm not sure if I like it though. She sounded solid.

Joshua sang "She's got a way". Hilfiger told him to dress up more, I agree that he should. Diddy told him to pull back on the screaming which I definitely agree with. Joshua can definitely sing but I can only take so much once he begins his screaming. Joshua wasn't confidant since he didn't know the song. Why pick it then? Diddy told him to be present in the song and connect. Great advice. His lack of confidence in his song choice showed as he was pitchy & all over the place.

Skylar sang "Shameless". She was starstruck with Diddy. They told her to not force the song. Hilfiger tried to dress her like a country star. She did it the way Garth Brooks did it and it was solid and good.

Elise sang "Vienna". Diddy was worried she's doing a song no one knows. I don't even know this song! Definitely a risky choice. She felt it was the right song though. Hilfiger told her to stop the layered look. She was right and did a nice job.

Phillip sang "I'm moving out". Hilfiger said he needs help with his look. Said his style is all wrong, doesn't look like a star. I agree but Phillip seems resistant to looking more like a star. He may not like it but image is important in this business. Diddy took away his guitar & took him out of his comfort zone. He was resistant to that too. I thought the song had a really bad arrangement. He's really beginning to get one-dimensional with his look and performances. He should show more progress before the others leave him behind.

Hollie sang "Honesty". Hilfiger agrees with Iovine that she has been dressed too old. Diddy and Iovine helped her connect to the song. She was good but there were a few pitchy moments. Judges felt that she was over-thinking. I agree.

Heejun sang "My life". Told Diddy he was upset with last week's criticism. Got good advice about learnign to be thick-skinned. Diddy commented that he's having a hard time believing him since he doesn't seem to take things seriously. I agree, if he doesn't show he's serious then why would anyone want to take him seriously? He needs to get with the program. Hilfiger also felt he wasn't taking things seriously. He had an interesting start to the song but I liked it, it worked. I found him very good this week.

Jessica sang "Everybody has a dream". Told Hilfiger she likes to wear a dress. Diddy told her to pull back so he can believe her. To stop the tricks and respect the song. She took everything Diddy said and brought it.

Colton sang "Piano man". Told Hilfiger he wants his own style but wants it to be edgy. Hilfiger told him to work on his hair after he's picked his outfit which was sound advice but Colton mentioned feeling as if his hair was discredited?! Really?! Diddy loved it. He did a real good job.

Who do I think will be in the bottom 3? Deandre, Erika and Joshua. I think Erika goes home.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Voice - Battle rounds 3

Another night of battle rounds on The Voice! Love the battle rounds, they're always interesting!

Adam picked Pip to go against Nathan Parrett. He picked "You know I'm no good" by Amy Winehouse for them to battle with.
In rehearsals, Pip felt Adam favored Nathan. Alanis Morissette was his mentor. In battle, Pip showed a lot of style and performed really well.
In rehearsals, Nathan Parrett was worried going up against Pip. Robin Thicke was his mentor. I really like the advice Robin gives, he's a really good mentor. He told Nathan to be more confident. In battle, he was good and showed a strong voice.
My vote- Pip. Adam picked Pip.

Cee Lo was up next and he picked Erin Martin to go up against the Shields Brothers in a weird clash of styles. He picked "What's love got to do with it" by Tina Turner which was a rather interesting choice to have the Shields brothers do.
In rehearsals, Erin was mentored by Ne-yo. She was confused by advice given to her by Cee Lo and Ne-yo. She just couldn't understand why they were telling her that this was a grown woman song and not about trying to be sexy. That's not a good sign when a singer can't understand about getting into the character of a song. In battle, I just did not think she was good at all. Her voice is just not my cup of tea.
In rehearsals, the Shields Brothers were mentored by Babyface. He told them to pull back and they took the advice and did a good job with it. In battle, they did what they could with the song which wasn't much since they only had a few spots to shine.
My vote- Shields Brothers. Cee Lo picked Erin.

Xtina went next and picked Jonathas to go against Ashley De La Rosa. She picked "No air" by Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown for them to sing. I think that was a really good song choice for these two.
In rehearsals, Jonathas was mentored by Lionel Richie. He seemed overconfident. Xtina gave him great advice on how to sing a duet with a woman. In battle, I thought he was just ok.
In rehearsals, Ashley De La Rosa was mentored by Jewel. She was worried by the high notes in the song. They told her she needs to be more extroverted which she agreed with. In battle, she started shaky but got it together.
My vote- Ashley by a little. I really like her so I hope she gets more extroverted and confident. Xtina picked Ashley.

Blake was up and he picked Jermaine Paul to go against Alyx. He gave them the song "Get out of my dreams, get into my car" by Billy Ocean to sing. Interesting song choice.
In rehearsals, Kelly Clarkson was Jermaine's mentor. In battle, he was very good.
In rehearsals, Alyx was mentored by Miranda Lambert. She had her confidence shaken going up against Jermaine. In battle, her vocals lacked energy.
My vote- Jermaine. Blake picked Jermaine.

Adam was next and picked Angel Taylor to go against Katrina Parker. He picked "Bleeding love" by Leona Lewis for them to sing. Great song choice.
Angel was mentored by Robin Thicke.
Katrinawas mentored by Alanis.
In battle, they both sounded great.
My vote- Angel. Adam picked Katrina.

Blake ended the night by picking Erin Willet to go against Gwen Sebastian. He chose "We belong" by Pat Benatar for them to sing.
In rehearsals, Erin was mentored by Kelly. We saw that Erin's father who we had been told was suffering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer had taken a turn for the worse. She was very emotional of course. As was I. In battle, she sounded real good and made real nice note choices.
Gwen was mentored by Miranda. In battle, she showed a real nice tone.
My vote- Erin. Blake picked Erin. After this, as the show was closing out, we saw a photo with Erin's dad and learned that he had since passed away. Very sad. I'm all for supportive parents and he was definitely a supportive parent. I'm glad he at least got to see her make it onto the show. May he rest in peace.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Detrás de las escenas de mi video musical para "Que Sera"

Hola soñadores!

¡Ya está aquí! El video musical de "Que Sera", el primer sencillo de mi album "El Camino Espiritual".

Ayer vi la edicion final y tengo que decir que fue un momento muy emocional.

Esta canción es una canción muy personal para mí en muchos sentidos. En realidad lo escribí para una ex-compañero de mi sello discografico (Darlene) y la cancion estaba selecionada para ser su segundo sencillo. Desafortunadamente, ella y el sello se separaron antes de que eso sucedio. Sentí que la canción era demasiado buena para no ser oído en una escala más grande, así que la tomé para mi propio álbum y decidi hacerla mi primer sencillo, ya que es un buen indicador de los sentimientos que muestro en mi álbum. Esta es una canción muy triste, de una pérdida profunda. Una pérdida tan profunda que se hace tu mundo y te deja sin aliento. Es una canción muy emocional y sentí que el video tenía que representar esto. Pense en muchos conceptos diferentes para el vídeo. Fue difícil reducirlo a lo que yo quería que el video da a mostrar y representar sobre mi sentidos. Al final, me decidí por hacer un video muy sencillo y tratando de centrarse en la emoción y el dolor de la canción con tan sólo una historia sencilla.

En caso de que no lo he visto todavía, no quiero dar muchos detalles - pues ve a verlo ahora en mi canal de Youtube y luego vuelve a leer el resto de esto para que pueda tener una mejor comprensión de lo que estoy hablando. A continuación, ir a verlo una y otra vez y dile a todos tus amigos pra que ellos lo puedan ver también! ;)

Quiero que todos ustedes llegen a sus propias ideas de lo que la canción y la historia del vídeo representa a usted, pero para decirte un poco - las flores representan la belleza de lo que fue y entonces usted ve la representación visual de la angustia y la pérdida en las flores. Mis escenas en el cuarto amarillo representa el personaje de la canción desnuda y mostrando su corazón y alma como en las letras. Las escenas de el cuarto oscuro representa la oscuridad y la desesperación de las emociones que se encuentran en el coro de la cancion. Dejaré el resto de la historia para que usted pueda decidir lo que sacas de las escenas. Me encantaría escuchar sus ideas sobre lo que el video junto con la canción significa para usted así que por favor, hágamelo saber por dejando un comentario en la página del vídeo y en mi página de Facebook. Espero que le guste! :)

Behind the scenes of my "Que sera" music video

Hi dreamers!

It's finally here! The music video for "Que sera", the first single off of my "El Camino Espiritual" album.

I just saw the final cut yesterday and I must say it was an emotional moment.

This song is a very personal song to me in a lot of ways. I actually wrote it for a former label-mate (Darlene) and it was supposed to be her second single. Unfortunately, she and the label parted ways before that happened. I felt that this song was too good to not be heard on a bigger scale so I took it for my own album and decided to make it my first single as it is a good indication of the feelings I show on my album. This is a very sad song about a profound loss. A loss so deep that it takes you over and leaves you without breath. It's a very deep emotional song and I felt that the video had to represent this. I went through so many different concepts for the video. It was hard to narrow it down to what I wanted the video to show and represent. In the end, I decided on keeping it simple and trying to focus on the emotion and pain of the song with just a simple story as a backdrop.

In case you haven't seen it yet, I don't want to give away the details so go see it now on my Youtube channel and then come back to read the rest of this so you can have a better understanding of what I'm talking about. Then go see it again and again and let your friends know to go see it too!! ;)

I want you all to come up with your own ideas of what the song and video's story represents to you but to tell you a little - the flowers represent the beauty of what once was and then you see the visual representation of the heartbreak and loss on the flowers. My yellow room scenes represent the character in the song naked and baring his heart & soul in the lyrics. The dark room scenes represent the darkness and despair of the emotions being sung about. I will leave the rest of the story for you to decide what you make of it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what the video along with the song means to you so please let me know by leaving a comment on the video's page and on my Facebook page. I hope you like it!! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

American Idol results show... the Top 10 is set

Tonight's show was a results show which meant that one contestant would be at risk of going home. I of course said yesterday that I thought no one would go home BUT today's show was forming the Top 10 who get to do the summer tour so I saw I would be wrong on the whole no one going home tonight. That is unless the judges decided to save someone tonight.

Tommy Hilfiger was introduced as a fashion mentor for the contestants. That's pretty darn cool. Let's see how they get make-overed in the coming weeks.

Phil, Skylar, Elise & Joshua were called up first
Iovine said he likes Phil. Thinks Skylar is better than last night, didn't like the song. Believed Elise and how she delivered the song. Loved Joshua's performance.
Elise wound up in the bottom 3 again. C'mon America!

Demi Lovato sang "Give your heart a break". Sounded and looked great.

Colton, Deandre, Shannon & Jessica were called up next.
Iovine defended his song choice for Deandre, seemed to lay blame on Deandre for deciding to go with his suggestion but I doubt contestants feel that they could or should go against his advice. He felt Colton was middle of the pack with his performance. Felt Shannon pushed too hard last night to which I agree. Pinpointed where Jessica went wrong in her song in what I felt was a excellent analysis by Iovine.
Shannon once again found herself in the bottom 3.

Daughtry performed "Outta my head". Solid as always.

Heejun, Erika & Hollie were called up last.
Iovine loved Hollie's performance. He felt Heejun needs to change up his song choices before the audience gets bored with him. Felt Erika oversang.
Erika wound up in the bottom 3?! Based on lat night's performance, it should definitely have been Heejun.

The judges were upset with Elise in the bottom 3. It sounds as if they would use the save on her if she's in danger tonight. Ryan however told Elise she was safe. Shannon and Erika in bottom 2. I was really hoping that Erika would be safe because she really doesn't deserve to be in the bottom. She was safe! Shannon sang for the save but after a strong start, her vocal performance just broke apart. No save for Shannon. She was sent home and the Top 10 was set.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

American Idol - Idol kicks off a contestant!

With the news breaking all over the net the night before of Jermaine being kicked off the show for lying to producers, tonight's show was a must see for Idol fans. Ryan started show with the news that would be discussed later in the show. For now it was time to get on with the show. I would've preferred they handle it and dismiss it right off the bat but whatever, in the end he was kicked off and it didn't matter when they talked about it.

The theme of the night was songs from the contestant's birth year.

This week's mentor was who has always shown himself in the past to be a good mentor with great advice and motivating words for the contestants.

My TV had some sort of interference issue for the first 1/2 hour so the first 3 performances were hard to hear.

Phil began the show. In rehearsal, he told Will and Iovine that he needed surgery for kidney stones and wasn't feeling well. He still wound up impressing them. Will was very impressed with rehearsal. Sang "Hard to handle" by The Black Crowes. Did a good job. I think. Lol.

Jessica was next and sang "Turn the beat around" by Gloria Estefan. Her performance was very strong. It seemed like she tried to do too much with the notes. Judges didn't like the song choice.

Heejun sang "Right here waiting" by Richard Marx which is one of my all-time favorite songs by a favorite male singer of mine. Randy didn't like it, he felt it was the wrong song and pitchy. JLo thought he fought through the song but loved the end. Steve thought he didn't have enough breath and that it was a bad song for him. Heejun didn't seem to have a good night.

Got my TV sound back!

Just in time for Elise! She sang "Let's stay together". Love her rasp! She had a nice ending. I thought she did good although I still don't think this is the right style for her.

Deandre sang "Endless love" by Luther & Mariah. Changed from "Can you feel the love" by Iovine and Will because they felt his song choice was not good. I didn't like it, I felt it lacked energy. Judges didn't agree with the song choice. They felt it was too safe.

Shannon sang "One sweet day" by Mariah and Boyz II Men. Sounded good but something was off to me. She just doesn't hit the notes the right way for some reason. It doesn't help that she keeps picking big songs.

Colton sang "Broken Heart" by White Lion! You know I love my 80s hair metal bands so I thought it was real cool that he picked this song to do. He sounded good but it felt like the song was too big for the band. It barely rocked. LOL! Steve hated it. Randy felt it was all Colton though.

Erika sang "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. I thought that was a real good song choice for her but some reason it came across as sounding dark. There was also way too much going on behind and around her with the stage screens. Too distracting. She looked great.

We saw the video of the producers talking to Jermaine about his issues and why he's being kicked off the show. I have to agree with the producers. Rules are rules and you can't try to bend them because it's a big opportunity. Desperation unfortunately makes people make bad decisions. Hopefully he learns from this and can get all his problems behind him.

Skylar sang "Love sneaking up on you" by Bonnie Raitt. Iovine felt it wasn't enough song for her and after seeing her perform it I can see what he meant. However, she sounded really good and rocked it anyway! I really love her energy. I look forward to her performances, that's the mark of a good artist.

Joshua looked to redeem himself from last week and sang "When a man loves a woman" by Michael Bolton. I'm a big Bolton fan, especially that era in his career so I was looking to see how Joshua did this song. He was really good! Great performance!! Had the judges and audience standing, he had the performance of the night.

Hollie ended the show with "The power of love" by Celine Dion. Big song but little Hollie is bold and took it on and delivered! The band arrangement wasn't all that good but she rose above it.

So, who goes home? I think no one will go home because they already lost a contestant this week. We'll see tomorrow!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Voice - Battle round 2

Time for Night 2 of the Voice's battle rounds. This week's performances weren't as good as last week's but were still good nonetheless.

Xtina picked Sera Hill to go against Geoff McBride. They were to sing "Chain of fools" by Aretha.
Sera Hill was mentored by Jewel. Her performing was really good. She sounded good.
Geoff McBride was mentored by Lionel. Sounded good in rehearsal but it didn't seem to come across as well in battle. I found him outshined in performance by Sera.
My vote- Sera. Xtina picked Sera.

Blake picked Charlotte Sometimes to go against Lex Land. He picked the song "Pumped up kicks" by Foster the People for them to sing.
Charlotte Sometimes was mentored by Kelly. She came across as full of herself. Even Blake told her to pull back a bit. I know this is a competition but there's no reason to be arrogantly competitive, just be confident in your singing and let that do all the talking. In battle, she showed more edge to her vocals that came off well.
Lex Land was mentored by Miranda. She kept telling herself to not let herself be intimidated and that she wanted to be more assertive. That's not a good sign heading into a competition, especially when your opponent is so confident. She did a good job being assertive but at times seemed to oversing.
My vote- I have to go with Charlotte because of the edge to her vocals. Also, you need confidence as you move on. Hopefully she can dial it down a little. Blake picked Charlotte.

Cee Lo picked Juliet Sims to go against Sarah Golden. He picked the song "Stay with me" by Rod Stewart for them to sing.
Juliet Simms was mentored by Ne-yo. In battle, I felt she was trying too hard to put too many styles in one song. She can definitely sing though.
Sarah Golden was mentored by Babyface. In battle, she showed a real nice strong tone from beginning to end.
My vote- Sarah. Cee Lo picked Juliet.

Adam picked Whitney Meyer to go against Kim Yarbrough. He picked "No more drama" by Mary J Hoover for them to sing.
Whitney Meyer was mentored by Alanis. Told her to focus on her uniqueness which was great advice. In battle, I felt she has a special it factor on stage.
Kim Yarbrough was mentored by Robin Thicke. In battle, she sounded like a pro.
My vote- as much as I like Whitney, Kim cannot be denied. Adam picked Kim.

Xtina picked Lindsey Pavao to go against Lee Koch. She picked "Heart shaped box" by Nirvana for them to sing.
Lindsey Pavao was mentored by Lionel. He told her to not get stuck in her head overthinking the song and what she wanted to do. In battle, she sounded good.
Lee Koch was mentored by Jewel. In rehearsal, he was doing too much style before getting the melody and it was hard to hear the words clearly because of it. Both Jewel and Xtina got on him about it. He was surprised to hear that they couldn't understand what he was singing. I felt bad for him but he needed to hear it. In battle, he sounded good.
My vote- Lee for his uniqueness. Xtina picked Lindsey.

In the last battle of the night, Cee Lo picked Jamar Rogers to against Jamey Lono. He picked "I want to know what love is" by Foreigner for them to sing.
Jamar Rogers was mentored by Ne-yo. In battle, he showed a nice soulful voice.
Jamey Lono was mentored by Babyface. He spoke about needing to connect and have more confidence. His confidence was really his undoing. In battle, he looked very inexperienced and overmatched although he showed nice vocals.
My vote- Jamar. Cee Lo picked Jamar.

All in all, the picks were pretty right on tonight. Tonight was a case of artists that needed to rise to the challenges that have held them back. Unfortunately some didn't but hopefully they can take those lessons to become better artists. I wish them all luck.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

American Idol - The first to go home is...

The show began with a good opening number, even the choreography was cool which isn't always the case.

Time for the first elimination from the Top 13. For this night only, there would be 3 bottom girls, 3 bottom guys and then the lowest vote-getter of each would be announced and the judges would pick who goes home.

Jessica, Elise & Hollie were called up first.
We got to see a highlights package of each contestant, along with Iovine's comments on the performance. Iovine: felt Elise was in trouble. Thought Hollie was fantastic. Hopes Jessica doesn't get overconfident.
Predictably considering the 3 called up, Elise was in the bottom 3 of the girls.

Heejun, Colton & Jermaine called up next
Iovine- felt the song showed off all of Heejun's flaws. Wasn't sure of Colton's song choice either. Asked if he was singing music true to him. Rock or pop? Felt Colton needs to decide. Felt that Jermaine fought with the tuning and feel of the song.
Jermaine was in the bottom 3 of the guys.

Lauren Alaina performed "Georgia peaches". She looked and sounded great. She showed a lot of polish and improvement from her time on Idol.

Erika, Skylar, Shannon were up next
Iovine- felt Erika made the song hers. Felt Shannon let her nerves get to her. Disagreed with JLo, liked Skylar's nasal tone. I can't say I even heard this nasal tone they are talking about. I'm just enamored with Skylar and her voice. She's one of my favorites.
This was a 2 out of 3 deal and Shannon & Erika found themselves filling out the chairs for the bottom 3 girls.

Phil, Jeremy, Deandre & Joshua were called up last.
Iovine- felt Joshua needs to change up his voice. Felt Deandre was a pleasant surprise. Felt Phil he may be overshadowed by the girls performances. Felt Jeremy did not deliver and will go home.
Jeremy & a mild surprise in Joshua wound up filling out the bottom 3.

Ryan immediately told Joshua & Erika that they were safe. Good! They deserve more chances to show that they belong.

Mary J Blige performed.

Jermaine & Shannon were the next 2 to be safe.

This meant that Jeremy & Elise were in the bottom 2. I can understand Jeremy but although Elise had to sing a song she didn't know well and that didn't fit her voice or style, i still don't think she belonged in the bottom.

So now it was up to the Judges and I know JLo championed Jeremy as her wildcard pick but in the end they made the right call and sent Jeremy home. I like Jeremy, he seems like a great person by all indications and people like him deserve to be successful. I hope he continues to learn and grow as an artist and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

American Idol - The top 13 sing

Time for the real competition to begin as the Idol hopefuls sing for our votes. It was a good night of some really good performances, some great performances and unfortunately one crash and burn performance. To start off we were told that since there was 13 contestants that tomorrow's result would show the bottom male and the bottom female. The judges would decide who goes home from those two. The judges will have some blood on their hands this season. Lol.

This week's theme was a Whitney tribute for the girls and Stevie Wonder for the guys. This week's mentor was Mary J Blige who gave real good advice and motivation to the contestants throughout the rehearsals.

Joshua sang "I wish". I thought the performance was good but I wasn't a fan of the screaming and growling of the lyrics. You don't need to try to outdo Stevie Wonder.

Elise was going to sing "The greatest love of all" but Iovine wasn't feeling it (and rightfully so, it was too much of a song to take on for Elise) and he suggested she change it to "I'm your baby". Elise wasn't sure of doing it since she didn't know the song. It was a decent but unspectacular performance. Not what the Elise needed, considering her confidence looked shaken before even performing.

Jermaine sang "Knocks me off my feet" and I really liked it! I thought he showed a lot of soul and heart in his vocals and performance. The judges felt he needed to connect more but I didn't get that since I thought he had.

Erika sang "I believe in you and me". She looked like a long-time pro up there. The richness of her tone was so good. I really liked her understated performance, it just let the song's lyrics shine.

Colton sang "Lately". I really didn't like it. I found it hard to understand what he was singing because he was slurring his words and transitions. It's just his style and how it clashed with this song. Maybe another type of arrangement would've worked better for him.

Shannon sang "I have nothing" but the song was too big for her and by the end she didn't have enough breath to properly do the words and even had her voice cracking in some parts. Was only ok to start and got worse as the song wore on.

Deandre sang "Master blaster". I really liked it and he sang most of the song in his full voice which is what I wanted to hear.

Skylar sang "Where do broken hearts go". In rehearsals with Iovine and Mary J, she showed she could adjust on the fly to their direction. That was impressive. She keeps showing me new things about her talent each time I see her. I thought this song might be too big for her but she took it on and made it her own. She just brings this real cool energy to her songs. I couldn't believe the notes that were coming out of her and the ones she went for and hit. I really like her.

Heejun sang "All is fair in love". It was a good, solid performance but I think it will be overshadowed by the other performances of the night.

Hollie sang "All the man I need". This girl can sing!! The judges said afterwards that we may wind up with a two girl finale (they already have Jessica in the finale I see, as do I)

Jeremy sang "Ribbon in the sky". It was a good vocal if rather unspectacular performance.

Jessica is fearless and took on the ultimate Whitney song "I will always love you". She sang an almost note for note version. I can't see her ever being in the bottom 2 and easily see her the winner of this season. There's still a lot of singing to do though...

Phil sang and performed "Superstition". It was a very good rocking way to end the show.

So who makes the bottom 2? I think Shannon will be in the bottom for the girls and Jeremy for the guys. This will be a hard choice for the judges no matter who is in that bottom 2 but if these indeed are the two then I think they'll opt to save Shannon. I won't be happy to see Jeremy go.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Voice - Battle Rounds 1

Tonight was my favorite rounds of The Voice. The crazy and wildly entertaining battle rounds!

First, we found out the high profile mentors that the coaches would be bringing in:
Xtina- Lionel Richie, Jewel
Adam- Robin Thicke, Alanis Morissette
Cee Lo- Ne-yo, Babyface
Blake- Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert

2 members of Team Adam were going first, Adam picked Tony Lucca to go against Chris Cauley. They were to sing "Beautiful Day" by U2. Great song!
Tony Lucca- Brought in Alanis to mentor him. In battle he showed a great rock edge to voice that I thought really worked for the song. His performing reminded me of Train's Pat Monahan.
Chris Cauley- Brought in Robin Thicke to mentor him. Gave him great advice about performing for the song and the lyrics. That is more my style so I really liked this advice. In battle I found Chris more smooth in his vocals.
My vote- I liked Tony's rock vocals edge. Adam picked Tony.

Blake picked Adley Stump to go against RaeLynn which is really interesting since they both do country. He gave them "Free fallin'" by Tom Petty.
Adley Stump- Kelly Clarkson brought in to mentor her. In battle, she showed a strong voice and some good performing as well.
RaeLynn- Blake's Honeybee Miranda Lambert was brought in to mentor her. In battle, she showed a very unique voice from her opening note. She was a little overshadowed but showed she had some fight to her. I liked seeing that.
My vote- I really think that RaeLynn's unique voice makes her stand out more but I Blake will go with Adley by a hair because of her confidence. I was happy to see that Blake picked RaeLynn.

Xtina picked operatic singer Chris Mann to go against Monique Benabou. She gave them "The power of love" by Celine Dion to strut their stuff with.
Chris Mann- Lionel Richie was brought in to mentor him. Lionel Richie!! That's just crazy. Chris was worried about the nuances in Monique's voice that he might not show. In battle, his voice immediately stood out and is just something really special to listen to. He does have to pull back on power though to let more nuance come out.
Monique Benabou- Jewel was brought in to mentor her. They agreed that passion in her singing is her weapon. I sing with passion & emotion and love to see singers do it too. In battle, Monique sounded good but was overshadowed with the matchup. I thought she did a good job though.
My vote however goes to Chris Mann. Just too much uniqueness there. Xtina picked Chris.

Cee Lo picked Angie Johnson to go against Cheesa. Battle of the powerhouses! He picked "Total eclipse of the heart" by Bonnie Tyler for them to do battle with.
Angie Johnson- Ne-yo was brought in to mentor her. In rehearsals, Cheesa wanted the song brought up and Angie decided to ask for it even higher! That worried Cheesa since she had a money note to hit. Angie showed her soldier spirit and was ready for battle. In battle, she sounded really good. I'm a fan.
Cheesa- Babyface was brought in to mentor her. She was worried that the note might be too hi and that it'd be over for her if she couldn't hit it. In battle, she did really good and DID hit the note. That high note in her section may have been an unfair advantage and the deciding factor.
My vote- I knew she'd be good but I thought Cheesa did a lot better than I expected. I'm an Angie fan but I think Cheesa did better. Cee Lo picked Cheesa.

Blake picked Jordis Unga to go against Brian Fuente. He picked "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette for them to sing.
Jordis Unga- Miranda Lambert came to mentor her. I'm a big fan of Jordis and she was seriously over thinking the performance, the song and what she needed to do to win. She has all the talent she needs, she just needs to cut loose and everyone will hear & see it. In battle, she started off good but kind of was all over the place.
Brian Fuente- Kelly Clarkson was brought in to mentor him. She told him to commit to the song and the notes he was going to sing. Good advice! In battle, he sounded good but he and Jordis didn't have good harmony. Even Blake said something afterwards.
My vote- Jordis of course but she'll have to pick it up! Blake picked Jordis.

Xtina picked Anthony Evans to go against Jessie Campbell!! She gave them "If I ain't got you" by Alicia Keys. They showed just a brief clip of this battle in the commercial teasers and wow, I was looking forward to this battle! After the battle, they should've just stopped the show and called these two the co-winners. What a vocal performance by these two. They each tried to outdo each other and we the viewers were the beneficiaries. WOW!!!
Anthony Evans- Jewel was brought in to mentor him. In battle, he sounded real smooth and hit a crazy high note that was a showstopper.
Jessie Campbell- Lionel Richie was brought in to mentor him. He was rather overconfident and showing off which I didn't like seeing. In battle, he sounded great and I really liked his performing style.
My vote- Jessie. Xtina picked Jessie.

The show ended with a vocal explosion but the whole night of battle round night 1 was great. It was a great night of singing and performances. Bravo.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

American Idol - The Top 13 are set!

Here we go! Tonight we would find out the Top 13! We lost some of my favorites but I'm pretty satisfied with the Top 13. It certainly is diverse and should shape up to be quite a battle.

Chase, Phil & Jeremy were called up first. Throughout the night before each decision we saw the contestants' journey along with the highly opinionated Iovine's impressions on each.
He liked Jeremy as a person but didn't think his voice was special enough for show. Didn't find Chase special at all. Liked Phil's originality, enough to say that he would sign him on the spot.
Phil was the only one in.

Jessica, Hollie, Hallie & Brielle called up next.
Iovine liked Hollie, felt she needs better material to showcase her voice better. Liked Brielle but not her song choice. Didn't have much to say about Hallie. Calls Jessica the front runner, said he would sign her on the spot.
Jessica & Hollie in.

Joshua, Heejun & Adam up next.
Iovine loves Joshua, looking forward to working him. He said Adam needs to figure himself out. He feels Heejun jokes around too much which is something I feel about Heejun as well. Whether it's a contest, an audition or even a job interview - you should always show that you take what you do seriously. Leave the jokes for later.
Joshua in. Heejun in. I was surprised to not see Adam get in. Maybe people didn't like his crying?

Chelsea, Skylar, Baylie & Shannon were called next.
Iovine really liked Skylar's energy. He wasn't impressed by Baylie. For Chelsea, he said she did Carrie Underwood karaoke. He liked Shannon's voice but not her fashion sense. Up until this point, Ryan had spoken to all the contestants when they were brought up but this time Chelsea was not spoken to. That was rather disrespectful. Rather obvious that Chelsea had no chance. Not cool.
Shannon, Skylar in.

Aaron, Creighton, Reed all called up next.
Iovine felt Reed was too kitschy. I totally agree with that. He felt Aaron's performance was cheesy. He also made a weird rather ignorant/racist/stereotype uncalled for comment. Even the judges jumped on it and mocked Iovine for the comment. He didn't like Creighton's voice.
None made it in!

Elise, Jen, Erika & Haley were up next.
Iovine felt that Jen needed to stay away from Adele. Felt that too much vocal gymnastics won't work. On the other side of the token, he liked Erika's vocal restraint. He said Haley needs to stop the robotic mimicry and was out of tune. Although Elise also did Adele, he really liked her. Once again, Ryan didn't speak to another contestant, this time Jen was the one disrespected. Just rude, obvious and weird.
Only 1 Top 5 girls spot left, it went to Elise!

Deandre, Eben, Colton & Jermaine up next.
Iovine really loves Jermaine's voice. He felt Deandre has lots of potential, just needs proper coaching. He felt Eben has potential but not ready for this level. Wishes the rules could be changed. I don't agree that the rules should be changed. The point of getting to this point is that they ARE ready here and now, not come back next season. He felt Colton was good but was trying too hard too soon.
Colton & Jermaine in. Happy to see Jermaine go from wild card to Top 10!

Now we had the Top 10 and the judges had to call out 6 contestants out of the 15 (8 guys, 7 girls) left. Time to sing for the wildcard spots!!

The contestants called out were:
Jen Hirsh- she felt she didn't stand out enough so she was going to try to prove herself. She started off slow but did real good.
Jeremy Rosado- Sang his heart out! Got a standing ovation from the contestants and audience. JLo was in tears. I think half of America was in tears with that heart felt performance. Jeremy couldn't finish, he was so overcome by the moment. I love this kid!!
Brielle Von Hugel- She started off a little rough but was pretty good. I was surprised by Steven & Randy's reactions when they told her she blew her chance with that performance. Wow, poor girl.
Deandre Brackensick- Was pretty good but I would like to see him sing more in his natural voice than the forced falsetto.
Erika Van Pelt- Did Lady Gaga's "Edge of glory" which I thought was a weird choice but she did a very good version of it.
The final judge's choice was Reed Grimm?! Not Adam? I just couldn't believe that. The judge's didn't even sound like they were seriously considering him. More of the same from Reed.

After the performances were done, it was time for the Wildcard picks!
Randy's pick- Erika Van Pelt
JLo's pick- Jeremy Rosado
Steven's pick- Deandre Brackensick

There is the Top 13! Pretty darn good if you ask me. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can all do. Right now I think Jessica is the front-runner. Let's see if she can sustain that over the run of shows. I'm betting she can.

Next week, the girls pay tribute to Whitney Houston while the guys take on Stevie Wonder. Two vocal powerhouses that are not easy to sing. Should be interesting.