Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Okay, so tonight, the show begins backstage, showing the Idols, and also shows the judges paired off Kara/Randy and Ellen/Simon. Like we don't know who the real couple is...Ryan gives us his "this...is aMERICAN Idol", and the judges come down the stage rightly paired. And I don't know what has happened to cause this romance to blossom between Simon and Kara but I like it. Ryan still owns my love for turning what could be the geekiest, most useless job in Hollywood since Vanna started turning letters into the coolest thing ever. It's hard to call my bigger crush these days...Simon, Ryan, or...Kara. Her hair looks AMAZING.
Tonight is R&B night and Usher is the mentor. Yes, he's young, but I don't take nearly as much exception to this mentor as I did last week. Usher's a talent, a proven talent and plus, I don't know, since he broke down at Michael Jackson's funeral, he's endeared himself to me quite a bit more. Not that I disliked him, I just wasn't all that interested. Usher claims that he's going to challenge them to be a great performer, which I can maybe see. I challenge Usher to take off those damned sunglasses. He promises to be brutally honest, because he wants them to be good, and, okay. I can live with that.
I'm really curious to see how quickly I can get through this show forwarding through all of the filler. Probably 20 minutes or so. But I do pause because Ryan pulls out his shades to chat with Usher...and he looks like a Secret Service agent. A cute one. We find out that Usher's new album drops today, which probably also gives us some insight on why he wanted to do AI THIS week.
First up, Siobhan, who's doing Chaka Khan's Through the Fire. And...no. She does have a big voice, but not a Chaka voice. But I freely admit that I don't think she has as much control over her voice as the judges apparently do. Usher says that what separates Siobhan from the rest of the pack is her unique vocal ability, and that she has a true shot at being a true artist. Oh, her eye makeup is lovely, but this isn't slaying me, oh, and this arrangement has a very awkward transition, but we have to hurry to her big voice. Cuz more and more, she's all about that [yawn]. What the hell was that note? Oh, this is a mess. This song is way too big for her. Waaaay too big for her, and I hope this doesn't hurt her. Okay, so she did a couple of her big notes nicely, but the rest, and I do mean the complete rest of this was a mess. I'm afraid, as I said to my friend Alenka today, that I'm starting to like her more than her voice these days. Randy says he doesn't think this was one of her shining moments, but he still loves her. And he likes her outfit...I don't. It's a bit of a mess. Ellen agrees with Randy, comparing her to a hiker who lost her way. Kara reads my mind (but not my blog) saying that the big notes were there, but that the little ones are. She says she's entitled to an off night (translation - there are people who suck more than you). Simon says it sounded to him like she'd run a marathon and was singing while she was running. He says it was so all the place, and the paid heckler shouted "boo", and...hello? She sucked. Simon says it's by far her weakest performance yet, that she's kidding herself if she thinks it was good, and that he's tiring of the screaming at the end. And Simon? Word. Siobhan says it was her biggest challenge, wanting to take a risk, and even if she didn't kill it (to which Simon said "oh, you killed it". And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA), she wanted to show her versatility. Okay, let me explain this - take a risk to show the range of your voice, but not so much of a risk that you reveal the weaknesses of your voice. It's kind of like a job interview when they ask what your biggest weakness is, and everyone knows that you can't really say what your biggest weakness is - like you can't say "I get completely bitchy when I'm under pressure and have been known to cry in the hallways and run screaming into my director's office saying WTF". No, you have to say "My biggest weakness is that I tend to take on too much and I'm too dedicated to my work to let it go", spinning your negative into a positive, even though everyone knows that's bullshit and we kind of need to let that interview question go...anyway...
The voyeur in me kind of likes this glimpse backstage, but really? If that's the different between an hour and 2 hours, we can let it go.
Hotness is singing Hold On, I'm Coming, but Sam and Dave (?). Usher is being completely hard ass, telling Casey that he's a rock star and it's okay to forget the words. Okay, don't try that. Ryan says this song has never been performed on the Idol stage. Really? There's one? My goodness this guy is cute. And he's a good performer, which, as I say week after week, carries him though his voice isn't the strongest voice - he's a nice, and very very pretty, package. It's a Casey performance, nothing that we haven't seen before, I think. Randy's into it, shouting yo while the applause is still going strong. He says it was another hot night for him, that he's safe in his element, and that he showed a lot of vocal range. Ellen says he's consistently good, but that it felt a little generic. I'm with you, E. So she's not on his safe bandwagon. Kara says he's been using only one part of his range, and that these performances are actually limiting him. Simon thinks it was his strongest week so far, noting that this was not a sound alike, appreciating that he rocked out to an R&B song. Seriously? R&B is SO close to Rock & Roll it's not even funny. So it's not that big of a jump. In my opinion.
Next up, Big Mike sings Ready for Love, by India.Arie, and he should OWN this. Well, he better own this because this is one of my favorite songs...ever, and if he effs it up, he's going to go on my list. Okay, he gets the delivery on this right...just him and maybe can I hear some strings? This song is so beautiful and simple, he's doing a great job of being quiet and just letting the song tell the story. I really like this. A lot. I think he's doing a wonderful job. STOP WAVING YOUR FREAKING ARMS MOSH PIT! Very nice, Mike. Very nice. Randy says he's in the zone, loving all of his performances. He then goes into some sort of rant that makes me think he's got the Paula cup tonight. Ellen loves it, as does Kara, who says she never heard the song before he chose it...say wha? Kara is about to break up with Casey AND Simon and fight the wife and the new baby Leila for Mike's affection. Simon says this is the first time he can take him serious as an artist, that even though it's not one of his favorite songs, but that he put an original stamp on it, and he believed him as an artist. Nicely done, Big Mike.
Didi Benami is singing What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, which...really? Didi starts to tear up during her rehearsal with Usher, and isn't Didi the one that I said would have a nervous breakdown before it was all over? Bless her heart. But to be fair, if I lost my best friend, and thought of her every time I sang a song, I'd cry too, so I'm going to let her have this. Okay, so I can't explain it - this was supposed to be better than it was. A great song, a great voice, a lot of emotion, and yet, it's not and she was yelling at me by the end of it, and uh...this didn't work for me at all. Randy says the entire performance fell flat for him, that it never went anywhere, and yeah, I see what he means. Ellen starts that she's going to boo herself! Hee...she goes onto say that it was dramatic, and that she was a fan, but that it was too dramatic, not her best performance. Kara just calls it like she sees it "it's overdone, Girl". Kara says she doesn't know who she is anymore, that she's moved away from her singer songwriter vibe. Simon compares it to swimming in jelly (put down Paula's cup), saying that it should have been easy, but it was a bit of a mess. I'm paraphrasing, but that's what he said, he agrees with Kara that she's lost her way and that's she's no longer contemporary. He then says that on "one of those dancing shows, they have a singer murdering a song"...and well, that's just one of the best moments in Idol history. Ryan, during the recap, tries to get her to talk about the friend she lost, which she declines to do, which I admire, but at the same time, she kind of stunk up the joint and perhaps a sympathy vote wouldn't be the worst thing here. Ryan kind of tells her story for her, which was a good compromise.
Okay, we went out to dinner, so I will not be posting before the elimination show, but will be done before they are, because I absolutely don't need to watch the elimination show!
Next up, Tim "Peter Brady" Urban is singing Sweet Love...SERIOUSLY? This is going to get on my nerves; yes, I am owning my closed mind right now. During his interview he says that he couldn't forget how much fun he had during the performance to stop smiling during the judge's critique last week. Anyhoo, his mentoring with Usher is funny as Usher invites him to sing to him - I think Usher gives him credible advice, but I think the best advice would have been "pick a different song". Oh and he starts sitting down, making me hate it even more before he utters the first note. Okay, so the good part? He got most of the notes right, but this is the cheesiest performance, ever. He's turned one of the best love songs, like ever, to this remake you'd hear in McCormick and Schmick while you wait for your table. Walter heard this last night and said..."I'm going to go take my shower and pretend I never heard this". And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Well, that's time out of my life I'll never get back. Randy compares him to a singing waiter (heh), that it was pedestrian, but at least he was in tune. It had a complete utter lack of swag, saying it had nothing. This was like a piece of Zwieback toast, that tasteless crap that toddlers drool over when they are teething - absolutely no flavor whatsoever. Ellen just says "Man!", that it was boring. Again, I'm projecting, but she wonders why he took that song on. Kara says he took the soul out of the song (he SUCKED the soul out of it, really), that it was a combo Broadway and Vegas and uncommercial. Simon starts laughing, and when asked why, he point blank says that it doesn't matter what the judges say, that he's a mouse picking a fight with an elephant choosing that song, but that he would smile and he'd get voted through to the next week so "well done". Classic.
Andrew Garcia takes on Chris Brown's Forever. Usher calls him on his nerves and tells him if he wants it, he just needs to go out and do the damn thing. I've never heard this song before, so I have no basis of comparison, but I am LOVING this - his acoustic guitar, a cello,and the big drum on stage...and it's REALLY nice. Oh, the strings are in the audience. Okay, I have a little style something for Andrew - can they maybe get him some eyeglasses that can decide if he wants to be Weezer or Buddy Holly, because being in the middle is distracting. But it's not distracting me from this is the best I've heard Andrew sound in a long time. This was a REALLY good performance that I think may have gotten him back in the game. Randy says enough yos that I know he agrees with me, and he does. Ellen says that it was a great performance and Kara is doing a little fist pump, so she likes it to. When Kara gets her turn she says that was a giant leap in the right direction. Simon says it was miles better than the last few week, that he's back to where he was. He does note, however, that he's boring, comparing him to "the guy that's going through", and I think that where he was going with that before he got interrupted was that Tim is sailing through on personality even though Andrew is infinitely more talented. But it doesn't end there - Mrs. Garcia takes Simon to task and can I just say I love this moment where Andrew warns his momma to be nice, and can anyone with a crazy momma out there just totally relate to that moment! Mama Garcia starts yelling at Simon in Spanish, which is funny!
Oh, now we have Katie Stevens. Remember when I said, in an earlier blog, her cuteness is going to wear on me. Well, it is. She's singing Chain of Fools, and I don't know how to explain it, as Walter was saying he didn't think it was as bad as I thought it was. It's not that I think it's bad, it's just ...just. Here it is. I think Katie is as good as she's going to get. I don't think she's going to have a breakout moment, no matter how long she stays. She's very, for lack of a better word, affected. And as someone said to me last night, enough with the neck rolling already. Yes, technically competent - but it's enough already. And what the hell is she wearing? Lovely girl, lovely face, but I'm ready for her to go, I think. Randy says her performance was slightly disconnected, but that her vocals were one of the best of the night. He then just goes full on bat sh!t crazy by comparing her to Christina. And like my friend Isunji said, unless we're talking about Christina Applegate, I have no idea who he's talking about. He's certainly not talking about Christina Aguliera. Kara says she's found her nitch - R&B Pop and obviously I didn't hear what they heard. Simon, once again, shows why the show needs to end if he leaves by saying that comparing her to Christina Aguliera is crazy. He wouldn't have taken on that song, and he makes me love him even more by calling Randy on it in a "tsk tsk" manner. He thinks that Kara is wrong with what type of artist she is, and Simon just tells Katie if she has to choose whose advice to take, if the choice is between Kara and him (Simon), then she should listen to Simon. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Ryan asks her who's she's going to listen to, and she says "myself". Which, was so awesome when Crystal said it, because hello, Crystal knows who she is. Katie needs to listen to someone - she's the alpha chick in chorus from her high school who seems to not be adjusting well to being a tiny TINY guppy in a HUGE pond. Yeah, her time might be up for me.
Next up? Lee Dewyze is singing Treat Her Like A Lady, by the Cornelius Brothers. And thank you, Lee, for telling me who the artist was. He further endears himself to me by saying that he just wants to create a moment by showing what type of artist he wants to be through his performance. He doesn't fall into the sympathy Ryan is trying to elicit by admitting to his pneumonia. Usher tells him to be more confident, and Lee kind of reminds me of David Cook early on...he really doesn't believe that he can win this whole thing. Uh, I hope he believes it now, because this performance is kickin'. This is completely awesome! His vocals are always on point, but what he's got going on tonight is...confidence. He's facing the camera dead-on, showing those beautiful eyes and a really good stylist. Okay, I had to rewind this, watch it again, and this time I didn't type at all. And I've paused the DVR to say this - my highest praise - he rocked the almighty sh!t out of that. That was AWESOME! He reminded me a little of Billy Joel, a little of Springsteen, and that was a great performance because you could almost see that he KNEW he killed it (and not how Siobhan killed earlier). Rarin', Lee. Randy calls it the best performance of his in weeks, and it was the best of the night, if he wasn't listening. Ellen says the night has started now (8 artists in), and that it was his best. Kara says it was amazing, and that it could be on his record. Simon says he's always believed in him, even when he didn't believe in himself. He notes that he has a hard time making hard contact. He tells him to go home tonight, watch the show and realize that this is the night his life may have changed forever. And I have goosebumps. Ryan invites him to embrace the applause. Nicely done, Lee. Very nicely done. Casey, I might be about to cheat on you with Lee. Just sayin'.
Note to self: get the first season of Glee on DVD so you can catch up.
Next up, Crystal is singing Midnight Train to Georgia, by Gladys Knight. Ms. Gladys is one of my favorites, like ever, and because Crystal is my favorite, I'm all right with this choice. She changes it up by playing the piano, and she plays it nicely. JULIA STILES. I have been racking my brain all season to figure out who she reminds me of...it's Julia Stiles. Well, you know I don't type when Crystal sings, she's so good. I could live without the background singers around the piano. I think I just don't like that. I didn't like it when they did it last year with Scott either. Of course, Crystal shows her lovely range, but I can tell she's not totally comfortable without her guitar. That was good, lovely even, but for the first time this year, she's only my second favorite performance. Randy loves her outfit, and drops Ms. Gladys name, and Crystal calls her Gladys...but I think I forgive her for it, because it was kind of a "wow...that's cool. Tell her I said hey." Ellen loves it, saying she's in it to win it, and loves that she changes it up. Simon says it was a great song choice, and I believe said her vocals were spectacular in some places (how's that for high praise?), but that he didn't like the backup singers around the piano (!!!), but says, don't change too much, that she's real and he loves her just the way she is. He promises her that she will be fine if she just keeps doing what she's doing. Translation - even if by some fluke you lose this thing, I'll be signing you, so don't piss me off. Crystal promises to never be anything other than she is, and it's a beautiful moment for everyone. Not as beautiful as the one Lee had, but quite frankly, she can rest on her laurels for a bit.
Finishing up the night is sweet Little Ed Norton, singing Bill Withers. In a windbreaker. But I love this kid, I love his voice, and while I can't say this was my best performance of his, he should get through to the next week. This was definitely better in the rehearsal, but I think it kind of hurts Aaron that he doesn't really grasp Usher's advice of the "I knows." There are 23 "I knows" in the original version of this song - Mr. Withers is basically yelling at himself for cheating on this woman, his sunshine, so he's supposed to get gradually more disgusted with each "I know". Anyhoo, that's what they mean, and it's 23 times he says it, so by the time he gets to "I gotta leave young things alone", he's just pissed with himself. And Aaron doesn't quite get it, which is why this song is a bit too old for him. Incidentally, please don't ask how I know that other than long commutes over the years, and that my mind tends to be a safe deposit box for completely useless information. And, this is one of my absolute favorite songs. How many times have I said that tonight. Yeah, R&B is kind my thing. Anyhoo, Randy likes it. With a little "l", he wasn't that effusive with his praise. Ellen says she wished she had that kind of confidence when she was 11. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Kara likes it, but wasn't in love with it, thinking he could been more soulful, and I agree with that. Simon uses Lee as an example, calling him the main course, that Aaron is a bit of a cupcake, but that it wasn't as good as last week, but that should sail into the next week.
And there you have it! My choice on the bottom three? Katie, Siobhan, and Didi. I think Didi's time may be coming to an end, but if I had just tuned in tonight, Siobhan would SO get the boot.
Okay, I finished DVR, and turned on the elimination show and there's Diddy, and I can't help it. I love Diddy, despite this unusual habit of changing his name every five minutes. He's full of himself, and in your face, and ordinarily I hate those characteristics, but on him, I love it. He's such a fine example of how money just makes some people HOT. He's stylin'!
Good night, Friends!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Okay, so technically, it was Ones, as in Number One songs. Idol opens with the judges coming down the walk that Adam Lambert made famous. And Kara makes me deepen my crush just a little with rockin’ some over-the-knee boots. Ryan makes a passing reference to last week’s departee, Lacey (seriously. passing. he’s all “Lacey left last week. Hope she’s well. ANYWAY).
Simon and Ryan, and then Simon and Kara flirt a little. Simon tells Ryan to stop violating his personal space, and then Ryan and Ellen start flirting. I’m telling you, you need a scorecard to keep up with this show. Simon then says that tonight is the worst night to go, comparing it to needing 6 numbers for a lottery ticket and only getting five, that not going on the tour is akin to walking into your boss’ office and defecating on his desk, that’s how career ending being voted off tonight could be.
The theme is Number Ones, and I can’t help but wonder: just how many bands have done greatest hits albums called Number Ones? Or was it just Michael Jackson? And really? It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Michael Jackson was offed by his doctor. And wow. As Walter said, who wants to be *that* guy. The guy who killed Michael Jackson.
Oh shit. I don’t know what’s worse...that Miley Cyrus is the mentor, or that Alex just started humming this insipid song “Party in the USA”. I think we can consider the shark safely jumped if Miley Cyrus is anyone’s mentor. If I stop blogging before the end of the show, it’s because well, it’s because anyone reading this knows how I feel about Miley Cyrus. What is Miley Cyrus going to say to Crystal Bowersox? Oh joy, oh bliss, Miley tells us she’ll be singing tomorrow. Thank you Miley for freeing up my hour.
MILEY thinks Lee has an amazing voice, who’s singing “The Letter.” I kinda like this arrangement, but I have a feeling I will be alone in this assessment. This whole Mighty Mighty Bosstones thing is working for me, but I admit that if you can find a way to put a horn arrangement in a song and it doesn’t sound cheesy, I’m a fan. I do like this, and just when I start thinking Lee is a bit of a one trick pony, he does something like this that makes me think otherwise. Okay, so maybe he’s not the best of AI 9, but he has something that keeps me coming back. Randy thinks that this bluesy version really worked for him, saying he hit a home run. Ellen compares him to a favorite pen which you love and it starts to run out of ink, scaring the life out of you (I know, right, Ellen? I have a pen like that, couldn’t find refills. It took me a bit to get over that.) and says her favorite pen is back. Kara says he’s raised the bar for himself, noting his progress over the past few weeks. Simon is surprised that he chose the song, and calls his performance corny, that it didn’t define him as an artist. I don’t know Simy, I have to agree with your peanut gallery. I think this is a performance of Lee’s that I will remember. I would hardly call it a moment, but it was good. I think it was good enough to land him in the top 10.
MILEY thinks (yeah, it’s gonna be a theme), that Paige is beautiful, noting that she can be a bit pitchy when her voice is soft. I just...I got nothing. This is a bad song choice for Paige, unless she does something really surprising during the performance. Oh, and she’s sitting down, which means she’s trying for a moment, and will almost guarantee that she won’t have one. Can we all agree that it’s time for her to go? This sucks so bad that I need to consult my thesaurus to find a better word for it. You know what, I almost feel a little bad for, because the more this performance goes on, the more I think I see on her face that she knows she is otherworldly bad tonight. Or maybe that’s just me wishing for some self-awareness. Randy can’t even speak...just says hi. And then just doesn’t even fake it, calls it terrible. The positive that Ellen has was that she didn’t fall down in those heels, and that she looks stunning, and turns over the music critique to Kara and Simon. Seriously. Kara says she’s stopped listening (that Paige has stopped listening, but I think there were a lot of us tonight that wanted to stop listening) and that it was her worst vocal of the season. And there’s a lot of awful to choose from, right there. Simon asks how she think she did - Paige admits that she was all over the place, but that she had fun doing it. That can’t possibly be right. She could NOT have had fun - it was like a thousand simultaneous paper cuts for me, and I wasn’t there. Simon says that five people were singing the song and that HE KNEW THE POINT she knew it went bad. Uh-huh...that same point when I started feeling bad for her. He said that song was the nail in her coffin. She says she’s still in it to win it. Uh-huh, until about 9:58 tomorrow night. Damn, even Ryan is all...vote for her based on the other stuff she’s done, because that was horrible.
(Just now, I read back my blog to Walter, and when I said “Simon says”, Alex jumps up and says “Simon says, touch your feet!). A little Alex story for my blog readers that won’t show up on Facebook. I don’t know a) when Alex learned how to play Simon Says, b) why he’s decided that his bedtime isn’t until 8:30, or c) why it tickles me so that my kid loves American Idol. I almost hate to put him to bed - he’s gonna miss the rest!
Under the tutelage of MILEY (Ryan’s word, not mine - tutelage), Tim Urban takes on Crazy Little Thing called Love. Miley hugs Tim saying she doesn’t think he’s boring. Well, HE may not be, but what I heard of his rehearsal sure was. This is solidly mediocre, but he’s working the stage a little more (love that slide). Which may make some young girlies forget about his performance, but my cougar isn’t even a little bit awakened by this performance. There was nothing notable about this at all. Randy says that every time the contestants hit the stage, they should be giving the best they have, and that wasn’t. He said the “dopest” thing he did was the slide, which was cool. Ellen compares it to an audition to High School Musical, and that he didn’t love it. Kara thinks it’s over the top for him to be grabbing at the audience like he’s already made it, when he has too much work to do to get to that point. Simon says he likes the slide because it detracted from the song, which was understandable, considering that his performance was pointless and silly. He goes ON to say he has 0 chance of winning right now, unless he wants to take lessons and try to become relevant. DAYUM. That was a searing critique.
The teaser into commercial is that Crystal is likely doing Joplin. I’m excited, but don’t want to get to excited because I could see that going a little copycat, but we'll see.
Aaron Kelly (Little Ed Norton from here on out) admits to his crush on Miley, asking for a hug after his “mentoring”. Okay, Walter and I fundamentally disagree on this song. He thinks it’s dipstickey...when I first heard it (100 years ago), it gave me a toothache with its treacle, but I’ve come to love it. So I was enjoying this more before the big music came in...Aaron really has a nice tone to his voice. Not the greatest, but a HEAP better than Tim Urban, just for comparison sake. This didn’t slay me, but I can’t help it, I like this kid. No, he’s not gonna win it (barring some BIG CHANGE), but he’s doing okay. Randy thanks God he came on stage after the previous two train wrecks, and that he liked it. Ellen loves his pitch, perfect even though he’s “only in third grade”. And. BWAHAHAHAHA!! She gives him a pass on the pitchiness because he’s sick. Kara wants to see more stage presence, but thinks he picked a great song. Simon says it was brave, considering his has tonsillitis. The only criticism Simon offers is that for his age, he’s kind of making himself old fashioned. He said there’s 0 chance he’ll be leaving tomorrow, and offers him the opportunity to hug Miley once again. Simon Cowell - brilliant music producer; pimp.
MILEY thinks that Crystal can push herself more. And...what-the-eff ever. She invites Miley to sign her guitar as a powerful and beautiful woman...and...anyway. Crystal is singing Me and Bobby McGee, which is a refreshing surprise (I thought she was going for Piece of My Heart). What’s not a surprise, however, is that she slayed this, from beginning to end. Crystal has the distinction of being the only Idolette who makes me stop what I’m doing when she performs. And she looks adorable. Randy says she’s a star, and he said she slayed it (can any of my lawyer friends represent me in a lawsuit against these people?). Ellen is happy to hear she sang that song - but offers that there’s something between her and the audience - invites her to take in the obvious love and give it back. Kara thought she let a little bit more, but thinks she could really let go completely if she puts the guitar down. Simon just puts an end to all that bullshit, and tells her not to change anything, saying that up until now, all he’s heard is karaoke, and what she’s done is performed a song as well as a recording artist (Pink). He loves that she’s progressed, and I love, well, I love that she makes me love music, and I look forward to what she’s going to do. But going back to Kara and Ellen, I think what they are feeling is that I doubt Momma Bowersox will ever be comfortable doing big venues...she’ll be that artist that, after the Idol on Tour, will never go bigger than the 9:30 Club. I love that about her.
Mike Lynche is singing When A Man Loves A Woman, which will suit his voice very nicely. He maintained eye contact with Miley and she’s in love with him. Ryan and Ellen are cracking me up. Okay, I could do without seeing this much of Mike’s chest, or his Mr. T. starter kit, but what he is doing with this performance is telling me that he’ll have a very nice R&B career. This is nice. Actually, this is really nice - the bridge is reminding me of Otis Redding, in a good way. I could have done without the falsetto ending, but all in all, good job. Randy doesn’t love the song choice, or his vocal particularly, but likes that he knows who he is and is himself every time he hits the stage. Ellen thinks it was a safe choice, but that she does love him. Kara thinks that technically it was really good, but that it was a bit boring, lounge-y, and maybe a bit too indulgent. Simon kind of agrees with Kara, and offers that it would have worked better with just him and the piano. I TOTALLY see that. And given the chance, I think he should take that advice and try it again.
Andrew Garcia is singing I Heard it Thru the Grapevine. I don’t like it. At all. The whole thing is just bad. I think that the lack of guitar may have hurt him because he just doesn’t know what to do with himself. This is kind of cheesy. It reminds me of twelfth grade spanish class, where Dawn Wildoner, me, and Sean (last name escapes me) did the raisin commercial in spanish with big trash bags on us to be like grapes. It was pretty bad. Our commercial, but this was worse. Randy says it was bad. Ellen says it wasn’t enough to get people on board tonight, but hopes that people vote for him in light of past performances. Kara thinks he’s still chasing his Straight Up moment, and that she feels bad for him. She doesn’t know what to do with him. Simon thinks that Miley gave some good advice for him to lose the guitar, but says that Andrew has been so bad for so long now that perhaps they overrated how cool Straight Up was. He goes on to say that he sucked. The soul out of the song and ruined one of the greatest pop songs of all time and made himself look cheesy. But he did do enough of a pause between “sucked” and the rest of the critique that one could completely see how he could have stopped right there.
Okay, was it me, or was there a look on Miley’s face...kind of a battle of the alpha chicks moment during Katie Stevens’ rehearsal? And that’s all I have to say about that, because seriously? Those two on my television was one of my bigger nightmares realized. Katie is doing Big Girls Don’t Cry, by Fergie. Yawn. Randy, after saying it was all over the place, praises her for trying to listen to their advice. Ellen says it was her best performance so far (talk about damning with faint praise), comparing her to Dakota Fanning. Kara says she’s found her niche and that this was good, even though she has mad pitch issues. Translation - your “mentor” is proof that we could make millions off of a mediocre voice. Simon says that meeting Miley was the best thing that could happen because she got to see a young artist, and gotten her out of “pageant horror outfits”. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. I missed his exact critique because my child just came in to tell me he doesn’t know how to go to bed. Think. Discuss while I put him BACK to bed.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Must quote - too good to paraphrase...
Casey to Miley: “I’m a big fan of...your...Dad’s.”
I don’t even know what else was said...Casey takes on Huey Lewis and the News. I always liked this song “The Power of Love.” Once again, Casey’s performance is better than his vocals, but in this season full of mediocrity and drudgery, I’ll take it. I think it’s rather hypocritical of the judges to knock his vocals but say he has good performances, but turn around and say that Katie has good performances even though her vocals are a mess, as praise. Randy loves to hear him play the guitar, but thinks he did well with a song he didn’t love. Ellen doesn’t like the song choice either, but thinks it was the best vocal of the night. Um, hello, Ellen? Remember Crystal? Bobby McGee? Geez, her memory’s shorter than mine. Kara says he’s the whole deal, and that he’s ready to make an album. Simon disagrees, saying that this song was old fashioned when it came out 25 years ago. Simon compares him to an 80’s cover band, which would explain why I liked it. And then Simon kind of dismisses himself, saying maybe it’s because he’s British that he disagrees so completely with Kara. Maybe you’re just in a bad mood, but overall, I would like to point out that Simon’s critiques have been so much more thoughtful this year. He used to be kind of dismissive about awful. Now, he gives awful, but ways that it won’t be so awful next time. I like that.
Didi Benami takes on Linda Rondstadt. This was okay, BUT, I kind of like her better in that Corrine Bailey Rae category. I liked this, but it appealed to girl in me who loves musical theatre, even though her coming down the stage was wonky. But we know how the judges feel about musical theatre, don’t we? Randy loves the idea, but not the implentation, saying her pitch was all over the place. Ellen really doesn’t care for her song choice, but that she loves her. Okay, we have a little Randaralen going on - all of their critiques ran together for me. Okay, make that Simrandellenara - they all hated it. Oh dayum - Simon says there’s a certain irony to her screeching repeatedly that she’s no good, comparing her to the bad part of the musical. And first, that was funny. Second? Get out of my head Simon.
My quirky dingbat Siobhan is singing Superstition, a song she did in Hollywood. This *should* work. I like that Siobhan says she’s now owning her quirkyness, and it’s definitely working for her. Okay, big horns...hey, why does she look like a cross between Sheila E. and Sheena Easton tonight? Okay, this is more reserved than I expected...maybe she’s about to let loose in a minute...okay, the scat was okay, but the way she’s throwing that scream in now is reminding me of Adam Lambert, and not in a good way. I’m eh on that. Randy says he never would have thought she would have sung that song...wasn’t it her in Hollywood week? Ellen says she just wants more because she’s so good. Kara loves that she expresses herself so well every week. She doesn’t think it was her best performance, but likes the last note. Simon says that it will be split on whether people love it or hate it. He says that for him, it wasn’t a good night. Thank GOD someone heard what I heard. He does caution her that the end scream is becoming commonplace...and seriously? Anyone want to take my case?
Good night, Friends.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Okay, so Idol begins tonight with Ryan introducing the guys one by one. A good way to let us know their names, because seriously? Aside from Mike and Hotness (Casey), I don’t know any of these guys. And even Casey’s hotness isn’t enough to keep Boys Idol from being a snooze fest. Dare I admit that perhaps this show has jumped the shark? Naaah...
Kara really changes her hair up every week...curly, straight. Kara and Simon wax about their ongoing love affair, and somewhere, Paula Abdul is crossing out Kara’s face on the tv with her lipstick.
Oh yeah, one hour...no time to smooze. First up is Lee Dewyze. I do like him. He’s singing a song whose name I missed because of commotion (and when I’m watching Idol upstairs, for those who are wondering...no DVR so I can’t, as Alex says, “do that again”). Okay, so Lee sounds good tonight. I actually like him, I just don’t remember him from week to week. And that’s the problem with the guys - none of them except for Mike Lynche are memorable. Randy calls it a strange song choice, but that he made (Fireflies, by Adam Young is what Randy called it) it his own. Ellen likes that he made it a little rock-like, and that a lot of people tell her they have crushes on him. Kara says there’s now a star bubbling there and that she made the song a better song (and Casey is on his way out as Kara’s crush). Simon breaks Kara’s concentration by leaning all close to her...which, I kind of get; after all, I’ve had a crush on Simon for a while! Simon says it’s nothing to rave about, but he’s glad he’s there and thinks he’ll have a great shot at the top 12. Lee smartly says that he’s trying to focus on the critiques more than the compliments so that he can continue to get better. I like him. I’m hoping he does have a breakout moment so that I can remember him from week to week.
Alex Lambert takes on Trouble by...um...John Mayer? Nope. Google tells me it’s Ray LaMontagne. And having never heard the original I have no basis of comparison. I can never decide if that’s a good thing or not. Okay, was it me or did he stop singing before his lips did? I’m not sure how I felt about this. Something about him Randy liked it, but wasn’t jumping and down about it. Ellen even boos Randy’s comments, which means she likes it...she continues her banana metaphor from last week saying he’s getting riper and better each week. Kara says the only thing that is standing in the way of him winning is himself (and...uh, Crystal Bowersox...she needs a nickname if I’m going to keep saying her name), that he needs to believe in himself. Simon says he has to get himself mentally somewhere else because he just can’t seem to relax and have a good time. He invites him to imagine Randy in a bikini, saying he’s got to focus less on the camera and the delivery and more on his voice, which is good and distinctive. The judges are definitely having more fun this season. They have a lot more fun with each other. Or is it me?
Tim Urban does Jeff Buckley’s Alleluia, which this show has been trying to kill all season for me so far. Except for the fact that this kid’s haircut reminds me of Peter Brady, and therefore he’s just NOT current to me, I like his voice. I just can only take this song in limited doses. There, I said it. I don’t love this song, and I feel a bit like a bad Catholic for saying that. It’s just...there for me. Like this performance was, but I give him props for the a Capella version. His voice is very pleasant to me. Translation - can’t remember him from week to week either. Randy thinks he did a pretty good song with one of the greatest songs ever (Hyperbole, thy name is Randy). Ellen jumps out of her seat to hug Tim and compliments him that it was fantastic. Kara was connected, and now doesn’t think he’s getting a one way ticket out of Hollywood after that performance. Simon feels responsible for him doing well this week because of his confidence boost last week. He calls it his best performance to date. Okay...he should sail to the top 12 after those critiques.
Andrew Garcia is doing Genie in a Bottle by Andrew Garcia. I like it when he does this. It works for him, except, it was risky doing this AGAIN...taking a bubble gum pop song and making it acoustic. He’s kind of becoming a one-trick pony. I like it, but the problem is this is JUST like when he did Straight Up, but without the element of surprise. So I like his voice doing this, but I can’t say that I felt like this was exceptional. Randy likes his cardigan (translation: hated it), He says that the idea of the song was better than the execution was better than the execution. The phone rang, so I missed Ellen’s and most of Kara’s critique too, but I think I heard applause after Ellen’s and the awkward silence that usually follows a bad critique after Kara’s. Simon says he’s afraid he’s going backwards a bit, that it felt a little desperate. Yeah...Andrew, this might not work out in the end for you. I still remember his back story, and wanted him to go far, but I feel like he’s a bit out of his league now.
Casey James chooses my favorite Keith Urban song, You’ll Think of Me. He wisely takes the judges advice from last week and strips away the rock band, and this works. I really like this...so once again I say, HELLO HOTNESS! Randy thinks this was a safe choice, thinking he’s got more of the Stevie Ray Vaughn edge. Funny. I think he’s more comfy in the rock mode. Ellen agrees with me. She thinks it was great, and thinks his vibe is the softer country, sitting down thing. Kara is smiling like she wants to dip him in chocolate. She admits to kind of being back on the Casey train, but not completely as she thinks this performance was sparkless. Yeah whatever, Kara. Simon says it was a sincere performance, but probably not his best. Translation: “Stop flirting with my woman before I get you in and English choke-hold, Blondie.”
Aaron Kelly picks I’m Already There, by Lone Star. Okay, does this kid remind anyone else of a young Ed Norton? Which makes me like him more...except...this is not a great beginning vocally, for me. I do like Aaron, but the poor guy is not giving us a great performance. His voice sounds very thin, like he’s not in his comfort range...or his nerves have completely gotten the better of him. The Bon-Jovi-circa-1986 rock stance doesn’t help. Actually, this is not a great vocal, which I’m sad to say. I don’t like raking the younger ones over the coals (except for, I guess, Haeley.) I’m really REALLY eh on this. Actually, I’m closer to not liking it. Randy thought this was good (huh?). He agrees with me that it was a rough beginning, but a job well done. Ellen loves Aaron and the way he carries himself, but she thinks this song was too much for him, and doesn’t think it’s terrific. I do kind of love how Ellen apologizes for not liking stuff. Kara says at sixteen this song is just not relevant to him - how can he relate to a song about a man calling home to speak to his kids? Simon calls bullsh!t on Kara, and goes onto say it was obvious that he was trying hard and he applauds that. I honestly don’t remember if he said he liked the performance or not. He also says that if they keep saying “don’t do this, sing like that”, they are going to confuse the contestants. There must be some truth there, because they have been confusing this blogger for about 8 years now.
I can’t wait to see this movie Our Family Wedding. It looks like so much fun!
Todrick is effing up Queen’s Somebody to Love. And of course he’s full of himself on the way to commercial, and he’s kind of approaching this song without the appropriate amount of respect that Freddy Mercury deserves. It’s a pretty decent vocal, but a lousy performance, accentuated by the fact that this kid gets on my nerves. Totally gets on my nerves. Randy thinks it’s hot, saying it’s one of the best vocals of the night. Ellen calls him brave - that she couldn’t believe that he had the intestinal fortitude to sing this song. I know, right? Kara says it was good singing, but that she was tempted to laugh at his performance. Simon says it was good in parts, and said that he’s more of a Broadway artist than a commercial artist. He said it felt like American Idol: the Musical. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Well, I view Broadway as high praise (even though I know the contestants don’t). I kind of see his point, but still. I’m hoping that Todrick’s 15 minutes of fame is up soon. Really, really soon.
SEE? The boys put me in a bad mood.
Last but not least Big Mike Lynche is singing...This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush! And who would have thought such a comfy teddy bear had such a lovely falsetto? And isn’t it lovely that he’s singing it when his first child is barely 3 months old (if I have my math right)? Awww...this has taken me to a really good place already. This is really good. I’ve loved this song since I first heard Kate Bush sing it in the movie “She’s Having a Baby”, and he’s doing her justice. Mike is my favorite guy, and I think he’s showing exactly why that is. And really? I had to wait 56 minutes for this? That was AWESOME. Okay, Kara’s not looking at the camera...is she crying? Randy says...”really”? He has no words, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Mike’s performance renders Randy more monosyllabic than usual, and you KNOW that’s saying something. He loved it. Ellen says the competition begins at this point, and suddenly Mike becomes the one to beat. Awww...he DID made Kara cry. And she’s making ME tear up and she notes how closely that song mirrors his life right now. Kara can’t get herself together and this makes me LOVE her. Oh, and Mike’s tearing up too! These people are KILLING ME! Killing me! Simon says that this performance was exactly what was needed, and that it was the best performance of the live performances. Kara is still sniffing.Very well done, Mike.
Okay, so I’m skipping over the next 13 weeks to say that this whole thing should come down to Sweet Mama Bowersox and Mike Lynche. So really? How will I care who goes home tomorrow. But for the guys tomorrow night - Andrew might be in trouble, and...well, Peter Brady and Todrick ought to be.
Good night, Friends!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
(So it's not really Girls on FILM, but Seriously? Finding relevant song titles with the word "girls" is making me testy).
Okay, so tonight? The girls battle for the top 6 positions, and I’m kind of relieved, because that means that we are very close to one episode of performances each week. This makes me happy. Back to back blogging is forcing me to be a lot more organized than I usually am. I missed the opening sequence, trying to get myself together to migrate my blackberry information over to my new blackberry. Verizon’s customer service has been awesome getting to the bottom of this issue - the issue where my phone drops calls. I NEVER had an issue with my old Blackberry, and Walter still loves his. But mine kind of sucks. Dropped calls make me crazy because, hello, if I’m going to live like this I could go to AT&T and get the iPhone. Everyone knows I love that phone like Pookie loved the pipe in New Jack City. Yeah, it's a scandalous reference. I'm bad-ass sometimes!
Okay, so, back to Idol. The show opens with Ellen nibbling on Simon’s neck...WHEW boy that’s funny. It’s like Simon’s hotness is an aphrodisiac to everyone on that panel. So next week, Randy will be nuzzling Simon. Which takes us to a place where no one needs to be. I don’t see Randy nuzzling anyone...people nuzzle Randy.
Okay, one hour for 8 singers so they jump right in. Katie Stevens is singing Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. The beginning is kind of eh for me...kind of too much like Kelly’s version. I like Katie, but this song’s lower notes don’t like Katie. She does a little better with the chorus. I’m torn, because I like her more than I like this performance. Randy thinks this song is too big for her and that it felt like karaoke to him. Ellen appreciates that she took her advice, but doesn’t feel like she’s old enough to have had the experience to break away. I think she loved the song, but not her singing it. Kara thinks that Katie doesn’t know who she is as an artist yet, and that she’s stumbling trying to figure it out. However, she does have a great radio voice - meaning, you won’t be the worst contestant ever, but at this point we don’t expect you to win. Simon furthers this point by going a little easy on her for a less than stellar performance. He notes that it must be hard for her, that she takes all of the advice, and it still doesn’t get it right. He gives her a 10 out of 10 for trying, after saying that she sucked...the wind out of the song. Katie tries to explain to Ryan that, at the tender age of 16, she’s trying to break away from her small town...and she kind of loses me. C’mon Katie - not to go all Judd Nelson in the Breakfast Club on you, but from the looks of things the school just may shut down because you’re not here. Anyhoo, I think she’s got a real legitimate chance at the top 12...she’s young and so very cute.
Siobhan Magnus is singing House of the Rising Song by the Animals for her Dad who looks like exactly the kind of cool dude that names his daughter Siobhan. I will say this for her - that performance last week makes me totally remember her. Okay, I expected to hate this, but I think this song and her arrangement does a wonderful job of showcasing the magnificent tone of her voice. And WOW! Her legs look like about 9 miles long in that skirt. Okay, that note made me cringe a little bit, but there’s no doubt about it - she’s got a big BIG voice. I liked that. Randy starts off that’s he’s a fan (translation: hated it)...but wait, he surprises me - he says it was hot. Ellen says she someone who makes her love music. Kara loves the a Capella vibe in the front (so did I, btw), and she really liked it. Simon wasn’t quite such a fan of it - he thought it was all a bit weird, that she didn’t do so much with the song. She didn’t have a moment this week like last and he found it all a bit gloomy. Um, Simy, I’m not sure we’re on the same page tonight.
Lacey Brown is singing some song whose title I missed because my Waltie was chatting. Which is kind of good because I have no basis of comparison. Obviously I don’t: she’s singing the second verse and I still have no idea what song this is. Okay, so here’s my thing with Lacey - this is lovely. I like her voice singing whatever song that was, and she really does have a unique voice. But, in a season that seems to be overrun with Adele/Corrine Bailey Rae/Anna Nalick type voices, hers just doesn’t stand out. To me. It’s like she has to start singing before I say “oh that’s right. She CAN sing”, instead of looking forward to her performance like I do others. Randy says that it was her best performance in a long time, even though the song was kind of boring. Ellen agrees that it was her best performance to date, and that it showcased her distinctive voice. Kara says it was effortless and that was what landed her on AI in the first place. Simon didn’t love the song, but that she sang it really well - that it sounded like something on the radio. He still doesn’t think he’s heard her sing the right song yet, because it’s in danger of being forgotten. (Welcome back into my head, Simon. I missed you.)
Katelyn Epperly is doing I Feel the Earth Move, by Carole King. Has anyone ever wiki’d Carol Kings discography? She’s written EVERYTHING. Okay, so this is kind of up tempo, which mirrors Carole King’s version. However, I wish she could have slowed this down some (Lizz Wright does a magnificent version, but Walter will tell you that Lizz Wright is very close to unseating Sade as my ultimate crush. Close, but not there. Love you, Sade!). At any rate, she’s having fun with it and I’m having fun with her, but I think that’s more because I like her, and not because she’s slaying me with this. Uh, she might be having a little too much fun, because she missed some notes on that keyboard. I don’t like this as much as last week, but I think it was okay. Randy likes that she’s playing the Wurlitzer, but doesn’t think there was anything special about it. He doesn’t feel it. Ellen doesn’t think this was a wow song to land her in the top 12 or that will make people pick up the phone and dial. Kara doesn’t feel like she was really competing, and didn’t feel connected, and that she didn’t like it as much as last week. Simon starts with the positive...he likes her hair. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! He compares it to request night on a Friday night in a restaurant - that it was good, but on a night that could be the most important night of her career, it looks like other people are trying harder and that she might be in trouble after that. This one might be hard to call, seeing as I missed the results show last week (DVR and I are having trust issues), and I don’t know how close to the bottom she was.
Didi Benami takes on Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon. Okay, so unlike Lacey, I know Didi, and I like Didi, and if I had my druthers on which of these voices I have to hear past this week, I would vote for Didi every time. Even thought the only thing she brings to this is her unique voice, and OH MY when she’s harmonizing with the back up singers this just makes me LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS. Randy says it’s a lot better than last week, but there was no wow moment. Yes there was, Randy...that was beautiful. This may not have been the best she could do. Ellen said she was nervous when she saw she was singing this song (yeah, me too), but that she did well. Kara said it was one of her favorite moments of the season and that when she saw the song choice she (Kara) thought she (Didi) was out of her mind for doing it, but that she slayed it. Simon agrees with Kara, that it was head and shoulders above what he’s heard tonight, and thinks she had a wow moment. (And make yourself at home in my brain, Simon) Well done, Didi. She’s crying...hey, is she the one who lost her BFF and I wondered about her emotional stamina? For what it's worth, I think she earned her spot in the top 12.
Paige Myles is singing Smile, by Charlie Chaplin. This, according to Brooke Shields, was Michael Jackson’s favorite song, which...puts an odd little lump in my throat. And, it has a bit of a rough start, for me. It’s a little better for me now that the music is better. I don’t know that this will work out for her in the end. Although the more it goes on, the more I think it’ll get better, but you know these songs are only, what? 90 seconds. I’m eh on this. Very very eh. There’s something that makes me want to like it more, but I just don’t. Randy says it one of his favorite songs of all time (Randy’s really into the hyperbole, isn’t he?), but that he doesn’t like it, saying it was too big for her, and that when the band kicked in, he thought about asking the other judges what they are getting at the banquet. Dayum. Ellen doesn’t like it, she says it’s a bad song choice, and just says sorry. She’s got nothing more. Kara point blank asks her if she knew she made a mess - which, HELLO? You expect her to answer that coherently? “I’m sorry. That sucked. You think so too, right?” Geez, Kara. Simon repeats what everyone else says, noting that the arrangement was what you’d hear in the Holiday Inn in 1974. And? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Simon laments that she has so much potential, but has wasted it on poor song choices. It’s like he KNOWS she’s headed home Thursday. She says to Ryan that she knows it was Michael Jackson loves this song and that she got emotional thinking about Michael Jackson. Aww...poor Paige. The MJ love will get you at the oddest moments, but girl! Not. On. Stage. Or set that up before you start singing so you’re getting the sympathy vote. I suspect Paige is in trouble Thursday. No, Simon said she was headed home, so I guess I know it.
Hello Crystal Bowersox! She’s singing one of my favorite Tracy Chapman songs, Give Me One Reason. Okay, I have nothing. I have nothing to offer this performance. I wasn’t even typing while she was singing because I was too into what she was singing. At one point I threw my hands up like I was in church and said “just SING Girl!” (which, you know, for a Catholic girl, is something). Oh my good Lord this girl can ROCK. Randy says he loves it and she’s what the show is all about. Ellen needs new adjectives for her, that it was the best performance of the night. Kara compliments her song choice, and can now see what type of record she’d be making. Simon says she’s ABSOLUTELY going to be in the top 12 next week. And that the biggest improvement is her confidence. He steps out and says at this point, she’s the one to beat for the WHOLE THING. And...YUP. That’s exactly it. I’ve never been in any danger buying performances from iTunes this early in the competition, and yet I’m thinking I might have to pick that one up (and last week’s too. Because, yeah, last week was something.)
Lilly Scott is singing I Fall to Pieces, by Patsy Kline, and I don’t like it so much. I mean, it’s good - I like Patsy Kline, I like Lilly, but somehow it didn’t work for me. I fear what’s going to hurt her is that no one knows this song, and she ...um...makes me not want to hear the original. I’m not sure what happened here, other than I’m still loving Crystal. Randy thinks she’s in the zone and that it was hot. Ellen loved it too...Kara says she made Patsy Kline feel current, which...no. Simon thinks she was brave to choose that song on a night like this, but because it was the last song, it had no wow factor. That it was right up her quirky alley, but it might have been risky. And okay, I see what he’s saying. I may have liked this a lot more earlier in the show. As it was, I was still all...Crystal was so AWESOME and I wonder what the stylists will do with her (Crystal) in a few weeks.
Okay, so - hmm...I’m thinking Paige and Lacey may have it tough Thursday.
See you tomorrow!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Once again, I have my collective work, parent, wife roles together and am able to blog in real time. My friend Yelena pointed out that she likes the stream of consciousness blogs, so she should be really happy tonight. Shout out to you, Alenka - hope you kicked butt on your final.
Okay, so, the girls are up tonight, after a quick switch last night. Ryan introduces the girls, and Crystal is introduced last, so that Ryan can make sure she’s doing okay. Ryan points out that Kara is practically sitting on Simon’s lap, and uh...he’s right. And then there’s some salacious flirting. Like, Paula is waiting somewhere, earrings in hand, ready to throw down with Kara over her man. Simon points out that this week is almost more important than last week - that there’s no room for amateur moves like forgetting the words. So you know, don’t be an amateur during an amateur competition. AI, you are still, after all these years, an enigma.
Crystal is first. She’s singing Credence’ As Long As I Can See the Light. She’s going with a gospel feel, which DEFINITELY works for her. Her voice is like butter for me. I’ve liked her for moment one. And...I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the first few lines of this reminds me of Miss Kelly Clarkson singing Natural Woman. For those who have not stood up and taken notice of her before, you will now. Her voice reminds me of the finest qualities of Sarah McLachlan and yes, dare I say it, the purity of Miss Aretha Franklin. I know that’s high praise, but I REALLY liked what she did with this song. She absolutely rocked the almighty shit out of this. Simon is kind of frowning. Ut-oh. Randy starts off that she is the truth, that she just does what she does and that she is true to who she is. I think he’s calling her genuine, using about a bazillion more words than necessary. Ellen loves her raw, natural talent, and asks her to stay healthy because she’s amazing. Kara says Alanis didn’t fit her, but that this song did. She’s focused like the greats, and that she went to another level tonight. Simon says she’s great. He’s impressed that she did not play the sympathy card as she was genuinely sick. He then goes on to say that her performance reminded them OF THE MOMENT THEY REALIZED KELLY CLARKSON WAS A SERIOUS ARTIST. Okay, that’s it. I officially quit until they stop reading my mind.
Okay, I thought about it, and I un-quit.
From the sublime to the Haeley, she is singing Miley Cyrus, which should pretty much put the nail in my Haeley love coffin. Haeley says during her video that she loves to make things, including the ridiculous Lady Sings the Blues headbands she wears. And you know, I used to try and wear flowers in my hair when I was a kid, and much to my chagrin, my mother will NOT put away that picture of this fashion tragedy that she has on her refrigerator. It didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now. I freely admit that it’s hard for me to keep an open mind because I. abhor. this. song. I can say that I like Haeley’s voice more than Miley’s. I can also say that it was still a mess and didn’t appeal to me at all. And OOH! That note was not in the same zip code as the band. Oh, this is such a mess, I feel bad that she gets on my nerves. Randy says it didn’t work for him, calling it excruciating. He says she can sing, but it was so pitchy and that she had no connection to the song. Ellen stars with that Haeley is adorable...so it sucked. And she says that this song has a great powerful message. [Must send Ellen an email to ask exactly what this message is.] Kara compares her to Alex Lambert, that people are rooting for her; unfortunately, thinks she needs about a year to strengthen her instrument, that she’s got some fundamental problems. Simon doesn’t want to make it worse, but he does take the time to call it a complete mess. (Damn. I’d hate to say what he’d say when he wants to rub salt in the wound). He said that theoretically, it should have worked - she’s a cute young girl singing a cute young song, but that she shouldn’t have been singing about a climb because she fell off. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Ryan takes the stage to somewhat take Simon to task, asking how everything he said didn’t make things worse. I know, right? Aww...I feel bad, Haeley is obviously trying not to cry as they head to break, and it does make me feel somewhat bad for her. She is trying, but honestly? I hope she doesn’t become the AI joke - the contestant that keeps getting voted through, because I think her...lack of readiness is only going to become more apparent. She’s young, no way she’ll endure these critiques week after week without it affecting her performances.
Lacey Brown is an antique lover. That’s all I got from her video...aw hell, she’s doing Kiss Me, by Sixpence None the Richer. Strange the that’s exactly the group that Kara recommended. I don’t love this song, and I don’t love her doing it. Okay, once the tempo sped up, I started to like this more, but it feels kind of copycat to me. But it might be because it’s sing-songy anyway, and perhaps I can’t blame her for that. It’s just that her voice is so similar to the original artist. Randy said it was a good choice, and it would have worked, but for a while he was waiting for the words to flash across the screen. Again, the word he was looking for was karaoke. Ellen thinks she’s adorable and that the song, while not changing it, suited her well. Kara says she liked the beginning (!), but that she needs to step it up. Simon says it was the marginally better than last week, but that she’s trying to win a competition and not trying to showcase her artistry, that compared to Crystal, she was completely forgettable. That she will do whatever is suggested and do a credible job, and that’s it. Um. That was NOT a good critique. Even the best comments said “copycat”. I kind of feel bad for everyone having to follow Crystal tonight. The bar is too high.
Katie Stevens is next, talking about how it always snows during her viewing parties. Her video is kind of cute. She’s doing Girl Put Your Records On, by Corrine Bailey Rae. OKAY! This is the Katie Stevens that I was totally digging throughout the auditions. She’s dressed more contemporarily, she’s singing a fun song, and she’s just singing, and her voice is just so lovely I like this. And it’s the oddest thing - she seems older tonight, more assured than she did last week when she was singing on the Sunset Cruise Ship. I liked this. Well done, Katie. Randy says there were some bright moments, and that her upper register reminds him of the cool girl they saw in the audition. He thought the first part of the song was pitchy. Hmmm...citing the age and confidence, he invites her to take on bigger songs. Ellen *liked* it. Yes, the like was in quotation marks. She said that she still sounds old, and she really doesn’t want to hear anything she’d hear in her dentist’s office. Kara agrees with Ellen, saying that Katie frustrates her, that she’s better than she’s being. She saying that this is a good radio song, but not a good performance song. Simon echoes all of them, appreciating that she tried to take their notes. Simon wants her to decide what kind of artist that she wants to be, but that this wasn’t a winning performance. I’d have to disagree. I liked this more than they did, and I’ll have to watch this again. Who am I kidding? I barely get to watch shows, much less watch them again. Okay, I’m still hankty that they are quoting my blog now...I’m not giving them anymore free stuff.
Didi Benami is singing Lean On Me, by Bill Withers. They didn’t love her as much as I did last week - this COULD rock. I’m hopeful, because I like her. Her voice is very pure - it’s a lovely tone she has going on...but this. Um - it took me a minute to decide how I feel about this. And I’m not sure I loved it, but I didn’t hate it. Really - that just kind of left me puzzled. Randy can make up his mind. He doesn’t like it, that it’s not the genre for her. Ellen loves her voice...and everything else she says means there’s a big “but” coming. And it’s a little “but” - she knocks her on song choice. Kara just said it wasn’t good - and that she’s not consistent. She said she was all over the place and that she’s still a fan. DAYUM! Simon completely hates it. He says she continued the cat theme (nod to her video and her vocal warmups) by screeching during the whole thing. He says it’s a wasted opportunity - that she gets to sing in front of millions and basically makes a mess of it. Didi wins big points in my book (like my book matters), but she takes it all, and plasters a smile on her face, unable to speak, because she’s about to cry. And I think everyone I know has had a moment like that - it’s silence or a sea of tears, so I’m giving her a big hell yeah for getting through that moment. And, I don’t think it was as bad as they thought it was...I would have preferred that they were puzzled too, because I do like her. Definitely a tough break. It was hard to watch.
Michelle Delamor is singing With Arms Wide Open, by Creed tonight. I think this song showcases her voice very nicely. The beginning was really good, and I wish it hadn’t gone all rock-y. Not rocky, bad; rocky roll-ey. I also think it got away from her a little bit toward the end. Uh - I’m eh on this. Decidedly eh on this. Randy says her outfit is hot, and that’s all he has to say that’s good about the performance. He likes the chance she took, but that it fell flat. I think Ellen and I had the same thought - taking the lyrics out of the rock field was good, but it didn’t work as well as she’d hope. Kara kind of disagrees - saying it’s her favorite performance of Michelle’s ever. She said she took a risk, and it was different, and while there were some technical problems, she bought her singing this. Simon agrees with Kara, saying that he admits their advice can be contradictory (YA THINK?). He said he likes what she did in the beginning (uh-huh - get out of my head, Simon), but that she got it about 80% correct. Simon also gives Michelle the “you’re my crush” look. She’s totally his woman - don’t blow it like Lil did last year, Michelle.
Lilly Scott is doing Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come. She said, with Ryan, that she needs to work on keeping her eyes open. And I wonder how anyone notices whether her eyes are open are closed - i can’t get past her hair. Okay, so I like her voice - I like how unique it is. CYNDI LAUPER! That’s who she reminds me of - just kind of doing her own thing. I like this more than I expected to. You know I think this song is pretty much sacred. I’m really liking what she’s doing with this...it’s working for me. Randy says she worked it out, calling it his favorite performance of the night. Okay, no. It was good. Ellen said she forgot again that she was a judge and that she was her favorite performance of the night. Again, no. Kara said she was riveted - that she had her first moment - that thank God she’s a misfit. Simon said it was good, even great. That he wasn’t as over the moon as the others. He said he’s comparing her to Crystal only because they do have a similar vibe, and that he thought Crystal was stronger. And okay, thank goodness - someone has a good memory on the judge’s panel. Okay, yes, she was good. She was very good. But Crystal, in my opinion, still owns tonight.
Pretty Katelyn Epperly is singing The Scientist, by Coldplay. Oh my. I like this a lot. It got a little rough for me in the middle, but she recovered nicely. Okay, I might be a bit biased because she’s just lovely. I might have a little crush or something. Randy really liked it, but that it was way slow. He said it fell a bit off pitch at the end. He didn’t love it, but he liked it. Ellen liked that she played guitar, which is really funny because she was playing the piano. Ellen makes a joke, but then seriously says that it was way too slow...way too slow. She says slow, like a dozen times, and says that the big note kind of woke her up after the song itself putting her to sleep. And...heh. Kara says she kind of loves her, and I get that. She says she has an incredible instrument, and that she can do a lot of things with it, which is the problem, because she’s all over the place. But she’s really good. Just wants her to figure out who she is. That’s a theme this year. Simon calls it a smart choice of song that makes her contemporary. He says she’s quite corny when she performs and she needs to watch that. And because corny is just about the worst thing you can call a 20+ year old (instead of a cheese ball like me who eats that up), she kind of grimaces. I think she’ll be around for a while.
Okay - 2 hours is too long for this. There are two more singers and I’m sleepy. Just sayin’.
Paige Miles is up next. And the best thing she has for her video is that she likes to color. Hookay. I actually like to color too, to be fair, but really? That’s all she has? You know, that's one of my fears - I get to be a contestant on Jeopardy and when they get to my factoid, it’s going to be something really really dull...like how I like to color. Paige is singing Rockaway by Kelly Clarkson. I LOVE this song. Love it. And Paige is actually doing all right with it. But I must note that she said to Ryan that she had dry mouth before she started to perform, and I think I can hear a bit of it. Okay, here’s my thing about Paige - when she’s singing, I like her. But I don’t remember her much past the end of the show. That may just change after that performance - that was pretty good. Randy points out that Kara wrote this song (didn’t know that!), but that he wasn’t over the top on it (Randy’s in a bad mood tonight. Just sayin’.) He says that there are so many words in the song he missed her voice. Which. Whatever. Ellen disagrees with Randy and says that she loved it. That she had a lot of energy, and that she obviously had fun with it. Kara likes her soul/pop energy, but said the song is a bit angry, and that she was smiling too much for the song, or something like that. I think she meant that her peppy performance was incongruent with the message of the song, and so the whole thing came off fake to her. At least, that’s what I’m going with because that’s solid critiquing. Simon says that she’s picked the wrong song twice, and that it’s concerning. He said that he didn’t think she established herself as someone who could win the competition, and that her performances are forgettable. He says IF she’s still here next week, she needs to be prepared to put her personal stamp on a song and own it.
Last, but not least, Siobhan Magnus, Simon’s funny little thing! And from her video, she is a whack job. A really lovable whack job. I like her so much. Oh my, and she’s taking on Think, by Aretha Franklin. Let’s see how this goes. Oh...I don’t likey this much. And that makes me sad. Her voice is just not that strong, and where it’s thin, it’s pitchy, and when it’s strong - it’s loud. Oh she’s yelling at me and I’m really ready for this to be over. And it’s not just because I’m sleepy. When will this end - oh....that was a powerful note. How did she do that? Wow. Randy loved it, proving he’s on some sort of serious drug. Ellen loved it too. She says most people would say not to take on such a big song, but that people also thought that putting sleeves on a blanket was a mistake too. And. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Simon says she just so weird, but that she’s interested and very talented. He liked her video, and that he was hating it and then she hit that sick last note. But for me, since I was kind of hating it - the note just made my headache complete. I didn’t see what they saw, but I’m glad they liked it, because I really like her.
At the end of the night, Simon says that Crystal stood out for him. And for me, which means that I gave an hour and fifty minutes for...what? If I had to pick who would be in trouble tomorrow night for the women? Probably Hayley and Lacey? I worry that Didi is in trouble too. We shall see!
Thanks for reading!