Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Week number two, and after all the adrenaline from week 1 is in the review mirror I'm counting on quite a let down this evening . Can any rise to challenge our four front runners? Well if there were any week for some also rans to come forward it would be country music week. Country music: where anyone can sing, and unfortunately they do (bit biased, sorry.)
Let's get to the pain.
Michael Sarver, "Ain't Goin' Down" - See, this is why I hate country music night. I'm pretty sure Michael Sarver isn't a great singer, but how in the world am I supposed to tell. It just doesn't take much vocal talent to slur every word and note. This is going to be a long night. (B)
Allison Iraheta, "Blame it On Your Heart" - Let me be clear, Allison sings very well, but I'm definitely over her theatrics. It kinda reminds me of the same thing that put me off about Archuletta (possibly wrongly I should add) last year, too much polish and manufacturedness. I know I'm in the minority on this, but Allison has lost me. (B+)
Kris Allen, "Make You Feel My Love" - It seems to me that Kris is guaranteed a spot in the top 5 based soley on the 13 year old female vote. For me though, that was a solid (yet slightly boring) performance. (B)
Lil Rounds, "Independance Day" - The first of our presumed final four (March madness infection, sorry.) to take the stage seems a little shaky in the first verse, and the chorus seems a little shouty. Not sure Lil is gonna like that one when she hears it later. Welcome back to the pack, Ms. Rounds. (B-)
Adam Lambert, "Ring of Fire" - Lambert does country, this could be interesting. The dude has an incredible voice, but this performance did nothing to calm down the over acting and flamboyance. But hey, maybe that's what he's going for. He belongs on Broadway, and he will have an amazing career there, but that was too over the top to get behind fully. (B+)
Scott MacIntyre, "Wild Angels" - Forgive the insensitive pun, but I hope America will open their eyes this week and see that Scott is out of his league vocally on this show. If you want to keep voting for him because he's blind, feel free, but if you close your eyes (again, sorry) and just listen, you'll hear a pretty mediocre singer, trying desperately to keep up. (C+)
Alexis Grace, "Jolene" - So far, I haven't been blown away with any of the supposed front runners and Alexis is no different. She struggled to stay solid on the notes, and it was a bit boring. These guys may think they can coast a few weeks, but it's exactly these kind of performances that end up biting people in the end (pun intended). (B-)
Danny Gokey, "Jesus Take the Wheel" - Now that's how it's done my friends. Maybe it's cause I'm already a fan, maybe it's because of the song, but whatever the case, that blew me away. Wow. (A+)
Anoop Desai, "Always On My Mind" - Well, howabout this, Noop can actually sing a nice refrained song and nail it. That was great and did a lot to wash out those rancid memories of "My Prerogative" and "Beat it". (A)
Megan Joy, "I Go Walking After Midnight" - Wait, did she change her name? Have I been calling her the wrong name? What did I miss? Seriously, has she always been Megan Joy? In the end it doesn't matter, her "unique" voice is officially no longer "unique" and now just plain "annoying". If she's sick, send her home to heal. (D)
Matt Giraud, "So Small" - I think Matt is the dark horse this year. He's just enough under the radar that he could pull off a huge performance and surprise everyone, yet he's competent enough that you can see him as a star. As for this performance, it was a bit off at times, but well performed. (B)
Who should go home:
Who will go home:
I have the feeling that people may be waking up to the fact that Scott can't sing that well, but I think it will be another week or two before he goes home. I think Allison or Megan are easy targets, but I have to tell you, it's Alexis that I worry for the most. People think she is safe so they aren't motivated to vote for her. Her performance was underwhelming and forgettable. It's a perfect recipe for disaster. It seems crazy, but we've seen it happen before. The only question will be if the judges use one of their life lines to keep her around.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Michael Jackson night on Idol, will it be a Thriller or just plain Bad? More likely with this season it will simply be Off the Wall. Let's do it!
Lil Rounds, "The Way You Make Me Feel" - No doubt about it, girl can sing. I like that she changed it up just enough that I didn't feel like I had to compare her to MJ. That will be the trick tonight, keeping us from thinking thoughts like, "Wow, I remember when Michael sang that one." Overall a great start to the night (A-)
Scott MacIntyre, "Keep the Faith"- This is the other way to go with such an amazing icon. Do a song most people don't even know. Having said that, I still think Scott has one of the weakest voices of the group and to keep voting for him still strikes me as a bit patronizing. Also I'm sick of the live audience already. Half the show is spent waiting for the audience to stop overreacting in one way or another. (B-)
Danny Gokey, "PYT" - Am I the only one who finds this song disturbing now considering MJ's alleged proclivities. Sorry, couldn't resist. All joking aside, Danny Gokey owns the stage and you can just sense his ease with performing. He will be my favorite until someone else steps it up. (A)
Michael Carver, "You're Not Alone" - Honestly, a much better vocal than last time (not that that was difficult). Still, I just get the sense that he is out of his league and that in the end he can't keep up with some of the rest of this crew. (B-)
Jasmine Murray, "I'll Be There" - I will do my best to give DJ Jazzy Jasmine her fair shake, but I can't help but look at her and still be bewildered that I'm not seeing Ricky Braddy. That wasn't bad, and I'm getting the feeling that everyone is stepping up their game now. Only problem is that it sounded too much like Michael's version, and his was better despite the fact that he was only like 11 at the time. (B+)
Kris Allen, "Remember the Time" - Have I mentioned how impressed I am with this group so far? Another solid performance and another guy who is simply at ease on stage. Had a couple notes just north of his range but still well done. Randy Jackson quote of the night, "Very Well Job Done, Baby!" (B)
Allison Iraheta, ''Give In To Me" - She's got a decent enough voice, but I'm just not buying her shtick right now. Not a bad show, but my least favorite of the night so far, for sure. (C+)
Anoop Desai, "Beat It" - You can't pick this song, you just can't. Even the best singers would come off as Karaoke with this one. And he's not one of the best. Big mistake. (C-)
Jorge Nunez, "Never Can Say Goodbye" - Jackson 5 again, and once again if you don't nail it, you have to realize you are getting upstaged by child. Jorge sang fine, but that was a bit boring overall. (B-)
Megan Corkrey, "Rockin Robin" - I kinda dig Megan's voice, but the way she was dancing around really kinda threw me off. I'm going back and forth on this gal, but I think tonight the spinner lands on positive. (B)
Adam Lambert, "Black and White" - I'm convinced in a vocal acrobatics competition Lambert runs away with the trophy. The dude knows his instrument and knows how to play with it in some pretty cool ways. Having said that, I wasn't that much into this particular performance, certainly not as much as the over ebullient Paula Abdul was. (A)
Matt Giraud, "Human Nature" - I was really enjoying this tune until he went into the falsetto part. Got a little weird for me at that point, not awful, just kinda put me off enough to keep it from being in the top tier tonight. (B)
Alexis Grace, "Dirty Diana"- Pink Streak is back with the closing performance (which at least means the producers thought she would be good). It was good, but not on the level of Danny or Adam. (A-)
Who should go home:
Anoop and Allison
Who will go home:
Well that kind of depends on what the big "game changing" announcement is, doesn't it. If it were simply based on votes I'd say that Anoop will likely be safe but that Allison won't. I'd probably go with Allison being joined by some of the "middle of the roaders" in the bottom 3. Some combination of Jorge, Megan, Matt, Kris, or Jasmine I would imagine. Along with Anoop, I would think that Michael and Scott have too much fan support to drop in there. Just to be official I will call Allison, Jorge and Megan my bottom three, with Allison going home. However, if the judges now have the say in which goes home, all bets are off.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I wasn't planning on blogging this one, since there is not time to make predictions and such, but I couldn't resist. Idol performances are happening and I have this insatiable desire to grade them. So grade them I will. And maybe I'll pause the DVR before they announce the winners and make a stab at figuring out how these judges think.
That One Girl Who Sang First, "Tell Me Something Good" - Still not impressed, snore. (C-)
Matt Giraud, "Whose Loving You" - You remember Matt, right? He's the one that butchered Coldplay in the first round. This, however, is much better, spectacular in fact. Early front runner alert. (A)
Megan Joy Corkrey, "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" - I don't mind Megan, she did fine in her week, and has a decent and certainly distinctive voice. Didn't much care for this performance though. It wasn't horrible, but not great either. If the girls all sing this mediocre, will the judges have the stones to pick 3 guys and make it 9 guys in the top 12? (B)
Von Smith, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" - Von and Ricky were the two most unfairly passed over singers of the first round so I'm glad they both got this second chance. Here's the thing with Von though, when he sings those strong high notes he's stellar. But when he's in the mellow parts (like at the beginning) he's not that good. (C+)
Halfway through and Matt is our only stand out, the judges seem to like Megan as well, hmmm, bring on the final four.
Jasmine Murray, "Reflection" - All I have to say is Jasmine better blow me away tonight because she was dreadful in her first performance. It was the only Wild Card choice that I did a double take at. Well, this one seems to be a little better, but she's still trying a little to hard. Tonight's performance, fine, but I still can't wash her first travesty from my mind. (B-)
Ricky Braddy, "Superstition" - The most deserving of his spot in this show, and he proved it again tonight. If he doesn't make the 12 after those two great performances, the show is a shell of a shadow of a joke. Braddy should be in, period, end of sentence, he earned it. (A)
Tatiana Del Toro, "Saving All My Love" - First of all, Seacrest on his knees with his hands folded introducing the song was priceless. Amongst the crazy dramatics of this person called Tatiana you have to admit she has some pipes. I don't think it was great, but it was better than the other gals. Still, the whole accent thing, repeating the song, the chick appears to have some issues. (B)
Anoop Desai, "My Prerogative" - Noop can sing too. I thought he did well in the first round, and well here too. Will he go through? I think he should, but can they really put so many guys in the 12? (B+)
OK, so the DVR is paused and the judges are about to make their decision. Obviously I think it should be Matt, Ricky, and Noop. But, by the way the judges gave the criticism it was obvious they were trying to downplaying the guys and trying to build up the girls. My guess is that they have no choice but to go with two guys but won't be able to pull the trigger on three. They seemed to specifically downplay Ricky, which is infuriating to me because he's the only one on that stage that proved it twice. I think they like Matt more than Ricky and they seem to have this thing for Noop. OK, the suspense is killing me, so I'll go ahead and make my official prediction.
The judges will choose Matt, Megan, and either Tatiana or Noop. Let's say Noop since he got the final singing slot.
Jasmine's up first - NO, NO, NO, please NO. - WHATTTTT!?!?! Really? Can't speak.
Ricky - Not in. Jasmine in. Could the judges have made a more ridiculous decision? Is it opposite day? Did I miss something?
Megan's in and Tatiana is out. Not a surprise, and since my DVR apparently missed the end, let me just rant a little bit more about the Jasmine thing. The more I think about it, the more obvious it is that this is a gender and race choice. I knew it would be difficult for more than one guy to get through and even though the three best performances of the night were guys they couldn't even go with two of them. They knew they needed girls and so after Megan it became a pick 'em between three not great choices. I would have picked Tatiana, ahhh, but Jasmine is black, and I don't know if you noticed but the Idol soup this year is pretty full of crackers. Am I accusing the judges of being racist? Eh, not really, just race aware. Whatever the case I feel for Ricky tonight who deserved to be in but just happened to have the wrong genitals and skin color.
Hold the phone, this just in, checked online and apparently Matt AND Noop got in. Lucky 13, eh? If I were putting four in it would have been Ricky, Matt, Noop, and Megan. So again, the Jasmine over Ricky thing is a joke. However, seeing as three of them did get through, it tempers it a bit. It also means that the three I predicted all made it.
My initial raking of the Top 12:
1) Danny Gokey
2) Adam Lambert
3) Alexis Grace
4) Lil Rounds
5) Matt Giraud
6) Allison Iraheta
7) Megan Corkrey
8) Anoop Desai
9) Kris Allen
10) Scott MacIntyre
11) Jorge Nunez
12) Michael Sarver
13) Jasmine Murray
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Group 3 of the new format and even though these first rounds have been up and down (more down than up, for sure) I still think I like it this way quite a bit. I dig the "75% of you are going home" thing, as it adds a level of do or die (which likely is the reason for all the horrible performances). Let's see if we can get 2 girls and a guy this week, or if the pre teen estrogen lands us another cutie for the third. You start to wonder if they just took the top 3 vote getters if we would have all dudes. Hey, if it means Norman Gentle would still be in, I'm all for it.
On to the show...
Von Smith, "You're all I Need to Get By" - I like this Von Smith kid, not sure even why, but he stood out as one I might root for. His performance tonight was really pretty good, certainly better than the other firsties. Started out a bit shaky but some really strong notes in there, and he really sold it, even though you could tell he was a bit nervous. Yep, I like Von. (B+)
Taylor Vaifanua, "If I Ain't Got You" - Not a bad voice, but here we go again with the over performing. Solid vocal, but not sold on the presence. (B-)
Alex Wagner-Trugman, "I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues" - Yes, he is a dork, and I kinda like him for it. It's hard to take him seriously when he sings lines like "rollin' like thunder, under the covers" and then throws the mic stand (while at the same time trying to keep it from falling over). Point being he sang ok, but he's adorable right? God bless our favorite Hamster-Tiger. (C+)
Arianna Afsar, "The Winner Takes it All" - Sorry Arianna, you will have to do much better than this to capture us. Pleasant enough voice, but even when it was "strong" it was shaky. I couldn't even tell if she was in beat with the music. (C)
Ju'not Joyner, "Hey There, Delilah" - Dude's pretty smooth, but if this song doesn't pick up it will just be another forgettable performance. Well, it kinda went somewhere, I don't know, Ju'not? I think he made enough of an impact to have a shot, but I'm not sure there was anything super special about that. (B)
Kristen McNamara, "Give Me One Reason" - There we go. A little weak at the end, but I thought that was a great performance. I'm not sure if America will buy it, but I did. (B+)
Nathaniel Marshall, "I Would Do Anything For Love" - Oh dear. That was like a Norman Gentle performance, except if Norman wasn't in on the joke and couldn't sing quite as well. MAKE IT STOP, SOMEONE, PLEASE MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY. (D)
Felicia Barton, "No One" - The stay at home mom who got the second chance. If she can throw a decent performance into the mix with that story it will be hard to vote against her. Unfortunately for her, every time she tried to go big she missed the note, but other than that she sounded really good. (B)
Scott MacItyre, "Mandolin Rain" - I have to be honest with you, I haven't heard a single performance from this guy that I thought was that good. It beyond obvious to me that the ONLY reason he is on this show is because he is blind. I apologize if that is insensitive, but I find it patronizing that Idol has put him through this far. Tonight's performance did nothing to change my view on this (it was mediocre at best), and the judges fawning was transparently tainted. Give the man some respect and treat him on an equal level with the others. (C-)
Kendall Beard, "This One's For The Girls" - Hey, it's our first drop dead vocal of the night, as in, I would rather drop dead than listen to it anymore. That was nasty. She would have fit much better in week 1. (D-)
Jorge Nunez, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" - This song will always be associated with Clay Aiken, Wild Card week, Season 2, so it's hard for me not to compare. Clay blew me away with that song. Jorge just managed to sing it well. I'm biased, but it was just ok. (B-)
Lil Rounds, "Be Without You" - Interesting, you can usually count on that last performance to blow you away. Not so much tonight. Not that Short Round, er... Lil Rounds was bad, she was really good. But not head and shoulders above the rest. This will be a very interesting vote. (A-)
Should be in the Top 12:
Well, all of them except for...
Chewed up and spit out by the Idol stage:
Kendall and Arianna
Official prediction for who will be in the Top 12:
This is an impossible week to predict. If I manage to go 3 for 3 this week, give me your cash and send me to Vegas, cause it's a complete crap shoot tonight. I think Lil will go through for the gals both because she deserves it and because she got that coveted final slot. Other than that, there are only two names I would be genuinely shocked if they made it through, Kendall and Arianna. Sure I thought Nathaniel was terrible and am tired of his shtick, but can't you just see him squeaking through (hold on, I need to stop shuddering so I can type again). My fear is that Kristen and Von will get passed over for one of the sob stories; the blind guy, the dork, the puetro rican, the single dad, the second chance stay at home mom. Not that all of these would be awful choices, just not as deserving as Von and Kristen. Official guess: Short Round, Blind Guy, and Crying Puerto Rican. We are nothing if not suckers for a good sob story. Hopefully the judges will put through some of the more deserving singers with the wild card picks, you know, like that NickNorm guy.