American Idol Results Show Season 8, February 26, 2009

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There were not a lot of surprises with last night’s show.  Allison and Adam were predictable, even though she is not my personal favorite.  Kris was also good, but I would have really liked having Mishavonna go on.

Th group sing was better than usual, again this week, but they were all singing melody.  Finally, the dust-ups between the judges this week were great.  I hope they lead to something bigger.

American Idol Season 8, Wednesday, February 25

There were several things that caught my eye tonight.  One was the realization that I like the new format more (except for all of the talking).  By having three groups of 36 go through, the producers of Idol have forced the Idol voter to vote for more different people.  By the time the top 12 rolls around, people who actually vote every week will have voted for four different contestants.  In this way, they will not be as entrenched with a favorite by the time we get to the top 12.

Also, it looked like it took about 30 minutes for the Zanex to kick in for Paula.  For the first three contestants she was as loopy and out of it as ever.

Ryan needs to be told that it is stupid to ask if a person deserves to go through after the first performance of the night.  What an idiot.

In the end, last night’s group was an overall disappointment that made the one really good singer stick out like a sore thumb.

Jasmine Murray- “Love Song”- I had high hopes for Jasmine coming into last night.  She had received a lot of camera time, she was cute, and she sang well up to this point.  Unfortunately, she- like half of the girls that go onto the show- picked a song that was too low for her, and was nothing like the singer we had seen perform successfully before.  The song did nothing to showcase her talent even if she had done a good job of it.

Randy found it pitchy.

Kara thought it was all over the place and too low.

Paula Agreed.

Simon was disappointed.

Matt Giraud- “Viva La Vida”- From the beginning of the song, I was not sure if he was channeling Freddy Fender or just nervous with all of that vibrato.  He was just nervous.  He sang badly.  He could not hit the high notes.  And, he had a bad attitude about the criticism.  No one will miss this guy.

Paula’s remark was complete and utter nonsense.

Simon said that it verged on horrible and was badly performed.

Kara said that it was not his type of song.

Randy agreed with the others.

Jeanine Vailes- “This Love”- The first thing I thought was, “She picked that song?”  It very pitchy and proved to be an irritating mess by the end.

Paula was possibly drunk at this point, but I was not sure.

Simon thought it was terrible and the wrong song.

Randy agreed and said that the best part was when it ended.

Kara thought it was overdone.

Nick ‘Norman Gentle” Mitchell- “Living Without You”- This guy is a total mess and a joke.  And, just so you know Randy, No, he is not entertaining in the least.  He never proved that he could do the Idol thing, and I personally think that if he could have, he would have.

Simon said that it was one of the most atrocious performances ever on the show and prayed that America would not put him through.

Randy found it entertaining, but the vocals were not there.

Kara thought it was not terrible and enjoyed it.

Paula (whose meds had kicked in by now) said that he is a true performer and found him memorable and fun.

Allison Iraheta- “Alone”- She was just as screechy and ‘screamy’ (not a word) as I thought she would be, and I do not like her voice at all.  It was obvious that the judges were getting a little desperate at this point by their comments.

Randy thought she blew it out.

Kara said that she was serious, and did not know how good she was.

Paula thought she was the best so far.

Simon said that she was the best by a clear mile.

Kris Allen- “Man in the Mirror”- This Michael Jackson song was not as iconic as the one from the week before.  It had a nice syncopated style, and he hit all of his notes.  It was pretty good, but not great.

Kara thought it was the wrong song, and that the end was better than the beginning.

Paula disagreed completely, and thought he nailed it.

Simon agreeing with Paula thought he showed confidence and personality.

Randy thought that he did it well.

Megan Joe Corkery- “Put Your Records On.”- I think she stole that tattoo from the inside of a gothic cathedral.  It was vomitous (not a word either).  It thought this song was extremely cabaret and affected.  She hit the notes, but I hated the presentation.

Paula thought that she did everything right.

Simon thought that she over-sang the second part of the song, but asked America to vote for her.

Randy agreed.

Kara thought that she could be on the radio.

Matt Breitzke- “If You Can Only See”- I thought it was a good performance.

Simon hated the boring song.

Randy thought it was a cool song with a boring performance.

Kara thought that it fell flat.

Paula did not like the song choice either.

Jesse Langseth- “Betty Davis Eyes”- It was nice to hear a song that I know this season.  It was a little affected, but she hit her notes, and for the most part it was good.  I also thought her personality during the judging was great.

Randy thought it was OK, but not exciting.

Paula found her to be captivating with an identifiable sound.

Simon thought it was forgettable.

Kara did not think she hit all of her notes, but thought it had good spots in it.

Kai Kalana- “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.”- This song was no vocal showcase, but for the most part he sang it well.  It was forgettable.

Kara thought there were pitch issues, and that it was too old-fashioned.

Paula thought that he sang good except when he was out of pitch.

Simon thought it was old fashioned and corny.

Randy found it to be safe and not hit.

Mishavonna Henson- “Drops of Jupiter”- I liked her a lot.  She was the first woman in the program to sing with strong vocals without screaming.  Unfortunately, I was the only one who thought this way.

Paula did not like the song.

Simon said that the performance left him cold.

Randy thought that she felt older than 18.

Kara thought that she was too put-together.

Adam Lambert- “Satisfaction”- I thought he would come out and sing Freddy Mercury, Sting or Steve Perry, and when I heard that he was singing this I was worried.  There was nothing to worry about.  He made the rest of the contestants look like they were in a high school talent show.  He showed me what Taylor Hicks could have been if he could have actually sung well.

Paula thought that she was at an Adam Lambert concert, and that he was leaving the others behind.

Simon thought that parts were bad, but the end was great.

Randy loved it.

Kara said that his vocal technique and ability were outrageous.

I will probably be wrong this week, but give me: Adam Lambert, Mishavonna Henson and Jesse Langseth.

American Idol Results Show February 18, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised with last night’s program, and it delivered in several ways.  First, the group song “I’m Yours,” while by no means perfect, was the best group song I have ever heard on Idol this early in the competition.  I was definitely not the train wreck that I have come to expect, and I think I even caught some harmony in there.

Second, the show delivered on talent.  I still feel that Ricky Braddy probably did not get a fair shake, and I would have liked to have been able to hear him again, but the cream did rise to the top.  The three who made it- Danny, Alexis and Michael- all deserved to be there.

Third, it seems that the new format may have taken the teeth out of the ‘vote for the worsters’ by concentrating the votes at the top and only allowing the best ones, who get tons of votes, to continue.  This keeps us from having weeks of an Amanda ‘Skunk Girl’ Overmeyer this year.

Also, I (oddly) did not finish the show with the feeling that Idol had stolen another hour of my life with a useless results show this week.  I can’t pin down the reason for this, but I did notice it.

I loved Simon’s cold retort to Jackie Tohn, “We’ll see,” just before she was dismissed, but I felt a little sorry for Tatiana as the producers of the show engineered a train wreck for her towards the end.  She was still in damage control as she said early in the show that she was ‘just humbled to be there.’  Really?  While I could not decide which Tatiana I liked less the irritating one or the fake one, I still felt a little sorry for her at the end.  It would have been nice if she had been able to be magnanimous, but she just does not have that in her.  I’m sure that last night’s experience was a good life-lesson for her, I just do not know of anyone has the right to purposely put a person in that situation as the Idol producers did.  In the end, I wondered if Simon felt the same way that I did.  He sure looked pissed-off when the show ended.

American Idol Season 8, February 17, 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

I will start this season off with an Idol Primer for those contestants who have not read this blog in the past (which is around 8 billion of you).  There are some things that you need to remember when you go on Idol: 1) If you are a girl, be careful not to pick a song that is too low for you.  2) Pick a song that is popular and has a catchy melody.  And, 3) never argue with the judges.

As far as last night’s show went, it proved mostly to be a gaggle of spares with a couple of good singers thrown in.  First impressions mean a lot on Idol, but it seemed that there were very few contestants who knew how important that really was.

Jackie Tohn– “A Little Less Conversation.”- I have not been a fan of hers from the beginning.  It has seemed all along as if the judges were giving her pass after pass even though she did not perform very well just because they liked here style.  I thought she sounded like she was singing at a karaoke bar.  To borrow a phrase from Simon, it was indulgent, and she was horribly dressed.

Randy- was not blown away by the vocals, but he was entertained.

Kara- did not like the vocals either, but thought she worked the stage.

Paula- had the odd statement that ‘sometimes perfect is boring’ regarding her vocals (What does that mean?).

Simon- thought she blew it by doing something silly rather than something good.

Ricky Braddy– “Song For You”- Ricky had a great performance of a song that was hard to sing.  The problem I have with him is that he forgot another of the Idol axioms: If you sing at the beginning of the show, it had better be a memorable performance, or people will forget you.  He may have sung great, but he chose a song that no one knows without a chorus.  It was definitely not a song that you could tap your foot to, or that would get in your head.  As a result, a guy who should sail through may have problems because he simply chose the wrong song.

Randy- thought it was great.

Kara- thought it was amazing.

Paula- thought that he deserves to go far.

Simon- thought he sang well, but that he had no charisma or star quality.

Alexis Grace– “Never Loved a Man”- She has a strong voice that does not match her body.  She sang the song well, hit all her notes, and was easily the best woman on the night.

Randy- loved it.

Kara- thought it was a pleasure to watch her come out of her shell.

Paula- liked her ability to express so much soul.

Simon- thought she was the best so far by a mile.

Brent Keith– “Hicktown”- It was OK, but not great.  He hit his notes, but it was nothing special.

Randy- liked his country style.

Kara- liked him, but found the song safe and not rangy enough.

Paul- saw him in a country band.

Simon- thought that he blew his one shot because it was forgettable and had no impact.

Stevie Wright– “You Belong With Me”- She fell into the trap that many ladies do when they perform on American Idol,  She picked a song that started too low, and she just could not sing it.  She then proceeded to sing out of pitch for the rest of the song.  It was a total mess.

Randy- thought it was not hot, and safe.

Kara- thought the song had nothing to do with her.

Paula- agreed that it was not the right song.

Simon- thought it was out of tune, terrible, and that she had zero chance of advancing.

Anoop Desai– “Angel of Mine”- It was a safe ballad, but he sang it well.  It was nice.

Randy- thought it was a little sharp.

Kara- did not like the song choice, and did not think he could sing it.

Paula- reminded us that America has connected with him already.

Simon- thought the song was too grown-up for him and too serious.  He did comment, however, on his massive likability.

Casey Carleson– “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”- She looked completely fake on stage, and the whole performance looked like karaoke night at Fudruckers.

Randy- thought it was not good, and the wrong song.

Kara- thought everything about it was wrong.

Paula- said that she was beautiful, but it was the wrong song.

Simon- thought the sing was atrocious, and did not know who she was trying to be.

Michael Sarver– “I Don’t Want to Be”- The beginning was weird, and he was way down in the mix.  This may be more of a production fault, but the lead vocal has to be prominent for that song to work, and it was not.  As a result, it sounded weak in comparison with past contestants who have sung it.  He also should have moved around more.  It was not great, but he did sing on pitch.

Randy- thought it was rough pitch-wise, and not that great.

Kara- thought it was not the best performance.

Paula- thought it was a ‘real good job.’

Simon- thought it was not the best vocal he ever heard, but asked America to give him another shot.

Anne Marie Boskovich– “Natural Woman”- I thought she had some good pipes and was on pitch.  Unfortunately, I think that I was the only one who thought so.

Randy- thought the song was not the right choice.

Kara- said that the song was not young.

Paula- thought that it was better than she had done so far.

Simon- thought that her voice was not good enough for the song.

Stephen Fowler– “Rock With You”- When I heard that he was singing this song, I thought, “He’s going to sing that?”  My fears were realized as, though he sang the song well, and added a soulful element to it, I was left with the contrasting images of Michael Jackson performing on stage, and Stephen just standing there like a statue.  Not the comparison that he wanted.

Randy- did not like the song, and thought that it was not good.

Kara- liked it better when he forgot the lyrics.

Paula- would have liked him to have sung the song he had trouble with earlier.

Simon- called it pointless and corny.

Tatiana Del Toro– “Saving All My Love”- It was obvious that someone got to Tatiana, and talked with her about her attitude.  She was a completely different person, but the damage from Hollywood had already been done.  I also thought she was pitchy several times in the song.

Randy- thought the song had some moments.

Kara- did not know who this new Tatiana was.

Paula- thought she was beautiful, but the song was pitchy.

Simon- thought she is a complete drama queen who is desperate to be famous.  He did say that the singing was not bad.

Danny Gokey– “Hero”- He reminded me of Elliot Yamin in a good way, and without the bad teeth.  I liked it, and thought that even the falsetto was good.

Randy- thought it was blazing hot.

Kara- thought it was great.

Paula- thought it was stellar.

Simon- brought it back to earth by saying that it was good, but not fantastic.  He liked the improvisation.

In the end, I think that Danny Gokey and Alexis Grace should sail through.  That leaves one other person which could be Ricky Braddy, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver or Tatiana Del Toro.

Not What the World Was Promised.

I seem to remember in the months leading up to the recent presidential election and for some time since, being told that things would be different once Obama was elected.  He promised to use diplomacy(apparently a word that he thought GWB had never heard before) to force the World to, once again, fall in love with America.  He specifically told us that he would employ this diplomacy to improve our relationship with Iran.

Well, last week, instead of working out the nuclear issue with the sensible Iranians as he had promised, he went to the Russians (Watch that Putin, he’s a nut too.) and negotiated with them to discontinue providing the Iranians with support for their nuclear programs.  That ought to get those Iranians to love us.  I’ll bet they invited Obama over for tea after that brilliant piece of maneuvering.

Today, we are told that Hillary has threated North Korea.  She is now insisting that they end their nuclear programs.  Or, what?  What sort of threat is any nation going to buy from “Mr. Scale Back Our Military Options and Negotiate?”  Good luck with all that.  And, how is this policy any different than that of GWB?  Oh yeah, these policies have no teeth.

We should be threatening Cuba and Venezuela any day now, and then Obamawill threaten Pakistan some more.  Now that’s diplomacy.  Isn’t it interesting to see that the same irrational people that Bush had problems with are the same irrational people that are lining up to cause Obama problems?

America’s enemies are our enemies because they choose to be so.  They want to be our enemies.  In fact, people like Castro and Chavez make their ‘political hay’ out of hating America and pumping others up to do the same.  They have absolutely no incentive to negotiate or work with us, and they never will.  We may buy them off for a time, but they will always return to the America-hating trough because it is their bread and butter.

Our job is to separate the truly dangerous ones from the ones who are simply annoying.  We must ignore the ones that are simply annoying no matter how they buzz about our faces.  The dangerous ones have to be crushed.  It’s just that simple.  Obama needs to take a page out of Teddy Roosevelt’s playbook.  He said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”  Obama will have no stick at all, and will keep increasing the rhetoric until all our enemies hear is an annoying screech…which they will continue to ignore.

American Idol Season 8, Hollywood Week February 10th and 11th 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

These were easily the best two episodes of American Idol since the season began.  The first night featured solo performances by the contestants with a band and an instrument if the desired one.  I liked that fact that they devoted most of the episode to showing us good singers and performances.  In fact, they waited until half-way through the show to show anyone who had problems.

I enjoyed the second night even better.  Again, they tended to deal more in the two hours with performers who were going to make it than those who were not.  I liked the format, and I even liked the sing-off which I thought I would hate.

My favorite thing about this season is that they put 36 contestants through to the next round.  It has always seemed like Idol has forced a certain chemistry on the Idol voter which included a few pop singers, a couple of rockers, a few R&B singers, a couple of country singers, an Emo singer, and even the occasional crooner.  That is a lot of spots, and if you let through a couple of girls simply on their looks, it gets even tighter.  A pattern developed in which all of the bit-singers were quickly dispatched, and the few pop singers were forced to the top.  Even though there were 24 included in the past few years, from the beginning, it was clear that only about a half-dozen had a shot at winning.

Now, with 36 contestants broken up into three groups, it will allow more good pop singers to be part of the competition.  The three groups will keep the pop singers from drawing-off each other’s votes until the bit-singers are dispatched.  In the end, I predict a much stronger top 12.

Speaking of stronger, the guys are a very solid group this year.  There are some very refined voices with excellent stage presence.  Other than Jasmine, I have not been extremely impressed with any of the girls.  I’m not saying that none of them can sing, but they do not seem to be as far along as many of the guy contestants.

As far as the contestants went, Tatiana Del Torro (fake name) continues to be the most egocentric biped ever to walk the planet, and I include Paris Hilton in this assessment.  She can sing, but I just don’t care.  No one wants to see someone like that succeed, and that was apparent when she walked back into the room by the looks on the faces of the other contestants.  I predict that she will get one vote, and that will be from her mother, …maybe.  On another subject, I was wondering where she got the drapes that she made her dress out of Tuesday night.

In a totally different world from Tatiana on Tuesday night was Lynesha, who delivered my favorite quote ever from a contestant on Idol.  After being booted, Ryan asked her what she had learned from the show.  She said, “You have to be humble and work hard for what you want in life.”   That was so refreshing.  Maybe there is hope for the next generation after all.  I wish she were still there.

I thought Simon gave Kristen the most constructive, and perhaps the harshest criticism on the show when he commented about her dress.  If she can learn from it, that voice could do well for her.  I will give Simon one more prop for his comment to Paula regarding her pseudo-magnanimous gift to Tatiana that just so happened to promote her jewelry line to 60 million people.  Nice.

Hold on,…Back the Lincoln Up!

Obama has been President for ony two weeks, and today we are being told that ‘historians’ are comparing his presidency to that of Lincoln.  Really?  I don’t for a minute believe that any serious historian would lower himself to such a comparison.  Historians deal with history, and two weeks doth not a history make.  I hope the guy is great, but let him be great first.  Please stop this hack job love affair.  And, give Lincoln a little more respect.  He deserves it.

I don’t know if I can take four years of this.