Monday, August 29, 2011

Golden Tickets!

 Congratulations to all of you who have completed auditions so far this season!

I have been receiving e-mails left and right from those of you who are getting golden tickets!   Here's an excerpt from someone today who got a golden ticket in Houston:

okay, so I've been reading your blog
 I actually got a golden ticket today in Houston
 You said "stars" are special, if there is a star it means something
 I also got a number "2" on the top
 When I walked into the winner's circle room, the first table looked at my ticket and said "you're a 2, you're going to get a surprise"
 I asked, "what?"
 and got
 "trust us it's a good thing"
So, my question for all of you.... what kind of marks have you gotten on your Golden Tickets?   Y, N, K's?   or 1s and 2s?  or both?    Start submitting pictures of your tickets (I will black out your name and contestant number) to  or make comments on this post about what you got. Hopefully we will figure it out!  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Audition tips

I've been getting a lot of e-mails from you guys asking for audition tips...  and they are the same questions over and over (I don't mind)... so here are a few answers to them, and I will try to update this when I can with more Q & A.

1.  Should I sleep over / camp-out in line?
      NO.   There is no advantage to doing this.  Worst case scenario, you'll end up sick, or hoarse, and tired and unable to perform.  Best case scenario, you'll make the "front of line" shot (10 seconds of airtime) and will get to sit inside 20-30 minutes earlier than other people.   What's better, 20-30 minutes of A/C or 6-8 hours of A/C by sleeping at home/hotel the night before?  I got there at 6:30 on ticket day and 4:30 on audition day and it was more than sufficient.

2.   Any other tips for camping out in line?
     YES!   Bring things to entertain you (duh)... but things that are easy to move.  I brought cards and board games and it was awful because I kept having to pick up and scoot when the line was moving.  Try things like iPads and headphones and guitars.  

3.  Any other tips?
   YES!  They did not allow in outside food or drink (because the arena sells it to you) but it's all overpriced and crap and not foods for singers (ie, they sell nachos with cheese and carbonated beverages, and not tea and bananas).    So, I snuck in food inside a shoe box (because most contestants bring an extra pair of non-comfy shoes for the audition, right?)  I put a few bottles of water, a banana, some apple sauce, and some nuts inside the shoe box and covered it up with the tissue paper that comes inside the shoe box.  When they searched my bag, they didn't see it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm still here...

You've probably all noticed that I stopped posting regularly, and I apologize for that.  Life got in the way (I had that other TV show to do, nope, I still can't mention which one for another 120 days or more)... and I started my own company.  Frankly though, I was just really bored with American Idol once we got to the Top 12 or so.  I started blogging about the contestants, but 2-3 shows a week X a couple of hours a show really starts wearing on you after awhile.  It was a full-time job, and honestly American Idol doesn't mean that much to me (it shouldn't mean that much to anyone, minus contestants).  It's really sad how they've turned something that should be 8 or 9  1-hour episodes into about 120 hours of television watching, when 45% of it is commercials, advertisements, music videos, guest appearances, etc.  I just got sick of it.

With that said, I am still around and I'm loving that people are still reading this blog and writing to me.  I get several e-mails a day... keep them coming!  I love hearing about all of you and your children and your spouses and your auditioning experiences.  If there is anything you want to know, just ask-- and as auditions start approaching again this summer, eventually I'll share some of your experiences with others as well.  So for now, just send in the questions, prepare for your auditions (make sure you REALLY want to do this),  and be the best you can be.  And for goodness sake, when you go to the audition make sure you note which letter they put by your contestant number (and tell me if I'm right-- I'm sure I am!)

Until then, good luck!  I'll post here again when I have something else to say!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 13 Performances Part 1

We're in and the crowd is doing the wave.  If someone was in this audience you HAVE to tell me how many times / how long you had to practice that to get it right!

Seacrest is once again wearing the same black suit with the same black skinny tie.  Is he like Regis?  Did he start his own trademarked menswear line or something?  Boring!

The judges all look surprisingly normal and like themselves.  They're also very well coordinated in black and white.  Randy has the typical "I never got to be a letterman in high-school so I'm wearing that 50s letter sweater now",   J-Lo has a precious black and white polka dot dress on, and Steven Tyler has a white button down with a black blazer and jeans.  He looks very rockstar.

We hear mention of J.Lo's single for the 1,000th time and it's time to meet the top 13.

The theme is "Pick a song by your own personal idol"  and the mentor is Jimmy Iveen from Interscope and his producers.  I'm pretty sure this is the guy who was pretty rude to most during Beatles / Vegas week.  I don't know why he's famous.

The performances:

Lauren Alaina -  Any Man of Mine, Shania Twain
She started off a little shaky and appeared nervous and the arrangement was very karaoke-- but she pulled it together quickly and impressed as always with her personality, confidence, and control.   A few notes were shaky and on the sharp side, but very very few considering the style she was singing.  Pros:  She has the confidence of a pro and acted as if she was already famous, giving her first concert with winks and waves and smiles and "Thank yous" at the end.  Cons are the same!   The stylist DEFINITELY got to her, because she's not that tacky little girl with a gift card to the Juniors department anymore-- she looked gorgeous and age-appropriate in a pale turquoise chiffon blouse with metallic accents and flutter sleeves and black stretch pants.
My Scores-  Vocals - 8    Outfit - 8.5    Confidence - 10  
Randy Jackson-  You sang it well but your voice is so big we really want something that lets you shine
Jennifer Lopez- You always sound so amazing and you don't have to try-- but now we need high-gear.  You're super comfortable but now it's time,  the competition starts today.
Steven Tyler-  Loves that song but wishes it was just a little more kick-ass

Casey Abrams - Get by with a little help from my friends, Joe Cocker
I don't usually point out things from the reel, but Casey Abrams flat out called Joe Cocker unattractive (just like him)  and I thought that was hilarious.  Bonus points for that.  It's at this point that I realize each contestant has their own separate backup singers?  Lauren Alaina had two twin-blonde looking girls and Casey has a whole choir with him.    He sings it very solidly, even makes it a little different from the original, and I definitely felt something.  There was a whole lot of screaming and howling, but he pulled it off.   He's wearing his typical church casual-shirt pant outfit (all in black with white undershirt)...  and you wouldn't give him a second look if you saw him on the street.  But I guess that's part of his charm?  Overall it was a great performance, but it's not going to be something we'll remember next season or even 4 weeks from now.

My Scores-  Vocals - 9    Outfit - 7    Confidence - 10  
Randy Jackson-  (Idol remix lame quote again) -  Always excited to see what you're going to do.  Unbelievable & exciting, hit all the notes, always.   Listening to you is fun.  Loved it.
Jennifer Lopez-   We go by what we feel and you are somebody important.  Blew me away.
Steven Tyler-  You are a rainbow of talent, man.  You never cease to amaze.  You are a plethora of passion.

Ashthon Jones - When You Tell Me That You Love Me, Diana Ross  (Ashton?  Ashthon?) 
This could have been really good but I was pretty unimpressed.  She made it modern sounding, which was good, but most of that came from the arrangement and backup singers, and not her own voice.  The strong parts were strong, and I didn't notice anything with the high-note that she kept complaining about in the tape,  but what I did notice were that all of the "breathy" notes sounded horrible.  I don't know if she was too close to the mic, or the mic was malfunctioning,  or if she was just flat in them, but it was really really bad.  I'm curious to know if it sounded that way on set.   Oh, and her dress would have been nice, but it was a single piece of silver satin.  NOT GOOD to wear a single piece of satin when you are a full-figured girl!  There goes my Tyra Banks comparison!    A shame, all around.
My Scores-  Vocals - 6.5    Outfit - 6.5  Confidence - 7  

Randy Jackson-  Little bit of a safe move but you paid attention to the notes and pulled yourself in when you got sharp or flat.  I liked it.
Jennifer Lopez-  You're elegant up there and are a professional-  there were moments where it was getting away from you and you kept your composure.  You're awesome.
Steven Tyler-  There's a lot more in there that you're showing us and you're going to. I have confidence.

Were those backhanded compliments?  Or insults?  I'm not sure!   The judges are making little sense.

Paul McDonald-  Ryan Adams (with an R, love it) - Come Pick Me Up
I liked the Rod Stewart does Ryan Adams thing,  he was very personable and talked to the crowd as always.   Quirky as usual wearing a red and black "Michael Jackson" jacket but looking like a bad cowboy otherwise, and doing his usual "I dance in circles"  moves.  I like this guy (I don't dislike him), but I don't think he deserves the credit he gets.  He has a great quality to his voice.  That's all.   He has little else.  I don't think he'll make the top 3-4 but he'll be around for awhile.  There were a couple of moments where the song literally felt like it was getting away from him.  I think he focuses more on mood/stage presence than on singing.  He rides on his tonal quality and there's so much more he could do- like different arrangements that could rival Blake Lewis'.    He always leaves me thinking he's a slacker.  But very likeable!
My Scores-  Vocals - 7    Outfit - 8    Confidence - 9
Randy Jackson-  (More music plugs),  I get it, I hope America gets it, I'm a huge fan.
Jennifer Lopez-  You're so unique and you moved the crowd, but I hope America gets it. You're great.
Steven Tyler-  I love it so much it doesn't matter who's song you do your voice is so unique.  Pitchy, and nail it next time, but I love your voice.

On Seacrest impersonating Paul's dancing:   It needed to be done, but you were NOT very good at it.  You look even more ridiculous than he does, if that's possible!

Pia Toscano - Celine Dion, All By Myself
Personality very lacking in interview, and picks Celine Dion which is an instant confirmation that she has no personality.  Her voice is beautiful though-- very very recordable.   Her runs are super impressive in her quieter voice.  She has a lot of power but is obviously super nervous and shaky.  It's also exactly the same version as Celine's.  She's the kind of girl if you saw in a karaoke bar you'd stop dead in your tracks but it'd also be a karaoke bar.  A few missed notes but a good performance. The crowd loves it, but it's just a Miss America performance for me.  She is extremely beautiful, and looks stunning in a gold sequined one-shoulder mini-dress (with some sort of chiffon veil/tail coming out of the back that I could have done without), but she looks amazing.   Between the lacking personality and the exactly the way we're used to hearing them performances though, I don't think that will carry her to the winner's circle this year.
My Scores-  Vocals - 8    Outfit - 9   Confidence - 8
Randy Jackson-  Big 3 are Mariah, Whitney, Celine-- we always say don't tackle those if you can't do them, but you can hit these notes dead on.  Very hot, dope, cool performance.  (Hot & cool?  Come on, Randy!)
Jennifer Lopez-  We love you, you topped last week. There it is.  Really really beautiful.
Steven Tyler-  You polished that apple.  Happy International Woman's Day, you just slammed it.  (what the hell did he just say?)

James Durbin - Paul McCartney, Maybe I'm Amazed
People who pick Beatles/McCartney songs on Idol annoy me, I don't know-- they just do.  It's like they ride on the popularity of the song.   Not that I don't love the songs, I'm just saying.  But the producers seem genuinely impressed with him and try to make it different (not fair!  Isn't that CHEATING?  He would be crying if it were someone else doing that...  yes, I'm being sarcastic in a throwback to Hollywood week).    His "FREAK" sweatshirt also annoys me, and yes, I'm talking about the tape again.  Back to the performance:  He's wearing a white shirt, red vest, jeans, and lots and lots of jewelry. His hair is slicked back and it suddenly occurs to me that he reminds me of the villain dad in Kindergarten Cop.  Maybe that's part of the reason I don't like him.   He does kind of a screaming version of the song, but I have to say-- the tone of his voice is amazing.  The fact that he can get so high in pure tone, is amazing.  Maybe I'm amazed, finally, by James Durbin.  The performance was incredible and people will talk about it for sure.  I still don't like him very much as a person, and I think he's way too cocky, but it was a great song choice, well done,  done differently than the original, made modern/rock, and there wasn't a missed note in the entire song.    Don't ever say I don't give credit where credit is due!
My Scores-  Vocals - 9.5   Outfit - 8.5    Confidence - 10 
Randy Jackson-  You're one of my favorites, you can do anything, James Durbin is dangerous, America!
Jennifer Lopez-  (I LOVE her laugh!!!!!)  You have such a quality, a melodic quality that is rare to rockers where you can actually sing.
Steven Tyler-  You have taken everything you've ever felt and kicked it into the middle of next week! (is he on drugs?)  so good!  
* He asked for more applause a few times after he was done so negative .5 points for that!

Haley Reinhart - Blue, LeAnn Rimes
Her hair and dress (dark navy, very revealing in the bust) were amazing.  That's sadly all that was amazing.  Her performance was EXACTLY like LeAnn's, and even her hand motions reminded me of an 8 year old singing it at a country fair.  It was great, but nothing different.  At all.   Her tone made it slightly cool but again, karaoke. She better work harder if she wants to stay around.  
My Scores-  Vocals - 7   Outfit - 9    Confidence - 8
Randy Jackson-  Good parts: you can do a lot of different types of music  Bad:  It was boring and sleepy.
Jennifer Lopez- You do things with your voice that are so diverse. Good job.
Steven Tyler-  If you listen closely you can hear America roaring (???) such a great job, so so fine
* She kept talking over Randy so -1 for that.  Over and over and over again.  Annoying!

Stay Tuned for part 2!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Top 13

So, I picked 10 or 11 of the Top 13... not too bad, right?
Sad about Brett & Julie, I thought they had so much more in them-- especially for Brett, because he didn't have a bad performance the other night.  It's too bad.   Not too thrilled about Scotty McCreery or Jacob Lusk, either, but I think we got a really good melting pot going on.

4 of my 5 Top 5 picks are still alive also, so I think I'm pretty accurate there, as well.  I was just really off about Brett.  

Your Top 13:

  • Scotty McCreery
  • Jacob Lusk
  • Casey Abrams
  • Paul McDonald
  • James Durbin
  • Pia Toscano
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Karen Rodriguez
  • Thia Megia
  • Haley Reinhart
  • Ashthon Jones
  • Stefano Langone
  • Naima Adedapo

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top 12 Predictions

Let's look at the Top 24 (and a recap of the scores I gave them):

Pia Toscano: 27.5
Lauren Alaina: 27
Naima Adedapo: 26
Haley Reinhart: 25
Thia Megia: 25
Lauren Turner: 24
Rachel Zevida: 24
Julie Zorrilla: 24
Ashton Jones: 23
Kendra Chantelle: 22
Karen Rodriguez: 17
Tatynisa Wilson:  13

Brett Loewenstern - 28
Casey Abrams - 26
Stefano Langone - 25
Jovany Barreto - 24
Paul McDonald - 23
Jacob Lusk - 23
Tim Halperin - 23
Robbie Rosen - 22.5
Clint Gamboa - 19
James Durbin - 19
Jordan Dorsey - 15

The Top 12, will I think be:

Pia Toscano
Lauren Alaina
Naima Adedapo
Julie Zorrilla
Karen Rodriguez
I'm torn for 6th between Ashton Jones and Haley Reinhart.  I prefer Ashton but think Haley will take it.
I don't believe Karen Rodriguez deserves to be there but I think she will.
I think Julie might be at risk but I'm hoping America gives her another shot.

Casey Abrams
Brett Loewenstern
Stefano Langone  (likely will take the Jovany vote)
Paul McDonald or Jacob Lusk
James Durbin I do not think deserves to be there, but I think he will sadly end up there
Torn for 6th between Robbie Rosen, Tim Halperin, and Clint Gamboa.  I can't stand Clint Gamboa but I think he might have a better shot at making it than the other two.  I'd pick Robbie Rosen of the three.

I think this is a pretty good guess at the Top 12,  I'm usually way more accurate towards the end (which one or two will be sent home as opposed to massive cuts), because you never know with a huge vote/cut like this which votes will be taken away by which other contestants.  But, It's a pretty good guess.

If I had MY choice, the Top 12 would be:  Brett, Casey, Stefano, Tim, Robbie, Paul, Pia, Lauren A., Naima, Lauren T., Ashton, and Julie, but we can't all get exactly what we want all the time.

Curious to see what wins out-- my personal choices or what I think is going to happen.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and just for a bonus...   here's my projected Top 5 (at this moment):  Casey, Brett,  Pia, Lauren, Naima


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Top 12 Ladies - Cocktail Dress anyone??

Okay, it's time for the 12 Ladies...

(My girl at TopIdolBlog wrote that this week was like hell week for AI bloggers, and boy was she right!  2 hours down, 4 more to go.. countless hours writing and discussing.  Come on, Top 10!)

Judges Outfits: (excuse my outfit talk-- I'm a fashion blogger as well- at least I'm warning you in advance so you can avoid it).   J Lo is wearing a ravishing silver dress, with silver or white thigh-high boots.   Not sure if I love the combination.   She always knows how to take a really really expensive look and make it look like it's on a hooker in the Bronx.  But I digress.  Randy Jackson has a typical Argyle sweater and funky glasses on and Steven Tyler has his usual "is he homeless or is he a rockstar?" vibe.   Seacrest has his usual Jeffrey Winger suit vibe going.

If last night was the night for Steven Tyler to curse, tonight is the night for Randy Jackson to talk with inexplicable pauses between his sentences.  Is he pausing for em-phas-is?  Is he out of breath?  I'm not really sure.  I just know when he talks with dramatic pauses it reminds me of when Lil C on SYTYCD tries to use big words.

Top 12 Ladies Overview:   All day long I've been chatting on Twitter with peeps about how the only girls we can remember are Lauren Alaina and Julie Zorrilla (can't wait to see what she's wearing), so I can't wait to see the 10 we forgot about already.   Tatynisa Wilson, Naima Adedapo, Kendra Chauntelle, Rachel Zevida, Karen Rodgriguez, Lauren Turner, Ashton Jones, Julie Zorilla, Hailey Reinhart, Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano.   Wow.  Okay, the guys were so easily broken down.  This is a little more difficult.  Since the beauty of American Idol is America's opinions (the average every day person) and not the experienced record exec or blogger,  I'm going to forget researching these guys again, and just give you what I know about them off the top of my head.  That's likely what you remember too, right?  (And hopefully you remember it from reading my blog!)

So, what I remember about them just from memory:
Tatynisa Wilson -  consistently messing up lyrics, only one or two shining moments, otherwise blah
Naima Adedapo -  stadium cleaner by day, Rasta superstar by night.  Very unique & has a real shot. Not my cup of tea, but I'm sure she's someone's spoon of caviar.  Or Red Stripe?
Kendra Chauntelle - pretty and sweet, soulful voice but utterly forgettable
Rachel Zevida - something about strict Jewish parents & a strict grandmother, has auditioned a bunch, really nerdy and used to dress strange.. that's all I remember
Karen Rodriguez - auditioned on Myspace, JLO really likes her & they keep making her sing J Lo songs
Lauren Turner - auditioned in New Orleans and never a standout to me but always surprises me somehow..  won't be the winner but don't count her out yet
Ashton Jones - the girl I call Tyra Banks,  (she looks like her!) pretty with a superstar personality, and a pretty good singer but not by any means the best
Julie Zorrilla - fashion queen, went to Idyllwild Arts Academy & prom with Casey, one of more talented and memorable females,  beautiful and plays great piano... one to watch
Hailey Reinhart - bubbly blonde girl, never really impressed me, don't remember that much else
Thia Megia - a 15 year old, unique vocals but seems to fold under pressure
Lauren Alaina - also 15, kind of the opposite, seems strong as a horse but kind of cookie cutter
Pia Toscano - really stood out in Hollywood group round, one of the older ones, don't remember much more about her-- she's also beautiful and Hispanic, which seems to be a trend here

I hate to say this, but with the boys I remembered douchebags, sweethearts, hotties, etc... the girls are different.  They are all beautiful.  They are all stylish (minus 1 or 2),  they are all equally as memorable as the other ones.  I do not believe in stereotypes but I will admit to you that I kind of refer to them as the bubbly blondes, the soul sisters, the Latinas, and the babies.    You can figure out quite easily which contestant falls in what category.

Pre-singing cut opinon:   Based on the above, it's tough, but if I had to pick 3 or 4 to definitely go, it would be Tatynisa, Kendra, Rachel, and Hailey.  Let's see if I'm right.

Ta-tynisa Wilson - Only Girl in the World - a Rihanna song, really?  It starts out really rough.  She also looks like Pebbles from the Flintsones went to Prom in the 80s.  Zebra strapless mini-dress with tulle flying out underneath and big white pearls around her neck. Complete with ankle socks with her stripper heels.  Not a fan.  After the backup singers came in and she got into the chorus, she got a little more comfortable, but it had really awful notes all the way through.   And I didn't want to look at her because her left breast was really close to falling out.  Awful awful awful awful.
My scores:  Singing:  5    Outfit: 3   Stage Presence:  5 
ST: song sang to you and you sang it beautifully, JL: she really brought it home.  RJ:  thought it was just okay.  That's my boy, Randy!   You and I usually don't agree but you are right on here.  It paled in comparison and didn't bring anything different, and pitch issues.  He also says she looks hot which makes me realize I'm dead on about her awful outfit.

Naima Adedapo - Seacrest loves her Big Bird dress, I have to say it's not my thing but it is great on her.  I will not critique any of her fashions from here on out because she's just too original in that way- it's like trying to rate types of human food when you're a vampire.  I love that she does her own thing. But I digress.  She sings Summertime which is a pretty big Idol risk.  The jazzy arrangement makes me really really nervous.   But, she opens up and NAILS IT.   I've never been a fan of hers, she's not my thing, but this was pleasantly surprising.  She owned the stage, was comfortable, made jokes, even moved to the judges and around the stage.  She did jazzy, she did scat, she even did some Reggae in the middle of it, and it all fit perfectly with the song.  It was different.  My only critiques of her in this moment would be that a) I have no idea what kind of record she would make and if it would sell to the AI crowd, and b) she seems a little over indulgent at some spots, but goodness... it was a ray of sunshine (pun intended).
My Scores:  Vocals:  9    Outfit:  8   Stage Presence:  9
Judges:  JL (ooh they are rotating judges now) -  like an exotic flower in a rose garden (YEAH), RJ - it was a little loungy and not as good as Fantasia's (agreed) but he liked her stage presence (agreed),  ST - like early Ella Fitzgerald, new old-timey, what America needs, unbelievable.

Kendra Chantelle - Impossible? Christina Aguilera?  Wow,  I realized she had a soulful voice before, but, damn, I'm telling you, it was like Jennifer Hudson's voice came out of Rachel Zoe's body.  You know what I'm saying?  I actually had to stop from typing to watch it, really watch it, because I was mesmerized.   Her clothes were a little on the hooker/rocker side, which doesn't really mesh with the singing vibe-- it was a leather black/white bustier type thing with some chains, and black leather pants, but it wasn't that tacky or slutty per se, just not something I'd ever wear in public unless I planned on performing or dancing on a bar.   Performance wise she didn't move much but she really engaged, and looked gorgeous. It got a little cheesy toward the middle-end, but her end notes were amazing and pretty memorable.
My Scores:  Vocals: 9  Outfit: 6  Stage Presence: 7
Judges:  RJ - loved the vibrato, reminds him of Lauryn Hill, a little spotty notes, but liked it.  ST - always  looks forward to her and she did it again,  Style hot (which confirms what I said about HER outfit),  JL - she belongs here, but there is more in her.

Rachel Zevita - Fiona Apple's Criminal -  Whoa, has any girl  EVER stripped clothing on AI?  I have so much to process here!   One,  her ridiculous tie dye hippy one day / gothic corpse bride the next headpieces have completely disappeared.  Two, her hair is beautiful and straight- a first.  Three, she is in a gorgeous cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning.  Four, she is singing Fiona Apple as if she were in a lounge and she just TOOK OFF CLOTHING.  What on EARTH is going on here?   The theatricality is really getting to me, throwing the mic stand down, the Fosse broadway moves,  and apparently it gets to her as well, because she actually almost drops an entire line of the lyrics.   Watch it back if you don't believe me, it was clear as day.    The pros:  she looks gorgeous and made one of my favorite songs new again.  The cons:  There are other shows for Broadway singers, go find one.   She looks like a grown up now, but still sings like a child.   She was nasal and flat in some moments, but overall it was a strong performance.  Audience loved it, and she succeeded in that people will talk about it tomorrow.
Scores:   Vocals:  7     Outfit:  9   Stage Presence:  8       + 1 for daring to change a song , -1 for turning AI into a cabaret show
Judges:  ST - too Broadway (yes!), that could be her niche, JL - how do you want America to see you? as a Broadway performer or as a recording artist?  amazing range but wishes she would have seen more  RJ - wasn't great, wasn't good, didn't work,  didn't even know who that was or recognize the song.
*Final thoughts,  she's clearly a drama queen but does a great job of not losing it and crying on stage.

Karen Rodriguez - Hero, Mariah Carey,  risky decision to sing Mariah, especially on the first night, sheesh.  Whoh, and she's singing it in Spanish now.  Seriously?  Haven't we had enough J Lo and Selena moments?  I admire her differences but this is not Latin American Idol.  I'm SURE she grabbed a great portion of the Latin American vote, maybe even stole a bunch from Julie Zorrilla.   I wish her notes were amazing, but it's really just a karaoke version (note for note) to Mariah's.  Just partly in Spanish.   Her dress is a teal blue pageant gown that makes me feel like I'm watching Miss America. or Miss Universe, in this case, I guess.
Scores:   Vocals:  5    Outfit:  6   Stage Presence:  6  
Judges:   JL - loves it, shocker, but she understood it all!  Loves the bilingual and that she showed her flavor (or does she mean JL's flavor),  RJ - liked that she made it her own (did she?),  liked the Spanish better, ST - definitely one of a kind, thinks she should sing it with Jacob Lusk
Clearly I'm the only one who did not like this, but I just thought it wasn't that great at all.

Lauren Turner - ??  I never realized how much she sounds like Christina Aguilera until now.  Once again she completely surprised me.  She's not as pretty as some of the other girls, but she definitely looked the part and showed up.   The song was some type of 50s or 60s song maybe, and she sang it really well.  I have nothing to compare it to, but I was entertained throughout and she impressed me at more than a few places in it.   It would have been nicer had she picked a more well known song so people could identify a little better with it and remember it, but it was a pretty solid performance.  Dress was a little sparkly silver & black cocktail number with black tights and shoes.  Perfect for this type of thing, it was very well suited for her as well.
Scores:  Vocals:  8   Outfit:  8  Stage Presence: 8   (solid as a rock)
Judges:  RJ - That's how you do it, loved the power, Amy Winehouse meets Florence & Machine, loves the bluesy soul, very nice, (**someone in the crowd at this moment yells WHO DAT and that makes me squeal with happiness, being from Louisiana myself.  Awesome***)  ST - spectacular, Lauren Turner meets Lauren Turner, finished the story.   JL - Thought it was great but she could have really given it more, don't hold back, get in the camera's face

Ashton Jones - (her tape reminds me time and time again how she dresses like Tyra Banks ALWAYS, I hope this is no exception tonight!).   Ooh, I'm right, she looks just like Tyra again!  ?? Not a song I recognize?   The outfit is a cute little denim bustier and black stretch pants.  Not the greatest but she definitely looks like a star or a model.   The song is an R&B song and it's pretty strong with some power but there are a lot of flat moments.   A surprising amount of flat moments.  And that's saying something because I don't even know the song.  Crowd loved it (they appear to love everything).
Scores:   Vocals:  6   Outfit:  7   Stage Presence:  9  
Judges:  ST - you go places with your smooth vocals,  JL - you have all the makings of a diva... Body, hair, moves, confidence (- that's what I've been saying!)  RJ - stage presence, great,  not a good song (exactly!  Why am I agreeing with ALL of the judges tonight?  So weird).   Ashton does a great impression of J Lo so she gets an extra +1 for that!

Julie Zorrilla - Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway -  Always risky to take on Kelly.  I'm quite surprised because Julie's strength to date has appeared to be in her quiet piano playing endeavors.  Mixed feelings on this one, and I wanted so badly for her to continue to be my favorite.  Let's start with the outfit.  She's gorgeous, she's glamourous, she's freshly tanned, and she's wearing an absolutely beautiful light pink or cream strapless tulle cocktail dress with matching shoes.   Style icon.  This girl was born to be famous, and it's hard for me to imagine a Colombian refugee from looking at her Sex and the City ensembles.   Now for the singing-  it was really rough.  I appreciate that she changed up the song and made it her own, and she made some great choices, but there were some pitch problems especially in the higher registers.  It almost sounded like she was either out of range or recovering from illness.   Had I just seen her somewhere singing I would have never said "you should go on American Idol'-  I would have said something like "you should be on TV or in movies".   Take that how you will.
(Gossip: if you notice NONE of the Idol girls stood up for her, they'd be standing for everyone... snub!)
Scores:  Singing:  6    Outfit:  10    Stage Presence:  8
Judges:  JL - liked it, not the best thing from her, not from the heart, RJ - loves the song, but she didn't bring anything different, not nearly as good as Kelly Clarkson's, didn't show herself in the best light, ST - wrong song for her, should be up a couple of keys (up?)

Haley Reinhart -  like a Niki Taylor with a Bronx accent -   Alicia Keys' Fallin' -  Wow.  Starts strong, ends strong,  nails it in the middle.   Perfect song for her-- she has a very soulful voice but there's a little rasp there that makes it just a tad different.   The only thing I don't like about her is that she's so over indulgent sometimes and she does the strangest mouth movements and just odd things (Steven Tyler-esque, really) but I guess it works for her.  It's just going to annoy me.  She's also got the strangest nasally/accent/something.  I also thought she was ready to bust out of her black strapless cocktail dress (with a gold glitter stripe down the side) and black pumps.
Overall, very memorable, awesome vocals, and I think she succeeded in standing out. Stage presence was great but at some point I thought maybe she was going to dry hump the mic stand.
Scores:  Vocals: 9    Outfit:  8   Stage Presence: 9   -1 for being over-indulgent
RJ - great song but does nothing for her, karaoke-ish, misses the Janis kind of husky songs,  ST - just the right about of style and sexy (he must have anticipated the mic-hump as well),  JL - a lot of growl, and playing with notes, and very Haley, but maybe a little too... something.

Thia Megia - ??  - some loungy soulful song that talks about not fitting in and where do I belong.  Probably really appropriate lyrics for a 15 year old, but the style or old-timey ness of it did not suit her at all.  She also did an a capella opening that made me a little nervous because it went a little too long, in the dark...  it took a little too long for the music to kick in and it just made me uncomfortable.  It was like that moment in Coyote Ugly when Violet has to turn off the lights to get the nerve to start singing.   I don't know.  She also sounds a freaking LOT like Michael Jackson.  (a good thing). Her dress is absolutely gorgeous, probably the best one of the night.  I'd buy it now if I were presented with that option and will research that tonight--  tan on top,  rhinestones at the middle, and pinkish peachish frills or feathers on the bottom.   Unfortunately, that was the most exciting part about the entire performance for me.   Thia's maturity surprises me but it makes me sad as well.  It fell flat for me, both literally and figuratively.  Gosh, close your eyes, though, and you'd swear it was MJ.
Scores:  Vocals - 8    Outfit - 10   Stage Presence -  7 
ST - very good pitch, so beautiful    JL - perfect quiet moment, very still, captivating, really special  RJ - Her tone reminds him of Michael Jackson as well (WOW, me and Randy are having a moment tonight!)
* Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on Thia- but she's the youngest contestant and chose the OLDEST sounding song.  I'm just a little sad about that.

Lauren Alaina (which by the way is not her real name, they cut her last name, not sure why) - Turn on the Radio?  -  Not familiar with the song, it was country rock, but it was very well suited for her.  This was another one I had to stop writing to look up at watch it.  Absolutely mesmerizing.  The vocal control, stage presence, and personality that this (now) 16 year old has, is just amazing.  She reminds me of Kelly Clarkson. She will be famous someday, heck, she's already famous.  I love that she's the only girl to wear jeans and boots and a t-shirt and jacket.  She didn't look sloppy though-- it would be like if Carrie Underwood chose to wear a casual outfit to a concert.   She has odd taste, borderline tacky sometimes, but it suits her.  It reminds me of a young Gretchen Wilson, maybe.  And her tone, is perfect.  It's one of those voices where it would record perfectly, but she knows when to amp it up for live performances.  She plays to her strengths and weaknesses so expertly and does it all  so naturally you would swear she wasn't thinking about it at all.  I'm a big big fan, and I think she'll go very far.
Scores:   Vocals - 9    Outfit - 7    Stage Presence - 9   Props for being original, +1
Judges:  JL - so beautiful, doesn't even have to try (yeah! what I said!), effortless (yeah!), natural, so so great to see and watch, Amazing.  RJ - A natural gift, you can sing anything, I don't even believe you know how good you are,  She reminds him of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood (WHAT, didn't I SAY THAT? crazy!)   ST - her voice goes from here to there, she is amazing
At the end Lauren points out that Seacrest's new name is Peaches, Peaches Seacrest, which makes me love her even more.  +1 for that!

Pia Toscano - I'll Stand By You, The Pretenders,  I love this song. Great recording voice.  Wow, and she changes it up right away. It sounds like Carrie Underwood's version, only maybe even better.   It's got a little country feel to it.   It actually has the power and runs of Kelly Clarkson, with Carrie Underwood's tone.  And maybe a little Celine Dion in there too.   I'm a big fan.  She's country, she's rock and roll,  she's Italian or Latina also, right?  She doesn't let that entirely define who she is.  She's also gorgeous and looks a lot like the girl from New Orleans with the baby who got cut (her name escapes me right now but she looked a lot like Natalie Portman, and Pia looks like her.  Her dress is a beautiful black beaded number, kind of flapper, but modern.   Cocktail dress like all of the other girls, but    it doesn't leave me feeling like I'm at a pageant or a prom. She looks gorgeous.    The song is beautiful, she does some great things with it,  I don't detect one bad note, it's slightly different (although she could have changed it up a little more), and the end is powerhouse.  Very well done.  I see why she's last now. Definitely one to watch.
Scores:   Vocals: 10    Outfit:  9   Stage Presence:  8.5
Judges:  Standing ovations from all 3 (and the crowd, and the contestants),  RJ - First standing O, she just put herself in the top, that's how you do it,  ST - WTF, it was unbelievable, over the top, Congrats,  JL - knew she was a standout but feels a little tricked b/c she saved it for when it counts,  was out of this world.

Final Scores:
Pia Toscano: 27.5
Lauren Alaina: 27
Naima Adedapo: 26
Haley Reinhart: 25
Thia Megia: 25
Lauren Turner: 24
Rachel Zevida: 24
Julie Zorrilla: 24
Ashton Jones: 23
Kendra Chantelle: 22
Karen Rodriguez: 17
Tatynisa Wilson:  13

Who I think should be cut -- see my bottom 5 above and replace Julie Zorrilla with Haley Reinhart.
Who I think WILL be cut -- definitely Tatynisa Wilson, maybe even Rachel Zevida and Kendra Chantelle.

I'll post soon on who I think the Top 10 will be and the wild cards, also.  Stay tuned!


The joys of being a classical / opera singer

 I really enjoy reading the comments from all of you readers over the last few months, and I love the e-mails I'm getting... keep them coming!  or @truedat504 on Twitter.

One of the most common things I hear is how fellow singers think my "Phantom" comments to Ken Warwick were hilarious.  I consider myself a funny person, normally, and am well versed on opera jokes, but that one just came so naturally to me I didn't realize it would have that much of a response.

To anyone who "got" those comments:  You have clearly gone through the turmoil of explaining singing classically to "lay" people.   It's pretty difficult, and it almost always goes exactly the same way.

Behold, this You Tube video-  I watched it several months ago when it first came out and laughed my little bootie off.   If you thought my phantom comments were funny, you'll die watching this.  Enjoy!
What happens when a classical singer tries to explain what they do to an non-singer...


Jordan Dorsey, Set Up?

So according to some live audience members who were at the taping of Idol that aired last night,  there were some Jordan Dorsey comments that were cut out of what was aired.

Idol at this point usually IS Live, but this particular one was taped, we all assumed, because of Steven Tyler's potty-mouth.  That may still be the reason why, or have something to do with it,  but also-- apparently there was an issue with Jordan Dorsey's ridiculous choice of an Usher song- it wasn't his choice.

When asked by Seacrest why he chose to sing it, he gave a full account of how it was not his choice, which of course was edited into what we saw last night--

Read more about it here, from Lyndsey Parker, Idol blogger extraordinaire, who was there in person: Reality Rocks - 12 Awesome Men

If this is true (and it indeed appears to be), not only am I right about Idol Producers having FAR more power over who makes the Top 10+  than everyone thinks,  but Jordan Dorsey is going to be next to be forcibly cut.  I'm not that upset, because I couldn't stand him, but I wonder who our next victim will be...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top 12 Guys --- someone should make a calendar! We'll call it Randy's Dog-Tag Dawgs!

  Ready for the Top 12 Guys?

The guys this year seem SO much better, more interesting, cuter & more talented than the girls, so I'm really surprised they are going first, but here goes:

The Judges:     Randy talks a bit about how he's the anchor and this is the "re-mix!! what what!" ...  I don't know when he's going to learn that he either has to be rich or talk ghetto and not both.  It doesn't work for him.   Steven Tyler is given a Idol sign by Ryan Seacrest to hold over his mouth when he curses, good luck with that-- in the process Seacrest curses explaining how it works saying "don't worry, they'll just bleep it out."  And he did NOT use the sign.  Lesson?  Seacrest = Hypocrite.    Jennifer Lopez, I don't get... she has looked absolutely radiant and oh so classy at all of the auditions, wearing expensive Prada shoes, Burberry trenches, Audrey Hepburn-esque buns... tonight is the first real TV night, with a live audience, and she is dressed like a hooker.  Fake black leather skin-tight halter dress, with a sky high ponytail. She even calls herself out on her rhinestone earrings.

Top 12 Overview:   There's the 2 douchebags, Clint  & Jordan,  The 2 hotties Jovany & Stefano--  wait a minute, didn't Stefano get booted last week?? (that's what I get for not watching all of the 2nd episode)  The 2 crazy screamers - James & Jacob,  The 2 babies/sweethearts - Robbie & Brett   the "normals" - Tim &  Scotty, and the 2 crazy-talenteds,  Paul & Casey.    I didn't plan to group them in 2s, but it just ended up working that way.  And let me say, I've been calling all of these people out from the very beginning for EXACTLY the reasons I just referred to above-- so it's nice to know that Idol is listening to me for a change ;)   The judges got this exactly right.

Based on this -- my "before-singing cut opinion" (I need to start blogging live from now on because now you don't know if I cheated, but I swear I didn't)...  and not singing at all...  I would say the two to go are going to be the "normals" - Scotty & Tim.    They're both nice,  probably both good, but they've got nothing.  No niche.  Zip. Zilch. Nada.  Forgettable.   The only way Tim Halperin is staying is if someone confuses him for Jim Halpert.  My personal opinion.

Any song they wish?  Great.  Isn't anyone going to explain why super-hot Stefano is back? No?  Oh well, at least I still get to look at him.

The Performances:

Clint Jun Gamboa - Douchebag #1 is up first and of course he's singing Stevie Wonder.  Hasn't he sang Superstitious before?  Or at least some Stevie Wonder?   Homework for tonight!  I will look into that.  The psychadelic lights suck but I know that's not his fault.   His cockiness is though.  Cocky does not equal stage presence.  And his red shoes make me want to kick him back to the teen club to hang out with Chris Brown.  His vocals are solid but there's crazy vibrato on almost everything.   He sounds like Black Male Shakira.
My scores (out of 10):   Vocals:  7   Outfit:  7   Stage Presence:  5
Judges:  ST- good beginning and good end   JL - jitters are out but it was good  RJ - brilliant

Jovany Barreto - Hottie #1 is second, singing I'll Be.  Seriously???  Come on dude, we hear that all the time.  You're new facial hair also reminds me of Sanjaya.  Great little suit going on though, and he seems nervous but in a modest, endearing way (learn from him, Doucheboa!).    It was very karaoke, and he moved around like Desi Arnaz singing in a 1960's I Love Lucy episode, but despite all of that, he was very believable and precious (We could TELL JLo was feeling it!).    The crowd roar confirms my thoughts, I guarantee he's through.
My scores:  Vocals: 7   Outfit:  8   Stage Presence:  9
Judges:  ST - "holy shipyard!" Beautiful.   JL - "I'm happy right now! You did it!" RJ - Hater - Karaoke
(RJ seems already to say opposite of whatever the other 2 say.  He also is making himself the mean one. But I have to agree with him about the karaoke part.)

Jordan Dorsey - Douchebag #2 is third, it's a Louisiana rush for once (which I am happy about), but I still can't stand him.  He's singing Usher, which confirms my DB thoughts.  It's entirely too low for him, he copies Usher's dance moves almost EXACTLY, and combined with the too-low key, it makes him end up sounding constipated.  He actually ups the key halfway through because I guess he realized that.  Judging by the backup singers who stayed in a lower key, it wasn't planned.  He is ENTIRELY too full of himself for this performance.  He won't be gone but I can only wish.   Anyone who doubted me from the beginning saying that he was a douchebag need only watch this to prove I'm right.   He ends with an OPEN CROTCH KNEEL, for Christ sake.  Oh, the outfit?  I don't remember, he took half of it off... (he took off his jacket and threw it across the stage), but I remember it just being something Chris Brown would wear.  And a purple shirt.  With dog tags.
My scores:  Vocals: 4  Outfit:  7  Stage Presence:  4
Judges:  ST - not his favorite, over the top,   JL - "not who you really are", RJ - pitchy (first time of the year!), not good, nothing different

Pitchy count:  1
ST curse words:  4
Seacrest curse words: 2

Tim Halperin -  Normal #1 , Come on Over - good tone, engaging, genuine, great falsetto.  Kind of boring, but not bad.  Jeans, blazer, open dress shirt with a black tee underneath (and more dog tags).  He has some great stuff at the end of his performance.  Really solid.   No one will remember it tomorrow but the best one so far.
My scores:   Vocals: 8   Outfit:  8  Stage Presence: 8     (solid as a rock!)  but completely forgettable
Judges:  ST - song did him no favors, JL - have been better before  RJ - same (wow!), karaoke speech
*Tim did kind of sound like a douche in the exit interview, so I have to down his SP score by 1 pt.

Brett Loewenstern - Baby #1,  Come on Baby Light My Fire - I winced at first with the song selection, it makes me feel oogie when babies sing grown up sexual songs, but he was very mature.   He started it off in a lower register, and it was soulful, and modern all at the same time.  He gave it a feist-y (like the female artist) kind of feel and I can't think of another male singer off the top of my head who can do that.   Then, he jumps to a crazy rock and roll high vibe a la Siobhan Magnus and totally pulled it off.  Like on SNL, I have to say that "this has EVERYTHING" -  great falsetto, made it his own, amazing soft and loud notes, and fantastic tone.   Oh, and his style- he kept it simple the way all teenage boys should, but if I saw him on the street I'd still think he was a rockstar. Blue shirt, jeans, vest, and hot blue sneakers.  Oh and lots of bracelets and necklaces, including, you guessed it-- dog tags (did the AI men go in for matching dog-tags together?  Cute public interest story.  I will find out for you, folks!).  So happy I had the chance to hang out all day with this kid in New Orleans.  He is going to go FAR.  Oh, on stage presence-- he started off slow and looked at the cameras,  and then moved around, and even did some crazy Taylor Hicks like dancing.  But it never looked awkward or put on or douchebaggy.  It just looked like HIM.   And the hair looked AMAZING!
My Scores:  Vocals: 9  Outfit: 9  Stage Presence: 10  - this is the one to YouTube tomorrow
Judges:  ST - you brought it home, on fire  JL - "More hair tossing than me and Beyonce! You need a fan and a video!" liked it, he is who he is,   RJ - 14 hair shakes,  pitch problems, fun & bold

James Durbin - Screamer #1 Another Thing Coming (please hold your "he's autistic with Tourettes" hate-mail, I'm well aware of that.  He CHOOSES to pretend to be a rockstar and scream),  No idea on the song but I feel like I'm at a Metallica concert-- he screams "Come On"   and flashes rockstar fingers and does a few Adam Lambert screams.  He's wearing basically exactly what Tim Halperin did, only with a scarf between his legs like a tail and about 5 bandanas in various places.  Lots of bracelets and necklaces too, I can't tell if there are dog-tags but can't rule them out.   He ends in a rockstar jump (dude, that ONLY works if there's a band on stage with you), and a scream that would challenge Adam Lambert & Siobhan Magnus' love-child, if one existed.    Oh, speaking of Lambert-- this dude is exactly like him, without the Glam.  Does that make him a Lame-bert?  Maybe.  Unlike some of the others who are pretending to be someone they are not, this dude is full-on delusional about who he should be.
My Scores:  Vocals:  6   Outfit:  7  Stage Presence:  6
Judges:  ST - "BLEEP crazy good" (no sign, shocker), loves the Judas Priest (oh on the song!)   JL - insane, crazy good, love who you are,  RJ - "This is right here how you do it?"  - at least HE asks about the tail.  Oh my god, it's actually a *TAIL*.   Not a scarf at all but a Zebra TAIL.   RJ calls him "nice and tasty" - I guess he likes Zebra.

Robbie Rosen - Baby Sweetheart #2 - Sara  McLachlan Angel??  Really??  Crazy tempo... I can't tell whether he's behind or the band is ahead and I change my mind on this quite a few times which tells me it's REALLY messed up.   And this arrangement really sucks.  He seems to notice that halfway through. He is gutsy as hell, though for picking it.  A few pitch problems but he does some really cool things with it that I would not have expected.  He could totally sell this as his own record with some work.   It even went all Marvin Gaye for a minute.   He looks nervous as hell, doing the one hand on the mic one hand to the sky then switching thing... he doesn't move around much but he's a baby so it's alright.   and he's wearing his typical Vinnie jacket with a t-shirt and jeans, but with DOGTAGS!    I'm SO looking this up later!   Appropriate attire for a kid, but not that memorable.  Very very him though.
My scores:   Vocals:  7    Outfit:  7   Stage Presence: 7    +1  for picking a ballsy song
ST - a  beautiful thing, can sing a ballad like nobody's business  JL - tells a story, very special  RJ - Not great, chest-into-head not good, pitchy.  Robbie tells Randy back and that's another + .5 for balls.

Pitchy count - 2

Scotty McCreery - Normal #2 - ??  I do not know country nor can I understand a word he's saying - No hat!  No dogtags!  Just a cross.  He's sitting on a stool, breaking all boundaries.  And a leather jacket!    Okay, this is vast improving and he's actually giving us a lot of personality from the stool.  He looks totally comfortable.  And despite looking like the Mad TV cartoon guy, he's almost a little sexy.  He croons the last note and the ladies go crazy.   It wasn't a great performance, vocals were solid and nothing different, but he's safe for sure.
Scores:  Vocals: 7   Outfit:  9  (although I'm sure the boys are p'd about no dog tags!) Stage Presence: 9 
Judges:  ST- great song, who you are, so beautiful,   JL - he belongs here  RJ - awesome, nice job

Goodness... still 4 left?     So much for sleep!

Stefano Langone - Hottie #2 -  now will someone PLEASE tell me why he's back?  I'm not complaining, I just am curious.  I guess not.  He's singing Bruno Mars...  Amazing. Uh oh.   It starts off shaky although he doesn't seem phased at all, and he's PRECIOUS.  He opts for a cross instead of dog tags too.  And he's so beautiful.  AND he has a leather jacket.  Take that, Scotty!   He hits some crazy high falsetto, including some that is a little TOO high, but overall it's a solid performance, and did I mention he's gorgeous?   I couldn't look away from his face but I'm pretty sure he was wearing a red t-shirt and a leather jacket.   I have no idea if he was wearing pants.  Is he single?  Stefano, CALL ME.
Scores:  Vocals: 7 (keeping it real),   Outfit: 8,  Stage Presence: 9  +1 for being HOT.  This kid could not even open his mouth and I'd vote for him!
Judges: ST - gave it up again tonight, he too was staring at his face,  JL - consistent & loving it, natural and good, he moves, he's a beast (I feel like she wants a private room),  RJ - rocking, like at a concert -  he also agrees with me on the sharp note.

Note: Seacrest asks Stefano if he's seeing anyone and for once I have to say, I like Seacrest's pesky little questions!    Stefano says it's for "all the ladies"  bringing a huge squeal and of course, he's now safe.

I realize at this point also that Casey Abrams is going to be last, which must mean it's amazing.  The 10th spot person is NEVER bad.  Same as in auditions.

Paul McDonald - Crazy-Talented #1 (finally.  It says a lot though that they are at the end of the show).   Maggie  - shocker, didn't I say last time that he sounds like Rod Stewart?   He does some crazy dancing and moving around on the stage.  He is dressed like a Beatle but it works for him. All black suit, black shoes, black shirt buttoned to his neck. No necklaces at all.   Okay now he's making me dizzy, but he sounds great and looks super comfortable.  He also calls out something about "hello to TV land" which makes me instantly really like him.   He's literally walking in circles.  Did we drug test before the show?  The song is pitch perfect with great tone but sounds EXACTLY like the original.  Just dizzier.
Scores:   Vocals: 8    Outfit:  5    Stage Presence: 8  +1 for being quirky (the TV land comment) 
Judges:  ST - good jacket, good voice & 2 step, real character in your voice,  JL - unique with a good smile,  RJ - unique & different from anything we've ever had, quirky
*right now I'd say that Paul will make it far, but not all the way.  I'd give him Top 5 at best.  Let's see if he can change that and do something different than Rod Stewart next time!

Jacob Lusk - crazy screamer #2  (his intro makes me think he's even crazier than I already think he is), the House into a Home song by Luther Vandross - Nice suit, beautiful pink and yellow and purple plaid tie and pocket square.  And diamond earrings.  I would really think he was a former player turned NFL announcer if I didn't know any better.  From the neck up he looks like Usher.  (earrings & expressions).  I was really really bored with this until he did a scale halfway through.  Then I went back to being bored.   Until the end-- the end was some crazy screaming!  But way better than James Durbin managed to do.    His stage presence is off, he just stands there and looks possessed in the face.   The singing is boring until spots here and there ( just like in auditions), and the man dresses fly.  No dog tags or jewelry of any kind though (except the diamond earrings).   I'm confused whether he is old school or new school between the song choice/style and the big diamond earrings.
Scores:  Vocals:  9    Outfit: 9   Stage Presence:  5 
Judges:  ST - Divine Intervention brought him here, unbelievable, Jacob makes him cry,  JL - He's the new Luther Vandross,  RJ - Luther would be proud, and you have a little something else
*I'm apparently the only one who doesn't like this dude.  I just think I've seen it before.   Plus it's not really my style of music- it's kind of old-fashioned. I don't see him going to the finale at all.  I'd say Top 7 at best.

Casey Abrams - Crazy Talented #2 (FINALLY) - after such a long wait, this better be good.  I put a spell on you -  He starts off strong and gets even stronger.  His grunting freaks me out.  But he's making it different and it's interesting.  I can't look away.  He makes crazy Zach Galifanakis faces but it's entertaining as hell.  He's dressed like a crazy sailor salesman and growls a LOT - even does an Adam Lambert growl or too but it's SO worth it.  And his stage presence is great.  He's OWNING it.   He looks like the kid who never ever ever dresses up who begrudingly put on his dad's dress shirt and jacket with the one pair of nice slacks he has, and it so totally does not suit him that it was a bad move, but that's his only false step.  Although he did take fashion queen Julie Zorrilla to prom, so maybe I'm wrong on that!   The note at the end was pure magic.  Impressive was how he interacted with the judges, cameras, AND crowd.
My scores:   Vocals: 10     Outfit:  6    Stage Presence:  10
** standing Ovation performance
Judges:  ST - unreal, can't believe it,  JL - Sexy, we ate it,  RJ - transformed into the spirit of the song, so unique, love it, more more more.  (He started screaming "yes yes yes" and it was scary)

Final Counts:
ST curse words: 4
Seacrest curse words: 2
"Pitchy" count:  2

Final Scores:  (out of 30).. 
Brett Loewenstern - 28
Casey Abrams - 26
Stefano Langone - 25
Jovany Barreto - 24
Paul McDonald - 23
Jacob Lusk - 23
Tim Halperin - 23
Robbie Rosen - 22.5
Clint Gamboa - 19
James Durbin - 19
Jordan Dorsey - 15

After singing cut-opinion:   James Durbin & Jordan Dorsey will be in danger.  Maybe even Tim Halperin and Jacob Lusk as well.

Performances to You-Tube later:  Brett Loewenstern & Casey Abrams

Friday, February 25, 2011

Final Post on Erin Kelly (okay, maybe not)

So,  Vegas/Beatles/Cut Audition recaps will be up soon....    I did watch both episodes (all four hours) and there wasn't enough interesting to talk about to hardly fill up a single blog.  So don't hold your breath-- it's not like fascinating information is coming your way, but I do have some thoughts.

As you now know, Erin Kelly was eliminated.   Which means they FINALLY showed her face and allowed her to speak an entire sentence (crying) on the camera.   This is the biggest conspiracy on American Idol to date.  I will point out a couple of things:
1) From Day 1 Audition, through Hollywood, Hollywood Week, Solo Round, Beatles Round, and cuts, the girl said ONE SENTENCE on camera.
2)  She was shown singing a total of ONE time, a duet during Beatles Round, of which one-two lines of her song was shown.
3)  She was purposely not shown singing ever before that, and even was cut out of her group song in Hollywood (the only person that was cut out)
4)  Her on screen time was so minute that they never once have shown the "name screen"  when she's been on camera.  You know the one... the  "Jovany Barretto, 21 Shipbuilder"  or whatever that they put on every one.

Now, I cannot think of a SINGLE Top 40 contestant this year who has gotten less screen time than her.  I cannot think of ANY Top 40 contestant in previous years time who has gotten less screen time.

I don't understand how someone can be good enough to make Top 40 (because let's face it, you have to be amazing to get that far),   and not be good enough to show!   Certainly there had to have been SOME good moment she had to get that far.  Why don't they want us to see it?  Ask yourself that question.  Why was she kept from us?    Have they done this to us in the past?
So two questions for you:   1) Can you think of someone I'm overlooking who was treated the same way?
2)  Anyone in Bradenton, FL or NYC that knows Erin personally (I do and am trying to get her but it's difficult) that can find me some footage of her SINGING?    Let's find it and get it up here!

That's it for now...

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Has anyone ever noticed (before I pointed it out),  just how much the following future-idols represent these past-teen idols?

Robbie Rosen resembles "Boner Stabone" from that show Growing Pains, played by the late Andrew Koenig (rest in peace).... here are some pictures... (the clothing is what REALLY does it!)

 Here's another set of photos.  I totally recommend Robbie if there's ever a Growing Pains #2:

And,  has anyone ever noticed how much boy beauty Stefano Langone looks like Mike Vitar, the actor who played Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez in the movie The Sand Lot??  Behold:

 Uncanny, isn't it??

Hollywood Week Show #3 - Final performances and cuts

A list of everyone who performed tonight,  singer,  song, a few notes, and a score from 1 (bad) - 10 (good):

Haley Reinhart - God Bless the Child, bluesy power, good, not memorable   8

Ashton Jones - That song from Dreamgirls,  I really like her- she reminds me of Tyra Banks, R&B  8.5

Thia Megia - What a Wonderful World, jazzy rendition, great tone, boring, but good for 15 yr old    7.5

Adrian Michael - Wonderful World,  stopped or stopped the band about 5 times, what we
      actually heard wasn't that great at all, very poor performance skills                         2

Caleb Johnson - Living for The City (Stevie Wonder), great tone, couldn't get it together with  the band either, but it really seemed like he tried and when he did sing it was okay   5

Frances Cootnz - Hey Soul Sister,  stopped a few times, couldn't get with the band, sang in the
 wrong key, okay, SEVERAL wrong keys, was flat and in the wrong key... oy.   1

Clint Jun Gamboa (aka Douchebag) - Georgia on My Mind, unfortunately he killed it.  Normally the performance would have earned a 9.5 but he loses points for being a douche.     9

Kendra Chantelle - Georgia on My Mind, pretty girl,  good performance, but not memorable at all    8.5

Sophia Shorai - Georgia on My Mind,  beautiful stage presence, adorable blonde pixie thing, pretty
         interesting tone & personality and original performance but not the very best by far   9.5

Chris Medina  - My Prerogative,  this is the first time where his story didn't do the talking for him-
 to his credit, he took a risk, played guitar, and it was actually a pretty original arrangement.  The vocal could have been better (it was slightly pitchy), and if it would have worked it would have been an Andrew Garcia "Straight up" moment-  but it was still pretty solid.                           8.5                                                                              

Carson Higgins - aka crazy blonde dude, My Prerogative, very karaoke-y rendition, no style elements
    that were any different from original in singing, but dude himself has style/presence  8.5

Julie Zorrilla - Love Song, played keyboard,  probably would have thought it was Sara Bareilles
    herself had I closed my eyes- that's good, but not a great thing.  Very un-original.
   Still very good, and she's still absolutely the best dressed female.                                  8.5

Caleb Hawley - Sir Duke (how many Stevie songs are on this list) - great guitar player, great soul     9.5

Colton Dixon -  What About Now (Daughtry), played keyboard, great tone to voice, very into it         9

Brett Loewenstern - What was this song?  I have no idea!  But it was AMAZING.  He played
    guitar (something I saw him do in NOLA so I was ready for it) but I had no idea
 he could sound like Rod Stewart! So different from his Queen performances!          9.5

Robbie Rosen - Gravity (a bunch of Sara songs too, tonight), on keyboard.  Good for him to pick a girl song and take a chance.  I haven't noticed much about him this entire time except that he's precious and reminds me of Kirk Cameron's friend Boner on the old TV show Growing Pains.  Hair, clothing, face, everything. It's uncanny.  But- he NAILED this, made it different, was vocally amazing, piano playing was great, and he's only 16!  One of the two standout performances of the NIGHT. Watch him.   10

Casey Abrams - Georgia on my Mind,  took a risk by playing the Upright Bass, but nailed it.  Good  playing, it was different, he still is confident without being cocky (like Clint or Jordan)
      he has stage-presence, and he is hilarious in interviews.  Still a front-runner               10

Chelsea Oaks -  Because of You, pitchy, bad key, but visibly upset.  But isn't she a professional?  And doesn't she bring all of this upon herself by getting too chummy with the
 competition and by getting competitive with the ex-chums?  This may have hurt her.    7

Lauren Alaina - Don't Wanna Miss a Thing, odd fashion sense, but great stage presence,  I'm sick of
 her doing the same old thing- she may get eaten up at some point, but she's still amazing for 15  9                                                                                                               

Jacob Lusk  - God Bless the Child, not very likable and not a real standout for me (or anyone) this
 entire time, but I have to say, he left EVERYTHING on the stage (and broke down right after).  I don't think he'll make it to the end of this competition, but definitely a defining moment in a good guy's life.                                                                                                   

John Wayne Schulz - Landslide, w/ guitar - good song choice, believable performance but not great- the greatest part of the entire performance was when J-Lo added some harmony to it.
  She was actually more memorable than he was.  JLo - 8.5,  as for John Wayne,            7.5

Ashley Sullivan - aka, "Emotional Timebomb" - Everything by Buble. She is SO annoying.  Please have a nervous breakdown and go home.  I mean that in the nicest way possible. Sings to her boyfriend, loses the words to her "favorite song" more than once, freaks  out.   Lame, lame, lame.  And the parts she sang were okay, but it's not worth the drama.                                                                       3

Stefano Langone - Sir Duke, this dude is GORGEOUS. He's like a grown up version of the kid from
             The Sandlot.  Not an original version of the song, but good.  He's so cute I don't care.  8.5

Jovany Barreto - no idea on the song, something by Ricky Martin? -yay for my Chippendale from    
       Avondale!  He wins best dressed male and gets points for doing it a capella.                8.5

Jacee Badeaux - Time of My Life - not the most original, not the best vocal, but damnit, we love
         this kid.  He could sing his own lyrics and we'd still love him (oh yeah, that happened) 9

Scotty McCreery - I Hope You Dance - aka, the only country song available.  Sorry kid, you can't sing that same old song for the 9th time.  "One song pony!"   He forgot the words so so, so, badly.  I hope you don't cut, because it's not looking good for you!                                                                        4

Tatynisa Wilson - I  Hope You Dance - not only did she forget the words WORSE than Scotty did        
(which I didn't think was possible), but she was whining like Rihanna on top of it.                             3

Total singers left in Hollywood before this: 100,  well, 99 after the sickness of blondie Jacqueline --
Total singers featured in this episode:  27... and no Erin Kelly, of course.
Total # of singers featured in this episode who are in the supposed Top 40:  18

Standout Performanes:  Robbie Rosen (1st), Casey Abrams (2nd), and Jacob Lusk (3rd)...bring it, girls!
Best Dressed Male:  Jovany Barreto
Best Dressed Female:  Julie Zorrilla  (I need to do a fashion feature on her)

Singers to keep your eye on:
Ashton Jones, Clint Gamboa, Sophia Shorai, Chris Medina, Carson Higgins, Julie Zorrilla, Caleb Hawley, Colton Dixon, Brett Loewenstern, Robbie Rosen, Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Jovany Barreto, Jacee Badeaux, and I'm adding Erin Kelly which makes 17.  I bet I'm pretty close to the top 15-20.

A few other parting notes:  (spoiler alert)  The 4 rooms, seriously?  ALL of the good people were in Room 1.  Did anyone really think they were going home when Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, do-no-wrong Chris Medina, Robbie Rosen, screamer James Durbin, cute-kid Jacee Badeaux, and Brett Loewenstern were in there?   I don't think so.   Room 4 had a few of the standouts, people like Thia Megia,  Jovanny Baretto, and Julie Zorilla, but not that many.  And Rooms 2 and 3 had absolutely no one I recognized.  Easiest elimination to predict, ever.  I almost didn't watch the end.  Mix it up a little, next time, please?  

Next week:  (spoiler alert) By the tape, we gather that it's going to be Beatles songs, they'll have 24 hours to learn the songs, and, by the looks of things--  not only can they play instruments, but the songs will be sang as DUETS or SMALL GROUPS.  WHAT?!

Until next time,

More on the Erin (Eryn) Kelly thing

Sorry to be harping on this so much, I guess it's because I actually MET Eryn and heard her sing and know what she's capable of.  Not only does she have a great voice and (spoiler alert)  is already in the top 40, but she is kind of a diva and has a lot of soul/attitude-- so I can't imagine her not having some kind of Hollywood conflict.    Vote for the Worst has been waiting for some Erin footage as well, here :

Secondly, I just re-looked at the list of the supposed Top 40  (spoiler alert-- do not read it if you don't want to know). I went over the list twice, and Erin is the ONLY one who I have not seen featured on ANY AI episodes at all.  She is also the ONLY one who has *no* singing footage available, either on an AI episode on or Myspace / personal website / Facebook / YouTube.    I don't understand how someone who raised funds by having people in her community in Bradenton, FL donate money for her to get to Idol auditions has NO video footage anywhere on the internet.   (Her "Road to American Idol"  video doesn't count- they have one for every contestant and she doesn't sing in it).

PS - Remember how I swore the colors of the backgrounds were changing from city to city?  They were!  New Orleans was pinkish red, LA pinkish purple, New York purple, Nashville bluish purple, San Francisco purple, Milwaukee blue, Austin bluish green.  Significance of this?  No idea, but it's clear as day in the Top 40 pics and makes for a very pretty photo montage (I'm sure we'll have this in a future episode).  Maybe it makes it easier for them to find contestants when going through hours and hours of tape---  (and more importantly, editing hours and hours of tape!)  

If someone finds footage or audio of her singing, please send it to me, so we can get it up!  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hollywood Week Group Round

Before we begin, two promises:
1)  This post will be significantly shorter than my posts usually are (you should be relieved).  I hope so anyway--  it will be not a play by play (like I usually do)  but just the pieces that I really think are important.
and 2)  I have already seen this episode & heard about this episode and I do have some important things to say... so, read on, and hopefully, enjoy!

We start out the episode with a lot of montages--- clips from contestants flipping out in past years that we've seen 100 times, clips of contestants flipping out from this show that we have yet to see but will see again 100 times--- is it all really necessary?   I can't wait until we see an AI episode that doesn't have any filler whatsoever.

168 contestants are getting ready to do the hardest round ever, and we're guaranteed some attitude and some tears.  They have to pick their groups and do the standard "pick a song from the list and make a routine to perform for the judges on zero sleep"

Future AI contestants, a tip:
When you get to Hollywood, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt this round is the ONE thing you WILL have to do.    You have known some of your fellow contestants for months at this point.  For the love of all that is holy,  would you please have in mind who you want BEFORE they tell you who to pick?  Secondly, can you do us all a favor and learn the words to the songs in the Pop Chart Top 20?   (Or, at the very least,  a song from Glee!) The chances of a song being from there- 99.5%.  The chances of it being the random crap you brought with you on your guitar - 0.3%  (the other 0.2% belongs to the fact that Steven Tyler is insane and it might be some sort of Aerosmith song).  But,  I digress.  You're all morons if you don't prepare.

OH CRAP!  Ken Warwick, you are one saucy little Producer!
He throws them a curve -- they have to have a mixture of Day 1 and Day 2s... NOW I get why this was such a big deal at auditions... remember I said I didn't know how they selected Day 1 and Day 2?  I still don't, but at least now I know why it was important.

A crazy slipped in
Let me get this straight,  Tiffany Rios (aka Stars on her Boobs from auditions) insults everyone, tells all the other contestants how much better she is, and then prances around bitching at all of them for not accepting her into their group?  Wow. She's also wearing clothes that don't fit, and a gray bra under a lace, razorback, top.   Classy.  When did I accidentally flip to Jersey Shore? She's also not a great singer.  But, she's from Jersey, and ends up preying on the country boy Scotty McCreery, to no avail.  She convinces Jessica Yance to leave her well established group of sweethearts to go be crazy with her.
Jessica's either the nicest person in the world or as nutty as Star Boobs.  Or, really wants to go home but doesn't want to "quit" -- her too nice reaction to being cut leads me to believe that last one.  She does seem REALLY nice though.   I love how she says "remember what I told you"  when Snooky starts having diarrhea of the mouth-- I guess she KNEW it was going to happen.

Is it time to gauge my eyes out yet?  Can't I just go watch Skins instead?  At least then the babies are screwing instead of fighting and dissing each other.

Thoughts on "characters" :

There's no "we" in Jordan Dorsey
Newsflash, buddy,  you are not either Usher or Sean Puffy Combs, so stop auditioning fellow contestants.  I know you are from New Orleans and I should love you but you are a cocky SOB. Let me get this straight-- you "audition" people for your group-- reject several of them,  work the others to the bone,  bail on them for another group at the last minute, and then TRASH TALK them?   I am embarrased that you come from my home state of Louisiana.  Seriously, I am.  We are NOT LIKE THAT, I promise.  And you're a piano teacher?  We're letting you teach our youth how to be scumbags?  I cannot discuss enough how much I dislike this guy.  Oh, and by the way, watch him when he bows, he keeps his head up and smiling the entire time (and doesn't actually bow)  it's a sign of lack of humility, in my opinion - I always notice when people do that.

Clint "Jun" Gamboa
You look like a thin William Hung.  Ever since I saw you DJ'ing in your audition tape, I knew you were either a really bad singer or a douchebag.  Or both.   The singing thing unfortunately I think you've got, but you are definitely a douchebag, and you completely and totally prove this as you convince your other team members (even a girl who is practically in tears she feels so bad) to ditch little 15 year old "Like, I'm like, a stickler, for people like, holding their notes"  -  Douche, next time you "fire" someone-- try to not sound like a 13 year old girl, yes?   You should have been cut just for showing your true colors.  You CAN really sing though.

Jacee Badeaux
This kid is a 15 year old boy which makes him a 12 or 13 year old emotionally and maturity wise, or you would think so.  But here, he's just been ditched by the douchy-ist of douches, in the worst way possible, at 2am, and he refuses to say anything bad about the guy!   What a class act!   He may not "look" like an Idol, but gosh, he sure does act like one!  His parents very clearly demonstrate where he learned to be a man, because his momma smiles at him and says "just have fun-- if it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be."    Amazing how the contestants have latched on to him--  they cheered him and booed Clint Douchboa.  (Can you imagine how difficult it's going to be for him to get America's vote later on?)  But back to Jacee, kids got mad rhyming improv skills!

Brett Lowenstern
I got to know Brett really well at the New Orleans audition, and I really really like him.  He's flamboyant at times and a little too excited in that way that just makes you want to offer him a valium, but he really is so so sweet, as is his family.  Him reaching out to Jaycee was amazing-- and being nice to people pays off!  He found a Day 2 person and his group was left intact. Pay attention, kids!  Be kind!

Ashley Sullivan
This girl cries a lot-- the cameras have been catching her cry and scream since Day 1 so of course they know she's going to crack.  I bet you dollars to donuts they have a camera set aside JUST for her.  As the episode progresses she's falling apart.  Well, no shit, she's got a camera up her ass!  Although she totally looks like Anne Hathaway when she's tired and stressed, she should audition to be her body double somewhere.   Ashley decides to quit, camera follows her outside and is so in her face she actually asks the man to give her 5 minutes.   When the camera leaves her alone so goes back inside and is all giggles again.  It's a miracle!

Thoughts on Groups:

Brothers from Another Mother - funny guys, practiced in the bathroom, let's hope that no one feels the need to use the facilities!

The Miners - a group of 15 and 16 year olds who are young & carefree, good for them!   I can't wait to see the Mommas catfight!  At least they have someone to bring them refreshments.

(FYI James Durbin is pissed that the stage mom's are "giving them help" -- hello?  Have you HEARD the moms sing?   On top of that, you have an advantage on them because you are a grown up.  Or at least, you're supposed to be!  Also, only Steven Tyler has permission to scream randomly.  K, thanks.)

Three's Company - is composed of the couple who used to be together but "aren't anymore"  and the older blonde chick who danced through the woods with her pre-pubescent boyfriend.  Baby boy got cut so now it's just the 3 of them.  I'm really getting sick of the couple fighting though-- watching him run his fingers through her hair makes me feel just as awkward as I used to when my ex still insisted on running his fingers through my hair.  And all he does is bitch and whine and complain.  I see why she dumped him.   I'm getting ready to dump him.  And by the way-- if you want to be a happy camper at all times, DON'T JOIN YOUR EX-GIRLFRIEND'S SMALL GROUP.   Duh!  I am so sick of this story and the way she manipulates him.  And they way he lets her!   She's beautiful and talented but I get the feeling she is a B. 

Not going to cover the performances or who got cut / who didn't... at this stage of the game, it's not that important.   Watch the episode if you are interested!  I'm only discussing my take and behind the scenes stuff at this point.

Spanglish -  one of the members overslept and no one went to wake him up. I almost think he did it on purpose so he could get 5 more hours of sleep than everyone else.    Someone does this every year- why haven't Idol producers caught on to it yet?  I thought they ran a tighter ship than this.  I was really sad that Jorge Gabriel got cut-- if you read the earlier blogs you'll remember that he sat next to me all throughout rounds 2 and 3-- and he was really sweet, one of the nicest people to me.   He had a propensity to get really nervous though and I guess that's what happened here--  he was obviously shaken. But he's a kid.   
Jovany Barreto is precious, and is a shipbuilder at Avondale, a local shipyard.  He took off his shirt in his audition leading me and my friends to make the joke "Avondale by day, Chippendale by night"   - I still think that's hilarious and laugh to myself everytime I see him.  He's appearing all over our local news lately so I have a very good feeling he makes it to the Top 40.

The Somebody To Love teens -  LOVED IT.   Amazing harmonies, amazing vocals.  A different spin on the song, and that Deandre Blackensick kid is SICK.   Who cares if their parents planned it for them? They delivered it.  And they had the talent!  I will watch this 10 times more before I've had enough!   *IF you watch ONE performance, make it this one*

Thoughts on Judges:
Offer warnings/advice before hand -- Lame.  I miss Simon threatening them.  Randy notices this and forces them to clap for him.  Oh, and Steven Tyler announcing who was cut incorrectly -- wow.  Just wow.  Maybe I don't miss Simon that much after all.   Oh, and after 3 times it was obvious that "forward"  meant "through"  and "back"  meant "home"...  can you mix it up a little?     At this rate, we already know that Room 1 is going through, Room 2 is going home, and Room 3 is going through.  BORING.
Thoughts on Individual Singers:

Pia Toscano - r
eally pretty.  I see now why her group mates let her sing 75% of the song.  Can't believe the two others gave up that much power,  I guess because they're both babies.

Lauren Turner - great show!  Wasn't expecting that!   Kind of sloppy and overdone towards the end, but impressive!

Girl with white tank top who I don't know what her name is because she gave all of her singing parts to Steven Tyler -- It's bad enough you're in the group with the best girl ever, Lauren Alaina, now you're giving away your 2 lines to Steven Tyler.  Smooth move, exlax!

Paris Tassin - I'm really sad about her,  she's pure New Orleans yat, absolutely gorgeous (Natlie Portman look a like),  and not through-- but I'm sure she has some type of career in front of her.   It was just the total wrong song choice for her.

Emily Ann Reed - you WILL see this girl again.  I'd buy her record tomorrow.  Trust me. I'll bet any of you.   She already has a website here:

Ashton Jones -  don't typically like her style of singing, but I love her for some reason. She's like Tyra Banks but nice and as a singer-  I predict this one will go far in the competition!

Scotty McCreery - you didn't stick up for the overweight kid?  You are the worst cowboy ever.   At least you manned up and admitted it, so some cred for that.

Stephen Clawson -  a dirty dirty cheater.  Ha.  And he kinda resembles Jesse James so that's hilarious.

Julie Zorrilla - Best dressed contestant, over and over again.

Casey Abrams - best star personality

Erin Kelley - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - why won't they show this girl SING!?!?!   They didn't show her in New Orleans and I was SHOCKED because she was the girl I told y'all about-- she STOPPED everyone at the New Orleans audition dead in her tracks when she sang...  and they haven't shown her once.  And they purposely edited her out of the group week song!    It's obvious!  What was her 8 seconds needed for so badly?  More Steven Tyler screaming?  They edited out her critique as well?!  What gives... I'm telling you, this girl is AWESOME.  She's like a white Lauryn Hill.    Like an older JoJo.   Like... Erin Kelly.  I  don't know WTF they are planning with her-- unleashing her on us at the last minute in Top 40 week?  Or maybe they know they don't want her as a contestant so they don't want us getting attached to her?  I swear, I will find a clip of her and post it.  This has to be some type of conspiracy.   Watch it again and tell me I'm wrong. I dare you!

Thoughts on Production Tricks:
We already mentioned most of them... but, when Steven Tyler was asked to go up and sit while the Southern girls sang to him, did anyone else notice that the chair was there far in advance?   Could the producers have known about this?  Gasp!  Love how "surprised" Randy acts...

That's it!  Until next time!   (Btw, sorry for the the all underlines-- the button is stuck and won't fix.. I'll try to edit /fix it after I save/publish)  Bear with me!

Update:  underline button still stuck for stuff already posted.  Anyone else on blogspot having this issue?