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?


Bonus Audio

For those of you who have actually subscribed or are still reading, a little treat for you:

(And by the way I know I'm late on the recaps, but I just really can't make myself watch the rest of it right now.  Soon, I promise.   This bonus post is also because I feel guilty that I haven't posted).

By popular demand, here are YouTube videos of the two songs I sang for the American Idol judges.  You will not see me in these to protect my identity (still),  so please respect that.  Also, in the interest of fairness, these recordings were not dubbed, auto-tuned, practiced, or edited in any way.  They have no music background.  It's EXACTLY the way I  sounded when I auditioned for the producers, had I auditioned for the judges, and sang a capella right then and there.  I didn't make any changes to the way I sang the songs.  I just wanted you to hear how it was THAT day.   I'd love your feedback both good and bad, but if it's bad please don't be unnecessarily harsh,  I'm really good at getting the point.

So, I can't wait to hear... do I sound like a nun?

Barracuda by Heart

Come Away with Me by Norah Jones


Friday, February 11, 2011

Tweet Tweet

Find me on Twitter at @truedat504 !

Blue Screen of Death

Now that auditions are over (San Fran recap & rest of LA recap coming soon)... I want to get your opinion on my 2011 American Idol Theory:  The Blue Screen of Death.

Let's recap the theory for those of you who haven't been paying close enough attention:

If a contestant gets "featured"  (interviewed, shown dancing, talking, whatever)  before their performance in front of the judges, you can tell whether they are "good" or "bad"  (or a Y/K/N), by whether they are featured in front of the American Idol blue backdrop, which I affectionately refer to as the "Blue Screen of Death".    

Contestants who are NOT featured in front of the Blue Screen of Death are not always good (if they are really terrible they may end up taking a walking tour of the premises with Seacrest, like the Cinncinati Radio DJ wannabe did), but Contestants who ARE featured in front of the Blue Screen of Death before the performance are ALWAYS "bad".

So, does my theory hold water?  To my knowledge, it does, but I welcome your feedback!   Go back and remember your "best" and "worst" auditions and re-watch the footage and see if you can find evidence to disprove this theory.  I bet you can't, but I'm open for discussion.   We'll post the examples here.

We will have to remember this theory in 2012 -- not sure what good it can do for us other than telling us when would be a good time to "fast-forward", but for a show that's 2+ hours most of the time, that's worth it's weight in gold!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stay Tuned..

You asked for more, there WILL be more.

I'll be blogging from now on as each episode airs.   There will also be pieces about my theories on Idol, like the newest one "Blue Screen of Death".... but there is so much more to come!   Please make sure to "subscribe" so you don't miss out!

PS - I took down the audio of me singing because the site just started getting too many hits again, but maybe I'll make them a subscribers only feature in the very near future!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Audition Recap - Los Angeles / Online Contestants

 We start off showing 3 of my favorites to date:  Bret Lowenstern, 15 year old girl, and scat dude,  which is a welcome from the black & white text flashing across the screen apologizing for someone.

The new intro does it's magic (gag) and we find out that we're in Hollywood.   We hear some Lady Gaga and see the crowds,  they explain the online auditions.   The judges arrive in 3 separate stretch limos (what, no skull & crossbones horse carriage this time)?  and we notice that JLo almost pulls a Britney coming out of the limo because her shorts are riding up,  Randy is wearing some god-awful gold metallic shoes (that J Lo cracks up at when she sees them), and ST has a skull shirt (?) and rocker jacket on.  Steven seriously looks like a Tim Burton claymation creation. But it works for him.  It makes me raise my eyebrows less when he is caught using drugs not once, but twice on camera (getting out of the car).  I'm not sure where we are, but surprise, the judges are in a long room with a wall of windows behind them.

Our first contestant is Victoria Garrett and swears that God brought her to these auditions.  She sings, no screams, some Gospel music.  Randy says she sounds like an animal, Steven "baas" and JLo lets her down easy.  I think ST is wearing an Aerosmith t-shirt?!  Is he really?   I wish I had the balls enough to wear a t-shirt promoting myself.   Victoria struggles to pull her contestant sticker off (told y'all it was hard!)  and badmouths JLo.  So much for being Christian!

The second contestant of the day has a big crush on Jennifer Lopez and looks 12.  We find out his name is Tim Halperin and he's actually 23.  He is singing "She will be Loved" by Maroon 5 and Jennifer seems to be *really* feeling it, if you know what I mean.  It's okay-- it sounds exactly like an acoustic version of the original.   He confesses he grew up with her and watched her when she was little, she asks how old he is, he asks how old she is (shut up!)-  Tim gets a yes from Steven, a no from Randy, Jennifer calls Randy an asshole and lets Tim through based on tone,

We're back and we're notified that it's 11am.   What happened to 10am?  Are we on Los Angeles time?   Seacrest brilliantly points out that some contestants are good and some bad (stay out of it, Seacrest)

Justin Carter is a 27 year old who Jennifer says lacks &%*#  (balls?)   - we then see Randy & Jennifer arguing about it, continuously getting bleeped while ST just sits there looking innocent.  I guess today Cowell is in Randy's body and ST is in JLo's?  What is going on in here?  It's going to be a wild day according to Randy.

Next up is two buddies who are auditioning, Isaac Rodriguez (who looks like Napoleon from SYTYCD) and Daniel Gomez (who looks like Adam Lambert and Justin Bieber's lovechild).  I get the feeling from their interview that they are more than buddies, but that's for you to decide. Apparently Issac dropped out of school recently and didn't tell his parents yet.  I almost feel sorry for his mom as she goes on about her college son.  (That's not all he hasn't told his parents)  Daniel is first singing "I'll be" and it is worse than a trainwreck.  Not even close to sounding like what it's supposed to sound like.   The judges say it's not for him. Issac is next and is just as bad but in a more upbeat way.  He adds dance moves to his rendition of "Build me up, Buttercup."  Neither of these boys is bad enough that they deserve to be featured as bad, I'm sure if they weren't friends they wouldn't have even been shown.   They're both precious though, particularly Issac.  Props also to Idol Producers, who listed Issac's occupation as "college student?"   -- love the subtle little things they like to throw in there.  JLo says he has a nice small and ST says he set the song on fire.  Randy continues being the Simon replacement.
Both boys say their goodbyes in front of the Blue Screen of Death and we see a montage of how happy they are regardless.

We're back and we see some crazy dancers, a packed auditorium shot, the 3 judges arriving in separate limos (such a waste of gas and money!)  and JLo in a doo-rag?  Gasp!  It is a very posh doo-rag, I must say, but very unexpected from her.   Apparently today is for the online auditioners-- I have a feeling it's going to be the best of the best and worst of the worst... maybe finally some excitement!   (Can't believe the onliners got half of a one-hour show),

First up is Karen Rodriguez, who is great and wearing an adorable little cropped biker jacket, striped shirt, black leggings, okay, nevermind, that's for another blog, but she's really good.  Apparently she sang for JLo once on TRL a long time ago.  Jennifer does not seem to remember this at ALL.
She's through, and talking about becoming the first Latina American Idol.  It looks very possible at this point and we have some Selena playing in the background.

Uh oh, the next one has brought her own microphone, and as they show Tynisha Roches doing a split in front of the Blue Screen of Death (the aerial shot lets me indeed confirm that it's a screen),  I know that this can't be any kind of good.  This girl has a very unique look and let me just say that all of her features are separately perfect but do not go together.  She also keeps growling like a cheetah at the camera, and says  "artistsssses"  She's dressed very well though despite all of these shortcomings and I can't wait to see what she's got.  She does have manners, as she knocks on the audition doors and then walks in and says she doesn't need the mic because her voice is big enough, but then holds the mic the entire time.  A few more growls and before I even hear her sing I know this girl has locked herself into a place at the Idol finale.  And the song?  A Frank Sinatra medley.  It just keeps getting better and better!  She's 25, from New Jersey (figures, no offense to my Jersey friends), and occupation is listed as "Entertainer".  Oh Idol producers, I am carefully watching your name plates tonight!    She changes the lyrics to "judges", forgets words,  clearly has an "s" lisp, and what's really scary is I have to admit that some of the notes are actually strong and beautiful but the rest of it has to be a joke.  Wow.  JLo cleverly notices that when Tynisha said she already had 3 albums the latter part of that sentence was "waiting to be composed..." Randy continues to be a douche, and walks out as she runs after him, now changing her song to "And I am telling you"  from Dreamgirls (I have no idea the actual name of that song or where it came from but you ALL know what song I'm talking about....  because you're gonna love me!)   J Lo and ST erupt into laughter,  they come back around into the room again (it's literally like a cartoon where the two characters are chasing each other in circles around a rock and we can see who's in the lead but they can't) and the entire production staff is not even trying to hide their laughter anymore.  Randy tries to pull the microphone out of Tynisha's clutches but she is not having it.   This has Idol finale written all over it, but I don't even care if it's staged anymore, it's just too darn amusing. Finally some excitement.  Randy enlists ST's help and she starts singing again,  finally Security escorts her out.   We did significant damage to our song #s though, ST has no chance of catching up, even though he did sing one after she left.  Let's look at the numbers:

ST songs: 1  Contestant songs: 9
Way to go Tynisha, who also manages to call Randy the Pillsbury Doughboy before she finally leaves.
If there's NOTHING else you watch about this entire episode, make sure you watch Tynisha Roches. 25-30 minute marks.

Back from break (oh goodness, is it only 30 minutes through?)  and we have a bellydancer (Heidi Khzam) along with ST singing and Randy Jackson drumming.  The boys love her (shocker) and she finally sings.  And she can sing, too?   It's not enough that she's thin, beautiful, and a bellydancer too?   Her voice isn't great but of course the boys think she's "the best they've ever sing"

Okay y'all,  I just saw the next contestant walk in and literally could not type I was so overcome.   I have so much to say,  it looks like we need a part 2 to this audition post!  To be continued... 

Our counts so far: 

ST songs: 1
Contestant songs: 9
# of Contestants: 5
# of ST curse words:
# of JL curse (bleeped) words: 3
# of Randy bleeped words: 1
# of ST isms:

Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Auditions continue - Austin Recap

Idol starts out with an apology for Steven Tyler's rude behavior and then displays a clip of him telling a contestant to "read my lips" to find out what rhymes with duck!   As cheesy as that all is, I love that they are finally capitalizing on how bizarre ST has been acting... he is literally cracking me up!

We are in Austin, which of course queues up the Austin/Texas/big/country clips they always use.  Then, the ever present reminder that it's 10:00, ST riding in on a horse drawn carriage sans a Princess, and some new-to-Idol camera tricks (think "Ray of Light" music video) to show all of the crowds, lines, etc.  The judges are back in their standard wall-of-glass-behind-us-with-a-pretty-body-of-water room. 

Seacrest is late, and is shown talking to his Dad on the phone like a real person.  Marc Antony is also there to spend time with JLo  (giving ST his first opportunity to sing), and creatively, the "family aspect" is used to segue to our first contestant.

Already, it's # of Steven Tyler songs: 1   # of contestant songs: 0,  and we're off!

Corey Lemoine has an older sister that he didn't meet until he was 14 and they lived 15 minutes away from each other.  How is that possible?   Especially in a small town where people ride horses?   They are best friends and have cute little accents.  She is his #1 fan.   They act slightly more like boyfriend/girlfriend than brother and sister and that wigs me out a little bit, but I remind myself that they are from a small Southern town.  Sister, Brooks, is brought in to judge, and declares she is always honest with Corey.  He throws down Bonnie Raitt, and his voice is good, but a little whiny and overdone. He pops it up way too much. Picture the Backstreet Boys and Justin Bieber teaming up to sing George Strait.  Overall a solid performance, not as "amazing" as the "sister" thinks.  She declares he gives her "chill-bumps".  He's through, but not before he points out his "J-Lo booty"

ST: 1  Contestants: 1 (tied)

Next is Hollie Cavanagh, who is British, and precious.  She's like a little blonde pixie.  She sings Etta James.  It's very strange...  not the normal melody, which normally would be nice (to mix it up), but it was more strange than creative.  Her accent (and different phrasing) makes it obvious she was not born here but that's actually what I liked best about her.  She seemed really sweet and started crying when it seemed like all three judges weren't going to vote positively.  JLo decides to give Hollie another chance with a different song.  It’s Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”  and it’s going great until she breaks down mid-song, regains composure, starts again in a different key.  Over all it’s a just better than average performance.  She has a great voice but problems staying in key— nevertheless, it’s much better than the last performance, and all three judges say yes (including Randy who changes his vote).  Hollie leaves, and the judges high-five, also ST sings a little song.

ST: 2  Contestants: 3  (Way to go Hollie on the two-fer!)

We see five or six rejected contestants in what I like to call a “montage of tears” – but just like in the Nashville auditions they don’t even show why the people were rejected.  Once again, lame.  This is a singing show, not a crying show.  If I wanted to see people cry I’d turn on America’s Next Top Model or something on Lifetime.

The judges say they’re waiting for the next American Idol to walk through the door, which obviously means we’ll get the opposite, and in walks Rodolfo Ochoa – who looks like a character on “American Dragon: Jake Long” (yes, sadly, I do admit to watching the Disney Channel) and sings “Circle of Life” from the Lion King.  (ooh, a double dose of Disney!) Poorly.  They tell him he’s terrible and it’s a no.  It’s ruled that Rodolfo is sweet and sweet gets you nowhere (at least someone is saying it out loud finally!)  so let’s start seeing some rugged.  Apparently, it’s now time for “Rugged Texas Cowboy montage.”   We are presented with a cowboy who “lets it all out there,”  a beat-boxing cowboy, and a super-high-voice cowboy.  Only one of them sings (letting it all out cowboy) and we are told that unfortunately none of the cowboys can sing.   Briefly we are shown another 5 or 6 cowboys and a clip of “all out there” cowboy letting us know that he is straight, if there was any confusion, and now it’s onto a contestant named…

John Wayne (they even show his birth certificate), but Wayne isn’t his last name,  (it’s Schulz), so that’s increasingly less impressive.  Only good thing about this entire deal is that Seacrest admitted he was a wussy boy and John Wayne’s dad agreed with him.  (His second best move in life, next to naming his son John Wayne).  John Wayne is a real cowboy with a heart of gold.  His mom has breast cancer and her wish was for him to tryout for American Idol (she’s alive and well and sitting right next to him) so we get another I’m-such-a-good-person-for-helping-an-ailing-relative video clip.  (I’m so sick of these!  Show me someone who admits to beating baby seals, it’d be way more interesting.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE volunteer for the American Cancer Society, but you wouldn’t want to watch me sit around and talk about that for a few minutes, would you?)  John Wayne sings some boring country song and it’s pretty ordinary.   I’m so bored by the singing that I actually look at him for the first time since trying to avert my eyes from the video clips and realize he’s actually pretty handsome.  All of the judges really like him and say they think he’ll do well (I think I disagree, we’ll see if I’m right in a few weeks), but he’s through and they bring in the parents to meet the judges.

Steven Tyler didn’t sing at all in this audition and I realize two things at once, 1)  it’s because John Wayne sang country, and 2) AI is doing auditions in a LOT of “country-type” cities… I wonder if that’s on purpose / what they’re looking for?   No mistake that Carrie Underwood is one of the top grossing Idols.  That’s interesting research for another day.   Back to Seacrest who’s whining about his finger (scraped on a belt buckle), which proves John Wayne’s Dad’s point about him being a wuss.

It’s now ST: 2  Contestants:  5   for the song-count.  Not great but better than Nashville already!

That was the end of Day 1?  Really?  We saw 4 contestants!  10 if you count the ones that didn’t even sing.   In a half-hour.  Seriously, Idol, if I wanted to watch why Austin is so awesome I would have tuned into the Travel Channel.  Sigh…

Back after the break and it’s now Day 2.  Why do the judges always come in 3 separate limos on Day 2?  Don’t they stay in the same hotel?   That’s always been a curious thing to me…

J Lo is wearing a white cowl neck top with a sequin black pant and bright red lips with a super high sleek bun.  Not sure that there’s anyone else in the world that could pull that off but her.

Our first contestant of the day is also pretty as a picture, but we quickly find out she’s secretly (well, not so secretly) unabashedly in love with Seacrest.  She claims he’s “the sexiest man alive.” And we see the first interesting montage, of her eyeing him all day to the tune of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”  She’s very quickly crossing the borderline into psycho stalker (think Wedding Crashers), which is a shame because she’s really pretty and reminds me of an earlier, more innocent looking Katherine McPhee.  Courtney Penry does a chicken impression and ST joins in. (He may have misunderstood “do a chicken.”) Priceless.  She’s a little pitchy but makes up for it with her gorgeousness and star-quality but JLo agrees with me and she’s through with 2/3 judges ‘ vote (Randy was the no).  Seacrest was waiting for her in the room between the curtains (romantic) and helped her prank her family into thinking she didn’t get a golden ticket-   aww, is true love beginning to form?

Next a winner's montage: Shauntel Campos, Alex Carr, & Caleb Johnson   are all through without so much as a sideways bitch-stare from JLo or an inappropriate comment from ST, and we are on a roll.

Another montage of successful contestants, and we see a whole bunch more people going to Hollywood, at least 6 or 7 more people.  We also have our first STism (Steven Tyler ism) as he remarks to a blonde contestant, “where is your pitchfork you little devil?”

Happy Judges, happy contestants, everyone is happy—Seacrest is saying it’s a love fest (a shame Courtney Penry is not still around, eh?) and we get the feeling something is being set up… here it is:

Boyfriend and Girlfriend Jacqueline DunfordNick Fink are practically making out in the contestant holding area.  She’s gorgeous and early twenties, he’s cute for the teenager he is.  That right there is interesting enough, but then we have a “romantic love” montage complete with them running around in the field outside and spinning around until they fall down laughing.   Here’s a tip, folks, if Seacrest takes you out into a field, it’s either because he’s a) going to kill you or b) going to make fun of you.  Don’t do it!   Pretend he’s a vampire or a Jehovah’s Witness or something (whichever is scarier to you) and run away.  There’s no blue screen of death but I’m pretty sure they don’t have one big enough for these two, self proclaimed “American Idol’s first power couple” weirdos. I can’t wait for this.  Jacqueline is first with Duffy’s Mercy.  It is surprisingly excellent.  Nick is next and I realize now he’s a lot cuter than I thought he was at first (He just looks so young, especially compared to her) but it was pretty impressive as well.  Both are original and independent artists (despite how co-dependent they seem around each other) – both are through.  I’m all of a sudden insanely jealous because I would really like to get to go to American Idol Hollywood auditions with my hot boyfriend.  Or maybe I would just like a hot boyfriend.  But I digress, they are through, and through to an entire wedding chapel’s worth of people waiting in the lobby.   I’m also suddenly relieved that there was no blue screen of death- my theory still holds true!  (Although there may be THREE reasons for Seacrest leading you out into a field now!)

Back to Austin after the break and apparently it’s only 11:45. Crap, is this a two hour episode after all?   It must be because we have another backstory.  Here’s a Paula Deen sounding (but vivacious blonde who’s incredibly well dressed)  Janelle Arthur who sings great but we miss most of it to watch Seacrest interview her Anderson Cooper looking Dad.  ST asks her to sing something more upbeat and that’s 15 times more impressive than the slow tune she started out with. She’s great and through with flying colors.

YES!  The next contestant is a 7 ft Armadilo who announces “Hi!  I’m an Armadillo!”   Love this person!  But Randy gets bitchy again which brings us into a Snoop Dogg montage of his quips throughout the day.   A few interesting things here:  1) we see all of the contestants besides armadillo who showed up in costume, one in particular is wearing a Viking-Angel-SheRa concoction and singing “Popular” from Wicked (at least I wasn’t that stupid in my audition),  2)  There’s a girl here in a white dress with a raspy voice that I SWEAR we have seen somewhere before – another thing to research, and 3)  as one girl sings that she’s “dying inside”  Randy says “me too”  and as she continues to sing “but nobody  knows it but me”  he adds “are you sure about that?”  Ha.  Has Simon Cowell taken over Randy Jackson’s body?   Mad props to Armadillo though, who HAS to be a brilliant comedy genius, for walking out of the room begrudgingly carrying the costume over one shoulder and lamenting “I guess I’ll have to be an armadillo for the rest of my life”   -  I love this girl!!  The interview was priceless too (in front of the Blue Screen of Death, but I get no points for after-audition screen sightings).
We’re back and close to the end, which means only one thing,  there is an absolutely amazing audition coming very soon.  But first, it’s a bunch of people crying and cursing and even punching the camera- but they look like they’ve been walking to their cars for forever (one is in the woods, almost), so who can blame them?

While outside we see tambourine players and street performers, some performing blues (you have to go watch this if you can, at about 54 minutes in… a precious little ditty about how they have the “didn’t get through blues”).  One of the street performers is… (wait for it)… our last contestant of the day!   Didn’t see that one coming, did you?   Of course you did.
He’s a Seth Rogen look alike street performer who has a melodica with him.  He says “it gets him attention” and they are playing this crazy whistling music behind it so I’m wondering if I’ll see a blue screen of death soon.  I notice at this moment that the background is turquoise- has it been changing in each audition city?  It was fuschia in New Orleans, I am positive of that.   He’s singing “I don’t need no Doctor” by Ray Charles and he starts with a little scat.  And wow,  Casey Abrams is amazing. You would swear he was the love child of Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and John Mayer if you didn’t know any better.   The judges give him an “all-together yes” which they’ve now been doing for the last contestant in the past few cities—I wonder if the last contestant is a producer choice that they have to let through.  Again, another thing to research.   What is your opinion on this?

Casey plays some of his instrument for the judges, and amazingly Randy Jackson sings this time, although Steven Tyler is on hand with a little crazy dance.   That wraps it up for Austin, but first, our final counts:

# of contestant songs: I lost count… 15?
# of ST curse words:  1/2 (for rhymes with…)
# of ST songs: sadly, only 3
# of Randy Jackson songs: 1
# of JLo cute outfits: 1
# of ST outrageous little dances: 1
# of ST hitting on girls: 1