Friday, February 25, 2011

American Idol 10 Top 61 down to Top 24

Well, a lot of people "bit the dust" this week on the two shows from AI 10.  Also my lovely cable company (or maybe it was just our local inept Fox peeps) had a major fail and the first 15 to 20 minutes of both of the shows was on pixel scramble here so I don't know everything that happened first hand.

I didn't get to see or hear all of the portion of the show from Vegas. I was looking forward to the Beatles selections too, so I was really sad. 

I know that Stefano and James sang together- wish I could have heard it. I like Stefano. James, not so much. I admire James for trying to do this as a career. It won't be easy. I'm just not a fan of his style. (I don't like Lambert either.)

I caught part of Pia and Karen- Did they say they knew each other in high school? They sounded good from what I caught.

Jacob Lusk, Haley and Naima-  sang The Long and Winding Road. Yes, it was long, wasn't it? Sorry, I feel in love with this song when David Archuleta sang it. Everyone else should leave it alone now. I do really like Naima, though.  She is different and seems sweet.

Rachel Zevita and 2 people I didn't recognize sang Eleanor Rigby. Ugh.

Lauren Turner and Jovany sang Let It Be. I love the song and I thought they did an excellent job from the little clip we heard.  I like Jovany.

Tim Halperin and Julie Z. sang Something. I really thought they did an excellent job. Nice choice with both starting out on pianos.  They sounded great together.

Tatynsia, Lekeisha, and Jerome- I Saw Her Standing There. Kind of had a gospel sound to it. Mixed reviews from the judges.  Ok for me.

Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle-  Well, it's about time that we actually hear from these two.  Sang Blackbird. It was ok. I liked Kendra better than Paul.  Not the kind of sound that I enjoy listening to. 

Clint and someone sang.  I don't like him and I don't know who he sang with so...

John Wayne Schulz and two African American guys did their Apollo part 2 performance. Don't know what they sang.

Oh fun!  Ashley Sullivan got married while they were in Vegas.  Well, I'm glad that her trip there was not a total lose. And she even found the same wedding chapel that Britney Spears used.  How much fun. NOT

Thia and Melinda (somebody)-  sorry, forgot her name. Here Comes the Sun or There goes my chance at fame and fortune for Melinda. Poor thing never knew where she was in that song. Maybe because of the horribly rude vocal coach that was yelling at them.  Need to have thick skin for this show.

Ashley and Sophia- Ok so Sophia would have been eliminated anyway if this hadn't been the worst song for them. AI has enough problems already, they don't need criminals kids on the show. We Can't Work It Out.

Lauren Alaina, Denise Jackson (doesn't help to have a famous name), and Scotty.  Hello Goodbye  had an interesting twist with three singing it. I thought it was cute. Scotty sounded good. Steven Tyler referred to it as "Marks brothers put out a fire."

Carson Higgins and Caleb Hawley - Ouch!  Goodbye

Casey and Chris- very odd version of Hard Day's Night while jumping on a bed on stage.  Chris didn't sound that good.

Aaron, Robbie and Jordan- Got To Get You Into My Life sounded nice.  I like Robbie a lot.  He was the best of the group. 

Well, time to say bye bye to a few.  Not heart broken over any of the peeps leaving at this point.

Top 40 to Top 24

Back to LA to an airplane hanger? and prep for Jennifer's meltdown. I think she was watching too much of the clips from Ashley.

1.  Naima Adedapo-  YES, I like her. She looked beautiful in the sky blue dress too.
2.  Hollie Cavanagh- No, JLo wanted her and so did I.  Please come back next year.
3.  Lakeisha Lewis-No, Never saw enough of her to decide.
4.  Alex Ryan- No, Never saw him either. Maybe another time.
5.  Clint Gamboa- yes, but I don't like him at all.  Go away, Clint.
6.  Haley Reinhart- yes, really pretty but not my favorite voice.
7.  Deandre Brackensick- No, I like this kid.  He should have gone farther.  Maybe next year.
8.  Paul McDonald- Yes, not for me but the judges say yes.
9.  Ashton Jones- Yes
10. Chris Medina- No, I actually agree with this. I see he is already getting songs and jobs, Hum?

So we change to Thursday night and my cable is non-existent for a while. Looks like I missed:

11. Karen Rodriguez- Yes
12. Robbie Rosen- Yes
13. TaTynsia Wilson- Yes
Ok cable is back.
14. Tim Halperin- Yes, sang an original song, good for him.
15. Julie Zorrilla- Yes, I like this girl a lot.

Please, Dueling Cowboys? Can't they both go through?

16. Scotty McCreery- Yes, I liked the Long Black Train 
17. John Wayne Schulz- No, I don't agree with this. Too good looking and talented for you Idol?
18. Jovany Barreto- Yes.
19. Lauren Turner- Yes.
20. Twian Strong- No, sorry you didn't get air time after auditions.
21. Erin Kelly- No. Who are you?  No one knew anything about you? TPTB strike again.
22. Rachel Zevita- Yes, Interesting. Not sure about her but I like grandma.
23. Kendra Chantelle- Yes, Um, why?
24. Jordan Doresy- Yes, I say no.
25. Lauren Alaina- Yes, not a surprise but I hope that she learns some new songs.
26. Stefano Langone- Yes, hope that he and Jovany don't cancel each other out.
27. Jackie Wilson- No, bye bye
28. Jacob Lusk- Yes, please stop screaming at me. And fix those weird faces that you make.
29. Pia Toscano- Yes.
30. James Durbin- Yes, to the second coming of Adam Lambert. I don't like him either.
31. Casey Abrams- Yes, very original. Talented. I like him to win.
32. Thia Megia- Yes, sang You Raise Me Up. Already connected to David Foster.
33. Jessica Cunningham- No, bad loser. Hope you are done after 7 rejections from Idol.
34. Colton Dixon- No, too bad. You sounded great the little I heard. Come back or go get signed.
35. Jacee Badeaux- No, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's ok, come back next year. Blow them away.
36. Brett Loewenstern- Yes, Classy kid.  Acknowledges his two friends more.

Well, I have lost 4 people somewhere. Sorry.

Aaron Sanders- No.
Brittany Mazur- No
Jerome Bell- No
Jimmie Allen- No

Well, there we have the top 24.
So Idol will be on 3 times next week.  Not good. I have other stuff to do on some of those days.  Hope we can vote for more that an hour or two.  I hope Casey will be ok for the show that they are taping tonight. I don't want to lose him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

David Archuleta Makes Up His Mind

David Archuleta is definitely becoming his own man.  In Works For Me, co-penned by Mr Archuleta and included as a bonus track to David's self-titled album released in Nov. 2008, David tells us,  No I won't make up my mind. I'm too good at wastin' time.  Well, that might have been the case back in 2008 and maybe even back in 2009 but now that 2011 is here, David is singing a new tune.

After all of the hoopla and frenzy in the fan world at the end of last week concerning David dismissing his management firm and Jive releasing David from their label, David has finally communicated with his fans. Yesterday, David took to the internet and posted a new vlog explaining what has been happening in his life. Following pure Archuleta style, David started out the communique by telling us that he had spent the last several days hosting his youngest sister in LA and celebrating her birthday. Tales of Monster Truck Jams and roller coaster rides at Magic Mountain with his always important family, showed that David has all of this crazy celebrity stuff in check.  How many world famous celebs are there who would admit to sitting in Dodger Stadium, in a rainstorm, wearing a trash bag for protection, watching Monster Trucks, with their 12 year old sister?  Yeah, that's what I thought.

After wishing his lil' sis yet another "Happy Birthday," David got down to business in this vlog, thanking his fans for their support and apologizing for scaring them. You see, people being people, and not using their heads to think things through, fans started to worry that David was devastated by being "dropped by his label" and was going to give up his career in music and drop off the face of the earth or something.  Well, all I can say about these "fair weather fans" is that they have not been listening to David very much these past three years.  Yes, there have been times that David has doubted himself and possibly questioned why he has been given this mission for his life, but I don't ever remember David actually saying that he would give up on music.  Why would he have worked so hard to overcome the vocal chord paralysis and regain his ability to sing, if he ever thought that he might not want to sing again?  David is a fighter and not one to give up easily. Even if Jive had been the ones to break the relationship, David would not have been devastated, as some feared.

I 'm glad that David cleared the air and told us what had really happened. His contract with Jive was up. Jive has undergone some major changes and is moving in a new direction. David is undergoing changes also and wants to move in a new direction.  These two directions do not match.  Jive had asked David to stay but David felt it was time to move on.  The same with his management company.  David felt that he needed to move in a different direction. Once again, in true Archuleta style, David said nothing bad about either of these companies and thanked them for their help and support. The sign of a true classy person.

David has announced that he has learned that he needs to be in charge of his life, his career.  He needs to make the decisions about what he does and how he continues in his career.  His life and future are on the line here and he is the one to decide.  David is not leaving music, just stepping back, regrouping, and looking to the future, which he is excited about.  He is writing new music, on his own, with his own thoughts and feelings.  He does not need to rely on anyone else to think for him.  Bravo David!!! You might only be 20 but you are far more of a man than most 50 yr olds I know. Go ahead. Make your own decisions.  Trust in God to help you along the way.  You know that He will, He gave you this gift to share with the world. He wants you to succeed.

Until all of this craziness of the last few days hit, I had listened to David's music extensively, but never stopped to really experience the words.  As I was thinking about what I wanted to say here today, I started looking at the lyrics to some of the songs that David has co-penned and I made an interesting discovery. He has been giving me clues to what was about to happen all along, I just wasn't listening.

So, the first song that I want to acknowledge was recorded by a young David, even before his time on American Idol and way before all of this craziness with Jive.

Dream Sky High
Time and again the doubts come along
But why let them stay?
Everyone's far from who they could be
We're all on our way

Days we are strong we remember well
Days we were scared we live and learn
Ask me the way and I will point above
No matter what
That's where I turn

And here are some lyrics to some of David's co-writes from his latest album, The Other Side of Down, also known to fans as "The Album That Jive Ignored." They tell me a lot now.

Gonna take this moment that I'm in right now,
Stop this craziness some how. 
Leave it all behind me, 
And no one's gonna find me.
I've got nothing to win, I've got nothing to lose,
Just trying to walk in my own two shoes.

Gonna take this time now. 
It's time for me to find out
Who I Am

I've been silent up to now
I've been going with the flow
Wherever that goes

But something's screaming out inside
Makes me want to close my eyes
And hear the echo

I don't know what I'm doing here
How I landed in this place
But it's a Good Place

I didn't understand
I didn't wanna know
At least I took a chance
I had to let it go

Elevator goes up
Elevator come down
And you just go with the flow
Til your feet are back on the ground

Next time I'll get it right
Next time I'll be okay
I'll have a different dream tonight
Tomorrow's another day

Any time any minute now
We could fall, could all crash down
But I'm not gonna handle it that way
No way

'Cause I don't always get everything that I want
It doesn't turn out just the way that I thought it all should be
Baby, I can't complain

No more wasting my time looking in the mirror
Wishing my life was a little bit clearer
No way, baby, I can't Complain

Shut the window tight
But it's raining on the inside.
Do you realize your getting nowhere
That it's all laid out for you?
Cut the ribbon if it starts to fray.

When you close your eyes to see the view
You'll miss everything surrounding you
Stop and just look around
Get up and Look Around

Here I am with all these questions hanging from my ceiling low
And one day they'll keep telling me I told you so
Everywhere I turn I see red lights flashing over my head
Oh no, oh no, oh no
In a whirl-wind spinning, yeah, somehow it knocked me off my feet 
But I know better than to let it get the best of me,
I could give up, I could stay stuck, or I could move on.

So I put one foot front of the other, 
No, no,  no, nothing's gonna break my stride. 
I keep climbing, gonna keep fighting
Until I mike it to The Other Side of Down

But I know Things Are Gonna Get Better
I know things are gonna be fine
I know life is gonna get better, 
Standing here together, Yeah, we're gonna be fine.

Yes sir, David. I believe you. Life is gonna get better. We, the fans are standing here with you and Yeah, we're all gonna be fine.

P.S.  Click on any of the highlighted song titles to go to Youtube for a full length version of each song with lyrics. Thanks to all of the awesome fans of David Archuleta who have taken the time to make these videos.  I wish I had your talent. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

David and Jive part ways

Well, I have been holding back writing about this interesting development in the career of David Archuleta. It's not that I haven't had an opinion, it's just that I haven't really wanted to get caught up in the unbelievable frenzy that has ensued since his now ex-manager unceremoniously announced their split. Kind of tacky, but I guess that's the business she's in.

I'm not an expert in the music industry nor am I in any way privy to any inside information about David.  I am just a fan.  A fan, who like many others, is fascinated by this incredibly talented young man.  A fan who has had their life totally changed by someone who is the physical age of her children, yet is wise beyond his years.  Someone who can touch your heart and heal it without even being in your presence or knowing your name; you just need to hear his voice.

I find it kind of strange that so many fans are upset that David was "released" by Jive.  I thought that everyone hated Jive and their lack of promoting David's recent album.  It's weird to me that everyone is freaked out when we all knew that it was possible, if not probable,  for this to happen.  No one in the fandom knows what David's actual contract with Jive said but many have assumed that it is similar to other former Idol contestants signed to them. Three albums.  Well, David has completed those three albums, even if Jive didn't tell anyone about the last two. There was very little promo for the Christmas album and virtually none for the second pop album.  Pretty sad, unless you consider that they might have done this on purpose so that they could complete the deal and bow out of the contract.

David is not like the other artists on this label. David is not like any other artist, period. And that's where the problems begin. It's not just his voice that sets him apart, but it is also his character, his morals, his principles, all of which he refuses to give up on in order to "make it" in the music business. David is not going to stoop to the "trash level" that other performers lower themselves to in order to be famous.  He is holding to his values, striving to be an awesome example for others.

It was weird, but right when I got that tweet on Thursday from David talking about decisions being difficult, I knew that something major was going on.  I wasn't expecting for Melinda to tweet shortly afterwards that they were no longer working with David but it all makes sense now. I did think that it was really tacky for her to say anything about David and the label.  It was not her place.  I guess she was mad. I was surprised by her actions though because in my dealings with her, albeit they were limited mainly to twitter, she had been helpful and nice enough.  she arranged for David to see all of us waiting outside after the skating show in San Antonio in December. She had even given me an address to mail something to David through her.

I wasn't as surprised that Jive released David from the label. Why have an artist under contract if you don't plan to promote them. It was all telling that this unnamed rep made the statement the same day as Britney Spears new music video came out, with a storm of promotion. The rep said that Jive had released David but I think it is more than that.  I wouldn't be surprised if David had asked to be released since the terms were met on the old contract. I think that David just wants a clean slate. It's time to work with a whole new set of people.  Maybe his dad will help manage him again, or maybe not.  I don't think that it would be a terrible idea. Who else knows David that well besides a very close friend or his family.  I would think that the less that he has to explain his beliefs and thoughts to someone, the more smoothly his career can flow. If not his dad then it seems logical to me that he should find someone who is also LDS so that they can understand where he is coming from. I know I would find it difficult to work day in and day out at an extremely close personal level with someone who was not a Christian or at least understood the basics of Christianity. There would just be too many things that did not work between us.

No matter who chose to end the contract, I think that this is the best thing that could happen for David right now.  He is far too talented to be held back and limited by a close-minded label. There are plenty of other options for David and his career will only benefit in the long run from these changes.

I don't think that we fans have to panic over or become all negative about these changes.  David will be fine. His limited tweets these last few days have not ever had any negative thoughts in them. (Well, except that it was still raining in LA, but this didn't even seem to get him down, just made him change his plans.) David is far too stable and grounded as a person to let this change adversely affect him. He will take it as a new challenge and persevere.  He will rise above all of this to gain new incredible heights, and we, his loyal fans, will be right there with him, cheering him on to victory.

I found a quote today that pretty much tells the story of our love for David. I wish that I knew who the author is so that I could give them rightful credit and an honorary membership in the David Archuleta Fan Club.

"You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear."

That's how I feel when I hear David sing.  His song touches my heart and nothing else matters.

Friday, February 18, 2011

AI 10: Hollywood Week Comes To An End

We started last night's show with 100 contestants each singing a solo number of their choosing (sort of). This was the first time this season that the contestants have been allowed to use instruments. This made for a more interesting view.  We also got to finally see a few other contestants whom we have heard rumors about but have not heard sing a note.

Here are my impressions on the featured contestants in this episode as each performed:

Haley Reinhart- showed her clip from the group round where she was not good as a contrast to powerful, soulful solo performance.  Really good .

Ashton Jones- First time to see her was in the group round.  Solo performance of And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going was really powerful.  Nice job.

Thia Megia- I haven't really liked her because she reminds me of Charice but her rendition of What a Wonderful World was really good.

Adrian Michael- NO

Caleb Johnson- NO NO

Frances Coontz- NO NO NO

Clint Gamboa-  Still don't like him. I thought his Georgia was kind of squacky, IMO.  His voice does nothing for me, except irritate me.

Kendra Chantelle- We have never heard of her before but Nice job on Georgia. Wonder what else she can sing?

Sophia ? - Another new contestant. OK job on Georgia.  Liked her better than Clint.

Chris Medina-  OK on My Prerogative.  Not a song that I would ever listen too though.

Carson Higgins- Annoying person IMO.  Didn't like his My Prerogative at all.

Julie Zorrilla- Finally a contestant who has the guts to play an instrument whilst singing. Nice job on the keyboard and with Lovesong.

Caleb Hawley- Playing guitar, I don't remember the song.  I was instead struck by my 16 yr old son's observation.  He looks stoned. (Why, yes he does, doesn't he.)

Colton Dixon-  Looked very comfortable behind the keyboard.  Nice job on What About Now.

Brett Loewenstern-  Playing guitar.  I don't know the song that he performed but he sounded good.

Robbie Rosen- Playing keyboard. Nice job on Gravity.

Casey Abrams-  Casey is the one to watch in my opinion.  Totally blew everyone away with a stellar performance of Georgia while accompanying himself on the stand up bass violin.  Absolutely fantastic.
If I had to pick the winner right now, it would be Casey.

Jaqueline Dunford- sick. Taken to hospital. Not my favorite contestant but I do hope that she is all right.

Chelsee Oaks- thrown for a loop after her roomie, Jaqueline, is taken away. I feel sorry for Chelsee. Not a bad voice but too much going against her in Hollywood. I think that she would have been better off if she had not known anyone in the competition before she arrived in Hollywood.   Not a bad performance, just not good enough.

Lauren Alaina- I am really tired of her now. The seduction of Steven Tyler, old enough to be her grandfather, has got to stop. She's 15 for goodness sakes. Does she know any new songs that aren't connected to Tyler?

Jacob Lusk- First time to hear more that a few lines from him.  God Bless The Child was very emotional.  Standing "O" from judges and contestants. Fantastic job, but he can't have an emotional break down after each performance.  America can only take so much of that.

John Wayne Schulz- Played guitar for Landslide.  Really good. Showed JLo singing along right when I caught myself singing also.

Ashley Sullivan-  "Ms Basket Case" is back.  Dedicates Everything to her BF in the balcony and proceeds to forget the words.  What a mess.

Stefano Langone-  I think the song is You Can Feel It, but not sure.  Nice job though on the very small clip.

Jovany Barreto-  Don't know the song from him, but it sounded nice.

Jacee Badeaux-  Smart kid.  Sang David Cook's coronation song Time of My Life.  Nice job.

Scotty McCreery-  Sang, or at least tried to sing, I Hope You Dance because it was the only country song on the list. Only country song on the list when they have all of these contestants with country backgrounds. Weird.  John Wayne Schulz couldn't get much more country and he found a song to sing, and well.  Scotty, you disappointed me.

Ta-Tynsia Wilson-  Another new to the screen contestant. Why did they wait until now, when she totally messes up, to show her. She also massacres I Hope You Dance.  I happen to like that song a lot, but not her version.

Some nice work on solos and yet they choose to end with two contestants, one a favorite, falling apart. Idol, you disappoint.

Time to cut.

Contestants divided into 4 rooms.  Let's call these rooms #1- Absolutely, YES, #2- absolutely, NO, #3- probably NOT, and #4- Probably Yes, since we need more to cut next week.

Rm #1- Ashley Sullivan (Oh, the drama)
             Brett Loewenstern
             Jacee Badeaux
             Jacob Lusk
             Caleb Hawley (Are you people stoned?)
             Clint Gamboa (Locked in the same room with Jacee. Good thing that Brett was there too.)
             Casey Abrams (And his bass)
             Robbie Rosen
             Lauren Alaina (and her hair)
             James Durbin (And his bandana)
             Haley Reinhart
             Chris Medina (And his hair)
             Jackie Wilson (Without her daddy/BF)
             PLUS MORE I CAN'T ID

Rm #2- Corey Levoy (Please don't cry like that. Texas guys don't do that)
              Brielle Von Hugle
              And a lot of people I don't recognize.

Rm #3- Chelsee Oaks
             Mark "the other brother" Gutierrez
             Monique "I tried to stick up for Jacee but Clint is a bully" De Los Santos
             People whose faces are familiar but I don't know their names

Rm #4- Jovany Barreto
             Anaima Adedapo
             Colton Dixon (my pointy hair has a hat on it now)
             Julie Zorrilla
             Scotty McCreery (lost favorite status pretty fast there, didn't you?)
             John Wayne Schulz (really good, but not flashy enough for Idol.  LDS contestant this year.)
             Rachel Zevita
             Thia Megia (good, but they are not pimping Charice this year)
             Hollie Cavanagh
             Denise Jackson (I like Jacee, what's wrong with Clint)
             Carson Higgins (Oh , please no)
             Pia Toscano
             Stefano Langone
             Ashton Jones
             Molly DeWolf Swensen (White House intern we haven't seen since auditions)
             PLUS MORE I CAN'T ID

Well, there you have it.  Rms 1 and 4 are through to next week.  They all get to go to Vegas and sing Beatles songs.  We all know what a disaster that can be.   Not sure how many are left after this cut, either 50 or 60, I think from the rumors I have seen on certain sites.

If I had to pick a winner right now-  Casey Abrams !

Thursday, February 17, 2011

AI 10 Hollywood Group Rounds

OK, Last night's group round was a totally irritating show.  I would like to see more contestants actually sing, and less annoying people being jerks.  I guess that this little debacle did give us a chance to see which contestants actually have bad attitudes and have just been hiding them off camera.  This show also solidified to the viewer the judges / producers favorites for the season.  To me several of the contestants that were sent through to the next round were not as good as others who were sent home.  It was almost obvious which contestants would be safe, because they have had so much coverage in previous weeks.

The round started with 168 contestants.  Many started forming groups as soon as they were sent through on day 1 but Idol threw in a monkey wrench when they announced at the end of day two that each group would need to have at least one contestant cleared on day 2.  Oops.  Didn't see that coming.

There was a lot of turmoil as everyone tried to fit-in with a partial group.  Too much coverage was given to this turmoil especially with Tiffany Rios. Why would anyone expect her to have problems fitting in a group when she alienated everyone with her comments the previous day? DUH. Jessica Yantz doomed herself by trying to be nice to Tiffany.

Jordan Dorsey, who I had liked in the auditions, turned out to be a jerk also.  Jumping around in groups and having a major attitude when people tried to see if they could work as a group.

Clint Gamboa, who I have never been fond of, showed his true colors by kicking Jacee Badeaux out of his group.  I was surprised when Scotty McCreery did not speak up for Jacee.  Monique De Los Santos tried to but Clint was too strong for her.

Ashley Sullivan is a "meltdown" just waiting to happen.  Her group kept her in the competition for another day, but I am sure she will lose it again soon.

The group of 15 and 16 yr olds had help from their moms, which made James Durbin mad, but we all know that there were people helping other groups,  so I don't think that there should be any problem there.  Idol has coaches there for all of the contestants.  I think some of them just see Drama Coaches instead of singing coaches.

And then, last and least, there is Three's Company: Rob Bolin, Chelsee Oaks and Jacqueline Dunford.  Please let them all go home.  Rob has lost it, Chelsee is delusional, and Jaqueline, well, she is blonde.

Finally, the groups sing.

Pia Toscano, Alessandra Guercio, and Brielle Von Hugel:
I have never seen these girls before, but they are really good.  Grenade  actually sounded like a song that I might consider listening to if they sing it.

Jordan Dorsey, Robbie Rosen, and 3  unnamed peeps we have never seen before all make it through.  So glad Jordan decided who he could work with finally.

Adrian Michael, Lauren Turner, Erica ? , Shane ?: Sing Forget You .  Still don't like this song but they sound ok. All go through.

Tiffany Rios and Jessica Yantz:  Sound horrible.  Criticized by judges for not forming proper group. BYE BYE

Jovany Barreto, and Karen Rodriguez shine in their group sining Just the Way You Are

Lauren Alaina is the only one progressing from her group. The other three nameless contestants did not impress as they strutted their stuff in front of Steven Tyler sitting in a chair on the stage. Bye bye "Noddle Nose".- If you don't know, don't ask.  You don't want to know.

Colton Dixon- only member of the next group to advance. Country boy, Matt Dillard, just couldn't get the hang of these words.

Next we see a whole bunch of peeps going home including Paris Tassin, Emily Ann Reed, Janelle Arthur, and Aaron Gutierrez

Ashley Sullivan- Melt down girl, Ashton Jones, Keeira Lyn Ford, and a blonde girl (Jacqui Elliot) all sing like they know what they are doing and advance.

The Minors- Keonna Evans, Jalen Harris, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Felix Ramsey, and Deandre Brackensick:  Wow.  They are really good. My Queen's Somebody to Love sound like a gospel song.  All through.

The Deep V's- James Durbin, Caleb Johnson are the only two to advance. Their version of Queen left the judges sad.

Corey Levoy, Hollie Cavanagh and an unnamed female advance from their group.  Hollie sounded good, but even Corey didn't know why he advanced.

Night Owls- Casey Abrams, Julie Zorrilla (prom dates) are the only ones to advance from their group. Julie had a pretty dress, Casey had a great voice.

Da'Quela Payne, Matthew Nuss, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk and an unnamed blonde all advance.  Judges thought they were great, me, noot so much.

4 Non-blondes and That Guy- Chris Medina, Caleb Hawley, Carson Higgins, Erin ?  advance.  Another group I was not impressed with.

John Wayne Schulz- Tyler said he looked like he just rode into the Apollo Theater on a white horse. (Only white guy in a group of African American guys.)  didn't tell us that he advanced but seemed that he did.  I hope so.

Sugar Mama's and the Babies- Denise Jackson, Stevie Cain, Natalie Hanson, Jacee Badeaux, and Brett Loewenstern:  Mercy song title and what the judges gave Jacee because he did not know the song and was still advanced on the fact that his original group had dumped him because Clint didn't like his voice and didn't think that he could dance. All advance.  I am really liking Brett.  He has a great attitude. He was so happy to include Jacee in their group.

Scotty McCreery, Clint Gamboa, Monique De Los Santos, and Frances Coontz-  original group of Jacee.  Judges said that they should all "take a step back" because of what they did to Jacee.  Tearful Scotty says that he is ashamed of himself for not defending Jacee.  All of group is advanced but not before Steven makes Clint sweat about it.

Chelsee Oaks, Rob Bolin, and Jacqueline Dunford:  Thank goodness this painful thing is over.  Rob is going home and I bet he is relieved to get away from these women. I think that Chelsee and Jaqueline should go home too.

As is par for this season, AI has shown 18 of the 39 groups which performed.  Still many contestants that we have never seen.

Well, there it is.  The insanity known as AI Hollywood group rounds.  I can't wait to see what happens tonight.  At least it is only scheduled to be an hour tonight.

On a side note, but exemplifying the absurdity that is Idol,  a commercial shown during the show was for The Cleveland Show with guest star Justine Timberlake appearing as a Singing Booger.  What more can I say.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My new favorite quote

Thank you, David.  I needed that.

David gives us a new task: Spend time with kids.

David Archuleta has given his fans a new task for the week. Work with kids this week.

I am happy to say that David has given us an assignment this week that I will not have any problems completing. I do this every week. For one, I tutor a middle school student in English each week. Brilliant young man but he can't sit still for the life of him. I am also the Assistant Scoutmaster for my son's Boy Scout Troop. I am in charge of their advancement progress. Five of these boys, including my son, are in the process of completing their Eagle Scout ranks. I have known all of them since they were in first grade. Great young men and leaders for our future. I also volunteer with our children's ministry as often as I can.

This photo is of some of the boys in my son's Boy Scout troop. My son is the tall one in the light shorts, behind the podium.

More important than my volunteering is that my own kids also volunteer with the younger kids at church,  working in the children's ministry. My daughter, Amanda, 18, takes care of the infants every Sunday. She is the one they turn to when the babies won't stop crying. She has been doing this for a year and before that she spent 3 years with the toddlers. My son, Brandon, 16, is in his 4th year working with the 4 and 5 year olds. He loves the little kids and they love him. Parents have even asked if he could go to their homes to play with the little kids. Both of my kids have learned the importance of being there for the younger kids and setting an example for them. They have also learned what a responsibility it is to care for children and what a blessing it can be.

EDIT:  On Feb 12 our church had a special dinner honoring those who volunteer in different areas of the church. My entire family was in attendance.  Shortly before ending the dinner, there was a surprise announcement that each of the ministry heads had each chosen to honor one specific person in their areas who they feel exemplifies a trait of a servant of the Lord.  I am quite happy to say that the director of the Children's Ministry chose my son, Brandon, as her example of a humble servant. He was recognized for his faithful service to the children of our church. While the adults working in this area alternate months of service and always have the summers off, Brandon has been there almost every Sunday for 4 1/2 years, serving the children of our church. And he has never been forced to do this by anyone, not even at the beginning. It has always been of his own choosing, his own heart.
This mom's heart is full.

American Idol 10: Hollywood Rounds Part 1

Well, last night AI showed the first two days of the Hollywood rounds.  327 Golden Tickets were given out and 168 contestants were passed through to the next round, the group songs. (I really don't like that part.) Before I write about how my favorites did, I have to say that I was actually disappointed in the show last night. I had hoped to see at least some contestants that we have not seen before, but that was not the case.  Every person that was named during the show has already been featured on an audition round. So all this show did was follow the same people,  and most of those moved on to the next round.  I would have liked it better if AI did less backstory on this show and more new contestants, but I guess they want to keep all of the sympathetic viewers on board.  It is sad to note though that of the 168 contestants that moved on to the group round, only 27 were shown last night.  Well, here how I saw last night's round:

Brett Loewenstern- As strange as he seems, I really love this kid.  Not the normal type of contestant for me to follow, but something about him appeals to me. He was so nervous to start out but then blew them all away with his vocals on Let It Be.  

Rachel Zevita- The girl has a decent voice, but there is something about her personality that I don't like.  Sorry, but she rubs me the wrong way.

Thia Megia- Sorry, but I am not a fan. The girl has a good voice.  She is powerful, but to me, she seems overly confident.  She also reminds me of Charice Pempengco, who I don't really like either.  (Sorry David Archuleta, I know Charice is a friend of yours, but I can't stand her.)

Casey Abrams- For a 19 yr old white boy, this kid can really sing some old school jazzy stuff. Nice scatting again. I really like this kid even more now.

James Durbin- James, I love your singing and the fact that you are overcoming a lot to be on that stage, but please find a stylist soon.  That hair will be the death of you, if not me. I did like his rendition of Oh, Darlin'.  I am still worried that this competition will be too much for him to handle though.

Paris Tassin- She was ok for me during the audition, but I did not like her My Heart Will Go On. Celine she is not. Did I sense a key change that should not have been there or was it just poor editing. I still think that this will be too much to be away from her daughter.

Lauren Alaina- I did not think she did as well here as she did at auditions.  It could be that she was singing on of my all time favorite songs, my husband and mine's, and it was totally rushed and flat to me.

Chris Medina- His story is still inspiring but I didn't like his song last night. Not bad, just not really good.

Jacee Badeaux- This 15 yr old is fantastic.  I loved his God Bless The Broken Road. It was really soulful and sweet at the same time.  Get ready for the David Archuleta comparisons.  You know that they will come.

Hollie Cavanagh- Wow! What a change in the girl since the auditions here in Austin.  No more tears, just powerful vocals.  Fantastic job.

Robbie Rosen- I still like this kid. I don't know the name of the song that he sang, but it sounded kind of old. I think he is an "old soul" and will continue to sing these kind of songs.  He is good.

Scotty McCreery- I was disappointed that he sang the same song as auditions but he is still really good. I hope that he has a bigger repertoire in the future. Nice voice though.

Well, others did make it through to the next part but I either did not like them or their songs were not shown.  Of the group named above my favorites from the night are: Casey, Jacee and Hollie.  We'll see what happens next week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

American Idol 10: Week 4- San Francisco Auditions

Well, I am happy to say that the San Francisco auditions were not a waste of time like LA's were last week.     There were several really good singers shown last night.  Here are my favorites:

Brittany Mazur- 21-  only a very small clip in a montage of golden tickets but very pretty and sounded nice. Hope we get to see more in Hollywood.

Stefano Langone- 21- Kent, WA- car wreck survivor.  Sang- Heard it Through the Grapevine.  I really like his voice. Great positive attitude.  J Lo said "definitely here for a reason" A favorite of mine.

Julie Zorrilla- 20- LA- originally from Columbia. family left when she was 8 to escape violence. Sang- Summer Time.  Confident (maybe too much experience already) and good range. I thought that the song showed off her voice nicely.

Emily Ann Reed- 26- Arlington, WV/ SF - House burned down week before audition.  Interesting sound to her voice.  Little girl sound. Might be limited on what she can sing with this voice but definitely different.

James Durbin- 21- Santa Cruz, CA- has Tourrets and Aspergers. Amazing. Very great range.  Very powerful and soulful.  I agree with Jennifer, he does "go away" when he sings.  Music seems to "cure his ills."  My favorite of the night, possibly of the audition process.

Well, tonight starts the Hollywood shows.  Hope to see a few of the contestants that were not shown in auditions including the young man who attends my son's high school here in Austin, Corbin Chase.  He is interviewed on the AI website's "Road to Hollywood" as receiving a Golden Ticket but was not shown at all on the Austin audition rounds.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Tried but I'm Just Too Weak

Yes, I tried to ignor this new photo that hit the cyber world today, but I couldn't do it.  So until I can find words to express how I feel about this, here you go.

                        Thank you Matt Clayton.  You are my second favorite photographer. 
                             Spot #1 is taken by my husband, who is also a photographer.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

American Idol 10: Auditions week #3

Well, the AI10 show last night featured the auditions from my home of Austin, Texas.  I was disappointed with the show. They featured some talented contestants, but none of them are from Austin. Yes, several are from Texas but none from Austin.  I personally know some very talented Austinites who auditioned.  Not one person from Austin that was talented sang a cleared song so that they could represent the city on the show. How sad. It's no wonder that it is rare that you here the music of previous Idol contestants on the radio here, expect for Carrie Underwood and Daughtry, who are everywhere. And do shows always have to make Texans look like a bunch of hicks? I like country music but I'm not a hick. I happen to like lots of different music genres and so do most Texans.  Thank you for letting me rant for a moment.  Now, on with my opinions on last night's show.

Corey Levoy- 21- from Longview, TX (that's east Texas near Louisiana border hence the major accent). Has a major twang in his speaking voice, not as bad in singing voice.  Sang, I Can't Make You Love Me.  Not too bad but no where near me favorite.

Hollie Cavanagh- 17- originally from England, now living in McKinney, TX (that's north of Dallas).  Child was really nervous and tearful.  Sang, At Last by Etta James and The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Pretty good but the nerves could do her in in Hollywood.

John Wayne Schulz- 23- From Karnes City, TX (that's between San Antonio and the Tx coastal city of Corpus Christi). I really like this guy.  Nice back story without it being terribly gut wrenching. A true cowboy, family has cattle ranch. Sang, Believe by Brooks and Dunn.  Nice job. Very strong faith-felt performance. Best of the Austin auditions.

Janelle Arthur - 20- Oliver Springs, TN.  Nice country girl look and voice.

Casey Abrams- 19- Idyllwilde, CA.  Brought his melodica with him.  Sang, I Don't Need No Doctor by Ray Charles. Nice jazzy sound.   Loved the scats, really nice. Unusual for one so young. Hope he does well.

I'll post tonight's LA auditions tomorrow.

Well, I watched the LA auditions last night and all that I can say is ... why did they even have this show. They could have just skipped LA.  Nothing impressive was shown in that hour except for the MySpace auditioner, Karen Rodriguez.   I will watch it again later today and see if I can salvage any good comments about the show, but I doubt it.  The judges were excited about the last act, the brothers that performed Lean On Me.  They weren't bad but after some of the stuff they showed, most of the audience probably would have liked my dog, Chip, howling to Justine Bieber's Baby.