Friday, January 27, 2012

American Idol 11: Houston / Galveston Auditions

I really like the intro to this episode: AI hits the Lone Star State.  Nice touch including Commander Burbank aboard the International Space Station, since Houston is home to NASA.  This is Idol's 9th visit to Texas. Not too bad.

Phong Vu- 25- Houston, TX- student
Well, we are not off to a good start here. Idol, I had higher hopes for you guys this year. Don't dis Texas right off the bat. This guy is way too emotional. Something just doesn't seem right with him. Okay, he's flamboyant, and loves to sing female pop artists, including JLo. Bad news is, he can't sing. Randy mocks him while he auditions. Steven and Jennifer manage to get him out of the hall without totally destroying him.

Well, after that total waste of time, we get a montage of cowboys from old westerns introing bad "cowboy" singers.  More time wasted.

Skylar Laine- 17- Brandon, MS- student
This is a total country girl, hunting, riding 4 wheelers, deer head mounted on her wall. Very pretty young girl. Family has owned a diner for 71 yrs. she hopes to make enough to keep the restaurant going. Sings "Hell on Heels" by Pistol Annie (Miranda Lambert's all-girl group). Perfect song for her. Finally, She is through to Hollywood.

Baylie Brown- 21- Nashville (by way of Texas)- Nanny
Baylie is back to try it again. She auditioned and made it to Hollywood 5 yrs ago but forgot lyrics and was eliminated there. Sings "Bed of Roses" and is fantastic. Beautiful girl with a beautiful voice. She's through to Hollywood.

Kristine Osorio- 28- Amarillo, TX- mom with 3 kids going through divorce
Just a mom struggling to make a better life for her kids.  Sang in husband's band before kids. Sings "One and Only" I think. She has a decent voice. Jennifer really likes this woman. She is through to Hollywood.

A war is going on between the judges.  Jennifer against the guys seems to be raging with the next 4 contestants as the ammo.  Short clips from each but major judge drama witnessed.
Rachael Turner- 20- Sugar Land, TX- Miss Houston 2011
yes from Jennifer, no from the guys.
Reagan Wilson- 23- New Braunfels, TX- choir teacher
yes from Jennifer, No from the guys
Cheyenne James- 17- Conroe, TX- student
yes from Jennifer, no from the guys
Linda Williams- 24- League City, TX- Bartender
no from Jennifer, yes from the guys (in fact they thought she was incredible. JLo thought she was terrible.)

Alejandro Cazares- 26- Houston, TX- cell phone repairman
This guy tells the judges, "Grant me the power to bring revolution to the world." This pretty much sums it all up. He can't sing, and his tongue is blue. YUCK Has to be tossed by very big body guard.

Cortez Shaw- 20- Garland- student/ warehouse worker
Cortez was homeless through part of high school but has a great positive attitude about his life now. "Only you can determine what will happen in your life." Sings Adele's "Someone Like You." He has picked up the tempo some. I like his voice and so does Jennifer. Randy and Steven aren't sure until he hits the chorus and then they are sold too.  he is through to Hollywood.

Cool another montage of YUCK.
Julie Shuman- 28- Manhattan, NY- dancer
Terrible singer, horrible outfit. Actually quite scary.
Vanessa Hernandez- 18- Pasadena, TX- student
Terrible singer, plain looks.  Why would the producers put her through except to humiliate her.
Erin "Nire" Kettl- 19- Beaumont- student
Horrible. Judges laughing. Why even?

Ramiro Garcia- 28- Houston, TX- Worship Leader at Lakewood Church
This young man was born without ears. Parents were told he would never hear of speak. At 4 yrs doctors started surgeries to at least make him look more normal. Discovered an ear drum. Amazing story that he can even speak much less sing.  Sings one of my favorite worship songs. "Amazing Grace- My Chains Are Gone" by Chris Tomlin. Absolutely wonderful. Really nice voice. He doesn't go for the upper power notes at first, but hits everything he tries. I don't hear any voice problems. Tears from parents, Ryan and judges. He is going to Hollywood. I have found the person I'm following this year.  Amazing.

Well Idol, I really only liked the last 5 minutes of this show. Only Ramiro was really worth watching.

So, we are told that 55 have advanced to Hollywood from the Houston/Galveston audition and yet you only showed us  6. Thanks Idol.

Here  are my favorites from this show: Ramiro, Baylie and Skylar. 

See you next week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

American Idol 11: Aspen Auditions

The audition episodes of the new season of American Idol are moving right along. The latest one finds AI visiting of beautiful state of Colorado. I've been fortunate enough to visit this state twice in my life and I must say, it is as lovely as these glimpses shown on Idol. If I had to leave my wonderful state of Texas, Colorado would be on my very short list of places I would actually consider living. And that is saying a lot, since I hate cold weather. Now on with the show.

Jenni Schick- 24- Sterling, VA- Elementary School Music Teacher
I hate to say this, but if my child was a student at her school, I would move. Crazy girl, and so not the elementary teacher type. (To clarify why I feel like I have the right to judge this girl for her profession: 1) I have a degree in education. 2) I taught in elementary school for 13 yrs. 3) I am a parent. 4) I live in a very music-centered city 5) I live in a very liberal city) Now, I don't have a problem with her singing. She's really not bad, but her dress and demeanor are way over the top. She might not have a job in education when the school board sees this show. Steven is on her short list of celebs her boyfriend has ok'ed for her to kiss. So is Lady Gaga. Crazy chick sings Pat Benatar's "Heart Breaker" and the judges like her. Randy says "Yes, and you may kiss the judge." Close up of her kissing Steven on the lips.  YUCK.  She is through to Hollywood (where is will fit in much better that small town VA).

Next we get a montage of sleepy contestants waking up really early for their Idol auditions.

Curtis Gray- 28- Spring Hill, FL- Server/ In a band
Short audition clip. This guy has a nice voice and decent range. I'm not sure what he is singing but the judges like him and so do I. He's through to Hollywood.

Richie Law- 19- Centennial, CO- Student
Another short clip.  This kid is Scotty McCreery 2.0.  He has a deep voice, but is not as cute as Scotty or as talented. My daughter, who loved Scotty, says this guy is not as good. Sings country, of course. "I Wouldn't Be a Man" is the title, I think, but not sure. Randy says "Powerful voice." He is through to Hollywood.

Devan Jones- 26- Aurora, CO- Hotel Clerk
Another short clip. This guy has a high voice, but I like his tone. I don't know the song, but he had no problem hitting those high notes. Good range and effortless. He's through to Hollywood.

Mathenee Treco- 25- Centennial, CO- Dance Instructor
Another shot clip.  This guy is singing "Hey Jude" and he's not bad. Kind of weird distracting mannerisms when he sings, but he has a really good range. He's through to Hollywood.

Tealana Hedgespeth- 19- Loveland, CO- Color Guard Coach
Her twin sister is into performing and acting but is not auditioning. this is our first "sob" story of CO. She has lived in the shadow of her very talented sister for 19 yrs. (Really? 19?) Her nose ring thing is creeping me out. Don't those go on bulls, not people? Sings Melissa Ethridge's "Bring Me Some Water" and is yuck. Randy and Steven offer her their Coke glasses, hoping she will stop singing. Please go back into the shadows.

Haley Smith- 18- Orem, UT- House cleaner/Busser/ Sausage maker- but she is vegetarian
This girl is a true nature child. She lives in a log cabin in the mountains. Jennifer immediately says she gets a 60's - 70's vibe from Haley. You think- she's very natural looking. She sings "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus/Chaka Kahn (written by Stevie Wonder, Randy reminds us.) she has an interesting sound. Steven is really into her. Randy says she put her own style into it - kind of Joni Mitchell ish. She's a real flower child- JLo.  She is through to Hollywood. "Warm weather and Hollywood- Here I come."

Now we get to watch Steven eat. FUN

Alanna Snare- 22- Fort Collins, CO- Bartender
Gets a plug in for her boss. Works at a restaurant that sells "Rocky Mountain Oysters." If you don't know what those are, or have a squimish stomach, don't ask. Nasty.  Alanna says she will sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and I'm temporarily excited until she opens her mouth. Terrible. Why did they have to devote so much time to a second terrible singer. Come on Idol.

Shelby Tweten- 17- North Mankato, MN- student
Okay, this weeks heartbreaker story has arrived.  This young lady suffers from bipolar disorder. She has only recently been diagnosed but has suffered from depression since 4th grade. She and her mother sing that help her with her disorder. AI is her saving grace, making her stay on her meds. She is cute and has a nice personality when interviewed by judges before singing. She sings "Temporary Home" and is wonderful. She has a great voice and you can hear the passion in her singing. JLo says "BEAUTIFUL!!!"  it's a BIG, HUGE YES from all the judges and ME. She's through to Hollywood. "See you later Minne- SNOW- da. I'm gonna be in Hollywood."

Another montage, this time of BAD singers including a chick Beat-boxing and singing to "Stand By Me." I need to listen to David Archuleta sing this now to get this awful thing out of my head.

Jairon Jackson- 19- Denver, CO- Host
This guy looks like he could be a disaster but he is not.  sings an original song, "So Scarred" and sounds good. And the song is decent too. He has a good voice. Very mellow sound. JLo says, "Your're a lover." Randy says, "Good song. That kids the real deal." He is through to Hollywood.  And the audience is finished being blinded by the light  beaming off of Randy's earrings into the camera lens.

Another montage of beautiful Colorado landscape.  So much better than scary singers.

Angie Zeiderman- 25- Delray Beach, FL- Waitress
She is a fan of Lady Gaga and wants to open for her. Calls herself a "vintage glitter queen." Sings a show tune that starts with a Swediah accent and sounds like a "stripper" song. Randy is turned off by the singing and song choice. JLo likes her and asks for a differnt song style. She sings "Blue Bayou" wonderfully.  Now Randy loves her. Steven says she's "a little spitfire." She is through to Hollywood.

And last, and definitely least..... the Idol joke audition of the night and maybe the year
Magic Cyclops- ?- Davenport, Iowa- ?
This guy's back story tells us that he is an oddball. He is considered "frightening and homeless" by the other contestants. He is a master at air-guitar and owns 1600 of them. (OK) He is wearing a patriot emsemble and rocking his long-haired hippe look. Says he was born and raised in poverty in Davenport and could only watch PBS shows so that's why he has a British accent.  What is he singing "Judges choice day. You have a coice between Neil Diamond and James Buffet (pronounced Buff-fay).  Starts with Diamond's "Crackin' Rose" and sounds like a drunk, something. Jennifer asks for another song and we get "Margarittaville" which is a little better, but still terrible. Randy says he has to leave to go to the bathroom and Magic says he does too and proceeds to shoot a confetti popper from the back of his pants. The judges all walk out on him.

Well, the previous three shows all ended with awesome auditions, I guess they had to bring out the "big guns" for the ratings on this one.

My favorites from Aspen: Shelby, Jairon, Curtis.

On to Houston/Galveston next show. Please don't make us Texans look like a bunch of loose cannons like you normally do, Idol.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In These Eyes

These recent photos taken of David at an appearance in Manila, Philippines where he is filming a television show, have inspired me to write some new poetry.

                                                      Photo credit:  @cherry08mariano

Photo credit: Naree

In These Eyes

In these eyes I see Happiness and joy overflowing to brighten the darkest day.

In these eyes I see Peace in the knowledge God is in charge and we are not.

In these eyes I see Passion for a life lived to the fullest each and every day.

In these eyes I see Innocence in thoughts and actions but never ignorance.

In these eyes I see Hope for a future where men can live their lives in harmony.

In these eyes I see Understanding that all is not perfect but we should still be grateful.

In these eyes I see Compassion for those burdened with sorrow and pain and poverty.

In these eyes I see Love for this world and all of God’s people who dwell here.

In these eyes I see a Heart, pure and gentle, encompassing all that is good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

American Idol 11: San Diego Auditions

In all of the ads Fox ran leading up to the San Diego auditions aired last night (which was in my opinion the absolute worst time to air the episode- right after the NFC championship game which went into overtime) we were told that this would be the most unusual auditions ever. I had high hopes of seeing and hearing great contestants but what we were shown in this hour of noise and yawns was the same-old-same-old with just a different wrapper. 

Yes, it was unusual to hold the AI auditions on the aircraft carrier, the USS Midway, anchored in the harbor. Actually, it was more than unusual, it was dumb. I'm not sure why the Navy would allow this to happen. To me, it was disrespectful of the importance and magnificence of this great vessel. My son who is joining the Navy in a few months agrees with me. We watched this episode together because of the Midway and we both left slightly annoyed and totally disappointed.

Jennifer Diley- 19- Columbus, OH- waitress
Not starting this off on the right tone, Ms Diley auditions in her "patriotic" bikini. Sings "With You" by Jessica Simpson. Just the fact that she would sing something by Ms Simpson should have her booted from the carrier. I am totally shocked and surprised when Randy and Steven actually criticize her singing. What- they actually listened to her, not just looked. Thank you! she is SO NOT going to Hollywood.

Ashley Robles- 26- San Diego, CA- Insurance Acct. Mgr.
Ashley is a single mom of a 5 yr old little girl. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston is usually a disaster when chosen as an audition song, but this girl is really good.  Randy says she is a natural. I really like her. She is on the way to Hollywood.

Jayrah Gibson- 26- Long Beach, CA- singer
The intro with Jayrah babbling about why he is auditioning makes no sense. This guy is overly excited about this audition which normally spells "bad voice."  Jayrah calls himself a R&B/ pop artist and sings a song he wrote about Jennifer. Everyone is somewhat impressed. The real audition song is something I have never heard of by someone I've never heard of either. He sounds better than expected. I'm not a fan, but they didn't ask me either.  He's through to Hollywood.

Aubree Dieckmeyer- 20- San Clemente, CA- receptionist
Off to a flying start, the ditsy girl says she's the "Next Top Model."  Sings "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble. Guess no one told her that the song is older that Michael is. I am not a fan of her high squeaky voice. Judges say she has natural talent (but I'm not sure in what). She's going to Hollywood.

Ali Shields- 19- Lodi, CA- student
Aw. How nice. Another ditsy chick. this one has been on Ellen's show because she wrote Ellen a song. That definitely qualifies her to audition for AI. Raps something awful, then "ghetto dances" something else awful. Sings something I have never heard before and I can't understand what she says is the name or what the words are. Annoying voice. Judges think she's a hoot and put her through to Hollywood.  Well, I guess they need to have someone to quickly eject from the competition.

Kyle Crews- 19- San Diego- college student at UC Berkley
Frat boy who thinks he's a ladies man.  Sings "Angel of Mine" by Monica.  Not too bad considering. the judges are surprised but tell him to get a new wardrobe. He doesn't look the part to them. He's a 19 yr old college guy. What do they want him to look like, Justin Bieber?  We'll see him in Hollywood.

Montage of contestants battling not each other, but the crazy sounds of the world around the Midway.

Jane Carrey- 24- LA- waitress
The description is deceiving. Jane is a waitress, mom, musician, and daughter of Jim Carrey. "It's hard living in the shadow of him." She's trying out to make her own mark in the world. Jennifer remembers Jane as a 2 yr old when she worked with Jim Carrey on set. Jennifer is freaking out about age here. Sings "Something to Talk About" and does a decent job with it. I doubt she would have been put through if they didn't know her dad but then stranger things have happened on Idol. On to Hollywood she goes.

Montage of girls with Golden tickets but we don't know their names.

Jason "Wolf" Hamiln- 24- Livermore, CA- mechanic at a golf course
Huge guy. Makes Seacrest look like sickly. Brought along the "git-fiddle" his deceased dad handcrafted for him. Sings "Midnight Special" by CCR. ok but not stellar. Steven asks for something else and they let him play his guitar to Folsom Prison Blues. Starts out better and then totally rocks it. I think I have found my favorite so far. Unassuming mega teddy-bear. Looks like a rock version of Michael Sarver from season 8 (and I liked Michael a lot). Hollywood look out, Werewolves of Hollywood is going to rock.

So even though we are told 53 Golden tickets were given out in San Diego, we have been presented with 2 really good auditions, 3 ok auditions, and 2 why o why auditions. Thanks to TPTB. Wouldn't want us to see too much too soon.

My favorites: Jason, Ashley, Kyle, Jane

*******News flash*********
Just watched the "Road to Hollywood" video feature on AI website and Kyle Crews listed David Archuleta as his favorite AI contestant of all time.  I just might need to root for this boy yet.

Friday, January 20, 2012

American Idol 11: Pittsburg Auditions

So, since the first audition episode of the new season wasn't bad, I've decided to keep going with am blogging about Idol.

The Pittsburg auditions were shortened a lot, so I guess the contestants were singing songs tptb couldn't get cleared.  Either that, or they didn't want to overwhelm us with knowledge about the Golden ticket winners yet. I wish we had heard more but I'm hoping we will get more in the weeks to come.

Heejun Han- 22- Flushing, NY via Korea- non-profit organizer
Poor guy almost had himself psyched out of the competition before he saw the judges. Good thing those crazy arm flailing exercises relaxed him some. Sang "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" from Michael Bolton.  Not bad. Nice tone. Totally surprised the judges. You could tell that Randy thought he would be terrible. I'm glad he wasn't terrible.  He's through to Hollywood.

Reed Grimm- 26- Ellsworth, WI- Nanny (on-screen bio says been performing with family since he was 2)
Dressed casually in shorts and flip-flops. Seems kind of odd.  Sings the theme song  from Family Guy (I think). Nice scatting and col sound effects of upright bass. Judges are impressed. He's ok.  Through to Hollywood.

Aaron Marcellus- 27- Teaneck, NJ- voice teacher
Very short clip.  Sounds really good. He's through to Hollywood.

Chase Likens- 20- Point Pleasant, WV
Short clip- Sounds good, easy on eyes.  JLo has goosebumps again.  He's through to Hollywood.

Samantha Novacek- 19- Sutersville, PA
Accompanied by her older sister, Patricia (aka Patty the Planker).  Um, why is this crazy girl planking on the platform while her sister auditions?  Samantha sings "Like We Never Loved At All" by Faith Hill and sounds good. Why are the judges sending the planking sister along to Hollywood? Please don't show up in Hollywood Patty.

Creighton Fraker- 28- Queens, NY- starving artist
This gut seems pretty weird but I guess someone that tries to make a living singing on the streets of NY would be weird.  Took a bus for 9 hrs to get to auditions. Wrote a song for the audition about the Idol judges.  Judges laugh at him, expecting this to be a disaster. Not too bad really. Interesting voice.  Judges are shocked for the second time in one show.  He's through to Hollywood.

Eben Franckewitz- 15- Milford, OH
Really young but seems to be very mature. Ryan asks him how he feels about competing against older contestants. "It's a privilege to be here."  Judges ask him who people think he looks like. Bieber- Not to me he doesn't. And the good news, he doesn't sound like Bieber at all. "Ain't No Sunshine" is wonderful. JLo says "Some people just have it." Randy says "Natural God-given gift." He's through to Hollywood.

Travis Orlando- 17- Bronx, NY
Travis auditioned last year. Had luck story from last year is even worse now. So sad but Travis still wants to sing. "Isn't She Lovely" isn't bad, but he is cutting some of the words short.  Might be nerves though. Judges give him another chance in Hollywood.

Erica Van Pelt- 25- South Kingston, RI- mobile DJ/ wedding singer
Sings Carol King's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"  nicely. Definite Alto. Maybe not so many runs would make her better in my book.  She's through to Hollywood.

Montage of happy Golden Ticket winners who are not named. I want to hear them too.

Shane Bruce- 19- Moundsville, WV- coal miner (yes really he is)
Seems like a really sweet guy who really needs a break but won't get it today. He's nervous and tackles a song that is way too big for a first audition, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  When he referred to it as the song from Shrek I knew he had bitten off more than he could handle. Please come back again next year, and move away from those coal mines or your voice, which I thought was pretty good for no training, will be toast.

Montage of rejects who are not giving up. Much better than montage of rejects slinging obscenities and gestures. 

Hallie Day- 24- Baltimore, MD- waitress
As a teen , she was a member of a girl band, Plum Crazy. Life fell apart, she became an addict and almost OD'd on pills. Got her life back together finally.  "I will Survive" is definitely her song.  Hope she didn't set the bar too high with that as an opener. Powerful voice and the judges love her. She's so through to Hollywood.

So, my top three for this show are Eben, Hallie, and Heejun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

American Idol Season 11 Begins: Savannah Auditions

I wasn't really going to blog about American Idol this year, but since I don't know when the normal subject of this blog, David Archuleta, will be leaving for his LDS mission, I thought I would go ahead and do this again. This is just a warning. If I don't fall in love with any of the contestants by the end of Hollywood week, I just might pull the plug on these posts. We'll just have to wait and see.

January 18, 2012
Week one the the Idol auditions takes us to Savannah, Georgia. All of our usual suspects are back this year: Ryan, Randy, Jennifer and Steven are ready to amuse and amaze us with their critiques of this years crop of potential new superstars. I like the intro to the show. Nice touch showing some of the young auditioners as even younger kids, watching Idol and hoping to one day be like their heroes. Let's see how many dreams can be crushed this year.

David Leather, Jr- 17- Fayetteville, NC
I don't like his initial attitude. Too big for his britches if you ask me. Take off the shades, fix the hanging belt that looks dumb. David competed against Scotty McCreery, last years winner, in a previous competition. They came in first and second, but he will not admit which one of them won. I bet it was Scotty. David sings "Remember the Rain" by Century 21. I'm not familiar with this song. I also don't like it. He looks and sounds 12 to me. Judges think he sounds like MJ and asks him to sing a Jackson song. I think he sounds better but nowhere near the high praise the judges are giving him.  I'm not impressed. He's through to Hollywood.

Gabi Carubba- 16- New Haven, CT
Tells us she is a champion tap dancer. OK, nice to know. Has watched AI since season 1. Wants Steven Tyler to make his "happy face" when she sings and hugs Nigel when she comes in to judges room. Sings "Sunday Morning" from Maroon 5. Does a nice job with it. She's cute and confident without being cocky. I like her and so do the judges. She's through to Hollywood.

Breanna Faulk- 15- Monroe, GA
Really short clip but she sounds okay. She's through to Hollywood.

Neco Starr- 20- Atlanta, GA- Unemployed
Short clip but okay if we really need another Bruno Mars.  He's through to Hollywood.

Molly Hunt- 15- Franklin, TN
Short clip. Soulful and good. Not really the style I like and she looks much older than 15. Maybe its the way she is dressed. She's through to Hollywood.

Ellise Testone- 28-Charleston, SC- Musician/Vocal Coach
Soulful, but not really what one would expect from a vocal coach. She's through to Hollywood.

Jessica Whitely- 19- OH
For someone who has been singing since she was 10 and is asked to sing the National Anthem at lots of events, she is terrible. Tells the judges she will see them again in Texas. Let's hope not. NO NO NO

After a commerical break, Ryan has little kids doing his Idol "talk" and then we meet someone who thinks they are Ryan Seacrest.
Shaun Kraisman- Can't sing but could replace Ryan if you don't mind it deja vue feeling. NO NO NO

Shannon Magrane-15- Tampa, FL
6 foot tall volleyball player. Dad was a pro baseball player.Joe Magrane pitched for the St Louis Cardinals in the world series in 80something. Judges bring in the whole family and Steven makes his first really awkward comment to Joe's question "How's things in Beantown?" to which Steven answers "Hot Humid and Happening, just like your daughter."  Awkward silence!!! Shannon finally gets to sing "Somethin' Got a Hold on Me" by Etta James and does a really nice job. She's through to Hollywood and I hope her dad will be accompanying her there to keep the lusting old man away from her.

Now for a montage of bad singers set to Elvis' "You're the Devil in Disguise."

Amy Brumfield- 24- Gatlinburg, TN- Unemployed
Lives in a tent in the woods with her BF and their dog.  Very happy girl despite living conditions. BF's mom got the audition outfit for her.  Sings "Super Woman" by Alicia Keys and is awesome.  Steven tells her "the spirit of the children of the woods snuck into you." I think she is great and I hope she advances far, but LA might be too much for her. I hope she gets some good advise about CA before she heads there. She's through to Hollywood.

Joshua Chavis- 23- Camdon, SC- Unemployed (that seems to be the theme with everyone over 17)
Thinks he's a combo of Brad Paisley and Chris Daughtry. I think my cocker spaniel sounds better than him.
Sings Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" terribly. NO NO NO

Stephanie Renee- 15-
Favorite Idol Carrie Underwood. Has watched since a small child. Sings a Carrie song, "Inside Your Heaven" and isn't half bad. Is very open to constructive critique by judges and is handling it all really well for just turning 15. Split vote, but going to Hollywood.

Schyler Dixon- 16- Murfreesboro, TN                     Colton Dixon- 19-
Back from last year. Judges recognize her and want to know if her brother Colton is auditioning again also. She says no but he is there with her. Judges ask her to get him and make both of them audition. Schyler sounds sweet and young on "Breakeven"  and Colton has definitely grown as a singer on David Cook's "Permanent." Both are through to Hollywood. Schyler says "Well, that was unexpected." and Colton says "I have no idea what just happened."  Unless he has been taking acting classes, he was truly surprised by this turn of events. I'm glad he is back. He was one of my favorites last season.

Time for a montage of crying rejects set to "I Fall To Pieces."

Lauren Mink- 25- Winchester, KY- works with adults with disabilities (an adult with an actual job!!!)
Sings "Country Strong" --Really good. Gives JLo goosebumps. Randy says she has a Jennifer Nettles/ Sugarland sound. She's through to Hollywood.

Montage to the HEAT in Savannah set to Lauren Alaina's "Georgia Peaches."

Mawuena Kodja- 25- Togo West Africa/ Nashville, TN
Sings Rascal Flatts "Stand By You" terribly with a heavy African accent. Not a chance that he would advance. Ryan takes him out to look for people who like his singing and brings back some little girls and one elderly man to talk to the judges. NO NO NO

Ashlee Altise- 28- Kinston, NC
She invented the "Joy Hopping" dance. Looks like a nut but can actually sing. Nice job on "Come Together" so she's through to Hollywood.

Montage of rejects handling things better than expected.

W T Thompson- 25- Appomattox, VA- unemployed but was working at a prison before Idol audition
Wife is 6 1/2 months pregnant. Nice country voice. Split vote with Steven not so sure, but He's through to Hollywood.

Montage of Girls go gaga for Steven. YUCK!!
Stalker girl Erica Novack- Buffalo, NY gets to audition.  She says Steven is her future EX husband. Grabs his bottom during a hug. YUCK to both of them.  Sings "Super-Duper Love" by Josh Stone. She is Scary. NO NO NO

Brittany Kerr- 24- Charlotte, NC- NBA dancer
Really pretty, so she is through before she even sings. Okay singer. Through to Hollywood

Philip Phillips, Jr- 20- Leesburg, GA- works at dad's pawn shop
Very personable, not bad looking. Sings "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder really well.  Randy asks for something with his guitar. Sings an amazing version of "Thriller." Judges are on fire about this guy. Jlo says he is "super special."   He's through to Hollywood.

So, 44 golden Tickets were handed out in Savannah. We saw 16 of them. Wonder what the rest of them will be like or if we will ever actually see them.

Here are my top 5 picks from Savannah auditions: Philip Philips, Amy Brumfield, Colton Dixon, Gabi Carubba, Schyler Dixon.

Yes, Idol is back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Confessions of an Addict

As you can tell by the title of this post, I Have A Problem. I want to go ahead, right here and now, and acknowledge this problem in hopes that I might be able to start to heal from this terrible affliction, which has taken over my being, before it is too late. Of course, it might be too late for me already. The problem is, I don't really want to be cured of this addiction, but I believe it will be necessary if I want to survive the next couple of years.

My affliction is not one of the usual addictions that you hear about in every day life, but one that is prevalent in the online world that I am happy to be part of. What is it that ails me you ask? Well, it is a strange, rather new – just came about in the past 4 years- but quite serious problem called ODD. For those of you who need to ask what ODD is, turn in your fan membership cards; you are not true Archies.

ODD, Obsessive David Disorder, took over my life on January 22, 2008 when American Idol season 7 aired the San Diego auditions in which David Archuleta first appeared. Since that day, when my daughter and I first saw “the really cute boy from Utah,” my world has not been the same. It was simple at first. Just watching our television twice a week to hear what new songs he had to share with the world and to make sure that he was advancing to the next week’s shows. No problem there. David blew people away every week; even those weeks when he was not 100% healthy or even forgot some of the lyrics. Although he did not win, he made it to the finale and is still the winner in my book.

After American Idol’s season came to an end, David became a greater obsession. It became extremely easy to find more information about David as the Idol summer tour progressed across the country. With each stop, there were more interviews, more fan videos and more recaps of fan encounters to be had. I was so happy to just sit in front of my computer all day, soaking in all that I could find. David was becoming an addiction.

My first encounter with the sheer pain that is possible from this type of addiction came that summer also. I so wanted to attend one of the two tour stops in Texas, but these came at the absolute worst time possible for me; the day before school started in Austin and the day school started. There was no possible way for me to attend these shows. If I had only realized then how many painful “I can’t go to that show or tour” moments there would be in the next four years, I would have probably gotten cured of this addiction while I could. The most painful “I can’t go” came this past December when I couldn’t attend any of the My Kind of Christmas tour stops because none were close to Texas. If I had only known what was to come, I would have found a way.

As each year has advanced along the timeline, I have become more and more enthralled by this phenomenon known as David Archuleta. ODD has happily become part of my existence. I can’t wait to see what each day will bring in regards to new David sightings or his words of wisdom or his songs. In short, I am addicted to David. I can’t go an entire day without reading or hearing about this remarkable young man. I even started this blog as a tribute to what I have learned from and how I have been inspired by David.

But now the ultimate ODD pain has set in and I have no control over it. Sometime this year, David will be putting is career on hold to participate in a full-time mission, probably for two years, for his church and for God. I’m excited for him, but sad for myself, as I won’t be able to hear about all the new and wondrous things he will experience each day. I will not be able to simply sit down at my computer each day and view new pics of this increasingly handsome man. I will not have easy access to information about what town he is in and what he is doing. In other words, he will be living an ordinary life, out of the spotlight which has enveloped him these past 4 years.

Of course, nothing about David is ordinary and the work he will be taking on will most likely be quite extraordinary, since it will be for the glory of God and not for man. This is the one thing that makes this pain all worth it. Knowing David will be doing the work of the Lord will make my pain bearable. Knowing that David says he will come back to music when he has completed his mission makes it more bearable. Knowing that David will be blessed by the Lord for doing this, and in turn, all of his fans will also be blessed by David’s growth during this time away from the limelight makes it all bearable.

So David, go forth and serve God and His people. Help millions of other’s on this planet that have not yet had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting you and the healing light of your soul. I will miss you while you are gone from my everyday life. I will still have your words and music to get me through the days and I will be here when you get back. Hopefully, by the time you return, I will have a new life plan in place for myself and I will never have to experience the pain of missing a tour because I couldn’t afford to fly to another city again.

David, stay safe and hurry back. My ODD isn’t going away.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Already ?????

So, today is January 2, 2012 already. Time is really flying by. I guess most people have made their New Year's Resolutions by now. I have thought about it too, but I don't usually make a written list of resolutions like other people do. To me this is just setting myself up for failure. It's good to have goals and to keep them but I have never been good at the typical things included on these kind of lists.

My husband always makes a list and it usually starts with exercise more, loose weight, eat healthy, etc.  I tried to put these on my mental list one year and it was a total disaster, to say the least. It's not that I don't want to loose weight or be healthier, because I do, but every time I try to get into any kind of exercise routine or program, something happens. I tore a tendon in my foot on year and could barely walk, much less exercise, for almost 2 years after that. After my foot finally healed I tried to start out easy and just walk around the neighborhood. this was short lived because January is in the middle of Cedar pollen season in Austin and, since I am allergic to cedar, breathing is a struggle for me this time of year. I don't have the money for a gym membership so that is out for now too.

Another idea that I have seen included on the resolution lists is get a new job. Well, I have been unemployed for a number of years now and have been unsuccessfully job hunting for at least 4 years so this isn't looking very promising for me. No one wants to hire a 50-something woman who hasn't been employed for a while.

I don't want to sound negative by just listing the things I can't do here because I am not a negative person, just realistic.  There are many things that I hope to accomplish this year. Here are a couple of things I really want to do.

1. I am going to keep submitting my manuscript to agents until I find one who will help me get it published. I spent the past year writing and rewriting my first ever novel and I really want to find a way to get it published.

2. I will keep trying to find a job. There must be something out there for a woman with a college degree, years of experience at many things, and the desire to work.

3. I will try to be a better wife and mother.  It's not that I'm bad at either of these, it's just there is always room for improvement. My role as a mother will be changing even more this year as my youngest graduates from high school and enlists in the Navy. This will be a huge change for our entire family, so I know that I need to come to terms with it before it happens.

4. I will try to live a less sedentary lifestyle. Hopefully, after cedar season, I will be able to start walking again and maybe I can loose some weight. I need too. At the very least, I need to get away from this computer more often than I have this past year.

Well, these are the things I will be working on this year. I might add a few things along the way.  Hopefully I can actually accomplish some of these things. It would be nice.