Friday, April 27, 2012

David, You Are My Song ... Forevermore

I'm back!!!!! While I have been posting my American Idol recaps twice a week during the month of April, my creative writing energies have been zapped for a while due to an illness. Now that I am feeling better, I have completed a new fan poetry project. This was a two-hold project. April is National Poetry Month and David Archuleta, although he is off in South America being his amazing self and serving a two year mission for the LDS church, has released a new album of cover songs from the Philippines. Loving a creative writing challenge, I have incorporated the titles of all of the songs from this new album, Forevermore, into my new poem. I hope you like it.


YOU ARE MY SONG of Joy when the world has turned to gray
The RAINBOW that you send brightens my world today.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Hope in a world filled with dismay.
You teach me to HOLD ON as I wait for a better day.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Faith in times when others stray.
You TELL ME to believe, He will answer if I pray.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Dreams, you’ve shown me how to play.
I’ll FOREVERMORE live my life with passions on display.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Peace, for when heavy burdens weigh,
I hear your voice calling me, REACHING OUT to show the way.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Virtue with your heart yearning to obey.
WHEREVER YOU ARE, you thank the Lord, His trust you won’t betray.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Optimism when you chase the doubts away.
If I follow your glowing example, I’LL NEVER GO astray.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Conviction, for your heart it does not sway.
MAYBE if I were more like you, I’d have fewer debts to pay.

YOU ARE MY SONG of Inspiration, I have found a place to stay.
NANDITO AKO, you can count on me, for now, and everyday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 6 Results

"A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It's a theatrical event."  Freddie Mercury

Tonight's intro reminds us that we are getting closer to the end.  "Tonight ... Another one bites the dust!"

Ryan is looking much better tonight.  That IV must have helped. He's even wearing his tie tonight.
There were 58 million votes cast last night. (I hope some of them were for Hollie and Phillip.)

Tonight's guest performances are by Stefano From last season and Katy Perry.

First we have the premier performance of The Queen Extravaganza. This is a group of musicians hand-picked by Brian May and Roger Taylor. They perform "Somebody To Love" and they are AMAZING. Of course, they are not Freddie Mercury, but they are really good. May and Taylor join them on stage for the last part of the song. AWESOME! I will have to see if they are coming to Austin on their tour.  Steven pays tribute to them with a Standing O.

Ford Video to "Magic" is cute, but very lackluster after the awesome performance by The Queen Extravaganza.

Oh, the poor kids had to visit the offices of TMZ to learn how to handle the press.

Results will be given in pairs tonight. (All comments given are Jimmy's)
Jessica and Elise
Jessica- Jimmy says singing Bohemian Rhapsody was just a plain old mistake. The faces of Jessica that were displayed  on the screen scared him. The performance was less Queen, more Steven King. Her second song was magnificent. it pulled on all our heartstrings with her dad being deployed. (Dad is in the audience for the first time.)
Elise- Jimmy says she picked the wrong Queen song. it was a monotone stadium anthem. it didn't move him. This week she was double-down on bad choices. The Hendrix song is guitar genius with integrated blues vocals. One without the other falls apart. She is in trouble.
Jessica is safe. Elise is in the bottom 3.

Casey Abrams drops by to tell the contestants to watch out for pranks on the tour. He said they had some great ones last year.
Stefano from last season has a new single, "I'm on a Roll"  and man is he rolling, all over the stage. This is more dance and less impressive vocals. That's too bad since I really liked his vocals last season. This performance kind of reminds me of Jason DeRulo. It wasn't terrible, just not my style.

Hollie and Joshua
Hollie- Jimmy says "I wonder if Save Me by Queen was a subconscious plea to the public." She did a very good job on this difficult song. The Climb was a great choice and the best she could have done.
Joshua- Jimmy was impressed with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". It showed he knows how to interpret a song. "Ready For Love" was restrained and emotional. Joshua should go to the finale. If he is voted off tonight, there is something wrong with the whole ball of wax.
Joshua is Safe. Hollie is in the Bottom 3 (again).

OMG!!! Steven Tyler is in the Burger King commercial. And that is followed by Jennifer in a Kohl's commercial. Where's Randy's commercial???

Katy Perry - "Part of Me"
We start with a video of military choppers flying over a field. The dancers repel down from the rafters. They are in camo. KP is in camo, but her hair is dyed dark purple.(?) More dancers arrive wearing Ghillie Suit type tarps. Wow there is a lot going on on the stage. Marching, push-ups, smoke, Hey wait. I forgot this is a song performance. I didn't listen to any of the lyrics. I have no idea what any of this has to do with the other one. I guess Freddie Mercury was right: "It's a theatrical event."

Skylar and Phillip
Skylar- She did a very confident job on the Queen song. It was a very, very good job. The second song was a little self-indulgent. It was sung for her hometown but should have been sung for all of America. Not everyone connected to it.
Phillip- Ryan is not the only person on the show not feeling well this week. (So , I was right when I said I thought I saw pain in his eyes.) Phillip is having a really rough time. he was lacking the energy needed to pull-off Fat Bottomed Girls the way he should have. The second song was not the right choice. This was not the time to pull out the Dave Matthews song. He has left an opening for someone else to win this thing.
Skylar in Bottom 3. Phillip is SAFE.

Bottom 3- Skylar, Hollie, and Elise.
Skylar is SAFE.

Hollie is SAFE.
Elise is out of here.

I actually got it right this week.  Yea Me!!!!!

Can't wait to find out what next week's theme is. I already heard one of the guests is Coldplay. Should be interesting.

American Idol 11: Top 6

I heard that Ryan Seacrest is really sick this week and might not make it to the show for the first time in the eleven seasons he's been on the show. Now that is sick. I hope he makes it, the replacement could be really scary. Nigel. 

Yes, Ryan is present and accounted for. Yeah. He doesn't look very well, but he is there. Hope he doesn't make everyone else sick. Jennifer is wearing a sparkly gold outfit and Steven is wearing black with sparkly silver. Randy is wearing a "YO" lapel pin.

Tonight we get a Queen theme and Brian May, guitarist, and Roger Taylor, drummer, from the original band are in the house to mentor and perform with the kids.  They perform a medley of Queen's hits including: Fat-Bottomed Girls (awesome harmony), Another One bites the Dust (Joshua's voice doesn't work on this song), We Will Rock You (Brian May has a nice guitar solo), and We Are the Champions (Hollie and Joshua's part is too low for them, Elise is featured).

Ryan is sitting on stools and leaning on the judges chairs a lot so far.  Hope he can make it for 2 hours.
First round of songs, QUEEN.

Jessica- Bohemian Rhapsody
Song starts with soft vocals and shot in black and white. We jump to color for a more uptempo section. I think this is a very disappointing performance. No wow in the performance. I love this song and was waiting for her to kick into it, and that never happened. The wrong song for her, IMO.
ST- Rock is not your forte, but you were good.
JLo- You sounded beautiful singing the song. When it went into the more rock part, I hoped it would have more of a rock performance. (To restrained is what she wanted to say, I think.)
Randy- I actually loved it. You showed restraint. You sang no runs in that. Advise, watch some Tina Turner and channel her.

Idol must be expecting a lot of votes to be called in this week: Two numbers to call for each contestant.

Skylar- The Show Must Go On
Accompanied by a big string section. Skylar sounds great and looks great too, when you can see her. There is too much stage effects going on tonight. Kill the flash pots, red lights and laser beam backing lights.
ST- That was over the top. For an 18 yr old girl, oh my God, that was fabulous.
JLo- I definitely got goosies, it was crazy. It was powerful.
Randy- That was incredible dude. I think it was one of your best performances. Ryan, she's got to have it.

Joshua- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
This is very different for him. Parts were ok, parts were screechy to me. At least he moved around the stage a lot more than Jessica. Standing O from the judges, uncalled for , IMO.
Randy- That was unbelievable. You remind me of Sam Cook.
JLo- I love all the singers but the Joshua part of the show is my favorite.
ST- You have such a classic style that sounds like nobody else. That was just fantastic.

Elise- I Want It All
She has 6 backup singers for this song. Not bad, but I expected much more from the rock girl on Queen night.
ST- You found your stride. That's what we've been waiting for. Just the right song. I really enjoyed that.
JLo- That was you in your element, natural, sexy, you look great and sounded great.
Randy- That style of song is so right for you. One of your best performances to date.

Phillip- Fat-Bottomed Girls
Weird that they let him sing this after it was the first song in the medley. Nice harmony with the backups. No guitar for this one. Limited movement on stage. There seems to be pain in his eyes. Hope he isn't sick again.
ST- I love watching you sing. I love watching you run out of breath 'cause when you're singing its that character nobody else has. I love it.
JLo- What I love about you is that I feel that you give us different flavors. Not always the same each week.
Randy- If I'm being really honest, did I like it, Yes, did I love it, No. I wasn't jumping up and down. I was good.
Ryan- I've hosted everyone of these shows, and I don't think I've ever seen Randy Jackson jumping up and down.

Hollie- Save Me
It looks like she's thinking about it too hard.  She sounds good and looks like she has an emotional connection in the middle. She cracks a note a little.
ST- I love the way you sang this Queen song that is old fashioned with a real strong melody. That's what's missing today sometimes. You did a real good job with it.
JLo- I felt you get emotional in the middle. Unfortunately, when you did, you went off a little tiny bit. I want to see you enjoy it more when you sing. (Then she rambles on and on about performing and being comfortable, and connecting, and not worrying about the audience.)
Randy- I loved it. What you could have done is not hold back so much. It didn't have that "Moment" that it could have.

Ryan asks:
Who won round 1?: JLo says Skylar
Who needs to step it up? Randy says Hollie

Next round will be contestants choice. 

Jessica is singing this song to her dad who is about to be deployed to Singapore(?)

Idol gives us a montage of opinions of the contestants about each others weirdnesses before each contestant performs this round.

Jessica- Dance With My Father- Luther Van Dross
She sounds good and looks pretty. I could do without the wind machine. Looks like she is about to blow away. Sweet, but not over the top great.
JLo- That might be the best I've ever heard that song sung.
ST- I don't think you can sing a song bad. It's an honor to watch you unfold your wings the way you have.
Randy- You are truly amazing, It's so natural. Now you have the feeling.

Skylar- Tatoos on This Town- Jason Aldean
This girl is country through and through.
Randy- I'm a GI- normous fan. You are fearless.
JLo- You're comfortable up there. You took us there again.
ST- You can do no wrong. I enjoyed it.
Ryan to Skylar- Do you have any tattoos?
Skylar- A feather (on her wrist) It means my problems are as light as a feather because God holds them for me.

Hey, Ryan's looking a lot better now.

Joshua- Ready for Love - India Arie
Nice job. One of his best performances, IMO. No screaming at us this time. Standing O from the judges.
Randy- I'm speechless (well, that's not good for a judge, but then again, you normally don't say a lot anyway.) Another unbelievable performance.
JLo- I don't know what to say anymore to you. (More helpful info from a judge.) Transcendent.
ST- I hope the label finds you a bunch of good songs and you're off to the moon. (OK)

Elise- Bold as Love- Jimi Hendrix
Well. bold is the magic word here. What is she singing? Hendrix never sounded like this. I can't understand what she is saying. She has put in runs where none should ever go.
ST- You've got to remember, You've got to do songs people know. (Elise mumbles something like "I thought everyone knew that song.")  "You can't pick the cherries with your back to the tree." Sing a familiar song.
JLo- I know what Steven is saying but I feel that you slayed it so hard that it doesn't matter.
Randy- I'm a huge Hendrix fan and a huge Elise fan. For me, it wasn't the right song for this time in the competition.
Elsie had a buddy from her band , Wallace, on stage playing guitar for her.

Phillip- The Stone- Dave Matthews Band
This is very different for Idol. Very artsy. Phillip is on guitar with just a fiddle and baritone sax backing him.
ST- very entertaining. Very off the wall. Typical Phillip Phillips. I love you take chances.
JLo-It was a pretty song but you went a little too artsy. There will be a time and place to do that. This is not it.
Randy- I disagree with Jennifer on this one. What you just did was show your true colors. I love that you showed this artist side. What I really appreciate is , die, sink or swim, Phillip Phillips will always be Phillip Phillips. I love it. Nice.

Hollie- The Climb- Miley Cyrus
In the intro, everyone talks about Hollie's crazy accent. Ryan calls it the Liverpool - Texas fusion.
Really nice job on this song. I like this better than Miley's version. Hollie looks beautiful too. She nails it. Standing O from the judges and audience.
Randy- Now that's the Hollie we love. That was beautiful. perfect song.
JLo- That was stepping it up. it was perfect.
ST- "Blimey, Sheila, Y'all" It doesn't matter what kind of accent you have, you sing a song like its going out of style. So beautiful.

Randy says to vote to keep your favorites in. You can vote for all your favorites, not just one.
Ryan asks- Who's on the fence? Randy says they all had at least one good performance
                   Who are you most impressed with? Steven says Skylar.

And there you have it. After last week's insane elimination, I have no idea what will happen this week.

I say the bottom three are Elise, Jessica, and maybe, I hope not, Phillip.  It's time for Elise to go home.

There is no telling who the American public will vote for. That was proven is season 7 when Cook won. (But then again, it all worked out just fine for Mr Archuleta anyways. How many albums has Cook released, 2? DA now has 4 albums released and another on the way. And he is taking the next two years off from music because his heart for God is bigger than any silly music career could ever be for anyone. You decide who the winner was that year.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 7 Part 2 Results

I will start this post out with a confession; I already knew the results before I wrote these comments down. That said, I am a very sad camper right now, but I will still attempt to write a unbiased recap of the show for those who wish to read about it.

We start off with the show intro leading up to the disclaimer: "Another Shock Rocks Idol."

We see that previous winner, Taylor Hicks, is in  the audience and Elliott Yamine(sp?) is there too.

Ryan tells us that 53 million votes were cast this week. Guest performers this week are Season 8 winner, Kris Allen, and party rock group, LMFAO.

The top 7 perform Martha and the Vandellas hit, "Dancing in the Street."  It's just ok.  Jessica's mic isn't on for her first vignette.

The Ford video this week is set to "Stars" and shows the Idols driving convertible Mustangs and dressed as the different Zodiac signs.

First results :  Joshua and Hollie
Jimmy says Joshua did himself good last night. Hollie came out of her shell but is probably still in the bottom 3.
Joshua is SAFE and Hollie is in B3.

Ryan talks to Taylor Hicks who is there to plug his appearance in Vegas this summer.
Kris Allen performs his new single, "The Vision of Love" which is an anti-bullying message.  Nice song. Kris is looking good and sounding good as always. He is a really good guy. Too bad he isn't promoted as much as he should be. Sounds like the same treatment another Idol star used to get from the same people in the music biz. (DA)  I wish Ryan took the time to talk to Kris about the song and its meaning.

Next results : Skylar and Elise
Jimmy says both sang Marvin Gaye songs. Skylar delivered and Elise fell flat. Elise will be spending time in her vacation home in the B3, if not actually going home. Skylar is the Little Engine That Could get into the finale. Skylar "is the best performer we've got."
Elise- B3, Skylar is SAFE.

Nice tribute to Dick Clark by his friend Ryan Seacrest.

Performance (?) by LMFAO-  TERRIBLE!!!!!

Next  results: Phillip, Colton , and Jessica
Jimmy says that while watching Jessica last night, a light went off. This girl is singing songs to old for her. As her mentor, I must apologize to her, because I missed that. We will fix that next week. Phillip and Coltonwere on opposite sides last night. Phillip did a great job with the Usher song but got a pass on the Wilson Pickett song. Colton singing the Gaga song was all wrong and his outfit was terrible. Colton needs to regroup and pick better songs to get to the finale. Phillip should be in the finale. For Jessica to get to the finale, she needs to regroup and pick better songs.
Jessica is SAFE, Phillip is SAFE, Colton is in B3.

So the bottom 3 are: Hollie, Elise, and Colton.

Elise is SAFE.
Hollie is SAFE.
NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Colton is going home.

Colton apologizes to everyone saying "I was not myself last night."
After his Idol journey video, Colton falls to his knees and sings "Everything" by Lifehouse.  Colton finally gets his Standing O from the judges at the end of his performance.

Bye Colton. It was nice getting to know you.  I'm quite sure we will be hearing more from you in the future. You will make an incredible Christian recording artist. I can't wait to hear your original music.

I'm not really sure who is going to win this thing. I certainly hope it won't be Elise, but you never know. I guess I won't be looking at the Twitter rankings any longer since they don't seem to have any factor on the outcome.

Next week's theme is Queen. Colton might be the luckiest of all since he won't have to tackle that mess. It might be a strong week for Elise though. I wonder what age appropriate song Jimmy will come up with for Jessica.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Top 7: Let's Try This Again

Last week the judges used their save, so we have top 7 part 2 this week. Our theme "Now and Then" better known as "current" and "old school" tunes. The old school choices are soul this time.

Before we get started... twitter rankings.
Colton- 202,400
Jessica- 185,800 (I have realized that a chunk of these fans are in the Philippines and can't vote on Idol)
Phillip- 176,300
Skylar- 76,600
Hollie- 61,300
Joshua- 55,800
Elise- 54,400
Jessica and Phillip have changed places in the standings. All of the others remain in the same position.

And the show starts. First we have to live through "the save" again. Poor girls had to lie down after that intense mess.  The montage ends with TPTB telling us It is a new beginning for all the contestants tonight.

Nice---Kris Allen is in the audience. This week's Idol alum performer?  We can only hope.

Ryan looks sad and subdued tonight. His good friend, Dick Clark, passed away earlier in the day. Ryan gives a short tribute for him.

Ryan tells us that this show will have the most music ever in a two hour show. We get two songs from each , one current and one from back in the day.  Jimmy is the lone mentor this week.

Hollie- "Rollin' in the Deep" - Adele.
Jimmy says she is looser in rehearsal but when she hits the stage, she gets robotic. Stay focused.
This is the perfect song for Hollie.  She is awesome. She nails it. I love the guys playing the toms on either side of her on the stage too. Perfect!!!
ST- "You finally came out of your shell. It was perfect. I can't judge it."
JLo- You just forgot about everything and sang it. I'm so happy for you.
Randy- I'm not gonna say it was perfect, but what I loved, for the first time ever, I felt you. You had emotion. Very well done.

Colton- "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga.
His sister, Schyler, is brought up to chat. She had been the one auditioning this year. Judges made Colton.
Colton says he's been missing the rock element, that's why he chose this song. "I'm not changing who I am in any way, I'm just taking on a new monster." Jimmy tells him to look into the camera. He has the female vote that backs him like a stone wall.
Colton is backed by an all girl band clad in all white. Colton looks like he raided Johnny Depp's closet.  I like his song choice. (Normally I don't like Gaga.) He does a good job. Might be a little off on the lowest notes but nails the upper. Lots of energy.
Randy- You are so in the zone right now. don't know if it was your best performance, but I still loved it. Job well done.
JLo- Exciting performance. There were parts I loved and parts where it was so low that you lost us a little , but it really didn't matter.  Good job.
ST- "I don't know what I loved more, your outfit, the band, or this set on Idol."

Elise- "No One" - Alicia Keys
Jimmy, "Elise has a vacation home in the bottom 3, she seems to be there all the time." "Other contestants are riding the wave because they have fans pushing for them, but you're an Etch-a-Sketch, a clean slate each week." (OK, Jimmy wins the weird comments of the week award. Steven is slacking.)
Elise is wearing a weird orange dress; a short dress with a long sheath thing over it, and the wind machine at full force. I don't like her voice and especially the growls on this song. Needs a more tender sound for this song.
JLo- You naturally let loose. When you smile, your eyes light up. We need more of that.
ST- I love your voice but I wish you sang a different song with a better chorus for your voice.
Randy- We love you. Great lesson on restraint for you. Good job.
Ryan- "You had an emotional rehearsal."
Elise- "I was feeling sick earlier and learned my dog is really sick and my not make it."  She almost cries.

Phillip- "You Got It Bad" - Usher
Jimmy, "I was nervous about the song, but this is a new voice for him. Great interpretation of the song. He may pick up new fans tonight."
Phillip is playing his guitar but is backed by a simple band of Upright bass, sax, acoustic and bongo. I love it. I've never heard the song before. Phillip owns it now. Standing O and Jennifer is screaming.
ST- "With you, we never know what we're gonna get. I feel like a chump up here. You fool us all the way down the line. It was great tonight."
JLo- "That was so sexy!! That was great."
Randy- I smile every week that I see you. I feel that this year we have a true artist on the stage. Every time he comes up here he tries to be original. You know who you are, and You are the bomb.
Ryan "Did Jennifer make you blush a little?"
Phillip- "She always makes me blush."

Jessica- Fallin' - Alicia Keys
Jimmy- Jessica doesn't deserve to be in the bottom 3 if she sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy." She needs to open up and connect with the audience. She must feel the music because technically she is fine. She must be on "blow your mind" mode tonight.
Jessica has a different looks tonight. She looks very young wearing her hair down and dressed in a white jumpsuit. She sounds really good, but just looks cocky.
ST- With talent like yours, you have the right to get mad in a song. You released your passion.
JLo- Looking at you standing there before you started, I told Randy your just a little baby. You did a great job tonight.
Randy- Your talent is so otherworldly on this show. Brilliant.

Skylar- Born This Way- Lady Gaga
I didn't know there is a country version of this song that Gaga wrote.
Jimmy says he loves the song and Skylar really understands this song. Jimmy suggests starting the song with the bridge. Skylar loves the idea. Jimmy says "The country folk are coming really strong for Skylar."
Nice start. Mandolin, fiddle and harmonica on this song. Great country sound. Growls in her voice fits this song perfectly. She has lots of attitude in her voice. Awesome job!!!
JLo- "Oh my gosh! I love that version. A more perfect song for you, does not exist."
ST- I'm so glad you were born that way. There are a lot of people out there with a drawl who love you to death. I really enjoyed it."
Randy- The crossover appeal. You are a rockin' country girl. You put your own spin on it. You are so ready. Amazing!

Joshua- "I Believe"- Fantasia
"She is a huge inspiration in my life and one of the reasons I auditioned for Idol."
I like Joshua's voice much better on this than Fantasia's. (Oh no, the gospel choir forgot their robes. JK)
Oops, I spoke too soon about the voice. Now he is screaming at me. Don't scream Joshua!!! He gets a Standing O from the judges. (I don't think he deserves that.)
Randy- Glad you picked a song you believe in. I can't believe you were in the bottom 3 last week. Hope America shows up for you tonight. I believe you're one of the most gifted singers ever on this show. You restrained yourself tonight, the mark of true growth. (Too much praise again Randy. America doesn't like that.)
JLo- Sweet cutie, every time you give America all of you. It's amazing to watch. I feel blessed.
ST- This is a stepping stone to winning this whole thing. You could sing the phone book, you are so good at it

OK, we are half way done. Oh my!!!

Ryan tells Hollie she has a personal video message. It's the "football club" from her home town of Liverpool, England wishing her good luck. She is floored.

Tonight's second round is a tribute to "Soul Train" and Don Cornellius. Ironic this would be on the night Dick Clark passes.

Hollie- "Son of a Preacher Man" -Dusty Springfield
Good, but maybe not as good as the first song.
Randy- You dug in for that last note. I was worried about this song, but you worked it out. I liked this better than the first song.
JLo- "I agree. It was better than the first. You're showing a new composure."
ST- "I see it too. I think you can push it even more."
Ryan- "Why do you have this new composure this week?
Hollie- I watched and saw what they were saying. I just need to sing and forget about everything else.

Colton- "September" - Earth, Wind ,and Fire
Ryan calls Colton "the man with the signature stare."
Colton is at the piano this time. I like the beginning. As it goes along, it seems like the tempo is a bit too rushed. Both my kids asked why the song was so short. It did seem rushed or cut down too much. It was ok but something was missing.
ST- I love your voice, but this is the part of the competition where you need to find just the right song for your voice. I think your voice is more powerful than that song.
JLo- I love that song and you did such a different arrangement. That's the Colton we love, but I'm not sure this was the perfect song for you.
Randy- It wasn't the perfect song. You sounded good but not as exciting as we would like.
(ME- He certainly knows how to look into the camera and bat those lashes at the audience. I don't think he could loose the "girls votes" even if he tried.)

Elise- "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
(When I read on FB that one of the songs this week would be this song, I prayed it would be Elise singing it. Not because I thought she would do a good job, but because I didn't want one of the kids singing it.)
This is not a good song for her either. Just seems to be singing it, not feeling it. I don't like the growls or screams in this song.
JLo- You always sound good. What I see is that you don't like to show your emotions. Maybe this is why America hasn't connected to you. They want to see your heart and soul, to know that you feel things. Your vocal talent is there but you need to be vulnerable when you sing.
ST- You showed your versatility and struck a note with every man across America (maybe that's the problem, men aren't the majority of the audience) and you broke a few hearts. Now you have to find the songs to win America's hearts.
Randy- You've got to show the emotions. That song really wasn't right for your voice. And that says to me that you're not really sure what's right for your voice. You over sang that song. It needs to breathe, it's sexy.
Elise- That's what's hard for me, finding the balance. If I had 6 minutes like in a club, I could take the time to put in everything, but not in 1 1/2 minutes.

Phillip- "In The Midnight Hour"- Wilson Pickett
No guitar this time. He slowly moves around on the stage. he sounds awesome. he looks beyond happy and very comfortable on the stage tonight. This was a great song for him. Cute sign in the audience: "Phillip Phanatic"
Randy- Phillip Phillips is in the house. Exactly what you need is what you have. Be who you are.
JLo- You make me want to get up there and dance with you. it's the feeling, the soul. It's spontaneous, from the soul.
ST- Brilliant, Beautiful. I love your character.

Kris Allen will perform his new single "Vision of Love" on the results show.

Jessica- "Try a Little Tenderness" - Otis Redding
Weird start. She sounds like she's singing in "baby talk" I do not like this song for her at all. She is screaming at me.
ST- "Good God all mighty., Bless my soul, you've done it again." It's all about stepping out and winning these people's hearts.
JLo- Your alter ego, BB Chez, came out a little here. America needs to connect to your heart. Just the voice won't do it.
Randy- Where you should grow is in the emotions, the feeling. Nice one.

Skylar- "Heard it Through the Grapevine"- Marvin Gaye
Country-fied, fiddle and electric guitar. She's wearing her boots for this song and doing some serious stomping.
Randy- There's something very interesting I've seen tonight. You and Phillip have no problem connecting. You just come out and do what you do. Every time you're on the stage, it's a party.  Skylar has a brand, America.
JLo- "I'm watching the little girls up front here when you come out and they get into you. They get it and you."
ST- "You're like a wild horse that refuses to be tamed. You're something else."
Ryan- "You're singing like you have plans for May 23, our finale.
Skylar- "Oh I hope so."

Joshua- A Change is Gonna Come"- Sam Cooke
(When I saw this choice on the list, I knew it was Joshua)
Lots of strings to accompany him tonight. Are those pics of a Louisiana swamp behind him? This song has been overdone on Idol. Emotion is good but the growling makes him loose annunciation. Glad they left the choir out this time. Standing O (No, I don't think so.)
ST- Joshua, you have stretched your voice to the limits of soul. You were restrained at the beginning and then popped.
JLo- "Please America! Don't send this boy home!!! (The kiss of death.)
Randy- This song was perfect for you. Stellar!

Randy says "we don't want any of them to leave."
Ryan reminds us that there are NO MORE SAVES. One of them will leave.

So, this is getting tricky now, but I think the bottom three will be: Elise, Jessica, and (?), I don't know.
I don't think Colton had his best night but I don't think most of the girls vote for the voice. It just might be Joshua in the bottom three again. I really think Elise has overstayed her welcome. She has talent but not Idol winner power. Of course, that never stopped Lee Dewyze, so what do I know.

I can't wait for the results show.

Friday, April 13, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 7 Results

The season is flying along pretty quickly. We're down to 7 and maybe 6 after this result show. The judges still have the "save" left so they still have a chance to mess with America's vote. This should be good tonight, especially since last night they begged America to vote for their favorites, not who they think is the best singer in the competition. Since we know that teen girls are the majority of the voting group until the very last episode each year, I'm sure Colton and Phillip will be fine. Skylar is the sole country artist remaining in the competition this year, so she is safe for a while. All of the rest are fair game for elimination tonight. I'm writing these thoughts before watching the results tonight since I won't be able to post my recap until later in the day on 4/ 13.  We'll see how it all went down later.


On with the Top 7 results finally.  The last words of the intro could be important: Expect the Unexpected.
Performances by James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson w/ Neyo.

First we have a group performance by the top7 to Pink's "Raise Your Glass".  This is a stupid song for this group of kids to be singing. They are too young and too Christian for for this tacky song.

Ford video set to "Great Escape" by Boys Like Girls.  Cute.

Tweets from artists whose songs were covered last night.
Kellie Pickler to Skylar
Jazmine Sullivan to Jessica
Skylar Grey to Colton

Fan mail:
Colton get a Prom invite
Hollie gets a Spring Formal invite
Elise gets feather jewelry and some for Steven too.

Finally we get to some results:
First up: Hollie and Jessica
Jimmy says Hollie and Jessica are the classic case of two very good technical singers. Jessica learned habits that work, Hollie did not. Hollie is too stiff. Jessica is relaxed on stage.
Ryan starts two groups, Jessica to the left, Hollie to the right. 
(Yes, that means it is the infamous "Huff" night, where all of the kids are divided into two groups and then the  last contestant is told they are safe and must pick the group that is also safe. This has happened every year since season 3 when George Huff was the first victim, hence the name.)

A really rocking performance from last season's James Durbin. He sang "Higher Than Heaven" from his first album.

Next up results for Elise and Phillip.
Jimmy says these two are both singer/song writers and are not really meant for this type of show. They are character singers not technical singers. They should be singing there own stuff not other singers stuff. They will both be in the bottom 3 tonight.
Ryan sends Phillip to stand with Hollie and Elise to stand with Jessica.

Jennifer Hudson performs "Think Like A Man" with Ne yo.   Not my cup of tea. Sorry.

Next up: Colton and Joshua (Now that's surprising.  Skylar is the "Huff" this year.)
Jimmy says both did well.  Joshua nailed it. He was natural and flawless. When Colton sang to the camera, he believed every word of it.
Ryan sends Joshua to Elise/Jessica and Colton to Hollie/Phillip.

At last- The Huff- Skylar
Jimmy says he is afraid that Skylar could be left behind in the competition.She's a singer/songwriter and a technical singer also. What she did with this week's song floored him.
Jimmy says the bottom 3 should be: Phillip, Elise and Hollie.
Skylar is SAFE (as if there were any doubt.)

Now Ryan wants Skylar to pick the group she belongs in. Who is safe?  Skylar says "NO" and heads to the seats. Ryan places her with Hollie, Phillip and Colton and the place explodes with confusion and boo's.
The bottom 3: Joshua, Elise and Jessica.

"Jimmy, What do you think?"   I'm getting a new flat screen, 'cause I'm not sure mine's working.  That shouldn't be the bottom 3.

Steven? "We're gonna use our card tonight with a bottom three like this."

Ryan tells us Joshua is SAFE and the contestant in danger is Jessica Sanchez???  (Oh the drama!!!!)
Elise is safe again. (We just can't get rid of her , can we?)
JLo is freaking out at the judges table. Randy is throwing his arms in the air.
Ryan give Jessica the mic to sing for her life.  This lasts a few seconds before Jennifer leads the judges onto the stage. She takes the mic from Jessica, saying "this is crazy, go sit down."
Randy, being the head judge and all, takes over.  "We are saving Jessica, beyond any doubt. This girl is one of the best singers in America, ever."
"Everyone, Please, Vote for the best." 

So I wish the judges would make up their minds. On Wednesday they said, Vote for your favorites. So America did and this is what they decided. Now they are saying, Vote for the best singer. WOW! You would think this is a singing competition or something. :)

So, Jessica is safe for another week. I wonder if they will eliminate two next week or let it slide since two were eliminated earlier in the competition when the big guy was kicked off. Guess we will have to wait and see.

As far as the bottom 3 goes, twitter got 2 out of 3 right with Joshua and Elise having the fewest followers. I got had 1 out of 3. I only had Elise in the bottom 3.  Well, I guess we get to do this all over again next week.  See you then. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

American idol 11: Top 7 Perform Songs From 2010 to Present

Well, this week's theme, Idol contestant performing songs from the last three years, is definitely a novel idea. I hope they pick some good stuff because there is a lot of not so good stuff out there.

Before we hit the show recap, here are the twitter standings as of Wednesday afternoon. Not doing FB any longer. Doesn't seem to be very relevant.
Colton- 172,000 followers
Phillip- 153,000 followers
Jessica- 118,600 followers
Skylar- 62,500 followers
Hollie- 51,400 followers
Joshua- 46,300 followers
Elise- 44,400 followers

This week's guest mentor is Akon. Can't say I know much about him.
All will sing a solo and a duet or trio.
Idol visited each contestants hometown (without them, of course.)

Skylar- Brandon, MS
"Didn't Know How Much I Loved You" - Kellie Pickler
Akon loves her voice, I think. His words confused Skylar also. Skylar wants to play guitar this week, the guys aren't too sure about the idea.
Skylar hits the stage with her guitar.  She sounds good. I like the song for her. I don't like the 50 gallon drums of fire as stage props though.
Randy- This song is so in your wheelhouse. I felt this song. Crazy hot- Crazy good.
JLo- Sounded like it was in perfect pitch to me. You look beautiful.
ST- When you sing a song, it's a complete sentence.  The crows may crow, but the hens deliver the goods. I love the way you sing girl.

Colton- Murfreesboro, TN
"Love the Way You Lie" - Skylar Grey
Jimmy challenged Colton to surpass Phillip this week.
Nice subtle start to the performance. Colton playing a white baby grand piano. he gains power during performance then comes back to a subtle ending. Awesome.
JLo- You always surprise me with your approach to the notes. You make the songs your own. Good job.
ST- You are such a rare talent. You haven't reached your top yet. I can't wait for it.
Randy- I loved this subtle performance. It started like a lullaby. it was stellar. You're an artist.

Duet with Phillip and Elise (again?) to "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye.  I have never heard of the song or the artist. Kind of a weird performance. Phillip doesn't look comfortable. He said Elise chose the song. Judges say the song is very popular around the world right now. They agree that Phillip was not at his best in this song.

Jessica- Chula Vista, CA (San Diego)
"Stuttering" - Jazmine Sullivan
Jimmy and Akon are not really familiar with the song. (Well, that makes me feel better because neither am I.) Jimmy tells story of Akon recognizing Jessica's talent before top 13.
Song starts with Jessica sitting on the white baby grand. She sounds good. Stands for bridge. Hope she doesn't fall off the stairs with those major heels on. Scatting sounds good. Held onto that last note even though she almost missed the piano when she sat down again.
Randy- I loved the arrangement of the song. You set the bar really high. You did an amazing job. You slayed the biggest fish of the night.
JLo- That was really beautiful. Right in the middle you really started digging to tell the story.
ST- Every time I hear you sing I forget where I am. You slay it every time.

Joshua- Westlake, LA
Ryan has a birthday video message for Joshua from Fantasia.
"Runaway Baby" - Bruno Mars
Joshua wants to get away form the ballads this week and rock out.
Akon says that one thing that he loves about Joshua is that he is quiet and he listens. He is believable in the urban world. (Well, I'm sure that makes Joshua's preacher dad feel good.) Akon says that with his tone, Joshua can pierce through people's hearts.
Why is the scary go-go dancer on the stage behind Joshua. Looks like we jumped back in time to "Laugh In."  Joshua definitely rocks out on this song. I like it.
ST- "You can sell a song like a work of art." He tells Joshua to get the dancer's number supposedly so they can hook up.
JLo- Dynamic performance.
Randy- You got the vocal, the look.
Joshua is wearing pink socks for Randy.
Ryan says that Joshua's dad is in the audience for the first time and calls him onto the stage to hug Joshua, but then asks him "Do you approve of the go-go dancer there in the background?"  "I reckon." is all he says. I don't think the preacher man is really fond of the dancer.

Duet of Colton and Skylar again. Once again they are singing a country love song. They are quick to say  they are not dating. Colton says because "she owns a gun." The song is "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson.
Nice harmonies. They sound good together.
ST- loves the performance and hassles them about "being together."  JLo likes it. Randy only thinks it's ok.

Hollie- McKinney, TX (and Liverpool, England)
"Perfect" - Pink
Jimmy says she wins the last note of the night award. Akon says this is the perfect song for the perfect moment. You have to believe you're gonna be perfect."
She looks beautiful and sounds good sitting on the stool. She has a hard time getting off of the stool, too short for stool with high heels on too. Nice big power note at end.
JLo- You look beautiful You sang beautifully. I'm rooting for you.
ST- It's not about being perfect. You weren't perfect tonight, but you look good girl. (with the dirty old man gleam in his eyes)
Randy- it wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better than last week.

Phillip- Leesburg, GA
"Give Me a Little More" - Maroon 5
Akon says its not exciting enough. Jimmy says don't be different for the sake of being different, be great for the sake of being great. It's a battle between you and Colton for the female vote. Phillip says Colton is a good looking guy.
Phillip looks more comfortable this week and sounds good. To me, the song is not exciting, but he sounds good.
ST- I really love the way you've changed and evolved. You're a Steve McQueen/ Johnny Cash kind of guy.
JLo- It was a little underwhelming for me. I love Phillip Phillips and I want to see you breakout. This is not everything I know you can give us.
Randy- I kind of agree with Jennifer. I like the beginning but it didn't have a wow moment.

Trio with Hollie, Jessica and Joshua. In the intro we learn that Joshua and Hollie are "besties" and Jessica is a third wheel.  They perform "What Doesn't Kill You" by Kelly Clarkson. Both of the girls seem to struggle at the beginning. It's just ok. the whole thing is kind of awkward to me.

Elise- Kinnelon, NJ
"You and I" - Lady Gaga
Elsie went to see a movie staring Jason Segal with her mom on Easter. Ryan had a video message for Elise form Jason.
Elise wanted to start the song playing the drums but Jimmy and Akon shot down the idea. Akon tells her, everything is banking on this performance.
She starts the song at the piano. She is wearing a really weird skirt with these long bead things hanging at each seam. The song is ok. I don't really like Gaga so I might have a bias here. I don't like Elise shouting at me either.
Randy- America, Elise is back. Perfect song for you.
JLo- You let go but kept control at the same time.
ST- You took a simple song and turned it into genius.

When asked who they are worried about, Jennifer says all of them. Vote for your favorite.

My rankings: Colton, Joshua, Skylar, Jessica, Phillip, Hollie, Elise.

Bottom 3 starts to get a little tricky from here on.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 8 Become 7

This season of Idol is really flying along now. It seems like just yesterday we were watching the silly audition rounds and starting to look at who might have a chance to make it to the top 10 and tour.  Now, we only have 7 kids left.

We started with Ryan telling us that Joshua isn't feeling well. Joshua tells us his symptoms and then Dr. Seacrest says to let him know if he needs anything. (I'm not mocking Joshua's illness but the fact that Ryan does everything else in the world, he might as well be a doctor too.)

Tonight's entertainment is the British Pop Group, The Wanted, and Kellie Pickler.  I really like the fact that a previous Idol contestant is back to perform each week this season. I thought it was a no-brainer but obviously Idol didn't have brains the last couple of years.

We get a preview of Ms. Lopez's new music video. Um, I'll just leave it at that.

The Ford music video is set to "Alright" and the kids seem to be playing with Shrinky-dinks and Colorforms.

Ryan plays a twitvid from a preschool class in Viet Nam supporting Joshua. it was cute.

This week the contestants are being called to center stage by duet partners.  Once again I will only be given a rundown of Jimmy's comments.
First up Jessica and Joshua.
Joshua- He is right in his sweet spot right now. 10's all around.
Jessica- She needs big, more powerful songs. She should have sang a different song this week. Don't make that mistake again.
Both are safe.

The Wanted sing "Glad You Came"
Well, they are a boy band from across the pond. What more can you say about them. They were ok for me. Amanda said she liked their techno sound and the fact that she didn't heard any bad words in the song. Well, that is a major plus these days.

Skylar and Colton-
Skylar-Proved to Jimmy that she is a power singer too. he now says that if she keeps it up, she could win the whole thing.
Colton- "Colton was good, but not great this week."

Hollie and DeAndre-
Hollie- She is approaching this like a high school performer and last night it wasn't even that good. Not What a Feeling but Where's the Feeling? May be fighting with DeAndre for who's going home.
DeAndre- No Randy, No Jennifer, No Steven, DeAndre was not great. he was the weakest of the boys and could be going home unless Jennifer saves him.

DeAndre- bottom 3, Colton- Safe, Hollie- bottom 3, Skylar- Safe.

Kellie Pickler- "Where's Tammy Wynette When You Need Her?" Man, is Kellie skinny.

Elise and Phillip-
Phillip- Last night the good version of Phillip was present not the great version. This was his worst performance so far. he needs to be pushed to be his best.
Elise- Jimmy disagrees with Steven, this was the right song for Elise to sing, but she chocked.
Elise- bottom 3, Phillip- Safe.

So the bottom 3 are Hollie, Elise and DeAndre. Hollie is sent back to safety before the commercial break.

Elise is Safe again. DeAndre sings for his life. No, the judges will not use their save even though Jennifer wants too.

So, looks like twitter, facebook and I all got the elimination wrong. At least I was close on the bottom 3. Maybe next week I'l do better.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amercian Idol 11: Top 8 Perform Songs from the 80's

Just a quick twitter/ facebook ranking update before I start the recap.
Colton is still in the lead with 140,000+ twitter followers, followed by Phillip with 124,000+ and Jessica with 96,000+. Joshua is in last place with only 34,000 followers and Elise has 36,000. The rest of the kids are in the 40,000s. Facebook is also totally lopsided with Colton securing 83,000+ likes and Jessica with 74,000+ likes. The rest range from Elise with 19,000+ likes to Phillip with 35,000 likes.

Well, another week and another typical Idol theme, songs from the 80's. There are a few good choices out there, but a lot of really terrible ones too.  I just hope Jimmy encourages the kids to pick the good songs. This week's guest mentors, Gwen Stefani and her bassist from No Doubt, Tony Kanal.

This week the kids will sing duets as well as their solos. Ryan is asking the kids what they are missing most.

DeAndre- misses driving because he had just gotten his license before joining Idol.
"I Like It" by Debarge
Gwen tells him that he looks worried when he sings and must conquer it.
Here's the way to start the night, DeAndre is seated in the audience and his mic doesn't kick on until after the first note. Now he has to walk through the whole audience giving high 5's along the way. That's not awkward. Much better when he hits the stage. Nice mix of normal voice and falsetto.
JLo- I like it a lot. All very natural. Great start to the show.
ST- Totally captivating. That was exceptional.
Randy- You used more natural voice not all falsetto. It was perfect. (Well, I wouldn't get all carried away there Randy. It definitely wasn't perfect.)

Elise- She misses her band back home.
"I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner.
She originally wanted to sing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.
She sounds off to me, but she looks pretty. Way too much backup singers on the chorus. The pocket watches swinging in the background are distracting to me. OH, NO! It's the Idol gospel choir backing up the backups. Eleven backups is way too much for this song.
ST- I love your voice but I don't think that was the right song for you.
JLo- It wasn't totally right every single moment.
Randy- Technically you never quite hit the pitch the whole song.
(Wait, did I just agree with Randy?)

Our first duet- Colton and Skylar sing "Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Oh, Colton lightened his hair. I like it. this is a nice duet on a classic country song. Skylar's twang is perfect for this and Colton blends in perfectly.  Sweet song. The judges like it too.

Phillip- misses jamming with his brother-in-law, Ben.
"That's All" by Genesis.
Tony tells Phillip not to play the guitar during the bridge. This will make it more intimate.
Phillip looks a little uncomfortable at first but then he hits his stride and jams. His brother-in-law is accompanying him tonight. Awesome!! This isn't a bad performance. Genesis was never my favorite but Phillip is doing ok.
ST- I love your individuality. Keep it up.
JLo- The beginning you weren't in your comfort zone but you found it and it ended great.
Randy- Tony's suggestion was right. Another great performance.
(Looks like Jennifer was the only one paying attention the whole time.)

Our second duet- Hollie and DeAndre sing "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters.  They sound good together. Hollie looks more comfortable singing with DeAndre. The judges agree.

Joshua- Misses his family. He is the baby of the family.
"If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Simply Red.
Jimmy suggests dropping the band at the key change. Jimmy says he'll be out front selling "Holy Ghost" t-shirts when Joshua sings this and making a fortune.
The Idol gospel choir starts us off. Joshua looks and sounds comfortable with this song. Wow!Awesome! Standing O from the judges.
JLo- You were so comfortable. Spectacular.
ST- How can someone sing like that? it was not over the top, but it was soooo over the top.
Randy- that was so mature. Ryan, Joshua's gotta have it.

Jessica- missing singing in her room to boxes.?
"How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston (Do we really need to have one of her songs every week? Wasn't it enough to have all the girls plod through her songs that first week?)
Gwen- Your voice is there, now work on your body movements. Jessica tells us this week we will see her alter ego, BB Chez.?
She is wearing a weird shirt tonight. Looks like a school crossing guard uniform gone bad. She sounds good but this song does nothing for me. No connection.
JLo- You're such a natural performer. You're such a little girl and a woman at the same time.
ST- Everything you do is great. (Really, three weeks ago you told her to stick with ballads. That the upbeat song didn't fit her voice.)
Randy- I worked on that song. I can't believe the maturity in you. Ryan, she's got to have it too.

Naima from Season 10 is in the audience tonight. I wonder if she has an album to promote tomorrow night?

Next duet, Phillip and Elise sing "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.  They sound god on this song. Her voice matches his grit. Judges like it.

Hollie- misses her family, friends and her puppy, Shankly.
"What a Feeling" from Flashdance. 
Jimmy admits he was dumb for not liking this song when it was originally presented to him. Gwen tells Hollie this song is about confidence and needs an edge. Tony tells her to prepare, prepare, prepare and then go on the stage and freefall.
We get a slow start when there is a delay getting the keyboard setup and working. That should mess with her mind. Hollie looks beautiful in a blue fringe dress that matches her eyes. I don't like her strolling through the audience. Seems uncomfortable for her. This wasn't her best, but not too bad.
ST- You're always great at the end. Your pitch was all over the place. (I didn't think it was that bad.)
JLo- It didn't feel like the pop song it is. You need to let go more. (This is true)
Randy- You have the talent. You're thinking , not just living it.

Last duet, Joshua and Jessica sing "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael.  Let's add in the gospel choir for good measure. I don't know this song at all. they sound fine together but this song isn't doing anything for me. Judges give it a standing O and basically proclaim these two the season finalists. And of course, Randy worked on this song with Aretha and George.

Colton- misses working at the family face painting business. They are busy this time of year. AWWWW
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.
Gwen wasn't sure of the choice until he sang for her. Jimmy says Colton picked the right song this week.
I really like Colton's new hair color.
This is a good song choice for Colton. He is working well with the band on the stage too. He looks very comfortable up there.he knows how to work the camera also.
ST- You have one of those voices where that song could be a single right now. So good.
JLo- You were in sync with the band no matter where you were on the stage. I really liked it.
Randy- What you, Phil and Joshua did tonight was take the song and make it your own. You are so current.
Colton tells us he borrowed the arrangement from the band, Quiet Drive.

Skylar- misses friends, family, home cooking, her four-wheelers, and guns but "I'm happy to be here. I can always drive but I only have one time here."
"Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler.
First thought was to sing Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" but everyone changed minds when they heard her sing "Wind." Gwen tells her "Your voice is like ice cream."
Skylar looks so beautiful in her long flowing hot pink gown. Really nice touch to country-fy the song with the steel guitar. The song starts softly and builds. She soars at the key change. Standing O from everyone. Jennifer is crying.
Randy- Wow, Skylar, Wow!!! i think this is your best performance on this show to date.
JLo- You just told America, don't count me out. You can sing with the best.
ST- That was the best song you could have picked for your voice and the end of the night. And the beginning of a great career. So fine.
Skylar says "I wanted to show my full range tonight."

My ranking for the night:  Skylar, Colton, Joshua, Phillip, DeAndre, Jessica, Hollie, Elise.