Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Idol top 10 girls

It's Wednesday, that means it's time for more Idol! Tonight it's the top 10 girls. I only got to see the first six last week, and it looks like they're going in reverse order this week, so the first five will be new for me. Let's see what they got!

Gina Glocksen - I heard some good things about her performance last week. She's got a strong voice, although the dress just doesn't fit her persona. I like her, but I'm not convinced that she'll make the top 6. OK, I agree with Simon's fashion advice -- that's scary!

Alaina Alexander - Meh. Totally ordinary and a lot of pitch problems. But she's hot, so who knows!

LaKisha Jones - I can't hear "Midnight Train to Georgia" on Idol without thinking of Paris Bennett... and she's not even half the singer Paris was. It was good, but certainly not spectacular.

Melinda Doolittle - I liked her from the audition rounds... let's see what she's got tonight. Wow, "My Funny Valentine"... the song makes her sound very mature. It started somewhat boring, but I think she's good enough that it doesn't matter. She just has an amazing voice! I really wish I had seen her performance last week. I'm not gushing like Simon, but she is REALLY good.

Antonella Barba - She was just awful last week, but of course picked up the support of VFTW. And she's almost as bad this week... pitch all over the place. She actually hit the high notes surprisingly well. I agree with Randy... as soon as they said she was doing Celine, I knew she was in trouble.

Jordin Sparks - I guess they're not going in exactly reverse order from last week... I wonder why. Once again she's very good, but I think she's oversinging this song just a bit... too many runs. Just sing the melody and let your voice shine!

Stephanie Edwards - Great performance. She has such a strong voice and she's such a natural on stage. A little trouble on one note there, which is a bit surprising... probably just got emotional. She's certainly one of the top three or four girls.

Leslie Hunt - This song starts a little low for her, but she does have a good, sultry voice. There wasn't really much to that song to really show off her talent, but it was enjoyable.

Haley Scarnato - Didn't see her last week either... how'd she get to sing so late tonight? Whitney Houston is WAY too big for her. It was bad karoke to me. If she was "so much better" this week, she must have been awful last week! She should be going home this week.

Sabrina Sloan - Another great, powerful performance... now if she could just stop sucking on the freakin mic! Definitely one of the three best ladies.

So, there you have it! I actually think the girls were somewhat ordinary this week, as compared to the guys who were ten times better than week one. My top four would be Melinda, Sabrina, Stephanie, and Jordin. Going home? Two of these three: Haley, Alaina, and Antonella, with Gina possibly at risk too.

A quick check of puts Leslie at the bottom and (ugh) Antonella in the top 4 vote-getters! Let's hope that changes as the night goes on!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Idol top 10 guys

Well it's Idol night again, and I still haven't had time to watch the second half of the first girls' show! In fact I haven't even watched the results show! Hopefully I'll get to watch them at some point, but for now it's time to continue with tonight's performances and my real-time recap.

Phil Stacey - Singing "Missing You" by John Waite. Great song, and he makes it sound more like a Police song than the original. (Of course the guitar riff sounds just like "Every Breath You Take" too.) That was a very strong performance and he's got a good, unique voice. Paula likes his tone and so do I.

Jared Cotter - Singing "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye. This is a BIG song to take on, but I think he does a respectable job. His tone and his ad-lib riffs remind me a lot of Daryl Hall.

A.J. Tabaldo - Sorry, don't know this song. It started a little boring (although I love the orchestration), but he really turned it on when the tempo picked up. Great tone, great pitch, and I like the falsetto too. He reminds me a bit of Boyz II Men. I don't really remember him from last week, though, so he could still be in danger.

Sanjaya Malakar - He's still around?!?! Wow, I knew Sundance was saved by VoteForTheWorst, but how the hell did Sanjaya survive? (I heard Paul Kim went home but I never did hear the other guy to get the boot!) This song fits his voice well, but we know crooners don't do well on Idol. And the getup is horrible! He sounds weak -- almost timid. Sorry, he's a nice guy but he needs to go home.

OK, I had to go to to see which other guy went home last week. Rudy Cardenas, huh? That's too bad -- he had a decent voice and was certainly better than Sanjaya and Sundance. But it's no huge loss. I didn't think he'd be in the top 6.

Chris Sligh - Don't know this song either. It's a solid performance, but not stellar. I was actually expecting more from him. Hm... the judges actually liked him more than I did. Maybe I missed something.

Nick Pedro - He's got a good, almost "old soul" voice, but he doesn't make this song very memorable. I hope he sticks around, but I'm worried about him too.

Blake Lewis - Will we see any beat-boxing tonight? Great song! He had a few pitch problems here and there, but it's a good performance, and the beat-box skatting is great. Nice falsetto too! Like Taylor's harmonica, Blake could have the "hook" that takes him far into the finals.

Brandon Rogers - Hm... never been a big fan of "Time After Time". No real problems, but a very safe, boring, ordinary performance -- which is basically what Randy said too. He should probably go home this week, after two dull performances in a row.

Chris Richardson - I don't know this song either (not my genre), but I like the performance. Once again, he really reminds me of Maroon 5. (I should have guessed it's a Jason Mraz song.)
I REALLY like his voice tonight. I agree with Randy... he could be the guy to beat.

Sundance Head - Let's see if he can redeem himself from last week. Mustang Sally is one of those songs that just about anyone can sing fairly well, but it does suit his voice well. Boy, I was thinking it was a fairly ordinary performance until he hit that screamer of a note! What a turn-around. But is one good week enough to get him into the top 6?

So, my picks for this week... well, Sanjaya will probably get the support of VFTW, but will it be enough to save him? I sure hope not! My picks for the bottom three would be Sanjaya, Brandon, and Nick. My favorites tonight were Chris R. and Blake, and rounding out my top 6 would be Phil, Chris S., Sundance (based on tonight alone), and either Jared or A.J.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lauren tells her first joke!

Tonight at dinner, I heard Lauren mumble to herself, "Knock knock. Who's there? Ach." It took me a second to realize what she had just said! I'm sure she doesn't really realize what she said, but it was quite remarkable to Jen and I, and by the end of the night I could get her to say the whole joke, properly alternating lines with me. :) Knock knock. Who's there? Ach. Ach who? Bless you daddy!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Latest udates on Little Miss

OK, I guess I should take a minute to update everyone on what's new with Lauren these days! (Oh and btw, I'm giving up on the whole anonymity thing...) L.M. turned two last month and is growing up faster than I can believe. It seems like she changes so much in just a week!

So anyway, Jan. 22nd was Lauren's 2nd birthday. Jen's parents came down to celebrate but unfortunately my parents were in Florida. Jen's aunt was also supposed to fly up for the weekend from Atlanta but totalled her car Friday morning when a woman lost control of her car and came across the median on the interstate. Luckily Jen's aunt wasn't seriously hurt, just bruised and very sore, but she wasn't able to make the trip.

For Lauren's birthday, I baked a Blue's Clues cake with a pan I had gotten from Freecycle more than a year ago. I spent about THREE HOURS decorating it with hundreds of tiny stars. (I'll post pictures when I get a chance.) For my first attempt at cake decorating, it actually came out pretty good, but I seriously doubt I will ever attempt something like that again! If I do make that cake again, the colors will simply be filled in with a flat ribbon tip, not done with stars!

Anyway, after all that effort I was a bit disappointed by the response I got from Lauren. Maybe the candles scared her. And even though she knew it was Blue, she didn't seem to excited or make a big deal out of it. But her excitement actually grew over the next few days, as "birthday cake" quickly became her favorite word! Like father like daughter!

Little Miss was lucky enough to get to celebrate her birthday a second time when my parents stopped in on their way back from Florida to Pennsylvania two weeks later. Of course we had to have more cake, knowing how much Lauren loved it, but this time I went the store-bought route. Once again she had a blast, and then proceeded to ask for "boiday cake!" every night for the next two weeks.

This week Lauren finally had her two-year checkup. She's 90-95th percentile for height, weight, and head size, which is what we expected considering she towers over everyone in the twos class at daycare and many of the three-year-olds too. Like I said, she seems to change every week. Here are a few of her favorite things.

Favorite foods: pizza, broccoli (seriously!), chocolate, lollipops, and of course birthday cake

Favorite expressions: "Perfect", "Dat goes here", "Dat one", and "Oh no!" (complete with "Home Alone" face slap)

Favorite songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mahna Mahna.

Favorite toys: stuffed animals, wooden puzzles, and her AquaDoodle.

Other items of note: she counts to 14 consistently, then typically jumping around from there.... 17 actually seems to be her favorite number to say. She always wants to put things back where they came from, whch is great when it's time to clean up the toys! And she's been sleeping in a toddler bed for the last few weeks now.

It's still amazing that we hardly ever have to fight with her to get her to go to bed. But it is clear that she's two -- she wants to do more and more things herself (like get dressed), and she'll throw tantrums if she doesn't get her way, or even for what seems like no particular reason at all. But all in all, I don't think I could ask for a better-behaved little girl!

Idol top 12 girls, part 1

OK, I realize people on the east coast already know which women (and guys) are going home this week, but I'm just getting around to watching last night's ladies' performances. Actually, I got to see a few of them last night and was very impressed with what I heard, but now I get a chance to really watch and listen.... and of course blog.

By the way, I found out my wife's cousin knows Antonella and worked with her best friend who auditioned with her in New York. (They both made it to the Hollywood round.) Antonella also goes to Catholic U in DC, so she's being treated like the "hometown favorite" around here, with lots of hype on the Fox evening news.

Anyway, on to last night's performance show and my reviews:

Stephanie Edwards - I'm really impressed with her. She actually reminds me quite a bit of Tamyra Gray, both in her vocals and her looks. She's a total natural on stage, and far better than any of the guys from last night. And of course the judges have nothing but good things to say about her too.

Amy Krebs - So far she's just been "meh". At least she looks a lot better tonight than in her audition clips, but the song's just ok -- ordinary and a little pitchy. The judges all said basically the same thing.

Leslie Hunt - From the audition clips, I really don't like her voice at all, but she did pick a song that works for her tone. And dude, she looks and even sounds a bit like Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson) from Studio 60! It was actually better than I expected... I actually think she was better than Randy and Simon gave her credit for. I don't know if she was "great", but she was pretty good.

Sabrina Sloan - Wow, this girl has got a powerful voice! She said she needed the perfect song, and I think she picked it. My only complaint is that she sings right on top of the mic so we can't see her mouth at all. But that was a fantastic performance! I'd love to say she's the one to beat, but it's really too early to tell.

Antonella Barber - I heard some of her performance last night, and to be honest, I'm not sure I can stand to sit through it again tonight! She was off-key from start to finish. She's got a very pretty voice, but she just butchered that song. It's no surprise that is behind her.

Jordin Sparks - She's got quite a voice for a 17-year-old! I think she picked a great song to suit her voice, and it's more sultry than "sugary". And when she took it up in her register, WOW -- goosebumps. I like her a lot. I think Randy's right -- she can handle just about any song out there. That could be a real help for her in future rounds. She'll certainly be in the top 6.

Well that's the first six, and even though the results are already announced, I guess I should stop here and head to bed. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Idol top 12 guys, part 2

OK, time to finish up last night's Idol while tonight's Idol records... then of course watch my other favorite show, Lost!

I did get to watch some of the ladies' show tonight, and a bunch of them really blew me away! But I'll re-watch the show tomorrow and write more then. On to the rest of the guys...

Blake Lewis - Wow, the beat boxer can actually sing! He's got a good voice, although a bit pitchy in spots. But the whole beat-boxing thing means that people will actually remember him, so I think he'll probably stick around for a while. Actually, I think he was probably the best so far... although that's not saying much after the first six. Hey, Simon just said the same thing! I hate when he steals my lines.

Sanjaya Malakar - I've heard bad things about his performance, which is too bad because I liked him from his audition. So let's see what he's got. Hm... very meek, very boring, and a bit pitchy in spots. LOL.... "I don't want to bore you," he sings... but he sure is! And once again, Simon's repeating me. :)

Chris Sligh - I loved this guy from auditions -- his voice, his personality, and his hair! Of course I always get chills any time I hear Kiss From A Rose. I don't know this song, but I like the performance, and he's very unique. I actually like him quite a bit, even if he did rush the tempo a bit.

Jared Cotter - Just another good but ordinary performance. He's certainly not the worst, but I just didn't really see anything special.

AJ Tabaldo- This is actually a good, energetic, and on-pitch performance, but I'm still not blown away.

Phil Stacey - I really liked him from the audition rounds -- he reminds me a little bit of Chris Daughtry, and he might be the the closest thing to a rocker we have this year. Of course you sure wouldn't know it from this song choice! Still a good solid performance. We'll see him in the top 6.

So who's going home from the guys? Well, Sundance should be one of them, but I hear that is putting their support behind him, so it'll probably be Pedro and Sanjaya.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's American Idol time!

Hey everyone, I'm back! Yes, I know it's been ages since I've blogged, but American Idol is finally getting serious, so it's time to get back to blogging. I'm on the good 'ol DVR 2-hour-delay, so I guess I won't get to finish the show tonight, but I'll start now and finish up tomorrow.

Tonight the top 12 guys perform as we start whittling them down to just six. Here are my thoughts as the guys perform.... but before I do, how about the diversity of this year's group? We've got one hispanic, one asian, one indian, two African-Americans, and one who looks to be Hawaiian or a Pacific islander? Quite a cross-section of Americana.

Rudy Cardenas - This guy's got a nice voice and good sense of pitch, but there's really not anything special about him. I mean he's really good, but I worked with singers just as good at Kings Dominion. Simon and Randy basically said the same thing. There's nothing that really stands out about him. I suspect he'll stick around for a while, but I doubt he'll be in the top 6 guys.

Brandon Rogers - Like Rudy, I think he's got a good voice, but I don't see anything unique about him. Actually, I thought the performance was pretty boring.

Sundance Head - I've never really been a fan of Sundance, so I'll be interested to see how he does tonight. "Knights in White Satin"... very interesting song choice. He's very pitchy and really doesn't have the power to pull the song off. He could go home this week.

Paul Kim - I've been impressed with him so far this season, but this is just a strange song choice and way too low for him. It almost sounds like the mic is muffled. He's much better in the upper register, but that falsetto was just awful. I would like to see him again, though.

Chris Richardson - Wow, the Timberlake look-alike decides to break out the alternative rock. It wasn't great for me, but it kinda put him closer to someone like Maroon 5 than Justin or Nick Lachey. I agree with Randy... I really liked the energy. But I also agree with Simon -- the vocals sounded a bit thin.

Nick Pedro - I like Nick, but I'm not so sure about this song. He's got a rougher voice than most of the other singers, which is what makes him unique, but it's not really suited for ballads. He also started out very pitchy. I agree more with Randy and Paula than with Simon (for a change).

Well, that's the first six, and it's after 11:30 local time, so this is probably a good place to call it quits for the night and pick up again tomorrow.