Tuesday, March 27, 2007

American Idol top 10 recap

It's Tuesday -- time for another evening of Idol liveblogging! Tonight's guest is Gwen Stefani and apparently the contestants will be singing both No Doubt songs and songs from artists who inspired No Doubt.

First up is LaKisha singing Donna Summer's "Last Dance". She's wearing a flowered mu-mu that makes her look far heavier than previously, but her voice is strong as always. It's nothing spectacular, but she has good energy and stage presence. The judges all comment on her hip outfit (???) and give her praise for the vocals.

Chris "Fro Patrol" Sligh is up next, singing The Police. Gwen comments on Chris's difficulty staying with the beat, which we've seen in past performances. And even now on stage, he's still ahead and wants to rush the song. This is far from his best performance. The judges are pretty rough on him too.

Gina Glocksen singing... crap, I know the song but I can't come up with the title or artist right now. She's lookin pretty hot tonight, but her voice sounds really rough -- it's clear she's sick. She still does a great job of staying on pitch. She's a trooper, and she gets a great response from the audience. The judges all say it's her best performance to date -- even Simon!

After the commercials, break out the earplugs... it's Sanjaya and Haley!

Sanjaya's singing Bathwater by No Doubt and comes out sporting a HIDEOUS mohawk. It starts off very weak -- as if Sanjaya is capable of anything else -- but the chorus isn't half bad. Oops, he stumbles over the words there. SOMEBODY SEND THIS BOZO HOME, PLEASE! Crap, even my two-year-old daughter wants me to turn the tv off. Oooh, he gives the camera the bedroom eyes at the end. Randy's "speechless" -- LOL! Sanjaya gets the comeback of the night though, saying Simon's "just jealous" that he couldn't pull off the mohawk. Simon basically gives up on Sanjaya, knowing that the voters will do whatever they want.

Haley's singing True Colors. When she starts, the performance reminds me a lot of Kat McPhee's breakout performance on "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", but whether she can accomplish the same thing remains to be seen. Nope, there's no big goosebump moment. Randy doesn't like it, but I disagree -- I actually think it was one of her better performances. It was elegant, not campy like most of her previous performances. I agree with Simon: "sweet but forgettable".

Next up is Phil Stacey. Thankfully they've put him in a hat again this week. It's another Police song, "Every Breath You Take". His voice sounds a lot like Sting's so this is a great fit for him. (I think I said this before this season, didn't I?) So far this is probably his best performance to date. I only wish he had more energy on stage. Yes, it's a ballad but it's an up-tempo ballad! Randy and Paula think it's "pretty good" and Simon actually gives him the best comments of the three!

Melinda is singing Donna Summer. Gwen knows immediately just how good she is: "I'd wish you luck but I don't think you need it," she says. They gave her a great, mature but modern hairstyle this week. She rips off another stellar performance. How in the world was this girl singing backups?? The judges love it as always. I'm still worried that she'll be the shocker to get the boot with 4 or 3 left, like Chris Daughtry last year. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Blake's singing The Cure's "Love Song". I love this song and I can't wait to see what Blake does with it. He has a great, pure voice. This is probably the best he's been too. It looks like everyone's in it to win it tonight -- except Sanjaya and maybe Haley. No beat-boxing tonight either -- interesting choice, but I think it's the right one. Paula gushes over it and says its risky and original -- how was that original? I thought it was pretty much a note-perfect rendition. Simon says he's the best guy, and I agree. Actually, I've been saying that since the first week.

Jordin's singing No Doubt's "Hey Baby". I think she can rock this! Wow, what a horrible outfit! She's a bit shaky in the beginning, and pitchy on the chorus, but it's a tough song to sing. I definitely like whe she holds the notes out and adds a little soul to it, though! Hmm... I wasn't blown away, but it was pretty good. The judges seem to like it a little more than I did.

Chris R. chooses "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. Gwen comments on his "vocal olympics". She actually has pretty good insight into the contestants. He's a bit flat throughout, and a few notes are completely off. Probably one of his worst performances... until he gets to the final chorus and takes the melody up, then he gets a bit stronger. Simon's dead on -- he's the only one who noticed the vocals were weak, especially in the middle.

So that's it for another week of Idol. Once again Melinda and LaKisha were far ahead of anyone else, but for me Phil and Gina gave the surprise breakout performances of the night. Who's going home? Probably Chris Sligh based on tonight's performance -- unless the universe suddenly rights itself and Sanjaya goes home, that is!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In case you didn't know... the internet is for porn!

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time! (I need to watch viral videos more often!)

So apparently the song is from a musical called Avenue Q, and yes, it's really sung that way! I just learned about this musical tonight and now I am dying to go see it! It's performed with Sesame Street style puppets, although the cool thing is that the actors/puppeteers are in plain view. There's a great (but short) clip of the actual broadway production here.

It's Idol night!

It's Tuesday night... that means it's time for more Idol liveblogging! Tonight's "British Invasion" night. Let's see what the top 11 have in store for us tonight.

Haley Scarnato - Tonight's performance is certainly a lot better than we've seen the last few weeks. I wouldn't say it was great, and it got a little pitchy around the end, but it certainly wasn't terrible. She certainly had a lot more energy and passion than previously.

Chris Richardson - Chris goes with a ballad this week, supposedly to showcase his voice. He does well, but sounds a bit like a crooner to me... and we all know what happens to crooners on Idol! He's not bad, but it's not nearly as good as his up-tempo songs. Actually, it's pretty boring... my wife just let out a snore next to me! Wha...?? Oh, sorry, dozed off for a second. I must've slept through the good parts, because the judges seem to really like it.

Oh no!! We just lost our Fox feed! Both normal and HD are a black screen! Ok, it's back... but we're still in commercial.

Stephanie Edwards - I still think she's one of the best singers in the competition, but she has to do something to set herself apart and not seem so "ordinary" and forgettable, otherwise she's going home very soon. The performance was very strong, although it got a little weird for me at the end. Randy says it was pitchy and I agree. She could be in danger this week, if Sanjaya doesn't go home.

Blake Lewis - Blake brings a little of the beat-boxing back this week... but what a hideous outfit! He hits the high notes, but just barely... I actually think he would've sounded better in falsetto. The beat-boxing isn't as good as it's been in the past. Maybe he's trying too hard to put it into each song. Well Paula really seems to have enjoyed it! It's not my favorite performance from Blake, but it's still darn good. Randy and Paula seem to like it a lot more than I did.... even Simon likes it! I must be off my game this week.

LaKisha Jones - I don't know this song, but this is the powerful voice that LaKisha's become known for. Unfortunately I'm still waiting for her to really give me goosebumps. She's good, but she just doesn't do it for me. Well, the ending was almost there. I think it was better than Simon gave her credit for, though. But again, maybe my ears are just off tonight.

Phil Stacey - Some people look good bald, but I must say, Phil is NOT one of those people. But hey, hey comes out rocking this week and he sounds GOOD! I think this is the best we've seen from Phil so far. My 2-year-old is ROCKING OUT on the couch and singing along too! Hmm... last year Taylor was her favorite, so maybe Phil is the one to watch out for this year? OK, maybe not.

Jordin Sparks - "I who have nothing" is a great song for Jordin. Now this one gives me chills. It is a little slow, almost dragging, but it's still fantastically powerful. I think Jordin just made this a three-girl competition! The whole audience is standing. Wow, I forgot that she's only 17! Simon says the song was too depressing.... maybe next week she should sing "The sun will come out tomorrow"?

Sanjaya Malakar - OK, here comes that goofus Sanjaya. Oh. My. God. Are girls really that crazy about Sanjaya that they cry over him? Crap, he's so awful that he's certain to stick around another week. OK, I hate to admit this, but that might actually be his best performance so far. And apparently Randy agrees. Of course that's really not saying much -- it's still a suckfest.

Gina Glocksen - Boy, I never realized just how big a HEAD Gina has! Oh, she mentioned blogs! OK, I'm sorry I just said you have a big head, Gina! I still love you. Maybe Ryan just has a teeny head. Ooh, Gina's doing "Paint It Black".... all I can think of is Ryan Star doing PIB during Rock Star: Supernova. She's a little shaky, but still good, and the song certainly fits her style. I certainly don't agree when Simon says "there were moments of complete torture." It wasn't that bad! I actually thought it was pretty good.

I do love Simon's comment about good singing being "what this competition should be about," because it's clear this year that that isn't what it's about.

Chris Sligh - Chris meanders through the audience as he sings... a little campy for my taste. OMFG, did you see that sign, "BRINGING CHUBBY BACK"? ROTFLMAO! OK, where was I? Oh yeah, Chris is wandering around and trying to sing. For an up-tempo song, this song is amazingly boring -- not at all what we've come to expect from Chris S. The judges seemed to like it though, so who knows. And we finally have our catch-phrase for this season -- FRO PATROL!

Melinda Doolittle - So they save the best for last again this week. Looks like it's Melinda's turn to do a ballad too. I'm actually looking forward to hearing a softer side of her voice. It starts off solid but boring, but she brings it home in the end as expected. She really is a spectacular singer. Hey, there goes Simon stealing my words again!

Well that's it! Time to fire up DialIdol and start voting! Let's see if we can finally get rid of Sanjaya this week! Unfortunately I'm afraid it could be Stephanie going home tomorrow, or maybe even Phil, even though I really enjoyed his performance tonight. But for me tonight, Jordin gets the best performance of the evening.

So, let's try out this Technorati thing... do I need to do anything else to get my blog to show up?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Would you like some K-Y with those concert tickets?

Yesterday I did something I never thought I'd do. I paid $300 for a pair of concert tickets.


Not ony that, but they're not even floor seats. Double ouch. Floor seats were $230 EACH (plus service fees, of course) and I wasn't gonna go that high. But I figured if 400-level seats were $80+, I might as well cough up the $130+ for 200-level tix.

$300. That's more than a week of day care! For one 3-hour (if we're lucky) concert.

So whom did I deem worthy of this ridiculous amount? No, not the Police... although they're in the same league. Genesis.

Yes, after 15 years, Phil Colins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford have reunited for another tour. Has it really been that long? I guess it has. I actually saw the guys on their last US tour, at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia, on (according to this website) June 1, 1992. I believe I was somewhere around the 24th row for that show. And let me tell you, it was AMAZING. In fact I told someone after the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show this December that the Genesis concert was the only show I had ever seen with a better light show.

But I still have a hard time swallowing the $130 ticket price, even if this is most likely the last time Genesis will tour. I wouldn't pay that much to go see Billy Joel or even U2 for that matter.... well, I might have to reconsider that the next time U2 goes on tour, because that is now the only group in my top 5 that I've never seen in concert. (The other four are Billy Joel, Genesis, Dave Matthews Band, and Rush.) But Jen has never seen Genesis in concert, and when I found out they were touring again she said she definitely wanted to go. She was even the one who said to go with the $130 tix... I would've settled for the $80 ones.

Anyway, this is shaping up to be a very expensive concert season. In addition to Genesis in September, we're also going to see Blue Man Group in April and Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center in August. Plus I'd kind of like to go see The Police if I can. I was never a huge fan, but hell, at least that show's only $95 for middle-tier seats!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's time for the Idol top 12!

It's finally here -- American Idol's top 12! As always, there are a few disappointments, namely Sanjaya and Haley who stole spots from far more deserving people. But hey, every season has to have its "Chicken Little" on tour, right? Besides, it's not like Sundance or Sabrina had a chance of winning it all.

Tonight's Diana Ross night. I wonder how the guys will fare, especially considering how rough they've been so far.

Brandon Rogers - Once again, Brandon picks a song that showcases his "pretty boy" voice, but no "wow" factor. I was going to say it was a very "safe" pick before that terrible crack... and then he FORGETS THE WORDS TOO! It's happened before to people, but Brandon's already on the bubble. He might survive this week, but don't expect him to stay around long. Then again, the first spot of the night is always a bad one for the forgettable performers.

Melinda Doolittle - She starts off a bit safe, but Melinda's powerful, star-quality voice shines no matter what she sings. She is miles apart from everyone else in the competition -- I don't know if there's anything she can do to NOT win this show.

Chris Sligh - I don't care for this arrangement at all, but the song really showcases his voice in a way we haven't seen before. He's a much better singer than I realized! Not at all what I would have expected from him, but it's very good. The judges all hammered him for the arrangement, which I agree with, but I still think the performance itself was worthy of some praise!

Gina Glocksen - I guess we won't hold it against Diana Ross for making up words. (OK, so technically "pronunciate" is a word, but I do not think it means what she thinks it means.) Gina picks a great song with Love Child and gives it her own edgy sound.... and does a fairly good job of enunciating too. I think she was better than the judges felt. Maybe the sound system in the theater is off tonight -- they're obviously having some problems with mics after each song, so I wouldn't be surprised.

Sanjaya Malakar - Diana says people care about Sanjaya... is that why he's still around? Oh my god, he looks like a cross between Diana Ross and Justin Guarini!! And he is just as awful as in previous weeks... although he does seem to have more confidence this week. LOL... Randy's a riot -- "hair idol". And did Simon just call Diana Ross a whale? No, that's "wail", as in "shriek in horror".

Haley Scarnato - Haley basically butchers "Missing You", even having problems with the words -- plus she's wearing the most hideous dress I've ever seen! At least she KNOWS that she was awful, unlike Sanjaya.

Phil Stacey - His practice tape looked pretty good... let's see what he's got when he gets on stage. It starts very boring, but in the chorus his voice gets a chance to shine, plus a nice little vocal inflection thrown in for good measure. If only he didn't look so damn goofy. I suspect once Sanjaya and Haley are finally gone, Phil will get VoteForTheWorst's support just based on his look!

LaKisha Jones - She certainly performs the song well, but I'm not blown away. Personally I don't see what people have been raving about with her -- she's good, but she's no Melinda. She's my pick for the surprise early exit, like around the final 6 or 5.

Blake Lewis - I'm already impressed by the fact that Blake tweaked the arrangement himself. I like the footwork too, and he has so much confidence on stage. It's not nearly his best vocal performance -- in fact it kinda reminded me of a high school talent show performance. He changed it up, but it almost made it cheesy rather than "new". Maybe if he had thrown some beat-boxing in... But he'll still be still safe for a few more weeks.

Stephanie Edwards - She's got some pitch problems tonight, and there's nothing in the song to really wow me. She was at the bottom in last week's DialIdol predictions, so I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the bottom two or three this week.

Chris Richardson - I love Chris's voice when he's taking on the alternative hip-hop style songs, but I'm not sure it works with Diana Ross. He still gives a good, solid performance... actually, I really like some of the vocal runs he threw in, although he could drop the falsetto stingers. He's still my favorite guy.

Jordin Sparks - She gives a good performance but sounds nervous from start to finish, and her last note is pretty flat. I have no idea what Randy was listening to because I didn't think that was anywhere near as good as Melinda or LaKisha, or even Chris R. How weird.

So, who goes home this week? Obviously it SHOULD be Sanjaya or Haley, but Brandon and Stephanie are also in danger. Being first up and forgetting the words could really hurt Brandon, and DialIdol currently has him last, but those predictions seem to change pretty dramatically when the west coast votes start coming in.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Idol girls final night - 8 become 6

Well, here we are -- the last girls-only show! It is a shame they continue to split the contestants 50/50 because it's clear this year that the girls are better than the guys. Anyway, let's see what the girls have this week.

Jordin Sparks - There were quite a few pitch problems, although she finished strong. I don't think it was as good as Randy and Paula thought, though. She has a lot of growing to do to win the competition, but she could probably make the top 12.

Sabrina Sloan - Sabrina has impressed me every week. Tonight's performance doesn't have the same energy and a few pitch problems here and there, but still an excellent performance overall.

Antonella Barba - For the first time since Hollywood, Antonella actually isn't half bad! Of course she's still awful compared to some of the others. But she's HOTTTT, so that could carry her far. And of course there's VoteForTheWorst.com, which is still supporting her. Unfortunately that means she'll make the final 12 and another deserving girl won't.

Haley Scarnato - Once again, she's just ok this week. She's good, but there's nothing really special about it. Randy puts it into "dog-eeze" by saying there's no "yo" in it. I agree with Simon too -- she hasn't made a big enough impression. She's one who is certainly in danger of going home.

Stephanie Edwards - She has impressed me every week too, and this week is no different -- another very strong performance. Not note-perfect, but very good.

LaKisha Jones - I haven't gone crazy for her the way the judges have the last few weeks, although she's certainly worthy of the top 6. Tonight she takes on Whitney Houston and actually does a darn good job! Probably the best performance so far tonight. Now somebody put some sleeves on that woman!

Gina Glocksen - I'm glad to see Gina take on something a bit edgier this week with Evenescence. She hasn't had the greatest performances, but it certainly locks her in for the rocker vote, so I think she'll be safe again this week. She had a few pitch problems right at the end, but overall it was a really good performance.

Melinda Doolittle - Last up is the powerhouse of the group, and she comes out swinging tonight! She's in it to win it, and unless something really strange happens this season, there's no doubt she'll be in this year's finale. She brought down the house tonight!

So who's going home from the girls? This one's REALLY tough... Antonella and Haley are certainly most deserving to go, but Antonella may be saved by the VFTW vote. I think it will be Haley and Jordin to go this week, although Gina and Sabrina could also be in danger. I guess we'll find out tomorrow night!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Idol top 8 guys

Well, here we are, the last week before the guys and girls start performing together. Tonight we see the top 8 guys and get rid of two more -- HOPEFULLY the worst two, although anything can happen. Here's how tonight's performances went down.

Blake Lewis - Blake sings 311's "All Mixed Up". I love 311, and I can't believe these three supposed pop mouguls don't know the song! It's the perfect song for him, and he is excellent again this week. He is one of my two favorite guys.

Sanjaya Malakar - Singing John Mayer, "Waiting on the world to change". John Mayer is one of my favorite artists, which is why it's even harder for me to listen to him butcher it. The pitch is all over the place, and the hair tonight is AWFUL! I agree with Randy that it's a little better than last week, but he's still terrible. It's too bad that VoteForTheWorst.com is gonna jump behind him... so PLEASE, PEOPLE, DOWNLOAD THE DIALIDOL.COM DIALER AND VOTE FOR THE SINGERS WITH TALENT!

Sundance Head - Singing "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam. Wow, from bad to worse! You can hear better renditions of this song in any bar on any Saturday night. Randy and Paula must be completely deaf because that was awful.

Chris Richardson - Tonight we see the softer side of Chris. He's my favorite guy right now, but this performance really concerns me. He's solid and on pitch, but he's also forgettable. I'm also disappointed to see him stray from the alternative hip-hop he's been choosing the last few weeks, although Randy seems to like the fact that he's changing things up. I sure hope he stays around.

Jared Cotter - I really liked him last week, and he picks another good R&B song this week, this time from Stevie Wonder. You can tell he's right at the top of his range, but he gives a solid performance. He could go home just based on the goofy looks, but I think he'll make the top 6.

Brandon Rogers - Brandon gives another good, solid performance, but nothing particularly special. He's certainly far better than Sundance or Sanjaya, but who knows what will happen this week. I agree with Simon -- he could be in trouble.

Phil Stacey - Phil goes soft this week too, and YIKES! He was one of the better guys, but this song starts off very pitchy and weak. It gets a little better as it goes on, but not much. But I think he has enough fans that he may survive.

Chris Sligh - Chris comes back strong this week, getting back to his blues-rock roots. An excellent performance overall! I'm really not sure what Paula was listening to this week. I thought he was one of the best two or three this week.

So who's going home? Well the two who most clearly deserve to go home are Sanjaya and Sundance. However, with VFTW.com and the rest of those a$$holes who insist on voting the worst ones through just for comedy value, who knows what will happen. I suspect one of the two will go home. After that, Phil, Jared, Brandon, or even Chris Richardson could be in trouble.