Showing posts with label carly smithson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carly smithson. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol - BROADWAY!

I hate to admit it, but I was already getting a little bored with this season's American Idol. Maybe it was getting too predictable. Same comments from the judges, same weird desperate performances from some, same yackety yackety yack from Brooke. (yawn)

Well, I never would have guessed that Broadway week would shake things up! To me, this was one of the best weeks of the season. And I enjoyed seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber. He's kind of funny; not just funny-odd, but funny.

(I'm writing this before the results show, so I really hope I'm not in for an unpleasant surprise).

Before I dig deeper into the performances this week, let me just say this: I'm not jumping on the "Jason was a disaster" bandwagon. I thought (and apparently, I'm in the minority) that his was one of the best performances this week.

If you're going to choose a song like "Memory" to sing in this competition, the last thing you want to do is sing it the way we've heard it one bazillion times. I thought Jason's rendition was sweet and heartfelt.

But don't just take my word for it. A notable writer at Entertainment Weekly, Michael Slezak, wrote this:

"Here's the crazy thing: I've spent four seasons covering American Idol for, and never before have I been more in agreement with Paula, and less in agreement with Simon, than with regard to their respective opinions of Jason's ''Memory.'' Granted, the guy probably should've Googled his song choice at some point in the last week — thereby robbing us of his ''I didn't know a cat was singing it'' sound bite — but his performance, well, I'm not even gonna try to pretend it didn't touch me in a way that never would've happened if it had been trotted out in the traditional Big Diva Number fashion. Paula's point that there was a Joe Cocker quality to the performance made perfect sense; Simon's ''miserable'' label left me aghast. I mean, there's a purity to the dreadlocked dude's voice, and an emotional connection so deep, it transcends the occasional wobble of pitch."

So, while it may be the popular thing to do to nod in agreement with everyone else, it might be the right thing to do to listen and make up one's own mind.

So, I am hoping that Jason's departure won't be the "unpleasant surprise" I mentioned earlier.

EDIT: Whew!!

By far, the worst performance of the week was Little Archie's. OMG, it was so boring! Why do they (judges, producers) keep propping him up? They told him he did a good job! He didn't! He did a lackluster, Ambien-like performance. Good god, if someone held a gun to my head and demanded that I tell them what song he sang, I would say, "Just shoot me now" (which is sort of what I was thinking as I was watching him sing.)

I understand that, for economic reasons (keeping the tweenies calling and texting, and ensuring future viewers), AI kind of needs him to win, or at least place in the top two, but the judges could show a little integrity. Especially Simon, who is pretty much the only judge with any sense or lucidity.

But enough ranting for now.

Brooke. Well, what can I say? She does something like this every week. Either she's trembling uncontrollably, or she's messing up somehow. And she didn't disappoint this week!

Actually, her singing was fine (once she got going). But the start - stop - start was just too distracting. She owes her fans BIG TIME for allowing her to slip through this week.

Syesha did a really good job, and she's not one of my faves, by any means. Actually, her performance on the results show was even better than on performance night. But I think she figured she was going home, so she just threw caution to the wind. Funny what one can do when the pressure is off.

I'm not one bit surprised that Carly was sent home. And I thought her performance this week was rather good (better than her usual). It's just that Carly never developed a following. And I think that had a lot to do with the fact that she telegraphed her desperation every week. That just makes people uncomfortable.

I figured it would be either she or Syesha who went home, regardless of their performances. That's just the way it is. And yes, popularity does have a lot to do with it. It's only partially a singing competition.

Well, that leaves just one contestant to review.

I happened to catch only two performances live on Tuesday night, and since David Cook was last, I was lucky enough to see him.

I'll admit, I was a bit worried. I didn't know how he would handle a Broadway tune.


Can I just say he was AMAZING??

You know, he was going along fine. I thought, okay, he can pull this off. No damage done, even though this genre isn't (I thought) his element.

Then he hit that ONE NOTE in the middle of the song.

I raised an eyebrow and said, out loud, "Well!"

Then it just got BETTER.

Call me cuckoo, but I think this may have been my favorite David Cook performance of the season, and that's saying a lot.

I was flabbergasted.

Here it is, for posterity:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

AI - Goodbye Kristy

Well, I feel kind of silly saying this, after all the criticism I've thrown her way, but I actually had a tear in my eye when Kristy was sent home this week.

And honestly, based on this week's performance, she didn't deserve to go home. In fact, I thought hers was among the top performances of the week.

Whether one likes Kristy or not, one has to admit that she sure has a lot of poise. Yes, she shed a tear when her name was announced, but she pulled herself together and went out "on top". She will have a career in Nashville, no doubt.

As for Mariah Carey week, I'll admit, I don't know any Mariah songs (I don't think). And "Without You" doesn't count ~ that's a Harry Nilsson song.

So, the songs chosen were okay, I guess. But then, I don't have anything to compare them to. I will say, however, that these are not the most memorable songs I've ever heard. But that's today's pop for you. All the songs are kind of generic ~ it's more about vocal runs than actually saying something. But that's just me, maybe. Or maybe I just wasn't listening closely enough (?)

The standout performances were basically..........David Cook. Period.

I'm starting to become a little concerned for Brooke. Did you notice how much she was shaking while she was doing her number? It was kind of.....uncomfortable.

I think maybe she's getting thrown off by trying to multi-task. She could come out from behind the piano sometimes. I think there was only one week when she wasn't either playing piano or guitar. It's like trying to carry on a phone conversation and concentrate on work at the same time. Something's got to give.

But I'm wondering if we would be doing her a favor by voting her off. Her nerves are getting worse every week.

And we all know what it means when Brooke gets nervous..........She TALKS more! Eek!

And now to Carly. When I found that she was singing, "Without You", which is a great song, and requires some real vocal ability to sing, I thought, "Okay. She'll really hit this one." But the trouble is, she DIDN'T hit it. You know the part of the song where it goes, "Can't LIVE!" That's so cool when it's done right. Well, gee, what a letdown. I don't know what her problem is, but she turned the song into a snoozer. Simon was right. Again, I don't know if it's nerves or desperation. But she had better show something pretty soon, before it's too late.

At this point, with six contestants left, I'm starting to think about the final two. Barring anything odd happening (see Chris Daughtry), I'm pretty sure it'll be the two Davids.

And judging from the tweeny screams every week, I'm afraid that it'll be Little Archie who will win. Plus, I think the tweeners are more apt to vote, than, say, the people who actually have good taste in music.

So, for the final six, my thought is that it'll go this way (as long as the producers don't pull some "funny stuff", which I do have my suspicions about):

6. Brooke White
5. Syesha Mercado
4. Carly Smithson
3. Jason Castro
2, David Cook
1. David Archuleta

(I'm still hoping #2 and #1 are switched around, and that could definitely happen.)

One last note. I was surprised to find that (apparently) Mariah Carey is actually a nice person. At least that's how she was portrayed on the show. So now I don't hate her as much as I did before.

Okay, I posted this video once before. It's a bad-quality video, but this is how this song should be sung:


Friday, April 11, 2008

AI - Inspirational Week

I don't want to rain on anybody's parade of hopes and dreams, but this week's episode of American Idol didn't leave me very inspired. Really, the only thing it inspired me to do was to quickly get up off the couch and delete the program from my DVR.

I do feel bad for Michael Johns, though. It wasn't his turn to leave. And the fact that Ryan tortured him didn't help. I think what happened to Michael is that he drew the short straw, and had to sing first. (Not that they actually draw straws; the whole setup is a bit more diabolical than that.)

The first slot in the show is a killer, because it's really easy to forget. In fact, about halfway through watching the show (even knowing that Michael would be sent home, since I did see the results episode first), I started to wonder what song he actually sang. Then it hit me - "Dream On".

Now, I'm no Aerosmith aficionado, I'll admit. Therefore, I didn't realize that "Dream On" is an inspirational song. I thought he was saying, "dream on"; like "yea right, dream on". Duh. Well, with all the falsetto stuff going on, I couldn't ever really make out the words.

So, Michael got sent home, cruelly.

But, really, anyone could have, and should have, gone home this week. This was probably the worst performance week ever.

Even my favorite, Cookie, did a really lousy job. I am not familiar with the song, but I thought it sucked. He started off singing really low and sort of non-melodically, and, while the song did improve from there, it didn't improve enough to save it. I thought it was just awful.

I also didn't find anything to get excited about in Little Archie's performance. It was just boring.

And my pick for most desperate contestant this week goes to - ta DA! - Brooke. It's a really tough one to call, since Carly has been consistently desperate. But, to be honest, Brooke is really starting to get on my nerves. She's a good enough singer, albeit not very exciting, but her manner is getting to me.

I used to work with someone like her. Someone who could never STOP TALKING. It's nervous energy or low self-esteem or a combination of both. And they're always bobbing and weaving, unable to stand still. Give them an inch, and they'll talk on and on and on and on, until you just want to swallow some cyanide capsules.

It sort of goes like this:

RYAN: Thank you, Brooke.

BROOKE: You're welcome, Ryan.

RYAN: Nice job.

BROOKE: Do you really think so? Because I really thought I could have done better. I really looked kind of dorky, and I messed up that one line, and if I could just do it over again, I promise I'd do it way better. You know the line in the second verse? Well, I should have said, "the", but I said "a". I'm so embarrassed. What do you think of my dress? I'm not sure if it was the right dress to wear. I had two dresses picked out, but I went with the pink one. Do you think the yellow one would have been better?

RYAN: We need to go to a break now.

BROOKE: Can I just say one more thing? I really want to apologize to everyone in the audience, and in fact, to everyone in the whole world, for messing up that song so badly. If I could just sing it over again.........

RYAN: And we're out of time. Goodnight, everyone!

Our second runner-up, Carly, always looks so INTENSE when she's singing. It's really kinda scary. I think the reason she ended up in the bottom three is because everyone was so worn out from her INTENSITY that they were too tired to dial the phone. And, c'mon, they really want her to go. She's just spooky.

As for the other bottom-three dweller, well, I never saw anything in Syesha from day one. She completely bores me.

The only two that I semi-enjoyed this week were Jason Castro and, surprise! Kristy Lee Cook. I'm kind of starting to feel sorry for Kristy, so it was nice for her that she didn't end up in the bottom three this week.

And one more note about "inspirational week". Yes, I know that this was tied into "Idol Gives Back", but one has to admit, it's all kind of fakey. I don't doubt that Little Archie and Babbling Brooke really felt their songs. They're kind of the soft-hearted type. But the others.....They were just looking for "big" performances. I don't think being "inspirational" was upper-most in their minds. Unless by "inspirational", we mean, "hanging on for at least one more week".

It's virtually impossible for me, in good conscience, to include a video from this week.

Therefore, despite the fact that Michael Johns bugged me with his imitation of "Jim Morrison grasping the mic", I will leave you with Michael's performance from Dolly Parton week. This was the one of his that I enjoyed the most.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

American Idol - Time's A'Wastin'!

Wow, did this week's show seem rushed? Usually, the show is waaay too long (with, of course, too many commercials), but this one seemed like there was a fire alarm going off in the building or something. Poor Michael Johns. He barely got a, "I think you did a g......". And then it was on to Hell's Kitchen, or whatever was on next.
It would have been nice to see Dolly actually working with the contestants. Which I'm sure she did. But in the editing, it seemed like they each sang a couple of lines, she hugged them, and then it was on to the next contestant! That would have been kind of a let-down for them, if it had really transpired that way. (For some reason, I'm reminded here of Andrea Bocelli - I think? -a couple of seasons back, making poor Chris Daughtry lie on the floor and sing - ha ha ha!)

As for the performances themselves, well, Dolly is a great songwriter, but I don't know what happened. Most of the contestants were boring.

Again, I must (begrudgingly) give the nod to Little Archie for probably the best performance of the night. I (don't think) I'd ever heard that Dolly Parton song before, but it makes me kind of want to search it out, to see if I might want to download it. Arch sang it with a lot of feeling, so good job, Little Archie!

The others that are even worth mentioning were David Cook ("Cookie" - you GO, Cookie!), Jason Castro, who I think did a fine job with the song he chose, and it was an excellent choice for him, regardless of the judges' comments. What was he supposed to sing? "Love Is Like A Butterfly"?? For pete's sake. Also, I liked Carly's rendition of, "Here You Come Again", and I'm no Carly fan.

I'll stop here to mention the fact, however, that Simon was reading my mind. As Carly was prancing around the stage, I thought, ick, her ensemble is pretty bad! I mean, c'mon! They must have some sort of clothing budget on that show. If she's really hard up, I could maybe dig through my closet and find something to lend her that looks way better than what she was wearing. And believe me, my clothes are nothing to write home about.

And, if you're thinking about going into Show Bizzz, you might want to get a tattoo that's a little less conspicuous. But I suppose she's competing with her husband's face.

I also thought Michael Johns was really goo........Oops! We're out of time! Anyway, I like the blues and I thought that he did a really good job with the song. (I wrote that really fast.)

As far as who goes, I don't really give a rip if it's Ramiele, Syesha, or Kristy. They're all really boring, but at least watching Kristy is like watching a train wreck. You don't want to miss whatever really bad thing is going to happen.

But all is well that will end well with Kristy, whether she goes this week or the next. I'm sure some record label in Nashville will sign her, because she has "the look". And that's all you need, really. Either "the look" or "the personality". Kellie Pickler has "the personality"; Kristy has "the look". We'll worry about "the voice" some other time.