Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I know we all have our little catchphrases, but does he just walk around all day, saying that to random people?
"Hey, copy machine dude, YOU could sing the phone book!"
"Uh, yea. I'm just here to change your toner."
And are the producers slipping Randy a little extra pocket change to shill for David Archuleta? Come ON. He wasn't that good. He was his usual boring self. Maybe his phone book only goes from A through G.
I won't say this is the weakest final three ever, but it's pretty weak. Not only should Syesha NOT be in the final three (how did that happen, anyway??), but I would argue that Little Archie shouldn't be there, either.
If one were to judge artistic potential simply from the songs that the contestants chose for themselves, it is plain that only one of the three has any sort of artistic vision or true understanding of who they are as artists.
Further, if one were to judge artistic potential from the way the contestants handled the songs that were chosen for them, again, only one of the three has any artistic vision and potential for commercial success.
And for Randy to say that "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" was "just aiii-iight" for him is ridiculous. I thought Randy was supposed to be the big musician/producer of the bunch. While David was obviously suffering from vocal fatigue by the end of the show, vocal perfection alone does not move a listener. A singer has to have heart. And David clearly showed heart with this one.
Archuleta was singing by rote.
Syesha was auditioning for an acting gig.
If the voters have any sense (and according to dialidol, they do), David will have garnered the most votes this week.
And regardless how much Randy tries and tries, I'm truly hoping that the viewers next week have the good sense to vote David Cook as the next American Idol.
Although I will feel bad for him to be saddled with the winning song.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Jason has been my "quirky favorite" all season. Not my actual favorite (as readers know), but I was still kind of pulling for him to go far. As far as memorable performances, only David Cook was his equal. I've already pretty much forgotten everyone else.
And then last week, there was all the hype about him "wanting to go home". When I read that article, I was torn between feeling sorry for him and being mad at him for not seeing it through.
Then, when he messed up on both songs Tuesday night, I really began to wonder if he wasn't deliberately sabotaging himself. I actually was so embarrassed for him when he forgot the lyrics to Mr. Tambourine Man that I pushed the mute button on my TV.
But, hindsight is a good thing. In his Idol exit interview on EW, he cleared up the "wanting to go home" statement:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jason, I hear you're upset that I printed the quote you gave to me about wanting to go home. Do we need to make peace?
JASON CASTRO: I'm not upset about it. It's cool. I said it.
I'm glad you're standing by what you said. We got a lot of angry mail about that piece.
The fact of the matter that day was I was in a bad mood. I was frustrated with a lot of things. Then I got on the phone with you. I was just not in a good mood. I couldn't find a quiet place to talk to you and I kept walking around. I couldn't focus while we were talking. I don't even remember much of what I said. There are some days that are just like that. You just don't want to do what you are doing.
And he also dispelled my "sabotage" theory:
So, set the record straight. You weren't sabotaging yourself? You didn't want to go home?
I did not want to go home. But at the same time, now that it happened, I'm kind of glad. It all worked out like it was supposed to. I was reaching the point where I couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't able to keep up and it all caught up with me.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So what happened with ''Mr. Tambourine Man''? How on earth do you forget the lyrics to that song?
JASON CASTRO: You know, that day I was just scattered. Right before I went on I was just sitting down and adjusting the microphone. I wasn't even settled in when I started. I just forgot where I was. I couldn't believe I forgot those words. Those words are so written on your heart. But I just laughed it off. I don't ever take myself too seriously. I'm still just human. I do wish I hadn't done that, but whatever. It happened for a reason. I think I'm right where I'm supposed to be.
Did you perhaps not want to win so you didn't have to be known as an American Idol winner?
Totally not. I really wanted to make the top three. I just really think the inexperience caught up to me.
To be fair (which the judges generally were not), Jason had to contend with one judge who obviously didn't like him (RJ), one judge who was so eager to criticize him that she had to do it before he actually sang (NB - "Nut Bag"), and one judge who, thankfully, generally gave an honest critique, good or bad.
So, one of the two interesting remaining contestants is now gone. And look what
we're stuck with. Obviously, there is only one person who deserves to win.
And before we leave the Jason topic, a lot was made of his "goofiness", and some of the vague statements he made throughout the season.
However, isn't this a double standard?
Here, in a nutshell is how David Archuleta answers every question:
RYAN: David, what did you think of the judges' statements?
ARCHIE: Well, gee, I don't know.....I just........well, I just don't know. Aw shucks.
(sounds of girls screaming)
RYAN: Okay, great. What do you think has been your biggest challenge thus far in the competition?
ARCHIE: Well, gee, I don't know.....I just........well, I just don't know. Aw shucks.
(sounds of girls screaming)
I guess girls nowadays like their "men" inarticulate.
And I don't want to keep bashing little Archie (okay, I really kinda do), but he could choose any of the 500 songs that shaped rock & roll, and he chose "Love Me Tender"? Oh, I bet David Cook took his song choice, "Hungry Like The Wolf" - ha ha!
And I've said it before, but I will say it again: STOP changing the melody of the songs! Is he incapable of following a simple melody? What the.....?
I really think that the remaining two weeks (is it?) of the season would have been much more interesting with a different top three lineup. Say, for example, David Cook, Jason Castro, Brooke White. Or David Cook, Jason Castro, Michael Johns. Or David Cook, a lamp, and a potholder.
So, we await next week, when Syesha will go home. Then on to the BIG FINALE, when, if there is any justice, David Cook will win. But I'm not betting on it.
I leave you with a Jason Castro performance. It was kind of hard to choose, but I thought it might be good to feature one that I haven't already included in my blog:
JASON CASTRO - HALLELUJAH - "Absolutely Brilliant" ~ Simon Cowell
Okay, just one more. I happened to really enjoy this one:
JASON CASTRO - FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
And let me just get a couple of things off my chest, before I move on....
1. By far, the worst performances (yes, two) of the week were from David Archuleta. Horrible. Especially "America". He couldn't even stay on key. And what's the deal with him always changing the melody to songs? Stop it! It's time for him to just go home. Not that he will.
2. Apparently, I am in the minority when it comes to Jason Castro. Because I thought both of his songs were fine, and "September Morn" was very, very good. I enjoyed it. I would watch it again. You know, the one that Paula didn't like before he even performed it.
I haven't actually watched the episodes yet, but I have found that YouTube is an excellent resource. I was able to watch all the performances, without the filler. I was also able to watch the elimination segment.
I even got to watch Paula being utterly confused.
I'm not sure how she or the producers have tried to talk their way out of that, but whatever they said, I don't believe it. Either:
(a) she's nuts; or
(b) she does her "critiques" prior to the performances. Or
(c) I guess ~ she watched the dress rehearsal. However, I don't think they are supposed to judge, based on a rehearsal. If so, geez, better not mess up in rehearsal, guys (and gals)!
So, in retribution, Jason's fans rallied to make sure that he got enough votes to remain in the competition.
But back to the songs.......
I found an interesting article on ew.com, that talks about how the contestants went about choosing their songs for Neil Diamond week.
Apparently, there is a lot of angst and arm-wrestling going on. And in an arm wrestling match between Brooke and Archie, I'm picking Brooke to win.
For Little Archie, "he initially wanted to perform ''I'm a Believer,'' only to see Brooke pull the song title out of the hat..." Of course, I had picked that song for Archie to perform, so it was unfortunate (for both of them) that Brooke "won".
It seems that Syesha agonizes over her song choices. "She's settled on ''Hello Again,'' a slow number for a big voice. (David Cook initially chose it but let it go when he found out Mercado wanted it.) But that second song? The ever-patient Orland (the band leader) asks if she's heard ''Love on the Rocks.'' ''I don't like the chorus,'' Mercado responds. What about ''Thank the Lord for the Night Time''? ''Kind of boring,'' she replies.
Kind of boring, indeed! Exactly what I thought as I was listening to it. Mind you, the song, when done by Neil himself is far from boring, but boy, did Syesha ever make it boring! She should have gone with, "Love On The Rocks", as I (and Orland) recommended.
As for Brooke, "'Here's the problem with Neil Diamond songs,'' Brooke White tells Byrd and associate musical director Matt Rohde Thursday afternoon. ''Every song is about a woman or alcohol. And I can't sing about either.''
"After debating ''Cracklin' Rosie'' and ''Cherry, Cherry,'' she settles on ''I Am...I Said'' and ''I'm a Believer,'' which she won in the hat pick (arm wrestling match)."
Okay, no "woman songs" and "no alcohol". Yet she debated "Cherry Cherry" and "Cracklin' Rosie". What does she think "Cracklin' Rosie" is about? It's about wine, Brooke. And maybe I'm goofy, but I always thought "Cherry Cherry" was about a woman. Maybe she thinks it's about fruit.
As for Cookie and Jason, I thought they had the best song selections of the evening. I knew that David Cook wouldn't take my (or anyone's) advice, but that's what makes him a STAR! And Jason knows what works for him.
Anyway, Brooke went home and it was a blessing, really. She was, it seemed, on the edge of a nervous breakdown, so she needs to have some R&R time. But, to be serious for a moment, how many people would dare to get up on that stage even once, much less week after week? I wouldn't. Neither would you, I bet. It's easy for us to sit home with some hot cocoa (ha!) on our sofa with our jammies on, and critique these guys, but they've got some courage! So, kudos!
Next week is Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Week. I have no idea what that means. You know, that kind of cuts a wide swath. Why don't they just call it, "Sing Whatever You Want Week"?
I hope the pace is a little bit slower next week, because this week was ridiculous.
And to save us all some time and trouble, let's ask Paula to critique next week's performances now; how about it?
I leave you with Jason's performance of "September Morn", just because I liked it, and because it's going to annoy the holier-than-thou people who apparently want a pack of wolves to rip Jason's dreadlocks to shreds.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Of course, since I'm so psyched about the show, it'll probably be horrible.
Face it, I didn't anticipate Andrew Lloyd Webber (Broadway) week at all, and it was the best episode of the season. So, that's what I get for anticipating (or not anticipating, as the case may be.)
Since I'm pretty (okay, very) familiar with Neil's songs, I thought, for once, I would be ahead of the game, rather than always writing a post mortem.
I thought it would be fun to try to pick songs of Neil's that each contestant could sing. In some cases, this will not be easy.
When appropriate, I'll list an obvious and a not-so-obvious choice.
Let's start with JASON CASTRO.
I have a few songs in mind that Jason could do well. Here's the first:
My second choice for Jason:
On to BROOKE WHITE....
Here's (to me) the obvious choice for Brooke:
SONG SUNG BLUE
Now, if Brooke would like to step outside the box, as they say, and maybe break loose from the trembly, anthem-y ballads she's done every week, I think she could succeed with this one, and wow! Wouldn't folks be surprised?
Oh my, DAVID ARCHULETA.......
I'm sorry. I did look for a video of Neil from The Jazz Singer, performing this song, but I could find neither that nor a live performance of Neil singing it, but you have to agree, this is exactly the type of sappy ballad that Little Archie will (most likely) perform:
Here's another thought. David could try to do something completely different......for once.
The only video I could find of Neil singing this song was sort of cheesy, so I'm going with the group that made it famous.
I'M A BELIEVER
I think Syesha could do a nice, R&B version of this:
LOVE ON THE ROCKS
I kind of hate to give one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs to one of my least favorite contestants, but granted, she could probably do it well.
Hmmm.......who does that leave? Who does that leave?
Oh, yes! DAVID COOK!
The fact that David Cook is constantly surprising everyone makes it difficult for me to pick a song (or two) for him to sing.
Whatever song he chooses, it will be great.
So, I'll just throw a couple out there........
GIRL, YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON
So, there you go. I think I made some pretty good picks, if I do say so myself.
Will the Idol contestants choose as wisely? Hmmm......I guess we will tune in and see.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
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 EW.com, 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.
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:
DAVID COOK - MUSIC OF THE NIGHT
Thursday, April 17, 2008
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:
HARRY NILSSON - WITHOUT YOU
Friday, April 11, 2008
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
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.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Admittedly, the contestants only had 28 songs to choose from (for some reason), but it's not so much their choice of songs, but rather their hideous performances (for the most part).
I'm not going to rehash all the diatribes that have been written about Kristy Lee Cook. Suffice it to say, she's never heard Beatles songs before?? Seriously??
And one more thing, Kristy ~ Don't change the melody to a well-known and beloved song of the sixties. You were apparently trying to make it sound country, but all you succeeded in doing was ruining a great song.
But enough about her.
As I was thinking about this week's installment of AI, I started to wonder about something.....Has any contestant made it all the way through by only singing ballads? Because it occurs to me, even this early in the game, that the outcome is sort of a foregone conclusion. Simply because all the "tweens" have obviously made their choice, and they appear to be very single-minded in their adoration.
But what happens if the little guy actually is forced to sing an up-tempo number at some point during the competition? Will it matter? Will it make any difference? Cuz he only has one strong suit, and that's ballads.
Don't get me wrong. I think he's a really good singer. But let me point this out once again......
Isn't it about who is gonna sell records? Who's commercial? Face it, out of six previous seasons, there are only two winners who are actually selling records. And I may be wrong, but I think only those two even have record deals anymore. Oh, excuse me. I guess Jordin still has her deal (duh ~ for now). Oh sure, people were all a-twitter about Mr. Soul Patrol, for example. But did he sell any records? No.
And once the newness wears off, our youngster isn't going to sell records, either.
So, if you're looking at the whole thing objectively, there's one, maybe two, contestants who are, in fact, commercial. I don't know why people keep forgetting that aspect of it. It seems like a no-brainer. I guess everyone just gets caught up in the competition and/or the "cuteness" of the Idol wanna-be's.
And, P.S. to those who are pimping Carly. She had a record deal, and sold 200, count 'em, 200 CD's.
So, to rehash this week's performances, they went something like this:
Blah, blah, blah, YIKES! Blah, blah, blah, ISH. Blah, HEY! Then Blah.
(I might have them somewhat out of order of their actual appearance.)
Once again, let's give it up for David Cook (commercial!)
And no, he actually is as good as he thinks he is, Simon.
But to give the little guy his due, this was, to me, begrudgingly, the best performance of the night:
A couple of postscripts, if I may:
- For those who were so enthralled by Syesha's performance of "Yesterday", she didn't hit the high notes. And frankly, I fast-forwarded through the second half of her song, because, let's face it, everyone, including my cat, has done that song at one time or another. And, trust me, Bob Cat is just morose enough to pull it off.
- We can quibble as to whether Kristy or Amanda should have been kicked off first, but I will say that Amanda did not sing one note on key through the entire song. So, comme ci, comme ça, as my dad would say.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
That said, since this is a "popular music blog", it's kind of hard to ignore the biggest "POP-ular" phenomenon of the past seven years.
Granted, the show is cheesy in many ways. And it's manipulated. Let's take this season, for example:
You can't tell me that the 24 contestants who were ultimately chosen were the best of the auditioners. If that's the case, then wow, the rest must have been awful! I could take a look at the contestants' pictures on the AI site and X out the ones who will be leaving in short order. They're just filler.
I watched the pre-season auditions, and, unlike many viewers, I actually wanted to see the good performers, as opposed to the bizarre, "I'm just doing this to get on TV" auditioners. It's fun to try to pick out the really good singers. And there were some really good singers, but for whatever reason, once we got to the "Hollywood Round", we never even saw them again. But I guess they all still have their MySpaces pages, so whatever....
But back to the ones who did make it through to the final 24. Well, we've got a gaggle of interchangeable blondes. We got a few "rockers" (I like how they call them the "rockers" ~ as opposed to what? The "karaoke-ers"?) Bottom line is, we've got the requisite number of contestants that fit into the most popular demographic groups.....the young'ns, the blondes, the "rockers", the "broadway-musical-ers", the "country-ers"; then the ones who don't seem to fit neatly into any of the afore-mentioned categories.
Oh, I almost forgot. Also, we always have to have that one contestant that nobody likes. I think this person is deliberately chosen as well. This year, it's Kady (the one who pouts after the judges rip her to shreds).
As opposed to all the hype originating from the show's producers and judges, I think this season is, by comparison, one of the weaker seasons, as opposed to the GREATEST EVER!**
DISCLAIMER: Anyone who thinks that AI is strictly a singing competition is sadly misinformed.
I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage, in some ways, because I record the show and watch it on the weekends. By that point, I already know who's been booted off. But it's not like I'm going to call in and vote anyway. On the other hand, I do have the advantage of being able to fast-forward through the 85 minutes of commercials and filler, and only watch the 5 minutes of actual program. This saves me a lot of time.
But back to the show......
Already, at this point, some contestants have been sent packing (although not necessarily the correct ones).
So, what we're left with is, again, a bunch of filler and about 4 - 5 actual contenders.
I don't claim to know much about most of these people (it's a bit too early to have them memorized), but my observations at this point:
- Kristy Lee Cook (one of the blondes) ~ I think she's supposed to be country. At least I read that she, at one time, had a record deal in Nashville. Pretty good singer, but she has the same (lack of) personality as Carrie Underwood. I was a big fan of Carrie when she was on AI, but let's face it, she has the personality of a broom. I think KLC is even more wooden than Carrie, and not as good of a singer, by any means.
- Kady Malloy (another of the blondes) ~ I hate her. She's a real pain in the ass. Sure, she does impersonations, but can she actually impersonate a real human being? Apparently, no.
- Chikezie ~ Anyone with only one name, get off the show! That's a really impertinent gimmick, especially for someone that no one has ever heard of before. Plus, the first week of the semi-finals, he was so woefully off-key, I thought a trap door might suddenly open up, and down he'd go.
- Danny Noriega ~ Well, just....ish. I don't like him. He's a bit too "programmed". And what's with the finger-snapping? He's no Bobby Darin singing "Mack The Knife", for god's sake.
- Michael Johns ~ the Australian dude. At first, in the preliminary rounds, I thought he was pretty good. He's still okay, but I think he'll hang around more for his looks than for his singing.
- Carly Smithson ~ technically a very good singer. But there's been so much backlash against her for previously having a record deal (by the way, her CD only sold 300 copies!), that I think while she will go pretty far, she has no chance of actually winning. Plus, she has been over-hyped. It's not that she's not good. I just can't seem to put my finger on it. Maybe it's just that people root for the underdog, and she seems more like an "overdog".
I won't comment on a bunch of the others, because, frankly, they won't be around that long anyway.
Here are the ones I either really like, or kinda like, or at least seem interesting:
- David Cook ~ one of the "rockers". I like him; he's authentic. He's actually been "rockin'" in real life, not just singing in front of the mirror, like some of the others. Of course, I liked Robbie, too, and he's already gone. The judges basically got him booted off. I don't think they liked him....as a person, I mean. But back to David. He'll probably go semi-far, but he's no Chris Daughtry. But I do like that he's authentic.
- Brooke White ~ I like her a lot. She doesn't have the correct age demographic to win, but she will have a career in music, if she wants one. I hope that she writes, too, because she could have a nice career, if that is the case. She's chosen songs so far that highlight her talent. She's also pretty real, it seems, although I do not believe for a minute that she suddenly "discovered music" while she was in beauty school. She plays both piano and guitar; she's an excellent singer. You can't tell me that the light bulb just suddenly came on while she was shampooing someone's hair; "Oh, how about music?" Nah.......
- Ramiele Malubay ~ She has a beautiful voice. The first week, when she sang the Dusty Springfield song, it was beautiful and a refreshing change from the "screamers". Very controlled and melodical. No theatrics. That's why she won't win, I guess.
- Jason Castro ~ ha ha ~ I have to chuckle, because he's kind of goofy, but I really do think he's got a LOT of talent. And he's got a winning personality; not fakey! I hate fakey. And I thought he did a nice job on the Andy Gibb song. I'll admit, I haven't yet seen his performance of "Daydream", but I haven't deleted it from my recorded programs yet, so I'll still watch it eventually. And why are the judges telling him to lose the guitar? They have such weird biases about stuff. Leave him alone. If he wants to play the guitar, just shut up about it.
- David Archuleta ~ well, this kid certainly has it all going for him, doesn't he? Every site I've been on is already predicting him to win. That's putting a lot of pressure on this kid at this stage of the game. I don't think he'll crack under pressure, though. He seems to be a natural. I'll admit, I read all the hype about his performance of "Imagine" before I actually got to watch it for myself, so I was prepared to be underwhelmed. I have to admit, though, he did a really amazing job on the song. I also like that he's real, and not programmed (see Danny Noriega, above). But it's still really early, so anything can happen. But he's definitely the one to watch.
I suppose somebody that I like will be gone before the week is out. That's usually the way it goes. But I guess we'll see.
RAMIELE MULABAY - YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME
DAVID ARCHULETA - IMAGINE