Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finals Night- Results 5/20/09

Kirs Allen won. Did America get it right? Nooooooooo!
Yes, Kris is a good singer and a likable guy, but Adam has the goods. Kris couldn't believe he won and even said that it should have been Adam. Well, luckily these guys all are good friends by now and are supportive of each other, so no hard feelings (much to Simon's chagrin). I'm sure Adam will have a great career. Kris will be a pop star, but Adam will be a mega-star.
It was so satisfying to watch Adam sing with Kiss and Queen tonight. I was grinning from ear to ear. He just fit right in. I've never had so much fun watching Idol, as when I watched Adam perform; he's been so unpredictable and original, a breath of fresh air! It's been a great season.
Thanks to all of you that read my blog and for commenting, to the Poughkeepsie Journal for asking me to blog again this year and thanks to Morning Mix 97.7 FM's Bob Miller for having me on his show every week. Hope to see you at one of my performances near you sometime this summer. For more info, check out
Keep on singing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Finals Night 5/19/09

Okay, Adam is my choice by a landslide. That's really all I have to say.

Adam Lambert-Mad World-Cool, Wow! Speechless! Fantastic!
Kris Alan-Ain't No Sunshine-Nice job, original.
I think Adam won the first round.
Adam Lambert-Change Is Gonna Come-Whoa! ! His vocal control and range are amazing. His dynamics and stage presence, captivating.
Kris Alan-What's Goin' On-I wasn't very moved by that performance. It was nice, but not anything special.
Adam wins the second round.
Adam Lambert-No Boundaries-Why did they make him sing that song? It was such a mediocre song!!!!! Poor Adam.
Kris Alan-No Boundaries-No one wins singing that lousy song! I guess Kara is counting her money now, but who decided they should
The song suited Kris better, but they both lost if you ask me.

Who do you think should win?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Result Night from 5/12/09

Danny said it, let's get to the results already! Oh no! Not Danny! Why? Why? Oh well, never in the bottom 3 and then........ousted. Whaaaaa! Did you see the look on the judges' faces? Shock and awe! As was mine. He was always my second favorite. Kris was good last night, but not that good! If Kris wins next week, we know who is voting: teeny-bopper girls. He is a cutie, and he belongs on teen magazine covers. But as far as talent goes, (isn't this a talent contest?) Adam still has everyone beat. I am sorry to see Danny go; I really like him. He's been consistently good week after week. He's been through so much, can really sing, has such a great attitude and is so soulful. I know he will be one successful entertainer. I am a fan for life. Same with Adam, whether he wins or not. But Adam's got to win! He's just got to! Okay, he doesn't have to, but I think he should!
What about the rest of the show? Ehh. Not very thrilling. Can't we just have the result night like they do when they read the lottery numbers, like at 8:58, Ryan comes on and just says, "and the winner for this week is............., okay goodnight!"
Instead we have to listen to singers who are very successful and not even as good as the amateur contestants on the show. Alicia Keyes looked great and seemed really into her charity work, but I couldn't understand a word of Noah's song. Hope they raise a lot of money for Africa, a worthwhile cause. Katy Perry was just weird, but didn't do much for me. What kind of a song was that????? Jordan Sparks looked great, lost some weight, grew up a bit, but her song seemed so formulaic, soulless and contrived. I think she might have been lip-syncing; poor thing, she has no say in all this I'm sure. Good singer, but you couldn't tell from the song. And compared to Danny's singing at the end, no one could hold a candle to his heartfelt passion on You are So Beautiful. He brought me to tears. I was a huge Melinda Dolittle fan last year, and she didn't win either. Haven't heard much from her since. I learned a long time ago that the music business isn't interested in incredible talent, just in making quick money. I have so many incredibly talented friends who never got signed, and some mediocre ones who did. I thought the public was smarter than that. What a shame.

Thanks to Bob Miller on morning mix 97.7 FM for having me on his radio show every week this AI sesaon. I'll be on at 7:35AM tomorrow morning talking about tonight's results. Tune in! And check out my videos on you tube under Vickie Russell. Please feel free to comment on my blog if you have something to add to or disagree with! I love hearing from you all; you have great opinions and insights!

Adam, next week, okay? Did Amerca get it right? What do you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Judge's Choice/Singer's Choice 5/12/09

Judge's Choice/Singer's Choice

Always an interesting night when the judges give their choice of song and when the singers pick their own songs. I like to see who the judges think the singers are and also who the singers themselves think they are. For the most part, the songs worked well tonight. Adam was amazing as always and Kris did surprisingly well on the second song. Danny always touches my heart. Here's my take on tonight's performances:

Danny Gokey-Dance Little Sister-Lots of energy, limited range in the song, but he performed great! I wouldn't have chosen it for him.
Kris Allen-Apologize-It sounded a lot like the original, nothing that special to me.
Adam Lambert-One-Cool, what an arrangement, what a range, what control, what a voice!!!!!!!!! So original! I'm speechless!
Danny Gokey-You Are So Beautiful-Not my favorite song, but he sang it with great artistry. Such a nice voice, and soulful as always.
Kris Allen-Heartless-That was a great performance, with so much originality, great feel on the guitar and his voice soared. It was so intimate with him just playing guitar and singing by himself. Impressive! This is going to be a close competition!
Adam Lambert-Cryin'-Wow, I never understood those words before! He puts so much passion and presence behind his performances, besides an amazing voice and unique interpretation. My mother just commented, "he's like Tina Turner, in his star quaility and confident delivery." Incredible charisma. Give the man the trophy already!!!!!
Who should go home tomorrow? Kris? I still like Danny and Adam best, but Adam is my favorite!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Result Night from 5/5/09

Wow, Kris is safe, and Allison is going home. That's different from what I thought should happen. I'm glad Allison is going home so she can rest her voice. I'm relieved that Danny and Adam are safe. Whew!
So next week, Kris has gotta go.
Adam and Danny are still my favorites, Adam being #1. After seeing the movie "The Soloist" tonight, I realized Danny kind of looks a little like Robert Downey Jr. Anyone else notice that?

Tonight's show was curious; there were a bunch of really weird performances.The show should just be 5 minutes long on result night, but instead, they use it to promote every possible act around. The group song felt weak to me. I wasn't that thrilled with Paula Abdul, Daughtry, or No Doubt, but hey, I guess they had to fill up the hour with something. Okay, next week 2 songs, judges' choice and personal favorite. Sounds like fun. Can't wait to see what Adam picks!
Did America get it right?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rock Night with Slash as Mentor 5/5/09

This was an interesting night. Slash didn't impress me with his coaching one bit. What can you say to someone like Adam, "hey you are better than anyone I know, so do your thing". Adam was scintillating. Everyone else was okay in comparison. The duet with Adam and Allison was fun to watch; they were obviously having a great time. I think Kris and Danny were out of their element. Time for Kris to go. What do you think?

Adam Lambert-Whole Lot of Love-Wow, Amazing! He's better than Robert Plant himself! Jeez! Just give the guy the award and let's end idol now! Rock, theater, he can do it all. Ridiculous! What presence, what a voice!
Allison Iraheta-Cry Baby-It was a little too much like the original, and also, the lyrics are too old for her. Her heart didn't seem into it, even though she did put a lot of energy into her performance. But Joplin is the obvious choice for her to sing. Every week, her voice gets raspier and raspier. Hope she gets voted off this week so she can rest it.
Duet with Danny Gokey & Kris Allen-Renegade-Weird, neither of them are rockers. Nice harmonies. The song didn't suit them.
Kris Allen-Come Together-He did a good job, even though this isn't his style.
Danny Gokey-Dream On-Oooh, bad choice, only Adam could carry off this song except for Aerosmith themselves.
Duet with Allison and Adam-Slow Ride-Great duet, great pairing! Fun to watch, you could tell Allison was having the time of her life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Result Night from 4/28/09

Well, I called it, Matt's going home. It should have happened a couple of weeks ago, but he got to show us 2 more weeks of himself, and that was fun.

I can't believe Adam was in the bottom 2. What are people thinking?

It was a fun show to watch tonight. The group number was enjoyable, and I'm a big fan of Natalie Cole who seems to never age. And then there was Taylor Hicks. How did he win American Idol? He seems so mediocre compared to this year's finalists. It's been an exceptional year for talent on AI.

The next person to go should be Kris. Yes, he's cute,likable and a good singer, but not as good as the others, and he knows it.

Next week, rock songs with Slash as the mentor. That should be interesting.

Did America get it right? I think so. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Standards From the Rat Pack Era-4/28/09

Jamie Foxx was the coach/mentor tonight. I have a lot of respect for him; he's quite the singer and musician. He gave great advice. I'd listen to what he had to say.
My 2 favorite performances tonight were Adam and Danny. Allison did really well too. I think it's time for Kris and Matt to go. They just don't compare with the other 3. But I don't know who will go first. Matt should have gone home 2 weeks ago. Guess I'll say Matt. Who do you think should go home tomorrow?

Kris Allen-The Way You Look Tonight-Nothing that special to me. Pretty voice, I agree with Simon. He didn't really do anything that original with it.
Allison Iraheta-Someone to Watch Over Me-Well, that's my favorite standard to sing. She did a great job. Passionate, soulful, original. her voice is sounding more raspy every week. Will it last through the contest?
Matt Giraud-My Funny Valentine-A little pitchy, but nice singing. this song suited him.
Danny Gokey-Come Rain or Shine-Great singing, great performance, love him! Tender, soulful and from the heart. Great ending.
Adam Lambert-Feeling Good-Wow, so original, great song choice for him. Love him. Great singing as always. He really is an Olympic singer. He's always a pleasure and a surprise!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Results From Disco Night

This was an interesting results show. It was fun watching Paula choreograph the opening group number. They did well for the most part, for not being dancers.

Then we had to watch the painful Dinosaurs of Disco:
Freda Payne -ooh that was painful. She seemed like she couldn't catch her breath after walking down the stairs and was winded for her entire song. Thelma Houston could still sing and rule the stage, but she was wearing a micro mini negligee that for me was distracting and somehow uncomfortable to watch. Then KC of the Sunshine Band came out. Ouch again, his vocals were weak and he looked like he needed to get on some sort of exercise program. It's hard being a performer; you can't let yourself go, because you are putting yourself up in front of people that are going to judge every aspect of you. For the most part, I just want to hear good singing. If that's not happening, I start noticing everything else that's distracting. Why do these people want to perform on American Idol and be compared to young, hopeful, energetic singers. This season, the contestants are so good, that these established stars can't hold a candle to the current finalists.
I was sad to see David Archuletta singing a mundane pop song. I'm a big fan! His heart didn't seem to be in it. The song was so mundane, and during Season 7, he chose many deep songs that he connected to spiritually, like Imagine, that had depth to them. Ah, the music business. Once you're signed, you lose control of your creativity for the most part. It's all about money. Sad.

And then Lil and Anoop left. Love them both. Sorry to see them go. Both are really talented and likable and I am sure they will both do well in their careers. Best of luck to them. I think Matt should have gone. I would guess he or Allison are next to go.

Did America get it right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Disco Night 4/21/09

Disco night wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be because the songs for the most part had a modern twist to them. My favorite performances of the night were Adam, Danny, Kris and Allison. I think Lil, Matt and Anoop will be in the bottom 3, but Anoop will probably stay. Who do you think will go?

My take on tonight's performances:

Lil Rounds-I'm Every Woman-I thought she did a good job, but again it wasn't that different from the original. She's a great singer, but still not picking the material that makes her shine. I think she might go tomorrow.
Kris Allen-She Works Hard for the Money-Jose Feliciano style-cool. I liked it. Very original.
Danny Gokey-September- I thought he took it to a different place. I liked it. Soulful, great performer-joyful, fun.
Allison Iraheta-Hot Stuff-Solid performance- She's the rocker of the competition, hard to believe she is only 16. She's so confident and seasoned as a singer and performer. As always, I don't support the way she is singing. It's only a matter of time before she has no voice left.
Adam Lambert-If I Can't Have You-Wow, what a range and he knows how to use it. Original, riveting. Disco isn't so bad after all!
Matt Giraud-Stayin' Alive-I liked the beginning, then it got pretty corny. Too much like the original, which I never liked to begin with. His riffs are always great, though.
Anoop Desai-Dim All the Lights-Interesting take on the song, not the greatest performance, but enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Result show from 4/14/09

Well, I knew it would be Matt that would be in the bottom 3 tonight. Had I been a judge, I wouldn't have saved him. Someone has to go. If it had been Adam, yes I would have saved him! Or Lil, maybe, it's really hard to save anyone at this point. They all are really good singers. I was surprised that Anoop was one of the bottom 3, because he really sang well last night. So we wait till next week and say goodbye to 2! Also, disco week next week! I have to sit through an hour of disco music???? Ahhh!
I'll be on the radio tomorrow morning on Bob Miller's morning mix 97.7 FM at 7:25 AM talking about this week's results (or non-results). Courtney Nardone will be on with me, an American Idol contestant from our own Dutchess county who made it through 9 rounds at this year's 2009 auditions. She has since become my vocal student. She will talk about her experience with the judges and sing a little for us.
Hey, I almost forgot to tell you, I have a new music video from my song "Next" up on youtube. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Movie Song Week

Oh no, it's bad advice night! Quentin Tarrentino is the vocal coach????? Who told this guy he could coach singers? Everything he said I basically disagreed with. Sometimes I think the singers didn't listen to his advice. Good move on their part. Anyway, my favorites of the evening were: Adam, Danny, Anoop, and Allison, in that order. I think Matt might go this week. Who do you think will go? Who was your favorite tonight? I'd love to hear from you.

My take on the performances as they happened:

Allison Iraheta-Don't Want to Miss a Thing- Soulful singing, great riffing. She's a rocker. Great performance. Ouch, her voice sounds shot for good. Too much screaming. Sad at age 16.
Anoop Desai-I Do It For You-Nice job singing. Good performance. Impressive.
Adam Lambert-Born to Be Wild-Wow! Amazing!!!!!!! I'm speechless. He's so free and so is his voice. What a range, what energy, what fun!!!!!
Matt Giraud-Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman-Great piano playing, mostly good singing with some pitchy rough spots, it wasn't his best performance.
Danny Gokey-Endless Love-Good singing, I find this song quite sappy, but he put some edge into it. He's always soulful, he touches my heart. This song had to be a really hard song for him to sing considering he recently lost his wife. I think Quentin Tarrentino's advice to him was totally bogus. I guide my students to use their hands more to help express themselves. He told Danny to put his hands in his pockets.
Kris Allen-Falling Slowly-I liked how the song built up. That song touches me. He didn't do it originally, but he did it well. Nice singing.
Lil Rounds-The Rose-Oh oh, sounded like she was sharp the entire song. Not a good song choice for her. She's a great singer, but she hasn't chosen the right songs latley. I think she's losing her confidence. She'll have a great career, no doubt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Result show 4-8-09

Yes! Finally, Scott goes home. Although he did a good job singing tonight, he definitely is the weakest singer left on the show, and it's time he made room for the rest. I was surprised Anoop was in the bottom 3, because he sang so well last night. Did America get it right? I think so. Who will go next week? Kris Allen?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Song From the Singers' Birth Years

Tonight had some great moments. My favorites of the evening were: Adam, Danny, Anoop, and Matt. Lil didn't really stand out tonight, although she's got some of the best pipes of all the singers. Scott was my least favorite. He's gotta go this week. I'll be surprised and annoyed if it is someone other than him that goes home. He's tried his best, but he just doesn't belong in this competition at this point. Everyone else is a better singer than he is. My heart is with him though. I wish him great success.

Danny Gokey-Stand By Me-Yeah, nice performance, riffing, soulful, unique. Love him.
Kris Allen-All She Wants to Do is Dance-The song didn't really work for him. Good singing though.
Lil Rounds-What's Love Got To Do With It-She didn't really make it her own. She took a classic song and left me comparing her to Tina. It didn't really work. I think she oversang.
Anoop Desai-True Colors-Nice singing, good rendition. Nice control of his voice. He's so likable.
Scott MacIntyre-The Search is Over-Not the greatest song choice for him. Impressive that he also plays guitar.
Allison Iraheta-I Can't Make You Love Me-The song topic seemed too old for her. She sang it well, but I didn't feel anything in my heart from her. But she sure has a lot of soulfulness to her.
Matt Giraud-Part Time Lover-Good singing, great riffing, great control. Fun to watch.
Adam Lambert-Mad World-Wow, just an amazing performance, riveting, great song choice, what control and command of the audience. Wow, wow, wow! In a class all by himself. Sign him, please!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

4/1/09 Results

Well, I'm glad Megan is going home. She was the weakest singer of the 9 left. She seemed quite angry at Simon (isn't everyone?) and happy to be leaving and getting home to her son. I am sure good things will happen for her now in her career; as a model, singer, who knows what else? Anyway, let the contest continue. Next week, songs from the year the finalists were born. That could be fun. I'll be on the radio tomorrow at 7:35 AM to talk more about the results: tune into
Morning Mix 97.7 FM live.
Did America get it right? Who's next to go?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Top i-tune Downloads Night

Well, maybe I'm getting jaded or something. but I wasn't that thrilled with the show tonight; though I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Lambert as usual. I got goosebumps when I heard his name. Now that's anticipation! Danny Gokey moved me with his passion. Lil Rounds sang her heart out- she is a powerhouse, alright. Those are consistently my 3 favorites in that order, and I haven't really strayed from them since the beginning of this contest. Megan's got to go. She just isn't chooosing the right songs for her highly stylized voice. Who do you think should go?

Here's my take on the performances tonight:

Anoop Desai-Hold On Me-Lots of confidence and energy.
Megan Joy-Turn Your Lights Down Low-her voice was really irritating me, pitchy, wrong song for her. I think she's next to go.
Danny Gokey-What Hurts the Most-I thought it was too high for him, he had some control/pitch problems, but his stage presence, charm and soul won me over. One of my favorites!
Allison Iraheta-Don't Speak-Nice guitar playing, didn't know she played.
Scott MacIntyre-Just the Way You Are-He has a lot of talent, but every week he comes across to me like Barry Manilow. Kind of schmaltzy. Nice voice, beuatiful piano playing, and a sweet person to boot. Not my taste.
Matt Giraud-You Found Me-The beginning was shaky, and then it got better as it went. Where was his soul tonight? I couldn't really feel him in this song.
Lil Rounds-I Surrender-Good singing, pitchy at times, but what a voice! I missed her spunk tonight.
Adam Lambert-Play that Funky Music-Wow!!!! He's in a class by himself. Truly the most original performer I've ever seen on American Idol. What a singer/performer/persona! I'm speechless. He actully missed a couple of notes. Good to know he is human!
Kris Allen-Ain't No Sunshine-Nice singing, good piano playing, nice arrangement. He really didn't move me, but he did a good job.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Results from Motown Week

Well, Michael is out. I think America got that right. Megan is next to be leaving. She's quirky, pretty, interesting, but too stylized a singer for this contest. I'm looking forward to seeing what next week's show has in store for us.
Do you think America got it right?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Motown Week

This was a disappointing week. With such great singers, the show seemed to lack energy somehow. I wondered if it was because Motown is Motown and hard to really do any other way. Then you have Adam Lambert, who always keeps things fresh, interesting and unique.(Did anyone else think he looked a lot like KD Lang tonight?) His was my favorite performance of the evening, followed by Danny Gokey and Matt Geraud. Allison Iraheta had a dynamite performance, but it hurts to listen to her tearing up her voice more and more every week. Lil Rounds had great vocals and energy, but it was too much like the original to be anything memorable.
My prediction of the bottom 3 tonight is:
Scott MacIntyre, Megan Joy, and Micahel Sarver.
I think it's time for Scott to go. Wish he had broken out of the Barry Manilow mold. Not that Barry isn't talented, but we hoped for more edge from Scott. I really wanted him to stay in as long as he could.

Here were my reactions as I watched the show.

Matt Giraud-Let's Get It On-Good performance! He's got soul and great control. Confident.
Kris Allen-How Sweet It Is-Nice singing!
Scott MacIntyre-You Can't Hurry Love-Nice chord changes, good singing, nice. It didn't do anything for me. He might go after tonight.
Megan Joy-For Once In My Life-Pushed her voice, lots of missed notes. Poor Megan. She might go tonight.
Anoop Desai-Ooh Baby, Baby-Good performance. A few bad notes, but great control. Hard song!
Michael Sarver-Ain't Too Proud to Beg-It wasn't my favorite performance. Nice voice, nothing that stood out in his performance.
Lil Rounds-Heat Wave-Good performance, too much like the original to really be remembered.
Adam Lambert-Tracks of My Tears-Wow, amazing as always! What a range, what control, unique. My favorite tonight.
Danny Gokey-Get Ready-Great Performance! Always from the heart, touches me everytime. So organic!
Allison Iraheta-Papa Was a Rolling Stone-What soul! Always a great perfomrer! Ouch my throat! Get this girl out of the competition before it's too late!

Who do you think should be sent home?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grand Ole' Opry Result Night

I predicted 2 out of the 3 bottom contestants correctly. Dumb luck.
I think it's a good thing that Alexis was voted out. From the beginning of this season, I thought she'd been pushing her voice way too hard. She has a delicate voice and was on the way to wrecking it. I hope she gets signed to a country label and gets some major vocal guidance before she records and has to go on the road for a long tour. She is quite talented and beautiful as well. Country music seems to suit her best in my opinion. I look forward to seeing where her career takes her.
Carrie Underwood was amazing tonight: what a voice! I liked the new song she and Randy Travis sang together; although, next to her vocals and stunning looks, he seemed almost invisible. I wouldn't have matched those two up for a duet. Two different ends of the spectrum!
I think America got it right tonight. What do you think?

The bottom 3 tonight were:
Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver and Allison Iraheta (surprising!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grand Ole' Opry Night

This is by far the most interesting Idol season I have witnessed. Everyone is an excellent singer; I mean REALLY good. Adam is still my favoirite because he has a KILLER voice and range and he's so confident and solid. I love Lil Rounds because of her solid voice as well. But there were some other pleasing surprises tonight; Anoop was better than I thought he could be, Kris Allen blew me away. Allison and Matt had great performances as well. Danny is always wonderful to watch.
The weakest performances tonight were Scott, Michael, and Alexis. I think Scott or Michael will go soon. I'd hate to see Scott voted off because he's had such a challenging life but he is probably the weakest of all the singers. He just seems to lack some umph. We'll see who America votes for. Who do you think should be voted off?

My take on the individual performances tonight:

Michael Sarver-Ain't Goin' Down Till the Sun Comes Up-Fun song, but he didn't really stand out tonight.
Allison Iraheta-Great performance as usual! gives it her all; what a powerhouse!
Kris Allen-To Make You Feel My Love-Nice performance, beautiful voice, nice control, good singing!
Lil Rounds-Indepenence Day-Great performance. She is an amazing singer!
Adam Lambert-Ring of Fire-Amazing, wow! My favorite performance so far! So unique.
Scott MacIntyre-Wild Angels-Nice playing, nice singing, it didn't blow me away. A little boring.
Alexis Grace-Joelyn-A little sharp the whole song. This is the right style for her. Less pushing vocally than her rock stuff.
Danny Gokey-Jesus Take the Wheel-Great singing, good song for him, but the beginning was a little pitchy. Not his best singing night. But, soulful, yes!
Anoop Desai-Always on my Mind-Great job singing, very original. Great vocals, incredible control. HIs best performance yet.
Megan Joy-Walkin' After Midnight-She was her own quirky self. She's not my favorite singer, but it was fun. Amazing that she could get up there and sing after being so sick from the flu. What a trooper.
Matt Giraud-Soulful, great singing and musicianship, impressive, real talent there.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Week 1 results-Jorge and Jasmine Go Home

I thought that Jorge might get sent home tonight. What a likable guy and good singer. It's so hard to see anyone leave; everyone is exceptional this season. Jasmine is very likable and talented for someone so young. It seems to me she is so marketable that someone is going to grab her right up and sign her to a Disney deal or something better. Jorge too! They are lucky not to have to deal with the pressure from the insanity of the show. This show is really about exposure, and they have had weeks of that already; enough to give them the push they need for their careers. Good luck to them!
I'm glad Anoop is still in the running. Hopefully he can prove he can be more original and unique next week. Did America get it right? I think so. What do you think?

I'll be on the radio tomorrow morning talking about this week's show with the wild and crazy Bob Miller. Tune in at 7:35 AM on the morning mix @ 97.7 FM.

Check out my website packed with songs, video and photos!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Top 13-songs of Michael Jackson

Tonight's show was exciting! So far, I am sincerely enjoying this season due to so many exceptional singers. What a pleasure for this singer! I am sticking with my favorite performers; tonight being no exception: Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, and Danny Gokey. Micahel Jackson has a huge catolog of great songs, with a huge variety in style, from R&B to soul, to rock to pop, and the contestants utilized the styles to their advantage. I was most disappointed with Anoop. He is such a likable guy, but that was such a bad song choice for him. Michael Sarver was a pleasant surprise tonight. Scott MacIntyre was a bit sleepy. Well, you can check my critiques below. Who will be voted out tomorrow? Maybe Anoop and Megan.

Lil Rounds-The Way You Make Me Feel-She makes it all look so easy. Great performer! Great singer! She's so unique and herself. There were moments where my mind wandered, which I thought was strange.There seemed to be a lull in the middle of the song.
Scott MacIntyre-Keep the Faith-Almost seemed in the beginning, a little Barry Manilow-ish, got more fiery toward the end, though.
Danny Gokey-PYT-Wow great performance! So much energy, great voice, Lot's of soul. Love him. A little bit of oversinging and pitchiness, but what energy!
Michael Sarver-You Are Not Alone- That was really great singing and he made it his own style. I didn't know he could sing that well. Impressive!
Jasmine Murray-I'll Be There-She sang well. A few unsure notes, but nice. She really didn't do anything different from the original except for the last note.
Kris Allen-Remember the Time-Jazzy rendition, interesting take on the song. Different, original. I liked it. Good singing!
Allison Iraheta-Give In to Me, Great Performer! She's only 16????? Amazing! She's a rocker alright. But, she's pushing her voice too hard, hope her voice lasts through the competition. I can hear her hoarseness when she speaks. Not a good sign.
Anoop Desai-Beat It-Fun, good singer. Not a great song choice for him. kind of corny.
Jorge Nunez-Never Can Say Goodbye-Nice singing, a little out of control tonight, not a great song for him, a bit corny.
Megan Joy Corkrey-Rockin' Robin-Made it her own, she's got her own style. It was fun. She seemed a little awkward in moving around. Not a great song for her voice.
Adam Lambert-Black or White-Great performer! Made it his own. Wow. What energy! Sang great. Last note was off. Wow, wow, wow. That's all I can say.
Matt Giraud-Human Nature-Nice, unique, good song choice. He can really riff. Soulful.
Alexis Grace-Dirty Diana-She pushes her voice too much. good attitude, but I think she chooses songs that are way bigger than her voice is capable. I think she should be a country artist.

Who do you think had the best performance? I think Adam.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wild Card Show

Well, we are finally ready to get on with this contest! The 12, no 13 finalists have been chosen. I guess they can bend the rules and make it 13 finalists if they want. Simon's the boss after all. He can reinvent the show whenever he feels like it. Hey why not 30 finalists and just let it go on all year round? No, I take it back. I'm gonna need a rest after this season is over.
So glad that some of my favorites got chosen:
Yeah, Anoop!!! Love him; he's the ordinary guy that can really sing and work the crowd!
Jasmine, yes, very commercial choice. Young, pretty, talented.
Megan, well, also very commmercial choice. Pretty, quirky, unique singer.
Matt Giraud really sang great tonight. He deserves to be a finalist after his performance.
I am disappointed that Von didn't make it in, he is a great singer! But he was shaky tonight. (Do you blame him?)
Thank goodness Tatianna is out. I can't bear watching anymore breakdowns.

I think the judges made some good decisions.
The best technical singer of the 13: Adam Lambert.
Best all around singer/performer: Lil Rounds.
Most likable and soulful, with a great voice: Danny Gorkey.

So much talent this year, it's really impressive. This should be an exciting season.

My take on the performances tonight:

Jesse Langseth-Tell Me Somethng Good-Nice singing. Very soulful, sultry.
Matt Giraud-Who's Lovin'You-Well, that was as bluesy as you can get. Good job!
Megan Joy Corkrey-You're not the one for me-Bluesy, jazzy, she's got a lot of style. Pitchy, her voice isn't that strong, but she is a good performer.
Von Smith-Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word-I could really feel his nerves. But he can really sing. I hope he gets through because he should be in the top 12.
Jasmine Murray-Reflection-Nice singing! Great for 16!
Ricky Braddy-Superstition-It was a bit corny. Not the right song for him. Good singer.
Tatianna Del Toro-Saving All My Love For You-Good singer, not a great performance. Her drama is too much for me. Next!
Anoop Desai-My Prerogative-Confident performance, good singing. Really fun to watch. Can't help but love him.

Jasmine, Megan, Anoop and Matt.

See you next week!
I'll be on the radio tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM to comment on the show's results. Tune in:
Morning Mix 97.7 FM

Did the judges get it right?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Third Round Finals with Wild Card Selections

Well, they picked some good singers tonight from the third round of twelve: Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds and Jorge Nunez. I was surprised that Von Smith wasn't one of them, but these were all great choices. As I said last night, Lil Rounds is one of my 3 favorites from the whole group (the other 2 favorites being Adam and Danny).
Tomorrow night the judges choose the final 3 of the 12 from:
Von Smith (yeah!)
Jasmine (possible)
Rick (possible)
Tatianna (oy, more drama!)
Matt Giraud (possible)
Anoop (yeah!)

So sad Norman Gentle is out. He was a lot of fun, but didn't necessarily belong in this particular competition. He is just so entertaining. I hope he got a jump start from the exposure on this show and becomes some famous quirky celebrity and has his own TV show or Broadway musical.
For tomorrow night, I'm rooting for Anoop and Von Smith. As for the third choice, either Matt or Jasmine. I'm kind of unsure about who is as talented and interesting as Anoop and Von. I'm curious who the judges will choose. Looking forward to the top 12. Let's get to it already.

So, did America get it right tonight? Who do you think the judges will choose for the final 3 tomorow?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Third Round of 12

There is so much that goes into these performances: the technical aspect of the vocals, stage presence, the outfit, the persona, calming the nerves. There were some great performances tonight. This group had more outstanding talent than the first two groups. Hard to predict who will be the 3 finalists out of this group.
My favorites of the evening were:
Lil Rounds, Von Smith and I also liked:
Ju'Not Joyner, Felicia Barton, Nathaniel Marshall, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nunez
If had to pick one from these 5, I would have to choose Felicia Barton. Really a hard choice. Glad I don't have to choose. This is going to be a good season. There is major talent here.
My take on the performances:

Von Smith-sounded great, wow! He took Simon's advice to heart and sang with more dynamics . He seems less manic, more balanced and has great stage presence. And he can really sing! Fantastic performance. One of the finalists for sure.
Taylor Vaifanua-If I Ain't Got You-She sang really well for a 17 year old, but her energy seemed a little low. I thought the key was a little low for her also. She could have chosen a bit higher key to put some zing into her vocals. I think she played it too safe. Good singer.
Alex Wagner -Trugman-I Guess Why They Call it the Blues-Wrong song for him, he's got a lot of soul and this song doesn't have a whole lot of soul.
Arianna Afsar-The Winner Takes it All-Bad song choice, she riffed too much on the song, but she really has a great voice. She pushed her voice a bit too much. Not bad for a 17 year old.
Ju'Not Joyner-Hey Delilah-Nice vocals. He's a good singer. Nice performance!
Kristen MacNamara-Give Me One Reason-Somehow it was corny, old fashioned ; even though she can really sing. She has a little identity problem. She is a likable person.
Nathaniel Marshall-I Would Do Anythin For Love-Confident performer, not a great song choice. Good singer! Fun person, hope he gets another chance.
Felicia Barton-No One-Good voice, she pushed her voice a bit, but she has a lot of talent. Impressive. The song was very similar to the original, but it was fun just the same.
Scott MacIntyre-Mandolin Rain-Nice singing, I just want him to be a finalist. He's so likable.
Kendall Beard-This One's for the Girl-Not a great vocal performance, pitchy, out of control, but she knows who she is, and that's a good thing.
Jorge Nunez-Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me-pitchy at the beginning, got better as he went. Nice voice. Very passionate performance. (And I really don't like that song-but he made it enjoyable to listen to)
Lil Rounds-Great performance! Wow, my favorite performance of the evening, confident, great stage presence.

Who do you think should be the 3 chosen from tonight?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Results from the Second Group of 12

I liked the group song tonight, pretty hip! Entertaining. Brooke White from last year's show debuted her new song. It wasn't that thrilling. Good luck to you, Brooke.

So the winners from tonight were: Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen. Great choices! I think America got it right! All top notch singers. I'm sorry to see Norman Gentle go home. He really made me laugh. Well maybe he'll be back through the wild card choices by the judges, (over Simon's dead body). Adam is definitely the most amazing singer on the show. Allison was solid last night, but I hear a lot of hoarseness in her voice, she pushes her voice too hard for someone of her young age. She is a seasoned pro, but she is still so young, I hope she doesn't do permanent damage to it. Kris Allen did a fine job last night too; I look forward to hearing more from him.
They showed us a quick rundown of next week's singers. There is some great talent there too. I'm betting on: Nathaniel Marshall and Lil Rounds, and the judges will bring back 3 singers from all three weeks that didn't get chosen by votes. I'm pushing for Anoop.

This was fun. I'm looking forward to next week.

Do you think America got it right tonight?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Second Round of Twelve

Tonight was disappointing. There were a lot of good singers, but hardly any of them really sparkled. My 3 favorite performances tonight were: Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. Megan Joy Corkrey will definately have a career whether she continues in the contest as will Jasmine Murray. They are just super commercial personalities. Two of the three favorites of mine are professionals already. Allison won a record contract at 14 and Adam's been on Broadway for a year. Well they are a pleasure for this singer to watch, so who cares what their past is. I wonder who will stay.

My take:
Jasmine Murray-Love Song-pitchy at the beginning, too low for her, loss of vocal control, not the right song for her.
Matt Giraud-Evil Libido- Strange vibrato, not so much control, pitchy, not a good song for him.
Jeanine Vailes-This Time-sharp the first half of the time, not great.
Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle-loved him,vocals weren't all there, but fun! Funny!
Allison Iraheta-Alone-Good performance, that was the right song for her, good job!
Kris Allen- Man in the Mirror-Good performance, solid, nice singing,
Megan Joy Corkrey-Put Your Records On-Quirky, nice voice, she pushed her voice a bit much towards the end.
Matt Breitzke-Tonic (welder) Wrong song, not enough energy, boring, nice voice, but eh.
Jesse Langseth-Betty Davis Eyes-Soulful, good performance, good song choice for her,
Kai Kalama-What Becomes of the Broken Hearted-It was kind of nothing special, nice voice, pleasant, nothing stood out.
Mishavonna Henson-Drops of Jupiter-limited range song, she's a better singer than the song, good singer, bad song choice, didn't get her energy out.
Adam Lambert-Satisfaction-Wow!!!!!!! Amazing voice, great performance, good song choice. My favorite of the evening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Twelve Result Night

Well, the 3 they chose tonight out of last night's 12 are: Alexis, Michael, and Danny. Yeah, Danny!!!! That's a no brainer. But Ricky was a really good singer. Sorry to see him go. How did Michael get chosen over Anoop? Anoop was one of my favorites. I'm disappointed. I think even Michael was surprised he got chosen. He is a likable guy, but not outstanding. I was listening to Alexis' voice tonight. She'd better stop singing Aretha songs or she'll be out of the contest soon. Her voice isn't cut out for that kind of belting, and I could hear the strain in her voice tonight. I thought she was doing an Aretha impression last night, not singing her own style. She's going to need some serious voice coaching right away, or she could rupture a vocal cord. Ta Ta Tatianna! Enough drama from her, lets's get on to the real singing.
They gave us a preview of next week's 12 and there are so many great singers in there. I don't know how they will choose only 3. Adam has to be one! I am looking forward to it.
So did America get it right tonight?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Twelve Contestants

Tonight was a surprise- a 2 hour long show. Unfortunately, I had to wait 2 whole hours to see my favorite singer. They definately saved the best for last, though; Danny Gokey really delivered. There were a lot of disappointments, mostly in song choices.
Best performances tonight:
Jackie Tohn
Ricky Braddy
Alexis Grace
Danny Gokey

Here's my take on the performances:
Jackie Tohn-fun performer! Confident, and good rock singer, very stylized. But can she sing more than one style?
Ricky Braddy-Song For You, wow, great singer. All riffs, a bit over the top for me, but great talent. Such vocal control!
Alexis Grace-Never Loved A Man. I thought she sang it exactly like Aretha, copying every line, but she has a strong voice, and is very appealing.
Brent Keith-Hick Town, He's a good singer. Didn't blow me away.
Stevie Wright-she sang off key, it wasn't a very good performance, but she's only 16, so good try for her.
Anoop Desai-Angel of Mine -Sounded sharp the whole time. He's such a likable guy though! Hope he gets another chance.
Casey Carlson-Everything He Does is Magic-awkward, pitchy, she seemed quite self-conscious. (Shawn Colvin did cover that song and I loved it. It can be done!)
Michael Sarver-I Don't Wanna Be-It didn't really do anything for me. Kind of pitchy.
Anne Marie Boskovich-Natural Woman-pitchy start-Nice voice, but there wasn't enough soulfulness from her.
Stephen Fowler-Rock with You-Bad song for him. It didn't work. Strange style of singing, he's much more soulful than that. Disappointing.
Tatiana Del Toro-Saving All My Love For You-Interesting, pitchy, good moments/bad moments.
Danny Gokey-Hero, Best of the night! So emotionally connected.

What did you think of tonight's performances?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hollywood Week-the Last Night-the Top 36

Yes, finally a fun show! We got to hear and know the singers a bit more. I am really impressed with the high caliber of talent this year. After seeing the 36 chosen, still my favorites are: Adam, Danny, Lil Rounds, Anoop, Von, Jasmine, Norman/Nick and more that I haven't really heard enough from.
I agreed with the choices of the top 36 except for Jamar. They shouldn't have let him go. He's way too good. Tatiana, still seems to be teetering on a nervous breakdown, but maybe that's her shtick. Speaking of shtick, Norman Gentle made it into the top 36. Love that guy!

The Mean Report:

The meaness tonight was when the exhausted performers were sent into the "judgement room" and then made to believe they didn't make it when they had. Again, why do they prolong the stress for these poor people, fooling them into thinking they didn't make it when they did? It's cruel, and I hate cruel. I think I'd stand up and yell at them if I were a contestant. But, hey, that's me. The sing offs were cruel also, pitting 2 people against each other. Who thinks of these situations, Simon? The Devil? (One in the same.)
I sincerely am looking forward to next week to hear some good singing! That's what it's about for me. I could totally do without Simon.


Anoop Desai-in (good)
Von Smith-in (good)
Cody Sheldon-sing off-out
Alex Wagner-sing off-wins (good)
Adam Lambert-in (great!) Why is he in this? He shuld be a star already!
Taylor Vaifanua-17 years old-in
Jasmine Murray-in (good)
Arianna Afasr-in
Casey Carlson-in
Megan Corkrey-in
Stevie Wright-in (good)
Joanna Pacitti-in (been signed)
Kendall Beard-in
Kristin Macnamara-sing off-in
Jen Korbee-sing off-out
Alexis Grace (married)-in
Scott MacIntire-(blind)-in
Lil Rounds-(mother of 3)-in
Frankie Jordan-sing off-out
Jessie Langseth-sing off-in
Allison Iraheta-(16 yrs old)-in
Jamar-out, I think he is great! Mistake!
Danny Gokey-in (GREAT!)
Rickey Braddy-in
Matt Giraud-in (good)
Juno Joyner-in
Brent Keith-in
Steven Fowler-in (even though he forgot his words)
Nick Mitchel-Norman Gentle-in! Whoo!
Tatiana Del Toro-in
Jacke Tohn-in
Jackie Midkiff-sing off-out
Nathaniel Marshall-sing off-in
Ann Marie Boskovich-in
Matt Breitzke-sing off-in
Michael Sarver -(oil rigger) sing off-in

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hollywood Week Day 4

The focus was more on the singing than on the dramas tonight. I couldn't take another week of group dramas like last week.
There really is some great talent this year. As a singer and performer myself, I am most impressed with: Adam, Danny, and Lil Rounds; incredible voices and stage presence. I also have been enjoying: Anoop, Stevie Wright, Mishavonna, Leneshe Young and of course, Norman Gentle.
I felt really angry that they made the singers wait for hours in 4 holding rooms while the judges made their decisions. Couldn't they let the poor, exhausted performers go back to their rooms and rest till they decide? The whole show just seems to be about making these people as stressed out as possible. Does some poll say people will watch TV more if the people are stressed out? Do they think it's suspenseful? I don't enjoy watching it. Maybe because I've been in similar situations as a performer. I just want to see them singing and happy and doing their best. And let them sleep for goodness sake! It's hard to sing without sleep; you get dehydrated and then hoarse. Your body is your instrument. It's crazy.
Anyway, when the judges went from room to room to tell the singers if they were going to continue or not on the show, I thought it horribly cruel how they pretended they were going to send them home. Why? Just go in and tell them if they made it or not. I don't remember TV being this cruel when I was a kid. Has humanity changed that much? I thought they were going to have to take Tatianna out in a straight-jacket. Poor thing; she was losing her mind in all the suspense. And that poor homeless girl, she didn't make it. I thought she was good. Let her stay. She deserves it.
So who are your favorites? Any of the list below?

Stevie Wright
Lil Rounds
Alexis Grace
Norman Gentle
Leneshe Young

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hollywood-Group Day

What a wild show! I must confess, I've never even heard of Group Day before tonight. You see, I'd always thought that Simon was so mean that I refused to watch the show until 2 years ago, when a new student, who I mentioned last week in my blog, came to me to learn how to sing so that she could audition for American Idol. Every week she would come in and ask me if I'd seen this singer or that and what did I think of them. So after awhile I thought I should start being more involved in these discussions with my students. That's really what got me started watching. Then the Poughkeepsie Journal asked me to blog last year from the perspective of a performer and vocal coach. So now I am for a second year in a row committed to watching the whole season. But I only started watching when the 12 finalists were chosen last year. I didn't know all this stuff went on before! I am totally worn out by it all.
Tonight was so crazy! It was like I was thrown backstage into the middle of a high school play. That seemed like the level of professionalism and maturity in many of the groups. I guess that's what they are trying to create for high ratings. DRAMA! Spare me, there's enough drama in the world already!
What I did enjoy was watching the great singing. There really are some amazing singers on this show and I am looking forward to hearing them for more than 15 seconds at a time. Every time I see Danny Gokey my jaw drops; he can really sing! And so can Adam Lambert & Anoop Desai; I mean, wow, these guys have got to make it to the finals. they are really good. I am looking forward to hearing more from them. I guess David Osmond got cut tonight, that's surprising,; but he doesn't need this show to make him; he's got a few connections in show biz.
Did Von Smith make it? I didn't see him tonight.
Ah yes, Norman Gentle made it through again. Love that guy! Funnnnnnnny!
I like Jasmine, she's really got something special too.
Well, I have to admit, I am looking forward to next week for more Hollywood adventures.
Who are you rooting for so far? Who do you think will be a finalist?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hollywood night round one

I have to confess, I have never watched AI from the beginning like this.
147 contestants in Hollywood Round One -that's a lot to listen to in 2 days!
My thoughts on whom they showed us tonight:
Lil Rounds from Kansas: I thought she was pushing her voice really hard, pitchy, nervous, she got through though. She was one of my favorites 2 weeks ago.
Dennis Brigam from Kansas-he did look a bit manic, and that freaked the judges out. He was pretty angry about it all. Sent him home.
Nathaniel Marshall-beautiful voice
Anoop Desai-Wow! Amazing! And he looked much better, not geeky anymore, really cute. Finalist-I'm sure.
Jasmine Murray-she's got the whole package, really nice voice and very young, I think. Finalist!!
Rose Flack-not enough energy for me, very stylized-but she got by.
Von Smith-it's all at one level; maximum volume, didn't get a good review, but he got through, maybe he'll work on that. Use some dynamics, man!
Stephen Fowler-nice voice wow!
Jorge Nunez-very nice singing
Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchel-so funny!!!!! I love him!! Defiant and he can sing.
Jackie Tohn-she's a free spirit, pushes her voice, it can't last at that intensity.
Jamar Rogers-unique with style
Danny Gokey-YES! Wow!!!!!! Finalist!!!!
Bikini girl-Katrina -wow, she sure is confident (arrogant?), she's got a nice voice, but I don't like her.
Jeremy-nice singing
Jesus Valenzuela-pitchy, he didn't make it.
Emily-good voice
Adam Lambert-strong voice

104 contestants left after round one. I'm worn out and they only showed us about 20.
Wow that's a lot to have to listen to again tomorrow.
Group round tomorrow night. Who do you think is gonna make it to the top 12?

Debra Byrd-vocal coach on song choices

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Final Audition Night- Puerto Rico and NC

Finally, the auditions are done! I feel like I haven't gotten to see any of the great singers, so next week in Hollywood, maybe they will grace us with a look and a listen.
There was some meanness again tonight from Simon that was hard for me to take. And then, the segment of many people crying was miserable. Are we supposed to enjoy them shoving the camera in all these disappointed people's faces? Bravo to Kara and Paula for making it a priority to be kind. I really don't enjoy the audition part of this contest; probably I wouldn't like it much better if I were a judge, but I would try my best not to hurt people. Simon's preferred heartbreaking line seems to be: "Is this a joke?" Duh, no one is joking when they audition, except my favorite performer of the night; Norman Gentle. I loved him. He was really funny and let Simon have it, with a great one liner that implied that Ryan and Simon were an item. Even Simon couldn't help but laugh at that one. And the thing was, Norman could really sing, but insisted on being his truly corny self and that didn't fit in with the "Idol format". Amazingly, they sent him to Hollywood! I thought he was refreshing and really entertaining! I'm still laughing! I hope he goes far. There was one other singer that I really enjoyed: Melinda Camille, who had a lovely voice and a vibrant personality. She could have a good career.

There was a local who auditioned right here from Dutchess County that didn't make it to Hollywood; her name is Courtney Nardone and she attended Arlington High School. Sorry we didn't get to see her audition.
I also had one of my own vocal students audition. She came to me 2 years ago with the goal of learning how to sing, so she could audition for American Idol. I kept reminding her that if she loved to sing, that American Idol could be one goal, but that there were plenty of other avenues she could consider as a singer. I believe she had her head on straight when the time came to audition. She is a young, but impressive singer and she told me that she never even got in to see the main judges, that they only let her sing for preliminary judges, and then she got cut. And she waited on line for 2 days, all through the night. I've seen terrible singers make it in to see the main judges, so it seems baffling who they let in and don't. She also told me that she heard much better singers than herself that didn't get to sing for the judges, so, go figure. That's show biz.
Other impressions tonight:
Jorge had a nice voice but sang too high and was painfully strained.
Quick 5 second shots of Kenny Hoffpauer and Kendall Beard were impressive.
And finally, Monique the 16 year old, was charming especially with her 9 year old brother Christopher calling the shots. I think her voice isn't mature enough yet, therefore she could really hurt herself singing big songs, so I hope she doesn't go too far just yet. Another year or 2 and she'll be ready if she keeps studying and working on her vocal strength and maturity.
So who was your favorite of all the auditioners?
I think mine was Lil Round.
Can't wait to see what happens in Hollywood.
I'll be on the Morning Mix tomorrow @ 7:35 AM on 97.7 FM radio to talk more about Idol with Bob Miller. Tune in!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salt Lake City Auditions

Tonight was a bit more interesting and less tedious. No one really cried too much and Simon wasn't mean to anyone, how refreshing. There were a few good singers that were fun to watch; but no one blew me away. Here's what stood out in my mind:
The young Osmond guy-I liked his voice a lot. Beautiful singer. Hope he stays healthy.
Frankie-She had a jazzy kind of voice, I don't know if it is strong enough to withstand all they throw at the singers on the show, but we'll see.
Megan-unique voice, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not.
Austin-high school student, 17: Nice voice
Taylor-16 Nice singing, very developed voice
Rose-17, I didn't think her voice was really that great, but I liked her personality, and of course, they really made us feel bad about her loss of both her parents.
More auditions tomorrow, from my home town, NYC!
What did you think?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jacksonville Auditions

So, this is really getting tedious, watching these auditions. Maybe it's because they don't show too many good singers. We seem to get a smattering of talent, along with more bad singers and Simon making them cry. Looking forward to seeing some real talent at the finals.
My assessment on some singers they did show:
Jasmine was a good singer, young, beautiful and sweet.
TK was decent. good that he came back again, why didn't he get farther last year?
I like that they gave Anne Marie a second chance; that was a good lesson for her. They weren't even mean to her. She was also quite talented.
Okay, hopefully tomorrow will be more inspirational.
What do you think about the audition shows????

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Auditions in Louisville

Another audition night. I am looking forward to the actual finalists; this is grueling. I guess that's how the judges feel too, only they get paid lots of money to watch this and we don't. Kara got a little mean tonight, Simon is rubbing off on her, already! She apologized though. Kara, don't go to the dark side, please!
There were a few good singers tonight from what they showed us, but I liked the last singer best. I didn't catch her name. She had the most character and of course, a moving story. Joanne Pacitti was a good singer as well. You could see she had a lot of experience, signed to a record label already.
Brent Smith good rocker, nice voice, handsome too.
Matt Giraud, the dueling piano player, he had character.
Alexis Grace sang an Aretha song, not what you would think would come out of her. She was cute. I liked her. Well, we'll see what comes of these singers.
What did you think of tonight's show?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Auditions in San Francisco

Well, after this emotional and historical inauguration day, it was so hard to watch something as superficial as American Idol auditions. I kept flipping back and forth between the Inaugural ball with President Obama and his wife dancing to Beyonce's rendition of "At Last" and then to some really bad singers trying their best. What a contrast between the professional singers and the auditioners. Guess I shouldn't do that, it's not fair to them. I was just so taken watching Barak and Michelle dance together.It just warmed my heart. So, I feel very distracted. It's time to go out and celebrate, or should I stay home and watch the best singers in the world, like Stevie Wonder, or Alicia Keys? Hmmm, community or great music, gotta decide soon.

There were a few good singers tonight from what I saw, but I was not blown away by anyone. Tatiana talked them into sending her to Hollywood and so did Jesus. They were both decent singers, but very stylized. I doubt they will make it into the finals, not versatile enough. It goes to show you that if you really believe in yourself, you gotta push for you, because no one else is going to do it for you. A good lesson for us all.

So I look forward tomorrow when I can focus a bit more. Now on to the rest of the night! Happy Inauguration Day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Night 2 of Auditions-Kansas City

So many people I know say that they can't watch American Idol because they don't want to see the judges be cruel to the poor schnooks who think they can sing well and really can't. Well, I still think Simon was too mean tonight. Man, I sound like a broken record, but I can't get past that. I hate mean. What can I say? Does anyone else feel this way that is reading this blog? Okay, maybe it's not exciting TV, but can't they just say, "you need to keep working on your voice. Take some lessons; here's Vickie's number."
Okay, besides that, it was a very entertaining show tonight. Better than last night for sure. There was some impressive talent. The very last woman to sing was my favorite-Lil Rounds. Wow, she had some chops! Of course I was moved by Danny Gokey, the guy whose wife just died and he could sing as well. I was pleasantly surprised by Anoop, the geeky guy: soulful and fun. All in all, I look forward to more exceptional singers. I thought the first singer was really good, but I didn't remember her name. She was beautiful, charming and could really sing, the most commercial of anyone I've seen. I'll bet she is in the top 5 finalists. Who did you like? I'd love to hear back from you. Looking forward to next week. Is it really going to be on during the Inaugeration?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Season 8: The Auditions

This is the first time I've sat through an entire American Idol audition show. I have to say, it wasn't as painful to watch as the past audition shows. Simon seemed a bit more subdued, or have I just gotten used to him? I imagine that if I were a judge, after listening to hundreds of singers a day, I'd start to get impatient and frustrated if the singers weren't very good, and might even let a negative remark slip out by accident. But I'm a voice teacher, not a judge, and I am paid for my patience and guidance. I don't think Simon tries to hold back anything for fear of hurting these people's feelings. He just wants to get through the day as quickly as possible. I like the new judge, Kara; she spoke up when she had an opinion, and made some helpful suggestions, even though she was the new kid on the block.
There were some good voices. I liked Emily Wynn-Hughes , J.B. Ahfua, Arianna Afsar, and Stevie Wright best. But there's a lot more to come. So I'll wait and see who else seems to have star potential. I look forward to tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New American Idol Season Is Upon Us

Wow, has it been 8 months already? I've been so busy with my own career performing, shooting a music video and teaching, that I didn't even notice the time flying by. But January is always a month for me to take time off from performing, to write some new songs and to go within. It’s also a good time to observe what is going on in American pop culture.
So, I’m ready to experience a whole new season of talent, a new judge, and who knows what kind of drama from Simon. I dread watching the audition shows, because as a performer and vocal teacher myself, I feel compassion and empathy for the singer, and I always want to encourage and support people to sing if they feel passionate about it, as it is a form of self-expression. Maybe they shouldn't sing in public until they are ready i.e., have gotten some positive feedback from friends and possibly had some vocal/performance training or classes, or have gotten some experience and positive feedback at open mics. But on the other hand, the auditions are fun to watch because I like to pick out the winner in the very beginning and see if I'm right.
I have listened to many new students coming into my studio, full of fear in exposing their most vulnerable part of themselves: their voice. The human voice is our identity. It can’t be separated from who we are. I think of the times I’ve heard the sound of someone’s recorded voice played back after they’ve died. It brings me right back to their very essence.
It takes huge courage to sing in front of anyone, especially people that are judging you. I find it awfully painful when the judges say cruel things to the auditioners. Sometimes I have to walk away, or end up yelling at my TV in defense of the poor soul they are torturing.
I have seen dramatic examples of fear in my studio when I ask a new student to sing a few notes for me; of adults shaking uncontrollably or near fainting, or who burst into tears when they open their mouths because sometime in their lives, some teacher or family member told them that they couldn't sing. (I’m talking about tough, truck driver macho guys, heavy metal guitarists, grandmothers, social workers, you name it.) They might be "tone-deaf" (sing off key), an expression I do not believe in. When people sing off key, they either haven't been taught to listen deeply enough to match their voice to the music, or because they lack confidence and therefore cannot hear the music through their fear. The secret is in learning how to relax enough and concentrate deeply enough to hear the music and their own voice and the relationship between the two. I’ve never had a student come to me, young or old, who I couldn’t get to sing on key within a couple of lessons. The younger they are, the faster they can learn new habits; less years of negative feedback, I guess. But I’ve had 5-year olds and 75 year-olds begin to fix their pitch problem within one lesson. It is simply a learned awareness.
The bottom line is: anyone can sing. But it takes time and hard work to learn how to sing well. Some people who go on to the American Idol auditions obviously haven’t put in the work and think they can just sing well naturally, but anyone you see on there with exceptional talent and a beautiful voice has put in the work, believe me. Last year, David Cook and David Archuletta obviously had put in the most time into the craft of singing. And they were the top winners in the end.
Well, I look forward to sharing another season with you and hope you will tune into my weekly blog and share your comments with me. I’ll be talking with Bob Miller on the morning mix 97.7 FM next Tuesday Jan. 13 at 7:30 AM about the upcoming season. Tune in and check out my new music video of my song Yard Sale at