Thursday, March 31, 2011

Results Show 3/31/11

Well, Paul almost went home. Oh well, maybe next week. But it was time for Thia and Naima to go. There are just so many talented people this year, and they have been the weakest, besides Paul. Did America get it right? Almost. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top 11 3/30/11 Elton John week

I remember the moment I first heard Elton John at age 12; it was then that I knew that I would be a singer/songwriter. By the time I was 14 I had all of his records and knew the chords, lyrics, and vocal inflections to every song he sang. So it was exciting for me to watch tonight's show and see what Elton songs the performers would choose to sing. It was a mediocre night of performances for me. My favorites tonight were James and Casey. Worst performance of the night......Paul. Will America get it right?

Scotty McReery-Country Comfort
Another country song from Scotty? What else can he do? Nothing, but he's so good at what he does. He's the country star of the show. Nice job, Scotty.

Naima Adedapo-I'm Still Standing
I liked her Reggae take on this song, very original. She is so true to herself on this show. Fun.

Paul MacDonald-Rocket Man
Why is this man still on???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Weird. A little pitchy tonight. Bad advice from the judges, push? Push his already injured voice? Not.

Pia Toscano-Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Man, this woman can sing!!!!! Diva, diva.

Stefano Lsngone-Tiny Dancer
I just love his voice. He gave a much better performance tonight: more present, more emotional. Whoever decides how to edit the song for the time restraints, butchered that song. Why can't these poor people sing the whole song, and maybe we could have less commercials instead?????

Lauren Alaina-Candle in the Wind
She did a great job making this song her own. Another person who speaks with a raspy voice which is a sign of vocal strain. Watch out Lauren, don't blow out your voice, you're too young.

James Durbin-Saturday Night's Alright
Wow, he's such a great performer! Great song choice for him. He held that note too long at the end, like Steven Tyler said, which is dangerous. He could blow out his voice. Be careful James. Take Steven's advice, or you could rupture a vocal cord.

Thia Megia-Daniel
She's got such a beautiful voice, more emotionally present tonight.

Casey Abrams-Your Song
Tasteful, loved it! It was great to hear the tender side of Casey, trimmed beard and all.

Jacob Lusk-Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Powerful, emotional, he's puts every ounce of himself into it as always. A little over the top tonight for me.

Hayley Reinhart-Bennie and the Jets
Her best performance so far. But as a vocal coach, ouch, I don't think she'll be able to utter one sound tomorrow, she really pushed her voice too far tonight. Be careful Haley.

Who do you think should go home tomorrow?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Top 11 Results Show 3/24/11

Wow, what a suspenseful and entertaining show this was! Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson sang. Stevie sounded great as usual, and Jennifer seemed rather angry in her new song "Where You At". My teachers always told me I couldn't end a sentence or a question with "at". Guess it's okay now.

Casey voted out? No, it can't be! It was a hard choice last night. Everyone was so good, and now we know why: Marc Antony helped them with their in-ear monitors so now everyone could actually hear themselves and sing on key. Why didn't someone do this the first week?????? Duh! Shouldn't that be someone's job over there at AI?
I'm glad Casey was saved tonight. Poor guy looked so shocked by the save; I think he was cursing non-stop, since they bleeped the last 2 minutes of the show about 10 times. He looked like he was going to pass out, or throw up right on Ryan. I'm happy they saved him, he really deserves it.
But next week, 2 people are going to have to go. It's going to be hard if the performances are as good as they were this week. Well, I'm satisfied.
Did America get it right? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 11 3/23/11 Motown Night

This was another fun show tonight. Everyone's performance was such high quality-this year the talent is leagues better than it's ever been before. I am so impressed with everyone tonight, I wouldn't know who to vote off. Watching the review of everyone at the end, the all gave their best and you could feel it; and in their own unique styles, which makes the show so interesting and go by quickly. My favorite performances tonight were: Jacob, Pia, Naima and James. Paul is still my least favorite, but he did a great job tonight doing what he does. Tonight I recalled, that when I first heard Rod Stewart back in the day, I thought, "who told this guy he could sing", and he's still recording today, so it's really a matter of taste. I'm used to him now, but I still don't like his voice. Who do you think should go judging from tonight's performances?

Casey Abrams-Heard It Through the Grapevine
Casey's all cleaned up, I hardly recognize him. That was fun, the ending was original and loose. It reminded me of the versions by CCR and Motown combined.

Thia Megia-Heat Wave
I liked what she did with the melody, she played with it a bit, that was interesting, she made it her own. I think she messed up some lyrics, but she covered it well. Glad to see her sing something upbeat. Such a rich voice; beautiful tone. This was my audition song for Broadway auditions years ago, it got me a call back every time.

Jacob Lusk-You're All I Need to Get By
Great performance, wow! Jacob's back! He didn't go overboard, he sang on key, fantastic! I think he heard himself better tonight on stage too. He held back till the end. Saved the best for last. Yessssss!

Lauren Alaina-You Just Keep Me Hangin' On
I liked her vocals, there was a little country in there, and some attitude, strong performance. When she spoke, she sounded a bit hoarse, which is always a warning sign that she's pushing her voice too hard when she sings. Dangerous for a teenager! She could damage her voice for good if she isn't careful.

Stefano Langone-Hello
Amazing vocals, but I think he started riffing too early in the song, and then there was no where to go. He's one of my favorites for sure. The judges gave him good advice. Jennifer said the same things I say to my vocal students: " who are you singing to, what are you feeling in the song, what is your intention?" Singing is acting!

Haley Reinhart-You Really Got a Hold On Me
That was a wild and free performance. I liked her gospel, bluesy growls. She's a powerhouse. Great performance!

Scotty McReery-For Once in My Life
That was a unique version of the song-kind of a Glen Campbell version. He did a good job staying true to himself. He is SOOOO country, I didn't know how he'd do, but he did alright!

Pia Toscano-All In Love Is Fair
Wow, best vocal of the night. What a diva! She's up there with the best of them! Barbra, Celine, move over!

Paul MacDonald-Tracks of My Tears
That was very true to Paul, unique, and a throwback to Rod Stewart. He made it his own. He did a good job. I actually enjoyed him.

Naima Adedapo-Dancing in the Streets
Her voice was so rich, I like what she brought to the song. Her pitch was right on this time. Loved the African dancing at the end! Great performer!

James Durbin-Livin' for the City
Cool performance, he rocked the house. What a voice, what a performer! Exciting!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Results show 3/17/11

Why is Paul MacDonald still on this show? He's just not up to par with the rest of the singers. I am sorry to see Karen Rodriguez go; she is talented, but there are many talented people on the show this year and someone had to go (Paul, Paul, Paul). Oh well, Karen was a little boring in her performances and song choices so it's not a bad choice. Did America get it right? I don't think so. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Top 12-Songs From Their Birth Year

Two hours flew by tonight watching Idol. I haven't experienced that until this season. The talent is diverse, and at a high enough level that it keeps me entertained and impressed. There were some excellent performances tonight and some disappointing moments as well. From a singer and vocal teacher's point of view, I watch these finalists push themselves harder than they ever have and worry about their voices holding out for the season. Paul MacDonald's voice concerns me. It sounds injured and although the judges like his unique sound and style, I think he needs vocal rest for awhile and to relearn how to sing. Haley is another one that should watch out for vocal strain; when she speaks, her voice is raspy. This is a sign of vocal stress and possible damage. Everyone seemed to have pitch problems tonight except Pia, Thia, and Stefano. The monitors that they wear in their ears to help them hear themselves can be confusing until they get used to them. And the acoustics in a big theater like that are very different from anything most of these performers have experienced. And then there are nerves,; so much pressure. It takes so much courage to be doing what they are doing! My hat goes off to all these performers!
My favorite all-around performance of the night was Stefano Langone. The weakest was Paul MacDonald. Here is my take on the show tonight. Who do you think should be voted off?

Naima Adedabo-What's Love Got to Do With It
Disappointing performance, her pitch was really shaky, maybe it has to do with her moving when she's singing. Try standing still next time, Naima, so you can concentrate on pitch. Maybe she can't hear herself, or is it nerves? She was so good at the auditions; what happened?

Paul McDonald-Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
I said it the first week I heard him, his voice is not going to last through this season. They said he has a cold, but I think he has a strained voice. My friend Barbara just said he sounded like Rod Stewart on Helium. I agree.

Thia Megia-The Colors of the Wind
Beautiful singing, lovely tone. She needs to pick some more contemporary songs, that are a little more upbeat. The judges are right about her song choice.

James Durbin-I'll Be There For You
Not a great night for him vocally, but I loved his performance. He has a great stage presence and energy. His pitch was shaky.

Haley Reinhart-I'm Your Baby Tonight
Her voice was strong tonight, she's good at many styles, and the judges are giving her a hard time for it. She's a versatile singer, but in this business, you have to fit into a genre or they can't market and sell you. Poor Haley, she's too talented for the business. How many singers do I know like that? Too many!

Stefano Langone-If You Don't Know Me By Now
What a natural singer, great range, passion, knows how to improvise. My favorite performance of the night.

Pia Toscano-Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Pia is one of the few singers who can take on any diva song and nail it. She is a great singer and could win this competition!

Scotty McCreery-Can I Trust You With My Heart
Country, country, country.....nice traditional country singing as usual. Scotty, don't push your voice like the producer told you, you'll wreck it!

Karen Rodriguez-Love Will Lead You Back
A little shaky, but basically a good performance.

Casey Abrams-Smells Like Teen Spirit
He's a great entertainer, quirky, fun,love him. Great performance, great musician! He takes a risk every time!

Lauren Alaina-I'm the Only One
I like the country twist, she made it her own, even with the flu. Good performance. Solid singing. She's only 16? Impressive!

Jacob Lusk-Alone
As usual, Jacob knocks it out of the park with his top notch vocal and passionate performance. He gives every ounce of himself, inspiring to watch him. A little pitchy, but so entertaining!

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 13 Results show 3/10/11

Ashton Jones is voted off the show. Her low notes were weak. I think she picked too low of a key for that song; probably because the producer wanted her to sing such high notes, she had to start extra low. When you are pushing high notes out too often, you start to lose your lowest notes. It's best to work your entire range with vocal exercises everyday. Ashton has a bright singing future, though. She's a very good singer and just needs a little more work and experience. Did America get it right? I think so. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Top 13 3/9/11

This season has the best talent yet. So many great singers: the guys have the women beat. My favorites this evening: James Durbin, Stefano Langone and Haley Reinhart. Whose performances were the weakest? Ashton Jones and Paul MacDonald. The judges are so refreshing; no one is being hurtful and they do focus on the positive while delivering helpful criticism. They understand what it takes to be up there and respect each performer for that. It's so much easier to watch this year. Simon who? Here's my take on the singers:

Lauren Alaina-Any Man of Mine
Good performance. She's such a natural; singing comes so easy for her. But it didn't seem very unique or original.

Casey Abrams-With A Little Help from My Friends
That was fun! He's so musical, tasteful, unique and soulful. Love his voice, love his style, love his confidence. He's the real deal. It's surprising that such a talented yet quirky musician made it to Idol. One of my favorites.

Ashton Jones-When You Tell Me That You Love Me
Pitchy, shaky, she seemed a little unsure of herself tonight. I didn't really feel that much from her performance.

Paul McDonald-I Wish You Would
What was that? He's so strange, I don't like his voice, or his performance style. Pitchy, sorry I just don't get him. He does seem to have a happy vibe when he performs, I'll give him that. He's the weakest of all the singers.

Pia Toscano-All By Myself
She's got pipes, baby. Pia is an amazing singer, my favorite of the women.

James Durbin-Maybe I'm Amazed
I'm definitely amazed. He can sing tenderly, rock it, he is so versatile.He can do it all! Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Haley Reinhart-Blue
That yodeling is really hard to control-back and forth from head voice to chest voice. Very impressive. She has been my least favorite singer up until now, but tonight turned that around for me. One of the best performances tonight.

Jacob Lusk-I Believe I Can Fly
What a singer! He's so powerful, passionate, but tonight he lost a bit of his vocal control. I am so moved by his commitment when he sings. He puts every ounce of himself into it, nothing is held back. Really inspiring. Not his best performance vocally though.

Thia Megia-Smile
Beautiful tone, a little pitchy, but such an angelic sounding voice. What an odd arrangement of the song. It detracted from her performance. Not her best night.

Stefano Langone-Lately
Great vocals, he has such an amazing range, and wonderful control. He's one of my favorites. It takes a lot of talent and confidence to attack a Stevie Wonder tune. And he nailed it. Impressive! He's one of my favorites.

Karen Rodriguez- I Could Fall in Love with You
That didn't do much for me. She seemed unsure of her low notes, a little pitchy, sleepy. Eh...

Scotty McCreery-Till the River Runs Dry
He's got such a classic country voice. He did a great job. He was more present tonight and accessible to the audience. I don't think Scotty is American Idol material, because when other styles start getting thrown at him, he's going to have a hard time doing anything other than what he does, which is hardcore, old school country. I say kick him off the show soon, and get him into the studio right away to record his first country hit album. He's gonna be a star!

Naima Adedapo-Umbrella
Cool performance. Loved her style, her dancing, her rapping, she's so unique. I could tell she was having a hard time having enough breath to dance and sing. She was a little pitchy, but her unique character really stood out. Love her. Not her best singing tonight, but she is a strong performer!

Who were your favorites? Who should be voted off? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Top 13 3/3/11

I definately agree with the majority of the singers who got voted in:
Naima Adedapo, Ashthon Jones, Stefano Langone grabbed wild card spots and joined Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Thia Megia, Haley Reinhart, Karen Rodriguez and Pia Toscano.
I'm disappointed that Clint Jun Gamboa was voted out. I enjoyed his vocals and his energy.
My favorites this season are: Jacob Lusk, James Durban, Pia Toscano, Naima Adedapo. I look forward to the real competition starting next week. This is the most talented bunch of singers on any season so far and I'm truly excited!

Your thoughts on the Top 13?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Idol Begins 3/2/11 The Women

Well, watching the guys was much more exciting last night. I'm surprised how weak the women were. My 2 favorites performances tonight were by Naima and Pia. Exceptional singing! The rest didn't really stand out for me. It is impressive how well the 16 year olds can sing, but they lack a confidence that these 2 have. I'd say the weakest performances tonight were Ta-Tynisa and Rachel. Here's my take on the evening:

1.Ta-Tynisa Wilson-Only Girl
She was sharp, very pitchy. Didn't seem unique at all, I wasn't impressed.

2.Naima Adedapo-Summertime
Wow, what a voice, great jazz singer! One of my favorites!

3.Kendra Chantelle-Impossible
Good singer, I was pleasantly surprised. Soulful, powerful and nice riffs.

4.Rachel Zevita-Criminal
Hmmmm, not sure how I felt about that performance. Her voice seemed a bit muffled somehow. And her vocal control wasn't that great. Don't know.

5.Karen Rodriguez-Hero
Nice singing, beautiful voice, good performance.

6.Lauren Turner-Seven Day Fool
Good singing, soulful, she seemed like she was holding back a bit though. To me, it lacked something: confidence.

7.Ashton Jones-Love All Over Me
She had so much confidence, impressive. Her voice soars. Impressive. I wasn't crazy about the song for her though.

8.Julie Zorrilla-Break Away
Not a great song choice, it didn't really show off her voice, it didn't do much for me.

9.Haley Reinhart-Falling In Love
Big song to take on, not the right song to show her voice off. Only Alicia should sing that song. I didn't really get it.

10.Thia Megia-Out Here On My Own
Good singing, she had 3 notes were flat, but a very good singer, and only 15! So brave to start out a capella.

11.Lauren Alaina-You Can Hear Me on the Radio
She's 16? She was very good, but I didn't feel blown away like the judges did.

12.Pia Toscano-I'll Stand By You
Wow, that was an improvement over the original. What a stellar performance! Great range, great voice. She's got it!

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Idol Begins 3/1/11 The Guys

Tonight was pretty impressive. These guys are amazing; the best singers of all the seasons that I have seen. Inspiring! My favorite performances tonight were Clint Jun Gamboa, James Durbin, and Stefano Langone and Jacob Lusk. I am looking forward to seeing what happens this season. So nice without the nastiness of Simon, just about the talent. As it should be. Judging only from the performances tonight, the weakest of the singers was Paul MacDonald. Jacob Lusk has the winning voice. I hope America appreciates what he's got!
Here's my take on the performances:

1.Clint Jun Gamboa-Superstition
This guy can sing! He's got a lot of soul, power and so much energy! One of my favorites this season. I enjoyed his performance!

2.Jovany Baretto-I'll Be
Nice voice, he didn't give an exciting performance but he has a great voice.

3.Jordan Dorsey-So Many Ways to Love Ya
That was a little weird, this guy can REALLY sing, but this song didn't suit him. Hope he stays in, because he could win this competition. He's that good!

4.Tim Halperin-Come On Over
That song didn't do much for me. Eh...

5.Brett Lowenstern-Light My Fire
He's another really talented singer, who didn't come across as strong as he is. These guys must be so nervous, because from what I saw at the auditions, they have so much talent.

6.James Durbin-You Got Another Thing Comin'
Wow, what energy! He's so free and natural, and those screams, so organic! He's got it! What a singer.

7.Robby Rosen-In the Arms of an Angel
Cool, how he did the song. He had some pitch issues with the high notes, but great artistry, and originality. What a range! I like how he changed the time signature for 3/4 to 4/4. He's got a lot of promise.

8.Scotty McReery-Letters From Home
Is this guy only 17? Impossible! He comes from the heart, he's the real thing. I totally enjoyed his performance, and I'm not a die hard country fan. What a voice; so authentic.

9.Stefano Langone-Just the Way You Are
Wow, what a voice, incredible! Love him. What a range! A little pitchy, I think it was nerves.

10.Paul MacDonald-Maggie May
Very unique, not sure how I feel about his voice. Sounds weak and damaged. Can he get through the season?

11.Jacob Lusk-A House is Not Home
This guy has a voice like no one I've ever heard! Indescribable, divine. What more can I say? Speechless. Give the guy the trophy and let's call it a day.

12.Casey Abrams-I Put a Spell On You
He's so free, and insanely musical. He's so talented, hope he goes far with this contest. He doesn't fit the mold, that's for sure.

So what do you think of these guys? Would love to hear your opinions.