Thursday, April 28, 2011

Results show 4/28/11

Casey's going home. I'll miss him, he's always fun to watch. Although I love Casey's great musicianship, quirkiness and creativity, I think he was probably the weakest vocalist last night, so I guess it was a sensible outcome for him to be voted off the show. Only five contestants left; we're getting close now. Who is going to win? James? Did America get it right tonight?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carole King Week

Carole King week; I couldn't be happier. Carole King was my first singer/songwriter inspiration. When I was 10 years old, after playing classical piano for 4 years, I heard her for the first time; she rocked my world. I realized that I could play something on the piano other than classical music, and sing at the same time. So I know her songs; it's a sign of a great song, when it will work in any style: country, pop, rock, blues. And that's what everyone did, made them their own. My favorite performance of the night: Casey Abrams. Who do I think should go home? I'm not sure anymore, everyone is so good. This is getting really tough now. James and Scotty are the most consistent week after week. Lauren sounded great. Jacob had a good night. Haley? Who do you think will be voted off?

Jacob Lusk-Oh No, Not My Baby
That's the Jacob we know and love, fun, wild, creative, going for it. Great energy, even though he was a bit sharp here and there. Loved the riffs at the end. Fun!

Lauren Alaina-Where You Lead
She did a good job with that song. The producers and judges are encouraging her to push herself through her fears (good) and push her voice (bad). Babyface was telling her this. Isn't he a singer? She's only 16, spare her voice, please before it's too late.

Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams-I Feel the Earth Move
Okay, I'm not sure how I felt about that duet. I liked Casey's harmonies, but it didn't' thrill me. I'm not crazy about Haley's voice. It sounds so weary.

Scotty McReery-You've Got A Friend
He did a good country job, once again. I thought he was going to wreck it, but he did alright. He went a bit out of his comfort zone and made it interesting.

James Durbin-Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
I liked the a capella beginning. That takes a lot of courage. the rest of the song was a bit boring for me, the drum beat was dated, too much like the Shirelles' version in the 60's, but the beginning was worth it all. His singing seemed a little pitchy to me tonight.

Lauren Alaina and Scotty McReery-Up on the Roof
Scotty's worked hard on his harmonies. He couldn't sing harmony during Hollywood week. That was a nice duet, I liked the country take on that song. It worked.

Casey Abrams-Hi De Ho
Casey's always a lot of original, unique and creative. You know you're in for something different every week from him. Great performer, that Casey.

Haley Reinhart-Beautiful
That was an interesting rendition of the song. She did a good job.

Jacob Lusk and James Durbin-I'm Into Something Good
Outta control, kind of loose. That was a fun sing off at the end. Weird song choice, not my favorite performance.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Results Show 4/21/11

Stefano is going home tonight. He's such a likable guy; talented, cute, with a great attitude to boot. I would think that being in a near fatal car accident puts things into perspective.
Tonight, he sang his farewell song "Lately" with more passion and abandon than ever on AI. I guess the pressure was off, so he could relax and enjoy the moment. I will miss watching him but I predict that he will have a very successful career and we will be hearing from him again soon.
I'm glad Jacob didn't get sent home. Did America get it right? Maybe. Anyone could have been sent home tonight; the performances were all top notch last night. I think Haley should go next, but I don't think that's going to happen. We'll see. Do you think America got it right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Songs from this Decade 4/20/11

This was another great episode of American Idol. I believe it's been the most entertaining idol season since I've been watching for the last 4 seasons. Everyone is so talented, unique in their style and knows who they are. I guess they've been studying the show now for 10 years: AI university if you will, and they really have it down.
I enjoyed James' performance the most tonight. Scotty was my least favorite of the night, but now that Paul is gone, I think Haley should be the next one to leave. It's getting more difficult to decide now. Who do you think should go home?

Here's my take on the evening's performances:

Scotty McReery-Swingin'
Loved when he sang that octave lower in the last verse. What a range,the deep bass voice, wow! He did a good country job as usual. Nothing different, but he's good at what he does, especially for his young age!

James Durbin-Uprising
Go James! That was such a dramatic and rockin' performance; what a vocal range-superhuman! James always keeps me interested, involved, riveted. You never know what he's going to do next. I think he studied at the Adam Lambert school of Idol and got an A+. Best performance of the night.

Haley Reinhart-We Could Have Had It All
As I've said this before; her voice sounds so fatigued when she speaks. I wish she'd get voted off the show, so she can go home and have vocal rest. I fear she's headed for permanent damage. I agree with the judges: the song was a good choice for her, a good direction for her career. She sang it well.

Jacob Lusk-Dance With My Father
What happened there with his ear monitors; no music, just drums? That kind of problem can really throw someone off, but he kept going, which shows he is a pro.

This reminds me of a time a while back in my singing career when I was onstage as an opening act in front of 2000+ people in a large theater. I wasn't given a sound check beforehand due to an emergency with the headliner needing to rehearse a new bass player last minute on stage. So, with no sound check, I had to start my first song while the sound man adjusted the volume of my keyboard in the stage monitors. I was onstage solo, and for about 5 seconds in the middle of that song, no sound came out of the stage monitors, so I heard nothing from the keyboard at all. I just had to watch my fingers play and go by feel and hope I was playing the right notes while I continued singing as if nothing were wrong. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Guess I'm pretty strong by now. But I digress........

The end of Jacob's song really pulled me in, but the rest of it was a little too contained. I could relate to his dilemma and what the judges were referring to. As a singer/songwriter myself, it has been challenging at times when I've sung a song close to my heart. How to get through the song, and feel the truth of the song without breaking down is the challenge.
One more thing about the judges feedback tonight: Jacob was told so often at the beginning of the competition to hold back and not over sing at the beginning of songs, and now, they are telling him the opposite; let it rip from the beginning. Confusing double messages, judges. What should Jacob do?

Casey Abrams-Harder to Breathe
He plays guitar too? This guy is so talented! Charming ending when he kissed Jennifer, very funny. I love him; he's so original. He's always taking chances and knows who he is. I have an enormous amount of respect for him.

Stefano Langone-I Just Can't Stop
He did a great job, more confident, lively and and he connected with the audience. Great singing as usual.

Lauren Alaina-Born to Fly
She tore that song up. Great job! She could win this competition. Just be gentle with your voice Lauren.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Movie Week Results 4/14/11

Yayyyyyyy! Paul is finally voted off. I have to say, he was a real sport with the news, very professional in the way he left. He sang, and smiled all the way through, no tears, just grateful for the ride. I can tell he's been a pro for a long time and intends to continue singing for his living. It made me respect him more. The judges didn't seem too surprised by him being voted off as opposed to their shocked reaction to Pia's departure. Well, now I feel the contest is fair again. Did America get it right? Yesssssss. Who will be next?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Movie Week 4/13/11

Great show tonight, I totally enjoyed it again. I've been saying this week after week. The talent is just so good this year. The judges chose well. After reading all the press about Pia being voted off and the judges not giving the performers helpful criticism, I must defend them. The judges don't have many bad things to say because the singers are so good, not because the judges are "nice". Sure, Simon would be insulting, but I don't think he would have too much helpful criticism either. These contestants are savvy and sophisticated; they listen to the advice that is given to them and make the necessary changes week after week; they are being coached by the best producers in the industry, and they are extremely talented to begin with and all so interestingly different in their styles. Pia is a great singer, but not the most exciting performer, so I can understand why she might have been voted off. But I've read that she has already signed a recording contract and is off and running with her career. That's what this show is for, if you ask me. But why Paul is there, besides the fact that he is cute to look at, I really can't say. So please vote the guy off!!!!!! I think Haley might be going this week if Paul isn't voted off. My favorite performances of the evening were: Casey, Jacob, and James. Who do you think should get voted off?

My take on the performances:

Paul MacDonald-Old Time Rock and Roll
I don't agree with the judges. I think Paul is mediocre, he reminds me of a wedding singer. Wait, I was a wedding singer. But I digress. There is something about Paul that just rubs me the wrong way. Is it his irritating voice? I'm not sure. But he does look like he has fun on stage. I'll give him that.

Lauren Alaina-The Climb
She really sang that well. Much better than Miley. I enjoyed her performance.

Stefano Langone-End of the Road
Corny song. Great vocals though, totally passionate and committed, his best performance yet. He's so likable.

Scotty McReery-My Heart
Nice singing, he is a top country singer.What more can I say. If he got kicked off the show tomorrow, I believe he'd have a record contract the next day. Scotty will do okay no matter what.

Casey Abrams-Nature Boy
Best performance he's done yet! Casey is so COOL! Brilliant! His musicianship is just fantastic. It isn't easy to sing and play the upright bass at the same time, and then to improvise on glad he listened to his own artistic voice. I admire him for that, and he did a great job!

Haley Reinhart-Blondie
It wasn't a great song for her. Her voice sounds so fatigued when she speaks. She might be the next to go.

Jacob Lusk-Bridge Over Troubled Water
Goosebumps. Magnificent. Great build-up in the song. He's really learned how to pace himself in a song. Amen! Glad he didn't sing Impossible Dream... way too sappy! Good advice, Jimmy.

James Durbin-Heavy Metal
What an amazing performance. I'm not a metal fan, but wow, he tore that song up! I'm a huge James fan! Glad he didn't listen to the producers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Results Show 4/7/11

Oh no! Now I'm losing faith in America's vote. What's going on here? 5 consecutive women voted off the show. I guess we know who's voting... young girls. They like the cute guys. That could be the only reason that Paul is still on and Pia is gone. Once again, it's American Idol, not America's Best Singer. But I'm sure we will see great things from Pia. Move over Celine. And as has happened over the last few years, cute guy AI winners have been quickly forgotten. Where are Chris Allen, and Lee DeWyze? Haven't heard much from them except on Idol. I can see Paul winning if this keeps up. Jacob and Stefano in the bottom 3? I'm losing faith. I'm going to drown my sorrows in some chocolate ice cream now. Did America get it right? I don't think so. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

R&R Hall of Fame Week

This was another entertaining night. Excellent performances. They must have heard me last editing songs tonight, the full versions, thank you!!!! As a songwriter and as a performer, it's great to hear these songs in their complete form. So, my favorite performances tonight were: Jacob, James and Pia. Who should go? Paul. Enough said. Who do you think should be voted off?

Jacob Lusk-Man In the Mirror
Wow, he did a great job singing that song! I got goose bumps! You go, Jacob! What passion, range and power! So cool to hear the writer of the song, Siedah Garrett, singing harmony with him. One of my favorite songs ever written.

Haley Reinhart-Piece of My Heart
Ouch, Haley is tearing her voice up, and for what? She is so hoarse when she speaks, I can't listen. She's on her way to destroying her vocal cords, just to please the judges. Her performance was powerful, confident, but she didn't have to yell and hurt herself to prove she can sing like Janice. Hope she doesn't do that again.

Casey Abrams-Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Nice rendition, relaxed, nice playing.

Lauren Alaina-Natural Woman
One of my favorite songs of all time. Another hoarse speaker, who knows how long her young voice will last? At least she didn't scream it though. She sang it well, but nothing that unique. Hard song to sing.

James Durbin-While My Guitar Gently Weeps
What a great singer, man! Really touching, and a great ending.

Scott McReery-That's Alright
He did a great job surprising us with some rockin' vocals. Who knew he had it in him? That was a lot of fun. Go Scotty!

Pia Toscano-River Deep and Mountain High
Wow, this woman can sing like nobody's business! Jeez! She's not a big mover when she sings, but then I couldn't move at all in those high heels. Give her some sneakers, and then she can jump all over the place like James Durbin. She's as good a singer as any Diva out there, if not better. Still my favorite female contender.

Stefano Langone-When a Man Loves a Woman
He was so much more present tonight, and as usual, great vocals. Passionate, and what a range! Incredible singing. Best performance that he has had.

Paul MacDonald-Folsom Prison Blues
He definitely got the audience riled up. My least favorite performance of the evening as usual.