Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol - Week Ten or It's All In The Second Half

I’m 8 for 15

Was it me or did you expect Bono to actually show up and be tonight’s mentor? Well that is what I expected when Ryan Seacrest announced him as the night’s mentor. I’m guessing now in hindsight it was as the mentor on how we should be in our interaction to the world around us and beyond. I applaud Bono for his use of celebrity, I truly believe it is how a celebrity should use their status and fame, and yet so few do. Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Harry Belefonte, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward, just to name a few, burn with a proactive flame inside them that puts anything I can do to shame, and I am humbled by their efforts and accomplishments.

Bono’s flame and vision has driven him so far, that it was almost the end of U2 as we know it. From his humble beginnings as Paul Hewson, Bono has stepped out of his past to create a tomorrow for many who might otherwise have known none. I, on the other hand, forever wonder if my money is going into a hungry tummy or some middleman’s wallet. If Bono walked up to me tomorrow and asked me to give, I’d stick money in his hands, no questioned asked. I trust him, like I trust my local agencies; it’s all the ones in between my hometown and his efforts that scare the bejebbers out of me.

OH.MI.GOSH I have wander well off subject, surprise! I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on both Idol Give Back and on tonight’s performances.

As I said, It’s All In The Second Half. We are down to six, and they are for the most part shiny bright. But now I’ve come to a new dilemma: Who is bad enough to go now that I don’t have Sanjaya to target? Well Vote for the Worst has taken care of my quandary, they’ve now appointed the pasty pate’d Phil Stacey as their post boy. Opps! Hold on I need to vote again.

So it was songs of change, inspiration, emotion. Interesting song choice by some of the remaining contestants, and inspired choices by the rest, let’s begin.

Chris Richardson kicked off the night with one of my favorite Eric Clapton songs. I love Eric Clapton and was happy to here someone had chosen Change the World. In the first notes I was dismayed, Chris is no Eric Clapton, he just didn’t have the right voice for the beginning, but then he hit his stride in the second half of the song. Wow, while I did agree with Randy about the singing, Chris isn’t in it to win, I do have to say I liked the second part of the presentation.

Melinda sang Faith Hill’s There Will Come A Day. Her dress totally sucked, her hair and make up were perfection. The opening of the song didn’t do anything for me, then I began to notice the subtle differences to her presentation of the song and Faith Hill’s. Once again the second half of the performance totally sucked me in.

Blake chose the classic John Lennon anthem, Imagine. How can you not hear that song and think? Okay, that is my response to the song. My response to Blake’s version was, hohum. Once or twice his vocal attitude caught my attention, but other than that, nothing, nada.

Lakisha covered Fantasia Barrino’s I Believe and I am going to go against what each of the judge’s said. She sang it better than Fantasia. Not to say that she doesn’t get too powerful, but I felt she made the song hers. She sang with conviction and promise. There just two or three little notes that were in question. And the dress, very nice.

Phil, the ashen wonderboy. Wow, is that dude white, or what? And his eyes are so big he could be a Furby. Now if you think I mean the furry little electronic doll that snores on me and falls forever asleep, you are wrong. I am a Furby by birth, and one trait many of us have are big eyes and butts. I was blessed with both, Phil is obviously only part Furby (if any truly at all) because the man was born with no ass. He does have a lovely voice, although there are a lot of other songs I would have like to have seen him chose over Garth’s The Change. Phil did show some interesting vibrato in his performance and a bit of his range.

Jordin, She has my votes, oh wait let me vote again. Okay, she has my vote for American Idol. If there is one hing the Sanjaya travesty proved to me, it is the power of the vote. So as I say often (but it’s usually about politics) early vote and vote often. Anyway, back to Jordin. Girlfriend, hated the dress. But even a butt ugly dress can’t stop that awesome voice or hide that beautiful face. She shown tonight, pulling out a gospel classic, You Will Never Walk Alone Jordin put every bit of herself and emotion into it. Breathe Taking. Oh wait, gotta vote.

So for tonight my kudos to…

♫ Jordin (I know you’re not surprised, but she totally rocks)
♫ Melinda
♪ and my honorable mention to Lakisha

I’m going to put Chris in the bottom, but darn it could be Phil, or even Blake. Hmmm hard call I know, but it will be male going tomorrow night.

So how did you vote? Often I hope.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

5 Interview Questions

Sid has graciously left these five interview questions for his readers who wanted to play. I love most MeMe’s. So here are the five questions. If you want five interview questions to continue this MeMe on your blog, read the instructions at the conclusion of this post. Now Sid’s questions

1.In the past twelve months, what is your happiest (or funniest or saddest) memory?

Hmmmm, most of my happy memories revolve around family. I think I’m going to say mine and Ducky’s vacation to Seattle last fall. We went to two Mariner’s games. The first against Roger’s Yankee’s the second against the dreaded Red Sox. We were seated in the middle of, you got it, a bunch of drunk Red Sox fans. We had an awesome time.

2. Name and describe the precious or semi-precious stone that best describes your temperment.

Ooh, so many gems so few fingers. I’m going to say Amethyst. Besides being my birthstone, it is cool, transparent, and deep. Okay, so I try to be cool and tend to be transparent.

3. Who is your favorite fictional television character, and why is he/she/it important to you?

Important to me? Gosh, I don’t think a character is important to me. I’d say my favorite character was John Critton from Farscape. I loved the facts of the character. He was human in an inhuman situation. His character was riddled with humanisms when he was dealing with Aliens. It laughed at the American pop culture, our lesser development, and he had an invisible friend he didn’t want with horrible fashion sense.

4. If you are a blogger, do you have a predominant "theme"? If you are not a blogger, what would you write about, thematically speaking?

What I think about. Daily things in the media or my life that prompt me to write, but not on a daily basis. Plus, much to my dear Sideon’s dismay I blog weekly about American Idol. This summer I may blog about Big Brother, and next season I will blog about Dancing with the Stars. I’d post my poetry, but I like to wait until my copyright is registered (and I’m running a bit back logged – like 80 poems or so not registered yet. I need to get crackin’. The LOC needs my money.)

5. Imagine you are a world leader. What would be your administration's focus or policy (meaning, what issues are important to you, and why)?

Ending war in this world, ending hatred, ending prejudice, teaching the poor to feed themselves, and educating the masses.

Now if you want to play along too. Ask me to interview you in the comments section. If anyone wants to play after the request I will post the five questions in the comments section.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Oh, Happy Day!!!!

I am so happy it is a dark day in the Sanjaya Universe.

Oh sad, too bad....for him.

I am a wee bit ticked blogger wouldn't let me up load my banner thanking America for their 38 Million Votes, I know Tish, Karin, Amie, and I did our parts.

La la la la all is beautiful.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

American Idol Week 9 - Country Week

I am 7 for 15

Or as Karin Tabke would say, “OH.MI.GAWD. Sanjaya sings with a country accent.” I think that translates in to, “Lord have mercy on us all.”

Martina McBride is one of my favorite country singers, and if you wonder from where I speak put on her Christmas album and listen to Oh, Holy Night I dare you to listen only once. Wow, she is breath taking. Her song Concrete Angel, released in 2006 is heart breaking and beautiful. So I was pleased to read McBride would be mentoring the American Idol wannabees this week. And while she wasn’t bad, except for in one or two instances I didn’t see where she really gave much critique to her mentorees. But then that tends to be the case for more mentors on AI. How sad, so bad. Come on guys it should be more than just a photo op.

We’ll get to the break down in a minute, but first some 2006 American Idol Alum news. Bucky Covington fans will rejoice to know their favorite country son has released his self titled debut. Covington gets some help from Sawyer Brown’s Mark Miller, who not only appeared on the set but produced. Covington’s first single, Different World is still in the chart's top forty (which translates into somewhere outside of the top 10.)

Elliot Yamin’s self titled debut effort sits atop the Independent Album charts. His first two singles Moving On and Waiting For You are radio ready with an infectious sound that will have you tapping your feet and memorizing the words.

Chris Daughtry remains at number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts with It’s Not Over for it’s eighth week. Carrie Underwood has just hit number one on the Hot Country Tracks chart with her single Wasted (her fourth number one Country hit.) And of course Underwood dominated the ACM awards Monday night for the second year in a row. Her song Before He Cheats won the top "CMT Music Awards Video of the Year" and the "Female Video of the Year" while the video also snagged a win for the "Video Director of the Year" for director Roman White.

It has been a good year for American Idol.

So back to this week and our American Idol wannabees. How did they stack up in my humble opinion? Hmmm It was a mixed bag at best. There were those who absolutely shined, those who were abominable, and then there was Sanjaya. Codeine anybody?

Phil, kicked off the evening with a cover of Keith Urban’s Where the Black Top Ends. My favorite Keith Urban cut, it’s not the first time it’s been covered on AI, in 2003 Carmen Rasmussen sang it as her Country offering, and then in 2005 the song was done as a group performance. How did Phil Stacy do? Wow, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t like the ending, but Phil really nailed the song, he looked happy, comfortable, and in his groove.

BTW did you see Simon grab Paula’s nose during Phil’s performance?

Jordin Sparks, every Tuesday evening I look forward to seeing what this mind boggling talent is going to perform. She became everything a singer should be when singing A Broken Wing. Wow, she became the song – in tone, voice, and emotion. I was blown away, and didn’t she look fabulous? I want that dress. Every week when Simon says, “For just 17…” I think of the Janis Ian song, At Seventeen. But in the Jordin Sparks version it’s all about being a winner.

In every year of American Idol someone has gotten up and covered Bonnie Raitt’s Something to Talk About. This year it has actually be done a few times, and the only person who has ever nailed it was Sabrina earlier in the season and she’s gone. The reason she is gone sang it tonight, err, wrong choice of words, caterwaul his way through the song making me rue the song having ever been written. Ugh. The absolute worst performance of the night.

Before the judges give their comments and critiques I jot down my thoughts really fast so I won’t be influenced by what they say. I’m always surprised when my thoughts differ so vastly from theirs. And proud when my thoughts are close to theirs. The next two really under score this.

Lakisha covered Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take The Wheel. I liked the start of the song, you could tell Kiki related to the first verse. But then came the chorus and the whole thing fell apart for me. Kiki needs to learn to tone down her power - She was too much for the song.

Chris chose Rascal Flatt’s Mayberry. His performance was nasally and it didn’t work for me. During the critiques after Simon commented, Chris said it was suppose to be nasally, that is a singing style. Well nasal isn’t a singing style and I thought he was being defensive, until I watched the recap at the end and realized that he was trying to sound just like Gary Levox…and failed.

Melinda sang Julie Reeves Trouble Is A Woman. While I have heard of Julie Reeves, I’d never heard of the song. What I have to say about the performance is this. Melinda shouldn’t sing country, but what she did do is take the song, make it her own and have a hell of a good time. I thought the song and Melinda were entertaining – when I wasn’t thinking how hideous that top was – but I didn’t care for the ending.

Beat Box Blake covered When The Stars Go Blue, while it was country week and they were all thinking he was covering Tim McGraw the wascally wabbit was really covering Bono’s interpretation of the same hit two years yearlier. For the most part I liked his performance, but it had some really rough spots for me. And Dude! You don’t wear argyle during Country Week, I mean that is just begging for fashion bad karma.

I voted for Jordin, like a gizillion times tonight, that is why I am late getting this online. Please forgive me, but it was important. Like Ryan says, vote to keep your favorite in the contest.
Tonight I thought Jordin stole the show, I agree with Simon she has a shot to win this, but the other person holding the cards is Melinda.

Tonight I give my kudos to…
♫ Jordin
♫ Melinda
♪ Phil gets this week’s honorable mention the guy rocked it.

And please I’m getting really tired of writing Sanjaya’s name here as the TOTAL loser, but because he’s still here that makes us, the unhappy viewers at home the losers. Please vote for your favorites. A.LOT.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sanjaya is a Weapon of Mass Distraction

I’m 7 for 14

There is a new website out there with a new strategy aimed at combating the effects of Vote for the Worst. Then maybe we could rid ourselves of the Weapon of Mass Distraction known as Sanjaya Malakar. The concept at Vote Against Vote For The Worst is that every state is assigned a contestant. I lucked out because Oregon is assigned Jordin Sparks. Every contestant has several states to vote for them, oh wait, every contestant except Sanjaya. Nice thought, but did anyone except me know about it? Cross your fingers.

Hmmm, tonight I did just about everything I could do to have to keep from blogging about tonight’s American Idol. Everything, except go to bed. Isn’t Jennifer Lopez stunning? I had kind of worried when she married Mark Anthony, I mean he’s a Latin cad, or I guess I should say he was. But wow, she glows and tonight she was a pretty decent mentor for the remaining eight finalists.

But Latin week is never a good thought. And barring the first season, I think this is the first Latin inspired week they’ve had on American Idol before (I could be wrong.) Don’t get me wrong, I like Latin music, infectious beat, or sultry and sexy, yummy. But tonight I just wanted to say, “Oye, va!” (think that in your best Yiddish accent please.) I worried some one would sing Turn the Beat Around, Why worry? Because the judges never like it. Remember Carmen Rasmussen singing it back in year two? She has that great quality to her voice, captured the spirit of the song, and got panned by the judges. Okay, not Paula because before this season I don’t think Paula panned anyone.

So how did the finalists do?

Melinda gave us a very nice rendition of Sway. You can currently hear Michael Bublè singing this standard on Music of Your Life. I thought Melinda did a nice job, she doesn’t believe she is sexy so it didn’t come across as sexy, but I give her credit for trying to do that. I have to say I forgot to take notes until her performance was over. She’s that good. I just wish she’d hit lower register notes.

Lakisha covered the Miami Sound Machine’s Conga I didn’t get it. OH.MI.GOD.SHOOT.ME.NOW. I agreed with Paula on something. Kiki has that big beautiful voice, but it doesn’t wrap around the rhythm of the fast paced Conga.

Chris Robinson received kudos from the judges for his cover of Rob Thomas and Santana’s Smooth. I didn’t get it, the whole time I wanted Rob Thomas to sing. It took me back to what the judges are always telling the contestants and which I will completely paraphrase. “When you choose something remarkable, by a remarkable singer, you stand the chance of falling far short in comparison.”

Haley should be singing on a cruise ship somewhere under the Mediterranean. She was totally out of breath through her entire rendition of Miami Sound Machines’ Turn the Beat Around.

Phil had the unfortunate choice of Maria Maria. Where Chris R failed to sound like Rob Thomas, Phil was lucky in my esteem that Musiq sucks in the first place. I never liked the song and despite a flat note and that end cracking, he didn’t do, too bad. What distracted me through his whole performance was finger prints, I wanted to clean the guitar face of greasy finger smudges.

Jordin doesn’t just have a spark, she totally sparkles. I so disagreed with Simon and that is rare in of itself. I loved Jordin’s cover of the Rhythm is Going To Get You. Gloria Estefan and band would have felt proud at the performance. By the way, for being 51, I voted at least eleven times for Jordin tonight. I won’t make the mistake I did last week and watch another of my favorites go. And she is my assignment from vote against vote for the worst.

Blake chose a Mark Anthony song and did a good job. I really liked the way he delivered I Need To Know. It had a good feel, good delivery, good every thing.

Sanjaya. Ugh, what can I say? I don’t like this kid, I’m not sure he can do anything to change my feelings, but I will try to be honest. He didn’t do a bad job, but I didn’t buy his performance. Besamè is a mellow mournful song, Sanjaya smiled through most of his performance. His voice was not smooth and he tried to power through and ended up yelling a few of the words.

This week I liked

♫ Jordin
♫ Blake
♪ with an honorable mention to Melinda

This week I am crossing my fingers, but not holding my breathe.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol Week Seven

Tony Bennett and The Great American Song Book

7 for 13

This is usually one of my least favorite weeks. Don’t get me wrong I love Adult Standards, but most Idol wannabes fail miserably to shine in this week. Tony Bennett is so adorable, and still sounds fabulous in the Elegant Eighties of his life. What a man, what a singer, and he didn’t do to bad as a guest judge, better than Diana Ross at least.

How do you put a new spin on an old classic? It’s not hard and as a contestant you are most likely to hit on one of the two main speed bumps ahead of you.

1) Sounding out of your element, because your voice, mood, and lack of interpretation don’t fit the song

2) Destroying it with your interpretation that you stand out like Chippendale at the Easter Parade

So how did they do?

First up my favorite guy of the competition Beat Box Blake. His rendition of Bobby Darin’s Mack the Knife was upbeat, showed some nice tones in his voice, and I liked the ending.

Phil Stacy offered up the Cole Porter classic Night and Day. Oh mi gawd it reminded me of Mel Torme’ singing Blue Moon. It was nice, but I didn’t like it.

Melinda Doolittle, wow the Gershwins never sounded better. This lady his one hell of a show stopper.

Chris Richardson offered up the Duke’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. It sounded like he lost his boy band, stepped out of the shadows and gave it his best. The song showed his character and that he has range. For once I liked Chris Richardson.

Jordin Sparks, this lady amazes me every time, and I think it was the first time I truly disagreed with Simon. Now Sid is shaking his head and say, “See, what have I been telling you Cele?” I am a Barbara Striesand fan. Now when Jordin sang On A Clear Day no flowers began blooming, the sun wasn’t shining, but I was smiling. She gave it a fresh, up beat, application for an open great performance.

Gina Glocksin, people please vote for Gina, I’m so afraid she’s going to go home before her time. I like this lady, and the rocker stepped out of her box and gave a nice clear presentation of Nat King Cole’s Smile. It’s not her genre, it showed, but she didn’t come off uninterested, campy, or bad.

Sanjaya sang Cheek to Cheek. He sang it flat, he sang it campy, he sang it pitchy and it came off a smarmy presentation. Then he had the audacity to be smug. I tried so hard to watch as little as possible and turned it over to watch Jessica Stein get blown up on NCIS.

Haley, oh Haley. Ain’t Misbehavin’ came off very home town theatre. She has a pretty voice but should be singing in a revue, honey, you’re no Ella Fitzgerald.

And finally Lakisha covered Billie Holiday’s Stormy Weather. Not my favorite singer of the night, but by far not the worse. Hmmmm, I guess I have no comments about the performance. I could take it or leave it, I think part of that has to do with her stage movements, but the dress was very lovely.

So, not a lot to say over all. No words of wisdom to impart about American Idol, how the alum are fairing this week. Oh sheesh, any thing. Why? Because I know Sanjaya will be there next week. But I did hear someone was thinking about or suggesting a lawsuit against Vote For The Worst. Which I didn’t think was possible, but you can read about it here in the Chicago Suntimes. On the other hand death threats against the website’s owners are terrible. So sad. Just as sad has how they are screwing up the future for people who needed and deserved the help.

So my favs this week

♫ Melinda
♫ Jordin
♪ with an honorable mention to Chris R.

And I continue to pin my hopes that the person to get the boot will be Sanjaya. I know the best laid plans of mice and me.