Tuesday, January 31, 2006
One other thing to note. The Brittenum Twins (Derrell and Terrell) have ultimately gone the way of Frenchie and many other idol contestants who got kicked off the show before getting a chance to make a decent run. They were early picks for me...but in true Memphis fashion, they just weren't the role models that our children need in life. Nope, leave that to Baby Mama Fantasia BORING-oh! Personally...I'd prefer encouraging some Grand Theft Auto over Teenage Parenthood....but who am I to decide the moral values of this show?
Speaking of Moral Values - let's get on with it!
WORST OF LAS VEGAS
Not many Bad stand-outs tonight, just a consistent flow of crap (sorry for the visual, hope you weren't eating!). There was the JAMAICAN GOOD MUSIC guy trying to get his 15 minutes of fame. But boy...could he turn on the waterworks for the cameras claiming that he should've been himself and not done a gimmick to sell himself. Maybe he was sincere...but seriously? A DREADLOCK wig and an awful jamaican accent when you're from Bakersfield, CA? Sorry BRO DAH!!!!
Simon was full of quick FIRINGS tonight. In true Statue of Liberty Guy similarity- there was the guy dressed as a Joker. Simon says "Thank you...it's a no!" before he even got through the door. Also, Crazy Knife Stabber returned from last year to audition sporting a new look. I was sold with his golden flowing Mullet. Not so much for Simon who gave him a "Mental No" before even letting him start. Needless to say MULLETSGALORE.com (yeah it's a site) screeched away in his 1986 Ford Tempo....maybe next year.
Speaking of Returnees....remember that crazy Psychic lady that came with her mom and couldn't sing a lick? Well apparently this means she foresaw herself becoming a music manager for her little sister.....What was determined was that they should "Cancel Singing in the family." Thanks Dawg! Simon delivered the zinger though when he simply begged "Don't come back! Why can't you just watch next year?"
Then there was "I'm not a family guy" Ryan Hart who sang some death metal for the judges of our FAMILY SHOW (you know...the morals and stuff)....He dropped some F bombs throughout the audition process.....and let out his "possessed by Satan" screaming.....when he got the bad news...he claimed that he's "too hardcore for" Simon. And then we got to hear the judges mimic him. oh joy!
There was Pepe the Gondola guy....who sang pretty well but didn't cut it for Simon and Paula. There was Anthony from New Jersey who had 75 Animals and 750 pounds to spare... He sang a few good notes....but when you accompany them with screeching noise...it doesn't make for a great audition! We got our PITCHY comments from Randy....we got our denial from Anthony....and we got another 1-liner from Simon in the post-audition clip "Thank god he didn't make it because we couldn't afford the food bill!" Yep folks...that's just how it is this year on American Idol! What a morally correct show! Hey...I'm not complaining!
Princess Brewer (Yep...real name) - Paula says "tell us about yourself" Princess says "I'm Blunt, Sassy, and a Perfectionist!" Well, our Sassy Princess compared herself to Aretha. She never DID say Franklin....so maybe there is an Aretha out there that sounds like her. But it sounded pretty unique to me! I wrote down a note to explain what she sounded like but all I got was "how do you explain that?" You pretty much just knew 2 notes...and never wanted to make the effort to hit the high notes. My bad...she DID try to hit them...but all that effort and all that came out was a louder one of those 2 notes! Oh...good times! Simon kept muttering to "Shut her up! PLEASE!!!" and informed Princess of the duration of pain "Just when you think it couldn't get worse....it did!"
Haggai Yeddiya - Ladies and gentlemen the winner of American Idol 2006......HAGGAI YEDDIYA!!!! Yeah...didn't sound right to me either! We knew we were in trouble when our broken English buddy told Ryan Seacrest "You have beautiful eyes." Naturally, his goal was to win over the judges with eye contact. Instead we got a theatrical version of Lee Greenwood's patriotic "God Bless the USA" Our boy who claims to have "Perfect Pitch" I would compare to sounding something like Jimmy Fallon portraying Enrique Iglesias on Crack. And that "ladies and gentlemen" is award worthy in itself!
BEST OF LAS VEGAS
Well since only 3 made it in that we saw...there's only 3 to talk about!
Heather "cuffs" Ward - Not someone you'd expect to belt out some country but this Cop Girl (I don't know if she's a cop or just works at a jail or something...wasn't paying attention!) came in sporting a cowboy hat and going to town with Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" and did a good job with it. Paula tries to be hard on a contestant saying that the "song's melody was too easy." Need we remind the audience that Paula sang "Opposites Attract?" Paula...want to take 2 steps back? Simon and Randy let the lady in. Too early for me to tell how serious of a threat she is in the competition.
Mecca Madison - Belly Dancer - Definitely a good voice... Simon claimed a better recording voice than a live voice. But the voice complete with the hip/fresh look (and not to mention she's a belly dancer!)..it was too good for them to pass up. Again...didn't see a top 12 threat right off the bat....but I think they're going to give America a chance to vote her into that top 12.
Taylor Hicks "The Grey Haired Wonder" - Bear with me...I'd say his appearance is a Robert Deniro meets Joshua Jackson mesh. Don't ask....it's just what I saw!!! Anyway...you wouldn't think you were going to get much out of this guy...except that he came on at 8:55pm and only 2 people had been let through so far! He belted out some Sam Cooke "Change is Gonna Come" and then gave us a sample of some Ray Charles (?? not sure what song it was). The guy is bringing some old school to the table. He definitely has some pipes...and his stage presence was mimicking the greats of Cooke/Charles. But...he may be a one trick poney. We've seen it many times before. But...I want to believe this guy is gonna stick around for awhile. I think he brings something different to the table...let's see what he can do with it. Who cares if he started greying at 15! (Did he ever say how old her was now?? lol)
Anyways...we're almost done...One more night...one more city (and I'm sorry...I forget what city it is...but we'll know soon enough!) Then the hollywood rounds. THEN this blog will become more meaningful. 2 more weeks...we can get through this if we can stick together! See you tomorrow!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Anyways...this time...the blog will be short....FOR REAL!
Worst of San Fran
We opened up with the Opera Chick Heidi who sang very well....but when she went all pop...it wasn't too good. They tried something new....left it up to Randy and he actually said NO! There was Sean Vasquez who got a pre-audition interview and DIDN'T get in! Ahhh I think they are reading my blogs! Anyway....he was a large and in charge Manly Man who proposed to his Left AND Right ear with the largest diamond (or plastic) earings you've ever seen. Anyway...long story short...he tried to steal Opera Chick's title for him(her) self. Simon declared it as "almost non-human!"
Then there was Matt WOLFIE Paulson. Why does he go by Wolfie? "I like wolves, and everyone calls me wolfie because they know i like wolves" oh, I see. Not only does he go by Wolfie but he also thought he was the reincarnation of Clay Aiken. And he decided to prove it by singing Clay's ultra-mega smash hit (yeah, that was the punchline) "Measure of a Man." I'll leave it to Simon to sum up. Instead of voting no...he just said "HIDEOUS!"
Shalicia Carlisle - "I just realized I can sing, my voice is very different than everyone else's!" She started attempting to sing then just went into an Open Mic Lecture "CRIES FROM THE GHETTO!!!!!!" unreal. She went on to attempt the Pussycat Dolls hit "Dontcha" and then some Mary J Blige....but the exciting part came when she announced she quit her job to become a musician. Simon then offered to call her former boss back and get the job. He pulled out his BLACK RAZR with CINGULAR SERVICE (hint hint...if you want to be cool like simon...get a cingular phone so we can all text our votes in later this season. Yeah I'm one to talk. I have a black razr too!) another long story short....she got her job back. But it was pretty darn funny. But I kept thinking to myself "what has happened to this show???"
I won't even discuss the All Terrain Entertainer (A.T.E.), Marcus Phillips because it was THAT bad!
Best of San Fran
John Williams - (No not the movie tunes composer!) This was the AIRFORCE Michael Jackson.....tell me WHY....WHY.... hold up! REMIX.....Beat Box dancing machine! Sounded like the dude could sing...but he's just weird.....flat out weird. May be just what the competition needs. I mean...it's not like we're going to have another Scott Savol to laugh at! (yep...was just looking for an excuse to get some Scott Savol imagery in this recap!)
Jose "SWAY"- Guy must be good..he wears his nickname on his belt! SCORE. Did a little Ribbon in the Sky....and he was good to go. but god...stop the SNAPPING while singing!!!
Katharine McPhee - "My mommy is a vocal teacher and singer" - Well...she was pretty damn unbelievable. Definitely the best of what we saw in San Fran. I believe Simon said "some parts of that were really reaaaaaaly good." Maybe some competition for Kellie Pickler? She can take her! But this is shaping up once again to be a FEMALE dominating competition. Too bad only 6 can make the top 12. Maybe John Williams WILL make it.
There was one girl Lauren that they showed a brief clip of her singing Dixie Chicks "Sin Wagon" in some bizarre key.....and they all were in awe of her. I don't know what those 3 judges were smoking!
Speaking of the judges. There was a developing plotline tonight of Simon disagreeing with Paula and Randy on a series of contestants.
Jayne Santayona got to see this first hand. A pretty Asian girl singing "Sweet Love." I had to side with Simon and say I wasn't THAT impressed with it. BUt Randy and Paula were blown away....and she got in. But Simon got even by naming Randy and Paula "Beethoven" and "Mozart." Good times.
It eventually built up into Simon throwing a Hissy Fit...and getting in his Limo and going home...leaving Randy and Paula to judge one contestant all by their lonesome.
Man...are these auditions over yet? 2 more next week. I'll see you all in Vegas. Here's a SIMONISM to chew on until then.
Simon: It was realy bad...but I like YOU, Kelly.
Paula: Her name is Sherry.
and a Randy-ism
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
WORST OF GREENSBORO
Yes, we had Sabrina the Teenage Witch kick things off JERRY SPRINGER STYLE....as the whole waiting room laughed at her. WE had Cachet the shower singer who should get a soundproof shower curtain. WE had TUX Boy Journeyman who made up a 5th grade posterboard presentation that claimed he'd do anything except kiss Simon (and added MAYBE Randy....?????) that had Simon asking him for a coffee and Randy asking how the Prime Rib was. There was Choir Boy Donny that butchered Bridge Over Troubled Water and his Mom got a taste of what she's NOT been hearing her son do since he was 8. We even met the Incredible Hulk's wife! There was Brian singing Uncle Cracker with Michael Jackson Hiccups. And of course the guy from the commercials doing THRILLER and trying to dance like Michael Jackson. Don't get me started on Aladdin and his Magic Carpet! And I gotta say....I laughed through it all (except thriller guy). But we had also seen it all.
In the 2 hours of Idol tonight...here were the standouts for me
3. Rhonetta - They hyped this girl up too much as the new person we'll be talking about. Her audition wasn't even that funny or interesting. It was really her attire (silver sparkly boots to match top that doesn't fit??) and her antics AFTER she got rejected by our infamous judges. For some unknown reason she went off on Paula and her being a HAS-BEEN....even though Paula barely said anything in the audition except offer her bubbly water. But I couldn't help but feel that this was all staged and urged on by the producers.....especially after she said "Bow Down To me Cause I am the S**t" and then let out a little innocent laugh and walked away from the camera. Sorry...i didn't buy it!
2. Cedric Robinson - Supposedly related to Fantasia strolls in with a "whatever" attitude....a little heavier than the usual contestant. Obviously...we're meant to think this guy is gonna bring out the goods. Then came the squealing and our favorite FINGER SNAPPING/Foot Stomping rendition of "Chain of Fools." I gotta say...as many times as we get the High squealing guy....It never gets old on me. I laughed! And Simon said one of my favorite phrases that I was starting to think I just made up ...."It was absoloooootely dreadfooool" "But I've been singing since i was 3!" Simon: "you're voice hasn't changed much!" niiiiice.
1. Marcus "Kanye West" - This dude comes in sporting his collared up Orange Polo tucked in the front...out in the back. Classic Kanye. He's saying how people compare him to Usher. And then says he's going to belt out some Michael Jackson. For some reason, I believed him.....and then came the most ridiculous sound anyone has ever heard....with the longest unnecessary notes making the song into something brand new. all the judges lost it....even Paula....they were all laughing at this guy. then he sings...." i don't know whether to laugh or cry"......well then that's when I lost it! I was doing the "can't breathe" laughing on this guy.... it was just so ridiculous! Simon asked "what the hell was that?" and Kanye says he was taking lessons from the Randy and Paula DVD. (gotta say...never knew it existed until Marcus pulled out the copy http://www.oldies.com/product/view.cfm/id_0103D.html see for yourself!!) I thought he was cracking a joke....but Simon was genuinely laughing and saying "I rest my case!" They let the audition go on for a bit more...let kanye sing a second song....not as funny as the first. But the damage is done....and Simon has a Happy Birthday. And Marcus smashes the DVD. Outstanding. I rank this guy right up with William Hung.
Okay...new part of our Blog...we're going to keep track of PAULA-isms, Randy-isms, and Simon-isms I'm sure we're going to have a bunch! Today we got a few gems from Paula
"That was really creepy....and limber!"
"I like the conviction in your voice. You're infectious!"
when discussing someone's potential in their voice "if cultivated right....."
ahhh Paula...what would we do without you?
BEST OF GREENSBORO
Alright...we saw a lot of good talent in Greensboro....and the judges were funnier than ever. I'll list them all...but there's only 2 that really caught my eye.
Halicia Thompson - 15 family members with her ....sang "It's a Different World" clapping through the whole thing (ugh). Simon says she's a natural talent...then she says she has to kiss him and she brings out a plastic hair cover....what????? She was alright....I'll wait to see more of her.
Kendra Wilson - she had an interview..we knew she was in. You know the drill. Bad Husband, 10,000 illegitimate kids and now reformed and ready to start a new chapter in life. She really wasn't that good....and Randy pointed out his favorite thing...."there were some pitch problems!" Simon didn't like her...and somehow she made it through. I saw too much Fantasia in her to even give her the time of day.
Kenneth "call me CHASE" Bush - Talked like a girl...looked like an ugly guy....sang pretty damn well though. But he sang Whitney Houston...one of many guys that tried to tackle her this season. But he did it well enough to get 2 Yes's and get to Hollywood. (I'll give you one guess on who said no)
Jeffrey "Ryan" Baysden - sang "God Bless the Broken Road" (lot of people did this season after Carrie did it last year). Very country....definitely a good singer. I heard some "Pitchiness" though Randy...why didn'tyou call him out??
Tyra Juliette - 24 - Boyfriend cheated on her while she trained down to NC. She sings well....gets in. Kinda looks like Fran Drescher. (or however you spell it)....we'll see if she's got the goods. Simon says she'll clean up well.
Jordan Sutherland - Fireman - Sings Simon's favorite Josh Groban song "Raise Me Up" Unfortunately I heard some Clay in this guy. He doesn't have the looks but maybe Hollywood can help him out. Simon and Paula let him get through.... Keep an eye out on this guy. I think it can go either very well for him...or not well at all. There is no middle ground!
Stephen David Jr. - Military Guy - Gotta admit...I saw this guy in the waiting room when Seacrest asked the crowd if the next idol was coming from Greensboro.....he did the whole Arsenio Hall "HOO HOO HOO HOO...yeah I'm the greatest" reaction while screaming. I was laughing my butt off. So my expectations were pretty low when he got in front of the judges. But he exuded confidence and demanded Paula dance with him if he was going to get through. (Did I just say Exuded???) He belted out some Marvin Gaye "Let's Get it On" and Randy and Simon escorted Paula to the Audition floor to dance it out with Stevey... But the best part of the whole thing was Randy dancing with himself in the corner! This almost rivaled my laughter of the Marcus debacle tonight! And after this audition...the only notes I had written down was the following "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW???" i just don't know ....
Now my favorite 2 of the Night.
Paris Bennett - 17 - granddaughter of famed singer Ann Nesby (should I have heard of her??) She whips out some Dixie Chicks and sings it very well...but she wowed all the judges and America with some Billie Holiday, "Take Five." I've jammed out to that song with my piano for ages...and never knew it had lyrics! good stuff. Paula "we are truly blessed by your greatness".....oh man....stop kissing up! The girl has the goods...no doubt. She'll make a good run on this show...
Kellie Pickler - 19 Let's stroll down Mike's Blog memory lane for what I said about the girl who sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" in our Season 5 Audition Preview:
There's the girl that sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and rocked it (we haven't seen her audition, but she's an early favorite for me....But I'm sure they'll be pushing for a guy to win this year
Well, I'm not changing my stance. Seeing this girl's personality...her little interview showing her working at the restaurant where she rollerskates food out to people's cars. Daddy's drug problems putting him in and out of jail..... She won me over. She just seems to have the full package. But at the same time...she's a Kelly Clarkson/Carrie Underwood combined Clone. Not sure if she'll get voted through to the end. But...let's be honest...I've never rooted for a guy to win this competition. She's my "ROOT FOR"pick for now. (i'm 2 for 4 with my early on "root for" picks. Season 1 - KC, Season 2 Julia Dematto (whoops!), Season 3 CamillaV____ (what's her face!), Season 4 Carrie) But my ROOT FOR pick is different than my choice for American Idol winner.
Okay...I know I'm boring you with my self-justification for past blunders. One more note before we close up this edition of the blog. Thank you Idol producers for finally pointing out that Simon says the same thing over and over and over and over..... "I'm not being Rude" and "If I'm being Totally Honest" I really thought I was the only one catching onto this!
Sorry once again for being long! The pot is up to 20 bucks on if next blog will be over or under 1500 words. Until then....see you in San Fran!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
WORST OF DENVER
Marlows Davis - 16 singing Alicia Keys....fails miserably waving his hands flamboyantly for every attempted high note trill. "But I've come such a long way!" "where you from dawg?" "Denver, Colorado" ahhhhh....to be 16 again....
Jacob Garcia - brings crutches to audition and sings into them....and I believe swung them around a bit. Faaaaantastic!
Angela Garcia - (love them Garcia's!) huge Paula fan attempts "Rush Rush"....and is god awful. Simon's responds stating it is the rare occassion where it was better than the original. And said it was amazing giving poorAngela some false hope. Thanks to editing, we didn't get to see her reaction when she found out she was "absolooootely dreeeaaadful"
Bottom 3 came on day 2
3. Nick McCord - Yellow Plaid Mess - Apparently he's an Entrapatooer! He attempted Elton's "Your Song" and got nowhere near it. Simon claimed worst in Denver...I beg to differ!
2. Cosmic Coaster Chess Master - Ben sings "If I only Had a Brain" after a 5 minute interview about his intelligence and ability to invent things. Did you see the COSMIC COASTER? That thing was awful but unintentionally the funniest thing to grace TV! who on earth needs their Drink to bounce up and down? Granted...we only saw the protoptype...so stay tuned! Naturally....he couldn't sing... Simon thought the whole thing was ridiculous and had a new one liner "What Planet did you fly in from?".....yes not funny on paper...but with the experience of having watched our Chess Master (hasn't lost in 3 years!)....it made total sense! But Randy one-upped Simon when he asked Ben "Why didn't you invent something to help you sing?" outstanding!
1. Zachary -The She-Male - Sure the Idol editers hyped this one up....but I think it lived up to expectations. I mean the dude dressed in girl's clothing and acted like people should be surprised that people thought he was a girl. Then he attempts to sing Whitney Houston! whaaaat??? Obviously...the audition was horrendously hillarious, but the best was yet to come. The show brilliantly fused in some of THE CRYING GAME while Zach was crying her...errr his heart out. Then he states the show is prejudiced against men who want to sing women songs even when the songs don't fit their registers. LOL.....oh my....I mean, how do you justify THAT one with yourself?
BEST OF DENVER
Lisa Tucker - They were already hyping up this girl yesterday....and with reason. She's 16 and belted out Whitney's "One Moment in Time" like she was already a certified Diva. Simon stated that Lisa is the best 16 year old ever in the competition. Look at who she was competing with....John Stevens??? I think Diana DeGarma was too. This girl is a mature 16 and I'd watch out for her.
Brett (Young?) - I'm going to do my best Simon and impression. If I'm being totally honest with you....i don't remember what this guy sang...and i forgot to write it down. I think I was too busy trying to remember his last name, and wasn't interested enough to rewind the TiVo and check! He sounded okay....but nothing to get all worked up about. Randy however said he's the Best in Denver and one of the best he's ever seen!! Simon wasn't as excited....and gave him a Yes with a small "y" I see this guy as a Top 25er who just doesn't get the votes. Then again....people may like his personality.
Rochelle Elaine Dye - Faaaaantastic...another Faaaaantasia. She did a little ditty wit soul "Chain of Fools"....it was good...but i hate when they get all finger snappy/foot stompy and "come on y'all rock it out wit me!!! clap yo hands brothas and sistas!!" ugh....that schtick is old! Naturally...Randy says "It was one of the Best we've heard this season" Come on Randy...you're being too hard on these people!!! Oh...and seriously? bringing the whole family to spell out her name on their shirts? This isn't a football game!
Chris Daughtry - This guy definitely has some vocal talent...but he makes Carrie Underwood look like the most charismatic American Idol winner ever! He just stood there twitching his body the entire time. But he's got the sob story....he married a girl with 2 kids and had to give up on his dream to raise her family. cry me a river!!! This was one of our Showcased performers yesterday ....so they're promoting him hard to get to that top 12. Simon said No. Randy said "You didn't EMOTE" .................................................. (that is supposed to be the deafening silence of me staring at the TV in awe of Randy using one of Paula's made up words) But somehow he made it to Hollywood.
Garet Johnson - little cowboy who could - Again...this guy never looked like someone who would make it...but they did the whole damn back story ruining it! They went to his farm, we watched him sing to the chickens...or whatever. Even with all this...I was still taken aback at what came out of his mouth. That dude has some pipes! He did Lion King music, but we won't hold it against him. All agreed that he needed vocal lessons, but there is no way he's going to be able to get any. Unfortunately...i don't see this guy making the cut unless people really fall for him in the later rounds. It was a nice story they made up for him. But unless he EMOTES....and learns to control his vocals...it's gonna be a short ride back singing at the KFC on the farm. (i know...puns are still in bad shape!)
April Walsh - Bjork girl - Apparently went to high school with someone I work with. Crazy girl said she was from California...maybe she is now. This girl was a little bizarre to be making any huge impact on this show. But she did hit all her notes. But I called the CABARET card for simon....and he didn't let me down. We'll see what happens.
So that's it. pretty unimpressive auditions....but I'm sure America is loving every minute of it. Even if they're not...the ratings are up from last season...the ratings last season were up from the season before. Could this show be possibly growing MORE popular? It's a monster only rivaled by the Monster on Lost! And with that...I will say....see you in Greensboro North Carolina Next Week.....can we find another Clay or Fantasia? all I can say is......God I hope not!
Well...we're back! It's been a long summer and autumn with no American Idol. How did you pass the time? I'll tell you what I did. I dove right into the American Idol Money Making Machine and fed it some more fuel! In July, I fought tooth and nail to find someone (girls preferably) to see Kelly Clarkson in Atlantic City with me. I had to go through some bantering by my buddies who questioned my sexual orientation for a bit. I think they now realized that my obsession is just THAT unhealthy with the Best Idol winner yet! And, let me tell you....she put on quite a show! Things I have heard coming out of these concerts were that parents went because their kids wanted to see her, and left being hardcore fans. Naturally, I claimed that people I dragged to the show were actually the ones that dragged me! And of course, they left as fans too. That's the impression KC leaves on people. And I'm not going to stop promoting her until she disappoints me!
If that isn't enough embarrassment, I'm going to take it a couple steps further. In November, I bought Carrie Underwood's debut CD. I'm not a country fan by tradition, (I have dabbed in a little Garth and Shania here and there) but this album pretty damn good! I mean, there's definitely room for improvement, but the voice is there.....And that's what America fell in love with in Season 4. And the songs, even though cliche, are quite catchy! It's better than Kelly's first album....But nowhere near Breakaway's radar. I'm looking forward to her second effort, I'm sure it'll smash the country charts (this one isn't doing too bad). Can't say the same for good ol' Bo Bice. I saw him on Kimmel last night....I rolled my eyes and then rolled over to bed. Not everyone can have Kelly's success. Where's Clay by the way??? hahahaha (just a jab at our resident "Claymates")
I'm not done yet with the History lesson! As you may have seen, AI released its first DVD collection over the holidays...And I snatched that puppy right up. The Best and Worst of Seasons 1-4! Gotta say I was a bit disappointed in the BEST DVD. Although there is some quality Audition stuff with Carrie and Bo. But the WORST DVD is priceless! It's got a few on there I forgot about plus your Keith's ("Like A Virgin" Green Sweater boy) and William Hung's (no explanation required). Definitely a must have for every fan out there! Are you ashamed to know me yet?
Season 5 Premiere Recap Chicago Auditions
OK....onward to season 5. We're here!
Well now all we have to hold us over is MORE Auditions until we get to the real competition. And I gotta say...For me, it was just more of the same. But that doesn't mean I didn't watch every minute of it and laugh my butt off! But it's just getting a little "been there...Done that" for me. And it's getting more and more predictable. Seriously, if you're going to show someone's hometown and interview them, I'm going to guess that person made it to the next round and you're really pushing the American People to learn about these people and vote them through to the Top 12. I'm not stupid! We're not stupid!!!
But the thing is....No matter how fixed this competition is...No one cares! We're all still going to watch every damn minute they air! So that being said....We pretty much saw what our Top 12 is going to look like in the first 10 minutes of last night's Season Premiere. They showed the best singers in this year's competition. There was the Rock Guy that will rival Bo's greatness last year. There's the girl that sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and rocked it (we haven't seen her audition, but she's an early favorite for me....But I'm sure they'll be pushing for a guy to win this year). There's also the latin girl that I believe we'll see in tonight's Denver Auditions. So, they wanted to imprint these people into our heads and say "KEEP WATCHING AND WE'LL PROVE TO YOU THEY BELONG IN THE TOP 12!" That's fine. I'm glad they do the work for me. I'm pretty lazy! With that said...Let's bring on the BADDIES!
THE WORST OF CHICAGO
Ok...We'll touch on some of the worst auditions in a second. But I have to explain my favorite moment of the night...And it was the first note that I jotted down. The girl who got denied by the infamous trio was walking away with her head down and was trying to go up the down escalator!!! LOL. Oh my...It doesn't get any better than that. I may have rewound the TiVo a few dozen times!
Ok...So let's just list a few highlights from the bad auditions (because I have 30 names written down...We can't touch on them all!)
Katrina and the Humpty Dance - Okay...If you have a decent voice why would you ever decide to RAP. And rap the HUMPTY DANCE of all songs? (although I love the line about the "Burger King Bathroom" it's priceless!) And then of all things...she breaks into song in the middle of rapping. Naturally, the judges put an end to this. And when they asked her to sing a regular song...she was dumbfounded. Seriously?? You put all your hopes on the Humpty Dance? She probably wouldn't have gotten through anyway, but it did sound like she could carry a tune...Why not actually try? Well she did her "DUMBty dance" out the door! (I know...I'm a little rusty with the puns...I'll get better later in the season!)
Blue Moon Chick - Not much to say about her...Except that she couldn't get the words right and it was priceless...Then she went into another song....And returned to Blue Moon to butcher it again. I loved how the Judges just stayed silent on most of the bad ones last night. Not that I don't enjoy hearing Paula try to think up some words from her vast vocabulary, but the dead stares and people not knowing what to do is priceless as well!
Charles Berry - Chuck Berry? Seriously??? Apparently he auditioned 2 times before...But this time he wrote the AMERICAN IDOL song and sang it to the judges. It still sounded like he was making it up as he went.....And the guy just couldn't carry a tune, kinda sounded like a girl too. So Simon did what any of us would do....told the guy to Shave his beard, wear a dress and become a female impersonator! And then he put Paula in her place for telling someone to do voiceovers for Animated Rats. If this wasn't bad enough....Paula actually recommended Voiceover work for a girl in a prior season (See? My WORST of Seasons 1-4 DVD already coming in handy!)
Amanda R - I think she milked cows for a living....Only reason I mentioned it was because they told her to name a cow after Simon....And Paula said..."And call it MAD COWELL" lololol....ZING!
Christina - Tan Ashley Simpson/Paris Hilton wannabe. First thing I noted was that her Mom looks like a man. And naturally, Simon asked if her mom gave approval of her being 16 with an awful tan and for her attire. They brought the Mom in....And Simon saw all he needed to see. ahhh love unintentional comedy!
Statue Of Liberty Guy - "I'm from New York" No, really? "STAAAAART SPREADING THE....." Simon: "Thank You, Good bye"
Erik Lawton - Mom - "he makes me cry when he sings".....Don't worry mom..He made me cry too. And Simon's response "You sound like an Auntie" was new and exciting! Also sounded like a "cat in a bag" "meoooooooow" Simon...Stop purring!!
Ukraine Rhapsody - We had the Ukraine Girl and her Bohemian Rhapsody Striptease. Left the judges speechless and they beat around the bush about telling her to become a stripper. I mean....It WAS very entertaining! I don't even think my words could do the imagery justice!
And that brings us to the Bottom 3 (or Best of the Worst of Chicago).....
3 = Brandon Deputy Sheriff -
I'm not sure I remember the lyrics...Is it "I shot the Sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy" ??? You'd think I'd remember after he sang it 100 times in a row. Ok man...We get it...You're a DEPUTY so you think it's cool to sing the line over and over again!!!! And even that would've been fine if it wasn't in a different key and different notes sung every time! Oh...Such a good time!!!
2 = David Hoover - You know..The jumpy guy at the end that they decided to JUMP THE SHARK and let him through just because he was so ridiculously hyper. The guy couldn't sing....And either the producers thought it would be funny to let him through (since they've never let a bad person through)....Or Paula and Randy thought it would be fun to do so. Either way...It sets a bad precedent for the show. Yeah...I know it was a joke....But seriously? What's the point?
1 = Derrick Dupree - This guy was awesome. "I'm so good I even turn MYSELF on!" he also was so unnervous that his pits were soaked...ahhh good times. He could also sing in 3 pitches "Alto, Low, and Medium-High!" LOL....outstanding! I wish I wrote down the songs he was trying to sing...I forget...But he tried out all his pitches for the judges...And was absolutely awful....Then he requested for an hour to improve his performance...because he apparently can't be good "RIGHT AWAY" Simon allowed this for purposes of keeping the show's ratings up. When he returned...He sang a song...that I'm told is from Trading Places....But when he was asked about it....all he had to say was "I'm not sure of the title!" And naturally...It sounded ridiculous! Simon's comment was "it's like you're possessed and you came back as a six year old!"
And seriously...If Simon says "IF I'M BEING HONEST WITH YOU" one more time...that might be the end of my recaps because I won't even be watching!
THE BEST OF CHICAGO
I won't be as formal here. We're going to see a lot more of the best in weeks to come. Standouts were the Brittenum twins Terrell ("My Girl") and Derrell ("Ain't Too Proud to Beg" finally someone that can sing that on the show!) They were the larger guys with the long goatees. I thought they tore it up and may BOTH be good enough to make the top 12, time will tell. The other Twins Josh and Jarrett were good...But I may agree with Simon that they may not have made it in without their gimmicked twin performance. Then there were the crazy sisters Brooke and Leah Barrettsmith that also both made it....Paula was on the fence...But caved and let them in.
Then there was Mandisa who did Alicia Key's "Fallen".....she was a heaveyset woman who really could belt it out. Look out for her! Simon asked if the Stage was bigger this year..LOL. Paula said she's reminiscent of Frenchie (oh yeah...I saw her on broadway in November in RENT. she would've won Season 2 ...hands down if she didn't get kicked out for internet porn!) Simon said..."Forget Frenchie...she's like FRANCE!" ahhh simon....struggling for material.
Then we had our video of Gina and her being a dentist at home. Gee...I wonder if she'll make it to the next round! Yeah..she did....didn't hurt that she changed the lyrics to Celine's "power of love" to "And I'm your lady....And SIMON'S my maaaan"
Then we had 2 17 year old Crooners:
Zachary Smits "I'm in the mood for love" Paula was smitten right off the bat....And naturally..he's a minor. That's smart Paula...So close after the Corey Clark scandal! Simon was on the fence but they let him through.
David Radford - "Summer Wind" - they showed his whole family singing in a car at their house...I think he made it! Anyway they still showed us something new. Simon was the only one that was going to say Yes. Paula said he was too young. PAULA, you just let in a 17 year old!! And Randy said no but changed it to yes. And Davey made it in.
So...onto Denver tonight...hopefully we'll have some better bad auditions. I just want to get out of the auditions and on to the good stuff. Hopefully the audition recaps will hold us over until the real stuff begins.
Have a wonderful Day!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
BO BICE vs CARRIE UNDERWOOD
The final 2. Bo vs Carrie. Southern Rock vs Country. Long Hair vs Longer Hair. Bearded vs Beardless. Blonde vs Brunette. Female vs Female-looking Male (with beard)! Not since Ali/Frazier has there been such an anticipated match up! Okay…more realistically, I guess it would be not since Clay/Ruben. For the 2nd time in 4 seasons, the best 2 contestants have reached the Red Tape and are awaiting America’s decision to see who will cross the tape first.
Before we get into last night…let’s take a stroll down “FINALE memory lane” shall we?
Season 1, we had the Kelly Clarkson vs local boy Justin Guarini matchup. This was like putting Tyson in his prime against Gumby. Actually…Gumby probably can throw down! Kelly and Justin sang the same original songs which were obviously tailor suited and awfully written for Kelly (I still have nightmares of “A Moment Like This” and worse yet…some product is using it for a TV commercial now…ugh) and then we had our first (and best) Idol winner.
Season 2….Clay and Ruben got to sing different songs, because they knew they had 2 idols coming out of that season. They tailored songs for each of their voices. I remember Ruben’s “Flying without Wings,” which I think was not an original IDOL song. And Clay…well I don’t remember his song, but his major flaw was using the IDOL Finale Choir (oh and what a choir) with Bridge Over Troubled Water instead of the new song….Thus…we had season 2’s least successful idol, Mr. Ruuuuuuben Studdard!
Season 3…we had the unbelievably lopsided and uninteresting affair with Fantasia and Diana. People were rooting for Diana just out of spite of Fantasia and her awful attitude. But, in the end, no one could deny she was the best thing to come out of Idol’s worst season. And sang the better version of Tamyra Gray’s “I believe.” And what a season 1-showdown Tamyra vs Kelly would’ve been! But …it was not meant to be. Did I mention Fantasia won? Did I mention it doesn’t matter? This season seemed like Idol was on a downward spiral.
Then came Season 4….Okay…enough of the history lesson. Let’s get on to the present! The rules were changed this year…the contestants were older, more mature. The styles of music performed on stage varied giving us some broader talent instead of our usual comparisons to Maria Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston (do we really need another Easy Listening Idol?) So, with that said, it is why last night’s format came as a big surprise to me. This could be the closest race in the history of American Idol (so we’re told)….and it seems they gave the advantage to one of the contestants. I’ll get to this in a bit. So what was the Idol finalist’s assignment? Each would sing 2 originals and 1 of their favorite songs they previously performed during the competition. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? We’ll see. So, in honor of the most underrated and “underwatched” and reality show of all time we’re going to break this baby down CONTENDER STYLE! So who wins tonight…who becomes the next Fantasia b..errrr….um….the Next Best Thing to Kelly Clarkson? Will it be cool as ice Bo Bice (niiiice…unintentional rhyming is always a pleasant surprise to writing masters such as myself!…ooh even NICE rhymed with it!) or Everyone’s favorite Girl Next Door (or Next Southern State over) Miss Carrie Underwood? I know who I’m rooting for…but in all fairness…we should break it down.
Round 1 Original Song vs Original Song
DING DING! And they’re off!
Bo – “The Long Long Road” Bo comes out from his corner and is eyeing his competition down. Maybe a little too much. Apparently his nerves have made Bo lose the ability to sing! No fear…the IDOL FINALE CHOIR is here! And with the Finale Choir, you have a bigger threat than the backup dancers. You have the threat of being drowned out of one of the worst songs ever written in the history of Idol and …well…let’s face it…in the history of music! I’d rather listen to the cave people banging on stones just like my ancestors did in the early days. (I think that’s where I got my musical talents from…Music is strong in my family…My Father has it….I have it….and….my BROTHER has it….yes…it’s you Tony! Whoops…forgot this isn’t a Star Wars recap…we’re still on Idol). Anyways…back to Bo. Bo did what he could with this song…but is this really what Idol Music writers envision as a ROCK BALLAD that is marketable for Bo? Judging by the rest of the songs performed in this competition…it doesn’t seem like they wrote it for Carrie. Bo’s limited range was exposed on this song as he missed high note after high note and even some low notes. His singing was middle of the road…it’s like…he knew the song was awful…and didn’t even try to sing his heart out. That’ what I came out of it with. But…if you ask Paula….well…Bo can sing the Webster’s Dictionary. Sign me up for that concert! Just to get people started…here’s what Bo would sing first http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=a mmmm…whets the appetite for more doesn’t it?
Carrie – “Inside Your Heaven”My heaven? Aww that’s so sweet. Another lame ballad entry from the Idol team. One big difference in this song vs Bo’s song. Carrie made the most of it…and made the song her own. She brought the emotion that she had been lacking until the competition got serious…she out sang the crazy finale choir (I’m telling you…they can make or break you!!) Also, even as lame as the song was….I could still find myself hearing it on the radio, and leaving it on because it was Carrie. Well…I mean…I did that with Kelly’s first 2 singles…(ahhhhh chalkboard….ahhhhh scratching!!! Noooo!) Afterall…it can’t be worse than the worst song ever written in the history of music, now can it? So Randy gives the 1-1 tie to both performances. Even with Carrie hitting some flat notes here and there…I was already giving her the edge….and Simon confirmed it for me. Attribute it to nerves….it was better than Bo….was it better than Bo in a fair way? You’re still gonna have to wait for my soap box speech! DING DING! The bell rings…Round 1 complete. Bo: 0 – Carrie: 1 (you go girl!) Bo came in with a big edge and the favorite to win….definitely fell a few steps back with song #1….but…they don’t call Round 2… “Round 2” for nothing! (it’s probably because it’s the one AFTER Round 1!)
Round 2- Favorite Performance vs Favorite Performance
Bo – VehicleAll I can say is….WOW! What a difference it makes to put Bo in his comfort zone. He’s singing a classic rock tune…and he’s singing the hell out of it. While I watched him perform, I remembered why we all enjoyed him sticking around in this competition. I wrote in my notes that it was a SIGNATURE BO performance. Paula matched my writings by calling it an AUTHENTIC BO performance. Wow..Paula…just when I write you off…there you are backing me up! (By the way, Bo still hasn’t gotten to “B” in the dictionary performance yet). Anyway…the crowd loved it…The judges loved it…Simon said we have a competition…..can Carrie top one of Bo’s best performances?
Carrie – “Independence Day” This was always a favorite performance of mine when Carrie did it before. Again, she’s in her comfort zone. I thought it was a great choice, although, I sort of wished she had sang Heart’s “How Do I get you Alone” again. But that is NOT signature Carrie. She’s a country girl at “heart.” So I thought this was a good choice. Showcased her voice…even heard hints of some of the most well known country voices in there including Martina’s. But it was all Carrie at the same time. Consulting with my Country Fan analyst, I was informed that the previous performance was better than last night’s. That may be true. To a non-regular country listener…I saw Carrie up there doing her thing and sounding good. Simon gave a thumbs down on the performance because he wished she would’ve sang “Cryin’” again. Are you kidding me? Simon may have temporarily fallen off his rocker. How could singing 3 ballads improve Carrie’s chances? DING DING: end round 2. I was going to give Bo and Carrie a tie at the end of this round, but judging by Bo’s flawless performance and some of the negative responses to Carrie’s….I guess Bo gets the edge on this one….so we’re dead even! Bo: 1 – Carrie: 1
Round 3 - Original Song 2 vs Original Song 2
Bo – “Inside Your Heaven”Well well well…we’re trying the season 1 and 3 tactic here, are we? Apparently Carrie and Bo only have 1 original song that were for them….and “Inside Your Heaven” was for both of the final 2 to perform. For me…I couldn’t get Carrie’s performance out of my head…and it just seems like a song a female would sing, doesn’t it? Sure “How FAR is Heaven” is a dude song…and Bo sang that. “INSIDE YOUR heaven”…hmmm. I don’t know. Feedback I got from my many avid readers is that this song came off a little dirty with Bo singing the chorus. I’ll let everyone elaborate on why. I dare not go there! Anyway…what I heard was another flat performance, a lot of bad notes….and another song that just wasn’t written for Bo. So what confused me even further were the judges’ comments. Randy: Forever in the Dawg Pound. Seriously??? Paula: You sang outside your range. Actually…I agree with that…because his range is limited…most of his bad notes are OUTSIDE his range! Simon: better than Carrie’s version. Okay…what Simon? Simon justified his comments when he pretty much gave Bo his walking papers. “It’s been a pleasure having you in this competition, and we all agree” It was almost like instead of giving him more compliments about THAT performance…he chickened out and just said “We loved having you…but this is as far as you’re going.” This could be me reading into things though.
Carrie – “Angels Brought Me Here” Okay…there is a trend with these original songs. None of them are terribly good. But all will sell millions of copies. And well this was the best of the bunch. This was a song clearly written for Carrie. She could showcase her voice and by winning the coin toss early on…. assured voters that this would be the last song they heard performed. Sure…she stood there like the statue of liberty again…. but the facial expressions were all there. This song was convincing to me that Carrie deserved the crown over Bo. It reminded me of her powerful voice and her marketability. And the latter comment is why I think the final night of the competition was fixed to favor Carrie. (I’m getting there soon hold on!) Randy praised Carrie on the performance. Paula lost the ability to speak in her review of it. I was going to rewind the TiVo and write down what she actually said…but it went something like this “Flumba Dumba balooba ding dong bibble bobble…..and Watermelon!” Yeah…I know…mine made a lot more sense. Sorry! Simon went on to say that Carrie might have done just enough to secure the championship Idol belt. And the crowd goes Wild!!!! Bo: 1 – Carrie 2
Alright, so what’s my gripe? My girl is favored to win now. The Girl I’ve been rooting for since her audition of Constantine’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”…. whoops…that would be Bonnie Raitt…sorry…Little Constance’s version was just so memorable! My problem with how last night went down is that it was an unfair competition. All season they’ve been tailoring their theme nights to the new broad range of talent they have in these competitions. But when we get to the end…. they again go with the Unbearable Ballads that surely favor the more powerful voice than the most overall performance. Why drag Bo along all of this way to pretty much tell him to his face that he’s not the most marketable contestant for Maintstream Pop? Simon says it was an honor to have him there…but in no way does he want him to win??? These ballads were AWFUL! And it was a shout out back to the days when they were looking for the next Celine, Mariah, Whitney. So what’s my problem? A Lack of consistency. This was Carrie’s night. And they made sure they gave her the advantage. I also have suspicions that the judges are aware of the vote tallies from each week…and Simon, who always is claiming America is listening to him, probably knows that Carrie has the edge over Bo. This is why it was safe for him to make his prediction. That, in addition to my previous comments giving Carrie the edge. Does that give Carrie a shoe-in for victory? No, of course not. Idol loves being unpredictable. But I’ll tell you one thing. Those Ballads will not sell as much with Bo as they will Carrie. “Vehicle” and “Angels” were the best performances of the night. And….well Bo has been the more consistent of the two over the course of the competition in terms of overall performance.
So, in that respect…we may have a tight race still. And I’m sure Ryan will tell us how close the vote was after 2 grueling hours of recaps and Top 12 (we voted you off for a reason!) performances to promote the final concert. I’m mostly upset because Kelly probably won’t be making an appearance tonight. Under her new management, it has been stated that she will make no more Idol performances as she is trying to distance herself from the show.
Alright…it is time for me to declare the winner. And even with the odds being put in Carrie’s favor…she is still the one I’ve rooted for all the time. And I’m going with her now:
CARRIE UNDERWOOD winner of Season 4 American Idol (bonus wildcard: Bo..lol) Can’t wait to buy your CD!
Anyone sleeping yet? I figured I’d just type a nice long review, as this is the final AI recap of season 4. Well, as we reach the end, I hope you enjoyed season 4 as much I did. And I hope you enjoyed my recaps. They started off as a paragraph, and now…we’re hitting 5 pages. Good luck on this final night of the traditional TV Season. Lost vs Idol! Tough decision! TiVo and VCR will be working wonders for me.
Have a great summer…and good luck finding something to do until January! The End.