Tuesday, February 03, 2009

American Idol: Hollywood Round 1

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Hollywood rounds! Is it better than the auditions? I'd say just a smidge so far. There wasn't much to get excited about in Round 1. But with the group performances drama coming up tomorrow, maybe we'll get some more excitement. For now, we got some snippets of the people that made it through round 1. Out of 147 that made it to Hollywood, we still have 104 going into Round 2.

The kids, for the first time, performed in the Kodak Theater for the Hollywood rounds (where the finale will take place) They claimed to have a twist this year with giving them all stylists this early in the game. Also Vocal Coach seminars. My favorite was when they showed people taking Barry Manilow's notes down with such determination. Yeah, because THAT'S going to make you win the competition. I'm sorry, you either have the gift or you don't! The only thing you can do is fine tune your skills throughout the process!

It's not only the stylists coming in early this year. They've even started the shameless promotion of FORD a few weeks early this year.

But anyway, not much to really highlight here. I'm going to try and categorize the good, the potential, and the people i dislike. We'll see how that changes throughout the competition:

The Good
  • Danny Gokey - 28 - This is the guy whose wife passed away. While I don't like him using that story to make the world feel bad for him, I'm convinced it's the Idol producers that are milking it. And I can't help but like this guy. He did a great job with the snippet of "Kiss from a Rose" that we heard. So far, he has been the only person that has made me take notice when he sings. And thinking back to the audition blogs, he's the only one that I even noted as "someone to watch." So let's keep watching!
  • Jamar Rogers - 26 - Danny's buddy. I'm sure they're going to keep this 1-2 punch going for a while. He did a pretty darn good rendition of "California Dreamin." Didn't really see enough of him, but you can tell the dude can sing.
  • David Osmond - 28 - Well, he's an Osmond. It's in his genes. They're going to keep him around too. But we really didn't hear much tonight.
  • Anoop Desai - I'm liking this dude too. He's got some pipes!
  • Stephen Fowler - - The guy that did the Stevie tune that made Randy say "dawwg...WHAAAT????" He was good too, but I don't remember seeing him in the auditions. I won't hold that against him yet.
  • Scott McEntyre - Didn't hear one note from the blind guy tonight. But I'm sure he's still a favorite.
  • Jasmine Murray - 16 - I remember just dismissing her because she was 16. Well, she is still 16, but I can't deny that she sounded good in her snippet. Of course maybe I just liked the performance because she sang a Kelly Clarkson song and didn't do an awful job on it! I'm sure she'll disappoint soon enough!

Jury is still Out

  • Nathaniel Marshall - 18 - This is the dude with the crazy piercings that sang the unknown song and started crying about music being in his skin! Whaaaat? Why did they let him through? I guess they like his voice. We'll see.
  • Rose Flack - 17 - I know the girl is an orphan, but I still don't know why they let her through. She can't really sing well! And it was showing in hollywood. I can't remember if she sang "Dock of the Bay" in her audition but she definitely did it tonight. They let her continue, but I don't see her lasting very long. Still a likable person though.
  • Nick Mitchell (Norman Gentle) -27 - this dude is one bizarre guy and he loves putting on the Norman Gentle act. But no one can deny that he can actually sing. They just need to know when to pull the plug on him if he keeps up the charade. We don't want another Sanjaya situation on our hands! I do have this feeling though that the guy can play it serious. It's just a risky move!
  • Jorge Nunez - He sang Jon Secada's "Angel." I remember him from the San Juan auditions. He really did a great job on it. Almost made me forget of Anthony Federov singing the tune, thankfully. But when he's not singing, he just seems like a weird guy. I'm not sold on him quite yet.
  • Frankie Jordan - She continued but we didn't hear her sing.
  • Jackie Tohn - 28 - Crazy rocker girl or Amanda Overmeyer Part 2. I just don't know with her. I'm sure she's better than Amanda but right now she sounds the same as her to me. The judges say she's really good. I need to hear her more in her element with her guitar and some backing music. Stay tuned!
  • Jeremy Michael Sarver - Oil Guy - I thought he sounded good. He probably should be in the "good" section, but I'm too lazy to move my notes so he'll stay here!
  • Emily Wynne-Hughes - Crazy color hair girl that sang No Doubt's "Excuse Me Mr." even though she didn't rehearse it. She's being granted a 2nd chance and will probably wow the judges, but for now we'll leave her here.

No Thanks

  • Lil Rounds - 23 - I'm still not sold on this person and I don't think I ever will be. I hate when the judges all get behind these "POWER VOCALISTS" like they're sent here from heaven to entertain us with their heavenly voices. Kara giving the standing O and talking like Randy with the "That was Hot" nonsense. And come on, she did the biggest "no no" in the book. Sing the most overplayed song in movie history "I Will Always Love You" - the Whitney Houston version. (Okay maybe Celine's "My Heart Will Go On" has it beat but they're both equally annoying!) Worst thing about it? She really didn't sound good. But it doesn't matter. She has top 12 written all over her and there's nothing we can do about it.
  • Von Smith - This guy just overdid it and I don't think he's going to have what it takes going forward. He may find a way to make it to the Top 36, but who will vote for him? Yikes.
  • Katrina Darrell -21 - Bikini Girl - I'll admit that I laughed at them keeping this thing going from the audition. Girls judges hate her, the Guy judges sympathize with her. But Come on! This is so obviously staged! She isn't a good singer, and hopefully in the end Simon and Randy will redeem themselves for the sake of the competition.

Obviously there are tons of other decent contestants that we probably didn't see featured tonight. There were some people that we saw continue to round 2 but there were no performance clips. I just was too lazy to include them! I'm sure we'll get to them over the next 3 Hollywood rounds! But for now, that's what I have! Group Competition tomorrow folks! See you then!


Anonymous said...

I wasn't very impressed with Jamar. He's too shouty for me to consider him a real contender.

I'm totally with you about the "power vocalists." Sure, they know how to belt it out, but do any of them do anything other than the same old adult contemporary R&B? Does that type of music even sell these days? Don't they want someone who'll be a commercial success?

Von and Bikini Girl are nothing but sideshows.

I thought Anoop was the best of everyone we heard on this episode.

Mike V. said...

Ian, I really didn't feel very strongly towards Jamar either actually. It's just that he's friends with Danny, so I decided to keep them together because I'm thinking the Idol producers are going to strive for the same thing.

everything else, I agree with you.

Danny and Anoop are the best 2 I've seen so far. Apparently, Kara made a comment in an interview that there are 5 guys this season that she could see as strong contenders to win the whole thing. I'm guessing those are 2 of them. Then the Oil Guy (Sarver) could be another one....I really should've moved him up a section! lol

Anonymous said...

Anthony Federov did a much better job on "Angel" than Jorge Nunez.

Mike V. said...

to each his/her own. I couldn't stand the cheese of Federov! I'm not big on Jorge either, but I still think it sounded better!