Tuesday, February 09, 2010

American Idol - Hollywood Week Episode 1 - Ellen Degeneres Joins the Judges

Hello Idol Peeps!  What's up?  Well, was it everything you hoped it would be and more?  Ellen Degeneres has joined the Fab 3 judges to make them an official foursome again.   She made it just in time for the Hollywood rounds and wasted no time adding her "Ellen-ness" to the critiques.  So far, they seem to have her tamed and the comments she made were pretty funny.  But editing is an amazing thing.  Let's see what happens when we go live and the Ellen/Simon banter causes us to go 10 minutes over every week.  And I'm sorry, LOST airs on performance nights now.  There is no room for overtime IDOL!

But we're not supposed to focus on the judges right?  (whisper amongst yourselves to if you'll stick with the show when Simon exits after this year)   It's Hollywood Week and we saw some more skills out of the youngsters.  Obviously, they didn't show us everyone, but there was some shockers to who didn't make it past the round 1 line-ups.  We'll focus on the good but bid a fond farewell to some of the losers! (and I mean that in the nicest way possible!)

181 Contestants enter Hollywood Week.  By the end, 12 Guys and 12 Girls will remain.  Musical instruments are allowed from now on.  Let's get going!

Advanced to Next Round
These are a few of the ones we saw some screen time.  

  • Katie Stevens - 17 - She's the one with the grandmother that has alzheimer's.  She sang Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life" and continues to show her maturity at such a young age.  I still will be cautious due to the age, but I see her sticking around for a bit.  
  • Andrew Garcia - 24 - Ahh yes, the guy that has the awesome name!  And now?  He has some awesome skills to go with.  Once I saw him go out there with a guitar and say he was going to do Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" I knew it was gonna be good.  After David Cook's rendition of "Always Be My Baby"by Mariah Carey, nothing surprises me anymore!   And man, it was REAL good.  It had a Maroon 5-esque feel to it.  Granted, he's been playing that rendition for years and has perfected it.  We'll have to see what he can pull off under pressure in a week's time.  But I like his chances.   And Kara, don't insult us by jogging up memories of Adam Lambert changing up songs because that's the only season you judged.  Chris Daughtry and David Cook mastered this in season's prior.   Ellen gets in a funny here when she imitates the PAULA SEAL CLAP over the head. "She would be doing this right now!"   LOVED IT!  But, I'm not getting attached to Ellen on Idol.  Seriously!  I'm gonna fight it! 
  • Janell Wheeler - 24 - Had to look this one up.  She sang Estelle's "American Boy" with her guitar.   I didn't jot much down in my notes, but I remember it sounding really good.  I'll wait to hear more! 
  • Haley Vaughn - 16 - I think we're allowed to call her "LISP GIRL!" because Simon already addressed it in the audition.  I'm in the clear!  And yes, you should be able to single her out because she's one of the "Million Percent" girls that Randy anointed.   In all seriousness, she may remember her rocking out some country in the auditions with Carrie Underwood, and now she brought some Taylor Swift to the table.  She sang "Change" with her guitar.  And for 16, she is still really showing she can SANG!  And, definitely can sing better than Taylor Swift.  Of course, I would put any of these contestants in the category of "better singer" than her!  But, it's cool, Taylor Swift's manager already said she's not competing in American Idol, so we're good.   Haley may have a certain Top 24 quality about her.  Let's see how the next rounds go.  
  • Mary Powers - 29 - She sang Pat Benetar in her audition.  This year's Rocker girl.  She awesomely sang Pink's "Sober" in this round.  Not sure if this is a compliment, but she sounded just like Pink!  She probably needs to find her own sound, but they have to let her through with those chops.  I look forward to hearing more! 
  • Lilly Scott - 20 - The sandwich maker takes on the guitar and sings Ella Fitzgerald's "Lullaby of Birdland".  Definitely has a unique retro feel to her, but that could be the song she decided to sing!   I would look to her to get a little modern with her song choices to see if she can hang!  But she definitely can sing well! 
  • Michael Lynche - Big Mike - 26 - Poor Big Mike.  Now his wife goes into labor while he's going all Hollywood.  And in the back of our minds, we already know the guy was disqualified because of his loud mouth father talking to the local newspapers!  Good Job DAD OF THE YEAR!   Of course, he did perform my least favorite song in the world: John Mayer's "Waiting for the Chords to Change"   errr I mean World.   Still drives me crazy that he got a hit song out of a song that sounds like so many other songs in the world.  Of course, I'm probably a little too picky on ol' John considering many of the world's POP Songs have the same chord structure!   In Michael's defense, he sounded good and got the rest of the contestants to sing along.   Too bad we'll never see him LIVE! 
  • Tim Urban - 20 from Texas - I don't think we saw this guy's audition.  He had a pretty bad one but they could tell he had a voice.  He came in this time with his guitar and sang David Cook's "Come Back to Me".  It sounded pretty good.  I hate to agree with Kara, but the chorus did sound a little rough!   They must be showing him for a reason.  Let's stay tuned! 
  • Casey James - 27 - This is the "stripper guy" who took it all off for Kara in the audition round.  He just wanted to make it to Hollywood so he could bring out the guitar.  It definitely made him a lot more comfortable and he sang some bluesy stuff.  I think what he performed was "I Don't Need No Doctor" covered by many but originally by Ray Charles.  (Googled that one too)   Anyway, it was really good!  I think we'll see more of him! 
  • Didi Benami - 23 - Okay, she's a bit of a kiss up performing a Kara song "Terrified" but she still did it really well!  And I don't care if the song only had 2 chords.  She played them well and sang it ridiculously well.  We might want to look out for this one!  But the red tight?  Ouch, she needs a make-over STAT! 
  • Crystal Bowersox - 24 - Epitome of trashy, right?  Nasty teeth, got a tattoo of her son's name on her back, has the piercing under her lip.  But if you put all that aside and also forgive her for singing "Natural Woman" which should be retired from Idol after Kelly Clarkson perfected it in season 1, then we saw a really amazing performance!   Simon even gave a nod to Paula by calling her infectious, and we hope he didn't mean that the dirty teeth will spread to anyone she touches!  The 1-2 punch of Didi and Crystal to end the hour was an impressive one.  I can see them moving on to the LIVE shows as well.  
They did show us shots of a few others that continued, but I'm guessing we'll see more of them in the Wednesday show!  

Going Home
I won't say much here, but I just wanted to give a few goodbyes and good riddances! 

  • Skiiboski - Don't even care I spelled it wrong, C YA! 
  • Vanessa Wolf - the REAL southern gal who had never been on an "AERO" Plane.  I felt bad for her.  She came out singing Blind Melon and it did not sound good!  I really thought she was going to surprise us in the later rounds.  Oh well, I guess not! 
  • Cornelius Edwards - the "my pants done ripped" guy.  We knew he wouldn't get far, but it was still funny to watch him do that split! 
  • Megan Wright with the little brother supporter - Not good!  Farewell! 
  • Amadeo DiRocco - also expected bigger things from him.  Sorry dude! 
  • Justin Williams - the cancer survivor.  I figured the ladies would love this guy and he'd have it in the bag to make it further.  Nope! 
  • The Jersey Girls - Thank God they're gone! 
  • Beat Box Guy - I mean, really?  I called him leaving in the first round the minute they let him through! 
  • Maddie Curtis - the girl with the family that adopted the kids with down syndrome.  It was sad not to see her perform well.  But she is gone now.  We must move on! 
And move on, we must!  Wednesday is GROUPS Day!  The most pointless, but still entertaining segment of the American Idol process!  (since they only perform in groups in those awful results show numbers)   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I will see you after the next show! 

    Ending Credits

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    1 comment:

    Ian said...

    I agree with you on Crystal Bowersox. Too trashy for my tastes. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since most of the girls I've met named "Crystal" have been pretty unappealing (no offense to any readers who might have that name). She was pretty good, but I thought Didi was better.

    I don't think the guys will be able to get by on their looks in Hollywood this year, since only one of the four judges has any interest in that sort of thing. Speaking of which, I didn't think Ellen was all that funny. I'm not expecting anything great from her this season.