Tuesday, January 18, 2011

American Idol Season 10: My Approach to the Coming Season (Auditions Commentary in the Comments Section)

NOTE: My thoughts from every Audition Episode, Hollywood Episode, Vegas and TOP 24 Announcement Episodes are in the "COMMENTS" section of this post. 

Greetings my fellow waning Idol Viewers! Have you had a good 8ish months off from the show? Yeah, me too! I think I made it pretty clear in my season 9 finale blog that I was not thrilled to be writing about the show anymore. And, with Simon's exit it seemed almost poetic to just drop the show. Well, my stance hasn't changed too much. But, here's the thing. I'd be lying (as all of us would be) if I said I'm not going to watch the show this year. Of course I want to see the train wreck that it has turned into! I mean, J-Lo? Steven Tyler? and Randy as the anchor judge?!?! Unitentional Comedy at its finest. They have made so many tweaks to this show in the off-season (in an effort to save it) that it may be almost unidentifiable! Well, after the auditions at least (I don't think they're changing much). Some of the changes may turn out to be good, who knows?

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this little interlude to season 10 is that I wanted to let you all know that I'm viewing this season with a "Wait and See" approach, in terms of blogging about it. I don't want to be wasting my time writing about a show that no one, mostly myself, has any interest in. I have threatened to do this for the past few years but never was able to back it up. I WILL NOT write about any audition episodes! I just can't. I force my way through it and there's not much really to write about! So, if anything, I will be writing about the LIVE PERFORMANCE shows. And it's really going to be based on if there's enough talent to keep me interested. And, if the judges somehow miraculously earn my approval/interest that may go a long way too. But, this will be a "NO FRILLS" blogging approach. No pictures or fancy formatting. Just a bulleted approach and my reactions to the performances. I'm going back to the way I used to review Idol if I do it at all!

But here's the good news. I'm leaving this post up for any commentary during the Idol Auditions. If you see something funny, want to roll your eyes at the judges or find the contestant you're going to support through the show, then please drop a comment. I'm sure I'll be dropping comments in here as well. Hopefully, that will work for the Pre-Taped shows. If it doesn't, OH WELL! :-)

I'm guessing everyone is going into this season with a "wait and see" approach with sticking around for this season as well, so I'm sure my approach won't surprise anyone.

In the meantime, if you're looking for my blogging on other shows (such as Fringe, The Walking Dead, The Event plus any other random show I decide to write about), go check out my new TV Addicts Blog (http://www.tvaddictsblog.com/)! After LOST, there was just no way to pick one show to bet the farm with. And since I love any and all TV, it seemed like the best approach! Enjoy!

So, that's really all I have for now, but tune into the comments of this post for discussion on the auditions if anyone feels so inclined!  So, maybe I'll see you after Wednesday's premiere and/or after the first live show!


Mike V. said...

New Jersey/New York Auditions

Well, What can I say? The show wasn't too bad last night! They did a pretty good job at selling the new judging panel in the first 10 minutes of the episode. Of course, I had to laugh when they got to Randy's bio and credentials. But, really, I didn't mind the panel last night. They were pretty entertaining getting into their groove. The Mrs. and I both shrilled though every time Steven did his signature "shriek". I think we had enough Adam Lambert shrieking on Idol to last 20 lifetimes. So, hopefully he gets tired of that quickly. It did seem like they let a lot of talent in that Simon would have shunned off before. This could be good or bad. But it doesn't really matter until they start thinning out the crowd in Hollywood. And we really won't be able to tell what these judges are about until we get to the LIVE shows. That's what makes or breaks these guys. I'm fine with no one being the HARD TRUTH TELLER like Simon was, but I definitely miss it! But the whole "trying not to laugh as the contestant is singing" bit never gets old!

Here's the thing that always confuses me about the audition process and all of this bad talent getting through. There is a month between the 1st Audition Round where people pack the stadiums and get narrowed down to the group of contestants that will go before the "famous" judges. What do these INITIAL judges tell the BAD contestants when they advance to the next round? Do they feed them a bunch of BS saying how good they are? So, then they stew on that for a month and come in with all of the confidence in the world and then get shot down? Maybe that's why these people thing they're the greatest thing ever when they come in? It never really made sense to me. But hey, whatever, it's a TV show!

There were a few good contestants coming out of these auditions but nothing that REALLY blew me away. I didn't think the Latin "JLO" worshipper was worth being sent through. I didn't think Opera Girl that returned from season 6 should have been sent through (and yeah, there is NO WAY J-Lo remembered seeing her. It was probably on her form that she made it to Hollywood in season 6! MAYBE Lopez "THOUGHT" she remembered her but come on!). Broadway Pop girl probably will be booted on day 1 of Hollywood. The last guy was pretty good. Don't you love how I didn't take notes this time around so I remember absolutely NO names?! It's a relief people, let me tell you!

But, I will say that I enjoyed the first audition episode and I'll continue watching. But, it's all going to come down to the talent that gets sent to the LIVE rounds. So stay tuned. If anyone is reading this, feel free to drop your comments in here as well!

Anonymous said...

I agree that there seemed to be a kinder feel the judges. I think a large part of this probably had to do with the production choices made over what clips to show and what to cut. They clearly were making an effort to set a different tone on the show with far more postive auditions than usual (first 3 contestents sent through I think?). I thought JLo came off as likeable (which surprised me) and Steven could tone it down a bit. Initially it seemed he was making several of the auditions more about him, but that seemed to relax as the show went on. I think that JLo and/or possibly Steven is going to need to step up the constructive tips that are given as Randy wont do it and without Simon...we may be missing the feed back element. Hopefully there will be improved behind the scenes work this year though. I wasnt "wowed" by any of the contestents but I thougth there were a few decent folks...at this point it is going to be a wait and see on this season.

Mike V. said...

Hi Anonymous! Totally agree that they're trying to push less of the "BAD" auditions and more of the "TALENT" this year. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed the bad auditions the first couple seasons, but it gets kind of old after awhile. But whenever the judges can't keep a straight face, that's when the bad auditions get fun for me. Here's my update for New Orleans:

Crazy how much you can do while Idol is on when I'm not furiously taking notes not to miss a single thing that happened! I actually watched in the kitchen (without DVR delay! The horror!) while my wife was making cupcakes for her cute little pre-k students this morning. I find the show a little more enjoyable when I'm not treating it as a job, but merely mindless entertainment! Anyway, last night was a good time too. But I felt like Steven Tyler crossed into the "this gig is already getting old for me" territory. He may have had a few good one liners. But all I can remember was after the last girl with the good sob story went (great singer btw), all Steven could muster up to say was "Go home and hug your baby". HUH???? Yes yes, the editors probably cut a lot out. But this really is going to come down to the LIVE shows. And I can't wait to see how they censor Steve. I also would like to see the judges disagree on a contestant. Right now it's all one big love fest.

So yeah, that last girl was good. And I love me some Carrie Underwood. But, no offense Carrie (because of course she's going to read a comment on my "I'm not blogging about Idol this year " post lol), that song "Temporary Home" makes me want to vomit every time I hear it. Same as "Mama's Song"! They were nice little tracks on the album, but I never saw them as singles. Might be time for a new album!!

The young 15 year old chubby boy sang really well. But here's the cruel me coming in to rule the day (or make it a bit brighter). Wouldn't it be awesome if he made the Top 12 and hit puberty right in the middle of the competition? His voice starts cracking and he can't hit any notes anymore. That would make for some unprecedented television. AND ULTIMATELY PROVE why the age should never have been lowered to 15! If anything, it should have been raised to higher than 16. Make it 18-28 or something. Oh well, they're looking for the next Bieber.

There were a couple more contestants I thought were pretty good too...but once again, I know no one's name! But, I'm sure they'll grow on me as the season goes on.

So, this continues to be what Mike "not seriously blogging about Idol" looks like. But, as I said, if there is a contestant that makes me enjoy the show the way I did when Kelly or Carrie came onto that stage (OR just the enormous talent of season 5 enters the arena), then you will all see my investment in blogging grow a little more than these simple and silly comments! I agree with anonymous though. We need better production when we get to those live shows (and just narrowing down the talent field in general). I wish they would improve the voting system too to control the TWEEN vote and making all of these "IDOLIZED BOYS" win every year. We'll see what happens.

But for now...that's all I have to say!

Anonymous said...

Love the re-newed approach to blogging...less details makws it easier to read!


Mike V. said...

Thanks Wayne! It's a lot more fun to write too!

Mike V. said...

Milwaukee Auditions (Ep 3):

Well, I'm still watching! No signs of decline. But the eyerolls for the judges are increasing. They make me laugh as much as they drive me crazy. J Lo started whipping out the "package artist" thing that drove me crazy with Kara. But she's so pretty I don't care! (J Lo I mean). Steven Tyler is still screeching. I guess I just am gonna have to get used to it if we're gonna get through this season! He does ramble a lot and doesn't make sense. And what is up with his WORDPLAY? Everything Randy says, he has to had a bad pun on it? I can't think of an example right now but yikes! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind him besides those pet peeves. He still cracks me up even if for the wrong reasons! (almost like the Paula Abdul unpredictability factor) The critiques have turned really into "i like you, you sing well." or "no you're not so good". I miss Simon's analogies! But, the talent and stories of these contestants is still there. Sometimes they're forced stories (like the Summerfest trash cleanup girl???" and sometimes you can't help but get welled up "like the last guy with his fiance' who is in pretty bad shape after a car accident". I don't think there was a dry eye in any house when the judges brought her into the audition room to say hi to her.

Lots of good contestants coming out of Milwaukee. The Josh Turner wannabe (Scotty something with the real low voice), the guy that sang Marvin Gaye (J Lo said to remember that name. I forget it already, but I'm sure we'll see him again. I do worry about him OVERSINGING things in the future that don't need to be though), unfortunately the Summerfest Trash girl could sing really well so we'll see her again. Who did I like? The Obama Intern, I liked her voice but she's in desperate need of a makeover and a new day job! (notice the subtle hint there? :-)) That last dude was pretty good and he'll be hard not to root for. But my favorite guy of the day was the Accountant! I did love how he said no one at work would know he auditioned until the show aired but then they showed him at the audition with a bunch of friends and even shot video of him at his office!! Ahh good times. But he had a killer voice and surprising. You see this guy and his demeanor and never expected that voice to come out of him. That's always something to root for!

Anyway, that's all I have for now! (BTW, very annoyed that last night was 2 hours. I always think we get over that after the season premiere!) Tonight is Nashville! Awesome awesome town if you've never been there. My wife is from Tennessee and we got married there. Such a great time. It looks like the auditions might be on the Ryman Auditorium stage (original home of the Grand Ole Opry) which is kinda a nice change of venue for an audition.

Mike V. said...

Nashville Auditions

Another decent episode of Idol last night. Glad it was an hour, and I'm getting concerned about the LIVE shows and their inability to end on time. My DVRs work major overtime on Thursday nights so if the show does run late, I don't think I'd be able to record whatever happens after 9! (I'm sure I'll find a way) Anyway, it was cool seeing a lot of shots of Nashville last night. The Mrs. and I got married right in that downtown area so we are very familiar with it. So cool that they got to audition in the Ryman auditorium.

The talent was good. Tough for me to remember a lot of the singers though. One standout for me was the african american girl with the caucasian parents. Never in a million years expected her story or for her to bust out a country tune from Lady Antebellum. She had a sweet story and a nice voice. I'm sure we'll be hearing from her. They heavily promoted the last girl of the night (who was definitely at the end of night 1 not night 2 based on the judges' attire). She was good and has a great personality (how about her just telling Steven Tyler to sing along with her on "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"?) She definitely has some strong vocal chops to go along with that personality. But, I'm gonna be honest....it seems like we're going to have a Top 10 or 12 HEAVILY populated by 15, 16 year olds. That's the direction the show is trying to go this year. I'm not thrilled about it. I guess they're trying to find their new audience? There was that 28 year old blonde woman that had a crazy good voice too (and perhaps an inappropriate relationship with a father figure turned boyfriend??? HUH?? That couldn't be right, right?)

Whew...I don't know if me writing about the show this way makes it more relatable in these early rounds...because I can't for the life of me remember anyone's names! I know how you guys feel now when I was probably writing these recaps and naming everyone without pictures! I think the one person that I ever remembered by name from the auditions without taking notes was Carrie Underwood. She had such a memorable name and audition and you knew she just had STAR written all over her. Not sure where I'm going with this...so let's change topics!

The Judges: They're still okay for me. And apparently, they're okay with the rest of America because the ratings are holding strong (26 million for Weds night). It seemed like Randy was TRYING to be a Simon last night with some of the auditions. Not a shocker to anyone, he's not! Sometimes the judges don't even want to comment on the auditions they just want to vote. Hey...maybe for the auditions that's all we really need. By the way...the whole editing stunt where one votes yes and one votes no and it comes down to Steven or Randy...then the camera holds on that last judge for 10 seconds then cuts to the door where the contestant is coming out? When have we EVER not seen them come out with a golden ticket??? It's getting old PRODUCERS!!

So...another week down. We've seen 4 towns, right? I know they're in Texas next week...not sure what town exactly but I'm sure we'll find out. I always forget if the auditions are 3 weeks or 4....maybe they cut down on them this year. Probably not since they're cutting the semi-final rounds a bit. Oh well, I'm just along for the ride this year with a few comments here and there so I guess we'll just see what happens!

Mike V. said...

duh...the Blonde who kissed the older guy was Jackie Wilson. How could I forget that name? lol

Mike V. said...

Totally forgot about the broken up couple that performed together and separate. Loved both of them. And naturally, love the potential for drama there with the other boyfriend. Always makes for some good TV!

Mike V. said...

Austin Auditions -

Bleh....this is an episode where it reminds me why I hate writing about auditions and why I'm glad I'm not "REALLY" doing it anymore! It's not that the episode was bad, but there just isn't much discussion required. There was so-so talent...more interesting stories than actually great voices. (The John Wayne cowboy kid and his mom with Breast Cancer was a sweet story) The bad talent wasn't very notable. Of course, they once again saved the biggest contender for last. I forget his name but they almost had us fooled that the guy was gonna be awful. He acted strange, they played the goofy music in the background and he had that crazy instrument which I'm too lazy to look up what the name of it is! :) And then he busts into some Ray Charles after playing himself the key to get in tune and he was pretty darn good! It's a safe bet that we should expect to see him again!

Los Angeles tonight. I'm ready to be done with the auditions again!!

Mike V. said...

Los Angeles Auditions -

Yawn...really no redeeming values in that crop of people. I guess they decided to dedicate an episode to the lousy auditions. Or maybe there weren't that many good ones. I can't really recall anyone blowing my mind last night. The last guy that was on was a blatant attempt to duplicate the success of last year's "Pants on the Ground"....should have never gotten air time. My wife said he was a combination of Captain Jack Sparrow meets James brown. And that is all I'll say about it because that's all it deserves!

Looks like we have one more audition city (San Fran) and then off to Hollywood! Looks like from the previews that the 15 year old kid with the baby fat and boyish voice still didn't hit his growth spurt in Hollywood. The scenario couldn't be building more perfectly. I want to hear some Voices Cracking on LIVE TV! Bring it on!

Mike V. said...

San Fran Auditions -

Ugh...you won't believe this one. We're in the middle of watching Idol last night and my TV just turns off! And a nice little red light indicator shows up on it. Yup, the lamp in my DLP died. This isn't the first time...After 3 years of use, it died last October. But this new one? No such luck. Luckily we already ordered a new TV but it isn't coming until next weekend! So what to do until then? I have no idea... We have other TVs in the house but when I tried transferring the show from TiVo to TiVo? Nothing but network issues....my whole technology entertainment center is collapsing!! (And I've taken so much pride in how it has been working thus far) Anyway, stupid me didn't have the upstairs TiVo ever recording Idol to avoid conflicts with other shows. So, we missed 40 minutes of the episode. I'm still working on it to try and catch the rest of the episode. But something is telling me I didn't miss much.

Yeah...the one guy that had the "ACCIDENT" was pretty good. But the fact that they went back to San Fran to try and find the next Adam Glambert scares me. I'm sure there was some decent talent though. If anyone out there is reading this, you can let me know if you saw anybody worth watching!

Otherwise...we're off to Hollywood tonight, right? There is no way I can touch those TiVos because I have 4 shows recording at 8 (2 on each TiVo). Is everyone with me on hating that Idol moved to Thursday night? It's a DVR disaster! Anyway, wish me luck on being able to transfer so we can watch it!

Otherwise...I'm hearing The Office is going to be really good tonight....OLD SCHOOL good. So, I'm looking forward to that!

Mike V. said...

Hollywood Round 1

Caught up last night on the San Fran auditions and Hollywood Round 1. I was right, didn't miss much from San Fran except Adam Glambert 2.0 (the last guy...great story and all, but come on with the screeching!) Oh yeah, and the girl that everyone was convinced had nice shoes (from Columbia?). I don't care about shoes! Not really sure where I'm going with that, but at least she could sing.

Hollywood started off pretty good. I was sad to see the accountant go, but it didn't look like he brought the goods. Lots of good singers moved on...the ones that stood out the most to me and the mrs. were the EX-Couple. They really have some good voices and a good, if not forced, story going on there. I love the awkward tension even if it's contrived. The OTHER couple on the other hand, which I am still convinced are not really a couple were ridiculous. The blonde can sing alright but the guy? Come on...did he really have to put on that show at the end? Why can't these people just accept when it's over? Oh and then that one girl that should haven't ever gotten through in the first place...and then she has the nerve to say something like "I can do what no one else has been able to do yet"...and then sing awfully and then STILL get through to the next round? What is up with that?! I did like how J Lo muttered something like "I like her because she's crazy" and then continued to laugh at her when she got through to the next round. I could see them letting her slide a couple rounds just to see her get full of herself and then ultimately explode when she doesn't make it through. But don't put her into the LIVE rounds!

Anyway...group rounds are next!

Still debating if I'm going to break into recapping at the live shows. If anyone is reading this...lt me know your thoughts. Like I said...it will be a no frills approach...but maybe...just MAYBE...I'll start remembering their names at least! :)

Nicole said...

Just wanted to chime in and say that I am reading... and would love to see your "no frills" recaps if you're up for it.

My thoughts so far: I love the Randy Travis-esque country singer; I love old-school country music (i.e. NOT Carrie Underwood country) and I don't think Idol's ever had an old-timer like that before. He's voice really is a wonder, but I'm curious to see how he does with other songs. Speaking of old-timers, I love the girl with the rinky-tinky 1920s voice, who will definitely be married to her guitar. We'll see her on the top-12 stage, just because she's SO different. I think the guy who is part of the ex-couple is one of the best singers on the show. Not much personality or emotion, though. The person who will ride along on story alone for a while is the guy with the disabled finacee. I choke up whenever I just see that guy, and I'm not a terribly emotional person. I think that story carries even more weight than the deceased Mrs. Gokey.

I vowed I wasn't going to watch Idol this year because I am a HUGE Simon fan. But I'm breaking my vow because, Idol, I just don't know how to quit you. And I'm glad that I'm not quitting because I think there is going to be something cool with the singers this year: I think the ones that are going to make it are going to have something super cool and unique about their voices and style. I think the contestents will not survive on a good set of pipes alone.

The judges are going to suck, though. What a couple of pansies JLo and Steven are. Oh well; I'll get me some Simon accuracy and honesty in the fall.

Mike V. said...

Hi Nicole! Thanks for chiming in! Glad someone is reading lol Not that I've been giving this much press or anything. Hey, if I'm watching a TV show...I'm always up for discussing it. I'm sure I won't be able to resist commenting on the live shows.

The Randy Travis-esque singer - Scottie McCrearie or something like that, right? (i'm getting better!) Yeah, he's totally Josh Turner 2.0. I was hoping he'd sing something different last night to get a better idea of what he's all about. I know he did do that Randy Travis song in the audition as well so maybe he has a few tricks up his sleeve. I'm definitely interested to see what else he has in him....but I never am sold on these young-ens on the show. They always seem to lose steam at some point. As for being a fan of country...I can tolerate Old School AND New School (more than tolerate...i really am into country these days)...which is saying a lot since I refused to listen to any of it 5-6 years ago!

As for the girl with the 20's voice....yeah she's awesome..but my opinion of her and Scottie...I just don't see them being able to stick around for the long haul on this show. I love the throwback sound but it never seems to work on Idol when you get thrown so many different genres from week to week.

Yeah...the guy with the disabled fiancee is a really rough story. You can't help but root for him.
I don't know if I ever vowed to quit Idol as you did....but I thought I was really close. But I'm just like you...I don't know how to quit either! Maybe you'll be right and some of these unique voices will prevail in the end. I think the trio of judges are at least entertaining together....but I agree....there isn't very great criticism coming for the contestants to improve on anything. I think the LIVE shows are going to make this very prevalent.

I'm also interested in X-Factor in the fall. Not sure how successful it will be with the having so many talent shows out there as it is. We'll see if it can distinguish itself enough from Idol where 2 can co-exist.

Thanks for letting me know that you're checking out the blog...and like I said...I'm sure you'll see me posting new posts soon enough!

Nicole said...

Oh don't get me wrong, I like new country too - in fact, I like Carrie Underwood very much - but I don't think it holds a candle to the likes of Hank Williams Sr. or Waylon Jennings. I think what you're talking about with Scottie and the 20s girl is what happened to Didi and Lacey Brown last year... unique sound and style, but just doesn't translate across genres. I think they need to do what Bo Bice did... take every theme week and turn the song into their comfy genre. Don't try doing what they can't.

Mike V. said...

Oh I hear ya...Old School Country is where it's at. New Country is almost like a new home for old school Pop Music (you know...before Hip Hop took over the top 40) but with a little twang. Probably why I enjoy it! lol Yup...exactly what I'm talking about. Now, I heard with Nigel Lythgoew (sp) back he tweaked some of these theme weeks so that these people don't have to stray too far from the genre.

Oh and I forgot to mention...I think there may be restrictions on how often these contestants can hide behind their instrument. Which is a good thing, I think.
I hope they get rid of that dreaded Judges' save from the last couple years. So ridiculous.

Mike V. said...

Hollywood Week Round 2

Did anyone else roll their eyes when they looked at the DVR and saw another 2 hour pre-recorded episode? I'm sure it happens every year with the GROUP ROUNDS, but it still drives me crazy. Nevertheless, I was sucked in! I always love the drama of these people having little to no time to throw these musical numbers together and find their groups and whatnot. The only issue? It has NO bearing on these people as individual artists which is the whole point of this show. I guess they leave it in because it's popular. Granted, these people do have to work together to sing the almighty IDOL GROUP SONG on every results show, but seriously...who cares about those? Anyway, my opinions haven't changed on who are the real deal vs. the pretenders. But I am sad to see one person go:

Ex Couple Guy - I really liked him and he just was a big baby for the group round. I mean, dude...suck it up! And I know it was a couple months ago when they filmed it but who really couldn't learn that Cee Lo song??!

Happy they're moving on -

Pre Pubescent Kid - It was really a shame that white glasses dude (i hate that guy!) kicked him out of the group with Josh Turner (errr Scottie McCreerie). I hated seeing him go cry to his parents. No fear, as much as I want to hate that carrot top kid (brent lowenstein or something like that??) he did take in the boy whose voice will not change! It was nice to see the judges let him through. But he really should have toned it down when he was bragging to the cameras of surviving group week. They spared him! Plain and simple.

Scottie McCreerie - I still want to hear more from this kid. Yeah he did "Get Ready" so that branched him out from Josh Turner, but when these kids asked him to audition for their group he still sung Josh Turner!!! I guess you always go to your wheelhouse. But I fear he may get swallowed up when trying different generes.

I promise, I'll start learning these people's names better when we get to the LIVE show. It was cool to see the guy with the disabled fiance get through. And Nigel Lythgoew's favorite girl get through. Forget her name but she sang with Steven Tyler. She is a little full of herself though asking him to come on stage and sing with her group. And I have to say, from what they showed, I think her group sang better than her and she's the only one that went through!

The kids that did Bohemian Rhapsody with their Moms helping was pretty funny...

Not happy they're moving on -

White glasses dude. If I saw him in person I'd punch him in the face. Adam Glambert 2.0...stop screeching dude.

Happy she's off the show - Jersey girl with the glitter hair. I know they let her through a few rounds just for fun...but man....she was so upset she couldn't find a group. What did she expect when she told everyone she was better than all of them? Ahhh reality TV...gotta love it.

So that's about it for this week. Based on the preview for Thursday it looks like they'll be stretching Hollywood week into next week. There's no way we'll have our Top 24 or whatever they're doing this year by tomorrow. So LIVE shows are still 2 weeks away. My fingers thank FOX and the Idol producers! Remember though, it will be a no frills approach! But at least I will post new Blog postings so people will know that I'm still writing about Idol in smaller doses. Talk to you all after the next show!

Mike V. said...

Hollywood Week Round 3

Okay, well this was an impressive night all around for Idol season 10. We finally start seeing what these contestants are made of and getting a good idea of who might be in our top 12. I still don't know how the semi-finals are working this year but it looks like it will be less weeks than normal which is a good thing. Next week's Beatles Hollywood round definitely sounds intriguing. Anyway, for this episode there were some people that came out of nowhere this week and are starting to look like favorites. Now I'm starting to regret not typing names down. Let's see what I can do here.

Lauren Alaina - She's the one being championed by the Idol Marketing machine. No doubt she is very very good. But noone likes a front-runner, right? And I hate how she keeps kissing up to Steven Tyler. We'll see if that settles down after a bit.

The Bearded Wonder with the Standup Bass (Casey Abrams) - Love this guy. He's definitely of a different breed than what we've seen on Idol in the past and it's kind of refreshing.

Jaycee - Oh man...did he really sing Time of my Life? I think that was the David Cook Idol winning song, but I can't be sure. I don't think he'll go too far, but I still want to see him go far enough where we have a chance for his voice to change mid-competition! It would be fantastic. But I think going forward, he'll be getting a pity vote. Which brings us to his nemesis.

Weird Glasses Guy (Looked it up - Clint Jun Gamboa. Even his name is ridiculous!) - Every time he is on screen I want to throw projectiles and hope to shatter those glasses on his face and not care of the consequences. He is intolerable. It makes it worse that he is a showboater with his voice. Yes, he can sing really well but ever great note he hits, just hits home with America not being able to stand him. I don't think the voters will support the way he kicked Jaycee out of the group.

Jacon Lusk - This guy came out of nowhere and stood out enough for me to google him and find out his name. He put so much into his performance that he almost had a nervous breakdown afterwards (falling over and crying and whatnot). Look out for this guy. He has some mad skills!

There definitely were others, but those are who are standing out for me now. I'm glad the guy with the disabled fiance got through, but something is telling me he doesn't have what it takes. One thing I'm definitely happy about is that they're focusing more on the VOCALS again this year and not the singer-songwriter people. Don't get me wrong, when I'm purchasing music, it usually is the talented musicians and bands that draw me in. But I always saw Idol as a vehicle to find the next great Pop Star. That usually equates to an amazing and unique voice. See Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood. Sure, Carrie is country, but she has mainstream appeal. This show needs to have another winner turn into a megastar. Some of these people definitely have the voices to pull it off. I would just hate for another guy who plays guitar and woos the teenage girls out there to win. David Cook, I enjoyed because he brought more to the table than just his guitar. But, I fear he may have caused a trend with the Idol contestants that followed. I'm happy to see more focus on the voices this year. Although, I did love that upright bass that Casey was plucking!

Next week, more Hollywood. We'll see if I decide to keep commenting on this post, or start breaking into my Recap Posts. If I feel I have a lot to say about the Beatles episode, then maybe I will. If not, I'm still planning for a grand return for the LIVE shows!

Nicole said...

Ugh, two of my three favorites are gone - the 1920s girl and the ex-boyfriend. I'm so glad the blond girl that sang with the exes got sick and went home. She was terrible. It made no sense to me that they put her through and not the guy. He should have been put through based on past performance. With blondie out sick, he should be put back in to take her place. That bipolar girl that almost quit (Ashley?) is MAD good. That's how she was able to make it though despite one of the worst audition performances ever. Watch out for her. The black girl with the great figure and huge hair is also fantastic. I have to say, I love group round. It gives me an idea of who to root for on a personal level. E.g. I like Brett Lowenstern better because he's a nice guy. The girls that were in the group with bipolar girl are great people - they were understanding and welcomed her back with open arms and no drama. Jordan is a prima donna and a huge a@#hole. Ditto for white glasses.

Mike V. said...

Good point about the group rounds Nicole. I have to agree it was nice to see some of those no drama groups and appreciate them as good human beings lol Brett still drives me crazy but yeah he's a nice guy. Jordan is awful.

Ashley, you're probably right. As for the girl with the big hair, yeah she was amazing. I wanted to write about her too but couldn't remember her name. The ex bf, I'm mad about him being so non-commital in the group rounds. He could have been really good. I didn't even see the 1920s girl got the boot. That's a shame.

Definitely getting more interested in these contestants though. Idol is doing its job in the early rounds. I'm getting more optimistic for the live show. We'll see!

Thanks for the comments!

Mike V. said...

Vegas Round/First of the Top 24 Announced -

Well, I have mixed feelings about the new Beatles Round we saw last night. I wasn't thrilled with MANY of the performances, but I liked it as a way to prolong the season but eliminate a week of the semi-final rounds which are always pretty grueling to get through. We did discover a talent last night though. We may have seen his audition before but he got major screen time last night. Paul McDonald sang "Blackbird" with Kendra Chantelle and they both did a bangup job. But Paul really caught my ear. They showed a variety of his clips and J-Lo's wooing about him. Definitely a unique voice and from what we have seen he can tone it down or power it up with equal conviction (there's a Paula word for you all!). Might be my new favorite. But I'm sure he's too quirky to win the TEEN TEXT vote.

There were some surprising exists in the Beatles round including that crazy girl that got married. HUH? She got married on a whim in Vegas? That was just bizarre. Not sure if the boyfriend was on board with it. Or maybe he was just camera shy.

So anyway, moving past the Beatles round we went to a HANGAR in Los Angeles for the final performances and one long walk of shame/fame. Really, when you're sitting around in a conference room thinking about how to spice up the show...who is the guy that says "maybe we should do it at an airport hangar!!!" Hey, whatever, it worked I guess. So 5 of the Top 24 were announced and we'll get the rest tonight. So, let's meet the 5 and say one or 2 sad goodbyes:

1.) Naima Adedapo - She's that girl that worked at a concert venu picking up trash and stuff. Definitely a powerful voice. She's had some interesting outfits so far so I'm sure the unintentional comedy meter will be off the charts.

2.) Clint Jun Gamboa - Still want to punch this guy in the face. Yes, powerful voice but an ego to go with it. Plus he just looks like a guy you want to punch in the face. Oh yeah, and he kicked Jaycee out of his group. There's no way to justify it without making him look like a total punk! It'll be interesting to see how the voters react next week.

3.) Haley Reinhart - I am not a fan of this girl and her bizarre enunciations. For her past 2 or 3 performances I may have been able to pick out 5 words in her songs that actually sound like words. She has a voice, but she really really really really really really really really reaaaaaaaaallllllly overdoes it. (see what I did there?)

4.) Paul McDonald - I've already said my piece on Paul. He's fantastic and will definitely be a fun one to watch this season. Plus, that attire he wore for his final performance? He must have picked that up at an Elvis store in Vegas. Fantastic.

5.) Ashton Jones - She has had some fantastic performances. Very powerful voice and she seems like a really sweet girl. Pretty sure the fans will vote for her next week.

19 to go!

Mike V. said...

But we had to say tearful goodbyes to Hollie Cavanaugh and Chris Medina. Well it was sad to see the dude with the dreads (Deandre?) go too because I was going to start calling him Deandre "I miss Vanilli" Brackensick. He mean seriously...he was totally straight out of a late 80's lip sync band. The advice for Hollie made sense. She has a strong voice but could probably come back another year and really give it a go. J-Lo and Randy suggested she could actually win it. Okay, that's great but the last thing you want to hear after months of getting to this point. (You mean I have to do all of this again!?!?!) It doesn't make sense that they're probably going to let in a bunch of 15 year olds with LESS life experience and less powerful voices. But whatever. It was really sad to see Chris go. He sang Coldplay's "Fix You" for his disabled fiance for his final performance. It was good, but probably not good enough. He even admitted his fiance is probably more popular than him. But it was still heartbreaking for the judges to tell him no. And J-Lo broke down in her "To Be Continued" cliffhanger of a tearfest. Will she return tonight to break the news to more contestants?

My verdict? OF COURSE SHE WILL! That was really a forced cliffhanger. And they even hyped it up more with the previews for tonight...not showing one clip of the judges. Ahh good times.

Anyway, let's talk about next week. It sounds like we're doing 3 nights. But the good news is, it's the ONLY week that there will be 3 nights. Tuesday the Top 10 Guys will perform. Wednesday the Top 10 Girls will perform. I'm not sure what that means about the other 4 that make the top 24. I guess maybe we'll find out tonight. But Thursday the Top 12 will be announced and there will be wildcard picks from the judges. Hey, I'm all for getting this show on the road and getting us right to the top 12! In any case, I guess I somewhat made a promise that I would start posting new recaps for the live shows. So, I guess I may keep to that. But like I have said before. It will be a very no -frills approach. Maybe a couple more sentences than I did above for each performance. Anyone that has read my previous recaps know that I have a tendency to ramble on so take this warning with a grain of salt! But also know that my timing of posting the recaps may be all over the place depending on what's going on in my non-virtual life. So, please understand!

And with that, I'll say "TO BE CONTINUED" for tonight!

Nicole said...

HELLO! Paul McDonald! I had not noticed this guy for even a second before Blackbird. Which I rewound to be able to catch his name and watch his performance again. He's going to be a fave of mine, but you are completely right about the problem with the teen text vote.

And I was wrong about Ashley. Just like I was wrong about 20s girl and ex-boyfriend. Maybe I'm losing my prediction powers... I worry for my fate in my Idol pool this year!

I was begging the judges to replace Clint with Chris. :( And that horrid Jordan will make it too.

I was annoyed with the drama over Lauren and Scottie McCreary potentially not making it through Beatles round. They're going to make it. Predetermined. It was nice to hear that Scottie has a little range to his voice. And Lauren will be fun to watch because she obviously is willing to take some risks with adding flair into the entertainment side of her performances.

Mike V. said...

Hi Nicole! Obviously, I totally agree about Paul. I think he's gonna be a favorite. I heard rumors that they may introduce online voting this year which may help combat the text vote. I saw that X-Factor will be introducing voting via facebook. That'll be interesting!

Anyway, yeah my Idol predicting powers have been way off in the past couple seasons! Used to be pretty good at it...but I think this texting craze has really skewed the votes. The show is in desperate need of another superstar coming out of the competition. We'll see I guess!
I'm sure Jordan will make it too.

Totally agree with the Lauren/Scottie stuff. They're in no matter what. I even saw Nigel babysitting Lauren's rehearsal in front of Jimmy Iovine. He loves that girl and will give her every opportunity to succeeed. Agree it was nice to see Scottie singing some different ranges. In the end, I think he just won't be versatile enough to go all the way, but I think he's a shoo-in for the top 12. Lauren is probably a contender especially with the Idol brass behind her. She definitely will be fun to watch. But, she already seems a little too smug about being a favorite. I guess we'll see how things progress.

Mike V. said...

Top 24 Announced!

Okay, last "comment recap" before the blogging onslaught resumes! As I mentioned before, I will probably only post recaps for the PERFORMANCE SHOWS. Any comments on results shows can just be comments on that post. But that's next week. Let's talk about how this week went down. I really had no idea that last night was going to be a 2 hour show. But 30 minutes into it, I was thinking that they really hadn't announced many names yet. Hey, it's a double-edged sword. We want to get to know these contestants and we don't want to get to know them over 3 weeks of semi-finals, so I guess we just have to accept that we needed 3 hours to announce the top 24. I feel like I know all of the people that got in though, so I guess they did a pretty good job. Of course, it left little suspense to who was getting in and who didn't. I know..poor Jaycee. Hey, I already admitted it. I wanted him to get in for the wrong reasons. I wanted his voice to start changing mid-competition for the comedy of it all. Yeah, he has a great voice but he would have been this year's Sanjaya. People would have kept voting for him when he had no business moving on. Of course, I would have preferred Colton Dixon to Brett Lowenstern (or however you say it. I just say Carrot Top). That dude is one notch below Clint Jun Gamboa on the "annoyance" scale for me. But anyway, let's review our top 24. Looks like next week will be 12 on Tuesday and 12 on Wednesday (I originally read 10 and 10 on my TiVo so I guess it just wasn't updated). Here is what I said about the 5 that got in on Wednesday (see above in the comments):

1.) Naima Adedapo - She's that girl that worked at a concert venu picking up trash and stuff. Definitely a powerful voice. She's had some interesting outfits so far so I'm sure the unintentional comedy meter will be off the charts.

2.) Clint Jun Gamboa - Still want to punch this guy in the face. Yes, powerful voice but an ego to go with it. Plus he just looks like a guy you want to punch in the face. Oh yeah, and he kicked Jaycee out of his group. There's no way to justify it without making him look like a total punk! It'll be interesting to see how the voters react next week.

3.) Haley Reinhart - I am not a fan of this girl and her bizarre enunciations. For her past 2 or 3 performances I may have been able to pick out 5 words in her songs that actually sound like words. She has a voice, but she really really really really really really really really reaaaaaaaaallllllly overdoes it. (see what I did there?)

4.) Paul McDonald - I've already said my piece on Paul. He's fantastic and will definitely be a fun one to watch this season. Plus, that attire he wore for his final performance? He must have picked that up at an Elvis store in Vegas. Fantastic.

5.) Ashton Jones - She has had some fantastic performances. Very powerful voice and she seems like a really sweet girl. Pretty sure the fans will vote for her next week.

And now for the rest!

6.) Karen Rodriguez - Good voice, don't remember too much about her except that she sang with Pia Toscano in a very cruise-shippy rendition of a Beatles song. But hey, they're pretty and they have good voices. We'll see if they can win over some voters.

7.) Robbie Rosen - What else is there to say about this guy besides, THE SHNOZ! That dude's nose is off the charts! But he has a really great voice and he seems to be a nice enough guy. Not like that Jordan dude he's been hanging out with. We'll get to him too.

Mike V. said...

8.) Ta-Tynisa Wilson - Yep, don't understand why she's here. I only really remember seeing her as part of a Beatles Trio and she didn't really stand out. So, I guess she has impressed in former rounds.

9.) Tim Halperin - Otherwise known as, the guy my wife and I remember because it sounds like The Office's "Jim Halpert"! But, he has shown off his vocal talents along with his accompanyment skills on the piano. Lots of Piano folks this year though, so he'll have to be able to stand out more than that! Maybe sounding like Jim Halpert will help him more than he thinks!

10.) Julie Zorrilla - This is the girl whose parents are from another country and they worked up a whole sob story about it. The only thing I ever remember about her is that J-Lo went on and on about her shoes in the audition. The only thing my wife remembers about her is that she looks like Lea Michelle from Glee. I think she was another piano girl with a good voice. So hey, if she can stand out next week maybe we see more of her.

11.) Scottie McCreery - Josh Turner 2.0 - All of these early rounds I have been complaining that Scottie needs to branch out from more than singing Josh Turner. He did in Beatles week (had no choice) and Hollywood week (even though he auditioned for Jordan with more Josh turner). What did he do for his final performance? Brought out a guitar and played a country song for the judges. Yes, the judges who aren't really familiar with Country Music. J-Lo proved her Country Ignorance by saying "you might convert me into a country fan!" Just so you all know, "Long Black Train" is indeed another JOSH TURNER song!!!! Hey, I know the motto of sticking with what you're good at when you have to. But I really fear that the 15 year old is already showing his age and the fact that he's not going to be able to branch out too much. But, the Idol Marketing machine has worked its wonders and have pretty much convinced America to root for him. And hey, I like the guy but I am just expressing my concerns!

12.) Jovani Barreto - Otherwise known as the Italian Guy that took his shirt off but doesn't want to be remembered for that. Seriously...that's all I remember. I think he busted out some Jon Secada in his final audition though. That's a good time! Then again, I could be confusing him with Stefano. I've been doing it for most of Hollwood week!

13.) Lauren Turner - We haven't really seen much of her and from what I saw, I didn't see anything too "Stand Out-ish" from her. But, maybe I'll change my mind in the LIVE performances.

14.) Rachel Zevita - Rhinestone Girl. Was that a Rhinestone necktie she was wearing? Crazy. She has crazy good vocals, but she certainly is a bizarre girl. I look forward to seeing what she's going to do, but I hope she can tone down the crazy.

15.) Kendra Chantelle - Sang with Paul McDonald on Beatles Day. She's pretty good herself, but I have to admit that Paul is the one that stood out to me. So we'll see if she can grow on me next week.

16.) Jordan Dorsey - So the ranking of most annoying contestants goes 1 - Clint, 2 - Brett, 3 - Jordan. People weren't good enough to join his GROUP? And then he justified it in his final sit down with the judges? COME ON! He can sing pretty well, but the ego kind of ruins it. Plus there are others that are MUCH better than him. It will be interesting to see who America sends through.

Mike V. said...

17.) Lauren Alaina - Already groomed as the American Idol producers' favorite. Already getting on my nerves as someone who seems to have let it go to her head. Yes, we all know the sugarplum purple leopard cowgirl tooth fairy dress was ridiculous. We all know she can sing really well and is already a favorite in the competition. And I am interested in seeing her move on. But what drives me crazy is her constant kissing up to Steven Tyler and the secondary judges. Who HUGS the judges BEFORE they get their verdict? It's like she went up to her BEST FRIEND Steven and hugged him and then realized she better hug the other 2 before they think she's playing favorites. Add that on top of bringing Steven on stage and singing to him and in the audition making Steven sing with her for a 2nd audition song with her family present...it's all just a little over the top. But hey, I'm not going to say she's not great. But let's wait to hear more.

18.) Stefano Langone - AKA - The guy I mix up with Jovani! But I did notice he wears bizarre sneakers (tennis shoes for non PA/NJ folk!). I think he can sing, he may have sang Jon Secada but I really think that was Jovani. I dunno, I predict ONE of the 2 will get through to the top 12.

19.) Jacob Lusk - This guy is fantastic. Personality, Voice, Goofiness - The whole package. NO DOUBT that he will be in the top 12. I almost have to agree with Randy that his "God Bless the Child" rendition may have been the best ever performance on Idol. Of course, that's a bold statement and it was Randy who said it. Randy has said "best performance/singer on Idol ever" way too many times! But there is no doubt that this kid has mad skills! Can't wait to see more.

20.) Pia Toscano - Yep, she sang with Karen Rodriguez. I will even admit, if you say the name Karen Rodriguez, I immdediately picture this girl. So, they're going to have to do some crazy singing to distinguish themselves and win over America. But, from what I recall, Pia can sing pretty well! But, there really aren't too many bad eggs in this crop of contestants. They all are really good. It's really the ANNOYING factor more than anything right now that is making some stand out for the wrong reasons.

21.) James Durbin - Glambert 2.0 - Oh wait. I had a top 3 annoying contestants already, right? This guy is worse than all of them! The difference between him and Adam Lambert is that at least Adam could actually sing pretty well and was always in key. This dude just screeches and gets all out of control. I know he has a disease and all of that, but that doesn't change the fact that I cannot stand him. I think there are many out there that share this feeling. Not sure if America will jump behind him.

Mike V. said...

22.) Casey Abrams - This guy is another one of my stand-out favorites that the teen texters will not vote for. I love that he brought his upright bass again for his final performance and started off by indicating that this song is to prove that "people like me can be sexy". Good times. Between this guy, Jacob Lusk and Paul McDonald, we have some mad male talent this year. I hope he's okay though, apparently he was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night with some kind of stomach pains. TV Guide spoiled that he made the Top 24, but it wasn't that big of a surprise! This guy is awesome.

23.) Thia Megia - Very powerful voice, very memorable name. I have a feeling she'll be sticking around.

24.) Brett Lowenstern - I don't even want to waste my words on him. Really, if America has any common sense about them, they will not be voting next week. for him. Carrot Top must go!

That's all I have folks. I would get into predicting who I think will be in our top 12, but I think I'm going to have to do that next week anyway since it's only one semi-final week! To all that have been reading my comments for these early episodes, thank you! Hopefully, more will jump in for the live shows as I start getting into my regular posting again. (AGAIN, with less frills and most likely less words!) See you all next week for LIVE IDOL!

Nicole said...

The boys are interesting... the girls are boring. I group Thia, Pia, Ashton, Kendra, Lauren Turner, Julie, and Karen R. into a "very good voice, but nothing special" category. I think Tatanysa? and Haley just aren't good enough. That leaves only Naima, Lauren A. and crazy Rachel to add any interest to the show (and as you point out, Lauren isn't even that great).

Boys, though, have some really interesting cats, (even if not the best (Brett/Durbin) or total jerks (Clint)): Scottie, Clint, Brett, Casey, Durbin, Jacob Lusk, and Paul McDonald. The other guys that I didn't name are quite good, but just more conventionally good voices that I'm not putting in the "interesting" category.