Tuesday, March 01, 2011

American Idol Season 10 - Top 24 - Top 12 Guys Perform

Hello Idol watchers.  I'm baaaaaaack!  Well, if anyone has been keeping up, I really never went away.  I have been posting comments all season in my last post.  Idol blogging has been a tougher habit to quit than I imagined, but I definitely didn't want to spend too much time writing about the pre-taped episodes any more.  I also plan to not stray from my promise of being less wordy and less committed!  Treating American Idol with such attention to detail the way I did LOST was really overdoing it, and I think is really where I became bored with it.  So, I have been easing my way into this season.  If you notice in those comments, I didn't even remember any contestant's names for the majority of the auditions and Hollywood.  Now that we're into the live shows, my approach won't be much different.  This is IDOL BLOG - UNPLUGGED!  I'll post something for each performance show but you guys are on your own for the results!  If I feel so inclined maybe I'll write a comment in the latest post but I really don't think those results shows warrant much analysis.  But, long story short, I'm still here!  I just don't see how I can let a season of Idol go by without at least giving my picks and a jab here and there at the contestants!   So, I hope you enjoy my new blogging style for AI and I hope to keep discussing in the comments with all of you like in years past. Enjoy!

So, 5 of the guys are getting through plus however many wild cards the new judging trio are going to send through.  I'm sure we could count the remaining weeks until the last Thursday before Memorial Day and figure out how many contestants we'll see next week, but that just isn't something I'm interested in figuring out!   So, by the end of this post I will pick 5 guys that will be in the top 10 and take some guesses at who the judges will send through.   Here's what I thought of the performances:

  1. Clint Jun Gamboa - "Superstituous" - Ugh, I still want to punch this kid in the face.  Every time I see those glasses I feel like throwing a shoe at my TV or something.   Granted, in the end, it's not his fault that Jaycee isn't performing for America.  That kid would have turned into Sanjaya times 20 and we never would have been able to get rid of him!  But kicking Jaycee out of the group during Hollywood week still turned Clint into a villain for the rest of his stay on the Idol stage.     Not sure what the judges were smoking but all I saw was a big ego flopping around that stage.  I was bored for most of it and he went for the inevitable BIG SELL with his high notes at the end.  PLEASE....  I'll put him down as a maybe for now.
  2. Jovanni Barreto - "I'll Be" - Edwin McCain put together a nice little ditty that has stood the test of time......UNTIL NOW!   Oh Jovanni.  I hardly knew you before this week and I think I know you less now.  This was a nice contestant to break Steven and J-Lo in to LIVE reviews.  They both were riding the "YOU ARE ALL AWESOME" wagon and of course I was thinking "oh boy...here is where we are finally going to understand Simon's importance to American Idol".   And then it happened, Randy dropped the "DAWG" act and GOT REAL!  Don't get me wrong, he started talking about how when you do a cover song you have to be unique.  Ummmm........EVERYONE on American Idol sings COVER SONGS until they do the dreaded Idol song.   Dawg, you need to rethink your words.  I think I know what you were trying to say but that wasn't it!   I can guarantee with 99% certainty, that Jovanni will not sing another minute on Idol (unless he gets to on Thursday in an awful group performance or as his swan song)
  3. Jordan Dorsey - "OMG" - He is on my "HATED" list with Clint.  And he decided to do an Usher song?  I love how he and the judges kept talking about how this song isn't HIM.   Well, then why did he pick it?  He complained about having to move around the stage, pick a different song where you don't have to BOUNCE!  I know you only have so many songs to choose from but surely there was some R&B song he could sing.  And yes, I still would have wanted to blow my brains out after hearing him sing it but at least he wouldn't have looked like an idiot.  I just don't see America voting him into the top 5 guys.  So, I'm going to say that he is a candidate for a Wildcard pick.  Then again, I think they got rid of the rule that there has to be 6 guys and 6 girls in a top 12.  So there is no guarantee that any more guys than 5 will be picked.
  4. Tim Halperin - "Come on Over" - We have seen some good performances from Tim lately in the Hollywood rounds.  THIS performance did not match up.  It was all over the place.  It may be just me but he seemed to be enunciating the words in the song very weirdly.  Almost like he kept hearing Randy say to "not sing Karaoke.  Make a cover song your own" so he started changing the accented syllables in words to put a new spin on it.   Yes, and he put a new spin on the English language too.  Good job Jim Halpert! errr...  oh never mind.  It was pretty cheesy.  I don't have much faith for Timmy.  Unless he's a wild card candidate.
  5. Brett Lowenstern - "Light My Fire" - #3 on my 4 person HATE list!  First of all, I may be diving off into a non-PC nightmare by saying this but how did a girl get into the top 12 guys competition?!?!   Okay, so anyway, Brett certainly did light his HAIR on fire (oh come on, that joke was a given).  He probably sang better than the 4 that preceded him but I definitely cannot take him very seriously as a contender in this competition.  That being said, we'll just see if the judges make us tolerate more of him.
  6. James Durbin - "You Got Another Thing Comin'" -  So, is it me or did it sound like they added some "mic-reverb" effect to his entire performance?  Sure, it certainly made him sound like a great singer but is that very fair?  He definitely can sing the high notes.  He's no Adam Glambert, and I was and still am not a Glambert fan.  And come on...what's up with the Scarf Tail?   He said he has to stand out in more ways than his voice.  Oh you do, and for totally the wrong reasons!  Of course, with everything we heard tonight, he may actually have a chance to make the top 10.  But it doesn't remove him from #4 on my most hated list for the year!
  7. Robbie "The Shnoz" Rosen - "In the Arms of an Angel" - What a manly song to sing to America.  Really really manly.  I love Sarah McLachlan, really do.  But she is a woman and she sings very angelically about being in the arms of an "angel".  Do you see the irony there?  Robbie sang very NASALLY (and really, I actually meant that and wasn't looking for another reason to reference that ginormous nose of his!) as opposed to angelically.  Those high notes and runs were painful.  Totally agree with Randy that Robbie will be cringing when he listens back to it.  Not only that, but it really felt like he wasn't singing with the band.  Maybe that was intentional but it did not work at all!  Nose thank you!  (oops)
  8. Scotty McCreery - "Your Man" by Josh Turner -  OHHHH right, he didn't sing Josh Turner again, my bad!  Not sure why I would think that!   He actually sang "Letters From Home" by John Michael Montgomery.   All I wanted for Scotty to do was to sing something OTHER than Josh to convince me that he has what it takes.  And now I have decided.  Scotty is a GOOD TIME!  He is a down home country singer and the ladies love him.  He will be with us for awhile.  Now, I may be changing my tune several weeks from now when it seems like everything he does sounds the same.  But for now, I'm on board!  And I have a strong feeling that he will be doing a duet with Josh Turner at the finale (regardless of where he finishes in the Idol race).
  9. Stefano Langone - "Just the Way You Are" (Bruno Mars, not the better one by Billy Joel) - Hey, the guy can sing.  He sang a pretty straight forward interpretation of "Just the Way You Are" but with a hint of his Latin accent.  Okay, there were no hints about it.  It's there people!  The judges and the audience seemed to be rocking and cheering along with Stefano.  He has a pretty good backstory with the whole "being a survivor" thing and he has a good voice.  I'd say it's a toss-up between him and James for the 5th spot in the top 5 guys.
  10. Paul McDonald - "Maggie May" - I mentioned last week that this guy has solidified a spot amongst my favorites of season 10.  Seeing him perform the Rod Stewart classic this week only strengthened my support for him.  He's quirky, he's unique, he's a little goofy but his voice stands out amongst the majority of the other guys.  Definitely one to watch in this competition.  Actually, not having much to say about him is the greatest compliment I can give!  He said it all during his performance and I loved it.
  11. Jacob Lusk - "A House is Not a Home" - Man, Jacob is another one to watch.  The dude's voice is just ridiculous and the personality to match is uncanny.  Having Paul, Jacob and the yet discussed Casey in the top 10 or 12 or 15 or whatever will be a treat for as long as they're there.  That's all I have to say!
  12. Casey Abrams - "I Put a Spell on You" - Well, I had heard that he was going to pre-record his performance over the weekend after his hospitalization.  But, it looked like he actually made it.  Casey did a great job too.  While his vocal wasn't technically as "PURE" as some of the previous contestants, he certainly made up for it with soul and character.  Randy is right, there isn't anyone quite like him that has been on the show before.  The man has some mad musical skills.  I think he did a great job, but some of his performances during Hollywood week and his audition convince me that he has a lot of better performances on the way.   Paul, Jacob and Casey.  They are my "ones to watch" from the guys for now! 
Yikes, I really don't think I know how to be short!  It will be my season-long goal to make my contestant reviews as short as possible!  But, when I get on a rant, there just is no stopping me.  

Anyway, here are my Top 5 picks:

Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin

Wildcard Possibilities: 

Stefano, Clint, Tim

Really could go either way with James and Stefano with rounding out the 5.  Either way, I don't see either of them winning.  It sounded like they already wanted to give Tim another shot to prove himself.  And with Clint, Idol sure loves a villain! 

Well that's that.  Not much else to say for now.  The Top 12 girls are tomorrow night, get excited!  One last thing about my blogging this season.  I can't promise I'll be posting these on the night the episode airs.  It could be at some point during the next day but I'll try my best to stay on top of it!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and my great Idol return and I'll see you after the next show! 


I've been recapping any and all TV over at the TV Addicts Blog (www.tvaddictsblog.com).  Mainly The Event, Fringe and The Walking Dead.  Occasionally, I'll comment on other shows I'm watching.  I'm already looking ahead to some other returning shows this spring as well as some potentially big shows in Fall 2011.  Keep tuning in and join the discussions!   
  • The Event returns Monday, March 7th on NBC. 
  • Fringe airs its next episode Friday, March 11th on FOX.  


Ian said...

Mike! I thought you were retiring! It's good to see you're still here!

I disagree with you on a couple of contestants:

Brett Lowenstern - I'm not sure why, but I like this kid. He was the first one of the night who actually impressed me with his performance. Yeah, his girlishness is a little odd, but I can relate to the awkwardness. I'm interested to see what else he can do.

Casey Abrams - His performance was OK, but something about this guy really bugs me. I've never been all that impressed with his vocals, as they strike me as shouting more than singing. I know there's no way he isn't advancing, but I'm rooting against him in the Finals.

Paul is interesting, but I could take him or leave him.

Scotty's been one of my favorites since his audition, and it was good to see him shine tonight. I agree though, that he's probably going to have trouble down the road.

You said something about Stefano Langone's "Latin accent." Is he Latin? Judging by his name I thought he was Italian. Maybe I'm wrong though.

I hope the girls aren't too boring tomorrow. The men always seem to have more personality on this show.

Mike V. said...

Semi-retired Ian! I did what I always wanted to do. Cut out the audition and Hollywood recaps. I still did comment on them but there was no pressure to be all formal about it. And these recaps will be pretty no frills too.

You're probably right about Stefano. Lol I should know being Italian myself. But that accent, whatever it is, was very distinct!

I thought Brett sang decently tonight but he has irked me all season. Not sure I ever see him growing on me.

And that's pretty crazy that we are on 2 different ends of the spectrum on Paul and Casey. But we will see what happens. Can't wait to see how big of a kiss up Lauren is to Steven tomorrow night. She's definitely one of the female favorites and a good singer. But something irks me about her too! Probably because the Idol marketing machine has made it no secret that they want her to succeed!

Ian said...

Ha! I was curious about Stefano's ethnic background after this brief discussion here, and it turns out we're both right. On his Twitter account he says the following:

"I am half Italian half Spanish for anyone asking."

I guess it all makes sense now.

Mike V. said...

LOL that's hysterical! Good to know neither of us are crazy. :)

MIL said...

Good job on the blog!!! My early favorite is Paul McDonald but then I like Scottie too. Just too early to pick. I really have one or two that I hate but I will keep that to myself for now!!! Your fav mil

Mike V. said...

Thanks "Mother-in-Law!" Definitely way too early to pick. Word I'm hearing around the office today is there are lots of people that really don't like Paul or Casey. I think I'm falling out of touch with America or something. I just think Paul, Casey and Jacob have more to bring to the table than some of these other guys. I do like Scotty too.

Agree though...way too early to tell who is in contention to win it all!

Nicole said...

I agree with you so much, it's boring. I guess the only point that I disagree on (and disagreed with the judges) was Tim. I enjoyed the performance. I thought he sounded good and had good energy. I didn't detect any of the annunciation issues that you mention. BUT, I didn't think it was great. It was no Paul, Jacob, or Casey.

SCOTTY: I'm glad to see you come around on Scotty. As you know, I've been excited about him from the get-go. There's something really special in his voice. Yes, it does happen to be basically the same special that Josh Turner (and, I think, Randy Travis) has, but it's special nonetheless. That boy is going to score himself a big Nashville contract. He won't win, nor should he want to - he'll be better able to get the contract he wants without the Idol obligations.

DURBIN: I thought Durbin was great last night, and I think he did a good job distinguishing himself from, as you say, Glambert. I don't compare him with Adam Lambert near as much as you do because I AM a huge Lambert fan -- who, IMHO, was the best Idol contestant ever. (Not that I really much like the music he's making now, though, sadly.) And Durbin is nowhere close to the best contestant ever. Durbin is just a straight-up rock star with a really good voice, whereas I think Lambert crossed more genres, was a true entertainer, with a once-in-a-generation voice -- something truly special. Yeah, the shriek is the same, but you could just as easily compare with Steve Tyler based on shriek alone.

PAUL: I suspect that guy is going to be my fave throughout this whole thing. The only performance I watched twice. I love his mannerisms, jittering around the stage like a jonesin' drug addict. And the judges are right-on about his great smile. He makes me so happy.

JACOB: great. Nothing to say.

CASEY: I LOVED that JLo called him sexy :)

I want the top 6 guys to be Scotty, Durbin, Paul, Casey, Jacob, and Stefano. That little weasel Clint might shimmy himself in there. So might Brett, which doesn't really bother me. But I'm glad to hear that maybe more than 6 guys can be in the top 12. 'Cause I'd be totally good with only 3 or 4 of the girls making it through (although I doubt they'd skew it that much; probably wouldn't go further than 7/5).

And my favorite part of the night? That Jordan sucked. Please, please, please don't rescue him, judges!

Mike V. said...

Nicole - Hey, I like Tim so I hope I'm wrong about him. But something was just really bizarre about the performance. I thought that before the judges commented so that just validated what I was thinkng. Definitely had good energy. And we know he has a great voice from what we've seen before, so maybe people will vote for him.

I never really DISLIKED Scotty, I just felt that we hadn't seen him do much besides sing Josh Turner so that always makes me be cautiously "pessimistic" about a contestant lol Totally agree he's going to be successful in Nashville, if they don't feel like he's a carbon copy of Josh. You know, surprisingly Idol has been pretty good about giving the contestants some control over their albums they release.

Carrie's first album was a big hit for her. I haven't picked up many albums since then but I know David Cook put music he wrote onto his album. But, we all know that these contestants can have success without winning...and I agree Scotty probably fits that mold.

I agree, Durbin did a pretty good job last night. Something about him just irks me, starting with the scarf tail! lol I compare him to Glambert basically because of all of the screeching. I will agree that Adam Lambert was a very good Idol contestant, even if he drove me crazy! But I'll always have a soft spot for Champion #1! You're right...when comparing shrieks, Steven Tyler is still the king/queen of them and does it the best! :) And even THAT annoys me when he does it!

Totally agree with Paul, Jacob and Casey so I don't need to add anything there! I agree, I don't think they'll skew the Top 12 to have that many more guys. You never know...we may see some surprising things out of some of the girls we have so far shrugged off. We'll see what happens!

DEFINITELY agree with Jordan. he's ridiculous!