Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The American Idol Winner is Revealed! And Being an Underdog is IN!

My friends, being wrong never felt so good!  I 2nd guessed my decision ever since I pushed submit on the blog post declaring the high pitched crooner the inevitable winner of American Idol 2009.  But I had this sneaky suspicion of an underdog defeat.  But what a story it made!   A man pulled from obscurity with no hype from the American Idol machine, and a large hill to climb entering the top 13 grows throughout the competition and pulls off the unthinkable.   That is what American Idol is all about folks.  And I will proudly go to 6 out of 8 All Time for a happy ending like this.  My friends, meet your new AMERICAN IDOL! 

American Idol Season 8 Winner: Kris Allen
My Pick: Adam Lambert Pick (by a decimal!): Kris Allen

Whew, doesn't get much better than that folks!  Congratulations Kris!  And of course, job well done to Adam to keeping his legions of fans supporting him throughout the run.  I'm sure they will support him beyond this show.  And I think American Idol did a good job putting Adam with bands tonight that show what he really is capable of in live performances.   But we'll get to that in a second.   KRIS won American Idol!  Crazy stuff folks.  And good job to all of you out there that had the guts to call it without second guessing yourselves.   I think if Allison was in his place, I wouldn't have thought twice about picking her just because I thought she was fantastic all season!   Anyway, not much else to say about the results.  Let's do the highlights and lowlights one more time for the season! 

  • Introduction of the judges.  Randy is finally called out on "For me/For you"  And Paula's vocabulary lesson was fabulous.   Okay, funny that Kara said Sweetie and Honey a lot in the Auditions.  I would have liked to have heard a montage of her slip ups throughout the season!   Namely Aerosmith's chronology and how many words 6 truly is!    
  • David Cook performing "Permanent".  If you hadn't heard, David's brother Adam passed away a couple weeks ago after battling cancer for a long time.  That was pretty rough stuff when he sang the tune.  But it was awesome that he got up there and sang it!   I may have to download it for the cause! 
  • Jason Mraz showing up to perform "I'm Yours" with the top 13.  Yeah we heard them all sing it cheesily before, but having the Mraz man in the house made it better!
  • Hello!!! Shout out to Kris and Keith Urban jamming out to "Kiss a Girl"!  That was awesome!
  • ALLISON IRAHETA and CYNDI LAUPER!!!!!!  Best of the night folks (well one of the best)!  How great was that?  I mean, I am already a fan of "Time After Time".  It's just one of those songs that are impossible to get sick of.  But man, Allison and Cyndi really tore it up! 
  • Danny introducing Lionel Richie.  Okay this segment had its ups and downs.  Starting with Danny singing "Hello" and reminding us that David Cook should be the only one to ever sing that again on the Idol stage!  But once they got into "All Night Long" everything was right with the world!  Cheesy Danny dancing included. 
  • I'm sure we were all wondering what was up with Adam's Metallic Angel wings he was sporting before he introduced KISS.  Of course, then it all made sense.   And I tell ya, I can't tell you how sick of "Rock and Roll All Night" I am, but it was pretty cool to see how well Adam just fit in with the band.  Maybe there is a place for him in the Rock biz afterall! 
  • Santana in the house!  Yeah, the top 13 cheesed it up after Matt Giraud and Carlos did a few lines of "Black Magic Woman".  They all came in and started getting all "Smooth" and it just sounds like High School Musical anytime they are all singing!   But, it's still Santana! 
  • Gotta mention the Ford Music Video!  A nice retrospective of all the videos this season.  
  • Again, top 13's Gentlemen singing Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" had to be one of the cheesiest moments of the night.  But you knew Rod wouldn't be far behind.  And awesome that he sang "Maggie Mae"!    Yeah, maybe his voice and moves aren't all there anymore but it was great to see him singing the classic out there! 
  • And of course, Adam and Kris singing "We Are the Champions" only to have QUEEN backing them up!   And I think I've said this a few times including last night.  Adam could really fit in as the next lead singer of Queen.  I've compared his theatrics to Freddie Mercury's several times.   And that's not a bad thing.  But he still has to control the SHRIEKING!!     Anyway, Adam and Kris did a stand-up job on this one.  
  • All of the crowd shots of Past contestants and winners was a good time.  Carrie was in the house.  Justin Guarini was there.  Bo Bice made an appearance.  Ruben was hysterical when he really thought that the Tatiana running up on stage and singing when a commercial was needed wasn't staged!   I'm sure there were others, but that's all I can think of right now!
  • Top 13 girls singing "Glamorous" leading to Fergie's introduction to sing a 2 year old song "Big Girls Don't Cry" leading the the return of the Black Eyed Peas to sing "Boom Boom Pow!"  Ouch.   And of course classy girl that Fergie is didn't decide to bleep herself on their certain profane word in the song.   Wow that was a bunch of train-wreckiness! 
  • Top 13 singing Pink's "So What" - seemed pre-recorded at times and other times just awful!  
  • Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah sing "Cue the Rain" - I will give credit to Lil for singing a song in a genre we'd expect more from her.  Probably the best she sounded all season.   But then again, that song wasn't too good! 
  • The Golden Idols - ugh these things are always rough.  And we knew who would be featured in them.  Norman Gentle, Bikini Girl and Tatiana Del Toro.   Of course there were some comedic moments worth mentioning.   Norman dropping the mic in random audience member's hand and walking off.   Ryan's mentioning to Bikini Girl "I'd ask you what's new, but I think I know"  Then of course there was the whole singing bit with Kara and her showing off her bikini as well.   I guess that was kinda funny! And well, Tatiana, that was just torture we knew we were going to have to deal with!
  • Then there was the Duet between Megan Joy and Michael Sarver featuring Steve Martin to promote his new bizarre album.   And that just got a............................................  out of me. I have no idea what they were thinking with that one! 
All-in-All a decent 2 hour finale.  But I'm glad it's over!   It has been another long and torturous ride along the American Idol rollercoaster.   The season was rough-going like last season but also like last season, we ended on a high note!  And that is always a cause worth celebrating.   I apologize that I couldn't successfully pick the winner this year for you guys, but I'm sure you will let it slide.   I am happy that I got to expand my audience further this year with the community.  Thanks everyone for reading and enjoying my endless rants.  Thanks to the loyal commenters who have shared their thoughts every week as well as the occasional posters for all of your great commentary all season.  I will now go into hibernation for a few months and prepare for the onslaught to start all over again next year!   One more congratulations to Kris Allen for the win!  

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I will see you next year! 

This blog can also be read and discussed on Come check it out and throw some votes my way if you have spare time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Showdown: Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen! Who Will Win American Idol?

Well folks, it's that time again! American Idol has reached its final two episodes. Yet another season of controversy and huge debates is but a day away from being behind us. And yet there is one still battle raging between two camps. People who support the GLAM MAN who people insist is the second coming of Elvis and well to be blunt, EVERYONE ELSE! By the way, since Ryan Seacrest thought it was suitable to point out Adam's flare for GUY LINER, it must be socially acceptable to call him out on it! But I will try to restrain myself whenever possible. What we have here are 2 talented performers on 2 different ends of the spectrum. One comes with HIGH DRAMA, the other comes with instrumental ingenuity and toned down performances. It was pretty obvious which way the judges were leaning tonight even though they seemed to be supporting both of them. We'll just have to break it down and see if we agree! Before we get into what songs were sung on American Idol tonight, let's do a little stroll down memory lane of how the past 7 Season Finales panned out! (I promise to be brief unlike in prior seasons! But skip to next section if you don't care!)

American Idol Season 1-7 Finale Summary

Season 1

Winner: Kelly Clarkson
Runner-Up: Justin Guarini (Sideshow Bob)
My Pick: Kelly Clarkson
My Season Rank: 1st
(for being the first and producing 1 of the 2 best talents in the show's history)

Season 2

Winner: Ruben Studdard
Runner-Up: Clay Aiken
My Pick: Clay Aiken
Season Rank: 5th
(Season 2 is when the show became a ratings powerhouse. But for me, I had already lived through Season 1 and nobody was going to top Kelly Clarkson's spectacular season 1 run in my mind. It's still a tough chore!)

Season 3

Winner: Fantasia Barrino
Runner-Up: Diana DeGarmo
My Pick: Fantasia
My Season Rank: 7th
(I mean, did you watch that season? To say that Fantasia was the best talent to come out of that season is not saying much!)

Season 4

Winner: Carrie Underwood
Runner-Up: Bo Bice
My Pick: Carrie Underwood
My Season Rank: 2nd
(I haven't ever enjoyed this show as much as I enjoyed season 1 and 4. Carrie, obviously the other great talent to come out of this show!)

Season 5

Winner: Taylor Hicks
Runner-Up: Katharine McPhee
My Pick: Taylor Hicks
My Season Rank: 3rd
(Yeah maybe Taylor shouldn't have won, but what a great season of talent. Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington, Phil Stacey, Taylor, Elliott Yamin and Katharine McPhee all having success on Broadway, Country Music, TV/Movies, R&B albums you name it. But none have matched Chris Daughtry's Success)

Season 6

Winner: Jordin Sparks
Runner Up: Blake Lewis
My Pick: Jordin Sparks
My Season Rank: 6th
(Yet another waste of a season. Wasn't this the season of Sanjaya? Ugh. Again Jordin wasn't the greatest but she was a brighter spot in a lackluster season. But even Idol at its worst can't get worse than CRAPTASIA SEASON 3!!)

Season 7

Winner: David Cook
Runner Up: David "The Artichoke" Archuleta
My Pick: David Cook
My Season Rank: 4th
(I enjoyed this season purely for poking fun at Archie. Well, that and that I thought they found a great talent in David Cook. Definitely the best Male talent that has won so far. And I rank him 3rd amongst the Idol winners)

For anyone keeping tally, I have a great streak going. I'm 6 for 7 and still unsure how Ruben beat Clay in season 2 (not that it matters now since they're both essentially off of the map!). Where, you wonder do I rank Season 8 in all of this madness? I'm not so sure right now. For me, this season will always be remembered as the year when Idol showed its cards. When they clearly manipulated the Top 12/13 and shoved down our throats who they wanted to do well in the competition. But it will also be the year that showed Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta fight against those odds. But most of what I will remember about season 8 is the constant shrieking in my ear of the man that everyone compares to the deep voiced King of Rock ELVIS PRESLEY (Besides crazy outfits, I'll never understand the comparison). Right now, I'm leaning towards ranking this right above season 6 and 3 in the scheme of things. But let's wait until the season is over to make any rash decisions!

The Final 2 Recap
3 songs tonight: Contestant's Pick from their past library of performances, Simon Fuller (American Idol's creator) picks a song for each of them, and they must take on the dreaded and drearily awful American Idol Song co-written by Kara DioGuardi. Ouch! Here we go!

Adam "Game Oooooooon!!" Lambert

Adam's Pick: "Mad World" by Tears for Fears
Simon Fuller's Pick: "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
The Awful American Idol Song: "No Boundaries" by Kara DioGuardi, Cathy Dennis, Mitch Allan

Okay, besides the highly comical "game on" high five between Ryan and Adam, how did Adam do tonight? Eh, ups and downs for the guy. I remember his original "Mad World" performance being a TAD better than this version. The dry Ice and the long coat and the rising out of the stage antics were all great and all but man was I bored to Tears (for fears?)! It seemed slower and that he was trying to make it even MORE dramatic. I don't usually say this about Adam but I think he UNDER-performed! I'm sure his fans will defend him until the end, but I think he should have went back to "Tracks of My Tears" for his encore performance. Definitely was his best. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to re-create it as perfect as it was that time. But reminding people of that performance may have sealed the deal for him. But, maybe he doesn't need the help of his best performance.

Simon Fuller's pick worked out much better for him. Tough to find any bad things to say about the Sam Cooke classic itself "A Change is Gonna Come." It's a great song and Adam sang it really well. The first verse I was with him as he kept himself toned back just showing enough of the higher octave to let you know it was there but not being overbearing with it. Ugh, then the 2nd verse happened. I just don't understand the appeal of singing an entire verse in that octave and then doing runs at a level only dogs can hear. Okay, maybe a little lower than that, because I was able to hear him land one pretty rough note in that higher register. But, if you take the song as a whole, Adam really showed what he is all about. And love it or hate it, that's him! His fans will have a hard time finding a fault with that performance. And I think there are enough people that were scared by his alleged "bottom 2" scare to ensure his hardcore fans will be texting and dialing their thumbs off all night anyway! (another case of manipulation since they never actually said he was in the bottom 2...but they do that EVERY season)

There aren't many words to describe "No Boundaries". I think I need another blog to rank the Idol songs over the years. It would be a tough task! Granted, I'll give the songwriters some credit, they are restricted with what they can write about. Even Kara acknowledged to Simon's grunting of certain lyrics that the song is pretty cheesy. The Idol song is all about Inspirational cheese. I really can't say Adam OR Kris did fairly well with the song. Adam took charge of the song and tried to make it powerful and meaningful. Along the way, he hit some rough notes here, there and everywhere. Yikes. The judges didn't even bother judging Adam on this performance but rather the entire season. There's not much else to say about it!

Kris "Please don't Remember I forgot the Words!" Allen

Kris's Pick: "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
Simon Fuller's Pick: "What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye
The Disastrous American Idol Song: "No Boundaries" by Kara DioGuardi, Cathy Dennis, Mitch Allan

I will agree with Simon. Kris's best moment of the night came early. He changed up his performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" for the better. And it was pretty good the first time! The first step was putting him front and center on the piano instead of the keyboard. He opened up solo and then brought the band in for his jazzed up rendition of the tune. You could just tell Kris gained loads of confidence throughout this competition and he was enjoying every moment of that performance. Much better than Adam's encore performance.

I thought Kris did a stand-up job with his rendition of "What's Going on". Yeah, we've seen him bring out the conga drums, box drums, bass and acoustic guitar on stools scenario before, but Kris also knows to play to his strengths. The band tends to consume his vocals so he went light and acoustic tonight. Simon thought it wasn't big enough for a night like this. I disagree. That is who Kris is. That being said, if we're going to judge from round to round, Adam's Sam Cooke take will probably be the one people remember.

And back to Kara's crapfest of a song. Remember that confidence I spoke of earlier for Kris? It all seemed to go away when he stood in front of a mic with no instrument, and the full band kicked in. The song swallowed him whole. And the worst part? Yep, he sang part of the chorus too early. You would think that I wouldn't have been able to pick up on that with it being only the 2nd time I've heard it. It was written all over Kris's face. Well that, and he stopped mid sentence and then 2 lines later sang the same lyric again! That being said, the judges again did not judge Kris on his performance of that dreadful song. And Repetitive Randy and Kara both acknowledged that the song was too high a key for Kris to really show his stuff. (they wouldn't let him change the key?!?!)

So Recapping the rounds:
Round 1: Kris 1, Adam 0
Round 2: Kris 1, Adam 1
Round 3: Kris 1, Adam 1 (both flawed performances, too tough to call who did better!)

Yikes, I still don't know what I'm gonna do with this pick! I guess we should get on with it!

The Pick

Whew, I have a lot riding on this! My reputation for picking Idol winners at stake. Right, so not really much on the line here. I may as well just make a pick. Let me give some final thoughts on the contestants before we go into our list of questions to help us decide!

Adam Lambert - A favorite since the Hollywood rounds, impressed people early with his stunning vocals and locked in his loyal fan base. Each week he would put his impressive, if not annoying, vocal range on display. Some weeks he would annoy with his new versions of tunes ("Ring of Fire", "One"), other times he left people speechless with amazement ("Tracks of My Tears"). He is definitely the favorite to win American Idol this season. But there is also a large group of viewers that will do anything in their power to stop it from happening!

Kris Allen - Entered the Top 13 as an afterthought after impressing enough fans in the semi-finals with his Michael Jackson "Man in the Mirror" performance. Yours truly had him counted out and picked to leave the competition in the first week of the finals. But each week, he impressed more and more as he grew in confidence as well as displaying more and more of his talent. He, for the most part, changed up songs for the better ("Heartless", "She Works Hard for the Money") and other times displayed a sensitive side with beautiful vocals ("To Make You Feel My Love"). He is definitely an underdog to win American Idol this season but has rarely made any mis-steps along his journey.

Yikes, both seem like appealing directions to go with this final pick! Let's move to the questions!

Who do I want to win? Allison Iraheta - So, I guess Kris by default
Who haven't I been able to get on board with this season, despite my best efforts? Adam Lambert
Who got a cover story on Entertainment Weekly before the end of the season? Adam
Who do I think everyone whose favorites were voted off already will vote for? Kris
Who do I think is most likely going to win? Adam
Then why haven't I just picked him yet? Because I don't want to!
But don't I want to keep the streak alive? Yeah, but I have this sneaky feeling that we might be in for an upset!
So do I go for the safe choice or go for broke? Well, if I knew that answer I wouldn't still be doing this!

ARRGH!! Okay enough of this. It's time to make my pick! DRUMROLL PLEASE! .................................The winner of American Idol Season 8 shall be! .....................................................



That was really painful people! But I guess I just don't see it going down any other way. Even Simon declared that they found their WORLD STAR. I personally don't see it. And I look forward to changing the radio station anytime I hear the shrieking shrills and picture that tongue sticking out at me. I really can't lose here. If Kris wins, sure I'm wrong with my pick but I get to be as surprised as everyone else!

Similar to what I said when I picked Taylor Hicks in season 5, Love him or not, when you think back on season 8 you will remember it as the season of ADAM LAMBERT, Adam's make-up, Adam's Eyeliner, Adam's screaming, Adam making headlines, Adam reminding the Elvis generation of their LEGEND again (I'm telling you, still confused by this!), Adam's racy pictures all over the internet, Adam, Adam, Adam, blahdam, blah, blah....

In closing, I will say this. How about Carrie Underwood rocking the stage tonight?! How awesome was that? Hopefully she'll be back for the finale as well. Don't forget to set your DVRs and TiVo's to go over. Ryan reminded us twice you know! As always, I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings, I will see you after the results and you won't hear me say this very often.............

I hope I'm wrong.

This blog can also be read and discussed on Come check it out and throw some votes my way if you have spare time!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hope Still Exists for an Upset on American Idol as the Final 2 are set! Who Lost on American Idol Tonight?

Congratulations America!  You did well.  We beat the system at got a better final 2 than the producers of American Idol wanted for us!  The favorite from the very beginning of the season to reach the finals has been eliminated from competition.  We have had some ups and downs with him during the show but reached our limits with the SCREAM heard round the world last week.   Ladies and Gentlemen bid adieu to your latest victim!   

Eliminated: Danny Gokey
My Pick: Danny Gokey's Pick: Danny Gokey

It was heartbreaking to see him audition when we learned of his wife's passing so recent before the audition.   Of course, we also thought he may have been borderline using the story to his advantage to get on the show or just saw American Idol seeing this as a golden opportunity to exploit.  Whatever combination it was, was powerful enough to propel Danny to the Top 3 of American Idol.  Many of us were fooled for awhile that he possessed the stuff that stars were made of.   The man has a good voice, but he was outshone by several contestants in many of the weeks.   So, even though I liked Danny, it was right for him to be leaving this week.  To NOT be competing for the GOLD.   Farewell, Danny, I have Tony Robbins' phone number if you need a new line of work! 

So that leaves us with the final 2 of Kris Allen (SURPRISE!!!) and Adam Lambert!   Underdog vs. Oversinger!  Should be a good time!  As I said, I am still praying for small miracles in that Kris can take down the behemoth.  Apparently, a million votes are separating these 2 contestants.   I guess I will have to up my text voting next week.   But this causes me quite the dilemma folks!   If I look at my track record of picking the right contestant, I am a solid 6 for 7 right now.  (RUBEN, really?????)   Do I dare go against the grain and pick Kris over Adam because I think he is the more marketable contestant?  Naturally, it comes down to how they perform next week.  Although, last year people had made up their mind on David Cook way before the finale aired!   This is a tough one folks, but I won't bore you with my internal dilemma anymore this week.  I will save it for the Grand Finale Recap Blog!  

So in the meantime, we will take a quick glance at the few highlights and lowlights we had tonight.  (Come on, it was LOST Finale night, cut me some slack!) 

  • African Kid Noah getting a chance to sing on Idol.   Okay, I'll admit it,  the song wasn't very exciting but I am all for the CONCEPT of what happened, so...HIGHLIGHT! 
  • Hometown Heroes Clips - Always a good time.  Danny had the girl running after his limo, Kris got to sign a guitar hero guitar and console his crying father, and then Adam got the streaker.  I'll just leave that at NO COMMENT!
  • Ford Commercial was pretty entertaining.  Gotta love 80's tunes and it seemed like they were doing an homage to A-HA's "Take on Me" with the animation meeting reality.   Even though it was "Break My Stride" that they used. 
  • Katy Perry shamelessly promoting Adam Lambert all decked out in Elvis gear.   It's a shame, she writes some pretty decent and catchy tunes, but why does she have to be so bizarre!? 
  • Jordin Sparks' collaboration with One Republic's Ryan Tedder on "Battlefield."   Ryan and Kelly Clarkson did a couple collaborations on Kelly's new album to much better success.   I mean, who in their right mind would think "Get your Armor" would be a great line to keep repeating in a song?    That being said, Jordin was singing pretty well at certain points of the song!   She just needs some better material!
  • Night at the Museum 2 promos with the cast.   Ugh, if I see Ben Stiller one more time on American Idol, well I probably will do nothing like I usually do! 
That's all I got kids!  Are you excited about the matchup for next week?  Do you think there is any hope for Kris to upset Adam Lambert for the win?  Are you upset that Go-Go Gadget Gokey is gone?  Let's discuss below!    Hope you enjoyed my mini-ramblings and I'll see you next week for the finale madness!   

This blog can also be read and discussed on Come check it out and throw some votes my way if you have spare time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Top 3 fight for a spot in American Idol's Season Finale! Who did I think was better than Adam Lambert?

Hello fellow American Idol obsessees!  We are one day away from finding out who are the final 2 on American Idol.  Granted, I would be a little more excited if one of those 2 names we would hear was Allison Iraheta, but I have moved on just like I said I would!  I am still being cautious with declaring Adam Lambert the 2nd coming of anything but a high pitched singer.   And I am meeting adversity from many who have fallen for the man who prefers his outfits and flare over the music itself!  I am 95% sure that this man is going to land the season 8 crown.  Heck, even Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on his sexuality.  My mailbox got one big eyeroll last Friday when I saw GLAM BOY gracing the cover.   I am with Simon Cowell, does everyone realize the flat iron champion has not won this thing yet?  He still needs to cake on that makeup for one more performance week!  Okay boys, let's grab our eyeliner and move on to the recap! 

Overall, the three fellas sang very well.  But I have some nitpicking to do and I think one person, not named Adam Lambert had the best performance of the night and deserves a spot in the final 2 for his sheer growth and risk taking during this top 13 run.  Tomorrow's results show will focus on our 3 finalists' trips home, so we'll just mention their hometowns for now.  1st Performance of the night was Judges' choice, 2nd performance was contestants' choice.  How did they do?  Let's find out!


Danny "I have one more motivational speech in me" Gokey

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Paula Abdul's Pick: "Dance Little Sister" by Tetence Trent D'Arby
Danny's Pick: "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker

Ohhhh Danny Boy!  Well, I can't blame him for the first song choice.  It was, afterall, all Paula's pick.  It was just more of the same from Danny.  Raspy voice and dancing cheesily all over the stage.  Yeah, he sounded good.  I agree with Simon Cowell that Danny's trading off with his "Doo be doo'ing" and the Sax Solo was kinda corny.   Not much else to say about it.  Forgettable first performance.   The 2nd one?  I will give credit for Danny changing up the Joe Cocker classic.  I remember hoping that Taylor Hicks would sing this song back in season 5 and he finally did.   Of course, when he did sing it, I realized how LITTLE there really was to the song.  Not many lyrics at all just a profession of beauty.   So where did Danny get all of this "You turned this boy into a man" nonsense?!?!?  That was disturbing wasn't it?   He just adlibbed lyrics for half of the song until he got to the MONEY NOTE.  "BEUUUU---TI-FUUUUUUUUUUUUL!!!!!!!!"    There you go Danny.  Now yes, you cannot discount his beautiful singing.  It was very nice on his 2nd tune.   And him bringing out the string section was different for him.   And if he didn't go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on annnnnnnd ON about how he psyched himself up to choose the song he did and "worked out an arrangement" I might have enjoyed it more.   Man that dude is a talker when he gets into interview mode.   If Tony Robbins is ever planning to retire from motivational speaking, I think Danny has a career all lined up for him!    Anyway, back when the top 13 started, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Danny would be in the Final 2.   Last week, we were praying he would leave us finally.   So where do we go from here?  I guess Ryan Seacrest is right.  It's gonna be a crazy voting bonanza tonight!   My pick though to move on with Mr. Lambert?   It is NOT Danny Gokey. 

Kris "I have no bad words to say about him" Allen

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi's Pick: "Apologize" by One Republic
Kris's Pick: "Heartless" by Kanye West

Can I just say it?  I cannot STAND Kara DioGuardi anymore.  She sounded like such an idiot tonight I believe I was shouting off obscenities at the TV as she was speaking.  (Don't tell my family)   Yeah, in her pre-performance Q&A with Ryan she said she picked this song for Kris to allow him to change it up.  So when we found out Kris stuck to the regular format of the song, she went ballistic on him.  I'm sorry, but since when does Kris become a mind reader with what they want from the song?  And when did American Idol become a show about CHANGING A SONG UP = AMERICAN IDOL VICTORY?    Sure, David Cook was a master at it.  Kris has done it to success this season.   But sometimes, it's just about the vocals people!  You have to show you can sing.   And that's what he did on "Apologize."  He knew he couldn't consistently hit that high note, so he changed it up a bit.  Hit it once in every chorus and then changed it up the other times.   That's fine.  Nice song, nice performance.  It won't be the one people are talking about anyway.   And of course Kara had to take credit for song #2 where Kris DID change things up.   She really makes my blood boil!   Anyway, Kris taking a song by an artist I truly despise, Mr. Kanye West, and turning it into such an awesome tune?  PRICELESS.   All he needed was his acoustic guitar and no back-up.  He did what he does best...Rocked the stage with a heartfelt rendition of "Heartless";    Randy and I even agreed.  It's the best version of that song I've ever heard.   I may even buy it if it's available.   That performance right there is a STAR in the making.   He has evolved from the man that I thought would be voted off first, to the only person left that I feel would make an album worth listening too.  Sorry, an hour's worth of screeching isn't my cup of tea.   Does that mean I think he will win?   No, but he deserves a shot at winning!    AWESOME JOB KRIS!  I'm up to 100 text votes and counting! 

Adam "Let me Change up the Melody and Insult the original Artist" Lambert

Hometown: San Diego
Simon Cowell's Pick: "One" by U2
Adam's Pick: "Cryin'" by Aerosmith

There is changing up a song and making it your own and then there is Adam Lambert's translation of this.  I do not know why Randy Jackson didn't emphasize his point more.   What on earth was that rendition of the beautiful U2 song I once knew?   I didn't hear the melody in there at all!!!  I mean, the chord changes were barely there anymore!   He did the same thing with "Walk the Line" amongst many other songs.  Changed the song so much to the point where it is unrecognizable.  Even Mary J. Blige didn't change up "ONE" that much.   Did he sing well?  Well, duh, he's Adam Lambert.   You know what I thought of while he was singing with the blue light shining down on him?   It seemed like somehow U2's power ballad ended up in the middle of Les Miserables and Jean Valjean was singing for peace!   Don't get me wrong, Les Mis is my favorite musical right up there with Rent, and I am sure Adam would do brilliantly in both of them.   I think Adam would make a great Fantine!  Whoops!  Anyway, I thought the song was a disgrace.  All notes sang in tune for whatever song he was trying to sing.  But that was NOT "One."  Doesn't matter, America and the Judges cannot get enough!  He will be in the finals and is 95% sure to win the whole darn thing.  ROCK OUT GLAM BOY!    Oh right, the Aerosmith debacle.  He decided to sing it straight.  Well, as straight as someone like Adam Lambert can be. (ba dum ching!)   And I still thought it was way over the top.   My favorite part of the performance?  When he couldn't hit the high note that Steven Tyler hit in the original recording. ahhhh Adam IS human!  And apparently as bad as Danny is when he goes for the super high Steven Tyler notes!   It is okay though folks, Paula Abdul is making sure that Adam collects his frequent flyer miles for setting the bar so high for the entire competition!  awwwww how poetic!   I lied, my favorite part of the show was when they ran the recap and showed Adam pretty much doing the same thing for 2 songs straight.  HIGH LONG NOTE with Tongue sticking out and lots and lots of Broadway Vibrato.   That's YOUR future American Idol folks!  I emphasize the YOUR because I still haven't bought into it.   I have tried for 11 weeks to get behind this guy, and more times than not I have been utterly disappointed.    But whatever, life will go on after season 8!    Highlight of Adam's run on American Idol for me was his "Tracks of My Tears" during Motown week.  Never has he matched that performance and in my mind, he peaked too soon.   I will be very conflicted next week when I may actually have to pick this guy to win to keep my streak alive!

We pause for this public service announcement of the AWESOME Carrie Underwood heading to Africa to hand out mosquito nets.   What a great girl!   Idol Gives Back will return in season 9, get excited now!

The Picks

Who is safe? Adam Lambert
Who should go home? Danny Gokey
Who, in the non-evil world that I long to live in, should win the whole thing now? Kris Allen

Elimination Pick: Danny Gokey 

No Bottom 3 or 2 this week folks, just the pick.  Yes, we have all cried with Danny from the first week he graced the stage until the live performances.  We all hoped he would be our American Idol.   Then the backlash happened.   Overexposure, Danny over-selling his tragic past, etc...  And THEN, we realized the performances just didn't add up to the success he had been having.  And now here we are.   At a moment when we can do something about it!   Get him out of there folks.   Kris has done more than enough to prove he belongs in that final with his royal "HIGH"ness (get it? because of the high notes?  I know, you can laugh in the privacy of your own homes).  

That's all I have for tonight. Good Luck America with your decision!  I would love to hear your thoughts on how the night went.  I am sure there are many varying opinions from mine.  My seatbelt is fastened, and I am ready.  Bring em' on!   Results show will bring us Jordin Sparks and Katy Perry.   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I will see you after the results!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Who Lost on American Idol Tonight? We all did.

As I sat there watching our ousted American Idol contestant sing "Cry Baby," I really felt like obliging in her request.  Maybe I even did for a bit.  Is there any hope for suspense for the final 2 weeks of the season?  Doubtful.  Is there much interest from yours truly to finish this season out?  Not really!  But I think we all know me better than that.  Just like Ryan Seacrest said last night, THE SHOW MUST GO ON!   Who lost on American Idol tonight?  A brilliant Child Prodigy!  Ladies and Gentlemen bid your adieus to a girl whose voice is aged before her time! 

Eliminated: Allison Iraheta
My Pick: Danny Gokey's Pick: Allison Iraheta

Whew.  It's not really a surprise.  A larger half of me knew that Allison had been in that bottom 3 several times and just wasn't connecting with the masses.  We all know this is the season of Adam Lambert, although I will now root for my initial pick to be the first of the top 13 to leave us!  Good ol' Kris!  Will he win?  Naaaa.  But, he still is an entertaining performer!   Anyway, farewell Allison!  You made this season a little more interesting for me at least!  Now, we must just go through the motions to reach the end!  

Meet your top 3 America!  
  1. Adam Lambert, the man who loved his outfit more than his performance last night. SCORE!   
  2. Danny Gokey, a man willing to make fun of himself for performing awfully last night, but still be okay with getting more votes than someone who sang her heart out!  
  3. Kris Allen, a talented guy who likes to change up tunes but whose voice is a little more soft spoken than his rivals.  
Take 'em or leave 'em, one of them will be your season 8 American Idol winner! 

Oh well, enough sulking, let's look at the highlights and lowlights for the week! 

  • No Doubt is Back!  And they went "old school" bringing out their first hit "Just a Girl" and rocking the house. 
  • The group song actually wasn't too bad.  Maybe Slash butched up "School's Out" a bit for them.   There was some mild cheese added to the top of the performance, but all around not bad.  
  • Ford Commercial song choice.  I'm always a sucker for a good All American Rejects song! "Move Along" is always my go to song on ROCK BAND (I play a mad video game drums!) 
  • Montage of past Top 3's heading to their hometowns.  Reminded me of better seasons! (well, except those flashes from season 3 and 6!) 
  • Daughtry's return to the Idol stage.  New tune "No Surprise" isn't too bad.  I'm sure it will be a hit.  I love how Chris acknowledged he "bummed hard" when they couldn't play instruments on Idol in season 5.   Which is hysterical because I always wrote about his obsession with the mic stand.  He didn't know what to do with his hands the whole season!
  • Allison went home
  • Paula Abdul's singing.  I mean, yeah it's a known fact that she can't really sing.  But she is a judge on American Idol for SINGING!  And she was dancing up a storm (great choreography by the way) and lip synching like a champ!   And even her recorded voice was modulated to the point that you could barely hear it was her.    Did anyone else get the vibe, when they returned to LIVE TV that Paula was going to announce this was her last season to the audience?   She didn't, but for a brief second I thought that's where they were headed!
  • Allison went home
  • No Doubt is just touring this summer, no new album just yet! 
  • Allison went home
So, over the next few days our 3 remaining finalists will head home to meet their mayors, families and hometown fans.  There will be many tear-jerking moments next Wednesday!  But come on, let's be honest.  We all want to meet Adam's friends right?!   That is gonna be a hoot!   Next week's performances will give the contestants 2 songs.  Judges' Choice and Contestant's choice.   I promise to be there in better spirits than I am tonight and will guide us through the remaining 2 weeks and attempt to accurately pick the winner for 7 of 8 times!   Feel free to express your condolences for Allison below or comment on how excited you are of who remains!   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I will see you next week!

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

American Idol's Top 4 Rock Out With a Twist! Who Will Get the Boot?

Greetings American Idol fans!  I'm back to cover what songs were sung on American Idol tonight and share all of my wonderfully thought out feelings on the night!  The night started off different than other nights.  The contestants essentially had no rehearsal time due to accidents on the set. Out of nowhere, instead of having 3 judges and allowing each contestant to sing 2 songs they also decided to introduce AMERICAN IDOL DUETS, supposedly un-judged but due to placement could affect the vote.   Based on the judges' comments tonight of certain contestants?  I'm not going to complain on the placement of these DUETS!  

Overall, the night was very entertaining and we have a pretty talented and likable top 4 on our hands.   Our 4 remaining contestants, guided by Guitar Legend SLASH (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver), were molded into bonafide rock stars.   The band came to play on stage as well.   In my mind, there is no doubt who should go home based on all of the performances, but it's really up to America to make that happen.   Well let's get to it kids!


Adam "Jazz-Rock Hands"Lambert
Song: "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zepplin

Well, all I can say is seeing Adam in Rock setting was like night and day from what we've been seeing him do lately with him practically joining Radio City Christmas Spectacular last week (yes, the Rockettes!).  I think in the Hollywood episodes when we were first being introduced to Adam, he was doing more of the Rock thing and it wasn't so, as Simon Cowell put it, cabaret!   Well, that's what this week felt more like.   I mean, his voice really could be the second coming of Robert Plant (yeah, I know Robert Plant is still alive and well and still winning Grammy's!).   And ironically enough since he was working with Slash, he even sounded a bit like Axl Rose!   That being said, for the first half of the performance, Adam seemed to be doing a monotone performance.  Yep, all of those high notes, but still not much to the performance.  Which annoyed me because Randy called Allison out on it on her song but not Adam.   Here's the thing though.   Adam twisted things up with that BREAK and then doing some a capella runs and getting some Rock swagger going on (the Idol "term of the season" this year!).   So what is there to say?  Adam is going to bounce back big time from last week, as expected.  As I said, being in the bottom 3 last week was the best thing that ever could have happened to him.  I always recognize his talent but he is still not my favorite contestant.   I think I've been pretty clear over the weeks who took that spot for me.  

Allison "Not So Shy Anymore" Iraheta

Song: "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin

You guys like that hint of blue hair mixed in with red this week?   Well thank Adam's hairstylist he's been going to for years!  Allison, in my opinion, brought down the house again tonight.   Yeah, it was tough going after Adam's opening as Simon predicted, but she gave a very moving performance.   Did she sound a little like Janis?  Well, yeah!  Her voice has that raspy edge just like Adam's sounds kinda Robert Plant'ish!   I'll give credit to Simon for commending Allison on her growth over 8 weeks, but it appears that he was setting her up for her downfall this week.   Meanwhile, I saw enough of her tonight to convince me that she belongs in that final 2.   Of course, I have to wait to give the rest of my feedback until we get to the twist!  In the meantime, I will just say that you gotta give Allison props for talking back to Simon this week and saying that they asked her to speak up more.   And I totally agree with her that "Piece of My Heart" has been way overdone on American Idol.  You go Allison!

Kris "Soft Rock God" Allen

Song: "Come Together" by The Beatles

When we found out Kris was doing a Beatles song, the first one I thought that he would do was "Come Together."  So I found it hysterical that during his interview clip he talked about "Revolution" and then wasn't feeling it and had to search the entire catalog to find "Come Together!"   Anyway, I thought Kris did a decent job on it.  But, like the judges said, he just was not in his element.   Simon made a nice analogy to eating ice.  I still think it should have been good enough to get through to the next round.  But there is one person left who has yet to be in the bottom 3.  Well, I think that's about to change. 

Danny "I can scream Like Adam" Gokey
Song: "Dream On" by Aerosmith

Talk about seeing a disaster coming a mile away!  When Slash kept hyping up the big moment of the song with the high note at the end, and then we saw a preview from Danny singing it with Slash, I think we had to know then that it was going to be a disaster.   "Dream On" is a song with a Danny's DREAM of an arrangement. Start off slow and simple and build to the BIG MOMENT.  But Danny thrives on those big moments and never impresses in the building moments.   The whole set up was boring and his long notes that he held out were flat.   And THEN...the big "DREAM ON" screech fest began!   And, yes, it made me long for the days of Adam Lambert screaming sweet melodies into my surround sound speakers.  After I went to the hospital and had new ears sewn on, I finished gathering my thoughts about Danny's performance.   Here it goes:  OUCH!!!!    I mean what was he thinking?  Yeah, he had to come out of his safe zone and take a risk.  But really, SCREAMING?!   And then to add further insult to any sense of respect that this show should have, Simon tells Danny that he thinks he will be safe.   Why?  Because Simon knows how many people are voting for Danny each week?  Because he WANTS Danny to be safe?  Yeah, he has never been in the bottom 3, but this was an atrocity to the very art of music!  Embarrassing with a capital DANNY!    Naturally, I probably am taking this too far, but come on!  Who is still voting for this guy?!   Another thing.  Kara?  "Crazy" and "Cryin" were much much much later released songs than "Dream On."  Please make yet ANOTHER ridiculous mistake on Live TV!  All of this being said, Danny did do better on the duet.   Which brings me to my next topic!


  1. Danny and Kris sing Styx's "Renegade" - Pretty interesting concept with these duets.  The judges were called in last minute to comment after the performance even though no phone numbers were given to vote.    The harmonies?  Pretty darn good.   It was an entertaining little jam.  And yeah, Danny sounded much better on "Renegade" than he did on "Dream On."  He was hitting some high notes there too.   So maybe he blew out his voice and didn't get it back for the performance that mattered?   I dunno.
  2. Allison and Adam sing Foghat's "Slow Ride" - Who are we kidding that these performances don't matter?   When you have Allison and Adam bringing down the house as the final performance of the night, of course it's going to leave an impression.   I mean, that was HOT!  The chemistry was off the charts.  I don't know how anyone could watch Allison and Adam perform this duet and not think that they should be the final 2 standing after next week.   And Simon himself noted that he thinks Adam saved Allison based on this performance.  Seriously? Why does Adam need to save her?  She did fine on her own all night.  So ridiculous how biased these crazy judges can be! 

Who is definitely safe? Adam Lambert
Who do I think should be safe? Allison Iraheta
Who most deserves to go home? Danny Gokey
Who could I not find much to write about? Kris Allen

Bottom 2: Danny Gokey, Kris Allen  Bonus Pick (ha!): Allison Iraheta
Elimination Pick: Danny Gokey

I mean, it really is what should happen.  Will it?  Simon doesn't think so.   With no dress rehearsal, does that mean that he thought Danny was safe until Allison brought the house down with the duet?   Or was he suggesting Allison, Adam and Danny are safe tonight leaving Kris vulnerable?    Yikes, do we just believe everything Simon has to say all of the time without thinking for ourselves?   He DID afterall pick David "the artichoke" Archuleta last year to win over David Cook!   And if you factor in the rumored leak that Kris was the #2 leading contestant in iTunes sales to Adam, then that could factor into a "surprise elimination" tomorrow as well.  

Oh well, like I said, it is what should happen so I'm sticking to it!  Feel free to disagree to your heart's desires below!  I'd love to hear what you all thought about tonight's performances.  Who do you think will be singing their swan song Wednesday night?   Tune in tomorrow for my thoughts on the elimination, the return of Daughtry, No Doubt and oh dear.....PAULA ABDUL to the stage!   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and see you after the results!

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