Posts Tagged ‘alex lambert’

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The state of American Idol Season 9

March 29, 2010

Last week, my TIVO forgot to record American Idol on the most important night for the show and the contestants as to who made the top 10.  The top 10 will go on tour for the next year and will actually be able to pursue their dreams as a singer.  The problem is, do we care?  For all of the drama and selection of the top 24, this is probably the weakest top 10 in the history of American Idol.  I have this feeling that the mass voters and the people who actually spend money on the artists and have something to say about American Idol are two completely different groups of people.

It’s still hard to believe that we lost Lily Scott, Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall and Alex Lambert just a few weeks ago!  Anyone of these 4 contestants (I won’t even go into people who should have made the top 24) should have made the top 10 over some less than notable contestants like Katie Stevens and Tim Urban.  These two are prime examples of contestants that have made it through on their appeal to connect to the audience because they’re cute.  This doesn’t mean they will be successful.  I can go a step further and say that Kris Allen had it all, looks and the voice, but look what happened to him.  I know more people that remember him as the guy on the FORD commercial than the actual winner of American Idol!

So who do we care about?  Crystal Bowersox is in a league on her own but i don’t see her selling out arenas or stadiums.  Maybe Lilith Fair or other music festivals.  Let’s be serious? she is more suited to a chair and her guitar/harmonica which doesn’t suit a huge venue.  Aaron Kelly is probably the only one this season who can succeed win or lose because there aren’t a lot of young MALE (i have to put that in caps before someone yells Taylor Swift) country singers under the age of 18! So he could definitely jump in next to Taylor and start a young Country revolution.  Who else, Siobhan Magnus?  Crazy mad scream at the end, that works and doesn’t work…she can’t just do that in every song or we’d get bored.  Michael Lynche? Okay Ruben Studdard 2.0 with a lot of personality and vocals.. but how does he fit in the already saturated rnb/hip hop market! Everyone else has a comparable counterpart to previous Idol seasons and i don’t see any Kelly’s, Adam’s, Carrie’s or Jennifer’s!

This season is a whole lot of been there done that and the dynamics of the judges isn’t helping at all.  The four completely different personalities just don’t work together causing a lot of mixed reviews and confusion for both the contestants and the viewers.  Ellen is focused on the comedy, Kara is focused on the meaning of the lyrics, Randy is confused, and Simon is the only person who says it as it is whether it hurts the contestant or not.  I don’t even know how the judging will move forward without him.  At the end of the day, American Idol will continue to be the number 1 show on TV…until of course X-Factor comes to us in the fall of 2011!!!

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American Idol Top 8 Boys

March 10, 2010

“One thing that has been true on American Idol is the uncertain and the surprises.  The guys are an interesting bunch.  Not as unique as the girls, but there are a few standouts.  What was surprising was that arguably the worst singer among the guys came out almost on top and one of the front-runners flopped.  This will make for an interesting elimination episode.”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the guy’s grades in order of performance:

Lee Dewyze 27

Another consistent performance and popular song choice! He did add his own take on the song and it was good, but what is going to get him through to the top 16 is his voice and his overall appeal.

Alex Lambert 26

This guy is definitely improving his stage presence although he is still not there quite yet.  Vocally he is still beyond his competitors in terms of its distinct unique flavor; however, the performance was just okay.  I kept comparing it to the soul and believability of Taylor Hicks and it fell short.  I still like this guy though.

Tim Urban 29

Where did he come from?  I honestly thought after knowing the song he was going to sing it was the kiss of death.  But he came out tonight looking good and his acoustic rendition was amazing.  I felt like I was watching a different performer on the stage who was both believable and vocally on point.

Andrew Garcia 24

Is it a challenge for him to pick the most random songs and try to make it work?  Couldn’t he have picked a newer song to change up instead of Genie in a Bottle?  Another off-night again and I hope if he makes it through that he can pull it together soon because he may lose a fan in me!

Casey James 26

Another consistent performance but it was the type of song played in a set and not a stand along song to sing for the top 16.  However, good or not, I doubt Casey has much to worry about.

Aaron Kelly 25

He started shaky which put me off, but did recover at the end.  I will say though that unlike another young singer on the girl’s side, at least Aaron knows exactly who he is and that makes him stand out.

Todrick Hall 26

This guy knows how to take direction well.  The first show he changed the song too much so he changed.  The second show he did too much with his vocals and he changed again.  This time he was able to find a health medium.  However, there were a few too many runs here and there and whether he came out on top after his third attempt; he may still be in danger.

Michael Lynche 30

If last week he became the best male performer, this week he even outshined Crystal Bowersox.  There is nothing I can fault for this song and he did everything right.  This was definitely the best performance of the season so far and he hit it out of the ball park.

My top 8:

  1. Michael Lynche
  2. Tim Urban
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Alex Lambert
  5. Casey James
  6. Todrick Hall
  7. Aaron Kelly
  8. Andrew Garcia

Final Thoughts: One thing that is for certain, Michael Lynche is the one to beat among the guys and outshined Crystal Bowersox this week.  If the competition ended tonight, it would be between the two of them.  Surprisingly, Tim Urban came out of nowhere with that gutsy and memorable performance.  The funny thing was that before the show I was certain he was going home this week.  Andrew Garcia on the other hand will test his popularity tomorrow after his worst performance.  Among the top 8, anyone from 4-8 can be eliminated.  On performances alone I would say Aaron and Andrew, but I think it could also be Todrick and Alex so I am expecting a surprise tomorrow night.

Update: For the first round of eliminations, they place Casey, Lee, Tim, and Todrick on the stage.  Casey and surprisingly Tim (who nailed his performance last night) were the first to make the top 12.  Todrick and Lee were left on stage and Todrick was sent home.  At least one obvious elimination tonight.  He did better last night but he hasn’t been consistent and it was his time.  On the other elimination duo, Andrew and Alex were next and Alex was eliminated.  It was such a pity because Alex had an amazing voice but lacked the confidence and personality.  Andrew on the other hand suffered from back to back poor performances.  Lucky for Andrew, he made it through because he was the huge favorite going into the semi’s and that’s why he made the top 12!!

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American Idol Top 10 Boys

March 2, 2010

“Despite having less time to prepare this week due to the switch of nights, I felt for the most part the guys stepped up and a lot of them are standing out as potential front-runners and upsets.  The biggest fail this week were the judges.  Why do some contestants have to sing the original version while others need to change it up and make it new.  Hasn’t the latter been what American Idol is about.  David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert all did and they won, so what is going on?  I almost feel like they are either agreeing with their fellow judges or trying to say something different for the sake of saying something different.  If i were a contestant i would be so confused.  How can i get better if i get complete opposites with what I am being told.  Did i do good or was i bad?  Although the judges weren’t on top of their game this week, the boys were!”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the guys grades in order of performance:

Michael Lynche 29

If last week was the supporting act, this week was the main show and a completely different person and performer.

John Park 24

He was definitely a lot better than last week but it was a safe and forgettable performance for someone who is trying to stand out.

Casey James 26

He is amazing on the guitar but was nowhere near the caliber of Elliot Yamin or Bo Bice!

Alex Lambert 29

This performance was night and day compared to last week and i predicted something like this could happen.  His voice rivals that of Jason Mraz and John Mayer, but can easily be identifiable if recorded.  I knew if he survived this week and got better with his stage presence he could do something good and that’s exactly what he did!

Todrick Hall 24

He took a different turn from last week.  Although he showed more of his vocals, his personality disappeared.  There were too many runs and he does too much to the song.

Jermaine Sellers 25

Jermaine had a good point about church.  I almost feel like the judges just don’t understand gospel/rnb voices.  I felt emotion I just don’t think he did the song justice.

Andrew Garcia 25

I didn’t get it.  Last week was more on the lines of what to expect from Andrew but the wrong song choice.  This week was just blah.  Has he already lost his flair?

Aaron Kelly 26

He had a weird vibration to his voice this week that kind of lingered all throughout.  More personality but vocally not as good as last week.  Didn’t see what the judges did!

Tim Urban 23

I still don’t get him.  I totally agree with Ellen here.  His voice is nothing different than we have heard before and if he stays it’ll be because of his looks because his voice is definitely not a reason.  His reaction to Simon’s comments were funny.  Sorry Tim, all Simon really said was that you were better than last week.. that’s not saying too much when 3/4 of your fellow competitors did too.

Lee Dewyze 27

This guy has a phenomenal voice and look and if there were pitchy parts, I didn’t hear them just because of the tone of his voice that makes it acceptable.   With or without his guitar he can do no wrong!

My top 10:

  1. Michael Lynche
  2. Alex Lambert
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Casey James
  5. Aaron Kelly
  6. Jermaine Sellers
  7. Andrew Garcia
  8. Todrick Hall
  9. John Park
  10. Tim Urban

Final Thoughts: Considering last week’s Joe Munoz was really the only one who had the least amount of TV coverage, that wouldn’t apply this week.  Instead it boils down to who stepped up the most.  Alex could have easily been in the next wave to go but his incredible improvement may have saved him at least for another week.  I think John Park and Tim Urban are the weakest among the bunch although both slightly improved over last week.   Falling in the category of doing too much are Todrick and Jermaine who could easily switch places with either of the two who I predict to be eliminated this week!

Update: John and Jermaine are out.  Tim stays another week?  Is this really looks or are people hearing something i don’t.  Both John and Jermaine are so much better singers but just didn’t make that connection with the audience.

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American Idol Top 12 Boys

February 24, 2010

“I guess Simon was right about the girls being better this year.  The problem with the boys was the lack of overall originality or star factor.  Even the favorites were either safe, too creative or over-sang their songs.  There was definitely a lack of confidence and a lot of nerves.  None of the guys really struck the right cord with me; however there were some who were able to rise above it al:”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the girl’s grades in order of performance:

Todrick Hall – 25 Super-confident and completely changed up the song!  Points for being creative, but in this case, the original was way better!!

Aaron Kelly – 27 He has a big ole country voice, but he reminds me so much of Kevin Covais and I am trying to connect the image with the voice.

Jermaine Sellers – 24 Started rough and remained there throughout.  He showed a lot of personality but did too much with the song.

Tim Urban – 21 He started ok but fell apart with his horrible falsetto.  The song was way too big for him.

Joe Munoz – 24 He looked confident but his voice sounded so nervous and had a vibrating quality to it.  I don’t know if that’s really how he sings since this is the first full performance I have seen of him, but he has potential.

Tyler Grady – 24 Second-rate Jim Morrison wannabe and it came off as trying hard.

Lee Dewyze – 26 I liked the arrangement and although there were some rough patches, he showcased an amazing voice!

John Park – 23 Another rough start.  Too many nerves and although he kind of came back, It was too late!

Michael Lynche – 25 I wish he didn’t have the guitar because it looked like a prop.  He could have worked the stage instead.  He was good but it was a safe performance that stood out amidst the lukewarm group.

Alex Lambert – 23 He has a good voice but he seemed so uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do in front of the camera.

Casey James – 27 I thought his performance was somewhat overshadowed by Kara and what was going on in the judges panel.  Despite that he was definitely very good at tackling the song and did a really good job.

And the pimp spot award goes to…..

Andrew Garcia– 28 Of course, being my favorite contestant so far, I would be biased but I thought he did an amazing job.  The song choice was interesting and I felt like he picked the most random song to make work and he should have picked an easier song to take out of the park.

My top 12:

  1. Andrew Garcia
  2. Casey James
  3. Aaron Kelly
  4. Lee Dewyze
  5. Michael Lynche
  6. Todrick Hall
  7. Joe Munoz
  8. Tyler Grady
  9. Jermaine Sellers
  10. Alex Lambert
  11. John Park
  12. Tim Urban

Final Thoughts: The guys were definitely a weaker bunch and my favorites didn’t really shine as much as I would have liked to.  Andrew took the pimp spot as expected and although he picked an unusual song, I think he picked the right song to attract the attention of the younger audience as well as showcase his unique ability to make a song his own.  Aaron and Casey stood out among the bunch while John who was one of my favorites and Tim are the likely two who will leave in the elimination show.  Both picked the wrong songs and fell flat.  Alex should also worry because of his awkward performance but his strong and unique vocals could keep him around.

Update: Joe and Tyler are out! Surprise surprise!!  I guess it would make sense considering the guys in general were pretty weak so surprises were expected.  Joe was unfortunate because he never got enough coverage to really stand out and his moment wasn’t a strong one.  Tyler on the other hand had such an interesting personality.  I just think his second-rate Jim Morrison was the reason for his demise, another case of song choice.

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American Idol Top 24 Contestants

February 22, 2010

“The girls are the standouts this year.  Not just because the producers and Simon Cowel feel that a girl will win but they really do have the best vocals among the top 24.  The Colbie Caillat’s, Duffy’s, Janis Joplin’s, and Adele’s are the types of voices that are one in a million and many of this years top 12 girls actually fall in the between.  Among the girls, Crystal Bowersox offers something unique.  Not just her dreadlocks but also her vocal abilities.  She also plays a couple of instruments which will definitely help her sail  through to the finals”

Top 12 Girls:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Lilly Scott
  3. Katie Stevens
  4. Didi Benami
  5. Janel Wheeler
  6. Haeley Vaughn
  7. Katelyn Epperly
  8. Siobhan Magnus
  9. Michelle Dellamor
  10. Lacey Brown
  11. Ashley Rodriguez
  12. Paige Miles

“Although the girls as a whole are a strong bunch, I do believe there are a few guys who could end up in the finals as well.  Andrew Garcia is the standout and reminds me of Danny Gokey, however, I believe Garcia is one step up and in my opinion is the one to beat.  Coming up very close behind is a trio of rnb/pop vocalists who could easily join the likes of Maxwell, Jason Derulo, Neyo and Chris Brown!  These three are the typical Idol powerhouses with the big voices and should definitely be around for awhile”

My Top 12 Guys:

  1. Andrew Garcia
  2. Todrick Hall
  3. Michael Lynche
  4. Jermaine Sellers
  5. John Park
  6. Tyler Grady
  7. Casey James
  8. Lee Dewyze
  9. Aaron Kelly
  10. Alex Lambert
  11. Joe Munoz
  12. Tim Urban
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American Idol: And The Remaining 24 Are Chosen!!

February 17, 2010

“37 Contestants left for 17 spots going into tonight’s show.  Some surprise exclusions and a lot of great talent”

Here is a reminder of the seven contestants who were already chosen and will perform for the audience in the top 24:

Michael Lynche – IN

My Grade: A-

Didi Benami – IN

My Grade: B-

Katelyn Epperly – IN

My Grade: C+

Casey James – IN

My Grade: B

Aaron Kelly – IN

My Grade: B

Lee Dewyze – IN

My Grade: B-

Todrick Hall – IN

My Grade: A

And this is where we begin the show…

These were the singers whose performances during different rounds or whose personal background stories were shown:

Janel Wheeler – IN

My Grade: B-

Tyler Grady – IN

My Grade: A-

Lacey Brown – IN

My Grade: B+

Crystal Bowersox – IN

My Grade: A

Katie Stevens – IN

My Grade: A-

Angela Martin – OUT

My Grade: B+

Lily Scott – IN

My Grade: B+

Haley Vaughn – IN

My Grade: B-

Tori Kelly – OUT

My Grade: B

Andrew Garcia – IN

My Grade: A+

Thaddeus Johnson – OUT

My Grade: A

Note: There was definitely some good news and bad news.  Every year we see some familiar faces.  Lacey Brown and Angela Martin have been in running in the past.  For Angela it was her third time, Lacey was in the same spot last year.  Fortunately Lacey made it through.  Angela, however, was let go.  This was definitely a surprise to me since the producers painted such an emotional story of her that we could connect with and I truly felt for her.  Will she come back for a 4th time?  Then there was the drama of the final two girls and guys.  Unlike previous years where the two were together, this year they weren’t. First, the girls and with some shock and awe editing resulted in Haley making it through!  Although Tori did have a good voice I think a country African-American singer is something different and unique!  Finally among the guys it was Thaddeus Johnson and Andrew Garcia.  This one was definitely the nail-biter which has me wondering how some of the other guys made it through over either of these two.  But I guess you can’t have it all and this would provide for a dramatic conclusion.  The winner was….Andrew!! And well deserved.

And these performers made it through but whose performances were not shown:

Ashley Rodriguez – IN

My Grade: B

Alex Lambert – IN

My Grade: B-

Joe Munoz – IN

My Grade: ??

Paige Miles – IN

My Grade: ??

Siobhan Magnus – IN

My Grade: B

Michelle Delamor – IN

My Grade: ??

Jermaine Sellers – IN

My Grade: A-

John Park – IN

My Grade: B+

Note: It’s always interesting to see who would be shown and who would end up in the montage.  There were some singers here who we have seen throughout on more than one occasion such as Jermaine Sellers, Siobhan Magnus, Ashley Rodriguez and Adam Lambert.  Some of the others we may have seen during the auditions but then were lost in the shuffle.  And then there were those that we never saw?  The ones I didn’t grade.  Will they be the Allison Iraheta or Bo Bice of this year?  Someone who comes out of nowhere will a killer voice?  We will have to wait and see.

Final thoughts:

Overall Hollywood week found a new method to show emotion without overdoing it and exploiting the contestants.  I always hated the long walk and the elevator ride especially when the contestant didn’t make it.  There was just something cruel about it and for those that did make it through, it was sometimes awkward.  This time around they spent more time showing their past performances and I felt it was appropriate that where one of them was going to win was where their journey of being chosen began.  I guess also focusing less on who wasn’t going to make it through, especially the ones we rarely saw was a good thing as well.  After all, we won’t remember them anyway.  I also like the editing of the final two contestants instead of having the final two sit side by side.  How do you jump for joy and share an elevator ride with the contestant who was probably your friend when you just won and she/he just lost?  This was definitely a much better format this year and although I did find it odd that 7 were selected yesterday with the remaining chosen today, the show was a lot more about the talent than the drama.  I guess idol is learning from their past by keeping the corny music and extra unnecessary effects during the audition rounds and focusing on the wider talent than a handful to give all of the contestants a fair chance at competing in front of the live audience.  I will conclude though, that whether the show is trying to attract a following so that a woman will win this year, but so far it is working because based on appearance alone, the women have it hands down.  Looks vs. talent, women vs. men?  Who will win American Idol Season 9? (check back next week for analysis and predictions of the top 24 contestants!)