Posts Tagged ‘katelyn epperly’

h1

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!!!

h1

American Idol Top 8 Girls

March 9, 2010

“For the show when the contestants are singing for the top 12, it was pretty weak.  Crystal remained on top proving that she is the one to beat, but the rest of the crop was for the most part once again riddled with bad song choices and less than memorable performances.”

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:

Katie Stevens 24

She picked a younger song but she didn’t do anything with it and it fell short.  What type of singer does she really want to be?  This is American Idol, not tell me what to do each week so I can improve.

Siobhan Magnus 28

I am starting to like this girl.  Her voice is amazing in its lower and upper register and she picks some very interesting songs that she owns.  She takes these male songs and makes them female.

Lacey Brown 27

She definitely picked the right song for her voice.  She was better than the last two weeks which made this performance sound so much better than it really was, but good timing and good choice.

Katelyn Epperly 24

It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either.  It was the song you would play within a set and it really didn’t make her stand out.  She did such a great job the last two weeks, that it almost felt like a different singer was on stage.

Didi Benami 28

Her voice is amazing and she really changed it up here.  She does ballads like this so well and it was a record-worthy performance

Paige Miles 23

She started off a little shaky and remained awkward throughout.  That big ole voice was wasted again and she should have picked a power ballad.  When it really counted, she failed.

Crystal Bowersox 30

While most people have had issues picking songs, that has never been an issue for Crystal and she continues to prove why she is the best performer in this competition.  The performance was miles above the rest.

Lilly Scott 26

For some strange reason, her vocals weren’t as good as they usually are.  Her personality and uniqueness were there but I wasn’t wowed by it.

My top 8:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Siobhan Magnus
  3. Didi Benami
  4. Lacey Brown
  5. Lilly Scott
  6. Katie Stevens
  7. Katelyn Epperly
  8. Paige Miles

Final Thoughts: This is definitely going to be one of the biggest surprises of the season so far.  Although Paige is a great singer, her performance was her weakest which came at the wrong time amidst other girls who already have strong fan clubs.  Two of the major front-runners Katie Stevens and Katelyn Epperly failed to impress which will definitely make the results interesting while Lacey Brown and Didi Benami who failed last week improved this week.  However, it seems Crystal is the only safe bet with Siobhan and Didi a distant second and third.  Anyone from 4-7 may be eliminated and it’s definitely going to be a shocker.

Update: As expected, there was going to be a surprise around the corner.  Ironic how the two i had picked to go home were the two standing on stage for the elimination.  So of course you figure Paige should go because she was not the best last night, but instead Katelyn, one of the previous favorites went home.  Paige is through and as Simon says, she was one of the best in Hollywood so her place is deserved.  She has to have a stronger showing in the top 12 because she was just given the biggest second chance!!  In the other elimination duo are Lilly and Katie, both favorites.  Katie was a front-runner at one point while Lily has a unique look and voice.  Going home is Lilly! This one was as big of a shocker as Katelyn.  Two strong singers from the women’s side are out and the men’s side just became the stronger side!

h1

American Idol Top 12 Girls

February 23, 2010

“Despite such high hopes for the girls, the night was a mixed bag.  Was the hype too much?  Most of the performances were copycats or second-rate versions of the original, some performances not as good as previous rounds, and others were just plain boring.  In the end, I was left underwhelmed.  Ironic that the Crystal and Katie, the two big frontrunners sang last and the girl who we never saw, Paige, started first.  Oh Idol, here are my thoughts”

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:

Paige Miles – 24 She has the vocals, but they were just all over the place for this song.

Ashley Rodriguez – 23 She did the song in a lower key.  I was waiting for the wow moments and got nothing.

Janell Wheeler – 24 The song was way too big for her and she seemed to fall apart as the song went on.  After her rendition of American Boy, this was a far cry from that.

Lilly Scott – 26 She has a unique voice and I love the look.  The American Duffy!

Katelyn Epperly – 27 I love what she did with the song and she did a great job, but I also had a problem with her look.

Haeley Vaughn – 25 For all of the negative comments, I thought she did a good job.  It may sound like screeching to some, but I actually thought it worked!  Ellen said it was a “Hot Mess”!  Does she know what that really means?  Lol

Lacey Brown – 19 I didn’t like anything about this performance.

Michelle Delamor – 27 She actually changed the song up a bit and ended on a high note.  A great introduction to someone we haven’t really seen!

Didi Benami – 26 She sounded good.  Almost reminded me of Megan Joy from last year, but is this the best song to sing for votes?

Siobhan Magnus – 26 Interesting song choice.  I actually kind of liked it and she has a great lower register, she is kind of awkward though.

Crystal Bowersox – 28 I thought she sounded great and playing the harmonic and guitar, she gave us a two for one!

And the pimp spot award goes to…..

Katie Stevens – 26 I really wish she sang a more recent song!

My top 12:

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

Final Thoughts: It was really hard to rank even based on scores.  Ranks 2-7 were equally as good and had positives and negatives.  Lacey and Ashley seem to be the girls that are going home on Thursday but Paige isn’t safe either.  Not only was this her first full performance for the TV audience, she was also first and her audio was off when they were showing her numbers at the end of the show.  It’s a little suspect, but I guess the show was having, “technical” difficulties.  Either way, it’s going to be a non-surprising conclusion on Thursday.

Update: Ashley and Janell are out.  If anything Janell was the most shocking because of her coverage throughout Hollywood.  But one thing  that both girls got wrong was their song choices which were not made for their vocal abilities, so in the end song choice was the main reason both were eliminated.

h1

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
h1

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!)

h1

American Idol: Final Performances and 7 Are Chosen

February 16, 2010

“71 started.  They were split into 3 rooms.  Two rooms made it through.  That’s 46 contestants.  7 were chosen tonight, with 17 remaining!!”

Here’s the rundown:

Like years past, the contestants were split into 3 groups.

Room 1 (First room to be decided…The verdict is…IN)

These are the standouts (they showed their final performances):

Andrew Garcia, Todrick Hall, Crystal Bowersox, Thaddeus Johnson

These are the good (they showed their final performances):

Casey James, Jermaine Sellers, Siobhan Magnus, Alex Lambert, Michael Lynche, Tori Kelly,Lilly Scott

And there are the ones who were mentioned but whose performances were not shown:

Tim Urban, Tyler Grady, Katie Stevens

Note:  From the get-go it was evident this was the A-Group.  Most of these singers have been featured countless times performing with ease and effort and it was obvious that they were going to go through.  The standouts possess all of the necessary elements needed to make the top 24.  The good are here based on their body of work but there were a couple who may not make the cut in the end.  There were some whose voices we have heard before (Casey sounds like Bo Bice) and others who we have heard that didn’t make it (Michael Lynche who’s Dad announced on national TV that he made the show, which is a breach of contract).  Finally the one’s mentioned all represent some of the best, such as Katie, who Kara stated could win, so maybe they are saving her talents for the top 24.  Overall there were a lot of great performers!

Room 2 (Second room to be decided….The verdict is…OUT)

These were the singers whose performances were shown:

Mary Powers, Lloyd Thomas, Hope Johnson, Jermaine Purifory, Charity Vance, Tasha Layton, Brian Walker

And there are the ones who were mentioned but whose performances were not shown:

Tisha Holland, Keia Johnson, Christian Spear

Note: Since this room didn’t make it through I won’t go into it as much, but I will say that Mary Powers would have made for some drama as she created during groups.  Also a pity for Jermaine Purifoy who did great during the earlier rounds and sappy story Hope Johnson whose story would have connected too many people.

Room 3 (Third room to be decided….The verdict is…IN)

These were the good (they showed their final performances):

Ashley Rodriguez, Angela Martin, Haley Vaughn, Lee Dewyze, Joe Munoz

The questionable: (they showed their final performances but there were struggles, poor song choices and forgotten lyrics):

Shelby Dressel (struggled), Aaron Kelly (forgot lyrics), Janel Wheeler (wrong song choice)

And there are the ones who were mentioned but whose performances were not shown:

Maddy Menrose, Jessica Furney, Didi Benami, Jessica Furney, Casey Brown,John Park

Note:  This group prior to the judges coming in was the question mark.  I did think group 2 was going home but then they showed in this group some forgotten lyrics, struggles and wrong song choices so it could have gone either way. So I would definitely consider this the B-group and if anything, more performers from this group may get cut in the end.  The good mentioned seem the safest bests but they didn’t wow me so anything can happen.  Among the mentioned singers whose performances weren’t shown John Park, Didi Benami and Casey Brown are some of the ones to look out for.  Among the questionable contestants was Jane Wheeler (Tim Tebows girlfriend, from tabloids) who did well earlier in the rounds but picked a poor song choice.  She might end up being one of the last ones selected for dramatic effect.

Show’s not over yet:  Now in the Kodak Theater, the fates of some contestants will be decided.

Here’s the call order and my personal final grades based on a variety of factors including style, vocal ability and overall commercial appeal:

Michael Lynche – IN

My Grade: A-

Didi Benami – IN

My Grade: B-

Katelyn Epperly – IN

My Grade: C+

Shelby Dressel – OUT

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

Jessica Furney – OUT

My Grade: B- (Although she had the voice, I feel like it’s the look that lost her a position in the top 24)

Final thoughts:

There were a lot of good performances.  I like that the producers decided to spread the love and show more of the contestants rather than the same few who they are pushing for.  We saw some new contestants and some old ones we haven’t seen since the auditions.  The way they integrated these performance montages worked well to paint the different rooms.  No Tatiana’s this year unfortunately, so not too much drama.  Then they decide to show us 7 of the 24 contestants who make it through.  I wonder why they chose these specific contestants to showcase giving them a week long advantage to be judged and scrutinize by the public while the remainder are in limbo as to their fate.  The trailer for the next show seems to point at some surprises.  My favorites for the top 24 are Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens, Crystal Bowersox, Thaddeus Johnson, Jermaine Sellers, Siobhan Magnus, Ashley Rodriguez, Angela Martin and Haley Vaughn.  Any of these who don’t make it would be a surprise to me and I can’t wait until the rest of the top 24 are revealed.