Posts Tagged ‘todrick hall’

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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: 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.

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American Idol: Hollywood Week Groups

February 10, 2010

“96 started 71 made it through.  One’s wife had a baby, One left before even performing, lot’s of Gaga, the good and the bad!!”

Here’s the rundown:

Day 3 Group Day

The Good:

Faith – “Irreplaceable” Michelle Delamor, Charity Vance & Ashley Rodriguez (One of the few all-girl groups shown and all did pretty good.)

Neopolitan – “Bad Romance” Liz Rooney, Thaddeus Johnson, Jessica Cunningham, Paige Dechausse (Apparently was part of the drama between Destiny’s Wild for stealing their ideas.  But all stepped up to the plate)

Destiny’s Wild – “Bad Romance” Todrick Hall, Theri, Jareb Liewer, Siobhan Magnus (Definitely one of the best performances despite the judges believing they were weird, but it’s Gaga)

Middle C – “Closer” Janell Wheeler, Jermaine Purifory, Casey James (All IN)

Three Men and a Baby – “No One” Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens (Kara said she could be the potential winner), J.B. Ahfua, (4th person wasn’t shown) (ALL IN)

Side note:  Notice the songs here all work well with vocal harmonies and people who have the vocal abilities to sing these songs!!

Split Decision:

Team Awesome – “Get Ready” Michael Lynche, Seth Rollins (showed his audition story), Tim Urban, Michael Castro (wasn’t shown singing) (Lynche and Urban IN)

Side note: Lynche was shown several times making calls to his pregnant wife and he is shown reacting to the birth over a phone-call.

Mighty Rangers from Denver – “Closer” Tori Kelly, Maddie Menrose, Mark Labriola (forgot lyrics), Kimberly Kerbow (forgot lyrics), Danny (wasn’t shown) (Kelly and Menrose who stayed up late to practice made it in)

The Phoenix – Kat Nestle (walked out), Jermaine Sellers (Amazing range), Ben Honeycutt, Jeff Goldford, Moorea Masa (forgot lyrics.  This girl made it all the way to the final decision last year) (Sellers and Goldford are in!)

The Bad:

Big Dreams – “Sweet Escape” Matt Lawrence (back story, lo), Amanda Shechtman (forgot lyrics), other two weren’t shown (All Out)

Side note: Many groups chose Sweet Escape but many also forgot the lyrics.  Why would anyone choose this song on a group performance??

Out but didn’t see perform:

Leah Laurenti (Boston), Carmen Turner (Atlanta), Kimberly Carver (Dallas), Dave Pittman (Dallas)

Save the …. Group for last:

The Dreamers – (Most drama seen throughout the whole show) Mary Powers, Hope Johnson, Margo May (bad), Alex Lambert, (5th person wasn’t shown) (Powers, Johnson, Lambert IN)

Finally the people who made it but didn’t see perform in a quick montage:

John Park, Haley Vaughn, Angela Mardsen, Tasha Layton, Tyler Grady, Katelyn Epperly, Lloyd Thomas, Keia Johston, Christian Spear.

Final thoughts:

There was less drama this year once again.  The two Gaga groups and Mary Powers seemed to be the main causes this year, but neither created any major problems.  There are some people who have been featured again. You can see whose names I have written down more than once or even twice.  Overall the group harmonies were good and the groups performed very well.  As seen by the number of people who made it into the final round, choosing the final 24 will be interesting… I already have 2/3’s of the people I think will make it through but I will post those predictions next Tuesday after the last performances.

Ratings:

25.02m people watched the show last night.  Down just 5% from Round 1’s show and up 22% from last Wednesday.  Ellen effect is definitely in full motion and her presence has been positive for the show.