Archive for the 'nicholas pedro' Category

Leslie Hunt is awesome; Simon, not so much.

Leslie Hunt (and fellow bootees AJ Tabaldo, Alaina Alexander and Nick Pedro are up for thier requisite Entertainment Weekly interview. Apparently, Leslie had never even watched Idol before (she says she’s not a bit TV watcher at all), but tried out for it because “You know how the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? I was doing the same thing over and over and I thought maybe this was a long shot but I’d try something new.” Some other exerpts:

EW: Where do you think you went wrong?
Hunt: It’s really hard to say what exactly happened. I know I’m kind of quirky…Maybe it was just that everyone else is so friggin’ awesome.
EW: Not everyone. You can’t think you were the worst singer up there!
Hunt: I don’t. (Ed. note — ha!) I hope that doesn’t get me into a sticky situation. I don’t think I was one of the better ones, though, as far as pure talent and vocal abilities.

This is a wacky competition this year, in which any woman who doesn’t have that powerful, belting-type voice is made to feel like they’re less talented, and I just don’t think that’s right. Having a loud, booming voice is one particular kind of talent; so is having the type of melted-butter vocals that made me want to listen to Leslie for hours on end. Maybe Leslie wasn’t right for Idol (they rarely reward non-glory-noters; even Taylor Hicks had to hit the occasional falsetto note), but I still want to hear more from her. Anyway, Leslie also reveals that she thought her miniskirt-and-leggings combo was a “damn cute outfit” and that she and contestant Gina Glocksen became very close.

Alaina Alexander has no qualms about picking a Dixie Chicks song, because she felt like she really connected with it. She also reveals that she is not only a singer, songwriter, and guitar player. You know, Alaina might not have had the strongest voice on Idol, but somewhere in there was a nice tone (she just had problems finding it). If she’s going to pursue her musical career, I submit that she’d do much better as the folksy type, where her songwriting, not her singing, will be the true art form. AJ Tabaldo admits that he was “shocked” at being voted off, but feels that Sanjaya Malakar (who got to stay) was tough competition. And says AJ of the judges: “[t]hey told me they felt like I was one of the stronger ones vocally and I need to keep going and hopefully there will be something in the works with one of them.” Hmmm, really? Interesting. Nick Pedro says “there’s no shame in me going home,” noting that even the person with the lowest total raked in a few million votes.

Leslie Hunt talked a llittle more about her Idol run with the Chicago Sun-Times:

I would have liked to have had the chance to rock out a bit more…Watching myself perform ‘Feeling Good,’ I realized, man, I am totally white.”

Aww!

As for why she was eliminated, she could only speculate. “I’m not really mainstream, and I chose songs that aren’t on the top of the charts,” she said. “It was a risk I felt I should take. I feel better and more in my element when doing things that are true to me. I guess I don’t know America that well.” (Ed. note — America wants instant gratification. They will vote for the flashiest performer and then not buy their album.)

Simon Cowell continues hating on playing a character who hates and Taylor Hicks. He bitches and moans that he couldn’t stand Taylor and that he was right because Chris Daughtry is selling more records. Well, that prove that Daughtry is more marketable, but not more talented (frankly, I think they’re both very talented young men). Also, the great thing about this is that Taylor Hicks most certainly does not give a rat’s ass what Simon Cowell thinks of him, or at least says about him publicly. You reap what you sow, Cowell. You don’t want quirky folks like Hicks running away with your precious Idol crown? Don’t put them through to the Top 24. But equating sales with talent is certainly no surprise coming from Mr. Teletubbies himself (thanks, Chris Sligh; your timing may have been off, but your accuracy wasn’t).

Have another Katharine McPhee album review from Pop Matters:

The music is….slick and seductive and plastic in exactly the way that makes so much of the exploitation in today’s mass media seem not actually exploitive or sexy at all. It says: She’s hot but she’s wholesome but she’s sooo hot but she’s sooooo unreachable but she’s the girl-next-door but her cha-cha is right there behind that striped dress. Oh, and she can sing…[b]ut no matter how many times the Idol judges say “You’ve got to stand out from the crowd”, the end-product of all that competing is to sound like this: wonderfully anonymous, soulfully generic, deeply and utterly secondary to the forgettable songs, which are themselves mere vessels for the delivery of tricked out production—beats and blips and strings and schmaltzy piano where appropriate. It is product, expertly delivered. You can buy it if you please. Like a pizza or a Big Mac…Mechanical and efficient, this album does its job with minimal soul. Simon Cowell smiles and buys a new black t-shirt, and Clive Davis rubs his hands together greasily. Katharine McPhee, on cue, sings and smiles for the camera. America yawns.

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American Idol: Top 20 Results

Recap wil be late, guys. Life calls.

ELIMINATED TONIGHT:

Nicholas Pedro (“Fever”)
Alaina Alexander (“Not Ready to Make Nice”) (still snarking on Simon — try having the talent to back it up, sweetie pie. College is waiting. THE HORROR!) Alaina cries and hugs her way through the first half of her singout and barely makes it through the second half. Jordin and Sundance cry at her exit. It’s almost enough to melt my cold, black heart. Almost.
AJ Tablado (“Feelin’ Good”)(Sundance cries again!)
Leslie Hunt (“Feelin’ Good”) (who looks like she’s about to die…sob)

I’m officially uninvested this season.

Uhhh…I think Kellie’s had a little, uh, work done.

American Idol: Top 12 Chopping Block

I hope we get some sweet pointy pose action tonight.

Ryan reads us a glittery, dazzling list of celebrities who will be appearing on Idol this season. Diana Ross, Jon Bon Jovi, Gwen Stefani (?), J.Lo (???), Tony Bennett, Martina McBride, and Barry Gibb (!). At least they did a better job of mixing the classics with the contemporaries this season.

Flashback to Tuesday and Wednesday. In short: most of the guys sucked, most of the girls rocked. Melinda Doolittle, Leslie Hunt and Sabrina Sloan are lumped together as the Awesome Arethas; Gina Glocksen and Haley Scarnatoget painted as pale imitations of Celine (which they were). Antonella Barba, Amy Krebs and Alaina Alexander get the “who the hell let these people into a singing contest?” edit, while Lakisha Jones is again touted as the Savior of All Things Musical. Meh.

The group song is Tears for Fears. A good song? Where’s my cheesiness? Where’s my “Love the One You’re With?” Where’s my “Take it Easy?” Boo! Pointy Poses are supposed to be pure Velveeta! This one showcases more boys than girls. Phil Stacey sounds okay, Rudy Cardenas is still annoying. Sundance Head is a shadow of his former self. Blake Lewis, Brandon Rogers, Paul Kim, Chris Sligh and AJ Tablado are all rather interchangable vocally. Jordin Sparks and Melinda both look hot and sound great. Sabrina is still shrieking at me. Lakisha sounds good, but still a little too one-note for my tastes.

So who’s out? We start with the men. Nick Pedro is petrified. Sligh, who quite obviously spent his downtime lurking on message boards and realizing that his Teletubbies jab at Simon was rather ill-timed, quickly backtracks and professes his love and respect for Mr. Il Divo. Well played, Sligh. Well played. I’m still totally underwhelmed by you, though. Anyway, the back row of men line up on the seal. Brandon is safe. Scared-shitless Sundance is safe. Roy Head, lookin’ pretty spry (if not a bit shellacked) for a man his age, kisses his wife in celebration up in the red room. Scabby Chris Richardson will need to request another week off from the Hooters, as he’s safe. Nick is safe. Rave refugee Blake is safe, leaving poor Paul Kim all alone on the seal, and in lightning-quick fashion a la DAUGHTRY!!!11’s shocking boot last year, Paul is toast. Hmm. I didn’t think he was awful…but he wasn’t good enough, that’s for sure. In the red room, Paul’s posse looks pissed. His singout is pitchy, but he’s utterly devastated, so I can’t really rag on him for it. And he’s still making those Faces of the Guy I Dated Two Summers Ago, and it’s still weird. Buh-bye, Paul.

“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?” actually looks like a pretty cool show.

Row of girls. Jordin and her slight bot-ness but objective awesomeness are safe. Amazing Stephanie Edwards is safe, as is shrieky Sabrina, who — sorry — totally gives off the entitlement vibe. I’ll hold out judgment for now, but…yeah. Smoky Leslie and fabulous Melinda are safe. The power of VFTW plus a thousand “omg shes so pretty!!!111” votes transferred from McPhee to Antonella keep her safe. Amy gets the boot.

Commerical break. I Google. Lakisha, Melinda, Leslie and Stephanie do not have fansites. Alaina and Antonella do. That’s so fucked up.

Fantasia rocks the house vocally, but her ill-fitting lavendar dress is just all kinds of unfortunate. Randy does a little bow-down motion toward her, giving her the kind of love that Ruben and Taylor will never, ever see from this show. It’s really obnxious, considering what a self-parody Randy’s become over the past year. Fantasia announces that she’ll be starring as Celie in “The Color Purple” on Broadway. Dude. I saw Fantasia’s Lifetime movie, and…her acting was just baaaaad. I hope she’s improved.

More girls on the seal. Boring Haley is boringly safe. Lakisha is obviously safe, and I do want her to make the Top 12, if only to see what Dean Banowetz does with her hair. Gina, who looks really pretty tonight, is safe, and it’s down to Nicole Tranquillo and Alaina. It’s Alaina, right? If there’s any justice in this world? Well, there’s no justice, and Nicole is out. Okay, I didn’t like Nicole — something about her rubbed me the wrong way — but she was miles ahead of Alaina. Oh well. She sings out, and it’s okay, but she looks so misplaced, like a college student in search of her 8 AM class accidentally wandered onto the soundstage. Look, Nicole, either look like you’re making an effort or go the anti-fashion route, but either way, at least look like you care (or care enough not to care).

Room for one more on the chopping block. Sligh lives to scheme another day. Phil and his crooked cap are safe. Aww, his wife is so adorable! Jared, AJ, boring but safe, leaving twee little Sanjaya Malakar and Rudy on the seal. Naturally, Rudy is gone. Ryan asks Simon what he has to say, and Simon says you can’t turn an okay singer into a great singer. If he’s merely okay, why’d you put him through to the Top 24, Simon?

Bad Day montage featuring DAUGHTRY!!!11’s “Home.” (Gah!) Ryan implores us to stay tuned for the series finale of “The OC,” which I most certainly will not. Rudy sings, and Quincy Jones refuses to clap along. And sadly, I’ve forgotten these four folks already.

Know your current events.

Some of these articles come courtesy of the inimitable lisab over at MJ’s. Thanks!

So I’m feeling better this morning, which is good. But I’m still going to take it easy. Just ’cause.

Here’s a news article about Top 24 contender Leslie Hunt:

…Hunt comes from a family of artists and musicians, and she’s performed self-composed vocal and piano pieces locally at various establishments, including the Norris Cultural Arts Center. Hunt is a fan of artists such as Bjork, Nina Simone and Fiona Apple, who have made a living on the outskirts of the pop mainstream. And she has always been determined to become known for her own material — not for rehashing someone else’s songs.

An admirable and laudable goal, but I don’t see it completely happening if she wins the whole shebang. She may be one of the contestants who benefits from going out third or fourth and signing indie. We’ll just have to see. Oh, and here’s what one of Leslie’s former employers had to say about her voice:

Leslie’s voice is like velvet, while everybody else paints in Technicolor.

That’s very cool. And true, from what I’ve heard so far. A lot of the girls just seem so interchangable this year.

Here’s a little bit more about Nicole Tranquillo. She sings in a group called Soul School at U of Arts, and her parents encouraged her to try out for Idol. She never got to sing in New York, because police cut off the lines, so she went to Memphis instead. I haven’t heard a lot of her, but the buzz is that she’s a very talented girl.

Contender Rudy Cardenas plans to kick off the semi-finals with a little rock (more Journey), then move to some Latin-tinged performances if he advances. That could be cool and different–the closest this show has ever come to Latin is Gloria Estefan night and Shakira, singing in English, belly-dancing with Wyclef Jean. But Rudy, just remember — singing Ricky Martin doesn’t count.

Nicholas Pedro, who “bowed out” of the competition last year, rues the day he ever made that decision. He also enjoys the nickname “Boston Nick.” Oh no.

And finally, read more about Lakisha Jones and how she dedicated one of her performances to her daughter, Brionne, here.

Hey, remember that Chris Daughtry article I linked to yesterday? I missed one very interesting quote in it, and it comes from everyone’s favorite Dark Sith, Clive Davis. Says Clive:

He was the first Idol that I’d ever met who had material that he had written…That was compelling.

Umm…no, actually. Bo Bice had plenty of original music up his sleeve, too. But whatever, Clive. Whatever.

Katharine McPhee got another craptastic review today. From the Worcester Telegram:

McPhee’s self-titled disc is full of bad generic knockoffs inspired by established artists, including Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani and even the Pussycat Dolls. It’s hard to catch McPheever when McPhee doesn’t even break a sweat. Instead, anyone with a smidgen of musical taste might have an allergic reaction listening to this disc…While you’re at it, how about standing up being your own person, not a cookie cutout of Beyoncé, Britney, Christina, Gwen or Mariah? (two out of four stars)

To be fair, the reviewer does seem impressed with the work she does on the ballads, so check out the full review if you get a chance.

Crystal ball.

Before making a series of predictions that, two months down the road, will probably serve as nothing more than evidence of my stupidity (and a strong suggestion that I should never, ever set foot in an OTB), should we first talk about the latest ridiculous piece of gossip to hit the net? Yeah, we might as well. Star Magazine, that ballast of integrity, is reporting that Taylor Hicks is a cursin’, temper tantrum-throwin’, hissy-fit havin’, nose-in-the-air, cold, impersonable diva. Says an “insider,” Taylor didn’t want a bodyguard accompanying him to the bathroom (egads! Stone him, I say!) and didn’t want to be in the show once he made the Top 8 anymore (which I guess is why he kept on turning in those high-energy, crowd-pleasing performances). Also ridiculous is the claim that “all the male contestants became friends — except Hicks.” Which is why Elliott Yamin and Ace Young (not to mention Paris Bennett) showed up at the finale waving sticks with a big ol’ photo attached to them — ’cause, you know, he was a dick. It’s also why Elliott, Ace, Bucky Covington and Chris Daughtry jammed with Taylor and LiMBO after all those American Idol concerts — ’cause Taylor is a jackass.

This is the second patently false story to be created about Taylor (the first being the massacring of his Relix magazine quotes in order to spin him into an ungrateful little bitch). Coupled with the fact that the last few episodes of Idol have deftly avoided mentioning the fact that he actually has a CD out, I’m beginning to suspect that there is an effort — well, not necessarily to sabotage Taylor, but at the very least, to get the hell away from American Idol, so that DAUGHTRY11!!!1 and Katharine McPhee (who, interestingly enough and despite all her promo, has only sold about 163,000 copies of her album) can reign supreme as default co-winners. I say, run, Taylor. Run as far away as you can from Idol. Build a career based upon respect and talent from indie greats in the music industry, instead of based on the fleeting love of Extra! and People Magazine.

Anywhoo. So we’ve got a Top 24, ladies and gents, and I’m gonna make some calls. Who’s Top 12-bound? Who’s cannon fodder? Who could sneak out of the shadows a la Elliott and turn out to be a major force to be reckoned with in the months ahead? Here are my predictions. (And no, I could not fit ALL their pictures here.)

Like, so obviously Top 12: Well, let’s start with two of the most obvious: Blake Lewis and Chris Sligh. Blake’s got some mad skillz, there’s no doubting that. The boy is extremely talented. But does he sing as well as he beat-boxes? I don’t think it matters at this stage in the game. He’s got a scarily huge fanbase over at the teen-dream headquarters that are idolforums. He’s got frosted, gimmicky hair. And he’s received MAJOR pimping. He’s in.

Same goes for Sligh, who’s probably the most savvy contestant this show’s ever seen, and from what I’ve read of his blogs, just generally an awesome person all around. Sligh knows that half the battle on this show is winning them over with your personality, and he’s milking that for all it’s worth. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to see enough of his actual performing, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s a lock for the Top 12, but at some point in time, his vocals will have to trump his sense of humor, lest he avoid becoming this season’s Pickler.

Also a lock, I think, is Gina Glocksen. She’s received the biggest push out of all of the women, and she seems to have a fairly decent-sized fanbase. The one thing that could hurt her? She comes off as a rocker chick, but word on the street is that she’ll be focusing more on pop music in the competition. If the audience feels duped, they may not respond with votes.

I’m also gonna go out on a limb and say that Sundance Head will be making the Top 12. I think he’s got a decent base, even though they lay low. And it’s possible that people may remember his initial audition and be willing to forgive his missteps in Hollywood. But I also think that there’s more to Sundance than we’ve been show, and I have a feeling that he pulled out all the stops for his final a cappella performance in Hollywood. The viewing audience wasn’t treated to it, leaving the audience with the impression that he just flat-out sucks and was inexplicably put through. But I’m not sure just how low Idol would stoop in putting through a singer who bombed on everything in Hollywood, so I’m going to predict that he’ll come out swinging in the semi-finals and earn his way into the Top 12.

We’ll also be seeing sweet, quiet Melinda Doolittle in the finals, mark my words. Even if she stumbles in the semi-finals, or turns in subpar performances, I expect the judges to coddle her with “that wasn’t your best performance, but you’ll sail through” sentiments. Personality might be a problems after that, though; she’ll have to inspire people to care about her.

Brandon Rogers and his mega-watt smile are going through to the Top 12. He’s got the squee! factor, and while I find his vocals a bit nondescript at this point, a lot of people really like him, and I think, so does the show. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t make the Top 12.

I also expect Jordin Sparks to make it. She’s incredibly talented, but even if she doesn’t live up to it in the semi-finals, she’ll go through, because America likes putting through cute talented teenagers, and Simon enjoys screwing with them once they make the Top 12 — telling them to sing songs more their age, but then berating them for being bland when they do. Ahh, it’s a sport, I tell you. Comparisons between Jordin and Lisa Tucker have already been drawn, and not just because are both young with curly hair and cocoa skin, either. Lisa had a penchant for picking songs that aged her about fifty years (though it never bothered me, personally) and falling flat when she tried bouncier numbers; the same may happen to Jordin.

Obviously cannon fodder: I think it’s pretty clear that Simon built up Alaina Alexander for the sheer pleasure of tearing her down later. This very pretty girl simply cannot sing very well. She’s off-pitch, affected and is always gasping for air. Expect lots of tears when her dreams are crushed and she’s forced to go get that college degree after all.

Nicole Tranquillo. All together now: “Who?” Unless she really comes out fighting, she’s toast. Remember Heather Cox last year? Girlfriend never had a chance. Neither did Melissa McGhee, who managed to sneak into the Final 12 (and to not last long), because I think there was voter backlash against Simon for reaming Melissa (who gave a great performance) and for coddling Ayla Brown, who was meh. Anyway, Nicole doesn’t have the benefit of…well, anyone knowing who the hell she is, so I don’t see her going very far.

The same goes for unknown Amy Krebs, who, despite being toothy and cute-as-a-button, seems like filler. It’s possible that she might make it, but no way in hell will both she and Nicole make the Top 12.

I fear for adorable Sanjaya Malakar. I’ve yet to be blown away by him, and I know that American Idol loves to be able to cut down a couple of teenagers during the semi-finals. I see it happening with him, unless of course he becomes a Covais-like sensation. He needs to step it up if he wants to make the Top 12, but at this point, it’s not looking good.

I’m also getting a strong filler vibe from Nick Pedro, although I can’t really put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe because he reminds me of Judd Harris? Hey, I didn’t say I had an accurate or logical prediction method, now did I? And Sabrina Sloan? Sabrina who? She’s out, no matter how talented she is.

Haley Scarnato has got to go. She wasn’t all that during her audition, and she was even worse during Hollywood. I’m not sure what they’re seeing in her, other than that she’s someone to focus the negative energy on early in the competition.

Middle of the pack: Jared “J.L.” Cotter, A.J. Tablado, Lakeesha Jones, Phil Stacey, Chris Richardson, and Paul Kim all have potential, whether it’s singing, personality, or squee-wise.

Possible dark horses: Rudy Cardenas has annoying boy-band vocals, and I stil haven’t forgiven him for the way he massacred “Georgia” during his a cappella performance, but he made the Top 24 regardless. He may have potential. By no means do I think he is a lock for the Top 12, but I won’t be surprised at all if he makes it.

Antonella Barba has also gotten her fair share of airtime, but more for her squabbling with her groupmates than for her actual singing. And from what I’ve heard, I think she’s got a good voice, but not a great voice. The tweens love her (becuz omg shez so pretty!!11111!), and she may make the Top 12, but I don’t see her as unique or talented enough to pull off a victory. In fact, it seems like most of the girls are pretty interchangable vocally this year. It’s weird.

Stephanie Edwards was unseen and unheard before last night. She sounded good in the tiny little clip we were showed, and she has the potential to sneak in a la Latoya and pull out a show-stopping performance. With her short, highlighted hair, she also has a distinctive look, and runs less of a risk of getting lost in the shuffle of blandly pretty girls like Alaina, Antonella, Amy and Nicole.

A definite dark horse candidate — and my current favorite — is the wonderful Leslie Hunt. She’s already got points in her favor for memorability — a distinctive look, a distinctive voice — and impeccable taste in music (which will hopefully translate into impeccable song choices). Girlfriend loves her some Nina Simone, which means I loves me some Leslie. This was also the girl featured in the original “Is she the ONE???????” promo spots for Idol, and yes, she can sing.

American Idol: Top 24!

Yaaaaay! The chair. Who goes? Who stays? Who showboats their way down the Green Mile?

Roll credits. Is Taylor still there, or has he quietly been edged out by DAUGHTRY!!111? Nope, looks like he’s still there. But it’s only a matter of time.

We’ll do it the short way.

Your Top 24: Sanjaya Malakar, who sashays down the hallway. Obviously the kid has talent, but I wasn’t blown away by his final performance, and I think they’re putting him through as pure canon fodder. I hope I’m wrong about that, because he seems really sweet. Fabulous Melinda Doolittle, although her final performance displays a potential problem with nervous, goat-y vibrato. Her new shag haircut is adorable, though. Snoozy Brandon Rogers. Gina Glocksen, despite the fact that she never seemed to rise above her back-up singers during her final performance. Haley Scarnato, another travesty, since her final performance is woefully off-pitch. Phil Stacey, who despite not impressing me during his audition, impresses the hell out of me now. Chris Sligh, who is still just a gimmicky personality for me right now. Taylor managed to rise above his shtick with his gorgeous vocals; I’m not so sure Sligh can do the same. Stupid fucking Blake Lewis, who still looks like an Ecstasy addict. Potential Lisa Tucker 2.0 Jordin Sparks. Paul Kim, whose stupid claim to fame is that he shall be barefoot from here on out. They really are scraping the bottom of the barrell for gimmicks this year, aren’t they? Anyway. Blue-eyeshadowed Stephanie Edwards. Quirky Leslie Hunt and her smoky, unaffected, effortless vocals, and her awesome strawberry-blonde highlights. She could be an early favorite. Nick Pedro. Alaina “God forbid I go to COLLEGE and get a JOB” Alexander, in another tragedy, namely because her final performance was gaspier than a fish flopping on the countertop. Chris “You mean I’m NOT Justin Timberlake?” Richardson. Belter Lakeesha Jones displays more subtlety and nuance this time around. She could win me over yet, although she definitely needs to go bra-shopping. Nicole Tranquillo, who has a nice, if a little nondescript. Jared Cotter. Amy Krebs, who I kind of like, despite her blindingly white teeth.

Future Trivial Pursuit questions: Tall Anna Kearns, who debuts a strange, puffy little pompadour. Poker-faced Bernard Williams. Eric “Justin” Davis, who apparently had the backstory to end all backstories (having spent five years in prison before becoming a Christian youth pastor). Tami Gosnell, in the first of many terrible injustices of the night. Jimmy “Little Ruben” McNeal and Errick Johnson. Gorgeous, ridiculously talented, Harvard-educated Thomas Lowe, in another injustice. Someone named Olivia Quibert-Hurst. Cute Tatianna McConnico. Monique Vieras. Jerome Chism. Joelle James, done in either by her unheard vocals or her strange Dolly Parton-meets-Rose Marie hairdo. Exotic-looking Princess Johnson. BUCKSTEIN!.

SHOWDOWN!: For the girls, it comes down to Marisa “Love me for my voice, not my body” Rhodes (her provocative photos have since been taken down) and Antonella Barba. They fake-wish each other good luck in the elevator, which is fucking hysterical. Marisa has the far superior voice, but inexplicably, Antonella makes the Top 24. Marisa kind of freaks out about it. For the boys, Tommy Daniels and his over-gelled fro take on Sundance Head Easy call, right? You’d think so, since Sundance didn’t do well in the first two rounds of Hollywood. But we don’t really know, since none of Tommy’s mad Hollywood skillz were never displayed. Then again, neither was Sundance’s final performance, which could have been either a masterpiece or an epic tragedy. Anyway, Sundance is through, leaving Tommy all the more available to flick off the cameras…and to make his future court dates.

So who are my picks so far? I haven’t given up on Sundance yet, although I’m not particularly loyal to him if he’s not up to par. Same goes for Leslie Hunt. I could also see myself warming up to Lakeesha and Melinda. But we shall see…

American Idol: Hollywood

Why is it that after every viewing of American Idol, I immediately get a craving for peanut butter? Is it because of that banana guy? Eh.

Hollywood, bitches!

I have to start off with this. What the hell did Taylor Hicks do to piss off the producers of this show so much? (Besides actually winning, I mean.) Katharine’s crotch shot of an album cover is all up in my face at the top of the Family Viewing Hour, DAUGHTRY!!1111! gets like eight hundred years of pimping as the Savior of Music, and Taylor? Just some crazy gray-haired dude who happened to wander onstage during the finale last year and get caught up in some confetti, I guess. Oh well. At least Taylor can probably count on the Soul Patrol to carry him through a long and solid (if not particularly glittery) musical career, instead of coasting solely on media hype, only to flame out spectacularly.

Round one. The girls start us off. Jory Steinberg somehow managed to both pack and wear the exact same outfit as Paula Abdul, which is creepy. Oh, and her singing isn’t really all that great — it’s affected, and there’s just no uniqueness to her voice at all. She gets cut, and sashays down the hallway, all “I thought it was good.” Well, I thought it sucked, as did the judges. Also? Girlfriend’s got one long face.

Stupid obnoxious Perla cootchie-cootchies her way through “Hips Don’t Lie,” which is apparently the only song she knows. (Cute skirt, though.) Simon puts her through, but tells her that she’s more personality than talent at this point. She’s understandably upset about this, and whines that she can’t stop being herself. No one asked her to stop being herself, but she needs to have the pipes to back it up. And she just doesn’t. Baylie Brown (whose website has been taken down, but if you Google her name, you’ll see the cached remnants that describe the supposed desperate-to-get-off-the-farm girl as a “seasoned professional”) speak-sings her way through a song, and gets through on…her blonde hair, I guess. Also going through: Gina Glocksen, Jamie Lynn “Kellie Pickler Who?” Ward, and Melinda Doolittle. Not so lucky: Army gal Rachel Jenkins, who gets cut after a lackluster performance; Ashlynn “Pour Some Sugar on Me” Carr, whose bitchface upon getting cut is priceless; rough-and-tumble Porcelana Patino, and daddy-doesn’t-love-me Sarah Burgess.

The men. Second-timer Bryan Miller sticks to his audition song, and it’s much nicer this time. Reagan Idol Jarrod Fowler sings Josh Groban boringly, and gets cut. Matt Sato and his beautiful eyebrows boyband their way through to the next round, as does Chris Sligh, who doesn’t get a whole lot of pimping this episode. Methinks TPTB have caught wind of the Soul Patrol-like gravy train that is the Sligh Phenomenon, and are going to do their damndest to stall his advancement at every turn (or at least they’ll step in once the possibility of his win starts to outweigh his entertainment value, because you know the last thing they want is another Taylor.) Also making the first cut: Brandon Rogers, Nick Pedro, Sean Michel, Phil Stacey, and stupid beatboxing Blake Lewis, who eventually WILL have to sing a song during this competition, unless the judges decided to allow him to beatbox his way through Diane Warren night. Sundance Head sings way too high up in his range, and displays none of the bluesiness or grit that made him my early favorite. He gets through on Paula’s generosity, apparently.

Round two. Group-hunting proves difficult for Matt Sato. Matthew BUCKSTEIN! joins a harmony-less trio, while for-now pimpees Chris Sligh, Rudy Cardenas, Tom Lowe and Blake Lewis , who still looks like he should be popping E at a rave, immediately hook up and later deliver a kick-ass performance (made all the more kickass, admittedly, by the beatboxing, although I still want to see him get off the crutch).

Perla can’t harmonize (and looks and dances like she’s being Tasered), and she’s out. Baylie totally blanks out on her words, and she’s gone. And God doesn’t like her, according to Amanda Coluccio. Sundance Head doesn’t do so hot, but lives to see another day. It also seems as though Sean “Fidel bin Jesus” Michel didn’t make it.

Final cut. Through to Hollywood are Melinda, Blake, Sligh, Gina, Tom, BUCKSTEIN!, and Sundance, as well as Sanjaya Malakar, Marisa Rhodes, Haley Scarnato, Leslie Hunt, Tommy Daniels, Jordin Sparks, Tami Gosnell, Anna Kearns and Paul Kim. Not making it are Shyamali Malakar (who, sobbing, is consoled by her equally devastated brother), Jamie Lynn, and Bryan Miller.


October 2017
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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "