Archive for the 'nicole tranquillo' Category

Shoes and ships and sealing wax.

I didn’t want to address this, but looking at my blog stats, I feel like I have to. Unless American Idol takes some sort of official action, I won’t be addressing the Antonella Barba scandal. You won’t find pictures (or links to the pictures) of her here, nor will you find long, drawn-out analyses of her behavior. If you want that, go to TWoP.

Check out the Taylor Hicks with SouthFlorida.com. Taylor comments on the ongoing “who’s the real Idol” debate:

In an interview, Hicks said that to measure him against, say, Daughtry or Underwood is a case of apples and oranges. “You know, it’s funny: People want to try and compare us, and that’s hard to do because I’m not singing rock and I’m not singing country,” he said. “So to compare us — I find that interesting because we’re in different genres.” Hicks said “interesting” with a droll air that suggested what he meant was “inappropriate” or “misinformed.” “If I was a rocker, I could see that [comparison],” he said. “But I’m a blue-eyed soul performer.”

Hee. This was also an interesting tidbit:

Whatever the size of the audience for his brand of contemporary blue-eyed soul, Hicks called the album “definitely a step in the right direction,” adding, “I worked very closely with that producer to capture who I am as an artist and who I was as an American Idol.”

A “step in the right direction,” not, note, “the embodiment of who I am musically and professionally.”

Entertainment Weekly continues it’s tradition of scoring the first round of Idol post-bootee interviews. This week, Shirley Halperin spoke to Paul Kim, Rudy Cardenas, Amy Krebs and Nicole Tranquillo about their short runs on the show. Paul Kim insists that he’s been singing barefooted for five years and that it wasn’t a “gimmick,” just him being him. (Note to Paul — longevity does not a personality trait make; a gimmick’s a gimmick). Kim also reveals that “Careless Whisper” was only his sixth song choice, the first being a Donny Hathawy number (the first five wouldn’t clear), and that he was sick with bronchitis before the performance. Despite his illness, Kim says that at the end of the day, he just didn’t sing as well as he needed to, and that’s why he got booted off. (Hee. Refreshing to see an Idol take personal responsibility for a sucky performance, isn’t it?) Rudy Cardenas is keeping his chin up — he says his performance was “a little much,” but at the same time, he completely embraces the cheesiness that is American Idol. Aww. I kind of like him now.

Amy Krebs wishes Paula had stuck up for her a little bit more (um… you weren’t entitled to it, sweetie), but seems to have taken the judges’ criticisms to heart, noting that she’s always struggled with feeling comfortable in her own skin. Oh, and if she were a scented candle, she’d be cinnamon. And Nicole Tranquillo stands by her song choice, regardless of Randy’s “too urban” criticism. I kind of like that attitude — upon replay, her performance wasn’t that bad, certainly no worse than certain people who should have gone home in her place, and it’s just too damn bad that she didn’t fit into the little pre-packaged box the judges had already picked out for her.

Please to enjoy Katharine McPhee’s new video for “Over It.” I guess the plot revolves around her filming a little video (video within a video — how very meta!) about how — you guessed it — “over it” she is, and then giving it to some guy who dissed her. The video in and of itself is done fairly well, although the plot is asinine, as any woman worth her salt knows that giving a dude a DVD of you moping around on a couch over him is just going to make him all the more glad that he got the hell away from you as quickly as he did. But whatever, it’s TRL. Anyway, the weird thing about this video is that Katharine’s face is kind of blank throughout. She does okay as an actress during the plot scenes, when she’s laughing in a car with her friends, then seems a little deflated when she sees the offending dude at a party. But during the narration, she’s like a zombie. Is she wistful and over it? Is she angry and over it? Does she want the guy to know that she wants nothing to do with him again, or does she hope that the DVD of her rolling around on the carpet in a backless dress, hiking her skirt up to mid-thigh, will entice Cheaty McCheatser to come back to her? I don’t get it, and it’s not really Katharine’s fault as much as it is the director’s. I had the same problem with Daughtry’s video. But then again, videos (or songs, for that matter) don’t serve to tell stories these days so much as they serve as a miniature photo shoot for the singer. Meh.

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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.

Trix are for kids.

I have the flu. Probably divine retribution for all my snarking. Because God only likes good people.

So we’ve got a barrage of interviews and news articles to round up here. Let’s begin with a nice big Entertainment Weekly piece on Chris Daughtry. EW describes how Daughtry, who was playing an afternoon set at a children’s hospital, cancelled a Q&A conference, calls a collection of photos from his Idol days “cheesy,” and just generally is sick and tired of being associated with the show that is single-handedly responsible for his fame:

When a hospital administrator introduces him as ”Chris from American Idol,” the tightly wound singer snaps. He turns discreetly to a member of his entourage and whispers, ”Are they even going to mention the album? Are they even going to talk about the band? It’s just Idol,” saying the last word with special disdain.

You know what’d be really cool? Like, if three weeks from now, the New York Post picks up on this story and runs its own piece, perhaps with a headline like “CHRIS DAUGHTRY: DON’T MENTION MY NAME AND ‘IDOL’ IN THE SAME SENTENCE.” Then Chris can spend the next few weeks issuing press releases and going on talk shows to explain how his statements were taken out of context and how he’s truly very grateful to Idol. I think that would be pretty cool.

Oh, and the audience at a typical DAUGHTRY!!1111!! show? Not quite the hardcore rawker set you might be imagining:

A sold-out midweek show at Los Angeles’ El Rey is filled with moms in bedazzled peasant shirts and clumps of kids sipping Shirley Temples. When the compact, muscular singer bounds on stage wearing his standard uniform — dark T-shirt, flared jeans, and wallet chain — the room erupts in shrieks. A woman screams repeatedly, ”You’re so hot, Chris!”

Bedazzled? HA! Sounds like the Soul Patrol and the Chrisaholics are probably members of the same PTA.

New Orleans is loving them some Taylor Hicks:

The Krewe of Endymion, one of Carnival’s best known groups, was set to make its annual march through the city streets today, with “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks leading it. Hicks was given a standing ovation when he appeared at a Bourbon Street restaurant Friday, as elated diners waved their napkins to a brass band’s beat. “It’s amazing to me what a difference a year makes,” said the 30-year-old singer, who was expected to perform with Al Green and Journey at Endymion’s ball tonight.

Parade, schmarade! What I want to know is, did Randy Jackson play bass? Get your priorities straight, L.A. Times!

Katharine McPhee, last seen shilling for Gillette razors (hey, a gal’s gotta make a living), has some harsh words for shock jock (not potential Anna Nicole baby daddy) Howard Stern. And I have to say…I back her 100% on this. Apparently, Katharine was invited to appear on Stern’s show. Here’s her response:

Howard Stern is a pig. I would never do his show. Why would I do a show that degrades women the way Howard does? No thank you.

Good for you, Kat. Just promise me that no matter what direction your career takes or how successful you are, you’ll stick to your guns about this.

And finally, want to know some more about your new Top 24? Some local news outlets have published interviews with their home contestants. Get the scoop on Chicagoans Leslie Hunt and Gina Glocksen, as well as U of Arts student Nicole Tranquillo. Oh, and for those of you who (like me) mourn the premature exit of the sensational Tami Gosnell, you can check out some of her original music here.


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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. "