Posted by: dcmjlive | April 14, 2010

Top 9 Redux: Elvis Week

Elvis week and Adam Lambert mentors. I actually think Adam did an OK job with mentoring them. I was expecting everyone though to give out of the box performances with great dynamics. Somehow, it seemed flat still. Adam could only really do good dynamics with himself than with the idols.

Crystal Bowersox – Saved

What can I say, Crystal gave a very solid performance. My problem is though that it felt stiff like a normal Casey James performance. I felt that the gospel singers gave more movement than Crystal. I felt that since she took a gospel feel, she should have made it feel like “praise the lord, I’m saved.” It just lacked that enthusiasm that was constricted by just standing in one spot.

GRADE: 1.5

Andrew Garcia – Hound Dog

Do I have to critique it? OK fine, it was like a sick hound dog. It felt like he was dragging through it. It felt so boring and lackadaisical. But there’s a sure thing, that bad arrangement will never catch a rabbit and won’t be a friend of mine. Vocals…they’re ok. But that’s the only consolation

GRADE: 5.0

Tim Urban – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Can I just say, Tim is doing a reverse Jason Castro. You know how Jason showed so much potential in the start but started to become lax at the end, it’s the reverse for Tim. This performance of Tim’s felt like Jason’s Hallelujah or even Casey’s Jealous Guy. I thought he would stick to his three notes but he added dynamics, he showed vulnerability and definitely gave the best performance of the night. I now have no problem if VFTW decides to vote for Tim because he extremely deserves to be there.

GRADE: 1.0

Lee DeWyze – A Little Less Conversation

The problem with this song is that it can get karaoke quick but the thing with his rendition was that it felt current like Ellen said. What I liked about this performance is the new arrangement with the high rasp notes that really worked out. I get what Kara says, there needs to be more balance between rasp and smooth-sexiness. But it was really good. The ending seemed a bit off though. It didn’t end off well.

GRADE: 1.25

Aaron Kelly – Blue Suede Shoes

Like Adam, I was surprised. I never knew that Aaron had that raspy low register that seemed so good. Vocally, that was hot. I mean, it proved to me that he could actually work his lower register. Problem is the song because it needed a heavy amount of swag. He decided to not change the arrangement much and with that, it needed that grunge effect and tapping some high register notes. So all together, not so great but good.

GRADE: 1.75

Siobhan Magnus – Suspicious Minds

Vocally, I think she did a good job. The thing however, I didn’t like the start. The whole song seemed too old fashioned for me. For me, the whole song lacked some power and consistency. It was only the last notes that somehow worked. It was pretty weak for me.

GRADE: 2.25

Michael Lynche – In the Ghetto

We have a contender for Tim. Actually, he might have even done it an inch better than Tim just due to the incredible soul that came out. It really was a terrific job. I loved the vulnerability of the song. He phrased the song so well and I loved how he did these dramatic pauses. It was dope.

GRADE: 1.0

Katie Stevens – Baby What Do You Want Me to Do

I’m getting surprised by all the ones that I considered to have no game in idol and never felt like they deserved a spot in the top 12. Now, I feel like Katie Stevens is doing a Diana DeGarmo as MJ Santili comments. She finally showcased her range, gave a powerful performance and blew the roof off. A few pitch and tempo problems here and there… caused by the swaybots but not a bad performance nonetheless.

GRADE: 1.25

Casey James – Lawdy Miss Clawdy

It seems like the pimp spot is getting under utilized as of late. The problem of this performance can be summarized into two things. First would be he performed in the stinking pit of death. Hasn’t people learned that after both Matt and Kris failed to give solid performances there, no one should ever perform there? The song felt like it was going nowhere with all the swaybots being out of tempo. And he did give a good vocal but I didn’t feel anything again because of these swaybots.  Second would be the stiffness of Casey James. I’ve said it a thousand times and even with Adam mentoring, he still needs to learn how to command the stage, or in this case, the pit.

GRADE: 2.25

OK… so my favorites of the night have to be Tim and Mike. Worst performance came from Andrew. Not a bad night.

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 9, 2010

Coach Out

Since  I’ve been blogging about it for the past weeks, I’m going to make Survivor a mainstay on this blog as well. And again, for the third consecutive week, they take out the strongest player left in the game. Good job Villains, you do know how to strike a loss. But wait, didn’t the Heroes do that when they voted out Tom and Steph?

Well who knew that Coach would be eliminated because of Sandra’s scheme. It’s true, the way to win survivor is to outwit people. To outwit, you have to know what would make this person vote this way. Further, put that wit together with the cutfest manifesto of Sandra that “as long as it isn’t me” and you’ve got one big threat under the radar. It’s Pearl Islands all over again and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandra not Parvati not Russell wins this.

Interesting how Russell made it clear at Tribal that he would be voting out Courtney but in a weird twist of events, Danielle, who suggested the idea voted Coach out. But then again, Parvati could have convinced Danielle to stick with the plan. With that, it shows the powers of both Parv and Sand.

Nothing exciting this week but the next real episode of Survivor (not next week  as it’s recap week) has been spoiled. It’s so obvious that by showing JT say “I’m gonna give the immunity idol to Russell”, and stating that this would be the dumbest move ever in Survivor History only points to one thing…

JT WOULD BE THE FIRST OUT IN THE MERGE.

Now seriously, I’m not shocked. With JT thinking that it’s a girl’s alliance over the villains, he seriously read the cards wrong. Hantz already described the scenario… the heroes tribe would go looking for Hantz to be their tiebreaker. He would give the hidden immunity to Hantz, Hantz would find another hidden immunity and give it yet again to Parvati. Now what would happen is, Hantz would take this opportunity and vote out JT. JT will be blindsided and hey, good luck.

This obviously would beat Tyson’s stupid move this tribal. Speaking of Tyson and ok, I’ll include Rob and Coach, it shows the effect of how the assumption of  a merge can clearly signal the voting strategy. With the heroes tribe, it was utterly stupid  to do the alliance voting way early in the game but with the villains, it really is highly understandable. Too bad they read the timing wrong. It shows with their decision to dismantle the camp.

Things I do know:

  1. Jerri is definitely regretting her decision in voting Boston Rob.
  2. Russell is feeling power course through his veins.
  3. Sandra has now found Russell’s weakness and use it to his advantage. She’ll be the puppet master of the puppet master. This is a better position to be in.
  4. Candice and Amanda now have their doubts about JT. If JT wouldn’t have done that decision, I know he would be at the bottom of the totem pole if the Heroes did reach the top 5.
  5. I miss Rob, Tom, Steph and Tyson already…
Posted by: dcmjlive | April 7, 2010

Top 9 Week: Lennon and McCartney

Given that this is a week Kris Allen would love, I wish that this week would have been present in that season. But more on Kris later because there were a few performances that would inevitably be compared to some of his renditions. I’m sort of glad that the two who decided to pick songs Kris did are frontrunners but uhm… later on that.

A note on Camp Should-a-been, it’ll be interesting to note how it goes, especially after last week… I’ve been tracking it early and there’ll be some shockers in the way so don’t you miss that when this season ends.

OK, down to business…

Aaron Kelly – The Long and Winding Road

Hmm…I think instead of the song being perfect for Aaron, Aaron was perfect for the song…in a bad way. His rendition seemed to me like a long and winding road and I was hoping for it to escalate emotionally… And it didn’t. I think it was just a very lazy and not well-thought performance.

GRADE: 4.0

Katie Stevens – Let it Be

Well, with Didi gone, this opens the opportunity for Katie to actually sing this song. I would have to say that she finally learned to connect to the song. I don’t know but I think that song needed more country to be a bit perfect. She finally got soul into the song though but with some country stylings, it would have been amazing. Not a bad vocal though.

GRADE: 1.5

Andrew Garcia – Can’t Buy Me Love

I’m not digging the arrangement. Plus, I think bandzilla did overcome him as he was defeated by it. It just didn’t work for me. Plus, he’s been really sharp on his notes and it felt to me that he was saying some poem rather than singing a song. It lacked some swagger and confidence saying, no you can’t buy me love.

GRADE: 3.0

Michael Lynche – Eleanor Rigby

Big Mike is definitely bringing his soul on. I don’t know but it really pales in comparison to David Cook’s version. Boo at me all you like but I wasn’t totally feeling this one. And at times, he did feel sharp and out of tune.

GRADE: 1.75

Crystal Bowersox – Come Together

I’m personally a fan of Crystal but I don’t think the song suited her. It’s the same as how the song didn’t suit Kris Allen. Crystal and Kris are singers who could attack songs with great messages and make it their own but when singing a song that has joo joo eyeballs and butterfinger, you kinda say…what? And I just think most of the performance, she was awfully sharp and out of tune. I don’t know, at least Kris was in tune.

GRADE: 2.5

Tim Urban – All My Loving

Hmm…can I just say? Beatles week suits this Beatles looking guy. I mean, he’s got the look, he’s got the guitar and he’s really busting a good rendition of All My Loving. It for me is the perfect song choice for him and it suited both his voice and range perfectly. I felt it was a smoother performance than usual and none of his high notes seemed forced. Great job.

GRADE: 1.25 (Am I really giving Tim this while I give Crystal a 2.5?)

Casey James – Jealous Guy

Casey decided to choose a song that no one has sung yet on the idol stage. He also chose a song that not so many know as compared to the songs that the other idols picked. Furthermore, he decided to go off-route from his normal up-tempo, electric-guitar-swinging songs. It was the first time in a long time that he didn’t feel so stiff. It was a first time in a long time that he felt natural. I was simply magnetized by this performance. It was really endearing and it felt so organic. This performance is leaps and bounds better than Tim Urban’s but since I have no other higher grade to give:

GRADE: 1.0

Siobhan Magnus – Across the Universe

This song of Siobhan is finally something we haven’t heard from her since House of the Rising Sun. And I would have to say that this is my favorite performance of hers since then. It was great not to hear her scream at me and I was almost drawn to it as I was with Casey. This felt at par with Tim’s so:

GRADE: 1.25

Lee DeWyze – Hey Jude

One word: WEIRD. I don’t know what to feel out of the performance. It started smooth until he broke that high note, which brought out his raspy core. But I just felt that when he started bringing all the high notes and the rasp to his voice, it didn’t feel right with the arrangement. What’s more is, even if Lee is one of my favorites, it felt disconnected from the song. It became even more awkward as those bagpipes descended from the stairs and I was saying, what the heck is happening. Lastly, it’s something that Kris Allen did during tour and he brought justice to it’s emotional core. This just felt like Lee showing his voice, which I normally like and singing  a song like some drunk fool.

GRADE: 2.5

So yeah, this was a weird week for me. It’s a week that Didi Benami would have killed and sadly she didn’t make it to this great genre. I felt it weird that there was a disconnect between me and my favorites and an even weirder connect with those who up until now, didn’t think deserved to be in the top 3.

So my top three performances of the night are Casey, Siobhan and Tim and my least favorite are Aaron, Andrew, Crystal and Lee.

*cough*Some of my top performers for the night didn’t even make it to this round of the competition in Camp Should-a-Been*cough*

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 4, 2010

American Idol: The Season thus Far

We’re down to the top 9 but we’re still swimming in mediocrity. I think a lot of the ones that had real potential especially the newly cut, Didi Benami, got eaten up by the competition. They’re there to win it so much that they lost sight of who they are. It sucks though that Didi just didn’t have the chance to prove that again while Andrew Garcia is slowly creeping up to do just that.

Here are my critiques on each person:

1. Crystal Bowersox – She’s really proving to be A LOT like Kris Allen. I think that’s where her appeal comes from. It really is Kris that opened that door for her to shine. And she played a bold move when she played piano this week as its the same bold move Kris did when he put down his guitar and played Ain’t No Sunshine for the first time.

(Heads up to Simon, yes, that was the first time after season 1 that Ain’t No Sunshine was sung. And yes, he did sing it brilliantly twice on the idol stage. Isn’t it uncanny that the current favorite also sounds like Kris…Crystal? hmm…)

Back to Crystal, she just needs to keep wowing us with her arrangements, which sadly aren’t acknowledged enough. Maybe because there’s backlash that when someone does a brilliant arrangement, they end up winning the show. But Crystal hasn’t really been giving Kris or Adam level performances but she’s really close.

2. Lee DeWyze – He could well be should I dare to say it…the next David Cook. But like Crystal, he hasn’t reached the level of either Kris or David yet. They’ve come really close though.

to be continued…

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 3, 2010

Deviation: Battle RobVSRussell over… :(

What did I tell you, if there was one or two villains that would make Rob go, it would be Jerri and Coach. What did I tell you…

That being said, I’m sad Boston Rob lost. Besides the weak links of Coach and Jerri, what really did decide this loss is Tyson’s screwing up. Told you that the domino effect would happen.

And I have to give it to Russell, he played his cards wrong and scored big time. If this were Texas Hold’em, and you made a bad all-in but still won the pot, that would definitely be called a Hantz in my book.

So in truth, the great Russell did NOT cause Rob’s demise. Tyson and Coach did, two of Boston Rob’s supposedly greatest allies. In this horrendous twist, all I can say is, good luck Hantz, but man, you’re not going to win.

ETA:

Looking back at the episode, what happened in the Villains tribe is what happened to the Heroes tribe at the start. It’s just that the alliances got into everyone’s brains. In both tribes, the main issue became loyalty to the alliance vs loyalty to the tribe. Because of the egos in the heroes tribe, they chose alliance over tribe.

For the past few survivor seasons, one thing was proven…

KEEP YOUR TRIBE STRONG.

Having alliances early game would just destroy the tribe. Look what happened to the heroes before they finally decided to vote James out. They were gunning the stronger members of the tribe aka Steph and Tom over weaker members like Cirie and Amanda. This caused the heroes to lose in puzzles. Truth of the fact is, you need a level head if you’re going to do puzzles. The team with the least anxiety has the best chances at puzzles.

This is constantly proven by the season. When the Villains were united as a tribe, Rob was able to do the puzzles with ease but as lines grew within the tribe, Rob lost his cool. The reverse happened with the heroes. With Rupert firmly separating himself from the oldies (Colby, Tom and Steph) and forming an alliance with the Micronesia team (James, Cirie and Amanda), tension brewed. But after choosing to remove James, the Heroes tribe became more unified thus being able to beat the Villains at the challenge. Call it a cosmic shift.

The battle of the egos is best left AFTER the merge. Coach was definitely right with that. What just hurt is that Coach was gunning for Rob’s alliance, which put Rob in a precarious situation. Further, he couldn’t waiver his loyalty from Jerri after Jerri said that she 100% trusts only him. If only he said, I’m not with you to Russell, it would have moved Jerri to Coach’s side. Rob was right, Coach was a little man.

Coach had good points. But since no one wants to budge, he should have taken sides. Had he taken a side, Rob would not have left. If Coach wanted to be with Rob in the final 2, he should have done the smart thing and voted with him. Voting for Courtney was just wishful thinking that the tribe would erase alliances first and keep the tribe strong first. Had Coach voted with Rob, Jerri would have voted with Coach and Russell would have left. 😦 OK, so I’m biased towards Rob, I get it. Probst is too.

Coach could have gone with loyalty but he didn’t. Now, I’m actually interested to see how the tribe falls apart. And my guess to who would be the war’s casualty:

COACH

Tyson dug a deep grave for himself, Rob and Coach. Coach again was right when he said that Tyson was a bridge that unified the tribe. Suddenly, I wish this is how the lines were drawn last episode:

Russell – Rob, Sandra, Courtney
Parvati – Jerri, Coach, Tyson

If it were that way, had Hantz moved into Tyson, Tyson wouldn’t be forced to change vote but ask someone else. By asking someone else, Rob would have known and told him to stick to the plan. That way, Russell would have been out last episode, Parv this episode and Danielle in the next.

If that were the case, I was hoping post merge, Rob-Jerri-Sandra-Rupert-Colby make the oldies alliance and dominate against the newbies. I hate what could have beens… 😦

Posted by: dcmjlive | March 31, 2010

Top 10 Week: R&B

First of all, I’ll keep this blog short and simple. One of the things that I need to get off my chest, this is actually my favorite genre. Because of this, it’s either you do it well or do it badly. And sorry, I wouldn’t do the top 10 anymore. It wasn’t a good week so why would I bother?

Siobhan Magnus – Through the Fire

Honestly, honestly? That sucked. Firstly, the screeching has got to go. Furthermore, it was pitchy all over the place and she failed to nail those high notes. Simply put, if you feel a risk is not going to work, don’t do it. You butchered one of my favorite songs dude. Worst performance of the night.

GRADE: 5.0

Casey James – Hold On I’m Comin’

It’s technically the same Casey but showing off a better range. Actually, I enjoyed it but I was still looking for more. He should be able to command the stage come the following weeks or else.

GRADE: 1.5

Michael Lynche – Ready for Love

MAN, that was HOTT!!! I mean smokin’. For me, it had a very Adam Lambert Mad World feel. It was just so ethereal. I felt it. That was just one really good performance.

GRADE: 1.0

Didi Benami – What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

My Didi, where are you? Kara is unbelievably correct. I don’t know where Didi went. She keeps getting older and more cabaret. And although she started, well okay, it ended horrendous. I mean, come back Didi. I miss you. Didi needs to go to either the Terrified route or Play With Fire route. To be truthful, the song is really not suited for Didi. If I were to recommend a song she should have done, I would have said Umbrella.

GRADE: 5.0

Tim Urban – Sweet Love

One of my favorite songs and you know what, he didn’t do bad. I mean he was actually good. It was just a bit devoid of emotion. Just a bit.

GRADE: 2.0

Andrew Garcia – Forever

There are parts where his inflections just suck. That’s inflection wise. I wouldn’t say he did great though. I would say the arrangement though is stellar. He just sang it…uh, in a weird way. But it was good nonetheless.

GRADE: 1.5

Katie Stevens – Chain of Fools

Woah, that wasn’t half-bad. Actually, that was a stellar vocal. I like Katie now. That was really good. Just a little more and she could actually do well now. Honestly, I enjoyed it.

GRADE: 1.5

Lee DeWyze – Treat Her Like A Lady

This is easily the best performance of the night. Lee didn’t hold back in this one and he really did a good job. His vocals were spot on and I see a more confident Lee. And you know who he reminds me of, a more refined and more controlled Taylor Hicks. He just gave enough. Hmm, dunno what to compare this performance to though.

GRADE: 1.0

Crystal Bowersox – Midnight Train to Georgia

Man, first Lynche then DeWyze and now another great peformance from Bowersox. Well not as good as Kris’s Ain’t No Sunshine, but that was still STELLAR! I love how it started and when she stood up, she commanded the stage well. I’m excited for her now.

GRADE: 1.0

Aaron Kelly – Ain’t No Sunshine

Funny I had to mention Kris prematurely because well, doing Kris Allen is suicide. LOL at Simon saying he heard it been sung so many times brilliantly when only Kris sang it throughout the idol run…twice. Well, Christina Christian also sang it in season 1, Top 7 night and that’s such a long time ago. I mean a long time ago. So actually, Simon MUST be referring to Kris. So back to Aaron, yeah, doing a Kris Allen moment is suicide. Even the “I know” part where he sang it in a loop was made popular by Kris when he performed here in the Philippines. So if you sing that on the idol stage, you have got to kill it. And he didn’t. He just didn’t. He gave a COMPETENT version but nothing LIKE Kris.

GRADE: 2.0

Posted by: dcmjlive | March 26, 2010

Deviation: Clash of the Titans – Rob VS Russel

Well, I’m not going to do idol because I had a rough week. But now that the week has somewhat subsided, I got to watch Survivor. Instead of a stress reliever, it turned out to be something I need to vent about. One thing though, I know Paige Miles left and that the contestants sucked so I’m glad I wasn’t able to watch everyone. Not a good week for reality TV yet again actually. Or not really in Survivor.

Well if there are a few contestants who I’d say have a logical backbone that if matched with another, you’ll be having a teeter-totter of a power struggle. In the game of survivor, only a few have that kind of backing. Wildly enough, they’re on the same tribe and fighting it out ala battle royale. It sucks that I have to like one of them.

Anyway here is how it went down:

1. Rob plots to flush the idol by making Russel think they’re voting him but they’re really voting out Parv.
2. Russel is warned by Rob that if he doesn’t have the idol, he’s out making him think that Rob is playing with him and is actually voting  for Parv.
3. Rob then reverses the situation yet again by doing the famous split vote trick. To flush an idol right, you have to split the vote. If the idol is played, then vote splits to whoever Team Russel chooses and whoever did not use the idol between Russel and Parvati. If the idol is not played, the vote splits between the person Team Russel chooses, Russel and Parvati. Either way, it would lead to a revote and whoever didn’t have the idol is out.

But in a twisted scheme, Russel plays a wild card move and tells Tyson that he’s voting Parvati. Tyson thought then that if Russel is voting for Parvati, he’d use the idol for himself. But because of that line of insane overthinking, he forgot these points:

1. Russel can ALWAYS save Parvati if he had the immunity idol. He wasn’t  watching out for that, even if they had the biggest suspicion.
2. If Russel did vote for Parvati, why would he need to vote for Parvati. In a nutshell, the vote would be:

Parvati – Russel, Jerri, Courtney, Coach
Russel – Rob, Sandra
Tyson – Danielle, Parvati

He wouldn’t have needed to vote for Parvati because Russel alone could have drove Parvati out. If he had any doubts in his mind that Russel would not vote (and he did, showing in his vote), he shouldn’t have forgotten keypoint number 1. Had he, he should have stuck to the plan and won.

In short, he was overthinking it too much, he forgot the single most important detail that he made the stupidest move in idol history.

But I don’t know but Russel’s twisted logic pulled through and he won the battle…and it might spell trouble now for Boston Rob.

Why you ask? Doesn’t he have 5vs3?

Not really, the episode revealed that Coach, being a man of his word, would not be able to decide who to vote out when the time comes it would be Rob VS Russel.

As seen, now Rob sees Russel as too much of a threat instead of Parvati. And since Rob would target Russel, it isn’t rocket science that Russel would target Rob. (And yes, I’m using Tyson’s famous words that it’s not rocket science and yet he deviated from the not rocket science easy logic just to get himself booted out.) With that, what are the potential problems?

Given that Coach would be undecided, he would most likely target Parvati. Ok, so it’s now 4vs3 right? But what if Russel uses this to his advantage (more than Rob because Rob doesn’t know about the Russel-Coach deal but Russel knows that Coach is playing with Rob)? Knowing Russel has a twisted way of swaying people, I think Russel might get Rob eliminated.

And if Rob does get eliminated, I’ll be seeing one of my favorites go again immaturely. Speaking of immature send-offs, Colby leaving would be another one. Colby staying however has its repercussions.

Either Rob or Russel could figure out (as I  would because I know they’re tons smarter than me) that since Colby is in outs with the alliance, they can pull him to go against the heroes post merge. That would give the villains numbers and most likely eliminate the heroes tribe leaving the villains + Colby.

See how twisted this game could be?

For idol-survivor fans like me, you’ll get a mini-teaser:

I’m grading one of the risk takers higher than the glass blower. OK fine, the scream of Siobhan is a channeling of Adam Lambert. It’s made clear to me that I don’t like Siobhan anymore but wouldn’t mind if she won either (like Adam).

Posted by: dcmjlive | March 18, 2010

Lacey Out

I’m not really surprised. She hasn’t been doing spectacular these past few weeks. Before the semis, Lacey sang so effortlessly. The stage must have phased her. Oh well, Megan did better than her. I guess Megan was the right choice after all.

And I was right, Andrew Garcia really had the worst performance according to WhatNotToSing.com. It’s just sad he didn’t even make the bottom 3.

Posted by: dcmjlive | March 17, 2010

Top 12 – The Rolling Stones Week

Well, I wouldn’t really give in depth reviews now because I still don’t have the luxury of time to do so. This time, since Kradison changed the name of the game, the reviews would center on overall performance. Interestingly, all of these songs are the first time we hear it on the AI stage except Paint It, Black, but I don’t think anyone would remember Gina Glocksen’s performance of that…

Michael Lynche – Miss You

Big Mike definitely is bringing his game on the table. He worked with a lot of falsetto runs and could I just say I’m amazed. But if it weren’t for those runs, the performance would have been bland and awkward. Simon was dead on when he talked about the dance moves. This is the stones, he’s singing a very bluesy song. It does not call for amateur movements. It calls for a more sincere on-stage presence.

GRADE: 2.0

Didi Benami – Play With Fire

I can’t get Ellen’s comment out of my head…she did make Fire two syllables. LOL. But really, her interpretation was just so moving. I mean come on, that definitely has to be Didi’s best performance. And although I am against glory notes, she delivered  a really good one and one that shows the same passion as what the song calls for.

GRADE: 1.25

Casey James – It’s All Over Now

There was a time in his performance that he wasn’t even playing the guitar but just strumming it. LOL. But Casey was spot on with the vocal and really brought the blues, country, soul feel that the song needs. He just needs to complete his phrasing. Lastly, I felt he could have rocked out with that song but he decided to stay stationary. He should have utilized the big stage so he  could have made more impact.

GRADE: 1.75

Lacey Brown – Ruby Tuesday

Again, Ellen is  pretty dead on with the critique. The dynamics didn’t call for the stage utilization. And my problem with Lacey is that she does sing but she still doesn’t have that connection with me. She still lacks the reaching out and of course she had occasional pitch problems.

GRADE: 2.25

Andrew Garcia – Gimme Shelter

I don’t know if the song is for him but it really is a different side that I’ve seen from Andrew where he decides to showcase his vocals instead of maintain his normal changing the song up to some acoustic arrangement and deliver it in a weird way. Again, Straight Up is the only performance of his where he had good connection to the song while lately, he keeps falling short. I don’t know what Randy is saying because I didn’t think it was pitchy all over the place.

GRADE: 2.75

Katie Stevens – Wild Horses

I don’t know about you but Katie improved this week. It’s the first week that she finally gave a very mature performance without making it sound that the song is too old for her. In short, she finally connected with the song and stripped it down. It was smart for her to choose a song that showed her power vocals.  What I was actually hoping is that:
1. She should have never got out of that chair
2. She should have started acapella.
But nonetheless, pretty powerful performance. I think she finally deserved her performance. But then again…

GRADE: 2.25 — She wasn’t as good as the others…

Tim Urban – Under My Thumb

That’s the problem with expectations. For a rolling stone fan, the song could never work in that kind of arrangement. The song really isn’t written to be folk, bluesy and reggae. The song was written to be about revenge-sex. But that being said, I liked it. I actually got it, and it did showcase Tim’s vocals. He took on the song, got the lyrics that he felt would appeal to the style he would take on, showed us what kind of an artist he could be and most importantly, he didn’t attempt to go beyond his limits knowing he can’t.

GRADE: 2.25 — Kill me now Idolverse but sorry, I actually did like it. He still needs to learn how to connect though to the song in a way that the stage size would not be important. But I also didn’t think that the stage did eat him up. And I like the idea of sitting in a beach drinking pina coladas and listening to that version.

Siobhan Magnus – Paint It, Black

I honestly am not a fan of the middle transition background accompaniment of the song because the build up didn’t suit the vocals of Siobhan. But from start to finish, she interpreted the song really really really well. And honestly, it really is comparable to Adam Lambert from like Kara said, the stairs, the background and the scream. And really, there was a point where the scream got unbearable. But I can’t let go of the fact that the overall performance was really good. So I’m torn actually but I’ll give her…

GRADE: 1.5

Lee DeWyze – Beast of Burden

Did I say that I love the tone of the voice of Lee? Because honestly, he’s shaping up to be that right recording artist. Problem is the nerves but he did really really well tonight. He just needs to bring more to the table but by the next week, he should really do what Kris and Adam did and really just feel it’s not a problem.

GRADE: 1.25

Paige Miles – Honky Tonk Women

She, I think is back. And I think the laryngitis that she got actually helped her and gave a good rasp to her voice. I think it was actually a very solid performance.

GRADE: 1.75

Aaron Kelly – Angie

I find it interesting with Aaron that he didn’t use heavy vocals. He actually toned it down, used his limits well, and tried to connect well to the song. It actually seemed very clean. I still think though that there’s something missing that I just can’t point out. But he’s also bringing his game now like Katie.

GRADE: 1.75

Crystal Bowersox – You Can’t  Always Get What You Want

Wow, she’s delivering a very cool performance that is not strained or over done. It’s actually pretty perfect. You know who she reminds me of, David Cook. It’s effortless and yet such a great interpretation. And it really is a feel good performance and it is both easy on the eyes and ears.

GRADE: 1.0

So no one actually sucked and fell below 3.0 which is the passing grade.  This is actually a good night.

Here are my personal favorites:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Didi Benami
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Casey James

And the ones who are on the chopping block:

  1. Andrew Garcia
  2. Tim Urban
  3. Lacey Brown or Katie Stevens

Who I want home: Andrew Garcia

Posted by: dcmjlive | March 15, 2010

My Disappointments

The last blog evaluated the current top 12 but I saved all my emotion and ranting for this blog. To be truthful and honest, I don’t think we’ve got the right top 12. Last season, I was outraged not to have Felicia Barton in the top 13. And of course, singers like Jesse Langseth, Junot Joyner, Mishavonna Henson, Ricky Braddy and Kristin McNamara were also better candidates than Scott Macintyre, Jasmine Murray, Jorge Nunez and Michael Sarver.

But given that it was one round for everyone, except for the wild cards, it was expected. People like them didn’t get the chance to build loyal fan bases. And hey, it might not have given Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta a chance to jump the top 12…err 13 boat almost instantly. But given their strengths, they would have gotten to the top 13 nonetheless.

Anyway, back to Season 9, I’m really sad that a lot of good contestants were cut because of either lack of exposure or splitting of fanbases. I’ll list down my list starting from the one I’ll miss the most.

Katelyn Epperly – Man, she’s my Felicia Barton of the season. The Scientist was an awesome song for Katelyn because it proved she had potential for at least a top 5 spot. It was just very sincere and I’d miss those kind of performances. Don’t worry Katelyn, you’ll pull off a Felicia Barton in Camp-Should-a-Been! She would have made a great mainstream-indie artist.

Alex Lambert – Well here’s a Lambert that I would have rooted for. (Like I said, I go for underdogs and the other one wasn’t but he sure was great.) Like Slezak said, this guy had the most UNIQUE voice in the group. A little honing here and there with the potential for awesome phrasing like Kris Allen and he would have been the guy to beat. Damn, he shouldn’t have gone so early.

Michelle Delamore – I would have preferred her over Paige Miles honestly. She has a very nice tone to her instrument and is definitely more in tune than Paige is. She and Ashley Rodriguez I thought had potential chops to  become the next Alicia Keys or Leona Lewis. Ashley however failed to show that on the big idol stage. She also lacked the great song choices to make her the next Kelly Clarkson.

Joe Munoz – Oh come on. You say who this guy is? He’s a guy that delivered a solid Man in the Mirror in Hollywood Week and an interesting version of You And I. Here’s what I want to tell the producers, do not under promote a person and make them cannon fodder to promote your preordained favorites like Aaron Kelly and Katie Stevens.

Lilly Scott – Well, I personally don’t like the girl but she’s leap and bounds what Katie and Aaron have to offer. A good indie artist would have done wonders for the idol stage and would have created moments Katie and Aaron could barely do.

Angela Martin – I hate it when they exhaust a sob story just for ratings and then cut a genuinely good singer like Angela Martin but bring in Paige Miles. (Hahaha, I know I love Paige Miles’s voice but only her voice. She hasn’t delivered yet to me. Contradictory is it? I don’t think so.) It’s obvious that they chose Paige to be cannonfodder and yet she’s in the Top 12…grr. I want real R&B artists on the idol stage even if historically, they don’t do quite well. (Looks at season 8 where R&B singers Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds finished 6th.)

Jermaine Purifoy – I mean why bring in Todrick Hall and Jermaine Sellers. I don’t like bad attitude Jermaine  who thinks he’s such a Gospel singer. You know what Jermaine Sellers, I also like your voice but I hate your singing. Actually, it’s weird for me to say I like a voice but I hate the singing because those are two connected things. But back to Jermaine Purifoy, I think he dellivered better renditions in Hollywood Week then Jermaine Sellers. It really is the wrong Jermaine in the Semi-finals and it was justice to have him cut.

My They-Do-Not-Deserve-To-Be-There List

Katie Stevens – OK, so Tim Urban may be the worst singer but Katie is who I feel is the least deserving. Forget that the judges said that she could win the whole season. She is no Kelly Clarkson or Allison Iraheta. The visual lack of any emotion being put into the song is clearly blatant with this girl. I mean come on, Allison was able to sing an old song and connect to it but this girl with her big voice can’t pull of scratch. I wish Katelyn Epperly took her place.

Aaron Kelly – I never liked the dude even in his auditions. Any guy who likes singing Miley’s The Climb is on my hate list. Wait, let me rephrase, any person who likes singing that song is on my hate list. (See: Haeley Vaughn…good thing she got cut) He has a big voice sure but not a unique and distinct one. I wish Alex Lambert took his place.

Paige Miles – Again, I love her voice but the girl doesn’t know what to do. If she could pull off a And I Am Telling You, I’ll sail back to her side but until then, she doesn’t deserve to be in that top 12. Her voice sure has potential but I wish her going to the top 12 wasn’t the reason Katelyn did not get in. I wish Michelle Delamore took her place.

Tim Urban – Well, I did like his rendition of Come Back to Me although a lot of you don’t agree. I actually do see promise in this guy but I might get bored if he takes the Scott Macintyre route and does the same genre over and over again…aka Christian Rock. At least something that I like about this guy is that he can put emotion to his singing but his phrasing is not there yet. I wish Joe Munoz took his place…

And well, I’m done ranting. I wish America chose better singers but oh well…

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