Tag Archives: Paula Abdul

American Idol: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble?

21 May

Seriously?  Did we really need to get the “Let’s Get Read to Rumble” guy to open the show?  Did we really have to dress the Davids in shiny boxing robes and gloves and give them stupid nicknames like “Sugarfoot” and “Babyface”?  Do we really need to know how much the Davids weigh?  How cheesy can we get?  Up until this point, I had been really looking forward to the David vs. David showdown.  After that weird stunt, now I’m not so sure.   I even kind of missed Ryan’s “This is American Idol” intro.

According to Ryan, “It’s all come down to this: two men with one name and one desire – to be crowned champion.  Their prize: a heavyweight title reserved only for superstars (a group of former AI greats that, according to the video montage, somehow includes Chris Daughtry even though he didn’t even make it to the top three …?).

This elaborate extended boxing metaphor makes me think that the producers have been working on this little gem for longer than a week.  I wonder what would have happened if David and David were not the top vote-getters this season … a rigged finale, perhaps?  Hey, they even thew in a coin toss to see who gets to sing last.

Round One

Clive’s Pick for David Cook, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” by U2:  Of course I liked it.  DC does kind of look like he’s a little over the whole competition thing.  I do think he meant it when he said that to him, it was no longer a competition, but just having fun.  Judging from the revelation last week that he didn’t even come to auditions to try out but to support his brother when a producer talked him into auditioning, I think it would be safe to say that DC probably has mixed feelings about being on the American Idol train.

Clive’s Pick for David Archuleta, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin: Well, it’s the second week of little Archuleta performing without input from his dad.  And he brought it with this song.  It was fabulous … but not as fabulous as Sir Elton, of course.  Loved it.  Simon gave round one to Archuleta, and I would have to agree … begrudgingly.

Round Two

DC’s Pick from the AI Songwriting Competition, “Dream Big”: This is a catchy song.  A little cheesy, but catchy.  I liked it for AI, what I could understand of it.  DC was a little inarticulate on this one.  Simon made the point that this is supposed to be a “winning song,” but it didn’t feel like a “winning moment.”  In this respect, little Archuleta has a leg up on DC because he sings the moving ballads, whereas DC is more of a rocker.  He’s not going to deliver that Kelly Clarkson “A Moment Like This” sap fest.  And I would not want him to.

Archuleta’s Pick from the AI Songwriting Competition, “In this Moment”: Now, this is the sap fest that the producers have been hoping for.  Random Question: How many AI finale songs include the word “moment” or something like that?  Aren’t all these songs the same?  Simon loved the “egotistical lyric.”  He goes on to say that Archuleta “definitely chose the better song there, much more in keeping with the night.”  He gave Round Two to David Archuleta as well.  And little David teared up, sincerely this time.

Round Three

DC’s Contestant’s Choice Pick, “The World I Know,” by Collective Soul: He chose a song that he’s never performed before.  LOVED IT, but not sure that it will stand up next to Archuleta’s beloved “Imagine” performance.  Simon disagreed with the song choice saying that he should have sung “Billie Jean,” but DC didn’t want to sing a song that he’d done before because this show has been a progression for him and he wants to show that.  Tears were shed by DC after this one.  I don’t think he ever thought he would be playing for millions of fans across America.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow night, DC has a wonderful, and hopefully long, career ahead of him.  This guy is the real deal, not a manufactured child star puppet.

Archuleta’s Contestant’s Choice Pick, “Imagine” again: He’s going with the song that  made him an early front runner.  Smart choice.  Throughout the competition, none of his performances have lived up to that early one.  Ironically, this one didn’t either.  The song was beautiful, but it didn’t capture the magic of the first time he sang it.  Randy says that he’s the best singer of Season 7 and exactly what the show is about.  Simon says that Archuleta  has delivered a knockout against DC.

It’s tough to say which David will be the next American Idol.  This one’s going to be close.  But judging on the finale, alone, I think little Archuleta may be the last one standing tomorrow night, but only by a small margin of victory.  It all came down to song choice tonight.  If we take into consideration the weeks leading up to tonight, David Cook would be the clear winner.   He is obviously the better performer, though Archuleta is an amazing technical singer.

I guess we’ll have to tune in tomorrow night and see.  Either way, I won’t be too disappointed with the outcome, unlike when Reuben beat Clay … or when Fantasia beat everyone else.  Both Davids are great.  This has been one of the most talented, albeit BORING, seasons of American Idol, yet.

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American Idol Tries to Rock and Roll All Night … or for at least 40 minutes, not including commercial interruptions

6 May

Like last week, the contestants each had two songs to sing (and two phone numbers for viewers to call). They have to fill the whole hour, you know. Fun for us, they chose songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This should be interesting. I wonder whom the producers had in mind when they picked the theme for this week … hmm, could it be David Cook?

At the beginning of the show, I felt bad for Syesha when Ryan said that three of the contestants have already been number one in the votes. I know it’s possible that she has been number one, but not likely since she’s been in the bottom three more than the rest of them. Poor Syesha. She looked like she knew Ryan wasn’t talking about her.

Round One

David Cook, “Hungry Like the Wolf”: Duran Duran? Okay. I’ll go with it. At this point in the game, it must be hard for DC to sing on the AI stage. Like Chris Daughtry before him, DC has already surpassed American Idol on the cool points scale. And this is further evidenced by Miss Abdul’s pre-scripted off the cuff “your hungry like a wolf has left me with a big appetite” comment. I did notice that Paula (and the other two judges) had no notes in front of her. That means she must have memorized all her lines. Impressive, especially considering she didn’t forget the punch line to the one about being the only girl in the “questionable” boys club.

Syesha, “Proud Mary”: She’s looking gorgeous again. I love her hair like this … so sophisticated. I think the new look is really doing a lot for her. Love the dress and the attitude, too. Girl totally rocked those “Tina” moves. She is a completely different person than she was at the beginning of the season. And I love the new Syesha (except for her incessant use of the word “fun”).

Jason Castro, “I Shot the Sherriff”: Bob Marley? In the words of Jason Castro himself, “go figure.” Put this kid on stage in front of a bunch of potheads, and he’ll make a lot of money … from concession sales. I didn’t like it. And I love that song. Randy and Simon HATED it. I thought they were going to start a riot. Let’s hope JC doesn’t try to take on Bob Marley again, or they just might.

David Archuleta, “Stand by Me”: I love that Ryan has taken to calling him little David, as well. That’s too cute. Of course little David would pick an “easy listening” rock song. Other than the obtrusively loud breathing, I really liked this one from him. His voice just isn’t quite strong enough to totally carry it, though.  Then he just broke out into “Beautiful Girls” toward the end of the song.  Seriously? Okay, I liked it until he threw in Sean Kingston. And I think he may have redeemed himself at the very end, but I can’t be for sure because my DVR skipped a little during that part. Compared to JC’s performance, though, little Archuleta was like a little angel sent from the Celestial kingdom.

Round Two

David Cook, “Baba O’Riley”: FANTATSTIC!!! Best of the night so far, for sure. I like it when he just sings instead of trying to “perform” for the judges. Oh, and I forgot to mention how much I love the jacket. (On a side note, why is Ryan having so much trouble reading the prompter tonight?)

Syesha, “A Change Is Gonna Come”: Did she really just compare the Civil Rights movement to American Idol? Hmm. Wow! Love the dress. And the hair. And the song. Syesha is bringing it tonight! Where did this girl come from? I barely even noticed her at the beginning of the season. She’s really stepped it up. And Paula really had something profound to say to her: “Singing the song, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ you have changed. You are magnificent. And you have come. Welcome to your dream, Syesha. This is it for you.” (Omg, Ryan tried to wipe Syesha’s nose, too!)

Jason Castro, “Mr. Tambourine Man”: Did he really forget the lyrics? Why didn’t he just start over? Brooke did it a million times. I actually kind of felt bad for him when he did it. He seems like a sensitive soul. But a sensitive soul does not a pop star make, quite the opposite, really. Tonight was a train wreck for him. I don’t think his baby face is going to save him this time. Maybe he can get a gig opening for Willie Nelson … or Jimmy Buffett.

David Archuleta, “Love Me Tender”: How does Little Archuleta not know Elvis? Is Elvis still considered the devil’s music or something? He really played to the camera on this one. Smart choice. He’s going to get ALL the tween girl votes. I LOVED this one from him. But I don’t agree with the judges and their “crushing the competition” comment. He may be the one that is best suited for American Idol, but there was no crushing involved. David Cook and Syesha also brought it this week.

Conspiracy Theories: Do you think they placed Big David in the death spot and Little David in the coveted final spot (especially right after train wreck Castro) so he could steal all Big David’s vote? Do you think someone paid Jason Castro to take a fall so that Little David would look better? Then there was that comment at the end of the show: “Remember, this is the same week that we lost Tamyra Gray and Daughtry because perhaps some people thought they were safe.” Is he leading us to make the obvious connections to Syesha and David Cook and vote for them? Interesting … very, very interesting.

Who’s Going Home: Jason Castro, even if the producers have to “fake” the vote.

American Idol: Brooke Sang, Brooke Left

30 Apr

Tonight’s group performance was unbearable – the singing, the dance moves, the nonexistent harmony, the awkward interactions. David Cook was the only redeeming factor. And I love how Ryan is promoting American Idol Extra, with Gina Glocksen and Constantine Maroulis, now that the competition is almost over even though I’m pretty sure AI Extra has been going on since the top 12 were announced.

Now, we all know what happened with Paula Abdul and her rambling last night. And AI has a tendency to just ignore anything controversial or buzz worthy (David Hernandez’s stripping, David Cook’s brother, David Archuleta’s dad), but Ryan did address the Paula controversy. “Last night,” he says as Paula is beginning to cry, “the judges were thrown a curveball on the air, which is just part of a live show. But it sparked a lot of gossip about Paula. And I read some of this online this morning, and just for the record, the rumors … they’re not true. She’s part of our family, and we love her.” What I want to know is which rumors Ryan is addressing. Is it the one about her being on drugs? The one about her Coke cup containing vodka? The one about the show being scripted and fixed? I could go on, but the point remains that Ryan didn’t exactly clear up any of the controversy.

Now, from Paula Abdul’s “craziness” to David Archuleta’s bad acting. As little Archuleta walks onto the stage, we all know that he is not going to be the one to go home. So, why is it that when Ryan says that he’s safe, he makes a big show of looking relieved/surprised/confused? I’m not buying it. Everyone, including him, knows his spot in the finale is a sure thing.

And as for the two girls being in the bottom two, we all knew that would happen. Is it just me, or does Syesha look like that girl from Fresh Prince tonight? She’s so pretty. And I’m glad Brooke is acting like her old self instead of the simultaneously whiny and obnoxiously perky robot she’s been for the past few weeks.

On to the American Idol Call-In Show … Did Nigel set up that call with Simon’s first kiss, Tara? It seems too good to be true. I loved his surprised reaction. But what surprised me is that he remembers the girl (even her last name) so many years later. Wow! She must have left an impression!

Finally, after what seems like a lifetime (but not quite so as long last night’s performance round), Ryan announces that the contestant leaving us tonight is Brooke. (Guess my votes for Syesha paid off.) I quite enjoyed the camera pan to Brooke’s husband during that uncomfortably long embrace between Ryan and Brooke. I wonder what he was thinking. I also wonder who the idiot was that decided to use that song from the guy who stole the American Idol title from Clay Aiken a few years ago. It is just so annoying.

Well, so long Brooke. At least Ryan is there to comfort you. You guys did see Ryan consoling her again after she stammered through her goodbye song, didn’t you? Hmmm …


American Idol: Good Times Never Felt So Good … or American Idol Never Felt So Long and Boring

29 Apr

This week, the contestants are each singing two Neil Diamond songs. This should be interesting. Not only will Ryan and the judges have to rush through the show, but this also gives the contestants twice the opportunity to forget the lyrics, twice the opportunity to mess up and have to start over, and twice the opportunity to sing two different songs the exact same way and bore us to death.

Round One

Jason Castro, “Forever in Blue Jeans”: This song does fit his personality. And while I think Jason is cute and somewhat endearing, I’m getting a little bored with him.

David Cook, “I’m Alive”: He gave Neil Diamond Goosebumps. Not my favorite from DC. He does look like a rock star, though. Plus, is it just me, or are the songs extremely short tonight?

Brooke White, “I’m a Believer”: Train wreck, right down to the glitter pants.

David Archuleta, “Sweet Caroline”: Even though before the commercial break, Ryan went on and on about how they are short on time tonight, he, of course, dragged out the live iTunes commercial for as long as possible right before Little Archuleta’s performance. And he managed to get an Archuleta plug in there while he was doing it. And, of course, Little Archuleta was flustered when he met Neil Diamond. I’m sure Neil is his idol, aside from Donny Osmond, of course. Oh, wow! Neil called Little David a prodigy.

I actually liked this one, despite the fact that there was absolutely NO audience participation (that you could hear, anyway). I guess 14-year-old girls don’t frequent too many piano bars … or Neil Diamond concerts … or games at Fenway Park. If I remember correctly, this is the first time that Little Archuleta has pulled off an up-tempo song.

Syesha, “Hello Again”: Hello, I love her hair like this. It looks like Syesha is pulling a Kristy Lee and has decided to just get better every week. The song was a little weak in the beginning, but she worked it out (I sound like Randy, don’t I?). I really liked this one from her tonight.

Judge’s Comments: Randy said Jason was okay; DC was in the zone; Brooke was better than last week, but still karaoke; Little Archuleta was brilliant; and Syesha was strong. Paula said she loved hearing Jason’s lower register and then babbled on about his second song, which he hadn’t even sung yet before Randy corrected her, at which point she admitted that she thought he sang twice (was she not paying attention?); she said DC was fantastic; there was a lot of confusion, and then they cut her off. Simon said Jason was forgettable; DC was just above average; Brook was a nightmare (at which point, Paula started arguing with him); Little Archuleta was amateurish; and Syesha was old fashioned. So much for trying to rush things along. I love Paula Abdul, straight up, but someone needs to have a mute button or something for her when she starts rambling.

Round Two

Jason Castro, “September Morn”: Does he ever stand up and sing, or does he always have to sit on a stool? This was better than his first song. There’s just not much variety to any of his performances. Randy called it right: “It was just another okay, whatever performance for me.”

David, Cook, “All I Really Need Is You”: I love DC. This was not my favorite from him, but it was definitely the best of the night. The kid is good. He knows what he’s doing. I also like the transformation he has made. Remember at the beginning of the season when Simon called him boring? Not boring anymore. Paula said, “I feel like I’m already looking at the American Idol.” I hope that doesn’t jinx him. They did the same thing to my girl Melinda Doolittle.

Brooke White, “I Am, I Said”: Brooke’s bubbliness is starting to get on my nerves. Let’s hope she doesn’t forget the lyrics this time, after she went through all the trouble of writing them on her palm. But how is she going to read the words while she’s playing the piano? Okay, I know that Mr. Diamond suggested she change the “New York” lyric to “Arizona” to fit her life, but doing that made the “lost between two shores” verse not make any sense. This bothered me a great deal. This was better than her first song, even though she started doing that annoying head-bobbing thing again. She did a good job, but for me, Brooke is starting to lose her charm. Like Simon said, “It wasn’t incredible, but it was a million times better than the first song.” I concur.

David Archuleta, “America”: Of course, Little Archuleta would pick this song. I really like this kid, and part of me wants him to win so that maybe he will be able to get out from under his domineering father. This is Little Archuleta’s best night since “Imagine.” He even managed to sing two up-tempo songs without the horrible awkwardness. He’s too cute for his own good.

Syesha, “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime”: She really had fun with this one. She’s finally starting to stand out, but I think it may be too little too late. And it seems as if the judges are still pushing her to Broadway. I think she would be great on Broadway. Go for it, girl! It’s worked for other former Idols. P.S. I voted for Syesha.

Best of the Night: David Cook, would you expect me to say someone else?

Worst of the Night: It’s a tie between Jason and Brooke. The charm is wearing off for both of them. It can only get you so far.

Who’s Probably Going Home: Syesha, even though I voted for her. I just don’t think she has the fan base that the others have.

Related:

Paula Abdul Ruins American Idol by Reading “Pre-Written” Judge Comments

American Idol, Top 5: Neil Diamond Night

American Idol: It’s Over for Overmyer

Carly Smithson, Superstar