The Top 12

The new set is great looking and huge. I imagine it would be rather difficult to be the band spread out as they are in the sky. Ryan’s Beatles biography seemed out of place. Beatles have such an expansive catalog of songs so song choice was interesting for me. Seems like it would be tough not to find a song you could nail.

Syesha Mercado. Got to Get You Into My Life. Did it a little disco/r&b. I don’t see this being a hit. The Beatles don’t do disco and neither does the American Idol demographic. Simon’s response was incredibly puzzling as she did hit some bad notes in the begining.

Chickizie. She’s a Woman. Bluegrass intro was incredible. Loved his voice in his upper range. Awsome bluesy rock arrangement for the rest. I was anticipating “his own funk” was going to be yet another 60s 70s throwback…but wow….He knocked my socks off as well as the judges. I would buy this track. Guaranteed to be a hit.

Ramiele Malubay. In My Life. A very soft ballad. A pitch problem here and there but overall a very sweet performance. Runs the risk of being viewed as dull. Safe songs put you in danger of being forgotten and going home.

Jason Castro. If I Fell in Love With You. Lots of falcetto. Sounded good. Played guitar well. Had a very Jack Johnson feel to it.

Carly Smithson. Come Together. Did it as Amanda Overmeyer. If Carly can out bluesyrocker Amanda what use is it to have Amanda in the competition. Carly named it tonite and I think that she directly challenged her roomie for bluesyrocker supremacy.

David Cook. Eleanor Rigby. The begining was good but the bridge into ending build was just incredible. His voice has a very cool safe for the mainstream radio appeal. He is going to be a contender for a top spot.

Brooke White. Let It Be. Pretty piano arrangement. She has a great imperfect sounding voice which lends itself well to the message of this song. Sounded like she believed what she was singing, really connected with the emotion of the song. It is hard to do a ballad without sounding boring. She really did well and then ended so humbly.

David Hernandez. I Saw Her Standing There. A lot of energy. He puts those stripper dance moves to work. Knows how to move and how to work the crowd. I wonder if her is bummed they aren’t tipping. He did the song pretty much like the original. He thru out a few falcetto runs. All in all a good performance but he might not have made a bigger impact than some of the others tonight. I think he came off a bit cheesy but still will be around next week.

Amanda Overmeyer. You Can’t Do That. Adding the bluesy element almost made it sound like an Elvis song. Again she is great at this style of music. I just don’t know if she can make it to the top couple without bringing something different. She has no pop sensibility. Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin have not been chart toppers for a little while now.

Michael Johns. Across the Universe. Didn’t change it up it all, but he didn’t need to. It was the perfect song for his voice. And the lighting effects showing the limitless love swirling about him was pretty cool too. The song was simple and understated. He could get dinged for playing it safe though. I personally really liked it though.

Kristy Lee Cook. 8 Days a Week. Finally realized she is a country singer. She might have done this song just a tad fast, but it was pretty good. The risk was good but didn’t pull it off. She is a good country singer but the cadence and rythem of this song did not work well with the fast blue grass arrangement. Sounded like 2 different songs at the same time. She could be in trouble.

David Archuleta. We Can Work It Out. He forgot his lyrics. Went for the Stevie Wonder route. He had a lot of trouble hitting some of Stevie’s runs. He tried to mimick Stevie and just doesn’t have it in him. He probably is not in trouble (everyone loves him and he is great) but he should be.

Top 8 Ladies

Asia’h Epperson. I Wanna Dance with Someone. My 1 year old son was dancing and clapping. The outfit was very ugly, but it was very 80’s. The vocals were pretty good. A fun performance.

Kady Malloy. Forever. Awful song choice. Last week they told her to let her personality show and choose a fun song. The 80’s had so much energy but the closest she gets is matching purple with red. Could be in trouble.

Amanda Overmeyer. Hate Myself for Loving You. Fun arrangment. Great ending. She also looked very pretty.

Carly Smithson. I Drove All Night. Too adult a song for the kiddies. Could be a liability with the amount of families watching. As long as she stays at the top of her range she sounds amazing. The low notes were rough.

Kristy Lee Cook. Forever Yours. Never a good call to go for a song that Randy has worked with. But she seemed to get away with it. A few rough spots but with some work could turn the song into a country hit. As I mentioned with the guys, working with the band on song arrangment is what differentiates the forgettable form the unforgettable. Had she brought a country feel to the music, couple with the country feel of her vocals it would have rocked.

Ramiele Malubay. Take a Look at me now. Such a cute girl. A good voice but she did not do anything special with it tonight. Her and Daniel can do a cool duet sometime.

Brooke White. Love is a Battlefield. Did it as acoustic folksy rock tune. Very cool, but she has turned a few songs that way, so it may be a little repetiive for some. She needs to do something soon to connect to the pop kids.

Syesha Mercado. Saving All My Love You. A great vocal. Felt canned, or predictictable to use Simon’s word.

Top 8 Boys

80’s night. It seems like the judges worked hard to make sure that a lot of different styles of singers were represented this season and as they are getting more comfortable and taking more risks it is getting exciting.

One of the things that really seperates the good from the great is the ability to take period songs and make them contemporary. This requires both a good ear and understanding of music, but also the ability to communicate and lead a band.

Luke Menard. Jitterbug. The song suited his voice well. Don’t here a pop sensibility in his voice. A cheesy song, but he did it well. At the end he says ‘uptempo,’ a very musical theatre term, not something you are going to here JT or Usher say for sure. Maybe in danger.

David Archuleta. Think Twice. Did it as a very soft ballad. Played his own accompaniment for the intro. Very impressive. Plus he has a great voice. He always hits one or two wrong notes but never gets nailed on it, so it was nice to hear the judges catch him tonite.

Danny Noriega. Tainted Love. He sounded awesome. Pulled the song off amazingly. Looked a bit creepy. TMTH !!!

David ‘the stripper’ Hernadez. Its All Coming Back to Me Now. Sounded awesome. Looks and sounds like a star. Did the song well not perfect but very well.

Michael Johns. Don’t you. Good looking and has that Aussie accent may help him get thru the rough patches on the quiet parts of the song. Probably in a bit of danger. He seems to be a producers choice since he was given a virtual pass by the judges.

David Cook. Cool rock ballad. Great upper range. Good falsetto on the softer parts. Great arrangment. He made an older song very conteporary.

Jason Castro. Hallelujah. Very low key and understated performance. Really focused on his voice. Seemed to be a risky choice to go with such a low energy song but I think it served him well to show off his vocals.

Chickizie. She’s Fills me Up. The build up to the ending were very good. The begining and ending was a little rough. He is still not sounding very contemporary. If he makes it through to next week he needs to start connecting the period songs with modern arrangments.

top 10 guys

70’s night.

Michaels Johns You Can Go Your Own Way. Very boring aside from when he was butchering the high notes.

Jason Castro. His intro interview may very well have sealed his fate for all of the older crowd but his performance was really nice. Not fantastic but the guitar makes him stand out. He chooses easy songs and does them decently.

Luke Menard. Very theatrical. Fun, but not very poppy. May struggle later on if he is not able identify with the 13 year old girls who dial a million times.

Robbie Carico. If you have to keep telling us you are something, you probably ar not it. Hot Blooded. Still faking the rock.

Danny Noriega. Baby, I Love You. A couple pitch problems but a decent performance. The opening was a bit creepy with him touching his chest while he said he loved me. He is spunky though. Everyone is going to like him. As long as he doesn’t blow it big time, he will keep coming back. Not the best performance but I don’t think he is Sanjaya as long as he can pull out a great performance next week.

David Hernandez. Papa was a Rolling Stone. Great intro. Started to get a little monotonous but the ending was incredible.

Jason Yeager. Without Love. Did fine. His voice so does not fit his look, his smile, or his dancing. Poor song choice.

Chickizie. I Believe. A good 70’s performance. Still came across as a 70’s song. But much better than last week.

David Cook. Alright Now. Played a rockin’ guitar. A good rock performance. He worked the crowd well. Vocals were not awesome but they were good. Much more relevant

David Archuleta. Imagine All the People. Really well done. He is going to be in the top 3. An awesome voice, and can really perform. The judges and the producers love him.

top 12 ladies

Everybody has the flu. 60’s theme again. Ryan spent a lot of time talking about the girls shoes. Posted from my mobile, sorry about sentence structure

Kristy Lee Cook rescue me. sounded ok. not a powerful enough voice for this song. not a lot of energy. pretty uninspiring. she is pretty and has a good story. this may be enough to get her through but i don”t know if its going to get her into the top 10.

Joanne Bogella. say a little prayer for you. a lot of pitch problems. some nervousness in her voice. a dull performance. showed off the power she can bring.

Elaina Whitaker. i love you more today than yesterday. great vocals. cool arrangement. she is good looking and young. top 10 contender.

Amanda Overmyer. baby please don’t go. great performance. Most likely too hard sounding to appeal to a wider audience. but she did it well.

Amy Davis. where the boys are. hit a wrong notes. she is pretty, so that may save her, but it was not a great performance at all.

brooke white. so happy together. good arrangement. decent vocals. dull performance. the good girl image will probably keep her through while she gets more comfortable on stage.

Alexandrea Lushington. what goes up must come down. great performance. hit the right notes. i don’t like the tone of her voice, but i think it is just me (and maybe Simon).

Kady Malloy. groovy kind of love. hard to pull off a ballad early on because they don’t give a chance to show personality. just an ok performance.

Asia’h Epperson. take another piece of my heart. great arrangement. great vocals. could be a top 10 contender.

Ramielle you don’t have to say you love me. fantastic arrangement, performance and vocals. plus she is cute and has a hip, different look.

Syesha Mercado. tobacco row. fun song. lots of power in her voice. not sure how she could stay so still singing that song. i was dancing around just watching.

Carly. a good vocal effort. i have to say i was just so so on it. do not think it was bad just didn’t grab me.

american idol top 12 guys

60’s theme tonight. Though first week theme since everyone is young and this is a contemporary competition, which Simon let us know numerous times. No major standouts last night. Top 10 potentials are noted.

David Hernandez. In the Midnight Hour. Good til the end. He hit some sour notes at the end. Not a great performance. He was fine though.

Chikezie. The begining was a little rough was he he hit his upper register he nailed it. I really thought 60’s day was gonna be his best day so that set my expectations really high. He looked great though.

David Cook. Happy Together. He made an indie rock tune out of it. It sounded fun. He has a cool rock edge. Top 10

Jason Yeager. Moon River. He hit a couple wrong notes. A fine performance but nothing special.

Robbie Carrico. One is the Loneliest Number. A little bit of rock and roll and some great harmonies with the background singers. He looks like KFed. When Simon questioned his rocker persona I was like “Whoa that’s it. He is faking it.” It makes sense, he is a good singer but boy bands are out of style, a little rock and roll splashed in and he is a top 10 for sure. Top 10

David Archuleta. You Better Shop. Around his high register he is fantastic. He sounded dull and off key with the lower notes in the begining. It sounds like we know who the producers like though, since he got a free pass on being judged. Top 10

Danny Noriega. Jail House Rock. I must admit his “swagger” and “attitude” mixed with one of my all time favorite performers was just too much. I am smitten. He had a blast and it made for a great performance. Probably did the song a tad to fast so the words were a little jumbled. Top 10

Luke Menard. I Won’t Let you Leave. He hit a lot of wrong notes. Very dull performance as well.

Colton Barry. Suspicious Minds. The half time bridge was awesome, but the rest was fairly dull and unispired. He is a young guy with a nice look so he can get away with ok.

Garrett Haley. Breakin Up is Hard to Do. He looks scary. Kind of like Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings. He delivered a dull performance. One cool break, but otherwise a sleeper. He seemed nervous.

Jason Castro. Daydream. He played guitar. It was an easy song but he played it well. He also coordinated well with the band which will lend itself well in later weeks as he takes risks and differentiates himself from other contestants.

Michel Johns. Light my Fire. He was shouting a bit. But it was a fun song. The judges loved him. I thought it was a great performane but not the strongest vocals.

the top 24

I thought the Jumper intro/commercial was actually kind of cool. Obviously, a little lame, but I think that added to the appeal for me. Ryan at the end getting blown off was really funny.

A lot of no’s to start off. They claimed that people out in the lobby were getting more nervous but that shouldn’t be so, as the more no’s prior to you the higher chance you have of a yes. Oh well, no one is claiming all the AI contestants are mathmeticians.

I haven’t seen enough on everyone to form an opinion but here are some initial thoughts.

The Top 24…

Carly. Looks cool with tattoos and whatnot. Her accent is cool and will win her over a lot of fans. She also has season 5 experience when she had trouble with her work visa.

David C. Guitar player with a good look. Could go far if he can make sure to choose the right songs to focus on his better qualities.

Amanda Overmeyer. Rocker without a shot at the top. A fun addition to the story but not a pop star.

Kristy.

Brooke.

Danny. Like Sanjaya but he can sing really well. He is going to be a major contender.

Luke.

Alex.

Ramiele.

Michael. He took a gamble on queen and it paid off. He also has the rugged tough guy thing going. The girls will like the dangerous one and the guys (both of us) will be more comfortable voting for him than a boy band lookalike.

Syesha. Lost her voice and still pulled it off. Has talent and determination, plus a great look.

Robbie. Rocker guys always make the top 10 but most lack pop sensibility. Doesn’t mean they are not fantastic but just not right for AI.

Katie.

Chikezie. Hilarious but if he won would probably be a Taylor/Ruben type.

Alaina.

Jason.

Asia’h.

David. He was told it was contested. Simon let him know a tough road ahead. Interesting to see if he makes it far.

Garrett.

Colton. I really liked both Colton (any guy who busts disney is my idol) and Kyle (I am a politics buff and have a soft spot for nerds) so this is bittersweet.

Joanne.

David Archaletta. Young and with a great voice. The 300 texts a minute crowd are going to love him. Expect him in the top 10.

American Idol Feb. 12

Seems like Simon is running things for the first segment. Blasted thru the first day yes’s really fast. Bryan Adams was a hit. Maybe he will be a special guest later in the season. The second round was boring. It was all about the drama of the front line back line game. We didn’t get to see many of the performances. Lots of dramatic losers. Kind of a bummer to spend so much time learning about someone only to have them not make it. Footage should have stayed on the cutting room floor. Seems like we know more about the losers than the winners now. I guess we will have plenty of time to get to know the top 24 moving forward. It just seemed like such a waste to hear someones life story only to have them bomb their audition. Would have rather heard the great auditions.

A few notes on some auditions.

Brooke “beautiful” keyboard. Sounded great. Put her own spin on it.

David “love the one your with” Great arrangement. Going to be a contender since he has the ability to make songs his own without destroying them.

Amanda “light my fire” 60’s throwback. Could be fun, but if every song sounds like that it’s going to get old fast.

Josiah keyboard. Great smile. Fun song that went thru a few different sounds.

David “everything i do” Pretty good. No real wow til the last line which was awesome. Played the guitar, which added to his appeal. It will be interesting to see if instruments make it into later rounds. Without them he may struggle.

Robbie “everything i do” Did fine, nothing incredibly special.

Colton “everything i do” Did fine, nothing incredibly special.

David “we’re in heaven” Did very well. A great voice. Could be a serious contender.

Kyle “you raise me up” I love this kid. I will vote for him for AI and for Governor.

Syesha “chain of fools” Amazing.

Michael “bohemian rhapsody” I couldn’t believe he chose this song, but he pulled it off very well. If he continues to choose songs that are unique and interesting and actually doing it well, he will be in the top 10.

A New Low

A new low has been reached. I am praying fervently for an end to the writer’s strike. I think I could handle almost any concession just please please please stop the reality tv/game show blitz.

The lastest assault on reason and good sense. My Dad is Better Than Your Dad. Really. Its going to be on NBC. Sounds riveting, right?

Please do not watch this show. Don’t let the networks think that this is what the American people want to see on TV. I can’t take it anymore. My Dad is Better Than Your Dad?!?!