Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American Idol Top 11 Again

Well according to the judges, it was an amazing evening. Not sure I agree with the verbiage but there were outstanding notes and praise to mask the shrill ones.

My take for the night:

Scotty – Down in the basement notes excel. Attic has leaks in the roof. Needs work.

Naima – An original and quirky. Same thing, new tune old sound.

Paul – Love the softer side and control. Enhances and rocketed you to a new level.

Pia – Perhaps a dose of Casey humility is in order. Still not a buyer. Something’s missing. Not inching up the staircase.

Stefano – So glad to see you step away from the Broadway theatrics and move out of your element. Great job!

Lauren – Are you Carrie Underwood’s little sister? Grammy sound good? Like Hockey?

James – Still chartered for the winner. Confident, steps it up, humor. Commands the stage. You got it all.

Jacob – Redefines soulful. He’s so full of soul and emotion; he’s spent at the end of a performance. You reeled it in and tamed the drama.

Casey – Redheads rock! Redemption equals humility. You wear it perfectly and wrapped it around our heart. Good call on the haircut and a shave. Framed your face, added maturity to accent the humility. You’ll be back just not the unruly curls.

Thia – Daniel’s traveling tonight on a plane but he’s not alone. Thia’s at his side waving goodbye.

Haley – Lost in the moment. Can’t ask for more.

My exit votes go to:

Thia and Namia. And yours…

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol 11

After a long day, I settled in for an energized night of Motown tunes. With my note pad ready, I jotted down eleven numbers and waited for the hour to unfold. Like any good scorekeeper, I have a rhythm to my markings.

Number followed by name:

  • Check mark for a vote.
  • Line through name means contestant is scratched for the night. No vote.
  • Circled name is high on the list and gets multiple votes.

At the end of the show last night, I studied my chart. Little to no markings. Not a single scratch. That’s good. Or not. Six checks and one circle. Not a single wow moment.

Maybe it was me. Maybe it was the singers. Maybe it just wasn’t a stellar night. I didn’t get in the groove, mood or anywhere in between.

I chalked this theme week to ho-hum and based my decision on which singer would I pay to see. Who captured my visual senses and moved me along the stage and beyond?

My take on an evening that didn’t make the cut:

Casey – again you delivered the goods. Soulful vibes ignite from the tips of your toes to the untamed curl in your beard. Excellent.

Thia – Heat Wave. Perhaps in a few years when you know the heat, but this wasn’t the right choice. A young soul with an old song. Too theatrical.

Lauren - a fresh air of youth

Jacob – my one circle and side note: All The Way! Each word was caressed, massaged and in control. Can I package this man and take him home?

Stefano – You selected one of my favorite songs. Can’t believe you’ve never heard it before? Hello is rich with emotion. Slow it down on the retake and send Lionel Richie a bottle of Scotch. Or better yet your Mama with dinner. Study your tape, slow-mo, rewind and get out of your box.

Haley – You go girl! Redemption. A song performed with complete abandonment and hunger.

Scotty – Not sure of your comfort level beyond the basement note. The South will rise and vote but not the West Coast. Take it up and work it.

Pia – Humility will enhance your performance.

Paul – Still pitchy but who cares. The voice of Rod Stewart with the charisma of Kenny Loggins. The guitar is a great partner. Now swivel like Rod and bring it deeper.

Naima – Spirited, entertaining, joyful but ditch the dance.

James – What can I say to my Santa Cruz guy? You capture the audience and every week step up the delivery. It’s going to be awesome to watch you, Jacob and Casey spar towards the finale.

Based on the singer I’d pay to see or not, my exit vote for tonight is:


Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol 12

And then there were twelve…

All you have to do is watch the body language of the judges. Heads bobbling, bodies swaying, rhythm igniting from a deep place, lips singing in unison and you know the contestant is in the moment.

With the judges stoic, backs erect and smiles fixed that contestant might as well pack up on stage and move on. Psychology 101.

So after studying the facial expressions and rock in the seat judge’s movements, I add my own take to the Top 12 and sing adios…

James has winner marked all over my paper.

Naima was way off but I think she'll make it through. Quirky.

Thia, Thia, Thia...great voice. Wrong competition. No apologies after the fact. You know we don’t want ballads. Perhaps Disney?

Paul tamed the marionette movements. Woody gained a string! Gorgeous smile but hasn’t tapped into my soul with staying power.

Haley – a free-spirit not willing to commit.

Stefano – Wow-factor. Traces of Michael Buble. Loves his Mama. Tony Danza energy. Charisma.

Pia soars to the high note but still I’m not a buyer.

Scotty – out of the lower range not as strong.

Karen – out of her league.

Casey – unstoppable, crazy-dude. Let’s hear it for the redhead.

Lauren – a caterpillar ready to emerge from the cocoon.

Jacob - Croon me a Peabo Bryson song. “If Ever You’re in my Arms again…” and I’m sold.

My exit for tonight is a female. It’s a simple elimination. If you’re female, you’re in danger and the process will take place over the next several weeks. The men outshine and out maneuver every note.

Tonight I’ll toss the weakest links: Haley, Karen and Thia and my exit for tonight is Haley.

Subject to change my current top five: Casey, Jacob, James, Stefano and Lauren.

And you....?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol 13

Okay, I admit. I'm an Idoler. A seasoned American Idoler.
I reeled over the Chris Daughtry elimination. Gasped with the Taylor Hicks win. Celebrated the David Cook moment.
With the outstanding talent this year, I'm up for the challenge to pick the best.
Randy, Jennifer and Steven did a great job weeding through shrill notes, sour faces, off-key auditions, and foul gestures to present the public with 13 viable contestants.
For me, it's easier to say today who I feel is going home, than project a season winner.
After the March 9 show, I believe Thia may go home. This is a difficult as she's a local Bay Area girl with a tremendous voice and I like supporting a hometown contestant. While her youth should be her biggest advantage - sparkle, energy and vibrancy - it's her biggest disadvantage.
The kid in Thia appears lost. Go play, have fun and be a teenager. Come back a young spirit and cast the old soul. Hum the words to your song and you'll get by. Smile.
Although a favorite, Paul's cut-string marionette moves distract from the experience. Remember AI, it's all in the package. Perhaps, tie a bow or ribbon on Paul to keep him in one place. As I try to recover from vertigo, Paul drops to sixth place on my list.
Haley? Not sure I like yodel but it was done well.
My top five choices are Casey, James, Stefano, Jacob and Scotty. For today....and yours?