Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American Idol Top Six

Fired-up, focused and fixated on a win.
Wow! What an evening. American Idol Top Six.
At this point, I measure more than the measure. I look for the song that burns within and percolates under the skin and erupts with complete abandonment and like a wildfire spreads into soul.
Yet..unlike the wildfire where wind and dry twigs play the flame on stage the performer controls the fuel. Stoked, smoked and simmered. Each note sparked and tight within the fire line; an escapee crosses over and for a moment the artist lets in linger and then reels it back.
James Taylor? Where was my Fire and Rain and Sweet Baby James? Oh yeah, not your night.
Cooling the heat, here is my take for tonight:
Jacob - Started shrill but then that fire erupted and your entire body felt the heat. Fantastic. Loved your duet with James. Natural, playful, carefree with nothing to lose but yourself in the moment. That may have saved you tonight.
Scotty - "You've Got a Friend" was the perfect choice. Love, love, love the song and for me, I think you pulled it up a notch and delivered a different aspect to your voice. I'm not sure you have the friends to keep you out of the bottom two. There's still a feeling of disconnect. Take a taste of James' humility. It goes down quite well after the first swallow.
Lauren - Pure southern joy. Start clearing the mantel for your future Grammy. On second thought, buy a showcase.
James - Awesome! Not only do you know how to sing you reach the audience and connect. There's a depth to your personality perhaps marred with scars, a knowing smile, a spirit rich in integrity that commands the stage. You are cloaked in humility and have a genuine caring for your fellow contestants. That is the mark of a man. You're still my number one for all the right reasons.
Casey - Completely different than James in style, voice and venue. In my top three, James has you beat on the human connection.
Haley - Who would have thought you'd still be here and in the top six. You've found your voice. Work it. Not sure I liked the song selection. With so many top Carole King songs why pick an obscure song?
My top three: Lauren, Casey and James
My exit vote: I'm so sorry but I'm afraid it is Jacob. And yours...

Hail to King Trump - Not

It's " We the People..." not "I the Donald."

Just my take...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Idol Top Seven

Seven is a lucky number but one is the luckiest of all.

Duct tape, a stolen kiss and more bleeps than from fans at a Raider Game. The family hour is tainted. And the tongue. Steven, Steven, Steven. Good thing my Dad is already in heaven or you'd be the death of him. Potty-mouth.

Disenchanted with the news that fallen contestant Pia will showcase Dancing With the Stars, I wonder why I vote. It appears a winner is already crowned. I don’t like the new rules and guidelines of Season Ten. And I sure don’t want a cross-over of the two shows – yet.

Let’s cross the finish line, folks.

What a week. Paul’s love life. Pia’s love life. Dudes, this is a singing competition. Right Randy?

Now to our Wednesday night special: Paul and the Fallen Beauties. Off-key, out-of-sync, out-of-place. No Steven. We remember quite well why we voted them adios.

Now to cast my vote to the 50+ million across the nation:

Scotty – Over-confident. Maybe there is room next to Paul. You’re swingin’ on a short rope. There’s more to life than a low note.

James – Solid five-star. New dimension to your voice, control and maturity. You’re a complete artist with more to come.

Haley – Mumbled words. Great for Adele not for Haley and the impossible high note. Love your raspy jazz.

Jacob – I disagree with judges. Imagine that. You touched my heart and really made me feel my mother’s pain after his death. Sing me Peabo Bryson. Just once…

Casey – Major contender, sly and versatile. Redheads rock!

Stefano – Yes, I saw it. I felt it. You looked into that camera, eyes wide open and ended on a high note. Very nice change to massage the lines and orchestrate the storyline. Good job.

Lauren – Good news. Rain in the forecast. Dance in the puddles, sing in the rain with complete abandonment and then bring it on home to the finish line. Only can do it.

My top three: Casey, James and Jacob.

My bottom three: Scotty, Haley and Stefano

My exit vote: Haley – for no particular reason except it’s time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

American Idol Top Eight

First, the Pia drama and the judges tears. At this point a great voice isn’t the key. It’s the yes-factor. Jennifer and Steven are rookie judges. Bring your hankies. It’s a tough job. Lesson learned; don’t crown a winner before the contest ends.

America got it right. Good voice, over-rated and over-praised by the judges, the connection was not there. To elevate Pia to the ranks of the best in the business diminished Pia as Pia. She is not Celine. She’s also a rookie. Call it as it is. She’s Pia with a road to pave.

Now to this week’s Movie Night.

Paul – I enjoy your voice when my eyes are closed. Probably good for the radio but the Woody moves distract. Get your marionette strings in order and use them to showcase. Go see Toy Story.

Lauren – You’re already on the other side. Climb higher, climb on.

Stefano – Yes, yes and yes! You have magnetism, charisma and animation. Finally, out of the shadow of the crowned Pia, you shine. Go for it!

Scotty – I disagree with Steven. Note, he never says a negative word. The vocals were off and I’m sorry, you can’t take on George Strait. Only accentuated your immaturity and weaknesses. Go sip a taste of humility.

Casey – Jazz-King. I’m so glad to witness your birth and know you’ll be around for a long time. Can’t wait to hear you ripen into your fullness. Awesome.

Haley – Shake it up. Too much like prior performances. Didn’t like much.

Jacob – Lay me down, brother, lay me down. I’ll be there for you.

James – Heavy man, heavy. Not my thing but you did your thing well.

My top five for this week: Casey, James, Jacob, Lauren and Stefano

My exit vote goes to Paul. And yours…

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol Top Nine

Let me quit rocking and start the talking…I think I lost a pound dancing on the ceiling. Oh wait; it’s not Lionel Richie night. My brain is pooped trying to figure out if I’ve ever seen the rain on a sunny day?

Ten years and it just gets better. By far, this is the best season. How does one choose? At this point, it becomes more than voice. Attitude, body movements, stage presence, and most importantly, would I attend a concert? When I close my eyes can I feel the music?

Tonight’s take -

Jacob – Terrific vocals and tamed a bit. Not sure the * doing the nasty* comment was a good choice. I rather like the *nasty*.

Haley – Moving in the right direction. You are in your element with your raspy growl.

Casey – Love the attitude adjustment and the willingness to learn, listen and deliver. Still a big contender.

Lauren – Oh girl, you are a woman and in my circle of top five.

James – Pure honest emotion. Always look forward to your moment. Looking forward to the Steven Tyler and James Durbin performance at the finale.

Scotty – Wow the girls, win the boys. Maturity beyond seventeen. You have it all for tonight. Another circle goes to the Southern flavor.

Pia – Grates. No, no, not great. Grate.

Stefano – Somehow the Broadway persona is back. Not a bad thing but maybe not an American Idol winner. I’ll miss you.

Paul – Oh man, can we wind you up and watch you go again? Consider your name circled.

For tonight my top five: Casey, James, Scotty, Lauren and Paul

My exit vote: Stefano or Pia

And yours….

Monday, April 4, 2011

Come Together Columnist and Blogger

Okay, you attended the February 2011 SF Writers Conference and you’re packing for the BlogWorld Expo. Over and over you hear the message: network, network and network. You exchange business cards and rub shoulders with career-building individuals. Names are scribbled on napkins and tucked inside shirt pockets. Perhaps you even laugh over cocktails with a Board Member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and you just know you’re in the right place.

Now’s the time to reach into that arsenal, revisit the connection and network.

Often a Columnist and Blogger work alone. Some days the cubicle isn’t enough and the need to share with like-minds is crucial. We want a sense of community and camaraderie; we search for individuals who think like us; we gain strength when we come together.

Why not join a professional organization designed just for someone like you?

NSNC Membership Board Member and freelance columnist, Cynthia Borris, encourages you to explore the benefits associated with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. While the annual membership fee is low the perks are high. Beyond the tee-shirt, free promotion for books is just one of the benefits.

Cynthia finds it doesn’t matter if you write for the New York Times, Chicago Sun or on one-ply toilet tissue for a backwoods weekly, you’re all NSNC family.

Yes, we understand. Newspapers are a dying field. That’s why it’s important to move forward into a new tomorrow. Recapture your audience, redefine your journalistic career and embrace a new media. Offline and online. Columnist and Blogger. Together.

Ignite with the spark of like-minds: Dave Barry, Bruce Cameron, Steve Lopez, Stu Bykofsky, Heloise, SF Bay Area columnists Cameron Sullivan, L.J. Anderson and more.

Join fellow members in Detroit as we Rebound in Motown. Share your new releases and special columns. Learn how to rebound and regain your voice. Bask in the Hospitality Suite.

Cynthia welcomes your questions:

Cynthia Borris is the author of No More Bobs, a frequent Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor and freelance columnist. A seasoned volunteer for the SF Writers Conference, she invites you to visit her site for The Wicked Sense of Humor Sampler.