Utterly Horrendous

Venting about Season 9 and Top 12!

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on March 18, 2010
"TOP" 12

"Top" 12 or Last 12 Left?

David Here! We dropped the ball the last week of the semi’s and didn’t post recaps or opinion columns!! As some of you know, aside from being too into American Idol, I’m a full time stand up comic. In the last few weeks I’ve been in Seattle, LA, San Francisco and Sacramento. So the only parts of Idol I’ve seen have been on Youtube. It does suck not being able to sit down and watch the episodes in their entirety; but when the alternative is performing and being on stage, I gotta pick performing!

Also, this season has been delivering serving after serving of letdown sauce! Andrew Garcia is the guy I’m rooting for week in and week out, but he has been stagnant. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed his rendition of Sugar We’re Going Down and I thought the judges were a little too harsh on him. I also think that Genie In a Bottle wasn’t bad either. I’m not sure what the judges are looking for, except they really loved Straight Up! I mean Straight Up was epic, so would it be out of line for him to do it again if the theme allowed it?? Andrew needs to have a “Billie Jean” moment soon or his days are numbered.

Also I was very disappointed in the Top 12 in general. This probably the most bland Idols Top 12 has been since I’ve been watching (which is Season 4). Can anyone name the Top 12 in its entirety without referring to a web site or rewinding the DVR? Maybe? You’d probably forget Katie Stevens or Lacey Brown or Paige Miles (before she let her love of MJ loose last week) This and Season 6 are the seasons where there haven’t been too many star-making “moments”, just performances. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Jordin and Blake Lewis from Season 6 but the lower half of that season was average at best (except for Brandon Rogers! I still wish he got the words right! He should have been Top 5 easily)

Maybe we’ve been spoiled the last two years with great talents: Adam Lambert, David Cook, Kris Allen, Jason Castro, Syesha, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey,  Matt Giraud, David Archuleta

Even though this argument has some holes in it. Yes, you can’t really compare this Top 12 yet to previous years since we haven’t seen their full growth yet. David Cook was just coming into his own Season 7 with his rendition of Hello put him on the Idol map. Matt Giraud was eliminated then brought back last year with their “Why did they get rid of it” Wild Card round. So this Top 12 can’t really be judged until we can actually reflect on the growth of individual contestants once the competition is done.

But I can tell you so far (except for Crystal Bowersox who I can see struggling with some future themes and Andrew in dire need of a “moment”) any of the previous seasons contestants would own and win this years Idol without breaking a sweat.

So the gauntlet has been set for this years Idols! Lacey Brown was the first victim of the Big Stage and its now down to 11! You make it through this elimination you get to Tour with the Idols! So this is a pivotal week, make it count!

DAVID OUT!

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Rambles from my phone Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on March 11, 2010

David here! I just discovered that I can post on wordpress from my phone!! Soooo looks like I will be able to vent or talk about anything Idol related from anywhere! We’ll see where this goes!

One thing that I want to see banished from the show are group songs! They are not the “necessary evil” some have called it. The group songs debacle came to a head during Seasons 8 group performance of “Don’t Stop Believin” where it was painfully obvious that lip syncing was going on. The choreography is ALWAYS terrible and some Idols don’t even pretend they enjoy the group numbers (Amanda Overmeyer anyone?)

So get rid of the group performances, and in place of them….? Yeah I have no idea. When I do, I’ll let you know.

Anybody have a group of Idol performances that they love listening to? Some of my favorites are:

(In no particular order)

-David Cook- Always Be My Baby, Hello, Billie Jean, Dream Big
-Carrie Underwood- Alone
-Jordin Sparks- I Who Have Nothing
-Matt Giraud- Human Nature, So Small, Part-Time Lover
-Constantine Maroulis- Bohemian Rhapsody
-Kris Allen- Heartless, Ain’t No Sunshine
-Adam Lambert- If I Can’t Have You, Track of My Tears, Cryin, Ring of Fire
Elliott Yamin- A Song for You, If You Really Love Me, Moody’s Mood for Love

There u go! I’m falling asleep. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!!

Top 10 girls… a little better this time around…

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on March 4, 2010

Once again, the girls are upon us. And once again, the accessories section of Urban Outfitters appears to have vomited all over most of them. Have any of of them heard of “less is more”?

Kara needs to stop trying to be Paula redux. The loopiness and the hanging all over Simon deal. It’s just not happening, sweetcheeks.

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX IS BACK! Good news all around, considering she’s one of the best Idol has this season, guy OR girl. It would have been a damn shame if she got DQed for being ill. But nope – she’s well and ready to go.
Crystal starts us off… Crystal has a twin brother. That’s kinda cool. And she shows off her accessories as something meaningful, not so much as stuff she piled on to look trendy. Creedance Clearwater Revival is such a good artist choice for her, I think.
She just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t she? This may not be the most well-known Creedance Clearwater song [“Long As I Can See The Light”], but with the way she nailed it, who cares? Her voice is tinged with Jack Daniels and a life of living rough, and she’s completely got that “pure, raw natural talent” that Ellen said she had. What a way to start the night off… she set the bar REALLY high.
And for Simon to say he misunderestimated her last week… good news.

Haeley Vaughn makes and collects hair accessories… based on the amount she’s piled on tonight and last week, I’m not surprised. And I see she got herself a nice weave for tonight, which is somehow less flattering then before. AND she’s singing a Miley Cyrus song… pretty soon here I’m gonna need an insulin shot. No, Ryan, singing “The Climb” is not showing off your “serious” side.
This just in: It is possible to sing worse than Miley Cyrus on her own songs. It appears I completely overestimated young Haeley’s talent last week, because now that she doesn’t have an upbeat, quirky song to hide behind, she sounds… well, she just sounds awful. Plus I’m having a REAL hard time taking her seriously with all these pieces of junk jewelry… can you tell I find it all REALLY distracting??
Kara, I don’t know who the hell is rooting for Haeley… except maybe the people at Vote For The Worst.

Lacey Brown, our token quirky indie pink-haired hipster, likes antique shopping. She needs to move to San Francisco because she’d fit in with all 10,000 chicks JUST LIKE HER in that city. I’m sort of bored already.
She’s singing “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer, a one-hit-wonder song that was HUGE about ten years ago when I was still in high school and “Dawson’s Creek” was the most popular show on TV. This song is a much better fit for her voice, because she sounds exactly like the lead singer, but she’s still not that great, and I remain completely bored.
Randy whines [yes, whines] about how it sounds like karaoke… yeah, I agree.

Katie Stevens can say “Give me a kiss” in six different languages… I can say it in three! [English, Spanish and Polish] Languages are fun. She’s gonna sing something “young” tonight after singing “Feeling Good” last week… so she’s singing “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae, which has become SO outdone on Idol [and never really done well, either].
She’s okay, but not amazing. It really doesn’t seem like the judges are pimping her up as much as I’d expected, and it’s a good thing. I don’t think this was the right choice for her at all; it’s not a song that’s a vocal showcase and it’s such a jump from what she’s done on the show so far, but she needs to find a contemporary song that shows her talent. This wasn’t it.

Didi Benami reminds me a lot of Brooke White. They both have that same au naturel toothy blonde look, and both seem more than a little loopy. Right before she said she “meowed” before going on stage I was gonna say she was a few steps away from sounding like a crazy cat lady… so… yeah.
This week she’s singing “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers, which is a big jump from the adorable Ingrid Michaelson song she did well on last week. She sounds really good, but I’m not feeling her white-girl dance moves. Someone needs to tell her it’s entirely possible to stand still and sing. The tempo was also a little slow, but I don’t think that’s her fault. She’s got a great voice – but this isn’t a good song choice for her. Simon calls it “generic”. I kind of agree.

Michelle Delamor was pretty generic last week… and this week is singing “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed. WTF? This is either gonna be strangely amazing or a HOT mess, because anything Creed post-“My Own Prison” album is just terrible.
Once again, I get NOTHING from this chick. She has a good voice and she’s beautiful but she doesn’t seem to have ANY musical identity. Not to mention she’s biffing notes left and rights here in what seems like attempts to riff. It’s just not a good song choice – it dragged on and on and it’s just… not a good song. For anyone, really. I do love what she’s wearing, though [apparently it’s a Vera Wang. Nice].
The judges [sans Randy] loved it. They must really be pushing for the diversity quota here, with Todrick, Jermaine and Haeley all choking [and Ashley and Jose getting voted off last week].

Lilly Scott plays all kinds of instruments, and tonight is playing a 12-string during her performance of “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. Adam Lambert did this one good last season, so the bar’s set pretty high.
Lilly has a quirky voice, nothing like the bombastic Idols before her who’ve tried this one. Somehow, though, it works for her. She kinda reminds me of Cyndi Lauper, in her stylings and phrasing. I think she did this well, even though it was such a diversion from other versions.

Katelyn Epperly, thank heavens, has toned down her “little girl playing dress-up” look from last week and is wearing a gorgeous white-and-champagne dress. She was studying to be a recording engineer before Idol, which is kinda cool considering it directly relates to what she’s doing here. Has anyone on here sang a Coldplay song before? This is a good one.
She’s playing the piano on “The Scientist”, one of Coldplay’s most gorgeous piano ballads, and she sounds amazing. There’s no Bandzilla backing her up – just the piano she’s playing [and maybe a triangle chime here and there]. Love love love it. Beautiful. This is such a wonderful song for her voice.

Paige Miles likes to color with markers and crayons… which is AWESOME. After years of teaching preschool part-time and babysitting, I’m so inclined to agree. I like this girl’s personality – she’s got spunk.
Singing “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson… which really isn’t one of her best songs, but oh well. She’s doing it well though – her voice reminds me a lot of Kelly’s voice – although maybe not as strong. Great song for her voice though; her attitude is shining right through. That high note though… no.
The judges said she didn’t choose the right song. I can’t say I agree – I just get the feeling they want to stick her in the “diva” box.

Siobhan Magnus is one of those performers who I usually can’t wait to see what she does next. After doing “Wicked Game” so well last week, I’m not too excited to hear her do “Think” by Aretha Franklin this week. It’s not in her wheelhouse at all, and although she has the voice for it, there are notes she’s not getting – except that last high one. Well played! I still love her though. She’s safe.

This was a better night for the girls, and a better week all around for everyone.

Top 2:

Crystal Bowersox

Katelyn Epperly

Bottom 2:

Haeley Vaughn

Lacey Brown

In danger:

Lacey Brown

Didi Benami

See ya tomorrow for the results!

Top 10 Guys… but are they really TOPS?

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on March 4, 2010

David Here! We sent home some surprising people last week! On the ladies side some airtime darlings went home- Janelle Wheeler and Ashley Rodriguez. Both had sub-par performances (as did 90% of the guys and girls), but I figured both were safe based on Hollywood week and their airtime earlier in the season.

On the fellas side, not so shocking. Except for Tyler Grady going home! Really America!? You would rather have the American Apparel model than a unique performer who was going to get better as the show progressed? Don’t get me wrong Tyler was never going to win, but he would have made for some good performances. We also said good bye to the nice kid Joe Munoz.

“Wait, Who is Joe Munoz?” Exactly. Moving on. Ask Season 8’s Jorge Nunez if it’s smart to speak spanish at any point! NOPE!

SO all that brings us to tonight! OH AND WAIT!? Whats this? The boys are up first due to Crystal Bowersox falling ill. I wonder if Paige Miles fell ill would they have switched nice or just moved on without her.

I’m also going to stand by my belief that the mics and sound mixing are making these performances worse than they are. I noticed it last year that they changed microphones, and it’s made a difference. You hear EVERYTHING and the voice is much louder than the band. This needs to be fixed or else these contestants will suffer for it.

TOP 10 BOYS

Michael Lynche Whoa! Where did this come from? Since the beginning, I haven’t really been a big fan. But he won me over on this one. He’s the only of the night with real swag. Singing “This is a Man’s World” and he owned the song from beginning to end. FIRST STANDING OVATION from Randy THIS SEASON! It was deserved. SAFE

John Park WAY better song choice. It’s more current and closer to his voice. But he is severely lacking any star quality. He’s likable, but not memorable. I would never sit during a semi-final performance. I can’t think of any that jump out at me. It takes people out of the performance. Judges were spot on. Except Simon was a little too harsh (which seems to be the case this season.) In trouble.

Casey James Did anyone else know what song Casey was going to sing after Seacrest mentioned Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin and Chris Richardson? Well, let me tell you I yelled “Gavin DeGraw” at the top of my lungs, and impressed everyone in the room. And guaranteed my single status for another 6 months. His performance DECIDEDLY split the judges panel; Randy and Ellen LOVED it, whereas Kara and Simon said vocally he took two steps back. I don’t think it was TWO steps back. More of a side step. He is definitely in the Top 12, so no critique matters at this point!

Alex Lambert So here’s the thing with this kid. Hands down him and Andrew Garcia have my favorite natural tones to their voice on the show (and maybe Lee Dewyze). But Alex Lambert looks like a 4th grader performing in front of his class every week. Not a star by any stretch. If he makes it through this elimination, he’ll have to step it up huge on the Swag Scale. In trouble.

Todrick Hall Adam Lamberts BOO! Once again he tackles another song and puts some funk on it. And again mixed to bad results. First he picked a great song that’s due for a revamp (even though they called the irrelevant. It is, hence due for a revamp), but I see it more of an acoustic revamp than an R&B revamp that Todrick gave it. During the first half of the song, he looked EXTREMELY uncomfortable stiff as board while singing. Kara noticed one he opened up and moved, the singing got better. My favorite song he’s done is his original song from his audition. Todrick and Jermaine both are trying to do too much vocally; too many runs! As much as I’m not a fan of his, he’s safe. SIMON QUOTE of the Day (to Todrick): “I say move but don’t sing.”

Jermaine Sellers ROCKIN’ the onesie! I love it! I have been wanting to get one for the longest. SO he better be safe for that reason alone. But let’s talk about his performance anyway. Probably the most boring and wrong song choice of the night. Singing What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye, he did exactly what Simon said he did, which is “water down” the song. The beauty of Jermaine’s audition was that he took a simple song (vocally) like Joan Osbournes “One Of Us” made it current and put a soulful tinge to it. He has taken that and is now in competition with himself to do the most runs ever in the shows history! If he sang it simply without so many runs, he could have made it a classic performance. He’s the Idol i’m most disappointed with. Unfortunately in danger

WEIRDEST CONTESTANT QUOTE : “I know God. I’m gonna be here.” -Jermaine Sellers

 Andrew Garcia Andrew Andrew Andrew! Tell me you didn’t peak during Hollywood week? Don’t get me wrong I actually loved his performance last week! But this week, even though I did like it. He hasn’t blown anyone out the box. Which he’s very capable of doing (we used to watch his Youtube clips before he was ever on the show). It doesn’t help that I don’t know the original James Morrison version, but this was an opportunity for him to get me to love this song.

I was told by a fan on Twitter (SHOUT OUT to @Raqu3l):

   @UtterlyH I think it’s nerves, n wondering if theyre telling him to enunciate more. He has a YT of that song, and its 10x’s better.

Let’s hope he shakes those nerves and has a memorable performance next week! What if he sang Straight Up again? JUST to shut everyone up about it already. Safe

Aaron Kelly  Season 9’s mix of David Archuleta and Kevin Covais. He’ll make it to around 8 or 9th place. That big stage will eat him up with that lack of stage presence. My Girl as your song? Really? Did you grandma pick the song? It worked I’ve already heard older women loving this kid. He’s safe

 Tim Urban Oh you lucky boy. How you avoided elimination last week is beyond me. But I can say this week was a little better. But if you don’t go home this week, i’m writing  a letter. *GOING HOME!*

*PIMP SPOT AWARD WINNER* Lee Dewyze

This dude knows his wheelhouse! Best song choice of the night! He made himself current and he’s the one I can hear on the radio right now. Loved his arrangement of the song. Just slight changes made it perfect. This kid is turning into a dark horse. I think he is a victim of the sound mixing with the occasional bum note that wouldn’t have been so apparent in previous seasons. Btw, Simon calling him the BEST singer in the competition…? I love the guy but did he mean commercially viable voice? But definitely Favorite performance of the night *SAFE SAFE*

There you have it. The “TOP” 10 boys. I gotta say, I’m feeling the same way I did when I watched Season 6 (Lot of forgettable contestants), even though this year has a few better talents than season 6 had at this point. A lot of these guys are lucky they got this far. I usually look forward to semi-finals performances. But with the new mics and lack of star quality, this is definitely being a letdown season so far. I hope it gets better.  Not a good start to Simons swan song season!

Quick prediction on who’s going home:

Tim Urban

John Park

Thanks for reading, this…has… been:

UTTERLY HORRENDOUS

 

Top 12 girls… the voting is on!

Posted in Uncategorized by alaskansteph on February 25, 2010

Voting rounds begin tonight! Who will sink? Who will swim? And why does everyone look so effing YOUNG?

THIS… is American Idol!

I know it’s a girl’s year this year, so maybe that’s why they’re kicking it off with a mostly pretty, sort of alternative, some slightly grungy ladies? Do ALL of them shop at American Apparel?  Their general style appears to be “I’m really super trendy, but I want to look alternative, so I’ll just pile on all this jewelry from Forever 21 and get some Manic Panic”.

Glad to know Ellen is on point with the humour. She’s a great addition to the judge’s table. Although she showed this staged “leg grabbing” video on her show last week.

Paige Miles is cute but sounds insanely affected in her pre-performance interview. Singing “All Right Now” … ummm, sweetie, no. I think she forgot to watch season 7 when David Cook knocked this out of the park. Not to mention, she’s wearing a larger size of the dress I wore on Christmas day when I was six. So it makes it really hard to take her seriously. Grungy 70s rock + Jessica McClintock knockoff = bipolar performance. How old is she? 24? Shut up. No 24 year old would wear that damn dress.

I’m really not crazy about Ashley Rodriguez. I wasn’t crazy about her in Boston when they fawned all over her mediocre version of yet another out-played Alicia Keys song, and my opinion hasn’t changed. She sounded like crap singing a bloody Jordin Sparks song that has virtually no range. There you go… all you need to know. Oh, and she’s singing that Leona Lewis song [“Happy“] that was all over the TV spots for “Precious“. So any time now I expect to see Mo’Nique throwing a TV down the stairs at Gabourey Sidibe.
I take it she’s the type to use melisma to cover up the fact that she can’t hold a note. And to sing a Leona Lewis song in front of the man who basically created her career was pretty brave. Her early airtime will keep her in for now.

Apparently Janell Wheeler dated Tim Tebow. Somehow, she strikes me as the type to do so. I liked her acoustic version of Estelle’s “American Boy” in Hollywood but I’m really having an issue warming up to her. She looks like all the vapid blondies I went to college with in Oklahoma. But she’s singing a Heart song, so maybe she’ll redeem herself?
This song – “What About Love” – is WAY too big for her. Ann and Nancy Wilson didn’t mess around; hell, even Melissa McGhee in Season 5 did a pretty good job with this song. But she is all over the place – her voice is just not even close to being strong enough for this song. If she chose something lighter [Estelle was a perfect artist to emulate] it would have worked but this was a hot mess.

Lilly Scott has hella cool hair – I love that grey-blonde razored look she has. It’s unique without being overdone. And she’s singing an adorably cute Beatles song – “Fixing a Hole” – accompanied by guitar! I like her a lot already.
Her voice isn’t perfect, but it has a very quirky unpolished tone that seems to fit her. This is the kind of song that stands out – unknown, but not forgettable. Her dress is uber-cute and she certainly knows how to work a camera. Simon said he liked that it seemed she chose the song because it fit her and portrayed her, instead of choosing a song that would her get to the next round. I think she’s unpolished – we need more “unpolished”, fewer producer plants.
Oh, and Kara, you’re on live television. Quit with the sneaky whispering to Simon. This ain’t middle school, sweetie.

Katelyn Epperly is once again milking her “sad backstory”. And she’s looking a lot like Annalynne McCord from 90210 [not a compliment]. Big hair + bright red lipstick + awkward looking hairpiece + pleather black dress with questionable looking tights = all kinds of a hot mess. Accessory sensory overload! She kind of resembles a little girl playing dress-up.
She wasn’t terrible, and I like that more people are singing Beatles’ songs [she sang “Oh! Darling“] and not even just the generic ones everyone knows. So it was… okay. Not terrible by any means.

Haeley Vaughn talks about getting her nose pierced after making it to Hollywood. And being 16 her mom had to come with her. Somehow, this makes me like her more, even though she’s overdoing “ethnic Taylor Swift” deal.
Singing another Beatles song – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – I’m liking it. I usually get way too bored by these little teenage things but she’s unpolished, quirky and has a big voice without getting all diva on us. And this is a great song choice for her; it always makes me think of the version from ‘Across the Universe’. I hope she sticks around, because she’s not polished and generic but still crazy talented. Ellen has it right – “you just shined”. I agree.

Lacey Brown looks like she’s trying to overdo the hipster thing. I mean, I get that most seasons of Idol have to have a pink-haired girl, but her random blue tank top under her one-shouldered floral dress that looked like sofa upholstry was weird, and she looks like she hit up Urban Outfitter and grabbed as many mismatched pieces as possible.
Her voice was weird [she sang Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”] – it wasn’t very strong, and although that sometimes doesn’t matter, it did here. It had a Dolly Parton sound to it, but not as good, if that makes sense. Maybe on a record where they can auto-tune parts if needed, but on the Idol stage? Nuh-uh.

Michelle Delamor is very pretty and a “corporate singer”, whatever that entails. She also apparently has a very loud family. But… she’s singing “Fallin‘”, another one of those crazy overdone Alicia Keys songs that has made me completely lose all interest in Ms. Keys’ music.
She isn’t terrible but this… just isn’t good. Her voice isn’t strong enough to dig into the deeper parts of the song, and I’m beginning to understand the terms that “corporate singer” could be… either way I’m just bored here.

Didi Benami is very, very pretty, and talented too – but she’s another one with a “sad backstory” that she brings up whenever possible. That whole deal bugs me – let people vote for your talent, not how sad your life is. Danny Gokey wore that one out last season.
She’s singing “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson, which I didn’t think I knew until I heard it. Her voice is very unique, and my husband thinks she sounds a lot like Regina Spektor [I happen to agree, and a little like old school Nelly Furtado too]. She sounds pretty amazing and this performance is subdued, but not boring at all. Except that vest… it’s quite terrible.

Siobhan Magnus has a very quirky look and vocal style and I love her group’s rendition of ‘Bad Romance’ in Hollywood. Dark horse? Yeah, I’d say so.
Wicked Game” … have we ever heard this song on Idol? Either way, it’s a great one, and this suits her style impeccably. I like that she’s not rocking out, that this is a more subdued performance, and that she’s not trying to out-diva the other girls. She, like Haeley and Lilly, is unpolished without being untalented.

Crystal Bowersox, so far, has been my favorite of all the girls, if not all the contestants. She’s gritty without being like all the other so-called “gritty” artists, and she seems to rarely perform without her guitar. I so want her to go far.
If my memory serves correct this is only the second Alanis Morissette song we’ve heard on this show [“Hand In My Pocket“]. And the harmonica! She’s really great – so unlike the rest of the girls – and I want her to go very, very far in this competition. If this has to be a girl’s year, please let her be the winner. Except Simon doesn’t like her. She’s not a belter.

I’m not gonna lie – Katie Stevens bugs me. Before she even walked into the audition room her family and friends had her face on a stick. Creepy. Not to mention her backstory, while very poignant, rubs me the wrong way. This girl is 16 – plenty of time later to establish a career – but she wants to do it now for her grandmother? If she’s dying she should just spend more time with her instead of gallavanting around Southern California. I’m just sayin’…
She just looks and sounds so precocious and is WAY too young to be singing “Feelin’ Good“. I will never forget how good Adam Lambert sounded on it – and she pales in comparison. And I am so glad the judges didn’t pimp the crap out of her.

My top two of the night:

Crystal Bowersox, x1000
Haeley Vaughn [I know I’m in the minority]

Bottom two:

Paige Miles
Janelle Wheeler

Who will go home?

Paige Miles [no airtime + early placement + forgettable]
Michelle Delamor [all of the above, really]

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Los Angeles + Dallas = big states, big personalities

Posted in Uncategorized by alaskansteph on January 30, 2010

Stephani here giving you the latest roundup in Idol audition awesomeness… Los Angeles and Dallas. Two very dynamic cities, known for widely different demographics. The two biggest states in the lower 48 [as we Alaskans call it]. What can we expect??

Well, for one, here are some of the Idol alums that have come out of these two audition cities in previous seasons…

From Dallas… Kelly Clarkson, the O.G.

Jason Castro, laid-back dreadhead from season 7


And from LA… Adam Lambert, last season’s glittery diva

Katharine McPhee, singer/actress/runner-up from season 5

So I think it’s fair to have some high hopes from these two cities, no? We had four interesting guest judges to choose from as well…

In LA we had Avril Lavigne [circa. 2002] and Katy Perry!

And in Dallas… the one and only Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas [the “cute one” from the Jonas Bros.]

So I think it’s safe to assume that the theme for the LA guest judges was “quirky but sexy female singers with questionable fashion sense”, and the theme in Dallas was “pretty singer/actors who are sex symbols to both men and women”. I think that sounds about right.

So now… my Top 5 auditions of the week. In random order.

5.) Kimberly Carver, Dallas

I really liked her jazzy style, she sang her own song and it wasn’t a massive trainwreck! Most people sing some pretty terrible originals [except General Larry Platt, of course] but she sounded quite awesome. Simon wasn’t a fan, but he really isn’t into the non-cookie cutter females as it is.

4.) Erica Rhodes, Dallas

She was a child actor on “Barney and Friends” [not gonna lie, I Googled her to see if I recognized her] and now wants to show her “sassy adult” side to the judges, lookin’ all dominatrixy and wielding a fierce whip… which was an effective gimmick that did not use the overdone “I was sick once in my life and now I’m gonna tell Ryan Seacrest” hook. And she sang En Vogue! What a wonderfully nice 90s-esque audition. Oh, and she was really good, too.

3.) Mary Powers, LA

I seriously liked her… whether it was the 80s-grunge-punk thing she had going, or her spot-on Pat Benatar, or her awesome eyeliner, I thought she was great. And her snarky daughter was hilarious. More kids should be junior Simon Cowells.

2.) Chris Golightly, LA

Chris had a sad life, y’all. He was an orphan. Which is no laughing matter but it doesn’t surprise me that almost every good singer this year had a crappy life. He looks like an albino Justin Guarini and he sang “Stand By Me“! That will certainly tug every heartstring in America. But in all seriousness, I liked him a lot. And I really hope he shows some artistry instead of becoming Danny Gokey v. 2.0.

1.) Andrew Garcia, LA

This guy is getting a lot of buzz, and rightfully so. And I can even respect his “sad backstory” hook – his parents were in gangs, he was raised in Compton [that place is no laughing matter]. And he sang “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 almost better than the original. I think people will remember him.

And now for the bottom 5 of the week… also in random order.

5.) Austin Fullmer, LA

Okay, I could not stop laughing at this kid, he reminds me of one of my best friends [who is addicted to speed metal], is trying to channel Mick Jagger and is for some reason singing a Cheap Trick song with a severe British accent. Hilarity at its best.

4.) Vanessa Johnson, Dallas

[couldn’t find video, here’s a pic, thanks TopIdol!]



Please put away all that pink. No one in their right mind wears hot pink eyeshadow. And your highlights confuse me.

3.) A.J. Mendoza, LA

Okay so apparently this kid really can sing, but he did himself no favors here. He chose a semi-obscure rock song [‘Cult of Personality‘ which I know best from Guitar Hero 3] and tried to rock it while name-dropping Adam Lambert. Didn’t work, kiddo.

2.) Jason Greene, LA

He looks like an even more androgynous Johnny Weir and sang the only song the Divinyls are known for, ‘I Touch Myself‘. No one who sings this song should expect to be taken seriously.

1.) Julie Kevelighan, Dallas

Okay first of all, this chick auditioned in Season 1 [!!!] and was TERRIBLE then. I remember she sang a hilariously awful version of ‘Lady Marmalade‘  and told the judges she had a vocal coach. Uh huh. Well, nine seasons later and nothing has really changed, except this time she had a big sign, a bedazzled turquoise cocktail dress and way too much shimmery eyeshadow. And she sang ‘Black Velvet‘ this time, because it hasn’t been massacred enough at karaoke bars around the country already.

Share your thoughts in the comments!

the trouble with the Underrated Performance.

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on December 5, 2009

Underrated performances. The bane of the Idol competitor’s existence.

Unless you’re a token Hot Dude or Chick, or have the benefit of week-after-week pimping, an Underrated Performance can mean a tragic end for your Idol run. Fans will vote their fingers off for a trainwreck performance from their fave, to save them. Casual viewers vote for the show-stopping judge-tongue-bathing performances because they’re encouraged to. It’s the underrated performances that are the most dangerous. Dark horse contestants have been shock-booted or worse due to underrated performances. And here are some that just flat-out deserved better, even if those performances gave them another week or two.

1.) Leslie Hunt – Natural Woman [season 6]

When I first heard her sing in the season 6 semi-finals I hadn’t heard anything about her… and I figured she was one of those stealth amazing singers [in the spirit of LaToya London and Bo Bice] after hearing the first few bars of this. Not all chicks on Idol need to be diva-esque belters, but that’s the box most of them were stuck in. But Leslie had chops and a fun soulful groove – unfortunately her combination of no carefully-edited backstory + no Mariah vocal chords didn’t bode well for her. She deserved better.

2.) Anoop Desai – Angel Of Mine [season 8]

So Anoop Dogg was a frontrunner before this. People loved him and his crazy vocals and penchant for singing awesome mid-90s R&B hits. He should have gotten through based on this performance – it was right in the wheelhouse his fans had seen him in. What’s more – word is he dedicated it to a classmate at UNC who died a year earlier. The song fit his voice perfectly. And if Simon hadn’t pretty much directed people to vote for the second coming of Bruce Willis, he probably wouldn’t have needed that wild card spot.

3.) David Hernandez – It’s All Coming Back To Me [season 7]

I’m pretty sure this was before the Strippergate rumour came about, but my opinion would have stayed the same. Even though this was during “80s” week – so he chose this on a technicality based on it being written for Meat Loaf and he still sang Celine Dion’s version – but he really hit the musicality in it with all the dramatics he could inflect in it, even though he’s still no Celine or Meat Loaf [but really, who is?]. Loved it.

4.)  Scott MacIntyre – Just The Way You Are [season 8]

This isn’t the version on the show. YouTube doesn’t have it. But here it is, fresh from the “Pick any song you want” week [or in Idol producer terms, “iTunes hits” week]. Scott got a lot of crap from Simon for never leaving his piano, but seriously, 1.) Dude is blind. Give him a freaking break, and 2.) How often do you see Elton John or Billy Joel leave their piano? And speaking of Billy Joel, man oh man, was this song perfect for him or what?

5.)  TrenyceProud Mary [season 2]

So… Josh Gracin more or less murdered Neil Sedaka’s “Bad Blood” and escaped unscathed, and Trenyce channels Tina and gets the ax? This is just one of several examples of the sacrificial lamb that can be the underrated performance. She wasn’t my favorite contestant in season 2, not by a longshot, but this was easily one of the best performances of the night. Maybe if she’d done some of Ms. Turner’s famous dance moves she would have done better?

6.)  George Huff – Lean On Me [season 3]

Yes, this performance won him Simon’s wild card vote, but I felt like George was underrated in so many ways. He wasn’t even originally chosen for the top 32 that year; someone’s arrest cleared the way for him. Not only did he seem like an amazingly nice person but he had a rich and soulful voice I could listen to all day. This song was right in his wheelhouse – very “bring me to church!” and all. And needed far more recognition that it earned, even if it did get Simon’s love at the end.

7.)  Amy Adams – Sin Wagon [season 3]

More people associate this song with Carrie Underwood’s version in season 4, but Amy’s version was far and away better. The lyrics sounded much more real and believable coming from her – and this is a song where lyrics count. Unfortunately, they had to change the “mattress dancing” lyric to “crazy dancing” [which was just weird and off-putting] and she got voted off the following week. Sadness. She was better than 10th place.

8.)  Elliott Yamin – Somebody To Love [season 5]

First of all, the fact that Elliott hadn’t even heard this song before Queen week on Idol speaks volumes for his ability to sing it. This song is flippin’ HARD to sing. And just like every song he sang on Idol, he did amazingly with it. How it landed him in the bottom 3 that week, I’ll never know. I guess it didn’t have the zeitgeist appeal then as it does now [what with it being covered by the Glee kids and all] but seriously, when you ask me what songs were Elliott’s best from his Idol run, this is in the top 3, handily.

9.)  Jason Castro – Travelin’ Thru [season 7]

I was a HUGE Castro fan in his season; I thought he was heavily underrated in his entire run. This song during Dolly Parton week was quite tailor-made for him and his style, and with his acoustic guitar he did a really great job. Not many of Dolly’s songs are familiar to our generation but this was released this decade and was up for an Oscar. It’s too bad the judges weren’t crazy for it, but he still made it through safely. Bonus points for the studio version – it’s pretty awesome.

10.)  Allison Iraheta – Cry Baby [season 8]

She was underrated from the beginning of the finals, but to think this performance would get her voted off? Once again, an example of the underrated performance taking the hit – Danny Gokey’s “Scream On” mobilized his fanbase into full force, Adam Lambert was recovering from his ” bottom 2″ incident the week before, and Kris… well, he’s just amazing. Allison took the hit here, big time. The judges were lukewarm and she deserved better from them because, well, just listen to her!

Me and Stephani Chat Idol on Facebook!

Posted in Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on May 2, 2009

Stephani and I have amazing idols. We scare each other sometimes with our knowledge on all things Idol.

Here are some of the transcripts from our talks. The first one is from

[12:59] iheartdavidlew: Hey!
[12:59] pieces of stephi: hey!
[13:04] iheartdavidlew: And… I went on a mini shopping idol song spree on itunes.
[13:04] pieces of stephi: i figured =)
[13:05] iheartdavidlew: A couple revelations
[13:13] iheartdavidlew: danny g…
[13:13] iheartdavidlew: Another revelation.
[13:14] iheartdavidlew: My loves growing soft and complicated.
[13:14] pieces of stephi: oh really?
[13:14] iheartdavidlew: I’m having a problem seeing what type of cd he could and will release
[13:15] pieces of stephi: yeah, I can see him doing contemporary christian maybe? but that’s such a niche market
[13:16] iheartdavidlew: I get he has a michael mcdonald vibe but that’s not a viable option for a hit record
[13:16] pieces of stephi: exactly
[13:17] iheartdavidlew: And it’s sad.. But listening to his songs on my way to and from work…
[13:18] iheartdavidlew: And I gotta say..
[13:18] iheartdavidlew: I’m getting more and more of a Taylor hicks vibe…
[13:18] iheartdavidlew: And I didn’t expect that.
[13:18] pieces of stephi: that’s kind of what i’ve been thinking. they have similar voices.
[13:19] iheartdavidlew: Big difference being one looks commercially viable whereas the other looks like a creepy stepdad
[13:20] pieces of stephi: haha, that is also true

[13:21] pieces of stephi: i don’t think he is the most commercially viable idol, which is why i can’t figure out why the judges pimp him as much as they dp
[13:23] iheartdavidlew: Who do you think Is?
[13:24] pieces of stephi: i think matt, allison and adam all are
[13:24] pieces of stephi: maybe kris, he’s got a jason mraz vibe
[13:24] iheartdavidlew: Yeah. I think I’m gonna come up with some polls..
[13:25] iheartdavidlew: I think allison definitely… Kind of an avril thing.
[13:25] pieces of stephi: oh yeah, a more rocker miley cyrus
[13:25] iheartdavidlew: who do u think needs idol the least? Like daughtry…
[13:25] pieces of stephi: hmm… probably adam, he has enough connections
[13:26] pieces of stephi: other than that i think they a;ll stand to benefit from this
[13:26] iheartdavidlew: Agreed
[13:27] iheartdavidlew: Who will sputter onto obscurity the fastest??
[13:28] pieces of stephi: hmm…
[13:28] pieces of stephi: i’d say scott, but he has the chance to hit up the motivational speaker circuit
[13:28] iheartdavidlew: Alas Anthony federov, Melissa mcghee, Scott savol
[13:28] pieces of stephi: jasmine and jorge, definitely
[13:28] pieces of stephi: and…
[13:28] pieces of stephi: i don’t see lil as anything special, honestly
[13:29] iheartdavidlew: Yeah. I’d say lil
[13:29] iheartdavidlew: I also think she’s the one they’ll use the save on
[13:29] pieces of stephi: yeah i really hope not
[13:29] pieces of stephi: i can see them using the save on megan
[13:30] iheartdavidlew: Ooh yeah. This week too.
[13:30] iheartdavidlew: Motown week
[13:30] pieces of stephi: i really hope the idols bust out some motown that hasn’t been used repeatedly on this show
[13:31] iheartdavidlew: Btw, anoops angel of mine. Soooo good
[13:31] iheartdavidlew: Yeah, I hope they sing sugar pie honey bunch.
[13:31] pieces of stephi: yeah, that version was a lot better the second timei heard it
[13:32] iheartdavidlew: That never gets sung. Lol
[13:32] pieces of stephi: it did in season one i think… clay sang it in season 2 [i have it on my iPod haha]
[13:33] iheartdavidlew: I was kidding! I believe it’s sung in the auditions a ton.. And Scott s sang it in season 4.
[13:33] pieces of stephi: that is right he did
[13:34] iheartdavidlew: I can’t wait to see what adam will do this week.
[13:35] pieces of stephi: oh me too! i think he would kill “papa was a rolling stone”
[13:35] iheartdavidlew: So far no ones pulled an ace young… Except jasmine was mrs lisa tucker 2009 like I predicted.
[13:36] pieces of stephi: ace young was special… he was pretty enough to let people forget he sounded like the sixth member of o-town
[13:37] iheartdavidlew: Oh yes! I think David hernandez killed it too. Loved his performance
[13:37] pieces of stephi: me too!
[13:37] iheartdavidlew: Yeah, but I thought he was really good all the way thru til the top 12… Where he ate shit
[13:38] iheartdavidlew: Remember father figure and butterflies?? Loved it.
[13:38] pieces of stephi: definitely liked father figure…
[13:39] iheartdavidlew: Then he sang do I do and doodoo’d on the stage. LOL
[13:39] pieces of stephi: hahahaha
[13:40] iheartdavidlew: I remember watching it still. He was one of my favorites.
[13:41] pieces of stephi: oh me too. even if not just for the eye candy
[13:41] iheartdavidlew: Before elliott really started coming into his own… And Taylor hicks put his spell on the whole country
[13:42] pieces of stephi: i liked elliott from the semi-finals.
[13:43] iheartdavidlew: I did. But I wasn’t sold on him getting far.
[13:43] pieces of stephi: i had a feeling he might… i don’t know what it was
[13:44] iheartdavidlew: But when he sang if u really love me… And he hit that middle part. OMG.
[13:44] pieces of stephi: ohhh yeah
[13:45] iheartdavidlew: But I think what made me love him and I still listen to it every other day…
[13:45] iheartdavidlew: Moodys mood for love.
[13:45] pieces of stephi: oh definitely. i totally agree.
[13:45] iheartdavidlew: Then when they changed his look.. I knew.
[13:47] iheartdavidlew: I didn’t like the shaved head and chin strap…
[13:48] pieces of stephi: they kind of kept changing his look throughout the season
[13:50] iheartdavidlew: They did. And I liked how he ended up.
[13:50] pieces of stephi: me too!
[13:51] iheartdavidlew: He is still my favorite overall idol. With David cook being my favorite winner and 2nd favorite overall
[13:53] iheartdavidlew: Man, we gotta do a questionnaire like this.
[13:54] pieces of stephi: my favorites are david cook, jason castro, elliott yamin…

NEW CONVERSATION!

David

hey boo.

21:03Stephani

hey!

21:04David

did I tell u we got two comments on the blog

from random idol fans who found the blog.

21:04Stephani

oooh really??

21:04David

it was awesome.

21:04Stephani

wow that’s awesome

lol i love the pics you used in that post

21:05David

yeah?

21:06Stephani

lol yeah especially the random ones

21:06David

that post took me about a 2 hours..including my battle with A.D.D.

21:06Stephani

wow

i know the feeling

21:12David

soon when youre done with school, you can blog it up.

btw, I loved the pic i found of Adam in the blog..

21:12Stephani

yes. i should definitely be able to blog this week.

21:12David

I gotta blog about the results show.

fuckin Taylor Hicks

21:12Stephani

hahaha

i liked him this week

21:13David

and how Matt G sang his ASS off for his final performance.

21:13Stephani

ohhh yeah

21:14David

did you say you liked Taylor?

21:17Stephani

I did, in his season. But I liked the song he sang last night

21:17David

oh stephani.

I think we’ve had this talk before.

so we should move on, before it gets ugly.

21:18Stephani

i knowww

lol

21:18David

lol

21:18Stephani

good point.

elliott was probably my season 5 favorite though

21:18David

I liked him during the audition process…

THERE WE GO!!!

thats better.

21:18Stephani

hehe

my three favorites were elliott, taylor and bucky. ace was just pretty

21:19David

yeah…

bucky was cool.

21:19Stephani

he was better than he got credit for

21:19David

yeah.

one of my favorite country performances was from him

if u read my blog u might remember that…

21:20Stephani

i saw that

i thought the night he was voted off, was one of his best

21:20David

fat bottom girls?

21:20Stephani

yes

21:21David

dont you love mel

*me.

21:24David

Who else would know that?

21:24Stephani

we both know waaay too much about this show lol

21:25David

Im turning this and the other chat we had before into a blog entry

lol

right now.

21:25Stephani

ooooh awesome

21:25David

our Idol talks are epic.

21:25Stephani

could you believe adam was in the “bottom 2”?

21:25David

I know!

21:25Stephani

yes they are

21:25David

Doesn’t change my stance that he’s going to win though

That was the Daughtry Dilemma.

21:26Stephani

i wholeheartedly believe it was the daughtry effect but he got lucky… complacent fanbase

LOL

21:26David

lol!

we are freaks

21:26Stephani

i know right

his fans are pissed now though

i think there’s a chance danny will get the shock boot, probably next week

21:26David

yeah?

I think that’ll either kris or danny will.

because there has never been a top 3 without a girl.

21:27Stephani

yes.

this is true, but season three was all females

in an unbalanced season, like season 3, i think it’s possible

21:27David

yeah…

21:27Stephani

i think it depends on the judges comments and placement

21:27David

yup.

adam has been getting the pimp spots lately.

21:27Stephani

ohhh yeah

21:28David

and pimp lighting

and pimp entrances

and pimp camera work!

21:28Stephani

it’s not an entirely safe spot though, it landed both lil and adam in bottom 2, and it booted anoop

21:28David

did you see the camera work on his final note! haha

21:28Stephani

oh i know right it was so epic

21:30Stephani

i am convinced they want a danny-adam final 2, but i think adam will mop the floor with him

21:31David

oh yeah

vanilla danny..

a grown David Archuleta.

haha

21:32Stephani

with extra smarm!

21:32David

smarm?

21:32Stephani

seriously that video with the food fight.. was SO inapprorpate

he just comes off as a douche.

21:32David

u didn’t like it?

really?

Danny?

21:33Stephani

dude he was damn near groping a 17 year old girl

21:33David

it was like his little sister!

21:33Stephani

patrick and i watched it and were like “paging chris hansen…”

his hands were on her boobs!!

21:35David

I guess.

we’re reaching a bit arent we?

haha

21:38Stephani

i dunno man it just looked hella weird to me lol

21:39David

maybe im just more pure of the mind….ha

21:39Stephani

hahaha

21:39David

I thought that it was a forced video..

but harmless. I didn’t see any molestation…

but I guess you find what you are looking for!
OOOH!

jk

21:40Stephani

LOL!

it’s true, i have never really been a fan

21:41David

so you think Allison will be in the top 3?

21:43Stephani

I think so, but next week is going to be a huge crapshoot

21:43David

im looking back on our old AIM convo… funny stuff

21:43Stephani

lol really!

email it to me! sachapman427@yahoo.com

21:48David

u sent it to me on Facebook…i’ll send it back.

21:50Stephani

kk cool

21:50

Stephani Me to my mom about moving to LA: “If the city is named in a Tupac song, don’t live there.”

21:52David

sent

21:52Stephani

sweeeet

21:52David

I think im going to chop it up a bit.

do some editing.

21:53Stephani

sounds good =)=) i’ll definitely be blogging this week

21:53David

sweet.

we’ve gotten over 500 views I think

21:53Stephani

wow that’s really awesome

not bad at all

21:53David

for some reason. 330 or so went to G.O.O. night predictions blog.

random.

21:54Stephani

really…

21:56David

very random

21:57Stephani

i think it was because it was on the front of the page for the longest

21:57David

oooh perhaps.

21:59David

so hopefully it’ll pick up on views.

Im thinking of going on AI.com forums and posting links to our blog.

21:59Stephani

i’ll drop the word to some of my friends

that’s a good idea

idolforums.com is a good place to start

21:59David

I post them like crazy on facebook.

last time I was on there..

I got in an argument over Kady malloy..lol

22:00Stephani

oh really

22:00David

it was stupid.

this girl was really into her and I wasnt the entire time

I thought she was sort of hot… huge boobs but that was it.

22:00Stephani

i thought she was boring… and had massive breast implants

22:00David

her impressions were funny..

lol

u and I are sooo in sync right now.

haha

22:01Stephani

i knoww! hehe

22:19David

I just showed Bob the Leslie Hunt Debacle of season 6.

22:19Stephani

that was SO classic

22:19David

oh her and her scatting ways

AMERICA DONT CARE FOR JAZZ! lol

22:19Stephani

hahahahaha

such a hot mess

22:35David

sorry

bobs wife kidnapped my macbook

22:35Stephani

lol it’s ok i had my mom on the phone

22:36David

lol. nice

I saw that Tupac thing. hilarious

22:36Stephani

lol it’s so true

22:37David

it is…

I was on Crenshaw Blvd last time I was down there..

not so bad though.

But its probably a long street though

22:37Stephani

ahhhh

i think i’m gonna pass out… i am fading lol

22:38David

no problem. Im going to try and get this blog done..

22:38Stephani

cooool

22:38David

and Im using this one too.. haha

Hello IDOL world!

Posted in American Idol, Uncategorized by thedavidlewexperience on March 10, 2009

I’ve started this blog on the eve of the Top 13 show! I’ve been all up in the blogosphere reading up on others peeps opinions. And I gotta say that I’m a little shocked that some have called this the worst finalists in the history of the show!

REALLY??!

I mean have we all forgotten the travesty of Season 6???! That had to be the worst of any season. Not that I didn’t enjoy Season 6. There were some highlights: Chris Slighs sense of humor, Blakes fun beatboxing, Sanjaya angering me every time he stayed on to the point where I was rooting for him to stay.

ANYWAY!

This blog is for me to vent on the Idol happenings. Since none of my friends except for Mrs. Stephanie has the same love for the show that I have! Mrs. Stephanie will also be contributing to this blog. She just doesn’t know it yet!

Well here we go on our Idol journey! Lets have fun! And most of all, lets get famous.