Utterly Horrendous

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!

HOLLYWOOD WEEK IS HERE! GROUP WEEK DRAMA!

Posted in American Idol by thedavidlewexperience on February 15, 2010

Imagine performing there? Intense.

DAVID HERE. Hollywood week has arrived! And we couldn’t have wanted more out of it! We got Ellen (more on her later), Andrew Garcia, Crystal Bowersox and other standouts! Also I noticed a lot more terrible performances considering these people were sent through over 100,000’s! I get bad makes for good TV but some of the crap performances were from people whom we saw little from before! Btw, is anyone else getting the feeling that the show is REALLY trying hard to find the next Taylor Swift?? I’m absolutely getting that vibe (Janell Weaver, Charity Vance, Katie Stevens…)

We also said goodbye to some Utterly Horrendous favorites that we had spotlighted during the audition process. One favorite didn’t even go to Hollywood. Danelle Hayes, who was our favorite audition in Denver. Forgot about her, here’s her audition:

Turns out that this beautiful lady had a history that Idol didn’t want to deal with. According to RadarOnline, her rap sheet is fairly extensive (DUI, Marijuana possession). Some of the occurrences were when she was a minor, so they should have been forgiven. Especially considering the fact that these auditions occurred LAST YEAR! They did not have to show her audition at all. They could have left her anonymous, since she wasn’t able to move on in the competition anyway.

Some of the favorites we said goodbye to were:

Erica Rhodes (former Barney kid)

So beautiful, we will see here again in the future.

Bernadette DeSimone

She will definitely be missed by me.

Paige Dechausse

Would have loved to see her go farther into the comp.

Matt Lawrence

(WHY DID YOU LET THEM CHOOSE GWEN STEFANI AS THE SONG???)

Shouldn't have touched Gwen.

The first days of solo performances brought out some great great performances. I’m sure there were some stellar ones that they didn’t air. But I will go on the record and say that the best solo performance EVER on the show for Hollywood Week goes to Andrew Garcia and his incredible rendition of “Straight Up”. Check it out:

RIGHT?!?!

Another stand-out for me was Janell Wheeler. Beautiful and crazy good voice…

Now for the moment we have all been waiting for MONTHS! The anticipation has been building! Ellen has arrived on Idol! It seems like yesterday that we saw this footage from the Ellen show

Here’s a clip from E! News showing Ellen on the judges panel for the first time.

First of all, let me tell you that I have been ecstatic from the beginning about her judging on Idol. I think she is the funniest female comic the world has ever heard. She is Top 10 comedian of all time, and she has proven herself a ratings juggernaut with her daytime talk show. For those reasons alone, I knew this would be an amazing idea. People have been complaining about her as a judge, suggesting that she knows nothing of the music industry and she’s unqualified to judge a singing competition. I argue that by saying as a superstar comedienne for 20 years+, she knows what it takes to be a crowd pleaser. And that is number 1 when it comes to being a pop sensation. As a comedienne she has to have full control of the audience, like a singer. So she knows EXACTLY what to look for in the next American Idol. Lastly, she has been a huge supporter of the contestants, having them on her show after their elimination. So I think the first week of Hollywood gave us a glimpse of how great its going to be having Ellen on the judges panel.

What was that?? U want me to get to the Ground Round!? WELL, OF COURSE!

OH GROUP DAY! HOW I’VE MISSED YOU!! *Stephani will be providing the Top 10 Hollywood moments later* One thing I have a problem with Group Day is that the show is about finding the best performer, not group mate. So why leave your fate up to 2 or 3 other strangers? The group day is only for the drama, and don’t get me wrong: I LOVE THE DRAMA! But a lot of contestants that were great have fallen because of group days. Nonetheless, I love watching Group Days. There are always a few stand out performances. For example this performance of “Irreplaceable” from Michelle Delamor, Ashley Rodriguez, Charity Vance.

Actually, watching it again; not as good as I remember it. haha. But I don’t edit myself. I’m leaving it in, and i’ll just add another video of a group I enjoyed. This is Team Awesome, which is made up of Seth Rollins, Michael Castro (How come he hasn’t been acknowledged once?! Oh cause he goes home after this.),  Michael Lynche, Tim Urban. Unfortunately Seth Rollins was sent packing. I always root for the bigger guys with great voices.

Speaking of DRAMA!!!! Team Neapolitan VS. Destiny’s Wyld!

Wow. This was my favorite storyline of the episode (next to the Mary Powers power-trip over poor Hope Davis). Apparently the very loud Destiny’s Wyld (Theri, Todrick Hall, Jareb Liewer, Siobhan Magnus) feel that Team Neapolitan (Liz Rooney, Thaddeus Johnson, Jessica Cunningham, and Paige Miles) stole their idea of singing Lady Gagas “Bad Romance” A cappella. Btw, I’m going on record as saying Jareb Liewer has become the most annoying contestant with the LEAST amount of stage time! WOW! I didn’t hear him sing til Destiny’s Wyld, but he has been seen screaming and yelling in the background of many episodes. So, I’m going on record as saying I am not a fan of his. With that being said, here are the two videos of both groups performing.

I can’t talk about G-Day and not mention Mary Powers and that mess of a group! Wow. Hollywood week is known for bringing the worst out of people, and here’s hoping that is the worst out of Mary Powers. Not a cute side, at all. Also in that video showed the group of Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens (Who has been amazing), and J.B Afhua (who has auditioned in the past I think). That group sang the heck out of Alicia Keys “No One” So keep an eye out for that.

Overall, the first week of Hollywood delivered above in talent as well as drama! My continuing frustration with Hollywood week is the number of performances we see. I understand its a matter of logistics, but I’d love to see more than 5 groups perform during group day; or 8 solo performances the first day. I understand they edit the show for us to grow attached to certain contestants, but it’d be nice. That’s all I’m saying.

Well, there you have it! 1st week of Hollywood is in the bag! We have 70+ contestants left to whittle down to 24. By this time next week, we will have our top 24. Unless of course you read spoilers, then you already know. But I’m old fashioned!

First Week Auditions Wrap-Up. Top 5/Bottom 5

Posted in American Idol by thedavidlewexperience on January 20, 2010

David Lew here giving you my wrap up for the first week of auditions. Contrary to popular opinion, the auditions are my least favorite part of the show. ACTUALLY, the group numbers later in the competition bug me the most.

Overall I thought this was a great week of auditions in Boston and Atlanta. They definitely showed more good auditions than they have before. I love the finding of diamonds in the ruff, not so much the ruff rocks they find everywhere.

Victoria Beckham was the first of the guest judges. She looked like a brown version of the Na’vi the first day. 2nd day she looked better. But her overall judging was minimal at best. Her banter with Kara was kind of fun. The second guest judge was Mary J. Blige, who was leaps and bounds better. She was more outspoken and more enthusiastic when she liked an audition. But they both pale in comparison to how I think Ellen will do on the judges panel come Hollywood week!

So I’m starting my weekly Top 5/Bottom 5 for the auditions. Maybe this will keep going into the competition. Until of course we get to the top 9. lol.

TOP 5

5. Ashley Rodriguez– This girl is very very good… looking. AND also a great singer. She sang the often sung Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You” She reminds me of a thinner (yet equally beautiful) Jordin Sparks. I think she will be at least in the top 12. Unless something weird happens in Hollywood.

4. Keia Johnson– “What great hair you have” is what the big bad wolf would say. haha. This girl took a stale, played out “My Heart Will Go On and made it her own. I actually wouldn’t mind hearing this later on in the season.

3. Noel Reese– This girl only got a few seconds of air time, but this 16 year old can sing!! AND she sang a Whitney Houston song… so I can’t wait to see what she can pull out in Hollywood!

2. Miriam Lemnouni– What a beautiful beautiful girl! And her voice is really good. And I also love the eyes! The kid has great eyes, what can I say? She sang The Climb by Miley Cyrus (which got some air time since this years X Factor winner released that as the UK Holiday single). Lets hope she makes it out of Hollywood Week.

1. Jermaine Sellers– WOW! WOW! This was my favorite audition (besides the obvious, you’ll see when you scroll down further). This guy has top 5 written all over him. He has got the voice, he’s young and has a marketable look. If he can show some versatility during country or broadway weeks where his voice may not be the best suited for those theme weeks.  But other than that, he is definitely the early front runner to win the whole thing.

Bottom 5

5. The “I will always love you” girl– Best quote of the night came from her. Kara asked “Do your friends tell you that you can sing.” To which she replies “Not really. But I don’t let that discourage me.” Maybe she should just take note.

4. Andrew Fenlon– Douchy Clark Kent. But I agree with Steph that he was definitely (like most) was steppin’ up his douchy levels for the camera.

3. Mere Boyle– Anime girl… Not the WORST voice, but she gets on the list for absurdity and also for the one of the most dramatic reactions of the week.

2. Janet McNamara– 1st audition of the season. Steph had it right as describing her as Charlize Theron in Monster. The fact that she got her confidence to audition from playing the American Idol game on Wii on top of the over the topics antics, was a perfect recipe for disaster.

1. Skiibo Ski– I don’t know where to put this kid. He DID go through, but seriously? Is he really going to make it out of Hollywood no. He gets on this list for the misspelling alone!

NUMBER 1 AUDITION OF THE WEEK:

PANTS ON THE GROUND!!!!

(Was there any doubt????)

Lookin' like a fool with your....

This guy will be at the finale with Flo Rida and it will be epic!!! We love this guy!!  And also check out the remix!

And now check out Jimmy Fallon doing an amazing Neil Young impression singing Pants on the Ground.

TIL NEXT TIME AMERICA!

-DL-