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!



Top 12 Boys! Oh what a letdown.

Posted in American Idol by thedavidlewexperience on February 26, 2010

Andrew Garcia! Jermaine Sellers! Aaron Kelly!

These guys were the voices of Hollywood week! SOOOO WHAT HAPPENED?!?! Everybody was mediocre…except for Casey and Andrew Garcia. More on them later.

We didn’t have any Imagine moments (David Archuleta) or Moodys Mood For Love (Elliott Yamin), Daydream (Jason Castro),or Hello (David Cook). Need a refresher on what an amazing semi-finals performance sounds like.. take a gander

David Archuleta-Imagine

(this is what you with the Pimp spot of the night)

Elliott Yamin-Moody’s Mood For Love

(This is how you sing a difficult song and nail it)

David Cook- Hello

(this is how you establish yourself as a favorite)

Jason Castro- Daydream

(This is how you make up for NO airtime! Come out swingin’!)

Last night we got no performances that will be remember like these, except for Andrew Garcias take on Fall Out Boys “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down”

So lets go in order and re-live these performances, which for the most part weren’t very good.

Todrick Hall – The diva and a half. Took me to hear the chorus to realize what song he was singing. I did not like the arrangement at all. Nice that he took a risk, instead of singing Usher or something that’s been done. Unfortunately the risk didn’t pay off. He may be in trouble.

Aaron Kelly- He became the first victim of these overly sensitive, terribly mixed mics. I guarantee that if he had done that in season 7, that would have sounded perfect and amazing. Something is weird with the sound mix, and Ellen brought it up earlier in the show. I liked Aaron, he lacks confidence and star quality. He’ll make the Top 12 for sure just on airtime and adorable-ness alone.

Jermaine Sellers- The other Diva! But he was by far my favorite male audition of the year. But he tried to do TOO MUCH with his vocals. His voice is so perfect by doing simple riffs. No need to go as high as he does. And WHAT SONG was that?? He would have killed a Ne-Yo song, or remix a song the way he did with Joan Osbourne during his audition. This was my most disapointing performance of the night. I had HIGH expectations.  But he’ll be safe though.

Tim Urban– OneRepublics “Apologize” needs to go in the vault (along with Hearts “Alone) and never be sung again. David Archuleta was amazing with it. Oh Tim Tim Tim. From the first note and weird look into the camera, I knew this was the trainwreck of trainwrecks. And does Tim own a forehead? Can someone tell me? The judges are right, he may be safe because girls like him. We’ll see. He should go home in my book.

Joe Munoz- This was the guy who could have had a Jason Castro moment. He has had little to no airtime at all. So this was his moment to come out and tell America why he is on the show. And he kind of did it. He didn’t vomit on stage, so that was a plus. But no one will talk about this performance next week. I think he maybe in trouble, but I’d like for him to stick around.

Tyler Grady– He got lost in the fray during Hollywood, but he’s got huge personality. For me, his performance is when the show kicked off. Great energy, decent vocals, awesome stage presence. Next week, he has to sing something current and “Visit the mall” like he said. The show and judges are the ones that keep mentioning the “70’s” style”, he doesn’t make an issue out of it. Then they judge him about it… no bueno.  But he’s definitely safe.

Lee Dewyze- The most polarizing performance of the night! The judges were split (Simon LOVED it, the others didn’t. Which is rare) and the bloggers have been split on this guy! He took advantage of what little airtime he had during Hollywood and impressed judges and viewers. I love his natural tone and rasp to his voice. A lot of flat moments in this performance, so it was very frustrating to watch. They need monitors in their ears so they can hear themselves. Easily fixed. I liked his performance mostly based on what his voice is capable of. HE NEEDS TO SING USE SOMEBODY NEXT WEEK! That will be his Imagine or Hallelujah (Jason Castro) moment. Favorite moment of the night: When Ryan asked “What does it feel like, first time performing in front of millons? Lee says: Feels like I never want to lose this feeling…” OH,  He’s safe.

John Park- Wrong song! Wrong song! Wrong song! Last time this song was sung on the show, Katharine McPhee auditioned with it. And that should have remained the last time it was sung. John is my 2nd favorite Korean guy to grace the stage: Big ups to PAUL KIM! But I think this song was a tad better of a choice because it showed more range than Careful Whisper (which is what Season 6’s Paul Kim chose).  Ellen was right, it’s not the song you choose to have all the girls screaming after you. Next week, he needs to pick a song that’s more current that he can make his own! But he’s safe.

Michael Lynche- First question, why did he have a guitar?! He didn’t strum it once, twice maybe? The vocals were ho-hum. I think his personality shone through and that’ll carry him through. But the performance was ho-hum at best.  He needs to sing a ballad next time and just knock it out of the park. Not the John Park. haha. He’s safe.

Alex Lambert- This kid has got such a great tone to his voice, probably one of my favorites. But wow this is the most awkward performance in the semi finals since Jason Yeager season 7 “Moon River.” REMEMBER HIM!?! He should be singing on cruise ships and making really good money!

Back to Alex, he has a great voice, but terribly awkward on stage. So if he stays (which he might), he’ll need to do A LOT of work to stick around again.

Casey James- Did you guys hear about him and Kara? Oh you have? Its because thats all they talk about with him! Which is too bad, because this guy is awesome. What a great look, style and voice! Complete package. If he doesn’t screw up, he’ll go deep into the Top 12. Maybe 5 or 6, but a theme week will be the end for him, I can tell. This was probably my favorite performance of the night besides Andrews. And DEFINITELY my favorite version of Bryan Adams “Heaven” sung on the show. Its been done by David Archuleta and Elliott Yamin (possibly others? Let me know!). But I loved him starting out with the acoustic, great choice. He’s DEFINITELY safe.

Andrew Garcia- My man! The guy who sang “Straight Up” during Hollywood Week. The judges just did not enjoy his rendition of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down” and I was floored. I could tell it wasn’t on the level with “Straight Up” but compared to the earlier performances, this was tops. It was original and it showcased his vocals, although I can seem him challenging his vocals even more. Maybe a stripped down Maroon 5 song? But I absolutely dug it, so much in fact HERE’s the performance right here! Oh yeah he’s safe, blah blah. Obviously!



Tim Urban

Tim Urban

Joe Munoz

Just forgettable

And also stephi told me to let you guys know her choices for elimination are TIM URBAN and JERMAINE SELLERS!

So there we go! That’s it for round 1 of Semi-finals! Tonight are the results and a live performance by ALLISON IRAHETA singing Scars!

We’ll see if we were right or wrong!



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!

New Idol Singles! Allen, Iraheta, Castro, Lewis, Yamin and more!

Posted in American Idol by thedavidlewexperience on October 6, 2009

A lot of you have been hoping to hear singles from past Idols. And I’ve accumulated them all here. I’ve been particularly waiting for Jason Castro since I felt like he was very marketable and could have a great career with a Mraz-y feel.

Jason Castro- Let’s Just Fall in Love Again. Definitely one of my favorite Idol singles. It suits him perfectly. I could have done without the whistling in the beginning. But this kid should get a lot of notice. Unfortunately, his release date is the same as Adam Lambert. What was his label thinking???

Kris Allen “Live like we’re dying”– This one leaves me wanting a little more. It’s actually a cover from an Irish band The Script. And the two versions are exactly the same. Too bad he couldn’t have his single be something original. But hey! Thats the Idol Machine for you. Check out both versions here.

Allison Iraheta “Friday I’ll be over U”- This is a preview to her single, and I gotta say it’s perfect for her and her demo. It’s catchy enough to get some others into it that normally wouldn’t. I’m actually pretty excited for her album.

Elliott Yamin “You say” Anyone who knows me knows that Elliott is my favorite idol (along with David Cook). So I support him whenever I can. This song is amazing. Love the beat, vocals are perfect obviously. Check out his 2nd album Fight for Love!!

David Cook “Come back to me” – This song and “Life on the Moon” are my favorite songs on the album! I’m glad he released it as a single. Just an amazing radio-friendly hit. I’m sure he doesn’t need any more help promoting his music, but here ya go.

Blake Lewis “Sad song”- Always been a huge fan of Blake Lewis. His style, beat-boxing, all awesome. His debut album got a lukewarm response. I just think they picked a bad lead single. I think they should have jumped on How Many Words. Great song. Break Anotha wasn’t strong enough… BUT I DIGRESS. He has a new album out, with the best album title this year — Heartbreak on Vinyl—  I love that title for some reason!

That’s it for now! If I missed any Idols that don’t get enough attention, let me know! BTW, STILL NO WORD ON AN ADAM LAMBERT SINGLE! YOU’LL GET HERE FIRST!

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