i have a question...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AI Top 5

We’re getting down to the wire on this season; I can’t believe there are only five contestants left! Entertainment Weekly has a theory that the contestants that will be left standing will all play instruments, and that that’s part of the reason Mr. Johns and Ms. Smithson are no longer with us, although this article states a different theory for Carly’s elimination. In any case, time may officially be up for Ms. Mercado. (A girl can dream anyway.)

I’m not quivering with excitement about tonight’s mentor, but I had no idea Neil Diamond wrote “Red, Red Wine,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman,” and “I’m a Believer.” EW says Jason Castro should sing the first, David Cook the second, and David Archuleta the third. Just, please. No one sing “Sweet Caroline.” Please.

Who’s reeling about Carly? I’m not reeling. They’re singing TWO songs each tonight? Whoa.

Jason is up first and is playing a guitar. He’s singing “Forever in Blue Jeans” and “September Morn.” He forgot the words in rehearsal…oopsies. I like this first song. He seems confident tonight, which is refreshing. I can’t really watch his face when he sings though.

David Cook is up next and I adore that he flipped the switch on Ryan and asked him how he prepared for Neil Diamond week. He’s singing “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need is You.” He gave Diamond goosebumps. Man, he’s such a star. He’s making “I’m Alive,” a ridiculously cheesy song, an absolute arena anthem, ready for radio.

Brooke is next and she’s playing guitar and piano, on “I’m a Believer” and “I Am, I Said,” respectively. She looks terrified and uncomfortable. It’s too bad “I’m a Believer” just makes me think of Shrek.

David Archuleta is singing “Sweet Caroline” and “America.” Oy. I can’t be objective about a 17-year-old singing “Sweet Caroline.” It pains me a little that he is at all.

Syesha is singing “Hello Again” and “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime.” I’m cringing and it’s not because she’s singing “Hello Again” badly.

[The votes this week are going to be wonky, I think. These judgments are weird, chaotic and not helping anybody. Also, the So You Think You Can Dance ads make me want Idol to be over. It’s such a better show.]

Jason’s up again with “September Morn.” I imagine it’s hard to make Neil Diamond songs NOT sound like karaoke. That was weak, but he is very cute.

Back to David Cook; this time with “All I Really Need.” His first three notes and he’s already blown everybody else out of the water. He better win this competition.

Brooke’s up again; this time with “I Am, I Said,” accompanying herself on piano. This is pretty; she’s so much more comfortable behind her piano. She’s able to make her performances feel much more intimate and personal. I think she might have just saved herself…

David Archuleta is now singing “America.” Sadly, his song choices have probably guaranteed him a spot on next week’s show, but if all of America was like me, he’d be voted off. He’s totally going to release this as a single one day soon though.

Syesha is back with “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime.” She’s having fun with this one, and I am also a fan of the clapping. But, Simon, she sang last! I always wonder if he’s saying that so that people WILL vote.

Favorite of the Night: David Cook
On the Way Out: Jason or Brooke; although, if EW’s theory is right, it’ll be Syesha.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

thought of the day, 34: getting well

It's amazing how productive one can feel by doing something as simple as getting dressed before 5 pm, even if, technically, all one does after that is stay in bed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

AI Top 6

The thing about Andrew Lloyd Webber night is that it could just be an outright disaster. Who wants to hear Syesha sing “Memory” or “Think of Me”? NOT ME! In fact, I’m putting it on record that she is officially dead to me if she does sing “Memory.” The other thing about Andrew Lloyd Webber night is that it could just end up being an outright disaster for one or two contestants because the skillful, original ones (and we all know who I’m talking about) may have a chance to do something astounding tonight…Also, I predict I won’t recognize all the songs; I think they should do Sondheim night next season; and I think Carly should sing “Tell Me on a Sunday.”

I am excited about the strings on the stage. I wonder if I’ll cry tonight. Oh crap. They’re all going to sing Phantom songs because of that frickin movie. Btw, I adore and appreciate what Webber said about being there to make sure the contestants sound their best.

Uh oh. Syesha is first; she’s out. What the heck is “One Rockin’ Road”? A quick internet search reveals it’s from Starlight Express. How does one manage to be simultaneously “animated” and boring? But at least she didn’t sing “Memory.” She may have brought the house down, but she also sang first.

Jason Castro is up next with “Memory.” Uh oh. I don’t think this bodes well. BUT WAIT! This is precious. And I also don’t hate him for picking the song in the first place. It wasn’t the most dynamic performance I’ve ever seen or heard, but it wasn’t a train wreck, and I appreciate that. (I wrote “train wreck” before Randy said it.) Mom says he didn’t know it well enough to oversing it and that it was sweet. I agree.

Brooke White is singing “You Must Love Me,” from the Evita movie. I love that Webber is explaining the stories of these songs, so they’re all forced to really connect with the lyrics. I think it’s kickass that Brooke is confident enough to ask to start over when she knows she has to. She could make the Top 4 with this performance, I think, even though she’s doing the lip quiver. I completely don’t agree with the judges tonight! I think it’s incredible that she started over because she knew it would have been a complete mess if she hadn’t. I must be hearing something they didn’t. I’m seriously confused.

David Archuleta is singing “Think of Me.” Eh. I’m not sure I can endorse this song as a pop hit, even though he has a beautiful voice. I’m sure millions of pubescent girls will disagree with me, but I found it cloying.

Carly is singing “Jesus Christ Superstar,” on Webber’s suggestion, which is brilliant and what Entertainment Weekly hoped she’d sing. She’s singing sharp the whole song! I’m glad she’s having fun though, I guess. I wonder if she’s guaranteed a spot on next week’s show because she sang a song with the words Jesus and Christ in it.

David Cook is last and he’s singing “Music of the Night,” which is the one Michael Johns was going to have sung. Oh my God, he’s so hot. There are clips of David Cook singing in his high school play on Youtube. He’s a seasoned musical theater nerd. And he’s totally kicking this song’s ass. I can’t stop grinning. That performance could win him the whole competition, even if he did call Webber Lord Andrew.

Favorite of the Night: David Cook
On the Way Out: Syesha or Jason

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

thought of the moment, 21: let's do it

When's the last time you played a really great game of Hide and Seek?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AI Top 7

Watching this episode of EW.com’s Idolatry, I actually got REALLY excited about tonight’s theme. Mariah Carey may have lost some of her luster and undoubtedly a few brain cells in her illustrious career, but her first few albums…all the way through Butterfly are just iconic. Not to mention that they totally remind me of middle school dances, high school dances, and college dance parties. I hope she says something mildly coherent to our contestants. And I hope Syesha doesn’t sing “Hero” or “Without You”. In fact, nobody touch those. Their Mariah’s.

And in case you get bored, watch these videos of MC in her heyday.
Vision of Love
Anytime You Need a Friend
All I Want for Christmas is You
One Sweet Day

It looks like such a small group of people tonight! They all look real pretty. Things I’ve learned this week: David Cook’s brother who has brain cancer is in the audience, and American Idol fans don’t know how to dial the right numbers and Clay Aiken might have won season 2, if they did.

David Archuleta is singing “When You Believe,” which is a song I LOVE! My secret is I saw Prince of Egypt twice in one night when I was in high school. And sang through the soundtrack countless times with my best friend. Archie is wearing leather pants; did anyone else notice? Good for him for singing in his falsetto, like Mariah told him to. This wasn’t a performance I’ll note as a stand-out, but it was solid. He is singing first, and we know what happens to those who do that on this show. I agree with Simon that the girls will risk being compared to Mariah tonight, and the boys will have a bit more freedom to take risks.

Carly is up next and is bored without Michael Johns. She’s singing “Without You.” Lame. This is the first time she’s not pushing too hard, which is refreshing. She seems incredibly comfortable with this song, which is also refreshing after a few weeks of her WORKING. SO. HARD. Telling her over and over that she needs to let go and believe that she can do it doesn’t seem like it would work.

Syesha is still in last place on the EW.com Power List. She’s singing “Vanishing,” and Mariah is giving her specific notes. Literally. She’s fighting, but I still don’t like her. Plus, she was sharp. But, yes, props to her for singing a less well-known song, for once.

Brooke White is singing “Hero.” Lame. You can’t top Mariah. I’m not sure I can be objective about this performance. I guess the bottom line is I’m not impressed aside from how beautiful the song itself is.

Kristy Lee is singing “Forever,” which is another song I LOVE! Good choice. Has she gotten voice lessons in the last few weeks? She’s so much better these days! Impressive. I liked it better than the judges did.

David Cook is next with “Always Be My Baby,” which is one of my favorite Mariah Carey songs. It makes me think of my 6th grade boyfriend. We were together for a day. David moves me. Seriously, this is bringing tears to my eyes. And that’s beside the fact that I know his brother is in the audience. I swear.

I voted for the Songwriter Idol. As they did last year, they all suck.

Jason Castro is last, singing “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” Another nice choice. Mariah, these songs are so great! I think Jason needs to work more on connecting with the music. He never quite looks like he’s taking any of it seriously.

Favorite of the Night: David Cook
On the Way Out: Brooke (or Syesha)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

thought of the moment, 20: summer?

My slippers have been retired to the closet and replaced with my house flipflops. It's SO HOT!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

AI Top 8

It’s the evening of inspirational songs on Idol, and of course, I am bracing myself for some cheese. I fully intend on crying during tomorrow’s Idol Gives Back event, but I hope tonight isn’t just a cringe-fest. (In fact, how hot would it be if David Cook actually DID sing Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” or if Syesha took a risk and busted out with En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind”, like EW.com suggests?) And let’s all hope that David Archuleta doesn’t perform “The Greatest Love of All.”

Oh! They switched up the format this year, so the charity event is its own thing, and Thursday, we’ll get an elimination. I think that’s smart.

Michael Johns is up first with “Dream On” by Aerosmith. Good choice, I think, because it’s not something one might have predicted would be sung tonight. I like this. I think he’s finally hitting his stride. Excellent ending, Michael! Randy doesn’t think it was an appropriate choice, but I disagree. And, hold up, how is American Idol NOT about dreams? He sang first, so who knows if he’s guaranteed a spot in the Top 7?

Syesha doesn’t get to talk about herself; she has to talk about Ramiele. That can’t bode well. She’s singing “I Believe” by Fantasia. Another totally obvious, not thought-out choice. She is just uneducated about music, I think, and that ain’t an Idol. (Remember when last year when LaKisha sang a Carrie Underwood song and then a Fantasia song? That was dumb.) She is tied with Kristy Lee for last place on the Power List poll on EW.com (with 1% each as favorite Idol contestant). This song is pretty, but I’m pissed at her choice. I didn’t even watch the season Fantasia won, and I know she sang it better. I’m not even watching this critique; I’ve youtubed Fantasia’s performance.

Jason Castro is singing “Over the Rainbow” a la Israel Kamakawiwo Ole. Lovely choice; lovely performance. And I liked the shot from upstage of the audience. His schtick is solid, but he’s still not winning the competition.

Kristy Lee Cook’s whole story on this show has become about her being or not being in the bottom three. She’s singing “Anyway” by Martina McBride. So far, I’ve been generally impressed with the less obvious choices the contestants have made to sing. I think she is actually improving. Spoke too soon; I think she gets unfocused or something mid-song because the beginning wasn’t bad at all. That wasn’t horrible. I honestly liked it better than Syesha’s performance because at least she thought through her song choice. She’s really strategizing to stay on this show, and I think she can’t be anything but admired for her gumption.

David Cook is still hot. He’s singing “Innocent” by his favorite band Our Lady Peace. The inevitable fall from grace has occurred. It’s in the wrong key for him or something. Not a good song choice. The choir is working real hard though. David knows it wasn’t his best, but Simon agrees that putting “give back” on his hand was a nice thing to do. Funny.

Carly is singing “The Show Must Go On” by Queen. Her makeup looks pretty tonight. She needs to calm down. Simplify. She’s just WORKING. SO. HARD. every week. She lost her way at the end. This could spell disaster for her. (And I typed that before Simon said it. I swear.)

David Archuleta is still cute. He’s singing “Angels” by Robbie Williams at the piano with a steam machine behind him. Is it just me or was he slightly flat the entire intro? The chorus is strong, as is the ending, but I won’t remember this performance as his best.

Brooke is last and she’s singing “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King. An obvious choice that I didn’t even consider. Ha. This is boring and unmoving. Does that make me seem coldhearted?

Favorite of the Night: Honestly, it was Kristy Lee.
On the Way Out: Syesha or Carly, perhaps joined in the bottom three by Michael, just for singing first.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

thought of the moment, 19: poor East Coast girl

S: oh
is that warm? i forget.

AI Top 9

So Kristy Lee Cook is still with us, but we lost Chikezie? What the…? And it’s Dolly Parton week, which I predict means Miss Cook is probably safe. I mean, she hasn’t even been in the bottom three recently.

EW’s Power List has the other Cook FAR ahead of the rest of the contestants this week, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise any of us. I agree with EW that no one should sing “I Will Always Love You” or “9 to 5” tonight. But I’m nearly positive that we’ll hear both.

I love Dolly. Admittedly, I don’t know her catalog that well, but she’s just so lovely; she’s makes me a little weepy.

Brooke White is up first with “Jolene,” which is what EW thought she should sing. Dolly likes her honesty, and I like the fiddle. And Brooke. I think she’s solid. I’m still surprised to hear that husky voice come out of that pretty face every week. My mom agrees with Simon, though, that the performance was flat.

OMG. David Cook cut the hair. I love it. Good for David for giving props where they’re due about all the arrangements he’s performed. He’s doing his own arrangement this week of “Little Sparrow,” and Dolly loves his voice. I can’t even write about this; I think he’s so good. He’s showing a fantastic vocal range, and I think it’s another really smart choice.

Ramiele better not sing “I Will Always Love You.” That’s all I gotta say. OK, good. She’s singing “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” but she needs to get kicked off anyway. I just don’t think she’s that good. It was a mostly off-pitch performance. The judges are being more forgiving than I’d be.

Jason Castro is up with “Travelin’ Through,” and he’s singing harmony with Dolly Parton! On her own song! I like Jason; he’s just not going to win this competition. Even though he is super cute. I’m glad he showed a little bit of an edgier sound toward the middle of the song too. (I think Simon’s cranky tonight.)

Carly’s next with “Here You Come Again,” and Dolly actually says that hers was the kind of voice the song was written for. I think she sounds like Celine, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing or not. She’s not moving me anymore and hasn’t for a few weeks, even though it was technically well-sung.

David Archuleta’s up with “Smoky Mountain Memories.” He makes both me and Dolly cry. He is CERTAINLY feeling this song tonight. And we’ve heard passion from him so many times before. Loved it.

Kristy Lee is singing “Coat of Many Colors.” I think she must sense her days are numbered; she was downright disappointed by Dolly’s comment that her mother would be proud of her. This is boring. I wonder if she’s getting votes because she’s pretty. Or does that just work for the boys on this show?

Oh Lord. Syesha’s singing “I Will Always Love You.” She gets so many points against her for picking this song. Bleh. It should be retired from the American Idol catalog forever. Good for her though for not just mimicking Whitney. But this girl has sung both “Yesterday” and this one, so she’s on thin ice for me.

Michael Johns is last this week. Dolly Parton was the first person he ever saw in concert in 1986. Precious. He’s singing “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right.” I dig that he’s doing a real bluesy song, and I think this really works for him.

Favorite of the Night: David Archuleta
On the Way Out: Ramiele, for singing the earliest of the weakest singers. I’d be fine if Kristy Lee or Syesha were in danger too.