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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

O.M G(okey) its Milwaukee

Yes, Danny Gokey is alive and well and in Milwaukee to give moral support to the hopefuls in his hometown. His appearance was blessedly brief.

The show tonight was all over the place..I had a hard time settling on unifying theme and finally gave up. Let us just call it Toddlers and Tiaras, Diamonds in the Rough, Angry Losers, WTH?, Sob Story of the Year and One Very Self-Important Blond.

Toddlers and Tiaras: For anyone who watches this show about children's beauty pageants you know that the judges (who have no apparent credentials to be judging anything) are always looking for the *total package* in the pageant contestants. When JLo mentioned they are searching for the *total package* in an AI contestant I wanted to scream! I don't want a package of anything. I want someone creative and talented and I don't care if they don't have a hair weave and cannot afford to buy the latest clothes. But the theme did not stop there. Ryan's Justin Bieber idolatry has justified opening the contest to 15 year olds who all want this more than anything in the whole world and whose lives will be utterly destroyed if they are not the next American Idol. As a result, they sent through all the 15 year olds who auditioned. We saw two..both of whom were not memorable. Emma from Littleton who WILL be destroyed in Hollywood (and credit JLo for recognizing this fact and saying no) and Thea Magea who does not have the impulse control to wait a few weeks to audition in her own town of LA but has to spend her parents money to fly to Milwaukee because she is just so impatient to prove her talent to the world. Both of these girls could probably get the supporting role in their high school musical and if they had parents with half a brain that is what they would be aiming for now. Are these parents really so much different than the clueless parents who trot out their 2 years olds in $1000 dresses, spray tans, fake nails, hair and teeth so they can win some plastic trophy in a Holiday Inn Ballroom in Little Rock?

Diamonds in the Rough: The 16 year old Scotty with a voice like Randy Travis and Southern manners to boot (I'm not sure he will survive Hollywood but I really enjoyed him); the accountant, Steve Bagoon, who I expected to be a joke contestant but who had a surprisingly sweet voice; and the skinny Gokey look alike who had lipstick transference who JLo pronounced as her *favorite so far* (I would not go that far but I would like to see more of him).

Angry Losers: Well Vernika was the intro candidate for scenes of deplorable behavior by those who have obviously been taught more self-esteem than anything else in life. I am partially tone-deaf with a voice damaged by years of smoking and I really think I could sing that song as well as she did. Evidently, she overheard that JLo was looking for the total package because she decided they didn't like her because she was too fat. Did Randy actually say JLo wasn't thin? Because while I recognize JLo has curves...she is thin! The rest were just badly behaved people no one would want to know in real life.

WTH?: Jerome Bell seems like a really nice guy but I do NOT know why they put him through. I thought he had no subtlety to his voice and Mr. Auntee heard him 2 rooms away and asked me if someone was passing a kidney stone.

Sob Story of the Season: No one is going to match Chris Medina's story...maybe its the sob story of the entire American Idol franchise and you can add So You Think You Can Dance as well. Top 20 guaranteed unless he forgets his words in every Hollywood performance. His voice was above average but not out of this world. Still, I have to admit that cynical Auntee did get tears in her eyes as the story unfolded. Even more sadly, I suspect his devotion to his fiancee will be eclipsed by whatever limelight he enjoys as an AI contender.

One Very Self-Important Blond: She went to Harvard! She works in the White House! She loves Obama! She can carry a tune! I don't like her! If Randy hadn't already smacked her in the mouth, I would have reached into the screen and done it for him.

The only person I could not fit into any of the above themes was Taiwan. I liked him but he is not anything different at this point. I had to wonder about the family dynamics though....just as he is enjoying his moment of glory with his golden ticket...someone in his entourage gets a Charley Horse and demands all the attention. I'm thinking this is the one in the family who makes everything all about her no matter what (every family has one even if you have to go back a generation or 2). So...I sort of have a soft spot for Taiwan although I suspect he is fodder.

At the moment, I am the only blogger. This is because KK is extremely busy right now. Knowing what she is busy with I can only say that she has about 600 more important things to do than comment on AI right now.

And..do I miss Simon? I don't really think so.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Times Rolling

I love New Orleans. Seeing the footage made me want to return (I have only been there once). And drink some chicory coffee and have a beignet at Cafe du Monde and listen to some Dixieland Jazz.

To begin...some housekeeping issues. This is the third season of this blog which started after KK and Auntee had reviewed each episode of AI on our family website for a couple of years. Auntee came late to Idolatry (discovering the show the season of Sanjaya). KK has been a fan for much longer. Auntee's posts are in red. Kk's are in another color. Auntee wishes she were young in the big band era or at least when the Rat Pack reigned but has fond memories of the music in her psuedo hippie years of the late sixties and seventies. She stopped listening to top 40 music in about 1984. Which was when KK started listening to it. So...we bring two different musical perspectives to the blog. Probably where the different perspectives end because we are after all genetically bound. We are at times very uncivil but only when contestants truly deserve our scorn because of attitude, delusional beliefs of their own superiority or just plain unlikability. Judges, being public figures, are treated harshly when necessary. Lets just say our straight talk makes it unlikely that either of us is or was ever likely to win a Miss Congeniality award. We don't suffer fools or phonies gladly. Kumbaya is not in our nature. So you have been warned.

That said, I am going to say that I am feeling very positive about this season of AI...a shock to me. I'm thinking that losing Simon was a very good thing. As KK pointed out in her last post of last season...everything had become all about Simon. How bored he was, how the show could not survive without him, how Ellen hated him blah blah de blah Simon. It was no longer about the contestants. While I appreciate a dose of honesty when a contestant stinks as much as or more than the next person...Simon seemed to look for an opportunity to be Simon. Even Lee DeWyze was all about Simon.

The dynamics of this new group are different. They seem actually eager to focus on the contestants and make someone's dream come true. Steven Tyler is growing better looking by the minute to me as he is really rooting for these kids. If JLo isn't actually a pretty nice person, she deserves an Oscar for acting like one. And of course, there is Randy who is FINALLY saying a little bit more than yo dawg.

So..did we see the next AI tonight? Probaby not. We did see:

Jordan Dorsey who you had to love because he teaches kids and loves it. Although Jordan, you need to read Amy Chua the Tiger Mother. Those Chinese kids have to practice not just 5 times between lessons but no less than 5 hours per day. I think I will like him if he doesn't overdo the melisma and *changing it up* too much.

Sarah Sellers who I had to love because she has glasses like mine. Clear voice and a hard song to sing it seemed to me.

Govany who had to take his shirt off (thanks trashy Kara...men taking their shirts off is the only legacy you left to AI). At least Tyler and Randy made a joke of it. The song was in Spanish and since I didn't know what it was about it was hard for me to judge his talent. JLo liked it so I will defer to her assessment. (Big of me...I know).

When Jac*line the coach's niece came on with pictures of Randy, I sensed a disaster in the making. I liked her voice. I don't know if she is good enough to stand out among all the other belters she will encounter in Hollywood, but at least she is getting a chance to try.

Brett the Red Apple. Sob Story #1 of the night. He has been bullied. I'm not sure its a good idea for victims of bullying to be singing songs about putting bullets in people's heads. Something tells me he wasn't THAT bullied. He seems to love making himself different. Thats fine. I don't know about him. I'm not loving him right now.

I have to mention one of the bad contestants...Gabriel Franks. He was so pleased with himself you just knew it was going to be a big fail. Lady GaGa? At least he knew he was a joke contestant...or I hope so as the choice of song would make anyone's audition into a joke. (I loathe Lady GaGa).

As for Alex Itardo...I think if you have a child who wants to go to Idol Camp, you can probably save your money.

JC Badeau (I love his name which reminds me of Badass) could be a big favorite. If his voice doesn't change. He is 15 and it hasn't yet...its bound to do something soon. I'm all in favor of big-boned people with talent succeeding.

And, finally our 2nd sob story of the night (actually a low sob story count tonight..especially from New Orleans which the media has made the epicenter of sob stories) Paris Tisane. She may be the country contender. Would be nice to see a truly talented country singer as opposed to Kristy Lee Cook.

So...I think I'm going to stick with this for another week at least.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The New Era!

Drama...drama..more drama and the judges are introduced to a screaming crowd that appeared to be larger than the 125,000 who supposedly auditioned for this season. I was skeptical of this trio but grateful that it didnt inclue Kara DioGuardi. It took me 10 minutes to get over Steven Tyler's lips. Are they real or are they silicone? How many facelifts has he had? He looks like a reject for the Real Housewives series! (I know what my NJ niece meant when she said she cannot stand to look at him). By mid show, however, I got used to his odd visage (in view of the new call for *civility* I won't say ugly or deformed). And, to cut to the chase on my view of the new judges...I liked them. Tyler was a bit spacy, JLo was kind but serious about her job, and Randy came off as the wise old guy (but I always have had a soft spot for Randy). Tyler could do away with flirting with the girls who are younger than his daughters..that was a bit blechh.

I hate the audition shows. I don't want to see the horrible singers who have been duped into thinking they have talent. And I think some of the best are not featured in these audition shows but are just seen as one of those who *made it*. I cannot believe they sent 51 people to Hollywood. At this rate will it be like 350 in Hollywood week?

Now for those who were featured (most of whom we will not hear about ever again).

Rachel who auditioned in Season 6: I never want to hear Hallelujah again unless its sung by Leonard Cohen or kd lang. I thought she did not sing *beautiful* (as Tyler would say). Considering it does not take a great voice to sing that song well, I don't have high hopes for her prospects.

Caleb Holly with the high voice: I think he is fodder but he may surprise us.

Kensey Palmer the *first 15 year old*: Tyler was right...she had a decent voice but her eyes were dead. I think if she goes very far I will soon learn to dislike her intensely
Ashil from the Ivory Coast: Now this was sad. She is paying someone to coach her vocally...someone who is robbing her of her hard earned money. She needs an intervention and her coach should be exposed as a fraud.

Jersey Girl Tiffany: I already dislike her intensely. Her ugly dirty hair, her ugly clothes (the stars on the boobs were just sad) and her very loud and off key voice. I don't know why the judges sent her through. She hurt my ears.

Sob story #1 Robbie in Wheelchair as 5 year old. Too much melisma in his version of Yesterday for me, but not bad. Suspected fodder.

Ashley the crazy girl who mentioned Brittany Spears: I liked her but Hollywood will eat her up.

Victoria the 16 year old Southern Belle: I will either love her or hate her as the season goes on.

Sob Story #2 the girl from Kosovo: Ok I guess. I was pleasantly surprised by Tyler's comments about her being genuine and that he appreciated her for that.

The Singing Waitress: I liked her but I doubt she will make it past Hollywood

Sob Story #3 the girl with the dad with throat cancer: She will not make it past day 2 of Hollywood.

Sob Story #4 the guy from the Bronx who was homeless: Ditto

If the next American Idol was discovered in New Jersey, I don't think we saw him or her tonight.

But..overall it kept my interest. Please, please, Nigel Lythgoe, ban the singing of Hallelujah forever on American Idol.