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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zoanette, Gentille Zoanette

Tempted though I was, I did not view any spoilers before tonight's show.  Once I saw the line-up, I knew our fair lark Zoanette was a shoe-in...they gave her the pimp spot. 

I'm trying to decide if this group of girls had stronger singers than the last group and thus, it was harder to make it through.  I sort of think so.  I am thinking of Tenna Torres v. Christobel when I say this. But, it is what it is and now we have our top 10 girls.

The shows starts with Melinda Edemi who is a retread from seasons past.  I had forgotten her family are refugees from Kosovo.  She sang the *I'm Sorry* song that Angela sang last week and frankly, I thought she sang it better than Angela but Nicki did not... so...I was pretty sure she was toast at that point.  I thought her voice was nice and clear with a good *tone* although her look was a little Kardashian.  Keith (and I) liked her.  Nicki hated her, Randy did too, and Mariah was ambivalent which from her means...not impressed. 

Candace Glover, also a retread (from last season) is up next and sings one of my all time favorite songs in the world...giving  Natural Woman more of the Aretha treatment than the Carole King treatment.  I smiled all through the performance.  I think she is stellar even though I don't normally like big diva voices.  Everyone loved her although Nicki was rather subdued in her praise.  I'm not sure why Nicki is being so pissy tonight but I am beginning to get the feeling she is holding out for  Zoanette and this is starting to make ME pissy.

Julianne, who is 15, is up next and her guitar is bigger than she is and from the first camera angle it looks like she is holding it horizontally but when they do a frontal shot we see that she is holding it normally.  She is only 15 and is a songwriter who has performed at her school with her sister.  She gives a quiet, slow performance of a song that I guess is called Skyfall.   Her high notes are breathy and even I can hear some of the flat notes... but she is only 15.  Keith admires her because she is 15.  Nicki comments that she is 15.  Randy said for being 15 she did a nice job.  Mariah called it *celestial* and she is only 15.  So...audience...she is 15 and has another chance so I'm thinking her sky is gonna fall in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Jette Hermano from Seattle, who gave up a 4 year academic scholarship to pursue her musical career and thus far has made it to a law firm where she summarizes depositions for a living, plays the piano and sings a Rihanna song which I'm not familiar with but according to Keith she changed it up quite a bit and he is impressed with that.  I'm impressed she actually played the piano through her song instead of hitting a note or two and then standing up to do the grand diva belting that Nicki seemed to crave from her performance.   Mariah liked her arrangement too, but Randy agreed with Nicki that she needed to do more with the song than playing the piano and making it her own.  Given that Nicki hated her, I'm figuring she is gone too even though the people in the Phillipines are all ready to do massive voting to support her. I thought she was a sweet girl, even though in retrospect, she probably should have kept her scholarship. 

Christobel is a worship leader, aged 29, and married to the man who fathered her 3 children.  This does not bode well for her.  She had a panic attack on the plane but then recieved a moment of grace so she was able to face this with confidence.  I didn't know the song and so even though the lyrics inspired her, and I wanted to love her because I have in her past performances, I had a feeling that she was not going to get a standing O.  Keith really liked her.  Nicki had a sour face and wasn't really impressed and neither was Randy.  Mariah wishes she had sung a different song and I agree with Mariah.  I was going to make a comment about her bad hair but that seems too cruel given what is probably going to be her fate.  Also, the cardigan was kind of weird and as Tabatha Coffey (of Tabatha's Salon Makeover and fashion critc fame) would say...*mumsy*.  I wonder what Tabatha would say about her hair.

My comments about the cardigan are, in all honesty, prompted by Nicki's reaction to Aubrey Cleland who has  has a big voice, and wore a shiny, short, tight dress on her anorexic little body.  Now we know why Nicki has been so sour.  She wants someone who *looks* like a star and until Aubrey, the contestants have, in Nicki's mind, fallen short in the fashion, hair and makeup department .  Aubrey is a really pretty girl with a big voice and uber confidence (she is going to be the last one standing she says) and I am starting to hate her just because Nicki likes her.  Because Nicki is *obsessed* with her, I know she is going through. 

So Rachel Hale, the smiling girl from Nashville, has a hard act to follow and does her best to bring it with a song about going down to the water to bring her soul to bare (or bear?).  Everyone is amazed that she is not a little shy wallflower tonight, and I'm thinking she might have a smidgeon of a chance.  She attends Belmont College, the same school attended by Idol Melinda Doolittle (who got robbed in her season by that smarmy Blake with the beat boxing who no one has heard from again and Jordin Sparks...but I digress) and the daughter of a friend of mine.

Following Rachel is Brianna who we haven't seen nor heard thus far (that I can recall).  Brianna is going to bust out the windows of a car and acts all tough (she reminds me of defendants on Judge Judy who are sued for doing similar things to boyfriend's cars).  I'm not that impressed with her as she is singing.  The judges, however, love her.  They really love her.  She is going through and I see Christobel's chances going down the drain. Nicki hasn't gotten the word from the EEOC that you don't ask a job applicant about race, creed, and national origin (among other things) and we learn that Brianna is a little bit of everything which matters only to Nicki.

As Janelle comes to the stage, I'm thinking *give it up honey...you are cooked*...not even Dolly herself is going to impress those judges after Brianna and Aubrey and you don't have on shoes with red soles and a slinky dress.  However, for some reason Nicki has taken a shine to Janelle so at the end of her song (which seemed forced to me) the judges seem willing to give her a pass on this performance and put her through.  So..say goodbye Rachel.  

Finally, the one we have been waiting for.  Zoanette has not performed seriously that we have seen since she started the competition.  First there was her horrible audition, then she almost sabotaged the group number and was carried by her group, and then she made up a song on the fly which was a bad song, badly performed, and she got lost in the middle of it.   Clearly, the producers realize Zoanette needs some audience rehabilitation or she will be the first one to go come voter time so we learn she helps old sick people and that her family fled Liberia during its civil war (which deserves far more credit than fleeing Kosovo during its civil war).  I'm not sure, but I believe she throws in loving God in her interview as well...or maybe she waits until the judging to do that...anyway...our Zoanette is pulling out all the stops tonight. She sings A Circle of Life from the Lion King and forgoes her trademark high notes for a deep alto.  As she was singing, I only recognized the song because of the first words.  I couldn't understand a single word she sang after that nor did the melody clue me in but clearly she was casting a spell on the judges and perhaps the audience as well. She does a Tebow when she is put through and says she is doing it all for her family (Nicki goes on and on about her struggle and her family too just in case we don't understand how wonderful Zoanette is).  Well, she is certainly a force to be reckoned with and we are stuck with her for at least one more performance and maybe more as the judges will pimp her to the final if they can. 

As I was heading to the computer to write this, the song Alouette came into my head.  I didn't really remember the words (its one of those songs you think you know as a kid but you really don't and besides its in French) nor what it was about.  So...I googled it.  Perhaps you know all about it but I didn't and I learned that the song is about a lark whose birdsong is so annoying that the child singing the song, awakened by the annoying song, wants to pluck the lark's head, beak, eyes, neck, wings, feet, tail, and back (in that order).  A very cruel sentiment, especially for a children's song but...after hearing Zoanette tonight...I completely understand it. 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kings X

The producers really really want a girl to win...or they want us to think they want a girl to win. And if a girl cannot win, then they want a boy who acts like a girl to win...or so it appeared from the guys selected in the top 20.  But...its Kings X time.  Tonight they want no theatrics, drama, or posing about.  In contrast to last night's love fest for all things emotionally over the top, tonight they want to hear *vocals* because its now a singing contest.  So, if the guys watched the show last night and decided to amp up the theatrics to impress the judges with their emotional range...too bad for them.  Kings X...the rules have changed. 

I confess to reading a spoiler so I knew basically who was in and who was out before watching tonight.  Even so, there were some confusing critiques and one result that I want to scream about. 

First up is my so far least favorite boy...Paul Jolley (hereinafter called *Paula Jo*).    We are reminded once again that his grandfather is dead and how Paula Jo wants to bless the world with his talent as a way of *giving back*.  I would like to return his gift postage NOT prepaid, but no luck for me.  He doesn't even try to disguise his pandering to Keith by singing one of his songs (did he ever sing country before?) and puts in a lot of bells and whistles and glory notes.  At least he doesn't cry like he did last time. He does try to disguise the fact that he is gay but the theatrics observed by Nicki in her critique give that secret away.  Randy likes his potential because he has a good range and sees him as a country star.  I think this guy would rather eat dog dirt than be a country star but he is definitely a panderer so he laps that up. 

Second to perform is Johnny Keyser, a repeat from last year.  I have been critical of Johnny because he is just too handsome to live and I think he knows it.  But his testosterone is refreshing and he doesn't oversing his song.  He gets some good remarks and I am sort of not hating him but then...I know what happens at the end so I don't need to waste my time finding fault with him.

Finally, the one we have been waiting for.  JDA is what JDA is and don't you forget it (which is also refreshing because he is not trying to fool anyone).  He sings a song I don't know about rumors and does his *artistic* take on it by rolling on the floor and then taking his shirt off.  I really don't know if he can sing or not because I'm fascinated by his act.  Keith thought it was a bit contrived, Nicki admired his integrity, Randy didn't like his vocals, Mariah liked his vocals...and after 5 minutes of back and forth *he's wonderful* *he didn't sing well* *he's an artist*, Ryan ends the judge's rather self-indulgent dissection of JDA and the meaning of life.  So we move on.

To Kevin Harris.  He has 2 beautiful children but he has fodder written all over him.  I really couldn't remember the results when I was watching him but I was not that impressed with his vocals and he didn't do anything but sing so I'm thinking...poor guy...you are toast.  Nicki and Keith loved his vocals but Randy thought he was karoake and Mariah is on the fence playing mediator but when she says *you've always been a favorite of mine* you can sense the gig is up for Kevin.

Chris Watson, another glamour guy, with an awesome headband and lots of glitter comes on and sings Dock of the Bay with a lot of melisma and stage action.  Nicki wants to marry his vibrato  and it seems like the judges are pretty easy on him.  Since I know he is going home at the end of the night, I wonder at this soft treatment. 

Next up is Devin with the pointy hair.  I like Devin except for his hair (what is it with bad hair this season?).  He sings a nice enough song pretty well but it wasn't a moment for me...even with the Spanish mixed in.  The judges go on and on about his good vocals so we are seeing that *vocals* is the magic word tonight.  It would be a good drinking game word for the night but I'm not a big drinker any more so I ended the night completely sober.  I hope some of you took advantage of it though!

Sadly, I was sober when the Chinese/Mexican Justin Bieber clone came on and sang a song about taking it to the moon.  He's letting it be known that he is a ladies man and hoping the tweens are taking note.  I found nothing exciting or memorable about him but the judges (egged on by the producers) see dollar signs on his back (because the world really needs another Justin Bieber especially if he is Chinese and Mexican) and give him rave reviews despite his weak voice and shaky falsetto which could not be heard over the backround singers.  He is Nicki's new favorite and she wants to marry him.  Ok..Nicki is the new Demi Moore but let him turn 21 at least.  His name is Elijah something.  I hope he is gone before I have to learn his last name.

Ahh...here comes the only boy I was looking forward to watching tonight..Charlie Askew.  Charlie got wardrobe advice from JDA and apparently performing advice too because he is swinging the mike around, going down on one knee and really hamming it up.  But I could not take my eyes off of him.  I didn't even write any notes while he was singing.  I love that song and I loved how he sang the light the fuse part of it and I think he is adorable.  HOWEVER, he talked back a little too much to the judges and got a little arrogant so...watch it Charlie.  Everyone loved it except Randy who is looking for vocals tonight.  I liked Charlie's vocals. 

Jimmy Smith is from Tennessee and sings a Keith Urban song and that is about all there is to say about that (except he has bad hair too!). 

Curtis Finch is not my favorite yet but he is a strong contender for favorite of mine (until he grows old on me as all the BGBV's do each year).  I like that he wore a suit and tie and was all buttoned up.  I liked his retro song choice.  I have nothing snarky or bad to say about him at all. I even like his hair.

When they announce the results, I am appalled that Elijah the Bieber is one of the 5 chosen.  I was also surprised that Paula Jo was on the cusp and needed Jimmy's intervention to stay in the competition.  Unfortunately, this means that I will have to take Jimmy off of my list of people I would marry.  I would have scratched Paula Jo and put in Johnny Keyser instead but I think they are afraid he is going to grab all the old women's  votes and be the next WGWG to win Idol.  I would have chosen Chris or JDA over Beiber boy...at least they were somewhat interesting.  

Next week we see whether vocals are so important when Zoanass sings like crap but shakes her boobs around.  Somehow I think we are looking at a *rules change* moment again.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Second That Emotion

Lots of emoting going on tonight as 10 of the top 20 girls take the stage for their *Sudden Death* performance.  There are some new faces and lo and behold, two of them even make it to the top 20 after they perform tonight.  Its not clear to me if the show is *live* or if only the audience is *live* but Ryan is really excited about this never before seen format.  So excited, he explains it in fits and starts and I THINK I know what its all about but I'm not entirely sure...plus...the Nigel's can always change it tomorrow if they want.

And, if you don't know this by now...you should.  The judges and producers either watch the dress rehearsals live or on tape before the real show so they already know what they think and what they are going to say about everyone.  And the Nigel's (Fuller and Lythgoe) have told the judges what to think and what to say.

Our first singer is Jenny Beth Willis and you just have to love a girl with a name like that and she just has to be a country singer.  I vaguely remember her audition but she was not featured in Hollywood Week so...odds are against her lasting the night before she even sings.  She sings a song about heaven, heartache and the power of love.  I love her dress but I am a sucker for tulle because I always wanted a tulle dress or tulle petticoat or tulle something and never ever got one (something KK knows because I tried to get her to wear a tulle wedding dress and she wisely declined so  note to KK...put me in tulle when you bury me!)  I don't really love Jenny Beth's performance except for the last glory note as it seemed a bit rushed to me and of course, I don't know the song and that never helps me enjoy a performance.  The judges agree with me except no one says they like her tulle dress and this disappoints me.

(Tina?) (Teena?) ...no its TENNA Torres has been sort of bandied about under the radar as a big contender but never really prominently featured.  She went to Camp Mariah as a child and is now 28 years old which has to make Mariah feel like Methusala.  This is also the last year she can compete (she lost out in Las Vegas last year) Teena doesn't even sing a note before she starts emoting and waving her arms in anguish at not being able to find a soulmate...and she never stops emoting.  I don't hate her voice but I don't like the over-emoting. Ok, I hate her voice.  The judges love the emoting.  Randy wants to date her.   Nicki doesn't like her hair (yes...Nicki is giving hair advice!!).  But Nicki is right.  Teena's hair looks like a bad wig (and I'm sure it is a bad wig) and completely covers her features and it does age her....and she doesn't need anything aging her because she looks old for 28. Next time we see her she will have figured out where Nicki gets her wigs. 

Adrianna from Alaska sings an R&;B song and for 17 years old does a great job if you like R&B and belters and Diva wanna bees (I don't much).  I'm seeing Jessica Sanchez redux (along with the entire nation of the Phllipines sending votes in via internet) except Adrianna is nice. Adrianna emoted enough to impress the judges. 

Brandy, the Psych nurse, is the second country singer tonight and Keith is dying because she doesn't really suck but she doesn't really shine either.  She was *emotionally inconsistent* and according to Nicki gave a pageant performance and I don't disagree about Nicki's comments.  Keith is getting worried about his country girls before the voters at this point and I think Brandy is going back to the psych ward.

Shuba Vedula of the strange name is another 17 year old.  She is familiar to us so I'm sort of thinking she is going to be one of the 5 chosen to stay tonight as she sits at the piano and starts *Born This Way*.  After dolefully singing a few bars and hitting a key or two on the keyboard, she leaps from the piano bench and starts dancing spasmodically around the stage in desperation to be a rocker girl.  The crowd liked her but the judges didn't.  Nicki and Keith thought it was confused but Mariah said it best...it was just forced and she looked like an 8 year old on that infamous Toddler's and Tiara show doing a Gaga imitation after drinking go go juice comprised of Red Bull and Mountain Dew.  The shiny pants didn't help either.  I didn't want to not like her...but I didn't get what I wanted.  I really thought she was odd and not in a good *artiste* way.  Sadly, I think her career peaked when she won $35,000 for her school.

We have never even heard of Kamaria Owsley as I don't think her audition was aired.  She has been trying to make it in the business for years and is a back up singer. We now know why she hasn't yet made it.  All I can say is OMG!  I was literally cringing in pain as she missed every single note as she was warbling that song.  This was shameful.  She TRIED to emote as she sang *You Don't Know a Thing About Me* (which we didn't until tonight and we now know all we need to know) and gave sassy looks to the rafters and wings and the ceiling.  But she was dressed to the nines with boobs on display and I'm thinking she is thinking *it worked for Zoanass...why not for me?*.  

Kree Harrison comes out in an overblouse and denim leggings as she is all of a size 6 or 8 instead of size 2.  She sings Up to the Mountain (I guess that is the title).  I liked her, the judges liked her and I think America will like her.  However, I also think the judges will turn on her when it comes time for the voting...except maybe for Keith.  They will also be giving her fashion advice. I give her credit for being the only female within 2 blocks of that stage who did not have hair extensions.  

Ok, now comes Angela Miller and my opinion is all over the place here.  I liked her original song.  I thought tonight she was too prancy and insincerely emoting as she sang about nobody being perfect.  I didn't much like the song, I thought she did an OK but sort of boring job of it, and I REALLY REALLY hate her hair.  It is polygamy hair with a dash of Farrah Fawcett in Charlie's Angel days  and you know she paid a lot for those extensions. She should sue her hairdresser and if she does her own she should sue herself.  I'm thinking the judges are of two minds about her too as they don't talk about her performance tonight but praise her for performance of her original song.  She is a producer favorite obviously but I'm not sure America is going to love her for very long if she cannot get her original song mojo back no matter how hard the producers and judges pimp her.

Isabel has decided not to use her last name.  This is an affectation that does not bode well for her.  I think her last name of Pasqualone is perfectly respectable...even exotic.  I am rooting for her because I empathize with her weight struggles.  And I love the song she sang.  Keith and Nicky are telling her how much they admire her and I'm thinking *oh oh...she is toast*.  Randy and Mariah don't think the arrangement was interesting enough.  She is on the bubble and her chances depend on the last girl failing.

We have never heard of Amber Holcomb even though this is her 2nd time around.  She is rather bubbly in her interview.  She has changed her look from last year somewhat but not too dramatically.  And then..she starts singing *My Funny Valentine* and I am in heaven.  I am almost getting tears in my eyes.  I love that song.  I love her singing it and I love this girl.  She is someone I can vote for.  I don't know what Nicki was talking about when she wondered if the TV audiences would get how good this girl is.  Nicki, people know when someone is good and they don't need multi-colored hair, crazy costumes, and crazy eyeshadow to get their attention when someone is good.  So...I'm rooting for Amber. 

I'm not sure how much of tomorrow's show I will be able to see so I may not blog about it.  I will predict, if Jolley is on, that they will LOVE him. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Send In the Clowns? No..Just Zoanette

What can one say? The *Zoanette Era* of Idol has begun.  Do the producers REALLY think this is the way to get the girl winner they so desperately are hoping for this season? 
Lets take the contestants as they were shown:
First we have Angela Miller who already has a fan thread on the forums.  She was the number 1 performer up both last night and tonight which indicates some pretty serious pimping by the producers.  I was not so impressed with her last night (agree with Nicki) and was not wanting to be impressed with her tonight but I was.  Her original song was decent, if not Adele, and she didn't overdo the melisma and runs like so many do.  Now get rid of the hair extensions, or get it styled better or something, because you look very dated...almost polygamy wife like with that hairdo and maybe you will have a shot at the top 5 (if you don't Pia out on us).  Speaking of Pia Toscano...has anyone heard from her lately?  Just asking.

Next up is Candace Glover who I really like even if I don't like her style of singing.  Again, too much melisma and too many runs for me but she seems like a really decent woman and so I'm thrilled she got through to the top 20 this time. So..for those who like melisma parties she's their girl.
Janelle Arthur comes up next and they acknowledge her long history with Idol.  The third time is a charm and she sails through singing *I Told You So*.  I couldn't help but think of poor Micah and how he failed with this choice. 
Now we turn to the point of this whole season evidently, which is Zoanette (aka Zoanada or since I'm in a particularly bad mood tonight...maybe its Zoanass).  This is the 2nd time she has trouble *feeling* the song so she decides to wing it with her own original and play the drums to boot.  To make sure she gets attention she spills her boobs on stage.  She orders the band around and then gets up there and does pure crap.  There was a time when people would get rejected for Hollywood for singing a crap song mentioning the judges names in their audition but that time is gone.  Zoanass drops her drumstick, yells at the band in the middle of her performance and its all just peachy keen with the judges. You know, sometimes I feel guilty for making fun of the show in this blog (really...I do!) but no more.  After this spectacle the gloves are off my fingers and my keyboard will turn ugly at the slightest provocation!  And by the way...if she is 20 years old...I'm 23.  This woman is 32 if she is a day old.  Please, please, someone find out she has a warrant out for her arrest that she hasn't disclosed, otherwise I think she will make the top 10!
Shuba Vedula is next and she is boring to me.  So I won't bore you with trying to remember what she sang and how she sang it. 
Kezban is not boring and she even dresses like a girl today (with help from Zoanass).  She has boobs too.  So maybe I'm wrong that she is really a guy.  She is really cool no matter what but tonight she fizzles by singing some artsy fartsy song about clouds or something.  I think she would be in the top 40 if she had sung the original she sang at her first audition.  I'm of two minds about this.  On one hand, based on her performance she should not be in the top 40.  But why is her crap (which she was serious about) any worse than the crap Zoanass fed us (which she was not serious about?).  I guess Kezban's boobs were not big enough.  But, I loved her positive attitude when eliminated.  And, she loves her mama. 
Then we get a taste of the serious nature of a group of girls  who all seem to have a broken heart or have broken a heart or something which is taking it entirely too much the opposite direction of Zoanass's shenanigans.  Melinda Edemi brings sanity to the room by doing an upbeat song well.  I like her I think.
Kree, who so far as I can tell is the only one from the OK City auditions, male or female, to make it this far, finally impresses Nicki so she gets to go through. ( Wait! I forgot! Zoenass is from the OK City auditions.  She is in fact, according to Nicki,  the reason God MADE Oklahoma!)  Is anyone figuring out that it is Nicki who is calling the shots here on everyone?  Lots of competition in the country girl slot so we will see how she fares against Janelle, Rachel, and whoever else is in the top 40 that the producers consider fodder so won't tell us about.
They put too many women through on this round so they have to let some go and we have a sing off between Stephanie the Barbie/Stefani look alike and sweet Rachel Hale.  Rachel ain't so sweet as she nearly blows off Stephanie's hair extensions on her way to the top 20 girls.  
Then they bring out the guys and poor Adam Sanders chokes.  Unwisely, he chooses to sing a Celine Dione song which I don't recall ever hearing..or at least not the way he sings it...and as he sings the refrain *What Do You Say?*, I can hear the entire viewing audience collectively saying or thinking *We say NO*.  You KNOW you did...admit it! 
Josh Holliday, the aspiring Gospel singer is Adam's competition for the last  guy slot and he sings *Georgia On My Mind*.   Josh splits his pants in a final dramatic move and I'm thinking that  the Jolley kid may have some competition here for the top spot.  Not because Josh is that great...he was fine...but because compared to most of the the rest of the guys...he appears to have an overabundance of testosterone...meaning...he has some.
Next week in Vegas and the judges choose who is in the top 20.  Then we get to start voting.  Yay for us!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dream, Girls

From the outset of tonight's program, its clear the producers are hoping to to unseat the WGWG dynasty and have a woman win this thing this year.  We are told there are more women than men, that the women are the best group we have ever seen and of course there is the theory promoted by the guys at Vote For the Worst that they have stacked the male group with gay men and minorities that middle America is supposed to loathe (how this explains Clay Aikin, Ruben Stoddard, Adam Lambert and Josh Ledet I have no clue). 
I was actually not looking forward to tonight because I hate the drama of Group Night and then there is Zoanette (Zoanada) and trying to figure out what she does to make the top 40.  More on her in a moment.

The acapella portion flew by pretty fast as it did with the men.  Angela Miller is up first and is confident she is the next American Idol.  I don't know what she sang except I suspect one line.... *no,no,no,no*... will eventually be prophetic for her.  Her bad hair extensions are distracting to me and her voice is good but nothing all that special.  I gather she is somewhat of a favorite of those who frequent the Idol forum boards.  We will see what she does tomorrow if they feature her(assuming she made it through the group rounds which wasn't clear to me because even if her group was featured all those girls with hair extensions look alike to me).

Victoria Acosta sing's Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly and I really didn't think it was that good either but she makes it through.  The pageant girl from Arkansas and the blonde funny girl are sent packing and its time for the country stand off between Rachel Hale and Janelle Arthur. I loved both Rachel and Janelle but believe that this is not a year for a country girl to win...or any girl for that matter.  Let me qualify my love for Rachel...I think her syrupy ways will soon irritate me but my neck hurts tonight and I am crabby.  Janelle is a 3x retread having been eliminated in Seasons 10 and 11...this is a fact not disclosed by the producers. 
Candace Glover, another 3x retread from  prior seasons, impresses the judges, especially Randy who  at her audition this year didn't even remember her from last season when he presumably was involved in cutting her, asking her  *where have you been?*   I like her as a person even though I'm not a fan of her singing style so I hope she does well.  Megan Miller, the girl who risked gangrene to make it to her audition, was sent packing but at least she is healthy now.  
I like Isabel who sang a classic from Porgy and Bess I believe.  She is a big girl with a big voice and seems very down to earth.  
Finally, the one I was waiting for....Kezban.  Just as I cannot figure out if she is a boy or a girl (still!..and believe me I am serious about this...it wouldn't surprise me if she turns out to be a he), I cannot figure out whether she is a poseur like Papa Peachez and I don't like her or if she is just really that weird and actually sort of clueless and ultimately endearing.  She seems to think she can direct the process by asking for an extra 30 seconds to practice (or clear the phlegm from her throat) and that doesn't happen for her. At the same time, she is absolutely selfless in her appreciation and support of her fellow contestants...jiving along backstage and cheering from the audience so  you have to think...she is just flat the most naive oddball and perhaps comes from a very privileged backround but still has a good heart. You do have to wonder, however, if she also possesses a penis to go along with it. 
Its 36 minutes into the program and so far Zoanada has not been seen or heard from.  Perhaps the public outcry has convinced the producers its best to keep her on the down low for now.
All in all we don't see very much drama for group night...perhaps because the extras have no choice to move to other groups, ostracize oddballs, etc. as in prior years. No Tatiana Torres flitting from group to group sowing mayhem this year!
Candace Glover's group is up and does a great song with a song I will call the Cash Box song because I don't know the name of it but sort of like in a novelty way.  Sadly, Mr. Auntee does not have a cash box so I cannot go shopping to console myself when he acts up and let me tell you that if he did, there would be at least 4 delivery trucks with stuff in my driveway right now.  But I digress.
Raisin' Cain is up next and includes Rachel Hale and they do a bang up job.  I'm almost in a country mood this year.  
Almost Famous is perhaps too hopeful a name for the next group because there is no *almost* in their prospects for fame.  Savannah is the leader of the group and you almost feel sorry for her until you see her do an outlandish butt swinging strip tease performance as she tries to steal the limelight from the rest of them.  Dashia goes through.  Really none of them were memorable in a good way for me so I don't know why Dashia went through but we will see if she shows up again doing something which would make her almost famous.  
Cristobel's group is up next.  I like Cristobel who is an adult (although I would love her if she would get some hair on her head).  The group seems pretty happy until psycho witch Janelle decides to separate herself from them for no reason and puts unneeded drama into the situation.  She alternately acts like she loves them and hates them and gives a really fake remark to the camera right before the performance and the other three are ready to sing the *do do doo doo* phrase from Twilight Zone.  When Nicki calls her on not practicing with the group, she cries and says *nobody likes me* and Nicki falls for that crap.  This Janelle is one I hope we do not see again...she has serious psychological issues or perhap she is just a sociopath.  
The song *American Boy* seems to be the kiss of death for these groups as I recall at least one of the guy groups botched it badly when it was their turn.  Poor Seretha (evidently the only one the producers think the audience will care about in this group) is no worse than anyone else but for some reason she goes home and the rest stay.
Finally...we see Zoanada and the producer's attempt to rehabilitate her image.  They describe her pouting  (because she isn't into the song) as a lack of confidence (hoping to humanize her I guess) when in fact she is just pouting because she doesn't like the song.  She is nothing if not resilient, our Zoanada, so after she milks it for the camera, she comes back all happy pappy and in love with her group and her song.  The group does fine, she does not succeed in sabotaging them and we are left with the impression that she is just a regular old girl and not the trainwreck we saw in her audition.  
The next group has another defector, called Liz who is either lost on purpose or because she is clueless (I think it is on purpose).  After upsetting the members of the group enough so that they perform poorly, she sails through with her sweet little face and her polygamy hair.  I'm watching you, Liz....you might be the one I decide to turn my wrath upon should you go very far.  
The next group is a bunch of blondes with a lazy butt included in them...and a lying lazy butt to boot.  Once again, virtue is not rewarded and the lazy liar goes through leaving 2 of her group behind.  
Finally, we get to see the Misfits whose name Kezban probably chose because the others of the group seem to fit together pretty well and are basically generic AI extras.  Kezban is nothing if not vocal about the song choice (and I have to agree with her) but is ultimately satisfied even though she doesn't get to sing California Dreamin' (which would have been wonderful to hear).  They sing Be My Baby instead.  Despite Kezban's sense of entitlement (she wants to eat,sleep and have orange juice delivered to her) and calesthenics to get her adrenaline going, the group ultimately gels and does a good job.  Kezban does not seem to know that the rest of the group is put out with her...another indication that she is clueless as opposed to difficult on purpose (and another reason I think she really may be a man).  And I have to give the members of this group some credit for putting up with Kezban, as well-meaning as she appeared, and getting the job done well.
Tomorrow we will see what these ladies are truly made of when they go solo with the band.  It appears Zoanada plays the drums...something I could live without seeing.

And, I must say that Nicki Minage is beginning to be OK with me about half of the time.  We will see if that continues during the live performances.

However, I cannot help but think that all of these girls are California Dreamin' because there is NO way one of them will win this year.  Its a WGWG all the way.      

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Told You So

And later on in this blog, I'll give the Nicki Minaj fans the opportunity to say the same to me...to an extent.
Tonight we finally get to see more than 3 seconds from the extras as the men *fight for their lives* on solo day (with a band).  Ryan tells us they are the *best of the best* and I'm still thinking we could trade about 15 of them for the guy with the titanium leg (yes...I'm *obsessed* with him) but I'm keeping my mind open as the show begins with my prediction for winning it all:  Paul Jolley.
But, I did not predict he would have a complete meltdown wailing *Everything is Falling Apart* just before he went on stage nor that he would start pleading and begging before he even sang. He has worked SOOO hard...(unlike the other contestants who all have trust funds?).   Nor did I think he would suck so bad when he finally did sing a song I do not know (and I had turned off closed captioning so I couldn't even read the words).  Something about being blown away I think.  I wasn't and Nicki wasn't but evidently the other three judges (or Nigel) wanted the guy to go through so he made it.  I did appreciate Nicki's comments to him...basically suck it up you big cry baby.  If he makes it through to the live performances, I promise you I will be merciless about him.  He just makes my skin crawl. 
Lazaro Arbus is up next singing Edge of Glory and he does very well without the people in his group treating him like he is an idiot.  Of course he hasn't worked nearly as hard as Paul Jolley...as communicating with a speech impediment your whole life is just child's play. 
Curtis Finch is the ubiquitous BGBV (I may have used a different acronym last year but this year it means Black Guy Big Voice (and most of them have big asses too).  He sings Jar of Hearts, which we later learn is a big favorite of the guys today.  I was sort of ho humming about him but at one point I got chills so either he was an above average BGBV or I caught a draft.   I'm not sorry he made it through.
Devin Velez is an odd looking guy with nerves of steel and a good voice.  He could attract some votes if he would get rid of his Poindexter hair.  You ask:  what is Poindexter hair? When I was a child we had a board game called *Barbie's Dream Date* and of course the object was to get to go to the prom with Ken.  There were 3 other potential dream dates and Poindexter was clearly the loser of the three and no one wanted to get his card and have to go to the prom with him.  So...get rid of the Poindexter hair which may look good on some but just makes your head look funny and you might have a chance Devin. 
The Turbinator does a little twist and sings *Georgia* while accompanying himself on a guitar.  I was unable to really assess how well he did because I was just trying to deal with a Sikh singing a song about Georgia with a Southern accent. For some reason, the judges love this guy.  I don't hate him but I don't get the love for him either.  You just know if he makes it to the live shows he is going to pull a Hejun Han joke performance out of his turban and piss everyone off.
Evidently there was no Whitney on the song list because Cortez Shaw, another BGBV, (who was hammered justifiably by Nicki in the acapella round for his rendition of *I Will Always Love Youuuuu*) sings something else.  I didn't think he was that great but he makes it through too.
Matteus comes on stage and reminds the judges again that he is very short and was bullied and so he is singing *Stronger* (because I guess *Ain't No Mountain High Enough* was not on the song list and singing Randy Newman's Short People would be a bit much even for the guy who is banking his Idol career on being short).  He says three times he has never sung with a live band before, which I'm calling a lie because I bet he did on the Glee Project and we know for sure they had a live band for the group performances just the day before.  He pretty much sucked.  Nicki tells him to quit the pity party and I'm getting to the point with her where I'm about ready for her fans to say *I Told You So* to me because she does at times hit the nail right smack on the head.   But then again...when she is wrong she is very very wrong as she was about our next extra....drum roll.....
Papa Peachez...I don't know what he sang and since he didn't like singing someone else's song I don't know why I should have to care what it was.  He's awful.  Nicki tells him the star quality has been sucked out of him.  No, Nicki, it was never there.  He is nothing more than a poseur.  You screwed up when you lobbied for him to come to Hollywood so just admit it.  I think Papa thought he was going through when he was told to step forward because he had this smirk on his face but maybe he just thought he was being too cool for school.
Jimmy Smith who we have never seen before sings a feel good song and is awfully WGWG worthy.  I don't really know why they featured him unless they are upset at Jolley's breakdown and need the audience to get to know his WGWG replacement.
They put through the retread Johnny Keyser at some point during the day but who knows why as we didn't see his performance.  I suspect they realize the audience is getting sick of him.

And then we get to witness a total breakdown by Nicholas Mathis, another BGBV who is there to make a better life for his kids (something no one else has ever said they are there to do).  He is bawling before he hits the stage so you know this is going to go south really quickly and it does.  I don't know what he sang except something about it being *too long* and the song definitely was too long for me.  He has a tantrum when he doesn't make it which is not a pretty thing to watch.
Nick Boddington is another retread but I am not sick of him.  As I recall I liked him last year.  He does well and they put him through.
Jada, the transvestite or transgendered or whatever the politically correct term is for his type makes it through.  He better sing better than Adam Lambert if he wants America's votes because irrespective of the tranwhatever thing or maybe because of the tranwhatever thing, he comes off like a bitchy diva.  Who knows...he may have the heart of a lamb.
Once again, I have to hand it to Nicki (although I think the other judges agree), Charlie Askew just steals your heart.  I love the song he sang, I loved his introduction and I loved the way he sang it.  He has the potential to get full of himself so I hope he does not.  I suspect his IQ is in the genius range.

Micah Johnson, our fourth BGBV tonight, was evidently in another world when he chose his song and I blame the voice coaches for letting him sing it.  I don't think a BGBV has sung country since Charlie Pride and unlike the incongruity of a turbaned Sikh singing *Georgia* with a Southern accent, an R&B singer singing Randy Travis, while equally incongruous,  doesn't impress the judges. I was sorry to see him go.  I hope he gets a good lawyer and wins his malpractice case.
And so it went...except 8 more of them will be cut to get to the top 20 guys.   The guys at Vote For the Worst have a theory that they are putting up a lot of minority and gay men extras because they want the audience to vote for a woman.  If that is their plan, it probably will not work.   

I must confess that my lack of enthusiasm for this season has kept me from following all things Idol as closely as I have in years past.  Consequently, I missed out on a scandal which justifies some of the cynicism I have expressed about the extra's sob stories this season.  A potential WGWG auditioned in Long Beach.  He was an Iraq vet who had been ambushed by an IED, suffered traumatic brain injury, took medicine to recover which was supposed to make him sterile but he miraculously fathered a daughter (who he brought to the audition with him).  I recall saying that I appreciated his service but milking his sob story was making me not like him so much.  So now I can say I told you so.  Turns out, the guy made the whole thing up.  He may or may not have been in the service and served in Iraq but he definitely wasn't hit by an IED and told he would be sterile.  I don't even know if the little girl who came to the audition is really his (she didn't look like she liked him too much so maybe he paid her real family $50 or so to have her as a prop) but he really is a liar (and after his lie was sussed out by some veterans' group claimed he has always had this lying problem as if that is also something we should feel sorry for him about).  I don't know what he did or didn't do in Hollywood but he is no longer in the competition.  His name is Matt Farmer (maybe).
Next week the girls and the drama meter will go up a bit.  Looks like my favorite Kezban has a bit of a breakdown.    

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

There's Nothing Like the Male Thing Baby

And that title is not a double entendre...tonight was the night for the men to do their thing and for us to catch at least a glimpse of our next American Idol.  Hint:  His name is Paul Jolley.  Just my prediction, mind you.  But he's white, he has a guitar and he is in the top 40.  Despite the fact that he has some decidedly feminine aspects, he is male enough to be pimped, hyped and badgered through by the producers.

Speaking of the producers...they just cannot quit rearranging the chairs on the deck of the ship that keeps jumping the shark and keeps on floating...so far.  So they change Hollywood Week to have guy on guy and girl on girl competition and do away with self-selection for the group night.  I must say it was nice to be spared the drama of the outcasts searching for a group then finding one and turning on each other.  And thankfully there was very little drama with the exception of Frankie Ford's last hurrah *They will not deny me* (what a jerk he turned out to be, huh?).

The first guy up for the night was Micah with the speech impediment which may or may not be real.  He did a nice job Then the skinny Skinner kid from Oklahoma City who should have stayed there.  He was caffienated to the gills and evidently so were the producers who edited the first part of the show because they moved through the acapella portion so fast I could barely register the face of the person before they were off the stage. With the exception of the Whitney singer, Cortez Shaw, who evidently pissed Nicki off by daring to sing Whitney.  I actually thought he was horrible too but didn't appreciate Nicki cutting off Mariah's comments.  Hey Nicki...just because Mariah gets to say something doesn't mean you won't get your turn.   

The only group that really impressed me was the Math heads even though it included that short guy Mateus who likes us to think he has had such a tough life even though this is his 2nd shot at reality singing show fame.  The rest of the groups just sort of blend together.  I'm glad Lazaro made it through but I'm not sure how long he will last.   And  I was glad to see the guy who is shaped like a bowling pin make it through despite being saddled with Frankie Ford's *I don't know anything about music but I'm not going to listen to a thing you have to tell me about it* snit fits.  I don't know what possessed them to send through the entire B-Side group except Nicki is partial to headwear so she fell for the turban on the Turbinator and the guy with the curly hair and bandana.  I guess we know by now that what Nicki wants, Nicki gets.

Favorites?  None for me at this point.  Tomorrow they sing their solos and I suspect this is when they will really bring out the brass band for Paul Jolley.  You heard it here first.  I want to be wrong about it, but I'm afraid I am right.

One good thing, we did not have to hear from Zoanetta tonight (hereinafter called Zoanada).  Since she makes the top 40 they will have to feature her heavily during girl's week...I'm not looking forward to her rehabilitation by producer.