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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blogger Down (again)

Once again I had a late doctor's appointment so didn't watch the show.  I actually got back in time with my take out food but I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm.  After last night I think at least one of the finalists is a foregone conclusion so it seemed rather  anti-climactic.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm So Jaded and Idol's the One Who Jaded Me.

As the opening credits span the city of San Francisco it is announced that Idol has saved the best for last. This is a clue to me that they have found some sweet young thing that the producers are going to coddle through Hollywood Week and then push on the voters as they slam all competitors.  I'm just waiting to see which of the minors they have selected.  I'm so jaded. 

Before I begin, I want to harken back to New Orleans and Sarah who was 28 and sent home.  I evidently was not the only one angered by her dismissal nor was I the only one to conclude that it was because she is old.  There were a lot of complaints from the viewers on various websites. As you recall, JLo doesn't like women who are 25 and older because they are jaded and the young things are so fresh and full of hope and spirit.  She doesn't seem to have the same problem with men in the 25-28 age bracket but that may be because she is looking for her next boy toy now that her "pappy" has left the scene and she is single.    

First up is Crazy Catherine with the pimp coat and spandex tights and a story about the coat being a gift from Bowie.  And a psychic cat called Mustafa who told her to audition.  She wants to be a rocker.  She sang a song by Florence and the Machine that I don't know.  I was so distracted by her antics that I don't really know if she was any good or not and I'm pretty sure she is not as crazy as she wanted everyone to believe but I'm so jaded.  I am going to either love her or hate her if she gets very far.  If she makes Lovey the Bada Bing girl look bad, I'm going to love her.  If she is just a brat trying to be different, I'm probably not going to love her.  At least she didn't have hair extensions.  I'll give her credit for that.  She gets no credit for having a psychic cat.  My cat Maxine is psychic too.  Right now she is telling me in her own special way (sitting on my mouse hand)  that I am going to get up and give her some  food in the next few moments.  I don't think Catherine is the chosen one.

Next up is a montage of Erika, Chandler and Ryan.  Erika and Ryan are a yawn.  But I'm so jaded.  Chandler might have some potential.  All go through although Keith wasn't in love with Erika (and neither was I). 

Andrew Bloom and Kelly with the red pants are up next. I have no independent recollection of what they sang or whether they were any good or not because I was busy being jaded (and feeding my psychic cat).   

Reno, who appears to be Hawaiian but I'm not sure comes from a huge family.  Sixty of them lived in one house at one time.  He sleeps in the garage on the floor.  They liked him and he went through.  Seemed a nice enough guy but I'm not overly impressed with his talent.  But, I'm over 25 and I'm jaded.

Samuel Prince who is really from Puerto Rico comes in and the producers would have us believe that the judges are just being clued in on Sam's plan to do a soap opera improv with their participation.  He calls them all up  and starts berating JLo in Spanish.  She may or may not have understood what he was saying.  She slaps him. He cannot sing worth a bean and he doesn't go to Hollywood. Jaded much? 

A gal in a tiara comes on and sings Dancing in the Street while shaking her booty and she is sent home.  Mercifully.  But I bet you dollars to donuts that if she was 15 or 16 and thin she would have gone through to Hollywood.

For the first time this season I was correct on the guess yes or no audience game and the guy with the odd hair goes home.  I guess they have filled the boxes for emos with guitars this season.  

Even though I am jaded, I liked the next guy, Ray Vaughn (or Ravon?) Owen.  

The Cardenas twins come out and its unclear if one or both of them is auditioning.  One plays an out of tune guitar and his brother has to start over and Harry is appalled at their lack of preparation.  They go home. 

And, finally, the one I have been waiting for all night.  The Chosen One:  Maddie Hudson.  She is 16, very pretty, dressed in an offbeat style but not too out there, and probably has hair extensions to go with her wine red lipstick.  She is a mama's girl.  She sang a song I don't know called Resentment (I think) and they all fell in love with her.  Harry tells her she is going to be a star.  If JLo had confetti with her it would have been thrown right then.  They think she will win.  I think she will come in 2nd place behind a WGWG (white guy with guitar).  In fairness, she seemed like a nice girl.  I say "seemed" because I'm jaded.  

One more night in San Francisco (I was hoping for only one night in that town) and then the auditions are over. Praises be!  


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Je ne suis pas amusé. Les bon temps ne roulaient pas

So much for New Orleans.  Can we give it back to the French?  Or at least send Harry, JLo and Keith to Paris to sing You've Got a Friend? 

I have no idea what "boxes" the judges are trying to fill because they did some strange things tonight.  I assume the first 8 minutes of programming was designed to pimp Harry with bad contestants as this is the first time this season we have seen laughable auditions. But...somehow, they kept one or two for later and sent them to Hollywood.  Argh!

Anjelica ("Jelly") Joseph was the first serious contestant and she sang Rolling In the Deep well enough.  She seems to have an infectious personality.  I thought her voice was ordinarily good.  She may have some potential or maybe she fits the box of overweight black woman who sings loud.  

Tiffany Stringer (who does not yet have a stage name but give her time) is 16 and on the drill team in Texas.  Her audition was painful to watch.  She was kicking her leg and rolling her eyes (ala Angie the seal)  and as I recall, essentially talking a song.  But hey, send her Holllywood because she is 16 and cute.  I suspect she is hangar fodder but right now I just don't trust my judgment.  

Grayson Turner is 15 and he and his girlfriend gig around town and he wants to go to the next level (after he goes to the bathroom as he forgot to pee).  Is there something a bit obscene about a 15 year old thinking this way?  He is pretty sure he is all that and does an original song which I thought was pretty corny with a breathy voice.  They loved the way he talked the way he walked and his dark passion.  O.K.  

So after commerical I hear this voice singing St. James Infirmary and I am thinking "finally!"  The performance had a Billie Holliday vibe to it and to me sounded like New Orleans.  Harry says no it does not...or at least it doesn't sound like American IIdolized New Orleans.  Plus, she is 28, doesn't have hair extensions or even (gasp!) blonde hair, and didn't have on much makeup.  Keith says yes, Harry says no, and Jennifer says no because *I don't think you can win the whole thing*.  Of course this is a new criterion that has not been applied to say, Tiffany from the drill team in Texas.  So away goes Sarah with only the memory of singing along to Harry's accompaniment to console her.  Keep singing Sarah.  

Quintin Alexander is from the 9th Ward and he says he survived it by staying indoors and experimenting with fashion.  He sings Royals.  He had on a stupid outfit but the judges thought he looked so so cool.  I think they were mesmerized by the outfit and didn't hear his mediocre voice.  

A contestant from Harry's high school who is a little too full of himself (sorry I cannot read his name in my notes but I think his last name was Duran) sings an original song.  I liked the song.  His voice was a little strange to me.  I approve of sending him to Hollywood even though he thinks his 2.8 GPA in high school was a "great" performance.  

Now it is time for the audience to guess yes or no while a contestant sings us into the break.  It is some blowhard girl trying to sing bluesy but failing.  I'm writing NO NO NO in my notes, even though I know I always guess wrong.  Alexis Cruppa ( change one letter and you will desribe her talent) goes to Hollywood and I pretend to vomit on my houseshoes and think  of Sarah.  

Ricky Dale is a country singer.  He is likeable and not bad so he goes through.  Yawn. 

Great, Briana Jade the drag queen goes to Hollywood because JLo thinks he can win the whole thing (you know she wouldn't have said yes unless she thought so).  Briana Jade comes across to the judges sweet as pie but afterwards in the interview reveals he is a biotch. 

Adam Asher is Carlos Santana's nephew and seems pretty talented.  I will be watching for him in Hollywood.  He seemed pretty modest too.  

Finally,  Erica from Mobile, the ubiquitous single mother auditions.  She is good and goes through.

San Francisco is next week and the final city.  Yay! 

Now, Laissez les mauvais temps cesser de rouler.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kind of a Drag

Oh these auditions are so tedious! Tonight in Minneapolis all I could think of was fodder fodder everywhere. Everyone who got a golden ticket was so excited--as if they had already had the confetti drop--and my guess is that unless one of them turns up their game significantly, they are going home from the hangar before they see the Hollywood sign.  

First up was Shannon, age 17, who has never sung in front of people before.  She sang House of the Rising Sun in an imitative way--but not good enough for me to tell who she was trying to imitate.  I thought it was shouty and all the melisma and growls she threw in just made it sound corny to me.  But the judges said she had raw talent.  I wouldn't call it raw because in my opinion it was half-baked and I will be surprised if the heat of Hollywood makes it rise.  

Then comes the guy with the golden microphone, Kamil Casey.  He is a nerd.  He cannot sing.  He can dance poorly.  He didn't go through.

There was a montage of women with guitars and maybe one of them had some talent but they must have all been over 23 because we didn't see any of them featured.  

Vanessa who is in love with Keith but smart enough to brown nose JLo and Harry too, was my favorite of the night.  Her husband is in the air force and she has 3 kids at home including a 3 month old baby.  I don't know if we will see her face again.  She seemed a little too sweet for Hollywood but again...she had her suck up stories down pat so maybe there is more to her than it appeared. 

Zach sang with a country accent even though he doesn't speak with one and that bothered Harry.  He was likable enough but nothing all that special in terms of talent.  He did get to sing at Keith's concert in Minot, SD so this was not an entirely wasted exercise for him. 

I missed the audition of Aaron from the Iowa coffee houses.  I'm half sorry I did because I don't think we will see him on our TV again unless he is boarding the bus from the hangar.

The hunting fishing gal, Cindy Jo, (yes she has no last name because she is going to be a STAR and doesn't need one) is 26 years young.  JLo began planning her next video in her head at that point.  Harry was worried that all of the gun stuff was fake.  She shot a bear with a bow and arrow which is impressive but she murdered Crazy.  I don't know why they put her through because as much as I hate to agree with JLo, Cindy Jo won't be needing that stage name any time soon. 

The audience gets to guess whether Matt with the long hair and the bad voice goes through to Hollywood.  I guessed no.  I guessed wrong.  I'm beginning to think I'm crazy but please don't let Cindy Jo sing it again.

The Vegas guy, whose name I didn't catch, basically does the performance he never gets to do in Vegas because he is an understudy for the Jerry Lee Lewis character in a Vegas show called the Million Dollar Quartet.  He can play the piano.  He can imitate Jerry Lee Lewis.  That wasn't selling so he did another song and went through.  I thought his voice was sort of thin.

Hannah with an unpronounceable last name is a 16 year old belter.  If she makes it to the top 24 (and she might because she is 16, pretty, and belts) I'm pretty sure she will lose the last name.  This trend was started by Megan Joy, followed by Lauren Alaina (whatever happened to Lauren Alaina?) and followed up by Jena Irene (who as you recall, is dumping Irene and just going by Jena now that she has a platinum album--wait..she doesn't? )  

The final guy was Matt Andrew who seemed genuine enough.  He does have a distinctive "tone" to his voice.  JLo really liked it.  I liked him (but lose the stocking cap please) but not his tone that much.  

So...New Orleans is up next.  I love New Orleans.  If only they would just show Harry in a bar singing and playing with some local musicians for the whole episode and ditch the auditions, I would be happy.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Blogger Down

I didn't watch the show tonight because I had a late appointment.  Spoiler alert:  I did some looking for some information on the top 24.  Bada Bing girl is one of them. At least I will have someone to mock while Mr. Auntee is mocking me.   

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Character Study

Tonight the judges are once again in Kansas City to meet contestants culled from Idol's 11 city bus tour.  At least Idol producers have given up on the pretense that the judges see every single contestant audition.  

First up is the obligatory "big" R&B singer that we see every season.  *Big Ron* (or *Big Sexy*) is full of confidence and chest hair and sings entirely to JLo who eggs him on with her impersonation of a sweet and demure Jenny From the Block while Keith and Harry pretend to go out and get some KC barbecue.  Of course he sings *Let's Get it On* and of course he is voted through.  We were, thankfully, spared any more than a glimpse of his aversion to manscaping.

Big Sexy is followed by a theater actor named Ian who sings in falsetto...badly.  Despite demonstrating his range as Harry hits chords, he is rejected.  

We see a montage of contestants all with guitars who make it through.  Hard to say if they are fodder or not. 

Joey Cook takes the stage with her *squeeze box* and sings/talks a campy song about wanting to be called the King of Spain.  She has blue hair and is cute as a button and so so unique because whoever heard of a pop singer with blue hair?  I don't know if she is authentically *unique* or simply imitation *unique* but she may be the finalist we saw the first night from behind in the montage of 24 with multicolored hair.  Or not.  When even I wouldn't mind some purple streaks in my old grey hair it is hard to say  how many of these contestants have developed this *unique* style of haircoloring.  JLo establishes she is 23 which is a good thing because I think JLo's cut off age for giving a flying f-word about female contestants is 23 1/2.  But, she is a *character*. 

Alexis Gomez is a hippie looking country singer who I found rather boring and so did Keith but JLo liked her looks and so, evidently, did Harry as he wasn't that impressed with her voice.  She did have on one of those half skirts favored by Kardashians and Real Housewives cast members so maybe that was what appealed to Harry. 

Now, for my favorite of the night.  Anton from Parsons, Kansas who sang Keith's song *Tonight I'm Gonna Cry*.  I didn't cry but almost did.  He was outstanding.  I hope he can manage the meat grinder of Hollywood because I liked him a lot.  JLo calls him a character too.  I think he is who he is which is a guy from Parsons, Kansas who sings country music very very well. 

As if we haven't already had enough characters on this episode, we are introduced to Stephanie (last name inaudible) who is doing a Minnie Mouse impersonation.  No, she is actually going to sing an original song.  I wasn't moved to tears by the song but she had a nice enough voice and she wasn't all made up and tarty looking.  I think she is 18 so she may have a chance in the long run.

Ashley Stehle fulfills the obligatory sob story component of every audition episode.  Her parents are deaf but her father now has a device that enables him to hear her sing so both parents come into the audition room.  She sings an Alicia Keys song which I maybe would have recognized if she ever sang a note in tune but she did not.  She is only 15 so she can come back next year with a better song.  I can only think of one reason why she was on the episode since there was not a feel good ending and that is to let people know about this new hearing device which I guess is not a bad thing. 

Ellen Peterson played the banjo and it sounded pretty darn good to me.  I loved her yodeling.  

I missed all but the final moments of the final audition because of a phone call.  From what I gather, the contestant is homeless or a vagabond who sleeps in a tarp.  They put him through to Hollywood after much discussion about his image.  He was also a character in JLo's opinion.  I think he smelled too as the last thing I remember hearing about him from the judges was that he was *ripe*.  I don't think Harry meant *ripe* in a good way.

I haven't checked any of the spoiler websites to see who made the top 24.  I'm a little afraid to because I know I will already be disappointed about some.  


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Its The Time of the Season

I didn't lie.  I said I probably wasn't going to blog anymore.  And I may not last the season.   But, despite the mocking from Mr. Auntee, I tuned in this week for auditions in Nashville and Kansas City.   

Ryan tells us they are going to reveal the top 24 right away.  Yeah right.   No, they just show us a group number with everyone in dark shadows.  There are men and there are women (although probably it is fair to say that at least 8 of the 12 women are under 18 so technically are not women).  One woman has funky colored hair.  I didn't take notes, so I've forgotten what song they sang.  They sounded good.  They were all auto-tuned, I'm sure.  

So, the auditions start in Keith's hometown and he shows up in a big ass pickup to pickup JLo and Harry.  JLo tries to act all down with it.  She is trying to act like she isn't a diva.  There is a reason this woman has not won an Oscar to date.  Will the live shows continue to feature JLo close ups for 75% of the contestant's performances so that you cannot even tell if you liked the performance or not? Time will tell.  

As I didn't take notes I can only say that the 3 hours of programming left me with the clear memory of only three:  The Blind Guy (I will learn his name and not call him that in the future if you are all worried about my sensitivity to the disabled).  He put a spin on his song (which I cannot remember) that I liked and he had confidence but was not cocky.  So, I hope he does well. 

The second one I remember is the blonde calling her self Lovey James (its a stage name--her real name is Kirsten which is too hard for people to say).  I think she must have sung an Ariana Grande song or something.  JLo was all excited because she is young and not jaded yet.  Well, if this doesn't work out, with that stage name and her dancing experience she can go straight to the local Bada Bing club  and we will see how fresh she is then.  I don't like her.  I don't like Ariana Grande either.

I have my favorite already.  Her name is Jess Lamb.  She played the piano--she really played she didn't just hit a few chords melodramatically ala Jena what ever her last name was  (oh, that is right--she didn't have a last name she had a stage name too--Jena Irene) who came in second place behind the Meat Loaf impersonator last year.  Jess is 28.  Which means JLo will trash her to death all season long assuming she makes it far enough. She sang "Ain't No Sunshine" and really slayed it.  I didn't even notice whether she changed up the gender in the lyrics.  I was mesmerized. Then she asked Harry to jam with her on the piano.  It was great. 

So, for now, I'm blogging.  Not sure how long I will keep it up.  We can be happy that Randy is not around this season to take up space and airtime.