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Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Song Are You Singing?

This is one of those episodes when I wish KK was still blogging because to be perfectly honest, I only knew two of the songs performed tonight. That fact would disqualify me from writing this blog if more than 3 people read it each week.  If one of those 3 want to chime in with comments more perceptive than mine, feel free because I am seriously at a loss here.  Or maybe not, maybe the audience is losing.   

So, with that disclaimer, I will say we heard from 12 teenage girls tonight and I have to say that for the most part I was underwhelmed.  

First was Lovey (Bada Bing) James singing a song that started with a low key that her voice didn't sound that wonderful singing that I think had something to do with love running out.  She moved around some on stage too.  That is all I remember of this performance except that I noted I don't need any more Lovey.  

Adanna sang another song I do not know and it seemed like a hard song to sing.  I was wondering when she was going to start belting and she did.  She had a Mariah Careyesque quality to her stage presence as she plucked the air with her raised hand.  I like her fine.  I'm not over the moon about her but maybe I could be if she sang a song I knew. 

Ryan announces that the next two performers will sing country songs and I think to myself the only semi-current one that comes to mind is Gunpowder and Lead which every country singer on the show has sung.  Sure enough, Alexis Gomez sings it.  Ok, I know this song.  I wasn't bowled over by her.  It was pretty predictable.  

The Kiwi, Joey, comes out with her accordian, blue hair, (did she have on a bowler hat?) and 50's new look dress.  She sings a Keith Urban song which if I knew I wouldn't recognize.  I thought it was a very odd performance.  Way too kitschy for me.  I don't know what the audience will think of her.

I had high hopes for Katherine Winston who is from my second home state of Massachusetts.  She sang a lullaby and I don't think did herself any favors with the song selection although she is a lovely girl with a lovely voice. One of the judges said she didn't feel the song.  I thought she felt it a little too much as it was soooo sleepy.  I am going to vote for her but not because of tonight.

Shannon Berthueme (rhymes with perfume) has never performed in public before Idol.  She sang a Pink Song I do not know.  I don't think it was very good.  

Loren Lott, the Actress (do they have to mention this every time we see her perfect face?) sang some loud song very loudly.  I thought she looked fake fake fake as she engaged in her histrionics to make us think she was "feeling" the lyrics.  JLo called her brave, Harry said it was powerful, and Keith said something complimentary which I thought sounded like was dragged from him unwillingly but maybe that was just my wishful thinking. I hope America doesn't vote for her.  

Up next was Shi (if there ever was a more pretentious stage name, I would be glad to hear it).  I don't like her voice.  She sounds like a man and then she shouts.  I don't know how she made it this far except for her exceptional looks.  That stage name is just begging for someone to add an extra letter at the end of it.  Keith said everyone knows that song.  Everyone but me.  Oh well. 

Maddie is our second country singer.  I believe she is the one who beat out the other girl in the singoff.  She sang some cutesy country song and evidently borrowed Joey's dress.  She even wagged her shoulders and lifted her eyebrows and winked and I'm surprised she didn't put her finger in her mouth too.  Yuck.  

On her fourth try, Sarina Joi made it to the voting audience.  She is 19.  Which means she started when she was 15.  I like her.  I didn't know the song but I liked the way she sang it.  I hope she stays around.

And now here comes Jax our Jersey Girl.  Singing appropriately Bang Bang.  I know this song because Sonny wrote it and Nancy Sinatra (as well as Cher) sang it.  I gather it made a comeback with the Kill Bill movies.  Talk about histrionics.  I'm surprised she didn't fall to the floor and pretend to be dead at the end of it.  I'm pretty sick of her drama.   

Finally, the plain Jane of the group (and my favorite so far) Tyanna Jones is up.  I adore her.  I didn't know her song but she can really sing.  I hope America looks past the iron pyrite of Lauren (the Actress) and Jax and votes for the gold. 

I'm going to go vote now for Adanna, Katherine, Sarina Joi and Tyanna.  Surely at least one of them will make it through.   

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fillmore Seats

I missed the first few minutes of the show so I was late catching on to the show coming from the Fillmore Detroit theater.  This is Ford's way of helping Detroit make a comeback, evidently.  The audience seemed happy, the performers seemed happy so good for them and I hope they all make it home in one piece tonight.  

It was boy's night and the first time these guys are performing for America.  Over all, they did not disappoint but of course, I have a few choice words for some of them.  

First up was Adam E.  I really hope he is not around long enough for me to learn how to spell his last name.  His overly zany clown personality gets on my last nerve.  So does his Joe Cocker/Caleb imitation singing I Want To Rock (maybe its called something else...I have no idea).  I don't think he carried the microphone stand around with him but he might as well have.  The performance did get the crowd going and he is the only rocker of the group so there may be votes for him.  

Speaking of votes, I'm not sure anyone is watching this show anymore and if they are they better have access to the internet because that is the only way to figure out how to vote.  I actually like the internet voting because I can feel like I have done my limited part for the few I like and it takes no time.  Long gone are the days when I sat with my trusty flip phone hitting repeat to vote for Crystal Bowersox.  My flip phone is not long gone.  

Michael Simeon is up next in the spot I and others who are long time watchers call the "Death Spot".  He sings "How am I Supposed to Live Without You".  I'm sorry Michael, but your breathy voice doesn't woo me.  I hope I am able to live without you next week.  

I voted for Savion Wright.  I like this guy.  I'm not really so much a fan of his music as I am a fan of him.  He is so positive.  I'm not sure he will make it through given the competition but I hope he does.  He sang "Hey Soul Sister" which was not all that dramatic and I'm afraid it might hurt him.  Also, he was singing awfully close to the Death Spot.

I thought Mark Andrew's (without his stocking cap tonight) performance  of "Take a Load off Annie/Fannie" was lack luster.  Dare I say sleepy?  He will probably make it through because the judges praised him but if he does not I will not lose any of my own sleep about it. 

OMG.  Trevor the Geek.  Talk about imploding on stage. I cannot remember what he sang.  All I remember is him jumping around like Jiminy Cricket singing off key, off tempo, and off everything.  I hate to hark back to his Hunk of Burning Love performance, but I couldn't help myself from making a note as performed:  "This is a hunk of burning stool".  The judges complimented his energy because there wasn't anything else nice to say about it. Please be gone Trevor.  Go back to school.  Find cures for the world's diseases.  Make music your hobby. 

And now, for my favorite performance of the night.  When Clark Beckham started "When A Man Loves A Woman", I wanted to lose 40 years and more than 40 pounds and send him a groupie fan letter.  I hope the other old ladies like me vote for him.  He isn't all that "current" but I don't care.  

Rayvon sang "I Get Jealous" (or something like that) and I'm not an R&B fan.  The crowd loved him.  Everyone loves Rayvon and while I find him a nice enough guy, I don't get the love. He bored me. 

Daniel Skeevy Seavy, either scatted some of the song or forgot the words.  I suspect he will make it through.  I am going to get even sicker of him than I am now.  

Riley Bria (a.k.a. Keith Suburban) sang "Homeboy".  He has a good voice.  I would like him more if I didn't think he was taking votes away from Clark and Savion.

Quentin "Fashionista" was up next singing "I Put A Spell On You".  He put a spell on me alright.  A spell that made me think his overly dramatic and turgid version of this song was the second worst performance of the night.  It wasn't burning but it was a hunk of stool in my opinion.  The judges totally disagreed, thought it was a moment, and praised him to the skies.  JLo wants to be him, I think.  Harry likes him because he is from New Orleans and Harry thinks he is a character out of Confederacy of Dunces.  I think Keith was just trying to be politically correct about a guy who likes to dress up in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.  

My second favorite contestant is Nick Fradiani (I have been calling him some other Italian surname this whole season which, considering he is one of my favorites, shows how invested I am in this season...I'll get better).
His performance was good but not overwhelming and I hope it is enough for him to get through.  It is probably his experience but he has a David Cook quality about him.  Serious about the music.  

The last guy, Qassim, is a dancing fool.  It is nice to end the show on something lively but for the life of me I cannot take this guy seriously.  I noticed he seemed to be encouraging his fellow contestants through the program though and getting into their music so I imagine he is a really nice person.  I would like to simmer down, stand there and sing.  I might really like him if he did.  

Overall, I think its a pretty strong group.  No Lazaros to be found.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that America saw its American Idol of 2015 tonight.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fodder Fodder Everywhere

With about three exceptions, I think we saw tonight, the bottom 9 or 10 of the top 24.  Or at least the ones who should be in the bottom 9 or 10.  

The show ended last night with us wondering about Hollywood.  I was quite critical of him and hoped he didn't make it through.  But before we know his fate, we see Josh in one of those stovepipe hats that seem to be the rage among young men aspiring to be hip or cool or whatever they call it these days.  Josh didn't make it.  IDC because I don't even know who Josh is. It does seem sad that the only time they show his face is when they tell him to go away. 

So, Hollywood didn't make it after all.  He took it with so much grace that I've decided he doesn't MMS.  I still don't think he should have made it this far.

Joey Cook, who cannot remember the words to any songs except the one she keeps singing with her ukelele (it was her audition song I believe) makes it through because she is the "kiwi" of the bunch.  I should like her.  I don't dislike her.  But she better toughen up and learn some lyrics.  She is NMF.

And then comes Kathryn Winston.  I don't recall much being made of her before tonight.  She is genuine, appears humble and grateful for her chance, and man can she sing.  She shouldn't be fodder but with her brown hair and unassuming ways I'm afraid she will not stand out against Bada Bing and Cubic Zirconium, and Drama Queen Jax.  I will vote for her.  It didn't hurt my opinion that she sang Rhiannon at the House of Blues.

Maddie who appeared to be the chosen one (unless she flames out as JLo said after her audition) flamed out.  I don't even know what that House of Blues performance was except very bad.  Maybe next year.  But ultimately, IDC.

Ok, Alexis Gomez sang in Spanish in response to JLo's suggestion and I must say I didn't think it was all that great.  I don't like the song in English or Spanish so that probably influenced my opinion.  She was going to make it through no matter what because they need at least one country girl.  Country is not on the producer's agenda this year but they did throw its fans a bone here.  IDC.

Quentin the Fashionista is one about whom I do not get the love.  IDC.  I don't think America will care that much either.

Good for Savion Wright.  For the first time I appreciated his performance.  They didn't feature him much leading up to this.  I like him and hope he does well enough to make it to the top 10 but ultimately, he is NMF.

Trevor the Geek sang Hunk of Burning Love at the House of Blues.  His performance was a hunk of burning something all right.  The stuff Mr. Auntee used to shovel out of latrines, douse with kerosene and set on fire when he was stationed in Korea.  Ever on the lookout for the next Justin Bieber, the producers put him through.  IDC.

Mark Andrew took his hat off.  He isn't bald as I suspected or even balding but he doesn't look any better without the stocking cap.  I liked him at first.  Then he got all whiny because he was "tired" and I don't like him so much.  He might not be fodder but...NMF bordering on MMS.  

Emily, sadly, is sent home because they have their country girl and she sings Spanish too.  Come back next year Emily.

Definitely not fodder and one of my 3 favorites is the old man Nick Traviani who doesn't even try to flirt with JLo even though she flirts with him.  She might not stand for that for very long and start giving him bad reviews.  Just a thought.  Sometimes I amaze myself with my predictions about JLo and her conduct which come true. 

Qassim the dancing fool with the menopausal and overbearing mother made it through.  He is bordering on MMS territory.  I hope he is fodder.

The winners of the last 2 slots were entirely predictable if you just took at look at them.  Ricky is a better singer but Riley is cuter so Riley goes through.  Shi can barely sing and only her commercial look could have carried her this far.  Jelly is well...Jelly.  No contest there for the producers.  Shi is commercial and skinny and shows off her body so she goes through.  I don't have anything against Riley but Shi is just a bad singer.  IDC  about Riley and Shi MMS.

So...now we know.  Here are my top 3 picks:  Clark Beckham, Nick Traviani, and Kathryn Winston.  That and $3.89 will get you a mocha caramel latte with whipped cream on top at Quick Trip.   


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Its All About the Boys

Well, the producers have made their decisions. The judges pretend they agree.  And we are half way to "our" top 24.  I have ranked them with initials:  NMF (not my favorite); MMS (makes me sick); IDC (I don't care); and MIV (maybe I'll vote).  

Michael Simeon is the first one we see face the music. His House of Blues performances was all breathy insincerity. He still irks me for that stupid slow dance with JLo during his audition.   Really, any one who hits on JLo should be disqualified.  He makes it through.  NMF.  Hope he fades early because the more I type the more he is moving into MMS territory.

Lauren Lott is as genuine as cubic zirconium.  She is an actress and its obvious.  She sang "My Heart Will Go On" at the House of Blues with lots of arm movements.  First, that song is ridiculous even when Celene Dion sings it.  Second, she MMS. 

Adam E (they don't show his last name long enough for me to get its spelling down) does his Joe Cocker imitation and its enough to get him through to the top 24.  IDC. 

Cody Fry aka Poindexter does not make it through.  His real problem is he looks like Poindexter.  No amount of talent is going to make up for that in the producer's eyes.  

Lovey James (Bada Bing) girl, shouts her song at the House of Blues. She is a former pageant girl and it shows. Technically it was OK but she didn't move me.  NMF.

Then a couple of people we never heard of are sent home.  

Adona was really worried.  Watching her perform at the House of Blues made Lauren and Lovey look even more plastic.  This girl can sing and make you feel it.  MIV.  If they had sent her home, I might have just quit watching the show.  I mean you know its rigged but that would have been just too much for me to take, especially after Jess Lamb. (No...I will not let that one go).

Then we have the painful sing off between Maddie and Rachel.  Maddie is more plastically polished than Rachel and she takes Rachel's place.  Rachel wasn't too happy and I don't blame her.  As for Maddie...she isn't as plastic as Lauren and Lovey but she is NMF.

And then there is Clark Beckham.  Melinda Doolittle wants to hook up with him according to the latest Reality Check.  I called him a throwback in my last blog entry.  I would not throw him back.  I would reel him in.  I almost got goosies.  I like him a lot.  I will probably vote for him. He may become my favorite.  No initials for him.

Daniel Seavy is becoming creepy.  Creepy creepy.  Who wants a 15 year old ladies man whose voice has barely changed.  NMF. 

Tyonna Jones was homeless growing up and wants to do this for her family (doesn't everyone?).  Normally, those sad stories do not move me and I'm not moved by hers.  I am moved by her performance.  Contrast her with plastic Lauren and Lovey.  She is on at least 5 levels of talent higher.  MIV.

I know Rayvon is a big favorite.  He seems like a nice guy. He doesn't move me though.  IDC.

Shannon, who has never sung in public before this competition does OK singing Piece of My Heart but she is no Crystal Bowersox, let alone Janis Joplin.  I don't think she will make the top 12.  IDC.

Jax is getting on my last nerve with her drama.  First she cloyingly sings Let It Be to her parents.  Then she tries for a pregnant pause in her House Of Blues performance which makes the audience nervous. She needs to cut that crap right out.  She is moving rapidly going into NMF territory with me and if she keeps the drama up, she will move into MMS. 

We don't know if Hollywood made it or not.  Not only do I not care, I actively hope he does not.  He is a minimally talented poseur.  MMS.  

So, tomorrow we will see who else makes it.  I hope the "old man" does.  For now, I'm with Melinda.  I'm a fan of Clark Beckham. 

For a hilarious and insightful take on these performers, check out Michael Slezak's blog and Reality Check with Slezak and Melinda Doolittle.  Google it because I'm too lazy to give you a link.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Its Cuttin' Time

Finally,  we get to see some real performances (or selected portions thereof). But sadly, my two favorites are gone.  One I expected, the other I didn't. 

First up is Loren Lott singing Skyfall "because it makes me cry".  Loren's veins are filled with ice so I don't buy that for a minute.  She will be in the top 10 unless America decides they hate her.  She is determined.  She is also very very good.  She is so much the "total package" that I want to wrap her up and send her by UPS.  To wherever Angie Miller and Jena Irene and Pia Toscano are.  

Next, is Daniel Seavy who is about 12 years old.  He sings "I See Fire".  He is good, he is cute, he seems sweet but really...he is a CHILD! 

Big Ron and Ricky Minor had a major disagreement about the arrangement.  Big Ron sticks with "Lets Get It On" which is a stupid stupid song and he is acting like a stupid stupid little boy no matter how big he is.  I don't think his performance would have grabbed the crowd's attention at a Holiday Inn Lounge on the outskirts of Topeka.  I guess Harry had a heads up from Ricky about Big Ron's attitude because he gives Big Ron an opening to talk about the band and Big Ron disses Ricky. Big Ron went down.

I have no idea why Shia went through.  She sang All I Can Do is Cry and not all that well.  She has a commercial look, I guess.  

I was not expecting Adam Lasher to fail.  But he did.  I expected a lot more from his performance.  Well, maybe his uncle can open some doors for him.  He showed a lot of promise but hubris did him in.  A free fall indeed right from the sun. 

Quentin Alexander, the Fashionista, went through.  He gets on my nerves and I don't know why.  Maddie, a blonde country singer went through.  

Up next is Alexis Granville who famously passed out in the group round.  She is much better today.  Not nervous at all.  She starts with "You Light Up My Life" And she is so off key it is laughable.  Each phrase is in a different key.  This is painful.  Harry takes mercy and lets her start again.  This girl cannot carry a tune today (if she ever could).  She actually looks shocked when she is stopped mid-song.  She didn't know she wasn't on key.  Talk about a grenade....this was a nuclear explosion.

Jax, the twee little thing, sings "Let It Be" to her mom and dad.  I'm not sure if I like her or hate her but I do hate her headband.  Michael Simeon performs.  I forgot what he did.  I forgot whether he made it through.

Several entries ago, I wrote that JLo hates old contestants but only if they are female because she is looking for her new boy toy.  She found him in Nick, who is 28 but hey...he is not jaded one little bit in JLo's eyes.  She actually put her finger in her mouth and gave him goo goo eyes before he performed.  She "LUUVS" him.  I like him too.  But if JLo doesn't learn to keep her pants on when he performs, this is going to get very old very fast.  

Katherine with the psychic cat is up next.  She has tried ever so hard to be ever so hip and original.  She screams her song.  She goes home.  Sadly, Mustafa is no longer in this world.  

They send Jess Lamb home.  She was my favorite of all the auditions.  We don't know why she went home because we didn't see her perform.  At least with Adam I could see his performance was lacking.  Now I have conspiracy theories dancing in my head.

Clark Beckham is a throwback.  I'm not sure what I think of him.  Mark Andrews would probably remember the words if his head was not so hot with that stocking cap.  They both go through (for now). 

Joey forgot the words in the group round.  So, what does she choose for her song today?  Across the Universe.  Which has convoluted mystical lyrics that you would need to hear 400 times in order to remember them.  We only hear her sing 5 words so have to take her word for it that she forgot everything but "Nothings Gonna Change My World".  I like her but dang she is not very bright. 

They love Lovey.  I thought Lovey was better last night.  They love Rayvon.  Rayvon is OK but I think there is a reason other than his talent that JLo is remembering him.  Get her a man fast before she ravages all the contestants!  Finally, the guy they call the "mini-Keith", Riley.  Grandmas will love him.  I don't think there are any teens watching this show any more but if they were, they might love him too.  Or not.  They might like the 28 year old guy.  

So, with my favorites gone I can sit back and snark all I want this season.  Yay for that.  I still wish Jess was in the show.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


That song is going around and around in my head.  And, typical of every Hollywood Week, some of the contestants took a grenade for the team and were sent home.  

This episode was so heavily edited that it was hard to take notes and make much sense of things except that there were some contestants the editors wanted us to know and some they didn't.  Last episode ended with Alexis fainting or having a meltdown.  I didn't see the first few minutes of this week's show, so I don't know how she rebounded but she did and went through with Jax.  Sal and Kelly took the grenade.  Alexis is trouble. 

Emily had food poisoning and a barf bag but managed to keep it down long enough to go through.   The Belmont group with the guy who looks like Poindexter (there is always a Poindexter) made it through intact.  A little trivia for you.  Belmont University is also Melinda Doolittle's alma mater and has a great music program.  

The Vital Signs were all out for number one.  Cindy and Alona made it through.  I found them very easy to loathe.

Hollywood abandoned Team No Sleep to flirt with the girls and preen before the camera.  Then he slept.  Poor Laurel tried to bring the team together but failed.  There is no fairness in Hollywood so she blew up with the grenade and Hollywood stayed. 

My favorite group of the night sang acapella and starred Jess Lamb and Lovey (the Bada Bing Girl).  I thought we wouldn't see Jess again and this was probably our last sighting but I'm glad she made it through.  Lovey was a lot better here than in her audition but my vote is still out on her. 

Poor Rocky.  They named the group after him but he still didn't make it through.  

And there is always one absolutely spoiled brat drama queen every year who is so misunderstood (i.e. not bowed to by the group) that he or she wants to switch teams in the middle of the night.  Heather thought production would help her out and put her in another group (yeah right)or perhaps sing solo?  Because by god, if she had to stay in that group she wasn't going to sing!  I gather she was told stay in the group and sing or go home because she stayed in the group.  And I was really afraid she wouldn't be punished for her s*** stirring ways.  She was. She didn't know it but the grenade had her name on it the minute she started whining to the production team.  She also was pretty lackluster in the performance.

Truly the rest of the groups but the final one just became a blur at this point except they all seemed to be singing Grenade. Somewhere in all the Grenading, Garret Miles and his bevy of beauties performed a country song.  I don't know why they sent Garret home.  They didn't show the bevy of beauties singing so I don't know why they stayed.

Finally, the last group, the Violet Vixens performed.  Not really together.  One of them (Joey) forgot the words.  Individually, I guess they made and impression because they all went through.  I think the judges were punch drunk tired at that point and just grateful they didn't sing Grenade so gave them all a pass.   

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dreaming the Impossible Dream Hollywood Style

Well, over 200 people arrived in Hollywood and each had to be relieved they weren't taken to the hangar of death like last year.  Instead, its a new approach by the producers to let us get to know the top contenders so they showcase them for the first 45 minutes of the show. Somewhere in that 38 is your top 24 plus or minus one or two.  We didn't see all 38 and we saw very little of the ones featured but I have concluded pretty much that I am going to break from my never broken tradition and that my favorite is going to be a guy.  None of the women featured stood out to me (and where, pray tell, was Maddie...she must be getting big exposure later in the week).  

I liked Jax's performance but her look puts me off.  Too many blonde hair extensions.  Mark Andrew is excellent but needs to lose the  stocking cap.  This is LA Mark. not Minneapolis...your head will overheat and you will collapse on stage with heatstroke.  I know you are probably bald or thinning but get over it or borrow some of Jax's hair extensions.  

The next two, whose names I did write down, didn't wow me enough to write anything more about them and now I cannot remember them. Adam of the jeans and flannel shirt and curly hair will need a makeover, but I like him well enough.

They were followed by the girl with the Afro who is 16 (I missed her name because my cat Monica was demonstrating her psychic powers and predicted I would give her wet food), and Savion Wright.  Savion didn't make the cut last year.  Spoiler alert:  He will this year and for the life of me I don't know why.  He is just so generic.  

Hollywood Anderson and Shannon Berthaume had some issues.  Hollywood mangled Adele's Someone Like You trying to be the artiste and Shannon, who has never sung in public before this experience forgot the words to her song.  I don't know why they sent Shannon to Hollywood in the first place but she is evidently impressing someone.  

The next three guys, separated by people who forgot to tune their guitars, may become my favorites.  Adam Asher (who is Carlos Santana's nephew for those of you who forgot this fact) wowed me.  Just give him the damn title and we can go home.  Garret Miles was awesome in his country song and Trevor the Geek did a good job despite my aversion to his showoff licks on his guitar which I thought were overkill and will get old pretty fast with me if he keeps it up.

I missed part of Joey with the pink hair and the ukelele but she is ok if a little too fey for me.  Amber with the purple streaks in her hair had a flat out melt down because she just realized she is way outclassed by the competition, and I give her credit for doing so, even though she was driving me crazy with her sobbing about getting her family out of the hood (her description of her neighborhood--not mine). Maybe she will get far enough to get a makeover by the stylists so she can have better hair extensions to take home with her because she sorely needs them.

So, all 38 are safe for the day and the rest sit there knowing that they are looking at the in crowd and that they are the out crowd.  

The next day comes the really rough stuff.  I was fast losing interest in this group as I know they all have a very small chance of making the top 24.  If we see any of them again I will pay more attention.  The show ended on a really really bad note--literally--when Gabby Zandoval lost it and didn't look like she was going to recover.  Sad for her but that is what happens when you have a stage name (Gabby Z) before you have a stage.  Take a lesson from Icarus, Gabby.