American Idol Season 9


American Idol Screeches, Squawks, and Yodels its Way to Hollywood

It is difficult to express an opinion on the individual contestants going to Hollywood this year. Each season, American Idol shows us less and less of the singers they let through to the next round. Last night, American Idol announced that 181 contestants received a golden ticket. I can only remember seeing maybe a dozen of them. After last night's auditions, I wonder if American Idol has now become Down on Your Luck Idol. When did this show become a showcase for desperate, poor, sick, last-chance people who need a break? Is this the new format?

Out of the contestants receiving the golden tickets to Hollywood last night, I only liked Genesis and Didi. The other girls screamed, screeched, and yodeled their way to Hollywood. What are the judges hearing that I am not? I was never a fan of the gurgling noise many female singers make while they sing, which seems to be popular on American Idol.

A couple of the guys were okay, one sounded too much like Danny Gokey from last year, which is good, because although Danny did not win, he was never in the bottom three. I am glad American Idol auditions ended last night. The new format this year is the worst I have seen since I began watching in Season 2. I believe they are gearing us up for Simon's new show, the X factor. The judges are talking about the contestants' clothing, their looks, and their personalities. They are discussing everything except the singing, which is what American Idol is supposed to be.

The producers of American Idol truly need to rethink their choice of guest judges. The Anvil with the horns on her hoodie has to go. Please do not bring her back again. Randy appears to be the only judge whose style of critiquing has been consistent throughout the run of the show. If Simon says, "You're cute, I like you", one more time, I may become physically ill.

They showed us a tiny clip of what is to come during the Hollywood auditions, and I must say that I am surprised that it appears Ellen DeGeneres may actually be judging instead of merely adding comic relief. Is this something they should allow?

Say what you want about Paula Abdul, but at least she is a singer, a dancer, and a choreographer. She knows the business even if she was incoherent more often than not. Ellen is no more equipped to judge someone's performance than I am. I question why the producers chose Ellen. Does it have more to do with the rumors going around after last year's shocking finale? Adam Lambert, arguably the most talented contestant American Idol has ever had, lost the title, according to some, because voters learned that he was gay. Still others claim that American Idol may have leaked Adam's sexual preference because they did not want a glam rocker to be America's favorite singer.

Did the blowback from that story prompt the producers to pick a gay judge this year? We will probably never know the answer to that question.

Although given the ridiculous accusations of racism thrown at the show's producers in the year of the Fantasia nightmare, it is not that far of a stretch to say that American Idol does not want to appear anti-gay now.

My theory is that viewers did not see the true Adam Lambert perform. What we saw was American Idol's watered down version. They feared that if Adam Lambert won, they would suffer the consequences when people complained about Adam's antics, as they did with his American Music Awards performance.

Whatever the reasons are behind the selection of Ellen DeGeneres to replace Paula, I think it is a mistake. I like Ellen as a comedian and as a person in general, but I find that she is no more qualified for the job than we, the viewers, are. I can only hope that the Hollywood auditions will be more interesting and entertaining than they have been thus far. My message to American Idol judges is to judge on their singing ability, not their personality or lack of, and not the style of dress they choose.

What I also found interesting this season, is that there are no rockers going through to Hollywood. Maybe they did choose a few, but the viewing audience did not see them. We will have to wait until next week to find out. In conclusion, I would also like to suggest that the judges do not pick people who sound like they sucked air out of helium balloons, just because they think they are cute and interesting. This is American Idol, not the Gong Show.

           


Will this year's American Idol be a repeat of the nightmare of Season 3?

Being addicted to American Idol is anything but easy. I watch with my teenage children and we argue from the first show of the season to the American Idol finale, when the voters choose the winner.

It used to be worse for me, because first it was American Idol and then '24', so by the end of the night, the adrenalin made me too wired to sleep. This season, I am afraid that American Idol will become more of a chore to watch, than a joy. It could possibly rank a close second to the bottom along with AI's third season, which I call the 'nightmare of Fantasia'.

For the auditions this season, they did not show the viewers too many of the contestants' auditions out of the ones who made it through to Hollywood. However, out of the auditions I saw, there was not one I am crazy about, and it is exactly how it was in American Idol's Season 3, for me. There are many memories of American Idol's Season 3 that I try to erase from my memory, but I cannot.

One statement Simon made to the contestant George Huff really bothered me. It was Motown week and Simon told George he sounded like a backup singer for the Temptations. Anyone who watches American Idol knows that Simon was not paying George a compliment, at least, in his mind. I am a huge fan of Motown music, so I took offense to what Simon said to hm.

Simon also told the two contestants, Fantasia Barrino and Latoya London that he believed they were "in a different league" than their fellow contestants. He uttered this ridiculous statement a week after he told Fantasia that she sang, "like Donald Duck on helium!" Did he think that Latoya sounded like Bugs Bunny? What did he mean? I did not know and did not care because Jennifer Hudson was a league in, and of, herself, as we see now with the fabulous career she built for herself. The voters already booted Jennifer off at this point in the show. I will never understand how Jasmine stayed while Jennifer went home.

The thing about Season 3 that bothered me the most was the conspiracy theories, and the controversy surrounding the voting. There were cries of racism and one person called me color deaf because I was not a Fantasia fan. The simple fact is that I do not care for most of today's music, so I believed that were too many Fantasia-types out there who also could not sing.

I did not buy into the hype about American Idol being a racist show, as Elton John whined about. It is difficult for me to say this because Elton John is my all-time favorite, but remember he also whined about people downloading songs free on the internet. I hate to disagree about this on him, but I already purchased all of his albums, 45's, and cd's, so if I wanted to put them on my computer, which was before ITunes and IPods, why was that a bad thing?

I hope that things will pick up for me as the ninth season rolls along. Unfortunately, there will not be any Adam Lambert's or David Cook's for me this year. I believe I will have to settle for what is left. Add that to Paula Abdul no longer there, and the rumors of Simon leaving, and I wonder if this will be the last season of American Idol altogether.

           


American Idol Judges' Showcase Week

Last night's Hollywood auditions looked more like a show for the American Idol judges. It appears that the producers are revamping the show and do not want the viewers to hear the voices of the contestants that make it through to the next round.

I will not recap the performances until the judges pick the finalists, because to do so I would have to go to the American Idol website to see the list. I only saw a few auditions last night, before the judges rushed the groups off the stage without hearing them sing.

In the last few seasons, I was able to pick my choice for the winner of American Idol from their first auditions. I think it will take months for me to pick a favorite this season.

Ellen DeGeneres was entertaining and funny, as expected, but I am surprised that she is going to be part of the selection process. Although, I think that may be what they want us to think.

The judges are laying it on thick this year. They are making more comments, expressing more of their disappointment with the performances. This bothers me more this season than any other. The judges act surprised by the lack of talent, yet they are the ones who let them through to Hollywood. I believe this is a ploy as well, to give us a taste of what is ahead for this season. They do not need the ratings, so why change something if it is already working.

My criteria for a contestant to become a finalist differ from what the judges' want. Any contestant who forgets the lyrics to a Motown song should get the boot, in my opinion. Even though Motown music became popular long before these contestants were born, if they are trying to pass themselves off as serious singers or performers, how could they not know the words to Motown songs?

The next thing I look for in an Idol finalist is their humility. I never like the ones who announce that this is their chance, or that this is what they have been waiting for. If you are as good as you think you are then someone would have noticed before you auditioned for American Idol. Personally, I like the ones who are overwhelmed by the accolades they receive from the judges. Coincidentally, these are also the ones, in my humble opinion, who have the most talent.

I dislike the side remarks from the judges regarding the contestants' occupations, as in the case of the "waitress". Simon implied his surprise at the talent of someone who is only a waitress. I guess he never heard the stories about starlets discovered in soda shops. Kara definitely shows her dislike for many of the pretty girls who audition. Even if the contestant is a fabulous singer, she compliments her attitude or the way she dresses, and I keep waiting for her to add, "And you have a wonderful voice". I think her comments are demeaning at times, and the one thing that Ellen will do for me is to counteract Kara.

I think last night's American Idol episode was for the audience to see more of the judges and a sneak peek into how the judging process will go this season. I cannot wait until they pick the finalists and let the audience start deciding, which is the original premise of American Idol in the first place. I want to get to know the contestants on American Idol, but that seems to be taking longer than it did in previous seasons.

After reading my review on last night's American Idol, you may ask yourself why I bother to watch at all. That one is easy to answer; I am addicted to American Idol, as all viewers are who watch.

           


American Idol Goes Gaga in Hollywood

American Idol's Hollywood auditions this week, had all the drama and excitement that makes this show a favorite among millions of viewers. I enjoyed Ellen's addition of comic relief in the process of having the contestants 'step forward', during the judges' decision time. Telling the contestants to 'step to the left', 'step to the right', etc., relieved some of the nervousness and tension the contestants felt during this process. I hope she does more of that in weeks to come.

I also loved hearing the contestants singing Lady Gaga tunes. Some of the groups incorporated cleverly choreographed moves to accompany their performances. Singing well and entertaining the audience with dance moves is a good combination.

My absolute favorites of the week were the following six contestants.

Crystal Bowersox, from Ohio, who auditioned in Chicago, was a tiny powerhouse with a big voice. Being height-challenged myself, I loved hearing her belt out her song. I think she is one to watch this season.

Didi Benami, hailing from Hollywood and auditioning in Los Angeles, was a combination of soft rock and country to me.

Haeley Vaughn, who is only 16 years old, is a favorite of mine since her audition in Atlanta. She looks as though she is having the time of her life when she sings, and she can sing.

Jermaine Sellers, who also auditioned in Atlanta, is also one of the few I picked as a frontrunner this season. He reminds me of Charles, a contestant from the second season of American Idol, who the judges eliminated the week before they disqualified Corey Clark. I hoped they would bring him back because of that, but they did not. Jermaine, like Charles, has a sweet tone to his voice, as Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder did at the start of their career.

Casey James, who Kara said had no personality, showed me that perhaps he was too nervous at his original audition in Denver to show off his personality. He corrected that during Hollywood week. He may be our resident rocker this year.

Finally, there was Michael Lynche, whose wife gave birth just before his audition with his group. He auditioned in Orlando where he delivered a great performance, as he did this past week.

I hope they choose Lady Gaga to mentor the contestants for one of the theme weeks this season. She is a cross between Cher and Judy Garland for me. She can belt out tunes like Judy Garland with a voice that is strong and powerful. Like Cher, she wears the costumes and knows how to put on a show. I think she could challenge the contestants in a huge way.

At first, I was not sure I was going to warm up to Ellen DeGeneres as a judge, but it looks like she is going to make for an interesting season. As far as Paula Abdul goes, I hope to see her as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, even though I miss her as a judge on American Idol.

           


American Idol's 7 out of 24

American Idol is certainly responsible for many firsts in television. This show ranks in the top five of the most watched show each week, most times appearing in the #1 slot. It is popular with the young and old, with men and women, and most of all, has produced some of the biggest stars in the music business today.

Last night, in an unprecedented move, American Idol revealed seven out of the 24 contestants moving on to the all-important part of the show, to the show where the viewers get to vote for their favorite.

Rumors swirled on the internet as to why the latest switch in programming. Some said it was because American Idol lost some of its regular viewers to the Olympics. Others said it was because ABC moved LOST to Tuesday nights at 9.

One rumor making the rounds concerning the change in the way American Idol reveals its contestants, stated that one of the contestants whom we saw go through to the top 24, Michael Lynche, may be disqualified because his family allegedly leaked that he did make it through, before the official announcement last night.

This would be tough for American Idol to explain if that is the case because he was the first one put through last night. However, American Idol has always had its share of controversy, according to the show's diehard fans. This is the first year I remember American Idol not giving the audience enough of a chance to see the contestants actually perform. The first hour of the show last night included watching the contestants sitting in three rooms, wondering if they were the group that would be going home. They mixed this in with a few seconds of performances, with no reactions from judges. The judges left the contestants to their own thoughts as to how well they did.

By the time they got to actually choosing the first seven out of 24, Michael Lynche was the first to go through. Michael hails from Astoria, NY. He is 26 years old and started singing as a back-up singer for his older brother. He is also a dad as his wife gave birth moments before his audition in the group-round of Hollywood week.

Michael reminds me of Ruben Studdard, the winner of American Idol in the second season. If he wins the title this year, I hope he fares better in the music world than Ruben did. Sometimes I think Ruben would have had more success if he won in one of the later seasons of American Idol, because there is a broader range of music that is popular now than when Ruben became America's favorite singer.

The AI judges also selected Katelyn Epperly, 19 years old, from West Des Moines, IA, as one of the 24 contestants to make it through. She began singing when she was 2 years old. In her original audition, not all of the judges agreed that she should go through to Hollywood. I am not sure she should be one of the top 24. For me, she did something funny with her voice that sounded almost like yodeling. The girls I picked for my favorites this year were far better than Katelyn, in my opinion.

Another guy who made it through was Lee Dewyze. He is 23 years old, and comes from Mount Prospect, IL, was pleasantly surprised to make it to the top 24, and I am glad he did. He has a unique sound to his voice, a mix between rock and country.

Aaron Kelly, 16 years old, who had a troubling childhood, also made it through. He is from Sonestown, PA, and started singing at the age of nine. He appears quiet and shy but when he sings, you would never know it. He sounds mature for his age when he sings, and what I liked the most about him, was that he was polite and soft-spoken. I know they say it is supposed to be all about the singing, but even that has changed this season, evidently, according to some remarks from the judges.

Casey James, the 27 year old, who let his hair down and removed his shirt during his audition, is one of the 24 finalists as well. Kara accused Casey of having no personality at first. He reminds me of the rocker, Bo Bice, the contestant who came in second to Carrie Underwood in Season 4. He is from Fort Worth, TX, and sang before he could talk, he says.

Todrick Hall, the 24 year old from Arlington, TX, who started singing at the age of 11, began his professional singing career with a performance at Six Flags over Texas. The judges gave him the verdict almost immediately, unlike some of the others who had to wait a few minutes before the judges let them know their fate.

My favorite out of the 24 is Didi Benami. Did is 23 years old, comes from Hollywood, CA, and began singing when she was in 5th grade. During her audition, she said she was doing it as a tribute to her best friend, who passed away. She became emotional when the judges gave her a 'yes' to go on to the next round. Her voice was sweet and unique, as I believe Didi is herself.

On tonight's one-hour episode, American Idol reveals the remaining 17 contestants. My favorite part of the show will start next week, when the real competition between the contestants begins. There is a good mix of singers so far and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming weeks.

Already stirring rumors and causing people to talk about the show, American Idol is on its way to another successful season. Who will make it through to the top 24? Who will go home, crushed by disappointment? We will have to wait and see.

           


American Idol's Top 24 for Season 9

The time for American Idol viewers to take the reins and start voting for America's favorite singer is here, and here are the 24 people who will begin vying for those votes.

Out of eight previous American Idol winners, there have been four guys and four girls. Who will break the tie this year, the men or the women?

If the contestants stay true to who they were during Hollywood week, my vote will go to one of the girls. While many of the male contestants are extremely talented, I fear a trend has developed within the last few seasons of American Idol. Many of the males are too similar to previous American Idol winners and favorites.

Most of the guys either remind me of Chris Allen, David Cook, or Chris Daughtry. One sounds like Ruben Studdard, two have styles similar to Danny Gokey, and one is a stand out for me.

Among the girls, however, there are four with unique styles. That will be a refreshing change of pace for me this season. All of them are fantastic singers, but we know that there are many other reasons voters have for choosing their favorites.

The Guys

Aaron Kelly and Alex Lambert remind me of Chris Allen, while Aaron also reminds me of David Archuleta.

Andrew Garcia is sort of a more laid back Danny Gokey. Casey will be the rocker for the guys this year but I think he will have to step it up to gain the popularity of Chris Daughtry during his run on the show in season five.

Early on in the American Idol auditions, I wrote down Jermaine Sellers because I loved his voice. He reminds me of a younger Stevie Wonder. I look forward to seeing him perform songs in the different themes American Idol will choose this year. He is one guy who could stand up to my favorite girls this year.

Lee Dewyze, for me is a cross between Danny Gokey and Chris Daughtry. I liked him at his first audition, but I was not sure about him after the Hollywood auditions. He is another contestant I will have to see more of before deciding one way or the other.

I do not remember Tim Urban, Tyler Grady, Todrick Hall, Joe Munoz, or John Park from their original audition, or during Hollywood week. I will have to wait until they get to perform before drawing any conclusions about these guys.

Michael Lynche reminds me too much of Ruben Studdard. While I believe that Ruben deserved to win in season two, his career did not take off as other Idol winners' have. It is not a reflection on his talent, but I believe it has to do with what music people were listening to at the time he won. He had problems fitting into the music scene, as if they did not know what category to put him in, or what genre would be the best fit. I fear the same thing may happen with Michael Lynche, also extremely talented.

The Girls

I have already picked my top four girls, and they are Crystal Bowersox, Didi Benami, Haeley Vaughn, and Lilly Scott.

Crystal has the power behind her voice without trying to rock it out like a guy. I am not a fan of the girl rockers, with the exception of Carly Smithson, from season 7. I normally do not care for the wild colored-hair, the chains, or the leather. That is just a personal choice, but if the girls who rock have the voice to match the glam, I might change my mind.

The exception to the hair rule is Lilly Scott this year. I love the hair and I love her voice. She is different without being too different.

Didi Benami reminds me only slightly of Brooke White, from season seven. She has a crossover country/pop sound to me, similar to that of my all-time favorite female singer, Olivia Newton John.

Haeley Vaughn is one girl who is different from any contestant I have seen on American Idol. I love her voice, and her confidence, especially given that she is only sixteen years old. One of my favorites in season six, who I thought was in a league of her own among the girls, was Melinda Doolittle. I still cannot figure out what the voters thought Jordan Sparks had that Melinda did not. She also stood up for me that year because the image that she gave off was one of innocent, humble, and not aware of how talented she was. I thought her voice was unbelievable and that no one that year could come close. I am hoping that Haeley becomes the Melinda Doolittle this year. I would love to see her and my other three favorites, in a fight to the finish as the top four finalists, before this season is over.

I cannot say too much about the remaining girls; Janell Wheeler, Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens, Michelle Delamor, Siobhan Morgan, and Paige Miles, except to say I did not get to see enough of them to voice an opinion. I will say that what little I saw of Ashley Rodriguez and Katelyn Epperly, I did not like very much.

I am excited about the upcoming weeks of American Idol, where I will be able to see and judge all of the contestants on their individual performances. I usually stay true to the ones I pick as my favorites from the beginning, to the end of American Idol. I am also excited to see what themes they will choose this year.

I think Ellen is going to add to the charm of American Idol that accounts for its enormous popularity, and I think she will also help to relieve the sting of fans who will miss Paula Abdul, and I am one of them.

           


Here are your 24 American Idol Contestants for Season 9:


Aaron Kelly 16 years old from Sonestown, PA

Alex Lambert, 19 years old, North Richland Hills, TX

Andrew Garcia, 24 years old, Moreno Valley, CA

Ashley Rodriguez, 22 years old, Chelsea, MA

Casey James, 27 years old, Fort Worth, TX

Crystal Bowersox, 24 years old, Elliston, OH

Didi Benami, 23 years old, Hollywood, CA

Haeley Vaughn, 16 years old, Fort Collins, CO

Janell Wheeler, 24 years old, Tampa, FL

Jermaine Sellers, 26 years old, Joliet, IL

Joe Munoz, 20 years old, Huntington Park, CA

John Park, 21 years old, Evanston, IL

Katelyn Epperly, 19 years old, West Des Moines, IA

Katie Stevens, 17 years old, Middlebury, CT

Lacey Brown, 24 years old, Amarillo, TX

Lee Dewyze, 23 years old, Mount Prospect, IL

Lilly Scott, 20 years old, Littleton, CO

Michael Lynche, 26 years old, Astoria, NY

Michelle Delamor, 22 years old, Miami, FL

Paige Miles, 24 years old, Cypress, TX

Siobhan Magnus, 19 years old, Barnstable, MA

Tim Urban, 20 years old, Duncanville, TX

Todrick Hall, 24 years old, Arlington, TX

Tyler Grady, 20 years old, Nazareth, PA

           


American Idol top 12 females a slow starter

...in a race to the finish line

The top 12 female contestants on last night's American Idol sung some of the worst songs I have ever heard. I say this not only about American Idol song choices, I mean worst songs I have heard anywhere.

Last night's American Idol was the first show for fans voting to send their favorite through to the next week's show. I am uncertain as to how that was even possible.

Every song was slow, boring, and most of the contestants did not sound very good singing them. Whoever gets to stay next week should seriously think about their song choice for upcoming performances.

I cannot blame the contestants entirely. Every year I try to figure out how much experience the American Idol vocal coaches have on American Idol. Every week, you hear at least one of the judges say, "that was the wrong song", "that song was too safe for you", or my personal favorite, "that song was terrible". I am not so sure about the second one, but the other two definitely describe what I heard last night. Was I watching American Idol or attending a wake?

The girls picked a song from something called the Hot 100 Chart. When I first heard this, I thought it would be like a billboard chart hit, a current song, which I never like because I do not follow much of today's music. After last night, I think maybe they should have picked something I never heard of, because I did not understand why the girls picked any of those songs.

I stated yesterday that going into last night's show; I had my favorites picked out. I still think these same girls have the best voices, but I worry that one or two of them might go home tomorrow night.

Paige Miles started the show with "All Right Now". I do not remember hearing her sing during the previous weeks of the American Idol auditions. After last night, I wish I never had. Her voice was all over the place, and she seemed too nervous, even for this show. She actually appeared petrified and I think her performance showed that. The judges told her that she pulled it off. Kara went so far as to say she "slayed" it. If that means she killed her chances of coming back next week, then Kara was right. Simon told her she had the 'best' voice. I thought to myself, if that was the best, I was in for a very long two hours.

Ashley Rodriguez is one I did not thing should make it to the top 24, and her performance of a song called "Happy" by Leona Leeis, the girl Simon 'discovered'. I discovered it was a terrible song and did not make me like Ashley any more than I did during the auditions. I will give her this much, however; at least I understood the words she was singing, unlike when I hear Leona sing. To me, it sounds as though she is singing in a foreign language, but that is not relevant to Ashley's performance. I have to say, the same as Elaine did on Seinfeld once that I am, "Not a fan of the yelling". Ashley yelled through part of the song and for me that is not singing. If you cannot reach a note in a song without yelling, do not sing that song. Kara mumbled something about Ashley having some nice moments but apparently nice does not mean good.

Janell Wheeler sang a song by Heart, called "What About Love". I say, "What about singing?" "What about singing as if you actually wanted to stay on the show and become the next American Idol". The girls of Heart have powerful voices, voices that can reach the back of a stage without a microphone and without shouting. Janell's voice had no heart and I had no idea why I finally agreed with something Kara said, which was that the song was "way too big". Yes, it certainly was. Ellen said a few nice things to be nice, and Simon told her she was off key, and I think he was being "way too nice."

Lilly Scott-Finally, one of my favorites' turn to perform and she did not disappoint me. I did not like the Beatles' song, "Fixin' the Hole", that she performed, but it did not matter to me. I think her voice sounded just as good as it did when I picked her as a favorite and I finally someone delivered and showed us why she was a finalist on American Idol. I hope that Lilly will appeal to the young viewers and will go far in the competition this year. Simon agreed with me that she was the best so far and for the second time I agreed with Kara, who also like Lilly's performance. Ryan kidded with Lilly saying that she had body moves similar to those that Kara has. I did not get that, but I do wonder what that annoying side-to-side "you go girl" thing is Kara does with her head.

Katelyn Epperly, the girl with the hair as I call her, performed another Beatles' song whose title escapes me. It does not really matter because while Katelyn sang, I was looking for a way out. I did not like the 'uh uh uh' and 'ah ah ah' thing she did with voice. It reminded me of Led Zepplin's "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, you don't have to go" song. I disagree and think Katelyn does have to go. Ellen said her performance sounded pushed or forced, the new Idol word this year, apparently. However I thought her performance was 'eh', and extremely annoying.

Haeley Vaughn is only sixteen years old, and she was one of my favorites going into tonight's performance show. She performed the Beatles' hit, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", and unfortunately, I wanted to hold my ears. I really liked this girl and I thought she was going to be different and special this year. I think the song's arrangement was horrible and slow, and I think the key Haeley sung it in, was too high. I also thought the judges' comments were harsher than they had been on the previous girls, which I did not think Haeley deserved. I still like her and hope that she learns from this experience and improves, if voted through to next week's show. Simon fell back on his old, 'horrible', mess, etc.' and Kara said she was trying to make up for what she did not have. If she did not have whatever it is they thought she should have, according to Kara, why did she vote Haeley into the top 12? Haeley's performance, for me, was still not as bad as Katelyn's, despite what the judges thought.

Lacey Brown is the girl who did not make it through to the top 24 last season, because the judges decided to go with Megan, the pretty blond with the tattoo and quirky voice that I loved, instead. After Lacey's performance last night, they should have gone with someone else again. I think this may well have been the absolute worst of the night. She sang the song, "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks. While I have always been the one who said that Stevie Nicks' voice sometimes sounded like nails on a chalkboard to me, I think Lacey's rendition of the song was even more chilling. She sang through her nose the whole time, trying to imitate Stevie Nicks. It was painful for me. Kara said forced again, but why would she force herself to sound that bad? Did she want to go home already? Randy said it was terrible and Simon said it was indulgent. Not knowing what he meant, I fail to see why Lacey indulged herself into giving one of the worst performances I have seen on a premiere show for American Idol contestants, since Sanjaya.

Michelle Delamor is another girl I do not recall seeing during the auditioning process. I liked her performance and I think she sounded better than Alicia Keys, singing the song "Fallen". The background singers and the music, was loud, and drowned out Michelle's voice a couple of times, I thought. After the judges fell over themselves sucking up to the original singer, by saying Michelle was nowhere near as good, they babbled on about the technical and commercial aspects, which to me, has nothing to do with a singing competition. I think they did not give Michelle the praise she deserved.

Didi Benami is another girl I liked and I hoped that she would be better than most of the girls were who went before her, but it was another boring, slow song, called "The Way I Am," a song I had never heard before. I love Didi's voice and I am glad this was not the first time I heard her sing. The judges said it was pitchy and one of them, I forget which one, mumbled something about how Didi needed to stand out, do something memorable, or some nonsense. What did they want her to do, bare her butt and hang from the ceiling as Pink did on the awards show a few weeks back? Even that would not have helped the dreary song Didi picked to sing. I still like her, though even if the judges did not. She was one of the better ones last night, in my opinion and I am not sure what the judges heard.

Siobhan Magnus was also one of my favorites going into the show, and she still is after last night's performance. She sung "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak, and I thought she sounded great. The song was a dark, haunting song, which I agreed with the judges on, but I do not think that took away from Siobhan's voice at all. I think she hit all the notes perfectly and I think she has a powerful voice which may not match her little girl looks, but I do not know why that should matter, or why the judges felt they needed to point that out to her. Kara said she sounded 'nasally' which I did not hear at all. Randy liked her and Simon thought she was quirky. She was quirky and good, for me, deserves to go through without question.

Crystal Bowersox, my favorite of all the girls chosen in the top 24, did not disappoint me last night, but apparently, the judges felt she did, and I cannot figure out why that was so. She sung, "Hand in My Pocket", another song I never heard before. The judges said she was original and refreshing, which she is, but Simon said there were thousands like her, in bars or clubs or something all across the country or...whatever he said, but he was wrong. Crystal reminds me a little of Janis Joplin minus the screaming. She is different than the female rockers and from the country girl, and she does not exactly fit into the pop music world either. I am not sure where she fits, but she most definitely belongs on American Idol. I think she was the best of the night, and the judges should have heard that as well.

Katie Stevens, the last performance of the night sang "Feelin' Good", Michael Buble's remake of the song. I agreed with the judges that the song was one that you would not expect, or want, a 17 year old to sing, and I agreed when the judges told Katie she was pitchy. She is a cute girl and her voice is not that bad, but a different song might have taken my attention away from the horrible dress she chose to wear. I know it is not supposed to be about their personality or style, but the black dress with the gigantic bright red bow, was not a good choice.

So, how do I think this will go on Thursday's elimination show? How do I think it should go? I think voters will eliminate Haeley and Lacey, mostly for the comments from the judges. I say that Katelyn and Lacey should go. If I had to grade the top 12 females on American Idol last night, on a scale from 1 to 10, no one but Lilly, Crystal, Siobhan, and Didi would get number higher than a three. I think I am being a little generous with that number for Lacey and Katelyn and that is why they should be gone on American Idol's elimination show on Thursday night.

What do you think?

           


Top twelve guys take the stage on American Idol

...and the hits and misses just keep on coming.

Is it just me, or is there a completely different vibe going on with American Idol this season? I think I want to go back to what I originally said about this season, and that is it appears to be a http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978040627showcase for the judges, rather than a singing competition.

Besides the fact that I find Kara extremely annoying and obnoxious at times, her body language is bordering on deliberate over-dramatizations. Four judges is two too many for me this season. I believe that Randy gives constructive criticisms more often than not, and without Simon's "if you lose it, or forget the lyrics, your career is over" comments, what would American Idol do? This season, they are spending too much time on the judges. Evidently, to fit them all into one camera shot, the four judges are sitting on top of one another.

I will get on with my review of the finalists' performances after that, after one more thought about the judges. Did anyone else notice the look Ellen gave Randy after his remark to one of the guys, something about liking him, but not liking him in THAT way? That was an awkward moment, I thought.

The performances from the 12 girls on Tuesday night were not exactly the best I have ever seen on American Idol, and if I go by what happened last night with the 12 guys, they were not the worst either.

I did not remember some of the 12 male contestants, before the start of last night's show. However, I did say that from his first audition, Jermaine Sellers was a top-runner for me. I still say that after watching last night's American Idol.

Todrick Hall is one contestant I cannot remember seeing during the auditions. He sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone", which I think is a lousy song altogether, not just for Todrick. I am not a Clarkson fan and I know I am in the minority on that one. He sang half the song and talked the rest of the way through it. He jumped around on stage a little too much this early on in the competition, for me. The judges almost agreed with me, except they went out of their way to take the blame away from the song, and on to Todrick's mediocre performance. I know they have to say that because Kelly Clarkson was the first American Idol winner, they need to do a little sucking up. They will do more of that later. Todrick was okay, not good, not bad, and just okay.

Aaron Kelly is one I remember and one I think will be around for a while at least. He sung Here Comes Goodbye from Rascal Flats. I thought he sounded good and he has a powerful voice for his age, and as Ryan said, "For his size". Simon mumbled his usual stupid comment about how Aaron needs to show more self-confidence. Ellen commented that she like the fact that he seemed humble. I did, too, because I never like the ones who think they are better than the others are, and say so aloud. Aaron got an 8 out of 10 for me, not a ten only because he seemed a bit nervous, which is normal at this stage in the competition.

Jermaine Sellers, my frontrunner so far this season, sang "Get Here". While I am not a big fan of the song, I thought Jermaine sung it well. I disagreed with judges' commenting that Jermaine over-sang, pushed, or did too much, with his vocals. I think he has a smooth sound like Luther Vandross or James Ingram. I also liked the clothes he chose to wear. The judges insinuated that he tried to look older when he is so young. He is 26 years old, not 16 years old and I thought he absolutely chose the correct look to appeal to young and old.

Tim Urban, in my opinion, was the judges' scapegoat for the night. First they show how he was called back to become a finalist after producers found out that one of the contestants did not qualify to be one of the 24. He sang Apologize and judges mentioned that Tim's falsetto was off, and they all agreed that he was cute, adorable, likeable, and current. They made it sound as though viewers will vote him through to the next round based on those qualities alone, but they thought that Tim's performance did not work. I think they were too harsh on him and not harsh enough of some of the remaining contestants. If viewers really go by singing alone, it is my opinion that voters can eliminate eight out of twelve contestants from both nights.

Joe Munoz is also a contestant I did not hear sing until last night. If I did see his performances in the past, the reason I do not remember his, is because he was not memorable, and not very good. I would have said to Joe what the judges said to Tim, and I would not have given him as many 'thumbs up' on his performance. He was okay, but not as good as the judges thought he was.

Tyler Grady, another contestant I felt the judges treated too harshly, did a good job of the song, American Woman. I think he did come off as a rocker, not someone pretending to be a rocker, "with posters of Jim Morrison all over his wall', as Kara said. I think she insulted him not only as a singer, but also as a person. She made it sound as though he was obsessed and sounded like she wanted to hear herself talk instead of give Tyler constructive criticism. At this point in the night, Kara took on a borderline Paula presence, the way Paula was during the season of Corey Clark. If you are familiar with what happened, you will know what I am saying. In addition, they picked on Tyler's image and the fact that he looked like he was straight out of the 1970's. I think the 70's look is what makes Tyler stand out, along with his vocals. I think he was one of the best of the night.

Lee Dewyze is one of my favorites of the night. While a few of the judges mentioned the word, "pushed" again, regarding Lee's vocals. I did not hear that at all and I am happy to say that Simon agreed with my assessment. He reminded me of a cross between Danny Gokey and David Cook. I liked him and I hope that he goes far in this competition.

John Park's performance was a train wreck. I know the song, God Bless the Child, but I did not recognize it the way he sang it. Simon mumbled something in reference to Fantasia's version, although he did not mention her name, to tell John the song was too difficult for most to sing. It was not only a difficult song to sing, but it was painful for me to hear him sing it. He is one that, for me, who should get the least amount of viewers' votes and should be going home tonight.

Michael Lynche, the brand new daddy, is such a nice guy, and his personality and demeanor, remind me of the huggable Reuben Studdard. I like what he has done so far to make songs his own. He is different as the judges remarked, but I believe they were too critical of Michael. He definitely did enough to remain in the competition.

Alex Lambert is not only NOT related to Adam Lambert from last season, he is the polar opposite in the music world. He said What a Wonderful World, and I said, "What in the heck was he thinking?" I think Alex was not used to performing on stage, with a hand held microphone in front of millions of viewers. That is only part of what was wrong with Alex's performance. Kara tried to insinuate that he was good aside from his performance last night, because he has "crazy tones". I think Kara is crazy if she thinks Alex's performance will get him the votes. Alex Lambert is another performer who the fans should boot off the show tonight, tied with one other contestant for me.

My recollection of Casey James' performance is vague because I cannot get the nauseating behavior displayed by Kara, insinuating she was sexually attracted to Casey. I do remember how she told him during his first audition that he had no personality, needed to take his hair out of the rubber band, and then told him to remove his shirt. I do not know how other fans felt about it. I felt it was out of line for Kara to behave that way. However, I do know that many young people watch this show and the judges should keep it G rated. Casey sung a Bryan Adams' song, and I do not even remember which song it was. He has a good sound, a cross between country and pop, but I fear the commotion first caused by Bo Bice, the first rocker of American Idol will not last as long for Casey.

Andrew Garcia sounded a lot better to me during Hollywood week than he did last night. He performed another song I am unfamiliar with, called "Sugar We're Going Down", I believe. Simon was disappointed with his performance, as was I but I do like his voice and I liked his background story. He is another one of the 'humble' contestants for me. Moreover, I thought he reminded me of Elton John with his facial expressions and I think if he picks the right song, he will return to the performer I liked in his auditions.

Simon made a prediction on Tuesday night that a girl would win American Idol this year. I cannot make a prediction like that, this early on, but I will say that I want to see Tim given another chance even though the judges clearly want him gone. I will also say that I would like to see either Joe, or John, or Alex gone tonight, based on their performance last night.

What do you say?

           


American Idol's voters got two out of four wrong

Fans voted on their choices for elimination on Thursday night's American Idol. Booted off were Ashley Rodriguez, Janell Wheeler, Joe Munoz, and sadly, Tyler Grady.

Apparently, voters did not believe that Ashley had enough of the "nice moments" in her performance as Kara felt she did. Personally, I think Ashley would do well in a screaming contest, because she screamed through most of the song on Tuesday night. One thing I will say in her defense is that I do not think she was any better or worse Leona Leeis, whose voice I do not think is as good as Simon thinks it is. I was not sad to see Ashley go, however.

I agree with the voters, that Janell did not give a performance worthy of what you would expect from one of the top twenty-four contestants in a singing competition. However, I thought she was better than at least a few of the other girls, especially Lacey Brown. I do not like all of the songs that Heart sang, but I do realize that their voices are strong and for Janell to take on a song like What About Love, that requires strong vocals, was a mistake. She had a decent enough voice, but more for country or pop, not rock. I was somewhat disappointed that voters saw something in Lacey that I did not, and that she will be around for next week's show. I thought Lacey sung through her nose through the entire performance, and that was enough for me to want to see her gone.

Joe Munoz received higher praises from the judges than I thought he deserved. I think they may have seen another David Archuleta in Joe, but I think the only thing he had like David, was the look. He was nowhere near David's talent level, and I did not think he was very good at all. I agreed with the voters, not the judges, and Joe is gone.

As I said in my review of the guys' performances on Wednesday night's show, I believe the judges' critiques of Tyler Grady's performance, particularly Kara's, that went too far. They thought he was trying to be a rocker when he was not. They also complained about Tyler's hair and his clothes. These comments annoy me every year because they criticize aspects of a contestant's appearance one week; the next week they will say the competition is all about the singing. In my humble opinion, American Idol is never all about the singing alone, and it never will be just a singing competition.

They did not like the way Tyler dressed and thought that his '70's look and feel' did not belong on American Idol. I say that would depend on whom you ask. I know that more of the younger generation calls in to vote than any other age group. They did not get the "Donny Osmond" look and appeal with Tyler Grady, but I did and was disappointed that they decided to vote him off. Other male contestants lacked the vocals I thought Tyler had, especially his voice, and I feel they let the wrong guy go this time.

I am thrilled that Lilly Scott and Crystal Bowersox are still in the running and I hope to see great things from both of these girls. As for the guys, I like Jermaine, Lee, and Andrew for their vocals alone. In addition, Michael Lynche may not have the strongest vocals but he is talented nonetheless, and he is a likable candidate to go far in this season.

What did you think of the American Idol voters' choice for the elimination round?

           


American Idol's top ten girls begin and end with a bang week #2
March 3, 2010

...unfortunately, others drew blanks while the judges misfired.

So many American Idol fans all over the Internet are complaining about the difference in the overall setting of the show this season. The show is placing a nauseating amount of emphasis on the judges, and wasting too many minutes of their critiques and annoying nuances.

One gesture I enjoyed seeing last night was the look Simon Cowell gave to Ryan Seacrest after the amiable host tried to comfort one of the contestants Simon railed into, causing one to become so upset that she could not speak. I do not mean to keep ragging on about the judges this year, but what is with Kara and Simon sitting so close together? I thought it last week as well, but forgot to mention it. I think it goes back to what I have said before about four judges being one too many. Either Kara has been sitting on top of Simon because she someone told her that she should tone her flirtations with Casey down or they cannot all fit into the camera at the same time. You may wonder why I watch when I sound so frustrated with the judges, but that is part of American Idol's appeal. People argue about the contestants, the performances, and about which judge is the best. It is what keeps it interesting and keeps us watching, because we are addicted to the show.

The top ten girls' performances showed me that some of them paid attention to the judges' criticisms last week, some paid too much attention perhaps, and still others completely ignored what the judges told them.

Crystal Bowersox, who became seriously ill earlier in the week, performed better than the other nine in perfect health. As I listened to her, I thought that she was the first contestant, at least the first female contestant that I have heard through all the years on American Idol, who has a natural raw talent. Yes, for me that includes Kelly Clarkson. In all fairness, I did not watch all of season one of American Idol, but I have heard Kelly perform. Crystal sang CCR's "Long as I can see the light", and Ellen parroted what I felt about the performance, saying that she has a natural talent. She performed with the ease of a truly gifted singer. Nothing about her voice or her performance seemed strained or pushed. Kara could not bring herself to give the girl the props she deserved, and instead repeated the negative comments the judges gave her the previous week.

Simon did something last night he only did one other time. He apologized to Crystal about his comments from the week before. He apologized to David Cook last year for the stupid remark he made about how the runner-up, David Archuleta, won the fight with a knockout on the last night of performances. I do not know what prompted Simon to apologize to David Cook, but I suspected that he read the chatter on the Internet and knew that David Cook would receive more votes than David Archuleta would. Everyone knows how Simon hates for fans to prove him wrong. After hearing Crystal's flawless performance last night, Simon again apologized because he did not want his comments about her performance from the week before, to come back and haunt him. Crystal is one of four girls who will be the one for the other six to beat.

Haeley Vaughn may be in trouble tonight during the eliminations. I personally thought she improved quite a bit from the previous week. I also thought that the judges would be less critical of her than they were last week. I was wrong. I guess it is because I am a parent of teens, but to hear what sounds like the words of a bully in the playground, come out of the mouths of the judges, is over the top.

I like Haeley and her voice is nowhere near as bad as the judges try to say it is. She sang, The Climb by Miley Cirus, whom I personally cannot stand, but would not berate her in public. Randy said he saw no connection to the song from Haeley. Does he see once with Miley Cirus? If he does, what is the connection because I do not see it?

Simon felt that telling Haeley her performance was 'a complete and utter mess', was not enough to express his distaste of what he heard from her. He also wanted to be clever by using the name of the song, Climb, to let Haeley know how unhappy he was with her performance. He first said that he could not think of anything to say because he "didn't want to make it any worse" than what she heard from the other judges. Then he tells her, in reference to the 'climb', that she "fell off". I thought it was cruel and uncalled for, and we will see if the voters agree with Simon or me when we find out if she goes home tonight or not. I did like it when Ryan asked how what he said could possibly have helped Haeley, but Simon did not and gave him the Cowell stink-eye.

Lacey Brown performed Kiss Me, presumably on the suggestion of Kara from last week. She was much better than last week, but still did not do much for me, and I am still not a fan. Simon told her she was marginally better, and I guess she was because she did not sound as nasally this week while singing, but her voice is too squeaky and for me, her voice cannot compare to some other girls in the top ten. She should have gone home last week, and maybe tonight she will.

Katie Stevens is one of the girls who bLee away some others for me last night. I do not care if she has an older-sounding voice as the judges appear to, because she has a strong voice with a nice tone to it. She performed, "Put your records on", and it reminded me of one of my favorite females from last season, Megan Joy, who also sang that song. Kara began to babble like Paula during her comments to Katie, Ellen thought she should sound more young and hip, and Randy wanted to hear her do a 'bigger song".

I think, and this goes back to what I said about too much time spent on the judges that they were so busy focusing on the negatives for Katie, that they failed to see her pure talent. Moreover, while the judges are saying Katie sound older than 17, they should also realize that they are adults speaking like 17 year olds when you try to reason with them and they still do not get it.

Didi Benami was one of my absolute favorites coming into the competition this season. I wished she had picked a song other than, Lean on me by Bill Withers. I could still hear the unique sound in her voice as she sang, but I had trouble hearing that song performed by someone other than the original artist, because it is just that kind of song for me.

If I were not already a fan of Didi's, I have to admit that I would make a point of voting for her to spite what the judges did to her last night. Controversy surrounded the third season, "the nightmare of Fantasia", when Jasmine Trias stayed, and Jennifer Hudson was eliminated. Rumors swirled that because the judges brought Jasmine to tears with their comments, voters felt sorry for her and voted for her to stay.

The judges repeated their usual lines to Didi saying that she was pitchy and it was the wrong song, and on and on they went, until they caused her to fill up with emotions in such a way that she was unable to answer Ryan when he tried to comfort her. Do they have to berate and embarrass contestants? I think they could give her constructive criticism without leaving her an emotional wreck. I hope she gets to stay because I do like her unique voice and she should pick songs that will show it.

The situation got progressively worse when the judges fell all over Michelle Delamor's performance of With Arms Wide Open by Creed. While she sang, I thought I would have liked it if she kept her mouth less open. My husband, who rarely watches American Idol, happened to be in the room and listened to Michelle sing. He knew the song, but I did not, and he sound she ruined it and sounded terrible. When she finished, I was shocked at how much the judges liked it. Randy said she had a couple of pitchy spots. I thought she had a couple of spots that were not pitchy. Ellen said she was a little pitchy, and again I have to say that she is no more qualified to hear what is pitchy and what is not, than I am. Kara lost the rest of whatever credibility she may have had with me when she said Michelle's performance was her favorite ever. "What?" This was definitely my "What the heck were they listening to" moment so far this season.

Lilly Scott, for the second week in a row, did not disappoint me and she is still one of my choices for the title this year, along with Crystal Bowersox. She sang "A Change is Gonna Come' by Sam Cook, the same song that American Idol season 7 contestant, Syesha Mercado sang. I never thought Syesha should have been one of the three top contestants with the two David's but that is another story.

If anyone else remembered that Syesha performed this song, he or she forgot all about it after Lilly's rendition. I like her looks almost as much as her voice. She has the star presence that the judges always talk about, when talking to the contestants about Kelly Clarkson and well...Kelly Clarkson. Personally, I get a little sick of Simon telling the world that she was one of only a few contestants he wanted to win, who actually became a success. He was way off with so many other contestants he raved about, but he thought Lilly 'over sang'? He did give her the comments she deserved, but the over sang remark was ridiculous. Lilly will definitely be safe tonight.

Katelyn Epperly, as Ellen stated and I agree, could have put many people to sleep during her performance last night. It was so agonizingly slow and long, and I do not think her voice affords her the privilege of boring us so early into the competition. Along with Lacey, she overstayed her welcome for an extra week, in my opinion, and cannot compete with the front-runners of the night. She sang Coldplay's version of The Scientist, and I hope scientists can use her performance for their treatment of insomniacs. Even if she had performed Natasha Beddingfield's version, it would not have earned points for her with me. It might have actually made it worse, but I do not see how it could.

Paige Miles is one contestant I still do not remember from any of the auditions. She sang a Kelly Clarkson hit, and Simon, of course, insinuated that no one can sing like Kelly Clarkson, by telling Paige that for the second week in a row, she picked the wrong song to sing. I actually liked her voice, which I thought was strong and I like the husky tone to it. The only problem I found with the performance was that I, like Randy, had a difficult time understanding the words. I understood a little better why, when Randy mentioned the pace of the song and how so many words had to fit in with the beat or something. I think on her vocals alone, Paige will stay with the competition after tonight.

Siobhan Magnus did Aretha Franklin's "Think", and I think that Simon should think about how many times he stop mention Kelly Clarkson, including mentioning her after Siobhan's performance. Siobhan sung the song without screaming the notes. Randy said she was bold for taking it on, and rambled on about how Aretha's the best, which I am also tired of hearing because the only song I liked of Franklins' is, "Until you Come Back to me", but Siobhan gave the other girls a run for the money last night.

In order, this is how I rank the girls' performances last night, with #'s 9 and 10 my picks for going home:

1. Crystal
2. Lilly
3. Siobhan
4. Katie
5. Didi
6. Paige
7. Haeley
8. Michelle
9. Lacey
10. Katelyn

           


Ameircan Idol top ten guys sing the billboard hits

Last night on American Idol, the top 10 males chose songs from top billboard hits. After the first few performances, I began to wonder if the judges heard what I heard. I thought that it might also have been because I am one of the older fans of the show, that I was perhaps being too critical. However, when my 17 year old agreed with me, and not the judges, I knew I was right.

Michael Lynche sang James Brown's This is a Man's World. I liked the way he sounded and I thought he let go and showed us he has the vocals and the ability to perform a song worthy of the king of soul. Randy gave Michael a standing ovation, which I thought for this stage in the American Idol game was slightly premature. Kara went on to say she was "feelin' it". If you ask me, Kara is "feelin" a little too much this season altogether. This is not supposed to be 'Erotica Idol'. It is American Idol. Michael will definitely get the votes this week and I think he will have a strong fan base.

John Park chose to sing a John Mayer tune that I had never heard before. I thought it sounded boring and I did not think John's vocals were very good. Randy said that his rendition was not as good as the original. I say if this song were a major hit, I would hope that is so. Either Ellen was trying to be kind or she really liked his performance. If the latter is true, I will go back to what I originally said about Ellen commenting on the contestants performances, and that is that she should not be commenting on the contestants' performances. I do not think John Park fared any better this week than he did for me last week.

Casey James sang I Wanna Be or I Don't Wanna Be, I am not sure which, but I do not "wanna be" rude, but I did not like this performance at all. I thought the guitar was too loud, and my husband plays the electric guitar so it is not as if I am not used to it. I just thought it drowned out Casey's vocals and made it sound as though his voice trailed off at the end of the lines in the chorus. On the commercial, my son played the original song for me to hear, and Casey's rendition did not do it justice. I think I liked Casey better when he had less personality as Kara accused him of in his first audition. Surprisingly enough, Kara did not fall all over herself with her comments and thought that Casey took "two steps backward" last night. He made me taking a few more steps backwards, out the door, if he does not bring it in the weeks to come, if he stays in.

Alex Lambert sang Everybody Knows by John Legend. I hope everybody knows that American Idol contestants do not always sing slow, dull songs. However, if this is someone's first season of watching, he or she may get that impression. I enjoy many different genres of music, but all these slow songs are really starting to get on my nerves. Randy felt that he improved over his performance from the week before, and I say not by much. The judges sensed Alex felt more confident, and I thought so, too, although I did not think the improvement was as good as it should have been. His vocals were just okay for me.

Todrick Hall sung my favorite Tina Turner song, What's Love Got to Do With it, and I thought he ruined the song, from start to finish. It was too slow, and even though I did like him originally, I am beginning to think that I made a mistake. He appears to believe that he is better than he actually is, and I was beginning to think that this is going to be another season when I will completely disagree with the judges' comments.

The judges picked on Jermaine Sellers again this week, and again I disagreed with what they said. I will say that I would like Jermaine to do a little less talking, however. He did Marvin Gaye's What's Goin On.' I love Marvin Gaye and this song reminds me of the turbulent decade of the 1960's, and of the fight for civil rights. I thought Jermaine sung it well, and I thought the judges did not give him enough credit for taking on a song that only Marvin can do to perfection. The word, 'forced' came out of the mouths of the judges' for the first time, surprisingly enough last night, but I disagreed. I am glad Ellen announced that she did not know what to say, because the other judges said too much. Kara said something stupid about how Jermaine should have felt the song more, but then she said it was "too much". Make up your mind, please. They also mentioned the arrangement of the song. Did they think it was not slow enough to fit in with the previous performances?

Andrew Garcia performed James Morrison's “You Give Me Something.” The judges did not think he gave them anything. At this point in the show, I seriously thought something was wrong with my hearing. Randy said Andrew was pitchy, the other judges thought it was the wrong song for him. I thought Andrew was one of the best last night. At this point, I also wondered why they did not cut out all the other stuff they shoved into the two hours last night. Normally reserved for elimination shows, American Idol showed us what the judges said last week about Andrew's performance. It seemed to me that they were trying to sway the audience, which I think they usually wait to do later on in the competition. If the cut out the garbage they showed before Andrew's performance last night, they might have been able to do the show in an hour.

Aaron Kelly did not do as well for me this week as I thought he did last week. Of course, I am overly critical when someone does a Motown song, but Aaron's performance of My Girl was not as good as his performance was last week. Kara bordered on imitating the wacky Sally Field's acceptance speech for Norma Rae; the way she said, "I really liked it". I really did not. Why do contestants pick songs originally sung by a group, especially a Motown group?

Tim Urban did Come on Get Higher by Matt Nathanson. I accused the judges of being too harsh with their critique of Tim last week, and this week they did it again. What were they listening to anyway? One judge said Tim was 'all over the place', and Randy did not 'get it'. Ellen muttered about Tim not being original and thought he could sing a little. As I said before, it would be best for Ellen to stick to the comic relief. I think they are wrong about Tim. He has the teen idol look and his vocals are good. I wondered last week how Tim became the contestant the producer called back to the show after they disqualified one of the original 24. Last week Simon said he thought he made the right decision in not choosing Tim, but disagreed with his cohorts and actually liked Tim's performance. I think Tim will stay, first, because of Simon's reaction, and second, because if I were a teen, I would definitely root for him the way I rooted for David Cassidy as he sang back in the early '70's.

My son played me the song that Lee Dewyze performed last night, Lips of an Angel by Hinder. I thought Lee's performance was as good as the original. I like his sound and his image, and his vocals are unique. He still reminds me somewhat of Danny Gokey, but more natural. The judges said Lee sounded pitchy in spots, as they did last week. Ellen mentioned that he should dance around, but please do not do the funky chicken dance like Fantasia. That will not help. I think I agree with Kara for the first time, because she could only bring herself to say Lee's performance this week was a big improvement. Simon gave him high praise. Thank you, Simon!

The only knew four out of the ten Billboard hits the contestants chose to sing last night. I also only liked five contestants' performances out of ten. I think that John Park should have gone last week and I think the same about him this week. I think that Casey, who is trying to be this year's Bo Bice, is not pulling it off. I think he should go as well. I am willing to give Aaron Kelly and Alex Lambert more time, but if Todrick stays, he should tone down his overconfidence and just perform.

Tonight, the top ten girls will perform, and if I am lucky, they will sing songs that will hold my attention, instead of songs that were so slow, that it made the two hours seem like four hours of American Idol last night.

What did you think?

           


American Idol voters let Simon Cowell hear it

There is something strange going on with the judges on American Idol this year. However, American Idol fans know what they heard, and they let Simon know it.

In my review of the top 10 girls on Tuesday night, http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978083079 I explained why I thought the judges must have been hearing something that I was not, when Michelle Delamor performed a song by Creed. Apparently, the voters agreed with me.

I thought it was odd that Simon would announce in the beginning of the elimination show last night that he wanted to go back on what he said concerning his comments toward at least one contestant last night. I also thought he was referring to the way he made Didi Benami so upset that she could do nothing but shake her head when Ryan Seacrest asked her a question. I so wanted Kara to go back on what she said about the performance being her favorite of all. Is Kara tone deaf or was something else going on that night?

Once they revealed the name of the first girl voted off last night, I understood Simon's retraction. Simon as much as admitted that the judges erred when they praised Michelle's performance. Was that decision made before or after Simon knew who would go home?

I have watched all seasons of American Idol except for the first season. I discovered over the years that there are several reasons fans vote for their favorite contestants. Simon repeatedly tells the viewing audience that American Idol is a singing competition, but each year the judges seem to direct their comments on other qualities the contestants possess, besides their voice.

I thought America got it wrong last night when Jermaine went home, based on his vocals. I do understand that they may have decided not to vote for him because he was vocal at the wrong time, and that is when he talked back to the judges.

In season five, I agreed that Katherine McPhee had a good voice, and many of her performances were far better than Taylor Hicks' vocally. I never liked her personally, though, because she always came back with sarcastic remarks, with a snobbish tone in her voice. After season five ended, we heard McPhee say in interviews that her real passion was to go into acting. I believe her performance on stage after she performed her song, was part of an 'act'.

I think America got it right when they voted John Park off, even though he stayed for one week longer than he should have. I did not see John during any part of the audition phase, and his performances for the first two weeks, in my opinion, did not live up to what the judges apparently saw in him earlier on.

To be fair to Michelle Delamor, although her performance was pitchy all the way through for me, I still believe she has more talent than both Katelyn Epperly and Lacey Brown. One of those two girls should have gone home instead of Michelle.

I also noticed that when Ryan told Haeley what the judges said about her performance, he left some of it out. Haeley did not do as well the first week as I thought she did this past Tuesday, but I still think she deserved better than what the judges did to her.

They could have just told her that they did not think she was ready for the competition because of her age. Instead, Simon chose to destroy her self-esteem as a singer. From the reactions of the other girls, obviously distraught over Haeley's elimination, I see they felt bad for her for the same reasons I do.

I hope that with all the weird stuff that went on last night, that the judges will see what I have been seeing, that they are spending too much time on themselves, and not enough time for fans of American Idol to get to know the contestants.

I feel the same about the second week of competition as I did the first week, that there were two who deserved to go home this week, and two who deserved to stay around longer than other finalists did this season on American Idol.

What do you say?

           


American Idol top eight ladies surprise the judges

...and the judges wanted to know who they thought they were

Last night's American Idol reminded me of Groucho Marx's show, You Bet Your Life, and the theme song for CSI, "Who are you." The judges used a few words and phrases so often I waited for the audience's shout out of the word, and the birdie to come down from the ceiling. The word of the night was surprise, and the phrase was 'who you are'.

Paula used to use the phrase, "you are who you are", a lot. That made about as much sense as the judges' comments for most of the ladies last night. In the opening, the judges said that last night's performances should be the contestants' best because the viewers would be voting for American Idol's top twelve finalists. Ryan said the girls were fighting for a spot in the top twelve.

I am beginning to think that Simon is writing the material for the judges. First, we find Kara inching closer and closer to Simon in the last few weeks, then last night Ellen is on Simon's lap, whispering sweet whatever in his ear. Enough is enough, and Simon is not charming enough to make it believable. They should stop that and concentrate on what they are there to do.

Who surprised us, and who could not figure out who they were as an artist? Who was a knockout, and who went down for the count? We will find out on tomorrow night's results show. In the meantime, here is what I thought.

Katie Stevens sang a Kelly Clarkson song called "Breakaway". I thought the song was dull and boring. I thought Katie sounded good, though, and she followed the judges' advice from the week before and did a current song. Simon told Katie she needed to figure out what type of artist she wanted to be.This girl has talent and she is young and told him she knows what type of artist she wants to be.

The judges thought her rendition paled in comparison to Kelly's. I was more surprised by the judges' dislike of her performance than I was with the Kelly comparison. The judges also said that although she chose a song that suited her young age, that her voice sounded too old and was not perfect. Who is perfect?

I have to give it to Katie, though. Katie explained, respectfully, that she took their advice and chose a song geared toward the younger audience, and knew who she was as an artist. Personally, I think the judges do not want the responsibility of a contestant who is a minor. They could be worried that they would have to deal with 'stage parents', as they did with David Archuleta. Whatever the reason, they came down too hard on Katie and did not give her the kudos I thought she deserved for her performance.

I give Katie a B+ for her performance. I would give her an A but she did a funny thing with her voice a couple of times that sounded like it came from the back of her throat. I gave the boring song a D and I do not care who sang it originally.

Siobhan Magnus sang the Animals' version of House of the Rising Sun, from 1964. I think she has a strong voice with a unique sound. I also believe, that although I may be the only one to think so, that Siobhan sounds better than Kelly Clarkson. Randy said that she surprised him by making the performance, "hot", while Simon blathered on about her not knowing what kind of artist she wanted to be. I think Siobhan is showing that she can sing any genre of song well. He also told her she was an "unlikely character" in the competition. I think he is wrong. I give Siobhan an A- only because the arrangement was a little slower even for a slow song.

Lacey Brown did not do anything for me again last night. I do not think she has what it takes to be in the competition this year, when too many girls have an enormous amount of talent. Lacey sang "The Story" by Brandy Carlisle. I never heard this song either, and the younger viewers have that advantage over me for most of the songs on American Idol.

However, knowing the song Lacey sung would not have changed my mind about her voice. I think she is too nasally and her voice borders on sounding like Alvin and the Chipmunks, no matter what she sings. Believing that she should have been gone in Week #1, imagine my surprise (surprise!) when the judges said they loved it. Simon said she sang it well but did not connect with the song and her performance was forgettable. I wish I could forget it.

The other judges thought it was an effortless performance, and they meant that in a good way. They also thought it was her best performance to date. If that was the best she has, I cannot figure out why she is still in the competition.

I give her a D- for her performance last night.

Katelyn Epperly sang a Carole King song from her Tapestry album, entitled I Feel the Earth Move. I feel Katelyn should move on to another venue besides singing. I know this has nothing to do with her singing ability but Simon said the only thing he liked about her, was her hair, so I have to say then that there is nothing I like about her. The hair is a throwback from the 1980's when the big frizzy perm was in. Katelyn all but put me to sleep with her performance last week, but I was wide-awake for last night's performance and did not like anything I heard.

Kara said it was not a "wow" song for her. For Carole King, it was a major "wow" song, and as much as I hate to do it, I agreed with Kara when she said that Katelyn's performance did not show that she wanted to be in competition with the other ladies. I also agreed that it seemed like a 'put on' performance. History shows that some contestants get overconfident from positive comments one week and do something silly the next week that they thing the viewers will give them a pass on. I think the voters will pass over her this week. If, as Simon said, I paid Katelyn to sing I Feel the Earth Move in a restaurant, I would want my money back.

I give her a D- for that performance.

Didi Benami performed Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" last night. Although the slow arrangement of the song was weird, I still think her voice is unique and similar to one of my favorites from last season's Megan Joy.

Didi, however, seems to have better control over her unique sound than Megan did, and I like the tone of her voice a lot. The word, surprise (surprise!) appeared again as the judges told her that they liked what she did with the song and that as Randy put it, "a ho lot better". I guess he meant a "whole lot better", or at least I hope he did.

Didi received her official "sucking-up" apologetic moment from the judges for her performance last night. The judges apparently watched their critiques of Didi from last week, when they tore her performance to shreds and brought her to the brink of tears. For someone with Didi's talent, I imagine the judges realized how stupid they sounded last week, ripping into her the way they did.

I give Didi a B for her performance last night and an A+ for not coming back like the walking wounded, because I felt hurt for Didi after hearing the judges' comments last week.

Paige Miles sang "Smile" but no one was smiling during the performance or after. I think the girl can sing, but so far, she does not appear to want anyone to know it. She also seemed nervous, almost scared to death, on stage last night. The judges could not figure out what type of artist Paige wanted to be, (big surprise!) and partly blamed the arrangement of the song on her dismal performance. Paige even got in on the act of trying to blame the arrangement. Apparently, she thought the arrangement was okay before the performance or she would have had them change it, would she not?

Randy said it was his favorite song. I think he says this a lot about many songs, but I could be wrong. I noticed Ellen seemed annoyed while Randy gave his critique. What was that about? Simon went as far as to say that Paige sounded like she was singing at a Howard Johnson's in 1974, while people were eating peanuts at a bar, or something crazy like that. Whatever he was saying, I agreed that Paige's performance was not worthy of a spot in the top 12, and blaming the arrangement will not get her the votes.

I give Paige a D for her performance, and an E for effort in trying to agree with the judges about the arrangement of the song.

Crystal Bowersox sang a Tracy Chapman song. I did not like the song, but I love Crystal. She, like fellow contestant, Lilly Scott, has the rare talent that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, if not for American Idol. That is what I like about this show; it gives exposure to those with mad talent who, on their own could not get a large enough audience to pay attention.

Crystal is like a toned down version of Janis Joplin. Other girls in past years have tried the 'rocker chick' thing, like Allison Iraheta, whom I never liked. I thought she was overbearing, loud and trying too hard to be the tough cookie. Additionally, Crystal's vocals are at least 10 times better and stronger than most of the female rockers I have heard in past years. If the rumors were true about Idol considering disqualifying Crystal if she was not well enough to perform last week, that would have been a huge mistake, for the show not for Crystal. I give Crystal an A+ for her performance. I regret to say that I give a D- for the Jason Castro look-alike locks and I wish she would lose them.

Lilly Scott, for me was one of only five girls who acted as if they wanted to remain on American Idol for another week. She performed Patsy Cline's I Fall to Pieces, and with that performance, she tore three other contestants to pieces.

I said this before, and I will say it again, she has natural talent, stage presence and the makings of a star. She appeals to different age groups for different reasons. She definitely has the voice; she is current but not too current to scare away the older crowd. She has the look of a celebrity from this era, but also reminds me of the female singers of the 1970's like Lulu of "To Sir with Love" fame. I also love her hair color and I do not think many girls can pull that color off, even though American Idol is not supposed to be about those things.

Kara made an idiot out of herself again by saying that Lilly made Patsy Cline sound current, giving the song a contemporary sound, but instead of stopping there, she went on to say, "I have to give you that." If that is all Kara could bring herself to give Lilly, she does not know what she is hearing, and she is an idiot.

I give Lilly an A+ and I see her as one of two girls worthy of being in the finale.

Slicing the performance show in half was the best part of the show last night. That meant less commercials and more singing. Additionally, that meant that I could watch LOST when it aired, instead of watching it after American Idol ended, but that is irrelevant.

I think Crystal, Lilly, and Siobhan will do well even if they do not win this year, or make it into the finale. Only four out of the eight girls did what the judges said they should do, sing like they mean it and as if their career depended on it. Those four girls are Lilly, Crystal, Didi, and Siobhan. My picks for elimination tomorrow night are Lacey and Katelyn, for their performance alone, but I think Paige may go just for her remarks about the arrangement of a performance that did not measure up in a fight for the top 12.

Any combination of the three out of Lacey, Katelyn, and Paige would be the right ones to go tomorrow night. Any of these will come as no surprise (surprise!) and they can then go in search of the question asked by The Who, "Who are you?", because what they are, is not worthy of winning the title of American Idol.

In addition, is anyone else tired of hearing Kelly Clarkson's name mentioned? Last time I checked with my kids, her career is still going strong so she does not need the publicity. Do the judges want to keep reminding us of how successful the first American Idol winner is?

           


American Idol contestants now have This Woman's Work cut out for them

While watching the show last night, I came up with the title of this post. Originally, I was going to call it, "Simon Cowell's prediction for winner will come true". I decided on the original title because up until the last ten minutes of the show, I was convinced that Simon correctly predicted that a girl would win American Idol this year. I felt Simon would be right this year, because none of the contestants manage to do anything to make me change my mind. That was true, until the last of the top eight males, took the stage.

It will be more difficult to give my review of the contestants' performances last night, but I am going with what I originally jotted down.

Lee Dewyze sang Fireflies by Owl City and although I do like him as a performer and singer, I felt he has not done anything different since his first audition. He reminded me last night of a cross between Danny Gokey and Kris Allen. His voice is similar to Danny's while his style reminds me of Kris. Simon felt he performed well enough to make it into the top 12 tonight, but he also thought he could have done better. I guess it is because as Randy said, Lee was pitchy "here and there" but thought he worked it, so I guess he will be moving on in the competition.

I give him a C because he gave an average performance, nothing special.

Alex Lambert sang Trouble, and I felt that is exactly what he might be in tonight, because he still seems so uncomfortable on stage. He does have a unique sound to his voice and he is talented, but he looks like his parents forced him to do this, and he is not working hard enough to show he wants to remain in the competition. Randy liked it and Ellen thought Alex was getting better every week. I agreed with Simon and Kara who thought Alex was stiff and not relaxed. I am certain he will not relax until Ryan announces he is in the top twelve, and with good reason.

I give him a B for his performance but a D for enthusiasm.

Tim Urban performed Hallelujah and while I thought it was just so-so, the judges were impressed with him. Ellen went so far as to run up on the stage to hug Tim and apologize for being so hard on him in previous weeks. She told him he was fantastic. Kara felt he took responsibility for building his own confidence level. I think Tim has a fan base because he puts me in mind of a teen idol I would have raved about when I was a teenager. I think he did well enough to get him through to the finals.

I give him a B and an A for his 'teen idol' look.

Andrew Garcia did not sing, "Trouble", but I think he is in big trouble tonight. Every week one of the judges mention his wonderful rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" and I guess they are doing this because so far in the competition, Andrew has not done anything better than that performance. He sang Jeannie in a Bottle and I think it will take a Jeannie to grant him his wish of staying on American Idol this season. I thought his singing and performance was bland. Randy did not think it worked for him, and Simon thought Andrew seemed desperate, putting too much thought into his performance, but that instead of getting better each week, he thought Andrew was going backwards.

I give him a D for his performance and feel he may go tonight.

Casey James sang Keith Urban's "You'll Think of me" and I thought to myself that he sounded as bored as I was listening to him. I will side with what Kara thought of Casey's first audition, that he had no personality. This was the point in last night's show when I thought that Simon was 100% right in predicting a girl would win the title this year, even though Simon thought Casey sounded great and sincere. It frightens me to think that I agreed with Kara again last night when she said Casey did not show any spunk. It was just boring for me. I give him a C- and think they should all lose the guitar this year.

Aaron Kelly sang "I'm Already There" and when he finished the song, I made a comment regarding his place in the top 12 finalists, saying that he was already there in the top 12 after that performance. It was the first performance of the night that I really enjoyed. Simon cut Kara off in the middle of her rambling about Aaron not being able to connect to a song about a father talking about being away from his family, and then babbled on until Simon interrupted her (a first I think) and told her what she just said was, "Complete and utter garbage". Simon could not have been more right. Aaron is the 16 year old who told his story early on about his lousy childhood when he was very young, and how his aunt and uncle took him away from a bad situation and raised him. That is more experience for a 16 year old than most experience in a lifetime. Therefore, Kara saying that he could not relate to a song about kids and family was, well, complete and utter garbage.

I give Aaron an A for his performance and an A for his sincerity in his connection to the song in relating it to his personal life experiences.

Todrick Hall sang Queen's "Somebody to Love" and somebody loved him, but I did not. Only a few contestants have ever done a Queen song good enough to satisfy me. One of these contestants was Adam Lambert. Adam performed "We are the Champions" on the American Idol finale last year. The judges raved over his performance, even though Simon said he sounded like a Broadway singer. I do not understand why Simon thinks Broadway singers are not that great but if that is what he means regarding Todrick, I agree with him. The other judges liked him, and the gospel spin he put into the song. I did not think it helped his chances to be in the top 12.

Michael Lynche sang "This Woman's Work". As everyone is now saying, this performance spells out, "Game Over! for a contestant who thought up until that point in the show, that he was at least better than the other five contestants last night. I say this because Michael proved what the judges said was so important about the performances this week. The performance prior to fans choosing their top 12 finalists is the one that can make or break the career for American Idol contestants. Michael Lynche paid attention and knocked it out of the park.

To quote Randy, and I am in total agreement here, "Really? What? Hot! I also agreed with Simon who said that Michael proved 100% that this is what the judges wanted to hear and needed to hear for a contestant to advance to the top 12. I think Michael advanced his chances to become the winner this year, or at the very least, one of the top two going into the finale of American Idol. He moved Kara to tears and I think he even managed to make her forget that Simon pulled a Kanye West moment on her.

I give Michael an A+++!

I am glad American Idol saved the absolute best performance for last and I look forward to what will happen tonight on the results show. Michael may have just saved the reputation of the show last night altogether, because rumor has it that the show lacked the excitement present in previous years for many of its loyal fans.

           


American Idol guys have their work cut out for them

Seven male contestants have plenty to worry about tonight as far as American Idol's elimination show is concerned. Women, mothers, wives, grandmothers, and everyone in between worry about their fate as well.

Michael Lynche's performance of This Woman's Work on American Idol last night is the cause for the concern.

Kate Bush wrote this song for the 1988 movie, She's Having a Baby. The movie centers on a man who learns that his wife and unborn child are in danger.

Michael Lynche's wife gave birth to a son during the Hollywood auditions of American Idol. The viewers watched Michael receive the news from his wife via cell phone shortly before going on stage to perform for the judges. Michael's smooth voice got him through to a spot in the top 24 finalists on American Idol. His performance last night could very well have earned him a spot at the title this season.

It was the most brilliant choice of songs, and the performance that bLee away the American Idol judges, the viewers, and certainly, Michael's wife.

All the judges agreed that Michael sealed his fate as a guaranteed top 12 finalist, which American Idol will announce tonight. A tribute to his wife and to becoming a father, Michael not only nailed the song last night, he nailed coffins into the fates of at least two of his competitors, who will go home tonight.

The first part of the song, This Woman's Work, told the story of what Michael Lynche felt about becoming a dad, and the American Idol audience shared that experience with him.

Pray God you can cope
I stand outside
This woman's work
This woman's world
Ooooh it's hard on the man
Now his part is over
Now starts the craft of the Father

Not only did he manage to win over the judges, he brought Kara DioGuardi to tears, and Simon told Michael it was the best live performance on American Idol.

Everyone is talking about what Michael managed to accomplish on the show last night, and American Idol's results show will glue fans to the television set tonight.

I personally have had trouble mustering up excitement normally invoked by the show because of the enormous talent of American Idol contestants the past two seasons, in particular, the guys. That changed last night for me, when as a mother, and as a woman, I decided that Michael may have done more for women last night than any man in history has done to validate and honor the role of women and mothers in society.

           


American Idol's shock and awe moment

The Scottish poet, Robert Burns once said, "There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing."

After last night's results show, American Idol fans are beginning to understand the true meaning of that quote. Leave it to American Idol to throw the proverbial monkey wrench into a boring season with talent not up to par with previous seasons, perhaps sparking controversy and renewed interest.

Last night's 'shock and awe' show, with the elimination of one of the few contestants with raw, natural talent, is not the first time viewers were left wondering what voters were thinking when they failed to vote for a front-running American Idol contestant.

The first big American Idol controversy happened during season 3, which I like to call the Nightmare of Fantasia season, when voters failed to get behind Jennifer Hudson, and eliminated her from the competition, leaving many people to suggest that voters were racist. Another theory surfaced from those in Hudson's hometown, claiming that she received fewer votes than the other contestants did, because of power outages due to storms in the area of Hudson's hometown of Chicago.

As ridiculous as the 'perfect storm' theory was, the accusations of racism were perhaps even more ludicrous. The week Jennifer Hudson left American Idol, there were six contestants remaining, three of them white and three of them black, so the race conspiracy theorists obviously could not count either.

For many Adam Lambert fans, the real tragedy came in the finale of American Idol last year, when Danny Gokey left, taking third place, and even though Adam appeared to have the win 'in the bag', the come-from-behind Kris Allen took the title. Kris Allen appeared in the bottom three, receiving the least amount of votes, several times during the season. Adam Lambert, on the other hand, appeared in the bottom only once, and Danny Gokey's only appearance in the bottom three was the night he went home.

Fast forward to last night's American Idol eliminations, as Lilly Scott's fans watched as their pick for the win, or at the very least, the runner up this year is 'thrown under the American Idol bus'.

A number of things could have happened, and I would officially announce that I am jumping on the conspiracy theory AI bus tour after last night.

Either Lilly's fans mistakenly thought that she had a large fan base and did not need their votes, or no one could get through on Lilly's number to vote for her, or a record producer approached the American Idol people and Lilly, and struck a deal to release her from the competition. If you think that sounds crazy, here are the reviews of Lilly's three performances since the judges picked Lilly to be in the top 24:

  • I think you're in the zone right now.
  • Love your voice and originality.
  • You kind of made Patsy Cline feel *current.
  • It was cute, it was quirky, it plays into what you're all about.
  • My favorite performance of the night.
  • You just had your first moment in this competition.
  • By far, the best performance of the night.
  • You made my point about being relevant and using this as a showcase.
  • I love that you're more like an indie artist.
  • You're believable and it comes from the heart.
  • There's such a great presence about you and such a unique voice.
  • The best we've had so far.

*Disregard that stupid remark because Patsy Cline will forever be current.

Are we to believe that American Idol voters disagreed wholeheartedly with ALL of the judges reviews of Lilly Scott's performances?

Should we believe that with accolades from the judges every week, that viewers believed Lilly would receive enough votes to stay, and instead they cast their vote for someone they believed needed the votes?

I choose to believe that the AI bigwigs planned Lilly's departure ahead of time for whatever reason. I noticed we did not see the judges' reaction to the announcement.

It is either that, or parents neglected to keep their 12 year olds off the speed dial to vote for other contestants with less than half the talent of Lilly Scott.

Oh and Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly, and Todrick Hall went home as well. No surprise to see Katelyn and Todrick go, but Alex Lambert, although stiff and uncomfortable at times, deserved to stay over Andrew Garcia who has not been able to live up to his Straight Up performance. In addition, the judges made the mistake of letting Lacey Rose go through to Hollywood, and then adding insult to injury, the voters keep Lacey in and vote Lilly out.

These are my thoughts on the shocking elimination of Lilly Scott. What are your thoughts?

 


American Idol Season 9 - the top 12

American Idol's top 12 perform - I can't get no satisfaction from the judges

At times while watching the contestants on American Idol, I feel as though someone has trapped me inside a sensory deprivation chamber when the judges begin their critiques on the performances.

Last night, I failed to understand what the judges heard, compared to what I heard while the top 12 American Idol contestants sang Rolling Stones hits.

I like the later Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger on his own, better than the first hits put out in the 60's. I hoped that the contestants would perform Angie and Under My Thumb. Simon, however, not only does not like, Under my Thumb, he seems to dislike the music of the Rolling Stones. He amazes me all the time regarding his taste in music, including his dislike for country music, and his opinion on Broadway tunes. This became a running theme last night as the top 12 did their best to secure a spot in the American Idol finale show for Season 9.

Michael Lynch is fast becoming a frontrunner for the title this year. His performance of This Woman's Work last week, showed his versatility and talent, as an artist. He has always shown his humbling and gracious nature. He performed the Rolling Stones' Kiss You, and while it was never one of my favorites, I did enjoy his rendition of it. All the judges liked it, and Kara even managed to say so after babbling on about something. Ellen told him at some point she will disappointed in him, and at some point I want someone to tell me what makes her an expert on anything but comedy.

The antics between Ryan and Simon continued last night as Simon pretended to be annoyed at Ryan for trying to elaborate on the judges' comments. Sometimes Ryan's comments are a tad irritating, but it is all part of the fun of American Idol, I suppose.

I give Michael an A for his performance, even if Simon thought some of his dancing on stage, was corny. Corny can be good.

Didi Benami showed off those wonderful vocals she has last night. I did not care for the song and thought it was is too slow and too boring. She sang Play with Fire and sounded great, regardless of the song choice she made. The judges liked it but thought she could do better.

Kara mentioned the word 'push' for the first time, but it would not be the last time we hear that word during the two-hour performance show.

I give Didi a B for performance; only because I think she should pick songs that are more upbeat from now on in.

Casey James' performance of It's All Over Now...no, that is not what I was going to say...was just okay. I do not see in him what the judges see, and I think he is perhaps a better vocalist than previous rockers on Idol, but not as appealing. They need to stop talking about his sex appeal and his looks. I do not see what the big deal is, but maybe the younger crowd does. He did okay with the song and was the first time of the night that I thought I was in a sensory deprivation chamber during his performance. That is because the judges loved it, except Simon said it was more like 'an audition performance.

I liked the instruments in Season 7, but this year I do not think it is helping the contestants at all, and that is why I gave Casey a C for his performance. I just thought it was average.

Lacey Brown is one contestant that I cannot even judge, because I do not think she sings well at all. I think she sings through her nose constantly and I did not hear what the judges heard last night for the second time. They actually liked her performance so much they really made me doubt that they are judging her on her singing. She has a modern look that young girls will like probably voted for her last week based on that more than on her singing ability. I failed to get the whole "bra outside the shirt" outfit, but this is about the singing, right?

I give her a D for her rendition of Ruby Tuesday.

Andrew Garcia is in trouble again this week. He has been in trouble since the judges picked him as one of the 24 contestants. I cannot understand why he has not been able to sound the same as he did during the Hollywood round of performances. He sang the Stones' Give Me Shelter. Ellen liked it, and even stated, "But what do I know"? Those are my thoughts exactly, Ellen.

I give him a D as well and the only reason he did not get an E from me is because he has a nice voice but he is not letting us hear it so far during the competition phase where the voters judge.

Katie Stevens is the pleasant surprise for me this season. She does have the voice of an older more refined singer and I think she is giving some of the other girls a run for their money this year. She performed Wild Horses and made it sound like a completely different song than the version The Rolling Stones put out. I liked it a lot and thought she sounded great. Simon did not care for the second half of her performance but told Katie that she connected with the song and he said, "Well done".

I agreed with Simon and gave Katie an A for her performance.

Tim Urban looked and sounded even more like David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame, than he already did. Unfortunately, I do not thing his voice was any near as good as David's. He performed my favorite Stones' song, Under My Thumb, like a hokey, jazzy, country tune and it was, as the judges said, "just bizarre". They did like that he took a chance and did something different with the song, staying true to what type of artist he wanted to show he is. Simon lost a little more credibility with me when he said it was a boring song. I hope he was talking about Tim's rendition and not the hit the Rolling Stones made out of it.

I gave him a B for his imitation of David Cassidy, intentional or no, but a C for his weird performance.

Siobhan Magnus sang Paint it Black and she painted the performance gold last night. I thought I noticed that Ellen is the only judge pronouncing her first name right, with a v and not a b, but my son says I am wrong. Anyway, one note she hit was out of this world and something I have never heard from any other contestant on all of the seasons of American Idol. In my opinion, she is better than Kelly Clarkson, by a mile. The judges all agreed it was a standout performance and the best of the night. Kara went so far as to say she is the 'Adam Lambert' of this season. So far, I am agreeing with Kara more than I would like.

I gave her an A+ and I think she is the one to beat this season.

Lee Dewyze, according to my husband, a huge Rolling Stones' fan, said he did a good job of the song, Beast of Burden. He happened to be in the room for the second time this season, not watching the show, because he does not care for it. He did like Adam Lambert, though. Besides not having much to do with it, I thought Lee sounded good but did, as the judges mentioned, fail to put that oomph into it that Mick Jagger does when he pronounces the 'B's' in that song, like Beast of Burden. Other than that, I enjoyed his performance very much. I just wish he would lose the guitar. I liked it when Daughtry hugged the microphone as he sang and I think Lee should do that more as well.

In addition, I wanted to point out a moment of confusion for me. Ellen said it was a great performance but she wanted more than great. More than great would be Adam Lambert, and he is not a contestant this season. Besides Randy agreed with me and thought it was 'dope'.

I gave him an A- for his Beast of Burden performance.

Paige Miles finally reached the point for me that showed off her vocals for what they are. She performed Honky Tonk Woman, and I first I was concerned about how she could make the song suitable for a female, but she did it and did it well. It was finally a fast-paced song and her best performance for me so far. Ellen said she had star quality, Randy liked it, and I sided with both of them. She has the vocals and the beautiful eyes that add to her stage presence. I liked the way she moved around on stage during her performance.

I gave Paige an A for the first time this season on Idol.

Aaron Kelly sang the ballad Angie and I liked it a lot. He seemed older than he is as he performed a sad song about love that many teenagers experience but not understand until they are older. You would not know that was the case listening to Aaron sing last night. He reminded Randy of a younger Justin Timberlake and Ellen said he and Siobhan were the best so far that night. Kara even said he connected with his performance as Simon told him he picked the right song.

I agreed with all of the judges and thought it was an A performance.

Crystal Bowersox does sing without an ounce of effort, as the judges say. About her performance of You Can't Always Get What You Want, Ellen, and Kara rambled on about her personality and appearing uncomfortable. I think rambled on about how they were just wrong and delusional. Simon told Crystal that Siobhan beat her in the competition last night, even though he thought Crystal was a clear favorite with fans. Siobhan may have beat Crystal with her performance last night, as Simon said. I agree with him, but if I say that, I also have to say that Siobhan beat Lacey and Didi to a pulp. If you are going to be brutally honest as Simon claims he is, he should have said that to all the other girls, and to the guys, while he was at it.

I gave Crystal a B+ only because it came off as a completely different song than the original for me.

My pick for best and worst female was Siobhan and Lacey, respectively. My picks for the males were Casey and Andrew equally.

I think tonight starts the 'bottom 3' on Idol with the least amount of votes. My choice for the bottom 3 would be Lacey, Andrew, and Casey, with Lacey my choice for going home.

           


American Idol unwilling to save eliminated Lacey

...and after a little blah blah blah she went home

I liked the idea of the American Idol judges saving an eliminated contestant last year, especially when they save Matt Giraud. This year, I either really like the contestants, or really cannot wait until they go. I only see a few contestants worthy of the save this season.

On the results show last night, American Idol ran the tapes of the contestants' first auditions. This was the first results show since choosing the top 12, and American Idol treated fans to a show that almost felt like a finale.

After wasting more time on the antics of Ryan and Simon pretending to dislike each other, and noticing the obvious lack of green worn by anyone last night, David Cook took the stage and livened up the place.

In my opinion, the best American Idol contestant to win the title thus far, David Cook's success and platinum records have not changed the man we first saw back in season 7. He is what I call an American Idol.

There was a lot of time spent on the judges again last night. Dispersed between Ryan reading the judges' comments from the previous night, was live commentary from the judges explaining their views, changing some of their opinions, and showing off with more face time than they deserve.

As Simon explained the process of the judges' ability to save a contestant otherwise going home, I wondered who came up with that idea. It seems to go against what the premise of the competition is all about, and how fans are supposed to be in charge of who stays and who goes. I have been vocal about the conspiracy theorists' claims that fans do not have full control of the voting process. I began believing it during American Idol's third season.

Then they go and blow a hole in the theory by refusing to save the one contestant I thought should have gone weeks ago. That girl is Lacey Brown. I rated her performance with a D on Tuesday night, but the judges disagreed with me. From what I am reading on forums and messages boards, fans like her too. She is very pretty and I like the way she dresses, but I do not think she has enough talent to remain.

I thought Paige performed well the other night, and was surprised to hear Ryan announce Paige as the first contestant to be in the bottom 3 last night. Paige performed better Tuesday night, than she has in previous weeks, but was in danger of going home last night.

Tim Urban was the second contestant in the bottom three, and although I did not care for that performance and thought that it was only an okay performance, I still believe he fared better than a few of the other male contestants. I also thought his teen idol looks would keep the young female voters rooting for him a while longer. After revealing that Lacey Brown would join Tim and Paige in the bottom 3, I thought for sure that Tim would be going home.

Before revealing the contestants with the least amount of votes, Ke$ha, no that is not typo, that is how the name is spelled, took the stage. I understand the popularity of Lady Gaga, because even though her style and dress are way, way, "out there", the girl has a voice. This Ke$ha character, unfortunately does not, and is even more bizarre than Lady Gaga is. Her song, Blah, Blah, Blah would be an appropriate name for the song because I think it gave viewers a chance to grab a snack before Ryan announced who would go home.

However, a better title for that mess last night is Bad, Bad, Bad, or Tasteless X 3, after donning a Native American headdress. If Ke$ha were actually of Native American descent, it might not have gone downhill for her, but she is Australian, so I do not know what to think, except to say that it would be a good idea for American Idol not to invite her back again.

I already thought it was a little strange for no one on the American Idol stage to have green on, except for the light green in Siobhan's pants. Add that to the Blah person insulting Native Americans, and I think that in the future American Idol producers should screen their guest performers better. I mean, even President Obama wore green yesterday, and Jewish people even get in on the fun on St. Patrick's Day. It looked like American Idol deliberately avoided wearing green to avoid swaying Irish voters.

Hey, I have heard more absurd theories about this show, than that one.

Finally reaching the point of the seemingly longer than one hour results show, Ryan told Tim and Paige they were safe, and announced fans voted to eliminate Lacey Brown.

The judges whispered and it appeared they were actually discussing Lacey's fate, and surprisingly enough came back with the decision to send her home.

Besides the weird performance by one of the guest singers, the only other dramatic portion of the show for me last night was the absence of Andrew Garcia in the bottom 3. This guy has more lives than a cat, apparently. I hope he improved in future episodes of American Idol, because he is not living up to what is supposed to be the talent of the top 12 finalists on American Idol.

           


American Idol contestants "ain't got the same soul"

While watching last night's performances on American Idol, I realized what it missing this year. Some of the contestants do not have 'the same soul' as the original artists of songs they performed from #1 hits on the Billboard charts. I also think they spend an excessive amount time on the judges this season. I assume it is to make up for the loss of Paula Abdul, whom we could always count on for 'water cooler' conversations the next morning.

I know I am going to anger Miley Cyrus fans, but I cannot see what everyone else apparently sees in this girl, regarding her talent. I do not see her as a mentor to up and coming singing sensations. When Miley spoke about the top 11 finalists, she said, "of course they wouldn't be here if they could not sing." To that, I had to respond, "Why not, you are!"

Lee Dewyze chose to sing, The Letter, a song originally by The Box Tops, a Memphis rock group whose lead singer, Alex Chilton, recently passed away. I think he sang Joe Cocker's version of the song. I like the original version better.

Miley mumbled something about Lee not having stage presence, while Kara thought he raised the bar for the other contestants. Simon thought he sang it well, but looked a little corny.

I like Lee's bluesy style and I think he does have a chance at moving on into the finale this year. I was surprised to hear Ellen say that the Lee she loved was finally back. I never thought he left. I have always liked his tone and know from previous seasons that contestants warm up and become more comfortable with each performance. Maybe Ellen meant that he was easing into it now.

I give Lee an A for his performance and for his stage presence as well.

Paige Miles sang Against All Odds, and I knew immediately that she was in trouble. I like her voice and the tone of her voice, but that song was too big for her. She seemed petrified, did not hit any note right, and I think she will be in the bottom 3 tonight.

Randy even said it was terrible, and he does not say that often. Kara thought it was the worst vocal of the season. I do not know about the worst, but one of the worst, certainly.

I give Paige a D for her performance. It was terrible as Randy said. I did not give her an E because the girl does have a voice.

Tim Urban sung a song that American Idol contestants have sung many times, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Simon thinks the song is pointless and silly, put I do not think anything recorded by Freddie Mercury was silly because I think he was extremely talented and no one else will ever be like him.

Tim has a decent-enough voice, but I think he is trying too hard to please the judges. Given the opinions of the judges on Tim in previous shows, I do not think he could do much to get them to like him more. Ellen and Kara both said they thought Tim performed like a kid in a musical like Hairspray or High School Musical. Oddly, the director of the feature film, Hairspray, Adam Shankman, was in the audience last night. He also produces and choreographs numbers in Broadway shows, as well as judging dancers on So You Think You Can Dance. I think the judges' comments might have had to do with the competition that show gives them. Either that or they were just being ignorant.

I gave Tim a C for his performance. It was enough to get the young girls' votes. If I were young again, I would vote for him.

Aaron Kelly had laryngitis and tonsillitis last night, and yet managed to see I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing, without missing a note. They sing this song a lot on American Idol as well. He does sound older than his 16 years and I think that it is a good thing. All the judges liked his performance, even though Simon thought it sounded old-fashion. However, he admitted that Aaron is a trooper for performing while he was ill.

I gave Aaron an A for his performance and an A+ for doing so well under the circumstances.

Crystal Bowersox, in my opinion, has this competition in the bag. Then again, I never thought voters would eliminate Lilly before at least six other contestants this season, so we know that no one is immune.

She sang Janis Joplin's Bobby McGee and she was flawless as usual. She is different from the other females in previous seasons who tried to sing Janis Joplin songs. Crystal is the only one who can pull it off and make it look and sound great.

Ellen and Kara unnecessarily pointed out something about Crystal's personality and stage presence lacking somehow, but Simon thankfully told Crystal she did not need to change a thing. I wholeheartedly agreed with Simon and Randy, who said she was a star. She is already in this competition.

I give Crystal an A+ and I would buy her version of Bobby McGee is she released it as a single.

Michael Lynche performed When a Man Loves a Woman and I thought he sang it well and did a good job of securing his place in this competition. The judges keep saying that contestants need to have what they call their 'moment'. The problem with having a 'moment' is that contestants cannot live up to that moment without trying extra hard. Michael's performance of This Woman's World was a moment in Idol history and even though he may not repeat that this season, he is a great performer and has a velvet voice like season two winner, Ruben Studdard.

The judges' gave Michael mixed reviews', saying it was a safe choice and boring, and that it was almost too much. Neither of these critiques made any sense to me.

I give Michael an A for his performance last night.

Andrew Garcia really needs to go home. I thought he should have gone home weeks ago, but voters thought otherwise. A big fan of everything Motown, I found it hard to sit through his performance of I Heard it through the Grapevine. I thought it sounded like a techno-version of the song and that Andrew looked like a robot. He definitely did not have the soul or rhythm associated with most Motown tunes, and his vocals were not even as good as they were in recent performances, which were not great anyway.

Simon said he sucked the soul of the song and he was right. Randy said it was not good, and I do not think the fans will be as sympathetic this week as they have been.

I gave Andrew a D- and only that high because I love the song by the original artist Marvin Gaye and the remake by the Temptations. Andrew sucked the soul, and life out of the song.

Katie Stevens seems to be more of a favorite of the judges than she has previously been. I thought the song she did, Big Girls Don't Cry, by Fergie, was a little boring, but sung well. When she tried to reach a few high notes, it sounded whiny to me.

Randy thought so, too, saying it was sharp and pitchy in spots. Simon thought Katie was still trying to figure out what kind of singer she should be. I thought, for her age especially, she did a good job with the performance. Ellen thought it was Katie's best. I gave Katie a B for her performance.

Casey James did one of my favorites, The Power of Love by Huey Leeis. I thought he sounded okay but nothing compared to the original soulful sound of the song. I also thought he did something a little weird, trailing off with his voice, at the end of every sentence in the song.

I did not think it was the best vocal of his as Randy and Ellen thought. I agreed more with Simon saying that Casey did not show any effort or originality with his performance. I am not a big fan of his, unfortunately.

I gave Casey a C for his performance, but compared to Huey's version, he did not get a passing grade.

Didi Benami started out as one of my favorites this season. Combined with the awful rendition of Linda Ronstadt's You're No Good, with the smart aleck backtalk she gave the judges, that is no longer the case. I do think she has a unique sound to her voice, but she totally wrecked the song last night. Linda Ronstadt, while not one of my favorites, has a powerful voice that can reach without sounding like screaming.

Didi sounded pitchy everywhere in the song and almost sounded gurgled at times for me. I knew Simon would not be able to resist making the correlation between the You're No Good title to her performance, but Ellen beat him to it by saying Didi is good. She is good but was 'no good' last night. She was, as Kara mentioned, trying to be something she is not and was not pulling it off.

I give Didi a D for her performance. I hope the viewers save her from elimination, but I also hope she curbs her backtalk to the judges, something I am not a fan of, and never have been.

Siobhan Magnus did Stevie Wonder's Superstition and I liked it except for the parts she screamed. She has a good strong voice but she overdid the loud stuff somewhat. She is confident and should be as she has the chops, but she should avoid songs that force her to scream. She did not need to do it with Aretha's Franklin's Think, and does not need to do it all. The judges all liked how comfortable she seemed but Simon said she should scream at the beginning of songs and tone down at the end. I do not want screaming at all, which is another thing I am not fond of, as far as singing goes.

For me, it was not a very good night and there were only a few standout performances, one was Crystal and the other was Aaron. Crystal, for me, stands out every week from the rest. Aaron did a fantastic job even though his voice was not up to par, because he was sick. The absolute three worst of the night for me, were Didi, Andrew (as he has been every week), and Paige. The rest were just 'aw right', as Randy says.

I think it will be these three in the bottom tonight, with Paige going home only because Andrew must have a strong fan base to stay as long as he has.

What did you think?

           


American Idol unanimously decide to agree with the voters

This year, American Idol has vamped up the results show to look more like the finale. More dramatic buildup, and showing the previous week's elimination, add to the drama of the night voters decide who goes home.

Going over the judges' thoughts on the previous night's performance is something new as well. The judges talk about watching the performances back and reiterating their comments from the night before.

Going into last night's show, I predicted that fans would vote Casey, Andrew, and Paige into the bottom three, with Paige going home.

My pick for the eliminated contestant was correct, although I was dead wrong on the other two. My reason for choosing Casey differ from my reason for choosing Andrew

I thought that voters might agree with Simon that the song Casey chose, Power of Love by Huey Leeis, was "old-fashioned when it first came out". While I disagreed with him, thinking that some fans would remember the song from the movie, Back to the Future, I thought fans might not vote for Casey's performance.

For whatever reason, voters did not put Casey in the bottom.

I cannot even give my thoughts on why Andrew received enough votes to avoid the bottom 3 this week for the third time. Agreeing with Simon, I too thought Andrew "sucked the soul out of the song, I Heard it Through the Grapevine. I thought he was in trouble when he sang the song, "Trouble". I do not think he is good enough to make it into the top 10 finalists.

I liked the group performance of Wham's "Wake me up before you go go", and I thought Michael and Lee sounded amazing together. Michael, by the way, was the only one who appeared to be moving naturally to the song. I think he definitely has what it takes to be a successful performer.

Another thing added this year to the results show, is Ryan chatting with the contestants about their performance. I have a problem already with contestants who talk back in disagreement, to the judges. Having them do it on the night of eliminations just makes it worse for me.

Ryan tells Siobhan first that she is safe, after she defends her screaming portion of the song last night, which Simon disliked. He then has Lee, Casey, Tim, and Paige stand up.

Tim defends his antics on stage and thought he entertained the crowd. Paige admitted that she gave a poor performance, and listed reasons for this, and other performances the judges did not like.

Ryan tells Tim and Paige they are both in the bottom three and tells Lee and Casey that they are safe. Aaron, Didi, and Michael find out they are safe. Didi disagreed with the judges' opinions of her performance, and seemed a bit arrogant to me. The judges were spot on last night saying that she was pitchy all over the place, and trying to be something she is not. I do like her voice, but I like it less the more I hear her talk about herself.

I did not pay too much attention to the guest singers because after about 30 seconds of Miley Cyrus' performance, I muted the television. I agreed with my son when he said that she had no business mentoring anyone on his or her singing ability. I went to get a load of laundry out of the dryer while Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato performed their Disney song.

I always knew that the majority of voters for American Idol contestants were young, but I did not realize they were "Disney" young. I think one guest singer is plenty for American Idol's results show.

A friend of mine actually said they thought that because Simon really wants a female to win the title this year, they deliberately rave about the male contestants who do not belong in the competition. I am not certain that is what is really going on, but I feel something is, because I was shocked when Katie wound up in the bottom 3, after standing up with Andrew to hear Ryan tell them which one was safe.

Why would American Idol producers think that the Disney Rock singers would hold the attention of viewers who voted more for the older contestants, than they did for the 16-year-old girl with the powerful voice, and the young guy with the perfect "teen idol" appeal? I am a little skeptical at this point in the competition. At the end, before Paige sings her way off American Idol, Simon announces that the judges will not even consider 'saving' Paige for another week. Personally, I believe it was because they ran out of time and could not concur with each other over whether they wanted to keep Paige in the competition or not.

I predicted Didi, Andrew, and Paige for the bottom three and with Paige gone, it will be those two who will have to really step it up in the coming weeks. If two of the more talented contestants leave before Didi or Andrew, it will be a real shame.

Next week's theme is R & B soul, with Usher as the mentor for the Idol contestants. I just hope that certain contestants do not "suck the soul" out of any R&B songs they choose next week.

           


American Idol's Top Ten


Some American Idol contestants' rhythm gave me the blues

Last night's American Idol performances left me thinking, once again, that I should get a hearing aid. I do not know what the judges heard last night, but I think it has something to do with Simon already predicting that female, probably Crystal Bowersox, will win the title this year.

Last night's theme was R&B. I knew a few contestants would do well, and I knew the judges would criticize others no matter how they sounded. However, I was unprepared for some of the critiques.

This year, the producers are adding too much to the performance shows, as well as the results' shows. I do not want to see the judges 'making out' or pretending to make out. They can leave that out of the show from now on. What I did not made was the reactions of the contestants backstage, of the judges' comments. That is something we have not seen them do, except for the occasional backtalk we see from the contestants to the judges. Hearing them talk about it offstage is a much better idea, I believe. The sensual connotations they can lose immediately, because that does nothing for me.

I also would like to say something that does not have to do with the contestants' singing ability, but rather the arrogant attitude of Simon Cowell, that is wearing thin this season.

I noticed at least once before, that Simon was mispronouncing Siobhan Magnus' name. You pronounce the 'bh' as a 'v' like shi-vawn. I do not mean to nit-pick, but because I am Irish, I know that. Even Ryan Seacrest pronounced it right. The older crowd who watch the soap opera, Ryan's Hope knew remembers Siobhan Ryan, played by Marg Helgenberger of CSI.

The reason I bring this up now, is that last season, the judges had a long discussion about one of the contestants' names. It was all in an attempt to prove that Simon was ignorant. One of the contestant's names was Lil Rounds and Simon had trouble saying the name. He even asked if "Lil" was short for another name, or if it meant little. The other judges and Ryan ragged on Simon for it, as if Lil was a name you would hear quite often.

No one corrected Simon last night when he mispronounced Siobhan's name and after receiving nasty comments for my pointing out that people other than Simon thought Lil was not a normal name, I decided I would point this one out.

Usher mentored the American Idol contestants last night, and I thought he did a great job. He was helpful, gave great advice, and told the contestants where they could make improvements.

Siobhan Magnus sang Chaka Khan's Through the Fire. I thought she sang the note in a key higher than what she would normally sing, because she did sound pitchy to me in spots, as Randy noted. I did not understand Ellen's comment about Siobhan "freaking out" during the performance, though, and I agreed with Kara that Siobhan seemed nervous. She does have a powerful voice and one you would not expect to come out of a girl whose speaking voice is very soft-spoken. Mispronouncing her name was not enough for Simon who had to insult her by telling her she was kidding herself if she thought the performance was good.

I gave her a B for her performance, even though I did not like the song.

Casey James sang Sam and Dave's Hold On, I'm Comin', and although I thought he did a good job with the song, I did not think it was as great as the judges did. I was a little bothered by his constant lip pursing and smiling through most of the song. He does remind me of Bo Bice, one of the first rockers on American Idol. However, since Bo's appearance on American Idol, there have been quite a few rockers, and in my opinion, they were all more talented than either Bo or Casey.

I gave him a B for his performance, not the A+ Simon did.

Michael Lynche sang Ready for Love by India Arie. I never heard this song before and I thought Michael performed it well. I like his personality and I think it comes across as he performs. He appears to be a devoted family man, and he seems to feel the words of the songs he sings. I thought Michael has an R&B sound and I think he could have a nice career in this field.

I gave Michael an A for his performance.

Didi Benami sang one of my favorites, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. I agreed with the judges who said that it was flat and pitchy. Ellen thought it was too dramatic and Kara thought she overdid it. I think Kara overdid her critique when she said 'girl' to Didi trying to show a little R&B of her own, but it did not work for me.

I like the unique sound in Didi's voice, but she did not put enough into that classic song and made it sound boring.

I give her a D and think she may be in danger tonight.

Tim Urban, apparently known as Teflon Tim for his ability to take a beating from the judges and not lose his joyful attitude, sang Anita Baker's Sweet Love.

I think the judges are exceptionally and excessively tough on Tim this year. He is definitely not anywhere near as bad as the judges, especially Simon, claim.

I like Tim's voice and I would hope that he does have a large fan base consisting of young girls, who see him as those in my generation, saw David Cassidy. I also think Simon is making it all too obvious that he does want a girl to win this year. To me, it appears Simon tries to sway voters away from some of the better contestants in the competition. Sarcastically, he tells Tim that his fans will vote for him no matter what, but I think he is being unfair insinuating that Tim is not there because of his talent.

I give Tim a B for his performance. I think he should have shown a little more emotion with the song and it did not exactly scream out R&B, but I thought it was a good vocal performance.

Andrew Garcia sang Forever by Chris Brown. To me it feels like Andrew has been around forever, and should not be. I do not know what the judges, other than Simon, were listening to while Andrew performed, but I did not 'get it' as they like to say. He appears to try to imitate Jose Feliciano and is not doing it very well at all.

Simon said his performance was "miles better" than his previous performances, but I did not see that. Last night's performance was not any better than any he has done so far in this competition. Simon did still think it was boring and I agreed. Randy thought the old Andrew was back, and Ellen said it was an amazing performance. I was amazed but not for the same reason.

I gave Andrew a D, and as I said in previous weeks, he should go home.

Katie Stevens performed Chain of Fools and I think she fooled Randy into believing it was "the best of the night". She is only 16 and that may account for why I thought the song was all wrong for her. Ellen mumbled something about Katie making the song sound old, and someone should tell Ellen that the song is actually over 40 years old.

I also have a problem with some contestants who have backup singers while some do not. I do not necessarily believe that it helps the performances, but I just wonder why that seems to be the case almost every week.

I gave Katie a C for her performance, because she does have a powerful voice for a young girl but I do not think she pulled off the Aretha Franklin hit last night, and I think she should have chosen a different song.

Lee Dewyze, for me, was the best last night. Simon told Lee it was "the moment that would change his life forever." I notice that when Simon gives a good review of the contestants, the audience responds louder than when the other judges do it. I think this means that fans do rely heavily on what Simon says when it comes time to vote. I am glad that Lee performed treat her like a Lady differently than the original Motown song, by making it his own. I love Motown and that song and Lee simply put a completely new spin on it with his version.

I gave Lee an A+ for his performance, agreeing with Randy that it was "the Bomb".

Crystal Bowersox sang Midnight Train to Georgia and although she can "sing the phone book" as the judges always told David Archuleta he could do, I was disappointed in the rendition she gave. I also did not like her singing at the piano, which is what she referred to last week when she told the judges that she had a surprise for them.

I agreed with Simon that even though she has an incredible voice and you could hear it as she sang last night, as always, that she should not change who she is, because the Crystal we have been seeing all along, is just fine without the piano. For me, Crystal is the Melinda Doolittle of Season 9. Melinda, a contestant in American Idol's 6th season, was phenomenal and did her best performances when she was just being herself, and nothing more.

I gave Crystal an A for her performance because her vocals are consistently good, but I hope she loses the piano next week and in future performances.

Aaron Kelly sang Bill Wither's Ain't No Sunshine, and as I said about Didi's performance of another Bill Wither's classic, Lean on Me, I have problems with other artists doing Wither's songs. I thought Aaron sounded a little off last night and I think it is just because of nerves. I thought Aaron might have problems with the R&B theme and singing such a classic R&B tune was probably not the best choice for him. Like Randy, I thought it was just an "awright" performance. Kara liked it and so will Aaron's fans.

I gave him a C because it was just okay and just average.

I think Lee was the best last night, and I think there was a tie for the worst between Andrew Garcia and Did Benami.

I think the bottom 3 should be Andrew, Didi, and Aaron, but it will most likely be Tim, Didi, and Katie or Siobhan. I think Didi has a good chance of leaving us tonight on American Idol, but it is unpredictable as we know, but that is why we love to watch.

           


American Idol judges say Didi Benami not worth saving

Last night's American Idol results show was one of the weirdest ones yet. They forego the usual performance as a group to focus more attention on the judges. Given the rumors circulating about Simon possibly leaving at the end of American Idol's ninth season, I do not think it is a good idea to focus more on the judges.

I think the attention should shift away from the judges and back on the contestants, where it belongs. I also do not care for the overkill of discussions about the judges' critiques, reaction to the judges' critiques, and the judges reiterating their critiques. It is becoming redundant and just plain old boring.

The bright spot in the show for me last night was the performance by Ruben Studdard, doing his new single, Don't Make 'Em Like You No More. He told us that he and his runner-up from American Idol's second season are going on tour together.

The second season winner and runner-up, Ruben and Clay, and season seven's winner and runner-up, David Cook and David Archuleta, were the best so far in the history of American Idol.

Usher performed and so did a group called Diddy Dirty Money, with a song entitled, Hello Good Morning, quite possibly one of the stupidest performances I have ever seen on American Idol. The song was a poor imitation of a techno song from the 1990's, and as the judges often say, "I did not get it". All I wished for was that they would get all the nonsense over with, and get on to the real reason for last night's show, the elimination round.

Ryan is doing more chatting with the contestants this year during the results' show than in previous seasons. What I dislike the most about this is that the contestants are sounding off to the judges, if they received negative reviews from them. It is like a long drawn out version of the backtalk from the contestants, that I dislike on the performance shows.

Crystal Bowersox repeated what she told the judges on Tuesday night, that she disagreed with the judges insinuating the she seemed more uncomfortable at the piano that with the guitar. She said again that she would never do anything she did not feel comfortable doing. I do not think it did much harm for her with Simon, since he has all but predicted that Crystal will win this year.

Picking up where they left off the night before, Andrew Garcia's mother shouted from the audience about her son. Granted, I believe Andrew needs all the help he can get because in my opinion he has not yet performed up to what the judges feel is good enough to be in the top ten of American Idol.

Ryan lets Lee Dewyze know that he is safe, while Simon tells him that he can see him making it all the way to the finale.

The judges seem to be obsessed with Tim Urban's happy, cheerful attitude, but they do not see it from Casey James. As Ryan discussed the judges' comments with Casey about his performance, he could not help but grin from ear to ear, and it left me wondering what was so funny. Ryan let him know that he was safe as well.

By the time Ryan got to Aaron Kelly, the judges were in full swing and I noticed some of the conversation left Ellen looking quite confused. The talk was over Aaron's choice of song, Ain't No Sunshine. They discussed whether Aaron had ever been in love, and thought that because he never has been that there was something off about his performance. Randy asked Aaron if he ever loved 'anything', and that being in love was the same only a little twisted. Simon thought the whole thing was weird, as I did, and said, "This is not the Oprah Winfrey Show." After all that, finally Ryan told Aaron Kelly that he was safe.

Ryan told Siobhan and Katie to stand together, and I had mixed feelings about Siobhan's reaction to what the judges said to her last night about her performance. I did agree with the judges that it was not one of her best performances. I disagreed, as Siobhan did with the opening bit that left audiences thinking Siobhan was defeated last night. She told them she did not feel that way at all. I say "good for her".

The judges get into a tirade with each other again when it comes time for Katie to tell what she thought about her performance and the judges' reviews. Simon still believes Katie should sing country and the other judges think she should go for pop R&B.

When Ryan tells Katie that she is in the bottom three, the viewers hear Kara loudly say, "That's not right." At first, I thought she was saying that Katie should not be in the bottom three, but apparently, Simon indicated that he was right, and that the audience agreed with him about Katie not being sure of what type of singer she wanted to be. Simon feels that the audience did not like her as an R&B singer and did not vote for her this week. Another long discussion with the judges makes this hour of American Idol feel like three, before they get on to the next contestant. Didi makes excuses for her performance as she did the night before, but I do not think she swayed the judges' views, and Ryan informs her that she is in the bottom three with Katie, and no one is surprised.

Before Ryan tells Michael that he is safe, he plays an early April fool's joke on him, leaving Michael to believe he is also in the bottom three. When Ryan comes clean about it, Michael lifts Ryan up over his head. Ryan seemed flustered enough for me to believe that they did not plan that ahead of time.

Already discussing Crystal's performance in the beginning, Ryan quickly tells her that she is safe.

Tim and Andrew stand together, and Ryan asks Tim why he is always happy and smiling, even when the judges criticize him every week and stop short of saying that he should not even be there on stage. That is odd for me, because the judges were the ones who decided that Tim deserved to be in the top 24.

The highlight of the show came for me when Tim explained why he was always smiling. I first have to say that I do not think this should be a requirement, for contestants to have to explain their overall demeanor, but American Idol is so weird this year, I guess there is not one stunt you can expect them not to pull this year.

Tim explained that he is always in a good mood when he performs, and even while the judges are ragging on him, which they always do, because he said that for him it is a chance of a lifetime to perform on stage in front of millions of people. He explained that even though the judges give him negative reviews of his performances, that it does not change the fact that he is happy to be there. The audience roared at his response and I think it deserved a standing ovation.

What made Tim's response so great was that before he answered, Kara, being the drama queen she always is, asked Tim if he was misunderstanding the negative comments the judges always give him. I cannot understand why she would want the contestants to be devastated, even though they have brought several contestants to tears with their stupid insensitive remarks this season. She also insinuated that he was stupid and confused for smiling while the judges blasted him for a lousy performance.

When I was a teenager, David Cassidy was every girl's dream. He had the looks, he had the voice, and I am surprised that Tim has been in the bottom so often, because I was always under the impression that young girls make up for the majority of voters who call in for their favorites. However, once again Tim winds up in the bottom three, while Andrew is again safe.

I guess I should be used to the shock by now that Andrew keeps escaping elimination. I am obviously not in tune to what people are listening to today in music, if they think Andrew performed better than Tim or Katie on Tuesday night. I must be missing something. Finally, they get to the actual elimination part, and Ryan sends Katie back to the other contestants, letting her know she is safe.

I have to mention again that this is the point where Diddy performs and with the strobe lights and weird music, the whole thing gave me a headache. The judges loved the performance but it made me wonder if they have any clue about what sounds good and what does not. Ryan tells Didi she received the fewest amount of votes and that she is going home.

The site, Votefortheworst.com, that picks who they consider to be the worst contestant, and encourages viewers to vote for him, is bragging that he has lasted the longest on Idol than any of their other picks in previous seasons. They seemed to have changed their basis for the site. In other seasons, they wanted fans to pick the contestant who performed the worst, or the one with the least amount of talent. This year they want fans to vote for the contestant that the judges cannot stand, so I guess that may be why Andrew is not their pick for the 'worst', but he has my vote in that department.

The judges decide not to save Didi and she is on her way home.

For whom are the judges saving the 'save'? I already know that it is definitely not for Tim. Could they be looking for controversy this year to spice it up a bit? If that is the case, I think they are waiting for fans to give Andrew Garcia the boot. We will have to wait until next week's American Idol to find out.

           


American Idol contestants need "Help" to reach the finale

This season of American Idol is not as exciting as the last two seasons have been, for me. It is not because the talent is not there, it is, but there is too much emphasis on the judges this season.

This show is supposed to be about the contestants competing against each other to win viewers over and to get them to vote for them as their favorite singer. By the time fans wade through all the commotion the judges are causing this year, we forget whether we enjoyed the contestant's performance or not.

Ellen is making an impact on the show this year, because she has that great sense of humor and her responses do not seem scripted in any way. I do not think her critiques of the contestants' performances are helping in the sense that they can take what she says and apply it to their next performance. She is merely comic relief. The real judges are not that funny anymore.

The theme last night was Lennon/McCartney, and yesterday I chose the songs I would like to see the contestants perform. Paul McCartney sent a special message to the contestants and wished them luck on their performances of his songs.

None of the contestants performed two of my favorite Beatles' songs, Hello Goodbye and All You Need is Love last night. A few of the others were, but the contestants did not sing the songs I wanted them to; others did, however.

Aaron Kelly performed The Long and Winding Road and I think he sounded as though he had a cold. He seemed to strain to reach some of the notes. I think this was a song too mature for a teenager to sing and I thought it was a little sluggish, even for a slow song. Aaron does have a unique sound to his voice and I think he was just having a bad night, which happens to all the contestants at one point.

I gave him a C for his performance and the judges agreed that the arrangement was 'sleepy'. Simon rolled his eyes at Aaron when Ryan asked him why he chose the song. Simon does not like sentimental things and I think he is too obnoxious in his critiques of the younger contestants. As a parent, I would have a problem listening to some of the things he might say to one of my teens, if mine were contestants on the show.

Katie Stevens did Let it Be and I thought she sounded pitchy, and that the song was in the wrong key for her. Each time she hit the higher notes, it sounded like she went off a little. The judges did not hear what I did with Katie's performance, because Randy thought it was her best performance ever. Simon still argues that Katie should be a country singer and Ellen insinuated that there is no way the fans will put Katie in the bottom three for the third week in a row. I am not as confident as Ellen seems to be.

I gave Katie a C for her performance as well. I felt it was what Simon calls an audition performance. I do think Katie has good vocals, but I think she has not progressed in the competition to the point she should thus far.

Andrew Garcia sang Can't Buy Me Love, and for the first time since the fans started voting, I liked Andrew's performance of the song. I did not think he should be in the top 12 based on his previous performances, but last night I felt he belonged there. I thought his vocals were good and some of that personality that his fellow contestants say he has, and that the judges think he does not have.

I gave Andrew a B+ and thought he gave the best performance so far of the night.

Michael Lynche sang Eleanor Rigby and I loved how he changed it up into a gospel, soulful song. I love his voice and like first season winner, Reuben Studdard, I do not think there will be a theme that will throw him off. Simon likened his performance to one you would hear in musicals, which I do not think is a negative comment, but Simon, as we all know by now, says that to show his disappointment in the contestant's performance. The other judges liked it, and Ellen even thought it was incredible, while Kara said it had 'fire'.

I gave Michael and A for his performance and agreed with Kara when she said it had a 'commercial' sound that would make fans want to hear Michael sing on the radio.

At this point, I had to take notice that Ryan is going overboard with his questions for the judges regarding the contestants' performances. I have repeatedly said in the past that I do not care for the backtalk the contestants give in disagreement with the judges' critiques, even if I myself do not agree with the judges. I think that Ryan doing this is inciting the contestants to say things they should not say and will make fans less likely to vote for them even if they enjoyed the performance.

Crystal Bowersox sang Come Together and she gave a perfect performance as she does week after week. The live audience cheered long and loud for Crystal and seems to be the one favored to win this season, as she should be. She is the best of both the girls and boys, as far as never having a problem with whatever theme they throw at the contestants.

I gave Crystal an A for her rendition of the Beatles' hit, and as a star, because she is definitely on her way to becoming one, with or without the American Idol title, if by a slim chance she does not win.

Tim Urban sang All My Lovin', and I always liked this song for the corny upbeat 'bubble gum' music sound that it has. I thought Tim did a fine job of the song. I think he and Michael have the best vocals of the male contestants.

The judges must have been busy on the Internet this past week, because they appeared to be sucking up to Tim after the stupid comments they made last week about how Tim is always smiling and cheerful, not understanding that the judges are telling him he did not perform well, almost every week since the beginning. I think they saw that many fans, myself included, loved Tim's response to the judges' ridiculous rants last week and they quickly did some damage control.

Simon actually told Tim that he sang the song "really well", as I did, but I think Simon did that more to lessen the anger of Tim's fans, than because he really believed it. Every season there is at least one contestant that fans know the judges do not want to remain in the competition. For unknown reasons, that contestant is Tim this season.

I gave Tim an A for his performance. It was entertaining and it I think he did sing it well.

Casey James sang the only song I was unfamiliar with, called Jealous Guy, and I still do not see what the judges, and obviously the fans, see in Casey. He does have talent, but I do not think his performance was the best of the night, or his best performance, as the judges thought. I think he has as much talent as Bo Bice did, but I think Casey believes he has more.

I gave him a B- for his performance and I think he has a set of fans that will make sure he keeps going in this competition.

Siobhan Magnus sang Across the Universe and although I do not care for this song, she did a fantastic job as she does each week. I thought it was the best performance of the entire night. Randy thought her performance was 'sleepy' but I blame the song not Siobhan for that. They do not want to give her the credit she deserves. I think Siobhan can sing Kelly Clarkson out of the water, but Simon will never admit that his first pick is not as good as some others are, such as Carrie Underwood.

I gave Siobhan an A for her performance even thought the song is boring and I never liked it.

Lee Dewyze sang Hey Jude and I love his voice and think that he will definitely get into the final. He sang it with the guitar, and although I think he is one of the best, his version of Hey Jude was a little weird for me. There was also a bagpipe player and Ellen made a joke about it saying that the guy lost his way in a parade and walked onto the American Idol stage by accident. Randy thought Lee's performance was hot but Kara pointed out a few "off moments".

I gave Lee a B for his performance, but I believe he is an "A" singer.

I think the fans will put Tim, Andrew, and either Katie or Siobhan in the bottom 3 tonight.

If I had my choice, the bottom 3 would be Casey, Andrew, and Katie, with Andrew going home. I did like Andrew's performance, but overall I believe he should not have made it this far.

David Archuleta and Rhianna will perform on tonight's American Idol results show tonight at 9 pm on Fox.

What did you think of the Lennon/McCartney performances last night?

           


American Idol's astounding results show

Last night's elimination round may be the best one yet. American Idol voters astounded many fans when they failed to vote for Michael Lynche's performance on Tuesday night.

On the night the eight male contestants performed, Michael Lynche sang This Woman's Work and many fans like myself, felt that Michael sealed his place in the American Idol spotlight for season 9.

The results of last night's American Idol voting, proved what Benjamin Franklin said in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789: "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

If you have been watching American Idol since the beginning, you know what that means. Many times people say that when a talented contestant with a large fan base, receives the lowest number of votes, it is because voters felt other contestants needed the votes more. I believe this was the case with Michael Lynche.

Michael Lynche receiving the fewest votes would have been more tragic, if it were not for the addition of the judges' ability to "save" an eliminated contestant. I am proud of the judges for realizing that their reviews of Michael's performance of Eleanor Rigby on Tuesday night may have cost Michael a chance to advance to the finale of American Idol.

I suspected that Michael was going to be in the bottom three after Ryan announced in the beginning of the show that it would be a shocking results show. I never guessed he would be the one eliminated, however. I did not think that was possible.

Last night, Ryan put all three of the remaining female contestants in a group on stage, and for dramatic purposes, led some viewers to believe one of the girls would be in the bottom three. I never liked the thing American Idol does with splitting the contestants into groups and then asking the judges which group they believe is the bottom three. One reason is that I think the judges already know who is eliminated before the show airs. The other reason is that it is just another way to drag out the results show.

Ryan then revealed that all three girls were safe and would be around for another week of competing. Taking a break from the eliminations, Jason Derulo performed, and it was simply another rap song among all rap songs, that have nothing to do with singing, so I fail to understand why they bring that onto a singing competition show because to me, rap has nothing to do with singing. After revealing the eliminated contestant, I wonder how people can think that this Jason is more talented that Michael Lynche, because I did not see that at all.

David Archuleta, American Idol's runner up in Season 7, performed John Lennon's Imagine, a song he performed during one week of competition in Season 7, and then in the finale as his choice. He can still sing the phonebook and I wonder how nervous some of the current contestants felt after hearing his flawless performance.

Finally getting back to the results, Ryan breaks the six male contestants up into two groups. Lee Dewyze, Casey James, and Tim Urban made up one group, while Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, and Andrew Garcia made up the second group.

Remembering what Ryan said about the shock to come, I figured the group with Michael, Aaron, and Andrew were the bottom three. I thought Aaron was the contestant with the least votes, but did not understand why that would be a shock after the judges' negative comments about Aaron's performance of The Long and Winding Road.

Then I wondered if the shock was that Lee and Casey were in the bottom three because the judges loved Casey's performance the previous night.

Leaving us hanging again, the other guest singer, Rhianna, performed. I hate to be the party crasher all the time, but I fail to see the talent in this woman as well. The song was awful; a repeat of the same line over and over again, the body gestures and the suggestive lyrics did not belong on American Idol, a show that has young and old fans. For the young, it was too much, for the old...well, it was also too much.

My teenage son thinks she has talent, but I think her performance was as offensive to American Idol viewers as some claim Adam Lambert's performance on the American Music Awards show was for them.

Personally, I do not mind the bumping and grinding as much if the person doing it can actually sing, and we all know how well Adam Lambert can sing.

Finally getting back to the real point of the show, Ryan sends Aaron back to safety, eliminating any shock value at this point for me, because eliminating Andrew would have worked for me weeks ago.

After Ryan announced that Andrew was safe, I was shocked, Ryan was right. I was so shocked, in fact, that I completely forgot that the judges had yet to use their 'save', and could put Michael right back into the competition, where he belongs.

While Michael gave the audience a stellar performance, proving he belongs in this competition, I saw the judges talking and remembered that they might very well use their 'save' on Michael.

After Simon tried to spice up the already disappointing results, by dragging the drama out further, he announced that the judges unanimously decided to save Michael and that he would remain in the competition.

For me, the judges redeemed themselves last night by not allowing the opportunity for one of this season's most talented singers, to slip passed them.

I disagreed with the judges on almost all of their reviews last night of the contestants' performances, so I was happy that they agreed with me last night and saved Michael Lynche.

Given the departure of Paula Abdul this year, and the threat of Simon's departure after this season looming, I am glad they gave credibility back to their job of constructive criticism.

The judges let the voters know that they eliminated the wrong contestant last night. I hope they learned a lesson last night, and will never assume that someone is safe, and will continue to vote for Michael Lynche in the coming weeks.

           


American Idol, Adam Lambert, and the King of Rock

With American Idol devoted the show to Idol Gives Back next week, voters will eliminate two of the nine remaining contestants tonight on American Idol's results show.

Last night the contestants took on Elvis Presley songs, with the help of Adam Lambert, American Idol's season 8 who lost the title of America's favorite singer to Kris Allen.

I think that Adam gave wonderful advice to the contestants. He did it with humility and grace, and it was a refreshing change from some of the other so-called legends in past American Idol shows. Adam did not pretend to be a big know-it-all rock star, and he just gave them honest opinions on what they should and should not do during their performances last night.

Adam Lambert is the first American Idol contestant to be a mentor for the aspiring singers and I think he is because he is the most talented singer Idol has ever had on the show.

With so many songs to choose from the King of Pop's legacy, some of the choices disappointed me, for several reasons and I will explain why.

Crystal Bowersox performed a song I am not that familiar with called Saved. I think the reason I do not know this song may be that when the song was popular, my parents did not allow me to listen to it, because of the lyrics.

Crystal, as everyone including Ellen, is growing tired of saying, has raw, natural talent, and sounds fantastic in every performance. I wonder about the choice of song though, given that many of American Idol viewers are pre-teen and perhaps younger.

Kara said she had to hand it to Crystal for tackling a song with considered controversial lyrics for its day, but I think American Idol producers should remember what age group the majority of their viewers is in, and that is the group too young to drink or smoke. I am not a prude but if my kids were younger than their late teens, I would have told them that it was a stupid song to sing on American Idol.

After Crystal's performance, Simon announced he thought the night "would be filled with" karaoke-sounding performances. I announced that the judges would definitely like to see Crystal crowned this year's winner of American Idol. For talent alone, I agree, but the judges should make it less obvious to viewers that although Simon still talks about Kelly Clarkson as though she won yesterday, Idol is looking for another mainstream artist, in the form of a female contestant.

Andrew Garcia sang Hound Dog, and slowed it down a bit. While it did show off the uniqueness of his voice, it lacked the energy of the song as Elvis recorded it. Adam Lambert kept saying that the contestants all had talent and great voices, but needed to put more energy and 'oomph' into their performances. I think the oomph was missing from Andrew's performance, and the judges agreed with me.

I do have to say that I have been hard on Andrew, but he does seem like he is well liked by the other contestants, and the judges seem to think he lacks personality. Ellen thought Andrew pulled the song off, however.

Tim Urban, whom I think Ryan Seacrest referred to as, Turban, last night, sang Can't Help Falling in Love, and I thought he sounded great. I think this is exactly the way Elvis meant for the song to reach his adoring teenage fans, and Tim just might have picked up more of them last night. In the mentoring phase of the performance, Adam encouraged Tim to use his falsetto in the ending of the song, but Tim apparently decided against it, but the ending was still good. I hope that Tim is not in the bottom three tonight again. I am in awe every week of how few of the young female viewers' vote for Tim.

Lee Dewyze is the contestant who is becoming stronger each week for me, in the competition. He performed, A Little Less Conversation, a song I also was not familiar with until Jon Peter Leeis sung it in what I called the Nightmare of Fantasia Season of AI, in season three.

By this stage, the other contestants should be coming out and delivering stronger performances, but I do not think some of them have been.

All of them seem more concerned and more nervous about what the judges will say about their performances, than I have noticed in previous seasons. I still do not care for the new concept of asking the contestants what they thought of the judges' criticism.

All of the judges, except Kara had nothing but good things to say to Lee about his performance. Kara wanted more from him, and Simon asked if she wanted to see Lee bring kittens up on the stage, and wanted to know what more she wanted from him. He then told Lee his performance was "on the money". I agreed.

Aaron Kelly, in my opinion nailed the song, Blue Suede Shoes. I thought he brought more energy to the stage than the other contestants did last night. I also think he was one of the few who heeded Adam's advice on that very subject.

For a 16 year old to sing this rocking, energetic song of Elvis' and appear to be someone quite older, I was surprised at the judges' reactions. Simon insulted Broadway and high school performing arts' groups; insinuating his performance was only as good as a musical. I have to take issue with Simon when he says these things because I have been to several high school musicals and the singers are extremely talented, just as the singers in the show, Glee, are. Speaking of which, cast member of Glee were in the audience. What did they think of Simon's remarks? Kara liked Aaron's performance and liked that he left his comfort zone to perform it, and I agreed with her, one of the rare times that I have so far this season.

Siobhan Magnus is one of those contestants that make me think to myself that this one is one that the judges do not want in the finale. In the beginning, the judges praised Siobhan for her strong vocals and her amazing range, but lately they are beating her down no matter what type of song she sings.

Siobhan performed Suspicious Minds, one of my Elvis favorites and I loved her performance. It was slower than the original and I wish she had shown a little more energy with a song that just makes you tap your feet instantly. Other than that, I had no complaints about her performance. Kara had the nerve to tell Siobhan that she was confusing her, but I think that the judges are confusing the contestants this season. They are not consistent with their thoughts on what genre the contestants should be singing in, and I think they are leaving the contestants worried for another week about song choice and style for the next performance. I think this accounts for their obvious lack of self-confidence in some.

Michael Lynche made me happy when he chose to sing In the Ghetto, another one of my absolute favorites of Elvis Presley's hits. Still reeling from the shock of seeing Michael too close to going home last week if not for the judges saving him, I think he redeemed himself to the doubting voters with last night's performance.

Randy was correct in stating that Michaels vocals 'were hot', and all I have written for Ellen's critique in my notes, is "moron", so she must not have liked the performance. However, Simon did and said it was one of the favorites of the night of his. He would not say "the favorite" because we know he is looking to discover another Kelly Clarkson.

Katie Stevens, in my opinion, is one of the contestants I liked earlier on, but seem to like her less with each performance. She is one of the youngest contestants and she does have talent, but in her more recent performances, she has sounded pitchy to me. I think it is the strange tone of her voice, and I think I finally understand what Simon is talking about when he says that Katie should be in the 'country' genre. She has the voice for that, I believe, and when she applies that voice to rock or pop, it sounds pitchy.

I agreed with Simon again, that the performance was loud and annoying. The song, Baby, What do you want me to do, was another song I did not know. I grew up listening to Elvis and I have a ton of his hits on my IPod, so I found it weird that too many songs last night were unfamiliar. Casey James also performed a song unknown to me, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, and after last night, I hope it remains unfamiliar. The judges have managed to make Casey overconfident in himself, I think, and the disappointment on his face while the judges criticized his performance, confirmed my suspicions.

Frighteningly, I again agreed with Kara when she told Casey that he wasted an opportunity to show what he had to offer, given that Elvis was a rocker, as Casey is. I think it was a 'blah' performance and I think he bLee it last night as well.

Elvis Presley would have turned 75 this past January 8, had he lived to see these nine contestants perform his songs. I wonder what he would have thought about a new generation introduced to his songs. Elvis Presley is a legend, in a league all of his own, and I think most of all, he would have been proud of the job Adam Lambert did with the contestants. I just wished they had listened more closely to what Adam advised them to do. The show was less electric than I thought it would be for being the night they honored the King of Pop, and because LOST followed the Idol's 90 minute program, I was glad when it finally ended.

           


American Idol eliminates two so "Whatya want from me?"

I read on the Internet yesterday, that American Idol voters would eliminate two contestants on last night's results show, because the judges used their one and only save last week, to keep Michael Lynche in the competition.

I thought it had to do with the introduction of Idol Gives Back, scheduled for next week, but apparently, I was mistaken.

Luckily, Michael stays around to entertain us, and I hope voters will not assume that he will be safe, and vote for him if he is one of their favorites.

The remaining 9 contestants sang a medley of Elvis' hits and it left me wondering where all these songs were the previous night during the performances.

I would like to have heard the contestants do Teddy Bear, Return to Sender, and Burning Love.

Ryan told Crystal and Siobhan they were safe. Moving on, he told Aaron and Casey they were safe, too. Then, not wasting too much time last night, Ryan Seacrest informed Andrew Garcia that it was the 'end of the road' for him. While I felt bad because the other contestants seemed very upset to see their friend and fellow contestant leave. However, I do not think Andrew Garcia fared as well in the competition so far, compared to some of the other contestants.

Former contestant from season 7, Brooke White sang Elvis' The Wonder of You, and I wondered who told Justin Gaston, who sang with Brooke, that he could sing. I thought the performance was dull and boring, but it was not a performance for the judges to critique, so I will not say any more about that.

Ryan had the remaining 5 contestants go to the middle of the stage. After the usual review of some of the stupider things the judges said the previous night, for example, Simon telling Tim Urban he "went from zero to hero", he told Tim and Casey that they were safe as well.

Before he told Michael, Lee, and Katie who would join Andrew on his trip home, Adam Lambert took the stage.

When I say he took the stage, he TOOK it! As much as I love David Cook's voice and wanted him to win the entire season of American Idol from audition to finale, Adam Lambert is officially my absolute favorite American Idol contestant of all time.

When American Idol brings guest singers on, they are big names that I am not wild about, or they are virtual unknown that I believe should stay that way. However, Adam Lambert is a different story altogether.

The performance was amazing; the special effects were the most spectacular thing I have ever seen, and his vocals? Flawless is the only way to describe it.

I said, and my 17-year-old son agreed, that as blown away as I was by that performance, that is what Adam Lambert did every week, during his run on American Idol last season. Still reeling from the shock of his loss to Kris Allen, I have to believe that it was a gift from God that he did not win, as was Chris Daughtrey's stroke of luck, because Daughtry is bigger and better than ever.

Adam Lambert is just starting out, but I get the sneaky suspicion that he will be performing and wowing audiences, young and old alike, for a very long time.

Finding it difficult to get riled up about the eliminations, as I normally do each week, Ryan tells Lee that he is safe, after some dramatic make-believe to throw us, and Lee off track.

Believing that voters could not make the same mistake twice not voting for Michael Lynche, I knew that we would be saying goodbye to Katie. I think now that Simon was right all along, that country should have been singing songs with a country 'twang' because I thought her voice was best suited for that.

Therefore, not too many surprises, but one heck of a performance by a former contestant in last year's "jumping the shark" finale, and a tribute to the 75-year-old King of Pop, made for a special results show last night.

Next week the 8 remaining contestants' mentor will be Alicia Keyes.

What did you think of the eliminations, and of Adam Lambert's performance of "Whatya Want From me?" My answer is simply "More".

           


Did American Idol contestants inspire or disappoint last night?

I am not familiar with Alicia Keys' hits, but I saw that she did a fine job of inspiring the American Idol contestants during Inspirational week on the performance shows. I have seen her perform on awards' shows and I like that she plays the piano, as opposed to so many who walk on stage half-naked and grab their crotches. Although, I do think that Lady Gaga has a tremendous voice. I can excuse antics somewhat.

I listed the songs that I wanted the contestants to choose to sing from the list, and I was, as before, wrong on every one of them.

I was not familiar with a few of the songs, and I used to dislike that, but now I think that without having heard the original, it is better to judge them on their own merits with a song.

Casey James performed Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac. I wish he Casey had chosen a song that a group had not performed. There is always something missing no matter how good the vocals are, when the contestants choose a song recorded by a group. I guess the other voices are what are missing.

His vocals are great and he puts me in mind of Huey Leeis, but he needs to stop smiling between breaths. I know that Kara told him in the beginning that he needed to show more personality, but I think he smiles even more than Tim Urban does. At least Tim does not smile all the way through the performance. It almost makes me think that Casey is smiling because he knows how good he is doing.

The judges apparently did not agree with Casey, if in fact that is what he was doing. Randy and Kara thought it sounded no different from his other performances. Simon used the word of the night to say that Casey's performance was non-inspiring and lazy. I gave Casey a C for his performance; his vocals sounded good, but as Ellen said, the performance was unforgettable.

Lee Dewyze (got it right this time) sang The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel. I honestly was going to pick this song for one of the contestants, but I did not think they would want to take on the challenge.

Lee not only took the challenger, for me, he nailed it. It is a five-minute song and unfortunately, Lee could not sing the whole song. What he did sing, was fantastic and I believe he could record that song and have a hit with it. Simon and Garfunkel's hits are timeless and will be contemporary no matter how music styles change.

Lee proved that point and I give him an A for his performance. This is how all the contestants should sound at this point in the competition; better each week. Kara thought THIS performance was HIS moment, and frightening as it is, I agree again with Kara. Simon used the word of the night again and said Lee's performance was inspirational.

Tim Urban sang Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls, a group I thought were females until my teenage son corrected me. I guess I was thinking the Go Go Girls.

I like Tim's voice and I think it is perfectly fine if the young crowd votes for him because he is just so darn cute. He is a handsome young man, but he does have talent and deserves a spot in this competition.

I thought it was an odd song, odder still for Tim to choose, but I think he did, as Randy likes to say often, "Aw-ight". Tim's performance last night only managed to get a similarity to a karaoke performance from Randy, while Ellen rambled on about soup that was not helpful and was just silly, while Kara at least said he sounded commercial. Simon said he was disappointed given Tim's performance last week, and that he did not 'believe' it, whatever that means.

I gave Tim a B for his vocals but not more than that because I did not like the song in general.

Aaron Kelly did one of the most challenging songs of the night with I Believe I Can Fly. I think Aaron appeared nervous at first, but I thought he was able to pull it off and I think he was unfairly judged last week, which may account for his nervousness at first last night.

All the judges liked it and agreed with me in saying that he has pure talent. Simon loves to pick on the young contestants with mean remarks, and last night was no different when he told Aaron if he heard him singing that song on the radio, he would turn it off. Useless and deliberately mean, I hope the voters did not heed Simon's comments when they voted last night.

I give Aaron a B for his performance. If he had performed the entire song they way he did the second half, I would have given him an A.

Siobhan Magnus performed a Whitney Houston song I really do not know, When You Believe. I think Siobhan has just as much raw talent as Crystal Bowersox does, and the judges believed that in the beginning of this season. Last night, and in previous weeks, they seemed to have changed their mind.

Even though during the performance she reached a note many other contestants on the entire run of American Idol, have not been able to do without sounding as though they were screaming, the judges still did not give her that credit. She also held a note longer than any contestant that I can recall, except for one Diana Degarmo held during Disco week on American Idol years back.

Kara told Siobhan she did not know "who she is" and I ask, "who is Kara to judge someone with Siobhan's amazing vocal talents?" I never heard of Kara before American Idol, so I wonder how she could say that to one out of two female contestants who are in a different league from the other females eliminated in previous weeks.

I gave Siobhan an A and I hope that the voters agreed with me and not the judges so that Siobhan will be around until at least the week before the finale, if not for the finale.

Michael Lynche sang Hero. Simon may know the business side of the music business, but he shows his ignorance of the actual music part of the music business at times. It is either that or he is just trying to be clever while being sarcastic. Michael has fantastic vocals and a charming, loveable personality, but Simon chooses to make fun of the song because it came from a super-hero movie, to make a remark about the song sounding artificial because it came from a Spiderman movie. Kara said his tone was unrecognizable, and again I refer back to my previous remark that Kara's experience in the music business is unrecognizable to me, because I never heard of her before.

I gave Michael a B for his song selection because I thought there were more challenging songs he could have nailed on the list, but an A for his performance as a whole.

Crystal Bowersox before People Get Ready. It was an emotional song for her and she performed flawlessly, as she does week after week. Randy gave her a standing ovation, Simon, using the key word again, said it was inspirational. He also said that performance put her in a different class than the other contestants last night.

I am trying to figure out how many different ways Simon can show how much he wants Crystal to win this year. From the first performance show, Simon predicted a female to win this year. Simon keeps comparing her to Kelly Clarkson, the only winner that Simon pushed and routed for, who became a success. The more he says it about Crystal, the less I want her to win, and not because she does not deserve it, but because Simon's critiques of Crystal's performance and his critiques of the other contestants last night, gave Crystal the unfair advantage. Kara said that Crystal schooled the other contestants, but the only lesson she taught Siobhan last night is that the judges want Crystal to win, and not her.

I thought the contestants all chose songs that were inspirational, but not all of them inspired me to want to see them win this year.

I cannot even make an educated guess as to who will go home tonight, according to the way people will vote. I think that Casey should go home tonight, but it will probably be someone else, someone the judges did not like last night.

What are your thoughts?

           


American Idol Gives Back and the voters give Tim Urban the old heave-ho

On last night's Idol Gives Back Show, there were many wonderful moments and at least one sad moment for Tim Urban fans, of which I am one.

The show began with a message from President and First Lady Obama asking America to give generously to Idol Gives Back, and to help children and families in the United States, and around the world, to give others a chance at a healthy protective life.

President Obama ended his message saying to the Idol contestants. "As Randy always says, ya'll my dawgs."

I thought that was funny, and then Michelle Obama tells Simon not to be so mean.

Most of the guest entertainers performed on another stage, with Queen Latifah hosting. The crowd with Latifah was very enthusiastic and she had to holler over the crowd, and showed her excitement as well.

When the cameras came back to the Idol stage, Ryan Seacrest did his best to imitate that enthusiasm, and the audience seemed to enjoy that.

The seven American Idol contestants, joined by the last five contestants eliminated, performed "Keeping the Dream Alive", in keeping with the theme of last night's show. The vocals sounded good, but the lip-synching is not getting any better. I liked it when they sang live.

With the announcement that Elton John would be a guest on American Idol, I looked forward to seeing my all time favorite perform, as I have been a huge fan since 1970. Elton John came out in the last few minutes of the show, before Ryan revealed whom the voters booted off this week.

Before Elton John performed, other guests took the stage. In previous seasons, I complained periodically when certain contestants received fewer votes than others did. I used to love driving my kids crazy by saying that parents should keep their 12-year-olds off the speed-dial.

I also assumed that the majority of viewers, who actually voted, were under the age of 25. According to the Nielsen Ratings, American Idol has slipped in the ratings this year from previous years, but only by 3% for the 12-24 age group, as compared to viewership down 7% for adults 18-49.

With these numbers, I wonder why American Idol's jokes and some of the performers' songs choices did not seem geared toward the under 17 crowd.

I am not prude, but if they are going to try to reach out to the older crowd, the ones who would call and donate to Idol Gives Back, there are other ways to do that.

For example, the Black Eyed Peas perform a song called Rock Your Body. Something tells me the message of that song is slightly different from the Shake your Groove Thing disco song.

Although I do not particularly care for Alicia Key's voice or songs, I know the younger crowd likes her. I could have done without her hands rubbing her body as she sang, however.

Because I have heard monologues from Wanda Sykes in the past, and because I paused the DVR for a few minutes earlier, I fast forwarded through Sykes and did not hear a word she said, but I am sure it was not for the under 17 crowd.

The popular agenda on most network stations of late, seems to be Global Everything. Ryan interviewed Bill Gates on his idea to have Global Healthcare. That is curious to me because I think Bill Gates became the richest man in the world, due largely in part to money he made in the United States. I just wondered why he wants to turn us into a Global Nation, instead of what we currently have. This also has nothing to do with the premise of American Idol, a singing competition.

It is a noble cause that Idol Gives Back is collecting money from viewers for, and that I did not have a problem with, but pretty much everything else I did. Elton John performed in the last 10 minutes of the show.

The results portion of the show came in spurts, with Ryan announcing first that the voters put Aaron in the bottom three.

Then Ryan told Michael and Tim they were also in the bottom three.

After Elton John performed, Ryan then told Aaron he was safe. He then referenced last year's save, Matt Giraud, saying that he only lasted two weeks after the judges kept him from elimination.

I was disappointed last year when Matt went home. I thought he was one of the top three talented contestants of all of them last year. Ryan mentioned Matt to trick the viewers into thinking that Michael would be going home. He did not fool me because I knew that Tim's number had finally come up.

Ryan told Michael he beat the odds and told Tim he was going home.

It was no secret that the judges never liked Tim very much and only gave him decent critiques a couple of times. They have said the following to Tim, which are the kinder, gentler comments:

Some of the things they said to Tim in previous performances were:

  • Simon: the song is pointless and silly.
  • Kara: performed like a kid in a musical like Hairspray or High School Musical; why do you smile all the time. Do you not know what we are saying to you?
  • Randy: did not get it.
  • Ellen: muttered about Tim not being original and thought he could sing a little

Now that Tim is gone and the judges have not yet picked a second contestant to rail every week, who will be next? Siobhan has received some criticism in recent weeks that were completely opposite from the words of praise she received in earlier performances.

Therefore, I think Siobhan will be the judges' next target.

Overall, last night's show was a nice way for Americans to put some money into a good cause to help people. The entertainment was mediocre and a little mature, I thought, for American Idol, and Elton John did not get enough face time.

That, and the elimination of Tim, prompted me to be even more thrilled to see the advertisement for So You Think You Can Dance, scheduled to start after American Idol finishes out the season.

That is something to look forward to, for me.

           


American Idol and Shania Twain go country

Loyal fans of American Idol already know that Simon Cowell does not like country music. He says it every year, and yet every season they have Country Week on Idol.

To me, Shania Twain is more of a pop/country crossover artist, so I guess that is why Simon was a little less cruel than he usually is during the country music performances by the Idol contestants.

Ryan Seacrest announced that Idol Gives Back raised 45 million dollars. I thought I remembered in previous years, Idol Gives Back raised money each time someone voted for the favorite contestant, but no one else seems to remember that. I did not think, given the amount of viewers American Idol has, that this was a large amount of money, but the economy is tight, so that could be it.

Lee Dewyze performed You're Still the One and I am glad he chose this song. This is one of my favorite Shania Twain songs. He sounded great and reminded me more than ever of David Cook last night. I think he has a real shot at the finale.

Simon thought it was the perfect song for Lee, but he started in with the useless, irrelevant comments that are normal for him at this phase of the competition. He told Lee he made weird faces when he sang. I guess Simon never watched Joe Cocker or Bruce Springsteen perform. Simon is the one who always complains about people not voting on the contestants' singing ability alone, but he is the one who talks about everything from their hair to the way they are dressed. Kara said Lee sounded relevant, and if she means to today's music, I am not so sure that is a compliment. Given some of the stuff people are listening to today, relevant may not be a compliment, unless you are talking about Chris Daughtry.

I gave Lee an A+ and I think there is a good chance it will be a Dewyze/Bowersox finale.

Michael Lynche sang It Only Hurts When I Breathe and I thought he actually did sound Luther Vandross-ish, as the judges said. His voice is every bit as good as Season One Winner Reuben Studdard, but Michael seems more at ease with people, and on the stage. Reuben was shy and not as confident, but he was the 'teddy bear'.

I thought Michael was on his game last night and proved that the judges were right in using the save on him a few weeks back. Michael can sing R&B, country, rock, and I think he will be a success long after he leaves the Idol stage.

I gave Michael an A+ also last night, and disagreed with Simon when he insinuated that Michael's performance was 'wet', which apparently means 'girly'. I did not see that at all and I think Simon only wants to stay true to his convictions that country music is not his thing.

Casey James performed Shania Twain's Don't, and I don't understand all the excitement surrounding the judges' accolades to Casey's performance. I thought the song was a little slow and boring, and I think Casey does better with rock songs. I do not think this was the right choice of song for him, but the judges appeared to think it was his best performance.

I never liked the contestants using the musical instruments anyway, but since I saw the judges talking during Casey's performance, I wonder how much they really paid attention to his while he was singing. Randy and Simon said it was Casey's best performance.

Between Kara's head bopping and the fact that it looked as though her hair suffered from lack of water pressure last night, she expressed her pleasure in his performance. I think she expresses too much pleasure for Casey, given the large amount of young girls watching the show. Some of the language and innuendo on the show this season appears geared toward a more mature audience. I think that is strange because I always thought the young crowd was the one who voted.

I gave Casey a B and I thought he sounded good, but not as good as the judges thought he was.

Crystal Bowersox, this year's favorite to win, sang No One Needs to Know, and no one needs to worry that Crystal's performance did not blow the judges away last night, because we already know that Simon clearly wants Crystal to win this year.

Kara wanted 'bigger' and Crystal told her that bigger is not always better. Oh, brother, the back talk again; not a fan of the back talking. Simon went as far as to insult her by saying she sounded like one of those people who come up to your booth in a coffee shop and start performing when you do not want them to do that. He was on a roll last night with the stupid comments and even though I agreed with Randy and Ellen that it was also not my favorite, the girl can sing like nobody's business.

I gave Crystal a B+ for her performance, but she has A+ vocals and no song can hide that.

Aaron Kelly appears to be Idol's underdog this year. I think he is holding his own with the older contestants and he did it again last night with his performance of You've Got a Way. I agreed with Ellen that he seemed more mature than his 17 years, and he explained changing lyrics to dedicate the performance to his mother.

Simon was totally off with his remarks about Aaron struggling in past performances. I have not really seen struggling, but because Aaron did wind up in the bottom three, Simon likes to act as though he is always right, so he tells Aaron that last night's performance showed a different Aaron than in previous weeks. I think Simon just wanted to prove he knows what the audience likes because Aaron was in the bottom 3 last week.

I gave Aaron a B+ for his performance, and an A for telling the judges he sang the song for his mom. I think that alone may keep him out of the bottom tonight.

The judges do not give Siobhan Magnus the credit she deserves as of late. The girl has mad vocals and can hold a note longer than most popular singers today, including present, and past Idol contestants.

Randy and Ellen loved Siobhan's performance, and even though Simon said it was a good performance, he told Siobhan the note she hit sounded as though she was giving birth. Again, not really that funny and not a comment that makes any sense.

I gave Siobhan a B+ for her performance of Shania Twain's hit, but an A+ for the vocals.

At least Simon did not insult country music singers everywhere, as he normally does, last night. I guess he liked Shania Twain when she appeared as a guest judge early on, so that was the reason he was a little more reserved in his criticism of the music genre.

Most of the contestants performed well enough to remain another week, but someone has to go home tonight. I think it could be either Aaron or Siobhan, but my choice would be Casey. I just do not think he is as good as the judges think he is, or as he himself thinks, he is.

           


American Idol voters leave one female contestant standing

Before competition began this season on American Idol with the top 24, Simon Cowell predicted a female would win this year.

I do not see anything odd about that, since the winners for the last two seasons were male, David Cook and Kris Allen.

What I did find strange last night was that American Idol viewers eliminated Siobhan Magnus the week that the judges gave her positive comments for the first time in weeks. Stranger still, all of the judges were disappointed with the favorite to win, Crystal Bowersox.

Call it conspiracy theory, call it luck of the draw, but Michael's performance on Tuesday night did not warrant a place in the bottom three either. Are fans hearing something that I myself, and the judges, are not?

Rascal Flatts performed instead of the finalists' group sing.

Ryan Seacrest announced that the contestants received 33 million votes. It sounds like a lot of votes, but to me, it sounds a lot lower than the number in previous seasons this late in the singing competition.

I enjoyed watching the contestants talk about the preparation that went into the new Ford commercial that featured the contestants as vampires, with Mike being the 'object' of the vampires' obsession.

Ryan then divided the contestants into groups, a tactic I have not liked since the nightmare of Fantasia, with three groups of two.

In one group, there was Siobhan and Lee. In the second group was Aaron and Crystal, and in the third group, Mike and Casey. Ryan tells Crystal and Aaron they are safe. He tells Lee that he is also safe, leaving Siobhan, Mike, and Casey in the bottom three.

Carrie Underwood appears to push a band who tours with her, Sons of Sylvia, which my son thought were good, but I thought they needed the push because they were not that good.

The contestants got to do voiceovers for the new Shrek movie, where Ryan apparently has a speaking part.

Lady Antebellum performs and Rascal Flatts returns to the stage with Shakira. Finally getting back to the results, Ryan tells Mike that he is safe. Thinking that Casey would surely be the one to go home, Ryan tells Siobhan that she received the least amount of votes, and would be going home.

For me, Siobhan was the last one who could have given Crystal a run for her money to the finale, the way is clear now for Simon's prediction to come true.

Although I think that Mike and Aaron could have a successful career with a large fan base, I believe Lee is more marketable. I also believe that if you go by vocals alone, Crystal already won.

However, as we have all seen in other seasons of American Idol, the best is not always the winner.

I am disappointed that Siobhan went last night instead of Casey, but I still believe his time is running out; whether some think he is good looking, because it is supposed to be about the singing.

Next week Harry Connick Jr. will mentor the five remaining contestants with Sinatra tunes. I foresee Aaron, Lee, and Mike having the least amount of problems with this theme, but American Idol voters are a fickle bunch, so we will have to wait and see.

           


American Idols Croon and Croak with King of Cool

I was excited to know that the last five remaining contestants were doing songs from the incomparable Francis Albert Sinatra. Frank was singing for 60 years and I was a fan in the late 60's and early 70's

I was disappointed that only two of the contestants sung songs from the hits he had during that time. Three contestants sung songs that Sinatra put out, but they were songs I knew better from another artist's rendtion.

I was glad to hear that Simon was a big fan of Frank Sinatra and it surprised me as well. Frank Sinatra's two daughters, Tina and Nancy Sinatra's, Nancy of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" fame, presented Simon with a handkerchief of their dad's.

Aaron Kelly sang, Fly Me to the Moon, and I thought he did a decent job of the song. It was different-sounding from the way I am used to hearing it. I love Bobby Darin's version of the song, but I thought given the age of Aaron, that he pulled it off.

Randy and Ellen agreed with me, but Kara being her usual obnoxious self had to mention that he did not do as well as last week. Since when do the judges critique the contestants from week to week. Does it not go by the votes?

I gave Aaron a B+ and do not think that Simon should say that compared to Sinatra being a lion, Aaron was the mouse, unless he said it to all the contestants. The reason I believe this is because although Harry Connick Jr. has come closer than anyone has before, to sounding like Frank, there will never be another.

Casey James sang Blue Skies and destroyed the song. He did seem like he was singing this song as a joke, like Simon suggested. He looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. The whole performance was pitchy and Randy thought so as well, and added that it was Casey's worse performance to date. Kara mentioned his vibrato being out of control and I just thought the whole thing was bizarre. I gave him a D for his performance and think he may go tonight. I thought he should have gone instead of Siobhan last week, and after his performance last night, maybe he thinks he should go, too. It almost felt like it was bad on purpose.

Crystal Bowersox is the one you cannot really ever say anything bad about, as far as her vocals go. She performed Summer Wind, that is one song I happen to be a big fan of, and I do not think she sounded as sleepy as Randy thought she did. I do not know what Ellen referred to when she said Crystal was swallowing her words, and Simon unnecessarily said that she had two "okay" weeks.

What I did not care for was the explanation or the excuse Crystal gave after the judges' critiques. I realize that it is most likely difficult to accept criticism when you really receive anything but praise. Still, I never liked the talking back to the judges. I also think that Simon may now be leaning more towards Lee, as I have been lately.

Michael Lynche performed The Way You Look Tonight, which is another song that is not as familiar to me as a Frank Sinatra song, as it is another singer's. I thought he did a fantastic job and he has the charisma that so many performers had during Frank Sinatra's heyday. I think Michael is one of the most versatile contestants, in that he seems to be able to handle any genre of music American Idol throws at him. I give Michael an A for his performance. I rarely give him anything less, and I think he nailed the song last night.

Lee Dewyze also nailed his performance of That's Life, one of my favorite songs of Frank Sinatra's. He did his own version, sort of, while keeping with the upbeat sing-along attitude that song has. I think his vocals were impeccable, he looked the part, and if I hear Kara mention his self-consciousness one more time, I may scream. Either that or I will have to mute the TV while she speaks. Randy loved it and most importantly for Lee, Simon said he was the best of the night. I think so, too, with Michael running a close second. I gave him an A as well, and think that he will go to the finale.

Since Simon insinuated that people are voting for Aaron Kelly on something other than his vocals or his performances, I will take that to mean that he has a strong fan base, and that Casey and/or Crystal even, could be in danger tonight.

When it gets down to the last five, all American Idol fans brace for the worst, that their favorite is voted off. This year, after Lilly Scott went home so early on in the competition, I really have not been that upset with others who also left the competition.

I will be surprised and disappointed if Lee and Michael are not around for at least the top three. I think even Crystal realizes now that simply because Simon predicted a girl would win, and all signs have pointed to that girl being her, regular Idol viewers know that nothing is a sure bet.

           


American Idol loses Aaron Kelly and keeps Casey James

After Tuesday night's performance, I stated that I thought Casey should go home, but the voters disagreed and sent Aaron Kelly home instead.

I am not as disappointed as I might have been in previous seasons. This year just has not been able to measure up to the last two seasons, talent wise, or otherwise.

Losing Paula Abdul was a big one for me, not liking Kara at all is another.

Season 7 was a great season, with lots of talent. There were only a few of the top 24 that I did not care for, and then last year there was Adam Lambert. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the results shows. This year it is just boring.

Last night's results show was made more interesting with Lady Gaga performing and with Harry Connick, Jr., basically stealing the show, with his humor, and the impression I got that he really cared about the contestants. Prior mentors were more there to promote themselves, I thought, except for Adam Lambert, who was an excellent mentor.

When Ryan split the contestants into two groups, I was certain that the shock of the night was going to be Crystal in the bottom two. While she has flawless vocals, as I repeat every week, I am less enthusiastic about her actually winning this year.

I cannot see Crystal performing songs like Lady Gaga or Katey Perry does. I do not see her as a success in country music, and I think record producers would have a difficult time deciding what genre she should sing.

I think Lee is the most marketable, at least for me. Apparently, the voters believe Casey has what it takes. I just thought that, as Simon said, Casey appeared embarrassed to sing a Frank Sinatra tune. Like Simon says often to some of the contestants, I felt that Casey acted presumptuously, thinking that he was too good an artist to sing a old song from a crooner of years gone by.

Therefore, when Ryan announced that Michael was in the bottom two again, my disinterest turned to annoyance. I used to think that the youngest viewers of the show, were the ones actually calling in and voting. I am not so sure this year.

I also think it is a different audience watching at home this year. Michael is every much as talented as Reuben, I believe, and because he is not shy as Reuben was, it gives him the stage presence and charisma that should take him far in the music business.

I felt bad for Aaron because he is so young and it may be harder for him to handle coming so close to the finale, but I think he will have a career. He appeals to the young and he is very talented. One thing I thought of last night was why they allowed Harry Connick to be such a huge presence on the stage again last night. I really enjoyed it, and at the same time, I wondered if maybe American Idol producers had approached Harry to be the possible replacement for Simon, if indeed, he does leave at the end of this season.

So, we are down to four. I think Simon may be swaying more towards a male winning this season, as long as that male is Lee Dewyze. We will have to wait and see.

           


American Idol movie night moving toward mature audience

I think I have figured out why American Idol is losing viewers this year. There have been too many references to sex and sexuality this year, for the 12-17 year olds who make up a large portion of the American Idol audience.

I also think this is because with Simon rumored to leave after this season, they are trying to attract a larger audience of adults. I believe this because of Ellen's comment last night, when talking about the song "Have you ever really loved a woman". She had to say that , "yes, she has", which for me was totally unnecessary and uncalled for, on a show geared towards the young people, who are the ones listening to, and buying the music that is popular today.

Before you start hollering and getting all worked up because I said that about Ellen, I want to say I am sick of the heterosexual sex talk about Casey and the joke about Kara's feelings for him.

It reminds me of the mess with Paula Abdul and Corey Clark, and the controversy surrounding what type of relationship they had with each other.

This is a singing competition; a reality show, and I do not think there is room or cause for the artists who appear on the show who dry-hump microphones, or touch themselves inappropriately in front of millions of people.

It is American Idol, and it is supposed to be about the contestants and their singing ability. It is not a show where people want to hear about who or what the judges are having sex with.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the performances of the four remaining finalists on American Idol. I think Jamie Foxx is an upstanding human being. I think he is charitable and a nice guy, and a pretty good actor. However, I think as far as being a wonderful singer, I am on the fence with that one. I think he is about as good as any of the other rap singers out there today, which I do not consider music or singing. For him to decide if the contestants are mere contestants or real artists, is pushing it a bit.

Therefore, to tell Lee Dewyze he did not appear to be an artist after his first performance last night, was outrageous.

Lee sung Kiss from a Rose, a song I always thought was boring, but I think Lee did a fine job of what he had to work with and the judges' comments only reinforce my thinking that they want Crystal to win in a big way this year, no matter what they have to do.

Kara continues to talk out of the stupid side of her mouth, comparing performances to prior weeks' performances, which really is not how American Idol voters choose who they will vote for, and those who have watched for years, know this is true.

Simon told Lee it sounded karaoke, and we all already know that he wants Crystal to be the next Kelly Clarkson, so anything he says to the more talented singers this year, all points back to that agenda.

I gave Lee an A for his performance. I do not like the song, it is too slow and boring, but he was able to make it less painful.

I also enjoyed his duet with Crystal, when they performed Falling Slowly. The judges fell all over themselves praising it and Kara even said it was her favorite moment, which I think she has probably said at least a half-dozen times already.

I still do not like the guitars; I think they are a distraction. I liked David Cook with the guitar, but no one else since.

Michael Lynche sung Will you be there, a Michael Jackson song, and I am glad that at least Simon noticed that Big Mike sang it as if he felt the words and meant every word. The other judges were less receptive to his performance, and Kara compared past performances again. I think he has real talent and a stage presence that could take him far in the music world, even if the judges are trying their best to have him eliminated.

I gave Mike an A for his performance. No one can emulate Michael Jackson, but he did give 100% to the performance, as Simon said, and I would like to see him in the finale with Lee.

Mike and Casey sung, Have you ever Really loved a Woman, and it was a good performance but the performance for me, was overshadowed with Ellen's remark about her love for a woman. People laughed, but there really was not anything funny or classy about it. It is not something that should be included in this show, especially with ratings being lower than ever in the show's history.

I hope that Casey is going to be the one eliminated tonight. I feel this way for the reason stated above, that sex talk should not be part of American Idol, and that is all they seem to talk about when Casey performs.

I also feel this way because as Casey James performed, Mrs. Robinson, I could not help thinking of Jason Castro and of Tiny Tim of Tiptoe through the Tulips fame. I just do not get it with Casey. I do not see the big deal about his looks, and although his voice is decent, I do not see him becoming the next Daughtry.

I gave him a C for his performance. He was just okay for me and he needs to lose the ukulele or whatever the instrument was he was using last night. He also needs to stop behaving as though he thinks he is too good for the show, or embarrassed to be on it, because he is not.

Crystal Bowersox, to my dismay, performed I'm All Right from Kenny Loggins and I was not as crazy about it as the judges were. I thought she would choose a song like Irene Cara's What a Feeling to do something different and show us what she has that makes her versatile. She did not do that for me.

The judges, of course, loved it and told her that she was back in the game, again referring to the last couple of weeks, where the judges did not fall all over themselves about Crystal's performances. They tell her she earned the Artist shirt Jamie Foxx said he would give to those who nailed the performance.

I gave her a B for her performance, but if the judges have their way, it will not matter anyway.

I think Mike and Lee outperformed Crystal and Casey last night. I think I am going to be disappointed with who the voters eliminate tonight, because I do not think it is going to be Casey.

           


American Idol voters predictably eliminated Big Mike

I was not at all surprised to see Michael Lynche go home last night on American Idol. Leaving Crystal standing with him to the end of the show was not fooling me one bit. I know that Crystal did not receive the second least amount of votes, and this was an attempt at causing controversy, when Idol's ratings need it more now than any other time in the show's history.

I enjoyed seeing Daughtry come back. I think it is generous of him to come back to the place where he started, even if he did not even make it into the finale in Season 5. I also enjoyed seeing Bon Jovi, but I was not crazy about the song he performed.

Michael Lynche, the one the judges saved weeks ago, went home night, but I think he will have a successful career in music. He is a versatile performer, who showed he could sing anything, but when the song has meaning, he sings it like nobody's business, as in the week he sang This Woman's Work.

I enjoyed Michael's performance of Eleanor Rigby on Beatles night and I think he has been a wonderful addition to American Idol this season.

I predict great things for Michael Lynche and coming in at #4 on American Idol worked out well for Chris Daughtry, so I think we will be hearing lots more from Big Mike.

I have not been a big fan of Casey James for some time now, and I think that Lee and Crystal should be in the finale. I thought that might be a possibility before last night's results show, but now I am left wondering if it will be a Casey vs. Crystal finale, which I will find about as interesting as the Fantasia/Degarmo finale of the Season 3 Nightmare.

Speaking of Fantasia, I muted the TV when she came on and did not un-mute it until she walked off the stage. I am not sure why they chose to have her on as a guest when she is one of the winners of American Idol dropped by her record label, and have Daughtry on the same platform, who came in fourth and became as big if not bigger than Clarkson.

Maybe it was a message of encouragement to Big Mike, letting him know that sometimes not winning American Idol can be a great boost to one's singing career.

My support will go to Lee all the way now, and when he goes, what little interest the show has for its fans, will most likely go with it.

So You Think You Can Dance and Hell's Kitchen cannot start too soon for me.

           


American Idol judges overly enthusiastic for a Crystal/Lee finale

I would like to see Lee Dewyze win this year, and with his standout performances last night on American Idol, it just might happen.

I am disappointed that last night was not a Michael/Lee/Crystal night, but I think the performance show proved what I have been saying all along, that Casey does not measure up to the talent of the two other finalists.

The contestants first performed a song they chose themselves.

Casey James chose Okay, it's all right with me. I thought he sounded better than he usually does for me. I just do not think he is as good as the judges, or the voters apparently, think he is. I was surprised, at first, when the judges said they did not care for it. Randy said the title of the song was fitting because it was just "Awight" with him. Simon said he hoped that Casey's first performance was the first course, the salad, and that the meat would follow in his second song.

There was a theme running through the judges' criticism, and I believe it is because they believe that Crystal may actually be eliminated before Casey. If that is the case, they have no one to blame but themselves.

I thought he sang it well, as Simon did admit, but since he went first last night, I was not sure how it was going to go for him in the second round.

Crystal Bowersox chose Come to my window, which I think is a good song but I think the harmonica and guitar were a little distracting as she sang. She did a good job of the song. I think I may have been paying more attention to what the other judges said, than Kara did, because she said the opposite of what Randy and Ellen said, but first announced that she agreed with the others. Randy and Ellen did not like the arrangement but thought Crystal rose above it to pull it off. Kara said Crystal got lost in the arrangement.

Seriously, Kara, there is only one performance show left, try to keep up until the end, at least.

Simon said it was the most stunning version of the song, which I disagree because I think the original by Melissa Etheridge, is still the best.

Lee Dewyze chose Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even though I do not like it when the judges say it, I agreed with Simon that Lee crushed the other two contestants with this performance. Simon said that to David Cook in the finale of Season 7, and he was dead wrong, and admitted he was the following night. I personally think he knew David Cook won already and just wanted to retract his statement, so he would not face embarrassment when he was proven wrong.

Randy said he thinks Lee can win, and so do I, if voters do not go completely insane and vote Lee off tonight. Even Kara said round one went to Lee. I agree with her, which frightened me.

The judges' choice for Casey was John Mayer's Daughters. Randy and Kara chose this song for him.

I did not like this performance of Casey's as much as his first, but I was in disagreement with the judges. Randy thought it fit him like a glove, and Kara enjoyed it as well, which comes as no surprise since she picked the song.

Simon, however, chuckled while Kara spoke and then proceeded to tell her and Randy that it was a lazy arrangement that apparently they worked on with Casey. I agreed with Simon on this one, and was glad he was the one who chose a song for Lee after this performance.

Crystal's song, Maybe I'm Amazed, picked for her by Ellen, and I thought it was a weird choice for a female to sing. But given the recent remarks by Ellen regarding her sexuality, I guess I was not surprised.

I thought she screamed through most of the song, which Paul McCartney sang flawlessly. The judges fell all over themselves in praising her, which will probably guarantee her spot in the finale. They mentioned that she took a risk singing without the guitar, but I never liked the addition of the instruments.

Lee blew away his fellow contestants with his performance of Hallelujah, chosen wisely by Simon Cowell, of course.

Kara garbled something about him being unique in that he came from nowhere. Correct me if I am wrong, but is that not the case for all the contestants who have ever been on American Idol? I agreed with Randy all the way, that Lee threw down the gauntlet, and with Ellen who said it was a stunning performance.

I think Lee absolutely stunned the competition last night, and I predict Casey will go home tonight. I want Casey to go home tonight, and I wanted him to go home last week, but the voters disagreed and he stayed another week.

I wondered why they only spent a minute on the three remaining contestants' return to their hometown, when they usually spend a lot more time on that segment. I think it goes in line with what I have been saying all season, that more emphasis has been on the judges this year than any other year.

I do not know what they will do without Simon next year, but I do not think it will be an improvement, no matter whom they get to replace him.

Tonight we will see, after four long months of competition, which two contestants will be in the finale next week.

For me, Lee is a combination of Daughtry and David Cook, and since I am a huge fan of both, I hope Lee is crowned this year's American Idol.

           


American Idol Season 9 finale - Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze

I have to say I now feel a little bad about wishing that voters eliminated Casey James earlier on in the competition, after last night's show.

I enjoyed watching the contestants go home and visit with their fans.

Casey James' emotional return to the hospital where he almost lost his life if not for the people who worked there was especially heartwarming.

He seems like a nice guy, and I think he will have a successful career in music. Casey will be appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show today, as all booted contestants are the day after their elimination.

Crystal became emotional while speaking to Ryan about her return home. She also spoke beforehand about the hectic schedule the remaining contestants have been following. Crystal spoke about being a mom and that she is doing this so she can provide for her child's needs, and she thanked American Idol for the care they took with her medical issues during her run on the show.

Lee returned home to Illinois and visited his elementary school, with hoards of screaming fans. He also got to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, and performed at a racetrack to thousands of screaming fans from his hometown.

There were two guest performers last night, who could not be more opposite from the two remaining male contestants left before Casey received the news that voters eliminated him.

One looked like a girl, and the other one sounded like a girl. Justin Beiber, who is 16 years old, is this generation's version of Donny Osmond, sort of.

Travis Garland's voice was uber-soprano and I did not get the jumping around all over the stage, which the judges railed into Tim Urban when he did it during a performance.

Rushing at the end of the show to get to the results, Ryan let Lee know that he was in the finale next week, first, and then quickly told Crystal that she was also safe.

Ryan apparently did it so fast, that Crystal was not sure she heard him say that she was going home.

I think next week will be a test for not only the two finalists, but also for Simon, since he is the one who predicted a female would win this year. I think Lee is going to give Crystal a run for her money and I think she will have to be on the top of the top of her game, to beat him.

The audience for the show last night seemed to favor Lee, screaming louder for him than for Crystal, but we will have to wait until next week's American Idol finale, to know for certain who the voters decide will be the next American Idol.

           


American Idol looks to Crystal Bowersox to win tonight

I noticed an unbridled bias toward Crystal Bowersox on the finale performances of the two remaining contestants.

In light of Simon announcing on Ellen DeGeneres' show that he predicted Lee Dewyze would be the winner this year, I found their critiques of both contestants rather odd.

I though Crystal shouted through most of the song Black Velvet, but the judges appeared to be bowled over by her performance.

Don't get me wrong, I think Crystal Bowersox makes Kelly Clarkson sound mediocre, but I just thought the judges' laid it on a little thick last night.

Even Randy, who normally makes the most sense, did not give Lee the praises I thought he deserved.

I though his rendition of the song he will record if he wins, Beautiful Day, was flawless. I guess it was just another one of those nights where I wasn't hearing what the judges were hearing.

I thought Crystal did a wonderful job with Me and Bobby McGee and although she sung the song that she will record if she wins, called, Up to the Mountain, extremely well, I didn't like the song.

I am hoping that like in the Season 7 finale performances, Simon saying that David Archuleta blew David Cook away, was a mistake on his part, and he will say it againt tonight.

Tonight is Simon Cowell's last night on American Idol before he leaves to do his own reality competition show, The X Factor, and there are supposed to be many surprises for him.

Paula Adbul is slated to return tonight.

Whatever happens, I think that both Crystal and Lee will have successful music careers.

I was bothered by just one more thing last night, and that was Simon repeating him lame 'rags to riches' story about Lee Dewyze.

What makes him think that any Idol contestant, his pet favorites Kelly Clarson and Fantasia Barrino, included, would have made any kind of musical success without American Idol?

I hope Lee wins, but will be okay if Crystal does, and the only thing that will bother me about her winning, is how obvious the judges made it last night, that they want her to win.

 

Which one will it be?

  or  

  Watch the American Idol 2-hour finale tonight at 8pm EST on Fox.

           


Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowesox and American Idol fans all winners

I am thrilled that Lee Dewyze won the American title last night, but Crystal Bowersox is also a winner.  

Talking to Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends this morning, Crystal talked about how happy she was for Lee to win American Idol last night. She graciously accepted the title of runner-up.  

Brian also spoke to the winner, Lee Dewyze, and they talked about how Lee was not in the original 24, until Simon spoke up and said to put him in.  

Lee said that the whole thing was an incredible, amazing experience, and he is still overwhelmed and grateful and he thanks Simon for his honesty and his help in giving him advice that he took to heart; the good and the bad.  

Lee's personality gained him the admiration and respect from the other contestants who last night showed how happy they all were to see Lee win the title.  

This year, for me, was the second year that both finalists were my favorites and the one I wanted to win, did indeed win.  

The first time it happened was in Season 7 of American Idol. Both David Cook and David Archulteta were my favorites, and in my opinion, were the best. Both have found success in the music business.  

Besides the anticipation of who would win last night, there were a lot of classic artists, some of my personal favorites, that performed on the show.  

Daryl Hall and John Oates, Chicago, and the Bee Gees came on stage and performed with the contestants.  

I really liked seeing the former contestants all come on stage for Simon Cowell's last appearance on the show, before he leaves to begin a new adventure and start a new show of his own.  

David Cook was obviously missing from last night's show, and I was surprised that Simon did not react or interact with Kelly Clarkson, the one he always brings up on the show year after year.

It was nice to see Paula Adbul back. I think it was a huge mistake on the part of American Idol, to let her go. Now with Simon Cowell's departure, I think the show next season will be very different.

I think Janet Jackson's 'super bowl halftime' performance was a little much, and hearing Christina Aguliera and Alanis Morisette trying to compete with the voice and talent of Crystal Bowersox, was entertaining.

While I believe Carrie Underwood has the voice of an angel, I do not think she pulls off soul or R&B very well.

I muted the TV once again as Fantasia and Jordin sparked screamed into the microphones, but loved hearing Michael Lynche and Michael McDonald perform together.

I look forward to the first single and CD of both Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox. I wish them both much success.

I am also excited about So You Think You Can Dance starting tonight. I understand that one of my favorite dancers of all time on that show, Neil, will be returning as they change the competition up a bit.

So, American Idol is over for another year. I have not heard yet who they are considering for Simon Cowell's replacement, except to say that Elton John reportedly turned down an offer.

Who will it be? What will happen to American Idol, now that it is losing its favorite judge we all love to hate at times. Simon Cowell.

All in all, I think it was a good finale.

Lee's first single will be "Beautiful Day", and I am sure when Lee got up this morning, he realized it was a beautiful day for him, and a happy day for all Lee Dewyze fans.


Photos of courtesy of American Idol

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