Thursday, January 26, 2012

Season 11 Week 2 Thursday Reactions

Phong Vu should stick to pho and kung fu.

Skylar Laine looks like a composite of past Idol girls, but might sound too country. We'll see.

Baylie Brown should be tough enough now to beat up the Jersey girls, although I don't think there will be any. Glad to see her back. Here is her Season 6 audition where Simon called her a record label's dream: Watch Here.

Kristine Osorio vocally reminds me a bit of Crystal Bowersox. Linda Williams was just noisy. Alejandro Cazares' revoultion needs a better speech writer.

Cortez Shaw's take on "Someone Like You" was annoying. I think Adele would puke.

Ramiro Garcia's story is inspirational and he can minister, but I'm not sure he can really sing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Season 11 Week 2 Wednesday Reactions

Music teacher Jenni Schick is so hyper, I wonder if she can sit still for a ballad.

Curtis Gray has a good voice, but his delivery was so sleepy, I'm surprised Randy liked him. Maybe Randy is getting old.

Richie Law's voice is deeper than Scotty McCreery's. But it's too deep. Scary even.

Poor Tealana Hedgespeth apparently got the wrong egg and should have sent her twin instead.

Haley Smith likes Apsen so much, she might have mental problems in Hollywood. Unless she likes the marijuana out here.

Alanna Snare was all bull, no oyster.

Shelby Tweten is this year's James Durbin with her bipolar disorder. She sounds a bit like Lauren Alaina.

Jairon Jackson is good, but hard to judge singing his own song.

Angie Zeiderman is very entertaining. If only she didn't have that 40-something-librarian face.

Magic Cyclops let me switch channels sooner.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Season 11 Week 1 Sunday Reactions

A Sunday special edition from the USS Midway.

Jennifer Diley didn't have to worry about the ship sinking.

Ashley Robles is a Filipina. While she presents herself as a struggling single mom, she has quite a past in the professinal ranks: Read Here.

Jayrah Gibson can sing black, but can he sing white? Jennifer wonders as well.

Aubree Dieckmeyer is one of those stylized singers with no power. A cross between Haley Reinhart and Didi Benami.

Rapper Girl Ali Shields should have been thrown into the Pacific.

Kyle Crews wasn't as good as the judges said.

Jim Carrey's daughter? Jane. I say No. Here's a divorce story on Jane: Read Here.

Golf maintenance man Wolf Hamlin howled his way to Hollywood.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Season 11 Week 1 Thursday Reactions

Heejun Han was all set up to be a William Hung but ended up being a Korean Michael Bolton.

Reed Grimm must be related to Casey Abrams. I don't know if that's good or bad.

Samantha Novacek and Patricia should be made to walk the plank with their lame planking act. It doesn't matter that Samantha can sing some.

Creighton Fraker is a faker. Sure he has skills, but he and his voice are thinner than a wafer.

Eben Franckewitz looks and sounds too young. Travis Orlando should just give it up. Idol is not the answer.

Erika Van Pelt can drive to Hollywood and do some gigs if she gets cut.

It would be nice to get Shane Bruce out of the coal mine, but his voice was not good enough to pull him out.

Hallie Day is perfect for Idol. A girl who ran away with a girl group as a teen, then came home and attempted suicide. Perfect. But she does show the experience of having been in a singing group with her vocal control.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Season 11 Week 1 Wednesday Reactions

David Leathers is amazing, but it's disconcerting that puberty doesn't seem to have kicked in yet. What will he be like when it does?

Gabi Carruba needs to be on the show because we always need a pretty girl who can sing and dance.

Jessica Whitely has monster power, like Frankenstein.

Shaun Kraisman just assured that Ryan Seacrest is leaving.

Shannon Magrane needs to be on the show because we always need a 6-foot tall pretty girl who sings okay.

Tent Girl Amy Brumfield would have fit right in with the Occupy Los Angeles crowd, but they've already been kicked out.

Stephanie Renae has potential, but Randy was right to say no. She just turned 15 and needs work.

Colton and Schyler Dixon are both good enough for another look. Lauren Mink is good enough for another try as well.

Mawuena Kodjo should be deported soon.

Ashlee Altise has entertainment value and is worth another look.

W.T. Thompson should go to prison for quitting his job. His dream trip to Hollywood will be short-lived.

Brittany Kerr looks a little like Britney Spears. Always send the sexy girl if she can sing even a little.

Phillip Phillips is a confused young man. I was expecting a Scotty type but instead he sang Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. But looks like another white guy will win American Idol.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday/Tuesday Miscellany

  • Season 11 starts Wednesday.
  • Haley Reinhart announces March 1st single release. Read Here.
  • Why does Idol continue to refuse to release Pia Toscano's album?
  • Joe Perry seems to finally be accepting Steven Tyler on Idol. Read Here.
  • James Durbin disses X Factor. Read Here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekend Miscellany

  • David Archuleta in the Philippines to do a mini-series for Philippine TV. Read Here.
  • Casey Abrams signed by Concord Music Group. Read Here.
  • Stefano Langone signed by Hollywood Records. Read Here.
  • Ace Young and Diana DeGramo dating. Read Here.
  • Stefano Langone and Haley Reinhart dating. Read Here.
  • Seven Idols teamed up for a jam session concert in Chicago. Read Here (Video).
  • Here's Allison Iraheta from that jam with "Someone Like You." Watch Here.
  • DJ Pradaa remixes Siobhan Magnus' "Wicked Game" from Idol Season 9:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Three Things Idol Should Avoid in Season 11

Warning: This is a rant.

1. The first thing Idol should avoid in Season 11 is comparing contestants to Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, especially at the initial a cappella auditions like they did with Lauren Alaina during Season 10. Of course, Lauren never lived up to those expectations. How could she. Let the contestants put together a string of performances that show they're worthy of such lofty comparisons, instead of doing it by cheap proclamations from the judges.

I am now convinced that the order to hype Lauren Alaina came from Simon Fuller himself. He announced after the show that he would personally handle the careers of Scotty and Lauren. He obviously had his sights set on Lauren all along.

2. Don't use the judges to punish the contestants for disputes going on behind the scenes. This happened when Haley Reinhart sang Blondie's "Call Me." It's a good song for her and she did a good job. Yet all three marshmallow judges were down on her when they were so gushy about everyone else, and not everyone else was good at Top 8. I believe what really happened is Haley managed to tick off the producers during the week, and having the judges criticize her was their petty way of punishing her. Watch It Back Here.

3. Don't say someone was voted off when they were really disqualified for a rules violation. I'm talking of course about Pia Toscano. All the indicators said she was Top 4, all the subsequent outrage said she was Top 4, and the fact that Iovine wanted to sign her immediately also said she was Top 4.

If you don't think American Idol is capable of such silly behavior, you need only look at how they've treated Pia Toscano since the end of the show. Pia was in position to release her album first given she had eight tracks recorded before the start of the Idol Tour. Yet Idol is making her wait until their beloved Top 4 -- Scotty, Lauren, Haley and James -- release their albums first. We're still waiting for Pia's album to be released because Haley's album has not yet been released. What a silly game for Idol to play.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Siobhan Magnus Debut Album Review

I was able to purchase one of Siobhan Magnus' limited edition autographed CDs before the general release. The album is called "Moonbaby" and is produced by Siobhan's own independent label. I'm not going to do a track-by-track review because my ears don't hear lyrics very well, so I'm never really sure what a song is about. Also, I know that Siobhan is a bit odd, so I'm not overly concerned with what she might say, especially when she says things like, “They say a person’s first album is your emotional vomit."

For me, Siobhan's album all about one thing: Listening to her sing. Her album confirms what I've said about her since Season 9, and that is Siobhan is the most vocally gifted girl in Idol history, bar none. Whatever she wants to do with a song, she can do it. She doesn't have to cheat like some singers to do to mask their vocal limitations.

The dictionary defines talent as "natural ability." It says nothing about popularity, votes, record deals or sales. It's purely about ability. I'm not going to sit here and say Siobhan does everything better than the other girls. For instance, Siobhan's tone can be a real adventure. But Siobhan can do far more things with her voice than others can, thus she can sing a wider variety of songs, and she can go where the others can't go.

Despite being more talented, Siobhan will never be as popular as other Idol girls because she's seen, especially by many females, as odd. I saw it on the blogs during Season 9 where so many females said, "I don't get her." And because they didn't get her, they concluded she wasn't talented. That's very shallow of them, but without them, her fan base is limited. Both Kelly and Carrie have large numbers of female fans.

One thing I really like about Siobhan's recording is that although is it professional, done in Nashville, it doesn't have the slicked-up over-processed sound that the big record labels seem to favor. Siobhan actually sounds like Siobhan, instead of sounding like half software as some of the other Idols do on their albums. The big record labels seem to have lost all respect for the human voice.

In the song "Beatrice Dream," Siobhan has what I call "The Run," an astonishing rising, screaming run. As I listened to it, it sounded like she did it in one breath, but I couldn't be sure. But then, at a Scallop Festival in September, 2011, she did it live, full blast, and indeed she did it in one breath. It's an amazing 12-second run, the greatest run I've ever heard any female do. 12 seconds in and of itself is not a big deal for Siobhan. She regularly held a note in "Paint It Black" for over 18 seconds in city after city during the Idol Tour. But this is not holding one note, it's a rising, screaming run. See it on this video, starting at 2:57:

Watch It Here.

I seriously doubt any other Idol girl can duplicate this run. I think of it as a litmus test for vocal talent. If any girl thinks they are as talented as Siobhan, they should prove first that they can do this run. Otherwise, please leave the room.

Unfortunately, Siobhan ends the album with a cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U" where the backing tracks are a weak, lame, alt interpretation that completely ignores the power of Prince's brooding chords. Not even Siobhan can save this version from the abyss. Even straight Karaoke would have been better. Luckily, Siobhan sings it live with her uncle's old-school band:

Watch It Here.

In summary, you'll be hard pressed to find another girl out there who can display the vocal ability, versatility and variety that Siobhan shows on her album. And regardless of how her albums sells, Siobhan's future is not dependent on album sales. She's very popular in her neck of the woods, and people want to see her sing live. They go to see her like they would go to see a fireworks show.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekend Miscellany

  • Pollstar says the Idol 2011 tour averaged about $470K per city. Read Here.
  • Kelly Clarkson will mentor on "The Voice." Traitor! Read Here
  • Jason Derulo, who was discovered by Kara DioGuardi, is injured when he falls on his head. Read Here.
  • Brooke White on Not being a solo act. Read Here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Week of 2012 Miscellany

  • Steven Tyler appeared on Oprah's new show which aired on Jan 1. Read Here (Video).
  • Still waiting for Haley Reinhart's album. And Idol continues to refuse to release Pia Toscano's album until Haley releases hers first.
  • Hits Daily Double has its estimates in. Kelly's album picks up 25.5K, Scotty 21.4K, and Daughtry 19.2K.
  • USA Today's Idol Chatter has the SoundScan numbers up. Kelly's single "Mr. Know It All" has passed the million mark.
  • UK article on Katharine McPhee in "Smash." Nice photos too. Read Here.
  • The Idol judges talk auditions. Read Here.
  • The Idol judges talk Hollywood Week. Read Here.
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