Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol, Top 11, Take 2

It’s Elton John night. Yay. I have a hard time getting excited about this theme. Not because Elton John doesn’t have great music, or that I don’t like it. On the contrary, I love most of his music. But they do this theme every single season, and there are just so many different ways you can sing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.

Scott McCreery - “Country Comfort” – Oh, the dreaded first slot! Is it surprising to anyone that Scott is singing country? The novelty has worn off for me about as fast as that steel guitar got on my nerves. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s steel guitar. Makes my skin crawl. Needless to say, that was not my favorite performance of the evening.

Naima Adedapo – “I’m Still Standing “ – And Naima did reggae. It was weird. She went from the strange African dance last week to Rastafarian this week. If she’s around next week (which I’m hoping is a no), what region will she represent then? In other news, I spelled her name right without having to look it up this week! Yay me!

Paul McDonald - “Rocket Man” – Possibly one of my most favorite Elton John songs. And he brought back the Dwight Yoakum suit. Which I love. I also loved the stripped down version of this. In further justification of my love for Paul, check out his band The Grand Magnolias. Awesomeness.

Pia Toscano - “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” – Well, there we go. Pia’s picked up the pageant trail that Karen Rodriquez laid down when she left. Pia’s had some dental work done, I noticed. If I could offer her any advice, it would be to practice in front of a mirror so she could hold her head in such a way that would not be showing all of America all of her fillings. But that might be nit-picking.

Sidenote: I love the red piano.

Stefano Lagone - “Tiny Dancer” – Another of my favorite Elton songs. I didn’t love it. But I didn’t hate it either. Not shocking that Jennifer loved it… How I would have loved it if Tony Danza had been in the audience! Hold me closer, Tony Danza, count the headlights on the highway…

Lauren Alaina - “Candle in the Wind”– In her intro, she said she normally takes 10 minutes to get ready. I’m not really buying that with the amount of make-up she wears. I didn’t think I would like this, but I was wrong! This might have been my favorite performance of Lauren’s thus far. She sounded great, and she looked great, it was just great. Great, I tell you.

Sidenote: I love the red piano.

James Durbin - “Saturday Night’s All Right (for Fighting)” - Why was the red piano on fire? Did Elton John play a burning piano at some point that I missed? Not the greatest vocal. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his ears. God bless him, he should not wear his hair like that, because it just draws attention to the massiveness of his ears. Seriously, he could take flight with those puppies. Now, that would be a stand-out performance! No need to set the red piano a-fire!

Thia Megia – “Daniel” –Of course, Thia would pick the most boring Elton John song ever. What more can I say about that? I’m glad they didn’t burn the only red piano.

Casey Abrams - “Your Song” – I was really hoping he would sing “Levon”. But, I loved the simplicity of this. It was captivating and beautiful. And I do not think the judges wasted their save at all.

Jacob Lusk - “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” – Jacob? Over-dramatizing? Why, Jimmy Iovine, whatever are you talking about? Surely, you jest. I shouldn’t like Jacob. He really is over the top. I would never buy his album or pay to see him perform. But yet, I do like him. That last note that he held on to forever? Remarkable.

Hailey Reinhart - “Benny and the Jets” – Oh, the growling. The growling is about to get to me like the steel guitar gets to me. Not a positive. This kinda reminded of Michelle Pfifer in The Fabulous Baker Boys until she started trying to get the audience to throw their hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. I did not think it was the best performance of the night, unlike Randy. But, I think it was enough, coupled with the fact that she closed out the show, to keep her in the competition.

My bottom three this week would be Naima, Thia and Stefano. I’m giving Hailey a reprieve this week just because she looked so darn proud of herself at the end of her song. I would send Naima (please, oh please) and Thia home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Extraordinary

Before my current career as a stay at home mom, I worked in several fields all surrounding math. I graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mathematics. I love math. I am a numbers nerd.

The love of math came early for me, partly because I really am just a nerd, and partly because I had an amazing math teacher in high school. Michael Bearden was one of those few people who truly loved what he did. He wasn’t a teacher because of the pay (yeah, I know all you teachers out there are chuckling at that thought!) or the summers off, he did it because he wanted to make a difference in others’ lives. And what a difference he made! He had a passion for what he taught that was contagious. He made you want to learn, and that’s a rare trait. Certainly, for me personally, he introduced me to what would become a life-long passion, and encouraged me to pursue it further after high school. He cared beyond the four walls of a classroom. I can only pray that my kids get to experience a teacher like that at some point in their school years.

Mr. Bearden left this world yesterday, succumbing to cancer. Within a few hours of his passing, word spread through our small community and Facebook lit up with tributes, not only filled with sorrow but also with appreciation of what a great man he was. It was remarkable to see just how many people were affected by the way this man lived his life. To touch one life like that is truly a blessing. To influence hundreds? That’s nothing short of extraordinary.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol, Top 11

Or “The One Where I Almost Liked Everybody”. I adore Motown week. I adore Motown music, probably because it is prominently featured in my all-time favorite movie: The Big Chill. I would be a happy camper if all the contestants would pick songs from The Big Chill soundtrack. Or maybe AI should just do a “songs from The Big Chill” night! Never mind that most likely, most of these contestants are too young to have even heard of The Big Chill. How many more times can I mention The Big Chill in this post?

Casey Abrams - “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” - I just love him. This was a great rendition, especially the end. He is so stinkin’ talented. I just can’t wait to hear what he’s going to do next. And, by the way, this song was in The Big Chill.

Thia Megia - “Heat Wave” – She just seems way older than 15. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. She sang it beautifully until she forgot the words at the end…maybe if she had sang it while wearing a brightly colored sweater with numbers all over it, she would have seemed a bit more like a teen. Again, and unfortunately for her, it was just not a very memorable performance.

Jacob Lusk - “You’re All I Need to Get By” – By far, my favorite performance of his to date. It was controlled. And not over-sung. And awesome. Of course, this should have been his night to shine. And shine he did. LOVED it.

Lauren Alaina - “You Keep Me Hanging On” - First of all, she looked awesome. I loved the zebra print dress, and the stylist got a hold of her eye make-up. She looks SO MUCH BETTER with the toned down make-up. She sang it well, although it was not my favorite performance of hers. Overall, I thought her look was better than her song this week.

Stefano Langone - “Hello” – Oh, how I love this song. I didn’t really care for his rendition. Perhaps, it was because he doesn’t have the Lionel Richie hair. Or perhaps, it was like Jennifer said that he wasn’t feeling the song. Or perhaps, it was because he wasn’t singing it to a blind girl who sculpted a bust of him while he was singing. I just don’t know.

Come to think of it, if he had sung it to a blind girl who sculpted a bust of him on-stage while he was singing, I would become a Stefano fan for life. Oh, the missed opportunities.

Haley Reinhart - “You’ve Really Got A Hold on Me” – Kudos to her for navigating the stairs in those stilettos. I didn’t understand the 80’s Designing Women suit jacket with the big shoulder pads. Nor do I understand why she must growl through every song. I’m not really sure that performance was enough to keep her out of the bottom three.

Scott McCreery – “For Once in My Life” - This frightened me just a bit. And for good reason. Not every song should be “country-fied”. In my opinion, few songs should be country-fied, even those that are actually country. But that’s just me. I don’t think this version will be racing up the charts. And did Steven Tyler really compare him to Glen Campbell and think that was a compliment?

Pia Toscano - “All in Love is Fair” – I think, hands down, she is the best female in the competition. I just wish she would do something a little different. She looked awesome and she sounded awesome, just like she does every week. But at some point, she’s going to have to throw a curve ball to keep everyone on their toes.

Paul McDonald - “Tracks of My Tears” – I love this song! Also on The Big Chill soundtrack, I might add. I love that he did his own thing with it. I love that he played the guitar. I loved that he was rocking the bolo tie again. I just love him. I realize he is my controversial pick of the season, but I don’t care. I would buy his album. I would pay money to see him perform. It’s the whole singer-songwriter vibe he’s got going on, I think.

Naima Adedapo - “Dancing in the Street” – I just don’t know what to say about that. I don’t get her. Although, I’m sure many don’t get Paul, so I’ll try not to harp on it. I’ll leave it with she needs to stop with the dancing. Or flailing wildly, as the case may be.

James Durbin - “Living for the City” – Another great song... This guy’s range is just ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as Jacob’s. I did catch a glimpse of something tonight in his performance that reminded me of Dee Snider’s son in the little known (and watched by even fewer) VH1 reality show Rock the Cradle.

I think it might be his whole on-stage persona. Anyway, I’m going to try to ignore that. It wasn’t quite the big show-stopping performance that it could’ve been, but good nonetheless.

It’s a little hard to pick my bottom three because I really did think everyone did so much better this week than the downer that was last week. And keep in mind, this is my bottom three, not necessarily a prediction of who America will pick. Although America and I have been on the same page as of late, that can’t last for long.

My bottom three would be Thia Megia, Haley Rienhart, and Naima Adedapo. Incidentally, these three will perpetually be in my bottom until they go home because I think they are the weakest three. And I think Haley should be heading to the house this week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

The other day, Abby was commenting on something and she said, “I was hoping it was today.” Then she followed it up with, “But I know hope doesn’t get you anything.” Well, thank you for that ray of sunshine, Little Miss Pessimist.

***********************************************************

Grayson and I were coming in the house from church the other Wednesday night, when he exclaimed, “There’s a bird!” while pointing to the ceiling of the garage. Those who know me well know of my immense dislike of birds and can understand my immediate panic. I turned to look where he was pointing and saw nothing. He was adamant about the bird though and said, “See! It’s right there with the wings! It’s just a baby bird though.” I finally saw what he was referring to: a moth. It wasn’t even a large one. Clearly we need to start some science lessons in the Lane house.

***********************************************************

I saw this hanging on Abby’s wall when I went in to clean the other day.

IMG_0655

I didn’t know she even knew where Chicago was. I wonder when she was planning on filling me in on the big move…

Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol, Top 12

Or “The One Where I Really Didn’t Like Anybody.” I’m not sure why, but last night I just wasn’t feeling many of the performances. Maybe it was because several of the contestants were sick, as we were reminded after just about every song. Got to get the sympathy votes going… The judges seemed not to like them either, but then at the end they kept commenting on how this was a real competition now. I dunno… I didn’t quite get that out those performances.

Naima Adedapo - “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” – The curse of going first strikes again! I was majorly distracted by her get-up. What was up that? The leggings, the coin, belly-dancer-ish fringe, the Steven Tyler vest. I’m all about showing off your own style, but that was just bizarre. Thank you to Jennifer and Randy for calling her out on her awfulness. I feel strangely validated.

Paul McDonald - “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” – I was not aware that Paul is from the great state of Alabama when I first proclaimed my love for him. But, hey, one more reason to love him. I thought he killed this. Especially with the bolo tie. It was still identifiable as an Elton John song, but had a new flare to it. And he rocked the bolo tie.

Thia Megia – “Colors of the Wind “ – Yes, she was born the year I graduated from high school. Wow, I’m old. I am so not surprised that she sang a Disney song. As Rachel pointed out, she is clearly auditioning for the next Disney channel star. And that was a very unflattering crocheted, skin-colored dress.

James Durbin – “I’ll Be There For You “ – The tail made it’s return. Not a fan of the tail. And here it is one week after I became a fan, and now I have to diss him. It was totally off key. It started off rough and never got better. Even the scream was off key. He is better than that performance, and he was supposed to be one of the non-sick ones.

Haley Reinhart - “I’m Your Baby Tonight” – To her benefit, she didn’t try to sound like Whitney Houston. That’s about the best thing I can say about it. I was going to say I liked the red lipstick, but then it wound up all over her face. Bless her heart.

Stefano Langone – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – It’s hard to improve upon the perfection that is this song. And I assure he did not. I spent the better part of his performance trying to decide if his pants were too short or he had on high-tops. For the record, I think they were high-tops. The judges thought it was the best performance of the night thus far. All I got to say is that ain’t saying much.

Pia Toscano - “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” – Another Whitney song. This one jazzed up with a dance beat. I’m not sure why the producers keep trying to update these songs by making them dance songs, but they need to stop. And she needed to stop with the white 70’s pantsuit. Despite all that, the vocals were amazing.

Scott McCreedy – “Can I Trust You With My Heart “ – Finding out he has a thing for Elvis totally explained why he sings out of the side of his mouth. He sang it well, but it was a bit on the boring side. That’s about all I can say about that.

Karen Rodriguez – “Love Will Lead You Back “ – Well, at least she lost the pageant attire. Unfortunately, she replaced it with some alien garb and a massive PHD (Pentecostal Hair-Do), which I’m fairly certain was never in style, not even in 1989. Once again, she chose a song that was way too big for her voice. I think she should be in trouble.

Casey Abrams - “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Shut the door. First Nirvana song on Idol ever. Nirvana, electric bass, Casey Abrams. That, my friends, is the trifecta. I have to disagree with Jennifer when she said it needed to be more pleasant. There is nothing pleasant about that song or any Nirvana song for that matter. It was not, by far, the best vocal of the night or Casey’s best vocal, but a stunning vocal is not really the point of that song. Hats off to him for doing something new.

Lauren Alaina – “I’m the Only One “ – What was up with her mother’s outfit during her opening video? That hat and those earrings were too much. Please somebody stop me if I try to dress like I’m trying to be a totally out of style teenager when Abby is a teenager. Stage an intervention. Please. Lauren, however, sounded awesome. Period. I almost typed that she sounded awesome for having the flu. But she sounded better sick than most of the others sounded well.

Jacob Lusk – “Alone“ – I didn’t want to like this. I didn’t like the idea of this. But, shockingly, I didn’t think it was half bad. Who knew you could bring some gospel to Heart? I think he really tried to reign it in a little last night, which might have been why he lost the key in the middle. But, bless his heart, the over-singing is just part of who he is.

So, my bottom three would be Karen Rodriquez, Naima Adedapo, and Haley Reinhart (although Thia Megia would be a close fourth), with Karen singing her swan song. Let’s see what America thinks…

Friday, March 11, 2011

24 Weeks

Instead of a picture of me this week, I have new pictures of Finn! Who really cares what I look like anyway?

Here’s our little guy’s profile…

IMG_0650

Here’s his foot… Apparently I’m growing Bigfoot in my belly. Or maybe a future basketball player. Or Julie, maybe I have the future Bama kicker. Either way, that’s a large foot. Especially when it’s kicking me in the bladder.

IMG_0651

And here’s Finn’s sweet face….

IMG_0654

I can’t wait to meet and hold this little one! Of course, I want him to stay in and bake a while longer, but seeing him on the ultrasound today made me anxious for June to get here!

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 24 Weeks

Size of baby: Just over a pound and a foot long…he’s about the length of an ear of corn (really? I don’t think I’ve seen too many foot long ears of corn).

Maternity Clothes: Yes, except for stretchy pants and t-shirts.

Gender: Boy! John Finley Lane, AKA Finn

Movement: All the time…he’s an active little guy. I found out from the ultrasound why I’m already having problems bending over. His head is all up in my ribs, and he’s dancing on my bladder.

Sleep: Glorious sleep! I think the sheer exhaustion of all the sickness we’ve been through the past few weeks has helped me to sleep better.

What I miss: Let’s just be honest, I miss my brain. It appears to have taken a leave of absence for the remainder of this pregnancy (and maybe beyond!).

Cravings: I am still loving strawberries, and fruit in general. I branched out to blueberries this week, and grapes and bananas are always staples around our house.

Symptoms: Tired! And pregnancy brain…I have a hard time remembering what I’m doing just going from one end of the house to the other.

Best moment of the week: Seeing Finn on the ultrasound and hearing that he is right on track!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol, Top 13

It’s time for the real fun to begin! Theme weeks! I personally would like to thank the producers for picking a theme for this first week that allows the contestants to pick a song that they actually know and might actually record something like one day. The theme was “songs from your idol”. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Lauren Alaina - “Any Man of Mine” – Being first out of the gate is rarely a good thing and almost never does you any favors, and that was certainly the case with Lauren. She did a good job on the song, but she did nothing to make it memorable and that’s a problem when you’ve got twelve other people performing after you. Good lesson for her. And I still wish she would tone down the make-up just a tad.

Casey Abrams -“With A Little Help From My Friends” - Going second is a lot like going first when there’s thirteen performances going on, but Casey apparently got the memo about making it memorable. I love me some Joe Cocker, and this song takes me right back to The Wonder Years with Kevin and Winnie. It makes me smile, and Casey makes me smile. He’s just so GOOD. Although I do wish he would trim up the hair so he looks a little less like the unibomber.

Ashthon Jones - “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” – I’m still a little bitter that Ashthon made it into the top thirteen over Kendra, and this performance did nothing to win me over. I could say it was pitchy, her lower register was basically non-existent, and so on. But I’ll leave it at, it was NOT GOOD. I think she’s in trouble.

Paul McDonald - “Come Pick Me Up” – Paul looks like Bradley Cooper and sounds like Rod Stewart, and that is a winning combination. I, like Randy and Steven, hope America “gets” him. Cause I can’t wait to hear what he does next. Plus, he’s quirky, and he’s got some rad dance moves that might be a little reminiscent of Elaine Benes. You be the judge.

Pia Toscano - “All By Myself” – I hope Pia is not peaking too early. She had another really good night with what could have been a disaster of a song choice. Celine is always iffy, but Pia definitely has the voice to pull it off. She proved that last night.

James Durbin - “Maybe I’m Amazed” – I’m a fan now. Clearly, he listened to my advice last week and lost both the tail and the scream. I’m sure the scream (and possibly the tail) will make a comeback, but at least he didn’t try to force it into a song that in no way needed it. That move broke him out of the Adam Lambert mold for me.

Haley Reinhart - “Blue” – She didn’t have any issues hitting the notes on this song, yet still she tried to tramp it up a bit. Which was a little creepy and totally unnecessary since LeAnn Rimes was like 14 when she released that song. Please note that growling is not mandatory in every song.

Jacob Lusk - “I Believe I Can Fly” – He completely oversang this song, which is difficult because this song is over the top to begin with. But you know what? It doesn’t matter, because this boy can sing like nobody’s business. His range is unbelievable. ‘Nuff said.

Thia Megia - “Smile” - I didn’t think this was the best song choice for her. I still think she has an amazing voice, but I think she’s going to have to find a little more fun if she’s going to stay very long in this competition.

Stefano Langone - “Lately” – I hated this. More specifically, I hated the interjected dance beat. I think I would have liked this so much more if he had stuck a little closer to the original. I don’t care what some big time producer thought about it, I thought it stunk.

Karen Rodriguez - “I Could Fall In Love” – And it’s round 2 of the Miss American Idol pageant! And this one has the added bonus of being a “design-your-own-costume” round as well. I realize the outfit was inspired by Selena, but no where in the rules did it say that you had to dress like your idol while you were singing their music. Although, I really don’t think an outfit from this decade would have helped this performance any.

Scott McCreery - “The River” – Perfect song choice for this guy. Really cheesy pictures running as the backdrop while he sang, but that wasn’t his fault. Honestly, he could really be bad for a couple of weeks, and it still wouldn’t affect his chances of going far in this competition. The ‘tweens have spoken.

Naima Adedapo - “Umbrella” - I didn’t get this AT ALL. We all know that I am not up on current music. If you didn’t, jump back up to my comments on Casey Abrams' performance and my declaration of love for Joe Cocker. Joe Cocker does not equal current music. However, in my defense, I, unlike J.Lo, do know who Ryan Adams is. So maybe I’m not as out of it as I thought. Anyway, Burge said that “Umbrella” was one of those songs that never sounds good performed live because there was so much mixing done on the original track, it can never be replicated live. I agree. And that rap in the middle and the awkward “choreography”? NOT GOOD. There are reasons artists like J.Lo hire choreographers.

So, I’m not going to give any prediction of who will be in the bottom three and who will be voted off. Because, America? We are a fickle bunch. Who knows what criteria people will use when voting. Instead, I will say who I think should be in the bottom three. And they are… Ashthon Jones, Hailey Reinhart and Karen Rodriguez, with Ashthon Jones going home. Now, let’s see how wrong I am. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

23 Weeks

IMG_0645

So much for keeping a good photographic record of this pregnancy. However, the three pictures that I have of myself this go-round are more than I have of my other two pregnancies combined. So that’s progress, I guess.

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 23 Weeks

Size of baby: 11 inches long and about 1 pound…he is the size of a large mango.

Maternity Clothes: Yes, except for stretchy pants and t-shirts.

Gender: Boy! John Finley Lane, AKA Finn

Movement: All the time…he’s an active little guy.

Sleep: Still can’t get enough of it! I’m to the point where it’s difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in, so I’m not sleeping quite as good at night. That makes me cherish Grayson’s naptime all the more!

What I miss: Sleeping good. And maybe clothes that fit. That’s about it.

Cravings: Strawberries…I’m almost embarrassed by how many I’ve eaten in the past few weeks. Almost. In my defense, at least it’s not ice cream.

Symptoms: A little heartburn, a little acid reflux. I can’t bend over to do anything anymore without some nasty acid reflux side effects. Other than that, I’m feeling good. I’m trying to take advantage of that while it lasts and get as many baby related things marked off my to-do list as I can.

Best moment of the week: I almost said not catching the flu that has been spreading through this county like the plague, but I don’t want to jinx myself. So, I’ll go with feeling Finn move and ordering the bunk beds for the boys’ room!

I have my glucose test coming up this week, as well as another ultrasound that will thoroughly check out Finn’s development. Our first ultrasound was just for fun and to find out that he was a he. I failed the glucose test with Grayson and had to take the three hour one. Not a fun way to spend half a day! We are praying that I pass it this time and that Finn is healthy and developmentally on track!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Idol, Top 12 Girls

When the ladies filed out on stage last night in their colorful attire, I though for a moment that it was the parade of states from the Miss America pageant. Alas, there was no Miss Arkansas with her awesome ventriloquism, but there were a few pageant worthy, as well as cringe worthy, moments.

Ta-Tynisa Wilson – I have never heard the song she performed - “Only Girl (In the World)”, so I can’t compare it to the original. I can, however, compare her outfit and hair to Whitney Houston’s in the video for “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”. So, yes, I have little concept of current music, but I have great memories of 80’s music videos. I am, indeed, that old. I didn’t like the performance, and I think she’s probably in trouble.

Naima Adedapo – Seriously, the names this season! I thought her outfit was a little, ahem, bright. Then she said she designed it herself, and I was torn between applauding her for her ingenuity and blessing her heart because they do pay stylists on that show that could help her out with that. Anyway, she sang “Summertime”, and it was jazzy and happy and I don’t really think of that song like that. So, A+ for her craftiness and C- for her performance.

Kendra Chantelle – She was the other half of the “Blackbird” duet with Paul McDonald in Vegas, so I already like her. And I thought her performance of “Impossible” was strong and not overdone. Plus, she was rocking the leather pants, so I applaud her for being able to belt out that song when I feel sure her air supply was rather limited. I hope she sticks around.

Rachel Zevita – Oh, lordy. I love Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”. Love it. I did not love the Broadway version of it that Rachel sang. I didn’t even like it a little bit. I even had to Google it to see if there was an actual show tunes version or if she came up with it all on her own. For the record, it appears she came up with it all on her own. Oh, bless her, it was bad. And a big mistake on her part, unfortunately.

Karen Rodriguez – And now it’s time for the talent portion of our pageant! “Hero” is another one of the songs that should be banned from the idol stage. And Karen had the pageant dress to go with her pageant performance! In her favor, she did mix it up a little with some Spanish thrown in. It was probably good enough to move her on through, but I think she’s gonna have to step it up if she wants to go very far this season.

Lauren Turner – I really like her. And I really liked her performance of “Seven Day Fool”. There is something about her look that makes me think of Cruella DeVille, but I’m trying hard to push that out of my mind. As long as she doesn’t show up with a white streak in her hair and start kidnapping Dalmatian puppies, I think I'll be okay.

Ashthon Jones – She sang “Love Over Me”. Quite honestly, that is all I can remember about her performance. Well, that and she had some big Whitney Houston in the 80’s hair. So, I’m thinking that’s not a good thing for her...

Julie Zorilla – I really liked her throughout the auditions, but somehow she fell apart last night. “Breakaway” was way too big for her. It was awkward and almost painful to watch. She looked super cute though, and I wish she had picked a different night to be so off. I think she’s better than that performance.

Haley ReinhartSide note – I wish there was ONE name this season that I didn’t have to look up the spelling before I type it. Anyhoo, she did a great job on “Fallin’”, even if she did over-sing it and looked incredibly uncomfortable on stage. I’m kind of one the fence with this one. If she stays, I hope she tries to be a little less seductive and a little more comfortable.

Thia Megia – Haley could take some lessons from Thia. What a wee little girl with such a huge voice! And hello, understated performance! How refreshing to see a fifteen year old who knows that it’s okay not to fill up your performance with a lot of runs. It does take a lot of talent to be able to hit a note and hold it without all the extra junk. I am grateful to Thia for realizing that. And yes, if you couldn’t tell, I really liked her version of “Out Here on My Own”.

Lauren Alaina – Okay, so she is the female counterpart of Scott McCreery. She’s incredibly talented and will be an awesome country singer. And she’s totally going to be in the top ten. Although, I would like to see her tone down the make-up a little. She is only sixteen, after all. And I just sounded like my mother. Oy!

Pia ToscanoWhere did she come from?? I love the song, “I’ll Stand By You”, and she tore it up. Outstanding. There is a major flaw in the system if she doesn’t go through.

In all, I don’t think the girls are quite as strong as the guys this year. It will be interesting to see who makes it through and how the judges' wild cards play into it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Idol, Top 12 Guys

I can’t not blog about American Idol this season. Thus far, I have enjoyed it immensely. I’m loving the new judges, especially Steven Tyler (who’d a thought?), and there are some seriously promising contestants. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Clint Jun Gamboa – Okay, straight out of the gate, I don’t like him. It has nothing to do with his level of talent and everything to do with his diss of the young Jacee during Hollywood week. He sang “Superstition”, which sounded a bit karaoke to me, which is fitting since he is a karaoke DJ!

Jovany Barreto – “I’ll Be” is on the list of songs that should be banned from AI. Can you say over-played? Add to it the fact that he didn’t add anything unique to it, and I think it might be his last performance on the American Idol stage. Unless the shipyard mafia calls in some favors. Is it just me, or does he look like he might be a member of The Family?

Jordan Dorsey – What was that? I believe the word you’re searching for is awkward. And that’s what it was. “OMG” was probably not the best choice of song, and I’d say it sealed his fate when both the judges who liked everybody last night (that would be Steven and Jennifer) didn’t like him.

Tim Halperin – I had no idea who he was before he performed last night. Sadly, I doubt I will have the chance to find out much more about him. I say sadly, because I think I could like him. I didn’t think “Street Corner Symphony” was necessarily a bad choice for him, but it certainly didn’t do much to make him stand out.

Brett Lowenstern – I want to like this kid. I really do. He took up for Jacee during the Clint Jun diss, so I want to be loyal to him. But, I just can’t. His rendition of “Come on Baby Light My Fire” was wrong on so many levels. So. Many. Levels. And the constant hair shaking kind of gave me the heeby-jeebys. Plus, it was almost like the stage swallowed him up. Not a good combination

James Durbin – As opposed to Brett, I didn’t want to like James. He seems a little arrogant to me. And the screaming reminds me of Adam Lambert. And that is not a good thing in my book. However, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” was perfectly suited to the well-placed scream. And if he would lose the tail, I believe I could get behind him.

Robbie Rosen – Oh, dear. Let’s add any Sarah McLachlan song to the list of songs banned from AI, okay? Plus, Robbie looks like he walked straight off the set of Welcome Back, Kotter. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

From now on, Robbie Rosen will be also known as Horshack.

Scott McCreery – Okay, I am in no way diminishing this guy’s talent. Clearly, he is a great country singer, if that’s your cup of tea. And, as we all know, it is not mine. Plus, he has the preteen vote locked up, so I don’t think there is any way that he will not sail right on in to the top 10. BUT, what is up with him leaning so far over on that stool and then singing out of the side of his mouth? And, it wasn’t even the opposite side of his mouth from the way he was leaning. It was so off-balance, I had to turn away. Yes, I have issues, and apparently symmetry is one of them.

Stefano Langone – I’m on the fence with this one. I really like the song “Just the Way You Are”, and I thought he did pretty good with the end. The beginning, though, was rough. I think he could garner some of the teen vote, perhaps those who are not familiar with “Baby, lock the door and turn the lights down low…”, and that might save him.

Paul McDonald – I’m a fan of Paul. He won me over with “Blackbird” during Vegas, and then sealed the deal when he wore the awesome Dwight Yoakam suit during his final performance during Hollywood week. Not just anyone can pull off a rose-covered white suit. Also, he clearly has good dental hygiene (did you see how white his teeth are?), which is always a positive. It doesn’t hurt that he owned “Maggie May”. Move over, Rod.

Jacob Lusk – This dude has got pipes. I’m not really sure I can hear him doing anything current though. But, I bet the boy can throw down on some Jesus music.

Casey Abrams – Hands down, my favorite. Now, I know he needs some serious stylist help. Or just some scissors and a razor. But he’s got massive talent. He tore up “I Put a Spell on You” and pretty much stole the show. You never would’ve known he was in the hospital less than 24 hours prior to that performance. That, my friends, is determination. I can’t wait to see what else he’s got up his sleeve.

So, there you go… my take on the top 12 guys. Let’s see how the girls stack up tonight!