Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Go Read My Other Blog

To all 4 of you who actually come to this blog, please re-direct your browsing to my ER blog, where I have decided that I will throw my AI musings in the mix.  If you don't care about life in the ER, that's fine, just skip those posts.  After all, those who don't care about Amrican Idol will ahve to skip some posts as well.

It's a lose-lose proposition.  The best kind there is.

See you there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is Anybody Here?

I'm toying with the idea of blogging the American Idol performances again this year.  The thing is, this blog never really took off last year and I can tell by watching Google Analytics that I don't get very many hits.

So is anyone really out there?  And if you are, do you really care what I have to say about American Idol?  Let me know, because otherwise I'm just going to post my comments on my other blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Season 7 Bottom 15 List

EDITORS NOTE: I started working on this post a bajillion years ago and never got around to completing it. Now I don't even remember where I left off, so I'm just posting it as it is, and all three of you who come to my blog can figure out what I meant in the incomplete sections.


So now that I'm done with honoring the top performances of the year on American Idol, here is my tribute to the performances that made me want to throw up.

Jason Castro - I Shot the Sheriff (4) This one earns top honors for bad performance of the year. It also earns top honors for classic line of the year: Simon: What were you thinking? Jason: I was thinking BOB MARLEY!

David Cook - Innocent (8) This was before David's popularity really took off, and frankly he was lucky to not be kicked off for this utter and terrible drivel.

Ramiele Malubay - Alone (10)

Kristy Lee Cook - Eight Days a Week (12)

Amanda Overmeyer - Carry On Wayward Son (20)

Amanda Overmeyer - Back in the USSR (11)

David Cook - The World I Know (Finale)

Carly Smithson - Superstar (6)

David Cook - Baba O'Riley (4)

Brooke White - I'm a Believer (5)

David Cook - Dare You To Move (3)

Syesha Mercado - If I Were Your Woman (10)

Jason Castro - Forever in Blue Jeans (5) 4.5

Carly Smithson - Without You (7) 4.5

Michael Johns - It's All Wrong But It's All Right (9) I know a lot of people liked this song. My wife included; and I tried. Really I tried. But in the end, despite listening to it several time desperately trying to like it, I just hate it more every time. Perhaps he was just constipated and he really wasn't in that much pain. The world will never know.

Honorable Mentions

David Archuleta - With You (3) I'm sorry, David, but hearing you sing "I need ya boo" is just too much for me.

Carly Smithson - The Show Must Go On (8)

Syesha Mercado - Hit Me Up (3) She didn't actually sing it that bad, but what a terrible choice for her to sing. If she had chosen it for herself it would certainly make my hall of crap countdown.

David Cook - Always Be My Baby (7) Especially at 1:20 when he can't hold his pee any longer.

And of course... the lyric flubs:

David Archuleta - We Can Work It Out (12) I don't care nearly as much about a lyric flub as many people seem to. But when it happens again and again throughout the song... and when the singing wasn't that great to begin with...

Brooke White - You Must Love Me (5) She had the professionalism to start over and she got it right after that. Unfortunately it was good, but she seemed distracted and it wasn't an inspired performance. I liked the studio version, though... in fact, I loved the studio version.

Jason Castro - Mr. Tambourine Man (4)


Kady Malloy - Who Wants to Live Forever (16) Magic Man (20) Groovy Kind of Love (24)

Danny Noriega - Superstar (20) Jailhouse Rock (24) and Tainted Love (16)

Amy Davis - Where the Boys Are (24)

Luke Menard - Killer Queen (20)

Robbie Carico - Hot Blooded (20)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Season 7 top 15 list

MJ has a list up on her blog of her 15 favorite performances from this season. I thought it was intresting to look at because of how little crossover there was between her 15 and what I thought my 15 would be, so I went to work and here is the list that I came up with, in approximate order from best down:

The number in parentheses indicates which week of the competition (IE 20 = top 20 week, 4 = top 4 week)

David Archuleta - Imagine (20*) - I hate the commie song, but Archie sang it so clearly and purely that I was held speechless by it. I have since gone back to listen to it dozens of times and each time I am floored. Give me an album of songs like this one (without the stupid liberal message) and I will be there on day one to buy it. Far and away the best performance of the season.

Brooke White - You're So Vain (20) - Even Carly Simon called Brooke to compliment her on this understated performance that really made me fall in love with her. She sang it simply, she looked beautiful, she was having fun, and the song is absolutely right up her alley. She had a few good performances after this, but when I think of Brooke, this is still the song I think of. Love it.

David Hernandez - Papa Was a Rolling Stone (20) - It was the 2nd performance. The day I'll always remember, because that was the day that David let his voice go and showed us that he had some real talent. Unfortunately, I can only listen to him sing. That's right; I can't watch him because of his weird eyebrow thing.

David Archuleta - Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me (Finale) - I wasn't expecting much from this, and I was cringing for the inevitable comparisons between him and Aiken after singing this song. Boy was I blown away.

David Cook - Billie Jean (10) - I will admit that I wasn't big on this at first go, but each successive time that I played this song I liked it more and more. Certainly his best of the year. On an aside, I had listened to the Chris Cornell version quite by accident just a week earlier and didn't like it. Perhaps that is why I didn't like Mumbly's version at first go-round.

David Cook - The Music of the Night (6) - My devoted legions of readers will know that I was no David Cook fan, but I cannot deny that I listened to his straight-up and beautiful version of this broadway classic over and over again. I was not expecting him to hit the note on "be", but he nailed it. In fact, this performance was everything that Mumbly could be, but for some reason chooses not to be.

Brooke White Love is a Battlefield (16) - How does Brooke follow up her masterfully simple performance of You're So Vain? She comes back the next week with a masterfully simple performance of the big, powerful Benatar song. Anyone who had never heard the original would certainly be excused for thinking that this is just how the original went.

Ramiele Malubay - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (24) - Back when Ramiele looked like there would be no doubt that she would make the top 3 or 4, she absolutely wowed me with her gorgeous - and surprisingly powerful - rendition of this standard. What happened from that point? It was all downhill.

Brooke White Let it Be (12) - How does Brooke follow up on two tremendous performances? With a third outstanding number. These three songs in a row were enough to catapult her into position to be one of the female front-runners. Unfortunately, for the rest of the season, with the exception of a couple good-but-not-great songs (Every Breath You Take and I Am... I Said), she just went downhill from there. Brooke is a studio singer, and methinks the big stage didn't do her any favors.

David Archuleta - Smoky Mountain Memories (9) - Yes. Another David Archuleta song. Sue me.

David Archuleta - The Long and Winding Road (11) - A week after flubbing the lyrics and then some on his first Beatles attempt, Archie delivered a "master class" with this simple and pure delivery. I liked it a lot, so I went and listened to the original. After that I liked Archie's version even better.

Chikezie She’s a Woman (12) - As this song started, I thought, "oh brother what is this crap". By the end I was up dancing with Paula (figuratively speaking). But dude, what's with the golfing vest?

Syesha Mercado - One Rock and Roll Too Many (6) - Here is the song that assured Syesha her place atop the second tier. Completely opposite to Brooke, who started with some show-stoppers and went downhill, Syesha kept climbing up the hill through the season, with this as her breakout song in my opinion.

David Archuleta - Love Me Tender (4) - A lot of people say his version of Stand By Me was his best of the night. It was good. Probably should be in the honorable mention pile (laziness prohibits that idea). But I much preferred the simple (is this a theme?) Elvis cover. A lot of people (perhaps the same people?) said that he doesn't understand love and therefore couldn't infuse this song with the proper emotion. I take solace in the fact that these are the same people who keep voting for David Cook.

Jason Castro - I Don't Wanna Cry (7) Some weren't big on what he did with it, but I love the exotic feel to it, and how he finally managed to sing a song live without spitting in the mic on every other word. If he could manage to sing all his songs without the P's and H's being hurled unceremoniously into the microphone, I would have been a much bigger fan.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order):

Syesha Mercado - Hello Again (5) For a brief time she approaches too belty with this song, but the simplicity of the melody and her beautiful voice bring it back home. It was around this time that I started to wonder if she might surprise us all and knock one of the Davids out of the top 2. The producers would have none of that, however, and sealed the deal by making her sing the stupid song from happy feet.

Syesha Mercado - Vanishing (7) Here we go with my theme again: simple and beautiful. Oh yeah, and cleavage.** I actually liked the first 3/4 of it much more than the weird glory note at the end; hence it is an honorable mention and not a winner.

David Archuleta - Think of Me (6) I really think he could have done well with this song in its original form, but I actually liked the way he took this song and infused some pop into it. It was good, but not one that I'm aching to watch over and over again.

Michael Johns - We Are the Champions (10) MJ was the biggest disappointment of the season for me. I could see his great potential, but he always seemed so pained when he was singing, like he couldn't quite hit the notes. He was much better in this performance.

David Archuleta - Shop Around (24) - With this song, Archie proved that he was more than just a balladeer. Unfortunately, I couldn't include this one in my top 15 because of some range problems in the song. Still lots of fun.

Alexandrea Lushington - Spinning Wheel (24) - Before she was inexplicably kicked off the show, Alexandrea put herself on the map in a big way with her week 1 number. How Amanda Overmeyer got a seat in the top 12 and not Alexandrea, I will never understand. This is an honorable mention because while I think it shows her potential, the execution is not quite good enough to rank in the top 15.

David Cook - Hello (16) - I absolutely hated how this song started, and it was amusing to make fun of David's little girly "hellooooo?", but in the end, he rocked this out enough to merit an honorable mention. Liked it, didn't love it.

David Cook - First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (3) - If he could have resisted the temptation to yell at the end, it may have made the top 15.

STUDIO VERSIONS that were good in spite of mediocre to poor live performances:

Jason Castro - Travelin' Through, I Don't Wanna Cry (yeah, this made my top 15, but the studio version is even better) and Memory

Brooke White - You Must Love Me, You've Got a Friend, and Hero

David Archuleta - Longer and Sweet Caroline

Syesha Mercado - If I Ain't Got You

So all in all, David Archuleta makes my top15/HM list 7 times, David Cook 4 times, Brooke White 3 times, and Syesha 3 times. Go ahead, ask me if I agree with the top 5.

* David reprised Imagine in the finale, but he added nothing new and didn't quite sing it as well. His top 20 performance remains the gold standard for me.
** I don't just like it for the cleavage. Honest.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Archie vs the Mumbler

In the battle of the national anthems, it is

David Cook


David Archuleta

Not even close.

Warning: the video with Archie is considerably louder than Cookies crapfest. Syesha also has a national anthem to her name, which is good, but she does the change-the-melody-and-slow-down-and-speed-up-and-add-lots-of-needless-runs-to-the-point-that-you-can-barely-recognize-the-song thing, which sucks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


David Cook? Really?


Congrats to David Cook.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Final night recap: Mumbly sucks it up

Sorry I haven't been around lately. To admit a mortal foible, I still haven't even watched the performances from last week. It just felt anticlimactic. I knew what would happen, and sure enough, it did.

This week, I can see going either way. I think it will really depend on the performances. So lets see how they perform:

David Cook starts by singing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2. He starts off way off key. Does everyone else not notice this? It gets better towards the end of the song, but not enough to save it in my eyes. The judges, of course, love it. Braden rating 6/10 Kerry rating 7/10

David Archuleta is singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John. Tall order because not only is it a tough song, but it was already done by Clay. Here he goes. Wow. Perfection. Well, not quite. There were a few moments where you could feel some self doubt with his eye-closing thing and he faltered just a bit, but Wow. The judges heap the praise on him even beyond what they gave Mumbly. Braden rating 9/10 Kerry rating 9/10.

David Cook chose the songwriter song "Dream Big" by somebodyorother. Off he goes and he is lost in mumblyland. David! David! Over here is the exit to Coherenceville. Come on over! Oh, now he is at the chorus and it is like a whole new song. Can I give him two ratings? I say 2.5 for the verses and 7 for the chorus. Randy and Paula loved it. Paula wants to get married and move to Blue Springs. Simon keeps it real. That was not a winning moment. Braden rating 5.5/10 Kerry rating 5.5/10.

David Archuleta chose the one song that I really liked from the songwriting competition. It is "In This Moment" by Whatsemuhkie. He starts off and I can't hear him because everyone is still cheering. Now they stop and I still can't hear him. He is picking up steam, though. Did he really just say that his window encompasses perfection? I know ALW pointed that out earlier, but really. Okay, now he is getting to the big part of the song and he is on fire. Spot on. One more time, Archie knocks the crap out of Mumbly. The judges love it. Braden rating 8/10 Kerry rating 8/10.

David Cook starts the third round with "The World I Know" by Collective Soul. I love this song and I think that he can really do well with it. Let's see. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Wow, I'm glad that is over. I don't think there was a single moment that I liked in that whole song. It was terrible. Yuck. Wow. That was bad. Paula and Randy loved it, Simon kept it real again. Braden rating 4/10 Kerry rating 6/10.

And to close the show, Mr. A is reprising his amazing "Imagine". I think this is a mistake, because how can he improve on his original performance? He is going to have to bring something new to it, or it will just be at best a reminder that he is a good singer. Then again, all he really needs after those first two performances is to not completely blow it and he will have knocked DC out of the water. He is off, and even the camera uses the same angle as from the first "Imagine" performance. He is changing a few melody points, but this is just Imagine Redux, and while it is still beautiful, it isn't as amazing as the first time he did it. The judges now and Randy just crowned him. Paula wants to squish his head off and hang it from her rear-view mirror, but she is unwilling to betray her secret lover and give Archie the title. Simon has no qualms about saying it like it is. David Archuleta takes the night by a mile. Braden rating 8/10 Kerry rating 8.5/10

So lets tally those ratings up:

David Cook: 6.5, 5.5, 5
David Archuleta: 9, 8, 8.25

For a total average rating of:

David Cook: 5.7
David Archuleta: 8.4

Now for the predictions. I don't think I have left any doubt all season long that I like David Archuleta, but I really came into tonight thinking that it could go either way as to who wins. Now after listening to the performances, however, all I have to say is that David Cook wanted to show us the world he knows, and he certainly dreamed big, but in the end, he still hasn't found what I'm looking for. bah-duhm-ching!

Braden says: David Archuleta wins
Kerry says: David Archuleta wins

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Compare tonight's song choices - Updated

I had a long day at work, but now I'm home and ready to fill you in on the final song choices for tonight.


David Archuleta

Personal choice: With You (lyrics) by Chris Brown
Paula's choice: And So it Goes (lyrics) by Billy Joel (Proof that Paula is not only drunk while judging the show. She could pick any song at all, and this is what she chooses?)
Producer's choice: Longer (lyrics) by Dan Fogelberg (listening to this song, I can see David knocking it out of the park.

Syesha Mercado

Personal choice: Fever (lyrics) by Peggy Lee
Randy's choice: If I Ain't Got You (lyrics) by Alicia Keys
Producer's choice: Hit Me Up (lyrics) by Gia Farrell

David Cook

Personal choice: Dare You To Move (lyrics) by Switchfoot
Simon's choice: First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (lyrics) by Roberta Flack (Interesting that he would choose this song, seeing that his favorite source of income has already covered it. Is he trying to hurt him or help him?)
Producer's choice: I Don't Want To Miss a Thing (lyrics) by Aerosmith

Most of this information comes from MJ's Blog. Where it comes from before that I don't know, but seldom is MJ ever wrong on anything Idol, so I trust the information.

Compare tonight's song choices

I work a 12 hour shift today, so I will not be able to update this before the show comes on tonight. Therefore, devoted reader, you get all of the information that I know so far. I don't know why so many people are singing Not Yet Known, but I guess it is a really good song. The stars represent what I think of the song choice. Live with it.


David Archuleta

Personal choice: Not Yet Known
Paula's choice: And So it Goes ** (lyrics) by Billy Joel (Proof that Paula is not only drunk while judging the show. She could pick any song at all, and this is what she chooses?)
Producer's choice: Longer ***** (lyrics) by Dan Fogelberg (listening to this song, I can see David knocking it out of the park.

Syesha Mercado

Personal choice: Not Yet Known
Randy's choice: If I Ain't Got You *** (lyrics) by Alicia Keys
Producer's choice: Not Yet Known

David Cook

Personal choice: The World I Know **** (lyrics) by Collective Soul (great song. great choice, but seems to be playing with fire a little. He sounds so similar to them already, if he doesn't match up to the original, there will be the inevitable comparisons... at least from the fans - the judges don't seem to know anything about alternative rock.)
Simon's choice: First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ** (lyrics) by Roberta Flack (Interesting that he would choose this song, seeing that his favorite source of income has already covered it. Is he trying to hurt him or help him?)
Producer's choice: Not Yet Known

Most of this information comes from MJ's Blog. Where it comes from before that I don't know, but seldom is MJ ever wrong on anything Idol, so I trust the information.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rock and Roll Recap

Have I mentioned lately that I'm glad Carly is gone? Just wondering.

First on this lovely evening is everyone's friend and resident mumbler David Cook. He is singing "Hungry Like the Wolf", originally by Duran Duran. He starts out sounding excited but looking very bored. It isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. Typical David Cook. Actually he sounds angry. Kerry: "His hair was better. I don't have anything else to say. Judges: Randy makes a great point that he could have picked anything and this song was a weak choice for him. Paula is making sexual innuendos - I think without knowing it - Simon thought it was good but doesn't seem too excited about it. Braden rating 5/10 Kerry rating 6.5/10

Second is Syesha Mercado, who will roll and roll and roll with "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner. She is standing on the stage looking sexy - perhaps trying too hard to look sexy - but her vocals start out kind of weak. She continues to danc very sexy-like and have weak vocals. Now we get to the bridge and she picks it up a few notches and it is reasonable, but, as Simon may say (and probably will) it is still kind of forgettable. Not good enough to keep her in unless Jason sucks it up. Kerry: "Good performance, but she got a little screechy at the end there." Judges: Randy is glad that Syesha showed up. Paula says blah blah blah and then keeps blahing. Simon thought it was a bad, shrieky version of Tina Turner. Braden agrees. Syesha retorts that she is just trying to have fun. Simon says, "well, I didn't." Braden rating 6/10 Kerry rating 7.5/10

Third is Jason Castro, who has agreed to put aside his drugs long enough to sing "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley. I just threw up in my mouth. Okay Syesha, you are safe this week. Kerry: "I liked it in a way, just because he did something different than just sit in his chair and sing a boring song. But it was kind of weird and it ended abruptly. But it looked like he was enjoying himself for the first time in weeks." Judges: Randy is speechless. Finally he finds his words enough to say that there was nothing special and that song was only good enough for him to have fun. Paula finds the only possible compliment: "you performed more to the audience" Simon keeps it real. Among other things, he calls it "Utterly atrocious" and calls the performing and the singing as bad as he has ever heard. He says it reminds him of a first round performance. Finally, he says "I don't know what you were thinking." Jason's response, in a stoner-cartoony voice: "I was thinking Bob Marley!". Finally at the end, Ryan asks Simon and Randy why they are being so harsh and they continue the critique. Paula, in a fit of irony, calls a stop to it, informing them that he has another song. She fails to mention that she has already judged it and will continue her drinking binge while he sings. Braden rating 2.5/10 Kerry rating 6/10

Ugh! I need to go take a shower after listening to that.

Reclaiming his fourth place starting position again is David Archuleta who is going trite with one of the most covered songs ever: "Stand By Me". In his defense, I can really see him knocking this one out. I just hope he does something original with it. He looks good in all black. Starting out, he is just a little too melodic for me. And thus it continues. Too many voice runs. All-in-all it was a solid performance; just not my favorite. I may like it more next time I listen to it. Kerry: "He really looked like he was having fun, stepping out of his comfort zone and getting a little more animated." Judges: Randy is excited. Paula is making excuses for his age. She continues by saying blah blah blah. Simon says he could have whistled the song and it would have sounded better than Jason. He says that David struggled a little at the end, but calls it the best performance so far. Braden rating 6.5/10 Kerry rating 8.5/10

First round over. Impressions: I'm not in a bad mood, but I've been rating like I am. Maybe, just maybe, the performances are just not up to what you would expect from the top 4. Kerry thinks that David's was the best, but she is "kinda disappointed by the other peeps."

Fifth is David Cook, trying his hand at "Baba O'Riley" perhaps more commonly known as "teenage crap" by the Who. He starts. OPEN YOUR FREAKING MOUTH WHEN YOU SING AND MAYBE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE WORDS OUT AS WORDS INSTEAD OF MUMBLING OF CRAPPY CRAPPINESS. Okay, I'm calm. Now he gets into the main thrust of the song and tries to go falsetto and instead gets kind of whiny. Then the song suddenly ends. Kerry: "I was kind of liking the first half, but I don't like it when he gets screechy. Of course he has a strike against him because I don't like the song. Just repeat Teenage Wasteland 50 times? How is that a song?" Judges: Randy and Paula: blah blah blah. Simon: "Welcome back David Cook" Braden rating 4.5/10 Kerry rating 5.5/10

Sixth is Syesha who is boldly piloting the message song machine tonight with her rendition of "Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. Wow. She looks gorgeous... but look at that cleavage! Where did that all come from? As for the voice, this is Syesha from several weeks ago when she refused to let her big voice out except for a few notes. I enjoy those few notes, but most of this song was just completely lost. In fact, had I not heard this song before, I would have no clue what it was about. Kerry: "Hi boobs. She sang it well, but it was kind of boring and forgettable." Judges: Randy ticks off the list of what he didn't like about it. Paula feels bad about what Randy says and so she goes into defensive mode. Syesha starts crying. Simon can't bring himself to critique her while she is crying so he sells out. I really really really hope that these tears are genuine. I want to believe that they are and that she is not just vying for votes. She seems like a pretty sincere person. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt. Besides, after Jason's first performance, she could have puked in the middle of singing and I think she would be safe. Braden rating 6/10 Kerry rating 6.5/10

Seventh is Jason who, luckily, can only improve on Bob Dylan's utter crappiness as he sings "Mr. Tambourine Man". Let's see if he can redeem himself. He's off... and he's off. And... he is way off. He just forgot his lyrics. Like totally, completely forgot them. Like humming the tune kind of forgot them. Goodbye, Jason. Thanks a lot for taking all of the drama out of tomorrow night. Kerry: "You can't forget the words at this point. He is gone." Judges: Randy is so speechless that he can only ask Jason what he thinks of his performance. Finally he musters, "Jason is not in the zone tonight." Some girl in the audience shouts "Yes he is". Oh thanks random girl. You convinced me. Now I see the error of my ways. I am redeemed. I'll nudge his score up half a point now. Paula has nothing good to say, either. Her comment: "it is what it is." Brilliant. Simon tells him to pack his suitcase. Braden rating: 3/10 Kerry rating: 4.5/10

Finally, Mr. A will serenade us with perhaps the second most covered song ever: "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley (though rumor has it he will do the Nora Jones version... whatever that means). At this point, he can only improve on the terrible performances of the night. Starts off well enough - though it is a pretty easy start. Strong performance. He keeps it simple and doesn't overdo the vocal runs so much. Very nice. Kerry: "His voice kind of cracked at the end, but I loved it. It made me smile." Judges: Randy likes how tender it was. "Hot vocals of the night" Paula felt him (while squishing him to put him in her rearview mirror). Simon says he not only beat the competition, but he crushed the competition. Ryan calls him Crusher. Braden rating 8.5/10 Kerry rating 9/10

So shall we put all of those ratings together? (average Braden and Kerry rating)

First song:

David Archuleta 7.5
Syesha Mercado 6.75
David Cook 5.75
Jason Castro 4.25

Second song:

David Archuleta 8.75
Syesha Mercado 6.25
David Cook 5
Jason Castro 3.75


David Archuleta 8.1
Syesha Mercado 6.5
David Cook 5.4
Jason Castro 4

And now...

They will play up the drama. But there really is none.

Braden thinks the bottom two will be Syesha and Jason with Jason going home
Kerry thinks the bottom two will be Syesha and Jason with Jason going home

Compare tonight's Rock and Roll performances

Song choices have been leaked, and once again here are some links to YouTube clips of the originals for your viewing pleasure. You are welcome:

David Archuleta is singing Stand By Me by Ben E King (lyrics) and Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley (he is singing the Norah Jones version) (lyrics). Strange choice if you ask me - which, I notice, you didn't. Why not?
Syesha Mercado is singing Proud Mary by Tina Turner (lyrics) and A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke (lyrics)
Jason Castro is singing I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley (lyrics) and Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan (lyrics)
David Cook is singing Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran (lyrics) and Baba O'Riley by the Who (lyrics)

I'm excited to have a week where the contestants actually get to choose from a broad pool of song choices, and they have not disappointed with a broad selection of songs. Let's see how they do.

Others who have covered these same songs:

John Lennon singing Stand By Me
Muhammad Ali singing Stand By Me
Some random barbershop quartet singing Stand By Me
Spanish boyband D'Nash singing Stand By Me (starting at 2:06)
Famous Italian Adriano Celentano singing Stand By Me in Italian
Otis Redding singing Stand By Me
Mickey Gilley singing Stand By Me from the movie Urban Cowboy
Elvis Presley singing Love Me Tender
Scatman John singing Love Me Tender
Percy Sledge singing Love Me Tender
Frank Sinatra singing Love Me Tender with Elvis
Kenny Rogers singing Love Me Tender
Richard Chamberlain singing Love Me Tender
Toni Braxton singing Love Me Tender
Nicholas Cage possibly lip-syncing Love Me Tender from the movie Wild at Heart
Jessica Simpson singing Love Me Tender
Famous Frenchperson Nana Mouskouri singing Love Me Tender
Creedence Clearwater Revival singing Proud Mary
Elvis singing Proud Mary
Danny Noriega puking Proud Mary
Otis Redding singing A Change is Gonna Come
Tina Turner singing A Change is Gonna Come (how much you wanna bet that this is the version Syesha sings)
Eric Clapton singing I Shot the Sheriff
Warren G rapping I Shot the Sheriff (warning: as may be expected of Warren G this video is a little suggestive)
The Byrds improving on Dylan's crappy version of Mr. Tambourine Man
William Shatner reading/singing/killing Mr. Tambourine Man (starting at about 3:45)
Reel Big Fish singing Hungry Like the Wolf
Subliminal Girls singing Hungry Like the Wolf (no, I've never heard of them either. Thanks, YouTube)
Gnarls Barckley singing Hungry Like the Wolf
Incubus singing Hungry Like the Wolf (how much do you want to bet this is the version he steals?)
Pearl Jam singing Baba O'Riley
Grateful Dead singing Baba O'Riley

Idol notes

Once again, the ever resourceful Idol has a load of great headlines to pull from. Here are a few that interested me:

Donna Reynolds waxes philosophical about "
the curse of the top four" and expects to have a huge surprise this week. Could the big A really be going home? Make up your own mind? PS - I miss Latoya London.

TV Guy over at (hey wait a minute... don't they have their own Idol?) thinks that the big A will win the whole shebang... and then proceeds to tell us how to stop him. One thing you are missing, mr TV guy: It aint just the 12 year old girls who are voting for him. Those of us who appreciate his impressive musical talents and wholesome appeal cross a lot of stereotypes. And no, you can't take my cell phone. I'll vote an extra time or two just for you.

Proving that there is nothing you can't gamble on, the LA Times showcases some dude who thinks Syesha will be leaving us this week and has odds to back it up.

Back to the Big A, there is an article in the Deseret News that features some stories of people inspired by David. I don't know that I have seen his face burned onto my piece of toast yet, but whatevs. He certainly has it in him to be an inspiring singer.

Peace out.
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Monday, May 5, 2008

Jason in the studio

I'm a little surprised to admit it, but I love Jason Castro...

In the studio.

I still don't like him live, but I just got done listening to his studio versions of Travelin Through and I Don't Want To Cry and I loved them. I have always liked his voice, but I've just hated his breathing into the microphone that ruins all his songs. That, and the fact that he is always stoned. I think that he, like Brooke, is a studio singer, and not a live singer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hope my wife doesn't read this...

Had to post this picture:

borrowed from MJ's Blog

Nooooo! Not my Brooke!!!!!!

Brookie-poo, my Brookie-poo! How I will miss you!

The good news, though: her album is now back up for sale. I bought four songs off of it. You're welcome, Brooke. Get the steak tonight. On me.

A few notes from the results show:

Sorry I'm late with this. I know that my faithful readers have all been pacing back and forth while reciting obscure lines from 18th century playwrights to keep themselves in some degree of sanity while awaiting my brilliant observations. I've had a couple intense days of work, and 12 hour shifts that start at noon pretty much destroy productivity.

I'm not convinced that Syesha was actually one of the bottom two vote-getters this last week. She sang very well, and according to DialIdol, she was actually the top vote-getter. And as far as I heard, at no point during the night was it ever said that this was the bottom two. Is this another producer trick? If so, why? Why not be honest and let us see what America really thinks? Is it because Archuleta or Cookie monster were in the bottom two and they wanted a finale with two contestants who had never had to sit on the urinals of death? If so, that bothers me.

Yes. You are correct. I have no life.

With that admitted, let's continue:

Was I the only one who laughed out loud when Natasha Bedingfield said she wanted to go give David a hug? I laughed so hard that milk came out of my nose (figuratively speaking, of course) as she ran up to where the contestants were sitting, because Cookie started to stand up, sure that if she wanted to meet a David it would be him, but then not only was he left the only one standing (and awkwardly trying to cover up his stupidity), but he got the cold shoulder as she didn't even shake his hand. Hil-freaking-arious.

Maybe it is because I'm a nurse and look for these kinds of things, but did anyone else notice that Neil Diamond had a droopy right eye and didn't smile evenly? Has he had a stroke?

Does Brooke not like David Cooke? During her last song, he looked like he was trying to comfort her and she pulled away pretty sharply. The really telling moment was when she punched him in the face and threw her microphone at him. I don't see that relationship going anywhere.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carly likes Brooke

Carly Simon apparently likes Brooke White, going so far as to say that "she sings the song (You're So Vain) so much better than I ever did or ever could."

Carly mentions that she isn't good in front of a huge audience, leaving the inference that Brooke isn't either, but that she could still be successful.

I've always held that Brooke is not that great of a performer, but she is a great singer. I think she is equal in talent to Carly. Unfortunately, the folky singer-songwriter is not in vogue right now, so I don't think she will have huge commercial success. I'll buy her CD, though.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Top 5 Night Recap

Can you imagine my great pleasure in realizing that we are now at the stage of American Idol where each contestant sings two songs, and we don't have to hear twice the Ramiele or twice the Carly? Joy, joy, joy!

So anyway, let's hear some Neil Diamond:

Starting out tonight is Jason Castro. The fact that he gets the tough number one spot and that he is (along with Brooke and Syesha) on the edge anyway, makes me think he will be going home before I even listen to any of the songs. He is going to start out tonight with "Forever in Blue Jeans". One word: uninspired. This version sounds like it could be good, and I think I may like the studio version, but I'm just not wowed by this performance. Kerry: "It was alright. He's getting kind of boring." Braden rating: 4.5/10 Kerry rating: 6/10

David Cook will sing Second. He is sitting on the potty chairs with Ryan and tries to turn the interview around at him. It doesn't work. He comes off as very cocky. He's singing "I'm Alive". He starts out and he isn't mumbling! Miracle! That said, he is trying to hard to keep up his tempo and he is kind of flat. I think he is trying to do the Neil Diamond gravelly voice and it just sounds like he is missing the notes. Wow, that felt short. Kerry: "booooooring." Braden rating: 5/10 Kerry rating: 4/10

Third is Brooke White and she is going to be playing instruments for today's songs. She is starting with "I'm a Believer". Brooke looks like she is having fun, but what's with the weird vibrato. She is not giving a powerful enough performance for this song. It seems to me like she is swallowing the end of her words. I mean, this is aaight, but I'm not blown away. Kerry: "It was just okay for me, dog." Braden rating: 5.5/10 Kerry rating: 5.5/10

Fourth is David Archuleta who is tackling "Sweet Caroline", which, along with what he will supposedly sing later are two huge ND songs. David looks like he is having fun as well. I'm on the fence with this one because this is one of my favorite Diamond songs, and he is really taking it someplace different. I'm going to have to stick with the pattern for the night and give it a great big "meh". Kerry: "I agree with my husband. He doesn't have a man-crush on Seacrest." Braden rating: 6/10 Kerry rating: 7/10

Fifth is Syesha Mercado who will serenade us with "Hello Again". Have I ever mentioned that she is really beautiful? She is really beautiful. Neil Diamond wants to give her a hug. I want to give Kerry a hug. I don't like it when they sit on the edge of the stage to sing. I don't like it when the audience does that stupid hand-wavy thing. That all said, I do like what Syesha is doing with this song. This is the Syesha that I really liked during Hollywood week: strong voice, on key, perfect pitch and able to hold notes without faltering. Kerry: "She sang it beautifully, but it isn't all that memorable" Braden rating: 8/10 Kerry rating: 7/10

Now all of the idols are coming out and the judges are going to comment on this round:

Randy: Jason was just okay, David was in the zone, Brooke was better than last week, David Archuleta was the bomb. Syesha was in the zone and strong.
Paula: Jason shows his lower register. Now she is talking about his second song, but he hasn't sung a second song yet. Uh oh. What is going on? Now Randy and Simon are shutting her up. Now she is trying to cover up by pretending that she was talking about David Cook with the second critique. Paula, darling, listen up to this friendly advice from a nurse: "lay off the narcotics before the show. Ask your doctor if Toradol is right for you."
Simon: Jason was forgetable, David was just above average, Brooke was a nightmare, David Archuleta was amateurish, Syesha was old-fashioned. Get better in round two or I will hunt you down and eat your mothers for breakfast.

And boom, just like that, we are off on round two.

Sixth is Jason singing "September Morn". Oh, how original: Jason is sitting on a stool and singing. Like he has done with every other song he has ever sung. Kerry: "do you realise that he looks like the creature from Jabba the Hut's palace who answers the door." Braden: hmm. Back to the song critique. This is another okay performance that just isn't going anywhere. Again, maybe I'll like the studio version, but I'm not feeling it. Kerry rating: "I thought it was more his style. He did better on this one than on the first one." Judges: Randy thought it was okay. Paula thought he took the same liberty on both songs. What does that mean? Simon doesn't recognize Jason. That's not a compliment. Braden rating: 5/10 Kerry rating: 6.5/10

Seventh is David C singing "All I Really Need is You". This song is quite breathy so far. I'm not digging this. I'll say it again for the 80th time tonight: maybe I'll like the studio version. Now we reach the "big" part of the song and David is reaching for the big notes and it sounds just a little pained. Meh. Kerry: "My score just kept going down and down and down. The last half of that song was horrible." Judges: Randy is a huge David Cook fan. He's also tone-deaf. Paula is proud of him. She is also drunk. Simon thinks it was brilliant. It wasn't. Braden rating: 5/10 Kerry rating: 6/10

Eighth is Brooke who is going to show us who she is and what she said... or at least she is singing "I Am... I Said". She is sitting at the piano for this song. Brooke admits she is not Simon's dream come true. Kerry is my dream come true. I'm getting dizzy with the camera circling the piano. Not starting off very strong. Once she hits the chorus, she is getting much better. She is even trying for some higher notes. This isn't a brilliant performance, but I'm not mad at her. I think I'll like the studio version. Kerry: "She was definately more Brooke-y. She did a reasonable job." Judges: Randy thought she did a nice job. Paula is drunk. Simon didn't think it was incredible but seemed to like it. Braden rating: 7/10 Kerry rating: 7/10

Ninth is David singing "America" - perhaps the best-known Neil Diamond song, which makes it somewhat of a tall order. I have doubts about how he will do with a song that needs such a strong up-tempo vocal. He's off and he is hitting it just right. He is Archuletizing it a little, but I like it. Word. Kerry: "He certainly had a good time with that. It wasn't his best performance, but I liked it." Judges: Randy thinks he is in the zone "for a young man" whatever that means. Paula wants to marry him. Simon thinks he ticked all the boxes. Braden rating: 7.5/10 Kerry rating: 7.5/10

Tenth is Syesha singing a song that I very much dislike: "Thank the Lord for the Night time". She has the backup singers right on stage with her. I don't like this song. She's doing okay with it, though. I don't like this song. I like her dress. I don't like her song choice. Sassy. Kerry: "She showed a lot of personality. I like her." Judges: Randy thinks she is realizing who she is. Paula is drunk. Simon thinks this is the strangest show ever. He says that she is a very good "actress stroke singer" I think he means "actress slash singer". He thinks that she may be in trouble. Braden rating: 7/10 Kerry rating: 7.5/10

So shall we put all of those ratings together? (average Braden and Kerry rating)

First round:

Syesha Mercado 7.5
David Archuleta 6.5
Brooke White 5.5
Jason Castro 5.25
David Cook 4.5

Second round:

David Archuleta 7.5
Syesha Mercado 7.25
Brooke White 7
Jason Castro 5.75
David Cook 5.5

All together, now:

Syesha Mercado 7.4
David Archuleta 7
Brooke White 6.25
Jason Castro 5.5
David Cook 5

So looking at the numbers. We weren't impressed tonight. In fact, out of 10 songs, I'm hard-pressed to think of more than a couple that I even want to listen to again. Nobody was terrible, but there were a whole lot of yawns throughout the show.

And now...


Braden thinks the bottom two will be Brooke and Jason with Jason going home
Kerry thinks the bottom two will be Jason and Brooke with Jason going home

Compare tonight's Neil Diamond performances

Once again, the songs for tonight have been leaked, and once again here are some links to YouTube clips of the originals for your viewing pleasure:

David Archuleta is singing America (lyrics) and Sweet Caroline (lyrics)
Syesha Mercado is singing Hello Again (lyrics) and Thank the Lord for the Night Time (lyrics)
Brooke White is singing I Am... I Said (lyrics) and I'm a Believer (lyrics) (yes, Neil wrote this one for the Monkees)
Jason Castro is singing September Morn (lyrics) and Forever in Blue Jeans (lyrics)
David Cook is singing I'm Alive (lyrics) and All I Really Need is You (lyrics)

Other notable Neil Diamond songs that did not get selected: (which one will be the group song?)

Cracklin' Rosie
You Don't Bring Me Flowers (duet with Babwa Striesand)
Red Red Wine (yes, Neil wrote this one, but it was more famously covered by UB40)
Cherry, Cherry
Holly Holy
Song Sung Blue
I've Been This Way Before
If You Know What I Mean
Love On the Rocks
If You Go Away
Glory Road
Don't Be Cruel
Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon

You'll notice that many of these videos are from YouTube user janettsue. That is because she has a huge collection of album versions of ND songs. You'll have to forgive the cheesy visuals that go with each song.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

LaToya London

Thinking about Season 3 in my last post got me thinking about why I stopped watching AI after that season was over.

I hate Fantasia. No, really, I hate her. Okay, maybe she is a nice person. I hate her singing and her stage presence and her performances. This great dislike was just excacerbated when Latoya London, who absolutely completely 100% should have won season 3 in a landslide was kicked off in fourth place. Compare the ratings at for Latoya (2nd Highest average rating of all seasons) and Fantasia

What. Is. Up. With. Stupid. Voters?


All By Myself


Don't Rain On My Parade

Too Close for Comfort/Don't Rain On My Parade

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Aint Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)

All the Time

Aint Nobody


All My Life

Yes, America, you are dumb.

But at least you redeemed yourself somewhat by kicking Carly off.

Some AI Headlines

Over at MJ's Blog you can get a daily digest of American Idol headlines. So comprehensive is it, in fact, that I always feel a little overwhelmed. Go check it out if you have some time. Otherwise, here are a few that I found interesting:

An interesting collection of Idol Controversies from season 1-6. It wouldn't be a reality show without drama.

The Headline (American Idol Hopeful David Archuleta Speaks Out on Dad, Crushes) makes it seem like you will get more than you actually do, but I love David's quote about celebrity crushes. Keep it real, David. Keep it real.

A Seattle PI Reader Blog talks about going to a concert by Jon Peter Lewis (one of my favs from season 3)

Heard about David Cook's solo album but can't find it because it keeps getting pulled off the shelves? Go over to davidcooktheamericanidolrunnerup (okay, runnerup was added by me) and enjoy. It's actually not bad.