Thursday, January 26, 2012

Auditions Part 5: Houston

"Houston We Have a Problem". I'm just wondering if that line will be used in the show tonight when one of the contestants is horrible. Hopefully they won't be that predictable. Either way the show is in Houston, Texas and we are back for Part 5 of auditions. Aspen definitely didn't deliver the best auditions we've heard thus far, but hopefully we'll get a few decent ones tonight. So Let's Get To It:

I've Got A Golden Ticket(Going to Hollywood):

*Skylar Laine(17). A Southern girl with a country voice from Houston, Texas, super surprised. Or Not. But she's pretty decent. All 3 judges give her the go ahead to Hollywood. 

*Baylie Brown(21). After being eliminated 5 years ago in the Hollywood rounds, Baylie returned to see if she can go a bit further. Although I didn't like her audition song, I like her voice. Randy pretends that he remembers her from 5 years ago. This guy has seen thousands of auditions and contestants since Season 6 yet he remembers her? C'mon now. I could almost sorta believe when J.Lo says she remembers things from last season, but 5 years ago? Randy remembered her from reading her story off of the sheet they were handed to them from the producers. Either way she's on her way to Hollywood again.  Hopefully it'll work out better for her.

*Kristine Osorio(28). 3 children at home, going through a divorce, took out a loan to pay her divorce lawyer but isntead bought a plane ticket to come to Hollywood, and I'm glad she did. She was pretty solid. Very natural and she has the pipes to do pretty well.

*Cortez Shaw(20). A guy singing Adele's "Someone Like You" is interesting, and he made it his own by making it very up tempo, which is a shift. Randy didn't like it, but after Cortez said he loved Randy, Randy somehow changed his mind. There might be a little something there, not sure if it's out of this world, but there's definitely something.

*Ramiro Garcia(28) Gotta say this is one of the most impressive audition stories this season. This guy was born without ears. EARS! Over the course of his life he has had tons of surgeries and now has ears, plus as a bonus he can really sing. Like he can really sing. He's 28, where has he been the past 10 years? Really good stuff. Very impressive story, very impressive voice.

And The Rest(Also Going to Hollywood):49 Others.

Bye Bye Bye:

Phong Vu(25). Although he got plenty of camera time, which he said he enjoyed, he will not be getting anymore after tonight's episode because he was terrible. It sounded like a mix of a cat and dog crying. Just no voice there.

Alejandro Cazares(26). The "Revolution Man". He wants a world where Lady Gaga is a big seller, a world where this country can elect Barack Obama. Um, as Steven pointed out, those 2 things have already happened. This stumps the "Revolution Man". So he pretty much just wants to 'be'. Awesome. As a Revolutionary thinker he needs some work, and as a singer he just needs to stop. The American Idol security team had to usher Alejandro out. Just really bad bad bad.

Um, Really?(If We Could Take One Ticket Away):
There were only 5 featured contestants tonight, and they all were pretty deserving. So its' all good tonight.

Best Of The Night:
Ramiro Garcia. I was super surprised at his story, and his voice.I thought it was a powerful audition,  it made me really pay attention, and I think he is one of the stronger contestants we have seen.

Final Thoughts

*The montage of some country boys singing Scotty McCreery's infamous "Baby Lock Them Doors", was funny, but it proved that there is no Scotty at these auditions.

*There were over 50 contestants from Houston that made it but only 5 were really featured. That might be indicative that the majority of those 50 contestants don't do very well in later rounds. There were plenty of bad auditions and montages. The more bad montages, the more likely that the pool of contestants they sent to Hollywood don't last very long.

*Surprisingly they did not say "Houston We Have A Problem". But since this is the 9th time they have been to Texas in the show's history maybe they feel saying it for the 9th time is just "too much". 

* I enjoyed the fact that the judges didn't agree with each other this round. The boys, Randy and Steven, disagreed with J.Lo several times. Given we were only given snippets of auditions J.Lo seems pretty adamant of her thoughts and belief in these contestants. I can't really tell who was right or wrong given the 3 seconds we saw of the contestants, but I did enjoy that they all had different thoughts and ideas. It makes it more interesting.

There ya have it. Week 2 is done. We have a really interesting mix of contestants going to Hollywood. Come back next week for more I'dol Be The Judge. We'll see you then.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Auditions Part 4: Aspen

Gotta admit last week was one of the best first weeks of American Idol auditions in a really long time. I think the focus on really good performers, rather than the continual mockery of terrible contestants really made the show more cohesive, made it more legitimate. I know they have to pepper in some bad auditions in there, some ridiculous moments, but having the majority of the episodes focus on the good, rather than the bad really made a difference in the first week.

Now we are in the second week of auditions and we'll see if we can find a few more potentially good contestants. The show is in Aspen for the first time ever so that should be fun, I guess, I mean I'm not in Aspen they were, so it doesn't affect me, but there ya go.

As a side note we've added a new section to this blog during audition rounds called "Um, Really?", this is a section where we will pick one contestant who probably didn't deserve the golden ticket but got one anyway. This is also a way for us to see later on if we were right in our thinking or if we just look plain foolish because they ended up being so good. It's a win-win for all. So with that let's get to it:

I've Got A Golden Ticket(Going to Hollywood):

*Jenni Schick(24). Um I didn't really like her whole shtick, sorry couldn't help the pun. But I really didn't, the whole thing about how Steven Tyler is on her "kiss list" and that she wanted Ryan to give her a kiss. She settled for just Steven this time, on the lips in fact. Given he is recently engaged he probably should have went for the hug or cheek kiss, but that's his problem I suppose. Either way she's a little loud, a little crazy, but the judges want to see her and her high energy again.

*Curtis Gray(28). He has some voice, nothing too unbelievable in my opinion, at least not yet. J.Lo thinks he is good looking and has a great voice. I guess so, we'll see, either way he is on his way to Hollywood.

*Haley Smith(18). Weird, really terrible start, but she grooved a little towards the middle. Steven loved it a ton and feels honored to be near her voice. Um, I don't get it. Didn't enjoy, but the 3 judges loved it. She's different, which I do like, so we'll see with this one. 

*Shelby Twarren(17). Recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, she feels American Idol has given her something to believe in. That's a pretty cool statement. What's even cooler is that she has a really decent voice. Definitely not the strongest ever, but it's sweet and has a nice tone to it and when she went to the high notes she hit them really perfectly. Loads of potential, we'll see her a lot I'm thinking.

*Jairon Jackson(19). His voice seems pretty solid. Singing his own song is maybe not the best idea, but he sang it pretty well. Nothing hugely special, but not bad at all. But in his excitement he completely tore up his golden ticket, and destroyed one of the lights so that's kinda funny. We'll see how he does in Hollywood.

*Angie Zeiderman(25): A spectacle indeed. Inside of the mess of showtunes and Lady Gaga-ness lies a little tiny voice. "She's in her own world" says Randy. True is true.

And The Rest(Also Going to Hollywood):  Richie Law, Devan Jone, Mathanee Trecco and 22 others.

Bye Bye Bye(Going Home):

 *Tealana Hedgespeth(19). Twin sister, living in her sister's shadow, it's an interesting story. As J.Lo told Steven though, "If you ask her for another song, I'm gonna kill you". That pretty much sums up this sister. Not good, really not good. Good try, she looked cute, and seemed like she had the energy, but voice was just not there at all.

*Alanna Snare(22). Too bad with this one. She had it all going until she opened up her mouth. As Randy said he "likes her as a person", but singing just ain't her thing.

*The Magic Cyclops(?): "The Bearded Lady", "The English Iowa-in", the "Soul-less Wonder",  but mostly just "Crazy Crazy" guy. Jennifer actually asked this guy to sing two different songs. Randy excused himself to go to the bathroom and get out of the audition, I wish I left to go to the bathroom at that point too. Although I can see the entertainment in it, I didn't find it too funny. Plus 5 minutes on this kind of audition is a bit too much 

Um, Really?(If We Could Take a Golden Ticket Away):

Haley Smith. Just didn't get the love that Steven was giving her. I get that she is very retro, and doesn't sound like anything around right now, but just because it's not around doesn't mean that's a bad thing. If she can control those high notes and stay in the middle range of her voice she might do well, but her audition just was not good at all.
**Bonus Pick**: Angie Zeiderman. Yea, that was a strange one. That's all I'll say on that one.

Best of The Night

Shelby Twarren. For sure she was the best of Aspen. She has a really interesting background story, and a great look and voice to back it up with. She is definitely the standout of the night.

Final Thoughts

 *By far the weakest of the past audition shows, the talent was pretty middle of the line. Only a couple of standouts, don't know if I saw the American Idol in this bunch. You could tell that there wasn't much talent based on the amount of bad audition montages, which was two. The other episodes only had one montage. Plus there were more bad auditions than they have had in previous episodes. I believe the previous past one hour episodes only had one bad audition, this episode had 3. That says a lot. 

So there ya have it hope you enjoyed. If you want to read our past blog entries you can check it out in the archives to the left of the screen, if you want to hear our Podcast it's on the right side of the screen. Lots of things, but most of all come on back tomorrow when AI will be in Houston. See you then.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Auditions Part 3: San Diego

Here we are night 3 of Auditions coming from the USS Midway in San Diego. Don’t understand why they are on the Midway but it is kinda cool. Not gonna lie I am completely exhausted as I just finished watching my New York Giants win to make it in to the Super Bowl. Although I didn’t catch a single pass or tackle a single player I believe my superstition of wearing my NY Giant jersey and sitting in my specific spot led to the Giants eventual win. But let’s get away from me and get right to Part 3 of Auditions. We have had a few potential standouts and hopefully tonight in San Diego there will be a few more. So as we always do, Let’s Get Started:

I've Got A Golden Ticket(Going to Hollywood):

*Ashley Robles(26). With her adorable 5 year daughter waiting for her, Ashley definetly has a voice. Really strong vocal which leads her to go and sing "I  Will Always Love You", which is ballsy. Good for her. She has a lot of control and could be someone to remember for sure.

*Jayrah Gibson(26). Tons of energy, has songs already written for J.Lo, but the voice isn’t that great. A little gimmicky. Randy likes that he is an R&B star ready to go. I don’t know what people will think of him, but if you can win on enthusiasm and joy then this guy is in good shape.

*Aubree Dieckmeyer(20). Couldn't quite remember that the show is called American Idol and not America's Next Top Model but it's still all good because she's really good. She has a sweet voice and can do a little something with it. Maybe she can be America's Next Top Model and the American Idol, who knows? There's more that she can learn but for now she's at least going to Hollywood.

*Ali Shields(19). White, female, rapper, dressed in pink. Yes I wrote that because it's true. Actually it was just a gimmick. Honestly I don't really get her whole deal. She can kinda, sorta, somewhat sing, but some words come out strange. She says the word "Oil" as "Aisle" and a few other odd things. But despite that the judges feel that she has just enough. I see her as a Hollywood and done kinda contestant but good for her for getting to wherever she goes.

*Kyle Crews(19). There are some people that really really loves college and this guy for sure does. He is a frat guy that you can tell loves beer, loves the ladies and now I guess loves American Idol. Surprisingly the dude can sing. I didn’t expect that voice coming out of him. Steven calls him the “best male voice we heard yet”. I don’t really disagree. All 3 judges send him on his way to Hollywood. 

*Jane Carrey(24). One of the more interesting stories to come out of the night because she is the daughter of actor Jim Carrey. I don't really remember many A List actor's children being on this show before. So that's kinda cool that she didn't just rely on her father's name to try to make it in the 'buisness'. I mean she probably got in to see the judges because of that, but her talent allowed her into Hollywood. Her voice isn't the strongest, but there's some talent in there so we'll see what happens.

*Jason 'Wolf' Hamilin (24). On his first go round his voice made Steven want to hear it again, and although I don't like that they allowed him to break the rules of being able to play his guitar he did sound different with that in his hand.He seems like a good guy. I know for a fact there are a few rounds where they are not allowed to use an instrument so we'll see what happens to him then.

And The Rest(Also Going to Hollywood): Joanne Childers(26) and 45 others.

Bye Bye Bye(Going Home):

*Jennifer Diley(19). In a bikini top and a pair of tiny tiny short shorts, her voice didn’t match the ‘fire’, as Steven said.She got on TV which I'm sure was mainly what she cared about anyways.

Best of The Night:

Kyle Crews and Ashley Robles. Each has very strong vocals, they are good looking and have a fun personality. I think if they choose the right songs they might be people we see for a long time.

Um Really?(If We Could Take One Golden Ticket Away):
Jason 'Wolf' Hamilin. Just didn't think he had enough to make it, but he did anyways. We'll see what happens.

Final Thoughts:

*Boats, and planes and lots of background noise probably should have been thought about when being on the U.S.S Midway.But the scenery is really cool and it's something different for Season 11.

*Gotta admit Steven Tyler is one endearing fella. As we all know from last season, during the live rounds he struggles, but during these audition rounds he is funny, playful and comes up with some gems. I really hope he can take even a fraction of his persona in these rounds into the live rounds.

That's 3 Auditions down and who knows how many more to go. We are back on Wednesday night right after the episode in Aspen, Colorado. Please check us out, tell a friend, tell your cousins, tell anyone you want, just tell 'em. We'll see you Wednesday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Audition Rounds Part 2: Pittsburgh

Welcome back to Part 2 of Auditions. The American Idol gang is in Pittsburgh the land of Steel and Ketchup and some more stuff that I'll google later. There were a few standouts last night in Savannah, hopefully the trend continues. Tonight's episode is only an hour so the time should fly by, I say should very quietly as to not jinx it. So without further delay, let's get to it:

I've Got a Golden Ticket(Going to Hollywood):

* Heejun Han(22). He sang "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" by Michael Bolton, I literally have not heard this song since Zach and Kelly's prom on Saved By the Bell. If you know that reference then you're awesome. But I completely put this guy into the 'no way' pile and he actually was really good. Very surprising, and I love when this show surprises me. 

*Reed Grimm(26). Finally, someone sang a TV theme song as his audition song, and it was one of my favorite old school themes, Family Matters, yes the one with Urkel. Reed sounded great, seems super likeable and I can't wait to see him again. Hopefully he'll bring out some other theme songs, maybe some Full House or even a little Growing Pains.

 *Samantha Novacek(19). Gotta admit her sister, Patricia Bell(23), planking at her feet would seem lame on paper, but it was actually a fun, different way to get noticed. Samantha has a nice voice, not sure if it's American Idol winner potential, but a nice voice nonetheless. The sister also got a golden ticket, which I don't get, but I guess if you plank in Pittsburgh you get to plank in Hollywood.

*Creighton Fraker(28). J.Lo said Creighton is as if "Jamiroquai and Justin Timberlake had a baby". I'd say that's pretty accurate. He was on a bus 9 hours from New York to Pittsburgh and couldn't figure out what to sing so he came up with his own stuff and it was actually good. Then when Steven asked him to sing a little more of something non-Creighton created he sounded even better. He's different, has a cool, quirky flair and is a kinda memorable.No more bus rides for him, he's on his was to Hollywood. 

*Eben Frankowitz(15). Very sweet looking, very sweet sounding. Not sure if he is going all the way, but he's got something there. There's definitely some natural talent there. If  he makes it far I do fear that the teen girls will go crazy for this kid because he's a generic "cute boy",  hopefully his talent and not his appearance will lead to his success.

*Travis Orlando(17). J.Lo says she remembers Travis, I don't recall him too well, but J.Lo actually tends to remember random people that have been on the show before. Travis supposedly has gotten stronger according to J.Lo, but he still isn't quite all the way there yet. We learn that since last year Travis has  dropped out of high school after his mother left the family and is living in a shelter with his sick father and twin brother. It's a tough story, it really is. All 3 judges feel that Travis has a ways to go but they think there is enough there to allow him back to Hollywood.

*Erika Van Pelt (25). Mobile DJ/Wedding Singer Erika sounds really good and the judges are mighty impressed and so am I. One of the stronger female voices I've seen in the past two days. I think her experience as a singer has helped her vocal ability for sure. Can't wait til we see her again.

*Hallie Day(24). Not gonna lie the first note was a bad one, it was a little shrieky, but there's a voice there. She can do a lot with what she has vocally and has a load of potential.

"...And The Rest"(Also Going to Hollywood): Aaron Marcellus, Chase Likens and 28 others.

'Bye Bye Bye'(Going Home):

*Shane Bruce (19). Coal miner and unfortunately culprit of singing a played out, over sung song on all reality shows,  "Hallelujah". He didn't quite hit the right notes, and even he knows it. Maybe he'll come back another time. There's a little voice there, maybe some vocal training and he'll have something.

*The show produced several montages of people not getting in, but we didn't get to see their names.

Best of The Night

Erika Van Pelt and Creighton Fraker. Strong singers, their age and experience definitely has enhanced their vocal ability. Can't wait to see what else they got. 

Um, Really?(If We Could Take Away One Golden Ticket):
Travis Orlando. I think his story again helped him. Although I feel for him, and understand his plight, I don't think his vocals were that outstanding to warrant a second trip to Hollywood. 
Final Thoughts:

*I liked that they showed us Shane's clip package of his life as a miner, but then he didn't go to Hollywood. As I said yesterday, I hate when they she the clip package and then the person goes through, there's no drama there. This was little switch and I'm glad they did it. Maybe the show is sorta kinda listening to its fans.

*Steven had this little audio contraption which was fun, Randy called Baltimore "B-More", which pissed me off, and J.Lo wore a skirt and shirt and I thought she was wearing a belt, and then I realized those were her abs. WOW. 

*I guess when the show is only an hour they don't want to waste their time on people who don't get in, but 1 audition of someone not making it versus 8 auditions of those who did isn't the best ratio. I would have liked to see a few more that were similar to Shane, those that were close but not quite there. I know not every city has the terribly bad and ridiculous funny, delusional auditions, but seeing the ones that actually have something but the judges feel they aren't quite there yet, would be nice to see and would help us understand exactly what the judges are looking for.

Well there ya have it. I hope you enjoyed the recap. Right after the Giants/49ers game on Sunday is a brand new episode of American Idol. I mean when you think of the best way to come down off a rough and tough, high powered football game, you think of American Idol. Either way we will be back after that show on Sunday. Please check out our podcast, tell your friends, leave a comment, and most of all see you soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Audition Round Part 1: Savannah

11th season HERE WE GO. Off and running. Millions of people have auditioned, but only 10 people have won the show, in a matter of months 1 more person will be crowned the American Idol winner. We’re here to take you from the first audition to the confetti flying. Tonight begins that journey. The audition rounds are pretty nutty so until we get to really know these contestants and are able to narrow in on them we’re just gonna place them into the category of  “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” or “Bye Bye Bye”. We’ll also have our take on the judges and Ryan. Tonight’s first show is in Savannah, Georgia. So with that, let’s get started:

“I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”(Going to Hollywood):

*David Leathers, Jr. (17). He sounds like a young Michael Jackson, looks like he’s 11 years old, and beat Scotty McCreery in a singing competition a couple years ago, not a bad little resume and rightly so on his way to Hollywood. Scotty and David are at the extreme opposites of the sound of their voice, so it’s kinda funny to think that they were in the same competition together. Nonetheless, all 3 judges were impressed, and so was I. 

*Gabi Carrubba, (16). Alrready like the girl cause she came in and hugged Nigel Lythgoe, producer of AI, but also So You Think You Can Dance judge. It’s a fun entrance. Either way she was very good. J.Lo called her a natural, and she’s only 16 and it seemed flawless.

*Shannon Magrane(15). Total opposite of David Leathers, she is 15 but looks like she is 25. She sounds great and is extremely confident of her skills and it ends up that she deserves to be because she is real good. Judges are super impressed of her ability and with her family surrounding her, including her former baseball player father, Shannon gets on through to the next round. 

*Amy Brumfield (24). Lives in a tent with her boyfriend, gotta give her props for doing what she needs to get on her feet. I don’t think her voice is particularly strong but the judges are impressed enough and send her through. 

*Stephanie Renae (15).  I don’t know how far she’ll go but she has some voice there. For 15 she sounds pretty good. J.Lo tells her that she needs a little tweaking, a few vocal lessons and she’ll be good to go. J.Lo and Steven put her through, and if she can fix those few things then maybe she’ll have something.

*Schyler Dixon (16) and Colton Dixon(19). Despite her brother almost coming in and up staging her Schyler killed the song. Despite the death glares that Schyler gave Dixon, he sounded good as well. Both get to go to Hollywood. That would have sucked if Colton got through and Schyler didn’t, but luckily they both are on their way to Hollywood. We’ll see what happens later because I can definitely see a scenario that if Schyler gets cut while Colton stays on that those Christmas dinners are going to be mighty awkward. 

*Lauren Mink(25). In her clip package we learn that she works with people with intellectual and emotional disabilities, so already she's a pretty great person in my book, and luckily enough her voice is just as great. Lauren gives J.Lo “gooseys” or in regular people terms, goosebumps. All 3 judges send her right on through. 

*Ashlee Altise(28). Despite a crazy dance persona, and dance move called the "joy hop", she actually does have a bit of a voice, she definitelyy isn't the best I've heard but there might be a little something there.

*W.T Thompson(25). With his 6 and half months pregnant wife, W.T gave up his job to pursue his dream. Steven isn't sure he's the American Idol, J.Lo thinks it's there, and despite a switcheroo that was trying to make us think he didn't get in, W.T does get in with Randy's approval.

*Brittany Kerr (24). An NBA cheerleader that gets a "Yes" before she sings a note, is off to a good start. She's a pretty girl and despite J.Lo's "No", the two men put her through. I don't see her going too far, but she's on her way for now at least. 

*Phillip Phillips(20). Yes, that is his real name. Wow. How can you do that to a kid. I mean I know a guy named John Johnson but still. Anyhoo, Phillip Phillips was damn good. He's good looking, has a real different voice, and if he can control some of his facial expressions then he'll be the full package. When he picked up his guitar he did an awesome rendition of "Thriller" that I've never heard before, just really good. They saved the best for last for sure. I have some high hopes for this guy.

"...And The Rest"(Also going through): Brianna Faulk, Neco Starr, Molly Hunt, Elise Testone

“Bye Bye Bye”(Going Home): 

*Jessica Whitely (19). Too bad. She’s cute, thinks she can sing but unfortunately is very very incorrect. Not good, and leaves all 3 judges speechless until Randy calls it ‘awful’. She blames it on dehydration, I blame it on no singing ability. Supposedly she’ll be going to another audition, but there’s no way that a different state will enhance her singing. 

*Shaun Kraisman (26). Supposed look alike of Ryan Seacrest. He says Ryan is his inspiration. He actually looks like Ryan’s son. Ryan comes into the audition and actually says “Don’t make it look too easy”. Funny line. Doesn’t have the chops as a singer, but if Ryan’s ever sick and can’t come into work then this guy is ready to go. 

*Joshua Chavis(23). Super fan, super bad. Warned the judges he wouldn’t leave the stage without a golden ticket, but his threats didn’t work because he left without one because he was just not good. Voice was not there. “No, no, no” as Randy put it. On his way out the camera follows Joshua throughout several stages of grief, we had some depression, some anger and bargaining, some shock and denial, but mostly just Josh giving the camera the finger. 

*Mawuena Kodjo(25). When you think of Africa you think someone from there will probably be the next great country superstar.I mean who doesn't? But despite that hope, this guy is not Africa's next Keith Urban. He really thought he had something going on, but the only thing he had going were his feet going out the door without a ticket.  Randy calls it "really bad", and Mawuena calls Randy "really wrong",and despite attempts to prove Randy wrong with help from the producers and Ryan trying to manipulate the situation, he cannot and threatens to come back next season. 

Erica Nowak(28). The self proclaimed future ex-wife of Steven. Didn't get through but she squeezed his butt, so that was something.

Best of the Night:

Phillip Phillips and Shannon Magrae. They are good looking, great voices and a lot of potential.

Um, Really?(If We Could Take One Golden Ticket Away):
W.T Thompson. Even without a 6 month pregnant wife, and giving up his job I'd think this guy shouldn't have auditioned, let alone move on to Hollywood, but knowing he gave up all that he did and given his experience, I think it was just a bad call on the Judges part. I don't see him doing that well. Hopefully his job will still be around when he comes home from Hollywood. 

Judges and Ryan:

Alright should I be annoyed that literally the first words that came out of Randy’s mouth annoyed me? “The dude” kept saying Season One One, instead of saying eleven. I know I shouldn’t be annoyed, but it occurred nonetheless. The girls do like Steven. He attracts the moms and the daughters and even a few grandmas. Lots o kisses, and hugs from Steven. Jennifer seemed very comfortable in her role, I remember last year it took her awhile to figure out how to say "No", so she's definitely ahead of the game there.

As the terrible host of X Factor, Steve Jones made me long for the days of Ryan Seacrest. At this point, 11 years later, Ryan knows what he's doing, he drops in, drops out for awhile and connects to the audience. Off to a nice start.

Final Thoughts:

*After watching X Factor and having it be so loud and so over produced it was nice to have these quiet auditions where you can hear the voices of the contestants and some judges' feedback. The producers did try to pull some of their same old shtick of trying to trick us into thinking someone wasn't picked but ended up getting picked, but it didn't effect the show too much. 

*I don't think anyone that got a full clip package of their home and personal life was denied a trip to Hollywood. AI still doesn't want to waste those moments on people that don't end up getting through. I do get that, but it'd be nice to imagine one time that we don't definitely know someones going  through when we see their home life.

*We learn 42 people do end up going to Hollywood. That's gotta be a record for first city auditions.

We're off to a nice start. Come back here tomorrow for another day of auditions, this time the judges and Ryan will be in Pittsburgh. And if you haven't done so already please check out our Podcast called BS Factor, located on the upper right of the screen or at, check it out. Either way see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome Back Part 2

As promised, today is Part 2 of welcoming back American Idol Season 11. It's crazy that it's been 11 seasons, makes me feel old. Today we take a look back at some of the Best and Worst Seasons of American Idol. We give our Top 3 in each category. In the comment section please leave your own choice for Best and Worst Season and/or let us know if you agree with us. Either way let's get to it:

Top 3 WORST Seasons

3. Season 5. After a fantastic previous season with winner Carrie Underwood, it was going to be a challenge to follow that up with another great season, and Season 5 didn't even come close. The season will never be forgettable, but not because of the immense talent, or perfect winner, but because it included one of/if not the biggest elimination in American Idol history. Chris Daughtry was eliminated at 4th place after being deemed one of the front runners throughout the run of the season. To make matters worse "Soul Patrol" founder Taylor Hicks, the man who looked 50, sounded 50, but was really in his late 20s eventually did win the show. 
 2. Season 9. Without even getting into the fact that Paula Abdul was gone, Ellen was disappointing and subsequently quit/was fired a few months after the finale and Simon was pretty much just running on fumes, the cast as a whole was incredibly weak. Not to mention the fact that runner up Crystal Bowersox was the front runner the entire way to only be soured upon by the judges at the end for no particular reason. The judges jumped on the Lee Dewyze train and didn’t even try to hide their love for the guy. Lee Dewyze’s post Idol career is proof that his Idol win was flawed, and the entire Season 9 was incredibly flawed.

1. Season 6. Only one word can describe this season and his name is “SANJAYA”. Dude might have singly handily lost American Idol any credibility it had established the previous 5 years when this guy won. This was the beginning of the “teen girl vote”. It’s no coincidence that since this season no woman has won the show. For all those who don’t know about the supposed “teen girl vote” it means that the teen girls that watch this show find a cute boy and despite their lack of talent and the talent of other females in the competition they will continue to vote for the boy. Other examples of the teen girl vote phenomenon are Tim Urban(Season 8), Lee DeWyze(Season 9), and Scotty McCreery(Season 10). Several subsequent seasons have had terrible contestants and less than deserving winners, but Season 6 might have been the beginning of the cracks being fully noticed. 

 Top 3 BEST Seasons

3. Season 1. Although the Top 10 wasn’t the Best Top 10 that American Idol would later have, the first season did give us eventual winner Kelly Clarkson, it brought Paula Abdul back into the limelight and showed us how crazy she really kinda is, it had Brian Dunkeleman(remember Dunkleman?), but most importantly it brought us a guy named Simon Cowell. Simon was an original. Up until Simon most reality shows were very cut and dry, Simon shook up the generic format and because of him people started to get a bit more honest and a little less ‘nice’. Season 1 changed the landscape of reality TV, good, bad or indifferent. 

2. Season 7. An incredibly talented, diverse cast, which included Jason Castro, Brooke White, and Carly Smithson, to name a few . The eventual winner David Cook was one of the most innovative and consistent performers week to week. Runner up David Archuletta was incredibly popular, resulting in the largest finale fan vote ever. This was also the last season that the original 3 judges format was utilized. After this season the producers of American Idol decided to shake things up with the addition of a fourth judge. This format remained until Simon Cowell’s exit after Season 9. This was the last true season of American Idol. 

1. Season 4. Probably the Strongest Top 3 to ever participate on the show. Runner up, Bo Bice, and 3rd place finisher, Vonzell Solomon, were both incredible singers and performers. American Idol really was in a groove, the judges and host Ryan Seacrest found a nice balance and the show took off. The eventual winner Carrie Underwood’s post-Idol success proves that the talent and greatness she exhibited on the Idol stage was no coincidence. It was top to bottom a solid season and is the best season in the past 10 years. 

Well there ya have it. Those are our picks for Top 3 Best and Worst Seasons in AI history. Let us know what you think.

 Tomorrow (January 18th) is the premiere of American Idol Season 11 check back here  after the show for our recap and our take on the brand new season. We'll see you then.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome Back!

It is January and you know what that means, especially if you are on this website, it's almost time for... American Idol. That's right it's time to pass the crown from Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery's head to a brand new unknown and contestant. To get this blog and everyone reading it on the right foot and to get us ready for the premiere of American Idol on January 18th we are going to post today and tomorrow a little American Idol review. Today's post is called "Stayed Too Long/Gone Too Soon" Check it Out:

Stayed Too Long
In this section we are posting our selections for the Top 5 contestants from the entire run of American Idol that we believed stayed way past what they should.

5. Corey Clark(Season 2):Was only on the show through Top 10 week but that was way too long. Not only did Corey eventually get disqualified by American Idol for his past criminal transgressions but there were alleged rumors that he and judge Paula Abdul hooked up. This guy was only on the show for a relatively short time but that way too long.

4. Andrew Garcia(Season 9): I'll give the guy credit, his rearrangement of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" was original and memorable, the problem is that this song occurred during the Hollywood rounds and unfortunately Garcia peaked at that moment. He could never find another song that he was able to make just as good and most times he rested on his past success rather than push himself to take the next step. This is definitely a case of peaking way too early. Future runner up on Season 9 Crystal Bowersox was also victim of peaking way too soon.

3. Tim Urban(Season 9): What can you say about Tim Urban other than he is a good looking guy and...well that's about it. This guy definitely pulled a Sanjaya(see below). His boyish good looks and relative charm helped carry him all the way to Top 7. Honestly week after week he was banished to the Bottom 3, yet week after week he escaped. In fact, during Hollywood week he was actually eliminated, only to be able to return when one of the other men of the Top 24 was disqualified. Despite the judges' criticism Tim just kept on smiling, enabling Simon to say to him one time "You're going to smile, the audience is going to vote for you, nobody cares, and you'll be here next week. So well done." And the audience did for many long and painful weeks.

2. Nikki McKibbin(Season 1): Despite it being over 10 years since Season 1, Nikki McKibbin landing in the Top 3 after being pretty dreadful throughout the entire run is why we think she stayed WAY Too Long. Despite landing in the Bottom 3 or 2, five times, Nikki was able to outlast potential winner and front runner Tamyra Gray. Someone was voting for Nikki but it's been over 10 years and I still can't figure out who that was.

1. Sanjaya(Season 6): What can you say about the guy that helped American Idol lose tons of its credibility that it had established throughout its first 5 seasons on air. Week after week he got dreadful comments, and performed just brutally, yet week after week his fans kept this kid in. From his crazy mohawk, to his obsessed teen girl fans, Sanjaya defied logic. Although Season 6 didn't have the strongest cast in American Idol history, there were at least a few contestants that were eliminated before him that undeservingly left. It's been awhile but I'm still kinda angry that he stuck around for as long as he did. I know I should be over it but it still gets to me. Sanjaya definitely exemplifies that "Stayed Too Long" category.

 Notable Mentions: Kristy Lee Cook(Season 7), Joshua Gracin(Season 2), Danny Gokey(Season 8)

Gone Too Soon 
In this section we are posting our selections for the Top 5 contestants from the entire run of American Idol that were eliminated way too soon.

5. Didi Benami(Season 9): If people  don't remember Didi she was cute, had a nice voice and sucked up to judge Kara DioGuardi by singing one of her songs "Terrified".  I blame this elimination on Ryan Seacrest. After her rendition of "What Becomes of a Broken Hearted", which wasn't the best rendition ever, Ryan pushed and pushed Didi to reveal why she chose this song. Didi informed him that it was personal. He pretty much revealed that she chose it for a friend that had past away. It was incredibly awkward and made Ryan look like a tool. Didi only was able to last to 11th place which ensures that she was definitely gone too soon.

4. Jennifer Hudson(Season 3): In retrospect eliminating Jennifer Hudson was a huge mistake at 7th place. After winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and being the poster child for weight loss with Weight Watchers, Jennifer Hudson has had one of the most impressive and successful careers of any American Idol alum. Her rendition of "Circle of Life" is still one of my favorites. There were some definite talent on Season 3 with eventual winner Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo and Latoya London but Hudson should have lasted for awhile longer. Supposedly a power outage occurred in Hudson's hometown of Chicago at the time of voting and thus could be the reason for her early outage. Whatever it was Hudson has proved that she had more to give and her elimination was way too early.

3. Pia Toscano(Season 10): I still don't get this one. Week after week she killed every song. Maybe her outfits were a little off, but her voice was just pure goodness. She got standing ovations and great praise from all 3 judges but obviously didn't connect with the audience one week and thus was eliminated at 9th place. I blame the judges for not thinking ahead with this one. The week prior to Pia's elimination eventual 6th place finisher Casey Abrams was saved by the judges. The judges only get one save per season. They chose to use it on him. I'm not saying that Casey wasn't good, but they have to think who could win the show, and I have no doubt that Pia would have made a great run at winning the show if she stuck around a bit longer. Hopefully Pia's early elimination will tell the judges to be more cautious with their selection of the Judge's Save.

2. Tamarya Gray(Season 1): She proves that one bad week can kill your entire run. Tamarya was week in week out one of the standouts of the show. She along with Kelly Clarkson and eventual runner up Justin Guarini helped make this show a formidable and popular one. That is until Tamarya unwisely chose to sing "I'm So Excited" during the Top 4 performance. It was a bad choice and ultimately cost her the competition. Even if Kelly Clarkson still won the show it would have a great finale to see these two women face off. Plus having Nikki McKibbin outlast you has gotta hurt.

1. Chris Daughtry(Season 6). By far the biggest shocking elimination in American Idol history. He lasted until 4th place but he's departure was way too early. He was one of the most consistent and entertaining contestants each and every every week. His successful post-Idol success proves that his talent deserved more than a 4th place finish. I remember being literally speechless for several minutes after the announcement, thinking that Ryan Seacrest made a mistake. But nope it was not. Katherine McPhee stayed, and Taylor Hicks eventually won the show. The Judge's Save was created in part due to this elimination, in hopes that someone of this magnitude would not be eliminated prematurely again. Unfortunately, the Judge's Save has yet to save an eventual winner or runner up. Chris has proven that winning American Idol doesn't mean everything but I'm sure it doesn't hurt.

Notable Mentions: Constantine Maroulis (Season 4), Chris Sligh (Season 6), Michael Johns (Season 7)

Well there ya have it the Top "Stayed Too Long" and "Gone Too Soon" contestants. If you agree or disagree or have your own opinions please post them in the comment section.

As a preview, tomorrow we will be posting the Top 3 Best and Worst Seasons of American Idol.

Also on the right side of the blog is I'dol Be The Judge's Podcast called BS Factor. There you can find a great review of all things TV, celebrity, movies and so much more. So please check that out as well or go to the website of

So come back tomorrow and we'll have more great content for you. See ya then.