Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2 New Judges? Eh...Not So Much

Well it's now official, Jennifer Lopez is returning to American Idol after 1 season off. Keith Urban returns to the panel as the lone remaining judge from last season. And Harry Connick Jr was officially confirmed as the final judge of the panel for the 2014 season.

Kevin Reilly, the network's chairman of entertainment, issued the following statement:
“ 'American Idol' has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that: Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves and whom 'Idol' fans love; Harry Connick Jr., a bona-fide musical genius and fantastic 'Idol' mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team – the heart and soul of 'Idol' –Ryan Seacrest returns as host. 

I have been wanting Connick Jr as a judge for several seasons, since Simon Cowell left. He has a good sense of humor, he knows what he is talking about, and he has the ability to be a straight shooter. Let's hope his great mentoring over the years will carry over to the judge's table.

I am not thrilled about the return of Jennifer Lopez, but we know it could be worse. I hope that she is more critical and real this time around. I do feel her last season with the show was better than her first, let's just hope that she doesn't start all over again. If she starts commenting on 'how beautiful' the contestants looks I might need to mute my TV.

I really didn't mind Keith Urban last season. I do feel at times he got a little repetitive and wasn't as critical as I would have liked, but he was a good choice to remain at the judge's table.

So there ya have it. We will be updating this page when there is any more noteworthy news. So see you soon.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

3 Gone...1 To Go?

It's now official. Both Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have joined fellow judge Randy Jackson as now former American Idol judges. In a move that surpised no one Carey and quickly followed by Minaj announced their departure from the show. I question them "quitting" rather than being fired, but they have to save face somehow I guess. They both had a few good moments, some questionable ones and obviously the very memorable fight and then incredibly awkward tension throughout the season. So I guess that's one way to be memorable.

We still have no word from Keith Urban who does want to return. I am indifferent on him. Take a look at their statements below. We will be back on the blog as soon as we hear any confirmation about new judges and/or Keith Urban's role on the show.

Mariah Carey's Statement/Tweet:
 "W/ global success of "#Beautiful" (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol.

FOX on Mariah Carey:
Mariah Carey is a true global icon — one of the most accomplished artists on the planet — and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the American Idol contestants this season,” noted a joint release from FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment. “We know she will remain an inspiration to Idol hopefuls for many seasons to come

Nicki Minaj's Statement:
“Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!”

FOX on Nicki Minaj:
 “Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Season 12 Finale Part 2: Winner Crowned

Welcome back everyone. Before we begin our final recap of the season I wanted to Thank everyone for reading our recap. Even if you read it just once, or came back every week we Thank You and hope that you come back during the off-season and obviously next season for more Idol news and recaps.

Now, onto the show. Last night was a great night for both ladies. They both did outstanding and they both had Idol winning moments, we at Idol Be The Judge believes that Candice won the night and should and will win the American Idol crown. That being said it will be a great result either way.

Tonight's recap is split into a Season 12 Review of The Season as well as a recap of the actual Results show. So it's a little bit longer, but it's a great review of the season as a whole. Hope you enjoy and let's get started:

Season 12 Review

Season 12 Awards:
Best Performance 
Love Song(Candice Glover)

Worst Performance
Close To You(Lazaro Arbos)

Most Shocking Moment
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj Fight. 
That was crazy, and set the tone for the season. That fight in audition rounds might have contributed to the downfall in ratings and possibly their eventual departures from the show.

Least Shocking Moment
Top 5 Women
The Women Were Strong From The Beginning. It was a foregone conclusion they would be the Top 5

Least Shocking Elimination
Lazaro Arbos 
Our Contestant's Recap

                                                                   10th Place                                                                          9th Place
                                                              Curtis Finch Jr                                                                      Paul Jolley
                                      Best Performance=I Believe I Can Fly(Las Vegas)        Best Performance=Amazed(Top 10)
                                                           Average Grade= C                                                           Average Grade=C+

                                                                     8th Place                                                                        7th Place
                                                               Devin Velez                                                                      Burnell Taylor
                                     Best Performance=It's Impossible(Semifinals Wk)         Best Performance=Let It Be (Top 9 Wk)
                                                               Average Grade=B-                                                       Average Grade=B

                                                                      6th Place                                                                              5th Place
                                                                    Lazaro Arbos                                                                     Janelle Arthur
                                          Best Performance=For Once In My Life(Top 8 Wk)      Best Performance=Keep Me Hanging On(Top 8 Wk)
                                                              Average Grade= D+                                                           Average Grade=B

                                                                         4th Place                                                                          3rd Place
                                                                 Amber Holcomb                                                               Angie Miller
                                                     Best Performance=Lately(Top 8)                       Best Performance=You Set Me Free(Hollywood)
                                                                  Average Grade=B                                                       Average  Grade=B+

2nd/1st Place
      Kree Harrison                                          Candice Glover         
Best Performance=Crying (Top 10 Wk)   Best Performance=Love Song (Top 5 Wk)
      Average Grade=A-                                          Average Grade=A     

Our Season Predictions
(Not Including Top 2 Week)
Bottom 3/2 

Going Home 

Tonight's Recap
Hope you enjoyed our season review. Now onto the show:

Top 10 Perform
They start the episode with all 10 Idols singing "Glad You Came" by The Wanted. The ladies obviously kicked the crap out of the song, but it's nice that the guys remember the words. They are all dressed in white, and I think Paul Jolley was sporting a cast, or some type of Michael Jackson glove. This is pretty much a way to have people think about the Top 10 concert, or is it Top 11 concert. Eh..I ain't going.

Judge's Introduced
Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey. No matter what, this will be the last time those 4 judges are gonna be introduced together.  Who knows if any of them will be back, but Randy is at least gonna be gone. We'll see what happens in the future.

The Band Perry Perform
I don't know a ton of The Band Perry, I know that they are a band, I know their name is Perry. About mid way through the song Janelle Arthur comes out and sings along with them. They are singing their hit "Done". I didn't know them before but I enjoyed this song immensely. They have choreography even with the guitarists and the fiddlers, and the lead singers. High energy, and a lot of fun. Pretty cool stuff.

5 Years Of Guy American Idol Winners?
They are talking about how it's been 5 seasons in a row that a guy wins, and they are making fun of the fact that all of the Top 10 guys thought they had it in the bag and then they all just got picked off in a row. They think it's so suspicious and they were sabotaged. Haha. Kree tells Curtis to wear some hideous jacket thus sabotaging him. Angie tells Paul to say jokes on the show even though he is terrible at jokes, thus sabotaging him. Amber drugged Devin. Janelle changed the key of Lazaro's song making him sing atrociously. Candice stole Burnell's lunch money and made Burnell lose weight and because he couldn't eat it made it hard to sing. The mastermind of the project was revealed as...the last female winner Jordin Sparks. That was pretty funny. The fact that the guys just got schooled by the females in real life is really the funny part to me.

Top 5 Guys Perform
The guys sing a medly of Four Seasons songs. Curtis and Burnell sounded great, not even gonna lie. In a surprise that everyone saw coming Frankie Valle joins the guys. His voice is just incredible, sounds like he did 40 years ago, just a pure, cool voice. He starts singing on his own and then the guys join in. They sing all the best songs, "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You", "Let's Hang On", "Grease", "Walk Like A Man".

Mariah Carey Performs
This performance was done last night. She sings a medley of her songs "Vision of Love", "Make It Happen", "My All", "Hero", "We Belong Together" and her new single "Beautiful". Randy Jackson is playing bass though we only saw him in a bit. That was pretty cool. I can't tell if this medley is all lip synched. I hope it wasn't. I don't think it was. She was pretty great.

Amber Performs
This song was only performed a week ago by Candice but Amber is still singing "Next To Me", but that's because they got the original singer Emile Sande. So I guess it doesn't matter that this song was sung a week ago by someone else.

Ford Fiesta Promo/Mission
They show us the Idol's Favorite Ford Fiesta missions. I feel like that is a sentence that doesn't make sense.  Were there any great Ford Fiesta missions? Why would someone enjoy watching a promo about a car that we don't really care about. I am sure it was fun for the contestants doing those missions and promos, but for the audience it's like being shown an awesome looking cake, being told the cake is great, but you know that you ain't eating that cake. Kree and Candice got to surprise their hometown mentors with a trip to the American Idol finale. Candice's is her grandmother, Kree's is her "musical soulmate", her brother that's not really her brother but is like her brother. The cool thing is that they both get brand new Ford Fiestas.

PSY Performs
He is performing his new song "Gangnam Style Part 2"....actually it's called "Gentleman" but for the person not paying attention it's a very similar song to his big hit "Gangnam Style". Catchy as anything though. It's mainly in Korean but it seems to translate well over here.  How come none of the Idols wanted to collabarte with PSY? I think Psy and Lazaro would have been epic.

Keith Urban Performs
Also pre-taped Keith sings his single "A Little Bit Of Everything". It's basically the opposite of that last PSY performance. It's very simple, Keith, his guitar and his country band.

Candice Performs
Singing Natalie Cole's "Inseparable", Jennifer Hudson comes out to join Candice on stage. Jennifer looks great and sounds even better. The two of them together is just so cool and a present to the ears for sure.  They both just go back and forth and hit some unreal notes. They just went for it and took us for a ride. Last year Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday had easily one of the best finale performance duets ever, but this one is damn close.

Angie Performs
She starts the song on the piano singing David Guetta and Sia's "Titanium" and along with her is Adam Lambert. That guy's voice is still one of the most distinctive voices to grace the Idol stage. They do a more subdued version, so when they hit those crazy big notes it really makes an impression. Their voices together blend so well. Love it.

Jessie J. Performs
I haven't seen Jessie J in awhile she shaved/cut all her hair off it's something, until you hear her voice and it just pierces through. Angie kinda joins Jessie J in singing her hit "Domino".  They don't blend really great, but they both have great voices separately. The way they ended the song was amazing when they just riffed back and forth a little. We learn that because Jessie J came in specially to sing with Angie it meant Angie couldn't sing her single "You Set Me Free", so as a consolation prize Angie gets to go to one of Jessie J's concert in the U.K and gets to sing with her. Not bad.

Contestants' Take on The Judges
The contestants are asked about the judges. Their opinion on Mariah is that she is classy, she always wants to stand up but her dresses are too tight, she says "Darling" a lot. Their opinion on Keith is that he plays it cool, he always wears t-shirts, he is very expressive. Their opinion on Randy Jackson is that he always talks loud, he always says "In It To Win It", it loses it's specialness when he says it to everyone. Their opinion on Nicki is she doesn't cut anyone slack, she has a unique sense of fashion,  they make fun of her crazy hair styles.

Randy, Kree and Keith Perform
Along with drummer Travis Barker the 4 of them perform Keith Urban's "Where The Blacktop Ends".  I was wondering why Mariah and Nicki were left alone at the judge's table, it was weird, but now it makes sense. I love that Kree got to perform one of Keith's hits with him. I didn't realize what a fantastic guitarist he was. Very cool performance.

Goodbye Randy Jackson
At Dawg Pound Headquarters is a ton of dogs commiserating on Randy leaving the show. Cute. But then "they" pop in a video of a Randy retrospective. He has been here since Day 1 of American Idol. No matter how many times I have disagreed with him along the way it's still the end of an era of sorts. Randy is a character, that's for sure.

Aretha Franklin & The Top 5 Girls
Aretha Franklin is singing via a video feed from New York, but the 5 girls are singing on the Idol stage, it's an interesting thing to watch. I love that they were able to get it done, even though Aretha Franklin couldn't be there in person. The girls were basically her backup singers, but I don't care, and I am sure they don't care, because they got to say they sang with Aretha Franklin. They sing "Natural Women", "I Never Loved A Man", "R.E.S.P.E.C.T",  and "Think(Freedom)". Aretha sounded just fantastic, I loved this so much. It was so special.

Top 2 Get A Car
They both get a Ford Escape. It was chosen by the fans. I don't think they cared which car they got, because they just got a brand new car. Did I mention they got a CAR? C'mon. They would have been fine with an Escape or Fiesta or even a Focus, a car is a car.

Season 12 Review
We see a ton of clips of the entire season. We see notable contestants, the Top 10, the Top 24, random odd encounters. Funny moments, emotional moments, great singing. It's crazy how much we've seen since January.

Jennifer Lopez Returns
Along with Pitbull is former(possible future) Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. They are singing her new single "Live It Up". I don't know if I love this song, but it was a fun enough performance. The fact that Lopez is about 3 feet away from Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, two people she might replace next season if Lopez does return is kinda funny to me.  I wish instead of this song we saw a Kree and Candice duet, that would have been great. But we got this song, that is pretty similar to the songs she has put out recently, but whatever.

Candice and Kree Perform Together
Thankfully the two of them sing together and perform "One Less Bell To Answer" and "A House Is Not A Home". They look, sound and are just perfect togehter. 



Final Thoughts

*Candice Glover deserved it, she earned it, the audience got her, she is the Season 12 American Idol winner. WOW. I love that she won. It took her over 3 years to get to this point, if this is not a story of perseverance and determination then I don't know what is. 

*Kree Harrison is one of the best runner-ups ever. Just a brilliant job by her. One of the best runner-ups in American Idol history.

*I am sad to not be able to hear Candice or Kree sing each week anymore. I loved this season because I got to hear them week after week, and sing songs that I love or that I never heard of but I love now.That is the reason I am most sad to see this season go.

*This Season was one of my favorites, not because of the judges but the talent, the fact that anyone of the Top 5 women could have won is unbelievable. So as much bad is said about the judges they chose these women to get to at least get to a point where the audience can see their talent. So I thank the judges, the crazy crazy judges.

*Finally, I Thank You again for making this blog possible, I wouldn't do it if people didn't read it. So thanks for sticking with us for this very long season.

That's it. Congratulations to Season 12 American Idol Winner Candice Glover. It was a brilliant, hard fought win. Thanks again for reading I'dol Be The Judge, we will be back here for our recaps in January, but keep checking back in with us for Idol news between now and the new season. Please check out Candice's performance of her new single I Am Beautiful located below. So for the last time...until next time, see ya!

Season 12 Finale Part 1: Kree & Candice Perform

Welcome back. Season 12 started way back in January and it took countless emotional breakdowns, crazy judge fights, hundreds of eliminations, tons of backstories and lots of singing, good and bad, but we are finally here. The finale will feature Candice Glover and Kree Harrison. Both ladies have done a remarkable job on this show. They both have landed in the Bottom 2, and both have survived countless eliminations through their amazing singing. Tonight the ladies will sing 3 songs each. 1. Simon Fuller's Choice aka Creator of American Idol,  2. Potential Winning Single. 3. A Song They Previously Sung

Tomorrow we will not only recap the actual final show but we will also pay tribute to the season as a whole, featuring a review of the contestants that were part of this season, as well as several great and not so great moments that have happened along the way.

So should be a lot of great singing tonight. Kree won the coin toss last week and decided to go first and for Candice to go last. I don't know if that's the best move, but that's the way it is. So let's get to it:

Simon Fuller's Choice Performance

Kree Harrison
Angel(Sarah McLachlan)
I love this song choice for Kree. It allows her to stay in that nice sweet spot of her voice. She makes it her own by adding the country-ness of her voice, but still kept true to the original. Her falsetto and vibrato were working tonight. Great first performance, very solid, very sweet. B+

Candice Glover
Chasing Pavements(Adele)
Singing an Adele song is tough, she is easily one of the greatest voices out there right now, but if anyone can handle it well it's Candice. She was actually able to make it more soulful than it originally is. I love how it almost sounded like she was about to go deep in her voice but changes course and goes into some crazy run. So good, such a fantastic job by her. A-

Judge's Round 1 Review
Randy & Mariah=So proud to have them as the final 2 because the talent is so magnificent. Blown away. Neither of the songs were the best they were a little sleepy.  Gotta give the edge to Candice for Round 1.
Do The Judges & I Agree? I think so. I think the ever so slight edge goes to Candice, but Kree did a fantastic job as well.

Coca Cola's Perfect Harmony Song
Lyrics and elements were voted on by the audience for this new Carly Rae Jepsen single. They have been talking about this song for the entire season and it was pretty lackluster. I mean some of the lyrics are "I took a picture of you, taking a picture of me". Jeez. I get that it's catchy but it wasn't very good.

Potential Winning Single Performance

(All Cried Out)
It's definitely no "Home" by Phillip Phillips, but it's still a lovely song. It kind of sounded like a Faith Hill song. It allowed Kree to push her voice to a place that she doesn't always go to. It allowed her to hit some really nice high moments and then some low notes, but just stayed in that sweet spot of her voice along the way. Keith, Randy and Mariah give her a standing ovation. I really enjoyed this song. A-

(I Am Beautiful)
This song was very current but still had the elements of Candice's old school kind of style. Her voice can't be subtle, she just puts it out there. I love the words of this song "I'm worth every tear, every scar, and even if you say I'm not, he says I'm beautiful". That's just an amazing sentiment. The song is very cool and Candice just delivers. All 4 judges give Candice a very deserved standing ovation. A-

Judge's Round 2 Review
Keith & Nicki=Love's Kree's composure, and it allowed her to reach down in her gut. This is soul versus soul. Both of the songs are tailor made for them. Loved Candice's song and the message in that song. Keith feels Kree won Round 2, Nicki thinks Candice won Round 2.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep. I think they both kicked the crap out of those songs. I call this round a toss up.

Contestant's Favorite Song They Sung Performance

(Up To The Mountain)
This song she sung was during Las Vegas rounds. That was one of the first times that we really noticed her and saw her unbelievable potential. This was a brilliant choice by Kree. She put every emotion, every feeling, every everything into that performance. All 4 judges give her a standing ovation. A
Keith=Absolutely beautiful. Everything was so connected.
Nicki=Is so glad she chose that song. The energy of the choir helped lift her up. All 3 performances showcased her beautiful voice and soul. 
Randy=That was a winning kind of performance. Best performance of hers of the night.
Mariah=Looked beautiful. Loves the power. In general she is so special, it's gonna be tough for America.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Definitely. Kree did an amazing job. I loved her voice, her emotion, her everything on that performance. So good.

Candice Glover
(I Who Have Nothing)
I applaud Candice for not choosing her biggest hit of the season "Lovesong". The reason being that she couldn't do more with that song, she sang it the best, and I am glad she left it alone. I love this choice. It was a song she did really beautifully on, but it was long ago enough that people might have forgotten she did it. I love that it starts off for a good bit in acapella. That was awesome. I can't remember that she did that the first time, I don't believe she did, but that was just amazing. She controlled that room of thousands as if it was a room of 3 people. Candice just had one of her best performances at the exact right moment. Wow. Just Wow! 4 judge standing ovation. A+
Keith=Such a powerhouse singer. It's like a planet exploding to life. 
Nicki= Loved that performance. Commanded the stage. Owns the stage immediately.
Randy=That girl can sing. This is how you shoot the night to a whole other level. She has it all.
Mariah=Has the ability to take any song and turn into a vehicle for such an amazing voice. Beyond anything she could have expected.
Do The Judges & I Agree? 100% Candice destroyed that song. The fact that she didn't sing it just like she did the first time, and made it harder but still delivered is just crazy awesome. I loved it.


Should Be The Winner of American Idol?
Candice Glover. She sang slightly better than Kree on 2 of the 3 songs, and I believe they tied for the one of the performances. Plus the fact that Candice did her best performance at the end of the show when voting can begin is just perfect. Also this season Candice delivered every week. Kree is one of my favorites, and has been, but Candice just has the edge on many elements.

Will Win American Idol?
Candice Glover. I think she has done enough to warrant the win. Each performance was perfect, she had the emotion, the drive and the pitch perfect vocals. I think Candice has this one won. If Kree won I wouldn't be upset because I think Kree is amazing but as a whole Candice deserves and will win this show if the fans come out for her.

Final Thoughts
*I don't remember a more even finale. This finale was just fantastic. Both women were just brilliant. I am so happy that it is so hard to pick a winner because it makes whoever wins the show that much more deserving. It's one thing to win the show because the other person had an off night, it's a whole other thing when it can go either way and you win. Both ladies have strong cases to win the show.
*Did Kree lose this thing right at the coin toss? She chose to let Candice go 2nd. I think not being the last voice heard on the show, not having the judges be praising you last, not being the last thought in the voters minds just might be enough to lose the show. I think this will be a close vote, and any edge is a huuuuge advantage, so we will see if it was a bad choice by Kree.I don't recall someone ever winning the coin toss and going first. It just doesn't seem like the way to go.

*Now that the season is over I can admit that Kree and Candice were my favorites from the get go. It probably came out a long the way in reviews or comments made, but they just were both so consistent and so great, and this is easily one of, if not my favorite finale ever. The fact that I almost don't mind either of them winning is a testament to that.

That's it! Come on back here right after the finale tomorrow. Like we mentioned we will be posting a sort of tribute/review of Season 12 as well as a recap of the actual results show where we will learn if Kree or Candice will be the next American Idol. So until tomorrow, see ya!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Top 3 Results

Welcome back! Tonight is the night, well next week will really be the night, but it's almost the night, tonight we will learn which 2 ladies will make the Finale next week. Before we begin it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the fact that 12-year/original judge Randy Jackson has decided to "quit" American Idol. There has been speculation for a couple days that Idol planned on wiping out all 4 judges and starting over, so this at least ends the speculation on one end. We will keep you posted on any other judge's news and rumors. That's something we will definitely keep track of on this blog even after the season is over so keep posted. We'll post our thoughts about Randy in the Final Thoughts section of the blog below.

But, we are still in for some interesting news tonight. Last night we predicted Kree and Angie as Bottom 2 with Kree going home. Although we believe Kree overall has done a better job on the show, Angie has come on strong the past few weeks. So we will see what happens. So enjoy, and let's get started:

Top 3 Perform
Kree, Angie and Candice perform Selena Gomez's "Who Says". The audio is completely off for a good part of the song. It corrects itself after a bit and the ladies sound fine. I don't know if this was a great song for the 3 of them. Out of all the songs in the world, they chose this one? The combination of the bad audio and song choice is just completely, eh, to me.

Ford Fiesta Promo/Mission
Their mission is going to visit a group of high school singers/Glee club. The ladies sing with the Glee club a bit. Of course this ties in with the Ford Fiesta just as much a foot fits into a purse. Just perfect. Completely makes sense. Again, meh to me.

Jimmy Iovine's Take # 1
Round 1=Likes that they didn't choose their own songs because they won't in real life at first. All 3 of them seemed nervous in the beginning. Angie gets first round but she was set up perfectly for it. She chose not to play piano and that was a big mistake. It could have given her a moment. Gets a 9 out of 10.

Musical Performance # 1
Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina is back on the Idol stage. She was 15 at the time of her first audition, she is now 18, so that's crazy how time flies. She kinda looks like DJ Tanner from Full House. Crazy. She is singing her song "Barefoot and Buckwild". It's a fun country song.

Jimmy Iovine's Take #2
Round 2= The judges loved their choices. Kree had the perfect combination of home story and song, it was so emotional and she deserved that round.

Mariah & The Girls/Mariah's Music Video
Mariah shows the girls how to take control of music videos and how to just feel her record. Then we get to see Mariah Carey's new music video with Miguel called "Beautiful". It's been crazy that we've gone this far into the competition before hearing Mariah Carey sing. She said she didn't want to perform on the show, so I guess this was her comprise. The song is a lot of Miguel and a decent amount of Mariah Carey, rather than the other way. It's visually a nice looking video, but I actually would have liked more Mariah vocals.

Idol Alumni Catch Up
This week's check in is with Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert. He says he learned a lot about his style and how he developed his musical persona . His new album is called "Trespassing". He is on his world tour, and he is currently in Singapore. He's definitely one of the more successful Idol alums.

Musical Performance #2
Alicia Keys performs her new single "Tears Always Win".  I enjoyed this song a lot more than her last song "Girl on Fire" even though that became a big hit. This one was just cool, and perfectly in Alicia Keys' wheelhouse.

Jimmy Iovine's Take #3
Round 3= Angie had a good song choice. Angie did well but not extraordinary, a good competent job. The judges hated the producer's song choice for Kree. The audience wanted attitude and it gave her that. Candice did a job that every Idol ever wanted to do. She had a moment that Mariah, Whitney and Mary J. Blige wish to have/had. If she goes home then Jimmy Iovine goes too.

(In no particular order)





Final Thoughts
*The fact that Candice is in the finale is great. The fact that Kree Harrison has also made it is just unbelievable. I picked a Candice/Kree finale about 8 or 9 weeks ago, but have doubted it happening so many times. Kree's emotional punch during last night was just enough, and Angie's last song didn't measure up. Angie was a fierce competitor, one of the best 3rd place finishers in Idol history.

*Randy Jackson. He is the last remaining original judge. I always considered him to be my least favorite judge from the original panel, but since Simon was gone he got a little better in critiques. Unfortunately, he has many, many moments that he doesn't make sense. I'm still a little sad to see him go. It probably is a good idea that he leave though, enough is enough. It looks better that he quits, rather than gets fired. Now Ryan Seacrest will be the only thing from the original incarnation of American Idol 12 years ago. No one can say he didn't put his stamp on catchphrases like "Dawg", "For Me For You", and "In It To Win It". So goodbye Randy, I think we will kinda, sorta, partially miss you.

*So it's Kree versus Candice in the finale. For the first time in a long time I honestly don't care who wins. I have picked both Kree and Candice as the front runner on and off the entire season. There hasn't been a week that it wasn't Kree or Candice for me in front on the Weekly Rankings. It's crazy to think. I think both of them could easily win, as they both could have tough moments. So it's just fantastic that they are both at the finale, and that they have come this far.

*For as much bad is said of the judges, they picked an unbelievable group of girls. The Top 5 especially was just amazing, and this finale between Kree and Candice just puts a fantastic bow on a pretty great season. I am very excited for next week.

That's it. It's Kree or Candice as American Idol Season 12 winner. Come back next week for all the finale news and recap and any other judge's news. Below is our favorite performance from Top 3 Week. It's gonna be a fun finale, so until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top 3 Perform: Jimmy Iovine, Judge's & Producer's Choice Week

Welcome back. 3 are left, 1 week until the finale, things are looking good. It's easily one of the best Top 3's in Idol history. It's definitely up there with some of the great Final 3s. If any one of the finalists could win the show and win it because they deserved it and not because of gender or any other extenuating circumstance then that's a great thing.

 Each one of them got to go on their hometown visits a few days ago and got to experience all the pomp and circumstance, and we will see a lot of that tonight. As always  we have our Weekly Rankings. This is the last edition of the Weekly Rankings this year. Next week is the finale so at that point anything can happen, so we hope you enjoyed this new feature on IdolBeThe Judge this season.

This week the contestants will sing 3 songs, 1 will be Jimmy Iovine's Choice, 1 will be Judge's Choice and 1 will be Producer's Choice. So without further ado, let's get started:

Weekly Rankings
1. Candice Glover-Up 1 From Last Week
2. Angie Miller-Up 1 From Last Week
3. Kree Harrison-Down 2 From Last Week (Officially Bottom 2)

Jimmy Iovine's Choice Performance

Kree Harrison
I really like this song choice for Kree. It allows her to sing something current, something that allows her to put her country spin on a non-country song. I thought at times she was catching up to the melody and band and then at other times she was, well, perfect. So a bit of a mixed bag for her first performance. B
Keith=Proved that she can just sing country no matter what.
Nicki=Quality of her voice is always warm and sweet. It felt very short, wanted to hear more. Didn't seem as nervous as last week. Suggests she wears flat boots, so she can move more.
Randy=Didn't love the song for her. Great song, but it didn't do enough quickly. Laid a little flat.
Mariah=Felt that she was connected, felt she could have went further, but knows she is saving herself for the other performances tonight.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yup. She did alright, not outstanding, but very good.

Candice Glover
(One-U2/Mary J. Blige)
I love this song, and Candice can kill it if she does what she has been doing the past number of weeks. When the band really kicks in and her voice gets going she starts to sound fantastic. She laid it all out there, and hit some big notes and some crazy good runs. Really great first performance by Candice. A-
Nicki=That was a great song choice. Did justice to a great version by Mary J. Blige
Randy= Great song. Gave her room to soar and sing so easily. Not everything was perfect but her emotion was so on point.
Mariah=Can't believe she didn't always just sing as a profession. Always brings so much to the table.
Keith=Loved all of her power. It got sharp in a couple spots but that's because her adrenaline is flying.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Definitely. Candice put it all out there, it wasn't perfect but it was so good.

Angie Miller
(Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word-Elton John)
Given that Angie thrives on the piano and Elton John is always on the piano it makes sense that Jimmy Iovine choose this song, thing is that Angie isn't on the piano. She is standing in a ton of that smoke and sings the song straight. She doesn't really change it up, she just goes for it. I love that she goes for some of those big notes and controls it enough to get back down to the lower verses. Some of it was a little pitchy, but it was a solid performance. B
Randy= Is odd that she wasn't on the piano. Curious that she didn't take the set up for the piano. Loved the restrained thing. I actually really liked it.
Mariah=One of the best performances she has done. Thinks she lost herself in the song.
Keith=Would have loved her to hold back even more. Could have hit emotion more if she sang more gently at times.
Nicki=Loves the way she looks. Didn't hit her emotionally. But doesn't take away the fact that she is trying to win this competition. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep. So much so that they all mentioned the fact that she wasn't on the piano was odd given the artist. But Angie said that she didn't know the song well enough to learn it on the piano. So I understand that. Angie didn't choose the song, so it makes sense.

Jimmy Iovine's Pick of Winner of Round 1= Angie

Judge's Choice Performances

(Next To Me-Emili Sande)
We see a lot of Candice's hometown visit. Her hometown is St. Helena, South Carolina. She visits her former workplace, we see her visit her family, her parents and her 6 siblings and then Candice puts on a concert for the people of St. Helena. It's pretty cool. The song choice is a solid one. It's a current song, so it allows Candice to remain current, and still change the song up enough to fit her. She doesn't sing it just like the original, but doesn't change it too much to make it unrecognizable. I really enjoyed it, I think I liked her first performance better but this was still quite good. B+
Mariah=Sang A+ amazing. Got re-energized when she went home, it rejuvenated her. 
Keith= The way she started was so clear and true. The end was just so in the zone. It was so good. 
Nicki= Came out swinging in this competition. So proud of her. Congratulations.
Randy= It's crazy to think how someone is able to go from nothing to such a big stage like this.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Candice was great. I tribute some of her off notes to the emotional video package she had to see before she performed. It's tough to put your emotions to a side so quickly.

Angie's hometown is Beverly, Massachusetts, which is not very far from Boston. We see her pick up her friends at a coffee shop and visit her old Elementary School. We also see her house and her family, which includes her brother, mom and dad. Then she gets to have a parade all for her and we see her concert. It's interesting that two different contestants are singing Pink tonight. Angie and Kree have a different style so it's cool to see a different interpretation. I loved this song choice for her, she was so into this performance. She oversang it at a couple points, but there was so much more good than any bad.  This is one of the first times that I enjoyed her non-piano performance. A-
Keith=Loves that she didn't play piano twice already. Never seemed as comfortable than she did right there without the piano.
Nicki=Never seemed so comfortable singing an uptempo song, best ever.
Randy=That song fit her like a glove. Sounded amazing on it. Sounded so comfortable. 
Mariah=Her confidence just was out of this world. Never performed like ever before. Found her place at home on the stage.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely. She was so comfortable and into this performance. It really came out clearly tonight.

(Here Comes Goodbye-Rascal Flatts)
We see Kree's hometown of Woodsville, Texas. We see her visit the last home that Kree shared with her parents and sister.  Kree lost her parents early on in her life, her Dad in a 2001 plane crash and her mom in 2009 from a car crash. Kree is one strong lady to keep it together after visiting her old home and memories. Then we see Kree's hometown parade, Kree ends up riding on a mechanical bull and then she does her concert. She sings and dedicates the Carrie Underwood song that she sang last week, See You Again, to her parents and gets pretty choked up. This song choice is right on the money for Kree. It allows her to hit all the emotions that we notice that she is sometimes is missing from her performances. Kree sang just beautifully, really well done. A-
Nicki=Can't underestimate her genuine, emotional, trigger. When she went back home she regained all the things that help her feel and get to the emotion. So, super proud of her. Knows her parents are watching her right now.
Randy=Words don't even express how emotionally charged this was. Sang her heart out. Unbelievably beautiful. Brilliant.
Mariah= That was more than brilliant. That she made it through that performance after the video package is amazing. Overwhelmed by the purity of Kree singing. She is just so real.
Keith=It was the perfect song. She sang it just right, and felt it just right.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Kree performed a beautiful, powerful, emotionally charged performance. Really so good. That video package got to me.

Jimmy Iovine's Pick as Winner of Round 2 = Kree

Producer's Choice Performance

Angie Miller
(Maybe-Emile Sande)
I don't know this song at all. But sometimes that plays to the contestant's advantage.  Angie is back on the piano. I thought this performance was a bit too forced. I actually don't think she needed to be at the piano for this song, it didn't really do anything big for her. Her last performance was far superior to this one. Not saying it wasn't good, just wasn't great. B
Randy=Didn't like piano performance as much as the others.  Became a complete performer tonight.
Mariah=Didn't feel like that's an easy song to sing. Felt the song, and emotion. Nothing negative to say.
Keith= Found her groove. She can sing under the piano.
Nicki=Her growth has surpassed all expectations. She is feeling it. Emotionally connected every time.
Did The Judges & I Agree? Not really. They seemed to like it a bit more than I did. I feel they didn't say all they really wanted to, they held back some critiques there.

Kree Harrison
(Better Dig Too-The Band Perry)
This song is full on country, it even has a banjo and fiddle in it. I think that Kree was into this performance and really showed some emotion. Could she have done more? I think so, but she still did a fine job. I don't know if it did enough though. B 
Mariah=Loved seeing the rocker side of her. Love the emotional side better. Likes the sorrow more than the anger.
Keith=Likes the song, doesn't know if that's the place for her. She set the bar so high with her last performance that it's gonna be tough.
Nicki=That's not her comfort zone. Whoever picked that song should be stoned, didn't like it for her.
Randy=She's a superstar. On her way. That song was too ordinary for her. She tried her best.
Did The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. That song didn't suit her right, she did what she could but I don't know what will happen.

 Candice Glover
(Somewhere-West Side Story)
This is such an epic, huge, powerful song. Candice held her own with a full orchestra and about 20 pounds of necklace. Just amazing. She took that song and made people want to see West Side Story either again or for the first time. She put it all out there, every part of her was out there. That last note was so amazing. That was a winner's song, that was a person who said "I'm going to that finale". Just unbelievable. A+
Keith=If people don't vote for Candice they don't have a pulse.
Nicki= 4 Words: "See You Next Week".
Randy=Had one of the greatest vocals in Idol history before and just got another. Is such a pro. It was so incredible. This was a singing lesson.
Mariah=Congratulations. So proud. She can sing anything any day of the week. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. That was just amazing. If she doesn't get to the finale it will be wrong on so many levels.

Jimmy Iovine's Pick as Winner of Round 3 & Night=Candice

Bottom 2

Going Home

Final Thoughts

*This is gonna be an interesting vote. All 3 ladies did amazing, all 3 had a bit of an off moment or two, but no matter what they all each deserve a place in the finale. Whoever gets there they deserve it because the competition between the 3 of them was fantastic. I think it's a race for the second spot between Kree and Angie because Candice blew it out of the water with her last song and solid enough performances overall to solidify her place in the finale.

*I think Jimmy did a good job picking songs, the producers did an awful job, aside from Candice's song, and the judges did the best job overall. It's tough when all the power is taken away from you, and you have to just sing a song even if it doesn't fit you. But all the ladies had to get their songs picked, so although it might have hurt Kree a bit more than the others, it did seem like each struggled at points. 

*I don't get why the contestants couldn't choose one of their songs. I get Jimmy and the judge's but they need producers also? Seemed wrong that none of the songs tonight came from them.

* I can't believe they played the clip packages of their time at home literally seconds before they had to perform. I don't recall them doing this before. I feel like I recall them showing us a snippet of their time at home, and then we see the rest of it on the Results show. I'm not saying they didn't, but it seems wrong. Those video packages are so emotional, and so real. Seems a bit unfair, but I guess since it happened to all of them it evened out. But still, Kree's and Candice's video packages were so much more emotional.

That's it. Tomorrow is the big night. We learn which of these ladies will fall 1 week short of the finale. It's gonna be a great choice really no matter what. So come back here tomorrow, and until then see ya!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Top 4 Results Again

Welcome back. Tonight one of these fantastic ladies will leave the competition. Given that I think anyone of these ladies have had moments that have proven that they could win this competition it's really a crazy situation. All but Angie has been Bottom 2 and all of these ladies have been Top 2 at least once but many more times as well, so it's gonna be a big loss no matter what, but that's the competition, someone's gotta go. We predicted Amber and Kree as Bottom 2 with Amber going home tonight. It's unfortunate but one of these ladies will fall one week short of getting to do their hometown visits. So without further ado, let's get to it:

Top 4 Perform
They are singing a more standard/old-school version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" because this song is from the upcoming movie Great Gatsby. It's super fast, it's like a 1920s version of this song, it kind of sounds like they were on helium at times when they sung altogether. There were about 12 backup dancers along with the 4 girls so there was a lot going on. Definitely not one of my favorite group performances of the season by them.

Ford Promo/Mission
Their "mission" of the week is that they got to design their own Ford Fiesta design on the car. It's kinda cool, albeit pretty boring.

Jimmy Iovine's Take
Angie= Had the opportunity to shut the competition down, but it didn't happen. The first song didn't go where she wanted it to, her second song was not great. Not special enough, but not bad enough to send her home.
Amber=Sounded karaoke on the first song, she's a great singer, wrong song. The second song got her to dug deep and she sounded magnificently. She was Bottom 2 last week, but doesn't know if the last song did enough to save her. Hopes so though.
Candice=Bruno Mars should write a song for Candice right now. She was head and shoulders better than the rest.
Kree= Hasn't lived up to her full potential the last few weeks. She did fine the two performances but not overly good on any of them.

Musical Performance #1
Easily one of the best seasons of American Idol was Season 7. There was so much talent and eventual winner David Cook won. He is back tonight singing his new singing "Laying Me Low". For me David Cook is my 3rd favorite Idol winner behind Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. I love how every song he sings sounds just like him, like he doesn't try to be something he isn't.

Musical Performance #2
Will.I.Am is singing his new song "Bang Bang". This song is also from the movie Great Gatsby, so it' also has a big band, 1920s sound, along with rap. It's a sound you don't hear every day. I wonder if Great Gatsby is associated with FOX, given that 2 songs come from the soundtrack? Hmm.... This song was obviously pre-taped given that the judges are not at their seats. It's kinda cute that they put 4 ladies on the side of the stage, as if it were really happening live. Then in such a coincidence The Great Gatsby commercial follows the performance. How is that possible? Such a crazy twist.

Idol Catch-Up
This week's Idol Catch-Up is with Season 4's Constantine Maroulis. He originated the lead role in Rock of Ages and is also in Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde. He's had a really great career after Idol.

Musical Performance #3
We get a performance from this week's mentor Harry Connick Jr. I know he does albums and likes to tour and do movies from time to time but I think he would do a really great job as a judge on this show.



Bottom 2



Going Home 
It's sad to see Amber leave. She is a fierce, fantastic, beautiful contestant. She was in Bottom 3 or 2 a number of times. She had a rough first performance last night, but her second one was quite beautiful. It's sad to see her go, but the 3 remaining contestants each have a really solid chance of winning the competition, each one of them deserved a spot at the Final 3.

Final Thoughts

*As a fan of Kree, Candice and Angie I am so excited about these final 3 girls. Amber was a fantastic competitor. She sometimes was over-hyped, had rough moments when she wasn't called out, but she still delivered a great deal. One of the best eliminated at 4 contestant, along with Chris Daughtry(Season 5). Also notable eliminated at 4th contestants are Alison Iraheta(Season 8),  and Jason Castro(Season 7). She joins some good company.

*The results show is always inflated but when there are so few contestants, and there is no save me song, no Judge's decision about the save, the results show should be reduced to 30 minutes. It's understandable when there is 9 or 10 or even 7 or 8, but there are just 4 people left now, it's just so much more glaring at this point.

*I loved Amber's swan song. She fittingly sang Whitney Houston's "I Believe In You And Me". She really started to break down, and her father came out on stage to comfort her. Really a beautiful moment. 

That's it, one of the Final 4 is gone and we are left with a great Top 3. Next week is Hometown visits week. Each contestant will sing 3 songs, so should be a lot going on. So until next time, enjoy our favorite performance below, and see ya!