Thursday, February 26, 2015

Top 24: Top 12 Women Perform

Welcome back. After a super-fast paced episode of the Top 12 men performing last night, the ladies perform tonight. The Top 12 women will perform just like the guys did in a taped performance. The voting is live but everything else was pre-taped last week.  The results of last night's and tonight's episode will be revealed prior to the Top 16 performances. There is a lot of singing to get to in only an hour. I am excited to see which ladies will step it up, and which ladies' journey will end after this performance. A lot riding on tonight, so without further ado, let's get started:

Top 12 Women Perform

Lovey James (Love Runs Out-OneRepublic)- The song starts off a little too low for her. When she starts to get louder and her voice opens up a little she sounds nice. She does go out of tune in several instances, but the parts that are good are really nice. It was an uneven performance.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Off to a great start. Harry-Risky to start off so low, nice strong job. Keith-Got better and better as the song went on.
Our Grade=C

Adanna Duru(Rather Be-Clean Bandit)- I liked that she took a really current song and changed the tempo to slow it down and showcase her voice. It was a little pitchy in a few spots, went sharp and flat at a couple moments, but when she goes for some runs it's real nice. The band then steps in towards the middle-end and she goes hard and has a moment out there, she puts it out there. When it was good it was real good,  just needs to do that the whole time.
Judge's Comments=Keith-So much capability. Jennifer-Going for blood, went for it. Needs to stay in control whole time. Harry-Went for it but then got out of control, first half of song was really strong. 
Our Grade=B
Alexis Gomez (Gunpowder & Lead)-She starts the song a little low also and it takes a few seconds to get her voice in the groove. She calls herself a mix of Mexican, hippy and country.  While her last performance combined all three, this performance leaned all on country. She sounded pleasant, though not entirely exciting. In tune the whole way, but not so memorable.
Judge's Comments= Harry-So lovely and talented. cautions her about having a twang, imitates the record. Keith-Not comfortable playing the guitar get rid of it. Jennifer-Love it, love you. Plays around with things she does because she is latina and loves country. Encourages her to mix things up.
Our Grade=C

Joey Cook (Somebody Like You-Keith Urban) We haven't seen Joey play her accordion since her audition, so she decides to bring it out tonight. She completely takes Keith Urban's song and turns it into whatever she usually does. In her super-retro, kooky kind of way. It's really imaginative and creative. It was a chancy performance but she delivered. Keith gives her a standing ovation.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-All best things about her. Taking one of Keith's song and making it her own showcased who she is. Harry-If Keith and him ever had a kid that's what it would sound like. Keith-Made song her own. Perfect.
Our Grade=A-

Katherine Winston(Safe & Sound-Taylor Swift)- In a real cool way Katherine is a mix of Kree Harrison's voice(Season 12) and Crystal Bowersox's looks(Season 8).  She did a lovely job on this song. Katherine hasn't had a ton of screen-time thus far on Idol, but her voice warrants her to have plenty. She is right on the money throughout the whole thing. It wasn't the most entertaining and energized performance, but her voice is pure and beautiful.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Beautiful song, gorgeous tone, feel as she is singing. Jennifer-Blessed because it's captivating. Magical quality to her voice. Harry-Phenomenal vocalist, questions the song choice with what's going on tonight.
Our Grade=B

Shannon Berthiaume (Who Knew-Pink)-She slowed down this Pink song a lot to be a more subdued version. The song does go into the traditional pace at one point and it showcases some flaws in her voice and on stage persona. She gets a little off course. Pink is a tough artist to sing because she makes it so easy to hit certain notes and runs, but it's not easy and Shannon proved that. It was pretty boring also, so that's a bad combination.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Seemed most guys had lot of polish on stage. She iss so green and it's great,  but novelty is gonna wear off, Needs to get more energetic. Keith-Not a good song choice. Needs to pick songs that play to her strengths. Jennifer-A phenomenal singer but needs to believe that.
Our Grade=C-

Loren Lott (Note to God-Charice)- There were a lot of key changes in the beginning of the song that didn't sound great. By the middle of the song Loren got to showcase her big powerhouse voice. I don't know if I like the song choice for her, but it did accomplish her goal of putting her big voice out there. She was energized and went for it. Did what she could with a bad song choice. The last note was pretty fierce.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Very brave performance. First night singing for America. Great job. Harry-Powerful. Keith-Giving everyone a run for their money.
Our Grade= B

Shi Scott (Umbrella-Rihanna)- I don't know if I liked what she did to the song. She made it try to fit her voice, which I give her credit for, but it didn't actually enhance her voice at most points. It felt like she was screaming at me during the louder parts of the song, when the band got loud she felt it was time to scream and push herself, but I don't think it landed quite right. I was pretty bored with the arrangement. SHE did not do a good job. Sorry, I had to make a "She versus Shi" pun.
Judge's Comments=Keith-It was brave and gutsy, bold performance about it, but didn't really get me with song choice. Jennifer-America didn't get best of her. Poor song choice. Harry-Talented, good news that everyone loves the song, but not the right song for her.
Our Grade=D+

Maddie Walker (Love Gets Me Every Time-Shania Twain)- I think Maddie's voice is right in the country zone. But she still looks about 10 years older than she actually is (16). Maybe a little less makeup would do the trick, I don't know. The song wasn't that great for Maddie. It allowed her to get in a groove but there were a few different key changes and tempo changes that took her out of the moment several times. Parts were good, most were not.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Voice sounds a lot older than she is, thick sounding voice for her age, good solid performance. Keith-That's not a great Shania song to showcase her voice. Compelling sound. Jennifer-Not right song to wow America. Good luck.
Our Grade= C

Sarina Joi-Crowe (Mamma Knows Best-Jessie J) This is the fourth time she has tried out for the show and has gotten better year after year. This might be her time. This was a performance that was even all the way. It was energized, it had attitude in the right places and was in the right key and zone the whole time Sarina went for the runs like they were nothing. Perfect. Finally a female kills it tonight.  
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Rivaled Jessie J on that song. Pretty impressive. Harry-Looked great, sounded great, great arrangement. Keith-Perfect balance of loose and tight, chill and right on point.
Our Grade=A

Jax (Bang Bang(My Baby Shot Me Down)-Nancy Sinatra )- Her voice is captivating right off the bat, very haunting and intense. She begins the song by just sitting there on a stool with a guy playing the guitar. Then as the middle of the song hits the band kicks in and Jax gets off the stool and she rocks out a little. We haven't seen a lot of her rocking out, this was great to see. Really outstanding job. Can't wait to see more of her.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loved it, love her artistry and originality. Jennifer-Lucky to have her in this competition. Harry-Fun thing will be to watch her as she progresses in the competition.
Our Grade= A

Tyanna Jones (Lips Are Movin-Meghan Trainor)-Her hair is blue, or more TV screen is broken, let's hope for the former. Tyanna is so comfortable on stage and her voice just makes it sound like she isn't even trying. I wasn't in love with the song choice, but the way she delivered it was great. Really delightful performance.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Ridiculously talented. Incredible. Keith-Move forward don't be afraid to tell band to sing in higher key. Jennifer-So beautiful about her, that voice is from GOD himself. Crazy.
Our Grade=A-

Top 3 of the Night=  Sarina Joi Crowe, Jax and Tyanna Jones

Going Home Predictions= 1. Shi Scott 2. Alexis Gomez  3. Shannon Berthiaume 4. Lovey James

Final Thoughts

*Tonight's episode was far from as strong as the men were last night. It was tough to narrow down the best 3 of last night because there were probably about 6 guys that stood out, tonight it was easier because only Sarina-Joi, Jax and Tyanna really brought the house down. There were way too many performances that started too low and out of key, there were too many performances that lacked energy and way too many performances that had really poor song choices. A really uneven night. Thankfully Jax, Sarina-Joi and Tyanna saved the episode.

*On a positive note, Sarina-Joi, Jax and Tyanna with a mix of Loren, Joey and Katherine were pretty great. I think so far the guys have a better chance of winning this whole thing, but if the few girls that have been outstanding stay outstanding then they can go a long way.

*So prior to the Top 8 Men Singing Next Wednesday and Top 8 Women Singing Next Thursday we will learn which 4 guys and 4 girls respectively will be eliminated. Hopefully with 8 less people singing in next week's show we will get to hear a little more judge's feedback and learn a little more about these contestants. Because the past 2 days were so fast paced and it was all singing and singing there was no good opportunity or time to get into who these people are. So I hope things slow down a little next time.

That's it. Hopefully you enjoyed the past couple days of the show and this recap. Come on back here next time for Top 16 week. So until then, see ya!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 24: Top 12 Men Perform

Welcome back. Tonight begins the 2-night performance episodes on the Top 24. The Top 12 Men will perform tonight, and the Top 12 Women will perform tomorrow. The episode was taped last Thursday at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. Live performances will not begin yet but Live voting does. Though we won't learn the results of the men and women until next week prior to the beginning of Top 16 week.

We have been tracking our favorite contestants from the auditions. We started out with a Top 30 after auditions, that number was reduced to 16 by the House of Blues performances last week and now we are left with only 10. They are:

From Nashville=Michael Simeon, Sarina Joi-Crowe and Savion Wright
From New York=Jax, Adam Ezeglian and Katherine Winston
From Minneapolis= Mark Andrew
From San Francisco=Adanna Duru, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones

We have begun to pick out several other favorites that weren't on our initial Top auditions list that have made the Top 24. Tonight hopefully will give us a great chance to see and listen to all of these contestants a little more than we have the past couple weeks when we have only got to see little snippets. There is a lot of singing, and we will try to streamline the whole process for you. So, let's get started:

Top 12 Men Perform

Adam Ezegelian( I Wanna Rock-Twisted Sister)- He is dressed as if he was going on job interview at a bank but then goes into this super rock song. He has a pure rock voice. He puts it all out there, he plays with the band a little, the audience, and gets really into the groove. He starts the show off really well.
Judge's Comments-Jennifer-Is every man. Crazy, very contagious. Harry-Embodies what rock and roll is about. Can really sing. Keith-Loves those kind of heart-aching ballads. 
Our Grade= B+
Michael Simeon (How Am I Supposed To Live Without You-Michael Bolton)- Not sure if I like this old school song choice, but it is a pretty song and he has a pretty voice. It starts off kind of sleepy. He hits some really nice notes in there, but overall it was kind of boring.
Judge's Comments-Harry-tough act to follow, needs him to sing in tune. Good job though Jennifer-like the feeling of the whole thing. Keith-Loved that, and performance, stayed in the moment and control.
Our Grade= C+

Savion Wright (Hey, Soul Sister-Train) - He makes the song a little more funky than the original. He plays the whole thing kind of cool. It allowed his voice to really groove. His voice is really good and I liked to see him so comfortable on stage. The way he sang the song didn't allow any big moments, but he sang well and was solid throughout the whole thing.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Started unfocused but as got on it got more focused. Jennifer-loves his style, keep eye on camera not just in house audience. Keith-Not liking the song choice, he has more strengths than that.
Our Grade=B

Mark Andrew (The Weight-The Band)-He is one of the "elder" contestants at age 29, you can tell how comfortable he is with his voice. He knows where to push and pull it. I like the way his voice sounds. This was a cool song choice, very eclectic. He has a big smile as he sings, you can tell he enjoys himself up there.
Judge's Comments-Keith-Perfect song choice, even without the band. Harry-Perfect song choice, keep singing like that he will be in zone no one else will be. Jennifer-Has a great vibe right now, great chance at this.
Our Grade=A-

Trevor Douglas(Best I Ever Had-Gavin DeGraw)- He is a super fast performer. He just goes for it all, but sometimes he sings so quick that I miss a lyric or two and can't understand what he is saying. He goes to play with the audience and ends up going out of tune. When the song slows down a little you can hear some flaws in his voice. It's like he ran out of breath at points. He is a fun performer, but his voice just loses steam. It wasn't a full performance. Parts were good, some weren't.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Song got on top of him, energy is palpable. Jennifer-This was an OK day, didn't see him at his best vocally. Harry-Strong performance but not vocable.
Our Grade=C-

Clark Beckham (When A Man Loves A Woman-Percy Sledge)- Clark doesn't pick very current songs, but his voice makes him sound current, and that's a talent. His first note hits hard and he continues to make great choices with his voice. He is sans guitar, or piano and it's just pure voice. He puts his whole heart into the performance but makes it look like it's nothing. The high note he throws in there and the way the band stopped on his demand was pretty impressive. Keith gives him a standing ovation.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Goosies all day. Harry-Extremely talented. Fun to see the nitty gritty of things as he goes further. Keith-It was killer.
Our Grade=A

Rayvon Owen (So Jealous-Nick Jonas) Clark's song choice and Ravyon's song choice were created nearly 50 years apart. Amazing. Anyways, Rayvon picked a song that really allowed his falsetto to shine. He can do almost anything he wants to with his voice. He sounds better than he did last week. He stays in tune the whole time, and again those falsettos really enhanced everything.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Elegant, talented that harkens back to Motown singers. Strong and good song choice. Jennifer-America is watching and voting. Don't forget about them. Would've liked a little more attitude with the song. Harry-Good thing to show off the falsetto.
Our Grade=B+

Daniel Seavey(I'm Yours-Jason Mraz)- He comes out playing a little mandolin thing. His voice has still not fully cracked so his voice is a little uneven. I liked the way he hit certain runs. He looks down a few times to the audience standing there, so you missed some of the connection to the home crowd. It was a nice performance, nothing outstanding, but nothing overly offensive. Just good.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loved the way he looks, the mandolin, good song, interesting hear his voice tackle that song. Jennifer-Needs to make sure he is consistent throughout the whole song. Harry-Competition starts tonight and there is great talent up there. Great job.
Our Grade=B-
Riley Bria (Homeboy-Eric Church) He is the only country guy left in this competition. So that's a big advantage for those that love country and will vote only that way.  I am not too familiar with this song. His voice sounds a little flat tonight. It doesn't really go anywhere. It is consistent, but it just never gets to a great point that I was excited to hear. A little underwhelming . Riley can play his guitar though,
Judge's Comments- Jennifer- Sweet with that little bit of edge. Belongs here. Harry-Can't help but notice that he is a little like Keith. Keith-Great song choice, can't wait to hear more. 
Our Grade=C+

Quentin Alexander (I Put A Spell On You-Screamin' Jay Hawkins)-His style is one that can barely be described, but it's him and it's unique. The song itself and performance is super intense. His voice is amazing. He hits every note almost differently. It's so unique and creative. I liked the intensity and powerfulness of the performance. Really cool.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Different presentation across the board, hopes America gives him a chance to stay in this. Makes brave choices. Jennifer-Performing, drama, dynamics, vocals, way he looks. Perfect. Harry-Hasn't made a record yet and it was a Grammy performance.
Our Grade=A-

Nick Fradiani (Thinking Out Loud-Ed Sheeran)-He is another "elder" contestant at 29. He, like Mark Andrew, knows his voice so well that he can do whatever he wants to it.  He isn't intense like Quentin or high energy like Trevor but he is a great blend of a beautiful voice, very knowledgeable about his talent and a nice performer. Overall just a wonderful job.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Perfect song choice. Jennifer-Don't want anyone to go home. Did a great performance. One of the best. Harry-Really strong.
Our Grade=A-

Qaasim Middleton(Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)- I love the current song choice, but his voice sounded a little thin to start. He is a true performer. He dances, works the audience and stays in tune for the most part. His performance definitely enhances his voice. His voice might not be as strong as others but he has that little extra something special on stage that others do not.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Make me want to dance and sing with him. Crazy every time. Harry-Leave it on the stage, give everything you have and he did exactly that. Keith-Stands out, has charisma, killed it.
Our Grade=B+

Our Top 3 Best of Night= Quentin, Clark and Nick

Going Home Predictions = Daniel, Trevor, Michael, Riley

Final Thoughts

*Although the show was taped last week we got to see full performances from each of the guys and there was not one performance that was utterly terrible. Sure there were a few underwhelming performances or voice inadequacies, but overall it was a solid night of performances.

*The 3 that stood out based on their voice, their performance or a combination of both were Quentin, Clark and Nick. I think Daniel, Riley, Trevor and Michael might be in trouble. None of them were terrible, but they were either inconsistent or lacked having a really great performance and moment.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow for a full recap on the Top 12 women as they perform. Hopefully it will be just as solid as tonight's episode. So until then, see ya!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Top 48 Showcase: House of Blues Part 2

Welcome back. Last night gave us a little bit of everything. We saw the contestants perform at the House of Blues and we also got immediate results on if they made it to the Top 24 or if they were eliminated. A total of 12 people made it through last night, 7 females and 5 males. Tonight will finish up the performances and eliminations and we will have our Top 24 of 12 males and 12 females. So as we always do, let's get started:

First up for Final Judgement is Josh Sanders. Harry tells him they applaud his performances and work ethic but it's gonna be a "No". Right after that Jennifer tells Josh that she would have said "Yes". Once Josh leaves Harry sarcastically tells Jennifer "Make sure you continue to throw us under the bus".....

Top 48 Perform & Results Part 2:
We left last night's episode on Hollywood Anderson. 

Hollywood Anderson=He has disappointed us greatly since his fantastic initial audition. Since then he has performed several times and has been way off the mark, he got a terrible edit from group rounds where it appeared he was sort of lazy and didn't put that much effort in.The audition was the only thing that got him to Top 48. At the House of Blues he sings Adele's "Hometown Glory". We get to see about 9 seconds of his performance before they cut back to the Final Judgement with the Judges. In those 9 seconds I didn't see anything to dissuade me from thinking he doesn't deserve to be in the Top 24, but we obviously didn't get to see his whole performance.
Judge's Comments= Keith-He's a soulful guy, got a beautiful voice, it's a real gift, but didn't quite make it.
Results= Eliminated

Joey Cook=She is pretty emotional sitting in the holding room awaiting her fate. At House of Blues she sings "Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee. Joey has a very distinct and unique voice. There isn't anyone on the show that sounds like her, and that's a good thing. It's also very niche, so it's possible that if haven't liked her thus far she probably won't grow on ya, but she should,  and although she's had an up and down journey thus far she's done more good than bad.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Truly cares about everyone, tough to compare apples and oranges but she is the kiwi of the bunch. 
Results=In Top 24

Katherine Winston=I have been impressed by Katherine each time we have seen her, but we haven't seen a ton of her. At House of Blues she sings "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac. Her voice does some really interesting things and she makes some great choices to make the song her own.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Gets excited to put the best people in front of America... watching her journey and every-time she got up there something magical happened.
Results=In Top 24

Maddie Hudson=She was a favorite at her initial audition, but since then she has faltered and struggled.  At House of Blues she sang "Diamonds" by Rihanna. She seemed very timid. So when you add that to her struggles in Hollywood it's not a great combination.
Judge's Comments=A front runner from the beginning, but needs time to get comfortable on stage. Has a great talent

Alexis Gomez= In Hollywood Jennifer told Alexis to try things differently because most of her performances are the same time after time. Jennifer mentions that Alexis is Mexican, so maybe doing with that. So at House of Blues Alexis decides to mix her love of country and her Mexican background together and turn The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two" into a half Spanish/half English song. It was sort of a weird combination that sort of worked. I give her credit for switching things up.
Judge's Comments=Not one of the people that we have to say goodbye to that we like.
Results= In Top 24

Quentin Alexander= He decides to sing a lesser known song called "Youth" by Foxes. No one has heard this song and it was a chancy choice but he sounded pretty well in the few seconds that we heard him. Plus the way he dresses is so distinct and he stands out in the crowd just for that. Add his voice to the mix and ya got a great combination.
Judges Comments=Keith-Has had ups and downs during some of his performances but will be interesting for America to see him.
Results=In Top 24

Savion Wright=He got to this exact point last season and was eliminated right before the Top 24. He was great last season, but is actually even better this season. He struggled during the group performance but has done well at many other points. At House of Blues he sang "I Don't Trust Myself(with Loving You)" by John Mayer. He sounded really nice in the few seconds we saw him. I enjoy Savion, and if he is better than last season in which I wanted him to get through, then I really want him to get through this season.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Seems really comfortable on stage but takes even more than that, and he is up for that challenge.
Results= In Top 24

Eliminated Montage=Jaq Mackenzie and Hunter Larsen. I liked Hunter a lot throughout this competition, and Jaq had a couple decent performances. Too bad.

Mark Andrew=He had an up and down time in Hollywood but his voice can really carry him through tough times. At House of Blues he sings "Take Me To Church" by Hozier. He's got it all going on. His voice is on point and he is much more in the groove and works the stage.
Judge's Comments=Harry-12 spots for the guys and 12 spots for the girls, that's really narrow. He is in his own lane, but is he different enough?
Results= In Top 24

Trevor Douglas=I didn't like his first audition but since then he has done quite well and stood out at times. At House of Blues he sings "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley but he makes it into a more modern rock/pop version. It was a cool way to bring an old song into modern age.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Crazy that his vocals weren't as good as he probably could have done. Have to think about is consistency.We think he is talented and want to see him again.
Results=In Top 24

Emily Brooke=From the few times we have seen her she was decent. At House of Blues she sang Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy". It was good, not great.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Really talented but really young.
Results= Eliminated

Nick Fradiani= At House of Blues he sings Train's "Drops of Jupiter" and he sounds amazing. He hasn't had a ton of spotlight put on him, other than that he is 28 and this is his last shot at Idol. He has been so consistent and he could be a real spark in the Top 12 guys.
Judge's Comments=None
Results=In Top 24

Sarina-Joi Crowe=She has had quite the Idol journey. This was her fourth time trying out for the show. She sings Jessie J's "Big White Room" and she is just so good. She's always been good
Judge's Comments=Harry-This year there are more people in her lane, show needs best people to represent that genre and she is one of those people.
Results= In Top 24

Qaasim Middleton=The way he looks has been more of the draw of Qassim than anything. I have never been completely impressed by his voice and whole package. He is very Prince on stage as he sings "Satisfaction" by Allen Stone. He gets a standing ovation by Jennifer and Keith. This was by far my favorite performance of Qaasim thus far.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Is Brooklyn in the house? Is Brooklyn in the house?
Results= In Top 24

Riley Bria and Ricky Dale Hendricks=They are the last remaining men for the Final Judgement. Both guys didn't get a lot of air time in Hollywood. At House of Blues Ricky sings "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley and Riley sings "Love this Pain" by Lady Antebellum. Ricky sung his particular song better than Riley, but Riley has sung better overall. It's a close call. 
Judge's Comments= Both extraordinarily talented and well deserved of getting this far.
Results= Riley In Top 24....Ricky Dale Eliminated

Jelly Joseph and Shi Scott =They are the last remaining women for the Final Judgement. Jelly's first audition was amazing but since then she faded into the background a little. Shi has been more featured on the show, but it might be because she has a weird kind of personality and sounds like the people she is singing. She hasn't really had her own voice yet to stand out on her own. Before the Showcase Jelly has major nerve issues. At House of Blues Jelly sings "Bang Bang" by Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj and her voice is fierce. She is a powerhouse. Shi sings "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder and it finally sounds not at all like the original. Maybe she needs to just keep singing songs originally sung by men. That might be her ticket.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Jelly represented New Orleans incredibly well.
Results=Shi Scott In Top 24...Jelly Joseph Eliminated

Final Thoughts

*The Top 24 is quite the mixed bag. Ya got a range of contestants between the ages of 15-29, ya got rockers, some pop, r&b, a good amount of country, a splash of latin music, and a lot of soul. There is definitely something for everyone in there. I'd say out of the Top 24  there are at least 14 possible stars and several others that can really stand out during live rounds. There is a ton of potential in the Top 24, we'll see how it shakes out.

*There were a few eliminations the past 2 days in there that was a little upsetting. Jelly Joseph, Hunter Larsen and Cody Fry among the few. A couple of people that were very borderline that made it were Shi Scott, Daniel Seavey and Alexis Gomez. So all in all that's not bad. I think because the judges and producers were very aware of trying to ensure that almost every single genre is covered they might have eliminated some good talent to fit certain categories. It happens every season.

*Next week the live voting rounds begin. This will finally give us a full look at some of these performers that we only saw for a mere few seconds the past few days. Most of the Top 24 were featured pretty heavily so far this season, but it will be good to see them without edits and interruptions.

That's it. Next week starts the voting rounds and actual live shows. Can't wait. Should be good. Come on back after the next new episode. So until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Top 48 Showcase: House of Blues Part 1

In the beginning of Hollywood Week we posted our Top 30 coming out of American Idol auditions. Of the Top 30 that we designated as the standouts 16 remain. They are:

From Nashville=Michael Simeon, Sarina Joi-Crowe and Savion Wright
From Kansas City=Ellen Peterson
From New York=Jax, Adam Ezeglian, Katherine Winston and Hollywood Anderson(who disappointed us in Hollywood)
From Minneapolis=Hannah Mrozak, Mark Andrew
From New Orleans=Jelly Joseph, Ricky Hendricks and Erica Washington
From San Francisco=Maddie Hudson, Adanna Duru, and Tyanna Jones

From Hollywood week several contestants not in our Top 30 really shined and created moments that bested their initial auditions. We'll try to keep track of our remaining 16 Audition standouts and see how they do, along with checking out some of the talent that really stepped it up that is left in this competition. Of the 48 contestants left 26 are female and 22 are male.

Tonight the contestants will be singing at the House of Blues. This is a brand new round before we get to live voting rounds. This is the last chance the judges will get to see the contestants before they hit larger stages and larger crowds. Hopefully it will give them a clear view of which contestants have what it takes to be an actual superstar and which contestants can just sing pretty well. Some contestants will learn if they made the Top 24, some will learn they will be eliminated all in tonight's episode.

Tonight's episode is sort of non-linear. It shows us the contestants at the House of Blues performing, then it shows us them sitting at "The Final Judgement" awaiting their eliminations and it goes back and forth between the two scenes.We'll try to guide you through it a little more straight forwardly. So let's get started:

Top 48 Perform & Results Part 1

Michael Simeon=He looks nervous, but his voice is still very strong. His voice is very gentle and non-threatening. He sings "Classic" by MKTO which features a little rap in it, and he handles it pretty well, it shouldn't be something he does all the time, but once and awhile is OK. He has done really well so far this season.  
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Really enjoyed his voice and performance.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Loren Lott=She sings Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". It's an ambitious song to sing, to say the very least. There were a few problems in there, but given that it could have went horribly wrong from the get-go she did a nice job.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-Connection wasn't there, which makes them nervous, but not too nervous.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Adam Ezegelian= He decides to sing "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and it's super rock. His voice fits the House of Blues for sure. He is pure rock. He is the Caleb Johnson (last year's winner if you don't recall) of this season. He has done enough to get by.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-This show is entertainment and he has done it well, but is there more?
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Cody Fry=He is usually a self-proclaimed slow-sleepy kind of singer and he decided to depart that and go for Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and that was a gamble. I think he strayed a bit too far.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer=Always did well, but didn't do enough out of the Top 48.
Judge's Results= Eliminated

Lovey James=We didn't see a lot of Lovey during the Hollywood Week performances but she has a really nice voice. Tonight she sings "Wings" by Little Mix. It seems to be right in her wheelhouse. It wasn't outstanding and she sounded out of breath at times. It was a pleasant performance just not completely perfect. The last note went a little awry but she has done well other times.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Out of all the times, Top 48 was most she was alive. Consistency is paramount. 
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Eliminated Montage=Hector Montenegro, J. None, Reno Anoa'i, Zack Kaltenbach, Hannah Mrozak

Adanna Duru= She had a tough Hollywood week but impressed before that. She sings " It's A Man's, Man's Man's World" and slays it pretty well. She put a ton of emotion and energy into this performance. You can tell she was trying to redeem herself.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Judging is hard because it's tough cutting people, you aren't one of those people. 
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Maddie Walker= She has sounded pretty great all along, but hasn't stood out as much as others. Also her makeup makes her look about 26 instead of 16. Not saying that's bad, but I wish she looked a little more youthful. Either way she sings Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and although I personally hate that song she sounds good on it. I am glad she proved that although she is a country girl she doesn't just have to choose country songs. That's a good call.
Judge's Comments=Doesn't want to drag this out....
Judge's Results= Eliminated (though the judge's contemplate rethinking their decision)

Rachel Hallack=Haven't seen much of her but she sings "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert and she sounds very solid. Not overly exciting but still not too bad.
Judge's Results=To Be Continued...

Sing Off=The judge's re-think their decision and have decided to do a "Sing-Off" between Rachel Hallack and Maddie Walker. They basically said that they felt it was always close call between Maddie and Rachel and as soon as they eliminated Maddie they rethought their decision. That sucks for Rachel because now they have to do a few seconds of an acapella song on the spot in front of the judges. Maddie sings her song and it's very pretty, it's a little off-key, but she had literally no time to prep her voice. Rachel was a little more shook up, but as soon as she started singing it sounded so good. They both were quite good. The judge's think they are apples and oranges but are evenly matched in different attributes.
Results= Maddie Makes Top 24, Rachel is Eliminated
Our Sing Off Comments= So that was messed up. I know the judges said it was tough, but it was tough before they saw Maddie, when they made their decision after the House of Blues performance. To bring Maddie up, tell her she was eliminated, then to bring Rachel up and tell her she would have made it if they didn't feel a twinge or something came over them when they eliminated Maddie, and then to make them do a Sing-Off, that really didn't make either of them stand out over the other, and then pick Maddie over Rachel was so messed up. It just was. Let's move on.

Clark Beckham=Harry didn't think he was ready in his initial audition, but since then he has completely owned the stage. At the House of Blues he decides to sing Ray Charles' "Georgia on my Mind". He plays the piano and adds these little embellishes and screams and runs to the song that allows him to own the song. He is fantastic, his voice, his looks, the whole package is very promising.
Judge's Comments=Harry=Impartial as can be, but something happens. Lives from performance to performance and he will be able to live to the next performance.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Daniel Seavey=This kid keeps flirting with Jennifer Lopez and it bothers me, it's like a school-kid flirting with his teacher. He sings Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" and does a decent job. He has been consistent in that he does the same thing each time, and gets good feedback from the judges. I haven't been a big fan, I think he can be good, but isn't all the way there yet. But American Idol has spent a lot of time featuring Daniel so I wouldn't be suprised if he makes it.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Impressed from beginning, so young, it's a tough process, great singers out there, you're one of them. 
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Tyanna Jones= At the House of Blues she sings "Love on Top" by Beyonce'. It's tough to sing Beyonce, it just is, so in direct comparison to her Tyanna doesn't get there, but if we remove the Beyonce' factor then Tyanna sounded really nice. When the key changed to a little higher she went off a little, but the rest of the song was quite good.
Judge's Comments=Watching her was telling about who she is as a performer, she came to life.
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Rayvon Owen=His voice is so pretty and he makes it seem easy. He sings "Lay Me Down" by Sam Smith. He sounds amazing. He adds beautiful embellishes and runs. Really pleasant to the ear. He has done well for most of the season thus far, and this is no difference.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Some people do good in the audition, some do better in front of the audience. Really great.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Shannon Berthiaume=She had never performed in front of an audience before the House of Blues and although we only see a few seconds of "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin she sounds good. I didn't like her initial audition, but since then she has gotten better and better.
Judge's Comments=Keith-You're the next round.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Jax=There hasn't been a time that Jax has disappointed thus far in American Idol. She sings Lady Gaga's "You & I". Her voice is just so darn good, she comes off the piano and does an intentional dramatic pause. She claims she did it to confuse the audience. It was a risk, but it's tough to see if it actually worked on the audience because we only saw a few seconds of her performance. I didn't mind the dramatic effect, but it has to land in a certain way. Jax has been a standout since the beginning of the season, she should sail easily to live rounds.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Not her best performance, it was dangerous to do the pause, there was some greeness there. Keith-All 3 judges thinks she is terrific.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Hollywood Anderson=To Be Continued....We will learn how he did at The House of Blues and his fate in this competition tomorrow....

Final Thoughts

*The Top 24 is taking shape. 12 contestants (5guys, 7 girls) have made it thus far. That means the remaining 12 spots will be filled tomorrow by 7 guys and  5 girls. The Top 24 will have an even amount of guys and girls, so even if there are more girls that are better than a particular guy, once they hit the 12 girls threshold that's it. I always hated that we can't just get the best Top 10, or Top 13 or in this case Top 24. If it happens to be even then great, if it happens that one gender is better than the other than so be it. The best shouldn't be discerned by gender. This has been my biggest gripe almost every season of this show, and I am sure we will continue to talk about it throughout the competition.

*There were some standouts tonight. Clark Beckam is as Randy Jackson would say "In It, To Win It". He has the looks, voice and personality. Jax might have not been her best, but her worst is still better than the majority of people left. Tyanna Jones did a really great job, as did Michael and Adam. The Top 24 is rounding into a really nice group of contestants. I still don't get Daniel Seavey. He is an enigma for me.

*I know we spoke earlier about our hatred of the "spontaneous" Sing-Off that happened between Rachel and Maddie. I know some people don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I can't imagine that the Sing-Off happened without producers input before Maddie entered that room. I think it was done for dramatic purposes and because they did that they completely upset and caused some emotional havoc onto Rachel Hallack. I just can't believe that it was all just a spontaneous decision by the judges. I have seen every episode of Idol for 14 years, nothing is that spontaneous on this show.

*I like that we saw the contestants at House of Blues, and see them performing for the judges before their final decision on a different kind of stage. It is a nice added feature to the whole competition. I would've like to see even more from this particular round. I am sure it was great for the judge's to see and hear the crowd's reaction and see the interaction between performer and crowd, but we only saw a few seconds of each performance. It was tough to gauge how well they did. In essence it was just as if we saw them in their solo rounds in Hollywood week, but for the judge's this was a great added feature.

That's it. Come back tomorrow to learn the fate of the remaining contestants and which of them round out the Top 24. More House of Blues performances and eliminations will all happen tomorrow on the next episode. So come back after that, and until then see ya!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hollywood Rounds: Part 4

Welcome back. Tonight is the last night of Hollywood Week. We saw the last of group rounds last night and tonight will be the final solo round of the Hollywood rounds. We saw a ton of contestants last night but it was almost tough to tell which contestants are really going to go far based on short group performance clips.  There are 80 contestants left and only 40 will make it out tonight. Tonight will give us a better idea of some of the talent on the show this season. So as we always do, let's get started:

Hollywood Week #4: Solo Rounds

Loren Lott=She sings "Skyfall" because she said it makes her cry...OK. She carries the tune but it's not incredibly dynamic through the middle section but when she goes for the big note it carries some weight. Really amazing actually. Best we have heard from her this season so far. Jennifer Lopez gives her a standing ovation
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Superstar performance, can see the end of the road for her.

Daniel Seavey=He sings "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran. His voice is sweet but it's not ready for this competition, yet. Next season? Sure. This just isn't his voice yet, kid is still going through puberty. It's alright for what it is but it's not great compared to the rest of the talent this season.
Notable Comments= Keith-Has such a joy about him.

"Big" Ron Wilson=Has major issues with Band Leader Ricky Minor, he doesn't want Ron to over-sing and just be humble. He sings his audition round song "Let's Get It On". His dancing to the song is just not pleasant to watch. He has a very hearty voice but there were some flaws. Plus he calls out Ricky after his song is over. The judges tell Ron that he gets to lead the band when he is up there. This guy is
Notable Comments=They didn't say anything about his performance, just that he should lead the band.

Shi Scott=She comes out all out of breath, seems a little put on like she is looking for sympathy or something. She sings "All I Can Do Is Cry" by Etta James. I think this was a better performance for her, in that it didn't sound like original but it also exposed the flaws in her voice.
Notable Comments=Harry-Evident that she was out of breath, took it out of her in the performance.

Adam Lasher= He sings "Free Falling" by Tom Petty. He has such a pure voice that keeps it simple and dynamic at the same time. I don't like some of the facial expressions he had. Wasn't my favorite performance of his, but still quite solid.
Notable Comments= Keith=Had nowhere to go because the most of the song sounded the same.

First Round of Cuts=Daniel Seavey, Shi Scott and Loren Lott Move On. Adam Lasher and Big Ron Wilson Go Home.

Quentin Alexander=He sings "Rip Tide" by Vance Joy. I don't know the song but he sings it so nicely.Moves On
Notable Comments= Keith=Really good take of the song, really felt the story.

Moving On Montage= Maddie Walker, Trevor Douglas

Alexis Granville=Her voice is so flat and then it's so shaky. Harry stops Alexis in the middle because she starts in the wrong key, he doesn't like that she didn't stop the band. She still goes off key even after the restart and Harry stops her again and that's all she wrote.
Notable Comments=One time is excusable, the second time is not. Alexis is Sent home.

Jax=She sings "Let It Be" and sounds amazing as she sings to her parents sitting in the front row. Keith tells her she is through to the Next Round. 

Michael Simeon=He sings "Try" by Colbie Calliat. I like when guys put their own spin on a girl song.
Notable Comments=It's his heart, not just his voice, shows that he really cares. Superstar time. 

Nick Fradiani= He sings David Gray's "Babylon" and sounds amazing on it. I love his voice. It's sort of like Rob Thomas in a way. Just cool and confident.
Notable Comments= Keith=Takes the phrasing and pulls him in. Telling a story not just a cover. Harry=Top of the age spectrum which one might think is a disadvantage but he just has a ton of experience.

Katherine Skinner= She goes with Heart's "Alone" and sounds atrocious. She doesn't hit one note. It's just pitchy all over the place and then even the slower points are so off key.
Notable Comments= She has extraordinary vocal ability but it's just too much pedal to the medal all the time.

Second Round of Cuts=Michael Simeon, Emily, Nick Fradiani Move On. Katherine Goes Home.

Notable Contestants Going Home=Jess Lamb, Alex Shier, Piper Jones

Clark Beckham-He sings "Try A Little Tenderness" and he sounds amazing. He is at the keyboard but reaslly rocks out. He brings out a lot of energy. And sounds as good as one can hope.

Mark Andrew=Sans his guitar Mark sings "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver which is a perfect song choice for Mark's particular vocal abilities. He messes up a little but his voice is still so cool and distinct.  He tells the judges he hasn't slept much and that's why he forgot the lyrics.
Notable Comments=Harry=A lot wrong with forgetting lyrics, wouldn't do that too many more times, do what you can to remember the words.

Third Round of Cuts= Clark Beckham, Alexis Gomez and Mark Andrew, Shannon Bethiaume and Katherine Winston Move On. 

Joey Cook=She sings "Across The Universe".  Her voice is so distinct, there is no one in the competition that really sounds like her. She didn't really sing a lot of words, kinda went for the easy part of the song, but given she forget her lyrics last round she didn't want to do that again. Good strategy but doesn't really show off the vocal ability too much.

Quick Montage=Lovey James, Tyanna Jones, Rayvon Owen, Riley Bria are shown in short segments. They all sounded pretty nice actually. Lovey was probably the weakest of this particular montage of people but she still wasn't that bad.

Fourth Round of Cuts= Rayvon, Tyanna and Riley Move On. Lovey James Goes Home. 

Final Thoughts

*Tonight's show came fast and furious. There were so many performances. I think Clark Beckham, Nick Fradiani, Jax and Loren Lott sounded really good. I am so shocked that Jess Lamb and Adam Lasher were eliminated. I didn't think tonight's performance by Adam was that amazing but it was still quite good. Don't get how Daniel Seavey and Shi Scott are still in but Adam and Jess aren't.

*Speakin of Jess Lamb....Jess Lamb?!#!@!  How is she eliminated? I have never seen her perform badly. I don't get it. She wasn't even just eliminated, she was eliminated in a montage, so we didn't even hear her sing. That's crazy. I really don't understand this one at all. She must have really blown it. 

*Next week the contestants will perform at the House of Blues. This will not be a live performance, as it took place a couple months ago, but it still should be a nice added feature. The judges wanted to see the contestants sing at a smaller venue before they get to the bigger stages and all the people. This will be an interesting way to see which contestants can make it as a performer and which contestants just have a nice voice that shouldn't be performed in front of large groups of people. I miss the earlier seasons of American Idol when the contestants performed at smaller stages. Everything has been so big recently on this show, so it's nice that they are scaling back a little.

That's it. Come on back next week when the contestants perform at the House of Blues. Should be a cool new round to check out. So until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hollywood Round: Part 3

Welcome back. Tonight is the third night of Hollywood Week. Last week we got to see some of the judge's favorites sing, we got to see a few lesser known singers really shine, and we began the often dreaded Group Rounds. Tonight we will see the continuation of Group rounds. So as we always do, let's get started:

Group Rounds Continued
At the end of last week's episode Alexis Granville had a major panic attack and had to be rushed off the stage. She was part of the following group.

Group 1=Sal Valentinetti, Alexis Granville and Jax. Plus Kelly Kime(but we don't hear her sing).
Our Take=Sal was OK. Alexis was not good at all, did way too much. Jax is in this group and she sounds amazing, really haunting and powerful.
Results=Alexis and Jaq Move On. Kelly and Sal Go Home

Group 2= Riley Bria, Keri Lynn Roche, Emily Brooke and a beat boxer dude
Our Take=This was a bad mix. I thought it was way off tune and didn't sound well blended. I guess Riley was decent, but couldn't get a good enough take because the other voices overpowered his and they weren't good
Results=All 4 Move On. 

Group 3= Rayvon Owen, Cody Fry, Piper Jones and an unidentified girl that didn't sing.
Our Take=Cody and Rayvon's voice on this song were like butter. Piper might have pushed it a little too much. 
Results=All 4 Move On. (I still don't know who that random girl is)

Group 4=Tiffany Stringer and 3 dudes.
Our Take=Only heard about 3 seconds and it wasn't good.
Results=None Move On.

Group 5=Adanna Duru, Cindy Maslov. Denise Natoli and Camille Peruto
Our Take=Adanna started off too strong. Cindy, Denise and Camille got lost in the song. They went off the melody a ton. No one should move off.
Results=Adanna and Cindy Move On. Denise and Camille Go Home.

Group 6=Trevor Douglas,Qaasim Middleton, Daniel Seavey, and Savion Wright
Our Take= Trevor did way too much, if he kept it simpler I would have enjoyed it more.  Savion is the savior of the group. He just goes all out but doesn't push it too far. Qassim doesn't really sing that well this time. Daniel is still going through puberty and hits some bum notes.
Results=All 4 Move On

Moving On Montage= Alexis Gomez, Loren Lott, Quetin Alexander

Group 7=Hollywood Anderson, Laurel Taylor Taunton, Amber Kelechi and 2 other girls that we don't knw the name of.
Our Take=Hollywood was better than the last round. Laurel had some rough moments. Amber was off.
Results=Hollywood and Monica Move On. Amber and some other girl do not.

Group 8=Jess Lamb, Lovey James, Kory Wheeler and Carla (that we don't hear sing)
Our Take=They start off with great harmonies. Lovey sounds better here than in her audition. Kory's falsetto was off.
Results=Jess and Lovey Move On. Kory and Carla Go Home.

Group 9= Tanya Mackenna, Rocky Peter and 2 dudes they don't name.
Our Take= Tanya sounded really good. Rocky sang maybe one line and then repeated it over.
Results=Tanya Moves On. Rocky and 2 other guys don't make it.

Group 10= Heatherle Spires, Sarina Joi-Crowe, Erika David, Adrianna Simon
Our Take=Erika was a little weaker than I have seen her before. Sarina was strong and right on the money. Adrianna tried to push her voice and it cracked and sounded like it dropped at the wrong time.
Results=Sarina Joi, Adrianna, Erika Move On. Heatherle Goes Home.

Group 11=Mark Andrew, Vanessa Andrea, Katherine Winston and Alex Shier
Our Take= Mark, Vanessa and Katherine hit their notes and are ready to move on. Alex missed the key completly.
Results= Mark, Katherine and Alex Move On. Vanessa Goes Home

Group 12=Jackie Nese, Maddie Walker and 2 other people.
Our Take= Maddie sounds amazing. She does a lot of maneuving with her voice in a short amount of time.
Results= Maddie and 2 other people move. Jackie Goes Home. 

Group 13= Garrett Miles and 3 other girls.
Our Take= Garrett has such a sweet voice but he has sounded better. We don't hear any of the 3 girls.
Results= All 4 Go Home

Group 14=Joey Cook, Shannon Berthiaume, Naomi Tatsuoka and some other girl.
Our Take= Joey messed up the lyrics but she sounded so pretty, Shannon had a nice restrained power. Naomi was alright. Nothing amazing.
Results= All 4 Move On

Final Thoughts
*I know it's Season 14, and I shouldn't get upset at production because I know that they disappoint all the time in their own little ways, but it's just not right that they don't show us the names of all the members of a group. I completely understand not wanting to let us hear every single person sing, that would be way too much and unnecessary, especially since those people are getting eliminated. But it would take less than a half a second to throw everyone in the group's name up on the screen. This should especially be done for the contestants that actually move on. There were at least 4 or 5 contestants that we actually saw moving onto the next round that we not only didn't hear but weren't identified on screen. That's just not right. If those people got through at this point 3 rounds (audition, solo and group) the least the production can do is throw their name up on screen, even if they are eliminated next round. Ok...rant over.

*There were a couple nice performances tonight. I thought Savion Wright, Jax, Rayvon Owen, Tanya Mackenna, Mark Andrew and even Joey Cook were good, even though she messed up the lyrics. There were a few contestants that should not have moved on such as Hollywood Anderson(who has disappointed twice in a row now), Alex Shier, Qassim Middleton, Cindy Maslov and Riley Bria's entire group along with a few others.I am so glad group rounds are over. I get the importance of Group round and the drama that ensues, but this is an individual competition.

That's it. I hope you enjoyed our recap. Tomorrow night's solo performances concludes Hollywood Week. Should be a little less hectic. Until tomorrow, see ya!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hollywood Rounds: Part 2

Welcome back. Last night we got to see a lot of the talented contestants that were the judge's favorites and some of ours too. We didn't see a ton of eliminations, and only got a small taste of the less notable contestants from the auditions. Tonight we should see a lot more contestants and hopefully get a sense of some of the talent that we didn't get a great chance to see that were featured earlier in this season. Only one of our top picks, Tara Honda, was eliminated thus far. We will try to keep track of how far our picks go or don't go during these rounds.

There are a lot of contestants to get through, so we will try to acknowledge any contestant that the show does, but we might not go too in depth on them.If you see a name that you don't remember then you can always check out our previous recaps of the audition rounds to see our take on them.

Tonight will also begin Day 3 of Hollywood, so that means...Group Rounds. It's the craziest part of the show because it makes an individual competition into a group competition and turns everything upside down. Some contestants will handle this with ease, others will not. We'll see how it goes this season.

Last night we left off with Gabby Zonneveld forgetting her lyrics and having a full on panic attack. The show will pick up from there and so will our recap. So let's get started.

Hollywood Day 2 Continued...
Gabby Zonnefeld-After completely forgetting where she was in the song, Harry decides to jump up from behind the judge's desk and hop on stage to take Gabby off stage and tell her to relax and take a minute. 

Lines of 10
Line 1 Notable Contestants=Kelly Kime, Katherine Winston and the return of Gabby Zonneveld
Results Moving On= Katherine, Kelly and Gabby along with 3 others that we don't hear sing

Line 2 Notable Contestants=Andrew Annello,Maddie Walker, Alexis Gomez
Results Moving On=Maddie, Alexis and several others.
Results Going Home=Andrew

Line 3 Notable Contestants=Cody Fry
Results Moving On= Cody and 3 others

Line 4 Notable Contestants=Loren Lott
Results Moving On=Loren and 4 others

Line 5 Notable Contestants= Shi Scott, Rayvon Owen
Results Moving On=Shi, Rayvon and 4 others

Line 6 Notable Contestants=Clark Beckham, Daniel Seavey
Results Moving On= Clark and Daniel

Line 7 Notable Contestants= Dakota Suarez
Results Going Home= Dakota Suarez

Line 8 Notable Contestants=Qassim Middleton
Results Moving On=Qassim and several others

Moving On Montage=Nick Fradiani, Quintin Alexander, Zack Kaltenbeck

Best of Tonight's Lines of 10= Katherine Winston, Cody Fry, Rayvon Owen, Clark Beckham

Hollywood Day 3: Group Rounds

The contestants can pick any group they want as long as it is a group of 4. They must choose a team captain, a song and figure out their choreography all in the same night. 

Group 1= David Oliver Willis, Clark Beckham, J.None and Jesse Cline
Our Take=Strong Performance from David and Clark. J.None was O.K. Jesse didn't do anything for me.
Notable Comments=Jennifer=Really strong, everyone sang well. Keith=Had moments but there was inconsistency.
Results=All 4 are through to the next round

Group 2=Ron Wilson, Shi Scott, Adam Ezegelian and Andrew Bloom
Our Take= Andrew did not sound great. Shi still has that Amy Winehouse thing going but this time she sounded herself in the same way. Adam was strong. Ron was a little off key at points.
Notable Comments=Keith=Andrew didn't sound great compared to the others. Shi sounds exceptional today. Harry=Showed weakness compared to the others.
Results= Ron, Shi and Adam Move On. Andrew is Going Home.

Group 3=Tyanna Jones, Maddy Hudson, Reno A'noa'i and Steffi Leddbetter
Our Take=Sadly two of my favorites Reno and Maddy faltered. Tyanna was good compared. Steffi was pretty brutal. Overall it was not a great group performance. They forgot lyrics or were off the tune at times.
Notable Comments=Jennifer=Shaky. Wasn't the best group performance. Harry=Don't have to outrun everyone in the group.
Results=Tyanna, Maddy and Reno Move On. Steffi is Going Home.

Group 4=Jaq Mackenzie, Nick Fradiani, Hunter Larson, Michael Simeon
Our Take= I loved this group. I thought they blended well and they each had at least one or two great moments. Jaq, Nick and Michael(the guy who slow-danced with JLo in his audition),  were really good. Hunter's voice really pierces through.
Notable Comments=Harry-Everyone should take comfort that you all are going through.
Results=All 4 are Going Through

For the 2nd straight episode the show ends with a "dramatic note" when Alexis M has a full-blown panic attack and goes dizzy on stage and must be brought off stage and attended to by medics. She was having issues earlier in the day but she tried getting up to perform, but that was a bad call. But either way, that's how the episode ends. Odd way to end the show.

Final Thoughts

*Tonight we got to hear a lot of really great talent. I thought that Cody, Rayvon, Clark, and Hunter Larsen were really great. But there were some others that had a nice night as well like Michael Simeon, Nick Fradiani, David Oliver Willis and surprisingly Shi. I think there is a ton of talent this season. Each episode features so much talent and vocal ability, that's a great sign for the rest of the year.

*As mentioned above,  it is odd that last night's episode ended with Gabby having major issues and having to be walked off stage by Harry Connick Jr and then tonight Alexis nearly needs to be carted off the stage. I thought this was a singing competition, not sure why we need these dramatics to end the episode, this isn't a soap opera. If I want to watch Days of our Lives I'll watch Days of Our Lives.I'd rather them end the episode with an amazing performance rather than seeing someone about to pass out. It's not good entertainment.

That's it. Week 1 of Hollywood Rounds are over. We saw a lot of great singing the past couple days. Should be fun to see how it all plays out. Come on back here next week after another new episode of American Idol. So until then, see ya!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hollywood Rounds: Part 1

Welcome back. The auditions are over and the competition is really going to get going now. In any reality-based competition the ultimate goal is eliminating contestants to find the one winner. Before these rounds you are adding contestants through the audition process,  from now on the show will be eliminating contestants and weeding out the borderline contestants with the outstanding contestants with the "shouldn't have received a Golden Ticket in the first place" contestants.

This is a quick list of some notable contestants from our recaps from each audition round. There are going to be some contestants that others might like missing from our list, some might disagree with the inclusion of some contestants on the list, but given over 200 contestants were picked to go to Hollywood we can't include everyone. It'll be interesting to see what happens to these particular contestants and see which contestants we should have included.

Our Top Audition Contestants From Each City
Nashville-Cameron Bedell, Michael Simeon, Piper Jones, Garrett Miles, Sarina Joi-Crowe, Savion Wright

Kansas City-Jess Lamb, Anton Bushner, Ellen Petersen

New York-Jax, Adam Ezegelian, Katherine Winston, Travis Finlay, Hollywood Anderson

Minneapolis-Vanessa Andrea, Hannah Mrozask, Mark Andrew

New Orleans-Angelica "Jelly" Joseph, Mikey Duran,, Ricky Hendricks, Adam Lasher, Erica Washington

San Francisco-Chandler Leighton, Ryan Pinkston, Rayvon Owen, Maddie Owen, Adanna Duru, Tara Honda, Rocky Peter, Tyanna Jones


Tonight we will keep track of the rundown of the show and try to feature as many notable contestants and give as many opinions and thoughts along the way. This should be an interesting night. If you all remember, last season's middle rounds were sort of a mess, so I am excited to see how they switch things up this season.  So as we always do, let's get to it:

Hollywood Day 1

Notable Audition Contestant Performances
The judges have decided to listen to some notable performers from the audition rounds, but they don't tell the contestants that they are notable contestants.  

Jaq-She sings "Toxic" from Britney Spears but it doesn't sound like the original. She switches it up to play it as a slowed down, piano version. Jaq is as great as I remember.
Mark Andrew-Sounds great with his gravely, soul sound.
Emily Brooke-Country girl with a sweet voice, not especially distinctive.
Sal Valentinetti-Still pure Frank Sinatra-ish.
Adam Ezegelian-The white dude with the white afro. His voice is really smooth and powerful at the same time, a little rough at a couple points.

Tyanna-Her voice is nice, has a few flaws, but without having a band or anything she does a nice job.
Savion Wright-He was notable from last season, and is still a nice perfomer and has a great voice.
Hollywood Anderson-His voice is so distinct. He takes Adele's "Someone Like You" and makes it so different that it doesn't sound like the original at all. I think Jaq did a better job of keeping the intergrity of the original while switching it up. Hollywood did way too much with the song.
Shannon Berthiaume-During her audition in Minneapolis she came off as a great singer but way too strong and out of control, this time she is more subdued and bluesy. I enjoyed this performance immensely more until she forget the lyrics and it gets a little off the track, but she recovers decent enough.

Adam Lasher-This is the guy that is Santana's nephew and JLo thought he kinda looked like Jimmy Fallon. Over all of that he just has a great, solid voice. It's exciting to hear him his some of the runs that he does.
Garrett Miles-This is a cool guy. He has a lovely tone to his voice. He doesn't overdo it, he just does everything he needs to to be effective.
Trevor Douglas-I really didn't like his voice to much during his Nashville audition, but this was much better. His softer moments were very in tune, and then the faster part of the song had some really cool runs. It was a great performance.

Joey Cook-She is still very quirky. She was the one that auditioned with the accordion, this time she performs with a ukulele. I like that she is different.
Amber Kelechi-She was having a meltdown outside the auditorium. During her performance she decides to get off the stage and get closer to the judges. I didn't like it. The whole thing was okay, but not great.

Results=The judges bring all the contestants on stage that sang (including about 25 others that we didn't hear sing) and tell them that they were among the best from the audition cities, and despite how they sang they were all moving to the next Hollywood round. 38 Contestants advance.

Hollywood Day 2
Lines of 10
The contestants are put into Lines of 10 to perform for the judges.

Line 1 Notable Contestants= Reno Anoa'i, Priscilla Barker, Jaq Mackenzie
Results Moving On= Reno, Jaq and 3 other people we didn't hear. 
Results Going Home=Priscilla and 4 other people.

Montage of Notable Contestants Going Home=Courtney Gunns, Tara Honda, Courtney Zahn. 

Line 2 Notable Contestants=Erica Washington and 9 other people we don't hear sing.
Results Moving On/Going Home=Erica moves on. Not surprisingly we don't know who else moves on or goes home.

Line 3 Notable Contestants=Big Ron Wilson, Michael Simeon and 8 other people we don't see sing.
Results Moving On= Big Ron, Michael and 3 other people.
Results Going Home=Jacob, Ally and 3 other people

Line 4 Notable Contestants=Gabby Zonneveled.....(we see her forget the words and start to freak out)

And with that we end the show on a "dramatic" note.

Final Thoughts

*I enjoyed a lot of this episode. I thought there were some really nice performances. Some contestants continued to be great like Jaq, Adam Lasher, Mark Andrew, Savion Wright and Garrett Miles. Then there were some contestants that really stepped it up from their auditions like Shannon Berthiaume, Adam Ezegelian and Trevor Douglas. Then there were some that had some missteps like Hollywood Anderson and Amber Kelechi. It was a good mix of talent that enabled us to possibly see where the contestants are heading.

*So the first part of the episode was interesting. The judges bringing up 38 contestants to sing, based solely on their audition rounds was cool, what I didn't like is that there was no actual judging.I know the judges were giving them the benefit of the doubt because they performed so well the first time, but maybe this time around they weren't good, why keep them? I know it's mean to say that, but I feel Hollywood rounds should be a bit more cutthroat.

*The "Jennifer Lopez Love" portion of the show is getting silly. We have seen at least 6-10 male contestants go on and on about their love for Jennifer, that they want her phone number, that they want to date her or other things skeevy. Tonight featured at least 3 guys saying something about her, but we have seen several others, including very young contestants say something that makes the whole thing kind of creepy. I know this is the first time since Jennifer has started to judge that she has been single, but this feature is getting tired. I'd rather see 10-30 more seconds of notable performances than see 10-30 seconds of dudes that are all hormonal.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow night for more Hollywood rounds. Hopefully you enjoyed the recap and will continue to enjoy it. So until next time, see ya!