Friday, May 29, 2009

My American Idol Playlist Season 8

So I bet you are all wondering now that this season of American Idol is over what songs do I want to purchase off itunes and put on my ipod immediately. I looked over my list of all the songs the contestants sang this year and I had to keep narrowing the list down which was difficult because I have such an appreciation for music and interpetations. It was tempting to just not choose everything, but upon further thought I discovered there really were some performances that stood out.

The Semifinals Playlist:

Ricky Braddy-- "A Song for You" made famous by Leon Russell
Ricky is the only person in the semifinals that didn't make it to the finals who should have. Everyone else on this list made it there, maybe we should have traded Megan Joy for Ricky instead, it certainly would have made for a more interesting Top 13 and we never would have had to see Megan embarass herself by flapping like a bird across the stage before she was voted out.

Alexis Grace-- "Never Loved A Man" made famous by Aretha Franklin
Alexis left the competition way too soon, and this performance was proof of that!

Allison Iraheta-- "Alone" made famous by Heart
Allison showed us the first time she stepped out on the American Idol stage that she has the singing chops of first season winner Kelly Clarkson.

Kris Allen-- "Man in the Mirror" made famous by Michael Jackson
I loved Kris from the very first performance; I remember thinking so many women in America are just falling in love with him right now.

Lil Rounds-- "Be Without You" made famous by Mary J. Blige
This is the Lil I wanted to see in the Top 13 but never quite saw.

Matt Giraud-- "Who's Loving You" made famous by The Jackson Five
Where did this guy come from? He was not the guy who sang "Viva La Vida" the week before. I am so thrilled that he brought this guy out and made it into the Top 13 because he became one of my fave performers this year. His falsetto melted my heart.

Ricky Braddy-- "Superstition" made famous by Stevie Wonder
It's fitting that Ricky have two tracks on the semifinals playlist because I still believe he should have gone further than he did. Do you think he can try out again next year?

Anoop Desai-- "My Prerogative" made famous by Bobby Brown
Ending with Anoop is right because the judges made this a Top 13 for him. Truly one of the most personable contestants to ever grace the Idol stage, Anoop brought fun and character to this season.

The Finals Playlist:

Danny Gokey-- "PYT" made famous by Michael Jackson
Simon called this vocal performance brilliant.

Allison Iraheta-- "Give In To Me" made famous by Michael Jackson
This, to me, is the performance that put Allison on the map as a true rocker.

Kris Allen-- "Remember the Time" made famous by Michael Jackson
Kris showed the audience that he isn't just a singer but an artist as well, he came out with his guitar for this performance and totally changed up the style.

Matt Giraud-- "Human Nature" made famous by Michael Jackson
Simon called this a steak and potatoes performance, basic yet essential; I couldn't agree more.

Matt Giraud-- "So Small" made famous by Carrie Underwood
Simon said that this performance proved that Matt's vocal abilities had been underestimated.

Kris Allen-- "To Make You Feel My Love" made famous by Garth Brooks
This was one of those extreme risks that paid off big time. I loved when Simon said, you were in complete control of the song for the whole time.

Anoop Desai-- "Ooh Baby Baby" made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
The phrasing and delivery of this performance is what made it so great.

Allison Iraheta-- "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" made famous by The Temptations
This performance was so funky, and I remember not being able to believe that she was in the bottom two the week before.

Danny Gokey-- "What Hurts the Most" made famous by Rascall Flatts
Paula said she would hit repeat in her car if she heard this song and I still agree.

Matt Giraud-- "You Found Me" made famous by The Fray
The judges were not a big fan of Matt singing this, but I was; I thought it was an honest, from the heart performance.

Kris Allen-- "Ain't No Sunshine" made famous by Bill Withers
Kris' take on this song was one of the most clever of the season. Paula said he took a 30 year old song and made all of us feel like we were hearing it for the first time, and every time I hear Kris sing it, I want to hear it again.

Anoop Desai-- "True Colors" made famous by Cyndi Lauper
Anoop took a truly popular pop song and made it into a soul song; lovely phrasing made Anoop an Idol contestant I will never forget.

Adam Lambert-- "Mad World" made famous by Tears for Fears
Adam's best performance of the entire season; this performance completely moved me, and I was so taken in by him.

Anoop Desai-- "Everything I do I do it for You" made famous by Bryan Adams
The vocals were in great control and sounded strong.

Kris Allen-- "She Works Hard for the Money" made famous by Donna Summer
I didn't expect to hear this song from Kris but I was so surprised when I did; a man's take on a song originally performed by a female, and it was brilliant.

Allison Iraheta-- "Hot Stuff" made famous by Donna Summer
a rock take on a disco song, how interesting.

Adam Lambert-- "If I Can't Have You" made famous by the Bee Gees
I loved how Adam took a fast song, slowed it down, and put some heart and soul into it.

Allison Iraheta-- "Someone to Watch Over Me" made famous by the Rat Pack
Allison impressed me throughout the entire season with her maturity which really showed in this performance.

Danny Gokey-- "Come Rain or Come Shine" made famous by the Rap Pack
My fave Gokey performance of the season; Simon called it Danny's best performance in weeks and said Jamie Foxx brought out something special in him.

Kris Allen-- "Come Together" made famous by the Beatles
I love how Kris showed off his guitar skills and singing skills in this laid back performance.

Kris Allen-- "Heartless" made famous by Kanye West
A completely different take on a mainstream song, and I loved it. Kris showed America that he was a contender based on sheer originality and artistry.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bachelorette Scoop Episode 2

The show started out with the guys moving into their new home and discovering there would be two group dates, and one "one on one" date.

First Group Date: Michael, Tanner P., Matheu, Brian, Wes, Brad, Ed, and Sasha
The first group date started out as a pool party up at Jillian's mansion where she and Michael hit it off immediately; it looked as though he was going to get the first rose, and then Jillian split. The guys had to embark on a race across Los Angeles to find her. The guys were put into teams of two, and one guy from the first team that arrives would be chosen to have dinner with Jillian.
Brad and Wes won and Jillian chose Wes and gave him a rose while they ate dinner. I am starting to not like Wes, and I am, at this point, seeing him as very manipulative.

The one on one date went to Jake, and I ended up being extremely impressed with him. He was playful with Jillian when they went shopping for "cowboy" clothes. He was spontaneous and taught her how to two step when they got to the House of Blues but didn't look up her dress while she danced on the bar. The two danced to Martina McBride, and were so in sync on the dance floor. At the end of the night, Jillian gave Jake a rose.

The Second Group Date: Jesse, Mark, David, Mike, Simon, Kiptyn, and Juan
Jillian joined the guys on the basketball court, and then brought in the Harlem Globetrotters to play against the guys. The Globetrotters liked David the best of the guys that were there. The date moved to the beach where Mike ran into the ocean in his speedo and then picked Jillian up and carried her up from the water. The date then moved to a hotel where Jillian had dinner with the guys.
Notes: was Juan's pick up lines corny? I think so, "your piercing green eyes", please!
Jillian likes to kiss Kiptyn, or so it seems......
Would Mike have received the second group date rose had he not ran into the ocean in his speedo? I think not

Notes for the rose ceremony:
Why did Wes interrupt fellow Texan Robby who did not even get any sort of date with Jillian when he already received a rose?
Mathue seemed genuine, why was he voted off and "foot fetish guy" Tanner P. got to stay?

The Top 16
Wes, Jake, Mike, Juan
Jesse, David, Ed, Sasha
Mark, Michael, Tanner P., Kiptyn
Reid, Robby, Tanner F., Brad

I didn't expect Brad to stay, and I didn't expect Mathue to go.

Bachelorette Scoop

So I was stuck in the Orlando Airport last week when the fifth season of The Bachelorette premiered so I just watched the premiere a couple of days ago, and I think Jillian Harris may be my fave bachelorette even (my other being Trista Rehn Sutter). She lives by the saying, "you have to slay a few dragons before you meet your prince"; she believes that her husband should be her best friend. Jillian is great, and I could not say one bad thing about her when I saw her on The Bachelor last season she finished third to Molly Malaney and Melissa Rycroft. The 29 year old currently residing in Vancouver British Columbia works as a restaurant interior designer and has supervised projects in Canada and the U.S. She is very close to her family and in her free time Jillian volunteers as a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association.

The Guys She Chose (I put a * by the ones I agree with; a ? means I am not sure yet, x is a no i disagree with your choice Jill!)

First Impression Rose: *David, 27 Trucking Contractor, Dayton, Ohio (he was super nervous but I also liked him)
*Jake, 31 Commercial Pilot, Dallas, Texas (I like him I think he is super sweet and super hot, but my best friend who also watches has doubts; I am proceeding with caution!)
*Jesse, 27 Winemaker, Carmel Valley, California (he and Jill had a good conversation on the first night)
? Wes, 32 Musician, Austin, Texas (I haven't quite figured out if Wes is genuine or just trying to write a good country song and get some exposure)
*Mathue, 26 Personal Trainer, Wichita, Kansas (he has that cool hat with all the signatures of the country singers, and he has a good personality to go with it)
*Michael, 25 Breakdancer, Astoria, New York (at first I didn't get Michael, but I actually love his sense of humor, and he is really sweet)
? Robby, 25 Bartender, Spring, Texas (they didn't spend a lot of one on one time so I am not so sure about him yet)
x Ed, 29 Technology Consultant, Chicago, Illinois (hmm, I don't know that he is right for her)
? Reid, 30 Realtor, Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania (he came in at the end, I don't know anything about him)
? Simon, 26 Soccer Coach, Bradford, England (I am still undecided on the Brit)
*Kiptyn, 31 Business Developer, Encinitas, California (he made an amazing first impression, and he's cute!)
x Mike, 28 Baseball Camp Owner, New York, New York (also known as lame joke guy)
x Brian D. 32 IT Consultant, Atlanta, Georgia (he called her "Hot Tub Harris" when he met her, a definite no-no; enough said)
* Sasha 27 Oil and Gas Consultant, Tiki Island, Texas (I like how he is so close to his family
? Julien 34 Restaurantuer, San Diego, California (there is something about him that is too secretive; I hope he opens up soon)
x Tanner P. 30 Financial Analysyt, Dallas, Texas (the foot guy; need I say more???)
*Mark 26 Pizza Entrepeneur, Denver, Colorado (although he is young, he is more mature than most of the other guys)
x Brad 27 Financial Advisor, Chicago, Illinois (Jillian does not seem very attracted to him which isn't a good thing)
? Tanner F. 28 Sales Rep., Derby, Kansas (don't remember him, is that a good thing? but won't judge him)
? Juan 35 General Contractor, Santa Monica, California (Juan really confuses me, and I don't know if he is genuine or completely faking it)

Biggest Surprise (who didn't make it)- John H. I thought he and Jillian had a great conversation and he seemed like a nice guy
(who did make it)0 Tanner P. The guy obviously has a sick foot fetish, why would you keep him around?

Questions to think about for now and upcoming episodes--
Which three guys have a girlfriend?
Who came on the show to become the next bachelor?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Final 2 Face Off on American Idol Season 8

Contestant's Fave....

01 Adam sang "Mad World"--I give props to Adam for choosing this, it was a wise choice, and my personal fave Adam performance of the season.
Score: 5

02 Kris sang "Ain't No Sunshine"- This is what I expected Kris to choose. I loved it again, and there was so much emotion when he sang. Simon said he was doubtful of Kris being in the final two but after that performance he took it all back and called round one for Kris.
Score: 5

Simon Fuller's Pick.....

01 Adam sang "Change Is Gonna Come"-- I could not see how the judges were clapping when he totally butchered an R&B classic. As I was listening to him sing it, I was listening to a song that has lost all of its meaning. Through his interpretation Adam lost the meaning of the song, and that in and of itself was kind of sad for me. Listen to Sam Cooke and previous Idol contestant Gideon McKinney sing this song; one word: amazing!
Score: 3

02 Kris sang "What's Goin On"-- Kris did Marvin Gaye proud in his cover of the song. Randy said, "it was a little light for me". What does that mean? He didn't scream the song like Adam? Maybe the song was laid back but at least the song and the performance didn't lose it's meaning.
Score: 4.5

The New Idol Single Co-written by Kara DioGuardi.....

01 Adam sang "No Boundaries"
02 Kris sang "No Boundaries"

Overall, Kris gave a better performance and the song is better suited for his voice. I think he wins Round 3!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Top 3 Take Each Other On in American Idol Season 8

Judge's Choice

01 Danny Gokey sang "Dance Little Sister" made famous by Teerence Trent D'Arby (Paula's choice)-- I liked the song in the respect that it allowed Danny to stay in that comfortable part of his voice. However, I didn't really like the song itself.
Score: 4

02 Kris Allen sang "Apologize" made famous by OneRepublic (Randy and Kara's choice)-- I love that song, and more importantly I love that song on Kris. His vocals were so strong throughout this performance. I agree with what Simon said, Kara cannot criticize Kris for singing a song that she chose for him to sing. If she wanted him to do the song on guitar she should have told him that.
Score: 4.9

03 Adam Lambert sang "One" made famous by U2 (Simon's choice)-- I love this song, just like Simon, it is one of my faves, but Adam totally butchered it.
Score: 3.5

Contestant's Choice:

01 Danny sang "You Are So Beautiful" made famous by Joe Cocker-- I love the arrangement and I think Danny did an awesome job. His voice was just beautiful and I love that he infused a gospel style into the song. Simon called the vocals, a "vocal masterclass".
Score: 5

02 Kris sang "Heartless" made famous by Kanye West-- Kris isn't just bold like Kara said, but he is so so clever. And I agree with Randy, I did like his version better than Kanye's; this was hot and what Kris basically did was put himself back in the running for the finals. Although, I was not one of the people that thought he ever went away.
Score: 5

03 Adam sang "Cryin" made famous by Aerosmith-- Steven Tyler rules and I am predicting Danny and Kris for the finals!
Score: 3.9

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Final Four Rock Out on Season 8 of American Idol

The Final Four mingled with Slash on American Idol's Rock N' Roll Night. Here's how they did......

01 Adam Lambert sang "Whole Lotta Love" made famous by Led Zepplin-- I disagree with all the judges, they called it: perfect, called Adam a "Rock God", said there was nothing Broadway about it, and wondered how anyone else would top his performance. Personally I thought it was self indulgent rubbish.
Score: 4

02 Allison Iraheta sang "Crybaby" made famous by Janis Joplin-- I actually preferred Allison's performance to Adam's. Simon said he saw a lot of confidence from Allison on stage and I agree; it would have been interesting, as Simon said, to have Allison sing a Queen song.
Score: 4.25

*Kris Allen and Danny Gokey sang "Renegade" made famous by Styx-- I really liked the harmonies that were in this song.

03 Kris Allen sang "Come Together" made famous by the Beatles-- I loved this performance from Kris' tight guitar skills to the authenticity in this vocals. Despite the fact that Kris isn't a rocker, he rocked out on this song. Simon said it was safe and I completely disagree; I think it topped Adam.
Score: 5

04 Danny Gokey sang "Dream On" made famous by Aerosmith-- This is really a song that when sung on American Idol can either really help you or really hurt you. Danny is in a good place because he got the final spot tonight. I agree with Kara that maybe it would have been better to go with a song like "Cryin'" or "Crazy". I still like him better than Adam because he doesn't come across as arrogant.
Score: 4.25

* Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert sang "Slow Ride" made famous by Foghat-- Simon made a comment that Adam may have given Allison a chance to move forward in this competition, umm no Simon, Allison did that herself. She was much better in this duet than Adam.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Night at the Movies: X-Men Origins Wolverine

I must admit that while I did not see any of the three X-Men movies, something intrigued me about the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I think a large part of the intrigue was its star, the very handsome and charming Hugh Jackman as well as his character of Wolverine. Growing up, superheroes have always held my interest, and now as an adult, Wolverine is no exception. I decided that before I went to the movies, I should read about the three movies that have come out so far. Overall Wolverine appealed to me as a superhero/ mutant the most, I also grew to have a great interest in Storm and Cyclops.
As a side note, it surprised me to discover that the next "X-Men Origins" movie is, X-Men Origins: Magneto based on Ian McKellan's character Magneto in X-Men.

The major fact that I discovered about Wolverine was that throughout the X-Men trilogy he was searching for his past. He has presumably been living for about 10-15 years with no memories. All that he did know was that his name was Wolverine from the tags that he wore around his neck.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine begins with us seeing how a child, James Howlett discovered his powers and became Wolverine. He was a very frail and sick child, and one night he killed a man who was trying to attack his father and take his mother away. Claws extended from the back of his hand and his knuckles, and following the murder he fled with his step brother Victor Creed who would later become Sabretooth.

Years later (we don't really know how many because Wolverine has aged but his powers of healing keep him looking young), we see Wolverine (played brilliantly by Hugh Jackman) and Victor (played by Liev Schrieber) fighting in a War with a group of mutants led by civilian Stryker (played by Danny Huston). Jimmy decides that he doesn't want to be a part of their group anymore, killing people etc. and flees to start a new life. He goes to Canada and works as a lumberjack and lives with his girlfriend Kayla.

Will i Am is fun in his first major movie role as mutant who disappears and reappears and can teleport himself, John Wraith. I was particularly impressed with Taylor Kitsch's turn as poker hustler Remy LeBeau who would later become known as mutant Gambit. I loved the authenticity he brought to this character and I definitely see a Gambit movie in the future. I liked Ryan Reynolds at the beginning of the movie as human Wade Wilson, but his turn as mutant Deadpool at the end of the movie made me cringe.

I loved the story of how Wolverine got his name, his girlfriend, schoolteacher turned mutant with powers of persuasion, Kayla Silverfox told him an old Indian folk story and she gave him the name Wolverine. It was sad that Wolverine, who is such a good soul, a real emotional person lost his memories when Stryker shot him in the head with an atom bullet and although he healed his memories were gone. He didn't remember going to three mile island with Gambit (the only mutant to escape) to save the other mutants, and he didn't remember his lady love Kayla. I thought love always won out in the end, so this was disappointing indeed; I am still holding onto hope that sometime in the future they will reunite.

Overall, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a must see on your summer movie list! Hugh Jackman really brings magic to the screen as Wolverine; he is funny, engaging, strong yet sensitive, sexy, vulnerable, and the ultimate superhero; get yourself to a theater and see what the fuss is about.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Breaking News: American Idol Update

Adam Cook, the eldest brother or the current American Idol David Cook, has died at the age of 37 from a brain tumor. David Cook announced his death in Washington D.C. at the 12 Annual 5k Race for Hope where he was serving as the Grand Marshal. His brother coped with the disease for more than a decade and even watched in the audience and cheered as his now famous brother performed on American Idol. Adam is also survived by his wife Kendra, his seven year old son and six year old daughter.

Daughtry will perform this Wednesday on American Idol, May 6th; they will sing their new single "No Surprise" from their upcoming album which is still untitled to be released on July 14th.

Elliott Yamin has released the official music video for the first single "Fight For Love" off his second album, take a look ---- .