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I'm surprised guys...I guess I'll have to go back and edit my post to say "IMHO".... wink

Brian, me either. I can't name (let alone sing) any of the current Billboard top 10. I think pop music is in a real slump at the moment. Last I looked over half of the top ten were rap songs with no melody or hook. You do make a good point about disco having hooks. It was ALL about dancing to "the hook".

Al, in the 70's I played in a band that did about half disco and half rock, so played Boogie Oogie, Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, and a couple of KC tunes (and I DID cringe on the KC stuff). It was a pretty eclectic band: we would follow "My Sharona", "Smoke on the Water", or "Sweet Home Alabama" with "Last Dance", "Celebration" or something equally non-sequitor.

I guess it's all a matter of what you like.

Yeah, I go through Santa Paula on the 126 when I head out to the beach at Oxnard. It's very nice here and only a half-hour north of Hollywood. Close enough for meetings and rehearsals, and far enough away for sanity and safety.





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Larry,

I was what they called a "Hot Shot" courier for a couple of years when I lived in Bakersfield. A Hot Shot courier is one on call who will go anywhere at any time of day or night, assuming properly rested. I paid GREAT money because of the immediate need and difficulty getting someone to do it o at any hour, day or night. I often went from Bakersfied to Universal Studios, a couple of times a month on average. From Bakersfield, the round trip is about 4 1/2 hours and they paid me anywhere from $300.00 to $400.00, depending on the weight of the load and the time of day or night. Not bad for a half day's work!

Take care, Larry

Alan


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I've pretty much been a fan of American Idol for the past 6 years. This year, however, it hasn't appealed to me as much. It's not a matter of the talent (although some folks would say "lack of", but not me all the time). Simon's unnecessarily brutal evaluations have worn thin for me. I don't often disagree with his opinions...just the caustic manner in which he delivers them. I don't advocate giving them false praise and hollow patronizing. But there is a way in which to deliver the message that isn't so brutal. These are relatively young folks. Yes, you have to have a thick skin in this tough business. But, that skin develops over time, not overnight. It is rather easy to discount most of what Paula says...mostly because she doesn't say much of anything that means anything. For my money, Randy is most often pretty accurate with his evaluations of the performances.

I seem to be one of the few here who think the talent isn't all that bad in many cases. I have seen comments here such as "Is this the best young talent America has to offer? What a shame!", or something to that affect. I say, no, of course it isn't. It is, in the opinion of the show, the most talented of those who auditioned. There are many, many young performers who are as good, or better, than most of the contestants on American Idol. But, they didn't show up for the audtions! Why? Who knows. Too busy with prior musical commitments, no funds to get there, scared to audition, too old, too young, no parental approval if minors...could be anything. Regardless, they didn't show up!

I think many who diss the program aren't fully aware if its intent. Simply put, it allows voters to compare the contestants against one another...not the rest of the young talent in America...rather, against one another. As I said, there are probably thousands of young entertainers equally or more talented. But, they didn't show up to be considered! If you vote in a local contest of some sort, your friend, brother, sister, whomever, may be significantly more talented than anyone in the contest. But you can't vote for them if they didn't enter. Same principal on American Idol...just at a more visible level.

As far as those who get upset because these folks haven't necessarily "paid their dues". I don't buy into that completely. Yes, I do agree that perhaps they haven't paid as many dues as you, me and a lot of other folks. But, of those who make that complaint, would they have turned down a similar opportunity when they were that young and had no other opportunity to be heard...an opportunity for national and, to a lsser degree, international exposure...millions and millions of potential fans? I doubt it. The "paying your dues" approach doesn't reflect real life. I wish that were true, but it isn't. As the old adage goes..."Life isn't fair!". For the most part, folks who are succesful attained that succes because they took advantage of the opportunities when they were presented. There may have been dozens of other folks more deserving at the time. But, do you think he/she said "Hmmm, Bill and Sally and John are more deserving than me for this opportunity for succes. I think I'll pass and let it slide to them." Again, I doubt it.

At least these folks on AI had the gumption (that's word we don't use often enough), perseverence and tenacity to seize the opportunity.

Some of the winners, ie., Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, have had little to no success. But, not everyone in the mainstream music business who uses their opportunities ends up succesful. But, in my opinion, it is difficult to say that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are not tremendously successful and talented. In my opinion, they are as good as anyone else in their respective genres.

I could go on and on, but I've already blabbed too long!

Alan

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Originally Posted by Larry Williams

Here are some of the WORST songs (IMHO):

1. Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste of Honey
2. Macho Man & YMCA - in fact, anything by the Village People
3. Disco Duck - Rick Dees
4. We Are Family - Sister Sledge
5. That's the Way (uh huh, uh huh) I Like It - KC and the Sunshine Band (anything by these guys is really bad)
6. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead
7. Copacabana - Barry Manilow
8. Car Wash - Rose Royce

Now that I've made everyone cringe ;), I decided to find SOMETHING about Disco I liked. Here are some that I think are actually decent songs:

1. Billie Jean - MJ
2. I'm So Excited & Jump (For My Love) - Pointer Sisters
3. Turn the Beat Around - Vicki Sue Robinson (prior to Gloria Estefan)
4. September - Earth, Wind & Fire
5. Brick House - Commodores
6. Lady Marmalade - Patti LaBelle
7. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
8. Conga - Miami Sound Machine


Larry, I'm not sure I agree with classifying all of these songs as "disco". Of your "best" list, the only one I would consider to be disco would be "Turn the Beat Around." The others fall variously into "pop", "r&b", or "Latin". Of course, my opinion along with 5 bucks, will just about buy you a cup of coffee. wink


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The Rolling Stones Miss You is considered Disco. I love that song.

Brian


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Kevin, I pulled every song off both lists from a "top 100 disco songs" list. Granted, it WAS a Google search that got me the lists, but I sure think they all fit into the disco category.

Disco had more variety than the BeeGees and KC.

For better or worse, I think disco is coming back. I was at a jam session last night and we ended up playing "Boogie Oogie Oogie, "I Will Survive" and "Le Freak".



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Larry, thanks for the list. The second list gives me some hope. Didn't Adam Lambert already do "Play that funky music white boy"?
Billy Jean may be the best song on the list but who in their right mind would tackle that one. David Cook attempted that one last year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_aiawC-9aM

Al, are you pulling our leg? I can't believe a guy like you, with such country licks programed into your fingers, likes disco- all I can think of is you must have been scoring a lot back in those days.


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Joe,

Nope, not pulling your leg! And, for the record, my entire history of recreational drugs was 2 joints on a Thursday night in Portales, New Mexico in November of 1978. I can find a lot to like in just about all music, with very few exceptions. Screamo, Grunge and Gansta rap still have me searching for something to like. I write music as a member of the music profession; but I listen to music as a fan. I don't listen analytically unless I have a specific reason to do so.

I enjoy George Strait, Barbara Streisand, Maroon 5, Diana Krall, Whitney Huston, Donna Summers, Perry Como, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennet, The Beach Boys, Lou Rawls and Ray Price very much. I could listen to any of them for long periods of time and enjoy it. Of that group, though, my two favorites are Ray Price and Diana Krall. But, I like all of them a lot.

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I concur with Al. I've never smoked anything more "lethal" than Marlboro Red...

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Originally Posted by Samuel (joe) Harris
Larry, thanks for the list. The second list gives me some hope. Didn't Adam Lambert already do "Play that funky music white boy"?
...


Yep, Adam sang it March 31st. I found it on youtube. His rock version...kicks serious butt!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daVvuqfUfFk

...and the studio version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c17o3GbMH9c&feature=related



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***MOVIE SONGS Apr 14/09 - Top 7

My assessments, in order of ranking:

ADAM - Right on pitch, good body in tone, a fun song, great range as always; wonderfully done. I do wonder if he could sustain that kind of performance for an entire concert.

ANOOP - beautifully bright and open tone (forward position), securely on pitch, understood the words, has a 'bloom' on the voice, lovely top notes.

DANNY - Husky tone, in charge of his instrument, nice falsetto, pretty strong performance.

ALISON - verse felt too low, chorus was OK, also seemed a bit low, it didn't bring out her voice in the way I'd wish. A couple pitchy spots, after the key change it started to work. She has a distinctive sound, but she places her voice so it resonates in the throat and we can't understand the words.

KRIS - I liked the beginning, I wrote 'solid vocal' but at the end I agreed with Randy that it was pitchy here and there.

MATT - Nice tone, swallows the words a bit, bridge a little pitchy/squeaky.

LIL - I was disappointed in the song choice. I use 'The Rose' as the first rock ballad for some of my female students who have not yet developed much range. It is very low and has very little in the way of vocal challenge - it spans less than an octave. I expected Lil to sing something like 'Goldfinger'. Anyway, I wasn't sure of the arrangement; it was a bit pitchy, and I agreed with Simon that she's got to challenge herself vocally if she expects to stay in the competition.

***RESULTS

Bottom Three: Anoop, Lil & Matt. Matt got the lowest number of votes but was saved by the judges.


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Kris wasn't saved by the judges. Matt got the lowest number of votes and was saved by the judges. Kris wasn't even in the bottom 3. = )

They've been telling Lil she sucks all season but apparently it doesn't matter. She's been the worst performer most weeks and has never had an above average night so far. Fortunately she should be finally gone this week unless one of the deserving contestants gets screwed and doesn't have a save there to pick them up.

Brian


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Thanks for pointing that out. I knew it was Matt but somehow I wrote Kris instead. lol.

Anoop has been in the bottom 3 three or four times in a row now, even tho he's singing well. I think you're right, Lil has been the weakest of the bunch. We'll see what happens next week.


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DISCO NIGHT - APR 21/09 - TOP 7

My take on the night, from top to bottom.

ADAM (If I can't have you) - beautiful phrasing, well-modulated dynamics, excellent tone, heartfelt, wonderfully done, understated elegance and simplicity that shows true spirit and skill.

DANNY (September) - Definitely showed strength and range, good solid vocal, fun performance.

KRIS (She Works Hard for the Money) - Nice bloom on the voice, worked it out in his own style, interesting arrangement, world vibe. Good work.

MATT (Staying Alive) - When I heard the title I wondered how he was going to manage the range. But he delivered, sang a good solid vocal and it was a fun performance.

ALISON (Hot Stuff) - Once again I am impressed with the maturity/depth of Alison's voice, however, I thought the song, or the arrangement it of it, was blah. She sings in her throat, swallows the words, and has no dynamics in her phrasing. But she is a strong performer.

ANOOP (Dim the Lights) - Anoop has a wonderful tone, beautifully bright, good range, a lovely bloom on the voice. The vocals were strong and secure, but the song sucked.

LIL (I'm Every Woman) - It was fun but I don't think the song did anything for her.

I think Lil & Anoop will go home.


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Vikki, you and I are tracking fairly close tonight.

In order of appearance:

1. Lil Rounds; 7; I'm Every Woman; Simon was right: this was Karaoke. At least she looked good (hair, makeup, clothes) tonight, but the vocals were the usual pitchiness and very little originality in the arrangement. She's most likely a goner.

2. Kris Allen; 9; She Works Hard For The Money; Wow, an "alt-pop-latin" version of this song was totally unexpected. He pulled it off well both as an arrangement and vocally. He still needs to work on his weird facial expressions though. That's the main thing that bugs me about him, but he's safe this week.

3. Danny Gokey; 9; September; very respectable, just not outstanding performance. Interesting variation on the arrangement. He stretched the melody a bit, which was good.

4. Allison Iraheta; 9; Hot Stuff; I can't think how she might have done the song better; vocals were amazing and on-pitch; she just didn't make me want to stomp my feet and get up and dance. Maybe it was the arrangement, but it may also just have been that slight "distance" she has from the audience that's practically undefinable. She's a great singer who will definitely get some sort of record deal, but she needs to warm up as a person or no one will buy her music.

5. Adam Lambert; 10; If I Can't Have You; He knocked this one way out of the park tonight; it passed the goosebump test with both me and my wife; she even welled up a little near the end of the song. The man has already proven he can scream the high notes with the best of the rockers, and tonight he proved he can reach out and grab your heart with tenderness as well.

6. Matt Giraud; 8; Stayin' Alive; bad song choice and the arrangement wasn't unique enough to counter that. It was still a respectable, but not amazing performance.

7. Anoop Desai; 7; Dim All The Lights; I think this was his swan song; Kara seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he only hit 75% of the notes on pitch. His tone is ok, but he's had constant pitch problems. I actually cringed on a couple of notes tonight and could hardly wait for the song to end.

Unless Lil has a huge fan club, she's a goner tomorrow night. I think Anoop has also sung his last.

Dialidol predicts Allison and Kris as the bottom two, but they were wrong last week, too.


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and then..... the opposing view....

I was really starting to like Adam's performance last night until he started screaming again.
I can't take screaming, don't like it, can't do it, never have.

I was totally underimpressed by Danny and Matt. couldn't wait for them to finish.

And no... it wasn't terribly original... but I enjoyed Lil. (I think I'm the only one LOL) but yeah... she needs to go.

I really enjoyed Anoop as well.
and was blown away by Chris.
If it was my vote..... I'd put him in the finals..

bottom line...again...if it were up to me.....I'd send Danny and Matt home tonight.

but I doubt it will go that way .

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I do have one nit on Allison Iraheta, she's an awesome singer, yet she's sung a few songs about mature life situations she probably hasn't experienced yet like "Hot Stuff" & "I Can't Make You Love Me"

She smiled a few times when she sang
"I Can't Make You Love Me"
the song's about a woman who's in love with a man who doesn't love her, she's hurt to the core as they have their last night together.

It surprises me that the judges didn't mention song selections being too mature or the importance of showing the proper emotions while performing a song.

I Can't Make You Love Me
written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin
as performed by Bonnie Raitt


Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices
inside my head

Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close,
don't patronize

Don't patronize me

Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't
You can't make your heart feel
something it won't
Here in the dark
in these final hours
I will lay down my heart
And I'll feel the power
but you won't
No, you won't
Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't

I'll close my eyes
then I won't see
the love you don't feel
when you're holding me

Morning will come
and I'll do what's right
just give me till then
to give up this fight
and I will give up this fight

Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't
You can't make your heart feel
something it won't
Here in the dark
in these final hours
I will lay down my heart
And I'll feel the power
but you won't
No, you won't
Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't



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Ande,

I'm not watching American Idol this year. But, since you posted this lyric, I was wondering if you knew that Mike Reid is a retired defensive lineman from the Cincinnati Bengals. He also had a couple of major country hits a few years back as a singer/songwriter. He's also a very accomplished keyboardist.

If nothing else, perhaps a note of interest for those who didn't know.

Alan

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Originally Posted by Hummingbird


I think Lil & Anoop will go home.


Called it.

The disco medley sucked.

What's up with Simon? Telling someone they are clumsy or horrible is, at best, unhelpful.. at worst, arrogant.


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The main thing I didn't like about the disco medley is that it was lip-synced so they could concentrate on dancing. The dancing wasn't bad though. I didn't think the medley itself was that bad. It wasn't totally enjoyable, but I did find it entertaining.

Yeah, I predicted Anoop and Lil as well.

Simon must not have gotten his nap today. Even Ryan called him grumpy.

The two old ladies and KC all sucked big time. I couldn't wait for that segment to end; and KC simply sucked WORSE than he did 30 years ago. He looked like Tony Soprano except I think Tony is more coordinated.


NEXT WEEK: Songs made famous by the "Rat Pack" (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr)

Here's a link to some of their songs:

http://www.ratpack.biz/rat-pack-songs.htm

...and who will get Mack the Knife - one of my favorites from that era?

Now...what the heck does being able to sing one of these golden oldie songs of the 50's have to do with selling a gazillion CDs and downloads in today's market? It will be an entertaining night, but totally irrelevant to today's market methinks - unless someone (geez, guess who that might be?) comes up with a super-hip "unplugged alt-rock-latin-world-dance" version of one of these. wink

I think it will be a tough week for Allison - this is not her style at all.





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I meant when they brought out the other singers to do their disco medley - the first woman was way off pitch... I missed who it was, but I was cringing in the kitchen.


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Ahhh, yes - totally with you. I only cringed on the 2nd lady but felt slightly nauseous when watching KC.

BTW, I forget where I heard it, but the AI songwriting contest will not be held this year. Apparently Kara is writing the winner's song. Nice perc for the job, huh?


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Originally Posted by Larry Williams
Now...what the heck does being able to sing one of these golden oldie songs of the 50's have to do with selling a gazillion CDs and downloads in today's market? It will be an entertaining night, but totally irrelevant to today's market methinks - unless someone (geez, guess who that might be?) comes up with a super-hip "unplugged alt-rock-latin-world-dance" version of one of these. wink



That's exactly what I have been thinking the whole time...What does any of this have to do with todays market...although,I can see where a few of the contestants have taken songs and rearranged them ,making them sound more contemporary....But I really dont understand what they are trying do here...


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That yellow dress on Thelma Houston with her old boobs hanging out was insane...jeez, honey act your age ! ! The right two people went home...


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So do you agree that this is the most talented group of any season?

Anoop is gone but he could easily have a recording career. He may not be the most charismatic contestant, but he has a great texture to his voice and sings with expression. Lil Round seemed to have sung worse, and became more obnoxious each week- what's with that?

for the remaining 5,

In order of talent: it is Adam, Allison, Danny, Chris and Matt.

In order of marketability: it is Adam, Chris, Allison, Matt and Danny

In order of votes: Adam is on top, Matt on the bottom and the rest is anybody's guess.


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Well.. I've been saying that Alison and Kris are the most easily marketable. Adam has some baggage and his theatricality makes it hard for him to easily be mainstream unless he goes the Clay Aiken route. (And he's way too talented for that I think). I'd love to see him become a Freddie Mercury, flamboyant/theatrical artist.

Kris is all about the songs. If he's a great writer (or at least can become one) he can have a great career. If he has to do songs fed to him by the lame 19 Entertainment people the rest of his career he'll be more of a short term success.

For Alison, the sky is the limit. She can be everything from Edgy Rocker Chick to Power Pop artist similar to Kelly Clarkson. If she's this good now, imagine her in 5-10 years if she's supported properly and not burned out.

Danny is just another Taylor Hicks waiting to happen. He's slightly more dynamic but has the least diversity of any contestant remaining (and less than Anoop for that matter). He was made into a favorite due to his family story that was pounded into the media relentlessly. It's too bad for the others who started off with such a popularity disadvantage.

But as we get towards the finish, it will be a race for second. Adam hasn't tanked yet and probably won't. All the others have had bad weeks. Alison especially.

Is it the most talented? I think the improvement didn't come as much from the top but among the bottom. But let's face it, they had their share of really bad contestants too. Lil Rounds was terrible throughout, the blonde chick that danced badly (that wiggle), the girl that was the first to go was heinously bad, the blind guy was one of the worst ever to make it as far as he did. Matt is quite weak and should be next to go. When he's gone, the competition will heat up.. the next one out after that will be a surprise no matter who it is I think.

Brian


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Originally Posted by Samuel (joe) Harris
So do you agree that this is the most talented group of any season?

...


Of ANY season, I don't think so. Maybe better than last season (remember Ramiele and Kristy Lee?) and better than Season Six (Sanjaya and Haley); but not better than Season Five (except for Kellie Pickler, who is still terrible). Season Five had Chris Daughtry, Kat McPhee, Paris Bennett, Taylor Hicks, etc. That was a pretty good group.


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Do you think its gunna be the last season for Idol?? I heard paula didn't want to do it anymore...

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(SORRY, MESSED UP THE QUOTE BOX THINGY....SO HERE'S WHAT LARRY SAID:)

....not better than Season Five (except for Kellie Pickler, who is still terrible). Season Five had Chris Daughtry, Kat McPhee, Paris Bennett, Taylor Hicks, [color:#009900]ETC. That was a pretty good group.[/color]

And this is my retort: grin "Good Golly, Larry! How could you forget my future son-in-law Bucky Covington ?! love grin " (seen below flanked by my rugrats Charlie and Samantha. Don't remember the picture being blurry when I took it, but those beer goggles, dang!! shocked laugh crazy )

Beth

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After tonight, (the rat pack songs) you may want to reconsider if you think a past season's crop of singers is better than this years. All of the contestants did outstanding.

Kris (The way you look tonight) was about as good as I have seen him.

Allison (Someone to watch over me) showed she can deliver a ballad and not step on the mood or message.

Danny (come rain or come shine) seemed to have finally become a performer and not just a singer.


Matt (Funny Valentine) showed us how to interpret a classic in a modern way.

Adam (Feeling Good) continues to make your jaw drop with his range and power. This was a really great night with no poor performances.

I do have my favorites but I would hate to have to pick the best.
I love Allison's voice. I think Kris has the best sense of the songwriters message. I think Danny has the most passion for what he is singing. I would probably boot Matt next but the kid can sing. No one will stop Adam.

If each song was on the radio dial and I had to tune in just one, I would probably tune in Allison's "Someone to watch over me".



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TOP 5 - APR 28/09 - RAT PACK

KRIS (The Way You Look Tonight); I like Kris and his style. His technique is not bad. The voice is a little throaty. He has a good sense of phrasing and dynamics, his upper tones are solid and sweet. 8.5/10

ALISON (Someone to Watch Over Me); I thought she sang with a little more dynamic sense than usual, her nasal huskiness is distinctive, but the voice sits too far back for me, it makes her tone have a dull and sometimes hard edge. Her best performance to date, IMO. 8/10

MATT (My Funny Valentine); I disagree with the lowering of the key. I felt the beginning of the song was too low and this made Matt lose tone in the first few phrases. He does have some agility and range, but he's up against stiff competition. 7.5/10

DANNY (Come Rain or Come Shine); I have always thought that Danny and Adam are pretty closely matched. I like Danny's husky voice, and he has such a good sense of musicality. Very nice dynamics, good phrasing, every note on pitch. He has natural power, he looked and sounded totally committed to the song. Excellent. 9.5/10

ADAM (Feeling Good); Beautifully bright tone to start off, immaculately on pitch. Extremely well done, can't fault him. 9.6/10

I believe Matt will go home this week.


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Here's my take:

1. Kris (The Way You Look Tonight); 8/10; Good performance, especially as the opener. Didn't reach out and grab me with charisma, but can't really flaw the performance much, and he contained his tendency to make monkey faces (yea!).

2. Allison (Someone to Watch Over Me); 10/10; I can't think of anything she could have done better; I got goosebumps halfway into the first verse. The girl mesmerized me. Why Simon continues to be down on her is beyond me. He's an idiot and both Randy and Kara practically said so. He wants Lambert to win and she's probably his only real competition, and so he disses her.

3. Matt (My Funny Valentine); 7/10; worst performance of the night. It was pitchy in several places and sounded like an unimaginative karaoke performance. I think Simon pimped him just to spite the others on the Alison disagreement. This was NOT a good performance.

4. Danny (Come Rain or Come Shine); 9/10; This was a good solid performance; I especially liked what he did with the end. Pitch was solid - no attention on it.

5. Adam (Feeling Good); 9/10; I disagree that this was pitch immaculate. This is the first performance of his where I had any attention on his pitch being off on 2 or 3 notes. Except for the long high note he held (which WAS pitch perfect), I didn't think he was that much better than Danny - just more theatrical. AI is definitely pushing him: Who else got to use the staircase and had the extra-special lighting? This wasn't my favorite performance of his (or even in the top 3), but he's gold for now.

Sam...you may be right about the overall level of the singers this season. I can't think of a previous top five that would have done as well as these guys - IN THIS STYLE. I just question the marketability of this style right now. I think it's kind of irrelevant. I hope next week has something with more relevance to today's market.

Beth...OMG...are you serious? I don't think Bucky was in the top five (maybe top 10). I think he made a country CD, but I don't know if he sold too many. I did see him perform on TV during some Country Music award.


For this week, I think at least three of us agree that Matt will go home. It was the weakest performance regardless of any props by Simon. I sure hope it's not Allison.


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Originally Posted by aznwiteguy
Do you think its gunna be the last season for Idol?? I heard paula didn't want to do it anymore...


Hard to say. Hadn't heard that about Paula. My understanding is that they all had 8-year contracts that are ending this year, so who's to say if any will renew. I've heard Simon wants to move back to England, but that could just be a negotiating ploy.

Rumors are that they all get $1M per show - or that could be per week - not sure. With all the advertising revenue, the producers could probably double that and retain all of them until ratings slip to the unprofitable range. Right now, they're still getting incredible ratings.

Where else could any of these people find work for that kind of money? Of course, they're all so rich that money probably isn't a primary motivator at this point.

When I went to the top three show back in Season Five (with Taylor Hicks, Kat and Eliott), I got in through the back lot and saw Simon's Ferrari and Ryan's "lowered" Bentley in the parking lot. Paula was driving a more "modest" BMW X5 ($60K-70K loaded), but she did have a rather buff looking male chauffer. grin

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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Well.. I've been saying that Alison and Kris are the most easily marketable. Adam has some baggage and his theatricality makes it hard for him to easily be mainstream unless he goes the Clay Aiken route. (And he's way too talented for that I think). I'd love to see him become a Freddie Mercury, flamboyant/theatrical artist.

Kris is all about the songs. If he's a great writer (or at least can become one) he can have a great career. If he has to do songs fed to him by the lame 19 Entertainment people the rest of his career he'll be more of a short term success.

For Alison, the sky is the limit. She can be everything from Edgy Rocker Chick to Power Pop artist similar to Kelly Clarkson. If she's this good now, imagine her in 5-10 years if she's supported properly and not burned out.

Danny is just another Taylor Hicks waiting to happen. He's slightly more dynamic but has the least diversity of any contestant remaining (and less than Anoop for that matter). He was made into a favorite due to his family story that was pounded into the media relentlessly. It's too bad for the others who started off with such a popularity disadvantage.

But as we get towards the finish, it will be a race for second. Adam hasn't tanked yet and probably won't. All the others have had bad weeks. Alison especially.

Is it the most talented? I think the improvement didn't come as much from the top but among the bottom. But let's face it, they had their share of really bad contestants too. Lil Rounds was terrible throughout, the blonde chick that danced badly (that wiggle), the girl that was the first to go was heinously bad, the blind guy was one of the worst ever to make it as far as he did. Matt is quite weak and should be next to go. When he's gone, the competition will heat up.. the next one out after that will be a surprise no matter who it is I think.

Brian


I agree with Brian about Adam--he too theatrical but that could be what they want this year. Danny won me over with his performance tonight. If he could put the energy and presence in the next weeks to come he may have a chance. Matt was the weakest this week. I did not agree with lowering the key of the song. This may be his week to go home. Allison I loved her rendition of "Someone to watch over me". But she is competing for votes from those little girls who love male singers. And she is up against four male eye pleasers.




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Well.. it was a good night.. but a little boring. But that's motly because they are all pretty good and surprisingly were all fairly even tonight. That's really unusual for AI to have 5 singing well and all choosing great songs. (Song choice has been pretty strong all season.. I think they are getting help).

My ranking for this week's performances:

1. Alison: She should be in the final two but probably won't be. Shame!
2. Danny: I am not a Danny fan, but he did a nice job. His pre-show publicity will likely carry him all the way to second place. It's a good example of how the show manipulates the results all season. They wanted him in the finals and they likely have him. And it was all created before the show ever started.
3. Kris: He's still the most immediately marketable and relevent contestant. He's likely to be a non finalist success story for them.
4. Adam: He's always good but I totally didn't feel his performance this week. It's my least favorite of his all season. But he's still by far the best voice in the competition.
5. Matt: Didn't connect, was flat, sucked. But I will say at least his suck was far better than the typical suck this late in the game. In previous seasons he might have been a contender. Here here's clearly the weakest of the 5.

Alison and Matt will likely be on the chopping block. I sure hope Alison gets at least 1 more week. If she does last, it might get interesting as the other 3 guys may start splitting votes enough to give her a chance to stick around even longer. This is a dangerous week for her and the fact that it was her Birthday this week that is nearly ALWAYS the kiss of death for every contestant. They even did a spot on that last season when it happened again.

Can Alison break the curse of Birthday week? Stay tuned.

Brian


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Originally Posted by Larry Williams
Beth...OMG...are you serious? I don't think Bucky was in the top five (maybe top 10). I think he made a country CD, but I don't know if he sold too many. I did see him perform on TV during some Country Music award.


Hey Larry,

Yup, totally serious. I was not a huge fan of his on the show, but my daughter was in LOVE, and because of her, we have followed him on his musical journey, and he has BLOSSOMED. smile Aside from being one of the nicest guys I've ever met, he really has done well for himself:

His debut album, Bucky Covington, was released on April 17, 2007, to positive reviews. It debuted on the Billboard 200 at #4 selling 61,000 copies. It also debuted at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart, making the album the best opening week for a debut album by a male on the chart since Billy Ray Cyrus' 1992 debut with Some Gave All.[8] Covington's debut surpassed the previous record held by Jason Michael Carroll's Waitin' in the Country.[9] He performed selections from his album during a nationwide tour in 2007, and the track "Empty Handed" appeared in NASCAR 08 as part of the in-game soundtrack. Overall, Bucky Covington accounted for three singles. "A Different World" peaked at #6, followed by "It's Good to Be Us" at #11 and "I'll Walk" at #10.

Here's a link to his myspace page, and you can listen to the new single from second album coming out in September.

http://www.myspace.com/buckycovington

I vaguely remember you thought he was pretty shmaltzy (sp?) , but that's cool. If we all liked the same music, that would be boring (PLUS, more room for us at his shows grin )....

As to American Idol, I do concur with you about Simon's Allison remarks -- I thought she was stunning. And also that Matt should leave tonight....

I hadn't read the rest of the posts from the show last night, but I thought Jamie Foxx was actually a decent mentor. Just like Quentin Tarentino....two people who you wouldn't necessarily expect to be helpful. Certainly a lot better than Randy Travis was....

Anyhoo, have a groovy day!
Beth


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i don't even watch the show any more, i just read y'all re-caps smile so thanks for all the writing!

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So Matt went home. No surprises there.

It was a little surprising to see Adam in the bottom three. I think people are not voting for him because they feel he's a shoe-in anyways and he doesn't need the votes. I think a similar thing happened when Daughtry got voted off "early".

Natale Cole was boring (the band was awesome backing her though). Taylor Hicks performed well. He still has that "x" factor for personality/charisma and shows some polish over the past couple of years. Jamie Foxx performed...uh, I fast forwarded through his song.

Overall, tonight was a pretty boring show.

Next week: ROCK AND ROLL!


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Originally Posted by Beth G. Williams
...
I vaguely remember you thought he was pretty shmaltzy (sp?) , but that's cool. If we all liked the same music, that would be boring (PLUS, more room for us at his shows grin )....
...
Anyhoo, have a groovy day!
Beth


If "schmaltzy" was the worst comment I made, that isn't too bad.

I'll give his stuff a listen.


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I fast forwarded though the Natalie Cole and Jamie Foxx--although I do want to see his movie "The Soloist." Adam was shocked that he was in the bottom three also--especially since he placed himself in the top two group. Then Ryan escorted him over the bottom two with Matt and Kris. Jamie prepared them by telling them they will have careers after idol as "Artists".


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i think at this stage, it is all about song choice. The top two finishers, Danny and Allison, sang the most recognizable songs ("Come rain or come shine" and "Someone to watch over me". Matt's Funny Valentine is from the 1936 musical Babes in Arms" and the lyrics don't really suit a twenty-something artists. It is better sung by a middle aged artist. Adam chose the 1965 Sammy Davis Jr. song "Feeling Good". It is already pretty obscure and his style obscured it even more. Chris did better singing the Frank Sinatra classic "The way you look tonight", which I think is an amazingly well written song. He didn't bring anything new to it but he "got it".

The voting probably went this way:

1. Danny
2. Allison
3. Chris
4. Adam
5. Matt

Allison might have beat Danny but AI has to have some mystery about the voting.

It's a real horse race now and anyone could end up on top but watch the song choices because that is probably going to determine the winner. Until this week I would have put my money on Adam. Now, I'll have to agree in Brian- it could be Danny.

If Adam wants to get back on top next week he should slick his hair back and channel Elvis with "Jail House Rock". He sings way better than Elvis ever did and he could probably convince women from 8 to 80 that Elvis lives. He is after all, an actor.


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The voters got it right.. and the correct final 4 are there just as predicted at the start. I really is anyone's game.. to finish 2nd. Unless Adam just tanks it, all those who were lax in voting for him will put him back on top by a large margin... I also don't think Adam was actually 4th. If you listen closely to what words they use they give themselves room to put someone not actually second to last in that spot for dramatic purposes.

Sadly I think Danny is on top. I think he's the least interesting artist of the 4 remaining, but I have to say this is 100% for sure the best top 4 ever by a large margin. And they are all very different from each other which makes it fun. Too bad we can't get 2-3-4 shows with just these 4 because they've been the most talented all season.

The question is where do Matt's votes go? That's a toss up. His Faux R&B style was different than the others. So they may go everywhere.. or to the perceived underdog which I guess right now is Kris.

Overall, the show sucked (Natalie sucked bad and Jamie Foxx who can sing his ass off played Vocoder man all night and anyone on the planet could have sang that song exactly as he did and sounded the same with that processing. Really lame to think that is the #1 song in the country. I will say that he seems to be the most talent actor/singer out there. Usually they suck. I won't name names because some of them are members and have entered our awards in the past.

Brian


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I see what you mean, Brian. It's actually one of those "DUH!" moments: If Adam was in the "bottom 3" out of 5, then by strict mathematics, he was also in the "top 3". He was IN THE BLOODY MIDDLE so could be placed with either pair. Clever marketing to move him to the lower group to create the drama...

At no time did they say Adam had the 2nd lowest votes. Once they had Adam in the low group, all they said was that Kris was safe and could go to the other side.


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Tricky manipulation master marketers. Adam was probably third all right. He looked a little PO'ed. I'm not taking any bets on the outcome.

I loved the duet album Nat and Natalie did but last night she was embarrassing. She actually lost her place trying to string 'Something's gotta give' over and over at the end of the song. Wy don't artist take their appearance on the show more professionally? It is probably the biggest audience most have ever had.


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Down to the last four. Slash was the mentor and they brought out the heavy rockers for the band (no mini-orchestra w/strings, just Marshall and Bogner amp stacks!). The band definitely rocked out all night.

Adam - 10/10 - Whole Lotta Love (Led Zepplin) - what could he have done better? He ripped on it. Robert Plant never did it better even in his heyday.

Allison - 8/10 - Cry Baby (Janis Joplin) - Arguably the weakest solo performance of the evening. She's really good, but having to follow Adam tonight didn't do her any favors. Not that she's bad in the least (she's really, really good), but she may be in danger.

Kris/Danny Duet - Renegade (Styx) - This was weird and made them both look bad IMHO. They harmonized well, but neither one are rockers, so they looked out of place.

Kris - Come Together (Beatles) - 9/10 - The judges didn't seem all that thrilled with it, but I thought it was a solid performance myself.

Danny - Dream On (Aerosmith) - 8.5/10 - this was just barely better than Allison. I thought it had a weak beginning and except for the long scream at the end was pretty forgetable.

Adam/Allison Duet - Slow Ride (Foghat) - this kicked butt. The two rockers in the group doing a rockout duet. They should do this song on the tour.

Personally, I would like to see either Danny or Kris go home, but Adam was the usual standout, and Allison delivered only an adequate, but not spectacular performance (mainly due to song choice), so I think she's most likely to go home tonight.


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I pretty much agree with Larry. Adam aced his number- but I have always hated that song personally. "I wanna give you every inch of my love..." Give me a break.

Allison probably needs to get away from Janis Joplin numbers because there aren't that many to chose from and the last thing Allison needs is to be constantly compared to a drug addicted rocker who died at 27.

Chris picked the wrong song. It's a great song but anyone with a 1 octave range could do it. Randy was tripping on his guitar playing. He needs to show that he has vocal chops not just artistic interpertation skills because this is a singing contest. It's probably too late now

Danny was doing OK until he tried to scream. It was embarrassing and all it did was confirm the fact the Adam is miles ahead of the rest when it comes to native vocal range and control.

I thought the duel gimmick did not server Danny and Chris very well because Adam went up first and blew everyone away; then Allison followed. The third act was the Chris and Danny's duet so it had the psychological effect of suggesting that Allison and Adam can do it on their own while Chris and Danny need support. And the fact that Adam and Allison are the better Rockers just seem to reinforce the suspicion that the AI producers are, if not rigging the deck, at least not being too subtle about showcasing their favorites.

Danny is the only one of the four who has never been in the bottom three so even though he may have had a weak night, he is probably safe. Allison is never safe but if Simon is right, her duet with Adam may have saved her. That leaves Chris, who looks like he is ready to get out of Dodge anyway. He already admitted he is the least vocally talented of the group. Curious that he is probably the most marketable. Hey, I wonder if AL will ever have a songwriter's week? That would be interesting but probably only a handful of contestants have every written anything.


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TOP 4, MAY 5/09

Interesting choice of a Mentor for the contestants this week. I thought the music itself was well-played and the arrangements were good. I am losing interest in hearing the judging panel. Four is too many. It would be more effective to have three judges who have more time to give longer critiques to help the singers (and the public) understand what they need to work on. As a voice teacher and composer, etc., feedback from those more experienced than I is a crucial part of my growth. I'd like to hear more notes on singing and performance, and less 'you're the bomb, dog,' 'that's artistry,' 'you look great tonight,' 'that was boring.' That IS boring.

ADAM (Whole Lotta Love); right in his element, couldn't take my eyes (or ears) off of him. Vocally powerful, strong and resilient, good depth, bright tone, great range, I understood every word.

ALISON (Crybaby); Didn't get all the words. Some of the notes seemed too low and we lost her, the last note was very nice and showed bloom on the voice. The performance was solid but the song didn't thrill me.

Duet: KRIS / DANNY; Renegade. Well done, showed Danny's voice is stronger and has more range, Kris was good but Danny overshadowed him, great combination and fab harmonies.

KRIS (Come Together); I think Kris was out of his element this evening. I like him, I think he has his own style, but this sort of music doesn't suit him. I think he's a good singer, but in terms of vocal 'presence', he's the weakest of the four. In terms of appeal and performance, I think he's a top contender.

DANNY (Dream On); I really appreciate Danny's vocal chops, but as a voice teacher I have grave concerns. When he went into falsetto near the end, it sounded strained and weak, and the scream at the end made me shudder. Vocal damage 101: screaming, Danny, is the quickest way to node city. You have talent, you have a great voice, it's unfortunate that you are up against Adam, or you'd have a shot at the title. I think this song was a big mistake, vocally as well as in performance. Not only for this particular show, but at this point, only three weeks from the final, to push your voice in such an unhealthy manner could affect the ability to perform for the rest of the season, assuming the public gives you the chance. I'd suggest resting the voice for a couple of days. No talking, no singing.

Duet: ALLISON / DANNY; well matched. I thought this song suited Allison better than her solo did. Strong performances from both.

My take? Vocally, Kris is the weakest. Danny might be in trouble. I'm not over the moon about Allison's solo performance. They each have their fans. Most likely Kris will go home.


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ah gee.... sometimes I think I watch a different broadcast than most....

I can't fault Adam's performance.... (although it seemed that his version was a little more subdued than Zepplin....
I just don't care for him.... It certainly didn't sound very original to me this week... a major difference from his past weeks

I didn't know Allison's song... so it was harder to get into.
and it was okay.... actually...I liked it a bit more than Adam...(but I'm biased so...)

now the duet between Kris and Danny I thought was great. the harmonies were perfect..and the voices together were a good fit.
THAT'S what a duet is all about.

and again.....(I know I'm out here on an island) I liked Kris' song best. No... he didn't yell or scream... but for those of us who aren't realy into hard rock... it was great.

Danny... well the scream.... but as Slash had said in the intro...he HAD to go for it...everyone expected it... and blood-curdling as it was... it seemed the way it should come out. I would have prefered he had found a way to skip the scream... but again...that's my bias....I hate screaming

lastly... the duet between Adam and Allison... was only so-so for me. Most of what they did was just trade lines back and forth. and when they did sing together....I sure didn't hear any kind of blending of voices or harmony.
For me...it was no where near as good as the other duet.

I would love to see Danny go home this week.
and contrary to most of America....I would love to see Kris take the title.... but I won't hold my breath LOL

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Wow Harriet
We are at polar ends ! ! I agree with you Larry, Adam was better than Robert Plant in his heyday ! ! I do believe at this point they are all winners, but Adam can just kill anything ! ! The other three can have their niche, but Adam could play on Broadway one day...then jump off and onto a hard rock show and nail both !
At this point in the competition, it's a popularity contest, and he might not win, but it won't matter to his career !


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