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American Idol Top 3 week recap

With a night of very strong performances overall, it’s not a big surprise that last night’s Top 3 show is believed to be the second most competitive (in terms of how close the voting results are anticipated to be) in the history of the series. Everyone seemed to have some shining moments and I couldn’t find much wrong with any of the performances in any round. However, as usual, a few stood out more than the rest.

American Idol 2013 Top 3 finalists

American Idol 2013 Top 3 Contestants – Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Angie

2. Candice

3. Kree

Last night’s second performances:

1. Kree

2. Angie

3. Candice

Last night’s third performances: 

1. Candice

2. Angie

3. Kree

Week overall (with brief commentary):

1. Angie – Her first song was smooth and sweet, simple yet captivating. The second was more poppy and upbeat while showing off her confidence, very strong overall. Her final song was simple and strong providing a great close of the night for her.

2. Candice – The first song was an interesting choice from Jimmy and gave her a powerful, great start. The second song was a nice fit featuring good inflection and the ability to show her range. She closed the night with a soft and smooth song hitting the power vocals in the right spots. 

3. Kree – Her first song had a good tone, strong vocal and worked out well. For her second song, she was in her zone and showed off her range and emotion. She finished her portion of the night with something fun, intense and upbeat.

 

Final thoughts:

While nothing is ever a certainty, especially in the world of American Idol, I personally think that Angie has remained the most consistent contestant throughout the competition. If that means anything at all, she should be in the finals. That being the case, I would assume the second spot is a battle between Kree and Candice. Of course, we haven’t really had any surprises this season, and that is highly unusual. And while Angie’s fan base has likely remained the same over time, there is a good chance that with the elimination of the prior two contestants, Janelle and Amber, the other two remaining girls probably expanded their fan base by picking up the “country vote” and the “African American” vote. If that’s the case, who knows what might happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.  

American Idol top 4 week recap

So for the first time in the history of American Idol, we have an all-girl Top 4. And rightly so I believe. While each of the ladies continues to try to step up her game, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Angie Miller American Top Top 4

Angie Miller singing “Who Are You” courtesy of zimbo.com

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Angie

2. Amber

3. Kree

4. Candice

Last night’s second performances:

1. Angie

2. Candice

3. Kree

4. Amber

Last night’s duets:

1. Angie and Candice

2. Amber and Kree

Overall (with brief commentary):

1. Angie – Wonderful tone and so much raw emotion in the first song. Her second was soft and slow and while not the best song, she’s so good it didn’t even matter. Angie outshined Candice a bit in their duet with her incredible range.

2. Kree – Her first song showcased a bluesy confidence and good vocals. Her second song was sort of beautiful in its simplicity. The duet was lively and catchy and more suited to Kree than is was to Amber.

3. Candice – The first song was soulful and smooth. The second featured good vocals but she didn’t show off her range or power. She brought both the power and soul in the duet.

4. Amber - Her first song was an amazing vocal performance with a confident vibe. The second song was a bad choice even with decent singing. She did OK in the duet but was the weaker of the two singers.

Final thoughts:

The first round of songs as a whole was better than the second. It didn’t take much for Angie to take the second round considering the rest of the performances where just OK.  That’s just one of the reasons she took the night, again. For the first time, Candice looks a bit vulnerable. I figure she was pretty much even with Kree last night but it is quite possible (but not a sure thing) that Kree may get a boost in her voting base now that the other “country girl,” Janelle, is gone. Amber seems to have come on a lot lately and her first performance was great. But it looks more and more like she doesn’t quite match up with the rest of the girls. It could be a shocker tonight as that history says that if often is. But no matter what happens, it should be interesting.

American Idol Top 6 week recap

Well, we’re down to the top six and the competition on American Idol is getting very tight. Unfortunately, for some reason the theme this week wasn’t great.  The first round of songs where quite limiting but at least the second round allowed for a little more flexibility. I was also a bit disappointed that virtually none of the contestants took the chance to think outside the box in the first round to make major changes to the arrangements and possibly make the songs their own. With all that being said, it is what it is and some singers still shined while others struggled.

Candice Glover American Idol

Candice Glover sings “Lovesong” courtesy on Hollywoodreporter.com

Here’s how i rank last night’s first performances:

1. Candice

2. Kree

3. Amber

4. Angie

5. Janelle

6. Lazaro

Last night’s second performances:

1. Candice

2. Angie

3. Kree

4. Janelle

5. Amber

6. Lazaro

Overall (with brief commentary):

1. Candice – She had good inflection on her first song but didn’t really get going until she hit the power notes and from then on she crushed it. Her second song really played to her strengths. It was powerful, pure and beautiful.

2. Kree - Her first song was sweet and bluesy in parts with a strong vocal. The second one was classic country that came across as pure, raw and very, very good.

3. Angie - She has a nice flow and good tone in her first song but it was a bit slow and old fashioned. This amazing singer redeemed herself several times over with her time at the piano singing a powerful, emotional and awesome second performance.

4. Janelle - In the first song, she came across as highly confident but did have a few trouble spots. Her second song was a great choice. It was right on the money and very good overall.

5. Amber - She started off smooth and upbeat in her first song for a very good performance. Her second song had a rough start. She did better in the chorus. It was pretty good but not great.

6. Lazaro - He started off with a classy, simple song but the vocals were off and way too soft. In his second song, the vocals continued to be off until he hit the high parts. He didn’t have a very good night.

Final thoughts:

It could very easily be a clean sweep for the ladies as Lazaro should be on his way out tonight. However, I do believe that the judges still have time to use the save and would likely do so if any of the ladies finds themselves in the bottom spot.

Artistic modern jazz dance on Dancing With The Stars

Dance as art

As we can probably all agree, dancing can be fun and exercise but also is undoubtedly an art of its own. Last night’s episode of the ABC hit series “Dancing With The Stars” proved that once again. In particular, I was really drawn in by the modern jazz performance of country music artist Kellie Pickler and her professional dance partner Derek Hough.

This particular dance routine featured some incredible choreography,  some really stunning props and so much more. In my opinion, it even came across as a really intriguing mix of a Sci-Fi sort of quality and something that might remind you of the classic dance film “Flash Dance.” 

Check it out below for yourself.

 

American Idol Top 9 week recap

Before I begin this post, in the spirit of full disclosure, I missed the first two performances by Kree and Burnell. That being the case, I was only able to judge their showings by the brief snippet during the recap at the end of the show. That being the case, rating order could have potentially been slightly different had I seen the entire thing. However, I still think this is probably pretty accurate overall.

Angie Miller American Idol

Here’s how I rank last night’s performances:

1. Angie – She looked great. I love that song. And as a pure singer, she’s fantastic.

2. Candice – Awesome song for her. It really showed off both her vocal power and personality.

3. Janelle -  She made a very good song choice and performed it with in a beautifully simple, subtle way. Very good job overall.

4. Kree – While I only saw the recap snippet, she sounded good and seemingly made a good choice of song.

5. Paul - One of his best yet. It was a good fit for him and I enjoyed seeing a slightly edgier side of Paul.

6. Devin -  Very smooth sound, nice tone. He did well overall.

7. Burnell - I didn’t see much nut from what I did he seemed a bit off.

8. Amber - The vocals came across nicely but the whole thing was kind of boring.

9. Lazaro - He has a great voice but the song didn’t fit and the music was distracting.

Final thoughts:

It seems that the voting public continued to remain constant last week and ultimate made what I feel was the right choice in sending Curtis home. It will be interesting to see what happens this week. I’m a huge fan of Lazaro and his inspirational story but he has been struggling as of late and I fear that he might be the one on the way home after tonight’s results show. I would assume the Top 4 I listed above should be safe but as for the rest, anything could happen.

American Idol Top 10 week recap

This year’s edition of American Idol kicked off the finals with the annual Top 10 (although it used to be Top 12) show last night. And all in all, it was a pretty solid start to the last leg of the 2013 Idol journey.

As I’ll been expecting from early on, the girls really seemed to standout and outperform the men overall. And will some the the likely front runners did what might be expected, there where some other contestants who really showed that they’re, as Randy Jackson would say, “in it to win it.”

Candice Glover American Idol

Here’s how I rank last night’s performances:

1. Candice - Powerful voice, right on the money.

2. Angie - Soft, beautiful voice with power when needed. It was a risky song choice but it worked out well.

3. Amber -  A few trouble spots at first but better and better as she went along, fantastic ending.

4. Janelle - She came out strong and confident, nice job.

5. Kree - Classic song, great fit for her, simple but good.

6. Lazaro -  Very smooth and captivating vocals, not his best but still pretty good.

7. Paul - This time, the didn’t go over the top as is common for him. Not bad.

8. Devin - Powerful song, nice tone but probably not the greatest fit for him.

9. Burnell - He was kind of off and all over the place.

10. Curtis – He was OK at the start bit over did it in spots. Not bad but not good either.

Final thoughts:

We have already had a slight indication of how the American public might tend to vote based on the results last round. (I agreed with them about 70 or 80% of the time.) However, it’s very early in the game and that could change. In my personal opinion, The bottom three should be Curtis  Brunell and Devin. But then again, any Idol fan knows that on this show, anything can happen and sometimes does.

American Idol Top 10 for 2013

This season of American Idol

has featured quite a few new twists. But now we’re down to the Top 1o and I suspect their won’t be to many such surprises left, at least when it comes to the rules of the game if you will. That’s not to say that there won’t be any shocking eliminations. That’s almost a given to some extent.

But now that the Top 10 is in place, here’s my quick analysis of how the voting public fared in choosing the best of the best.

American Idol 2013 Top 10

The Girls:

Even though Kree was the last one announced, it seemed to me that she and Angie would be pretty much a sure thing. I love the fact that Janelle also made it through despite the fact that that puts two female country vocalists head to head to go after that particular voting block. Candace was a solid addition. With the competition among the girls so high, Amber was one of the many that could have easily filled the final spot.

The Guys: 

The only real “must have” in my opinion is the heartwarming Lazaro. Devin has been steeping up his game in recent weeks and seems to be a good selection. I’m not a huge fan of Curtis but I fully anticipated he’d be there as well.  Burnell and Paul probably squeaked through, most likely at the expense of Vincent and/or Nick.

Can’t wait to see what happens next week.

 

 

American Idol Finale Recap

After the elimination of Joshua last week, American Idol fans were treated to one of the best possible combinations for the finale. Both Jessica and Phillip where surely at least among the top two contestants for respective genders (Hollie and Colton would be the other halves of that equation). Both have been fan favorites from the beginning and thus it came as no surprise that the show was quite satisfying.

HERS”S HOW I RANK ROUND 1:

1. Jessica – Nailed the high notes and came out very strong.

2. Phillip - Slow and smooth, very cool with a projection of confidence.

HERS”S HOW I RANK ROUND 2:

1. Jessica  - Beautiful tone and fantastic vocals. It was nearly flawless.

2. Phillip - Good balance between the slow and upbeat. Pretty good job overall.

HERE’S HOW I RATE THE ORIGINAL SINGLES:

1. Phillip – Classic folk feel. It was simple and beautiful and a pretty fit for him.

2. Jessica - Slow start but strong on the chorus. The song itself could have been much better.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

While Jessica would have to be considered the favorite tonight, we cannot count Phillip out by any means. Ultimately, it will come down to two simple possible voting scenarios. First, if the voters looked at the three performances equally, Jessica undoubtedly won the first two rounds and thus will be this year’s winner. However, if voters decided to put more value on the performance of the original singles, Phillip will be the last one standing. Basically, it could go either way and will likely be a very slim margin.

American Idol Top 3 Recap

The top three performances had some ups and down and gave us an extremely tight level of competition. While there where several very good performances, none seemed to really stand out head and shoulders above the rest. It should be an interesting vote this week.

HERE’S HOW I RATE THE SONGS CHOSEN BY THE JUDGES:

1.  (Tie) Jessica and Phillip

3. Joshua

HERE’S HOW I RATE THE CONTENT CHOSEN SONGS:

1. Jessica 

2. Joshua

3. Phillip

HERE’S HOW I RATE THE SONGS CHOSEN BY JIMMY:

1. Phillip

2. Jessica

3. Joshua

OVERALL:

1. Jessica - Very solid overall with great tone and vocals. There where a few issues with song choices and lack of defining moments but she provided good performances all in all.

2. Phillip - Stepped up his game this week, especially in round one and three. His cool, funky, vibe is by far the most unique sound among the final three.

3. Joshua – He had the pipes and showed a ton of confidence but his over the top screaming and vibrato could be a killer.

Side Notes:

I was thoroughly disappointed with Jimmy’s song choices. This songs for Joshua and Jessica where destined for a train wreck and lack of vocal challenge respectively. The only one that worked was the song for Phillip. Conversely, the judges’ choices worked out to be a nice fit. Jessica took a huge risk going with “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” considering it was seemingly out of her comfort zone. The risk paid off as she aced it.

Why do so many rappers become actors?

Several years ago

if someone had mentioned names like LL Cool J or Ludacris to you, assuming you follow popular music, you’d probably associate these guys with the rap music scene. But not today.

There comes a time in a rap artists’ life that they have to “move on” to another venture. And for many of them, for some reason, they seem to transition rather well into acting. Why? Well, like most things in life, I doubt there is any single answer. That being the case, I’m going to offer my two cents worth anyway.

It’s very possible that these guys and girls slide into acting because they are natural performers. Many of them also have created personas for themselves and being able to do such a thing is a huge asset in the acting world. I’m sure that experience with scenes in an number of music videos can be a beneficial to draw from as well.

Here is a brief list of some of the musicians turned actors and actresses who have made this career progression.

Chris “Ludacris” Bridges

Queen Latifah

Will Smith

Mark Wahlberg

Ice T

 

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