NBC’s Today Show is evidently eying CNN’s openly gay news anchor Anderson Cooper as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer.
Wednesday’s American Idol performance show kicked off with the announcer telling the audience to “Please welcome your judges.” I had to do a couple of rewinds on my DVR to realize there were only three that came on the stage: Keith Urban, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey.
At that moment I wondered if Nicki Minaj had quit but soon found out LA traffic was not in her favor and she was stuck on the interstate. I let out the biggest sigh of relief because with her gone Idol would be extremely boring. I love the unpredictability of whatever comes out of Minaj’s mouth and she did not disappoint!
More on that in a few but let us take a look at how each Season 12 contestant took on a winning Idol’s performance:
Curtis Finch Jr “I Believe” (Fantasia Barrino, Season 3)
Whenever a contestant takes on a previous winner’s coronation song, I roll my eyes for it usually is just a cheap imitation of a fantastic moment. Throughout this competition Finch Jr has gone the gospel route and taken us to church so many times it is getting old quick. Praise the Lord Randy Jackson agreed with me for wanting to see something more out of him! But Mariah Carey disagreed saying that he was in his element. I almost fell asleep during the performance for it did not excite me at all in the least. The moment I woke up was when Ryan Seacrest said Minaj had entered the building. There is a God! I just am not feeling the power of Curtis.
Janelle Arthur “Gone” (Scotty McCreery, Season 11)
Country cutie patootie Arthur decided to ditch the ballad and speed things up a bit. She no doubt had the stage presence but I feel she has the weakest voice among the female contestants. I was thinking for sure she would have picked a Carrie Underwood tear jerker but I see that she was trying to show her fun side. It was a valiant effort, which may either hurt or help her. Arthur confessed to Seacrest she had cotton mouth. Now, now Janelle it is bad to blaze up before a performance. Save that for the after party sweetheart.
Devin Velez “Temporary Home” (Carrie Underwood, Season 4)
The American Idol umpire calls the play: SAFE! Devin, dear, there are a million other songs you could have picked that showed off that beautiful, wonderful voice you have. I am just relieved you did not sing it in Spanish. I was getting a wee bit tired of that. In this competition song selection is so flippin’ important. I hope you are safe for you have a lot of potential in this competition! Just do not make it a snooze fest, though Nicki Minaj loves your ballads.
Angie Miller “I Surrender” (Kelly Clarkson, Season 1)
This is the moment when I fell in love with Kelly Clarkson. The competition had put a total strain on her voice and she was fighting a bout with laryngitis but she did not give up. Clarkson pulled out a “stellar” performance and proved she meant business. I was really trying to like Miller’s performance but I just could not help comparing. Clarkson is one of my all-time favorite musical artist and I fell in love with her voice. Miller’s vocals are not strong to pull off a huge song like this. It was good but it was not great. The judges loved it and will probably continue to love her the entire competition.
Paul Jolley “Amazed” (Scotty McCreery)
My boyfriend is told by Jimmy Iovine not to over sing as much and he pulls off a subdued performance. I am sorry but I love it when Jolley goes for the notes. What first caught my attention was when he performed Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Way” during Hollywood Week. I just remembered hearing the power he had in his voice and it was lacking during this number. I do agree with Nicki Minaj when she said he awakened her sexual appetite. Oh me too Nicki! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all those snacks in between!
Candice Glover “I Who Have Nothing” (Jordin Sparks, Season 6)
When Jordan Sparks performed this in 2007, it was the first time I believed she could take the title. It was an extremely wise decision for her to perform in in the finale against Blake Lewis. But my apologies go out to Ms. Sparks for Candice Glover sang it better and proved why she is on this show. She needs to stop giving me eargasms or someone is going to think we are together. Flawless perfection can only be found once in a while and this night it belonged to Glover. A standing ovation was given by all the judges except for Carey, who claimed she would have stood up but “her skirt was too tight.” Someone needs to tell Ms. Carey she is in the presence of future vocal royalty, so she must always stand. It was truly the best performance of the night.
Lazaro Arbos “Breakaway” (Kelly Clarkson)
I love my husband and he chose to go with the original winner. What I love about Lazaro is his strength and courage. Plus he is not afraid to say what is on his mind, such as saying that a song was not the right choice for him. He was also very nervous and it is evident by all the sweat that was dripping from his forehead. But he pulled it off in a valiant effort. Sure he is no Kelly Clarkson but he made the song his own. Most of the judges thought the song was too big for him but I applaud him. Next week he will be back, fighting like a professional. No doubt in my mind.
Kree Harrison “Cryin” (Carrie Underwood)
This was very beautiful, stripped down, and gorgeous. Kree has a magnificent vocal prowess and it just soothes the body and soul. Both Randy Jackson and Keith Urban told her she could “sing the phone book.” I would probably buy that album as soon as possible! She is going to probably end up in the top 3 every week if she keeps this up.
Kree Harrison was also the first Idol contestant to remind a judge about breakfast. Nicki Minaj has called Kree her “wife” and had the following to say to her:
“Sometimes when I wake up everyday…if I’m not working I’ll eat waffles, like, buttermilk waffles, and then I’ll have to have Aunt Jemima buttermilk syrup on it. I’ll toast it—but then I never burn it—I’ll put in the microwave and then warm it up a little bit, and that’s what that performance felt like to me.
It was smooth, it was delicious, it was just fun. I would enjoy it if I was by myself at home watching TV, just in front of the couch eating waffles.”
Burnell Taylor “Flying Without Wings” (Ruben Studdard, Season Two)
This was the second coronation song of the night. I have always been a fan of the Westlife version and wanted to perform it one day. Ruben changed it up a little bit to give it a more R&B feel. I was totally feeling Burnell and I absolutely love his voice for it is so unique. He takes little instances in the music and adds a growl here or there. I do believe out of all the guys left, Burnell is most on point vocally. He just delivers the WOW factor every week. Jackson agreed saying Burnell was “trying to raise it up for the dudes!”
Amber Holcomb “A Moment Like This” (Kelly Clarkson)
Amber has some guts going after the song that started it all because the Clarkson version is so beloved by many. Watching her performance and hearing her vocals reminded me if Beyonce had a love child with Whitney Houston. She really proved why she should be in this competition and was a judge favorite. Carey summed it all up: “Hash tag POW.” Amber will be sticking around for another week.
This time around American Idol switched it up and announced the Top 3 contestants but in no particular order. Then the people who ranked forth through last were revealed and the last person had to sing for his or her survival. Here are the rankings.
Minaj claimed she would leave the show if Curtis left and started to walk off as he was announced as the person with the lowest votes. After a judge deliberation which she thought was too short to possibly save him, Curtis Finch Jr. was the first American Idol of Season 12 voted off.
I was a wee bit surprised for I thought Devin, though an amazing vocalist, was extremely safe. But the more I think about this the more I realize that yes Curtis was a pretty good singer but I hated his attitude. During Hollywood week he was in full diva mode during group week and said he was not there for his fellow group members but himself. After they all go through he was all friendly with them. It was so fake to me.
Tune in tonight March 20 at 8 pm on FOX as the Top 9 remaining contestants take on the John Lennon/Paul McCartney song book. Who do you think will sing “Imagine?”
Also we find out if Charlie Askew or Aubrey Cleland make the American Idols Live tour. Plus last season’s runner-up Jessica Sanchez will perform on the results show Thursday, March 21 at 8 pm.
Last we met I introduced you all to the American Idol Top 10 guys. Now let us hear it for the ladies! During the audition rounds more women were sent through to Hollywood week than men. Is Idol finally paving the way for the first female winner since Jordin Sparks took the title in 2007? The voices that came out of the five women picked by America seems to shout a resounding “YES!” Let us take a look at each one and let me give you my thoughts on each of them.
Janelle Arthur, 23
They say the third time is a charm and this sweet southern songbird from Oliver Springs, TN finally made it to the Idol finals. She is the only female country artist this time and I predicted she would get through because of that fact. Yes she has a great voice but it is not as strong as ousted contestant Aubrey Cleland, who Nicki Minaj was “obsessed” with and claimed she was the most marketable and could release a hit album right away. Is Arthur going to follow in Season Four winner Carrie Underwood’s footsteps? I do not think so. Even though Cleland outsang her, so did the remaining other four contestants Janelle Arthur is up against. But country music fans are rabid and protective when it comes to their artists so you might be seeing her for a few weeks.
Candice Glover, 23
After performing during the Las Vegas group round last season with runner-up Jessica Sanchez and Top 10 finalist DeAndre Brackensick and getting cut, South Carolinian Glover is back and better than ever. Throughout this entire competition she has taken flight and soared her vocal talents higher and higher. She was the only one who really excited me during the “Sudden Death” round with her version of Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Then for America’s votes she performed John Legend’s “Ordinary People” with finesse and perfection. Several people are predicting Angie Miller will take the title this year but the very moment where I saw Miller had true competition was when Candice Glover performed her victory song of “I’m Goin’ Down” by Mary J. Blige. Many people rely on vocal gymnastics and runs. Glover does not need this at all because she is the real deal. As Randy Jackson told her he loves her cause “she can sing and it is a singing competition, which many tend to forget.” I pray the audience hears the excellence in her voice and she shoots straight up to the top.
Amber Holcomb, 18
Is Shepard, TX native Amber Holcomb giving you a serious case of deja vu? This is because she has already traveled the “Road to Hollywood” once and was cut. It is great that she decided to come back and audition once again because she is a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Her last two performances have been Whitney Houston and I usually cringe when amateur females take on one of the greatest voices ever. But Holcomb has proven that she can blow. Her vocals are exquisite, along with some runs that would make Mariah Carey jealous. She just needs the confidence to know she is “better than she really is,” as Randy Jackson told her. If she holds on to that, we could see Amber Holcomb easing her way into the Top 5.
Kree Harrison, 23
Nashville demo singer Kree Harrison has already had years of practice singing other people’s songs. So it was a no-brainer she share her craft with all of America. Her voice is beautiful yet I am waiting for her to unleash her inner Janis Joplin because I know it is in there. Keith Urban has been rooting for her this whole season and rightfully so. Harrison has an impeccable tone to her voice. It really soothes one’s soul and will touch the hearts of many. I predict Top 4 for her or maybe, just maybe, she has the staying power to beat Candice and make it all the way!
Angie Miller, 18
After she blew the judges and America away with her original song “You Set Me Free” during Hollywood week, Massachusetts resident Angie Miller is said to be the one to beat. Though I have a deep fondness for Candice Glover, after researching Miller and viewing her YouTube channel I am actually quite torn. She puts such raw emotion and passion into her vocals and it actually brings tears to my eyes. While writing this I let her version of “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato play in the background and Niagra Falls started to come down my cheeks!
Glover makes me shiver all over cause her voice is a musical orgasm to my ears. This will be a tough year for me to vote for I do like both of them but for different reasons. It does put a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face to know that my own state is representing Idol. I do not recall when there has been a Top 10 contestant from Massachusetts in a long time. Bravo Angie Miller! I was going to wish you all the luck in the world in this competition but you do not need it at all.
The Top 10 will compete tonight for America’s votes at 8pm on FOX singing former Idol winner’s greatest performances from the past 11 years. Also the guy and girl who wound up in sixth place last week will have an opportunity to participate in a sing-off for a spot on the American Idols Live tour. I will have a recap up later this evening as well as my predictions on who I think will be safe and who is packing his or her bag. As always feel free to leave a comment below or contact me for I would love to hear your opinions on the show.
This year the Top ten finalists of American Idol were announced at the beginning of the season which differs from previous years when there were twelve contestants and two weeks of voting to get there. Thursday night’s results show was an hour and a half and kept the judges and audience members in suspense about who made it through. Ryan Seacrest was backstage with the boys in one room and the girls in another, only allowing the television viewers to hear what was going on. The finalist then took a trip to the back of the stage where it opened up and for the first time the studio audience and the Idol judging panel found out who America voted through. It was pretty dramatic but it could have been done in an hour. Instead to fill the time each contestant sang a victory song. I predicted everyone of the guys except for one, who I had as a wild card spot (if they had any) and got all of the ladies correct. I’ve been watching this for eleven seasons so I know who America will put through. I do feel they got it right and this will be a fantastic tour. Here are the American Idol Top 10, with some commentary from yours truly.
Good Morning America announced the 12 contestants of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars this morning. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was already confirmed during Oscar Sunday in a DWTS promo. His partner will be Karina Smirnoff.
Jones, who is fresh off a Superbowl victory against the San Francisco 49ers, was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live two weeks ago and said he was very enthusiastic if the reality dancing competition’s producers asked him to go on board. He is known for his Touchdown dances and now America will see his ballroom skills.
Other rumored constants reported by TMZ on Sunday were former season five American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler, country singer Wynona Judd, gymnast Aly Raisman, and Bachelor Sean Lowe.
Here is the official cast list:
Country star Wynona Judd & Tony Dovolani
Comedian and star of The Hughleys D.L. Hughley & Cheryl Burke
Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump & Les Sojenko
Funny guy Andy Dick & Chara Burgess
Boxer Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold
Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman & Val Chmerkovskiy
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman & Mark Ballas
Former General Hospital hunk Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill & Tristan MacManus
Who is your favorite? Will you watch this season and who do you think should have been cast? Let us know in the comments.
Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC.