Thursday, April 8, 2010

Holy Canoli - Michael Lynche?

Well, I got one thing right - they used the save.

Two of the people I had thought would end up in the bottom three did indeed end up there - Andrew Garcia and Aaron Kelly.

But the third guy?

There is no way I would have believed Michael Lynche would be the lowest vote getter.  I guess I'm going to have to actually start voting.

Because I think what happens is performers like Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly have an interesting advantage - they are young and they are cute and they appeal to the part of the audience that is absolutely going to vote.

A guy like Michael Lynche - a guy with a smooth voice and a stage persona (even if it is sometimes  a bit "corny" or "hammy") will appeal to a different audience - an audience inclined to sit on the sofa and say, "Boy, I liked that a lot," but never pick up the phone.  Namely, for example, me.

The only problem with using the save is that next week two performers will go home, so the pressure is on all of them to give the best performances they possibly can.  One has to hope that the run is over for "Teflon" Tim, and I think Andrew is at risk.

Song choice is going to be extremely important.

But I think they did the right thing anyway in giving Mike a second chance.  It just wouldn't have been right that Tim Urban was left standing while Mike went home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My First GTLU!

Yesterday was the day I officially took over GTLU responsibilities from Erica.

Guys, until you do it yourself, you have no idea what Erica did last year.  None.  How she managed to do it and keep her job, I'll never know!!!!

We had 25 entries yesterday, a good number, I think.  And unlike Sunday's season opener, when all but one who entered "won," yesterday all 25 were stumped by Joe Girardi.  The "x" factor was in trying to decide whether Gardner would play against Lester based on his very good day at the plate on Sunday.  Once you decided he wasn't going to play, you had to decide who was going to play for him (easier) and then, where that person would fit into the lineup.

Congratulations to RayVT, Joekuh, and YankeeRay for having the three entries closest to figuring out Joe Girardi.  But Girardi is the master lineup manipulator.  He benched  Gardner in favor of Thames.  These three guys astutely decided that Girardi would want to keep some speed in the #9 hole, so they correctly guessed that he would move Granderson to that spot in front of Jeter.  Where Girardi messed them up was in moving Swisher up to the #7 slot, with Thames slotting into the #8 position.

I decided to follow Twitter so that I would be aware of the very first posted lineup.  Chad's suggestion that I close the entry window 4 hours before game time was a good one.  The lineups came in about 35 minutes after I posted no more lineups would be accepted.  This gave me some breathing room so that I could quickly post the results.  So I will keep the GTLU entry time as posted for night games:  12:30 to 3:00.  This also works well for me, because my daughter gets home from school about 3:10, and I have time to attend to her before settling back in to announce the day's winner.

I also found that while accepting entries, I can't really follow along with the other conversations on the blog.  At least not for the first half hour or so of GTLU.

I enjoyed seeing the different lineups come in; I never really paid any attention to the entries last season.

So, thanks to Erica for "inventing" the game and establishing a great set of guidelines.  And thanks to everyone who participates.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Will the Save Be in Order this Week?

There was no blatant "loser" tonight.  The worst vocal performance was probably Aaron Kelly, who sounded like he was fighting laryngitis, but he also seemed to be having some difficulty with the melody.  He chose "The Long and Winding Road," and did nothing at all to make it his own, and sang it at such a slow tempo, it was boring.  That is one of my favorite songs, too, but he showed just how difficult it is to sing.  The Beatles are so underrated as singers.

Crystal Bowersox did an awesome version of "Come Together."  I loved it.  She made it playful and sexy and fun and more melodic than the original.  Just different enough and clearly her take on it.    Her vocals were my favorite of the night.

"Teflon" Tim Urban did one of my oldest favorite songs, "All My Lovin'" and he acquitted himself well.  He may be Bobby Sherman, but he's good at it.  I think he's back next week, and he may escape the bottom three this week.

So, Aaron is one of my bottom three.  The second of my bottom three would be Lee DeWyze.  The judges liked him but I thought he had trouble keeping the tune of "Hey Jude."   He certainly was having fun and even gave a stab at getting the audience involved in the song.  I wouldn't have done the bagpipe thing, but it played in with the fun, folksy twist that he put on the song.

The third in my bottom three is a toss up.  I really liked Andrew Garcia's "Can't Buy Me Love," but the judges didn't like it at all, really.   So for people who vote by what the judges say, he's at the bottom.  Casey James sang "Jealous Guy," and while he has a beautiful voice, the song, until the end, was a little monotonous to me.  However, the judges loved him. Another person who could find herself in the bottom three is Siobhan Magnus, who sang "Across the Universe," an interesting song choice.  She didn't do a bad job with it, it just didn't do anything for me.

I have to repeat that no one was awful.  Katie Stevens sang "Let It Be," and did a very good job with it.  I don't like her, but she did a good job and deserves to be back.  Mike Lynche  gave another solid performance, singing "Eleanor Rigby."   I thought he updated it just enough and I always like his work.

I will feel badly for whoever gets voted off.  No one really deserves to go.  So, perhaps the judges use their "save" this week.  The only contestant I believe they would not use their save on is Andrew Garcia.  It is fairly clear to me that they simply do not like his work.  He gets a lukewarm reception from them every week.  In spite of the fact that Aaron Kelly had a weak performance, I believe they like his overall work and want to see him try to switch it up a bit, so I think he would be safe if he is voted off.   The judges were impressed by  everyone else's performances, so I don't think it's out of the question that they will end up using the save this week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Diddy Performs; Didi Disappears

Teflon Tim managed to slip through for another week.  He does have a nice smile, though, doesn't he?  He seems to just be enjoying this experience and he seems to not really care if he wins, though I don't think he really wants to lose, either.  He just seems to want to keep coming back and getting the chance to sing on stage in front of people for as long as he can.  Well, how can you fault the guy for that?  Moreover, he is getting enough people to vote for him so he can keep doing this.

Didi Benami, on the other hand, was not as fortunate.  Teenage boys just don't behave like teenage girls, and so there was no teenybopper-type fan club to keep her alive.  And I was not surprised that the judges didn't use their save on her.  I remember when she sang "Rhiannon" the first time and that I was pleasantly surprised by it and I liked it.   She chose the right song to sing in order to try to get that save.  Personally, I am satisfied with the results this week.

You could see that Siobhan Magnus was visibly relieved not to be included in the bottom three.  I was surprised she wasn't.  Though I am not altogether surprised that Katie Stevens was the third member of that group.  As I have said, there's something about that girl that is not appealing to me.

Anyway, at this point, all of the singers will be touring.   All will be getting the opportunity to improve their talents and to live their dream to some extent.  One does not have to win American Idol to harvest success from the experience.

Usher and Diddy performed during last night's show.  Usher reminded me very much of Ben Vereen.  He has very Fosse-like dance moves, and Vereen was one of Fosse's favorites.   And Diddy was fun to watch, too.  A nice touch by him to give the Idol singers a pat on the back.  Whether or not it was sincere (and it sounded sincere to me), it as a nice gesture to recognize their efforts.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ho-Hum

I have given up hoping that Tim Urban will be voted off of American Idol any time soon, and it seems Simon has come to the same realization.  The one week he sang "Hallelujah" saved him from pre-finals elimination and now we are stuck with him.  We are, because in the week he absolutely crucified the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb", he survived.  He manages to be just good enough to keep his fans motivated.  I read an article where they compared his stylings last night to Barry Manilow.  I'll stick with the Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy mold, thank you.  Because Barry Manilow is not now and has never been "cute" in that teeny-bopper way.  Barry Williams also comes to mind.  And teenage girls are passionate in their support of the cute boy.  I couldn't believe Tim sang an Anita Baker song, "Sweet Love."  I really thought he'd massacre it.  But he sang every note without going off pitch.  I would say, though, that he neutralized the song.

Didi Benami made such a stink about the song she was going to sing being so personally compelling that I almost expected her to do something with it.  But her version of "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" was the same as everything else she's done.  I admit I really just can't stand her.  I don't like the way she performs a song.  She reminds me of someone who sings in front of the mirror too much, making faces, faking emotion.  I expect her to be in the bottom three tonight.

I also expect one of my favorites, Siobhan Magnus, to be in the bottom three.  She was all over the place pitch-wise, the opening of the song wasn't done well, and she seemed to be too focused on the parts of the song where she planned to wail.  The wailing is not going over well with Simon at all.  And I'd have to agree that lately it seems she is intent on hitting you over the head with this ability of hers.  Adam Lambert did it last season and most weeks got away with it.  But there was at least one week that he landed in the bottom three.  The difference is Adam never went off-key, never wasn't in complete control of what he was doing out there.  Last night, Siobhan was not in control from the first note on.  And she is not subtle.  And have I mentioned that I really don't like that quaint Boston colloquialism, "wicked?"  "It was wicked cool..."  Ouch.  Hurts the ears, ya know?  But I'm a Yankee fan, so what else could one expect???

I'm not sure if Katie Stevens is going to be in the bottom three or not.  It depends on whether or not Tim Urban is there.  Katie Stevens did an okay job with "Chain of Fools," but I didn't get a good "feel" from it.  Maybe it was the thing she did with her head, I don't know.  Vocally she was better than she's been.  Again, there's just something about her that leaves you wanting.  And really, I started out on this journey as a fan of Katie's.

If Siobhan is the bottom vote getter, I fully expect the judges to "save" her.  They took an awful lot of time last night making sure everyone understood that prior to last night she had been pretty flawless, that everyone has a bad night, and we shouldn't forget her previous work.  I don't think they want her to go.  She is usually a bright spot in a pretty dull field.  The judges will not want to lose that.

Everyone I didn't mention specifically I thought did good work last night.  The judges raved about Lee Deweyze, and I agree he was good and that for once he looked happy to be there.  Michael Lynche always looks very comfortable, and I like his voice.  Andrew Garcia did a nice job last night and I love the tone of his voice.   Aaron Kelly can sing anything pretty much and is particularly impressive because he's 16. He has a great deal of poise and has made good song choices.  Though I thought he should not have don't "Ain't No Sunshine," since last year's winner, Kris Allen, kicked butt with it.

One nitpicky thing.  It seems from what Didi said last night that the contestants are given a list of songs from which to choose.  Most of them choose songs they and we have heard millions of times before.  It's much easier to learn a song in a short period of time if you have at least some familiarity with it.  That's fine, that's not my gripe.  My gripe is that the judges then condemn some of these contestants on their choice of song as being "too old" or "over-played."  Well, hello?  Maybe I'm missing something here, but perhaps the song lists need to be updated?  It's not really valid to criticize someone for choosing a song that was included on a list of songs from which to choose.  Right?

So much that is annoying with this show.  Yet, it's a compelling program, family-friendly and fun to watch.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Turning the "Paige"

I did manage to watch American Idol whilst on a Disney World vacation.  There was really no question about who was going to be eliminated this week.  Paige was so awful, there was no way people could justify voting for her.

If this week that just past is an indication, this contest is going to be like going to the dentist and getting a tooth pulled each week.  There were a  lot of mediocre performances.  I truly don't expect that next week's R&B with Usher as the mentor will be any better.

Miley Cyrus surprised me.  I thought she did a decent job as the week's mentor.  She didn't try to do what she wasn't capable of doing.  However, her performance on elimination night wasn't great - I mean, if she was a contestant, I fear the judges would have shred her to bits.

I think this competition is going to come down to these five:  Siobhan, Mike, Crystal, Aaron and possibly Lee.

One last thing.  While at Disney's Hollywood Studios Park in WDW, we went to the American Idol Experience and watched the final show of the day, where 7 of the day's winners compete for a "fast pass" to the front of the audition line for "the" American Idol show.  5 of the 7 of that day's contestants were better than most of this year's American Idol hopefuls.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Counting Down

Still not packed.  About 3/4 of the way there, though.  Laundry's done, except for ironing.  One more mall trip scheduled for tomorrow a.m.  I am so happy we decided to leave on Sunday.  After having had to drive to Long Island to pick up Michelle today, I had no desire to do much else of substance, so I have a grace day tomorrow.  Otherwise I'd be the proverbial chicken without a head tonight.

Instead, I'll be the chicken without a head tomorrow night.

Followed by having to wake up at 4 a.m. for a 5 a.m. pickup for a 7:15 a.m. flight.  Oy.