Idol Thoughts — 02.23.10

It’s the first live show of the season. And just for the heck of it, I tried a little live blogging tonight.

It was a little more efficient than my usual mode. Thoughts shared as they’re spilling out. Less time writing after the show. But all the damn typing! It did feel like I wasn’t actually watching the show at times. Just listening. So I started to rewinding the DVR during the commercials and re-watching performances.

That worked pretty well. And on a night that started with Simon Cowell hyping the girls, referencing his recent comments that a girl will win this season, things hit a slick in the road and swerved into a ditch.

There was much to be ambivalent about tonight. And the judges were hard on the hopefuls. Here’s how things went down.

Paige Miles – “All Right Now” by Free – Surprising song choice. Simon is right. This is one of those Wedding Singer-type of songs that can be hard to distinguish yourself singing. Wanted to like it more than I did. She’s got pipes. Pick a better song next time.

Ashley Rodriguez — “Happy” by Leona Lewis. Ashley’s a great looking woman. The singing got a little pitchy at times. I’ve been a big fan…up to now. This was a step backwards.

Janell Wheeler – “What About Love” by Heart – Hmmm. This is not very good. The singing’s flat and the performance feels nervous–awkward and too “mannered.” I’d suggest going back to chalkboard and rethinking song choice for next week. More like the Estelle song she did at Hollywood Week.

Lilly Scott – “Fixing A Hole” by The Beatles – One of the most unexpected song choices on Idol ever. This is a classic, to be certain. But it’s far from the Beatles best known song. Jazzy take on it. She’s doing her own thing. And it’s good! Nice job.

Katelyn Epperly – “Oh Darling” by The Beatles – Hard not to love a girl sportin’ Madonna‘s hair from the Like A Virgin album cover. This girl can sing. At moments, her voice reminds me (just a little) of Kelly Clarkson. My fave so far.

Haeley Vaughn – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles – Looks like those CD reissues and their Rock Band edition has this group of singers all over the Beatles catalog tonight. I like Haeley’s re-arrangement. In theory. Some notes were quite nice. But some others not so much. She’s got much potential. She just needs to be more consistent and pull it all together. Ellen nut-shelled this performance: “If it was a mess, it was a hot mess.”

Lacey Brown – “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac – I wonder if sitting down on a stool for your song on the first live show is a good idea. I say get up and let people see you. But maybe she’ll stick out by being different. First note wasn’t good. Thought maybe she’d turn it around. But she kept going back to some odd notes. Not my fave tonight. My guess is Lacey could be in trouble.

Michelle Delamor – “Fallen” by Alicia Keys – Wow. Sounds great and looks very comfortable on stage. She’s operating on a higher level than the others we’ve seen so far. I agree with Kara DioGuardi. She needs to develop more uniqueness and believability. Take risks, as Randy Jackson told her.

Didi Benami – “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson – Wondering how this will go. Didi’s known for the waterworks. Hope she’s ready for the judges comments, either way they go. She’s got some skills. But Simon’s got a point. There’s several singers in the competition going for the same sound. Simon and Randy riffing about tonight’s show, basically saying, “Where’s the star power?” Agreed. Some of these performances have been pretty sleepy.

Siobhan Magnus – “Wicked Game” by Chris Issak – Great Song. When Chris Issak sings it. Siobhan’s version is not working for me. A little too “formal” sounding for my taste. My friend Phil Stacey (Idol, Season 6) is making a good point on Facebook. The band is mixed very, very low behind her voice. He says that means they “are NOT helping her.” I hope he doesn’t mean that they’re doing that intentionally. I hope she sticks around. I’d like to hear more from her. She feels genuine.

Crystal Bowersox – “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette – She gets a cheer for playing the harmonica. That might be an Idol first. Good stuff–but I was expecting to be blown away a little more. Like Randy and Ellen, I’m a fan. I suspect Crystal could make some music I’d want to listen to. Agree with Simon. She needs to expand beyond her “coffee house” sound.

Katie Stevens – “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé – Good voice. But not doing her best tonight. A little of that “high school talent show” vibe goin’ on in the performance. Getting roasted by the judges for picking such an “old” sounding song. Adam Lambert sang this one last season. Of course, his version was based on the remake by the band Muse. Katie will be fine. This happens every season. Young singer does a song that makes them sound “old.” Gets spanked by the judges. “Youngs it up” next time around.

What did you think?

Greg Valentine
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  1. Golden Man said

    You namedropped Phil Stacey.

    I dont know whether this is funny or sad. The fact he isnt your friend or the fact he isnt a name worth dropping. Oh well. Tis radio.

  2. wtgm3 said

    I beg to differ concerning dropping Phil Stacey’s name. For one thing, Greg, he is from season 6 and came in 6th place. And Golden Man, he has done blogs for Idol with USA Today’s Idol Chatter and a syndicated one last season, plus the guy has a vocal performance degree, plus he also has experience with working in recording studios and such while in college. And ever since he left Idol, he has been continually busy with concerts and other appearances. He was thought of enough by those who put together a James Taylor tribute to invite Phil to sing at Carnegie Hall and had done quite a few charity events, one being a figure skating fundraiser with Scotr Hamilton. He was liked at the Grand Ole Opry when he was doing country, and Reunion Records, which is the label Michael W. Smith belongs to, pursued him because they were impressed with him. So when he says something about the music, I listen. He has also predicted David Cook to be the winner of AI7 and also predicted a Kris-Adam finale. Before you go putting down someone with experience from having been on the show, something thatI am sure you don’t have, I would check him out. It is sickening to me how many want to put down others without knowing anything about them. His official site is and there is lots of info about all that he has done at his fan site, .

  3. Thank you wtgm3 for your comment. Good catch on my “senior moment.” Of course. Phil Stacey was part of American Idol’s Season 6 (now fixed in the text of the blog).

    That’s a great re-cap of Phil’s accomplishments to date. But I don’t believe Phil needs any defending here on my silly little blog–or anywhere else. For starters, my interpretation of Golden Man’s comment is that it’s a dis on me. Which is fine. But I don’t appreciate Phil being pulled into it.

    Golden Man’s comment would appear to be another case of cowardly foolishness made by someone who uses the anonymity of the Internet as camouflage for their snide remarks. I’m not above making the occasional, dismissive judgment. But I have the courage, and belief in my convictions, to attach my real name to every word I say.

    I’ve met Phil a couple times. As someone who’s worked in radio, I’ve been a supporter of his music career. And I consider Phil a great guy. So to Golden Man, if I use the word “friend” a little loosely, so be it!

    Finally, In addition to what you wrote, wtgm3, let’s add that Phil proudly joined the Navy after the events of 9/11. I’d like to think that sacrifice and service to our country would be above any snide Internet remarks. Thanks to Phil, and all veterans!

    Fun group shot of Phil Stacey (and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Rissi Palmer and Chris Young) plus us DJs from 99.9 Kiss Country:

  4. wtgm3 said

    Glad to know, Greg, that you have met Phil and found out what so many know: that he is indeed a great guy and yes, a patriot as well.:-). I myself still have to meet him in person, but I get like a mama bear when it comes to him or any of the other Idols I like, lol. He has also touched many with his recent single, “You’re Not Shaken.” He has had many a response from those who feel like the song helped them through the tough times we are having. It is true, that the snide remarks cannot touch him. He himself has said that you need to have thick skin. I guess I’m still learning to have one myself, lol.

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