Posts Tagged Randy Jackson

Top Five Rappers With Dog Names

Top Five Rappers With Dog Names, Sniff Seattle Dog Walkers, Greg Valentine

Rappers have gone "canine" naming themselves (Photo by istolethetv/Flickr)

Here’s one I wrote recently for

Rappers have tough task when they’re starting out. Find the best “rapper name!” Many have gone “canine.”

Before counting down the “Top Five Rappers With Dog Names,” let me tell you who didn’t make the list.

Tim Dog, Phunk Dawg, Milkbone and McGruff. I appreciate the effort. But this list is reserved for performers that the masses have, um, heard of. The only McGruff I know is the Crimedog.

MC Breed fell short, mainly because I wasn’t sure if “breed” was being used as a noun or a verb.

Finally, there’s Randy Jackson. And while he’s not a rapper, and his name is “Randy” not “Rover,” his frequent use of the word “dawg” on American Idol is worthy of an honorable mention.

#5 – Bow Wow
He started at age 13 as “Lil’ Bow Wow.” He probably dropped the “Lil'” when he remembered he’d resented being called “little” since he was eight like the rest of us!

#4 – Nate Dogg
Recently passed away, Nate Dogg was an early protégé of Snoop Dogg’s. Nate was a rapper who could actually sing, as evidenced by his assist on this Warren G track.

#3 – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
The word “bone” gets ’em on this list?! Yep. The options were getting a little thin. But now that they’re on, gotta rank ’em pretty high!

#2 – Pitbull
When any of today’s recording stars leave the studio, by the time they get to the car, Pitbull’s pretty much rapped on the remix on the track they just finished!

#1 – Snoop Dogg
“Snoop Doggy Dogg” is simply the king of all canine rappers. From his days as a pup, nobody’s brought more dog puns to music: Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Doggumentary.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 05.18.10

Hallelujah! Someone finally answered Idol fans’ prayers for an “Oh, Wow!” moment, something that had been sorely missing this season.

That all changed last night on American Idol when Lee DeWyze took Leonard Cohen‘s song “Hallelujah” to the promised land. Lee’s epic performance solidified him as the front-runner going into next week’s finale.

Last night was crucial. I think the week before the finale is just as important as the finale (maybe more), and here’s why. When people watch next week, they want to know who they’re rooting for. So most people’s minds will already be made up. So last night was the last chance to really change some minds or win over new fans. Lee picked the best time of all to be peaking!

The Top 3 finalists performed two songs each last night: one they picked themselves; the other picked by one of the judges. I say each finalist did better on the song picked for them, which is telling. Even at this late stage, this year’s finalists still have some things to learn about how best to position themselves as artists.

Lee took a moment after his season-stealing performance to thank Simon Cowell for choosing “Hallelujah.” It seemed Lee may have had some initial reluctance about the song. Ironically, the thanks should be mutual. Simon owns the rights to the song. One U.K. news outlet even calls the song “Cowellelujah.” The song’s already put boatloads of cash in Simon’s bank account. Finalists on Simon’s U.K. show, The X Factor, have performed and recorded it. And Lee’s version will undoubtedly add to Simon’s “cha-ching.”

So “Hallelujah” for both of them: win-win.

It’s interesting. “Hallelujah” is one of those songs that has a larger-than-life reputation, but surprisingly little airplay on the radio in America. I’m not sure if I’ve even heard Leonard Cohen’s 1984 original of the song. There’s been notable cover versions by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang. Yet, for the most part, radio silence. Maybe, this is the moment for that to change. If I was running a radio station, you’d be hearing Lee DeWyze’s version today.

So here we go, last night’s performances ranked:

1) Lee DeWyze – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen – Reviewing what I wrote above, it seems I’ve already said quite a lot about this. Let me add that Lee got a ton of help from the Idol crew. The arrangement, the choir, the strings and the horn-section, were all spot-on. With the buzz trending toward the negative about this season, I’m guessing it was just important for the show to have this moment as it was for Lee.

2) Crystal Bowersox – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – I was glad Ellen DeGeneres picked this for Crystal. I remember singling out this song after the Lennon-McCartney Songbook Night a few weeks ago as being a song that should’ve been performed. Crystal, performing without her guitar, used this opportunity to demonstrate her full range, hitting big notes, raspy notes, and soft and sweet notes. Bonus points for not changing the gender references in the song. For starters, the word “man” needs to hit a single beat for the best emphasis. If she’d sang “woman” instead, the extra syllable would’ve made a mess of things.

3) Casey James – “Daughters” by John MayerRandy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi chose this one. Give Kara some credit; if she were Simon, she would’ve picked a song she wrote herself and earned some extra royalties! Casey turned in a solid, nice’n’soft version that featured more piano than guitar. As a song choice for Top 3 Week, Randy and Kara were able to insure Casey focused on his sensitive side at this crucial moment. The downside was the song’s not designed for a big vocal moment. So instead, Casey had a big “quiet” moment.

4) Lee DeWyze – “Simple Man” by Lynyrd  Skynyrd – When I went to bed last night, I actually had this ranked above Casey’s version of “Daughters.” When I listened again this morning, I revised my rankings. But it’s a close one. Lee picked this one himself, and I think it was smart move. The idea that Lee himself is a “simple kinda man” doesn’t hurt his case with Idol voters, who I suspect approve of his no ego, nice guy persona, much in the way the audience responded to Kris Allen last season.

5) Crystal Bowersox – “Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge – So all through this song Crystal had one of those harmonica holder/harness things around her neck. She blew a few notes at the beginning. And a couple at the end. Seemed like a long way to go for the little use it got. Meanwhile, I’m guessing Idol cameramen were running around trying to find an angle to shoot Crystal’s whole face. Ultimately, Crystal might’ve had a more transcendent performance with this song if she’d gone even more acoustic with it (even used that harmonica more) instead of staying close to the original. Crystal sounded better on the quieter beginning of the song. By the chorus, Crystal was, as the judges pointed out, “fighting the arrangement.”

6) Casey James – “OK, It’s Alright With Me” by Eric Hutchinson – Song choice. Always so crucial. Especially on the week before the finals. I don’t see any benefit to picking this song. Strike that. No benefit to Casey. I’m sure Eric Hutchinson couldn’t be having a better day today! The judges said Casey was “playing it safe,” probably because this was similar to a lot of songs Casey’s done this season. I think “safe” is the wrong word. “Risky” is more like it. The week before the finals is not the best time to give the audience a song that manages to be both unfamiliar and more of the same. That said, no complaints on the vocal. I’m a fan.

Casey James goes home tonight. Lee DeWyze vs. Crystal Bowersox in next week’s Idol finale.

Those are my thoughts. Yours? Let me know!

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 03.17.10

It’s still early in  the game for American Idol‘s Top 12. Some viewers have picked their favorite; but many have not.

I have a theory that at this stage, the boys have an easier ride. The boys seem to build a following quicker. Maybe picking up support from female viewers? And not just viewers–but the “active” viewers, the ones most likely to vote.

So it seems to me on Top 12 results night, a female that’s not a front-runner has a “X” on her back. That’s why I predicted Lacey Brown would be sent home last night–even though I felt strongly that Tim Urban was awful this week.

Anyway, it’s just a theory. A guide I use when I watch the show. Unfortunately, it proved true for Lacey. And for Paige Miles, who ended up in the Bottom Two. And for that matter, proved true for Tim Urban, who landed in the Bottom Three–but was quickly sent to safety. Tim has a coalition of voters behind him. For now. He better get better. Or viewer patience won’t be on his side.

Last night’s results show was a winner, largely due to a hot lineup of music guests.

Idol producers dropped the “group sing” with the finalists, and brought on Season 7 winner David Cook, whose performance of the Rolling Stones‘ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” seemed almost like an “apology” for the non-rockingness of the previous night. Now, that’s how you do some Stones!

Later, Orianthi sang her song “According To You” and showed off her blistering guitar skills. We didn’t learn to much during the quickie interview with Ryan Seacrest. Instead of just acknowledging that she was set to go on tour with Michael Jackson, I wish Ryan would’ve asked what it was like rehearsing with Michael and get Orianthi to elaborate on some of the incredible footage we saw in the documentary, This Is It.

And, the hot mess that is Ke$ha performed her latest single, “Blah Blah Blah,” with the guys from 3OH!3. Solid track–but no “Tic Tok.” There’s not a lot of singing goin’ on with this chick. Just those electro-vocals. But I say you gotta love her “doesn’t give a f*** about anything” attitude. I’m on board. Even if it means having to always hit the shift key in the middle of her name.

Finally, the Judges’ Save is back this season. One time, and one time only, between now and the Top 5, the judges have the option of saving someone who’s been voted off. (“Hey thanks for voting, America. Now, we’re just gonna do what we want.”)

This early in the game, the odds were about nil the judges would use the save. Nevertheless, we got to see the judges huddle and talk to each other while Lacey “sang for the save.” What were they saying? As Randy Jackson leaned into Simon Cowell, I’m guessing he was saying, “Yo, Dawg, where we goin’ to dinner?” Kara DioGuardi whispered into Ellen DeGeneres‘ ear: “We have to look like we’re really talking about this even though we know we’re not. Now you say something back to me.”

You got any thoughts today? Let me hear ’em!

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 03.03.10

American Idol let us know that Crystal Bowersox is a tough cookie. They made that point right away tonight, putting to rest the worries that health problems might prematurely eliminate one of the top female contenders. So, how did the Top 10 girls do?

Crystal Bowersox – “As Long As I Can See The Light” by Creedence Clearwater Revival – This is way this competition would be less intriguing without her. They pumped fluids into her at that hospital. And she came back and pumped out soul on Idol!

Haeley Vaughn – “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus – To her credit, she doesn’t just mimic Miley’s vocal or phasing. Haeley puts her own touches on it. Unfortunately, her singing is often flat. This is the contestant I want to to like the most. But she’s inconsistent and the singing just doesn’t earn that support. Or hasn’t. Yet.

Lacey Brown – “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer – Lacey takes Kara DioGuardi‘s suggestion from last week and performs this Sixpence song. For a moment at the beginning she hits a note that makes me think it’ll be another annoying vocal like last week’s. Thankfully, Lacey gets the ship back on course. The song got better as it went along. Far from a home run. But she got on base this week.

Katie Stevens – “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae – This is still and “old” sounding song. The judges have been asking her to “young” it up. I’m not sure Katie understands what they’re asking. I’m sure Katie feels that Corrine is closer to her age. But it’s the sound of the song that they’re talking about. And Corrine’s stuff is retro-sounding. Good vocals. Song choice still an issue.

Didi Benami – “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers – The song choice is solid and populist. I’m guessing Didi’s concerned about being too cool for the room. Didi said she picked it to show her soul. I’m with Randy Jackson on this one. Didi showed more limitations than soul. Wrong song for her.

Michelle Delamor – “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed – She takes the judges’ suggestion to “take some chances” to heart. Unexpected and potentially brilliant song choice. On paper, at least. I’m not sure her re-arrangement is one I’d put on my iPod. But I appreciate the effort. She’s thinking outside of the box. And she’s got skills.

Lilly Scott – “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke – Lilly probably has the most unique voice in the competition. She’s also one of the few that really understands at this point who she is as an artist. Ellen DeGeneres nailed it: Lily’s was a great performance that we all watched as fans for a moment, forgetting it was a singing contest. Nice job. Again.

Katelyn Epperly – “The Scientist” by Coldplay – I like. Katelyn did a great job of connecting with the lyric and making it believable. Her first time playing an instrument on the show (piano). She definitely knows how to sell a song. Some of the criticism Katelyn got from the judges about energy level has more to do with Coldplay than Katelyn.

Paige Miles – “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson – Paige has vocal skills, no doubt. But this version of “Walk Away” could be any cover band in any bar in the country. I’d suggest putting a lot more thought into her song choices. She should look for material that will really set herself apart. Kara makes a great point about Paige missing some of the feeling behind the song. Kara should know–having co-written it!

Siobhan Magnus – “Think” by Aretha Frankiln – Wow. This girl’s got some soul! Big voice tonight. Huge note at the end. I can see why they gave her the last spot on the show–the showcase slot. Tonight, she brought down the house.

Thoughts? Leave a comment.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 03.02.10

I don’t remember this happening before on American Idol; In a last-minute switch, the guys are performing tonight instead of the girls. Crystal Bowersox is in the hospital and wouldn’t have been able to perform. Something to do with diabetes.

Hopefully, it’s not a serious thing for Crystal. She’s on track to do very well in this competition. But how will this play out tonight? Will the guys’ performances suffer in any way by going a day early? Let’s find out (all comments live blogged during the show):

Michael Lynche – “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown – We learn more about “Big Mike” in his video piece. The football playing, not surprising. The musical theater, maybe a little. Tackles the song right from the beginning–more determined than we’ve seen him. Nice vocals again. There’s a few phrases he stops short on–a couple notes he could’ve held longer. But some great soul going on here. Judges praising Mike’s performance. And it does feel like he’s stepped up his game–a lot! Good move.

John Park – “Gravity” by John Mayer – John Park’s backstory is still boring. Video piece not resonating. The singing isn’t doing it for me. Seems a little contrived and too “breathy.” How you do that with a deep voice, I’m not sure. But he manages. Ellen DeGeneres is right, though. Better song choice than last week. Simon Cowell says he’s in trouble, and that sounds about right.

Casey James – “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw – From the video piece, we find out that lighting hit their house and blew out the T.V. a while back and they didn’t replace it! Casey claims to have never watched American Idol…or much television at all. Playing some tasty licks on that electric guitar tonight. The vocal is not my fave from him. Despite saying he wanted to do something different, it feels about the same, but not as good as Gavin. But here’s the deal, with his guitar skills and a clear musical mission, this guy’s going to make music people buy. Just needs to settle into that musical mission, whatever it is. He’s close to it now.

Alex Lambert – “Everybody Knows” by John Legend – “I was trying to be so likable, that I wasn’t likable at all.” A good analysis from Alex’s video piece of his performance last week. Playing his acoustic guitar tonight. The prop is helping with the nerves. The vocal feels okay. Great, unique tone. But something about it’s not quite 100 percent for me. Seems like the potential’s there. More work with the vocal coaches will undoubtedly help.

Todrick Hall – “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner – Video piece gives us more info on his theater background–he started as a kid. Todrick’s version is another re-vamping of the original. He slows this one down. A better move than his Kelly Clarkson re-working last week. Here’s the thing, though. These arrangements are all over the place and this one’s showing Todrick’s vocal limitations. So he’s not helping himself. He’s not the strongest guy singing tonight. And that’s that.

Jermaine Sellers – “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye – His video piece reveals that Jermaine “rocks his Onesie.” The silliness of him jumping around in a frog-green Onesie will earn him some votes. The song choice and arrangement won’t silence the judges that this guy is coming off “too old” for this competition. I actually don’t think he’s very good. If Jermaine’s your fave, I say you’re giving him too much credit. Kara DioGuardi‘s got it: He’s doing too much. And all that “over-singing” is making it hard on the ears.

Andrew Garcia – “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison – We learn that Andrew’s a breakdancer. Guitarless tonight. This song’s not suiting his voice. Not working. Love this guy anyway. Great tone. Sounds very recordable. Randy Jackson‘s on top of it: Andrew’s not wasn’t doing his thing–he’s more of a guitar-playing, Jason Mraz-kinda guy. Judges are letting him know.

Aaron Kelly – “My Girl” by the Temptations – The song choice is kind of “talent show.” But his fans will probably dig this. He’s got some vocals in there. But still waiting for him to put it all together: the vocals and song choice. Seems comfortable performing, though. I agree with Simon. I think they could’ve made the arrangement on that more contemporary, and it would’ve had the potential to be much cooler.

Tim Urban – “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson – Video introduction shows how the judges have been piling on this guy. Tonight, he’s better than last week. That’s not saying too much. His voice seems a little lost inside the song. From the screams in the crowd, it’s clear the ladies love them some Tim Urban. I suspect the votes are there to move him forward. So he’ll get another chance to improve. Good on ya.

Lee Dewyze – “Lips Of An Angel” by Hinder – Lee went to “alternative school” during his high school days, according to his video introduction. I think he sounds great. Just a couple pitchy moments. Lee’s version is more tender than the original and his vocal more nuanced. Judges want him to be more comfortable while he performs. And that’s seems like good advice. Good stuff.

Thoughts? Leave a comment.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 02.24.10

So, I wasn’t gaga about the ladies last night on American Idol. And looking around today, a lot of people felt the same way. So with that backdrop, how did the dudes fare tonight?

Here’s the play-by-play from my live blog during the show:

Todrick Hall – “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson – Radically revamped. Slower and funky. Seasoned-performance coming from a seasoned performer (remember, Todrick has worked with Fantasia Barrino on Broadway in The Color Purple). I won’t be deleting Kelly’s version from my iPod for this one. In fact, re-watching it during the commercial break–and it’s a little harder on the ears the second time around. But clearly, Todrick shows enough potential and creativity to easily move forward. Not in trouble.

Aaron Kelly – “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts – When this kid first auditioned, I thought he might want to explore going down the country music road. His voice has some very nice qualities. But he’s lacking some power on this song. Except for the long, crowd-pleasing note toward the end of the song. Simon’s right…Aaron will benefit from some stage confidence. Aaron will do well. Got the ‘tween votes locked down.

Jermaine Sellers – “Get Here” by Oleta Adams – Great song. But the melody has gone M.I.A. I’m not a fan of this performance. And come to think of it, some of his others. Yup, Randy Jackson‘s right on the money. Jermaine tried to do too much. Sometimes less is more. Now, let’s put out an Amber Alert for the melody of that song!

Tim Urban – “Apologize” by OneRepublic – Umm, there was a reason they cut Tim in the first place. So much for second chances. Tim’s ability to hit those high notes must be hiding out with the melody of Jermaine Seller’s “Get Here.” Tim’s likely heading home again. If not this week, then soon. Sympathy votes could push him through. But if this is all he’s got, voters will lose patience.

Joe Muñoz – “You And I Both” by Jason Mraz – Has some nice moments. But it’s not all cake. So far, no one has been consistent enough to nail down a whole, complete song. Simon with the bulls-eyes. Where’s the star wattage? It’s one thing to sound OK, and do a nice job. But that’s not an Idol.

Tyler Grady – “American Woman” by The Guess Who – This guy studies–literally–all those 70s rocker icons. Well, he needs to throw away his “book learnin’,” and go with his own gut. What he’s doing here doesn’t feel authentic. It’s the difference between “I’m trying to impress you with my rock skills” and the much more genuine and direct approach of getting out there and just rockin’!

Lee Dewyze – “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol – I think he’s doing pretty well. Changes the song in a way that works alright. Yes, the song’s unrecognizable. But it suits his voice the way he’s decided to sing it. I’m not sure the advice from Kara DioGuardi (who looks like she raided Ace Frehley‘s closet tonight) is that great. I guarantee if Lee does a Bad Company song, he’ll get reamed by the judges for being “predictable” and sounding like a bar band-singer. Simon straight up disagrees with Kara. The voice of reason, as usual.

John Park – “God Bless The Child” by Billie Holiday – Not sure what to make of this one. Other than to say I wouldn’t hire this guy to sing at my wedding. And wedding singer and lounge singer is kinda the vibe he was sending out. Bad song choice for this competition. Fantasia Barrino could’ve pulled that off with this audience. John is no Fantasia. He’s got some voice in there, though. Will be interesting where this guy will go musically on the show if he sticks around. IF!

Michael Lynche – “This Love” by Maroon 5 – I just thought I heard a few little vocal similarities to Terence Trent D’Arby. A momentary thing. “Big Mike” definitely has a niche on this show. Kara makes a good point. On a different night, the judges (and the rest of us) would be more critical of this performance. Against the others tonight, his upbeat personality and a not bad performance are looking pretty good.

Alex Lambert – “Wonderful World” by James Morrison – This guy’s kinda off my radar. And he’s actually one of the better ones tonight. Bluesy and soulful. Simon hates how uncomfortable he looks performing–while acknowledging he has a voice. Kara says he sounds too much like James Morrison. To which I say, who’s James Morrison? And I know a lot of music. OK, I’ll need to look into it. Maybe I’m missing something good. Back to Alex, re-watching the performance, it’s clear he does need some seasoning in the performance department.

Casey James – “Heaven” by Bryan Adams – Good stuff. Opens the song with just acoustic guitar, spotlighting a tender vocal that continues through out with just the right amount of rasp. This guy’s a real contender on this show. I’ve said it all along. Called him a “ringer,” in the sense that Simon torpedoed his initial audition, calling him “boring.” Now that’s makes him the Comeback Kid. Good storyline for Idol. The judges comments for Casey turn into the comedic highlight of the night, with all the jokes about Casey’s model looks and Kara’s apparent crush on him. The first time this season the whole panel of judges, with Ellen DeGeneres, really gelled. For this stretch, it felt loose and comfortable like the old days with Paula Abdul. As for Casey, best performance of the night.

Andrew Garcia – “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy – I like what this guy does–the re-arranging of songs on his acoustic guitar. I agree with Simon. Tonight, I was a little disappointed. For starters, I think he may have started the song in too high a key. And had to stick it out. But basically, the quibbles here are because much is expected from Andrew.

So there it is. Another so-so night. Dudes…you did it! You matched the ladies’ mediocrity. Those are my thoughts. What did you think?

Greg Valentine
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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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