3/31 Dancing With the Stars Results, Holly Madison and Steve Wozniak Out- About Time!

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hollymadison_dmitryIt it difficult to get excited about DWS when Idol is on, and that remains our primary focus.

At least this week, the audience got it right, getting rid of the two worst in the competition. Steve Wozniak & Holly Madison were sent packing, leaving only the real contenders.

Nothing has really changed. The front runners: Melissa, Gilles and Shawn are exactly who we expect to win and are still the top performers each week. When we get to the final 3, this will be a very interesting competition. Right now, it is rather predictable.

The dances from last night…

It’s too bad Dmitry Chaplin is cut off this early in his Dancing with the Stars debut. We enjoyed him in SYTYCD and he has yet to show what he can do in DWS. We hope to see him next season!
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Sidebit info: Karina Smirnoff is engaged to co-Dancing With the Stars dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Current celeb partner, computer whiz Steve Wozniak is “giving her away” on her wedding day slated at the end of this year.

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3/31 American Idol Top 9, Playing That Funky Music

[Listen to the audio performances at the end of this post]

1. Anoop Desai – “Caught Up” – Usher — Anoop is no Usher. He can sing, and belted out the song well, but he does not have enough soul to pull off the performance of a song like this. He did not connect with us and we were glad when it was over. (5/10)

2. Megan Joy Corkrey- “Turn Your Lights Down Low” – Lauryn Hill & Bob Marley — Megan is neither Lauryn Hill nor Bob Marley, but we really thought she could pull this one out. She didn’t. Megan was off key and has lost her quirky character act that we like. There was nothing to remember, nothing to grab hold of and mostly nothing to vote for. (3/10)

3. Danny Gokey – “What Hurts The Most” – Rascal Flatts — Danny made this song into what could easily be a radio smash hit. Awesome emotion, powerful vocals and better than Rascall Flatt’s version. Super performance. (9/10)

4. Allison Iraheta – “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt — Allison left us with plenty of “doubt” on this performance. She started well, but as she got to the end she was singing too low and it didn’t suit the song. It was pitchy and didn’t showcase her great rocker style. We were very disappointed after last week. The judges criticized her outfit, and missed the fact that she sang the song poorly. (6/10)

5. Scott MacIntyre – “Just The Way You Are” – Billy Joel — Standard Scott. Off key, pitchy throughout, relatively boring. Scott tried to be too close to Billy Joel, and he isn’t that good. The judges gave him the usual patronizing sympathy praise, but honestly, this was poor, but it was an improvement over last week. (5/10)

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6. Matt Giraud – “You Found Me” – The Fray — Matt is hit or miss in this competition. He has some weeks where we are wowed and others where we think he is mediocre at best. Last week he was in the bottom three after a stellar performance. This week, he gave a weak performance of a great song. It had none of the punch of the original and was just painful to watch. (5/10)

7. Lil Rounds – “I Surrender” – Celine Dion — Lil should surrender the outfit she chose for tonight. The dress didn’t fit and made every part of her anatomy stick out in strange ways. The vocal was pitchy and boring. She was shouting much of the song and we found her extremely forgettable. (6/10)

8. Adam Lambert – “Play That Funky Music (White Boy)” – Wild Cherry – Adam belted this out, made it his style and screamed powerfully throughout. Great performance, one of many on his way to the finals. (8/10)

9. Kris Allen – “Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone)” — Bill Withers — Kris surprised us by playing a piano tonight. He also surprised us with his best vocal of the season, and he was excellent last week. He is getting more creative and taking more risks as he moves forward and that is what makes him a stand out now when he wasn’t before. (9/10)

So, we have Megan going home again. Our bottom three are Anoop, Megan and Matt. Any one could go and we wouldn’t miss any of them. We didn’t like Lil or Scott either. It almost seemed like they were all trying to be bad this week.

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Watch Another Lyp-sync Group Performance from the American Idol Finalists, Top 10 in Motown Week!

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“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes/”You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell/”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

American Idol Top 10 “Pocketful of Sunshine” By Natasha Bedingfield (Plus Making of) Ford Video

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The Making of “Pocketful of Sunshine” Directed by P.R. Brown

3/26 American Idol Top 10 Results Night, Shrek Goes Home

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No top performer from last night was eliminated. All our top ranked folks were save. But we have trouble reconciling the bottom three. The cut was not based on last night’s performances, but possibly overall perception of the performer and possibly perceived need to rescue a favorite.

The worst performers last night without question were: (Listen to the Full Studio recording at the end of this post)

1. Megan Joy Corkrey – For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder– For once in Megan’s life, she brought us no joy. Awful performance. She didn’t exploit her style well at all, and that is how she works around her weak vocals. When it came down to performing this song, she didn’t style it well like she has in past weeks and tried to just perform it straight up…and failed…miserably. If she hit on one more flat note, we likely would have had to retune our television. (3/10)

2. Lil Rounds – Heat Wave – Diana Ross – Lil had a major opportunity this week to demonstrate that she was a possible winner in this competition or a fading memory. Motown should be her style. She should have shown us there are no others that can do this like her. She fell flat on her rounds. The entire song was shouted. It was entirely off key, and even the choruses were missed. If Megan wasn’t worse, we would send Lil home. (3/10)

3. Scott MacInTyre – You Can’t Hurry Love – Supremes (Diana Ross) – Scott is tone deaf. He has to honestly not be able to hear himself sing. He is so horribly off key, and this is a song requiring the singer be on top of every note. It hurt to listen to him. He was sharp and flat throughout. The piano was the only thing in tune. The judges were kind. The only points he get is for a creative piano. (5/10)

sarver_motownIf the voting were actually based on last night’s performances, one of these three would have gotten the boot, but only one even made the bottom three, Scott. Despite a stellar performance, Matt was placed in danger and Michael, who finally didn’t deserve a berth in the bottom 3, got one.

Megan got a pass. And Lil too. Both deserved to be at least threatened with elimination. But that is not always how the votes go. Sympathy votes, rescue votes, and many factors come into play.

So, at least, as we watched the trio of Matt, Michael and Scott stand on the stage, we thought, at least the worst male performer of the night would finally get canned. But they saved Scott again. Week after week he delivers mediocre flat noted performances and yet someone is voting for him.

So now it was down to Matt and Michael. Now we have been hard on Michael and don’t believe he deserved to be in the final 13 in the first place. But last night, he did well when others flopped, and yet now he was pitted against Matt in the bottom two. That left only one possibility, Shrek had to go.

The judges patronized the audience by pretending to want to save Mike. Then Simon said buh-bye. The save vote session is so obviously contrived and pre-planned, just like the lip sync of the songs in the group performances this year.

If pitch matters, Lil, Megan and Scott better get some kind of musical hearing aid. We think Lil can get back on track, but we think Scott and Megan are at the bottom of the pack and will visit the bottom three again very soon.

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Full Studio Recording

3/25 American Idol Top 10 Performance Night Review, Motown Fun

Sometimes, there are people you meet that are so full of themselves, they forget how they affect others. They focus on themselves rather than how they impact other people, and are so sure they are right, no one can convince them how wrong they really are.

The American Idol judges are responsible for the elimination of Alexis Grace with “over the top” and amateurish criticisms of her performances over the last two weeks while ignoring poorly performed flat acts that repeated themselves tonight. There is no excuse for the judges irresponsible, lazy and incompetent behavior. If there was a way to eliminate them, tonight would have been it. Alexis should be brought back, and Simon, Paula and Randy left to America’s votes to to see if they deserve to be sent home.

The weak statement consistently made by the judges is that the performer chose the wrong song. Rubbish. If the performer does the song right, it can be great no matter what song it is. A case in point can be seen with Megan below, and Adam later. It has nothing to do with the choice of song. It has to do with the performance of that song. Unless it is totally obscure, the artist can bring it. If the artist can’t bring every song, they shouldn’t be America’s choice. It really is that simple.

Now to the performances. [Listen to the audio performances at the bottom of this page and Full studio recording]

1. Matt Giraud – “Let’s Get It On” -Marvin Gaye — Matt did a nice job. He was not exceptional. He does not hit the notes like Marvin Gaye and he ditched his piano which differentiates him. He isn’t going home, and the judges have found a soft spot for him. He did well for a first position performer. We liked the performance, but we ain’t buying the CD. (7/10)

2. Kris Allen – “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” – Marvin Gaye (James Taylor) — Now, we think Kris nailed this tune. He played off both artists, bringing the acoustic style of James Taylor with his guitar and a bit of soulful Motown as well. It was a great job, a smooth vocal, on key and timely. If we had to vote the top performer of the night right here, Kris outscored Matt. The judges were positive but vague. There was no reason to be vague. Kris nailed it. (8/10)

3. Scott MacIntyre – “You Can’t Hurry Love” – Supremes (Diana Ross) (Phil Collins) — Scott is tone deaf. He has to honestly not be able to hear himself sing. He is so horribly off key, and this is a song requiring the singer be on top of every note. It hurt to listen to him. He was sharp and flat throughout. The piano was the only thing in tune. The judges were kind. The only points he get is for a creative piano. (5/10)

4. Megan Joy Corkrey- “For Once In My Life” – Stevie Wonder — For once in Megan’s life, she brought us no joy. Awful performance. She didn’t exploit her style well at all, and that is how she works around her weak vocals. When it came down to performing this song, she didn’t style it well like she has in past weeks and tried to just perform it straight up…and failed…miserably. If she hit on one more flat note, we likely would have had to retune our television. (3/10)

5. Anoop Desai – “Ooh Baby baby” — Smokey Robinson — Anoop can hit the notes. He hit them repeatedly in this tune. He has a deep lung vocal that is strong and on key. He is everything we would like to hear, and yet we don’t want to hear it. It was wrong. It was sad to watch. It wasn’t Motown. But he was still way better than Scott and Megan. (6/10)

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6. Michael Server – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” – The Temptations – Michael was on key and dressed like a slob in a sport jacket. His movements had no soul, which is what Motown is all about, and he tried to make this a down home fun country song, but that isn’t what Motown is about. He got the fun part right, but he brought no soul to the table. He missed the point of the style of music he was performing, but he was OK. (6/10)

7. Lil Rounds – “Heat Wave” – Diana Ross – Lil had a major opportunity this week to demonstrate that she was a possible winner in this competition or a fading memory. Motown should be her style. She should have shown us there are no others that can do this like her. She fell flat on her rounds. The entire song was shouted. It was entirely off key, and even the choruses were missed. If Megan wasn’t worse, we would send Lil home. (3/10)

8. Adam Lambert – “The Tracks Of My Tears” – Smokey Robinson – Adam performed this throughout as a falsetto heart throb song. He dressed like a young Elvis and looked like a man for a change, which was kind of a shock for us, and we expect it was a shock for many that have seen him in prior weeks. He almost looked macho. Looks aside, the judges loved this, but in reality, Adam was off key. He was pitchy throughout on his falsetto and it wasn’t there for us. That said, not one other person in the competition could sing an entire song like this in falsetto. Adam’s range is phenomenal. He just needed a pitch pipe tonight. (7/10)

9. Danny Gokey – “Get Ready” – The Temptations – Now here is an example of where the judges can hurt a performer. Danny could have done an average job on this song and survived. But once again he brought it. Danny was on key, had timely vocals, and was incredibly fun in his performance. He didn’t miss a beat, he got us tapping our feet, and anyone that heard this on the radio would stop tuning the dial and listen while singing along. That is what Motown was all about, fun AND soul. Danny was the first to get it. The judges completely missed the point and Simon and Randy criticized an excellent performance without giving a thought to how poorly they are doing their jobs. Danny isn’t going home, and maybe the judges are trying to bring the best out in him by criticizing the best performance of the night thus far, but that backfired on Alexis and sent her home. When you pay people millions to do their job, you expect results. The judges get a 1/10 on this performance. Danny? (8/10)

10. Allison Iraheta – “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” – The Temptations – If you listen to Motown, and you are into it as a fan, this is a classic that you already love. It has its own style and roll and draws you in like a truly excellent pop tune should. So, how can you perform this song when the original was so great and succeed? We are not sure, but Allison taught us. Even the self-indulgent rubbish judges had to agree. Allison took this tune and hit every note and took us down a path with the song that made us believe she was what Lil Rounds should have been. Allison won this night hands down. She keeps it up, she could just win this competition. (9/10)

Based on our scoring: Megan Joy Corkrey is the weakest link. She should go home.

Now for our rating of the judges…

Simon Cowell – Self Indulgent Rubbish That Thinks So Much Of Himself That He Forgets He Is Judging Talent Of Which He Has None. (1/10)
Paula Abdul– Acts like she is on drugs or drunk half the time and can’t dress. Patronizing 90% of the time. (2/10)
Randy Jackson – Incredibly inconsistent. One week, right on, and other weeks, missing horribly. Could be caused by ear wax. Needs to expand his vocabulary some more other than, “yo dawg, that was dope, listen man, dude that was amazing, check it out, I liked it, it was just awright for me, you know what I’m saying??”  (3/10)
Kara DioGuardi – Better than the other three, because she is fresh. She misses sometimes, but she knows how to judge talent. Time for a judging lesson (8/10)

Next…

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Full Studio Recording


Audio performances

3/24 Dancing With The Stars Results, Apple-y, Rinse, Repeat

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It is looking like we are going to have a bit of a repeat of last year
. They are repeating the Cloris Leachman theme keeping in Steve Wozniak of Apple fame for comic relief. He is funny to watch dance, but he has absolutely no dance talent.

The week went pretty much as predicted. The bottom two left for the dance-off was between our two bottoms next to Steve. The comic relief vote may last a couple of weeks or so before Steve gets the boot, and in the meantime, there is plenty of non-talent to send home.

The two for the dance-off with our comments from last night were:

1. Holly & Dmitry – Top Heavy Holly had a bit of problem getting her weight distribution right last week. She improved this week, but she is still a rather awkward dancer compared to the best in this group, especially when she has to break out of Dmitry’s grip. When he cannot guide her, she looks like a lost forest creature. And when she shakes, well, the upper body is completely out of control. Our advice, get a bra and practice more! (5/10)

2. Denise & Maks – the couple started off the slow slow…and dull…and we thought, no, please. Denise had no uinque and confident moves. She as playing follow the leader and the leader won. Denise is not our cup of tea. (4/10).

And nothing surprising happened. Denise still is not our cup of tea and was eliminated. Holly and Steve-O need to step up their game big time or they are next. Wozniak appears immune for the time being like Chloris was last season no matter how badly she danced.

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3/23 Dancing With Stars Review, No Dance off Required.

Last week had to be one of the most dull dancing shows we had seen. Nothing grabbed us until we were falling all over ourselves to find a horizontal position on the sofa to doze off.

This week was much different. The very same dancers that put us into a complete slumber last week week, sparked our consistent attention this.

1. Denise & Maks – the couple started off the show slow…and dull…and we thought, no, please. Denise had no unique and confident moves. She as playing follow the leader and the leader won. Denise is not our cup of tea. (4/10).

julianne_chuckwick2. Chuck & Julianne – Chuck showed that perseverance and hard work and preparation can bring the dead back to life. He danced with Jullianne like he was leading the pro that trained him. Chuck did an excellent job. (8/10)

3. Holly & Dmitry – Top Heavy Holly had a bit of problem getting her weight distribution right last week. She improved this week, but she is still a rather awkward dancer compared to the best in this group, especially when she has to break out of Dmitry’s grip. When he cannot guide her, she looks like a lost forest creature. And when she shakes, well, the upper body is completely out of control. Our advice, get a bra and practice more! (5/10)

4. Stave-O & Lacey – What hurt about this dance was Steve-O had it going through the first 10 seconds and lost his way. It could have been fatigue or stage fright, but a dance that was flowing and regal in the first few seconds soon lost its way and indeed because the Jack-Ass dance. (5/10)

5. Lawrence & Edyta – Lawrence was so much less rigid and so in step this week we think e should get extra credit. We cannot be sure, but we think he practiced overtime for this week and it showed. He isn’t the best, but he was quite respectable. (7/10)

6. Shawn & Mark – Shawn still looks like a little girl when they do her cameo on the computer, but she looks like anything but on the dance floor. The dresses she wears are showing she is filling out and is no longer the slim gymnast we saw in Beijing. Her dance talent must spring from her gymnastic champion background, because she looks like an absolute pro and is an obvious finalist. (9/10)

7. Gilles & Cheryl – This is one couple that looks like either dancer could be the professional. Gille is confident up on stage, which leads to some He also has incredible chemistry with Cheryl. They are a perfect match on the floor complementing each other’s moves to perfection. They look like they are having fun where so many others look like they are working. That effortless appeal can only come from talent, practice and pleasure in what they are doing. They were great this week and are obvious finalists. (9/10)

kym_davidalangrier8. David and Kym – We believe Kym is the best instructor in the competition. It appears that no matter what dancer she is given, that dancer excels. We would have liked to see her get Steve Wozniak because it would be interesting to see if she could pull him from the abyss. But getting David to perform the way he did tonight is no small feat. Kudos to David too for his obvious hard work. He had to do some solo moves in this and, while not professional in appearance, they weren’t all that horrible, and that takes work. The rest of the dance was well choreographed and pleasant to watch. David was right on step with Kym all the way. An extra point for being so greatly improved this week. (8/10)

9. Steve & Karina – No Hope. Steve looks like a school girl when he dances, a school girl with about 200 pounds of blubber on him. He tries, but he has no clue what he is doing and no amount of practice can save him. Fortunately, he doesn’t need this gig because he is going home. (2/10)

10. Melissa & Tony – Melissa is in a crowd of stars, and isn’t really a star herself…yet. She has a stunning smile, a grace about her that shows in every dance step, and is always dressed to kill. It is obvious from her grace in tonights dance that she is in this to win. Her kicks are so high, we think kung fu movies a strong possibility. If she does win this competition, it could lead to instant stardom. (9/10)

11. Lil Kim & Derek – Kim is short and buxom, making it difficult for her to be as graceful as some of the taller dancers. She is sexy and aggressive on the floor and brings a ton of energy to her dances. She has no problem keeping step with Derek, but does occasionally look to him for support, like a bookmark in the dance to remember where she left off. Great hip action in the dance gave her top marks, but one stumble leading to a missed move near the end means we cannot put her in the top group. The judges missed it though and scored her better than we. (7/10)

chelsie_tymurray12. Ty and Chelsie – Chelsie is turning out to be a great trainer. When Ty started, he was awkward and stiff. He looked the part of a rodeo cowboy (or maybe clown) kind of hopping about and trying to stay on the bull. But Chelsie has proven her star quality and brought Ty along for the ride. He is so improved that we were shocked this week. The only mistake in the dance was Chelsie’s. She uncharacteristically slipped on the wooden floor, but Ty alertly caught her before she hit the floor and continued smoothly into the next twirl. We loved this and Ty gets extra credit all around. (8/10)

To sum it up, with lowest score first:

1. Steve & Karina (2/10)
2. Denise & Maks (4/10)
3. Steve-O & Lacey (5/10)
3. Holly & Dmitry (5/10)
4. Lil’ Kim & Derek (7/10)
5. Lawrence & Edyta (7/10)

6. Ty & Chelsie (8/10)
7. David & Kym (8/10)
8. Chuck & Julianne (8/10)

9. Shawn & Mark (9/10)
10. Melissa & Tony (9/10)
11. Gilles & Cheryl (9/10)

There you have it. Steve W is way way out of his league. They shouldn’t even bother with a dance off. Just send the guy home.