Paula Abdul’s American Idol Exit: The Real Story

PAULA_ABDUL

While Paula Abdul’s departure from AMERICAN IDOL may have come as a shock, the relationship between her and the show had been deteriorating for months. Is Paula now angling to get back, or will she be moving on to greener pastures?

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.

msarvermotown

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

1/14 American Idol Auditions 2: Kansas City Here They Come!

It was Kansas City in tonight’s Idol. It was rather forgettable with a number of talents and twirps. There were a couple of performers that were outstanding. Casey Carlson was a gal that had an incredibly unique voice and obvious talent.

Another woman stood out- Lil Rounds sang as well as many past contestants that moved on to the finals.

Danny Gokey
Daniel J Gokey

A music teacher named Daniel “Danny” J Gokey was clearly a contender as well. If he can prove he has some diversity, he will be in the finals for sure. (View his audition below.) Update: We found an unofficial fan site for Danny Gokey this early on in the game! Is this crazy or what?!

Tonight’s talent looked pure. Last night, a rocker named Emily Wynne-Hughes was anything but new and pure. As it turns out, she is the lead singer in a band that has performed and toured and that has CDs available on Amazon.

We don’t think people like Emily belong on Idol. There has to be some line drawn between those that have raw undiscovered talent and those that are already professionals exploiting Idol to gain more exposure.

That said, in tonight’s episode nothing really stood out that would make us remember this particular set of auditions come the finals. So if you missed it, just watch out for Daniel J Gokey. We think he is a finalist.

Casey Carlson
Casey Carlson
Lil Rounds
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1/13/2009: American Idol Premiere! The Weather Isn’t All That Was Hot

We had taken a bit of a hiatus because there was nothing in reality television we have cared much for since Amazing Race finished its season. Amazing race, in our judgement, was great this year, but not as popular in the ratings. It just did not draw interest, which is a shame because it gets the adrenalin flowing.

Idol, though, is timeless. It could run forever. We will always search for that one singer that stands above the rest and drives towards a dream we all have as we crack on the high notes in the car on the way to work or in the shower.

We love Idol as it gets into the meat, but the initial shows are little more than entertainment. It reacquaints you with the judges. This year we did indeed get our fourth judge. It was obvious in this show that the intent was not to offset the other judges, but to create a kind of kinky girl girl thing behind the table. We will see how that plays out, but it was a nice change from the boring Simon/Paula nonsense.

Katrina Darrell
Katrina Darrell

The show brought on talent from Arizona. It was entertaining. One gal that not only had the pipes, but she had the thighs. Katrina Darrell came on with a bikini and wowed the judges with her body, then with her vocals. We are not sure what she will do to follow up on a bikini that barely covered her derrière. Kara DioGuardi noted that she had quite a nice one. (watch her audition below.)

There were a number of talents and fools. The usual rule was followed. If they look like a joke, they almost always are. There are occasional deviations from the rule, but in general, it follows. We are not sure if that is the intention of the show, however, in trying to find the beautiful people and discarding the not so beautiful even if they can wail. This is television.

This was just the start, and it gave us a feel for the judges, but it was nothing you have to watch just yet. The primary reason to watch the show at this juncture is to see those few people that may be standouts and the freaks that make us laugh or squirm with embarrassment.

It is also the phase in which we see that the judges are completely useless other than as color. Anyone could listen to ten seconds of the talented and put them through and can the rest. It takes no talent whatsoever. Honestly, it is perhaps the case that the judges do help later on in the season, but at this juncture they are pathetic. For one contestant they tell him he should be in a rock band and get more seasoned. Then they tell another contestant either you are born with it or you aren’t. When you think about the millions they make judging people with more talent than they ever had, it is kind of sad.

Still, they are part of the ‘greatest’ show ever on American television. So we still respect their tolerance of days of auditions for only a few million bucks each.

As a final note, as we sign off, we would like the show to add a new prop to eliminate the uncomfortable moments we consistently see at the end of auditions. As the failures are ejected, we see all kinds of pathetic begging and other awkward moments. We would love to see a trap door or stage hook incorporated. If after ten seconds or so, the performer sucks, you pull the handle, the trap door opens and they are gone. No begging, no whining, no swears or tears. Just off to the basement.

It is much too early to judge how this season is shaping up just yet. 27 performers were picked from Arizona alone and the most interesting shows will come when this has been whittled down to 10 in the entire competition. But if you like freaks and making early guesses as to who gets through to the finals, it is their time.

Emily Wynne Hughes
Emily Wynne Hughes

Our early pick for this week was Emily Wynne-Hughes of Los Angeles, CA, who brought some talented rock singing to the audition. She can rock and we think she could make it a ways, although we don’ see her becoming a finalist.

Another that caught us off guard was Arianna Afsar of San Diego CA, who we do see becoming a finalist. (Watch her audition video below) But Arianna makes us wonder. Where do all these people with teeth whiter than white come from? Are white teeth somehow correlated with American Idol and singing talent? Their choices seem a bit too perfect.

We are certain there are plenty of ugly folks with green teeth that can wail, and we are positive there are a ton of gorgeous people with pearly whites that sing worse than a donkey in heat. Somehow, Idol seems to conveniently eliminate those talents from the stage before we get to see them.


Arianna Afsar – Put Your Records On
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Lea Marie Golde
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Katrina aka "Bikini girl"

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American Idol Has New Judge Kara DioGuardi, Does Simon Cowell Benefit Most?

We are sorry. During our coverage of the Olympics, we dropped the ball on this one. American Idol has added a fourth judge. That is so they have an extra judge in case of a tie. Whoops, perhaps the show could use a second grade math exercise there.

Kara is a Grammy nominated songwriter of reasonable repute, but few will know who she is.  We are guessing that shouldn’t matter much though. Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were of limited notoriety before they started collecting their huge paychecks for criticizing talent that ultimately gets voted on by America.

Fox apparently is taking a big risk on this added attraction. From Paula Abdul’s input, there was no test to verify the chemistry of the group with a fourth judge, and there are considerable risks placing a new personality at the forefront of the show.

As we indicated above, the math of adding a fourth judge escapes us. It escaped Paula as well, “”That’s gonna be weird if it’s a split decision. I’m sure Simon will get to make the final call. It takes the fun out of all the hard work I do to push those kids through.” In other words, it gives the strongest say to the guy with the loudest mouth, Simon Scowl.

We will reserve our judgment on Kara at this juncture, but we question Idol’s messing with the recipe for the world’s most successful reality television show.

Season 8 of American Idol premieres January 2009 on FOX.



American Idol RoundUp

Created by Simon Fuller

Directed by John Pritchett (live shows), Bruce Gowers (live shows, 2002-2008), Nigel Lythgoe (audition shows), Ken Warwick (audition shows)

Presented by Ryan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman (season 1)

Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

Country of origin United States

Original channel FOX (repeats on Fox Reality)

Original run June 11, 2002 – Present

American Idol is America’s favorite reality show without question. And it is one of ours too, shallow as it may seem. The show is professionally presented and always draws the best performances, although many of our favorites are the botched horror shows during the early auditions.

The judges are all great at calling the show, with Simon’s honesty telling the real story most of the time. Although he has botched plenty, like last year’s final. The stages and camera work are all exceptional. And the show’s costume designers, professional accompaniment, and the presentation are exceptional, making what start off as reasonably talented amateurs into seemingly seasoned professionals by year’s end.

And who doesn’t dream of being Kelly Clarkson or David Cook or Jordin Sparks up on that stage and wowing millions, in some cases after having no exposure whatsoever? And doesn’t every contestant appear a winner, when a fourth place finisher like Chris Daughtry becomes a downright American icon pulling off hit after hit in his first year as a professional performer. Or Kellie Pickler, who got eliminated in the final ten, only to show up with a new set of breasts and a top country hit “In My Red High Heels“.

kara_dioguardiIn mid 2008, American Idol announced a new addition to the judges lineup for Season 8 that premiered in January 13, 2008. Kara DioGuardi is the fourth judge for American Idol. How she fares as a judge remains to be seen going into the actual competition.

American Idol is our number two favorite.

THE AMERICAN IDOLS:

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson, 20, from Burleson, TX

Season 2: Ruben Studdard, 25, from Birmingham, AL

Season 3: Fantasia, 19, from High Point, NC

Season 4: Carrie Underwood, 21, from Checotah, OK

Season 5: Taylor Hicks, 29, from Birmingham, AL

Season 6: Jordin Sparks, 17, from Glendale, AZ

Season 7: David Cook, 25, from Blue Springs, MO

Season 8: ????

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