Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×01 “Audition”

Glee returned last Tuesday with five new songs for fans to Gleek out to.

“Empire State of Mind” (Jay Z, Alicia Keys) was lead by Kevin McHale (Artie), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Mark Salling (Puck), each of whom rapped during the verses. It felt awkward listening to these three trying their best attempt at covering Jay Z.

Alicia Keys originally sang her heart out on the track, but Glee’s vocal powerhouses, Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Lea Michele (Rachel) definitely do the song justice during the chorus and give the boys a run for their money.

I definitely see how this song ties in with the storyline of the Glee kids going to Nationals in New York this season, but it doesn’t make “Empire State of Mind” any less of an unexpected song choice.

The music of Lady Gaga also made its return to Glee during the first episode. Michele and newcomer, Charice (Sunshine Corazon) take on her popular hit, “Telephone.” The song definitely introduces the audience to Charice’s tremendous vocals. It is also nice to hear Michele show off her vocal versatility by performing one of today’s hits.

“Billionaire” (Bruno Mars/Travie McCoy) is a highlight from the new batch of songs. The song is performed by another Glee newcomer, Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) and McHale. This song is a great choice for both singers. Overstreet’s voice fits this song like like a glove.

Charice also sings “Listen” (Beyonce) from the movie Dreamgirls for Summer’s audition into McKinley’s Glee Club. She definitely has the vocals to pull off this song, however for playing a character that is supposed to be a vocal threat to Michele’s character, it didn’t even compare to Michele’s solo in the episode.

It just wouldn’t be Glee without having Michele sing a song from Rachel Berry’s repertoire. Singing “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line, her voice sounded as amazing as ever. In the vocal showdown between Rachel and Sunshine during this first episode of season two, Rachel wins hands down.

I thought this first batch of songs from Glee’s second season highlighted the new characters well. Both of the new cast members showed tremendous potential with their vocals in making Glee just that much more exciting this season.

Glee airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.

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Same Site, New Home!

Hi everyone! (Not that I am entirely sure that I have readers, but if I do, HI!)

I recently decided to make a change at Wait…WHAT?, and that change would be moving from Blogger to WordPress.  I really like the layout options here, and I think the blog already looks a lot more organized and cleaner.

However, I did not take the archives with me. For nostalgia’s sake and lack of knowledge on how to make such a move without losing everything, I am leaving that blog in tact, but I will no longer be updating it. All of my reviews, commentary and interviews will be posted here.

I have had Wait…WHAT? since 2005, and I am so happy that I am still running it. Writing for BlogCritics has afforded me to stretch my wings a little and has provided opportunities that have kept me excited about writing about the things I love to write about.

Wait…WHAT? will still cover Idol, with emphasis on David Cook, Kris Allen & Lee DeWyze’s post-Idol careers, as well music, TV and live shows.  Toss in a couple YouTube videos here and there with some commentary and it will be like nothing changed!

I hope if you liked the original blog that you will continue to keep up and support Wait…WHAT? at it’s new home! (Also, feedback on the layout would be great, because I haven’t decided if I like this one or not.)

For the time being, I haven’t gotten my latest reviews posted, quite yet, but keep an eye for them over the weekend!

Shine On,

Kirsten

Interview >> Casey James from ‘American Idol’

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with newly signed Sony Nashville artist, Casey James as he finished up his time on the road with the American Idol Live tour.

Backstage at the Sacramento, CA tour stop, we talked about what kind of sound to expect on his upcoming album, if he was shocked about Ellen leaving, and what advice he has for future contestants.

You just got signed.

Yeah.

How does that feel?

It feels amazing. It feels like a dream, you know? I’ve worked really hard for a lot of years to get to this point. I’m just thankful and I feel really blessed. I feel like everything is kind of clicking right now. It’s hard to believe.

Very cool. You’re signed with Sony Nashville, so are you going to be leaning towards more of a country feel or stay along the lines of more of a rock feel?

I think it kind of came across on the show is that I’m a country, rock, and blues guy, and that’s what the album is going to be. It’ll have a lot of guitar in it. It’s hard to describe it, cause I’m not really right down the middle.

Do you have any ideas about who you’d like to collaborate with as far as writing goes?

That’s all being talked about right now. Sorry!

It’s all good. How’s the tour going? I was actually at the Mountain View show.

Ahhh, that’s one of my faves!

You kicked off that second half of the show, it was so much fun.

Thank you so much, that was like one of my favorites. The crowd there was just amazing. And what I really loved about that show, was that all the crowd was right there on the stage, everything was so intimate. It was a great show.

The tour’s going great. I know personally for me, it’s a honor to get to play for everybody who put us here, put me here specifically especially, and to get to meet the people. And to play these huge venues is unbelievable. If you had told me a year ago that I was going to be playing a place like this even for just four songs, I would have laughed at ‘cha. It’s awesome.

Continue reading Interview >> Casey James from ‘American Idol’

Interview >> Didi Benami from ‘American Idol’

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Didi Benami from the ninth season of American Idol back stage at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA.

She and I talked about the comparisons to Idol season seven’s Brooke White, her thoughts on why a positive voice is needed on the judges panel and what’s next for her after the American Idol Live tour.

How’s the tour been?

It’s been really amazing, this is a dream come true, and I don’t want it to end, but you know it could be a really good thing. We’re all going to go our own ways and do our own thing. It’s exciting, but it’s kind of sad.

What are you going to take from this and remember the most about the
tour?

Wow, what am I not going to take from this? I’ve gained so much experience just through the show and through touring and confidence and strength and courage. Everything.

How to stay sane on the road. I’ve learned how to do hair and make-up. I’ve learned so much, it’s hard to even sum it up into one thing, I feel like I’ve totally, well not totally, but I’ve transformed a lot as a human being, as we do everyday in life, but through this whirlwind, it’s been even faster. I’ve just developed so much more over the past seven months or however long it’s been since this all started.

You were compared a little to Brooke White while you were on the show.

A little?

Okay, a lot, but how did that make you feel? Did it help you feel more confident, because Brooke had a pretty good fan following while she was on the show.

It did, I met Brooke at the finale and I think that she’s a total sweetheart and I love her to pieces. She’s adorable and I would love to work with her in the future. It’s hard being an artist though, and being compared to somebody else in general. I get compared a lot to Taylor Swift, too. It’s like I’m my own person, and I love both of those people and I respect them very much as artists, don’t get me wrong, but I’m Didi Benami. I’m not Brooke White, I’m not Taylor Swift.

Continue reading Interview >> Didi Benami from ‘American Idol’

Interview >> Tim Urban from ‘American Idol’

I had the opportunity to sit down with several of this past season’s American Idol contestants during their recent tour stop in Sacramento, CA.

Tim Urban and I discuss the tour, life after Idol, and what he thinks about Ellen’s decision to leave the judges panel after one season.

How’s the tour been?

It’s been pretty great. I feel like we’re all kind of used to it at this point, cause we’re close to being done, we have only 10 more shows, so at this point we’re all kind of in the groove. It’s really a pretty incredible tour.

I was actually at the Mountain View show. It was a great show, I really
enjoyed it.

I appreciate that. That was a really good show. The crowd was nuts that night.

You were originally eliminated during Hollywood week, you were brought back to the show and now you’re on tour. How does that feel?

You know, it’s added on top of everything else as a reminder of how blessed I have been and how blessed I am to be sitting here talking with you. Thinking back on my American Idol journey, just the whole process, I’ve realized that it really is just one huge blessing. I had no idea what was happening the whole time, but it all worked out.

So, what are you going to remember the most from tour, since you did say that you have 10 shows left, what are you going to take from it?

I think for me, I’m going to remember meeting the different fans and just kind of that whole thing. You know, I’ll always remember what it feels like to walk out on that stage. It’s a very unique experience. It’s hard to explain, and I don’t think I’ll duplicate it. Walking out on that stage is something I’ll always remember.

After tour, what’s next?

What’s next? Well, I’m working on an album. I’m actually working on that right now. I’m working on getting all of the songs picked out for it, and I’ve got some guys back home who I’m working with back in Texas. So, I’m going to get that out, and actually I’m going back to LA and try to do some acting.

Continue reading Interview >> Tim Urban from ‘American Idol’

Interview >> Aaron Kelly from ‘American Idol’

After spending the past season writing about the American Idol contestants, I had a chance to sit down with several of them at their tour stop in Sacramento, CA.

Aaron Kelly and I discussed his stage presence, how he chose his tour set list and what’s next for him after the tour ends.

How’s the tour going?

The tour is going fantastic for me. I’m having a lot of fun right now and getting to tour different cities and going all over the U.S. right now, so I’m having having a great time with it.

I was actually at the Mountain View show.

Were you?

I was.

Did you have a good time?

Yes, I did. You were the first of the night to get the audience up without having to really say anything, how does that make you feel? They were immediately up on their feet when your set kicked off.

That makes me feel good. You know, when I went in to pick my songs, I wanted my set to be very energetic and something that the audience was going to have a good time with. I mean, the problem is you know, us going out there as entertainers, we don’t just want to entertain, we also want to have a good vocal performance. And for us, we want to make sure that it’s not boring and make sure that the audience is having a good time. Because they don’t want to come to a show and sit and watch, they want to be up and having a good time.

That’s pretty much why you go to a concert, to have fun, and so when I picked my songs, I picked things that are some of my favorite songs and some that I get going to. That way the audience can tell that I’m having a good time up there and that I’m really feeling what I’m singing.

I thought you kicked your stage presence up big time since you’ve been on the show, is it easier to perform now, since you’re not being judged like five seconds later?

Absolutely. And like I said, I picked songs that I am comfortable with, and these are songs I know, and for me, I think it’s important to know what you’re singing about. The judges were saying that every week. And because we had like three days to pick a song, cut it down and learn it. I wasn’t getting to know the songs that well. I mean, of course you know the words, but there’s so much more to learning the song, than just knowing the words.

Continue reading Interview >> Aaron Kelly from ‘American Idol’

Interview >> Crystal Bowersox from ‘American Idol’

After writing about the contestants of American Idol season nine this year, I had an opportunity to sit down with several of the contestants during their tour stop in Sacramento, CA.

Runner-up Crystal Bowersox and I talk water balloon fights, Ellen’s decision to leave Idol and how she stays in contact with her son while on tour.

How’s tour going?

It’s good!

Good! Do you have any fun bus stories that you can share?

Ummm, not really. Today, however, is a special occasion, I ‘spose. I caught wind on Twitter that some fans were going to be waiting outside with water balloons.

Oh, I’ve seen them! They’re out there. They’ve got a ton.

Well, so how much is a ton?

There’s a small cooler and it’s filled.

Okay, we’ve got a big cooler and we’re filling it up right now.

I’m going outside to watch.

It’ll be fun.

You’re signed?

Yes.

Have you been working on your album, yet?

Nope, I’m on tour.

Okay, so you’re not doing what Lee’s doing going back and forth?

Well, I mean, you know writing stuff and just kind of figuring all that out, but I don’t want to rush it. I want to be bright. I want to do one thing at a time. Right now my attention is devoted to putting on a good show every night for the tour, and after that I’ll focus on the album.

Do you have anyone in mind that you might want to work with or write with for your album?

I’ve said a couple names already, I don’t want to make too many promises, because I don’t know what’s going to be set in stone yet.

I know that you’ve been doing work with diabetes awareness, I was wondering if you could explain who you’re working with and what your purpose is with that?

Okay, personally I’ve been type 1 diabetic since I was about six, and I’ve been working with the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), I went to Washington D.C. while we were there to talk to the advisors of the President about something called, “The Special Diabetes Program.” That’s the government funding for the JDRF. It constitutes one-third of their funding, so it’s definitely important that that’s always renewed. If it’s not, that’s a huge chunk of JDRF funding, and we’re looking for a cure.

Continue reading Interview >> Crystal Bowersox from ‘American Idol’