Five Things to Expect During ‘American Idol’ Season 12

Continue reading Five Things to Expect During ‘American Idol’ Season 12

‘The X Factor’s’ Simon Cowell Talks Britney, Demi, and Going Head-To-Head With ‘The Voice’

Continue reading ‘The X Factor’s’ Simon Cowell Talks Britney, Demi, and Going Head-To-Head With ‘The Voice’

VIDEO: Glee Preview – “Pot O’ Gold”

Check out Damian McGinty, one of the winners of The Glee Project, make his Glee debut in a sneak peek from next week’s new episode, “Pot O’ Gold”!

Glee returns next Tuesday, Nomember 1 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

VIDEO: Glee Season 3 Promo

Gleeks rejoice! Season 3 of Glee returns in a couple weeks on Tuesday, September 20!

Check out the newest promo to emerge from the new season!

So, what do we know about season 3 from the promo? Will & Emma are possibly dating, Finn’s getting slushied by the hockey team, Quinn has pink hair, Brittany & Santana are back on the Cheerios, and it looks like a certain lead Warbler has said goodbye to his blazer.

Are you excited for the season premiere? I can’t wait!

Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Rumours”

Just when I thought the “Born This Way” episode of Glee had a great mix of music; last week’s episode, “Rumours,” which featured songs from the Fleetwood Mac album of the same name, provided some standout vocal performances from our favorite glee clubbers.

Guest star, Kristin Chenoweth (April Rhodes) returned to the show last week, and had a duet with Matthew Morrison (Will Schuster) on the song, “Dreams.” I have always loved Chenoweth and Morrison’s voices together. And Glee always gives them great songs to sing. Chenoweth has such a great tone to her voice and when it’s combined with Morrison’s smooth vocal, the result is just delightful to listen to.

Kevin McHale (Artie) took on the song, “Never Going Back Again.” McHale is  usually given the big showstopper songs, but last week he had a little more of a demure track, which I liked. McHale has a big voice, and it’s nice to hear him dial it back and have somewhat of a vulnerable vocal performance. This song really proved McHale to be a truly versatile singer.

But, I must say if anyone had a standout vocal performance with their song last week, it was Naya Rivera (Santana) who took on “Songbird.” Her vocal performance on this track is absolutely stunning. You get a real sense of emotion from this track, which she conveys with such passion. This is the first track Rivera has taken the lead on where I actually believed the lyrics she was singing.

Continue reading Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Rumours”

‘The X Factor’ To Award Winner $5 Million Recording Contract

Earlier this week it was announced that the winner of the first U.S. edition of The X Factor will win a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music/Syco. This will be the largest sum of money to be won on television.

Tryouts for The X Factor will kick off Sunday, March 27 in Los Angeles at the L.A. Sports Arena. There will also be tryouts held in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey, and Seattle.

Singers and groups must be at least 12-years-old to audition. There is not a cap on the upper age limit.

“I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group,” Simon Cowell said in a press release. “I’ve never believed that there should be a cut-off age for talent, and we are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract. I’m doing this show in America, because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar.”

The X Factor debuted in the U.K. in 2004, and has been the #1 show for the past seven years. The show has been #1 in 15 territories, and has a worldwide audience of over 100 million.

For more information on The X Factor and for more details about auditioning, check out the show’s official website.

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Idol Wired >> Five Changes I Hope to See During ‘American Idol’s’ Tenth Season

It was a long summer, fall and start of winter, but American Idol is back for their tenth season and I am ready! New judges, new contestants, and a new feature! Welcome to “Idol Wired”!

Alright, so my favorite reality show that drives me crazy on a weekly basis from this Wednesday through the end of May is back, and I came up with what changes that I would like to see this season as American Idol turns 10.

Keep the spotlight on the contestants

There have been shake-ups at the judges’ table since season eight, which have garnered much more attention than deserved. I think once the initial shock of the new faces at the judges’ table wears off this season, the show needs to adjust it’s attention back to it’s contestants.

I think one way to do this is to show more of the contestant’s personality in the pre-performance videos. Last season we learned that Lee DeWyze worked at a paint store. What we didn’t learn is that he’s fairly hilarious. Most fans learned this during the summer Idol tour meeting him before and after the shows.

I think over the past couple seasons, the audience really hasn’t been able to connect with the contestants, which is in part why last season wasn’t as successful as previous seasons.

Judges should be clear and concise with their post-performance critiques

I think the judge’s critiques on Idol should be like Twitter. You need to get out what you want to say about the contestant’s performance in 140 characters or less. I feel that the judges should be able to let the contestants know if they liked or disliked the performance with a reason backing their opinion in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, if the judges didn’t talk so much it could allow for slightly longer performances from the contestants.

No more lip-syncing during the group numbers

One of the things that bothered me during both seasons eight and nine of Idol was the very apparent lip-syncing during the group numbers. I know that a lot of the time they pre-tape the group performances before the live elimination, which means there really isn’t any excuse for not singing live. I don’t care if they have to auto-tune the crap out of the vocals, but singing live would be more legit than shooting a live music video.
Continue reading Idol Wired >> Five Changes I Hope to See During ‘American Idol’s’ Tenth Season

David Archuleta Performs “The Other Side of Down” on FOX’s New Year’s Eve Live

Being the nerd that I am, I DVR’d three different New Year’s Eve specials to make sure I didn’t miss any music performances, and a surprise favorite of mine was David Archuleta’s performance on FOX’s New Year’s Eve Live of “The Other Side of Down.”

It was the first time I had heard the song ever, and it’s pretty dang catchy! I really enjoyed watching Archie just own the stage. He has definitely come a long way since his Idol days. I definitely want to check out his live show the next time he rolls into town.

That said, check out his performance below!

Video Source: 1

Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×9, “Special Education”

Glee headed to Sectionals in the latest episode, and provided an interesting soundtrack for the listening audience.

I have to applaud whoever is in charge of giving Chris Colfer (Kurt) such great songs to sing so far this season. His version of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita proved to be one of his best vocals ever on the show. Colfer seems to be really blossoming this season, and I look forward for what’s to come.

In addition to Colfer’s fantastic rendition, there is also a full recording of Lea Michele (Rachel) singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Michele shows vocal restraint and shows a vulnerability while singing the song, that really makes you take notice. With Glee highlighting the latest pop hits every week, it’s refreshing to hear Michele singing songs that truly capture her talent.

Naya Rivera (Santana) finally takes the lead this week with her rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.” He voice is a perfect fit for this type of song. It’s a saucy vocal, and Rivera really captures the attitude and vibe of the song.

Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Chord Overstreet (Sam) duet on the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes song, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from the popular Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I was happy to hear these two getting their chance in the spotlight again this season, but I know that there has to be a song that compliments their vocals better this one. Agron couldn’t pull off the bigger notes that were noticeably being sung by Amber Riley (Mercedes) on the track. Maybe it was Overstreet’s vocal phrasing, but I didn’t feel like this song showcased him well at all.

It has to be said that the Glee cast has nothing on Florence and the Machine. Their attempt at “Dog Days Are Over” just didn’t capture the essence of the original recording. Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) sounded okay on lead vocals, but this song was not the song for them.

Darren Criss made his return this past week with Train’s huge hit, “Hey, Soul Sister” which was performed in the episode by Dalton Academy’s Warblers. The multiple-part harmonies combined with Criss’ voice breathe new life into one of the most over-played songs on the radio.

Overall, I think this was an alright batch of Glee music. I definitely expect more with all the talent in the cast.

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

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×8, “Furt”

The four songs from the unofficial tribute to Bruno Mars episode of Glee continue the trend of great song choices.

Guest star Carol Burnett and Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) sing “Ohio” from Welcome Home. Carol Burnett sounds pretty good on the track. Lynch sounds alright. She’s definitely not a singer, but I can appreciate that she steps up to bat for the show.

Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester) steps into the spotlight singing Michael Buble’s “Sway.” Morrison’s vocals are a great fit for this song – and really that whole genre of music. He’s got the swagger that really is needed for this vocal, and he pulls it off nicely.

I really like that Morrison is being highlighted musically more this season. He was a relatively untapped resource last season, so it’s nice to hear more from him.

Glee seems to be on quite the Bruno Mars kick this year covering not one, but two of his songs this episode, as well as covering “Billionaire” earlier this season.

The first of Mars’ songs that the cast takes on is “Marry You.” It’s a fun ensemble number which is reminiscent of the Journey To Regionals version of “Don’t Stop Believing” where all the couples within Glee Club were the highlighted singers. Cory Monteith (Finn) and Lea Michele (Rachel) kick off the song strong. Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Chord Overstreet (Sam) then take the lead with their part of the song. Their vocals together sound pretty decent.

I can only imagine that it is quite the task to find a song that the Glee cast will all sound good singing, but whoever did the music selection for “Furt” did a really good job. “Marry You” allows the cast to show that they can sing current songs and make them just as good of a listen as the original.

I had to raise an eyebrow at Monteith covering Mars’ current big hit, “Just The Way You Are.” Monteith’s solos this season have been pretty hit or miss, but “Just The Way You Are” is definitely a hit. I find that Monteith’s voice hits it’s sweet spot when he’s singing pop music, and I hope that Glee realizes that this is his singing genre.

The music from “Furt” is a pretty good listen. Young fans of the show will appreciate the current hits being covered. Glee should probably not cover any more Bruno Mars music for the remainder of the season. Three songs in eight episodes is quite enough.

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

Originally posted on BlogCritics.