Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

This week the American Idols Live! tour rolled through San Jose, CA to the delight of the masses who showed up to see one particular Santa Cruz native by the name of James Durbin. Just the mere mention of his name at the top of the show by season 10 runner-up, Lauren Alaina, resulted in an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

And I must say that Durbin didn’t disappoint. He appeared in a couple group numbers during the first half of the show, but it was his entrance for his two-song set that had the audience at the HP Pavilion on its feet.

Entering from the back of the building wearing a San Jose Sharks jersey, singing Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine,” Durbin shook hands as he made his way up to the stage. Towards the end of the song he held his microphone out to the audience and, without any real prodding, they sang the chorus back to him. I have to hand it to Durbin. He’s charismatic, has great stage presence, and absolutely relished every moment of his solo performance, wherein he took the time to thank the fans for voting for him and for the overall support he received from the Bay Area.

But Durbin wasn’t the only Idol who amped up the crowd. Paul McDonald got the people on their feet in the first half of the show during his lively performance of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Naima Adedapo’s rousing rendition of Jennifer Lopez’s current hit, “On The Floor,” complete with an African dance break, was one of the most well-received performances of the night.

Continue reading Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

Idol Wired >> Another Girl Bites The Dust

And so it goes, Karen Rodriguez was eliminated from American Idol this week. Not shocking in the least. And she did herself absolutely no favors by singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero” as her swansong, and then pleading to the judges for “The Save.” Ooh…girl. That save is reserved for Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano, and possibly Casey Abrams.

In my eyes, Karen was booted for her hot mess of a performance from last week. I think sometimes when contestants have a bad performance, the audience’s opinion of them carries over into voting the following week. Not saying that it’s fact, just that it could be the case for Karen’s dismissal this week.

Let’s talk about the other two contestants that found themselves alongside Karen in the bottom three this week, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo.

I figured that Haley would find her way back to the bottom three just based on the judges comments from the night before. The judges definitely can sway the vote, and if they are consistently giving a contestant a hard time, I think that translates to the audience as, “Vote for Lauren Alaina.” Ha ha, I’m kidding. But, I do think that their comments combined with her lackluster performance is why Haley found herself back in the bottom three this week.

I was legitimately disappointed when Ryan Seacrest announced that Naima was headed to the bottom three. I think the judges gave her too much of a hard time in their critiques. Her performance was nowhere near as bad as they made it out to be. She is one of the more polarizing contestants this season, and it would be a shame to see her before she reaches her full potential on the show. I think Naima is keeping the show fresh and bringing something new to the table. If she’s eliminated in the next few weeks, I feel like it could be a devastating blow to the season.

I wanted to touch on this week’s group song, which was a mash-up of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” First off, good on Idol for a live group performance! Nigel Lythgoe tweeted last week that the group performance was live, which I’m still not sure I entirely buy, but it is what it is. I felt like this week’s mic issues were done purposely to show that the contestants were singing live. You got your point across, Nigel.
Continue reading Idol Wired >> Another Girl Bites The Dust

Idol Wired >> Top 12 Standings

I reviewed last week’s performances, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that the females of American Idol season 10 are having a bit of a hard time this season. Take a look at my current standings for this season’s Top 12 as of last week’s performances.

12. Karen Rodriguez

Karen’s star is fading awfully fast. Blaming her pitchy performance of Selena’s “I Could Fall In Love” on a “couple technical difficulties” during the results show last Thursday was eye-roll inducing. For Karen to survive this week, she’s going to have to step outside of her Selena/J-Lo repertoire, sing something that gets people talking, and sing it well.

11. Jacob Lusk

It’s time for Jacob to realize that his performance of “God Bless the Child” was his season 10 shining moment. He has now tried to re-create this moment twice, and it is not paying off in his favor. I think he is going to need to rein in his vocals and try something a little more subdued. Sometimes the quieter performance can be quite powerful (i.e. Kris Allen’s performance of “Falling Slowly” during season eight.)

10. Haley Reinhart

I like Haley, I really do. She’s been able to show the versatility in her voice this season in her past couple performances. That aside, she seems to lose her nerve midway through her performances, which causes all sorts of pitch problems. Haley needs to stay confident in her ability to continue to survive each week.

9. Thia Megia

I seem to be the only one that doesn’t get the weird, old fashioned tone to Thia’s voice. Personally, I don’t think she has a voice that will go over well on the radio. Singing-wise, Thia needs to adapt her style and show that she can be current. Personality-wise, I’m sure she has one, but I’m just not sure why she’s opting to operate in robot mode all the time.

8. Lauren Alaina

Oh, how quickly they fall from grace. Lauren’s problem last week was that her performance was boring. She can definitely sing, but she has to work on her stage presence. I suggest finding space in that mansion that the contestants are currently living in and practice on moving while singing. If she can match her stage presence with her singing, she will probably save herself from an early ouster.
Continue reading Idol Wired >> Top 12 Standings