Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American Idol - Elton John Week

This blog post will be short. Feeling a bit uninspired this week and not sure if its me or if the show just wasn't great tonight. Maybe a little bit of both. Henry watched the show with me tonight and he likes to talk and ask questions (and make me draw pictures).

Scotty sang "Country comfort"

It was good, not anything amazing about it but nothing bad either. It was nice to see him play his guitar tonight.
Grade: B

Naima sang "I'm Still Standing" with a reggae feel.

First of all, what was up with the fake Jamaican accent? Was that cheesy or what?! Jennifer and Randy agreed with me. Randy said her performance was corny. Steven, not sure. He just said "boom shaka laka laka baby"!
Grade: C

Paul sang "Rocket Man"

I think Paul just isn't right for this competition. I think in a regular world, with him singing his own music I would dig Paul. I didn't like him this week again.
Grade: C

Pia sang "Don't let the Sun Go Down On Me"

Amazing! She sang another ballad but I don't care, she sang it so great!

Grade: A

Stefano sang "Tiny Dancer"

He was much better this week.

Grade: B+

Lauren sang one of my favorite songs of all time, "Candle in the Wind"

I loved it. Favorite performance of hers all season!
Grade: A+

James sang "Saturday Night"

The piano was on fire and so was he. Awesome performance. I love how he has fun on stage.

Grade: A

Thia sang "Daniel"

Can't say much about it because I fell asleep halfway through it.

Grade: B because she sang it pretty but it was so boring.

Casey sang another favorite of mine "Your Song"

Ah, it was just perfect! I was so glad he got a haircut / beard trim. He was starting to look like an extra in a werewolf movie.

Grade: A

Jacob sang "Sorry seems to be the Hardest Word" (or something like that)

It was good, as always.

Grade: A

Haley sang "Benny and the Jets"

She did great. Sometimes the growling that she does can be a bit much. I think she came close to overdoing it tonight. Sidenote: In the lyrics to this song, I always thought they were singing "she's got electric boobs.." (anyone else? LOL)
Grade: A-

I was sooo terribly wrong last week about who got voted off. Luckily, the judges saved Casey!

This week my predictions are

Bottom 3: Thia, Stefano, and Naima

Going home: Thia and Stefano

Fun craft idea

I did this with the kids yesterday and they loved it. It was so easy and I am having all kinds of different ideas I can do. I'm sure that I'm not the first to think of this but I thought I'd share it anyway!

All you need is a sharpie (or other permanent marker), some craft foam sheets, scissors and imagination.

Henry loves sharks and anything that lives in the sea. He brought me a sheet of craft foam yesterday and said, "mommy, can you cut a hammerhead shark out of this" I was in an adventurous mood and thought, why not?! Of course when the hammerhead shark came out to his liking he kept asking for more fish. He even requested a princess for Zoe. (how sweet)

He played with these foam sharks for at least an hour. Today I was giving them a bath and an idea came to me. I ran and got the foam sharks and brought them to the tub. The foam stuck to the tub wall, instant tub toy. I was afraid that the marker might come off in the water but fortunately it didn't.

Here are some pics of them.

I am thinking that I could make puzzles, "paper" dolls, simple shapes for creating more complex designs. The possibilities are endless. Let me know if you try it out with your kids!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

American Idol- Week 3- Motown - Unleash the Beast!

So, not to gloat or anything but I was totally right again last week on who would go home. It's kinda scary :)

This week the top 11 sang hits from Motown, let's get started on what I thought of the performances.

Casey started the night with his version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine". Performed by such artists as The Temptations and the California Raisins. Casey put his own special spin on there. The beginning of the song had a little too much growling for me but the end was much better. There was NOTHING karaoke about his performance and it was definitely entertaining
Casey gets a B+

Thia was next up singing "Heatwave". She listened to me and the judges last week and decided to do something a little up-tempo for us. She looked beautiful, as always and she sang the song great. There was still nothing about the performance to make me want to vote for her though. She seems like a nice girl, I'm wondering if maybe she is just a little too young for the competition.

Jacob sang "You're All I Need" and the producer (Jimmy Lavine) suggested that Jacob pull back a little bit, which I thought was excellent advice. He was brilliant, like always. The judges even gave a standing ovation which doesn't happen too often. Heck, Steven Tyler and the whole first row went up on stage and gave him a hug which, has never happened.
Grade: A+

Lauren sang "Keep Me Hanging On" It was good, I kind of wish they had let her put a little bit of a country spin on it since that seems to be her niche. She performed and sang well. I was a little scared that she might trip over her long zebra print dress, thankfully she made it through!
Grade: B+

Stefano was next up and shared some of his mother's leftovers with Ryan.........Stefano sang "Hello" and Jimmy also suggested to Stefano that he pull back a little. The judges wanted him to connect to the audience a bit more and I agree with what they said. That would really make him shine because we all know that boy can sing!
Grade: A-

A little aside here: Did anyone else think it was terrifically awkward when Ryan had Gordon Ramsey / Ramsay try Stefano's Mom's leftovers? I felt really bad for her!

Haley sang "You've Really Got a Hold On Me" and she sounded great. I was glad that she didn't tumble down the stairs in those high high heels she was wearing!
Grade: A-

Scotty sang next with a country version of "For Once in My Life" and I think that what they did to the song was a good move for Scotty. I don't think he could have sang the Stevie Wonder version of it and sounded believable at all! A little aside that isn't really important, but I still want to ask. Does the way Scotty holds the mic bother anyone else? It just annoys me for some reason. LOL
Grade: B+

Pia, lovely Pia sang "All in Love is Fair" and as the judges pointed out it is her 3rd ballad. She really needs to sing something more up-tempo next week. She did sing beautifully and I loved her, as always!
Grade: A

Paul took my advice last week and played his guitar tonight. He sang "Tracks of My Tears" which is one of my favorite Motown songs. He messed up the words at one part but, I'll forgive him for that because the Paul that I love is back! Tonight's performance reminded me of why I liked him at the beginning of the season.
Grade: A

Naima was up next singing "Dancing in the Streets". I totally disagreed with the judges tonight. I thought her outfit was hideous, I mean, some gnomes could live in her pants! She was pitchy and I thought the dancing was strange and weird. I might be in the minority. I'd like to know what other people thought.
Grade: C

James Durbin was in the "pimp" spot tonight and sang "Living for the City"

He sounded great and he really picked the perfect song to sing. Nothing much more to say other than I really enjoyed it!
Grade: A

This week is tough because they all really did well tonight. The only performance I didn't like was Naima but everyone else seemed to like it.
I am totally guessing when I say, Thia, Naima and Haley will be bottom 3. Thia will go home. I really have no idea this week though!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Idol - Week 2 - in a loose mood

This week the contestants had to sing songs from their birth year. I cannot tell you how old this show made me feel! One of the contestants was born in 1995, 1995 people! I am old enough to be her mother. : / Can I just point out before we begin that I was 2 for 3 in the bottom three prediction last week and hit a home run on my prediction that Ashton would go home. Let's see if I can get it right again this week.

Naima Sang "What's Love Got to do with it?" I thought she did a great job, she was a little pitchy but I like how she made the song current and moved around the stage. I'm not sure about her outfit choice but she did her thang. Grade: B

Paul Sang "And That's Why They Call it the Blues" and it was just ok. Maybe I'm not as much of a Paul fan as I originally thought. I just can't get past his weird movements on stage. I'd like to hear him sing a song of his own, I think I would like him better. Steven Tyler said that he was a "cool dude in a loose mood" Grade: B

Thia sang "Colors of the Wind" and it was pretty but it was boring, especially put up against all the other great performances tonight. It seemed like she forgot the words at one point and she seemed very nervous, the vibrato in her voice was going Crazy! Grade: C

James Durbin sang Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There For You" and I was a little disappointed. He sang it ok but I think he could have chosen a better song, I loved that Steven Tyler pointed out that he was getting a little too "pop" LOL. James is very likable and has great stage presence so I think he'll be fine this week. Grade: B

Haley sang "I'm Your Baby Tonight". Can I give a little side note into what this song makes me think of? One day in 7th grade I stayed home from school sick and I laid in my room listening to the radio and every time I hear that song it takes me back to that day. Anyway, back to American Idol....I thought Haley did good. I like Haley and I hope she sticks around for a while. I felt bad for her that her make up got messed up, I guess that happens on Live shows though!
Grade: B

Stefano sang "If you don't know me by now" and was so amazing. He's just so great!
Grade: A

Pia sang "Where do Broken Hearts Go?" and I loved it. She is really beautiful, has a great personality and presence. Most importantly, that girl can sing! I really don't get the kind of outfits like she was wearing, it reminded me of a baby romper but she still looked good anyway.
Grade: A

Scotty sang "Can I Trust You With My Heart" and was also amazing. I'm telling you, some of the contestants really brought it this week! I loved when Scotty's parents sang "Baby lock them doors...." It was perfect, so funny!
Grade: A

Karen sang "Love Will Lead You Back" and she was also boring. She sang it well and looked great, nothing really wowed me about the performance though. It was forgettable. I really thought her mom was the sweetest!
Grade: B-

Casey sang Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", a first on American Idol. It was definitely a risk and we'll have to see what America thought of it. I thought it was a great performance and as always, loved Casey!
Grade: B+

Lauren sang "I'm the Only One" and was so much better than last week! She really rocked it. I love how she shows her personality and sings her heart out.
Grade: A

Jacob sang "How Do I Get You Alone" and as always, was unbelievable! How does he sing like that? It is not human!

Grade: A+

I'm not as confident in my predictions this week but here we go: Bottom 3 will be Karen, Naima, and Thia or Paul (not sure which). I think that Karen will go home

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

American Idol - Top 13 - A Rainbow of Talent

Week 1 on the "big" stage was fun. I think this will be a great season on American Idol. I love the new judges. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez (J-LO to my generation) really have gone above my expectations. I thought that with Simon gone the show wouldn't be the same anymore. Yes, it is different but change can be good sometimes. I'm going to grade each contestant, say what I think Simon would have said and then I'm going to predict who the bottom 3 will be. OK, here we go!

First singer up was:
Lauren Alaina - Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
I thought her outfit was awful. She needs some help in the fashion department. I was glad she didn't wear the ugly pink dress / boot combo she did when the picked the top 24 a couple weeks ago, but, I digress. The performance was boring to me. She didn't really do much besides stand there a sing. Any Man of Mine can be such a fun song. A real pro would have got the audience into it. Simon would have said:"reminded me of a bad karaoke singer at a high school reunion"
Grade: C
I think that Miss Alaina will be fine though. She has a very likable personality and I think that the country music fans out there will keep her around for another week (at least)

Casey - Joe Cocker - Little Help from My Friends
I need to admit right off the bat that I am a Casey fan so my opinion is a bit tainted by that. Let me also say that I was a Taylor Hicks lover and so I tend to go for the different unique contestants! I thought Casey's performance was fun, and he made the song his own. He really got into the song and could tell he was having a good time.
Simon would have liked it (I think)
Grade: A-

Ashton - Diana Ross- When you tell me (that you love me)
Ashton was one of the singers that was saved last week by the judges' wild card votes. I didn't agree with their choice then and I still didn't tonight. I wasn't impressed with her performance. I thought it was forgettable.
Simon would have said "forgettable, no one will remember that performance"
Grade: C

Paul McDonald - Ryan Adams

I love Paul but I did not like his performance tonight. He was all over the place on the stage, his voice sounded weak and I just didn't like this song for him at all. Can I just say that I thought Ryan Seacrest was so annoying doing his impression of Paul! Ryan, stick to the hosting thing, you are not funny.
Simon would have said:"it reminded me a bit of your uncle getting up and singing at a wedding after he's had a bit too much to drink"
Grade: C

Pia - All by Myself - Celine Dion

I am quickly becoming a Pia fan. I think she has a fantastic voice, she is a beautiful girl and she seems to have a beautiful personality. The song she sang is not even close to being an easy song to sing and she nailed it.
Simon would have said" you are a bit of a dark horse in this competition"
Grade: A

James Durbin - Paul McCartney - Baby I'm amazed

I love James too. He is terrific and performed terrific tonight. I was glad he lost the tail tonight. It kind of looks like he has a scarf coming out of his backside (random) . He showed a lot of control with his voice tonight and didn't do any screaming. I think that the screaming can be over-done. I think Adam Lambert overdid the screaming and Siobhan did last year as well.
Simon would have liked it.
Grade: A

Haley - Blue - Leanne Rimes

Haley sang well but it was kind of boring and stayed true to how the original was sung. I like Haley and I hope she sticks around this week.
Simon: "forgettable, fell asleep during the performance"
Grade: B

Jacob Lusk - R. Kelly I believe I can Fly

Although his style isn't really my type of music I am still a fan of his just because Jacob has an amazing instrument and seems to have a super personality.
Simon would have loved it.
Grade: A

Thia Megia - Smile - Michael Jackson

It was sweet and boring. I agreed with the judges that the jazzy arrangement wasn't great. She's a beautiful girl and has a beautiful voice but I don't feel like I've seen anything great from her yet.
Simon would have said: " didn't like the song selection, atrocious arrangement, you may be in trouble after that"
Grade: C

Stefano Langone - Stevie Wonder

I also am a big Stefano fan and I was so glad that the judges saved him with a wild card spot last week. He has a great story, great attitude and a great voice. I thought he did great tonight. I wasn't crazy about the disco beat halfway through the song but he really showed that he belongs in the top 13 tonight.
Simon: "hated the arrangement, you sounded great though"
Grade: B+

Karen - Selena song

Boring, pitchy, seemed almost unsure of the what the song was that she was singing. I don't really love Karen. She seems so pro-Latina that it's irritating. Maybe it's just me. I don't see anything wrong with being proud of your heritage but she seems to mention on every show that she is Latino, ok, we get it.
Simon would have said something awful and made her cry

Grade: D

Scotty McCreery - The River - Garth Brooks

Scotty seems like a really nice southern boy. He has a great voice for Country music and I thought he sang this song great. While I will probably not buy his album, just because I'm not a big country fan, I hope he does well in his career.

Grade: A

Naima Adedapo - Umbrella

Nice dance moves, I liked the little ragea (sp?) twist she added to it. I'm not a huge fan of hers but I have to give her props. I was glad that she shaved her armpits.

Grade: A

Bottom 3 tomorrow night: Karen, Ashton, and Paul. I think Ashton will go home. What do you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Idol Review?

Thinking of starting back up with my weekly review of American Idol. I really like the new judges and quite a few of the contestants. I was just wondering if any of my readers watch the show and would be interested in reading my take each week. Comment and let me know!