Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol Results

Season Three winner, Fantasia, performed her new single, "Bittersweet." How did that woman ever win Idol? Her voice is super annoying.

Season Five finalist, Daughtry, performed "September." How did this man not win Idol?

Bon Jovi also performed.

Casey, Lee and Crystal are in the top three. They will all return to their respective homes next week for local concerts and radio appearances.

Mike went home. However, at this point, it's almost not sad because he's got a great future in the recording industry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol Top 4

The theme tonight is "Songs of the Cinema," and Jamie Foxx is the mentor. Each contestant will perform a solo and a duet (with another contestant).

Lee Dewyze sang “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal (from Batman Forever). This is a great song, but it wasn't one of my favorites from Lee. The verses were rough. He didn't quite hit the high notes, and the words seemed rushed. The chorus was good, but Lee still isn't a performer. He needs to interact more. Randy said Lee didn't do anything with the song, and didn't think it was the right choice for him. Ellen said Lee could have done more, but it was still good, and he sang it well. Kara said this was a difficult song, and Lee got lost in it. She said parts were out of tune, but it was still great. Simon said Lee's performance was verging on karaoke, and he tried too hard to sound like the original.

Michael Lynche sang “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson (from Free Willy). I thought it was a great song choice for Mike. However, his performance was just alright. He didn't blow me away, but it was a good performance. Randy said Mike should have chosen an R&B song. Ellen said Mike is consistently good, but this song was predictable. Kara said she wanted to feel goosebumps, but Mike played it safe tonight. Simon said Mike could have chosen a better song, but he gave it 100 percent.

Crystal and Lee sang “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard (from Once) as a duet. They were both playing guitar and facing each other the whole time, which was a brilliant idea. It was the perfect song choice for them. It suited both of their voices, and they sounded great together. Randy said it was a great song by two great singers. He called it amazing and said it could be a hit. Ellen said the performance was great. Kara said this performance was one of her favorite moments of the season. She said she loved the chemistry and interaction between Crystal and Lee, and they brought out the best in each other. Simon said it was fantastic (with a huge grin).

Casey James sang “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel (from The Graduate). Casey played the mandolin for this song. He did a good job, but it wasn't great. Randy said Casey's performance was laid back and cool, but he wasn't jumping up and down about it. Ellen said Casey did something different with the song, but he could have gone further. Kara said it seems like Casey is fighting to stay in the competition. She thought this song was a good choice for Casey because it was upfront and vulnerable. Simon said neither the song nor Casey's performance had the substance required for tonight. He said it was lazy and a strange song choice.

Crystal Bowersox sang “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins (from Caddyshack). This is the Crystal we all love. I thought the beginning was great, and she definitely made the song her own. However, she screamed a little too much toward the end. Randy said Crystal is a true artist, and she made the song fit her. Ellen said Crystal took the song and made it better. Kara agreed with both Randy and Ellen. Simon said Crystal is back in the game.

Mike and Casey sang “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams (from Don Juan DeMarco) as a duet. They both played guitar as well, with Casey taking the solo riffs. Casey and Mike and completely different artists, but somehow they made it work. It was cool to see the two crooners team up. Randy said the song started rough vocally, but Mike and Casey sounded good together. Ellen said, "as a matter of fact, I have loved a woman." Kara said the duets tonight were incredible and better than all of the solo performances. Simon agreed with Kara and said the duets were one million times better than the solo performances. He said Mike and Casey were really good.

My favorites of the night were the duets. I think Crystal and Lee will be the top two, but I'm not sure which order Casey and Mike will fall.

Tomorrow night Bon Jovi, Daughtry, and Fantasia will all perform.

Unfortunately this is my last week blogging for Idol. I work at a summer camp, and I'm leaving this weekend, so it's adieu to TV until August for me. I will definitely watch the final two episodes though later this summer.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tyler Hilton

Last night I saw Tyler Hilton play at the White Rabbit in San Antonio. (By the way, this is a fantastic venue to see up-and-coming artists at a small and personal show.)

The show was great. The New Politics and AM Taxi opened for Tyler, who was then followed by The Spill Canvas. The first two bands were alright. The New Politics was really high energy pop/rap, and AM Taxi was just really loud rock.

However, I decided not to stay for The Spill Canvas. I only know a couple of their songs, and it got crowded. Plus, I was just there for Tyler.

If you've never heard of Tyler Hilton the musician, chances are you've seen Tyler Hilton the actor (who are one in the same). Hilton is probably most famous for his role as Chris Keller in season two of One Tree Hill. He also played Elvis in Walk the Line, Murphy Bivens in Charlie Bartlet, and Drew in Taylor Swift's music video for "Teardrops on My Guitar."

Hilton was also featured on all three of the One Tree Hill soundtracks.

It's been six years since Hilton has released an album, but his new EP "Ladies and Gentlemen" is better than ever. My favorite tracks are "Sunset Blvd." and "This World Will Turn Your Way." It's a great singer/songwriter album that proves Tyler Hilton is not going anywhere but up. I'll admit, it took me a while to see him as Tyler Hilton instead of the rude and cocky Chris Keller, but I'm in love with his music (and his million dollar smile). This EP is available on iTunes for only $2.99 now.

1. Sunset Blvd.
2. I Believe in You
3. This World Will Turn Your Way
4. Keep On
5. June

At the show last night, Hilton seemed truly grateful to be living his dream. Every now and then he would look at the crowd and smile in a way that said, "I can't believe this is my life." His charm and humility is endearing. He interacted with the crowd and played all of the fan favorites.

After the show, I got the chance to meet Tyler. He was hanging out at the merch booth signing autographs and taking pictures. He was kind and genuinely happy to be meeting his fans. I've met a lot of famous musicians, and I would say that Tyler is one of the nicest for sure.

Tyler Hilton is also in the process of creating a music video for "I Believe in You," by stringing along clips from his tour. Each night he has the crowd sing a line from the song. We sang the first line of the second verse: "It's so hard to give you up, but too easy to pretend." So be on the lookout for the San Antonio crowd in the video. My roommate and I were front and center.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

American Idol Results

Lady Gaga performed her new song, "Alejandro." This week's mentor, Harry Connick Jr., also performed.

The top five performed two separate medleys.  The first medley was Sinatra songs, and the second medley was Harry Connick Jr. songs.  He joined the top five on stage to sing and play piano as well.

Mike and Aaron were in the bottom two. Aaron went home.

The theme next week is "Songs of the Cinema." Jamie Foxx will return as a mentor.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Idol Top 5

The theme this week is Frank Sinatra. Harry Connick Jr. is the both the mentor and composer of the special arrangements for each contestant. He is also accompanying them all on piano. (Idol, take note. This is a true mentor.)

Aaron Kelly sang “Fly Me to the Moon.” I thought his vocals were a bit shaky, but he did a decent job with the song. Randy said Aaron did a good job with a classic sound despite being so young. Ellen said Aaron pulled it off with beautiful vocals. Kara said Aaron's performance was good but not as strong as last week. She said he needs to learn charisma and fill the stage more. Simon said Aaron didn't have Frank's swagger. However, he said Aaron is likable and he tries hard.

Casey James sang “Blue Skies.” He tried to put some soul into this song, but it was awkward. He didn't quite hit the high notes until the end. Randy said it was Casey's worst performance, "pitchy until the last note." Ellen agreed with Randy and called his performance stiff. Kara said it took Casey a long time to warm up and relax, and he needs to work on his vibrato. Simon said Casey's performance was not fantastic. He said Casey seemed awkward and embarrassed.

Crystal Bowersox sang “Summer Wind.” I thought this style suited her voice. She was classy and gorgeous and had a gentle confidence about her. I enjoyed the song, though it was more mild than her usual forte. Randy said the arrangement was great, but the performance was subdued and sleepy. Ellen said Crystal needed to loosen up more, but this performance showed a different side of Crystal. She said it was impressive. Kara said Crystal was out of her element with this song, but she liked it. She also complemented Crystal on her phrasing. Simon said Crystal's performance felt indulgent. He said the second half was better than the first, but this was not her strongest performance.

Michael Lynche sang “The Way You Look Tonight.” Mike was completely in his element tonight. This was one of his best performances. He could have sang any Sinatra song well, but he chose a popular song, which was very smart. Randy said Mike's vocals were unbelievable. Ellen said Mike looked the part and sounded the part. She called his performance smooth and said he had charisma. Kara said Mike found the drama in the song and took us on a journey, but he didn't lose himself in the song. Simon said Mike turned around this night for everyone. He said Mike put himself back in the game with this one.

Lee Dewyze sang “That’s Life.” Now that is swagger. I loved this performance. It was a great vocal, and Lee made it his own. Randy said Lee stayed his own rocker self, and he loved it. Ellen said, "If this were the last night, [Lee] would have just won this whole thing." Kara said Lee can win this competition, but he needs to believe he can. Simon said Harry Connick Jr. brought out Lee's personality and confidence tonight. He said Lee gave it 110% and called it the best performance of the night.

My favorites were Mike, Crystal and Lee.

I think Casey and Aaron are in trouble. I want Casey to stick around for a couple more weeks though, so I'm hoping Aaron's time is up.

Lady Gaga and this week's mentor, Harry Connick Jr., will perform tomorrow night. The Idol contestants will also perform multiple group songs.