Thursday, January 15, 2009

American Idol Season Eight Premieres - January 15, 2009

talent show
Season eight of American Idol is underway. Fun first couple of episodes this week. Each of them ran for two hours a piece. Kara Dioguardi made her TV debut as the fourth judge. I was really happy with her. She added a lot to the judging and has had a very successful music career as a singer/songwriter. What I like about Kara is the way that she handles herself on there. She knows what she is talking about and will get her point across. However, she doesn’t get mean. She stays nice unless she gets provoked which did happen in a clip that has been played a lot this week. She gets a major thumbs up from me. She’s a great addition to American Idol. Was I the only one that thought she and Katharine McPhee look a lot alike? There were good singers with one being a major front runner already. I guess I should point out what I feel about the audition episodes. I’ve said over and over that I am not a fan of the bad auditions like a lot of people. I just feel bad for the people especially if they are treated badly. The audtion episodes for me are looking at these good singers and trying to figure out who I’m going to cheer on in the competition. I had several that I liked this week. I guess I’ll just go from episode to episode.

Tuesday night saw the girls doing better than the guys. The episode showed the auditions from Phoenix. I did my tally like I did last year of good, bad, and middle singers and how many they showed of each. It should be pointed out on how I rank them. If their name gets shown on TV, I count them as one. A montage of singers gets counted as one as long as they don’t show names of contestants. I had a count of ten good singers, twelve bad singers including two montages, and two middle ground singers where they weren’t good or bad. The highlight of the show was Scott Macintyre. He was the guy that was born nearly completely blind. He can see a little but compared his vision to like looking through a straw. He had a very good voice and it was great to see him do well. One of my favorites so far was Arianna Afsar. She is sixteen and talked of being a part of adopt a grand-friend. She just came off very likable and the judges really liked her. Cody Sheldon had a nice surprise voice that surprised the judges after learning of how he was a horror movie fanatic. It didn’t take long for a rocker girl to get the stage as Emily Hughes made it on through singing a Heart song. Funny story with her saying that she was the lead singer of a band who didn’t know that she was there. She said that if she made it through that her band wouldn’t be able to go on their scheduled European tour. She wanted to do a Daughtry type deal if she got far enough on Idol bringing her band with her on her career. 27 total golden tickets were given out from Phoenix.

That gets us to Wednesday’s episode with the auditions from Kansas City, MO. This episode had the guys outperforming the girls. My tally in this one was twelve good auditions, thirteen bad auditions including one montage, and three middle ground auditions. This episode felt even on the types of auditions. My favorites on this episode included Jessica Furney, Danny Gokey, and Asa Barnes. Jessica’s story was that she lived with her 93 year old grandmother. Good voice and likable girl. One of my favorites so far. Danny Gokey had a very heart touching story. His wife had just passed away four weeks before the auditions due to a heart condition. He went on to audition and dedicated it to her. This was one of those stories where you just begged for him to have a good voice and he had a very good voice. Easily through to the next round. Asa was the band director and was a lot of fun. Judges enjoyed him. I liked Andrew Lang which was the guy who brought the cheerleading squad with him. I thought it was a clever gimmick. He had a good enough voice to get him through to Hollywood at least. He didn’t make it which I didn’t agree with cause they said he was too theatre sounding. He did have a theatre sounding voice mostly but I just think he at least was good enough to get to Hollywood. The rapping sisters were a lot of fun. One of them got through while the other didn’t. What was great to see was just how supportive that the sister that didn’t get through was of the other one that did. Jason Castro made an appearance on this episode supporting his brother, Michael, who tried out. Jason said that he had never heard his brother actually sing “for real”. How alike are they? Well, they have the same interview skills. Ha ha. Michael said that he actually started singing 20 days before the audition thinking that if Jason could sing, then he could as well. Michael did get through and did well. One nice surprise was Von Smith. His voice blew away the judges. It is always fun when you get surprised with how good of a voice that someone has. The one getting the most attention from the judges closed out the show and that was Lil Rounds. She had a sad story of how her family had been recovering from a tornado. She had a powerhouse of a voice and got rave reviews from the judges including Kara and Randy saying that she was the best so far. Randy said that she was a combination of Mary J. Blige and Fantasia. She will be a front runner in this competition for sure. 26 people got their ticket to Hollywood in Kansas City.

Some random notes from Idol this week. It is never a good sign for you as a contestant when Simon starts his point with “you know what it reminded me of?”. That is rarely ever going to be followed by anything good. It appears that a tie vote means that you get to go on to Hollywood as we’ve seen a few ties.

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