Friday, April 30, 2010

Eurovision 2010: the others

Something about butterflies. Nice but ponderous stuff although it does eventually start to build. If you see the video they all disappear at one point. Hope that doesn't happen on the night. Or maybe it won't make a great deal of difference.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
The country that lent its initials to a pack of cigarettes and usually is a dead cert for the top 10 presents us with some heavy and angry track this year. It's accomplished but lacks a hook line.

Powerful and well-written and sung by a decent-looking chap and not all in English which was even quite refreshing. I like the girl with a basket in the video but don't reckon the 'everyone's following me and amazed at what I'm singing' thing will work on stage.

Femminnem is one of those names you just wish they hadn't chosen but there you go. Not sure I'd want to argue with these 30-something girls shaking their dresses. Formulaic stuff which combines all sorts of others you'll have heard before. That could be good for its chances but I think it's all a bit too intense and not really believed by the singers.

A touch of Glee but it's not a contender.

Whoo-hoo. Some disturbing video. Seriously serious and 21stC and not at all what you expect in Eurovision. Now that may not be a bad thing. Just unexpected. If the stage performance matches the video then that could scare some voters to support it.

Another disturbing video. The girl with the accordion worries me, as do men that look like these men do, and clapping. the Greeks will like it.

FYR Macedonia
Here's a Manic Street Preacher with some rap from an angry bloke. Talented guitarist somewhere too.

Lovely girl, but that doesn't make the song any better. Even the big bang ending doesn't make up for some decidedly odd notes on the way. neither one thing nor the other which is a pity.

Opa. Genuinely awful, which I might have guessed from the title. Usual national folk stuff that you'd find in a cafe with plate flying around which can hardly be described as original material. I suppose the silly bits added in were an attempt to make a 1910 song suit 2010. Er, no.

Miss Björk. No, not that one. Je ne sais quoi it's called. I do. It won't win. the site says she surprises us by singing in French! No she doesn't. the title's French, that's all.

Straight song. Sung well by their equivalent of Adam Lambert but not as charismatic or original. In fact the only thing they have in common is that they both were expected to win their country's Pop Idol shows and didn't. The bookies seem to rate this one so I may have to add the video and include in my slightly more reasonable section if the shortish odds persist.

Aisha sings in something approximating to English. The lyrics are hilarious and I really hope she wins just so we can have a good laugh.
What for I'll be dreaming?
I asked my Uncle Joe.
What for do people live until they die?
Only Mr God knows why.
Wonderful stuff.

Oh dear. Eastern European kind of funk. I didn't understand.

Almost what you expect from Malta. A quality song and a quality singer in anthemic ballad style. But this isn't good enough. One of a few I didn't actually listen too all the way through.

The site says His fans have high hopes for the entry, what do you think of it? Better ask them. I don't get it.

All I remember is a fat candle on a shiny piano and some terrible notes. A non-starter and I am now beginning to lose the will to live.

A scary looking duo. I'd sure run away. It eventually gets going when they stand up and this song will have its appeal being the better of this bad bunch. It's one of a few I'd seen before several times. It gets worse each time, that's the problem.

Some really odd stuff coming from recent winners this year. Despite all their friends and an Android appealing enough to all three genders I just don't see this getting anywhere. The hair style might, though.

They've had little success to date but this could bring some cheer. Maybe some cheques too but not Czechs. A traditional sound many will feel at home with. Heavy drum beat the Ukraine will like. Backing group looking tough and the kind of complicated routine on stage others will approve of. Nothing much else ever really happens though. Pity.

No. no. This simply does not work. Didn't wait for it to finish.

Don't hear much of Switzerland these days. Try not to think about this guy's ears. It's a good song although you just want to kick it into action a bit. If it makes it past the 1st round I may re-review without looking at the ears.

Clever backing track and some smart rock stuff but the song is still tedious.

Eurovision 2010: a first look at the odds

Azerbaijan certainly attract the punters' money and at 3,85 are surprisingly short at this early stage. Germany are 2nd favourites at 4.6. Sweden at 50 look well worth a few bob to me as do Slovenia at a massive 580 which implies they won't even get past the first round!

Here are today's prices for my Top 10 selection:

Azerbaijan 3.75
Germany 4.6
Denmark 13
Armenia 18
Norway 27
Sweden 50
Moldova 120
France 130
Netherlands 360
Slovenia 580

Eurovision 2010: United Kingdom

I'm beginning to see how effective the Stock Aitken & Waterman team can be even if I genuinely don't think I have ever wanted to play any of their previous hits. Their stuff will work, though, for many people and that might be good for young Josh who happens to be a cousin of a good friend of mine.

He can sing well in a 50s kinda way but it's all so 80s and plastic. If Europe's voters are heading back there in 2010, and we've had 60s, 70s and 90s so maybe it is that time, then we'll be up there on the left hand side of the board. My own feeling, though, is we'll be on the right, somewhere around 23rd.

I really, really don't understand how we seem to have completely failed to get a grip on our entries recently. Scooch were fun but that's all, Gemini a disaster. We've had Andy, the X-factor runner up with a lousy song, Alexander who came 4th in a precursor to Pop Idol who writes good songs but was totally outclassed. Andrew Lloyd Webber tried to help us out and an unknown Jade tried damned hard with an all-too formulaic song that a committee had written instead of the Lord on his own. There was a group with some odd schoolchildren whose name escapes me and several others since we last won with the excellent Katrina and The Waves marking our last win and the end of the Irish run of hits in 1997. Hmm. Maybe the Conservatives will bring us better fortune in more ways than one, but not this year I'm afraid.

Eurovision 2010: Ukraine

Not what you'd expect from watching Ukraine's previous entries. This is one of very few singers where you get the feeling that they mean what they're singing about and want you to understand. Shades of Janis Joplin here and there but quite original and highly unusual for this contest. Admirably straight performance with no frills. I can't see it winning but hope she gets appreciated.

Eurovision 2010: Sweden

If Sweden can put in their latest top selling artist then I do wonder why on earth we use people who, however, nice, no-one's heard of before and are always going to be big risks and, as we've seen to date, not successful. Anyway, this Mary Hopkin lookalike with a French vibration in her voice will be very popular and it's a well-written, if a little ponderous, song. She's great and may even win.

Eurovision 2010: Slovenia

Even fewer people live here than in Moldova. They seem to have managed to find a few pretty talented people, though. This is most odd at first. Slumdog Millionaire meets folk traditional  meets Finn-style rock and gruff voice. Oh boy. What am I to make of this? I can't believe this is an original track, more a combination of several ancient and modern. Somehow I reckon this could do very well indeed.

Eurovision 2010: Russia

OK, what's the Big Bad Bear going to do to us this year? Intrigue us, that's what. I really don't know what to make of this at all. Until a guy behind him asks What are you doing man? and he replies Looking at your photo I wouldn't have bothered including this in the 'possibles' section. It's weird. It'll either do well or disappear off the board with less points than the boss country usually manages to extract from its previous subjugates.

Eurovision 2010: Norway

Looks like Norway are determined to try and recoup some expenses for hosting this year by hoping to win again and get some better use of the building in 2011. Decent-looking, OK, really good looking Nordic bloke with strong, actually quite brilliant, nordic voice. Big big ballad Take That or Westlife must be wishing they'd found first. Magnificent performance, key change, crescendo finish, girls with violins. This has it all. Listen to that applause. True Euro 2000. Or 1999.

Eurovision 2010: Netherlands

Worrying intro. Amother accordion. Sha-la-li, sha-la-la. Yeah, You've got it. True Eurovision as we used to know it! Lovely. Crap.

Eurovision 2010: Moldova

A country with just 4m inhabitants deserves to win even if the expense of hosting it next year will probably bankrupt them. This is one strong track. Olia's pretty and not over-bearing like some past Ukraine-types have been and Sunstroke Project provide tight support. The arrangement's a bit dated with the stop-start trick we're familiar with since the 90s and full-on vocals that do not relent at all but the sax breaks are very cool. Watch this one. It'll do well.

Eurovision 2010: Ireland

Niamh won in 1993 - a great mature voice and reliable note handling. Anthemic, and if that's what's to win in Oslo then this has to stand a good chance. It will appeal to all the older voters and that includes, importantly, several Eastern European countries who may find their own country excluded this year. Just a bit boring, though.

Eurovision 2010: Germany

Lena's young and appealing. This is a British-sounding track and very 2010. That may mean that it doesn't stand a chance but what seems bland at first really does grow and grow. This has an outside chance.

Eurovision 2010: France

Allez Olla Olé. The title says it all really. Sure-fire summer hit but not so sure how it'll do for Eurozone without the close-ups of girls' thighs and other parts moving in time on the dance floor.

Eurovision 2010: Denmark

In a moment like this. Starts off reminding me of the million fireflies guy. Pretty formulaic song but with some Abba touches that can't be bad for this competition. The girl of the duo is intriguing too. Check out the key change and wind machine in the video. Keep thinking of Glee. This could do well, being the first I almost began to sing along with second time round.

Eurovision 2010: Belgium

I thought this could have no chance at first. But it's kinda growing on me.

Eurovision 2010: Belarus

Butterflies. Nice but a bit ponderous. Builds well near the end. I do hope they don't all disappear (and frighten the girl on the piano) on the night as they do in the video.

Eurovision 2010: Azerbaijan

Modern and husky. Gagaesque and will appeal to youngsters and also has sufficient drama for their Eastern European friends. Swedish writers - another reason for my choosing this as an early favourite. She needs to lost the sheep, though.

Eurovision 2010: Armenia

Pretty girl. Pretty song about apricots. Just lacks that something special to win. You can't deny the big chap in the red jumper's got some enthusiasm, though, and if he's there on the night and she's got the same shorts on then everything could change for her.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

American Idol Top 6 Review

This is a big week as 6 become 5 and things really should be starting to heat up a bit. Shania Twain certainly contributes to some of the heat but I can't see how the competitors are going to take her songs and really inspire us but let's see what happens. Hoping to be surprised . . . much depends on how Siobhan and Casey manage to claw back what I reckon has been quite a significant drop in screen impact over the last few weeks. They haven't come across as real potential stars as they so did at the outset but I have a feeling one or both should make that break to put some distance between them and Aaron and Mike who, by talent reckoning, ought to be the bottom two and heading home. Can't see Lee closing the gap on Crystal this week.

Lee 8
A good earthy performance, cut short as ever in these programmes, which didn't really allow him to get going. Sounds like the kind of thing he could do himself. Doing Shania Twain was never going to be an easy ride for Lee but he did pretty well. Simon was absolutely spot-on too. Star quality lacking tonight but 8/10 for what he did.

Mike 7½
Another of his high-end-of-the-range efforts. The guy gets the crowd on his side all right but I didn't know this song and couldn't really latch on to it at the same time as watching this big guy on the screen. A quality job but did it work? Needed a few more verses again. Just cutting these tunes in half to allow for the ads is very annoying and doesn't give them much of a chance. Loved Simon's comment of 'wet'. No-one there seemed to get it but I did and agree totally. Summed it up very very nicely! Will phoneland like it? Probably. But Mike needs to pull something heavier out of the bag if he's to get much further.

Casey 17
At last, the guy's done something right! His best of the series. Casey's back in the running.

Crystal 7½
Have to say I didn't really get this at all. Would have been better without the support musicians but she did 'country' so there you go. On another week she'd be in trouble but hopefully she'll be around to make up for this another day. I suppose there is a risk that Aaron doesn't screw up and Siobhan makes the most of what ought to be a cool week for her and she's dropped in the doo doo with someone with a large fan club like Mike. She could have made herself a lot, lot safer.

Aaron 17
Actually a very mature and smart performance. Looked good and he's competing with Casey on style and presence. That could even be bad news for someone.

Siobhan 7
OK, she can do the long high notes but somehow this didn't quite work. Looking good and she certainly tried but I'm not so sure she'll be such a hit with the voters. Bags of talent there and she looks great but seemed all a bit mixed up. Again, I have a feeling that, given a full length of the track to get people tuned in to what she's doing and to start joining in, tapping feet or whatever, she'd have gone down a storm. As it was, this was a shower, albeit a pretty cool shower after which I need a cold shower!

This is most definitely not a week I'll be betting on. I guess the results are out now in the States and it'll be really difficult not peeping into Tweetdeck tonight or tomorrow. If I have to plump for someone, though, it's between Mike and Siobhan, with gasps from the audience and the big guy on his way home.

[Surprised to see Casey in the bottom two and Mike must be thinking he had a lucky escape. Sorry to see Siobhan go but watching her farewell performance you can see that the squeal that has become her trademark was actually what spoilt an otherwise superb and inspired version of Think. She'll get plenty of opportunities though and will be popular on tour where I predict Didi will also come into her own and make a great career.]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dorothy last 8

Jenny 7
Nice choice of Duffy's Warwick Avenue. A little weak in places but nicely done. Nothing brilliant this week, though, so a bit disappointing. Obvious comparisons with the writer who really knew how she felt whereas that didn't come across as well.

Emilie 9
Great idea, totally changing her image with Cyndi's Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Well, she tried but the true blue accent and operatic intonation didn't suit the lyrics (want to instead of wanna). I'm sure the voters will have liked it, though, and I guess Dorothy is quite old-fashioned and her image could suit that. [It didn't.]

Stephanie 16
Superb singer and she has that sparkle tonight which could really blow this competition wide open. Brilliant performance. Someone does need to dress her better, though, and yellow just does not suit her at all. If she did get well made-up and clothed then she could be a big threat.

Lauren 8
Less familiar song may mean she doesn't get as much support as her excellent performance deserves. Very good in all respects but still searching for that 'star' quality.

Sophie 7
Spot-on vocals but I think the mic settings were off at the start. at least I hope they were. The song didn't suit her and may not go down so well. She can do so much better but I think the public will vote for her.

Jessica 4
Lacklustre, also drowned by odd arrangement of yet another tedious and ill-matched song. She could be in trouble as there were no real rescuing factors there.

Danielle 8
I'm still impressed by this girl. Cry Me A River may not have been the best song to display her talents and the strange length of red dress did her absolutely no favours at all. She just looks the part and can definitely sing really really well.

Steph 16
She's improving dramatically, almost literally. Excellent choice of Use Somebody made her seem modern and avoided difficult notes. She looked cool and as if she was enjoying herself and seemed very professional. A big change. She has to be in the running now.

Friday, April 23, 2010

American Idol Top 7 Reviews Pt II

There seems something not quite right about status symbol ads in the middle of Idol Gives Back and you have to wonder why, for one week, Silent Night, Bernard ruddy Matthews, Heinz, Nintendo etc., or even ITV2 themselves, couldn't zip up. Ignoring the silly ads, though, the great and the good were there, including Obama & Michelle delivering the words from a screen pront quite well and Bill Gates with Mrs Gates looking far more comfortable.

Annie Lennox amazed from Britain with the classy and heartfelt Universal Child (which I recommend Didi Benami tries on tour). I can't recall ever seeing anyone attempting Led Zeppelin's classic Stairway to Heaven live before and was impressed with Mary Jo Blige and a rock entourage obviously enjoying themselves.

Carrie Underwood wowed everyone, not just by the way she looks, but with a great song and live, reminding us that the show really can promote great talent. David Cook, too, with just a guitar put on one hell of a good performance to an audience of 7 year old African kids and a couple of cameramen. It was interesting to see just who of the last competitors you could imagine in similar roles next year or the year after.

I genuinely believe Crystal would have made a brilliant job of the Josh Stone version of I Put A Spell On You track near the start of the show, especially with good ol' Jeff Beck accompanying her. Nice to see him back in the limelight again after 40 years.

The performance by the Top 10 was lacklustre with only Crystal and Siobhan seeming to play any major part, the latter looking very cool this week as well as almost uncomfortably tall. They really should object to being asked to do some doltish sing-a-long at the start of each show. They're individuals and I feel sorry for people like Crystal, Lee and Casey doing the dance and chorus like puppets.

The bottom three were more or less as I'd predicted: Casey, Aaron and Tim. Aaron won the teenage vote this time and we bade farewell to Tim who appears, at least in the edition I watched, to have been spared the final song and wave goodbye stuff. That was probably just as well after the witty remarks about all that from the woman comedian earlier in the show.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idol Top 7 Reviews Pt I

Casey 5
Don't Stop a risky choice and he sounds strained at the top end, not only during practice with Alicia either, unfortunately. Performance lacked character, although he himself comes across well. Difficult to judge as he's first up and he's been well-supported so far. I was disappointed as I'd seen him as a winner but don't now.
Lee 16
The Boxer a great song, one of my all-time favourites. Cut ridiculously short but what there was was so much better than Casey's effort and moved him well ahead of that rival in this competition. Improving every week and no sign of stopping. Looking better too.
Tim 7½
Better Days suited him well and would be his kind of song. Again, way too short to have a proper impact but well-presented and believable. A little plain. Good but plain.
Aaron 7
If I Can Fly was one big risk. Seemed hurried, a song that needs to be laid out for us to consider and move with. Passion appeared and you could tell that he'd been singing this for years in a pretty professional performance. He might get away with it but someone has to go and he may not have taken the best bet for this week.
Siobhan 7
When You Believe Multi-patterned and quite beautiful in places. A tough song which worked well for her but may not appeal to a wide enough audience or fan base. She spoke really well afterwards which was courageous and intelligent.
Mike 6½
Hero was a bit muddled and, whilst a cool choice yet again, it wasn't his best week. Eventually he took control and got the song in order and, as Randy said, 'it worked out'. Just.
Crystal 20
With People Get Ready, taking a further step away from her comfort zone of playing tracks she knows well on a dusty stage with friends as backing singers and an audience a few feet away, a fantastic performance, worthy of the competition just stopping now and celebrating her brilliance. Emotion at the end just showed how real she is. Totally different league to everyone else tonight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dorothy last 9

Not the most exciting of evenings. With one exception, little to choose between any of them on tonight's performances.
Dani 6
Good solid and faultless performance. Only minus point really was the same tone in her voice throughout, no shade and her expression is a bit severe.
Sophie 6
Attractive and some effort made to convince but not totally successful. Cheerful girl who could do better and worth keeping.
Lauren 7½
Moves fairly well. Difficult and complicated performance (with a silly, so-signposted lift). Better voice than the first two and likeable personality.
Emily 4
Lovely voice but important notes missed and that could annoy voters. She could be in trouble, I think, especially in direct comparison with who follows. Her acting was terribly wooden, doll-like too. Not a good song choice to impress with, either.
Stephanie 8
I can see this girl on the posters and in the show. Having said that, she moved way away from that image tonight. Great dancer and controlled her presence but strangely not as sexy as I would expect from the Jennifer Lopez number, despite the short skirt and polka dots. She is a contender but not so sure the voters will have understood that. Odd song choice, again.
Steph 9½
Well interpreted. Very well. Accurate, mostly, too. Rose above herself and deserves to stay.
Jenny 11
She's the one. Fabulous. Just a few surprising wobbles when moving around but just tremendous personality and acting.
Jessica 12
Well done. Maybe a little over-interpreted but one of the best of the night.
Danielle 12
Another 'natural Dorothy' in many ways. Fabulous singer. Spot on and nice nature too. She could be catching Jenny.

American Idol: and now it's just 7

Seeing Siobhan and Aaron survive I got the feeling that it would be Katie going, despite what I had thought was a really good performance. Sure enough it was and you have to wonder whether even such a great effort on her part was doomed with a track that so few would have known and which didn't have that memorable factor either. I guess she wasn't really going to win so the difference between coming 8th and, probably at best, 3rd is marginal. All the Top 10 are in the massive shows that'll be rolling out across the country over the next year and which will earn them loads and those with real talent will soon be back again. Seeing the beautiful Bryce on the results show emphasises that - she was 5th or 6th if my memory serves me well and now has a whole new world at her feet.

The real star of the whole two nights, though, was the incredible Adam Lambert. Quite extraordinary. I still can't understand how he didn't win but now, what the hell!? I wonder if he'll break into the UK market soon? Strangely, all his publicity and promotion seems to have passed us by on this side of the pond. In fact most American Idols seem to stay just that. We love their TV shows, their films, their Google and Microsoft, their burgers and the fries. Many of their stars make it here but their Idols? Not yet.

Oh. AndrewG went too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

American Idol Top 9 (again) reviews

Crystal 10½
For some reason this didn't seem to suit her, excellent though she was in almost every way. Kinda thing you might find on a B side. Top marks for quality and solid performance but no extras this week. I wonder how the public voters will take it, bearing in mind the big teenage fan numbers building up for one or two others who really ought to be going but may not.

AndrewG 4
So good to see Adam Lambert being so honest. This was not good. OK, in tune but eminently missable. I've never rated this guy who for some reason was favourite at one point. With two departing this week, surely he has to be one of them, and I'm writing this without having yet seen the others.

Tim 14
That worked well. Possibly his best effort so far and making up for several weeks of average. Again, great advice from Adam who seems to be right on contestants' wavelengths. His fans will like that and the judges' complimentary remarks will boost his confidence of making the final few. Need to see what Aaron comes up with, though, who could split his support vote. People will remember that and I can see him going down a gentle storm during the tour with that simple track. He always looks a bit out of place doing the Glee smiley stuff, as does Crystal but for different reasons.

Lee 8½
If this track hadn't already been done that way a few years ago this would have been brilliant. Unfortunately, it had been and he just seemed to be doing a copy, admittedly very competently. Not a good week for him but not a bad one either. Solid, not inspiring. Judges seemed to love it so maybe it was better in the studio that on the screen.

Aaron 7
Hmm. Where's he going with this. Break half-way through made a difference and just rescued it. No mistakes and a decent performance although he just couldn't really grab the song and make it his, which would have been damn difficult anyway. No idea about this one really. He may be in trouble as Tim did so much better. Way better than AndrewG though.

Siobhan 10
Terrible ending. She almost went in a fabulous direction that would have had everyone raving about good she was but, instead, may have lost a lot of people. Who is she? Bit mixed up and confusing. Sheena Easton meets someone else. That won't do her much good this week but she does look fantastic and, with someone telling her what to do, this girl could be a star. Hence my marks (5+5).

Mike 11
He (or someone) is picking great songs to perform. This seemed too short to tell the story, though. Nicely presented and one of a few that have that extra spark so far this time. The 'save' made sense.

Katie 14½
That was the best performance so far. Great look and style. Well done. Not at all familiar with the track which may cause her some problems but she deserves to stick around and actually out-Crystalled Crystal in my view. I don't see her winning (unless she's dead lucky with selections and happens on some tracks that just suit her and no-one else as can happen as we know!) but heading for a place in the last few and comes across as someone who could sell records and deliver some goods.

Casey 9
Rounding off the week and with generally pretty average competition preceding his stroll on stage, he had every chance of walking off with a huge smile and securing that good solid place in the last 7 which ought to see him through to a final. He didn't really take it, just cruised, again. Pity.

The star of the show, however, has to be Adam Lambert who was really good both as a mentor and in communicating so well on screen. Amazing guy, but when is he going to break into the UK?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dorothy last 10

Forgot to mention that Amy left last week, not who I expected although she was going to be pushed out sooner or later as, attractive and competent as she may be, she didn't seem to fit the bill for the innocent Dorothy they wanted :)

So now, this week. Well, apart from two, possibly three notable exceptions, this was a poor and somewhat tedious evening. In fact, I couldn't be bothered to do this update and am only now watching the results show.

So here's what I thought to Saturday's group:

Sophie 10 
Jessica 4 
all over the place and a bit bland
Bronte 6½ 
moves like she's on strings but she did put a lot of effort and with a bit more shading could be good
Dani 9 
a good singer and a genuine performer but this was still a little uninspiring
Steph 5 
she tried but it really didn't work. More fun than some though
Jenny 20 

a beautiful version of Songbird - faultless. A star. Actually the star of the group.
Danielle 16 
an excellent effort - the girl's got something
Lauren 10 
a good translation of this number
Emily 12 
Confident and proving a popular performer
Stephanie 16½ 
Spot on. A contender. She also seems to look like a Dorothy to me for reasons I haven't a clue why!

Farewell to Bronte this week as two of the Lord Andrew's 'top five' bombed with the telephone people. Lauren definitely outsang an off-key Bronte but may have trouble getting enthusiasm where it matters - with the premium rate diallers, an odd crowd.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

American Idol: Big Mike survives

Probably the right bottom three this week. I was convinced that AndrewG was going as I just find him annoying now and can't see him having a hope in hell of winning or even reaching the final three. Aaron, who was really rubbish and, similarly, has to go pretty soon, seems to have pulled in more votes with even that performance so there's hope we can wave farewell to AndrewG soon. Aaron may still pull off some show-stopping performance but I just don't see how he can ever compare to the likes of Casey or Lee if they stay on top form.

Mike was a surprise bottom runner, though, which makes you wonder just who really is voting and why. Or not, as the case may be. Impressive show of support when the judges saved him. they'll be hoping like hell now that one of Lee, Casey or Crystal don't flop with ATT-land one evening on their way to the final Five.

There seems to be several contenders with God on their side this year, or maybe it's just more noticeable with Tim and Mike thanking him on Facebook. Presumably He is one of their Facebook friends.

So it's another last 9 next week with an intriguing bottom 2 to go.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

American Idol Top 9 Reviews Pt II

Tim 9
Far better than before - a different guy on stage tonight (well, last night - UK gets the programme a day behind). A bit restrained when he could have let go and got some extra ☼ points but pretty damn good and the girls will not worry about the rubbish guitar-playing - and they're the votes he needs. Pretty cool overall and spot on in many ways. Back in the game. Just.

Casey 17
Just really good, great choice and that performance should seal a place for the next few weeks. This guy is one of the very few that deserve to be competing as an American Idol.

Siobhan 15
Of all the hundreds of lennon & McCartney tracks to go for this was one big risk. I don't know of any other attempt at this but she came close to making it her own and a little special. In places, brilliant, although that may escape the attention of those dialling in ATT premium rate land. She looked good too - a genuine artiste. Oddly, despite the 10½ point difference between her and Aaron, I'd be nervous tomorrow in her shoes.

Lee 13
Good strong crowd-pleaser. He can sing and is building up a lot of confidence. Reminiscent of the 2008 David winner. If Casey slips up, he's got a chance. And anyone who can admit to choosing a bagpipe player to accompany a delivery of Hey Jude deserves some support.

American Idol Top 9 Reviews Pt I

Aaron 4½
Long and long-winded, uninspiring. This is from someone in the top nine of hundreds of thousands in 2010?? Surely not. Saving grace: it was in tune.

Katie 14
Crystal clear and accurate, a confident performance. She looked good and you felt you were watching someone who cared. Definitely in her groove at last this week. Well done, with even some, just a little, star quality for the first time that should see her back next week.

AndrewG 7
OK, sort of. More fun than for many weeks but not much more than a sing-along really and certainly not finalist material which is just another reminder of the shortfall in expectations this year, so many seeming to peak at the auditions. He should have gone last week. May not this week, though.

Mike 16
I'm starting to expect something great from this guy, a bit like waiting for Adam to perform in 2009. And he's close to delivering the goods too. Not all of it worked and it wasn't my favourite rendition of Eleanor Rigby either but he's shown that there's a huge difference between him and the other two boys who preceded him tonight. I can see that as an album track.

Crystal 16½
Now hear is someone I really do look forward to seeing each week, and I can well imagine buying her album(s). I couldn't figure out what on earth she could do with Come Together but she built it up and up and was really getting into the groove when it stopped. Shame, but I can see that going down a storm on a real stage without ad breaks coming up. Nice work, although not so sure she should be 'nice'. Beat Mike this week.

Romania: strong entry for 2010

This could do well, if they can perform it well live, that is. Nice to see something up-to-date and they really do show up the UK's dated offering. Of course, dated may be in again this year so who knows?!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Dorothy last 11

Stephanie 9
Not easy on the eye with that lipstick but great performer and notes spot on. Lousy diction.

Lauren 9
Beautiful voice and control but just marginally less than inspirational

Dani 8
Odd choice of song and laying back didn't work. Talented and has that star quality but not much displayed tonight.

Steph 5
Shaky in places, bright in others. Not sure she'll go that far.

Amy 9
Competent, attractive but doesn't suit this role. Just something missing but she could find it. This is just the start, after all

Danielle 11
You have to pay attention to this girl, even if she does miss notes. Lots of belief in what she does.

Emily 4
Looked really scared, probably worrying about what the judges would say about all those odd notes and the 'rabbit in the headlights' look. She's better than this, if she survives, which I think Lord Andrew will ensure for this week, at least.

Bronte 17
Brilliant. Everything just worked so well. Not sure about the nightie, though. Odd but she could be a star and one of my predictions to win.

Jessica 15
Strong performance. Lots of acting but not the best of voices. Another with star quality, though.

Sophie 18
Second best of the night. Everything good and a real star.

Jenny 20
Easily the best tonight. Professional - she could perform anywhere already. Dorothy? Dunno but she's great.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Didi Benami sings Rhiannon and, sadly, leaves American Idol

I did rate her lowest this week but really hoped she'd stay as there's so much depth to her emotions in evidence which few of the others match. I know she wasn't going to win but thought she'd make the final four. Still, I have a feeling we'll hear more in due course and she did make that all-important tour and life won't be at all bad.
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