Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've been thinking about how to write this post for weeks, and I'm still not sure how to say what I want to say. Somehow, in this instance, saying it bluntly might be best.

I don't feel like I have anything else to say. Blogging American Idol this season has completely drained me. I felt like I was just repeating myself every week. I used to love blogging, and now it seems like a chore. I look at my links list, and see blogger sitting there, and I feel guilty because I haven't updated in a while. But I think to myself, "What in world do I have to say that people want to read? What do I have to say that isn't already being said by a million other bloggers in the world?" And I can't come up with a satisfactory answer.

Is it just a case of the blogging blahs? I don't know; I don't have an definitive answer.

So, for right now, Just Josie is on hold. Maybe I'll focus more on singing and pick up trying to learn the piano now...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 39: Results

A relatively low-key, drama-less results night. A couple of Idol alum performed (Fantasia, Daughtry) and so did Bon Jovi, which hosted a theme night back in Season 6.

After Fantasia's performance, the Final 4--Mike, Casey, Lee, and Crystal-- were lined up on stools in the middle of the stage, and their families were lined up on the Safety Couch.

Ok, Crystal was wearing shirt that had penguins on the front, which makes me love her just a little more.

First, Ryan had Mike and Casey stand up, then had Lee and Crystal join them. Casey is immediately sent to safety. Huh. I kinda didn't see that coming. I mean, I did. I knew that the Top 3 were going to be Casey, Lee, and Crystal, but in my heart I didn't really want that, you know? I wanted Big Mike in there, mixing it up.

After Daughtry's performance, Mike, Lee, and Crystal are brought center stage. Yikes! Kara's hair was very, very flat tonight. Time to switch conditioners, Kara. Anyway, Ryan talked to each of the Final 3 about their song choice, then send Lee to his family on the couch.

Whoa. That means that we were down to Mike and Crystal. Seriously, my palms were sweaty.

OMG--Bon Jovi!!!! Excuse while I turn 12 for a moment. Oh, wait. They're not going to sing "Living On A Prayer"? They decided to sing something new? Never mind, I'm not 12 anymore. I'm back to being 32 and bored.

Michael and Crystal were once again brought center stage. Crystal is named as safe, and Michael is eliminated. It's OK, Mike. I bet your CD will be out by the end of the year, plus you have the Finale and Tour to look forward to.

We'll miss you, Big Mike!

Top Three next week.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 38: Performances

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we just have this theme last season? And with the same mentor? Or was I just imagining that Jamie Foxx just mentored the contestants in "Songs From The Movies" in Season 8? I wasn't, was I? Are the producers really that short on theme ideas that they're stealing ideas from last season? Well, at least Jamie Foxx was a good mentor last season. Hopefully, he will be the same this season.

This is American Idol!

Oh, Lee, no. Why "Kiss From A Rose" from Batman Forever? Why sing a song that Constantine Maroulis once sang? Why sing a song from one of the worst movies in the Batman franchise? You are a better performer than that. I expect better.

Michael Lynche sang Michael Jackson. Sounds like a good idea, right? But, no. Of all the Michael Jackson songs in existence, why "Will You Be There" from Free Willy? Why not "Man In The Mirror" from Scrooged? Certainly they have clearance for it; it was one of the most performed songs during Hollywood week. It started off a little shaky, but got stronger at it progressed. The producers obviously like Mike, because they gave him not just backup singers, but an entire choir! The vocals were good, but it was also a little sleepy. I was a little bored.

The first duet of the night was Lee and Crystal singing "Falling Slowly" from the film Once. I've never heard this song or seen this movie, but I really, really liked their voices together. I loved them playing their guitars, singing with their mics backed up together. The performance felt real. It didn't feel like a reality-show performance. It felt intense and passionate, and totally redeemed Lee's shakier performance from earlier. Amazing.

As soon as I heard Seacrest say that Casey was going to sing a Simon & Garfunkel anthem from The Graduate, I knew it was going to be "Mrs. Robinson". I even said it out loud--to Richie. Why? Because I knew that Casey could not resist the siren call of those opening guitar licks in that song. But Casey fooled me. He didn't use his guitar. Instead, he chose a smaller instrument. A mandolin, maybe? Anyway, he slowed the song down, and made it much more intimate and sensitive, though I would love to take this moment to point out that this song has NOTHING to do with an older woman seducing a younger man. This song is about a woman who is being committed to a nursing home. Again, the performance was just...OK. I just didn't feel any connection.

Caddyshack? Caddyshack? Really, Bowersox? Caddyshack? I would love to see the song list these guys had to choose from. There had to be some sighing and eye-rolling going on when they saw it, because goodness knows I was definitely sighing and rolling my eyes listening to those performances last night. Certainly you don't get a theme like "Songs From The Movies" and think "Gosh. I can't wait to sing Kenny Loggins' seminal classic 'I'm Alright'!" But then Crystal Bowersox opened her mouth and assuaged all my fears. Why do I ever doubt her? She changed the song just enough so that we all were able to forget that it was a Kenny Loggins song, and made it sound like a Crystal Bowersox song. With the duet, this makes two solid performances from Crystal.

The second, and final, duet of the night was from the movie Don Juan DeMarco. Yes, my friends, Michael Lynche and Casey James are singing the Bryan Adams song "Have You Ever Loved A Woman". It was romantic and smooth, and in my opinion, a stroke of genius. You see, when Casey sings a song like this, it's TO YOU. And seeing how he has been labeled "the hottie" this season, him singing this song will make the girls go crazy and therefore boost his votes. Michael, on the other hand, is a family man, and his strength is in singing about well, the strong women in his life. This song encompassed both of those ideals. Together, they should have been an unstoppable force. I mean, look at them--they were both in black and playing guitars for goodness sakes. As good as this was, it still paled in comparison in Lee and Crystal's duet, which had chemistry so palpable you could feel it coming off the screen.

Turns out Jamie Foxx is still a great mentor. It's about time, too, since the talent is stronger at this point in the contest.

Results tonight!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episodes 36 & 37: Performances and Results

As much as it pains me to say this, there will be no recap for either episode this week. I have come down with a case of the flu, and am just too weak and sick to do anything but lie in bed or on the couch.

Enjoy Sinatra night!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 35: Results

Last night, like last Wednesday, was another big night of performances on American Idol. Wednesday nights are quickly turning into a concert series instead of being about the elimination results.

Starting the show off was Rascall Flatts singing their Olympics/Toyota song "Unstoppable". I can understand it being the theme for the Olympics, with athletes and all that, but I don't think choosing a song called "Unstoppable" was really a wise decision for Toyota, given all their brake problems and issues they've been having lately. Also, does Rascall Flatts do anything besides sing theme songs anymore?

Oh, dear. So now the Twilight/Vampire craze has hit American Idol. Really, American Idol? Really, Ford? Y'all just couldn't resist the urge to cash in, could you? Sheesh, what a terrible Ford pimpmercial. Listen, it's not that I don't like Stephanie Meyer's series. I really do. Well, I like everything but the last book. I didn't like the way she wrapped everything up in a nice little bow. Besides that, does no one remember my lifelong obsession with Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I still get excited when I see someone that was on that show in something else, so don't think I'm hating on vampires. They both fascinate and scare the bejesus out of me. ANYWAY, I thought this commercial was an example of what's really wrong in popular culture today. Take one stroll down the Young Adult/Teen Fiction aisle at your local bookstore and all you will see are ripoffs of the Twilight series. Are there no new ideas anymore? Or, at least original takes on old ideas?

OK, now we're down to results: Ryan splits the contestants up into three groups of two: Siobhan Magnus and Lee Dewyze in the first group, sent to the far left of the stage. Aaron Kelly and Crystal Bowersox in the second group, sent to the middle of the stage. Finally, Michael Lynche and Casey James were placed in the third group and told to stand on the right side of the stage closest to Ryan. Ryan then took Siobhan by the arm and walked her toward the couches, but stopped in front of Mike and Casey, announcing that this was the Bottom Three. Oh, that was COLD, letting her think she was safe and then chucking her into the Bottom Three like that. Lee, Aaron, and Crystal are safe.

In an obvious cut from last week's Idol Gives Back episode, Carrie Underwood introduced Sons Of Sylvia, and I have to admit that they were pretty good. I kind of wanted to hear more, and am thinking that maybe I need to look up their CD or something. They definitely need to be added to my playlist.

Ok, y'all. You HAVE to give me a moment to get fangirly over Lady Antebellum. It took me a little bit to get warmed up to them, but once I did, I really began to love their music. At first, I thought they were just a second-rate Sugarland knockoff, but in actuality, their blend and their aesthetic are quite different. In keeping with this week's theme of country crossovers, Lady Antebellum has a very country-pop sound, and I have to admit that I like them. I have both CDs, and "Need You Now" is in heavy rotation on my playlist.

Rascall Flatts AGAIN? Ugh, and this time they're singing with Shakira. Had to be the strangest duet ever. Completely and utterly forgettable.

Ryan's back with the Bottom Three at center stage: Siobhan, Michael, and Casey. Mike is immediately sent to the Couch of Safety. Whew! That left Siobhan and Casey, with Siobhan being eliminated.

Honestly, I can't say that I'm disappointed, because as long as the Top 4 is Crystal Bowersox, Lee Dewyze, Michael Lynche, and Casey James, I am A-OK. That' right, Aaron Kelly, I'm putting you on notice--next week shall be your last. Don't mess with the order of things.

Next week: The producers totally make up for Shania Twain week by having the Top 5 sing FRANK FREAKING SINATRA, mentored by Harry Connick, Jr. Where was Shania last night? Why didn't she perform? Why wasn't there a horribly lip-synced group sing medley of Shania's songs? Oh, that's right, the Top 6 sang every song she had out Tuesday night. There were no songs left for the Top 6 to sing! My bad.

See you Tuesday! Toodles!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 34: Performances

I'm just going to say this to get it out of the way, because I don't want there to be any confusion about where I stand on the subject. I am not a Shania Twain fan. I don't like her music. I don't like her videos. I don't like the way she conducts herself, period. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the producers chose her catalog as a theme appropriate for the Top 6. Twain was a product of the mid-'90's/early-'00s country music scene, which was a particularly weak time for the genre. She's only had maybe three albums out, and that gives the contestants maybe 10-12 singles from which to choose. Talk about a restrictive genre! It would have been much smarter to make the theme Country Music, and have Shania be the mentor. But what can I say?

This is American Idol!

Thank God that Lee Dewyze was smart enough to choose one of her least annoying songs, "Still The One" to perform this week. On a scale from 1-10, "Still The One" rates about a three. It's a non-offensive, treacly love ballad. This was very smart on Lee's behalf, because he was once again able to put his own spin on the song, so much so that it sounded like neither a Shania song nor a country song. Honestly, it sounded more like something Matt Nathanson would sing. Unfortunately, though, it was pitchy in a couple of places.

Note to Randy: Come on, man, are you kidding me? "Still The One" is one of your favorite songs of all time? You can't honestly believe it was one of the best songs ever written, right? You're just saying that because Shania was sitting four seats down from you, RIGHT?

God Bless Big Mike, because of all the contestants left in the Top 6, he is the one that concerned me the most this week. Shania isn't known for having a broad spectrum of music, so I had been really wondering what he would choose to sing. "It Only Hurts When I Breathe" was a good choice for him, because Michael Lynche can sell a ballad. He was born to sing them. He's a very emotional, expressive singers, and this time he even pulled his falsetto out for us to hear. Good job, Mike!

Casey James also returned to his roots as a balladeer, singing "Don't". But this time when he sat on his stool and played guitar, he wasn't singing TO ONLY YOU. Oh, no. This is a sensitive song, so Casey is going to squint his eyes and internalize his pain. Maybe drink away his sorrows because this is a country song. Seriously, though, it was a really good performance and great vocal that reminded us why we liked Casey in the first place--he's a great singer!

Oh. My. Goodness. I think Richie might be psychic, because I heard him JUST THIS PAST THURSDAY say that Crystal Bowersox was going to sing "No One Needs To Know". Honestly, his power kind of freaks me out. For starters, I loved the little string band she had put together backing her up. It feels like a Grand Old Opry performance with all those instrumentalists on the stage. Hmm. For the first time ever, I had to rate this on the lower scale of Crystal's performances. Her vocal wasn't great and she stumbled on the words a couple of times. Sorry, Crystal, you had an off week.

Were Aaron Kelly's fingers cramped? Why was he holding the microphone that way? His hand looked deformed and it was very distracting. Not that I'm complaining about the distraction, because "You've Got A Way" is one of Shania's more annoying songs. An 8 on a scale of 10. It was a very expected, straightforward, boring performance. But of course the judges loved it because it was country and Aaron is the only country singer in the competition.

Oh, God. Siobhan Magnus is singing "Any Man Of Mine", which earns a score of 13 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how much it annoys me. I really, really despise this song because it represents a double standard. If we, as women, want men to treat us as equals, shouldn't we do the same to them? I don't want a puppet. I want a man who is not afraid to disagree with me. I don't want my opinions to be his opinions just because they're my opinions! Listen, Richie treats me like a queen but he doesn't bow down to me. He's my partner, not my minion. OK, OK, I'm stepping off my feminist soap-box now. Happy? We'll walk about Siobhan singing this song. OH, GOOD HEAVENS. She sang the entire song through her nose! And in her lower register! It was painful to listen to her howling and screeching! I can't believe that the judges liked this performance.

The first half of the show was great, but the quality began to slide downhill beginning with performance #4, and never regained momentum. However, Richie and I came to the conclusion that we like Shania's music when she isn't the one singing it. Now that I was actually able to listen to the songs without hearing her, I have to admit that the songs are pretty decent. Her strength is definitely in songwriting. Shania STILL annoys me, though, and I am VERY happy that it's over!

Bottom Three: Your guess is as good as mine!

Results tonight.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 33: Idol Gives Back/Results

Ok, friends and neighbors. Last night's show was way, way, WAY too terribly long, so I am keeping this recap wonderfully simple.

The Good:
-Jennifer Garner reading to children
-Morgan Freeman attempting to hula-hoop with children
-George Lopez and Wanda Sykes' stand-up routines
-Carrie Underwood looking beautiful and polished
-Annie Lennox, Elton John, and the Mary J. Blige All-Star Band

The Bad:
-The Group Sing
-The Black Eyed Peas, who proved that some groups need to stay in the studio, although I did love Fergie's superhero costume, complete with cape. And the fact that she stood like Wonder Woman, with her fists on her hips, all through Queen Latifah's speech about giving back.
-Joss Stone, revealing that she was in fact not British, but from Backwoods Podunk, by singing "STAIND" instead of "STAND".
-The announcement that next week's theme is the MUSIC OF SHANIA TWAIN.

The Cheesy:
-Everything with Russell Brandt and Jonah Hill (although I find their movies hilarious)
-EVERYTHING ELSE that wasn't a heartbreaking video about needy or dying children

Let's let Ryan build the Bottom Three and send someone home, shall we?

Seascrest pulled Crystal and Casey to the center of the stage and announced that neither of them had ever been in the bottom three before. Crystal is sent to the Couch of Safety, and Casey is sent to the Chairs of Doom.

Aaron and Lee were then brought to center stage, where Lee was sent to safety, and Aaron was sent to sit with Casey.

For the final member of the Bottom Three, Siobhan, Mike, and Tim join Ryan in the center of the stage. Siobhan and Mike will return next week, and Tim is sent to the Bottom Three.

The Bottom Three: Casey James, Aaron Kelly, and Tim Urban

Casey and Aaron were safe, and Tim was eliminated. Idol Gives Back ran so long that Tim couldn't even sing us out.

Next is week Shania Twain week, and I guess that's fitting for the Top 6 since that's only about how many songs she had. Can you guess I'm not a fan? Feel free to disagree with me all you like in the comments.