Idol Headlines for 03/23/11

Today’s Idol Appearances:

  • Lee Dewyze performs at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Before, he’ll perform at 96.5 TIC’s Acoustic Cafe
  • Lee DeWyze’s chat w @KC1013! http://bit.ly/g1lVcr. Submit questions now, chat is at 2pm EST!
  • Jennifer Hudson appears on The Wendy Williams Show
  • Ryan Seacrest interviews New X Factor judge, L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell on his KIIS LA radio show today
  • David Cook attends a party for Audrina Patridge at Drais Hollywood, sponsored by VH1 and Runway.

David Cook’s rehearsals are being filmed today by Jokerstyle productions, a company that has worked with 19E artists in the past. Read the tweet.  According to their Facebook page,  they are “working with American Idol winner David Cook today…..editing full “making of” mini documentary…”

Also,  VH-1 and Runway Magazine present Audrina Patridge at Drais Hollywood on March 23rd (TONIGHT) , special guests include David Cook and many more. David’s exclusive interview and photo shoot is in the Spring Issue of Runway, available on newsstands now. Nope. David tweets that he won’t be there.

New Daughtry concert dates: Rock USA 2011, Oshkosh, WI, 7/14 (Pre-sale begins today) and Divots Event Center, Norfolk, NE 9/04.   More info at DaughtryOfficial

Lee DeWyze performs a free concert at Texas A&M Reed Arena on Sunday March 27 at 6pm. Doors open at 4:30.

Kris Allen’s been working on some music!

@BigDRizzl (Derek White) tweets, “Listening to rough mixes of Kris Allen at Blue Chair.” (The Blue Chair is a recording studio in Arkansas)

@STACEYDanger: “Listened to a new @KrisAllen song he wrote w/ @hodgesmusic & @SteveMillerROCK. Really dig it.(That’s David Hodges and Steven Miller) …but it sounds phenomenal and isn’t even finished yet!”

@TheExies (Scott Stevens)
Writing last two days with kris Allen! Got a good one !!! http://t.co/0XjGPlb

Nigel Lythgoe tweets, “Mark Anthony has helped the kids this week. He’s brilliant. http://plixi.com/p/86113458

More Headlines after the JUMP…

Casey James gives Sugarland Advice on their Upcoming Idol performance!


Sugarland on WhoSay

Via Sugarland

Lee DeWyze Speaks Candidly About Life After ‘Idol’

THR: Of course, most people judge the success of a music career on album sales. Was your release week kind of ruined because you couldn’t just take pride in the accomplishment?

DeWyze: Definitely. It was interesting. They didn’t release the album on time [because] there was some sort of a mix-up at iTunes — it was supposed to be out at midnight, it didn’t get released until three in the afternoon — and just as it’s about to come out, the Beatles release their full catalog. So it was like, “Wow. Really?” Almost every album above mine was the Beatles, which is cool, but I got a lot of flack.

People wanted to bash on me and I was, like, “I don’t really f—ing care.” I don’t. I’m gonna do what I do because I love doing it and for the people that like my music. So for me, the album release wasn’t my best day. It was pretty upsetting. Not because of where it was or how much it sold, there were just so many things going against it…

It’s easy to sit behind a computer and blog about how much you hate somebody. It’s my job to get out there and perform, and it’s their job to try to tear people down.

Read more at THR

Lee DeWyze: Some people take pictures, I write songs

I’ll be honest with you — I was rooting for Crystal Bowersox to win “American Idol” last season. I was just so taken with her uniquely diverse sound and assumed that Lee DeWyze was a one-trick pony. Mistakenly so, as the winner’s first album, “Live It Up,” has proved to me over the countless spins it has warranted since hitting shelves in November.

Channeling the best parts of John Mayer and Taylor Swift (Lee’s musicality is matched by his superior songwriting) has resulted in one of the most dynamic debuts from an “Idol” grad to date. I caught up with Lee following his return to the “American” stage last week to find out what life has been like since winning TV’s most popular reality show and why “Live It Up” only scratches the surface of what he plans to do professionally.

Read more at the NY Post

Lee Dewyze interview with American Idol

Developing ‘Idol’ contestants appeals to producer Jim Jonsin

For Jim Jonsin, the appeal of producing the contestants of American Idol this season is easy to explain. “I like to develop artists,” says the Florida-based producer.

Not only has Jonsin produced big hits by established stars — Lil Wayne’s Lollipop, Beyoncé’s Sweet Dreams, T.I.’s Whatever You Like and Usher’s There Goes My Baby among them — he’s worked with several acts that have found recent success. Jonsin signed B.o.B. to his Rebel Rock label. He has produced Wiz Khalifa and helped Yelawolf get signed to Eminem’s Shady Records. He also has been asked to work in Justin Bieber’s next album.

Read more at USA Today

EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENT: American Idol’s Stefano Langone Arrested For Drunk Driving – Read The Police Report

Langone was released from King County Jail on $500 bail and eventually walked away without having to serve time on the condition that he keep a clean record for the next two years and attend an alcohol and drug information course.

Shockingly, just one year prior, Langone was the victim of an alcohol-induced car accident himself — an accident which left him with two broken arms that now have metal plates and screws in them and a broken pelvis.

Read more at RadarOnline

Idol Meter: Taking measure of pure talent

Subtract this week’s bottom-rated Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo, and we just may have American Idol’s best vocal lineup yet.

It’s so strong that our first Idol Meter leader, Lauren Alaina, and No. 3 Stefano Langone can’t even crack the top three based on pure talent.

Of course, singing skills alone don’t win Idol honors, but while we can, let’s look at this season’s most gifted.

Read more at USA Today

‘American Idol’ is jamming, thanks to the new judges

Many of us thought American Idol would survive without Simon Cowell. But who knew it would prosper?

Yet it has, not just in the ratings — which show some natural erosion but not the precipitous drop many expected — but also in critical and viewer reaction. Much of the credit goes to returning producer Nigel Lythgoe, whose tweaks lend the show a renewed energy, and to the contestants, a more varied and entertaining group than last year’s crew. But main credit goes to the judges who chose those singers.

Read more at USA Today

‘Cowboy’ Paul McDonald to perform Motown on ‘American Idol’

McDonald, 26, a Huntsville High School graduate, has also headed out West to Hollywood for “American Idol,” but, unlike Kid Rock, he’s not looking for booze and other assorted trouble at Hollywood and Vine.

Instead, he’s a modern-day cowboy looking for fame, fortune and a good time on this season’s “American Idol.” According to his mom, Susan McDonald, Paul was a cute little cowboy growing up, so don’t be surprised if he comes out on stage some night dressed up as a modern-day Roy Rogers.

Read more at AL.com

Casey James “Drive” Teaser Clip (From his official website)

Didi Benami performs the National Anthem at the Orlando Magic v. Cleveland Cavaliers game – 3/22/11

  • Ratna12

    Kris Allen’s been working on some music!

    @BigDRizzl (Derek White) tweets, “Listening to rough mixes of Kris Allen at Blue Chair.” (The Blue Chair is a recording studio in Arkansas)

    @STACEYDanger: “Listened to a new @KrisAllen song he wrote w/ @hodgesmusic & @SteveMillerROCK. Really dig it.(That’s David Hodges and Steven Miller) …but it sounds phenomenal and isn’t even finished yet!”

    Thanks MJ and thanks girlygirl for all the Kris tweets.
    So excited !!

  • girlygirl

    The guy who was listening to the rough mixes of Kris’s music responded to a fan’s inquiry. But this guy doesn’t know Kris personally, so he doesn’t know much about it…

    BigDRizzi
    @shoshpd I would share but I don’t know Kris personally so I don’t know if he’d appreciate that. I’ll say it sounded really good :]

    @shoshpd it was mainly acoustic and vocal. I don’t know if it was for an album or not, it may have just been reference. But you never know!

    [ETA: I'm guessing it was probably a rough vocal demo for Kris to give to the producers and/or to his A&R team; but what do I know, right? :) ]

  • girlygirl

    OT but — RIP Elizabeth Taylor. I thought she was a pretty good actress and she seemed like a good person.

  • tripp_ncwy

    TMZ

    ABC has decided not to press charges against Chris Brown http://bit.ly/g2oM1V

    ETA: I wonder what happened behind the scenes.

  • tinawina

    [ETA: I'm guessing it was probably a rough vocal demo for Kris to give to the producers and/or to his A&R team; but what do I know, right? :) ]

    Sounds like it. Still exciting though!

  • sma11ie

    So we knew from David Cook and his band’s tweets that they’ve started rehearsals, but apparently, it’s being filmed.

    @AlexCastino: shooting David Cook rehearsals today #davidcook #americanidol

    Checked out the guy’s page, and he’s a cameraman/director who does a lot of music/band related shoots. He doesn’t tweet much, so I was able to scroll all the way to June 19, 2009 when he apparently shot Adam Lambert “in the studio”. Slight Idol connection. Anyone remember what that June 2009 video of Adam was for by chance? Could give Cook fans a clue as to what his rehearsal footage might be for.

  • mmb

    ^^ sounds like maybe a special iTunes extra video like Adams behind the scenes and in the studio vids…. Or maybe it’s a video package for his idol appearance. Either way, yay!

    Smallie Adams in the studio iTunes video was likely shot at least in parting June 2009 because he is with Tedder discussing master plan and supposedly that was one of the first songs he recirdedp

  • Trina

    Yay! Rehearsals being filmed sounds good! My first thought was maybe bonus footage to go along with the album?

    Also apparently theres going to be a launch party in Hollywood tonight for that new issue of Runway mag and as of now hes supposed to attend. Some reporting attending was taking questions on Twitter.

  • tinawina

    Yay! Coookie release sounds imminent. :D

  • sr4mjc

    ABC has decided not to press charges against Chris Brown http://bit.ly/g2oM1V

    Too bad. Is it wrong that I want LA Reid to dump this guy on his ass? I know it won’t happen, he’s making Jive money, but what a douchebag. And Reid loves Rihanna.

  • Mary102

    I saw Michael Slezak’s Idoloonies yesterday, and he and his team did a great job editing in the Simon comments for the contestants. It really really made me miss Simon’s feedback, tbh. Granted, sometimes he was prone to pick a favorite (for occassionally unknown reasons) and give them tons of praise that was unfounded (like early Lil Rounds), but if that early favorite began to flounder too much, he generally called them out on it for the most part. Sigh.

    Can Nigel just edit in Simon comments all season? I’d totally be ok with that. lol.

    I’m glad he also called out the producer/Iovine manipulation problems. He’s right that it does sound too canned in the live performances now, which is taking away some of the magic from other seasons.

    And finally, it was nice to be reminded of Cook’s version of Hello from S7. He was my fav that season, and it really struck me suddenly how inventive someone like him was on the show, vs what we have this year.

  • justshootme

    That USA Today article states that Jacob Lusk “could be Idol’s best singer ever.” And I could be queen of the universe. Only not.

  • tripp_ncwy

    More writing tweets for Kris with photo.

    @TheExies (Scott Stevens)
    Writing last two days with kris Allen! Got a good one !!! http://t.co/0XjGPlb

    Scott Stevens:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Stevens_(singer)

  • gangreen29

    I saw Michael Slezak’s Idoloonies yesterday, and he and his team did a great job editing in the Simon comments for the contestants.

    I thought it was particularly lame, and a way to reinvent history. Simon never gave constructive criticisms, and he had his own agenda he pushed like you mentioned. He was critical of good performances that didn’t fit his agenda and he praised crap performances a lot. How short people’s memories are I guess..

  • Miss Blue

    Has Chris Brown considered anger management classes, the long version? Geez. This is a dangerous guy. Only a matter of time before he sinks his ship.

  • gangreen29

    He was my fav that season, and it really struck me suddenly how inventive someone like him was on the show, vs what we have this year.

    Taking someone’s cover from youtube is not innovative in my book. That isn’t the kind of “artistry” I need on the show personally.

  • Trina

    And finally, it was nice to be reminded of Cook’s version of Hello from S7. He was my fav that season, and it really struck me suddenly how inventive someone like him was on the show, vs what we have this year.

    The good ole days when we would see spoiler lists and be all “WTF” when we saw David’s choices lol. Then they would turn out to be amazing. “Hello” was also a performance Simon used few times as an example of taking a huge risk and being creative way after season 7 ended. I have to wonder though if he would be able to show that kind of creativity with Iovine and his mega producers calling the shots.

    I know theres the argument that has gone on since that season about whether or not he was creative or simply copied others, but Always Be My Baby for example..I dont think there was a single version remotely similar to it on You Tube before David sang it.

  • girlygirl

    Chris Brown’s new album is #1 on iTunes. His issues don’t seem to be affecting his sales

  • girlygirl

    Happy to see another tweet about people writing with Kris.

    And Kris’s face in that picture — what a dork :D

  • bridgette12

    justshootme says:

    03/23/2011 at 11:44 am

    That USA Today article states that Jacob Lusk “could be Idol’s best singer ever.” And I could be queen of the universe. Only not.

    I like Jacob, but being the best singer ever, I don’t think so. Carrie, Kelly and Adam would be my choices as the best singers from Idol.

  • tinawina

    Chris Brown’s new album is #1 on iTunes. His issues don’t seem to be affecting his sales

    They won’t right now, because his legion of hardcore fans are buying.

    We’ll see if it effects him in a couple of weeks after the diehards stop buying IMO.

    Taking someone’s cover from youtube is not innovative in my book. That isn’t the kind of “artistry” I need on the show personally.

    Hello, Always Be My Baby and Little Sparrow were his own. Billie Jean, Day Tripper and Eleanor Rigby were from YouTube.

    But to be honest, I’d take anything at this point. I don’t care who did the switching up. I’d just like to hear something different again to break up the monotony. All were are getting right now is ballads with disco beats added.

  • springboard

    Simon never gave constructive criticisms, and he had his own agenda he pushed like you mentioned. He was critical of good performances that didn’t fit his agenda and he praised crap performances a lot. How short people’s memories are I guess..

    Yes, I think that many people would like more straight forward criticism from the present panel, but they have forgotten the bad aspects of Simon’s judging. It’s like a romantic idea of who he was.

  • sr4mjc

    Has Chris Brown considered anger management classes, the long version?

    Yes, it was part of his sentence. They worked well, didn’t they?

    The response from GMA is not unlike an abuse victim. He throws a fit, breaks something and they practically apologize and beg him to come back for round 2. It’s disturbing.

  • sma11ie

    I saw Michael Slezak’s Idoloonies yesterday, and he and his team did a great job editing in the Simon comments for the contestants. It really really made me miss Simon’s feedback, tbh.

    I agree. I just caught up on the latest Idoloonies, and I thought Slezak was pretty dead on with all his critiques. Editing in Simon made me miss him as well, but TBH, Simon’s critiques the past few years were very hit or miss, and not all of those comments were deserved at the time they were made. That edit job made Simon’s comments look a LOT more relevant than they actually were, I think.

    Can Nigel just edit in Simon comments all season? I’d totally be ok with that. lol.

    Haha, actually me too. Because when you edit him in, there’s a bigger chance they’re more appropriate.

    Taking someone’s cover from youtube is not innovative in my book. That isn’t the kind of “artistry” I need on the show personally.

    There’s been no indication from David that he got Hello from youtube. The covers of Hello on Youtube prior to his performance were IMO pretty different from what David ultimately did. It’s not the most original idea in the world to cover Hello in a rock vein (bands have been covering 80s pop songs ironically for ages), but he did work out the arrangement himself, and it did turn out to be a really good performance, which is what I care about. He clearly explained on the show which covers he found on Youtube- Billie Jean, Eleanor Rigby, and Day Tripper, so I’m not sure what reason he would have to only lie about Hello.

    Besides which, wherever David found some of his other covers, they made for interesting performances, which is what I care about, at the end of the day. I’d rather Casey find a really cool cover on Nirvana online that serves him well than that mess he did last week. JMO.

    But to be honest, I’d take anything at this point. I don’t care who did the switching up. I’d just like to hear something different again to break up the monotony. All were are getting right now is ballads with disco beats added.

    Or what she said :). tinawina, I’d just add that All I Really Need Is You and The World I Know were his as well. I don’t know if Baba O’Reilly was his or mostly the Idol band.

  • mmb

    Not only is abc not pressing charges ( no surprise) but they have invited him back and are wishing him well and pulling for him. Ijdgi

  • plays strings

    Props to Didi on a nice version of the National Anthem. I hope she keeps working at her music. No pitch problems and she got all the words right.

    I listened to that interview and the only thing Chris Brown seemed to be interested in was taking your money. Why do we support folks like this. I mean.. if he was really trying… not.

    Too many folks doing it right to bother with this guy.

  • Eileen99

    Interesting that now Kris is writing with an alternative-rock type guy, which would be more along the lines of the Neon Trees producer. So we’ve got alternative/pop/rock and R&B stuff going on. Trying not to get my hopes up for a May single, but Kris has been working on the album pretty non-stop for 6 weeks or so.

    Re: Cook’s arrangements discussion. Whether he got some ideas from YouTube or not, who cares? He was able to translate arrangements to fit his strengths and executed the performances well. You have to have some musical smarts to do that. I don’t think we’ve seen enough mixing it up this year for my taste, although I do think so far it’s much more entertaining than S9.

  • tripp_ncwy

    ABC must not be too upset since Chris Brown’s Dancing With The Stars performance next Tuesday will go on as planned according to MTVNews” http://ow.ly/4kPcv

  • cheese

    @AlexCastino: shooting David Cook rehearsals today #davidcook #americanidol

    I’m glad that someone gets to hear new Cook music. Are there any acts with May release dates who have no single, or even info about a future single at this point? I’m still hoping for a May release.

    I hope we get something besides competent karaoke tonight, but I’m not expecting much. I have no problems with “covers of covers” on Idol, especially since they seem to be recording their songs within 48 hours of picking them.

    None of the “innovative” contestants on Idol were that innovative from a real world perspective, imo. Kris’ decision to play many of his songs on an acoustic guitar was not some magical trick – it seems to be a really easy way to do a cover (see, e.g., hundreds of thousands of acoustic guitar covers on Youtube), David got some of his covers from the Internet, Adam did the Gary Jules version of Mad World, etc. They all executed well, which makes all the difference.

    So far only Naima has really given us something different in the live shows, but her execution hasn’t been great. I expected a lot more of Casey and Paul.

  • LaRue

    I like Jacob, but being the best singer ever, I don’t think so. Carrie, Kelly and Adam would be my choices as the best singers from Idol.

    It’s all subjective.

    As for Chris Brown, yesterday’s outburst is just another strange moment from the past couple of weeks from him–leaked nude photos, bleached hair, tons of new tattoos, strange tweets, and now this ABC mess. Makes one wonder if he’s bipolar and stopped taking his meds. He went months with barely a peep, now all this action.

    That’s no excuse for bad behavior and not getting real help for his issues. But something is clearly going on.

  • Incipit

    Heh. Thanks for mentioning “All I Really Need is You”, Sma11ie. The one that gave Neil Diamond chills. It’s a standout for me, knowing what the original sounded like, and the least noticed among younger critics, who obviously didn’t…and also from being overshadowed by Paula’s Fortune Telling Fiasco that week.

    David earned his WTF!Cook moniker that season.

    Anyway – the Facebook page with an endless list of credits for Alex Castino shows quite a few Idol, RCA, 19, and also rock connections (an award winning one for Steven Tyler) – he’s worked with David six times before.

    David Cook (american idol) – “making of album” project 7/10 (19 Entertainment / RCA Records)

    David Cook: “Come Back To Me’ – Music Video Shoot 3/09 (RCA Records)

    David Cook – ‘Light On’ Music Video Shoot (RCA Records)

    American Idol: David Cook: studio sessions 2008 (19 management)

    American Idol: David Cook: album cover photo shoot / broll (19 management)

    American Idol: David Cook: photo session 2008 (behind the scenes broll) (RCA Records)

    Good to see this report!

  • flicker

    Matt Giraud tweeted a link to a new Garmin TV ad, starring, guess who? Matt himself! No singing, but he looks so good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXHKOfuvZSg&sns=tw

  • koshka

    Taking someone’s cover from youtube is not innovative in my book. That isn’t the kind of “artistry” I need on the show personally.

    IDK if I have a choice between listening to pageant-bots and uninspired covers that sound like karaoke or someone that is inspired by a YT reworked cover, I’ll take the latter anytime.

  • Elliegrll

    Kris’ decision to play many of his songs on an acoustic guitar was not some magical trick

    The majority of Kris’ songs weren’t played on an acoustic guitar. Including at least two where he played piano, the majority were performed without guitar.

    But, that’s oversimplifying things since the point is that he changed the arrangements to fit his voice, style, and make the songs work. There was more going on with “She Works Hard for the Money” than Kris playing a guitar.

  • tinawina

    I’m glad that someone gets to hear new Cook music. Are there any acts with May release dates who have no single, or even info about a future single at this point? I’m still hoping for a May release.

    Here’s a list of acts with a solid release date for May. There’s not a ton for the end of May, so there’s hope still. But If we don’t hear something by say next week then I’m going with June.

    Is there a day of the week press releases for this kind of thing usually drop? I suppose they’d be timed to take advantage of press cycles.

  • ri

    as long as we’re hoping for the inventive and clever working of a song the way only Cookie knew how to do it, can we also long for the majority of the contestants to also sing IN TUNE? i was watching a couple of Archie’s vids from the top 24 and damn, that kid could sing. like him or not, his vocals were almost always flawless. if these kids have hearing problems onstage then FIX THEM. we should be able to listen to at least most of these people sing without such major pitch problems. it’s a singing competition! (i can’t help it… it almost always comes down to David and David for me. they were both just stellar).

  • CindyM

    Looks like maybe David will have a deluxe version of his album on Itunes including some videos! That June 2009 video by that guy for Adam’s album showed up as extras for his Itunes Deluxe album. It was really cool with behind the scenes footage, talks with producers/writers, scenes of Adam recording, etc.

  • CindyM

    ri says:
    03/23/2011 at 12:45 pm

    as long as we’re hoping for the inventive and clever working of a song the way only Cookie knew how to do it, can we also ask for majority of the contestants to also sing IN TUNE?

    LOL, other people were inventive and cleverly worked songs besides David. That being said, I think this years kids are very talented, but I’m with you, I’d like to see them singing better. It just makes me wonder if they don’t have enough time with the songs or they’re a little scared. The pressure of Iovine may be a little much.

  • springboard

    I watched a few performances from Motown week season 1, 2 and 3 recently and it felt that they were generally more polished than the more recent ones. Is it possible that the studio recordings and perhaps other ‘duties’ are eating at their rehearsal time too much?

  • saga

    I watched a few performances from Motown week season 1, 2 and 3 recently and it felt that they were generally more polished than the more recent ones. Is it possible that the studio recordings and perhaps other ‘duties’ are eating at their rehearsal time too much?

    Some newspaper posted their fav motown idol performances and I must say Kelly looked very relaxed and personal! Loved Fantasia and Adam too, such great performers. They had Clay and someone I didn’t know as their other picks.

  • Valentin432

    I hope the contestants are rested and their vocals are on. That’s the most important part.

    One show won’t kill the season but they need to rebound this week. I’m optimistic because the potential is there.

  • sma11ie

    as long as we’re hoping for the inventive and clever working of a song the way only Cookie knew how to do it, can we also ask for majority of the contestants to also sing IN TUNE?

    Well, I don’t think the discussion was about how only Cook knew how to do anything, but what kind of reworkings are good in general, and what some of us are missing this season. That said, I agree with the in tune part. It’s really starting to hurt. That’s why I really appreciate Pia, Lauren, and Scotty, whether or not they’re my bag.

    he’s worked with David six times before.

    Oh cool, thanks for the info. I didn’t know that. Hopefully the behind the scenes stuff is substantial and ends up somewhere. I don’t recall seeing much of it for the last record.

  • Elliegrll

    It just makes me wonder if they don’t have enough time with the songs or they’re a little scared. The pressure of Iovine may be a little much.

    I think part of it is the incorrect meme that stage presence equals moving around the stage, dancing and everything else except being able to vocally connect with a song in a way that makes the audience feel the songs meaning. A lot of these people just need to stand still, so that they can concentrate on the song. So many of their movements just seem forced and rehearsed, and it is clear that they are paying more attention to that aspect than they are to their singing. It was doing that that lead to the ouster of Tim Halperin and Rachel Zevita, and is hurting Paul and Haley.

  • Trina

    Here’s a list of acts with a solid release date for May. There’s not a ton for the end of May, so there’s hope still. But If we don’t hear something by say next week then I’m going with June.

    I’m far from the kind of fan that has unreleastic expectations, but I’ll be shocked if we dont hear something within the next week or two about a single. Didnt RCAEd say like a couple of weeks we’re going to get news soon? Plus I’m kinda doubting the rehearsals they’ve been doing are only for that acoustic radio show.

    It feels like ages ago but I LOVED season 2’s Motown week. Ruben and Clay especially were awesome.

  • saga

    Have the contestat been that pitchy? I thought most of them had been pretty ok when it comes to singing the right notes?

  • CindyM

    I think part of it is the incorrect meme that stage presence equals moving around the stage, dancing and everything else except being able to vocally connect with a song in a way that makes the audience feel the songs meaning.

    I don’t think it’s that at all. We’ve had people standing still and singing and they still didn’t do well. If you’ve looked at Paul’s pre-idol youtubes, he’s spastic moving in those too. It just looks a little better when he’s holding a guitar. Haley’s suffering from the fact that she’s all over the place musically. She doesn’t seem to have a grasp on her musical identity. There’s also no evidence that we’ve seen that Iovine or anyone else is pressuring people to dance and move around.

  • gangreen29

    But to be honest, I’d take anything at this point. I don’t care who did the switching up.

    I understand that is what some of the more vocals fans want out of a performance, but this is where I can’t see eye to eye. I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes. I just want to see someone come out and knock it out of the park with vocals (which David C did, I’m not trying to denigrate his performances, just explaining why I don’t give a crap about the “innovation” on the show). Pia, James, Jacob, and Lauren have already showed me that this season at different points.

  • Incipit

    The good stuff keeps coming, and I Flove it!

    From Jokerstyle Productions Facebook wall:
    “jokerstyle productions
    working with American Idol winner David Cook today…..editing full “making of” mini documentary…”

    A full “making of” mini documentary? Might that mean that Alex Castino has been there from the beginning days at Emblem? That early photo shoot David mentioned and we never saw? They ought to have a great rapport by now, if so. Expecting some excellent pics, I am…not even cautiously.

    *snerk* @Myself.

  • Elliegrll

    Have the contestat been that pitchy? I thought most of them had been pretty ok when it comes to singing the right notes?

    I think that Smallie is on the right track, one of the reasons why Pia, Scotty, and I’d throw in Thia, have been given credit is because they have been more consistent with their vocals in comparison to everyone else. The first week it was like a breath of fresh air to hear Pia and Thia, even if they were a bit robotic.

    There’s also no evidence that we’ve seen that Iovine or anyone else is pressuring people to dance and move around.

    I think it’s a safe bet that the talk of hiding behind guitars, and standing still and just singing has had an effect on the contestants. Haley and the others are dealing with a lot of issues, and I think that this is one of them.

  • Joyed

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance.

    I agree. I have been enjoying the season overall quite a lot. The one thing missing for me is song choices that really suit their vocal strengths and great interpretations of what they’re singing.

    If you are singing a fun poppy song, it should be phrased in a poppy way (Naima and Umbrella was good interpretation with unfortunate notes). If you are singing a ballad of meaning, the phrasing and interpretation should hopefully make me feel something (I love Thia’s tone, but not her phrasing).

    This group overall has pretty good pitch (and they are doing well considering how difficult it can be to hear on the stage).

    I just think the group needs to practice finding songs that show their strengths and allow them to connect well to the energy and emotion of the song. Song choice and performance is all a good season needs :)

  • Elliegrll

    Brian Mansfield interviewed one of the UMG producers, Jim Jonsin. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/idolchatter/post/2011/03/jim-jonsin/1Here's an interesting part:

    So the things that work in the studio don’t always work on the show, and vice versa.”Some of the advice they’re getting from us and Jimmy, it’s like completely opposite what they might get off the stage,” Jonsin says. “It’s contradictory in some ways, but we’re trying to get a record done, and they’re trying to get a performance done.”

    I think this goes back to being Nigel, the idol bandleader and the contestant’s responsibility. If the studio productions don’t translate to the live stage, they shouldn’t be used on performance night, even if they are still used for the recordings that are put up on itunes.

    Jonsin also said that UMG wants the contestants that the sign to record music before the tour begins, and that each producer has the option to sign or work with a contestant, even if that person doesn’t win.

  • jumpstart

    I’m glad that someone gets to hear new Cook music. Are there any acts with May release dates who have no single, or even info about a future single at this point? I’m still hoping for a May release.

    Ditto. Although, I’m really trying not to dwell on it too much. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues.

  • Kris

    I’ve never been one for rearranging the songs so that they sound different from the original. Many of the touted performances, I did not like. I do think it is more important to sing the song well and connect with it. And to be entertaining, in a good way. I agree with someone who said they need to pick songs that showcase their voices.

  • sma11ie

    Plus I’m kinda doubting the rehearsals they’ve been doing are only for that acoustic radio show

    David’s tweet of the AC guitar looked like a rehearsal room with amps and stuff, so definitely not acoustic rehearsals right now.

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes. I just want to see someone come out and knock it out of the park with vocals

    I actually kind of agree with you. In this whole discussion, I’ve been saying that I care about the reworkings only as far as they result in good performances, and they’re only really needed when they help make a song more suitable stylistically or vocally for a contestant. Like Joyed said, I want to see song choices that suit their vocal strengths and great interpretations- more than anything else, Billie Jean was a good choice for Cook because it showed off his voice, IMO. I hate rearrangements for the sake of rearranging, the way Andrew Garcia did everything last season, and can’t stand rearrangements that make no sense for a song’s original intent or lyrics. It’s just that for me, a good performance often includes bringing something different to a song, be it vocally or otherwise. I don’t watch Idol for the greatest innovations in music, but I also don’t want just an excellent karaoke cover. 99% of the time, I simply can’t enjoy that. It’s just the way I’m wired.

  • Valentin432

    The whole interview is pretty interesting.

    Idol has always been a crash course to become a recording artist. Since season 1 the idols have recorded songs in studio and it’s a different process than the live performance, they need to learn to do both.

  • tinawina

    Have the contestat been that pitchy? I thought most of them had been pretty ok when it comes to singing the right notes?

    I thought so too. There only a handful of pitchy people IMO.

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes. I just want to see someone come out and knock it out of the park with vocals (which David C did, I’m not trying to denigrate his performances, just explaining why I don’t give a crap about the “innovation” on the show).

    I didn’t think you were trying to denigrate anyone, no worries!

    I’m not attached to re-arranging per se, but I am attached to non-karaoke performances. So if you have to switch things up to get to something that sounds more like you, then by all means do it, I say. Casey would have done better making “Smells Like Teen Spirit” closer to something that took advantage of his Bluesy/Jazzy tendencies, so I would have preferred that. Plus it would have shown just how well he knows himself.

    Of course it can be done with just your voice, if you pick a song that gets right at the heart of the best things about your voice and stage personality… like Fanny/Summertime or Kelly/Stuff Like That There or Daughtry/Hemmorage. That’s good too. I like both.

    ETA: Or what sma11ie said. Big surprise. LOL

  • Incipit

    “It’s contradictory in some ways, but we’re trying to get a record done, and they’re trying to get a performance done.”

    Exactly. And it’s the performance that sells the ‘record’. And yet, Nigel chose to put his payroll behind the studio music, not the stage performance.

    The contestants with the vocals, self-awareness and self confidence to filter the contradictions have a shot at making it through the Idol swamp – no matter what their age is. That’s the way it has been in the past, too. The judges aren’t helping much.

    Although I see Nigel has recruited Marc Anthony to assist on the stage, in a Twofer with Jennifer? Might be cool if he also learned to spell his name correctly.

  • car3278sweet

    That tease of a vid for “Drive” has to be a good indication that it’s CEJ’s first single? Does anyone else think this? I’m still trying to read the tea leaves in this area.

    .”Some of the advice they’re getting from us and Jimmy, it’s like completely opposite what they might get off the stage,” Jonsin says. “It’s contradictory in some ways, but we’re trying to get a record done, and they’re trying to get a performance done.”

    While I do agree that AI is a crash course in being a recording artist, I don’t think throwing these kids on a TV show in front of millions with the expectation that they will perform like Lady Gaga and at the same time throw them into the recording studio – with seasoned producers who are determining if they want to work with them in the future – with the expectation of smash singles is working. It’s not IMHO. Let’s not even talk about all the publicity, the rehearsals, the song choices, the threat of being sent home… I’m amazed these kids haven’t collapsed.

    This is crazy. Let the kids do the show. Let them do the tour. Give them some breathing room for God’s sake. Give those who have been deemed the most talented some time to craft good original music. TPTB are running around like crazies determined to make a fast buck on the back of a bunch of teenagers (and young adults). Yeah. They signed up for it – but I bet they didn’t realize what they were in for. And frankly, any artistry has been lost in a sea of nerves, fear and exhaustion. Again, my opinion.

    Is Jimmy and the gang at all interested in making ANY of this crew into a viable music artist with a lengthy career?

  • sma11ie

    ETA: Or what sma11ie said. Big surprise. LOL

    LOL. I swear we’re not sock puppets!

    Jonsin also said that UMG wants the contestants that the sign to record music before the tour begins, and that each producer has the option to sign or work with a contestant, even if that person doesn’t win.

    I’m really undecided about this whole new Jimmy Iovine/UMG thing on Idol. Hmmm…

  • saga

    I’m really undecided about this whole new Jimmy Iovine/UMG thing on Idol. Hmmm…

    Yeah, I’m also undecided. I was hoping that their input would bring more interesting performance, especially in the pop genre but I haven’t been convinced so far.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Matt Giraud tweeted a link to a new Garmin TV ad, starring, guess who? Matt himself! No singing, but he looks so good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXHKOfuvZSg&sns=tw

    Matt just tweeted…it’s a joke. It’s not really him. Somebody tweeted this to me yesterday, and I thought it was fishy, so I didn’t post it. lol.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    Is Jimmy and the gang at all interested in making ANY of this crew into a viable music artist with a lengthy career?

    Possibly not. Universal must have the same numbers I do, showing that unless your name is Kelly Clarkson, your sales peak with your first big post-Idol release. Being on Idol turns out not to eliminate the hard work of building a career with radio play and other non-Idol forms of mass appeal — so it’s not a cheap source of viable new acts for the label.

    What Idol can be for a label is a nice little development cash cow. Milk the viewing audience by selling lots of mementos of the show during and immediately after the season, since that’s how viewers typically buy.

    If one of the finalists happens to have a “break out” single (or EP or whatever other unit of sales is offered) — then go ahead and develop that singer further, knowing it’ll require most of the traditional means of artist development.

  • Elliegrll

    While I do agree that AI is a crash course in being a recording artist, I don’t think throwing these kids on a TV show in front of millions with the expectation that they will perform like Lady Gaga and at the same time throw them into the recording studio – with seasoned producers who are determining if they want to work with them in the future – with the expectation of smash singles is working. It’s not IMHO. Let’s not even talk about all the publicity, the rehearsals, the song choices, the threat of being sent home… I’m amazed these kids haven’t collapsed.

    While I agree that it’s a lot to deal with, I hate to be mean, but they need to learn how to adjust. They have an opportunity that none of the previous idol contestants have had, and this is a position that they may never get again. I agree that they need to learn really fast how to compromise, so that they are showing viewers who they are as artists, but also building important ties with the UMG producers. If they want to be artists they need to learn how to balance a hundred things at once, and take advantage of opportunities when they are presented to them.

  • sma11ie

    Milk the viewing audience by selling lots of mementos of the show during and immediately after the season, since that’s how viewers typically buy.

    If one of the finalists happens to have a “break out” single (or EP or whatever other unit of sales is offered) — then go ahead and develop that singer further, knowing it’ll require most of the traditional means of artist development.

    Aw, that’s pretty cynical! But you might be right. That model does make business sense for UMG, if not for 19. We shall see.

  • jumpstart

    DC just tweeted…

    thedavidcook David Cook
    Another full day of rehearsal today, followed by nothing else. #NEWSfromtheSOURCE

    Ha.

  • gigglesmo3

    No party for David Cook tonight:

    @thedavidcook: Another full day of rehearsal today, followed by nothing else. #NEWSfromtheSOURCE

  • IndyMuse

    I actually think the most astonishing example of Cook’s rearranging skills was Little Sparrow. It sounded like almost a completely different song from what Dolly Parton wrote. It was fantastic, IMO. But it also served his voice and worked well with the lyrics and overall song.I agree, however, that rearranging just for the sake of rearranging, without regard to whether it serves the song or the singer, is not good. Some people are good at this (Cook, in some cases Allen), some do it with awkward results (Garcia and some others). Some people last year seemed to think any old rearrangement would generate enthusiasm and votes.

  • sma11ie

    FYI, the above David tweet was no doubt in response to this earlier tweet from Runway magazine, which many fans retweeted to him:

    @RunwayMagazine: VH-1 & Runway Magazine present A.Patridge at Drais Hollywood Mar 23rd, special guest include David Cook and many more.

    But yeah, LMAO forever. David is SUCH an internet lurker. It’s hilarious and scary. #NEWSfromtheSOURCE

  • BootStar

    Matt Giraud tweeted a link to a new Garmin TV ad, starring, guess who? Matt himself! No singing, but he looks so good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXHKOfuvZSg&sns=tw

    That is SO not Matt Giraud, LOL. Although the dude looks more like Matt than “Fergie” looked like herself last week. ;-)

    It does look like “Drive” will be Casey’s first single. Works for me. I really like it. Good summer tune, if they get it out anytime soon.

    How many of those names Jim Jonsin cited are artists known primarily for their pure singing ability? What’s the point of looking for “the best singers in America” to compete on Idol if the genius record producers are going to treat them the same way they would somebody with questionable singing talent?

  • standtotheright

    But yeah, LMAO forever.

    Pretty much. Although I don’t get what’s so weird about squashing rumors when people @reply one with them.

  • sr4mjc

    Have the contestat been that pitchy? I thought most of them had been pretty ok when it comes to singing the right notes?

    Yes, IMO. The ones with pitch issues far out number the ones who are mostly on pitch. It was especially apparent once they went live last week. Pia and Scotty were both pretty ok, they rest all had their rough spots.

    ETA: Lauren’s been pretty ok and even though I hate Paul’s voice, I think he’s been on pitch. I usually tune him out. so, maybe 4?

  • BootStar

    I actually think the most astonishing example of Cook’s rearranging skills was Little Sparrow. It sounded like almost a completely different song from what Dolly Parton wrote. It was fantastic, IMO. But it also served his voice and worked well with the lyrics and overall song.I agree, however, that rearranging just for the sake of rearranging, without regard to whether it serves the song or the singer, is not good. Some people are good at this (Cook, in some cases Allen), some do it with awkward results (Garcia and some others). Some people last year seemed to think any old rearrangement would generate enthusiasm and votes.

    The thing about Cook’s “Little Sparrow” and “Always Be My Baby,” is that he HAD to rearrange the songs, because they were written by and for a woman and both those weeks REQUIRED that he perform the songs of a particular artist. So it wasn’t rearranging for the sake of rearranging. Jason Castro’s “I Don’t Wanna Cry” was also beautiful that season, and beautifully rearranged. I thought Casey J. did a great job with Shania Twain’s “Don’t,” as well.

    Also, on the weeks when the contestants were forced to sing songs by former Beatles (or whomever), they are often forced out of the box and into becoming a good rearranger. I absolutely loved Carly Smithson’s “Blackbird” and Casey’s “Jealous Guy.” They were making those songs work for their voices and their styles of music and the results were fantastic.

    Similarly, Kris Allen’s brilliant reworking of “She Works Hard For the Money.”

    The thing is, this season’s contesants won’t get those opportunties for greatness unless Nigel and Co. force them into some uncomfortable (or at least unfamilar) boxes.

  • Eyeswideshut2

    What Idol can be for a label is a nice little development cash cow. Milk the viewing audience by selling lots of mementos of the show during and immediately after the season, since that’s how viewers typically buy.

    I’m sure that’s exactly how they see it. But the problem IMO is that will only work if the performances are good enough to drum up enough viewer interest in the contestants to go and seek out heir studio recordings on Itunes.

  • sma11ie

    Although I don’t get what’s so weird about squashing rumors when people @reply one with them.

    Oh, it’s not weird, but it’s funny because of his hashtag.

  • progression

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes. I just want to see someone come out and knock it out of the park with vocals (which David C did, I’m not trying to denigrate his performances, just explaining why I don’t give a crap about the “innovation” on the show).

    Dave himself has said that rearranging songs is not an end in itself, that the point is to give a performance that suits the singer and they can convery with conviction. In his case, rearrangements helped him do that, given his musical style. I tend to like unfamiliar arrangements because they add some variety to the show, espcially since AI continues force the kids into songs we’ve heard a million times. But I completely agree that *clever* arrangement for their own sake tend to backfire – exhibit A: Andrew Garcia.

    UMG appears to be taking a page from the Glee playbook don’t they?

  • pattycake

    thedavidcook David Cook
    Another full day of rehearsal today, followed by nothing else. #NEWSfromtheSOURCE

    In that one tweet, he replied to many conversations on this blog. 1) Yes he reads his @replies. 2.) Yes, he was honest in the interview which he said he was a homebody 3.)he is a snark #newsfromtheSource hahaha.
    And yes, I am one of his “people” :)

  • Mary102

    gangreen29, I wanted to address your comments.

    I thought it was particularly lame, and a way to reinvent history. Simon never gave constructive criticisms, and he had his own agenda he pushed like you mentioned. He was critical of good performances that didn’t fit his agenda and he praised crap performances a lot. How short people’s memories are I guess..

    Simon wasn’t perfect, but that is rather short changing him, imo. My memory isn’t short. I actually found him quite useful. There’s a reason many fans agreed with him for the better part of 9 years. He was blunt, to the point, sometimes rudely so, but when he was on, he became the audience’s voice for some truly craptacular (or brilliant) performances.

    I have to ask, do you think what we have this year, with a panel of “yes men” who declare everything “beautiful” and “great” to be more useful or entertaining? I certainly don’t. And it’s definitely not doing the singers ANY favors.

    Taking someone’s cover from youtube is not innovative in my book. That isn’t the kind of “artistry” I need on the show personally.

    My original comment was that Cook’s take on Hello (a rearrangement that made the song more current, and also showcased his style, regardless of whether it was taken from youtube (which most casual viewers wouldn’t know or care about in the first place)) offered us more originality than most of what we’ve seen so far during S10.

    YMMV, but I don’t exactly consider Thia “Colors of the Wind” Magia, or any of the others as really offering (or being allowed to offer) that kind of “re-working” of older songs.

    JMO.

  • Mary102

    justshootme says:
    03/23/2011 at 11:44 am
    That USA Today article states that Jacob Lusk “could be Idol’s best singer ever.” And I could be queen of the universe. Only not.

    I didn’t even bother reading the article as soon as I read those hyperboles about this being one of the best seasons ever, and having ratings boosts (not true, since ratings have actually started going down recently, even over last year, which was already slipping). There have been way too many pitch issues from too many singers for me to declare them that great.

    I will say James, Pia, and Lauren rank among some of the better singers they’ve had. The others have other pluses besides voice (Scotty’s unique sound, Stefano’s “current” factor) or have too many minuses (Thia and Haley’s lack of identity, Naima’s pitchiness)

  • saga

    I wouldn’t call changing the key re-arranging though, at least not the way we discuss it here… which is basically what you have to do when you sing a song set in a vocal range for one of the opposite sex.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Lee confirms in @KC1013’s interview that there are plans to go to ASIA shortly.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13515605

  • Eileen99

    I laughed when I saw David’s tweet. Love his snark.

  • Mary102

    saga says:
    03/23/2011 at 1:07 pm
    Have the contestat been that pitchy? I thought most of them had been pretty ok when it comes to singing the right notes?

    Last week was the first live performance show, so maybe that was part of the issue, IDK. The first 3 or so performers though were not staying in tune very well. Naima and Paul had trouble, and even Thia last week was a little off. Casey is often slightly off pitch, James was a little under pitch last week (but he’s usually more spot on). And Jacob has been quite off and uncontrolled lately.

    The better of the bunch tends to be Haley, Lauren, Scotty, and Pia.

  • Eileen99

    I wouldn’t call changing the key re-arranging though… which is basically what you have to do when you sing a song set in a vocal range for one of the opposite sex.

    I missed the example you’re talking about here – which cover are you referring to? And I agree – if it’s simply a key change only with nothing else changed, that wouldn’t qualify in my book, either.

  • tinawina

    The only time I heard a lot of pitch issues was last week. Other than that I think Pia, Scotty, James, Haley, Thia and Stefano have been quite strong in terms on staying on key consistently. Some of them can use help with other issues maybe (like Haley with enunciation) but I would not call any of them pitchy singers. Lauren is not bad to me, but she could get better. I think Casey is better than he gets credit for. The only people I have real issues with in that regard are Naima, Jacob and Paul.

    I don’t think there’s ever been a top 11 filled with people who mostly had perfect pitch, come to think of it. This seems about normal to me.

  • Trina

    That THR interview with Lee is brutally honest. I remember thinking during his release day that he was having a pretty crappy day for the reasons he stated.

    That whole thing about Jacob being the best singer ever? Please. Having the biggest, loudest voice doesn’t equal the best. His performance last week was an embarrassment from the so called best singer.

  • sma11ie

    I will say James, Pia, and Lauren rank among some of the better singers they’ve had. The others have other pluses besides voice (Scotty’s unique sound, Stefano’s “current” factor) or have too many minuses (Thia and Haley’s lack of identity, Naima’s pitchiness)

    Heh, I think I agree with all your above assessments on the current contestants! I’m still rooting for Naima to get her pitch together though, cuz I find her interesting.

    I wouldn’t call changing the key re-arranging though… which is basically what you have to do when you sing a song set in a vocal range for one of the opposite sex.

    I missed the example you’re talking about here – which cover are you referring to?

    The original comment about singing songs of the opposite sex was BootStar’s, and her examples were David Cook’s Little Sparrow and Always Be My Baby, as well as Jason Castro’s I Don’t Wanna Cry and Casey James’ Don’t. In all four of these cases, there was a lot more going on than key change. ETA: Also, I’ve noticed sometimes that the key change thing isn’t even a given, since a lot of male singers on Idol tend to sing as high as the girls, lol.

    The THR interview with Lee was kinda hard to read.

  • windmills

    sma11ie: The THR interview with Lee was kinda hard to read.

    I agree. One thing about Lee though I’ve never been a fan musically is that he had a rough edge to his personality that they sort of flattened out during AI and IMO on his album. That rough edge makes him a little more interesting IMO.

    On a happier note, I highly recommend the Sugarland/Casey James video MJ just posted where they brainstorm about Sugarland’s upcoming AI performance. They discuss song choice and stage presence with some very LOLzy moments.

  • Eileen99

    The original comment about singing songs of the opposite sex was BootStar’s, and her examples were David Cook’s Little Sparrow and Always Be My Baby, as well as Jason Castro’s I Don’t Wanna Cry and Casey James’ Don’t. In all four of these cases, there was a lot more going on than key change.

    OK, thanks, that’s sort of what I thought. And you don’t really even need to change the key, you can simply lower it an octave which would work, too, depending who’s involved & what their ranges are.

    I totally forgot about Jason’s I Don’t Wanna Cry – that was awesome! And loved Casey’s Don’t, too. I request that one on Nixa a lot, heh.

  • saga

    Yes, I was mostly commentin on that just because you sing a song originally sung by the opposite sex it doesn’t necessarily mean you HAVE to re-arrange a lot. Also key-changes are done on almost all songs when you arrange them to fit your preferred vocal range.

  • artemis

    I’m glad to see all the interviews Lee is doing. He is really being candid about his feelings. The day his album debuted was difficult for him.
    I’m so happy he’s getting to go to Asia. He has a lot of Asian twitter followers and they are frequently asking if they are going to be able to see him in concert.
    Lee is extremely grateful for all the opportunities Idol has given him and always praises the show. He has obviously been watching this new season and has quite a bit to say about it. His favorites are Pia, Casey and Haley.

  • Eileen99

    Yes, I was mostly commentin on that just because you sing a song originally sung by the opposite sex it doesn’t necessarily mean you HAVE to re-arrange a lot. Also key-changes are done on almost all songs when you arrange them to fit your preferred vocal range.

    OK, I see, and yes I agree. I thought I’d missed some discussion where ppl were arguing changing a key = rearrangement and was confused.

  • sunchick

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes.

    Yeah, this is a beg to differ thing for sure. I think if these past two seasons proved anything it’s that if you’ve decided that it’s best to change up a song when you cover it, you have to be doing it for the right reasons, and even then finding the magic arrangement isn’t as easy as slowing down a melody or adding a dance track or bag pipes. If it was, Pia’s disco Whitney or Lee’s bag pipes song, whatever it was, would have been geniune moments instead of wannabes. People like Blake, Cookie, Kris and Adam made it look a lot easier than it’s subsequently proven to be. Contestants with those type of instincts impressed me because it hinted at interesting things like the quirky little beat machine that Blake has in his head (still think he could have a career as a producer) or Cookie’s knack for creating these relatable emotional snapshots with music or Kris’s versatile musicianship or Adam’s instincts for putting together an entertaining stage show. It’s not just the vocal talent, it’s also what’s going on inside the noggin, and the combination thereof. If the kids are not really collaborating with the producers and basically singing arrangements created for them, we’re voting on who has the potential to be the best manufactured pop star. Which for me, for you, sounds kinda boring. I just don’t want to be bored watching AI. If that means ditching the whole Interscope/production model, whatever. Entertain me, show, and we’ll get along just fine.

  • BootStar

    ETA: Also, I’ve noticed sometimes that the key change thing isn’t even a given, since a lot of male singers on Idol tend to sing as high as the girls, lol.

    Ain’t that the truth! Thanks for explaining the rest of my post for me, smallie. I had to pick up a kid from school and wasn’t here to respond! :-D

    On a happier note, I highly recommend the Sugarland/Casey James video MJ just posted where they brainstorm about Sugarland’s upcoming AI performance. They discuss song choice and stage presence with some very LOLzy moments.

    Ack, I didn’t even see that. Thanks for the heads up, windmills!

  • Niall

    Lee knows he’s going to be dropped. You can tell and it makes his interviews uncomfortable. He’s being honest but there’s a bitter edge creeping in that was just under the surface of his interview with Shirley.

  • ri

    On a happier note, I highly recommend the Sugarland/Casey James video MJ just posted where they brainstorm about Sugarland’s upcoming AI performance. They discuss song choice and stage presence with some very LOLzy moments.

    You were right, WINDMILLS. the pre-idol video that i hoped Casey would appear in was just that…a video. guess that means he will not be part of their AI performance or any other part of Idol on Thursday night. but it sure looks to me like Jennifer and Kristian have high regard for Casey, not to mention they have fun together, and that makes me feel happy.

  • Mary102

    We’re going back to the question of whether re-arranging a song is necessary to do well on idol. The answer, imo, is, no, it’s not.

    But what is necessary is connecting with the material, which means making it your own, which means turning a bizarre theme that has nothing to do with your style and making it work. THAT is what the likes of Adam (doing ROF) and Kris (doing Heartless), or Cook (doing Always be My Baby) did successfully.

    It means that, when you’re a glam rocker having to sing a Grande Ol’ Opry song, singing a straight up version of Randy Travis ain’t gonna be very authentic, lol. Or Kris trying to rap on Heartless would have been pretty lame too, lol. THAT’S what led to those kinds of re-arrangements.

    Granted, you can be very successful without having to do all of that, but to be successful you have to still connect to the song, whatever arrangement it happens to be, and embody it convincingly to the audience. When a performance doesn’t work, for whatever reason, is when those elements don’t come together.

    It’s hardly a matter of who did the best job of completely changing up the key, instrumentation, melody, harmony, etc. of a song.

  • BootStar

    Speaking of being stuck in my car for an hour, I heard a great interview with Dan Savage and Terry Miller, who started the “It Gets Better” campaign. Made me laugh out loud and shed more than a few tears while driving, if anybody is interested:

    Dan Savage: For Gay Teens, Life ‘Gets Better’

  • Grammie Kari

    So happy to hear that Nigel has invited a celebrity star and producer to work with the kids. Mark Anthony will bring something new to the show. Too bad Karen wasn’tstill there. Jimmy Iovine may be brillant, but week after week gets to be a bit boring. Several of the kids have said they were nervous or intimidated by him.

    Great post Mary102!

  • sma11ie

    One thing about Lee though I’ve never been a fan musically is that he had a rough edge to his personality that they sort of flattened out during AI and IMO on his album. That rough edge makes him a little more interesting IMO.

    I don’t see much of an edge, personally. Is it just because he used the F word twice in that interview? Cuz he seems like a pretty boring, nice guy to me…? I don’t mean to denigrate him, cuz I do like his voice, but it’s just my impression.

  • ri

    i think SUNCHICK and MARY102 have made some great points about what it is most of these contestants need to do….NOT that it’s easy. it’s absolutely a combination of things. for me it needs to start with good vocal talent and the ability to emote the song. but that has got to be combined with an innate sense of what works for the individual. i don’t know if that’s something that can be taught or learned over time but i do know that when somebody has it, it shines. there is almost magic involved. it can happen once or twice, but it’s the consistency that gives the artist his or her “star quality” status.

  • fadetowhite

    I don’t know what Jimmy Iovine is doing behind the scenes, but as an onscreen presence he has the charisma of a boiled potato.

    I’m sure he knows his stuff, but it’s another case of skilled professional not meshing with TV personality.

    And I don’t like the producer interference/backing tracks on this season. I know it’s prevalent within the pop industry, but it makes for a kind of boring sound-a-like show. Which is a shame, because there’s some interesting/promising contestants this season…

  • Montavilla

    I don’t need someone to switch it up in their performance. I don’t give bonus points for slowing down the melody or adding a dance track or using bag pipes. I just want to see someone come out and knock it out of the park with vocals (which David C did, I’m not trying to denigrate his performances, just explaining why I don’t give a crap about the “innovation” on the show).

    Much as I loved how Cook re-arranged songs, he blew me away the one time he didn’t change it up. That was “Music of the Night.” He sang that completely straight, but it was still powerful, emotional, and undeniably David Cook.

  • windmills

    sma11ie: I don’t see much of an edge, personally. Is it just because he used the F word twice in that interview? Cuz he seems like a pretty boring, nice guy to me…? I don’t mean to denigrate him, cuz I do like his voice, but it’s just my impression.

    No, I just detected more world weariness in this interview. It made me remember the guy who at the beginning of last season was kind of cynical about AI and a misfit (but a likable upfront one) before he got turned into the bland paint salesman who got propped up by the judges as an amazing Idol story (that the show promptly blocked out from its memory as soon as it could). I liked the Lee we 1st got introduced to better.

  • car3278sweet

    I just detected more world weariness in this interview

    This. World weariness is exactly the right word. I think Lee is a great guy and things have just not spinned in the right way for him.

    Serendipity. And that wasn’t snark.

    In my life, when things don’t “spin correctly”, I’ve learned there’s something better in the future. For example, I was in a perfectly fine job, bored out of my mind, making good money… and got laid off. Not because I didn’t do a good job, but because the biz was floundering. And they kept the old crew instead of taking a stab at changing (one of the reasons it was floundering, but I digress). And what happened? I landed a ‘job’ I LOVE. It all flowed perfectly. If that makes sense. LOL

    When something seems to be eternally crappy… or just eternally blah…then you are in the wrong place and need to move on. IMHO – Lee needs to be released into indie land where he can bloom as the angsty, edgy, interesting, growly guy he is. Which is not SS crap. Thank God.

    Ah. Can some Danny Gokey fan tell me if this Casey/Sugarland love happened last year? Not as a HEY MY GUY IS BETTER crap but merely as a ‘who bonds with who and isn’t that interesting’ crap. ;-)

    And finally… this current season. Which is currently boring me out of my mind. If someone doesn’t shut Jimmy up and bring me some MOMENTS…. for the first time in 10 years, I’m gone.

  • steph6449

    Ah. Can some Danny Gokey fan tell me if this Casey/Sugarland love happened last year?

    Danny had ~20 dates with Sugarland, seemed to have a positive relationship with them from anything I’ve seen about it. But it was pretty much behind the scenes. The most revealing comment I ever read was Danny saying he loved the Sugarland tour for the food. lol!

    As far as what has been seen publicly with Casey, idk. Maybe Sugarland or at least Kristian hit it off with Casey personally. (Jennifer seems pretty private to me, but don’t follow her closely.) There’s also the connection where Casey’s reputed manager is involved in promo for the Sugarland tour.

    I don’t think you can compare much. Danny last year was in a totally different (almost opposite) timeline / situation than Casey’s case this year. When AI9 was on last year, Danny was in non-stop promo mode for his album and first single, both of which had been released and MBDAAOM had been charting for a while. Danny’s touring as a Sugarland opener started after his album had been out a couple of months, and ran through early August. Danny’s focus then was to put across his new music, improve his stagecraft as a live performer (watching Sugarland backstage being part of that learning process), and sell his CDs. Danny’s songwriting phase was well after his summer touring season last year, so did not overlap with his opening dates for Sugarland or any of the other artists he opened for in 2010.

    If Casey is appearing in the AI studios this week in connection with the Sugarland visit, it’s interesting. Maybe if they don’t feel his own new music is ready to feature to an AI10 audience, he will have a cameo in the Sugarland performance or get onscreen some other way during the show? Seems like a long way to travel just to sit in the audience.

  • ri

    Ah. Can some Danny Gokey fan tell me if this Casey/Sugarland love happened last year? Not as a HEY MY GUY IS BETTER crap but merely as a ‘who bonds with who and isn’t that interesting’ crap.

    i would like to know the answer to that as well…

    And finally… this current season. Which is currently boring me out of my mind. If someone doesn’t shut Jimmy up and bring me some MOMENTS…. for the first time in 10 years, I’m gone.

    i would like more Moments too please!

    hey fellow CaseyJ fan CAR3278SWEET, thanks for doin all the work for me. lol. (oh and glad your job is workin out for ya).

  • ri

    If Casey is appearing in the AI studios this week in connection with the Sugarland visit, it’s interesting. Maybe if they don’t feel his own new music is ready to feature to an AI10 audience, he will have a cameo in the Sugarland performance or get onscreen some other way during the show? Seems like a long way to travel just to sit in the audience.

    did i miss something? is Casey in the AI studios? and if so, from your lips to God’s ears!

  • sma11ie

    No, I just detected more world weariness in this interview. It made me remember the guy who at the beginning of last season was kind of cynical about AI and a misfit (but a likable upfront one) before he got turned into the bland paint salesman who got propped up by the judges as an amazing Idol story (that the show promptly blocked out from its memory as soon as it could). I liked the Lee we 1st got introduced to better.

    Oh okay. I think I missed the beginning when he was a cynical but likable misfit. But I think I get what you’re saying.

  • karenc

    I think the thing with David Cook, is that he really didn’t change the basic melody of the songs he sang. But through his voice, and changes to the instrumentation, he could change the mood and style of the song.

    I know he said in interviews he would take the song, strip it down , and then build it back up to his own style.

  • ri

    thank you STEPH6449 for the Danny/Sugarland info.

  • steph6449

    thank you STEPH6449 for the Danny/Sugarland info.

    Always happy to talk about Danny, lol :)

    Thinking about it, the most chatty anyone was about the Sugarland tour with Danny was actually his labelmate Jake Owen who made some very nice comments in a random radio interview, saying he and Danny used to hang out by the tour bus and sing for fun. He commented that Danny could “sing the phone book” and he was proud to be on the same label, aww.

    The Sugarland tour plan was different last year, with both the first and second openers rotating. This year, Little Big Town is the middle opener all year. Last year, Danny did shows with LBT, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, and Julianne Hough ( :shock: ) .

    All but one of whom, were really good, haha ;)

    There was also a cute photo tweeted by LBT at one of their dates with Danny. It’s in this roundup post from this site, with some videos from different stops along the way for Danny last year.

    http://mjsbigblog.com/danny-gokey-completes-his-run-as-opener-for-sugarlands-incredible-machine-tour.htm

    (Not Sugarland-related, but I forgot about those rodeo guys. Lol!)

  • ri

    STEPH6449, you were right about Casey being at AI. MJ said Casey was in the audience tonight but i didn’t see him. hope he’s back tomorrow night when Sugarland is there and i hope they at least show him….unless i missed him tonight.

    whoa, great pics of Danny. btw, is Danny going to perform on AI this year?

  • steph6449

    whoa, great pics of Danny. btw, is Danny going to perform on AI this year?

    I’d forgotten (even though that was my post, lol) but yeah, there were some nice professional quality photos in that group :)

    Danny said in interviews last month that he expects to be able to perform on AI this season as long as his team picked a single on time, but nothing confirmed.

    He’s been pretty much in silent mode this month between vacation and other things going on. Silent Danny tends to foreshadow a raft of news coming out later, sometimes unexpected news like the tv-movie that’s about to air, or the Taylor Swift tour dates.

    My guess is that we may see him emerging after the ACM week events, with promo gearing up on a new single and for more touring plans. His first spring tour date seems to be April 8th in Myrtle Beach SC, and then it picks up from there. No concerts this month though he had some in January and February.

  • steph6449

    did i miss something? is Casey in the AI studios? and if so, from your lips to God’s ears!

    Lol, my secret source was mj’s Evening Headline thread tonight ;)