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Archive for the ‘American Idol’ Category

AI7: The Year They Were Born

Posted by Kevin on March 26, 2008

This week the Top 10 performed songs from the year they were born.

Loved: Brooke, David Cook
Liked: Michael, Syesha, Jason
Bleh: Chikezie, David Archuleta, Carly
Go Home: Ramiele, Kristy

David Cook and Brooke have separated themselves from the pack. I can see either of them winning this competition, although I think Brooke fits the mold of the show better. Either way, both of them look to have bright post-Idol futures ahead of them. Both of them put on amazing performances last night with Brooke putting a very nice touch on Sting’s Every Breath You Take, and David putting a stupidly brave twist on Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean and rocked it out.

I thought I was going to like Carly doing Total Eclipse of the Heart, but the song just didn’t fit her and I felt the backup singers made the song work more than she did. I love that song but was disappointed in the performance.

Kristy saved herself another week by picking an immensely patriotic song and actually singing it well. I thought it was beyond cheesy for the show and Simon called it perhaps the most clever song choice he’s seen. But I don’t think Kristy understood what he meant. I took him to mean that by picking such a well known and beloved song, she almost can’t be sent home tonight because it would look bad sending someone home singing God Bless The USA.

Ramiele is out of her league in the Top 10. She’s been fighting laryngitis which is partly responsible for her garbage performance last night, but even with a healthy voice she just doesn’t belong in this group.

Bottom 3 predictions: Ramiele, Kristy, Chikezie. Chikezie gets squeezed out with Kristy hiding behind patriotism and Ramiele getting a mulligan for being sick.

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AI7: Amanda Sent Home & Quick Notes on MSU

Posted by Kevin on March 20, 2008

Yesterday, I predicted Kristy, Ramiele, and Chikezie to be in last night’s bottom three with Kristy going home.  I couldn’t have been more wrong, and neither could the voters.  What the hell are you people thinking?  It’s not that I had a problem with Amanda leaving.  She didn’t have a shot to win the competition, but her one good gimmick is still better than anything Kristy Lee Cook or Ramiele have to offer.  I was surprised to see Carly in the bottom three.  I’m not much of a fan, but just her straight vocal ability should have kept her higher than Kristy/Ramiele.

Next week, the idols will sing songs from the year they were born.

Mississippi State:

As bad as State looked against Ole Miss in last week’s SEC baseball opener, sophomore Ricky Bowen pitched an absolute gem against the Rebels to prevent a series sweep.  In his SEC debut as a starting pitcher, Bowen threw a dominating complete-game, two-hit shutout over the #5 Rebels earning him honors including the SEC’s Pitcher of the Week, one of College Baseball’s newspaper’s Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week, College Baseball Foundation’s weekly “National All-Star Lineup”, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Pro-Line Athletic National Pitcher of the Week.

In this week’s mid-week game, redshirt freshman Jason Nappi set a new SEC record by driving in 11 runs in State’s slugfest 24-10 win over UAB.  The Blazers put up six runs in the first inning off struggling Chad Crosswhite and raced out to an 8-2 lead before the Bulldogs sent 16 batters to the plate in an 11-run fifth inning, followed by  seven more runs in the sixth.

Nappi became the first Bulldog to hit three home runs in one game since Brad Johnson accomplished the feat against Southern Mississippi in 2004.  Nappi was 3-for-5 on the evening, hitting a three-run homer and a grand slam in the same inning.  The two-homer inning tied an NCAA record and his seven runs were the second-most ever in college baseball.  In his final at-bat in the ninth, Nappi narrowly missed securing his fourth home run in the game when his bid was caught at the wall on the warning track.

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AI7: Beatles Week Redux

Posted by Kevin on March 19, 2008

So they did Beatles week….. again.  Not that I’m not a Beatles fan, but why do it twice and keep the song choices so limited?  Anywho…

I liked (in no particular order):  Brooke, David Cook, Jason, and Syesha.

Middle of the road: Amanda, Carly, David Archuleta, and Michael.

Didn’t like: Chikezie, Kristy, Ramiele.

The judges didn’t much care for Brooke’s performance, but I enjoyed it.  I think she’s been the most consistent since they started with the top-24.  Mr. Popular, David Archuleta, is still very safe but he’s wearing on me quickly.  Maybe it’s the whole golly-gee vibe he gives off, I dunno.  Gotta give mad props to Jason Castro for taking on a song with French lyrics when he couldn’t speak a lick of the language before last week.

Kristy Lee Cook and Ramiele need to just go home now.  Kristy is so far out of her league she should be uncomfortable just being around the other contestants.  Ramiele can sing, but this isn’t the competition for her.

My bottom three: Kristy, Ramiele, and Chikezie.  I still like Chikezie, but that was a trainwreck last night.  Put the harmonica down and don’t ever, ever, ever put a country vibe in your songs again man!  Kristy or Ramiele go home and Chikezie gets a wake-up call.

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Catching Up: Cliffs Notes Version

Posted by Kevin on March 13, 2008

MSU Basketball:

Since my last blog, Mississippi State’s basketball team wrapped up the regular season going 2-1 in their final three games. They beat Florida on the road and had Vanderbilt on the ropes, but could not contain Shan Foster as he went off for 42 points including nine straight from behind the 3-point line.

Senior Charles Rhodes gave the fans in Starkville a performance to remember in his last game in Humphrey Coliseum. Rhodes went from a punk kid freshman so full of himself and upset about playing time that he considered transferring to one of Bulldog nation’s most beloved players in quite some time. With Rhodes there was never any doubt what was on his mind; just ask him. When he was on his A-game he’d let you know it. When he, or the whole team, stunk it up he’d let you know it. I loved that about Rhodes. But the icing on the cake for me was the moment Stansbury subbed him out of the final regular season game against LSU with seconds to spare. Even watching on TV you could just feel the emotion of the moment. I believe every single fan in that coliseum were on their feet cheering for this young man who gave us blood, sweat, and tears for four years. When the time came to leave the game, Rhodes went to center court and bent down and kissed the MSU logo before tearfully embracing his coaches and players. Awesome.

Rhodes and Jamont Gordon were named to the All SEC First Team by the league’s coaches. Gordon joined Vanderbilt’s Shan Foster as the only two players to be unanimously voted to the first team. Also, Jarvis Varnado was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Get this… Varnad’s 114 regular season blocked shots not only set a new school record, but his solo blocked shots were more than NINE of the SEC’s TEAMS this season. That’s just sick. Entering the postseason, Varnado is 14 blocks shy of breaking Shaquille O’Neal‘s current all-time SEC single season blocks record.

MSU Baseball:

The baseball team continues to struggle, but there are signs of life in the Diamond Dogs. Injuries to key players have forced lineup and pitching staff changes. The pitching staff has also not been the strong point that coach Ron Polk had expected it to be. State’s pitchers continue to find themselves behind in pitch counts to far too many batters. In last Saturday’s game against Baylor MSU pitchers walked an amazing 17 batters.

I know it’s early in the season, considering we’ve only played 14 games in a 56-or-so game season, but these statistics are rather alarming. State’s team ERA is 6.96, last in the conference. Ten of the conference’s other teams have a team ERA under 4. State’s pitching staff is also last in the league in opposing team’s batting average. We’ve allowed the most sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flyouts. While those two stats may not be alarming to some, what they mean is we’re allowing more base runners than the rest of the league. State is last in hits allowed, runs allowed, earned runs allowed, walks allowed, doubles allowed, and stolen bases against. Through 11 games, State’s defense turned only four double plays. Most of the reasoning for that is because opposing teams are moving base runners and not being put in force play situations. Stats aren’t everything but they do show trends. These are not good pitching trends.

State opens SEC play against arch-rival #5 Ole Miss this weekend. Next weekend State plays at highly ranked South Carolina. Not a friendly two week schedule but that’s life in the SEC.

AI7:

David Hernandez was eliminated this week. I expected to see Kristy Lee Cook sent home after her barnyard rendition of the Beatles Eight Days a Week. She was so awful I was hoping they’d cut the music and just send her straight home Wednesday night. I’m not sad to see Hernandez leave, though. He wasn’t going to win the competition anyway and I’ll be glad I don’t have to watch him primp for the camera another week. Good riddance, stripper boy.

I give Beatles week to Chikezie. I wasn’t familiar with the song he did, but he showed he’s got more in his bag of tricks than just Luther Vandross impersonations. A close second for me this week is Brooke White. I wasn’t big on her throughout the audition process but once the judges settled on their top 24 she “brought it”. In my mind, Brooke is now far and away the girl to beat and is probably in the top 3 of the entire contest. Mr. Popularity, David Archuleta, survived this week solely on his popularity and hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Don’t forget your lyrics!! He stunk it up bad, forgot lyrics and just looked out of sync the whole time. David Cook rocked out Eleanor Rigby. I really like that guy and agree with Simon that if the competition stays a talent contest rather than a popularity contest, he just might have a shot at winning it. I’m also still really big on Jason Castro. I dunno what it is. He’s about as spacey as you can get, ridiculously uncomfortable in front of a camera, and a horrible interview, but the kid has got serious talent. There’s just something about him that I dig.

Early predictions before next week even gets here: Amanda, Kristy, or Ramiele go home next week.

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AI:7

Posted by Kevin on February 27, 2008

My name is Kevin, and I watch American Idol.  Laugh all you want.  It’s my guilty pleasure.  I like watching live music and I like watching completely delusional people who do not have an ounce of talent have their dreams crushed with no mercy.  I’m also a bit cynical about it all.  Idol is far more than just a singing contest; it’s Fox’s cash cow.  During the audition period, show producers are not only looking for people they think could win the whole thing, they’re also looking for absolute freaks to put on camera to fulfill our sick fascination with the show.

But enough of all that…  Let’s talk about season 7 now that the cast has been whittled down to 24 – ok 20… I’m a week late blogging.

This season the show is allowing the contestants to use musical instruments if they choose.  I really like this move simply because it gives us something we haven’t seen on the show before.  I don’t buy into the judges’ nonsense that Idol is a singing competition.  If it was, then Taylor Hicks would not have won last season.  Singing is a major part, but it’s not all of the puzzle.  You have to be able to perform as well.

I do buy at least partly into the conspiracy theory that the show’s producers protect certain contestants during the voting.  Why?  Easy.  The winner of the show gets a record deal.  Nobody is going to let some no talent hack win the show if they know all of the music production equipment in the world won’t help them sell records.  I’m not suggesting that the folks behind the scenes already know who they want to win, but if by some fluke someone like David Archuleta actually receives the lowest votes this week (it won’t happen – I’m just using him as an example) there is no way in hell the show would let him go.  This kid is what the show is all about.  Someone else would have to take the fall and viewers at home would never know it.   I’ll stop before I get on a soapbox…

Speaking of David Archuleta, this kid is my pick to win the whole show.  He’s young.  He’s already immensely popular; even the other contestants love him.  He’s got the boyish good looks that would make him easy to promote.  He’s got an outstanding attitude.  And oh yeah… the kid can flat out [url=http://www.americanidol.com/videos/?vid=966&pcs=499]sing[/url].   In my mind, David’s performance last night has everyone else fighting for second place.  I’m sure he’ll have his struggles.  Everyone does.  But don’t be surprised if he’s the one being showered in glitter in May.

As for the other guys, I just don’t see much there.  I do like David Cook, Chikezie, and Jason Castro.  Cook doesn’t have enough attitude to carry the rocker image.  He can sing and play like a rocker, but unless we just haven’t seen all there is to him, he’s too boring of a rocker to last long.  I love Chikezie’s R&B vibe and attitude, but I have a feeling he’ll never be able to step outside of his comfort zone and pull it off.  Castro is just fun to watch but I don’t see him having a great deal of range.

I’ll blog about the girls after their top 20 performances tonight.

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