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American Idol - Season 9 March 30 & 31 Print E-mail

Dot Todman's rough notes while watching American Idol

March 31st, 2010

Clash of the Titans
Cute commercial
Reuban Studdart performs (sleepy time =))

Ford Music Video – kung foo fighting.  Wow.  How

Mike has a rat tail glued to his head

Andrew’s Mama says she raised him right.

Movie – Clash of the Titans

Lee – I’m glad you’re able to say it was good – Relaxing and enjoying and having fun. Not worrying about the judges! THANK YOU!  This positive attitude may put you in the top 3!

Casey – they want him to challenge himself more. He says I pick a song and do the songs I want –not go crazy about it.

Aaron Kelly

Ryan asks an important question – When you sing a song and you’ve never lived it, how do you  do that?

None of the judges have the answer.
I do. It’s called SUBTEXT!
Thank you.  See this video –

Siobhan Magnus – weakest performance ever

Katie – take what I want to do, take in whatever they say to try and use to benefit me and whoever I’m going to become.

Bottom 3

Usher performs.
The key of this song is kind of low, so it’s not as flattering as it could be on his voice with all those dance moves, but is easier to perform. Usher sure can dance eh. =P
With all the effects on his voice and in that key – as a singer, didn’t look as pro.  He became a body singer.

Ellen: says he’s little Mike cuz he has

Chrystal Bowersox

Tim Allen – Judges question why does he smile?  I like his optimism.  Might be his last time on the stage, he says.
Bottom three.

Katie is safe

Diddi sings “Dirty Money”
Wow – I’m trying to figure out how this is quality.  LOL.  Like I say, being successful in the music industry has very little to do with talent, but more to do with being a business mind, creating a brand and knowing how to sell yourself.  Stand out it some way. P-Diddy is a smart man. Keeping himself current and in the game he is!

Okay – did I not call the bottom 3 yesterday??? THANK YOU ALREADY. LOL.

They won’t save her, but she’s singing way better than last night. She simply doesn’t have a shot at winning, so why save her? Sorry sweetie. It will not be unanimous.

OKAY.  How come I am always right?  LOL.
 

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010


Cute opening backstage.  Wasn’t that just fun!

SOUL and R&B

Usher is the mentor today.
(A student texted me ½ way through the program and said Usher sounded like me.  I guess I will find out why very soon as I watch this.)


Siobhan Magnus
“Through the Fire”

Well, I’m a bit bored with this song… and there were unfortunately some really scary notes in there, that I’m sure Randy will point out as “Pitchy” and if he does, he’s actually right this time. As much as I love you…ooops. 
Randy – mentioned Pitch, don’t know if it was one of your shining moments.  Kinda rough
Ellen – noticed that she freaked about the pitch
Kara – nervous. It should have worked, but it didn’t.  Even performer has an off night. You’re entitled for one. AT the end of the day, you’re still a great singer.
Simon – sounded like you ran a marathon and you were singing while you were running out of breath.  It was all over the place.  When you hear it back it’s going to sound worse than you know and I’m getting bored of the screaming at the end.
Dot – I agree with Simon for a change.  Kara makes a good point about how she was thinking of that high note, and anxious about it and it threw her off.  This happens ALOT to singers!  The worst thing you can do is listen to yourself.
Advice – get more solid as an artist and pick a song that better suits your personality.

Casey James
“Hold on I’m comin”

I like this kid.  Nice rehearsal with Usher.
Cool red guitar and nice suit honey!  I’m actually lovin’ this performance.  GREAT energy, great presence, and you were lovin’ it and had fun! I had fun too!  Yeah!
Randy – Another hot night You stayed in your element. Perfect selection and choice
Ellen – you’re consistent. You’re always good. Felt a little generic. You sang it great, but that’s the safe zone for you.
Kara – you’ve been using this part of your range. I think you have more range in you. Would like to know how much more you can do. Show me everything you got cuz I think you got more
Simon – He says it was the strongest week he’s had so far, says it was authentic and he didn’t do a sound alike. Very impressed this week with him.
Dot – I loved it. I also like that you know yourself. Your consistency is growing on me sweetie!

Mike Lynche

Okay – this is when my student texted me and said I sounded like Usher! He advised big Mike to project his energy to the back of the room and connect to the audience.  VERY SWEET!
“Ready for Love”
Such a nice soulful connection.  I would love to see your eyes more, but you are connecting though, regardless. Nice honest performance.  I like you even more now.
Randy – I’m lovin’ every performance dude. Good to show your sensitive side.
Ellen – That was beautiful. I loved it.
Kara – You did an incredible job with it. Mastered the intention of it, you got to the true emotion of the song. Tasteful and loved it.
Simon – I can actually take you seriously now as an artist.  Even though its not one of my favorite songs in the world – you were original tonight and I actually believed that performance. It was terrific.
Dot – Nice work sweetie.


Didi Benami
“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”

(Uh – is this song r&b)
Usher is challenging her to connect to what the song means to her and stay open
It’s s bit shaky honey.  Not very pleasant, but you sang all right.
Randy – the whole performance flat-lined. Wasn’t great. I didn’t get it.
Ellen -  It was dramatic and I love your voice and I’m a fan of yours, but it was way dramatic and not your best performance.
Kara – it’s overdone girl.  When you first came in Hollywood week and you did that singer/songwriter thing. I don’t know who you are anymore.  Leaves me puzzled. You lsot your way.
Simon – it was like swimming in jelly. So over the top, old fashioned and off melody. It just didn’t do it. Sounded like a singer murdering a song.
Dot – remember your energy speaks louder than words. Ryan gave you a second chance to be vulnerable in front of America.  You blew it. You might be going home Wednesday based on that one sweetie.


Tim Urban
“Sweet Love”

It’s good that you choose to have fun, despite being called “Teflon Tim.”
Usher had him feel the love he’s singing to.
That’s all about SUBTEXT
And he said, “own it man!”  Good advice Usher.  Tell that boy to make a connection! 

Well, at least you’re really, really cute. You gotta still work on that connection thing honey.  Singing in front of the mirror making eye contact with yourself is a GREAT technique that helps with authenticity. Oh – and please shave the chin hairs honey.  Eeeka.
Randy – plusses and minuses. At least you sang in tune… put some vibrato or do something (Then Randy sings for us.  “Sweet Love”)
Ellen – you were walking like you were sneaking into a bedroom. Why that song? Good for you for taking that on, but Oh boy – why?
Kara – like Broadway and Vegas at times, you made yourself so uncommerical and not young and current.
Simon – completely inappropriate song. You’re not gonna win  - doesn’t matter, because you’re gonna smile, kids will vote for you and you’ll probably be here next week.

Behind the scenes was cute – he’s still smiling.


Andrew Garcia
“Forever” – Chris Brown

usher – good mentoring again – telling him to connect and get out of his head! He even took his glasses off so Andrew would make eye contact with him! I hope he does fabulous!  This is great advice.
Still I his head at first, but he sounds FAB. I love him.  He is one of my favs.
Randy – Andrew is back here’s why. I think the outfit is like mad dope and I like how you turned dance music into acoustic – That was the best in a long time.
Ellen – was amazing strong performance. I love when you smile.
Kara – that is one giant leap in the right direction. HUGE. And I’m gonna leave it at that.
Simon – was miles better from what we’ve heard over the last couple of weeks, because you’re back where you are… as a person you come over as very boring. (I don’t agree.  He’s just playing a character. Whatever) Start showing some personality that you care.  At this point, personality is as important. Kara retorts – “he can do that next week, He’s back in the game!”
OMG – Mom is going crzy on Simon. Then she hugs him. 
Dot – Andrew, I knew you would bounce back.  I really think you can get to top three if you play your cards right. You’ve got the gift honey. I love you.


Katie Stevens
Chain of Fools

Connect with one person in this audience and tell your story to him. Ad pazaaz
He says personalize the performance.
I like that connection to the soul in your voice right away honey.  Like them head movements too.  LOL.  You got some soul up in there eh?  But where is the song going?  It sounded great, but I don’t get the story part and the genuine part.  Not sure if it suited you, but nice singing honey.
Randy – disconnected vocally, but here’s what I love – one of the best of the night cuz you showed that you have the pipes.. but it felt like small moments… but nice vocals.
Ellen – you have a snookie poof going, you have a great voice. I wish song was a little more current. You sound so mature.
Kara – this is where you belong – r&b pop – best performance, good job on vocals, but make it young.
Simon – says that Randy compare to Christina was crazy. Thought it was robotic but you came over as cold in that performance.. .wouldn’t have taken on that song.
The judges are now arguing over her as an artist. Simon doesn’t think she’s r&b and says she’s country. Randy says pop and r&b invludence. Ellen – I like your earring.
Poor Katie gets so many mixed messages. Just do what you want already.   They’re just having fun because you’re young.


Lee DeWyze

Usher says, “if you won’t believe it, they won’t. You have a great voice. Own it!”
Treat Her Like a Lady
When you sang, “you know what I mean” -you were very present to the end.” Rough beginning but then you actually WOKE UP as a performer and sang more confidently and in the PRESENT MOMENT!  You finally let go and stopped trying to micromanage your voice.  Now that is what CORE VOCAL POWER is all about honey! Work it like this from now on and you have a shot to be a finalist. 
Randy – unbelievable – best I’ve heard from you.
Ellen – best of the night
Kara – you brought the song into your world. Could have been on your record. Amazing
Simon – yep

Crystal Bowersox

Usher blew her cover and told her to play piano and sing.
Make the piano playing second nature and focus more on vocals.
“Midnight Train to Georgia”
Why is the mic so low? Oh chile, open those eyes! We want that eye contact – at least once. I’m watchin! Yep – you left that piano and hit some high notes.  FAB U R. You’re singing to win it gal. But not sure if you’re really telling a story… but still fab.
Randy – loved outfit, whole ensemble.  Gladys would say you did that song proud. Another great performance.
Ellen – You’re never not good.  You are in it to win it. That was a wonderful idea (that’s what I said!)
Kara – I’m so glad you took that risk. There’s so many things about you that I love.
Simon -  your choice of song was sensational. Vocals at times were incredible.  Back up singers unnecessary. With your talent, just do what’s comfortable with you and don’t change your personality.
Dot – Simon was making a good point, but you get it.  I like how you said you wanted to prove it to yourself. As long as you’re doing that – yep. What is that lovely stone on your neck?  Good energy stone!


Aaron Kelly
“Ain’t No sunshin”

Yes – when you repeat each word “I know I know I know” each words needs to mean something different. Nice advice from Usher teaching him to own it like that.
You took a bolder approach. I suppose that ties into your subtext.  I would have liked to see a more “humble”, softer opening and then have you build the song.  I don’t think you did this tonight.  The dramatic curve of the song was pretty much a straight line. But you sounded FAB.
Randy – started rough but by the time you hit that power zone it started to take off.
Ellen – I thought it was a good song choice and I really good job.
Kara – I like it – I wasn’t in love with it… could’ve went higher, a little more energy
Simon – if you compare to Lee, like the main course, it was like a cupcake. You didn’t believe it like you did last week.
Dot – I agree with Randy that you have more soul in you, but the reason why the song didn’t do much, was because


My favs – Casey James, Mike, Andy Garcia and always, Chrystal

I think our friend Didi is going home, but I guess it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Katie and Tim will be next to her.  You are all FABULOUS THOUGH!  It takes a lot to be on Idol. People don't realize the emotional drain it is for these kids.
 
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