The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 19 (Grand Finale)

This is the final episode, the day we’ve been waiting months for! Unfortunately, because I have a flight to catch in a few hours, I have to make this quick, so there won’t be much in the way of commentary.

It starts immediately with Lionel Richie singing All Night Long. The Top 10 comes out near the end of the song.

After Caleb did an eerily spot-on impression of Lionel, Nick Jonas and Jurnee sang Anywhere and Jealous.

Luke Bryan and Gabby sang Sunrise, Sunburnt, Sunset and Most. Well, she sang with him during Most. I’m not really a fan of Luke or Gabby, so I’m sitting here waiting for the song to end. I liked the first song, though. Then they relived his best moments.

Gary Clark Jr., Cade Foehner, and Dennis Lorenzo sang Bright Lights. Those three voices coming together was pretty epic! Their guitar solo was also epic!!

Maddie Poppe and Kermit the Frog sang Rainbow Connection, which is the song she auditioned with.

During auctions, Noah Davis said if he won he’d buy an alpaca. Well, they got him an alpaca!

Caleb and Darius Rucker sang Wagon Wheel.

Surprise guest by Jimmy Kimmel. He has a giant metal cylinder, which he says is a time capsule from the original series.

They recapped the season, then the Top 3 and Bebe Rexha sang Meant To Be.

Now they’re eliminating the first person. Ryan is naming the first person in the Top 2, which is Caleb. Maddie is the other. Meaning Gabby has been eliminated.

The past eliminated sang a pre-recorded parody of Hello.

Layla Spring and her adorable and shockingly talented little sister Dixie sang Blue by LeAnn Rimes. . Wow! Surprise appearance by LeAnn herself!

They relive Katy’s best moments. Then Katy with a “K” and Catie with a “C” performed Part Of Me together on stage! This was a truly special performance.

Yolanda Adams and Michael J. Woodard sang What The World Needs Now.

Caleb and Maddie performed Somewhere Over The Rainbow and What A Wonderful World. Before the performance, Caleb announced that he and Maddie are actually dating. I don’t know how long they’ve been a couple, but if it’s been long that’s kind of ironic they ended up as the Top 2.

Ryan is actually in tears after listening to them perform. It is kind of a perfect ending of the season. We’ve made it all this way and it didn’t just end with him naming the winner. We did get a plot twist in a sense.

But before we get to the final results, we’ve got one more performance. Patti LaBelle and Ada Vox sang Lady Marmalade. I…am ashamed to admit I didn’t know that I didn’t know Patti was still alive. I just looked and she’s 73. Just automatically assumed she’d passed away long ago. She’ll be 74 on Thursday. She still sounds amazing at 74!

Now time for the moment we’ve waited for the entire season; Who is the next American Idol?

The winner of American Idol is Maddie Poppe!

She performs Going Going Gone, and even though she is obviously very emotional, she still managed to sing part of it. It was awesome when the Top 10 comes out and helps her sing it.

They’ve been advertising auditions for season two, so there is going to be another season. But I most likely will not be reviewing it. I’ll probably watch it, just won’t review it. It was hard enough trying to think of things to say this season and I ended up just repeating myself over and over. Most weren’t even really reviews, but play-by-plays. I’ll end this the way I’ve been ending these lately, with a tweet by Catie.

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The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 18 (Performance Finals)

This will be a two part episode, pretty much. Tonight the Top 3 perform (as well as some surprise guests), and the next episode will be the finale, where we find out who the American Idol will be. I said at the end of the last post that I’ll be in a different state and will watch the finale live and write the review live, but my flight was pushed forward a day. So unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live.

The Top 3 will do three rounds; an original, their most memorable song from the season (“encore”), and one dedicated to their hometown.

Round 1: Originals

First up we have Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing his original song, Johnny Cash Heart. It’s also on Spotify. On this round, the link on the person’s name goes to the YouTube video of the performance, and the link on the song title goes to Spotify. He also has other song on there, so be sure to check them out. I know I was hard on him last episode, but I have to admit it’s a pretty good song.

Next is Gabby Barrett, sing her original song, Rivers Deep. When she has multiple performances, she tends to do awful her first performance and doing better the rest. That said, hopefully she does better her next performance.

Maddie Poppe did her original song, Going Going Gone. What’s not to love? Maddie is a fun person, so naturally her song is fun and very catchy.

Round 2: Encore

First was Caleb singing Don’t Close Your Eyes by Keith Whitely. This round, the link in the song title goes to the video of the first time they performed it. This was as good as his original song earlier. Still better than the last episode, though.

Next, Gabby sang Little Red Wagon by Miranda Lambert. As usual, her second performance was better than her first. I don’t know why that’s always the case. Maybe the first one is more of a warmup for her? Whatever the reason, I liked this performance.

Maddie sang another original song, Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up. She is going to win this thing for sure. Caleb and Gabby are good, but they’re generic country. Maddie is completely unique.

Before the third round, they brought in some surprise guests. Singing their own original songs, some of the eliminated from this season return. Yard Sale by Harper Grace, Blue Jeans by Jonny Brenns, I’m A Dreamer by Michelle Sussett, and finally 21st Century Machine by Catie Turner. It was nice seeing all of them again, especially Catie.

Round 3: Hometown Hero

Caleb went back to his hometown of Dallas, Georgia, where they had a massive parade and everything. I forgot that he was chubby when he auditioned, and now he’s lost so much weight. He dedicated Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash to his hometown. Like his first song this episode, I liked this performance.

Gabby returned to Pittsburgh. There was a small parade for her, but she went straight home. It looks like Caleb had a bigger turnout for Caleb even though he’s from a small town and Pittsburgh is a major city. For the song she dedicated to her city, she sang Don’t Stop Believing. Which technically don’t make sense. She’s not a small town girl, and she’s singing it to Pittsburgh, not Detroit. Maybe I’m just nitpicking… Oh! She just forgot the lyrics. If she wins I’ll be mad because Catie did the same thing and was eliminated. This was by far the worst performance she’s done all season.

Maddie went home to Clarksville, Iowa. She went back to her old high school, where she and her principal walked the walls and talked, then he surprised her with her old friends. Then elementary kids sang Rainbow Connection, which was her auction song. It’s fitting that the background song during this was The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, because the song she sang for Clarksville was Landslide. As emotionally powerful as the original is (especially if you know the story behind the album), she somehow adds to it.

The next episode will be the finale, and one these three will be named the American Idol. Hopefully it’s Maddie. She is the only one of the three who brings something different. We already have a million country singers we need a Maddie Poppe to shake things up and give us true originality. But we’ll find out tonight on ABC (or tomorrow on Hulu, like me).

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 17 (Top 3 Revealed)

There was a cold open this time, with the Top 5 singing See You Again by Carrie Underwood. Then Carrie herself came out to sing with them.

Two contestants will be eliminated this episode. The Top 5 will be singing two songs each. One song by Carrie Underwood and one song dedicated to their mother, seeing as this aired on Mother’s Day. Ryan Seacrest’s mother came out and introduced the episode. I don’t know the results. Catie did her usual tweets to the eliminated people, but I avoided it.

Starting things off is Michael J. Woodard singing Flat On The Floor by Carrie Underwood. At this point it’d be cliché to say his performance was good.

Second was Gabby Barrett singing Last Name by Carrie Underwood. She had an interesting entrance. I like the song, I like her, but I didn’t like her performance. It feels like she’s trying to be Carrie Underwood.

Cade Feohner sang Undo It by Carrie Underwood. Of course he turned it into a rock anthem, and it doesn’t even sound like a Carrie Underwood song. I like it.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang So Small by Carrie Underwood. I like him as a person, his hilarious in Catie’s and Maddie’s videos, but he sounds like every country singer. I even played a video of him singing to a couple coworkers who love country, but only let them hear it. They argued over which country singer it was. Because he sounds like every country singer, and every country singer sounds the same.

Next was Maddie Poppe singing I Told You So by Carrie Underwood. Now that Catie is gone, Maddie is my new favourite contestant. She flawlessly covered the song.

There was a short skit with Ryan Seacrest advertising Hotel Transylvania 3, then Carrie Underwood performed Cry Pretty, her new single.

Now they’re doing the songs for their mothers. First off, Gabby Barrett sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. This performance was much better than her first one.

Cade Foehner sang Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is more his usual area, and he did it justice.

Next Michael J. Woodard sang Still I Rise by Yolanda Adams. I don’t know why I don’t just give him the title of American Idol, because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the one to win this.

Caleb Lee Hutchison sings Stars In Alabama by Jamey Johnson. Again, he sounds like every other country singer. I don’t know why this is bothering me so much now. He sounds the way he always has, and I always liked his voice. But for some reason it’s really bothering me. I’m thinking it’s because it’s so late in the season and he could actually win this. I want someone to win that I’ll actually listen to. So basically anyone but Caleb and Gabby I would listen to. I like the two of them, but I don’t want them to win.

Maddie Poppe is performing God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. She made the cheerful song into an emotionally powerful one.

Now time to find out who the Top 3 are.

Caleb is the first one named

Gabby is second

The final person is Maddie

Which means we’ve just lost Michael J. Woodard and Cade Foehner. So I was very wrong about one of them winning. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve heard of them. I’m hoping Cade starts a band because I love his voice.

Two episodes remain, next Sunday and Monday. I’m actually going to be out of town, leaving Monday morning. I’ll be visiting my family in another state. But, this might mean I’ll be able to watch the finale live, and if I do I’ll be doing the review live. That’d be an awesome way to finish up the season.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 16 (Top 5 Reveal)

In this episode, two contestants will be sent home. I already know who got sent home because of Twitter, but I’ll save that for when I get to it. As usual, I’m writing as I watch.

The contestants will be performing two songs. A song from the year they were born, plus a song by the late Prince. There was even a short tribute video to him.

Starting things off, Jurnee performs Kiss by Prince. I almost didn’t recognize her at first because she removed her now iconic braids. But I forgot about that pretty much immediately when she started singing. It feels pointless to say that she’s good, because everyone who has made it this far is spectacular. So I’ll just say that I enjoyed her performance and try to think of something original for each of the other performances.

Next is Gabby Barrett, singing a song from 2000, the year of her birth. I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. I…might have to take back my previous paragraph. I mean, she’s good, just not this time. Most of it she’s nasally, and the last minute or so she’s off beat. Definitely not her best performance.

Michael J. Woodard did I Would Die 4 U by Prince. When Ryan announced that, I got excited because I’ve yet to see a bad performance from him. That’s still true.

Cade Foehner sang a song from 1996, Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel. He turned that song into a rock anthem. I hope he does a studio recording of that someday.

Catie Turner met Nick Jonas! Also, she sang a song from 2000, Oops…I Did It Again by Britney Spears. She somehow took that song and made it her own, making it sound like a Broadway version.

From 1999, Caleb Lee Hutchison sang Amazed by Lonestsr. In the opposite of Catie’s performance, this was basically the original note for note, beat for beat. I sang along and everything. That’s both a good thing and bad. He didn’t make it his own and just copied, but at least he didn’t miss a note and sounded good.

Maddie Poppe sang Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor (which was written by Prince, so it counts). She is a true talent. Her version is actually better than the original, which is hard to do. On top of that, she was playing the piano. As I said, a true talent.

From 1997, Michael J. Woodard sang My Heart Will Go On. Which is basically the exact opposite of the other song he did this episode. And he nailed it! I shouldn’t even be surprised anymore, but I can’t help it. He’s like a rabbit hole of talent.

Cade Foehner sang Jungle Love by The Time (written by Prince). It was a totally awesome performance, but the only thing missing was him doing the dance from the film. I tried finding a clip of the scene, but only found the music video and it’s not the same. But even without the dance, I absolutely loved it. Sheila E., who was with Prince through most of his career, is there as drummer on all of these performances and they ask her opinion after each one. This time she had this awesome drum solo. It’s nice having her there.

For her Prince song, Gabby Barrett sang How Come U Don’t Don’t Call Me Anymore. This one was definitely better than her other performance. Massive improvement!

From 1999, Jurnee sang Back At One by Brian McKnight. Instead of copying the original, which would have been easy to do, she made it her own. It honestly felt like a new song, even though I knew all of the words to it.

For her final song, Catie Turner sang Manic Monday by The Bangles, which I just found out a few seconds ago was written by Prince. You learn something new every day… I will discuss this performance down below.

Next is Maddie Poppe singing If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow from 1997. Once again, her version is better than the original. I don’t know what else to say about it.

The final performance of the episode is Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing When Doves Cry by Prince. He somehow made it slower and darker than the original, which I didn’t think was possible.

Which means now it’s time for the elimination.

The first person to make it into the Top 5 is Caleb.

Maddie is second

Cade is third

Gabby is fourth. And the final person to make it into the Top 5 is Michael.

Which means we lost Jurnee and Catie.

After the episode, Twitter exploded in outrage. I always check Twitter after an episode airs and it never trends, which I always found weird. But last night it was #2 trending. Pretty much all of the tweets were people outraged that Catie Turner was eliminated.

But Catie is amazing and a couple hours after the episode aired, she uploaded a video to Twitter of her laughing and eating pizza, saying that she’s happy to have even made it this far.

As for the Manic Monday performance;

Within seconds of starting, she forgot to lyrics and stopped singing for a few seconds, then tried picking it back up. But you can tell throughout the rest of the song that she’s seriously doubting herself, half-mumbling lyrics and making up new ones. But like the judges said afterward, it happens to everyone eventually and she has nothing to be ashamed of.

Shortly before I sat down to watch the episode, she uploaded another video to Twitter. She, Maddie, Cade, and Caleb made a mock reality show, and it is hilarious!

Finally, people started saying some awful things about the Top 5, out of anger of Catie being eliminated. So she tweeted this…

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 15 (Top 7 Reveal)

Last week, I wasn’t able to watch the episodes until later in the week. Up until I saw them, I was confused because Catie had been tweeting from Disney World. Turns out that the next episode, this one, was going to be aired from Disney, and the contestants will be singing Disney songs. Once again, I am doing this from my phone as I watch it, and the only result I know is Catie’s because of her Twitter.

The episode starts with a short musical number featuring Katy Perry and the Top 10. By short I mean they stand in a row, walking forward in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and sing When You Wish Upon A Star.

Elsa herself, Idina Menzel, acted as their mentor. Maddie Poppe went first, singing The Bare Necessities. It’s such a fun rendition!

Next was Jurnee singing How Far I’ll Go from Moana. For some reason, her version feels like an ’80s or’ 90s song. That’s not a bad thing. She didn’t try to copy the original, which is good.

Cade Foehner sang Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid. This is much different from what he normally does. He turned it into a ’90s ballad.

Ada Vox performed Circle Of Life. Another epic performance from her.

Michelle Sussett sang Remember Me from Coco. I loved the original, but I think I prefer her version. There was more emotion in her version.

Gabby Barrett sang Colours Of The Wind. I like her, but I don’t like her version of this song. Hopefully it doesn’t stop her from going through.

Michael J. Woodard sang Beauty and the Beast from…I forget what movie it’s from. He said prior to preforming that his voice was harsh, but even with that he still rocked this song. I feel like he can do anything. Thus far he has done anything.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang You’ve Got A Friend In Me. It’s basically the country version of the song. And since it’s Caleb, I like this version.

The incredibly talented Catie Turner performed Once Upon A Dream from Sleeping Beauty. That was truly an amazing performance. Each time she sings it’s better than the previous time.

Dennis Lorenzo finished the performances by singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight. His daughter surprised him at Disney World, which was an emotional moment. Then he performed and it was emotional again. Which is very different for him.

After the performance, Ryan walks with Dennis to the lounge (the actual name of what I called the waiting room the other day). There, he stresses that three of them were about to be voted off. He then pointed out something I’ve been loving about this season. In previous years, there’d be alot of fighting and drama amongst the contestants. This year, they’ve all become friends. I was on Instagram a couple days ago and Maddie Poppe was doing a live stream. She was in some sort of lounge area (I think), and she was hanging out with Ada Vox (and maybe others, I asked but she didn’t see my comment). They were just hanging out and answering random questions people asked in the comments live. Kind of a fun, laid back, “unofficial” thing (meaning it wasn’t set up by ABC, she was just bored so started a live stream).

We can see on Twitter all of the contestants interacting and bonding. Even when they get sent home they’re still friends. I’m always seeing Layla Spring and Noah Davis in the mentions of the contestants still in the show. So they’re not just friendly towards each other because they have to be, they’re actually friends. It’s not to see that, and it makes it that much harder to see them leave.

So like I’ve been saying, while the contestants in the earlier seasons were also regular people off the street, they were still just people on TV. Now we have social media and can interact with the contestants (I’ve tweeted with Catie, Marcio, Ada, and Noah) and see them interacting with each other. It makes the connection to the contestants that much stronger. They’re not just people on TV, they start to feel like friends after awhile. It actually hurts seeing them get sent home. You want them all to win.

But unfortunately, there can be only one. Yes, I realise that is a Highlander reference, and no, I didn’t think about it until I was typing it.

Caleb is the first to make it into the Top 7

Gabby is the second

Michael is third

The fourth to make it into the Top 7 is Cade

The fifth is Maddie

Catie made it, but I knew that

Jurnee was the final to make it into the Top 7

Which means we’ve lost Dennis, Ada, and Michelle.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 14 (Top 10 Reveal)

Figured out why the computer wasn’t working. My roommate had unplugged it and moved everything to thoroughly vacuum and forgot to plug it back in. It somehow never occurred to me to check the plug. But I’m glad it happened, because I think I prefer this new method of reviewing on my phone while I watch. It both makes it faster and easier.

With this episode, we find out the results of the voting after the previous episode. Four people will go home.

Starting things out, Maddie Poppe was randomly selected to go first. When she walked out, Ryan Seacrest let her know that she’s moving on to the next round. Once again, she surprises me by continuing. Then she sang Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles. It was an interesting rendition of the classic song, but I liked it. It’s amazing that she could concentrate after getting such great news. She started singing like ten seconds after he told her. I’d probably be too excited to focus on the song. I’m curious how someone will perform after getting the bad news. Guess I’ll find out four times tonight.

Next was Michelle Sussett. Apparently they’re not told they’re not going through on the spot. Ryan told her that America didn’t vote for her, but she could sing and convince the judges. There will be ten people going through, six voted by America, four by the judges. So I guess it’s basically the people who don’t make it by America voting will have one last chance to make it through.

Anyway, Michelle sang an original song she wrote called I’m A Dreamer. It’s amazing watching her, because even though she didn’t get the best news, she still smiled and happily sang her song. I was expecting her to get emotional or nervous or something, but she reacted as though she got the good news. In fact, when she went to sit in “the Danger Zone” (where the contestants who didn’t get America’s vote wait for the judges’ decision), she looked really happy.

Since I’m reviewing this as I watch it, and I’m sure the judges will decide at the end, I’ll save those for the end of the review.

Marcio Donaldson was next, and he joined Michelle in the Danger Zone. This obviously effected him, and he’s an emotional person. Unfortunately I think it hurt his performance of Jealous by Nick Jonas, because it was the worst I’ve seen him. But he’s always been amazing, so it still wasn’t awful, just not to the standard he always does. Hopefully the judges see past it and let him go through.

Cade Foehner was next, and they did his reveal in a unique manner. Instead of Ryan being on stage, calling him out of the waiting room, and telling him on stage, Ryan started out in the waiting room with the contestants, chatting with them. Then he asked Cade to come with him. The two of them casually walked from the room to behind the stage, chatting as though they weren’t live in front of millions of people. Then Ryan told him to celebrate because he made it to the Top 10. He ran on stage and sang Bright Lights by Gary Clark Jr., obviously excited.

Garrett Jacobs is in the Danger Zone, and he performed Have You Ever Seen The Rain by Creedance Clearwater Revival. Wasn’t his strongest performance. I’m predicting that the judges won’t choose him.

Gabby Barrett made it to the Top 10, and she performed Little Red Wagon by Miranda Lambert. That was a very energetic performance, and the song was catchy.

Dennis Lorenzo is in the Danger Zone, and he sang This Woman’s Work by Maxwell. He’s my second favourite contestant, so my heart sank when Ryan said he didn’t make it, but then Dennis said, “Time to change their mind” before he sang. Hopefully the judges pick him!

Jonny Brenns is in the Danger Zone, and he performed Demons by Imagine Dragons. He seemed a little emotional while singing, but I hope the judges pick him. I basically hope they pick everyone in the Danger Zone, even though I know they can only pick four. This part of the show is going to be emotional basically no matter what, because everyone who has made it this far are household names at this point. They’re all main characters, so it’s going to hurt no matter who goes home.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson made it into the Top 10, and he performed Getting You Home by Chris Young.

Mara Justine is in the Danger Zone, and she’s singing Love On The Brain by Rihanna. As per usual, she did a fantastic job, and I know without doubt that the judges are going to pick her. She’s going to be in the Top 5 for sure in a couple of weeks.

Jurnee is in the Danger Zone, and is singing Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. Last night I said that Mara singing a song from The Greatest Showman was the newest song performed on the show. Does it count if this is from the same movie? It’s not newer than the other one, so it’s tied. Amazing movie, amazing song, amazing performance.

Michael J. Woodard made it to the Top 10, and sang Believe In Yourself from The Wiz. Even though the song was a slow one, he still somehow made it feel energetic.

The amazing Catie Turner is the final contestant to have been voted into the Top 10 by America! I was honestly worried that once America voted they’d find her too weird, but clearly they find her as impossible not to love as I do. She was the only one I knew in advance made it through, because of her Twitter. I know she tweeted separate messages to the four people who were sent home, but I deliberately avoided looking at any of those tweets so I wouldn’t have it spoiled. I want to find out as I watch like everyone else did. Anyway, she sang Havana by Camila Cabello. As always, she did splendidly, and I loved her performance. By now I think it’s safe to say that I’m biased when it comes to her. She’s clearly my favourite by a long shot. Also, I think I should clarify something… One of my coworkers read my last review and asked me about Catie and I tweeting back and forth. She asked if we were friends and private messaged and all of that. No, we’re not actually friends, I’m just a huge fan of her’s. She regularly responds to fans, and that wasn’t even the first time I’ve received a response from her, and she’s liked a few of my responses. But she does that to alot of her fans, so I’m not saying “WE’RE BESTFRIENDS” like my coworker assumed. I wish… 😃

Ada Vox is the final performer, and unfortunately that means that she is in the Danger Zone. She sang And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going by Jennifer Holiday. I’m actually speechless here, and don’t know what to say. She’s so unbelievably talented, the judges would be mad to send her home. I feel they’d lose their credibility if they did that. Heck, the audience is chanting her name right now after she finished her song. It was an epic performance to end the show on. But unfortunately there’s still one more section left. There are nine minutes remaining in the episode, and they’re not going to be happy minutes.

Ava Vox didn’t have a chance to sit in the Danger Zone. Katy stood up and said that the three of them know talent when they see it and made an executive decision to send her to the Top 10. Ada is the first of their four choices.

Jurnee is the second choice.

Michelle is the third choice.

The final choice was Dennis Lorenzo.

This means that we’ve lost Marcio, Mara, Jonny, and Garrett. As I said, painful no matter who goes home.

I can now go back and read what Catie wrote to the people who went home. It’s heartbreaking and really shows how close these people have become over the course of the season.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 13 (Top 14)

I’m a few days late doing this. That’s because my Hulu subscription expired and I had to wait until I got paid before I could watch the two episodes that aired this week. Also, my computer will not turn on at all, so for the first time I’m doing one of these reviews from my phone, so this might be really short. Also, I’m going to try something different as a result. Instead of watching the episode then writing it, I’m going to write the review as I watch it. That way it’ll essentially get my initial thoughts on a performance instead of me having to watch it on YouTube and having to try to remember what I was thinking. Finally, I’m probably going to have to go back later when my computer is working again and add the links I usually include. I’m not sure how to add links on the WordPress mobile app, but I might be able to figure it out. There just might be less than usual.

They started the first live episode of the season with Caleb Lee Hutchinson (I figured out the links!!) singing Midnight Train To Memphis by The Steeldrivers. That was a fine way to open the episode. I don’t know what it is about him. I’m not a fan of country, but I’m a fan of him.

Michelle Sussett sang FRIENDS by Marshmello & Anne-Marie. She’s so adorable, with all her expressions and reactions and everything. It was nice seeing her talking with her family. That’d be even better if ABC could somehow fly them from Venezuela to see her live.

Marcio Donaldson was next and performed It’s A Miracle by Barry Manilow. Marcio has definitely come a long way. When we first saw him during auditions he was in tears and whole time. Now he was so energetic that it was infectious and I couldn’t help dancing to the music.

Mara Justine sang This Is Me from The Greatest Showman, which probably makes it the newest song ever performed on the show. That movie only came out a few months ago. Considering a bearded lady sings the song in the film, I’d have expected Ada Vox to sing it. I really like Mara, she’s one of my favourite contestants, but I don’t think this song was right for her. Not because of the “bearded lady” thing, it just didn’t sound right. She was advised to cut back on the theatrics and hair flips, and she cut it out entirely. She’s best when she’s being herself.

Garrett Jacobs sang Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips. I’m ashamed to admit it, but while is heard Phillip Phillips’ name around, I’d never really listened to him. His song Home was performed twice in the same episode awhile back, and I knew that song. But it wasn’t until listening to Garrett singing this one I was thinking, “Hm… I should probably check out his music”. Which I will after I post this.

Ada Vox was next and sang The Show Must Go On by Queen. To be honest, while I’m a huge fan of Queen, I never knew they originally sang it. I only know the song from Moulin Rouge. When I saw the title I went, “Oh, they also did a song called that?….wait, those are the same lyrics as……ooohhhhh…”. As always, she was awesome!

Next, we have by far my favourite contestant; Catie Turner! She performed Take Me To Church by Hozier. She and I were actually tweeting back and forth for a minute a couple of days before the episode…

…and luckily she didn’t fall. Even though I knew she didn’t (because she’d have tweeted about it had she done so), I was still a little worried about it while I was watching. As for the performance itself, she casually nailed it! I still maintain that she will win this season! In fact, American Idol released official merchandise for the contestants, and I bought Catie’s shirt.

If Cade Foehner doesn’t come in second, he’s still going to go far. I see him starting some sort of rock revival. He did Black Magic Woman by Santana, and he once again was awesome.

Dennis Lorenzo is still my second favourite contestant after Catie. He performed In My Blood by Shawn Mendes, and it was probably my favourite performance of his. Which is seriously saying something because they’ve all been good.

Maddie Poppe sang another classic, this time Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel. I know this will sound very negative, but I mean it in a good way; she seems like she should have gone home long ago. Like, every time she makes it through another round I’m like, “…*peeks around my hands covering my eyes*…really? She made it again? Weird. Great! But weird…”. I think she said it best before her performance this time. She said she might not look like a typical Idol winner, but that’s what you want. I love that she’s making it far, because she really is very talented.

Then things got very fun when Jurnee came out and sang Bang Bang by Jessie J., Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj. I’ve never seen that song done as a solo, but she did everyone’s part, including Nicki’s rapping and Ari’s high note.

Jonny Brenns sang This Is Gospel by Panic! At The Disco. He’s definitely came a long way since his audition, but I didn’t really like that performance too well. Not sure if it’s because I know the original so well, but I’ve heard better from him.

Michael J. Woodard has been the most unpredictable contestant the whole season. That didn’t change this time. He sang Titanium by David Guetta & Sia. The original is this dance heavy EDM track. His version was soft and used alot of stringed instruments, and it worked just as well as the original. I don’t know how he does it, but he never fails to surprise and impress.

The final performance of the episode was Gabby Barrett singing The Climb by Miley Cyrus. I actually didn’t care much for her version. She’s talented, and I like her, but I didn’t really like this performance of hers. I know she can do better. I did very much love the video presentation during. Up until then I hadn’t noticed that not just the wall behind them but also the floor, walkway, other walls, and ceiling were video screens. That’s really cool. They used all of them on this song to display a full room sunset. It looked awesome.

Next episode will be the results of the voting from the live show. I was working Sunday night but I still opened the app and voted for Catie the allowed ten times. I’ll do the next episode tomorrow. It’s 1am and I have to work in the morning.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 12 (Top 24 – Duets 2)

This is the final pre-recorded episode. Starting next week, The episodes will be live and we’ll be able to vote for who we want to move on to the next round. For this final pre-recorded round, the contestants performed with stars, like the previous twelve did last week.

We started things off with Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing a duet with Bebe Rexha, her song Meant To Be. He said before the performance that he’s glad they didn’t just pair him up with another country singer. Not only would that have been predictable, but I think is the opposite of what they were going for this time. Pretty much everyone performed outside of their comfort zone, and it really showed which ones have what it takes by who still shined through. Caleb was one of them who did, and he made it through.

I’ve been a huge fan of Glee since it premiered, so it was awesome seeing Lea Michele performing twice this time. She sang Defying Gravity with Ava Vox and Run To You with Jurnee. Both performances were two of my favourite of the evening. Not just because I’m just a fan of Lea, but because both Ava and Jurnee are outrageously talented. Jurnee was so amazing that she Lea away, and she’s a legend! Both Ava and Jurnee made it through.

It’s a pretty popular story that I hear shared that Colbie Cailatt auditioned for American Idol long ago with a song she’d written called Bubbly, but didn’t make it through, only to get a record deal and Bubbly becoming a classic. Last night, she performed it on stage on American Idol with Maddie Poppe. So it seems she’s come full circle here. Maddie made it through.

Ron Bultongez sang Someone To You by/with Banners. Like I said yesterday, it feels like he lost all motivation and stopped trying, I know he has the talent, but out of nowhere he sounds like he doesn’t want it anymore. Sure enough, he didn’t make it past this episode.

Bebe Rexha performed again, this time with Amelia Hammer Harris. They sang Me, Myself, And I. While I love Bebe’s voice, I think Amelia did a better job at the song. Unfortunately she didn’t make it through the episode. Bebe said that she also auditioned years ago but didn’t make it past auditions, so there’s two people in tonight’s episode who didn’t make it on Idol but still made it anyway. the judges used that to encourage the people who didn’t make it at the end of the episode.

Shannon O’Hara and Cam sang Burning House by Cam. She unfortunately didn’t make it past the episode.

I said yesterday that I kept forgetting about Alyssa Raghu. Only reason I didn’t this time was because she performed Yellow by Coldplay. Chris Martin didn’t sing it with her, that would have been awesome. No, Banners sang it with her. She didn’t make it through, though, so I don’t have to feel too bad about not remember her. I also hope she never reads this. If she does… You’re a good singer, but there’s too many contestants to remember everyone! You’re still just 15, so maybe it’ll happen later on.

Marcio Donaldson‘s duet partner got sick and couldn’t perform, so it looked like he wasn’t going to have anyone to sing with. But at the last minute, Allen Stone agreed to help out. They performed What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye. Allen did duets last weeks, so I’d seen him a little. To be honest, I’d never heard of him before, but he seems really cool, just because of what he did for Marcio, I went and followed him on Twitter. There’s “contractually obligated”, and then there’s “I’m going to help out someone just because it’s the right thing to do”. I don’t know the arrangements they had with the guest singers, but I doubt an extra performance was part of the agreement. So that was awesome on his part. Marcio made it through to the next round.

One of the best moments of the night was when Garrett Jacobs performed Lucky with Colbie Cailatt. He’d said he was going to be thinking of his girlfriend back home while he sings it, and while he sang he looked into Colbie’s eyes (like she instructed, because it creates a connection or something), and he kept looking directly into the camera, and you know that’s when he was singing to his girlfriend. nut the reason this was one of the best moments of the episode is that after he performed, and while Ryan Seacrest was talking to him, he covered his mouth in shock. His girlfriend was in the audience, there to surprise him!! She got on stage and they hugged, and it was an awesome moment. Garrett made it through.

Rachel Platten joined Mara Justine to sing her song Fight Song. Just as I said yesterday, she performed in a way that was a total departure from the wild girl we’ve come to know and love, but this version it also impossible not to love. She is overflowing with talent and personality, and I was not surprised when she was the first name called to make it through to the next round.

The episode ended on both a happy and sad note. Effie Passero sang Diane by/with Cam, and the performance was haunting. Even though the genre was outside of Effie’s comfort zone, she nailed it flawlessly. But unfortunately, she didn’t make it through the episode. That one was a huge blow to me because she’s always been one of my favourites. But I looked on her Twitter and she tweeted that she has an album coming out, so this isn’t the last we’ve heard of her!

The link doesn’t work, but she says in a comment that it’s to an Instagram video. I’m assuming she deleted the video. But the point is she has an album coming out!

Anyway, next week starts the live shows, and four will be sent home. This is when it really gets intense, because it’s not the three judges deciding, it’s America. So be sure to tune in to ABC on Sunday at 8/7 Central.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 11 (Top 24 – Solos 2)

The last half of the Top 24 performed their solos in this episode. Tomorrow they’ll duet with stars, just as the first half did last week. No one was sent home this episode. That’ll be tomorrow.

Amelia Harris got things started with Believer by Imagine Dragons. Which I found kind of funny because I’ve literally been singing this song everyday the last week or so. But I have a feeling it won’t be a good enough performance to keep her on. I’ve enjoyed her on the show, but There were a bunch of stumbles vocally. At least one time while she performed I’m pretty sure she just mumbled the words because she forgot them. But we’ll find out tomorrow if she makes it through.

Next was Garrett Jacobs, who sang Treat You Better by Shawn Mendez. They’d tried focusing on his dance moves leading up to his performance. But then he tried focusing too much on his dance moves and not enough on his singing. I think he has talent, but he can’t seem able to focus on too much at once. He’s either singing or dancing, but not both

The first performance this episode I actually liked was by Maddie Poppe. She sang Brand New Key by Melanie. I agree with what Luke Bryan said. I’ve never heard the song, but she makes me want to look it up. It’s such a catchy tune, especially with her singing it. I also love what Maddie said before she performed. Her goal had been the Top 24, not #1, because she didn’t want to set her goals too high and be disappointed when it didn’t pan out. If that’s not the most relatable thing ever! We’ll find out tomorrow if she continues. She’s already reached her goal of Top 24, so hopefully she progresses.

Ada Vox will most definitely go far into the competition. Listening to her sing is bizarrely haunting, as though we’re watching a memory from the past making an appearance to sing one last song. That said, it’s only fitting she sang Feeling Good by Nina Simone.

I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of country. At least not modern country. Anyway, I like Caleb Lee Hutchinson‘s voice. He sang Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett. If he wins I probably won’t listen to him because, again, country. But still… He’s good.

Next was one of my favourite contestants. Effie Passero sang Barracuda by Heart. Another Heart song for her, but I hope she keeps it up. She’s awesome, and I look forward to seeing her go far in the competition.

Alyssa Raghu was next, and I have to admit…..I had no idea who she was. It showed the judges saying that she has a forgettable voice, and then showed clips of her performing in past episodes, and I have no recollection her. She must be entirely forgettable. I only remembered her just now because they link to her performance on YouTube. She sang Stay by Rihanna. (It’ll be awkward if she wins in the end and they call her name and I am like, “…who…?”)

Marcio Donaldson did an awesome job as always, this time singing Inseparable by Natalie Cole. They judges actually left their seats and joined him on stage after the performance, which I’ve never seen them do this season.

Mara Justine is quickly becoming one of my favourite contestants. Personality is a huge part of the competition, and she is overflowing with it. So much so that when she decided to tone it down, she did so by singing Whitney Houston. She sang Run To You, and I can only say what the judges said. In her past performances, she was all over the stage and was very energetic. This time She stood still and just showed off her voice. In doing so proved she is for than just a little talented. She can do pretty much anything. She’ll definitely be in the Top 10 for sure!

Jurnee is another one I know will go far. She sang Flashlight by Jessie J.

Shannon O’Hara is the one who made Katy cry by singing her song Unconditional. This time she sang All I Ask by Adele. I was honestly afraid she was going to try to recreate what happened last time, but luckily she didn’t sing another Katy song.

The last one of this episode was Ron Bultongez. He sang Dancing On My Own by Robyn. Honestly, he was pretty much emotionless during the performance. It felt like he felt he didn’t stand a chance so he just stopped trying and just wanted to get it over with. I will be surprised if he makes it through to the Top 14.

Which we will find out tomorrow on ABC, when the twelve here duet with stars, and five will be eliminated.

Next week we start the live episodes.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 8 (Showcase)

This season has been very good thus far, but this is the episode where it goes from “Yeah, this show is good” to “I’M NOT CRYING!! YOU’RE CRYING!!”. It got more than a little emotional. This time, they weren’t just performing in front of the judges, but a live audience.

I figured they’d start things off lighthearted, not kicking people off immediately. Sure enough, the first two to perform were Layla Springs and Michael J. Woodard, and the judges were quick to tell them they were going through. But the third performer, Trevor Holmes, was sent home. Which shocked everyone because that’s when it hit them that no one is safe. Unfortunately they didn’t even put his performance on the YouTube channel.

When the judges give you advice, it’s probably a good idea to listen to them. They told Gabby Barrett not to sing Carrie Underwood, because she was comfortable there and she needed to be her own person instead of trying to be Carrie. What did she do? She sang Church Bells by Carrie Underwood. The second I found out what she was singing, I knew she was going home.

I only knew the fates of two of the contestants before watching the episode, and that’s because I follow Catie Turner on Twitter. Last night, she tweeted this:

So I knew right away that Thaddeus Johnson wasn’t going to make it. Which is a shame because he was amazing.

I haven’t really talked about Michelle Sussett much, but that will likely change much. I’ve been wanting to put her in my top ten, but there were other people. Now most of them are gone, so she is now in the revised top ten, which I will put at the end of this. She just has so much energy. During solo week, when it was her time to perform they had this long intro about how she’s losing her voice and showed her barely able to talk. So I was getting nervous when she got on stage. But when the music started, she was suddenly perfect, and it reminded me of John Belushi. Reports say that when he was on SNL he’d be high out of his mind back stage, but when he went on stage he’d perform like nothing was wrong. Granted, that’s not exactly the same situation, but she was still able to perform under not-so-ideal conditions.

Now we’re onto the performance I was looking forward to the most. The previous episode ended with it looking like Catie Turner was getting sent home. But I guess that’s a testament to how loved she is, they knew to do that. But I already knew the outcome because, again, I follow her on Twitter. Last night she posted this video:

So I went in already knowing she makes it through. And yet I found myself crying watching. Probably because of her reactions. They also tricked her like they tricked us, making her think she was going home. The clip they showed in the preview, of her walking out of the door, collapsing, and crying, was because they had scared her and when they told her she made it they all got up and hugged her. Yeah, I’d feel bad for doing that to her as well.

There were two contestants with people who have been missing in person. The first is Jurnee. Her wife is in the military and has been unable to attend her performances. Well, she was in attendance last night. The other is Jonny Brenns’ father. When Jonny auditioned, he did it secretly. His family didn’t even know about it. During Hollywood Week his family came to support him, but his father wasn’t there, and he said he wished he was. He was there last night, and it was obvious how happy it made him. Both Jurnee and Jonny made it through.

Ada Vox performed Creep by Radiohead, but she made it her own. I know the guys in Radiohead hate the song, so maybe they’ll consider giving it to her.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang I Was Wrong by Chris Stapleton, and did a great job, and made it through.

They ended the episode with two double judgements. The first was Maddie Zahm and Effie Passero. Maddie sang What About Us by Pink, while Effie sang The Dance by Garth Brooks. Effie made it through, Maddie did not.

The second of the doubles, and the final of the episode, was between Marcio Donaldson and Dennis Lorenzo. When they went in, they were told there was one spot left. Which really sucked, because both of them are on my top ten list. No matter what they choice was, it was going to hurt.

Marcio sang If You Really Love Me by Stevie Wonder, while Dennis sang A Song For You by Donny Hathaway. Both did awesome jobs, and I can imagine that the choice would have been a tough one. It would have been, but it turns out it was another trick. After letting them sweat it out for a minute, Katy says there’s actually two spots left, and they both get to go through. Which is a great way to end the episode!

Below is my revised top 10 list of the top 24 contestants on American Idol.

10) Mara Justine

9) Ada Vox

8) Shannon O’Hara

7) Garrett Jacobs

6) Jurnee Siani

5) Michael J. Woodard

4) Michelle Sussett

3) Effie Passero

2) Dennis Lorenzo

1) Catie Turner

 

Everyone listed above is verified on Twitter, except for Ada Vox for some reason. As I was typing this, Catie tweeted about getting her checkmark. She was…

 

 

…slightly excited.

 

Update: Ada Vox has now been verified. I actually found out just now because of Catie. Not only that, but I responded and Ada actually liked my tweet!

Ada