Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol: Songs from the Rat Pack Era

I was prepared for this night to be boring, because I am expecting these songs to be all slow and boring, and for the most part, I was right. Of course, all of the songs were ballads, and most of the contestants made them sound somewhat boring. But you have to remember, the contestants don’t pick the themes, so they are forced to pick the best songs out of a particular era. I am not sure why they chose this era, but I can promise that I will faithfully write my review. Below you will find my review and who I believe will be in the bottom three. Thanks for reading!

1. Kris
Song Choice: "The Way You Look Tonight"
Interesting song choice for him, and I think he will do it justice. He has a great voice and has great control over his vocals. I hope he goes far and really uses this show to start a music career for himself. He is someone I could hear on the radio, like a John Mayer kind of vibe. Good job tonight!


2. Allison
Song Choice: "Someone To Watch Over Me"
Another interesting song choice, but I think she will rock it. I know I say it a lot, but I can’t believe she is only 17 years old. She has such control and presence on that stage.
I think her version was a little boring, but you can tell she has major vocal ability. I really didn’t think she was going to pull that off, but it was pretty darn good! Great job tonight!
P.S. I love her dress!


3. Matt
Song Choice: "My Funny Valentine"
This will be a good week for Matt, and I am glad he chose this song. I am interested to see how he changes this one up. I don’t like the beginning. He doesn’t sound like himself. He isn’t performing as well as I expected him to. It's actually quiet boring, and I predict he will be in trouble this week. There were parts of that song that were not great, and I agree with Randy on the song not coming together.


4. Danny
Song Choice: "Come Rain or Come Shine"
Good song choice and Jamie was funny in his clip. I think Danny will do well on this song tonight, and I’m right cause he sounds great. Vocally he sounds great! One of his best performances so far in this competition!


5. Adam
Song Choice: "Feeling Good"
I’m interested to see what he does this week, and I am sure he will NOT do something slow and boring. Okay, so vocally he is good but in my opinion, he just comes off cocky, and I hate that. Also, I just want to point out that if he made a record, it would not get radio play. So therefore, I hate that the judges give him so much praise when he will be one of those contestants that ends up on Broadway (where I believe he belongs) and not on the radio. It's not that I don’t think he is talented. I just don’t think he is what American Idol is all about. So there, it took me some time to finally put into words why I don’t like him but there it is.


Bottom three: Matt, Allison (although I don't think she deserves to be in the bottom), Kris.

I'm thinking Matt will be going home, but I actually am not sure about that this week. I wouldn't be surprised if who I have as the bottom three is a little different. I think its a tough competition this year and each contestant has lots of fans. I cant wait to find out though!


xoxo,
Andrea

Monday, April 27, 2009

"40 ounces, 40 calories, son!"

If you are a Vh1 fan, please watch the following video. It's a modern-day version of The Odd Couple, starring I Love New York 2/I Love Money 2 stars It and Tailor Made. It's amazing. That's all I can say. Spin-off, please, Vh1!

xoxo,
Lex

Saturday, April 25, 2009

RIP, Bea Arthur

I have some sad news. Bea Arthur, my favorite of the four Golden Girls, has passed away today at the age of 86. Thanks for all of the laughs, Bea. I'll still watch you every day. May you rest in peace.

Thank You For Being a Friend,
Lex


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grey Gardens: The Best Costume for the Day


























I love the 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, about the unforgettable mother and daughter duo, Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, relatives of Jackie O.

For those not familiar, Big and Little Edie had been cast aside from their wealthy socialite family and once their trust fund money ran out, they were left to survive in absolute squalor in what was once a giant, beautiful 28-room mansion in New York's wealthy East Hamptons. With the house literally in shambles, the women virtually lived without any standard plumbing, heat, or electricity, and various animals (dozens of cats, raccoons, etc.) treated the dilapidated home as their own private bathroom.

Eventually, the county declared the home unfit for human habitation, and the Edies were told to shape up or ship out, literally. When the story became public, Jackie O and her husband, Aristotle Onassis, ponied up the cash to ensure that Grey Gardens met the county's standards. In 1975, documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles took on the daunting task of filming these eccentric women, who never left the house, and the result is cult classic history.

I can't really explain Grey Gardens to someone who hasn't seen it. You really have to see it to believe it. These two women fight constantly, yet love each other dearly. They're both hilarious and sad, and the movie has a plethora of quotable lines. It was even adapted into a Broadway musical a few years ago. It's a beloved film that will continue to be popular, regardless of its age.

This is why I was highly skeptical and extra nervous when I found out that HBO was doing their own take on the story of the Edies, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. Yes, the same Drew Barrymore from every lame romantic comedy ever, except for the ones with Reese Witherspoon. However, I got the chance to watch the film this weekend and it was much better than I expected. It's not simply a remake of the documentary (which would have been completely pointless and borderline insulting), but it follows the Edies throughout four decades of their strange lives. Jessica Lange is spot-on as Big Edie, and Drew Barrymore held her own as well. It's tough to nail Little Edie's unique "accent" without it coming off as a cheap parody, but Drew did her justice. While nothing will be as touching, bizarre, and fun as the original, the HBO version sheds new insight into the lives of Big and Little Edie, and as a fan of the documentary, I enjoyed it.

Do yourself a favor and watch the original, and then the HBO versions of these films. You won't regret it. I've also posted a classic clip of Little Edie discussing one of her famous daily "costumes," and the trailer for the HBO film.

xoxo,
Lex




Idol: Disco Fever!

So this week was disco week on Idol, and it’s also going to be 7 contestants instead of 6, since last week the judges saved Matt. I will admit I am upset that I had to miss the judges actually use their judges save. From what I hear it was a pretty crazy and overly dramatic night last Wednesday on Idol - and I missed it to sit in the rain at a Pirates game! (Don’t worry, the dollar hot dogs were worth every raindrop hitting my head!) At any rate, here is my review of Disco Inferno, and I will say the contestants came out in full force tonight! It was an interesting and enjoyable show tonight. I hope you enjoy the review, and please leave comments as I actually check back and read them! Thanks guys!

1. Lil Rounds
Song Choice: "I’m Every Woman"
Artist: Shaka Khan
I think week after week Lil gets progressively worse. The version of this song and they way it was cut was terrible and did not showcase her voice at all. Not only did she sound terrible but she looked terrible as well - what on earth was she wearing? She should probably go home. They gave her too many shots. Wow Kara was harsh tonight, and I agree with what Simon said about it being “a mess.”


2. Kris
Song Choice: "She Works Hard for the Money"
Artist: Donna Summer
Strange song choice but I really like what he did with it. Comparing him to what Lil just did before him is like apples to oranges. Kris is doing exactly what he should be doing - taking a song and arranging it to make it his own. Great performance from Kris tonight, and I agree with what the judges are saying!


3. Danny
Song Choice: "September"
Artist: Earth, Wind and Fire
Never thought he would pick this song. He sounds pretty good. When he goes into his upper range he sounds his best. When he is in the lower range, not so much. But he sounds pretty good tonight. I think the other contestants are overshadowing him and he may need to step up his game soon. I am worried he is playing it too safe and he may need to spice it up next week with something different.


4. Allison
Song Choice: "Hot Stuff"
Artist: Donna Summer
Oh, I like how she started the song with a very bluesy/sexy kind of vibe. I like the arrangement she put together and how she sang it. Seemed a little slower but a nice change. I think she is overlooked and deserves to go far. I still can’t believe she is only 16 years old. How do you have that much stage presence and that much of a voice at 16? CRAZY! I agree with Simon, and I think she will last longer than what other people are predicting.


5. Adam
Song Choice: "If I Can't Have You"
Artist: Yvonne Elliman
Sorry, I still don’t like him, personally. I expected him to sing something faster and funkier, especially for disco night. He sounds good but not his best I don’t think. It seemed like he wasn’t hitting all of his notes and it was way too indulgent for me. The judges must be so bored with the other contestants that they just give him so much praise. I don’t know. I just don’t get it.

6. Matt
Song Choice: "Stayin' Alive"
Artist: Bee Gees
He sounds great - excellent choice for him! I really like how he arranged the song to fit him vocally. He really sounds great this week. I truly hope he sticks around some more. He reminds me of Elliott Yamin so much from a few seasons ago. He looks great tonight, too. Good for him, because he really brought it tonight. I totally disagree with what Simon said about his performance - he was brilliant tonight!


7. Anoop
Song Choice: "Dim all the Lights"
Artist: Donna Summer
He sounds pretty good tonight. I like when he sings the slower songs. They really show off his range. Strange song to pick for disco night, but its working with his voice. It was somewhat boring and the last note was off. I am not sure how America is going to vote but I have a feeling he may be in trouble this week considering two are going home.

Bottom three: Well, I have no idea who is going home this week since it will be two contestants. My guess and my hope is that Lil is leaving. I can’t even guess as to who the other contestant will be, but I’ll take a shot. I’m thinking it’s going to be Lil, Matt and Anoop, with Lil definitely leaving. That’s all I've got for tonight so enjoy and let me know what you guys think. Thanks for reading!


xoxo,
Andrea

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let's go to the movies! ....Or just watch Idol do it.

I thought the cinema theme was a little odd for Idol tonight. I also thought it was odd that they had Quentin Tarantino as the mentor - what the hell does he know about singing and music? I mean, I guess he includes songs in his movies, but does he really know that much about music? I don’t know, I’m not convinced, and I’m a little confused. I can tell already that Adam will have a great week since it’s a director for a mentor and he is over dramatic every week. One thing I hated about this week for sure was how they didn’t allow the judges to talk for every performance. The whole point of the show is to hear what Simon is going to say after each performance. They better change that one next week. Below you will find my review of each performance.

1. Allison
Song Choice: "I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing"
Artist: Aerosmith
I love this song, and I love her! I’m surprised she is going with slower songs but it works for her. She doesn’t sound that great this week, and I’m surprised because I really like her. It would be a shame if she went home too early in this competition. Yes, and the judges love her! And just for the record - from the moment she auditioned, I said she was going to make it the finals (and actually I said she would win the entire show), so if that happens then I will say I told you so.


2. Anoop
Song Choice: "Everything I do, I do it for you"
Artist: Bryan Adams
Great song! He is another one that is doing all these slow songs for some reason now. Oh, and he pulled an Adam had a colored spotlight! He sounds great, and this is just a great song choice for him. I like his arrangement of the song. He really went with all the in your face sections of the song and it worked in his favor. He sounded great on all levels. Although I am wondering what the heck he is wearing.


3. Adam
Song Choice: "Born to be Wild"
Artist: Steppenwolf
I really can’t comment on Adam anymore, because I have this strong hatred for him. He is just too dramatic for me. Although I will admit, and this is the first time I will say anything positive about him so prepare yourself - you would definitely get your money’s worth if you paid to see him in concert someday. He is somewhat entertaining, but way too over the top for Idol in my opinion. He is pure 80’s rock and roll and if you like that thing, then great for you. Not so much for my old school country heart.

4. Matt
Song Choice: "Have you Ever Really Loved a woman?"
Artist: Bryan Adams
This song makes me cry it is so great. I know, I am a dork. But this is a great song choice and a great choice for him. LOVE this song. He didn’t change it much or make the song his own, but it was still pretty good. Vocally he was a little off there towards the end, but it was an all right performance for him. He has done better, but he was still good. He may be in trouble this week.

5.Danny
Song Choice: "Endless Love"
Artist: Lionel Ritchie
Great song choice, and he seems really into it. Perfect song for his range - can he sing me to sleep every night please?! However, I don’t like him without glasses for some reason. He looks too serious. He also looks sad this week, like Simon said, as if the song has a lot of meaning for him. He sounds great every week, and I’m cheering for him!


6. Kris
Song Choice: "Falling Slowly"
Artist: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
I have never heard this song before, so I am interested to see how this goes. The song is a little boring, but it fits his voice and you can tell he is really into it. It might be a little low for his range in some parts. I don’t think a lot of people are going to like this performance, but he sounds great. I thought that was really brave and he pulled it off. I agree with Kara, it was one of his best performances in terms of proving he is as an artist. Great job, Kris!


7. Lil
Song Choice: "The Rose"
Artist: Bette Midler
Of course they would give her the pimp spot, since they want her to win. She bores me, and I wish she would leave soon. Of all songs, why would she pick this one? She is not hitting all of her notes and is trying too hard, causing it to sound terrible. This may be her last week, hopefully. I love how Simon rolled his eyes, and I totally agree with what he says. Lil was not good tonight and with the competition being so tight talent wise, she will probably go home.


Bottom three: Matt, Kris and Lil
I think Matt and Kris are both better than how they performed tonight, and I truly believe that Lil deserves to go home. If we are looking at it from a performance perspective, (which we are suppose to be doing), then Lil gave the worst performance, and has been giving pretty terrible performances each week. Hopefully it will be the end for her. Well, thanks for reading guys and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
xoxo,
Andrea

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

American Idol: The Year They Were Born

First off, I'm sorry I haven’t been writing reviews for a while - life caught up with me somewhere along the way. Anyway, I am back, and I was expecting this night to be filled with boring, cheesy 80’s music, and I was slightly surprised. This season they sure are picking the most boring, snore worthy songs though. But one things for sure, Simon and Paula are acting stranger and stranger each week. It’s like Paula drags on forever and then Simon completes her sentences, and it’s just strange to me. What’s even stranger is that I am agreeing with everything the judges are saying tonight, with the exception of what they said about Chris and Adam. But yeah, below you will find my recap and opinions. And just to give you a heads up, Allison and Matt were AMAZING!! I really love both of them and it doesn’t hurt that they picked great songs! Anyway, enjoy the review and please leave me comments so I know that people actually read these things.


1. Danny
Song Choice: "Stand By Me"
Odd song choice but whatever, it might work. Different version, which was actually kinda cool. He reminds me of Elliott Yamin a little. I am starting to think that anything Danny does is awesome. I really think he is in it to win it, and I am totally okay with that.


2. Chris
Song Choice: "All She Wants To Do Is Dance"
He is going to rock on this song, perfect for his range. I like that he is playing the guitar but not liking that he is in the audience. That is so weird for me. He made the song very pop and relevant which I LOVED!! The judges are idiots, I thought his performance was great tonight.

3. Lil
Song Choice: "What’s Love Got To Do With It"
Great song choice. She looks completely different than the past weeks, and the new look is much better. I really don’t think she has anything special to her voice, and I never thought that, so I don’t know what the judges see in her. But she sounds all right tonight, but nothing compared to Tina Turner. It just didn’t work for me tonight. Kinda harsh to say, but I hope she is gone this week, because I personally don’t like her.


4. Anup
Song Choice: "True Colors"
LOVE this song and I am a little surprised he chose this. Great song! He sounds okay. I have a feeling he wont be safe this week - the song was a little boring and it never really picked up. He does have an awesome voice though! I hope he is safe because he is one of my early favorites. Plus the judges loved him, yay!


5. Scott
Song Choice: "The Search Is Over"
Weird to see him standing and playing the guitar (and singing about sight). Wow, there was some rough notes in there, but mad props for doing something completely different. I agree with the judges on this one. HAHA Scott says he has a punk side - I find that funny.


6.Allison
Song Choice: "I Cant Make You Love Me"
I LOVE this song, and I sing it at every karaoke bar I go to. Strange that Allison picked this song, but she sounds great. She has great control of her voice and I love her! I agree with the judges and every week she reminds me of Kelly Clarkson! I love, love, love, LOVE her! From the beginning I picked her to be in the finale, and I still think she has a chance.


7. Matt
Song Choice: Part Time Lovers
OMG LOVE HIM! That beginning was so awesome. Stevie Wonder is so hard to sing and he sounds great! He reminds me so much of Justin Timberlake its freaky. He really sounds great and it’s so different than last week. He def does this soul thing better than whatever he did last week. It was AWESOME! Agree with the judges completely!


8. Adam
Song Choice: "Mad World"
My sister is in love with him. I never saw it, and I still don’t see it after tonight. What the hell is this song? He always does something so dramatic and I just never get it. It actually irritates me. Like he has this special light on him and shit. Dude, you are just on American Idol - you’re not some superstar. And I do not agree with the judges on this one. I just don’t get him. Each week I think I am missing something, but I have yet to find it with him.

Bottom three:
Lil
Between Scott and Anup
Chris

I think and I hope that Lil will be leaving, but I am sure it will be someone else or that the judges will save her if she is going home. We shall see!
xoxo,
Andrea