American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Results

Another good night on American Idol Season 11 last night as the Idols performed “songs of this decade” beautifully.  Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon were amazing.  Elise Testone did well but did not have the standout moment she may need to make it into the top five.  Phil Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh were enjoyable but did not reach the bar set by Joshua.  Elise Testone and Hollie Cavanagh will probably be in the bottom two and either of them could go home tonight.

Christian musician Jennifer Hudson and Michael Durbin perform tonight so the entire hour should be entertaining, I guess in a gladiator sort of way.  Take the ride with us as they build the bottom three.  Remember, Jennifer Hudson was eliminated on this night several years ago and she has done all right.

So now American Idol starts building the bottom three with Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez. Not much tension here. Hollie Cavanagh is starting a group but Ryan is not saying what the groups mean.  Hollie on one side of the stage and Jessica on the other side.  What could it mean?

James Durbin’s expression of his rock vision was pretty good and it sounds like it is popular too. Three weeks after release he has already sold 100,000 units. It is good to him doing well.  If you remember, he was financially crippled while pursuing his rock dream.

We continue to form the two group dance with Phil Phillips and Elise Testone. Ryan sends Phillip to Hollie’s group and Elise joins Jessica. Will one of our Christian musicians be in the bottom three this week?

Joshua Ledet and Colton Dixon are next for results. Joshua joins Jessica and Elise while Colton joins Hollie and Phillip. Skylar Laine is the first performer to be safe and Ryan is asking her to pick the group she belongs to.

Oh my gosh, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and Jessica Sanchez are in the bottom three.  Expect the judges to use their save tonight.  This is a shocking travesty.

The first one to safety is Joshua Ledet, so Elise and Jessica are the bottom two.  Jessica Sanchez is singing for her American Idol life.  I predicted something like this but that does not mean it is right.  The judges do not even let her finish her song before they save her.

Wow, tonight was shocking.

Check back this weekend for my revised power rankings.

 

 

New Releases For March 22nd, 2011

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American Idol Season 9, Rating the Guest Judges

American Idol Season 9 auditions are almost over (only Denver left and I saw Christian music artist Alex Nestor in the promos), thank goodness.  As we wrap up the auditions phase I want to highlight another Christian who seems to be a contender and I want to have a little fun by ranking the celebrity judges.  But first we need a little help.

One21music covers American Idol from a Christian perspective and we attempt to highlight and follow Christian music artists through their American Idol journey.  We need your help.  We are feverously researching Season 9 contestants in an attempt to identify your

Here are a few artists we are researching:
Aaron Kelly
Alexander “Alex” Lambert
Andrew Garcia
Ashley (Makailah) Rodriguez
Casey James
Christopher “Chris” Golightly
Crystal Bowersox
David Duke
Haeley Vaughn
Janell Wheeler
Jermaine Sellers
John Park
Jose Munoz
Katelyn Epperly
Katie Stevens
Lacey Brown
Michael Lynche
Michelle Delamor
Paige Miles
Todrick Hall
Tyler Grady
Vered Didi Benami

If you know anyhting about these artist faith backgrounds, please comment or send me an email at chuck@one21music.com.

American Idol Season 9, Rating the Guest Judges

With the departure of Paula Abdul, American Idol scrambled to find a replacement and did not have a workable solution by the time the crew hit the road. They have since hired Ellen Degeneres to fill Paula Abdul’s role, but she was not ready for the road show. I don’t know why American Idol felt they had to replace Paula, three judges are more than enough and four is kind of too many.

On the American Idol Season 9 roadshow, the producers decided to use celebrity guest judges and the results were mixed. Here are my rankings:

  1. Neal Partick Harris- Is Neal Patrick Harris a viable replacement for Simon Cowel? He was a strong presence on the panel without drawing attention to himself.  He was truly excited about talent and brutally honest with untalented wannabes
  2. Shania Twain- Kind and instructive, Shania Twain was a pleasure to watch judge.  She took her responsibility seriously and she demonstrated a keen insight into talent.
  3. Katy Perry- She’s funny and strong-willed.  She had some instructive things to say, but not enough to make a positive contribution to the process.
  4. Kristin Chenowith- I was really disappointed in Kristin Chenowith.  She is a major Broadway star with huge singing talent.  Unfortunately, she was more of a giggling little girl than a constructive judge.  Kristin Chenowith is a Christian by the way.  Here is a quote from her IMDB profile: “I am a Christian and I don’t want there to be any confusion about what I believe or who I am.”
  5. Victoria Beckham- She was mostly non existent.  At least she was not rude.
  6. Mary J. Blige- I am sure many contestants were awe struck with one of the American Idol icons.  She was very encouraging to some of the contestants but she was so openly rude to many of the singers that I did not enjoy her on the show.
  7. Joe Jonas- Was he even on the show?  Joe Jonas said virtually nothing in his 20 minute segent from Dallas.  Joe Jonas is well known as a Christian music performer.
  8. Avril Lavine- This 90′s alternative sensation was rude and offered nothing of substance to the process.  How many of those horned hoodies does she own?

One blog spot pined for Kelly Clarkson to be a guest judge.  It would have been cool to fill those seats with successful former Idol contestants like Kelly Clarkson, Blake Lewis , Jennifer Hudson….

American Idol Season 9 and Christian Artist Jermaine Sellers

We have highlighted American Idol Season 9 contestants Alex Nestor and Ben Honeycutt. Today we we bring you Jermaine Sellers. He joined Walt Whitman & The Soul Children of Chicago at age seven, signed his first professional Jermaine Sellerscontract at age 14 and by age 17, Jermaine Sellers had a seven year recording deal. None of it panned out. At age 19 Jermaine Sellers was working with John P. KeeSellers recalls one pivotal conversation with Kee. “He asked me, ‘Do you know why you haven’t put out an R&B album yet?’ and I said no,” Kee’s reply was “Regardless of how much R&B you sing, you have an anointing on your voice and you’re not supposed to be singing that kind of music.” Since that pivotal ocnversation Jermaine Sellers has finsihed 3rd on BET’s Sunday Best and has appeared on Bobby Jones Gospel Hour.

Take a look at Jermaine Sellers. He may be a contender:

Gospel Music Channel to Air From “Idol to Ispiration”

“I said, ‘Simon a lot of people want me to say a lot of things to you right now. But what I want you to know is that I forgive you. The reason I can forgive you is that Jesus Christ died so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven. I can certainly extend that same grace to you.’ And then something extraordinary happened. His jaw dropped, he kept looking around to see what was going on, because that’s not what he was expecting and he got up, he gave me a big hug, he apologized and my relationship with him has been amazing ever since.”Mandisa on Simon Cowell

That is a quote from the new documentary “From Idol to Inspiration,” that will air on the Gospel Music channel on Thursday, April 23rd at 7edt/6c dt. The show will immediately precede the Gospel Music Awards to be seen on that same channel.  According to a press release from the Gospel Music Channel Network and David Lewis Productions:

“American Idol(R)” is exposing the world to Gospel/Christian performers like never before. From the very beginning of “American Idol(R),” singers from gospel/Christian music backgrounds have flourished on the show, as have performers who proudly profess their faith. Winners Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia and Jordin Sparks and finalists Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, George Huff, Chris Sligh, Phil Stacey, Melinda Doolittle and Mandisa are all examples of this trend. Many have gone on to sign with Gospel/Christian divisions of major record labels and are seen regularly on GMC, and will also be seen in The Dove Awards telecast following “From Idol to Inspiration.”

“American Idol(R)” finalists telling their story in “From Idol to Inspiration” include Chris Sligh, Phil Stacey, Melinda Doolittle and Mandisa, as well as journalists who cover the program, Brian Mansfield of USA Today and Gil Kaufman of MTV News. There have been many Christians on the series and this season’s “American Idol(R)” features three worship leaders in the finalists group. “From Idol to Inspiration” will tell the story of one of those finalists, worship leader Danny Gokey, whose wife, Sophia, died a few weeks before his “American Idol” audition.”

Set your DVRs or get to the television early.  It should be interesting.



American Idol Season 8- Top 7 Power Rankings II

That was really cool.  The “save” created some real excitement on American Idol Season 8.  Couple that with the Susan Boyle story and you have one of the most organically emotional weeks in reality television history.

First to Susan Boyle.  For the one of you out there who has not heard, she is a 47 year old unmarried, unemployed Scottish woman who has taken the world by storm when the video of her Britian’s Got Talent audition hit youtube. I am sure the video has had 10 million hits by now.  To see the video and read a really dead-on commentary by Lisa Schwarzman of ew.com see Dreams Can Come True.  An article from Associate Press refers to Susan Boyle as “a devoutly religious woman who regularly sings in her church” so she is a Christian music performer as well.  This performance moves me to tears every time I see it for two reasons.  First, if you have ever read Les Misrables and the lyrics to this song, it is one of the best, saddest songs ever written. Second, the lyrics fit what we know of Susan’s life (  “As they tear your hope apart; And they turn your dream to shame”).  The lyrics are in our post  Dreams Can Come True. Thank you Susan Boyle for taking us out of ourselves for a few moments.

Now back to American Idol Season 8.  Up until the last few minutes of the results show, American Idol had been pretty blah last week.  Sure the results show had the best guest performance of Season 8, when Jennifer Hudson returned as a triumphant star and showed us why.  And even though Quentin Tarantino was a highly entertaining mentor, the performances had grown safe and stale, see our performance live blog.

Everything had turned a little bland until Matt Giraud sang for his career as the judges weighed his future on American Idol Season 8.  First, I think Matt may have found his groove.  If he goes back and watches that performance, he will see his best of the season.  This was the perfect combination of piano rock and R&B grooves that he has been looking for all of Season 8.  Download the studio recording of the song from iTunes below and you will hear a song more like he sang on the results show.  Second, the “save” was used as a surprise.  We knew Matt was talented but did any of us think he had a chance to win?  It was possible, but we were not sure the judges would use the “save”.  How exciting.

The best part of the the whole “save” moment was to watch the American Idol Season 8 competitors leap to their feet to cheer their buddy, Matt Giraud , on as he sang for the “save”.  These few moments showed me more about the friendships and genuine caring they have for each other than anything I have seen on reality TV.  Even though it was detrimental to their own cause, the American Idol contestants, led by Danny Gokey, truly cheered on to success.

I was bored, now I am invigorated.

Now to the American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Power Rankings, part two.  In all of the excitement, we lost another show stopping performance by Kris Allen, another solid performance by Danny Gokey and another stumble by Lil Rounds.  We have a glut of “white boy” soul singers (Kris, Danny, Anoop and Matt). I think that is why Matt Giraud was voted off last week.

Remember, these are not my predictions for how the performers will finish on American Idol Season 8.  These are my ratings of the American Idol performers as recording artists.  It is really pretty good to be 7th out of 30,000.

American Idol Top 7 Power Rankings

  1. Kris Allen may have solidified his place in my number 1 slot with his performance of “Falling Slowly”.  He picked the best song.  He picked the most modern song.  He made the riskiest pick because this song is not an “American Idol” song.  He picked a song filled with raw emotion.  He changed the song ever so slightly.  And like he has done throughout Season 8, Kris Allen delivered a brilliant vocal interpretation.  This could be the third chart appearance of “Falling Slowly” and it could go higher on U.S. charts than the movie version.  If he continues dropping these type of performances on us he should win American Idol Season 8 and he just might win.
  2. Danny Gokey delivered an almost flawless, heart wrenching performance of a really bad, but safe, song.  Let’s be clear, I think “Endless Love” is one of the worst songs ever. Once again Danny’s arrangement was interesting, with an atonal low register for the first verse and chorus and then a big blaring middle and some falsetto at the end,  a vocal tour de force.  Danny Gokey’s American Idol Season 8 has been very consistence but he needs something unusual to happen.  I don’t think he wants it to happen during Disco week, but over the next few weeks he needs to surprise us.  An aside, someone on the Internet compared Danny’s voice to Rod Stewart.  I agree.  If he uses that correctly, he can deliver a huge surprise.
  3. Matt Giraud, I know, how can Matt move from fifth to third after he was voted off?  Matt Giraud’s “save” performance was the second best of the week and showcased his talents as a song interpreter, an arranger and as a singer.  It is risky ranking him this high since his American Idol Season 8 performances have been so inconsistent this year, but I would assert that he has been no more inconsistent than Adam LambertMatt Giraud’s performance of “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”  was really pretty exceptional both nights.  He toned it down the second time but his competition performance was pretty much perfect as well.
  4. Allison Iraheta shocked me this week.  She sang a rock song poorly.  Her performance of “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” was filled with garbled lyrics and pitch problems.  When Allison sings low and slow, she mumbles her lyrics. Allison Iraheta has demonstrated that she can sing rock and she can sing ballads.  She is a great singer for any age.  She ranks below Kris, Danny and Matt because she has not demonstrated their breadth of musical and production skills.  I think she is a better stage performer than anyone left on American Idol Season 8.
  5. Adam Lambert’s performance of “Born To Be Wild” epitomizes why many of us are not drinking the Adam Lambert kool aid that American Idol is serving in Season 8.  “Born to Be Wild” is an angry anthem of a generation rejecting the constraints society was placng on them and breaking free from all their parents held dear.  The electronic arrangement was synth pop when it needed to be industrial.  The performance needed to be angry and disaffected wild rather than dancy and screamy wild. Adam Lambert is trying to win American Idol Season 8 by playing the Adam Lambert character.  I wish he would just think about the songs and sing them with that great voice.
  6. Lil Rounds, for the third week in a row, struggled to sing.  Shocking.  If you download Lil’s studio recording version of “The Rose”  your will hear a beautiful, interesting performance.  On the show she was stiff and off key.  Lil just seems frustrated and perplexed.  The old Lil Rounds is still in there and we need to see it, because it is really great.
  7. Anoop Desai delivered his best performance of the Season 8 and seems to be gaining some momentum with the judges.  His singing of “(Everything I Do) I Do for You” was impeccable.  Yet the result for me was boring.  I just don’t think Anoop has the groove to nail the funky performances so he has been relegated to ballad after ballad.  Anoop has the least amount of stage presence of any of the American Idol Season 8 Top 10.

I have been going through my Disco archives to find songs for the Idols to sing on American Idol Season 8 Disco night. How embarrassing is it that I have “disco archives”.  Check in with me tomorrow morning as we post some pretty interesting song suggestions and then join us Tuesday night at 8edt/7cdt as I live blog American Idol Disco performance night.

In the meantime, download the video of the last week’s live performances or the American Idol studio recordings from iTunes.  I would suggest that you download the studio recordings by Kris Allen, Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud, in addition to your favorite.



Apple iTunes

American Idol Comes To The One 21

Yes,  we at One21music.com will cover American Idol’s Season 8.  However, we will take a little different slant.  We will identify and focus on American Idol contestants of faith.  While American Idol’s Hollywood theater of torture airs next week, we will research the candidates to find those who profess their faith in Christ and then we will follow their progress throughout Season 8.

The Season 8 audtition shows ended last night and they were the usual cornucopia of train wrecks and tear-jerkers, spiced with some talent and humor.  American Idol is a decidely secular endeavor.  It feels that the judges punish contestants who choose to demonstrate their faith through their song selections.  On the surface, Idol  stifles creativity and undervalues sensitivity, two qualities of the great music we try to promote at One21music.

So why would One21music jump into covering the plastic, secular process we will see in American Idol’s Season 8?  Is there anything less underground, less Post Modern, less organically Christian than American Idol?  There are really three reasons Idol matters to us at One21music and why maybe you should give it a chance:

  • American Idol is a fascinating view into the process of developing music stars.
  • American Idol is television the entire family can enjoy together.
  • There have been a number of Idol contestants who are Christian music artists.

We live in Austin, Texas; a city teeming with talented musicians.  Many of these music artists appear to be much more talented than most pop music faves such as Britney Spears,  J-Lo or Kenny Chesney.  If superior talent is not enough, then what does it take for America to embrace your music?  I think American Idol offers some insight into that process.  In Idol’s Season 7 we saw interesting talents like Brooke White and Jason Castro wither under the pressure of unrelenting, high stakes performing.  We saw Syesha Mercado’s unwavering will and self confidence enable her to survive other, more heralded talents.  We saw the mature musical diversity of David Cook prevail over the powerful singing talent that was David Archuleta.  American Idol is not about who gets to sing that horrible song to close the season.  Idol is about watching these talented musicians endure, mature and grow through the Idol’s condensed process for grooming a music pop star.  Okay, dog?

I was a late comer to American Idol.  Quite frankly, I was a music snob who looked down my nose at the show until I saw Jennifer Hudson’s crushing performance in Dreamgirls.  Knowing that her talent did not win motivated me to investigate this curious show.  Before then, I joked that all of my friends who encouraged me to watch Idol were the parents of pre-teen girls.  In the middle of Idol’s Season Six a friend, whose music tastes I highly respect, and father of four said to me, “American Idol is one of the only television shows my 3 year-old,12 year old and I can enjoy together as a family.  You know how families used to sit together and watch television as a family?”  It is true.  American Idol is understandable and entertaining to very young kids and interesting and enjoyable to adults.

Over the last two years, we have seen the Top 12 Finalists include no less than seven music artists who openly profess their faith.  Phill Stacey, Lakisha Jones and Chris Sligh have all  recorded Christian/Gospel music.  Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks openly express their faith.  We are waiting to hear from Jason Castro and Chikezie from Season 7 .

Which brings us to American Idol Season 8 and One21music.  We intend to highlight the Christian music artists competing and we need your help.  Fox and 19 TV do not provide much information about the contestants going to Hollywood and we expect their biographical data for the 36 finalists to be sketchy regarding their faith.

Through researching a number of blogs I have identified some of the contestants we should consider favorites:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson

Here is how you can help.   If you know any of these Idol contestants to be professing believers, please send me a comment to let me know.  Whatever you can tell me about them will be greatly appreciated.  Hopefuly ths list will contain a fair number of the contestants moving to the audience voting rounds.  Once we know the true list we will adjust and research the others.

Join me when the program goes live on February 17th and we will cheer on these Christian music artists together.