So the critics are calling this the worst group of American Idol contestants ever. I must admit the American Idol Season 9 started with a thud. The performances were unimaginative at best, the sound was unprofessional and the judges seemed tired and bored. Let’s give these aspiring artists a few more weeks before destroying their careers. I will admit that I am pretty ticked-off about the last two nights. I just gave up four hours of women’s bobsled, ice dancing and that thing where skiers slide up a hill and flip around in the air. I will never get that back.
Tonight we find out who were the worst of the American Idol Season 9 performers, four will go home tonight. At One21music we follow the Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 9. Seven Christian music artists are awaiting their fate tonight. Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, Tim Urban, Lacey Brown, Michelle Delamor, Jermiane Sellers and Ashley Rodriguez are on the block. We hope all of them get another chance but I am worried about Tim Urban, Lacey Brown and Jermaine Sellers.
It must be exceedingly frustrating to go home tonight. You cannot blame anyone but yourself but the performers must feel that they really did not get a chance to fully show what they can do. Everyone can have a bad performance and you cannot judge a performer by any one good or bad performance. No matter who goes home, I will feel bad for them.
And we are live on American Idol Season 9! 24 million people voted and Kris Allen will perform. Ryan is right to point out that it is usually rough at this point of the season.
The Top 24 perform a group number, but I missed the song title and I don’t recognize it. Is it “American Boy”? Not a bad song, jazzy, and they are doing pretty well with it. We do find out the Didi Benami cannot dance, she becomes more like Brooke White every time we see her. My wife just informed me that the song was made popular by Estelle.
Let’s get started sending some girls home. Siobhan Magnus is safe. Haeley Vaughn is safe. Michelle Delamor must be safe and she is safe. Katelyn Epperly sang “Oh Darling” and she is safe. Uh oh, Katie Stevens and Janelle Wheeler are on the block. It must be Janelle. Yep, Janelle Wheeler goes home. The Heart bomb blows up in her face. She seems to take it well. Way to leave with dignity.
We get an Allison Iraheta sighting. I can’t wait. She is singing her new single “Scars”. This is an okay song, especially by American Idol alumni standards. Not the best I have heard her sing, but I like Allison.
Christian music artists Didi Benami, Lacey Brown and Ashley Rodriquez remain on the block with Crystal Bowersox, Paige Miles and Lilly Scott. I am worried about Lacey Brown I think it is either her or Paige Miles.
We jump right into the eliminations again. Paige Miles is up and she stays another week, it is either Lacey or a surprise. Lacey Brown is back for another week. Who will be the surprise? Lilly Scott is back for another week. I think it will be Ashley Rodriguez is going home. Crystal Bowersox is safe and we are down to Ashley and Didi Benami. Ashley Rodriquez goes home. What a surprise! She is surprised and a little mad and struggling to hold it together. So sad, our first Christian music artist goes home. Good luck Ashley!
It is interesting that similar types are the first to be eliminated. One of three blonde folk pop singers, Janelle Wheeler. One of three R&B singers, Ashley Rodriguez goes home. It is not fair but both of them split a voting block.
Now the guys are up and we start with Michael Lynche and he is safe. John Park survives a poor performance. Aaron Kelly is surely safe and so he is. Toddrick Hall took a big risk last night and he survives. Tim Urban and Joe Munoz are side by side. Christian music artist Tim Urban is safe. Wow, he is in shock! I can’t believe that Tim survived, I am so happy. You get one more chance to prove Simon wrong. Sorry Joe Munoz, I liked you.
After Kris Allen performs, Christian music artist Jermaine Sellers is on the hot seat with Casey James, Andy Garcia, Alex Lambert, Lee Dewyze and the bathrobe boy Tyler Grady. I think Alex Lambert leaves us from that group but Jermaine Sellers could be a surprise departure tonight. I hope not, I think he has more to bring than he showed last night.
After a one year break Idol Gives Back returns in April, but they are starting the focus with a report from Haiti by Kris Allen. Kris’s performance is available in iTunes and all proceeds go to Haiti relief and you can donate online as well. Kris is interpreting “Let It Be”. Do you remember why you loved him so much last year? Do you remember why you voted for him. Go to iTunes and download this song. Go to AmericanIdol.com and donate. Great, great song performed well by last year’s American Idol.
Time to finish this agony. Starting with Casey James and he is safe to be terrorized by Kara for another week. Jermaine Sellers is safe for another week, yeah! All of the Christian guys are through. Lee Dewyze is safe, as is Andy Garcia. It is down to Alex Lambert and Tyler Grady. It could be Tyler but I would be surprised. I think Alex Lambert is going home but I am wrong. Tyler Grady is going home. What a surprise. He is now criticizing the judges. Bad form dude.
We finish the evening with a montage of the four who are going home. I really disagree with America about Ashley and I am shocked by Tyler’s exit.
Check back this weekend and I will preview next week’s show and then we will be here live blogging all three of next week’s shows of American Idol Season 9.
We saw real American Idol Season 9 drama on Wednesday night when we experienced Group night performances. We also saw some more great performances by Christian music artists Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, Ashley Rodriguez, Michelle Delamor and Jermaine Sellers. Unfortunately, we also lost one of our early favorite Christian music artists, Ben Honeycutt when he was eliminated after the group performance. I did not see anything as good as last year’s group performances but the drama was not as intense either. Finally, I am a little frustrated that we have not seen one performance by my favorite Christian music artist of American Idol Season 9, Alex Nestor. She is an amazing artist who has alreadt made a record as good as any American Idol artist.
Everyone log in on Wednesday night as One21music live blogs the American Idol Season 9chair epsiode. Let’s find out who is in the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 together.
We have not seen much of the performers this year so it is a little early to start picking favorites, but three performers have shined in Hollywood week so far. Christian music artist Michael Lynchebrings an intimidating presence but an old school soul vibe. Son of the gangbangers Andy Garcia has the Kris Allen ability to turn any song into a new revelation. Katie Stevens, granddaughter of Portuguese grandmother with Alzheimer’s, is a wonderful singer who could bring the girls back inot power after the last two years.
We still need your help in finding all of the Christian music artists on American Idol Season 9. If you know anything about these artists’ faith background, please share.
Don’t forget to join us on Wednesday night for the live blog of American Idol Season 9 chair episode.
American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week is upon us. Now the show gets good. Over the next two weeks we will find out who makes it into the Top 24. One21music focuses our American Idol coverage on Christian music artists trying to make their dreams come true by running the American Idol gauntlet. Last year we followed the triumphs of Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, the inspiring stories of Michael Sarver and Scott MacIntyre and the way too early ousters of Mishavonna Henson and Felica Barton.
American Idol Hollywood Week Season 9 should feature several Christian music artist favorites and we want to help you keep an eye out for them. We have already featured, Alex Nestor (who for some reason was never seen in the audtions), Ben Honeycut and Jermaine Sellers
But we continue to look and we have found seven more Christian music artists for you to follow through American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week. We believe that it is likely you will be able to vote for these Christian music artists in a few weeks:
The 24-year-old, who the show identified as a church event director from Amarillo, sang “Over the Rainbow” in Orlando, Fla., before the four judges unanimously voted her through to the next round. Lacey Brown is the daughter of David and Connie Brown, pastor and co-pastor of Victory Church in Amarillo. She shared that the first time she sang was in church for her parents anniversary party while she had hiccups, and went on to say that her relatives were as shocked as she was that she could sing
Lacey Brown made it into the Top 50 of American Idol Season 8. She was cut in a chair scene with Meagan Joy.
Ashley’s journey as an artist began at the age of four when she started ballet, jazz and tap lessons. Loving the art of performance, Ashley Makailah Rodriguez joined the drama club in high school, took piano, taught herself guitar and sang in the school’s chorus to hone her skills as an all-around performer. It was there at Chelsea High School that she was introduced to the City Music program at Berklee College of Music, which eventually awarded her a full four-year tuition scholarship.
During her four years at Berklee, Ashley Makailah Rodriguez not only worked to improve herself as a vocalist, but also majored in Music Business Management in order to fully immerse herself in the industry. As a performer, Ashley was offered many incredible opportunities, which included traveling internationally with the gospel group Overjoyed and singing at the Berklee Performance Center with artists such as Philip Bailey, Chaka Kahn, and Berklee alums Lalah Hathaway and Paula Cole.
Chris Golightly performs under the name Orphan. He born in San Pedro, CA. and by the age of three he was placed in the social services system. Growing up without parents Chris Golightly struggled to find himself. As a child it was very rough and Chris Golightly had to stand up on his own two feet.
Running away from foster homes etc… every five months made Chris Golightly come to realize he had stories to tell. Ever since he was six years old he was singing and performing. At the age of twelve Rich Mullins inspired him to started writing. Today, Chris Golightly attends Calvary Church in Santa Ana, CA and performs there regularly.
Vered Benami lists her influences as “First and foremost God.” When you listen to her original music her faith is clearly apparent, as in the chorus of her song “Lullaby”- “He wants to comfort you. He wants to save you.” Ever since she was old enough to speak Vered Benami was inspired, energized, and fascinated with the groove of life in ever-changing motion. She immersed herself in all kinds of jazz, blues, southern rock, folk, country, R&B and pop music. Throughout her life she has harmonized, danced, and written to any music that moves her.
Vered Benami attended Belmont University where she met her biggest inspiration, Rebecca Joy Lear. Rebecca was a singer/songwriter from Wichita, Kansas who began to help Vered capture and sharpen her ability to sing, and combine vocalizing expression with writing music. Not too long after these two met they became close friends and decided to stick it out at school, (even though all they were really passionate about was writing and performing music) Rebecca’s Journey was cut short by an automobile accident in December 2005. This was an eye opening experience for Verdad Benami, and made her realize that life is too short to waste not doing what you love.
Michelle Delamor dreams of conquering two worlds: music and fashion. In a Miami Herald article, she said of the two passions: “The moment you step on stage, the transformation is amazing. You can go from crazy nerves to becoming the music. I want to be huge, I want to tour around the world, sing for millions and millions of people. But another dream of mine is to have my own clothing line. My style is funky-glamorous.”
Michelle Delamor is a 20 year-old a music major at Miami Dade College-Wolfson. Michelle credits Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Pink and Mary J. Blige as being some of her biggest musical influences. She also has a strong gospel background and is a soloist in Miami’s Unity on the Bay church choir.
Like many great artists in the R&B tradition, Michael Lynche was first exposed to music through the church. Both of his parents were pastors and the Lynche Family or “Lynche Mob” (as they were known) was well known for its energetic act, which featured a young Michael performing gospel.
Michael Lynche excelled in high school, earning a full academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Central Florida, where he played NCAA Division I football as a defensive lineman. Michael was sure football was his ticket out of the poverty of his youth, but while in college, his beloved mother fell ill with cancer and Michael saw it as his duty to go home. As he recalls, “My love for football was enormous, but when my mom got sick, I started really rethinking about my journey in life and I got to thinking that this was all happening for a reason.”
After the passing of his mother, Michael Lynche stepped back to where he started – with his love of music and specifically, the guitar. He recounts, “When I was a kid I picked up the guitar that was stashed in the back of my mom’s closet and learned to play it. I loved the sound of blues guitar. When she died, one of the first things I did was get a new guitar and start writing. At first, I was just writing music for the church. Then it became a singer songwriter thing. But nothing was groundbreaking.”
Moving to New York in 2006 to pursue his dream, Michael Lynche then hooked up with hip-hop producer Ming (of Ming & FS). Ming started adding beats to the more traditional singer/songwriter and soul songs that Michael was writing, and for Michael, it was like lightning struck. He exclaims, “I’m a soul singer at heart and a story teller, but I realized through Ming that it was the beats that make the songs fun. I was thinking about what kind of music that would be and one day I came up with a new genre name: ‘Dirty Blues,’ where gritty southern soul meets dirty south hip-hop.”
So watch for these Christian music artists starting next week in American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week and don’t forget to follow American Idol Season 9 on One21music.com when we start live blogging when the show goes live on February 23rd.
In the meantime help us find more Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 9. Here is a list of some Hollywood Week participants we are researching. If you know anything about these artists’ faith background, please share.
Next week we review the first two shows of American Idol Season 9 and start predicting the Top 24.
We are four auditions in to American Idol Season 9 and we are finding some contenders who are Christian music artists. We cover the American Idol from a Christian perspective. We highlight and follow Christian music artist performing on American Idol. Check out our American Idol Season 8 archives where we were an early champion of Kris Allen and season long fans of Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud.
So far, the American Idol Season 9 auditions have been your usual string of greatness, intermingled with catastrophes. However, some exciting Christian artists are starting to emerge. Last week highlighted amazing soul artist Alex Nestor. Today we will show you a Christian artist from the Atlanta auditions, Ben Honeycutt . In order to find all of the Christians competing on American Idol Season 9 we need your help. Please help us find the believers who are competing in Hollywood and send us as much background as you can find on them. Here are a few artists we are researching:
Alexander “Alex” Lambert
Ashley (Makailah) Rodriguez
Christopher “Chris” Golightly
Vered Didi Benami
Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt, songwriter and former front man for the Christian metal group Candlefuse, is now the worship leader for The Church @ Catoosa in Ringold, Georgia. He lives in Fort Ogelthorpe, GA with is wife Ashley. Candlefuse was an openly Christian band with a mission statement that started: “With purpose, poetry, and passion, we choose to follow Jesus Christ and the ministry example He set…”. Candlefuse‘s two releases, Never Go Unheard and Talking to The Wind , feature Ben Honeycutt on lead vocals. On Never Go Unheard, Candlefuse covers the worship fave “Hungry”. They take that atmospheric worship song and give it a strong metal twist, pretty cool. Candlefuse broke up in November 2008 and Ben Honeycutt has been leading worship ever since. In his “golden ticket” interview Ben Honeycutt cites the break-up of Candlefuse as a driver for him to audition for American Idol Season 9.
Hear he is solo, singing “Pride (In The Name of Love)”
We did not see much of him in the Atlanta auditions but look out for Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt in Hollywood.
We are back!
One21music.com will cover American Idol’s Season 9. However, as we did in Season 8, we will take a little different slant. We will identify and focus on American Idol contestants of faith. We are in the throws of the auditions and as usual there were train wrecks and revelations. While American Idol’s Hollywood theater of torture airs in a few weeks we will research the candidates to find those who profess their faith in Christ and then we will follow their progress, with you, throughout Season 9.
We have already found one terrific Christian performer that you need to look for in the audtions. See below.
Once the show goes live on February 23rd, we will live blog every performance show. We will provide reviews of the show, previews of the coming shows, power rankings and song predictions. We will also provide breaking news on the Christian artists performing. Between now and February 23rd we will start posting profiles of Christian performers we believe will make it to the Top 24.
We do need your help. We have already started researching the contestants. If you know of any Christians who are competing in Hollywood, let us know.
American Idol is a decidely secular endeavor. 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 9? 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:
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. 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?
Which brings us to American Idol Season 9 and One21music. We intend to highlight the Christian music artists competing and we need your help. Fox and 19 Entertainment do not provide much information about the contestants going to Hollywood and we expect their biographical data for the 24 finalists to be sketchy regarding their faith. Next Friday we will post a list of those we think are the favorites to make it to the live show. Check back in and tell us if you know any of them.
We don’t know if Alex Nestor will make it past Hollywood, but you must keep your eye out for her in the Audition show. She did not surface in Boston or Atlanta and we suspect she will audition on the West Coast. She is a young cancer survivor so we think American Idol will feature her. Alex openly professes her faith on her myspace page.
What a talent! Her mixture of old school soul and contemporary R&B is a thrill. Check her out:
Christian music artist Kris Allen (see our artist profile) won American Idol Season 9 over Adam Lambert. Many considered it a travesty at worst, an upset at best. We thought America got it right. We thought then that Kris Allen was the most soulful, nuanced winner of American Idol since Season One’s Kelly Clarkson.
Both Kris Allen and Adam Lambert have new CDs releasing this month. Judging by the first real videos we have seen from Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, we believe even more strongly that America got it right.
Here is the video for “Live Like We Are Dying” Kris Allen’s single off of his debut album entitled Kris Allen.
“Live Like We Are Dying” is a soulful funky uptempo song about gratitude and living in the moment. Kris Allen’s musicianship shines through, his ability to take an acoustic guitar and a piano and turn them into instruments of rhythm and color make the song compelling. Kris Allen’s upbeat personality and soulful voice bring the message home while drawing you to dance.
In contrast, Adam Lambert’s “Time for Miracles”, from the movie 2012, is an assault on the senses. Sure, the powerful, other worldly voice is here in all of its glory. But as with many of his American Idol performances, the entire production is loud and shrill. Adam Lambert stomps through a green screen montage of disasters as he sings over loud, simplistic pop music that is supposed to be a compelling rock ballad, in the style of Whitesnake or Poison:
I think the movie analogy is a good one. If Kris Allen were a movie he would be a cool indie flick like “(500) Days of Summer” or “Once”. These are heartfelt movies that cause you the think and feel and engage. On the other hand Adam Lambert is a big budget Hollywood film like “2012″ or “G.I.Joe”. You know, movies that blow your hair back and rattle your bones but leave you feeling empty.
To us at One21music it looks like round one of the post Idol comparison of Kris Allen and Adam Lambert goes to Kris Allen.
Sufjan Stevens has recently stated that his endeavor to make an album about every state in the USA (all 50 of them) was a joke, and that instead he has been focusing on other projects (like The BQE). In related news, Sufjan‘s Illinoise album was named the top record of the decade by Paste Magazine. Pedro The Lion‘s Control made # 36, and Over The Rhine‘s Ohio came in at #26.
The Michael Gungor Band has changed their name to simply Gungor in the hopes of taking a new direction with the band’s music and overall persona.
Mae had their van and trailer stolen from them in Philadelphia. See The Light had their van broken into. Anberlin‘s trailure was robbed while they were sitting on their bus! If you are reading this right now, and you think that it would be cool to rip off a traveling band, remind yourself that these guys live on the road. They give up family, friends, comfort, and finance to travel across the globe an entertain people. Stealing from them is almost like stealing from a homeless person….
Blood & Ink Records have signed Divide The Sea to their roster. Their new album, Man, will be hitting stores in early 2010.
Below is the new video from Harp & Lyre for their song “Insight To Failure”
This is the video for “Live Like We’re Dying” by American Idol winner Kris Allen
The nest one is from Manchester Orchestra with their song “Shake It Out”
We get some hip-hop in here with the first video from Gallery Drive, and their song “Psycho”
This is the video for “Family Business” by the newly reformed Oceana (although I think this video was shot with the older line-up)
Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for NEWWORLDSON‘s upcoming February 9th, 2010 self-titled release.
1. You Set The Rhythm
2. Listen To The Lord
4. Total Eclipse
5. In Your Arms
6. There Is A Way
7. O Lament
8. Rocky Road
10. That’s Exactly (How I Like It)
11. Do You Believe In Love?
12. Bun Dem (medely)
Here is the artwork and tracklisting from Fair‘s upcoming Disappearing World album which will also hit stores February 9th, 2010.
1. Disappearing World
3. Walking In My Sleep
4. One Last Time
5. Take Some Risks
6. The Escape Artist
7. It’s Doubtful
8. The Worst Of Your Wear (feat. Aaron Marsh of Copeland)
9. Great Divide
Mantric (featuring former members of Extol) have signed with Prosthetic Records, and will be releasing a self titled album through said label in the very near future…
Owl City‘s song Fireflies was #1 on iTunes this week. Congrats to all…
The Glass Ocean broke up.
The Clocktower Showdown have also split up.
Wovenhand is currently recording a new album entitled The Thrashing Floor. It will be out in early 2010.
Apparently Tyler from Blessed By A Broken Heart got into some trouble this with the metal band Megadeath over a comment Tyler made to one of Megadeath‘s road crew that was deemed “racist”. A press release was issued to clear things up. Read Blessed By A Broken Heart press release.
Below is the new video from Rawsrvnt with his song “Tears 4 Peers”
Here is a cool little video from Jay And The Lovebirds called “Last Compromise”
This is the latest awesomeness from Listener Project called “Ozark Empire, Or A Snake Oil Salesman Comes To Your Town”
Below is the video for “Lost Connection With The Head” by Showbread
This next video isnt actually a music video. It seems that Youtube is re-broadcasting U2‘s entire concert from the a recent stop at The Rose Bowl. The video below is over 2 hours long. Enjoy:
Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for American Idol winner Kris Allen‘s upcoming November 17th, 2009 self titled release. It will feature Jon Foreman of the Switchfoot/Fiction Family fame, and was co-produced/written by members of MuteMath, OneRepulic, The Fray, and Paper Route.
1. Live Like We’re Dying
2. Before We Come Undone
3. Can’t Stay Away
4. The Truth
5. Written All Over My Face
6. Bring It Back
7. Red Guitar
8. Is It Over
9. Let It Rain
10. Alright With Me
12. I Need To Know
Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Bifrost Arts upcoming Christmas album, Salvation Is Created, which will become available November 3rd, 2009
1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
2. Joy Joy!!! (featuring Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri)
3. Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella (featuring Ben + Vesper)
4. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (featuring Sarah Fullen)
5. Let All Mortal Flesh (featuring Elin K. Smith)
6. Messiah (featuring Robert Heiskel)
7. Silent Night (featuring Diane Birch)
8. Out Of Heaven (featuring Derek Webb and Evan Gregory)
9. Veiled In Darkness (featuring Matt Bauer and Maeve)
10. Salvation Is Created (featuring Aimee Wilson)
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