American Idol Season 8- The Year In Review

It would be a short article if we did an American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Power Ranking, so I thought we could take a look back at the Season 8.  The top story of the year is the very visual presence of Christian music artists in American Idol Season 8, followed by the emergence of Christian music artist, star Kris Allen.  I will also share a couple of my favorite moments.  We will finish the article with the Top 15 Performances of American Idol Season 8.

Christian Music Artists on American Idol Season 8

Season 8 enjoyed the largest, most visible group of Christian music artists in the history of American Idol. There was much attention in the press about their participation in American Idol and Christian music artists experienced unprecedented success with two of the Top 3, three of the Top 5 and four of the Top 7.   See our mid-season update in American Idol Season 8- The Christians. Here are the Christian music artists, in order of finish, who competed on live television of American Idol Season 8:

  • Kris Allen (he is gonna win)
  • Danny Gokey (3rd)
  • Matt Giraud (5th)
  • Lil Rounds (6th)
  • Scott MacIntyre (8th)
  • Michael Sarver (10th)
  • Ricky Braddy (semi’s)
  • Felicia Barton (semi’s)
  • Mishavonna Henson (semi’s)
  • Kristen McNamara (semi’s)

American Idols Season 8- Favorite Moments

Norman Gentle

A two stories stood out for me this season. The first was the the surge of Norman Gentle (played by Nick Western) into the Top 36. He was an unlikely candidate to move this far, because his campy, over the top performances seemed to mock American Idoland few competitors achieve success with that strategy. However, Western was so unrelenting in his commitment to the Norman Gentle character that he could not be denied. Here is his audition

The best part was that he neverrelented. WithSimon trying to run him off the show, he continued into Hollywood Week with crazier performances and in his brief stint on live television he called Simon “sassy pants”. Classic.

Michael Sarver’s Back-story

There were some very compelling back-stories on American Idol Season 8, but Michael Sarver’s transcended all. We heard about his dream to sing his way out of one of the most dangerous jobs in America, oilfield widcatter. What most of America did not see was the impact he was having on his hometown of Jasper, Texas. For 10 years Jasper had been the national symbol for bigotry and racial hatred because of the horrible murder of James Byrd Jr. Michael Sarver’s success on American Idol Season 8created a rallying point for the citizens of Jasper, Tx and Michael took on that responsibility and is using his new fame to try to bring healing. See our article American Idol Season 8- Michael Sarver.. Here is a funny clip of one of Michael’s post Idol promotional activities. He is in a TV studio in a mall in Beaumont, Texas, there is a crowed watching them.

Top 15 Performance of American Idol Season 8

I guess if you receive virtually no coverage during the auditions or Hollywood Week you really need to bring it when you get your chance. Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta did just that during American Idol Season 8. Kris Allen snuck into the Top 12 with the 3rd place spot in Round 2 of the Top 36.   Kris proceeded to deliver 4 of the Top 6 performances of the Season 8.  Each performance was fearless, with unfathomable arrangements, cool soulful vocals and a compelling ,if understated, stage presence. Allison Iraheta, on the other hand, used a huge, mature, powerful, bluesy voice to establish herself from the start then continually surprise everyone with her roof raising vocals and creative arrangements. Danny Gokey is well represented with four songs in Top 15.  The two performances that should be in the American Idol Season 8 Top 15 , but aren’t, are Adam Lambert’s “Tracks of My Tears” and Danny Gokey’s “Stand By Me”.

  • Kris Allen-”Heartless” (May 12-Top 3)
  • Kris Allen- “Ain’t No Sunshine” (March 31-Top 9, iTune Top 100)
  • Danny Gokey- “You Are So Beautiful” (May 12- Top3)
  • Adam Lambert-”Mad World” (April 7- Top 8, Year of Birth Songs)
  • Kris Allen- “She Works Hard For The Money” (April 21- Top 7 II- Disco Songs)
  • Kris Allen-”Falling Slowly” (April 14-Top 7- Movie Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta- “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (March 24-Top 10, Songs of Motown)
  • Danny Gokey-”Come Rain or Shine” (April 28- Top 5, Rat Pack Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta- “Hot Stuff “(April 21-Top 7 II- Disco Night)
  • Danny Gokey-”Hero” (February 17th-Top 36 Round 1)
  • Adam Lambert- “Feeling Good” (April 28-Top 5, Rat Pack Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta-”Alone” (February 25th-Top 36 Round 2)
  • Danny Gokey- “Stand By Me” (April 7-Top 8, Year of Birth Songs)
  • Matt Giraud-”Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” (April 15-Top 7 Save, Movie Songs)
  • Lil Rounds- “The Way You Make Me Feel” (March 10-Top 13, Michael Jackson Songs)
  • Download these songs or make you own best of American Idol Season 8 mix from iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- The Christians

    Now that we are just past the halfway mark on American Idol Season 8′s live competition, let’s take a few minutes to remember the Christian music artists who made it to the Top 36 and see what we can find out about what they are doing.  At one21music we identified 10 Christian music artists who made it to the Top 36 and six of those made it to Top 13.  The contestants on American Idol Season 8 are barred from singing on their own until June because of their contract with the TV show.  That limits a lot of information about these American Idol contestants.

    Some of them made it through, some of them didn’t, but these are the artists we discovered through the search to find the believers in American Idol

    Felicia Barton

    Felicia BartonProbably the biggest tragedy of American Idol Season 8 was that Felicia Barton did not receive a fair chance to succeed.  She was all but invisible throughout the tryouts and Hollywood Week and she was eliminated in the mansion.  However, she was rushed to Hollywood at the last minute to replace JoAnne Pacitti in the Top 36 .  Her wonderful performance of Alicia Keys “No One” was mostly ignored by the judges and she was not selected for the Wild Card show. Barton, a wife and mother who has served as the minister of music at her church also has performed on the boardwalk in her hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    Post American Idol interviews have revealed a believer with a great amount of gratitude for her American Idol opportunity and a wealth of confidence in the possibilities for her future in the music business.

    In an interview with the Virginian-Pilot just after she returned form Hollywood, Felicia Barton said:

    “I don’t think I cried. Maybe a couple days later, but not right away. You know, I really had a lot of peace about what was going on, and I feel really blessed to have gotten back in the competition, you know. Just that opportunity to sing in front of 30 million people.”

    Felicia Barton has been back to Hollywood and to Nashville to record songs and work on a recording contract.  We are waiting to hear new songs on myspace pretty soon.  In the meantime, you can download Felicia Barton singing Alicia Key’s “No One” on iTunes.  Follow the link at the bottom of the page and I will show you how.

    Ricky Braddy

    rickbraddyA gospel singer and Commercial Music major at Belmont University made it to the Wild Card but was not chosen by the judges to be one of the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  His performance of “A Song for You” in the Top 36 elimination show earned him a standing ovation from Paula Abdul, who was a big fan.  Michael Slezac of entertainment Weekly is still grousing over Ricky Braddy’s early departure from American Idol Season 8.

    Ricky Braddy possesses a pure, clear singing voice and a great falsetto.  In the Wild Card round he performed Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” but it was not enough to propel him into the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  Ricky maintains a Facebook and Myspace page and is a frantic Tweeter.  He is currently traveling between Atlanta and Nashville writing music and working on a record contract.

    Ricky created a little stir on American Idol when a fan website using the name the “Braddy Bunch” emerged to push his chances on American Idol.  His parents showed up on his first live performance wearing Braddy Bunch tshirts and the website received a “cease and desist” order from the producers of American Idol.

    Mishavona Henson

    mishavonaThis seasoned 18 year old singer/actor came onto American Idol as a returning American Idol contestant (she made it to Hollywood in Season 7) who had television acting credits (Frasier) and an EP  (From the Edge of The World Mishavonna Henson ).  In August of 2008, Mishavonna Henson received the “Certificate of Merit Award” for female vocal solo at the Assemblies of God “National Fine Arts Festival” in North Carolina.

    Apparently, Mishavonna Henson has received permission to perform a benefit with Debbie Gibson for the Gibson Girl Foundation which provides scholarships for talented youth to attend Gibson’s Electric Youth Summer Camp. She is already working on her second cd.

    Her Top 36 live performance was Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” and, as a result of that performance the song shot back into the iTunes 100, peaking at 15.  Here is the young girl, fully recovered from her experience and enjoying a day with her friends.

    Kristen MacNamara

    kristen macnamaraA veteran of Star Search and Nashville Star before she auditioned for American Idol Season 8, Kristen MacNmara has been pursuing her career since she moved from California to Branson, Missouri to work as a musician in this country music mecca.

    Kristen McNamara first gained fame on American Idol Season 8 when her Hollywood Week group’s meltdown was the centerpiece of one of the episodes.   Kristen  sang “Give Me One More Reason” in her Top 36 live performance and received very little love from the judges and did not receive enough votes to make it to the Top 13.

    Kristen McNamara is one of the founders of L.A.U.G.H., an organization promoting personal missions.

    Kristen has a channel on youtube called Kmactv, which is a set of videos following the adventures of her and her friends as they goof around.  There is no update on her myspace and we were unable to find any articles.  However, her myspace page does say that she is signed to 19 Entertainment (the company that produces American Idol).  Based on Internet chatter, that must have happened right around the time she was eliminated.

    Michael Sarver

    michael arverA fan favorite, Michael Sarver made it into the Top 10 of American Idol Season 8, so we will see him on the American Idol Live tour.   He shocked audiences when he was voted in over American Idol front runner Anoop Desai in round 1 of the Top 12 selection show.  He then survived the elimination of Jasmine Murray, Jorge Nunez and Alexis Grace before his performance of “Ain’t to Proud (To Beg)” failed to earn him enough votes to continue.

    A worship leader at the Harvest Church in Jasper, Texas, Michael Sarver started his American Idol quest with a hope to leave his life as an oilfield worker behind.  As I wrote in our article on Michael Sarver, his American Idol Season 8 journey became a healing process for a town torn and embarrassed by racial issues.  Many believe Michael Sarver has become the image of a new Jasper, He has put Jasper back on the map in a positive way and we appreciate all the help he has done to make Jasper alive again,” said Jasper Council Member Terrya Norsworthy.

    Michael Sarver returned home to large crowds in both Jasper and his hometown of Sulphur, Louisiana.  He has already signed a record deal and expects to return to Los Angeles within a few weeks to start recording his debut album.

    Scott MacIntyre

    scott-macintyreThe most recent Christian music artist to exit American Idol Season 8, Scott made it to 8th place.  Scott MacIntyre was difficult to judge.  His singing did not measure up to that of the other American Idol Season 8 performers, but he possesses a certain intangible that the judges and the audience could not deny.

    Scott MacIntyre is a world class classical musician who has received dozens of national and international awards for piano, composition and vocal.  He was  the recipient of the Marshall scholarship, Fulbright scholarship (to the UK), USAToday All-USA Academic First Team and was a Rhodes Finalist for Arizona.  Scott studied in London, England where he obtained his masters degree in Performance Studies from the Royal College of Music and Royal Holloway University of London at the age of 19. He was also accepted to both Oxford and Cambridge for further graduate-level research.

    Scott MacIntyre has been featured and  profiled on CNN, Sky News Europe, USA Today, and other media as pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has independently released 6 full-length CD’s and has written in genres spanning pop, rock, punk, jazz, and classical.  You can buy Scott’s punk rock CD with his group The Glutes at iTunes by clicking here The Glutes

    To top things off , Scott MacIntyre told Access Hollywood, “I say blindness is only half of my story, I’ve been through so much more than that.” He added, “I dealt with kidney failure for two years. It’s something that I intentionally didn’t bring up on this show because, you know, the blindness is obvious, but I didn’t want to be voted for based on my challenges.” The 23-year-old singer was diagnosed with the disease in 2005. He then went to London and got a master’s degree in music, but had to return home to have emergency dialysis. In 2007, Scott MacIntyre was lucky enough to find a kidney donor: his former piano instructor from Arizona State University.

    That leaves us with the final four Christina music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.

    Danny Gokey

    danny-gokeyA favorite since he auditioned, Danny Gokey has performed at the top of the American Idol chart every single week.  Others have peaked above him but have fallen back behind him the next week.  Danny has been the best or second best performance in every week of the competition.

    His Hollywood Week group performance of “Somebody To Love” was the best of the season.  Danny Gokey hit the live competition with the Mariah Carey song “Hero” and tore down the house causing whooping screaming adulation from the judges.  He has maintained that level of excellence each week since.

    In listening to the exit interviews, Danny Gokey is mentioned more than any other contestant as one of the nicest people in the mansion.  From the outside in, it seems he has put a lot of effort into developing strong personal relationships with as many of the other performers as possible.

    Danny Gokey has a natural likability, a unique gravel, but soulful voice and ease about himself that draws America to him.  He is certainly one of four remaining contestants that should be considered a favorite for the Top 2.

    Kris Allen

    Kris AllenJust the opposite of Danny, Kris Allen flew under the radar into the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  This quiet business major from small town Arkansas was considered a handsome, good singer but no one really new.  We got our first glimpse of Kris Allen’s interpretive skills when he chose Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.  In Kris’s hands this song took on a more epic arc.

    The second peak happened when Kris Allen made us forget Garth Brook’s ever sang “To Make You Feel My Love”.

    Then it happened.  With his amazing arrangement of “Ain’t No Sunshine” Kris Allen burst to the front of numerous American Idol Season 8 power rankings.  His only misstep was last week.

    Kris Allen has the looks, the music skills, the voice and the arranging insight to win American Idol Season 8.  He needs to continue to push himself to have as much confidence in himself as we all do.

    Matt Giraud

    84635271Simon described Matt Giraud as a musical yo-yo and he was right.  Matt has had some brilliant performances of classic R&B songs.  But he has also had some of the worst performances of the year when he took on Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”  and The Fray’s “You Found Me”.  The first performance nearly cost him a spot in the Top13.  The judges saved him in the  Wild Card round but his journey to the American Idol Season 8 Top 7 has been rocky.  He has been in the bottom 3 four times and the bottom 2 twice.

    Matt Giraud is a dueling piano player from Michigan who had two R&B CDs under his belt that proclaimed his faith.  We found some wonderful testimonials from his fans on the Internet.  Matt is a great singer who has strong, soulful sensibility and the ability to deliver his falsetto with feeling.

    Right now the general consensus is that Matt Giraud has fallen behind and has little chance of winning American Idol Season 8.  He has the talent to win, but he cannot afford another slip and he needs to deliver a couple of breakthrough performances.

    Lil Rounds

    lil-roundsFinally, we come to the displaced mother of two.  Lil Rounds emerged as a front-runner in the American Idol Season 8 auditions when Randy compared her to Fantasia and Mary J Blige.  She soared through Hollywood Week and she dazzled in the Top 36 selection show when she sang “Be with You”.  She seemed unstoppable with her combination of powerful vocals, keen rhythmic sense, good looks and great back story.

    However, something happened on the way to the confetti party.  Starting with Grand Ole Opry week Lil Rounds started to drift away.  First, she sang well but added little to the songs.  The last two weeks her vocals have even started to falter and she is in serious trouble.

    Her position on American Idol Season 8 has become so precarious that website “votefortheworst”  has taken Lil Rounds on as their latest cause.  One more shaky performance and Lil Rounds could be headed back to Memphis.

    You can download full length studio recording each one of these Christian music artists performances, including those by American IdolFelicia Barton, Ricky Braddy, Mishavonna Henson and Kristen McNamara. When you click through to the itunes store, look just below the text and above the Top 13 photos and you will see a link to the Top 36 performances.

    Apple iTunes

    It has been a wonderful American Idol.   Season 8 has seen an unprecedented number of Christian music artists move further than we have ever experienced before.  This bodes well for us Christians looking for pop music over the next few years that embodies our hope and faith.

    American Idol Wild Card Show- Live Blog

    We are live, covering American Idol’s live show.  The performers were announced in last night’s Round 3 performance show (see our wrap-up).   You can also read my whining, complaining analysis of the American Idol Wild Card show, with predictions.

    Relax America, put your phones down!  You do not get a vote tonight.  It is all judges tonight as the American Idol judges select the final three performers to join Season 8′s Top 12.  I expect the judges to select at least two and maybe three girls to go to the finals.

    Here are tonight’s performers:

    • Von Smith
    • Meagan Corkery
    • Ricky Braddy
    • Jasmine Murray
    • Tatiana del Toro
    • Matt Giraud
    • Jessica Langseth
    • Anoop Desai

    There go the opening credits, so let’s get it started!

    As Ryan said this second chance is all about tenacity and determination so let’s hope these guys bring it.  Hey America, Ryan says we did a good job and the nine finalists think we have done a good job as well.  All eight will sing and the judges will pick the three finalists at the end.

    Jessica Langseth starts off with “Tell Me Something Good” by Chaka Kahn, Chaka Kahn, Chaka Kahn.  She is pretty good but she does not have that Chaka grit.  Overall, a nice powerful vocal.

    Randy will hate it and he does  hate it.  Kara is right she does have swagger.  Thanks, Simon she now knows she was the last one in.  That does not bode well for her chances tonight.

    Wow, they are blasting through this show.  Matt Giraud is singing “Who’s Loving You” by the Jackson 5 (I know it was written by Smokey Robinson).  Matt where was this last week! ? Matt brings the R&B grit, very, very nice.  He is throwing down at the end.  Can you tell I like soul music.  Good job, Matt.

    The ladies love that he stepped back into his zone and did an amazing job.  Randy loved it. “That was hot”. Anoop better bring the goods.

    Well, the first two certainly showed what they have.  If this continues we will have a good show.  I bet the first 9 finalists are thrilled they are watching rather than competing.

    Up next, Meagan Corkery the great big judges favorite, doing “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by K.T Tunstall and hey I like this song.  Okay, so the judges are right to love on this girl.  She will be in the Top 12.

    Paula is very subdued in her comments.  They are not even critiquing her performance they are just promoting for next week’s show.  Kara, says I think we need you.  Why not just tell her she is in already?

    Now Von Smith is grateful to be able to show us real raw honest emotion by singing another Elton John number “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word”.  I am sorry, he is proving he doesn’t need to be on this show tonight.  He seemed to be waiting to sing big  notes.

    Simon thinks he has become boring and ordinary and Randy agrees with him. None of them like the song choice.  Sorry, Von goodbye.

    I thought this would be a two hour marathon and it looks like we will do this in a one hour sprint.

    Back again and it is time for Jasmine Murray to sing “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera, a slow ballad that plays well to her strengths.  Very good vocals, but not an outstanding performance.  Kind of middle of the road.  Not good enough for tonight.

    Randy thinks she was okay and Kara is confused.  Paula’s comments are noticeably unenthusiastic until she attacks Simon.  Simon thinks she is back in the running.  Really?

    Ricky Braddy got here because of his great performance two weeks ago and is funking it out with “Supersition” by Stevie Wonder.  Another wow.  This guy has brought it slow and now he brings it funky.  What a falsetto.  Another great job by a guy.

    Good job from Kara and enthusiastic Paula is back.  Simon does not agree and Randy thought he tried to do much.  I disagree.

    There are too many good guys this year to fit in the final 12.

    Here she is, Tatiana del Toro has found love and she wants to show the world and she is ready to sing “Saving All My Love for You”, Didn’t she sing that two weeks ago?  I am sorry America, she can sing.  If we could only keep her singing.  Just about perfect.

    The laugh is back! She is not giving the judges a chance to talk.  Simon nails her on repeating the song.  I think we may be seeing the last of Tatiana.  Strategic mistake on her part.

    Anoop Desai and he goes with his money song “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown.  Funny, Whitney and Bobby back to back.  I don’t know.  It was exciting but a little off for me.

    The judges do seem to be enjoying themselves.  Simon thinks the vocal was not strong, but he gives the judges an excuse to put him through.  Once again, why did they even make him perform.  It was fun but not as great as they are saying.

    We are at commercial and based on what I have seen I think Meagan and Anoop are through, no question.  I think  Jessica nails the third spot.  Ricky and Matt were both better than Jessica but two girls will go through tonight.

    And we are back for the dramatic results.  Is it dramatic for you?  I think we pretty much know don’t we.

    Jasmine Murray is in the Top 12?  I cannot believe that.

    Next Ricky Braddy goes home.  They are late and rushing through this.

    Between Meagan Corkery and Tatiana del Toro who moves on.  And surprise, the judges select Meagan.  Why must they exploit Tatiana?  I feel bad for her.

    I am shocked and disappointed that Jasmine is in.  Are they going with three girls?

    Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud or Jessica Langseth the tension is killing me.  How are they going to tell Matt and Jessica goodbye?  Oh, they are going to do it one by one.  Goodbye, Jessica.  Simon says she nearly made it. Was she 13th?  Later, Von Smith.  Why are we even doing this?

    Who gets the final spot in American Idol’s Top  12 and… Matt Giraud makes it?  Wow!!

    But… they cannot say goodbye to Anoop!  There is a Top 13!!! Those crazy guys, the surprises never stop.

    Kayne West next week with Kelly Clarkson.

    Great show tonight.  Download all of the performances on iTunes by clicking on the button below.

    Apple iTunes

    Come backl tomrrow and I will give you my first ranking of the Top 12.  Oops, I mean the Top 13.

    I don’t know if I will be able to sleep tonight.  Well, I know I won’t be able to sleep.  I am going to the first showing of “Watchmen” at midnight.

    American Idol Season 8 Wild Card Predictions

    As I expressed in last night’s blog of the results show I am extremely disappointed in the American Idol judges’ “Wild Card” picks.  I think reader Jimbo was right when he said the judges had their minds made up before Tuesday night and ignored Week 3′s performances.

    We are covering Christian music artists competing in American idol Season 8 and we are happy that Matt Giraud and Ricky Braddy made it to the Wild Card round.  However, there were some real travesties:

    • Felicia Barton should have made it over Jessica Langseth.  The problem for Felicia now is that she did not get a chance to show anything new so I am not sure the American Idol experience will jump start her career.  That is a shame because I think she is the total package.
    • It is a crime that Jasmine Murray is in and Mishavonna Henson is out.  Misahvonna delivered a mature, confident performance and Jasmine looked overwhelmed.  I think Mishavonna will become an artist of substance in the future and I am pretty sure that does not impress these judges.
    • Ju’not Joyner was robbed.  He should be in the Wild Card over Von Smith.  I suspect that a number of R&B producers are trying to find Ju’not’s number right now.
    • If you want someone quirky and a little dramatic, how do you pick Tatiana del Toro over Kristen McNamara?  Kristen is a better singer and delivered a more unique performance in the American Idol semifinals.  I wonder where this leaves Kristen.  She has been working at this since she was 16.  Nashville Star and, now, American Idol did not produce the breakthrough she needed.  Where does she go from here?

    Here are my rankings of the American Idol Season 8 Wild Card contestants based on everyhting I have seen:

    1. Anoop Desai
    2. Ricky Braddy
    3. Meagan Corkery
    4. Matt Giraud
    5. Tatiana del Toro
    6. Jessica Langseth
    7. Von Smith
    8. Jasmine Murray

    Here are my predictions for tonight’s American Idol Season 8 Wild Card show.

    I will be shocked if more than one guy is selected from this group.  There are already six guys in the Top 12 and I cannot see the producers allowing American Idol to go into the finals with anything more that a 7:5 ratio.  I think that makes it virtually impossible for Christian music artists Ricky Braddy and Matt Giraud to make it through.  Anoop Desai has been an overwhelming judge favorite from the start and his Semi-final performance was good just not good enough.  I think both Matt and Ricky can perform well enough to make it hard on the judges but I think Anoop needs to disappoint for them to have a chance.

    These predictions are in the order of my confidence level:

    • Meagan Corkery would have to trip on her way to the stage, hit her head, sing a different song than the band is playing, forget the lyrics and have a “wardrobe malfunction” to miss the Top 12.  The judges have all but said she is a finalist.
    • Anoop Desai is not bulletproof but he will need a disappointing performance and a “blow it out da’ box” performance from Matt Giraud, Ricky Braddy or Von Smith to go home tonight.  I think Matt is the only one capable of that type of show stopping performance.  Hey Matt, you got nothing to lose, go for it.
    • Tatiana del Toro will overcome Jessica Langseth.  I think Jessica is a better mucisian but American Idol needs the ratings that the manic, frightening, personality Tatiana brings.  What the heck, they need to give the “Vote for The Worst” guys someone to champion.

    Join us tonight while we live blog the American Idol Season 8 Wild Card show.

    In the meantime give some love to Christian music artists Felcia Barton, Mishavonna Henson and Kristen Mcnamara by downloading their performances from iTunes with a simple click on the icon below.

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8, Round Three Results Show

    Well, round 3 performances were pretty good last night. Going into the night I was not sure what to expect.  Except for Lil Rounds, none of these competitors had received much coverage on American Idol Season 8. Sure we had the drama of Kristen McNamara and Nathanial Marshall in that horrible group competition show, but that did not show who they were as performers.  Last night did not have the blow out performances like Danny Gokey in round one or Allison Iraheta in round two but 9 of the 12 performances were solid and many were very good.

    Indicative of the balance in the show last night, the web opinions were all over the place.  After Lil Rounds, the next six ranked performers went from 2 to 10 in the rankings.

    One21 Music is covering Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.  Last night Kristen MacNamara, Felicia Barton and Scott MacIntyre performed in the round 3 of the semi finals.  Felicia brought her a game with Alicia Keys “No One”.  Kristen delivered a strong, jazzy , but disconnected version “Give Me One Reason”  Scott sang a boring (probably the song) but heart-felt version of “Mandolin Rain”.

    To recap my predictions

    Top Girl: Lil Rounds

    Top Guy: Scott MacIntyre

    Next Top Vote Getter: Felicia Barton

    Is it just me or are the group numbers better this year.  I kind of like tonight’s group performance.

    So as Ryan says lets get to the votes.

    Top girl: Lil Rounds, they started with her, I guess they knew it was stupid to try to wring drama out of this pick.  She encores “I Never Wanna Live Without You”.   What can I say?  She is a really good singer.  I think she will need a really good mentor to make an impact in the business.  I think she is gone before we get to Season 8 Top 5.

    Top guy: Scott MacIntyre seemed truly humbled by making it to the Top 12.  Unfortunately, he had to sing that song again.  Maybe he will bring a different vibe next week. As I was righting this he was singing and I just got Scott.  He brought me chills. Congratulations, Scott, good luck.  American Idol can use some artistic depth among all of the bombastic plastic (I rhymed!).

    Next Highest: So it came down to Ju’not and Jorge. Jorge Nunez’s passionate delivery of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” won America’s hearts last night.  They delayed Jorge’s victory song until after they revealed the “Wild Card” selections.  It is probably a good thing.  I think he was too emotional to sing in English.

    We now have four Christian performers through to the Top 12: Scott MacIntyre, Kris Allen, Michael Sarver and Danny Gokey.

    And American Idol did not make us wait to find out who performs in the “Wild Card”.  Here are Season 8′s Wild Cards:

    • Von Smith
    • Meagan Corkery
    • Ricky Braddy
    • Jasmine Murray
    • Tatiana del Toro
    • Matt Giraud
    • Jessica Langseth
    • Anoop Desai

    I am really bummed, I think Ju’not, Felicia and Mishavonna got hosed.  They were all better than Jasmine Murray, Jessica Langseth and Von Smith.  I am really surprised they balanced it between the genders.  Well, at least Christian music performers Matt Giraud and Ricky Braddy made it to their second chance.  Make the best of it guys.

    Of these Wild Card performers, I guarantee that Megan Corkery goes through and I would be shocked if Anoop Desai goes home tomorrow night.  After that, who knows?

    Brush up on these Wild Cards by downloading their performances with a simple click on the icon below.

    Apple iTunes

    and join us as we live blog the two hour Wild Card show tomorrow night to find out who makes American Idol’s Season 8 finals.

    Who Are the American Idol “Wild Cards”?

    We don’t yet have the results from American Idol’s Season 8 third semi-final show, but I want to take a few minutes to speculate on who we believe will sing on Thursday’s show to earn one of the last three spots in American Idol’s Top 12 for Season 8.

    We have been covering Christian music artists competing on Season 8 of American Idol.  Three of those Christian music artists, Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver and Kris Allen were all voted into the Top 12.  See my round three wrap-up article to see what I think will happen tonight, but I suspect that Christian recording artist Scott MacIntyre will be voted into the Top 12 tonight.  Let’s take a few minutes to prepare for the “Wild Card” show.

    Based on speculation all over the Web, the judges will pick nine contestants to perform on Thursday night’s show.  After the performances, the judges will select three contestants to complete American Idol’s Top 12 for Season 8.  That is all a guess but it sounds reasonable.  If they select more than nine performers there will not be time for the dramatic selection process at the end of the show.  I wonder if American Idol is going to throw all of them in a bus and run over to the mansion?  That way the judges can sit in those big thrones again.

    One more thought on how this will work.  I betcha that the judges do not announce the Wild Card performers tonight.  If I were the producer, I would bring all the remaining 27 performers back and introduce them one by one.  What do you think?

    Before we move on to predict who will perform in American Idol’s Season8 “Wild Card”, I will recap what I think will happen tonight.  Lil Rounds and Scott MacIntyre will go through as the top girl and guy.  I think the third spot boils down to Jorge Nunez and Ju’not Joyner.  I think whoever does not make it from those two may not make it to the wild card round.

    Here is the deal.  American Idol works hard to gender balance and I think they have a problem.  After tonight’s show, viewers will have already voted six guys into American Idol’s Season 8 Top 12.  I cannot imagine the judges ignoring the “Wild Card” performances to select all girls, but I suspect the show will be heavily skewed to the ladies.

    The problem for us is that the guys are a much stronger group in Season 8.  If  I listed the American Idol’s top 15 performers this year, 10 would be guys and only Lil Rounds would represent the girls in the top 5.  That does not bode well for male Christian music artists Matt Giraud and Ricky Braddy.  They may be watching the American Idol tour with us from the audience  because of gender balancing.  However, I think it will give Christian music artists Felicia Barton and Mishavonna Henson well deserved second chances.  Kristen MacNamara may even sneek into the Top12.

    Here are my predictions assuming there will be five girls and four guys.  I have ranked them by how strongly I believe they will perform on American Idol’s “Wild Card” show:

    • Anoop Desai is an overwhelming favorite who sang a slow, quiet song and missed the Top 12 to Michael Sarver by only 20,ooo votes.
    • Meagan Corkery is a beautiful, husky singer with a quirky stage presence that the judges love
    • Felicia Barton declared herself as a worthy contender last night (see our live blog of the round 3 performances) and I think the judges are second guessing themselves for cutting her from the original Top 36.
    • Tatiana del Toro delivers the vocals everytime and I think the judges enjoy her drama.  Can she withstand the pressure?
    • Jessica Langseth walked through her performance of a bad song, but I think the judges love her.
    • Matt Giraud has been a judge’s favorite since the beginning.  Despite his terrible performance I think they give him one more chance.
    • Mishavonna Henson delivered one of the best vocal performances of the season but did not get much love.  I think she will receive another chance based on her performance.
    • Ricky Braddy delivered a fine cover of “A Song For You” and I think Paula loves him.
    • Jorge Nunez/Ju’not Joyner, whoever does not make into American Idol’s Top 12 tonight.

    If the judges decide to skew even more heavily to the girls I think Kristen McNamara will push Jorge or Ju’not out.  If they decide to balance the “Wild Card” show evenly I think Von Smith will push Mishavonna Henson out and that will be a shame.

    What do you think?  Who have I missed?

    Check it out for yourself.  See performances by Christina music artists Kristen McNamara, Felica BartonScott MacIntyre , Danny Gokey, Michael SarverKris Allen, Ricky Braddy, Matt Giraud and Mishavonna Henson.

    We  make it simple for you to download American Idol performances with a simple click on the icon below.

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- March 3rd Live Blog

    Well, here we are for week three of the American Idol Season 8 semi-finals.  So far, the new Top 36 format has not lived up to expectations.  The performers have mostly disappointed.  Christian music artist Danny Gokey and teenager Allison Iraheta delivered exceptional performances.   Christian music artists Michael Sarver and Kris Allen surprised everyone by delivering strong performances and making it to the Top 12.

    Another Christian music artist, Mishavonna Henson a delivered a deep, cool, strong performance but could not overcome her lack of coverage in the early episodes.  Gospel group member Ricky Braddy beautifully sang  “A Song for You” during Week One of the semi’s but did not make it directly to the Top 12. Christian recording artist Matt Giraud was one of the favorites but fumbled his lead away by selecting a terrible song, “Viva La Vida”, to showcase his formidable R&B talents.

    At One21music, we are covering Christian music artists competing on America Idol Season 8.  Tonight we have three singers who have declared themselves believers: Kristen McNamara, Felicia Barton (who despite virtually no coverage is number 3 on PopWatch’s American Idol power poll), and Scott MacIntyre.  Other than judge favorite Lil Rounds and Nathaniel Marshall, none of the other performaers have received an inordinate amount of exposure.  Check out this morning’s article previewing American Idol Season 8′s third semifinal.

    We can only hope for good song choices, please.

    So the opening credits are rolling and we are off!

    Ryan points out the first six finalists and discusses the song selection from the first two shows.  Most popular girl, most popular girl and next highest go through to top 12.

    Von Smith, kicks off the Billboard Hot 100 parade with “You’re All I Need”.  A great, great song that starts off slowly.  He struggles with the low parts and is pretty pitchy.  He finishes well with a good falsetto.  Overall, pretty good.  Nice performance.  Mom liked it.

    The judges liked it as well.  Simon compares him to Clay Aiken.  Kara compliments him on taking and using Simon’s advice from Hollywood.

    Taylor Vaifanua is up next singing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.  She nailed the low register opening but struggling with the rhythm.   She gets it back and carries the bridge very well.  Great start to the show

    Kara thinks she can sing but she doesn’t know who she is is and the performance left her cold.  Ooh, I didn’t know she sang this in Hollywood.  Simon continues to poke and taunt Kara but thinks the performance was bland.  Randy gets his feelings hurt when the transition music starts before he gets his opinion in.

    Alexander Wagner-Trugman, the resident “nerd”, addresses his dorkiness in a red room interview.  I like this guy, good sense of humor.  He is singing Elton John’s “Guess Why That’s They Call It The Blues”.  He adds a growling, bluesy twist to it and this song does not go down well with a spoonful of grit.  He took a chance, good for him, but it didn’t really work.

    The judges are laughing with him but Paula is speaking in past tense.  As Simon put it, “we had fun watching you but not listening to you” and proceeded to skewer him.  Randy, crazy in a “buck wild sort of way”.  Is that a new entry in the Randy Jackson dictionary?

    Next on the stage, Arianna Ayesha Afsar brings us “The Winner Take It All”, the first Abba song on American Idol.  She struggles with pitch and tempo from the beginning and slides around the high parts.  I think she has lost her way. Nice big finish but I think it is too little too late.

    “Terrible in most parts” from Simon.  Is any Abba song too big for a singer?  Kara rambles but I don’t know what she is trying to say.  Overall, the judges think it was gloomy and old fashioned.

    Ju’not Joyner, a soul singer, is choosing “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s.  Really, another bad song choice?  Nice quiet arrangement with a good soul voice.  Nice job taking over the song.  He really added some depth to the performance without over singing.

    Randy likes what he did with it.  The Dawg loves it.  He did this song in Hollywood with a much better result and he surprised Simon.  Does American Idol have a performance enhancing drug problem?  Ju’not took a cortisone shot before the show.  Drug testing!

    Christian music artist, Kristen McNamara,comes to the stage to sing “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman.  She has jazzed this song up and is delivering this song with a little jazz soul.  Nice stage presence, I think she is taking the song over.  Great job Kristen, you really showed what you got!

    Kara likes her voice but does not like the song and her look.  Why are they so focused on her looks?  None of the judges know who she is.  I disagree with the judges.

    I am not sure America is ready for the self proclaimed drama queen, Nathanial Marshall.  He sings “I’ d Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf.  I don’t know what to think of this.  What is this, a Vegas review?  I did not care for that.

    Simon starts it off, thought it was excrutiating.  The judges have lost it tonight.  Kara is right, he needs to work to be taken seriously.  I think the judges are trying to be nice to this guy, but they did not like the performance.

    Worship leader Felicia Barton is up next.  I am rooting for her.  She is singing Alicia Keys “No One”.  I have heard her sing this before.  She looks striking and, except for a little blip in the middle, she is carrying the song with a lot of soul.  She looks extremely comfortable on stage.  Great performance, Felicia!

    Paula acknowledges that her gift is unbelievable.  Randy and Simon recognize that she has something a little different and they all like her as an artist.   She came back with something to prove and she proved it.

    The show is much better than the first two weeks.

    Scott MacIntyre, the last of our Christian music artists performing tonight will sing “Mandolin Rain” by Bruce Hornsby.  I very much do not like this song.  The vocals stay pretty low for most of the song and he finishes with some big notes.

    Randy wants us to check it out.  It wasn’t great throughout but the good parts were very good and he loves his passion.  Kara thinks he moves mountains.  The judges are almost cheering for him and pleading with America to vote for him. I think it is a given he will at least make it to the “Wild Card” round.

    Texan Kendal Beard sings “This One’s for The Girls” by Martina McBride.  It is a shame she is taking on Martina because I don’t think she quite has the power to deliver here.  It was okay, not great.

    When the judges start with “I am going to start with positives” you know you have problems.  Once again, Paula is talking in the past tense about her time on American Idol.  Simon thinks she chose the right song but she did not deliver.  Randy thinks it was okay.   Summary: she chose the right song, she looks good, but she needs to work on the vocals.

    Now American Idol brings us Jorge Nunez from Puerto Rico.  He will sing “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down” by Elton John.  After tonight, I hope the judges weren’t planning an Elton John theme night.  He starts perfectly.  Beautiful vocal.  He is a little stiff on stage and finishes weak but it was really good.

    Paula stands for him and extols all the work he has done.  All they can talk about is his accent.  At least Randy acknowledges the quality of his vocals.  Kara brings him to tears with her compliments.  Kara, “you are a singer”.  She moves Jorge to respond in Spanish because he cannot think in English when emotional.  Nice moment to see someone standing in their dream.

    Lil Rounds finishes us off.  She has been a judge favorite from the start.  She is singing “I Never Wanna Live Without You” by Mary J. Blige.  It is one of the modern, rythmic R&B songs.  Her big voice and confident phrasing slay this song.  She is very, very good.

    Simon says “brilliant”.  Randy and Simon think  she is one of the best singers of the season.  The judges are using phrases like swagger and powerhouse. Lil Rounds is formidable.

    Ryan reminded us earlier that we can own these performances for our very own, forever, or at least until our computer crashes and we lose our iTunes library. We want to make it easy for you so use the link below to download Kristen McNamara, Felica Barton and Scott MacIntyre as they deliver some of the best performances of the night. You can also download Danny Gokey’s show stopping performance. Own Michael Sarver and Kris Allen performing the songs that captured America’s heart. Do not miss Mishavonna Henson’s excellent performance of “Drops of Jupiter” and pray she gets another chance. All with a simple click on the icon below.

    Apple iTunes

    I will be back before you get to work with my wrap-up of the show.  I will see you tomorrow night for the results.

    American Idol Season 8- February 17 Performance Recap

    American Idol’s first show of Season 8 is in and only one front runner delivered.

    One21music is covering the Christian music artists on Season 8 of American Idol.  Last night we live blogged the show and this morning I will share some of my thoughts.  Two of the eight Christian music artists performed last night.  Both Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver showed themselves to be contenders.

    Michael Sarver sang “I Dont Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw.  This One Tree Hill theme song is a mid tempo pop song.  My live reaction was luke warm at best.  I thought Michael had really hurt himself. Michael had made his way though the auditions and Hollywood Week with soul ballads and I was not used to him singing this type of song. The judges agreed and gave him a luck warm response, except for a little surprise from Simon who talked about what a nice person he was and that he hoped America would give Michael another chance.

    I went back and watched all of the performances again and in retrospect I think he made a very savvy choice.  First, his performance was techncally very good.  He has a strong smooth voice and he, unlike many others on the night made the song his own. Secondly, the song enabled him to show a more contemporary style.  Finally, this guy has television presence.  I mentioned that in my live blog last night but when I re-watched the performance, he really jumped off the screen.  He is a nice looking guy who connects with the camera.  Evene if he does not win Season 8, I can see Michael with a career as a televsion actor.  Good job, Michael!

    Just about everyone on the show last night ruined their debuts with bad song choices. When Danny Gokey said he would sing Mariah Carey’s “Hero”, my heart sank.  I thought the song was too big for him and he would join the pack of mediocore performances.  Instead, If you read the live blog you know that my fears were assuaged as I turned into a 12 year old girl delivering what amounted to a squealing, tear-stained fan letter to Danny Gokey.

    The judges agreed as they were standing, applauding, slamming the table and shouting approval.  All of the judges except Simon, of course.  He wasn’t buying the hype.  Kara was, as she labeled Danny “the redeemer”.

    Danny was the last to perform and he took control of the song, the stage and the show like the headliner closing for 11 opening acts.  Every note was perfect, the emotional tone was dead-on and his performance was commanding.  I do like that Danny is beginning to identify himself as a “Church music leader”.  Great job, Danny!

    The only other performance that stood out was Ricky Braddy’s cover of “A Song for You” by Leon Russel.  It was souful and heartfelt.  When he revealed that it was one of his all time favorite songs, i was not surprised.

    Two women, Alexis Grace and Ann Marie Boskovich covered Aretha Franklin songs.  In the live blog I thought Ann Marie did a good job and Alexis not so much.  I was wrong on Ann Marie.  I actually think Alexis did the better job but those songs ate both of them up.

    Now to predictions.

    I think Danny Gokey secured himself a place in the Final 12.  I think Alexis Grace will move on because none of the other women did very well at all.  I think Michael Sarver has a great opportunity to move on.  I think he out performed favorite, Anoop Desai and I think he has more stage presence than Ricky BraddyBrent Keith’s country vibe could concentrate the country vote and enable him to jump into the mix.

    This year the judges will select a number of contestants who are not voted into the Final 12 for a “Wild Card” show.  Three of those contestants will be voted into the Final 12 on March 5th.  I don’t know if the judges will pick four from each show or their 12 favorites but, assuming Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver move on tonight, I think the judges will pick Anoop Desai, Jackie Tohn, Tatiana Del Toro and Casey Carlson from this show.

    Dialidol predicts winners based on monitoring of telephone lines.  They have Danny Gokey as the clear winner for the guys.  The have Alexis Grace as the highest vote getter among the women but it is too close to call among all of them.  Michael Sarver ( he actually has the second most votes according to dialidol) has a big lead over Anoop Desai, Ricky Braddy and Brent Keith for the third slot, but it is too close to call.

    Final thoughts

    • Keep parents/spouses in the audience
    • The judging was rushed.  If American Idol wants four judges, they need to give more air time to the judges’ comments
    • The production was terrible, with sound drops, cuts to cameras filming the floor and a blown video intro for Brent Keith.

    We will not live blog the resuts show during the early stages of the season.  There simply is not enough happening.  I will recap the results late tonight.

    What did you think of the performances last night?  Who was your favorite?

    American Idol Season 8 Live- February 17th

    One21music will be live blogging American Idol Season 8, covering this season’s Christian performers.

    All right so hear we go.  The show kicks off in a couple of minutes.  Tonight, we will cover all the performances and all the judges comments.  However, we will focus on two performers tonight who openly profess their faith: Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver.

    It will be interesting to see how the new judge set-up will work.  So far, I haven’t noticed much difference.

    Remember, the top male and top female vote getters will move on, along with the next top vote getter.

    And so here we go, This Is American Idol!

    And here are the judges, all looking resplendent.  Simon in a t-shirt as always.  Randy says, you gotta blow us away vocally.  Kara’s nervous.

    Paula, “huh?”

    Simon is right, no second chances.  I am not sure I like the new format.  Too many performers will be eliminated tonight.

    The theme tonight “Hits from The Billboard Hot 100″.

    Jackie Tohn up first!  She is very confident. She is singing Elvis’s “A Little Less Conversation”.  She looks like she is straight from the Grease movie. I don’t know, I don’t really like her voice.

    The judges say: Randy likes her energy but not the vocals.  Kara likes the way she works the stage.  Paula slamming Randy! and Jackie jumps in.  Paula’s backhanded comment “you are a good performer”.  Simon, thinks it  was clownish.

    Ryan asks her parents if they are proud?  Jackie has no regrets.

    And now Ryan, talks to Ricky Braddy about his career in the chicken business.  Ricky is going to sing Leon Russell’s ”A Song for You”.  This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  He gives a bit of a R&B feel.  This is pretty good, with good falsetto.

    Randy thinks it was unbelievable, in a good way.  Kara thinks he killed it.  Paula is proud. And Simon, thinks it is good but not great,  Simon does not think he has star quality.

    I disagree with Simon.  I think he is a darkhorse.  Mom and dad are part of the “Braddy Bunch”.

    All of the performances are on Itunes

    Alexis Grace is singing Aretha Franklin?,  I Never Loved A Man. This is an interesting interpretation but the song is too big for her.  She’s a favorite but I don’t know.

    Randy’s laughing, he loves of it.  Kara thinks she has come out of her shell and she loves it.  Paula thinks she presented a lot of soul, she thinks Alexis is fantastic.  Simon thinks she is the best so far, by a mile.  He thinks she has soul.  Simon compared her to Kelly Clarkson.

    Alexis’s dad is sportin some awesome locks.

    Okay a little production glitch throws Brent Keith’s introduction into chaos.  He struggles to make ends meet working in a home repair center.  He is singing “Hick Town” by Jason Aldean, a country rocker.  I don’t know much about modern country and I do not know this song.  He sings it well, but the song is not my taste.

    Randy likes his “new edge to country with an old country swagger”.  Kara thinks he played it safe and he has more in him.  She wants him to take more risks.  Paula agrees.  They all see him as a country star.  Does Simon need to slam Bucky Covington?  Simon thinks he blew a massive opportunity by being forgettable.

    Ryan asks, wife Nicole, if there is a point that they will give up the dream and she says they are in it for the long haul.  Brent disagrees with Simon because he is trying to show who he is as a recording artist.

    And we are back, with Stevie Wright, the 17 year old from Cali.  Simon does not like her.  She is singing “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift.  Rough start and she seems off key.  I like her, but not the performance.  I think she will going to her prom this year.

    Randy “wow, wow, wow, you are a better singer than that”.  Kara thinks she has an identity crisis and Paula sounds sad to give her the bad news.  When Paula says I am sorry you are in trouble.  Simon says she has zero chance of making it through.

    It is now time for Anoopdog!  He is a favorite.  Anoop Desai is singing “Angel of Mine” by Monica.  A slow ballad.  His performance is smooth and strong but it is not as powerful as his Hollywood performances.

    And the judges say…

    Randy did not like the song choice and doesn’t think he found his place in the song and Kara agrees.  Paula thinks America has connected with Anoop.  Simon wants to know why he chose that song.  Simon thinks it was too serious for him and now Anoop argues with him.  All the judges like him, even if he does not get through tonight he will have a good chance in the “wild card” round.

    Wow, the production is horrible tonight.

    Time for Casey Carlson to sing “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by the Police.  She is singing it as a country ballad? and she has lost the pitch.  Her little shoulder shake and grin is not helping her.  She lost herself early and never recovered.

    So Randy says “wow, yo, ooh, that was not good”.  The dog was lost.  Kara thinks everything about it was wrong.  Paula is talking about her beauty but that she never connected with the song.  Close your eyes, here comes Simon.  He thinks it was just atrocious.  He thinks she should not have been allowed to sing that song.  Simon thinks she blew it.

    Up next is one of our featured music American Idol contestant, worship leader Michael Sarver.  He is a 27 year old roughneck from Jasper, Texas.

    Michael is singing “I Don’t Wanna” Be by Gavin DeGraw.  This is a bit of a rocker and I am not sure it works for Michael. I see him as more of a soul singer. He has good television presence but I am not sure it was as great as I had hoped for.

    Randy thinks it was okay, but he thought the song was not well performed.  He sees Michael as more of a soul singer.  Kara does not think it was his best performance.  Paula thinks he showed a different side.  Simon thinks he has progressed because he is a good guy, but the performance was not great.  Simon hopes America gives him another shot.

    Ann Marie Boskovich is holding her ears so she does not hear the judges critique of Michael.  She is singing “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and she is putting her own twist on it.  She is not Aretha but she is throwing it down.  A little pitchy but a strong performance.  It was a little above her but I liked it.

    We know Randy does not like it without saying it.  He does not think she made the right choice.  Kara thinks the song was too big and old fashioned.   Paula thinks she improved from Hollywood.  Simon is being honest when he tells her it is like a hotel singer and that the song slayed her.

    Stephen Fowler is next, he is the guy who forgot his words and walked off stage in Hollywood.  I cannot believe he made it to this point.  He is singing “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson.  A slow start and his vocals are a little off throughout.  I don’t think that was very good.  I expected more from him.

    Once again the judges hate the song choice.  Randy hated the performance.  Kara does not feel he connected with the song.  He admitted he is not comfortable singing without the piano.  Paula slams him.  She is disappointed.  Simon wishes he had forgotten the lyrics.  He thinks it was corny.

    And, back from the commercial, we have the most dramatic contestant I have ever seen, Tatiana Del Toro.   The lady with the laugh is singing “Saving All My Loving” by Whitney Houston.  You have to hand it to her she has a powerful voice.  A few little pitch problems but pretty darn good.

    Randy says “you had some moments’.  He doesn’t think she pulled it all together.  Kara doesn’t know who she is. Tatiana looks like she is about to break down.  Paula agrees with the other judges.  Simon calls her a drama queen. Simon thinks it was better than he expected.

    This was a very different, demure Tatiana.  Ryan wants to know who is the real Tatiana.  She says it is all her.

    So the show will close with one of our featured Christian music artists, Danny Gokey.  Don’t you think he looks like Robert Downey Jr?  Danny is a worship leader from Wisconsin.  He has gotten a lot of air time through the auditions and Hollywood.  He is one of the early favorites.  Let’s see if he does better than Anoopdog.

    Danny is singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey, uh oh. Oh yes, he has it going.  Chills just went up my back and tears are in my eyes.  Danny, Danny, Danny great job.  For me, easily the best of the night.

    The judges are howling, standing.  Randy,”The redeemer of the night, that was blazing hot”.  Kara, “that was incredible you give us hope”.  “That was incredible”.  Paula, “that was stellar” and “sold-out arenas”.  Simon, “back to the real world, that was okay but I am not buying into all the hype, yet.”

    So that is it for tonight.  By the time you get to work in the morning I will have a wrap-up with some predictions.

    Vote for Danny and Michael.

    American Idol Goes Live on One21music

    Tuesday night is the night. American Idol Season 8 goes live on Fox and on One21music!

    Two of the eight contestants we have identified as Christian music artists, Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver, are competing on Tuesday night against ten others in the first round of live competition. We will be live blogging it all.

    Let me explain how American Idol Season 8 works. The Top 36 will compete in groups of 12 over each of the next three Tuesdays. The top three vote getters on each Tuesday will move on. On Thursday, March 5th, American Idol will present a special “Wild Card” episode featuring the judges’ favorite remaining contestants. After each of the contestants performs, the judges will select the three final contestants. If you were doing the math as we went along, that would bring us to the top 12 finalists.

    At One21music we are covering Christian music artists who are competing on American Idol’s Season 8.

    Tuesday night our live blog will feature Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver.

    Danny is a worship leader from Wisconsin who has gotten a lot of air time. His musical experience leading two different worship services every Sunday, a good voice and a flair for song arrangment make him one of the early American Idol favorites.

    Michael is a Texas oilfield worker who has surprised the judges every step of the way. He leads worship in his church in Jasper, Texas and has received substantial coverage from the Southeast Texas press. Last week the judges forced him into a “sing-off” against another contestant for the last spot on the live telecast. They both went through. The press coverage from Southeast Texas, including Houston, could help him in this first round.

    Danny and Michael face some tough competition. Anoop Desai is a terrific singer who has received much love from the judges. Stephen Fowler is a seasoned musician who can really sing as well. Alexis Grace and Ann Marie Boskovich are great singers who have also received a lot of judge love. Jackie Tohn is a performer who stands out in the crowd.

    Oh, by the way, it is not exactly the top three who go through. It is the top male, the top female and the next top vote getter. This should be a stressful show with some shockers.

    Here are the Christian music artists competing on Tuesday:

    Danny Gokey
    28 years old
    Milwaukee, WI


    Michael Sarver
    27 years old
    Jasper, TX


    Here are the other contestants competing on Tuesday night:

    • Alexis Grace, 21, Memphis, TN
    • Ann Marie Boskovich, 22, Nashville, TN
    • Anoop Desai, 21, Chapel Hill, NC
    • Brent Keith, 28, Blanchester, OH
    • Casey Carlson, 20, Minneapolis, MN
    • Jackie Tohn, 27, Silver Lake, CA
    • Ricky Braddy, 26, Nashville, TN
    • Stephen Fowler, 26, Beachwood, OH
    • Stevie Wright, 16, Phelan, CA
    • Tatiana Nicole Del Toro, 24, San Juan, PR

    Best wishes to all.  Join us as we begin live blogging Season 8 of American Idol