Posts tagged Pia Toscano

Scotty McCreery Crowned American Idol

The was quite possibly the worst Idol finale that I have sat through.  But I have come to terms with the fact that Idol is never going to be exactly how I think it should be.  I actually didn’t even vote for the finale.  I just didn’t seem to care.  So we finally have a winner… Scotty McCreery.  I have to say that even leading up to the finale I just didn’t think it was possible for him to win the whole thing.  I was wrong.  I find it interesting how some people say there is no way he could be played on country radio (most reasons given are because of his quirkiness) and then others are all about him and think he’s perfect.  I’m anxious to see what happens.  There’s no way radio can just black ball the American Idol winner, but truly his single is not impressive.  I think its beyond corny, which won’t help with the naysayers.  But yet, most of the other first singles from winners weren’t that great either.

The finale was rather boring.  The performers were not that impressive.  I think Casey got sort of screwed performing with Jack Black.  I wasn’t the least bit surprised seeing JLo perform with her hubby.  Remember a couple weeks ago how I mentioned how it was disappointing that we never got to see her dancing skills in her performance?  Well, she’s not the type that wants her talent to go unnoticed.  So they found a way to work it in, just to show that she’s worthy of something.  I thought the girls Beyonce medley was pretty great and I liked that it was topped off with queen B herself.  I have to wonder if Jennifer is a little envious of Beyonce.  I mean she just slaughters her in every category, it’s like JLo just move on over.  The two do not even come close to comparing.  What was TLC doing there?  Like, where did they even come from?  I’m not ok with seeing them on stage without Left Eye, it’s just not the same.  And they lip-synced, really… just go away.  I didn’t like the compilation of songs that the boys performed.  I thoroughly enjoyed Steven Tyler’s performance, felt it was the best one of the night but entirely too short.  That note he hit at the end, wowza!

Scotty’s performance with Tim McGraw was magical.  I thought Lauren was completely overpowered by Carrie Underwood, who looked fab by the way.  I could not get over her legs, someone please put me on her diet!


I, of course wanted to see a Paul performance with Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart.  Or even Ryan Adams, his cover of “Come Pick Me Up” was a big highlight for me, and I thought Idol was going in the right direction after that… but maybe there’s just not enough mainstream followers for someone like him to come on.  It’s also probably a lost cause to get Indie music lovers to even try to watch American Idol.  I’m one of the few that tunes in, I’m sure.

I have a total love-hate relationship with this season.  I think they had some truly talented individuals, Casey, Haley, Paul, Pia, and James.  All five of them had their own style and brought something new to the stage.  It’s always exciting to see where they will go from here.  Thanks for checking in with the blog all season long.  I have had a lot of fun getting to talk to you all about the show every week.  Keep following the blog, I have some exciting stuff coming up to share with you.  Adios to Season 10!  Congrats to Scotty!

American Idol: Top 7

The night started out with the eliminated contestants singing Pink’s “So What.”  Which at first I thought was a pathetic song choice.  I mean I understood that they were trying to convey the message of not caring about elimination but most of them can’t honestly be saying ‘so what’ to their departure.  At times I find myself to be some what of a harsh critic so I watched it back this morning and I ended up actually finding it to be sort of cute and charming.  The girls kicked butt on the song but Paul just seemed awkward on the stage singing that song with a group of girls.  Anyway back to whats important… the performances.


The judges were in the mood to critique last night.  They started off being a little harsh on Scotty.  Just a couple weeks ago Randy proclaimed that he “wasn’t just a one trick pony.”  Clearly country is his lane and to think that he is capable of succeeding in any other genre is just stupid.  I don’t always understand the judges comments when it comes to him, they are always all about him.  I was really surprised to see their response to him last night because I kind of liked it.  Either way Scotty is going to just fine when he gets eliminated.  His voice is so smooth and perfect for country.  While the performance last night of Leann Rimes, “Swingin” could have been slightly corny, I thought it was cute.  I was smiling and I ultimately decided that I probably would go see a Scotty McCreery concert.

Gosh, and James.  Sometimes I just don’t know what to say about him because I just don’t get it.  And if someone wants to enlighten me on the attraction to him I’m truly interested.  Usually I blame my problem with him on my general taste of music.  But I love Muse & I love that song… but coming from James, I just wasn’t buying it.  He has talent, I’m not denying that whatsoever.  Maybe his run on American Idol is too soon following Adam Lambert.   I’m waiting for him to grow on me, but time is running out.


Casey received another standing ovation, another thing I don’t understand.  It’s not that I thought his performance was bad, but I have to wonder what’s happening in the studio audience because I am always finding their reaction to be slightly excessive.  I’m not sure that I loved him turning that pop/rock song all the way over to rock.  It’s good in the sense that he made it his own.  He seems to always show a little aggression while on stage.  Personally I would like to see him loosen up and show his goofy side a little more.

Let’s switch gears over to what I really enjoyed.  Haley’s performance may have been lacking in stage presence quality.  Visually I didn’t find it appealing with her mark on the stage behind the judges table.  However vocally by far the best of the night.  She picked a really tough Adele song but did a great job.  I’m really pulling for her to make it through to at least top 3.  Personally I want her to win it.

I want to see Lauren get a little more confidence.  It’s getting down to the tough part of the competition and I think her lack of confidence has played in her favor for awhile.  But people aren’t going to sympathize with her much longer.  She’s great and she needs to believe it.  The audience doesn’t want to always feel like they are reassuring someone.  We need someone that knows they can be a star and be great.  I think if Lauren won she would probably be the most excited and appreciative.  So I’m pulling for the ladies.


So who is going home?

Stefano showed a different side last night but I think it might finally be the end of the road for him (no pun intended, really!).  Or Jacob, he may get some sympathy votes but I’m guessing not enough.  I do feel a little cold hearted to say that I wasn’t feeling his performance last night.  A huge part of me does not want to down play his emotions but I feel like the past couple weeks he’s been making excuses for his subpar performances.  I also really am not a fan of divas.  It’s hard to tell if his emotion is sincere or for the sympathy votes.  So maybe I’m being crude, but I think I have a pretty honest reaction.  It’s time for him to go.  If I had to guess a bottom three I would say Stefano, Jacob, and Scotty.



Paul McDonald Brings Real Music To American Idol

To be completely honest I’m getting a little tired of writing recaps on Idol.  But I’m committed to bringing Style Bust readers a weekly update so I can keep you in the loop with pop culture (this is perfect water cooler talk, right?)  It was rock and roll week on Idol and the contestants chose from a massive catalog consisting of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductees.  So let’s start with what I liked tonight…


I’m sure Casey pleased his fans with Creedence Clearwater Revival.  It was definitely cool to hear a song of theirs on the Idol stage.  And with him playing the upright bass, you just don’t see that everyday.  I loved it.  Amazing performance.


Pia chose an uptempo song, finally.  I just don’t know how someone can have an incredible voice like she does and then I just sit at home feeling indifferent about her.  And I think I finally put some pieces together as to why.  The judges keep pushing Pia to develop stage presence, and no doubt about it she’s doing her best to gain control of the stage.  But she has no rhythm, it’s not her fault.  But because she can’t move, I think it’s hard to see her feel the music.  She relies so heavily on her voice just as it is, but she doesn’t make me believe in anything.


Now Haley made me believe in something.  I think she’s the dark horse this season.  She’s really improving each week and I hope she gets to stick around longer.  She sings with conviction, its a truly beautiful thing.  I think the past two or three weeks she’s found her niche and she just needs to hang in the competition.  Her voice can carry itself but when she is actually feeling the song, her performances are just so impressive.


And Paul was back in action this tonight after being in the bottom three last week.  He sang “Folsom Prison Blues,” by Johnny Cash and killed it.  He had the last slot of the night and it felt like an encore.  It’s still so strange for me to see an artist like him on the American Idol stage.  He’s playing to a tough crowd that is familiar with and responds well to the Pia Toscano’s of the competition.  But tonights performance is what Paul is about, it felt sooo good!  He is no doubt the kind of artist I want to see in concert.  He clearly knows how to rock out.  Its incredible to see some real musicians on stage this season.  Idol has come a long way over the past couple years.

James slowed it down with, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.  However I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  Lauren performed a mediocre version of Natural Woman.  The song is overdone, it gets performed just about every season and honestly I don’t think anyone has performed it better than Kelly Clarkson, since she slayed it in season 1.  It’s a tough song to sing and while I liked seeing Lauren more relaxed, overall it didn’t blow me away.  Jacob did “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.  It’s rare when I’m impressed by a MJ cover and his rendition was no different.  I liked that he brought his own “Jacob” flavor, but at the same time the original is just too good to touch.  He got a positive response, (but at this point who doesn’t on this show).  It’s a big love fest with the judges, for no apparent reason.  The contestants are good but not as amazing as the judges seem to think.

American Idol Top 12 Recap

Last night’s show made me really regret adamantly insisting that my friend’s watch this season.   I was so thrilled with last week’s episodes that I was anxiously waiting to see the performances of the Top 12, but overall, what a disappointment.


I will say that Stefano really stood out to me this week.  I think he went slightly overboard with the ‘Christina Aguileraesque’ runs. However you felt his passion and he sounded beautiful.   Perfect song choice for him (heck, I bought it on iTunes).   Pia chose a more up-tempo song and that was enjoyable.   Casey, personally I’m confused by the Nirvana song choice for him.  I like Casey, I like Nirvana… not sure if I liked them mixed.  But it doesn’t matter what I think, the judges praised him, my roommate loved it, and he’s hanging around much longer.  I was surprised that I enjoyed Haley’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s, “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” I was really concerned for her to do this song but it turned out better than expected. It may not be her style but I thought it was a strong performance.


Overall everyone was extremely pitchy; there were notes where I just cringed. Naima, Naima, Naima.  All I can say is that I can appreciate that she is true to herself and she is certainly unique. Her style is great, for her… but really the girl belongs on a cruise ship, not American Idol.  It’s pretty early in the competition and I can hardly even watch a Paul McDonald performance objectively because he practically melts my heart. I even pondered the idea of sending fan mail. Disgusting.  I need to pull myself together.  Anyway, he didn’t sound great.  I guess I should throw in the fact that he was sick but that won’t really give him a pass in my book.   From a PR perspective the music industry is big about branding.  This show is certainly creating a brand and path for Paul McDonald.  I just hope the viewers keep him around longer.  Since this week was rough, I think its absolutely necessary that he brings his guitar within the next couple weeks.  He needs to show that side of him.  Otherwise people are just going to get tired of his sound.


In a way I’m slightly satisfied that most of the performances were sub par. I was really getting tired of the constant love and mushy comments from the judges. It was about time we heard some real criticism and feedback.   And just another side note, anyone notice how many times the camera cut to Jennifer Lopez only to see her singing along?  Maybe she’s embarrassed about not knowing who Ryan Adams is, but no need to make up for it with the constant lip-synching this week. Clearly I’m bitter about how things went down last night. But I’m tuning in tonight and the rest of the season regardless.


Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!

Why Paul McDonald Is Great For American Idol

If you have written off American Idol because your tired of the same old singing competition, with the same mediocre songs, it’s time to tune in… because the times they are a changing.  And it starts with Paul McDonald.  Each week Randy Jackson has said how good it is for American Idol to have Paul on the show.  Paul is bringing so much that hasn’t been brought before.  But I’m seeing a lot of talent I haven’t seen on this show before.  So why is it that Paul is so great for the show?

His voice is so unique in the mainstream world, most just haven’t heard it.  Here he is on national television, on a show that gets millions of viewers each week, and he’s single handedly going to be bringing the sounds of Ryan Adams, Mumford, and Wilco (and hopefully Wilco is in the AI catalog because Paul would do Jeff Tweedy proud I’m sure).  Now is the perfect time for Paul to be on American Idol, this music has been just waiting to break through, the amazing response to Mumford and the Avett Brothers at the Grammys this year shows that people are feeling this genre.

Last night he performed “Come Pick Me Up,” by Ryan Adams.  Brilliant song, Ryan Adams is an artist that makes you feel something.  How sad is it that Jennifer Lopez had never heard of him?  I guess too often I am stuck in my music bubble that it’s hard to believe someone that’s in the music industry hasn’t heard of people like Adams.  It was like after the Grammys… and people were saying, “who is Arcade Fire?”  That killed me.  AI’s viewers need Paul, and he said after his performance last night that, “he hopes we get it.”  I get it, I love that song, I feel that song in the pit of my stomach, deep in my heart.  And I guess I realize that not everyone is going to get it but it’s just so refreshing to hear him on the show.  I have a feeling that more people will get it when he pulls out his guitar and sings.  I cannot wait for that moment.

With Paul it’s really a win-win.  For the show its wonderful to bring in this entire new catalog of music and cater to a larger audience.  On the flip side, for the all of the artists that he’s covering its great exposure.  Paul has selling power.  As of 11 PM last night Ryan Adams was the second most searched topic on google.

Paul was in two bands prior to American Idol, “Hightide Blues” and “The Grand Magnolias.”  Both bands have had albums on sale on iTunes.  The Grand Magnolias have sky rocketed to the top of the Rock Charts on iTunes since Paul’s appearance on American Idol.  Interesting to note that when I went to check the chart position today, I was unable to find them on iTunes.  There’s a strong possibility that it has been removed due to legal issues with the show.  I will keep digging for information and keep you updated as I find out.

I’ll be writing every week about American Idol.  Early front runners in my mind are Pia and Casey.  Pia definitely has the look and voice for an Idol.  She is the more obvious choice in my mind. Casey, I love him.  He reminds me of the guy next door, jamming on his guitar, the kind of talent that is generally overlooked.  You can feel the music and his passion when he sings, I can’t imagine what it’s like to watch him perform live.  I love Scotty too, such a strong country voice.  I don’t even like country music that much but I do really like him.  Personally I love Paul, no surprise here.  But I’m not confident he can win the entire thing, nor do I think it would be good for him in the long run.  He needs his artistic freedom and I’m not sure that he would be able to accomplish that as the winner.  It will be interesting to see how this season pans out, I definitely would recommend people try watching American Idol this season… there’s sooo much talent this year, if you love music you have to see it.

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