Posts tagged Haley Reinhart
Every week I have Tuesdays & Wednesdays off of work and it is always my intention to come up with blog ideas and write something for my favorite Style Bust readers. It is now Thursday afternoon, I go into work in a couple hours and I am just opening up my computer now to share some thoughts, talk about procrastination. I need to post something so I can feel as though my days off were used productively. The American Idol alums have been busy lately, so I thought I would appease my AI blog followers who are having withdrawals from the competition.
Unless you have been living under a rock you are aware that Breaking Dawn (Part 1), the latest of the Twilight series premieres tonight at midnight. In light of that I’m going to somewhat reluctantly share this track with you. The newlyweds Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed recorded this song, “Now That I’ve Found You” together. Its no secret how much I loved Paul on American Idol and his band The Grand Magnolias, however I’m not the least bit impressed with this release. I wanted to love it but I just don’t. On the other side of things, who knew Nikki Reed could sing? I knew she had a background in writing, when she acted in and co-wrote the screen play for the movie ‘Thirteen’ back in 2003. So she penned the lyrics to “Now That I’ve Found You,” and her vocals on this track far exceeded my expectations. I don’t think I’m being a harsh critic when I say, the song overall is not impressive… but you should check it out for yourself:
It’s probably just me, but does it remind you at all of this?
Ok onto the legitimately good stuff.
The amount of new Christmas music being released has overwhelmed me. I think my next blog post is going to have a list of my favorites. But right now I need to share this gem with you. November 21st is the release date on iTunes for this nothing short of amazing track by Haley Reinhart & Casey Abrams. If this doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit I don’t know what will. Haley’s voice will never disappoint me. Check out the video for “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” its charming, captivating, and beautiful.
Here’s a short recap for ya’ll. Haley Reinhart was sent home tonight on Idol. If you have been keeping up with this blog, I’m sure you are aware of how disappointed this has made me.
Haley started out the night singing a gutsy Led Zeppelin song and killed it. She followed up with Stevie Nick’s track, Rhiannon, I thought it was brilliant. Then came the judges pick. The judges chose Alanis Morisette’s, “You Oughta Know.” Hmmm… I don’t understand. They wanted Haley to sing an emo/angst bad ass song? Had Haley of chosen this for herself, the judges would be freaking out and tell her how wrong the song choice was. The entire competition they were pushing her towards a jazz/blues sound, and that music worked for her. I mean I just don’t get it. I love Alanis, that album was one of the first that I bought & I have so much respect for the entire movement. But for Haley, why did they choose such an angry song for her? Regardless of tonights outcome Haley had one of her best nights performance wise, so she definitely went out with a bang. I was hoping she would stick around and be able to pick up some of James Durbin’s votes to make it through to the finale. Onwards and upwards Haley Reinhart, I couldn’t be more impressed with an American Idol contestant. She truly was the best in my eyes.
But alas we have a finale with Lauren and Scotty. They both had spectacular performances last night. I think Scotty seemed more nervous than usual. Possibly being in the bottom two last week rattled him. I liked his decision to sing Lonestar. As I watched him perform I wondered how many times he had sang along to that song casually back home in North Carolina. Who doesn’t like that song anyway? It was enjoyable.
I was disappointed with Laurens rendition of The Band Perry’s track, “If I Die Young.” It’s one of my favorite songs right now and I think the appeal to that song is the beautiful harmonies. The band is a group of siblings and in my opinion no one can sing together like family. Lauren didn’t impress me much with it. I encourage anyone who hasn’t heard that song to check it out, it’s phenomenal.
I have no idea who I want to win between Scotty and Lauren. They are both extremely likable kids. I think both would make great American Idols. Scotty is definitely the front runner. You never know what can happen though. I’m just looking forward to the finale. I’m ready to see Paul McDonald, Casey Abrams, and of course Haley Reinhart back on the stage. Who are you rooting for?
Not sure where to begin with this Idol nonsense. It may have been the worst top 4 performances that I’ve ever seen. I was highly disappointed in all the song choices. I was even more disappointed in the judges and the production. I have plenty of conspiracy theories, and based on what I’m reading on other blogs and Twitter, I’m not the only one. The motives behind why they are partial to certain contestants over others is something that I have yet to figure out. It’s certainly made for a frustrating season to watch as a viewer.
Lets get into it. James begins the show with “Don’t Stop Believing.” My first thought was, oh, interesting that he’s the lead performer and won’t close out the show. Little did I know that they would switch it around at the end to give him the “pimp spot.” So James not only opens the show, but he then gets to for the 4th time this season close it out. So let’s get around to my second thought, who doesn’t know this song? How many times have you gone to a karaoke bar and not heard someone belt this out. I think the song choice was a great one, but he didn’t do anything with it. The judges are always talking about James adding his style to songs. This could have worked had he have added a rocker vibe to it.
But did anyone even notice that it wasn’t good? He sang off key, it was boring, it was screechy and just plain hurt my ears. But yet the judges are his biggest cheerleader. I was looking forwarded to his second performance, “Love Potion No. 9.” But he added his rock vibe and the song was lost in translation for me. I guess he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t with me. But I truly was feeling the acoustic version he was performing for Gaga and could see that as being a better performance. But what’s the use in talking about James anymore, is anyone listening?
Back to Haley world. Randy talked about the difficulty in singing “Don’t Stop Believing,” excuse me… “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson is killer. I know this from personal experience of trying to belt this out alone in my car. This song is so tough with the notes, runs, and emotion. I don’t think it was the best song choice for the mere fact of having to cut the song time down. This is a perfect song that you can’t change, it has an impeccable amount of build up and explosion. It didn’t translate well because she had to make the jump from a calm soulful beginning to screaming emotion. Sooooo the judges didn’t like it, imagine that. And this time I could see where the comments were coming from, where other times I think that they are way off. But they are always picking on her. The problem I have is how they went on and on about it. It has to be so hard for her. I know people don’t like to see her talk back, but put yourself in her shoes. She’s just trying to defend herself. I wouldn’t care in the least if they were giving the sort of feedback they give her to everyone. James performed that Journey song right before her and it was terrible. But all James got was praise, it’s getting to be ridiculous how much they hate on Haley.
Even after watching two more contestants perform, the judges go back only to reiterate the fact that Haley’s performance was the worst. This is just moments before her second performance on a live show. How does one pull themself together? They completely rattled her and I think that was the goal. I thought this week would play in her favor since she did such an incredible job last week with her rendition of Gaga’s “You and I.” Funny how not much if anything was mentioned in the reel about the performance. I know that footage has to be there, Gaga would have said something about it upon meeting her. I also have a strong feeling that Gaga digs Haley’s voice and style. It’s interesting that there wasn’t a whole lot to take away from the Gaga clip with Haley, besides an acting/drama lesson? Her second performance of, “I Who Have Nothing,” was certainly an improvement. I would have liked to have seen her do a more exciting/fun song. Thankfully she didn’t because it would have been hard to come out and have fun after the first round.
Scotty, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt with the Alan Jackson song, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning.” It’s hard though, I think mostly due to my PR background, I’m always questioning peoples motives. I mean come on, could this type of song be chosen at a better time? I really don’t think so, and I would find it hard to believe he wasn’t prepped for the pre-interview for the song. He said all the right things. And he’s just a kid, to capture that emotion has got to be difficult. He had to of been about 6 years old when 9/11 happened. However, I will say this… he did an excellent job of telling the story. As much as I was doubting his involvement with the song choice, there were moments in the song that gave me the chills. Which, again is probably due to everything that is happening in our country right now. It was a smart move. Now his second song, lordy… so bad. He performed, “Young Blood,” by the Coasters. What were those crazy eyes? I have no words. The young girls love him, I don’t think that performance hurt him much as far as voting is concerned but really what was that? So creepy.
Both songs Lauren performed were amazing. She is my overall winner of the night, hands down. I was worried how she would recover from her near departure last week. She sang Martina McBrides, “Anyway” and Elvis Presleys, “Trouble.” I mean the second song was a little out there, because she’s the furthest thing from evil. I think it could have been better had she have been able to channel the character a little more. But wow, the first song she just belted out beautifully (again a song about natural disasters, could it have come at a better time?) And the second song she had fun with. It was a great night for her.
This week we had Sheryl Crow as the Idol mentor. Ironic because not too long ago she bashed the show in an interview with MSNBC saying, “Let’s face it, it undermines art in every way and promotes commercialism, I am sad people love it so.” I wonder what made her change her mind. I enjoyed her nonetheless and I thought she gave some decent advice. The contestants sang two songs each this week and overall I thought it was a good night for everyone, with the exception of Jacob. Who ended up being the one voted off. So now we are left with James, Scotty, Haley and Lauren. Here’s what I thought about the performances Wednesday night:
James did, “Closer to the Edge,” a 30 Second to Mars song. It gave him some relevancy in my mind of where he would fit in post Idol. When he sang “Without You,” it took me right back to the first time I heard Kelly Clarkson sing it. Her vocal performance on that song in particular has been cemented in my head since the day I heard it. Obviously his sound is very different than Clarkson so the two didn’t compare. I sort of liked the vibe he brought to the song. It wasn’t even close to being his best vocal performance but the crying kind of pulled me into the performance. Even with his rocker swagger he finds ways to make himself vulnerable and relate to the audience. Not easy to do. Despite the fact that he sounded probably his worst the judges ate the performance up, per usual. The audience is practically brainwashed into voting for him with the constant praise from the judges. It would be so shocking if he went home anytime soon.
I do worry that he is going to struggle after Idol. Whether he wins it or not, I see him going for a genre that is not the easiest to break into. There are so many barriers and the audience is a tough crowd to please. I think the general population is going to have a hard time accepting him because of his Idol background. Adam Lambert was able to find his niche but James won’t be able to follow that path. He seems to be getting a lot of support and praise from the bands he’s been covering. That will help him.
Two weeks ago I would have said there is no way for Scotty to win the whole thing. But man he’s had some strong performances when it has really counted. I’m thinking Scotty might be here to stay. His Montgomery Gentry performance was so good. Then he followed up with “Always on my Mind.” Both performances showed how well rounded he is as a country artist. He had a great night. They haven’t crowned a male, country singer for the top prize. I mean he’s going to thrive post Idol in the country scene, so then AI can take credit for launching both Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery. It would give the show more credibility. How can they not have him win?
I loved Lauren. I think its incredible the turn around shes made in the last 3 weeks. She has taken all the important steps to move forward in this competition. You can absolutely tell that she’s putting in the work to try and win this thing. I think she would be one of the most exciting people to watch win it. You can tell that it’s her dream. She broke down tonight when she found out she was one of the bottom two. It will be interesting to see if she can bounce back from that or if she will play it safe next week out of fear of elimination. I was disappointed to see her in the bottom two after she had just pushed herself with her two songs this week.
Ah, Haley… what a breath of fresh air. I completely disagree with what Randy and JLo said about her needing to find a song that the audience already knows. It was completely risky, but it paid off. I always refer to Idol as a glorified karaoke contest. Here Haley comes in and just kills this unreleased Gaga song, that for the most part no one has heard. Haley did such a phenomenal job that it could easily be her first single. It didn’t sound like anyones song but her own, which has got to be one of the most important things to me. All the contestants sound great and record the tracks week after week, but the ones that I choose to buy and download are ones that are unique. I don’t want just another decent cover of a song. I want one that makes people forget that it’s a cover, that they really have to sit for a second and think about what the original sounds like. Season 8 contestant, Allison Iraheta did “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and whenever someone I’m with hears it play they think its killer. Haley closed the show with “House of the Rising Sun.” People are saying that it’s the best performance on the Idol stage of all time. It’s right up there for me. At the moment I can’t think of another performance in all the other seasons that I like better. It was just beautiful.
On to the results show. I was concerned about Jennifer performing on the show. She’s using Idol to her personal advantage and some seem to have mixed feelings about that. I think they chose the perfect time to let her perform. Had she of done it too early I don’t believe the audience would be as accepting. On the flip side you don’t want her performing too close to the finale. So I guess if she was going to have to make her appearance they chose the best time for it. I didn’t find it too entertaining. It’s difficult because she needed to sing live since it is “American Idol” and she would have received an insane amount of criticism if she didn’t. However, Jennifer is an incredible performer mostly because of her dancing. We didn’t get to see all that. She did what she could with it, but for me it just wasn’t enough.
Wednesday, Jacob finally received the criticism that he needed to hear. He says that he can relate to all kinds of music. I disagree. He oversold himself. One minute he’s telling us he can’t sing a Marvin Gaye song… the next he’s trying to tell us his direction is Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown. The kid belongs on Broadway, in Gospel music, that’s his niche and because he didn’t tap in to that completely thats why he went home. I’m very surprised he made it as far as he did. So yeah, goodbye Jacob. I’m sorry to say that I have been awaiting your departure for some time now. Not sad at all to see you go.
I strongly dislike theme weeks. I understand the purpose, challenging the contestants, providing some sort of organization so you don’t feel like your sitting at a karaoke bar where they can get up and sing just anything. But oh Carole King… this week concerned me. My expectations were extremely low so naturally last night turned out to be better than I thought it was going to be. Thats always a good thing.
Alright so let’s get at it. Last night I loved Scotty, James, and of course Haley. I almost feel bad for getting it in on Scotty last week about him not being versatile. He killed his performance last night singing, “You’ve Got a Friend.” So last week, I was wrong. I mean the reality is he’s going to be singing country music after Idol, so does it really matter if he’s extremely versatile? Overally versatility doesn’t concern me, which is why I find theme weeks to not have such a great purpose. Because everyone ultimately has their niche and if your good at it your going to sell records. Your not going to sell an album because you can cover Elton John, Carole King and a little Mo-town. Ah, I digress. Something about last nights performance just moved me. I’m very happy we got to see that side of Scotty.
James, surprisingly, I liked last night. Probably the first time and quite possibly the last you will hear those words from me. He sang “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” It was pretty much the performance I’ve been waiting for from him the entire season. I get really overwhelmed with the constant over the top screaming and big productions week after week with him. Last night he was more on my level. However the judges praise really irritated me. Thank you Randy for continually steering the viewers to vote for him. I would be surprised if James doesn’t make it to the finale. Didn’t Steven Tyler mention performing with him if he won? I think people want to see that.
Haley’s duet with Casey didn’t really compare to their last performance of “Moanin.” But their style and voices complement each other really well so I thought it was enjoyable. By far the best duet. Last night Haley sang “Beautiful” for her solo. By now everyone knows that I’m wanting her to go all the way. I’m so surprised by all the bloggers that dislike her. Her range and control of her voice is just phenomenal. I need her to stick around, otherwise I will have no desire to watch Idol anymore.
Ah, Lauren. It’s not that I wasn’t impressed with her vocal performance. I thought she sounded great. I think it was the random boy on the stage that really bothered me. It made the performance corny. With that being said, last week I wrote about her needing to get confidence on stage otherwise she is going to be let go. She was like a different girl on stage last night. I thought she did great in that department.
So that leaves us with Jacob and Casey. I’m so ready for Jacob to go home. I’m sorry but he irritates me. I will not even be close to being upset if he goes home. And I have replayed Casey’s performance of “Hi De Ho” so many times today. I don’t know why I just feel indifferent towards his performance. It just didn’t excite me in the least. But then again I also didn’t hate it. I haven’t read many other reviews from last night so I’m curious to what all of you are thinking.
So there you have it, Top 6 recap. I have to miss the results show tonight because I have a concert and broadway show tonight. Hopefully I will have some reviews up of those by this weekend. On a completely other note… did anyone catch Hanson on Dancing With The Stars this week? Great exposure for them! Of course I really enjoyed it but I’m definitely curious to know how the general public is responding to their music… let me know if you seen it.
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.
Hello friends! Excuse my late post on American Idol, I was traveling yesterday and once I saw the results show I needed a little time to pout about Paul going home.
Seems like many people have a love hate relationship with this show. I know I certainly do. I’m not going to make empty threats and say that I won’t watch it because my guy went home. Besides, that would only end up disappointing my readers! All I know is that if voting was solely up to me Pia would have made it to top 3 and Paul would have made it to top 5.
Anyway, my plan of attack for next week’s blog is going to be “American Idol: Crap the judges should of said.” Because I’m just so tired of them not critiquing anyone. The most entertaining part of the show is Jimmy Iovine & Will.I.Am. And all the buzz this week was how the contestants bucked the system, stood up for what they believed in, chose the songs they wanted to sing… which obviously translates to the viewers at home that they are seasoned artists, smarter than management, are so creative and yada yada yada. I mean truly I didn’t feel like even writing a blog Wednesday night, as I usually do, because the show frustrated me so much.
It’s not the weekly outcome that irritates me. The votes come in, someone has to go home and really winning the competition doesn’t mean much. The show is good exposure whether you make it to the end or not.
This is what gets me. I think many people watch the show and think they are getting some sort of inside look into the industry. And while I certainly enjoy the clips from the studio, it’s not even close to showing the process of making an album. And once the contestants are locked into a record deal, sure, they will be able to express their opinion but ultimately the label is going to be calling the shots. The people with the money have control and the artist is going to do what they say. It’s a constant struggle in this industry as an artist trying to keep your identity and create the music you believe in as opposed to the music that the label thinks will sell. It’s hard for even the seasoned talent on labels to get their voices heard when it comes to making a record. I don’t for a second believe that the winner of this glorified karaoke contest is going to have a say in the studio. And it’s not like I’m the biggest Jimmy Iovine fan in the world but I just find what they are doing to be a little disrespectful. They are making a big deal out of the contestants choosing their own songs, the judges praise them, and it’s like “good job, you showed Jimmy who’s boss.” News flash: Jimmy Iovine is a successful man in the industry and has been around a lot longer than you, he knows what’s up.
Anyway thats my rant. Well actually I have a few other complaints, such as, the hate mail getting sent to Stefano. I don’t get how that makes someone feel better, it’s like bullying. Stefano doesn’t control the votes, I feel bad for him. I actually don’t like when anyone has ignorant things to say about any of the contestants. I like that people have opinions. Music is so personal though, and all the contestants are talented in their own way. I’m not asking anyone to love Paul. But I don’t understand the people that think he is a complete joke. I guess they are probably the same people that say Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart can’t sing. I like unique voices. And I think I have finally decided who I want to take the “top prize.” Haley Reinhart. Did you catch her performance with Casey last night? So major! Check it out below.
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.