James Durbin Tearfully Leaves ‘American Idol’


Even Lady Gaga’s mentoring wasn’t enough to keep “American Idol” rocker James Durbin on the show. Durbin is the latest contestant to be booted and he was not happy about it. When it comes down to the final four, it’s hard to see any of them go and this particular contestant was that much more difficult for me. Not because he’s my favorite, but because it meant that Haley Reinhart was staying.

Clearly fans were invested in supporting their favorites, because, according to host Ryan Seacrest, more than 72 million votes were cast Wednesday, the highest top-four total ever. And America obviously still loves an underdog, because even after openly sneering at the judges and putting on both the worst and best performances of the night, Reinhart growled her way from certain oblivion into the top three while rocker-with-a-heart-of-gold James Durbin went down in a blaze of glory.

The first to be waved into the top 3 was Lauren Alaina, making her the youngest contestant to ever get this far and guaranteeing her a hometown parade and celebration in Rossville, Georgia, on Saturday.

After celebrating Alaina’s victory, Seacrest dropped the bomb saying that BOTH ladies were safe meaning Reinhart is here to stay. The confused look on Randy Jackson’s face was the look on my own face. This news meant that James Durbin and Scotty McCreery were on the chopping block and they both looked more nervous than they have all season.

Of course the drama for television was in full swing as they made America wait for the final decision. Steven Tyler’s video for his new solo single “(It) Feels So Good” was played, then a taped performance from one of Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour stops was played. On the tape, she is performing the tune, that Haley Reinhart tried to sing a few weeks ago, “You and I”. Then Enrique Iglesias sampled his new single “Dirty Dancer” then brought down the house with “I Like It”.

Once Scotty McCreery was deemed safe, the Country boy looked relieved while James’ pain was written all over his face. Even though James was making “ok” gestures with his hand to his fiancee in the audience, he was clearly hurt. As he watched his farewell clip, he was jumping up and down and gritting his teeth to hold back the tears. Jennifer Lopez, however, could not keep it together as she gave Durbin a standing ovation and let the tears stream down her cheeks.

“Man, I worked so damn hard to get here,” Durbin said. “And … God, I was really hoping to get there, but I had a feeling today. … I did so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before. … In my eyes, in my mind and what I believe is that I did what I came here to do, and that was to give metal a chance,” he said, his voice cracking, his face wet with tears. “And to bring it and give 110 percent every week!”

An angry/sad Durbin sang Wing’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” while grabbing a hug in the audience from pal and booted Idol contestant Casey Abrams and then finally embracing his fiancee and the mother of his young son.

“Thank you! You guys are the best!” he told the audience. “I love all of you. Thank you so much. This is amazing! Amazing!” He ended, of course, with a big rock jump and a toss of his black jacket into the crowd.

What do you think of James Durbin being sent home? Should someone else have gone home instead?

Hear New Music First – HP

‘American Idol’ Top 12 Performances


So this is the only picture I could find of the Top 12 on “American Idol.” Does anyone notice that Pia is holding a stick figure of Casey’s head so that he can be “in” the picture? Weird! Poor Casey must have been in the hospital :(

Anyway, if you watched last night’s performance show then you know there is no reason for me to be saying “Poor Casey” because he rocked his performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I thought it was by far the best performance of the night. Maybe I’m slightly biased because he’s my fav but I loved it! Abrams is the first person to ever perform a Nirvana song on “Idol” and the judges agree (with me) that is was awesome. Tyler spoke up first, being he’s the rocker in the house, saying “you’re so crazy and you’re so talented.” Randy then complemented, “that’s the goop that great stuff is made of, and you got it,” appreciating Abrams’ willingness to take risks and always switch things up.

Other standouts included Pia Toscano who picked it up a notch with Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” Jacob Lusk as he broke out of his comfor zone with “Alone” by Heart, Lauren Alaina despite battling a cold, and Stafano Langone as he belted out Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” Randy dolled out the biggest praise saying that it was the best performance of the night so far! Oh, and I liked Scotty McCreery too!

I was not a fan of Naima Adedapo who opened the show with “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner or Thia Megia who sang “Colors of the Wind” – it was boring, and Randy told Megia that.

I really want to like Paul McDonald but his rag-doll-ish dancing makes it hard for me to get into his singing. I thought he did an ok job with “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” but he sounded more hoarse than usual from also having a cold. Lopez said his star power attitude made the performance.

The other’s I didn’t like: James Durbin, Haley Reinhart, and Karen Rodriguez. I liked 6 and didn’t like 6! haha

Who do you think killed it last night? Who could you stand to see go home? Tell me in the comments!

Hear New Music First – HP

‘American Idol’ Contestant Casey Abrams Feeling Better


It makes me very happy to report that Casey Abrams will be back in action come Wednesday night! The bearded “American Idol” finalist from Illinois posted a message to fans that he is feeling better and will be ready to go for Wednesday night’s performance show.

According to MTV News Abrams made the statements at an “Idol” panel on Monday at the 28th annual PaleyFest, where he took the stage along with eight of his fellow finalists. (minors Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery and Thia Megia were not there because they were doing schoolwork.) “I’m feeling really good,” Abrams said.

“I thought I was actually going to make it but I had to stay behind,” he said of last Thursday’s results show. “It was fun and everyone waved at me, and I felt really supported by everyone, and I loved watching.”

I’m really excited that Casey gets to come back! He’s one of my favorites!! Are you stoked to see him on stage again? Who’s your favorite?

Hear New Music First – HP

‘Idol’ News: Ashton Jones Eliminated, Casey Abrams Hospitalized


The first elimination round of Fox’s hit show “American Idol” was held last night where only one person was booted off, but at the end of the show two people were missing from the group.

For once in Idol history, Seacrest did not make us wait until the end of the show to announce the, well, loser. At the beginning of the show, he called Jacob Lusk, Karen Rodriguez, and Stefano Langone as the bottom three. Then revealed that only Rodriguez was actually in the bottom 3. She took a seat on those lonely silver stools on the other side of the stage as Langone and Lusk went happily back to the rest of the group. Then Seacrest called Ashton Jones, Haley Reinhart, and Lauren Alaina into the bottom 3. After some Ford product placement and a video of the Idol contestants at the Red Riding Hood premiere, Ashton Jones was announced as the contestant to be eliminated with J.Lo saying “Not this time, baby, I’m sorry,” after a long exhale.

The only real surprise from last night’s episode came when Ryan Seacrest announced that Casey Abrams was in the hospital. “You’ll notice that Casey is missing from the group. He is unfortunately sick and in the hospital right now,” Seacrest said. “Wave to him. … We know you’re watching buddy, feel better — shout-out to the nurses. Get back here soon, OK?”

A spokesperson from Idol said that there was no further information of Abrams illness but the bass-playing singer did tweet about the situation after the show, writing “Hey guys, thanks for the well wishes, I got some nice fresh blood in me and feeling better. People at Idol & Cedars are treatin me real good.”

An unnamed “Idol” insider reportedly told the Hollywood Reporter that Abrams received two blood transfusions while in the hospital to treat a condition called ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the lining of the large intestine.

Earlier this season, on February 23, Abrams was rushed to the ER after complaining about stomach pains and almost missed the subsequent taping of the top-12 men’s performances, which potentially would have eliminated him from the competition before the finals according to MTV.

What did you think about last night’s episode of American Idol?! Did you miss Casey as much as I did? I hope he gets well soon :)

Hear New Music First – HP

‘American Idol’ Contestants Honor Their Personal Idols


Last night the top 13 performed songs by their personal idol’s. I liked this challenge! The contestants also got to work with Jimmy Iovine of Interscope records, who will serve as their ‘in house mentor’. Each singer also got to record a version of their chosen song with a producer from Interscope (and these we’re some big name producers).

The show opened with Lauren Alaina singing ‘Any Man of Mine’. It was a good rendition but very karaoke! Next up was Casey Abrams singing Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends.” He did a fabulous job, but his producer kept saying he should ‘reinvent the song’ and it sounded like a pretty straight forward rendition to me!

Up next were Ashton Jones and Paul McDonald. Yawn. I didnt like either performance and although I like Paul and his super white teeth, I wont cry if either one of these contestants get the boot.

Pia Toscano tackled ‘All by Myself’ by Celine Dion and really wowwed me. Love her!!

I liked Haley Reinhart’s ‘Blue’ by LeAnn Rimes, but it was a little boring. It reminded me of wedding music or background music at a cocktail party! lol

Jacob Lusk took on R. Kellys ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ (I love ‘Spacejam’ the movie!) with a gospel choir. Thia Megia and Stefano Langone were up next and were not my favorites and Karen Rodriguez SERIOUSLY disappointed when she took on the Selena classic ‘I Could Fall in Love’. Scotty McCreery sang a Garth Brooks rendition of “The River” that I loved, but maybe that’s because I loveee Garth Brooks. Naima Adedapo closed up the night with some reggae Rihanna… I wasnt feeling it and neither were the judges. They noted her pitchiness but hailed her “flavor.”

Anyway here are my predictions for tonight…

Pia is totally safe, Casey will sail through and Scotty will be moving on too… What do ya’ll think?!

Keep watching!

Hear New Music First – HP

American Idol Reveals Top 13


Last night (Mar. 3), American Idol revealed the top 13 finalists in the contest as the top ten people were selected and three wild card picks were added.

Here are your top 13:

  1. Scotty McCreery
  2. Pia Toscano
  3. Lauren Alaina
  4. Karen Rodriguez
  5. Jacob Lusk
  6. CAsey Abrams
  7. Thia Megia
  8. Paul McDonald
  9. Haley Reinhart
  10. James Durbin
  11. Ashton Jones
  12. Stefano Langone
  13. Naima Adedapo

What do you think of American Idol’s Top 13?! Did your favorite make the cut?

Hear New Music First – HP

Powerful Girls Night on ‘American Idol’


It was a night filled with awesome performances and definitely star power as the girls of the American Idol top 24 auditioned last night (Mar 2).

By far, the stand out of the night was Pia Toscano, pictured above in her LBD (little black dress), as she belted out The Pretenders “I’ll Stand By You.” Toscano received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges were wowed with only good things to say of the performance.

She is at the top of my list, but my favorite was Lauren Turner. Maybe you’d think I am a little biased because she’s from my neck of the woods, but that’s not true. This girl has what it takes. She rocked Etta James’ “Seven Day Fool” bringing energy and excitement to the song. Randy and Steven agree both giving Turner great compliments. Jackson went so far as to say, “This is how you do it.” J.Lo said it was good but gave Turner some constructive criticism telling her not to hold back and her performances will be “over the top.”

Other standouts included Lauren Alaina, Karen Rodriguez, and Thia Megia.

People that didn’t make the cut, in my book at least…

Ta-Tynisa Wilson was the first performance of the night and I was worried things weren’t going to shape-up after this one. Wilson sang “Only Girl in the World” by Rihanna. She was shaky and sloppy. J.Lo agreed that she was shaky but “brought it home in the end.” Tyler said he liked her singing but Randy was not convinced saying that Wilson did not bring anything new or different to the tune.

My least favorite was Rachel Zevita. She chose Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” to sing. She had great stage presence but lacked in vocals. Even though she held her own on stage, the judges had mixed reviews. Jackson deemed the performance outright bad and Tyler claimed it had too much of a Broadway vibe for his liking. Lopez was some what sympathetic. My opinion is more along the lines of Randy’s; I didn’t care for it.

The others that I wasn’t feelin’ include: Haley Reinhart, Julie Zorrilla, Ashton Jones (even though the judges think she’s a young Diana Ross), Kedra Chantelle, and Naima Adedapo.

I can’t wait for the results tonight! Who were you loving and hating last night on Idol?! Let me know!!

Hear New Music First – HP

Let’s Hear It For The Guys on ‘American Idol’


Let’s hear it for the boys!

Last night the top 12 men performed songs of their own choosing.

There were a few stand outs in my opinion. Scotty McCreery sang “Letters From Home” (a song that can reduce me to tears in about two seconds) and I love his country angle. Jacob Lusk took on “A House Is Not a Home” (heard last season on Glee) and I thought his rendition was totally swoon worthy (J.Lo agrees). Stefano Langone sang Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” and did not disappoint. Bruno Mars seems to be getting a lot of lovin’ from our idol contestants, we’ll see if we hear as many Mars’ tunes once the judges start picking the songs.

Now on to some of the ‘losers’ in my opinion… Robbie Rosen sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” (which mostly makes me think of those really sad Public Service Announcements about pet abuse and adoption) and I could not get in to this rendition and neither could the judges! Jordan Dorsey gave Ushers ‘OMG’ a try but left the judges disappointed. Its difficult to determine if I hated these performances cause I’m not crazy about the songs, or the singers…

But OH BOY! The ladies are up tonight! cant wait to hear what songs the gals pick!

What did you think of the guys of American Idol last night?! Who was your favorite?

Hear New Music First – HP

‘American Idol’ Reveals First Batch of Top 24


Wednesday night’s episode of American Idol saw lots of tears (mostly from J.Lo) and lots of frequent flyer miles.

The show took 61 hopefuls to Las Vegas where they were then cut down to 40. From here, the show went back to Los Angeles where the contestants were trimmed to the final 24.

Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo thrilled on “The Long and Winding Road”; Tim Halperin and Julie Zorilla turned in a sweet version of “Something”; and Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle wowed the judges with their soulful take on “Blackbird” (“So beautiful … I really loved it,” Jennifer Lopez raved) — while others fell off.

At the end of the two-day Vegas performances, most of those who stumbled were sent packing — not to mention memorable contestants like White House intern Molly DeWolf Swensen, goofy Carson Higgins and rocker dude Caleb Hawley — as the “Idol” judges cut the remaining 60 down to 40 … and then put them back on the bus for Los Angeles, where the Top 24 was revealed in dramatic fashion.

Most dramatic was the fact that breakout star Chris Medina, who won over viewers — and the “Idol” judges — with his dedication to his fiancée (who was seriously injured in a car accident did not make it through to the next round. And when Lopez broke the news that his “Idol” journey was over— “It honestly breaks my heart to say this,” Lopez said — she broke down and needed to be consoled by her fellow judges.

And with that (and Lopez’s sobbed admission that she didn’t know if she could continue on as a judge), Wednesday night’s episode came to a dramatic close. The remainder of the Top 24 will be revealed on Thursday … and who knows what will happen then.

What did y’all think of Wednesday night’s Idol episode? Are you ready for Thursday to see if J. Lo will continue?

Hear New Music First – HP

Solo Auditions from Hollywood on ‘American Idol’


Hey y’all, “Idol Emily” is out for today so that leaves me (Madison), your regular fan-tabulous blogger! lol. Anyway, the end of the Hollywood round of auditions on American Idol was last night. There were 100 contestants and they were dwindled down one-by-one. That’s right, no more groups! The hopefuls performed as solo acts and then were taken to rooms where they were told together whether they made the cut or were going home. Sheesh! I would not want to be told like that.

Shining stars last night including Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, and Thia Megia.

This video is Jacob Lusk, who is all the sudden getting lots of camera attention. He did a soulful version of “God Bless This Child.” Wow!

Next on my list of favorites, Casey Abrams, who performed “Georgia on My Mind,” created a precedent that probably won’t be repeated, playing a standup bass as accompaniment. Y’all know I’m from the birthplace of Jazz Music (New Orleans) so I am loving Abrams and all the jazz he’s slinging. He’s really talented, but I have to wonder how long can his groovy-bluesy-jazzy act last on this sort of show? I’ll hate to see him go but I don’t think he is going to be a front-runner.

The extremely intense Ashley Sullivan blanked out on the lyrics to “Everything.” She sang the chorus reasonably well, then crumbled. As Ryan Seacrest somberly noted, “So Ashley falls apart again.” And, I suspect she will probably fall apart again sometime in the competition. Maybe it is nerves and pressure. She wasn’t let go so we will see what happens with her. Scotty McCreery also had trouble with lyrics but he is too good to let go this soon.

Chris Medina and Carson Higgins both sang Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.” Medina stuck to guitar accompaniment and Higgins sang with the band. Medina’s version was modest, and slightly underwhelming to me, while Higgins went heavy on the funkiness – though his theatricality makes it hard for me to tell how well he actually sings.

Thia Megia (who formerly performed on NBC’s America’s Got Talent), sang “What a Wonderful World.” I really liked her on America’s Got Talent but I didn’t care for her performance last night. She was really mellow and kind of show biz-y.

Strike 3, You’re Out: Jacqueline Dunford went off to the hospital with an unspecified illness, leaving the competition. Chelsee Oaks, the last of the odd quadrangle formed with Jacqueline, Jacqueline’s boyfriend Nick Fink and Chelsee’s ex boyfriend Rob Bolin, tried to carry on alone, but her performance was off. Mark Gutierrez also left, the night after his brother got the boot.

American Idol will be back next Wednesday so stay tuned!

Hear New Music First – HP

Update on the Drama-Filled Hollywood Round of ‘American Idol’


Hollywood week on ‘American Idol’ continued with a big ole’ 2 hour episode! These are some of my favorite episodes, but maybe that’s because I love singing GROUPS.

So the contestants formed mini singing groups with 3-5 members that totally reminded me of picking teams in elementary school! The ‘grouping up’ process was kind of cut throat if you ask me!

Jacee Badeaux is one of my top picks based on the fact that the youngins’ seem to be ruling this season, and that Badeaux has been getting A LOT of screen time, and is very talented as well. Badeaux ended up in a group with a bunch of random people (they should have called their group ‘the lost socks’ cause none of them seemed to match) after Clint Jun Gamboa booted him from his original group for fear that he was a weak link. Badeaux cried about the rejection but still came out shining! And Gamboa, even though he made it through with his strong vocals, came out looking like a bully.

Other stand outs included Jovany Burnette, Scotty McCreery, and James Durbin. I also thought Ashleigh Sullivan’s group, despite all the drama and Sullivan almost giving up, did a great job. They sang “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” and that is my jam!

Another group I really liked was an all girl group consisting of Pia Toscano, Alessandra Guerico, and Brielle Von Hugel. They sang Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” and since Mars is (obviously) male, I loved hearing women sing it! Watch the video below of these hopefuls putting their feminine touches on the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit.

Stay tuned for another night in Hollywood where solo acts will take the stage this time!!

Hear New Music First – HP

Heartbreaks and Happiness from Hollywood on ‘Idol’


Last night kicked off Hollywood week on our favorite show, American Idol! 324 contestants (twice as many as last year) tried their best to wow the judges.

A few contestants with my favorite personal stories made it through fast. Chris Medina, Paris Tassin, and James Durbin, and Brett Loewenstern are all in!

Nick and Jacqueline who billed themselves as an ‘Idol Power couple’ (whatever that means?!) were split apart when Nick was given the boot. Upholding my prediction that this season is all about the kids, Jacee Badeaux (15 years old) is in… but Victoria Huggins (17 years old is out). Stormi Henley, 2009 Miss Teen USA got the boot for her lack luster singing (take note that the Miss Teen USA pageant does NOT have a talent portion)… but she sure was pretty! Other losers included Travis Orlando and Steve Beghun.

It was a tough night in Hollywood, but honestly it’s too early for me to get attached to any one person.

Next week are the group performances. Not always a popular round, but in light of the new FOX hit Glee, maybe we’ll see some improvement?! I’ll never forget when Kimberley Locke and Frenchie Davis wowed with ‘Band of Gold’ during season 5 at the Hollywood round! Both made it through!

I hope to see some similarly amazing talent!!

Did one of your favorites have to go?

Hear New Music First – HP

American Idol Auditions from San Francisco


Hey idol fans!

Tonight the audition rounds continued (does anyone else feel like this is going on forever!). San Fran is the last audition city, and next we’ll move on to the Hollywood round!

Things sure started off rough… One of the first losers up was Inessa Lee. She describes herself as the next Shakira. She makes her own YouTube videos (complete with special effects!) but she was an almost instant no (for me and the judges).

Next notable singer was Stefano Langone. Lagone was in a really nasty car accident that left him with some scars, but once he started belting his rendition of “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” his beautiful soulful voice shined through! Karaoke bar host Clint Jun Gamboa dazzled the judges with his performance of Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” (but I still think the Glee cover by Chord Overstreet is my fave).  The judges raved over Gamboa, who grew up singing gospel. Julie Zorrilla (who initial attracts J.Los attention for wearing killer shoes) blows the judges away with her rendition of “Summertime,” and for once I was interested in her ‘human interest “back-story.”

This round of course had its share of ‘eccentric personalities’, like Drew Beaumier, who made a big splash by showing up in a homemade transformers costume. The costume was kind of awesome, but his singing was not! Maybe he has a future in the movies, but NOT on Idol!

Coming next: Hollywood week! And not a moment to soon y’all!

Hear New Music First – HP

Perfect “American Idol” from Los Angeles


I hope all of you watched American Idol last night. It was the perfect mixture of odd balls and awesome singers, with no sappy moments in between. I think the American Idol producers heard me when I wrote yesterday that I just wanted to singing because that’s what I got! I’m sure they didn’t read it, but y’all know what I’m saying, right?!

The auditions last night were in Los Angeles, CA and the judges seem to think the city had a lot to do with the type of auditions they saw last night.

My favorite, and obviously’s J.Lo’s too, was Tim Halperin. 23-year-old Tim said that he discovered his love for J.Lo back in the fifth grade, which Steven and Randy playfully joked about how old she must be now. Her comeback just made America love her more when she flirted, “I’m young enough for you.”

I also loved the Gutierrez brothers. They looked to be dressed in costumes more than actual clothes, with matching cigarette pants and scarves. Their attire, however, was all but forgotten after you heard their voices. The boys rendition of “Stand by Me” was “god-like” said judge, Steven Tyler. Rolling Stones asks of the brothers, “That feeling, America? That’s two new people eying your hearts.”

I thought it was one of the best audition shows that ‘Idol’ has put on in a while. What did y’all think? Who were your favorites?

Hear New Music First – HP

Another Successful Audition Round On ‘American Idol’


Hey all you idol fans!

Tonight continued the audition rounds in another southern city, Austin, Texas. It seems like the big news tonight was Steven Tyler’s ‘apology’ early in the episode where he took responsibility for his recent use of foul language…

Umm… look people he’s a ROCK STAR. Thats why he was chosen as a judge. Words slip! Let’s focus on the singing! That’s why we’re all tuning in!!

Corey Levoy shinned with a song from Bonnie Raitt (my mom’s fave!) and impressed the judges and his sister alike. There was also alot of footage on Levoy’s life story… I’m not really ‘in’ to the whole human interest aspect, but i’m happy for Corey that he got to connect with his sister… but come on American Idol! Just show me some singing!!!

A native Brit, Hollie Cavanaugh (after being given a chance to sing two different songs) and true Texan John Wayne Schulz both make it through to Hollywood (with a lil help from Brooks & Dunn) and a super fancy belt buckle. The crazy adorable couple Jacqueline and Nick wowed me with pop hits, Duffy’s “Mercy” for Jacqueline and Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” (one of my faves!) by Nick. J.Lo loves them almost as much as me!

All in all, it was a good episode! I especially loved all the Southern flair, cute outfits, and wild texas-wear (hats, buckles, the works!)

What did y’all think of ‘Idol’ last night?

Hear New Music First – HP