Thursday, February 27, 2014

Top 13 On American Idol 13 Gave It Their Best... Whose Was Enough?

With a brand new stage and a brand new season, The Top 13 sang live for your votes for the first time. Nerves were high and evident in some contestants, but even taking that into account, I was still less-than-impressed with many of last night's performances.

This season, the contestants wait in a just-off-the-stage 'lounge' to perform. From there, they can watch their fellow artists perform front and center. I'm not sure if this is a positive thing for them or not. If one does an amazing job, it could be intimidating... conversely, if one does poorly, it could add to the others' already bubbling nerves. I guess we'll see if it has an effect as the season plays on.

The theme for last night was “This Is Me.” The contestants picked their own songs to show what defines them as artists and as persons. Last night's "This Is Me" went as follows.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More Chairs Turned on Night 2 – The Voice s.6 Blind Auditions

The talent continued to shine and turn chairs on the second night of the Blind Auditions. Five more artists made their way onto judges' teams, with Adam adding two, and the other three adding one each.

Cary Laine - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
Adam managed to convince R&B singer Delvin Choice to join his team. Delvin had auditioned before but turned no chairs then. He came back determined and nailed “A Song For You” so well that all four chairs turned.

With a little bit of a surprise to me (and probably everyone else), Adam was also able to add tremendous strength to his team with Cary Laine. She came out and covered “Better Dig Two” with amazing energy, presence, and power. I've heard many covers of The Band Perry's songs, but nothing like Cary performed. She has a country tone and vibe that must run strong through her veins, and it was no surprise when all four chairs turned. What was surprising, but in my opinion a very smart choice, was her picking Adam as her coach. Yes, she country... but I think Adam will be able to take her to heights like she's never seen. By far, Cary Laine was my favorite performance and top pick of the night.

Sixteen-year-old pop singer Madilyn Rose won over two coaches with “Titanium.” She seemed a little bit nervous on stage but handled it really well. She has an amazing middle range, but was a little shaky in the upper. Overall, though, Madilyn is a great vocalist and picked Usher over Shakira to be her coach.

Blake picked up Jazz singer Noah Lis. Noah's been in the music business for eleven years and performs around 250 events a year. His voice goes beyond his age and had a true Jazz feel to it. Adam turned first, with Blake holding out until the end of the last note. I'm not sure what Blake was waiting for, but Noah chose him as his coach.

Deja Hall sang “True Colors” with a maturity beyond her years and a great tone. Shakira got excited, missing her button the first time, and went up against Blake to try and add to her team. Deja's voice was soft and angelic and is a perfect fit on Team Shakira.
Credit: Trae Patton / NBC
The talent this season is simply amazing, and the judges are even funnier and more entertaining than ever. That's why The Voice is an Emmy Award winning show... we're awed by the talent, amazed by the production, and entertained by the coaches.

Tune in next Monday 8/7c on NBC for the continuation of the Blind Audition for The Voice.

Go to for all the great info on the judges and artists.

Who’s your favourite? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook and to catch my weekly posts about The Voice.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Who Turned Chairs – Day 1 of The Voice s.6 Blind Auditions

“We can help these artists by putting the spotlight on their talent and sharing the knowledge we've learned along the way for the simple reason... we're artists ourselves.” -Blake Shelton

NBC Universal
Season 6 of The Voice premiered last night on NBC. Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are back and are joined this season by Shakira and Usher.

As many of you may have heard or read, CeeLo Green will not be returning, ever. Sorry, I can't say I'm surprised at this and believe this can only make the show better, both for the viewers and the contestants.

While Shakira and Usher occasionally fill in for CeeLo and Christina, I really hope Usher considers staying on permanently. I think he is way more qualified than CeeLo to coach rising stars and would be much more beneficial and instructive to those on his team in making them become the best artists they can be. Shakira is great, and I'm fine with her or Christina. Both Usher and Shakira blend well with Blake and Adam, and the chemistry between all four (which is a vital and expected element on The Voice) is perfect.

Well, Season 6 started off with a whole new caliber of talent. This was only the first night of Blind Auditions, and if last night set the 'talent bar' that high... it's going to be next to impossible to pick a winner early on.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Introducing The Lovelocks – A Country Duo Sensation

“Life is only just a moment - Make the moment last.”

After releasing their debut EP on February 11, 2014, Ali Raney and Zoe Heuman of The Lovelocks were shown lots of love.

While it isn't all that uncommon for an album to climb the charts fast the day its released, it is uncommon for a debut album, from a relatively unknown artist, with next to no radio play, to chart #2 (on iTunes Canada Country Albums) on release day... but then again, The Lovelocks are anything but common.

Credit: Stephen MacLeod / The Lovelocks
Calling Toronto home, Ali and Zoe met in 2003, while being involved with their Church's music program. After a few years, they began writing songs together, and in 2012 decided to combine their talents into the amazing duo we now know as The Lovelocks.

The name they chose for themselves is both creative and symbolic to much of what they stand for—a true commitment to love people, be them friends, family, strangers, and even enemies (which, hopefully, never come). This is what is going to take them and their talent very far.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who Made the Top 13 on American Idol XIII?

Wed & Thu 8/7c on FOX

The second biggest night of American Idol (first being the finale) was definitely filled with anticipation and stress as the Top 13 of Season 13 was revealed.

Overall, seven of my Top Ten picks were voted through, and two were handed the Wild Card seat... bringing nine of my ten picks into the Top 13.

SPOILER WARNING: This season's Top 13 are...

American Idol XIII – Rush Week – The Guys (Recap & Review)

Wed & Thu 8/7c on FOX
Credit: FOX
Rush Week continued Wednesday night with the guys performing for America's votes. Five girls from Tuesday's performances and five guys from Wednesday night's will make up ten of the Top 13 to be announced tonight on FOX. The remaining three chairs will be the Wild Card spots picked by the judges.

I do have to say that the judges seemed to make a few better choices on which ten of the fifteen guys would perform than they did with the girls. Although nerves would still be a factor, I believed the guys would have had a slight advantage in being on the second night of the two-night premier. With that in mind, I did have slightly higher expectations for the caliber of last night's performances, and that may be why I was disappointed with more than a few of them.
The Top 10 guys took the stage one by one, and here's what happened:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

American Idol XIII – Rush Week – The Girls (Recap & Review)

Wed & Thu 8/7c on FOX
Credit: FOX
The first live show of this season brought a new element: Rush Week. I'm not sure how much I agree with this concept, as I find it a little cruel and contributing to much higher stress levels for the artists.
The Top 15 girls and Top 15 guys (Girls performed last night and the Guys perform tonight) are in the house, but only ten will be asked to perform. This leaves all of them waiting and hoping their names are called. In the end, five of them will not get to the stage and are sent home. It kind of reminded me of picking teams in gym class, but instead of worrying (and stressing) about being the last one picked... you just don't get picked at all. I can not imagine the emotions that were in that room.

Credit: Michael Becker / FOX
The judges for Season 13 are Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban. Unlike some previous seasons, these three have great chemistry together, and I think will make for a very entertaining and enjoyable season.
Randy Jackson is back but only as a mentor. He's set up a workshop for the competing artists to aid them in their Idol journey. He's included Vocal Coaches, Musical Directors, Stylists, and even Spiritual Advisors. Last night, the contestants were also helped and guided by Adam Lambert and Daughtry. I like this workshop idea.

So, as each girl's name was called, she took the stage and performed live for your votes. Like I said earlier, the way this was done this year added greatly to the stress and nerves of the artists... some more than others, but still, it was a night that really showed their talent. How did each do? Here's the breakdown, in the order they were called to the stage: