Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘ryan seacrest’

Best Albums/Singles by American Idol Alumni

There is no doubt that American Idol will be missed. But thankfully, it brought us some great singers who have had some excellent albums and singles over the years. Here are my Top Ten favorite albums and singles from American Idol alumni.

Albums

  1. Kelly Clarkson — Breakaway
  2. Daughtry — Daughtry
  3. Carrie Underwood — Some Hearts
  4. Elliott Yamin — Elliott Yamin
  5. Carrie Underwood — Blown Away
  6. Blake Lewis — Audio Day Dream
  7. Jordin Sparks — Battlefield
  8. Kimberley Locke — Based on a True Story
  9. Kelly Clarkson — Stronger
  10. Dreamgirls Soundtrack

Honorable Mention

Daughtry — Leave This Town
David Cook — David Cook

Best Singles by AI Alumni

  1. Kelly Clarkson — Since U Been Gone
  2. Adam Lambert — Whataya Want from Me
  3. Carrie Underwood — Before He Cheats
  4. Kelly Clarkson — Miss Independent
  5. Carrie Underwood — Last Name
  6. Daughtry — Home
  7. Fantasia — I Believe
  8. Jordin Spark — No Air (w/ Chris Brown)
  9. Kimberley Locke — 8th World Wonder
  10. Clay Aiken — Invisible
  11. Elliott Yamin — Wait for You
  12. Phillip Phillips — Home

 Best Overlooked Idol Tracks

  1. Blake Lewis — Gots to Get Her
  2. David Cook — Time of Your Life/Paper Heart
  3. Adam Lambert — No Boundaries
  4. Kris Allen — Live Like We’re Dying
  5. Kimberley Locke — Change
  6. Mandisa — True Beauty
  7. Katharine McPhee — Home
  8. Josh Gracin — I Want to Live
  9. Bo Bice — Inside You Heaven
  10. Jennifer Hudson — You Pulled Me Through
  11. Scotty McCreery — Walk in the Country

Idols have touched us on screens big and small…. Movies and TV. Plus on Broadway too.

One of the things I loved about this show was that it took a nobody and made them a star. It presented you with regular people that were striving for their dreams — and that is something that everyone can relate to.

So that’s my list. Be sure to check out the songs and albums from some of my favorite American Idols. I am sure we will be enjoying their music for many years to come.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Who Will Be the Final American Idol?

One of my all-time favorite shows — American Idol — is coming to an end this season, after 15 seasons. The show debuted back in June 2002 on the Fox Network. It soon became a cultural phenomenon and launched the careers of superstars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry and more. It changed the face of television and shook up the music industry too. So who is going to be the final American Idol? Read on for my picks from 8 to 1:download

8. Lee Jean. This kid is so out of his element. He wants to be the black Ed Sheeran, and he doesn’t have a chance.

7. Avalon Young. The tom-boy girl with the soulful voice. She is not very consistent of a performer.

6. MacKenzie Bourg. Cute, nerdy white boy who plays guitar. He seems very sincere… but ultimately very forgettable. They have had too many of this type already on this show.

5. Tristan McIntosh. She wants to be a black woman in country. More talent than Lee, but she is so young and doesn’t have control of her voice or a clear idea of who she is as an artist.

4. Sonika Vaid. She’s got looks and a voice — this girl is a real contender. But I don’t know she is sure of her of her musical path yet.

3. Dalton Rapattoni. The cute guy with the guyliner — He looks like the lost member of 5 Seconds of Summer. He’s shown quite a wide variety in his song choices.

2. Trent Harmon. He’s cute, and a bit quirky too. But he’s got a distinctive voice and that should take him far.

  1. La’Porsha Renae. The big girl with the big voice. This girl literally could blow all the other contestants away, and she does week in, week out. I think we have found our next superstar.

So those are my predictions. I have predicted most of the seasons correctly. I really hope that her album is great and she has a long career. The next big question is — how long till the re-boot? I am predicting that it will happen in the next 5-10 years.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Who Will Win American Idol 2015?

I have watched American Idol since season one. It is the best singing competition show on TV. Their ad campaign has said it all: we make superstars. With all the platinum records, online downloads, concert tickets sold, and major industry awards like the Grammys — this is the only show can boast about their track record. Even “The X Factor” has produced bigger stars than “The Voice” ever has. So who has what it takes to win it all this season? Read on for my list — from least likely to most likely — to win and be crowned the next American Idol.American Idol Season 14

7. Rayvon Owens (Richmond, VA; 23) — He is very soulful and reminds me of John Legend or Ne-Yo. Negative is his reliance on his falsetto, which he isn’t always good with. He’s been in the bottom a few times, so he is not connecting with the audience.

6. Joey Cook
(Woodbridge, VA; 23) — The kooky girl with the retro looks and little instruments (squeeze box or ukelele) is a bit too quirky for her own good if you ask me. Her interpretations have been interesting at times, but can’t see how she fits in today’s music scene.

5. Tyanna Jones (Jacksonville, FL; 17) — This young lady is definitely a powerhouse vocalist, with one of the strongest and biggest voices in the competition. She seems comfortable on stage. Hopefully she picks good songs for herself, and has self confidence too.

4. Jax (East Brunswick, NJ; 18) — This smoky voiced single named young lady definitely has star appeal. How far she can go with it, I am not sure. Her take on “Poker Face” by Lady GaGa was horrible, so she’s still finding her sound.

3. Clark Beckham (White House, TN; 22) — Clark is going for the white boy soul of a Darryl Hall, but reality is he is a bit overrated for me. He can be a bit over the top for me with his vocals. He thinks he’s better than he actually is.

2. Quentin Alexander (New Orleans, LA; 20) — This guy is a refreshing change from a lot of the singers in the competition. This guy is a real artiste— with his love of fashion and unconventional looks (afro, African jewelry), plus his unique interpretations of his song choices. He reminds me of Prince or Terence Trent D’Arby.

1. Nick Fradiani (Gulford, CT; 29) — This handsome singer/songwriter is a working musician whose stage presence shows all of his experience playing gigs. He looks like a lost cousin of the “Jersey Shore” gang, and has a voice that has echoes of Chris Daughtry. Plus he’s been consistent throughout the competition.

So those are my predictions. I predicted the last 2 winners, but missed it with Phillip Phillips. Do you think I got it right? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Who Will Win American Idol 2014?

The latest season of American Idol (Season 13) will be winding down in a few weeks. This season’s ratings have been down, and people are saying that the contestants are boring. There are rumors about changes in store for Season 14 — a shorter season and only 1 night per week. I am not in favor of either change. I like the fact that get to see your favorites so many times (over so many weeks), versus a show like ‘The Voice”.AMERICAN_IDOL_XIII_TOP_13

As a long-time AI watcher, I can’t say I liked the new Rush Week. I thought it was horrible that they eliminated people before they even hit the stage… especially when some of the ones that got picked, didn’t rise to the occasion. I am sure we would have had a different Top 13, if those other people had been given the chance to sing.

And now this week, the judges used their save for Sam Woolf. He seems like a nice kid, decent voice, a little cute — but there is no way this kid can win. So I think this particular save was wasted. I don’t see him lasting much longer.

Anyways, back to the competition… who do I think will rise to be crowned the champion this season? Read my thoughts on the contestants below:

8. CJ Harris — This singer from Jasper, AL wants to be the next Darius Rucker. He sings country, blues and rock. His performances have been a bit uneven.

7. Sam Woolf — This singer from Bradenton, FL has the teen girl vote in his pocket. He has a decent voice, and plays the guitar. He needs more confidence in his talent.

6. Jessica Meuse — This singer from Slapout, AL is a singer-songwriter with a Sheryl Crow vibe. She also plays guitar. She has a streak of pink hair (which didn’t help Nikki McKibbin in Season 1). Very uneven also. She was good this past week on the 4/2/14 episode, so who knows… she could stay longer.

5. Malaya Watson — This singer from Southfield, MI has one of the biggest voices in the competition. She has tackled soul, gospel and pop. She is a fan of Jennifer Hudson and Bruno Mars.

4. Dexter Roberts — This singer from Fayette, AL wants to be the next Jason Aldean. He is another contestant that favors country rock. He is a good singer, buts needs to make the songs his own versus doing good karaoke versions.

3. Alex Preston — This singer from Mount Vernon, NH has become known for his original arrangements on pop songs. He aims to be a Jason Mraz-type. He is a talented musician who can play many instruments.

2. Jena Irene — This singer from Farmington Hills, MI has a big voice. And a name that doesn’t sound like it’s spelled (she goes by GINA). She likes rock and EDM… artists like Evanescence and Paramore. If she sticks to her styles, she could win it.

1. Caleb Johnson — This rocker from Asheville, NC is a working musician. And it shows! He commands the stage every time on it. He is a bit of a throw-back. But he has the vocal chops and the consistency. I think he will take the crown.

Hopefully Caleb can write his own songs in addition to them hiring some top-notch songwriters and producers for him. I am pulling for him.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

New Year, New Idol?

The 13th season of American Idol will soon be upon us. I have been an Idol watcher since the first season. Yes, it has taken a few hits in recent years in the ratings. The Voice has emerged as the #1 singing competition show on television. Plus there has been drama in front of camera (fighting or lack of chemistry with judges panel) and behind the scenes with the show (change of executive producer; lame theme nights) too. Not to mention a few too many years of white guys with guitars winning the show also. But you know what? Idol is still the best at what it does. And that is — it makes stars. I think it says a lot that NBC chose an American Idol winner to headline “The Sound of Music — Live”. They could have cast someone from “The Voice”, but they needed a superstar and that show has not produced one yet. Same for “The X Factor” too (at least the US version).American Idol

The drama with the judges panel should be over now. This season will have Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Keith is back for a 2nd season, and J Lo. is on season 3 (non-consecutive). Harry is new to the panel but not new to Idol. He has served as a mentor before. Not crazy about the idea of Randy Jackson replacing Jimmy Iovine as the consultant w/ the contestants. But we’ll see. Jimmy has been the voice of reason for the last few seasons, so I am sorry to see him go.

As for the contestants themselves, I think last season’s winner (Candice Glover) was the best winner they have had in a long time. She is an amazing singer. And I am glad that she is taking her time with her album. It was supposed to come out last July, only 2 months after winning. Instead it will come out in February 2014. She is definitely a star, and I hope that she gets the material she deserves.

As for the show itself, I hope that there are a few changes in store. Let the talent speak for itself! Last season it seems like the contestants were tilted in favor of the women. I had a hard time believing that the Top Ten guys were the best they saw. Why not let the viewers see more of the Hollywood Week? Sometimes the producers have followed people because they have an interesting story… not because they are the best vocalists. Does a person have to have suffered and struggled to make them relatable? I don’t think so… as long as they are humble.

I think it is nice that they have allowed the contestants to play their instruments in the competition. How about letting them play more of their original songs if they have them? What about having a songwriting session with some top songwriters? Maybe nothing would come of it — but then again maybe there could be a hit there.

As for the theme weeks, I say OK as long as it allows the singer to stay within their genre. Sure, it is nice to say a person can sing rock, pop, country, R&B and more. But most artists know what suits them best. And if your style is country, you should not have to sing a Michael Jackson or Queen song just because that is the theme that week. So keep “Songs from the Year You Were Born” and “Billboard Hot 100 Songs” but ditch the aforementioned Queen and Beatles weeks. How about “Songs That Should Have Been Hits” or  “Love Songs” week? I liked the idea of “One Hit Wonders” but the way it happened last time, it was a bunch of songs that had been remade over and over (yes, the were big hits, but I was thinking more of like “Take on Me” by a-ha than what we ended up with).

Cutting the results show down to half an hour makes sense. It is usually just a bunch of filler and than 5 minutes of results. I do like seeing all the old Idol alumni come back and perform. And I guess I am the only one who likes to see the group numbers. I could do without the Coke commercials and what the contestants think about each other. Or what it is like living at the Idol house.

So I hope you will join me for another season of the best singing competition show on television. All of the music sales, #1 hits, accolades, and awards speak for themselves. This is where superstars are born!

 KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Let’s Fix American Idol

I am a bit of an American Idol fanatic. Season 11 just finished and the winner was Phillip Phillips. Not my choice at all. I wanted Jessica or Skylar to win it. The boy has some talent, but I have had it with WGWG (white guys with guitars) winning. Richard Rushfield, author of the book American Idol: The Untold Story, said, “You have this alliance between young girls and grandmas and they see it, not necessarily as a contest to create a pop star competing on the contemporary radio, but as…who’s the nicest guy in a popularity contest.” So here are my suggestions for how to fix the show for Season 12:American Idol

  1. An all-woman season
    After having a male winner for the past 5 seasons, it is time to do something to guarantee a female winner. How about a season of all females? This has not been done before. Considering the wide variety of styles that could be showcased (country, pop, R&B, jazz, rock, singer-songwriter), I would definitely tune in to see this.
  2. An all-star season
    Heard from Ruben Studdard lately? He was great on the season he won… and his career never lived up to his promise. I heard a song from David Cook recently in a store, and he is good too. What about Melinda Doolittle, a favorite from season six? Past winners, or finalists whose career never reached the heights they should have could return, and have a second chance at stardom. (more…)

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: