Wednesday, February 29, 2012


American Idol, Season 11 TOP 12 Guys
The TOP 12+1 Boys performed last night LIVE on the Idol stage, getting to choose any song they wanted to perform....and there were some very good and very bad performances. As I predicted, the 'additional' 13th guy added to the field was Jermaine Jones, 'The Gentle Giant'....way to go Idol, and more on him later. There was also confirmation that each judge will get a 'wild-card' pick later this week, leaving us with a TOP 13 FINALISTS on Thursday night for the second straight year on IDOL.

So, without further ado, here's Eddie's grades and thoughts on which guys DESERVE to move on......
Joshua Ledet

BEST OF THE NIGHT.....Joshua Ledet....sang Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through"....hands down without question, the best vocal of the night. Incredible performance, and that my friends, is what singing is all about! GRADE: A+...easily makes the FINAL 13 whether America agrees or not!

BEST of the REST:
Colton Dixon....sang "Decode" by Paramore....have to admit I did NOT know the song and was not familiar with it, but I'll give him props for an energetic performance and stepping away from the piano. I saw sjhades of David Cook, Adam Lambert and James Durbin here.....all good company....GRADE: B+

Creighton Fraker......chooses to sin the 1986 Cydi Lauper hit "True Colors" and although a very curious and ballsy song choice, performs it very well. Lost in this stellar performance was all the talk from the judges about how so many great male voices will be lost after one performance.....let's hope Creighton is NOT one of them. GRADE: A.....though I doubt America agrees with me!
Phillip Phillips....sings "In The Air Tonight" and of course he has his guitar and makes the song his own....with little emotion....reminds me a lot of Season 9 winner Lee Dewyze...remember him? Yeah....sure you do....and he's not selling any records! I'm not in love with this kid like J-Lo is, but this was probably good enough to get him into the Finals without a doubt....GRADE: B
Chase boy from WV (I won't hold it against him that he attends school at Marshall) who chooses "Storm Warning" and pretty much nails it. Great stage presence, good looking kid, who has had little face time so far. Only reason I can think is that Idol does not want another country boy winning it this year, but who knows.....GRADE: B
Adam Brock....Mr. 'White Chocolate' from Washington, PA (my home of 15+ years) sings an Aretha Franklin hit "Think", and overall, does a pretty good rendition with some lively stage presence. Not sure he'll make it to the Finals or not, but he's in the running....GRADE: B
Jermaine Jones......Mr. 'Lucky 13', the Gentle Giant picks an excellent song choice, performing Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father", and after a shaky opening, recovers nicely and does a pretty solid rendition. Not sure he'll make it to the next round, but I can't help but pull for this big, lovable guy! : GRADE: B-
Jeremy Rosado....sings a Sara Bareillis hit "Gravity".....what is it with all these guys wanting to do chick songs? GEEZ! I just don't get it, and for me, it was just OK.....nothing great, but certainly not the worst of the night. Nice kid though, but he'll need help to get through to the Finals...GRADE: C+
Aaron Marcellus.....sings a MJ song "Never Can Say Goodbye" and after a shaky start, recovers nicely and does and adequate, but not great, job with it overall...probably a one-and-done performance here...GRADE: C
Reed Grimm.....a 'Casey Abrams wanna-be' performs a jazzy version of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger"......thought it was weak and all over the place, and enough with the drums already, he can't play them as good as he thinks he can....might get America's votes, but not mine....GRADE: C-
Eben Franckewitz.....horrible song choice with Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain"....was there any guidance at all on Idol to tell this 15 year old kid he doesn't have the chops to sing an Adele song? Very poor performance, and even though his mom's a WVU grad and he loves WVU football, I gotta send him packing back to Ohio....GRADE: D+
Deandre Brackensick.....sings EW+F's "Reasons" and it was just too much falsetto for me with nothing else to back it up! I didn't care for it at all....sorry....the teenie-bopper girls may vote him to the next round, but 'hair-boy' is NOT TOP 13 material....he needs to take his curling iron and head back to San Diego...GRADE: D
Heejun Hun......sings "Angels"......and I was praying to the angels for him to stop was a train wreck. I'm sorry, but why is this kid even in the TOP 25? Seriously....this is what just enrages me about Idol. Send Heejun Home......PLEASE! GRADE: D-.....slightly pushing to an F!

So....not that I think America will agree with me based on their voting last night, but Eddie's TOP 5 Guys would be: Joshua Ledet, Colton Dixon, Creighton Fraker, Phillip Phillips and Chaise Likens
Wild Card Possibilities: Adam Brock, Jermaine Jones or Jeremy Rosado
Who Will America Probably Pick? Eben Franckewitz, Heejun Hun, Reed Grimm, Phillip Phillips and Colton Dixon.....with one of the the judges forced to pick Josh Ledet as a  on Thursday night.
Personally, I think the TOP 12 Girls are much more diverse and stronger than the guys this year, so we should see a much better 2-hour show tonight, at least that's what I'm hoping for anyway.
Stay tuned.....more from Eddie Idol.......after the girls perform LIVE tonight on FOX!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Last week Idol unveiled the 'Official' TOP 24, which matched my TOP 24 spoiler list sent out two weeks ago, and there was ONLY one added surprise....the judges felt compelled to adding a 13th guy to the competition. So, we'll really have a TOP 25! It will be announced tomorrow night as the 13 Boys Semifinalists perform, and it will be one of these 4 guys that get added: Jermaine Jones, Richie Lawson, David Leathers Jr. or Johnny Keyser. My bet.....Jermaine Jones......just because his exit was so emotional. For the love of God, please Idol, do not let it be Richie Lawson, I can't take one more performance from him and then have to listen to his moth and all that arrogance.

Are you ready for three straight nights and 6 hours of Idol on FOX this week? Get those DVR's set! On Tuesday, the TOP 13 Boys Semifinalists perform from 8-10PM......On Wednesday, the TOP 12 Girl Semifinalists perform from 8-10pm.....and on Thursday, the results are in and the TOP 12 Finalists are announced! Song selection is going to be VERY important, as the singers will have ONLY one chance to connect with a song and make that song connect with the home audience. If they succeed, they'll hopefully make the final TOP 12. If they fail, they'll be going home....a one and done performance opportunity, so lots of pressure. There will also be a 'Wild Card' round with each judge selecting their 'Wild Card' choices, adding to the TOP 12 Finalists. More to come on that and much more as I'll be blogging each of the next few days until we get the stay tuned for a fun and exciting week on IDOL!

In other Idol Alumni news........
Haley Reinhart performed her new single, Free, during a live performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood last week. She sounds great! The American Idol Season 10 finalist's performance was part of a showcase for Los Angeles radio station KBIG-FM. Free is set for a March release.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

IDOL UPDATES: TOP 24 WEEK IS UPON US....FINALLY! though I 'leaked' the Season 11 TOP 24 'Spoiler List' over a week ago, the 'official' TOP 24 will be unveiled this week on Idol. After cutting the field to 70 on last Wednesday's episode, Idol then took the remaining contestants to the Aria in Las Vegas and had them sing material from the '50s and early '60s. By the end of the night, we got a good look at many of the 42 singers who remained at the end of the experience. Those 42, which is really supposed to be the 'TOP 40', will compete this week with the TOP 24 chosen (FINALLY!) and announced on both Wednesday (2 hours, from 8-10pm) and Thursday night's (1 hour, 8-9pm) episodes.
Some additional thoughts and comments from last week's elimination shows, for those remaining in the TOP 40 (OK....42!) that will make up this year's TOP 24.......first, the Guys.....
  • Joshua Ledet.....pretty solid rendition of 'Jar of Hearts', not an easy song at all for a guy to do.....I was impressed to say the least!
  • Colton Dixon.....maybe it's the kids hair, but there's just something about this kid that's dark and scary for me.
  • Phillip Phillips.....definitely the most unique and intriguing voice, and the teeny-bopper girls will vote enough to keep him in until the Top 8 or 10, but that's it.
  • Creighton Fraker.....he's pretty good, but not good enough to win it and not a front-runner for the guys
  • Reed Grimm.....the 'Casey-Abrams wanna-be'.....and I coined that BEFORE Randy'll either love him or hate him....he's quirky and cool all at the same time....he'll go far if he calms down the personality a bit and acts more mature.
  • Adam Brock....self described as 'White Chocolate'....this guy can sing! He did a crazy good rendition of 'Georgia On My Mind'......and i Vegas, played piano and sang lead for his group with 'Great Balls of Fire'....I hope he goes far, and I think he will.
  • Deandre Brackensick.....first time I heard this kid was in Vegas.....'Hairboy' is a cool singer with an icredible falsetto that had the judges shaking their heads. He'll go far!
  • Chase Likens.....can't forget this kid from Point Pleasant, WV....he certainly was impressive in Vegas, nice range and melody, and has a shot to go deep in the competition as well.
And as for the Gals side of things.......
  • Jen Hirsh.....found out that she works for a winery in CA, so it's no wonder I like her! She has pone of the best voices on the ladies side, and will be a threat to go deep in the competition.
  • Shannon Magrane.....dare I say this, but she reminds me of a young Katherine McPhee! This girl just turned 16, but carries herself in a way more mature manner than that, and has a great voice. She'll go deep!
  • Skylar Laine......a young Reba McIntyre wanna-be....sings rather sassy and is probably better at this stage of the competition than Laren Alaina was last year, so who knows, she could go far, but my bet is she bows out early.
  • Haley Johnson......I still haven't seen or heard enough of her, other than what is on YouTube, so I'll reserve any critical judgement here....what I have seen shows that she is very talented and could surprise.
  • Elise Testone....from what I've seen, I don't think she's got the 'wow' factor to hang in very long with the other ladies, she's just not that strong vocally.
  • Jessica Sanchez.......very impressed with what I've heard from her, and it's amazing as small as she is that she sings with such a big voice. She'll go deep in the competition.
  • Hallie Day......saved the BEST for last here.....I think she's the one to beat on the ladies side of things, and she's my top choice so far from all I've seen and heard.
I'm sure I'll have more comments on some of these folks and others that make up the TOP 24 after the next few nights and before the Season 11 LIVE shows start up in March, so stay tuned for more Eddie Idol updates coming soon! other BIG Idol Alumni News.............
Adam Lambert with Queen
Adam Lambert will front the band Queen at England's Sonisphere Festival on July 7.
Queen will headline the second day of Sonisphere. The festival takes place at Knebworth Park, the site of the band's final concert with lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1986.
Adam sang We Are the Champions with Queen during the 2009 American Idol finale and also performed with the band last year at the MTV Europe Awards. This should be an awesome show!

    Sunday, February 12, 2012


    In case some of you may be wondering why I've been ABSENT from any Idol posts of late, it's because basically I feel Idol has truly lost it's edge and is becoming a rather irrelevant player in the search for talent on prime time TV. This past week's two shows from the hyped up 'Hollywood Week' were just pathetic. Instead of focusing on some amazing talent from the 300+ contestants that were in Hollywood, we were treated to who was ill, who was going to be sick next, who was falling off the stage, and which zany contestants couldn't find the right group on group night. Thursday's 'Group Night' one hour show from Hollywood may have been the WORST Idol has ever aired on Fox TV. Instead of Hollywood Week, Idol should re-name it 'HELL-WEEK', because it's been pure hell to watch it for the millions of viewers that turned it on.   So......because I'm getting tired of wasting my time watching the folks at IDOL and FOX painfully pair down contestants to get to the TOP 24, I've spent time looking for and finding a full Season 11 'SPOILER LIST' of the Top click out of this now or don't read any further here if you don't want to know, otherwise......this posting will serve as the official TOP 24 list, unless there are surprises, contestants kicked off, or other 'last-minute' updates.....drum roll please.........

    TOP 12 GUYS w/Audition City shown
    Adam Brock (Pittsburgh).....from Washington, PA where I lived for 15+ years, so I'm pulling for this guy, and gives me more added enthusiasm to continue to watch the show now! Self described as a "large black woman trapped inside a 27-year-old man's body."
    Reed Grimm (Pittsburgh) of the quirkiest and oddest contestants, odd enough to possibly go deep, another Casey Abrams wanna-be
    Deandre Brackensick (San Diego) name for me, know nothing about this guy.....hopefully Idol will feature him this week
    **Creighton Fraker (Pittsburgh).....starving artist from Queens, NY who auditioned by writing his own song on the bus ride to Pittsburgh. J-Lo says he sounds like Justin Timberlake
    Colton Dixon (Savannah)........made it thru and his sister didn't, even though she wanted it badly and he wasn't even supposed to audition.....sorry, I'm not a big fan of this kid.
    Joshua Ledet (Houston)........know nothing of this guy at all.....hoping he gets face time soon.
    **Eben Franckewitz (Pittsburgh)........the kid who loves WVU from OH......pulling for him too, and hoping to find out more of the WVU connections story, even though he looks like a Justin Beiber wanna'-be
    Heejun Han (Pittsburgh)......another validation here just how silly and stupid Idol can reason to continue to hate the show for picking contestants like this to get this far.
    **Phillip Phillips (Savannah)......talented kid and 'ya gotta love his name.....thought he was a lock for the TOP 24 from the start
    Jeremy Rosado (Savannah)......5th time he auditioned for Idol. Believe me, this guy won't go far at all!
    Aaron Sanders (Pittsburgh).....3rd time on Idol....was on in Season 7 and 10, but never made it to the TOP 24.....I think he screams too much when he sings....we'll see.
    Chase Likens (Pittsburgh)........20 year-old kid from Point Pleasant, WV who tried out for Idol in Season 10 as well. I didn't think this kid would make it this far, but he's a WV boy, so I'm glad he did! :)

    TOP 12 GIRLS w/Audition City shown
    Hollie Cavanaugh (Houston).....18 year old from Liverpool who tried out for Idol last year. J-LO likes her and thinks she's got a chance to win it.
    **Baylie Brown (Houston)......part of Idol in Season 6 and was cut after group night after she forgot the words to a song. She's got the name and the looks, not sure she has the pipes to go very far.
    Jen Hirsh (Houston).......Auditioned in Season 10 and made it to Hollywood, no farther. This time she's in the TOP 24 and has a great voice with nice range and melody.
    Chelsea Sorell (Savannah).....another contestant who participated in Season 10. haven't heard her sing yet, so not sure of her talent at this point.
    **Hallie Day (Pittsburgh)........knew this girl was a Top 24 lock. She's 24 years old, was in a band at 15 called Plum Crazy....very strong voice and will be one of the favorites on the ladies side to win it all.
    Elise Testone (Savannah).....supposedly the judges like her, but the little bit I've seen and heard her, don't think she's got the talent or voice to go very far
    **Erika Van Pelt (Pittsburgh)......the 25 year old mobile DJ and wedding singer from RI....she's very good, and will be one of the favorites to win for the ladies along with Hallie Day and Shannon Magraine. 
    Jessica Sanchez (San Diego)......this girl was a semi-finalist on 'America's Got Talent' at age 9 and has a great voice, could be a dark hose for the gals.
    Haley Johnson (Portland)......pretty blond haired girl who plays guitar and has a really nice voice. One to watch here!
    **Shannon Magrane (Savannah)........15-year old daughter of former Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane who doses not look or sound like she's 15 at all. She'll be an early favorite on the gals side.
    Brielle Von Hugel (Savannah)
    Skylar Laine (Houston) first, I didn't think this girl had the chops to make it, but her she is. She's a country girl who writes her own songs and has been compared to Miranda Lambert.....another dark horse here to keep an eye on!
    ** I had 7 of the TOP 24 picked through all of the 7 Auditions making it this far. Not great, but not bad either considering the few contestants we actually got to see and hear each week!

    Breaking down the Audition City Winners from the TOP 24 List, Pittsburgh, with 9 contestants in the TOP 24, is the clear winner, with Savannah (7 contestants) not far behind, then Houston (5 contestants), San Diego (2 contestants), and Portland (1 contestant).

    I'll add more comments and specific info. for the 'unofficial' TOP 24 contestants after I get to see and hear them more over the next few weeks, until we get the 'OFFICIAL' announcement on the TOP 24 list from FOX and the AI folks.
    More to follow this week after two more episodes of 'Hollywood Hell Week'....until then, Eddie Idol is OUT!

    Sunday, February 5, 2012


    St. Louis hosted the LAST of the Idol auditions and officially became the 'gateway to the west' as Idol heads to Hollywood this week for the first of three Hollywood Round shows. In all, 46 Golden Tickets were handed out in St. Louis, making the grand total headed to Hollywood after 7 auditions to 300 contestants that will vie for the coveted FINAL TOP 24!  Some of the BEST from St. Louis are as follows.......
    • Johnny Keyser, 22 years old, Pompano Beach, FL.......sings a soulful version of a Sam Cooke song and the judges loved him.....he's eye candy for the ladies, and odds are he'll make the TOP 24!
    • Rachelle Lamb, 26 years old, Mountain View, MO....another divorced mom chasing a singing career....really?....not like we haven't heard this before...she sings OK but she should have been more worried about her own performance than her daughter who was on stage with her. Don't think she'll make it through Hollywood....
    • Reis Kloeckener, 20 years old, St. Louis, MO......bullied as a kid through high school....sings "Lean On Me".....I didn't care for it at all, but he gets a ticket....doubtful that he gets too far in Hollywood.
    •  Ethan Jones, 22 years old, Pontoon Beach, FL......played with his dad in a band, but the dad is now going through alcohol and drug rehab....sings with a raspy tone, and sings boy with some soul, so keep an eye on him in Hollywood Week.
    • Lauren Gray, 22 years old,  Hardy, owns a one-stop wedding shop and dad has a southern rock band she sings in.....covers Adele's 'One and Only' and sings it pretty well, but shrieks and screams too....really is all over the place with it...I don't think she gets through Hollywood.
    So, with all the auditions behind them, IDOL will have over 300 heading to Hollywood for three rounds of competition and a special 'performance challenge' show as well that will eventually unveil the TOP 24. 
    Until the next Idol Show, enjoy one of the most amazing voices to ever come from the IDOL stages in Katherine McPhee (runner-up to Taylor Hicks in Season 5), as she stars in the NBC debut of 'SMASH' take a peak ..........can't wait to see it!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012


    FINALLY!! After several 'boring' auditions of weak talent at best, we finally got to see some talented contestants in Idol's Season 11, Audition #6 from Portland, OR....YEAH! :-) In all, there were 45 Golden Tickets handed out, and of those that we got to see perform, here's my thoughts on some of the BEST talent so far in Season 11.......
    • Brittany Zika, 21, Portland, OR......nerdy looking girl with BIG glasses who I thought for sure would be a train wreck, but she sings very well and as odd as she may be, think she's pretty talented, but not good enough for the TOP 24!
    • Jermaine Jones, 24, Pine Hill, NJ.....grew up singing in church with his mom, a BIG boy, 6' 8" tall, the 'Gentle Giant' as J-Lo nicknamed him. Has a lisp that isn't noticeable when he sings, and he gets a ticket, but I don't think he'll last long in Hollywood Week (HWW)
    Britnee Kellogg, 27, Vancouver, WA..........good looking girl with two young kids and a great family supporting her....she cries to begin her audition because she was dumped by her ex who wanted to pursue a career in basketball and chase other women....she dedicates "You're No Good" for him and sings it VERY well. Ths girl has a great voice and is one to keep an eye on in Hollywood! Best female voice I've heard yet in the competition, possibly TOP 24 worthy?
    • Romeo Diahn, 22, Portland, OR......grew up in Liberia until his father & the family immigrated to the U.S. for a better lifestyle......not worthy of a ticket to Hollywood, but he gets one anyway...he has NO chance to advance past HWW and will quickly be gone.
    • Naomi Gillies, 22, Boston MA.....auditions with an Aerosmith song, “Cryin'”, and she's sings it really well! This girl has the 'IT' factor, & may be better than Britnee Kellogg....she's very talented, and I think has a great shot at the TOP 24, so watch her closely in Hollywood! 
    • Jessica Phillips, 25, Brooklyn, NY.....last contestant, a tear-jerker segment.....Idol has her tell her story of  how her boyfriend of five years (they met through music) suffered a major stroke, woke up after a month long stay in the hospital and didn’t know who she was....she is now his caretaker....she's got an OK voice, and I wish her well, but she's nowhere near the other talented gals from Portland, and I doubt she makes it thru HWW
    • OK, so......that's a wrap from Portland, OR where the girls definitely stole the show for sure!'s on to the LAST of the 7 Auditions as Idol heads to the 'Gateway to the West', St. Louis, MO. We'll also get to see some pre-Super Bowl Madonna as Idol will unveil her new video tonight for "Give Me All Your Luvin'". Until the last audition ends, Eddie Idol is......OUT!