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  1. My boyfriend and I went to Vasi’s in Waterbury today. That was the one where the mom invested a quarter of a million dollars into it. The dining room is really beautiful with the Mediterranean and Greek decor and it has a nice atmosphere with light music playing. My boyfriend and I both loved the food! We got a free appetizer of chick peas and pita bread, which was really good, then we decided to try the meatball appetizer. It was 2 giant meatballs served in marinara sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. We both loved it and thought they were some of the best meatballs we’d ever tasted. Our entrees included soup and salad, my BF got a standard Caesar salad and I had this chicken and rice soup with a creamy lemon sauce, it was delicious! For entrees my BF got cavatelli with sausage and broccoli, I got chicken parm. My BF really liked his. The chicken parm was quite standard. I didn’t eat much of it because I was pretty full by then (we took home the leftovers) but we saved room for dessert - we shared a strawberry gelato which came with almond cookies. Our waitress was also excellent and she even offered to take our picture together. We also saw Vasi himself briefly and he asked how everything was, though this was before we got our meals. We mentioned to the waitress we had seen the show and we rewatched the episode after but I don’t think she was in it. Vasi’s is on the pricey side but I highly recommend it for a special occasion and if you’re in the area sometime. The meatball appetizer in particular was a hit with us. The food and service were both excellent.
  2. I found it irritating how when the chefs were making the new food just before they opened, Peter clearly said they were going to get it ready in 5 minutes, Gordon said get it to me in 4, then he complained nothing was cooked right.... No kidding, dumbass! I also hate how Gordon has to always go for the gross-out in each kitchen... I get it's part of the entertainment value but the cooks were clearly telling him it was making them sick to smell/hear/look at that rotten food and he's there making them smell it and squeezing out the slime... like stop dude. You've made your point! And no one was saying anything when he asked 'cause they were all trying not to throw up.... My boyfriend and I watch the show together and we live in CT, so it was cool to see 2 restaurants featured. We decided to try Vassi's from the previous episode and we're going Valentine's weekend.
  3. Carrie is considered to be the most successful winner.
  4. So happy Maddie won! She was the most deserving this season, she’s been the most consistent. She never had a misstep or bad performance or bad song choice. The results were exactly on point with Gabby getting third. Surprised but not shocked about Caleb and Maddie dating (heard rumors of it on here before). They both seem really sweet and it was nice they made the top 2 together. So happy a girl finally won (without producers stacking the deck like season 12) and somehow beating the male country WGWG vote. Hopefully Hollywood Records does right by Maddie and makes some effort to make her a success. By the way how cute was it that she had all the top 14 sing with her at the end?
  5. I thought it was interesting that they made it a point to mention Maddie had a crowd of 10,000 at her concert but didn't give numbers for the other 2. Typically big cities don't care much about Idol contestants and the small towns get a bigger turn out. So I could see Gabby's easily having been smaller. I have thought similarly about Gabby as well, that I think she has potential and could be ready in a few years. She needs to figure out who she is as an artist and find her own voice and identity. Some time to mature may help her also grow out of that swelled head she currently has.
  6. My overall thoughts are that it was a really underwhelming night across the board, though I think Maddie easily performed the best. I will be shocked if she doesn't win. Caleb - His first song was a clunker, I wasn't a big fan of the studio version but I think it translates a little bit better live. But he definitely wasn't comfortable. Second song was a little better but another slow, boring country ballad that was similar. He redeemed himself with Johnny Cash. But honestly it doesn't matter how well he performed or not because male country vote. Gabby - Thought she performed the worst of everyone tonight. Her worst showing all season actually. The first song was alright, I actually like it and purchased it on iTunes, but it does not translate live well at all and I think the judges were hinting at that. The Miranda Lambert song was a terrible vocal and she made a mistake wearing those boots, as they really constricted her movement. The first time she performed that song she at least had a lot more energy. The Journey song was a dumb choice and she sounded awful. Having Steve Perry in the audience to give an undeserved tongue bath over it was new levels of obnoxious manipulation. Mark my words she gets 3rd place. Her fans will vote for her no matter what, but I can't see any casual fans voting for her after 3 god awful performances. They were all different genres as well which doesn't give a clear vision of who she is as an artist. Maddie - Out of the first round, she easily did the best but no one really did well with the originals. Honestly if they let the contestants write their own songs they'd probably perform them better instead of these crappy rejects they get. Case in point with her second song where she actually performed a song she wrote herself. It was a risk to do another original but I think it was smart, as it gave her a chance to show her real artistry. It was better than her actual single. And she won the night with Landslide, a pretty strong ending to the season (at least it didn't end with Gabby's screaming mess). The random contestants showing up in the middle to sing originals was weird, but appreciate the attempt to let them showcase their writing. Only Harper and Catie had good songs though. Jonny's was a bit boring and Michelle's was not only badly written, but terribly sung as well. They should have just given more time to Harper and Catie. As I said, it doesn't matter how any of them performed as everyone has their favorites at this point and vote regardless of performance. But I think casuals will get on board for Maddie, especially since she performed last. Country fans are probably more likely to give votes to Caleb since all 3 of his songs fit that wheelhouse. Gabby was too all over the place with her song choices and every single song was upbeat, there was never a tender, emotional moment like Caleb and Maddie had. My prediction is Gabby gets third and Caleb and Maddie will battle it out. I will be shocked if Maddie doesn't win but at the same time, I can see Caleb winning due to male country WGWG vote.
  7. Overall I think the contestants did better with the mom songs than Carrie's. Cade - Undo It was pretty terrible. He can never stay with a melody at all. Simple Man was easily his best performance of the season. But he didn't deserve to make the finale, he has not been consistent, his performances were all pretty much the same, and he was easily the worst singer of the bunch. Not to mention he would have zero chance of commercial success if he won. Good riddance, overstayed his welcome and survived over much better singers for weeks. Michael - Flat on the Floor was not as disasterous as I expected, but I think he could have moved around more and gotten more into it. That song needed stank. His mom song was much better, probably his best performance since live rounds began. But I knew he would be gone before he even performed tonight, unfortunately I think the others just had more votes coming in. One thing about Michael is that his enunciation needs a lot of work. He also never demonstrated who he really was as an artist. He was great for the show, but had he won I don't know where he would have gone. I hope he continues after the show and will go do Broadway or something because he overall has something special to offer. Gabby - Two solid performances, but very karaoke. Her high notes are always screechy and shrill. But otherwise her vocals were solid and the performance and energy on Last Name was good. But I just don't like her at all. Her personality seems annoying and arrogant. She comes across as fake and just a really good imitator of everything she sings. She is not original. But if she wins, it would be a welcome change to have a female win for once (without the help of producer manipulation) and she probably has the best shot at commercial success of any of them. Besides that, the contract for winners usually sucks and restricts creative freedom which would be a detriment to Maddie. Caleb - His second song saved him. So Small was really underwhelming, I think it was the key he chose to sing it in. He should have done something like Temporary Home or switch with Maddie and do I Told You So, since it's technically a Randy Travis song. I really loved his second song though. That's his lane. Maddie - Best of the night, easily. And she doesn't have to do glory notes and run all over the stage to be good. I Told You So was fantastic from her, it's funny to me that she did the best with the Carrie theme and that wasn't even a Carrie song. God Only Knows was pretty good as well. Two very solid performances from her, no imitating either. Overall I am satisfied with this top 3. I would have preferred Michael over Gabby. But as long as Caleb and Maddie made it in, that's good enough for me. I think Maddie will probably go out in third. She is probably better off not winning and getting to do her own thing. I could see Caleb winning because historically WGWGs have always won. While I do like him, it would be a bit predictable and not a very exciting winner. He's a lot like Scotty and we already had him as a winner. A country WGWG won last season, even if Trent is a different kind of singer. At least if Gabby wins, a woman can win and as I said before, I think she has the best shot at having any kind of commercial success after the show. It's too bad that I just don't find her likable at all and she has zero originality. Record labels love that though, a blank canvas to mold into whatever they want. Side note: i really hate that Luke keeps dodging opportunities to give critiques. Do the job you are getting paid millions to do. It's really not that freaking hard. I also couldn't stand how the judges insisted they would be harsher tonight but really only Katy delivered any kind of actual criticism. These judges are useless. I'm ok with Katy and Lionel being back next season, but I don't understand why they brought Luke back. He's the most useless judge I've ever seen on any of these shows, including Mariah.
  8. My thoughts on everyone last night: Jurnee - I didn't think much of her Prince performance and her year of birth song was just alright. One thing I have always liked about her though is how effortless her vocals are (*ahem* looking at the try-hard Gabby, which I'll discuss more on her review). Unfortunately I guess her vocals were TOO effortless, as she never really seemed to connect with the audience. I knew since last week she would probably be gone this week. If she can just dig more emotionally into the performances, she could be a star someday. She has the voice and the look, plus a superstar name. Catie - I really enjoyed her rendition of the Britney song. But unfortunately she tanked on Manic Monday and I could tell as soon as she flubbed the words that she never seemed to really recover and lost confidence. I don't know if that was what caused her elimination though. I think if she had the fanbase they wouldn't have cared that she forgot the words. I think a lot of people found her annoying and even though she reportedly had the most social media followers, I don't think that necessarily translated into hardcore voting fans. I think the competition will be a lot less interesting without her. I honestly did not expect her to get eliminated. Cade - Based on who performed best, Cade easily should have been eliminated. He was easily the worst of everyone tonight. His take on the Jewel song wasn't good IMO and it seemed like it had no melody. He can't sing at all and seems to have issues with keeping any kind of pitch. I can only give him credit for attempting to make his own arrangement of that song. And I barely watched his Prince song but I didn't need to, as it was just a very typical Cade performance of growling with some guitar playing. Booorrrinnggg. I'll laugh my ass off if he actually wins because we all know he won't go anywhere in the industry after the show. Also, Katy needs to stop making a fool of herself every time he performs. That got old weeks ago. It's so embarrassing and uncomfortable to watch. Gabby - She gave a competent vocal for I Hope You Dance but she needs to cut out that damn twang. It ruins everything she sings. And I'm of the unpopular opinion that I didn't much care for her Prince song - she was just yelling, not singing. She has a lot of very bad vocal habits, including yelling and pushing her voice in her upper register. She will damage her voice over time if she keeps doing that. Unlike Jurnee, who always sounded effortless and clean when she sang, never needed to push or strain or yell to produce a good sound. I just cannot get behind Gabby, or Cade, for that matter. They are the only 2 I completely dislike that are left and I'm fine with anyone but the 2 of them winning. Unfortunately odds look like it will be one of them. At least Gabby might have a shot at some sort of success after the show, which I can't see happening for Cade. Gabby comes across as very smug and cocky to me. She actually said in an interview that she is her own biggest inspiration to her career *eyeroll* She said in another interview that she can sing as low as Toni Braxton and as high as Mariah. Don't compare yourself to big legends unless you can really deliver on that. The only things I can give her credit for are that she is a good performer and seems the most comfortable onstage. She also sings better when she goes the R&B/gospel route. Next week with Carrie she will be insufferable. It's painfully obvious she is TCO but hopefully that means it'll end up backfiring on them and maybe Maddie or Caleb will sneak up and win. Maddie - Speaking of Maddie, I thought her Nothing Compares 2 U was the best performance of the night. I really enjoyed that and I like how she can make an impactful performance by using the subtleties of her voice instead of yelling and screaming, or putting some kind of affectation on her voice, like Gabby. Her Sheryl Crow song was just alright. Too bad her Prince song couldn't have been at the end. But glad she got through. With Jurnee and Catie gone, Maddie is probably my horse in the race now. Caleb - Amazed was ironically not amazing. It seemed like he had some pitch issues and the performance felt super short. He is lucky he got to close with When Doves Cry. Super different arrangement, but unlike with Cade, it worked. It was a huge risk that paid off for him. He is my second choice to win after Maddie. Michael - I don't think he had great performances tonight. His Prince song was ok and the Titanic song was better, but it's such an iconic song that you really need to do it just as good as the original or better. Hard to top Celine. I think he got lucky this week with Jurnee and Catie doing worse and he will unfortunately probably get eliminated next week, especially since it's Carrie. Predictions for next week: No way will Gabby get eliminated during Carrie week. Cade may be a surprise elimination, don't know what he would sing especially since he doesn't have a good range to sing Carrie. I could see him doing one of her rockier songs or maybe because he's a minister, he'll do Something in the Water. Maddie will also struggle due to the range I think. Unfortunately I see Maddie and Michael getting eliminated, resulting in a Caleb/Cade/Gabby finale. Caleb should do reasonably well with Carrie. Additional thoughts: I thought Nick Jonas was actually a pretty good mentor (better than Bobby Bones a few weeks ago). He had actual good advice for the contestants.
  9. I am a huge Disney nerd so tonight made me very happy! Such a magical evening! And all my favorites got through. I loved just about everything, Katy as Snow White, the intro singing with the contestants, all the Disney magical goodness! Onto the performances... Maddie - I really liked this and think she had one of the best performances of the night. It was a good song choice for her style. The stage designers did a really good job using imagery for everyone's performances tonight, the old timey feel for Maddie's suited the song well. Jurnee - I gotta be honest, I really thought she would be toast tonight but she pulled through. Glad she made it but I fear she will be gone next week. I think the Moana tune was a good emotional choice for her, however not a good song in and of itself. I've never heard it before. Cade - Awful. Easily the worst of the night. At least it was something different from what he normally does but this performance just showed how bad of a singer he truly is. And yet I have no doubt he got the most votes tonight. Ugh. I thought it was funny that they revealed he and Gabby are a thing lol Ada - I think it could have been more powerful in certain parts. Idina gave great advice about using her lower register more. But it just wasn't enough IMO. It just could have been better. Not surprised she was eliminated. Michelle - I actually thought this was easily her best performance to date (not that that's saying much). I thought maybe she'd get through over Jurnee. While she did have a good performance, I think she deserved to go home as I don't think she would be consistently good and otherwise hasn't been good. Gabby - Yuck. Her and Cade are the two I can't stand, I actually like everyone else. Colors of the Wind is such a beautiful song and Gabby was meh. She whispered too much on the verses, she could have tried to be more powerful. And she tried to countrify it. My only hope for Gabby leaving is if America starts to hate her for "stealing" Cade lol Michael - I wasn't a fan of his changes to the melody and phrasing. The stylists also could have found him a better outfit that was more Disney-ish, like WTH was that ugly Christmas sweater mess? What saved him is he has a gorgeous magical tone to his voice and overall I have liked his body of work, so I voted for him. Glad he got through. Caleb - Predictable but appropriate song choice. It was fine, not great. The song kind of just plods along and there's not many standout moments to it. But he could get up to the mic and burp and get voted through. Sweet that he dedicated it to his dog. Catie - Oh my god. Best. Performance. Of. The. Night. SO MAGICAL!!!! I loved it!!!! She was the only one who really embodied the whole Disney/Disney princess theme. I had no idea she could even use her head voice like that!!!! Wow. They should have let her close the show, but I guess it's good she didn't because I don't think she would have had enough time to get votes. I loved the background they used as well. Just Disney perfection. Dennis - After Catie I found this underwhelming. It was a good vocal but I think what really did him in was going last and probably not having enough time to get votes in. The new format kind of sucks for that reason. Oh well. Other thoughts: Katy's antics were a little much tonight, like what was with the drinking out of a shoe thing? And eating an apple instead of giving a critique? I did love her as Snow White though. I liked Idina as the mentor, I'm surprised she didn't perform. The D Cappella group was stupid and pointless, they only sang like 1 line from each song? Overall the night was a success IMO as a I love Disney and I think the results were fair. I think Cade had the worst performance but knew he wouldn't be going anywhere. If I could I would get rid of Cade and Gabby and take Ada and Dennis or even Michelle instead. Oh well. My favorites made it and that's what counts. After the show I had to go to YouTube and watch Catie's again. One of my favorite performances of the whole season.
  10. Finally got to catch up on this, wanted to watch live but had to deal with a big fiasco on the night of! Maddie - Deservedly through to the top 10. Her performance of Homeward Bound the night before was fantastic. She is one of the few contestants in this competition who I think has a very clear vision of who she is as an artist and she demonstrates that in each song she sings. You know exactly what kind of album she would make. Michelle - This is the only choice I don't agree with at all being in the top 10. I would have swapped her for Mara instead. But I can see the appeal from the judges' point of view about her being entertaining. But Michelle just simply is not a strong vocalist. Yes, there's many pop stars today who don't have the best voices and one is sitting on the judging panel. But that doesn't mean we need any more of them. I wasn't that impressed with her original and the whole "I'm proud to be American and I'm a dreamer like you" thing is wearing thin. I honestly wonder if she is afraid of people not voting for her because she's an immigrant. Marcio - Not surprised he was eliminated and not even chosen for a wildcard. He looked defeated as soon as he was given the news. Cade - I'm so bored of him. All his performances are exactly the same damn thing over and over and over again. He does exactly the same thing in each performance like a formula - scream and growl a bunch of tuneless notes, throw in the guitar solo break, return to growling tuneless notes. Zzzzzz That being said, while he's not my taste, he is charismatic and the only rocker, so I can see that being a justifiable reason to have him in the top 10. Garrett - This was the best he's ever sounded, but Lionel was right that he needs to show more personality. Garrett should have never advanced this far anyway. If he takes a couple years to develop more artistry, he could have something though. Glad that for once a mediocre WGWG didn't take the place of someone more deserving. Gabby - God I hated that song. Gabby's fake twang continues to irk. But that was a good performance. Unfortunately she will probably stick around awhile. I just wish a coach would tell her to lose that god awful twang she insists on putting on. My issue with her is that nothing about her comes across as authentic. She may look and perform like a star but she isn't authentic at all. Dennis - I think he had the best victory performance of the night. He needs to pick more songs like this and not the last couple things he's done, like Rude or Shawn Mendes. This is his lane. He didn't deserve to advance to the top 10 based on his previous performance but he absolutely deserved the wildcard and I'm glad he got it. Jonny - Same story as Garrett, not surprised he didn't advance. Bland WGWG. Thank God neither advanced over more deserving contestants. That's a shock. Caleb - I was a tad surprised at this song choice, it seems a bit mature for him. But he always gives pretty good performances and I like his tone a lot. As the sole country boy and the sole heartthrob, he'll be around awhile. Mara - I think her wildcard performance was actually pretty good overall and I would have picked her instead of Michelle. But at the same time, I can understand why she wasn't put through. She's just too emotionally immature right now, she's always either crying or near crying. Same with Marcio actually. In a few years, Mara could be great though. Jurnee - I was surprised she was in the bottom, I expected her to get voted through and Caleb to have to sing for the wildcard, but Jurnee's song choice wasn't the best. I also think viewers maybe aren't connecting with her emotionally because her vocal performances are always pitch perfect and effortless. However, that is what I like about her and I also think it's time to have a pop star who has both the look and the talent and she does. Glad she was at least saved by the wildcard. She needs to pick better songs going forward. She is my favorite but I fear she won't last much longer if she keeps choosing bad songs. Michael - I'm glad people like him. I do as well. He has a special quality about his voice and his personality is awkwardly endearing. I wonder why people don't assume his personality is an act like they do with Catie? Anyway, glad he got through and as far as the whole argument about only 1 POC making it through, well I think the votes can be justified in the sense that Michael was the only POC who had a really strong performance. Garrett and Jonny are both straight pretty WGWGs who didn't get through but no one is making that an issue about anything other than talent (or lack thereof). Anyway, back to Michael, I think no matter how far he goes on the show he should try Broadway or some kind of musical theater afterwards. He would probably have a more lucrative career there than mainstream pop or R&B. Catie - I really liked her rendition of Havana. I think much to some people's annoyance, Catie will go far. Her strategy should be to continue choosing interesting or unexpected songs and doing her singer/songwriter thing to them. Ada - I don't think it's surprising Ada wasn't voted through because she's controversial, however I'd also say that based on pure talent and nothing else, her rendition of The Show Must Go On was kind of pitchy and a screaming mess. And I Am Telling You was no different. But I understand the judges putting her through right away. I do think overall Ada deserves to be in the top 10. But she could pick some other kinds of songs besides big diva songs. I think a lot of voters don't necessarily take her seriously as an artist and just see a character. Overall the right choices were made. As far as what America decided, we will never know who America truly voted for. The producers in the end get to discard votes if they want and choose whoever they want to get through or choose who gets the wildcard. For all we know, Jurnee was voted through or Ada was voted through but producers decided to make them sing for the wildcard to create some drama and they knew they'd be chosen for one of the wildcards and get through anyway. For all we know, Jurnee/Dennis/Michelle/Ada was the 7th most voted contestant and just missed the top 6. Had the producers just let America vote the entire top 10, most of those contestants probably would have been voted through by America. I think all of the POC/LGBT contestants who didn't get through were justified based on their performances. Most of them chose bad songs that didn't show off their voices well enough (Jurnee, Dennis, Marcio) and with Ada that was always going to be an issue getting people to vote for a drag queen on this show. I think it's kind of stupid to try to justify bad performances based on anything other than talent, especially when straight white male contestants cannot do the same. The fact that Michael, who had a very strong performance and is popular with voters, made it through negates that entire argument. Now if these contestants had had very strong performances and were eliminated over basic WGWGs, that would be a different story. Predictions for next week: It will depend on the performances, but since 3 will be eliminated, my predictions are Ada, Michelle, and unfortunately either Dennis or Jurnee, since none of them were voted through by America in this round. Ada is too controversial and Michelle doesn't have the vocals. Dennis could be in trouble if he doesn't choose a good song and Jurnee could be in trouble if America doesn't connect with her emotionally. Caleb and Gabby are here to stay due to the country vote, Catie, Cade, Maddie, and Michael are audience favorites.
  11. Caleb - I wasn't a fan of the song choice and he, along with pretty much everyone except Maddie and maybe Michael tonight, were fighting against Bandzilla. I tossed 5 votes his way (I deducted half because it wasn't his best) but I fear he will have to sing for the wildcard tomorrow given that he was given the death slot. Hope he sticks around one way or another because I like his tone. Michelle - She's toast. The song choice sucked and her vocals were not that good. The only thing she had going for her was that she looked like a pop star and she performed pretty well. But the rest isn't cutting it for me. I predict she'll go home tomorrow. Marcio - The performance was fun and energetic but the song choice was lame as hell. Very cheesy. Outdated. I gave him 5 votes because of the performance part of it and his past performances. I think he'll end up having to sing for the wildcard though. Mara - I wish she had had a little more control over her emotions here. But I think overall she did pretty well, though her voice was shaky a lot of the time from holding back tears. I gave her 5 votes for choosing something she connected with and she is growing a lot. She has potential. She may just squeak into the top 10 tomorrow. Garrett - Not awful, but this was nothing spectacular. It's hard to say whether he will go home or make it to the top 10. Unless the girls are voting for him, I think he's toast. The others are just head and shoulders above him. Ada - Ugh. Like all the others tonight, she was drowned out by the band A LOT. It must have sounded a lot better in the studio because on TV it sounded like a screamy, pitchy mess. Not her best. It could have been epic but there were some pitch issues and fighting with the band. I gave her 5 votes because of past performances and her overall talent. Hard to say if she'll get in the top 10 or not. May be a wildcard pick. Catie - Thought she was actually one of the better performers tonight. When I saw the song choice I thought she'd tank but she actually did pretty well. Raising the key just a bit really helped her. But I think the beginning and end parts were better than the middle for her. Again, fighting the band. Given how polarizing she is, I think she's a lock for top 10. Cade - I still just don't get this guy at all. All his performances sound exactly the same and he does the same thing in all of them. His vocals are nonexistent. Good guitar player, great showmanship. Nothing more. Katy asking for a lock of his hair was creepy AF. Nevertheless, he seems pretty popular so I guess he's a lock for top 10. Dennis - He's beginning to falter with these song choices. He too was fighting the band. I only gave him 5 votes because of his past efforts and this one was ok but not great. I think he'll have to sing for the wildcard tomorrow. Maddie - Easily the best of the night BY FAR. She was the only one who didn't have to fight the band and it worked immensely in her favor. Really smart song choice too. Wow. Lock for top 10 easily. Hers is probably the only performance from tonight I would watch again. Jurnee - Oh Jurnee. She's probably my favorite girl, but this was a bad choice. She is better than songs like this. She does incidentally remind me of a black Ariana Grande. She did do pretty well with the vocals. But the rap was a bunch of mushmouth I couldn't understand. Props to her for trying to show some versatility I guess and Ariana isn't easy to do. But she should pick songs with more substance in the future. Her voice is better than that. I gave her 10 votes and I think in any case she will make top 10. Jonny - It was forgettable IMO and he was drowned out by the band. He should have never made it this far and I think he'll go home tomorrow. Michael - Second best performance of the night after Maddie IMO. I really enjoy him and he's adorably awkward. I gave him 10 votes. Think/hope he'll make it to top 10. Gabby - I can't stand that fake country twang she puts on everything. The Climb has been done to death on these shows. I can't believe Luke really thought this was the best vocal of the night over Maddie. And I don't think she deserved the closing spot. But because she's the sole country girl, I think she'll make it top 10. The only thing I do agree with is that she looks the part of a star. Predictions for top 10: Voted in by America: Cade, Gabby, Catie, Jurnee, Michael, Maddie Wildcard picks: Dennis, Caleb, Ada, Mara Garrett, Johnny, Michelle all deserve to go home.
  12. Finally got all caught up just before tonight's episode! Caleb & Bebe - You could tell Caleb was kind of awkward and uncomfortable with this song. Too pop for him. Bebe did well trying to hype him though. Ada & Lea - Lea really outshone Ada here. Ada had a couple of moments but this was Lea's. I love Wicked and the music from it, so I loved hearing them sing this. Maddie & Colbie - This was a great matchup, they have very similar voices. Their harmonies at the end were so nice. They should have let Maddie also play her guitar though. Ron & Banners - This was a really random pairing and song choice. It didn't do him any favors, but at least he tried to put on a performance I guess. Amelia & Bebe - I could tell Amelia tried to make it more soulful rock to suit her style, but Bebe sounded better on this. Amelia was always more style over talent for me. Shannon & Cam - This was one of Shannon's better efforts. But I don't think her voice is that special as the judges said and there's just something missing for now. Deservedly cut. Alyssa & Banners - She really got screwed. This wasn't the best partner or song for her. But she did the best she could with the hand she was dealt. Marcio & Allen - This was excellent, especially for a last minute pairing. Jurnee & Lea - I didn't care for the song, I thought it was boring, but Jurnee was vocally evenly matched with Lea here. They both came together really well. Garrett & Colbie - This was certainly better than Garrett's solo, not that that's saying much. His solo in the beginning actually was pretty good. But this was just passable, nothing outstanding. He may have lost himself some votes by talking about his girlfriend. I don't think he should have gotten through. But there weren't many guys in this group and Ron isn't ready. Mara & Rachel - This was probably my favorite duet of the night. I just thought Mara sounded really solid and she connected so well to the song. Rachel is gorgeous and she was so kind as a mentor to Mara. I think Mara is so much better when she is calmed down in her performances. I didn't agree before with her going to the top 14 but after seeing these performances it's totally justified. Effie & Cam - This really wasn't bad at all for being so last-minute and Effie not knowing the song or being comfortable with country. Results: Overall I agree with the judges's picks for the top 14 except Garrett. They could have swapped him for another girl like Alyssa or Effie. But as I said before, there wasn't too much choice with guys in this group other than Ron who was terrible in both performances. My favorite duets were Mara & Rachel, followed by Marcio & Allen, then Maddie & Colbie, and Ada & Lea.
  13. I'm super behind! Only just got to watch this episode now, will watch the duets later today, and hopefully be able to watch the top 14 tonight or tomorrow. Amelia - Death slot. That performance could have been a lot more powerful. Forgettable. Gone. Bye. Garrett - That falsetto was not good, even Luke thought so. His comment about Garrett not having the best voice but being the heartthrob says it all. I don't see any artistry with this kid. Just a nice-looking guy all the teen girls will go crazy for. Maddie - Easily blew the first 2 out of the water. Her artistry is very clear every time she performs and you know exactly what kind of album she would make. Ada - Not Ada's best showing, it got a bit manic and off the rails in certain parts, but Ada is a strong performer. Unfortunately for Adam, I do think Ada is a schtick. I don't know what kind of artist Ada is or if Adam will continue with Ada going forward. I think he needs to make a decision about what he wants to do, if he wants to continue with Ada he needs to stick with that, otherwise it is getting confusing having 2 identities. Caleb - I felt a bit bad for him that the judges criticized the song choice because he was probably afraid of them saying he wasn't current enough doing all those older songs. It was a bit shaky in areas. But overall I like his tone and think the competition needs him. Effie - Another Heart song? No Luke, she did not sing this better than Ann Wilson. The high notes in some places were shrill and shrieky. It felt very karaoke. Not surprised she didn't get through to the top 14 on the back of that. Alyssa - Meh. She has great potential in her voice but other than her unique tone, she doesn't bring much originality to the table. That performance and song choice were boring. Kind of pageanty. I don't disagree with letting her go. Marcio - I'm surprised the judges liked this because I expected them to call it old fashioned. It kind of came across that way for me, but it was also a solid vocal and good performance. Mara - This is the first showing from her I've actually liked. More restrained Mara is good. Her voice is wildly mature for her age. Jurnee - Jurnee has been a favorite of mine since the beginning and this was a solid vocal from her as always, but the song choice was kind of blah and didn't do her many favors. I think she did a good job relating to the lyrics. But she's had better performances. I disagree with the judges telling her to put more effort in though. A performer who can sing effortlessly is a good thing. If she tries to look like she's putting in effort it may get to her and she'll mess up or something. I think she just needs to pick songs that maybe challenge her a little bit. Shannon - Probably her best performance to date, but for one thing, I think it's a really big mistake to put all her hopes into American Idol to help out her family's financial situation, especially since she was cut. She has potential but there's something about her that doesn't do it for me, like there's a big piece of the puzzle missing. Maybe she could try out again next year. Ron - This was awful. I don't know why this was saved for the last performance, I expected something amazing. He mumbles a lot of his words and yes Luke, he does need to enunciate more. The audience can't connect with a song or a singer if they can't understand the words. His pitch is all over the place. Deservedly cut. I'm getting bored of the judges comments. They just make weird analogies comparing contestants to chickens and cakes. They mostly give undue praise and not enough criticism for those who really need it. There were shades of it (Garrett, Ron) but it's not enough. It seems pretty stupid to say Garrett isn't the best singer and put him through then say Alyssa was good but cut her, or say Mara needs to tone it down but Jurnee needs to look like she's trying harder. Sometimes I think these comments do more harm than good and make the contestants get all in their own heads. Just let them be themselves. Like who told Garrett he needs to dance? He looks awkward, so just let him do his own thing. Overall I expected Group 2 to be way better than Group 1 and it was shockingly pretty underwhelming overall. I liked Maddie, Caleb, Marcio, Mara, and Jurnee the best. The others tanked IMO or were boring.
  14. Finally caught up on the episode earlier today. Catie & Andy Grammer - I think she did a relatively good job of keeping up with him. This was a good upbeat way to start the show. Didn't necessarily do anything for her vocally but entertaining. Cade & Bishop Briggs - I think she was a pretty generous duet partner in this. It was a lot of screaming and try-hard from both of them. Not a fan. Layla & Sugarland - Poor Layla, she got swallowed in that, but she's a tiny 16-year-old up against Jennifer Nettles. I've never liked that song. But it was cute I guess. Dominique & Aloe Blacc - Overall decent. They sounded pretty much alike in this. Brandon & Luis Fonsi - Actually quite a nice performance. Kay Kay & Pat Monahan - A really strange pairing but it kind of worked. Not the best song for her but it wasn't bad. Trevor & Bishop Briggs - This was a better choice than the INXS song but meh, I still think Trevor isn't cutting it. Deservedly eliminated. Michelle & Luis Fonsi - A bit of an odd song choice but it was overall pretty good. Michelle has an interesting tone but her voice was weak on this song. Her voice could have been stronger and more powerful. Don't think she should have advanced. Jonny & Andy Grammer - A bland WGWG performance by 2 bland WGWGs. Yawn. Jonny shouldn't have advanced either. Dennis & Allen Stone - Probably the best duet of the night. Both evenly matched vocalists. This was really something special. Each singer brought his own unique style to the song and made it work together. Michael & Pat - Not the best song and again, another odd pairing. But Michael did pretty well with it IMO. Gabby & Sugarland - This was probably Gabby's best effort to date, but she sounded best when singing with Jennifer. The harmonies were very nice. If they had to have a female country singer this season, as much as I don't really like Gabby, I do think she's at least better than Layla. Eliminations: Overall I agree with the results. Jonny and Michelle are the weak links IMO. But I understand choosing Michelle for performance and Jonny I guess for potential? Cuteness? Layla looked pissed lol Group 2 definitely has the stronger contestants.
  15. My boyfriend and I finally got to watch this episode last night and overall we thought this group was pretty meh, a few standouts, but we think Group 2 has the stronger contestants. The judges also were ridiculous with the tongue baths and Katy's dramatics over Cade. More on that later. Dominique - It was a competent performance but nothing about it stood out from everyone else. By going first, he became forgettable quickly. Fodder. Layla - Yuck, I don't know what the judges were yammering on about here. Her high notes were squeaky and strained. The song was too big for her. And I disagree with whichever judge said she performed beyond her years. She looked exactly like an inexperienced 16 year old? I couldn't help thinking when Ryan asked her about the sandwich at her family's restaurant that he was trying to help build up some publicity for the place because she's inevitably going back there. Catie - This was a good "performance" but not a good vocal. Not the right song choice at all. Nothing about this was her decision (maybe the outfit), she admitted her dad suggested the song and let's be honest, some coach behind the scenes probably told her to flip her hair. Catie was great in the beginning when she had her guitar and either sang originals or did a folk rendition of something. Since Bad Romance, she has been veering away from that. Dennis - That song choice was dumb. It did nothing for his voice. He will get a pass due to past performances, but for the future he shouldn't make mistakes like that again. Song choice is of the upmost importance in live rounds. Michelle - See above. With a few exceptions, we thought the song choices were AWFUL. Either producers are encouraging these choices, or the contestants are really just this clueless. Singing Spanglish has never worked as a gimmick for past contestants and it won't work for Michelle. What she really needs is to just sit down and sing. We've yet to hear a real vocal from her at all. Michael - This was by far my favorite of the night. Finally some originality with song choice, I had never heard that Beatles song before. I thought he sang it beautifully and it was the first time I really felt some kind of emotion from a performance. Trevor - I feel like I'm supposed to like him but I really just don't. He has potential, he has a grit to his voice and a cool look. But I don't think he is polished enough as a vocalist yet. He uses his grit all the way through the song instead of picking specific moments to use it. And for that reason, I can't like him. Jonny - This was for sure one of his better performances probably since Hollywood Solo 1. He has a recording-friendly tone, but there's something that just isn't clicking for me for now. Kay Kay - We know she's fodder since this is the first full performance we've seen from her all season. Too bad, because she's actually pretty good. Maybe none of her other performances were remarkable. Brandon - His audition was pretty good, but like Kay Kay, he probably had nothing of note since then. I can't honestly believe singing Hello was really his choice, especially because his rendition was pretty bland. I have a hunch a producer suggested someone sing it so they could have Lionel come up and duet for a teevee moment. On a side note, Ryan was actually better than I expected he'd be. Gabby - She turned the twang up to 11 here. Stop with that fake accent! There are actual country artists who don't have half the freakin' twang this chick does. And that glory note at the end was what Simon would have called "self-indulgent." I'm glad at least the judges told her not to overdo it. Because what she did in that moment was creating hell on her vocal cords. You never scream and shout at the top of your range like that. If she hopes to have a long career, she needs to have better vocal habits. Cade - I'd say objectively he was the best of the night (not that that's saying much) but would be my second best/favorite after Michael. My issue with Cade though is that I think he is rather overrated. He has an average voice. But his guitar playing and showmanship are what really make him stand out. I'm sure he has some kind of professional or semi-pro experience under his belt because there's no way he's that poised, polished, and professional otherwise. Ballsy song choice too, something new and different. Here's my thing with Cade though. All his performances are beginning to run together for me. I like rock music. I have liked rock contestants on these shows in the past, like Caleb from season 13 and Jesse Kinch from Rising Star. But there's something about Cade that doesn't do it for me. My boyfriend also isn't that impressed and he loves rock music as well. Objectively, I think Cade is good if you enjoy this kind of style. I guess we just don't. That being said, he's easily the most charismatic performer they probably have this season. As far as Katy's dramatics go... I felt so embarrassed for the poor guy. They really took the judge antics too far this episode. I felt bad for Cade when he looked like he had no idea what to do while the judges were fanning Katy and he looked like he was just standing there waiting for a critique, while Katy is putting on her "performance." It's one thing when the judges do these kinds of things to draw attention and ratings, but I think it's highly disrespectful while a contestant is waiting to be critiqued on their performance and they are making it all about themselves. A lot of people dislike The Voice for this exact reason. DON'T BECOME THE VOICE, IDOL. On another note, I think overall the duets are a waste of time. I guess it's for ratings and to give the contestants some kind of experience performing with others and a cool memory of getting to perform with a star. But we all know the decisions for top 14 are made before any of this ever happens and the duets don't factor into it at all. I'd rather see Group 2 perform than these pointless duets.
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