American Idol Hollywood week part two leaves fans hanging

The “American Idol” Hollywood week part two episode was perhaps one of the most frustrating and annoying ever aired on the show. Why? Two reasons. First, I got a bit sick of producers exploiting all the unfortunate hopefuls who were sick or suffered a physical breakdown instead of focusing on their actual talent (or lack thereof). Second, you don’t have all that lead-in for a musical reality show for a whole hour and then end the episode without any actual singing!

Naturally, “American Idol” producers could not resist exploiting the sad plight of 16-year-old contestant Symone Black, who took a header off the front of the state on last night’s episode. Bad enough that they used the incident as a depressing cliffhanger to close out “American Idol” last night. Even worse that they lingered over it for far too long on the follow-up Hollywood week part two episode.

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American Idol Tent Girl Amy Brumfield Arrested Multiple Times for Drunken Behavior

American Idol ‘Tent Girl’ Amy Brumfield may be living the dream now as she moves from a camp in the woods to a hotel in Hollywood, but a history of alcohol abuse and multiple arrests could be her downfall. While so far there has been no comment from FOX about Brumfield’s criminal history, American Idol producers have booted contestants in the past over their arrest records.

According to TMZ.com, American Idol wannabe Amy Brumfield — who revealed on last night’s auditions that she lives in a tent — has quite a checkered past. Brumfield, 24, has been arrested half a dozen times over the past seven years. Half the arrests involved some sort of alcohol-fueled behavior.

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Hailey Reinhart Falls on American Idol, Final 2 Still in Question

After my last post about the American Idol Top 3, one commentor took offense to my classification that both Hailey Reinhart and Lauren Alaina were both blond and it really didn’t seem to matter much who ended up in the finale. After last night’s performances on American Idol, I stand by both statements.

They are both blond. That is not an insult to their intelligence, just a descriptive statement about their appearance. And honestly, I really just couldn’t care less which of them ends up in the American Idol finals. Although personally I’d prefer the two girls than having to listen to Scotty McCreery mangle a song like “She Believes in Me” ever again.

I have nothing against Scotty McCreery, really, he seems like a fine enough guy and a decent enough singer. I just can’t really imagine wanting to buy even one whole album of his voice sounding pretty much exactly the same on every single song that ever passed his lips. Okay, I admit to an anti-country bias, but I love some Bonnie Raitt and Garth Brooks, so it isn’t just that.

If I had to pick a favorite performance from American Idollast night, it would be probably be Haley Reinhart on “What Is and What Should Never Be”, although she didn’t do that badly on “Rhiannon” either. (The wind machine was a bit much though…) As for Haley falling on the stage, I don’t really think it hurt or helped her in the voting arena. It happens, it’s not a big deal, whatever. Regardless of the spill, Haley comes out the winner of the night in my opinion.

Still, Lauren Alaina wasn’t that far behind Haley even if she did miss a key change on “If I Die Young”. However, the songs I just couldn’t stand last night both came from the ladies too. Alaina on “I Hope You Dance” just made me compare her unfavorably the whole time to Lee Ann Womack. As for Reinhart doing Alanis Morisette… it was just unspeakable and I am keeping my mouth shut.

More than likely it will end up being Scotty McCreery and Haley Reinhart duking it out in the American Idol final two. Still, I kind of hope Lauren Alaina will sneak in there and knock Scotty out just to wipe that little smirk off his face he’s had ever since James Durbin got booted.

Bret Michaels on American Idol: Didn’t Even Tell His Doctors!

The second big surprise on American Idol last night was the shocking appearance of Bret Michaels on stage with absolutely no advance warning! (The first surprise being that Lee DeWyze beat Crystal Bowersox, of course.) Despite suffering a massive brain hemorrhage just weeks ago, Michaels rocked it out on American Idol with a performance of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” alongside Idol castoff Casey James.

Bret Michaels and Casey James on 'American Idol' (FOX)
Bret Michaels and Casey James on 'American Idol' (FOX)

Nothing seems to be able to keep Bret Michaels down. First he underwent an emergency appendectomy in April. Not long after, Michaels was rushed to the hospital with a massive brain hemorrhage that could have easily ended his life. Just last week while recovering from that, Michaels was struck with a “warning stroke” and learned he has a hole in his heart that will eventually need surgery.

Still, none of that kept Michaels from appearing on the live Celebrity Apprentice finale, which he won hands down. Nor did his medical issues keep him from making a surprise appearance on the American Idol finale last night. Bret Michaels didn’t even tell his doctors or his family he would be doing it!

 

“I didn’t tell [my doctors] I was going to do this,” Bret told MTV backstage after the finale. “But I feel great, I gotta be honest. There’s still a lot of pain I’m still experiencing… [But] I feel amazing.”

Michaels didn’t let his family in on the secret either. “I can’t believe my family let me out. I may not have told them either; I left a few things out,” he said. “But I needed this for my soul. Honestly. It was a great experience… I’ve spent the last month and a half in the hospital. I don’t ever want to see a hospital again.”

We loved seeing Michaels back on stage and rocking it – even if his performance was a bit subdued. But we really wish he would take it a bit easy until he is fully recovered because we don’t want him to ever see a hospital again either!

>> Previously:  Janet Jackson Gets Nasty on American Idol 2010 Finale

Crystal Bowersox on Lee DeWyze as American Idol: We Both Win

Crystal Bowersox said she knew she wasn’t going to win long before Ryan Seacrest announced Lee DeWyze as the winner of American Idol 2010. For Bowersox, however, there really is no loser on American Idol this season.

Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)
Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)

“I knew Lee was going to win,” Crystal Bowersox said backstage during a press conference after the American Idol finale. “People seem surprised by that. But I had a feeling. I couldn’t be happier for him. He deserves every minute of this.”

Bowersox said she didn’t feel nervous going into the American Idol finale. “Before the show… I had this strange sense of peace and calm. I’ve been that way through the whole season,” Bowersox said. “If you haven’t noticed, I’m just mellow. I was ready and willing… for the outcome.”

As for losing out to Lee DeWyze, Bowersox doesn’t feel bad about it. “We both win. It’s not win or lose; it’s winner and non-winner,” Bowersox said. “Both of us are going to have very successful careers, and we’re going to be friends for a long time.”

Even though she came in second on American Idol, Crystal Bowersox feels she has learned many valuable things from the journey of being on the show. “I can walk in heels — downstairs, nonetheless,” Bowersox joked. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot about the business… My life is never going to be the same, and I’m ready for all of it.”

Next up for Bowersox? Going home to “hug my baby boy and get back to living.” She’ll also be heading out soon on the American Idol Live Tour and starting work on her album.

>> Previously:  Lee DeWyze Wins American Idol 2010: Voters Wrong Again

Lee DeWyze Wins American Idol 2010: Voters Wrong Again

On American Idol last night, Lee DeWyze beat out heavily favored contestant Crystal Bowersox in an upset win to take home the top prize, leaving many to wonder WTF happened. The evening was full of surprises both sweet and sour. Bret MichaelsAmerican Idol appearance, for example, was thrillingly unexpected and we loved every minute of it. On the other hand, watching the wrong contestant win American Idol yet again was not so much fun.

Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' (FOX)
Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' (FOX)

After re-watching Monday night’s American Idol performances by Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, we still cannot fathom how voters chose DeWyze as the winner. Going back through the season and watching performances from both singers throughout the show, we are dumbfounded how anyone could compare the two and pick DeWyze over Mama Sox.

We aren’t bashing on DeWyze here, that’s not the point. Although we do think the guy has serious vocal control issues and epic pitch problems. No, the point is that it seems obvious to us Crystal Bowersox is so much more naturally gifted as a musician and singer than DeWyze. Head to head, song to song, Crystal Bowersox beat out Lee DeWyze every single night on American Idol with the possible exception of one – the night DeWyze sang “Hallelujah”.

So why did Lee DeWyze win and Crystal Bowersox fail to capture the voters? Why did we end up with a Kris Allen topping Adam Lambert scenario yet again?

Well, let’s face it, whether we like it or not, a girl with dreadlocks and lip piercings is still too ‘out there’ for a decently large swath of Middle America. Just like Adam Lambert was way too gay for them even before he was officially out. Then of course we have to factor in the ‘tween girl’ vote – because they are always going to vote for whoever the cutest boy left is. Even if he isn’t all that cute.


We also have the Vote for the Worst people who are intentionally voting for the least talented contestant. They actually do make a small difference; we’ve seen their work succeed too often to ignore their tiny power block. Lastly, there are those people out there who honestly didn’t want Crystal Bowersox to win because she – for a while – didn’t seem to want to win. We get cranky about people not appreciating the ‘gift’ of our rabid fanness.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter all that much if Crystal Bowersox lost or Lee DeWyze won. It may even prove to be the best result. Bowersox may squeak by as the runner-up with a bit less rigid control on her image and her music. Which seems to have worked out pretty well for Adam Lambert. She will, of course, easily land a record deal of her own and tons of offers to do all kinds of cool things  once she is done with the American Idol Live Tour. Some folks may have even voted against Bowersox just so she wouldn’t be weighed down with the stricter restrictions of being the Idol winner.

Without the American Idol title though, Lee DeWyze might have ended up fading away into distant memory even faster than we think he will anyway. Everyone in my house said it nearly at the same time when the winner was announced: DeWyze needs it, Mama Sox doesn’t.

So for now, at least, Lee DeWyze can enjoy his American Idol winner status. And Crystal Bowersox can get back to doing what she does best – making amazing music and singing the hell out of it. We know which album we’ll be buying when it hits the shelves…

>> Previously:  American Idol Last Night: The Final Performances

American Idol Last Night: The Final Performances

American Idol this season has often been lackluster, boring and sometimes downright painful to watch. Hands down, we think it is one of the worst seasons ever. Fully half of the contestants probably should have never stepped on the Idol stage. Too many of them lingered far too long after proving they had no business singing outside of a karaoke bar. We aren’t even going to talk about how lousy the ‘theme’ selections were from the producers this year.

Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)
Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)

In the end, however, we did at least manage to keep the best of the bunch for the American Idol finale. Oh, and Lee DeWyze wasn’t that bad either. While frankly we never felt DeWyze could measure up against Crystal Bowersox‘s powerhouse voice, he at least gave it everything he had last night. Head to head against Mama Sox, however, DeWyze just couldn’t compete.

For the first song, Lee DeWyze pulled out Simon & Garfunkel‘s “The Boxer”. While it wasn’t a terrible song choice, it lacked the power and passion that propelled him to possible winner status in his recent “Hallelujah” performance.

Crystal Bowersox wisely bowed to Janis Joplin for her first song choice, reprising one of her best performances of the season with “Me and Bobby McGee”. Personally, we felt this performance was even better than the first time around. It may have been a bit less ‘wow’ to listen to, but it was pure Bowersox – simple, genuine and packing a serious punch.

We don’t know what American Idol producer Simon Fuller was thinking when he picked R.E.M.‘s “Everybody Hurts” for DeWyze’s second song. He struggled for the notes and clearly lacked the vocal prowess to make the song anything but a sad shadow of the original. Then again, we firmly believe that no one but Michael Stipe should ever sing that song.

While we wouldn’t have chosen Alannah Myles‘ “Black Velvet” for Crystal Bowersox’s second performance either, we still loved it – despite a few shaky moments. Mostly we think those slightly sketchy notes were due more to the heels and tight dress Bowersox was tottering around in than any inherent flaw in her vocals.

If anyone had any doubts about who should take home the American Idol winner title this season, it should have been put to rest with the last two performances of the night. Lee DeWyze unfortunately took on Bono’s “Beautiful Day” – a song that he should probably never even sing in the shower. You never want to cringe during a performance on the American Idol finale and we did during this song, several times.

For Crystal Bowersox, however, the final song was that cathartic moment of awe we were waiting for all night long. Bowersox sang Patty Griffin‘s “Up to the Mountain” and we wanted nothing more than to climb up there to that mountain with her every step of the way. When a song literally brings a hint of tears to your eyes in the final notes, you know you’ve just been witness to greatness.

Tonight the final two will take to the American Idol stage to face the voters. Will it be Adam Lambert falling to Kris Allen all over again? Or will America choose the right American Idol winner this time?

>> Previously:  Who Will Win American Idol 2010? Our Pick