Tag Archives: Paul McDonald


American Idol, Season 10: Finale – “And the winner is…”

At long last, the moment had arrived.  The finale of American Idol, season 10.  It was a long and enjoyable journey and last night provided the capstone on the entire affair.  Two hours of celebrity appearances, guest artists, retrospective clips, and ultimately the crowing of this year’s American Idol.

It was apparently a night of extremes.  On one hand it was the lowest rated American Idol finale show in history.  On the other hand, there were a record 122MM+ votes cast – so whoever WAS watching, voted and voted often.  The real question was – who did they vote for, Scotty or Lauren.  There’s really only one way to find out.  Let’s go to the big board and see…


American Idol, Season 10: Top 7 Performances – “Mad Max meets Stormtroopers on Melrose.”

It’s Wednesday night here in the Word Zombie household and we all know what that means.  Ritz Cracker chicken for dinner!  It also means time for American Idol.  This week found the top seven vying for their place in the top six.  This is quickly getting serious folks – the votes are going to get tougher and tougher each week from here on out (except for Hailey – can’t we all agree she needs to be the next to go?)  Who would rise to the occasion?  Who would kiss one of the judges?  Who would be accompanied by a marching drum line?  Who would make a surprise appearance to open the show?  All these questions just happened to be answered in a short 90-minute jaunt with American Idol.

The theme this week was “Songs from the 21st Century”.  A rather broad category but I’ll hand it to the producers; they have gone out of their way not to box the contestants into strange genres miles outside of their comfort zones (Anyone remember Andrew Lloyd Weber night?)  Instead they have allowed the contestants room to establish what sort of artist they want to be after the show.  They’ve allowed them to begin building a fan base that won’t be disappointed with the eventual albums they release.  I think it’s been a brilliant move.

Before we get to the performances, a few random observations:

  • It was nice to be wil.i.am-free tonight.  Strangely, I didn’t miss him for a second.
  • Jimmy Iovine seemed to be much more supportive of the contestants tonight.  Think he had to eat a little crow after the stellar performances last week?
  • I guess if you are the “most beautiful woman in the world” you can pull off wearing a gold lamay shorts-suit.
  • I liked having the longer, 3-minute performances this week.
  • For all the talent this year, I’ve yet to buy a single studio track from iTunes.

No that’s out of the way; let’s see how everyone did.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 8 Results – “Thank you for whipping that out on us.”

Thursday night, sometime after 8:00PM, with the TiVo humming could only mean one thing – time for the America Idol elimination show.  After last night’s jaunt through songs from the movies, the top 8 was slated to become the top 7.  Were there any shocking results?  Would we see the sixth consecutive girl eliminated from the competition?  Would there be any professional wrestlers onstage?  All those questions and more were answered in just over 60 minutes.

Before I dive into the show, I have to share a few random observations:  Was Jennifer really wearing a dress that included curtain tiebacks as shoulder straps?  Best sign in the audience – “Bring Back Pia”.  Sign that most needed to be fact checked – “Steven is the Most Beautiful Man in the World”.  Uh….no.  The one thing that made tonight miles better than last night?  No wil.i.am in the house.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 8 Performances – “Give Metal A Chance.”

What a night on Idol.  The theme was “Songs from the Movies”.  My wife commented on how each theme has allowed a broad selection of songs for the contestants (no “Songs from Broadway” this year).  I think it was a calculated move and one that has made the show better.  From Bob Seger, to George Straight, to Blondie, to Sammy Hagar – there was a little of everything on the show tonight.  On balance, it was the strongest show so far this season.  How did it all go down?  Glad you asked.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 9 Results – “A mistake is one thing, but a lack of passion is unforgivable.”

I’m just going to get it out of the way up front – tonight was shocking.  Very shocking.  Almost as shocking as Casey being voted out and then being saved by the judges.  The difference?  There was no judges’ save tonight.  The last person left standing with Ryan was out of the competition, and heading home.  Who was it?  Were the bottom three the right ones?  How did Constantine sound?  All these questions answered, and more – after the break.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 9 Performances – “That’s the second prettiest bust I’ve kissed all day.”

The theme for Idol this week was the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.  The funny thing was – there were precious few rock and roll songs performed on the show.  That’s not to say there were bad songs this week.  The Rock and Roll Halle Of Fame cuts a broad swath through music in America, and the contestants took full advantage of the breadth of music available to them.

After Ripley’s guy brought the judges out, they ran a montage setting up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  For the first time I can remember, Ryan didn’t narrate the set-up piece.  They wisely decided to let Steven do the set-up.  It was a little disconcerting to see him posing next to a wax replica of his head – made even more interesting when he kissed it and said, “That’s the second prettiest bust I’ve kissed all day.”

There were two celebrities involved this week.  Gwen Stefani was brought in to style the ladies in her new fashion line (more on that later), and wil.i.am joined Jimmy Iovine to help with the song prep (much more on that later – but can we all agree that one time on the show was too much for him this year; three times is just ridiculous.  What can he really help them with – autotune etiquette?)


American Idol, Season 10: Top 11 Results: REDUX – “That’s definitely going to be on TV.”

With yet another dramatic montage, promising – “You won’t believe who is going home”, the top 11 elimination show from American Idol made it’s way on air.  Usually, I would dismiss that kind of hype out of hand, but after last week’s save of Casey, I was a bit concerned heading in to the elimination show this week.  Did America get the wake-up call last week?  With over 55 million votes cast, it appeared that it had – but whom did everyone vote for?  Cue the lights, roll the music – it was time to find out who made it to the top 9 this year.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 11 Performances: REDUX – “It’s a little different than runnin’ around shuckin’ it.”

Tonight was our second chance to have the top 11 American Idol Contestants perform in the appropriately titled “Top 11: Redux” (I supposed “Top 11: Part Deux” was too much Charlie Sheen for the show…) A quick recap of the “Best. Results. Show. Ever” led off the show.  As the judges and Ryan took the stage, a quick pan of the audience revealed a sign saying – “Thank you for saving Casey”.  I agreed wholeheartedly, and by the end of the night, the judges’ decision to save Casey had borne fruit.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This week’s theme was the music of Elton John.  It was a great catalog of songs, having provided some memorable Idol moments in the past.  I wish they had given Bernie Taupin a little more love on the show – but that’s the breaks.  As they worked through the montage of Elton’s career I was struck by a thought – evidently Elton John had the funky glasses thing going on far before Clint Jun Gamboa.  Who knew?

With a photo-shoot for EW and a rehearsal with Jimmy Iovine serving as the intro to each of the songs, it was time to get started.  Who would shine and who would sink?  Let’s see…


American Idol, Season 10: Top 11 Performances – “The perfect mix of crazy ass, out of control ego.”

This week saw the American Idol contestants take on the songs of Motown.  It’s become a popular theme week over the years, showing up in 4 out of the first 9 seasons (in fact it was the theme used for the very first top 10 show in season 1.)   With the deep and impressive catalogue that Motown brings to the table, it was set up to be an entertaining night – and it didn’t disappoint. Ryan chatted with the judges a bit, gave a quick shout out to Liv Tyler in the audience, and then brought the contestants out on to the stage.  Casey was up first.  Let’s see what happened.


American Idol, Season 10: Top 11 Results – “I’m crazy James and I’m…AWESOME.”

After a performance show packed with Motown hits, it was time to whittle the top 11 down to the top 10 – and set the roster for this summer’s American Idol tour.  The show started with a quick video intro (and I have to say – the intro videos have been noticeably better this year), with the tag included – “Expect the Unexpected”.  For a moment I thought I had tuned in to “Big Brother”, then I wondered – would tonight be the first “shocking” elimination of the season?  Ryan certainly teased us with shocking results – but the last time he did that this season, it wasn’t shocking at all.  Would tonight be different?  Let’s see what happened.

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