Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol - Top 6

At this point, I could tell you right now that Crystal was going to win, I'm going to marry Lee Dewyze and we'll all go on tour with Casey James so the rest of everybody else can go home. However, I'm sure the American Idol people have paid a whole bucketful of money to put on 10 more shows so here we are tonight.

The music of Shania Twain. I guess this is replacing country week. Hollie will be way upset.

But let's get to it!

THIS. Is American Idol.

(I'll bet $6.48 that Aaron Kelly does "From This Moment".)

Lee Dewyze ("Still The One") - I mean really, I hate to say the same thing over and over every week, but this guy just keeps impressing me. I wasn't sure how this was going to work out but then again, it's Lee Dewyze and he's been working it out for several weeks now. He made it his own. I can totally hear that version on the radio.

Michael Lynche ("It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing") - This is one Shania song that I don't think I've heard before, but this actually sounded like a Brian McKnight song. And it sounded like a song that Big Mike would have on an album. Whatever happens in this competition, Michael Lynche will be making records. He's marketable, he's a great singer and he's an honest performer. I'd buy his music.

Casey James ("Don't") - This was a perfect song for him. I don't think I've heard that song before either but it sounded like it came right off his album. And it sort of sounded kind of like the band The Verb or The Verbpipe, depending on what generation you are from. I hope the judges liked it.

Crystal Bowersox ("No One Needs To Know") - I love this song and I was hoping that she would sing it because I think she's the only person who could pull it off. This was good, and I was glad to see another side of her. I don't think it was her best performance but also don't think she's had a bad performance either. I like Ellen's analogy, saying this performance wasn't your favorite is like asking which color of the rainbow you like the least. My analogy would've been it's like asking which part of the cookie cake is your least favorite.

And can we talk about how precious her boyfriend is?

Aaron Kelly ("You Got A Way") - Okay, I've said that this kid can sing before. But this week I feel like he was very, very throaty. And that is not good for a 17-year old kid. Because if he keeps singing like that, in about three or four years, his vocal chords are going to be ripped to shreds. With that said, it was pretty pitchy for me and it was predictable. I'm tired of hearing him sing ballads and watch him sit there/stand there and sing. It's getting old.

I'm actually voting tonight so that maybe I can get this kid kicked off. I'm sorry for all the Aaron Kelly fans but he doesn't really belong in a competition with people like Casey, Lee and Crystal.

Siobhan Magnus ("Any Man Of Mine") - I can tell you stories of singing this song at the top of my lungs in my car or doing a line dance to it in the small quarters of my friend Paige's room but I won't. However, I love this song. And it does seem to fit Siobhan. I didn't think this was bad, but I'm still not a Siobhan fan. I think it was better than Aaron.

Best line of the night: Ellen - "Way to pull the Shaina Twain into the station."
Best of the night: Lee Dewyze
Worst of the night: Aaron
Should go home: Aaron
Will go home: (probably) Siobhan

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Video Wednesday

I hate that I've been neglecting my little blog here but the past couple of months have been nothing but insane. So whatever energy I would've had to blog about the fun and weird things that have happened in my life lately has been spent on one athletic event after the other and restored on my trusty old couch watching American Idol.

However, today I did want to share a few videos with you guys because they make me happy.

First, Hanson. I loved them then and I love them now. This video makes me want to go do choreographed steps in the street.


Thinking 'Bout Somethin'

HANSON MySpace Music Videos


Second, Dave's new video premiered today on AOL.com and it's just as precious as he is. And it even features his cute little wifey, Annie, at the end.

Click here to watch it. You won't be disappointed.

Lastly, this is our freshman closer on the Samford baseball team. The kid is multi-talented and could be playing in the majors right now but decided to come to Samford and get an education. And he's a Mississippi boy. Tupelo, to be exact. This is what he does to get his team pumped up before games. Seems to be working too. 22-14 on the year. Second place in the SoCon.

video


American Idol - Top 7

First, a few notes:

1. I can't believe I'm blogging AI at midnight but I did take a nap this afternoon due to a headache so I'm still pretty awake.

2. College is an interesting thing. I miss it and I don't. Exhibit A: I just spent the last three hours talking to three precious, sweet, funny college girls about college life. Let's just say drama is fun to listen to but I don't ever want to read (or write) that chapter again.

3. Mom told me today that Mrs. Jane (Dave Barnes' mom) sent a text informing her that "10,000 Children" would be featured on "Idol Gives Back" tomorrow night. So excited!

Ok, now...

THIS. Is American Idol.

Casey James ("Don't Stop") - I liked this performance. This was a good song for him and it reminded me a little of the "Power of Love" week. I think this is his vibe all the way. However, when Casey gets on stage, I forget that it's a competition and just feel like I'm watching a musician do his thing. For me, that's great. But I don't know how that affects the vote for him. I do feel like he needs to bring a surprise sometime soon though. Of course, I don't think that performance deserves a vote-off though. He's just been consistently good for the past several weeks.

Lee Dewyze ("The Boxer") - Ok, this was not his best vocal of the season but what made this performance great for me was his passion and honesty was up front for all to see. The connection was totally there and he put his whole self into that song. The vocal got better as the song went on, and I don't really think this song fit his voice but in that, he made the song his. Randy said it. Lee Dewyze is an artist. Point. Blank. Period.

And I think I'd like to retract my proposal to Casey from last week and extend it to Lee. He is just precious.

Tim Urban ("Better Days") - It's crazy how much he reminds me of Kris Allen. I wasn't blown away by this performance but I wasn't wanting to fast-forward through it. I feel like that's what it's going to be like for most of the night. Tim Urban has definitely grown over this competition and come into his own even in the last few weeks. I like what Kara said -- this was the right way to go but it wasn't the best execution.

Aaron Keys ("I Believe I Can Fly") - Somehow I knew that this song was going to be sung, I probably would've put 48 cents on the bet that this kid would be the one to do it. And can we get the kid to NOT roll his sleeves up EVERY show?

This. Was. Not. Good. In my opinion. I feel like he always chooses songs that are too big for him. The vocal was not good and I felt like was back in eighth grade because a kid that can sing, probably even better than Aaron (which is saying a lot) sang this at the talent show and it was nutso good. This? Not so much.

Siobhan Magnus ("When You Believe") - I was ready to see Siobhan go last week but I think this week she earned another chance with me. Although the arrangement was kind of sketchy, I thought she tackled this big song like a pro defensive lineman. The middle was also a little weird for me but, I liked the beginning and the end. I do have to agree with Kara on the fact that it was a little musical theater-ish. But I think that's just who she is. She's a dramatic and original person. I still just hope she doesn't go down the Adam Lambert road.

Michael Lynch ("Hero") - Big Mike can sing. No doubt about it. I just don't know what I thought about this performance though. I felt like maybe Randy and Simon have been onto something in the past weeks when they talk about the drama in the performance. This felt very dramatic. However, I don't think it deserves being sent home. I hope he'll be back next week because I don't know if I've mentioned it but Big Mike can sing.

Crystal Bowersox ("People Get Ready") - Y'all I don't know who originally sang this song but I loved when the Christian band "Newsong" covered this. I still rock out to that song. It's amazing.

The open was brilliant and I've only heard 30 seconds of this and I'm in love. I'll say it again, this girl is miles above every other contestant on this show. So, I'm just going to stop typing and just listen.

My DVR cut off before they got to Simon's comments and I'm curious to hear what he had to say.

Ok, let's wrap this up.

Best of the night: Crystal
Worst of the night: Aaron
Should go home: Aaron or Tim
Probably going home: Aaron

We'll see...

Walden. Out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol - Top 9...Again?

I can't tell you how sad I was to see who was in the bottom three last week and then how extremely excited I was to see them use the save on Michael Lynche. I was on my floor in from of my TV chanting, "Save! Save! Save!" I'm surprised my neighbors didn't heed my cries and call 911.

This week is Elvis week. Should be interesting. I don't really get what Adam Lambert has to do with Elvis, and you all know my feelings about this guy but, I digress.

So let's get to it.

THIS. Is American Idol.

Crystal Bowersox ("Saved") - A true sign of a great artist and performer, in my humble opinion, is that you can watch them performer over and over and over again and never get tired of hearing them. They never bore you and they are always true to themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, Crystal Bowersox is just that. I never get tired of her and I am never bored after she finishes performing. I loved the electric guitar and the bluesy feel of the song. If I didn't know that was an Elvis song, I would've believed it to be her own. I still love her voice and I loved the performance.

Randy, she is the second coming of Bonnie Raitt.

Andrew Garcia ("Hound Dog") - I don't know what to think about this. It wasn't boring but it did leave me wanting more. I don't know how much you can do with this song though. I wasn't wanting to jump up out of my seat for this one. I still love his voice and I loved the bridge. I just think that it was more like a high school talent show performance than a star performance.

Tim Urban ("I Can't Help Falling In Love") - Ok, first. Did anyone else see Ryan dancing with the guy in the audience and was it as distracting for you as it was for me?

I actually thought that was a pretty great performance. He reminds me a little of Kris Allen. Maybe not as good and his voice is definitely not as pure, but he's got a sweet, humble boy thing about him. I loved his guitar work and it was just a really honest performance. He definitely connected with the audience tonight which is something that I think the judges have been wanting him to do. The only thing that disappointed me was that he didn't do the falsetto like they talked about in the package. I was kind of looking forward to hearing him do that.

I'm glad Simon noticed the dancing too. I think Tim just earned a place in the Top 8, folks.

Lee Dewyze ("A Little Less Conversation") - This is the PERFECT song for him. Let's hope he does it well.

I loved the acoustic beginning. Every musician knows that if you want to get the crowd into something, then let them take over the beat. The rest of the song was perfection as well for me and he actually reminded me a little of Bo Bice there for a second. Which isn't a bad thing, I guess.

Can there be a girl winner and a boy winner this year? Because I'd totally pick Crystal and Lee.

Aaron Kelly ("Blue Suede Shoes") - That's was pretty good. It was nice to see him do something besides a ballad and I think we saw a different side of him tonight. Even though he's got some really good stage presence, I think I could tell that he still felt a little out of his element. But a star owns a song whether it's "Mary Had A Little Lamb" or "Blue Suede Shoes." It's all about being confident in your talent. If you know you can sing, then you go out and sing no matter what the song is.

Siobhan Magnus ("Suspicious Minds") - First of all, she looks like she just walked right out of the movie, "Just One Of The Guys." It's weird. I liked the second part of the song better than the first. It fit her voice better but I just still don't know what to think about her. I just don't think it was current. And that's all I have to say about that.

Michael Lynche ("In The Ghetto") - I am captivated. This sounds nothing like the original and that is a good thing because I've never been a big fan of the sound of the original. This is so current that I can hear this on his album and on the radio right now. I loved it, in the words of Simon, "a million billion times" over.

Katie Stevens ("Baby What Do You Want Me To Do") - Ok, I was digging this until she pushed that "You" and cracked. And then she did it again. And then again. And she got uncomfortable. I liked it though. It wasn't her best performance but I don't think it was bad enough to send her home.

Casey James ("Lawdie Miss Claudie") - Really, what can I say about Casey James that I have not yet said here on this blog? I love him. I loved this performance. And I think, maybe, I'd like to propose to Casey James now. Especially if he'll sing to me like that every night.

My top three: Crystal, Lee and Michael
My bottom three: Siobhan, Andrew and Aaron
Should go home: Siobhan and Andrew
Probably going home: Andrew and Aaron

We'll see...

Walden. Out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Precious

I just finished watching the Academy Award-winning movie, Precious, and I'm in a puddle on the floor.

Fifteen minutes into the movie, my heart was breaking and my eyes were filled with tears.

If you haven't seen it, or have been living under a rock for the past four months, the movie is about an underprivileged (that term makes me squirm) Harlem teenager who is 16 and still in middle school. Her mother abuses her in every way you could possibly imagine and her father's continuous rape resulted in two kids, one which has Down's Syndrome, and the AIDS virus.

The story is shocking, revealing and thought-provoking and it made me angry.

I'm angry that there are people out there that have to go through that every day. I'm angry that there are people out there that would do that to their own children. But more than that, I'm angry that I rarely even think that this is a reality in the world that I live in.

I'm so thankful that I grew up in a home where I saw love and knew love the way that it should be known. I'm thankful that I knew love as unconditional and sacrificial and not abusive and degrading. And I'm thankful that I never had to worry about so many of the things that girls like Precious have to endure day in and day out.

But now I'm angry at myself for not considering that everyone else on the earth and even down the street aren't experiencing the world like I have been privileged to experience it. And I'm mad that I could've possibly spent everyday of my grade school education sitting next to people like Precious and never even cared to know.

In the movie, Precious gets kicked out of her school because she is pregnant. (Which is a whole different blog post that I will save for another day.) She attends an "alternative" school where she takes a class that will help her in reading and writing. Her teacher has her students write in journals, and when she reads them, she writes back.

I was taken by her style of teaching as on the first day, she simply began class by each student introducing themselves to the class (if they wanted) and then she told them to write in their journals for 15 minutes. She didn't care what they wrote about. They just had to write.

I remember having to write journals in so many classes in middle school, high school and college. I remember dreading having to do it most of the time, but as I look at what my passions are in life, writing is one of them and then I look back on where that came from and it stems from my teachers fueling that passion through the same practice that Precious' teacher used.

As I've grown older, I've become more communicative, I think, in certain aspects of my life. I still believe that I share my feelings better through the written word than I do through speaking. But I believe that as I've become more passionate about certain issues, I've surprised myself at how I've been able to articulate that passion orally -- something I never really was good at when I was younger. And I think that stems from my ability to put that passion into writing. Writing helps you organize your thoughts, separate the positive from the negative and work through emotions. And that is why I believe writing/literacy is a huge part of a child's education.

I still don't know what I want to do with my life (which is another thing that angers me). I know I could go on and on about how my parents spent all of this money for me to get two degrees and now I don't know if I want to do anything that has anything to do with them.

I do know what I'm good at. And I know what I'm passionate about. And writing is one of those things. I've been asking God to show me where he is leading me because I know it's not further down the road of sports information. Is it is ministry or charity? It is in public relations? Is it in teaching?

I don't know.

But what I do know is that I want my life to count. I want to make an impact. Not because I'm selfish but because I know that that is what God has called me to do. He's called me to impact the world for his glory.

I know that it may seem like one thing has nothing to do with the other in this post but just trust that it makes perfect sense in my mind.

And do me a favor? If you are in a position where you can impact lives like Precious, don't pass it up. You're not just doing Precious a favor. You are saving her life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

American Idol - Top 9

THIS. Is American Idol.

John Lennon/Paul McCartney Songbook night.

I could not be more excited and if one person ruins one of these songs I'm inclined to throw my brand new TV out of the window. Actually, I'm not because I'm pretty fond of it but I might be really mad and inclined to fast forward through their performance.

Aaron Kelly ("Long And Winding Road") - I really tried to have a positive attitude about his performance tonight. And there were some bright spots but there are a bajillion more songs that this kid could've picked that would've fit his voice and personality more than this song. It was weird for me. I didn't really like at all. But he can still sing.

Katie Stevens ("Let It Be") - Okay, I can't even believe I'm saying this but -- That. Was. GOOD. For the first time in this competition, I actually liked Katie Stevens. That was current, honest and just plain good. She just stood up there and sang. No gimmicks. No messing around. She just sang. And she sang the heck out of that song. I would download that. And she looked great. Again, for the first time, I felt like she wasn't playing "dress up".

Simon has no clue what he is talking about with all the country talk.

Andrew Garcia ("Can't Buy Me Love") - Loved it. Perfect song. Perfect arrangement. No one else could've pulled that off. Had it been anyone else, I would've said it was cheesy and weird but this guy can pull that off in a good way. That should tell Simon Cowell something about Andrew Garcia's personality. I love love loved this performance and I think he's still on track.

Michael Lynche ("Eleanor Rigby") - Oh, how I love the melody of this song. I didn't really like the intro and I have to admit that I wasn't sure how this would translate to R&B, but Big Mike made it happen. And, the strings. Oh, the strings. I love them. I love them. I love them. This was awesome. He is such a good performer and such an honest performer. And I love his voice! I agree with what Kara said. He completely made that song relevant.

Crystal Bowersox ("Come Together") - I can't hear this song and not think of Chris Allen. Let's see if Crystal changes this.

Okay, Crystal Bowersox is like the break in the show where the professionals come out and perform and show everyone how its down. That's what this girl just did. She comes out every week and blows the competition out of the water. It's nuts! I don't even understand what she's doing on this show. She should be out there making records right now. She's incredible.

Yes, Kara. Bonnie Rait. Exactly.

Tim Urban ("All My Lovin'") - Couldn't have picked a better song for this kid's personality. Okay, I enjoyed this. It was definitely his best performance in the last few weeks. I agree with Kara that the guitar keeps him honest and true to himself. I just don't know how good it was to keep him on the show, relatively speaking. I'd love to see him again but I don't know who I'd send home besides Aaron, which won't happen, or Siobhan, who I haven't seen yet. And if the whole music thing doesn't work out, he'll not doubt get a job doing toothpaste commercials.

Casey James ("Jealous Guy") - I loved this performance. It was so raw and I can definitely hear this on one of his albums. I kinda want to go download it right now. Like, I don't even know what to say about it because nothing I say will do it justice. It was awesome.

Siobhan Magnus ("Across The Universe") - First I have to say, the glittery lips are out. of. control. But I have to say this was a good performance. It wasn't her best but it showed a sort of different side to her and I appreciate that. At the beginning, I loved her voice. Now, it's kind of starting to annoy me a little. Her lower register is getting a little nasal-y and I hate that. And I hate that I'm going to say this but I see shades of Adam Lambert in her.

Lee Dewyze ("Hey Jude") - Dear goodness, I might shed a tear. No one can understand how much I love this song and how many afternoons I spent riding around singing this song at the top of my lungs my senior year. The bagpipes guy was so unexpected and out of the blue that it was just awesome. His confidence was off the scale tonight. That little sly smile he has, I'm telling you, that is a tell that he is relaxed and in his zone. It didn't matter if he was pitchy or not, tonight wasn't about singing it perfectly for Lee Dewyze. Tonight was about a solid performance that ended that show and a memorable note. He performed tonight and was a star.

Okay, here's my top three:
1. Casey James
2. Lee Dewyze
3. Crystal Bowersox

Bottom three:
1. Tim Urban
2. Aaron Kelly
3. Siobhan Magnus

Going home? Probably Tim but I wish it would be Aaron. To me, Aaron just doesn't have anything interesting about him that calls out to me for a vote.

But...we shall see tomorrow.

At least the TV's life was spared tonight.

Walden. Out.

Christian American Idol Scorecard

I can't tell you how excited I am to participate in the worldwide Stuff Christians Like post. SCL is one of my most favorite blogs and I know my followers know that I link to it very often. Today, SCL fans and bloggers alike, join to create the biggest SCL blog post/scorecard ever.

A few weeks ago, John Acuff (creator of SCL) asked people to participate in a huge scorecard. About 130 folks emailed and signed up. He sent each person a line from a scorecard that he wrote to determine who on American Idol is a Christian.

(And y'all know I love me some American Idol.)

To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit stuffchristianslike.net. Then tomorrow he will post the key that tells you what score totals mean.

So without further ado, I give you...

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”

161. In a moment of raw, unadulterated excitement they say, “H, E, Double Hockey Sticks!” = +2 points

162. They audition with an instrument. A harp. = +3 points

163. They refuse to take a compliment and do the Christian courtesy of rejecting it immediately. = +2 points

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week (Edited)

***Edited to add Sunday's reading. (Because I refused to be around a computer on Sunday.)***

I'm enjoying my slight vacation (because I still have to work, just from home), and I hope you all are enjoying yours. Don't let the holiday-ness trump what this week is about.

Thursday's reading:
1. The Last Supper
Matthew 26:17-29
Mark 14: 12-25

Luke 22: 7-38
John 13: 1-38

2. Jesus comforts His disciples
John 14: 1- 16: 33

3. Jesus’ high priestly prayer
John 17: 1-26

4. Gethsemane
Matthew 26: 36-46
Mark 12: 32-42
Luke 22: 40-46

Friday's reading:
1. Jesus’ arrest and trial
Matthew 26:47- 27:26
Mark 14:43-15:15
Luke 22:47-23:25
John 18:2-19:16

2. Jesus’ crucifixion and death
Matthew 27:27-56
Mark 15:16-41
Luke 23:26-49
John 19:17-37

3. The burial of Jesus
Matthew 27:57-66
Mark 15:42-47
Luke 23:50-56

John 19:38-42

Sunday's reading:
1. Jesus appears at the empty tomb
Matthew 28: 1-8
Mark 16:1-8
Luke 24:1-12
John 20:1-10

2. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden
Mark 16:9-11
John 20:11-18

3. Jesus appears to other women
Matthew 28:9-10

4. Jesus appears to two people going to Emmaus
Mark 16:12-13
Luke 24:13-32

5. Jesus appears to Peter
Luke 24:34
1 Corinthians 15:5

6. Jesus appears to the ten disciples in the upper room
Luke 24:36-43
John 20:19-25