Thursday, April 28, 2011

April's Fury

So considering that we just ended the 24-hour weather watch marathon here in Sweet Home Alabama (officially dubbed by Fox 6 as April's Fury), there won't be an American Idol recap again tonight (sorry to disappoint AGAIN, Anna Little Morris!).

I do plan to hop on the interwebs and watch it tomorrow but I've got to say, it won't be the same with out my Stefano.

On another less humorous note, most of you around the South have probably heard about the terrible weather we had here in Alabama today. It was pretty wide spread throughout the state but I think it's safe to say that Tuscaloosa and Cullman got hit the worst. We're talking major destruction and fatalities.

Please keep the people who have been affected by these storms in your prayers. The people of Alabama have already started trying to find out how they can help in disaster relief and I couldn't be more excited to hear that. These storms today were no mistake. They were caused by The One who holds ALL in his hands.

I couldn't have said it better than what one of my college professors said on Twitter today: "Words that never rang truer than today: I will praise You in this storm..."

So, that's just what I'll do. I'll praise God for the incredible display of power that he put on today in his creation of nature and through his people. I pray that he gets the glory in the disaster relief of these storms.

To Him who can do immeasurably more than we can ask.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday? What happened to Monday and Tuesday?

So, no American Idol post for me tonight.

I'm swimming in a sea of track & field championships and softball and awards banquets and other stuff that I can't quite talk about on here yet but that is sucking up all of my time this week.

Not to mention, I'm on migraine number two this week.

So, no American Idol post for me tonight.

I'll leave the commenting to you this time.

And, maybe, if I have time tomorrow, I'll let you guys know what I thought.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Video Madness

1. This one gave me chills.

2. This one reminded me a little bit of the "It's A Small World" ride at Disney World.

3. This one is just funny. Go here and scroll to the bottom and click on the media video, "Acts In Three Minutes".

4. This one is scary.

5. This is precious. My nephew William's sweet moves to Thriller.

William's Sweet Moves from Katie Walden on Vimeo.

6. And last but not least, this one just because.

American Idol - Top 8

I still can't believe Pia's gone but if anyone is going to have success after this show, it will be Pia.

It's movie night. Let's roll...

Paul McDonald - "Old Time Rock & Roll"
I give Paul an A- and the saxophone player a C+. I coulda done without her. But Paul's performance was good. I feel like Paul is coming into his own now and, no pun intended with the suit, but his flower is starting to bloom a little. (Yikes) I think we've always known that Paul is talented in the singer/songwriter area but he's really becoming a performer now. He's becoming a contender.

(P.S. Can we get Steven Tyler to say something negative? At all? I mean even like, "I don't like that color red on you"? Anything?)

Lauren Alaina - (I bet she does "The Climb")
What did I say? Nice play on words, Seacrest. This was great. I loved it. It was so much better than the Miley Cyrus version where Miley just YELLS THE LYRICS AT YOU! Lauren Alaina sings so effortlessly (like Pia does) and I really think she's finding herself again.

(P.P.S. I kinda love Will.I.Am on the mentor sessions with the contestants. He's weird on the stage, but he's funny and very knowledgeable.)

Stefano Langone - "End Of The Road"
Not only is Stefano my all-time favorite Idol contestant (bold claim there), this is one of my all-time favorite songs. This Boyz II Men classy and I go all the way back to my hand-me-down stereo and my old room at the Old Spanish Trail house. But I digress.

Y'all I really don't need to tell you what I think about Stefano's performance because no matter what the judges think about Stefano's performance, I'm slightly biased, and Stefano can do no wrong tonight. So (insert unbiased commentary here).

(And he's dressed like a member of Boyz II Men.)

Scotty McCreery - "I Cross My Heart"
This song was in my big piano book of movie songs. Ok, I think Scotty's going to have a great career as a country music artist. People love him already and country music fans are the most loyal fans around. However, I didn't like this performance very much. It may have been more of the Loudy McLoudersons that he had as BGVs. I did really like the bridge and I did feel like this was his least cheesy performance on the show, but it wasn't really my fave. Also, we need to stop the whole "I wanna hold the mic with two hands but that's kinda girly so I'll just prop it up on the side" deal. It's almost as distracting as Christina Aguilera's finger waves.

Casey Abrams - "Nature Boy"
Ok, Jimmy Iovine has a point. The reason he is there is to help because contestants on this show need guidance. No question about it. I liked Casey's performance. Like I said last week, and like Forrest Gump said circa 1995, he's like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get.And y'all, the runs at the end? And the off note at the end? This guy has some kind of talent that a lot of people just don't appreciate. I usually like Casey because I like that quirkiness. Will the rest of voting America like Casey tonight? Probably not. But he just got a standing ovation from the judges and that proves that sometimes, even most of the time, you have to shut out the white noise (in this case Jimmy Iovine) and just go with your gut.

Haley Reinhart - "Call Me"
This is hard for me because I think Haley is the weakest person left in the competition but I feel like she is such a unique talent and performer that people should see her more. I just liked the performance this week, didn't love it. There were bright and shiny spots in the performance but there were also a lot of "yikes" spots too. I don't know that she's strong enough to stay in the competition, especially if Stefano's performance went over as well as everyone thinks it did.

(J-Lo made a great point though when she said that it's hard to say anything negative this season because everyone is so good. I think this is the strongest season of AI since Carrie Underwood's season.)

Jacob Lusk - "Bridge Over Trouble Water"
Jacob just took AI to CHURCH, y'all. To CHURCH! Steven Tyler took the words right off of my computer screen when he said that it's astounding how much of Jacob that Jacob pours into his performances. And that's what "taking it to church" means. Nestling right down in the gritty parts of songs and bring them out and slaying them that the person listening to it has a spiritual experience with the song. Singing the song so hard with emotion that the person on the very back row feels that emotion as much if not more than you do. Jacob did that tonight.

James Durbin - "Heavy Metal"
This was a great way to end the show. James Durbin is bringing heavy metal back. The kid is growing on me, y'all. Yelly McScreamy is growing on me. Dang it.

Best of the night: James and Stefano
Worst of the night: Haley
May end up in the bottom three: Haley, Paul, Casey (please just give Stefano a break America!)
Probably going home: Haley

True Maroon Goes Global

This took my day to new heights...or another land. Whatevs.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol - Top 9

There are a few other things that I probably should be doing at this moment instead of review American Idol, like sleeping because I have a migraine that makes my right eye involuntarily weep, but my commitment to all six of you that read my recaps is undying. You are welcome.

I've got to say, this elimination process is going to get harder. This is a very talented group of kids and I think it's going to come down to who has the best week. Everyone has to be on their toes from now on.

Let's do this.

Jacob Lusk - "Man In The Mirror"

First of all, I thought that the backup singer to Jacob's right was Naima at first glance and almost yelled at the TV, "No fair!" But I realized it wasn't and saved me from myself. Second of all, say what you want about MJ, but the guy made some incredible music. (Same with Elton John from last week. Dude is probably off his rocker but is a musical genius.) Now to Jacob. This was a pretty flawless performance for me vocally. I don't think there were any pitchy spots and he didn't really over-sing more than the song needed to be. It was a great performance. At this point, we all know what Jacob can do and we all know what we are going to get from him each week. Now, we need to be pleasantly surprised each week.

Haley Reinhardt - "Piece Of My Heart"

Last week was Haley's coming out party. I think she really kind of found her niche and she continued that this week. I'm glad that she chose and Janis Joplin song so that it would shut everybody up. I usually don't like the Yelly McScreamy on this show. However, this is a good vibe for her. It looks good on her, she does it well, and people respond to it. One of her best performances to date. And J-Lo was digging it.

Casey Abrams - "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" (I realized Thursday morning that I put Casey James instead of Casey Abrams and I had to laugh a little because, y'all, Casey James was some good scenery last season.)

I love this song, especially during a baseball rain delay. But I also loved Casey's sound on this. He has the perfect voice for this song and he performed it very well. Another thing I love about Casey is that yes, we always know what we are getting with him, but in a completely different way than the other people that I say this about on the show. You always know that he's going to change it up and you never know when he's going to pull out the upright bass. Tonight, I felt like I was watching a Casey James concert. I think this is exactly the type of music he would record. And again, I love the grit and softness that he mixes together.

Lauren Alaina - "Natural Woman"

I love seeing this mature side of Lauren. And it's not too mature in the case that she's singing way older than her age but her voice and tone is very mature so she's in a sense matching that. This was a great performance for me. It was good to see her wail on a song that isn't an upbeat poppy tune for once. She followed some big shoes considering Kelly Clarkson crushed this song in season one. I don't think it was quite up there with Kelly's version, but she is definitely getting her confidence back and it's showing.

(If the performances keep going like this, it's going to be a hard elimination this week.)

James Durbin - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

This was a great change of pace for James. I actually enjoyed the slower performance from him. It was good to see him kind of rein in his energy and deliver a controlled performance, considering he's been all over the venue the last few weeks. I think he just had a moment on the stage, emotionally and artistically. Dangerous move, but a good one.

Scotty McCreery - "That's Alright Momma"

Ok. If I closed my eyes, I'd say that this was a great performance. He sounded great. Always does. But there was something about his mannerisms that I just didn't connect with. I found them a little distracting. I kind of wanted to whisper to the TV, "Hey Scotty, just stand there and sing." It was a great performance, but it just tickled me.

Pia Toscano - "River Deep, Mountain High"

Oh. My. Wow. She just killed an upbeat song. This girl will be in the finals. No doubt. That's it.

Stefano Langone - "When A Man Loves A Woman"

Dear Stefano, will you marry me? Check yes or no.

That was incredible. I loved the falsetto at the beginning and the runs at the end and everything inbetween. So good.

Paul McDonald - "Folsom Prison Blues"

Paul just delivered a true Nashville performances. This was a great take on a great classic and he delivered it well. It fit his style, looked good on him and was entertaining. Great way to end the show.

Best of the night: Pia and Stefano

Worst of the night: Comparatively speaking, Scotty

In trouble: Scotty, Haley, Jacob (Again, comparatively speaking)

The Global Intiative

Surprise! This post is actually NOT about American Idol. Shocker. I know.

I hate that blogging has been put on the back-burner lately, since it's one of the very things that I love to do. Life has been kicking me in the hindparts lately, all whilst chasing me in this race some people would call work. I don't know that I've ever been this busy in my five years here at Samford. It's not all work's fault though. I'm getting ready for the next stage in my life (to be announced at a later date) and that, my friends, has been part of the problem. As lovely as it is.

But digress, I'm here to share a little linky click that meant to share about two weeks ago. This blog blessed my heart and I encourage you to read it and watch the videos and enjoy it as well.

It's called The Global Initiative and was written by my pastor, David Platt, on a recent trip to India. There are a few reasons why I love this link:

1. D. Platt has a way with words and his perspective on global disciple-making and the Word has completely revolutionized the way I look at the world and my faith right now. And he and his wife Heather are just precious.

2. It was so good to see my church family's faith, sacrifice and money at work in India.

3. It challenged me to look at how I'm living the gospel out in my everyday life. Especially the last post, "Do We Really Believe What We're Saying?"

I took about an hour out of my day a couple of weeks ago to read every post on this blog. I encourage you to do the same. Or at least break it up and read it all. I hope you are as challenged and encouraged by it as I am.


Global Initiative Blog