Saturday, July 31, 2010

Idol 73 - Anthony Fedorov

73. Anthony Fedorov
Season 4, 4th Place

Anthony was a mixed bag for me during his season. I don't know.

I mean, I remember seeing the previews that showed Anthony's audition and I dreaded hearing him. All I saw in the preview was a mediocre-voiced whiny kid that I did NOT want to be on the show.

To me, he was about as rigid and unnatural as they come. Everything seemed very forced and I hated when he squeezed every ounce of soul out of soulful songs like Breaking Up is Hard to Do and sang it so darn precise.

Now, during Broadway night, where Anthony sang Climb Every Mountain, I knew that he's not going to win American Idol. I just didn't find his vocals good enough to win the whole competition. After that, my opinion didn't change a whole lot throughout the rest of the show.

Sure, he improved somewhat on Top 7 and Top 6 night, but he still wasn't great. He was back to his mediocre self on Top 5 night. Although, he went out on his strongest two performances, but I was somewhat puzzled that he managed to outlast so many others who were far more deserving to make Top 4, in my opinion.

I admit, he has a good voice, but his performances often came across as awkward and cheesy. Oh well, I'm glad he's doing well on Broadway.

Favorite performance(s): Eh. None of them really did anything for me, but I thought I Surrender was really good. I think this song fit him pretty well.

I Surrender

#72 - Flower Power

Idol News: Kara DioGuardi Fired?

Wow. What a day. First, it was Ellen DeGeneres announcing her resignation as an Idol judge. Now, TMZ is reporting that Kara DioGuardi was fired and the panel will go back to a 3-judge format.

According to the article, assuming all deals are finalized, the judge's panel will consist of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler (Aerosmith).

Ok. So, this is kind of an interesting process and even though the show is not about the judges, it all goes to show just how important the chemistry between the judges is to the show.

I really think that American Idol started its trip down the pan when they introduced Kara DioGuardi and slid Paula Abdul out. The chemistry between Paula, Randy and Simon worked and was still working - if tired - in Season 7. The only thing that saved Season 8, in my opinion, was the talent and personalities of the contestants - or the Top 5 at least - that somehow overcame all the crap that was going on with the judges and other tweaks  the producers made.

Season 9 - minus Paula Abdul - the problems were front and center and the contestants weren’t strong enough to distract. I hate to say it but I don’t think the producers understood what Paula brought to the show until she was gone.

Of course, Simon Cowell is irreplaceable. It takes quite some charisma to get away with being as rude as he is and still be attractive and compelling to the audience. The show needs his wit and bluntness – that was evident this season when he seemed to be already absent half the time – but it needs his charm to pull it off too.

As for Kara DioGuardi, I think she had a hard time defining herself on the show. Seriously though, I'm torn on Kara leaving American Idol. I mean, she was hands down the best judge of Season 9, but the THING is - as she would say - she's just so unappealing. With the wagging of her finger, her way of phrasing and her verbosity consuming far too many precious seconds, I just want her to SHUT UP. Oh, and add the way she decided to climb all over Simon this year and I wanted to barf.

My only nagging thought about Kara being fired is that they gave Ellen a way to excuse herself gracefully, why not Kara? Why not cut both at the same time, then it looks much more like business and nothing to do with their performance as judges? This is getting a little weird, I think.

With Randy Jackson, I can see why they would keep him - for 'continuity' sake. Sure, he’s useless, but he has a pretty decent eye for talent. I don’t know. Maybe he’ll step up his game if he becomes the elder-statesman of the panel. Maybe he won’t phone it in when he knows people might actually listen to him - he had to have known that viewers were just waiting to see what Simon would say. Haha.

As for the new judges, Jennifer Lopez, I can see as a judge. Steven Tyler, not so much - that dude is a total train wreck. Would he be able to last a season? And as much as I try, this Steven Tyler thing scares the beejezus out of me. Ugh! Haha.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Idol News: Ellen DeGeneres Out, Jennifer Lopez In?

So, Ellen DeGeneres unfortunately bowed out of her Idol contract. She has officially resigned from her position as a judge next season.
“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” said DeGeneres in a press release. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.  It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.   I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on Idol and I am very grateful for the year I had.  I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”
Now, Associated Press is confirming that Jennifer Lopez is close to signing a deal with Idol. This is pretty interesting.

Ok. Here are my thoughts about this whole judging panel sweep. I'm not actually surprised to hear that Ellen is leaving the show, but I'm more surprised to hear that she decided to leave on her own. I'll miss her though even if she wasn't as helpful as I'd like her to be last season.

As for Jennifer Lopez, I think she's a good Paula Abdul replacement. She's a huge popstar that has become progressively irrelevant and she somehow has a kind of spirit that ties with the show. I think it could work. I mean, JLo was a mentor during Season 6 and was surprisingly good. Heck, she even got Sanjaya Malakar to sing quite good. I don't mind her at all because she obviously got swag! Haha.

Oh well, as long as the show becomes more about the contestants and less about the judges it won’t matter much. I'm wondering though if they'll have a complete judges panel overhaul.

Other rumored judges: Steven Tyler, Jessica Simpson, Harry Connick Jr., Justin Timberlake, Chris Isaak, Elton John and Courtney Love.

Idol 74 - Kristen McNamara

74. Kristen McNamara
Season 8, Top 36 Finalist

Kristen, at least to me, deserved a Wildcard callback during her season.

Really. She very well could've made the Top 12 if the old Top 24 format was used and it would've been nice to see how she would've grown over the weeks.

I have to be honest, Kristen has a great pop voice, and the song Give Me One Reason made me like her even more. Seriously, I appreciated her attempt to change up the tempo and infuse Tracy Chapman's stripped-down blues ditty with an extra jolt of brass and sass - which was actually more than what Jordin Sparks did back in season 6 - and if one could separate her vocal from the absolutely wretched keyboard line that haunted her every note, the performance was a smashing success.

Sadly, instead of commenting on the fact that the blonde underdog didn't miss a single note of her performance, Mr. Cowell decided to point out that she looked like she was dressed by her mother. Seriously Simon! Ugh.

I personally think that if she'd stuck around, she could've been one of the better girl contestants of that season. Such a shame.

Favorite Performance(s): Well, I have no other choice aside from her sole performance of Give Me One Reason. But her version of Because Of You during Hollywood week was also pretty good. Listen!

Give Me One Reason

Because Of You

#73 - Birth defect in his wind pipe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Music Video: I Didn't Know - Alex Lambert

I fell in love with Alex Lambert’s voice after he sang Everybody Knows and knew that he’d make something of himself after he undeservedly got voted off so early on American Idol.

Now, I love the song when I first heard the demo, and this is even better! Alex definitely has a nice sound. Clever concept on the video and it's beautifully shot. The song itself seems like a reject from Michael Johns’ or Brooke White’s debut album, which is not particularly a bad thing except these two are 31 and 26 years old respectively and adult contemporary artists. Alex Lambert, on the other hand, is just 19. Interesting choice for a first single. I wonder what their strategy is?

Anyway, Alex Lambert is, arguably, the true success story of Season 9.

Weekend Box Office: Inception remains at #1

Weekend Box Office
July 16 - 18, 2010
(Weekend Gross / Total Gross)

($42,725,012 / $142,883,424)
2. Salt 
($36,011,243 / debut)

3. Despicable Me
($23,689,060 / $161,289,905)

($9,651,495 / $42,609,020)

($8,917,512 / $379,416,551)

6. Ramona and Beezus
($7,810,481 / debut)

7. Grown Ups
($7,428,742 / $142,240,828)

($7,186,170 / $279,827,262)

($4,217,021 / $123,308,790)

10. Predators
($3,120,656 / $46,839,081)

Few notes about this week's milestones:
  • Inception had the smallest second-weekend percentage drop of the summer for any major release and the second smallest for the year behind the much lower-grossing Tooth Fairy.
  • Salt was Angeline Jolies's fourth best opening after Wanted, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie Review: The Last Airbender

I'll admit, I extremely have little knowledge of this Nickelodeon cartoon making me unaware of what to expect with the movie. That being said, any good adaptation of a TV show or a book should be accessible to someone who has never seen the source material. This film, however, wasn't.

To me, this was an absolute mess of a movie. Seriously. The story felt rushed and it somehow jumped around in a totally nonsensical manner. There was absolutely NO time spent on characterization and none of the characters had any depth at all and may as well have been cardboard cutouts.

Major plot points were summarized through narration or montage that somehow left any person not familiar with the story - including me - absolutely dumbfounded. Plus, there were some things that just were flat out stupid - a girl saw something under the ice that looked scary and so she smashed the ice without any motivation? Give me a break.

The writing was horrendous and the direction was a bit choppy. I mean, certain scenes made little sense, the camera lingered on other similarly senseless scenes, and at times the camera angles were difficult to follow.

Oh, and the acting was bad across the board, with the exception of Dev Patel. The child cast as the main lead delivered his lines as if he was reciting them off a cue card. The two water tribe children were no better. Heck, even some of the background extras acted awkwardly. But of course, there were no real survivors to M. Shyamalan's clunker of a script. Good thing, some of the adult actors managed to find their way somewhat on their own. Haha.

If I have one good thing to say about the film, I personally thought that the visuals were good, although I got less than what I expected. Haha. They can never win no?

Such a shame. It could have been so good.

 RATING: 3/10

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Idol 75 - AJ Tabaldo

75. AJ Tabaldo
Season 6, Top 20 Finalist

Frankly, I thought AJ was robbed. Seriously.

He, to me, should've been in the Finals of Season 6 and it still baffles me as to how he wasn't, considering how weak the guys were that season.

Sure, he wasn't an amazing singer or anything, but I thought he gave two great performances during the semifinals and was still eliminated early. Come on! I mean, Never Too Much was clearly a highlight on a rather mediocre night and his rendition of Feeling Good was very good. He made it his own and it was arguably one of the best of Top 20 night.

I don't know. AJ's lack of screen time prior to the semifinals was what did him in. Obviously, he only had those two performances to build up a fanbase and it just wasn't enough at that time.

Now, I know Season 6 had to have Sanjaya, but AJ should've at least stayed over someone like Jared Cotter or even Brandon Rogers.  He easily should've been in the Top 12. I personally think AJ could've grown throughout the competition, and he had tremendous potential.

Such a shame to have seen him leave so early. I really thought he could've done well in the top 12 considering how weak most of the other guys were.

Favorite Performance(s): Feeling Good was probably a better performance than Never Too Much, but nonetheless I think he did pretty well on both songs.

Feeling Good

#74 - Trying to get a reality TV show with Tatiana Del Toro and Normund Gentle

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Idol 76 - Leah LaBelle

76. Leah LaBelle
Season 3, 12th Place

Yes, I ranked Leah on top of Lil Rounds and other "better" singers and I have perfectly justified reasons for having her this high, and as always, you are about to find them out..

Frankly, having a great audition goes a long way in my book and I don't care what anyone says but she had a freakin' amazing audition. Her voice was incredibly smooth, controlled and most of all soulful. I immediately fell in love with that beautiful tone to her voice. When she made it to the Top 32, I was incredibly ecstatic!

Then came her live performance. Now, Leah was with a very strong group of singers. I don't think many people would argue that Group 3 was the best group of semi-finalists that season. But, to me, it was pretty clear that Latoya London and Leah were the best of that group and deserved to move on. Unfortunately, she didn't even make the Top 3 of that night and seeing her tears was just heartbreaking for me, but I was still optimistic for the Wildcard show.

A week later I was so relieved when I found out she would be coming back for the Wildcard round, but I wasn't too sure of her chances when I saw the people she would be competing with that week. Oh, and it certainly didn't make me feel any better after I heard her sing. It really didn't do much for me. But I really thought she was just barely in the better half of the Wildcard show.

But really, it was blatantly obvious that Suzy Vulaca, Jennifer Hudson and George Huff had done enough to move on, and that fourth place was a tight race. I thought Leah, Elizabeth, Katie, Matt and JPL all delivered weak performances, but Leah had the edge. Needless to say, I was so thrilled when Paula picked Leah to move on.

Sadly, Leah got a lot of backlash that week going into the Top 12. So, I basically knew she was a dead girl walking and another lackluster performance didn't help her as well. Then, she was the first one voted out.

I think she's capable of great performances, but she was never given the chance to redeem herself. I've tried to keep up with her since Idol and she really has such a beautiful soulful voice, based from her YouTube videos.  I really believe that if she auditioned for the show now, and sang about as good as she does on YouTube, she would easily be in my Top 10 Idols ever - heck, maybe Top 5.

I'm dead serious. She really knows how to use her voice. She's got an innate sensibility for phrasing, beautiful control, and most of all she is so soulful. I'd almost go as far to say she has the most soulful voice of anyone to ever be on the show. Don't believe me? Go watch her videos.

Favorite performance(s): Like I've already said I love her audition so much. Her voice even gave out at one point, but it was so soulful and impressive. I also quite enjoyed her performance of I Have Nothing. No, it wasn't perfect, but she made it her own - more than anyone else who has sang it on the show. I loved the phrasing choices she made. The high notes were a tad screechy, but I loved the tone. Oh, and how could anyone forget her group performance in Hollywood. Easily one of the best Hollywood performances ever - and Leah was definitely a big part of that.


Hollywood Group Performance

Let's Stay Together

#75 - Filipino

Friday, July 23, 2010

Idol 77 - Lil Rounds

77. Lil Rounds
Season 8, 7th Place

To be honest, from the moment Lil auditioned for Idol, I didn't really like her. I thought she was generic, boring and a less talented version of what we had already seen before and got way more praise than she ever should have.

Then, Be Without You happened and I was sort of impressed. I mean, I would've still preferred Felicia Barton, Kristen McNamara or Mishavonna Henson over her but she somehow proved herself to be worthy of the producer's pimpage.

Then, she gave another great performance on Michael Jackson week with The Way You Make Me Feel, and a pretty decent performance, I thought, on Grand Ole Opry night that was a little underrated. Well, I really thought Lil was pegged to do extremely well in the competition.

Too bad, her performances went downhill from there. The real Lil Rounds had been completely lost somewhere and some poser Lil took her place. Motown week wasn't too bad although I expected better from her that week. I thought it was just a little setback. Then, something possessed her to sing Celine Dion on Top Downloads night, and she gave a relatively bad performance. Top 8 week, she gave an underwhelming impression of Tina Turner, and at that point I was done with her. I don't know.

I don't think she ever knocked a ballad out of the park as divas in previous years always had. I mean, I kept waiting for her to do that, even as she slipped, but whenever she tried - I Surrender and The Rose - she wasn't very successful.

Lil obviously just got progressively worse every week and she started getting snappy and arrogant about it as though she had the place to discredit the judges when they were finally telling her what they should have long ago. I think she got so much further than she should have honestly.

Oh well, it's just too bad to see a contestant fall from grace like Lil Rounds did.

Favorite Performance(s): I only liked Be Without You and The Way You Make Me Feel. Ok. I'm too lazy to even tell you why. Haha. Just go figure.

Be Without You

The Way You Make Me Feel

#76 - Jordin Sparks' current back-up singer

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Idol 78 - Von Smith

78. Von Smith
Season 8, Top 36

Yes, the boy who I thought could actually rival Adam Lambert during that season with all the screaming. Haha.

Seriously. After Von Smith's audition, he was probably destined to become a front-runner for Season 8's Love Him or Hate Him Contestant.

Sure, he got a powerful instrument but his problem was that his rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow left me uncertain if he knew what to do with it. He was like blasting every last note from his mouth like he was aiming cannonballs at a brick wall. If I'd compare it to Jason Castro's hauntingly beautiful - and at times, practically whispered - version of the song, well, there's no comparison actually. Haha.

And then Hollywood happened and I hated him more. His rendition of If The Rain Must Fall by James Morrison was indeed, as Simon said, a totally indulgent nonsense. He was literally screaming at us - the viewers! Ha.

Now, when the new Top 36 format was introduced during that season, I was positive that I will hate him even more. But for some odd reason, I loved his first live performance. I was shocked as his performance of You're All I Need To Get By was actually good. I expected to hate it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was really glad he toned it down. And although his lower register was a bit wobbly, he has a very nice modulated voice - and performance for that matter. If I'm being honest, I was somehow expecting him to enter the Final 12. But he didn't.

Good thing, he was given another chance to perform during the Wildcard round. But just when Von Smith was starting to grow on me - with his adorable cartoon-character hair, and his humble admission that, yes, he sometimes shouts at his audience - he suddenly went out and gave a totally restrained take on Elton John's Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, but promptly experienced all kinds of pitch problems. Such a shame.

Overall, my relationship with him was hit and miss though I would admit that his Idol run was pretty good - something I never expected. One thing's for sure, I prefer him than Scott McIntyre and Jorge Nunez.

Favorite Performance(s): I really enjoyed his very first performance,  You're All I Need To Get By. As I've said it was surprisingly good. Good modulation with not so much screaming going on.

You're All I Need To Get By

#77 - Could pass as a rapper's name! Ha

Movie Review: Inception

What is the most resilient parasite? An Idea! Nice!

Inception, to me, was unlike any other. Seriously. It combined heart-stopping action, mind bending psychological concept and deep emotional conflicts, then wrapped them in a tight, perfectly edited package, and kicked you with them in the face. Haha. That's what I felt.

Truth be told, the plot was not easy to follow. I mean, yes, the story was simple but the idea of entering the dream state and the associated details made everything a little complex than usual. However, I found that regardless of how complex the storyline got, it somehow pulled off the miracle of not making it seemed overwrought.

Now, the interesting part about this was the fact that I wasn't so surprised at how little I understand, but rather how much I understand. Really. The script and pacing was done so well that everything was explained in a perfect amount of detail, which eventually served to make the movie a mind-blowing climax of epic proportions.

Technically, it didn't disappoint one bit. If there was one word to describe the cinematography, the set designs and the special effects, that's exceptional - and it's even an understatement. I mean, it goes without saying that the special effects and whatnot were one of the highlights of this movie - probably The Matrix of this time, but in a much subtler way. The scoring, to me, was to die for as well.

As for the performances, I thought they were pitch perfect. The cast seemed committed to the hob at hand, and much of the supporting characters did just as great a job as the main lead, Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, as I've said before, I wasn't a fan of his until Shutter Island and Inception made me appreciate him even more. His performance here may or may not fetch him an Oscar, but this was, arguably, one of his finest performances to date. I thought he flawlessly provided the emotional and narrative center of the film. Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Marion Cottilard, on the other hand, all turned in rock star performances.

Every shot, every angle, every sequence of this movie was absolutely stellar. Every plot twist, every line off their script was sheer genius. The pacing was perfect, and the story was destined to become a classic. Obviously, this proved that even the biggest summer blockbusters - at least, in the US - can be intelligent and artistic. If Nolan's The Dark Knight was the revolution, I personally think than Inception is the reign established afterward. Haha.

RATING: 10/10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Idol 79 - Kristy Lee Cook

79. Kristy Lee Cook
Season 7, 7th Place

The girl who sold her horse just to audition for Idol! Yes, she's sitting pretty at #79.

Well, when Kristy first auditioned I could tell she had a .. decent voice, but she was quite bland and old-fashioned. Sure, she's gorgeous but that can just take you so much.

Now, things didn't get much better in Hollywood. I couldn't help but make fun of her saying she could only sing Amazing Grace well. Needless to say, she set the bar very low for herself. Haha.

Then we get to the semifinals and Kristy was sick. Can I blame the flu for weak vocals? Yes. Can I blame it for awkward stage presence, freaky eyes, and a terribly karaoke song choice? Umm, maybe not. It didn't make her THAT delirious. Fact is I really didn't like Kristy in the semis, and I did NOT for one second want her making it past the Top 20, or Top 16. But she did.

She was doing one thing right, though, and Paula said it to her. She was seriously getting better and better each week. Sure, she took baby steps, and she had a few interruptions - the awful Eight Days a Week and the bland as hell Coat of Many Colors - but if you put her performances on a grid, and drew a line of progression, it would go pretty consistently in an inclining line.

That is exactly what the competition should be about. Trying to top your best each week. Kristy excelled at that, and that's how she beat the odds to get to the top seven. Of course, I wouldn't suggest starting off quite as crappy as Kristy did, though.

That being said, I somehow blamed her for Michael Johns elimination. I don't know. I WANTED to like her, but I couldn't. I really wanted Kristy to go home pretty much every week during those five weeks.

Good thing, she has a VERY dedicated fan base, because they were able to get her out of the semifinals. Oh, and being the only country artist in the competition that season didn't hurt her, either.

Favorite performance(s): Kristy made a brilliant song choice when she sang Anyway. In a minute and a half she showed what style of song she should sing as an artist, she sang something pretty modern that still fit with the theme, and most importantly, she showed off an impressive display of power vocals. This was the first week that I really knew Kristy could sing. The first time I put her in the top half of the performances. It was very good.


#78 - Indulgent Nonsense

Weekend Box Office: Inception debuts at #1

Weekend Box Office
July 16 - 18, 2010
(Weekend Gross / Total Gross)
1. Inception
($62,785,337 / debut)

2. Despicable Me
($32,803,660 / $118,434,555)

($17,619,622 / debut)

($13,420,480 / $264,791,897)

($11,998,276 / $362,965,378)

6. Grown Ups
($9,911,016 / $129,165,357)

7. The Last Airbender
($7,755,153 / $115,138,607)

8. Predators
($7,016,502 / $40,300,543)

($3,608,021 / $69,117,400)

($2,288,707 / $169,290,675)

Few notes about this week's milestones:
  • Inception is Leonardo DiCaprio's biggest opening, exceeding Shutter Island.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Idol 80 - Josh Gracin

80. Josh Gracin
Season 2, 4th Place

Josh. The one with the fake twang. Haha.

I wasn't much of a fan and he would've been lower, but I thought he gave about three slightly impressive performances that helped give him a little boost.

That being said, Josh, to me, seemed a little fake. He is to country what Constantine is to rock. Haha. I don't know. I just found it a little weird how this guy talks normal, he sings normal in the semifinals, then out of nowhere he starts singing with some fake country accent that he doesn't even talk with. It was all pretty ridiculous to me.

Now, as for his singing, I thought he was very inconsistent. Yes, he has a decent tone but that's about it for me. He was just a decent 'country' performer when he didn't try too hard. Too bad, he started giving so many train wreck performances in a row that somehow got me a bit annoyed with him.

Oh, and I couldn't believe he lasted much longer than I thought he should have - Trenyce anyone?

Post-Idol, however, Josh has greatly improved. I definitely recommend checking out some of his songs, especially We Weren't Crazy.

Favorite performance(s): Josh should be proud, because I think his swan song To Love Somebody was his best performance of the season. It's always good to go out on a good note like that. I thought he made the song fit him well, and it was honestly the first time I thought he made the country thing believable. Sadly, I can't find any videos online and I only found I'll Be. Haha.

I'll Be

#79 - Season 8 Winner + ty + Season 9 Winner + Season 7 Winner

Monday, July 19, 2010

Movie Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Well, this movie, to me, was simple but effective with room for awkward yet entertaining humor. Ha! Seriously. Anyone who has seen the trailer of the movie will know what to expect - a pretty straightforward plot, tons of action and yes, amazing special effects.

Now, with that as my main expectation, I was surprised with how entertaining the film actually was! Sure, it was still a tad cheesy and cliched, but I somehow didn't mind because I really found the flick fairly enjoyable.

The plot wasn't amazing, nothing too original and a bit thin here and there, but it was a good 'magical experience'. I thought that the story was easy to follow, though a little darker than the usual Disney produced film.

Acting-wise, I thought Nicholas Cage stole the show. I don't normally like him, but he was great in Kick-Ass, and I found his portrayal of his role very mysterious yet comical. He didn't seem to know when to be serious or to ham it up, but it surprisingly worked for his unorthodox sorcerer role. Haha.

Jay Baruchel, on the other hand, was decent as the lead but he was obviously having trouble working with the material, especially in scenes with Nicholas Cage. Somehow, I could tell that both actors lacked the chemistry needed for these roles. However, what he lacked in his near leading man status, he succeeded greatly in comic timing and laughs.

Of course, technically, the movie was on point. The special effects were good and the fight scenes were decently choreographed. I could have done without the occasional background songs which seemed designed to emphasize romantic angst or appeal to young teenagers, but that was bearable. Haha.

Overall, the film was not quite as fun or good as it could have been, but it made for a fairly enjoyable throwaway. As I've said, it was nothing special, but it, arguably, delivered an entertaining film.

RATING: 7/10

Interlude: 27 Best Selling 'Idol' Singles

So why 27? Because American Idol alumni officially has 27 million-seller singles under its belt. Impressive no?

Of the 27 million-sellers by Idol contestants, eight are by Season 1 champ. That's twice as many as her closest rivals. Carrie Underwood, the Season 4 winner; Jordin Sparks, the Season 6 champ; and the band fronted by Chris Daughtry, who finished fourth in Season 5, have each landed four million-selling downloads. David Cook, the Season 7 champ, has had two.

Clarkson has also had the most consecutive million-sellers of any Idol contestant. She had six million-sellers in a row from Breakaway through Never Again. But Clarkson doesn't have the best-selling song by an Idol contestant - or even the second best-seller.

Want to find out?

Well, here are the 27 songs by American Idol contestants to sell 1 million or more digital copies. The tally is the sales total through the week of April 30, 2010.

27. Best Days Of Your Life
Kellie Pickler
Copies Sold: 1,011,000
Hot 100 peak: 46

26. Whataya Want From Me
Adam Lambert
Copies Sold: 1,061,000
Hot 100 peak:10

25. Light On
David Cook
Copies Sold: 1,074,000
Hot 100 peak: 17

24. Walk Away
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,094,000
Hot 100 peak: 12

23. Never Again
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,106,000
Hot 100 peak: 8

22. Wait For You
Elliott Yamin
Copies Sold: 1,113,000
Hot 100 peak: 13

21. No Surprise
Copies Sold: 1,128,000
Hot 100 peak: 15

20. All-American Girl
Carrie Underwood
Copies Sold: 1,191,000
Hot 100 peak: 27

19. Over You
Copies Sold: 1,273,000
Hot 100 peak: 18

18. Behind These Hazel Eyes
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,310,000
Hot 100 peak: 6

17. Cowboy Casanova
Carrie Underwood
Copies Sold: 1,311,000
Hot 100 peak: 11

16. The Time Of My Life
David Cook
Copies Sold: 1,328,000
Hot 100 peak: 3

15. Already Gone
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,344,000
Hot 100 peak: 13

14. Live Like We're Dying
Kris Allen
Copies Sold: 1,350,000
Hot 100 peak: 18

13. One Step At A Time
Jordin Sparks
Copies Sold: 1,377,000
Hot 100 peak: 17

12. Breakaway
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,413,000
Hot 100 peak: 6

11. Battlefield
Jordin Sparks
Copies Sold: 1,444,000
Hot 100 peak: 10

10. Because Of You
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 1,465,000
Hot 100 peak: 7

09. Jesus, Take The Wheel
Carrie Underwood
Copies Sold: 1,672,000
Hot 100 peak: 20

08. Crush
David Archuleta
Copies Sold: 1,918,000
Hot 100 peak: 2

07. Home
Copies Sold: 1,966,000
Hot 100 peak: 5

06. Tattoo
Jordin Sparks
Copies Sold: 2,070,000
Hot 100 peak: 8

05. It's Not Over
Copies Sold: 2,103,000
Hot 100 peak: 4

04. Since U Been Gone
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 2,235,000
Hot 100 peak: 2

03. My Life Would Suck Without You
Kelly Clarkson
Copies Sold: 2,311,000
Hot 100 peak: 1

02. Before He Cheats
Carrie Underwood
Copies Sold: 2,986,000
Hot 100 peak: 8

01. No Air
Jordin Sparks
Copies Sold: 3,127,000
Hot 100 peak: 3

A few milestones:
  • Daughtry's rock ballad It's Not Over, which has sold 2,103,000 copies, holds two records. It's the best-selling digital hit by a male contestant in Idol history. And it's the best-selling hit by any singer who didn't win the competition.
  • David Archuleta, the Season 7 runner-up, was just 17 in November 2008 when Crush topped the million mark in paid downloads. That made him the youngest Idol contestant to top 1 million. (Jordin Sparks had already turned 18 by the time Tattoo became her first million-seller in January 2008.) 
  • Jordin Sparks is the youngest contestant to top the 2 million mark. She first achieved that milestone in June 2008 with No Air.

The Fine Print: Contestants from the first few seasons of the show were at a disadvantage in making this list because there were no million-sellers in the digital world until October 2005. Songs released before then (such as Clarkson's first hits from Breakaway) have subsequently topped the 1 million mark, but it's harder for them because they peaked on the charts before digital sales really took off.Physical singles were still available in the early years of Idol, so I checked gold and platinum certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America. Clay Aiken's 2003 hit This Is The Night was certified platinum (signifying shipments of 1 million physical copies).

Five other physical singles by Idol contestants were certified gold (signifying shipments of 500,000 copies). These were Clarkson's 2002 hit A Moment Like This, Aiken's 2003 hit Invisible, Ruben Studdard's 2003 hit Flying Without Wings, and dueling 2005 recordings of Inside Your Heaven by Underwood and Bice.


#80 - Former US Marine Corps
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...