Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘American Idol’

Maybe I’m Amazed

If you did not see this performance – you need to.  Caleb Johnson is a name we will be hearing a lot in the future.   He has proven that he can sing any style equally well – and I will be surprised if he does not win this competition.  I think he did Paul McCartney proud this week!

God Bless

One Mississippi

The other night on American Idol – Dexter came on and sang this BEAUTIFUL ballad by Brett Eldredge.  I love it when a contestant sings something unexpected.  A slow ballad after singing fast country tunes most of the season.  I loved it when Harry noted that all of the great “front men” from famous bands – can sing the slow stuff too and sing it very well.  The mark of a great singer – one who can sing any style and any speed and pull it off every time.   Something that seems easy, but is very difficult.  Dexter – you’ve got my vote.

 

Enjoy and God Bless

Take Me To The King

If you watched American Idol this last week you will have seen this next young lady.  I think this performance is the first one that I personally was impressed with – as there are others on the show who seem to be more gifted vocally than she.   However – I must say that I’m changing my mind.  If you haven’t seen this – it is really worth watching!

 

Enjoy and God Bless

The Winner Is

Carrie Underwood performing at the World Arena...

Carrie Underwood performing at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I’ve been fascinated by a new musical reality show “The winner is” where contestants sing six songs to win a million dollars.  I watched the first episode purely out of curiosity and found it to be strangely compelling.  First of all, there is no feedback from judges.  All 101 of them sit up high observing and voting silently.  Two people perform and then there are two scores that pop up on the big screen above – one is for one contestant – the other score for the other – but nobody knows which is which.  It moves along quickly, part of its appeal.  But the most interesting part for me was the fact that they let the contestants choose who they think did a better job – themselves or their competition after the panel of judges vote.  If a contestant prefers the other before themselves - they are instantly rewarded with $10,000 and have to leave the show.  If they are wrong and were voted with the top score but decide to take the money – they still have to leave the show.  It is a wonderful tension.   To me it’s pretty clear who wins every time.  I have been wrong only once.  But what puzzles me – as in any vocal competition is this:  why can’t people tell when they are not as talented as someone else?  Can’t they hear it?  It’s the same on American Idol.  People audition when they clearly don’t have it.  And then they act so hurt and surprised when the judges are not impressed.  What is the difference in their hearing?  Is it different from mine?  After all – there are not many who can claim great success like Carrie Underwood – an unknown until her entry on the scene several years ago through American Idol.  But not everyone can boast of greatness – and that makes for great entertainment.

Ah the tension.  The great human factor.  Ego.  Pride.  Inability to hear anything else.  It amazes me every time!  How strong the desire to be the best, the most talented, the winner.  And it continues to baffle me – this need that some people have – to be noticed – to stand out – to showcase.

I guess this is why these shows are so entertaining for the rest of us who would never dream of going on a show like this.  It takes guts,  desperation and last but not least –  hopefully great talent.

I have heard some of that great talent already early on in this new show – and also have really enjoyed “The Voice” this season.  I know that we soon will be hearing those voices on the radio!

God Bless

Finales

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This has been a week of season finales for some of our favorite TV shows.  American Idol, Elementary,  and The Office – among others I have recorded but haven’t had time to watch yet.   American Idol ended just as I knew it would – with Candace Glover winning the title.  She deserved it – she could sing circles around the other contestants!  I know we will be hearing a lot from her in the very near future!English: Steve Carell pauses for a moment to t...

In the case of “The Office” – (which our dear son-in-law, Drew started us on while he was first dating our daughter, Ashlee) it was the final season.  Something got messed up on my DVR, even though I went in manually and set the high priority for “The Office” and “American Idol”.  Sadly “The Office” didn’t make the cut.  Luckily we found it online and were able to hook up Greg’s Mac book to the TV and watch it that way.  There were several twists and surprises to this last episode and I must admit, I was actually a little teary when Steve Carell made a guest appearance for Dwight and Angela’s wedding.

In the case of “Elementary” I was glad to find this online also – as I somehow stopped recording in progress to get “The Office” recorded!  Good grief.  But all is well, and we got to see the finale of that as well.  I found this storyline VERY compelling.  Sherlock, who believes his lost love who died two years earlier is suddenly alive!  They are reunited, only to find out that he has been played and seduced.  The woman who was supposed to be everything he had wanted and loved, turned out to be his nemesis!  The actress playing Irene, ah – I mean Moriarty – was none other than the actress who played Anne Boleyn in the fantastic mini series “The Tudors”.  (I looked it up)  How could he have gotten it so wrong?  Did his feelings get so in the way that he was unable to see what she really was?  Even as brilliant as he was?  Yes. elementary_london_bSometimes the things we have rolling around in our heads is just plain wrong.  And has nothing to do with reality.  Have you ever thought something was actually true?  You believe it for so long – it occupied your thoughts, crept into your dreams at night, drove you crazy?  And then some time (maybe even years) later – you discovered you were wrong about everything?  You wasted your thoughts and time on believing you were right?  When people disappear  from your life – often it is because of another completely different reason.  Not the one you have romanticized in your mind.  Sometimes we have to stop the fantasy in our minds.  Stop believing for that happy ending.  Sometimes things are what they are.  No happy ending.  Just hard cold reality.  Not all people are kind.  Not all people have your back.  Not all people want you to be happy.  Sometimes they are so unhappy themselves that their true intent is to destroy you.  Sometimes they never loved you at all.  And when we can make peace with reality instead of a fantasy – it is a beginning.  A step to becoming and staying content.

Something happened to Sherlock when this happened to him – when he finally beat his nemesis.  He grew up.  He let go.  He took the fantasy and turned it upside down, inside out and started a beginning into a new life.  Seeing things clearly  allowed him to move on, be wiser next time in matters of the heart and mostly – it gave him his life back.

Can you relate to Sherlock?  Have you ever trusted someone with your thoughts, your words – even your very life?  You shared a part of your heart with them so intimate and rarely spoken?  You thought you meant as much to them as they did to you.  And then you found out they were not who you thought they were.  Have you been betrayed by someone you really trusted and loved?  Do you still make excuses for them?  Have they gone away and on with their life – and yet you are still holding out for them to come back and change?  Or like Sherlock, have you had a reality check?  You woke up to the cold hard truth one day.  Things are not what you always believed?  And guess what?  You are going to be okay.  This will not finish you.  This will not defeat you.  You will rise up to be wiser, stronger and yes, you will regain your life back.

It’s funny.  Life is all about trust.  We trust with all the ordinary things we do in our everyday life.  From sitting in a chair we are sure will hold us up – to eating something we are sure will not kill us – or at very least not make us sick!  Trusting people is a must as well.  We trust the bank teller.  We trust the wait staff in a restaurant.  We trust our parents.  We trust our pastor.  We trust our friends.  These are natural inclinations.  It is only when someone proves to be untrustworthy that we are reduced to being suspicious and cautious.  I believe we are born to be “trusters”.  I like living my life open and trusting – even though others, including my own husband have called me “naive”.

I have also learned that I cannot trust everyone I meet – even if they appear to be all about good intentions.  And this makes me sad.  But it has not defeated me.  I’ve had others try to beat me down, but it has not finished me.   I’ve learned the lesson that I needed to learn.  And with God’s grace, it has not made me bitter.  Nor does it make me look suspiciously on every friendly person that comes into my life.  I’m willing to give everyone a chance.  I have God to credit with that – it does not come naturally to me.  He works in and through my life, finding the good in people.  I look deeper than the surface.  I watch for what others do and not just what they say.  I look beneath just the superficial pleasantries and observe how they are with others, listen to what their friends say about them and watch how they handle themselves in difficult situations.  I remember that I am not very lovable at times either – and God found something worthwhile and worth saving in me.  And in spite of many hurts and slights from people over the years – this simple thought has given me my life back.

I am hoping and praying the same for you.

God Bless

Somewhere

If you are keeping up with reality music programs like I am – you no doubt know the name Candace Glover. Next week is the finale for American Idol and three girls competed last night to be in that finale next week. This girl has my vote. Her vocal ability is unmatched on the Idol stage this year. And as Keith Urban said last night, “If you don’t vote for Candace, go see your doctor because you don’t have a pulse!” I agree!

Here is the beautiful rendition done last night of “Somewhere”

God Bless

MacArthur Park

This last week on American Idol, Amber sang “MacArthur Park” – a “one hit wonder” from the sixties. I remember the remake in the 70’s from Disco Queen, Donna Summer and always liked the song. I was in junior high when I first heard it and wasn’t sure what the lyrics were or what they meant but always felt connected with it somehow, but I never knew what it was called. When they said the name I went to look it up and found many covers for this song. My favorite is from none other than the great Glen Campbell.

This song has a great melody – but what do those lyrics really mean??  Here is one explanation I found explaining these lyrics – maybe you can come up with your own after hearing this version:

MacArthur Park is a sad, touching song about a once wonderful relationship –  one that comes along rarely. MacArthur park is the relationship. The cake is everything that was put into the relationship to make it what it is ( it takes a lot of ingredients to make a cake or a relationship). The cake being left out in the rain and melting is saying that the relationship is not being nurtured and is melting and falling apart. The part where he says “i don’t think that i can take it because it took so long to bake it and I’ll never have the recipe again” means he is having trouble coming to terms with the fact that it took a lot of time and effort to get this beautiful relationship and now its falling apart because it’s not being looked after and all the special qualities poured into the relationship will never be able to be duplicated.

Here is a live version set back in the 70’s.  It is great – and he even plays some mean guitar towards the end.  A real treat to hear him backed by a HUGE orchestra!  What about you?  Do you remember this song?  Where does it take you back to?

Spring was never waiting for us, girl

It ran one step ahead As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages

And were pressed in love’s hot, fevered iron Like a striped pair of pants
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

All the sweet, green icing flowing down

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it

‘Cause it took so long to bake it

And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no
I recall the yellow cotton dress

Foaming like a wave On the ground around your knees

The birds like tender babies in your hands

And the old men playing checkers, by the trees
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

All the sweet, green icing flowing down

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it

‘Cause it took so long to bake it

And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no
There will be another song for me

For I will sing it

There will be another dream for me

Someone will bring it
I will drink the wine while it is warm

And never let you catch me looking at the sun

And after all the loves of my life

After all the loves of my life, you’ll still be the one
I will take my life into my hands

and I will use it

I will win the worship in their eyes

and I will lose it

I will have the things that I desire

And my passion flow like rivers through the sky
And after all the loves of my life

Oh, after all the loves of my life

I’ll be thinking of you and wondering why
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

All the sweet, green icing flowing down

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it

‘Cause it took so long to bake it

And I’ll never have that recipe again Oh no, oh no, no, no, oh no

Written by Jimmy Webb

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