Saturday, March 31, 2012

End of the road for Heejun Han

On the night before yesterday, Heejun Han was eliminated from American Idol, finishing in 9th place. He was in the bottom 3 with Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh. He is the first Korean-American to make the finals in American Idol history. On the week of his elimination, he sang "A Song for You", which was originally recorded by Leon Russell and made popular by Donny Hathaway and most notably performed on American Idol by Elliott Yamin.

Heejun Han was born Han Hee Jun on April 20, 1989, in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea. He and his family migrated to Flushing Queens, New York, during his teenage years. He attended Francis Lewis High School, which was established in 1960 and located in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York. Before he auditioned for American Idol season 11, he was a non-profit organizer from Mil Al Mission in New York, a missionary school in Rockland, New York, working with children with disabilities and special needs. He has spoken of suffering from emotional depression and credited the children that he worked with for helping him to recover from his illness. He has also said that the children motivated him to audition for American Idol.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Why I dislike The Biggest Loser 13's Conda Britt

I despise The Biggest Loser season 13's Conda Britt. She is my least favorite Biggest Loser contestant. She is a disgrace to the cast of the 13th season of The Biggest Loser. She intent on destroying the reputation of The Biggest Loser franchise. She made very unwelcome actions, especially her attitude towards Adrian and Daphne Dortch. She made too many complaints about the trainers. She played double agent, thus forming alliances with both teams with the except of Adrian and Daphne Dortch.

Conda Britt was given one thing that most people will never have, which is 15 minutes of fame. That time could have been spent on becoming a role model for millions of obese and overweight American youth. An opportunity to demonstrate that character, sportsmanship, and the spirit of the competition can coexist with each other.

Instead, Conda Britt chose to demonstrate qualities that are, to say the least, far less than stellar. She chose to exhibit qualities that have raised red flags. She chose to demonstrate qualities that have caused the trainers, two of the contestants (Adrian and Daphne Dortch), and the viewers of the show to have negative comments about her. Those qualities chose do not represent fairness and the spirit of The Biggest Loser that viewers have come to expect.

Consequently, red flags have been raised because the viewers have been hurt. Conda Britt has marred a show that viewers have come to love and enjoy, perhaps for future seasons. In the long run, contestants will fade into obscurity, but the qualities that they exhibit to America's youth will live on. The concern must be with America's youth. Is there an answer? Is redemption possible? There is always hope.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Erika Van Pelt goes home after a makeover

Last week, my least favorite American Idol season 11 contestant Erika Van Pelt, who was chosen as a Wild Card by Randy Jackson, got eliminated at number 10 after getting a makeover to "Little Nicky" hairstyle courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger. She performed "New York State of Mind". She was in the bottom 3 with Wild Card DeAndre Brackensick and Vote for the Worst pick Heejun Han. She was confused by the American Idol judges' advice.

Van Pelt was born on December 12, 1985, in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2002, she relocated to South Kingstown, Rhode Island. She sang at church in the children's choir and at the age of seven was singing solos with the adult choir. She attended South Kingstown High School and joined the vocal jazz ensemble and chorus and was involved in musical theatre. She was in groups that received first places at the Rhode Island All State Jazz Choir, Rhode Island All-State Chorus, All New England Chorus and All-Eastern Chorus competitions.  She was one of the original members of a cappella group known as SoundCheck. Van Pelt attended Community College of Rhode Island and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied rock, pop, jazz, and soul alongside production and engineering.

After college, in 2005, Van Pelt launched her own company, VP Entertainment, a full-service mobile DJ company, and became an independent contractor with Kaleidoscope Kabaret, performing throughout New England at major venues including Foxwoods Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun. She performs part-time with The Sultans of Swing, and is a performing partner of Fairhaven Entertainment and Boston Swing.

Tonight, the top 9 perform songs by their personal idols. That theme was previously used for top 13 week last season.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No "Sweet Day" for Shannon Magrane; the top 10 sings Billy Joel

Last week, there were 12 then 11, and now there are 10, as Jermaine Jones got disqualified and Shannon Magrane got voted off American Idol, landing in 11th place, despite being praised by the judges. She performed "One Sweet Day" by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey. She was in the bottom 3 with Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt. She was previously one of the bottom 3 girls on top 13 week after performing "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston.

Magrane was born on October 21, 1995, in Tampa, Florida. She is the daughter of Joe Magrane, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and current Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster. As of now, she attends Howard W. Blake High School.

Magrane auditioned in Savannah, Georgia, with the song "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Etta James, who is recently dead, and "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida. In the Sing for Your Life and Green Mile round, she performed "The Trouble with Love Is" by Kelly Clarkson. In the semi-finals, she performed "Go Light Your World" by Kathy Troccoli.

The 10 remaining contestants will participate in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012. Tonight, they will perform songs from Billy Joel's song catalog.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jeremy Rosado goes the way of Leah LaBelle; Jermaine Jones goes the way of Corey Clark

Last week, Jeremy Rosado became the first male contestant (after three females) to go the way of Leah LaBelle, therefore landing in 13th place. He was a victim of the curse of Sara Bareilles. When you sing a Sara Bareilles song during the semifinals on American Idol, you will go the way of Leah LaBelle. Rosado was not exactly surprised to hear his name called during last week's results show. He told USA Today that he had a "gut feeling" that he was doomed—but he was rather shocked to hear American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine's criticisms of his performance ... mostly because he thought they were unwarranted. He is the youngest finalist ever to miss out on the American Idols LIVE! tour.

Rosado was born on March 24, 1992. He hails from Valrico, Florida. He graduated from Durant High School in 2010. He current attends Hillsborough Community College, and works at the front desk clerk at an infectious diseases doctor's office. His musical influences are Francesca Battistelli, Kirk Franklin, and Israel Houghton.

For Sing for Your Life, Rosado performed "I Know You Want" by Carrie Underwood. During top 24 week, he performed "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. During top 13 week, he performed "Ribbon in the Sky" by Stevie Wonder. He was the lowest male vote getter and stood against Elise Testone, the lowest female vote getter. The judges elected to save Testone, sealing Rosado's fate.

Rosado is most grateful to American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, who not only seemed to be his biggest supporter on the show, but coined his now ubiquitous nickname: Jer-Bear. He said that he wants to win an Oscar and 17 Grammys.

Tonight, the remaining finalists will perform songs from the respective year of their birth. They would be co-mentored by

In other news, Jermaine Jones, who was called back for the live shows after being cut in the green mile round, has gone the way of Corey Clark, automatically landing in 12th place. He was disqualified for concealing his criminal past, which includes two arrests, one for a violent crime. He still had outstanding warrants. The 25-year-old vocal instructor from Pine Hill, N.J., tweeted Tuesday night that he would no longer be appearing on the hit singing competition. "Awww I will no longer b on the show," he wrote on his official American Idol account. The tweet, as well as the account, were quickly and unsurprisingly deleted. Dubbed the "gentle giant" by "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, because of his 6'8" stature, Jones was among the bottom three contestants last week after performing Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet," but advanced to the top 12. Obviously, the show will find a dramatic way to play out his exit on Wednesday’s live show. There was no elimination during the week Corey Clark got disqualified, and the same might be true tonight.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet make the top 13

The night before yesterday, 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez, my favorite of American Idol season 11, and 19-year-old Joshua Ledet, my second favorite, have claimed a spot in season 11's top 13. Sanchez is from San Diego, California. Ledet is from Westlake, Louisiana. During top 25 week, Ledet performed "You Pulled Me Through" by American Idol season 3 finalist Jennifer Hudson. Meanwhile, Sanchez performed an earlier Jennifer Hudson song called "I Love You I Do", from the film Dreamgirls, which Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for.

Here are the top 13 of American Idol season 11:

DeAndre Brackensick (Wildcard chosen by Steven Tyler) (born October 21, 1994)
Hollie Cavanagh (born July 5, 1993)
Colton Dixon (born October 19, 1991)
Heejun Han (born April 20, 1989)
Jermaine Jones (born November 3, 1986)
Skylar Laine (born February 1, 1994)
Joshua Ledet (born April 9, 1992)
Shannon Magrane (born October 21, 1995)
Phillip Phillips (born September 20, 1990)
Jeremy Rosado (Wildcard chosen by Jennifer Lopez) (born March 24, 1992)
Jessica Sanchez (born August 4, 1995)
Elise Testone (born July 29, 1983)
Erika Van Pelt (Wildcard chosen by Randy Jackson) (born December 12, 1985)

Contenders: Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Hollie Cavanagh
Pretenders: Jeremy Rosado, Jermaine Jones, Shannon Magrane, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, DeAndre Brackensick
Here is my prediction:

Winner: Jessica Sanchez
Runner-up: Phillip Phillips
Third Place: Hollie Cavanagh
Fourth Place: Joshua Ledet
Fifth Place: Colton Dixon
Sixth Place: Elise Testone
Seventh Place: Skylar Laine
Eighth Place: Heejun Han
Ninth Place: DeAndre Brackensick
Tenth Place: Shannon Magrane
Eleventh Place: Jeremy Rosado
Twelfth Place: Jermaine Jones
Thirteenth Place: Erika Van Pelt

In a perfect world, season 11 would go like this:

Winner: Jessica Sanchez
Runner-up: Joshua Ledet
Third Place: Hollie Cavanagh
Fourth Place: Phillip Phillips
Fifth Place: Elise Testone
Sixth Place: Colton Dixon
Seventh Place: DeAndre Brackensick
Eighth Place: Jeremy Rosado
Ninth Place: Heejun Han
Tenth Place: Shannon Magrane
Twelfth Place: Erika Van Pelt
Thirteenth Place: Jermaine Jones

Wednesday night, on top 13 week, the male finalists would take on Stevie Wonder songs, while the female finalists would pay tribute to the late great Whitney Houston. The lowest vote-getting guy and the lowest vote-getting girl will face the judges. I think Jeremy Rosado will be that guy, and I think Shannon Magrane will go home at 13th place.