TV-American Idol 08-Top 24 less Four-a Review; The "Dancing With the Stars" 2008 12 Celebrities

"American Idol" 2008 is now open for voting.

We've got the top 24, some critiques on each, the resulting eliminations and some tips on the singers, who's hot, who's not.

All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Also, Dance War 08 has a winner. We've got info on this PLUS the 12 Celebrity Dancers to be featured on this year's ABC "Dancing With the Stars".

We name them, we've got pics, we've got information on them all and some of them will boggle your mind.

Pic of the Day
Monica Dems left bad taste in mouth

American Idol logo

Effective this week, the review, unique pics and videos you’ll find nowhere else on the Internet, and would-be Idols eliminated will be posted on Thursday nights immediately AFTER the elimination show. The review posted will be of the prior contests earlier that same week and will include my guess as to who will be sent home.

Which might be an incorrect guess, mind you, as the review et al will have been written/compiled BEFORE the elimination round. Thus the contender eliminated will be posted on this Blog right after it is announced so click on in for the first result.

”American Idol” 2008- Let’s Look At the Final 24

CLICK HERE FOR Pics of Top 24 American Idol 2008 Finalists

At the bottom of this review there is a remix of some of the best and worst performances of the top 24 of “American Idol” 2008.

The top 24 contenders, four of which have already been sent home as of this writing, are a compendium of the mediocre to the spectacular. This year the contenders are allowed to play an instrument as they sing and a few did.

I have some issues with a few of the better contenders in that they are, well they’re not American. They are not American at least by birth. One of the most promising female contenders had visa problems during an earlier tryout but why would a citizen need a visa?

We’ve got the male equivalent of Jordin Sparks, weird names and male hair styles that defy and baffle. There’s a plus size model in the competition and a few real female beauties.

On 2/19/08, the final 12 male contenders competed. The theme was music of the sixties, right up my alley.

David Hernandez sang “Wait Till the Midnight Hour”. The judges rather liked this young man but by me, he was rather forgettable.

Next a fellow who goes by the name of Chikezie performed “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday”. First, that name is totally dumb. It looks and sounds like a chicken’s name, maybe a fried chicken restaurant. Second, this is a guy who was cut last year right before the final 24. Third, he definitely should have avoided that ridiculous red suit.

Simon, always the curmudgeon, hated Chickezie’s suit AND singing. Simon referred to this contender as “Jacuzzi” and that’s just one problem when your name is Chikezie.

Chikezie montage

David Cook sang “Happy Together”. The judges liked David and by me, he might make the top ten.

Jason Yeager came up and sang “Moon River”.

Here’s a rule of thumb I offer for all would-be American Idols: do not EVER sing “Moon River” except perhaps as part of a final five performance once your singing bona fides are established.

For to sing such a tune from the start almost automatically labels the singer as a lounge lizard, a cruise ship crooner, a leisure suited Karaoke balladeer. The judges did not like Jason, who might be a fine singer save for his bad choice of music. I predicted, so my notes indicate, that Jason would be eliminated this go round. He was not so let’s hope Mr. Yeager is a little more picky with his song choices.

David Archuleta is the male to watch during this competition. I consider David this year’s male Jordin Sparks. He is young like Jordin, 17 years of age. He has that big toothy smile and smooth skin of the young. He’s got a terrific voice and all in all, he’s a total package. David sang “Shop Around” and was liked by all of the judges.

Robbie Carrico sang “One Is the Loneliest Number” and he did a nice job. However, somebody tell Robbie to lose the head scarf. What’s up with that? The judges also liked Robbie. He’ll be around for a few more rounds I predict.

Danny Noriega sang an Elvis tune “Jailhouse Rock”. Well here’s another suggestion to all future AI contenders, avoid all Elvis tunes until later in the contest. It’s not that Danny did a bad job. It’s just that Elvis tunes so early in the competition make one think of Elvis impersonators and that image does not lend itself to visions of a future American Idol.

Noriega performed okay and he’s a cutie pie although I whisper softly that Danny might prefer boys to girls but that’s just me. And not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’s got the most gorgeous eyes of all the contenders and with a better choice of songs he could make the top ten. Simon called the performance “grotesque” but I think that’s a bit much.

Speaking of Simon Cowell the judge, I notice that he’s particularly brutal this early in the series. Perhaps he’s been just as brutal around in this time in the prior series but I hadn’t noticed. One must assume that Simon wants to pound into the dewy eyed contenders the error of their ways that they may straighten up and fly right real quick.

We move on to Luke Menard, a fellow who gave a really bad performance at least as this amateur music critic sees it. Luke sang “Echos of my Mind” and the judges didn’t care for Mr. Menard either. I predicted that Luke would be one of the fellows eliminated which he was not. I don’t think Luke will last much longer.

Montage of Guys from Top 24 American Idol 2008

Colton Berry was a young man who also sang an Elvis song-“Suspicion”. This Elvis tune does not bring Elvis impersonators immediately to mind but still, it’s an Elvis tune. Colton WAS sent home on elimination night-2/21/08. Simon and I both took exception with Colton’s hair, which Simon thought was more on Colton’s mind than his singing.

Another fellow who didn’t make it through, Garrett Haley, sang “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”. Now there’s a song with a bunch of potential. Instead Haley sang the entire tune softly, sweetly, punctuated with his own divine head of curly hair which surrounded his face like a halo.

Simon said this guy looked like he needed some time outside in the sunshine for his ghostly pallor. America voted Haley off first vote and it was a good decision.

Jason Castro was the only guy who played an instrument, a guitar. Jason sang “What a Day for a Daydream” and this guy has possibilities.

Although, first thing, what’s with that hair? So okay, perhaps those horse-hair braid like things are all the rage and if any of the contenders can pull it off it would be Mr. Castro. Jason has a very nice voice capable of a fine falsetto. He manages to do well with that guitar and I can see Jason in the top ten, perhaps the top five, as someone new, different and fresh.

Finally Michael Johns, one of the older contenders in this contest, performed “Light My Fire” and there’s a tune that’s a challenge. Mr. Johns is from Australia and again, I wonder, should an Australian be an American Idol? Make no mistake, Michael is very good and America is a land of opportunity as we welcome them to our shores.

If that bit about being Australian doesn’t alienate the voting public, I can see Michael Johns winning this thing.

The top twelve females performed on 2/20/08 and by me there’s a few formidable contenders.

The evening began with Kristi Lee Cook who sang “Rescue Me”. I think you need a pretty big voice to belt out that tune and Kristi was at best average by American Idol standards. I understand she was very sick the night of that performance; indeed many of the females had been bitten by some nasty flu bug. Kudos to all of them because I could not see any sign of sickness in any of them our here in audience land.

The judges all lambasted Miss Cook and I pegged her as one who would be sent home first try. She was not but I’ve doubts about how long Kristi will last.

Joanne Borgello is a plus-sized model, a very pretty young woman with a so-so voice. Joanne performed “Say a Little Prayer”, Dionne Warwick’s famous tune. Joanne made a fatal mistake and I will once again, like I do every year, post this warning to all contenders who read this Blog. And don’t kid yourself, plenty of them do, all searching the Internet furiously for what is being said about them. Do not EVER admit to a bad performance.

In fact Joanne was voted off on the following elimination night and by me she deserved to be around for a couple more shows at least. But as soon as Simon and to a lesser extent the other judges critiqued Joanne’s performance as only adequate, Joanne immediately went weak and said she would do better next time.


Even if your performance was worse than the worst Karaoke singer, keep saying you did your best, that you’re proud of your performance. Don’t reinforce negative criticism in the voting public’s mind. Which is not to say you should ignore criticism but there’s no rule that says you gotta admit to a bad performance in front of millions of people.

Next Alaina Whitaker sang “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday”. I think Alaina has a real nice voice although I noticed she had very poor timing on her breaths. The judges liked Alaina as a rule and Paula particularly noted Alaina’s fantastic ending, which is part of the video remix below.

Amanda Overmyer is allegedly a nurse who rides a Harley and here’s one to watch out for. Amanda has a deep, throaty voice and this could very well be a good year for Amanda’s song style. Miss Overmyer does, of course, like to belt out Janis Joplin tunes, what with her voice and style so similar. Amanda performed “Baby Please Don’t Go”. Frankly I thought this wasn’t as good a performance as I’d seen in the initial tryouts and in Hollywood. Simon thought Amanda was all over the place and so did I.

Amy Davis is 25% Japanese with a beautiful set of eyes to match. Amy sang “Where the Boys Are” and it was the worst performance of the night. The song was pitchy, breathy, weak and lackluster.

In fact, Amy Davis was sent home the following elimination night and this was a good choice. Amy looked good but her voice just wasn’t going to cut it.

Brooke White is perhaps the prettiest female of them all. She is married and employed as a Nanny. Brooke sang “Happy Together” and while I’m not convinced that Brooke will win this thing or make the top five, I do see her as being around for a few more weeks.

Alexandra Lushington performed “What Goes Up Must Come Down”, a virtually undistinguished performance as I heard it. Randy loved the performance and I began to wonder if I missed something. Simon intensely disliked the performance so it wasn’t just me.

Montage of Girls from Top 24 American Idol 2008

Next up Kady Malloy sang “Groovy Kind of Love”. Kady has a nice deep voice but the judges lambasted her for being “too controlled”. Simon went so far to call the performance the “night of the living dead”. Well it wasn’t that bad.

Asia ‘H Epperson sang a Janis Joplin tune, a bit of a nervy choice what with Amanda Overmyer practically owning Janis Joplin in this contest. Asia sang “Take Another Piece of My Heart” and she gave one great performance. Asia is definitely one to watch in this contest and yes, I can see her winning this thing. And her earrings are amazing.

Ramiele Malubay is just a little thing. She sang the Dusty Springfield tune “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and I loved it. I do think that Ramiele needs to be mindful of her damn eyes and open them up once in a while when she sings. The judges all liked Ramiele, one declaring hers the best performance of the night. Ramiele should make it to the top five, at the least the top ten. She could win this thing.

Syesha Mercado sang “Tobacco Road”. Syesha is another contender that could go far. My only caveat about this performance is that Syesha came close, very, very close, to screaming.

She needs to show us that powerful voice but be careful of that line which separates grand control with singing mania.

Carly Smithson is definitely one to watch for. Carly is another AI 2008 contender who is from another country, in her case, Ireland. Carly does not have any sort of accent. She and her husband run a tattoo shop in Santa Barbara and Carly’s arms are decorated with tattoos. They look very nice on her, however.

Carly sang “Shadow of Your Smile” and covered her tattoos this first night of performances. I could swear at one point Carly forget the correct words.

IF someone held a gun to my head and commanded me to name the winner of this year’s American Idol, I’d choose Carly Smithson.

Below a video remix from “American Idol” 2008 Top 24 Show.

Top 24 “American Idol” 2008
Brooke White-
Carly Smithson-
David Cook-
Amanda Overmyer-
David Archuleta-
Kristy Lee Cook-
Danny Noriega-
Jason Castro-
Luke Menard-
Alexandra Lushington-
Ramiele Malubay-
Michael Johns-
Syesha Mercado-
Robbie Carrico-
Garrett Haley-Sent Home 2/21/08
Kady Malloy-
Chikezie Eze-
Amy Davis-Sent Home 2/21/08
Alaina Whitaker-
Jason Yeager-
Asia’H Epperson-
David Hernandez-
Colton Berry-Sent Home 2/21/08
Joanne Borgella-Sent Home 2/21/08

Premiere Show 2008-Philly and Dallas
San Diego and Charleston
Miami and Omaha Tryouts AI2008
Atlanta and Various Tryouts –the last AI2008
TOP 24 American Idol 2008
From 24 at the top-Four Go Home

Dance War 2008

So this rather unusual dance reality show is over and Bruno Tonoli and Carrie Ann Inaba gave it their best.

To my complete surprise, Bruno’s team won.

Also to my surprise, I now understand why ABC even bothered with this lackluster dance series. For on the finale when the winning team was announced, the 12 beginning dancers for ABC’s famous “Dancing With the Stars” 2008, scheduled to begin on 3/17/08, was announced. I’ve got pics and info on all of them below.

montage from finale of Dance War 2008

ABC’s web site for the series

“Dance War” 2008 Contenders
Bruno’s team-WINNERS 2008!
Charity-b-sent home 1/28/08
Tony-Sent home 2/5/08

Carrie Ann’s Team
Prior Links to Posts for “Dance War” 2008
Premiere Show
Maxx and Corrina sent home
Begins America’s Votes
The Finale and a Winner!

12 Celebrities to Begin the Competition on “Dancing With the Stars” 2008

Below, their pics and info.

This reality dance series is scheduled to begin on Monday, 3/14/08.

Marlee Matlin montage

Penn Jillette montage

Marissa Winokur montage

Adam Carolla montage

Kristi Yamaguchi montage

Christian De la fuente montage

Monica Seles montage

Mario montage

Steve Guttenberg montage

Jason Taylor montage

Shannon Elizabeth montage

Priscilla Presley montage

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American Idol 2007 and The Bachelor. One night's review with links to all the others.