Heather DeLuca - 95.1 WAYV

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Best David Wins!

In previous blogs I've been unable to hide my contempt for this season of American Idol. I've been disenchanted, uninspired, unimpressed--save David Cook. But last night Idol was redeemed and restored in my eyes. Despite a competiton full of lackluster performances rising to the top over true talent, the best man to fill the Idol shoes will do just that. David Cook is now the American Idol. A bartender turned superstar thanks to a few million fan votes. However, after Tuesday night's final showdown against 17 yr old David Archiletta, chances looked slim that Cook could champion. The judges MELTED over Arch who played it safe and sang straight. After some harsh words from Simon inparticular, the defeat on Dave's face was evident. Continuing to take risks until the very last note (choosing to cover Collective Soul's "The World I Know" over an opportunity to recreate one of his prior performances) would maybe not pay off after all. So imagine my shock to hear Ryan Seacrest crown Cook Idol. The right David, the right choice. And not a close race after all. Not an Archilettic runaway as expected. The voting public got it right by more than 12 million votes. I was even so overdramatically worried that FOX might just hand it all over to Arch for fear his father would shackle him to the basement for all eternity to save the family reputation. The show overall was the most entertaining Idol finale in years. Maybe ever. We got new-tune performances from former Idol's Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks and a slew of well-put-together medlies from industry vets like George Michael, Bryan Adams, Donna Summer and ZZ Top. There was even a bit of comedy with Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. superimposed into a vignette with Gladys Knight--THEY were her poorly rehearsed Pipps, LOL. As for the WAYV American Idol Challenge--I have finally scored my first ever overall win. I correctly predicted about 10% of weekly eliminations over Paul Kelly and Diane, who both tied for 2nd. My point total equalled just 22 thanks to a win by Dave Cook. It was a competitive season early on for the 3 of us and I look forward to defending my first title berth next season. I just hope FOX shakes up Idol with both hands! We need less product placement and group follies, and FRESHER mentors. Not to mention a lil less airtime. Sixty minutes MAXIMUM is more than enough. Catch ya in January 09! Till then you'll just have to find something else to occupy your Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
TTYL, HEATHER "Idol Champ 08" DeLuca :-P
P.S. I WAS going to arrive to the studio today tiara-in-tow with 2nd place ribbons for my competitors but I didn't want to be TOO ostentatious. Maybe I'll be a bit more brazen if I'm able to successfully defend my title through next season.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Between the 2--Who?

American Idol season 7 show down is set. It's the Battle of the Davids--teen crooner Archiletta vs. moody rocker Cook. I'd like to say its a lock for either to take the title, but truth is it could come to meer votes considering each contestants fan base. Dave A. will win the teen vote along with the grandmas of America and probably a huge theater sector. David C. will score the votes of those seeking a TRUE American Idol. Someone who's future tunes would instantly fit into the Top 40 radio market. In my opinion David Archiletta just doesn't hit on all levels. And his svengali papa has been a headache for producers just on the show, can you imagine the hold he'd try to have over album creation? It would be like recording studio martial law. Overall, this AI season was the most diverse talent-wise than in the past few years. So in that respect I feel the 2 Dave's are evenly matched. What I can only hope for is that the original tune usually reserved for the final crowning isn't some sappy "my dreams are coming true" mellowdramatic ballad. Isn't knowing someone's dream is coming true a foregone conclusion? The whole theme of the show to begin with? In any case it looks like I'll finally take my first WAYV American Idol Challenge crown after several attempts. I'm not too many points ahead--just enough to ensure victory next week no matter who becomes the next Idol.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pitiful Paula

Look, we all make mistakes. I'm not gonna throw stones at glass houses. I've had a tendency in my radio career over the years to flub and get a bit dimwitted. I just have that flouncy, sometimes dense, personality. Much like Paula Abdul. However, I'm aware of it. I don't know how much of this blog today I'll even remember to dedicate to last night's ACTUAL American Idol telecast. I simply may be too disgusted to get that far. So here's the rundown in case you were otherwise occupied. The final 5 were mentored and performed 2 songs each by Neil Diamond. Producers messed with the traditional format of sing-than-critique, instead opting to have evaluation take place after each second song. Running out of time early on, Ryan Seacrest brought the group back out to the stage after the first round to get sped up opinions from the judges. It definitely felt a lil rushed but not so hurried to turn Paula Abdul into a space cadet. When evaluating Jason, Paula told him how she felt about "Forever Blue Jeans", his first tune, and than proceded to go on to critique his second song--the one he had YET to sing. Round 2 had not even taken place yet. This oversight left the contestants and Seacrest puzzled but sent the audience into hysterics prompting Paula to shout "What?! Come on you guys this is hard.", stating that she had to write too fast this time. Which means she actually may have jotted down on paper her opinion about the second performances and it wasn't just a slip of the tongue. "THIS IS HARD"??!!! Are you KIDDING ME??? Abdul's sole job in life these days is to listen to someone sing, and than give her opinion. She is not required to even say anything particulary poignant or relevant. Just give an OPINION, thumbs up or thumbs down, and get paid MILLIONS of dollars. I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV. Can they please find some other washed-up has-been to be this dumb? Really how much worse can it get finding someone else to NOT pay attention. I'm sure its all over YouTube by now for your viewing pleasure. Ok now I can get on with the show. I don't know many Neil Diamond tunes, just the super popular stuff, but it didn't take me long to realize that even among the lesser known material, David Cook can shine singing ANYTHING. I hated Archiletta's "Sweet Caroline". It couldn't have been further from "the bomb". Too karaoke to take seriously. Jason was awesome in my opinion. Neither here nor there about Syesha, she's just kinda THERE. But Brooke needs to go tonight. Serious injustice if she gets to stay another week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shocker for Smithson

Woops America. What did ya do? Ya sent home the wrong girl last night? Carly Smithson gave the best attempt at reaching Yvonne Elliman-"Jesus Christ Superstar"-status since the 70's. She BELTED Tuesday night during Andrew Lloyd Webber week on American Idol, yet my pick for this season's runner-up got booted. Brooke White is presently praising the Underworld for selling her soul in return for another week on the Idol stage. An undeserved return. I guess my heartstrings are a little rusty since I can't seem to evoke any sympathy for Brooke forgetting her "Evita" words and needing to start over. How am I supposed to know that she didn't stage her fumble? She's been crying croc tears for weeks, and I'm finding her less and less genuine. Well, whatever her motive or slip-up, clearly it worked. Syesha looked a lil stunned to be standing with Carly in the bottom two, she was right to feel shafted after she too performed well. She probably felt doomed next to Carly. For whatever reason the American public has latched on to Brooke and Jason Castro and is not letting go. In any case we're down to 5 heading into Neil Diamond week, and I'm not too sad for Carly considering early cast-offs like Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry have faired better without an "American Idol Winner" stigma. Having, along with Diane, placed Carly at 2 in the WAYV American Idol Challenge (Paul has her at 3) I lose a lil steam this week, but I'm still ahead--for now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the Kodak to Broadway

So Andrew Lloyd Webber theme night on last night's American Idol? Ug,sorry theatre buffs but, I was holding back from vomitting in my own mouth at the thought of having to sit thru a night of some of the cheesiest show tunes in HISTORY. And to make matters worse sit back and wait for the lesser Idol contestant to than butcher said songs. However, in a surprise turn of events, I actually was slightly entertained. Definitely more so than during last week's Mariah Carey mentoring. Clearly even the most average American is aware of Andrew Lloyd, or at the very least has an awareness of Broadway plays he's penned over the years including Cats and his most famous work for Phantom of the Opera. Though I wasn't super familiar with some of the tunes tackled by the remaining 6 contestants last night, I felt everyone but Brooke was able to find their niche. Syesha gave a very strong vocal in a very tight Herve Leger bandage dress that may have left viewers wondering how she was able to muster up enough breath to belt out those notes. Jason was just eh taking on "Memories" from the Cats production, which by the way I'm going on record as saying may be one of the WORST songs in the history of music (add that one to your 40 Worst List Mike and Diane). The judges were split on Jay's effort but I felt it was neither here nor there other than the fact that reactions like that this far into the competition leaves even the most talented contestants vulnerable to elimination. And then there was Brooke. Oh this poor girl last night, jeeze. She began her first attempt at "You Must Love Me" from the Evita soundtrack a lil shaky. Note--I said 'attempt'. She forgot the words or her nerves got the best of her or something and on live TV asked to restart. Humbling as it may be to try again, it was an uncomfortable moment. When she did finally get going with the tune she looked like she was in PAIN. As if she was just about to have or desparately needed an appendectomy. The grimacing facial expressions and fake tears are enough already. In my opinion Brooke has a giant bull's eye on her back after last night's horrrendous performance. David Archiletta is made for Broadway, we didn't need Andrew Lloyd Webber night to prove that. But again, for me, he's too traditional. Carly and David both knocked their stage-time out of the Kodak theater. Carly with a killer "Jesus Christ Superstar" rendition and David finally showing off the softness and tone of his voice in a very straight-on "Music of The Night". He is still the one to beat and I'm sticking to that. Bottom 3 tonight I'm predicting will be Jason, Syesha and Brooke--with Brooke going home. Should that happen I would lose about 4 places in the WAYV Am Idol Challenge against Paul and Diane, which shouldn't hurt my lead too much. But its now down to the nitty gritty and every point counts.
TTYL, Heather

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kissin' Kristy Lee Goodbye

Halla-freakin'-lu-a! How long did THIS take? Several weeks TOO long in my opinion. But last night the voting American Idol public got something right in sending away Kristy Lee Cook. I can tolerate mediocirty in many other areas of my life, but I guess I raise a high bar for Idol. A bar Kristy Lee was unfortunately, for me and for her, never able to rise above. She had just barely skated thru the last few Idol weeks on very bottom-barrel performances. Mariah Carey theme night sealed her fate. A poor undertaking of MC's "Forever" came off bland. I had high hopes for Kristy throughout the audition process but as the telecasts have rolled on I've seen nothing special from her. While other contestants are growing and thriving Kristy has wilted into a shrinking violet getting lost among the originality of David Cook and even Carly. I've been waiting for the curtain to fall on Kristy for far too long, lol, but wishes DO come true. We're down to the final 6 and I'm still ahead of Paul and Diane in the WAYV Idol Challenge, but only by a few notches. We all had Kristy long gone before last night, so we all lost a few points, and something tells me with the way things are shaping up lately for both Brooke and Carly, some surprises could be in the near Idol future.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Ok, so even during, thru, and after the debacle that was "Glitter" I've never hid my favor of Mariah Carey. I could easily be considered one of the world's foremost EXPERTS on Mimi. So one would imagine I would be over the moon of her appearance as mentor on last night's American Idol. However, my jubilation ended with the first contestant song note of the night. I don't really need to rack up all Mariah's accolades here for you to revisit, we already know the 160 million albums, 18 #1's and yadda yadda. Her catalogue of music, nearly all of which she penned herself, is almost unparralled. Therefore my only kudos of the AI performances last night go to Syesha for branching out and taking on a B-track from Mariah's very first disc, a raw song from 1990 called "Vanishing", and to David Cook for pairing down "Always Be My Baby" into a smooth rock ballad. Yes Mariah began her career in music dubbed "the ballad queen" but did tunes like "Make It Happen", "Someday" and "Dreamlover" completely elude the group? I realize that some of the contestants were relatively small at the time of those songs' popularity but come on! David Archilletta chose a tune that was a duet between Mariah and Whitney Houston and used on the "Prince of Egypt" movie soundtrack. The song only peaked at #12 because it was typical and not special. Simon loved it but I thought lil' Davey BUTCHERED it. Carly could be in trouble after once again straining thru her performance--"Without You", a Harry Nilson song covered by MC in 93. I guess the Mariah fan that I am just doesn't consider even HER covers as part of her "catalogue" per say. "Hero" was WAY to big for Brooke who probably would have faired better with something more organic and upbeat. Kristy made my ears bleed with "Forever"--she just didn't have the range to cover it. I do have to give it up to Jason though for remembering "I Don't Wanna Cry", but all in all I wanted more variety. Mariah however looks fantastic and has proven never to count out real superstar talent even in their darkest hour. Tonight before elimination Mariah performs her new single, the fabulous "Bye Bye" which is sure to become a heart-tugger all over radios near you. I believe Carly, Kristy and Brooke are in trouble again this week. Should Carly be sent packing I would lose an INSANE amount of WAYV Am Idol Challenge points, giving a chance for Paul to catch up to or take over my lead.
P.S. BUY E=MC2! Its in stores now, and my initial review may have underestimated this disc considering I'm addicted to it now and have it on constant loop in my car. LOVIN' IT!