Welcome Back, No Doubt!

After taking a rather LONG hiatus (since 2001’s classic “Rock Steady”), Gwen Stefani and the boys are finally back and have released a new single called “Settle Down” today. This is the initial single before they release their latest album next month entitled “Push & Shove.” If I must say, this is a great return for this 90’s ska band that has been an influence for so many pop/ska bands that proceeded it. Here is the latest and here’s hoping the rest of the album is just as strong! There’s no doubt that No Doubt is back!!!


American Idol: The Last 8


So tonight, The Idol has the 8 leftover performers doing 80’s songs (Love it!) so this should be right up my alley! With Gwen Stefani & the other guy from No Doubt as “helpers,” this should be…well…weird. Why not get an 80’s artist (like Stevie Nicks last week)? This show is confusing…

Anyway…DeAndre led off the show and I was out to dinner and totally missed it but the judges apparently liked it. I can’t stand DeAndre so…I’m gonna say it sucked and hope everyone else thought so too.

Up next, Elise performing “I Wanna Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. I gotta say…I love Elise and after her performance of “Whole Lotta Love” last week, she was on a whole different level but honestly…this performance was surprisingly average. Damn. Here’s hoping DeAndre REALLY sucked…

Skylar & Colton break out their rendition of “Islands In The Stream” in what has to be one of the oddest pairings tonight. Seeing a rocker like Colton singing Kenny Rogers is like a bad karaoke dream and Skylar doesn’t have Dolly’s…uh…assets? So yeah…there was a lot to be desired from this ridiculous pairing.

Up next…Phillip Phillips is tackling Phil Collins & Genesis. This has GOT to be more interesting than anything else so far. In the pre-song meeting with Gwen & that other dude, Phillip sounds pretty unsure of himself but once he gets into the real deal, he nails it. All the judges loved his performance and P2 had his brother join him on stage playing guitar. His brother mentions something about Phillip staying true to himself. This may be the most over-used term on American Idol at this point and now it’s just sounding cheesy. But that doesn’t take away the fact that he killed it…in a good way!

Commercial break and I don’t know what this commercial is hawking but it’s really long and a girl and a dude both go out running and the guy ends up in an ambulance while they both sing some cutesy song. Eventually the girl ends up running over mountains to get to the guy in the hospital. Oh…it’s a Nike commercial. Why is it that the guy always ends up looking like a dweeb? Whatever…this song sucked anyway…

Hollie & DeAndre are now singing the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited.” The fact that DeAndre sounds more like a Sister than Hollie is a little weird to me. And the ending fireworks is cheesy. According the Steven Tyler, it was amazing. Uh…no.

Joshua Ledet is up singing Simple Minds’ “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” I hate to say it, but Joshua is wearing me out with his gospel-tinged harmony on EVERY song. Now…with the stage lit up in red candles, this one is no different. A standard performance that I think I’ve seen over & over again from him. He does have an amazing voice but I’m bored. Weren’t there ANY good songs in the 80’s? Wait…don’t answer that. Jay Lo says it was a powerhouse performance & spectacular. Steven calls it over-the-top. Not WAY over the top but just enough over the top. And he’s obviously bored as well. Dawg says Joshua’s gotta have it. What the hell is he talking about?

Jennifer Sanchez is singing ANOTHER Whitney Houston song. She nailed “I Will Always Love You” a few weeks ago. This is no surprise and she’s gonna sing “How Will I Know” in her made up alias, BeBe Chez. Hey…she’s 16. Go with it. She’s performing with a guitarist and a guy with a keyboard strapped to his shoulder. She doesn’t exactly nail this one. Actually…I think this kind of upbeat tempo is actually tougher for her than reaching high notes. I don’t care for it. The judges however? Well…they think she’s great and amazing and blah blah blah…

I think I’m over Idol judges at this point. Enough already. Can we cut this show down to an hour and skip the judges at this point? Because they are terrible. I would vote THEM off, if I could.

Sweet….Elise & Phillip doing Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around!” Love it and these 2 are my favorite performers. Why Elise didn’t do this song for her choice is beyond me. These 2 could do a great duet on their own someday. And now I’m thinking Elise could be okay after this performance! They should just go have babies right now ’cause these 2 are excellent together…

Hollie is up next singing “What A Feeling” from the movie Flashdance. Gwen says the song is about tough confidence. I agree and Hollie is the totally wrong one to talk to about confidence. Anyway, there’s a keyboard issue so Ryan has to ask a totally irrelevant question. There’s also a giant disco ball over Hollie’s head. Here’s hoping IT doesn’t have a malfunction! Or maybe there should have been a malfunction because this was not her best performance. It doesn’t fit her. Anyway…she’s too young and this song proves it. She’s out of her element and the judges nail her on it. She might be in trouble.

Joshua & Jessica perform “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.” I’m bored. I swear…we’re the 80’s THIS uneventful? Technically it’s fine but it just seems like everything is tired tonight. Maybe I’m listening to too much 80’s XM radio lately. Plus…I didn’t care that much for this song in 20 years ago so there ya go. Dawg says he worked on the original with Aretha & George Michael and this was on par with it. Seriously? Someone please shut them ALL up. Please?

So now Colton is gonna sing a Cyndi Lauper classic. I’m hoping for “She Bop” but instead it’s “Time After Time.” I love me some Cyndi but I dunno about this. Colton flirts with Gwen so…THAT was cool. Jimmy says he picked the right song so…let’s see. It’s a little more rockin’ so it has that going for it. This guy knows how to use the stage and he’s perfectly at ease up there. It’s my favorite song of the night so far! Nicely done! J Lo talks about his “journey” thru the song and around the stage and I’m not sure what she’s talking about totally but I kinda get it. The judges love his drummer. Colton admits to ripping the rock version off a current band (which is more than other singers have done in the past) but I don’t care. It was the best so far tonight!

Spunky country singer Skylar had picked “9 To 5” but when she sang “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Jimmy, Gwen & the other guy with makeup talk her into going with the Bette Midler sob fest. Skylar looks great tonight, her red locks flowing in with Farrah Fawcett curls. This is a very good song choice for her. She does a great job, taking it higher than Bette did and she nails it. Standing ovation from the judges! They like her! They really like her!

And that’s it! I give MY vote to Colton tonight. Dude killed Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” with the next 2 being Phil Phillips and Skylar. MY pick to go tonight? DeAndre or Hollie. But I think it’s Hollie & Elise who will be in trouble tonight with Hollie being voted off…barely. Elise is walking a tight rope. She’s gonna have to pick it up a notch to finish this thing because the judges are saving their “save” for Joshua or Jessica.