Farewell American Idol

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*Note: There were a number of contestants unable to be involved in the Idol finale.  Some of those absences were disappointing, but it must have been a nightmare trying to organize so many different people and schedules into two hours of television.  I am squelching my feelings and focusing on the positive in this post.

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Going into the Idol finale, I knew I would be emotional, but I didn’t realize the tears would fall so soon.  Familiar faces from past seasons appeared during the opening song, and the floodgates were open.  In that moment I buckled my seatbelt and prepared for a two-hour storm of nostalgia.  The majority of the show was dedicated to a flow of performances by contestants and judges.  I really like that the contestants were mixed rather than organized by season.  It was fantastic to hear duets and groups that I would never have dreamed of seeing perform.  Even Larry Platt (“Pants on the Ground”), Sanjaya Malakar, and William Hung made an appearance.  I died from laughter when I realized Sanjaya was moving around the audience and wearing different wigs.  😂  Of course the original judges had to make an appearance: Paula, Randy, & Simon, the trio that started it all.  Judges come and go, but they will always be the most memorable panel.  I noticed that the current judges were very emotional throughout the night.  It’s hard to say goodbye to the show, but I think it had more to do with the slew of past contestants & winners making an appearance.  This show has been on the air for 15 seasons, and the numerous performances proved that more times than not, the judges and voters got it right.  Not every contestant made it to the pinnacle of fame, but they are spread out all over the world of music sharing their unique gifts.  Last but not least, America found out who the final “American Idol” is.  The winner is… Trent Harmon!!  Even though I was rooting for La’Porsha, Trent is incredibly talented.  I wish both of them nothing but the best.  I believe both of them can go very far in the music industry.

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4eWXM5CYFU

🎶 Uh oh… here come the waterworks!! 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkgz31z3IJE

🎶 This song was performed by the original top 2 Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson.  One boy & one girl.  Bookends!! 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jNCX5cgfiY

🎶 “I have won and I have lost.  I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not.  Life’s been a journey.  I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret.  Oh and You have been my God through all of it.”  Sing Colton Sing! 🎶

– Kelly Clarkson Medley –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1PEC1yVCAE

🎶 Chris Daughtry, one of my favorite voices EVER. 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiCz05ZY7Nc

– Country Medley –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8_BYnpJhAo

🎶 How adorable is she??  Such a beautiful voice! 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQHdMkaJnv8

🎶 I didn’t know I needed a Casey James & Katharine McPhee duet, but I did.  One of my favorite parts of the show. 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A42LQdytWdY

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCHJ5Qm8NuY

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txFl3teEUJY

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzNu26Z3JrY&nohtml5=False

🎶 These are my boys!!  I’ve always felt that the singer-songwriters from “American Idol” were underrated. 🎶

– Gag Reel –

– Original Judges Reunite –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWjnS31C_hY&nohtml5=False

🎶 Oh.  My.  Gosh. 🎶

– Ford Memories –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJiBg8r95g&nohtml5=False

🎶 I see you mouthing “Praise the Lord” at the end.  Preach girl preach!! 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t267JTtalw

🎶 Once again, congratulations Trent!! 🎶

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*Note: The videos that are missing will be posted once I find them on Youtube.

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I didn’t start watching this show until season 6, but it impacted my life long before then and continues to do so.  I have owned Chris Daughtry, David Archuleta, David Cook, Kelly Clarkson, and Lee Dewyze CDs.  My ipod playlist has included Angie Miller, Carrie Underwood, Colton Dixon, Jason Castro, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen, and Phillip Phillips.  My diary (2006-2014)  is full of “American Idol” predictions & celebrations.  I still own Kelly Clarkson’s album “Breakaway” on CD.  Over the past decade, I have played that thing to death.  Watching Kelly’s medley tonight, I was reminded of just how talented and special she is.  She was a huge part of my childhood, and I will forever be grateful that she took a chance and auditioned for a brand new reality competition TV show.

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Farewell American Idol!!  Your legacy lives on in the careers of the numerous stars you have produced.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX (Source: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/amitchowdhry/files/2015/01/SuperBowl.jpg)

I am not excited about this post, but I feel it is appropriate for the time of year.  First of all, go Broncos!!!!!  Second of all, the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks on February 1st, 2014, in Super Bowl XLIX; the final score was 28 to 24.  I was for the Seattle Seahawks because they are the lesser of two evils in my personal opinion.  I ended up with no voice and disappointment.  UGH!!!  Super Bowl 50, Denver Broncos.  I’ve said my peace.  Moving on to stats.  I am only listing the basics: Passing, receiving, & receiving.  We all know who won so no need for fumbles, penalties, and records.  Diehard fans can go to espn.com for the extra information.

*Passing

MVP – Tom Brady (#12):  50 attempts & 37 completed passes.  328 yards.  4 touchdowns & 2 interceptions.  1 sack.

Russell Wilson (#3):  21 attempts & 12 completed passes.  247 yards.  2 touchdowns & 1 interception.  3 sacks.

*Receiving

– New England –

Julian Edelman (#11):  9 catches & 109 yards.  1 touchdown.

Rob Gronkowski (#87):  6 catches & 68 yards.  1 touchdown.

– Seattle –

Chris Matthews (#13):  4 catches & 109 yards.  1 touchdown.

Ricardo Lockette (#83):  3 catches & 39 yards.

*Rushing

– New England –

LeGarrette Blount (#29):  14 carries & 40 yards.

Shane Vereen (#34):  4 carries & 13 yards.

– Seattle –

Marshawn Lynch (#24):  24 carries & 102 yards.

Russell Wilson (#3):  3 carries & 39 yards.

(Source: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400749027)

Time to address the halftime show.  I thought Katy Perry sounded great and put on a great show.  The song choices were appropriately matched to each stage set-up, and “Firework” was the chill-inducing finale I expected it to be.  And now… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… THE COMMERCIALS!!!  Because my team was not playing in the big game, I was not as interested therefore I missed most of the commercials.  However, I saw enough of them to give you a list of my favorites and honorable mentions.  Companies were really tugging at heartstrings this year.  There were funny commercials, but the commercials that made the most impact were deep and emotional.  Interesting.

*Best Heartwarming Commercial:

Toyota – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un6uP6cykgo  (This commercial is all about dads, specifically the dad & daughter relationship.  It made me appreciate my dad even more!!)

– Honorable Mention:

Dove – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoqWo3SJ73c  (Another heartwarming dad commercial)

*Best Adorable Commercial:

Nationwide Insurance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8sfGaHrVPA  (Mindy Kaling is so relatable!)

– Honorable Mention:

Budweiser – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAsjRRMMg_Q  (Who doesn’t love watching an adorable puppy get rescued by beautiful horses?!)

*Best Funny Commercial:

Clash of Clans – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpPLOdioG-c  (It’s Liam FREAKING Neeson!!  Enough said.)

– Honorable Mentions:

Sprint – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1FhA9h4G-0  (They were not shy about calling out AT&T and Verizon.  BOOM!)

Snickers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UO2A2p-19A  (Never thought I would see Danny Trejo on “Brady Bunch.”  That is quite possibly bucket list-worthy.)

*So Bad It Was Funny Commercial:

T-Mobile – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTwzsV3I3OQ  (I hated seeing a Kardashian YET AGAIN on TV, but the content was funny.  Kim K. really believes in the cause.  HAHAHA )

*Cringeworthy Commercial:

Nationwide Insurance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUy-tfrIHY  (This commercial didn’t make me cringe in a disgusted way.  It’s just extremely sad!)

– Honorable Mention:

Weight Watchers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT_LH3VdY-A  (I’m not overweight, but seeing so many images of fatty foods made me want to join Weight Watchers. I felt sick!)

*Make It Stop Commercial:

Game of War – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuwC-tE_v4w  (I have seen this commercial on the “Trivia Crack” app more times than I can count.  Enough already!!)

I will wrap up with a 2015-2016 prediction.  Denver Broncos, Super Bowl 50, victory.  Realistically, this is more of a wish than a prediction, but if it happens, I can take credit.  Good night readers!  I leave you with this  quote:

“Don’t walk through life just playing football. Don’t walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity and really making an impact on someone’s life, that’s the ultimate vision, that’s the ultimate goal – bottom line.”  – Ray Lewis

– Lauren Michele :)

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Blogmas 2014 – Step Into the Wardrobe

Step Into the Wardrobe

(Source: https://emspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lamppost.jpg)

My uneventful day ended with a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse, a cup of eggnog, and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  Today has been a very Narnia day!  I blogged about wintry landscapes on my art blog that are reminiscent of Narnia.  Check it out here: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/artmas-2014-walking-in-a-winter-wonderland/  I wish I could actually go there, but daydreaming about a Narnian escape will have to suffice.  Can you tell I’m a reader??  I am very serious about alternate universes.  They are nothing to joke about, and everything to dream about.  Speaking of magical places, my family is going to see the third installment of “The Hobbit” on Christmas day.  We have seen each installment on Christmas day for the past two years.  I am practically jumping out of my skin from excitement.  I have heard it is the perfect ending.  Endings are so sad, but technology has provided us with DVDs so the series will live on!  Something else is coming to an end.  Tonight was the 8th and final night of Hanukkah.  It is sad to say the prayers for the last time, but I know it will be back next year.  Chanukah Sameach!  Until next year…

Stay merry readers!  Only two days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”  – C.S. Lewis, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”