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Smash: Glee + A Chorus Line - McPheever Spielberg = ?


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#2881

atr

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 3:13 PM

I presume the one that makes you want to eat your hair is Rebecca singing "Let Me Be Your Star".


Actually no, it was much better than expectation (mine were very low), with appropriate weakness on the big notes. I presume she'll go downhill from here.

Only a spoiler if you haven't seen the previews (but I go a tiny bit specific)

Spoiler

Edited by atr, May 2, 2012 @ 3:16 PM.

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#2882

Frozen Conch

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 3:38 PM

Okay, they were taking Metro-North from Grand Central, so I had to calm myself down that they weren't at Penn Station (where Boston trains depart from) with a conclusion that they were changing at New Rochelle or New Haven for Amtrak. It hurt my head - but sadly, not much more than any of the plot leaps here.

LOVED Debra Messing's face when she was eating the banana with Chekhov's peanut butter. How she shines through shitty writing and costuming is amazing. I also want Sam's parents' house. And paint colors. And kitchen. And antiques. Totally loved Tom and Sam singing in the beginning.

Derek's abrupt turn to Rebecca damn near gave me whiplash.

(ETA I totally wrote this before reading the AV Club review with the same Chekhov gag - really!)

Edited by Frozen Conch, May 2, 2012 @ 4:05 PM.

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#2883

Rickster

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 3:39 PM

The Tonys are sometime in early summer, IIRC so they shouldn't have a problem getting him back for July


The Awards are June 10. But usually a show is not going to let a (potential) Tony Award winner bail on a show immediately after he/she gets an award - that's the draw to make a profit. It really depends if he has a clause to let him come back to Smash filming in July.

Of course they might film around him too, until he can get back.
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#2884

cjane

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:03 PM

Just returned from my allergist and started a round of prednisone for inflammation. I'll let you know when Karen in a Marilyn wig shows up in my mirror. Thank God I don't have a gig tonight.
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#2885

Zuleikha

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:10 PM

I'd love a good behind-the-scenes chat with Rebeck about the show. If she's really the one choosing to step down completely, I wonder if she sandbagged the show. Maybe not deliberately, but maybe she was just never that into it while she was working on this season. That's the best explanation I can think of for how someone with genuine writing talent could make such basic blunders with plotting and character development.

The Hilty interview makes me grumpy. It doesn't sound like much good is in store for Ivy although Hilty didn't give any specific spoilers. I feel like if the show didn't want anything good to happen to Ivy, she should have been written as a 2-dimensional, cardboard, love-to-hate bitch so that we could all revel in her problems. Why bother encouraging Team Ivy/Team Karen if the show only plans to dump on Team Ivy? Also, watching the Ivy/Karen "Smash" number (which I quite liked) made me again think things would have worked much better if McPhee was Ivy and Hilty was Karen. McPhee just seems to come to life when she's given really strong things to play like anger or sexy. I feel like McPhee would have had a blast playing Ivy as a gleefully evil bitch, and I think the show's writing would have worked better that way.
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#2886

Iamhere89

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:20 PM

Did I miss the scene where Ivy and Dev actually slept together? Or are we just assuming that happened?
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#2887

brooklynbull

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

Posting a little late on this - I had to get myself under control.
LMAO during most of this - the writer seem to have abandoned any intent to do serious television & are taking us into the land of "Valley of the Dolls", "Ziegfeld Girl", and "There's No Business Like Show Business" (where MM actually gave one of her more striking early performances...) If all else fails ... let's make it camp!

- ONE line of dialogue could have explained tech for the 99.9% viewers who have not rehearsed a real theatrical production. Poor Karen repeatedly snapping "I'm in tech ... tech!!" would make a decent drinking game.

- Julia is shocked - shocked! - that everyone won't overlook her (apparently now universally known) adultery, and fire the only available actor in the US who knows how to play Dimaggio. Uncomplaining Tom carries the load while she stuffs herself in bed. Frank (Brian D'Arcy James - a real Broadway star w/a real Broadway voice) & their ... sensitive son rush in from nowhere w/her luggage and bustle her off to Boston. This after they slammed her like Hester Prynne in the last several episodes.

- Julia is cooking &/or consuming comfort food, as she has throughout - but we have not seen her spend more two or three minutes onscreen putting pen to paper. Is this how Dorothy Fields worked?? Don't lyricists & librettists ... write??

- Frank (BdJ) would make a much better Dimaggio than Michael Swift, except - he's a professor! Can Bobby Cannavale sing? Can Matt LeBlanc sing? There are no tall Broadway singers who can 'act' Italian American???

- Ivy is again a drunken mess w/excellent pipes. Her scheming is as annoying to me as Karen's numbness. And I have to say (sorry) sometimes her singing reminds me of a really good American Idol fnalist - eg, "I'm Goin' Down." Hilty's a good actress, but she is so often made up as the essential showbiz blonde, that I cant get much from her beyond petulance & disappointment.

- Karen seems stressed & confused - or McPhee did, I dont know ... I really feel for KM, enduring all the snark for what to seems at be least 50% d/t inconsistent, often lousy scripting.

- Do real Broadway producers just leave a Broadway show near opening for a roll in the hay w/bartenders who also have access to $7 million?? To Aileen's hypothetical question about whether she can bring this show off - only on television, hon, otherwise - no.
But on another front - kudos to the new lighting director - AH looked much better.

- Raza Jaffrey's Dev - a very likable & competent fellow in the first few episodes - now behaves like a pathetic stalker. Altho I'm gay, my guess is a woman would not take kindly to a man interrupting her at her workplace with a BIG bouquet. Then after proposing marriage & not getting the 'yes' he wanted, an admission from my 'boyfriend' that he nearly cheated because I was busy with work ... Oh, hell no. Then he lets himself get picked up by my rival from work because I wouldnt marry him ... I hope they are paying Jaffrey well.

This last episode freed me from any rational expectations from this big ol' Titanic of a show. I wont miss an episode from here out, but only to marvel at the direction the thing has taken.
Parenthetically, I was reading on Wikipedia about the 1966 Broadway musical disaster "Breakfast at Tiffany's" - Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Albee, Abe Burrows, Richard Chamberlain, etc, etc - it slowly crashed like the Hindenburg.
It would be genius if we got to see "Bombshell" arrive at a similar fate, & the effect on all concerned.

But then the show would have to called "FLOP."

Edited by brooklynbull, May 2, 2012 @ 4:40 PM.

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#2888

dragonfirelance

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

Well as one of those lovers of simple pop music, Touch Me is by far my favorite song of the season, because it's a pop song you would hear on the radio it's a fun mix of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. I freely admit I am a 22 year old with little discriminating in music outside of rap. Also I have listening to the song on loop for 20 minutes now.
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#2889

scorpia

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:45 PM

Dev's character has gone off a cliff and he needs to stay at the bottom. Maybe he should take some of those sick days and polish his resume. I'm assuming there are other places in NY that need publicity experts besides the mayor's office. NY is a fairly large economy, isn't it?

The writing has gotten to soap opera level quality in terms of the manufactured drama. These two live together, but he never mentions that he's been marginalized at work, and then it's her fault? He almost sleeps with an attractive colleague and the response is a proposal? Ummmm...k. RJ needs to stop blowing smoke up his ass about being talented, tell him to get out their working his contacts, and dump Karen.

It's probably wrong that the most interesting part of this episode for me was this relationship. I just hate when stuff comes out of nowhere (Derek sex).

I also wanted to puke during the kitchen cooking scene with Julia and Frank. She humps another guy, Frank leaves, Leo runs away (pathetic!) and now they're back together? Maybe if we'd had more than an episode to get attached to this marriage I'd give a shit.

Oh, and Julia - don't fuck Michael. It's really as simple as that. If you really want your marriage to work, then stay away from him. Not difficult. Now grow up and get a life.
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#2890

cjane

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 5:03 PM

scorpia
He almost sleeps with an attractive colleague and the response is a proposal? Ummmm...k.


Honestly, like the worst way to propose ever. Ever.

scorpia
Oh, and Julia - don't fuck Michael. It's really as simple as that. If you really want your marriage to work, then stay away from him. Not difficult. Now grow up and get a life.


In my experience, you'd make an awesome relationship counselor.

Edited by cjane, May 2, 2012 @ 5:51 PM.

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#2891

photo fox

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 6:02 PM

the last two with Uma and Cepero are very spoilerish.

dbklmt, do you mean the last two pictures on Playbill? I don't see anything spoilerish, so am I missing something, (or did they take something down?)

A couple of thoughts on the other photos:
Spoiler


I really wish I could believe that Derek had sex with Rebecca as a reaction to some kind of personal revelation about his feelings for Ivy. Unfortunately, I don't think they're going anywhere nearly so interesting. I think they're just going for "all Marilyns are gray in the dark" to Derek, and when he finds out that Ivy's pissed about it, he's going to give her one of his "that's the way things are in the theatre, dahling" speeches, and she'll go back to sleeping with him.

Dev and Ivy had more chemistry in eight lines than Dev and Karen have had in eight episodes. It's really unfortunate that Raza Jaffrey is stuck in a role where all of his scenes are either with Katherine McZZZZZ or center around a storyline (his job) that I don't give a damn about.

atr, I just watched that preview, and I couldn't agree more. I thought this was going to be a song for Karen and Ivy, as equals, similar to what they did so well in the pilot with LMBYS. Instead,
Spoiler

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#2892

sidwich

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 6:14 PM

Broadwayworld has clips of interviews and rehearsals for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:

Press Rehearsals for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Megan is on towards the end, sings "Little Rock" and talks about both the musical and Smash.
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#2893

romantic idiot

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 6:27 PM

Speaking of "Shake It Out", I think the Glee version blows McPhee's version out of the water (not to mention that the Original rocks), so I'd be interested in comparing their relative popularity. Then maybe we could get Smash to move away from Pop songs and more into Broadway numbers, standards etc.
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#2894

dbklmt

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 6:49 PM

photo fox I'll post my thoughts about why those two photos seemed spoilerish to me in spoilers bars.


Spoiler
.

And if you want to know the answer to your other spoiler comment take a gander at the video of Karen singing gospel in church http://www.hollywood...sode-14-gospel/
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#2895

Viva Elijah

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 7:06 PM

I'm confused.

Spoiler

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#2896

Streya

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 7:34 PM

Spoiler


So Rebeck is out altogether... She can't be ignorant of the criticisms of the writing, and the way the release was worded it seemed to me that she's being allowed to say she's leaving. A book and a new play are big deals (I would LOVE to get a play into the O'Neill Center someday) but she must have been working on them during the Smash season; why would it be different next season? Anyway, she's out. Not sure yet if it changes my opinion about next season.

atr and photo fox, we didn't see the whole song, I don't think? Maybe Ivy's portion was earlier. I'm hoping so, too.

Edited by Streya, May 2, 2012 @ 7:36 PM.

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#2897

braggtastic

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 7:36 PM

Two things bugged me most about this episode. First, departing from Grand Central to Boston. Second, subbing Ivy for Rebecca during tech when they were trying to work out the lighting. Ivy is a foot shorter than Rebecca - all the spots would be off if they're set to her height.
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#2898

atr

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 8:14 PM

streya - *fingers crossed* But given where the clip starts, lyrically and positionally, and how it escalates from there to the end, there will still be a significant unbalance. Unless the song has an internal reboot, I guess.

Side thought, but the last we heard from Derek on this topic was snarking at Ivy to "show the sex" when she and Michael were rehearsing History is Made at Night. Implying that she couldn't.
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#2899

jenrising

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 8:18 PM

Spoiler


Also, that last photo of Ellis was great. So scheming bastard. Damn it, I think the idiocy of Smash has spread to me. I've come to enjoy Ellis.

And big co-sign on the Dev thing. He's the new Derek, I guess. Nothing makes sense. A couple of episodes ago he couldn't manage to stay mad at Karen long enough to walk out of a restaurant, now he's cheating. Right.
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#2900

BarbaryLane

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 8:37 PM

I'm in the 50+ age category, but I admit to listening to "Touch Me" on repeat all the way home tonight. Of course, I've also listened many times over to "History is Made at Night" and "I Never Met a Wolf ...".

Point is I love both of their voices and my dream scenario would be for Smash to feature Karen as pre-fame Marilyn (Norma Jeane) and Ivy as Marilyn after she became the star. I could especially visualize that working when Marilyn is reclined on the sofa and remembering the second-hand white baby grand while Karen is singing the song.
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#2901

marioninnyc

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 8:38 PM

Two things bugged me most about this episode. First, departing from Grand Central to Boston. Second, subbing Ivy for Rebecca during tech when they were trying to work out the lighting. Ivy is a foot shorter than Rebecca - all the spots would be off if they're set to her height.


I'm a native NYer and normally picky about that sort of thing, but it barely registered. I get why they'd use Grand Central. It's iconic in a way that Penn isn't. I'd happily trade in geographic reality if the show offered some consistency and motivations for its characters.
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#2902

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 8:58 PM

There were things I enjoyed. The whole general feel of going out of town and working through tech -- the combination of boredom and tension and long hours that freaks everyone out -- it all felt right. I bought Rebecca's nervousness about walking on stage and realizing how much was on her shoulders. Eileen acted a little more like a Producer (at least for a bit).

Now, a show going out of town, in first previews, is working out the kinks. There will be problems that come up that need solutions. Out of town runs are notorious for songs going in and out of the show *on almost a nightly basis* as the writers finally see what it feels like in front of an audience. So, Derek telling Tom "No new songs" is not as realistic as him saying, for instance, "we agreed no new material until after the second preview." (See how I fixed that one in one sentence?). Julia not on premises? No, don't buy that. Tom bitching that Derek wants music to cover a transition? Please, that's, like, what tech and dress rehearsals are *for*. Derek having two members of the ensemble pull off the lead actresses' gloves to help with a tough costume change? Absolutely, that's *exactly* the sort of creative solution you'd expect to see - however, having the two ensemble members give the director the stink-eye like they can't understand why they have to pull off costume pieces? Grow up, ladies.

Bored with the Sam story. "I wanted you to take over the family business, not become an artist!!!" How original.

Then we get to character behavior and the whole thing collapses. Julia bags on the show at the most crucial time so she can sit at home flipping the pancakes of joy. Then, when her BFF calls to tell her that her ex-boyfriend is coming to the party, she says Oh, no, no way, if *he's* going I'm *not* going, you tell him not to come and then I'll come.

Again, when I watch this show, I just remind myself that the characters are 12 years old.

Dev gets shut down by his girlfriend again and again, so he says, I'll ask her to marry me since she's treating me like crap, that'll make her like me!

Karen's all, like, OMG, he's soooo tiresome with his "I want to be with you" and "I want to talk to you" and "I want to marry you," jeez, doesn't he realize how important this show is to me! I might accidentally become the star!

Eileen's boyfriend closes down one of the more hopping bars on the Lower East Side just to get some nookie. (Then again, he's got tons of money, doesn't he?)

I did laugh at Ellis' new self-awareness. Seeing Ivy at the door ("Hey, isn't that my thing?")

How meta was that sing-off. Team Karen vs. Team Ivy. Ivy blows the roof off the hotel. And then the creative team sets it up so Karen doesn't have to follow that act.
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#2903

OptimisticCynic

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 10:45 PM

And if you want to know the answer to your other spoiler comment take a gander at the video of Karen singing gospel in church http://www.hollywood...sode-14-gospel/


Spoiler

Edited by OptimisticCynic, May 2, 2012 @ 10:47 PM.

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#2904

QueenAnne

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 11:32 PM

How he thought he could pull it off with Ivy in the building I'm not sure, but I think Ivy is the real girlfriend, and Rebecca is more or less strictly business. Of course it's ruined if Rebecca knows that, and so he may actually be sacrificing Ivy for now, for the sake of the show, hoping that he can pick up the pieces later.


Hecate7, that makes sense, the only thing it doesn't square with is why he wouldn't tell Ivy the date was off. Another theory of mine is that we pick up with him trying to, but something went wrong - like, one of our backstage schemers lifted his phone and re-sent a text saying "changed my mind, come meet me".

How meta was that sing-off. Team Karen vs. Team Ivy. Ivy blows the roof off the hotel. And then the creative team sets it up so Karen doesn't have to follow that act


Naturally. In fact, I would be madder at the new song preview if not for the fact that neither are singing to blow you out of the water. So either they're saving everything for the finale, and/or they do re-stage, or... we have to work with what we've got, and Karen's full-out is Kat's full-out, and, well, we know what generally happens when they try to stick McPhee and Hilty's full-out together.

So Rebeck is out altogether... She can't be ignorant of the criticisms of the writing, and the way the release was worded it seemed to me that she's being allowed to say she's leaving.


That was very interesting. I do call it as a save-face moment (and I have to confess; I thought "Seminar" wasn't very good at all, in fact fairly obvious - I thought Ben Brantley's review was comparatively kind, and Lily Rabe almost ruined it with her overacting, which I felt terrible about saying because I was more or less bowled over by her Portia). This comes to mind solely because I saw someone's comment on another board that "Smash" reminded them of nothing so much as a batch of pretentious undergrads writing stuff they thought was "cool and edgy" - which was basically the point of "Seminar", jumped ahead a few years. Since I have also seen that Rebeck worked closely with Shaiman and Wittman, who do bring incredible amounts of subtle to their lyrics, it's fascinating to contemplate where it might have gone wrong.

Edited by QueenAnne, May 2, 2012 @ 11:32 PM.

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#2905

L star

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 1:09 AM

If Derek really didn't plan to sleep with Rebecca then he's an idiot. From what I saw he was in seduction mode from the moment he walked in. He knew Ivy would be looking for him. It's completely unrealistic to me that he honestly thought he could do it without getting caught considering the circumstances he set up for himself. My only questions are why- did he want to break up with Ivy and if so, why? And where do they go from here?

Katharine McPhee sounded just like she always does in that gospel number. Pretty enough but it was NOT gospel. It didn't even blend well with the choir. I wonder if Ivy is even there. They showed Julia and her family, Dev and some of the chorus but no Ivy. I'm curious how we get to Karen singing for Sam of all people's (considering he's Ivy's bestie) church.
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#2906

AwNutz

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 1:34 AM

Took a look a the spoiler pics, and something jumped out at me....

Spoiler

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#2907

dbklmt

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:12 AM

AwNutz, you're right about the photo.
Spoiler

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#2908

Storm03

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 5:42 AM

Katharine McPhee sounded just like she always does in that gospel number. Pretty enough but it was NOT gospel. It didn't even blend well with the choir. I wonder if Ivy is even there. They showed Julia and her family, Dev and some of the chorus but no Ivy. I'm curious how we get to Karen singing for Sam of all people's (considering he's Ivy's bestie) church.


That's exactly how I felt with Hilty singing I'm Goin Down. Absolutely no soul whatsoever singing that song. It's something both these girls need to work on
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#2909

QueenCharisma

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 5:59 AM

I thought Hilty had plenty of soul in that number because she really felt what she was singing. She just wasn't going to measure up to Mary J's version. But YMMV.
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#2910

Viva Elijah

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 8:25 AM

Queen Charisma I thought Hilty had plenty of soul in that number because she really felt what she was singing. She just wasn't going to measure up to Mary J's version. But YMMV.


Agreed. It's hard to beat Mary J, but I thought HIlty held her own. I thought the song spoke to Hilty's ability to bring nuance and dynamics to her performances across genres. Katharine McPhee has a pleasant voice, but she's not as good at that in my opinion.
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