Sean Michel Has Competition

by

I’m a snob.

No, it’s true.

I have a prejudice against pleasant-looking people.

People like…Nicholas Pedro.

Pedro, of Taunton, MA, auditioned last night on AI…and he was good.

Pedro, 25, actually had auditioned last year and made it to Hollywood, but he bowed out of the competition after botching the words to “Build Me Up, Buttercup” by The Foundations in the group sing.

Last night he was back…singing “Fly Me to the Moon” and sounding like creamy, dreamy goodness. He said he was back because last year he was just an account exec for a finance company and didn’t take his talent seriously. This year, “[I’m] trying to redeem myself.”

And he did just that. When he opened his mouth, my jaw dropped. I even heard Paula say under her breath, “I loved him.”

But regardless of his warm and softly roughened voice, I didn’t want to like him.

I didn’t want to like him because of his looks. He’s pretty white bread…dark, cropped and gelled hair, polo shirt, jeans, sneakers…not a bad looking guy at all…just very…middle America.

And how unfair is that of me? It’s just as unfair as folks not liking Taylor or Sean Michel because of their quirkiness.

Pedro truly has emotion in his voice…and his voice is much better than Michel’s. I also think he’s light years ahead of this Sundance guy everyone’s raving over.

But he still lacks edge. I see his leap from account exec to Il Divo Part II being a very short one…and that bothers me.

I want him to be a little more unpredictable…a little more dangerous…a little more mysterious…a little more convicted…a little more tortured…a little more artistic.

But that’s my snobbery talking.

If I closed my eyes and heard him…I would melt. His voice is that good.

I just don’t want another pop star. They have so little meaning to me. I want creativity and life and spirit and heartbreak and messiness and chaos.

See? Snob.

On another note about last night, I have to mention something that bothered me tremendously…an Aflac commercial.

Did anyone else see the Aflac duck commercial where the duck thinks he has turned into a superhero of sorts when garbage was wrapped around his neck and head?

Now, I’m not usually a crazed environmentalist…but I do have a pretty song conscience about it (or I at least TRY to). Anyway, seeing that a joke was made about the duck becoming empowered by a plastic bag that caught around its neck and engine exhaust across its eyes actually infuriated me.

It’s garbage like plastic bags, plastic six-pack rings, and air pollution that is killing wildlife across this country.

This commercial is not cute or funny…it’s crass and thoughtless.

I’m sure folks will think I’m a nut job for saying this…but I think this commercial devalues the importance of litter control and the ecological responsibility we have.

I think Aflac should be made to stop airing it…but what do I know, right? I can’t even place proper value on singers who don’t look like unkempt, torn artists.

So, maybe my perspective perceptors are broken.

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39 Responses to “Sean Michel Has Competition”

  1. Quossum Says:

    I didn’t like the Pedro guy at all, neither his looks nor his voice. I like Sean and Sundance *’WAY* more (and prefer Sean of the two of those). He looked too boy-band to me, agreed, and I thought his voice was nice but much too common. Typical pretty boy with a typical pretty boy voice.

    I like unique voices. Though I’m a little..uh…taken aback by her in-your-face persona, I liked “militant New York girl’s” (Porcelana?) rough, raspy voice. I even liked “opera-singing teen with the dream-catcher in her hair” and her varied but strong presentation.

    I guess I’m a bit of a snob, too. An underdog snob. {BG}

    –Q

  2. leejolem Says:

    I really liked Fly Me to the Moon boy’s voice (is his name Pedro?). I didn’t pick up a boy band vibe from him at all. His style kinda reminded me of Harry Connick Jr. The guy w/the green shirt did remind me of Justin Timberlake, and I just thought he was average, but Pedro’s voice was unique to me. I too am attracted to the underdogs, but felt like Pedro qualified because of his shameful forgotten lyrics last year.

    Q, Porcelana was definitely intriguing. I liked her voice, and she had passion.

    Still no Taylor stand out for me, but at least tonight was more positive , and no TH bashing.

  3. shelley Says:

    Lee…his name is Nicholas Pedro.

    Referring to someone by their last name is an old reporter’s habit I have…years and years of AP Style Guide hammered into my brain.

    Sorry.

  4. shelley Says:

    The guy with the green shirt reminded me of Jamiroquia (I’m sure I just butchered the spelling of his name.)

  5. Quossum Says:

    Shelley, I’m laughing at the last name thing. I have no less than two students with the last name “Taylor” this year and one student with the first name “Taylor.”

    Why must the universe mock me???

    Oh, I hate that commercial, too. Almost as much as I hate the one where the family hates the dad until he buys them cell phones–what kind of messages are we sending through our “amusing” advertising? I love love LOVE the Guico caveman series of commercials, though. They’re so clever and subtle. Dang, Shelley, you could have a whole post on commercials, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    –Q

  6. shelley Says:

    I like the Geico commercials, too.

    And my favorite cell phone commercial is the one where one guy tells the other guy that one feature of his cell phone is “anti-theft deterent” and then chunks the phone at the other guy’s head.

    It cracks me up every time.

  7. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, at least you knew his name– I ws just calling him the Fly Me to the Moon guy. I have to admit Taylor was the gray-haired guy until hollywood week last year.

    Have you guys seen the add where the guys are talking about what they like about some Kellogg cereal and the one dude says he likes the way it says “ello” in the middle, and he says it with a British accent? It is too funny. The cave man commercials are a riot, and I have always loved the roaming gnome (“am I going to die?”). I haven’t seen the Aflac ad yet. Can’t imagine any redeeming qualities about the plastic rings around his neck.

  8. double d Says:

    Best commercial on right now is the Fed Ex commercial where the guy (team leader) has the team converged and he tells them he’s going to Kinko’s to get the materials done but they’ve all got to “keep up appearances”.

    “Ted, can you fold under pressure?”

    “Like a lawnchair”.

    Since you guys like The Office so much, I’m sure you love this commercial too.

    As for AI.

    I. AM. BORED.

    Seriously, NO-ONE is worthy at this point, for me.

  9. shelley Says:

    DD…it IS a bit of a snoozefest.

  10. double d Says:

    Gotta love YouTube.

    Here is my Favorite….the Fed Ex Office Meeting Commerical

  11. jenfera Says:

    DD – I am bored too. I think Taylor has ruined us for Idol!

    The green shirt guy who they were saying reminded them of Justin actually reminded me of Elliot Yamin. Maybe that was just song choice, but that’s what I thought they were going for. The militant chick freaked me out but had a better voice than I expected. Same thing with hippie/Manhattan/braces/dreamcatcher chick.

    I’d have to say that at this point it is Ryan keeping me watching the show. He’s the perfect straight man to whatever wackiness he is confronted with. And he’s a hottie!

    I haven’t seen that Aflac commercial yet but it sounds disturbing.

  12. double d Says:

    Jen — Shrew and I said the same thing…Elliot. The “Opera” girl was a little intense. Like I said, there’s no-one who I’m like, “Yep. they’ve got it.” Each year since I’ve watched, I picked out the eventual winner in the auditions based on their singing in the audition.

    Right now, Henry is as good as it gets but I still think it’s going to be a woman. I guess they are all going through the Hollywood rounds now?

  13. bamaborntxbred Says:

    They are done with the Hollywood rounds. They already know who will be singing “in front of America” for their chance “to be the next American Idol!” They are keeping a pretty tight lid on who made it, but I know you can find some who didn’t make it through if you do some research.

    I liked Nicholas Pedro, but the person I was most impressed with last night was the tall girl of the “best friend duo”. Her natural voice blew away her “classically trained” best friend’s voice. I loved how sweet and humble she seemed too. (And Simon obviously loved how hot she was….pervert!)

    I was bored last week with the show, but was completely entertained this week. I thought they did a lot better at balancing the good and the bad.

    Personally, I don’t set my bar at “Taylor Hicks”. I view each show and season separately. Seriously, my taste in music is so diverse that I could never set one band or singer as the bar. How disappointing everything would be if I did that!

  14. shelley Says:

    Jenfera said, ” I’d have to say that at this point it is Ryan keeping me watching the show. He’s the perfect straight man to whatever wackiness he is confronted with. And he’s a hottie!”

    I totally agree, jen.

    I’ve been telling Bama for two weeks that I’m TOTALLY crushed on Ryan.

    The thing is…I’ll bet…once he starts wearing suits, my crush will fade.

    I like the casual look best.

  15. leejolem Says:

    My problem is I can’t remember them all after the show is over, so I’m not sure who my favs are. I’ll probably have to wait until Hollywood week to pick my top 2 or 3.
    Bama, I don’t think anyone will capture my heart like TH, but it really isn’t about the contestants lack of musical ability. I just fell head over heels for the whole package of TH (talent, personality, humility, passion, and yes his looks). The other seasons i’ve had favs (Reuben, Fantasia, Tamyra), so I’m sure I’ll have someone to root for again, I just think/hope it won’t be quite the same addiction Taylor is. I’m really not disappointed, but kind of relieved. Somebody said it was like watching the Taylor Hicks show w/o Taylor, and I did kind of have that feeling, but it has passed.
    I’m interviewing a part-time pharmacist today that I want to hire so bad!!!!!! Everyone send good thoughts/prayers Indy’s way. I really need the help here at work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. leejolem Says:

    Shelley and Jen, Ryan started growing on me last season, and he’s been very charming this year. I think he really gets to know the contestants and adds some humanity to the AI machine.

  17. Rowan Says:

    Shelley, agree with you completely about the duck advert. very disturbing. I have seen the outcome of birds tangled in rubbish, even an injured seal, which had come up on to the foreshore in desperation to be freed from a noose of plastic parcel twine. My dad, who I was walking with, bravely dientangled him. Go Shelley!!

    I saw the Sean Michael audition last night, courtesy of a link from MD. I have to say,he is cute! He sounds good, looks very cool, and has a bit of Ray Lamontagne, only much more animated and downright happy. I hearted him. I have never really hearted Ray, though, much as I like some of his songs. I like Taylor singing Trouble, better than Ray. In fact, it was my favourite Taylor performance: strong, wonderful vocals reflecting emotion, and drawing us into the lyrics. Ahhh. Here is a strong guy who can feel, get hurt, let it out, remain dignified… Sigh. With Ray’s version, I kinda feel…yeh, so she left you, she let you down, she’s come back, left you again.. you’re on your knees – oh, here she comes again…lets face it Ray. you were her plan B. (Sawry -I am still a bit sore about the comments he made back in the day. can you tell? : ) ) If you are reading, Ray, I did buy your cd at the full price, and might again, so no hard feelings, bro.

    Double D – liked your advert. Here is a little warming offering from me on a cooold day here in the northerly climes! This guy was the new Glen. His name is Rory Mccann. he went on to acting roles from this advert. Cheers!

  18. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I love Ryan. I think he’s so cute and funny and squishy and stuff.

    I forgot about that sweet girl that was terrified about telling her dad that she tried out. She kept crying and crying…awww, she was so cute…and very talented too!

    I agree that Taylor was very special. We all noticed him from the moment he opened his mouth. That was lightning striking once. It won’t happen again. So, I just sit back and enjoy the show the way I used to…and I’m thankful I had that experience last year, b/c of Taylor.

    I think it will be an interesting show if there isn’t a stand-out, “that person is going to win”, in the group of finalists. We can grow to like/dislike contestants as the show progresses.

    Just my 1 cent.

    Oh- that Afflack commercial was disturbing. I’m very sensitive when it comes to stuff like that. I won’t even throw gum on the ground b/c I’m afraid a little bird will get stuck in it…crazy I know. I also save earthworms. If I see one struggling on the pavement in the midday sun, I’ll pick it up and toss it into the grass. That’s just the kind of girl I am. Earthworm Advocate.

  19. jenfera Says:

    Shelley – I like Ryan cleaned up too, but it has to be all the way. I don’t like it when he is sort of dressed up but then unshaven. Unshaven is cute with the t-shirt and jeans, not with a sportcoat. But, when he is all clean-shaven, fresh & scrubbed & in a tux for the final, that’s pretty hot too.

  20. leejolem Says:

    Please somebody tell me they’ve seen the Kellogg’s ad I mentioned way above in the 7th post. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

  21. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Okay…I had to collect myself before posting this morning…

    (Rowan…keep sending kilted lads…they are my weakness)

    First, Aflac Duck Ad…I have pondered this one since last night…(We are talking about my lively-hood here.)

    First, I will speak for what I think the creative team and brand team was trying to accomplish. The trash on the duck is played off like an accident and because “Taadaa” he is the AFLAC Duck he spins this near tragedy into a heroic positive…much like the Aflac promise to their customers…

    As an observing marketer, I am stunned that this company has continued to perpetuate this DUCK icon. The duck started life by yelling and screaming at potential cutomers all in the objective of building name recognition(yeah, that is the image of the insurance customer service we want) and now this duck marches on with trival meaning. Shelley your observation from a conservationist point of view is so accurate…but let’s look at the brand imagery here…we have a loud, obnoxious and now delusional (I am a hero)brand Icon. Not great Aflac; but then again…any company that says “YES…get me Gilbert Godfried..he MUST be the voice of AFLAC” is struggling with misguided strategic vision.

    Now, let’s look at another insurance company who got it right! Some of you have already mentioned the Caveman ads for Geico…that lampoon the ad-men and women NOT the customer. There is that *wink* at the customer like “You guys are so in on this joke” It is fun and playful and delivers one clear message loudly.
    But let’s examine the caveman’s counter-part for Geico the lovely little Gecko…he was born to build name recognition and now has come to stand as a smart, kind savvy little pitchman, who really understands his customers. Now, that is great branding.

    Shoot someone is in my cube…I will be back later with my AI thoughts.

    *climbs off soap box*

  22. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Okay…AI. I was soo bummed in the NYC coverage. I mean when the nights starts with IAN and ends with ISADORA…that is not a fair reflection of the 35 people the let through. And ummm what was up with showing the 47 year old, bad Sinatra wannabe?

    I have to say Nick Pedro didn’t do it for me, maybe because his type is so NY metro. But I wasn’t wowed by his voice either. In NJ there are dozens of guys who sing like that in bars as pick-up lines…from Hoboken to Morristown Nicks abound. I still think Memphis was the most promising night yet. Looking forward to B’ham.

    Bama, I agree that it has just become a great entertainment show again. Like Leejolem I don’t want to be swept away with insanity like last year. I mean really…I have been west to San Jose, North to CT and NOW I am going to NOLA to be with people I have only cyber met because of last year!

  23. shelley Says:

    Not great Aflac; but then again…any company that says YES…get me Gilbert Godfried..he MUST be the voice of AFLAC” is struggling with misguided strategic vision.

    And to Shrew I heartily and eagerly award…

    The Official Prize of the Day

    ROFL

  24. Shrewspeaks Says:

    EEEK!

  25. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh dear. That is her prize?! Poor Shrew….

    I love the Geico Gecko. He is sooo adorable. The other night on “My Name is Earl”…Joy, Earl’s ex-wife said she’d marry the little (Gecko) fella. I kind of agree. Is that weird?

    I for sure won’t be as “involved” in AI this year as an extra-curricular activity. I’m still busy being involved with last year…with all my Monkbot buddies and reading over at Gray’s!!

  26. leejolem Says:

    The gecko is adorable, but I really want to marry the roaming gnome. Lerve his accent and hat!

  27. nolagirl Says:

    TOTALLY agree on the Ryan crushing – what IS it this year??

    Nicholas Pedro didn’t do it for me either. Green shirt guy did sound similar to Elliott, only Elliott is much more talented. (did he ever get a record deal btw??)

    How about the girl that butchered “Africa”? I love that song. She was … weird.

    And the 16-year-old handsome kid that sang Gerald Levert? He looked much older to me. Pauler was sweatin him pretty hard- ummmm, EWWWW.

    —-

    Also, in case y’all didn’t see this I posted on Gray’s this morning …

    OK, so the Saints didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, but there’s still reason to cheer in the Big Easy. The 2007 Jazz Fest lineup has been announced! So all you music lovers – make it do what it do and get down here this spring!

    Harry Connick Jr.
    Rod Stewart
    Steely Dan
    Norah Jones
    ZZ Top
    John Legend
    Van Morrison
    Brad Paisley
    Jill Scott
    Ludacris
    Dr. John
    Bonnie Raitt
    Irma Thomas
    Jerry Lee Lewis
    Counting Crows
    Allman Brothers Band
    Allen Toussaint
    George Benson
    Better Than Ezra
    Joss Stone
    Lucinda Williams
    Branford Marsalis
    The New Orleans Social Club
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    AND MUCH MORE!

    http://www.nojazzfest.com/

  28. Shrewspeaks Says:

    NOLA…you are trying to intice me back to the big easy again…what a GREAT LINE UP! Hmmm…come on tax man…baby needs some more music in New Orleans!

  29. shelley Says:

    Betty and Office are repeats tonight.

    Grrrr…

    (Grey’s and Men in Trees are new.)

  30. Holeigh Says:

    Ryan is very sassy this year…I’m liking it, haha.

    And Shell, I have been watching Ugly Betty online since I’ve heard you talking about it, and it is my new favorite show. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch it when it’s actually on TV (it’ll be back the 8th or so of Feb, right?) cuz of class and whatnot, but I will be watching as soon as they are posted online. Have you seen the tshirt America Ferrera designed for the show? It’s got a drawing of Betty and says BE UGLY. I gotta have that, hehe.

  31. nolagirl Says:

    YES, Shrew, that is exactly right! 😉

  32. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    Lol!!!!!!!

  33. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I’m sooo sad! The Office is a repeat and I can’t replace it with Betty!!

    Waaaah!

    Where’s DD today??

  34. Shrewspeaks Says:

    My dog will be happy…that means more walking and playtime for him.

  35. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Lucky dog!

  36. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    I wish I had a dog that likes to play instead of biting your finger off every time you make an attempt…

  37. leejolem Says:

    HC4S, maybe that’s cuz you torment poor Diablo Bob. We really need to get a pic of him up here for the other Monkbots to see. One where he is baring his teeth. (he’s our Jack Russell/Chiahuahua/Boston Terrier mix). He is evil caninified.

  38. double d Says:

    Awwww,Bams, thanks for missing me. All day meeting…whew!

    Anywho, NOLAGirl….

    NORAH FREAKIN’ JONES at JazzFest. I got to figure out how to drag Monklex down there.

    Shrew, nice analysis.

  39. nolagirl Says:

    Just saw this DD. Ummmmm …. YEAH! You MUST get over here for Ms. Soul Chirren herself. She’s performing the first weekend, so April 27-29. I have a freaking wedding on the 28th – I hope it doesn’t conflict!!

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