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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol: The Old Guys Are Better Than The Young Guys Edition

(Spoiler Down Below)

One thing about watching fogies night is the realization that the old, professional singers are, in large part, out-singing their American Idol counterparts. Including some of those who made it pretty far into the show. Including one of the guys who had a chance to win tonight.

Seriously, Lee DeWyze seems like a really nice guy, but his voice isn’t particularly good, he can’t seem to remember (or maybe he just doesn’t appreciate) the melody, he doesn’t connect emotionally to the song, he’s charismatic in the same way that firewood is charismatic, and he’s boring.

I like pop music and my disappointment in the show isn’t a reflection of the songs that they sing (although what I wouldn’t have given to see them have to tackle, say, Corrosion of Conformity night). It’s a reflection of the fact that they pile outrageous praise on vocal performances that simply don’t deserve it like, for instance, Lee’s take on “The Boxer.” He had zero understanding of the emotion or the subtlety of the song and, honestly, it was a horrible song for a night where they were supposed to be singing inspirational songs.

“The Boxer” may be defiant, but it’s hardly inspirational either in tone or in subject--it’s a hard song about someone who, in the words of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness, is “born to lose and destined to fail.” Unlike the Ness song, though, Simon and Garfunkel’s boxer keeps standing up to take the next punch. That’s not inspirational because there is precisely nothing in the song or the character they paint that leads anyone to believe that the guy is going to win the fight (much less “win” in life)--he’ll just gather more scars and wish he could find his way home. His life will leave him lonely and he’ll continue to take his solace in “the whores on Seventh Avenue,” but that’s an empty and cold life by anyone’s standards.

Inspirational? I don’t see it.

If he had managed to sing it well, I might have forgiven him, but he didn’t. In fact, of the episodes that I saw this year, there really weren’t a lot of highlights--and what few bright spots there were didn’t come from him.

Tim Urban, with one of the most limited voices on the show, managed one of those high points when he sang “Hallelujah.” While it didn’t capture the emotional wallop of Leonard Cohen’s original (another guy with a seriously limited voice) or the transcendent beauty of Jeff Buckley’s version, but he put heart and soul into the song and came out with something special in its own right. Perhaps it was that he managed the emotional connection that most AI performances simply can’t reach. Or maybe it was that you could tell that he was standing right at the ragged edge of his vocal range and giving his all to make it as good as he could possibly manage.

And Tim--we called him Smiley around the Zomby household--was the picture of good grace. His parents must be proud. He stood in front of judges who were brutal and, week after week, he faced their criticism with good humor and a brilliant smile. Even when you could see that something had gotten through, he didn’t let the smile fail. And, finally, the judges relented, even to the point of almost admitting that they had treated him poorly. Still, he smiled, did his best, and enjoyed his opportunity to be in the spotlight.

He didn’t deserve to win the show, and I’m not suggesting that he did, but he had something that nearly none of the others had this year: a natural charisma and good spirit that had me pulling for him whenever we caught the show.

Tonight, though, the two who had a chance to win were a second-rate vocal talent with little charisma and a much more vibrant vocal talent (and a bit of a throwback to the early late sixties in style) who wilted a bit as the show went along.

And while I enjoyed most of the songs that Bowersox had a part in, the truth is that they were often outshone by artists well past their prime. Did you catch Joe Cocker’s moment? The man still has a bigger voice than anyone else on the show (and Lee positively disappeared beside Cocker and Bowersox in that moment--it was obvious that he wasn’t even in the same weight class).

How about Alice Cooper with his immense showmanship and command of the stage? Or Michael McDonald’s duet with Big Mike? Both of the old guys showed up big (even if the audience seemed largely confused by Michael McDonald).

The truth is that American Idol largely crowns second-rate talents and, while I’m happy for the winners, they are mostly music history footnotes just a few years after they win. Tonight, between these two, the winner should have been Bowersox, but the prize went to a guy who probably won’t be remembered except to the Idol-obsessed masses. He’ll make gobs of money (because there are some big guarantees) and he’ll live the life of a star for the next couple years (more than I’ll ever experience) and he won’t much matter in the grand scheme of things.

With Simon Cowell’s retirement from the show, I’ll be mercifully released from the last, tenuous hold that American Idol has used to lure me in with increasing irregularity.

What a relief. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol: The Diminishing Returns Edition

I am shocked that the top three of this year’s American Idol is so horrendously bad. There is only one decent personality (Bowersox--who also has some measure of charm and a decent voice) and, beyond that, nothing whatsoever that you couldn’t hear on a street corner or dive bar on a Friday night.

And I know dive bars on Friday nights.

Whoever comes away with the victory at the end of this season is poised to be one of the music industry’s biggest afterthoughts three years on. They’ll have a few albums, they’ll make a bit of money, and no one will care in the end. I suppose Bowersox could escape that, but Lee and Casey are already fading from my memory.

Just think: they are this bad before they’re given the gift of their very own paint-by-numbers pop song that never seems to fit the style or talent of any of the singers that cross the stage.

When the hell does So You Think You Can Dance? start back up?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tiny, Fragmented Thoughts

It just ain’t news that President Obama taped a segment for American Idol’s special “Idol Gives Back” segment. Not only is it a worthy cause, but I’m fairly sure that the previous White House occupant did the same thing. Ain’t news.



Tiger Woods and Nike have put together an awfully cynical ad; it’s as professional, stylish, and as well-constructed as any Nike ad you’re likely to see, but the method, the message, and the emotions are all in service of commerce and not redemption. Tiger’s acts certainly call for introspection and I’m sure that some of the people nearest to him are disappointed, but taping together scraps of his deceased father’s words while Tiger stares balefully at the audience isn’t a path to introspection or any kind of reasonable response for the damage that he’s done to his family. The ad is too obviously a lie--a supposedly emotionally raw spot about a very serious subject but cheapened to the point of meaninglessness because it’s a branded moment of introspection that will hopefully sell a few extra shoes--to be effective on an emotional level.

When people talk about crass commercialism, this would qualify as a good example.

But Tiger doesn’t owe me anything. He doesn’t owe me an apology or an explanation or a second thought; I’m just some guy who thought that he was a good role model for kid. He never promised anything to me.

Aside from a seemingly (it’s an illusion, I know, but it is an amazing parade) endless line of women copping to sexual relations with the guy, how must Elin feel about seeing an ad like that? Shame and pain, I would imagine.

On the same topic, but from a very different side, as disappointed as I am by Tiger, I’m just as disappointed by the people and the media that are allowing that parade of women their fifteen minutes of fame complete with the assumption of a moral high ground. I was watching a show earlier today where the announcers were talking about Tiger’s appearance in Augusta today. When they weren’t busy chastising him for smiling and looking at his cell phone during practice--apparently he wasn’t showing the proper public misery--they started talking about the latest woman to claim an affair with Woods.

Apparently this young woman was a “next door neighbor” of Tigers and she was furious when she found out about all of the other women because she “thought she was special.” I’ve heard other of these women making the same claim and, I’m sorry, just because Tiger was a cheating jerk, they don’t get to claim any moral high ground. You know who was special? Tiger’s wife. Tiger’s children. The rest of these women are just a bunch of groupies whoring themselves out for a taste of his fame. Each and every one of them knew he was a married man and each and every one of them went on to have a relationship with him.

The idea that they had no moral responsibility because they weren’t the ones breaking the bond of marriage just doesn’t wash. If I knowingly sleep with another man’s wife, I share a good portion of the moral weight of that action. But these women are treated to photo spreads and salacious stories in respectable magazines, given uncritical coverage by the press, and seem to be shamelessly glorying in gossiping about their affairs and the most intimate and torrid details of their time with Tiger.

It’s moments like these where I think that we need to rediscover shame in this country.

Shame and regrets usually show up when you’ve done something that you shouldn’t have--and those folks who claim to live without either are either liars or have learned to turn off that internal check that gives them some pretty important hints about how they are living their lives.

When one of these women claim to be furious to find out that they weren’t the only one, I wonder if they spare a moment to feel furious with themselves for having slept with a married man and for their contribution in his, perhaps, irretrievably damaged marriage. If so, their apologies have been far less public than Tiger’s have.

I have very little use for a person who abdicates the moral responsibility that they have for the choices that they make in life. Less use for those same folks when they start loudly proclaiming just how much they’ve been wronged.



I’m pretty sure if you all saved up a bit, you could afford to get me this rather special book.


I’m still not ready to forgive Aston Martin for their own sins, but I do have to note this: the design language that Ian Callum developed for the DB7 and that has been stretched and updated to fit through every other Aston Martin since, is reaching its limits. Still beautiful, it’s becoming, perhaps, a little too familiar. It is time to see that design language stretch and change--keeping some bits to maintain heritage, but new enough to enrapture those of us who see Astons as much as art as they are cars.

Negative comments notwithstanding, I think that this take from Ugur Sahin wouldn’t be a bad place to start. There are some beautiful shapes and lines, the overall design is nicely balanced, it doesn’t ignore the Aston’s recent heritage, but it is fresh and new in a way that none of the new Astons seem to be matching right now.

To be fair, though, the new Aston Martin Rapide is far, far prettier than Porsche’s Panamera, which is too awkward to be truly bland, but that doesn’t stop it from trying.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

American Idol and Other Stuff: Ladies Night, 9 Mar 2009

I’m watching American Idol. I’m working. I’m helping my wife with a computer project. I’m reading the news.

That is what should commonly be known as “stupid-tasking.” Where the hell did my ability to focus go? I kind of miss it.

Nonetheless, those of you who might have missed the

Katie Stevens is cute for a ten year old. Okay, that’s not fair. She must be at least thirteen. She sounds moderately okay in a bland and boring kind of way, but inspires a hearty eh, whatever, from me and not much else.

Randy didn’t like it much and pulled out the dreaded karaoke critique. Ouch. Ellen is nicer, but still thinks that the li’l girl couldn’t pull off the emotional aspect of the song. Kara damns with faint praise. I personally prefer to damn with harsh language. Like “damn.” Simon says: “You kind of sucked (long pause) the energy out of the room.” Or something to that effect, which was unintentionally ouchie.

Siobahn who is cute, apparently of age, quirky, and potentially not particularly bright. Or, perhaps, constantly stoned. Dunno. She’s also consistently interesting even though I didn’t find her “House of the Rising Sun” to be quite convincing tonight. I would chalk it up to trying too hard, but that’s just me.

Randy butters her up with kindness and admires her risk-taking behavior and then proclaims it “hot.” Ellen calls her spectacular. Kara digs, too. Simon says: “I wasn’t quite such a fan of that.”

Once again, Simon is the voice of reason. He is, however, extra bitchy this year.

When darling girl sees Lacey Brown , she asks, “She’s still here?” Funny moment and not a bad point: Brown hasn’t been so good to this point in the competition and certainly hasn’t lived up to her auditions. Tonight, she does pretty well--emphasis on the pretty--until a bum note at the end of the song.

Randy calls it her best performance in a long time. Ellen agrees and says it was a great song choice (I agree). Kara liked it, too. Simon says: “I didn’t love love the song, but you sang it really well.”

Nicely done.

It’s almost unfair for me to critique Katelyn Epperly performance of “I Feel the Earth Move.” ‘Cause I hate this song and even if she’s doing it well, I’m going to hate the song. So, regardless of artistic merit, sitting through it was painful for me.

Randy says it felt put on--"a little sleepy, a little boring.” Ellen doesn’t feel like being very nice, either. Kara’s not feeling the love. Simon says: “I like your hair.” But it goes down hill from there.

When Didi Benami is singing well, I absolutely love her voice. I also love her doing Stevie Nicks, who was one of my earliest and naughtiest crushes because conservative boys do so love their hippy chicks.  That said, the audience seemed a little confused…

...And so did Randy, although he liked it better than the previous week. Ellen gives her credit for bouncing back from the previous week and gives a mildly positive review. Kara says it was one of her favorite moments of the year so far--which seems a bit much to me, but I did enjoy it. Simon says: “I have to agree with Kara.”

Good for Didi.

Paige Miles goes for a subdued and ridiculously boring “Smile.” Wobbly and uninvolving, unfortunately.

Randy goes for the smack down. Ellen continues the downward smack. Kara adds in a sideways slap or two. Simon says: “Such a shame because you had so much potential...but the problem is you have no idea who you are.”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see her going home, although she’s playing the rarely played “Michael Jackson is dead” card. Which, that’s a surprise move.

I do like Crystal Bowersox in spite of her white girl dreads, which are wrong wrong wrong. Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” is a good fit and lets her stretch her voice a bit. Not only is it fun, but it’s the first lively song of the night and she looked like she enjoyed it. Love her.

Randy gives it lots of love. Ellen and Kara, too. Simon says: “Uh, you are one million billion percent going to be in the top 12 next week.”

The world loves Bowersox.

Stupid Traitor Bitch Aside: Stupid traitor bitch. What the hell goes so wrong in her head that she decides to undertake terrorist training and commit herself to murdering a fucking cartoonist? Hate isn’t a big enough word for how I feel about Colleen “JihadJane” LaRose.

You can never go wrong with Patsy Cline. Well, almost never. “I Fall to Pieces” as sung by Lilly Scott, who had previously been one of my favorites, was surprisingly bad. Her vocals were unsteady, although the audience seemed to enjoy it.

Randy liked the mandolin and called it “hot.” Ellen, too. Which makes me wonder just how different it sounded in the theater because, no. Kara was nice about it. Simon says: “It didn’t have the wow factor.” But he doesn’t much criticize the performance, so who knows…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Idol, April 14, 2009: The Almost Completely Aside Edition

Pre-Idol Aside: The cruelty of people to animals astounds me. Even the title of this story ("Puppy found taped to Boulder fridge") is enough to disgust a person with the barest bit of sympathy for their pets--and it doesn’t take an animal “rights” advocate to be outraged.

Police found a small dog — its feet, snout and tail bound in clear packing tape, a plastic bag and elastic hair ties — adhered to the side of a refrigerator in a Boulder home Tuesday morning, the apparent victim of a domestic dispute between its owner and his girlfriend.

Abby Toll, 20, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty after telling police she taped up the puppy, a shiba inu named Rex, and stuck him to the fridge because she was angry at her boyfriend for not getting rid of his pet after it had bitten her.

“There’s a dog taped to the fridge,” she told an officer who responded to a report of a domestic incidentin the 2900 block of East Aurora Avenue around 5 a.m.. “I know this looks bad. We were going to get rid of him anyway. We usually don’t do this.”

Some days I find myself wishing I lived on an island far away from, you know, people. It’s easy to be cranky.

Okay, I’m going to try to manage a positive attitude for the Quentin Tarentino edition of American Idol. Which, I have to admit, the guy has great taste in music along with being able to add something shockingly hilarious to the most brutal violence imaginable.

None of which changes the fact that Allison Iraheta’s amateurish version of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” I mean, the song normally sucks, but her messy, confused, and, honestly, ridiculously dressed performance made it even worse. Which is why the judges loved it, I suppose.

Smoochy Aside: One thing I do like is drive-by smooching from my baby. Hubba hubba.

And now we’re listening to Anoop singing Bryan Adams (not the more talented Ryan Adams--accept no substitute) “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” I suddenly realized that it is, essentially, the same song as the Aerosmith song. And I hate them both.

At least his performance, while annoying, had none of the disappointing messiness of Allison’s little wreck. Which is, of course, why the judges loved it.

I have high hopes for Adam Lambert’s take on “Born to be Wild"--and wonder just how glammed up and homoerotic he can make it. The answer is--well, I don’t know. Most of it was a straight-forward, if faster, version, but then he trotted out the uber-falsetto, the band hit it hard, and the whole thing blew up big. He is without doubt the weirdest contestant of all Idol history.

The judges liked it, with good reason, although Simon is right when he says it was like a Rocky Horror version of the song--and y’all can decide whether that’s a good thing or not. Consider it a matter of taste.

I’m kind of enjoying the speedy judging tonight--and, damnit, it was Paula’s fault that thy went over last week. She talks tons (while saying little) and interrupts others with regularity. Kind of like me on a bad day.

Will Matt Giraud make me less of a hater tonight? Probably not since he’s doing another freakin’ Bryan Adams song, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” Which was just the kind of horribly bland thing you would imagine from Adams the Lesser and it’s not helped by an inept performance. Were Simon commenting on this one, I’m guessing he would have said something like, “If I were being completely honest, I’d have to say that it was indulgent.”

Judges don’t diggit. He’ll be in the bottom three.

Snarky Aside: To be fair to Pete Waterman, no one actually wanted to hear the song. He’s kind of lucky no one demanded payment for the pain that was inflicted. Just sayin’.

Danny Gokey is singing Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” tonight with a harp accompanist. Which is just weird, especially when he misses (big) an early note during the quite intro. He mostly pulls it together, but I can’t find any room for enthusiasm at all.

Listening to Paula ramble, watching her dead-eyed gaze when Simon damns with faint praise, I find myself wondering if she is actually some super-secret automaton sent by the government to lull the populace into a false sense of musical security while they secretly steal all the good stuff. Because she’s just not right.

Apparently this is bad ballad night with only Adam Lambert abstaining from a place at the melancholy table. Kris Allen sings a lesser known song, “Falling Slowly” from The Swell Season, which should be titled “Falling Painfully, Slowly, and Lethargically into Voting for Someone Else Tonight.”

I slept through whatever it was the judges had to say.

Does anyone really care who wins this year? I don’t feel committed to any of these folks, although I do find Lambert entertaining even when he’s bad.

Maybe Lil Rounds gospel take on “The Rose” can change my mind, although it’s such a cliché that the mere mention of the song is enough to encourage a few snickers and a roll of the eyes in most music geek circles. While I applaud her for trying to give it a gospel edge, the truth remains that Rounds thinks she is a much better singer than she actually is. Messy, poorly sung, and not even in the ballpark of something that I would want to hear or, God forbid, pay for--and I like gospel and old R&B, which is where she supposedly should fit.

Whatever.

This year, American Idol is getting worse week after week. There isn’t a person left who might get me to buy a single, buy a concert ticket, or do anything other than change the station if I heard them on the radio. This final group is horrible and tonight’s show was like something I would have expected from Hollywood week.

If Simon were to truly be honest, I think he would admit to a tremendous disappointment in the folks that the judges picked this season. He can’t have imagined that it wold become such a talent-free zone as this.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

American Idol, April 8, 2009: The I I’m Missing the Nuggets for This? Edition

I say never underestimate the tremendous drama created by a handful of mostly mediocre vocal talents. If you do, you might find that they come along and sing your face right off.

So be careful out there, folks. Keep your head on a swivel. Metaphorically speaking.

Randy starts off the show by saying how disappointed he was in yesterday’s show. Which, yeah, dawg. Kara starts by making excuses for the fact that they chose a handful of mostly mediocre vocal talents to do their best to kill off the franchise. Or something of that nature.

Then, as a cautionary tale, they have an aging Frankie Avalon come out and sing “Venus"--which is a lovely song, but Frankie’s voice ain’t what it used to be. Here, mediocre vocal talents, is a man who had a voice and style that most of you can’t tough, and even his gifts are fading. What chance do you guys have of having a career that last any longer than the lifespan of the average pet rock? The answer, of course, is not much. Pop stars ain’t what they used to be, either, and you better be careful how you spend that money.

Umm, what were we talking about?

Oh, that’s right, we were talking about the disastrous cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head"--it started out reasonably well, but it fell apart in an impressive fashion. For a bunch of singers they sure didn’t sing that very well. You can see the original in the extended entry if you wanted to do a compare and contrast of your very own. It could save you from contemplating the lengthy up close and personal segment preceding the Ford informercial portion of the evening. Which, to be fair, was miles better than the live song and dance portion of the evening.

And was that a Ford Fusion they were spotlighting (after the new Mustang GT)? Nice looking car, although I have to admit to having a little bit of lust growing in my heart for the boxy (and semi-biggish) Flex.

All of which is still better than the mush of Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” a song about the glories of oral sex ("you spin my head right round, right round, when you go down...” (no that there’s anything wrong with that)) that manages to mangle Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” in new and unique ways that I hope I’ll never have to hear again. Calling it a remix isn’t right; it’s more inspired by, instead of an imitation of, the original. The redeeming moment of the song comes when it’s over and he is seen towering over Ryan Seacrest who looks like a tiny little wisp of a man by comparison.

Safe: Adam, which, you already knew that. Kris Allan, which might be more of a surprise. Danny, who will likely be in the final with Adam. Matt G, who is tremendously lucky.

Risky: Anoop, who is sinking fast. Scott, who earned his way to the bottom. Lil, who has been flitting about the bottom of the list for a while, I’m pretty sure.

Simon says there are two--and one in particular--who would be considered for the judge’s save. My guess would be that the list wouldn’t include Anoop (who has already had his second chance) and that Lil is the one they would be most likely to save. Honestly, I don’t understand that: Lil is a marginal talent who can really big at times. While she has moments where she sounds great, she’s also inconsistent and, at times, plain bad.

I wouldn’t save any of them.

Speaking of marginal talents, there goes Kellie Pickler!

So, Lil goes back to the safe zone, which is a little surprising to me since I thought the bottom two would be Anoop and Lil. Which just goes to show what I know.

Scott, with the lowest number of votes for the evening, sings in hopes of convincing the judges to keep him in the show--and Paula looks ready to cry while Kara seems to be pleading the case to Simon. My guess is that Simon will be playing the part of Scrooge for the evening since Scott really isn’t that good. He’s nice, he has a pleasant tone to his voice, and he still probably has a career in Christian pop--but he really isn’t that good. He does not have a great voice, although he does have a great personality, he is a very talented pianist, and I think he could coach some of the other singers into making better song choices and working better arrangements.

And Simon does, indeed, play the part of Scrooge this week. No save for Scott, which might not make the crowds happy but which is the right choice.

Read the Rest...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

American Idol, April 7, 2009: The I Miss the Cute Singers Edition

American Idol is seriously short on eye candy at this point of the season--and I find that disturbing. Bad planning on someone’s part.

Danny Gokey was born in 1980. I used to be that young. Darnit. None of which changes the fact that singing Mickey Gilley’s version of “Stand by Me” seems both really a strange choice and a copout on from-the-year-you-were-born week. I mean, he couldn’t find a real 1980 song that was good and fit his vocal style? Whatever his reasoning, it was a bland as tofu way to start the night for the guy who is my current favorite.

Randy didn’t like the arrangement but loved the vocals. Which, yeah, he can sing, but still…

Kara is having an onscreen BIG O, if you know what I’m saying. And I think you do. Paula loves him with the love of a hundred drug and alcohol addicted b-listers. Simon thought it was great although I didn’t really follow his arithmetic.

“Sailing” by Christopher Cross might have worked for him because it would have given him a chance to change up an original in a unique way. “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top might have been interesting. AC/DC did “Shook Me All Night Long” that year. That would have been fun. And what about Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, which is freakin’ awesome? Hell, he could have done the theme song from Dukes of Hazzard if he was feeling hard up for something cool and I would have been happier.

Kris Allen has a cute picture and, apparently, wanted to be a cab driver when he was young. I wanted to be a bus driver at one point, which was fairly shocking to my parents. Don Henley’s “All She Wants to do is Dance” (1985) is jazzed up a bit to mixed results. It loses the catchiness, but it doesn’t sound like a cheesy remake, either, which is nice. Interesting, I suppose, but not my style by any stretch of the imagination.

Cool 1985 Songs Aside: Just from the top 100 pop songs of 1985, you could find some brilliant pop songs (although, admittedly, not all suited to the young gentleman).  “Don’t You Forget About Me” - Simple Minds. “Relax” - Frankie Goes to Hollywood. “Money for Nothing” - Dire Straits. “Take on Me” - a-ha. “And We Danced” - Hooters. “How Soon is Now” - The Smiths. Yeah, that was a good year.

Kara takes a golf club and hits him upside the head. Seriously, I think he’s bleeding. Paula pets him politely to ease the pain. Simon breaks off the head of the club and stabs at the poor kid wildly and knocks the song choice. Randy agrees. So there.

The mystery of Lil Rounds is solved. And I’m not listening. Even a little bit.

I like her doing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It"--at least in theory. It’s so same-same, though, that I’d really rather just pop in an 80’s mix and turn up the volume. ‘Cause, let’s be honest, Tina has a monumentally better voice than Lil.

Paula uses her own golf club in cruel and unusual ways. She’s still blah blah blah in her critique, though, and can’t keep from talking talking talking talking. Shu’up. Simon summarizes and seconds my same-same complaint. Randy hates her, too. Kara gives her a no, too.

Early contender for going home this week? Indeed. Indeedaroony.

Anoop loves the Tar Heels. Which, given that I won a bit of money, me too. Then he apologizes to Kara in a roundabout way for being all defiant last week. Which I didn’t notice and doubt that I would imagine he should apologize for either way.  The cloyingly sweet “True Colors” isn’t as irritating in Anoop’s hands, although that is mostly due to the fact that his voice doesn’t have that same, grating quality that comes with listening to Cindy Lauper.

But I still hate the song and it would have been nice if he had bothered to do something with a little testosterone.

Randy liked the vocal a lot. Kara praises him for controlling the song. Although not in a particularly manly way. Paula says that he showed his true colors. Like a rainbow. Simon liked it, too, although he didn’t think it was fantastic and says that he shouldn’t have apologized. Amen, Simon.

Scott Macintyre. I’m tired of being mean to this guy, so I’m just going to keep my freakin’ mouth shut.

Kara was politely cruel. Paula takes no responsibility for forcing him from behind the piano although he looked a little unmoored tonight. And then she says nice things for no discernible reason whatsoever. Simon breaks out the cruelty. Randy agrees.

The fact that Allison Iraheta didn’t choose a Screaming Trees song bugs me--for once it would have been nice to hear someone do “Nearly Lost You” from their album, Sweet Oblivion. Instead we get another version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which she sings well but which I am terribly tired of. Honestly, it was probably a really good song choice.

Paula loved it. Simon, too, although he wants her to be more likable (by which I think he means more charismatic). Randy thinks she can sing her face off--which sounds wrong on some level. Kara gives up the love, too.

Okay, with Matt Giraud’s cover of “Part Time Lover,” I am officially over this show filled with horrifyingly painful versions of songs I hated the first time around. Really, he sounded like hell.

Which is why Randy called it one of the best of the night, Kara agreed, Paula loved, and Simon called much better than last week.

Good God, what drugs are they on?

Adam Lambert goes for a song truly popularized years after its initial release. Tears for Fears “Mad World” is a gorgeous song that was remade by Gary Jules for the wonderful movie, Donnie Darko a few years back. Lambert, with the exception of a close that tipped right over the top, does the job really well. It’s about a perfect song choice for the guy who will have to work pretty hard to lose this contest. Unless all the little girls realize that he kisses boys and they have absolutely no chance of winning his love by voting anonymously for him and screaming his name out when they see him on the streets.

Just sayin’.

Simon loved it in a big way and no one else gets to talk. It was a mostly bad night filled with mostly bad music with just a few moments struggling to redeem all the rest.

Update: Here’s video of Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World.”

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

American Idol, April 1, 2009: The Isn’t That a Funny Day to Get Cut Edition

Lady who?

American Idol starts the evening by desecrating Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing"--the song that might be the high point of Western culture (unless, of course, it’s this blog)--and it is, indeed, painful. Ow. And why isn’t Randy playing bass? On a positive note, it’s nice to see them not lip-synching this week.

Anyway, David Cook is dropping by to sing his song, “Come Back to Me”, and to flaunt his rising fame while mocking the loser of the night. He’s mean that way. Luckily for the bemocked, the song is a little on the bland side (though his voice is still quite lovely) and the mocking probably won’t hurt too much.

Acting Like an Old Guy Aside: I really like that David Cook feller. He seems like such a nice young man.

Now, who is feeling feelings of insecurity?

Safe: Kris. Which, okey dokey. Matt G. Although Seacrest played him hard, yo. Lil Rounds. She certainly didn’t deserve to be in the bottom three, so that’s good. Adam Lambert. Yeah. Danny. Because everyone loves Danny. Scott. Again, that’s fair enough.

Not Safe: Megan, proving that I am at least 33% psychic. Or that her badness was tremendously obvious. Allison, who probably shouldn’t have worn that dress. Just sayin. Anoop. Yep.

I certainly don’t think Allison deserves to go home, but either Anoop or Megan could leave and it would seem pretty reasonable.

For the record, I’ll be surprised if it isn’t Megan going home. Her beauty will not be enough to save her this time.

Again, I say, Lady who?

I think I’d like to see a duet with Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert doing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I don’t know if it would be good, but I guaranty the arrangement would be interesting.

Anyway, the person taking the highway to the safety zone is Allison--and all is right again in the world. Megan takes a brutal stab from Simon who doesn’t even offer the phantom opportunity of a save for her tonight. “You said that you don’t care and neither do we.” Simon doesn’t like it when people don’t show the proper respect, does he?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Idol, March 31, 2009: The What the Hell is She Wearing Edition (Updated)

Update: I’m thinking it would be fun to watch Idol with the LibertyCouple. Nicely done.

Seriously, what the hell is she wearing? If you saw the opening of the show, you already know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, then nothing I can say would make you understand. Except maybe Christmas tree drenched in blood and tinsel.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Anoop sings Usher and I’m already bored. Girl is more open to Usher, but she asks a valid question: “This is high energy?” Not so much.

Randy mumbles Randy-isms. Kara thinks that Frat guys dared him to sing the song. She didn’t mean it in a nice way. Paula mutters useless Paulaisms. Simon wants early boo-ing from the Anoop-loving crowd.

I think it’s time to stir the s’ghetti sauce.

And I’m back just in time for Megan, who is extremely lucky to still be in the show. Singing hippylicious music like “Turn Your Lights Down Low” should be a lock for her--but apparently the charm has worn off. Her quirky vocals just sound off tonight instead of fun, the song is a bore, and she’s wearing too much for me to cheer purely for the sake of naughtiness. Huh.

She’s gotta go home this week (unless someone else does really, really bad).

Kara brings down the hammer. “Irritating.” Ouch. Paula says something or other. The little crawl at the bottom of the TV tells me that the Broncos are going to try to trade Jay Cutler. Simon brings in the snark. “Boring.” Randy didn’t like it either.

She still likes herself, though, so that’s nice. A triumph of self-image over self-honesty.

I’m surprised Danny went for the Rascal Flats song, “What Hurts the Most.” Not the genre I would have expected from him, but I’m hoping he does well. Honestly, he’s one of the few bright spots left on the show this year. And he does sing it reasonably well, although he sounds a little off his game tonight. Pretty, decent, but far short of spectacular.

Not quite disappointing but somewhere near that line. I’m guessing the studio version is better. The crowd loves it, though.

Paula. Simon thought it was his best thus far--which shocks me. Randy thinks he “brought it crazy with the vocals.” Maybe it’s just our TV (or my overworked crankiness), but I didn’t think it was that great. Kara says that he “moved everyone in the room emotionally.” Weird.

She grew up listening to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” I feel old.

Anyway, Allison starts well but falls off the tracks after the soft opening. And I’m bored again.

Randy thought she rushed through bits of it and asks, “What are you wearing?” Amen, Randy. Kara says, “The rawk in you comes out no matter what you’re wearing...” Which she didn’t mean in the nicest possible way. Paula likes Allison’s axe. Nice axe, lady. Simon thinks the outfit was “something out of the Adams family” and says that it was a little “dressy-uppy,” which just goes to prove that he likes making up words just like I do.

Scott Macintyre does Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” Which is a great song and he sings it well enough that I wouldn’t walk out of the piano bar. I’d still be pretty happy when it was over, though. Is it just me or has he updated his hairdo to more of a Daryl Hall look? Nice. I realize that I’m being an asshole when I’m mean to Scott, so let me say some nice things: great song choice, he’s not without talent, he’s a rather good pianist, he performed quite well tonight, and he is easily one of the nicest guys to ever come through the show.

Kara digs him. Paula blah blah blah. Simon thought it was his best so far (and I agree). Randy dug it, too, and calls it one of the best of the night, which is undoubtedly true.

Football lovers aside: If you want to read a bit more about the Jay Cutler saga of doom, here is the report. Darling girl is not pleased with the “little whiner.” Indeed. Heh.

Matt G. was surprised to be near the bottom last week. Which proves that he should read the brilliant American Idol analysis found here at RSong. Bonehead. The Fray’s “You Found Me” sounds a bit like whiny complaint rock and his voice is seriously off tonight. Goodness but we’ve got a bumper crop of anti-talent this year.

Paula hits him in the face with a brick, which seems unkind. Or maybe just a metaphor. Whatever. Simon says, “We don’t like you this week.” The audience boos, but their heart isn’t in it. Randy didn’t like it and hated the song choice. Kara tells America: vote for him anyway.

Lil Rounds still isn’t a particularly good singer, but she was better than Megan by a good bit. She might should choose a slightly looser dress in the bottom area. Just sayin’. Her voice would sound really awesome if she were singing in tune, though.

Randy liked it. Kara liked it. Paula exists. Simon didn’t like it so much. All of which gives way to what might have been the cutest moment in all of American Idol: Randy hugging Lil’s daughter. That was adorable. For the record, darling girl tells me that I’m wrong: she wasn’t out of tune. According to DG (and she’s far smarter than I am) it was just a bad arrangement that didn’t quite fit the vocals.

“Play That Funky Music, White Boy” as rendered by the ghost of Queen. Adam Lambert is either hilarious, horrible, brilliant, daring, or mildly confusing. What a hell of a falsetto on that guy, though, no matter what you think of his arrangements. My biggest complaint is that he sucked a bit of the groove out of the song, but put me down for both hilarious and brilliant. Both.

Paula loves. Simon likes and admires the anti-karaoke spirit of it. Randy dug it big. Kara is disappointed that Adam kisses boys, I’m pretty sure.

Nice of Adam to give a shout out to the house band, too.

Can Kris Allen do “Ain’t No Sunshine” justice? I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know (this could go on for quite a while, you know). Actually, at this point I do know: yes. It was pretty good, although I didn’t like it as much as DG.

Randy loved it and loved the creativity of the arrangement. Kara loved it, too. Paula. Simon loved it. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

American Idol, March 26, 2009: The Holy Hell There’s Some Snow Outside

So, when did they start lip-synching during the big, annoying musical numbers? Is that something that they’ve always done and I’ve just not been paying much attention?

Not the Ford infomercial portion of the evening--that’s just obvious--but the “hey, gang, let’s put on a show” bit. If you take my meaning.

None of which changes the fact that Reuben Studdard’s song sort of sucks, doesn’t it? What a generic, bland bit of pop crap. And the suit coat with white piping had all the class of a tuxedo t-shirt.

Which makes me sad since I’ve always liked Reuben. Nice guy.

Joss Stone is hot, though. I’d let her sing to me. I might even braid her hair. Unless Smokey Robinson came along and ruined it all.

Ruiner.

Who is in the bottom three tonight? Known, from now on, as American Idol’s Ass End?

Safe: Adam Lambert. Kris Allen. Lil Rounds. Which, she’s lucky there were some really bad performances this week. Allison. Anoop. Danny. Because even Simon gets it wrong now and again. For some reason. Megan. Which proves that sometimes loveliness is more important than performances.

Not so safe: Matt G. Proving that America is sometimes smarter than the judges. Michael Sarver. Proving that some things are easily predicted. Scott Garfunkel. Who deserved it less than Megan, but really shouldn’t be in the competition.

Luckily for him, Scott is sent scurrying back to the safe zone--and I’m still probably right about who is getting the boot. Which, if you’re Candadian is pronounced “boot.” Which isn’t nearly as funny as would be if we were talking about the word “about.” For some reason.

They are breaking out the star power tonight, though, aren’t they? A little visit from Stevie Wonder is nice for everyone except me since I think he has a horribly nasal voice and writes songs that make me want to hit people in the face. Except “Superstition,” which is freakin’ awesome even when he sings it. I’ll pretend to ignore the shout out to our BiC (which probably doesn’t mean what you think it means--assuming you think it means anything, which it does, just not what you’re thinking).

And, yes, it’s Michael who is going home--and I don’t imagine the judges are even thinking about saving him this time around. As Simon said, he really isn’t good enough to win this thing. Wonderful personality and I hope he has a great life.

After much deliberation (more than I expected) they send Michael home. It was a much closer thing than I would have guessed, though, and his performance was better by a good bit this time around.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol, March 25, 2009: The Obama Delayed My Gratification Edition

They open the show tonight with a conversation about Alexis Grace. Because they want me to be sad.

Bastards.

Two hours of people who really really really really want to be famous singers when they grow up singing some of the more challenging pop music in American history is always fun. It’s always fun to see if the singers can pull off Motown music without sounding gimmicky or too karaoke in flavor. And then there’s the simple fact that not all of them will be up to the vocal task of the songs that they choose.

Not everyone can deliver a Marvin Gaye song the way that he could--not just with singing, but the power and the charisma of the original music. Few Idol singers have that kind of talent (or, to be brutal, even the potential to reach those heights). Which isn’t to say that I’m cheering against them; I always hope that these kids step up and amaze us.

I’m just rarely surprised when they don’t manage the feat.

Matt Giraud decided, for instance, to make “Let’s Get it On” into a crappy, elevator tune sung in Karaoke fashion. Smokey Robinson seems to think otherwise, but I thought it was horrible. Painfully contrived with none of the raw emotion of the original--just some guy going through the motions without making it feel real. Predictably, Randy, Kara, and Paula loved it. Simon believed it was a good performance and a great song choice (true) and names Matt “one of the frontrunners.” I say go listen to the original (link opens in iTunes Music Store) and realize just how small Matt’s version sounds.

I’m crying on the inside.

Pretty pretty aside: I’m fond of good photography. And redheads.

How about “How Sweet it Is?” (again, iTMS warning) by Kris Allen is a strange beast. It definitely takes on his personality, so it avoids the bad karaoke curse, but it’s oddly like any of a number of contemporary singers doing a remake of the old classic. Not my style by any stretch of the imagination, but it sounds commercially viable and works better for me than Matt G’s song.

Kara loves him, Paula loves him, Simon isn’t quite as effusive as he was with Matt (but is overall positive), and Randy called it “all good.”

I wouldn’t buy it, but it struck me as a more honest artistic stab than the fakery of “Let’s Get it On.”

Some would call it a petty petty aside: Madoff is leading the way. Right over the cliff.

I continue to not be a fan of Scott Macintyre and his brand of exceptionally wussified musical expression. I believe that Robinson said that Macintyre brought a little stride into his piano work tonight--I’d say that’s a little overstatement. Fats Waller would not be impressed. (iTMS) Perhaps I misheard…

He’s a ridiculously nice guy and I truly hope he has a wonderful life, but every time I hear him perform I get the impression that, nationally, we’re doing the equivalent of putting the kindergartner’s latest finger painting on the refrigerator door. “Can’t Hurry Love” was spectacularly bad tonight.

Paula loved it, Simon thought it was quite bad, Randy is in Simon’s corner, and Kara carefully stakes out middle ground.

Adventures in bad decision-making aside: Don’t trust the Sat Nav. A lesson I learned in a much less painful manner when I drove out to Arkansas over the holidays. But that’s a story for another beer…

Strangely, tonight the American Idol crew seem to be exploring things that are up Paula’s skirt. Which is wrong. Really wrong.

I’m a Megan fan, but that was rough. She’s one of the most original (which I’m typing and then Smokey is saying) singers this year and that’s not even discussing her, ahem, personal charms. Thing is, when she sings “Once in My Life,” I get flashbacks to bad lounge singers on The Love Boat. At moments, she sounds quite good, but the overall effect isn’t something I want to experience again.

None of which changes the fact that I cannot take my eyes off of her.

Randy opens with “that song was a train wreck for me.” Kara agrees and suggests “My Guy,” which, she’s right, that would have been a better choice. Paula agrees. Simon wants to fire whoever is advising her on her songs and leaves her wanting to cry. Even though she tries to make it bravely through the pain.

Sad for me, if she goes home there is no eye-candy left for me this year.

How about Anoop doing “Ooo Baby Baby” (iTMS) is quite nice. His voice suits the song and he captures the sweet nature of the song. It might be a little slow to be a crowd pleaser, but I think he did a really nice job. First one of the night that I’ve really enjoyed, in fact. Not a lot of originality, but a lovely visit to an old favorite.

Kara talks about how difficult the song is to sing and gives him credit for doing a “pretty good job.” Fair. Paula wants him to know that he’s doing a really good job. Simon likes the singing but things the performance was a bit boring. Randy agrees and gives some advice for next week.

Yeah, Anoop will be sticking around for another week and is definitely earning his spot on the show.

None of which changes the fact that Michael Sarver isn’t good enough to pull off “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (iTMS)--a song that needs a bigger, better voice. We descended back to High School talent contest levels with this one. Which is a shame since it’s such an awesome song.

Paula casts the first stone and likens him to Fat Elvis. Okay, not in so many words, but that’s what I got out of it. Simon “couldn’t wait for it to end” and says that he has no chance to win. Which I agree with, but which Michael isn’t going to take well. Randy tees off, too, and says it was “too big” and “a little bit corny.” Kara--well, I stopped caring when she started talking about artistry and didn’t address the fact that he was just horrible this week.

Sarver handles the critique with grace, but I do think that he’ll be going home this week. Unless it’s Megan instead.

We now move to Lil Rounds tackling “Heat Wave.” And, honestly, her voice isn’t quite up to the task, either. Not in the big bits where she does fine, but in the opening her voice is week and all over the place. She goes for old fashioned--style, hairstyle, clothing--and just doesn’t manage the trick when it comes to the vocals.

She won’t go home, though, because she’s far from the worst of the night. Randy wasn’t highly impressed (and gets booed during his critique). Kara wasn’t much impressed. Paula reverts to classic Paula-level stupidity. Simon calls her one of the best singers in the competition, but didn’t like the song or the performance.

I wonder how Adam Lambert will recover from last week’s abomination? My guess is that he’ll go minimalist to combat last week’s overindulgence. And I’m right: he dresses in Smokey chic, slicks back the hair, has an accoustic arrangement, and keeps the histrionics to a minimum. He can certainly get that falsetto going, can’t he? This was almost as good as last week was bad. He loses the tune here and there, but the effect is quite nice and he closes wonderfully.

He’s a smart guy and he learned a lesson from last week. Kara would kiss him if he weren’t so into boys. Paula would just like to talk him into submission. Or something. Simon calls it the best of the night--probably true--and praises the voice, the performance, and the songwriting, too. Randy loved it.

To this part of the competition, though, I’m really pulling for Danny Gokey and his surprisingly strong rasp of a voice. And it’s nice that he’s not wearing the scary white jacket this week.

He doesn’t disappoint. Allthough his performance is a little awkward, his voice is solid and his interpretation of the song is a lot of fun. Like Anoop, he doesn’t do a lot to personalize the arrangement, but his performance is a highlight for the night.

Paula loved it, Simon thought it “clumsy” and “amateurish”, Randy thought it was wonderful, and Darling Girl is talking so who knows what Kara said? Probably wasn’t that important anyway…

Cool books in the mail aside: I just received a review copy of a book that will be released in a few days. A Legacy of Liberation:Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream by Mark Gevisser looks to be an impressive view on Thabo Mbeki and recent South African history. I’m really looking forward to this one and I hope to have a review ready for all y’all soon.

“Papa Was a Rolling Stone” is a brilliant little song and it suits Allison Iraheta’s voice and personality. Horrible outfit, though. Unfortunately, with the washer going through a rinse cycle in the background, I can hardly tell whether she’s doing well or not.  The audience seems to like it, though.

Randy gives love. Kara gives more love and stumps for the youngster complete with big “woo’s”. Paula has a drawn on mustache which seems to make her angry. Simon is too busy giggling to offer real insight. I can’t imagine that she’s in any danger, though.

Not a great night, although there were a few performances that were well worth the time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol, March 18, 2009: The Results Get Sucked Into a Scary Ring of Fire Edition

Could the awful “Ring of Fire” be enough to submarine Adam Lambert today? It seems unlikely--and, if it does, don’t be surprised to see the judges break out the save a little earlier than they wanted to--but it was one of the strangest and most off-putting performances I’ve ever seen on the show.

If Adam isn’t the victim of the national vote tonight, though, I have a hard time imagining them saving any of the other singers tonight. Or, at least, not any of the others that seem likely to be pushed over the edge. Before we find out, though, we have to endure the sing and dance extravaganza that always makes me want to lash out wildly at the nearest high school drama troupe (but that might just be a me thing) followed swiftly by a Ford infomercial happily unfunded by massive bailouts from our phenomenally generous government.

Hooray bailouts!

Safe: Danny. Which is as it should be. Lil Rounds. With extra, post announcement squeakiness. Anoop. He’s so lucky he got that second chance. 

Not So Safe: Allison. Maybe she’s not pretty enough? For once, I don’t mean that with Extra Snark--I’m just surprised that she’s in the bottom three tonight. Sarver. Who just got Punk’d by Ryan Seacrest in a really cruel way.

Safe: Art Garfunkel. Which is fine. Megan. Because she is definitely pretty enough. Matt Giraud. Which he deserved (even if it wasn’t best of the night). Kris. Which is a matter of luck. Adam Lambert. Lucky bastard.

Not So Safe: Alexis. Which is reasonably well-deserved.

Who is staying? Alison. Definitely fair.
Brad Paisley bores me into changing to the station to the Nuggets game (which they are currently winning by one point with only 33.2 seconds left in the game (and an Alan Parsons Project song ("Sirius," in case you were wondering) playing in the background)).

Nuggets win.

If you missed last night’s performance, by the way, here’s video of Adam Lambert’s take on “Ring of Fire.” Seems a bit like what might happen if Queen covered the tune and absolutely nothing like Jeff Buckley, as Randy suggested.

Link for the embed-averse.

Now, finally, we find out who is going home. In theory. The judges have just thrown a kind of cruel safety net to the two contestants by admitting that one of them would be worth saving. If the other gets chosen, there will be a moment of hope followed by a sense of crushing rejection for the loser.

Ouch.

The loser tonight is Alexis Grace-- which I called yesterday. But will the judges save her? I hope so and the judges are giving her one last chance to sing for life.

The judges save their save for another time. Poor kid is going home which is a shame since Motown week could have been damned good for her.

Update: Dig Mr. Lady’s take.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol, March 17, 2009: Well, It’s Better Than Anything to Do With Miley Cyrus Edition

Before we start in with the wannabe rock stars and pop stars of the world, I want to say that our former president, George Dubya, again acts with surprising grace for a guy who still says nookyoolar. Which I find strangely endearing.

Former President George W. Bush said he won’t criticize President Obama because Obama “deserves my silence,” and said he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he made in office.

Bush declined to critique the Obama administration Tuesday in his first speech since leaving office. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Obama’s decisions are threatening America’s safety.

“I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena,” Bush said. “He deserves my silence.”

There is and should be a brotherhood (someday, somehow, probably before I die, with added sisterhood) that says, “I know how tough this job is and I’m not going to add to the pressure.” In fact, I fully believe that the presidents should always and forever be ready and willing to support the current president to the best of their ability. In my view of the world, Carter wasn’t only a horrible president, but a phenomenally bad former president, Clinton gets mixed (but often positive) results, and, well, you get the idea. I doubt that Obama will ever ask Bush for his opinions or his ideas, but he may well ask for his face and his influence in something important some day--and I have no doubt that Bush will again do what he thinks is best for the country.

Instead of taking easy shots from the sidelines, Bush is taking the high road--and with the flak that continues to come from the left, it probably takes a bit of self control to stay on the polite side of the conversation.

No one is above criticism, but Bush is acting in an admirable way, and I hope the left takes a moment to appreciate it.



Randy Travis seems like an awfully nice guy and he has an absolutely wonderful voice. It’s nice to see him on the show coaching the kids.

Michael Sarver should be good on country week--and he is. Not great, but definitely a credible performance on a tough song (sorry, didn’t catch the name and I don’t know the tune). Randy didn’t like it so much (not showcasing the vocals enough), Kara had the same criticism, Paula offers empty words and love (which makes me worry a bit about my own performance), and Simon wasn’t so fond. He does bring up a good criticism (which Darling Girl agrees with): it was a little clumsy and he didn’t enunciate well.

Travis gives Allison Iraheta good advice about not playing too cutesy and let her strong voice carry the strong. And while the backup singers phone in their performance, Allison’s voice does shine. Incredibly well done--better, by far than I thought she could manage a country song, but very simply good. Kara loves, Paula goes on and on, Simon offers decent criticism, and Randy offers her drugs. For some reason.

Can Kris Allen manage to rise above the serious mediocrity that currently envelopes his entire being? Or am I being unkind? Well, he bravely sings without his guitar and makes Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love” into a more contemporary pop ballad--which isn’t a stretch since Brooks always straddled the line a bit in his songwriting. Unfortunately, his voice really isn’t all that great, I found myself more bored than mesmerized, and I hope he goes home soon. Paula loves the world and isn’t afraid to talk about that love in completely incomprehensible ways for amazing lengths of time, Simon dug it big, and Randy offers Kris some tender moments. For some reason. Kara loved it, too.

Apparently my opinion was wrong: it was a good performance. Darling girl says so, too. Apparently, I just hate the guy.

Slightly Worried Aside: Is my penis devastating the environment? Good Lord, I hope not. In fact, I’ve always thought that my penis could save the world, if only we could tap its vast powers for good.

Lil Rounds might be a little out of her element on country night. Just sayin’. I don’t know Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”, which seemed an awfully good song for her. She might shoulda gone for “Little” Esther Phillips version of “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave” (link opens in iTunes Music Store). Phillips bounced around both country and R&B her entire career, with most of her success coming on the R&B side, but with credible country roots."Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave” is something that might have come across too blues for the show, but given that the song was written by the great Charlie Rich, the country roots would have been easy to justify.  This was a stretch for her--a tough night with a merely serviceable performance for the woman with one of the best voices on the show. Randy wasn’t impressed at all. Kara says something, but I don’t remember what it is. Paula blah. Simon has problems with her name and didn’t like the song so much.

The most professional of the group Adam Lambert (who likes to kiss boys--which might break a few pre-teen hearts in the audience) does strange, bad things to “Ring of Fire.” I mean, seriously, what the hell was that? I’ve been a booster ‘til now, but that was a hideous and self-indulgent misfire. Kara is confused. Paula makes random noises. Simon says, “What the hell was that?” and then calls it “indulgent rubish.” Randy says it was Nine Inch Nails doing a country song.

Which, no.

Read the Rest...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol, March 11 2009: Who Does America Hate?

Well, to be honest, I’m not so fond of Kanye West, but that’s not going to tell us who got the boot this week, is it? And it won’t tell us the super-secret twist that they were all squirrelly about yesterday, either.

Luckily for us, the twist is the first thing they’re talking about, and it’s precisely what I thought it might be: a change to the way that eliminations work. This year, the judges can save one singer from elimination--it can happen only one time and it has to be unanimous. I think that the real effect of this rule change will be to minimize the effect of the wrong bettors--those folks who vote for losers in hopes of keeping the show more entertaining by lowering the level of talent. I don’t know how much of a factor that is in the show anymore since the kinds of geeks who enjoy that game have probably moved on to some other anti-social behavior.

(For the record, I’m frequently a wrong bettor when I play craps. I have no qualms with betting against the roller.)

I wish the judges could use their extra-magic vote to save me from the pain of the group singing. But it can’t…

Now, back to Survivor: Hollywood. Now, where the hell did I leave my torch?

Disappointing Aside: RSong is not the number one search result for “Scott Macintyre Art Garfunkel.” Which is terribly surprising.

Did America get it right?

Jasmine and Megan are the first duo to be punished by Ryan Seacrest’s slow reading skills. Megan stays, Jasmine goes, and America gets this choice right--unless the judges play spoiler. Unfortunately, this means another trip through her painful reading of “I’ll be There” complete with pitch problems and lackluster performance. Which they don’t. Which they won’t. Thank God.

I would like to know why America didn’t vote Kanye West off the show, though.

Disturbing Aside: Does anyone else get the feeling that the brownshirt revivalist Putin Youth don’t indicate a warm and loving relationship between Russia and, you know, the rest of the world? Because, no joke, this kind of stuff worries the hell out of me. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it…

Nashi ("Ours") is the “largest of a handful of youth movements created by Mr. Putin’s Kremlin to fight for the hearts and minds of Russia’s young people in schools, on the airwaves and, if necessary, on the streets,” according to the New York Times.

Yeah, scary monsters.

Anyway, back to Alexis, who happens to be on TV right now. Hubba and hubba again.

Anoop Dogg and Jorge are victim pair number two. I don’t actually remember anyone talking about Art Garfunkel’s kid, which just proves that I should probably be paying more attention.

Now, before the pain for the pained pair is over, Kelly Clarkson is singing something about “My Life Would Suck Without Booze,” which may not be the most poetic line, but it sounds sincere. What? Is that the sound of me projecting yet again?

Jorge goes home and Anoop gets the reprieve. I’m not sure that Anoop deserved it, but I’m not surprised, either. As I said, his cuddliness saved him. It’s a shame for Jorge, though.

And, now, let’s switch over to the Nuggets where Darling Girl is attending the game with a friend of ours while I spend some more quality time with Xcode--which, in my limited view of such things, is a wonderful programming environment. It’s almost making learning Objective C into something fun for me.

Almost.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol, March 10 2009: I’ve Totally Lost That Loving Feeling

The Top 13 (aka, The Odd Mix of Nearly Worthy and Potentially Marketable Singing Hopefuls), will now plead their case to the people of America. “Please let me be a millionaire,” they say, “Please love me.”

I don’t. Not mostly, anyway. There are a handful of these folks who I think have the potential to hold my attention for more than a few minutes at a time. Unfortunately, with the theme tonight--the music of Michael Jackson--I wonder if the group will be able to hold my attention for the whole evening.

Not that I would be opposed to hearing the long version of “Thriller.” ‘Cause that was kind of awesome.

Lil Rounds, who sounds like the rejected and rotund character from a James Bond movie, decided to sing “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Which I hate. Of course, the number of Michael Jackson songs that I like could probably be counted on one hand with a few fingers left over for happy fun gesturing. Lil sounds fine, although the backup singers are doing what they can to undermine the song with a tissue-thin performance. It’s a good start to the show--her performance is strong, she held the audience, and she sang well. The judges, of course, love her like Fat Bastard loves KFC. Nicely done, although Paula heard angels at some point during the performance and makes us all wonder, once again, precisely what kind of drugs she’s mixing with her vodka. Simon reality checks the horrid outfit.

Can Scott “Art Garfunkel” Macintyre sing well enough to warrant his place in the show? I don’t think so unless you happen to be looking for the next light rock contemporary Christian pop star. Which I’m not. “Keep the Faith"--a song that I don’t know--is a good fit for his ambitions if they do happen to be somewhere down that particular path, though. The audience loves him with the love of a thousand sexless pre-teen idiots. The judges love him for his magical instrument. Or maybe that was just Paula. She has a strong love of many folks’ instruments, though. Simon says an accidental truth: “It’s fine being artistic, just not on this show.”

Good Lord, that might be more honesty than people can handle.

Randy thought it was good but not great. Which seems fair.

It would take a massive effort of will to dislike Danny Gokey. “PYT.” Good God, this is like slow torture for me. On the good side, Danny actually attacks the song with vigor and his surprisingly gruff voice. I still don’t like the song, but I still do like him, and I don’t mind so much when he sings it--and Darling Girl has a strange crush on him. Paula tells him, almost tearfully, to take it all in. I’m not sure what “it” is, but she’s very excited. Simon digs him with mad man love for his vocals, but things the overexcited dancing was hideous. Randy loved him even more. And Paula 2 (who, yeah, I know) says something, too. Which I ignore because I’m still trying to figure out if I should be jealous about Darling G’s newest love.

Michael Sarver, the nation’s favorite roughneck, is likable as hell, too. Michael Jackson wouldn’t seem like a natural fit for this guy, but he does the song ("You Are Not Alone") with something resembling not too horrible. Pitchy at points, not perfect, but not horrible, either. One of the “big” moments was almost painful, but the beginning was actually kind of pretty. Simon is right, he’s not even close to the best singer in the group. The judges are kind to him, but maybe more than he deserves. Randy called him one of the best of the night which simply isn’t true.

Still like the guy, though, and hope he sticks around for a bit.

Can Jasmine Murray stay in the show? She’s one of the folks who didn’t deserve the trip, so I’m rather hoping she doesn’t. And her performance tonight--all pitch problems and lackluster performance--doesn’t do much to change my mind. She has a potentially pretty voice, but her control isn’t quite there. She could use a few years of practice to smooth out the rough bits before being sold to the public. Paula actually said something smart with her faint praise and Simon’s lukewarm response is spot on. I really don’t think she’s worth the roster spot.

Useless Aside: Because I happen to love Nathan Fillion, I watched last night’s premier of Castle, and thought it was funny as hell. He’s got the rogue persona down to an art form and his relationship with both the detective and with his daughter made it a fun ride. Hope is sticks around longer than Firefly.

Kris Allen still seems like an afterthought to me. Marginally competent, reasonably cute, and hardly worth the pixels it will take to write this sentence. As I said last week: whatever. There is no doubt that the audience like him, though, in a big, bad, ugly way. Kara (okay, fine, I’ll use her real name) wants us to love him as much as she does, Paula says something horribly confusing, Simon gives him a mediocre review, and Randy gets all tongue tied in his short response. If I were cynical--and I am--I would say that they want the guy on the show purely because they feel that he has the potential to be a big seller of musical pablum to the pre-teen market.

There’s a little more talent and something to be found in Alison Iraheta, and it doesn’t hurt that she chooses a song that I’ve never heard. The sixteen year old digs into the song with her coarse voice and doesn’t once let a person like me think that this song has anything at all to do with Michael Jackson. She looks like a refugee from the eighties in her Pat Benatar gear, but that just means she’ll sell well to Reagan-era nostalgics like me.

The judges like her, too, although I don’t listen to them because Darling Girl has just make white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies. Which smell awesome.

Anoop Dogg barely deserved his place on the show, although I won’t complain too much since DG thinks he’s second only to Danny in the all-important likability department. I, of course, like that he and his parents embody the immigrant’s dream of America and because he chose “Beat It.” Hell, he even started with that little not-so-animalistic grunts like Michael Jackson did in the original. Which, I’m sure makes him all the more cute to the girls.

For that matter, he seems about as tough as MJ, too. The only thing that was missing was dancing, pimped out gang members to really bring out the campy fun of the original. Because, let’s be honest, there’s not much funnier than MJ playing the part of a badass.

The vocals may not have been the most original, but it was fun. Paula thinks it was a little worse than that. Simon breaks out the “k” word and says it was a little stupid--a bad impersonation of MJ. Randy hits him hard, too, for the lack of originality. Kara agrees, too. Simon goes so far as to say that he regrets making Anoop the extra contestant.

Ouch. Anoop Dogg could be in trouble, but I imagine that his basic, cuddly core will save the day.

Jorge Nuñez surprises me every time I hear his voice, and I mean that in a reasonably good way. Which isn’t to say that I would be buying one of his albums, but I think he’s a good bit better than a few of the others on the show and is a solid performer. I don’t think he can win the show, but he’s solid. The judges aren’t digging him tonight, though, even to the point that Paula broke out the not-quite-niceness and Simon said he was “corny and out of his depth.” Ouch.

Apparently I’m wrong about this one…

She’s adorable and she dances funny, but damned if I don’t have serious love for Megan. “Rockin’ Robin” might have been a horrible song choice, but she’s cute, she’s lively, she can sing, she’s playful, and she’s not afraid to be goofy in public. And, again, I dig the ink. Simon didn’t like it although he still wants to do naughty things to her.

I might have been projecting a bit there, so, yeah, sorry about that…

I think it was a bad song choice, too, but don’t care because I’m still thinking about voting for her.

I really like Adam Lambert most of the time, but I’m not sure about him tonight. His voice is still one of the standouts and he seems more comfortable in front of the audience than nearly any of the rest. But he seems even more effeminate than Michael Jackson, which is impressive. Paula makes him cry. Well, almost, anyway. The judges very obviously want him to have a good shot at winning, which I understand since this guy is ready to be packaged and sold.

Am I officially done with the show for the night? Do I even care what Matt Giraud does? I was hoping to maintain focus until Alexis showed up, but I’m already starting to feel it slipping away…

I like Alexis Grace’s voice and hope that she’ll be in the show ‘til close to the end. “Dirty Dianna” seems an odd choice at first, but damned if she doesn’t kick it out with aggressive vocals and a sexy performance. Kara says she’s a “naughty girl and I liked it.” Which might be what I was thinking, too--and which might lead to a less-than-critical eye (and ear) on her performance.

Whew. That was a long show.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

American Idol, March 4 2009: Someone’s Crying

Okay, so did America choose right? In putting Lil Rounds through to the next round, that’s a certainty. In fact, that makes it a good start to the night.

And in rejecting Arianna, they continued a good trend. It’s a shame for the kid, but she’ll be able to come back in the future when she’s better prepared. Taylor could have gone through and it wouldn’t have upset me in any big way, but she was most certainly not a standout--she was merely serviceable. Which was still better than most folks, but not particularly inspirational.

Alex Wagner-Trugman didn’t deserve a trip through, either, and I don’t think he needs to keep trying this particular career path. Nice kid, but I don’t see this being his future.

Now, America got it wrong when Scott MacIntyre was sent through. He simply wasn’t one of the best last night and it means that one of the other two worthy performances will miss out on this opportunity. I expected it, though, when the judges were so effusive with their praise. I feel a bit of a jerk for saying it, but as nice a guy and as great a story as it is, he just ain’t that good.

I was happy seeing Nathaniel and Kristen both going home. Neither of them performed well last night and neither of them deserved to continue.

Same could be said for Von Smith and Felicia, although I can’t help but think that Felicia has potential.

The bad thing is that I had hoped that both Jorge and Ju’not would be going through--I thought that both of them deserved to go through. I thought that both of them were significantly better than MacIntyre and both of them had a better chance of winning the show. I won’t complain that Jorge made it through; of the two he was at least fractionally better. But damned if Ju’not didn’t deserve to keep going tonight.

SAmerica gets it two-thirds right, which is about all you can expect when you consider how many Milli Vanilli and New Kids on the Block albums have been sold in this country (and that’s not even factoring in the unfathomable continuing popularity of “Rock Lobster").

So, yeah, about that wild card round…

Your competitors will be:

Von Smith? Wow. What a mediocre choice.

Jasmine Murray. Good call.

Ricky Braddy. Honestly, I don’t even remember the guy.

Megan Joy Corkrey. Which doesn’t hurt my feelings any. At all.

Tatiana. Freakin’ whores. Idiot whores. Bastards. I hate you, American Idol. What a fucking joke.

Matt Giraud. What the hell ever. Tatiana?

Jesse Langseth. This is actually a really good choice and I think she has a great chance of going through. But, still, screw you, American Idol.

Anoop Desai. I wouldn’t have chosen him, but it will make my girlfriend happy.

I still think that Ju’not, at very least, deserved the shot over a handful of these folks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

American Idol, March 3 2009: The Does it Get Better Than Last Week Edition?

Von Smith: Carefully not yelling, he seems like an awfully nice guy. As girl says, I wish he were a better singer, though. Yelling or not, this kid really isn’t worth noticing for anything other than his pleasant personality and giant, gaping mouth. Seriously, when he really opens that thing up, he looks like a freakin’ mutant. Whateverish regardless of what the judges thought. SImon says the guy reminds him of Clay Aiken, which I can’t think of as a particularly wonderful thing.

And we already have our first commercial break…

Taylor Vaifanua: Hey, that dress makes her look pregnant and those shiny pants make her look like she’s wearing shiny pants. Which is a poor combination. She sounds decent enough, though, which is probably more than good enough to get through to the next round if the competition from the last few weeks is any indicator. The judges don’t like her so much, though, which I can’t completely blame them for, but it confuses me as to why they liked karaoke singer number one so much.

Alex Wagner-Trugman: The dorky one has been bulking up with very short sets of low weight. Funny guy--something about him strikes me as much smarter than most of the other contestants. I dig Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues”, but brings a little too much of a high school vibe and a tendency to oversing. It’s a strange combination of an undertalented guy overreaching in a big way. I have a hard time seeing this guy going through. The judges aren’t overly kind, either.

Ariana Afsar: What is it with the tough-to-type names this year? I mean, why isn’t there a Dave Jones or something easy? This youngster singing “Winner Take All,” one of Abba’s many hits, just makes me giggle. It doesn’t have to suck, but it does. I mean, she has a decent enough voice, the song could have been good for her, but she does a horrible job of singing the song, tries to stylize it a bit too much, and somehow managed to get out of time with the band. Not good at all. Worst of the night.

Darling girl asks, “Where are the vocal coaches? Seventeen year olds need vocal coaches.” Yeah, someone should have stopped her from this misstep.

Useless Aside: I’ve come to the conclusion that our dog, sweet and cute as she is, is both lazy and insubordinate.

Ju’not Joyner: He had one of the cutest little kids that we’ve ever seen on this show, so he obviously deserved to go through. Or something like that. “Hey There Delilah” isn’t one of my favorite songs, but I like it when he sings it. It isn’t nearly as whiny and stalkerish when he’s singing it. He isn’t a great singer, so there are a few rough spots, but it’s still a sweet little song and one of the only decent moments of the night thus far. I do wish he were just a bit of a better singer, though. The judges like him and I think the voters will, too.

Kristen MacNamara: The karaoke host seems to be running a serious brain deficit. Hasn’t Obama set forth a stimulus package for people like her? Unfortunately she’s a decent singer in a goofy, lounge act, over-done karaoke way. Which is to say I just don’t dig her singing (not her voice, but her singing) and she’ll probably be around for a while. The judges are a bit iffy on her, though, which gives me some hope for a Kristen MacNamara-free future.

Nathaniel Marshall: Too much crying, too many headbands, too much drama queen. I want him to go away purely because his personality is hideous. Choosing a Meatloaf song is kind of ballsy, though, so I have to give credit for the gutsy maneuver. Notably, I wouldn’t do anything for love, but I’d probably do that. Who knows? He actually sounds pretty good, though.

Darling girl believes that he has the gay vote, the drama queen vote, but not the hysterical pre-teen vote or the “wish he was my gay best friend” vote. According to her he isn’t cool enough of cute enough to pull in all of those crucial demographics. I think she’s probably right.

My Blog Aside: I’m a first page search result for “Government involvement/baking collapsed.” Because, apparently, ResurrectionSong is a repository of knowledge about the terrors of half-baked, government-sponsored brownies.

Felicia Barton: She’s cute. Really cute. She has a good voice, although maybe not quite as good as she thinks because parts of Alicia Keye’s song “No One” come out well and other bits come out just this side of painful. It was an uneven performance. Judges were mostly positive.

Darling girl thinks that this might be Paula’s One True Disciple.

Scott McIntyre: He does a kick-ass Art Garfunkel impression (that’s a visual thing not a vocal thing). Anyway, he has an inoffensive voice for the most part, but he sounds all sorts of bad tonight. Off key, breathless, pushing--man, I’d rather listen to Bruce Hornsby. I honestly think that the judges are being nice to him because having a blind guy make it a through will be good for ratings; that’s the only reason I can think that they weren’t far more critical of his pitiful performance. He seems a nice enough guy, but that was quite bad.

Shocking Aside: Speaking of the dog, she doesn’t like Tuvan throat singing. At least, she doesn’t like it when I’m the one doing the Tuvan throat singing. Weird dog.

Other Reality TV Aside: Jason Mesnick, that guy from The Bachelor is a real dick. Of course, the show is a bundle of idiocy, but still…

Kendall Beard: Who the heck are you and why should I care? Okay, so she’s pleasingly cute, she doesn’t sing in a horrifically bad manner, and she seems a decent enough sort. But I’m bored now. Quite bored.

Jorge Nuñez: Jorge was good--big voice, big personality, and totally not my style. Which isn’t a knock against him, just noting the fact. The judges like him, too, especially Paula who loves him with the love of a thousand mindless drones. If he doesn’t go through it’s solely because America is filled with racists.

Or something of that nature.

Lil Rounds: Okay, that was nice, even after adjusting for the goofy name and the yelly bit at the end. Yeah, if America doesn’t vote for Rounds it’s solely because America’s tweenagers are racists.

Or something of that nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol, Feb 18 2009: The Really Really Short Edition (Now With No Naughty Language)

America, in picking Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey, and Brent Keith got it reasonably right. There was a case to be made for Anoop and, perhaps, for Steve Fowler, but the two folks who should have gone through did. And that’s all we can expect.

Besides that, let’s just say America breathes a heavy sigh of relief at one Tatiana-shaped bullet successfully dodged. If the judges dare bring her back, God will curse them with a plague of well-aged New Kids on the Block groupies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol, Feb 17, 2009: The Relatively Short Version (Now With Extra Naughty Language)

Jackie Tohn: Send her home. Hideous. Seriously. As bad as anything I’ve seen this side of William Hung. The judges must have been sucking one major crack pipe to have found something positive in that little ball of tripe. Except for Simon, that is, who was also right about the outfit.

Ricky Braddy: Or was that Ricky Bobby? I’m a little confused. Yeah, okay, whatever, I didn’t hate it. He has a decent voice. Especially if he wants to be a contemporary Christian music singer which would really make great use of all his vocal swoopy bits--and would serve a second purpose of keeping his voice quarantined far away from anywhere that I might accidentally be exposed to it. And it was nice that he wasn’t wearing spandex. Thank yoooouuuuuooouuuouuuu.

Why, You Might Ask? Mostly because I’m cranky tonight, I have nowhere to be (and no money to spend if I were there), and because I’m tired of making the fucking logo bigger.

Alexis Grace: Cute kid. Really cute kid. And the kid’s kid is pretty cute, too.Actually, I kind of like this one and it’s not just because she’s got some serious pixy-esque charm going on. I think she has a really solid voice that comes across as a shock once you’ve seen her. Nice bluesy little number, strong voice, and fun to watch. Darling girl thinks she’d look better if the skirt were a little longer. It’s a little odd to hear the judges (Paula) playing the cute and virginal card for this young mom. She’s obviously a little less untouched than, say, controversial bits of Alaska’s lovely outback. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a little disingenuous to go that direction, if you take my meaning.

Brent Keith: If you like contemporary country, you’ll probably like this guy--and he’s cute in an all-American country boy kind of way. Me, my love of country ended years ago with George Strait, Ricky Van Shelton, and Vince Gil. Now country mostly bores me. That’s a matter of taste, though, and not a question of his talent. Contra Simon, I think the country will like this kid.

Irritating Aside: You’d think that after this many years of doing the same thing the American Idol folks could get through a night without technical glitches and a wrong tape moment that threw everyone off their game.

Stevie Wright: Wow, great personality and, seemingly, a nice girl, but that didn’t go so well for her. Sounded a little like High School: The Musical from Hell. Maybe she was nervous, maybe she’s just not particularly good, but whatever the problem, she’s really lucky that Jackie Tohn was one step from comedically bad. Not a good night for Stevie. Shame.

Anoop Desai: Tonight he sounds little like he did during auditions; I hate the song. With a passion. Guy still has a good voice, but this was a bad song choice for him. He was better during the auditions and in Hollywood week. This didn’t work for me.

Casey Carlson: The pretty one wears a lovely hat. “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” doesn’t work for her, though. What the hell was that? I mean, aside from really bad. The only redeeming qualities were the ridiculously cute girl on stage and the Sarah Palin wink. The overall performance was almost as bad as the vocals. Was that worse than Jackie Tohn? It might have been. That was the most karaoke moment of the night so far.

Michael Sarver: I’ve liked this guy from the beginning, but this was just a kind of weird performance. Not nearly bad to the level of Casey Carlson’s abomination of a performance, but definitely on the bad imitation side of the karaoke contest. Didn’t go well at all for the guy that is filling the “every man” role in this contest. He’s pretty easy to like and really easy to root for, but I wonder how far he can go in the show.

Okay, the obligatory “I Hate Paula” moment: her biggest critique of the thing was that she didn’t really like that he was changing his mic hand in a way that she didn’t quite get. Can’t we just give her a quart of vodka and a pacifier and tell her to shut the hell up?

Ann Marie Boskovich: Marginal vocals, but better than either Casey or Jackie. Which is the lowest possible bar to clear tonight. Lovely dress, though.

Geeking Out on the Movies Aside: I’m all sorts of excited about X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Giddy even.

Steven Fowler: One of my early favorites even with his horrible showing in Hollywood week’s solo night. They guy has a classical kind of R&B voice--smooth, controlled, cool. The backup singers sounded bad, though, and it wasn’t the best song choice for his voice. When he went big, it just showed some serious vocal overreach. Apparently the judges agree. I hope he sticks around and I hope he gets another shot at this.

Damned, Evil Tatiana Del Toro: I hate her. And her little dog, too. She never should have gone through; drama queen isn’t even close to describing her irritating, over-the-top, idiotically emotional, affected, horrid personality. Her dream, apparently, is my nightmare. Unfortunately, while she wasn’t great, she was reasonably good this week and she probably won’t be going home.

I blame Obama. For some reason. It might just be that I’m still cranky about generations worth of dough being pissed down the drain in that mammoth stimulus bill. She does, however, campaign for herself with the fervor (if not the skill) of Obama at his best.

Danny Gokey: While I’m still cranky that his pal didn’t make it through, too, I really like Danny. Am I the only one who gets the feeling that this cat might be secretly batting for the other team, though? Wonderful voice, harmless good looks, huggable personality, and a great back story. How could he not make it through to the finals? And, yes, that’s a prediction. He even managed to pull off a Whitney Houston song and not sound like an idiot. In fact, he hit it out of the freakin’ park.

The only two performances that I completely enjoyed tonight were his and Alexis Grace. That’s it. Braddy was okay. Kieth was decent. Anoop was fine. Mostly, though, it was a parade of mediocrity with a few dips into comic relief.

Why was Ryan talking about Simon’s organ? Or lack thereof? Ryan’s banter sucks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bad Political Humor of the Day

Joanna Pacitti

Shocking things afoot in the realms of the Idol.

“[EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition. AMERICAN IDOL contestant Felicia Barton has replaced Ms. Pacitti as part of the Top 36.]”

That’s right, no Joanna Pacitti, whom we saw make it through the Green Mile tonight.  And the list includes Felicia Barton, who was seen being sent packing on the Green Mile episode.

A source close to the show now tells us that Pacitti was disqualified to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

She must have been Obama’s nominee for the position. I mean, that didn’t even last as long as Bill Richardson’s go at Commerce Secretary.

Must have been an issue of unpaid taxes.

The real question all of us must be asking right now: “Would this have been funnier if Zombyboy had used Senator Judd Gregg as the example nominee.”

Comedy is hard.

Read the rest.

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