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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Swore I Wouldn’t Do This…

The judges on American Idol just made a huge mistake in cutting Jamar Rogers.

Great voice, great personality, and a guy that I was hoping to be pulling for far into the show.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Huh. Shocking. Didn’t See That Coming.

I never would have imagined that Clay Aiken was gay.

Clay Aiken appears on the cover of the latest People magazine holding his infant son, Parker Foster Aiken, with the headline: “Yes, I’m Gay.”

The 29-year-old former “American Idol” runner-up, multiplatinum recording artist and Broadway star credits his son, conceived by in-vitro fertilization with friend and producer Jaymes Foster, with making him realize that he could no longer hide his homosexuality from the world.

I mean, talk about hiding it well…

Anyway, read the story. I’m glad he’s finally found the fortitude to tell us something we already know.

I’m back from Vegas and I’m tired. Real posting resumes shortly--that is, shortly after I get through this mass of emails that piled up while I was gone.

Update: None of which changes the fact that Renee Zellweger looks a bit like hell. I’m watching Leatherheads--a lightweight movie with a few laughs but little substance--and realized that Zellweger is plain homely now. For a brief, Jerry Maguire length of time, she was utterly gorgeous. Hell, she even looked good during the first Diary of a Mildly Chubby, Neurotic Woman flick, she has a certain charm. But now her face is squintier and now she’s just funny looking.

And she was poorly cast in the reporter with moxie role--a misfortune that comes close to ruining the film.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol: Well. That’s a Surprise Edition.

America got it right. Which makes me happy.

Girl called it, by the way. One of the reasons I keep her around is her brilliant mind.

Just sayin’.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Idol: Let’s Get Ready to Grumble Edition

Firstly, David C. looks slightly more convincing in faux boxing gear than David A., who looks as goofy as you might have guessed.

Secondly, in the battle of the applause, Simon wins big. Not even a contest.

Thirdly, interviews with David A. are almost as painful to watch as his “soulful” singing. Just painful. Interviews with David C. are easier to stomach, but not precisely inspiring. I do appreciate the low-key and honest approach to the show, though. It’s a nice counterpoint to Archuleta’s irritating, over-the-top personality.

I love the idea of David Cook singing “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For"--it could be a picture perfect song for that boy. Not as good as when Bono sings it (seriously, listen to him singing the opening of that song and it’s something truly beautiful), but that little bit of rasp adds something nice to the sound of the song. What works is this: it’s a familiar (and exceptionally good) song, it fits his approach to rock music, and it gives him a chance to show off. What doesn’t work is that he doesn’t change it up much so it sounds a little like an imitation of U2--but I’m not sure what else he could have done with it in arrangement.

Randy thinks David is hot. Paula finally found what she’s looking for: a stiff drink and a lap dance. Simon thought it was “phenomenal.” Amen amen.

David Archuleta singing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” is another great choice. It fits his voice perfectly--and it fits his high school thespian persona. I don’t mean that in the nicest possible way (even though it’s one of my favorite Elton John songs) because it also means that he goes into a little bit of a Broadway-esque interpretation at moments. Aside from that, he hits a few bum notes through the song. The audience loves it, though, and Randy thinks it’s one of the best performances of the whole season ("flawless" and “crazy vocals").

Paula got good and happy during that first performance and, ahem, hit her “peak” during this one. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Simon thinks it was his best performance of the season and gives round one to Archuleta.

Say it ain’t so, Simon, say it ain’t so.

Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash Aside: Have you signed up yet? Are you planning to go? There will be girls and booze and me. What more could you possibly want. I’ll be updating the post later (and bouncing it up to the top) so make sure to get your RSVP in so that you get a link both here and on the ViewMyLife.com site).

And, while I understand the reluctance to sign up for VML--the questions can feel intrusive and the Flash interface is a stumbling block to some--but I have to admit that I like it far better than MySpace and potentially more useful than LinkedIn. I do wish that they had used some nifty AJAX solution instead of Flash, but there are things that you can do with Flash that can’t easily be done in any other development environment.

Dunno. Everything in life involves trade-offs, doesn’t it?

Now let’s rock with David Cook and “Dream Big.” He’s a rock star, isn’t he? I mean, he’s ready to do the shows, he has the attitude, the look, the talent, and the persona of a guy who can command a stage with every song that he sings. Nicely done--and he’s so much better to listen to than the other David.

Like Randy, I’m not a big fan of the song, but I loved the performance. Nice. Paula seems to have a nice afterglow, but it’s hard to tell what she’s reacting to at any given moment. Simon didn’t love it so much. Loser.

On the other hand, David Archuleta sings some other song that bores me to little, tiny shards of enuui. Or something else that I’m too tired to really figure out right now. This song was designed to piss off punks, aging hipsters, and anyone with good taste. And he sounds, to my punk-abused, aging hipster ears, mediocre at best.

That might just be my opinion, though, because the crowd loves him. Randy loves him so much that he wants to hear him sing the phonebook. Never heard that one before…

I think Paula is pissed that Randy stole the phonebook thing because she was planning to use it. Simon is hitting Paula’s crack pipe again and trying to swing the vote to elf boy.

Coldplay Aside: Man, the iTunes ad for the new Coldplay song is pretty. Not just the music, but the artistic vision of the video. Nice.

Can David Cook take on “The World I Know” and make the night his? Not sure…

Again, a good choice for his vocal style, but it build a little slow and he seems to have slowed it down a little extra. Still, he sounds nice and he keeps himself right in the space that he’s built on the contest. He’s a damned good singer--for real--and he’ll have a great career. I’m not sure if he’s going to win the contest, but he’s never going to have to bartend again to pay his bills.

Randy digs it, Paula loves it, Simon loves him but not necessarily the song. He thinks it might have been the wrong song choice to try to win the contest--with which I agree. I still preferred it to everything that Mr. A has brought us this evening.

Good God, I hate listening to David Archuleta sing “Imagine"--because he looks funny, he doesn’t really get it, and he can’t even come close to convincing me that the idiotic message of the song is something worth singing. Lennon could to that (and, yes, it is an idiotic message), but Lennon was special in a good way. David A. is special in an entirely different way.

Utterly nauseating.

Which is, of course, why the trio of judges love him and want to spawn many, many albums with him.

It was nice to see Reuben Studdard again, though--lovely voice on that guy.

And speaking of Hells, Kitchen--because we were, you know--is Matt not the single whiniest bastard of all time? I mean, he could be standing there silently and he would still be the whiniest bitch ever. His face knows no other station but whininess.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol: Good, God I Love Fantasia Edition

Fantasia gives the single freakin’ coolest performance of the American Idol year. Hot, sexy, aggressive, rockin’ stuff. It was, to these old ears, far better than any of the other pro or AI alum performances. Ridiculously better. Most of those songs are lifeless little lumps with musicians that look like they would really rather be somewhere else. Bo Bice being one of the few exceptions. Fantasia, though, came full on with every ounce of energy that she had.

Loved it.

Then the moment was ruined by David Archuleta’s predictably weepy homecoming. When he said that the screaming throngs really made it all worth it, I found myself wondering what precisely he was talking about? Was it the sacrifice of becoming famous, the opportunity to make millions, or the chance to live his (or his dad’s) dreams that was particularly painful for him? Or did I miss something?

Stop crying, kid. Stand up, smile, and stop acting like such an unlikable twerp.

Just sayin’.

At least Syesha comports herself with some level of dignity. Where Archuleta gets on my nerves, Syesha charms. Except for the crying. Which, why the hell is there so much crying on this show?

I didn’t realize that David Cook was an accidental contestant--and, yes, I think that does explain much about his public persona. I personally like that he seems to take the whole experience in stride. Not arrogant at all, but he seems comfortable with himself. I like this guy.

Anyway, his crying moment was minimal. I approve of minimal crying.

Spoiler Below the Line:

Read the Rest...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol: The Will David Cook Intentionally Tank so that He can Get On with His Life Edition

Still number one in your hearts and minds (and, at least for now, your TV dials), American Idol brings us three of the changiest candidates for President of all time.

Er, wait. Sorry. Wrong competition.

Anyway, David Archuleta singing Billy Joel’s “And So it Goes” is inspired. Truly. The slow, soulful song has a grand sweep that fits boy wonder’s irritating personality about perfectly. He can’t bring believability to the song--he isn’t old enough or straight enough to make a song about love and vulnerability believable. Still, his voice is in fine form.

Randy loved it. Paula loved it. Simon thinks it was good--although predictable and not quite great.

Syesha will be singing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys--a song that I am completely unfamiliar with--isn’t quite as good. Or, at least, I can’t get myself past my apathy to think of anything witty enough to say about the mediocrity on display. Sorry about that. She’s not bad, but there seems to be nothing of her in anything she does and I can’t quite explain what I mean. Sorry again.

Girl thinks that Syesha just doesn’t sound good enough to compare with Alicia Keys and that she doesn’t do anything in her own style.

Randy loved it. I say that a lot, don’t I? Paula fights for grrrl power. Simon thought she did it well but wishes that she didn’t sound quite so much like the original. Everyone agrees that she’s a hotty. Which is undeniably true.

I’m not sure I understand Simon’s pick for David Cook. “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” doesn’t seem to be a good fit. Perhaps Simon hates David Cook secretly.

In the actual performance, it’s better than I thought it would be. He can do slow and sincere pretty well and his voice is pretty damned good. In fact, I was big time wrong. That actually worked pretty well--not only did he give a good performance of a tough song that wasn’t an obvious fit, but he’s far more believable singing about love than boy wonder.

Randy loved it but wishes Simon had picked a rocker. Paula needs her meds because she actually seemed to make sense for a moment. Waitress! Simon claims victory. I agree.

Round 2

David A. sometimes seems as lost as Paula. Singing Chris Brown’s upbeat “With You”, he’s making a play for pop idoldom. Mostly he just looks awkward in the dancing and lost in the singing. Talk about a believability deficit.

Randy agrees with me. Paula is Archuleta’s number one fan. Simon says it was a little “like a chihuahua trying to be a tiger.” Heheh. Funny. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, though. He’s got the deluded fan base of gazillions of young women with more doe eyed stupidity than good musical taste.

I’m looking forward to Syesha singing “Fever.” Hubba hubba. And if everyone thought that she looked good in this last dress, well…

She does it well, but, ultimately, she brings absolutely nothing new to the song. It sounds like it’s sounded hundreds of other times. Not that I’m complaining loudly--because that dress gets my vote every time. Girl looked at me with crankiness in her eyes when I complimented the dress, though, so I think I’m going to be leave that subject alone for a while…

Randy thought it was an “interesting” song choice (he didn’t mean it in the nicest possible way), but that she sang it well. Paula, once she gets past the obligatory compliments for the beauty and wonder of yet another singer, agrees with Randy. Simon agrees, too. Only more so.

So, David Cook is playing guitar and singing the Switchfoot single “Dare You to Move"--I think he’s trying to cement his rocking status. For me, it’s a bit uneven with a meandering, bland intro and a shouty ending, none of which seem particularly connected. Not hugely bad, but disappointing after that first song. Definitely disappointing.

Randy didn’t think it was so hot, Paula agreed, Simon agreed, too. Weird.

Round 3

Elfin Boy sings Fogelberg’s “Longer.” God, I hate the song in the original form, I hate it more when this boy is singing it. Watching him sing it is almost painful, I personally don’t like the sound of his voice, and I think it was a bad song choice.

Randy agrees a bit. Paula. Did she say something? Simon wasn’t so hot on it. Read the first comment from Carin for a great view on this one. Ouch.

Syesha and I’m pretty much done with her. Bored. Make her stop.

I think Randy feels the same. The audience boos loudly. Paula reminds us that the song was from the Happy Feet soundtrack. Which, yeah, the boredom is growing. Simon thinks it was better than song 2 (girl agrees), but that it wasn’t what she needed to stay in show.

For his last song, David Cook sings Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”, which is a better song choice than the Switchback song and the performance is decent--the girls in the audience certainly seem to be eating it up. Me, though, I really don’t dig Aerosmith, so it left me feel a little cold--but I seem to be in the minorty.

Randy seems to be on my side on this one. Paula babbles and looks like she’s going to weep. Maybe I do hate Paula. Simon thought it was quite good, indeed.

Syesha goes home.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

American Idol: The Paula isn’t What You Might Call Eloquent Edition. Just Sayin’.

I think that we can all agree that the poorly choreographed and scandalously performed “Reelin’ in the Years” (which is a freakin’ awesome song) shouldn’t have happened. Group vocals almost never work out well on this show. Sining together, they were simply awful; David Cook and Syesha were credible in their solo bits, Archuleta was mildly humorous, and Dreads just gets worse with every episode that goes by, doesn’t he?

And what happened with the way they just chopped the song off at the end? At least the guitar solo was nice.

Personal Stuff Aside: So, apparently, I’m going to be going on vacation at the end of October. When I return, I’ll have about twenty four hours before I’m on a flight to a trade show in Kolkatta. Or Calcutta, if you’re old like me and set in your ways.

Can I tell you how excited I am? I need to buy a new digital camera to take with me and I’m hoping to get advice from the crowd. My current camera takes reasonable pictures but it’s slow between shots, eats batteries at a rate that would probably cause Gore to have a heart attack. The new camera can’t be too expensive or too big, but I would like it to take good pictures. Megapixels don’t matter as much as image quality, reasonable low light performance, and speed.

Suggestions?

Personally, I suggest never ever buying an album from David Archuleta, because I’m fairly certain that the sound of his voice drains brain cells from your noggin’. Sad to say the li’l feller will be tormenting us again with his youthful imitation of sincerity. Which is only good because that means Jason Castro is still on the chopping block.

Link Love from While I Ignore the American Idol Filler Material Aside: A list of hilarious bests. My last AI post makes the cut--which, although I’m betting there’s someone else out there more deserving, I’m not the type to turn down a link when it’s offered. Especially if it comes with a shot of something tasty.

Good Lord, I could use a shot.

Every once in a while, Randy is nearly as stupid as Paula. Which is something I don’t say often enough.

Possibly Embarassing Admission Aside: I’m looking forward to You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. I’d like to apologize to all of my fans, my fellow bloggers, my family, and the whole blogging community for my lapse in judgement. I think that I really learned something from this admission and I plan to get help. This is really the moment where I realize that I need to grow up and take my responsibilities as a blogger seriously.

Burger King ads suck.

So do the Ford commercials with which American Idol is contractually obligated to brutalize their contestants. And I’m a Ford guy.

I must say that David Archuleta looked sort of natural wearing the sparkly tights, though, didn’t he? He looked extra happy in the sparkly tights in fact.

Dude, Seriously? David Archuleta just got asked out on a date by some caller in Pittsburgh. I’m pretty sure that Paula is fighting off Hulk-sized jealousy. Don’t make Paula angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

The Q&A from around the country is always sort of funny, but not always intentionally. People love Simon, don’t they?

Useless Aside: I still like Bo Bice, so it was fun to see him on the show tonight. Which reminds me of one of my personal favorite blog post titles of all time: Bo Bice and His Big Bag of Cocaine. That still cracks me up. Can I get a witness.

So, jeez, who’s going home already?

Big reveal in the extended entry.

Read the Rest...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

American Idol: The Please Make the Progressive Dreads Go Away Now, Please

Update: And when you’re done here, you should stop by and read Mr. Lady’s post. Because it’s funnier than mine. Which is a damned high bar to clear, if you know what I mean. Update 2: And here’s another one.

So, yeah, back to American Idol now that the Colorado Avalanche dinged up my hopeful heart. Not a lot, mind you, just a little.

David Cook is singing “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Which is from the year he was born. Which is to say, 1982. You lose my vote when you make me feel old, kiddo. Just so’s you know.

Anyway, it isn’t bad in a useless cover sort of way. He isn’t really into it, he doesn’t change it up enough to make it intriguingly his own, and it doesn’t really suit his style. Probably should have gone in another direction even though I can’t imagine he’s in much danger of getting booted from the show. Mediocre.

Randy thought it was “okay” and “solid” but doesn’t seem impressed. Paula wants to eat him, apparently. I’m pretty sure she means it in the naughty way, not the scary Jeffrey Dahmer kind of way. Simon agrees with Randy. No one seems impressed, least of all the deliveryman who has just kindly dropped by to bring me hot & sour soup. Mmmm.

Paula would be jealous.

I can’t help but think Syesha is a little lucky to still be on the show. She was pretty uneven early in the season, but she outlasted some others and seems to be hitting stride at the right time.

Can she pull off “Proud Mary?” Well she certainly has the legs to make a good go of it. Starts slow and a little cabaret, but kicks into high gear half way through. Fun performance, but only decent vocals compared to Tina Turner’s scorching hot original. The crowd eats it up, but it makes me want to see Tina Turner--and I’m not even a big fan. Whatever. Not bad, but she was more worried about the dancing than the singing--and that was an error in judgement.

Randy loves it with all his giant heart. Paula loves it, too. And she goes on and on saying nothing much interesting. Simon didn’t like it. At all.

Interracial Aside: Lovely post about the passing of Mildred Loving on Wizbang. Worth a read to remind people of both how far we’ve come on racial issues in a short time--and, not incidentally, just how close we remain to some of America’s embarrassing past.

None of which changes the fact that Jason Castro’s “I Shot the Sheriff” is just bad. Bad karaoke bad, if you take my meaning. Messy, wrong, bad vocals, horrid performance. Make the dreads go home.

Randy starts by teeing off, then pulls back a bit. Stick with the original instinct, buddy. Paula “wasn’t crazy about” it, but she wants him to know that he’s special, anyway. What a waste of a critique. Simon nails it: “That was utterly atrocious.” Yep, it was as bad as all that.

The sad little elf, David Archuleta takes on Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and does a credible performance. Not great, but it’s a comfortable fit and it’s one of those songs that makes people feel good. Archuleta tries to do too much with it, but he’ll have people on his side because that is a great freakin’ song. Darling girl says, “He’s overestimating how much I want to hear him...”

Decent performance, brilliant song choice.

Randy loves it. Paula loves the youngin’. Simon says it sounded brilliant by comparison to the previous tune, that he struggled a little at the end, but that it was still the best performance of the evening. Which, pleaseLlord, let it get better. Please?

David Cook’s second song is a smarter pick. The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” is just the kind of thing that you can imagine him sinking his rock sensibilities into--not demanding vocals, but suited to his personality. Which is why it’s sort of strange to see it done in a slightly listless fashion. I don’t get it--it certainly wasn’t bad, but it was nowhere near actual, honest-to-God good. Perhaps he just doesn’t feel like putting much effort into the show at this point--that his career is assured whether he wins or not. Whatever the reason, he just seems to be coasting right now.

Randy liked it more than the first one (ditto), but it’s hard to divine whether he’s impressed or not. Not sure. Paula is still a zone completely free of purpose on the show. Simon welcomes him back to the show.

She Linked Me Aside: I love it when Hazel links me. It makes me feel all fuzzy inside--which, in turn, makes darling girl glare at me crankily. Er, sorry, baby. Still, thanks Hazel--yet again, you’ve nailed the essence of the story.

Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” is a truly great American song. Soulful, beautiful, poetic, and powerful. And Syesha (with just a few wobbles) does the song justice. Lovely, although it could have done without the gratuitous big note at the end--this is a song that doesn’t need extra adornment.

Randy doesn’t dig it and comments on what I said: it’s a song that doesn’t need any extra. I still liked it, but he definitely didn’t. Paul goes all speechifying on us. Simon loves it and says so rather nicely. The kind comments make the girl cry--which is sort of sweet.

There is no way that Jason Castro can do as poorly with song two as he did with song one. Although I think Dylan misfired on “Mr. Tambourine Man” (and seem to be close to alone in that assessment), it’s a song that fits Castro. Who promptly proves me wrong by losing the lyrics early in the song and whining his way through the rest. Whatever value there is in the song is lose in his unpleasant and awkward vocals. I’m not sure it was worse than song one, but it wasn’t very good.

Randy didn’t like it. Paula makes strange noises that have little to do with the song. Simon tells Jason to pack his suitcase. Wowsers.

Not that I disagree.

Last up, Archuleta makes Elvis’ gooey “Love Me Tender” into something even more tooth-decaying, then misses some notes, sounds sort of odd, and saves me from having to be nice to him twice in the same show. Everyone else will have loved it, of course, but the more soulful he tries to be the less I like him. It may be a credibility issue.

Randy loved it. Paula, well, yeah. Simon says he “crushed the competition.”

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol: The Spoiling it for People in the Wrong Time Zone Edition

It should have been Jason Castro going home tonight, but it wasn’t going to be. Before the show started I gave darling girl my guess and my guess proved correct: both girls in the bottom two and I’ll have to live a Brookeless existence from now on.

While Archuleta and Castro become more annoying as the show goes on, Brooke was a consistently warm presence on the show. Unfortunately, she hadn’t had a really good night in a few weeks and, on the strength of last night’s performance, she deserved to be in the bottom two (Jason just deserved the boot for being even worse).

We’ll miss her.

Against all odds, I must say that AI has produced a minor miracle: a singer whose songs I might well buy in the future. David Cook could well find a place in my digital record collection someday--I just hope that they don’t saddle him one of the terrifyingly bland singles that they make them sing at the end of every season.

Premature predictions going forward: Castro goes next week, Syesha goes the following week, and Cook wins. Of course, that might be underestimating the hordes of tweens who will vote twenty times each--hordes that might tip the balance in Archuleta’s favor.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AmericanIdol:TheGoodLordThey’reGoingFastEdition

Man. Slow down. Let us enjoy the songs. I like Neil Diamond.

But…

In the spirit of the show, we’ll just get through this post as quick as possible.

Jason Castro: blah. David Cook: a’ight. Brooke White: not so much. David Archuletta: begone foul youth of doom. Syesha: pretty good.

Randy: yep. Paula: put down the drink. Simon: harsh, but not too far off.

Jason Casto: you suck. Randy didn’t like it, Paula didn’t like it, Simon didn’t like it.

David Cook: decent, but not great. Smart in a way to take on songs that no one knows, though, since it gives him leeway to make break away from any comparisons to Diamond. On the other hand, he loses points because people can’t sing along and say, “I love that song” in a moment of musical rediscovery.

Randy: love it. Paula: again filled with pride. For some reason. Simon: loved it.

Brooke: Good stuff. Very fitting song for her in vocal style and mood. Of course, it’s probably my favorite Neil Diamond song, so I’m biased. The truth is, as the girl says, it was a little too short to go anywhere. Truth.

Randy: liked it. Paula: filled with empty words. Simon: still hated the first song, but the second was good.

David Archuletta: good God, no. Seriously painful to listen to him warbling--uncomfortably--"Coming to America.” And I think he hit puberty somewhere in the middle of the song. It felt a lot like being at a high school graduation ceremony. In a bad way.

Randy: you’re in the zone. Paula: I love your little, innocent self. But not in a naughty teacher sort of way. Well, not entirely, anyway. Simon: smart choice of song (I agree--still hated it, though).

Syesha: it was okay, I suppose. Alright. Decent. Whatever. I liked the first one better. Maybe it was better in person.

Randy: lovin’ it. Paula: lovin’ you. Simon: lovin’ that the show is over for the night.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

American Idol: The I Don’t Feel Tardy Edition

Okay, I just showed up, Syesha is singing “I Believe,” and I’m already bored. Beware, Paula, I own the cranky tonight.

Randy: no. Paula: here’s the stupid. Simon: Whatever.

So, what did I miss?

“Over the Rainbow” by Jason “The Ukulele Master” Castro. Sorry, buddy, that had nothing on Brudda Iz’s version. Your voice just can’t pull off that level of pretty and the little attempt at a falsetto was a bad idea.

Randy owns the stupid. Paula fights back for the title. Simon wants a piece, too.

G phrase says it was horrible and I agree. If Syesha can be compared (unfavorably) to Whitney Houston and Fantasia, why does Castro get a pass on a phenomenally lesser version of this song?

Kristy Lee Cook is destined to go home this week. Probably. Her only hope is to dress really slutty--and she doesn’t quite reach the heights or slutdom required for a sex-appeal save at this late stage of the contest. The song--which I don’t know--is bland and her performance is pretty strong. As many times as she’s visited the bottom, I can’t imagine that this will save her, though.

Which, oddly, isn’t to say that I think she was the worst of the bunch (and I’ve only seen three), but I don’t think she has much of a following to save her.

Randy gives her love. Paula follows suit. Simon agrees. WIll their Kristy love save her for another week? Or will I make it two weeks in a row calling the departing wannabe?

“Innocent” by Our Lady Peace might have been a big mistake by David Cook. Vocally, he doesn’t shine. The song isn’t particularly well known. Frankly, it’s a little messy. Oops. I imagine good will will save him, because I don’t think the song, the performance, and the “give back” written on his hand at the end were very good.

Randy didn’t dig it. Paula loves him unconditionally and brainlessly. Simon calls it pompous and doesn’t like it much.

I think the real question that we’re all asking, though, is whether Paula’s boobs will break free of that bustier? I mean, that looks like a wardrobe malfunction coming down the road.

I like the idea of Carly singing Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” but the reality of it left me a little cold. It wasn’t a good performance--although the wardrobe looked better this week.

Randy had issues with it, too. Paula liked the voice, didn’t like the performance. Simon liked the new wardrobe choice, too, but didn’t like the song choice or the performance--he thinks she’ll be near the bottom. Which, I agree--and I’m starting to wonder if I wasn’t too quick to mark Kristy Lee off the show this week.

Not a good week. At all. None of which changes the fact that this is funny. Bwahahahah.

I hate David Archuleta, but you knew that already. I have to admit that it was best of the night, though. I hate that--and I still don’t like his voice.

Randy loves him. Paula looks ready to molest him. Simon liked the song choice and, by his own admission, nitpicks a bit to find things to complain about.

Check out Andy “The Godless One” and his thoughts. He’s mean and funny.

James Taylor. Carole King. “You’ve Got a Friend.” This isn’t looking good for me since I hate this song almost as much as I hate the existence of David Archuleta. Not only that, but Brooke--wonderful Brooke--that wasn’t good. It was forced, it went off pitch a few times, and the performance was a little off. Not my speed.

Randy tries to be nice, but he didn’t like it. Paula is all sunlight and stupid. It’s what she does. Simon thought it was a “pleasant walk in the park.” Which is very faint praise, indeed.

This was the worst night of the year. Which makes me happy that Hell’s Kitchen is on next. Embrace the evil of Chef Ramsey and his incredible profanities. How do they pick the wannabe cooks, anyway? It can’t be based on talent.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

American Idol: The Getting Closer to the End Edition (Updated)

It’s elimination night.

All I’ve got to say is this: toldja.

It was almost the bottom three that I expected (although I could have put Syesha or Jason Castro down there instead of Brook White), and I elimination didn’t surprise me at all. Barring a miracle, I think I know who is going home next week, too, since I doubt that she’ll be saved by the miraculous intervention of another country-oriented theme week.

Girl notes: “They should have voted Paula off.”

Girl is smart.

Update: Carin kindly linked the previous AI post. Thanks, Carin! And be sure to nose around the rest of her site. She had me at “Al Sharpton is an Ass.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

American Idol: The Dolly Parton Still Has Gigantic Breasts Edition

Dolly Parton still has a wonderful voice (if you like that class o’ country) to go with the massive mounds o’ hugeness.

I love the idea of Brooke White doing “Jolene” and think it’s funny when she says that Dolly is “huge.” I’m pretty sure she wasn’t talking about the chest. Pretty sure.

The performance is pretty solid, although without some of the drama of Dolly’s version. She has just a tiny bit of reed in her voice that makes her one of the most pleasing to listen to--it isn’t a great voice from a standpoint of range or control, but it’s one of the few voices I’ll want to hear even when this show is over. Great stuff.

Randy didn’t dig it and says she rushed it a bit in places, which is probably true. Paula thinks--no, no, that would be a lie. Sorry about that. Simon thinks that she needed more emotion and thought that the band looked a bit strange. Especially the poor violin player.

David Cook is promising to do his own arrangement of the song “Little Sparrow.” Is it just me or is Dolly just one of the nicest people ever?

Cook should do his own arrangements more often. That was freakin’ hot. That truly could be a single--polish it up a little, release it, I’ll buy it. Amazing. This guy has a decent voice, a great stage presence, and an understanding of how to make music that people want to listen to. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Randy loves him with the love of a thousand Spartans. Or something like that. Paula is still, sadly, caught in the brainless zone. Simon doesn’t think it was as good as last week--which, he’s utterly wrong--but still thinks it was good.

Do I care what Ramiele sings? Not so much. Now would be a good time to eat my food.

PS- I chose a good time to check out, didn’t I?

Randy: blah. Paula: I’m still a cheerleader at heart. Simon: yeah, whatever. It must suck to follow up Cook on a night like tonight. Unless someone else fails dramatically, I think she’s going home.

Do I care what Jason Castro sings? I’m not sure. The more I see him, the less I like him and his voice. The vacant smile, the longing hobbit gazes, the limited vocal abilities. Singing a song I’m not even vaguely familiar with, he’s okay but not particularly good. He sounds a bit like a visiting vocalist at your local church: someone more talented than most of us, but not good enough for a real career.

Didn’t do much for me. The crowd seemed to like it, though.

Randy thought it was a little better than I did, but wasn’t overly impressed. Paula is a complete idiot. One of his best performances? Paula, get a clue. Simon closed in on hater territory and hits him hard. I can’t imagine Jason leaving, though, because he’s got a committed fan base.

Carly was one of my early favorites and I still like her, but “Here You Come Again” isn’t what I would consider a great song choice for her. She misses the bit note at the end, the song drags, it’s boring, and I wish she’d chosen something else.

Randy thought it was one of the better performances of the night. Paula wants a lap dance and another drink. Simon isn’t particularly impressed and wants her to dress better. Yeah, I guess so, but that wasn’t really in my head. G-phrase thinks Simon is totally right, by the way.

Aside: Strange. Jackson Browne makes me want to kill myself, too, but not for the same reason.

Dolly loves David Archuletta--which is nice, because I really don’t. She also thinks he can be a big star; I’m not sure I disagree, but I’ll never buy one of his songs. He sounds good tonight doing “Smoky Mountain Memories” with a few pitchy bits. Everyone else loves it to the point that everyone seems to think it was the best of the night. I simply do not like his voice.

This should be a good night for Kristy Lee Cook and her country inclinations. She is absolutely gorgeous and the dress if lovely; the song ("Coat of Many Colors") is a great fit. But this is the best that she’ll sound throughout the entire show and still isn’t quite convincing. She really should have been gone weeks ago.

Randy gives reasonable praise as does Paula. Simon thought it was “pleasant but forgettable.” Ouch.

How will Syesha handle country night? It doesn’t seem like a natural fit for her, but who knows? Well, it doesn’t matter, because she chose “I Will Always Love You” which isn’t really a country song anymore, is it? She mangles a few bits early when she’s singing the softer bits, she misses a few of the big notes, and she sounds a little lost. She almost hits a big ending, though.

Dunny. Not really very good. Probably should have chosen something else.

Randy wasn’t all that impressed. Paula. Yeah. Paula. Simon thinks it was a bad choice, too.

I can’t help but think that Michael Johns could have gone home a few times, too. Genuinely nice guy--and an honest-to-God chick magnet--and this was actually a decent night for him. “It’s All Wrong, but It’s All Right” gets all bluesy and sexy. Easily his best and it was seriously good.

I expected little, but he did really well.

Paula and Randy thought it was really good and Simon agreed that it was the best that he’d done.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beautiful Music

After watching American Idol I like to listen to music that is suits me more than what I hear on the TV. That could be something loud if they’ve been foolishly praising the rock bona fides of some wannabe crooner or it could be the original of something that one of the contestants massacred the night before. Whatever else it does, American Idol helps me appreciate my own record collection more by showing me how bad or cynically calculated music really can be. Not that there aren’t good performances on the show, of course, but the bulk of the stuff is one or another variety of bad.

After watching Chikezie go last night--not a bad choice, although it really should have been Ramiele--I’ve been listening to my Lizz Wright albums. Her voice is amazing and a few of her songs are amongst the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. For that matter, some of her covers are striking, too. You should hear what Zep’s “Thank You” when she’s done with it.

If I weren’t already in love with the most wonderful woman in the world, I’m pretty sure I’d be obsessed with Lizz Wright. Here’s her singing a live version of the gorgeous “Hit the Ground.”


If you like this, I highly recommend buying her albums The Orchard and Dreaming Wide Awake. And if you liked that, there’s a bonus video in the extended entry of her singing Joe Henry’s “Stop.” Madonna covered the song, too, but it’s better if we pretend that never happened.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

American Idol: The America Might be Running a Serious Talent Deficit Here Edition

Update: In case you were wondering, Andy and the army in his pants are waging a war against comments and American Idol contestants. Which is sort of odd, but entertaining.

Ramiele heads things up with Heart’s tepid “Alone” and doesn’t sound particularly good. At one point, darling girl shudders, waves her hands in terror and runs away shouting, “She is just off.” She’s right; it was unpleasant. Like Randy, I think it was a bad song choice that didn’t fit her voice or her limitations. Good on ye, mate. Paula loves Ramiele’s big voice and incredible bravery, which says nothing for the song. Simon says it wasn’t Randy bad; which is wrong. Simon says she’ll go through; I have my doubts.

What follows is a few minutes of useless banter between Randy, Simon, and Seacrest followed by useless adoration from Paula. America, listen to me: Ramiele isn’t very good at this and if she survives another week it will probably be because you voted for cute instead of talented. Kind of like if Obama wins the general election.

Heheh. Kidding. Mostly.

One could make the case that Jason Castro and his dreads of doom (who whines a bit about his birthday and his passing cuteness) could be worse than Ramiele. But that wouldn’t be right. See, choosing Sting’s pretty “Fragile” was a good move. He has a wispy voice that doesn’t quite do the original (or Sting’s voice) justice, but it fits his limitations and his personality beautifully. It also give him the chance to crawl back behind the guitar where he looks a little more comfortable and purposeful. Good song, good choice, decently performed.

Good Lord, man, cut that hair.

Randy is impressed, but only a little. Paula loves him because he is a precious little flower. Or something equally useless. Simon says no, take it more seriously--clumsy, too laid back, stuck in his own world, and like a busker performing on the street. I don’t fully agree, but at least the critique has some bite. One thing I think is interesting is that Randy says he’s looking for a “breakout vocal performance” from Castro and he’s not going to get it. Jason isn’t a great singer and his voice isn’t going to knock anyone out. He’s playing very smartly within his limitations.

Make Syesha never do the fake baby cry again. It knocks her down a few pegs on the official Zomby Cute-O-Meter every time she does it. Luckily, she earns back those points by looking extra gorgeous tonight and singing Alicia Key’s “If I Was Your Woman” pretty darned well. The song is a little monotone until the big bits at the end, but she sounds good almost all the way through and performs it like a pro. Nicely done.

It’s the first time that Randy perks up and says that it’s her best of the show so far. Yeah, I’d go with that, although maybe with a little less gushing. Paula is wearing her Modonna “Like a Virgin” fingerless gloves today. Which is about all you need to know about what she said. Simon tempers the others’ compliments a bit and asserts that Syesha was bumping up against the limits of her voice. I’d agree, but I think she stayed just in those boundaries. Just.

I like Chikezie. I like Chikezie’s parents. This has little to do with his voice (although he’s had some great moments) and lots to do with a great personality. “If Only For One Night,” a Luther Vandross song seems like it would be a good choice. For me, though, it was too slow and he isn’t as good a crooner as he thinks he is. He’s better when he lets loose--his sense of enthusiasm and excitement come through so beautifully that it’s hard to enjoy the more subdued side, especially since his voice isn’t the best possible fit. He has control issues.

It isn’t bad, it’s just boring.

Randy didn’t dig it and thought that it sounded too old. Paula thinks that it was good old school. Simon just didn’t like it at all and doesn’t see much originality in the performance. I can’t disagree with that.

I love Brooke White, but y’all knew that already. Although she flubs the opening of “Every Breath You Take,” she recovers to sing a nice version of the song. Not perfect, not inspired, but pretty enough. She has a really nice voice--nice as in pleasant to listen to, pleasant to here, something I can imagine wanting to listen to it outside the show--and one of the few voices that is memorable to me.

Randy wasn’t overly impressed, but that’s made up for by Paula’s unconditional love. Simon says it was better than last week, good enough to keep her in, but not as good as it should have been. Neither of them liked the arrangement after the slower, early portion.

Can Michael Johns not suck this week? When everyone praised him the first week for his attack on “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I said that it showed up his vocal limitations in its arrangement. I definitely stand by that, but with a qualifier. Read on.

He returns to Queen to sing “We Will Rock You” leading quickly into “We are the Champions"--neither of which is as vocally challenging as “Bohemian Rhapsody"--and he sounds pretty good, he performs brilliantly, and he looks happy. The crowd loves it big time. He smartly moves back to a style that fits him and to songs that don’t stretch him too much (even trying to hit a big note on “We Are the Champions” he doesn’t quite make it)--which is part of the trick for a singer. Know your limitations, know your strengths, and play to them. That’s exactly what he did tonight for the first time in many weeks.

Randy praises him for using his big ol’ voice and says it was his best of the show. Paula is proud of him for some reason. Simon thought it was the first time that he saw star potential.

Carly almost sounds a little like Bonnie Tyler singing “Turn Around (Bright Eyes)"--a good song choice for her, too. I bet these people are happy to be getting away from the Beatles. It’s a better night by far than the disaster of last week. Carly shouldn’t try so hard for the big notes at the end of the song--it doesn’t do anything for the overall performance--but she does a good job with a surprising song.

Randy doesn’t like it and doesn’t like the song choice, which surprises me a bit. He doesn’t think Carly rocks. Lemme tell you, Carly rocks. Hubba. Paula says she doesn’t like the song but she’d buy Carly’s version. Simon thinks it didn’t quite work because she was too tense and uptight. “Lighten up a little bit.” Darling girl agrees.

Nope. Up close and personal doesn’t make me like David Archuletta any more than I did before. Neither does singing “You’re the Voice” (I think that’s the name of the song, can’t remember the singer) both because it’s a crappy song and because Archuletta has more than a few moments where he misses notes, sounds lost, looks lost, and simply looks his age--which is to say, too young to win this. I truly don’t understand the love for this guy.

Randy thought it was a strange song choice but “very nice” and Paula seemed a bit lost, too, but professes her love for the vocal. Simon was the only one who seems to know the song, but didn’t like the performance--"reminiscent of a theme park performance.” Indeed.

Once again, Kristy Lee Cook, is fighting for her life. She plays the patriot card by singing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA"--which she does pretty well until she tries to find the high, big notes and fails miserably. It’s a cheesy as hell song (will Simon say something to make America hate him?) and she’s not quite perfect in doing it, but I’ve always liked the bald love of country that it represents and she does it pretty well. Smart choice.

Randy says “very nice.” Paula looks like she’s going to cry, but I can’t figure out why. Simon thinks it was her best performance by a mile and calls it “the most clever song choice” that he’s heard in years. I think he’s probably right. Most shocking is when Simon says that Greenwood is a great songwriter and that it’s a great song.

Another of my favorites is near-rocker David Cook--although I think he might have took a lead from Chris Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean”. Which, you could do worse, right? Not my favorite performance of his, but with some really impressive bits. He makes the others look a little pale by comparison, doesn’t he?

Randy thinks he’s not only the best of the bunch, but also the most original. Which is sort of humorous, really. Paula wants to have his children. Because he played the brave card, somehow. Really, Paula? Really? According to girl, Paula failed to play the articulate card. Heheh. Simon has a big smile and thinks it was brilliant.

I still say that if it was a matter of talent, Ramiele would be going home tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

American Idol: The Eliminator (Updated)

I can’t believe they’re reminding us of that hidious song, “This is My Now.” It was a really bad now and we would be better leaving it far in the then.

I stick with my guess of either the exit of Amanda or Kristy this week, but I’ve decided that I wouldn’t mind seeing Jason and his hair taking the trip, either. Not that he’s horrible, but I’m just tired of looking at him and he’s not good enough to get me past the nasty dreads. He won’t be going home this week, but I can always dream.

So, AT&T’s new “Unlimited Calling” ad. Does anyone expect one of those guys from the old Budweiser ads to pop up and say, “Wasssaaabi!” Or is that just me?

Thoughts on the results after the jump. Because I don’t want to give anything away this week.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Idol: The Ryan Seacrest is a Big Fat Jerk Edition

Ryan is a jerk. He’s a big fat jerk. He’s the biggest jerk in the whole wide world. Just sayin’.

Is it odd to anyone else that they need to do a Beatles intro for the people in the audience who don’t really know who they were? What’s wrong with parents out there? Teach your kids the basics, I say.

Amanda Overmeyer is not a jerk. In case you were wondering. The weird thing about hearing her start up “Back in the USSR,” though is strange. I can’t hear the melody at all. She’s doing it straight up rock but she sounds a little breathless, the band is a bit muddy, it ended weak, and it isn’t as good as her performance last week. But the kiddies in the audience seemed to like it.

Randy things it was pitchy at the beginning, better in the middle and end, and ultimately good. Paula thought she was a little ahead of the beat and it wasn’t perfect, but she still loves her for all her potential and her lovely hair. Or something. Simon thought it was predictable, a little messy, and not so great. “You are in danger of becoming a bit boring.”

I like Amanda, I really do, but she might want to listen to the judges a bit more.

Can Kristy Lee Cook pull it together? She’s close to going home right now because she has continually underperformed in this show. “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” is a good song for her--a song that, apparently, she had never heard before (what the hell? Seriously? )--but that could well fit her skills and personality. The mild country lilt from her voice actually fits nicely in with the song and she looks stunning. Taking Matt’s advice, she’s smartly wearing much less this week than last week--a trend that I could support if I thought she was going to be sticking around for a while. I don’t though. It was decent enough with some rough moments and she’s simply not the best singer in the world. Ultimately, bland.

Randy thought it was boring and safe and should have been better. Paula thinks she should have stuck to just doing the original version, but, gosh, she’s pretty and it was good. Really? Simon thinks she’s a bad performer ("musical wallpaper") but thought that she was better.

She looked a little battered at the end there, taking the comments from the judges, fully knowing that she’s already somewhere near the bottom of the pack.

I’m sure that David Archuleta will do better this week--unless he forgets the lyrics again. “The Long and Winding Road” returns him to the more melancholy side of the musical street, so he should be in his comfort zone and should suit his voice rather well. And it does, although he’s singing (don’t you just love the tense changes through these posts? I know I do) a little tentative and it’s one of my least favorites from the Beatles catalog. The ending seemed a little off to me, but the pre-teens in the audience are going nutty.

Randy digs it big and offers up manly love, even though he thinks that little elf boy could have sexed it up a bit. Paula. Just...yeah. Simon calls it amazing. Elf boy looks quite happy.

“We love you, David!”

Lovely little hat, Michael Johns, I admire the fact that, apparently, you actually know who the Beatles are. How the hell do you take “Day in the Life” and chop it down to one and a half minutes, though? Seems a tough job, to me, even though that’s one of my absolute favorite Beatles tunes.

Vocally, he does merely a decent job, and chopping the song down comes out kind of mixed--a little sense of it being rushed, an awkward ending, a lot of the best bits tossed (by necessity), but not as horrible as I had envisioned. Randy thought it wasn’t his best and it wasn’t the best song choice. Randy also overestimates Johns’ voice which, I believe, is more limited than these guys imagine. Paula thought he sounded better in rehearsals. Simon thought it was a mess.

Johns smartly plays the sympathy card by dedicating the song to a friend who passed away last year. I know it sounds cynical, but I believe that these performers do whatever they can to gain an edge (I know that, within certain ethical limits, I would) and this is a good week for him to try to gain a few extra votes.

Brooke White will be playing the part of David’s love interest this season. She’s adorable, she has a nice voice, she seems to be a decent person, and she smartly married another David. I consider that to be good judgement. “Here Comes the Sun” was made for her voice and, although the performance (with the mildly cheesy twirl) was a bit forced, that was still one of the better performances of an admittedly off night. What’s up with the endings tonight, though? It’s not that they are bad, so much as they are just weird.

Randy thought the performance was a little awkward. Paula liked the low tone of her voice and the yellow of the dress and the lovable girl underneath. Awww. Simon thought it was terrible all the way through and that it was a bad song choice.  Maybe I was blinded by my own hubbas, but I would be shocked if she left the show this week.

Musical Interlude:

Interludinous Aside: While enjoying that little bit o’ music, can we talk about Canterbury’s Law for a moment? It’s almost a decent show, but it’s not quite there. They have obviously aimed directly at creating another House, with a mean kid taking center stage. The problem is that the lead character isn’t nearly as likable as House is--a problem that could be solved with better writing. See, House is an ass, he’s obsessive, he does horrible things, but he’s funny and charismatic, too. So far Canterbury is too in love with the bad bits to give us something likable to hold onto.

David Cook admits straight off that he’s stealing his song from White Snake’s version of “Day Tripper"--another one of my favorites. He’s smart about his thefts; he picks songs and structures that suit his voice and his strengths--and this works out well, too. Fun stuff. Could have skipped the Frampton-does-the Beatles bit, though.

Randy likes the change up that Cook brings to the show (and I agree). Paula thinks he could go sell records right now (and I agree) and thinks that the Framptonesque bit was pretty cool (and I don’t agree). Simon doesn’t think it was as good as Cook thinks it was and agrees that the Frampton bit was stupid. Amen brother. Where I disagree with Simon was about the predictability; I consider it to be consistency instead, and a smart consistency at that. It might not hurt to throw in a power ballad, though, to add a little texture to the sonic palette.

Carly Smithson makes her own case for my attentions this year every time she speaks. Love the accent. I also love her singing “Blackbird"--one of the smarter choices of the last two weeks. It gives the singer a chance for pretty vocals, big vocals, and making eyes at the camera while being quite beautiful--and she does a pretty good job of it, too. Nicely done. I imagine this will be a fan favorite this week.

Big love from Randy. Paula digs it, too, and makes smart comments (although she rambles on for far too long) and gives it a capital “F.” For fantastic, that is. Shockingly, Simon thought it was indulgent and a terrible song choice. Really? This is one of the few times where I feel that he’s not only a little wrong but a whole lotta wrong. Hugely wrong.

Returning with his big dreads of doom, Jason Castro makes “Michelle” even more boring than the original. Maybe he’s too young to get it, but when he sings this love song it’s a completely passion- and emotion-free zone. His vocals are marginal, his smile insipid, his gazing at the camera insufferable. It was seriously bad.

Randy thinks it was too subdued and he didn’t really get it. Castro agrees. Paula still thinks he’s all charming and stuff, but thinks that he’s more comfortable with his song and that he didn’t connect with the song at all. Simon thinks it’s just a weird show and wonders if it was bad to do this two weeks in a row--but he also thinks that Castro’s face “sold” the song. I agree with the first bit, but Castro’s face was part of the disaster for me.

It is true, though, that last week went really well and this week is a giant letdown.

Syesha Mercado looks all sorts of wow tonight. She was bad last week and starts out on “Yesterday” much better than she did on “Got to Get You Into My Life.” It’s not my favorite of the night--again, her phrasing doesn’t quite fit the original song structure and her voice is not one of the best of the field. But it’s a mighty improvement and should keep her in the show.

Which makes me happy because she gets prettier every week.

Randy thought it was very good. Paula loves her vulnerability and loves Paul, the guitarist. Which is nice for him. Paula, once again, loves one of the contestant’s instruments, which is all sorts of naughty. Simon thought it was her best, although he also says it wasn’t great, but that it should keep her in the competition.

Chikezie had a brilliant week last week and I hope he continues that trend tonight. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” gives him a chance to do another fun arrangement--again with a surprising touch of country and bit of aggressiveness. Maybe a little too like last week, but far from the worst of the night.

Bad harmonica.

Randy says, and I agree, that Chikezie should stick with the up-tempo stuff. He sounds better when he’s attacking the song than when he’s caressing it. Paula disagrees and likes the softer side. Simon says it turned into “Achy Breaky Heart” at the end and called it gimmicky. I don’t agree, but I see the point. Chikezie looks terribly disappointed--and it makes me sort of sad. Poor guy.

Ramiele comes at the tail end of a long night of listening to mostly mediocrities singing the classics. I’m bored before she starts and her performance isn’t close to good enough to fully wake me up.

Randy blah blah blah blah blah. Paula better than last week blah blah blah blah. Blah. Simon goes mean, but he’s closer to right. But even he descends into blah blah blah for me. They need to get rid of some of the dead wood before I start falling asleep before the show has ended.

Either Amanda or Kristy goes home this week, but it was a pretty shallow pool that the singers were playing in this time around. Sinking to the bottom isn’t that far removed from the shit floating at the top. Only a few of the songs were listenable outside of the context of American Idol Cook, Smithson, and White were fine, I actually kind of liked Chikezie, but the rest were just noise.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mr. Answer Knows it All (And He’ll Tell You the Brutal Truth (When it Suits Him))

Before we turn our minds to politics--mostly, the stupid things politicians do with and to our money, I have a feeling--we need to answer someone’s question. If you ask Ask.com, “Did David Archuleta mess up his song on purpose? right now, the RSong main page will come up high on the search list for no good reason whatsoever.

I’m going to solve that problem right now. You ask, Mr. Answer answers. Because, as you might note, he has accepted the nature of himself and performs the task that his nature has assigned him. Or, as Peter Murphy might say, “Whirlpools whirl and Mr. Answer answers.” Of course, then he’d start singing about some other esoteric stuff that’s even harder to grasp because Murphy is nothing if not annoyingly obscure.

Where were we? Oh, yes, “Did David Archuleta mess up his song on purpose?”

No. He, like all of us, has the power of extreme suckiness buried deep within.

Sadly for Archuleta and his followers, his suckiness came out on a week when the rest actually seemed pretty good. Except Jim Carrey, who should probably be on suicide watch after the pain and embarrassment of his guest appearance as a methed up, lunatic half-elephant comedian. To be fair, he can always take a peek at his bank account if he needs a little pick me up; it might not heal his shredded dignity, but it’s a powerful anesthetic.

Thanks for asking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Idol: The Horton Hears the Weeping of Dr. Seuss Edition

Is it just me or does the new movie version of Horton Hears a Who look like total and utter crap? Like the kind of movie that, if you were offered the choice between a free ticket and a stick in the eye, you might choose irreversible blindness? And Jim Carey’s incredibly uncomfortable presence in the office--wearing half an elephant costume, tapping his giant elephant foot like a meth addict, and desperately wishing that the camera would go hover somewhere else--just intensified the feeling that this Dr. Seuss adaptation was going to be hideous.

Poor bastards.

Syesha is in the bottom three. Which is entirely fair.

I hate Cake.

Kristy Lee Cook is in the bottom three, too. Which is also fair. I feel a little bad for her--it’s a total sympathy for the cute blond thing--but she would have been better served by doing something less cartoon country. Poor kid.

And, lastly, David Hernandez is in the bottom three, too. America did pretty well choosing the bottom three this week. David Archuletta wasn’t in danger, otherwise he would have been a fine addition to this group, and Ramiela could easily have been down there, too.

Still, no complaints.

With Hernandez going home, you have to think that Paula will be aggressively pursuing a new lap dancer to fulfill her naughtier needs. I wonder how much his past as a stripper effected the vote? It’s hard to say since his performance truly was one of the worst of last night.

Update: Comment from Matt kindly linked by SamaBlog. Poor Cake.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American Idol: The Let the Women Ski Jump Edition

Update: What do you think of the Wizbang rankings? I would change around the top six a bit, but not that far from what he’s done. And dig the David “The Stripper” Hernandez picture at the end of that post. The Ranty One talks Idol, too. And we were kindly linked by Deb, who has links to other reviews.

I loved the Winter Olympics when I was a kid. All of the skiing events, luge, all the skating events--it was all terrifically exciting to watch. I don’t watch as much anymore mostly because I don’t enjoy coverage of sports that jumps around so much that you rarely get into the rhythm of enjoying one sport.

One of my favorites was the ski jump, which looked a little like touching heaven and a little like attempted suicide. Exciting. Via Instapundit, we see something that looks a lot like good, old fashioned sexism in refusing to allow women to compete in an existing event. I remember asking, when I couldn’t even have been 10 years old, why there weren’t any women in the event. My mom, who always watched the games with me, didn’t have an answer.

If you’re so inclined, you can sign the petition here. Sadly, the people hosting the site then asked me to sign one calling for the banning of drilling in ANWR. There wasn’t one calling for immediate drilling, which seemed a tad unfair.

None of which changes the fact that I fully expect American Idol contestants to absolutely butcher the Beatles songs tonight. It’ll be a bloodbath.

Here’s a hint: respect the songs, folks. Screwing with them will only make you look foolish.

First up, Syesha Mercado, continues to be beautiful. Which is nice for me. “Got to Get You Into My Life” isn’t one of my favorites, precisely, but it’s a fun song. Unfortunately, Syesha starts by looking terrifically confused. It was better as it went along, although she really tried to over-sing some of the bits, which might work for some, but doesn’t work for everyone.

Randy thought it started rough, too, but thought it ended up reasonably well. No great praise, there. Paula agreed about the beginning, but was much happier with the thing as a whole. She even talked about the singing for once, which was nice. Simon thought the performance was better than Randy did--and better than last week--but thought she looked a little nervous on stage. True.

The rest of the commentary will be in the extended entry.

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