I'm posting my video of the week today instead of the usual Tuesday, because I don't want it getting lost in all the American Idol recap madness. I have been looking for this vid on YouTube forever and someone finally posted it this month. The video quality isn't perfect, it's a little too bright in spots, and ends rather abruptly but - believe me - I'm not complaining! Behold the magic of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, singing their duet from Two of a Kind, "Take a Chance."
Watching this again makes me wonder why John Travolta and John Cougar never had a ladder dance-off. Hmm.
It also reminds me that I should really sue the director, David Mallet, because he basically ripped off my longest-running recurring dream. I won't though, because he directed a lot of other great videos...some of which have caused me to have recurring dreams. Billy Idol in the shower! Joe Elliott in tight, white pants! The Wilson sisters welding! (I wanted to be Nancy Wilson for a short time, if you must know.)
Monday, April 30, 2007
I'm posting my video of the week today instead of the usual Tuesday, because I don't want it getting lost in all the American Idol recap madness. I have been looking for this vid on YouTube forever and someone finally posted it this month. The video quality isn't perfect, it's a little too bright in spots, and ends rather abruptly but - believe me - I'm not complaining! Behold the magic of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, singing their duet from Two of a Kind, "Take a Chance."
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Recently, I've been both the recipient of an award and the subject of an interview by two fellow bloggers, Barbara (aka Layla) and Turnbaby, respectively. I try to avoid "personal" blog posts since this is an entertainment blog, but since I can't talk about anything, including myself, without relying on pop culture references, I should have nothing to worry about!
First up is Barbara, who presented me with the "Thinking Blogger Award." I've seen this floating around the Blogosphere quite a bit lately, and know several bloggers who have received the award with varying reactions. While I greatly appreciate the compliment and thank Barbara for her kind words about my blog, I can't perpetuate this process because I don't agree with the person who started it. According to The Thinking Blog, there are "too many blogs, not enough thoughts." The Thinking Blog is the supposed cure for the plague of meaningless blogs out there. Here are the participation rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
**Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!
It all sounds fairly condescending to me. I'm sure that people who do participate, like Barbara, aren't thinking of it in that way and just want to give a shout out to some of their favorite blogs. I don't have a problem with that. I just feel like the originator of this award, Ilker Yoldas, is giving herself way too much credit for making the Internet a more interesting place. Only tag blogs with "real merits" and "relative content?" Well, okay...but who decides that? Whether or not the content of a blog is relevant and/or stimulating is highly subjective. For example, I would never have thought that anyone read my blog to think! I just try to have a good time and hopefully can make all of you laugh.
Yoldas states the mission of The Thinking Blog like this: "Here is where I write about things that I like, find useful, and ONLY stuff that I feel is worth sharing. It is about many of the topics that make me think! I hope it will keep you thinking too." Isn't that why everyone blogs? So what makes her think that her content is any more thought-provoking than anyone else's?
This is already longer than I wanted it to be, but I'm sure you can all guess by now that I won't be tagging anyone else! I'll just say that everyone on my Blogroll is worth reading, or they wouldn't be there. So, go check them all out...including the lovely, Bono-loving Barbara.
Oh, one more little nugget of info about Ilker Yoldas. Check out herMyBlogLog profile. Obviously, those are her pics from the Mensa membership directory.
(EDIT - Ilker Yoldas responded: "Thanks for the feedback but I'm just an average guy doing some average blogging.. I'm no better than anyone else! =) And yes you read right; I'm a guy. Just because I use my favorite celebrity's picture on MyBlogLog profile doesn't mean I'm a girl, right?
Well, Ilker, sorry about the gender mix-up there. I wasn't convinced that Ms. Hot Chick (I don't know who she is) was the author of your blog, but since I had nothing else to go by I had to assume you were a girl. You might just want to rethink the way you worded the rules for the Thinking Blogger Award. As an "average blogger," I'm sure you can understand why some people might think it's kind of elitist, for lack of a better word.)___________________________________________________________
Next up is my interview with Turnbaby. She got me thinking... about the following five pop-centric questions.
1. Entertainment Weekly called--they want The PopEye as a regular feature BUT they get final edit. What do you do? Since I adore EW, I take the gig. I need an editor! Seriously, sometimes I tend to get long-winded. Like, when I have already answered a question, I tend to just keep talking anyway. Like I'm doing right now.
2. You are putting on a one night extravaganza--you can pick any five bands/artists--who is on your playbill? I'm assuming that this question is based in reality and I have to pick living people. No problem. Here's the lineup:
1st act - An acoustic set by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. This counts as one artist, since they used to be Buckingham/Nicks once upon a time.
2nd act - Duran Duran
3rd act - Squeeze, featuring all original members. I don't care what that little goofball Jools Holland tries to pull - he's coming.
4th act - Pearl Jam
5th act - Bruce Springsteen
It may surprise some that I wouldn't have Pearl Jam headlining, but I have my reasons. First of all, Springsteen is famous for playing ridiculously long shows. So, I'm saving the highest-energy guy for last. Secondly, while Bruce is playing I would get to cozy up to some of the other artists. Wow, I just blacked out for a minute after picturing myself like Scarlett O'Hara, sitting among Eddie Vedder, John Taylor, Glenn Tilbrook and Lindsey Buckingham, flirting and fiddle-dee-dee-ing.
I also have to give my apologies to Paul Rodgers, who should really be there. I thought of replacing Buckingham/Nicks with him, but it's kind of hard to give up the two-for-one deal. But I still love Paul. He's still the best rock singer who ever walked the Earth.
3. The catch about getting to put on the show is that you also must include a group/artist that you loathe but is wildly popular--who do you grit your teeth and pick? Hmm, does this mean that there are really five artists or six? (If I have to replace one from the above list, I guess Buckingham/Nicks are out.) I would have to invite Jessica Simpson because...wow, can you imagine all the blog fodder that performance would provide?
4. What is the most shocking thing you have ever done and why was it shocking to you? Unfortunately, I haven't done that many "shocking" things, but I would say that just moving to NYC is the most shocking. I'm very close with my family, so I didn't think I would ever have the nerve to leave home.
5. Line one rings--it's John Travolta calling for a chat--you are just about to pick it up when Line two rings--it's K-Fed with all the inside scoop-what do you do? Ha ha...oh come on! K-Fed who?? I don't care if he was calling to tell me that he impregnated Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Hillary Clinton all in the same night - no one comes before John! I'm sure EW would be pissed at me for missing that scoop, but hey, they'd have to appreciate that one of their writers was a close, personal friend of John Travolta's.
If anyone wants me to interview them, leave a comment and I'll cook up some questions.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following news stories are curiously fascinating:
Alec Baldwin: The Hottest Jerky Boy Ever - Alec Baldwin's answering machine rant heard round-the-world continues to inspire. Video mashups like this one are being churned out with greater frequency than KISS albums, while people everywhere have finally stopped asking friends and family, "Can you hear me now?" in favor of leaving Baldwinesque voicemail messages. No word yet on when the Alec Tirade Soundboard will be available to further assist prank callers. Of course, there's always this to keep them occupied in the meantime.
Rosie O'Donnell No Longer Blocking Barbara Walters' View - Big-mouth Rosie announced recently that she will be leaving chick gab-fest, The View, this summer. I don't even watch The View and I'm glad. So is Donald Trump who, of course, is taking credit for her departure. I'm not really concerned about the Rosie/Trump feud because I'm too busy cringing over this news. Apparently not satisfied with making TV audiences sick, Rosie now wants to go after the upper-crusty theater crowd. Would the producers of Les Miserables actually allow this wench to defile my favorite musical? Hey, while they're at it, why not just cast Sanjaya as Gavroche? Or Alec Baldwin as Jean Valjean? I guess the ending would be changed so that Valjean tells Cosette that her mother, Fantine, was a manipulative slut who never loved her. Then, during the curtain call, Madame Thenardier will launch koosh balls into the audience.
Richie Wichie Kissed the Girl and Made Hindus Bitchy - Richard Gere could be arrested! Finally, enough people who paid money to see Dr. T and the Women have filed a complaint. Hold on. No, sorry...I was mistaken. Turns out it's just because he kissed some Bollywood starlet. Wow. If Indians are upset about that, I hope for Richard's sake that they haven't heard all the gerbil rumors.
Joe Simpson Looking to Adopt Another Ditzy, Vocally-Challenged Blonde - The word on Page Six is that Jessica and Ashlee's Daddy is interested in taking Britney Spears under his wing, now that she's fired her manager. I guess since Britney and Jessica have so much in common, Brit would almost be like Joe's third daughter. Except that he could actually fondle her without getting arrested.
SanGanja's Hairdos and Misplaced Confidence Explained - Here is a transcript from lost footage of a recent episode of American Idol:
Randy: Yo, man I dunno, man, I dunno. That was whack, dawg.
Paula: Tee hee heee. Urp. Mo gurgle glamma zop! Whee. Sanjy, you...you're like...a toasted love muffin. Hmm ha ha hee hee.
Simon: If I'm being honest, that was absolutely dreadful.
Simon: Really! Abysmal. Awful. Other 50-cent "a" words. Who ever told you that you could sing?
Sanjaya: My parents and my sister.
Simon: Were they high?
Sanjaya: Yes. So?
Simon: Oh. Well. Right, then. Um, carry on.
Randy: Dude. Whack. Aight.
Paula: Sanblablah, tell your Momz I will meet her in the parking lot at 9:15, sharp.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday night was the two-hour "Idol Gives Back" extravaganza that we've all been waiting for. Yeah, we all waited for that. We all like to build ourselves up for big let-downs, don't we? I opted to have a life last night, so I taped the show while I went out on the town. Smart move on my part. Thank God for the fast forward button.
As with most telethons and charity programs, it was a rather disjointed evening filled with sap and melodrama. Don't get me wrong - I think it's great that AI is using its power for good. Still, I can't help but smirk watching Randy Jackson walking around a devastated New Orleans neighborhood, blinding poor kids with his blingtastic crucifix necklace.
Since the show was all over the place and chock-full of Sanjaya jokes, I'm not going to recap the events in order, lest this post read like a 12 year-old with ADD wrote it. Instead, I'll put everything in neat little categories, so it reads more like a 34 year-old with OCD wrote it. You down with OCD? Yeah, you know me!
A clean-shaven Ryan Seacrest flubbed the very first line of the show, setting the tone for what was to come. Actually, it wasn't that bad. Seacrest is a pretty capable host. Of course, his repeated boasting that the night's voting results were the "most SHOCKING" in the show's history put him on my long list of people who need to be smacked. After the third time he said it, I pretty much figured out what was going on.
Ellen DeGeneres hosted the concert portion of the show from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She made a few semi-funny jokes in between sincere pleas for donations. Typical Ellen stuff. Did anyone else notice that, as the show went on, Ryan and Ellen started to look more and more alike? Maybe it was just me.
The judges all got dolled up for the occasion. Randy was wearing a pretty fly suit and Simon looked rather saucy with his chest hairs making yet another appearance. Apparently, Paula came straight from her Pussycat Doll audition. I bet they could've raised a lot more money if she made Simon pay $5 for each time he gawked at her prominently displayed boobage.
Many videos were shown throughout the evening of impoverished communities and villages in both the United States and Africa. There were also films chronicling Simon and Ryan's trip to Africa, Paula's visit to the Boys & Girls Club and Randy's time in New Orleans.
Carrie Underwood appeared in a taped segment from Africa, singing The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You." I think all those kids really wanted were sandwiches and medicine, but hey, a song will do. Can you imagine how pissed off Gina Glocksen is right now that AI is releasing Carrie's version as an exclusive iTunes single?
Madonna was in Malawi, adopting kids or asking for money. I don't really know. I fast forwarded through her.
I kept wondering while watching all of this sad footage - what has all the money already been raised by various charities done? Everyone keeps talking about how little money it takes to save lives, yet this problem isn't going away no matter how many fundraisers we seem to have. Then I wondered if any money went towards Planned Parenthood programs, sex education and birth control awareness. Honestly, I think that should be a primary focus. Do people in third world countries even grasp that concept? Is it against their core beliefs? I have no idea. But until the population is under control in these areas, we're just going to continue to raise money to put band-aids on their problems. There shouldn't be so many children forced to endure such deplorable conditions. Since I'm not running for office, I'm going to end this tangent right now!
Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren, Eric McCormack, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Forest Whitaker, Helena Bonham Carter, Hugh Laurie, Teri Hatcher and Rob Schneider were just a few of the stars who made cameos. They, along with the Final 6, appeared in one of the cheesiest videos I've ever seen on this show or any other. It started as yet another horrible Ford commercial in which the finalists sang "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (badly, I might add) and then drove their Mustangs to a drive-in, where they watched a film of the celebritards lip-synching to "Staying Alive." The segment was lame, but not nightmare-inducing. At least until I saw Teri Hatcher's face. Good Lord, when did she turn into Cruella DeVille? Overall a piece of garbage, but two positives did come out of that video:
* I was reminded that Mickey Dolenz is still alive
* Kevin Bacon's appearance just made the Six Degrees game that much easier
A very gray Ben Stiller showed up to do a typically Stiller bit - promising to sing "Reminiscing" by Little River Band until $200 billion was raised. As if viewers of this show could be swayed by a little bad singing. It was good for one or two laughs, but easily wore thin. I will give Ben props though for mentioning both Little River Band and Pure Prairie League.
Jack Black jumped on stage and kissed Seacrest, which methinks Ryan enjoyed quite a bit. He then serenaded the audience with Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" while Kyle Gass cheered him on. As I was watching, I thought, "He's better than Sanjaya." Then about ten seconds later, Simon took the words right out of my mouth. Must've been while he was kissing me. Then Jack threatened to sing "The Greatest Love of All!" Funny. Still, it would've been much funnier coming from Will Ferrell.
King of all Dorks, MySpace Tom, was in the audience. Did you all notice that when he turned in his chair, he was basically in the same pose as his MySpace picture, but just facing the opposite side? I guess he found a pose and is sticking with it. He must have learned that from Mariah Carey.
Bono finally showed up at the end of the show to talk to the finalists about ONE.org. He looked good. Sometimes I think he's slightly mad, but I still dig him.
These are the artists who performed on Ellen's turf, in order:
Earth, Wind & Fire - Oh no. I could feel a medley coming on before any notes were played. I have a serious aversion to medleys. I had to fast forward through most of this. I knew things were bad when I found myself wishing that Phil Collins would show up and bust out "Easy Lover" with Philip Bailey.
Il Divo - Yeah! Whip it! Oh...wrong band. I can't believe that Simon is responsible for these guys. Does he actually like this crap? Well, at least they didn't do a medley. They sang Babs' "Somewhere." Someday, somewhere, we'll find a way to dislodge these globs of peanut butter from our throats..." One can only hope.
Rascal Fatts - No, I didn't forget the "L." I actually envied those poor people in Africa for one split second, because they never have to be subjected to this band.
Josh Groban - Again with the Opera-lite. Is Opera cool all of a sudden? I haven't heard any of the hipsters in Williamsburg belting out arias under the bridge, so it must not be hip. Josh was singing - what else - "You Raise Me Up" with the African Children's Choir. I just kept wishing he would shut up and let the kids sing.
Kelly Clarkson - Alrighty! Now we're cooking. I've made no secret of my adoration of Kelly. She sang Patty Griffin's lovely ballad, "Up to the Mountain," accompanied by legendary axe-man, Jeff Beck. Jeff looked kind of like Ron Wood on a bad day, but Kelly looked great with her new, very Zeta-Jonesy hairstyle.
Celine Dion and Elvis - This was the one celeb performance on the main Idol stage, and the big, "amazing duet" that Ryan kept blathering on about for the past few weeks. Sure, technology is cool but this was just weird. Not necessarily creepy...just bizarre. Maybe even pointless. And really, it only further encourages those wackos who still think Elvis is alive.
Annie Lennox - Her version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was awesome. Annie never disappoints. She is a true pro.
The Top 6
The finalists all came out like little angels dressed in white to sing the new Quincy Jones song, "Time to Care." It was kind of like The Osmonds doing a song from The Lion King, but it was enjoyable enough. Certainly better than what I had feared most - a group sing of "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke."
The most shocking results in history were eventually revealed! Everyone was safe! As I said before, I figured that out early on, as most people probably did. I think even most of the contestants knew what was going on, even if Jordin did try to look all teary-eyed after she spent a hot minute with Ryan's clown hook around her neck. No one should get too comfortable though, because this week's votes will be combined with next week's, and then two contestants will be voted off. So, it wasn't so much "charity" as it was a stay of execution.
The evening closed with a song specially written for the Idols by Bono and Dave Stewart, "American Prayer." It was a good song (as I would expect from those two) and everyone really stepped it up for the performance. I was quite impressed with their harmony, as well as their individual parts. For the first time I was not bored by Phil! He really shone on both of the group songs. Why can't he bring that vibe every week in his solo performances?
The one truly funny and wholly entertaining bit came via The Simpsons. The short featured an animated Simon auditioning for Idol judges, Marge (Randy), Lisa (Paula) and Homer (Simon). Homer and Marge dissed his lame performance of "Dont'cha," and dropped him through the trap door to the lions below, prompting Bart's great line, "The lions haven't eaten this well since Dunkleman." For those of you who didn't watch Season 1 of AI, Brian Dunkleman was the Andrew Ridgeley to Ryan Seacrest's George Michael.
The biggest belly laugh of the night belonged to little Lisa Simpson. After Marge called Simon "dawg," Lisa perfectly channeled Paula by excitedly throwing her arms up and yelling, "Where's the dog? I like dogs! Woooooo!" Classic.
While I'm sure everyone involved with "Idol Gives Back" is happy that millions of dollars were raised for worthy causes, all those celebs have to be a little miffed that they were upstaged by a bunch of jaundiced cartoon characters.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tonight is Part I of the two-episode special, "Idol Gives Back," and Newscorp is donating 10 cents per call for the first 50 million votes received. I guess this means that Rupert Murdoch will have to wipe with $10s instead of $100s this week. I guess this also means that non-voters like myself will be guilted into making at least one call.
While what AI is doing is admirable, the idea of sitting through a night of "inspirational songs" already has me feeling less than charitable. These kinds of songs tend to be the mid-tempo, cliche-ridden garbage that Idol singles are made of. Odd how "inspirational songs" can generally only inspire me to sigh heavily and eat lots of ice cream. Well, I suppose I can tolerate an hour of the schlock hitting the fan, but if someone sings "The Greatest Love of All," I swear I'm diving out the nearest window.
First up is Chrustin Richardslake, who isn't really living up to that moniker tonight. Still, I'm using the nickname because it's mine. (Hear that, phillyBurbs.com?) He is actually going back and forth between personas during this performance - it's Chris during the verses and Chrustin during the chorus. Although he's a little off-key in the beginning, throwing in a few too many runs and obviously concentrating really hard on singing through his mouth, Chris/Chrustin is doing well. All the judges dig it and, overall, so do I. I could be biased though for, you see, Chris is singing "Change the World" by Eric Clapton, which was featured in Phenomenon. I can't hear this song without imagining John Travolta dying and all of his friends celebrating his legacy on his next birthday. He just wanted...to...change the...world...*sniff sniff*. Ohhh, I love Chrustin. I love you all!! Hugs.
In between songs, we're treated to another montage of Ryan and Simon's trip to Africa - a tender moment that is interrupted by my roommate's observation that Ryan has "huge nipples." How am I supposed to concentrate on hungry kids now??
I will say that I'm enjoying Seacrest's scruffy look tonight, and the red-and-black-gradient tie that he's sporting. He actually looks like...a man. Then there's my dear Simon in his Lord of the Disco ensemble, complete with peek-a-boo chest hairs. I think The Dawg should give him one of his funky gold medallions to complete the look. If I have a dream tonight about Simon showing up outside my apartment, serenading me with Gino Vannelli's "I Just Wanna Stop," I have no one to blame but myself.
Getting us back on track, Melinda Doolittle does a lot with Faith Hill's "There Will Come a Day." This is truly a boring song, yet she is making me sit up and take notice. I don't know why I'm reaching for words here. I should just start copying and pasting in my first critique of Melinda every week, making this recap just that much easier. Nothing is changing. The woman is not going to go all Sanjaya on us anytime soon. I don't think she knows what a bad note is. BeckEye says: Fabulous. Randy says: Dope! Paula says: Magical! Simon says: Cha-ching! while dollar signs pop up on his eyeballs.
Can you "Imagine" Blake Lewis doing John Lennon? It's true. I don't know if it's the smartest choice because it's so iconic, but I admire the kid for going for it. I don't admire his Hobo Joe outfit though. These duds would only be acceptable if Blake were doing a rousing rendition of "Jimmy Cracked Corn." Regardless of what he's wearing, Blake has a sweet voice and is doing a good job tonight. I'm kind of annoyed by the way he sings "people," which comes out more like "bee-bo," but that's just a minor gripe. Sure, it doesn't have the emotion of Lennon's original, but who ever thought it would? It's not his best, but it's passable. Randy thinks it's just aight, while Paula and Simon appreciate Blake's sincerity.
I hold my breath as LaKisha Jones takes the stage, because if anyone is going to bust out "The Greatest Love of All" it will be her. Luckily, she chooses Fantasia's "I Believe." Well, luckily probably isn't the best word. Come on! Of all the songs of hope and compassion out there, she picks a corny Idol-ized single? I hate this song, especially the way Fantasia screeches through it. Since LaKisha's version isn't making my ears bleed, I marginally prefer her take on it. The song still sucks though, and the whole performance is rather dull. Paula is obviously a fan of shrieking, because her critique of LaKisha is largely based on the simple fact that she's not Fantasia. Randy doesn't think it was Kiki's best, and Simon can't get a word in with all the idiots in the audience booing him.
Drabby McBlanderson (aka Phil Stacey) follows with "The Change" by Garth Brooks. I guess he wants to cash in on all the "Phil, you're a real cowboy" talk from last week, but you can't really tell this is a country song. A ballad is a ballad is a ballad. And Phil sings this ballad like he's sung every other ballad - unspectacularly well. Does that make sense? It almost pains me to say that Phil should go, because he definitely has the best voice of the three remaining guys. I know it's ultimately a singing competition but if I have to sit through one more Phil song, I might slip into a coma. His performances are the musical equivalent of watching paint dry, minus the awesome fume buzz. The judges all like him, and Simon seems to give him a compliment by telling him that "people like him." Coming from Cowell, that just means, "You're a nice guy Phil. And you know where nice guys finish? That's right...off you go."
Closing out the night is Jordin Sparks with the old standard, "You'll Never Walk Alone." There is a lot of heavy breathing going on at the beginning of this song, but Jordin sounds great, as always. She is a little too loud in parts and, as with most of the songs tonight, it's still a bit dreary. Regardless of what I think, Paula and Simon give Jordin two big thumbs up and Randy, God bless him, reminds Jordin for the umpteenth time that she's only 17.
I think this is the end of the road for Phil Stacey. He might sing better than both Chris and Blake, but I doubt he has the support of all the teen and tween gals out there. Since we're down to six now, I think there might only be a Bottom 2, so I'll say that Phil and LaKisha will get the lowest number of votes, and Phil will be sent packing. If there still is a Bottom 3, the other will most likely be Blake.
Did it seem like something was missing tonight? Oh yeah, where the hell was Bono? Didn't Seacrest say at the top of the show that he was this week's mentor? Was he mentoring the kids via his giant Zoo TV screen? Perhaps I misunderstood. I imagine he'll show up tomorrow night for the big benefit show.
I feel like I haven't been giving equal time to certain musical genres in this topic, so this week's vid is the 1991 hip-hop gem, "Mistadobalina" by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. I've always been just a casual fan of rap/hip-hop who digs the occasional L.L. Cool J, Run DMC or Eminem song, but this was actually one of my favorite songs in the early '90s. It's super catchy and fairly humorous. I've always imagined it as an ode to little white boys who try to act hard (Vanilla Ice?) or maybe even greedy record company execs who suddenly developed a taste for rap when its popularity could no longer be denied.
I'm looking forward to finding out how many of you spend the rest of the day walking around going, "Mistadobalina Mista Bob Dobalina, Mistadobalina Mista Bob Dobalina..."
Monday, April 23, 2007
Brit angry...Brit want...to...smash!
This might be my favorite picture of anyone, ever. I hope the photog who snapped this got a nice, all-expenses paid week in Aruba for his efforts.
Britney moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and watch her unravel once in a while, you could miss the final act. (Thanks, Ferris, for allowing me to fiddle with your classic quote.) You may be thinking to yourself, "Gee, I haven't seen a picture of Brit's hoo-hah in a while...I wonder what it and/or she has been up to?" You've come to the right place for answers, people. Now that she's finished firing her manager (for *gasp* trying to manage her), buying up all the wigs in North America, trying (and failing miserably) to deliver biting, sarcastic commentary on the media, and airing her daddy issues, she feels that the time is right to stage a comeback. How does she plan to do this? Three words: San-Freaking-Jaya.
The latest scoop claims that Brit is jonesin' for a duet with the vocally-challenged AI castoff. Part of me thinks that this makes perfect sense. Incidentally, it's the only part of me that isn't considering a tympanectomy in the event that this rumor is true.
If it doesn't work out, she and Phil Stacey can always join the Blue Man Group. (I really need to get Photoshop for times like this.)
*Edit: The always dapper, witty and eager-to-please Deadspot gives us this fantastic sneak peek at Blue Britney.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Queen's Concert for Life, a tribute to Freddie Mercury that was held at London's Wembley Stadium. Freddie died of complications from AIDS on November 24, 1991 at the age of 45. The flamboyant singer was famously mum about his private life, so his passing came as quite a shock to fans, especially considering that his public statement confirming that he had AIDS came just one day prior to his death.
I remember the Concert for Life like it was yesterday. As a huge Queen fan, I settled in that night and barely moved from my couch so as not to miss one star-studded minute. (I taped it too, but that tape must have grown feet because it's been MIA for quite a while now.) It was a very touching, but rockin', send-off for one of the greatest front-men in rock 'n' roll history. Along with the three surviving members of Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon), the artists who performed were:
While I was transfixed throughout the entire show, there were certain performances that really grabbed me and still stand out in my mind today. So, here are my Top 5 moments of the day:
5. Extreme, "Love of My Life." It wasn't so much that Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt really sold this song (re-watching it on YouTube, I can hear that Gary missed a few high notes); it had more to do with the audience's obvious fondness for it. It's kind of an obscure little song, but a very pretty one. Mostly this performance sticks in my memory because there was a shot of a guy in the crowd, sitting on someone's shoulders, who looked exactly like Freddie Mercury. If you watch the above linked video, he shows up around the 1:16 mark.
4. Def Leppard, "Now I'm Here." It seemed that Def Leppard was one of the crowd favorites, and the guys certainly enjoyed being there. They kicked off their set with this song, another Queen tune that's generally lesser-known to folks here in the States. I thought they did a great job, and I loved Joe Elliott's super-tight Union Jack pants.
3. Robert Plant, "Innuendo," "Thank You" (intro)/"Crazy Little Thing Called Love." The video linked here is only "Thank You/Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Supposedly, he forgot some of the words to "Innuendo," so the video that was used for the DVD was edited. I don't remember him forgetting the words, I just remember him being PLANT. They spliced in some "Kashmir" in the middle of "Innuendo," and the two meshed together perfectly. I thought "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was the perfect song choice for Robert, because he's a rockabilly man at heart.
2. George Michael, "Somebody to Love." Say what you will about George Michael, but the boy can sing. This has always been my favorite Queen song and he covered it superbly. The magnitude of the audience was really evident during this performance.
1. David Bowie & Annie Lennox, "Under Pressure." Two amazing voices came together to sing one of the most beloved Queen songs. This was like a lesson in vocals and stage presence. It certainly wasn't a lesson in fashion. Well, Bowie's green suit was the bee's knees, but Annie's "raccoon at the prom" outfit was a bit jarring. (Loved after the song when Bowie asked, "Where did she get that dress?" He almost sounded jealous.) Still, it doesn't matter what Annie wears because her voice is pure gold. I loved when she was totally manhandling David at the end of the song, and he just remained focused, like a British palace guard.
For a great, in-depth review of the concert, check out this story by Jim O'Donnell. O'Donnell uses some weird analogies and odd cliches throughout, but overall it's a very strong piece. I especially enjoyed the way he tied together the Titanic tragedy (which happened 95 years and 9 days ago) with the rising, global threat of AIDS.
And now, in my own tribute to Queen...another list! My Top 10 Queen songs:
10. Don't Stop Me Now - Pure, campy fun! It's like something you'd expect to hear in an off-Broadway show about drag queens who run a piano bar on Mars. Really. It's fantastic.
9. Keep Yourself Alive - A great, straight-ahead rocker with something that you never hear anymore...a drum solo! It's not "Moby Dick" or anything, but Roger Taylor gets more time than most drummers do in songs these days.
8. A Kind of Magic - Freddie belts it out, but avoids going too over-the-top, resulting in just a simple, lovely song. Can you imagine someone like Freddie Mercury trying out for American Idol? I get the feeling that the judges would pass on him in favor of someone like Sanjaya!
7. Who Wants to Live Forever - This song starts very slow and dirge-like, then builds to a powerful crescendo. Brian May provides some vocals and the beautiful, weeping guitar lines. I think these are some of Freddie's best vocals because he really gets the feeling of the song through. Since he's been gone, the lyrics have taken on even more meaning.
6. I Want It All - This song just plain rocks. I probably should've mentioned Roger Daltrey's version of this at the Concert for Life, because it was really good. The only reason it didn't stick out as much as some of the others is because he fit with the song so well, it was almost like he wasn't even doing a cover. It was as if the song had always been his.
5. Radio Ga Ga - I don't think this song gets much love. I don't know why. It's got such a great hook! And I really love the lyrics because they're so musically idealistic. Unfortunately, I think radio has had its finest hour and now it is just "some background noise." Mainstream radio, anyway.
4. Save Me - I am a sucker for those sad, sad songs of lost love. This is one of the best.
3. Under Pressure (Duet with David Bowie) - Mix together an iconic opening bass line (hands off, Vanilla!), socially relevant lyrics, and fantastic harmonies between two rock legends, and you've got yourself one pretty perfect song. The bridge is such an explosion of emotion, and I still get chills every time I hear it.
2. I Want To Break Free - Yeah, this song always kind of reminds me of an aerobics class (or Freddie Mercury vacuuming in a dress), but I adore it. It's just so cute and peppy, along with being a great break-up song.
1. Somebody To Love - If you were paying attention above, you should've already known that this was my favorite. Freddie's incredible vocals and the lush arrangement come together to make a rock-gospel masterpiece. I don't even have enough words for how much I love this song, so I'll stop now rather than blather on aimlessly.
I also have to give special mention to Freddie's solo rendition of "The Great Pretender," one of my favorite covers ever. (I think he was trying to tell us all something!) Check out the video, but don't let it distract you from the song itself. It reminds me of the "Teen Angel" scene from Grease, except when Freddie comes down the stairs, he runs into three transvestite back-up singers instead of a beauty school dropout.
For those of you thinking, "What? Nothing from the Flash Gordon soundtrack??," I can't help you. Go back on your meds.
For those of you thinking, "What? No "Bohemian Rhapsody??," that's better! It would probably be #11 on my list. If it hadn't been driven into the ground after the popularity of Wayne's World, it might not have fallen out of the Top 10 at all. Overexposure has hurt it a bit, but it's still an amazing composition and a bona-fide rock classic.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
This isn't a full-blown accusation, but let me just put this out there...
I was checking my StatCounter keywords today, and saw that someone did a search for "Chrustin Richardslake," which is my nickname for AI's Chris Richardson. I've never seen the mish-mashed name used elsewhere, so I've been quite proud of my originality. I thought it was pretty cool that someone was doing a search for it, so I checked out the search string to see what results actually came up. (I was hoping that I hadn't inadvertently stolen it from someone else, which would make me less original than I thought!) There were four links - two for my blog and two for the American Idol blog on phillyBurbs.com.
I did a little digging and found that the first mention of Chrustin popped up on phillyBurbs on April 3 in this post. First mention of Chrustin here came two weeks earlier, on March 21. Interesting, eh?
Now, sure, whoever writes for phillyBurbs could've quite possibly been on the same wavelength as me and just happened to come up with the same name. The cynic in me doesn't buy it, though. I mean, if it were really that obvious and popular of a nickname, surely there would be more than four Google hits for it. And I know that writers from bigger blogs scan the web and other, smaller blogs for info, which is fine...as long as they don't steal our best material! There's just something about the way this writer used the name that doesn't compute. "Magistra" didn't fully commit to the joke - referring to Chris as "Chrustin" only once, then continuing on using "Chris." The way it was just randomly thrown in there makes me suspect that it wasn't really his/her own thought.
When I was plagiarized by that moron, Steve Alter, that was rather insignificant. No one read that guy's blog. But phillyBurbs.com? You know how many people probably read that? And here I am, toiling in relative obscurity.
Maybe I wouldn't be so mad if it were Pittsburgh.com jacking my ideas. Well, yes I would. But that wouldn't happen. Pittsburghers have more class. (Yeah, I'm giving it up for the old hometown!)
I'm debating whether or not I should leave a comment over there. What do you all think?
(By the way, I didn't call him "Chrustin" this week, because he was imitating the Rascal Flatts dude, whose name doesn't marry with Chris's as well. And "Chris Rascaldson" is just lame.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I'm not going to try to be coy and keep you all in suspense here. I'm sure by the time anyone reads this, it will be common knowledge that Sanjaya's days as American Idol's comic relief are over. Notice I finally spelled his name right? I figured I'd send him out with a bang. Plus, he cried and I started to get a little uncomfortable. It almost makes me feel...no, no. I refuse to go soft. Before my annoying heart makes itself known, let me give you a run-down of tonight's results show.
For the first five minutes, I thought I had mistakenly tuned in to CNN or Larry King Live. Like everyone else, I sat on the edge of my chair as the drama of Eye-RollGate unfolded. Thank goodness someone on the grassy knoll was filming Simon's argument with Paula over whether or not Chris was "nasally," thus validating the infamous eye-roll and confirming that Cowell is just a mean ol' bastard, not a heartless one.
Once that was over, the All-Filler Variety Show commenced. I missed the group performance of JoDee Mesina's "I'm Alright," but my roommate said it sounded good. But he's the Paula to my Simon, so who knows what really happened.
After the group sing, the crowd was treated to country superstar, Fergie. When AI picks a theme, they really stick with it, eh? Fergie still has the face of a 50-year-old truckstop waitress, but she actually didn't annoy me tonight. I even found myself kind of liking the song she sang. All I know is that it wasn't "Fergalicious" and that was a blessing. Even though it was clear that she was heavily aided by a backing track during the chorus, and was probably using an auto-tune mic, I didn't hate it. I know, I wonder about myself sometimes too.
The group Ford commercials are always ghastly, but this week's was particularly bad. I have no idea what was going on. Some sort of James Bond/Mission Impossible/Spy Kids piece of fluff, all set to a bad cover of '80s classic, "I Ran." I can't believe the stylists missed a golden opportunity to give Sanjaya a Flock of Seagulls 'do.
After the break (has AI copyrighted that phrase yet, or can I still use it?), Ryan picked sides for a game of Red Rover. Oh no, wait. Apparently, he just found a more juvenile way of picking the Bottom 3. He grouped Sanjaya, LaKisha and Blake together and then Chris, Jordin and Phil. Mr. Seacrest then paraded Melinda around like Teacher's pet, told her she was safe (duh) and tried to force her to pick which group she thought was the Bottom 3. The ever stoic Melinda refused, and plopped down in the middle of the stage. I was a little disappointed when Dionne Warwick didn't suddenly appear to lead everyone in a sing-along of "That's What Friends Are For." Ah well. I'm gonna keep smiling and shining anyway.
Oh, if you couldn't figure it out because you completely skimmed over the first paragraph of this post, Sanjaya, LaKisha and Blake were the Bottom 3. Hard to believe Blake was in danger, and not Chris. Maybe "nasally" really is a form of singing?
But wait, there's more! Ryan wasn't ready to reveal the results yet, so we followed the gang on a trip to Dreamworks Studios for a sneak preview of Shrek the III. Most exciting was Phil's reunion with his long-lost father, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Least exciting was a visit from long-haired mumbler, Antonio "What is...how you say...a-sexy" Banderas.
Finally, we were treated to a real country star - this week's mentor, Martina McBride. All the finalists just stood there watching her, mouths agape, wondering if they should ever sing in public again after her pitch-perfect performance. Well, not all of them. But come on, next to Martina, LaKisha sounds like Sanjaya. I guess that means next to Martina, Sanjaya sounds like - I don't know. Michael Buble?
Martina's daughter jumped up on stage for no reason other than to be cute, and she succeeded. Ryan made some little jokey jabs at her, which made me so happy for him. Finally, he got a chance to pick on someone his own (mental) size.
The hour had stretched as long as it could possibly go, so Seacrest told Blake what everyone already knew - he was safe. For one moment prior to the announcement of who would go home, I doubted my prediction. I thought it might be LaKisha. Then I strangely found myself almost hoping that it would be LaKisha.
You see, it dawned on me recently that, without Sanjaya, my blog is suddenly going to be less funny. I'll need to find a new go-to guy or gal. What am I gonna do, go back to writing about K-Fed? No. I can't. I won't. I'll have to actually do internet research to come up with nutty celeb news. That's work! This kid's just been dropping primo material in my lap week after week! I've barely had to lift a finger! Why did I want him to go? Stay, Sanjaya! Oh...nuts. Too late. Sanjaya, out.
Well, it's as it should be. To his credit, Sanjaya showed some humor during his farewell performance, singing, "Let's give 'em something to talk about, other than hair, hair, haaaaaair." Sanjaya's alligator tears won't make me take back anything I've ever said about his vocal ability (or lack thereof) or innate creepiness, but maybe I will withdraw my earlier contention that he is "pure evil." Thus confirming that I am just a mean ol' wench, not a heartless one.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Yee-haw! It's country night on American Idol, which promises to be rather interesting, considering there isn't one country singer in this bunch. However, the group has been working with Martina McBride all week, a woman who could give me chills just by singing the ingredient label from a box of cereal. With any luck she's rubbed off on the finalists. Of course, no amount of rubbing can help Sunjaya and - eww - gross visual.
Phil Stacey kicks the shin-dig off with Keith Urban's "Where the Blacktop Ends." He gives some blah-blah reason for picking the song, but I think he's less attracted to the song as he is to Keith's purty hair. Phil sounds quite good, but didn't take Martina's advice to "put more soul into it." Like every week, Phil hits all the right notes but still sounds like he's singing from cue cards. He can't stop boring me. The judges all think Phil sounds great, and Randy even thinks that he could have a career in country music. Upon hearing this, Phil mouths, "That's what I want!" This guy kills me. The Dawg could've said, "Yo man, I think you have a real future in opera," and Phil would say, "Oh yes, Randy, I've always wanted to be the next Pavarotti! I'll start eating calzones right now. Promise me more things! Produce my next record! Tell me more about your time with Journey! Love me! Love me!"
I'm glad I got to pick on Phil a little bit, because Jordin Sparks is leaving me with nothing snarky to say. I hate when these kids do that to me. Jordin is singing Martina's "Broken Wing" and, no doubt, making Ms. McBride very proud. For me, this might be the best performance all season. It's certainly unforgettable and will be hard to beat tonight. The judges beam proudly at their little 17-year-old with the big voice, and Simon tells Jordin that he believes she could win the competition. Wait! I thought of something smart-assy! Her dress...it, um, looks like an Asian tarp of some kind. *Sigh* Yeah, I've got nothing.
I was really hoping that Sunjaya Milkin'Cows was going to come out sporting a full beard and sunglasses, fashioned from his own overgrown eyebrows, to sing "All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight." Imagine my disappointment when he announces that he's still taking this competition seriously, then dives into Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About" while sporting one of Bruce Springsteen's old bandanas. It really is a perfect song choice for Sunjaya though, as long as you're playing along at home. "Let's give 'em something to talk about/A little mystery to figure out" (Like how you're still here?) "Let's give 'em something to talk about/How about love?" (How about, you suck?) The Dawg tells it like it is, while Paula tells Sunjaya that he "loves adversity." That's just a nice way of saying, "Boy, you love rubbing America's nose in the big pile you leave up on that stage every week." Simon is just beyond annoyed. He's given up on the reverse psychology this week and blurts out that Sunjaya is "utterly horrendous." When Lord Cowell tells Sunjaya that he's as bad as some of the early auditioners, Seacrest sticks his nose in and suggests that Simon would still diss the boy even if he nailed a song. Simon shuts blondie up with a brusque, "I liked him last week, big mouth," and tries to shoo him offstage. At the risk of getting sued by Paris Hilton, that's so hot.
LaKisha Jones tries to clean up after Sunjaya with her rendition of former-Idol Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel." I had a feeling that this really wasn't going to work, so I'm not surprised that it doesn't. The girl can still sing, but she is a little pitchy (I can't believe I just used the p-word!) and just does not fit with the country genre. All the judges agree, but Paula avoids breaking out in a "truth rash" by tacking on a "But, so what? You're still brilliant!" Yeah, LaKisha, that really wasn't great, but so what? It's just a singing competition. Who cares? Sing even worse next time. Tank it! You'll be fine. Hey, it works for Sunjaya, right?
Just for tonight, Chris Richardson stops channeling Justin Timberlake in favor of an even whinier singer, the fat Lance Bass from Rascal Flatts. "Mayberry" starts off a bit shaky, but Chris actually pulls off the choruses rather well. Chris still needs a little work, but I think he deserves to stay, if for no other reason than because he looks cuter than usual this evening. It's the tween in me coming out, what can I say? None of the judges really dig Chris tonight though, and Simon really twists the knife by calling his whole performance "insignificant." Just as I start to consider ending my imaginary relationship with Cowell, Chris whimpers, "Nasally is a form of singing. I don't know if you knew that." Then, in the middle of this bellyaching, he says his prayers are with the folks at Virginia Tech and, just as quickly, the show continues as normal. Simon and I both roll our eyes at Chris's completely inappropriate timing. Maybe he really cares, but the way it was done just makes it look like pandering for votes. And don't even get me started on the "nasally is a form of singing" comment. Oops, too late! Actually, Chris, "nasally" is an adverb. It's how you sing. It's not recommended. It is annoying. Just shut up, take your lumps like everyone else, figure out how to sing through your mouth, and thank your lucky stars that you're fairly good looking. If you don't get voted off tomorrow night, it's because of your face.
Melinda Doolittle steps in just in time, because I'm tired of ranting! Oh, look! The stylists took my advice (I think I suggested this in one of my comments or on someone else's blog) and gave Melinda some of Haley's old extensions, covering up her short neck. And - two snaps! - she looks fab-u-lous. While most of us would never expect to see Melinda anywhere near a country song, she does a fantastic job with Julie Reeves' "Trouble is a Woman." Once again, Melinda proves that a truly good singer can sing anything, although I think that it being a fairly unknown song certainly helps, because it doesn't draw immediate comparisons. (I think that was part of LaKisha's problem tonight - it was very difficult not to hear Carrie Underwood in my head.) The judges still love Melinda, and Cowell finally tells her to "lose the look of surprise" every time someone gives her a compliment. With some practice, even sweet Melinda could learn to be a smug jackass like Simon. (I wouldn't have him any other way, so I'm allowed to say that. But don't let me catch any of you bad-mouthing him.)
Blake Lewis closes out the show, clad in yet another nerd-boy ensemble. Man, I would love a look inside his closet some time. I hear he spends a lot of time in there. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Blake is singing Tim McGraw's "When the Stars Go Blue" and it starts out a bit weird, but greatly improves after the first chorus. I'm listening to this thinking that Blake actually has some power that he doesn't use. I would love to hear him really belt something out...I think it would be good. He's also got nice range and has no problem hitting those high notes. Overall, I like it. Not as good as last week, but he should still breeze through this round. I have to say though, when he sang the line, "Laughing with your pretty mouth," I fell into a serious giggle-fit because I'm always a bit distracted by the odd way his mouth moves when he sings. It's very effeminate, for lack of a better word. Then I kept thinking that if Blake were ever in prison, his cell mate would surely tell him what a pretty mouth he had. But, I won't go there. Randy actually likes Blake's geek-chic fashion sense, but that's coming from a guy who wears rhinestoned tee-shirts. He and Paula both think the performance was fab, but Simon looks a bit drab. Apparently he's been bitten by Chris's bad-timing bug, because he starts to critique Blake, abruptly says something about Virginia Tech, then goes back to Blake and says something like, "You were okay." What is wrong with these people tonight? Seacrest sent a message out to everyone involved in the tragedy at the top of the show. That was really all that was needed, because throwing in little comments about it in between songs is just kind of tacky. But, why am I looking for class and sophistication from American Idol? If it had either, I probably wouldn't be watching.
So, who's getting bucked tomorrow night? I'm sticking to my six-guns this week and putting Sunjaya in the Bottom 3. I mean, come on. This has gone on long enough. We're down to seven now, and as the group gets smaller, his suckitude is only magnified. He's definitely in the hot seat. I'm torn between Phil and Chris for the second slot. I want to pick Phil because he's already been there a lot and he's consistently boring. However, I think Chris and his annoying little comments might not sit too well with some folks. After some thought and a round of eenie-meenie-miney-mo, I'm going with Chris. As for the third bottom dweller, I think the world is ready for a little surprise this week, so I'm going to say that LaKisha will be getting her first taste of the danger zone. So, there you have it: Sunjaya, Chris and LaKisha in the Bottom 3, and...dare I say it? Sunjaya's finally going home.
I'm serving up a little Southern-fried music today with .38 Special's "If I'd Been The One." This song has long been of my faves! The whole thing is one giant hook. The video is definitely '80s, because what horses have to do with the song is beyond me. I just imagine the director being like, "Hmm....rushing water, fog and breaking glass have all been done to death. Why don't we just have a bunch of horses running around? That'll be cool! And fire. Fire!"
Obviously the "girl driving around in a convertible" idea never got old, and this particular girl is Julianne Phillips, better known as Frankie on '90s chick-show, Sisters, but probably best known as the model ex-wife who Bruce Springsteen cheated on with current wife, Patty Scialfa. (With that in mind, fans of heavy foreshadowing will love this video, if for no other reason.) Now if only Eddie Vedder would follow in The Boss's footsteps and trade in his model girlfriend for this one-time Jersey girl.
*Viewing fun: With 1:05 left in the video, the camera angle makes it look like Donnie Van Zandt's hat is on fire.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
This isn't a political blog by any stretch, but I'm wondering...do we really want a President who can't even take a decent swing at a softball? Actually, this question might be better categorized as a whiffle ball, giant piece of Nerf, or the head of a dandelion.
When asked in a recent interview what she thought about the pressing issue of Sunjaya, Hillary Clinton's response was, "That's the best question I've been asked in a long time. Well, you know, people can vote for whomever they want. That's true in my election, and it's true on American Idol."
Dammit woman, are you kidding? Even Paula Abdul has more opinions than you!
I don't know what was discussed for the rest of that interview, but I imagine it went something like this:
Mrs. Clinton, do you wear socks? "Well, what a wonderful question. I think socks are made to be worn on the feet. Some people might need them to keep their feet warm. Some may not. It all depends on the weather and what type of shoes one wears, doesn't it? But I think people with and without socks are ready for a female President."
Which Geico mascot do you like better: the gecko or the Caveman? "I look forward to the day when both little green animals and Cavemen will be given the right to vote."
What day is it today? "I think that we can all agree that every day lived in this wonderful democracy of ours is a wonderful day."
Are you a cyborg? "Ha...Ha...Ha. I get this question a lot. You know, if I were a cyborg, I would have to commend our scientific community for creating me. I also...vote on American Idol...*zoop*...and little green...Cavemen...*boop*...without socks will vote...for a female President...oil can...oil can."
Friday, April 13, 2007
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Today's story features two obnoxious, sex-crazed kids. Where is Jason Vorhees when you need him?
So, just call me a cross between Match.com and Miss Cleo. It appears that Her Royal Skankness, Lindsay Lohan, has taken my dating advice to heart. The latest buzz is that Hollywood's two most screwed-up hyphenated hyphenates, Li-Lo and K-Fed, have parlayed a disgusting tryst into a full-fledged relationship.
I realize that this was reported in the National Enquirer, but I'm choosing to believe it, okay? Why not? As I've said before, these two are perfect for each other. They've both got the whole '70s-porn-star look down and neither has a shred of dignity. I know that, judging by that criteria, the Kevin-Britney union should've lasted forever, but in celeb time, two years is forever. I'm not saying that this new coupling is destined for greatness, but it's destined to at least provide us all with a few weeks worth of laughs and/or revulsion.
All the dynamic duo needs now is the mandatory celeb-couple nickname. Kevsay? Kevlin? Loline? Federhan? K-Lo? Lo-Fed? Federwhore? What do you all think?
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Hooray! My psychic powers have returned! As I predicted, Haley Scarnato was asked to turn in her hot pants and hit the bricks. I could've had the entire Bottom 3 (Haley, Chrustin & Phil) but Sunjaya's nearly-human sounding performance last night forced me to throw out everything I thought I knew about this competition. I toyed with the idea of swapping out Sunjaya for Phil, but stuck with my first instinct. Oh well. As Mr. Loaf says, two out of three ain't bad. And Haley's gone, which is all that really matters.
This was one of the few times that I've actually watched the entire results show. I usually skip it and just tune in for the last five minutes to see who gets the boot. I was reminded tonight why I do this. Wednesday nights on AI break down like so:
75% - Ryan's mugging and preening
15% - Commercials
5% - Guest star performances
4% - Bad '70s variety show-style action
1% - Voting results
The opening group performance of Enrique Iglesias' "Bailamos" artfully summed up all of last night's Latin lassitude. However, it was also educational, because the audience, viewers at home and aspiring singers everywhere were treated to a lesson in harmony. For one verse, Blake and LaKisha demonstrated proper harmonizing and for another, Haley and Sunjaya proved that two wrongs can sometimes make a rightful cause for homicide.
Was that Akon guy one of the "best of the worst" from the auditions? No? He's actually at the top of the pop charts? Wow. I wish there were a way for us to vote off anyone who performs on the Idol stage. Famous or not. If they show up and suck, we get to revoke their recording contracts. Wouldn't that be fantastic? A girl can dream.
The new Ford "commercial" employed state-of-the-art digital morphing special effects. And by state-of-the-art, I mean the same crap that Michael Jackson used for his "Black or White" video 15 years ago...which was done about 7 years before that by Godley and Creme. So, yeah, dawg, it was just aight for me, man. Actually, those mandatory ads just make me cringe. If you watch them closely, you can actually see the contestants' souls leaving their bodies.
Luckily for everyone involved, J. Lo and her troupe of demons were on-hand to collect said souls. Really, what was up with the whole fiery furnace theme of her performance? I was on the phone, half-paying attention when she was introduced, and when I looked up and saw the set design, I fleetingly thought that I had inadvertently switched channels and stumbled upon Staying Alive. I was waiting for the Frank Stallone music to kick in and for Finola Hughes to come running onstage in a red leotard. Then I started thinking about John Travolta in a loincloth and blacked out for a bit. When I came to, that Chris Daughtry song was playing over a montage of Haley shaking her Finola-esque hair and other assets. Then, she was allowed to assault our ears one final time before being sent on her way.
Don't cry, Haley fans. I'm sure we'll all see her again on next season's Pussycat Dolls: The Search for One Mo' Ho or maybe even sooner, half-naked on MySpace. That seems to be the standard post-Idol path of the female castoffs.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Jennifer Lopez is mentoring the Idols for this week's "Latin Music" theme. J-Lo. Mentoring. I blinked, turned the TV off and then back on to make sure this was for real. It is. J-Lo. Mentoring. I guess this means that all the finalists will just half-sing along to a backing track, while shimmying around amidst a bunch of spandexed dancers. Wow, if that's the case, I can't wait to see Phil bust a move. Vayamos!
Melinda Doolittle starts things off with the Latino standard, "Sway." As usual, Melinda's vocals are on point, but the song is just boring. If she were a bowl of salsa, she'd be mild. Paula and Randy both think she's great but Simon, finally seeing a window of opportunity to say something negative, pulls out the double whammy by telling Melinda that she came off as "old" and "cabaret." Melinda makes a joke at Simon's expense and somehow manages to seem sweet, not sour.
Next, LaKisha Jones throws her sombrero into the ring with her take on Miami Sound Machine's "Conga." I hate this cheesy song, but I imagine that it's probably difficult to sing due to its speed. LaKisha actually does well with it and seems to be diving into the Latin theme with much more aplomb than Melinda. Even so, it's still a little on the dull side. Randy is still in love with LaKisha so he thinks it was great, but Simon isn't impressed with her singing or dancing. Usually, Paula has a hard time coming up with an original comment after Randy's critique, but she actually manages to grow some balls tonight, telling LaKisha that her performance was too safe for this stage of the game. If LaKisha were a hot, young guy though, you can bet that Paula's review would have been much different.
Case in point, Paula's response to Chrustin Richardslake's dismal trilling is just a lot of salivating, heavy breathing and overuse of the word "hot." Yes, Chris has morphed back into Chrustin this week, which is such a disappointment to me. Just when I was starting to really like him, he had to butcher Santana's "Smooth" - a difficult feat considering that I loathe the song to begin with. Not to mention, he looks anything but smooth in what appears to be a black Members Only jacket. I'm puzzled by the stylists' thought processes sometimes. Even more mind-boggling is that Paula is not the only one digging this performance; Randy and Simon both give Chrustin the thumbs up. Maybe Miracle Ear should start sponsoring the show?
Since AI doesn't have a bikini competition (yet), Haley Scarnato raises the hem on another pair of short shorts, slaps on some war paint and lowers the bar with her screechy take on Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn The Beat Around." I don't think anyone considers this "Latin music," do they? Sure, it features some kickin' bongos, but it's pretty much a Disco classic. Regardless of the genre, it's clear to everyone by now that Haley will never rise above a pageant-level performance. It's certainly clear to The Dawg and Paula, who critique Haley with smirky condescension. Simon finally says what everyone has known for weeks now - that Haley's "tactic" of "wearing very little" is all that's keeping her in the game at this point. Mean? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
Phil Stacey manages very well with Santana's "Maria, Maria" but, as has been the case with all of the contestants so far, it's still kind of boring. The judges all yawn, smile politely, make a few neutral statements and then rush Baldy off the stage before he can start brown-nosing everyone.
Eegads, do we have to hear another Miami Sound Machine song? Apparently, we do, as Jordin Sparks bounces on stage proclaiming that the "Rhythm is Gonna Get You." It really hasn't gotten her, it's not getting me, and the judges seem to be untouched. The idiots in the audience will respond to anything, even this exercise in blandness. Don't get me wrong, Jordin sounds good as always, but it's just another drop in tonight's cup of musical Nyquil. Simon is showing signs of fatigue, Paula has no idea where she is, but Randy...well, Randy is strangely excited. He goes off on one of his tangents about Jordin's "yo factor," jamming as many hots, bombs, and even a kablam, that will fit into the tiny space allotted for his useless comments.
Blake Lewis comes out in a "Bing Crosby at the beach" outfit that might have been more appropriate for last week's "Classics" theme, but I refuse to pick on him because he is finally breathing some life into tonight's show. I am so back on the Blake train right now! He's covering Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know" so well that J. Lo is eyeing Blake up as potential husband #4. (I don't think he would be into her, or any other girl for that matter, but that's just my gut feeling. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) All of the judges agree that Blake's performance is the best of the night and silently wish that you-know-who wasn't on deck.
Yes indeed! This week, they've saved the best - er, beast - for last. Sunjaya Maleficent struts onstage and sets out to prove that he can suck in any language. Armed with his expressive, bushy eyebrows and disturbing facial hair configuration, he tries to make love to the camera while crooning the standard, "Besame Mucho." Unfortunately for him, he has all the sex appeal of Slowpoke Rodriguez. Still, both Simon and I begrudgingly admit that Sunjaya...really...isn't...that bad...tonight. That's one of the hardest things I've ever had to say, but it's true. Since he manages to stay safe every week when he's truly awful, perhaps this will be the week that he finally goes?
Nah. I think Sunjaya might end up in the Bottom 3 tomorrow, just because he's throwing all the VoteForTheWorst.com people for a loop tonight. For the first time this season, at least two contestants were worse than the Evil One, so he may not get as many irony votes this time around. He'll still get enough votes to stay, though. I predict that the Bottom 3 will be Sunjaya, Haley and Chrustin, and the axe will finally fall on Haley.
And who didn't know that Larry was the Dad anyway? The hotter guy always wins.
"I'm just glad this is all behind us, the mystery is solved and that my little girl doesn't have to worry about growing up with a giant schnoz."
This week's video is for a song that was pretty much my theme throughout junior and senior high, except that I'd have to swap out "Mutha" for "Fatha." And, honestly, I'd have to also swap out "don't wanna" for "not gonna." But don't use me as an example, kids. Stay in school. Drink your milk. But, you can still watch this video. It's the classic slacker anthem, "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go To School Today)" by Extreme.
Extreme was one of those bands who enjoyed a little spurt of major success and then basically dropped off the radar, which is unfortunate since they were actually one of the better hard rock bands around in the late '80s/early '90s. I got to see them live in 1993, opening for Bon Jovi, and they were fantastic. I never would have admitted it at the time, being the rabid Jon and Richie fan that I was, but in a completely just world, Extreme never would have been Bon Jovi's supporting act. But, aside from their big hits "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted," that was the way it went for Extreme...they never really got their due. The band was always overshadowed by others with more style and less substance.
Some of you may remember that lead singer, Gary Cherone, briefly became Van Halen singer #3 in the late '90s. When I first heard about it, I really thought it might work because, in my opinion, Cherone had a better voice than both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. However, the few songs I heard from Van Halen III were pretty horrific, especially since Cherone seemed to be going for a "Sammy Lee Roth" sound, full of growling, screeching and yowling.
I prefer to just forget about Gary's VH stint and remember him fondly as Extreme's frontman. And now that a bunch of good Extreme songs are buzzing around my head, I've decided to make this a two-fer Tuesday and also give you "Get The Funk Out." This song features one of Nuno Bettencourt's best guitar solos and...c'mon, you gotta love those horns! (On a humorous side note, the person who posted this video on YouTube spelled the band's name "Extream." Who says rock music rots your brain?)
Friday, April 06, 2007
Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following news stories are curiously fascinating:
John Travolta is Stayin' Alive. Whew. - On Monday, my dearest darling had to make an emergency landing at Ireland's Shannon Airport, due to technical troubles. According to one source, "If he hadn't made it to Shannon, it could have been the end of him. You could tell that he was very relieved." Now, no one is more relieved than I, but John's publicist has told Extra that the world's sexiest actor/pilot was only making a routine stop to re-fuel on his way back from Germany, and that there were no engine problems. Whatever the case may be, John's alive. Thank God. I wasn't looking forward to locking myself in a dark room for two weeks and sobbing while watching Michael on a constant loop.
So, Kevin Costner Wants to Be a Rock 'n Roll Star? - Satisfied that he's made enough boring, over-indulgent movies to last us all a lifetime, Kev has now set his sights on the world of music. What's that you say? You didn't even know that he was a rocker? Well, that's why he's mad as a Durham bull. Costner is suing Mahee Worldwide Ventures, the firm hired to promote his band, for breach of contract. According to the lawsuit, Mahee Worldwide reneged on their promises to make Costner's band a household name by seemingly dropping off the face of the Earth and cutting off contact with Costner and his company, Kevin's Music LLC. (Original name, eh?) Hey, I know it was Mahee's job and all, but having worked in PR, I kind of feel for them. It's hard to look at yourself in the mirror every morning when you know you're a shill for shit. Then again, the same company promoted Lindsay Lohan's "music," so I think it's a little too late for its employees to suddenly develop souls.
Go To Jail. Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Go Wild, Do Not Collect 29 Million Dollars. - Human turd, Joe Francis, aka the Girls Gone Wild guy, was recently cited with contempt and ordered into custody by Judge Richard Smoak. The order came after Negotiations Gone Wrong in a lawsuit filed by seven women who claim that they were minors when featured in one of Francis' T&A extravaganzas. The ladies' lawyers reported that Francis threatened them during settlement talks, a claim that Francis denies. Joe's attorneys are appealing the order, but I'm hoping this smarmy moron gets some jail time. I'm sure he'd be a big hit with Sodomites Gone Wild.
If Sunjaya Wins, I Will ________. - Simon Cowell has already announced that if Sunjaya wins American Idol, he'll quit the show. (Simon, you can't quit me, baby.) Now, there is a website dedicated to the horrific possibility that Pure Evil may be our next Idol. The site is asking people to fill in the blanks and fill everyone in on what they will do if that happens. Responses range from the funny (If Sunjaya wins, I will be eagerly awaiting the remake of "From Justin to Kelly" starring Sunjaya and Antonella) to the foolish (If Sunjaya wins, I will line up and let everyone in the world kick me in the junk) to the highly probable (If Sunjaya wins, the Apocalypse will occur immediately after his "victory," God will appear, tell us all we've been punk'd, and all human existence will cease to be. So long humanity...so long). As for me, I originally planned to move to England with Alec Baldwin if Sunjaya wins, but instead I'll probably just sigh, change the channel and go back to making fun of Paris Hilton or something.
Britney's Favorite Mistakes - With her divorce from K-Fed finalized, Brit's hindsight is leading her to believe that the white rapper was her "biggest mistake." Sure, K-Fed's mere existence could probably be considered a mistake, but can Britney really put him at the top of her long list of bad choices? Let's take a look at some of the other contenders:
When put in proper context, K-Fed doesn't seem so bad, huh?