I also have a real fondness for "Amanda Oversinger," but when I Googled that, I discovered that someone on one of the Vote for the Worst boards called her that before me. But, a search for "Jamless Joplin" points to only one page. Mine!
God, that whole Chrustin Richardslake thing has made me über sensitive about my Idol pet names, hasn't it?
Friday, February 29, 2008
Myron Cope, legendary sports journalist and broadcaster, long-time Steelers announcer and creator of the Terrible Towel, passed away on Wednesday. I knew that his health had been failing for some time now, but it's sad to know that he's gone. He was truly a Pittsburgh icon.
There is a really wonderful tribute article written by Gene Collier in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that you should take the time to read. Collier pretty much says it all when he describes Cope as "one of the last of the great sports characters, a genuine oasis in a sea of ever homogenizing media-ocrity." I remember watching many a Steeler game with the TV on mute, in favor of his radio commentary.
If you don't feel like reading, here's a brief video that will help explain why Cope was so unique and why Pittsburghers love him. I love Cope's simple assessment of himself as a broadcaster: "I just start talking and when they tell me to shut up, I shut up."
Thursday, February 28, 2008
There's nothing I hate more than a medley. Except for maybe a poorly arranged and executed one.
That explains why I normally don't watch the results show all the way through but, for the second week in a row, there is nothing else on! What gives? I thought the writers' strike was over! Why was there a repeat of The Office on at 8:00 instead of a new My Name is Earl? Well, I don't know what's going on. All I know is that I'd give a million Schrute bucks to erase that awful opening medley from my brain.
The one positive of the opening number is that we finally got to hear some of the good '70s tunes that no one's ever bothered to sing on this show: Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light," Bonnie Tyler's "It's a Heartache," and 10cc's "The Things We Do For Love," mixed in with Carole King's oft-covered "I Feel the Earth Move." I liked the very beginning of the medley, when that Earth-moving honey-pants, Michael Johns, kicked things off. After he faded into the background, I wished the earth would've quaked and swallowed some of those kids up. Especially Amanda Oversinger, who should've been able to handle the raspy Bonnie Tyler song, but instead turned the heartache into a big old headache.
Now on to the eliminations!
Dim all the lights, sweet Ryan, 'cause a cut is on its way. Jason Yeager is the first casualty, answering his own musical question, "Without love (from tweens with unlimited cellphone minutes) where would you be now?" That's right - home. I'm slightly annoyed. Not only does this mean that I'm already 0 for 1 in my predictions, but I kind of like Jason. He certainly isn't the best of the 10 boys, but he has a nice voice and he seems like a good guy. Ah, well. Someone has to go. At least it wasn't my Aussie Hottie.
The girls are on the chopping block now, and the axe falls on Alexandrea Lushington. I knew it. Amanda, standing next to Alex, knows it should be her. So does Alex. Thanks, Vote for the Worst, for giving Jamless Joplin another chance to assault my ears next week.
Ryan makes the remaining boys sweat it out a little longer and cuts another girl. It comes down to Blonde Thing 1 and Blonde Thing 2, and Blonde Thing 1 (Alaina Whitaker) gets the boot. She cries like Ryan actually did kick her with a boot. With spurs. She goes on and on about how she can't sing, she doesn't feel like it, it will sound terrible, wah wah wah. All the other girls had to come out and rally around her just so she could soldier on. How irritating. Honey, listen to what you're singing! Yours is not the first heart broken. Your eyes are not the first to cry. Get over it. And go change that pink dress. You're too pure to be pink.
Luke Menard and Robbie Carrico are summoned to center stage, and I'm happy that half of my predictions will be correct, no matter which one of these guys goes home. I think they both deserve it, but I'm actually surprised that of the two, it ends up being Robbie. I guess I underestimated the power of Luke's Orlando Bloomness. I certainly won't miss Robbie's Bret Michaels-lite act, but Luke is just a big spoonful of human Nyquil.
I'm hoping that the AI time machine keeps going straight ahead and lands in the '80s next week. Man, what I wouldn't give to hear Michael Johns cover my favorite '80s tune, Charlie Sexton's "Beat's So Lonely." But the odds of that happening are about as slim as getting Charlie himself to sing it.
Oh God. I just had an amazing thought. Amanda Overmyer. '80s Night. I'm your priiiiivate dancer, a dancer for moneeeey...
Paula's drunkest jibberish couldn't even come close to being as fantastically awful as that.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
There's still water in the bong, so '70s week on American Idol is gonna keep on truckin'. Not only are these 10 funky mamas gonna get down tonight, but they're gonna give you the skinny on what makes them groove. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.
Knowing full well that everyone is already throwing around the Ann Wilson comparisons, Carly Smithson belts "Crazy on You." A lot of people don't like Carly because they say she's a "ringer." I wouldn't exactly call someone who's working in a tattoo parlor and a bar, years after her old record deal fell apart, a shoo-in to win this. But she definitely deserves to be here. The girl can sing. I dig the performance, but something is missing that I can't quite put my finger on. The Dawg and Barfly both like Carly but aren't exactly heart-ing her. Simon's lying so low in the weeds, I bet he's gonna ambush Carly. He's got her down, down, down, down on her knees but - wouldn't you know it! He's no barracuda! Simon proclaims Carly the best female singer in the competition, but just suggests that she still hasn't picked the perfect song.
Oh! I know what was missing from that performance. Some of those patented Nancy Wilson figure-four kicks.
Hey, they just showed Dreamboat Mikey sitting there with the other Top 10 guys. Mmmmm hmmm. How do I get that magic man alone?
I must be very distracted with these dreams of Michael Johns now, because Syesha Mercado is talking and I have no idea what's she's saying. I think she's mumbling about being a singer-slash-actress. How exciting. Just when I finally decide to start paying attention to her, she bores me to death with her cover of "Me and Mrs. Jones" - "Me and MR. Jones." See what she did there? Isn't that clever? Yeah, no one else thought so either. This is universally boring.
Her hair doesn't look like an Easter egg, but don't let that fool you. Brooke White is, in fact, a beauty school dropout. Turning in her teasing comb for a guitar, she takes the stage to sing "You're So Vain," while not-so-subtly glancing at Simon. I think she does a really good job, and she's definitely filling the role of folky/bohemian chick well. Randy thinks it's a good song choice, but that Brooke's performance isn't that original. Paula agrees and says, "What you brought to the song was familiarity." If you think about that statement for too long, your head will explode, so just keep reading. Simon absolutely loves Brooke's performance, and he does think the song is about him. This week on Idol Chat: An angry Warren Beatty sets the record straight. And then he has a three-way with Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez.
My heart is not filled with love and desire for a Ramiele Malubay performance, especially after she reveals that she can hula (Sanjaya flashbacks, anyone??), but she forces "Don't Leave Me This Way" on me anyway. It's fairly forgettable. Randy thinks it's just aight and Paula just nods and points at Randy. Simon figures if Paula doesn't have to work, neither does he, so he also nods and points at Randy. This girl may be hula-ing back home after tonight.
Kristy Lee Cook reminds me of Kristy Swanson. Bland. Blonde. Blah. She covers Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good" satisfactorily. I was really hoping that she would truly be "no good," because I would be having much more fun right now. As it is, I'm just counting down the minutes until I can go to bed. Randy is happy with Kristy's "improvement" but he's not blown out of his box. Paula uses her favorite phrase, "in the pocket," again and then echoes Randy's critique. Simon wonders if Kristy is a country or pop artist. I wonder where she got that horrific top that she's wearing. Remember when I wore silver lamé as a joke? Well, she's wearing it for real.
Amanda Overmyer tells us that she's really a bookworm. I'm assuming that 101 Dalmatians is one of her favorite books, as she's sporting Cruella DeVille hair tonight. Targeting the rib festival lovin' demographic, Amanda covers "Carry on Wayward Son." Ok...I kind of liked her during the auditions, but she's ridiculous. When she sings in that cheesy fake-blues growl, it reminds me of the time that Mary Catherine Gallagher sang with Aerosmith, except that it's much less entertaining. Randy sticks with his generic comment for the night, "It's not the right song for you." As if that's the only problem. Paula is obviously afraid of Amanda, so she just tells her that she dances well. Yeah, that's it. Add that to whatever Randy said. I'm holding out for a hero, and Simon gets the job done once again by telling the truth - Amanda's performance is contrived, indulgent, and we couldn't wait for it to be over. She might be dust in the wind after this scream-fest.
I really don't care what cute little quirks Alaina Whitaker has. Here's something Alaina might not know about me. Olivia Newton-John was my idol growing up. Grease is my favorite movie of all-time. If she's trying to get on my bad side by butchering "Hopelessly Devoted to You," she's doing a fantastic job. Randy claims that the problem is, once again, the song. If Kenickie weren't in rehab right now, he'd tell Alaina, "The problem is in your mouth!" Paula goes out on a limb and says that she likes Alaina slightly more than Randy. Simon likes her the most. I guess he's looking at her from a businessman's perspective. Cute blonde girls who can't really sing well are big-time moneymakers.
None of what Alexandrea Lushington is telling me about herself is sticking. I'm not retaining any of this information. Something about firemen. Her rendition of Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now" is only slightly more memorable. She has a very pretty voice, but the performance is quite dull, like much of Chicago's '80s catalog. The judges all take a nap. When tomorrow comes, she may regret things she sang today.
Pop tart impersonator, Kady Malloy, informs everyone that she sings opera. Well, if they ever make an opera based on the Britney Spears story (Carmen's got nothing on that tragedy), Kady has it made. Kady sings the second Heart song of the evening, "Magic Man." All I can really say is that, unlike Carly, at least Kady doesn't have to worry about numerous comparisons to Ann Wilson. She sounds good in certain parts, but overall the song is way too big for her. Randy and Paula are ambivalent, and Simon admits that he's never heard this song before. He really needs to take that Righteous Brothers tape out of his 8-track player pronto.
Closing the show out is the peppy and cute Asia'h Epperson, who surprises no one by revealing that she was a cheerleader in high school. She attempts to bring it on by singing "A'hll By'h My'hself," but it's not a winning routine. She did pull it together somewhat at the end but, this is just another case of a little girl trying to tackle too big of a song. Everyone acknowledges that Asia'h can sing, but agrees that it wasn't good enough to make Simon do a cartwheel into a back handspring with a full twist.
There was quite a bit of mediocrity tonight, which makes it hard to predict which two gals will be going home tomorrow. I'm confident that Carly and Brooke will skate through, but that's about all I'm sure of. I really think that Amanda needs to go, but she seems like she might have a strong fan base and, possibly, the support of Vote For the Worst! Alaina and Ramiele are both boring as hell, but they're also young and cute. Hmm. Decisions, decisions. I'll take a guess and say that Ramiele and Alexandrea are as dead as disco.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Well, it must be '70s Night on AI, because the judges are all tokin'. It's like we're watching two completely different shows at times. Well, whatever. I'm not gonna get my bellbottoms in a bunch over it. Let's boogie!
Paula: "Hey, man. You got a joint?"
Randy: "No, not on me, dawg."
Paula: "It'd be a lot cooler if you diiiiid."
Paula suddenly remembers her secret shroom stash under the judge's table.
Paula: "Alright alright alriiiiight!"
Hidden shrooms aren't the only surprise in store for us tonight. We get to learn all kinds of surprising things about all of the contestants. I quickly learn something about Ryan - all it takes to make him giggle and blush like a little girl is a wink and a smile from Simon. We have that in common.
Up first tonight is my bloomin' onion of love, Michael Johns. I briefly toy with the idea of just going to bed after he's done (one hour of sleep last night, people!) but I know that I'm much too lazy to get off the couch. Michael talks about his tennis prowess while a film of him running around the court in shorts plays. If I was supposed to listen to what he's saying, showing that film probably wasn't a good idea. I'm too distracted by the fact that he wasn't shirtless. Bad wardrobe choice. As for his song choice, I'm a big Fleetwood Mac fan so I'm happy to hear "Go Your Own Way." I'm not sure it's the song for him though. He certainly has hotness in common with Lindsey Buckingham, although I suspect that not even Michael could rock the white man 'fro. Wow, I sound like Paula. I'm trying so hard not to say anything bad about this guy. Ok, honestly, it's not the best I've ever heard. His voice is a little shaky in parts and he looks bored. All of the judges agree that this is Michael's weakest performance so far. I'm sure he'll still be here next week, but if next week happens to be '80s week, I really hope that he doesn't cover an INXS song because his Michael Hutchence mannerisms are definitely showing tonight. Stay out of that trap, mate!
Jason Castro gets all cutesy and divulges that he hates interviews because he's not a good talker. Hmm, seems odd for a guy who's no stranger to reality TV. He ditches the interview, picks up his guitar and breaks out a song I never expected, Andy Gibb's "I Just Want To Be Your Everything." Ahhhh! What an inspired song choice. All Jason needs is that awesome blue and white silk varsity jacket. I think I'm too busy singing along to pay much attention to his vocals, but none of the judges really dig it. Simon calls it a "schmaltzy song," and clearly doesn't appreciate the deliciousness of this finely aged cheese. I'm not in love with Jason's performance, but I don't think it's terrible.
I can't believe that Luke Menard is still here, and yet, he appears! What's he talking about? He's in Rockapella? Oh no, some other a capella group. Speaking of Rockapella, where in the world are they? I'm more interested in that information than hearing Luke sing, but the show must go on. I have to give Luke props for daring to sing "Killer Queen," but as I've said time and time again, if you don't even have a thimble full of Freddie Mercury's charisma, don't try suicide! Luke doesn't take my advice and, well, another one bites the dust. Randy and Paula are obviously stone cold crazy because they like it, but Simon sides with me by calling Luke's song choice "a mistake." Seacrest tries to comfort Luke by calling him "Dawson's Creek" and repeatedly touching him.
I think Michael should get to do another song. Ooh, what about T. Rex's "20th Century Boy?" Who wouldn't want him to be their toy?
Robbie Carrico tells America that he thinks we would be surprised to know that he drag races. Since I know that Bret Michaels also drag races, this is no surprise. Next, Robbie will blow our minds by telling us that he likes scantily-clad blonde women with big boobs. He then tries to convince us that he's "Hot Blooded," but I'm not gonna check it and see. I'll just take his word for it. He may have a fever of 103, but I don't think anyone else is feeling the heat. Foreigner, dude? Are you serious? You can't blow like Lou Gramm! Look, I can tell that Robbie has a good voice, but he seems like he's sleepwalking through this song, prompting Randy to join Simon in doubting Robbie's rockness. Peyote Paula experiences a moment of clarity and says some things that actually make sense.
Christian Alba (nee Danny Noriega) spills the big secret that he was a punk rocker in 9th grade. What was that, like a year ago? Shockwaves don't threaten to take down the studio. Danny then makes history by becoming the skinniest person to ever sing "Superstar," including Karen Carpenter. He's better than last week, but he's still not showing the pipes that he had in the audition stage. All of the judges tell him not to "overthink" but find it hard to say anything else really negative. Everyone just loves this kid, including me. That pixie has personality!
Ok, seriously, can Michael sing another song? How about The Allman Brothers' "Melissa?" Melissa is kind of a boring name though. I think he could really make it his own by changing it to "Rebecca." If that doesn't work, I think morphing "Tupelo Honey" into "Sunset Park Honey" would be a bold choice.
Sigh. No one is listening to me. Another guy who is not Michael comes out. It's David Hernandez singing...whoa. Hear that porno bass line? Is he singing the theme from Shaft?? YES! Oh...no. It's just "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Well, he may as well have picked "Shaft," because a good portion of this song is being spoken. The judges rave about his performance. I don't get it. He hit some good notes, but it was pretty dull for me. Am I alone in this? Don't get me wrong, this dude can definitely blow, yo. But it was just okay for me this time, man. I mean, he did his thing there at the end and worked it out, but I don't know man, you know, baby? I was expecting him to really tear it up, and it was just aight. Just keepin' it real baby, just keepin' it real. (Sorry, Simon, I know you hate it when I talk like that.)
Seacrest asks Paula, "Why were the '70s such a great time for music?" Her answer: "Because there were some great songs." Of course! It's so simple! All that time riding the snake out in the desert has made her so wise.
Jason Yeager tells the world that he's multi-instrumental, but that he's not really that accomplished at any one instrument. He's so modest. I've heard him play the spoons and he's awesome. Jason fires up the Doobie cover, "Long Train Runnin'." Although he does have a tendency to get a little lounge lizardy, I kind of like this kid. He has a nice voice. This isn't the greatest performance I've ever heard, but I don't think it deserves all the hate that it gets from the judges. Randy says that it's pitchy karaoke and Paula mixes Randy's words around to say the same thing in a different, much more long-winded way. Simon starts the long train of insults running by telling Jason that his dancing style looks like someone "drunk at a party," and chugs along with zingers like "awkward," "ordinary," "corny," and one of his favorites, "ghastly."
Chikezie picks a Donnie Hathaway song! You don't say! Well, in a night of so-called "surprises," that's exactly the opposite of unexpected. Chikezie tries to sing a soul song while looking like he just came from a golf match...in 1987. He sounds better than last week, but I'm still bored to tears by this guy. His name was fun to say for about 5 minutes, but I'm done with him. I have to dodge, duck, dive and dodge out of the way of all the dawgs, dudes, babys and dawgs that Randy is tossing around, and I quickly see that I'm once again at odds with the judges. Everyone loves Chikezie tonight. Simon even gives him nice compliments, which Chikezie repays by mocking Simon's wardrobe. I'm about to smack the back-sass right out of this jackass.
Self-proclaimed "word nerd," David Cook, breaks out the electric guitar to take on Free's "All Right Now." Who covers Paul muthahumpin' Rodgers?? Guys with cajones, I guess! Many of you might already know this, but Paul Rodgers is my favorite male vocalist. (Glenn Tilbrook and Eddie Vedder are right on his heels.) I don't think too many hearing people would argue that he is one of the best, if not the greatest, ROCK vocalists of all-time. Anyone who covers him is going to pale in comparison, but I have to say that David sounds really good. He rocks. Randy can't resist twisting the knife in Robbie Carrico's heart by proclaiming that David is "the real rocker" on the show. Everyone agrees, but Simon doesn't think David has enough charisma. David says that it's the audience's opinion that really counts, which makes Simon a little bitchy. He chides David with a chilly, "I know the rules of this competition." Ooooooh. Seacrest enjoys playing peacemaker, especially because it means that he gets to stand really close to David.
David Archuleta tells some boring story about how he got to sing a Dreamgirls song for Kelly Clarkson, and then inexplicably chooses to cover John Lennon's "Imagine" like it was a Diddy joint. There is absolutely no doubt that David can sing and he's going to go far in this competition. He may even win. But I do not like this rendition at all. I just don't think that certain songs should be messed with. It sounds sooooo dreary. Of course, the judges fawn over David as if he were John Lennon come back to life, and the Beatlesque posse of screaming tween girls go ape-shit. Paula, fearing that she might get through an entire show looking halfway sane, comes up with her most bizarre critique ever as she tells David that, "I wanna squish you, squeeze your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror." This statement raises many questions. Chief among them: How does Paula Abdul have a car? Who gave her a driver's license? How is it that Paris Hilton is beating her in the DUI competition?
Okay now, come on, producers! Last chance to let Michael sing again. I've finally settled on a song. I can just hear it now...
I was made for loving you Becky/You were made for loving me/And I can't get enough of your bloggin'/Can you give Simon up for me?
What? The show's over? Burn in hell, Ken Warwick!
Well, I guess this is the part where I have to pick the 2 boys that I think are gonna be sent packing on Thursday. Luke narrowly escaped with his life last week, but I don't think his Orlando Bloomness can continue to save him. As for the other guy, I'm torn between Robbie Carrico and Jason Yeager. Since there's only room for one true rocker, I think Robbie will get the steel-toed boot.
I was recently reminded of Slade's ginormous 1984 hit, "Run Runaway," from their best-selling U.S. album, Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply. Funny how a song can drive you insane from intense overexposure but, after a long absence, it's damn good to hear it again.
That blast from the past immediately put Slade on my blog radar, but I knew that "Run Runaway" wouldn't qualify as a "forgotten" vid for most of us. Then I remembered their follow-up single from that record, "My Oh My." Bingo! Let's all sing together, shall we?
By the way, isn't Noddy Holder one of the greatest lead singer names of all-time?
Monday, February 25, 2008
It's that time of year again. After all the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, it's time for the awards that really matter - The Pop Eye Awards. Since this is the third year I've done this, I probably should come up with some kind of name for them. I do kind of like Schmoscars, but what do you all think? The Poppies? The Beckos? Whatever you call 'em, here they are...
Hottest Chick of the Night: Marion Cotillard. I had never heard of her before this year, but she walked away with the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Edith Piaf. This proves that, once again, all a beautiful woman needs to do is get a bit ugly to be considered a great actress. (She may have given a very good performance, but that's beside the point.) There is still a double standard in Hollywood, obviously, or John Travolta would've easily won for his role as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray! Anyway, getting back on track...I can't say I was that wild about Marion's dress, but it did kind of make her look like a mermaid. Regardless of what (or who) she was wearing, she looked gorgeous. (Last year's winner: Reese Witherspoon.)
Hottest Chick Runner-Up: Katherine Heigl, who looked very Marilyn-esque last night. (Last year's winner: Kate Winslet.)
Hottest Guy of the Night: John Travolta. Duh. If you don't know me by now, you will never never never know me, oooooh ooh. Once again, he's sporting that really closely-cut hairdo which I do not love. It cost him the "Hottest Guy" award in the first Schmoscar ceremony, but I'm not going to be such a stickler this year. I love him in spite of that haircut. (Last year's winner: John Travolta.)
Hottest Guy Runner-Up: Patrick Dempsey and his glorious mane. Unlike Travolta, I think if Patrick shaved all of his hair off, I wouldn't dig him as much. (Last year's winner: Robert Downey, Jr.)
Best Hair of the Night: McDreamy! See above. (Last year's winner: Will Ferrell.)
Worst Dressed: Tilda Swinton. Last night I compared her dress to "something that fell out of a bat's ass." I stick by that assessment. It didn't help that she looked like she'd been locked up in an attic with no windows for two months. When you're that pasty, you probably shouldn't pull your hair back and drape yourself in black. And it wouldn't have killed her to slap on some blush. (Last year's winner: Naomi Watts.)
Most Ill-Fitting Tux: Javier Bardem. Hopefully you can tell from this picture...click to enlarge. Just look at those lapels! They're tiny! It's like someone sewed kid's lapels onto a man's jacket. Weird.
Best Impression of a Dinner Napkin: Cameron Diaz takes it for the second year in a row! 'Atta girl! (Last year's winner: Cameron Diaz.)
Best Impression of a Hot Dog Topping: Kelly Preston forced me to bring this category back. Much like her predecessor, Michelle Williams, both ladies are gorgeous and the dresses themselves are very figure-flattering and well-designed. But, UGH, that color! Kelly can thumb her nose at me though, because she gets to be the mustard on John Travolta's hot dog. I kept trying to think of a way to put that without it sounding dirty, but it just doesn't work. (Last year's winner: no one; 2006 winner: Michelle Williams.)
Creepiest Nominee: Saoirse Ronan. I just look at this kid and I start to hear those crazy Latin devil-chants. I don't think I could ever bring myself to see Atonement. (New category, but Eva Green won a similar award last year, "Scariest Looking Chick.")
Best Reason for Better Security: Another category that disappeared last year, but has returned with its originator, Gary Busey! Busey totally disrupted Ryan Seacrest's red carpet interview with Laura Linney and Jennifer Garney by shouting at Seacrest and then pawing at Garner. My favorite part was when Garner was like, "Where's Ben?" Yeah, as if Ben Affleck could take on Busey. (Last year's winner: no one; 2006 winner: Gary Busey.)
Best Sourpuss: Renee Zellweger, of course. I can't believe this hasn't been a category every year. She's always at the Oscars. (New category.)
Best Moment of the Night: Jon Stewart allowing Marketa Irglova to come back out onstage to give her acceptance speech. Screw you, "wrap-it-up" orchestra! (New category.)
Worst Moment of the Night: Amy Adams' performance of that bad Cinderella knock-off song about scrubbing the bathtub or whatever. Maybe it was cute in the context of the movie (Enchanted), but last night it just felt like the reanimated Walt Disney threw up all over the stage. As if the snubbing of ALL of Eddie Vedder's music from Into the Wild wasn't painful enough. (New category.)
Best "Make BeckEye Insanely Jealous" Move: Oh, what's wrong, Kelly Preston? It's not enough that you get to spend every day of your life with John Travolta? You have to get smooches from Patrick Dempsey?? Arrrrrrghhhhh! You big, beautiful bottle of mustard, you!! (New category.)
And finally, the "Why Does This Woman Get Invited To The Oscars When She Has No Reason For Being There Other Than To Wear a Slinky Dress and Show Off Her Perfect Body?" Award goes to....Lisa Rinna. I had to change this category a bit last year for Jessica Biel, but nobody is more out of place at the Oscars than our gal, Lisa. Maybe Miley Cyrus, but this category is traditionally for a "kinda slutty" woman. I'll give Miley a few years. Maybe she can win this after she starts hanging with Paris and Lindsay. (Last year's winner: none, but Jessica Biel won a similar trophy. 2006 winner: Lisa Rinna.)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
* Josh Brolin and James McAvoy presented Joel and Ethan Coen with the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Big deal. I'd just like to see more of Josh's face and hear more of James's accent.
* Travolta sighting #3 (in the "voting process video.") Goooood. But where did all that hair suddenly come from??
* Miley Cyrus got to be a presenter? Lisa Rinna might have some competition for that "Person Who Has No Reason for Being at the Oscars" award that I give out every year.
* Kristen Chenowith performed another nominated song from Enchanted, "How Does She Know." Gee, I liked this better the first time I heard it in The Little Mermaid, when it was called "Kiss the Girl."
* Jon Stewart announced that three ladies in the audience were pregnant: Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman. He then announced that, "The baby goes to...Angelina Jolie!" Then he said that Angelina couldn't be there because it was too hard to get 17 babysitters. Like "he's crazy" Tom Cruise jokes, "she has too many kids" jokes about Angelina never get old.
* Seth Rogen and his mini-me from Superbad stopped by to engage in some rather non-witty banter about which one of them got to be Halle Berry and which one had to be Dame Judi Dench. For as much as mini-Seth said he wanted to be Halle, he kept calling her "Holly."
* Forest Whitaker presented the Best Actress Oscar to Marion Cotillard for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. She showed everyone how to french inhale, because the guys really go for it.
* Colin Farrell almost slipped on something and called for a clean-up on Stage 2. Then he introduced another nominated song, "Falling Slowly" from the Irish indie flick, Once. I keep hearing good things about this movie and I currenly have it in my Netflix queue. My anger over Eddie's snub dissipated slightly as this song unfolded because it was very pretty with nice lyrics. I immediately thought, "Sweet song from an indie movie - it has no chance to win."
* Renee Zellweger came straight from the Lemon Sucking Contest to present the Editing Oscar. I swear she must memorize her lines. Can't read cue cards if you have no eyes.
* Nicole Kidman presented the Honorary Oscar to 98 year-old production designer/art director, Robert Boyle. He actually looked pretty damn good for 98. That's Hollywood!
* Patrick Dempsey and his beautiful head of hair introduced yet another nominated song from Enchanted, "So Close." Who was that kid singing? He was like an American Idol reject. Kid, if you can't hit the high notes, don't try them! Especially not on live TV!
* TRAVOLTA! Finally, my man took the stage. He came out dancing with one of those princesses from the Enchanted number. He also slipped on whatever Colin Farrell did, so I guess the clean-up crew decided to go on strike. Either that or Jon Stewart is a heavy drooler. John presented the award for Best Original Song, and I was hoping that he would make me love him more (if that's even possible) by going on a tirade about Eddie's snub, but no such luck. To my astonishment, "Falling Slowly" actually won! Thank goodness. Glen Hansard, lead singer of The Frames, and Marketa Irglova were very gracious winners and it seemed like a lot of the audience had been pulling for them. (And that Glen sure had a nice Irish brogue.) After the "wrap it up" music cut Irglova off before she could say anything, Jon Stewart had her come back out onstage and she said a few nice words of encouragement to all of the indie artists out there, plugging away.
* Jon Stewart announced that there was a "Boeing 747 with its lights on," and John Travolta came running back out onstage. Cute. I'll kill anyone who says otherwise.
* Cameron Diaz showed up just to annoy me. Ah, she's so dependable.
* Hilary Swank intro'd the "In Memoriam" montage. Those things always bother me because it seems a little disrespectful when people clap for the people that they know, so it ends up that some people get a lot of applause and some people get none. It's almost like saying, "These people's lives were more important than these ones." I'm not an uber-sensitive person, but that's just how it always comes off to me. I feel like they should have silence during the montage, and then clap for everyone when it's over. But, whatever. Anyway, I knew Heath Ledger would be the last one they showed but....NO BRAD RENFRO??? What the hell?? That really pissed me off.
* Amy Adams presented the award for Best Original Score - a category that also had a notable snub. Apparently, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood was disqualified from contention because "the majority of the music was not composed specifically for the film." Hmm, I wonder if my Canadian friend, Barbara, is also pissed at Oscar this year?
* No one can accuse Tom Hanks of having cosmetic surgery. Man, he's starting to look old!
* Helen Mirren presented the Best Actor Oscar to Daniel Day Lewis. Gee, no one saw that coming. I fliipped back to Rock of Love, so I have no idea how many "milkshake" jokes were made.
* Best Director and Picture went to Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men.
* And is if it wasn't bad enough that Eddie was snubbed...why in the hell wasn't Will Ferrell there??
I'll be doling out the special Pop Eye awards tomorrow. For past categories and winners, see here and here.
* Two of the "big" awards were handed out - Best Supporting Actor and Actress, won by Javier Bardem and Tilda Swinton, respectively. I haven't seen any of the nominated films this year, so I have absolutely no thoughts on these wins. I'll just say that if Javier Bardem's performance hadn't been so hyped, Hal Holbrook probably would've won the "How Many More Chances Will He Have to Win" Award.
* What in the hell was Tilda Swinton wearing? She was making fun of George Clooney's bat-suit, but she looked like something that just fell out of a bat's ass.
* Owen Wilson and a huge elephant walked into the room to present the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film. It was Les Mozart des Pickpockets. YES!! In your face, producers of Il Supplente!!
* Jerry Seinfeld's animated bee showed up again. He should change his name to Bee-yonce.
* The second nominated song, "Raise it Up," was a song that no one has heard from a movie that no one bothered paying to see - August Rush. Maybe I'm still gagging from all the contestants' sob stories on the first few weeks of American Idol, but I'm just not feeling the "my parents left me but I'll make my dreams come true anyway" message. Some of these kids can really sing though. That 11 year-old blew it out the box!
* Travolta sighting #2. Gooooood.
I was planning to boycott the Oscars, since they snubbed Eddie Vedder in the Best Original Song category. But there's nothing else on. Actually, I just realized that I'm missing Rock of Love, but there's always a repeat at 11:00.
My thoughts on the show so far...
* John Travolta sighting. Gooooood.
* Jon Stewart looks good. He said something that really made me laugh, but now I can't remember it so maybe it really wasn't that funny.
* If I looked like Katherine Heigl, I would never be nervous about speaking in public. Get over it, lady!
* Oh, this Amy Adams song from Enchanted is so much better than any of those lyrically thoughtful songs that Eddie Vedder wrote for Into the Wild. I haven't heard a song this good since I got stuck on one of the rides in Disney World. Who's nominating the songs this year? The Seven Dwarves? I have a feeling I'm going to be very angry tonight.
* Catherine Zeta-Jones mini- interview. Gooooood.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Hey music fans, I'm helping to run yet another MySpace page for a great band. (Tom who?) My pals and former Bogmen, Billy and Brendan Ryan, have teamed up with legendary songwriter, Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, to form a new musical project called GanoRyan. Six of the 22 songs they recorded are up on the MySpace page for your listening pleasure, and we should have stuff available for download soon. I strongly suggest that you mosey on over there and take a listen.
I don't think I have any frat boy readers but, just in case, a little warning: If you're expecting "Blister in the Sun" Parts I - VI, you might be disappointed. Just continue that game of flip cup already in progress.
Friday, February 22, 2008
My constant drooling over American Idol's Aussie Hottie, Michael Johns, got me thinking about other Aussies I love (Michael Hutchence, Jon Farriss, The Finns, Hugh Jackman, all those Daddo brothers) and my mind suddenly turned to Baby Animals, a down-under band who had one minor hit in the U.S. and then promptly disappeared from the northern hemisphere. It may have been minor and quickly forgotten, but I loved "Painless" from the moment I laid ears on it around 1992. It's remained a favorite song of mine over these last 16 years.
I bought Baby Animals' self-titled album based on the strength of this single, and I was pretty disappointed overall. There were one or two other decent songs on the record, but most of it sounded rather unfinished and amateurish to me. Still, I always thought leader Suze DeMarchi should've been a bigger star, and I coveted her raspy voice, pouty lips and perfectly tousled hair. Those latter two qualities were probably greatly responsible for any success this song had, once it found a home on MTV.
(Side note for trivia buffs: Suze married Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt in the late '90s, filling that hole in his heart. I have no idea if they're still together.)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
First results show of the season, and I'm 3 for 4 already. I was right about the two girls - Amy and Joanne were sent packing. I also correctly guessed that Garrett got the boot, but I was genuinely surprised to see Colton go. It should've been Luke Menard, as I predicted, or that smart-ass, Chikezie. I guess that the swashbuckling crooner, Orluko Bloomard, ended up with a bigger percentage of the all-important tween vote.
Yeah, Orluko Bloomard isn't as funny as Chrustin Richardslake. I'm afraid nothing ever will be.
Last night, the Top 12 girls took the stage while I was languishing in Pittsburgh Airport. As I have no DVRing capabilities, I had to catch up on the performances today via YouTube. Now, here is my half-assed recap!
Horse enthusiast, Kristy Lee Cook, took hold of the reins to start the show. The only song she was able to do really well all through the auditions was "Amazing Grace," so when she started singing Aretha's "Rescue Me," I wasn't surprised to find that it wasn't, well, amazing. It wasn't horrible, but like Simon said, if you're going to pick a song like that, you have to really belt it. She did not. Then the violins started and Ryan told the sad, sad story about how half of the girls have the flu and/or bronchitis. These girls are so brave just to take the stage! THESE ARE THE BRAVEST TOP 12 GIRLS EVER!!
Plus-size model, Joanne Borgella sang Dionne Warwick's "I Say A Little Prayer," but Tyra and Nigel told her that she looked like she was very uncomfortable during the shoot. Oh hell. I have my shows mixed up again. Regardless of who told her that she looked uncomfortable, she did. In parts, she almost sounded like a guy singing falsetto. She didn't sound bad, but it wasn't the greatest thing I've ever heard. Simon was his usual moody self, which I loved. He's obviously trying to win me back, but I think I'm staying with the Aussie Hottie this year.
Alaina Whitaker put us in reruns already, by singing "More Today Than Yesterday," previously mangled by Chikezie on Tuesday's show. These kids have a whole decade to pick from, and they're already repeating each other? Not groovy, man, not groovy! At any rate, Alaina did a much better job than Chikezie did, even though I wasn't as wowed by her as the judges were. She sounded like she was trying too hard.
Rock 'n' roll nurse, Amanda Overmyer said before her performance that she would never sing a Janis Joplin song on the show to avoid comparisons, but she never promised that she wouldn't try to sound like Janis covering someone else. She growled her way through "Baby Please Don't Go," which the judges loved. I didn't get it. I mean, I love rock 'n' roll, but come on. Put another dime in the jukebox and put on something good. The judges all blathered on about how original she was, but she just came off as a third-rate Ann Wilson to me. I liked her in her first audition, but I'm starting to think that she could only be the winner at her local bar's karaoke competition.
Following that loud display was meek and mild trade show model, Amy Davis. Another model!?! Now you can see why I'm confusing my reality shows. Wow, she was not good. She sang "Where the Boys Are," and I'm guessing that she'll be where the bottom two boys are after tonight.
Another repeat, Brooke White picked "Happy Together," already done well on boys' night by Jason Cook. Brooke still looks a bit like a young Rebecca DeMornay, but she looked much blonder than I remember. I almost couldn't look directly at her hair for fear that it would burn my retinas. I like this girl and I think she has a good voice, but I don't know if this was the best choice for her. She didn't really do anything new with it. Paula assured me that I'm right in my assessment when she told Brooke that she was "such an original." She keeps using that word. I do not think it means what she thinks it means. Simon channeled Paula when he went on some tangent about "washing up liquid," which I assumed was body soap but discovered it's actually dishwashing soap. The Brits always make everything sound so much better, don't they?
With not nearly enough cowbell, Alexandrea Lushington rolled out "Spinning Wheel." When she first came out, I thought she was going to take a dump on the steps like that one chick on Flavor Flav's show. This started out pretty good, but got progressively worse. She lost me with the high notes, and her voice wasn't rockin' enough for the chorus. Yet, Randy's doors were blown off somehow and Paula used "dope" - the word and the substance. Simon agreed with me that it wasn't that good. As I said, he's trying to get me back.
The best Britney Spears impersonator I've ever seen, Kady Malloy, took the stage next to perform Phil Collins' "Groovy Kind of Love." Psych! That wasn't an original Phil Collins joint. What's sad is that I bet most of these kids aren't even old enough to remember the Phil version, let alone the Mindbenders original. The judges were pretty hard on her, and rightfully so. Paula had to use her stand-by "you're pretty" critique since there was nothing else to say. Simon cracked me up by telling Kady that she was a great impersonator, but that the only one who could impersonate her is a "pencil or something." Oh man, he is trying really hard. He knows I still love him, but I still can't break the spell of Aussie lust.
Benefiting from Amanda's ban on Janis tunes, Asia'h Epperson took on her "Piece of My Heart," and did a great job. She was able to mold that very familiar song to her own style. She reminded me a little bit of Alicia Keys - a cute, little girl with a sultry, soulful voice who seemed to really enjoy herself. She was Simon's favorite of the evening, so what the other two talking heads had to say wasn't really important. Not that it ever is.
Following that was Ramiele Malubay, who angers me because it usually takes me 5 times to spell her name correctly. I was hoping that she would suck just so that I wouldn't have to keep typing it week after week. Her rendition of Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" didn't suck, but it wasn't as good as I expected from her either. I found the backup singers more interesting throughout the whole song. All the judges loved it though.
Hoping to be less boring than last year's Phil Stacey, Syesha Mercado gave her take on The Nashville Teens' "Tobacco Road." Well, she definitely has about 150% more hair than Phil, but she was just about as boring. It must be that song. It's always been kind of a dumb song, so I don't know why these kids keep picking it. Syesha has a good voice, but she didn't show it that well last night. But she yelled at the end, so Randy liked it. Paula shouted a bunch of adjectives at no one in particular. Simon didn't really care that Syesha didn't give a great performance because he likes her. That's fine. I'm glad he's found someone new.
Another non-coincidence (just like Michael last night) - the "ringer," Carly Smithson went last. She performed "Shadow of Your Smile", and even though it's kind of a cheesy, drinking-rusty nails-on-some-rich-guy's-yacht kind of song, she still blew it out the box, yo. Randy and Paula loved her to pieces, but Simon wasn't really impressed. He thought that she didn't really live up to all the "hype" and "buzz" about her. Then Paula gave her microphone a handjob and Carly looked like she might vomit. We've all been there, honey.
So, what two girls will be hitting the road tonight? As I mentioned before, I'm sure that Amy will be booted. As for the other gal, based on last night's performances it should probably be Kady Malloy. But because she's so likable and does a dead-on Spears imitation, it will be Joanne. She was just kind of forgettable.