Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Idol 8 Results: 2/26/09

Ryan kicks off results night by talking about "the power of the vote," then turns slowly to look at Normund Gentle and menacingly asks the TV viewing audience, "What have you done??"

Nice try, Ryan. We all know that even if everyone on Earth voted for Normund last night, the judges ain't having it. Power of the vote, my ass.

Ryan flirts a bit with Simon, and then it's time for the dreaded group sing. If I can say anything positive about it, it would be that Group 2 seems to understand harmony a lot better than Group 1. But why are they being forced to sing Ne-Yo's "Closer?" This is even funnier than Normund's routine last night, mostly because it's not intended to be funny.

Part 1 of the needlessly long results show begins with Ryan bringing Allison down to the stage. He asks her to step aside, and then brings down Jesse. He asks her to step aside, and brings down Matt Breitzke. My God, they're really running out of elimination configurations. Pretty soon, Ryan will just ask all the contestants to form a human pyramid and he'll pull three people out, leaving the others to collapse into a big pile of broken bones.

Randy and I accurately predict that Allison is the first one to be sent over to the uncomfortable stools. All Allison wants to do is sit down, but Ryan forces her to sing "Alone" again, naturally. (I love it when a musical pun comes together.) Allison sounds pretty much the same as she did last night, but her hair is especially helmety tonight.

For the next cuts, Megan and Kris are brought down to center stage together. Uh-huh. I knew it! These are the two that I had a hard time choosing between. If I'm given a 50/50 shot at something, I make the wrong choice 90% of the time. Therefore, I'm thinking that it will probably be Kris, and not Megan as I predicted.

But then Ryan throws a monkey wrench into the proceedings by also bringing down Matt Giraud and Jeanine. Everyone knows that we've seen the last of Jeanine's short shorts, but Giraud is kind of popular with the ladies and, despite his dismal performance last night, the judges like him. Just as I start to wonder if I might have been all wrong, Seacrest tells Jeanine and Giraud to take a hike, leaving it between Megan and Kris once again.

Ryan asks Kara who she thinks it will be and she takes a page from Paula's book by blathering on aimlessly and never making a decision. When Simon starts rolling his eyes and moaning that she's just rambling, Kara's claws come out. She snaps, "I'm giving them advice, which is partially what I'm here to do," all while shooting daggers at Paula. Drunky just sits there counting the ceiling tiles, trying to pretend like she never said that hiring a fourth judge was a mistake.

As I predicted just a second ago, my original prediction was wrong. Kris Allen moves into the Top 12. That's fine. He's about the closest we have to a cute guy this year. Unfortunately, we have to hear "Man in the Mirror" one more time. He should really throw some "sha-mons" in there for the hell of it. He's already made it through. Why not have a little fun? You know that Normund would've done it.

Ryan is being much too efficient, so the show needs to be padded a bit. Cue the Idol retrospective set to "What a Wonderful World" that aired at the beginning of this season. AI has gotten tons of positive emails about this? Really?? It never ceases to amaze me how easily entertained some people are.

Tonight's musical guest is Season 7 contestant Brooke White, who advises all the contestants to never Google their own names. Ah, Brooke. Still sporting that very thin skin, I see. She performs her new single, "Hold Up My Heart," and manages to not screw up the beginning. She tries really hard to be a poor man's Carole King and nearly succeeds. It's a decent song, but I'm thinking that the next time I hear it, I'll probably be in a dentist's chair.

The results continue as Ryan calls the remaining contestants - Mishavonna, Kai, Normund (who came as Nick tonight), Adam, and Jasmine. It's obvious that VFTW pick, Normund, will face off against pimp-spot Adam, just like Tatiana Del Toro and Danny Gokey were the last two standing last week. Sure enough, Seacrest strolls right by Normund and Adam, and lets Mishavonna, Kai, and Jasmine know that they're all out. Normund and Adam are left to wait through yet another break.

I'd just to take a second to address the bigwigs at FOX. Dear d-bags: It's physically and emotionally impossible for me to care less about who is sabotaging the chefs on Hell's Kitchen. Unless you boil Gordon Ramsey alive in oil, I will never, ever, never, ever, never, ever watch this show. Never. Give it up.

Okay, I'm back. And so is AI. Adam and Normund, Normund and Adam. Who will it be? No surprises here - Adam gets the nod. Once again, I'm 2 for 3 in my picks.

Adam graciously gives Normund kudos for being "hilarious" before launching into his divatastic version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" one more time. I seriously doubt we'll see Normund in the Wild Card round, but I'm holding out hope that Tatiana will make her triumphant return!

Group 3 is up next week and...oh...my....God. In the Group 3 preview, they made the blind guy dance. With his cane. Seriously. I can't even wait for the mess that will be next week's group sing.

Group 3 is:

  • Arianna Afsar
  • Felicia Barton
  • Kendall Beard
  • Ju'Not Joyner
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Nathaniel Marshall
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Lil Rounds
  • Von Smith
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Alex Wagner-Trugman



Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

American Idol 8: And I Am Telling You This is Not a Singing Competition

Cue dramatic music. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lighting. All quiet in the studio. Seacrest enters and asks, "Where else can you find a welder, bartender, font designer, and a comedian?" Uhhh....ooh, ooh! I know! Clue? A Village People concert? Flashdance? (Yeah, I'm pretty sure Tina Tech was a font designer by day.)

Hmm, apparently my answers are all incorrect. All of these professions are represented by the contestants in Group 2 of American Idol's Top 36.

I know it's going to be a weird night because Ryan is dressed like a 12-year-old boy. Also, the judges are arranged backwards, and they've decided to switch up who gets to critique first with each contestant. Gee, I can't wait to hear Paula try to form her own opinion.

As with last week, tonight's theme is Songs (from any year) on the Billboard Hot 100. As with last week, contestants will probably still manage to pick all of the most tired or completely wrong songs out of the thousands available.

First up is Jasmine Murray who always gets big love from the judges for having such a commercial look. She opts for Sarah Bareilles' "Love Song," which, I imagine, is for Kara's benefit since she suggested it to Anne Marie (a little too late) last week. Jasmine spends about 90 seconds looking for the right key but never finds it. Randy is no longer speaking in full sentences, opting instead to just bark out some of his outdated buzzwords and phrases. His critique adds up to: "yo, aight, yo, check it, pitchy." Paula must have cracked the bottle earlier than usual this morning because she is hammered. Kara and Simon are disappointed in Jasmine's lousy performance because she is just so darn commercial! Gee, it's so unfortunate that her vocals aren't up to par, because they could never successfully market a pretty girl who can't sing.

Jasmine is actually surprised by the negative comments and stands there grinning like an idiot. Then, she tells Ryan that she tried voting for everyone last week. And....there it goes. My last nerve just snapped in half.

Matt Giraud takes the stage next to sing "Livin' La Vida Loca." Er, I'm sorry, make that "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. I started to warm up to this guy during Hollywood week, so I had high hopes for him. But he's suddenly turned into Goat Boy. Who the heck tries to give the Stevie Wonder treatment to a Coldplay song? That's as silly as trying to make a rap version of Air Supply's "All Out of Love." I'm disturbed that Kara and I are on the same wavelength, as she tells Matt that the song he chose "doesn't lend itself to that type of [bluesy] interpretation." Paula agrees that it's the wrong song, but applauds him for "bringing what he brought to it." She's so wise. Simon calls Matt a "wannabe popstar," while Randy trots out, "yo, mad talent, yo, you got it like that, work it out man." When Matt says that this is the kind of music he wants to make, the judges all turn on him and warn him that he won't make it unless he stays in the box they've created for him.

Somebody named Jeanine Vailes is taking the stage to sing "This Love" by Turd Levine and Maroon 5. Since this girl has never been on camera until now, the odds of her making it through are slim to none, even if she's as good as Ricky Braddy was last week. I'm already skeptical because of the horrible outfit. She looks like she just left the boardroom and is in the middle of changing into her nighttime street corner work clothes. Add to that the awful song choice, and I hate her before she even opens her mouth. Then, she justifies my hate by opening her mouth and making an already bad song even worse. She sucks. All the judges are pretty much in agreement over this. Paula, always looking for a bright side, tells Jeanine that she has great legs. All the judges are pretty much in agreement over this, also. Kara stares blankly at her for a second and then says, "I'm trying to think of what else about you is pretty." Wow, you know, I'm no fan of Jeanine, but I kind of wish she'd run over there, wrap her gorgeous legs around Kara's neck and just snap it like some kind of Bond villain. What a condescending bitch. Instead, Jeanine just stands there and tries to blame her suckage on her "under the radar" status. Yes, that must be it. If she had only gotten more screen time, she would've known how to sing in tune. Well, maybe she can go do some Nair commercials or something and then come back next year.

And now, the moment everyone has been waiting for. Who will the next contestant be - Nick Mitchell or Normund Gentle? Nick appears in the pre-performance interview, but it is Normund who takes the stage. Knowing that he probably doesn't have a chance in hell to make it through to the Top 12, he doesn't bother to learn a new song and pulls out his trusty Dreamgirls favorite, "And I Am Telling You." Everyone in the audience is stunned that he is making a mockery out of the whole show. He sings in a very nasally tone (a nod to Chrustin Richardslake™, perhaps), hits some horrible high notes, sings to Doogie (who's down in front yet again, sans Ted Danson), humps the Idol logo, and basically takes a huge dump on stage and revels in rubbing the judges' noses in it. The funny thing is, although he hits some really nasty notes, he really doesn't have a bad voice. It wasn't nearly as bad as any of the last three performances, and it certainly wasn't boring. Randy thinks Normund is entertaining, and Kara actually says something funny when she mentions that Normund wears the same shirt every week, just like Simon. Paula thinks Normund is paying homage to Olivia Newton-John and/or Jerry Lewis, and uses about 5,000 words to basically say, "you're fun."

Simon, however, is not entertained and "prays that Normund does not go through to the next round." Well, the judges put him in the Top 36, so why not? It would be hilarious if he made it to the Top 12, but I don't think he will. Not even with the support of all the Worsters or everyone else in the world. The producers (and Simon) will never let it happen.

Paula's drunkest moment comes when Seacrest asks her if she would vote for Normund based on that performance. At first, she starts mumbling something, and when Ryan asks her again to answer the question, she says that she thought he was talking to Simon. Then, when she finally does answer, her response is literally, "Y'know what...eee...sss....it...uh blah blah blah blah blah." And that, folks, is why she makes the big bucks.

Allison Irehata, 16, is interviewed by Ryan, and she acts like she's been drinking from Paula's cup. The 16-year-old then tries her hand at Heart's "Alone," one of the songs I suggested should be retired from the show. Obviously, no one listens to me. I'm all set to hate this because I remember 16-year-old Allison from Hollywood week and thought she was awful, even though the judges labeled the 16-year-old "the dark horse." However, I'm rather surprised because, aside from a little growling and shrieking in some parts, it's pretty good overall. This 16-year-old definitely can sing and is the best so far. The judges milk the catch-phrase cow dry on this one:
Randy - "blew it out the box, yo"
Kara - "you have serious chops"
Paula - "you could sing the telephone book"
Simon - "the competition just started"
All together now - "you're only 16!!!"

Allison's performance is even more impressive when you realize that she's only 16 years old. My, what a powerful voice for a 16-year-old. Did I mention that she's only 16?

We're finally treated to a cute guy in the form of Kris Allen. He looks like a metrosexual version of Ryan Adams. For some reason, he chooses to sing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," and it's pretty boring. This is the second performance in a row that has actually been in tune, so I probably shouldn't complain, but he's actually become instantly less cute to me because he's so dull. Ryan Adams would probably smash a whiskey bottle off this guy's face. Kara says Kris made a bad song choice and that he wasn't as good tonight as he was during Hollywood Week. I can't believe that Kara and I keep agreeing. Paula and Simon disagree with us, and Simon tries his hardest to swing the vote towards a commercial-looking person, since no one in their right mind will vote for Jasmine. He says that chicks will love Kris, even though he's not as good of a singer as Danny Gokey. (Amazing that they manage to pimp Danny on a night when he's not even performing. Ugh.) I'm not exactly sure whose side Randy is on. I think "nice jump off, baby" is probably a good thing, right?

Dressed up like a Cabbage Patch Doll, Megan Corkrey sings Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" while making stupid faces. She also makes Casey Carlson look like Cyd Charisse with her one dance move, the torso-jerk. Her vocals aren't bad, but they're not great either. Usually, the contestants start out a little shaky and gradually get better, but Megan is doing the opposite. Paula says that Megan did everything right, while Simon agrees with me that the song started well but was a bit overdone in the second half. He hopes America votes for her though because she's relevant and pretty. Randy says she's definitely got the "Duffy and Adele vibe dropping off." And Kara uses her favorite term: package artist. Kara and Simon are already imagining all of the money that Megan could potentially make for them.

Matt Breitzke reminds me of a song I had forgotten all about - Tonic's "If You Could Only See." I always liked the song, but thought that the singer's voice was a little annoying. Unfortunately, it sounds like Matt is trying to imitate him. All of the judges basically say the same thing: "We like you, the song didn't suit you, every note was in key, but the performance was boring." Translation: "We already have a blue-collar guy in the Top 12. Sorry. No room."


Jesse Langseth takes time out from being a single mom, trying to hide the fact that she's Jonny Lang's sister, and getting arrested for DUIs to sing Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." At the risk of sounding like Paula, Jesse really does have a nice tone to her voice, but sometimes it just seems like she's forcing this bluesy chick schtick. Kara thinks Jesse looks great but sounds just "okay," and Randy is not blown out his box. Paula and Simon are on opposite sides of the fence with Jesse, as Paula finds her "captivating" and Cowell thinks she's "forgettable." Simon says that the performance was "too cool for school." Well, I've got a news flash, Walter Cronkite. It wasn't.

Looking like a lopsided Chia-Pet is Kai Kalama, who sings Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." He's a little dull, but sounds perfectly fine to me. I was sure that the judges would fawn over him, especially since his sick mother is in the audience, be-bopping to the music. Surprisingly, they all have generally negative critiques. Kara thinks the song was too old-fashioned and that Kai "fell off pitch" sometimes. Paula thinks, ooooh, "fell off pitch" sounds smart and so repeats the sentiment. Simon thinks Kai is a little corny and would make a much better back-up singer. Randy thinks that Kai played it too safe. Translation: "We already have a 'Very Special Contestant' in the Top 12, and the Blind Guy will probably make it through next week, so that's two. Sorry. No room."

The contestant with the most ridiculous name, Mishavonna Henson, sings a song with some of the most ridiculous lyrics ever written, Train's "Drops of Jupiter." She's got a nice, husky voice, but she sounds a little pitchy to me, dawg. And this is just such an awful song. The judges all agree that it was a poor song choice for her, but all seem to actually think the song itself is good. Why does that not surprise me? Simon thinks Mishavonna is too serious and Randy wants her to "shake it out," whatever that means. Kara says the same thing she has used as her "big but" in just about every negative critique: "That's the thing with you, you really are a good singer." Yep, just one more good singer they chose not to pimp, who has virtually no shot at the Top 12.

The night finally ends (huzzah!) with the fierce and fabulous Adam Lambert. I never imagined in a million years that he would cover "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," but he does. And it's like Jagger: The Musical. Good Lord, I LOVE HIM. He's kind of hilarious because he's so over-the-top and theatrical, but there is no doubt that the boy can sing his face off. Paula stands and delivers her trademark seal clap. She begins her critique with, "I don't even have words to express that," and then babbles incoherently to prove her point. Kara praises Adam's "outrageous" vocal technique and amazing range. Simon thinks that people will either love this performance or hate it, and Randy is among those who love it. In fact, he thinks it's "da bomb." Then, he starts bellowing, "What? WHAT? Come on!!" to no one in particular.

Adam will definitely make it through to the Top 12. He's one of the best technical singers they have, has been heavily featured throughout every stage of the competition, and it's no accident that he was in the pimp spot tonight.

I think the top girl will be Allison, so that only leaves the question of who will be the third pick. I'm debating between Kris and Megan, either of whom could easily be brought back for the Wild Card round. Tween girls will definitely like Kris, but I'm not sure they'll vote for him when they have probably never heard that Michael Jackson song before. They will probably like Megan a little more because she sang something current and kind of looks like Reese Witherspoon. So, that's my Top 3: Adam, Allison and Megan.

The results will be revealed tomorrow night, and Brooke White is stopping by to perform her new single. I wonder if she'll teach everyone how to stop and restart a song on live TV?


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.

Opening Monologue

Access Hollywood reported that Carson Daly is taking his show, Last Call With Carson Daly, to L.A. and San Francisco for a week to help promote new musical acts. After hearing this announcement, the question lingering on everyone's minds was, "Carson Daly still has a show??"

Denise Richards recently told Ellen DeGeneres that it was her kids who got her through the post-Charlie Sheen years of "public scrutiny and humiliation." It was then that she realized how important they were to her. Public scrutiny and humiliation, that is. And she is making sure that her daughters experience the joy they can bring with a second season of Denise Richards: It's Complicated, premiering later this year!

Britney Spears is planning a real "Circus" for her upcoming tour, which features plenty of magic and stunts, including Spears being sawed in half. Rumor has it that she will close out the last show of the tour with the most dangerous and difficult trick of all - singing on key for an entire song. (Without a net or a backing track!)

(Insert brief, horn-filled musical interlude here.)

Thanks, folks! I've got a great blog for you tonight! The American Idol recap will be here, so stick around!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

This week's vid is for yet another song that popped into my head recently for no apparent reason. Most of you remember Ray Parker, Jr. as the Ghostbusters' shill, and some of you (old folks like me) may even remember his late '70s/early '80s band, Raydio, and their hits "You Can't Change That," and "A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)." The latter song is a cautionary tale for men who are kidding themselves into thinking that they don't (need that love), and warns them that the ladies can fool around just like the boys do.

Infidelity is a common theme with Ray Parker, Jr., as "The Other Woman" seems to be a cautionary tale for men who like sneaking around. Oh, it's not warning men to not cheat in the first place. That would be crazy! No, Ray is basically just reminding them to hit it once and then break away clean, or they might actually start to see "it" as a real person with feelings.

You know, this guy is like the musical equivalent of Billy Dee Williams - a rather handsome, cool, charming, mustachioed lothario with just a hint of creepiness simmering under the surface. Like, you know he has some weird-ass fetish. Or, at the very least, his skincare regimen is lengthy and freakishly complicated,like Patrick Bateman's.

Whatever his issue is, this 1982 video proves that Ray was into spirits and monsters well before "Ghostbusters." He was even funking up the graveyard before Michael Jackson.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars, Schmoscars

Welcome to The Pop Eye's 4th Annual Schmoscar Awards! No song and dance numbers here...I'll just get right to it.

Hottest Chick of the Night: I'll have to go with Kate Winslet on this one. I didn't see CZJ anywhere in the audience (even though her hubby was presenting), so Kate was probably the next highest up on my lesbian list of anyone there. She always looks stunning, so it's hard not to pick her for this category. And her dress was gorgeous. (Last year's winner: Marion Cotillard.)


Hottest Chick Runner-Up: We didn't see much of her during the telecast, but I found pics of Evan Rachel Wood online after the show and thought she just looked fantastic. The "Greek goddess" look achieved with the classic updo and flowing, neutral gown reminded me a lot of the winner of the first Hot Chick award in 2006, Uma Thurman. (Last year's winner: Katherine Heigl.)

Hottest Guy of the Night: I didn't expect John Travolta to be at the ceremony, so I figured there was a 90% chance that this award would go the host this year. And sure enough, the Schmoscar goes to Hugh Jackman. My only complaint? His tux was not a tear-away. How dare he. He had to know that every single woman (and a lot of men) watching were just counting down the minutes until he took his shirt off. We were robbed! (Last year's winner: John Travolta.)


Hottest Guy Runner-Up:
I guess it will have to go to Robert Downey, Jr. Not to put him down or anything, because he did look good, but I didn't really see too many other hot dudes to pick from this year. Where was Patrick Dempsey? Ryan Gosling? Why is Ewan McGregor never there?? I will say that Zac Efron was looking pretty good, and I almost gave him this award. But when I looked at all of his pictures, he looked like he was 12 and I started to feel a little creepy. (Last year's winner: Patrick Dempsey.)

Worst Dressed: It's a trifecta of horrors this year, as I can't decide between Vanessa Hudgens, who looked like she stuffed herself inside a Victorian parasol; Meryl Streep, who appeared to be wrapped in a drab bedsheet; and Tilda Swinton, who opted for two bedsheets and must have hired David Bowie's Heroes-era stylist to do her hair and makeup. (Last year's winner: Tilda Swinton.)




Best Use of Fabric: I'm pretty sure that Reese Witherspoon's dress was made out of whatever was left over from the one Queen Latifah wore during the death montage/tribute song. Just one more sign of the recession.

Best Impression of a Dinner Napkin: Jessica Biel. Well, I am really impressed. I didn't think anyone could snag this award from Cameron Diaz, two-time winner and sole reason for this Schmoscar's existence. Perhaps knowing that Diaz would be absent from the proceedings, Biel bravely stepped up to ensure that this category would not be retired this year. (Last year's winner: Cameron Diaz.)

Best Impression of a Wedding Cake Topper: Miley Cyrus. Man, that thing was worse than any of the bridesmaid's dresses I was forced to wear in the '80s. I know that most of you were too busy trying to figure out why Hannah Montana was there in the first place to notice her dress, but it's really a pointless exercise. Just get used to her being everywhere. In fact, look out! She's right behind you! (New category; replaced "Best Impression of a Hot Dog Topping" due to all the neutral tones worn this year.)

Best Moment of the Night: Although James Franco and Seth Rogen's taped skit about watching all of 2008's comedies was pretty funny, nothing beat Hugh Jackman's opening number. I'm not even sure what I liked best about it - his general gorgeousness and talent, his dig at the Academy's annual snubbing of comic book movies, the Frost/Nixon duet with Anne Hathaway (who surprised me with her serious pipes), or the hilarious Sprockets-like techno interpretation of The Reader. Oh, I know what my favorite part was - the Craigslist dancers! I'm still laughing about that. (Last year's winner: Jon Stewart bringing Marketa Irglova back out onstage to give her acceptance speech.)

Worst Moment of the Night: The medley about musicals was totally not necessary and way too long. Even Hugh couldn't save that. And making it all the more intolerable was the presence of Beyoncé. Arrrrrgh. Look, I like her music but I'm just so sick of her. Aren't we all? I'm convinced now more than ever that she has actually cloned herself, like in that Michael Keaton movie that never won an Oscar. (Last year's winner: Amy Adams' completely out-of-context performance of a song from Enchanted.)

Best Reason to Wear a Garlic Necklace or Tie: Robert Pattinson. This guy honestly scares the bejeezuz out of me. I can't believe he's a teen heartthrob. He's either really a vampire or just a big-time heroin freak. This is a new category, but similar awards have been given to Gary Busey (two-time winner for "Best Reason for Better Security"), Saoirse Ronan ("Creepiest Nominee"), and Eva Green ("Scariest Looking Chick").

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....as ever, Lisa Rinna. I think I may just have to change the name of this award to the "Lisa Rinna Award." The original title is awfully clunky. (Last year's winner: Lisa Rinna. Duh.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

La-Dee-Da

So, yesterday was my birthday. As far as birthdays go, it was fine. It wasn't the worst day ever, but it wasn't exactly perfect either. But I have a pretty high standard of perfection.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol Results 2/18/09

Remember all the big changes that we were promised at the beginning of this new AI season? Unfortunately, eliminating the cheesy group sings is not one of them. Tonight's results show kicks off with a very Mickey Mouse Clubbish performance of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." Great googly moogly, I had forgotten how much I hate these very Brady numbers.

Seacrest recaps last night's tuneless torture, and generously labels the evening "raw." Then he chit-chats with the contestants before dimming the lights and cueing up the ultra-dramatic chopping block music.

Casey Carlson. You're hot. (My words, certainly not Seacrest's.) But you're out.

Stephen Fowler is up next. Kara tells him to stay behind the piano and to never come out again. Maybe he'll take her advice, but we'll never know. He's not one of the chosen 3.

Alexis Grace is the first to make it into the Top 12. She sings again as I head for the bathroom. Can't we just blow through these results and get to the Michael Johns part, please??

I guess not. Seacrest continues with the "Randy said this," "Simon said that" routine with Ricky Braddy and Jackie Tohn. I recently found out that Jackie guested on an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I vividly remember her part. This still does not make me like her, so I am happy when she doesn't make it through. Ricky, arguably the best singer from last night, also doesn't make it. No surprises so far.

Anoop Dogg in the hizzouse! He heads to center stage along with Michael Sarver. We discover that the voting audience really does listen to Simon, as they have put Michael in the Top 12, even though Anoop was one of the big fan faves. Well, it wouldn't be American Idol without a boring, nondescript blonde dude so, better Michael than Brent Keith. I know Brent didn't get his results yet, but I'm pretty confident that he'll be sent home. That's the good news.

The bad news is that, obviously, Tatiana Del Toro didn't make it. Everyone knows that Danny Gokey is going to be the third person going through. I really hope Tat gets called back for the wild card round. She really breathed life into this season.

Ryan continues with the results and calls down - oh! It's (Carly Smithson and) Michael Johns!!

Um....

Okay, who the eff is cutting Michael's hair these days? I'm not happy with it. He needs to lose the picnic tablecloth shirt too. But these are minor complaints. I would be happy to straighten him out. And by "straighten him out" I mean...oh hell, you know what I mean. Anyone who read this blog for one second last season knows what I mean.

I don't understand why Idol keeps jamming Michael and Carly (or, ugh, "Marly," as some people have taken to calling them) down everyone's throats as if they're a package deal. Michael is the one with an album coming out soon - can't they let him fly solo? Oh, and they're singing "The Letter," the same damn song that they did on last year's finale. This is rather disappointing. I mean, they sound good and all, but this was obviously a hastily arranged deal to make up for Michael and Carly's mentoring sessions in Hollywood ending up on the cutting room floor.

Maybe I'm just pissed that Michael never answered any of MY letters. I really thought that Valentine's Day card that I decorated with my own blood would've won him over. Ah well, I guess he's busy. I will just have to be patient, and trust in Jobu that he will be mine one day.

Okay, on with the results. Ann Marie Boskovich, Brent Keith, and Stevie Wright are all asked to stand and are quickly eliminated.

It comes down to Danny and Tatiana. People in the audience are whooping it up for Danny, and are snickering at Tatiana. What a bunch of jagoffs. Tatiana knows what's up and she looks like she's about to pass out. Seacrest asks Paula for her opinion on who should stay, and she actually makes a decision!! (Danny, of course.)

Before delivering the results, Ryan tries to ridicule Tatiana one last time by asking her what her psychic said would happen. She looks like she wants to punch him. I kind of wish she would, but she's having a hard enough time staying on her feet and continuing to breathe. The inevitable result is revealed, and I swear that Danny let out his victory "whooooooo" about a split second before Ryan even said his name. I'm starting to get a smug vibe from this dude.

Danny sings one more time and sounds much pitchier than last night. During his song, one of his friends backstage holds up a picture of Danny and his deceased wife. Okay, ENOUGH with the deathsploitation. I don't care if it was the friend's idea, Danny's idea, or the producers' idea. This manipulative, Lifetime movie bullshit is really pissing me off now.

I'm also irritated that I'm starting off the season with a 66% prediction accuracy rating. Especially since I picked Michael Sarver to go through in my early, pre-performance prediction, and then changed my mind. Oh well. I guess I shouldn't be mad, 'cause 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Next Wednesday, it's Group 2's turn. If they can't do a better job than Group 1, they should all be sent home. (Remember that the performance show is a day later because of Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.)

Group 2 is:

  • Kris Allen
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Matt Giraud
  • Mishovanna Henson
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Kai Kalama
  • Adam Lambert
  • Jesse Langseth
  • Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailles
My early prediction for the Top 3 is: Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud, and Adam Lambert

I'm not a huge fan of Nick/Norman because I don't think he's funny, but I would still kind of like to see him win the whole shebang just to embarrass the hell out of the show.

Happy Birthday, John!

I just wanted to wish a Happy 55th to my first love and forever main man, John Travolta. Sure, there's a little less hair up there to comb these days, but he still looks great.

John's already had a pretty horrific year, having to endure not only the death of his son in January, but also the media circus that followed and even an extortion attempt. I hope that John and his family are doing okay, and can take some time out for a little fun today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol 8: First Group of Semi-Finalists

Tonight, we take our first steps towards picking Idol's Top 12. It's often said that now is when the "real" show begins, so you may be wondering what the hell I've been writing about for the past month. Well, truth be told, a lot of the early auditions were more entertaining than the performances this evening. With that in mind, I hope you're ready for tonight's recap! Go get your Snuggie on. Time to curl up on the couch with this nice, steaming hot cup of suck.

The theme for tonight is Top 10 songs from whenever. You'd think it would be easy for every contestant to pick a perfect song out of that sea of tunes. Yeah. You'd think. Hey! Stop thinking! We're watching American Idol!

Up first is Jackie Tohn with her version of Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation." I think I mentioned before that I despise Jackie, mostly because she reminds me of someone I know and can't stand. The beauty of the person I actually know is that I don't have to see her that often. Unfortunately, Idol keeps shoving this Jackie broad in my face and telling me that I'm supposed to find her kooky and funny. Well, I find her neither, but you know who really thinks Jackie is a riot? Jackie! If we could hear her thoughts, it would be a stream of constant me-isms. "Look at me, I'm ca-raaazy! Watch me dancin'! Woo! I'm a fun chick! I'm a free spirit! Look at my spandex pants! Oh snap, I'm wearing a bustier! Who does that? Me, that's who! 'Cause I'm AWESOME! Get a load of this red belt!! That thing is scha-weeet! I'm gettin' my Elvis on! Watch me go! Watch me! Me! MEEEE! I, I, I, Me, Me, ME! I'm AWESOME! Yeah! The hipsters won't let me in the Williamsburg bars anymore since I joined this show, so please let me stay in Hollywood!! Vote for Jackie! That's ME! I'm Jackie! I'm AWESOME! Woooooo!!"

*breath*

Aaaaanyway, the judges all totally buy into Jackie's "cool chick" act and praise her performance skills while skating around the obvious fact that her vocals are pretty awful. Oh, and those "performance skills?" Pretty awful also. My roommate thought she was trying to do some old Rod Stewart dance moves.

Ricky Braddy is next - a guy we never really saw in Hollywood and who has one too many Ds in his last name. He has no shot. Making it even worse for the poor guy is the fact that he can actually sing really well. It doesn't matter though, because as good as the pipes are, he's just completely forgettable. He's like another Elliott Yamin...except that Elliott finished 3rd and Ricky probably isn't getting into the Top 12 unless he's a wild card pick. All the judges love him, but Simon agrees with me about his lack of "star quality." The good news for Ricky though is that he is the 1,000th contestant to sing "A Song For You!" For that, he gets a $1,000 shopping spree at the Coca Cola store.

Alexis Grace whines some more about being away from her baby before taking the stage. I'm not being a jerk, it's just that every time I see this girl, she's crying about having to be away from her baby. No one is holding a gun to her head. She made the decision. She also made the decision to add pink streaks to her hair and to "dirty herself up." No, no...I'm sorry. That wasn't her decision, it was the judges'. She just did what they all told her to do at her first audition. She's singing Aretha Franklin's "Never Loved a Man," and she's pretty good. There are a few bad notes here and there, and she makes some ghoulish faces when she's singing, but overall this is a good performance. Randy says she "worked it out" and a bunch of other Dawgisms no one understands. He, Kara, and Paula all basically praise Pinky for taking all of their style tips to heart and becoming someone else for them. Kara whips out the first double entendre of the night by marveling at how such a petite girl like Alexis can have something so large inside her. Simon calls Alexis the "one to watch," and then compares her to Kelly Clarkson at the same exact moment I'm thinking, "She's okay, but she's no Kelly Clarkson."

Ted Danson (who doesn't look a day under 80) and Doogie Howser are sitting in the front row. What are they doing there? Do they have a FOX show to promote? Isn't Doogie's new show on ABC? Oooh, maybe they're creating a spin-off of House called Howser. Now, that's a show I would watch.

Brent Keith claims that he and his wife are living "paycheck to paycheck," yet I've heard things about him that suggest that he has connections in the industry and is not as bad off as he is letting on. Strike one. Then he takes the stage to sing "Hicktown," a song I loathe. Strike two. He is very boring, his voice isn't that good, and he's not as good-looking as lonely Southern housewives seem to think he is. Foul ball, foul tip, strike three. Kara and Paula continue their game of letting Randy pick a buzzword, and then using it as the basis for their critique. For Brent, the buzzword is "safe." Simon, who always brings his own bag of adjectives, calls Brent unoriginal and forgettable. Brent tries to backsass Si a bit, but even his back-talk is boring.

One of my early favorites from the auditions, 16-year-old Stevie Wright, opts to sing Taylor Swift's "You Belong to Me," because it's a "fun, youthful" song, and she's concerned about Simon's past comments that she is too old-fashioned. Ugh, I can't believe that I just admitted that this girl was an early favorite of mine. This is like having to sit through a 6th grade talent show, and Stevie's not my kid. It starts off horribly. It doesn't get any better. I'm not sure one note is in tune. Worst of all, her performance is actually making me appreciate Taylor Swift. The judges (except Simon, who always takes the direct route) try to gently tell her that she just blew any shot at getting in the Top 12, and Kara makes sure to remind her that she screwed herself by listening too hard to Simon's advice. Woops! Too bad!

Are Ted and Doogie even watching the show? Are they wax figures? Their vacant stares are really starting to creep me out.

Back in the interview room, Ryan is very sweet and supportive with Stevie. Why does he do this? Every time I want to hate on Ryan, he does something to make me really like him. Jeez. Y'know, with no man candy this year and Simon's weed-whacked flat-top out of control, Seacrest may very well end up the object of my (unwanted) affections this year.

Anoop Desai breaks out "Angel of Mine," a Monica song I had forgotten all about. It's kind of nice to hear it, and refreshing to hear something that hasn't been done to death on AI for a change, but I'm not sure it's the best song choice for him. He's got a really nice voice, but I liked him better when he was a little goofy. Randy has mad love for Anoop Dogg, but thinks he was a little sharp. Kara brings out entendre #2 by telling Anoop he didn't nail her it the way she it needs to be nailed. Paula played Stuart Smalley and told Anoop that everyone likes him. Simon agrees that Anoop is very likable but, like me, feels the song choice was a little too "grown-up" and serious for him.

Ah, my girl crush, Casey Carlson is looking very Zeta-Jonesy tonight. But before I can say "lez be friends," she sends me hurtling back into hetero-land with a ridiculous version of "Every Little Thing She He Does Is Magic." I haven't seen this many cheesy faces and jerky "dance" movements since William Hung. Oh, Lord. Someone has to bring out the cruise ship comparison on this one. Let's see...well, every judge begins by reminding Casey of how gorgeous she is, as if she doesn't know. Randy says it was weird, Kara says everything was wrong with the performance, Paula says it didn't work, and Simon reached into his bag and pulled out "atrocious." No cruise ship? Oh, come ON! If ever there was a time for that critique, it's now. Ah well, maybe Casey should be on a cruise ship. She certainly looks good in a bikini. She's the REAL Bikini Girl!

Five more contestants to go. Urrgh. Just remember, people - everything I do, I do it for you.

Michael Sarver serves up an AI usual with Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be." It's just...eh. The judges look panicked because Michael was one of their golden boys from the auditions. Ted Danson looks confused. Randy and Kara say it wasn't Michael's best performance, but seem willing to give him a pass. Paula's meds are kicking in, so she tells Michael that he did a good job. Simon acts very un-Simonlike by glossing over the problems with the performance and tries his best to convince the audience that Michael is a good guy who needs a break, stopping just short of holding up a "Vote 4 Michael" sign.

All during Ann Marie Boskovich's performance of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," I keep hoping that Anoop Desai will pop up to do the backing vocals. Come on, sing it with me:

Looking out on the morning rain (Anoop!)...I used to feel so uninspired (Anoop!)

It's hardly my fault that I'm so distracted. Ann Marie is pretty dull. She's off pitch and sounds out of breath. The only thing I like is her dress. The judges aren't feeling it either, and Randy puts it best with a "Yo yo yo"/deep sigh combination. Kara, who has been telling people what they should sing, wear, think, and be all night long, tells Ann Marie that she should have sung something like Sarah Bareilles' "Love Song" instead of an Aretha classic, to which A-M Bosko replies, "Oh, like something not as good?" Everyone laughs nervously as they try to remember if Kara actually wrote that song. (She didn't.)

Back in the interview room, Ann Marie steals Kara's innuendo thunder by plopping down on the couch and declaring, "Ooh, I sat right on the hard part," causing Ryan to completely lose his train of thought.

Another of my early favorites, Stephen Fowler, is up next to sing Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." I'm just going to quit dubbing people my "early favorites," because so far they're disappointing the hell out of me. There's still something I like about the guy, but he sounded much better during his auditions - even in the one where he forgot all of the words. Kara agrees with me, but that doesn't mean that I like her any better. Simon wishes Stephen had forgotten the lyrics this time around, and calls the performance "pointless and corny." Randy and Paula contribute nothing interesting.

Finally, it's the gal everyone's been waiting for - Tatiana Del Toro! It seems that mostly everyone on the Internetz hates her except for VFTW and little ol' me. I thought she was really annoying in her first audition, but her insanity won me over and I'm finding myself really rooting for her now. She sings Whitney's "Saving All My Love For You," and does a nice job. I don't care how nuts the girl is, she can actually sing. But, of course, the judges were expecting her to fail from the get-go, so they can't even give her the credit she deserves. Randy makes the new buzzword "moments," and each judge proceeds to hem and haw about how Tatiana only had some nice "moments" in her performance. Then they quickly change the subject by complaining that she's not acting crazy enough tonight, so they're not sure who she is. So what? Tatiana doesn't even know who she is from day to day, but that doesn't mean she's not entertaining.

In the pimp spot tonight is Danny Gokey, which is no surprise and, I'm sure, no simple "luck of the draw." It takes him all of two seconds to bring up his deceased wife again in his video interview, and then explains that he's singing Mariah Carey's "Hero," because it will help people look to his "situation" and find strength to get through their own problems. Sooo, he's a hero because he tried out for American Idol a month after his wife passed away? I guess he's the first person to ever lose a loved one. Whatever. I'll get to my issues with that in a minute. On to the performance. Other than a little heavy breathing, Danny sounds really good. Definitely one of the better vocals tonight, but not worthy of mass hysteria. But that's exactly what ensues. Oh my God, it's like the producers paid off the entire audience! As soon as he's done singing, the whole place erupts as if Danny had just disarmed a bomb in the studio. Three of the judges go completely apeshit (you can guess which one didn't), and Kara does her version of the Meg Ryan fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally. Randy ridiculously dubs Danny "The Redeemer of the Night," while P-Ab gives us a classic Paulaism with, "I have two words...with a hyphen...'sold-out arenas.'" After everyone is done reaching Nirvana, Simon drills through the wall of boos trying to keep him out by saying, "It wasn't fantastic, but it was good. I like you; I'm just not buying the hype yet." I'm surprised he wasn't immediately stoned by all of the Gokelytes in the audience, including BFF Jamar.

Okay, so here's my problem with Danny. He was another of my "early favorites" (they're all doomed) and even in the running to be the "man candy" of the season, due to the lack of anyone better and his slight resemblance to Robert Downey, Jr. However, it sickens me every time his dead wife is mentioned which, at this point, is about once every 14.3 seconds. Clearly, the producers love his sob story and intend to milk it and profit from it as much as they can. I don't think that Danny himself is exploiting his loss, but I always find it a bit unsettling when people eagerly spill their most private information on national TV.

And then, of course, there was the comment directed at Simon when he didn't slobber all over Danny like everyone else - that he must be heartless. Really? So, they're admitting that Danny's story is more important than his talent? And I'm not saying that he's not talented, because he is. But he is not this blinding brilliant light from Heaven like TPTB would have us believe.

There is no Danny anymore, only "The Widower," a character that the show has created. If we don't love him, we're cruel and unfeeling. It's like he could go up on stage and slaughter a Panda, and everyone would still fall all over themselves to tell him how great he is.

Danny's a lock. The top male and female will go on to the Top 12, along with the person who places third in the ranking. So now, it's up to the voters to decide which two contestants not named Danny will make it through to the finals.

My prediction for the Top 3 is: Danny (DUH), Alexis, and...Tatiana! Yes! Crazy Tat has the undying support of VFTW, and I even voted for her a few times. Everyone else was either awful, boring, or a Chosen One who doesn't need votes to make it through.

Tomorrow night will be THE BEST RESULTS SHOW EVER!! And no, Seacrest didn't tell me to say that. I say it because Michael Johns will be on! Unfortunately, he won't be alone - they're making him duet with Carly the Screamer. But who cares. A little bit of Michael is better than none at all.

Forgotten Classic Video(s) of the Week

Since I plum forgot to post a video last week, I'm making today a two-fer Tuesday.

Featured today are bands who are considered one-hit wonders, but these songs/videos were also chart hits for them, making them at least two-hit wonders.

I'm sending this first one out to my sister, to whom I tried to sing/describe this song and received only mild recognition. This is Dead or Alive's "Brand New Lover," from their 1986 album, Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know. This single hit #15 on the Billboard charts and, considering that the song they're remembered for, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" only peaked 4 places higher at #11, it's a mystery why so many people forget this song.



Next up is A Flock of Seagulls with "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)," from their 1983 album, Listen. Not too many people did listen, but this single still managed to hit #26. Not quite the smash that their #9 hit and '80s staple, "I Ran (So Far Away)" was, but hey, it's still Top 40!

Boy, those guys loved parenthetical phrases, eh? Almost as much as they loved hair gel.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Caption Crotch-test Contest #19

"Amy, stop riding that animal! And get off the horse, too!"


There is your winning caption, supplied by Words Words Words, the guy guy guy trying to leave Pistols in the dust dust dust.

I got the BFF to help me out with picking the winner this month, and we were actually split on the decision. However, I went with her choice because I realized that my choice also belonged to WWW, so it didn't really matter. This also makes him the first person to ever win for both Best Commenter and Best Commenter in a Supporting Role. So, if I may draw a comparison between the Firecrotch Awards and the Oscars (and why not), this makes WWW a better man than double-nom/single win Al Pacino. Hoo-ah!

The best supporting comment:
"This is not at all what I expected when I asked my assistant to book me on a vacation where I could ride a big black stallion on the beach."
- Words Words Words

And your runners-up, who are probably not just honored to be nominated:

Because this is how I believe the British elite really DO live...
"Dame Theresa and Dame Winehouse get ready for some polo, followed by naked tennis. Life of the British elite is grand, isn't it?" - Poobomber

Because Cockney accents, even if they're only on paper, are always funny...
"Oi! Are you seein' this fat bird in front of me on the 'orse, or am Oi 'allucinatin' again?" - Southern Belle

Because it just made me laugh...
"I call this one 'Tourist With Filthy Animals #4'." - Deadspot

Because it's groanworthy in its simplicity, and I'm a sucker for a bad pun...
"Why the long face? - Gwen

Wear your badge with pride, WWW. You know the drill. This isn't your first dance with the fire down below.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

American Idol 8: Say Goodbye to Hollywood


Last night marked the end of Hollywood Week, and the end of the line for several of the AI hopefuls. There were plenty of tears, screams, and dramatic scenes – and that was just Nathaniel Marshall and Tatiana Del Toro.


Ryan announced, "Over the next two hours, there will be disappointment." Seacrest doesn't lie.

Idol must be feeling the economic crisis just like the rest of us, otherwise you’d think they could’ve hired a good editor to cut this into a one-hour show. Or, better yet, a 10-minute segment tacked on at the end of Tuesday night’s show.

Of course, that’s a joke. The producers of American Idol understand financial hardship about as well as they understand good music. And, since they’ve spent enough time demonstrating their lack of knowledge of the latter, they decided to flaunt their oblivion of the former with a big-ticket purchase. They done gone and bought themselves a big ol’ mansion for no reason at all! Yeah! It’s Hammer Time!

I remember the good old days of the final cuts, when the contestants hung out in the theater’s holding room and only had to take a quick elevator ride upstairs to the judges’ chamber to find out their fates. But 50+ people riding an elevator up and down just doesn’t suck up enough time, thus the mansion. When kids have to follow a convoluted path through the sprawling estate to get to the decision room, a whole extra hour of air time and another gazillion dollars in ad revenue is generated!!

Jeeves Seacrest gave us a little tour of the grounds, and explained that the contestants now have to walk out of the holding room, through the garden, and into the judges’ fancy parlor. Sheesh. It was like a damn Dora the Explorer episode. Holding room...garden...fancy parlor. Say it with me! Muy bien! Where's the map?

Most of the episode was just a revolving door of Idol contestants walking in the room, sitting down, and waiting for an obvious answer while pretending that they were buying the judges' attempts to psych them out. Like, did either Adam Lambert or Kendall Beard really think they might be going home? Certainly, no one watching with half a brain thought so. They had waaaay too much face time throughout the auditions, which means they were both givens. But the judges still had to play their adolescent games. Simon delivered Adam's vote with, "It's not good news.....it's GREAT news." Paula tried to kick it up a notch with Kendall, by telling her, "The answer isn't great.....it's FANTASTIC!" Gag. I was half expecting Kara to tell Danny Gokey, "You're not fantastic.....you are DIVINE! You are a god and we shall worship you as such. May I wash your hair with my feet? Which of the cast-offs would you like us to offer up as a sacrifice?"

Danny was none too pleased with the sacrificial lamb when it turned out to be his best bud, Jamar Rogers. They put the man in bromance with tough-and-tender hugs, mouthed I-love-yous, and longing looks into each other's eyes. Everyone acted shocked as shit that Jamar was cut, as if he was the best singer there. I don't get it. Everyone should have seen this coming. First of all, the guy croaked like a frog. Secondly, Jamar was just riding Danny's sob story coattails. No one really wants to hang out with a Very Special Contestant's BFF. Unless Scott McIntyre's best friend was that hot blonde dude leading him around at his first audition. Then we need more of him, for sure.

Speaking of Scott, he made it through. Even he saw it coming. (Please don't send me to Hell for that.) Then Kara said something about his relationship with his instrument. Good ol' Kara DioEntendre.

Another non-shocker was the judges' decision to keep Joanna Pacitti, even though she never met a lyric she didn't want to forget. Kara read from the script, reminding the young plant about her Broadway shows and record deals, yadda yadda, and then asked when it would be "her time." Simon answered for Joanna by saying, "When someone gives her a break." Oh, give ME a break! This girl's had more breaks than Kurtis Blow. But AI gave her another one, only to take it away. If you haven't read my earlier post, the controversy over her had threatened to kill Idol for good, so she's since been disqualified.

The show went on much like this for most of the two hours, with people we know getting a yes, and people we don't getting a no. However, they did add a little twist this year with the "sing-offs."

The judges brought the "maybe" contestants in by twos (I hope this isn't a sign that the next great flood is coming) and had them "sing for their survival" right there.

The first match-up was between Danny Noriega wannabe, Cody Shelton, and this year's nerd, Adam Wagner-Trugman. Alex sang much better than Cody, so imagine my surprise when he actually got to stay! Cody and Adam apparently became good friends during Hollywood week, so they stood around and moaned in muffled tones about how unfair the whole thing was. Ryan basked in the afterglow of the sing-off by repeatedly asking the boys, "It's uncomfortable, isn't it? Huh? Isn't it? Huh? Huh? Uncomfortable, huh? Isn't it? Huh? Huh? Huh? Yeah!" Cody made his exit by telling everyone in the holding room that they were the best friends he ever had. So, I'm guessing his longest friendship pre-Idol was like, what, 2 1/2 days? And probably with a hamster.

Jenn Korbee, a pretty blonde girl with a really hot husband, had to face off against Kristen McNamara. They both had freakishly big mouths, but that's pretty much all they had in common. Jenn was a much better singer and, even though Kristen sang a snippet of "I-Eeee-I Will Always Love You-ooooo" much better than I would've imagined, I still haven't forgiven her for destroying "Because of You" on Tuesday. The judges' deliberation was pretty funny, because Simon had no qualms about calling Kristen out as a total hag. He asked Kara, "Do you want to put the attractive blonde through or...the other one?" This led to another mini-bitch session between the boys and girls until Jenn and Kristen were both brought back in. They told Jenn she was beautiful. They told Kristen she was kind of a mess with an identity crisis. So, it only made sense that they chose Kristen to stay. Ugh. I don't have any real opinion on Jenn because I never saw her until last night, but I wanted Kristen GONE, so I was hoping that Jenn would've prevailed. Also, I wanted to see more of her husband who, of course, was already cut long ago. Heaven forbid they let one hot guy slip through.

Frankie Jordan went up against Jesse Langseth, another girl we haven't really seen. Maybe they've been hiding her so that we don't find out that she's Jonny Lang's sister. Woops, too late! Cat's out of the bag! Frankie sang Brandi Carlile's "The Story" pretty badly, and Jesse sang something unintelligible. I think the lyrics may have been something like, "Look at me! I'm bluesy! Can't you see how bluesy I am! My brother's famous! And he bluesy too! Oooooh yeeeah yeah! Woo! White girl! Bluesy!" It was a tough decision, but after some eenie-meenie-miney-moeing, the judges chose Jesse. Then, Simon consoled Frankie by telling her she wouldn't have won anyway. And he's probably right, especially because she acted like a bratty sore loser. She couldn't have pulled a fan base.

Nathaniel Marshall found himself in a sing-off with Jackie Midkiff, a reasonably cute, stocky fellow who I don't remember seeing before. Between never getting the much-needed face time and his tragic lack of headbands, Jackie had no chance. But the final nail was put in his coffin when Nathaniel got a last-minute Lifetime movie moment. We learned that his mama was a drug addict who went to prison and left little Nate to bounce from relative's house to relative's house. If I had started to feel bad for him (and I didn't, but if I had), he ruined it when Simon said he looked like "John McEnroe on a bad day" in his outfit, and Nathaniel countered by dubbing himself "the new David Bowie." I wanted to rip those face piercings right out and fill them with salt.

The last match-up was between the two big oafs, Michael Sarver and Matt Brietzke. The judges' whole "hmmm, who should we pick...it's so difficult" schtick was as transparent as everything else they do, so I was unmoved when both guys made it through.

Finally, after much ado about nothing, we were left with the Top 36. They are:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti*
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Ju'not Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Michael Sarver
  • Mishavonna Henson
  • Nathaniel Marshall
  • Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle
  • Ricky Braddy
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith
  • *Disqualified on 2/11/09; replaced by Felicia Barton
Next week, the first group of 12 will perform for your approval, America. They are:
  • Alexis Grace
  • Anne Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Michael Sarver
  • Ricky Braddy
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Tatiana Del Toro
Only 3 contestants from each of the 3 groups will make it to the Top 12 - the top guy, top girl, and then the person with the next-highest votes. After that, the judges' will bring back 12 of their favorites for a 4th "Wild Card" group, and choose 3 of them to round out the Top 12.

So, who do you think will make it through next week? This first group is pretty loaded, so it' s a little hard to predict. I hope that Tatiana makes it, because the judges totally deserve to be stuck with that crazy broad. And she is the VFTW favorite, so I know all the Worsters will be dialing their little hearts out. (I never/rarely vote, but I may just have to join them.)

Danny Gokey is pretty much a lock, but the other 2 spots could be anybody. I hope my lesbian crush, Casey Carlson, makes it, as well as Stephen Fowler, because that boy can sang. The judges definitely want Ann Marie Boskovich, Michael Sarver, and Brent Keith in, so even if they don't get through on votes, they'll be saved in the wild card round.

My early prediction for Top 3 is: Danny, Michael, and Alexis Grace. Of course, this is subject to change after performance night.

American Idol 8: The Uprooted Plant

Hey gang - I will have an exciting recap of last night's 2-hour extravaganza of people walking down halls and sitting in chairs a little later, but I just wanted to make this announcement first...

The L.A. Times reported last night that Joanna Pacitti has been disqualified. AI has replaced her with former beauty queen, and one of last night's cut contestants, Felicia Barton.

Idol spokespeople said that the decision was made to "avoid the appearance of impropriety." Yes, it was the "appearance" of the impropriety they were concerned about. Not the actual impropriety, otherwise she never would have been picked for the show in the first place.

Too bad, Joanna. I'm sure American Idol will give you a lovely parting gift, like money for you to make another crappy album that won't sell. If not, there's always this...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

American Idol 8: What Just Happened?

I've been sitting here staring at my computer for a while, trying to figure out how to recap the pile of nothing that American Idol served up tonight. Perhaps with a bigger pile of nothing? We'll see how it goes.

It's Round 3 of Hollywood Week, where the field of 72 contestants is narrowed down to 50. Unfortunately, the show is being edited to look like a hyperactive kid is continuously flipping through the channels. A few (crazy) people get some QT with the camera but, for the most part, there is just a parade of changing faces whizzing by, each stopping to sing one or two lines of a song on the AI menu, followed by much mugging and nodding by the judges. It doesn't even follow a consistent time line, so I guess I'll just pull out some of the highlights and lowlights.

The Bold:

This is already shaping up to be the year of the fabulous gays. (Although, for some reason, Queen Bee Von Smith's audition isn't shown.) Adam Lambert's piano bar version of Cher's "Believe" is so atrocious that it's almost a work of art. On the flip side, Nathaniel Marshall and his 5,000 headbands perform an acoustic version of Rihanna's "Disturbia," which should be awful but is disturbingly enjoyable.

Then there is Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. I can't figure out if he's a gay man or just plays one on TV. He toys with the idea of playing it "straight," but ultimately decides to audition again as Norman, with a ridiculous version of "Georgia." Look, I'm all for silliness, but I can't take this guy. He is NOT funny! Of course, I may still be bitter that he made it through to Hollywood and my beloved Joel Contreras did not.

The Beautiful:

As if. Nothing to see here, folks. Keep it moving.

Well, actually I take that back. Adam Lambert looks like he was created from the DNA of Ewan McGregor and David Cassidy, so he's quite lovely to look at.

Oh, and then there's my lesbian crush of the season, Casey Carlson. Her hair sure looks purty tonight.

The Bland:

Ugh. So many fit into this category.

Danny (The Widower) Gokey disappoints me tonight, rasping his way through "I Hope You Dance" fairly well, but ruining everything with a sudden, misplaced, loud growl and one last high note that he can't quite reach. However, Paula obviously thinks this is the best thing she's ever heard, as she switches between doing "the lasso" and rocking back and forth while grinning like a maniac. God, she looks like a Kristen Wiig character tonight.

Danny's buddy Jamar Rogers sounds like a croaking frog. But everyone loves him.

Matt Giraud breaks out the keyboards for a nice version of "Georgia," which I would probably like a lot more if he wasn't trying so hard to seem authentic. The judges all flip though, and give him a standing O. And, in Kara's case, that means something a little different.

Ryan reminds everyone that Scott McIntyre is blind, so I'm a little confused when he keeps looking down at the piano keys while he's playing. After a little Googling, I realize that Scott is actually "legally blind with two degrees of tunnel vision," so he's not like Ray Charles blind. He can see something. Still, seeing the world through a tiny, rolled-up newspaper doesn't sound like much fun either. Anyway, he sings Daughtry's "Home" (the first of many former Idols' songs pimped tonight) pleasantly enough, but it's all rather Boy Scout-ish for my taste.

Jorge Nunez, Stevie Wright, Lil Rounds, Alexis Grace, Ann Marie Boskovich, and Jasmine Murray all remember their words and sing in key, but none of them really have any wow factor. And I kind of liked Stevie from her first audition, but she pisses me off tonight by singing that stupid "Bubbly" song. Can we please ban that from the show? How about the world?

The Big Ol' Trainwrecks:

Maybe next time, Kendall Beard will think before she sings "Before He Cheats." She's really taking a Louisville Slugger to that song. Wow. Awful.

I forget all about Kendall when Kristen McNamara brutally attacks an innocent Kelly Clarkson song. Because of you, Kristen, I am afraid. Of you ever opening your mouth again. I think Kelly Clarkson just died, rolled over in her grave, and then came back to life to seek vengeance.

Stephen Fowler pulls a Brooke White when he freezes up during his cover of David Cook's "Time of My Life," and asks to start over. The judges give him another shot, but he can't get the lyrics or the melody right to save his life. I don't know about the 3 Stooges there, but I am giving Stephen a pass. So far, I think he has the best voice out of the whole bunch.

Also derailing is Joanna Pacitti, this year's Queen of Controversy. I really, really want this girl to fail. You may think that sounds mean, but with all of her connections, she has absolutely no business being on this show. So, imagine my delight when Joanna can't remember ANY of the words to "If I Ain't Got You" and drags it out into one long, flubbed disaster. I'm a little suspicious, though, that TPTB left this in the show to try to prove that Joanna isn't a pro getting a free ride.

Casey Carlson forgets her lyrics also, but her hair sure looks purty.

The Batshit Crazy:

Who else but Tatiana Del Toro? She is one of the few who gets extra attention tonight, complete with her own "Greatest Hits so far" montage. This girl is starting to win me over. I used to think that she was putting on an act, but now I believe that she's truly mentally unstable. I don't think the judges will cut her any time soon, because they're probably afraid that she'll burn down the studio if they do. The interesting thing is, although she tends to overdo it, she actually has a pretty good voice, unlike Nick/Norman whom the producers are clearly keeping around for entertainment purposes.

The Big Reveal:

In the end, the contestants are divided up into four groups and placed in different rooms. Simon wisely chooses to jet off to London, leaving Snap, Crackle, and Pop to deliver the results. Since three of the four groups make it through to the Top 50, the judges' job really isn't that hard. Of course, they have to play act like each group is being cut before they jump up and down and yell, "Psych!" Lame.

Tatiana and Nick/Norman both make it through, so, you know what? I hope that one of them wins the whole thing. We're constantly reminded that this is a singing competition, and yet the judges constantly keep crazy people who can't sing over sane people who can. Seeing Simon being forced to pony up the cash to make and promote a Norman Gentle record would be delightful.

Pretty much everyone who got a lot of face time during the auditions is included in the winning groups, except for Michael (Jason's brother) Castro, lady rapper India Morrison, and Leneshe (The Poor Girl) Young...none of whom I have strong feelings for one way or the other. Unfortunately, that's the case with most of these contestants so far.

Tomorrow night, the judges cut the group of 50 down to 36 and, for some reason, this will take two hours. *groan*

As ridiculous as this show gets sometimes, at least the judges don't live in a mansion or something stupid like...Wait. What did Ryan just say? The contestants are going where tomorrow? Oh. The Judges' Mansion. Of course. Can't wait.


Videos of all the auditions can be found on MJ's Big Blog.

 

Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

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I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

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