Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol 9: 3/31/10 Results

Wow, April Fool's Day came early. AI is seriously comparing its worst batch of contestants to a bunch of Greek Gods in a laughably dramatic and poorly conceived marketing tie-in with Clash of the Titans. Dear FOX: Release the crackhead (employee who came up with this ridonk intro)!

The pranks keep coming when Ryan introduces Ruben Studdard, but a young Donny Hathaway emerges. No, wait...that really is Ruben! Wow, he's half the man he used to be. I'm not a huge Ruben fan, but this song is pleasant enough. Also, his appearance this early in the show can only mean one thing: NO GROUP SING! Yeee-haw! I love you, Ruben! But not enough to come see you and Clay on your "not-quite-famous-enough-to -be-has-beens" tour.

Unfortunately, the Velvet Teddybear cannot save us from the Ford commercial. This week, the Idol hopefuls drone their way through one of my childhood favorites, "Kung Fu Fighting." I keep hoping Zabka will show up and start sweeping some legs.

Alas, no Zabka, but here's another Clash of the Titans plug! If AI is going to ram this movie down our throats, the least they could do is arrange for Sam Worthington to show up in the studio. Shirtless, of course.

Ryan finally gets down to business and has the mysterious "Kieran" dim the lights. After much jibber jabbering, Lee, Casey and Aaron are all safe. Ryan starts a pointless conversation with the judges about 16-year-old Aaron's lack of experience in the love department. He wants to know what love is, and he wants the judges to show him. Kara (pot) tries to make a lame joke about Simon (kettle) being in love with himself after Ryan pretty much already covered that. No one gives Aaron any sage advice. Instead, Ellen just stares blankly as Randy offers that romantic love is just like the love Aaron feels for his parents, but just "twisted." I can actually feel myself getting dumber as this show drags on.

Siobhan and Katie stand. One of them is in the Bottom 3 and it's...Katie. Arrrgh. Already my predictions are off. The good news is that if Katie gets named to the Bottom 3 one more time, she gets to take one of those uncomfortable stools home.

Ryan gets all up in Cowell's grill for supposedly "gloating" that Katie is in the B3 because she didn't follow his advice and go country. Simon tells Ryan to stop being annoying. Ryan doesn't take Simon's advice either. Instead, he spots Justin Bieber in the audience and tries to go sit on his lap.

Usher (with a little help from performs his new song, "OMG," which, as far as I can tell, is about shawties with nice boobies and booties. The lyrics to this read like a 14-year-old's Twitter stream. OMG, indeed.

Back to the results. Didi is in the Bottom 3. Yay, got one right.

Michael is safe, which surprises no one. Still, Ryan tries to fake the big guy out, which nearly gets him body slammed. Oh, how I wish Big Mike would've done it. I would've voted for him every week if he had.

Another very un-shocking turn of events: Dreadsocks™ is safe.

The last two standing are Tim and Andrew. When Ryan asks Kara about Tim's perma-grin, she goes into full-on condescending bitch mode and suggests that Tim doesn't understand what the judges are saying. Tim's response—essentially that he appreciates this opportunity and just wants to enjoy his time onstage—is a good one that Kara clearly doesn't understand. Tim really should've responded with the obvious: who the hell ever understands what the judges are saying?

After all the stalling, Tim is named the final member of the Bottom 3. Then Katie is sent back to safety, as she always is.

Tim and Didi will have to wait to learn their fates, as Pee Diddly is taking the stage to debut his new single, "Hello Good Morning." I am about to change the channel when morbid curiosity overtakes me. Wow, lots of fog, bright lights and white outfits here. If this is what Heaven is like, I really hope I'm going to hell. The song and dance routine is nothing special, but Diddy is surprisingly nice and gracious afterward. And he didn't threaten to smack flames out of anyone's ass.

Finally, Ryan gets to the point and reveals that Didi is the one on the chopping block. Dammit!! Don't get me wrong. I don't like her one bit but, as I think I mentioned before, she's in my Idol pool Top 5. Seacrest reminds everyone that the judges could choose to save Didi, but there is no way they would ever use the save this early in the game unless it was for Crystal, Lee or Michael...and possibly Siobhan or Casey. Didi sings "Rhiannon," her best-reviewed performance, and actually sounds much better than she did the first time. The judges fake-deliberate just to tell Didi that they're not saving her. The farewell package starts at 10:01 and the show ends right on time at 10:03.

Next week, AI shreds the Lennon/McCartney songbook. Joy.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Idol 9: I Can't Bear Your Soul

The search for the next mediocre flash in the pan continues tonight. what American Idol has come to.

Speaking of flashes in the pan, is that Van der Beek in the audience? Hmm, couldn't tell. They zipped by too quickly. I'd swear it was Dawson, though.

It's interesting that AI only needed 90 minutes for the Top 11 to sing, but this week they need 120. Does this mean that the Top 5 will be a five-hour show?

With the Godfather of Soul dead and the Queen of Soul busy making Snickers commercials, Usher is the mentor for R&B/Soul Week. I can't really pick on Usher because he seems like a nice guy and he's intent on helping the Top 10 perform well. But I'd really like to tell him that these contestants' futures aren't that bright, so he doesn't need to wear shades.

Up first is Siobhan Magnus with Chaka Khan's "Through The Fire." Well, I guess she's not going to lose the scream because no one ever got through a Chaka song without letting out at least one shriek. Sure enough, there are quite a few glory notes, and not all of them are that glorious. And the non-screaming parts of the song are mad pitchy, dawgs. Siobhan is a big disappointment tonight. The judges are all in agreement that Siobhan was fairly awful—something Siobhan is clearly not ready to hear. While Simon takes jab after jab, Siobhan's eyes well up and her face goes into full-on pout mode. I'm not sure whether to feel bad for her or reach through the screen and smack her. I mean, come on. She needs to get it together. Is she going to act like a teenager whose dad just told her she can't go to the dance everytime the judges don't dump a big pile of praise on her? And wow, now they're treating her like that teenager's stepmom, aunt and nosy neighbor by talking for an interminably long time about how she really is such a wonderful and sweet girl, but maybe she just needs to clean her room every now and then. Ugh. I expect this kind of meltdown from Didi, not Siobhan.

After the break, the camera follows Siobhan's walk of shame backstage. What the...? So nonsense like this is why we need two hours tonight?

Casey James is up next with Sam & Dave's "Hold On I'm Coming." Good vocal, good guitar work...overall a good performance. The only complaint I have is Casey's plastered-on smile. He's supposed to be projecting "bad-ass bluesy rocker," but he looks like he belongs on the Mickey Mouse Club or something. Randy and Simon think Casey is great, but the gals are a bit more restrained. Ellen thinks that although Casey is consistent, this performance felt a bit "generic." Kara wants to hear more range and asks Casey to show her "everything he's got." Then Seacrest steals the obvious joke before I can make it. Fauxhawked bastard.

Oh, I see, this "behind the scenes" shit is going to continue throughout the show. Who's the time-sucking genius who came up with this idea? I'm sure he/she got a nice, fat raise and a new Ford Fusion.

Michael Lynche is "Ready For Love," and proves it with an acoustic version of the India.Arie song. I've always been a big fan of this song, so I'm happy to hear it. Even happier to hear it done well. Even though he's a mile away from the Idiot Pit (as he's opted to sit on the "catwalk" behind the judges' table), they're still swaying as if he can really see them. All the judges love Michael's "sensitive" and "beautiful" performance, and Simon says that he's finally taking Michael seriously as an artist. Kara doesn't know this song, which she "hates to admit." Oh man, if she starts admitting everything she doesn't know, this show really will be five hours long.

And now to pick up where Siobhan's meltdown left off, it's Didi Benami! She cries in her video interview, she cries in her rehearsal with Usher...I'm convinced this girl is one of those people who cries in the shower every morning for no good reason. She says she picked Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" because she connected with it immediately upon reading the lyrics. She promises an emotional performance, but instead delivers the most depressing Vegas lounge act ever. And not depressing because it's so emotional, but because it lacks any kind of feeling at all. Randy says that the performance "flatlined," while Ellen thinks it was "way dramatic." Kara takes the opportunity to remind everyone that Didi sang one of Kara's songs during Hollywood week, and of course that was better than anything she's done since. Didi makes Simon feel like he's swimming in jelly, which actually sounds kind of fun, so I'm not sure what the insult is.

Ryan then presses Didi to reveal WHY she chose to sing this song and WHY it was so emotional for her and demands to know just WHO THIS SONG WAS FOR, DIDI? TELL US!! Didi declines to name names, and just cryptically mentions that she's "gone through things" in her life. Seacrest steps in and tells the audience that Didi auditioned for the show "for a reason," and that she sang that song for "someone." Here's what Seacrest is talking about: when Didi first auditioned for the show, she was one of the Very Special Contestants—her sob story being that her best friend, songwriter Rebecca Lear, died in a car accident five years ago. No doubt that was a very devastating event in Didi's life, but, once again, it just seemed like another AI contestant pimping out someone's memory to get ahead. I guess I should give Didi props for not going into full-on Gokey mode tonight while Ryan was prodding her. Then again, a lot of people already knew who Didi was talking about and, if they didn't, probably Googled it to find out. So, I can't help but think that this was one of those semi-scripted ploys to keep Didi safe by drumming up some sympathy votes for her. Call me cynical. You'd be right.

Moving on...During rehearsals, Usher encouraged Tim Urban to really connect with the TV audience. So, during his lounge lizardesque rendition of Anita Baker's "Sweet Love," he acts like a deer that the TV audience is about to run over. Holy crazy eyeballs, kid. I would be terrified if a guy was yelling, "Don't you ever leave me," while unblinkingly staring me down like that. So, Tim doesn't uncover any soul in that Ken doll body of his, but he does bring out the creepy stalker within, which should probably count for something. Ellen picked up on the stalker vibe, too, and tells Timmeh that he was "walking like he was sneaking into a bedroom." Tim laughs. Randy and Ellen point out the obvious (that Tim's not a very good singer), while "Teflon Tim" just laughs and laughs. The judges are perplexed. Simon doesn't even bother to give a proper critique, saying, "You're gonna smile, the audience is gonna vote for you, nobody cares, and you'll be here next week." Tim laughs in approval.

I wince in anticipation of Andrew Garcia's version of Chris Brown's "Forever," but am shocked that I end up kind of liking it. I'm no fan of Woman Beater Brown, but I really do like this song, even if it was written for a bubblegum ad. Sue me. Andrew does his acoustic thing, doesn't attempt to dance, and doesn't punch any girls, so it's all good. Randy proclaims that "Andrew is back." Everyone else agrees that the performance was strong, but Simon tells Andrew to hurry up and develop a personality if he wants to stick around. Andrew's crazy mother takes issue with this and says some unintelligible things. People immediately seem to love her. Perhaps Andrew should just go the stand-up comic route and start doing an impression of his mom while on stage?

Now it's time for a story for the ages: When Katie Met Usher At Epcot. Wow, great story, Katie Stevens! Time to sing. The 17-YEAR-OLD chooses Aretha's "Chain of Fools," which should really help her with that youthful image the judges are always asking her to project. She sings it well enough, but it's kind of boring. It feels like the big musical number from Bring It On 7: It's Been Broughten To Death, when the suburban high school's cheer captain tries to win over the girls from the inner city "bad girl" squad at the local talent show. I know, I know, I spend way too much time imagining bad movie sequels, but can you blame me for trying to entertain myself here? Randy thinks Katie's is one of the best vocals of the night and compares her to a young Christina Aguilera, which Cowell finds ludicrous. Ellen likes Katie's "Snooki pouf." Kara and Simon argue again about whether Katie will be a pop or country singer. In future news, both are proven wrong when Katie is never heard from again.

Lee Dewyze does a rocked-out version of The Cornelius Brothers' "Treat Her Like A Lady," and finally has a MOMENT!! Time moves in slow motion while Simon and Lee trade knowing glances back and forth as Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" plays. OK, so I'm imagining things again. But, wow, do the judges make a big deal over this performance. I mean, Lee sounds perfectly fine, but honestly this pales in comparison to anything David Cook ever did on the show. This year's group of contestants is just so average that the good performances seem like mind-blowing masterpieces. But I guess I shouldn't rain on Lee's parade. Not that he would feel a little rain during the giant tongue bath he's getting right now. Simon proclaims this THE NIGHT LEE'S LIFE MAY HAVE CHANGED FOREVER.

Crystal Bowersox reveals the big surprise she promised us last week—she's wearing stilettos. Big whoop. It also looks like she washed her face and rejiggered her dreads a bit. Oh, the other big surprise? She stole Miley's "I'll sit at the piano for a little bit and then stand up to finish my song" act. However, unlike Miley, I think she actually plays the piano, and she doesn't jerk around on stage like she's having a seizure. (By the way, did everyone hear Miley's giving up music? There. God exists.) Dreadsocks™ does a very nice version of Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia," and it's kind of nice to see her without the guitar and wearing something other than black. Everyone loves Crystal, but Simon loves her so much that he never wants her to change. He warns her to not let the show suck out her identity. That will come later at the hands of 19 Management.

In the pimp spot tonight is...Aaron Kelly? BUT HE'S ONLY 16! HE CAN'T HANDLE THE PIMP SPOT!! I actually think this kid has a really good voice, but I can never remember him. He sings Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which is a poor choice considering that Kris Allen's big "moment" with this song is still fresh in everyone's minds. He does an OK job with it, but like him, it's just not that memorable. Ellen rhetorically asks again how old Aaron is. (Actually, that's the only thing we all remember.) The other judges are all pretty "meh" about the performance, with Simon calling it the "cupcake" after Lee's "main course." Randy then demands to know where the cupcakes are.

So, it's time for more of my lousy predictions. (I think the quality of my predictions is directly proportionate to the quality of the contestants.) I think Siobhan's placement in the First Spot of Doom plus her tiresome screaming and complete inability to handle criticism will land her in the Bottom 3. She will be joined by Tim and...uh...either Katie or Didi. I think probably Didi. But Didi will get enough sympathy votes to save her from elimination and Siobhan will get a free pass, so Timmeh will finally be sent home, laughing all the way, natch. When Simon stops harshly critiquing someone and tries that "reverse psychology" on the audience, it usually works.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sonic Sunday: Songs For Every Day

In this edition of Sonic Sunday, I'm giving you a song for each day of the week (plus a few appropriate bonus tracks). Unlike your day of the week undies though, these songs can be repeated over and over, all week long.

"New Moon on Monday," Duran Duran - Save me from these reminders/As if I'd forget tonight/This time La Luna/I light my torch and wave it for the new moon on Monday/And a firedance through the night/I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite

As with most Duran Duran lyrics, these really don't make much sense. But who cares? Just (fire)dance, monkeys! There were actually a lot of Monday songs to choose from (e.g., "I Don't Like Mondays," "Blue Monday," "Monday Morning,"), so I just had to pick my favorite. This should be no surprise. You all know I'm a lifelong Durannie, right?

"Ruby Tuesday," The Rolling Stones - She would never say where she came from/Yesterday don't matter if it's gone/While the sun is bright/Or in the darkest night/No one knows/She comes and goes/Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday/Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I'm gonna miss you

The obvious choice for Tuesday. Unless you're a rabid Lynyrd Skynyrd or Moody Blues fan. Are there rabid Moody Blues fans??

"Just Wednesday," Inspiral Carpets - Maybe it was my fault all along/'Cause I'm constantly talking in pictures and song/For anyone else this would be/The best days of his lifetime/But not for me/It's just Wednesday/Or some other day/Forgive my way

This is one of those bands I always meant to investigate, but for whatever reason, never did. I was finally inspired to while putting together this mix, because there aren't many songs about Wednesday and there was no way in hell that I was going to post Lisa Loeb's "Waiting For Wednesday." After finding this hump day song, I'm happy to report that I've dug deeper into the Inspiral Carpets' discography and am liking what I've come up with so far.

"Sweet Thursday," Matt Costa - I'm waiting in the pines/I'm waiting in the forest/Pylons at my side/The treasure lies before us/And so we started walking/We knew they couldn't harm us/And how the wind is crying/When misty morning dawn breaks

Matt's one of the few Americans on this week's list. I've been digging this guy ever since I heard his "Mr. Pitiful" in I Love You, Man.

"Friday I'm In Love," The Cure - I don't care if Monday's blue/Tuesday's gray and Wednesday too/Thursday, I don't care about you/It's Friday, I'm in love/Monday you can fall apart/Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart/Oh, Thursday doesn't even start/It's Friday I'm in love

I don't trust people who don't like this song. Their hearts must be hollowed-out pieces of coal.

"The Saturday Boy," Billy Bragg - But I never made the first team, I just made the first team laugh/And she never came to the phone/She was always in the bath/In the end, it took me a dictionary/To find out the meaning of unrequited/While she was giving herself for free at a party to which I was never invited

Like Inspiral Carpets, Billy is another "huge in Britain/obscure in the U.S." artist I've always wanted to learn more about, especially since his collaboration with Wilco on Mermaid Avenue. And again, like Inspiral Carpets, I'm really digging what I've uncovered so far.

"Sunday Sunday," Blur - Sunday, Sunday here again in tidy attire/You read the colour supplement, the TV Guide/You dream of protein on a plate/Regret you left it quite so late/To gather the family around the table to eat enough to sleep/Oh, the Sunday sleep

Those drums! Those horns! Those la-las! The cockney people-mocking! That crazy tempo change in the middle! If you look up "Britpop" in the dictionary, this should really be one of the first songs listed. And it never fails to put me in a good mood. It's the perfect tune to pull you out of that "lazy Sunday" mode.

Bonus Tracks:

"Days of the Week," Stone Temple Pilots - I've got to find a way to find her/Where she could be?/Four days of the week she thinks I'm the enemy/Monday's gone/Tuesday's fadin'/Wednesday's gone/Thursday's all but wasted now

"Yesterday," The Beatles - Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away/Now it looks as though they're here to stay/Oh, I believe in yesterday/Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be/There's a shadow hanging over me/Oh, yesterday came suddenly

"Today," Smashing Pumpkins - Today is the greatest day I've ever known/Can't live for tomorrow/Tomorrow's much too long/I'll burn my eyes out/Before I get out/I wanted more/Than life could ever grant me/Bored by the chore of saving face

"Tomorrow," Ryan Adams - Pulled into the station and they're playing Waylon Jennings/When you're driving through so late at night/You'll see the lights are blinding/Yeah, and I'll be thinking of you/Home, my baby's going home/My baby's going home/Tomorrow

And here's another bonus for you: David Bowie's video for "Love You Till Tuesday." While looking for songs for this mix, I came across this on YouTube and nearly sprained my face from too much smiling and laughing. Apparently, this is the title song/opening credit sequence for a 1969 "showcase" film that was designed by Bowie's manager as a promotional tool. It's fantastic. Especially the segment between :53 - 1:19. And the ending. Really, the whole thing is just precious.

I'm suddenly in the mood to throw a key party. Which day works best for everyone?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

I was checking out MTV's Video Music Yearbook for some inspiration this week, despite the fact that MTV has nothing to do with music or videos anymore. Luckily, it hasn't forgotten its history.

As I was going through the yearly lists, most of the videos I found weren't in any danger of ever being forgotten. But then I came upon this gem from 1984: "Wonderin'," from Neil Young and The Shocking Pinks' album Everybody's Rockin', a collection of rockabilly originals and covers.

I haven't heard this in about a zillion years, so I was really happy to find it again. Although I didn't pay that much attention to anything that wasn't pretty and British back in those days, I even liked the song as a kid. However, the video, which I find quite amusing now, was not a favorite back then. I guess Neil Young kind of scared the shit out of the 11-year-old me. And I think most of this generation's kids would agree that he really does come off as some kind of Craigslist creeper in this vid.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idol 9: 3/24/10 Results

Another results show, another 30 gray hairs. Let's get to it.

You know how the judges kept complaining last night that "of all the #1 songs out there," the contestants chose stupid songs? Well, of all the #1 songs out there, why did TPTB choose to have the Top 11 perform Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go?" What, was Starship's "We Built This City" too challenging? It's as if they were actually searching for the cheesiest song possible. And I like this song. In its true form, anyway. It was always just the right amount of sharp cheddar. But having 11 rhythmically and vocally challenged kids perform it just pushed it over into Vieux Boulogne territory.

Product placement time. If there's anything I hate more than the group sings, it's the Ford commercials. I don't know what is happening here. There are Ford cars, natch. And some balls in a fountain. And what is that song they're singing? Is that Fall Out Boy? It might as well be.

Before getting to the results, Seacrest stalls for time by asking the Idols stupid questions. Gotta fill up this hour, y'know.

Casey tells us that he screwed up in rehearsal yesterday, but not during his performance. Wow. Great story!

Siobhan's bushy-bearded boss is in the audience, who has vowed not to shave until his employee is crowned the American Idol. I hate facial hair, but is that guy kind of cute? Am I blind? Or has the utter lack of man candy in this group driven me crazy?

Katie tells us that her dad is out getting drunk instead of watching her perform, using the excuse that he just can't bear to see his daughter fail. That's uplifting. Is Katie's dad Homer Simpson?

Finally, Seacrest starts with all the stand up-sit down nonsense. Siobhan is called first and is safe. Lee and Casey are asked to stand, and then Ryan just makes them hang out there for a sec. Tim and Paige also stand. Both are in the Bottom 3. Did anyone tell Lee and Casey it was OK to sit back down?

And now for our musical guest: It's Miley! She's all dressed up and sitting at the piano. She's not necessarily playing it. What she's doing to it is more like fondling or pawing. Testing it to see if it works, maybe. Eventually she gets bored of the piano and gets up so she can flip her hair around and clutch at her chest. Man, I haven't seen extreme hair tossage like that since Mike Tramp. And what's with all the seizing and writhing? Eegads. I feel like I'm watching an episode of Monsters Inside Me. If maggots start crawling out of her ears, I am so turning this off.

Whew. OK, nothing bad happened. I know what you're thinking—"Yeah, nothing bad unless you count the performance, right?" But strangely enough, it wasn't too terrible. Thank God for Lucky Strikes and Autotune mics. And while the latter unfortunately can't fix everything, the song was actually tolerable. Which, for a Miley Cyrus performance, is worthy of the standing ovation she got. Papa Billy Ray beams proudly from the audience, but looks a bit disappointed that Miley didn't break out the stripper pole.

Seriously, isn't it wrong that Miley's was probably the best performance we've seen on this show in the past two days? And isn't it even more wrong that that's not saying much? Can't we just eliminate everyone (with the possible exceptions of Siobhan and Crystal) and start over? And can we keep Alex Lambert this time?

Well, I guess that's not gonna happen. The show continues as planned. Aaron is safe. No surprise there. Didi stands to face Ryan and tries really hard not to go off the deep end as she asks the judges, WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT?? Ellen and Simon give some great constructive advice: just pick better songs and sing them better. It's just that simple, isn't it? But Didi pretends not to hear what Simon is saying. So, expect her to not be any better next week. Yep, she'll still be here.

Michael and Crystal are both safe. *blink* *blink*

Katie and Andrew are the last two asked to stand. Somehow, Gokey v2.0 squeaks by again and Katie ends up in the Bottom 3. Ryan makes her walk all the way over to where Paige and Tim are, just to yank her back to safety. Somewhere in an L.A. dive, Mr. Stevens is overheard bragging to patrons, "That's my baby! She sucked the least!"

Before Tim and Paige learn their fates, we must all endure another performance for the tween set. This one comes to us from Disney's newest arranged marriage: Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato. What the hell are these two singing/wearing/DOING? This is like walking in on two kids who got into mommy and daddy's closet and they're playing pretend rock star in the bedroom, while their parents are out getting drunk with Katie's dad. This is seriously embarrassing. But the crowd goes wild. I can't believe all these 12-year-olds are up so late. Where are their parents? Is Billy Ray babysitting them? If so, I hope they all enjoy their first trip to the strip club later on.

Now that 50+ minutes have been properly wasted, we finally get the results: Paige has been voted out. Seacrest can barely ask if the judges plan to use their save before Lord Cowell informs Paige that even if she dicovers the cure for cancer up on that stage tonight, they have no intention of saving her. Well then. I kind of hope (for several reasons) that after watching her farewell package, Paige just drops the microphone and storms off. She doesn't, but at least she doesn't sing us out with "Against All Odds." However, her reprise of "All Right Now" isn't much better. And then the news cut her off before she's even done. It's 10:00, Paige. Do you know where your glory notes are?

Next week's theme is R&B/Soul, with guest mentor Usher. Let's see if Katie can prove that she belongs in the pop/R&B realm. Or in the music business, period. Will Kim Jong Garcia try to do with "No Scrubs" what he did with "Straight Up?" And what about Dreadsocks™? She said she has big plans for next week, so maybe she's going to attempt a crazy, harmonica-laden cover of "No Diggity?" And what about our young Tim Urban? OH PLEASE, GODS OF REALITY TV, LET HIM SING "YEAH." 'Cause y'all know Tim Urban got the rhythm make ya booty go.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

American Idol 9: Eleven Number Ones (And Plenty Of Number Two)

I was all prepared to hear some teen idol tunes on American Idol tonight (er, technically last night*), but there was a last minute change. It seems that the judges aren't going to be giving this Top 11 any kind of challenge, as the theme was switched to Billboard #1 Hits. Haven't they been doing Billboard hits for the past several weeks? Oooh, but now they're limiting the contestants to ONLY #1 hits. How difficult!

Before the butchering of songs commences, Ellen and Ryan engage in a bullshit conversation about how important it is for people to vote for their favorites. (Because ONLY YOU can prevent the Alex Lamberts of the world from being eliminated. Yeah, right.) Then Simon sucks up to Kara for no good reason before Seacrest interrupts with some more homoerotic banter. And to keep the good time party bus rolling, we get to meet this week's mentor: It's Miley!

*needle scratching on record sound*

Did I just hear that right?

*spit take*

Yep, it's Miley Cyrus all right. Yo, dawgs, she's only 17! And she's mad pitchy! She's going to mentor these contestants? Well, this should be fun. I'm expecting plenty of pole dancing. Kara probably can't wait for Casey to get all oiled up and take the stage.

Lee Dewyze kicks things off with a cover of "The Letter," which is probably not a nod to former Box Tops singer Alex Chilton's recent passing. Seriously, we're lucky if these kids know who Axl Rose is, let alone Alex Chilton. Lee's bluesy growl is pretty good, but I'm distracted by his hands. Without his trusty guitar, he doesn't know what to do with them. He's just jerking his left hand around in a very spastic manner. Perhaps he prepared by watching a video of Joe Cocker performing this song? Whatever the case, he looks relieved when it's all over. Randy thinks Lee "knocked it outta the box," which, I think, is not quite as good as blowing it out the box. Ellen tries another ridonk metaphor by comparing Lee to her favorite pen. Kara-Bot 2010 says, "Bloop've raised the bar... progress ... comfortable ... good...bleep blork." Simon is the only one who isn't that impressed with Lee's performance, labeling it "corny" and "not contemporary."

Instead of chart histories, someone must have given Paige Miles the list of songs that should be retired from AI, and she goes right for the top: Phil Collins' "Against All Odds." It's soft, then loud, then soft, then loud, then sort of softly loud, then loud, loud, soft, loud and soft. The only consistent thing about this performance is the pitchiness. Even Miley told Paige during rehearsal that she was pitchy. And if Miley Cyrus says you are pitchy, YOU ARE PITCHY, DAWG. When Paige stops the aural assault, the judges sort of stare blankly. Randy, in a fit of yos and wows, can barely spit out that Paige was "terrible." Ellen goes the Paula route by telling Paige that she's pretty. Kara and Simon are stunned by Paige's suckage, and think that she has just simply stopped competing.

Paige must have passed around that list of songs, as Tim Urban picks one by AI's whipping band, Queen. (Seriously, what did Queen ever do to this show? I wonder this every year. No one's songs take more abuse than theirs.) As if Tim doing Queen isn't bizarre enough, he settles on the rockabilly hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and immediately transports us into a bad episode of The Partridge Family. Tim slides on the floor and jumps into the idiot pit as if it really were Teen Idol week. All he's missing is a puka shell necklace. Oh, the hell with it. I hope this kid wins the whole show. I would love to see the looks on the judges' faces. They would probably look a lot like they look right now.

Seacrest warns us that Aerosmith is coming up after the break. You know what this means don't you? MUSICAL ARMAGEDDON. I wish I had a bomb shelter in which to lock myself. It just doesn't go away. It will never die. I bet that the only things that will survive the apocalypse are cockroaches and that effing asteroid love song.

Shouldn't Aaron Kelly take his sudden laryngitis and tonsilitis as a sign from God to not inflict "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" on the world? Ugh. He should, but he doesn't. OK, stop crushing on Miley, kid, and let's get this over with. *wince* Hmm. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this isn't horrible. Oh, I still hate the song with the heat of a thousand suns, but after two absolutely abysmal vocalists, Aaron's pleasant voice is refreshing. Simon thinks Aaron is making himself "old fashioned" but everyone pretty much likes him. However, if I may take a page from Kara's playbook here, I'd like to complain about the authenticity of this performance. This amazing song is about a rugged oil driller who's trying to squeeze in those last precious moments of life with his woman before he has to blast off into space to blow up an asteroid that is hurtling towards Earth—so what relevance does it have to Aaron's life? I mean, he's only 17!!! He can't possibly be expected to convey his lust for Liv Tyler or his sadness over Bruce Willis' ultimate sacrifice.

I expected Crystal Bowersox to put that pantsless bimbo, Miley, in her place during rehearsals, but she actually took her "mentoring" seriously. AND she got Miley to sign her guitar. Hmm. Maybe Dreadsocks™ isn't quite as "authentic" as I thought she was. Oh well, she still seems to be the obvious judge favorite here, and her solid cover of Janis Joplin's "Me & Bobby McGee" does nothing to change that. They all salivate over her for a few minutes, but Ellen suggests that Crystal put down the guitar for a change. At that, Dreadsocks™ reveals that she has "big plans" for next week. Man, I hope this doesn't end as badly as Paula's suggestion last year that Blind Scott come out from behind the piano.

Another of the judges' favorites, Michael Lynche, makes Miley swoon with his version of "When A Man Loves A Woman." He performs it well enough for the panel to like but not love. Kara tells Mike that even though he was "technically" very good, the performance was "overindulgent and loungey." Simon once again agrees with Kara's assessment. He's been awfully supportive of her blathering tonight. Is he trying to give her some credibility before he ducks out at the end of this season?

Suddenly, Kim Jong Il takes over the stage! Finally, some excitement! Oh no...sorry...that's just Andrew Garcia. Or is it Danny Gokey? Gokey v2.0? Kim Jong Gokey? What do I call this guy? After he's done murdering "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," someone might wanna call him a cab to the airport. Even Miley looks disgusted. And, sad as it is to say, she could have probably sung that better. Ellen hopes that Andrew's five fans vote for him, because no one else will. Kara-Bot 2010 says, "Zip zork...remember when you did 'Straight Up'?" Simon is finally tired of hearing that and suggests that, in hindsight, it's possible that everyone just "overrated that moment," because Andrew has straight up sucked ever since then.

Katie Stevens, whom I almost forgot existed, is up next singing Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal)." It's pretty much sharp the entire way through, but it's kind of like a nice tall glass of milk to wash down the shit sandwich that Andrew just force-fed me. Randy rightfully plays the "pitchy" card, but that doesn't keep Ellen from calling this Katie's best performance. Kara and Simon finally start disagreeing again, with Kara suggesting that Katie stick with pop/R&B and Simon insisting that she'll be better off in country music. Since Katie's actual best performance (pay attention, Ellen) was last week's "Wild Horses," which I described as "Carrie Underwood lite," I have to agree with Lord Cowell on this one.

Miley did not advise Casey James to do a greasy stripper dance (sorry, Kara), but instead lectured him about how important eye contact is. Like, for instance, when she makes eye contact with her fans, THEIR LIVES ARE CHANGED 4-EVA. Yeah, so anyway...Casey surprises me by choosing Huey Lewis and The News' "The Power of Love." Is this the first time anyone has ever covered Huey on AI? I think it might be! Perhaps there should be a Huey Lewis theme night? (Excuse me while I laugh myself sick imagining Tim's version of "Hip to Be Square.") Uh, this is OK. As much as I love horns though, I have to say that Casey should have cut them out of this arrangement. They're definitely making this song sound cheesy and dated. He could have rocked it out a lot more. Randy, E and Kara all think Casey is great. Simon thinks the three stooges are watching another show, because all he heard was "an '80s cover band."

Before Didi Benami takes the stage, Seacrest mentions AGAIN that she's a waitress. She's just a waitress, folks. She's not a professional singer! She certainly doesn't have any ties to anyone on the show! Didi gives me a wonderful gift by choosing to sing Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good." Oh yeah, Didi? Well, YOU'RE no good! Ha ha! See what I did there?? All bad jokes aside, Didi is...well, she's a bad joke. So I guess I can't put them all aside yet. None of the judges like this horrible cabaret number, although, like me, Simon does enjoy the irony of the song title. Didi takes a minute to ramble on à la her doppelgänger, Babbling Brooke White. Oh, she's going in the Bottom 3 for sure.

Siobhan Magnus closes things out with Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." I don't know what's up with her hair tonight. Is she longing for the mohawk of her high school days? Or is she just a big Sanjaya fan? Who knows. Who cares. Siobhan is my prediction to win it all, and her good use of the pimp spot tonight makes me even more confident that I may be right. Of course, she had to scream at the end, which is gonna get old really quickly. I hope next week she does a ballad or something. Or anything that doesn't require shrieking. All the judges give Siobhan good marks, but Simon has to compare his kids again. This time he says that Crystal is the only one who is "relevant," and that everyone else needs to work on making themselves the same.

I originally thought that Tim was so bad that he'd have to be in trouble, but I think that he's going to be saved by VFTW, tweens, religious types and a bunch of people who feel sorry for him. So, that means that the Bottom 3 will be Paige, Andrew and Didi. Everyone, take a look at Paige now. Because next week, there will be just an empty space where she used to stand.

*I purposely waited until after midnight to post this recap. You see, Tuesday was Damon Albarn's birthday and I couldn't ruin his tribute post by making him share the day with American Idol. He hates it. And I can't really say I blame him.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Many very happy birthday wishes to Damon Albarn, my #3 or #4 Man (I continuously switch him and Ewan McGregor around in the rotation), who turns 42 today. He may have lost a tooth over the years, but not an ounce of talent or, how you say, zee sexxy.

I will be spending the day listening to the wonderful new Gorillaz record, Plastic Beach, and probably every Blur record, while I wring my hands in anticipation of their documentary, No Distance Left To Run, arriving in my mailbox some time this century. (Move it, Amazon!)

I also thought I'd commemorate this day as if I were a 13-year-old girl, which is kind of how I feel every time I see a picture of the lovely Damon. So, enjoy this goofy, girly slideshow of gorgeousness through the years. (Just be glad I didn't make it pink with flying glitter-hearts.)

Note to Veggie Assassin: Before you say anything, just DON'T. It's his birthday. Be nice. Spit out that haterade.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sonic Sunday: Remembering Alex Chilton

As promised, this Sonic Sunday honors the indie hero whom Paul Westerberg described as an "invisible man who can sing in a visible voice." And the tune that line is from is the perfect way to kick off this small tribute. It's kind of fitting that a song about a great pop songwriter turned out to be one of the best power pop songs ever written.

"Alex Chilton," The Replacements - Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round/They sing 'I'm in love. What's that song?/I'm in love with that song.'

Chilton began his career at 16, as the lead singer of blue-eyed soul band The Box Tops, best known for their #1 smash "The Letter." It's one of those enduring songs that has been covered by just about everyone, but I have to admit that I've never liked it. And I like "Cry Like a Baby" well enough, but my favorite Box Tops song has always been "Soul Deep."

"Soul Deep" - Darlin' I don't know much/I know I love you so much/My life depends on your touch/And my love is a river runnin' soul deep/Way down inside me it's soul deep/Too big to hide and it can't be denied/My love is a river runnin' soul deep

The Box Tops disbanded in 1970 and Chilton went back to Memphis, where he soon joined up with friend Chris Bell to form Big Star. There are a lot of great Big Star songs to pick from, so I've just selected my favorite from each of their three studio albums. (I'm not counting 2005's In Space, which is more like Alex Chilton featuring The Posies.)

"Thirteen" from (#1 Record) - Won't you let me walk you home from school/Won't you let me meet you at the pool/Maybe Friday I can get tickets to the dance/And I'll take you

"September Gurls" (from Radio City) - September gurls do so much/I was your butch and you were touched/I loved you, well never mind/I've been crying all the time/December boys got it bad/December boys got it bad

"Blue Moon" (from Third/Sister Lovers) - Let me be your one light/And if you'd like a true heart/Take the time to show you're mine/And I'll be a blue moon in the dark

As for Chilton's solo work, I haven't heard a ton of it, but what I have heard has usually been kind of uneven. Outside of Big Star, I think I prefer when he delves into the blues/soul side of himself, as showcased in these two gems from the 1985 release Lost Decade. (The first, "I Can Dig It," is a re-recorded solo version of a Chilton song that first appeared on The Box Tops' record, Non-Stop.)

"I Can Dig It" - You got some love you wanna give it to me/Baby, I can dig it/A long time been sittin' 'round in your deep freeze, now/Baby I can dig it

"Come On Honey" - Come on honey, do what you wanna do/Come on honey, do what you wanna do/Nobody loves you baby/More than anyone else ever in the world could do

And now to close out this post, here are a couple of Big Star covers.

I'm not normally a huge fan of cover songs, and I'm not a huge fan of indie darling Bat For Lashes. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Natasha Khan's version of "Kangaroo." Her stark arrangement suits the lyrics much better, and it's one of those rare occasions when a cover tops the original.

"Kangaroo," Bat For Lashes - I first saw you/You had on blue jeans/Your eyes couldn't hide anything/I saw you breathing, oh/I saw you staring out in space

This last tune is country singer Kelly Willis' version of "When My Baby's Beside Me." It certainly doesn't improve on the original, but it's a pretty faithful cover. It's also worth a mention here because it's a good example of the far reach of Chilton's influence.

"When My Baby's Beside Me," Kelly Willis - Don't need to talk to my doctor/Don't need to talk to my shrink/Don't need to hide behind no locked doors/I don't need to think/'Cause when my baby's beside me, I don't worry/When my baby's beside me, all I know/When my baby's beside me, I don't worry/When my baby's beside me, all I know

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

I'm starting to run out of ideas here, people. Start sending me some requests!

This week's vid is from R.E.M., who is in no danger of being "forgotten," but I've always felt like "So. Central Rain," an early single from their 1984 sophomore album, Reckoning, has kind of been buried by more popular songs, despite it having been one of the band's highest charting singles (all the way to #85, woo-hoo!) prior to their big mainstream breakthrough in 1987.

Clearly, average to rabid R.E.M. fans will remember this one, but this is directed toward the casual listener, who may only remember "Radio Free Europe" and "Fall on Me" from the band's early days.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eye Boogers

Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following items are curiously fascinating:

Children By the Millions Mourn For Alex Chilton - Heaven's band just got that much better. Legendary singer, songwriter, producer and indie God, Alex Chilton, died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 59. Although Chilton preferred the rock/R&B stylings of his first band, The Box Tops, and his own solo work, he is best remembered for his time with Big Star—the band that influenced countless indie pop acts. Oddly enough, now that he's gone, Alex Chilton and Big Star's music may finally get some well-deserved mainstream exposure. If you're unfamiliar with Chilton's music, make sure you check out this week's Sonic Sunday. I just may have something for ya.

The Best Actress Oscar Curse Strikes Again - A year after the impossibly gorgeous Kate Winslet took home the Oscar for her role in The Reader, she has split from her troll-like director husband Sam Mendes, joining other award-winning actresses who've had relationships ruined by Oscar: Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank and Charlize Theron. Although everyone immediately thought this might have something to do with Kate's "best bud," Leonardo DiCaprio, the gossip is that Sam either was screwing around with actress Rebecca Hall, or that he simply told Kate that he could never be with one woman for the rest of his life. How does that old saying go? "Show me a beautiful woman and I'll show you the man who's tired of sleeping with her." *sigh*

And Again - Less than two weeks after Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Blind Side, allegations have surfaced that her husband Jesse James was having an affair with tattoo model Michelle McGee while Sandy was off filming her award-winning performance. Today, Jesse issued a statement apologizing to his wife and family for his "poor judgment," but adding, "The vast majority of the allegations reported are untrue and unfounded. Beyond that, I will not dignify these private matters with any further public comment." Soooo...what exactly is he apologizing for, then? If one of those allegations, i.e., the SEXING, is true and founded, then he needs to pull his giant head out of his ass and come up with a better apology than that. And maybe it should be a private matter, but then maybe a person in the public eye should know better than to flirt with someone who isn't his wife on Twitter, for anyone to see.

Speaking Of Leaving An Electronic Trail... - We've all been under the impression that Tiger Woods' brains are in his pants, but it's possible the guy doesn't have any brains at all. One of Tiger's 50,000 mistresses, Joslyn James (aka Veronica Siwik-Daniels), created a website on which she is now publishing over 100 sexy texts that the golfer sent her during their three-year affair. It pretty much covers everything from threesomes to golden showers. *gag* Poor Joslyn was "forced" to give up her porn star career due to Tiger's jealousy, but now she's looking forward to "future career opportunities." I have every confidence that she'll be the Internet's patron saint of golden showers within a few weeks.

Lindsay Lohan Never Disappoints - I'm not sure why it took me so long to mention this story, because it's fantastic. It must be that damn American Idol getting in the way again. Lindsay [last name no longer needed] is suing E*Trade for $100 million, claiming that their latest talking baby commercial, which references a "milkaholic" named Lindsay, uses her "likeness" without her permission, and somehow that's caused her pain and suffering. And, of course, her crazy mother supports this. E*Trade says that, because there are other people in the world named Lindsay, the commercial had nothing to do with The Littlest Firecrotch. And I say that "milkaholic" is probably the nicest thing this cracked out, faux lesbian has ever been called, so she should probably be flattered.

American Idol 9: 3/17/10 Results

OK. You caught me. I didn't watch the results show tonight. Er, last night. Why? Well, let me give you a little BeckEye math lesson:

St. Patrick's Day > American Idol

Always. No exceptions.

But I heard that my predictions weren't too bad. I had two of the Bottom 3 right: Lacey and Tim. I didn't expect Paige to be thrown into the mix. If Gokey v2.0 was better than her, I'll eat my walking hat. No, I don't really have one, but I bought my Dad one for Christmas, so I'll totally eat that one if I'm wrong. But I'm not.

Sadly, I underestimated the power of tweens, fundies and VFTW, as my cast-off prediction, Tim, survived. But I won't be too upset, since annoying-as-balls Lacey was sent home. And just like that, Sixpence None the Richer is wiped from my memory AGAIN. Hooray!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go trim my beard.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

American Idol 9: Exile on Meh Street*

(I'm much too tired to come up with a good Photochop tonight, so I had to borrow one. This brilliant AI version of "Some Girls" was created by Hanson over at VFTW. Sweet Smokin' Keef, I wish I'd thought of this.)

Ah, here we are again. The giant studio. The $300,000 lucite stairs. The Idiot Pit. The stupid, homoerotic banter between Simon and Ryan. Yep, this is the Top 12 all right.

Perhaps inspired by Adam Lambert's fierce version of "Satisfaction" last year, AI is opening the Rolling Stones songbook tonight. Oh, if only the lovely Alex Lambert were here to sing something. Anything. "Dead Flowers," perhaps? "Tumblin' Dice?" Maybe. "Let's Spend The Night Together?" OK! (Oh, calm down. He's 19.)

Alas, it is not to be. No Alex. As some big-lipped dude once said, you can't always get what you want. Seacrest doesn't even bother to acknowledge the uproar that his elimination has caused or the Internutty movement to get him reinstated on the show. I kind of figured they wouldn't cave to the petition, but I thought they'd at least address the issue. But I guess the last thing AI wants to do is admit that they got something wrong (again).

Moving on...

I am not going to even discuss the video packages from this evening because they are like mini Lifetime movies. Lots of dead and/or crying parents, glurge, and hackneyed phrases like "I've always known I was born to sing" and "I'm trying to make a better life for myself." Ugh.

Michael Lynche is up first with a funk/R&B version of "Miss You." Not sure if he came up with this arrangement by himself or what, but it's not bad. This has never been one of my favorite Stones songs, so I don't mind him messing with it. His vocals are decent, but he's definitely a better performer than a singer. You might say, "Well, so is Mick Jagger," but Mick could out-perform Mike any day of the week. Because Mike can't do the rooster or the pointy fingers. Randy thinks Mike "slayed it," and Ellen thinks he's "amazing." Kara uses about 500 words to say she liked the performance. Simon thinks the vocals were good but the dancing was corny.

One of The Pop Eye's most hated, Didi Benami, takes the stage next for her rendition of "Play With Fire." The Idiot Pit sways in mindless approval. The judges all praise Doodie, including Simon, who thinks she can do even bettah. Oh boy. OK. Gaaaaaaah. I hate to admit this...but...I kind of liked Didi tonight. Well, just her voice. Not her. I actually had to shut my eyes to enjoy that performance because this girl's arsenal of bitch faces makes me want to pull the wings off of butterflies. Furthermore, having to admit that I thought Dodo sounded good makes me want to pull my own arms off. So, let me get back on the hate train quickly. I'm suspicious now that her first couple of bad performances were scripted by the show so that the audience would feel bad for her and wouldn't realize that she's a plant whom the judges want in the Top 5. Boy, once I start conspiracy theorizing, I just can't stop!

Casey James from Cool, TX (must be Wooderson's home town, too) brings out the slide guitar for a fairly faithful version of "It's All Over Now." It actually kind of reminds me of Social Distortion's cover. It's a pretty decent peformance and he sounds just fine; I just can't get past the idea that Casey is little more than a really good bar musician. Simon basically agrees with me, calling that "like an audition performance." However, the other three love Casey—even Ellen, who reveals that her lesbianism doesn't prevent her from thinking he's "fantastic." Why is Ellen using words like "fantastic" and "amazing" tonight? Where's the "great?" Is she suddenly self-conscious about her vocab? Has she been reading my blog?

Ever since Lacey Brown sang "Kiss Me," everything she sings reminds me of that damn song. I hate Sixpence None the Richer, and so now I'm starting to hate Lacey. Before, she was just barely on my radar. But now, with her Sixpencey version of "Ruby Tuesday," she's actually gotten on my bad side. The judges are all mixed on this performance, with Randy being "pleasantly surprised" and Kara feeling "50/50." Ellen doesn't understand why Lacey stood during the slow parts and sat during the fast parts. And Simon tells Lacey that she needs to stop overthinking, because she "performs like an actress."

Andrew Garcia is really earning my nickname, "Gokey v2.0" tonight. He seems to have left his guitar in Gokey's closet, which he's clearly raided. So, he looks like Gokey but doesn't really....oh wait. Hold on. Yep, there it is. Some misplaced yelling while trying not to run out of breath while ruining one of my favorite Stones tunes, "Gimme Shelter." The Gokeyfication is complete! Randy loves Andrew, but admits that he was "pitchy everywhere." Ellen says, "What do I know? I think that was your best peformance yet." (So, the answer to her first question is "not much.") Kara and Simon are kind of on the fence, but Simon says he hopes Andrew makes it another week. I can NOT figure out why they are pushing for this guy. It's baffling.

Hey, it's a life-sized American Girl doll! Oops, no, that's just Katie Stevens. Unsurprisingly, she chooses a ballad, "Wild Horses." But surprisingly, I actually find myself rather impressed with her. The whole thing is kind of Carrie Underwood-lite, but Katie's finally singing well and showing some emotion. Randy and Ellen agree with me and Simon sort of does, but Kara claims that Katie is never "technically perfect." I would like to ask Kara: how many of these 12 contestants ARE?? And Casey James' perfect abs don't count.

Tim Urban does a fairly ridonk reggae-light version of "Under My Thumb." Is he trying to snag votes from old Jason Castro fans? I have no idea what he was thinking when he dreamed this arrangement up, but he'd definitely take third place in the high school talent show. None of the judges are feeling it, but Simon and Kara give Tim an A for effort.

Just noticed something. Tim's is the second or third critique in which Kara has said she agrees with "the guys." Is that some sort of lesbian dig? I know that "guys" is kind of a catch-all term, but something about the way she says it is annoying. Then again, something about the way she says everything is annoying.

My pick to win it all, Siobhan Magnus, is up now with "Paint It Black." The arrangement is interesting: it starts out sounding almost like a music box tune and then launches into the rock beat. Siobhan is terrific, as always, but her screaming at the end is a little too over the top, even for me. None of the judges think so though, or at least they don't say so. Siobhan gives Kara Glambert flashbacks and Simon marks this as the "standout performance of the night."

Lee Dewyze opts to cover "Beast of Burden," which I assume he will rock, but then he does kind of a wussy acoustic version of it. Still, Lee's vocals are really good and are all that save this from being a forgettable performance. Randy thinks Lee is "dope" and Ellen thinks Lee is...wait for it...wait for it...GREAT!! (She's back!) E also says there's "nothing wrong with it," while still finding some stuff to complain about. Kara appreciates Lee's growth, and Simon is still waiting for him to "have a moment."

Is it just me, or are the critiquing catchphrases getting out of control? Earlier in the night, the judges kept mentioning how contestants were "getting lost," and then after Simon mentioned to someone (and I can't even remember who now) that there was "nothing wrong with" his or her performance, Ellen latched on to that phrase and she hasn't let go yet. And Simon is still telling people to "have moments" and "use the stage," etc. I think we need another table of judges to critique the judges' critiques. Of course, those would all start to sound the same, too. Then we would need another group of judges to judge the judges who judge the judges, and eventually there would be a neverending chain of judges critiquing the critiques of other judges.

And we're back from that rather Spongebobian tangent in 3...2...1...

Paige Miles changes up "Honky Tonk Women" to make the song about one honky tonk woman: herself. And she doesn't want anyone to give her the honky tonk blues. She just wants a honky tonk man. OK, so normally I don't like when singers do that stupid gender switch thing with the lyrics, but I actually like the way she reworked the song. And apparently, she has (or had) laryngitis, but she is singing the shit out of this. I am really impressed with her tonight. I thought the judges would be too, but they all give her kind of a lukewarm reception. I'm not sure what they want from this girl. They probably have no idea either.

I could have bet $500 that Aaron Kelly would pick a Stones ballad. And I should have bet some sucker, because I'd be $500 richer right now. I'm all ready to be annoyed by this kid's version of "Angie," but his voice sounds really good. And OMG, he's only 16!! I had to say that because this is the first time none of the judges mention Aaron's age. I didn't want anyone to forget. Everyone loves Aaron tonight, and Randy even compares him to Justin Timberlake. Somehow, I can't picture this kid ever doing "Dick in a Box." (However, I could—and have—pictured Alex Lambert doing it. No, no, no, I'm kidding. It's not like that. And even if it was, I ALREADY EXPLAINED TO YOU PEOPLE THAT HE'S 19. HE IS LEGAL AND THEN SOME. STOP JUDGING ME, PRUDES.)

What's this? Crystal Bowersox in the pimp spot? You don't say! Wearing one of Lilly's shorn peacock feathers in her hair and another of her endless supply of drab, black sack cloths, she takes to the mic for a slightly folkier version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Hopefully, one day, she'll get what she needs. Like some Crest Whitestrips. OK, I'm just being mean (and honest) because I'm tired. Let's wrap this up, shall we? Dreadsocks™ is always pretty good, but this is just an average performance compared to some of her others. The judges feel the same, and this is the first time Simon (who always has to compare his kids) feels like someone else beat Crystal—specifically, Siobhan. Kara tells Crystal that her comfort with being onstage can make her come off like she's already got the competition in the bag. Apparently, this is a bad thing, even though they're constantly telling some other contestants that they need to be more confident and have the attitude that they can win. Ho hum.

As for who leaves tomorrow night, it seems like it should be an easy call, but since my predictions have sucked so far this year, I'm not really confident about anything. But I still give my best guess.

My gut tells me that the Bottom 3 will be Lacey, Andrew and Tim. Lacey has the potential to be that one girl who sticks around way longer than she should (e.g., Ryan Starr, Carmen Rasmusen, Kristy Lee Cook) and the judges want Andrew in this competition for some reason. So, even though Tim is the VFTW pick, I don't think they can save him from tonight's lame-o performance. Plus, I think more of Alex's fans will be voting for Aaron and probably anyone but Tim, whom they see as one of the reasons Alex is no longer with us.

*OK, so my post title was slightly misleading because most of the performances tonight were pretty good. But I couldn't pass that one up.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
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

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine