Friday, April 30, 2010

BeckEye's Breast Cancer Beg-a-Thon

Hi, gang! Was that too nice? Can you tell that I want something? Well, I do. And I bet a lot of you will give it to me.

When I participated in AIDS Walk NY last year, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the blogging community, which accounted for more than half of the $800+ that I raised. So...I'm hoping that you lovely folks can help out again for another worthy cause.

This Mother's Day, May 9, I'm walking in the Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure. Please join me in supporting Komen's promise to end breast cancer forever by sponsoring me in the walk. Just click this link to visit my donation page, or click the Race for the Cure photo in the near sidebar.

THANK YOU!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Battle of the Netflix Stars #9

Wow, so I haven't done one of these since August! I guess I got burned out, but I've been watching a lot of Netflix movies lately, so I should have more battles lined up soon.

Bout #9: Battle of the Documentaries About Seemingly Uninteresting Topics


Movie:Wordplay


The King of Kong:
A Fistful of Quarters

Year:20062007
Director:Patrick Creadon
Seth Gordon
Star Power:Ken Burns, Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers
None to most of the world; immense to the gaming community.
Plot:Along with commentary by New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and celebrity crossword fanatics, this documentary gets up close and personal with several competitors hoping to win the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
This doc takes a look at the world of competitive video gaming and follows mild-mannered Steve Wiebe on his journey to beat cocky world record-holder Billy Mitchell's high Donkey Kong score. Steve soon finds that the video game universe is filled with lots of drama, as he seems to get foiled at every turn by Billy and his pals in the scorekeeping organization, Twin Galaxies.
Pros:Gives a glimpse into the complicated process of creating crosswords; offers some funny celeb commentary (especially from Jon Stewart); does a great job of capturing each contestant's personality and giving you someone (or more than one) to root for

Perfectly structured and paced storytelling; a classic David vs. Goliath tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat and completely invested in the outcome
Cons:None that I can think of.

You might end up with an overwhelming desire to murder Billy Mitchell.
My Thoughts:On the "word documentary" scale, I would put this slightly below Spellbound and right above Word Wars. Even though I love Scrabble, I felt that the latter doc often treated its subjects like mental cases. Wordplay has none of that. Instead of trying to play up a "nerdy" angle, it portrays each competitor exactly as they are and treats them with respect. Even if you don't like crosswords, it's easy to get wrapped up in the competition and the different personalities involved. You kind of have to appreciate people who are so good at and so devoted to one thing, no matter what that thing is. (Unless that thing is, say, murder.)
If you're anything like me, you might wonder, "Oh my God. How am I going to watch 79 minutes of nerd drama?" Well, trust me. Just start watching it and those concerns will go out the window in about the first 10 minutes. Much like you don't need to like crosswords to enjoy Wordplay, you don't need to really care about video games to find this film completely engrossing. If you like superhero flicks or movies like Star Wars and Terminator—anything with a clear good vs. evil premise—then you'll love this. Steve Wiebe makes it so easy to root for him and Billy Mitchell is so damn easy to hate. Even as I type this now, I'm thinking about finding him and beating him about the face and head with a Donkey Kong-esque mallet. Really. He's such a lying bastard. And poor Steve just keeps powering on, even though he constantly gets screwed over by Billy and his inner circle of all-powerful geeks. I actually started to tear up a little bit at the end. How's that for nerdy?
Final Grade:
B

A

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

American Idol 9: 4/28/10 Results

As the American Idol results show opens, we can tell it's going to be a weird night. It seems that a senile old bat has taken over the control room and just keeps yelling, "Zoom! Zoom in! ZOOM!"

ZOOM. That's it! I knew those group sings reminded me of something. If only the contestants had been in rugby shirts all this time.

Happily, the overbooking of musical guests (none of whom are this week's mentor, Shania Twain) tonight means that there is no group sing! Hey, I know a line dance to Shania's "Love Gets Me Every Time" that I could have taught this group of neo-maxi zoom dweebies, but no one asked. I guess my reputation as a choreographer doesn't precede me.

Performing first tonight is Rascal Flatts. Joy. Fat Lance Bass sings through his nose as always. I'm sure Chrustin Richardslake™ will record this and use it later as a Cable in the Classroom-type tool at his School of Nasally Singing.

Now we go behind the scenes of the latest Ford commercial to watch the kids get turned into vampires. Well, everyone but Michael, who is portraying the vamps' victim. As Crystal explains, "We're gonna go eat Mike. There's plenty to go around." Now, now, Crystal. I know you're joking but if next week's commercial has a cave theme, don't be surprised if Mike makes a joke about those stalactites in your mouth.

Time for some Shrek Forever After pimpage. Just because it doesn't come out until mid-May, there's no reason that FOX shouldn't help drive every American parent insane by getting their kids all juiced up about its impending premiere.

Suddenly, there are six random people sitting onstage. Ohhh, yeah that's right. Those are the remaining contestants! Duh! I totally forgot the point of this time suck was to give the results of last night's voting.

Ryan lumps everyone into three groups of two: Siobhan and Lee, Aaron and Crystal, and Michael and Casey. I figure if one from each group makes up the Bottom 3, I have a pretty good shot of going 2/3 with my predictions. But no. Ryan walks Siobhan over towards the couches, stops her at Michael and Casey's group and says they are the Bottom 3. Way to go, me. 1/3. I suck.

Carrie Underwood shows up to introduce Sons of Sylvia, a trio of dudes who look more like Sons of Charlie Sexton. Hmm. I'm enjoying this. The song is a little repetitive, but I likey. WAIT. Are these the same guys who performed on AI a couple of seasons ago, much to my immediate dislike??

*quick Google search*

Well, my my, yes they are! I can't believe it. Before, they were known as The Clark Brothers and I guess they changed their name so people wouldn't remember that they used to be terrible. Here's what I said about their last AI appearance:

After Michael, Carly and David Archuleta were put through to the Top 8, The Hillbilly Brothers performed. I don't remember their real name, and I certainly don't care to know it. They were basically a trio of tuneless, chubby Deliverance extras. Apparently, they won the unsuccessful AI spinoff, The Next Great American Band. So, they're it, eh? Well, that clinches it. I'm moving to Australia. And I'm taking Mr. Johns with me.
Kinda harsh, eh? Well, I'm glad to see that this whole music thing is working out for them now. Sadly, it never did work out with Michael Johns and I. Apparently, he was already married. Ridiculous, isn't it?? Ah, remember how much I used to love that guy? The ol' recaps just aren't quite the same without that level of obsession.

Oh good, Lady Antebellum is here to sing "Need You Now." Thank God, because I haven't heard it in at least 45 minutes. I amuse myself during this segment by imagining Lady Gaga flying in on a jetpack to save the day. (Save the day=burn down the studio with said jetpack. And then autographing and giving that jetpack to me. Because, come on, it's 2010 and we should all have one by now. I will never stop being disappointed at our jetpackless existence.)

Rascal Flatts returns with Shakira in tow because, when you think of country music, you immediately think SHAKIRA. The Colombian hottie jams a glob of peanut butter down her throat and sings something about being a gypsy. I'll stick with Stevie Nicks, thanks. Unless she's willing to put curses on Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts and drag them both to hell.

I think I need to clarify something. I actually like country music. All this griping might make it seem like I don't, but I just don't consider some of these country artists really country. I don't have a problem with artists with crossover appeal, but there are too damn many of them now. I think a lot of these newer acts are just afraid they won't make it in the fickle pop world, so they go for the loyal country audience.

But anyway...back to the results!

Michael is safe. Siobhan is out. That's right. SIOBHAN. I think my score in the Idol pool is now a negative number, if that's possible.

I had long ago picked Siobhan to win the whole thing, but I understand why she might have been voted out. The whole screaming thing got to be a bit much and she never did seem fully in control of her voice. I still don't think it was the right decision though, and I'm not sure America actually made it. (Do you smell another conspiracy theory?) Clearly, TPTB want Crystal to win this thing, but the front-runner often has a habit of losing. So maybe they're trying to clear the path by taking out the only other female? Who knows. All that really happened tonight was that this season just became exponentially more dull. As Simon might say, it's as if someone (TPTB, the voters, maybe a mix of both) sucked...the life right out of the show. Whatever life was left, anyway.

Hey, but don't let this season's boredom keep you from entering the CafePress contest to win two tickets to the Crystal/Lee finale! Of course, it's possible that, even with Siobhan out of the way, Crystal will still Melinda Doolittle out on us and it will be a Lee/Aaron finale. That matchup would be kind of like the Battle of the Two Davids, but with 40% less charisma, 50% less talent, and 100% less gasping.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol 9: That Don't Impress Me Much


Before the recapping commences, don't forget to enter the CafePress contest to win two tickets to the American Idol finale!

OK kids, it's country night...so you know what that means. Just about every contestant is going to cop out and pick a ballad. And even though AI is opening the Shania Twain songbook, which is full of peppy songs (hell, she had an entire album called Up! that featured exclamation points all over the place), these kids are still going to take the easy road. And even though it happens every country night, it's even lamer tonight because Shania's brand of country music is 90% pop.

Lee Dewyze is up first with ballad #1, "You're Still the One," and he goes from monotonous to shouty in record time. Has he always sung with a crooked mouth? OK, Lee, so what do you think, you're Elvis or something? (oooh-ooh-ooh) This don't impress me much. (ooh-ooh-ooh) Don't get me wrong, yeah I think Lee's all right. But he won't keep me warm in the middle of the night. (I should have probably warned you all before starting that I was quite the Shania fan back in the day, so I know nearly all of her songs. Sorry. I'll try not to keep doing this.) Somehow, Lee's very average performance garners rave reviews from all of the judges. The only negative Simon can find is that Lee was "pulling some weird faces." Ellen makes a stupid "all aboard the Shania Twain" joke, but I won't make too much fun of her since she's apparently following me on Twitter now.

Up next is Michael Lynche with, yes, a ballad. He performs "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" in a perfectly pleasant manner and there is no doubt that the judges will lap this up. They love when Michael stays in the Ruben Studdard box because that's who they think he is, and they love when the puppets obey. And whattaya know, Randy once again TELLS Michael that he IS "the R&B balladeer." No more of that funky, cool pop stuff for you, mister. Although Simon thinks the performance seemed a little "wet" (apparently a British term that he can't even properly translate), he agrees with Ellen's comparison of Mike to Luther Vandross. Kara says something like, "connection...blah blah blah...feeling...blah blah blah... connection...blah."

Casey James decides to give the people a different side of him: the rhythm guitarist side, as opposed to the lead guitarist side. Oh boy! He turns in a pretty good performance of "Don't"—a song I originally had confused with "Whatever You Do! Don't! (there are the exclamation points again), which would have been a much more lively (and hilarious) choice—but it's actually a ballad (shocker!) that appeared on Shania's Greatest Hits compilation. In this week's episode of Short Attention Span Theater, the judges all tell Casey that this was his best performance ever. No way that was better than his cover of "Jealous Guy," but whatever. Just let them say what they want so we can get to the end and I can watch Glee.

Ryan chats with Crystal Bowersox before her performance and he makes a point of mentioning how white Shania's teeth are. (Ooooh, Seacrest, you bitch.) Dreadsocks™ hopes that the message behind "No One Needs To Know" will prompt her boyfriend to make an honest woman of her. Said boyfriend just sits in the audience, grinning like a nervous idiot. I've always thought this was a really cute song, but this performance is actually kind of dull. But Crystal is still so beyond the other contestants that it probably doesn't matter. And I'm happy to finally get at least a mid-tempo song so I can tap my foot (impatiently, as I await Glee). The judges aren't really feeling the performance either, and try to gently tiptoe around without actually saying they didn't like it, but Simon finally says, "Shocker—we don't like Crystal this week." So, either they're setting her up to be in the Bottom 3 (or 2, whatever it is now) or they're trying to de-pimp her a little bit so that people still vote for her.

Now, Aaron Kelly always does ballads (except for that time he foolishly chose "Blue Suede Shoes") but since he's this season's country wannabe, I thought he would really go for it. But no...he picks yet another ballad, "You've Got A Way." I start laughing when he changes the "it's in the way we make love" line to "it's in the way you show your love," and I'm all set to come up with some jokes and show off my deep knowledge of Shania lyrics (that's on my resume) when Kara actually mentions it. Twit. Of course, she's happy that Aaron changed the lyric because she assumes that, at the tender age of 17, he doesn't know where babies come from or where to put his pee-pee. If this were any 17-year-old other than Aaron, she'd probably be wrong, but I think this is one of the few times Kara is right. Aaron reveals the real reason he changed the line: he wanted to dedicate the song to his mom. Well, that was nice of Aaron. To change the lyric, I mean. I guess he didn't want to traumatize America like Jared Cotter did back in Season 6, when he dedicated "Let's Get It On" to his parents. (Insert Sideshow Bob shudder here.)

Siobhan Magnus gets the pimp spot with "Any Man of Mine." Yee-hah! Finally, an upbeat song!! It starts out kind of wonky, with that low, breathy, lounge singer tone that Siobhan sometimes conjures up, but it picks up soon enough. It's not a perfect performance, and of course there's an unnecessary scream, but overall it's kind of fun. Randy, Ellen and Kara all love it, and country music hater Simon even admits to liking the song, but he thought Siobhan sounded like she was giving birth when she started shrieking. Oh, I wish he wouldn't have brought that up. Now he's going to have to have "the talk" with Aaron.

It's kind of weird that the judges seemed to like everyone tonight. That rarely happens, especially on country night. And it's even weirder that it happened on a night when everyone was so spectacularly average.

So, if there's still a Bottom 3, I think they're going to throw Crystal into the mix. She'll be safe of course, but they need some kind of shocker. Since there are only two girls left, I think another dude will be sent packing tomorrow night, but I'm having a hard time deciding who that will be. Well, I'm not going to think too much about it. I'm too busy wondering why in the hell Jonathan Groff is being relegated to the background in this Glee episode.

Bottom 3: Aaron, Crystal and Michael
Out: Michael


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sonic Sunday: April Showers, Pt. 3

'Musician in the Rain' by Robert DoisneauWell, kids, it's the last Sunday in April and that means the end of the April Showers Mix. You can still access the tunes from Part 1 and Part 2 for a limited time.

OK, so now that we're through all three parts, feel free to complain about how song x wasn't featured here. My apologies to Guns 'N' Roses for not making the cut, but that's what they get for writing a song about rain that I don't like. And my apologies to Milli Vanilli for being too ridiculous to even consider.

"Singin' In The Rain," Gene Kelly - I'm singin' in the rain/Just singin' in the rain/What a glorious feelin', I'm happy again/I'm laughing at clouds so dark up above/The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love

"I Love A Rainy Night," Eddie Rabbitt - Well, I love a rainy night/It's such a beautiful sight/I love to feel the rain on my face/Taste the rain on my lips/In the moonlight shadow

"Rainmaker," The Rainmakers - And the rainmaker came to town/And the people got what they wanted/The rainmaker came to town/And everybody got what they need/The rain came falling down cats and dogs and buckets/And the rainmaker sailed away on a flood of relief

"Rain," The Cult - Hot sticky scenes, you know what I mean/Like a desert sun that burns my skin/I've been waiting for her for so long/Open the sky and let her come down/Here comes the rain/Here comes the rain/Here she comes again/Here comes the rain

"Another Rainy Night (Without You)," Queensryche - But now my take-out food is growing cold/And the candle's burned a hole in the floor/And I'm still waiting for the ring of the phone/I'm all alone/And it's another rainy night without you/Guess I'll leave the light on for you/It's just another rainy night without you

"The Rain," Oran "Juice" Jones - Now here you are begging to me to give our love another try/Girl I love you and I always will/But darling right now I've got to say goodbye/'Cause I saw you (and him) walking in the rain/You were holding hands and I'll never be the same

"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," BJ Thomas - Raindrops keep fallin' on my head/But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red/Cryin's not for me/'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'/Because I'm free/Nothing's worryin' me

"Let It Rain," Eric Clapton - The rain is falling through the mist of sorrow that surrounded me/The sun could never thaw away the the bliss that lays around me/Let it rain, let it rain/Let your love rain down on me

"Rain King," Counting Crows - Don't try to bleed me 'cause I've been there before/And I deserve a little more/I belong in the service of the Queen/I belong anywhere but in between/She's been lying and I've been sinking/And I am the Rain King

And to put an end to this rainy mix, here's a little bonus:

"Waitin' On A Sunny Day," Bruce Springsteen - It's rainin' but there ain't a cloud in the sky/Musta been a tear from your eye/Everything'll be okay/Funny thought I felt a sweet summer breeze/Musta been you sighin' so deep/Don't worry we're gonna find a way/I'm waitin', waitin' on a sunny day/Gonna chase the clouds away/Waitin' on a sunny day

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

I was digging around YouTube recently and came up with this forgotten hit from 1980, Charlie Dore's "Pilot of the Airwaves." It's such a perfect snapshot of that "coming out of the '70s/entering the '80s" period.

Enjoy Charlie and her all-star band, featuring Tony Danza, Rob Morrow, Bryan Adams, Steve Perry and Elton John. Heh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because I Haven't Picked on Paris Hilton in a While

Keep looking at it. It's not getting any smaller.I knew she'd be back to annoy me one of these days.

Apparently, Paris is a big Gorillaz fan. Last weekend at Coachella (which Gorillaz closed out with their Sunday headline slot), the gangly aardvark nosed a bunch of people out of the way at the backstage bar to get to my #3 man, Damon Albarn. When she finally got to him, she kissed him on the cheek and then tried to keep his attention by blathering on about graffiti artist Banksy, who did the cover art for Blur's Think Tank. According to the story, Paris told Damon that she personally knew Banksy, even though the artist has long kept his identity secret.

Banksy ratOh, to have been a fly on the wall (or better yet, a human on Damon's lap) during that "conversation." Because I'm pretty sure that Paris represents everything that Damon (and every other normal, thinking person) hates. And I'm pretty sure Damon is one of the few people who actually knows "the real Banksy." Annnnd I'm pretty sure Paris was lying through her giant snout.

It could be true though. I mean, I'm sure a British cult hero who's worked so hard to remain anonymous would definitely befriend an American celebutard. Because there would be virtually no danger of her ever drunkenly tweeting his identity.
Damon Albarn is not buying what you're selling.
Nice try, Paris. Now, don't you have a halfway house to build? It's been two years since you made that promise. Hey, you should get your good pal Banksy to decorate the walls!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idol 9: Idol Gives Back


Before all the nicey-nice charity stuff, I just want to divert everyone's attention to that graphic over in the far sidebar. CafePress is running a sweepstakes and will be giving away a trip for two to American Idol's season finale. There is no purchase required to enter. If you click on that graphic (or this link), you'll be transported to the contest entry page...and you'll also be helping me! (I'm not Rick Rolling you. Swearsies.) You see, CafePress is running a concurrent contest for bloggers, which means that if my site drives the most sweepstakes entrants, I'll win a trip to the finale, too! So, if you love me, enter because you want me to report on this nonsense from the Idol audience. And if you hate me, enter because you want me to get beat up after the show by all the people I've made fun of. (That doesn't include Kara, because her Mr. Burns arm would probably snap in half if she hit me.)

OK, now on with Idol Gives Back!

Because of a late-day nap that I just couldn't seem to rouse myself from, my recapping job is a little easier tonight. I'm only tuning in to the show at 9:05. From what I understand, this is all I missed from the first hour:

  • The Obamas
  • Horrible trainwrecks - The Top 12 performing in their angelic white outfits, a Ford commercial, The Black Eyed Peas
  • People I don't like - Victoria Beckham, George Lopez, The Black Eyed Peas
  • People I do like - Sully, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone, Morgan Freeman, Alicia Keys
  • The placement of the first two of the Bottom 3 - Casey and Aaron (if Michael is the third, I'll go 3/3 finally this season)
So, on to the second half...

Russell Brand and Jonah Hill are being really unfunny, which is hopefully not an indication of what their new movie, Get Him to the Greek (the Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off), will be like. They do some stupid skit about how they got a bunch of celebs to answer the phones, but they're all just celebrity impersonators. Oh, how they slay me!! Now they don't realize that Slash is REALLY the REAL Slash! Oh, my sides!! Octomom is there! How relevant! Jim Carrey shows up and plays along with the stupidity. My God, this is horrible. The only good part about this is that Tatiana del Toro is there. And she looks HOT with her new short 'do! Of course, they waste her presence by making a stupid Clay Aiken joke.

Back to Queen Latifah in Pasadena, who brings Common out for no reason other than to introduce Carrie Underwood. Her song, "Change," is one of those dramatic, feel-good songs about how yes, one person CAN change the world that usually makes me want to vomit, but I actually like this. Maybe a lot. Am I off my rocker? Carrie sounds really good but she needs to learn to keep the beat with her free hand before she loses grip on the microphone.

Back to Seacrest, who is now joined onstage by Ellen. She intros a video package of her and David Arquette's trip to Feeding America's Monrovia, CA food bank.

Elliott Yamin and Sister Dominguez, the founder of the Angolan orphanage that Elliott and Kara visited, are hanging out in the audience together. We see another video about the spread of malaria in Africa.

In a taped segment, Ryan speaks with Bill and Melinda Gates about the Global Health Fund. Something tells me these two could feed the world forever with just one check, but I won't go there right now.

Wanda Sykes becomes the only comedian on tonight's show to actually be funny when she does her Idol mini-roast, which includes a jab at Simon and his nipple-rubbing and the show's evil habit of making the eliminated contestant sing every week. The judges seem pretty amused, all except for Kara, who looks like she has really bad gas. Or a really bad sense of humor. (Or maybe that's just her normal face.) She should be smiling and thankful that Wanda isn't doing a bit on how America hates her.

Back to the results for a sec: Siobhan and Michael are safe, so that puts Timmeh in the Bottom 3. Bah, I'm only 2/3. *sigh* I'd still like to hope that Aaron will go, but I'm afraid that TPTB have had enough of Tim.

David Cook shows up wearing one of Michael Johns' old outfits, complete with ascot. He shows a video of his trip to an Ethopian school that rescues impoverished or orphaned girls who often end up being sold into sex slavery.

And now...I am CRYING. I can't believe this is happening. Damn you, Annie Lennox. I'm not even working steadily right now, but I'm gonna have to donate at least $20 after seeing this...

Annie shows us the struggle of a seven-year-old African girl who has pneumonia and AIDS. The girl only weighs what a normal one-year-old weighs, and looks to be practically at death's door. Yet this girl is always smiling. It's really heartbreaking. If anyone watching this is able to keep their eyes completely dry, I'll be amazed. There is something of a happy ending to this story (for now), as Annie shows us her follow-up visit after the girl received proper medication. She's back to a normal weight and is doing much better. Annie is usually the best part of any show she takes part in and she is a double win tonight: her segment is the most moving and her performance of new song, "Universal Child," is absolutely beautiful. It's only too bad she had to do it via satellite, but blame it on Mount Mekkalekkahimekkahineyho for stranding her in Europe.

An all-star band consisting of Mary J. Blige (vocals), Steve Vai (guitar), Orianthi (guitar), Travis Barker (drums) and AI's own Randy Jackson (slappin' da bass, mon) takes the stage to cover "Stairway to Heaven." Now, I am a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan and obviously this song is an uber-classic, so I was cringing in anticipation of a total mess. But damn, Mary J. is tearing this up! I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this is.

Simon shows us his visit with a doctor who is helping the Children's Health Fund in the small town of Douglas, AZ and shows his sweet side while making friends with a very sick little girl. He then informs the audience that Idol Gives Back has already raised $15 million tonight. (Side note: since its inception, the event has raised $140 million.)

Ben Affleck, looking like a homeless man, reminds us all to give back.

Back to Latifah. She's joined by Elton John, who talks about his AIDS Foundation before taking a seat at the most ginormous piano I've ever seen to sing "Your Song." I've never met anyone who doesn't like this song and I don't think I want to.

And that's it for the guest stars. Now it's back to the fate of the Bottom 3. Aaron screws up my prediction percentage and my Idol pool points even more by being named safe first. Arrrgh.

It comes down to Michael and Tim, and it's Timmeh who is sent packing. And who knows if it's because of what Wanda Sykes said or if it's just because the producers and judges are jerks, but Tim doesn't get to sing one final time. So he just smiles us out.

Remember, if you want to give back, you can make a donation on the Idol Aid website. Some of the charities you can help are the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation. Also, proceeds from the sales of Top 7 and Idol Gives Back celebrity performances on iTunes will be donated to the IGB Foundation. (As of right now, I don't see any celeb mp3s available, just the Top 7 performances. Hopefully, the others will be added soon because there's no way I'm downloading any of those Top 7 songs.)


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

American Idol 9: The AI Recap That Inevitably Devolves Into Pure Gleekery

Tonight is the precursor to Idol Smokes Crack. Let's get on with it, shall we? Glee's a' waitin'.

For tonight's dreaded Inspirational Songs theme, I have procured a cinder block, which is at the ready should anyone launch into "Greatest Love of All." Mentor Alicia Keys is on hand because she likes being charitable. How nice of her to try to help this mostly underwhelming crop of contestants not suck too badly. Although, her advice to everyone is pretty much, "connect with the song," something I don't think most of them understand. Well, Alicia, all you can do is try.

Casey James is in the Leadoff Spot of Doom performing Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop." OK, I like Casey but he really needs one of those headpiece mics or something, because every performance is just him smiling with his guitar behind a mic stand. He sings well enough, and we all know he's a great guitarist, but it's just all so déjà vu. The Dawg agrees. Ellen also agrees and is upset that she can't use her favorite word, "great." Kara complains that Casey didn't show what makes him different. (What, like his abs? That won't even work anymore. Have you guys seen Timmeh's six pack?) Simon blasts Casey for making a lazy song choice and showing zero emotion.

Seacrest tries to get some emotion out of Lee Dewyze, by reminding him how his BFF Garcia got kicked to the curb last week. Lee predicts great things for Andrew in the future. Yeah, like maybe another neck tat. Lee sings Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer," an odd song choice considering that much of it is "li la li." Not that it matters, because I can barely concentrate on the song due to Lee's ultra shiny lips. Did the guy O.D. on Burt's Bees before the show or what? So, OK, this isn't bad. Just kind of boring. He's sort of growling a lot; I'm not sure why. Randy pipes in with a ridiculous statement: "The show is really about artists this year." Really? What show is he watching, Project Runway? Ellen thinks Lee has soul and depth, and Simon thinks he's sincere. Kara thinks this was Lee's proud moment inside AI's heaven. Seriously? THIS? Don't get me wrong; it wasn't horrible. It just was not THAT good. Kara claims that she could tell that Lee had an emotional connection to the song, and I say that's baloney. No one would know that he gave two shits about that song if he hadn't told us before singing it. I don't know what these judges are hearing. I mean, how much emotion (Paul Simon included) can anyone put into a bunch of li la lis? Was this performance pleasant? Yes. Inspirational? Not really.

Hey, Sully's in the house! This is how we treat our American heroes? I'm pretty sure TPTB tricked him into thinking he'd be sitting in on a taping of Glee. Speaking of, I am starting to fidget. I need to go look at a picture of Jonathan Groff online during the next commercial break. (Hey, there's a shirtless one of him, too! It's kind of a rip though. Can't really see much. Oh, but that face...)

...Anyway....here's Tim Urban now, singing the Goo Goo Dolls' "Better Days," which I've never heard. His version doesn't exactly make me want to run out and hear it, but that's mainly because I don't care about the Goo Goo Dolls or Johnny Too Many Zs in His Last Name. Tim's kind of dull tonight. The chicks still dig him though. The judges are painfully aware of Six Pack Timmeh's popularity, as they have taken to being pretty nice to him, even when trying to be negative. Randy just calls the performance "good karaoke," and Ellen blathers on about soup. Kara doesn't think this was Tim's best night, but still loves his "commercial" sound. Simon says some nice things but ends on "it was a little bit of a letdown," which suggests that Simon is actually expecting MORE from Timmeh these days. Interesting.

Does anyone like these "inspirational" songs? Perhaps Idol should have done a Madonna night instead to coincide with Glee's theme. I know that when I was younger, "Lucky Star" prompted me to buy several items of mesh clothing and wear a pink lace headband practically every day. Now that's inspiration.

Aaron Kelly is covering the R. Kelly (no relation!) dreck fest, "I Believe I Can Fly." Yep, it's back to the ballads for Aaron. I don't know if this song is inspirational, but it sure is apt for this Idol season: I used to think that I could not go on/And life was nothing but an awful song. You said it, kid. The Idiot Pit loves this, and most of the judges give Aaron a pass just for having the guts to take on such a "big song." Simon isn't quite as generous though, saying that if he'd heard this on the radio, he would have turned it off after 10 seconds. Maybe Aaron just didn't connect well enough with the song. Perhaps if he'd urinated on an underage girl in the audience, it would have seemed more authentic.

Poor Siobhan Magnus. She shows up looking like a woodland sprite and announces that she's singing "When You Believe" by...wait for it...Mariah Carey...wait, not done...and...Whitney Houston. You can almost hear Randy's internal dialogue: "What??? YO. *deep inhale* You can't cover Mariah! I know her, by the way. You can't cover Whitney! What? Dawg, uhhhh, what's going down? For me, for Siobhan, this just ain't gonna work. Yo, did I mention I know Mariah? OK, but did I say it OUT LOUD? Maybe I should. I think everyone might have forgotten." That goes on for much longer, but we don't have unlimited time here. This is a dreadfully boring song, but I think Siobhan does a pretty good job with it. Her screaming isn't too out of control and her high notes are really lovely. Randy ends his internal dialogue to basically spit out that Siobhan was just OK because she's NOT WHITNEY OR MARIAH! Ellen disagrees, while Randy silently curses himself for forgetting to mention his ties to Mariah out loud. Kara says, "that was technically very well sung, but this isn't a musical." Sooooo...pop singers don't need to be technically good singers, only Broadway singers? Thanks for finally admitting what we already knew! Simon gives Siobhan a thumbs down, too, and then Seacrest lets her talk for an unreasonable length of time. (Or is it just that it takes Siobhan two minutes to finish a nine-word sentence?) I like that she stands her ground though, and says she ain't scurred of Mariah and Whitney. She's gonna sing the songs she likes no matter who sings 'em, dammit!

Michael Lynche sings "Hero"—not the Mariah Carey song, but the one by the unholy union of the Nickelback and Saliva singers. Unholy because I just don't like those bands, but I actually kind of like this song. It's got a bit of drama to it. Well, not the way Mike does it. He's just kind of jamming out with his acoustic guitar, which I can barely hear, and not doing anything particularly interesting with the song. It's not bad; it's just meh. Because they're short on time, the judges try to blaze through their critiques. Randy and Ellen give Michael a thumbs up and then Kara slows things right back down with a lot of talking just to say that it wasn't her favorite performance. Simon kind of liked the vocal, but is fixated on the fact that the song was from Spider-Man, and therefore cannot be inspired by it. I guess he's a Batman fan.

In the pimp spot tonight is Crystal Bowersox, fresh off of her blown-out-of-proportion "I want to quit" controversy. She's sans guitar this time to sing an impassioned version of "People Get Ready" by The Impressions or any of the 5,000 other artists who have covered it. As the song nears its end, I'm thinking, "Now, compare this to Lee's performance. THIS is someone who can really connect to a song." And then she starts crying. I'm always a little put off by people crying on this show because I'm so used to so much of this being fake, but I think she's having a genuine emotional outburst here. She's had a weird week, she misses her kid, and her dad finally made it out to see her. Or maybe she's crying because she's selling her soul a little bit to make a better life for herself. Ah well. A few more weeks Crystal, and then just take a dive. Trust me, you don't want to win this.

Do you really need me to tell you what the judges thought about the most talented and consistent performer? No. But I need to tell Simon something. STOP TALKING, ALREADY! Glee should be on by now. It was supposed to start at 8:59! Where is it??? End. END!!

Here's my quick prediction and, since my predictions have pretty much sucked all year, I'm not putting that much time or energy into thinking about them. I'm just going with my first instincts. Bottom 3 will be Casey, Aaron and Michael. And I believe little Aaron will fly off to obscurity.

Come on, blow through these phone numbers. Faster! Why can this show never end on time? What the...? Seacrest, you don't have time to schmooze with Alicia Keys! END!! ENNNNNNNNND!!!! It's 9:03 for Sue Sylvester's sake!!

Aah, finally. Glee!

*insert 62 minutes of rapt enjoyment and some cougar-style drooling*

Hey, did you all know that Amber Riley (Mercedes) tried out for American Idol seven years ago, and didn't even get past the initial producers' screening? That would have been for Season 3, right? The season of the divas? The season in which another now big star, Jennifer Hudson, was cut early while Jasmine Trias made it all the way to the final 3? Yep.

OMG. Here is when you know for sure that this is just a TV show and not real life. Who would not have sex with Jesse St. James if he asked? Good Lord. If there had been a guy like that in my high school, well, I'd probably have been 16 and pregnant before that unfortunate condition inspired a TV show of its own.

I totally have to redo my doable men list soon. Jonathan Groff just shot into the Top 5. Sorry, Jackman. There's a new song and dance man in town. And this one's openly gay*. Down to #6 you go.

The Madonna episode tonight was pretty awesome. I especially loved the girls' version of "Express Yourself" (my fave Madge song) and the "Like a Virgin" sequence, but I do have one complaint. WHY WAS JONATHAN GROFF'S "BURNING UP" NOT IN THE EPISODE?? That is another of my favorite Madonna songs, and his version of it is fab-u-lous. And I'm not just saying that because I want to have his curly-haired babies. Take a listen:



Burning up, indeed. Oh, J-Groff, I'm hung up on you. You must be an angel. I wanna dress you up in my love. Please never leave my TV screen, unless it's to come tell me some bedtime stories. Or to help me think up more Madonna-themed things to say.

*I keed, I keed. Hugh's straight. Probably.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Lady Gaga - On The Record with Fuse: The Lost Tapes

For all you Lady Gaga fans, Fuse is airing new, previously unreleased footage of its exclusive Gaga interview, which aired late last year. This new special will air tonight at 8 pm and again at 11 pm (both times Eastern). So, if you get Fuse, tune in. Here's a little teaser of what you can expect:



I actually caught the original interview and found it pretty interesting. I was amazed that Gaga managed to come off as part hippie yet part pop commodity, intelligent yet spacey, and pretentious yet down-to-earth all at the same time. I'm also certain that, if a movie is ever made about the Lady's life, Drew Barrymore should play her because they have THE SAME EXACT SPEAKING VOICE. It's kind of weird.

Many of you know that, although I began as a non-believer who tried to fight it, I've become a huge Lady Gaga fan in the past year. A lot has been said on both sides of the Gaga fence: die-hards praise her as some sort of musical messiah and detractors say she's just ripping off those who came before her, like Madonna, David Bowie and Grace Jones, with the latter herself recently blasting Gaga as an unoriginal copycat.

I can see both sides of the argument, but I'm honestly a little tired of the "copycat" talk. Gaga has always worn her influences on her sleeve, but I think she's brought what they started into the 21st century. Gaga may not be a visionary, but in the context of today's pop landscape, she is something different. And really, at this point in our musical lives, can we really expect to see a truly original artist? Is there ever going to be another person to come along and do something 100% different? I doubt it. But there's a difference between someone like Lady Gaga putting a new spin on an old schtick and someone like Ke$ha quickly cashing in with her dime store impression of Gaga's act. One is paying homage and one just wants to get paid.

This whole originality debate is best summed up by Chris Robinson, whose Black Crowes were endlessly compared to the Faces and other '70s classic rock bands. When Rolling Stone once asked him about the criticism, he said: "What is original? I'm not going to bang two badger carcasses together and recite poetry and say, 'Hey, here's the new thing.'"

Hmm. Now that I think of it, Lady Gaga probably would bang two badger carcasses together. And then Chris Robinson would blast her for stealing his idea.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sonic Sunday: April Showers, Pt. 2

Photo by AnkyShpanky @deviantARTAs I promised last week, the "April Showers" mix continues with more rainy day songs. For you members of the (Shirley) Manson Family who jumped the gun and freaked out because I didn't include Garbage in Part 1, I hope you're happy now...whether it's raining or not.

"Only Happy When It Rains," Garbage - I'm only happy when it rains/I'm only happy when it's complicated/And though I know you can't appreciate it/I'm only happy when it rains/You know I love it when the news is bad/And why it feels so good to feel so sad/I'm only happy when it rains

"Rain," Concrete Blonde - Thought I saw your headlight/Thought I heard your car/Shadows on the streetlights/Fog and nothing more/And all I hear is rain/And things I tried to say

"I Can't Stand The Rain," Ann Peebles - I can't stand the rain against my window/Bringing back sweet memories/Hey window pane, do you remember/How sweet it used to be/When we was together/Everything was so grand/Now that we've parted/There's just one sound that I just can't stand

"It's Raining Men," The Weather Girls - Humidity is rising/Barometer's getting low/According to all sources/The street's the place to go/'Cause tonight for the first time/Just about half-past ten/For the first time in history/It's gonna start raining men

"Rhythm Of The Rain," The Cascades - Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain/Telling me just what a fool I've been/I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain/And let me be alone again

"Feels Like Rain," John Hiatt - Batten down the hatches, baby/Leave your heart out on your sleeve/It looks like were in for stormy weather/That ain't no cause for us to leave/Just lie here in my arms and let it wash away the pain/It feels like rain/It feels like rain/Baby, can you feel it?

"Have You Ever Seen The Rain?," Creedence Clearwater Revival - Yesterday and days before/Sun is cold and rain is hard/I know, been that way for all my time/'Til forever, on it goes /Through the circle of fast and slow/I know it can't stop, I wonder/I want to know/Have you ever seen the rain?/I want to know/Have you ever seen the rain?/Coming down on a sunny day

"Red Rain," Peter Gabriel - I am standing up at the water's edge in my dream/I cannot make a single sound as you scream/It can't be that cold, the ground is still warm to touch/This place is so quiet, sensing that storm/Red rain is coming down/Red rain/Red rain is pouring down/Pouring down all over me

"Umbrella," Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z) - When the sun shines, we'll shine together/Told you I'll be here forever/Said I'll always be a friend/Took an oath I'mma stick it out 'til the end/Now that it's raining more than ever/Know that we'll still have each other/You can stand under my umbrella/You can stand under my umbrella/Ella ella eh eh eh/Under my umbrella

Don't forget to check out the Semi-Sonic Sunday post below (especially if ye be a fan of Britpop), which the Blogger following gadget seems to have eaten. Apparently, if you publish two posts around the same time, Blogger only thinks the newest one counts. Good to know, good to know.

Semi-Sonic Sunday

Oh, to be a bicycle.Just needed to toss this in along with my usual Sonic Sunday post: Blur has released a new single.

*heaven parts, angels sing*

The song, Blur's first new release since 2003, is called "Fool's Day," and you can stream it right here over in the near sidebar under the "New On The Juke" section. Or you can download it for free at Blur's official site.

Not surprisingly, I dig it. It's nothing earth-shattering or groundbreaking; it's just a sweet, lovely, poppy song that seems to be quite literally about Damon Albarn's everyday life (in which I would love to spend just one day) and the band getting back together to record this song. Most of the response has been positive, although I've heard some people compare it to Cutting Crew's "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight," which I don't hear AT ALL. Seriously, if I did hear it, I would probably rip my ears off in anger as I vomited profusely because I hate that damn song.

Anyway..."Fool's Day" was issued as a limited release 7" vinyl single in celebration of Record Store Day (yesterday). Other exclusive RSD items were a previously unreleased Rolling Stones track from the Exile on Main Street sessions, a Queens of the Stone Age 10" vinyl picture disc, a Pavement greatest hits album, a Goldfrapp cassette, and a Beastie Boys "super surprise." (I'm guessing the latter is just some Spanish Fly mixed in with a bit of Brass Monkey.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

This week's vid was inspired in a roundabout way by Zac Efron. Mmmmmm...Efron.

I just got done watching 17 Again (before you laugh, you should know that it was actually very funny), which got me thinking about the classic Winger ode to underage lust, "Seventeen." But since that song is hardly in danger of being forgotten, I decided to pick another Winger song that was popular back in the day, but has been overshadowed by the aforementioned slutty jailbait anthem. Apparently, the people only want to hear Kip Winger sing about wearing young girls like leather gloves.

So, here is my favorite Winger song, which was also their first single, 1988's "Madalaine." Ah, I remember well the first time I saw this video. From the second I saw the bass, those dazzling teeth, all that hair (both head and chest), and the tight pantsed high-kicks, I was hooked on the Kipper. And oh, those pirouettes!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Have Questions. Who's Got Answers?

Just a few things I've been wondering about lately...

1. Has anyone actually ever heard a Justin Bieber song?

2. Does anyone NOT want to kick that Nationwide Insurance guy right in the sack?

3. More satisfying: Tootsie Pops or Blow Pops? Discuss.

4. Why do people comment on blogs/news stories/forums just to say "Who cares?" Do they not see the irony of their actions? Do they even know what irony is??

5. Related to the above, are stupid people on the Internet really that stupid in real life, or does some sort of dumbing-down transformation take place the minute they get near a keyboard?

6. Is it wrong that I like the music on Yo Gabba Gabba better than anything I've heard on the radio recently?

7. Related to the above, considering that I don't spend more than, say, 15 minutes a week listening to mainstream radio (and most of that is accidental), how is it that I've heard that stupid Lady Antebellum song at least 100 times in the past two weeks?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

American Idol 9: 4/14/10 Results

AND NOW FOR THE RESULTS THAT WILL CAUSE THE OCEANS TO BOIL AND THE SUN TO EXPLODE!

Eegads. These intros get worse every week. They make Michael Bay movies look subtle and understated.

Of course, the intros are much more tolerable than the group sings lip-syncs. This Elvis medley is probably the worst one ever. For his sake, I hope Elvis really is dead. If he's still alive...well, he's probably not watching this show. He's eating a fried peanut butter-covered leg of lamb while being serviced by two non-English speaking young girls. So, either way, no sweat off The King's back.

I'd like to thank the Idulls for savagely butchering two of my absolute favorite Elvis songs: "Burning Love" and "Teddy Bear." Well, I guess it's not entirely their fault. Whoever came up with this Brady Bunchitized arrangement needs to be tied down to a chair and forced to stare at that naked picture of Kara DioGuardi for three days straight. (Click at your own risk. Seriously, I thought it was a scene from an upcoming C.S.I. episode. I can't imagine the photographer's direction was, "Stick your ribcage way out and act like you're trying to prevent yourself from having a seizure." If you did click, here's naked CZJ to help you forget.) They also threw "Return to Sender" and "Viva Las Vegas" in there, because ruining two songs just wasn't good enough.

I have to say, I like Siobhan and have since the beginning, but I think I'm becoming less fond of her. First there was her pouty little meltdown a few weeks ago, then her camera faces started to become more and more annoying, and now...why in the hell is she so into these group numbers? Either she is really enjoying this or she is the best actress in the world, and should think about switching careers. Everyone else is just trying to not choke on their dignity and get through this damn thing, and she's out there having a groovy old time. I keep waiting for her to yell "Sock it to me!" and wink into the camera at the end.

Ford commercial. Once again, the memory has been suppressed.

Since there's only an hour tonight (thank God), Ryan can't waste as much time as usual. We're gonna get one cast-off right now! Casey, Aaron and Andrew are all asked to walk out to center stage. Ryan blathers away for a bit before letting Andrew know that the time for his long-overdue ouster is now. Cut to Lee looking devastated. Andrew sings that James Morrison song one more time, and it's actually decent enough to make me NOT want to kick him in the nads.

Seacrest reminds us that next week is Idol Gives Back and shows a clip of Kara's recent trip to Africa with Elliott Yamin.

Brooke White returns to the Idol stage to perform the Elvis tune, "If I Can Dream." She is joined by Justin Gaston, Miley Cyrus's one-time statutory rapist, occasional underwear model, former Nashville Star contestant, and current If I Can Dream cast member. And judging from this performance, we can add "talentless himbo" and "horrible Elvis impersonator" to his impressive résumé.

Back to the results. The remaining six contestants rise and go to center stage. Ryan reminds us what the judges said last night, then sends Crystal, Siobhan and Lee to safety, in that order. Tim, Michael and Katie are left on the chopping block.

Whoa, did AI run over its scheduled time? The theater's now being used for a Laser Floyd Pink show. Oh, wait...it's just Adam Lambert. Apparently, his fans' answer to his musical question, "Whataya Want From Me" was a resounding "nearly impenetrable fog and a shit-ton of lasers." Well, no one can accuse Madam of not giving the people what they want. (Except for that time when he, unasked, gave the people a bunch of simulated S&M and BJ action.) It's a little hard to see Glambert through the haze sometimes, but he gives a pretty good performance. I really dislike his album, but this song is catchy as hell. It might be the only one I genuinely like.

I was just thinking how fun it would be if Adam just took a break from music and joined the cast of Glee as Sue Sylvester's right-hand man or something. And thinking of Glee has me thinking about my new obsession: Jonathan Groff. And now instead of taking notes on AI, I'm doodling puppies and hearts and rainbows, and puppies sliding down a rainbow into a big fluffy pile of heart-shaped pillows. Damn, that one's getting taped up on the refrigerator.

Ryan snaps me out of all of this by announcing that Tim is safe! He is invincible!!

It comes down to Mike and Katie, and it's no surprise that Katie is the one sent packing. I actually feel a little bad for her, but she's young and pretty, so I'm sure she'll be OK.

Again, what is up with Siobhan? They keep cutting to her sad face after Katie's elimination, and I swear she's been replaced with Cruella de Ville.

Next week: Idol Gives Back. Inspirational songs. Contestants, remember what I say every year. "GREATEST LOVE OF ALL" WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

GLEE-ful

Can I just tell you how happy I am that Glee is back? Especially since this has been the worst season of American Idol ever. Last night's Glee premiere was like a champagne and unicorn pee chaser to wash down the heaping helping of dull served up by Idol's Elvis impersonators.

I would now like to comment on the addition of Jonathan Groff to the cast.

*ahem*

Yes. Oh God, yes. More of that, please.

I would like to thank the brilliant casting directors for bringing this slice of curly-haired, cherubic dreaminess into my life. (I always knew there was a reason I should've gone to see Spring Awakening.) But I'd also like to warn them that the six episodes he's signed up for is not going to be nearly enough. They can't just give me this guy and then take him away. I won't have it. What am I supposed to do, go back to drooling over Puck? I know I've been a Mark Salling girl since day one, but this Groff guy has changed everything. I mean, just look at him. And listen to him! He turned me into a puddle of goo WITH A CHEESY LIONEL RICHIE SONG. That's no easy feat, kids.

And before any of you buzzkills tell me that he's gay...I ALREADY KNOW. To tell you the truth, that just makes him more attractive. 25 and likes boys. *sigh* Unfortunately, that's just my type.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol 9: Elvis Had The Right Idea About Shooting Out His TV Set

It's Elvis night on AI and, accordingly, the Idols took a trip to Vegas last week. (Probably because the show didn't want to spring for the trip to Memphis.) While in the glitter capital of the world, they, accordingly, met up with Adam Lambert—last year's runner up and this week's mentor.

Glambert is also in the audience tonight to check out the show and see if the contestants took any of his sparkly advice. During his chat with Seacrest, Ry Ry mentions that Adam has an "extra two inches" tonight. What? Oh, he's talking about his hair. Oh, on his head. Then Ryan starts talking about Adam's tongue and, to shut him up, Adam starts talking about how much he likes Tim. Get it, Seacrest? Glambert's not interested in you. Move on.

Hey, there's Matthew Morrison! I'm so excited for Glee tonight!!!

Crystal Bowersox is up first to sing "Saved," sort of a gospel song that warns us of the dangers of smoking, drinking and dancing the hoochie-coo. Glambert urged her to go with the electric guitar on this, so she chooses a bedazzled one in his honor. Dreadsocks™ is good, as usual. Even though I thought she had an off night last week, she's come back strong and proven that she's still far superior to these other jokers. Randy calls her the second coming of Bonnie Raitt, while Ellen skips the critique because she's tired of telling Dreads how great she is. Kara is talking but I'm too distracted by Jane Lynch, who's sitting right behind her. Simon, well, we all know how Simon feels about Crystal at this point. She could show up in a Jesse James sex tape dressed as Eva Braun, and he'd still think she walked on water.

After he's done picking his nose on national TV, Andrew Garcia attempts to really gross us out by performing. In rehearsals, Adam straight up told him he was boring, but Kim Jong Gokey apparently didn't take it to heart because he didn't bother to change anything about his terrible, plodding arrangement of "Hound Dog." Congratulations, Andrew! You just managed to turn a great, energetic rock song into a steaming pile of hound dog shit. More of the Glee cast is behind the judges' table and none of them look very entertained. Neither do the judges. All except for Ellen, who actually likes this mess. I hear her other interests are standing in line at the DMV, getting root canals, and long walks on the beach with the Nationwide Insurance guy.

Now it's time for Tim Urban, who is the only one really keeping this season entertaining. Adam told him that his arrangement of "Can't Help Falling in Love" was "pretty" but that he should try singing the end in his falsetto. Tim seemed cool with that advice, but he doesn't actually follow it during the performance. But it's okay, because he sounds pretty good tonight. He doesn't even get derailed by Seacrest's slow dance in the aisle with Michael Sarver. Ellen compares Tim to doing tequila shots (I guess she's built up a tolerance to him now) and Simon says that he "went from zero to hero in two weeks." ("Zero to hero?" Boy, talk about fresh and current!) All of the judges praise Timmeh tonight, which again makes me think they're trying to use reverse psychology on the audience to make them think that Tim is safe so they won't vote. Don't fall for it, people. Keep the Turban on!

I keep seeing all these Glee peeps, but where the hell is Mark Salling?? He needs to be on my TV. Actually, he needs to be in my lap.

Instead of a little more action with Puck, we get "A Little Less Conversation" with Lee Dewzye. Adam thinks Lee has a great voice but has "nothing going on in his face." I don't think his session with Adam necessarily helped, because Lee still has nothing going on in his face. He sounds just fine, but he definitely needs help with the performance skills. This just needs a little something extra. Maybe more eyeliner, or some simulated fellatio. I don't know. All of the judges love Lee, but a few of them (namely Kara) tell him he should smile more. As opposed to Tim, who needs to smile less. Seriously, is anyone still listening to the judges' "advice" at this point?

Aaron Kelly announces that he's singing "Blue Suede Shoes" and I automatically think, "he's dead." I believe this is the first fast song this kid has covered. He makes a valiant effort, and tries to take Adam's advice to "put more energy" into it, but this just kind of falls flat. Aaron has a nice voice, but this performance is very karaoke. Randy and Ellen think Aaron had it about half right, and Kara says she actually likes Aaron out of his comfort zone. Simon, on the other hand, thinks Aaron was unoriginal and came off as old-fashioned.

Siobhan Magnus did a sixth grade report on Elvis, which is important for absolutely no reason. Glambert suggested that she speed up her "sleepy" arrangement of "Suspicious Minds," which she does. Well, for a while anyway. The second half is a little more bluesy. I don't think this is Siobhan's best performance ever, but I kind of like it. I think she's doing a good job of keeping the glory notes under control. Randy and Ellen think the second half was better than the first. Kara and Simon go on the "you don't know who you are" kick, with Kara complaining that she's confused by Siobhan's "two voices," and Simon claiming that she's lost herself. Without getting emotional like she did the last time she got bad comments, Siobhan fights back, saying that even she can't pinpoint who she is. And then she lets fly my favorite line so far this season (except for Crystal's "Danny Gokey babies" comment): "I don't think it's necessary to be labeled. I just love to sing." APPLAUSE...on my TV and in my home. Unfortunately, that attitude will get Siobhan nowhere on this show because if the judges love anything, it's putting people in boxes, locking them, and throwing away the keys.

Case in point is Michael Lynche, who is worried about being too "theatrical," because the judges don't like when he gets that way. Adam, however, tells him that he should keep that quality because it makes him interesting. There's nothing supremely interesting about his peformance of "In The Ghetto" tonight, though. Mike's vocals are fine, but I actually liked him better last week. I like when he's up moving around and really performing, because that's his strong suit. I have no idea why these idiot judges are trying to lock him into some sort of Ruben Studdard box. But since they are, they all love this performance.

Katie Stevens is trying to sass back the judges through song by covering "Baby What You Want Me To Do." Adam encouraged her to really show her frustration with the panel's contradictory advice in order to "sell" the song. I'm usually bored by Katie, but I think she's doing a pretty good job tonight, aside from some of those big "YOU"s, which are off-pitch and shrieky. Randy and Kara are very entertained, while Ellen is apparently horny. As he so often does, Simon plays the contrarian by calling Katie's performance "loud and a bit annoying."

Casey James gets the pimp spot to do "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," another in the long line of songs about ladies who really like to ball. Adam liked the arrangement, but thought Casey needed to work on his climax. I'm not even trying to make this stuff sound dirty, I swear. Casey is dropped on an island in the middle of the Idiot Pit and gives a decent performance. I think he needs to worry less about climaxing though, and concentrate more on that bleating. Dude needs to get the vibrato in check. The judges (even Kara, who I thought would love the song's story and Casey's climax) all feel that the performance was just average. As Randy says, it was "solid," but nothing we haven't already seen from Casey. And as Simon says, it was a "wasted opportunity." I agree. What was Casey thinking not going with something more memorable like "Heartbreak Hotel" or "That's All Right?"

So, who will be standing down at the end of Lonely Street tomorrow night? I think Andrew and Aaron are probably going to be sent home. No way Big Mike will be eliminated the week after he was saved. Even if he gets two votes, TPTB will not let that happen. And since the pack is really loaded with Y chromosomes, I doubt that one of the three girls will get bounced. But I think one girl may be in the Bottom 3, and that will be Katie. I think Tim has finally won over most of the free world, and will skate through again this week.

And now if you'll excuse me...GLEEEEEEEEE!!!!


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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.

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