Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memoriam

I hope everyone's long Memorial Day weekend was grand. Clearly, this holiday is to remember our fallen soldiers but, since that doesn't really fit with my blog theme, I'd like to offer up a memorial to some of the celebs who have left us so far this year. (I'm sure I've forgotten many people, but I'm just putting this together quickly and trying to hit some of the best-known folks.) Unlike the tacky Oscars death reel, applause will not be tolerated until the slide show is over.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How Deep Is Your Throat?

Photographer Tyler Shields has revealed his initial promo shots for the Lindsay Lohan-as-Linda Lovelace film, Inferno. Supposedly, Linz has been doing a lot of research for the part (finally, watching porn and doing blow can be written off as a business expense) and believes she's tapped into the core of the woman she's portraying. Apparently, the "sexy but confused and troubled" vibe can instantly be achieved by doing a hand-to-mouth pose.

(Click the photos to enlarge, but make sure to wear a rubber glove.)

Lindsay, if you keep eating your hand, you're not gonna be hungry for...well, you know.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week: Neil Finn's Birthday Edition

My favorite Kiwi, Neil Finn, turns 52 today. Let's all have a slice of "Chocolate Cake" in his honor, shall we?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol 9: The Ninth Annual Ad Salesman's Wet Dream

Tonight someone will be crowned the American Idol. Either Crystal Bowersox or Lee Dewyze will hear the words that will make the heavens part and cause the angels to rearrange the clouds to spell out "WINNER." Someone will ride a shooting star into the winds of wonderment. Someone will slide down a magic rainbow onto a feather bed of dreams. Someone will experience a moment. Someone is about to have their "now"...now.

(Pssst. Hey, Simon Fuller. That was pretty good, right? Howzabout next year, you give Seacrest Simon's job and make me the new host. I'm really good at stupid hyperbole. Trust me. I will hyperb so hard, all of Los Angeles will feel it. Drop me an email and we'll talk.)

Sooo...it's time now for the anti-climax to the anti-climax. Crystal and Lee arrive wearing Catholic school uniforms and I automatically assume we're about to be assaulted with a really horrible AC/DC medley. But no. It's just a bad cover of "School's Out." At some point, Alice Cooper (led by a bunch of goth kiddies) actually shows up. Why, Alice? Why? It's nice outside. Shouldn't you be golfing?

Kris Allen sings. Pleasant. But I've already forgotten how the song goes.

Now we're treated to the first installment of the "Simon Cowell: Uncovered" video diary. This is all of Simon's "greatest hits" mixed in with a bunch of really un-funny shit.

Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly begin singing "How Deep Is Your Love" (very nicely, I might add) and are soon joined by Barry and Robin Gibb. Barry sounds much better this year than he did when he appeared in Season 6. Actually, this might be a slightly cheesy song, but these four sound really good together. I'm enjoying this. (It doesn't hurt that any song from Saturday Night Fever instantly makes me think of John Travolta, which always puts me in a good mood. You'll get no jive-talkin' from me regarding this performance.) Siobhan particularly shines. She should really be competing against Crystal tonight instead of Lee. Even THE HOFF thinks so!

Michael Lynche and Michael McDonald team up for "Taking It To The Streets," which is just kind of meh. This pairing and song choice both seem rather odd. I wish they'd sung "I Keep Forgettin'." That's my jam.

Dane Cook arrives to sing his lame song that is just a bunch of Simon's insults strung together. Wow, so Dane just decided to steal Adam Sandler's act? Nice. A bunch of rejects from seasons past show up to jump around onstage. That Ian Bernardo dude doesn't stick to the script and tries to take over. And he cuts my girl Tatiana off in the process. Ass.

Lacey Brown reminds me of how terrible she was as she wanders onstage to warble the first line of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." Didi Benami reminds me of how much I hated her as she bitch-faces her way through the next line. Eventually, all of the Top 6 girls are onstage to sing and it doesn't sound great. Then they break into "Fighter," which sounds much better mostly thanks to Paige Miles and Siobhan's pipes. Xtina finally joins the girls at the very end of the song, then performs her new one, "You Lost Me," solo. Um, okay, so I think Christina has a great voice but what is up with her tonight? It's like she's trying out for the lead in Evita. And we already know that she can sing, so why is she trying to demonstrate her skills by alternating vocals at the top and bottom of her range and jamming 90 syllables into every word? She has some brilliant moments, but it's all just a bit too much.

Ricky Gervais sends Simon a good luck message via satellite and makes a few jokes about how much money Simon has. I'm sure Ricky's not hurting either.

Lee and Gokey v 2.0 are joined by the rest of the Top 6 boys on "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)." Aha, I see where this is going! BRING OUT HALL AND OATES ALREADY! Suddenly, the guys break into a horrible Wham!-esque nightmare arrangement of "Maneater." HALL AND OATES!! HALL AND OATES!! HALL AND OATES!! Finally, Holland Oates saves the day by interjecting with "You Make My Dreams." I guess all the kids know this song because it was in (500) Days of Summer. Too bad little Alex Lambert didn't show up to do the Joseph Gordon-Levitt dance number.

Dreadsocks™ sings the first verse of "Ironic" before inviting Alanis Morissette onstage for a duet of "You Oughta Know." And I'm back in college. (Yay. I think I'll get drunk tonight and not go to work tomorrow.) I'm hoping that Crystal has a Jim Morrison moment by sing-shouting the real words to the song, but she plays by the rules and looks very unhappy to be singing, "Would she go down with you to the theater." Lame. Obviously, any verses that featured references to nails down the back or the F-word are avoided completely.

Carrie Underwood performs her new song, "Undo It," which sounds awfully familiar. Ah, Ryan announces that it was co-written by Kara. That explains a lot.

Next up is the Ford Festival: Before the last Ford commercial of the season (hooray), Kris Allen presents Lee and Crystal with keys to their custom-designed Fiestas. Lee says flatly, "I'm happy," while managing to keep his facial muscles completely still. (I wonder if Tim Roth could tell if Lee is lying? I wonder if House could tell if Lee's actually alive?)

Casey James bleats his way through "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," which can only mean one thing. Bret Michaels in tha house! This must be the next stop on his Celebrity Apprentice tour. Bret actually sounds great; it's Casey who sounds like he just got out of the hospital. Wow. Casey's had some off nights but I've never heard him sing that badly. Yikes. Well, everyone ignores him and gives Bret a standing ovation.

Because Lee Dead Eyes™ is from Chicago, he sings a medley of Chicago hits with Chicago. Oh God. WON'T THIS BOAT CRUISE TO HELL EVER END??

Now we get more of "Simon Cowell: Uncovered," which is basically a bunch of stuff about him flirting with the auditioners and judges and many clips of him rubbing his nips.

General Larry Platt storms the stage and gives a rousing rendition of "Pants On The Ground," surrounded by backup dancers who he is nearly out-dancing. That dude can move! And he can do crunches! Ah, dammit, William Hung is coming out to ruin everything. Seriously, that guy's time has passed. Like 90% of the musical guests tonight.

Paula sends a video message to Simon but then it's revealed that she's there in person to send him off properly. She looks fantastic in a short, hot pink dress. But my happiness over Pauler's return soon turns to annoyance as she does what she does best—blathers on for waaaay too long. Finally, she's done talking and intros yet another video of Simon's great moments on AI.

After the video, it's Kelly Clarkson, also looking fantastic. She's soon joined onstage by Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks (they remembered to invite him this time) and Kris Allen. Cookie is a no-show. They're all singing something about inspiration, which would normally elicit a few eye rolls from me, but this is actually a decent song and they all sound very good together. Then a shit-ton of other past contestants (all decked out in white, of course) join the winners onstage to sing backup as...(MICHAEL!)...Paula perches in Simon's lap. There is one girl in the group I don't recognize, and then it dawns on me that it's Mikalah Gordon. Wow, honey. Plastic surgery much? Are you in a competition with Heidi Pratt?

Simon takes the stage for his farewell speech. He claims to be very emotional, so he must buy his emotions at the same store that Lee does.

FINALLY something appears on my screen that genuinely excites me. The trailer for Toy Story 3!! OMGcan'twaitcan'twaitcan'twaitcan'twait. (Yes, I'm seven.)

The Top 12 are joined by Janet Jackson on "Again," and for some reason Janet is dressed up like Elvira. Except she forgot the wig. Then she sings a new song. Boy, for a song called "Nothing," it goes on for what feels like another nine seasons. But she's not even done yet! Janet sheds the vampire garb for another song, that crusty old gem, "Nasty." Because...well, I don't know why.

Ryan announces, "Tonight is about Crystal and Lee." Is it? If I were either of them, I would have been like, "Eff this noise," and driven halfway to Vegas in my new car by now. But they are not me, so they're still hanging around playing the waiting game. We get a video package of their journeys on Idol, which both began back at the Chicago auditions. The best thing about this is that it's set to Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago." I looooove this song.

Crystal and Lee duet on "With A Little Help From My Friends," and get a little help from Sir Joe Cocker. Is he a Sir yet? If he's not, he should be. I have no idea how Idol talked him into appearing, but there he is. I'm halfway expecting Fred Savage and Danica McKeller to show up and sing backup, but no such luck.

I can't help but be amused thinking back to all the times the judges have complained about contestants not being "current" or "relevant" enough. Apparently, they're from the "do as I say, not as I do" school because nine out of the 11 musical guests (I'm not counting Dane Cook, Larry Platt and the former winners' group sing) peaked at least a decade ago—most of them several decades ago.

Good ol' Edward Boddington delivers the hermetically sealed envelope and we finally get to end this mess. The winner is: Lee Dewyze! Wow, I'M FINALLY RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING!!! Did I tell you guys that even though my predictions were really bad all season long, they get wiped out because I picked the winner? Yeah, that's a new rule. I'm sure it's in the fine print somewhere around here.

Lee shows a smidge of emotion and mangles "Beautiful Day" again. Somewhere in an Irish castle, Bono just hurt his back again trying to lean over and change the channel.

So, kids, that's it for Season 9. I've never been happier to see a season end. I usually fall into a post-Idol funk, but I really don't think that's gonna happen this year. And without Simon, I'm not even sure if I'll want to keep recapping next year. But we'll see.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Separated At Birth?

It took me long enough, but I finally figured out who the heck Chris Colfer (Glee's Kurt) reminds me of.

Evelyn Smith, RW/RR Challenges and Chris Colfer, "Glee"

Since Ev's chances of making it to the money round of the Fresh Meat challenge are pretty slim, she might want to consider a role on Glee. Now that Rachel's found her mommy, why couldn't Kurt find his long-lost lesbian twin sister?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Idol 9: Is It Still Anti-Climactic If The Whole Season Was Underwhelming?

Hooray! We're down to American Idol's Final 2 and I couldn't be more excited. I'm so looking forward to the end of this lame season. And I'm so looking forward to the end of this particular episode because Glee's theme tonight is Lady Gaga. I've seen some behind-the-scenes pics and I've been promised Jonathan Groff in a red lacy number.

(Small trip into the future: Not only was Groff not red-laced to high Heaven but he WASN'T. EVEN. IN. THE. DAMN. EPISODE. Luckily, it was a good episode regardless but how does he disappear for an entire episode and none of the other characters even mentions it? And in the middle of a story arc that he is very much a part of?? Arrrrgh, it's maddening. Speaking of maddening, back to AI.)

Tonight, each contestant will sing three songs: 1) Their favorite from the season, 2) Simon Fuller's pick, and 3) Their potential Idol single.

Up first is the battle of the repeats. I EFFING HATE REPEATS. Seriously. The judges bitch all season about song choice and then when they get to the big ending, they're just like, "Eh, yeah, just sing something you already did. That's cool, whatever."

Lee Dead Eyes™ chooses Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" for his retread. I remember this being kind of boring the first time around, and there is nothing different about this time. Interestingly enough, even though it's basically the exact same performance he gave when the judges salivated all over him, they're now kind of lukewarm about it. Except Ellen. She says she couldn't be prouder of Lee if she "birthed him herself." KaRandy thinks Lee needs more energy. (Thanks, Mr./Ms. Obvious.) Kara blows herself out tha Dawg's box in time to tell Lee he was "connected to the song." (Next year I have to remember to create a drinking game where I drink any time Kara says any form of the word "connect." I'm sure the Simon-less season will be much more bearable if I'm shit-faced.) Simon expects more from Lee. He's clearly backing off from his chosen one this week to scare the little girls into voting like mad.

Dreadsocks™ reboots "Me and Bobby McGee" and it sounds as good as it did the first time. Can I say it? Before Simon does, or before Kara interrupts him and does? Round 1 goes to Crystal. You know who seemed to enjoy that performance? KEVIN COVAIS!!! K-Cov in the house!! I wish Ryan would ask him to critique Crystal, but he asks the usual suspects instead. They all love Crystal, as they should. Simon says she's back at her best after three or four shaky weeks.

The second round is Simon Fuller's choice, so expect some boring ballads.

Lee's doing R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," which, although a ballad, is normally not boring. Normally. Actually, I don't really mind Lee's acoustic interpretation of this...until the gospel choir comes in. I'm sick of Lee being propped up by backup singers and bagpipers and such. I hope that gospel choir is getting paid overtime this season because they've been working harder than anyone. Randy feels Lee's passion. Ellen says words I immediately forget. Kara says Lee is "emotionally accessible," a term that I will add to the drinking game. Simon C. loves Simon F.'s song choice, but thinks that Lee is nervous and that, basically, he needs to get over it.

Crystal gets saddled with "Black Velvet," and does a remarkable job with it. She sounds better than Alannah Myles, whom I once had the misfortune of seeing live. I was a little worried at the beginning because I thought Dreads was going to plummet down the giant staircase, but she worked it out. The judges bathe Crystal lovingly with their tongues.

And now for the potential singles.

Well, well, well. Isn't this an interesting turn of events? Evidently, the giant turd that Kara dropped and packaged as a song called "No Boundaries" last year was the last straw. This year, the Idols just get to steal other people's songs. Because, as Britney Spears (probably) once said, "Being original is HARD, y'all!"

What I don't understand is, if the show has good relationships with people like Lady Gaga, Pink and other artists who know how to write contemporary, catchy pop tunes that aren't completely mind-numbing odes to chasing rainbows, why don't the producers enlist their help to come up with some original tunes? Why be content with yet another lazy cover? Wait. Why am I expecting more from this show? I should be expecting less.

Lee covers U2's "Beautiful Day" and it's...well, it ain't pretty. Look, I give Bono a lot of shit but that crazy bastard has a giant ego for a reason—he can actually sing and is a fantastic performer. Lee is just sort of lumbering around the stage while shouting monotonously. Wow, I've never really noticed it before but I think Darius Rucker might have
more range than this guy. Good Lord. The judges are much nicer than that performance deserved, although Kara suggests that Lee got "swallowed up in the song." Simon thinks Lee has made the most of his time on Idol, and still can't believe that he used to work in a paint store. I wonder if paint sales have dropped dramatically since Lee has been on the show? Simon has really been painting paint stores as the worst places on Earth. Is he just confused? Does "paint store" mean something else in British English? Like, "leper colony?" Or "fart factory?" Or "portal to hell?" Or "Starbucks?"

Crystal covers Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain." I've only heard three versions of this, Patty's, Kelly Clarkson's, and now Crystal's. Honestly, I would rank them in that order, but even for the third-best version of it, Crystal turns in a great performance. She's certainly miles better than Lee. All the judges love Crystal again, but who cares what the first three have to say. What may one day be the answer to a trivia question is Simon's final critique: "That was outstanding."

BLIND SCOTT!

Wow, after Ryan recaps the phone numbers, there are still three to four minutes left. It's soon revealed that they've prepared a video tribute to this Idol year. Will "Pop Idol" Young sings the kiss-off song we've heard all season long and, in the audience, Siobhan Magnus seems to be mooning over him. I hope someone told her he's gay. Of course, if she's anything like me, that will only make him more attractive.

Sooooo...who's going to win? How the hell should I know? I think my prediction percentage is in the negative numbers at this point. This was a terrible year for singers and it was a terrible year for Beckstradamus.

But since I have to guess, I'm going to stick with Lee. Crystal is so much better than Lee, so she doesn't need the guidance that he will. He'll be easier for the producers to control. And the second runner up will get a record deal anyway, so what does it matter? It's going to be a repeat of last year, with the more commercial singer taking the title and the "different" one placing second and getting a lot more attention.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jamtastic

Very happy birthday wishes go out to Paul Weller, who turns 52 today. The body may have gotten older (and the hair quite a bit whiter), but he's still this brash young man inside.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sonic Sunday: Pittsburgh Noise

Since I've been back in Pittsburgh for three months now, I figured it's time to stop moping about how much better the arts and entertainment scene in New York was and start appreciating what ye olde hometowne has to offer.

I've never really thought of da 'Burgh as a hotbed of musical activity, but perhaps that's because I wasn't paying close enough attention. I mean, the last local bands I really actively followed were Room To Move and Sleeping Giants—two names that will, from any other current or former Pittsburgher, elicit one of the following responses: a) "OMG, I used to love those guys!!" b) "Wow, BeckEye's old" or c) "Who?" So, yeah...it's well past time to delve deeper into local music.

Therefore, this Sonic Sunday features music by three local acts that I'm really digging right now. I hope all of you non-Yinzers will take a few minutes to check this stuff out and, if you like what you hear, please support these fine folks and help get their names out there! Who knows, one of these days you could be one of those cool kids who gets to say you heard of a band before they were famous.

Donora consists of singer/guitarist Casey Hammer, her drummer brother Jake Hammer and bassist Jake Churton. Of all the local bands that have caught my ear since moving home, I get the feeling that Donora might be the one closest to a big breakthrough. Their debut self titled album has gotten some national buzz, they've played with bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Tokyo Police Club, and had songs featured on several MTV series, including Cribs. They also got quite a bit of exposure when their song "Shhh" was used in PostSecret's 2008 Valentine's Day video. According to Donora's official bio, they make "melodic, dance-worthy, garage rock," and I'd say that's a pretty accurate assessment of their sound. Casey's vocals strike a great balance between pop sweetheart and riot grrl, but no matter what mood she's in, the music always puts you in the mood to move. I like nearly every track on the record because, well, what's not to like about music that just makes you feel good?

Expand the music play to hear "Shhh" by Donora."Shhh," Donora

Shifting from the dance-pop/rock of Donora, it's time to chill out with singer-songwriter Joy Ike's thoughtful brand of folk-pop. Sounding like a smooth blend of Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Regina Spektor and Sarah Bareilles, Ike's second full-length record, Rumors, released earlier this month, is already garnering critical praise around town. What I love most about it is the lack of a glossy sheen—it sounds as if Ike recorded these songs live or, better yet, is playing them for you right now in your living room. In a pop world cluttered with over-hyped, overproduced albums full of studio magic, a record like this is refreshing. I've posted the first track below, but you can visit Ike's Bandcamp site to stream all the songs and/or download the full record.

Expand the music player to hear "Sweeter" by Joy Ike."Sweeter," Joy Ike

While I'd love to check out one of Joy Ike's shows while casually sipping a frozen drink at an intimate neighborhood bar's deck or patio, I'd expect to see Meeting of Important People at a packed, sweaty club, where I'd be vainly trying to do the pogo without spilling my Yuengling draft. These guys, Josh Verbanets, Matt Miller and Aaron Bubenheim, have already gotten some attention from all the cool indie bloggers (of whose group I'm not a member—I guess my continued coverage of American Idol nixes any shot I might have had) and one song, "I Know Every Street in This Town" was featured on an episode of The Ghost Whisperer. I can hear everyone from the Beach Boys to the Rolling Stones to Vampire Weekend in MoIP's music, and when I saw that they listed Blur as one of their influences, I immediately knew they were good people and understood exactly why they were able to get my feet tapping so quickly. I wanted to post an mp3 here, but didn't get permission from their management in time to post this. (Granted, I only sent them an email, like, yesterday. Way to go, me.) But that's fine, because they've got a really cool video out for the single, "Brittney Lane Don't Care," so I'll post that instead. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

My video picks aren't usually this timely but here you go—it's "Illegal Alien" by Genesis. I'm not sure the song is really considered a classic; it peaked just shy of the Top 40, but I do remember the vid being on pretty heavy rotation on MTV.



I'm assuming that Phil Collins was going for a Mexican vibe here, but maybe someone should have told him that he actually looked like a slightly disheveled Hitler before filming.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Pac-Man, You Little Son of a Bitch

I'm sure by now you've seen the really cool interactive Google doodle in honor of Pac-Man's birthday. The little yellow glutton officially turns 30 tomorrow. While the doodle is "really cool," it's also reminded me of how much I always hated that game because I SUCK at it. I don't think I ever got further than the 3rd (peach) level, even way back when I was little and my fingers were more nimble.

Obviously, if I was never good at the game using a joystick, I'm not going to be any better on a version on which I have to use my keyboard arrow keys, right? But I tried anyway. It was rather frustrating, but there was one payoff: realizing just how many swear words are in my arsenal, and being extremely impressed.

Here is me dying on the second level with only a few pellets left. Damn bastard ghost pieces of shit.
My game was always Centipede. I haven't been able to find any info on its exact release date but it was some time in 1980, so it will also be turning 30 this year. Hopefully, Google will honor it as well, but Centipede isn't worth playing unless it's the real deal with the trackball. That trackball is my bitch.

Since I don't have the technology, money, time, or level of nerdiness and/or interest to create my own interactive doodles, I'm going to honor these great games by posting a couple of ridiculous songs by Buckner & Garcia.

Everyone remembers "Pac-Man Fever," right? I had the 45. I'm not sure why.



Now, THIS is the 45 I wish I'd had. Somehow, Centipede lover that I was, I never heard this song, "Ode to a Centipede." I'm so glad I found it now. It is gloriously cheesy. If Styx had decided to do another horrible concept album after Kilroy Was Here, this would have been that record's "Mr. Roboto."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Space For 5/19/10 American Idol Results

It's a Lee/Crystal Finale, as we all knew it would be. Maybe I'll come up with some words tomorrow to sum up tonight's bore-fest. I just don't have it in me right now. I don't know if I'm coming down with something or if I'm just super tired. Does anyone know what the symptoms of Bieber Fever are? I sure hope I don't have it.

EDIT: Well, it's Thursday morning and I'm still not really in the mood to recap last night's show. It was a real snoozer. Even the announcement of the Final 2 was anticlimactic, and not just because everyone already knew who it was going to be. No, it was because Seacrest, who normally loves to drag that nonsense out, made a big deal about ol' Dead Eyes being the first person going to the Finale but then just kind of casually mumbled something like, "And theotheroneisCrystalBowersox." Even Dreadsox was confused. She was like, "Am I safe?"

Ah well. In Ryan's defense, he was suffering from Bieber Fever. He was also in a rush to get Crystal off the stage so that he could console Casey.

Just so everyone knows, I was totally joking about possibly having Bieber Fever myself. I'm pretty sure I'm immune to it, thank God. Actually, last night was the first time I'd ever heard one of that kid's songs and, as I suspected I would feel, I didn't see what the big fuss was about. The songs were catchy enough, but the whole display was so very Brady.

I will say that I did enjoy the other musical guest, Travis Garland, despite the stupid dance routine and the fact that he was "discovered" by Perez Hilton. (Did you all know that he used to be in a boy band with Glee's Kevin McHale? If not, now you do and now you can sleep.) I thought his song, "Believe," was totally catchy and found him rather entertaining. I can't really explain why. Sometimes I really am just a 12-year-old.

My favorite part of last night's show? Why, Lee's triumphant return to the paint store, of course. It was so inspiring to see a young man break out of the drudgery of the retail world and make a better life for himself. I can't even imagine the horrors of his old life behind that paint store counter. I'm eagerly awaiting the Lifetime movie, Paint Yourself a Perfect Moment: The Lee DeWyze Story, starring Ivan Sergei.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol 9: The Top 3 Are More Than Famous. They're IN-famous.

Here are your Final 3—the contestants who stood out among this season's plethora of bad singers. (Oh yes. It was a plethora.) If only the Singing Bush were around, this home stretch would be much more exciting.

Well, let's get on with this installment of America's Got Some Marginal Talent. Jonathan Groff is returning to Glee tonight and, oh, look who he bumped into in the hallway? Neil Patrick Muthahumpin' Harris! With all that excitement, I can't pretend to care too much about this little dog and pony show.

Each of the Top 3 is singing twice tonight—a personal choice and a judges' pick.

If you didn't already know that TPTB want a Crystal/Lee Finale, Casey James being shoved into the leadoff spot of doom should clue you in. His personal choice is Eric Hutchinson's "OK, It's Alright With Me," a song that I didn't immediately recognize by artist or title, but I'm sure I've heard this before. Probably in the supermarket or something. Randy and I make the inevitable, "OK, it's just aight" joke because, well, I don't think a song title has ever more aptly described a performance. It's typical Casey stuff: pleasant enough, but nothing special. The judges all kind of shit on Casey because being nice to him certainly wouldn't help their Crystal/Lee Finale plans.

Dreadsocks™ picks probably the safest and most predictable song possible, Melissa Etheridge's "Come To My Window." I can't figure out if Crystal is throwing the game or if she's genuinely just having an off night, because this is also "just aight." The judges give a thumbs down to the clunky arrangement, but all praise Crystal's vocals. Simon likes that Crystal has never compromised who she is as an artist throughout the competition. (Oh, I'm pretty sure she cried herself to sleep every night thinking about all those Ford commercials and group sings.) Kara hopes Crystal has a "moment" later, so that she can say "moment" again.

Wow, Lee Dead Eyes is in the pimp spot. Not a shock. What is shocking is that it's taken me all season to finally come up with a nickname for him. I mean, it's perfect. How did I not see it before? I liked this guy earlier in the game, but since they started to let him talk, I just can't take him. When I, like, uh, listen to him, like, try to spit out, uh, a sentence, I can't stop thinking of other more interesting things I'd rather be doing. Like watching C-SPAN. Or studying the Dewey decimal system. Or counting my eyebrow hairs. Seriously, I'd like to kick Lee in the nuts. Not necessarily because I want to hurt him, but just because I'd like to see if he'd actually react. Anyway...he's singing Lynryd Skynryd's "Simple Man," aka the "Turn on your local classic rock station right now and it'll probably be on" song. When Lee is finished, the tongue bath commences. Ellen says that Lee morphed from a lamb into a gazelle. (I thought Casey was the lamb?) Kara awards Round 1 to Lee, knowing full well that it's Simon's job to do that.

Casey is back up again with KaRandy's pick, "Daughters." Oooh, a slow, boring John Mayer song. That is the flashing neon "WE DON'T WANT YOU IN THE FINALE" sign, in case you weren't sure. As is usually the case, Casey sounds just fine and his guitar playing is nice, but the performance doesn't stand out at all. However, KaRandy refuses to admit that it saddled Casey with an awful song, and applaud him for showing his "artistic side." The best part of all of this is Simon laughing while Kara is talking, and then totally dissing her song choice. When he suggests that it will be partially her fault if Casey doesn't make it to the Finale, Kara shifts into bitch overdrive. It's a very smooth transition.

Ellen's choice for Dreadsocks is Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." Crystal shows up sans guitar and doesn't do the annoying gender switch with the lyrics. Maybe she's a man, baby! She isn't afraid to sing the song the way it's written, and I like that. This is much better than her first song, but her voice still sounds a bit strained in parts. Still, the judges love it, with Kara saying that Crystal showed us "parts of her voice we haven't heard."

Dead Eyes closes the night out with Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." I learned recently from VFTW that Simon Cowell actually owns the rights to this song, so expect it to eventually surpass "Against All Odds" as the most overdone Idol song ever. (It's already pretty close.) Lee gets all the help he possibly can here, from the dramatic camera angles to the fancy lighting to the string section to the gospel choir backing him up and practically doing all the singing for him. For the Dawg, this is Lee's biggest moment. Ellen is simply stunned. Kara thinks Lee is what this show is all about. Simon is very proud (and very rich). Everyone is amazed that Lee used to be a lowly paint store clerk. Apparently, working in a paint store is akin to working in a sweat shop, or being homeless, or being a blind leper who can't read. Remember, kids: stay in school and stay off drugs or you might end up working in a paint store one day.

Seacrest, realizing that he might have a minute to burn asks Lee a question and lets ol' Dead Eyes stammer on for what feels like three lifetimes. God, I wish I was in a paint store now...just watching it all dry. That sounds heavenly.

Clearly, Lee is walking away with this thing. But is the Crystal/Lee Finale really inevitable? VFTW is really behind Casey, and I think Crystal wants out. Normally, I'd think that Crystal would be eliminated in the "big shocker," but she's so much the glue that's been holding this horrible season together that, if she were to go home, I'm not sure if anyone would tune in for the Finale. So, I'm gonna make the obvious prediction that Casey is going home.

I think the only way that Dreads can beat Dead Eyes at this point is if she sings my as-yet-unproduced Idol single next week. I give her full permission to do so. But I better get a portion of the iTunes sales.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

You're On My Shit List, Random Airport Employee and/or Dog Walker

If you know me, you know that two of the things in this world I most adore are John Travolta and dogs. So, I was very upset to learn that John's dogs were killed last week in what the airport's spokespeople are calling a "freak accident. Apparently, some of John's family flew into Bangor International Airport (obviously via private jet) and when they got off the plane, someone took the two dogs for a walk on the tarmac. When a service truck was approached the airplane to service it, apparently the driver didn't see the dogs and struck and killed them both.

How does something like that even happen? How does the dog walker not get injured? How does the dog walker not see the truck coming and pull the dogs out of the way or warn the driver? Were the dogs not leashed? Was the driver not paying attention? Arrrgh, this just pisses me off. My poor Johnny. Poor doggies.

Of course, the strangest thing about all of this is the realization that I didn't even know what kind of dogs John Travolta had. How does that happen??

ETA: Well, at least there's some good news for John—he and Kelly Preston are having another baby! Wow, Kelly is preggers again at 47? I'm 10 years younger and convinced that my ovaries are all dried up, but who knows. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday To YouTube

The lovelies over at Gingers is the Watchword pointed out that today is YouTube's official birthday. Although the domain name was activated in February 2005 and the first (boring) video was uploaded that April, public beta testing began in May before the site's official launch in November.

So, to commemorate the birth of one of the greatest time sucks to ever live, here is a collection of videos that have brought me joy over the years. I shrunk them down some so this wouldn't take up my whole front page.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

I'm actually kind of surprised that I hadn't already posted this week's vid by now, because it was one of my absolute favorite songs throughout my early 20s and it still holds up as a great sing-along-with-the-windows-down jam. From 1993's Become What You Are, this is "My Sister" by The Juliana Hatfield Three. Enjoy.



Oh, I almost forgot to spurt some useless trivia. The red set design and the part where Juliana is sitting on the floor are both a nod to The Police's "Roxanne" video. Now you can sleep.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eye Boogers

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

Why Do Screenwriters Even Continue To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning? - Sony is planning to release a live-action/CGI hybrid movie based on the computer game Rollercoaster Tycoon. Gee, I can't wait for James Cameron's IMAX 3D Chutes and Ladders.

The Kim Kardashian/Big Fat Greek Diet - The National Enquirer is reporting that Kim Kardashian told Ryan Seacrest that her super secret diet trick is that she sprays Windex on her food so she won't eat it. I know the Enquirer is a rag but I totally believe this. There's no limit to what I will believe about celebutards. Since I'm trying to drop some weight, I thought about trying this diet out, but it can only end with me in the ER having my stomach pumped. Because a Windex Burger is still gonna look pretty damn good to me. As a matter of fact, I think I've had one at Applebee's before.

Perhaps They Should Lower The Minimum American Idol Contestant Age To 12 - The newest Internet sensation is Greyson Chance (whose parents are obviously big soap opera fans), the sixth grader whose cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" has been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube. I'm assuming you've all seen him by now. If you haven't, click that link immediately. The kid is mad talented. (And those disaffected, dead-eyed girls in the lower right of the screen need a couple of good old fashioned swirlies.) When he appeared on Ellen today, dear Ms. Gaga called in to give him some love, as well as some advice: pianos before hos. Or something like that.

Billy Ray Cyrus Continues To Be Father Of The Decade - I'm sure you've all heard about and/or seen the mess that is 17-year-old Miley Cyrus giving a lapdance to 44-year-old Adam Shankman. We all know that Adam is gay, so nothing "came up" during that dance. One crisis averted. But that's not really the issue. One problem is that Miley was putting on her little show while younger kids were around. And all of her fans are young and want to be like her. The other problem is that Miley is continuing down the path to hookerdom, which doesn't seem to faze her parents. When TMZ asked Papa Billy Ray about the lapdance, he said, "It's what people her age do." Well, sure. People her age sometimes shoot up schools, too. That doesn't mean that it's ideal behavior.

Newsweek's Ramin Setoodeh Doesn't Know How Acting Works - Sometimes I wonder how I'm not making a living writing stupid shit like this, when guys like Mr. Setoodeh, who will probably never see a cube farm again, get paid for their idiotic ramblings. This particular rambling was all about how most gay male actors can't convincingly play straight roles because, ZOMG we all know they're gay for realsies, duhhhh! The article by Setoodeh, himself a gay man, has already famously pissed off GLAAD, Kristen Chenowith and Glee creator Ryan Murphy, and now it's not-so-famously pissed me off, mainly for its description of Jonathan Groff's portrayal of Glee's Jesse St. James as an "average theater queen." Bastard! OK, so yes, I'm well aware that Jonathan is a gay boy in real life. A lovely, heavenly gay boy. But that doesn't mean that I can't buy him as a straight dude on a TV show. And it certainly doesn't prevent me from imagining a world in which he's straight and we make love in the clouds and then run away to live among the puppies and baby seals on Happy Magic Rainbow Island. In a candy house. All right, so maybe that sounds a little gay. As long as "gay" means "awesome." And I'm pretty sure it does.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol 9: 5/12/10 Results

So, folks, this recap is going to have to be the PS version tonight. I need to get to bed. I feel like I'm coming down with something and I'm praying to Danny Gokey's crazy church that it's not strep. Apparently, it's gotten to the point where American Idol is actually making me physically ill.

[In the style of La Roux] This time baby, I'll do bulllllletttt points!

Results

  • All the families got to sit on the stage couches while the Final 4 awaited their results in the uncomfortable stools.
  • Casey was named safe first. Of course he was, because he was my pick to go home! I immediately thought perhaps they were setting up the season's big "shocker," either turning Crystal into Melinder Doolittle or Lee into Daughtry. (It should be noted that Lee will turn into Daughtry eventually. But with hair.)
  • Lee would not be Daughtried tonight. He was named safe second, leaving Crystal and Mike in the Bottom 2. If Mike's family's expressions could have made a sound, it would have been, "Awwwwww shiiiiiit."
  • No crazy shenanigans with Crystal. Mike was booted.
  • Why did Mike choose to go out on the Free Willy song? Haven't the contestants generally been picking their most well-received songs as their last hurrahs?
Musical Guests
  • Fantasia sang her new song "Bittersweet." This time, unfortunately, she did not turn in a performance worthy of this famous reaction. Other things I noticed (because I certainly wasn't paying attention to the song):
    • 'Tasia was obviously torn between getting the Rihanna or the Bieber cut, and settled for a weird combination of both.
    • One of her backup singers must not have shown because there appeared to be a 6th grade art teacher among the backing trio.
  • Daughtry was Daughtry. Although they wished they were Bon Jovi.
  • Bon Jovi did their new song, "Superman Tonight." OK, look. I still like Bon Jovi. All you haterz can go to hell.
    • Richie Sambora finally cut his hair. Sadly, it was with a weed whacker.
    • Jon Bon...well, what can I say? That hair. That butt. Those teeth. My God, THOSE TEETH. Aging that well should really be illegal.
Other Observations
  • That "movie trailer" opening was one of the dumbest intros yet. If this season of AI were really a movie, I definitely wouldn't go see it. Maybe I'd Netflix it. I'd put it in my queue right behind the entire Leprechaun franchise.
  • I swear I saw Stewart Copeland in the audience. Was I imagining that? Or was it his doppelgänger?
  • I greatly appreciated the well-placed "Gosh"es during the video package of the past winners visiting their hometowns.
  • Casey was totally stoned. Like, beyond Jason Castro stoned.
  • Jon Bon Jovi's teeth deserve another mention.
  • This might have been the first show in history that didn't run over or right up to the last minute. When they started running Mike's farewell package, there were still 5 minutes left. And when he was done singing, there were still 2 minutes left. So, we got to see lots of hugs and then Ryan just talked super slowly for a little bit.
  • Shouldn't Mike's wife have put some earplugs or headphones on that baby?
So, what's on tap for next week? I'm guessing it's judges' choice/personal choice for each of the Final 3. I wonder if Kara will choose Casey's song, and if it will be that country classic, "Older Women?"


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol 9: The Craptastic Four

OK, so maybe not all four are craptastic, but there's no way I was passing that up on Movie Night.

American Idol reduces its carbon footprint tonight by not only reusing the "songs from movies" theme, but also by recycling one of last season's mentors, Jamie Foxx. Seacrest lists Jamie's many achievements as I stubbornly say to no one, "He'll always be Wanda to me. Haaa-ay."

Jamie has brought two sets of tee shirts for the contestants—half that read CONTESTANT half that read ARTIST—and says he will pass them out accordingly. Something tells me that he might be a little nicer than I would be in the same situation.

Jamie gets all up in Lee Dewyze's grill during rehearsal to see if he can deal with the pressure of those beady little eyes. Apparently, Jamie thinks Lee can hang, as he gives him an ARTIST shirt. I fight the urge to bash my head through the TV screen when it's revealed that Lee is singing that old Idol standard and one of the dumbest songs ever, "Kiss From A Rose." As I think "he sounds aight, but he's not doing anything new with it," The Dawg comes along and says the same thing. Ellen and Kara make some halfhearted negative remarks before wiping them all away with a "but you're still great." Simon agrees with Randy. And he's upset that out of "so many brilliant movies and so many brilliant songs," Lee chose that one. I sense that we might hear this criticism a lot tonight, so let me just address Lord Cowell.

Dear Simon: If TPTB only give the contestants 34 songs to choose from as they did this week, there aren't "so many" others that Lee could have picked. And as far as "brilliant" choices go, it's kind of hard for these kids to shine when that list of 34 includes a song from High School Musical, a bunch of Disney themes and a bunch of lame ballads. Not to mention that there are two RAP songs on the list: "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Lose Yourself." Look, I have nothing against rap, but seriously? Rap in a singing competition? Were those songs thrown in there out of morbid curiosity to see if anyone would take the bait? And worse than that, you actually put the Rocky theme, "Gonna Fly Now" on that list!! What does that have, like six words in the whole song? As much as I hate "Kiss From A Rose," I have to admit that it's one of the more non-ridonk choices.

Moving on...

Jamie tries to get Michael Lynche to loosen up by dancing with him. It must not have helped, because Mike gets the dreaded CONTESTANT shirt. Mike promises that he'll do better in the live performance. He does an OK job. I mean, I don't know how excited I can possibly get over Michael Jackson's ode to Willy the whale, "Will You Be There." Randy immediately yells at Mike to get back in his R&B box. Ellen thinks the performance was good, if not a bit predictable. (I don't think anyone could have predicted a song from Free Willy. Just sayin'.) Kara is like, "Hey, remember all those other songs you sang? I liked them better." Simon admits to never having seen Free Willy, and the rest of the panel acts like that's something to be ashamed of. (If so, I'll remain ashamed, thanks.) Then Simon once again grouses that Mike could have chosen from thousands and thousands of songs. Well, not really. Unless British people use different numbers. Is he counting in stone? How does 34 equal thousands? I need a conversion chart.

Since the duets worked so well last year with a much more talented crop of contestants, they continue this year. First up is the Final 2, er, I mean Lee and Crystal Bowersox. They both bring their guitars for a slightly more rocking version of "Falling Slowly" from Once. Hmm. This is actually pretty good. It's no Glamaheta doing "Slow Ride," but it's good. All the judges lap it up, and Ellen says Lee and Crystal are like the new Captain and Tennille. And pimpage...pimpage will keep them together.

Mr. Foxx asks Casey James to seduce him during rehearsal. Apparently, his charms worked because Casey got the ARTIST shirt. Casey then performs a stripped down, slower version of "Mrs. Robinson" from Idiot Pit Island with a...what is that? It sounds like a mandolin but looks like a toy guitar. Whatever the case, I actually think this is a pretty good performance. Mostly because there is no bleating! Casey must have really worked hard to get his vibrato under control after Kara called him a lamb last week. All the judges try to resuscitate the lame joke that Kara is Casey's own personal Mrs. Robinson, hardy har har. Randy somehow doesn't think that Casey didn't change the song at all. I suggest he go back and listen to the original. Ellen does think that Casey changed it up. And she hopes that next time (if there is a next time), Casey gets a "big boy guitar." Kara says this song was a good choice and then talks about herself for five minutes. Simon is still pointlessly bitching about song choice. Perhaps he would have preferred that Casey cover "Jai Ho?"

Dreadsocks™ meets Jamie and is immediately starstruck, causing her to screw up her rehearsal and "curse on the TEE-vee." She still gets the ARTIST tee shirt because, well, yeah. I love the fact that she is singing "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack because A) Kenny Loggins is the King of Soundtracks and B) It always makes me think of that dancing gopher, which always makes me smile. She puts a little bit of an alt-country/soul vibe on the song and does a great job, as usual. Randy and Kara agree with Jamie's choice to give her the ARTIST shirt. Ellen says that she "Crystallized" the song, meaning "took it and made it better." Simon says Crystal is back in the game. Everyone in the dugout scratches their heads and wonders when she was ever out.

The final performance is Casey and Mike's duet of "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman," which I'm fully expecting to hate or find terribly amusing. But I'm really surprised when they sound much better together than I ever would have imagined. Ellen takes the opportunity to remind everyone that she, in fact, has loved a woman. Kara and Simon think the duets stole the night. I have to agree. Both were pretty good, and better than any of the solos. And although the Casey/Mike pairing wasn't as good as Lee and Crystal's duet, it was certainly better than Smuggie and Kris Allen's cover of "Renegade" last year.

My predictions are so off this year, I don't know why I even bother. But I'm just going to guess that Casey and Mike will be the Bottom 2 and that (eenie, meenie, miney, mo) Casey will be going home.

And finally, Seacrest says the words I've been longing to hear: Glee is next!


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

80 Is The New 30

Hopefully, everyone saw Betty White's hosting stint on Saturday Night Live last weekend. If you didn't, go watch it on Hulu immediately. She (with the help of some of the recent great SNL ladies including Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, and my gal Amy Poehler) totally rocked it. It was one of the funniest episodes of SNL I've seen in a while. At the tender age of 88 (and 1/2), Betty proved to all the disaffected teens out there that old folks aren't to be laughed at; they're to be laughed with. Unless they fall down, and then you shouldn't be laughing at all, jerks.

And now there's another oldster causing a sensation across the pond—and here, thanks to the InterTubes. Janey Cutler, 81, is being hailed as the "new Susan Boyle" after her appearance on Britain's Got Talent, where she wowed the judges and received a standing ovation. (Click the link to see the video; embedding has been disabled. *sad trombone*) Of course, the boobs on The Early Show made fun of her thick Scottish accent and apparent hearing problems when they interviewed her yesterday. So maybe I shouldn't be wagging my finger at the disaffected youth of America, but our moronic, superficial talking heads instead.

Old people are the best. Well, most of them. I have an issue right now with the Young@Heart Chorus. I just checked their tour dates and they're all in New England, New York, and even one date in Canada. Why can't they roll their old bones down to Pittsburgh?? I've been dying to see them for years!

Related: What A Drag It Ain't Gettin' Old

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy MacPhisto Day


Bono is turning 50 today! To celebrate, I'm writing a blog post that demonstrates only a fraction of my true talent. And my giant sunglasses and I are perfectly content with that.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

After this song recently appeared on my April Showers mix (thanks to Dr. Ken's request), I decided to post the video for "The Rain" by Oran "Juice" Jones this week. Why? Because it's awesome, that's why!

Also, I figured it was appropriate since the song references walking, and I'll be doing the 5K Walk in the Komen Race for the Cure tomorrow! Thanks again to everyone who donated. If you haven't yet and want to, there's still time! Just click the image in the near sidebar to go to my donation page.

Hopefully, my teammates and I won't be walking in the rain. The forecast calls for showers tonight and a clear sky tomorrow, but if I had a dime for every time the weather forecast was wrong, I'd have enough money to make my own weather controlling machine.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Caption Contest Crotch-test #34

And with that, Michael is finally out of their lives forever.

And there is the winning caption, provided by Scope, a first-time winner but long-time honorary firecrotch.
I don't know if this is how Scope meant it, but the caption is funny to me because I can't help imagining that Dina and LiLo just chopped Michael up into little pieces (probably with Dina's heels) and they're getting rid of the final evidence.

Since there was such a WEAK turnout this month, there are no runner up prizes. See what you did, people who didn't enter? You ruined things for everyone!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

American Idol 9: 5/5/10 Results

Time again for the American Idol variety hour, where the voting results are just an afterthought.


Oh, joy. The group sing is back this week, and it's a Sinatra medley, natch. It starts out as a Vegas revue, with the four dudes sort of dorkily introducing the big, female star (Crystal). Actually, this group sing is the least offensive one so far this season, and I was expecting quite the opposite. I think these group numbers get better as the number of contestants gets smaller. Plus, it's not hard to sound good when you're pre-recorded. Seriously, Casey and Lee sound like different people.

More joy comes in the form of yet another cornball Ford commercial. All I got from this is that someone else made another song about counting.

Now the Idols talk about how different their Tuesdays are now that they're on AI. Crystal is no longer waist deep in poopy diapers! Michael doesn't have to force people to lift weights! Casey can't sleep until dinner time! Lee doesn't have to work at the paint store! Aaron says, "Homework? SCREW HOMEWORK!" Oh, these Idols.

We also get a peek at the fake judges who fill in for the real deals during the performance night rehearsals. Ryan warns Randy to watch out so that Fake Randy doesn't steal his job. Come on, Ryan. Kara is first in line for replacement.

Want some results? Oh, Ryan's got our results. And he's gonna give them to us right now. Lee, you're safe. OK, that's enough resultin' for now. Seacrest needs a rest.

For some strange reason, Lady Gaga is performing during Sinatra Week. She is dressed like some sort of Batman villain, surrounded by scantily-clad men. There is drama in the air. She begins at the piano with a small "Bad Romance" interlude before launching into "Alejandro." At first I thought that Gaga was, like, the worst lip syncher ever, but now I realize that the stupid audio is behind again. (Dear Comcast, you suck. Love, me.) However, I'm not completely convinced that Gaga isn't lip synching. If she's not, she sounds really good considering all the writhing around she's doing. If she is, well, that's a little disappointing. And although most people would probably find this performance over the top, I think it feels a bit reserved by Gaga's standards. Am I wrong on this?

Time for some behind the scenes fun with Harry Connick, Jr. He cracks a lot of jokes and lets the judges know that "pitchy" is not a word. He does not fly us to the moon by flapping his ears, but I'm sure he could if he wanted to. (Look, I think the guy is pretty adorable, not to mention talented and hilarious, but there's no denying those are some Prince Charles-sized head flaps. I have to pick on him for something since he's got a pretty sweet life and is married to a supermodel.)

Now, since Junior's got a new album to promote, he performs his cover of The Beatles' "And I Love Her." Nice. But don't go anywhere yet, Harry! Tell us about the time you met Mr. Sinatra! (It's actually a pretty humorous story. But that's because Harry is a funny dude.) And oh, hey, here's a brilliant idea! Let's have another group sing! YAY! Again, I begrudgingly admit that the group sing isn't too shabby. This time Harry accompanies the kids on a medley of his songs. Or does he? Because no way they're singing this live. I guess that doesn't mean he couldn't still be piano-ing live.

Back to the results. Crystal and Casey are in Group 1 and Michael and Aaron are in Group 2. Ryan starts to ask Lee if he wants to guess who the Bottom 2 are and the audience starts audibly groaning. So, Ryan asks if Lee would pick if he were asked (totally hypothetically!) and, of course, Lee says no. Not that it takes a rocket scientist (which Lee clearly is not) to figure out that Michael and Aaron are the Bottom 2.

And it's not really that shocking to see young Aaron get the boot. Especially because I predicted that it would be Casey. But that's just how my season's going.

Bye, Aaron. You seem like a nice kid but I expect to see you never again. (Well, after the Finale, that is.)


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

PS. Don't forget to enter this month's caption contest. Aaron would have wanted you to.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

American Idol 9: The Best Is Yet To Come, My Foot

It's Sinatra Night on American Idol, which means all the contestants are dolled up in their Sunday best and their instruments have been taken out of their hands. Creative control has been taken out of their hands as well and put into Harry Connick, Jr.'s. Harry will be arranging everyone's songs tonight to ensure that no one tries somethin' stupid, like a ska version of "Strangers in the Night."

Nancy and Tina Sinatra are brave enough to be in the audience this evening. Tina gives Simon one of Frank's monogrammed hankies as a gift, and the cranky ol' Brit seems genuinely touched. This is one of those times everyone is probably glad that Paula Abdul is no longer on the judges' panel. She definitely would've leaked some type of fluid on that keepsake.

What is up with the audio tonight? It's, like, five seconds behind the video. I've read some other recaps tonight and no one's mentioned it, so I guess this is just a problem with the cable in my area. Wow, this is really annoying.

Aaron Kelly is up first, and tries to put a Jamie Cullum spin on "Fly Me to the Moon." Tries being the operative word. He's really not bad—in fact, he's better than I expected—but I do hear a bit of that country twang creeping in every now and then. This kid is like Ambien in human form, but I have to give him props for singing the song well. Randy gives props, too. Ellen somehow didn't hear any country in that. Perhaps she was too busy thinking up clever barbs to throw at Harry to really listen. Kara tells Aaron he lacks charisma. Hey, she's finally speaking on a topic that she knows a lot about! Simon says that Aaron is just the mouse in King Frank's jungle, but at least he's a likable mouse.

Harry thinks Casey James will turn in a great performance of "Blue Skies," because he likes the way Casey uses the song to his bluesy advantage. If Casey did kill the song in rehearsal as Harry claims, then this is the biggest choke job ever because this is NOT. GOOD. I always thought it would be good to see Casey without his guitar, but I see now why he hides behind it. Much like Ricky Bobby, he doesn't know what to do with his hands...or the rest of his body. Or his face. Or his voice. Or the bleating. MY GOD, THE BLEATING! Well, Jim Breuer isn't on SNL anymore, so if this music thing doesn't work out, Casey can always go be Lorne Michaels' new Goat Boy. No one enjoys this performance, and Kara only now recognizes the vibrato issues that have plagued Casey all season long. However, when she calls him out on it, she likens him to the much cuter and fluffier lamb. Whatever animal he was channeling, I just know that Maa isn't going to be very happy that Casey gave away the sheep's password on national TV.

My picture is going nuts during the commercial break, but it seems that the audio and video is finally synced up now.

Anthony Hopkins in da house! Don't try to test him, Ryan Seacrest. A census taker tried to test him once...

Can I jam another pointless movie or TV reference in this recap? Let's see. Crystal Bowersox is singing "Summer Wind," a song that always reminds me of naked Martin Prince. (Yes!) She makes some cryptic remarks about this song having great meaning to her (lost love? maybe the baby daddy?) and then turns in a very pretty rendition. I'm more impressed with Dreadsocks™ tonight than ever before, so of course the judges (with the exception of Ellen) aren't that thrilled. Randy gets to use his 11th favorite word, "sleepy," while Simon gets to use his 4th favorite word, "indulgent." I seriously don't think he even knows what that word means. He also proclaims that Crystal has now had "two OK weeks," which also convinces me that he's losing his hearing. Last week, sure, that was kind of "meh," but this week was fantastic. What's up with the sudden de-pimpage of Crystal? Are they afraid that too much pimping will make her the next Melinda Doolittle? Possibly.

Michael Lynche is singing "The Way You Look Tonight" and...oh, come on! The damn audio is messed up again. Sheesh. Oh, this is nice. In trying to re-sync everything, the cable gods, or whoever is responsible for this, just cut off about the first 30-45 seconds of Mike's performance. From what I could hear, it sounded pretty good. The judges go completely apeshit though, so those missing seconds must have included the greatest vocals known to man.

Getting the pimp spot tonight is Lee Dewyze, singing "That's Life" in the most awkward manner possible. His vocals sound OK, but something about this is just off. The performance seems forced. I don't know what it is; I just don't dig it. But the judges just pick up where they left off with Michael and shower Lee with praise. Damn, they're overdoing it. Lee's gonna be picking little crumbs of praise out of his goatee for the next few days.

So, as with most of this season's performance nights, this one was fairly underwhelming. Then again, I was having a hard time concentrating. I'm much too excited about seeing Olivia Newton-John on Glee to care about these kids. After all, she was my American Australian idol back in the day.

Also, it seems that Jonathan Groff actually has lines this week! Yes! But Matthew Morrison is doing another rap song. Nooooooo!

Anyway, back to Idol for a sec. I'm guessing there is only a Bottom 2 now, so I'll have to guess that Aaron and Casey will be the lowest vote-getters and Casey will be going home. He can't possibly stick around after tonight, even if he does now have the support of VFTW. (They're encouraging people to "Goat" for the Worst. Ha ha.)


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