Monday, January 31, 2011

Dater Profiling Disappointments

Like any single gal of the Information Age, I have an online dating profile. Notice I didn't say that I "do" online dating or that I am actively "dating" people I've met online. Because rarely do my communications with these men (if they are, in fact, men and not just one giant make-love-not-war version of Joshua, playing an endless game that no one ever wins) result in an "IRL" meeting. This is partly my fault and partly theirs—mine because I'm not that aggressive and theirs because most of them are neanderthals with no communication skills.

Also, it's a lot easier for me to immediately give a thumbs down to an online fella. IRL, it takes a little while to figure out if I can stand to be in a room with someone for more than five minutes without wanting to kill myself. But online, the guy's likes, fetishes, bad habits, horrible grammar and religious zealousness are all there (presumably) up front in black and white, practically making the decision to message or not to message for me.

I will admit that I can be a little bit of a Judgey McJudgerson, especially when it comes to men who write things like, "im lookin 4 a reel niice gurl to spent time with" or guys who abuse exclamation marks and send five messages within two minutes, all begging for my phone number so he can call me. (Yes, both of these characters are based on actual people.) But I have dealbreakers just like anyone else. Is being a little picky so wrong? After all, online dating is based around getting to know someone's personality before discovering whether there is a physical attraction. If a guy who looked like Ian Somerhalder was standing in front of me, smoldering away, asking me out to dinner, I'd find it impossible to say no. But if he had a little index card around his neck that read, "Thrice divorced, hates puppies, weeps uncontrollably after sex and pronounces 'nuclear' as 'nucular'," it might be a little easier to tell him to go be impossibly gorgeous yet utterly ridiculous somewhere else. (Or I would hit that just that once and take lots of pictures.)

Now that you have the backstory, time for what may very well become a recurring feature here—Dater Profiling Disappointments. This is when I see a picture of a guy and immediately find him attractive (which doesn't happen that often), but after giving his profile a once-over, I just want to cry because I discover that he's managed to cram all the qualities I hate into a very lovely outer shell.

Site/user names have been changed to protect the innocent and keep me from getting sued.

Dating site: AllRightEros
User: Hypocrates (yes, I meant to spell it that way)
Strike One: Replies "very selectively." This is such a pet peeve of mine. If someone finds you interesting or attractive enough to message, most of the time they deserve some kind of response. Do men really think that just writing back makes them obligated to take someone out? Do they really think that we think "Oh, it must be love!" when they bother to answer with a simple hello? I'll generally respond to anyone unless he's a creepy weirdo. I just think it's mean to ignore someone. But if the guy writes back again and I'm not interested in a date, I'll think of a polite way to say so. It's really not that hard.
Strike Two: Christian; says religion/God is the most important thing in his life. Now, this is not a bad thing in and of itself. However, Hypocrates believes that homosexuality is a sin but wouldn't consider dating someone who's been A) celibate for the past four years or who B) would want to wait at least six months before having sex. (Keep in mind, these aren't MY requirements; they are some of the actual questions we master daters get to answer on AllRightEros.) So, it seems we have yet another preacher who thinks one or two short, vague Bible references to homosexuality (and zero mentions by Jesus) makes it an unforgivable sin but has no problem with premarital sex, which is pretty much called "immoral" on every page. Now, I don't have a problem being with someone whose political or religious views are much different than mine (as long as we can agree to respect each others' beliefs) but I'm not sure I could have a long-term relationship with someone who truly believes all gays are hellbound. It's just one of those things that really makes me mad. I can't help it.
Strike Three:Says that of narcissism, hypocrisy, racism and something else I've already forgotten, he hates narcissism the most. Yet, he says that dressing in style is "very important" and admits that, during conversations, he's waiting to talk rather than listening. (Can you guess which of those choices I picked as my most hated??)
Physical Score: 7
Personality Score: 2
Disappointment Factor: 5

Note to any anonymous angry men who are descending upon this blog to bitch that I'm the one with the problem and spit their testosterone all over the place: no, I'm not perfect and yes, there are just as many idiot women out there on dating sites but I'm not writing about them because I don't have any experience dating women. OK? Are you less butt hurt now? Good. Now, fix your skirt. Your unit's showing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

American Idol 10: Music Shitty, USA

Hey kids, I know American Idol's Nashville auditions were last night but Mama was plum tuckered out. Sorry to send y'all to bed without your recap. But, as my granny used to say, "Better to be strung up by your thumbs than to get fed racoon shit in the morning." Hmm, maybe I should just go with what my other granny used to say, "Better late than never." Not that the former ain't good advice, but the latter sure do make more sense in this here context.

(Don't worry, I'm done talking like Ma Kettle or whoeverthehell.)

The auditions start with Christine, a weird girl with a squeaky voice that only gets squeakier at the ends of all her sentences, which makes her sound like she's always asking a question. The question here is, "Is this girl honest-to-goodness deranged or is she just a willing participant in one of Idol's little games?" Part of me thinks that this whole thing is scripted (she enters the room singing/making random squeaky noises and then really goes to town on "I Hope You Dance") but part of me thinks Christine really is nuts. She's way too cheerful and dead-eyed to be in on the joke. At some point though, I stop caring because this is only the first audition and already it's been, like, a million minutes.

Chelsee and Rob are ex-singing partners and ex-lovahs who are auditioning together. Again, I'm sure this is a scripted move, planned by Idol's producers once they found out that Chelsee has a new man and Rob is a lonely little hobbit. The judges all beg them to fall in love again, as Rob just stares and Chelsee (who's either a LiLo wannabe or a Wynonna wannabe, I can't decide) just tosses her wall of red hair around nervously. Then they sing together and show off some great harmony. Steven wants to know (without saying it in so many words) if that harmony translated to the sack, or if Chelsee left Rob because he hit too many bum notes. Both sing solo well and are rewarded with golden tickets. Seacrest celebrates this by trying to cause strain between Rob and Chelsee's new boyfriend, who is also a dork. Wait until this broad sees the men in Hollywood.

We're treated to a few weirdos before Allen the tattoo artist enters the room. He looks exactly like the kind of guy who would sing Skynryd's "Simple Man" but sings it exactly like Cher would if she were reincarnated as a burly biker dude. And although he looks exactly like the kind of guy who wouldn't take kindly to "no," Allen takes rejection with a shrug, smile and demented laugh.

Next up is Stormi (her real name), whose mother obviously wanted her to become a porn star or stripper, but became Miss Teen USA instead. Her tiny little voice doesn't impress J.Lo, but since she's very pretty (and because the baby doll dress/boots ensemble never fails), Steven and Randy give her a golden ticket. And Steven would like to give her a golden something else, if you know what I mean, and I know that you do because all of you people are perverts.

Day 1 ends with Adrienne, a black girl who was adopted by white parents. And not only are they white, but they're farmers! Adrienne isn't really a Very Special Contestant, but her story moves me the most because I can't imagine a life of waking up at 5:00 am to push hay around. Anyway, Adrienne really doesn't need a sob story because she has a very powerful voice. But not in that "listen to how loud I can scream" diva kind of way. It's just plain good. Steven thinks Adrienne is "something special" and the other judges agree. She's off to Hollywood.

Speaking of screaming, Day 2 opens with Kameela doing horrible things to a Chaka Khan song. She is clearly one of those people who honestly thinks she's good, so Steven just encourages her to practice and keep at it. But Randy, who is desperately trying to take Simon's place, tells her never to sing again. Without the British accent, it just sounds assholish.

A string of weirdos are rejected, including a guy I've dubbed Purple Man, who must be Green Man's long-lost cousin. His all-too brief cover of "A Moment Like This" is probably my favorite moment of the auditions so far. (I don't know, maybe I was really tired but that made me laugh. Like a real laugh.) I love you Purple Man!

Jackie (not THAT one) Wilson disappoints me by singing neither "Lonely Teardrops" nor Van Morrison's "Jackie Wilson Said" but since she has a very nice, raspy voice, I'll let her uninspired song choice (which I've already forgotten) slide. After she gets her ticket, she runs out into the lobby and slips her dad some tongue. Whoa! Oh, wait...turns out that old dude is actually her boyfriend. Hey, this is the south. That could have gone either way and I wouldn't have been surprised.

Unlike Kameela, I don't believe for one second that LaToya (self-dubbed "YouNique") actually thinks she can sing. She just wants to be on TV, and she bought herself a pretty new pageant gown (or swiped it from Stormi's closet) for her appearance. She bleats out some song I don't know and gets a unanimous "no." Then, to make up for the lack of house band, she sings herself out.

A trio of random guys are shown singing well and making it through. These are the guys who won't make it past the final Hollywood round and will take to the Internet to bitch about their lack of "face time."

Next up is Matt Dillard, not Matt Dillon, so he's not doing this for Johnny. He's doing this for his family, who has taken in 700 foster kids over the past 20+ years. And his family doesn't have a reality on show on TLC because why? Luckily, he sings much better than he dresses (giant overalls and a tiny cowboy hat) but it's odd because his voice doesn't really fit his body (much like his fashion choices). He sounds a little bit like a Broadway wannabe. The judges seem a little unsure about Matt, but send him to Hollywood anyway.

Finally, the Nashville auditions end with Lauren, a girl that Seacrest has been pimping as a MUST SEE for the entire show, so I really hope she has a family tragedy to sell because I can't possibly just enjoy a singer based on vocal merit alone! Turns out, her cousin/friend/ personal idol, Holly, had a brain tumor and that was sad. And just like the throat cancer dad and the brain damaged fiancee, the judges insist that Holly be brought in to meet them. These judges are living in their own Make-a-Wish Foundation fantasy, where meeting them is at the top of every sick and dying person's bucket list. Now, where was I? Oh yes, this is an audition for a singing competition. Lauren is a very good singer. She's 15, with the messy hair of an 18-year-old slut, the face of DJ Tanner and a slightly obnoxious "always on" personality. No doubt she will go far in this contest. To her credit, when Randy keeps trying to inject the sob story back into the conversation, Lauren kind of ignores it. But she loses points with me when she brings her parents into the room to sing "their song," "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." NOOOOOO! I was convinced before this season started that every other person would try out with this horrible song just because of Steven's presence, but it's been wonderfully absent from the audition room so far. Dammit. Now all I want to do is close my eyes and fall asleep. But I'll probably have nightmares about asteroids and Ben Affleck rubbing animal crackers on my body. Ugh.

Next week, the audition train rolls on to Austin.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

American Idol 10: Smuggie's Return

Milwaukee is known for a lot of things. Cheese. Beer. The Brewers (the baseball team and the guys who make the beer). Snow. Summerfest. Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley. Weird accents. But what does American Idol think is the city's crowning achievement? Inflicting Danny Gokey upon the world. Nice. Thank God Seacrest doesn't work for the tourism board.


Yes, Smuggie has returned to AI (because, really, what else does he have to do?) as his hometown's audition ambassador. He tells everyone really important things they never could have figured out for themselves like, "Your lives can change so much" from being an Idol contestant. It's true, you could go from a complete unknown to an object of universal hatred almost overnight! And if you don't believe Hokey, just ask Kara DioGuardi.

Kicking off the Milwaukee auditions is 16-year-old Scotty, a deep-voiced country singer who's turned on to be your man. And then he sings another song about being turned on about something else. Ah, 16-year-old boys and their hormones. Steven says something about fucking a duck, which probably won't make it past the censors to become his new catchphrase. (By the way, is there an over-under on how many F-bombs he's gonna "accidentally" fire off once we get to the live shows?) All the judges love him, so he's given a golden ticket. OH, BUT WAIT! NOT YET! Randy almost forgot to remind Scotty that he was only 16. OK, error fixed. Crisis averted. Go roll in possum shit and drive your tractor to the moon, Scotty!

Up next is Joe, a wannabe radio DJ who claims to be 19 but looks more like 40. And it's not because he's fat. But because he's fat, there is already a 99% chance that he will be terrible. Because if we've learned anything from American Idol, it's that fat people are NOT talented. Unless your name is Randy Jackson. Or Ruben Studdard. And then, of course, you're fine just the way you are. As expected, Joe can't sing a lick and all the judges tell him to stick to the radio dream.

Wow, this show is dragging. Did only 20 people audition in Milwaukee? They just spent, like, half the show on this Joe fella.

Taking advantage of the new age minimum is Emma, a 15-year-old who sings "True Colors." Eh. She has one of those voices that's purposely ragged-sounding, which is kind of annoying. But she's cute and young and has two-toned hair, which means she's "edgy." Steven says yes but J.Lo says no, leaving Emma's fate up to The Dawg. After a little begging and crying, Randy gives in and gives her a golden ticket, even though he and Jen both predict that she will be swallowed whole in Hollywood. Possibly by Steven.

A parade of losers (including some goth chick in her bathrobe) whizzes by before it's Naima's turn. Naima is a maintenance worker at the Summerfest Grounds, and falls just shy of making a bid for a Very Special Contestant (VSC) spot. Cleaning toilets to provide for your kids really isn't that bad of a life. Anyway, Naima immediately gets points for doing a Donny Hathaway song that isn't "A Song for You." And she gets more points for her voice, which I really like. Yeah, I dig this girl. She has an interesting vibe. The judges are feeling it too, and Naima's on to the next round.

Now we have a montage of stupidity, like a guy doing a backflip right into another dude's face and some weirdo with a giant toothbrush. For a split second, I thought toothbrush guy was Normund Gentle. He could definitely be a cousin or something.

Jerome, a bar mitvah singer, shouts that everyone should "get it on" with him. Since he is exceptionally loud, Randy especially loves the audition. The other judges like Jerome too, so he's in. He hugs his mom (I'm assuming that was his mom - sorry if you're his wife, lady) and I see now why the guy sings so loudly. He must be going deaf, because this crazy woman is screaming directly into his ear and he's not even flinching.

Thia is a perky young Asian-American who develops the most bizarre accent while singing. Seriously, what is that??? Well, she's singing "Chasing Pavements" so I think she might just be trying to imitate Adele. It's not working. She has a decent voice, but the totally affected manner in which she's delivering it is making me ill. However, the judges aren't bothered one bit and send her off to Hollywood. Of course, it helps that she's 15. In fact, EVERY 15-year-old who's tried out today has made it through to the next round. Hmm, who do you think they want to win this year? Yep...THIS...is American Bieber.

Next up is the token crazy dude, Nathaniel, the Civil War re-enactor. Before his bizarre rendition of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (which, of course, doesn't earn him anything but Steven's rapt enjoyment), he goes on a weird tangent about how everyone thinks his dad is a weed-smoking hippie. Nathaniel's very angry about this implication because hippies "believe in sex." Soooo...either Nathaniel's dad is Dad in name only or he only had sex with Nathaniel's mom one time, but wasn't really into it. I don't think that Nathaniel's dad is a hippie, but I will guarantee that the guy owns at least one non-running motorcycle, a copy of Freedom Rock and a signed photo of Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard that he got at a car show.

So much for Nathaniel being the "token" crazy. Mason shows up and is so nervous that he has to turn away from the judges to take a deep breath, but then he just keeps breathing with his back turned to the panel for what feels like an eternity. And when he finally does turn around, he just belches out some monotonous weirdness. Wow, that was worth waiting for. Who's editing this show??

Harvard grad and White House intern (ba-chicka-wow-wow) Molly wants everyone to know that Randy punched her in the face earlier today. And girl ain't lying. The footage shows that, while The Dawg was running the high-five gauntlet in the waiting room, he totally missed Molly's hand and socked her in the kisser. And she will sue if the judges don't put her through!! No, she doesn't issue any threats. And she doesn't really have to because she has a very nice voice. A little too much heavy breathing for me, but Steven digs that. Molly's golden ticket is the last one awarded on Day 1.

Day 2 finds J.Lo clearly trying to fill P-Ab's weird shoes by showing up in the "Sock Hop Girl" costume from Halloween Adventure. Also, Gokey IS STILL THERE. Oh my God, dude. Go film a Lenscrafters commercial or something. Anything. Just get off my TV screen.

Up first is Haley, a girl with long blonde hair who tried out last year but didn't make it. The kinder, gentler judges say this is her year. Meh.

Despite his wrinkled attire (didn't anyone ever tell him that white linen is bad news?), Tiwan earns a ticket to Hollywood with a very pleasant version of "Twistin' the Night Away." He sounds a lot like an old Motown singer, making it all the more surprising that he got through in this Year of the Bieb. I'm sure if he sticks around past the Hollywood round, the judges will just keep telling him that he's "too old fashioned" before finally booting him. But he's enjoying his victory for now. One of his relatives enjoys the victory a little too much and gives herself a charlie horse.

Steve the accountant surprises everyone by not just shouting a string of numbers, but instead singing "The Man Who Can't Be Moved." He has a pretty interesting voice. The judges agree. They also want someone to do their taxes for free, so Steve is in.

Vernika appears to have come straight from The Maury Povich Show to the auditions. She's one of those made-for-TV women who has just the right mix of overblown confidence and irrational indignation. Perhaps Minnie Riperton's "Loving You" is a bad choice, but does anyone really want to give her a chance to sing something else? No, not really. She assumes it's just because she's not as skinny as some of the other girls, which prompts Randy to start down the "Kelly Clarkson was a fattie" road before realizing that he's a goddamn egghead and stops himself.

After Vernika storms out, we're treated to a montage of rejected crybabies, cussers and camera-swatters.

AI finds yet another way to fill time by getting a guy named Albert to sing "Stand By Me" like it's on 33. Randy says it was terrible and "a joke." Wait, is he talking about the audition or his own wardrobe? Just why is that giant cursive "E" on his shirt? What does it mean? (looks above) Oh! Egghead!

Tired of hitting on women, Steven compliments Scott on his very red lips. Ehh, they're way too thin. Scott kind of looks like every college guy you see hanging out at the places no one else hangs out, looking like he's trying really hard to look like he didn't try too hard to try not to look cool. He has a pretty nice voice though, and Jennifer calls him her favorite so far. Randy, now out of earshot of Steve the accountant, bellows his vote: 100 MILLION PERCENT YES! Quick, Randy, turn 100 million percent into a fraction!

Some goober named Megan is running around in a gaudy American flag-emblazoned shirt, raving about the Packers, which is just one more reason to root for the Steelers in the Super Bowl. (Not that anyone should need any more reasons.) She does a demented opera version of Bieber's "Baby," which I actually find rather funny. It's certainly preferable to the original song.

Next up is Alyson, the token "rocker chick" who is in looooove with Steven. Although, when asked whose songs she likes to sing, she first mentions the Beatles and says nothing about Aerosmith until Randy brings them up. She gets a hug from Steven anyway, and then auditions with "Come Together." She's good, but sounds like pretty much any chick bar singer. Then the judges prod her to sing an Aerosmith song, so she chooses "Dream On." Wow, way to prove your knowledge of your idol's catalog there, Aly! When she warns that she can't do the high wails at the end, Steven helps out. (But what a missed opportunity! Gokey is still there! Surely, he could have returned to re-enact the Screech Heard 'Round the World!) When the judges vote, Randy gives her a no and J.Lo gives her a yes, which means...dun dun DUNNNN! Steven, HER IDOL, holds her fate in his hands! What will happen??? OH THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!! PLEASE JUST TELL...oh, Steven said yes. Great.

If you thought that was exciting, just wait. Seacrest informs us that, after the break, the final auditioner will sing. AND HE IS GOING TO BE THE MOST INCREDIBLE VSC OF ALL TIME! Gokey, prepare to have your story of triumph over tragedy trumped.

Meet VSC Chris Medina. He's been engaged for nearly three years. Not long before he and his fiancee, Juliana, were supposed to get married in 2009, she was in an accident, from which she suffered major brain damage. She is now confined to a wheelchair and Chris is her caretaker. OK. Now, I have to give this guy some respect because, obviously, this is a tough thing to face and a lot of people wouldn't be able to handle it. So yes, he's most certainly a good guy and yes, this is a sad story and yes, I feel bad for everyone involved. But mostly I feel bad for Juliana, who is clearly being exploited by the Idol machine. Now, I'm sure that she wanted to be there to support Chris, which is great. I'm not saying that he shouldn't have brought her along to the audition. I'm not saying that the girl should be "hidden away" because of her disability. I am saying that she deserves to be treated like a human being rather than a museum exhibit. I am saying that Chris should protect his fiancee's privacy and not allow their tragedy to be used by a bunch of scumbag producers as a means of attracting viewers. Seriously, I'm so tired of this shit. If all it took to make it big was a story of hardship or loss, we'd ALL be famous. I can barely remember the guy's actual audition because of the focus on his backstory. As far as I can tell, he's a decent singer but nothing I haven't heard before. Still, because of his situation, he will sail through to the finals, just like Gokey did.

The most uncomfortable few minutes I've ever witnessed on this show took place after the judges put Chris through to Hollywood, when they asked him to bring Juliana in so they could meet her. The judges all swarmed her wheelchair and spoke to her like she was a five-year-old who just went poop in the big toilet for the first time. (Steven was the only one who seemed to be genuinely moved. J.Lo will cry if you sing her a Carrie Underwood song, yet somehow managed to stay dry for this experience.) God, this shameless display just made me want to vomit. Using a disabled woman as a prop to make the judges look good and boost the show's dismal ratings is a new low.

I'm gonna try to wash that disturbing scene out of my brain and ready myself for the Nashville auditions tomorrow night. Please don't let there be a guy there with one arm, one leg and no sense of smell whose whole family died in a shipwreck.

(PS - I'm so pleased to have the opportunity to recycle one of my favorite old Photoshops.)


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I Don't Understand

Well, that post title really encompasses a lot, so let's just stick with the things at the front of my brain right now.


1. The Roomate (aka Single White Female: The College Years) - OK, not only do I not understand who decided that we needed a Single White Female ripoff/remake, but I also don't see the point in casting Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly, who are virtually indistinguishable from one another. What is going to be the plot twist? The bad one dyes her long, straight hair a slightly deeper shade of brown? Or she starts wearing the good one's favorite perfume (which is probably that Britney Spears shit)? Should it be suspenseful when we're left to wonder if the bad one will succeed in seducing the good one's boyfriend? I mean, really, even if she wasn't crazy and trying to get with the boyfriend, with all the drinking that goes on in college, the guy would be bound to bang her at least once by mistake, being that she looks EXACTLY like his girlfriend. And will there be a death by high-heeled shoe? Because if not, what's the point?

2. The appeal of Clive Owen - This is number one on my list of "guys everyone but me thinks is hot." I just don't get it. There is something really off about his features. I'm not saying he's ugly, but he's definitely not drool-worthy. I mean, that nose is just ridiculous. If I want a guy with an effed up nose, I'll take Chris Isaak.

3. Business jargon - Is there a business person left in this world who still thinks that yammering on and on about grabbing low hanging fruit and exploring parameters to facilitate actionable outcomes while taking paradigm shifts to the next level as a means of leveraging their leveragable leverage actually makes them sound educated?? Does every sentence really need to start with "At the end of the day...?" Does the last paragraph of every email or memo/post-it have to begin with "Going forward...?" And I swear to God, if another person ever asks me to "download" information to them, I will slice open their brain, jam a computer chip in it, and then give it a try.

4. All the interest in the royals - I cannot wait for Prince William and Kate Middleton to get married so I don't have to hear about their royal wedding. I can kind of understand why British people would care about this crap, but why are so many Americans fascinated by these people? Is our own country suffering a shortage of extremely rich and privileged people with no apparent purpose? According to MTV, E! and, well, just about every other channel, the answer to that is "no, not even a little bit."

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Weekend: Even Better Than Last Weekend

That's right, the Steelers now have a shot at winning their SEVENTH Super Bowl ring. The next two weeks are going to be a pretty exciting time to be in Pittsburgh. But don't worry, non-sports fans! I won't be too preoccupied with humans playing with balls to not bring you the Puppy Bowl Pre-Game post that I'm sure you've all come to expect from me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

American Idol 10: Mardi Blah

I don't know if I flipped on the show a millisecond too late, but already there is a random, weeping psycho banging on a piano and yelling in my face. I DVRed the best show on television (Community) for this?? Thank God it'll all be over before The Office and the triumphant return of Parks and Recreation! Jesus, I watch too much TV.

J.LolThe New Orleans auditions kick off, not with several drunken girls baring their breasts (referred to in some circles as "going wild"), but with Jordan, just another dude singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Good God. Since Jordan's a vocal coach, it's not very surprising that he's uber confident and sings well enough to get a unanimous "yes." What is surprising is how many syllables he managed to jam into the word "up."

A bunch of rejects whiz by on the screen, because this is the kinder, gentler Idol. The producers don't want to dwell on the trainwrecks. Especially if they take time away from the sob stories.

Sarah, who may or may not be one of Steven's many unknown illegitimate children, wins her maybe-daddy over immediately with her large lips and hip-nerdy-girl glasses. And she soon wins everyone else over with a rendition of Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love." Even though J. Lo proclaims Sarah "one of the best we've heard," the judges are pretty much programmed to say that to every 15th auditioner. I think Sarah has a fine voice, but she's not that good.

Next up is Javony, a spicy Cuban who looks like he would have fit in better at the Jersey auditions. After singing a song I won't even attempt to pronounce, he proclaims his love for Jennifer and her husband, Mark Anthony. And then, instead of just taking his golden ticket and going home, he takes his shirt off because his friends dared him to. Unfortunately, his display prompts Steven and Randy to show what they've got going on under their shirts—a science exhibit and the roof of the Superdome, respectively.

Everyone knows Jacquelyn is going through before she even opens her mouth. I mean, come on, she brought in old high school pics of The Dawg (a Nawlins native) and set up a reunion with his old high school football coach. She attempts a brunette Carrie Underwood impression and gets a ticket to Hollywood. But I don't expect to see much more of her.

I'm not sure if Brett qualifies as a Very Special Contestant or not. He's dweeby looking, has crazy red hair and is what Jerry Seinfeld might call a bit of a high talker. Naturally, he was picked on in high school, so he's here to prove that it's OK to be different. Brett better tread lightly...his horning in on Lady Gaga's territory. But I like this kid. He does a rather James Morrison-esque version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and impresses the panel. Luckily, Kara isn't around to make the poor kid feel like he's back among the bullies by giving a 20-minute spiel about how she never expected someone who looked like that to actually know how to sing. Bored as I am so far with this season, I am so happy that bitch is gone.

Commercial break. I have to say something about these T-Mobile ads. First of all, why did they bring Catherine Zeta-Jones back if they were just going to get rid of her again so quickly? Secondly, what lazy, overpaid ad exec came up with the brilliant idea to just rip off the Mac ads? I can imagine him there in the boardroom going, "OH, but wait! It's totally different, because instead of a wussy guy like Justin Long, we have a GIRL! And she kind of looks like Anne Hathaway!" Come on. These are horrible. And the guy representing the iPhone freaks me out. He looks like a replicant. Really, what color is his hair? It's not a hue found in nature, I can tell you that.

Moving on...

What was I saying before about horning in on Lady Gaga's territory? Gabriel, another of Steven's love children, shows up to shake his bad hair and do bad things to "Bad Romance." His audition kicks off a string of horribleness. Damn this kinder, gentler garbage! I really wanted to see more of the cranked up rapper and the Raptor lady (I really don't know how else to describe her). Instead, we get some kid named Alex destroying "Proud Mary," which is surprising because I thought for sure he was a ringer when he announced that he attended Idol Camp. I guess he spent most of that summer discovering his sexuality. Or playing horseshoes. And no, that's not a euphemism for anything, pigs.

Jacee is a chubbier version of Justin Bieber: 15 years old, hasn't experienced the voice change yet, terrible haircut. He sings "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay," which makes me uncomfortable, as it always does when whitebreads try to prove they have soul. The judges eat him up, give him a glass of milk, pat his head and send him off to Hollywood.

The evening ends with VSC Paris. She got pregnant at 18, was told the baby had water in her ventricles and might not live, she had the baby anyway and, aside from some hearing loss, the kid seems to be fine. Oh man, this girl is pimping the whole baby drama hard. The first thing out of her mouth when the judges ask her to tell them about herself is, "I'm a mother of a special needs child." Seriously?? NOT RELEVANT. Those of you who think I'm being mean, ask yourselves if that type of response would be appropriate at, say, any job interview on the planet. Essentially, that's what an audition is. Maybe she should mention how long she's been singing or anything that's at all related to why she's there. People like this (hi, Gokey) just piss me off. While Paris is singing some Carrie Underwood song about a down on their luck family (of course), J. Lo forces out a tear. The judges send Paris off to Hollywood, where either Idoldom or a Lifetime movie of the week awaits.

Joining the Jersey 51 in La La Land are 37 folks from tonight's auditions. Of this first 88, the talent is pretty underwhelming, regardless of how much Seacrest yells to the contrary.

Next week, the judges schlemiel and schlimazel their way to Milwaukee.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Idol 10: It Begins

*deep Randy Jackson-esque inhale through the teeth*

Here we go again.

The new season of American Idol begins with a slightly revamped intro as if to say, "Look at me, world. I am slightly more relevant than I was last year." But don't be fooled by fancy graphics. Inside the audition room, it's the same old story. Same old song and daaaaaaance, my friends.

Of course, things are a little different behind the judging table. No box-cutter hairdo. No shrill "sweeties." No nipple rubbing. (Don't rule that last one out. The season's very young.) There is still plenty of poor grammar, thanks to Randy Jackson, lone survivor of the Judgepocalypse. He gets a little help in that department from adverb-hating Steven Tyler, who likes to repeatedly tell people that they "sing beautiful." And then there's Jennifer Lopez—pleasant enough but really just a sober man's Paula Abdul.

Steven says he wants to find "a Janis Joplin for this era." Is he having a senior moment? Because I'm not sure he really understands where he is. J.Lo just wants the auditions to "be great." Oh, honey, don't we all? Randy says something hot. You know it, baby. When the judges finish expressing their hopes for the season, Seacrest hyperbolizes like only he can. THIS YEAR HAS THE MOST AUDITIONS EVER. IT'S THE BIGGEST TALENT WE'VE EVER SEEN. THE JUDGES ARE HAVING THE MOST FUN EVER. THE 20 SEMI-FINALISTS HAVE ACTUALLY DISCOVERED A CURE FOR CANCER—THE WORST DISEASE EVER. AND THEN THEY WILL TACKLE AIDS! BUT NOT BEFORE FIXING THE HOLE IN THE OZONE LAYER, WHICH IS CURRENTLY THE BIGGEST IT'S EVER BEEN!

Season 10 kicks off in New Jersey, so the Jersey Shore references flow like Boone's Farm, despite the auditions being held in Jersey City, which is practically in New York. I don't have high expectations for this first stop, mainly because I lived in that shithole during the worst year of my life and the only talents I saw were acrobatic roaches. But wait...they're at the Meadowlands, so I think that's technically Secaucus or East Rutherford or some other place in which I never had the misfortune to live. And it's still not the Jersey Shore.

Up first is Rachel, an opera singer (I think?) who originally went to Hollywood in Season 6. J. Lo immediately claims to remember her and Rachel is beside herself. Please. Jen remembers this girl about as well as anyone remembers Angel Eyes. Rachel breaks out "Hallelujah" (get used to it) and does a fair to middling job with it. Everyone likes her, so she's in.

Next is Caleb, whose fun little Ray Charles cover is accompanied by Steven on desk percussion. Steven gives his trademark wail (again, get used to it) to signify that he approves of Caleb. Everyone else does too. And why not? The boy's got a beautiful head of hair.

Time to see what lowering the age requirement has wrought as 15-year-old Kenzie steps up to the plate. As he is contractually obligated to do, Randy reminds Kenzie (twice) that she is only 15. She sounds a lot like any number of interchangeable female pop singers, so naturally she gets a golden ticket.

Then, more people get golden tickets. Wow, this is riveting.

Finally, a knucklehead emerges in the form of Achille from De Ivory Coast. Equal parts Grace Jones and Marlene Dietrich, Achille huskily drones her way through Madonna's "Dress You Up." No one makes a joke about how singing is her Achilles' heel. J. Lo finally has to say "no" to someone and she acts like it's so hard for her to be "mean." This is interesting because, if you believe everything you read in the tabloids—and I absolutely do—the woman is a raging beast of a diva.

Tiffany (Star Tits) appears to be a train wreck waiting to happen (the ridiculous bikini top, the idolization of J.Lo, etc.) but she actually turns out to be not half bad. Her original song is kind of amusing but the high notes are kind of painful. Since the judges like her, they let her sing a Celine song, which is much better, albeit way too loud. She makes it through.

Now there is a montage of all the bad singers that Jennifer has to turn down. Oh, the struggle! However, some terrible chick named Melkia finally helps Jen find the will to just say "NO!" If only she had figured out how to the casting director of Maid in Manhattan.

Did you think that one of the changes for this season would be to eliminate the sob stories? If so, how naive of you! Here comes the first Very Special Contestant: 16-year-old Robbie, who I predict will be the Jewish Archuleta. Robbie earns his VSC stripes by revealing that he spent a brief period of his childhood confined to a wheelchair. Then he sings "Yesterday" in a blandly pleasant manner with a lot of unnecessary runs and glory notes. And you know who loves unnecessary runs and glory notes, don't you? I was gonna say The Dawg, but apparently everyone else loves that stuff, too. Of course Robbie makes it to the next round. And Randy is still amazed that 16-year-olds can sing, despite having been visited by a 15-year-old singer not long ago.

Another montage: this time, it's a bunch of girls lusting after Steven and, in response, Steven acting like a horndog. Remember the Paula Abdul/Corey Clark scandal? That was nothing. If Steven doesn't bang at least five contestants this year, I'm going to be extremely shocked and disappointed.

Chris, the last 18-year-old Boy Scout, has no shot. At anything. Why? Because he's an 18-year-old Boy Scout. And he's got terrible bangs. He also filmed an embarrassingly awful video about the dangers of texting while driving, a good deal of which the producers air to ensure that this kid never gets laid, EVER. Chris tries to impress the judges with a terrible Sinatra impression, while Seacrest feels up the kid's grandmother in the hallway.

Next, we're treated to a bunch of rejects, including Belching Michael, who must be kidding. He sings "Proud Mary" as he imagines Cher might, much to the judges' dismay. But because the guy so obviously wants to make an ass of himself on TV, they let him do another song before showing him the door.

Ashley wants to be the next Britney, and she seems mentally unbalanced enough to pull that off. Strangely enough, she auditions with a Broadway tune. It isn't really "bad," but she's screaming like it's Broadway for the deaf. The judges are all a little unsure of what to make of Ashley, so she cries and begs and acts generally weird until they send her to Hollywood.

Victoria likes smiling! Smiling's her favorite! She is 16 AND THREE-QUARTERS! She was created in a lab by the creators of the Miss Teen USA Pageant! Ugh. This girl needs to crash and burn immediately. Unfortunately, she has enough technical skill to warrant a golden ticket. I will be patiently waiting for Hollywood to eat her alive.

The end of Day 1 brings us the second VSC: Melinda from Kosovo. Her parents got to America through the Green Card Lottery, escaped the bombs, yadda yadda. Whatever. She's got a nice voice; that's all I care about. She's through to the next round.

Kicking off Day 2 is Devyn, a Stardust waitress. Randy isn't sure about singing waitresses, but I've been to Stardust and, believe me, those people can sing their asses off. She's very good and the judges love her, but feel the need to give her grief about her "image." She's wearing a tee-shirt and jeans. So what? Tyra Banks would totally approve of that outfit.

Another montage of rejectees takes us to the break. Upon returning, we finally get to see this dude Seacrest has been hyping all show, Yoji Pop. Wow, Ryan, this is what we were supposed to be breathlessly waiting for? A Japanese Michael Jackson impersonator who spazzes his way through Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA?" Almost as quickly as he appears, the show cuts to a montage of auditioners singing the same song and Yoji is never seen again. I think it's safe to assume that he didn't make it. But you never know with this show.

Brielle, a 16-year-old from Staten Island, is wearing a flower in her hair and a sundress with boots, guaranteeing her a spot in Hollywood. Also helping? She's a VSC! Her Dad had throat cancer and was afraid he'd never live to see Brielle try out for AI. Of course, he's now cancer-free and he is there for the audition. As the judges are about to present Brielle (who is really just an average singer) with her golden ticket, Randy brings the Dad in to extend the Lifetime moment.

At the end of Day 2, many people leave the Meadowlands in tears. Some because they didn't make the cut, some because they were really looking forward to seeing Simon Cowell and some because they couldn't believe they came to New Jersey for this.

The final audition is another VSC, 16-year-old Travis from the Bronx. His Dad was also sick, and for a while his family had to live in a shelter. He sings "Elanor Rigby" and "I'm Yours" very well (although I feel like he was affecting too much of a Mrazzy sound on the latter) and makes it through. Once again, family members are invited into the audition room to hug it out.

According to Entertainment Weekly, 325 contestants will go to Hollywood and, of those, 60 will move on to Las Vegas for a Beatles songfest. That group will be whittled down to 40 for another Hollywood round, leaving 20 semifinalists. Then America will choose 10-12 finalists.

In all, 51 people from Jersey made it to the next round and we only saw 11, none of whom really rocked my world. I suppose Caleb was my favorite, so I'll go out on a limb and say that he'll at least make it to Vegas.

Tomorrow night, the audition bus rolls in to New Orleans. Don't be surprised if Steven gives golden tickets to any female contestants who show their boobs.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tomorrow: The Great American Time Suck Is Back!

Hey, kids! You all know what time of year it is, right? It's the time when a bunch of soul-selling monkeys sing for us, I make fun of them, most of you laugh and at least one person calls me a "fat, racist whore." That's right...it's American Idol time!

Even though Simon Cowell is gone, I am certain that Season 10 will be THE BEST SEASON EVER. WITH THE BEST TALENT EVER. FEATURING THE JUDGES WITH THE WORST VOCABULARY, BIGGEST RUMP AND SARLACC-IEST MOUTH (RESPECTIVELY) EVER!! Yes, I'm still bucking for Seacrest's job.

Anyhoo, before Recapalooza commences, check out my American Idol preview on Starpulse, and make sure to leave a loving comment over there. And leave one here, too. Hell, leave me as many comments in as many places as you can. Write "BeckEye + AI 4-evah" on the nearest bathroom wall. *affects Jon Lovitz-as-Harvey Fierstein voice* I just wanna be loved, is that so wrong?

Monday, January 17, 2011

It Was A Good Weekend

Saturday

Sunday

Is it wrong that I might have gotten a little more pleasure out of the second sight?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Area In Which My Punning Ability Proves Useful

Yesterday, in one of my Battle of the Netflix Stars posts, I gave a brief synopsis/review of Whip It, the Drew Barrymore-directed film about a young girl who joins a roller derby team. What I didn't mention was that this very enjoyable film reawakened my own on and off fantasies of being a derby girl.

For now, I've decided that once I get back into shape (which I'm working on now), I will at least try out for the local league. I'm not sure how far I'm willing to take this pipe dream, though. Although I love skating, I wonder about the physcial aspects of it. I'm not a "tough chick." Sure, maybe those years spent living in New York toughened me up mentally, but not physically. I've never broken any part of my body (KNOCK ON WOOD), unless you count a hairline fracture in my pinky finger. I've never been in a fist fight, unless you count the one with my Dad's girlfriend's daughter when I was eight years old, and there were literally two punches thrown in that "fight." She hit me and I hit her, and it was over. And not because I knocked her out, but because she totally wasn't expecting me to hit her back and she immediately worried that I'd get her in trouble with her Mom. Sooooo...I don't know if I could handle being clotheslined or elbowed in the face.

But I've decided to save those worries for another day. Like try-out day. At this point in the plan, it's all about coming up with a good nickname. You can help. I'm not necessarily looking to put this to a vote, but I'm interested in your feedback on my possible monikers. These are the ones I've come up with so far. Some are based on pop culture and others are just takes on my own name (and Scope deserves partial credit for the last two):

  • Pearl Slam (this is my current favorite, for obvious reasons)
  • Tina Slay
  • Lucille Brawl
  • Erin Go Brawl
  • Rachael Rage
  • Betty Krueger
  • Bruise-Ann Somers
  • Eve McQueen
  • Veronica Ache
  • Sandra Bullet
  • Bully Andrews
  • Becky Bruiser
  • Rebecca the Wrecka
  • Rebeccatasrophe
  • Eva Knievel
  • Helena Handbasket
Which of these broads would strike the most fear into you?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Battle of the Netflix Stars #10

Bout #10: Battle of the Films in Which Drew Barrymore Frequently Laughs in an Annoyingly Loud Manner

Movie:Going the Distance

Whip It


Year:20102009
Director:Nanette Burstein
Drew Barrymore
Star Power:Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Ron Livingston.
Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Daniel Stern, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon and Kristin Wiig.
Plot:New York commitment-phobe Garrett meets Erin, an aspiring writer who is moving back to San Francisco in six weeks. The two try to keep things light but end up falling in love. Erin and Garrett look for work in each others' cities to no avail and try to keep their relationship alive while living on opposite ends of the country.
Shy high-schooler Bliss has been pushed into beauty pageant life by her failed pageant queen mother. Desperate to escape her small Texas town, she discovers that an Austin roller derby league is holding try-outs. She makes the team, new friends and snags a boyfriend, but wonders if she can continue lying to her parents about her whereabouts and her teammates about her age.
Pros:Charlie Day is hilarious as always

Great performances; fantastic soundtrack; roller derby KICKS ASS
Cons:Justin Long's annoying face; Drew Barrymore's cackling; too much hipster bullshit; a lot of crudeness for crudeness' sake and not enough genuinely funny moments
A tiny bit of hipster bullshit; took me about 15 minutes to get over how fat Daniel Stern got
My Thoughts:I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, mainly for the presence of Charlie Day. While Charlie didn't disappoint (as a cleaner, more literate version of his Sunny character, he stole every scene he was in), the movie did. Considering I don't like Justin Long to begin with, you might think the odds were stacked against this film, but I found him innocuous enough in Dodgeball and a few other movies. So I think he's capable of rising to the occasion in a good flick, which this wasn't. It had some funny moments, mostly thanks to Charlie and Jason Sudeikis, but I didn't like either of the lead characters (OMG, they were both, like, soooo hip), so I certainly didn't like them together. And I enjoy crude humor and swearing just as much as the next guy, but it still has to be funny, otherwise it's just like eavesdropping on a conversation between the booth of douchebags sitting behind you at the Waffle House: it's not really entertaining and kind of just makes you feel like walking out. Nearly the opposite of Going the Distance, I didn't have high expectations of this movie and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. I may have even shed a tear at one point, but let's not dwell on that, OK? Firstly, I love roller skating and I think being a roller derby girl would be pretty awesome. I guess at my age, that would be kind of a silly dream to follow, and maybe that's why I didn't hate Juliette Lewis's "bully" character, Iron Maven, a late-in-life derby bloomer. (That and she was perfect in the role.) Ellen Page was fantastic as a teenager trying to find herself, and Bliss was a much more likable and believable character than Ellen's best-known (but loathed by me) role, Juno. Drew Barrymore's cackling was kept to a minimum, as her eternally-stoned Smashley Simpson, was merely a side character. Drew was wise to focus on the directing, and she did a great job. She got great performances out of her cast, especially Ellen, Marcia Gay Harden and the hilarious (and lesser-known Wilson brother) Andrew Wilson. The film perfectly walked the line between comedy and coming-of-age drama, and was simply a treat from beginning to end. Up-and-coming musician Landon Pigg as the love interest, though? I just don't get it. But if I were 17 again, it would probably make total sense.
Final Grade:
C-

B+

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Eye Boogers: New Year, Same Old Useless Balls of Crust!

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

LiLo Don't Need No Stinking Resolutions - Lindsay Lohan was released from rehab on Monday, but she might end up in jail if found guilty of misdemeanor battery. You may have heard about her mid-December tussle with Dawn Holland, a former Betty Ford technician who claimed that LiLo and some friends snuck out of the facility for a few drinks and got violent when Holland tried to give her a Breathalyzer test. Although Holland refused to press charges, a police investigation turned up enough evidence that LiLo did commit battery, a violation of her parole (duh), so the case is being turned over to prosecutors. The judge who sent Lindsay to rehab warned her that disobeying any laws would get her a first-class ticket to the big house. Also, Lins decided to move in, like, right down the street from Samantha Ronson. Let's take bets now on which, if either, of these things will end well.

LeAnn Rimes' New Boobies Are A Lot Like Eddie Cibrian's Old Boobies - Remember when Lindsay Lohan was a fresh, freckle-faced kid with a huge Hollywood future ahead of her? Now, at 24, she's a washed up celebutard no one will touch. And do you also remember when LeAnn Rimes was a sweet young country ingenue with a huge Nashville future ahead of her? Now, at 28, she's just a pathetic Lifetime movie character come to life. After hooking up with Eddie Cibrian on the set of their Lifetime movie (oh, irony of ironies), causing both of their marriages to explode in a big ugly mess, LeAnn is now left desperately clinging to her ultimately doomed relationship with Captain von Douche of Dimpletown. Her latest ploy to keep Little Eddie tamed was to get new boobs the same make, model and size of Big Eddie's ex wife, Brandi Glanville. Let's take bets now on how long it will be before LeAnn shows up somewhere with giant fish lips.

Speaking of Giant Fish Lips, John Mellencamp Likes Them - I don't understand this pairing, but I guess Meg Ryan recently spun the big Wheel o' Celebrity Suitors and it landed on John Mellencamp. That's the way it goes. So now they are dating. Although this news came out about a minute after it was announced that John was splitting from his supermodel wife, Elaine Irwin, supposedly the marriage was already technically over when John started dancing naked with Meg. Kind of a weird downgrade, eh? I mean, Meg used to be lovely until she started throwing injectables parties every weekend.

Rumered: Zac Efron May Be Dating Rumer Willis - No. NOOOO!! (OK, so obviously my New Year's Resolution to stop being a total pedo didn't take.)

The Mayans Must Have Been Off By A Year - Snooki Polizzi is an author. And I have no doubt that A Shore Thing will reach the New York Times' Best Seller list. You might wanna start crossing things off that bucket list now.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Well, it's 2011...

...where's my damn jetpack?

Technological letdowns aside, I hope everyone has a great new year! Since I've got nothing new for you yet, here are links to all of my year-end posts, in case you missed any. If you didn't get to the Best Singles/Best Albums posts, read those immediately because 2010 was a great year for music (and my taste is impeccable). Hopefully, 2011 will follow suit instead of being a giant suck-fest. But with new albums by Duran Duran, Radiohead, The Duke Spirit, The Wombats, Beck and My Morning Jacket (among others), along with the 700 projects that Damon Albarn's working on, I can't imagine how this year could be musically sub-par.

 

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