Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars, Schmoscars

Welcome to The Pop Eye's 6th Annual Schmoscar Awards! 'Twas a rather boring telecast this year, but the show must go on. (Enlarge any of the photos for a closer look.)


Hottest Chick of the Night: As many of you already know, I have a very specific lady type: dark hair, full lips. (Even though my top two lesbian crushes, CZJ and Zooey Deschanel, both have thin lips. Odd.) Also, my favorite color is purple. Therefore, this award could go to no one but the very lovely (and newly single) Mila Kunis. She may end up in the Top 5 of my lesbian list after last night, bumping the also brunette, big-lipped Eliza Dushku. (Last year's winner: Demi Moore.)

Hottest Chick Runner-Up: My least favorite color is orange, but that won't stop me from giving this Schmoscar to Jennifer Hudson. Her boobs looked a little weird, but the rest of her was stunning. I always thought J-Hud looked good with some meat on her bones, but the slimmed down version is pretty swell as well. (Last year's winner: Penelope Cruz.)

Hottest Guy of the Night: I've gotta give it up to Hugh Jackman. Especially since it was such a boring night, reminding me once again that Hugh is still the BEST. HOST. EVER. What do we have to do to get him back?? (Last year's winner: Robert Downey, Jr.)

Hottest Guy Runner-Up: I had no idea who Armie Hammer was (no, I still haven't seen The Social Network) until I saw him wandering around the red carpet, and then I looked him up. I don't normally like blondes, but this guy is pretty hot. And there was a serious lack of man candy last night. Also, Armie Hammer is one of the greatest names ever. I guess his parents were really big fans of baking soda. (Last year's winner: Zac Efron.)

Best Moment of the Night: Well, there weren't many. Kirk Douglas was sweet and I enjoyed the James Franco-in-drag/Charlie Sheen joke. In an amazing turn of events, I was thisclose to giving this award to the death reel. Crazy, right? Well, it's only because I have been bitching for years about the rude "applause-o-meter" that usually goes on during this segment and was delighted to find that TPTB finally must have told this year's audience to hold their applause until after it was over. So, that was fantastic. However, because it snubbed Corey Haim, the death reel loses out to the closing song by the adorable PS22 Chorus. Suck on that, death reel. (Last year's winner: the John Hughes tribute.)

Worst Moment of the Night: This is kind of a tough one because, as I've already said several times, it was a pretty weak night all around. But since the opening segment is traditionally supposed to be a funny and entertaining appetizer that gets you excited for the main course, I've gotta give it to this one—an uninspired and poorly written Inception-themed movie mashup—because it was a horrible, horrible failure. Had it not been for the appearance of Morgan Freeman and James Franco in a white leotard, I wouldn't have even cracked a half-smile. (Last year's winner: the death reel.)

Worst Dressed: Obviously it's Helena Bonham Carter. And really, she's such an easy mark that I almost don't even want to waste the award on her, but I can't deny that she deserves it. (Last year's winner: Zoe Saldana.)

Best Hair: Luke Matheny. I can't believe he said he should've gotten a haircut! His 'do recalled Will Ferrell's triumphant white man 'fro from the 2007 Oscars. Also, his acceptance speech (for best live action short film) was adorably sweet, and one of the best of the night. (Last year's winner: Nobody. Last winner: Patrick Dempsey, 2008.)

Worst Hair: The stuff that's slowly eating Christian Bale's face. Seriously, can we get rid of this mountain man trend once and for all? It's all that dumbass Brad Pitt's fault. (New category.)

Best Impression of a Dinner Napkin: Well, after a year's break, this category has returned to the Schmoscars, thanks to Nicole Kidman. (Last year's winner: Nobody. Last winner: Jessica Biel, 2009.)

Best Impression of a Dinner Napkin Smeared with a Hot Dog Topping: I thought Cate Blanchett's bizarro dress deserved a special new category, but this is actually a cross between two existing categories: Best Impression of a Dinner Napkin and Best Impression of a Hot Dog Topping. Whatever the hell it is, Cate needs to throw it in the trash immediately. And then burn the trash. (Newish category; however, Jessica Biel and Kelly Preston last won similar awards in 2009 and 2008, respectively.)

Best Impression of Cruella DeVille: Sharon Stone. YEE-ikes. How did she even get invited to the Oscars? (New category.)

Best Reason for Better Security: Sharon Stone. You know, I'm not completely convinced that she was invited. (Last year's winner: Nobody. Last winner: Gary Busey, 2008.)

Best Impression of a Wax Statue: OK, ignore for a minute that Russell Brand's suit is totally ridonk. I just want to know exactly how much makeup he's wearing. You know Katy Perry is at home, looking for some foundation to cover up some blemish that Proactiv didn't cure yet and cussing him out when she discovers, like, four empty bottles. (New category.)

Finally, I'm kind of sad that I haven't found anyone to give The Lisa Rinna Award (formerly known as The "Why Does This Woman Get Invited To The Oscars When She Has No Reason For Being There Other Than To Wear a Slinky Dress and Show Off Her Perfect Body?" Award) to. However, if I do a little modification and make it The Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin Award (aka The "Why Are They There?" Award), I can give it to Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves. Hey, I like Matthew well enough, but not really for his acting. Anyway, he looked a little like he was auditioning for Jersey Shore last night. When will people learn to not fall asleep in the tanning bed?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Idol 10: Project Mile-Long Runway Continues

Last night's elimination of Chris Medina brought Jennifer Lopez to AN EMOTIONAL CROSSROADS. COULD SHE CONTINUE ON? Yes? Oh, she's composed herself already? OK, then.

I think Liz Lemon inadvertently solved the whole J.Lo breakdown mystery tonight. Arrrrgh, her period!

So...there's really no point in doing a proper recap for tonight's show. Basically, it was two hours of recapping performances we never saw in the first place, Idol hopefuls working it on the runway, and the judges saying things like, "Welllll...we really like youuuuu.... buuuuuut...this is...so hard. There are.... only...24....spots...... ....and there is...sooooooo muuuuuuuch ....goooood.... taaaaa........lent...this....season. Sooooo....we...are... gonna...have....to.....say .... (dramatic music) ... you are NOT....going to....be.... ...... ....eliminated." Add to that a record number of "at the end of the days" by J.Lo and you've got yourself a pretty excruciating two hours. How did I get suckered into DVRing all the good shows that I could have been watching instead?

Here now are your Top 24. Do with them what you will, America.
  • Casey Abrams - Plays stand up bass and melodica. Acts like a weirdo. Looks like my lazy blogging pal and Firecrotch Extraordinaire Words Words Words. He's cool.
  • Naima Adedapo - Nice voice, nice personality.
  • Lauren Alaina - I don't know what was up with the Barbie Cowgirl ensemble she's sporting tonight, but I had no doubt this girl would make it through. Something about her really bugs me though.
  • Jovany Barreto - He reminds me of a friend of a guy I used to date. Said friend was a total cheeseball. Thus, for me, Jovany reeks of cheese. He's actually a better singer than I originally thought, though.
  • Kendra Chantrelle - Boring. She'll be gone early.
  • Jordan Dorsey - This guy's kind of a dick, but sings well enough.
  • James Durbin - Thank God for the mute button. Seriously, the guy said before his final performance that he needed to prove to the judges that he's not just another Adam Lambert who screams during every song. So how did he go about trying to accomplish that goal? By shrieking the entire way through "A Change is Gonna Come," a song that Glambert did on the show.
  • Clint Jun Gamboa - A little too over the top. Plus, his stupid glasses make him look like some sort of exotic, poisonous bug.
  • Tim Halperin - Lee DeWyze v2.0, minus the paint store job and absolute lack of charisma. Not that Tim is especially charismatic, but he can at least string more than five words together without too much effort.
  • Ashton Jones - Not quite Beyonce's long lost sister, but possibly her long lost third cousin.
  • Stefano Langone - I have absolutely no opinion of this guy, other than he's kind of a high talker.
  • Brett Lowenstern - I wasn't really a fan of Colton Dixon, but when it came down to him, Jacee Badeaux and Brett, I was totally expecting Colton to move forward. He was definitely the best singer of the three. But Brett's got the crazy red afro and a certain je ne sais quoi, which I think means "gay kid who was bullied in high school appeal." Plus, I think he might be Robbie Neville's long lost third cousin. C'est la vie, Colton and Jacee.
  • Jacob Lusk - I never knew until now what it was like to listen to a drag queen sing while not in drag. It's a bit unsettling. Jacob, for the love of all that is holy, put on a sequined dress and some heels.
  • Scotty McCreery - Yep, McCreepy beat out the other country crooner, John Wayne Schulz. You know, the guy who had a better voice and was much better looking? This show is so anti-man candy it's not even funny.
  • Paul McDonald - I guess this is AI's attempt at some man candy, but this guy just doesn't do it for me. And his voice is just weird.
  • Thia Megia - I've mentioned before that I can't stand the way this girl sings. It's so fake. Peggi Blu saw right through that shit.
  • Haley Rinehart - I'd take three Thia Megias over this broad any day. Talk about a fake voice. And she doesn't enunciate any of her words. Growling and guttural tones do not a song make.
  • Karen Rodriguez - She's OK. But I'm leery of anyone who comes from MySpace.
  • Robbie "Arjewleta" Rosen - We all thought Archuleta was The Chosen One, but it turned out to not be so. It could have been because he was Mormon. His Jewish counterpart might have a better shot at winning.
  • Pia Toscano - Meh. She's aight.
  • Lauren Turner - I only vaguely remember her singing a few times. She screams a lot, right?
  • Tatynisa Wilson - See above.
  • Rachel Zevita - LOVE. Girl is nuts, but she's got some pipes.
  • Julie Zorrilla - Someone could have possibly created Julie in a lab for the very purpose of winning American Idol. And they gave her a never ending supply of cartoonishly puffy skirts. For these reasons, I'm only lukewarm on her.
Gotta give a big shout-out to Jessica Cunningham, who showed off her double birdie after getting passed over in favor of Thia Megia. (Hey, I'd be pissed about that, too.) Mainly, she was just mad that the judges cut her on her birthday. And, actually, I'm surprised that J.Lo was able to follow through with such an evil move. But she did and Jessica's gone and now she's sad because Idol "ruined her birthday." Yo, Jess, wait until you see the Ford commercials and hear the crappy coronation single. Be happy you just had a bad birthday. This show could have ruined so much more.

The boys sing for your votes next Tuesday, followed by Wednesday's ladies' night. Thursday is the results show (which better only be a half hour AS PROMISED).


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

American Idol 10: I Love You, Peggi Blu

Tonight American Idol unveils a new challenge for this season's batch of hopefuls—an extra, post-Hollywood week audition round held in Las Vegas.


The contestants form groups of two or three and are asked to choose a song from the Beatles catalog. However, the story here isn't about which group has the best harmony. Or which group comes up with the best arrangement. Or which contestants don't even know who the hell the Beatles are (although it's an alarming number). No, the story here is about how these kids finally get a dose of reality, in the form of vocal coaches and music mogul Jimmy Iovine. And reality makes people cry. A lot.

Take vocal coach Peggi Blu. Take her, please! Take her to the nearest reality TV producer and get her her own show! This woman is awesome. She yells at Thia Megia and Melinda Ademi (and rightly so) for being terrible. Exasperated by their awfulness, she screams things like, "You're gonna DIE on the stage" and "SING, dammit!!" while double dog daring the duo to prove that they aren't as bad as she deems them to be. Thia just looks at Peggi like any privileged teen looks at an authority figure and refuses to stop singing in that horribly affected manner.

Then there's Jimmy I "used to produce albums for Lennon, Springsteen and U2 and now I peddle Enrique Iglesias shite" ovine. He basically smirks at everyone, implies they all sound like wedding singers, and gets especially critical of Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreepy and Denise Jackson's group. He convinces them to trade in my favorite Beatles song "If I Fell" (THANK YOU) for something else because it's just not working. Lauren cries and cries and cries bitter, delicious 15-year-old tears because she's not used to not being treated like the greatest singer in all the land. But then everyone gets to go see Cirque de Soleil's Beatles LOVE show and Lauren is happy again. Until the next time someone says anything remotely critical.

Once everyone is sufficiently whipped into shape, the groups take the stage to perform for the judges. I guess AI wants to give the kids a taste of what it would feel like to be a big budget performer because there's a backing band, mood lighting, dry ice, feathers, uppers, downers, one of Siegfried and Roy's tigers...just about anything you'd need to put on a proper Vegas revue. There's really no point in doing an in-depth recap of these performances, so I'll just sum up each group (well, the ones that are shown, anyway) in 20 words or less.
  • James "The Durbinator" Durbin and Stefano Langone, "Get Back" - Of course Durbin shrieks. That's what he does. That's ALL he does.
  • Pia Toscano and Karen Rodriguez, "Can't Buy Me Love" - They sound nice together, but kind of go against Iovine's "no wedding singers" advice.
  • Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk and Haley Reinhart, "The Long and Winding Road" - Naima = awesome; Jacob = drag queen; Haley = tortured goat.
  • Rachel Zevita and two randoms, "Elanor Rigby" - Love Rachel. Love Rachel's widow's veil.
  • Lauren Turner and the Smoke Monster, "Let It Be" - I can't see anything, which is weirdly affecting my hearing.
  • Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla, "Something" - A nice little duet on dueling keyboards, sure to inspire the first round of ridic fan fic.
  • Tatynisa Wilson, Lakeisha Lewis and Jerome Bell, "I Saw Her Standing There" - I'm not digging their harmony but the judges, for the most part, lap it up.
  • Kendra Chantelle and Paul McDonald, "Blackbird" - Meh. Sounds OK but comes off terribly cheesy. The judges love it.
  • Thia Megia and Melinda Ademi, "Here Comes the Sun" - Blargh. Peggi Blu sits in the audience rolling her eyes and mouthing, "Oh Lord."
  • Ashley Sullivan Suraiva and Sophia Shorai, "We Can Work It Out" - No they can't. (Ashley got hitched at Britney's Little White Wedding Chapel before the audition.)
  • Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery and Denise Jackson, "Hello Goodbye" - What's with all the running around? It's like Hee Haw meets Benny Hill.
  • Carson Higgins and Caleb Hawley, "Please Please Me" - Oh, Caleb, why did you hook up with Captain von Crazypants?
  • Casey Abrams and Chris Medina, "Hard Day's Night" - I'm not sure what's worse: the vocals, the bed-jumping schtick or Medina's five-sizes-too-small-hat.
  • Robbie Rosen, Jordan Dorsey and Aaron Sanders, "Got To Get You Into My Life" - Cool Earth Wind and Fire-ish version. Or as Seacrest calls it, "R&Beatles." Har har.
Some people get cut, including the meth-head newlywed, Carson Higgins and Caleb Hawley, who was to be my Season 10 Michael Johns. I being eating Thin Mints two at a time.

Alas, it isn't over yet. Now we go back to L.A., to a top-secret airplane hanger with a mile long runway leading to the judges' perch. NOW FATES WILL BE SEALED AND THE FINAL CUTS WILL BE DRAGGED OUT LONGER THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE

Naima is the first one to walk the long and winding road that leads to the Dawg. The judges ask why she's crying and she explains that it's just been a hard week and a lot of self-doubt has started to creep in. So, do the judges nicely cut to the chase and just let Naima know already that she's made it through to the Top 24? What a dumb question, me! Of course not! That can't happen during the "Let's try to fake everyone out" portion of the show. Naima cries tears of relief after suffering through the panel's stalling.

Hollie Cavanagh, Lakeisha Lewis and Alex Ryan are all cut. They tell Hollie, 17, that she needs another year, or she's too young or some shit. But that won't stop them from putting through a bunch of 15-year-olds. I have no idea who Alex Ryan is.

Hmm, maybe instead of that long runway, AI should take a page from Charlie Kelly's playbook and install a long conveyor belt with some sort of chopping mechanism at the end. But instead of cats, you put Idol contestants on it. Then they'd have nothing to do but ride it out and wait to see if the ax falls. Half of these kids moan that they have nothing left to live for after getting eliminated anyway, so it would really be the humane thing to do.

The others who make it are Clint Jun Gamboa, Haley Reinhart (ugh), Paul McDonald and Ashthon Jones.

Deandre Brackensick is cut, so I expect his stage mom to angrily storm the studio any minute now. Randy tells Deandre to "keep singing." I love how these judges always say that to the eliminated contestants, as if being turned away from AI would just make them stop doing something they love to do and have probably been working for their whole lives. Like they're really thinking: Oooh, I'm not good enough for the people who inflicted Lee DeWyze upon the world. Guess I better pack it in.

Finally, we get to see what Seacrest has been blathering about all episode—the elimination that brings J.Lo to tears. It's Chris Medina! And no one looks more shocked than he. Wha...what?? But, I have the ultimate sob story! I let Steven Tyler kiss my fiancee! I sang "Fix You!" Didn't you feel the emotion in my voice? Or were you just focusing on how terrible it sounded? This is one of those times when Idol tries to fool everyone into believing that this really is a singing competition. But even though the judges all agree that Medina's vocals weren't up to par, Jennifer still has a hard time saying goodbye to her Lifetime movie hero.

IN A SEASON WITH THE MOST TEARS EVER, JENNIFER HAS AN UNPRECEDENTED BREAKDOWN. CAN SHE GO ON??? WILL SHE FIND THE STRENGTH TO CONTINUE??? OR WILL STEVEN AND RANDY HAVE TO GO IT ALONE??

This is ridonk. Steven and Randy have to comfort Jen like she's a six-year-old who just found out there's no Santa Claus. She whines, "I don't wanna do this anymore!" Well, hell, I'll do it. I'll tell all these lamewads to go home and bring Caleb back. And I'll do it for, like, $25 an hour. Call me, Nigel!

Tune in tomorrow night for the rest of the cuts and some of J.Lo's best acting since The Cell.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Curses! Oscared Again!

Hey fans and friends and odds and ends, I'm over at YourTango today with an article about the supposed Best Actress Oscar curse. That's the curse that ends relationships, not the one that ends with people being dragged to hell, or the one that causes sandbags to fall on people's heads, or the one that brings mummies to life to sink cruise ships. Get your curses straight. Anyway, you should check it out. And then help me figure out how to get Eddie Vedder's wife an Academy Award. Or Ewan McGregor's wife. Or both. Don't worry about how I get him/them to come to me after the curse strikes. Plans A-Y are completed and I'm confident that Plan Z will be done in time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday To Us!

Happy Birthday to John Travolta and...me! John hit 57 on Friday and I turn thirtyblahblah today. Isn't it so cute how we age together? It's like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

American Idol 10: Go To Your Rooms, Children

In the final night of Hollywood week, the cast of way-too-many gets cut down to 50. Each of the remaining contestants performs, with the option to have the backing band and/or their own instruments or perform a capella. Because I'm super tired, I'm not going to bother listing the auditions in order. Time to knock this out Good/Bad/Ugly style!

THE GOOD

Ashthon Jones - Yeah, she has a superfluous H in her name, but at least it's not apostrophed. (I'm looking at you, Asia'h Epp'e'r'son.) Ashthon blows the diva classic "And I Am Telling You" out da box, much to everyone's delight. You go, Little Miss Sassy Britches.

Kendra Chantelle and Sophia Shorai - One of them will probably end up getting cut because they seem awfully similar, but they both did really well with "Georgia on My Mind."

Carson Higgins - I LOVE this kid. He's just kind of yelling, but oh my God, he's so much fun to watch. He busts out Bobby B's "My Prerogative," much to the chagrin of Chris Medina. (More on him later.)

Casey Abrams - The bluesy redhead shows up and rocks a STAND UP BASS, people. For that, I rise and give a slow clap.

Caleb Hawley - Remember how much more fun my recaps were when I was waist-deep in Michael Johns-based drool? Well, I decided that I needed a new obsession—and Caleb is it. He's already got one up on that Johns guy because I think I once (or twice) tweeted at MJ and got no response. But I merely tweeted about Caleb (you know, that I was considering him for my new object of lust), and he not only nicely answered my bird call, but followed me. So, there's that. There's also the sexy, soulful voice. And then we have THE HAIR. My God, that hair. Not to mention that he looks like the missing link between Paul Rudd and Patrick Dempsey (with Eddie Vedder's hair). And yeah, he's married but that's OK. Obsessing over straight single guys is boring.

Brett Lowenstern - Little Red doesn't really have the greatest voice I've ever heard, but I can't help but like him.

Jacqueline Dunford - Surprised? Well, she's only in this category because she's not singing. In fact, I'll never have to hear her sing again! She claims to be sick (read: Nick kept calling and threatening to kill himself if she didn't come home to him) and drops out of the competition.

Jacob Lusk - This is kind of an ironic choice for "The Good," as I enjoy Jacob's performance in the same way I might enjoy a drag revue. Seriously, AI, get this guy into hair and makeup, stat.

THE MEH

Julie Zorrilla - Yeah, yeah. Pretty girl, good singer, plays keyboards, works the refugee angle, wears stupid dresses. I can't decide if I like her or not. But finding out that she went to the prom with Casey Abrams is a point in her favor. Maybe she's not just a pretty plastic princess.

Clint Jun Gamboa - Again, not sure how I feel about this one. Clint can definitely sing, but I can't shake the feeling that he's going to go into full-on bitchy queen mode very soon.

Robbie (Arjewleta) Rosen - I forget what he's singing because I'm too busy wondering which is bigger: his nose or mouth. But he's a nice, inoffensive scoop of vanilla.

Chelsee Oaks - She does a pretty weak version of "Because of You." I'm just kind of over this girl. Her ex-lovah got booted and her new BFF Jacqueline is gone, so all she wants to do is cry.

Lauren Alaina - Oh yay, we get to hear that stupid asteroid love song and watch this girl suck up to Steven Tyler—again. And then J.Lo (not Randy!) reminds us that Lauren's ZOMG ONLY 15—again. I think this girl has a good voice, but I'm not sure she deserves the massive pimping she's getting. And if I have to see that audition clip of her singing this same song with Steven one more time, I'm going to lose it.

John Wayne Schulz - He does a nice version of "Landslide" (with forced harmony by J.Lo) but it's a little monotonous. And I wish he would take off the damn cowboy hat.

Stefano Langone, Jovany Barretto and Jacee Badeaux all sort of whiz by unremarkably. I still think Jacee is a sweetie, but I don't know if he's really cut out for this.

THE BAD

Thia Megia - Her rendition of "What a Wonderful World" is actually the best I've heard her sing, but I still hate her affected voice.

Chris Medina - Like Carson, Chris is performing "My Prerogative." But Chris decides it would be a good idea to go the Andrew Garcia route by trying to transform it into a jaunty little acoustic coffeehouse number. Note to all future contestants: provided you even remember who the hell Andrew Garcia is, don't ever model yourself after him.

Colton Dixon - I just DO NOT like this guy. He sings Daughtry and looks like the douchey lead singer of a Flock of Seagulls tribute band. Bah.

Ashley Sullivan - She forgets her lyrics! She cries! She turns into Babbling Brooke! No surprises here.

Scotty McCreery and Tatynisa Wilson both fail to nail the lyrics of "I Hope You Dance," one of the easier songs in the world to learn. Come on, people, it's not "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant." However, McCreepy almost makes me want to put him in the "Good" pile when he starts singing about "nuts of wonder." I've gotta figure out how to make that my new catch-phrase.

THE UGLY

Haley Reinhart - Wow, people like this mess? What song is she even singing? I can't understand a word in between all the growling and whatever the hell else her mouth is doing.

Adrian Michael and Caleb Johnson have no idea what they're doing, so they blame the band for their suckage. Frances Coontz can't find her key, but blames no one.

I'd like to thank the editors for not showing James Durbin's performance, which I'm sure would have landed squarely in the "Ugly" pile.

Finally, everyone is split up among four rooms to await their fates. When I spot Caleb in Room 1 with Ashley, I worry. But then I see Durbin, Medina, Lauren, Jacee, Brett, Clint and Casey there and quickly breathe a sigh of relief. And, sure enough, they're all safe!

The folks in Rooms 2 and 3 (Chelsee and a bunch of people I barely remember) get cut, while the peeps in Room 4 (Carson, Julie, Jovany and McCreepy) advance. Also in Room 4 but not seen much in Hollywood is Rachel Zevita, one of my favorite girls (especially now that Emily Anne and Adrienne are gone).

Next week, the remaining 50 head to Las Vegas for a Beatles songbook showdown. I'm not sure how McCreepy and Ashley made it through tonight, but I look forward to the former trying to make it through a Beatles song next week and the latter trying to get through five seconds without some sort of emotional outburst.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

American Idol 10: Ain't No Party Like A Group Night Party

After being subjected to the lamest audition rounds ever, Hollywood group night is finally here! Seacrest wonders aloud how it will go. CAN THE CONTESTANTS HANDLE THE PRESSURE? OR WILL THERE BE MASS POST-AUDITION SUICIDES? EITHER WAY, OUR CAMERAS WILL BE READY!
All of the Day 1 auditioners pretty much think they have it made because they've already formed groups and started rehearsing. But prissy old Ken Warwick comes along and rains on their parades by announcing that, to be fair (because if there's anything this show understands, it's fairness), all groups must include a mixture of Day 1 and Day 2 people. Gaping mouths and annoyed "tsks" all around.

The first effects of this group shakeup are felt by Tiffany "Star Tits" Rios, who can't find anyone to let her in their group. Imagine that! She can't even convince Scotty "Same Ol' Song" McCreery to join forces. McCreepy walks around auditioning people as if he's some deep-voiced deity, while Star Tits poaches some Jessica chick from Brett Lowenstern's group, which is plagued with loyalty problems. McCreepy tries his luck with smug jackhole Jordan Dorsey, who promptly dismisses country boy after the first bar of that "turn the lights down low and turn me on" ditty. Star Tits and Jessica realize that they're just going to be a two-piece, which the producers "let slide" even though the rules state that each group has to have a minimum of three people. But they know that neither one of these chicks is making it through anyway, so why get into a whole thing?

The Minors are a group comprised of all 15 and 16-year-olds, who are under constant supervision by their terrible stage moms. James Durbin whines how unfair it is that moms get to help and nearly flies into a Tourette's tantrum upon learning that The Minors are doing the same Queen song as his group. Instead, he just shrieks and secretly thinks up new and exciting sob stories for himself.

Ex-lovahs Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks are paired up with Jacqueline Dunford, formerly of super couple Nicqueline. (Wait, weren't they all from Day 2? Or was it editing magic!?) Rob whines and mopes about literally everything, including Jacqeuline's supposed domination of the group. Rob seems even more of a downer than before. Did these two girls get drunk one night and have a lesbian tryst right in front of him, but refused to let him join in?

Ashley Sullivan is itching for a fix, so she pretends to quit the show for a few hours. Just long enough for her boyfriend to sneak her crack pipe past the cameramen. Once rejuvenated, Ashley rejoins her group, who strangely welcome her back with open arms.

Clint Jun Gamboa instantly becomes a villain when he throws Jacee Badeaux out of his group. As Jacee looks for a new group through tear-stained eyes, that pain in the ass Jordan Dorky decides that he doesn't like his group anymore and jumps ship to join Robbie "Arjewleta" Rosen's team.

Since Brett's group is still looking for a Day 2 person, he and group member Denise Jackson recruit Jacee. Although hesitant because he doesn't know Duffy's "Mercy," Jacee agrees to join them. Off in the distance, we can still hear Rob whining about something. Hollywood week really is the worst time to get your period, I guess.

Finally, all the preparation is over and the group auditions can begin. The judges give the crowd some lame advice (i.e., don't forget the lyrics, unless you're a chosen one and then it doesn't matter) and off we go.

First up is Pia Toscano, Brielle Von Hugel and Allesandra Guercio, a trio of girls we've barely seen thus far, probably because they all get along and sing well. What are the odds of finding a group of girls named Pia, Brielle and Allesandra anywhere other than a CW teen drama? They're all through to the next round.

Rival groups 4+1 and 440 take the stage next. Jordan Dorky, Arjewleta and the rest of 4+1 get raves from the judges for their take on "I Want You Back," while Lauren Turner, Adrian Michael and the rest of 440 also move on after one of a gazillion performances of Cee Lo Green's sanitized "Forget You."

Star Tits and Jessica Whatshername have adopted the moniker Rebel Star and have forgotten how to sing. "Irreplaceable?" Uh, I don't think so. Your ride ends here, ladies.

Jovany Barreto, Karen Rodriguez, Jorge Gabriel and some other dude desperately seek their fifth Spanglish member, Kevin Campos, who is inexplicably off taking a shirtless siesta. As the judges wait for them to get on stage, Steven entertains everyone with a geriatric drum solo. Kevin may as well have stayed in bed, because he's terrible, as is the rest of this group. However, Jovany and Karen manage to get a pass from the judges.

Next up is a group featuring Lauren Alaina and a girl who jams noodles up her nose. They make Steven sit on stage in a chair so they can all writhe around him singing "Some Kind of Wonderful." But because no one attempts to give him even a little bit of hand action, everyone but Lauren is cut.

The stupidly-named Nashville Stars—Colton Dixon, Matt Dillard, two chicks and another dude—are one of many groups to mangle Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," leaving everyone but Colton out in the cold.

Paris Tassin finds herself smack dab in the middle of a montage of bad singers and forgotten words, which results in her elimination. Ah well, her sob story just wasn't strong enough.

Others who were quietly cut include annoying Carrie Underwood wannabe Janelle Arthur, Steven's biggest fan Aly Jados and the Aaron half of the Gutierrez brothers. Unfortunately two of my favorites, adopted farm girl Adrienne Beasley and jazzy Emily Anne Reed, are also sent packing. BOO.

Ashley Sullivan is all cranked up and ready to go. She and her group members, Keeira Lyn Ford, Ashthon Jones and some nameless chick, take us back to the club with their rendition of "Hit 'Em Up Style." Other than some complaints about Ashley's pitchiness, the judges are impressed and all four girls live to see another day. Can you believe it? I mean, Ashley almost QUIT...and now her group has one of the best auditions of the day. It's so inspirational! As Seacrest says, "In one night they all found a way to believe in each other...and themselves." Hoo-boy. Kinda makes you wanna close your eyes, put one finger in your ear and wave the other one around while warbling, "There's a heeee-eee-rr-oooo....if you loo-ook insiiide your he-aaa-rrrt..."

LET THE ANNUAL RAPING OF THE QUEEN CATALOG BEGIN! Sure, it's a little early in the season, but why not? Have it at, Deep Vees. Not only is that the dumbest name in the history of group night, but it's pretty much a slap in the face to Simon Cowell and his legacy of scoop-necks. Also? This a fantastically terrible performance of my favorite Queen song ever. Oh, James Durbin. Why? Why are you on my TV screen? WHY? This Wheel of Misfortune-playing, faux-Glambert shriektard sounds like Ass Burgers taste. But with four sob stories and counting, he's pretty much got a free ride to the main event. Caleb (no idea) Johnson also makes it through. Unfortunately, some cute guy named John (Jackson or Jordan or Jorkson) got cut. I'm expecting this to be another rough year, man candy-wise.

The stage moms enjoyed The Deep Vees' implosion, and stand at the ready to riot if their supercalifragilistically talented kids don't make it through! The Minors (aka The Jets v2.0)—Keonna Evans, Jalen Harris, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Felix Ramsey and Deandre Brackensick—do their interpretation of the same Queen song. And, while I agree that anything that followed The Deep Vees was bound to sound brilliant by comparison, this isn't quite as stunning as the judges think. I actually liked the "Hit 'Em Up Style" girls and the very first group better. I mean, really, Seacrest? This is the amazing performance that's been hyped all show? Come on! And really, J.Lo? This is the "performance of their lives?" Well, I guess they can all just quit now, right? Hurry up, go tell Durbin he gave the performance of his life, too.

The next group features Steven Clawson, whose man candy potential is destroyed when he's revealed to be a dumbass using a lyric crib sheet. Corey Levoy doesn't bother with cheat sheets. His "pretend I know the lyrics" trick is to sing away from the microphone and never make eye contact with the judges. Hollie Cavanaugh staves off tears for the second time in Hollywood to perform well. She should be the only one to make it through, but for some reason they also keep Corey around. Even Corey doesn't get it and asks the judges, "WHY?" before realizing what a dipshit he is and The Dawg barks at him to get off the stage.

The next two groups both perform a capella to mixed results. All of Ebony, Ivory and Every's members—Da'quela Payne, Matthew Nuss, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk and a random blonde—all make it through despite their groan-inducing group name. From The Night Owls, only Julie Zorrilla and Casey Abrams advance.

Four Non Blondes and That Guy (That Guy being weird, wired blonde, Carson Higgins) do an average version of "Forget You." I can't seem to enjoy it because of Chris Medina, who stands on stage trying to cough up little Danny Gokey hairballs. Everyone knows Chris isn't going anywhere, and he, Carson, Erin Kelly and Caleb Hawley (man candy potential with awesome hair) all make it through. Strangely, the judges cut former Stardust waitress Devyn Rush, who takes it well on stage but breaks down outside. I can see why she's upset. Randy had the cajones to tell her she was too "screamy" after giving James Durbin a pass? Ugh.

A bad group montage prefaces the appearance of Sugar Mama and the Babies—Denise Jackson, Stevie Cain, Natalie Hanson, Brett Lowenstern and Jacee Badeaux. Despite the trials and tribulations their group has been through over the past day, everyone does a great job. I especially like this Stevie Cain chick, whom I haven't heard before. Unfortunately, Jacee can't remember the words to "Mercy" and has to make up some lyrics about how he doesn't want to go home. The judges are charmed, but is that enough? Before delivering the verdict, Randy talks to the group about what went on with them and Denise explains how Clint kicked the poor kid out of his group. The judges tell everyone but Jacee to step forward just because they like to mess with people. After a long pause, they tell Jacee to step forward too, and he dissolves into a puddle of tears. Now, you know how I hate sob stories and all that jazz. And I have a real problem with people who can't remember, like, six lines of a song after singing it for 12 hours straight. But Jesus, this poor kid. I can't help but root for him. I can bet he's put up with a lifetime of bullying, just like his new buddy Brett.

Clint Jumbawumba bastes his lips in Burts Bees before hitting the stage with his group. The judges give this quartet of meanies a brief verbal bitch slap and McCreepy tries to score points by saying he should have stuck up for Jacee because he's "the best kid in this competition." The guys both advance, along with female group members Monique de los Santos and Frances Coontz. McCreepy cries afterward because he wasn't nice to Jacee. Or because he got caught on camera being kind of a douche to a lot of people.

Finally, Three's Company takes the stage. I'm not sure theirs is the most dramatic story that it would need to be saved for last, but whatever. Chelsee isn't as impressive as she was in earlier auditions and Jacqueline is one big messy heap of horrible, just as she was in earlier auditions. Thank God for bimbo-ish looks, eh? Rob forgets his words, but sings better than either of the girls. Still, his whiny "I'm a downtrodden little Hobbit" act annoys everyone and he's sent home. The two girls get to stay. Yep, both of them. Jacqueline too. Again, I can only say, thank God for bimbo-ish looks, eh?

Hollywood week trudges on tomorrow night.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

With Eyeliner Smeared, I Say, "Leave Gaga Alone!"

Well, gang, I've heard Lady Gaga's new song, "Born This Way" and it's fabulous. Yes, if you pay too much attention to the lyrics, you might start to feel like you've hit upon an Afterschool Musical Special, but considering some of the rather negative songs that dominate the pop charts, I guess I shouldn't judge the Lady for that. And it's one catchy son of a bitch. It might actually inspire me to head back to the gym because I was not born with these love handles, my little monsters.


Of course, I'm well aware of the similarities between the new song and Madonna's "Express Yourself" (which has itself often been called a sped-up reboot of The Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself") with a bit of "Vogue" thrown in for good measure. But I've pretty
much had it with everyone just dismissing Gaga as a Madonna clone. Partly because, if we're just talking vocally, Gaga is 10 times the singer that Madonna ever was. Also, Gaga doesn't have disgusting Gollum arms (but who knows what will happen after a few more decades). But mainly this irritates me because I seem to remember Madonna ripping off everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Grace Jones. But because Madonna is an icon now, everyone is forced to look back at her career with reverence as if she changed the faces of fashion and music, when she did neither. She was certainly hugely influential, but that doesn't mean that anything she did was original—especially not where music is concerned.

Exhibit A: All dance music essentially sounds the same.
Exhibit B: The aformentioned Staple Singers melody-borrowing
Exhibit C: "Papa Don't Preach" vs. "Sugar Don't Bite"
Exhibit D: A songwriter named Aisha collected a shit-ton of evidence to prove that Madonna is a thief, some of which is weak, but some of which is pretty compelling.

I just can't grasp why everyone wants to harp on this when, if you turn on pop radio right now, you won't hear one song that you can't compare to something else...and Top 40 fans swallow it all down. But now they want to diss Gaga for wearing her influences on her sleeve or pointy shoulder pad or whatever the hell she's wearing. It doesn't really make sense. I mean, you barely heard a peep when Jason Derulo jacked the middle part of Gaga's "Just Dance" for his song "In My Head." And Ryan Tedder, whose songs all sound alike, has no problem saying that Gaga's new song is just a Madonna retread, but whined like a baby when Kelly Clarkson pointed out (rightly) that the song he gave her, "Already Gone" was just Beyonce's "Halo" with some subtle differences. It's all a little hypocritical, isn't it? But I guess everyone is going to pounce on Gaga because she's the big star of the moment. If she's still around in another 20 years, everyone will talk about her like she was a brilliant visionary and act like they never doubted her for a second.

Look, if you listen to pop or dance music, I hate to tell you, but it's pretty much all been done. And really, you probably don't listen to that kind of music for any deep meaning. At least I hope you don't. I sure don't. Even though I know that Gaga is actually trying to convey a message with this song, all I care about is that it has an awesome groove that will make cute gay boys take off their clothes and dance around in their underwear. And that is something that I can always get behind.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

American Idol 10: Say Hello to Hollywood

Finally, the first round of auditions are over and it's Hollywood Week! Ugh, that means I have to start remembering people's last names now.

This is usually my favorite part of the show, but this year is just so boring so far that I can't really muster up any excitement. (Although I am looking forward to group day next week.) Still, as dull as it's all been, Seacrest is still trying to convince us that everything is awesome. THERE'S TWO TIMES THE DRAMA! TWO TIMES THE TALENT! BRACE YOURSELF! JULIANNE HOUGH IS THE BEST BEARD EVER! WOOPS, I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAID THAT OUT LOUD!!

Brett Lowenstern is in the first group and makes it through to the next round, thanks to a little bit of "Let it Be." Take that, high school bullies! Some other chick makes it through with him. What the hell was her name...Symphony? Really?

Another group of three who've already gotten mad face time make it through: Rachel Zevita, Thia Megia and Casey Abrams. I still can't stand this Thia chick. Good Lord, she's terrible.

Ah, Victoria Huggins. Remember her from the Jersey auditions? Everyone thought she was so cute and perky but my response was, "This girl needs to crash and burn immediately." Well, sometimes you do indeed get what you need. After she brought like 50 suitcases with her to Hollywood, she totally tanked her audition and was quickly eliminated. Am I a bad person for reveling in her disappointment so much? Probably. Do I care? Not at all. Anyway, Victoria knows that she's North Carolina's idol. So there you go, North Carolinians. You get to keep her. And you still have Anoop Desai! How lucky can one state get?

Up next is last night's big winner on the Wheel of Misfortune, James Durbin. He does "Oh! Darling," a song that I now hate because it's been destroyed about 75 times in the past two weeks. While he's shrieking, I just keep thinking about his poor kid at home running around with poop falling out of his bum because James can't afford diapers. But he can afford fingerless gloves and ridiculous scarves. Couldn't he wrap the kid in one of the scarves? That's probably better for the environment than disposable diapers anyway.

James' group includes another VSC, Paris Tassin, who sings "My Heart Weew Go On." Also, we hear Lauren Alaina, the already-proclaimed 15-year-old winner of the show, singing Lord Cowell's favorite, "Unchained Melody." (Didn't someone give her the memo that Simon isn't judging anymore?) And then there's Stormi Henley, doing a shitastic version of Sugarland's "Stay." Stormi is told to leave (oh, I love when musical irony strikes) while the other three get to hang around.

Chris Medina talks about his disabled fiancee. Go figure. Then he sings rather Gokeyishly, makes it through and cries as "Fix You" plays, which is the producers' way of suggesting that winning this karaoke competition will somehow fix said disabled fiancee. BLARGH. I still tend to think that Chris is probably a stand up guy, but maybe he shouldn't talk. Because when he talks, he says things like this: "For me to come here and have Juliana's...situation...I use it as an inspiration. An experience to get through this impossible task in front of me now." And I thought Syesha Mercado was an asshole for comparing her journey on AI to the civil rights movement. Eesh.

Hollie Cavanaugh (who sings well when she isn't weeping), Jacee Badeaux (who VFTW has dubbed "Justin Blubber") and Robbie Rosen (who I've dubbed Jewish Archuleta until I'm confident that Arjewleta isn't too offensive) each get a yes. But poor Steve Beghun, the accountant who bears a resemblance to Ben Roethlisberger, gets shit-canned. Jesus, even Big Ben's lookalikes can't win.

Day 1 ends with more cuts, as Jacquelyn Dupree (I called it!), Sarah Sellers (she of the big lips) and Heidi Ka-ZAAM all get sent home. Some random cut kid sobs that he has "nothing." Well, why didn't he play that up from the beginning?? Step up to the wheel, son, and see if you can spin yourself a sob story!

Day 2's opening Ford Focus montage is followed by a montage of people horribly blowing their auditions. Well, at least they won't ever have to make any Very Brady Ford Focus ads.

The ex-lovahs, Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks are in a group together. And because the producers like to mess with people, they have Rob rooming with Nick Fink and Chelsee rooming with Jacqueline Dunford. That's right, the exes are living with the self-proclaimed Idol super couple. Rob and Chelsee both survive the first round of cuts. It's apparent that one half of Nicqueline is going to get cut, but Seacrest still yammers on about dramatic goings on up in here. I could do without Jacqueline because she's dreadfully loud, but she's still the better half in this relationship, because Nick is bloody awful. It's no surprise when he's cut, but his reaction to it is quite unexpected. Well, not so much "unexpected" as "painfully embarrassing." As if his whining and begging to sing again for the judges so that he can continue on with his "baby" isn't bad enough, as he is walking out of the auditorium, he stops, turns around and starts singing like a little kid who just got sent to his room and is trying to make a statement. The judges look half baffled, half amused, while Jacqueline looks exactly like someone who just decided to break up with her boyfriend.

Scotty McReery sings the same damn song he did at his first audition, as do Jackie Wilson and Jerome Bell. Proving that originality is overrated, they all make it through. I like Jackie though, so I'm glad she's sticking around.

Tiffany (Snooki Star Tits) Rios tries to have a diva moment by blathering some egomaniacal nonsense, but instead of responding as she probably wants them to, the audience just sort of stares at her blankly. Then she brutally rapes one of my favorite Etta James songs, "All I Could Do Was Cry," while trying not to split her sausage casing dress in half. And somehow...SHE MAKES IT THROUGH. Apparently, they need to keep her brand of crazy for a little bit longer. Bad ratings, you know.

Travis Orlando (the guy who lived in a shelter) is obviously nervous. He totally blows it. And amazingly, the judges don't give him a special VSC pass.

A bunch of other people make it to next week, including Clint Jun Gamboa, Julie Zorilla, Naima Adedapo, Aaron and Mark Gutierrez, Molly DeWolf Swensen (Lewinsky), Emily Anne Reed (yay!), Stefano Langone and Ashley (meth's best friend) Sullivan.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

American Idol 10: The End of Auditions

That's right, San Francisco is the last audition city. Thank God. This process has been nearly unwatchable.

Inessa is from Ukraine. She make music video of herself in shower for YouTubes. She talk in baby voice and sing Air Supply. BeckEye love Air Supply. (Not kidding, assholes.) Inessa get no love from judges. She leave with her beautiful eye and ancient Chinese husband.

Somehow, we're already at the first commercial break. Holy hell, I'm bored. But Seacrest has promised us lots of sob stories to make up for the lack of them last Thursday, so there's that to look forward to.

The birds are shitting on the hopefuls waiting outside. A sign of things to come, perhaps?

Three Hollywood-bound peeps fly by on screen: Brittany and Lara, who both try their hardest to fake a blues/soul voice, and Matthew, who looks like he was created in a Petri dish from Keith Urban and Bill Pullman's DNA.

Stefano (not DiMera) is the first Very Special Contestant (VSC) of the evening. He was in a car wreck that no one thought he'd survive. But he did, so give him a recording contract, please! He sings "Heard it Through the Grapevine" fairly well, but he has terrible enunciation and an overabundance of saliva. Man, I'd hate to be the person after him in that grapevine.

And that does it for Day 1. Seriously!

Day 2 begins with Clint singing that annoying "Billionaire" song and sounding like hundreds of other guys. The judges love his conformity. He's in!

The requisite "bunch of weirdos" montage features a poor man's Mr. Peepers, Mush Mouth and a Transformer. Now, here's a guy who's more than meets the eye. I'm not even a nerd and I'm digging this. His costume is pretty kick-ass, but his version of "Born to Be Wild" (while in car form, of course) is not so much. Then again, it's really not that bad either. Maybe if he had shingles or a cat with feline AIDS, he'd have a chance at a golden ticket. Alas, he has neither.

A bunch of nameless California gurls make it through to Hollywood...probably never to be heard from again.

VSC #2 is Julie, a girl from Colombia whose parents fled the country in the '90s to escape the guerilla warfare. Wait a minute...don't we already have a girl whose parents are refugees? Yes, we do. Julie needs to come up with a new sob story, stat. How about that skirt she's wearing? It is INSANE. Why is it so big? Is she poor and had to make it out of curtains, like Scarlett O'Hara? Is she hiding more refugees in there? Who knows. It doesn't really matter. She sings well, she's pretty and she knows just when to flip her hair, so she's bound to end up in the finals, sob story or no.

Fake rocker Dave sings "Oh! Darling" (which seems to be one of the go-to songs now ever since Katelyn Epperly did it last year) and sucks. This upsets the Beatles tee-shirt-wearing Steven Tyler. Now Steven is in a bad mood and is being mean to rejects. It'll pass.

VSC #3 is Emily, whose house burned down a week before the auditions. Looks like she managed to save her guitar, at least. I'm all prepared to dislike her because of the sob story and all, but I think she's one of my favorites so far. She's got a cute, jazzy voice...very "old timey." It should be accompanied by fuzzy phonograph needle noise. She's sort of like a cross between two Joneses—Norah and Rickie Lee—which most likely means she won't find a place in this competition. But it will be nice to hear her sing while she lasts. She's on to Hollywood.

The last audition of the day belongs to James, VSC #4 on your program, but bucking to be VSC #1 in your heart. As if looking like a prepubescent Ed Grimley isn't sad enough, James tries to cover as many sob story bases as possible. His dad died of a drug overdose when he was nine. He has sleep disorders and a couple of syndromes: Tourette's and Asperger's. Then he got his girlfriend knocked up, so now they have a baby for whom they can't afford diapers. Wow. Some guys would just go with one BIG problem, but this guy just couldn't stop spinning the wheel of misfortune. Perhaps all contestants should get to give it a spin, eh? Just to even things out a bit.

Oh, as for James's voice, which Seacrest has been promising for the last hour would make rainbows shoot out of our asses, it's not living up to the hype. He's basically trying really hard to be a straight version of Adam Lambert and it's just not interesting. But I can guarantee that he's already got the devotion of bored, fortysomething housewives.

Tomorrow night, it's off to Hollywood. I really hope with all the changes that have been instituted this year that they haven't done away with group day...for the second time.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

 

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