Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Heroes" is back!

After a shortened, and disappointing, second season, "Heroes" is back and better than ever with an hour of clips, and then a two-hour premiere Monday, starting at 7 p.m. on NBC. True, that's not saying much right now, but it's great to be able to say it at all.
We pick up season three after the shooting of Nathan Petrelli (and the video above is great help in bringing one up to speed on that score), but the first scene actually takes place 4 years in the future.
I assume you actually want to WATCH the show yourself, instead of having me recount it all here (don't you just hate when critics do that), so I am offering a SPOILER FREE ZONE here. All I will tell you are which characters return, and which ones have some good moments.
Overall the premiere is very exciting, but a little overstuffed with characters. Still, it was so great to see a major Hiro (Masi Oka) storyline, and that his old pal Ando (James Kyson Lee) is still with him. Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) also figure prominently, and Mama Petrelli (Christine Rose) stops by to share some of her wisdom. Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) is hanging around as well, but he is his usual useless self.
Claire (Hayden Panettierre) has a meeting with Sylar (Zachary Quinto) in her home that does not go very well for her. It's great to see Sylar back to normal; in my opinion the biggest problem with season two was the wasted time when Sylar temporarily lost his powers.
Dragging down the proceedings considerably is Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who has teamed up with wonder twin Maya (Dania Ramirez). It seems that the only reason Mohinder is still around is to do those awful voiceovers at the beginning and end of each episode, and Maya, who knows what she's for. They're a good match for sure, each as boring as the other, but they get an unfortunate amount of screen time.
Niki (Ali Larter) is hanging around with another shadowy figure, and as usual, it's a little hard to figure out what she's up to. She's never been one of my favorite characters.
Hiro has a classic scene in his office which was by far my favorite moment of the premiere. See if you can guess which one it was. Almost as good is a goofy scene where Nathan undergoes some sort of, um, experience, I think, is the best word for it.
The ending is explosive, and surprising. Not even a hint will be offered here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fringe review

I reviewed "Fringe" for The Naperville Sun. Although "Lost" is my favorite show, I found it a bit too sciencey and out there. Here is my review.

Here's a clip from "Fringe."

I'll give it a few more chances, but I expected it to be better out of the box.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

True Blood

I reviewed the HBO series for my job at the Naperville Sun. Here is my review.

Here is a clip of the show, which starts tonight.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More fall premiere dates: ABC, CBS, CW, FOX


Friday, Sept. 19
9 p.m. "20/20"

Monday, Sept. 22
7 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars"
9 p.m. "Boston Legal"

Tuesday, Sept. 23
7 p.m. "Opportunity Knocks" (new)

Wednesday, Sept. 24
7 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" results show

Thursday, Sept. 25
7 p.m. "Ugly Betty"
9 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"

Sunday, Sept. 28
6 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
8 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
9 p.m. "Brothers & Sisters"

Tuesday, Sept. 30
8 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" results show

Wednesday, Oct. 1
7 p.m. "Pushing Daisies"
8 p.m. "Private Practice"
9 p.m. "Dirty Sexy Money"

Friday, Oct. 3
7 p.m. "Wife Swap"
8 p.m. "Supernanny"

Sunday, Oct. 5
6 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"

Monday, Oct. 6
7:30 p.m. "Samantha Who?"

Thursday, Oct. 9
8 p.m. "Life on Mars" (new)

Tuesday, Oct. 14
9 p.m. "Eli Stone"

Coming Midseason: "Lost," "Scrubs," "The Goode Family" (new) and "According to Jim"


Thursday, Sept. 18
7 p.m. "Survivor: Gabon"

Monday, Sept. 22
7 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory"
7:30 p.m. "How I Met Your Mother"
8 p.m. "Two and a Half Men"
8:30 p.m. "Worst Week" (new)
9 p.m. "CSI: Miami"

Tuesday, Sept. 23
7 p.m. "NCIS"
8 p.m. "The Mentalist" (new)
9 p.m. "Without a Trace"

Wednesday, Sept. 24
7 p.m. "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
7:30 p.m. "Project Gary" (new)
8 p.m. "Criminal Minds"
9 p.m. "CSI: NY"

Saturday, Sept. 27
7 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
8 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
9 p.m. "48 Hours"

Sunday, Sept. 28
6 p.m. "60 Minutes"
7 p.m. "The Amazing Race"
8 p.m. "Cold Case"
9 p.m. "The Unit"

Friday, Oct. 3
7 p.m. "Ghost Whisperer"
8 p.m. "The Ex List" (new)
9 p.m. "Numb3rs"

Thursday, Oct. 9
8 p.m. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
9 p.m. "Eleventh Hour" (new)


Monday, Sept. 1
7 p.m. "Gossip Girl"
8 p.m. "One Tree Hill"

Tuesday, Sept. 2
7 p.m. "90210" (new)

Wednesday, Sept. 3
7 p.m. "America's Next Top Model"

Tuesday, Sept. 9
8 p.m. "Priveleged" (new)

Thursday, Sept. 18
7 p.m. "Smallville"
8 p.m. "Supernatural"

Friday, Oct. 3
7 p.m. "Everybody Hates Chris"
7:30 p.m. "The Game"
8 p.m. "America's Next Top Model"

Wednesday, Oct. 29
8 p.m. "Stylista" (new)


Monday, Sept. 1
7 p.m. "Prison Break"

Wednesday, Sept. 3
7 p.m. "Bones"

Thursday, Sept. 4
7 p.m. "The Moment of Truth"

Friday, Sept. 5
7 p.m. "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

Saturday, Sept. 6
7 p.m. "COPS"
7:30 p.m. "COPS"
8 p.m. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back"

Monday, Sept. 8
7 p.m. "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"

Tuesday, Sept. 9
7 p.m. "Fringe" (new)

Wednesday, Sept. 10
8 p.m. "'Til Death"
8:30 p.m. "Do Not Disturb" (new)

Thursday, Sept. 11
8 p.m. "Kitchen Nightmares"

Friday, Sept. 12
8 p.m. "Don't Forget the Lyrics!"

Saturday, Sept. 13
10 p.m. "MADtv"
11 p.m. "Talkshow with Spike Feresten"

Tuesday, Sept. 16
7 p.m. "House"

Sunday, Sept. 28
6 p.m. "The Simpsons"
6:30 p.m. "King Of The Hill"
7 p.m. "Family Guy"
7:30 p.m. "American Dad"

I posted NBC previously.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Come with me if you want to live

Fox is repeating "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" at 8 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays Aug. 10 to 24 before the Sept. 8 premiere of Season 2. One of the few bright spots of the strike-ravaged 2007-08 TV season to actually get to its natural conclusion, this is a show worth checking out.
Here is a synopsis of the episodes to be shown in August from Fox.

8 p.m.Sunday, Aug. 10: "Pilot" In the series premiere, Sarah Connor struggles to keep her son John Connor safe from an enemy Terminator from the future and John makes a surprising discovery about his new friend Cameron.

8 p.m.Monday, Aug. 11 "Gnothi Seauton" Sarah makes contact with an old friend to ask a favor, while John decides to pay a visit to Sarah's ex and Cameron makes a new friend. Together they infiltrate a resistance safe house and discover they are not alone.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12 "The Turk" Sarah pays a visit to Miles Dyson's widow looking for Skynet's creators. Her search leads her to Andy Goode, a cell phone salesman who also happens to also be the inventor of a chess playing computer known as "The Turk."

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 "Heavy Metal" When Sarah, Cameron and John track down stolen cargo, they become separated from John leading him to discover the future isn't as safe as he had hoped.

8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17 "Queen's Gambit" When Sarah's friend submits his computer into a chess competition, she revaluates his computer's capabilities and worries where it could all lead. During the chess match, Sarah comes face-to-face with a stranger whose history is closely tied to hers.

8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18 "Dungeons and Dragons" While fighting for his life and moving in and out of consciousness, Derek Reese remembers life in the future and his personal battle against the machines.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19 "The Demon Hand" When Sarah breaks into Agent Ellison's apartment looking for a missing endo-arm, she discovers dossiers, files and video from her stay in the mental hospital. The files lead her to hospital psychiatrist Dr. Silberman, a doomsday convert who made Sarah's hospital stay unbearable.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 "Vick's Chip" John defends Cameron against a damning accusation by Derek while Sarah gets too close to a Terminator.

8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 "What He Beheld" Sarah and Derek attempt a business transaction with a questionable man, while John and Cameron find themselves in a precarious situation during a school trip. Meanwhile, Agent Ellison discovers a nemesis at the agency.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

15 Things About "30 Days"

FX's show is back, and if you've never seen it, this is all you need to know.
1. It's hosted by Morgan Spurlock, who hit it big with the "Super Size Me."
2. In that documentary he ate McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days, thus creating the "30 Days" concept of taking on a new life for 30 days.
3. He also gained 25 pounds making that documentary.
4. In the first "30 Days" episode, he and his fiance Alex took minimum wage jobs and li ved on the them for 30 days.
5. Believe it or not, she still married him after this.
6. The first episode of season 2, Spurlock went to prison.
7. He left before the 30 days was up that time.
8. This season he returned to his native West Virginia.
9. To work in a coal mine.
10. It sucked. (The job, not the show. I love this show.)
11. You get really dirty when you work in a coal mine.
12. Seriously, dude.
13. But you start at $60,000 a year.
14. And after 30 years you can make more than $100,000.
15. Next week a pro football player will see what it's like to be paralyzed and living in a wheelchair.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I don't like 'Sex and the City'

OK, I can appreciate rabid fandom. After all, I am a "Star Wars" fan, and this is the second time in a week I have posted a "Robot Chicken" clip on this site.
But what I cannot - and will never - understand, is the appeal of "Sex and the City." The problem is not only that four full-grown women sit in public places and loudly discuss sex (watch the clip below and note the reaction of the guy at the next table "Lookin' for the check!"), or that each of Carrie's outfits would cost more than, oh, a lifetime's worth of paychecks for a freelance newspaper columnist. After all, who expects TV to be realistic, right?
There's the rub. Now that the movie is being released this week, people are once again using one word to describe this show - relatable. Which part? The inappropriate public sex talk? (Who has EVER sat in a restaurant with three other people and discussed sex this frankly? Bueller?) The ridiculous "fashion"? I understand that it is nice to have three friends who stick by you through everything, but surround it with all this bull, and all hope of realism disappears.
If my show is going to be a fantasy, I prefer something that is at least FUNNY, as well. This. Show. Is. Not. Funny. "Scrubs" is fantasy, and it's funny. "Arrested Development" is fantasy, and it's EXTREMELY funny. "Sex and the City" is not funny. It's whiny, rude, obvious, overindulgent, stupid and offensive, but it's not funny.
And I have watched it, so don't give me that. The very first episode I ever saw was about Samantha complaining about the bad taste of her boyfriend's semen. And I actually watched it again after that - but not until it was on TBS! I saw an episode about Miranda dating a guy who previously only dated models (I hated all the times that happened to me!). I saw Carrie pissed off because her 50-year-old, married '50s throwback boyfriend didn't want to meet her friends. I couldn't figure out why he had wanted to meet HER. I saw Carrie cheat on her fiance Aidan and then whine when he was upset about it. I saw Carrie, again, upset in Paris (!) because her boyfriend Mikhail Baryshnikov (!) didn't pay enough attention to her (!) (Mr. Big showed up to save the day, and again, WHY?).
So I gave it a chance before I decided it was worthless. Have fun at your little cosmofest this weekend, ladies. I'll be watching "Robot Chicken."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The return of 'Heroes'

NBC has released its fall premiere dates. Is it just me is this info trickling out slower than ever? By September we should have all the networks' full schedules, at the rate we're going.

"Heroes" will start with a one-hour long clip show bringing us up to date since it has been so long since it's been on.

Friday, Sept. 12
7 p.m. “America’s Toughest Jobs”
Monday, Sept. 22
7 p.m. “Heroes” clip show
8 p.m. “Heroes (two hours)
Tuesday, Sept. 23
9 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU”
Wednesday, Sept. 24
7 p.m. “Knight Rider”
9 p.m. “Lipstick Jungle”
Thursday, Sept. 25
7 p.m. “My Name Is Earl” (one hour)
8 p.m. “The Office” (one hour)
9 p.m. “ER”
Monday, Sept. 29
7 p.m. “Chuck”
9 p.m. “My Own Worst Enemy”
Friday, Oct. 3
9 p.m. “Life”
Thursday, Oct. 9
8:30 p.m. “Kath & Kim”
Friday, Oct. 17
7 p.m. “Crusoe” (two hours)
Thursday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m. “30 Rock”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Indiana Jones Day!

Here's a "Robot Chicken" sketch based on everyone's favorite archaeologist, to mark the release of the new movie today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The wait is over - the next 'American Idol' is...

... and we'll tell you in the next post. (Just kidding, that's just how Ryan does it on the show.)
This finale has seemed inevitable for about 12 weeks now, and here it is. David Cook is the winner, and next season promises lots of changes.
If I may suggest one change, less is more! Enough with the hour-long results shows, two-hour finales, and so forth. It's too much for anyone over 14 to deal with.
As for advice for the new Idol, let me quote Randy by saying "OK, OK, check it out. You can sing the phone book, dawg! That was hot! You are in the zone! Still, it was a little pitchy, dawg. I'm not mad at you for that." If you could program a robot to say just those things, Randy could spend more time on his eyewear line and MTV dancing show.
I can't really quote the others, even though like Paula I could do the critiques before the singing. Simon, on the other hand, is usually right.
See you next season, dawg!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'American Idol' finale

It appears that the fact that they have two guys in the finale made them want to try out a "Let's get ready to rumble" opening. With David Archuleta in a boxing robe. Uff...
It must be deafening in the Kodak Theatre tonight. And Simon gets a lot of screaming.
Big David and Little David? First the boxing robes, and now this? They're both bigger than Ryan I bet. Hee.
The mentors are Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber. God, Clive Davis looks like the Crypt Keeper!
Simon says, "you have to hate your opponent!" Oh, come on. Instead of that, the Davids gush about how great the other one is.
Now we learn the structure. First song is chosen by Clive Davis. (OK, I am already sick of the stupid boxing guy.)

David Cook
Song: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (yay!)
I think: He's not making it his own, but he is ably handling the huge vocal.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says "I'm gonna call you DC," (whatever) but it was a great song choice and it was "hot, baby!" Paula says "we have found David Cook, and we need to look no further." Simon says he looked very tense "but it was phenomenal."

David Archuleta
Song: "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me"
I think: He sings this song beautifully, but it's not a very contemporary sound. He does keep his eyes open, ANDREW.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says this was the right time for such a great performance. Paula has chills and "the sun is never going to go down on you!" Randy is still yelling about it being "hot!" Simon says "tonight's performance was the best you've done so far. Round one goes to Archuleta."

The first commercial after this is for "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." I literally yelled "What the hell!" for 30 seconds.
The next song is chosen from a pool of new songs.

David Cook
Song: "Dream Big"
I think: This track, sung by David, is radio-ready. Fantastic long note at the end.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says the song was just OK, but "you were singing your face off there." Paula says "this is great way to take a song we don't know and fall in love with it." Simon says "it was a bit of a lightweight, but you made the most of what you had. It didn't feel like a winning moment to me."

David Archuleta
Song: "In This Moment"
I think: He should have chosen a faster song, just to get out of that sincere David thing. It is not a bad song, though.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says once again, the song was just OK, but interestingly enough, he thinks David could sing the phone book. (What an original thought!) Paula says it was another great performance, and that's why he is where he is. Simon says "I love the egotistical lyric" and "Round two goes to David Archuleta."

The third song is whatever the contestants want.

David Cook
Song: "The World I Know" (I was hoping it would be the phone book. Wouldn't that be awesome? Maybe someone should HIT Randy with a phone book.)
I think: Simon totally disagrees with me tonight, but I think Cook is just more contemporary. This song is a bit slow, but he's still singing it very well. And he finally breaks down at the end.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says the cool thing about David Cook is that he is showing all the different sides of him. Paula says "you're standing in your truth." She also applauds him, David Cook. Simon says he is "one of the nicest, most sincere contestants that we have ever had." He then says it was utterly the wrong song. He also winks when David says "I understand what you're saying."

David Archuleta
Song: "Imagine"
I think: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say his version of this song is boring. It's too perfect. I disagree with Simon, who said to Cook that he should have done a song that he nailed previously, like "Billie Jean." I would have liked to hear something new.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says "you are exactly what this show is about! The best singer of season 7 is right here!" Paula says he has left her speechless (all evidence to the contrary) and "you were stunning tonight." Simon says "tonight we have witnessed one of the great finals, and what we have witnessed is a knockout." (I feel so sorry for him right now I can hardly stand it. He's so clearly overwhelmed, I'm surprised he could sing as well as he did.)

I think David Archuleta's going to win. And I think they both have recording careers.
Ruben Studdard sings us out, and I have to say I could see Archuleta singing this kind of song in a couple of years, possibly even for "Idol."

Monday, May 19, 2008

'90210'? Really?

Have things gotten so bad that this passes for exciting news? Another generation has passed, so now we have '90s nostalgia, which follows '80s nostalgia, which follows '70s nostalgia... someday this will happen to you kids of the 'aughts, too.
This promo promises that it will be more "provocative," which shouldn't be hard, right? Or maybe you don't remember "Donna Martin graduates!" In the age of "Gossip Girl," promising to be provocative means the new mantra may be "Donna Martin has threesomes!"
And is that Jessica Walter? How sad, that this is what follows her awesome turn as Lucille on "Arrested Development" (which hopefully will get its own revamp in the 2020s).
I just don't get it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The best new comedy

I don't know what you think, but this seems like the best show of the new season so far.
Get it?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The new fall season is almost here!

The complete fall season was in my newspaper column today (read it here), but it didn't tell the whole story. Here are some of the other things we can expect in the coming year.


New fall series: "Life on Mars" (based on the BBC series about a cop who somehow ends up back in 1973 after a car crash) and "Opportunity Knocks" (a reality show which shows how well people REALLY know they their family).
Midseason news! "Lost" will be back in 2009, and in the last two seasons it will make up the episodes that we didn't get this year because of the writers strike.
Other series to return in the midseason are "According to Jim" (how is this still on?), "The Bachelor," and "Primetime."
New series to come in the midseason are "The Goode Family" (a new Mike Judge animated comedy), "Scrubs" (from NBC, for a full 18-episode run), and "Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Project" (which is apparently some kind of beauty pageant. Personally I wish they would keep that title).


New fall series: "Eleventh Hour" (a new Jerry Bruckheimer drama based on a British thriller), "The Ex List" (a romantic dramedy), "The Mentalist" (a drama starring Simon Baker), "Project Gary" (a comedy with Jay Mohr as a divorced man), and "Worst Week" (a relationship comedy).
The awful sitcom "Rules of Engagement" returns in the midseason, as if anyone cares.
Only one new series is to come in the midseason is "Harper's Island" (a horror comedy).


New fall series: "90210" (well, technically new), "Stylista" (a new fashion reality show), and "Surviving the Filthy Rich" (a drama about a live-in tutor to wealthy twin sisters).
One of 2007's bright spots, "Reaper," returns in midseason.
No new midseason series have been announced.


New fall series: "Do Not Disturb" (a comedy starring Jerry O'Connell) and "Fringe" (a thriller murder mystery by J.J. Abrams).
"24" returns in Jan. 2009. It's true that season 6 was disappointing, but I greet every new season of "24" the way you Cubs fans greet each new baseball season - full of hope and optimism. And season 7 looked promising, with Cherry Jones as the president of the United States (at least it can happen on TV!).
Midseason brings the premiere of "Dollhouse" (a Joss Whedon drama about an underground mercenary group starring Eliza Dushku) and "The Cleveland Show" (a "Family Guy spinoff).


New fall series: "Crusoe" (as in Robinson), "Kath & Kim" (a BBC import comedy starring "SNL's" Molly Shannon), "Knight Rider" (returning as a series after the successful made-for-TV movie), and "My Own Worst Enemy" (drama starring Christian Slater).
Midseason welcomes "Kings" (a drama set in a modern warzone), "Merlin" (a modern fantasy based on the "Camelot" legend), "The Office" Spinoff (which premieres after the Super Bowl), and "The Philanthropist" (a drama about a vigilante philanthropist - snicker).
The new 52-week schedule includes a summer block, which includes "America's Toughest Jobs" (a competition from the producer of "Deadliest Catch"), "Chopping Block" (a new chef-based reality show), "The Listener" (a drama about a mind-reading paramedic - another snicker), and "Shark Taggers" (it's pretty much what it sounds like).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bye, Syesha

First the odd trio sing "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now." I'm sure the Davids were thrilled.
The Ford spot tonight is set to "Heaven." Great song, but apparently all these kids dream about is fame and cars. Probably not that far from the truth.
Fifty-six million people voted last night! Man.
Lots of celebs in the audience tonight. Mostly "American Idol" celebs.
Speaking of "American Idol" celebs, Fantasia performs. now, Davids and Syesha, THAT is a confident performer. Her enthusiasm is amazing. She. Loves. This. Simon is staring, slack-jawed.
First we go to David Archuleta's hometown. The cheerleaders rush him and hug him. It looks like the entire day he had girls screaming and clawing at him. It's a lot for a 17-year-old, and he breaks down at an insane mall appearance. The mayor of his town has a gigantic handlebar mustache. Awesome.
Next we go home with Syesha. Someone gives her a baby to hold! She's saying "I can't be doing this." Then she cries. Her parents cry too, as they hug her and hold her legs on a parade through town. She rides a helicopter to an appearance and sobs as she holds a snowglobe on the way back in the limo.
Lastly, we go to David Cook's house. He does the weather on the local TV station. He surprises his elementary school music teacher with flowers and thanks her for inspiring her. I don't think she was THAT surprised, because he was wearing a David Cook T-shirt. Then he is the subject of a huge parade. And he, too, cries. He threw out the first pitch at a Royals game. He says "I'm going to get to do all the things I have ever wanted to do in one day." During his montage we learn that he actually tried out with his brother.
And ... it's (don't you just hate how Ryan stretches out every word) ... David vs. David.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 is a perfect pair

Tonight on "American Idol" each of the remaining Davids - and Syesha - are singing three songs. One is chosen by them, one by a judge, and one by the show's producers. How did they pick who got Archuleta? Maybe they watched "Hey Paula" and decided they didn't want her to cry like she did when she didn't get to work on the "Bratz" movie.

David Archuleta
Song: "And So It Goes," chosen by Paula
I think: The simple arrangement brings out a maturity that we don't usually see in Archie. Incidentally, this is the first week he is performing since his dad was banned from rehearsals (although he is still allowed to sit in the audience).
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says Paula chosen a "dope" song for him, and although he would have liked to see him at the piano, he was "in the zone! In it to win it!" Paula said he performed it beautifully. Simon said it was good, "a bit predictable" but not outstanding.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "If I Ain't Got You," chosen by Randy
I think: First, a confession. Syesha and I do not have the same taste. I can't stand Alicia Keys. And I think this song is plodding, and then screechy at the end.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy loves it, and says she is peaking at the perfect time. Paula says it is difficult to do Simon says she sang it very well, but he would have preferred she do a song she could make her own more.

David Cook
Song: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," chosen by Simon
I think: He sounds wonderful. I thought the long notes would challenge him too much, but he is doing great. The second he started singing, I could see why Simon chose it for him.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he could sing, but he thought the song choice was predictable. They are in a fight. Paula says it shouldn't be about the "two of you, it's about you!" She says it is one of her favorite songs and he's "my second favorite singer of it." Simon says it was one of his best performances. "This is what makes you brilliant, you take risks. Round one goes to Cook and Cowell!"

David Archuleta
Song: "With You," chosen by David
I think: This is fun. I have never seen him so loose and enjoying himself so much. Bye bye Dad?
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he's not used to him doing the kind of song and "I'm not sure I want to hear you sing 'boo.'" Paula says it's nice to see him get away from the ballads, but he shouldn't oversing it. Simon says he applauds him branching out but "it was a little like a chihuahua trying to be a tiger" and it was not really him.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Fever," chosen by Syesha
I think: I love it. She's sexy, and not oversinging too much, and using her low notes.
Huey, Duey, and Louie say: Randy says it was very interesting song choice and she sang it well. Great performance. Paula says she's surprised by the choice, and it doesn't show her who Syesha is as an artist. Simon says she will regret the decision because she did a lame cabaret performance.

David Cook
Song: "Dare You to Move," chosen by David
I think: He's actually a little flat at first, but during the chorus it really picks up.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was little pitchy, dawg. Not his best. Paula says she knows what a challenge it is to condense the songs, and he didn't get to do enough of the song. Simon says it was pretty much what he would have expected, and all three had an OK middle round.

David Archuleta
Song; "Longer," chosen by producers
I think: This is back to formula for him, but he sounds really good doing it.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was another hot one from you! Paula says it was a lovely performance. Simon says he sang the song very well, but he thought the song was horrible.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Hit Me Up," chosen by producers
I think: She does much better with the verses, but she is so hot tonight. You almost feel sorry for her for being doomed.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was just OK for him. Paula says it was from the "Happy Feet" soundtrack. She says it's the type of song that defines her, and she doesn't think it's good enough to get her in finals. Simon says it was better than the second song and she peaked last week.

David Cook
Song: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," chosen by producers
I think: He seems more on key, like the first song. The song is very choppy in the short time, though. I think he's the man.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he loves the song, but it was just OK. Paula gives a shout out to Diane Warren, the songwriter. She says "welocme to the finals." Simon says "David Cook wins the night!"

I agree with Simon. David Cook's the next "American Idol."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And then there were 3

Ryan starts by saying there were nearly 51 million votes and the top 3 were all within a million votes of each other.
The top 4 sang "Reelin' in the Years."
Then David Archuleta goes to the couch again.
After the break, we see the top 4 take a trip to Las Vegas to see the Cirque de Soleil show "The Beatles Love." Then they get up close and personal with the dolphins at the Mirage, which would have been my favorite part. Then they got makeovers and went to Cirque de Soleil. Jason looks unimpressed, but David Cook loved it. It's really nice to see David Archuleta with the fans; he looks so happy. Maybe his dad wasn't allowed to go with him - hee.
Next David Cook comes out, and he's safe as well. So the top 2 are on the couch.
Did you see the clip on TMZ of Jason supposedly mouthing "Don't Vote"? Ryan starts to say who's going home and he says "you're going to tell us now?" He's probably just sick of being raked over the coals every week. And of course, no, Ryan wasn't telling yet.
The Ford spot tonight was set to "Ring of Fire." It was cute. David Cook seemed to handle the vocal the best.
Ugh! The phone call segment. First a girl asks David Cook out on a date, then someone asks what the biggest challenge has been and Jason says "uhhh ... just the brain being dead." He is such a fun dumbass.
This segment goes on forever. People are asking Simon why he hasn't been knighted yet and told him he could be the next James Bond. Ever noticed no one ever asks Randy a question?
It's finally over, and time for Maroon 5 to sing. Anything to fill an hour. Man, that singer is really skinny. Like, a boy should not be that skinny.
Another break, and Bo Bice comes on to sign. I still can't believe this guy was ever a contestant on "American Idol;" he's straight out of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is a pretty good singer, though. And also quite skinny.
Jason and Syesha face the music (ha!) and Jason said "someone said I shot the Tambourine Man, which I thought was pretty funny." After Syesha's civil rights lecture, we finally got the results.
Jason's going home! The montage is hysterical; just him spacing out and stuff. He is relieved, smiling as big as can be.

I Want to Rock 'n' Roll All Night -- actually, maybe not

Tonight we are hearing the top 4 singing from the Top 500 Songs of Rock 'n' Roll.

David Cook
Song: "Hungry Like the Wolf"
I think: Now, I am an unashamed fan of Duran Duran. I always have been. But when I think of the top rock 'n' roll songs of all time, I do not think of Duran Duran. That threw me for a loop, but it wasn't bad.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy says is looking forward to seeing the variety of choices tonight and "mad hot vocals," but this was just OK for David. Paula said "your 'Hungry Like the Wolf' has left me with a big appetite" and she loves watching him grow and flourish (must she always sound like a predator?). Simon said he thought it was good, and it was a "little bit copycat." He didn't make it his own the way he usually does. But he thinks it's good enough to get him through the week.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Proud Mary"
I think: Now, THAT'S a rock classic. She starts out too slow, but she picks it up pretty well. She's fun to watch. She will make a good Broadway star, and that's not a bad thing at all.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said this is the third week in a row she is in the zone, and it's great timing. Paula said she looks like a star, and magic happened. Simon said he's sorry to put a slight damper on things, but he thought it was a bad, "shriek-y" version, and a bad impression of Tina Turner. (I think he was too hard on her.)

Jason Castro
Song: "I Shot the Sheriff"
I think: I'll admit, I was unable to do this recap last night, and I read that this was awful today, but I like it. I think I just like Jason, and some people don't.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said that was a really karaoke Bob Marley, and there was nothing special about it. Paula said he really performed for the audience, but she wasn't crazy about the performance or the song. Simon said "stand back. That ... was ... utterly ... atrocious. (he went on for a while.) I don't know what you were thinking. (more) It was a bad first round nightmare audition (oh come on!)."

David Archuleta
Song: "Stand by Me"
I think: Such a lovely song, and he sings it as well as he always does. Still, it's a little dull, and he adds a line about "all your beautiful girls."
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "at least there's one guy who hits the stage every time trying to win the whole thing! This is a competition! It was hot!" (so what do I know?) Paula said he's way beyond his years, and she admires that he is communicating with his eyes that Andrew Lloyd Webber said. Simon said he "could have whistled and sounded better than the last performance" and he struggled a little at the end.

David Cook
Song: "Baba O'Reilly"
I think: He's a lot more in his element here, and it's a better arrangement. I am not a big fan of the song, but I liked this.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "that was more like the David Cook I've grown to love." Paula said she just wants more and she's really humbled. Simon said "Welcome back, David Cook."

Syesha Mercado
Song: "A Change is Gonna Come"
I think: She's singing her little heart out, but I don't like the arrangement. I think it's a little boring.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said he did not love it, and he didn't like the arrangement of the band or her vocal. He said it was disconnected and was trying to be something it wasn't. Paula gave her a standing o and said "welcome to your dream, Syesha. This is it." She was crying a little. Simon said "I have to be fair and I'm going to agree with Paula." (Syesha is sobbing, and it's really sweet.)

Jason Castro
Song: "Mr. Tambourine Man"
I think: I said "uh oh" when I heard he was doing this. And he forgot the words! To a Bob Dylan song! He's gonna get massacred, and he should.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "how did you think that was?" and "Jason's not in the zone tonight." Paula said "it is what it is" and it did not blow her away "but you blow me away.Simon said "Jason, I'd pack your suitcase." (He's forgetting it's a popularity contest.)

David Archuleta
Song: "Love Me Tender"
I think: Again, it's what I always say. This is not a sexy guy singing a love song, like Elvis did, it's Aladdin. And the judges will go nuts for it.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "another great performance" and he caressed each word. Paula said it was one of her favorite performances of his. Simon said he didn't just beat the competition; he crushed it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The last of Neil Diamond, ever!

Could there have been a more difficult mentor? Maybe next week they should just do Gregorian Chants. The group sing isn't really a group sing any more, since the "group" is five people and none of their voices are compatible. Brooke and Syesha are reduced to back-up DANCING.
Nothing has changed from last night. They still can't sing Neil Diamond's songs. Not a one of them. And I'm still bummed David Cook didn't do "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon." That would have been so cool. Or "Turn on Your Heartlight," which would have been hilarious.
Hey, it's Gina Glocksen! Who is not dating Constantine. It's too bad, because he's cute. And she looks great. Go Gina! They host "American Idol Extra," by the way.
Ryan speaks up for Paula and says "the rumors" are not true! You mean the rumors that she wrote up her judges' comments before the songs were done? Just kidding. She clearly watched rehearsal. And is loopy.
Jason is first up and he is safe, which goes to show that it's all based on popularity. I love Jason, but last night was not his night. Next up is David A., and Paula gets a chance to explain why she thinks he should have more fun (his dad). And in the biggest non-surprise of the night, David A. is safe.
The preview of "So You Think You Can Dance' looks more like "So You're a Contortionist."
David Cook is up next. He is safe. So it's Brooke or Syesha and we have an entire half hour of filler before we find out who it is.
Natasha Bedingfield sings next. Who is she? I don't know, but her pants are too tight and her song is very annoying.
Not the call-in segment again! The first girl Simon ever kissed (at 9 years old!) called in to ask if he remembers her. It's actually kind of cute, especially when Ryan reminds kids that nine years old is too young to kiss.
Neil Diamond is performing tonight. So all the audience's dreams are coming true. I have to say this guy aging remarkably, although he appears to have at the least had botox.
Brooke goes home tonight. Pack your stuff for next week, Syesha, this is all about the boys at this point.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Neil Diamond, explaining how he wrote his songs

Remember that, on "SNL"? Anyway, it's not true. He's just torturing remaining five on "American Idol."

OK, I hate this structure, everyone sings one song, then the next one. So I am going to put up here that I totally agreed with Simon's assessment after the first song - top 5 contenders should be doing better than this. And how about Paula rating both songs? How whacked out is this woman?

Jason Castro
Songs: "Forever in Blue Jeans" and "September Morn"
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil said: Randy said it was OK and he doesn't know what's happening tonight. Paula wants him to get out of his comfort zone. Simon said he hasn't recognized him in two weeks and he hasn't put any of himself into it.
I think: OK, the first song is almost over and I can't think of anything to say. That doesn't seem good. I didn't like how he switched key back and forth. The second song, Dullsville!

David Cook
Songs: "I'm Alive" and "All I Really Need is You"
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil said: Randy said he's a huge David Cook fan and it was blazin'. Paula said he picked lesser known songs and was the only one who pulled it off. Simon said, first song OK, second song brilliant.
I think: In "Alive," he sounds like Neil Diamond, and the song is OK. "All I Really Need" was much better, because he perked up a little.

Brooke White
Songs: "I'm a Believer" and "I Am I Said"
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil said: Randy said "I Am" is a difficult song to sing and she did a nice job. Paula said it showed her vulnerability and she recovered from the first song. Simon said she really really hated the first one but "this is the Brooke we like."
I think: She's singing too low, and the band is too loud. Simon said it was a nightmare, and I'm with him. I hate "I Am I Said" because of the thing with the chair not hearing him. (If it did hear you, dude, you would be in trouble.) Plus he told her to sing Arizona instead of New York and she realized when she sang "coasts" it didn't work.

David Archuleta
Songs: "Sweet Caroline" and "America"
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil said: Randy said "for a young man you are in the zone." Paula said she loves him and he is brilliant. Have fun! Simon said it was clever and the right choice.
I think: He's all over the place. I think this is bad. There is something about his voice that really bugs me sometimes, and tonight it's all I hear.

Syesha Mercado
Songs: "Hello Again" and "Thank the Lord for the Nighttime"
See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil said: Randy said she is finally realizing who she is and doing well. Paula said she was vulnerable in the first and the second showcased her performance ability. Simon said this is officially the strangest show they've ever done. He also thinks she's in trouble tonight.
I think: Well, that makes everyone sucking so far tonight. These songs must be hard to sing because I think everyone is botching them. She did much better on the second one; I think she was second best for the night after David Cook.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Elimination night on "American Idol"

Ryan kisses Simon on the head as a greeting tonight. Just what all of us have always wanted to see him do.
Andrew Lloyd Webber comes back on stage and says all the stuff he said last night. Ryan makes a point of saying that Brooke starting over was the first time it had ever happened on "American Idol" but SHE did earlier this season! What the hell?
Hopefully this time will negate the need for a call-in segment tonight.
After the Ford commercial, which is a punk comic strip set to "Tainted Love," President and Laura Bush read off cards about how great "Idol Gives Back" is. Laura Bush is wearing a quilt, or something.
First up are the Davids, who are safe. Shocking.
They showed a commercial for "Hancock." Wow, that looks cool.
We catch up with Tamyra Grey and Clay Aiken, who are both on Broadway. They seem to be having fun. Clay Aiken has a lot of hair.
Leona Lewis, who Simon discovered (has that been part of her name?), sings next. Her song is called "Bleeding Love." That's weird.
Syesha and Brooke take the stage next. Ryan tells them one of them is safe and it is Brooke, who is TOTALLY shocked.
Jason and Carly took the stage next. Jason makes it through. it must be the female fans; it wasn't his best night.
Syesha and Carly sing again, and it makes us realize we are officially to the part of the competition where everyone is pretty good.
Carly's gone. The audience is stunned. She drove me nuts for so long, and I liked her last night. So don't look at me.

Andrew Lloyd Webber meets "American Idol"

Ryan starts out by telling us the "American Idol" finale will be green. OK, but will it be good? And it's only four weeks away.
Did you know the thing that Andrew Lloyd Webber always says "words, words, words." All righty now.
Ryan asks Simon how is he going to handle the fact that these are Broadway songs, given he always is calling people "too Broadway."

Syesha Mercado
Song: "One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" ("Starlight Express")
I think: She's really enjoying this, and it makes her sound better.
The Peoples' Court says: Randy says she was in her element and she could be a "huge Broadway star." Paula said it was "her happy place" and it wasn't surprising. Simon said it was "very sexy" and it was one of her strongest performances.

Jason Castro
Song: "Memory" ("Cats")
I think: Jason had no idea a cat sings "Memory"! He said "I think I understand it."
Jason can't do much wrong in my book, and I think he sounds great. But I don't think I have seen him this nervous.
The Peoples' Court says: Randy said "it was a little bit of train wreck." Paula said it was a wise choice because it allows him to inject his influence into it and showcases its uniqueness. Simon said "it was probably the longest two minutes of your life" and it felt like he was being forced to sing it (which he was, by Simon).

Brooke White
Song: "You Must Love Me" (the movie "Evita")
I think: He coached her through the song in a way that defined "mentor," as much as I hate to admit it. But she started over, and it's not the first time. She simply must stop doing this. Everyone is so dang nervous, it makes it clear how foreign this theme is for them.
The Peoples' Court says: Randy said it wasn't great, but at she listened to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Vocally it wasn't strong. Paula said "you must never start and stop." Paula said it was strongest when she was emotional. Simon said "this is why I love live TV" (oh, snap!) and it became uncomfortable watching her as she struggled. He feels she will be disappointed watching it back.

David Archuleta
Song: "Think of Me" ("Phantom of the Opera")
I think: This song sounds way more natural for a boy than "Memory" did. Webber told him to keep his eyes open. He is making some very interesting observations. To me, this does not sound like a Broadway song, the first of the night (only because "Memory" is so well known.)
The Peoples' Court says: Randy said this shows again that "if you can sing, you can sing anything" and "this is the boy to beat!" Paula said it was perfect and he turned a Broadway song into a pop ballad. Simon said it was pleasant but forgettable.

Carly Smithson
Song: "Superstar" ("Jesus Christ Superstar")
I think: Webber switches her song! He's really doing well with them. I liked her this week better than perhaps any other. She really came alive, and the song fit her voice perfectly.
The Peoples' Court says: Randy said it was definitely good and the bigger voices are doing better tonight. Paula said it was unexpected and she was in the range. Simon said it was a little shouty in the middle but it was one of his favorite performances of the night.

David Cook
Song: "The Music of the Night" ("Phantom of the Opera")
I think: When Andrew says David has to sing to him like he's a gorgeous 17-year-old, it's a bit creepy. And kind of funny. He really struggles with this one.
The Peoples' Court says: Randy said this is further proof that the Davids can sing anything and it was "an amazing vocal performance and molten hot." Paula said it proved he is a well-rounded performer. Simon said he made the most of the song, because it's not where he does well.

Based on tonight alone, I think Brooke and David C. are in the most trouble, but the judges disagreed on David.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Elimination night on "Idol"

We start with the group sing, "One Sweet Day." Is David A. wearing a Members Only jacket?
Tonight we are forming groups to the left and right. David Cook is on one side and Jason is on the other side. Hmmm.... Carly joins Jason. Kristy joins David.
Eliot Yamin sings after the break. He's pretty good. I may be softening on this whole thing. Oh my God, his mother just died.
Syesha joins Jason and Carly. Brooke joins David and Kristy.
I don't understand how they act like they haven't read the question five minutes ago.
Mariah Carey sings for about five hours. I think I died in the middle there.
Now David has to be placed with a new family, no, group. Ryan asks him if he's happy. Wow, these guys really read the rumors. Now, David A. is told he is safe, David C. and Syesha are swapped, and Ryan tells David A. to join the group that is safe. Oh my God! He sits in the middle of the stage. Good for him. It turns out David C., Jason and Carly are safe.
Brooke, Kristy and Syesha are the bottom 3. Syesha is quickly moved to the safe zone. God, now the judges have to say if America got it right again. This is too much.

KRISTY is finally GONE! Thank God. She should have been gone weeks ago. How can she be crying?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"American Idol" top 7

Mariah Carey is the mentor tonight. She has sold more songs than Elvis, which is just so incredibly wrong. I have always said Mariah is the ultimate "American Idol" inspiration. She oversings everything and lives this fabulous life. She starts out telling the top 7 how she is not a diva. Nice try.

David Archuleta
Song: When You Believe
Gossip Girl says: Randy said "you can sing anything! That was the bomb, baby!" Paula said she thinks Mariah was proud of him. Simon said he would have bet a million dollars he would do that song, and he did a good job. He also said "I have a feeling there aren't going to be a lot of laughs tonight" (which I found hilarious).
I think: She tells him to use more range in his voice. Shocker. I think he sounds ridiculous.

Carly Smithson
Song: Without You
Gossip Girl says: Randy said he likes that she challenged herself, but he thought she sounded unsure of herself in the beginning. Paula liked that she showed some vocal restraint (hee!) and it made her sound good. Simon said he looked forward to her singing this song and he thought she didn't pull it off, and he pulled back too much in the end.
I think: Can I just say she looks great tonight? (She. Covered. Up. the. Tattoo.) She says how much everyone misses Michael. She sounds pretty good tonight, too. Oddly enough, to me she sounds a little restrained. Maybe the material suits her.

Syesha Mercado
Song: Vanishing
Gossip Girl says: Randy said she always sings the toughest song, and he thought she pulled it off. Paula said she has been extremely smart, she picked a song many people don't know, and she uses her voice well. Simon said technically it was very, very good indeed, but he questioned her choosing an unknown song.
I think: I gotta say she was the one I was dreading this week. She was aight, althought I don't care for the song, that appears to have three words, and one is "whoa-oa-oa-oa-oa."

Brooke White
Song: Hero
Gossip Girl says: Randy liked the "singer/songwriter look." Paula said she was authentic, and it was a brave thing to do. Both of them mentioned the off notes. Simon said she didn't have much choice, but it was like ordering a hamburger and just getting the bun. He said the vital ingredient was missing; she didn't have the voice to pull it off.
I think: She missed her own sister's wedding for this show. She is pretty restrained as well, which I have a feeling won't be popular with the judges. I, however, thought the song was as good as it could be this way.

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: Forever
Gossip Girl says: Randy didn't think it was amazing, but she definitely started stepping up toward the end. Paula said she is a very smart girl, and she was blown away. Simon said she was probably not happy it was Mariah week, and she didn't give him chills and it was whiny in parts.
I think: She can't believe she gave Mariah Carey goosebumps. I can't either. To me this is a big blank space in the evening, but it usually is.

David Cook
Song: Always Be My Baby
Gossip Girl says: Randy said he is the most ready to make an album, and he gave him a standing O. Paula said it could be to a movie soundtrack right now, and he's "it." Simon said it was like "coming out of karaoke hell and into the fresh air." He said it is the sign of a true artist.
I think: He sounds the most like a guy trying to sing Mariah Carey to me. He pulls it together by the end. And he seems the most like a real person this week, and he is overcome with emotion at hoe it went over.

Jason Castro
Song: I Don't Want to Cry
Gossip Girl says: Randy said he felt like he was at a weird beach luau (best comment of the night, although I disagree). Paula said she would love to be at that luau all night long (yow!). Simon said he agrees with Paula, it was unique and "the guys totally won the night."
I think: She said she hopes he uses the ideas she had for him. Wow, that is pretty cool. I thought he did great, because it was his version.

I actually thought David A. was the best.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Idol" elimination night

First we see the recap of "Idol Gives Back" and then the top 8 sing "Shout to the Lord" again as David Cook and Carly attempt to kill each other with screaming.
Then an oddly fascinating montage of people, half of which I didn't recognize, lip syncing "I'm A Believer."
Brooke is safe. David Cook is safe (whew! he had a bad week but he's still one of the most interesting contestants). David Archuleta is safe (and man, do the girls scream when his name is mentioned).
After the break, a film by Forest Whitaker and his wife from Angola. They are visibly moved by a family who live in a dirt-floor room with one filthy small mattress. It's horrible. Did you give last night? If not, do it now.
Jordin Sparks is next! Remember her? Me neither. She is singing with Chris Brown, who must be a big deal, because the audience is going nuts.
The Ford commercial is set to "I Just Want to Celebrate." They sound pretty good doing it.
Jason is safe (whoo!). Kristy is safe (huh?).
So the bottom 3 are Syesha, Carly and Michael.
Next, Bono talks about I belong, do you?
Syesha and Carly are safe. Paula is visibly shocked.
Bye Michael. You were cute.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"Idol Gives Back"

There's a big opening number. It's goofy, and there are dancers who made me feel about 100 years old. But when Ryan joins in with his goofy bouncy thing, I feel cooler.
When Maria Shriver comes out they play "Maria" from "West Side Story," like it's the Oscars or something. Weird. I didn't watch this last year, is it all speeches? I hope not.
There's a little film about clean water. Jennifer Connelly should sell her expensive clothes to buy clean water.
Snoop Dogg is surrounded by little kids on stage. I hope they had a different dressing room.
Kobe Bryant gives a little spiel with a weird white bandage on his face. He claims there is an NBA family. Like you and Shaq, Kobe?
Triple H will beat your ass if you don't give money to Idol Gives Back.
Hi Paula and Randy! Paula looks pretty. Paula and Randy went to Goshen School, near L.A. An adorable kid named Christian leads them around. They kids don't have places to play. Save the Children helps them.
Oh God, now Teri Hatcher is going to sing. I was hoping this was untrue. Oh how cute, Mike Denton, her TV husband, is in the band. She is actually not horrible, but she isn't great. And why is she singing? And eat a sandwich. A really big sandwich.
Mary Murphy from "So You Think You Can Dance" is doing that screaming thing she does now.
The Jonas Brothers! EEEEEKKKK! Don't tell Mary Murphy!
Billy Crystal is introduced as "recently retired from the New York Yankees." He is introducing Miley Cyrus, why? He said her name wrong, hee hee hee. They are bantering. Awesome. We get it, Miley. Everything you do is number one. This is never going to end. OK, I have now heard this kid twice, on the "Kids Choice Awards" and here. and I am still stunned by how lame her songs - and especially her singing - are. Would she have made the Hollywood round as a contestant? Doubt it.
Here's my sweetie Bono now. Shut up! He is in Africa with this volunteer who helps children because her three kids all died of AIDS. OK, you got me.
We're back with Fergie and John Legend. Then, Fergie introduces Heart. That's right, those songs Carly butchers every week came from somewhere. And Ann Wilson may be enormous, but man, she can sing. Man, I bet Fergie has a hell of a time going to the bathroom in those rubber pants.
Peyton and Eli Manning introduce the inevitable New Orleans post-Katrina segment. Oh man, I may have to give again. Those poor kids.
ACK! The Beckhams!
Bono is one with a child's memory box for both of his parents. Annie Lennox is with a group of boys, brothers, who have lost all of their relatives. Just imagine. The oldest is 15, the youngest 3. Annie then comes on and sings "Many Rivers to Cross."
How bad is Celine Dion at reading from cards? She also winked at me. Ick.
Jimmy Kimmel introducing Simon Cowell? Oh, he's roasting him. Whatever. Nipple jokes?
Simon is doing the segment on uninsured Americans. Oh, George Bush says that's no problem, Simon. In fact, he vetoed a children's insurance program, because they don't need it. Don't you watch the news? Simon is remarkably good at talking to these people. I remember that from last year, when his segment was the only part of the show I saw.
Simon introduces Carrie Underwood, yow. She is singing a George Michael song ("Praying for Time"). Neat!
Gloria Estefan. Ugh. It's starting to get hard to stay focused here.
Sarah Silverman, uh oh. My husband just came in and he can't watch one minute of these poor kids with malaria. This baby with malaria has the most beautiful eyelashes I have ever seen. I hope that these kids watching this are really getting it.
Reese Witherspoon goes back to New Orleans to this wonderful place called Freedom School.
The top 8 sing "Seasons of Love." I know it's cheeseball as hell, but I kind of like this song. I bet they're glad to be off the phones.
Duck! It's Dane Cook! He's introducing Alicia Keys. Is she the person who thinks he's funny? She went to Africa. It's unbelieveable how these people have to live.
Oh, God, not Miley Cyrus again. Not only is her singing awful, her attempts at dancing are jarring and upsetting. Miley takes us to rural Kentucky. My God, they visit this poor family and the mom HAS A BLACK EYE. Too much reality.
Robin Williams?! Oh man. His first line is "You are a friend of Gary Busey!" to Ryan. Nice. He's been on at least four hours. Not funny since first line.
David Spade is introduced, and I swear people stopped clapping the second they heard his name. Brad Pitt, on the other hand, gets a bigger reaction. And he introduces ... Daughtry. Hmm. Daughtry is in Uganda to show us more depressing pictures of poor people just in case you haven't given yet. C'mon, give, everyone's doing it. Oh the kids are singing their song. That's sweet.
Mariah Carey is on now, with Randy playing bass. I will never figure out how she is such a big deal. Now there is a big choir on stage with so much screaming I can barely stand it. Can I take my money back? No, really, I wouldn't.
The top 8 closes the show, with a church song. Seriously, we sing this at my church. Kristy is probably mad they stole her thing.
Good night!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Idol" inspiration night

Michael Johns
Song: Dream On
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said he had pitch problems and it was all right. Paula said she couldn't disagree more, because it was a perfect song, and he sounds as good as he looks. Simon said it was a very good performance, but he didn't like that he was impersonating a rock star.
I think: He didn't bring anything to it, but he handled the vocal, which isn't an easy one. And he's so pretty.

Syesha Mercado
Song: I Believe
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said it was OK. Fantasia has a better connection to the audience. Paula said she flipped it and made it her own, and this is one of her shining nights. Simon said technically she sang it very well but it didn't have a wave of emotion.
I think: I hate her song choices.

Jason Castro
Song: Over the Rainbow
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said "Jason Castro is back in the hunt! That was blazin' hot!" Paula said he has the most definitive sound, and it was the perfect. Simon said it was "fantastic!"
I think: I LOVE this version, and actually squealed like a little girl when he started. I love his song choices.

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: Anyway
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said it was a little pitchy, but it was really good. Paula said she outdid herself tonight and was excellent. Simon said with a choice this broad you have an opportunity to prove yourself, and she did it.
I think: She looks really pretty, and sang well. Still, she bores me to death.

When they came back from commercial, a man was sitting on Simon's lap. Ohhhkaaayyy...

David Cook
Song: Innocent
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said it wasn't his strongest week, and he didn't get it. Paula said he was still really good tonight, and she believes in him. Simon said he didn't like the performance at all and it was teensy bit pompous.
I think: This is the first time I can remember not liking him at all. He could be in trouble.

Carly Smithson
Song: The Show Must Go On
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said it was just OK. Paula said she wasn't feeling the connection tonight. Simon said she looks good but it was an unusual choice of song and she lost control of it.
I think: Here she goes again with the over-singing. And Put. Some. Sleeves. On.

David Archuleta
Song: Angels
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said "this was David Archuleta's hottest moment" tonight. Paula agreed with Randy. Simon said it was the best song choice of the night, but it wasn't his best vocal. He admitted he was nitpicking, though.
I think: He sounded great tonight. Beautiful song, too.

Brooke White
Song: You've Got a Friend
Judge, jury and executioner: Randy said he liked it, but it wasn't her best performance. Paula said it's one of her favorite songs growing up, and she was "definitive." Simon said it was "a pleasant walk in the park" and it was "nice."
I think: She is not bringing anything to this song, plus she's kind of holding back.

Best of the night: JASON!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Idol" elimination night

This is getting really hard to write about every week. I would like to comment on picking Dolly Parton as a mentor, though. She seems like a lovely person, and obviously talented (again, she has WRITTEN 3,000 SONGS!), but she is not very current, and it seems like it was challenging for too many of the contestants.
And, why for the love of God won't they get rid of this call-in segment? It is torture every week!
It was funny that someone asked Simon why he apologizes for negative critiques though.
Man, those Clark Brothers sure suck, eh?
I am starting to enjoy the Ford commercials though. What? They are cute!
I think Kristy is starting to overdo the "poor me, I'm always in the bottom three thing."
This Bo Bice guy is quite the character. I never saw him on the show when he was on.
Brooke and Jason walk out like they are going to prom, hee.
The bottom three is Kristy, Ramiele and Brooke.
The "Idol Gives Back" moment is the story of two sisters reunited in Africa. It really is an awesome film.
Dolly Parton just said "I got Jesus and you got Simon!"

Ramiele goes home tonight.

'American Idol' meets Dolly Parton

Ryan Seacrest starts out the night with an April Fool's joke. Hee hee.

Dolly Parton has written 3,000 songs?!? Holy crap!

Brooke White
Song: Jolene
The Moment of Truth: Randy said she could definitely make a country album besides the pitch problems and rushed delivery. Huh? Paula babbled about her honesty and emotional connection. Simon said it lacked emotion and the group looked odd together and it wasn't the best.
I think: She sounds very much at ease with the material.

David Cook
Song: Little Sparrow
The Moment of Truth: Randy said he showed his vocal range and he liked it. Paula said she liked his haircut?! and she never heard a guy do the song and she liked it. Simon said it wasn't as good as last week, but he made a song about sparrows good. Man, Simon has some kind of problem with birds.
I think: This is his own arrangement. He has been criticized for stealing others' arrangements, but that's the show, dawg. I liked it.

Ramiele Malubay
Song: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?
The Moment of Truth: Randy said he wasn't jumping up and down but he wasn't mad at her either?!? Weird comments tonight. Paula said she had a great minute and 30 seconds. Simon said "we're not going to remember this in 10 years, are we?" and that it was something you would hear on a cruise ship.
I think: How is she still on this show? She's becoming so average.

Jason Castro
Song: Travelin' Thru
The Moment of Truth: Randy said it got better as it went along. Paula said it was one of his best performances. Simon said he didn't like it at all and if it had been the first time he had seen Jason, he wouldn't get it.
I think: He seems more lively this week. I wonder if he's trying hard enough for Simon.

Carly Smithson
Song: Here You Come Again
The Moment of Truth: Randy said it was one of the better performances of the night. Paula said it was glorious and "that voice of yours - oh my God!" Simon said it was good, not great and that she "needs to have a word with whoever is dressing you."
I think: A good arrangement for her. She irritated me less than she usually does.

David Archuleta
Song: Smoky Mountain Memories
The Moment of Truth: Randy said it was the best performance of the night. Paula said it was amazing and he has a great aura. Simon said it was absolutely on the money, song choice wise.
I think: He sounds really good tonight.

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: Coat of Many Colors
The Moment of Truth: Randy said country music is her wheelhouse, several times. Paula said it was her best performance. Simon said last week was her best performance, and this week was pleasant but forgettable.
I think: She should be nailing this, but she's not.

Syesha Mercado
Song: I Will Always Love You
The Moment of Truth: Randy said she did pretty good taking on the tiger of the night. Paula said her voice has a velvety tone and she is growing. Simon said it was one of the best pop songs ever written and she paled in comparison with the Whitney version.
I think: I could have predicted this one. I am tired of her Whitney Houston fixation.

Michael Johns
Song: It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
The Moment of Truth: Randy said he keeps raising the bar and he was smokin' hot. Paula said the songs are great and he did great with it. Simon said this is the best he has heard him sing.
I think: This is different for him. He does well with it.

Best of the night: Brooke, David Cook, David Archuleta, Michael Johns

Monday, March 31, 2008

'The Hills' and Miley Cyrus -- why, why, WHY?

This has been a particularly strange week in the world of Pop Culture for me.
First I caught Miley Cyrus on the Kids Choice Awards Saturday. I have never heard a Hannah Montana song, since I am older than 13 myself and don't have daughters. As I watched her perform on Saturday, I simply could not believe what I was hearing! The worst singer on "American Idol" (I'm looking at you Kristy Lee Cook) is many times better than Miley.
She is simply a terrible singer. And it wasn't like her dancing was so great it messed up her singing. Madonna, hell, even Britney Spears in her heyday, did way better dancing and still sang better. Why are people so into this girl? Are there so few role models for girls that every girl has to go to Miley? In the world of Bratz, I guess I already know the answer to that.
Then there is this thing called "The Hills"?!? Now, I grant you, all I have seen of "The Hills" has been on "The Soup," and it's been so annoying that sometimes I have wanted to turn it off in the middle of a short clip. I cannot imagine how bored one has to be to watch a half hour of this nonsense. The last clip I saw the girl was all excited about feathers! What is happening to our youth?
Why do people pay attention to this crap? I really want to know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Elimnation night for the "Idol" top 10

The group sing starts off the night and it has a very "Brady Kids" feel to it.
We also get to hear why iTunes is awesome, and how awesome it is to record in a studio. Awesome.
We are also reminded that David Cook was a very ugly baby.
Also David Archuleta is quoted backstage saying that the completely obscure song he sang last night is one of his favorites, as a rebuttal to Simon saying he was sure David did not choose it. This is about David's father, who has been reported to be a nightmare stage dad. I sure hope he doesn't blow his son's chances.
Kimberly Locke came back to sing and brag about her weight loss.
This "Idol Gives Back" thing really is pretty cool.
All this drooling over "God Bless the USA" is really nauseating.
Chikezie goes home tonight.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"American Idol's" top 10

The theme tonight is a song from the year the contestants were born, so we get cute baby pictures. Smart.

Ramiele Malubay
Song: "Alone"
Judges say: Randy said it was not the right song for her, it was too big for her. Paula said America needs to hear her big voice right now. Randy and Paula both mention her being sick, although they were the ones who sounded sick. Simon said the first part of the song was OK. After last week, if she made it through, she'll be fine this week.
I think: This is a very screechy song. It's giving me a headache.

Jason Castro
Song: "Fragile"
Judges say: Randy liked the song and said it was nice. Paula said it was true to who he is, and it wasn't a big "wow," a little safe. Simon said he's had two bad weeks, and he needs to take it a little more seriously. He said he's potentially a winner, but not if he does "that" week after week.
I think: The guitar is back. This is a smart, sophisticated song, and he has a unique arrangement. He is singing in Spanish this time. I love it, Simon is wrong.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "If I Were Your Woman"
Judges say: Randy said it's the best he's ever heard her sing. It was stellar and unbelieveable. Paula said it's going to be remembered as her moment. Everything was perfect. Simon said it was the best was so far, and the end was not as strong. He said the song stretched her vocal limit.
I think: Don't do the creepy baby cry again! I'm done with her boring song choices.

Song: "If Only for One Night"
Judges say: Randy said it was old fashioned and it was too "old school." Paula said he is definitely a throwback, but it's a good throwback. She said it was a great job. Simon said he sang it well but the performance was too cheesy, and it wasn't original.
I think: Another ballad, but it's by a stronger performer. He doesn't bore me, like most people do when they sing the "Idol"y ballads.

Brooke White
Song: "Every Breath You Take"
Judges say: Randy said he didn't like the arrangement. He said it was aight. Paula said she enjoyed her performance, and she has her own niche. Simon said he totally agrees with Randy, and she should have stayed on her own, without the band. He didn't pick on her for the mistake.
I think: She started the song twice. I never say this, but I don't think this song suits her.

Michael Johns
Song: "We Are the Champions"
Judges say: Randy said finally, he has some confidence and uses his voice. He said it was the best performance he has done so far. Paula said "we can all shut our mouths on this one, and it was your moment." Fantastic. Simon said it was the first time he has seen star potential with him. "You just got it right. It's the only memorable performance of the night so far."
I think: He does so much better when he does a Queen or Doors song. It's like a different guy.

Carly Smithson
Song: "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Judges say: Randy said he liked it but didn't love it. He said it wasn't the wrong song. Paula said she can take every song she doesn't like and make her buy it. She stretched it the end. Simon said the song didn't quite work, and she was too tense. He said she has lighten up a little (not as much as Jason, I assume).
I think: I. HATE. THIS. SONG. And here she goes screaming her head off again. But she was a cute baby. Even though she looks terrible tonight.

OK, the commercial with the talking baby is the most entertaining I have seen tonight. "I really underestimated the creepiness."

David Archuleta
Song: "You're the Voice"
Judges say: Randy said it was a strange song, but it proves his mad skillz and he sing whatever. Paula said he could sing the phone book and we'd fall in love with it. Simon said he didn't like the performance at all, and it was like a theme park performance. He said "it's not you at all!"
I think: He sounds like a Doobie Brother tonight.

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: "God Bless the U.S.A."
Judges say: Randy said it was a very nice performance and he loves the song. Paula called that piece of trash "a very poignant and respectful song." Simon said it was her best performance by a mile. He said it was the most clever song choice in years.
I think: What a desperate move, playing the patriotic card. It's a cheesy, awful song.

David Cook
Song: "Billie Jean"
Judges say: Randy said he is the boldest performer they have ever heard. Blzing molten hot. Paula said he is smart, brave and willing to stretch the boundaries. Simon said it was brave and could have been insane or amazing, and "it was amazing."
I think: A different arrangement, once again. He's ballsy, and I have to admit I love to see what he's going to do next.

The tops this week? Jason Castro, Michael Johns, David Cook

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Elimination night on "Idol"

Ryan reveals this season's mentors: Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Diamond.
Then the group sing, which is less awful than last week, and last night, in a lot of ways.
Brooke first goes the top 10. Carly is the first person put in the bottom three. Randy and Paula are mad at you, America.
David A. is the next one to go to the top 10. Michael defends his singing of "A Day in the Life" before he makes it to the top 10. Kristy is gone, then?
The filler is showing the making of ... the Ford commercial. Blast you, filler! Still, David C. appears to be having the time of his life playing the director. Ramiele describes it as "a fun day off!" Oh girl, you need a life. Still, the commercial is kinda cute.
David C. makes the top 10. Kristy makes the bottom three, again. Jason makes the top 10. Ramiele makes the top 10.
Commercial time. Actually Fox, NO "Unhitcheds" are more than enough.
Tonight the questioner wants to know why Simon doesn't spend any money on clothes. Simon responds it was a rude question. Apparently Simon has a million-dollar car. And he would kiss Paula again. Ramiele likes R. Kelly. Oh, the things we are learning. Michael says "Idol" has been much more stressful than he was expecting.
Next we catch up with Kellie Pickler, who has a really good life now. She performs her song "Red High Heels." It's a little pitchy, dawg. She sings to Simon, who grins at her.
Next Fantasia and Eliot go to Angola to show how the money from last year's "Idol Gives Back " was used. They distribute nets there. Eliot learns that a baby in town was named after him, and he cries. It's sweet.
Syesha makes the top 10. Next, Amanda and Chikezie come out. Chikezie is safe. Amanda is in the bottom three.
Carly makes the top 10. Kristy is the last one in the top 10.
So I guess we won't get that version of "Free Bird" after all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Idol" meets the Beatles, part two

Hey, you know what had something to do with the Beatles and was GOOD? "Across the Universe." Seriously, see it, it rocks.
Now, for this.

Amanda Overmyer
Song: Back in the U.S.S.R.
The peanut gallery: Randy says it was the perfect song for her, but it was pitchy at the beginning. "7 out of 10!" Paula said she was ahead of the beat some, but she was unique. She said she wants to see her do a ballad. Simon said it was predictable, a bit of a mess in parts and she is doing the same thing week after week. He thinks she's in trouble.
I think: I still say this woman has one move, and I am getting tired of it. (Simon and I are together again.)

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
The peanut gallery: Randy said it was an interesting arrangement and it was kind of boring and safe. Paula said it's best to stick with the usual arrangements, and it was too safe. Simon said she needs hypnosis because she's not a good performer, and she's like musical wallpaper. Ugh! She said "the whole Beatles thing" is new to her. Shut up, Kristy.
I think: I don't like the arrangement at all. It's a simple song and she and the band are overdoing it.

David Archuleta
Song: The Long and Winding Road
The peanut gallery: Randy said they audience was right to go crazy because the hotness is back. Still, he said he needs to make it his own. Paula said it was the most exciting performance and it reveals his character to come back from a bad week. Simon said this week he was amazing.
I think: Kind of a boring song, but he's back on his game.

Now, we have live commercials for iPhone and Coke. Sheesh.

Michael Johns
Song: A Day in the Life
The peanut gallery: Randy said it isn't one of his best performances. He has to let his voice take over. Paula said she caught dress rehearsal and it was phenomenal. She thinks the monitors are hurting his performance (but he wasn't wearing it! so she said their is no excuse). Simon said it was a mess, he didn't hit the right notes, and it didn't work as a minute and a half.
I think: He is doing the "woke up, got out of bed" part! I wondered how he'd pull this song together for 90 seconds. He is making a big ol' mess out of it. (Simon and I are in sync again.)

Brooke White
Song: Here Comes the Sun
The peanut gallery: Randy said the performance was awkward, and the "whoo!" kind of slipped out and it didn't gel together. Paula said you can't help but smile when you listen to her, and it showed off her low notes. But she should not play it so safe. Simon said he just knew she'd be wearing yellow, and said the performance was horrible. (She tells the audience not to give the judges a hard time, which is awesome.)
I think: She is not doing much different with the song, but it suits her. I never thought I'd like her so much.

David Cook
Song: Day Tripper
The peanut gallery: Randy said he keeps it interesting, and he's throwing picks in the crowd. He said it was "another solid look for David Cook." Paula said there's nothing else to say, he's ready to go sell records. Simon said it's not as good as David thought it was, the voice box was stupid, and he's lost his element of surprise a little.
I think: He is another surprising person to me. I never thought I'd like him as much as I do, but ever since "Hello" he's been knocking them out of the park (with a voice box no less!). This is the best performance of the night.

Carly Smithson
Song: Blackbird
The peanut gallery: Randy said it was very nice and controlled. He loved it and said it was cool. Paula said the arrangement was beautiful and everyone is challenging each other. Simon said the song choice was not very smart, it was indulgent, and she just totally interrupted him! I don't believe it!
I think: She needs to keep her overwrought voice reined in and do something nice. Now, if she only had kept it up the whole song, and covered up the ugly tattoo. And she really lays on the Irish accent when she's on stage.

Jason Castro
Song: Michelle
The peanut gallery: Randy said it was a good choice, but kind of subdued, and he didn't really connect with it. Paula said he has a distinct charm, and he gets a little disconnected without his guitar. Simon said tonight is a weird show, and it's getting a bit strange. He also said Jason's face sold that, that he's "very charming and not obnoxious."
I think: This is very solid. I loved it.

Syesha Mercado
Song: Yesterday
The peanut gallery: Randy said it was a very good performance and she took some liberties. Paula said she let herself be vulnerable and it sets her apart. Simon said it was her best performance so far, because she chose the best song and arrangement.
I think: This is such an easy song to make boring, and she did it here.

Song: I've Just Seen a Face
The peanut gallery: Randy said it was a weird arrangement (agreed!) and he didn't like the slow part (disagreed!). Paula said it showed all sides of Chikezie. Simon said it started OK but the harmonica was "literally atrocious" and it turns into "Achy Breaky Heart" at the end! Hee! He said it was gimmicky.
I think: I liked it better slow, because the fast version is just like last week's "She's a Woman," which was really great.

Ramiele Malubay
Song: I Should Have Known Better
The peanut gallery: Randy said he liked it and it showed her confidence. Paula said definitely better than last week, but the ballads show her range. Simon said it sounded like Chikezie was on harmonica. He said it was a mediocre song (oh, snap!) and didn't show the best of her ability so "it is what it is."
I think: I love this song, and it's really fun, and she is not ruining it. She's doing better than the last couple of weeks.

I think Michael is out and Jason and David Cook were the best of the night.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This is "American Idol" ... and Jim Carrey?

First we have Jim Carrey, dressed in a Horton costume, being just sweet as pie. He made a joke about there being an elephant in the room. Remember when Jim Carrey was a big jackass? Well, he still is, but it seems like he is going a different way with it.
Then comes the news that there will be more Lennon/McCartney songs next week. I sure hope y'all liven it up a little, because Chikezie pwned the rest of you last night. During the medley, we see Sanjaya's in the audience! I'm gonna cry!
The recaps from last night made me like Jason's performance more - I know, big surprise.
Those commercials are so painful to watch. How are they not embarrassed by that?
Katharine McPhee, who just annoys the crap out of me, comes back and sings "Something."
The bottom three are Syesha, Kristy and David H.
David Hernandez is voted off. Man, he has a creepy wink.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Top 12 make John Lennon roll in his gave

I have dreaded this night ever since I heard this was possible. THIS ... is American Idol, and THESE used to be beloved classic songs. The best quote I ever heard about this subject was on "The Simpsons": Milhouse: Who are the Beatles? Bart: They're ones on all of Maggie's baby records. My problem is I rarely can ever tolerate another person's version of a Beatles song.

Oh, and the stupid new stage. Whee.... The wait is over? Oh, Ryan. Just when I start to tolerate you, you say something like that.

Syesha Mercado
Song: Got to Get You into My Life
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said it was nice arrangement, it started rough (again with the pitchy), but it got better. Paula agrees it started out pitched, but she pulled it together and she was just Syesha. Simon said it was better than all right, but she looked nervous.
I think: My husband say this Earth, Wind and Fire's version. It sounds like Vegas lounge singer.

Song: She's a Woman
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said he was thoroughly entertained, loved the whole arrangement. Chikezie smashed it! Paula said it was a great example of changing it up, and she has been waiting for this. Simon said he's really surprised that he agrees with "these two." He said he controlled the stage. Then Ryan totally spazzed on him. It was cute in a Seacrest kind of way.
I think: We learn that Paula is a good traveler, from the ex-TSA employee. Yikes. The fiddlers was a great idea; this was hot, as Randy would say.

Ramiele Malubay
Song: In My Life
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said it was kind of pretty but it was kind of pretty boring. Paula said she looks lovely (this never seems like a good thing to lead off with), but it was pretty safe and she could have done more with it. Simon said he was bored to tears throughout the entire song. Sorry!
I think: She hits all the notes, but it's boring. It's totally Disney soundtrack.

Jason Castro
Song: If I Fell
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said he liked but didn't love it. He felt the switches in the melody didn't work. Paula said she disagreed, she loved it. She said he makes it better by putting his heart into it. Simon said it was all a bit "student in a bedroom at midnight."
I think: The guitar is back. This is very weak for him; he's having trouble hitting notes.

Carly Smithson
Song: Come Together
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said she obviously felt comfortable and it was a stellar performance. Paula said she already looks like a star. Simon said he felt she had chosen the wrong song every week up 'til now. It reminds him of Kelly Clarkson.
I think: She said she was going to change it up but it sounds pretty routine to me. She's OK.

David Cook
Song: Eleanor Rigby
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said this proved you can rock out on "Idol." Paula said he is the dark horse. Simon said he thought it was brilliant, and for two weeks in a row he has done great. He thinks he could win.
I think: Another different arrangement, but no guitar this time. I like it. But I hate his jacket.

Brooke White
Song: Let it Be
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said what he likes about her is he could picture her practicing that song as a child, but wasn't her strongest performance. Paula said her niche is picking emotional songs, and it makes people fall in love with her. Simon said it was one of the best performances of the night, brilliant song choice, and it was believeable.
I think: I really love this song, and I have to say she's not doing much with it. She is playing the piano, but so what?

David Hernandez
Song: I Saw Her Standing There
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said he overdid it on such a simple song. Paula said she loves his voice, but he overdid it this time, too. Simon said "no, no, no" and it was corny verging on desperate. And it wasn't cool.
I think: He used to work at a pizza bistro, hmm, is that what they are calling that now? He sounds like total karaoke to me. I just don't get his appeal, though he is very gracious about his feedback.

Amanda Overmyer
Song: You Can't Do That
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said she made the song her own. Paula said she having more fun, and she blown away. Simon said he didn't think it was as good as last week, and it got a little bit shouty. He still considers her a breath of fresh air.
I think: As far as I am concerned, she is already on borrowed time. She's not doing that much with this.

Michael Johns
Song: Across the Universe
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said it was a little sleepy, but it was aight. Paula said it takes an inner strength to sing on a bare stage, and it was brilliant. Simon said it was boring and that "the Irish girl" did better. Hee. It's amazing he never knows anyone's name or any of the songs.
I think: It's a pretty good song, but again, not doing enough with it.

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: Eight Days a Week
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said it was kind of wild for him, but vocally she was trying to force some runs into it. Paula said she didn't enjoy it because she didn't get it. Simon said it was horrendous, because she sounded like "Dolly Parton on helium." It was brave but foolish.
I think: I don't hate it. My husband thinks there should be a stagecoach race going on.

David Archuleta
Song: We Can Work it Out
Yo! Judge Judy!: Randy said it was not on point and it is not his vibe. It felt forced. Paula said it wasn't his best week, and he forgot the lyrics. Simon said it was a mess, he forgot the lyrics, and it was all over the place.
I think: Lite FM. David stumbles!

Chikezie blew everyone else out of the water tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Top 12 Revealed!

First Blake Lewis comes out and sings his new hit song, which is off key.
Then Ryan talks about the set again, and congratulates Paula on her number one downloaded video.

The first 3 seated are:
David Cook
David Archuleta
Jason Castro

The next to sit down are:
Brooke White
Syesha Mercado

Next, Kady Malloy is voted off. She seems happy to go, but I still have to say, it's sweet how all the contestants seem to be pulling for each other this year. Asia'h cries her eyes out as Kady sings.

After commercial, the next two guys are:
David Hernandez
Michael Johns

Luke is going home. I'll miss his handsome face, but not his singing. Simon looks bored to death as he sings.

The next girls to make the top 12 are:
Ramiele Malubay
Carly Smithson
Amanda Overmyer
Kristy Lee Cook

Poor Asia'h and Kristy Lee had to stand up on stage forever while Ryan read slowly, word by word, the results.

The last person in the top 12 is:

Ramiele cries uncontrollably on Carly's shoulder. Danny cried before he even heard the news at the other results. I was honestly pretty surprised he didn't make it. He was a great personality. I'll miss him, and he is totally kicking ass singing "Tainted Love" again.

Top 8 Girls on Idol

It's still the '80s. I heard someone say there will be a lot of Paula Abdul songs tonight. My guess is ... not so much.

Asia'h Epperson
Song: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
The panel: Randy said it was hot and she proved she should be here. He recorded that song with Whitney. Paula said she's picking big songs and doing them well. You nailed it! Simon is not so enthusiastic, saying at best it was second-rate Whitney Houston. Randy and Paula disagreed.
I think: A crappy song, but she sang it well.

Kady Malloy
Song: Who Wants to Live Forever
The panel: Randy said Queen is really hard to sing but she did the big notes well. The small ones, not so much. Paula said to date it was her best performance. She also disagreed with Randy. Simon said it was definitely better than last week and he said she has a massive lack of personality. He called her a Stepford Wife (hee!), and said she may be in trouble.
I think: Another boring ballad, but she also nailed it.

Amanda Overmyer
Song: I Hate Myself for Loving You
The panel: Randy said this is the Amanda we remember and this is the kind of music she should be picking. "Well done, baby!" Paula said she looked beautiful, and she found her niche. Simon said it was fantastic and she absolutely nailed the song. It was one of his favorite performances of this part of the competition.
I think: She is much, much better this week, but she looks oddly distracted during the judging. Still, the girls are kickin' ass!

Carly Smithson
Song: I Drove All Night
The panel: Randy said he loved it, dude (?). He called her dude repeatedly. Paula said she is the dependable "dawg," and she looks relaxed and her singing is indescribable. Simon said she chose the wrong song, and he can't get away from the Celine version, and it's not a great song that gives her what she deserves.
I think: I honestly cannot believe how good the girls are tonight. Another great performance!

Kristy Lee Cook
Song: Faithfully
The panel: Randy said Journey is very dear to his heart, but she put a country kind of lilt to it and it would be a good single. Paula said it could be a hit, too, and she looks great. Simon said it was good that she used the country influence but she is still forgettable.
I think: When she was 7, she acted like a dog. For a year! Weird. I know they are suddenly "cool," but I have always and always will hate Journey. She has been the weakest of the night.

Ramiele Malubay
Song: Against All Odds
The panel: Randy said it was a big song with big vocals, but she is still thinking too much instead of letting go. Paula said she has such a beautiful face and went off on this weird tangent about mutts. She then pulled it together and said she deserves to be in the top 12. Simon said because she was little and cute it was good, but he found the whole thing predictable.
I think: I love her, but this did not blow me away. It was aight, a little screechy. Plus she looks a little frumpy. How did they make her look frumpy? She's so adorable!

Brooke White
Song: Love is a Battlefield
The panel: Randy said it was very interesting but didn't really bring anything new to the song. Paula said it was a wise choice and it was pure. Simon said it worked because she made it her own.
I think: Pat Benatar is a tall order, I should think, but she did well. I do like her hair better curly, which I guess doesn't really mean anything, but just sayin'.

Syesha Mercado
Song: Saving All My Love for You
The panel: Randy said "good!" Paula said it was sophisticated. Simon said "predictable but good."
I think: I think, as the others, she did well, but I wonder why they chose such boring songs, with few exceptions. I remember the '80s as fun.

Best of the best of the best, sir!: Amanda, Carly, Brooke, Syesha

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Idol Top 8 Guys

It's '80s night for the top eight guys. Boy, Ryan loves talking about that new set.

Luke Menard
Song: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
The panel: Randy said it started off rough but he pulled it together. Paula said she was surprised he picked the song but she thought he did well with it. Simon said it was weak and "girly" (hee) and there is no way he will make it to the top 12.
I think: I love this song, but he blew it. How is he still on? (I write these during the singing, and it shocks me how often Simon and I agree.)

David Archuleta
Song: Another Day in Paradise
The panel: Randy said it was nice and wondered again about the song choice. Paula said there were a couple notes that were off and it made her feel he wasn't perfect, and that is refreshing. Simon said it wasn't as good as last week. He said it's getting a little gloomy and it's time to lighten up a bit. (David said he wanted to focus on the plight of the homeless. His parents raised him right.)
I think: He looks and sounds more mature this week, which helps us to envision him as a pop star. He plays the piano, too! He is a force to be reckoned with.

Danny Noriega
Song: Tainted Love
The panel: Randy said it started off rough but he was more confident in the end. He also liked the arrangement. Paula said he is a bright light in the competition, that he is sensitive and spicy. Simon said it was horrible and he hated everything about it. (Danny yelled "whatever!" I do love his attitude.)
I think: Ack! Another one of my all-time favorite songs. He overdid it in my opinion, but he looked and sounded more natural than he has before. The guys are having fun. (Simon and I are at odds here.)

David Hernandez
Song: It's All Coming Back to Me Now
The panel: Randy said it was a nice song choice for him, because it was a big song. Paula said he is finding his niche and is one of the best vocalists. Simon said he didn't like it as much as last week but he's definitely in the top 12 with this.
I think: Euw! It's the gay stripper! (Allegedly.) Even before I heard that, I did not like him. Not a lot of masculine singing tonight.

Michael Johns
Song: Don't You (Forget About Me)
The panel: Randy loved it and said it was the right song for him. (He also said "you remind me of Michael Hutchence," who, it should be pointed out, did not sing this song.) Paula said she is defining himself and showed off his low range. Simon said he liked but didn't love it and he hasn't connected with the right song.
I think: He's off tonight. Still, I like him, and hope he will coast on his previous performances.

David Cook
Song: Hello
The panel: Randy said he loved that it was an emo version of a Lionel Ritchie song. Paula said she loves him because it was a surprise and would be a hit today. Simon said it was a very brave thing to do and he loved it. He liked that it was risky.
I think: Why is he playing an electric guitar while singing Lionel Ritchie? It's so weird!

Jason Castro
Song: Hallelujah
The panel: Randy said it was a great song and challenging as well. Paula said he showed vulnerability, and she likes his uniqueness. Simon said the Jeff Buckley version is one of his all-time favorite songs. (No pressure, yikes!) He said it was brilliant and it was his strongest performance so far.
I think: I love the song and I thought he was great doing it.

Song: All the Woman I Need
The panel: Randy said he thought it was an interesting song choice but he was surprisingly good. Paula said she was waiting for something up tempo. Simon said it didn't work at all.
I think: He's really pulled it together after that terrible orange suit a few weeks ago.

The best of the best of the best, sir!: David Cook (especially compared to the rest of the guys tonight), Jason Castro (again!), Chikezie