Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome to Miami

We're in Miami.
Shannon has never had anyone tell her she sings badly before, but it's unbelievable to us! Wow, she just overdoes a Janis Joplin song, and I mean, think about that. I know I didn't like it, but I am relieved to hear the judges don't either.
Robbie used to be in a boy band. He's a little flat but they all say yes. Maybe it's after that awful Shannon.
Ghaleb does a Marc Anthony song, better than Marc Anthony if you ask me. And he is quite handsome. Simon says no, but the other two say yes. Paula hugs him.
Corliss sings really well. She's beautiful too. Brittany sings "My Guy." She is also lovely and sings really well, too. These two girls are best friends and they are the best contestants so far, in my opinion, definitely tonight at least. They both get in. Love their families too, so much!
Suzanne is a single mom. She sings "I Can't Make You Love Me." She gets in.
Ramiele sings for someone about three times her size. She sings Aretha Franklin. She gets in, and he dad is adorably happy for her.
Syesha's father just graduated from rehab, and she is a very happy person. She gets in. Natashia sings "At Last" and also gets in. Ilsy Lorena also gets in, easily.
Lots of bad boys.
Julie was on "American Juniors," which I have never heard of, but Simon loves it. They don't like her, but she won't stop singing. Paula says "no one's ever said no to her."
Brandon comes in with this crazy entrance, and then starts taking of his clothes and singing "I'll Make Love to You" to Paula. Simon calls him desperate, and Randy and Simon walk off.
Seventeen make it from Miami.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Omaha! Represent!

It's Omaha, and Paula's plane has been delayed.
Chris is up first. He wants to explode so little happiness sparks go everywhere. Or something. He brought Randy a big stuffed dog. Simon threw his. And the guy is crying now. Boy is he flat. He did a handstand. Simon appeased him by promising him he can report from the red carpet. He is more excited about this than the singing, I think.
Have you noticed that every city's convention center looks the same? I remember this from the Star Wars conventions.
Jason is too nervous. He seems to have forgotten the words. He has sung the same Michael Bolton sounding thing three times now. He makes it, but Simon warns him to never do that again.
Montage of people forgetting the lyrics.
Rachael is an arm-wrestling champ and a good singer. She gets through.
Ryan's bicep is hardcore.
Back from commercial. A guy is screaming with an acoustic guitar.
Sarah, or Lady Morgue, is scary. My husband says she is like Cruella DeVil. Paula said yes! I think she was afraid of her.
Ryan is switching places with Paula now.
Samantha doesn't know if she can win. She sounds like Norah Jones, doing Norah Jones. Ryan is out again now. She made it.
A bunch of people make it through.
Angelica misses her parents. Simon tells her to imagine Randy in a bikini. She mimics Celine Dion. She gets through. Her dad on the phone says "it's bad ass" that she is going to Hollywood as a little boy giggles.
Daughtry's followers are next. Yow. David gets through doing a very slow Bon Jovi song. It's boring.
Johnny looks like James Brown, according to my husband. Paula has the hiccups. Simon said "in every single way, that was what he hated."
Tonight's song is "Stuck in the Middle with You." Bad.
Leo is entertaining. He is also good, and has a great look. He goes to Hollywood and he cries. He is so sweet.
Nineteen go to Hollywood.
Tomorrow is Miami Beach.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Screen Actors Guild Awards

Notes from possibly the only award show this season.
Best actor in a drama series: James Gandolfini. Who am I to begrudge Tony Soprano his SAG Award?
Is Nikki Blonsky adorable or what?
Stupid dress, Debra Messing.
Doesn't "and the actor goes to..." sound stupid?
Best actress in a drama series: Edie Falco. People are missing "The Sopranos" tonight.
Brought to you by Slim Fast, Nutri System and L'oreal hair color. Well, that makes sense.
Did you know the guy who plays Sal on "Mad Men" is gay in real life? Just read that.
Outstanding Ensemble in a drama series: The cast of "The Sopranos." Geez a loo ...
My god that "La Vie En Rose" actress is breathtaking. ... and Javier Bardem is far more handsome than I ever would have believed. He never looks good in his movies!
Female actor in a comedy series: Tina Fey. She is so awesome! Hopefully this will make up for the stupid audience not getting her joke when she presented before. She thanked Alec Baldwin and compared herself to a hat rack.
Female actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin. Well, Fred Astaire and the hat rack won.
Outstanding ensemble of a comedy series: "The Office." They do they keep showing the "30 Rock" people?
Denis Leary. Yum.
Charles Durning is bad ass.
Actor in a TV movie or miniseries: Kevin Kline for "As You Like It." Is that a new miniseries? Hee.
Actress in a TV movie or miniseries: Queen Latifah. Mickey Rooney said it was a tie, but whatever.
Heath Ledger was in the montage of people who had died.
There's Daniel Day Lewis referencing Heath Ledger, talking about "Monster's Ball" and "Brokeback Mountain." At least he had seen the films.
As "No Country" wins the best ensemble cast, Josh Brolin offers the quote of the night "The Coen Brothers are freaky little people and we did a freaky little movie, whether you like the ending or not."

Goodnight everybody.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Charleston, Charleston

We're in Charleston, and this guy in a suit has to leave because he's having a baby, and it's his anniversary. Way to have your priorities straight even going to "American Idol," dude.
First is Raysharde. He says he sounds like Clay Aiken, although he is black. Randy is amused right away. Simon says "I wouldn't have been surprised if you had done a magic trick in the middle of that."
DeAnna swears before her audition starts, about the customers where she waitresses. They eat too much brunch. She is also a theatrical performer, and sassy. She corrects Simon on mispronouncing her name, and he tries to make jokes with her about not eating too much lunch. She gives him a death stare. She's out.
Randy and Crystal met "right over there, right by that trash can." Yow. Actually they met on "American Idol" message boards, which raises Ryan's eyebrows. They are singing, and Simon is frowning. "If I was in your family, I'd ask you to stop (singing)," Simon says to Crystal.
A huge, happy brother and sister come in, Michelle and Jeffrey. Jeffrey says he wears dog tags because Simon has a "military presence." They both get in! They are so adorable! I love them!
Amy says "whatevs!" and she preaches about abstinence. Randy says "Simon needs that" and she sort of accuses Simon of being gay. Surprise, he doesn't like her. "I think it's a bit much for you to say!" she says when he insults her. She makes it even though Simon says no.
London took care of her dying father before her audition. Ever get the feeling these people use these family tragedies? She gets through.
Fifteen make the cut the first day.
Lyndsey flies huge jets. She sings pretty well, but she doesn't make it.
Aretha is named after Aretha Franklin. She says she is as good as all the other Idols. She has the biggest breasts I have ever seen, and she can't stop arguing with the judges. Paula asks "is she married?"
Joshua sings "I am Telling You I am Not Going." Why do people even attempt this song? Even sung properly, it's horrible! When the judges reject him, he says "this show is fake and rigged!" and Simon says "you are rude and deluded." Then he storms out.
The baby daddy is back! Oliver has a weird audition, and gets rejected by everyone, but still brings his baby in, so I guess his priorities are OK after all. Simon says "I feel like this is my baby!"
Eight more make the cut the second day.

She just can't sing, OK?

Aretha just could not let it go. There is an obvious reason why she got on TV in the first place. Actually two of them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Idol" hits the beach

San Diego bound. Paula looks drunk!

Tetiana sings "Someone to Watch Over Me." Simon thought she was really obnoxious (I agree with him!) but everyone said yes to Hollywood anyway.
Perrie is a single dad with a wonderful little boy. His mom was killed. I like him. He sings Boyz II Men. He is going to Hollywood.
Michael is a white soul singer. said he's already a pro, though. He gets to Hollywood.
Montage of bad people.
Valerie thinks she sounds like Mariah Carey. She does screech like Mariah, and might resemble Mariah at her most unbalanced, like that day she was handing out ice cream on "TRL." Simon tries to imitate her. She realizes she is "going to be on the rejects, this is so not cool!"
Montage includes a mime with a guy wearing a sombrero.
Simon notes that Monique looks like three different people dressed her. She is singing Whitney Houston. Simon says "I think this is going to be pointless" and she keeps singing. She goes on and on as the judges throw insults at her. Then she cries, and says "I know I can sing."
Her friend Christopher screams "The Greatest Love of All" and he is also a bad listener. He is also terrible. Simon asks "does that sound good to you, Christopher?" and he keeps singing. They seem to have a strategy of never stop singing. Grizz and Dotcom walk him out finally.
Simon lets Samantha's sister sits next to him for the audition. Samantha is not bad, singing Aretha Franklin. The sisters give Simon some love as Samantha goes to Hollywood.
Blake was "the idiot as the Statue of Liberty," in Simon's words. He has auditioned 10 times before. Blake's mom says this may be more her dream than his. He gets turned down, again.
Another bad montage. lots of crying.
Alberto is a g-d hippie. They show him spinning a Barbie and smelling flowers. And he belly dances. Again, He. Belly. Dances. He wrote his own song called "Live." He is nowhere near as fun as Renaldo and "Brothers Forever." Alberto says Simon kept interrupting his song. Later he hugs his ugly family. His family member says "he is talented in many different ways -- artistic, floral (?) ..."
Back from commercial with another montage.
David is also mentioned in votefortheworst as someone who has been behind the scenes at "Idol" for some time. Randy sings backup for him. he goes to Hollywood. Paula wants to squish him.
Last is Carly, who is also on votefortheworst. Simon says "that wasn't as good as two years ago!" and she glares at him. Still, she goes to Hollywood. Her and her freakishly tattooed husband are very cute as they cry.
Thirty others go to Hollywood.

Tomorrow is South Carolina.

"U2 3D"

I review movies for The Naperville Sun on occasion, and here is my "U2 3D" review.,6_5_NA22_U2_S1.article

Here is the trailer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This is my favorite audition EVER.

There are already 49 versions of this on YouTube.

This is Dallas.

The second night of "American Idol's" premiere was deep in heart of Texas.

First we find out a future Mother of the Year HAD HER BABY while waiting for her audition, and named her Idol, which is not a name, folks.
Then we hear Jessica's sob story about being hooked on Meth. She sings "I Stand By You," and they cut back and forth from her family to her, so you can be pretty sure she's in. And she is. Hope she does better than Gina Glocksen.
Next we see Paul, a park attendant. He is twice as big as Ryan, and probably everyone else. Simon had better be nice to him. If this doofus can sing, I'll eat my hat. No worries for my hat's sake. Simon is glaring at him, while Randy and Paula laugh at him. As he leaves they play doofus-y music, and says "Simon didn't come down on me like I thought he would, and he goes down on almost everyone." Yikes!
Next singer is Beth, a singing waitress. She way overdoes a Kelly Clarkson song, while Simon shakes his head no at Paula. "I have no idea what that was," Simon says.
Another montage of really bad stuff.
Alaina thinks Carrie Underwood looks like her. She's a pretty good singer, the best tonight so far, but Simon is quick to point out she is not as good as she thinks she is. Still, she is unanimously sent to Hollywood.
So far we have seen a guy who is not facing the judges before two commercial breaks. He must be hilarious.
A brother and sister have some weirdness going on right after the break. Simon just shakes his head yes, and they leave.
Then comes Bruce, who has a locket he shares with his father for his future wife. It's one of those two-part necklaces that middle-school couples give each other. He says he has never kissed a girl, and Randy cracks "on purpose?!" They all vote no, and Simon advises him to "avoid Ryan on the way out" and Randy says "kiss some girls."
Pia has a yellow mohawk, she is African American, and she is beautiful. Simon is smiling, and everyone loves her.
Brandon has been keeping his broken fingernails since middle school. Ryan says "that's not great" and shudders. He says he doesn't want to be like Paris Hilton and Simon says "So you don't want to be falling out of cars showing off your lack of underwear?" He gets to Hollywood. I hope he throws out the fingernails.
Kayla had a serious car accident so no matter what happens she's living life. She is weird. I wish she was good, because she almost lost half her face, but her performance is just really weird. Simon says, "Kayla, I want to be you for an hour a day." Sion says yes first, Paula says no, and Randy sends her to Hollywood. I think she might be this year's Sanjaya.
More bad auditions. Randy has got the wide eyes and the pursed lips. Siomon rolls his eyes more. Paula's faces aren't as interesting, so she's not on screen much.
Kady can do vocal impressions. She does a mean Britney Spears. She then starts to do another one, and they stop her. She does "Unchained Melody" as herself, and she is good. Simon says she is the best singer so far. She is going to Hollywood.
Eleven others make it the first day.
Douglas is the first we see from Day Two. His dad caught him singing one time and he said he hated him. This is the guy we have seen in the clips before the commercials. He sounds like he has the hiccups. "What the bloody hell was that?" Simon says. "Is he serious?" Simon asks, as Douglas wanders around and sings some more. "I don't want to hear any more of this stupidity." He. Won't. Stop. Simon says "Get out! ... Douglas, they're going to take you somewhere safe" as the security guards lead him out.
Angela is married to a professional model. "(A model,) Like me and Simon," Randy jokes. She is not a professional singer. Paula is dancing but she's not serious. The model loves it, and Simon says "the good news is, your husband really loves you." The model walks her out, as she tears up. They are adorable together.
After a commercial break, we get a "political commercial" for Kyle, who is wearing a yellow shirt with a red tie. He sings "Somebody to Love" by Queen and Simon says "you aren't as bad as I thought you were gonna be." He said yes, and the other two say "WOW" over and over. Randy says no, but he still goes to Hollywood. And he is the second person who is going to Hollywood to attempt to fake out his family.
Tammy is not an effervescent person and she spends most of her audition staring at the judges. She is singing Celine Dion, and she is somehow FAR more annoying, but only because she can't sing at all. Randy says "it was awful" and she says "thank you."
Colton needs to do something about his eyebrows. He is country all the way. He is either nervous or totally into his own performance, and going to Hollywood. Another fake out. In fact, he wants the judges to yell "you were terrible" as he is leaving. The fake outs are getting tiresome.
Drew is a country boy, a farmer. Simon doesn't like him, Randy liked him and Paula wasn't wowed by him, but she still sent him to Hollywood.
Kyle wears a fake tan, eyeliner (and calls it guy-liner) and blush. He's got a T-shirt signed by all his friends. My husband calls him a cross between Mango and Zoolander. He works as a counselor and he seems a little creepy. His audition is dorky, he holds his hand like a microphone. He is quite off key. "It was a very disturbing, slightly demonic audition," says Simon. Kyle suggests another song and Simon says "you could never do anything about those eyes."
After the break a bunch of people butcher a Kelly Clarkson song, including a woman in whiteface?! Simon says, "OK, I now officially hate that song."
Nina, who is drop dead gorgeous and from Kelly Clarkson's hometown, has to listen to the judges bicker about who liked Kelly Clarkson and who didn't. They give her two chances, probably because of her looks. No one seems thrilled with her, but Randy and Paula say yes. She's going to Hollywood.
Renaldo, who looks like Bobby Trendy and sounds like William Hung, is still to come. He is wearing a white suit with a silver cape and a pimp hat. Ryan is amazed people bow to him. They stand next to each other for a second, and it is a funny image. He has Simon on his hat because "everyone everywhere speaks the name of Simon." His song is his own and is called "We're Brothers Forever." It is something that a 7-year-old would make up. "We're brothers 'til the end of time!" The judges make fun of him right in front of his face, and Randy then joins him and sways back and forth. Randy brings Ryan in to watch, too. Paula has left, and Simon says "I know what's coming." "I AM YOUR BROTHER! YOUR BEST FRIEND FOREVER!" Renaldo sings, at least 4 billion times. Simon hugs him, and later Renaldo, while crying, says Simon is "Heaven's chosen."
In all, 24 from Dallas go to Hollywood.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"American Idol" is back

This ... is "American Idol!" The first auditions are from Philadelphia.

First guy, Joey, has lost more than 200 pounds, and I am already worried about him. This is too hard! Joey's going to Hollywood! Thank God. But Simon says "He looks hungry."
Next up is Borat, or something, from Egypt. "I want to love a girl, from the hair to the nipple ... I want to for Mr. The Bee Gees." Good God when will this be done? No high-five for him.
Melanie sang backup for Taylor Hicks. And she is going to Hollywood too.
James is a tour guide. He is an African-American male who says he sounds like Eddie Vedder. He sounds like he has mouth full of marbles. He is ... AWFUL! All three judges are laughing. Paula looks like she may even be laughing so hard she's crying. The first comment, from Simon, "I'm sorry, James." "Would you like me to sing something else?" "NO!"
Now a montage of terrible singers, which brings out the worst of the judges. Simon says to one, "Sybil! Sybil! Sybil! Shut up!"
Junot is next. He is very good, and will go to Hollywood. Jose also goes to Hollywood, with a song in Spanish. Jonathan goes to Hollywood as well.
Temptress is a 16-year-old female linebacker. She is huge, incredibly sweet and her mother is very sick. God, I hope she's good. And ... she's not. And now she's crying, so all three of the judges walk her out. It's a very moving moment.
Mark sings "White Christmas" badly. It's a no.
Udgeet is dancing, according to him, like MC Hammer. He also says people say he sounds like Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow. He sounds like me, in the shower. It's bad. "Did you honestly think you had any chance of getting through and winning?" "Yes I did." "It was slightly disturbing, the audition."
Another montage, of people singing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." Most of them are best described as ... spazzy.
Alexis wears shiny eye shadow and glitter, lots of glitter. She is from Allentown and claims the song "Allentown" is by Bon Jovi. She shows off her home, which appears to be one room. My husband asks, "where's the meth lab?" He has it nailed. She compares herself Janis Joplin, Grace Slick or Pat Benatar. "It was a little bit possessed," Simon says. She gives the camera the finger with both hands and she says "That's it! I'm going for actressing!" Ryan looked a little scared.
Angela, from Chicago, has a handicapped daughter. I just have my fingers crossed here, and right away you can tell she's good. She has a ton of personality, too, too much for Simon. He says she needs to "de-weddingize." But she's going to Hollywood, and her family tackles Ryan. Simon has this to say, "The amazing thing about this country is you are geuinely happy when someone you know does well." Thus ended Day One.
On Day Two in Philly, Alyse sings "Feelin' Good," and Simon stops her to say "It was exactly identical to a nightmare I had last week." Thus follows a montage of nightmarish singing.
A strange man named Milo, in a leopard vest, insists he needs to come in and sing a song called "No Sex Allowed." He is 39, but Ryan lets him in. He is marching as he sings a song that goes "Sex is weak, and love is strong." Randy sings along with the chorus "No sex allowed!" Milo was satisfied, even after Simon called his song "perverted."
Kristy is a cage fighter who lives in a log cabin. She can also sing, and she sings "Amazing Grace." She's going to Hollywood.
Benjamin is wearing a black velvet cloak. "I just wanted it to be a surprise. My costume." He is wearing the Princess Leia gold bikini. He looks bad. They don't even listen to him sing. Paula advises him to wax his chest hair, and Simon says "why did you bother to do that?"
Paul is singing a love song he wrote for Paula Abdul. Is he ever creepy! He sings that he broke into her house and wore her underwear. "If she were a chalkboard I would chalk her." All these things rhyme with stalker. He kind of had to be kicked out.
Beth's last name was Stalker. So naturally, this was the segue. She sang an old-fashioned song in an old-fashioned way. She's going to Hollywood, even though Simon says she won't stand out in a crowd.
The Princess Leia guy is back. He waxed his chest hair. Simon is NOT happy. He sang one line and is back off again.
Chris wants to be a legend. He sings an Uncle Kracker song. Simon thinks he looks like a star, and "the chicks will like you." I agree. He's going to Hollywood.
Christina is a "Star Wars" fan. As a fellow "Star Wars" fan, I am ashamed. Luckily, she is also terrible. Simon had it in for her when she walked in. I don't think he likes "Star Wars." "People call me a dork in a negative fashion; I think of it as a positive fashion," she says. "Nice to meet you, Christina," Simon says. "Give my love to the Wookiee."
Brooke is a skinny blondie; she is the anti-Christina. The most interesting thing about her? "I've never seen an R-rated movie." She is a good singer. "There's something very pure about you," Randy says. Simon says "we can bring you over to the dark side." And she says, "I dare you!"
Twenty-nine people got in.

That ... was "American Idol."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Golden Globes winners

The "press conference" show is now a memory, and here was the TV scene.
TV supporting actor in a series, miniseries or TV movie: Jeremy Piven for "Entourage." Enough already for this overrated show!
TV supporting actress in a series, miniseries or TV movie: Samantha Morton for "Longford." OK, good for whatever "Longford" is.
TV actress in a drama series: Glenn Close for "Damages." A well-deserved win for an astounding performance.
TV actor for drama series: Jon Hamm for "Mad Men." Woo hoo! Hamm blew me away with his complicated leading character Don Draper.
TV actor for a miniseries or TV movie: Jim Broadbent for "Longford." Oh, come on.
TV actress for a miniseries or TV movie: Queen Latifah for "Life Support." Happy for Queen Latifah, unaware of the miniseries or TV movie.
TV actor in a comedy series: David Duchovny for "Californication." A cool guy in a hot show.
TV comedy series: "Extras." A very awkward, and very funny comedy.
TV actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey in "30 Rock." A great writer and actress, rewarded for coming up with such a brilliant comedy that wouldn't be the same without her writing and acting.
TV miniseries or TV movie: "Longford," again, whatever that is.
TV drama: "Mad Men." If you haven't seen it yet, you will have to add it to your Netflix list.

The non TV award I was particularly happy about was "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" because it was the oddball in the category. There will be plenty of praise for "Juno" to come, because it is excellent.

It's nice they found a way to tell us about the winners, by the way, but this show was really weird. I can't say I give a care what bubbleheads Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell, who keep talking over each other, think of anything! At least it was quick.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Celebrity of the year

This is a fun exercise from Newsweek. The only trouble is, I knew going in who would win.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Is this what the world is coming to?

I saw this quirky movie called "The TV Set" recently. With "American Idol" about to start up and all these weird-sounding new reality shows on the schedule (I don't even want to know what "Baby Borrowers" is), I found this clip, "Slut Wars," particularly appropriate.
How far off are we from this?

Will anyone miss the Golden Globes?

One of the latest victims of the writers strike is the Golden Globes telecast. It is fun to see the pretty dresses, but who will actually miss the show? I mean, we will still get the results, and it's one less award show where we can become disillusioned by the breakout star giving the same speech he/she will give everywhere else, and the whole Hollywood Press Corps is pretty suspect anyway.
The Globes were supposed to be on NBC Sunday. Here are 3 things you could check out instead.
1) "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles": new Sarah (Lena Headey, "300"), same cool terminators. 8 p.m., Fox.
2) "Mean Girls": Check out Lindsay Lohan before she was a train wreck. Also stars Tina Fey. 8 p.m., ABC Family.
3) "I Love New York: Reunion": See how long you can watch before you have to throw up. 7:30 p.m., VH-1.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Midseason malaise

What looks good to you in this midseason lineup?

Personally I am looking forward to "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and Lost." And, um, catching up on my reading?

'Mad Men' top show in 2007

Click here to see my top TV shows for 2007.
(Note: The article was cut. My last two shows on my top ten were "Reaper" and "The Simpsons.")
Here are some other shows I like that didn't make the list for one reason or another:
"24:" A terrible 6th season and nonexistant 7th season left me cold.
"Aliens in America," the best of the freshman comedies.
"Everybody Hates Chris," a consistently hilarious sitcom.

"Heroes:" still a must-see, even when it's stupid.
"My Name is Earl," the most lovable hillbillies on TV.
"Rescue Me," in spite of itself, I can't turn away.

"Scrubs:" Saying goodbye after 7 good years.