Tuesday, January 31, 2006


We're back for another round of real-time commentary and smart remarks as Idol goes to Las Vegas, home of last year's top 12 finalist Mikalah Gordon.

As we venture into Sin City, there's the requisite Elvis Impersonator, which we by no means get enough of here in Memphis. And there's a look at Barry Manilow, Seacrest's fashion inspiration.

Alexia "Dylon" Lincheta rocks the fake rastafarian thing and I won't even comment on the "Jamaican good music" joke. If I've ever heard a more fake accent, I don't know where. He sings some original semi-reggae mess. Out he goes. Paula admits for the first time that she's just trying to be nice, which her therapist is bound to treat as a major breakthrough. He laments coming as a gimmick and not as himself. Word of advice, next time an audition rolls around, lay off the thai sticks.

The next guy comes dressed as a joker card and gets bounced before a word comes out.

And it's the return of psychic Bobbie May who further commits career suicide as a talent manager. She brings in her equally whacked out looking sister Erica. Simon remembers her quite well. Talent, or lack thereof, runs in the family. Bobbie needs to hang up the psychic and manager gig and focus on cosmetology school. Thanks to Idol again for the low angle belly camera.

Mecca Madison does the belly dancing thing in a production piece that seems to indicate a golden ticket to be forthcoming. She has a unique voice and look, and no doubt the belly dancing thing will get some guy votes. She has fairly decent control. Unanimous yes, and we'll see her swing it in Hollywood.

After the break, Simon wants to be handcuffed, and the judges do barnyard impersonations.


We're back, and Ryan Hart screams into the camera and wears a blurred out hoodie. Ryan asks what the judges names are, as though he didn't know. So he curses in front of the camera. He decides to flip the script and audition for Death Metal Idol. Fast, easy no. He's so hardcore, in terms of being a loser. He resumes being too cool for school in the unemployment line.

Heather Warren is a prison social worker, which is seriously not an easy job for a big old man, much less a woman. Big shock, she wants another job, and who wouldn't? Production piece = golden ticket. Simon makes the requisite handcuff joke. Heather sings "Redneck Woman" which has to rank as the least expected song ever. She did a fairly commendable job. She definitely stood out and has okay vocals. Paula is the lone dissenter as she goes off to Hollywood.

After the break, another returning contestant (the one who did the stabbing motions last year), and a barrage of plus sized people spanking themselves.


Vegas is the fastest growing city in America. Unfortunately, it's also the city where wallets shrink the quickest.

Gondola pilot, Jason Andino gets a production piece, which for one of the first times does not equate to a golden ticket. It must be the night of the fake accents. Thankfully, he drops the fake Italian cheese for his auction. He launches into his song and does it fairly well. Paula says no, Randy says yes, and Simon says see ya. And, as Jason says, Hollywood will be "Pepe-less." UPDATE: Jason does do musical theater at UNLV.

Several contestants, some of whom I recognize, decide to try again. Foremost is crazy-eyed, hand-stabbing J.C. Gray. He comes back with a mullet, which, as a fashion move, ranks right up there with bell bottoms and leisure suits. Goodbye.

Anthony is an animal rescuer with a cute girlfriend. His voice is not cute. There may be a good voice under all that shouting, but it's not showing. Paula is overly nice, and they all three pass on him. Simon makes the requisite fat joke.

After the break, another set of twins. Hopefully they aren't currently in jail in Memphis.


Maureen and Marnelli Pearson are two cute Asian twins. They harmonize fairly well together, considering the song they're singing, but not quite good enough. Simon says no to both. Paula says bye bye, and Randy says no. And that's it for the Pearsons. UPDATE: Here's some random stuff about the Pearson twins. Also, apparently Marnelli is a gamer. If you want to send Marnelli a message you can do so at her asiaroom page.

David Mandzak has energy and a whole lot of heart, but that's compensated for by a monotone and a black hole of a personality. It was a better performance than the original song. Bye.

For some reason, there's a short production piece mocking CSI, and showing a montage of horrid performers. Apparently, the producers made everyone in Vegas sing "Lady Marmalade" also.

More fun to come after the break!


Foreigner, Haggai Yedidya is excited about becoming an American, as well as the next American Idol. Lee Greenwood, he's not, though I must admit it's unique to hear that song sung in an outlandish foreign accent. His voice was not pleasing. He claims to have perfect pitch, and Paula, who also does not have perfect pitch, makes sure to point out his fallacy. I mean, I loved Forever Your Girl, but she should know about lack of perfect pitch. It's a no.

Princess Brewer admits to being conceited, and claims to be the next Aretha Franklin. She says she's blunt, sassy, and a perfectionist. Simon proposes. Miami needs to look for new royalty. Apparently she's bluntly honest with everyone but herself. Her singing is downright painful. Simon prays for divine intervention. Off she goes to undoubtedly curse the cameras out.

There's a montage of more rejectees. Apparently, the preliminary rounds had each contestant singing "I Will Survive."

After the break, a gray-headed contestant, not that there's anything wrong with that...


We're back, and people with crazy hair take over the stage.

Taylor Hicks from Birmingham AL has a head full of gray hair, which is not his fault since he's been going that way since 15, but seriously, was the Wal-Mart out of Grecian formula? He sings "Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. His voice is pleasant for the most part. He misses one or two notes, but overall he does well. He picks up the pace with his soul rendition of "Swanny River." He has a bit of soul and a bit of jazz in his voice. Paula loves his personality. Simon disagrees. Simon thinks he's a background singer. Paula says yes, Randy concurs, and Taylor will be coming to Hollywood, hopefully with some hair coloring. UPDATES: Taylor's personal webpage can be found at taylorhicks.com. He is currently touring (although can playing spots only in Alabama be technically known as touring?) throughout Birmingham through April, which doesn't leave a whole lot of open slots for him to be on Idol, so I wouldn't look for him to advance too much farther. Apparently he's played at the Playboy Mansion for some reason. If you want to email him, his address is tays@mindspring.com

Only 11 contestants made it through to Hollywood from Vegas. Tomorrow night we'll be in Austin, for what I hope is the last audition show of this year. It's getting difficult to come up with stuff to say about these auditions.



Y'know what...who cares at this point?

On to Hollywood:
Taylor Hicks
Mecca Madison
Heather Warren
Seriously...that's all???

I don't know what to say. NOBODY stood out tonight. I don't know how the other 8 auditioners that went to Hollywood turned out, but things aren't looking so good from Las Vegas.

See you tomorrow night in Austin!

Monday, January 30, 2006


(1.) Your computer already has a 160 gig hard drive, but you added on two extra 160 gig external hard drives because you were running out of space for your mp3s.

(2.) You have more CDs than any of your local radio stations. You know, because you've checked.

(3.) You get on LimeWire and you can't think of anything you haven't already downloaded. Bonus points if you go to the Top 40 archives to see if there's something you've missed. Double the points if you can't find anything.

(4.) Anytime someone speaks to you, at least one word or phrase in any given sentence will remind you of a song. (For example, I was already out of it at the beginning of this sentence thinking of Brian McKnight's "Anytime.") Give yourself bonus points if you actually break out in the song while the person is talking to you.

(5.) You've ever named a child after a song title (i.e. Boston's "Amanda" or Kiss's "Beth"). Quadruple your points if you've ever asked a girl out for the same reason.

(6.) You really miss Rock & Roll Jeopardy on VH1. Give yourself triple points if you don't miss it because you taped several episodes.

(7.) You have more loose CDs in your car's backseat than there are in a Chinese flea market.

(8.) You know what MTV's first music video aired was. (The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star.") Bonus points if you knew that the Beatles made the actual first music video.

(9.) You have no clue what high school trigonometry was all about, but you can remember every single lyric to Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy."

(10.) You can't bear to toss out your worn out vinyl or cassettes, and you actually believe it when you tell yourself that you'll listen to them again some day.

(11.) You can name the artist/song title/year of release of every tune sung by American Idol contestants.

(12.) You can't remember where you were or what you were doing when major political events happened, but you know exactly what you were up to the day the Gin Blossoms broke up.

(13.) You've ever exited a movie theater saying "man, I've got to get that soundtrack/score!" Bonus points if you went and bought it immediately after.

(14.) You buy a DVD of a movie you don't like just because it has a music video in the extras that you want.

(15.) Your friends haven't been to the record store in years because they just burn a copy of yours.

(16.) Everything in your apartment is an ungodly mess except for the shelves/racks that you keep your CDs in.

(17.) You knew right off that it was Sebastian Bach from Skid Row when you saw him on Gilmore Girls. Multiply your points by a million if you knew that the lead singer from Devo wrote the Rugrats theme song and the guy from Autograph wrote the 7th Heaven theme.

(18.) You couldn't be bothered to read Shakespeare, but you wait by the mailbox for your Billboard magazine to arrive. If you subscribe to both Billboard AND Rolling Stone, give yourself twenty extra points.

(19.) You've devoted more than one second of thought to pondering whatever happened to Eddie Money.

and finally,

(20.) You write a blog called Musical Ramblings.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Every now and then, I dig deep into my 200 plus disc CD collection for something to make the commute to work more pleasurable. It's not an easy task. First, I run past all the obvious choices--the CDs that have had so much play time that I've memorized the liner notes, let alone the lyrics. No, those won't do, because they're so old hat that I'll end up ignoring them and wasting my trip. After culling them out, then I skip past the discs which I probably should trade in or sell. I honestly have a lot of those in my collection, possibly because I liked one song from the disc, or someone has given them to me along the way, and I just haven't done anything with them. I'm the kind that doesn't like to get rid of any CD.

So once I'm past those discs, I look at the remainder. What I'm really looking for on these occasions are great albums that I've almost forgotten I have...something that I can pop in, listen to, and say "wow, I haven't heard that in years."

Occasionally, I even run dry on that, so I have to go to the used CD store to dig up something else. So it was with this mission in mind that I dug through the used bin at the local Cats store a couple of weeks ago. Usually I don't find much, but this time, I managed to grab three CDs that I've been wanting to get for a while. My drive time was taken care of!

The first of these was Candy Dulfer's Saxuality. It might seem an odd choice at first, but some days I'm really feeling the need for some jazz. Just one listen to "Lily Was Here," is enough to put me in the zone for a few hours. The rest of the disc is also worth a listen, and it ranges from funky jazz pop to smooth saxophone music. While it definitely suffers the least little bit from early 1990's urban pop influence, most of the tracks have aged well.

The second was Taylor Dayne's Can't Fight Fate. Granted, it's pure 80's pop fluff, but honestly, who can listen to the whole CD without at least tapping a foot? The first part of the CD plays like a greatest hits collection with "Heart of Stone," "With Every Beat of My Heart," "Love Will Lead You Back" and "I'll Be Your Shelter." However, the rest of the non-radio songs on the album are equally as good. It's nice to hear a pop diva who actually has a solid voice and doesn't feel the need to sing through her nose a la Britney Spears. Taylor Dayne's voice reminds me of a simpler time in my life. If I close my eyes (not while driving, mind you) I can picture myself sitting outside in the South Carolina summer sun on a Sunday afternoon while listening to Casey Kasem tell me the Top 40 on the radio.

The third was definitely my favorite though. Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue was practically the soundtrack to my youth. My high school years were my metal-head years, and my cassette collection read like a who's who of rock n' roll: Scorpions, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Queensryche, Cinderella, Slaughter, Dokken, Firehouse, Poison, and most importantly, the Crue. I had more Motley Crue than any of the others. I had bought Theatre of Pain and Girls Girls Girls from my girlfriend's sister and rocked out to them constantly, but the crowning jewel in my collection came in 1989 with the release of Dr. Feelgood. I played that tape so much, it finally wore out. For some reason, I'd never gotten the CD until a few weeks ago. Putting it in the car, I felt like I was a teenager again as the opening licks of the title track pulsated from the speakers. Most of the album is fun stuff, but I still get a little misty-eyed when I hear "Time for Change," which brings me back to high school graduation every time. "Without You" was my first "our song" that I shared with my high school sweetheart. And there's no getting past the driving forces behind "Kickstart My Heart" and "Same Ol' Situation." And I've broken up with more than one girlfriend to the sound of "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)."

So...it's audience participation time, boys and girls...what albums have you rediscovered in the past couple of years? Your comments here!

Saturday, January 28, 2006


We're just days away from the announcement of this summer's Bonnaroo line-up. The best festival in the South will be held again this year from June 16-18. The initial line-up will be announced on Wednesday, February 1st, as well as ticket information.

Bonnaroo is also making some of the more memorable concerts from last years Bonnaroo available in mp3 or CD quality digital format at www.livebonnaroo.com. Currently the sets by My Morning Jacket, The Frames, Xavier Rudd, and Benevento/Russo Duo featuring Mike Gordon are available, at the cost of $9.95 each.

Bonnaroo is one of the world's best outdoor musical festivals and is hosted right outside of Manchester TN.

Stay tuned for more festival information, coming Feb. 1!!

Friday, January 27, 2006


It's time yet again for me to introduce you to another band. I happened upon North Carolina-based Line of Fire through my myspace page. Any of you who have a myspace profile probably know that it's not uncommon to get random friend requests from bands who are either in your region or who fit your interests. Most of the time, these bands aren't worth a second look.

Line of Fire, however, is certainly worth a second, third, and fourth listen.

Let me paint the picture for you. You're driving in your car. You reach down, grab Line of Fire's CD and pop it in. As the first few chords unleash themselves from your speakers, your car suddenly begins to morph into a 1984 Camaro with T-top. You reach up to feel your hair, only to feel your nice business cut has grown out into a full-blown mullet. You look down and your jeans are acid washed and ripped, and you have a Motley Crue t-shirt on. Suddenly, your girlfriend is in the passenger side, wearing a pink sweatshirt and leg warmers with her mile high hair and bullet-proof poofy bangs. You're banging your head. You're in an 80's hair band dream!

That's the beauty of Line of Fire. They perfectly capture the feel of rock and roll as it was in the 80's and very early 90's, and they do it in ways that bands like the Darkness have failed to. They bring rock and roll back to a time when it was just that: rock and roll!!

Let's take a look at the song samples on their myspace profile. First off is "Live and Let Go," which sounds like the song that Journey tried to do their whole career. The tune gets up under you with lyrics like "you've got the fire inside," and it just BEGS to be played on your car tape deck with the top dropped and the windows down. There's a bit of Don Henley, Steve Perry, and Jani Lane influence in Shawn Pelata's vocals and there's just a touch of Scorpions and Firehouse in the music. You can almost see how the stage show would look in your mind if you think about it. There'd be fireworks, smoke machines...everything. It's nice to finally hear a rock band who knows what to do with lead guitar and backing vocals. Nikki Dimage and Ed Darst do an excellent job.

Things don't slow down with "Morning Light." I hear a bit of Dokken in this song. It doesn't have quite the pep of "Live and Let Go" but it still gets up under you, and it's perfect fodder for all you neo-mullet-heads to put on a mix tape to take your baby cruising.

"Falling Down" keeps us going with driving guitar riffs, solid percussion, and social commentary. The song feels like a Steelheart album without the high pitched screaming.

Line of Fire lists as influences: Melodic Hard Rock of the '70s, '80s and '90s. Journey, Def Leppard, Boston, Firehouse, Giant, Dokken, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, TNT, Pretty Maids, etc. They've hit the mark on just about all of those.

If you're interested in learning more about the band, there's a good interview here.

I suggest you go to their myspace page at www.myspace.com/lof immediately and sample them. If you like what you hear, do like I'm doing, and order the CD from the links on their profile!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Welcome to another American Idol play-by-play. I'll be guiding you through all of tonight's action, giving you full analysis as well as choice smart remarks. If you're watching the show along with me, you can refresh this page during each commercial break, as I'll be updating the running commentary in real time. Or you can just read it later. Whatever floats your boat.

So we've made it to the west coast and the city of San Francisco. If the freaks don't come out here, I don't know where they would.

First stop, the Full House bridge, then the trolleys, and then William Hung recaps. The auditions are being held in the Cow Palace. I had a smart remark for that, but realized it just wasn't necessary.

"Happy" Heidi "From Hawaii" Fairbanks is cute and rocks the operatic voice. She's easy on the eyes and the ears. I like her voice, but it seems a little labored. She's better with opera. None of the judges like her pop stuff. Paula says yes, Simon says no, and Randy is impaling himself on a fence post. After a couple months of deliberation, Randy says no, and with that she'll go off and do the hula elsewhere. UPDATES: Heidi is a member of Brigham Young University Hawaii's Concert Choir and performs student recitals.

Shawn Vasquez from Oakland is taking opera lessons also. We definitely have an image problem here. He doesn't "sing," he "sangs" in the past tense. I will be glad when this audition is in the past tense. Yikes. I need ear surgery now. He should sue his singing teacher. I can't even recognize his song. If he keeps it up much longer, I fear my neighbors may call the cops. I wish I was deaf. Simon says he has one of the worst voices he's ever heard.

After the break, hopefully someone who can sing will come on...


I'm a Verizon wireless subscriber, but their commercial featuring "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas may have me switching to Cingular.

So we're back to San Fran and we get a look at the collection of weirdos in Cow Palace.

Jose "Sway" Penala breaks out the Luther Vandross and does it well. I like his outfit. He has a voice like honey. The judges think he's the bomb, and they're right. Unanimous yes, and he sways off to Hollywood! UPDATES: According to this blog, Jose has supposedly made it into the Top 24, though it should be noted that this is unverified info. Supposedly, you can listen to an audio clip of him here. He has collaborated with the band 6th Day on their album Forever Starts Today. American Idol has reserved the URL www.swayofficial.com for him.

Lauren Weckerly gets to go to Hollywood after a five second tryout.

We're treated to another montage of winners whose name we don't get to see. Expect at least one of them to whine about lack of air-time when they get voted out of the top 24.

And the win streak comes to a screeching, violent, debilitating halt with hundreds of casualties when Matthew "Wolfie" Paulson comes in the door. He ruins a good Clay Aiken song. He chokes halfway through, possibly due to divine intervention. Shawn slips into a parallel dimension where Clay would actually like his performance. The judges rip him back into reality, which is that he sucks on ice. Simon says "hideous." As he leaves the room, a pack of wolves drag him off into their den to administer retribution for disgracing their species. UPDATES: Here's Wolfie's Yahoo profile.

More after the break!


We're back and John Williams (not the Star Wars composer) from Sacramento has just returned from military deployment. He sings "Human Nature," though not incredibly well. Then he breaks out the shades, strips, and beat boxes. His dancing is much better than his singing, but I feel like he's going to get points for personality. Paula says they've never seen an audition like that, except for the couple of hundred times that they've seen it on the past seasons. Simon thinks he's a spaz and says no. Paula, the dancer, says yes. Randy gets put upon to decide the situation. Randy says he's a circus freak, and then stalls for twenty years before saying yes. John is going to Hollywood.

And now, a montage of vocal coaches who are soon to be out of work...

There's a production piece about Katharine McPhee and her mom, a vocal coach. I smell a golden ticket coming. The voice lessons paid off in a big way for this audition. She sings "God Bless the Child." It's really hard to write this review with my eyes closed and my head swaying. I love this girl. This is a top 12 contender for sure. I see her in, at minimum, the top 5. She's pretty, she can sing, she has a natural presence, and just really brings it. Unanimous yes from the judges and from me! Welcome to Hollywood!

After the break, Miss Blue Eye Shadow, Simon pouts, and yet another Small Town Girl.


Can't wait for the Super Bowl!

Welcome back, and Seacrest hasn't shaved in a day or two.

Eric Cornforth came to the audition stoned. Afterwards, he deserved to BE stoned. UPDATE: His audition appears to be either (a.) an attempt to get attention or (b.) a lame jab at Idol's pop-ness. His site reveals that he is the self-proclaimed "San Francisco's Favorite Teenage Rockstar." Except, of course, that he's not. Even Nigel Lithgow got a blurb on his site, saying "More boring than Bob Dylan himself." He has a myspace. If Google is any indication, this guy does play a lot of Bay Area venues. I'm outing him now as a fake audition.

Shalicia Carlisle LOVES blue eye shadow. She quit her job to come on American Idol. She has the Aloha Mischeaux head flower, and despite a production piece, I fear she will not be going to Hollywood. Her voice is horrendous, and she recites, inexplicably, a poem called "Cry from the Ghetto." Simon wants to commit suicide. He says "hideous," and in Shalicia-ese, that means "compliment." She keeps singing ad nauseum, unaware that the audition has gone completely to hell. Unemployment line, here she comes! Simon advocates for her with her boss and gets Shalicia's job back, so she'll be super-sizing orders in no time. UPDATES: She has published a poetry book.

Shawna White looks quite a bit like Pippi Longstocking, which is cute, but sort of not. She gets a brief production piece. Her voice is ok, except that first long note which grabbed hold of my headache and throbbed it. Other than that, she sounded semi-okay. She sings some Alicia Keys, which is better. Simon compares her to fingers on a blackboard, which explains my headache thing, and says no. Randy says yes. Paula says yes, and she's on to Hollywood. Randy and Cowell get into a slap fight after the audition.

Coming up, Paula gets rude!


Welcome back! We get another look at fake auditioner, Katrina Yaukey.

Marcus Phillips wants to rap. And I want a billion dollars, but I'll still be living in a two bedroom apartment tomorrow. He says he's an All-Terrain Entertainer, which probably means we can drag him off into the woods for his beating. Paula wants him to rap, because she apparently got smoked up during the break. Bye Bye!

Jayna Santayana sings Anita Baker's "Sweet Love" in a higher soprano register that is not altogether displeasing, but not the best. She truly didn't conquer the song as Simon says. Randy and Paula are tone deaf tonight. She is pretty, but a little over the top. 2 to 1, she goes to Hollywood. Simon squares off against Paula and Randy for the next five or ten minutes. UPDATE: Rumored to be a Top 24 finalist.

They go through another group of unnamed contestants and snipe at each other. All of this is good for dramatic tension, which, with the lack of tonight's talent, may be the only thing that brings you back after the break...


I cannot believe I'll have to wait until MARCH for new episodes of Prison Break.

Just a few more left!

Deborah Dawn Tilley claims to be 27, but she's 50 if she's a day. She has an over-the-top voice. She really really overdoes it. Seriously, though, she's 27???? I don't think so... Either she's lying or she's had a SERIOUS crack problem. Paula says yes, Randy says no, and Simon is all over the fence. Paula and Simon have a slap fight. Simon finally says no, thankfully, and Deborah goes out to pick up her grandchildren while the judges sit in the room in a domestic-violence-esque funk. Simon stomps out finally and goes back to his hotel in a snit. UPDATES: According to this story, Tilley is married with 2 children, ages 10 and 4. Tilley plays in a band called Tantrum. "Deborah Dawn, as she goes by on stage, has been singing since she was seven years old. Over the years she has had highs and lows in her careers. She said at the age of 12 she almost made it and was singing in hotels on the Las Vegas Strip."

Manuel Viramontes does shots of hot sauce before auditioning before the two remaining judges. Unfortunately, it does not set his voice on fire. Simon's empty chair wants to protest, if only it could speak. Manuel keeps interrupting judge criticisms by resuming his singing, which immediately endeared him to a fourth of his own bodily organs.

And so ends the San Francisco auditions. Next week, we go to Vegas! Psychic Bobbie May returns from last season, but unfortunately, Mikalah Gordon does not.


Shalicia Carlisle
Eric Cornforth
Heidi Fairbanks
Wolfie Paulson
Marcus Phillips
Deborah Dawn Tilley
Shawn Vasquez
Manuel Viramontes

On to Hollywood:
Katharine McPhee
Sway Penala
Jayne Santayana
Lauren Weckerly
Shawna White
John Williams

Outed as fake auditions:
Eric Cornforth
Katrina Yaukey


Katharine McPhee is looking VERY strong. Expect her to do well. Jose Penala is one of the first really stand-out guys this season. I predict Jayne, Shawna, and John Williams to have a tough time in the Hollywood rounds. We haven't seen enough of Lauren Weckerly to really know much of anything, so stay tuned!

We'll be back next week with more Idol play-by-play!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Welcome back to another night of Idol play-by-play! Don't forget: these updates are in real time, so hit the refresh button during each commercial break just in case you want to read my snide remarks.

And here we are in North Carolina, home of Clay Aiken and Fantasia.

Michael Jackson boy is here. Hide all your children.

Paula expects great talent, Randy doesn't know where he is, and Simon gets his butt kissed.

Sabrina "the teenage witch" Oakley wins lots of karaoke contests and men always hit on her. Apparently they do so with ugly trucks. I'm hoping for an asteroid to hit on her at this point. Seems like a fake audition. UPDATE: Sabrina has a myspace page.

Cashet Robinson is 25, sweet, and says she's the total package. Unfortunately, it's a package full of bum notes. I'm surprised Greensboro wasn't flooded by dogs after that. Simon advises the purchase of a sound-proof shower curtain and uses "appalling" for the first time tonight.

Amanda McManaway sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" but should've been somewhere out of hearing range.

Kellie Pickler is wearing Carrie's outfit from last year's audition. She also looks like her. This is the girl we've been seeing for months in the promo teasers, and I suspect she's going to go far in the competition. A nice production piece means she can probably sing. Her dad is a drug user and is in jail, which is NOT Kellie's fault. She does need someone to fix her hair, but otherwise she looks great. Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson cleared her singing of "Since U Been Gone." Kellie doesn't quite have Kelly's voice, but she's no slouch job either. I like her power and excitement. She launches into "Broken Wing" by Martina McBride, which is a MUCH better performance. That was amazing. I'm going to predict that she'll be a top 12 contestant with some work. Simon really likes her, which to me means he'll probably be making Carrie-esque predictions this year. Obviously, he's going to be promoting her this year. Unanimous yes, and she's going to Hollywood. UPDATE: Kellie has 2 fansites at http://www.kelliepickler.net and http://www.kelliepickleronline.com. Kellie was in Charlotte NC's Gimme the Mike contest on WSOC, Charlotte channel 9. She lost to Karen O'Leary. Kellie is picking up support from a lot of Carrie Underwood fans at Carrie's fan site. Kellie was listed as winning Miss Greater Wilmington and won Miss Stanly County in 2003.

Somebody get Rhonetta a crotch piece to cover herself with please! More Idol chatter after the break!


Shawn DeSalazar is on a mission to revive crooning, though this is a pop contest. Little Bro is convinced that his brother should, at minimum, be appointed Emperor. Shawn brought a 7th grade science fair exhibit, for whatever the reason. I'm not impressed, and it would be nice if Simon would install a trap door in the stage as far as I'm concerned. Distinctly average, Simon's summation, was quite apt in my opinion. If he'd dropped the schtick, he might've had a chance. He folds up his display and goes off to wait more tables. Little Bro offers his opinion. I hope that he doesn't read this blog, otherwise I might have another Nicole Sticht on my hands. UPDATE: Apparently, Shawn does these shows for other people. He will be performing TOMORROW, January 25, at the 2006 South Florida Fair. The site blurb says: "A potential Sinatra in-the-wings, Shawn is starting to build a nice fan base of people all over the country." Yeah...right.

I knew it was only a matter of time before we had a ventriloquist on the show. We had a mime last year. Richard Garland is singing Ruben's "Flying Without Wings." He has a nice voice and could've done well even without the wooden dummy. Randy puts the dummy through, but not Richard. Simon says no. Unfortunately, he does not go through, which is disappointing, since Dave Hoover made it through.

Alvin and the Chipmunks...err...I mean, helium girl...I mean, uh, Ronda Jones sings Backstreet Boys on 78 RPM. I expect a Paula Adbul "cartoon voice" suggestion to be forthcoming. Simon's right; it is as good as the original. She wants it more than a whole bag of gummi bears, and I need to say no more than that. She leaves and goes back to Toon Town. UPDATE: This isn't incredibly relevant, but she wrote this review on Amazon.com.

Sgt. Steven David Jr. tries the Josh Gracin schtick with the Scott Savol accent. By the way, Steven, it's against the rules of the National Guard to use your uniform for personal gain. I'm ready to dismiss him just on attitude alone. He's got an okay voice, but I can't stand him. He oversings Marvin Gaye's "Lets Get It On." Paula fraternizes with a contestant for the first time this year. Randy says yes, Simon says yes, and Paula, natch, says I'll see you in my trailer later. He goes to Hollywood. Blah.

Rhonetta apparently gets dissed...after the break!


We're back in Greensboro, taking a look at supportive families. Halicia Thompson brought the entire country of China with her. She's a baby mamma and a people person. This is probably the first contestant that I've heard sing a TV theme song. She does it fairly well too. I enjoy her presence. Simon fraternizes. Randy is now the only one who hasn't gotten any sweet sweet lovin' this year yet. Unanimous yes, see you in Hollywood.

Atlanta Boys Choir veteran, Donnie Meacham, thinks he's the best undiscovered talent in America, yet he pulls out a tired Debby Boone song to prove it. I think he should remain undiscovered. Simon wants to convict him for murder, which in this case should be a capital crime. Mom says he did good, after which she immediately went to her audiologist.

Kendra Winston grew up in 44 foster homes and group homes. I mean no harsh judgment, but that usually indicates a discipline problem. She's divorced with two kids. She gets a long production piece which must mean a golden ticket is about to be passed down. Kendra hits on Seacrest. She sings "Ain't No Mountain High," after which thousands of Idol watchers will undoubtedly flood MCI with new long distance subscriptions. She sings it rather well. Randy almost used the word pitchy for the first time this year. Paula likes her. Simon says no to the voice, but she's going defiantly anyway. Welcome to Hollywood! UPDATE: Kendra competed in Triad Idol in Greensboro and got to the quarterfinals.

After the break, the Incredible Hulk, Michael Jackson Boy, and Rhonetta. Freaks beware!


UPDATE: The Brittenum Twins not only have a rap sheet, but apparently a record deal!

Kenneth "Chase" Bush is causing Whitney Houston to flip over in her grave, even though she's still alive. He sounds Wayne Newton-ish. Simon further enrages G.L.A.A.D. by suggesting that a male contestant should wear a dress. A loud explosion outside indicates another flurry of press releases. Simon says no, but Paula and Randy lose their mental faculties for just a moment and say yes. Seacrest invents a new American Idol drinking game centered around Simon saying "I'm not being rude."

Chonna Clepper comes to the audition nearly naked, insults Seacrest's shortness, and immediately ingratiates herself to half of her immediate family. Big shock, her mom's a stripper. There's a good voice in there somewhere, but...what to say? I think she should go home. The judges agree, and even though she's dressed to fraternize, she goes home. Simon suggests she put on more clothes, which is the smartest idea I've heard all day.

Rhonetta, thankfully, does not flash any more crotch. More after the break!


Day one in Greensboro continues.

Eric Keaton hasn't heard from us because we didn't want to hear him sing again.

Brandon Haithcox isn't helping the guys out at all. He doesn't open his eyes while he sings, and we're all hoping that we'll learn how to close our ears. "We don't need no steenking Idol" is his mantra as he leaves.

It's time for a montage of Idol nervousness. And then, in comes, Jeffery Ryan Baysden, who looks 40 and sings "Bless the Broken Road." Simon says he's the first Ryan he's ever met with talent. Score one for the guys! UPDATE: Ryan competed in “Touchstone Energy Carolina Calling Talent Search” at West Carteret High School in Morehead City, on NC public television.

Cedric Robinson, in Derek Braxton tradition, says he is related to Fantasia. Judging by his voice, he might be related to Mike Tyson. Apparently talent skipped his generation. Cedric the Anti-Entertainer leaves dejectedly.

Ann Nesby of Sounds of Blackness brought her granddaughter, Paris Bennett, who is sweet and who has a great voice. The kids this year have really brought on their A game! She really works it out with that Billie Holliday song. Definite Top 12 contender, and I wouldn't be surprised if she made it to the Top 2. This kid is amazing. UPDATE: Paris had her own site at http://www.itstimechildrecords.com/paris.html which is no longer operational, probably due to her advancement in the later stages of the competition. Watch out for her!

At the end of day one, 24 golden tickets have been passed out. Simon's birthday and Rhonetta's psychic friends are up next.


Day 2 of Greensboro auditions, and it's Simon's 500th birthday.

Marcus Behling has won approximately 10 talent shows, give or take 10. He holds a note for five years, never once keeping it on pitch. Simon looks like he wants to throw a Cheerio into his open gaping maw so he'll choke and shut up. Marcus learned to sing from the Randy and Paula DVD, which makes Simon very happy. They ask for another song because Paula and Randy need their daily whipping. Paula says he should model, which in Paula-ese means "you suck." Randy and Simon say no. Simon is on cloud nine. Marcus takes the DVD, which is mysteriously blurred out, and smashes it with a hammer.

After only one audition, it's off to commercials, after which Rhonetta and Michael Jackson Boy will undoubtedly entertain us.


We're back, and we get to see how people choose to stand out, including outlandish clothing, big bosoms, and whatnot.

Mr. Personality, Jimmy Crabtree, wants us to hear him sing with all the passion of a lobotomized goldfish, if we can only just wake up after listening to him drone. Again we get to hear "Bless the Broken Road." I don't like the song anymore after hearing Jimmy destroy it. Simon is not being rude, but Jimmy has the personality of a hippo when he sings, because, you know, Simon spends time with hippos. Yeah. Paula suggests a career change. Randy says to give it up. Mr. Personality deflates.

Sammy Neighbors has personality in spades. He's raw. I fear there will be more G.L.A.A.D. retributions after this audition. Sammy is going to sing "I Can Show You the World" otherwise known to the rest of humanity as "A Whole New World." He wraps his magic carpet around himself in a way that might possibly seduce only a complete sexual psychopath. He sings a Paula song. Simon says he looks like Sylvester Stallone's younger sister. The switchboard lines at G.L.A.A.D. melt down instantly.

Ok, the Ronetta and Michael Jackson Boy teasers are getting old. More after the break.


We're back with Tyra Schwartz, who has just broken up with her boyfriend after he cheated on her. She's got the vendetta working for her, and she has a nice personality. She looks a bit like Maya Rudolph from SNL, which is not a bad thing at all. She has a good singing voice, and she is singing one of my favorite songs, "In the Still of the Night." Simon is unsure she's a star but thinks she has a nice voice. Tyra's willing to work for it though. Someone give the girl her golden ticket already! UPDATE: Brownsoul recognizes Tyra from Making the Band 3. Thanks!

What was with the guys in Greensboro? Never again will you see a more motley crew of ugly, dorky guys. Of course, the same has been said about my personal group of friends, but that's neither here nor there.

Seth Strickland, aka Michael Jackson Boy, says "shoot doggy." How about shoot the boy in the red shirt and high waters? Surely this can't be a serious audition. Auditory hell. I'm as speechless as Randy. They let him down easy. UPDATE: Seth has an official website at www.sethstrickland.com in which he does a rather odd tribute video to Kelly Clarkson, mixing video clips of Kelly over a Kid Rock song (why he didn't use a Kelly song is beyond me.) There are other video clips of Seth there, as well. According to the site, Seth has an album coming out on the Acute Kronic label. The rest of the site, like his audition, is pretty much all over the place.

Catfight (not Gina Glocksen's band) after the break...


24 is getting way too good.

The auditions are almost over, but Rhonetta Johnson is wearing clothes that showcase her genitalia. Her mom must be so proud.

Well we've had a cop, so now it's time for a firefighter. Jordan Southerland comes in with full fire suit on, but really delivers with Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." I liked it! Randy says it was just "OK" and says no. Paula says yes. Simon has the deciding vote and agrees with Paula. Fireman Southerland is going to Hollywood and can't shut up about it. UPDATE: According to MJ's Big Blog: "Looks like he initially won something called "Net Idol" whatever that is. And...it was a toss up between auditioning for AI5 or some Christian competition called "Exalting Him!"

In the tradition of Derek, Keith, William Hung, Leroy Wells, and Mary Roach, Rhonetta Johnson (I'll correct the spelling of her name on previous paragraphs later...) has talent in the negative numbers. I swear, if I have to see her crotch one more time... This would be the only girl I wouldn't mind them making a fat girl joke on. She's nervous, possibly because she's dressed to turn tricks. Simon goes for the fat joke early on. The judges offer her water, which she turns down, offending the crap out of Paula. She stands there for a while being silent, which is a blessing. I'm on the fence as to whether this is a real audition or not. Now it's time for her long awaited tirade on how they turned down the real superstar and how she's hotter than Paula Abdul. Rhonetta then disappeared into the Opposite Universe.

Thank God she finally shut up. UPDATES: Hoo boy, does Rhonetta have a looooong rap sheet, including, but not limited to, assault, giving false information, DUI...you know what, if you want the whole list go to her fan/goof site at rhonettajohnson.com.

After the break, more auditions...


And it's almost time to wind up this episode of Idol. Only 9 people made it to Hollywood from Day 2. We get to see a montage of Irene Cara's "Fame." I know why only 9 people made it. Sly Stallone's sister does a Mary Catherine Gallagher. Tomorrow, we'll see more talent and more losers, as well as an old person and a Randy/Simon fight.


Marcus Behling
Kenneth "Chase" Bush
Chonna Clepper
Jimmy Crabtree
Shawn DeSalazar
Richard Garland
Brandon Haithcox
Rhonetta Johnson
Ronda Jones
Eric Keaton
Amanda McManaway
Donnie Meacham
Sammy Neighbors
Sabrina Oakley
Cachet Robinson
Cedric Robinson
Seth Strickland

On to Hollywood:
Ryan Baysden
Paris Bennett
Steven David
Kellie Pickler
Tyra Schwartz
Jordan Southerland
Halicia Thompson
Kendra Winston


Kellie Pickler and Paris Bennett are clear contenders tonight. I expect Ryan Baysden to do fairly well, though I'm not sure he's a Top 12 contender. For what it's worth, I hope Sgt. David will be sent packing soon. Tyra, Halicia, and Kendra have some work to do.

Join me again, tomorrow night at 8/7c for another play-by-play, as we see more of the best and worst auditions of 2006.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Sometimes it's good to have a sister. I have three of my own, and while there were many times growing up that they stepped on my very last nerve, there's nothing quite like a sister's vengeance when someone is picking on their big brother.

With that, Nicole Sticht, sister of American Idol contestant, Justin Sticht is opening fire on bloggers who dare to besmirch her brothers name.

Even Musical Ramblings has not been immune. In this post, I said the following:
"Justin Sticht is set apart by his unique voice, which is not a good thing. Geeky looking guy. Sings for five seconds. Blows it. Goodbye."

Apparently I came across Nikki's radar, because she responded in the comments section:
"I would watch what I say if I were you. You never know who might be reading your blogs so you say my brother Justin Sticht is a bit geeky huh well let me tell you this being a geek can be cool. He may have blown it but that does not make him a loser. Oh and by the way didn't you realize that when the three judges paused they were wearing different clothes? My brother can sing if a person gave him a chance at letting him sing an entire song they would in fact agree. Right now my brother is a local celebrity. DO not put my brother to shame. GO poke fun at somebody else. Its not right to judge someone when you don't even know them. who do you think you are anyways?"

Nikki has also published a one-post blog in defense of her big bro. It states:
"my brother Justin Sticht auditioned on american Idol. I am here to set people straight on what they are saying about my brother's audition. When American Idol was aired on tuesday people saw my brother sing only about 14 seconds of Meatloaf which that was true. Then he was stopped and Simon asked him what his other song was which was beyond the sea. This song he sang about 1 minute and 30 seconds I do know this because I witnessed being there. With the three judges pausing that was all a lie what really happened was Simon did not like the songs Justin chose. Paula said she loved his singing but she could not say yes because of simon. Randy said my brother was about averagel. With my brother walking out of the room like he did that did not happen that way he did not walk out of the room with his tail between his legs he simply said ok and walked out. American Idol is so overated the only reason why the show is the way it is is because of entertainment, and to humiliate the contestants by adding content that was not what really happened. I know my brother can sing he has been singing at karaoke bars for years, and is always asked back everytime. I for one sing too I sing the female part of I would do anything for love, we always woo the audience everytime. Now with saying that my brother is a nerd, that he has no good looks that is and i repeat absolutly not true at all. He has many many girls chasing after him all the time. Not everyone is perfect we are all unique in our own ways. GOd made us to be unique that is what makes us who we are. One person who auditioned that you should poke fun of is the girl with the horrible tan and her childish mother. If that girl tans anymore her skin will get blotchy and she will get skin cancer someday. SO as I state this DO not Judge a book by a cover for you do not know my brother and you do not know his voice for he really can sing and if he would have gotten to sing longer he surely would have made it."

Well, Nikki, I'm never too big to be pimp-slapped once or twice. I do apologize if you were offended. It isn't my intent to offend anyone here by any means. I thought I wasn't terribly hard on Justin, but I guess I was wrong. I called Derek Dupree "icky." I called Katrina Yaukey "half-cracked" and an airhead. Check back through the entire article. I wasn't nearly as hard on Justin as some other bloggers have been.

As for the audition we were shown, it did appear that he messed up the Meat Loaf song, but as I said before, he seemed to be doing okay on the second song when Simon cut him off. (I don't think, however, that he was on a par with some of the other talent, and I understand why he was cut.) I completely understand what you're saying about the vast majority of that audition being edited out, and that is one of the big problems with American Idol. All of you should remember Mary Roach from last season. In case you don't, she was the "crazy" girl who wore the red shirt and white pants, and said that her rendition of "I Feel the Earth Move" was "not too shabby." She was voted worst audition from Season 4. Here's a quote from her site:
"Question: You appeared really messed up on your audition. Was there any editing involved?
Mary: Oh, tons. They edited out about 75% of what I said. If people had seen everything that went on in there, and after the audition, they would have seen that I was acting comically overdramatic for airtime. I'm not actually like that - I was putting on a show.

I suppose that they do this partly in interest of time, because the show would take forever if they showed the entire thing. However, I do believe that they use editing to manipulate the audition, sensationalize it, and sometimes downright misrepresent contestants. That's why when you sign the waiver, they state they have the right to portray you truthfully or falsely. While I heartily disagree with this tactic, they do use it, and unfortunately, it draws more viewers.

And I agree with you on another thing, Nikki, and you can trust me to make as much fun of Crystal Parizanski (the tan blonde chick) as I possibly can.

So, with all that being said, I apologize for offending the Sticht family, and to make up for it, I'd like to invite Justin to use this blog to tell us all about the American Idol experience, to share his side of the story with us, and give us an insight on what goes on! I promise I will post it here un-edited without making any fun of it. Does that sound fair?

Contact me through Nikki, but make sure she doesn't scratch me too badly first!

I STILL TALK ABOUT NON-AMERICAN IDOL ISSUES...honest, I do! There's just not a lot of stuff going on in the radio world right now. The radio business is in sort of a slump at this point anyway. And there's nothing particularly major going on in the music world today either. I'm caught up on my favorite shows and most of the movies I want to see. I'm off work for a day or two. I've read the latest issue of Infinite Crisis. So pretty much, I'm lounging around. Time for internet radio.

Why internet radio? Because I can always find something good to listen to. I've sung the praises of satellite radio, but let me tell you, if I could get internet radio in my car, I'd throw my XM receiver straight out the window.

There are the simulcasts of terrestrial radio stations, which aren't the best. However, if you're like me and grew up listening to certain radio stations that broadcast in areas you've now moved away from, it's nice to be able to tune them in once again and see how they sound and get news reports from your old hometown.

The real treasure, though, lies in internet radio that has no basis in terrestrial stations. There are virtually unlimited listening options just waiting to tickle your typanum. Any variety of music, no matter how bizarre, is being broadcast somewhere by some internet radio station. If you don't want music, there are talk stations, comedy channels, and any variety of programming. Finding content is simply a matter of doing a quick Google search.

For those new to internet radio, I do recommend Winamp. It's a multi-use program. Most people use it to play their mp3 collections or CDs that they might pop into their computer's CD drive. However, if you look in the Media Library window under "Online Media," you will find a veritable gold mine of internet-only radio and streaming content. "Winamp Music/Video" has a TON of content. Right now, I'm listening to a Kelly Clarkson interview (crap, there goes my non-Idol streak) and there appears to be a lot of exclusive content, the expansion of which is probably due to Winamp's recent merger with AOL. There are quite a few music video selections too.

Shoutcast is probably the best thing Winamp has going for it. The TV portion has broadcasts of popular TV shows like Futurama, Smallville, Star Trek, South Park, That 70's Show, Lost, 24, and many more. One unfortunate thing: the servers fill up quick, and sometimes it's hard to get in to access the video streams. Parents beware: Shoutcast TV has porn channels, but there is an option to disallow adult-rated programming. Shoutcast Radio is much better. There are plenty of great stations to be found, like Club 977, Sky FM, and Digitally Imported. You can find every format that is to your liking, along with a display of what song is playing currently.

Also on Winamp are the AOL Channels. AOL TV programming is somewhat lackluster, essentially consisting of movie trailers, commercials, and the like. However, if you're an NFL fan who didn't get to see the big game and don't want to wait for SportsCenter, AOL TV on Winamp is the ONLY place to catch game highlights. AOL Radio is not a bad choice, but it doesn't have the same diversity or uniqueness of Shoutcast. All it consists of are streams of selected XM channels. This isn't a bad thing, though, and persons trying to decide whether or not to invest in an XM receiver should definitely check this out before you subscribe (although I heavily recommend the service.) The channels you can receive through Winamp are XM 50's, XM 60's, XM 70's, XM 80's, XM Top 20, Audio Visions (New Age), Deep Tracks, Ethel (current alternative hits), Fred (older alternative hits), Highway 16 (current country hits), KISS (current pop), Laugh USA (clean comedy), The Mix (90's & today pop), Nashville (90's & today country), The Blend (70's through 2000's adult contemporary), The City (current hip-hop/r&b), The Heart (love songs), The Loft (eclectic), Top Tracks (60's, 70's, 80's supergroups), and Watercolors (smooth jazz).

The best news of all: you can get all this for free!

Of course, there is a premium version, which you can opt for if you feel the need. In the free version, you can only rip CD tracks to m4a format and burn CDs at 2x speed. In the pay version, you can rip to aacPlus, mp3, wma, and acc formats and burn CDs at 48x speed. I stress that those are the only two differences, and everything else works on the free version just as well as it does for the premium. If those two things don't matter to you, then go ahead with the free version, however, I've found it well worth the $19.95 price to have a good CD burning/ripping tool.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy hours of good (and often commercial-free!) radio programming online!

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Yet more proof arose today that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than sit around and make trouble about nothing.

Reports are circulating on various websites and the American Idol newsgroup alt.tv.american-idol that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have responded in outrage to the treatment of two contestants on the latest episode of American Idol. Specifically, they refer to the remarks against Charles Berry (who was told he should shave his beard and wear a dress) and Zachary Travis (the androgynous boy.) GLAAD is seeking a meeting with the program's producers.

And the rest of the world, busy trying to handle things that actually matter, continues to spin on its axis and revolve around the sun.

Surely I can't be the only person that's getting tired of one group fighting another.

First of all, the two contestants in question were untalented, to say the least. And there's little question that Zachary dressed the way he did to provoke attention (probably in hopes of getting on the air.) And even if that weren't the case, hasn't it always been the case that contestants who are rejected have been the recipients of various other nasty remarks? If everyone got all worked up about that, wouldn't we have millions of special interest groups marching on Fox?? Shouldn't Weight Watchers be storming the studios after Simon's "bigger stage" comment for Mandisa Hundley?

Secondly, what about the previous gay contestants? Jim Verraros (season 1) and Anwar Robinson (season 4) are both gay, and they got the same star treatment as anyone else. Clay Aiken (season 2) claims to be heterosexual, but certainly his orientation has been called into question many times and his mannerisms are decidedly effeminate. He is still treated well by Idol after climbing the ranks to finish second. If it is true that there is homophobia running rampant throughout Fox, 19 Media, TPTB, or any other related entities, would they have been treated so well?

Sometimes one just has to wonder if issues aren't manufactured just so the people that bring the allegations can justify receiving their paychecks for yet another week. But let's be real, folks. It's just a television show. Granted, it's popular, and it has millions of fans, but in the bigger scheme of things, is it as important as it's made out to be?

For GLAAD's part, their website claims that they have been mis-represented in other reports. They claim that they have only said the following: "GLAAD is reaching out to the show's producers to discuss our concerns and the concerns of community members and allies who have contacted us about this matter. The real offense here was in the producer's decision to add insult to injury by turning a contestant's gender expression into the butt of a joke."

This after they all but belted Gene Shalit in the mouth for disliking Brokeback Mountain.

And if I may, as a heterosexual and one on the outside looking in, offer this bit of advice to the gay community: If you wish to be accepted into society, the bullyish tactics of GLAAD are not going to help; rather their tactics diminish the credibility of anything you might be wishing to accomplish. The fighting over non-issues, whether it be the AFA fighting over The Book of Daniel or GLAAD squabbling over American Idol, only serves to bring more strife and less peace. Getting angry and hurt over every little thing that someone says doesn't help either, and siccing the speech police on every little non-politically correct offense just engenders resentment and strife.

So let's all just sit back, calm down, and enjoy the show.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Dateline Tampa FL, a man was arrested for stalking former American Idol contestant, Jessica Sierra. According to an ABC News story, Daniel Robert Young, age 59, was arrested on Tuesday, and is currently being held without bond.

Young has called Jessica Sierra multiple times since September 2005, leaving 38 messages, saying that he loves her and is willing to go to jail for her. Apparently, Young had Jessica's cell phone number, and when he arrived in town on Tuesday, he called her twice, asking her to pick him up. This was not his first trip to her home; in fact, he had shown up at Jessica's grandparents' house uninvited before.

When Sierra refused to pick him up, he informed her he would be taking a cab and coming anyway. Sierra promptly turned to the police who met Young at the home.

In case you want to know what a FREAK looks like, here he is:

Young was charged for misdemeanor stalking and held with $500 bail, which was revoked when the judge found out about Young's violent priors, which include battery and assault with a firearm.

This again raises the issue of stalking and its consequences. With apologies to Miss Sierra, it doesn't just apply to A-list celebrities. For that matter, stalking can happen to anyone, male or female. However, it does tend to occur more with famous females. The horrors of stalking were first brought to light in 1989 when Rebecca Shaeffer, star of the sitcom My Sister Sam, was shot to death by a stalker in her home. It's estimated that there may currently be as many as 200,000 active stalkers in the US at present time. Fortunately, 49 states and D.C. have enacted anti-stalking laws. An excellent discourse on anti-stalking laws can be found by clicking on the link.

Celebrity stalking is an interesting pathology. In a lot of cases, the stalker feels a bond with the celebrity to an abnormal level. They may feel that because they've seen their characters so much on television or in movies that they know them, and the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. Almost always, the stalker suffers from precipitating severe mental issues. The stalker spends time with the characters that the victim portrays, and in their sick mind, they develop an imaginary relationship that becomes real. American Idol contestants are unique victims, because rather than seeing them acting as a fictional character, the show brings us intimately closer to their real lives. We get a look inside their personal lives, sometimes seeing the places they live, the people they love, and the places they work. We're invited into their personal relationships, feelings, and many other aspects that aren't shown on-screen for most celebrities. Compounding that is the fact that Idol contestants have little or no experience with their sudden celebrity and are likely to be unprepared to take proper measures to prevent stalking or deal with it.

Jessica is young and very talented. Unfortunately, she's having to learn about protecting herself the hard way, but fortunately, and to her great credit, she had sense enough to do the right thing when the time came.

Jessica states on her myspace page that she hopes to have an album out before Christmas 2006. Till then, you can check out that myspace page or her official site complete with message boards.

Good luck, Jessica. I'm rooting for you. And next time a troll comes into town, hopefully it'll be one of those plastic things with fuzzy pink hair, and not that gruesome monster that's in the jail.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Every now and then I like to find a good unsigned band to tickle my eardrums with. And then I like to tell my readers about them. The only problem is that when a band is unsigned, they don't often have all the professional promoters out there putting the band in front of you, so far too many of them go unnoticed.

Still, every now and then, one pops up, and this one came to my attention from one of the readers here. Everytime someone posts here, I always click on their name and check out their blog or their link, including myspace pages. A few weeks ago, a reader named Guile posted to this thread, so naturally, I followed up on him.

This led me to the myspace page of a Filipino band called Hastang and a little song named "Random."

I didn't quite know what to expect, but as I started listening to "Random," it pretty much knocked me on my butt. There's quite a bit of raw talent showcased here. "Random" is excellent, considering the version I heard is not the final album version. Tessa Manto's vocals are haunting and gorgeous. The orchestration in the background is flawless, and I love Raul Luche's guitar riffs, underscored by Guile Canencia's solid bass playing, and wrapped up in a nice tidy bow by Mark Ladanan on drums. I'm not sure who to compare them to. (They cheekily say they sound like a virgin's orgasm.) But they list their influences as Poe, Letters To Cleo, The Pixies, The Beatles, Fiona Apple, Sarah Mclachlan, No Doubt, Audioslave, and Skunk Anansie.

Hastang says that their goal is "to create music that resonates with blatant honesty, raw emotion, and unconstrained passion." On this, they succeed completely.

According to Guile, in his most recent comment posted to this blog, "The band is currently in the process of wrapping up the recording of the album. The three rough demo songs you've heard in myspace will definitely be included in the record."

So go check them out by clicking this link. Show them some love, and let them know that America is ready for their sound. Thanks again to Guile for turning me on to the band (and for having a majorly cool name.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Welcome once again to the only blog (that I know of) that gives you updated analysis of the A.I. competition in real time! Refresh during each commercial break to read new stuff. Stay Tuned!


Time for the Denver auditions!

First thought: Why do so many rappers come to the cattle calls?

Marlows Davis, looking and sounding like Derek Braxton from last year, is the first person we meet. He's going to sing one for voice and one for dancing. He fails on the first one, though he plays great air trumpet. He looks really expectant, proving that delusion is much more powerful than reality.

Tiffany Christensen sluts it up with a Gretchen Wilson axe-murdering. News flash: sexing it up doesn't work if you're not technically sexy.

Olivia Dudley continues the streak with a Paula Abdul song which was slightly less palatable than the original recording, but only by a bit.

Crazy dude whose name I forget scorches our ears just for kicks.

Lisa Tucker gets a production piece, so finally we get to see some talent. I love that she's wearing just as close as she can to Carrie's audition outfight last year. This 16 year old has serious looks and major pipes. I remember her now from tons of the promos, so I have high expectations for her to go a long way. Her voice reminds me a lot of Vonzell. I agree with Simon that she's the best 16 year old that's come along. Wow, she's incredibly pretty when she smiles! Unanimous yes and she rockets into Hollywood! Mom's a hottie too! UPDATES: We have another former Star Search contestant on our hands. You can check her out at 13 years of age on her Star Search bio page. She didn't win. Idol has registered a URL for her via NETNAMES.

Back with more after the break!


Simon pees a lot. Time for that prostate exam! Ryan gets caught up in some old school b-boy dancing or something like that.

Amanda Berg does a lot of flips and wants to be Whitney Houston, but will have to settle for being Mary Lou Retton. One of the few contestants I actually feel sorry for. First use of "appalling" for the day.

Brett "Ace" Young rocks a Westlife song. If he were any more breathy, he'd be on a respirator. He's not hideous, but not great either. Randy thinks he's the best one they've seen in Denver and gives a critique about falsetto. Simon thinks he's not good. Paula says he has great personality, meaning she wants to sleep with him later in the competition. Simon says yes with a miniscule Y. He's going to Hollywood. Yay. UPDATE: Idol has reserved a site for him via NETNAMES. Paula predicts that Ace will be this year's Constantine, and that girls will fall all over him. Is he the next Corey Clark? He's already had one single out on 2000's The Little Vampire soundtrack. Also, he already has a fan site online, something which helped Carrie Underwood win the competition last year (you Care Bears know who you are!) Thanks to MJ's Big Blog, an indispensable reference source for Idol scuttlebutt, for this info.

Rochelle Elaine brings her own fan group with T-shirts. She gets an extended interview, during which we learn she's homeless, so we get to pity her a la Regina Brooks last season. So I'm seeing a golden ticket in her future. Taking on "Chain of Fools" she proves my point. She's okay, but her stage presence is hideous. Simon likes her, Randy likes her, and Paula likes her. Call me Kreskin if you wish.

After the break, Constantine impersonators and possible drag queens. See ya in five!


It's hard to wait for the next episode of 24.

Time for more pseudo-rockers. I know I'm excited. Or not.

Naomi Guise is not a rocker, no matter how much she wants to be sedated.

Jacob Garcia so did not do that. Somebody steal his crutches and beat him with them.

Chris Daughtry is a Bo-sycophant rocker-poseur living in the burbs with 2.5 kids. He does manage to sing Joe Cocker better than Joe Cocker does. Long production piece=golden ticket. I guess I kind of like him, but I'm more with Simon, who says no and doesn't think he's a solo performer. Randy thinks he doesn't emote, which in Randy-world means he doesn't pause long enough and say "dawg." Surprise surprise, he emerges with a golden ticket. UPDATE: Another Christian rocker here. Idol has registered a site for him through NETNAMES. Chris is a member of the band Absent Element. They've opened for Day of Fire, a popular Christian metal band fronted by the former lead singer of Full Devil Jacket. Here's Chris's bio from the site: " Hey, I'm Chris. I was told I could really sing when I was in 11th grade (I was 16), by my friend Robert. (I hope y'all have'nt been lying to me all these years). We had to write a song for class, so I forced myself to sing in front of him. I always enjoyed singing but never had the confidence that Robert gave me that day. We wrote a couple songs and I was hooked. I knew at that time, that's what I wanted to do with my life. He taught me some guitar chords and I took off from there. I've been in several bands but have never experienced the chemistry that Absent Element share. Though I've always enjoyed singing, I was never pushed until I was in a rock band. Therefore it took years to develop the strength and range it takes to deliver Absent Elements' screaming sound. My song writing comes straight from the heart. I write about my relationship with God, my wife (who inspires most of my lyrics) and other life experiences. If it did'nt happen to me, I can't effectively and honestly write about it." Chris's influences are Sevendust, Bryan Adams, Shinedown, and Chris Cornell. Check out Absent Element's site for song samples. Thanks again to MJ's Big Blog for the info.

Coming up after the break, Doogie Howser goes cowboy, and Einstein has left the building...


Surely someone else will stand out soon...*looks at watch*....

Heather Cox is gorgeous, though we get only five seconds. UPDATE: MJ's Big Blog has a pic of her with Chris Daughtry that seems to indicate she has proceeded. Idol has reserved a site in her name through NETNAMES.

Another attempt at a Paula Abdul song by Angela Garcia. What's with this? Simon says it's better than the original, and he's not far off. By the way, Angela sucks.

Erik Mena is worried about Simon's critique, though he should be far more worried that his shiny head will be an easy target when we all start throwing rocks at him to stop his singing. And, cut!

Garet Johnson gets an interview and a production piece. So despite looking retarded in his cowboy get-up, the fact that his singing partner is a turkey, and looking like Doogie Howser in a ten gallon hat, he must be getting a ride to Hollywood. He murders Elton's "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Simon thinks there's a good voice in there somewhere, Randy thinks he needs lessons, and Paula says no. Simon says yes! He's got to be hiding a crack pipe under the table. Randy likes him and says yes! Garet gets tonight's Dave Hoover award. He really isn't good, but he's going to Hollywood.

19 contestants made it to Hollywood from Denver Day 1. Up next after the break, a performance by Big Bird...


NEWS FLASH!! LEGAL TROUBLES FOR THE BRITTENUM TWINS!!! My Memphis boys may have a shady past...more on that later...

Denver Day 2...

"Flawless" Nick McCord lacks no self-esteem, even if he does lack brain cells. He likes wearing jams and he's an entrepeTEUR because he cleans houses. I think he drinks bong water.

Ben Hausbach thinks he is ALL that. The inventor of the cosmic coaster is very proud that he has invented the first coaster that will spill drinks for you. The self-proclaimed triple threat seems to be expecting his Nobel prize any day now.

Thank goodness both of these minds get to meet, Adam and Dirk style.

Flawless has a flaw straight off as he forgets the words. I wish he'd forget how to talk. His fashion sense is better than his singing ability.

Nerdy Ben shows off his invention. Wow, the stagehand is buff! Ben slaughters a Wizard of Oz song. Simon wants to know what planet he came from. My guess is Uranus. Time again to blame the judges. He's gone and passes off the lamest proposal ever on Paula. UPDATE: Ben is caught lying about his patents. This according to mcp6453 on alt.tv.american.idol : "I did a search of issued patents at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and there are no issued patents to any inventor with the last name of Hausbach. For a patent to be valid, it MUST list the inventor's name. It's the law. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that 1) he lied about having five patents, or 2) he went to one of the invention companies who led him to think he was getting a patent when he really wasn't."

After I pee/after the break, more Idol coverage!


UPDATE: The Brittenum twins have a criminal history. Not sure what it is yet, but I will try to find out soon!

Debbie Gibson still looks hot. Maybe I'll have to watch Skating With Celebrities anyway.

April Walsh wears a hideous floral print to hideously sing a hideous Bjork song. What else can I say? Hideous. For some reason Paula and Randy like her, possibly due to alien influences. She goes to Hollywood. UPDATE: April's name was registered by Idol, reserving a website for her name, so it's entirely possible that she will progress, as unimaginable as that seems. Also, she has a blog which is a bit sketchy and mostly password protected. I'm still not impressed. Also, April apparently had to audition twice to get in: once in San Francisco, and then in Denver.

So, more girls are making it than guys this year. Zachary looks like a girl, sounds like a guy. He's shocked that people think he's a girl, even though he has girl hair and wears chick clothes and sings songs like "Queen of Denial." Girl or boy, the sound still stinks. NEWS FLASH: Simon has pit stains. Clever usage of "The Crying Game" as background music. For some reason, American Idol is considered racist for eliminating a boy who looks like a girl... Contestant logic. Gotta love it.

18 others get to go to Hollywood on Denver Day 2.


Amanda Berg
Tiffany Christiansen
Marlos Davis
Olivia Dudley
Angela Garcia
Jacob Garcia
Naomi Guise
Ben Hausbach
Nick McCord
Erik Mena
Zachary the Androgynous

On to Hollywood:
Heather Cox
Chris Daughtry
Rochelle Elaine
Garet Johnson
Lisa Tucker
April Walsh
Brett "Ace" Young


I'm only assuming Heather Cox got through, since she was only shown five seconds, but in a favorable light. Online scuttlebutt seems to indicate she made it. I don't expect Chris Daughtry or Rochelle Elaine to last through the Hollywood auditions. As for Garet Johnson and April Walsh, I have no idea what the judges are smoking this year. Neither of them will make it through the initial Hollywood auditions. Ace Young is going to get some mileage out of his looks, but he's not going to win. The only clear stand-out tonight is Lisa Tucker. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say she's a definite Top 12 contender, and based on what we see in the next few weeks, she may be a contender for the finale!

TOP DAWGS: Lisa Tucker

AMERICAN IDOL SCANDAL OF THE WEEK!! NEWS FLASH!! One of the Brittenum twins is currently IN JAIL. Terrell is being held for authorities in Rockdale Co. GA on charges of forgery. He was picked up in Memphis, released on bond, and then picked up on a Georgia warrant. Derrell also has a criminal record. Derrell is currently wanted on charges in Georgia including forgery, financial identity fraud, and theft by deception. Derrell will turn himself in to authorities either tonight or tomorrow morning.

KELLY CLARKSON CONTROVERSY IS OVER! This from MTV: Kelly will be allowing her music to be used on the show. All this comes after an acrimonious dispute which prompted attacks from Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Kelly has expressed that she's happy to hear her songs being used on the show that made her an overnight sensation. Rumors that Kelly was not licensing out her music to anyone were proven to be patently false, since Skating With Celebrities, the show that followed tonight's Idol, featured a Kelly Clarkson song.

Coming up next week, we go to Greensboro NC, the replacement city when Memphis was unable to host auditions. Simon's favorite Carrie clone that we've seen in all the pre-season promos and Michael Jackson Boy will show up. See you next Tuesday at 8/7c!!

UPDATE: Here's the entire text of the article on the Brittenum Twins in Memphis' newspaper, The Commercial Appeal.

'Idol' twin 'sings' from Shelby jail
His brother is on the loose; wanted in Ga.

By Chris Conley and Sherri Drake
January 19, 2006

If Terrell Brittenum watched his performance on television's "American Idol" Tuesday night, he did so from the Shelby County Jail.

Brittenum and his twin brother, Derrell Brittenum, both of southeast Memphis, appeared on the show. And both had outstanding criminal warrants when their performances aired.

They're charged in Rockdale County, Ga., with forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud.

The case involves the purchase of a 2005 Dodge Magnum in June -- allegedly by using another man's identity.

Terrell Brittenum has been in jail here since Jan. 10. His brother is still on the loose but is expected to turn himself in, sheriff's spokesman Steve Shular said.

Fox Broadcasting Co. spokesman Scott Grogin refused to comment on the twins, or their status as contestants.

"We do not comment on the personal lives of our show participants," he said.

The 28-year-olds' Chicago auditions were taped in mid-September and portions of the show have already been taped in Hollywood.

The pair made it through the initial audition.

Georgia's charges against the pair, who attended Hamilton High School, were discovered by accident during a routine traffic stop.

Memphis police chanced upon Derrell Brittenum Oct. 30 at a BP station at 2134 Lamar, according to the charges.

Officers ran the tags on the 2005 Dodge Magnum and found the vehicle was stolen, and that the brothers had arrest warrants.

Derrell Brittenum was arrested and gave a typed statement to police, saying he knew he was in a stolen car.

His brother was arrested Nov. 2 on a fugitive charge.

Terrell Brittenum had given his brother another person's financial information, allowing him to buy the $23,175 car in June, according to Georgia's charges.

Both men were able to bond out in early November.

And since they refused to be extradited to Georgia, authorities there got a governor's warrant for them to be re-arrested for an extradition hearing.

Terrell Brittenum has a Shelby County arrest record for traffic violations and a 2000 misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. The exposure charge was amended to disorderly conduct and he paid a $50 fine.

Derrell Brittenum was arrested in 1998 for theft over $500 and in 2000 for contempt of court and passing bad checks, court records show.

The extradition hearing date hasn't been set.

-- Chris Conley: 529-2595

-- Sherri Drake: 529-2510