Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Idol Recap will be delayed, but here's some Kellie Pickler to keep you occupied!

I'm delayed on doing tonight's recap. Been super busy, and honestly, I'm a bit drained right now, so I'm not prepared to write a full recap. I did, however, want to share with you a little bit about one of last year's Idols and the great things she continues to do.

As you know, that's Kellie Pickler in the photo there. Kellie recently spent time working with St. Jude Country Cares radio seminar. She also spent time meeting and greeting kids who are struggling with cancer.

The one you might not know in the photo, however, is my little friend Taylor. Taylor and her family are very special to me, and at four years old, Tay is always fun to play with. We all found out that Taylor had cancer several months back. They took her in for a fever, and after several days of no break in the fever, the doctor's discovered a Wilm's tumor on her kidney. The tumor was the size of a football prior to radiation therapy. I don't know how it fit inside that little body. And then they found the spot on her lung. Stage 4 lung cancer.

That would be enough to devastate any family, but here's the kicker: Taylor had just celebrated her adoption becoming official. From such joy to such pain, I marvel at how well her family held themselves together.

Fortunately, Taylor's hometown of Memphis is also the home of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It's truly one of the greatest institutions that has ever been created for children with catastrophic diseases. St. Jude mission is very clear: cure and treat childhood cancer. They turn no children away. Whatever a family's insurance will not pay, St. Jude forgives. If a child's family has no ability to pay, they simply aren't charged. They exist based on your gifts, and I encourage each of you to scroll down to the bottom of this site, click through on the St. Jude banner, explore the site, and make a donation.

Taylor's now one treatment away from being in complete remission. Kellie Pickler spent some time with her and her mother at the function. (Taylor's mom was a guest speaker, representing the parent population.) Kellie was sweet, caring, and gave her full attention to the children. She's to be commended for taking time out of her schedule to give to these kids.

And most of all, thanks to God who used the hands at St. Jude to keep our Taylor alive and happy.

UPDATE: Today and tomorrow is the St. Jude Radiothon. Please call 1-888-278-HOPE. You can become a Partner in Hope ($20 a month) or just make a donation of any amount that you feel you can. Help the kids.

Here's an excerpt of Kellie's experience at St. Jude from their official site:

Fans of the 2006 American Idol contest rooted for Kellie Pickler as the small-town Southern girl with a 100-watt smile who could give as good as she got to Simon Cowell. That winning smile was on full view on Friday morning as Pickler toured the halls of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and visited with patients for the very first time.

“It’s the most rewarding feeling when you walk into the room and they’re so happy to see you,” Pickler said. “I hope they know I’m just as happy to see them.”

Friday marked the second day of St. Jude’s Radio Training Seminar, an annual event designed to give musical artists and radio representatives the kick-start they need to enter the busy radiothon season.

In addition to Pickler, Chris Young, Clay Walker, Pat Green, Mark Wills, Andy Griggs, Sarah Buxton and Randy Owen of the GRAMMY® Award-winning group ALABAMA were among the country music superstars who toured St. Jude and visited with some of the children who are treated here each year for life-threatening diseases.

It was clear that Pickler has a way with kids as she knelt to hug and visit her youngest fans – a knack that may come with having a 6-year-old brother.

Pickler’s life has changed greatly since she shot to stardom last year, and she enjoyed the slow, homey rhythm of simply spending time with the kids. Along with three-time GRAMMY® nominee Pat Green, she was able to visit with patients Zackery and Jessica in the privacy of their rooms.

“It’s awesome to go in there and meet with the families and hang out with the kids and watch movies and play games and learn about them,” Pickler said. “It’s been an incredible experience.”

Pickler, in turn, called on her fans and those in the country music industry to help support the hospital.

“When you’re able to give back to your communities and organizations like St. Jude, it’s a great thing,” Pickler said. “It’s been a great experience, and I encourage anyone and everyone to help.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

American Idol Night 5: Birmingham AGAIN

It's time for an hour of American Idol and a recapper who has had a grand total of four hours of sleep. I might not be funny, but I guarantee you that I'm liable to say something tonight that makes you wonder if I've been smoking that Wacky T. Backy.


Here we are in Birmingham, which has given birth to a whole big bunch of people who have gone on to make lots of money from this show. Tay, Bo, Ru... you know they all come from the 205. While there may be few of that calibre in this cadre of miscreants, they at least don't lack enthusiasm.

They certainly fawn over the Judges Three, and Simon eats it up like the royalty he imagines himself to be.

Erica Skye dances like a peg-leg pirate who needs to pee (thanks Priscilla!) and she plans on pursuing either dentistry or singing. She's as country as a sugar sandwich, so at least that part is semi-endearing in a Kellie Pickler sort of way. I sort of get the feeling that at any moment, cotton might start sprouting out of random orifices on this girl. Unfortunately, she doesn't nearly have the voice that our Miss Pickler had. That being said, she's not completely untalented, just in need of some serious vocal coaching. This segment has been creatively edited quite heavily. I'd like to know how this really went in reality. Paula wigs out over this contestant and runs offstage in her annual bit of hatefulness. They all hate her and she ain't Hollywood-bound. Erica leaves and she brushes the dust off her shoulder at the three, which Paula translates, for the three of you in America that didn't get it, into a curse word that rhymes with "duck shoe."

Katie Bernard has a darling little voice, and she's cute. I'm wondering what I'll hear come out of her mouth when she sings. Something tells me that I'm going to be pleasantly surprised. She's going to sing "A House Is Not a Home." WOW! Where did that voice come from? This is nice. I'd like to see her go forward a LOT. Paula gets on her knees, because she's just going bat-spit crazy tonight. Simon isn't convinced and doesn't give her a pass. Randy, on the other hand, is feelin' it, so that leaves Katie's fate in the hand of the Pauler. Paula says that Katie should enjoy married life a while, and Paula should know, what with all the times she's been divorced. Katie just got married, and we get to meet the Hubster. Katie has been sipping from Paula's Coke cup and they both go through a hyper-manic exchange that makes a meth binge look like an overdose on sleeping pills. I don't really know what all was said, since it was being said at roughly ten times the speed of sound, only less lucidly, but in the end Paula says yes to Hollywood, and we'll be cuted out in the future by this one.

After the break, Jack Osbourne has been eating some doughnuts!...


Tatiana McConnico has no aspirations other than singing. Certainly no aspiration for fashion, as her ensemble looks like it was designed by Betty Crocker. She sings rather well, though, even though it's overly affected and stylized. She's just a bit generic, and the high notes on this one are quite troublesome. The judges think she's great, though, and we'll see how she improves over the course of the auditions.

Diana Walker is from ATL. She said she was a cheerleader in high school. Yeah, back when she was 300 pounds lighter and could see which shoes she was wearing. Still, there's the Mandisa possibility, so let's reserve judgment for the audition. Well, she doesn't have a BAD voice. She's actually got some talent, and I like her, even though physically she reminds of me of Unicron from Transformers the Movie. Not really loving all the stage presence, though. Simon isn't really down, and Randy isn't either. Bye now!

After the


House is an awesome show. Just wanted to put that out there for the universe.

Bernard Williams has an infectious smile, and he wants to continue the B'ham tradition. He's singing Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." And Birmingham is sounding rather good this year! I loved it. He sort of reminds me of what Michael Jackson would sound like if K-Ci and JoJo sung his songs. He's fabulous. I'm down. Big time yes from Simon,. Paula thought he was completely off key. What???? WHAT????? Paula... sobriety check please? What are you hearing??? She's in a rather bad mood tonight. Randy likes him, and he goes to Hollyweird. Bernard tries to celebrate a bit, and Paula scolds him like your ex-girlfriend's mother when she caught you trying to sneak your girlfriend back in the house at 1 AM. "Humble pie!" she screeches. Sheesh, Pauler, someone take a crap in your Midol bottle today?

And now it's time for the creature that ate Tweety Bird. Margaret Fowler (get it? "fowl"er??) is an attention-seeking actress who is 95 if she's an hour. Oh my goodness...I had the misfortune of looking at the screen when she was flashing that yellow sports bra. I may never be able to function again. I don't even really see the need to critique the performance, since she's obviously nothing serious, and obviously not within the age range, and obviously the suck. She admits to being 50. And drunk. And we all admit to being complete sheep for watching and talking about these auditions.

After the break, homina homina homina...


There are a bunch of blonde chicks making it to Hollywood from the 205.

Jamie Lee Ward is the second most beautiful woman I've ever seen. But she's 16?? Really?? I'd have guessed 27 if she was a day. Her accent is so Southern that banjos just randomly start playing behind her. I keep expecting her to ask me to squeal like a pig. Her dad apparently shot himself in the throat, which is just bizarre. Somewhere in space and time, Kellie Pickler's ears are burning. After a long description of Jamie's horrid life, we find out she is going to sing "Reflection." I love her voice to an extent. It runs nasal on the high notes. Something tells me that we're going to be hearing her backstory pounded into the ground. Either that or we'll find out she made it all up. (Who shoots themselves in the jugular?) She does have the nasal tendency, but I see this as a country starlet in the making. The judges are all in one accord, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse pull up outside, and Jamie goes to Hollywood.

Chris Sligh doesn't lack for a sense of humor. I kind of like him. Anybody who looks that goofy and can laugh about it is okay in my book. I know he's gonna be good. He claims to be there because he'd like to make David Hasselhoff cry, though any episode of Knight Rider should be more than enough to do that. He sings Seal's "Kiss From a Rose," and does a passable job. It wasn't incredible, but it was by no means horrific. He sort of reminds me of Constantine; he can go flat and sharp, but you still sort of get it. Paula jumps up, and apparently she finally got off the rag. He gets a unanimous pass. I feel like I'm going to like this guy. I also feel like he's going to be the one who shows up on the Smoking Gun.

After the break, Paula is too hung over to participate in judging...


Paula had to go back to Hollywood for a "family obligation." (Read: "rehab.")

Victoria Watson has a ton of hair. It's actually rather pretty, if not cumbersome. Hey, Crystal Gayle made it work! Something tells me that this girl is deeply religious. She's super sweet. Simon and Randy just have to meet the mom. She's going to sing Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." She sings it well, but it's more something you'd hear in choir practice than what you'd hear in concert. She's very conservative, and I'm concerned that she wouldn't have the mass appeal that an American Idol should have. That being said, I really really like this girl, and I hate that she didn't make it. She doesn't have the chops, but she's sweet and has a nice voice. I'd like to see her use it to teach music to others.

Lakia Hill thinks she has the whole package, except she failed to mention that it's a package full of horse crap. She's going to sing a Deborah Cox song. As she performs, I am forced to think that she honestly believes her own hype. I need to hire Lakia as an alarm clock. No way I'd stay in bed in the morning if she were wailing the time of day.

Birmingham is full of good losers. Yup, that's what we Southerners do. We act graceful in the face of adversity. However, my guess is that a lot of B'ham peeps pretty much just showed up to be a part of the show that has become a huge part of the local pop culture, and having done so, they were thankful just to be part of a show that has highlighted great things from their community.

After the break, it's time for this year's Rhonetta...


We're back in the 205 with Team Nicole. Her whole group wore matching shirts, which in terms of actual cool points scores even lower than giving someone a fruitcake. Nicole's mom didn't think she had talent. Okay, mom...even if you think it, don't say it. Right? Nicole believes in herself. She's from Oklahoma, but Nichole Gatzman isn't quite a Carrie. She has a great voice, but the judges don't think she's ready. I'd liked to have heard more. Such a shame. I think we could find a niche for the girl, but she's going to have to do it another way.

I don't miss Paula much, y'know? Simon and Randy seem to be having a much better time.

It's almost over, but how could the day be complete with Brandy Patterson and her "excrordinary" voice? Excrordinary...excrement...same thing. She wants to sing Madonna's "Like a Virgin." You knew it would be just awful. Let's just skip to the part where she dogs on Simon and Randy and curses out the camera. I don't believe her. Nope. Sorry. Not feeling the legitimacy here. Brandy, you got on TV; hope you're proud of yourself. Good luck having anybody ever take you seriously ever again. She mugs for the cameras a little more, rambling along just as fast as her little brain will string together random nouns and verbs. The judges, at least, are sufficiently entertained. They have an exchange outside the room, and Simon is in a rare good mood. See what happens when Paula takes the day off? Counselor Ryan dismisses the plaintiff, and the night is over.

The show closes with Brandy dishonoring her family name for eons to come. Wanna bet she shows up at the finale? Tomorrow night, we're in L.A. Be there or be...wherever else you might be.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Idol Waves Top 20 Special!

Coming up this week on Idol Waves Top 20, we'll be doing something a little different. This time, rather than counting down the big chart of songs, we'll be recapping all the best interviews from Idol Waves and Musical Ramblings over the past few months.

Guests this week include Anthony Fedorov, Will Makar, Lisa Tucker, Jaclyn Crum, and never before heard interviews with Scott Savol and Jessica Sierra!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

American Idol Night 4: NYC

Time for 2 hours of Idol. Or five minutes of good people and an hour and fifty-five of people who blow like Dizzy Gillespie on a meth binge.

We're in New York, which is all well and good. Apparently the Northerners want someone from their region to finally win. Two words, though: Sundance and Melissa. If there are any better than those two from last night, they are going to have to really wear it out!

Paula looks wasted from the get-go. Either that or she got maybe one hour of sleep. Joining them tonight as a guest judge is the corpse of Laura Branigan... no, wait, it's Carol Bayer Sager, a songwriter who gave us the cheesiest songs of the 1980's.

Up first, it's the guy from So You Think You Can Dance. So I think he can bite me. He was a plant on the other show, and he's a plant on this one. He wants to be a household name. Like John. You know, the thing you sit on when you take a dump? Horrific over-actor. I'm just guessing, but this is going to be the guy that makes GLAAD start writing letters this year. I'd really like to throw him out of a really really high window. Ian Benardo is a waste of skin. He does the lip-purse thing, which makes me want to hit him in them even harder. He keeps talking about something, but none of humanity cares about him. Actor. A behemoth from the deep escorts him out the door. I'd bet his name was Vinny. Lovin' the leather jacket tough guy look. Okay, can we cut now? Ian was never amusing, and he's not any better now.

Sarah Burgess is auditioning against her parents' wishes. Y'know, that would be impressive if she was 16, but you're 19, baby girl. You can do what you want. She's going to be the crier this year. The chick from Nightmare Before Christmas looks on in amazement. Sarah sings "Call Me" as done by Blondie. I sort of like it, but there's that nasal quality, and you know how crazy that drove me last year. That being said, I do like her, and I enjoy her spunk. The personality wins me over. The judges lavish her with praise, and the waterworks begin again. Vinny brings in a couple of buckets and a mop. She's going to Hollywood, and sadly, she has no one to celebrate with outside the door. Good luck, darlin'. She makes the phone call to dear ol' dad with Seacrest on the line. Through tears she admits that she's auditioning for Idol and that she made it to Hollywood. Dad kind of gets it, and I'm wondering how much of this drama is for real now. Ok. Done with the crying. Wrap it up.

After the break, Simon doesn't understand...


This town was Constantine Maroulis's hometown. Therefore, the producers are forced to equate him with a Greek girl named Fania Tsakalakos (say that five times fast) who is forty years old if she's a second. The ghost of Anne Frank asks her if she's a dancer. Obviously she is. She'd be a pelican if you asked her to be. She sings Toto's "Africa," and that's kind of the length of geography that I'd run to in order to escape this auditory onslaught. Wretched. And goodbye.

Ashanti Johnson has been to Hollywood twice. I sort of think I remember her. Maybe it is a good idea to come back. After all, who knows if third time's a charm? She's peppy. She's got a decent voice, but a creepy grin. Then it all just falls apart. Ouch...can you say flat? It's a bit high and warbly for my taste, but she does have a nice voice and can hit the Mariah Carey notes. Simon didn't like it, and the word "cabaret" is used again in an unflattering manner. Somewhere, Peisha McPhee is cringing. It's a "no" from everyone else, and she'll be back for AI7. She pleads for her career, but it is all for naught. Okay, enough with the speechifying, already. Somebody please buy this girl some sincerity! Have some class, exit gracefully, and ... oh just go, will ya??? She refuses to leave and continues to sing. I liked her at first, but I'm sort of wishing that someone would apply a topical creme to her and make her vanish. Melodrama, much?

After the break, hottie twins...


On to a montage of people who are snoring.

Amanda and Antonella are friends that most guys only dream about.! Still, what do you want to bet they're really catty when the cameras are off? I'm almost certain there's a fat girl somewhere that's going to therapy over these two. They make the hideous mistake of auditioning together. Somewhere, a pep squad is missing its co-captains. They sound okay, but they're not in tune with each other. Almost a fatal mistake, but they're allowed to audition separately.

Amanda Coluccio starts out with Patsy Cline for her solo audition, and I'm feelin' her just a bit. I don't know if it's because I think she's pretty or because I actually care for her voice. I like her, but I don't know if she did enough to set herself apart. It was kind of weak, but she'll go through. Paula says yes, and Simon weighs her looks and agrees. Randy gives her another shot. Death Warmed Over also agrees. Four for four, and she's through.

Antonella Barbo is the friend that's left over. I like her. Despite her claim of lack of training, her audition is better than Amanda's. I could be happy with her ending up in the Top 12. She needs to ditch the friend, and the teaser seems to indicate that they'll have a falling out. That should be fun. The judges are ALL down, and the duo don't have to get catty with each other just yet.

After the break, GLAAD warms up their letter-writing fingers...


Didn't you just know that someone would play the harmonica this year? Clifton Biddle plays a bit, but he ain't no Taylor Hicks. I'm trying desperately not to let the editing of the intro piece color my opinion of him, but uh...I'm being unsuccessful at it. He's going to sing "Tush" as done by ZZ Top. Sing, or scream? He sort of has a subdued Crazy Dave quality. I'd like to hear him REALLY sing, because I suspect he can. Instead he pulls out the harp and blows his shot. See ya. He claims to have been shot down like an F-150. Does he realize that's a pickup truck and not a fighter jet? Or perhaps where he's from, people hunt Ford trucks for sport.

Phillip Burton was the suck.

An astronaut? Really? Who thought that would work?

Jose Vadell does his best Flock of Seagulls impersonation, at least with his hair. Voice ain't nowhere close.

William Van Stone, Jr. gets the distinction of being the guy this year with the estrogen voice. Fortunately, they didn't go to the same Matthew Miller length this year. Because, y'know, Idol has class. Or something.

The last contestant of Day One looks familiar to me for some reason. I'm gonna have to look into this one. Kia Thornton is going to sing an Aretha song. Oh my! I love Aretha, and this girl is singing it right. The high notes are a little off, but other than that, girl can sang! Simon repeats what I just said. Jackie Collins gives her a bit of criticism, but likes her. Paula cautions against oversinging. Randy likes her, and everybody is 100 percent yes. I'm happy with this one. Can't wait to see how she fares later on.

After the break, Day Two...


The sun rises on the city that doesn't sleep. Simon is late because he got a bit too tipsy the night before.

Tyrese Gibson gets to audition? Jenry Bejarano is a dead ringer for the model. The girls are gonna love him. He's got the backstory, and I smell golden ticket. He's singing Gerald Levert, which makes me like him already. Awww yeah! Give this guy all the rest of the golden tickets, please? The girls are into it. He's great, and Paula's sprung, if only he was older than 16. The mop from the janitor's closet agrees with Paula, and she says yes. Randy is looking forward to dropping this kid's name as someone he produced to contestants in the tenth season. Big time yes. I love this kid.

Up next is Nakia Nicole Claiborne. I think she's an animated character. She sort of looks like Dora the Explorer went on a donut binge. She's going to do "Dancing in the Street" as done by Martha and the Vandellas. Y'know, I've heard worse. I'm actually very surprised by her, and I like her energy. Paula thinks she's infectious, and Lily Munster wants to hear something more subdued before she passes judgment. The second performance wasn't quite as good. I mean, not horrific, but flat and affected. I'd have put her through on the first one, but It's done. She's gone. Or she's supposed to be. Yet she hangs around and squanders all good will she built up by whining. Sad, but no. And it's time for the director's cut of Nakia losing and blubbering. I feel sorry for her, but I'm getting tired of seeing her.

Sarah Goldberg is up next. She comes in mugging for the camera. I'm not going to like her very much, am I? Hairstylist, ain't just a suggestion, either. She's not real. Can't be. Nope. Can we install a trap door in the arena floor to dispose of these wastes of time? One of the McDonald's Fry Guys wants to know why she came to the show, if she's obviously not a singer. She believes she could be the next American Idol even though she's not a singer. She also believes that wrestling is real. I give her props as an actor for being able to make herself cry, but that's about it. Go waste someone else's time. Other door. The actor tries for her Emmy out in the waiting room.

After the break, Simon's headache has cleared up...


We haven't had a crooner yet this year, but Antonio Torres not-so-Junior is going to try unsuccessfully to change that. Don't they check IDs? He's so old, he farts dust!

Jory Steinberg is about twenty versions of HOT. She has been around the world, in the company of royalty, and I'd hook her up with a friend if she were single. She's going to sing Tina Arena's "Chains." She does it fairly well. She's sort of subdued, and I'd really like for her to really knock it out. She finally cuts loose, and I like it well enough, even though the judges don't have any expression on their faces. It looks like she'll go through. It's unanimous. She sort of seems like the really hot girl who gets voted off early because of her hotness (see also "Cox, Heather.")

Maribel Petino considers herself the American Idol Soldier. She works out every morning. So do lots of people, but they can't sing either. It's cool that she dropped all that weight, though. She sleazes it up in her audition, just to capture the guys' eyes. She's kind of a butterface. Everything looks hot, but her face. She tries to sing a Mary J. Blige song. It's alright, but I'm sort of put off by how trashy she looks. She has some skill. Paula likes her. The Dust Bunny passes her too. The judges get some lovin', touchin' and squeezin', but Simon isn't feeling the connection. Either that or he doesn't want to get something on him that Clorox can't get out.

After the break, a Simon vs. Paula spat...


The judges mispronounce lots of names. Forgive them. They've never met these people before. I wouldn't have any idea how to pronounce half these names either.

Wait, who was that blonde guest judge? Where did she come from??

Christopher Henry thinks he looks like Simon Cowell. Only not really. Actually, not at all. Nor like George Michael, as he claims. Cardinal sin of A.I. number 27: Do not sing a Kelly Clarkson song, unless you are, technically, Kelly Clarkson. I've never seen it work once. This one is excruciating. Simon says that Chris should be a drag queen. I doubt Simon will ever be invited to a pride parade. Paula is going to suggest that he seek employment as a cartoon voice-over person. I just know she is. Yup! There she goes. Simon and Paula get into it, and Paula calls Simon an A-hole. Then she gets up and man-handles him a bit. And Paula gets all up in Simon's kool-aid after the weirdo leaves.

Rachel Zevita thinks she'll lose her scholarship at the opera school if they find out she's on the show. Good move, going on national TV and all. Kiss that scholarship goodbye. I can feel it before she even starts. I don't know what she's trying to do. I mean, there's something there below the surface, but this ain't quite it. When she changes to the Oleta Adams song, I like her much better. Yeah, now I'm feeling her. A bit of a makeover, a bit of coaching, and maybe yes. She's very talented in the opera genre. She's definitely versatile. She gets a big yes. Wow...that was a bit of a surprise.

After the


We're back, and it's time for people to ruin a Lionel Richie song. Alvin from the Chipmunks screams it out, and then Kermit does his thing. Various other cartoon characters, including Slimey from Sesame Street and the Pillsbury Dough Boy, vie for camera time. know when people do stupid stuff like this, or like go on Maury and admitting they slept with their sister, right? DON'T YOU PEOPLE EVER HAVE TO GO HOME??? I mean, when you get back to your peer group, are you able to look at them?

Christopher Richardson is going to do his best Elliott. Seriously, the Donny Hathaway thing, by all reports, was WAY overused in the auditions, and even on this show it's getting hackneyed by now, and I say that even though I love me some Donny. Chris sings it well, but he's no Sundance. On the other hand, he does have nice vocal control. Elvira says yes. Randy likes him. Paula goes with the flow. Simon thinks he could improve. I like Chris's demeanor and his attitude, but he's going to have to make something his own.

After the break, a former drop-out and the restaurant scene from When Harry Met Sally...


We're back in New York, and some chick is bellowing something. Probably something to do with how she really needs to have tomatoes thrown in her direction at the first available opportunity. Then someone tries to do "I Want to Be Your Man" by Roger. That was talented, but not in a good way. Aside from the Castro guy last night, schtick isn't really scoring this year.

Nicholas Pedro left the competition last year, because he couldn't remember the words to "Buttercup." It didn't help that he was sleep deprived. Hopefully this year he's got his stuff together though. I have to be honest here... I have no memory of this guy. I'm sure he was a nice guy. Paula remembers him through the haze, as though she weren't prompted by the producers. Wow! Much improvement. I'm diggin' it. He's a bit more boy-band-ish than I'd like, but I'd love to hear him against a jazz background. Morticia Addams approves. Randy does also. Paula wipes the drool off her lip and says yes. Simon makes it unanimous.

After the break, some spastic chick with a guitar is going to make herself look like the south end of a northbound horse.


The auditions are winding down, but we are forced to endure Isadora Furman. She doesn't want us to know her first name, because she doesn't want us mailing her flaming bags of dog poop. Supposedly this ACTOR is a clairvoyant. Instead, she smells just a bit like another proven actor, Mary Roach. She's acting so much, but she's not very good at it, because she can't contain her own laughter. FAKE. PLANT. She tries to sing "Lady Marmalade," and stinks the joint up. The problem is that she's a poor actor, and a halfway decent voice occasionally peeks through. I suppose it's time for that fake orgasm that they've been touting in every teaser this episode since, seemingly, the beginning of recorded history. Frankenstein's Bride looks at her like she's from another planet. Simon thinks it's terrible. Durrrrrr. Goodbye, FAKER. Obligatory BS exit interview, yadda yadda yadda, let's all go to the bathroom. Think she'll be the one to get the makeover this year?

NYC is over, and 35 people made it to Hollywood. Not that it matters, because Sundance is going to win. Next week, the most successful A.I. city ever, Birmingham.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

American Idol Night 3: MEMPHIS BABY!!

Awww yeah, we're in my town! Memphis, TN! This could either be really good or really embarrassing. I hope I don't see anybody I know. Unless they're good. You know what I mean.

And no, I didn't make it to the auditions this year. For one thing, I'm a year too old now. For another, I was busier than Britney Spears in a fertility clinic on those days. So this is going to be me on the outside looking in.


We open up on a shot of Graceland, Autozone Park, and Main Street. Beale Street is all non-stop action, except on a cold cold weeknight. This was shot in summer. On a Wednesday night in February, people are definitely inside warming their insides, but the street ain't so busy till Friday night. Memphis feels like a ghost town on this particular day because all the contestants took a wrong turn at the Pyramid, got carjacked, and had to file police reports. Well, actually, everybody and their brother are at the FedExForum trying to get camera time. Yup, that's the Forum...a multi-million dollar stadium that replaced our other multi-million dollar stadium that we hadn't yet paid off.

Frank Byers is a cheerleader, and he just had to bring the squad. His squad of Britneys wait outside for Frank to emerge in abject failure. His nickname is "Frank and Beans." Sometimes they make it too easy. I want him to suck. Naturally, as is my luck, he doesn't really. He's not perfect, but he's not the worst guy we've heard this year. A bit over the top, but he could probably translate into a good musical theatre understudy. He continues to sing despite Simon's criticisms which wins him points toward a bus ticket home. Randy isn't down. Paula says see ya. And the cheer bus goes back home to another rave. The cheer squad makes a ton of noise and Ryan calls Simon a bad word.

After the break, some talent? Really?


Timika Sims is from Chicago but she stay in Memphis. She's just the slightest bit vacuous, which is like saying that Carmen Electra is kind of a slut. Apparently her brain is running on a Windows 95 processor. She is going to sing an Ashanti song, which already will suck without her help. Gross. This sucks. I think she may actually be serious and not an actor. Simon calls her Tim-uh-ka, and I half expect that crackhead chick from Season One to burst in and say "Tuh-MEE-kuh!!" She flips off the camera.

Chris Rivera is going to try "Superstition" as done by Stevie Wonder. Yeah, if Stevie were being violated with a soldering iron he might sound like that.

Alexis Partee is going to do a Teena Marie song. Those braces are getting in the way of her spitting and just about everything else. I don't think she's uncoachable, but jeepers!

Sundance Head is a big ol' boy. His dad was a top recording artist by the name of Roy Head. Sundance has sort of a Ruben quality about him...not because he's large, but because there's something about him you just really want to like. I'd love to see what rap sheet the Smoking Gun or TMZ will come up with. He's married, a father, and he's going to do a song by Bobby "Blue" Bland. Okay, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. This is my Elliott this year. I am going to quit typing now and just listen. Oh my goodness... I want this to be the next American Idol. Simon calls him one of the best voices they've heard this year. Unanimous yes. Simon makes the call that he'll appear in the finals. I'll second that. I love this guy! Simon says he sings circles around Taylor.

After the break, someone likes Paula, and someone goes all Whitehaven on the camera...


We're back...

Wandera Hitchye sings okay, if not a little over-the-top. I mean, there's talent there, but is it unique? The judges look bored, and so am I. Her look needs a serious overhaul and her personality just doesn't work. Simon hits the nail on the head when he says that there are tons of singers out there just like her. She just doesn't stand out. She gets the boot, at which point her personality falls completely apart. She rips at her clothes, stomps off down the hall, assaults the camera, and displays all the class of a Brittenum twin.

I do like that there is at least marginal talent being shown tonight, though, and not just the clowns. So far, it looks like there were at least a few serious auditioners, even if they weren't quite good enough.

Travis McKinney looks a bit like Kadeem Hardison from "A Different World." He's going to bring love and emotion to us in the form of some spastic dance that was apparently inspired by an epilepsy. He goes into a rap that Bobby Brown would've rejected from his worst record. I get the feeling that he might have a bit of a voice, but we never got to hear it because he was doing too much schtick in order to appear unique. Instead, he appears rejected.

Danielle McCulloch is hot, and her voice is too. I love the smoky quality she has. She's got some range, even though she's not really using it that much in this bluesy number. I absolutely love her voice and her style. Randy doesn't agree with me. Dawg, go back and listen to the mp3 after the show. It's hot! He sees her as a Melissa McGhee type that gets voted off early. Paula says yes to Hollywood, and Simon, in one of the most anticlimactic moments in television history, agrees with Paula. First and only time this year, I'm betting. She's going to the big show, and that wraps up the first day!

After the break, something very sexy, supposedly...


Day two, and Paula Abdul has a lot of guys wanting to hug her. A couple pass out from the alcohol fumes.

Topher McCain is happy about meeting Paula, because she's hotter than anything that has ever touched him before. His wife had been messing around on him, so he's going to get back at her by becoming the next American Idol. I like his motivation, at least. No digs on his looks, because that's not fair. I just hope he doesn't get too cheesy on the Pauler. He obviously has the same talent for picking audition songs that he does for picking women. He sings Kenny Loggins' "Footloose," and I can only imagine that he might actually have a halfway decent voice, even though this song doesn't in any way give him any sort of showcase. Simon compares it to a drunken performance at a wedding. Bad karaoke, according to Randy. Simon is impressed that Chris got to call his ex-wife a naughty word on national TV. He walks out to go get drunk with his future ex-wife, who incidentally isn't Paula, nor even close.

Janita Burks believes in dressing sexy, but not too sexy, but that's only because she hasn't the capability to be any more sexy than an oozing butt sore. Can somebody please go get a robe, because those things are about to fly out and punch someone in the eye. "Disco Inferno" was slaughtered, and the boobs didn't save the day. Paula breaks out laughing during her second try, and if you've ever heard Paula sing "Rush Rush" you know that Paula telling someone they lack talent is HUGE. And big no.

We've had an Amish guy, an Uncle Sam, and now we've got a Fidel Castro. Sean Michel waxes philosophical about something that I fell asleep to during the first hour. He sings some Johnny Cash song about Jesus, no doubt to cash in on his image. It's not horrible, but it's not perfect either. I did enjoy the runs and his scat just a bit. Paula thinks he has a nice tone to his voice, and I tend to agree to a point. It's a unanimous yes, and he's on the way to Hollywood.

After the break, the new Elvis...


Melissa Dolittle is as nervous as Whitney Houston during a urine test. She's a background singer who wants to come out and sing lead. She's going to do "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder. Um, yup. You're going to Hollywood. If she would develop her stage presence, she'd be perfect. Oh my, I am in love with this voice of hers! I love her. Love her. L-O-V-E. Her. Between her and Sundance, we can stop the auditions right now for all I care. I can't sing her praises enough. I bet she'll develop her confidence. Big big big yes. I think we may have seen the Top 2 just tonight.

Now it's off to Graceland, which is an amazing place. I love Elvis.

I don't, however, care for the guy who thinks he's the new Elvis. He's not gonna dance to the song, he says, but he'll do a Seacrest looks at him as though he'd just explained quadratic equations. Robert Holmes feels like he is a comedian. I feel like I'm going to be sick. The joke about the period was mildly amusing, but by now the clown would've hauled him off stage at the Apollo. He's gonna do "Burning Love." This actor doesn't need any review. You knew he was gonna blow big time. He goes home. This is the first audition tonight that I am pretty sure isn't legit. Big melodramatic end.

And now for a montage of people who prove that Elvis has, indeed, left the building, and left it quite empty. They're just a hunka-hunka burnin' turd.

After the break, an auditioner who missed the delivery of his baby to audition... ugh....


Blogger is down right in the middle of all this. Stupid people don't know when Idol is on apparently...

Some bald jerk whose name I missed because I was busy not liking him completely missed his baby being born to come audition for Idol. Okay, look, let me just get this off my chest. I am NEVER impressed by someone who forsakes and sells out their family just for an audition on Idol. I'm sorry. He's going to sing "My Girl" by the Temptations. It starts off sucking like the baby is no doubt doing while nursing in the absence of a father. The rest of the song is dedicated to his obviously latchkey children, but it's just really kinda bland. He has a fairly nice voice, but I just don't like him. Paula didn't quite like it as much as Randy. He breaks into a strained version of "Let's Get It On," after all, because we just couldn't be spared that. Simon doesn't think he starts the songs well, and I completely concur. Paula says yes while the others argue, and the first contestant that I actively dislike has gone through.

Tomorrow night, it's time for NYC.

It's Still Poppin'!!!

I just recently found out after reading Jaclyn Crum's blog that my interview with her is still getting comment posts out the wazoo. It's up to 73 comments now, which is a record setter for this site.

If you wanna backtrack, read a good interview, and get back in on the conversation, click here to read the Jaclyn interview and the comments.

Unless, of course, you're a hater. Then don't bother.

In other news, the Idol Waves Top 20 Countdown show will run tomorrow. A few things to look for: new music from American Idol 6 contestants Perla Meneses, Blake "B-Shorty" Lewis, and Rudy Cardenas. It's hot stuff. Also, my friends over at Jon Peter Lewis's website made a special dedication, in honor of my recent engagement. Plus, y'know, there's that whole which song is number one thingy that you might want to stay tuned for.

Good times!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Katharine McPhee is out there generating buzz for her new album in a rather unorthodox way. She's making her debut on the YouTube pop culture phenomenon "Lonelygirl15" even as we speak, making a guest appearance as a random acquaintance of Bree. They meet when Katharine brings Daniel home completely wasted.

It's a good PR move for Katharine, I think. It establishes that she is a fairly good actress, and showing up on one of the web's biggest fads is not the world's worst marketing move. Plus the inclusion of her single "Over It" is nicely done. It's one of my more favorite songs she's done.

For those of you who missed out, "Lonelygirl15" started as a YouTube video blog, as done by an alleged regular 15 year old girl. It gained quite a cult following, which has remained, despite the fact that it was discovered to be fake, a project of a 19 year old actress and two filmmaker hopefuls.

Check out her debut appearance below!

Yes Sir, That's My Baby...

For those of you who have been asking, here's a pic of the lovely Priscilla, who has despite her better judgment accepted my marriage proposal. Go figure. She's a total sweetheart, and she actually thinks my writing is halfway decent. Again, go figure.

We've only been dating a little while, and it's been a whirlwind, but so far it's been magic. I don't quite know what she sees in me.

Love you, babe!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

On the Negativity...

I've gotten a couple of notes asking me the same question. "J.D., you said you'd go easier on the Idols this year. You said you wouldn't make fun of people. What happened to what you said about Kellie Pickler and Mikalah, and everyone else?"

Here's the short answer: wait.

The long answer is this. Kellie and I did have a rough go of it last year. I still feel badly about it to this day, especially since she was so sweet in responding to me last year, and particularly as I watch her do charity work, hold cancer-stricken kids in her lap, and basically give her last ounce of energy to help others out. I haven't spoken to Mikalah in a while, but I do treasure the friendship that I have with this young woman and her mother. It's a friendship that I never would have previously thought possible, because of the way that I regarded her during her stint on American Idol. I sincerely regret my words that I said about these two in particular.

HOWEVER... I refuse to suffer the fools that A.I. parades in front of us during the audition weeks. I've read post upon post on other boards that lament how Idol exploits the mentally unstable, etc. et al. First of all, "mentally unstable" my rosy red fanny. Not one of those psychos that you will see on these audition shows are genuinely mentally incapacitated. If anything, they're attention seekers, and fully cognizant of what they're doing. Half of them are actors trying to get screen time. The other half are just goofs who will watch the shows at home with their equally goofy friends just so they can laugh at how moronic they looked on TV. It's a very simple formula. It's the same reason people walk up behind the on-scene reporters during the news and make ugly faces. The problem with most of their "comedy" is that it's poorly executed, so it just comes off being rather sad.

Second, they all signed the extensive waivers, and humiliation is highlighted mightily in there. So if you go in with the intention of making a jerk out of yourself, don't get hurt if you get treated like one. These people put themselves willingly up for ridicule, and I'm all too willing to give it to them. I promise to be fair to the actually talented, but I still may turn a phrase or two. I'm certainly aware that the biggest attraction to this show is the human need to make fun of and humiliate others, but I'm going to try to rise above that this year.

Long story short, I'm going to try to be nice and yet still have you guys enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idol Night 2: Seattle

It's time for two full hours of American Idol, in the sense of forty-five minutes of actual show, and an hour and fifteen minutes of commercials.

Ryan looks like he's wearing a Def Leppard shirt under that blazer. Who knows? I wonder how much the clothing designers pay for him to wear what he does.

So, since Seattle was such a bust the first time, they had to try it again. Naturally, it's raining, because, surprise! it's Seattle.

Brandon Groves showed up last year as a policeman. He is actually a police officer, and from all records I found on the internet, he's a darned good one. As a singer, though, he makes a much better cop. This year he decides to do the tired schtick with the Uncle Sam outfit. You know, the one that somebody does every single stinking year?? Ok, look, I get the need for attention, be it negative or positive. But aren't there cop groupies out there? Is he really this starved for attention? Surely he can bag the chicks some other way. Ryan asks if they took him seriously, not a trace of irony in his voice, but the only things that ever takes Brandon seriously are his handcuffs, which unfortunately don't restrain his mouth.

The only thing worse than a hottie who thinks she's all that is a Nottie that thinks the same. Jennifer Chapton is not in any way attractive, though you can't tell her that. She'd take at least a case of beer, a few shots of tequila, and an eightball to make her even start to look good. She's gonna sing "Tender Roni I Want Your Love." Or something like that. It doesn't particularly matter, because none of it is intelligible. I think her nose is about to fall off her face. Pinocchio wants us to give her our love, but the only thing we're gonna give her is a boot to the butt. She goes on smarting off to Simon, which instantly wins her a trip to Hollywood, provided she entirely foots the bill and sings anywhere besides the place where the auditions are. She comes back with something inane, and now it's time for the cursing spree outside. She tells Simon to kiss her butt. Unfortunately, it would take the better part of a week to accomplish that monumental task.

After the break, the Super Geek and the Human Lip.


Back to Seattle, where the rain is pouring down on thousands upon thousands of talentless schlubs. Lots of people get a no, including a cutie who has too much vibrato.

Oh, by the way, those of you who were wondering... I proposed to my girlfriend on my IWT20 radio show this past week. She said yes!!

Up next is Amy Salgado, who is a stay-at-home mom with a husband who's doesn't think she should audition. You have to love the chicks like Regina Brooks who say the heck with their families and run off to try to go to Hollywood. I sort of liked her at the beginning of this piece, but after she starts crying, I just sort of want to punch her in the face. She's going to sing "Reflection" as done by Christina Aguilera. Oh good, she sucks! I was afraid she'd have actual talent, and then I would have to hate her for a little more of this season. She's not even close though, and it's back to sitting at home and stuffing her face full of Hostess cakes while watching reruns of Maury all day. She goes and drinks a bottle of unauthorized blurred-out water, which has absolutely zero therapeutic effect on her voice or my ears. I honestly think she was serious about this audition, but I pity her not. Time to go, Baby Beluga. I'm fast-forwarding through the exit interview.

While I'm at it, I should probably fast forward through the montage of talentless hacks, including Mr. Die Die Die, the necessary "hey rock and roll rules and American Idol is for pansies" plant.

Up next is Darwin "Meesha" Reedy. Meesha? Really?? I knew she was Jar Jar Binks' love child. Well, she's all lips. Good grief. I wouldn't kiss her with YOUR mouth. Hey Meesha, Ronald McDonald called and said to tell you that painting your lips like that doesn't help when your chest sags to below your contestant number. She's an obvious plant, to be sure, an actor hoping against hope to get a moment of screen time. It's odd that she should be named Darwin, because if Darwinism were totally correct, she'd have been extinct a while back. Mom is an actor plant too. And the more they talk, the more I wonder what the last few episodes of The O.C. will be like. Now that they're done pimping their novella (does anybody really write those anymore?) and sucking up to Paula, it's time for her to (shock, horror) butcher a song. I don't even care which one. Oh yeah, it's that wretched "Don't Cha" song. Bye. Please? Bye. Actors! I really hope they don't ever get jobs outside of convenience stores.

After the break, I see hideous people!


We're back in rain-soaked Seattle, and it's day two of this crap-fest. I've still not found anyone that I really think is the clear winner yet. They play the Fantasia/Sam Cooke version of Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On the Rain."

Tommy Daniels has a fro, quit his job, and figures Idol will be his meal ticket. He slept behind some trash cans while waiting for his audition, and while he was there, he picked up a brand new pair of pants. This is his third try, so I'm not optimistic. He picks Amos Lee's "Arms of a Woman." Whoa, wait a minute, I like that voice. It's a bit breathy, but I could listen to this guy! I want a jazz album, right now. Paula is sprung on him. Simon compliments his choice of song. And there's the key, I think. Pick an obscure song that you can sing well, so that you're not compared to the original artist. Third time IS a charm, and it's golden ticket time. Well done! He kidnapped Paris Hilton's dog for the event.

Melissa Stavros is next. She doesn't have the look, but she does have some personality. I am not really clear as to why women who are the size of a house want to wear clothes that would be inappropriately tight on an anorexic ballerina. I do like her attitude, though. She does have a nicer voice than most contestants, even if she can't 100 percent remember the lyrics. She blew her high note and several others after that, and I think this one's gonna be a flop. Randy says no. Paula says no. Simon says no. I say no. Love ya babe, but go get some coaching and a stylist. I love that she came with a guy who has an orange mohawk.

After the break, siblings and weirdos.


I used to think pretty people were a dime a dozen, but to judge by the populace of Seattle, ugliness is the hot commodity.

Blake Lewis took his inspiration for his hair from Seacrest and Art Alexakis of Everclear. Either that or he was inspired while standing near a lightning rod and a vat of hair gel. He's 25 and a musician (read: unemployed.) He's a beat-boxing champion, or so he says. I believe him. He's entertaining to watch, and already I know his voice is going to be okay. He sings "Crazy" and throws his beat-box schtick into it. I don't know about "great," but he's got something. Simon thinks he isn't as good as he thinks he is, which could also truthfully be applied to all three of these judges. Randy thinks it's the wrong song choice. Good call. Paula is down with Blake hardcore. Simon says yes, though he doesn't heart Blake as much as Pauler. Randy comes over to the dark side and says yes, and it's time for a golden ticket.

After the break, what the...


We're back, and it's time for more stupid auditions, including Michael Bustamente and David Mills, who have the combined talents of celery. We haven't seen the last of Dina Lopez, especially if you go to the local strip club.

Brother and sister something-or-other that I can't pronounce are up next. They're cute-ish, but they're not Barrettsmiths. After a long, drawn-out, somewhat creepy intro, Shyamali Malakar sings, and sings rather well. I kind of figured she would. I'd give her a yes. Simon thinks she's average. Randy disagrees, but thinks she needs to explore herself more. Every "yes" this season has been unanimous. Anybody else notice that? It's not changing so far.

Sanjaya Malakar is up next. He sings a Stevie Wonder song. He's okay, but he's slightly more average than Shyamali. Simon finds him to be better, though, and Randy agrees. They both get to go. This will make for great television somewhere down the road, I'm sure.

After the break, can it end???...


Now it's time for geek boy. Not buying it. This is an actor. Yup, you heard it here. Nicholas Zitzmann is another Mary Roach. I just want to hit him in the face with a shovel. He sort of looks like Jonathan Brandis and a pug had a baby. What makes him unique is the fact that he's a HORRIBLE ACTOR. I mean, come on. His last name is ZITZMANN. This is a CHARACTER being played by an ATTENTION-SEEKER. There's the obligatory massacre of "Unchained Melody" so there would be something for the promo footage. Wow, Simon has some biceps! I wish he'd use them and pound Mr. Zit in the face. Several presidential administrations elapse, and yet this audition goes on. It's now 2027, and Nicholas pretends to be shocked that everyone thought it sucked. Spaz. My roommate was entertained by this segment, and I think that's at least partially why I'm kicking him out when I get married.

Seattle sucks, and it's up to Mr. Hey Look At My Crotch to save the day. Rudy Cardenas is in a band of some sort, but he's going to start with Journey's "Open Arms." He sings it less like Steve Perry and more like Nick Carter, but I'm not repulsed. He's got a bit of Marc Anthony in his voice. Simon instantly says no. Paula says yes. Randy lets his Journey bias sway him and we have our first split decision this year. It swings Rudy's way, and we'll see him in Hollywood.

No! Do not start playing that horrid Daniel Powter song again this year!

Time for another Simon Sucks segment, and that's the end of Day 1. Only 7 people made it through.

After the break, yuck!


The sun's finally out in Suck-attle. I guess that gastric bypass didn't really do it for Randy.

Kenneth Briggs is so ugly, I'd swear he had to have been photoshopped that way. He naturally gravitates to Jonathan, whose body mass is quickly approaching planetary status. When they shook hands, Kenneth flew up off the floor and started orbiting Jonathan.

Kenneth is up first, and sweet monkey mess, this kid is a Uglo-American of the highest pedigree. He has this weird helium voice. This dude got beaten by a baseball team full of ugly sticks. He sings "Tearing Up My Heart," but he's tearing up my eyes. Watching him dance makes me throw up in my mouth a little. He does look a bit like a bush-baby. Seriously, is this guy rendered in CGI? Surely there's not a human that looks like this. Other door, and back to your spaceship.

Monkey-boy's large and in charge friend Jonathan Jayne has an equally Lollipop-Guild-esque voice, but he's certainly no munchkin. I bet he does have an amazing personality, but it's masked by marginal vocal talent. He doesn't have an un-coachable voice, but it's not that great either. He needs to be taught how to modulate, but he's not entirely talent-less. Simon likes him, but it's a unanimous no. I think he was actually sincere about the audition, so I feel a little bit sorry for him. He sort of looks like a heavier Chris Farley, so he could possibly go the comedy route (though hopefully not the heroin overdose route.)

After the break, oh you just had to know there'd be Taylor impersonators this year...


It's time to go shopping in Seattle while various suck-burgers get thrown at the judges three.

Eric totally colored his hair to look like Taylor's. No way is that for real. He looks sort of like what might happen if Taylor and the Dustin Hoffman character from Rain Man got together and had a baby. He profanes the name of the Soul Patrol, and he announces that he's about to sing...wait for it...Dobie Gray and "Drift Away," which has internal rhyme, huh-huh-huh, get it? get it? No. And neither does he. Is this serious? He swears on his mother's life that it is, however considering his mother is Forrest Gump, that doesn't carry much weight. He tries to mess with Simon's hair and two hairy apes swing down out of the trees and bounce him out like a rubber ball. How does this guy have a hot girlfriend??

Ryan is shorter than everyone. Including Verne Troyer.

Anna Kearns is especially taller than Mr. Short-crest. Her job before coming to auditions was holding up a torch on an island in NYC. She's going to sing "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. Decent voice, but PLEASE STOP SNAPPING! I realize it's a nerve thing, but it's totally hackneyed and overdone, and it distracts from the performance. I like her voice, and she's not bad. Simon finds her to be very "cabaret." I think that's the first for that word this year. The judges commence to make inane noises, and Simon is put off by it, because heaven forfend that anyone should make hurtful jokes at Mr. Cowell's expense. Anna goes to Hollywood, and I'm actually curious now to see how she does. Simon waits till she exits to make the Mandisa comment of the year, calling her a giraffe. I feel like I'm being sold something.

After the break, Jordin and Stevie... the good, the bad, and the ugly...


We're back, and someone BETTER be good.

And now, here's 16 year old Jordin Sparks. She's quite cute and reminds me of a heavier-set Lisa Tucker. She is going to sing Celine's "Because You Loved Me." Jordin is going to be the one who uses the most melisma this year, but I think she has a spectacular voice. She needs to work on her stage presence a little bit more, but I think this girl is going to do well. Her dad is Felipe Sparks, a NFL veteran, so now he and Nikko Smith's dad can get together and throw Idol parties with cheese dip and sport-themed doilies. Simon thinks she's too saccharine in this song, and I have to agree to a point, but I'd love to hear something different from her. I love that she's so sweet and nervous as heck. Unanimous yes, and she was only one of 7 from the second day to go to Hollywood. Rough day!

A lot of people can't sing "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls, but that's kind of okay, because that song sucks anyway. Boy these are some ugly folks. Did any of you ever see the segment on Conan O'Brien where they take two celebrities and photoshop them together to make some horrific monstrosity offspring? Some of these people look like those photographs.

After the break, Grizzly Adams...


Steven "Red" THOEN stands out in a crowd, most likely because of lack of bathing. He really finds himself funny. I really find him to be most likely to appear in a negative light on Court TV. He tells the obligatory lie about how he never watched American Idol. Red is an actor. An obvious plant. Boy this is really funny, in the same way that necrosis is enjoyable. Apparently this joke never gets old to those who edit the audition shows together. Random attention-craved actor wannabe does a character, comes in and sings ridiculously, and then makes the highlight reel and probably gets to come to the finale for free. He's an EXTREMELY horrific actor. Don't sing, just be about it, he says. Be about the other door right about now. Don't worry with polling the judges. Just poll the bored-looking intern sitting by the door and let her bounce him out.

Seattle is over, thankfully, and my city Memphis is up next! I look for some great talent from this musically hot city. Stay tuned to this site for more stuff this week!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Night One

It's that time again! It's sort of sneaked up on me this year, since I've been so busy, but I know you guys are looking for my critiques, and who am I to disappoint?

A little bit of what to look for this year: I am going to attempt to be more positive this year while at the same time keeping the same comedic edge that I tried to have last year. There are several reasons for this, many of which I've already gone into, and many of which should and would bore you to tears.

So, with that said, game on!


Another look at Taylor and Katharine, and the well-deserved title going to Mr. Hicks, in case you forgot what happened on the biggest show in all of TV last year. There are glory shots of Kelly, Fantasia, J-Hud, Carrie, and all sorts of other reasons why American Idol should pat itself on the back until bruising accrues. I didn't really need to see Elliott and Mary J. Blige, though. Not my favorite performance from one of my faves from last year. At least I think that was Mary J. Somebody much nerdier than I will doubtless correct me.

And now for the cattle calls. There are thousands of people lined up with average to no talent, all of whom fervently believe they're the next American Idol.

There's the obligatory rejoicing over going to Hollywood versus the crying and spazzing over not.

And oh the wannabes. Contestant 6417 starts it off by singing...uh...something. No clue what.

Title sequence...just barely different from last year. Taylor peeks in at the end. Hi Taylor!

There's a recap of Prince's performance from the finale. And lest you think it pointless, we find that it has all been shown to segue into the fact that the first auditions are in Minneapolis where 10,000 people (!!) auditioned. That's probably the best group singing of "1999" I've ever heard, if not the only one. Jewel is the guest judge tonight. Surely she'll let all the contestants in on the secret of how to sell one successful album and then summarily throw away your career with a series of crap albums. Oh well, at least she's somewhat hot.

Jessica Brody is Jewel's biggest fan. I already don't like her, but that's mostly because she reminds me of an ex-girlfriend that I'm not particularly proud of. She's a makeup artist, and her affect is about as shallow as a mason jar lid. I get the feeling some cheer squad is missing its captain. She wants to inspire us. I'm sorry, but makeup artists shouldn't have such horrid makeup without technically attending clown school. Jessica starts out with all the charm of a pit viper, only not as articulate. Lovin' the way she's rockin' the blonde hair and black roots. She breathes for a couple of eternities and then commits the ever-so-common faux pas of performing the guest judge's song. Granted I didn't like this one from Jewel either, but for this one, I'd much prefer William Hung's version. Big time no. Jewel thinks it'll take a little work, which is like saying that Ground Zero was a little dusty after 9/11. She freaks out and begs for her chance. And the first wannabe with no accurate sense of self slinks out the be surrounded by supportive, yet delusional family members. Let the wailing commence! I feel dirty after watching the director's cut of the rejection. Can we move on?

After the break, more clowns...


We're back in Minneapolis, and Seacrest is just as metrosexual as ever. Do you know how much work it takes to make your hair look intentionally unkempt?

Troy Benham felt that emphasizing the Amish was the way to go. He also believes the sky to be green. There's the obligatory lie about how he's never seen the show or heard of the judges. Somehow he heard about it, so I guess the Amish do have the internet. The sad thing is that I think he has a bit of talent, but he's really hoping to score a Borat sort of gig. News flash bud: Sascha Cohen has that one on lock. Let's give this one a miss.

How did I know that "Jesus Take the Wheel" would get beaten to death this year? The guy who tried to do Cons had a great rock voice, but he was obviously a goof.

Jesse Holloway has a unique vocal range, in the sense of having a range equalling only one note. He is unique because he can hit some notes that Mariah Carey can hit, as long as they're that one note. Who are the people talking behind Jesse? Could they talk louder so I don't have to hear this? Celine Dion's husband would be turning over in his grave right now if he weren't technically still alive. Jesse then exits to go get some water all of a sudden. We can only hope that no water fountains work within 20 miles. And just like that, he's back. Someone really needs to fix that loud door! Apparently there was estrogen in that water, because he comes back singing like his jock strap had been tightened with a torque wrench. The hiding of the faces by the judges is back. Jewel, fortunately, has never shown one iota of emotion in her music, so she is set up rather well to handle this. What is this with the extended scenes??? Cut and move on, please? Still, they poll the judges, and everybody says no except Paula, who has recently trademarked the word "Pass." Jesse goes out, puts in his bluetooth, and goes on and on disrespecting and embarrassing his family for generations to come.

After the break, hey there Matthew Buckstein!! One of the Brokenote Cowboys returns.


As long as there is Seacrest, t-shirts under blazers will always be stylish. At least if you're 5'5 and under 125 pounds.

Charles Monroe Moody has dressed as Apollo Creed from the Rocky movies. Dude, he's 40 if he's a month. He sort of looks like Jimmie "J.J." Walker, only less sexy. If he says "DynoMITE!" I will punch the TV. He has a somewhat pleasant voice, but he kinda lost me with the nieces in foster care. Personality-wise, I'm hating him. I think his voice might be okay if he were taking it seriously, but I Simon says no. Paula is confused. Or drunk again. And we're three for three on people not knowing which door to exit through.

Denise Jackson gets the package treatment, so I smell golden ticket. She's got the Kellie Pickler story this year: born a crack baby, horrible home life, and all kinds of heartbreak. She's softspoken, likable, goofy, and I'm okay with her. She looks a lot older than 16. Now THAT'S a gap between the teeth. Jewel looks jealous of it. She belts out the Jennifer Hudson version of "And I Am Telling You (I Am Not Going)" from Dreamgirls. She does it rather well, even though she's no J-Hud just yet. This girl could use some work, but I'm liking her chances. I'd love to see more. They all like her, and there ya go. She's in like Flynn. Makeover and some coaching, and this girl could be ready to go.

After the break, though, some very non-Denise contestants...


We're back, and wow how beautiful Minneapolis is!

Denise celebrates some more. It's still easy to like her.

And now for a lame A.I. production piece, bemoaning how people forget lyrics. Yeah, that's never happened before. All that to bring us...

Tashawn Moore, who wore a tie to impress by dress, only she slung it over her shoulder, and stylistically speaking, she's about as appealing as herpes. She's going to sing "Kiss" as performed by Prince. Or at least that's what she says. Honestly, I couldn't tell you for sure what this is. The only thing I'm fairly certain of is that she wants women, not no girls. She then drops the f-bomb. By f-bomb, I mean "fart bomb" because this one stinks. Lesbians across the country are going to send this girl hate mail by the truckload. More and more extended scenes about wanting women and not girls. Act your age and not your sue size. Or something. I just get the feeling that this girl has a kid abandoned somewhere in a hot daycare van even at this very moment. Make it stop. Please? Poll the judges already. No, no, no, and no. Duh. Other door.

Miss Teeth flirts with Ryan, asking if he has a girlfriend. Teri Hatcher is unavailable for comment. She rocks the latina thing, even though she pretty much looks like Elizabeth Berkeley, the whitest girl ever. I think her name is Perla Meneses, and she calls Simon "see-mone." I don't think actual spanish people do that, but then again, I'm so white, I'm almost clear. She starts singing Blondie's "Call Me," trying to sound latin, but she sort of slips into a Melissa Etheridge accent and tone by the end. Randy wants her to sing "Hips Don't Lie," which she does decently well, even if she's not coordinated enough to do the hip shake. Randy sort of likes her spunk. Jewel thinks she's cute and perky, but ultimately average. Paula liked the second song too. See-Mone thinks she didn't pick the right song. Unanimous yes. Wow. Wasn't looking for that. Not seeing her getting too much farther, but I've been wrong about this before. I wish her the best.

After the break, military aircraft and cursing jags...


The girls are rockin' the golden tickets, and the guys are tanking like Paula on nickel beer night. I recognize one of those guys from Hollywood last year, but I can't remember his name. There's probably a good reason for that.

The guy who I thought was Matthew Buckstein is obviously not. He's going for the cowboy thing. He is so unique, and thank God that Carrie Underwood didn't have the look that he has. Matthew Volna is going to do Johnny Cash a favor. People are going to have to run out to the stores to buy John's album so they will be able to like this song again. I am a fan of this song, and I'm a bit mad that he's wrecking it. Jewel asks if he's serious, which he obviously isn't, but he isn't going to let us know that, at least not consciously. Wow, good job going out the right door at least!

Kah'reem Copeland sucks. Period. Dane Cook's retarded brother ain't great either.

We're transported out to the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, which is a heck of a ship. Production package must mean that some soldier is going to get a golden ticket. Jarrod Fowler is apparently the one. Hmm...Josh Gracin redux?? He's going to sing "Bless the Broken Road" as done by Rascal Flatts. It's horribly overdone. It's not altogether unpleasant, but it didn't hit me the right way either. I agree with Simon that he has the likability factor. Paula says yes too. Jewel becomes the first to use the word "pitchy" or more accurately "pitchiness" this year. Big yes from everybody. Good job, soldier! You military people out there, isn't it against military rules to wear your uniform for these kinds of events? I'm thinking it is.

After the break, disses, misses, and ... some other stuff.


It's hour two. I wonder if the A.I. premiere might eventually just last all day. When season one was airing, the auditions were covered in only one show. Ah, the good old days.

La la la la...I can't hear the promo of 24, which I have TiVo'ed but haven't watched yet.

Rakel Gracia shows us all how to completely blow. I feel like I lost a little bit of my talent watching her.

Trista Giese is a big fan (no pun intended, right Ryan?) of The Wizard of Oz. Trista, baby, no matter what you do with the rest of your life, please don't EVER do your Cowardly Lion impression again. Like, ever. She doesn't even have to have Listerine to gargle. I think this is a surgical issue, not a musical one. How embarrassing for her! I'm sure she's sweet, but I mean, dang. She's unique, for sure, but then again, so was Saddam Hussein. Byebye. Other door, sweetie.

Stephen Horst is obviously not going to help out the guys this year. He's got the smashing good looks and style of a third-generation hillbilly inbreed. He's a vocal teacher. Or at least a good con artist. He picks on Aerosmith with "I Don't Wanna Miss You." I see bankruptcy in this guy's future. Doubtless that all the parents of his students are cancelling their checks to him, because he sucks on ice. On the one hand, it's great to have him as a teacher, because he can show you exactly what NOT to do. Sign up for Gedeon McKinney's class instead. Paula says it had too much vibrato, which is Paula's way of saying "Pass, you talentless spaz." Randy grows a pair and breaks his foot off in Stephen's backside. Simon plays off the obvious irony, while Stephen goes on to explain that he has been singing since he was three. This segment has been on since I was in the womb. Move on! Jewel sits there, because someone forgot to animate her in these film cels.

After the break, guys crying...


Back for more...

Michelle Steingas is 19, looks like Rachel Blanchard, and can sing country superbly. Just please stop with the snapping, sweetie, and you'll have my heart forever. I love her voice. She's got a great look, a great voice, and she gets my vote. The judges like her big snuggly bunches. I sort of see a Top 12 contestant here. Unanimous yes, and as quickly as she came in, she exits so we can see longer segments of hideous people. Oh, and now she can quit her job, apparently, even though you don't get paid scale until you're in the Top 24, which would leave her unemployed for nearly half a year. I still like you, though, Michelle.

And now for a montage of unemployed or soon-to-be-fired people, including...

Dayna Dooley's boss flew her up to the auditions, bringing on the obvious boss-banging-the-secretary innuendos. She's going to sing Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Somthing Good." I kinda knew she'd be horrible. Birds fell dead out of the stratosphere when she hit that high note. Dogs around the world are howling. I, like Jewel, wanted it to be good, but it was not good. Un-good. Anti-good. Time to bring in the boss, because Idol just can't have enough schlocky segments. The boss wasted his money. Yeah, yeah, let's move on. She can sort of sing when her non-sexy boss is present, but not really. She sings a shamefully seductive song, which doesn't help. She was better this time, but big no from me. Randy goes no. Jewel doesn't commit either way. Paula and Simon say see ya. I want to work for Gary now, but it looks like he doesn't have any openings.

Matt Sato has some slick hair, with a life-threatening melanoma-esque zit on the end of his nose. God bless the adolescent. He's going to sing "California Dreamin'" and he does it in a breathy, wish-I-was-in-N'Sync sort of way. He's reaching for the high notes. I sort of like him, but I wonder how durable he is. I think he'll get through, but with the track record of 16 year olds in this competition...well, who knows? I like him, though. We'll see.

I'm really confused as to why people cry so hard after the initial audition. There's still such a long way to go.

Anyway, after the break...more stuff...


Memphis Idol fans might wanna watch the news after the show, since Gedeon McKinney will be appearing and explaining Southern dominance in A.I. I met Gedeon once, and he's super-nice, so no digs from me. Like I said, get him as a vocal coach. He charges $70 a session.

Anyway, we're back.

Rachel Jenkins is a man's woman, and she works on cars. She's going to make some guy a great husband. Or scratch that, she already has a husband who's off soldiering in Iraq. She's also in the reserves, and she wears her uniform against regulation into the auditions. She's cute-ish, and altogether too bubbly about her hubby being in Baghdad. I think she's going to be good. Let's see. She sings "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." And I was right. She's good. I think she needs to quit patting her stomach, though. I know it's hard to know what to do with your hands, but that ain't it. She blew a key change, but other than that, she was great. Simon nails it...she was great, but then she fell apart. Jewel says the same thing Simon said. Can we get a female judge on here that actually has some teeth? Simon says yes. Paula is all bout yes. So are Jewel and Randy. I'm happy about this one. Good job. I like her sense of humor.

Sarah Krueger has hair, and lots of it. She sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and I honestly like it better than Katharine McPhee's version last year, even though it's obvious that she used that version as inspiration. I like! I think the judges are going with me on this one. Unanimous yes.

Woohoo, no Hollywood contestants that I completely dislike so far!

When we come back, we'll wrap up this Minnesotan love fest.


Brenna Kyner rocks the goth look, though I didn't think real goth people actually liked Idol. Something tells me this girl is not widely accepted among her peers, though.

Jason Anderson would like to entertain people with his dueling plungers. He murders Michael W. Smith in front of the entire nation while twirling his batons. I could not be less impressed if someone had farted in my face. It was completely useless, as Simon says. Judges say no, because they can't just go ahead and open fire on him. Oh boy, we get to see him dance like a palsied duck. He's supposedly angry, but he's a horrible actor, hamming it up for the camera. This is a guy who wanted to get on camera, and that's all. Bye bye, hoser. Counselor Seacrest attempts to console the bereft, or at very least to make himself look better by standing next to grungy people.

Brenna gets to go in now, looking as fabulous as a bloated corpse can. She's BFF with American Idol. SO not goth. She stalks Ace Young, who apparently drew her a tattoo, though I doubt if he knows it. She's going to sing "Under Pressure" as done by Queen and David Bowie. Is anybody shocked that she is incredibly void of talent? Speak now. And speak loud so as to drown this chick out. I prefer Brenna Gethers to this Brenna. She's horrible at singing, and even more horrible at acting. One of the things about knowing neurolinguistics is knowing when people are acting or lying by the ways their eyes move. She walks out, desperately hoping to get a few more moments of camera time.

After the break, I guess there's more. Go figure.


If you're not listening to it, my show is on Idol Waves right now.

Now it's time for a tribute to Prince by people who can't even talk, much less sing. We've seen several of these people tonight. We get it. They aren't good. Well, except for the latina chick, who's sorta not bad.

Josh Flom has caused a shortage in hair gel in whichever geographical area he comes from. The girls are going to love him, I'm sure. He aspires to be the next Chris Daughtry, though unfortunately this competition is about being the next YOU. He's going to sing a Fuel song. Is his last name "Flom" or "Phlegm?" This is really bad, really affected, and just about as pleasant as a colonoscopy. Randy does a spot-on impression of Josh, and pretty boy looks to be going home. He seems to feel like he's making a song his own by making it sound like other people, I guess. He goes out searching for anyone who can teach him who ABBA was. I can't wait to hear "Dancing Queen" done in the style of Brett Scallions. Boy, is this going to suck. In order to sing like that, you almost have to have an entire tree trunk shoved up your lower orifice. He does "Copacabana," and Bobby Bennett has never sounded so good. Jewel is concerned about his voice. I'm concerned about my ears. Randy says no. Jewel says uh-uh. Paula goes Pass. Simon is an instant no. Time for the cry. Chris did open doors for rockers, but the key is this: HAVE TALENT!! Poor kid. Just remember, rockers don't cry (or perform ABBA.)

After all this, only 17 people made it to Tinseltown. Did any guys get through? I forget. If not, who cares?

Tomorrow night, Seattle. Should be painful. No shortage of ugly people. I'll see ya then!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Musical Ramblings & Idol Waves featured in Louisiana Paper

Ken sent me this article that featured his station, as well as a rather flattering mention of me, so being the fabulous person that I often claim to be, here you go!:

(from the Houma Courier)

January 13. 2007 11:54PM

Local enthusiast streams 'American Idol’ to the world

The Courier

For the past five seasons, the phenomenon that is "American Idol" has swept the country in its search for the next pop superstar. Millions have tuned in each week to see the nation’s new talent (and talent-less) compete in a gauntlet of fiercely rehearsed and critiqued auditions for the chance to be signed with a major record label.

The sixth season airs on Fox Tuesday night, when a new cast of hopeful contestants will follow their dreams on the national network. It is no secret that the success of A.I. has given countless singers the exposure and feedback needed to jumpstart their music careers, but a majority are forgotten after the show, their songs never to be heard or played again. Thanks to the Internet and the entrepreneurship of one local dreamer, however, this may no longer be the case.

Kenny Boudreaux (aka DJ KennDawg) from Bayou Black is the sole creator, producer and disc jockey of Idol Waves is a live Internet radio station that streams music from past and present contestants of A. I. with a weekly top 20 countdown show hosted by blog-master J.D. Matthews (jdmatthews.

Boudreaux opened the site in October 2005, and what began as a simple hobby is now a booming nonprofit operation that sends music from more than 90 former contestants of the show to listeners around the world. Since its conception a little over a year ago, Idol Waves now boasts 81,450 listener hours, with fans logging on from as far away as Mozambique, Egypt, Austria and Brazil, along with at least 28 other countries (three listeners from Israel have even tuned in during the past 30 days).

Perhaps the main reason for the site’s success is its complete lack of competition on the virtual airwaves. Kenny’s life-long love of music and his huge collection of CDs convinced him to start his own site when he saw the possibilities of Internet radio offered by At the time, the online network had roughly 5,000 stations for various genres, and that number has doubled since then. Kenny knew that his station would need a unique angle if it was to stand out among so many others. He was a big fan of contemporary Christian and country music, but he had also been hooked on "American Idol" since the first season, and that, as DJ KennDawg puts it, was when "the lightbulb went off." Boudreaux decided that his station would play only music from AI. contestants, focusing on their pre-Idol songs and the work they’ve accomplished since competing. Surprisingly, no other Internet DJ had ever thought of providing this service, and Idol Waves remains the sole source for "American Idol" fans on the net.

A great deal of the music on cannot be found anywhere else, since only the winners go on to produce with the major record companies. Most of the songs from Idol Waves do not appear on any of the show’s episodes or compilation albums, since the goal of the site is to give listeners a wider selection of rare Idol tunes and to give more A. I. artists the chance to be heard.

After a slow beginning, Idol Waves has continued to grow with the popularity of the hit series. The site’s first big break happened when celebrity blogger J.D. Matthews contacted Boudreaux and offered to produce and host a weekly countdown show on the site every Tuesday for free. The countdown is decided by ratings and requests and has become a valuable tool for ensuring that the site plays what the fans want to hear.

"Since I was about 12 years old," Boudreaux said, "I listened to as many countdown shows as I could and have since followed all of the music charts like an eagle seeking prey. I’m not satisfied with knowing the song or just listening to it; I want to know how well it’s doing on the charts."

Though the outcome of this season is sure to affect the rotation of songs on Idol Waves, the station does not practice favoritism for any contestants during the course of the TV show. Those finalists who don’t make the cut and even contestants who don’t make it to the finals will all have an equal chance of being played on the Web site.

In fact, several singers from "American Idol" have enjoyed more success on Kenny’s site than they ever did on the actual show. Currently, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson have dominated the Idol Wave charts.

Unlike most radio stations, which typically cater to a specific age group of listeners, the Idol Waves fanbase is made up of two separate but equally influential audiences. During the day, the listening hours are accrued by thousands of adults listening in while at work, and then sometime after 5 or 6 p.m., the ratings are taken over by kids winding down from the homework and chores of another day.

"You can tell the difference by the e-mails," says Boudreaux.

He has received a great deal of support and music from the producers and several contestants of "American Idol," including some of the finalists. "We’ve gotten major respect from the singers who are self-produced or who are with independent labels," says Boudreaux. "I used to search and search for music, but now the independent singers and managers are sending stuff to us and contacting us first. We still aren’t thought of highly by the major labels, so we have to buy those CDs once they are released. That’s to be expected, I guess."

Despite these encouraging connections and a rapidly growing worldwide fanbase, Boudreaux has not been able to gain any financial support from his listeners and has to pay the entire bill for running the site himself. He is currently planning an auction on eBay to serve as a fundraiser for the station.

As for the future of Idol Waves, Kenny envisions the site as a long-term investment in American entertainment and plans to continue broadcasting with each new season. His next big dream is to take the station to satellite radio, but that will take both time and money to accomplish.

"It’s difficult to get support from a local company with international services," says Boudreaux. "I could also use financial backing from someone already on satellite radio, but as of now it’s only a dream of mine."

Demand is certainly not a problem for Idol Waves radio, since Kenny receives lots of feedback from fans who regret that they can’t tune in to the site while in their cars.

Another plan for Idol Waves is an updated and remodeled look for the Web site itself. Since the bulk of DJ KennDawg’s time has been spent adding to his library of Idol music, he now wants to add more to the look of the site. As of now it serves mainly as a launchpad to the radio with a shorter address than the one provided by Live365, and it still wishes all visitors a happy new year.

A year before starting the site, Boudreaux worked as a freelance writer for The Courier. He decided to attend the auditions for "American Idol" held in New Orleans that year in order to gain a first-person perspective for an article on the inner workings of the "Idol" selection process. Like most of us, Boudreaux is a closet singer, which meant that he sang mostly in the car/shower/etc. and had never seriously considered performing for an audience. His friends encouraged him to try out for the show, however, and he actually made it to the second round of auditions, which was judged by the show’s producers. He received good comments on his potential and nearly made it to the third round with the actual judges of the show. Of course he then had to explain to his boss why he couldn’t finish the story on time, but singing was never one of his biggest dreams.

Boudreaux has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a focus on print journalism and a minor in creative writing from Nicholls State University. When he’s not working on the site, he works full-time with his father at Boudreaux’s Woodworking, a family-owned furniture store in Bayou Black. He will also be the editor of an upcoming human-interest magazine on life in southeastern Louisiana.

The producers of "American Idol" have already sent Kenny some of the music from the new season. It can be heard online starting this week, after the season premiere airs on Tuesday, which is the earliest that new music from the show has ever been available on the site. Also new to the Idol Waves playlist are songs from former "Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson’s film debut in "Dreamgirls," which hits the Houma Palace Theatre this Friday.

Listeners need not worry about piracy or copyright issues when logging on to Idol Waves. Even the songs produced by major record labels are legally aired through the licenses held by

Also, those tuned in to the station have the option of buying the album on which each song appears via a link to Boudreaux also provides information on the site to let fans know where they can buy music from singers who aren’t currently signed with major labels.

In this way, DJ KennDawg continues to offer a fun and free service to both artists and followers of the A.I. Revolution, bringing them together with the Idol Waves of the Internet radio network.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Katharine McPhee: I Lost You

Before I begin this review, I should start with some caveats:

(1.) It's really hard to review a 2 song disc. It doesn't really give you enough of an idea to know what the final product will be like.

(2.) I'm a fan of all the Idols. I want them all to do well.

So here goes.

I wasn't blown away like I was hoping to be. I thought initially that I'd pop the CD in, be overwhelmed by the melodies, and just have a musical joyride all the way home. That's not really what happened. More or less, I was feeling like "eh? this is it??"

Now before all the Katharine fans jump all over me and accuse me of being a Kat-hater, hear me out for a second. I'm not against Katharine in any way. I think she's an extremely talented performer with gobs of potential to be one of the greats. I sincerely hold out hope that her debut album will be good.

The truth is, I don't think that this single's flaws are Katharine's fault. It's almost as if the single's producers got together and said "hey, let's go find the two crappiest songs we can get, throw a shorted-out synthesizer program into the computer, and put out the most poorly instrumented and packaged performance we possibly can." Katharine's vocals are spot-on on both songs. The only problem with that is that you can't HEAR her half the time. She is constantly drowned out by her back-up singers. And the musical accompaniment quite often sounds like my little sister when she was five banging on a busted Casio keyboard.

I'll never understand the need to re-invent Katharine as a new version of Christina Aguilera. Yet that's where all roads point, based on this single and the tracks that were leaked previously. The thing with Christina Aguilera is that even Christina isn't Christina anymore. The times have changed, and reinvention became necessary. And Katharine is NOT a pop princess, nor does she need to be packaged as such. The girl obviously has a dynamic voice, but the material that she is being given to record doesn't showcase it very well. The problem with working with people like The Underdogs, Danja, the Neptunes, Timbaland, or any pop/hip-hop producers of the sort is that the song becomes more about their beat and less about your voice (to wit, the downfall of Britney Spears.) Katharine's better than that. I'd much rather see her performing songs written by Diane Warren or Walter Afanasieff. Those songs would allow her to show her range much more. When I hear Katharine sing, I want to hear a rich vocal performance, not some DJ showing off his beats.

The big irritating thing about this single is that it's a single meant to fill a gap. And it's obvious that's the case. This is a "we meant to have the full CD out by now" sort of release. A "please don't forget us" sort of thing.

I don't want to go into how this single stacks up against singles by Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, or Kelly Clarkson. Any of their worst singles was better executed than this one. I will, however, make a slight comparison to Justin Guarini, insofar as it seems that the powers that be are just as intent on screwing up her career as they were with him.

The trouble with Katharine herself lies not within her vocal prowess. It's just that since the beginning of last year's Idol, she hasn't appeared to really know who she is. There's so much about her that looks like a mask. Whether it's her sultry look, her "I can swallow my own fist" smile, or her performances, you're never really sure what you're going to get out of her. I sense a very troubled person inside the bright bubbly demeanor. It lurks around the corner, and has made itself evident with her eating disorder, but mostly it bubbles under the skin. I can't wait for the days when Katharine will discover herself more fully, because I believe that only then will we have a successful effort from her.

Like I said, I hope her debut turns out to be fantastic. I want to see this beautiful young lady succeed mightily. Unfortunately, I recommend skipping the single, saving your three bucks, and just waiting till the album hits stores.