Thursday, April 26, 2007

Missed Last Night...

Sorry I wasn't able to provide you my insight on last night's "Idol Gives Back" special. Unfortunately, I was watching it in the ER where my dad was being treated for a heart attack. As you all know, when it comes to a choice between a TV show and family, it's a no-brainer. He's going to be alright, I think, since he got medical attention relatively quickly, but it was still quite a scare, and I'm sure it's going to change his life forever.

As for the show, there wasn't much that I could comment on anyway. It wasn't anything like a regular American Idol show, and quite frankly there wasn't much I could make fun of. And nobody went home, so we'll just do it all again next week.

Oh... but I would like to point this out. This was my quote from my recap of the Top 8 performing.

We're only two weeks away from "Idol Gives Back," and approximately every celebrity, dead or alive, will of course be appearing. I'm sure they'll digitally edit Elvis Presley in there somewhere. Actually, that would be kinda fun.

Am I good or what?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Idol Gives Back

Okay, so the concept was novel and exciting waaaaaaaaay the heck back in 1496 B.C. back when they first started plugging this whole "Idol Really Really REEEEEEEEALLY Gives Back" thing. However, for the past few weeks, it's almost become something I dread. For one thing, it's going to be long, what with the whole two night extravaganza thing. It's going to be packed. And it's going to be full of more cheese than the state of Wisconsin and Mickey Mouse's house.

I guess I might end up kicking myself for being so cynical about this whole thing, but for now this whole thing sort of reminds me of the expensive, extravagant celebrity galas that are supposed to be for the starving children of Africa, yet end up being something that's so ungodly self-indulgent that you sort of miss the point. Oh wait... No seriously, it's always nice when the stars throw themselves a huge (and coincidentally ratings-boosting) charity bash, so they can fulfill their annual quota of Caring (TM).

Still, I'll try to go into this with an open mind...

We open with Ryan Seacrest in the giant control room, which I believe is onboard the Death Star. If you look really carefully, some of those monitors are showing X-Wing fighters converging. I always knew Simon was a Sith Lord. Wouldn't you like to have a set-up like the A.I. control room in YOUR room though? You could watch all the channels on your satellite dish at once. ANYWAY, Ryan lets us know that today, every time we vote, we'll donate a dollar to the starving children of Africa or someplace with a premium on dirt and yuck. Is Ryan bulking up? That sport coat looks like it's about to pop open and fly straight off of him. News Corp is going to donate a pile of money for your calls. Ford, Coke, and AT&T continue their long-standing tradition of financial support of Idol. I know you're all shocked by that. Imagine, if you will, product placement on this show by...Coke! And Ford! Such unprecedented generosity. And tonight's mentor is none other than U2's Bono, who I am told does charitable work even in his sleep.

And now, here's a look into Simon and Ryan's honeymoon...err, African trip, set to one of those horrid 90's throwback songs that are supposed to evoke sadness but instead evoke nausea. These poor poor kids though. I can't speak ill of them, because truly their living conditions are beyond deplorable. Ryan doesn't show a whole lot of emotion, because his central processor is only programmed to emote one way. Simon, on the other hand, is emotional to the point of nearly bawling like a baby, which is a contrast that almost makes me uncomfortable enough to actually vote tonight. Seeing the hardened meanie almost cry is a bit unnerving.

Completely spoiling my mood, Chris Richardson picks Eric Clapton's "Change the World" as his inspirational favorite. See, there's one cardinal rule that I have. And that is YOU DO NOT murder a Clapton song. And that's exactly what he's doing with his stupid nasal thing and his complete failure to ape Justin freaking Timberlake. I really wish an asteroid would rocket toward earth, smash into the Idol studio, and land right on Chris's head, not killing him but removing his voice, thus stopping this unholy mockery and massacre of a song that I will now have to listen to again to regain my liking for it. Brandon Rogers likes Chris, but I do NOT. Randy thinks that Chris has for the first time shown he was in it to win it. I wonder if the judges will be more charitable tonight because of the theme. Paula says "See what Randy said, rinse, and repeat." Simon thinks he has potential tonight, calls the performance sexy, and then proceeds to say that grass is red and the earth revolves around the moon. Vote tonight, but not for this hoser.

Myspace has been helping out too, and if you don't get enough of this and need to live all this over again, you can go to Make sure you brush your teeth after. Well, I guess I was wrong about the kids here in America. They're getting some of the pie too. Randy is going back to New Orleans to help out the Hurricane Katrina. Idol is also going to the backwoods of Kentucky to donate teeth and education to the backwoods hillbillies. They're also going to some Indian reservation in Arizona and Ryan's old hood in the A.T.L. So we're helping everybody, I suppose. Personally, I would like my charity dollars to go to help out Justin Guarini.

Melinda Doolittle is going to perform a Faith Hill song, FINALLY, and I'm ready to hear her tickle my ears. I have to say, she looks smashing tonight. Not too glitzy, but very very attractive. She's feeling the song, interpreting it for us, and wearing it all over her face. I don't like the Faith Hill version of "There Will Come a Day" anymore, because this performance is like a billion times better. I don't even think we need to worry whether or not this chick wins the competition, because she is going to be prominent in the recording industry for quite some time to come. Melinda, I love ya. Randy says that she is "so dope." She is beyond their criticism by now. I suspect the mini-bar in Paula's room is completely bone dry. Simon calls it a vocal master-class and praises Melinda for not doing a copycat job.

After the break, Blake. Wouldn't you hate to be the people who got seats behind the chicks with that HUGE "The Blake Girls" sign? You'd miss the entire show.

Why haven't I seen Bono yet?

NewsCorp will be donating five million bucks if they reach their goals in call volume. Blah blah more about sponsors blah blah blah. And speaking of sponsors, Coke (gasp!) gets to ask Blake Lewis a stupid question like "what's the biggest sacrifice you made by coming on Idol aside from maintaining your street credibility?" He says something predictable about family. Blake will be singing John Lennon's "Imagine," which, and I know I will get beat down for saying this, I always thought was a completely over-rated song. Vocally, there's almost a three note range to this song. Blake handles it admirably, though. He sort of looks like he feels the song, but I wish to goodness that he'd quite dipping his head. He keeps cocking it back, then dropping it, leaning back, drooping, over and over again. I wonder if someone put a nakey pic of Haley Scarnato on the floor or something. Or maybe that's where the Idols have taken to scrawling their lyrics so that they can forget them. Randy didn't find it to be all that great of a performance. Good thought, Randy, because it bored me to death. Paula breaks away from Randy's judgment for once, calls Blake emotional and sensitive, and then leans away as Simon prepares to lambast him. Simon thinks it's a ballsy choice, thought it was sincere, but thought that it didn't really go anywhere. Not such a great night for the Blakester, but we'll see how well he does in the final count.

Still no Bono. Hrmmm.

If you hadn't heard (in case you're DEAF) you're watching "Idol Gives Back." And you can download videos from iTunes and Ford will give your money to someplace.

Ryan Seacrest goes to some place in Africa where apparently music by the Judds continuously plays in the background. It costs 50 cents a day to feed a child. Okay, if we can do that in Africa, why does it cost me five bucks a meal to eat? I think we Americans are getting screwed too. Honestly, though, I do hope those kids get their meals. Poor guys. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to endure that life. I say that with all sincerity.

I also say with all sincerity that Lakisha Jones needs to go, because this is twice that she has committed the cardinal sin of singing yet another Idol winner's song: "I Believe" by Fantasia. Unfortunately, Bono is nowhere to be found, so we can't tell if she followed his mentoring advice. My guess is probably no. Hmmm...trying to tell us something Lake Isha by singing these Idol winner songs? Is it sort of like when you told us last week that if God hadn't meant you to win, he wouldn't have let you come this far? Well, let me tell you...I'm not a huge fan of Fantasia, but I'd rather hear her fart this song than listen to this version you're doing. Guys, seriously, we have Melinda. What do we need this cocky chick for? To call this performance "pitchy" is to say that the Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series in a few months. Ouch. Ouch. Any more of Lakisha and I'll be the one giving back... my lunch. Randy didn't think it was a great performance. Paula sugar-coats the fact that she hates the performance, and she blasts Lakisha for performing yet another Idol winner song. Big rule: DO NOT DO THAT. Even Paula starts to get a few boos from the idiot crowd, who apparently never criticize ANYONE EVER. Simon prefers the Fantasia version, and he rightly points out that Paula does too. Paula refuses to admit it, but it's obvious from her stuttering and failure to outright deny it that that's the case. Simon calls Lakisha out for her shouting AGAIN and the idiotic sycophantic crowd boos and fails to let Simon finish his actual constructive criticism. Lakisha gives the judges her best "b***h please" look and thankfully we're going to a commercial and getting this manatee off our screens.

Heaven forfend that any actual thoughtful question should be asked of these contestants on the air. Phil Stacey has to answer what he misses about home. Duh, his kids. But not enough to actually be there. Go figure. He's going to sing "The Change" as sung by Garth Brooks. Methinks Phil has taken to heart the rumblings that he might be good at the country music bit. At first, I expect Garth's voice to come out. It doesn't, but then I realize that it's Uncle Fester and Lurch's illegitimate child up there singing, and I sort of adjust my expectations. To be honest, it's not the worst thing I've ever heard, but then again this song isn't the best ever. I'm sort of getting a butt full of the sappy songs right now, because there's so much saccharin and sweet and not enough zip, bam and pow. This Phil performance isn't anywhere near what his performance on country night was like, but I have to grudgingly admit that it's not that bad. Randy refers back to the country thing and congratulates him on a great performance. Paula calls it his best. The happy juice is flowing tonight. Simon likes it, and Phil's wife has her perma-smile on. Simon thinks people like Phil, which is probably why he's been in the bottom three almost every week this year. He's growing on me, like a tumor, but I'm not sure I'm quite there yet.

One more performance left before we can stop being touchy feely for the next 24 hours. ConAgra Foods is going to show us a video about a food pantry service. I've participated in these before, and they're quite a good work. It's also a fabulous experience to volunteer with one of these centers. I'm not surprised that Simon wasn't aware of these things, but I appreciate the fact that he's not above visiting them. I've gained a lot of respect for him.

Jordin Sparks is going to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone." I'm actually glad she's singing something slow and soulful tonight. I've had a bit much of the peppy teenage Jordin the last few weeks. I like Jordin, but I thought she had some issues with the lower notes in the song, and she lost control of her vibrato in the opening verse. However, once she hit her stride, she took this song and knocked it completely out of the park. I sort of think she's fighting back tears just a bit, and I wonder if that's not making it just a bit hard for her to sing. She finishes out the sing in style, and I loved it. Randy calls it the best vocal ever, to say nothing of the hottest song of the night. Jordin lets those tears through. Paula echoes the sentiment. Simon thought Jordin was fantastic and that she'd have a hit record with it. I have to agree. She looks really pretty tonight, too.

Ryan says that the call we make to vote could be the most important call we ever make. Nothing like extreme hyperbole to fire up the voting crowd.

Oh crap. I had to be reminded of Chris Richardson in the recap. I wish I could go back in time and give his car a flat tire so that he couldn't have made it to auditions. I know this sounds SO mean, but I'm so done with him. Oh, and La-Diva too.

Bottom three predictions: Clearly Melinda, Jordin and Phil were the best of the night. It's almost certain in my mind that Chris and Lakisha will be in the bottom, and I'm sort of thinking Blake might be in danger too. It's Blake or Phil. Go figure. It's gotta be half of them.

See ya tonight for one of the biggest shocks we've ever had on American Idol...Ryan is gay. No, wait...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Top 7 Results

As if there weren't enough hurt feelings going around, it seems that the nation has been unable to sit still as they watch repeats of The Video. No, not the video of the VT gun kid. The Video of Simon Cowell apparently rolling his eyes after Chris's comments about Virginia Tech. Some are mad at Chris, because they assume, as did I, that he used it to garner pity votes.

Okay, look. Here's the deal. None of us can know the hearts of these men. And quite frankly, we all need to quit being a country full of panty-waisted ninnies running around looking for stuff to be offended at. Whether they meant it or not, you'll never know. So move on.

The seven are lined up, preparing for judgment. And THIS...not that, and not the other, and certainly not that other American Idol. Randy Jackson has on what is perhaps the coolest hat I have ever seen. Skull and crossbones...quite stylish, I think.

For the first time ever, the show is taking time to publicly address speculation in the press about the show, and in particular the deal with Simon, Chris, and the eye roll. Simon explains he was talking to Paula when he rolled his eyes and wasn't paying attention to the cameras. Bucky Covington and I both believe that Simon is actually a softie inside, and I personally don't believe he would say something like that intentionally. If nothing else, he's been in this business long enough to know better. It was an accident, and it's obvious from Simon's somewhat shaken and penitent affect that he didn't mean it and that he's more than slightly embarrassed by it. The video proves conclusively that he didn't mean it that way, and you Chris fans can stop flapping your bleeding gums now. I'm sure that some of the conspiracy idiots out there still won't buy it, but who cares about them anyway.

If you want a recap of the recap, read last night's post.

Time for Seacrest's man on the street interviews. Apparently these people just came straight from The Tonight Show's "Jaywalking" segment. They seem like they've got all the intelligence of celery, and someone really needs to give that one guy a bath. Good grief, was Seacrest standing in the line outside the welfare office? Sheesh! What scares me even more than their lame answers is that we allow people as dumb as these to vote for something like President of the United States. That's the kind of thing that keeps me up at nights.

The kids will be group-singing "I'm Alright." Chris took Unshaven Guy's advice and squints so hard at the camera that the lens cracks. Blake sings it, but you can tell even he doesn't really buy it. Phil, Lakisha and Sanjaya are just sort of there. Melinda and Jordin take it seriously, as they do everything in this competition, which is why they are the Top Two, or will be. The rest of them manage to suck all the life out of this song. Again, it's the Kidz Bop version. I really wish I liked more than two of these guys. Aside from Melinda, and possibly Jordin, this is quite frankly the worst season of Idol that I remember. I used to think Season 3 had that distinction, but it seems like a banner year compared to this stinkfest year.

Christina Keaton won because she won the A.I. challenge, and now it's time for this week's absurdly simple question. Who is considered this year's "rocker"? (Hint: Gina) We won't go into the endless arguments we could have over whether a legitimate "rocker" would ever be on this show, but that's for another day.

Melinda listens to Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin. Gospel all the way. With demon spawn like Sanjaya around, she better keep her religion up.

Speaking of, Sanjaya illegally downloads country and blues, and then completely fails to emulate them.

Blake listens to Incubus. Live. Because he's cooler than everybody else, possibly even the rest of the universe.

Jordin listens to Fergie. This will come in to play later, I assume.

Chris listens to Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz. Insert stupid Chris joke about Peter Noone. Comedy is not in this guy's future.

Phil listens to Willie Nelson. Good choice, Phil. Wonder what else about Willie he likes? (Hint: Uh-oh, that wasn't a Marlboro...)

Lakisha listens to Yolanda Adams. Mmmkay.

Back outside the dressing room, Seacrest introduces Fergie, formerly of the Black Eyed Peas, and currently of the group of artists who release songs dealing with major issues like "my lovely lady lumps" and things that are fergalicious. This is deep material here folks. I wonder what the other two girls in Wild Orchid are doing now? Do you think Fergie and Jennifer Love Hewitt ever get together and reminisce over the good old days in Kids Incorporated? Probably not. Fergie is too busy recording earth-shattering songs with Gwen Stefani about how her humps are bananas (b-a-n-a-n-a-s). What's with this random performance anyway? Is it just to fill time? Could Fergie not make it till next week when Idol Really Really Gives a Crap and Cares Until They're Blue In The Face? Or was she turned down from that lineup?

Ah yes, the Ford Commercial disguised as a music video that we can oh so conveniently download, so as to be advertised to as many times as our little hearts desire. They're murdering "I Ran (So Far Away)" as done by A Flock of Seagulls. I know at least one blogger who is going to be completely repulsed by this. Well, aside from me...

Next week, Idol Cares So Much It Hurts (tm) and Myspace has - gasp! - created a special profile for it! I'm SHOCKED. And in case you didn't already have a butt full of this love-fest that Idol is having with itself, we get to hear more about it, see more about it, and find out which artists will be falling all over themselves to Care (tm). Good to see that Carrie and Kelly will be back though. Teri Hatcher will be there. Oh the jokes I will have at Seacrest's expense!

Time to split the herd. I hate the stupid suspense portions, so I'll cut to the chase here. Sanjaya, Lakisha, and Blake are in one group, while Jordin, Phil, and Chris are in the other. Seacrest does what he does every year by asking the one remaining star who is obviously safe to pick which group they should be in. Usually this person will just sort of stand in the middle, a la Bo Bice, even though Taylor Hicks didn't do it last year, and Melinda will be equally non-commital as she squats stylishly to the floor. As it turns out, in this not-so-predictable balance, that Chris, Jordin, and Phil are safe. Thusly, Sanjaya, Lakisha and Blake will have to wait to see who gets kicked out of the apartments after the big group send-off dinner tonight. Randy is all "what?" at Blake being there. Paula also feels the same, because she is surgically attaching herself to Randy's opinion this season. Simon is smiling like a cat who just ate the canary, because he is savoring the delicious possibility that Sanjaya is going home.

The bottom three sit, awaiting their fate. Well, Blake is awaiting a return to his seat, but the other two are facing certain doom. Sanjaya has a look on his face that sort of says "yeah, I knew I couldn't pull it off forever." Lakisha has a look on her face that sort of says "ooooooh shiny..."

But before we do that, we have to go and let Fox shill for the new Shrek movie. Not even TiVo can skip past all the commercials that are embedded within this juggernaut of a show. With all the product placement, it sort of feels like I'm watching Rachael Leigh Cook in Josie and the Pussycats over and over again. I'm sure this Shrek thing is a great experience for the Idols, but for us, watching them watching other things is slightly more boring than watching my socks unravel. The Idols attempt to do voice work, then get surprised by Antonio Banderas, who comes in and strokes their ego right before they become the first audience ever to see the movie, though that will seem slightly less cool next year when the movie is playing three times a week on TBS.

Antonio, Melanie Griffith, their kids, Melanie's lips, and Dreamworks Guru Guy Katzenberg are taking up the first row.

Now on to Martina McBride, and anyone who follows her this season as a guest mentor will forevermore seem unworthy. She's performing her new song, "Anyway," which I love. If I ever had a voice like a girl, I would hope it would be her voice. Melinda totally gets Martina's song, and she's standing over with the others, lost in the vibe, unaware of anything else but the song. Chris is sort of standing there, looking for all the world like he's thinking "boy that gal has a purty mouth." Martina's daughter Emma comes onstage with her and succeeds at being cuter than anybody, ever, all combined. Quite frankly, I would be overjoyed if 19 Entertainment fired Seacrest and hired Emma McBride to host the show. If she doesn't have a show, she should get one. Martina just stole Ryan's thunder, sent us out to break, and I think I may just buy her new album based solely on that.

Time for the elimination... one person's pain will be assuaged. Without a doubt, even in the infinitesimal mind of Seacrest, Blake is safe. So who goes home? Annoying Teenybopper or Baby Mamma? It looks like Lakisha's baby girl will be getting... stay with her grandparents. Justice is finally served, and Sanjaya will be joining Shyamali. Oh you thought he cried when his sister got cut? Wait for the waterworks that are about to happen now. There's a montage of all the celebrity mentors singing his praises, poor pitiful crying Ashley who will be in therapy for years to come over the embarrassment of this season, and moment upon moment of auditory agony as Sanjaya assaults our ears with his own brand of Suck. No more Sanjaya to kick around. 99.9 percent of the country will be rejoicing. The one percent that are Fanjayas (UGH) will be crying into their Strawberry Shortcake lunchboxes as they head back to study hall where they will trade N'Sync stickers with their friends and discuss the deep-rooted philosophies and beliefs held by Lindsey Lohan.

Sanjaya, ever the jokester, gives us something to talk about "other than hair" and we graciously get to see him cut off.

See ya!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Top 7 Perform

What a week it has been! The Imus Debacle, the unthinkable tragedy at Virginia Tech... a lot of unfunny things have happened this week. And with these hard times has come a hard question... is it the right time to be funny? Is it the right time to enjoy something as light and meaningless as a cheesy televised talent show?

I say yes. We have to be funny, or the deranged Asian kid will have won. Not to be disrespectful, but in a world as dark as the one in which we live, you either have to laugh or let it consume you.

With that in mind, on with this goofy show...

Ryan Seacrest opens the show respectfully enough, acknowledging again that this has been a really crap week as far as tragedies go. God bless all of you people who were a part of that mess in Virginia; I have no idea how much pain you guys must be going through. A touch of class, Seacrest. I can't knock you for that.

I do miss the Seacrest T-shirts though. He's been dressed like he was getting married to Teri Hatcher this whole season. The judges settle in for Country Music Night. Simon chews a wheat stalk, Randy takes off his shoes, and Paula hits the corn liquor jug.

Meet the guest mentor, whom I will have NOTHING negative to say about tonight, because I love me some Martina McBride. I'm not even a country fan, but I love her work. She attempts to coach this rabble into actually meaning what they sing. Melinda actually is the only one of them that understands this, but the rest sort of nod and say uh-huh and go on pretending that they'll actually do it. Sanjaya's smile actually causes his entire head to split wide open.

Phil Stacey is going to sing Keith Urban's "Where the Black Top Ends." Martina thinks he sounds stiff and measured, and she notes what he's been doing all season which is being stiff and then throwing in about five seconds of soul at the end, which has kept him at the top end of the bottom three incessantly. During his vocal workout, he wrenches some unholy notes from somewhere down in his lower intestine, and I can only think that this might just be smoke and mirrors from the producer to give us a contrast with an actual good performance tonight. Well, he apparently took Martina's advice, and I'm not hating this performance. From the neck up, he looks like Uncle Fester, but I can buy this performance, even if he is a little self-indulgent by working the crowd. He looks a lot less wormy in this outfit. His vocal tone is right, his expressions are good, and he's working the song out perfectly. Without a doubt, this is his best performance yet. I'm pleasantly surprised. Randy thinks that Phil will have a career in country music. Out of nowhere, A&R reps from Lyric Street Records appear behind him, wearing Bucky Covington and Josh Gracin t-shirts, and snapping candid shots of Phil. Paula enjoyed it too. Tonight, Paula will officially have no other opinion, save for what she gleans from the last five seconds of Randy's comments. Simon compliments him on song choice, style choice and personality. Fans of Phil, don't get too comfortable. Vote if you want him to have another week. Simon hit the nail on the head when he said he didn't know if the best performance ever was enough to save him.

Jordin Sparks is going to sing Martina's "Broken Wing," and she sings it rather well in front of Martina, who - like the rest of the civilized universe - completely loves Jordin. Martina tells her to plant her feet, belt it out, and wow the crowd. What do you want to bet that Jordin does just that? The guy on the steel guitar is too busy reading his sheet music to actually pick the song right or on time, so hopefully Jordin won't get thrown off too much. Jordin looks resplendent tonight. The song starts off slowly...perhaps a little too slowly for my taste, but that's just one person's opinion. That's the song, though, and not Jordin's fault. I thought that Jordin might do yet another fun, upbeat number to keep her in our hearts (and speed-dials) but she chose correctly with this song. This was an admirable performance. Randy feels that she pulled it off well and calls it "da bomb." Paula likes her look and performance. For some reason, Paula looks like Eartha Kitt playing Catwoman tonight. Not the 1966 Eartha Kitt either. Simon thinks Jordin could win the whole shooting match based on that one performance alone. Ryan talks about Jordin's age, basically because he's upset that someone half his age is twice his size. I'd be happy with a Jordin win, wouldn't you?

Sanjaya Malakar must've thought it was Alternate Universe Night, because that's what he came dressed for. He takes a dig at the Cowell, wishing that he would sing R.E.M.'s godless "Shiny Happy People." And while that would be fun and appropriately ironic, the only persons that REALLY laughed at that joke were Sanjaya, Ryan because he was told to, and Nigel when he wrote it, but that's only because Nigel was also on the way to the bank to put a down payment on his fiftieth yacht with the money he made in the past thirty minutes. Martina wants Sanjaya to be more confident, and she thinks that if he projects more that people will like him more. That plus having a complete body transplant. And psychotherapy. Brain-washing, perhaps. He certainly tries to do Bonnie Raitt much as a thin-voiced teenager can do a raspy three-pack-a-day voice like Bonnie's justice. As it turns out, Sunny's performance is about as much injustice one could do without immediately being assessed the death penalty. This is just not right. It's possibly even a violation of one or more of the Geneva conventions. I find this to be very much a karaoke performance, even though I despise that criticism when it comes from one of the judges. There just aren't words that can tell you how much I hate this. I could hear this calibre of performance in any given bar on a Friday night. For one thing, the key is too low, and Sanjaya is just not a low-note performer. His voice drags, not quite able to hit the depth and richness that he needs, and the end becomes screechy because of that. Randy calls it karaoke, which completely validates my opinion, both of the performance and of Randy as a judge. "What are we doing up here?" he asks. Keeping ratings alive, I assume. Paula comments on Sanjaya's "adversity," and calls him loveable, which in no way makes any sort of remark about his musical performance. Simon calls it utterly horrendous, and Ryan comes storming onto the stage scolding Simon as though he had just soiled the carpet. Simon correctly points out that we're SUPPOSED to be finding the American Idol. Ryan hits Simon on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, and the judges get into a big huge hissy fit, and the other two don't exactly back up Ryan with as much fervor as you'd expect them to, because they both know that Simon is right.

Lakisha Jones is going to sing Carrie's "Jesus Take the Wheel." Martina should know how to coach this song, because the writer of this song also wrote several of Martina's hits. I went to high school with the lady who wrote this song. We wrote one together once upon a time, so I should have some insight too. Lakisha does sort of a R&B twist on it, but it's flat. Sorry, there's not room for that on a Hillary Lindsey song. Not even close. And, as my wife reminds me, it is always a horrible idea to do a song that has been made famous by a previous Idol. In fact, it's almost always a death knell. There's that vacant look in Lakisha's eyes, and oh mercy, that chorus is so out of key it's not even funny. Lakisha needs to stop screaming at us, listen to the band, and get in tune. Awful! Just awful. I think the emotion here in her face is just wholly inappropriate for this song too. Not a good performance AT ALL. Randy tries to lower the boom, but the fans are overpowering it. Randy says it had pitch problems, which is like saying the Titanic had a leak. He didn't think she treated the song properly. Paula doesn't want to agree, but she has to, because she has ears and as a human had no choice but to know it was completely off pitch. She shouted the song, and perhaps bellowed her way into the bottom three this week. Simon thinks that Lakisha and that song aren't a good match. Lakisha looks at them as though she sort of wants to cuss them out, and then Seacrest ushers her off the stage so that...

Chris Richardson can shower Martina with snot while trying to sing "Mayberry" completely through his sinuses. Oddly enough, "Mayberry" is also where the jail Chris was paroled from must've been. He sucks. Just flat sucks. Sucks worse than Lakisha. Sucks worse than Sanjaya. His vocal tone makes Kellie Pickler last year sound like Aretha Franklin. I get a deeper, richer tone from scraping my fingernails down a graphite board. With all the missed notes, off-key lines, and butchered breathing, I can't even remember what he was singing. Randy didn't find him to be emotionally connected to the song, mentions the nasal quality and the pitch problems. Paula understands what Randy is saying, because actually Paula doesn't speak anymore, she just moves her mouth and lets Randy throw his voice. Simon calls it "nondescript," "nasally tinny" and "insignificant." Dang. He stopped just short of pulling out a pistol and shooting Chris dead on the stage. Ryan addresses the crowd again, and Chris--unbelievable!--claims to have intended to sing nasally, which is very much a reason to fail to vote for him. I really hope that he meant it as a joke. Unfortunately, if he did, it completely fell flat. And if he was serious, then God help him, because no one else can. Chris is also a back-talker, sassing someone who has had years more experience than he in the recording industry, which is another reason to not vote for him. But if you want a definitive reason to NOT vote for Chris, this is it: he just used the fact that he has friends in Virginia, and correlated it with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, in order to try to garner the pity vote. You, sir, are despicable, and you deserve to go home tonight.

Melinda Doolittle looks nice tonight, and she gets all cute on us while answering whatever that question was about psycho fans. Melinda rocks. And she's from the same area that Martina is from. She blew Martina away, the same way she's been slaying us all this year. Lakisha should be just off-stage taking notes, because THIS is how it's done. Again, Melinda interprets the song for us, and she shows us how versatile she is. Soul sistah can sing some country, y'all! So many times while she's performing, I find myself stopping typing and just listening and enjoying myself. Great song choice, great performance, impeccable vocal, and how could you not like this girl? How? Randy calls it a solid performance by their "resident pro." Paula parrots Randy. Again. Do we still need her at this stage of the competition? Simon calls it fantastic, and Melinda fulfills his request to not look surprised. She smiles and takes it graciously. Simon compares her to Tina Turner, and come to think of it, I would like to hear her take on "Proud Mary."

Blake Lewis is going to do Tim McGraw's "When the Stars Go Blue," and Martina was JUST talking to Tim, probably at one of those parties where country stars talk to each other about stuff like that, and he wanted someone to do the song. (I can't say too much about those parties. I get invited to them from time to time.) Unfortunately, 311 has not as yet done a cover of this song, so Blake is going to have to do his own interpretation of the song. This is not a horrid performance, but it's also not a really great one either. There are points in the song where Blake's voice runs thin and flat, and then there are places where he sounds really silky and nice. Fortunately there's more of the latter, but overall, I'm not terribly impressed by this song. Obviously, Blake isn't meant to be a country star, and I'm sure he'll sail through, given the fact that several others have really blown it tonight. Randy thinks he picked the right song and liked the performance. Paula liked what Randy said too, and so she chooses to adopt it as though it were her own judgment. Simon thought it was average. Somehow Simon segues into well-wishing the people in Virginia Tech, forgetting that Chris was the one that mentioned it, but yet being as heart-felt as his cold, soulless shell will allow him to be. (I hear Simon's actually a nice guy in real life. Go figure.)

Now for the recap, and my final thoughts. Who will go home tonight? Who knows? (I do. Chris.) Bottom three: Chris, Lakisha, and Phil. I still don't think Sanjaya will go home or be in danger of it yet. Go figure. Nobody really likes Phil.

See ya tomorrow to find out!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don Imus and Free Speech

The whole world has been watching, it seems, as one of New York's most iconic broadcasters ended his career in the space of two seconds with the words "nappy headed ho." None have watched the events unfold with a more keen eye than those of us who are broadcasters ourselves, for these happenings hold more import to us than just a fleeting moment or a hurt feeling. No, for those of us in the communication industry, these proceedings not only impact the news, they also impact how much we might be able to communicate in the future.

Now, let me be perfectly clear here. What Imus said was uncalled for, boneheaded, and indicative of his usual blowhardedness. I don't agree with what he said. I don't agree with what a lot of people say.

On the other hand, consider this: Don Imus says three words about African-American women and loses his job. D.L. Hughley and Dave Chappelle go on hour-long racist rants about white people and they... get sitcom deals. Am I the only one that sees an inequity there? My wife and I watched The Original Kings of Comedy last night, which is over an hour and a half of racial humor, particularly against white people. The result: we laughed our heads off. Had we been in the Sharpton camp, I suppose our reactions would have been different.

However, racial issues aren't really the point of concern for me here. I've never had a racist bone in my body, and I think assigning value to one person over another based on something as idiotic as the amount of melanin in one's skin is beyond retarded. The point of concern here is this: what does Freedom of Speech cover?

I won't go into Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson any more than I already have. I think people of all races know that Martin Luther King Jr. would've been ashamed at the way that these men constantly seek out ways to jump in front of the camera and create racial tension where there was none for their own profit and power. I doubt that he would've marched with them. They're just sideshows on the bigger midway in this circus.

Unfortunately, I think we're setting a dangerous precedent here. And while I agree that what Imus said was messed up, I don't believe it's a good idea to jump up and censor someone who says something that makes us uncomfortable. We can't preach tolerance for others when we are intolerant of the views of others. Whether it's Don Imus calling people nappy-headed, Howard Stern talking about rimjobs, Rush Limbaugh downing pills and Democrats, Chris Rock talking about "niggas versus black people," a gay pride speech, a religious discussion, or whatever the case may be, we have to realize that no one is going to agree on everything and that every opinion, however valid, must be allowed to be expressed. The problem with creating rules about what can and cannot be uttered in public is that there is no way of controlling who the author of this rule-book will be from generation to generation. While the author of such a Speech Code may be benevolent in the present time, it takes but one change of government before political speech becomes sedition, religious speech becomes hate talk, hoses get turned on Black Panther gatherings, being a homophobe can get you jailed or any number of possibilities.

We all stand to lose here. Black, white, gay, straight, conservative, liberal... We've now set the precedent for people who consider our ideas offensive to take away our ability to say them. We've established that there are thoughts that are verboten, and we've given those who govern us the keys to add to that list. In the name of harmony, we've silently agreed that the days of a free and uninhibited press are numbered.

Folks, the ugly part of free speech is that we're not the only ones who are entitled to it. In order for us to continue to speak our good thoughts freely, those whose ideas we consider to be evil must also be allowed the same. The fortunate part is that we, with our good thoughts, are also perfectly free to flip the switch on our TV or radios if we don't wish to hear it.

Yet we consistently allow the freedoms to slip. We don't lose our freedoms all at once. Like the frog that is slowly boiled to death, we lose our freedom one right at a time, often without noticing it. There's the Janet Jackson Nipplegate that causes the FCC to "tighten up." There's the 9/11 tragedy that gives our government the chance to enact laws to spy on us. The new restrictions all seem perfectly reasonable at the time. But as has been the case with the 9/11 spying, we often find that what sounded good at first turned out to be a really really horribly bad idea. The same will happen as our inability to speak freely erodes.

So yes, I hate what Imus said. Imus, you're an idiot. Thanks a pantload for screwing your fellow broadcasters.

There. I just did what everyone who disagrees with anyone should do. Not eliminate another's free speech... Just speak up yourself, use your freedom, and tell them they're a jerk and move on with it. If you don't like it...don't read it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol 6: Top 8 Results

No recap tonight, folks. I'm just not feeling up to it. I hurt my back at work today, and I just can't sit in front of this computer for very long.

Suffice it to say that I'm happy that Americans picked talent over nudity tonight and sent Haley home. I hope she has lots of luck in finding a career in which she can keep some modicum of dignity. (Haley, please, no matter what you do, when Playboy comes calling, don't do it.)

I'll be writing some more stuff as the week goes on, so don't forget to drop by.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol Night 6: Top 8 Perform

It's time once again for that Tuesday night institution (a mental institution, some would say) that we so affectionately call "The Show That Comes On Before House." Okay, some of us call it American Idol, too, but either way, Fox is getting to advertise to us for an hour or two or three or however long we sit mesmerized before we regain enough IQ to remember how the remote works.

Tonight, we will continue the tradition of learning from the experience of others. We all know that the Idols need musical guidance from an artist who is well-traveled, an artist who knows the ropes of the industry, an artist whose butt is roughly the size of Ohio and which roughly resembles the shape of the word "OhiO" as well. Seriously...Jennifer Lopez? If Jennifer Lopez is a Master's Class, then I should be able to obtain a doctorate from listening to Aretha Franklin.

P.S.: If you want to know the kind of bull crap that Jennifer Lopez has in her contract for dressing room requirements, check out my post here

Again, I appreciate Idol FINALLY trying to make itself contemporary, but why pick the shallowest pop divas to model our young muddle-headed hopefuls after? Oh THAT'S riiiiiiight... they have something to promote. Ah, crass commercialism. What would this country be without it? Well, whatever Miss Lopez is selling, it matters not, because nary a penny of this writer's hard earned skrilla is gonna be spent in its direction. However, it should be fun writing around her tonight, especially since I have a moral objection to calling her "J-Lo."

Viva la show!

We come in backstage for the beginning of "Latin Night," and no we do not mean E Pluribus Unum or Carpe Diem. Though it wouldn't help if somebody might Carpe Sanjaya (literally "Seize the Sanjaya") and e pluribus his unum (literally "vote him off.") Time to meet Ricky Minor and the judges three. Seacrest instructs us that this will be, in fact, a spectacular show, and that we will like it or else Brian Dunkleman will pin us to the floor, sit on us, and force us to listen to his full comic routine. Then, he introduces Selena-lite. They go through all of Jennifer "Play My Motherf***ing Song" Lopez's albums, all of which I hate slightly more than genocide. Thankfully they do pay tribute to the movie Selena, which was probably the only thing that Jennifer does that I will even waste my time with. I would've much preferred Shakira for tonight, but what do I know.

The kids, on the other hand, sit around with big goofy smiles on their faces, as though they're about to receive large cones of ice cream and a million dollar check, as Miss Lopez takes them to school on Latin music while babbling on about little to nothing. I couldn't make sense of it. Perhaps it was in Spanish. (Again, not Latin, as the night's theme might suggest.)

Melinda Doolittle is excited to try out Latin music which should be easy enough for her. She's good with that swing and salsa vibe. She freely admits that she is not sexy, even though she's gonna try to be. I don't know ladies and gentlemen, but that black dress is probably as good as she's ever looked. Nice touch on the necklace to minimize that "no neck" problem she's been having. I think that she looks quite fetching tonight. "Sway" is a nice change of pace for her, and she's flawless as usual. I'm not excited by the song, if I'm being honest, but her voice is still beautiful enough to tickle my ears. Toward the end, I find myself starting to get into it. I'd bet all the money in my front pocket (five dollars) that Jennifer Lopez didn't sing the song this well. Melinda, once again, is shocked to the point of catatonia by the fact that people heart her mightily. Randy thinks it was solid, not her best, but he's turned on by Melinda so he gives her props. Paula liked the subtle, sexy quality of it. Simon didn't like it. He babbles something about "personality," as though Melinda hasn't interpreted every single lyric properly this whole entire competition. I agree with him that it wasn't her best, but it wasn't nearly as horrid as he purported it to be. Time to take a sip of some of Paula's happy juice, Simone. Ryan, in the creepiest moment in all of television history, including all of Richard Nixon's speeches, tells Melinda, "thank you, sexy." I feel like I should shower now.

Up next, LaKisha Jones is in the pimp chat spot, and she'll answer B-ham's own Stephanie. The producers pitch one right at her and let her go on and on about how she wants to create a better life for her daughter (while simultaneously running off and leaving her for months at a time while chasing her Hollywood dream. But that's another argument for another time.) Jennifer Lopez and LaKisha prep themselves for the most godless version of Conga I've ever heard. If Gloria Estefan had died in that bus accident, she'd be spinning in her grave right now. I wonder if she might be involuntarily twirling in her chair even now. This is horribly off-key, and wow Lakisha is so anti-sexy that I find myself looking away. I'm afraid that that cleavage might burst through my TV screen, blacken both my eyes, and keep me from writing how much I hate this. Randy thinks it was fun, fails to mention how off-key it was, and calls it "hot," mainly because he's having flashbacks to when his mommy nursed him and the producers really REALLY want to keep this girl. Paula didn't like it any whatsoever, because she's had it with this chick who refuses to take the mentors' advice. Paula calls it safe, which is a weird criticism, but probably valid. Simon doesn't think anyone outside of Lakisha's own cell structure actually enjoyed that. I know I didn't. Simon complimented the dancing, and once the stagehands are able to repair all the scenery that was destroyed by the swaying of that mass, I'm sure everything will return to normal.

We're only two weeks away from "Idol Gives Back," and approximately every celebrity, dead or alive, will of course be appearing. I'm sure they'll digitally edit Elvis Presley in there somewhere. Actually, that would be kinda fun.

Chris Richardson is so white that he's almost clear. Nowhere is that more obvious than when he tries to sing a latin-style song. I feel embarrassed for him. It's like Toby Keith with a mouthful of helium and a clothespin on his nose trying to sing "Living La Vida Loca." Chris is doing the most hideous WASPy version of a Santana song that has ever been done. This is kind of cheating, isn't it? Carlos Santana is latino, but he only played the guitar in this song. It's not really Rob Thomas night is it? Talk about playing it safe! Apparently it's "Close Your Throat and Let Your Nose Do All The Singing" night for Mr. Richardson. This is a wretched wreck of the song, and I'd rather turn off the TV and listen to the real thing. Somebody tell Chris to wake up, because his eyes have involuntarily slammed shut again. What an awful, ridiculous performance. Randy thought it was very very cool. Paula thought it was hot. Why does everybody think he's so sexy? I have been wondering this for weeks now. I mean, the kid looks nothing like Justin Timberlake, who he's been compared to ad nauseum for whatever unknown reason. He looks sort of like someone who just got paroled. Simon liked it because it felt more contemporary. Uh, hello? The song itself is more contemporary. The others are like twenty years old. I'm getting a butt full of Simon's asinine comments tonight. I hope asininity isn't contagious. I also hope asininity is a word.

RoboLegs is on deck. Haley Scarnato is going to sing "Turn the Beat Around." I forget who sang this originally, but I remember Gloria Estefan doing it, and here she goes, spinning in her easy chair again. They're doing the 90's version of it. And here comes the legs. Gosh, I hope she bikini waxed. I'm afraid she'd probably get thrown out of a Hooters for being too indecently dressed. She sure does have a long stride. I'm not saying she has long legs, but her razors have odometers on them. She sounds bland, boring, and no fun at all. This song is completely out of her range. She keeps forgetting where she is supposed to come in, and with those 9 inch heels she has a lot of trouble navigating the stairs. The song is just a bit high for her and her voice cracks a lot. Plus she has all the soul of Pat Boone. Randy found it to be little better than a karaoke performance, and he is just not having it. Paula thinks the competition is all about who gets to have fun up there. Simon points out the hideously blatant fact that she's dressing in as little as possible to keep the votes coming in. Everybody else got that a long time ago. Truly, the only thing keeping her alive is that she's whoring us all out with her performance. I'm not saying that Haley is prostituting herself, but what do you call it when you sell your body for money or fame?

The guys are two for two in aping the guys who did duets with Santana. This time Phil Stacey will be the Product G & B and sing "Maria Maria." She may remind him of a west side story, but Phil reminds me of a colon polyp. Which may be what he has, based on the way he's sitting on that stool. Maybe we can blame the guitar player for screwing up the guitar solo. It made me clench a bit too. These vocals are nowhere near what Phil can do. I don't know why he doesn't just cut loose. Unlike Haley, Phil can actually survive on his voice--not his looks--so why not just amaze me? Unfortunately, it's not happening tonight. It doesn't help that his voice broke completely on that last line. Randy was bored with it. Paula looks completely trashed, and her happy juice has kicked in mightily. Simon thought it was unoriginal. Noting the Grim Reaper waiting patiently over Phil's shoulder, Simon also calls it lifeless, which describes Phil perfectly, and Phil wisely avoids sassing him back. Phil tells us an adorable story about his daughter and her stuffed animal, which she, at the grand old age of six months, personally named Simon Cow. Because not only can she now talk, she also has an adult wit. Don't you just hate people who anthropomorphize their own children way past their actual point of maturity? Still, don't vote Phil off. I need him to outlast Haley and Sunny J.

Someone asks Jordin Sparks which theme she would pick, and now I officially love her, because she picked 80's music. I love you, Jordin. Will you go to the prom with me? She's going to sing Gloria Estefan's "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," because, y'know, Gloria Estefan and Carlos Santana are apparently the only two Latino musicians. It's a fun song, and I like the way Jordin has fun with it. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a very solid performance. She's just a touch behind the band on the beat, and I am finding all but this last part to be just a bit karaoke. I do like that she's doing her own "Oh-Ay-Oy's." That's gonna be in my head for the next few hours. Throw lots of votes Jordin's way, but put more weight on past performances. Randy thought it was the "Yo Factor." I've given up on understanding what he's talking about. Paula wants to surround us all with flowers, rainbows and puppies. Simon doesn't think it was progressive enough, whatever that means, and he wasn't thrilled. The look on his face sort of says "who put buttermilk in my vodka flask?"

Blake Lewis is doing Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know," which, as Latin songs go, is slightly less annoying than flesh-eating bacteria. Apparently Blake borrowed from Phil's hat collection, which he should absolutely be forbidden from doing ever again, even if it's in the privacy of his own home. With the red shirt and white pants, I think he accidentally made himself look like Gilligan. Vocally, I suppose this is okay. It's a bit boring. It's not the worst performance of the night, and since Blake is the only guy that I even still sort of halfway like, I suppose I can live through it. Still, I want more punch. I sort of miss the old Blake, even though this one is talented and slick. Randy thinks it's totally hot. Paula thinks it was very smart (which she would refer to as "safe" in a derogatory way for any other contestant that she didn't like.) Simon thought it was his best performance ever. Huh.

Closing out the show...Sanjaya. Dear goodness. I had almost forgotten about him. For a moment, Idol was starting to be fun again. Oh how thou hast torn my illusions apart, oh wretched Seacrest!

Gosh, I miss Gina. I just realized that. Actually Priscilla realized it for me, but there's definitely a void in the show tonight. Don't be a stranger, Gina, ok?

Sanjaya Malakar chose... wait, what? "Besame Mucho"??????? Wow. Gutsy choice. And gutsy move stealing Shirley Temple's hairstyle. For some reason when I hear this song, I remember Leslie Nielsen singing it in The Naked Gun, and I giggle a bit. Oh, I loathe myself for saying this... This ain't half bad. UGH!!!! Hit me, somebody! No me gusta Sanjaya, pero me gusta la cancion mucho!! Holy cow. I actually think that he should go through to the next week now. Bye, Haley! He just sent you home. Randy liked it, Paula thought it was nice, and Simon couldn't understand a word of it. Duh, Simon...Espanol? Not the native tongue of the British Isles, even if it is the official language of California. Simon thought it wasn't horrible, though, no matter how much he wants this kid to go home.

Who leaves tonight? Anybody's guess really. (Hint: Haley.) The bottom three will definitely be Chris, Haley, and Phil. See ya when that all goes down!

P.S. Jordin was on beat during the video recap. Vote for her based on her performance at the dress rehearsal!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

American Idol 6: 8 Contestants Remain

After a better than usual night last night, I'm fairly sure that tonight's results will be somewhat close, though I figure either Haley will be strutting her way back to the strip club or Phil will be heading back to finish his treatments.

I caught this week's issue of People magazine which featured the Top 10 and Haley's legs. Seriously, if you look at the cover, that's about all you can see. Chris Sligh's hair and Haley's legs. It's not a pleasant visual when combined. Oh, and don't you just love how magazines proclaim that people will "tell all" and yet they don't? They don't even tell "most."

Now...on with the show.

Last night they raised the dead and were coached by Tony Bennett. I've caught more than a little crap for saying that Tony Bennett was "old," as though he weren't the combined age of everybody left in the competition, and as though that casts aspersions on his music. I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of his style of music, but's gonna be alright. People can have differing musical tastes without one or the other of them being a complete moron. In any case, you can always click off of my page and go listen to Tony and k.d. lang doing "Moonglow" or something if you don't like what I'm saying. (I do happen to like that particular song.)

The kids sang the standards last night, though I must confess I've never known exactly what these songs were "standard" for. Volume level? Lyrical content? Melody? Who knows? I love that they repeated Paula saying that Blake was a "hip cat," when what she most certainly meant was "hep cat." I love it when people use words that they don't really know, yet use them with enthusiasm. Sanjaya completely failed to grasp that Simon was saying "incredible" in the hopes of getting him voted off. Gina was good, Phil was bad, and Sanjaya was ugly. And the brightest of all? Melinda. Neck or no neck, I love my Tennessee girl.

On to the Car-Mercial and here's Gina driving a beater Jeep. She is looking a lot better lately. The remaining Idols are singing the most watered down reggae version of "One Love" that I've ever heard. I hope that some of them get used to washing cars, because I have a feeling that several of them will be returning to that line of work very shortly. (This means you, Sanjaya.) Kermit the Frog makes another appearance, though Gina doesn't rate as high as Katharine McPhee, in the sense of actually getting to sit with Mr. The Frog. And another video ends with me still not being motivated to buy a Ford. Ever.

Ryan reminds us that WE, yes WE, certainly NOT someone the producers have pre-selected, NO couldn't be that, get to write the winner's song this week.

Time to find out who the Bottom Three are. They've been divided into groups of three: the bottom, the middle and the top. If you need it explained any further beyond that then raise your hand and I'll come around and hit you with a tack hammer because you're a retard. (Thanks, David Spade!)

The first group is Beat-Boxing Blake, Wanna-Give-Him-A-Swirly Chris, and Why-Oh-Why Sanjaya. I kinda doubt this group is the bottom.

The second group is RoboLegs, Rockin' Gina, and I-Want-To-Suck-Your-Blood Phil. This has got to be the bottom group.

On to, undoubtedly, the top group, Cute Jordin, American Idol 2007 Melinda, and Baby Mamma LaKisha. Sit down divas. You're safe. Ryan fakes us out by preparing to go to commercial, and then in the most anticlimactic moment in all of television history, he sits them down. Blake, Sanjaya and Chris go to the chairs too.

That leaves Gina, Butterface, and Lurch Jr. onstage. This time, we'll go to break for real.

Back from break, Ryan takes us to the brain strain question of the week. Which A.I. finalist was jokingly referred to as Kevin Covais? Oops. I mean, as Chicken Little. Sheesh, can't we leave that kid alone? Hasn't he been in every question so far this year?

I am wondering exactly how I am going to make fun of "Idol Gives Back" without sounding like a jerk. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

Tony Bennett can't perform tonight, because he died five years ago, but you can still go buy his CD. Hey, if 2pac and Jimi Hendrix can do it, so can he. Instead, Michael Buble will be filling in. Man, you know David Radford is sitting at home right now wetting himself, wishing he would've waited a year to audition so he could meet Mike. I can totally dig this performance, by the way. I've always liked Michael Buble, and I really really like this tonight. So I'm going to stop typing, sit, and enjoy this. Talk amongst yourselves.

Wow, Michael Buble hearts Antonella Barba? Do we have a love connection here?

And now it's back to the Circle of Doom. Haley, Gina, and Phil sweat it out as one of them goes back to safety. Phil goes back to safety. Let's hope that we've seen the last of Legs.

Randy thinks America got it right. Paula does too, but she'll never say so. Simon ain't shocked either. Gina deserves to stay.

And apparently sex still sells, so Gina Glocksen will be going home. This is a flat out travesty, by the way. Haley is NOT better than Gina. And I hate Sanjaya even more because of this. I've been cheering Gina on for two seasons now, and I promise you, I'll do my best to follow her career on past this.

Best performance she ever had, and she goes home. Unbelievable.

San-FRIGGIN'-jaya. Sundance Head. Brandon Rogers. Chris Sligh. Gina Glocksen. Yet that little turd is still there. If you voted for Sanjaya, I hate you.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Top 9 Perform

I didn't get to blog this live, and the weather is kinda nuts outside, so I'm gonna give you the main thoughts for the night. Digest at your leisure.

1. Tony Bennett: After last week, I thought Idol might be on its way to being current and contemporary. Oh well. Instead, they raised the dead again, and gave the Top 9 a mentor who has one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel.

2. The Songs: Overall everyone sounded great tonight, but let's face it, these songs are almost impossible to sound bad on. Lyrically, they're mostly on the level of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

3. Gina Glocksen: Still consistently fabulous, no matter what Simon says. I don't understand the need to de-pimp her. She stepped out of her element tonight, looked lovely, and still knocked it out of the park. A thousand times more emotion than RoboHaley.

4. Haley Scarnato: I was barely able to contain my fake surprise when Haley showed up again nearly nude. As her diminishing talent hid behind her high hemlines, I found myself resenting her. I don't even think she's as pretty as everyone says. She's kind of a butterface (everything looks good but 'er face.) Vocally, I just didn't even care. She can't interpret a song; she can just sort of sing it. Not good enough.

5. Blake Lewis: Didn't catch all of this, but I figure "Mack the Knife" was a perfect song choice for him. What I did see was good. More of Blake being Blake.

6. Jordin Sparks: Ah Jordin... where have you been all of my musical life? Loved it. Second only to...

7. Melinda Doolittle: Love. Monster love. I don't care about the competition anymore, because this is our winner.

8. LaKisha Jones: She did alright singing tonight. I bet that dress was stitched with barb wire to keep it on though. Good grief, I thought a bus load of Mexicans might have been hiding in there.

9. Chris Richardson: I don't know why, but I just have this urge to pull his underwear up his butt and over his head. Atomic wedgies are generally only reserved for people I really can't stand. Vocally, he was just sort of alright, but based on his stupid smug look, I don't know how anyone cares for him.

10. Phil Stacey: What Simon said was right: that was a dark performance. Sometimes that's a good thing, but Phil looked like the Undead up there. I felt like I was being serenaded by a shorter version of Lurch from the Addams' Family.

11. Sanjaya Malakar: What is left to be said about this guy? Tons more deserving contestants are sitting home because he's there. He set out tonight to prove that he CAN sing, and he sort of can, but only just alright. To be fair, tonight was his best performance ever, but that still puts him many MANY skill sets below Melinda. I want to be clear on something here: When Simon said "Let's try something different; that was incredible" he was NOT praising Sanjaya. What he was saying was this: "We criticized you last week and your fans rallied and voted you in. Perhaps if we praise you this week, they won't vote and you'll go away." I'm not kidding about this.

Sorry for the truncated recap. See ya when there's no tornado watches!

Idol Waves Top 20 Countdown 4/3/07

SHOW TIMES TODAY: 3 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.

ON TODAY'S SHOW: J.D. and Priscilla bring you the Top 20 songs, as always. Also, we take a look back at guest judge Gwen Stefani's previous work, Melinda Doolittle's song debuts on the charts, a first look at Bo Bice's "Blades of Glory," a tribute to Chris Sligh, Former Teen Idols, and lots more!


Well, what are you waiting for?