Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol - Coolia Rates the Top Ten Girls

Performances and Secrets

Carly Smithson - "Crazy On You"

Carly's secret is that in addition to running a tattoo shop, she also tends bar at an Irish pub. I don't know how well she pours Guinness, but she definitely poured her heart into this performance. It's tough to take on Ann Wilson, and she didn't quite reach the same heights, but she delivered a powerful vocal.

Syesha Mercado - "Me and Mr. Jones"

Syesha revealed she's been in some commercials and, taking a page from the Kady Malloy playbook, she did an impression of a baby crying that was somewhat unsettling. I thought she gave a decent performance, although the verses were kind of plodding. Simon didn't think the song made sense if sung by a girl, which I didn't agree with, but I did agree that she didn't put enough passion into it.

Brooke White - "You're So Vain"

Brooke's secret shame is that she's a beauty school dropout (no graduation day for you!). I think she's too nice for this song. She doesn't seem like she's been used and discarded. With her acoustic guitar, she injected a Sheryl Crow vibe into the song and sang it to Simon, who no doubt likes to watch himself gavotte.

Ramiele Malubay - "Don't Leave me This Way"

Ramiele knows how to hula dance, and that's probably more her forte than disco. She seemed a little stiff and was too smiley for someone with a fire down in her soul that was burning out of control. She's cute, though, and she does know how to belt.

Kristy Lee Cook - "You're No Good"

Kristy's a tomboy. Yeah, we kind of got that impression while being repeatedly shown the videos of her kickboxing and cleaning out horse stalls. Nice outfit that showed off her twin assets, but overall, boring.

Amanda Overmeyer - "Carry On My Wayward Son"

Wow, some bizarre choices here. The hairstyle was Elvira Mistress of the Dark meets Alexis Carrington. The overall look made her seem like a girl who should be sprawled across the hood of a firebird for a Whitesnake album cover. I actually enjoyed her version of this geographic rock classic and thought she rocked it pretty hard, but the judges hated it. She reminds me a bit of Bonnie Tyler. Oh, and her secret was that she was a bookworm. She forgot to mention another secret - she had a DUI arrest.

Alaina Whitaker - "Hopelessly Devoted to You"

Finally, a bizarre secret! Alaina is apparently an OCD sufferer since she doesn't like her food items to touch each other on her plate. This was a bad song choice as even I can pull off an Olivia Newton John song in a karaoke bar - very low degree of difficulty. Plus she wore an unflattering electric blue dress. Her charm from last week seemed to disappear as quickly as Danny vanished from Sandy's life as soon as they got back to Rydell High.

Alexandrea Lushington - "If You Leave Me Now"

A poster child for the Fire Department, Alexandrea is not going to appear on any poster wearing cargo shorts and boots. With that outfit she looked more like a Project Runway reject than an Idol wannabe. I like this song, but it's pretty sleepy.

Kady Malloy - "Magic Man"

Kady sings opera better than she sings Heart. This was a pitchy performance, and her entrance on the stairway was slow and awkward. I agree with the judges - the charisma visible in her videos vanishes when she gets on stage.

Asia'h Epperson - "All By Myself"

Asia'h used to be a cheerleader, but she fell off the top of the pyramid on this one. I guess she gets points for tackling a tough song, but she was all over the place on it. She seemed screechy and flat. She did pull off a strong ending.


Going home - Alaina and Alexandrea

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American Idol - Terry's Take on the Top 10 Girls

  • Carly Smithson - She did Nancy Wilson proud. And even though I really don't find her attractive, that was hot.
  • Syesha Mercado - That baby cry was creepy. Funny....but creepy. It began awkward and boring, then she did well when she got to the little parts where she could belt it out, but overall boring. A bad song choice.
  • Brooke White - Was it just me or did she actually look a bit like Carly Simon? A hot young Carly Simon (and I never thought the real one was ever hot). She nailed it. Looked good and sounded good. Her best thus far.
  • Ramielle Malubay - Really good vocals but she seemed lost as to what to do while on stage. It looked like she wanted to let it all hang out and dance while singing but she was too scared to let it go and got frozen in that fear. Still, great voice and a hot package (hubba hubba).
  • Kristy Lee Cook - Why would we be surprised that she's a tomboy? She's likes to fight after all. That's not exactly girly. Whatever. She sure as hell looked all woman. (and god bless the inventor of the push-up bra!) Good vocal and good song choice. Showed some stage presence but still needs to work on improving that (hot bod with pushed up boobies won't do it alone....need some real connection with the audience).
  • Amanda Overmeyer - Uh..What the hell was up with that hair? Did some Skunk/Peacock cross-breed crawl up there and die? Maybe, because she sure stunk up the place. That was dreadful.
  • Alaina Whitaker - Poor girl has issues. "Oh no. My gravy is touching my mashed potatoes. Whatever shall I do?" Someone call Dr. Phil, stat! Sadly pitchy and didn't feel the emotion (from a very emotionally driven song). Disappointing after last week's surprise.
  • Alexandrea Lushington - First, the outfit so did not fit the song. What was she thinking? It was so distracting. A lovely little song in a gansta rapper chick package? Hello!? Worse, the vocals and presentation were a mess. Boring, weak and went in and out of tune. A mess.
  • Kady Malloy - Was her mic working properly at the beginning? Or was she just that bad? As things progressed it becamse clear that she was just that bad. A terrible song choice.
  • Asia'h Epperson - The low register was weak and her voice broke/cracked on her first jump to the upper register into the power range. But once past that she did well in that power range.

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American Idol - Nerdia's Take on the Top 20 (Guys and Gals)

I've gotten to where I could care less about two things: Judge fights and contestant indignation with Simon. She was a ignorant twit last night, but I don't even care what the singers have to say about it anymore.

Michael Johns
Love that he did Fleetwood Mac but he didn't pull it off for me. Which proves how good Lindsey Buckingham is to sing that song with such force and clarity.

Jason Castro
I thought he did this Bee Gees song very well. A friend of mine says he looks like John Travolta with Venice-Boardwalk-hair.

Luke Menard
The judges must be on crack. This was terrible.

Robbie Carrico
Get rid of that chain already. It's so forced. It was a good end but he's no Lou Graham.

Danny Noriega
I love this guy. I really do. He's got spunk. Good confident expressions. Not my favorite song, "Superstar" - it's kind of slow, pathetic and plodding. Plus Cher released it as a single and it went nowhere at the turn of the early 70s. Carpenters strike a home run with a more saccharine arrangement. I can't hold it against them.

David Hernandez
Good time was had by all I thought. Speaking of Cher, wouldn't it be funny if she covered this song?

Jason Yeager
Bad song choice but he looked like he was having fun and he sounded like a Doobie. Way better than last week. I liked his spastic dancing at the end.

Better than last week but it didn't light me on fire.

David Cook
My bf and I are actually rooting for this Kansas City rocker. He's better than Robbie, if an American Idol show can only afford one. But as with the chain prop, loose the back-pocket hankerchief.

David Archuletta
A great American television moment.

Carly Smithson
Bar singer.

Syesha Mercado
All style. Nice to look at but not one of my favorites.

Brooke White
Boring and what a gimmick to start at Simon the whole time she sang "You're So Vain." It was only his vanity that liked it.

Ramiele Malubay
I love her voice but can see how this disco song (my favorite, by the way) didn't showcase her voice well.

Kristy Lee Cook
I can't even remember this one.

Amanda Overmyer
Love that she dropped her Janis Joplin shtick for some solid Kansas but are these judges who would appreciate that?

Alaina Whitaker
This year is packed with too many generic blondes. This one was awful and boring. Olivia Newton John is no great singer, by the way. If you can't do better than ONJ, you shouldn't be on American Idol.

Alexandrea Lushington
Solid. Great. She made the band Chicago almost seem interesting to me.

Kady Malloy
Can I get a normal name in here soon? I would really like to see her Cher impression. But this performance was terrible. I need a new adjective for this season.

Asia'h Epperson
Beginning was terrible and she saved it somewhat. But I agree that the song was too big for her.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol - Terry's Take on the Top 10 Boys

First, nice one, Coolia. Your comments started my day with a good laugh (especially since some of them captured my thoughts exactly).

  • Michael Johns - I definitely saw some Michael Hutchence mannerisms going on there. Just not sure if that's good or bad because I'm not sure if it is a natural thing or cheap copy. And, what an odd song choice. Not bad. But so odd. He sang and performed fine, but fine won't cut it. The song didn't allow him to show his range and strength. It was too restrained for him. Still, he'll be safe. But, come on, Michael, let's be in it to win it, dawg (someone please slap Randy immediately!!).
  • Jason Castro - I guarantee that millions of girls and woman want him to be their everything. I liked it. Was it a great vocal performance? No. But, they don't all have to be great. They do, however, have to be compelling and I though this was. The song itself is understated but I thought he infused his charm into it and it fit together and worked for me.
  • Luke Menard - Terrific vocal. But, nothing near Freddie Mercury. Interestingly, the complete opposite of Jason Castro's performance. Jason Castro's ability to not have a great vocal but still have a really good performance is due to his ability to captivate. Luke has no such ability. And, when you're singing a Freddie Mercury song without any stage presence that lack of charisma just becomes glaring. And, Simon rightfully called him on this.
  • Robbie Carrico - Sorry. My bad. Put the bandanna back on. His "Hot Blooded" was lukewarm. And his insistence that he's a real rocker is falling on deaf ears. Me thinks he doth protest too much. This tepid performance just my have been his last.
  • Danny Noriega - "Don't you remember you love me, baby?".....more like don't forget to lock the door on your way out. Sheesh. This was bad. And it kind of creeped me out the way he kept looking at ME (not that there's anything wrong with that!).
  • David Hernandez - Oh yeah! The Temptations! (and one of my favorite to boot!) I liked his vocal in terms of sound/tone. But, his presentation lacked the seriousness of the situation. It lacked the hurt and subtle but real anger behind the words that drive the song. A really good vocal that should have been even better. But, he showed some promise.
  • Jason Yeager - His voice fit the song really well. Talk about good song choice. Perfect song choice. Yet, such a boring performance. And, he looked liked he was trying way too hard. He looked like a possessed Danny Noriega mannequin. Didn't go home last week but may well be gone after this.
  • Chikezie - Who the hell doesn't know how to pronounce their own name? Maybe I'm too jaded, but I think this "charming" look into Chikezie might have been the result of him reflecting on last week (snotting off to Simon) and thinking, "Uh oh, better do something to win back the love." And, would someone PLEASE slap the "We got a hot one tonight" and "In it to win it, dawg" our of Randy!!! That was tired the second time he said it...and we're on what? 10,000 by now!? Anyway, the singing and performance were far better than last week.
  • David Cook - Our other (real?) rocker. Another vocal that fit the song (yay! they're learning!) Though he didn't pull off a Bono-esque performance, he did sing it very well. But then he turned around and ruined the good vibe by pissing on Simon. Stupid.
  • David Archuleta - "Imagine" this kid selling millions of records and making millions of dollars. Well, imagine no more. That was brilliant. Not only the best of the night but one of the best ever on Idol. I've finally been blown away. (and David is now my favorite to win this thing).
Going home? Tough call. 3 bad performances to choose from. Not yet sure what combo of the 3 to choose for the 2 going home. I'll have to mull it over a bit and consult the crystal ball. Well, I can't really afford crystal. It's more like a big hunk of quartz. And, it's not really a ball. More like a jagged lump. Stop judging me!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Idol - Coolia Rates the Top Ten Boys

Performances and Secrets

Michael Johns - "Go Your Own Way"

Michael likes tennis. So do I. Maybe we can hit around some time? I think Michael is a stud, but his song choice left me cold. You have to sing this song with some desperation and passion, and he was pretty flat on the emotional front. You know, when Lindsey sings it and glares at Stevie across the stage, you really feel it. This time I felt...nothing.

Jason Castro - "I Just Want To Be Your Everything"

I took the news that Jason is a Christian rocker pretty hard this week. Let's just say it's not my favorite genre. Still, I like this kid, but tonight he was just aiight. The odd thing we didn't know about Jason is not that he crushes the devil under his heel with his inspirational tunes, but rather than he dislikes giving interviews. Was that the best he could come up with? Jason doesn't have a huge voice, but he's got a nice vibe.

Luke Menard - "Killer Queen"

Something about Luke that nobody that he sings in an a capella band called Chapter 6 that tours colleges. I don't think this news wins him many cool points. Luke does get points for tackling a hard song but then loses them for not being Freddie Mercury. Simon is right - he doesn't have Freddie's charisma. He did do a nice job on the vocals, though, and he's a good looking fella.

Robbie Carrico - "Hot Blooded"

A fact about Robbie that we viewers didn't know? He's not hot blooded. In fact, he leaves me rather cold. His real secret is that he's a drag racer. At least he ditched the bandana tonight, but like Bret Michaels it still appeared something was wrong on top - was it a wig? extensions? It just doesn't look like real hair - and yet, there is so much of it. I agree with the judges that more than just his hair seems artificial - he strikes me as a fake rocker. Check it and see.

Danny Noriega - "Superstar"

"Well, Ryan, something about me that the viewers at home don't know is that I'm a power bottom!" No, seriously, folks, Danny revealed a punk rock past in a high school band that imploded after its first gig. I love Danny! I love that he did The Carpenters and lived up to the title of the song. He really does have a good voice to go along with his sassy persona, and I agree with Simon - he gets points just for being interesting in this largely dull field.

David Hernandez - "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

David was a child gymnast. He caused the judges to do backflips with this performance. Paula may have injured herself - bring on the painkillers. At first, I was worried because the song choice is so cliched, but David really delivered a great vocal and showed a lot more confidence and personality this week.

Jason Yaeger - "Without Love"

I can't decide if Jason is cute or if he looks like an evil sprite. His muppet newsflash is that he plays multiple instruments, yet doesn't feel like playing them on the show. It might help liven things up a bit if he did. He has a nice tone to his voice, but I felt like he was trying to do a Tom Jones style lounge act, while lacking The Jones.

Chikezie - "I Believe to My Soul"

Chikezie's secret is that he knowingly mispronounces his name. Hey, I do that too with my last name. So already I'm liking him better this week. Doing a Donny Hathaway tune worked well for him, just as it did for Elliot Yamin. He seemed much more relaxed and charismatic, and he was dressed more contemporary. He also kinda apologized for his lippiness from last week. This was a big comeback for Mr. Eze.

David Cook - "All Right Now"

Simon criticized David's secret of being a word geek and crossword puzzle nut. As usual, I agree with Simon. In my experience, tween girls don't dial the phone repeatedly for contestants because they know the meaning of the word juxtapose. I'm not getting the David Cook thang. I think he has zero sex appeal, and this song calls for a lot of mojo. He could go home this week if he loses the battle of the fake rockers with Robbie.

David Archuleta - "Imagine"

Wow, the girls are already screaming for David. The noise level brought back memories of Sanjaya's hysterical fan from last season. David revealed singing "I Am Not Going" to the Idols of Season 1 in a hotel lobby when he was 11. What kind of 11-year-old knows this tune? Obviously, a kid with a Star Search past like David does. He must have some intense stage parents. Anyway, it all paid off, because David has the total package, and his performance was the best of the night. He managed to make John Lennon's signature tune sound fresh and totally sincere. Randy pronounced it one of the best vocals on the show ever. Paula was moved to tears, and it looked like snot was coming out of her nose. Simon said he was the one to beat. Can anyone derail the Archuleta train?


Going home - Jason "Cruise Ship" Yaeger and Robbie "Bret Michaels" Carrico

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LOL Edgar - Oscar Party

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Monday, February 25, 2008

The Oscars - Live from the Ape Culture Red Carpet!

The Ape Culture Oscar Party was way more fun than the Governor's Ball! We presented some awards you may not have heard about, even if you stayed up til 1am watching E!'s post-Oscars coverage.

Best Theme Costume

The award goes to Bill and Heather as the
Knocked Up couple. Extra points for attention to detail not visible in this photo - E! logo on Heather's microphone and Bill's "Flesh of the Stars" T-shirt.

Most Ridiculous Costume

Shelby took this honor for her Sicko ensemble. "Should I cut here...or here?" - she moaned sorrowfully.

Best Formal Costume

I won! I won! Who was I wearing? Goodwill. Dress cost $8 and shoes cost $5. The boa was from my extensive personal boa collection.

Best Theme Food

This award went to Mary and John for their empanadas, AKA Sweeney Todd meat pies. Also-ran theme food items included:

Best Oscar Prognosticator

Christopher took the title with an impressive 16 out of 24! I got 12 right. My biggest mistake was picking Transformers for all the technical awards instead of Bourne Supremacy.

Thoughts on the Show

The show was short on surprises. I guess Marion Cotillard besting Julie Christie for Best Actress was really the only surprise of the night, other than the aforementioned technical awards.

We got really sick of the Enchanted songs - three was a bit much. We all cheered when the song from Once won, and we loved that John Stewart let Marketa Irglova come back out to deliver her awesome acceptance speech after the music cut her off on the first go-round.

I'm fine with Daniel Day Lewis winning, even if I don't think his performance was all that different from his work in Gangs of New York, but his speech was a little Tom-Hanksian in its floweriness.

I'm happy for the Coen Brothers. They rock, even if I didn't get the ending of No Country for Old Men.

How come Brad Renfro was left out of the death reel? Oversight or value judgment? Heath Ledger died from drugging and he was the death reel finale, so I think Brad should have been included too. If you don't think he's worthy, go rent Bully.

If I was voting...
  • Tom Wilkinson would have won Best Supporting Actor for the best portrayal of bipolar disorder I've seen on screen - shattering, visceral, and never hammy
  • Laura Linney would have won Best Actress and The Savages (my favorite movie of the year) would have at least been nominated for Best Picture
  • The Diving Bell and The Butterfly would have won Best Foreign Film (which it wasn't even nominated for) and Best Cinematography
  • I Met the Walrus and The Tonto Woman would have won the Short Subject categories
One more thing - was that Tilda Swinton or Ziggy Stardust?

More pics from the Ape Culture oscar party

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

American Idol - C. Crumpet Swank on the Top 12 Boys

General notes:

  • Everyone knows I am a big Paula fan, but she looked terrible both nights--really tired. And her commentary was particularly inarticulate; again, on both nights. She came across as slow-witted.
  • I appreciated that they gave the judges quite a bit of time to comment; moreso than usual, I thought.
  • Simon was frank, accurate and a breath of fresh air, keeping the criticism tethered in reality. I particularly liked how he repeatedly presented his comments in relation to the large enterprise of the show and the concept of being a professional singer and/or pop idol. Out of 24 performances there were perhaps only two where I felt he missed the boat.

  • David Hernandez - Totally agree with Terry and Simon--he started off incredibly strong and then just got weaker. He seemed really nervous and it hampered his performance. Its odd that he got more nervous as the song went on, particularly since he started so well. He has a strong Yamin-like voice; he needs to get more comfortable on stage.
  • Chikezie Eze - He has one of the best voices among the guys but his performance was so "fake"--the constant smile, faux suavity, etc.--that it really prevented me from enjoying his voice. Plus, the song itself was kind of schmaltzy and boring. Add all that together with the ghetto suit (he's from Inglewood--five minutes from my house--and I bet you I know where he got his threads!) and I was left cold. His indignation at Simon's comments were beyond the pale, too. Shut up, Chikezie! Listen graciously and fume privately. Lastly, I don't like the hubris of him eliminating his last name and simply going by "Chikezie." Who the hell does he think he is? Plus, part of the fun is that his first name rhymes so niftily with his last name--he should be happy for that. Everyone likes to say "Chikezie Eze"--it makes the mouth feel good. "Chikezie"--not so much. And let's be real; at the end of the day, there are only two people who really deserve to get away with the one-word name--Cher and Madonna. (Then again, when Mary finally releases "Licky, Licky" I am going to encourage her to take the single-moniker route.)
  • David Cook - I like him. I like how gave this song such an original treatment. He pushes through a bit; doesn't have the best voice among the men, but that's okay since his showmanship, ease, and personality contribute a great deal. He reminds me of Nadia Turner in this way. Terry's right about the hair.
  • Jason Yeager - Boring! Boring! Boring! Nice, yet totally unremarkable voice. Simon's comments were spot on. This is not Perry Como Idol. What a wasted opportunity for this guy. He blew it.
  • Robbie Carrico - I think his voice is really good, and he's confident. A real natural performer. I admired too that he didn't go over the top--his restraint worked to his advantage. Nice arrangement for the song, too. I think he will be this season's Chris Richardson--reliable and improving every week. Only downside--that massive underbite seriously cuts down on the cuteness factor.
  • David Archuletta - Our first pube-free winner of Idol? But seriously, he's really cool! He gets into the song so deeply and commits so fully and it's so fun watching that level of poise and hearing that great voice come from that unassuming package. If you told me he was 12 I would believe you. Second only to Castro this evening.
  • Danny Noriega - I totally disagree with Simon and Terry. I thought this was one of the best performances of the night and he is safe. Danny looked great with the skinny-wear and had tremendous showmanship; I was totally invested in the performance. And that was probably the most difficult song to sing of the night because it's so wordy and demands such high energy. I thought he pulled it off beautifully and "made it his own." ;-) Now we need to hear him sing a song which lets him have more freedom with his voice. I also thought his head snap to Simon was endearing--sassy, but not petulant. It was meant be funny, not disgruntled, and he pulled it off. He needs to not push it too much though--the sass factor, that is. Because you know girlfriend can dish it up!
  • Luke Menard - Wake me up when it's over. So boring! And unlike Yeager, Luke seemed tentative with his vocals. Randy was right about him never settling comfortably into the song. The only thing that is going to save him this week is his looks. If he sticks around this week he will certainly not make it to the overall Top 12.
  • Colton Berry - Solid but not amazing. I will be curious to see if/how he can develop over the course of the show. Please youtube me when he shows up on Ellen.
  • Garrett Haley - This kid freaks me out. He looks like a feminine version of Melissa Etheridge crossed with Geddly Lee! His non-singing presense is totally awkward and socially retarded. What a mess! He struck me as the kind of outcast/misfit from whom Columbine-like things occur. I couldn't disagree more strenuously with Terry about Garrett getting tons of teeny bopper girl votes. He (Garrett, not Terry) is like a socially maladjusted hermaphrodite--even eleven-year old girls will have the good sense to stay away from him. Why, Terry, why? Just because he has an abundance of hair? Lank, mousey, poorly-cut hair? Please don't insult the girls of America with your underestimation of their taste in boys. Also note too that his left eye sits much higher in his head than his right. That same phenomenon works for Shannon Doherty, but not here, I'm afraid. The ever-so-slight dander over the upper lip--eeewwww. His girly speaking voice--no thanks. Lest you thing I'm some sort of meanie, I aver that I could put all of these social and visual miscues aside if he was an amazing singer, but, let's face it, he also turned in the weakest vocal performance of the night! No one came close. How on earth did he make it into the Top 24?!?!?
  • Jason Castro - Totally, completely, utterly charming. His face just lights up when he sings. You want to watch. He's clearly invested in the music. Forgive me if this sounds corny, but you can tell music is key to his heart and soul; that being a pop star is almost neither here nor there for him. He just loves and respects music and feels privileged to share it and live it. How refreshing! [In some ways he reminds me of Taylor without all the down-in-the-Delta flourishes.] The best male performance of the night
  • Michael Johns - I totally agree with Terry. It was okay--it just doesn't compare with the original. Not nearly as good as his Bohemain Rhapsody. His weakest performance of the four we've seen thus far. But he has charisma, charm and good looks in spades, and we know he can sing from the previous episodes. A definite frontrunner. He's like a cross between Pat Monahan of Train and Michael Hutchence. Delicious!

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American Idol - Terry's Take on the Top 24

Well, I must say that after another beginning to the season with the judges touting best talent ever....I was disappointed. Not one single person blew me away. There were some good and a couple of really good but mostly mediocre to subpar performances. For me, a very disappointing beginning to the "real" portion of the show.

  • David Hernandez - Began strong and I like his voice but he weakened in the second half and fell apart at the end. And, he definitely needs to work on stage presence. Still, I think his potential will keep him safe...for this week.
  • Chikezie Eze - Went from likeable (auditions rounds) to insufferable (last night) in the blink of an arrogant eye. Too bad. Had potential to stick around for a while but he'll either be voted off by the Simon lovers (such as myself) this week or in the very near future. Plus, I didn't care for his arrangement and his vocals wavered from bad to really good. But that wavering is a problem. His arrogance is his biggest problem. Ugh! Another poser. Pretends to be all sweet and charming and turns out to be an ego driven jerk.
  • David Cook - Dude, seriously, enough with the stupid hair. It's not helping the rocker image you want so badly to portray. I like this dudes personality so I was rooting for him but he failed to live up to my support. Bad song choice. It didn't fit his voice at all. But, interestingly depsite the less than stellar singing part he did have stage presence.
  • Jason Yeager - Hi, Jason. We hardly knew ya. I wrote down "way too Broadway" but I knew that wasn't quite what I wanted to say. Then Simon nailed it when he said it was a "cruise ship performance." That is exactly what I felt. And he was pitchy and boring. So long one of the men that saw no screen time up till this point.
  • Robbie Carrico - Nice melodic, though not powerful, voice. Good boy band singer but not suere he's meant to be a stand alone star. And, please rethink the bandana. You, sir, are no Brett Michaels.
  • David Archuleta - I love this kid. He's either the greatest actor living today or he's genuinely a nice kid (and I am not, yet, so jaded as to believe that he's acting). I am rooting for him big time. Have been ever since his audition screen time. But, I have to differ from the judges and some of my fellow Idol pool memebers who loved his performance. I was hugely disappointed with his song choice. Yes, he oozed charisma and charm while on stage but the singing was just okay at best. He needs to push himself and sing songs that show his great (and I do think he has potential to be great) voice. Still, I have no doubt that he will be around in this competition for a long time. And, if it's even possible, I now love this kid even more after seeing his oh so genuine reaction of surprise and glee to the praise heaped upon him by the judges. I want to adopt him, too (who cares if he's 17....he looks 10!).
  • Danny Noriega - He shouted it too much and too often and then got defensive...although, not to Chikezie's level. I think he's not long for this show with the mediocre performance and defiant attitude. What a queen! And definitely in contention for going home this week.
  • Luke Menard - Good voice and I love this song. But, he needs to project. Could anyone in the live audience even hear him? I had to turn my volume up to hear any of the nuances. I liked it okay but I won't be surprised it others (enough to send him home this week) found it far too understated.
  • Colton Berry - Cracked me up when he said he looked like Ellen. I wouldn't have put that together but I did as soon as he put it out there. Gave me a good chuckle. Suspicious Minds is one of my favorite Elvis songs and although he in no way came up to Elvis' level he had a nice voice, I liked his arrangement and he had good stage presence. He'll be around next week.
  • Garrett Haley - Garrett/Leif/Peter(Frampton) made a very bad song choice. Barely decent vocals (nice tone but weak) with zero stage presence. Unless you count looking like a deer caught in the headlights captivating. However, I will give him one thing. He has great hair! Boy, he's making this tough. Who's going home?....him or Luke. At the moment I'm leaning towards Luke just because I think this guy will get tons of teeny bopper girl votes (bases on look alone....becuase they sure won't be for this performance).
  • Jason Castro - What a day for ray of sunshine (whistle in your mind's eye)....Another guy who got no screen time till this point...and what a pleasant surprise. Based on looks alone I was expecting either a hard ass or a Reggae rebel. He seems like a truly nice guy and has no problem displaying his sensitive side. I became an instant fan. Can't say I was blown way because the song just doesn't lend itself for that. But, I was semi-blown away by such a nice surprise. Okay, I'm on the band-wagon. Hope this kid goes far.
  • Michael Johns - Okay but disappointing. I was hoping he'd come out with a Daughtry-esque type of performance but he played it safe with another go with Jim Morrison's "Light My Fire" (The Doors). Don't get me wrong. It wasn't bad. In fact, it was quite good. Though, no where near Jim Morrison's. But, disappointing nonetheless.

I still say it's a battle between Michael Johns and David Archuletta for best of the boys (and possibly for the whole shebang), buuuuuut Jason Castro has stuck his foot in the door and is peeking in.

As for the ladies...

  • Kristy Lee Cook - Despite shaking that hot bod she didn't come close to owning that stage. And the song was a bad song choice. Not terrible but not very good either. However, did I mention that hot bod? The looks alone will see her through week 1.
  • JoAnne Borgella - Good karaoke. Liked both the original and the group version from "My Best Friend's Wedding" MUCH better. And, she was suprisingly pitchy. A very bad start (and perhaps a quick end) to her time on Idol.
  • Alaina Whitaker - (funny side shot of the guys with half clapping and moving on beat and the other half hopelessly lost) One of the younger of the girls yet showed a comfort level beyond her years and sang pretty darn well. Very well.
  • Amanda Overmeyer - First of all, I hate her hair. Hate it! I love David Cook's stupid hair by comparison. What is she doing? Lilly Munster was 30 years agon! And, it makes her head look gi-normous!! Ugh!! But, despite the horrendous du she moved beyond Janis and I loved it!
  • Amy Davis - Pitchy and zero presence. Very pretty when not overly made up but could she have been any more boring? And yet another bad song choice. When are these people going to get it!? (obvously never since this has been going on for 7 seasons now) My one and only gurantee of who will be going home.
  • Brooke White - I liked it. The song fit her voice and despite showing a bit of nerves at first grew more relaxed and confident and sang quite well and showed some stage presence. And, for such a wholesome (is she from Planet 9 of the Puritan star system?) good girl, she was looking HOT!
  • Alexandrea Lushington - Her vocals were uneven and though she tried (in vain) to command the stage it came across as forced and a bit high school level for me. I didn't buy it. It wouldn't surprise me if she was one of the two sent packing.
  • Kady Malloy - Love her voice but didn't care for the arrangement. And she was so freaking robotic. the song is a heartfelt reach out but she sang with out expressing much, if any, emotion. Needs to learn to emote and connect to her audience or despite the really good vocals won't be long for this competition.
  • Asia'h Epperson - Loved it. Took Janis and made it her own. Still not blown away but definitely impressed.
  • Ramielle Malubay - Wow. Hot looks and such a big voice in such a petite (and hot...did mention she's hot?) package. She should go far. Best of the night.
  • Syesha Mercado - Really good voice with an updated take on "Tobacco Road." Still not blown away (Ramielle came the closest) but she's a contender among the women.
  • Carly Smithson - She's not very attractive (to me) but boy oh boy does she have a good singing voice. She took a boring song and made me interested. Nice.
Did anyone watch the show to the very end? Wow! The girls all gathered/hudled together for a group hug. All that is except for Carly. Either she chose to stand alone or was (or felt) ostricized enough to stand as an island amoung states on a continent. Maybe it was nothing but a fluke. But, could her previous shot at stardom have caused a chasm between her and the other female contestants? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Edgar on the News

Coolia takes me to work with her at Google sometimes. Do you know what they have there? An $11,000 coffee maker. Do I care about that? No. I am way more interested in other perks like unlimited string cheese and smart water. I find I learn tricks much faster when properly hydrated with smart water.

Anyway, I was in a meeting the other day at work when I noticed some commotion outside the conference room. There was a TV camera crew out there! Immediately, I recalled my training from "Who Gets The Dog" and got ready for my close-up. I reared up on my hind legs at the glass door, and they noticed me and put me in the news story! It was just like those old Hollywood stories about starlets getting discovered at the Schwab's soda fountain.

You can see me for about 2 seconds in this news story on Google job perks. Apparently, I am a perk. I am misidentified as Fido here but you'll recognize me. Soon, everyone will!

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A Barry-licsious New Barry Manilow Video

Edgar Winter Dog here reporting on my last visit to Nerdia's house to have a sleep-over with my new friend Franz Alonzo. Nerdia made us watch the latest Barry Manilow concert video Songs of the Seventies. No, contrary to all our expectations, this wasn't a concert version of Barry's latest cover album. This was a live show of all of Barry's own seventies hits, with a few stray covers included.

I was disappointed at first but then I started to dig it like a rawhide bone. I learned to have an appreciation for Barry during Nerdia and Coolias Barry Manilow Appreciation Nite years ago. I was a star at that party in my nerdy blue sweater. I know Barry likes to call himself "The Showman of Our Generation" but he's far from the slick showmen I know, like Frank Sinatra. What's so appealing about Barry is his human-ness, his continuing physical discomfort onstage, his normal nerdy guy quality, that being a normal nerdy guy who can sing really catchy pop songs. He smiles at applause like the old shoemaker - so glad you like his shoes. He's anything but a Hollywood butt sniffing showman of our generation. Even when he's pissy, he's still likeable. And I can't say that for everyone at the dog park.

But I digress. This show, directed by David Mallet, was a refreshing change for Barry, who sounded great, by the way. During "New York City Rhythm" musicians milled around the stage and it felt arty, natural, fun and energetic, not staged or chaotic. I haven't been a fan long but Nerdia has and she told me that Barry revamped all his biographic banter between songs, even performing rare non-hits like the lovely "I Am Your Child" which he said he wrote before leaving his childhood home of Brooklyn. The show was a Brooklyn reunion of sorts. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was the setting, but transformed very creatively with star-spangled wall-hangings and Dr. Seuss-like stage walks through the audience.

The audience interaction was most pleasant. He performed Copacabana with Elvis-like comeback-flair, sitting in a sea of an audience, doing the song acoustically as a soft rumba, shaking hands all around, graciously shaking the hand of the featured guitar player at the end. We even saw close ups of the hand-touchings and I dug the symbolic warmth. I like to be petted myself.

The only drawbacks of the show: it felt short and packed with a large medley of his hits, framed by "The Old Songs" which was a cheat of an 80s hit snuck in there. Thankfully, we didn't have to suffer through a guest-fan singing "I Can't Smile Without You" for once, but Nerdia missed hearing "Weekend in New England." Maybe it's too hard to sing anymore but hey, give it to a backup singer to do. Barry did tackle "One Voice" at the end a capella and did a good job for being 62 and all.

The DVD extras also included a funny flub with Barry talking into a water bottle instead of a microphone, Barry interacting with his band, restarting a song that was off-kilter and performing a rendition of "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed." At one point he was jumping up and down with such relaxed glee - Nerdia said she had never seen him so happy on stage. We both felt endeared. Which is the particular Manilow Magic we speak of. I hope to see him this year again as a coach on American Idol. He is their most generous helper and I have no doubt if I turned up at one of his shows he would pet me. Barry rocks.

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Nerdia Reviews American Idol 60s Week

I liked the guys the best. Too many little blonde dollies this year (and that includes Syesha Mercado, who may be African American, but is all barbie to me).


My favs for the guys are David Hernandez, Robbie Carreo, David Achuleta, Danny Noriega (LOVE HIM...he's my Sanjanya this year - except he can sing), and Jason Castro. But Garrett Haley is Leif Garrett reincarnated and the girls will go NUTS. Can't believe they only found one black male vocalist worthy this year from all the corners of America. Lame, judges, lame. And Chikeze SOO wasn't worthy. Jason Yeager and Luke Menard sucked so ultimately it was mind-boggling.


Of the gals, I love Remele Malubay the best. Like an Asian-punk Mary Poppins, she's "perfect in every way." Alaina Whitaker and Alexandrea Washington were promising too. Carly Smithson has a great voice but it feels like her time has passed (not teen idolly enough anymore). Was bored by the rest.


Two Idol seasons after the show Rock Star, I really feel the biggest detriment to most of these idol singers is the crappy, loud, obnoxious, soul-less American Idol band. The singers literally have to shout over it to be heard and then they get criticized for doing so. I feel the crap-band especially runied a potentially good showing by Amanda Overmyer this week.


Other annoyances so far: really existentially boring Ryan Seacrest challenges to Simon. It's like Hillary Clinton and John McCain snipping at Barak Obama. The American peoples yearn for an end to the manipulative cat-fights. We're so over it. And Ryan is so good in the auditions. Even the losers love him. But on the show, he's kind of a pr*ck.


And these name for the girls are going to work my last nerve. We must come up with nicknames for them so I can type them out each week without having to resort to the Insert Symbol feature in MS Word.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol - 60s Week - The Top Twelve Girls


Kristy Lee Cook - "Rescue Me"

There wasn't much fight in this kickboxing cowgirl tonight. Her delivery was flat and lacked energy. Paula revealed Kristy had bronchitis, and that revelation plus all the attention she got in earlier shows will probably rescue her this week.

Joanne Borgella - "Say a Little Prayer"

I liked Joanne's audition a lot, but this performance lacked oomph. She seemed nervous and was a little shouty.

Alaina Whitaker - "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday"

It's Alaina's birthday tomorrow, so she asked that we not send her home. I don't think she has to worry about that after this performance. She's very likable and did a great job belting this tune. She handled it way better than Chikezie did last night. She's sassy and fun.

Amanda Overmyer - "Baby Please Don't Go"

I dig the rock n roll nurse, and I'm glad she didn't do the predictable thing and sing some Janis. She rocked pretty hard and showed a lot of confidence. And I agree with Randy - cool patchwork pants.
Amy Davis - "Where The Boys Are"

This was bad in so many ways - bad retro hair, bad song choice, bad pitch problems. I don't think Amy will survive this round.

Brooke White - "Happy Together"

I have a similar attitude as Simon toward Brooke - he compared her to someone on a dish soap commercial and I think she's too squeaky clean for me. I liked David Cook's version of this song better. Brooke was too stiff and didn't bring anything new to it.

Alexandrea Lushington - "Spinning Wheel"

Wow, I was impressed by Alexandrea! She stomped down the stairs and took command of the stage. She really delivered on a tough song and looked cool doing it - love the outfit - a nice change from her army fatigues.

Kady Malloy - "A Groovy Kind of Love"

Kady is pretty and likable, but she sang this song like it was a funeral dirge instead of a quirky little love song. Simon was overly harsh on her, so that should garner her some sympathy votes. The clips of her Britney impression will keep her around.

Asia'h Epperson - "Take Another Piece of My Heart"

Asia'h started out sounding a little nervous but soon got into a groove and delivered a fierce, exuberant performance.

Ramiele Malubay - "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"

I thought this song was a bit old for Ramiele, but she still delivered with a lot of style and confidence. She's cute and I think she'll go far.

Syesha Mercado - "Tobacco Road"

Syesha is a belter. Some of this performance was a little jumbled to me, but she brought it all home with a "wow" ending.

Carly Smithson - "Shadow of Your Smile"

Carly took some time to address the controversy over her recording past before delivering a spectacular vocal. She really seems to connect with the lyrics and feel the song, unlike a lot of these gals. At times it was a bit shouty, but she garnered high praise from Randy who thought it was the best vocal of the Top 24.


Going home: Amy Davis and Joanne Borgella

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American Idol - 60s Week - The Top Twelve Boys


David Hernandez - "Midnight Hour"

I thought David had a very strong opening to this song, but the rest of it was pretty conventional. He has a nice tone to his voice, but not a huge personality. He definitely seemed nervous.

Chikezie - "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday"

So many things disappointed me about this performance...first, he reduced his fun rhyming name to one name. Then he wore a ridiculous red suit. Then he delivered a very dull, slow version of this song that sounded really dated. Then he was completely belligerent to Simon and sassed back to every criticism, which is my biggest pet peeve. If not for already having built a fan following through early show coverage, I think he would be kicked off for all this ugliness.

David Cook - "Happy Together"

I don't really like his looks or his hair, but David does have a certain swagger and originality about him. And he managed to make this old chestnut sound somewhat relevant and fun.

Jason Yeager - "Moon River"

Jason is cute, with a cute son. His performance did sound dated, and I'd agree with Simon's "Cruise Ship" assessment. He's likable and has a nice tone to his voice, so I hope he gets another chance and picks a better song.

Robbie Carrico - "One"

I'd like to see Robbie without the Bret Michaels type head wraps once in a while, but he's a pretty good looking dude, with a strong voice and a lot of confidence. He rocked this song. He's a better looking Bo Bice.

David Archuleta - "Shop Around"

David is my favorite! I do want to adopt him! He can even make me like this annoying song. He's the perfect teen idol - likable, confident, good voice, seems genuine.

Danny Noriega - "Jailhouse Rock"

Danny is this year's Sanjaya, only with more talent. He's got a lot of chutzpah and will make it his priority to drop it like it's hot. He's very theatrical and may not have the greatest voice, but he's fun to watch. And anyone that can cause Simon and Paula to get in a big fight definitely makes good TV.

Luke Menard - "Everybody's Talking"

Luke is good looking and has a decent voice, but this was a boring performance. I think he's a goner, since we don't know anything else about him. He dressed schlubby, too, and took exception to Simon calling him "forgettable."

Colton Berry - "Suspicious Minds"

Colton cracked me up when he said he looked like Ellen DeGeneres. I thought his performance was definitely "Cruise Ship" and cheesy, but it was kinda fun, too.

Garrett Haley - "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"

Frampton came alive, but this look-a-like failed to do the same on this horrible song choice. He didn't make it his own and I'd agree with Simon's assessment that he looked haunted. He's got teen idol appeal, with his "look ma I can grow a mustache" bit of facial hair that took me back to 8th grade, not to mention his flowing Leif Garrett locks. But he really looked like a deer in the headlights up there.

Jason Castro - "Daydream"

Wow, Jason's a hunk - cool dreads, nice eyes, definite charisma. His performance was fun and effortless. I expect him to go far.

Michael Johns - "Light My Fire"

The Idol producers definitely dig this guy, giving him the last slot and a lot of airtime on previous shows. And I tend to agree. He's a stud and Randy's comparison to Michael Hutchence was right on.


I think David Hernandez, Chikezie, Luke Menard, Colton Berry, Jason Yeager, and Garrett Haley are all vulnerable, but I predict it will be Luke and Garrett leaving us.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

American Idol - Who's the Top 24?

Some thoughts on the Top 24...

The Boys

  • David Archuleta - David seems like an early favorite. He's cute, likable, recovering from vocal paralysis. He's got the teen idol appeal of Sanjaya, but with talent.
  • Colton Berry - I don't think we saw any of Colton's singing other than a quick clip after he was brought into the verdict room with Kyle Ensley for the final elimination. Fans may hold it against him that he was picked over that lovable nerd.
  • Robbie Carrico - Robbie is a ringer - he used to be in the boy band Boyz N Girls United and dated Britney Spears. Something about his looks reminds me of Rico Suave, and that's not a good thing.
  • Jason Castro -No exposure
  • David Cook - I like David. He's a rocker who belted "Living on a Prayer" in his first audition.
  • David Hernandez - I don't remember seeing David's first audition, but his Hollywood week version of "Love the One You're With" showed originality and flair.
  • Chikezie Eze - Chikezie is likable. I like that his name rhymes. That's about all we know so far.
  • Garrett Haley- No exposure - but he has a Leif Garrett vibe.
  • Michael Johns - Michael is definitely a front runner. He's a strapping Aussie hunk with a great voice. If he can avoid Paula's hot tub, he should go far.
  • Luke Menard - No exposure
  • Danny Noriega - Danny shows definite promise. He's got tween idol appeal (tweens won't realize he's gay) and actually has a really good voice, too.
  • Jason Yeager - No exposure

The Girls
  • Joanne Borgella - I'm really glad Joanne made it. Every season needs a Mandisa or a Lakisha.
  • Kristy Lee Cook - Kristy had a knockout first audition and a lot of personality, living in a log cabin, kickboxing, and whatnot. Then it was revealed she's had some background in the biz and once worked with LeAnn Rimes producer, so this puts her in the ringer category.
  • Amy Davis - Amy sang "Blue Bayou" in her first audition and told us she was "lower than lower middle class."
  • Asia'H Epperson - Asia'H strikes me as a front runner. She's pretty, has a good voice, and a sad backstory - her dad died the day before her first audition but she carried on and dedicated her performance to him.
  • Alexandrea Lushington - She auditioned in an army outfit with her 93-year-old grandma cheering her on - seems likable.
  • Ramiele Malubay - Ramiele is a cute Filipina and could be this year's Jasmine Trias.
  • Kady Malloy - I'm looking forward to Kady's performances. She amused us in the audition round with her vocal impressions.
  • Syesha Mercado - Syesha's attractive with a buoyant personality and a good sob story - her dad recently graduated from rehab. She also overcame losing her voice during Hollywood Week.
  • Amanda Overmyer - This rock and roll nurse is my favorite chick, which means she probably won't last long. Her Janis Joplin routine may get old fast if she doesn't show more range.
  • Carly Smithson - The biggest ringer of them all, Carly had an album under the name Carly Hennessey that bombed. See Nigel Lythgoe's statement on the controversy.
  • Alaina Whitaker - Alaina's a Carrie Underwood lookalike. Simon thought she was a bit arrogant in her first audition.
  • Brooke White - Some people seem to like this girl but she's too "gosh golly" for my taste.
Interestingly, we've had some exposure to all the female contestants but, to the best of my memory, there are 4 boys we haven't seen at all.

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American Idol - Hollywood Week

3 more hours of Idol this week and still we haven't seen some of the Top 24 sing a note.

I have to say I really missed the group singing this time. It created some of the brightest moments (Chris Sligh and friends doin' the Bee Gees) and some of the biggest fights (Gina Glocksen having no sympathy for her lesser teammate). The elimination process this time was confusing. As best I could tell, everyone got to sing once, and they could play instruments if they so desired. Those who got 3 yes votes got a pass to the next round. The rest had another chance to sing for their survival. Eliminations were then done in groups and the field was cut from 164 to 64 (or thereabouts). Then everybody got to sing again with the band accompanying them, and the field was cut to 50. From there, the judges selected the Top 24 and put them through the usual hell of the day in the waiting room, the elevator ride of terror, the long walk to the judge's table, then the elevator ride of shame or joy depending on the verdict.

Josiah Leming generated the most Hollywood Week drama. After a strong initial performance, he had a breakdown when the band refused to play his new arrangement of "Stand By Me." Ever-patient vocal coach Deborah Byrd talked him down from the ledge, and Josiah took the stage, dismissed the band, and sang without accompaniment. The band made the right call, because Josiah's odd version didn't win him any fans among the judges, and his sassy comment about it taking guts for him to sing without the band put another nail in his coffin.

I think Josiah definitely has talent, but I'm glad the judges passed on him. I think he probably needs some psychiatric help, as evidenced by his choice to live in his car, Jesus complex, and nervous breakdowns. I don't think we need to watch him sob every week when things don't go his way, even if it does make good TV.

I'm also glad the judges passed on nerdy Kyle Ensley. What the world doesn't need now is another Kevin Covais.

There are a few contestants I'll miss: Brandon Green (quirky fingernail collector), Angela Martin (wedding singer with special needs child), Amy Flynn (chastity girl).

I think the early favorites are Michael Johns and David Archuletta.
David is a cute, likable kid with a strong voice - definite teen idol material. Michael's an Aussie hunk who delivered a great rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (not quite as good as Constantine's, but then I'm biased).

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LOL Edgar - Sidewayz

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Awards: Morris Day Does the Bird, Kanye Flips the Bird, Amy Stands on Bird Legs

The 50th anniversary of the Grammy served up some retro performances - some awesome (Tina Turner / Beyonce) and some just weird (Morris Day and the Time / Rihanna).

Amy Winehouse emerged a big winner - taking home 5 awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. Visa issues kept her from traveling to the US for the show, but she performed live from London. With a hall pass from rehab, she looked a little shaky, standing on bird legs and belting out "Rehab" without shame. She made several shout-outs to her husband: "For Blake. Incarcerated." I'm glad Amy won - her album seldom leaves my 6-disc changer - it's powerful, haunting, retro, and fresh. Moral judgments on her character and whether or not she influences kids to shoot heroin or tease their hair shouldn't interfere with an assessment of her artistry.

Kanye West delivered a powerful and moving song for his late mother, with "Mama" shaved into his head. This made me root for him, but his acceptance speech for Best Rap Album was as arrogant and infuriating as ever. Vince Gill even poked fun at him. Vince received a Grammy from Ringo Starr and joked that he had just got an award from a Beatle - "Kanye, has that happened to you yet?" I guess this may spark a new Chicago vs Nashville rap battle.

68-year-old Tina Turner looked hot in a silver cat suit and appeared to have just as much energy as her partner Beyonce on their "Proud Mary" duet. Another aging diva, Aretha Franklin, didn't fare so well. Despite an LA Times story talking about her recent weight loss, Aretha looked bigger than ever, and a sleeveless yellow gown did nothing but make her resemble the sun. The spaghetti strap appeared to dig into her lumpy shoulder making her arm resemble a bundled roast. Her arm jiggled so much while she praised Jesus that I thought she might knock out some members of the back-up choir.

In more scenes from yesteryear, John Fogarty teamed up with Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Little Richard was as fabulous as ever, but Jerry Lee Lewis looked more like Jerry Lewis - seemed like some steroid bloat was goin' on. I got a kick out of seeing Morris Day and the Time but I have to wonder if their duet partner Rihanna would even know who they were.

Poor Jason Bateman had to emcee an uninteresting contest to find America's Top Classical Accompanist who would get a chance to share a stage with Foo Fighters. Did anyone actually bother to vote for this? I guess so, as the hottest gal won.

In typical Grammy weirdness, Herbie Hancock unexpectedly took album of the year for "River: the Joni Letters." Kanye had declared that if he didn't win, he would allow Amy Winehouse or Mark Ronson to win, but he didn't mention Herbie. I wish I had a river that Kanye could skate away on.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

American Idol - Best of the Rest - Auditions

Ahh, finally, the end of the auditions! They call this the "best of the rest" episode, it's an hour long, but we only get to see 6 people who made it to Hollywood. Sigh.

The Good

  • Amy Davis - Amy said she was "lower than lower middle class" before delivering a soulful rendition of "Blue Bayou."
  • Cardin Lee McKinney - Cardin was confident and pretty. She should do well.
  • JoAnne Borgella - She reminded me of Chaka Khan. I thought she had a good voice but Simon was hesitant - maybe because of her weight?
  • Alesha Stelzl - I thought this was a joke audition because her voice was so nasally, but Paula thought she sounded like Dolly Parton. They let her go learn a Dolly song and come back. I still thought it was horrible, unless we're looking for "America's Next Dolly Parton."
  • Chikezie Eze - He tried out last year but didn't make it. Simon wasn't wowed but lucky for Chizekie, the other two are eze like Sunday morning.
  • Danny Noriega - His performance of "Proud Mary" was over the top, but he's got a Sanjaya-like teen idol quality that could carry him along.
The Bad and The Ugly
  • Chris and Cory Lane - These telegenic twins have dated the same girl. They can't sing but they might get a deal to make some Abercrombie and Fitch porno together.
  • Joshua "J Smoov" Moreland - He dropped glitter dramatically at the start of his song. Simon pronounced the audition "corny and revolting" before asking Paula to go sweep it up.

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American Idol - Hotlanta Auditions

The Good

  • Josh Jones - A rocker and a glass cutter, Josh had scary eyes that freaked Simon out so much he made him sing with his back to the judges. He's got a good rock voice but can he stop buggin'?
  • Asia'h Epperson - Asia'h's dad died in a car accident just two days before her audition, but she emerged as quite a trooper and dedicated a strong performance of "How Do I Live" to her dad. She's pretty and talented and, with a story like that, how can you not root for her? Paula sobbed in sympathy.
  • Brooke Helvie - Brooke is Miss South Florida Fair, which sounds like a character in a Jimmy Buffet song. She's really annoying but proved Simon wrong by demonstrating that a pageant girl could actually sing.
  • Alexandrea Lushington - I wasn't too crazy about her baggy army-style outfit but her voice was good, and she's got a cute 93-year-old grandmother.
  • Amanda Overmeyer - Amanda is a biker and a nurse. She belted a Janis Joplin tune and Randy thought it was hot. I think she's one of the more intriguing contestants - perhaps she'll be this year's Gina Glocksen.
  • Josiah Leming - Young Josiah is living in his car while touring and trying to make it. He's cute with an oddly British voice that charmed Simon but kinda freaked Randy out. I'll root for him. It was refreshing to hear a Snow Patrol tune instead of Celine or Stevie.
The Bad and The Ugly
  • J.P. Tjelmeland - He tried out a few years ago and sat one seat away from Carrie Underwood in line. That's as close as he'll be getting to Idoldom, since Simon declared his pen had more charisma.
  • Eva Miller - Eva decided to sing Vanessa Carlton for some unknown reason and tripped and fell while dancing.
  • Nathan Hite - This goth teen smarted off to Simon, and Simon reprimanded him for being sassy. If this whole Idol thing doesn't work out, Simon should consider becoming a headmaster in a school for wayward boys.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice - Goodbye, Gene

I caught up on the last few episodes of Celebrity Apprentice this weekend and have come to an important conclusion. This is not easy for me, but, after 30 years of being a KISS fan, I am breaking things off with Gene Simmons. Let me recount how I have gradually lost faith in Gene.

  • Bad acting - Gene and his evil robots terrorized Tom Selleck in Runaway. His overacting was way more frightening than the movie itself.
  • Unending Greed - All the KISS products, while evidence of Gene's business acumen, are oppressive. It makes being a fan a Sisyphean experience.
  • Duping Fans - I don't mind that Gene keeps sausaging himself into spandex to tour with KISS, but I do mind when he puts Tommy Thayer in Ace's makeup as if we're all too drunk to notice. Even if he is a drunk, there's only one Ace! Let Tommy be a new character, in the Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent tradition.
  • Arrogance and Stupidity - I'll never forget Gene's appearance on Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He was overconfident and refused the help of his celebrity peers and missed one of the early throwaway questions. He was eliminated without even having used a lifeline. Stupid demon.
  • Creepy Hair - I don't know if it's a weave or a hairpiece or plugs but whatever is on Gene's head is almost as bad as whatever's on The Donald's head. With all that money from the sale of KISS caskets, can't Gene fix this situation?
  • Annoying Reality Show - I have watched all of Gene Simmons Family Jewels because I'm a die-hard, but most episodes make me cringe due to Gene's bad acting, lack of humor and the hokey sitcom-style manufactured plots. I think I mainly keep watching because Gene's kids Nick and Sophie are actually cute and funny and seem remarkably well-adjusted.
  • Unnecessary Face Lift - If the picture on this blog isn't enough to end a crush, I don't know what is. Gene's sex appeal was never based on being handsome, so I don't know why he thought a face lift was necessary, except maybe to make good reality TV.
Now the final straw - an episode that could also be called "Arrogance and Stupidity" - comes on Celebrity Apprentice. Gene led the women's team and failed to win a challenge to promote a Kodak printer. He failed the challenge partially due to his disinterest in actually listening to the executives (same problem in the previous week where we didn't listen to the dog food kingpin).

Gene's failure meant he would have to be on the firing block, and he was told by The Donald to choose two team members to bring back to the boardroom with him. Instead of picking Nely Galan, who was also partially to blame because she talked to much and annoyed the Kodak execs, Gene chose Omarosa and Jenny Finch. The Donald gave Gene multiple chances to change his mind about this, stating that neither Omarosa nor Jenny had anything to do with this mission's failure. Trump was just itching to fire Nely, and he didn't want to let Gene go, knowing that Gene is truly one of the better businessfolk on the show and also one of the only real celebrities. But Gene was stubborn and wouldn't change his mind. He said he felt Nely was a good leader, and, well, he just hates Omarosa like we all do. Consequently, The Donald had no choice but to fire Gene.

Who knows - maybe Gene blew it on purpose. Maybe he was bored with the show and wanted to get back to his 10 million other KISS-related business ventures. As for me, I'm done with Celebrity Apprentice and done with the Demon!

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