May 14, 2008

American Idol Top 3 (Subtitle: Erm. Hmm. Ok. Well.)

You know what is a bit of a bummer?  Wanting to be blown away then really, really NOT being blown away.

9 performances. 9 times I kind of bounced in my seat and did little clappy things with my hands in anticipation of blownawayedness. 9 times I went, “Uh…..ok.  Well? Ok.”  Each little disappointment was minute…but even a little let-down, if it happens 9 times IN A ROW becomes a bit much.

Each one, in order…. here goes….

 Judges choices

David A – “And So It Goes”

While his outfit was typical David… the endless Members Only-esque jackets and jeans and tennis shoes, I was actually pleasantly surprised by his performance.  I am a huge Billy Joel fan (when will he be a mentor??) and own most of his greatest hits and albums, so I was surprised to hear a song that I’m unfamiliar with… but honestly, it was my favorite performance of Little David’s so far.

I’m intrigued by the sideways spiky bangs.   What is that?

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.


Syesha – “If I Aint Got You”

Oh, the controversy.  She’s sung this song before.  Performed it on another TV show, in fact.  Rumor mill is so abuzz that she achieves CONSPIRACY THEORY levels of attention.

She’s a plant…

They pushed her though because if all else fails, they already planned to offer her a contract before Idol 7 started…

They’ve encouraged her into the best song choices…

Even though she is consistently in the bottom 3, she always makes it through even though there is no visible fan support for her – no signs in the audience, no fan boards on the Internet, etc.

Because, you know, people can’t get better. Or make better choices.  Geez.

I didn’t love it, but it was pretty good. It wasn’t BAD.  So, hmm.

 David Cook – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

I liked that it was almost acapella at the beginning… and I, of course, loved the raging rocker at the end because DUDE – IT IS HARD TO RAGE TO ROBERTA FLACK.  But, it was a bit formulaic to me.  Sort of the now patented David Cook “spin” is to take these songs and start slow and easy and sexy and low and then build, BUILD, BUILD to the full-blown rocker yell at the end… and the thing is, you can only ride a really great rollercoaster so many times until that amazing loop-dee-loop at the end no longer makes you scream (and clutch your chest?)…

The Songs they chose themselves….

David Archy – “With You”

David (singing):  I need you, Boo.

I fall off my chair, smash my face on a jar of cashews and The Baby’s Learn and Groove toy.

David (singing):  I gotta see you, Boo.

The Baby sprouts wings and begins to flap around the living room while yelling “BYE BYE! BYE BYE! UH-OH! BYE-BYE! UH-OH!”

David (singing): And the hearts all over the world tonight…  *doing boppity jiggity dancey moves*

The Teen comes upstairs and announces that from now on, he’d like to only eat fresh fish for dinner and has given up all video games to concentrate more completely on his studies and personal spirituality and also, could someone please drive him to the library and then he’d like to clean the garage… if no one minds, of course.

David  (singing):  Ooooh, I need you, Boo….

Kory jumps up and does a flying karate kick into the kitchen, begins yelling at everyone in French with excessive “Mon deu!”s and then demands, “WOMAN! GET IN HERE AND CLEAN THIS KITCHEN AND THEN MAKE ME A TURKEY POT PIE!”

I’m telling, you…  we were so disturbed that it actually seemed as though we’d slipped into a different dimension and the laws of nature changed.

Also, it was fully obvious that you raided Blake Lewis’ old closet.  Dork.

Syesha “Fever”

I had high hopes.  Until I heard her actually explain that she was going to use a chair as a prop because, um, helloooo, you don’t EXPLAIN your prop or it looks really, really, really propish and it’s not like the missing ingredient in the Syesha Pop Star Stew was “Make yourself more obvious“.  Of course she sang it well.. but could she have really played up and emphasized the parts that would have showcased her more fully?  Uh-huh.  Especially the “what a lovely way to burn” parts could have just sizzled us out of our seats…but…….. eh.

David Cook –  “Dare you to move”

Well, he certainly embraced the whole idea of cheesy lyrics early on.  I don’t mind Switchfoot and I’ve heard this song many times and like it just fine… and I’m always glad to see David with the guitar strapped on because he’s always more comfortable when it’s there.. his guitar woobie.

But, dammit, I wanted Collective Soul….  sigh……

Random, scary Justin Guarini:

The songs the Producers chose:

David Archubarfa – “Longer”

I always like these fading from long to close up shots… (all pictures taken by the lovely Kory, of course)

As previously mentioned, I love Dan Fogelberg and that’s not at all like someone liking Englebert Humperdink or  Meat Loaf or some other uncooly named 70’s artist, because Dan Fogelberg is a genius and if you doubt that, just ask Kory who almost drove us into a ditch in 94W when I lost my ever-loving-mind when “Leader of the Band” came on the XM radio and I tried to simultaneously rip my shirt off and throw it out the window and wave a lighter and bellow at the top of my lungs, “I’M JUST A LIVING LEGACY TO THE LEADER OOOOOOOF THE BAAAAAAND”.  Genius, I’m telling you.

Which is why this Sunday School, beauty pageant, goopy, Kathy Lee Griffin, saccharin bullshit version made me a little bit angry.  But angry in a deep sigh, shoulders slumped defeated kind of way.  Which pretty much explains my whole relationship with David Archubarfa.  Confused. Irritated. Nauseated. Defeated.
I think “Boo” sums it up.

Syesha – “Hit Me Up”

What. Was. That?

Me: Is this Beyonce?  It seems kind of Beyonce.

Kory: Yeah.  Wow.  It’s…….

Me: Or maybe it’s Destiny’s Child? Or Beyonce?

Kory: Yeah. Geez. It’s really..

Me: I wonder if this is Beyonce.  It’s kind of…

Kory: Bad.

Me:  Yeah.

Turns out it’s by someone named, “Gia” that I have never heard of, and it was featured in the movie “Happy Feet” and while it wasn’t actually ABOUT penguins, it might as well have been…

*makes scrunchy ‘shit, dude… this aint lookin’ good’ face*

You had a good run, kid.  Good for you.

Random extremely happy, smiling guy that totally made me laugh and hopefully will have his own podcast or following ASAP:

I’m like Archubarfa! I have his hair! And his furry eyebrows! And his Chiclet teeth!  But I’m MUCH, MUCH HAPPIER!

David Cook – “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”

Ok, I’m not only an Aerosmith junkie, but I have seen “Armageddon”, oh, about 350 MILLION TIMES and if you think for one minute I am not replaying Ben Affleck making the animal crackers walk across Liv Tyler’s stomach and then part at the end when she yells “Daddy!” and is holding her hand against the TV screen while Bruce Willis is choked up rumbling to her in his growly voice, “I’m not coming home, Gracie” and then she and I dissolve into big slobbery tears.. EVERY TIME I HEAR THIS SONG, you are wildly mistaken.  One could say I am invested in this song.

So……….. then there are weird continuous flashes to Diane Warren in the audience, who really just looks like any middle-aged horsey-faced woman, prompting me to say to Kory about 30 times in a row, “WHO IS THAT WOMAN? WHO IS THAT WOMAN? WHO IS THAT WOMAN?!”, to which my ever patient husband replies, ” I don’t know, honey. Maybe if we watch, they will tell us.”

Except that I know better.  I know that frequently American Idol will flash to people in the audience … like, oh, say, for example, that gay assistant from “Entourage” and NEVER GIVE ANY EXPLANATION for it and you just better hope, sister, that you watch enough TV to know who almost anyone is (and thankfully, I almost do)…

So, the song was good for me because I love it and I attach all kinds of memories and emotions to it that probably have no business being there.. but it wasn’t GOOD good, you know.  Just…….. good.   Mostly.

Tonight:  Syesha. Of course Syesha…

The finale will be ALL DAVIDS… ALL THE TIME.

I could have a heart attack and die from not surprised.

Also, guess what?


Who knew?

April 30, 2008

American Idol Top 5 (Subtitle: Paulagate ’08)

Filed under: American Idol,Television — Tags: , — denise @ 2:49 pm

I was in a big hurry watching Idol this week, so I was fast-forwarding like a banshee through anything that wasn’t one of the Idols with a microphone.  It’s because of this that I initially missed “Paulagate ’08“.


My friend Julie says to me, “Oh my God, can you believe Paula last night?”

And a tiny volcano of panic goes off in my head that I might have missed some critical Paula moment.

“Shit!” I say, “I was fast-forwarding!  What did I miss?!”

Oh. MY. God.” Julie begins… and then tells me about how Paula critiqued Jason’s first AND second performance when he’d only sung one song from notes she appeared to have scribbled on a Kleenex with her eyeliner pencil.  

Later that morning, a reader sent me an article on Paulagate and video of the actual moment.  (Thanks Alison! Thanks Ryan!)  I have a hard and fast rule that I never read other A.I. blogs before I write my own because I’m afraid I’ll taint myself or steal from other people because, let’s face it, I’m as likely to taint and steal as the next guy…  but these were exclusively about Paula and the gasp that was heard around the world. 

The following are currently conspiracy theories and my own thoughts:

1.  Paula took notes during the dress rehearsal and was reading those. (Conspiracy theory)

2.  Paula was reading notes that the producers told her to say and she accidently read ahead. (Conspiracy theory)

3. Paula was actually reading David Cook’s notes, not Jason’s second song notes. (What Paula claimed)

4. Paula is a time traveler. (Seacrest)

5. Paula is a total nut-job.  (Me.)

I think we can immediately discard #4, because a time traveler would just find out who will win the next Superbowl or what last week’s Powerball numbers were and be done with it… and let’s face it, Paula is confused by doorknobs and clocks… so we know she isn’t deftly moving through the space-time continuum.

#3 is equally unlikely as the comment that he’s “losing his charm and isn’t fighting hard enough” are SO JASON and not at all David Cook (especially since she told David he was “fantastic!”)

#1 -Paula is writing notes during rehearsals – this one is really disturbing to many of the noted Idol bloggers out there who feel that the judges should not be privy to any rehearsals or song choices, etc, prior to the live show.  I have to admit, this doesn’t bother me at all.  Paula has said many times in the last 7 seasons things like, “I heard you sing that perfectly earlier…” when referring to someone’s nerves getting the best of them, etc.  So, I don’t see how it can be any big surprise that Paula, at least, has been sitting in on rehearsals.

#2 is the most disturbing – that the producers have their favorites and have given the judges pre-packaged blurbs to say about each performance.  It’s possible.  It’s reality TV, kids, and we must accept that there is no such thing as unscripted reality in the television world.  I have thought many times, myself, while listening to the judges gush and froth over Archubarfa that they can’t all really love him that much… that Simon can’t really be that enthralled with the Fire and Ice themepark performances he gives every week… can he?   Or is someone handing him a cue card that says,

Sell David A.  Tell the American people this is what they want.  They will listen to you. Sell! Sell! If we can convince them to buy Fords, we can convince them to buy ANYTHING! You sold them 4 swarthy Italian opera singers! You can do it!”

Finally we come to #5.   Paula is a nutjob.  This is less a theory than a factual statement served up as a symptom that explains a dilemma.  Should she really be allowed to judge these kids?  Are her comments actually harming their growth and development?  Do the American people deserve a non-crazy person judging their idols?!!

Honestly…. I’m cool with it.

I love Crazy Paula

I love when I see her with her hair all whacked out and falling down and weird inexplicable jewelry because I know it will be a good show… Crazy Paula always looks like she just accidently ran through a car wash and then fell in the bargain bin at Claire’s.  Contolled Paula always looks sort of put-together and calm… but Crazy Paula – she straps on the bling and busts out the AquaNet and lets it all hang out.  Crazy Paula is going to be standing and boogyin’ down the whole show, she’s going to forget their names (she called Syesha, “Brooke”), she’s going to be a garbled, mush-mouthed, sweaty, fantastic MESS…. and that’s… ok.

Last night’s show was ridiculously frenzied and badly produced.  No one seemed to know what was happening, Seacrest was reading off numbers like it was a cattle auction, the kids weren’t on stage when they were supposed to be half the time…   directions kept changing and I think we all know that this is not a good climate for Crazy Paula.

And me?  I love every minute of it.

Performance critiques to come…

April 15, 2008

It’s Mariah Carey Night. (Subtitle: Kill me now.)

Filed under: American Idol,Television — Tags: , , , , — denise @ 4:45 pm

I have to admit, I kind of love “MTV Cribs”.   I think we all know by now that I’m a reality show junkie.   The only two that I watch on MTV, and then only occasionally, are “MTV Cribs” and “Run’s House”.  Cribs, because I am wildly facinated by other people’s taste or lack thereof… as well as how much money truly talentless people can really make.  Run’s House, because I am inexplicably sucked into the vortex of this extremely wealthy family of really loving people, and grown children that still refer to their parents as “Mommy and Daddy” and a mom who just kind of slugs around the house while the kids start new clothing empires and Run DMC walks around being a preacher….

Here’s a common exchange in this family:

20-something daughter:  I’m going to remodel our entire apartment.  Also, today I’m going to become a famous model. 

18 year old daughter:  You better ask Daddy first.  I’m going to start my own magazine.

20-something daughter:  I think I’ll ask Mommy instead.

A child named Diggy:  I think I’ll start my own line of tennis shoes and sell all my toys to neighborhood kids.

A teenager named JoJo: As long as that doesn’t interfere with me starting my own Rap label.  Also, if I lose my cologne, I get very angry. I take my fragrences very seriously.

A child named Russy:  Why do we all have strange names?  I like to hide things.

Rev Run:  The Lord likes it that way.  Go ask Mommy.

Wife, Justine:  (slurrily)  I’m tired.  And hungry.  And tired.  I wish I had a burrito.  I need a massage. I’m going to bed.  Go ask Daddy.

You probably think I’m kidding BUT THAT IS THE AMAZING PART!!!

I’m totally not.

The bizarreness of it is absolutely rivoting to me… which brings me to MTV Cribs and why this has anything to do with American Idol and Mariah Carey…

So, Mariah was on Cribs one time and it was just… ok…. she has this closet that is so big, my entire house could fit in it. In this closet lives, I don’t know, maybe 10,000 pairs of shoes – of which about 9,999 of them are the most hooker/stripper/6-inch heel things you have ever seen. I think she had one pair of flip-flops for church or something.

Ok- so we get the tour and of course everything is pink and fluffy and looks like a 12 year old girl designed it and there are tiny, mean-looking dogs everywhere… and large black men with sunglasses and what appear to be holstered guns… and random less-good-looking “friends” draped about the place… you know, her posse.  And she talks and points at stuff (mostly her bath tub) but it’s such useless drivel that I don’t remember any of it except that she goes into that closet and puts on a pair of enormous heels and then GETS ON HER STAIRMASTER.  And then does a whole segment of the program about her shoes and her closet and stupid, nasty dogs WHILE BOUNCING UP AND DOWN ON THE STAIRMASTER IN THESE SHOES:


She doesn’t break a sweat. She doesn’t even get breathy.

Doesn’t this blow your mind?  If this doesn’t blow your mind, then why don’t you try riding a unicycle while making an omelet over open flame and reciting the alphabet backward while you pluck your own eyebrows, because I tell you this:  It’s the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen her do.

It’s been reported by many, many sources that Carly Smithson will be singing…

 *** spoiler alert – don’t read if you don’t want to know***

“Without You”

“Without You” was originally recorded by Badfinger and went on to be covered by many, many people including Donny Osmond, Clay Aiken, Heart, Air Supply, and Kelly Clarkson.  Evidently, American Idol loves this song.  I would expect Carly to do a Heart version as opposed to a Donny Osmond version, but a girl can hope, no?   I expect a fully extended forehead vein, tonight.  [of course]

But this is going to be a tough night for the boys, I think… Archie can do “I’ll Be There” which was originally done by his future self  Michael Jackson.  I told my friend Jules that he originally did “Without You”, which was totally wrong and I’m pretty sure she knew that because she just nodded sort of uncertainly and went “Oh. Hum. Really. Huh. I don’t remember him doing that song for some reason. Hum.” … which is about as mean as Julie is capable of.  So, in the hope of convincing her, I started singing it in what I hoped was a Michael Jackson-ish way… waving my arms about…  “Doesn’t it sound like the 50’s?”, I said – WHICH DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE – but somehow I needed to convince her and in the end she just went, “Oh, ok!”  and then we talked about her new bra… so, you know, a typical conversation for us…

I’d like to see David Cook to do “Hero”….  word is, his older brother, who is losing a horrible battle to brain cancer, will be at the show tonight.  He and his wife were denied traveling commercially and a local group donated the cost of a private plane and medical assitance to travel with him – to the tune of about $80,000….  he is quite ill and tonight will certainly prove to be a tear-jerker in that regard, I suspect.  I would think that David will dedicate his song tonight to his brother… and this song would bring down the house.

For Jason, “The Beautiful Ones” — which was written by Prince.   Oh my god… if he could just, you know, stop smirking… and just ooooooooooze this out with a glint in his eye and a snarl on his lips and a little swagger… well, I would just flip out.   And throw my bra.  [of course]

Syesha… “With You I’m Born Again” would suit her so well…. she could kill with this.

Kristi Lee… “Through The Rain”…    I don’t know the song, but it sounds like an appropriate title…

and finally Brooke,  “I Still Believe”… because I do… and she should… and it’s a good song and maybe, just maybe she won’t make THE FACE.

Photobucket  Photobucket

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Mariah was totally high tonight?  Oh! And if Paula was, too… like, if they had a big Pretty-colored Pills Potluck before the show and washed it all down with some Dom and they both stumbled around and then tried to sing each other’s songs -Mariah will do “Straight Up” and Paula will do “Butterfly” and then they will fall into a giant pile of fake hair and bad make up and the crazy will spill all over the stage and infect Ryan … who will attempt to give everyone icecream pops and then claim his earpiece was broken???  Like that.

*rubs hands together*

This is either going to be great, or I’m going to throw myself off the roof – tonight, there is nothing in between, kids.   We are going for broke.

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