Thursday, December 21, 2006

Justin Timberlake = Best SNL Host Ever!

I haven't quite warmed up to Justin Timberlake's solo music (I can't stand "My Love"!), but it's undeniable that JT has a huge future in acting and comedy if he so chooses. I've seen him host Saturday Night Live twice now, and each episode ranks amongst my favorite episodes EVER. That dude is FUNNY!

The last time he hosted, his episode was so good that I burned it to DVD. There were so many memorable skits, including Omeletteville, which ranks up there with my favorite SNL skits of all time, a "Newlyweds" skit with Justin playing Jessica Simpson and Justin beating up Kermit the Frog while they sang "Rainbow Connection".

This past weekend, Justin added the Chipmunks' Christmas song to his repertoir, did another Omeletteville-type of skit, called Homelessville and did another Barry and Robin Gibb talk show skit with Jimmy Fallon.

The best of the lot, though, was one of the most hilarious skits ever - a new digital short music video.

If you haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it with the title. Just watch it here. I haven't laughed this hard at anything on this show in a long time. It's classic.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yul-Tide Winnings

Survivor 13 (Holy cow. 13?!?!?!) produced the most satisfying result in the show's history last night. The Aitu4, decimated at a 2-1 disadvantage after Candice and Jonathan's mutiny, defied the odds and took out 8 members of the other tribe to become the show's Final Four. They managed to widdle themselves down to the final three without having to backstab each other, and then the brain behind the entire operation and the most intelligent player ever in the game, not to mention one of the nicest, Yul Kwon, won the million dollars, 5-4, over the most physicaly dominant player ever in the game, Ozzy Lusth. Ozzy later won a car, so he didn't come away empty-handed.

The last two immunity challenges also provided drama, as the lone Raro member Adam nearly won the immunity challenge by solving what Jeff Probst called the hardest puzzle in Survivor history. Dumb-ass Adam! What the hell?! But Ozzy prevailed, again, allowing the Aitus to make it to the Final Four together. Adam did try to go out with a bang, trying to convince Ozzy and Sundra to flush out the Idol from Yul, but they thankfully didn't bite. And in the final immunity challenge, a balance/endurance challenge, Ozzy outlasted them all, despite a valiant and impressive effort from Sundra, who lasted for over 2.5 hours.

With Yul holding the immunity idol, it was down to Sundra and Becky for who would join the two men in the final. Yul offered up his immunity idol to Becky, but she ultimately decided she didn't want to take the easy way into the final. The editing made it seem as if she seriously was going to take it, but apparently, they quickly decided against it. Thank god, because if Yul had done that, he would have lost by a large margin. Ozzy came up with a brilliant idea to decide the girls' fate - a tiebreaker. It was the fairest thing to do, and no one would have to stab another in the back. It was the perfect scenario for the group, and I'm so glad that it did go down like that.

Becky and Sundra had the most hilarious tiebreak challenge - fire-building. As Probst put it, 39 days, and you can't build a fire? One hour later, and the girls couldn't build a fire with flint. Probst gave them matches, and still more ineptitude. The camera work was great here - they panned to shots of the jurors looking bored, Ozzy and Yul looking horrified and embarrassed for them, Probst looking exasperated. Half an hour or so later, Sundra ran out of matches, and then Becky finally built a fire. Based on interviews I've read after the show, it seems as if Becky and Sundra shared their supplies, and when Sundra ran out of matches, she cheered Becky on. That's great. She had the classiest exit ever (and I do have to give Adam props for his exit speech as well, where he congratulated the four for making it to the end).

So it was down to Becky, Yul and Ozzy for the last tribal council. Technically. Becky was a non-factor, receiving few questions and no votes. The final vote was justifiably close between the two people who dominated the show, Ozzy with winning every challenge and Yul with turning the game on its ear by engineering Jonathan's flop.

Ozzy totally gave Yul a run for his money with the jury questioning. His answers were passionate and heart-felt. In fact, I thought he had it won after he told his sob story about his biological father not wanting to be part of his life. Yul was a bit more political and PC, but he did give the best answer I've heard on this show in the final TC. When Jonathan asked him about lying and deceiving, Yul answered that everyone there knew what game they were getting into and what kind of game this was, and in real life he would never treat people that way. Jonathan had a similarly good answer in the reunion when asked about being considered the villain of the show. His response? "It's a game! There's no villain in Monopoly. There's no villain in a poker tournament!" Heh.

Anyway, in the end brains won out over brawn. Not that Yul has no brawn. Hello, Mr. Six-Pack! Without Aqua Man Ozzy on his season, Yul would have been the physically dominant one, although I suspect he would have tried to downplay that so as to not put a target on him. Because he's smart that way.

It's a shame that Ozzy had to lose, but he can take solace in the fact that he lost in a close vote to the most brilliant player in the show's 13 seasons. There's always Survivor All-Stars II! I'd love to see him duke it out with hot fireman Tom Westman!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Shouting Is The New Talent?

While flipping channels tonight, I came across the Christmas In Washington concert. I watched last year's concert and was blown away by Jane Monheit singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". Carrie Underwood also did a nice job singing "O Holy Night". So I thought I'd stay on the channel and watch the show and see if any great performances come out of it.

Corrine Bailey Rae sang, and she was great. And I have to admit that Taylor Hicks did a really good job on his songs, particularly on "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear". I normally can't take too much of Taylor, but he did well. He toned down the spaz considerably, and that's usually the only time I can tolerate him.

And then up comes Bianca Ryan, that little girl who won America's Got Talent this summer. I didn't watch the show at all, but I heard about her singing "And I Am Telling You" and "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls. Well, here on this Christmas show, she sings "O Come All Ye Faithful" and proceeds, IMO, to make a big mess out of it. Normally I would feel bad doggin' on a little kid, but if she thinks she's "big" enough to sing "And I Am Telling You", well, I don't consider her a little kid anymore. And I personally feel like she mimics when she sings. It's just not believable. I mean, the girl can sing, but it all rings false to me. Anyway ... Bianca shouts her way through this Christmas carol, and I find myself yelling internally at her to SHUT! UP! I hate that loud and melismatic seem to equate to good in people's minds.

Then to make matters worse, Il Divo comes right up when Bianca finishes. And I'm wondering if Simon Cowell is somehow involved in this show since three of his creations (Taylor, Bianca and Il Divo) are the main singers. I cannot for the life of me figure out how these guys are so popular and sell so many records. Again, yes, they can sing, but is elevator music seriously popular? Seriously?! Give me Josh Groban any day (That reminds me, I need to pick up the new album!).

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Simple Unsober Life

The Simple Life star Nicole Richie was arrested early Monday morning for a DUI after being pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the 134 freeway. A police spokesman said that she "volunteered the information that she had smoked marijuana and taken Vicodin". She was booked for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tested for drugs and released later Monday morning.

Her booking sheet stated that she is 5-1 and a whopping 85 pounds. Methinks that Nicole is so skinny (cougheatingdisordercough) that she took just one sip of alcohol or one hit of marijuana before becoming intoxicated.

If the drug test comes back positive, she could be in a heap of trouble, considering this isn't her first drug arrest. Three years ago, she was charged with felony possession of heroin and with driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grammy Nods

Nominees for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards were announced this morning, and Mary J. Blige emerged as the big pre-winner, with eight nominations. Mainstream won out for once, with some pretty popular singers and songs being nominated for the major awards.

Here are some of the nominees:

Album of the Year
Taking The Long Way by Dixie Chicks
St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley
Continuum by John Mayer
Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers
FutureSex/LoveSongs by Justin Timberlake
My prediction: St. Elsewhere

Record of the Year
"Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
"You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
"Not Ready To Make Nice" by Dixie Chicks
"Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley
"Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
My prediction: Crazy

Song of the Year (awarded to the songwriter)
"Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
"Jesus Take The Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
"Not Ready To Make Nice" by Dixie Chicks
"Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
"You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
My prediction: "You're Beautiful"
(Interesting how Crazy is up for Record but not Song, and Jesus Take the Wheel is up for Song but not Record. Does that mean they think Crazy is a poorly-written song but Gnarls sings it well and that Jesus Take The Wheel is a good song but that Carrie doesn't sing it as well? I would've said vice versa.)

Best New Artist
James Blunt
Chris Brown
Imogen Heap
Corinne Bailey Rae
Carrie Underwood
Prediction: James Blunt

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
"Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
"You Can Close Your Eyes" by Sheryl Crow
"Stupid Girls" by Pink
"Black Horse And The Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
Prediction: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
"You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
"Save Room" by John Legend
"Waiting On The World To Change" by John Mayer
"Jenny Wren" by Paul McCartney
"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
Prediction: Waiting on the World to Change

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
"My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab For Cutie
"Over My Head (Cable Car)" by The Fray
"Is It Any Wonder?" by Keane
"Stuckwitu" by Pussycat Dolls
Prediction: Over My Head (even though I'm beyond sick of this song)
(My Humps, Pussycat Dolls, Grammy. What word does not belong here? Hmmm ...)

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
"For Once In My Life" by Tony Bennett/Stevie Wonder
"One" by Mary J. Blige & U2
"Always On Your Side" by Sheryl Crow & Sting
"Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado & Timbaland
"Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira & Wyclef Jean
Prediction: Mary J. & U2 (even though she tends to turn that awesome song into a Mary J. melismatic solo mess)

Best Pop Vocal Album
Back To Basics by Christina Aguilera
Back To Bedlam by James Blunt
The River In Reverse by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Continuum by John Mayer
FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake
Predicition: Christina Aguilera (best singer of the group, hands down. JT nominated for VOCALS when he basically talks through Sexy Back?!)

Best Rock Song (awarded to the songwriter)
"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol
"Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Lookin' For A Leader" by Neil Young
"Someday Baby" by Bob Dylan
"When You Were Young" by The Killers
Prediction: CHASING CARS! (I love this song!)

Best R&B Song (awarded to the songwriter)
"Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
"Black Sweat" by Prince
"Deja Vu" by Beyonce, featuring Jay-Z
"Don't Forget About Us" by Mariah Carey
"I Am Not My Hair" by India. Arie
Prediction: Be Without You, since it's nominated for everything else (I personally would have chosen Don't Forget About Us. But Mariah always gets shut out of major awards, so that ain't happening.)

Best Rap Song (awarded to the songwriter)
"It's Goin' Down" by Yung Joc
"Kick, Push" by Lupe Fiasco
"Money Maker" by Ludacris, featuring Pharrell
"Ridin'" by Chamillionaire, featuring Krayzie Bone
"What You Know" by T.I.
Prediction: Ridin' (I guess? I turn the channel on those songs)

Best Country Song (awarded to the songwriter)
"Every Mile A Memory" by Dierks Bentley
"I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today" by Gretchen Wilson
"Jesus, Take The Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
"Like Red On A Rose" by Alan Jackson
"What Hurts The Most" by Rascal Flatts
Prediction: Jesus Take the Wheel, since it's up for Song of the Year (I would've picked What Hurts The Most)

Carrie Underwood is up for Best New Artist and for Best Female Country Vocal Performance against Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and Gretchen Wilson. She has an excellent chance of winning the latter. Too bad Faith Hill isn't nominated to see her reaction/meltdown when Carrie does win. Heh. LeAnn Rimes, judging from her website posting after Faith-Gate, might give us some bitch-face in her place.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fashion At AMAs

Got home too late to watch the show, but I had to check out the fashion at tonight's American Music Awards.

Best-Dressed: The Game

Worst-Dressed: Sarah Silverman (honey, it's an awards show, not a debate competition)

Best-Dressed Couple: Mario Lopez and Kareeeeena

Worst-Dressed Couple: Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale (He looks like he's auditioning for Danny Zuko on Grease, and she looks like she's about to go to outerspace)

Worst Use of Accessories: Flavor Flav

Best Era Outfit: Carmen Electra in flapper-wear

Best Impression, Male: John Mayer looking like Edward Scissorhands

Best Impression, Female: Nelly Furtado looking like Janice Dickinson

Best Lighting: Beyonce

And I have to ask this. Do they starve all the former American Idol contestants? The weight loss on these people is a bit scary.

Look at Carrie Underwood's bony legs (and don't get me started on that hideous outfit).

Taylor Hicks looks much leaner.

Oh wait. I just saw Clay Aiken. He must have eaten Carrie and Taylor's sandwiches.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lone Star Dancing

Dallas Cowboy legend Emmitt Smith took home the Dancing With The Stars Season 3 title last night, defeating Saved By The Bell star Mario Lopez for the championship. For Emmitt's partner, Cheryl Burke, it was her second consecutive title in as many seasons. Last year, she helped singer Drew Lachey win it all.

As I said when I saw the celebrity pairings, "Without seeing any of these people dance, the top two contenders right now have to be Harry Hamlin and Emmitt Smith." Ok, I was dead wrong with Harry, but Emmitt I knew that pairing with Cheryl was a huge coup for him and that his NFL fanbase would help a lot. What I didn't know was how good he would end up being and how much charm he had and how much HE won over so many fans with his dancing.

Mario and Karina, who were considered to be the best dancers in the competition, did not really take the loss very well. Karina had major bitch-face going on after the announcement and had that half-hearted clap. In press interviews immediately after, Karina broke down in tears and had this to say: "It's better to be second while everyone is saying 'You should have been first,' than be first when everyone says 'You should be second." Damn. It's not as if she lost to Master P. Emmitt can dance, Kareeeeeeeena Bittercakes!

Mario didn't fare much better in the PR department, saying to one media outlet, "Apparently, world-class dancing wasn't enough." And I'm really hoping he's talking about Karina (who we aren't really voting for) here and not himself because that lame-ass freestyle he did was barely high school talent show dancing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Samba Showdown

Emmitt Smith and Mario Lopez duked it out for the championship on Dancing with the Stars tonight. Each danced three dances - a samba to "Sir Duke", their favorite dance of the season and a freestyle. And for the second week in a row, the judges proved themselves to be absolutely worthless, tying the competitors so that the decisions was solely left to the audience.

My five internet votes went solely to Emmitt and his partner Cheryl Burke. Emmitt came in with no dance experience and came out as a delightful, confident ballroom dancer. Mario is technically the better dancer, but he's had dance training (despite his protestations), and he's been hired as a dancer in his career (see this video from when he was dancing on Kids Incorporated) He's a ringer!

Mario is a terrific dancer, no doubt, and his paso doble tonight was outstanding. But there's just something about Emmitt that makes you smile when you watch him dance. It's so fun. And you can relate so easily to him. As they said on the show today, he's Every Man. Although I don't know many men who have won that many Super Bowls!

Dance 1 - Samba
Emmitt and Cheryl started out a bit slow but heated up towards the end, and I was giggling with glee when he funked it up at the end. That was great. Some of Mario's moves seemed a bit off to me at times, and I wasn't too excited about it. I did appreciate the samba rolls, although they weren't the greatest. Round 1 goes to Emmitt.

Dance 2 - Favorite Dance
Emmitt and Cheryl re-did their mambo, and Emmitt was on fi-yah with the shimmying. Mario and Karina did their paso doble properly this time, and it was professional quality. Fantastic. Round 2 to Mario.

Dance 3 - Freestyle
Cheryl had a lot to live up to after one of the best dance routines I've seen on TV, her freestyle with Drew Lachey last year (see video). This year, she put together a routine to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This", complete with Hammer moves and the Running Man that made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Hammer can't touch Emmitt on that one. He was smooth! Some of the lifts were precarious, though, and they got dinged a point for it. I expected so much more out of Mario and Karina, and I was disappointed that they took freestyle so literally. This routine didn't have much of a semblance of routine to it. It felt like they were just out there at a club or a party, and Mario was showing off. There was little to no partnering, and their lift wasn't smooth either. They also had some synchronization issues. Yet, Carrie Ann Inaba said it was the best dance of the season. WTF?! Their paso was way better than their freestyle! And don't even get me started on the singers (where have I heard this before?!). Those people should never sing hip-hop. Ever! It's distressing that we've heard 3 early 90's hip hop songs this season (MC Hammer and "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock on the freestyles and "Jump" by Kris Kross earlier in the season). That is just so wrong.

So who will win? If past reality shows are any indication, I think Emmitt's improvement throughout the year and his natural charm will be enough to overtake Mario and his dance skills and dimples.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mutiny On The Island

Last night's Survivor was one of the best episodes in recent memory. Great drama, controversial strategies and a crazy twist made for one great episode.

The show started out with two equal-sized tribes - six members of Aitu (Yul, Becky, Ozzy, Sundra, Jonathan and Candice) and six members of Raro (Parvati, Adam, Nate, Jenny, Rebecca and Brad). When the two tribes got to the Reward Challenge, Jeff Probst threw in a crazy twist. Anyone from any tribe had 10 seconds to decide if they wanted to switch tribes. Earlier in the episode, Candice, who had an alliance with Jonathan, Yul, Becky and Sundra on Aitu, had said that she intended to go back to her original tribe members Adam and Parvati (but mostly Adam. Can you say showmance?!) when the merge occured. Candice decided not to wait and switched teams right there. Jonathan followed suit, and BAM - Aitu was down to four members, while Raro had eight.

The remaining Aitu tribe was shocked and PISSED that they got decimated just like that. But the numbers advantage don't help teams out in challenges, and they had to sit four people out. Meanwhile, Aitu had a double advantage of being super-motivated to win after the betrayal and of having super studs Ozzy and Yul (Have you SEEN the man's abs, not to mention his back muscles?!) on the team. Those two have consistently been the best competitors in challenges, and this was no different. It was embarrassing and gratifying to see how badly they smoked Raro in this challenge. And I laughed muchly when Ozzy pulled a Bobby Jon and screamed in Candice and Jonathan's faces after the victory, saying twice, "Mutineers are the first to die!" And then they promptly sent Candice to Exile Island. Heh.

Aitu's reward was coffee, pastries and letters from home. If being jacked by Candice and Jonathan wasn't enough to bond them together, winning that reward was. Group hugs, tears, laughter (at Yul's ultra-geeky photo of him as a kid) all around for that group during the reward.

Meanwhile, at the Raro camp, Jonathan is kissing everyone's asses after realizing that he'd be the first to go if they lost the Immunity Challenge. He tries to cozy up to Adam, saying that he wants an "All-Caucasian Final Four" with him, Adam, Candice and Pavarti. Huh. So with all of the hype about the racially-divided tribes in the beginning of the season, it's the white tribe that sticks together. Interesting.

At the Immunity Challenge, the Aitu four (suddenly my favorite tribe ever!) compete against the weaker half of Raro (suddenly one of my most hated tribes ever!) - Jonathan, Brad, Pavarti and Rebecca. Raro gets off to a seemingly big lead while Aitu struggles, but then suddenly Yul figures out an easier way to accomplish their task (and nearly yells it out loud enough for Raro to hear before Becky hushes him!), and they catch up quickly. Jonathan starts panicking and then gets snarky with Probst, who snarks back in his play-by-play, "Jonathan ... getting frustrated by me!" BWAH! Go Probst! Aitu pulls off the win and sends Raro off to Tribal Council Take that, traitors!

Unfortunately, the traitors get spared when Adam and Nate decide that it's better strategy to get rid of Brad instead of Jonathan because they don't trust Brad and are worried he might reunite with Yul and Becky. And because Jonathan is white. Kidding. Sorta. Nate, Jenny and Rebecca foolishly don't see that by getting rid of Brad, they're giving the original white tribe the numbers. As much as they talk about wanting to get rid of Jonathan, they might keep him around as the Will Kirby of the group, thinking that no one will ever vote for him to win, so let's keep him around. Stupid! So don't be surprised if Rebecca or Jenny are the next to go.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

100 Greatest Songs Of The 80's

VH1 is airing the 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's, as voted by viewers.

Here is the Top 100 List. I take exception to quite a few of these placements, especially No. 6. I can't go for that. No can do I.

1. Bon Jovi / "Livin' on a Prayer"
2. Def Leppard / "Pour Some Sugar On Me"
3. Duran Duran / "Hungry Like the Wolf"
4. Michael Jackson / "Billie Jean"
5. Prince / "When Doves Cry"
6. Hall & Oates / "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"
7. Guns N' Roses / "Sweet Child O' Mine"
8. Madonna / "Like a Virgin"
9. Run-D.M.C. / "Walk This Way"
10. AC/DC / "You Shook Me All Night Long"
11. Journey / "Don't Stop Believin'"
12. Whitney Houston / "How Will I Know"
13. U2 / "With Or Without You"
14. The Bangles / "Walk Like an Egyptian"
15. Van Halen / "Jump"
16. INXS / "Need You Tonight"
17. Whitesnake / "Here I Go Again"
18. Dexy's Midnight Runners / "Come On Eileen"
19. Cyndi Lauper / "Time after Time"
20. Rick Springfield / "Jessie's Girl"
21. Michael Jackson / "Beat It"
22. The Cure / "Just Like Heaven"
23. Cyndi Lauper / "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
24. A-Ha / "Take On Me"
25. Go-Go's / "Our Lips Are Sealed"
26. Guns N' Roses / "Welcome to the Jungle"
27. Kajagoogoo / "Too Shy"
28. Wham! / "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
29. Talking Heads / "Burning Down the House"
30. Pat Benatar / "Love is a Battlefield"
31. Queen and David Bowie / "Under Pressure"
32. Night Ranger / "Sister Christian"
33. Soft Cell / "Tainted Love"
34. Poison / "Every Rose Has It's Thorn"
35. Phil Collins / "In the Air Tonight"
36. Tommy Tutone / "867-5309 / Jenny"
37. Aerosmith / "Janie's Got a Gun"
38. U2 / "Pride (In the Name of Love)"
39. Modern English / "I Melt With You"
40. The B-52's / "Love Shack"
41. Motley Crue / "Dr. Feelgood"
42. The Clash / "London Calling"
43. ABC / "Look of Love (Part One)"
44. Bananarama / "Cruel Summer"
45. Janet Jackson / "Nasty"
46. The Police / "Every Breath You Take"
47. Twisted Sister / "We're Not Gonna Take It"
48. Bruce Springsteen / "Born in the U.S.A."
49. Beastie Boys / "Fight For Your Right"
50. Eurythmics / "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
51. Ratt / "Round and Round"
52. Dead or Alive / "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)"
53. Billy Idol / "White Wedding"
54. Salt-N-Pepa / "Push It"
55. A Flock of Seagulls / "I Ran (So Far Away)"
56. Bonnie Tyler / "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
57. Toni Basil / "Mickey"
58. Culture Club / "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"
59. John Mellencamp / "Jack & Diane"
60. Young M.C. / "Bust a Move"
61. Styx / "Mr. Roboto"
62. Berlin / "Take My Breath Away"
63. Devo / "Whip It"
64. Paula Abdul / "Straight Up"
65. Foreigner / "I Want to Know What Love Is"
66. Depeche Mode / "Just Can't Get Enough"
67. REO Speedwagon / "Keep On Loving You"
68. Public Enemy / "Fight the Power"
69. R.E.M / "It's The End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)"
70. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts/ "I Love Rock N' Roll"
71. Rick James / "Super Freak"
72. The Fixx / "One Thing Leads to Another"
73. Nena / "99 Luftbaloons"
74. George Michael / "Faith"
75. Prince / "Little Red Corvette"
76. Thomas Dolby / "She Blinded Me With Science"
77. New Edition / "Candy Girl"
78. Blondie / "Call Me"
79. Human League / "Don't You Want Me?"
80. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock / "It Takes Two"
81. Cameo / "Word Up!"
82. Squeeze / "Tempted"
83. Prince / "Kiss"
84. Lionel Richie / "All Night Long (All Night)"
85. Robert Palmer / "Addicted to Love"
86. Bow Wow Wow / "I Want Candy"
87. Falco / "Rock Me Amadeus"
88. Chaka Khan / "Ain't Nobody"
89. The Pretenders / "Brass in Pocket"
90. Tone-Loc / "Wild Thing"
91. Katrina and The Waves / "Walking On Sunshine"
92. New Kids on the Block / "You Got It (The Right Stuff)"
93. Gary Numan / "Cars"
94. The Rolling Stones / "Start Me Up"
95. Debbie Gibson / "Only in My Dreams"
96. Men at Work / "Down Under"
97. The Romantics / "What I Like About You"
98. Bobby Brown / "My Perogative"
99. Wang Chung / "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
100. Loverboy / "Working for the Weekend"

My Top 10 would probably be:
1. Modern English / "I Melt With You" (ranked 39th on Vh1)
2. Prince / "Purple Rain" (unranked)
3. Depeche Mode / "Just Can't Get Enough" (66th)
4. Cyndi Lauper / "Time After Time" (19th)
5. Michael Jackson / "Billie Jean" (4th)
6. Soft Cell / "Tainted Love" (33rd)
7. Kim Wilde / "Kids In America" (unranked)
8. U2 / "With Or Without You (13th)
9. General Public / "Tenderness (unranked)
10. Duran Duran / "Hungry Like The Wolf (3rd)

Other notables missing from the list:
Peter Gabriel / "In Your Eyes"
INXS / "Never Tear Us Apart"
Thompson Twins / "Hold Me Now"
Madness / "Our House"
Billy Idol / "Dancing With Myself"
Madonna / "Like A Prayer"
New Order / "Bizarre Love Triangle"
Wham! / "Careless Whisper"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Award Show Meltdowns

First Kanye, now Faith.

Kanye West had yet another meltdown at an awards show, busting in on another band's acceptance speech at the MTV Europe Awards last week to go on a diatribe about how his video for "Touch the Sky" should have won Best Video. His reasons? It cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it, and he was jumping across canyons.

Um, ok, Kanye. If the amount of money spent on something is enough to warrant an award, then Battlefield Earth should have won an Oscar.

Last night at the CMAs, Faith Hill either took a page out of the Kanye book or was mocking him. When Carrie Underwood was announced as the Female Vocalist of the Year, Faith, who was backstage, threw her hands up in the air, looked into the camera and mouthed "WHAT?!"

Faith has issued a statement that she was joking, saying, "The idea that I would act disrespectful towards a fellow musician is unimaginable to me. For this to become a focus of attention given the talent gathered is utterly ridiculous. Carrie is a talented and deserving Female Vocalist of The Year."

Making the situation even more fishy was LeAnn Rimes, who weighed in on this topic earlier today before Faith's statement, posting this on her website:
"I feel I need to stand up for my friend, Faith. She was just being honest and emotional like every other person sitting at home with an opinion. These awards shows are SO political and we all get fed up with them. We all work very hard and have for many years so to see someone come in and win Female Vocalist that has been here for a VERY short time, is a little disheartening. That is why we have the Horizon award and Carrie had an incredible year, enough to sweep that one. I don't think Faith was angry about Her loss, she probably felt, as I did that Carrie has not payed her dues long enough to fully deserve that award. Cut her some slack!"

And then she took it down. Way to stand up for your beliefs! Ha!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tardy Thoughts On TV

Had a really busy week this week, so I'm finally just now catching up on all my shows.

Team Kentucky is no longer lucky. Their luck finally ran out on The Amazing Race tonight. They finished last in last week's leg for the second time in the race yet managed to stay in the game by finishing last on a non-elimination leg. They were not so lucky the third time. Although they arrived at the pit stop second-to-last, they were marked for elimination due to last week's last place finish and thus had a 30-minute penalty. When the Alabama girls arrived at the mat 10 minutes later, David and Mary were eliminated. They will be missed on the show. Those two were the kindest, most genuine team ever on this show, with the biggest hearts.

Their behavior and demeanor on the race is a stark contrast to the selfish, catty behavior of the Barbies, who are making no friends on the race and don't care to either. The pageant girls are definitely living up to their stereotype, although you gotta give them props for being a serious kick-ass team who very well could become the first female team ever to win the race.

There is one other team who shows the good character of Kentucky, and that's the Cho Bros, who, in one of the first episodes, paused to take a moment of silence for the Vietnam Vets when they were at the Hanoi Hilton. The Chos have continually sacrificed their standing in the race to help out their alliance-mates Kentucky and Alabama. Sometimes I think they're too nice for their own good, but with David and Mary gone and with Alabama wanting to forge out on their own many times, it will probably be a good thing for the Chos to look out for themselves.

Monique Coleman danced her last dance on Dancing With The Stars Wednesday night. She got her long-awaited encore and a couple of 10s but got the boot nonetheless. This leaves us with an all-male Top 3 - Mario Lopez, Emmitt Smith and Joey Lawrence. Based on last week's show, I'd say that Mario and Emmitt are the most likely finalists. Mario had an outstanding showing with an emotional, beautiful waltz that I would have given a 10 for. His samba? cha-cha? mambo? (I always get them confused) was good, but I felt he was doing a disco dance more than a latin dance. But what do I know? I think he got a 29 for it. Emmitt was awesome on the rhumba. His hip action was spot-on. He also got a 29, and Len said he would have given him an 11 if he could. Joey was a bit campy but got a tongue-bath. He hasn't wowed me since that routine he did where he was wearing his Keebler elf outfit. That was a while ago. He's been in the bottom 2 a lot lately, and I've got to think that he won't be able to pull out of that bottom 2 slot against Mario and Emmitt. But then again, Jerry Rice beat Stacy Kiebler for a Top 2 spot last year, so you never know.

Lost is winding down for the fall season (ALREADY!), and I'm still not clear on what's going down. The black cloud killed Ecko this week. I think the black cloud is some kind of metaphor for the castaways' conscience or hidden demons. His dying words to Locke were that they're next. Meanwhile, Juliet plays a tape for Jack with instructions to operate on Ben and then kill him on the operating table. Hmmm ... sounds a bit too convenient. Not sure he should trust her! Next week's show looks quite cliff-hangerish. Jack may or may not kill Ben. Sawyer may or may not be killed. Can't wait!

Grey's Anatomy, had one of its best episodes of the season this week. It started with Meredith and George pretending to be Izzie and Cristina, respectively, with each other in the elevator. George made McReferences (Cristina), while Meredith said "Seriously" a lot (Izzie). Seriously! Izzie returned to the hospital under strict orders from Bailey not to talk to any patients. She, of course, did after astutely noticing that a burn victim deliberately burned herself in order not to take the bar exam that she has failed several times before. Alex gives up a career in plastic surgery (aka being McSteamy's lackey), choosing to save a baby's life with sports talk instead of staying on hold with the DMV for McSteamy. George bungles some chicken/pig relationship analogy and calls Callie a pig. I still don't get what that analogy means. A pig is committed but a chicken is ...?

Desperate Housewives borrowed from The Nine with a hostage crisis on tonight's episode. Lynette, Nora, Edie and Julie were amongst the hostages in a supermarket by a crazy neighbor whose husband cheated on her. The last 15 minutes was great TV, especially when Lynette and Nora were bickering, and Lynette said to crazy neighbor that Nora tried to seduce her husband. Crazy neighbor's response? "She put the moves on your husband? Why didn't you say so?" ... BANG. Shot Nora point blank in the chest. After Nora died, Lynette went AWF on the lady and said that maybe she deserved to be cheated on. Oooh snaps! Crazy neighbor went to shoot Lynette for that, but their new neighbor threw something at her head, and the bullet hit Lynette in the arm. Edie's nephew tried to tackle crazy neighbor and another customer picked up the gun and shot her in the head. Damn good TV, let me tell ya!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gossip Of The Day

Michael J. Fox filmed an Democratic Party ad in support of a Missouri Senate Democratic candidate, who supports stem-cell research. Rush Limbaugh has accused Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's syndromes for the ad, saying, it was purely an act and that it's "shameless". Um, no. What's shameless is someone accusing a man who is suffering from Parkinson's Disease of faking it. Asshole.

Naomi Campbell was arrested today after attacking her drug counselor. I think that counselor needs to find a new job because Naomi is obviously still on the crack.

Jerry Springer has finally been sprung from Dancing With The Stars. That show can really do wonders for one's reputation. As they said on the show today, the general public's impression of Jerry Springer now is nothing like it was prior to, when all people saw was him hosting his trashy talk show. Now the world knows that Jerry's a really nice, funny, hard-working, CLASSY GUY.

Forbes released their list of Top Dead Celebrities. For the first time in years, it's not Elvis Presley. Kurt Cobain is now the No. 1 dead money earner. I think Rock Star is responsible for most of that money considering how many Nirvana songs we heard this year and last!

Speaking of Rock Star, Tommy Lee always seemed to look at Lukas Rossi the way Gary Garry looked at Jordis with those moo cow eyes on RS: INXS. I think Tommy has taken it to a new level. Paparrazi pics abound of Lukas and Tommy locking lips.

Just found out that Hedley is playing in LA next Thursday at the Knitting Factory. The start time is listed as 5:30 pm. WTF?! 5:30 pm?!?!?! What the hell kind of concert starts before 7 pm on a weeknight? And it's all ages too. Not that having kids around has stopped Jacob Hoggard from urinating on stage in the past!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Move Over, Mario

Mario Lopez just may not run off with the Dancing With The Stars title after all. Dallas Cowboy legend Emmitt Smith suddenly re-emerged as a legitimate contender tonight on the strength of a graceful waltz and an energetic mambo that drew three 10s out of six judges' scores.

Although Mario and his partner Karina still remain in first place after the judges' marks for the two-week period, Emmitt and his partner, last year's co-winner Cheryl Burke, had the highest marks of the night with 57 points.

Emmitt and Cheryl's waltz was exquisite - flowy, graceful, smooth. The man danced on his toes! Their mambo was all hip action, shoulder shimmying and charisma up the ying-yang. They got 10s from the first two judges, and when Bruno flashed his 9, the crowd went nuts, booing him for ruining what should have been a perfect score.

Bruno inexplicably saved his 10 for Joey Lawrence's mambo, which, while good, wasn't nearly as good as Emmitt's.

Mario is easily the best dancer of the bunch, and his partner Karina is probably the best professional female dancer on the show. But they lack a certain innate likeability that Cheryl and especially Emmitt possess. Whenever Emmitt flashes that adorable little smile, you can't help but coo at the big teddy bear. Mario flashes his dimples and his muscles, but there's a bit of smugness and cockiness underneath. He's good, and he's good looking, and he knows it. In the long run, this will probably hurt him in the end. I also see he and Joey splitting votes at some point, and if it's a three-team finale with Mario, Joey and Emmitt, Emmitt will undoubtedly win.

Monique Coleman is another terrific dancer, but if she keeps getting handed dances to songs like "The Reflex" by Duran Duran (for the paso doble, of all things), then she's going to be out this week or next. Her High School Musical fanbase is probably keeping her in the competition.

Let me just interrupt here with a rant. In what alternate universe could THE REFLEX be considered a song you could do a paso doble to?! And I thought the Kris Kross thing was bad. And as a Duran Duran fan back in the day, I was apalled to hear the DWtS singers butcher that song. That was just all kinds of wrong. I couldn't even focus on the dancing, I was so horrified.

Jerry Springer did a lovely foxtrot tonight, but his mambo? samba? was painful. I love that he's having fun, as is Emmitt, but he really has to go. And I think he's been ready to go for weeks now.

Monday, October 23, 2006

More Bad News For Supernova

The bad news keeps coming for Supernova, er, Rock Star Supernova. First, the group was issued a court injunction preventing them from using the name Supernova. Then the House Band, Storm Large and Magni were unceremoniously dumped from the tour by SuperNotNova's management. And now, bassist Jason Newsted injured himself and will be unable to tour with the group.

This comes from Tommy Lee's website:

ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA BASSIST JASON NEWSTED SUFFERS SHOULDER INJURY IN ACCIDENT: As they gear up for the November 21st release of their highly anticipated Epic debut and the New Year's Eve launch of their much-buzzed-about national tour, ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA have suffered a major setback with the loss of all-star bassist Jason Newsted.

The former Metallica member is scheduled for immediate surgery to repair a torn anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and bicep tear in the right. Newsted suffered the injuries while trying to catch a 90-lb bass head that had fallen from atop his amp. The surgery will be followed by a lengthy rehab assignment that could leave him sidelined for up to nine months.

"I'm freaking out," Says Newsted, "My heart was set on finally getting on the road with these guys, but my main focus now is to build myself back to 100%. The stage is set for the band, I wish them the best of luck."

The band - rounded out by vocalist Lukas Rossi, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Gilby Clarke - is currently searching for a suitable replacement to handle touring duties while Newsted recovers.

"When we started this project, I was handed a list of names--guys who could potentially anchor our rhythm section," says Lee. "I responded by crumpling up the paper and asking, 'Where's Newsted?' Jason was always the right guy for this band and we'll miss having him with us as we kick off our album and tour, but we know he'll be back as soon as he can pick up and play. As for who will handle bass duties until then, we've got a few monster guys in mind, any one of which can hit the ground running. Stay tuned."

Some message boards were speculating as to whether or not Jason was really hurt or if he was using the excuse to bail on the band and its projected one-and-out shelf-life. I'm incredulous that anyone would think that JASON, of all people, would do something like that. The man showed nothing but the highest integrity while on the show, and while he was with Metallica.

So the question is ... who will replace Jason on tour? My first reaction was Magni, but I would hope he has his own gigs in the works where he can be more than just a bassist. My second reaction was Sasha from the House Band, but the House Band is on tour with Paul Stanley right now. Plus, Sasha may have too much pride to fill in after SN so unceremoniously dumped the House Band the way they did. But you never know ...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Great Music Videos

The new Ryan Star video for his song "We Might Fall" was released, and it's really cool. The way the animation and sketches come together is really interesting, and the animation on Ryan himself is so realistic.

The video reminds me of "Take on Me" by A-Ha, which is regarded as one of the greatest videos of all-time:

Since they don't seem to make many good videos like this anymore (undoubtedly because MTV doesn't even air videos anymore!), I thought I would share some of the best from the MTV hey-days, back when videos had plots and stuff:

"Voices Carry" by 'til Tuesday

"Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat Benatar

"Material Girl" by Madonna

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson (full version)

"Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran

"Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits

"Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel

"You Might Think" by The Cars

I want my MTV, and it isn't to watch Real World/Road Rules Challenges every 3 months!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Vote For New Seven Wonders

Vote for the new 7 world wonders

Voting has begun for the new Seven Wonders of the World. It has been narrowed down to 21 wonders, some obvious, some dubious.

The picks are:

The Acropolis (Athens, Greece)
Alhambra (Granada, Spain)
Angkor (Cambodia)
Chichen Itzá (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
Christ Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
The Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
Easter Island (Easter Island, Chile)
Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)
Great Wall of China (China)
Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey)
Kiyomizu Temple (Kyoto, Japan)
Kremlin (Moscow, Russia)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Neuschwanstein Castle (Füssen, Germany)
Petra (Jordan)
Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)
Statue of Liberty (New York City, U.S.A.)
Stonehenge (Amesbury, United Kingdom)
Syndey Opera House (Sydney, Australia)
Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
Timbuktu (Mali)

Not making the Top 21 (77 were initially considered) was Mount Rushmore. Shocking. If anything were to represent the United States in this, I would have thought it would be Mount Rushmore.

Of the original Seven Wonders (The Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Temple of Artemis, The Statue of Zeus, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, The Pyramids of Egypt), only the Pyramids remain standing. It would be wrong to be replaced on the list, so I hope people vote for it!

My picks are:
The Acropolis (Athens, Greece)
Chichen Itzá (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
The Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
Great Wall of China (China)
Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)
Stonehenge (Amesbury, United Kingdom)
Taj Mahal (Agra, India) -or- Machu Picchu (Peru)

TAR All-Stars?

TVgasm is reporting that reliable sources have confirmed that an All-Stars version of The Amazing Race is in the works and will be shooting next month.

The only "confirmed" teams so far are Season 5's Colin and Christie and Charla and Mirna.

I'm sure CBS will find a way to sic Rob and Amber on us again. I'm hoping for some Cha-Cha-Cha action. I love those guys! They were so fun and so obviously enjoyed the whole experience. Another must-have is Kris and Jon, who should have won season 6. Wouldn't mind seeing some of the Linz family again, especially Nick. The Gaghan parents would be nice to have around also.

CBS, I beg of you ... please no Weaver clan. They hated everything about being on the show. Don't give them another opportunity to wreck it. Jonathan and Victoria Baker is another couple my ears cannot tolerate.

As for former winners, the only ones other than the Linzes that I would like to see back are Chip/Kim and Uchenna/Joyce. The others? There are a few all-male teams that I don't even remember because they're practically the same people. Flo and Zach? Oh god no. If I have to hear that lady whine on my TV again, I may have to hurt it. Reichen and Chip? Reichen's a little busy with his new boyfriend Lance Bass. The Hippies? Too over the top.

Personally, I'd rather see an All-Stars version of TAR consisting of other celebrities doing the show rather than having former TAR contestants doing it again. But we'll see how it goes (if it does go at all ...)

Pass On The Paso

Barring a week of safety that may be caused due to Sara Evans' departure of the show for personal reasons, Jerry Springer's run on Dancing With The Stars may be coming to an end this week.

With only the best of the best left, Jerry's inadequacies as a dancer are even more obviously apparent. His Paso Doble was, as the judges said, gimmicky (he smashed a guitar, for one ... Tommy Lee would be proud), and his footwork continues to be awkward. After receiving his season-best score last week, Jerry regressed, scoring an 18 with a 5 from Bruno. Fair score, I must say. If he doesn't get the boot, though, he can thank that HILARIOUS sprinkler he did during the disco group dance. I was about on the floor laughing.

Mario Lopez had the highest score with a 28 and earned a 10 from Bruno. I think the 9s were more spot-on than the 10. Mario is good, but there were times in his mambo where I could totally see the AC Slater pop up in his dancing. His disco could have earned a 10 on that lift alone. The ease and speed on that difficult lift was jaw-dropping. His Michael Jackson impersonation, though ... Ew. And, by the way, I find it so amusing that he's all of a sudden Latino again and starts talking with a little bit of an accent. Like where did that come from?! When he was on Saved By The Bell, you'd have thought the boy was Anglo.

Emmitt Smith was in second with a 25 for his jive. I thought he was way too slow for a jive, but his charm and enthusiasm makes up for a lot of his deficiencies. His disco, on the other hand, was EXCELLENT! He most definitely brought the funk.

Joey Lawrence did a rumba that looked like it could have been a contemporary number on So You Think You Can Dance. I really liked it! He got a 24, but I think Carrie Ann docked him for that dumb microphone bit.

Monique Coleman's samba was so not a samba, and she deserved her 23. She threw in so many other dances that weren't samba. She even did some krumping. It was just a big hot mess.

Prediction - Jerry and Monique battling it out in the Bottom 2 if they eliminate anyone. I'm thinking they're all staying, and they're going to combine this week and next week. ABC is not revealing what will happen until Wednesday. Of course. Ratings.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lousy Timing

Something drastic must have happened between Wednesday's Dancing With The Stars results show and Thursday because Sara Evans abruptly left the show Thursday for "personal reasons", and her reps confirmed that she filed for divorce from her husband Craig Schelske on Thursday. (Read more at

My theory? It sounds like she found out he was having an affair in the last 24 hours or so. If something had gone down between her and her husband prior to Wednesday night, she would have asked the producers to take her out, and she could have saved herself a lot of embarrassment and prying into her personal life.

It's a shame, for both her and Willa and Maxsim, who were voted out Wednesday. First of all, Sara should have been gone eons ago, especially when she did that horrific Phantom of the Opera paso doble.

It's unclearn right now what is going to happen. They may bring back Willa and Maxsim, which would be the right thing to do, IMO. But they'll probably not reveal what will happen until Tuesday's show ... it's all about the ratings, baby!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Night The Lights Went Out

Let me set the scene. Tuesday night - House of Blues, Sunset Strip. Ryan Star opening for Cheyenne Kimball. I'm surrounded by Cheyenne teeny-bopper and tween fans who look and act so young that I feel like I'm ancient (thank god for these youthful Asian genes, though. I didn't look too out of place there.). A large group of Ryan fans are on the right side of the stage, I'm on the left, right smack in front of the keyboard, behind some teenagers.

Ryan comes out, sits down on the keyboard and sings "We Might Fall". It's beautiful. He's wearing the same shirt as Sunday, but hey, whatever. He's on the road. And he looks great in it. After the song, he pushes some button on the keyboard, and all of a sudden some techno-sounding canned music comes out. Ryan gets up and starts dancing from behind the keyboard. It's hilarious and sexy all at the same time. He sits back down and tells us that he got a special request for this song from Megan and that it's her 25th birthday. Megan happens to be standing right behind me, and she's beyond thrilled. It's her favorite song, "Famous Love". Ryan gets maybe a few notes in when POOF. The power goes out. I turn to Megan and say "Megan! What did you do?!" hahaha.

So we're all in the dark with just a a few emergency lights on. Many other artists would have just left the stage and thrown a hissy fit backstage. Ryan? He left briefly then just stood at the edge of the stage, played his guitar and sang his heart out with no lights other than a flashlight or two, no amplifier, no microphone. He did "O", then "Back Of Your Car". The crowd was singing along to help him out. (I sang the fast version. Oops! Forgot he was doing the slower one.) And he also did the uncensored version of both songs. "In a minute we'll be gone/So we might as well just fuck." Hell yeah! The moms of the tweens who were there to see Cheyenne may not have been impressed by the language, but the Ryan fans sure were! He tries to lengthen the song with some guitar playing, but still no power, so on to the next song - "Ride With Me", and I think this is where the lights finally come back on.

So with all of that, Ryan's set-list was pretty much moot. So he ripped it off the floor, tore it and asked if anyone wanted it since it was useless. Some lucky fan got it. That one is a keeper, for sure!

Once the power went back on, he got back behind the keyboard and re-did "Famous Love" for Megan. The finger snapping for this went much better than the one in Anaheim. LOL. After that was the brief piano version of "Enjoy The Silence". I was still hoping he'd end the piano part by kicking over the piano bench and rocking out, but I think he'll have to save that for when he has a full band behind him.

After "Enjoy the Silence", he has been doing "Back of Your Car/Ride with Me", but since he did that already, he had to go into something else. This must have been where he asked to see the setlist again. LOL. Some of us in the audience shouted out requests. Some guy wanted "Losing Your Memory" (dammit! Still haven't heard it live!), I heard a "Frog Prince" request, which would have been awesome as well. I shouted out for "The First Time". Ah well. What we did get, however, was a brand new song that he was playing for the very first time. I think it is called "Someone's Son" or "Someone's Song". And this is where I was really wishing I had my camera. Unfortunately, it got sniffed out by the security at the entrance. Dammit! I had it hidden pretty well too. Then I had to play it off like I forgot it was in my inside pocket of my purse, wrapped up in paper. Uh yeah. I recorded the song on my cell phone, but the sound quality is truly awful. After that (or maybe before?), he did "The Same When I'm Alone", which no one expected. I think it was birthday girl Megan who gasped along with me when we recognized the song. It was beautiful.

He did his other new song "11:59", which is my new favorite song. I got lucky in Anaheim, and the security people didn't feel up my tiny purse where my camera was hidden. So I recorded the whole song. You can watch it here. It's really a great song. I listened to it a couple of times after Anaheim and remembered quite a few of the words. I hope Ryan didn't see me singing along or he would have thought I was truly a stalker or Rain Man.

"Famous Yet" is where Ryan gets volunteers from the audience to play with him. My hand shot up when he asked. I think I was almost going to get called up because he and EE were looking my way, and I thought EE was pointing in my direction, but he was probably pointing at Megan the birthday girl. Oops. Psyche. Ryan specifically called her out to come up, though, so the lucky girl got to shake the tambourine on stage with him. He was really funny here. She was standing close to him, and he told her to step back because no one should upstage him. Hee! And she wasn't getting the beat right or she wasn't hitting it right, and I think he stopped and made a comment, and she playfully beat the tambourine on his head. It was very cute. What a freakin' awesome birthday. I don't know the girl, but I was really happy for her.

Back to the piano for "Sink Or Swim", which segued into "Losing My Religion". Still can't hear that song enough times. And then he thanked us for coming and said to look around at the people here because if he makes it big, this concert will be one that people were saying they were at, but they'd be lying. I really feel privileged to have been there for this show. It was truly one of the Top 2 concerts I've ever been to (sorry, Ryan, but Prince tops my list ... he sang for almost 3 hours!). Anyway, he closed with "So Ordinary" and then left the stage. But he changed his mind in a split-second and walked back on with a guitar and said "fuck it" and started to play "Head Like A Hole". Apparently, he ran over his alloted time because of the blackout, but he said to hell with it and kept playing. And thank god he did because ... hell yeah! That was a showstopper right there. The perfect way to end the show.

So post-show ... he's doing the meet and greet at the merchandise table, but it's still inside the concert hall, so it's a little loud. I made my way up there with my friend Maria. She bought a CD and shirt. I bought the Dark Horse CD even though I already have it through MSN downloads. I'm weak. I wanted a signed hard copy. I asked Ryan again about posting that 11:59 video. I wanted to make sure sure that he was ok with me putting it up online, and he said yeah. I know how some artists are about having bootlegs up, and especially with this being an unrecorded song, I didn't want to do anything to compromise anything. So I got the A-OK, and he said to send him a message through his MySpace to let him know where to get a hold of me in case he wants me to take it down. My reaction? Oh lord. Now I have to join MySpace?! I have philosphical issues with that site. Oh well. Guess what? I caved. I joined. I am weak around him, I tell ya!! So anyway, while I was talking to him about this, I realize I didn't buy the CD and have him sign it, so I go back a little bit and make the purchase and ask for the siggy. He signs it and leans in and asks how to spell my name. I am talking into his ear and trying to tell him but it's super-loud, but he winged it pretty well. He made the Z look pretty ambiguous and then added what looks like a question mark underneath it. Hahaha. So I said thanks, and as I left, he gave me a little shoulder squeeze/rub. Oh yeah. Good thing I had no stairs to walk down like last time. Hee!

So that's it for my Ryan Star concert adventures, I'm afraid. Can't go to San Diego on Friday, and everything else is too far away. I'd love to go to his Homecoming Show in NYC, but a) too far, and b) gotta work. Whoever gets to go to that show is going to get one hell of a show, I bet.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ryan Star Rocks Anaheim

Ryan Star had a mini-concert at the Anaheim House of Blues Sunday night. He is touring the West Coast with Cheyenne Kimball, and I had the great fortune of seeing just his second show since Rock Star: Supernova ended.

This is the Ryan I have been dying to see. The man was in his element - just him on stage, a guitar and a piano. Singing his original material. (Not that I wouldn't kill to see him on stage with a full band singing his original material. That may just slay me.) From what I understand, he's not big on doing covers in shows. When he does, he usually doesn't do them at full length. On Sunday, he gave us about a minute of "Enjoy the Silence" and the Rock Star-length "Losing My Religion". Everything else was all 100% Ryan Star, including a brand-new, just written song called "11:59". It's f-in' fantastic.

Ryan opened with "We Might Fall", which sounded BEAUTIFUL. Next, he tried to get the crowd to snap along to "Famous Love", but he had to stop pretty quickly because we weren't getting the beat right and the tempo he led us to was too fast. Heh. Seriously, trying to get people to clap on the beat is hard enough, let alone snap fingers to it. The first Rock Star: Supernova episode this season ... I was standing behind some really tall dude who could not clap in rhythm. It was awful. Anyway ... Ryan then launched into the snippet of "Enjoy the Silence", then I think "Back Of Your Car"/"Take A Ride With Me". He introduced "O" by saying it was one of his "angry" songs. And he censored himself in the song. No f-bomb. Bah. Blasted tweens in the audience!

I think "Famous Yet" was after this. He asked for volunteers to play with him and got plenty. Then he said "OK, who doesn't want to play", and this chick in front of me raised her hand, and he saw her and said something. Ha! He ended up bringing up a tween who was celebrating her 13th (?) birthday. I'm pretty sure she was there to see Cheyenne. Anyway, she played the tambourine for the song, and he was really cute with her, even though there were points where she looked completely terrified to be up there. I guess he was smart to bring up a tween instead of an adult. For one, he may have converted her into a new fan. Second of all, an adult might have tried to pull a Jill Gioia on him, turning him into her Gilby Clarke.

Then, we were really in for a treat. He sang the new song, "11:59", on guitar. It's a love song. I can totally hear it on the radio. It has a bit of a Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse type of feel.

The lyrics to the chorus are:
Please don't leave
This could be the best time of our lives tonight

You and me
Don't let the moment pass by
Put the windows down and drive

Anyway, loved the song. And then he went back to the piano to do "Sink Or Swim". I was eagerly anticipating this because I have heard that Ryan has been known to segue into other random songs during this tune, 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" amongst them. Unfortunately, no Fiddy, but we got "Losing My Religion" instead, which made me squee just a little bit. Ok. A lot.

Unfortunately, he wrapped up his set with "So Ordinary" and that was that. While the show was longer than I had expected for an opening act, it was still too short. But I think 3 hours would have been too short for me.

Ryan said he'd be meeting people at the merch table after the show, so about half the room high-tailed it out of there to meet him. Cheyenne who? The line was fairly long, so I hung back till it started to dwindle. When I got up there, I shook Ryan's hand, introduced myself and asked if I could get a picture taken with him (BTW, I love my bf. He was so patient. Took the picture, stood in line with me, stood back as I made googly-eyes at Ryan, endured the teeny-boppers squealing during the show. And he didn't make fun of me for it. He's the best.). I told Ryan I loved his new song, asked him when he wrote it (last week!) and chit-chatted a little bit more. He is very easy to talk to. I asked him he was going to release anymore older stuff (not yet ... no time!) and told him I had pretty much bought everything he's put out. And then he said "come here, give me a hug" (squee!!) and thanked me for the support. So after all that, I almost fell down the stairs leaving the venue. Haha!

Tuesday night ... House of Blues, Sunset Strip. I will be there. I want some "Candy Shop". Or at least some "Losing Your Memory"! Oh - this is how good the show was. It was so good that I didn't even realize until hours later that I didn't get to hear my favorite Ryan Star song live. Gah! Hopefully next time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

ABC Rules The TiVo

ABC seems to be the big winner in regards to new shows this year. And all shows period. Right now, I've got a whopping 8 ABC shows on my TiVo Season Pass - returning shows Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, What About Brian and Dancing with the Stars. This fall, I've added Ugly Betty, Six Degrees and, after tonight, The Nine. It wasn't that long ago that I didn't watch a single show on this network, and now I'm practically parked on this station.

Ugly Betty drew 16 million viewers last week. Big numbers against Survivor. I didn't get to see it until Monday, and I really enjoyed it. It was really funny in the beginning (The poncho ... just wow) and sweet at the end.

I watched The Nine tonight after hearing so many great reviews, and it did not disappoint. The only bad thing I have to say about it is that it's a little confusing not really knowing what happened during the 52 hours of hostage-dom, but I suppose the show wouldn't last too long if we did know right away, right? The twist at the end of tonight's episode ... oooh ... wouldn't have seen that coming!

Six Degrees is a J.J. Abrams creation, so I always give those a chance. Ironic that J.J.'s favorite guy to cast on every show - Greg Grunberg - is on the only other non-ABC new show I watch ... Heroes. Anyway, Six Degrees has kept my interest so far, but ratings have not been all that impressive considering that it follows Grey's Anatomy. And thank goodness for this show last week because GA ran long, and I wouldn't have seen McDreamy see McSteamy come out of Addison's bathroom in a towel at the very end if I weren't taping Six Degrees.

Lost continues to make me lost. I think I need to watch it again. Sigh. The ending ... I feel like I should know the meaning behind that last exchange, but, frankly, there's too much stuff going on with this show that I do not remember. Is she Desmond's girlfriend? The only thing that I know for sure about that show is that Kate and Sawyer have chemistry up the wazoo.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Crying With The Stars

There were almost as many tears shed on tonight's episode of Dancing With The Stars than when Benji Schwimmer was told he was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance (and that's a lot, folks!).

Monique Coleman started the waterworks by getting very emotional during her waltz. The girl was practically sobbing at the end. I don't think she cried, but Willa Ford, who has been languishing near elimination, could have after receiving a 10 from Bruno. I was almost crying after seeing a painfully boring Sara Evans dance a paso doble to ... get this ... The Phantom of the Opera. Just say no, people!

What got everyone all weepy, though, was Jerry Springer, of all people. The man who hosts shows where people throw chairs and bitch-slap other guests has turned into the beloved character on the show. He's easily the worst dancer there, but his self-effacing humor has charmed the viewers and judges, and he's certainly no Master P. Jerry gives it his all every time, and he has fun doing it. He wanted to be on the show to learn how to dance for his daughter's wedding, and this week, he got the waltz, which he is what he has been striving for all this time. At the end of his dance, he waltzed over to his daughter in the audience and gave her a big hug. Awww. Carrie-Ann cried (and then she cried again during Joey Lawrence's waltz), Jerry's partner cried. The audience probably cried. Even Jerry's crazy talk show guests probably cried at home.

But it was Mario Lopez who got the scores in the end, earning two 10s and a 9 for his mariachi paso doble. The man is probably the best dancer there, his chemistry with his partner Karina is sizzling (she's fantastic!), and he stuck to the rules this time, but when is he going to do a slow, non-Latin ballroom dance? Hmmm ...

Who's out tomorrow night? It should be Sara, but she seems to have a huge fanbase that will vote for her no matter how blah she is. There is no way Jerry is going home this week after the whole daughter thing. I can keep saying Willa until she actually does leave, but I'm thinking possibly Vivica Fox.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Idol Rewind Starts Sept. 30

Idol fans who never saw the terrific (and unjaded) first season of American Idol will now have the opportunity to do so when Idol Rewind premieres on Sept. 30 on Tribune stations, including KTLA in Los Angeles and cable superstation WGN.

Brian Dunkleman is back as the host/voice of Idol Rewind. They never really explained why he left after season 1. I think he said it was his decision, but he was clearly the weak link of the dual hosting with Ryan Seacrest. They were supposed to be the next Ant and Dec (Pop Idol hosts), but Dunkledork was neither funny nor endearing. They obviously can't get Ryan Seacrest, aka the busiest man in show business, for the Rewind show, so it's cool that they got the other host that season to do it rather than someone like Kimberly Caldwell or Mikalah Gordon.

They had the Idol Rewind launch party last night, and several former contestants were in attendance. Judging from this picture, there were only three finalists there - Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin and EJay Day. Kelly Clarkson's a little busy, and Tamyra Gray just got married, but I don't know what the excuses are for has-beens like Jim Verraros, AJ Gil, Ryan Starr (who seems to sniff out photo ops), Christina Christian and RJ Helton. The others in the pic, in case you were wondering, are (from left to right): Natalie Burge, Alexis Lopez, Chris Badano, Mikalah Gordon, Christopher Aaron (who got hosed in the semifinals), Justinn Waddell, Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin, Tenia Taylor (I'm shocked Alexandra Bachelier is not there with her), Debra Byrd, EJay Day, Vonzell Solomon, Rodesia Eaves, someone I am really hoping is not Kelli Glover because ... damn what happened?!, George Huff and someone I do not know.

It'll be funny to see how ghetto the first season was. The stage was tiny, the band was non-existant. Paula made no sense. Oh wait ... some things didn't change after all.

Edit 10/3: Oh damn. That IS Kelli Glover. And the blonde at the end next to the Huffinator is Stephanie Sugarman. Not that she was a finalist or anything. If they were going to pick a memorable auditioner, they should have asked Tamika, Derek Stillings or Stoned Silent Night Guy. Oh, and AJ, RJ and Jim were indeed at the party. Just not in that photo. Kristin Holt was there also.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The New Lost?

NBC may have found its "Lost" with the new series "Heroes", which premiered tonight. Like "Lost", "Heroes" features an ensemble cast in mystical situations.

Here, we have everyday people in different parts of the world discovering that they have special powers. One girl can get burned, jump off bridges, stick her fingers in the garbage disposal and her body regenerates with nary a scar. An artist discovers that he is painting the future. A Japanese man can manipulate time. A man can fly.

Somehow these people are all connected, and whether or not we have another Dharma Initiative remains to be seen, but I will keep tuning in. If nothing but to see this guy, the apparently mortal professor played by the gorgeous Sendhil Ramamurthy.

The pilot will re-air tomorrow if you missed it tonight.

Yay! Finally something to watch on Mondays!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Photo Discovery

I'm not sure why I never saw these before, but the Rock Star: Supernova CBS site has a ton of photos from the season. Grabbed a few to stroll down memory lane.

Week 1:
Josh Logan became one of my early favorites when he sang "She Talks To Angels". Mr. Soul Patrol's got nothin' on this guy! Unfortunately, Josh couldn't maintain the momentum of his first performance, but he's definitely someone I'll be on the lookout for in the future.

Week 2:
Week 2 was probably the most forgettable episode. But Toby Rand established himself as king of the party rock, earning the encore with "Somebody Told Me".

Week 3:
This is where I finally "got" Zayra Alvarez. I went from "Oh my gawd, what is she DOING?!" to "Oh my GAWD!!! That was awesome!!!". Her "Everybody Hurts" was breath-takingly stunning, and she answered the critics in a big way with this beautifully-sung ballad.

Week 4:
Hehe. Poor Jill Gioia. She never lived this down: Grinding on a very uncomfortable Gilby Clarke on "Brown Sugar". That's how she'll always be remembered. Now is that better or worse than Chris Pierson being known for butchering "Roxanne"?

Week 5:
This, for me, was the performance of the season. This was Ryan Star in his element. His haunting piano arrangement of "Losing My Religion" brought him out of nowhere and earned him the first of two encores he would get in the next three weeks. And I think he would have gotten the encore the one week they didn't have one, after he did "Back of Your Car", but they didn't want to give someone Supernova was never going to pick three encores in four weeks.

Week 6:
With his family in the audience, Magni went solo on acoustic guitar with "Dolphin's Cry", showing amazing vocals and passion.

Week 7:
Another stunner from Ryan Star, who sang "In The Air Tonight". Who would have ever thought that a Phil Collins song would get the encore on Rock Star?!

Week 8:
Ryan Star sang his original song "Back of Your Car" and completely rocked the house. Best original of the whole series!!

Week 9:
Lukas Rossi sang with Supernova for the first time, singing "It's On". Apparently it was at this point where the guys knew Lukas was roit for their band.

Week 10:
Storm Large exited the competition with grace and class. She also left on a high note, playing with Dave Navarro on "Suffragette City", singing to great praise her original song "Ladylike", and making Jason Newsted cry with "Wish You Were Here".

Week 11:
Dilana may not have won, but she delivered a tremendous performance of "Roxanne", with her fellow finalists singing backup.