Monday, December 24, 2007

100 Greatest Songs Of The 90's

Here's the list of VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's. I had quite a few issues with their 80's list, so let's see if this one is any better:

01. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
02. U2 "One"
03. Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"
04. Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
05. Madonna "Vogue"
06. Sir Mix-A-Lot "Baby Got Back"
07. Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"
08. TLC"Waterfalls"
09. R.E.M. "Losing My Religion"
10. Sinéad O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U"
11. Pearl Jam "Jeremy"
12. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
13. Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang"
14. Mariah Carey "Vision of Love"
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
16. MC Hammer "U Can't Touch This"
17. Destiny's Child "Say My Name"
18. Metallica "Enter Sandman"
19. Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
20. Hanson "MMMBop"
21. Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On"
22. Beck "Loser"
23. Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue "Whatta Man"
24. House of Pain "Jump Around"
25. Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun"
26. Eminem "My Name Is"
27. Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"
28. Ricky Martin "Livin' la Vida Loca"
29. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
30. *NSYNC "Tearin' Up My Heart"
31. Radiohead "Creep"
32. BLACKstreet "No Diggity"
33. Spice Girls "Wannabe"
34. Third Eye Blind "Semi-Charmed Life"
35. Oasis "Wonderwall"
36. C+C Music Factory "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
37. Green Day "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
38. Christina Aguilera "Genie In A Bottle"
39. Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
40. Color Me Badd "I Wanna Sex You Up"
41. Spin Doctors "Two Princes"
42. Collective Soul "Shine"
43. En Vogue "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"
44. The Fugees "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
45. Hootie & the Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You"
46. Shania Twain "You're Still the One"
47. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch "Good Vibrations"
48. Matchbox Twenty "3 AM"
49. Jewel "Who Will Save Your Soul"
50. Alice in Chains "Man in the Box"
51. Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) "California Love"
52. Sugar Ray "Fly"
53. Naughty by Nature "O.P.P."
54. Joan Osborne "One of Us"
55. Fiona Apple "Criminal"
56. L.L. Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out"
57. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule "Can I Get A..."
58. Sophie B. Hawkins "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover"
59. Weezer "Buddy Holly"
60. Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison"
61. Sheryl Crow "All I Wanna Do"
62. Live "I Alone"
63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy "Mo Money Mo Problems"
64. The Presidents of the United States of America "Peaches"
65. Digital Underground "The Humpty Dance"
66. Edwin McCain "I'll Be"
67. Deee-Lite "Groove Is In The Heart"
68. Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
69. Korn "Freak on a Leash"
70. Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity"
71. Arrested Development "Tennessee"
72. Barenaked Ladies "One Week"
73. Marcy Playground "Sex and Candy"
74. Cher "Believe"
75. Kris Kross "Jump"
76. Blues Traveler "Run-Around"
77. Ice Cube "It Was a Good Day"
78. Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
79. Meredith Brooks "Bitch"
80. Right Said Fred "I'm Too Sexy"
81. Paula Cole "I Don't Want to Wait"
82. Geto Boys "Mind Playing Tricks on Me"
83. The Breeders "Cannonball"
84. Snow "Informer"
85. Cypress Hill "Insane In The Brain"
86. The Cranberries "Linger"
87. Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"
88. Duncan Sheik "Barely Breathing"
89. Liz Phair "Never Said"
90. New Radicals "You Get What You Give"
91. Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery"
92. Public Enemy "911 Is A Joke"
93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories "Stay"
94. Fastball "The Way"
95. Montell Jordan "This is How We Do It"
96. Nelson "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection"
97. Prince & The New Power Generation "Gett Off"
98. EMF"Unbelievable"
99. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
100. Gerardo "Rico Suave"

I can't complain about No. 1 or No. 2, although if I had to choose between the two, I'd always pick U2. But No. 3 "I Want It That Way" and No. 7 "Hit Me Baby One More Time" in the Top 10? Hells no. I also think "Vogue" is too high and "Losing My Religion" too low. "Stay" at 93 is about 90 places too low. "Say My Name" at No. 17 is ridic. When I think of the 90's, Destiny's Child, who began to become popular in 1999, does not come to mind. And how in the hell do stupid songs like "Rico Suave" and "Achy Breaky Heart" even make this list? And "Gett Off"?

And it is total madness that Boyz II Men is not on this list at all. And one of the biggest singles of all-time - "One Sweet Day" - which spent something like 14 weeks at No. 1 got totally snubbed. Also missing is "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G. and "California Love" by 2Pac. Harumph!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lachey La Winner; LaBelle La Diva

Nick Lachey became the second reality show winner from his family, directing the winning choir in NBC's Clash of the Choirs. Nick's younger brother Drew, of course, won Dancing with the Stars Season 2.

Nick's choir - Team Lachey from Cincinnati - won $250,000 for Cincinnati's Children's Hospital a day after singing (yes, singing) "Flight of the Bumblebee" a capella. You can watch it here on YouTube:



Of the five celebrity-led choirs, Team Lachey was the most CHOIR-like, singing as a group for their performances, whereas the other choirs at times seemed to be just background vocals backing a soloist. And they, and especially Nick, exuded so much joy and fun in their performances. They were my favorite from the very first show when they made me like "Unwritten" again.

Hopefully this helps rejuvenate Nick Lachey's career. I've always liked him (and 98 Degrees). He just seems like such a nice, regular guy. Loved him on Newlyweds, especially when he gave Jessica the "Are you really that stupid?!" look. It was so fun watching him direct his choir. He looked SO into it and so choir geek. And he got choked up twice on the show. Awww!

Patti LaBelle's choir came in second, and Diva was NOT happy. After Tracy Morgan butchered made the announcement of the winner, Patti just shook her head and arched her eyebrow. And as the other groups streamed onto the stage to congratulate Team Lachey, you could see Patti walk off stage. Sore loser much?!

It's pretty easy to see why her team lost. For one, Patti LaBelle may be a legendary singer, but she's not exactly the most likeable celebrity. Especially after seeing the practice footage they showed last night. It didn't seem like her group would have been too much fun to be in. Also, while Team LaBelle was technically very good, there were way too many solos, not enough group. That is not a choir to me. And when they had the celebrity sing with the choir, Patti didn't let her group do much of anything during her histrionics. Then there was tonight, when she decided to have her choir sing "We Are The Champions" (with a really bad soloist). Uh, presumptive much?

Congrats to Team Lachey, and may Maria Menounos never host a live show ever again. Whoah. That chick was awful. She made Samantha Harris look like Tom Bergeron.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And The Ugly Mirror-Ball Trophy Goes To ...

Julianne Hough and the little guy she danced around all season, Helio Castroneves. Mel B., who was the best celebrity dancer on the show, came in second. Marie Osmond came in third.

Which means that for the FOURTH straight time, a little-ish male celebrity has won, and for the third-straight time, that little-ish male celebrity was a sports figure. This was supposed to be the year a woman won it, and really, Helio was probably the fourth-best dancer on the show, following Mel, Sabrina Bryan and Jennie Garth. But he had loads of charisma and was very likeable, and he had defending champion Julianne as his partner. And, despite their claims that as the only male left, Helio was at a disadvantage, it really wasn't because in ballroom dancing, you showcase the female. So all the celebrity females weren't really competing against Helio - they were competing against Julianne, who is one of the most talented dancers I've ever seen. How is THAT a disadvantage for Helio?!

Also in Helio's favor was the fact that a lot of people felt Mel B. had an unfair advantage because she's in the Spice Girls and she sings and dances for a living (part of the same reasons a lot of people didn't vote for Sabrina). But Sabrina's Cheetah Girls are one thing; the Spice Girls are another. I don't recall them doing much dancing outside of prancing here and there, posing and jumping up and down in huge-ass shoes. Because really - you think Posh would do anything that caused sweating?! I think that whole "ringer" thing is part of why Joey Fatone lost last year, and why Mario Lopez lost the year before that.

What probably sealed the deal for Mel, though, was their freestyle. There were a couple of issues - 1. Mel barely had time to rehearse because the Spice Girls reunion tour is starting soon, so they've been in rehearsals for that; 2. Maks hurt his back; 3. Bandzilla completely BUTCHERED "The Way I Are". I'm talking massacred; 4. Mel messed up the choreography, as we learned in tonight's show. The band issue is an interesting one - I came across this on You Tube today ... it's Mel & Maks' freestyle set to the real music. It's crazy, but it makes a real difference. Check it out:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finale Fizzles, Not Sizzles

The finale of Dancing with the Stars is supposed to be the exciting one with freestyle dance and lifts and all that. Instead, we got probably the worst show of the season. Thank goodness this was the penultimate show and not the first or the series would've been cancelled immediately.

Very disappointing choreography tonight from everyone. There was exactly one good dance tonight - Mel and Maks' cha cha. But yet it still wasn't up to their high standards they had set earlier in the season. And their freestyle? I had a bad feeling when Mel said they were doing some hip hop. Because Russian men and hip hop usually do not mix. And it was quite dull, save for that one really awesome gasp-inducing lift. And don't get me started on the "singing" of "The Way I Are". Good lord.

Here's what I don't get. Why do the professionals think they have to do a non-ballroom dance in a freestyle? Why can't they just do a dance in their specialty and do all the illegal stuff they can't do on the show? Mel and Maks would have killed doing a Latin dance with lifts.

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, Marie and Jonathan came out for their freestyle. At first, I thought it was brilliant - Jonathan sending Marie out as a doll that he would wind up and bring to life as a dancer. Except she never came to life or danced. She remained a doll the whole time. Which, I suppose, showcased Marie as she really is as a dancer - meaning not all that much of one. The idea was half-good, and very reminiscent of the Ashlee/Dmitry "Dance Dance" doll routine on So You Think You Can Dance 2 or the Lacey/Pasha mannequin hip hop dance, but Jonathan and Marie really messed it up by keeping her as a rag doll the whole time. And to add insult to injury, Marie ate it on one of her lifts. They covered well, but she totally fell. This whole thing was so bad that Bruno was pretty much speechless. And the 7 paddle actually came out of retirement!

Helio and Julianne received the highest single score of the night (29) with their freestyle, but I'm thinking that score had more to do with the fact that everyone else's was so bad that theirs looked so much better in comparison. Theirs was fun and entertaining and had lifts and tricks, but it wasn't perfect. Their dual cartwheels looked bad (well, his end, anyway), and some of the lifts were a little scary. But the judges scored accordingly based on what they scored Mel. The jive was not good, and I'm kind of (pleasantly) surprised they got called out on it.

Another thing that was really bad tonight were the attitudes of some of the dancers. Marie, in particular, was obnoxious with her pouting and shouting of excuses. Tom Bergeron even said something directly to her about a hissy fit. It was great. Jonathan, who I usually like, was irritating as well, making angry faces about the judges' "low" scores of 8 in the first round. As if they deserved the same score as Mel and Maks for their cha cha! Maks made some comments to Carrie Ann. And Julianne got pouty when the judges criticized them. Contrast that with Mel, who was amazed and grateful at the 8 Carrie-Ann gave her for the freestyle because she thought they would get 4s.

There's no way I would base the winner of this show on tonight because tonight was just so awful. It would totally unfair to dance based on this. So for the whole body of work, it's Mel B. for the win!

And if they want a good finale in the future, they better get Cheryl Burke a partner who isn't on his death bed. She needs to be in every finale because SHE can deliver a fantastic freestyle (see Lachey, Drew and Smith, Emmitt).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spicing Up The Dance Floor

Week in and week out, Mel B (Scary Spice) has been performing great routines on Dancing With The Stars, and entering this week, she's had two perfect routines. She got two more tonight, doing a GORGEOUS Viennese Waltz and a strong Paso Doble.

Here's the video of the waltz. Check out the four walking splits she does about halfway into the routine. Damn!


There's no way they could have topped their first paso doble, which could have been the best dance this show has ever seen. This one was good but, as I said, impossible to top thir first.

But the greatest part of that whole dance was hearing crusty old Len Goodman singing a line of "SexyBack" (I'll let you whip me if I misbehave) during the judges' critique. HA!

Julianne and Helio also got a pair of 30s, plus Len's endorsement as the couple of the night and more praising of Julianne as the star of the show. I mean, yeah, the girl can dance, but hi, she's the professional. This isn't supposed to be about her, but almost every dance is about her whirling and twirling around Helio, who, yes, partners well, but basicaly does his poses and twirls Julianne around with a big dorky smile on his face. Big whoop.

Jennie Garth finally got a perfect 30. I was thinking more 29, but she turned a corner with her cha cha, so I can't argue. Her tango was dreadful, though. Or, more accurately, the music they danced to was dreadful.

Marie Osmond got a 29 and a 27. The 29 was deserved - her quickstep was well-done - but the 27 was overscored. The mambo was kind of a mess and seemed a bit desperate. And she still can't move her hips too well. But she avoided a major spill and/or wardrobe malfunction at the end. On her last move between Jonathan's legs, she stepped on part of her dress and could have almost pulled a Jennie/Derek, or, even worse, a Janet Jackson.

Usually the person in last doesn't end up going, so I'm thinking Jennie's a goner tomorrow. I'd be down with Helio going. I don't think Marie is going anywhere. And if Mel doesn't make the final, I will go Scary Spice on someone's ass.

Kelly Clarkson!!

Wow so it's been like 2 months since I've had time to blog about anything, but I had such a great time at the Kelly Clarkson concert tonight that I had to share ...

Kelly was really awesome tonight. Her voice was about as good as I've ever heard her live. The only complaint about the concert is that it's too short - about 1:20 long. With three albums, she can easily play another 5-10 songs, but I guess to keep that voice sounding like that, it's just as well she doesn't overtax it.

She sang a good mix of songs from My December and Breakaway. Only one song from Thankful (Miss Independent ... which was mixed in with AC/DC's Back in Black and with synthesized vocals in the beginning that totally sounded like Britney Spears!), plus two covers - Up To The Mountain (Patti Griffith song she sang on Idol Gives Back) and Home (Marc Broussard song). Both were outstanding, and she sang the hell out of Up To The Mountain. It was beautiful.

Setlist, from what I can remember, and not totally in order:
One Minute
Behind These Hazel Eyes
Because Of You
Never Again
Maybe
Gone
Addicted
Up To The Mountain
Be Still
How I Feel
Can I Have A Kiss (just added to the setlist)
Miss Independent
Walk Away
Hole
Breakaway

Encore:
Sober
Chivas (she said she wrote this song at Molly Malone's in Hollywood on some bar napkins. haha!)
Home
Since U Been Gone

Jon McLaughlin opened for Kelly - he was good! Kind of a Jason Mraz-sounding piano-playing pop-rock-folk singer. He has that one song "Beautiful Disaster" (not to be confused with Kelly's "Beautiful Disaster"). Might have to go download that song ... but not before making a Kelly Clarkson mix mp3 CD so I can listen to all the other songs I didn't get to hear tonight! Except A Moment Like This. I didn't really miss that song too much.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

DwtS Men Jockey For Pole Position

For the first time in five seasons, there really doesn't appear to be a clunker in sight on Dancing with the Stars. The men took their turn tonight, and all six contestants gave credible performances, giving their all and having fun in the process. No Master P types this year for sure.

The leader of the pack, in both dance ability and having fun, was race car driver Helio Castroneves, who is paired with defending champ Julianne Hough. Helio was all smiles the entire time and showed off classy moves in a smooth, elegant and lovely foxtrot. He seems to be the class of the men's side.

Cameron Mathison had a few little stumbles but was otherwise good on his foxtrot. Much better than I expected. He looks a little like a meathead, so I wasn't expecting much. Nor was I expecting much out of Abercombie model Albert Reed, who, at 22, is the youngest competitor this season (younger than the Cheetah Girl even!). Albert's a total goofball, but he pulled off his cha cha with personality and even some decent hip action. Oh, and his bare chest didn't hurt either! Mark Cuban was a cheeseball as well but also did much better than expected. I figured he'd throw away the choreography and do goofy white man dancing just for laughs, but he bought in and sold it.

The bottom 2 according to the judges were Wayne Newton, followed by boxer Floyd Mayweather. Wayne is ancient (and a wax figure), and I feared for his health during the dance, but he hung in there and he tried. Cheryl Burke, as usual, did a good job teaching her partner. Wayne's just too old to move those hips in a cha cha. Floyd has good rhythm and is a naturally good dancer. I was shocked he was in the bottom with straight sixes. The judges had positive comments and said he had lots of potential but low-balled him in the end. Yeah, I know he danced over-aggressively, and, as Carrie-Ann said, danced as if he was boxing Karina, but straight 6's?!

I think it's safe to say that Josie Maran's a goner tomorrow. They couldn't have telegraphed that more when Tom Bergeron said "someone's going home tomorrow" and the cameras cut right to a shot of Josie. Ouch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

DwtS Off To Good Start

The fifth season of Dancing With The Stars got underway tonight with a strong showing from the female dancers and an upgrade in the hosting department with season two winner Drew Lachey filling in for Samantha Harris, who just had a baby.

Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan was in mid-season form, performing a cha cha to the Pussycat Dolls' "Dont'cha" that was probably the best first-week dance anyone has ever done in the history of the show. The girl straight-up attacked the dance, showing energy, fancy footwork, and good hip action. The only criticism the judges (and particularly Len, of course) was that they put too much hip hop in the routine. Sabrina was so good that I pretty much immediately yelled out "Ringer!" Which she kind of is. No, she's not a ballroom dancer, but she makes a living out of singing, acting and dancing. And if she keeps up the "cheetalicious" talk, I may have to smack her.

Also showing well was 56-year old Jane Seymour, the oldest female competitor ever on the show. You couldn't tell. She was terrific. So elegant and graceful. And she's still hot enough to get the votes from the male persuasion.

As is Jennie Garth, whom Bruno called a "yummy mummy". Jennie looked absolutely petrified and unsure of herself in rehearsal but managed to pull it together on the show and loosen up. While her footwork wasn't very good, she has potential and actually looked like she was having fun. Even if they were doing a cha cha to "Uptown Girl". (God, who picks the music here?!)

Marie Osmond, who I had pegged to be a stiff, uptight dancer, was anything but, hamming it up to the judges and charming the audience. She's not really that good of a dancer, but she sold it like no other. She also got in a good line, saying that the audience is made up of 25 million voters, "and 22 million of them are Osmonds!"

Another good line came from season 1 champion Alec Mazo, who called model Josie Maran "deceptively unfit". Which she really was. She was kind of a klutz and seemed to stumble a few times during their routine. She did show some nice posture at times, though.

Mel B. (Scary Spice) had a good showing, but I can't really say I remember too much about it other than Maksim looking really nice in his all-black outfit.

Josie is most likely to leave first, but who knows how well (or bad) the men will do tomorrow night. I have a feeling Mark Cuban is going to be terrible, but I think he'll throw in some goofy dance moves to compensate and will stay because of it. Hopefully Cameron Mathison has a better showing than he did during his brief time onstage tonight. As he was coming down the steps during the intro, he almost ate it. Doh!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Donatos Face The Music

After getting their asses kissed by most of the media, Big Brother 8 finalists Dick and Daniele Donato finally got a hard-hitting interview, conducted beautifully by Ed Hill of midseasonreplacements.com.

Read the interview here.

The Donatos got really defensive in this interview, and the hypocricy was flying. After one question, Dick says, "As far as I know, I didn’t fabricate anything, I didn’t lie about anything. I said things that people are afraid to say. Calling people hypocrites." And when Ed points out that they lied to Eric and Jessica, Daniele jumps in with, "You know, honestly, people say that they can come into this game and go the full game being an honest person and never tell a lie. That is the biggest load of crap. There is absolutely no way you can get to the end without telling one lie." Dick follows up with, "If you think you can come into this game and not tell a lie, you’re lying to yourself."

Um, hello? How do you go from "I didn't lie about anything" to "If you think you can come into this game and not tell a lie, you're lying to yourself" in the span of about 30 seconds?

Later in the interview, Ed calls out Daniele for putting Jen up on the block because Jen took things to a personal level and also for bitching about the jury getting personal when all her dad ever did was make personal attacks. Why was it ok for her dad to do it but not ok for Jen? "Because he was my alliance!" Daniele says (probably screeches more than says).

CBS cuts off the interview, saying they are out of time, and Ed hears this:

Daniele: Oh my god!

Hee!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Evel Ending

Evel Dick Donato won Big Brother 8 by a 5-2 count, and the only reason I find this somewhat satisfying is because Daniele has got to be pissed. Dick would not have been so upset if his daughter won, but you can bet Daniele was thinking she'd win and then be able to cut Dick off from her life again. It was so telling when she got so pissed at her dad for his speech to the jury. It's fine and dandy for her to portray herself as the player in the game, but god forbid Dick did too. She was expecting Daddy to convince the jury to give her the money. Heh. Too bad, Princess!

Another satisfying moment came when the America's Player twist was revealed and Julie Chen pointed out to Dick that it was Eric's convincing of the other houseguests that kept Dick in the game instead of Dustin and not Dick's "masterminds". The look on Dick's face as it sunk in was absolutely priceless.

But it does pain me to take any satisfaction from seeing such an evil, disgusting sub-human win any kind of prize. The only prize he deserves is a good, swift kick in the you-know-what from Jen, Kail, Carol, Jameka, Amber and Dustin.

I just read the perfect summation to Dick winning, from Andrew Walsh at 2Snaps.TV:

"The same country that feels that it is morally wrong for me to marry another man thinks it would be great if a hypothetical ass rapist wins Big Brother. I give up."

Jameka had the best analogy of the night, calling Daniele the pimp who was calling all the shots and Dick as the ho doing the dirty work. Hilarious.

Couple of random observations from the show:

*Eric got off easy on the America's Player reveal. They did not talk about the money he pocketed for his "tasks" or show the video of him being assigned to kiss Jessica or give him that stupid Woobie. And his apology to Dustin and Amber was horseshit because he was supposed to try to evict Kail the week he was all gung-ho with the get-Nick-out campaign. If it was in his best interests to get the player America wanted out, he was all for it. If not, he was half-ass.

*Jessica feels like a schmuck right now. Look at her face in this picture during the reveal.

*Jen, who I couldn't stand initially but who I ended up adoring about a week later, was all kinds of awesome with her eye rolls and making fun of Daniele's "Honestly".

*Amber, you're still a twit and who the hell are you to yell at Jen for calling a truce with Dick? You were still buddies with Eric after he told Dick your deepest secret and you called him the devil in disguise and telling him you hated him. Hey, Amber, you're a hypocrite. And I'm sure you don't know what that word means, so take some of that money you "earned" in sequester and buy yourself a dictionary, mmkay?

*Julie Chen, could you kiss any more Donato ass than you did tonight?! I have never seen her fawn over a contestant like that before. Whatever miniscule shred of journalist integrity the Chen-bot had left is now seriously gone.

*Janelle mugging for the camera with her "We Trust the Donatos" sign? WTF, woman?! And if you're going to go back and sit in the audience on a show you were on the past two years and hold up a sign like a fangirl, at least make it WITTY.

*Howie looks like he really ate Pepperoni this time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Most Vile Reality TV Stars

In "honor" of the crowning of a Donato as the winner of Big Brother 8, I thought it would be an appropriate time to unveil my list of Top 10 Most Vile Reality Stars. And it, of course, starts, with the aforementioned Gruesome Twosome.

1T. Dick Donato, Big Brother 8 - Despite the glowing CBS edit of "Evel" Dick, many Big Brother fans like myself have seen this prick in action in all his misogynstic and homophobic glory. Dick has verbally abused most of the houseguests under the guise of "playing the game". He has threatened death, rape and sodomy, taunted someone about his sexual orientation, made sexually crude comments, pointed a lit cigarette at another contestant after she pushed him away for blowing smoke in her face and other countless horrible things.

1T. Daniele Donato, Big Brother 8 - At least with Dick, you knew what you were getting. With Daniele, she encouraged Daddy Dearest to go after the others and flashed that heinous shit-eating grin as he did it (see Bunny Hop competition when she told Dick to harrass Zach). Daniele is also the whiniest bitch that has ever hit the TV airwaves. "This is so haaaaaaaaaaard! This sucks! It's so fruuuuuuuuuuustrating!" Basically, she's smug, arrogant, whiny, bitchy, entitled, manipulative, bratty and self-centered. Oh, and racist too. And she cheated on her boyfriend on national TV.

3. Puck, Real World: San Francisco - The disgusting hygiene (blowing snot rockets, scooping out peanut butter from the jar with his scabby finger) was bad enough, but the homophobic comments he often made to AIDS-afflicted roommate Pedro Zamora were reprehensible. He was kicked out of the house by his fellow castmates before the show ended.

4. Jonny Fairplay, Survivor: Pearl Islands - Obnoxious, untrustworthy and pretty much a jackass. Yeah, that's reality TV gold. Fairplay showed an absolute lack of morals on the show when he engineered a pre-planned lie with his buddy, who announced to the cast that Fairplay's grandmother had died, which helped build up sympathy from the cast, who let him win the challenge.

5. Jonathan Baker, Amazing Race 6 - Another misogynistic creep, this guy with a Napoleon complex turned all his vitriol on his wife Victoria during the Amazing Race, constantly yelling and screaming at her and even shoving her on camera. He continued his "charming" ways on Reality Stars Fear Factor, getting into a shoving match with host Joe Rogan (not unsurprisingly, Jonny Fairplay was an instigator).

6. The Nerd Herd, Big Brother 6 - I could include them all separately (Eric, Maggie, Ivette, Jen, April, Beau), but since they basically acted as a group, I'll unite them in all their hypocritical, vile glory. They called themselves "The Friendship" but came to be known by BB viewers as the "Fiendship" and by the other houseguests as "The Nerd Herd" instead. They spent their entire time in the house blathering on about how good they were while talking about how evil the other group (and especially Janelle) was and making racist comments about Kaysar. Hypocrites.

7. The Weavers, The Amazing Race: Family Edition - They were the Nerd Herd of TAR with their mind-boggling hypocricy. Like the Nerd Herd, they spent most of their time talking about how good they were and whining about how bad everyone else was. All while insulting the locals of the towns they raced in, making fun of the other racers, throwing food at their cars (and littering the highway!), trying to sabotage other racers, and praying to God for help on the race. You hate to speak ill of people who have gone through such tragedy (Pa Weaver died in a car race at Daytona), but these people were just ... ugh. Rolly was ok, but the women in this family? Ugh.

8. Mike Boogie, Big Brother 2/Big Brother All-Stars - Mike Boogie had neither the skills nor the charm of his buddy Dr. Evil, Will Kirby. Will did absolutely nothing in any competition, lied to everyone, told everyone he was lying, and somehow managed to not only stay likeable but got everyone to basically do his bidding. Mike Boogie tried to do the same thing but still came off as a massive douche-bag. In All-Stars, he hooked up with Erika, using her to his advantage and convinced her that it was real while he was boasting in the diary room about how she was a ho. He was more harmless in Season 2, just a pathetic fame-whore with his white rapper persona and his proposing to Krista in the season finale.

9. Corey Clark, American Idol 2 - Not only was his voice like nails on a chalkboard, but he was the skeeviest skeeve that ever skeeved. As shown when he tried to further his "recording career" (HA!) by going to the media about an alleged affair with Paula Abdul just before his CD was to be released.

10. Alison Irwin, Big Brother 4/Big Brother All-Stars - She maniuplated and lied her way throughout the game and basically was in bed with all the guys in the house despite having a boyfriend (that she ended up going on the Amazing Race with ... and losing early. ha!). She trash talked a lot and I think she even said something bad about one of her housemates' children. I can't even remember half the things she did, but I remember her making my blood boil that season.

Honorable mention:
Omarosa, The Apprentice/The Surreal Life
Shannon Dragoo, Big Brother 2
Scott Long/Jase Wirey, Big Brother 5
Dustin Diamond, Celebrity Fit Club
Master P, Dancing With The Stars
Beth Stolarczyk, The Real World: LA
Stephen Williams, The Real World: Seattle
Tonya Cooley, The Real World: Chicago
Janice Dickinson, The Surreal Life
Richard Hatch, Survivor: Borneo
Jerri Manthey, Survivor: Australia

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Evil Will Win On BB

Ugh. So Evil Dick and Daniele are the final two in the Big Brother house after Dick beat Zach in the final HoH competition. Worst. Final. Two. Ever. And that includes Maggie and Ivette, which says a whole hell of a lot because those two were heinous.

BTW, why does this show always have heinous winners and final twos?? Seriously!

Season 1 - Eddie/Josh ... that season sucked overall
Season 2 - Will/Nicole ... Will (the only truly worthy winner)
Season 3 - Danielle/Lisa ... Danielle got screwed
Season 4 - Alison/Jun ... HEINOUS
Season 5 - Drew/Cowboy ... Cowboy was a joke
Season 6 - Maggie/Ivette ... HEINOUS
Season 7 - Boogie/Erika ... HEINOUS
Season 8 - Dick/Daniele ... VOMIT-ENDUCING LEVELS OF HEINOUSNESS

So the jury gets to decide who gets more money between them. Oh boy, as Zach said. Actually, in this case, I'd like to bring back an All-Star quote (for the second year in a row) from Marcellas -

"How do you choose between gonorrhea or the clap? What do you do?"

Not sure which one is gonorrhea and which one is the clap in this case. I don't really give a flying fuck who wins. They both suck. But I think I loathe Daniele even more than Dick, which speaks volumes because Dick is one of the most heinous people ever on reality TV.

So tonight's show ... WTF was with the hero music played for Dick after the bunny hop competition (aka Chinese Water Torture)? I mean, GOD. We get it, CBS! You love the Donatos. You don't have to hit us over the head with an avil.

Zach couldn't pull it off in the end, but I give him massive props for trying. He was so impressive spending seven hours in that "rain" with Dick screaming obscenities at him and having no support (not that Daniele's support was as compassionate as CBS tried to make it seem ... her encouragement was so half-assed and bored). The last competition is basically a crapshoot, and unfortunately the bunny man came up one short. :(

The show ended with Dick screaming about how he and Daniele are the best team ever to play this game. No other team made it to the final two - not Janelle and her secret partner, not Will and Boogie, not even Danielle and Jason. Um, big difference here, DICK. You and evil spawn weren't supposed to be partners, but enemies. I wouldn't be surprised if those two weren't nearly as estranged as they were portrayed to be.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Canadian Sanjaya Almost Wins Idol

All is right in Canada tonight after alt-rocker Brian Melo became the fifth Canadian Idol, defeating Elvis impersonator Jaydee Bixby in the finale.

Despite all the judges' boastings pre-show about their show not having a Sanjaya-like competitor, Jaydee, the teen "heartthrob" more known for his gimmick than his voice (sound familiar??), gained a big following with the tweens and grandmas with his aww-shucks country bumpkin persona and his older than oldies country song choices. Too bad he couldn't sing anything from the last 30 years worth a lick. And wow did he desecrate quite a few of those tunes - Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" in particular. Ugh. I shudder just thinking about it.

Meanwhile, Brian chugged along throughout the competition, consistently delivering quality performances. I had him as one of my favorites from week one, but he was a little under the radar at first and landed in the bottom a few times early on, most memorably with supposed front-runner Greg Neufeld on Top 8 week. Greg shockingly got the boot, Brian stayed and absolutely thrived, pulling off impeccable song selections and giving a good chunk of the season's best performances, including She Talks To Angels. He even made the Idol coronation song sound good. You can hear it on his brand-new website: brianmelo.com.

Congrats to Mr. Melo, and let's hope they at least give him some say in which crappy songs they give him for his album!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brit Bland At VMAs

It was a different kind of train wreck than I had anticipated. And maybe the train wreck I was expecting would have been better than this debacle. Britney Spears got the coveted opening act gig at MTV's Video Music Awards last night. Lip-synching to her new single "Gimme More", Brit didn't heed her own words, giving the audience an absolutely nothing performance.

The girl looked like she didn't want to be there at all, dancing around like she needed about 10 cans of Red Bull. I could be generous and say that she was busy trying to remember the words of the song, but when the words basically consist of nothing but "gimme, gimme more", that excuse goes out the window. And she couldn't even remember THOSE words! Several times, she covered her mouth or turned a few times to cover.

Basically, she looked lethargic, uninspired and a shell of her old self both in performance and physique. I'm not going to go as far as TMZ did in comparing her to Fat Elvis, but if you don't got it, don't flaunt it. Meaning, don't wear a bikini, fishnet stockings and boots on stage if you can't pull it off anymore, mmkay?

It was really the worst kind of opening of a show that you could get. And Sarah Silverman didn't help matters immediately after Brit. Her jokes flat out bombed. They barely got a ripple of embarrassed chuckles from the audience. Calling Britney's kids "the most adorable mistakes" and something about them coming from a hairless vagina. It was really bad. There was also a fight between Tommy Lee and Kid Rock during a commercial break. Apparently Kid Rock came up to Tommy Lee and clocked him. Word is that Tommy instigated it, and he was the one who was escorted out while Kid Rock was allowed to stay. And Kanye West bitched (AGAIN) about not winning awards.

The show itself was kind of a dud - too many cuts to half songs. The few highlights were Alicia Keys' performance and Chris Brown's dancing. And Justin Timberlake calling MTV out for not playing enough music videos and putting too much reality tv on (while the stars of the Hills were onstage with him). Yeah, you tell 'em, JT!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Seacrest May Sing

Emmy host Ryan Seacrest said on his radio show the other day that he may or may not sing in the opening of the award show on Sept. 16, depending on how confident he feels that day.

If he does, I would not be surprised if Idol judge Simon Cowell somehow gets involved in it so he can poke more fun at his friend's (?) expense.

Still no word on whether Justin Timberlake will get to sing "Dick in a Box". Fingers are still crossed!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dancing With The Stars Season 5 Cast Announced

ABC announced the official Dancing with the Stars cast list this morning, thus debunking half of the rumors that were floating out there.

The official list with their professional partners:
• Melanie "Mel B" Brown, 32, Spice Girls ("Scary Spice") singer (pro partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy)
• Sabrina Bryan, 22, actress/singer (The Cheetah Girls) (pro partner: Mark Ballas)
• Helio Castroneves, 32, racecar driver (pro partner: Julianne Hough)
• Mark Cuban, 48, businessman (owner of NBA's Dallas Mavericks) (pro partner: Kym Johnson)
• Jennie Garth, 35, actress (Beverly Hills, 90210) (pro partner: Derek Hough, older brother of Julianne Hough)
• Josie Maran, 29, supermodel (pro partner Alec Mazo)
• Cameron Mathison, 38, actor (All My Children) (pro partner: Edyta Sliwinska)
• Floyd Mayweather, Jr., 30, boxer (pro partner: Karina Smirnoff)
• Wayne Newton, 65, singer (pro partner: Cheryl Burke)
• Marie Osmond, 47, singer/doll designer (pro partner: Jonathan Roberts)
• Albert Reed (pictured above), 22, supermodel (pro partner: Anna Trebunskaya)
• Jane Seymour, 56, actress (pro partner: Tony Dovolani)

First thoughts ...
• Finally, Cheryl Burke gets to prove her teaching skills by getting paired with the token old guy.
• Jonathan Roberts get another stiff partner
• Kym Johnson gets the class clown again (Mark Cuban)
• There are some serious hot couples here - Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinka; Albert Reed and Anna Trebunskaya (and I'm glad to see her back!); Josie Maran and Alec Mazo
• Hard to pick an early favorite right now, but I think Sabrina Bryan is going to do well. She's an actress/singer/dancer (and they failed to include dancer in the description!) and she'll get the Disney vote. If Cameron Mathison and Albert Reed have any kind of rhythm, look for them to get the ladies' votes. Floyd and Karina should do well also.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hip-Hop Loses Cred

Train-wreck alert: MTV has a new celeb-reality show debuting on Aug. 30, called Celebrity Rap Superstar. Eight celebrities will be mentored by real rappers (or at least they were considered real rappers before this show!) and will perform on the show for America's vote. A Celebrity Rap Idol, if you will.

The "celebrities" competing are gossip-monger Perez Hilton, hair band rocker Sebastian Bach, Playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson, Laguna Beach jailbird Jason Wahler, the ex-Mrs. Federline Shar Jackson and her former Moesha buddy Countess Vaughn, Efren "Vote for Pedro" Ramirez and former NFL player and Dirty Bird creator Jamal Anderson.

The mentors are Paul Wall, Redman, Warren G, Too Short, Bubba Sparxxx, Tone Loc, Bizarre and MC Lyte.

I can't decide which lineup is worse - this one or the one that was on But Can They Sing? That was Bai Ling, Antonio Sabato Jr., Michael Copon, Carmine Gotti, Morgan Fairchild, Joe Pantoliano, Larry Holmes, Kim Alexis and Myrka Dellanos. Um, ok ... that one was worse.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CA NOW targets Big Brother Dick

Evil Dick's misogynistic and sadistic comments towards the female houseguests on Big Brother have not gone unnoticed (even though CBS would like its viewers to think none of this happens!). The California National Organization of Women (CA NOW) is urging the public to complain to CBS and the Big Brother producers about this:

CBS’s and the producers of the reality show Big Brother 8 are allowing a contestant on the show to verbally abuse and threaten a female contestant with violence.

One of the show's contestants, a 44-year-old man named Dick has repeatedly verbally attacked 23-year-old Jen, calling her crude names, telling her he’d like to sodomize her until she bleeds to death and that if he was wasn't in the house (and at risk of being expelled) he would like to kill her. In a recent episode, he dumped a glass of tea over Jen's head, laughed about it, and said he wished it had been "piss." Many fans called for his expulsion from the Big Brother house. Instead, Dick is still in the house and CBS is running ads promoting the "explosive" events of the house.

Contact CBS and tell them allowing this kind of abusive behavior for the sake of entertainment is irresponsible and unforgivable.

Contact CBS:
CBS Television Network
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 975-4321

And the show's producers:
Allison Grodner Productions Inc.
12925 Riverside Dr, 4th Floor
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 325-6900

******

That doesn't even account for the time he said he'd like to kill Carol and rape her corpse or all the homophobic comments he made about Dustin. And CBS more or less glorifies this behavior by making Dick and his evil spawn Daniele the stars of the show. BTW, I read at Morty's today that Daniele said that Asians were stingy, and when Asian families go out to dinner, they bring calcuators and figure out tip to the exact cent. Racist bitch.

And to add to the insanity, a reader at Reality BBQ has posted Dick's prior arrest record:

Arrested: 11/95, LA County
Charges: Spousal Abuse; Traumatic Injury, Cal Penal Code 253.5(C)

Arrested: 11/94, LA County
Charges: DUI, Cal Vehicle Code 23152(A)

Arrested: 6/95, LA County
Charges: Unawful Posession of a Firearm Silencer, PC 12500

Arrested: 3/98, LA County
Charges: Driving Without Valid License

Arrested: 6/02, LA County
Charges: DUI (pot)
?
Arrested: 2/02, LA County
Charges: 22/21

Arrested: 6/97, LA County
Charges: Driving With Suspended License, VC 14601

Who screens the cast?!! Seriously! And could one person have a more appropriate name than this jackass?!

Monday, August 20, 2007

K-Fed Comeback Continues

With assistance from his thoroughly messed up ex-wife Britney Spears, Kevin Federline has been getting quite the redemptive makeover lately. Once the butt of all jokes, K-Fed is now seen as the sane one in that relationship, and a lot of people, myself including, are actually rooting for the guy to get custody of their kids. Scary.

And now K-Fed's career is also getting a boost. Mr. Popo-Zau has just landed a guest-starring, multi-episode gig on the CW's One Tree Hill. He will be playing Jason, "a cocky, enigmatic frontman" for No Means Yes, a legendary rock band in the show's fictional setting of Tree Hill, N.C.

From People: "Kevin came in and (auditioned) and he did a great job," Mark Schwahn, the creator of One Tree Hill, tells PEOPLE. "He really seemed like a sweet guy and I just felt that he would be great in that."

This whole thing just goes to show just how messed up Brit is.

And in other casting news, former Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell will join the cast of Heroes this fall. According to the show's executive producer, her character, Elle, will appear in October and will be "a sexy, intriguing, mysterious young lady" who will commit a terrible crime, but it won't be clear whose side she is really on. This is the second series Kristen will be a part of in the fall - she's also narrating the CW's Gossip Girl.

Seacrest ... In

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will host the Emmy Awards on Sept. 16 (on Fox, of course).

And weren't these the same Emmy Awards that the Idol producers were supposed to be but are no longer producing?

Unfortunately, we won't get a chance to vote for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Because you know that if it were up to the audience, "Dick in a Box" would win, hands down.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Say What? Sabra Wins

Huh. So I thought it would come down to Danny Tidwell and Lacey Schwimmer in the So You Think You Can Dance finale, but Sabra Johnson snuck in there to take the third season crown.

And when I say snuck in, I mean that Sabra was pretty much the stealth contestant up until about the Top 14. I don't think they ever showed her until they showed her making the Top 20. At some point, though, Nigel and company decided that they wanted her to win and ceased to give her any kind of constructive criticism and did nothing but heap praise on her.

Don't get me wrong, Sabra is a terrific dancer and was one of my favorites early in the competition. I really loved her partnership with Dominic, and I thought her boardroom dance with Neil last week was one of the best of the season. But I truly did not think that she brought it last night (unlike Danny, who absolutely threw down the gauntlet). Sabra apparently almost ate it in her final solo (I didn't notice it, though), her hip-hop was blah (thanks for nothing, Shane), and her cha cha was not good. It just really bugs me when the producers try to manipulate things. Nigel all but held up a "Vote For A Girl (whose name is not Lacey)" sign last night. And the "she's only been dancing for four years" thing ... they repeated it almost as much as they repeated "She's only 17!!!!!111!!!" about Jordin Sparks.

But having said that, congratulations to Sabra, and my condolences to Danny, who I think really should have won. And condolences to Jesus too because I still think he was totally robbed!!!!!!

Most of all, though, congratulations to all of the dancers for being the best collective Top 20 this show has ever seen.

ETA: OK, Benji Schwimmer is way more gracious than I was. And he had a vested interest in someone other than Sabra winning. Now I feel bad. Blogging SYTYCD posted Benji's MySpace blog where he congratulates Sabra, Lacey and the whole cast and thanks the fans for voting his sister into the finale. He said seeing her on the stage in the finale brought him more emotion and happiness than when he was there last year. Awww!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SYTYCD Finale Showdown

Finale time! The Top 4 dancers from So You Think You Can Dance (Danny Tidwell, Lacey Schwimmer, Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson) dance-marathoned their way through a total of 11 dances tonight in the last performance show of the season.

The show started with a group dance from the finalists - a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine. Apparently he is the only one who can choreograph Broadway on this show. Neil opened the dance with a poorly-executed pirouette. It was an ok dance, definitely not as memorable as last year's group dance to SexyBack. After they finished, Nigel took the time to say something about each finalist, starting with Lacey. He gave her criticism right off the bat, masking it as advice, then turned to the next dancer and praised each of the three and did not give anyone else any critical advice at all. WTF?! Transparent much, Nigel?

As far as the partner dances go, Danny and Lacey's Viennese Waltz was the best of the night. It was truly exquisite. The turns Lacey did where she moved her head (wish I knew the technical term for it ... they kind of remind me of attitude turns) were awesome, and the lifts were so effortless.

Neil and Sabra's hip-hop was very average, and Neil looked like Cheer Boi again. I kind of blame Shane's choreography for the blandness of the routine, though.

Lacey and Sabra's jazzy wolf dance was interesting. I knew it would be one of those you-either-get-it-or-you-don't dances. I liked how the two of them played their parts to perfection. As a non-contemporary dancer, I thought Lacey moved quite well in this style. Sabra moved so quickly ... like a fox.

I didn't see a lot of dancing in Neil and Danny's contemporary routine. It was a bit more West Side Story fight-dancing than anything else, which works perfectly to Neil's strengths. I thought Danny looked very regal in terms of his carriage. Neil ... not so much. I actually preferred the wolf routine to this one. And I could sense Wade Robson rolling his eyes when the judges praised Mia Michaels for this routine after they totally hacked his fox routine.

Neil and Lacey's Lindy Hop was full of difficult tricks, but I thought Neil was really lacking in the other parts ... the actual dancing. His side-by-side dancing did not have much extension, and both he and Lacey looked a little awkward and lacking in energy at times (him much more so than her). But I'm so glad that Nigel brought up the fact that Lacey really connected with her partner this dance because I totally noticed it during the dance.

Sabra and Danny's cha cha was lacking technically. Both of them had questionable footwork. Danny and these kind of dances don't always fit, although I did like his samba. As Nigel said, he danced too tall. His posture is too perfect for this dance and for hip hop. I thought he looked quite awkward a lot of the time. Sabra didn't make much of an impression on me one way or another. They did sell it, but I wasn't really buying. And I was so exasperated by Nigel's comment where he basically said let's ignore technique and praise you instead, Sabra! Gah! So. Transparent.

In the solos, no doubt that Danny delivered probably one of the best solos if not THE best solo ever on this show. The speed in which he did his running split jumps at the beginning was jaw-dropping, and that spin that lasted forever ... WOW. Neil may have given his best solo performance. Sabra still hasn't surpassed her first solo. Lacey's was much improved and more well-thought out, although I think I liked her last one better than this. Nice shout-out to her brother in that stage dive, but overall it was the weakest solo of the four.

So I don't know who should win. If based on tonight, I'd call it a tie between Danny and Lacey, with Danny's cha cha and Lacey's solo cancelling each other out. If I had to pick based on tonight, though, I think Danny's solo would be the tie-breaker. If you base it on the whole season and on how well they did in all the dances they were given, it's Lacey, hands down, for me.

I think it's going to come down to Danny and Lacey, and maybe this time a Wall will beat a Schwimmer.

ETA: So I woke up Thursday morning thinking I'd give the edge to Danny over Lacey. We'll see what happens!

Becks Earns His Keep

In his first start with the Los Angeles Galaxy tonight, David Beckham did exactly what he was paid $250 million to do - he scored on one of his trademark bending free kicks.

It was sweet (and I totally called it!). You can watch the video on the MLS website.

Oh, and the Galaxy won, 2-0. Beckham assisted on the second goal. Way to go, Becks!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dump Evil Or Be Evil?

That is the question ...

America has a really good chance to shake things up in more ways than one on Big Brother. Evil Dick, who was nominated for eviction along with his evil spawn daughter Danielle, won the power of veto and chose to save Daniele. This forced Head of Household Jessica to put someone else on the block. In a stupidly cocky move, Dustin volunteered to be the pawn.

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem because Dustin's group, the Nerd Herd 2 Late Night Crew (LNC), has the numbers to control the vote. But what they don't know is that one of those votes (Eric's) is controlled by America because Eric is "America's Player". So if America's vote calls for Eric to vote out Dustin, Dustin could be in deep shit unless one of either Jen or Zach votes out Dick.

And normally, I would not think that America would want to deal with listening to Dick's homophobic, misogynstic and generally hateful comments towards almost the entire house, but America seems to hate Eric or love screwing with him, as the last two America's Choice votes have showed, so I don't think Dustin is safe by any means.

It's a bit of a conundrum, actually, since there really isn't anyone in this house who I don't want screwed over, other than Jen. The LNC group is so smug. Daniele is an entitled and whiny princess. Dick is deplorable. And they're all hypocrites. It would be funny to see the LNC freak out if Dustin left and Dick stayed, but I think enough is enough now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Top 4 Finally Revealed

After four days of secrecy that would make CIA agents proud, the Top 4 finalists for So You Think You Can Dance were finally revealed on tonight's broadcast. It was a long, drawn-out show (even more so than usual!), but the show revealed Wednesday's finalists to be Lacey Schwimmer, Danny Tidwell, Sabra Johnson and Neil Haskell, leaving Lauren Gottleib and Pasha Kovalev on the outside looking in.

Lacey and Danny were the first two announced as safe, but before Cat Deeley could announce the other two finalists, they kicked the audience out of the studio (this was taped last Thursday) in order to maintain the integrity of the broadcast, which would air four days later no thanks to an NFL pre-seaosn game.

Unfortunately for the two eliminated dancers, that meant no cries of outrage or sympathetic cheers for their elimination. It's too bad because other than the Top 12 cut, this is probably the worst spot to go out in, just one step shy of the finale. Lauren and Pasha both took it well, perhaps aided by empty stage. Hard to get too emotional when there's no one around to react with.

So for the finale, we've got three contemporary dancers and a Swing/Latin dancer. I'd say Lacey has the edge just on variety alone. She won't have split votes amongst people who enjoy contemporary dance. I assume that each finalist will get a dance with the other three finalists. Sabra and Danny will get a contemporary together, guaranteed. And they'll probably saddle Lacey with something like rumba with Neil.

In other SYTYCD news, People magazine reports that Paula Abdul was asked to be a guest choreographer but had to back out. Dammit! That would've been cool!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Duran Duran Collaborates With JT And Timbaland

Normally I'd yawn at yet another Timbaland collaboration, but this one seems so out of left field ... Duran Duran with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake? Huh.

Entertainment Weekly has streaming audio of the new song, called "Night Runner". About the only thing Duran Duran-y about it is that I have no freakin' clue what the song is about. And I still don't know how the reflex is an only child waiting in the park.

Listen to "Night Runner" here

Thursday, August 09, 2007

SYTYCD Spoiler

The bad thing about Blogspot here is that you can't put a break in your post to continue reading on another page (or if there is that feature, I can't find it anywhere!). So reporting spoilers for the So You Think You Can Dance Top 6 results show would be difficult.

Well, I guess I don't need to worry about that because apparently the spoiler is that there are no spoilers. They taped the show this afternoon = group dance, solo dances, etc. - but kicked the audience out before revealing the results because the show wouldn't air on TV until Monday due to a pre-season NFL game pre-empting the broadcast tonight (curse you, NFL!).

Well-played, Nigel. I didn't know you had it in you. That was brilliant.

So spoiler-free we will continue to be. The suspense is going to drive me batty.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fighting For Finale Spot

The Top 6 duked it out for a spot in next week's four-person finale for So You Think You Can Dance. The judges were effusive in their praise for every dance. Me? Well, not so much for every dance.

I subbed in for my buddy Kim as a guest blogger at GirlsTalkinSmack.com for tonight's SYTYCD review. To read it, click here.

Idol Engagement

Gina Glocksen got engaged last night during the American Idol concert in her hometown Chicago. Gina's boyfriend Joe popped the question on stage after Gina's duet with Phil Stacey.

Video here found on YouTube:


Congrats to the happy couple!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

MTV VMA Nominees Announced

Justin Timberlake and Beyonce top the list of nominees for the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards with seven nods apiece. The awards will be held in Las Vegas at the Palms Casino on September 9.

Both Justin and Beyonce are up for a new category - Quadruple Threat of the Year - along with Bono, Kanye West and Jay-Z. MTV says the award is for someone who excels in multiple fields, such as "music, fashion, philanthropy, business, acting and dance".

Hmm, let's see:
Justin = singing, acting, dancing, and I guess comedy
Beyonce = singing, acting, dancing, and falling down stairs
Kanye West = rapping, producing, business, complaining about not winning awards
Jay-Z = rapping, producing, business, fighting with other rappers
or
Bono = singer, writer, philanthropist, activist, honorary knight, Nobel Peace Prize nominee ...

Um, yeah. This should be a slam-dunk. Bono for the win!

The complete list of nominees:

Video of the Year
Amy Winehouse: "Rehab"
Beyoncé: "Irreplaceable"
Justice: "D.A.N.C.E."
Justin Timberlake: "What Goes Around ... "
Kanye West: "Stronger"
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z): "Umbrella"

Male Artist of the Year
Akon
Kanye West
Justin Timberlake
T.I
Robin Thicke

Female Artist of the Year
Amy Winehouse
Beyoncé
Fergie
Nelly Furtado
Rihanna: "Umbrella"

Best New Artist
Amy Winehouse
Carrie Underwood
Gym Class Heroes
Lily Allen
Peter Bjorn and John

Best Group
Fall Out Boy
Gym Class Heroes
Linkin Park
Maroon 5
White Stripes

Most Earthshattering Collaboration
Akon (featuring Eminem): "Smack That"
Beyoncé and Shakira: "Beautiful Liar"
Justin Timberlake (featuring Timbaland): "SexyBack"
Gwen Stefani (featuring Akon): "The Sweet Escape"
U2 (featuring Green Day): "The Saints Are Coming"

Quadruple Threat of the Year
Beyoncé
Bono
Jay-Z
Justin Timberlake
Kanye West

Monster Single of the Year
Avril Lavigne: "Girlfriend"
Daughtry: "Home"
Fall Out Boy: "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs"
Lil Mama: "Lip Gloss (No Music)"
T-Pain (featuring Yung Joc): "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')"
Timbaland (featuring Keri Hilson, D.O.E. and Sebastian): "The Way I Are"
MIMS: "This Is Why I'm Hot"
Plain White T's: "Hey There, Delilah"
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z): "Umbrella"
Shop Boyz: "Party Like A Rock Star"

Best Director
Beyoncé and Shakira: "Beautiful Liar" (director: Jake Nava)
Christina Aguilera: "Candyman" (directors: Matthew Rolston and Christina Aguilera)
Justin Timberlake: "What Goes Around ..." (director: Samuel Bayer)
Kanye West: "Stronger" (director: Hype Williams)
Linkin Park: "What I've Done" (director: Joseph Hahn)
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z): "Umbrella" (director: Chris Applebaum)

Best Editing in a Video
Beyoncé and Shakira: "Beautiful Liar" (editor: Jarett Figl)
Gnarls Barkley: "Smiley Faces" (editor: Ken Mowe)
Justin Timberlake: "What Goes Around ..." (editor: Hollee Singer)
Kanye West: "Stronger" (editors: Peter Johnson and Corey Weisz)
Linkin Park: "What I've Done" (editor: Igor Kovalik)

Best Choreography in a Video
Beyoncé and Shakira: "Beautiful Liar" (choreographer: Frank Gatson)
Chris Brown: "Wall To Wall" (choreographers: Rich & Tone and Flii Styles)
Ciara: "Like A Boy" (choreographer: Jamaica Craft)
Eve: "Tambourine" (choreographer: Tahesha Scott)
Justin Timberlake: "My Love" (choreographer: Marty Kudelka)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bad Break For Breakers

Not a good night for break dancing fans, as both b-boy Dominic Sandoval and b-girl Sara Von Gillern were voted out on So You Think You Can Dance. Both have come so far, particularly Dominic, who barely squeaked into the Top 20 to begin with, and probably exceeded most viewers' expectations.

I'll miss Dominic, in particular. He wasn't the best technical dancer, but he was one of the most entertaining, particularly when he wasn't dancing. Tonight, even, he was cracking me up with his displays of affection towards Cat Deeley. And his breakdancing chair routine was crazy! Neil was a surprise Bottom 2 member with Dominic. I figured shirtless + Mia routine where everyone cried = safe.

While I've wanted Lauren to go for a long time now, I can see why she stayed over Sara. I didn't think Sara had a particularly good week or had good routines that made people want to vote for her. Her partner Danny was in the Top 2 amongst the guys, but his being in danger so often during the first half of the competition has kept his fans from being complacent as of late.

Each of the Top 8 had to dance a solo tonight. Although it did not count towards this week's voting, there's no doubt that it could play a part towards storing votes for next week. Unfortunately, no one took the opportunity to really stand out here, except for Dominic (too little, too late, unfortunately) and Pasha, who did a solo (and shirtless) paso doble. Lacey's solo was the worst, and she better hope that if the Top 6 have to do solos next week, that someone else choreographs the same routine, a la Wade last week. Sabra's was good from a musicality standpoint, but her dancing has been better. Lauren's hip hop was the best solo amongst the girls. On the guys' side, Danny and Neil have both done better. Neil stumbled out of a move, and it looked like Danny stumbled out of his backhandspring.

As for next week, if they try to give everyone new pairings again, it should be:
Lacey/Pasha (MUST. DO. LATIN!)
Danny/Lauren
Neil/Sabra

I'd much rather see Sabra with Danny, but I guess that'll have to wait for the finale (I hope) since that particular pairing would mean Lauren/Neil were together again. I will refrain from predicting Lauren and Neil's demise next week. Maybe that will actually make it happen. Heh.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tango, Tumble and Tears on SYTYCD

There was a whole lot going on during tonight's episode of So You Think You Can Dance. The Top 8 got two new dances to do with new partners (they got rid of the ill-conceived everyone does the same solo thing, thank goodness!). The new couples were: Danny/Sara, Dominic/Lauren, Neil/Lacey and Pasha/Sabra.

Danny/Sara started off with the Argentine Tango to "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)". It had kind of a James Bond feel, with Sara wearing dominatrix boots. I wasn't as enthused about it as Adam Shankman was; I was a little iffy on some of Sara's footwork. And I still don't get why they Sara is so versatile when she hasn't done contemporary, quickstep, cha cha, samba, mambo, waltz. Yes, she has done paso doble, but she wasn't very good in it, and she wasn't very good in this.

Dominic/Lauren pulled a krump routine to some song I did not like. I thought the Sara/Jesus krump was so much better than this. Dominic and Lauren weren't in sync at all, and then Lauren stumbled while climbing over Dominic near the end of the routine. And although Nigel would like to pretend that it wasn't obvious, it totally was because Lauren's arms flailed. Credit to her for covering, but the fact is that she fell!

Neil/Lacey got a Latin jazz (whatever the heck that is), and they were supposed to do a lift where Neil holds her up above his head with one hand. He didn't do it - he used two hands. The dance was entertaining enough, but I completely agreed with the judges when they said there was no chemistry and that Lacey plays too much to the cameras and audience and not enough to her partner. And Neil going shirtless? Oh brother. So not necessary (other than to get votes from the fangirls!)

Pasha/Sabra did a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine that the judges fell over themselves praising Sabra for. I actually thought Pasha was better than Sabra here. Round 1 goes to them, though.

Back to Danny/Sara for a Shane Sparks hip hop to "Push It". Of course, they revisited the Shane-hates-Danny thing from the beginning of the season. Which sucks for Danny. And although Shane takes it back now, I can't help but think he saddled Danny with a craptastic routine with all the bad dance moves from the 80's-early 90's, like the Hammer dance and ground humping. And then there were the clothes ... Danny looked like Skinny Rerun. I hated it.

Dominic/Lauren got a rumba to "Ain't No Sunshine" for their second dance. This is Dom's second rumba this year. Go figure - this is the first year they've done rumba on this show, and Dom's gotten it both times. I prefered his first rumba with Sabra, but this was also good. I even liked Lauren in it. And then I liked it less when they kissed at the end. Eww. Too calculating. And then during judges comments, she twirled to show off her bod for pervy Uncle Nigel, and any goodwill she gained from dancing well went out the window.

Neil/Lacey did a contemporary dance to "Time" by Billy Porter, choreographed by Mia Michaels. Apparently, this is quite the controversial dance of the season because a lot of people think it was emotionally manipulative. As Mia explained, this dance represents her and her dead father reuniting in heaven. The criticism seems to be that there was hardly any dance in it, and that it was designed to manipulate you into loving it from a purely emotional standpoint and that you can't fairly critique it. Mary Murphy didn't say anything - she just cried. I guess if you didn't know the backstory of the routine you wouldn't feel the same about it. Honestly, I liked it. I know it was simple from a technical standpoint, but dance isn't always about technique. It's art. It's about how it makes you feel. I do think the judges were over-the-top with their praise, though. I thought Lacey's first contemporary with Kameron was better, and the Heidi-Travis bench routine was as well. And Neil wasn't really believable in portraying Mia's dad. He was more child-like than Lacey was (and more child-like than Hok two weeks ago in his Broadway piece that the judges criticized).

Pasha/Sabra got the dance of death - quickstep. And they killed it. Sabra had a noticeable slip-up that Nigel pointed out (and acted like only he knew because he's an expert. Oh please. I noticed it!), but otherwise, it was great, especially from Pasha. These two got the hardest, most energetic routines of the night and were excellent in both.

Not sure who will be going tomorrow ... I think it's between Lauren and Sara and Dominic and Danny. Neil seems to have the fangirl vote locked in, and going shirtless and having the dance that everyone cried over should keep him safe. I would personally dump Lauren and Neil, but I've been saying that for WEEKS now, and they're both still here!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When Fans Take It Too Far

I saw a news headline today that said Faith Hill went off on an audience member in Lafayette, Louisiana who grabbed her husband Tim McGraw's, er, package while he was singing close to the front row. You can watch the video at TMZ.com.

It gets better. Or worse. While searching for this video on YouTube, I found another video, apparently from the same concert, where Tim was singing a song and shaking hands with the audience members. Someone stole his ring during this, and he gets on the mic and tells whoever did it to give his ring back.

WTF is wrong with these people?! Groupies groping and stealing ... Geesh. GET A GRIP!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Judges Finally Get Their Wish

The judges have been itching to get the opportunity to cut Kameron from So You Think You Can Dance, but America never gave them the opportunity, keeping him (or more likely, Lacey) safe until this week's Top 10. With Lacey and Kameron no longer dancing together and with each person having their own phone lines, Kameron lost his protection and was voted out tonight.

It was sad to see the kid be the show's whipping boy. I don't know that the judges ever truly complimented him until his final solo on this week's performance show. Even during his standout partner dances with Lacey, all the praise went to her, and Kameron was called a prop, or lead-footed. He wasn't the best or most compelling male dancer of the group, so I'm not surprised in the least, or really upset. He made the tour, and he'll (hopefully) get to dance that awesome contemporary with Lacey.

Kameron and fellow bottom 2 member Dominic danced solos in their own style before the announcement. Dominic did an AWESOME b-boy routine, spinning on his head and then accelerating. Holy. Wow. Check it out:




Also cut tonight was Jaimie, who has been steady but unspectacular all year. Her personality was pretty non-existent, other than somewhat ditzy, mostly because of how she talks. Unfortunately, that means Lauren remains, and if she doesn't get the boot next week after her displays of smug entitlement tonight, I really don't know what I'll do. What did she do this week? When Cat asked Mary who she would save in the bottom 4, Mary hemmed and hawwed, but Lauren raised her fucking hand. Ugh! Also, Lauren danced a solo to a Christian song wearing next to nothing while grinning like a fool and then making a beeline for the camera at the end and mugging for it. Um, ok. And then there was her display after her solo in the performance show. She was mugging for the camera with her voting number (which is fine), but then she raised Cat's hand to make her do it too. Cat looked like she wanted to hit her. Heh.

For the first time in like a month, Danny was out of the bottom group. His reaction was adorable. He shouted, did a karate kick and then realized what he was doing and then bowed to Cat. That wall is starting to come down. I love it!

Entertainment Weekly's Best Love Songs

I waded through 50 pages on Entertainment Weekly's website for their list of Best Love Songs. Of course, they go backwards, so if you want to see No. 1, you gotta go through the whole thing. Their choice? "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys.

I have but one thing to say about that: WORD.

OK two things, actually. This song might be one of the best songs of all-time, let alone the best love song of all-time. Paul McCartney called it the greatest song ever-written, and he and John Lennon have written some doozies.

God Only Knows:


Here's the complete list of the Top 50. I dunno about some of them. There's about 12 I have never heard of. I can't really argue too much with the Top 10, although I wouldn't exactly associate "Sweet Child O' Mine" with love songs, even if it is.

1. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
2. Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
3. Something - The Beatles
4. Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
5. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
6. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
7. Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
8. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
9. All I Want Is You - U2
10. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
11. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
12. Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash
13. When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge
14. At Last - Etta James
15. You Send Me - Sam Cooke
16. These Arms Of Mine - Otis Redding
17. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
18. Crazy In Love - Beyonce
19. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell
20. If Not For You - Bob Dylan
21. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
22. Your Song - Elton John
23. Purple Rain - Prince
24. As - Stevie Wonder
25. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
26. No Ordinary Love - Sade
27. More Than This - Roxy Music
28. The Look Of Love - Dusty Springfield
29. Cherish - The Association
30. You're Still The One - Shania Twain
31. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
32. Yellow - Coldplay
33. I Melt With You - Modern English
34. You're All I Need To Get By - Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige
35. Midnight Train To Georgia - Gladys Knight & The Pips
36. If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
37. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight - Bruce Springsteen
38. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
39. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
40. A Case Of You - Joni Mitchell
41. Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain and Tennille
42. Upside Down - Diana Ross
43. La La Means I Love You - The Delfonics
44. You Got Me - The Roots feat. Erykah Badu
45. I Want You Around - The Ramones
46. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - Talking Heads
47. This Will Be Our Year - The Zombies
48. Perfect Day - Lou Reed
49. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
50. Be Without You - Mary J. Blige

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beyonce Eats It

I just saw this video on the news of Beyonce taking a tumble down the stairs during a concert. Don't know how I missed it earlier!


Beyonce asked her fans not to put that video on the internet, but there's no way that was going to not get You Tubed. Sony BMG is trying to get some of these videos taken down for copyright infringment, but it keeps getting re-uploaded.

Gotta give her credit for getting up and moving on and for being able to laugh it off.

This totally reminds me of when Destiny's Child performed at some BET show and Michelle Williams ate it while they walked out to the stage. Kelly Rowland just looked at her and kept going. LMAO!

SYTYCD Shakes Things Up

Things got all shook up on So You Think You Can Dance for the Top 10 show. Not only did the voting change (elimination is strictly based on audience vote only from now on), but the partners got switched around, and even the format of the solo dances changed. Last year, each person performed their own solo; this year, they are all doing the same solo to a Wade Robson-choreographed routine.

So we "got" to hear John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" 10 times. As if Sanjaya "singing" it didn't make me hate it earlier in the year. I really dislike this new solo format. Only Danny was able to stand out in the pack. His technique is obviously exquisite, and he also seems to have the most musicality of the group. A couple others stood out in a more negative way - Pasha was like a fish out of water technically, and Sara was hitting her movements like a drill team dancer. I suppose this new format is to avoid punishing someone who isn't a strong choreographer, but it got boring after the third solo.

Partner-wise, Lauren and Pasha teamed up to do a Shane Sparks hip-hop. The judges likened it to Transformers moves. It was pretty cool. As much as it pains me to say, Lauren did well this week overall. But I still don't like her. And I don't think the costumers do either. Heh.

Sabra and Kameron did a Tyce D'Orio contemporary to "Amazing Grace". It was beautiful, especially from Sabra, who did gorgeous leaps. Poor Kameron got turned into whipping boy yet again. I do see where the judges are coming from when they said Kameron doesn't extend his movements all the way. But he was better than they gave him credit for.

Lacey and Danny got the samba, choreographed by Dmitry from last season, with assistance from Heidi, who the show never seems to like to recognize by name every time she's on the show (and this is the second time she has assisted a dance!). Lacey finally got a dance in her genre, and she sizzled! Someone in the audience (looked like her mom?) held up a "Lacey is the hot tamale" sign. Love it! Danny was smokin' too. His Latin technique obviously isn't as strong as hers, but I thought they both were great. And I thought Lacey's homage to Hok in her opening mini-solo was adorable.

Jaimie and Dominic crashed and burned with a Viennese Waltz to "Man of La Mancha". I put a lot of the blame on their choreographer for putting a Latin spin on an Viennese dance. Without that matador-like choreography, I don't think Dominic would have been as hammy. But ham or no ham, Dom's technique was lacking. He's so sweet, though, apologizing to Jaimie the whole time afterwards. Jaimie looked lovely, and I really liked her outfit - it made her look even more flowy.

Neil and Sara drew the dreaded disco with the dreaded choreographer, Dorianna Sanchez. This was probably one of her better routines, and Neil and Sara looked like they were having a blast and they also made the audience enjoy it. Neil hammed it as much as Dominic, but since it's disco, it's ok. Their last spin looked a little off-balance, and Sara almost had a wardrobe malfunction, but they covered well. Gotta ask, though, has Sara ever done a slow dance this year? Hmmm ... shenanigans?

I came in thinking Lauren was going to be targeted for elimination right away for sure, but after two strong performances, perhaps not. Could be Jaimie now. For the guys, it's a little harder. Dominic had the worst reviews, but that usually means safety. Could be Kameron or maybe even Pasha. Neil's fangirls will keep him safe for awhile.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mixed Reviews For Idols At LA Concert

The American Idol Season 6 Top 10 returned to Los Angeles on Monday evening for a tour date at the Staples Center. While some Idols gave several performances that made you wonder why they went out when they did, others were hit and miss with their numbers.

The true standouts of the night were Phil Stacey, LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle. No misfires from either of the three tonight. If there was an MVP award to be given, I'd give it to Phil Stacey, who really stole the show for me. His first-act solo of "Blaze of Glory" was just as good, if not better, than the two he did on the show. It's still ridiculous that he got kicked off after that performance. Phil really delivered in the opening act of the second half, belting a soulful rendition of "America the Beautiful", backed by four of the five women (who then segued into "America" by Prince. Hee!). Phil showed off impressive vocal chops and great range, and, for me, he has become one of the best male singers Idol has ever seen, if not THE best. It's such a shame that he came on strong way too late on the show because if not for that really bad start, who knows what would have happened. Everything Phil touched was gold tonight, including the guys' "Idol Band" set of "Crazy" and "Hey Jude", and a country duet ("It's Your Love") with Gina Glocksen.

The biggest show-stopper of the night was most definitely LaKisha's "I Will Always Love You", which got a huge standing ovation well before it was over. LaKisha's powerhouse pipes were truly flawless, and she hit those huge glory notes with such ease. They say no one should sing Whitney but Whitney ... right now, I think LaKisha can out-Whitney Whitney. She was that good. Kiki also added class to "Lady Marmalade" (where Gina nearly pierced my eardrums by shrieking into her too-loud microphone) and was just as impressive as Melinda on their Motown medley despite some early microphone troubles.

Speaking of Miss Doolittle, Melinda received one of the two standing ovations on the night (at least near my section) after her soulful "Natural Woman". Like she was on American Idol all season, Melinda's rich vocals were perfect on all of her songs, including her duet with Jordin Sparks on "This Will Be". Melinda also brought out her wild side, aka Chanel, channeling Tina Turner in a short silver dress while dueting with Sanjaya Malakar on "Proud Mary". There was only one issue I had with Melinda, and it was that there wasn't enough of her!

On the other hand, there was way too much of Chris Richardson, who seemed to appear in every other number. And I'm totally not kidding. It got to a point where he came out on stage and my friend and I looked at each other and said "He's coming out AGAIN?!" I think someone forgot to tell the tour director that he came in fifth, not first or even second. To his credit, he did well on most of his songs, with a high point being a duet with Blake Lewis on "Geek In The Pink". Chris and Blake's voices blend very well together, and they both work the stage very well. The two of them seemed most at ease on stage, which may explain Chris' ubiquity throughout the show. Chris also did a good job playing drums in the "Idol band".

Winner Jordin Sparks seemed a bit under-utilized relative to her finish on the show. In the opening number, "Let's Get It Started", Jordin appeared briefly at the top of the song (with Blake in tow carrying the ridiculous trail on her dress) and only re-appeared once in the first act on a duet with Chris Richardson ("What Hurts the Most") and then not again until the end of the second, when she introduced Melinda and then did a six-song set to close the show. Jordin was in fantastic voice on "I Who Have Nothing" and "A Broken Wing" in particular, hitting huge high notes, but one of the major disappointments of the night was her "You Were Meant For Me", during which she accompanied herself on guitar. While I'm sure it was lovely vocally, I could not get past the horrible guitar playing. I give her credit for going out there with an instrument and all that, but if you can't really play well, by all means, bring some help with you onstage. Jordin obviously hasn't gotten to that guitar lesson where you learn chord progression. Oof. It was painful to hear her strumming the same chords on certain parts of the song where that chord didn't belong. I didn't hear this problem on her acoustic duet with Chris Richardson, so I'm thinking maybe her guitar mic was set to low on that one.

Jordin was not the only one with problems. Blake struggled mightily with his vocals on "She Will Be Loved", sounding like he needed to take a big swig of water before veering out of tune. It got so bad at one point that Blake pulled away from the mic. He definitely recovered for his next song, a big beat-box interlude (accompanied by cool video cuts on the big screen, set to the beat-boxing), into an energetic "You Give Love A Bad Name", which I've really come to like (and that's saying a lot because let me tell you ... I hated it the first time I heard it on the show). Blake was the fan favorite, eliciting the biggest screams from the second he stepped onstage for his opening solo number, "Time of the Season".

Unlikely teen hearthrob Sanjaya was a bit of a surprise. I found myself realizing that I was rather fond of the kid. Not necessarily for all the right reasons, but he really is entertaining in one way or another. His dancing left little to be desired on both "Proud Mary" and "The Way You Make Me Feel" (he didn't quite get the Michael Jackson moves just right, but at least he didn't grab his crotch!), but, regardless, he gave it his all and really sold what he had. Sanjaya doesn't have the vocal chops to carry a concert, but darned if he didn't try on the boys' group number of "Hey Jude". All of a sudden, I heard someone wailing "Jude, Jude, Jude, Judy, Judy, Judy", and it was Sanjaya! Go figure!

Chris Sligh also stood out on "Hey Jude" and was impressive on guitar on "Life Is A Highway". His solo of "Typical" and his duet with Gina Glocksen to "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs", however, did not seem to go over too well with the audience despite standout vocals from Gina in particular (Chris' mic wasn't nearly loud enough ... should have switched with Gina on "Lady Marmalade"!). In fact, a good dozen or so people near my section picked Chris' solo to make a beeline for either the restrooms or the concession line.

Gina fared much better on her country duet with Phil, but her solo to Pink's "Who Knew" lost the pure emotion of the song as she moved back and forth to the wings to shake hands with the fans.

Haley Scarnato played to the crowd as well, bringing back her "I Got Rhythm" cutsie-pie moves during all of her songs, especially in her butt-shaking last group number of "Ain't No Other Man". The prancing was unmistakably Haley and very cruise-ship, amusement-park style. Her "When God Fearin' Women Get The Blues" solo was capable but not very strong vocally. She was better on "Life Is A Highway" with Sanjaya and Chris Richardson but not so much on "Lady Marmalade".

Overall, it was an entertaining show (especially when you consider the bargain I got on eBay! Thank you eBay gods!) and set up better than most of the Idol tours I have either seen or heard about. I do admit, though, that I kind of miss the cheesy medleys that made the season 2 tour fun.

Top 3 performances:
1. LaKisha - I Will Always Love You
2. Phil - America The Beautiful
3 tie. Phil - Blaze of Glory
3 tie. Melinda - Natural Woman

Could Have Done Without:
1. Gina/Haley/LaKisha/Melinda - Ain't No Other Man
2. Gina/Chris Sligh - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
3. Jordin - Livin' On A Prayer (First of all, it wasn't good on the show, so why sing it? Second of all, this one was an even worse arrangment ... it was like Bon Jovi on speed. Just, no!)

Random mentions:
*Phil/Sanjaya/Chris Sligh busted out some bad-audition worthy Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way" before plugging AI auditions
*During dead time before the show and during intermission, the video screens played Idol videos - Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia ... and no Kelly Clarkson. Can you say doghouse? BTW, for those counting, Chris Daughtry got the loudest cheers from the videos.
*Also during the dead time, in between videos, the audience sent text messages to be displayed on screen. There were a lot of anonymous "Marry Me Blake" texts put up there. Probably from tweeners. Hello? Can you say jailbait?! (not to mention how can he marry you if he doesn't even know who's asking?!)
*The first time Jordin made a dramatic face to the camera on "I Who Have Nothing", I nearly jumped back in fright because girlfriend looked ROUGH. Pan back, camera operators!
*The encore was a reprise of each person's solo. I missed it, but my friend said Chris Sligh nearly tripped while walking on stage. And some of the outfits for the encore? ... Yikes. They were all wearing white, except for Jordin, who had a great black dress on. Chris Richardson looked like a little sailor boy in his white shorts and white shirt. Sligh looked the milk man. Sanjaya had a white doo-rag. Phil looked like Mr. Clean. Haley had on a really short gold skirt under a longish white shirt, so she looked practically nekkid from the waist down.

Videos (sorry for the quality and length for some ... sitting too far back and being conservative with battery-life):

Melinda - Natural Woman


Jordin/Melinda - This Will Be


LaKisha - I Will Always Love You


Phil - Blaze of Glory