Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not Hella Good

In probably the most eye-rolling theme in American Idol history (Artists inspired by guest coach Gwen Stefani), the Top 10 sang some Police, Donna Summer, The Cure, Cyndi Lauper, The Pretenders and, get this, No Doubt. Gwen inspires herself? Yeah, okay.

The water cooler moment came from who else but Sanjaya Malakar, who sported a ponytail mohawk while singing No Doubt's "Bathwater". Unlike last week's wild performance, though, this one was as tepid as the bathwater, and he forgot the words. He got the right idea with the hair, but the performance was dull. Gwen was hilarious in the introduction video, chuckling after saying, "It's going to be difficult for him. It's a hard song, and he chose it ... so good luck for him tonight."

Also somewhat dull was Haley Scarnato, who sang a lovely but somewhat forgettable "True Colors". She rocked the short black dress and stilettos, though.

LaKisha Jones rocked some knee-high boots and showed some signs of life and personality while dancing along to "Last Dance". She also found a good hairstyle for her that made her look more her age. It wasn't her best vocal ever, but I was pleased to see her go up-tempo finally. Same goes for Melinda Doolittle, who sang "Heaven Knows" and worked the stage. Melinda's vocals are always superior, and she really showcased her big range. Her outfit looked a bit groovy, though, and not in a good way.

Two contestants had their best performances to date - Phil Stacey with "Every Breath You Take" and Gina Glocksen with "I'll Stand By You". Phil finally sang a complete song well. Too bad he looked like a wax figure with all the makeup. Gina was the best of the night and gave her best effort of the competition. You could hear the emotion in her voice. It was really great.

Simon Cowell pulled out the Chris Daughtry comparison on Blake Lewis, warning him not to become too self-indulgent and do his own thing too much. I thought it was interesting and maybe not coincidental that he invoked the Daughtry now since Blake did what Chris was so fond of doing - taking someone else's re-arrangement of a song. Chris did the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder and Live's version of Johnny Cash's "Walk The Line". Blake did 311's version of "Lovesong" by The Cure. But at least Blake didn't try to claim it as his own arrangement. I wish Blake would claim his own accent, though. The faux-Brit accent is pretentious on anyone (coughMadonnacough), and he does it on every British song he sings, which is basically every song except the Diana Ross song. Although if he was doing Kim Wilde's version of "You Keep Me Hanging On", maybe he did add the accent. I didn't listen closely enough.

Jordin Sparks lost some of her spark for me, choosing to sing "Hey Baby", a song you can't really SING. Its melodic structure doesn't work well for a singing competition. I thought it was kind of a mess, but I really liked the sass she brought to the performance.

The two Chrises - Chris Sligh and Chris Richardson - were on different ends of the spectrum tonight. Chris Sligh did "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" and could not find the beat, which is becoming par for the course for him. It was a mess, as Simon said. Chris Richardson surprised with a pretty good "Don't Speak". Simon wasn't that impressed, but Randy and Paula liked it, as did I.

So Sanjaya's mohawk is going to keep him in the competition at least another week, which would make Haley the next to go unless America comes to its senses and stops screwing with my show by voting for the weakest competitor. Enough already!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mambo Queen

Boxer Laila Ali shimmied her way into the top spot on this week's Dancing with the Stars. Doing a "raunchy" mambo, Laila showed confidence and sex appeal, and her hips surely did not lie. Joey Fatone and Apolo Anton Ohno stayed in the top group with their quicksteps. Both were very light on their feet and managed the difficult footwork well.

In the middle of the pack were Heather Mills, who let go of her British stuffiness and let loose on her mambo; Ian Ziering, who was good but not spectacular; Paulina Porizkova, who positively towers over her partner and had a better second-week showing; John Ratzenberger, who is kind of a combo of John O'Hurley and Jerry Springer (O'Hurley's acting skills, Jerry's charm, somewhere in the middle of the two in dance ability); and Miss USA (whatever her name is), whose partner is the most irritating professional the show has ever seen, and that includes Kareeeeeena. Miss USA's partner completely took over the dance and was more about showing himself off than her. Hiss! And, IMO, they weren't good enough to be considered to be in the middle group.

Bottom dwellers were Leeza Gibbons, who milked that 50th birthday and ill mother for all its worth; Billy Ray Cyrus, who was miles better than last week; and Clyde Drexler, whose routine I don't even remember.

One odd thing that happened during the show was Samantha Harris' interview with Laila and Maksim. Samantha spent most of the interview insulting Maksim, saying it was a good idea for him to get into shape (Hello, blind woman! He's got a hot bod!), saying that he was crying after lifting weight, and that he has an ego. Good gawd, woman! You don't insult the professionals! Her interviews are just total train-wrecks.

Someone gets tossed tomorrow. I'm predicting Miss USA, maybe Leeza. The wax figurine known as Dionne Warwick is going to be the guest singer. Apparently, she's going to do a salsa version of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and will also sing "I Say A Little Prayer" during a professional showcase. Hopefully the former happens in the first seven minutes while AI goes seven minutes over the top of the hour. I don't particularly want to see a salsa version of a Burt Bacharach song. Yikes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stephanie Not Irreplaceable

Beyonce-lite Stephanie Edwards became the second finalist voted off American Idol, most likely the result of being the most expendable of the four female R&B singers. Her performance of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" was shaky last night, and that, combined with an inexplicably entertaining Sanjaya Malakar performance that was aided by Crying Girl, made it pretty easy to predict Stephanie's demise.

What was more shocking to me was Chris Richardson falling into the bottom 2. Chris was great last night. I couldn't believe he hit the seal. I thought for sure it would be Phil, who was a big cheese-ball on his "Tobacco Road". It's far too early for producer manipulation, isn't it? But look for Chris to not hit the seal again for awhile.

Getting back to Sanjaya, I really think he bought himself at least a few weeks with that crazy, go-for-broke "You Really Got Me". It was the kind of performance that no one would have ever expected, which, as my friend Destiny said, made it one of the "greatest moments in AI history". For me, it conjured images of La Gata Loca, Zayra Alvarez, who ended up being one of the best entertainers to ever participate in a reality music show. Sanjaya has quite a ways to go before reaching her greatness as a performer, but the fact that he's even envoking comparisons shows he's at least making strides.

Here's Zayra's "You Really Got Me". I hated it when I first saw it, and I couldn't believe she was still on the show, but when she followed it up the week after with a gorgeous "Everybody Hurts", she truly won me over.

And here's Sanjaya's:

And for another comparison, here's Ryan Starr's from Season 1 of American Idol. Hers was called a train-wreck by Simon:

Whose was the most train-wrecky? Hard to say. They were all kind of train wrecks in different but entertaining ways. What do you say?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sparks Fly

The Diva Showdown on American Idol between Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones can no longer be considered a two-woman race after Jordin Sparks' performance this week. Singing "I (Who Have Nothing)", Jordin proved that she's not just an animated movie singer. She sang a mature, heavy song with such conviction that Simon Cowell felt depressed afterwards. In other words, she sang the hell out of that song.

But it's not as if Melinda lost any ground tonight. Singing "As Long As He Needs Me", Melinda delivered another flawless vocal and also sold her song, if not her Dr. Bailey hairstyle. I'm a little on the fence with LaKisha. There's no denying she can sing, but I just haven't warmed up to her yet. She seems very closed off and shows little personality. But she has a terrific voice, which she showed with "Diamonds Are Forever", although her tempo was a little off.

Speaking of off-tempo ... Blake Lewis was way off on "Time Of The Season", but his modernizing (without bastardizing) of the song with some beat-boxing in the instrumental parts, was impressive, as were his vocals when he wasn't trying to hit the high notes in the chorus. Stephanie Edwards was off-tempo and off-key and warbly on "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" that didn't come close to reaching the greatness that Nadia Turner had on this song in season 4.

Phil Stacey channeled season 4's Bo Bice with the microphone toting on "Tobacco Road", but, unlike Bo, Phil has absolutely no grit in his voice, and his stage movements are so hammy that when you put it all together, it's exactly as Simon said: "a third-division bar band performance".

I expected Sanjaya Malakar's "You Really Got Me" to be like a third-division karaoke bar performance, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. He still performs and sings like he's on a high school talent show, but at least this time he showed signs of life. At least now the train wreck is becoming entertaining. He's AI's version of Zayra Alvarez!

Haley Scarnato was also entertaining ... the boys with that skimpy outfit. Short shorts, heels and a backless halter top with no frontal support. She's a very pretty girl, and I can't blame her for using sex appeal to get votes. She needs all the help she can get because she can't hold a candle to the other girls vocally. Not that she's a bad singer. She's not by any means. She sounded incredible during parts of "Missing You" last week. This week's choice, "Tell Her" was a good choice for her, and she performed pretty well.

Gina Glocksen was supposed to bring the drama on "Paint It Black", but she fell short. Shoot, after Ryan Star did this song in full eye makeup and Mohawk hoodie, anything less will fall short in the dramatics. Gina didn't help her case with shaky vocals and off-tempo singing, not to mention her reaction to getting criticized.

Paula Abdul and I shared a brain momentarily when she told Chris Sligh that he needs to work more on connecting with the audience. Chris trekked through the audience in the opening of his "She's Not There", and he looked like he could barely be bothered with those people. You could just tell as he was wading through obligatorily high-fiving people who stuck their hands out that he didn't give a shit about them. His eyes were fixated on the camera and trying to pander for votes from the audience at home. And must he always talk during the judges' comments? He always has to have the last word. And don't get me started on the Soul Patrol mocking.

I've said before that Chris Richardson is someone I feel like I shouldn't like and that he's a smoke-and-mirrors guy and a Justin Timberlake wanna-be, but he keeps giving strong performances that I can't help but like him. He sang "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" straight (for once), and he sounded great.

Bottom 3 predictions: Stephanie, Phil and Gina
Going home: Phil. But if they are trying to keep the tour gender-balanced, then bye-bye Stephanie.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Let's Dance

A new season of Dancing with the Stars has (already) begun, and this may be the most wide-open season yet. Unlike the last two seasons, there isn't a Mario Lopez, Drew Lachey or Stacy Kiebler who looked like semi-pros right from the start.

The closest thing to a ringer is Joey Fatone, who has dance experience from his N'Sync days and from some Broadway shows. Joey, unsurprisingly, was the leader after the first day with straight eights. He and his partner Kym Johnson gave a crowd-pleasing and charismatic disco/cha cha cha performance that made him the front-runner.

But not by a lot. Boxer Laila Ali turned in a surprisingly graceful and sexy foxtrot with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and proved to be the best female dancer after the first show. Can't wait to see what she does in the Latin dances.

Also at the top of the pack was Ian Ziering (aka Steve Sanders from 90210). Ian already has an edge just by being paired with two-time defending champion Cheryl Burke, but he proved his own worth with an entertaining cha cha cha that started off stiff but ended up quite good for the first week. One thing that was really annoying, though, was that the judges kept saying how lucky Cheryl was for having another good partner. While that is true, it also discredits Cheryl as a coach, partner and choreographer. And she seems to be one of the best, if not the best, on the show at that.

Another favorite of mine tonight was, shockingly, John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers), dancing with Edyta Sliwinska. Cliff was supposed to be the old guy along the lines of Jerry Springer and George Hamilton, and even with just two weeks of training (he came in as a late sub after one of the Sopranos guys quit because it was too grueling), he did a decent job and really put his all into his dance. He really sold it performance-wise, if not technique-wise.

Olympic speed-skater Apolo Anton Ono also sold his performance, and the judges proclaimed him to be one with the most potential. With more practice time, I can see him making an impact. His 18 year-old partner Julianne, though, kind of skeeved me out with the whole 'I was star-struck. He's an Olympic gold medalist. Everything I could want ... in a partner' bit. But she wasn't nearly as skeevy as Apolo's super-fan, who proclaimed her jealousy of Julianne: "I'd do ANYTHING to be in Apolo's arms."

All the hype this season has been about Heather Mills and her artificial leg. I was pleased to see that the judges did not favor her or award her points for degree of difficulty. I'm sure she wouldn't have it any other way. Her dancing was criticized, ironically, for her upper body and arms, not her leg. She carried herself well, but that dress was fugly. I worry about her in the fast dances, but I think if her leg does fall off during a dance, she'll get so many audience votes that it won't matter. lol

The judges seemed to like Clyde Drexler, or at least seemed unwilling to tell him bad things to his face. Dude, I'd be more worried about telling Laila Ali bad things than him! They kept referring to his charm and all that, but I just didn't get it at all. Clyde the Glide was dancing like he was still trying to be cool while on this cheesy show. There were times where Emmitt Smith looked like he was at the club dancing, but he at least put some ballroom principles into it. Clyde? Not so much.

Paulina Porizkova looked better after seeing the other female competitors. At the time, I thought she looked very stiff and needed more flexibility, but she was as flexible as a rhythmic gymnast compared to Leeza Gibbons, who came out with second-rate choreographer Tony Davolani looking like she was in a grade school dance recital. I don't know who was worse - Leeza or Billy Ray Cyrus. Uhh ... actually, I'll break the tie and give it to Billy Ray for not only shamelessly plugging his CD but for dancing to his own song and for failing to pull off Karina's fake mullet in what was supposed to be a dramatic ending. Billy Ray is most definitely the Tucker Carlson/Master P of this year. You would think that musicians would be decent dancers because of their musicality and rhythm, but I guess Mr. Achy Breaky isn't really a musician. Heh.

Most likely to leave tomorrow is former Miss USA Shandi Finnessey (who?). Her dancing wasn't horrible, but it probably would have been better for her if she was horrible because there's nothing worse than being passable but dull on this show, which is what she was. If you're not going to be good on this show, you have to really train-wreck it in order to stay. Just ask Master P.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Amazing One-Liners

Oswald and Danny, aka Team Cha Cha Cha, aka the team that has to win because they are the best team ever!, continue to bring the funny to The Amazing Race.

Oswald, especially, is the king of the one-liners, and he delivers them with such perfect comedic timing. When Oswald and Danny arrived at the pit stop in today's episode covered in soot from a coal-related detour, Oswald ran up to Phil and yelled that he was going to hug Phil, who immediately ran away, with Ozzie and Danny chasing him around the yard. HA!!!!!! Best pit stop moment ever!

These two guys really need to have their own show. They are awesome.

Some examples of the brilliant Cha wit, just from this week's episode:

(Oswald, while coaxing a rat in a road block task): "I'll set you free after and take you to a nice lab ... where they'll apply make-up to you."

(after finishing the coal detour)
Danny: "Do I look like Rambo?"
Oswald: "You look like a f ... faggy raccoon"

And then there's the infamous Hong Kong to Sydney leg in their original season, during which they Zen'd their way through the leg, taking the time to go shopping and sip Frappuccinos all while coming in first on that leg.

They really deserve to win this thing, and they've been playing so well so far, with a first place finish last week, two seconds, a fourth and a fifth. With Rob and Amber now gone, there is no dominant team left in the race. The Chas look to be the favorites now. I hope they can pull it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Back To The Background

Backup singer Brandon Rogers is headed back to the background after being the first finalist to be eliminated from American Idol. Brandon sealed his fate after forgetting the words to "You Can't Hurry Love", not to mention croaking mightily on one of his notes.

There were high expectations for Brandon after his stellar first audition, but he never lived up, failing to step into the limelight, so to speak, with his solo performances. He wasn't the worst this week (that honor most definitely goes to the way-over-his-head Sanjaya Malakar), but he had been coasting on his first audition about as much as Sundance Head had. If Brandon hadn't gone this week, he probably would have gone next.

In a bit of a surprise, Sanjaya joined Brandon in the bottom two. There is hope yet. Phil Stacey was the other Bottom 3 member but was first to be sent back to the couches. I personally would have put Chris Sligh in the bottom 3, but he's quite popular. Blegh. Glad to see Stephanie Edwards and Haley Scarnato safe. I was a little bit worried about them after seeing Dial Idol results (they've been quite a bit inaccurate this year, I must say!).

The group numbers seem to be back for good. Hooray! Nothing like the cheesy medleys! LaKisha Jones sounded damn good in it, as did Stephanie. Haley and Gina Glocksen were a bit out of tune.

Guest mentor Diana Ross performed also, and her DIVA grand entrance was one of the big reasons why poor Brandon didn't even get a note out on his sing-off before the half-hour ended. That and Ryan Seacrest's horrible interview skills in which he just made statements instead of asking questions, which forced her to basically parrot him.

Ryan: And the tour is coming up soon ...
Diana Ross: Coming up soon.
Ryan: For tour dates we can go to your website?
Diana Ross: Go to my website
Ryan: DianaRoss.com
Diana Ross: That's right.

Or maybe Ryan's a genius because he knew Diana Ross was on Paula's meds today and wouldn't be able to string a coherent sentence ...

Anyway, as good of advice as she gave the contestants, she really should have listened to her own advice because she sounded baaaaaaad. She could have "pronunciated" better. Snort. She was flailing out of tune quite a few times. And she wanted people to sing along to that cheesy lounge song ("I Love You More Today Than Yesterday"), as if more than 20 people in the audience knew the song.

So time ran out on Brandon in more ways than one, and hopefully they'll put the sing-out on the AI website. And hopefully he remembered the words this time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fuhgettabout it!

The opening track on Diana Ross' latest album I Love You is called "Remember". When mentoring the American Idol contestants this week, she should have played that song for them because at least two, maybe three, performers forgot the lyrics to their songs, and two others tried to erase the original melody of their Diana Ross songs to the distate of the judges.

The deer-in-headlights lyrics blanks came from Brandon Rogers to open the show and Haley Scarnato in the middle of the show. Brandon's flub was inexcusable, as it was on the very well-known "You Can't Hurry Love", and Brandon is supposedly a professional backup singer. Even before the lyric mishap, Brandon was giving a very mediocre backup type of performance, so there wasn't much good about it. I mean, Carmen Rasmusen outperformed him on this song! Haley forgot the words on "Missing You", a little more of an obscure choice from the early 80's, but she at least provided a few bright moments with beautiful vocals. Randy Jackson seemed to imply that Stephanie Edwards forgot lyrics as well, but I don't think she did. She just didn't sing the parts they wanted to hear on "Love Hangover". What she did sing sounded good, though.

Chris Sligh and Blake Lewis decided to "modernize" their songs and proceeded to erase some of the melodies. Or all of the melody in Chris Sligh's case. Chris fused "Endless Love" with Coldplay's "Clocks" in his own arrangement. I hope Coldplay takes issue with that because that was as blatant as Vanilla Ice ripping off "Under Pressure". And it was bloody awful. I hated it. Chris made the song even more cheesy than it originally is. Blake took on the "You Keep Me Hangin' On" Idol Top 12 curse. While he won't see the same fate as Vanessa Olivarez and Leah LaBelle, Blake won't win any new fans with it. And it's not as if an electronic version of the song is such a new thing ... Kim Wilde did a popular electronic version in the 80's.

Per usual, the high points came from Melinda Doolittle, who reduced Paula to a blubbering mess with "Home"; LaKisha Jones, who used vocal nuances to knock "God Bless The Child" out of the park; and teen queen Jordin Sparks, who sang "If We Hold On Together" from the animated movie The Land Before Time as if she were singing a song from an animated movie. Which is to say, appropriately cute and with some angelic notes.

Gina Glocksen did well with "Love Child". Chris Richardson performed well but sounded not very good on "The Boss". Sanjaya Malikar sang the way overdone "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and channeled Corbin Bleu from High School Musical with even curlier locks and a weak voice but lacked a smidgeon of the energy that you would see on that goofy Disney movie. Phil Stacey had better vocals this week than last (like that would be hard!) and finished strong on "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me".

Since Sanjaya can't seem to get kicked off no matter how bad he sings, I think Brandon's weekly foray into disappointing everyone is finally going to catch up with him, and he'll be the first one bounced. Haley also has a good chance to leave thanks to Simon's reverse psychology, but hopefully her tears will save her.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Top 12 Surprises

There were a few surprises in the announcement of the American Idol 6 Top 12 last night, some good, some bad. To no one's surprise, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Chris Sligh and Chris Richardson made it in. With American Idol being what it is (unpredictable), everyone else was on tenuous ground, and Jordin Sparks, Stephanie Edwards, Gina Glocksen, Phil Stacey and Brandon Rogers survived. Jared Cotter predictably went, but the other three boots were a bit shocking.

The first of the surprise dismissals was Antonella Barba. Not that it wasn't deserving; she was by far the worst female singer left and probably should not have even made it to the Top 24, but she's a pretty girl and was easily the most talked about contestant in the semifinals due to explicit photos that were leaked by her "friends". With certain websites backing her as a bad contestant, I thought she'd breeze to the semifinals, but she was mercifully let go. The last female slot came down to Haley Scarnato and Sabrina Sloan, and this is where things got wonky, with Sabrina getting the boot. Haley has a pleasant voice, but she sings like a Disney character. Sabrina is a talented singer and totally should have been in the Top 12, but she most likely got lost in a crowd of R&B singers. It's easy to get lost with the likes of powerhouses Melinda and LaKisha.

No matter who was booted amongst the last two guys - Sanjaya Malakar and Sundance Head - it would be a surprise. They were both in the same boat as Antonella, being backed by a certain website that I refuse to name. The fact that one of the two got to stay was a bit distressing to me, but better one than none, right? Before Brandon and Phil got through, I figured both Sanjaya and Sundance would stay to torment me another week. In a bit of a surprise, Sundance got the boot, not being able to coast off his one good performance any longer. Sanjaya's pity votes edged him out, and now we have another John Stevens/Kevin Covais. Yipee?

I think next week's theme is Diana Ross songs. Maybe it's a good thing Sundance is gone. Because seriously, can you imagine?! I think the guys are going to have some trouble with this one, especially Blake and both Chrises. Will Blake beat box "Upside Down"? And which idiot is going to sing "You Keep Me Hanging On" (aka the song that will guarantee you a trip home if you sing it on Top 12 night)? I vote for Sanjaya or Haley to sing it. Come on, you know you want to!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Eight Is Way More Than Enough

The "Top" 8 men on American Idol performed in the last semifinal round Tuesday night for a shot at the final Top 12. And if we're lucky, all of Ryan Seacrest's questioning of the judges about how many guys should be in the Top 12 will prove to be foreshadowing, and 3-4 of them get dumped on Thursday. I seriously think this is going to happen, and then it'll be bye-bye Phil, Brandon and hopefully Sanjaya and/or Sundance.

From "best" (and I say that so grudgingly) to worst:

Brandon Rogers - finally showed some signs of life with "I Just Want To Celebrate" but chose too obscure of a song and had Simon call him Travis. If Simon can't remember him, why should the majority of the voters?

Chris Richardson - out of tune on "Tonight I Wanna Cry" on quite a few occasions but surprisingly didn't sound so bad the rest of the time. The country twang suits his voice.

Chris Sligh - good vocal, blah performance of "We All Want To Be Loved". And I can totally see right through him. He's such a phony. Everything he does is so calculated.

Jared Cotter - still hot, has a good voice, but picked the wrong song ("If You Really Love Me") again. As Simon said, it was unoriginal and will get lost in the mix.

Blake Lewis - Huh. I originally forgot him when I posted this. It made that much of an impression. Anyway, I'm not a fan of the beat-boxing, rapping, reggae thing, so I didn't like this performance at all. But credit him for originality, I guess.

Sundance Head - Did someone drug Eddie Vedder? I can't believe he allowed "Jeremy" to be sung on American Idol. I just cannot take Sundance seriously as a grunge rocker after seeing his blubbery tears last week. And he's not that good at singing heavy rock anyway. His tone isn't quite right for the song.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Waiting on the World to Change" as sung by Shyamali Malakar at a high school talent show. Oh wait, that's Sanjaya? Huh. Could've fooled me. And color me surprised (or not) that he knows how to hula.

Phil Stacey - Probably one of the worst performances we've ever seen at this level. First of all, he decided to sing LeAnn Rimes' "I Need You". Second of all, he cannot for the life of him sing low notes, yet he keeps insisting on picking songs that start low. The only good thing I have to say about it is that at least he didn't sing "I need you like murder, like breath, like rain" as Trenyce did in Season 2.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bono Is The One

This weekend, I happened to catch Bono's acceptance speech at the NAACP Image Awards (he won the Chairman's Award). At the end of the speech, he just basically takes it to church. Here's the video of it and an excerpt from the end:

"And to those in the church who still sit in judgment on the AIDS emergency, let me climb into the pulpit for just one moment. Because whatever thoughts we have about God, who He is, or even if God exists, most will agree that God has a special place for the poor. The poor are where God lives. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is where the opportunity is lost and lives are shattered. God is with the mother who has infected her child with a virus that will take both their lives. God is under the rubble in the cries we hear during wartime. God, my friends, is with the poor. And God is with us if we are with them. This is not a burden; this is an adventure. Don’t let anyone tell you it cannot be done. We can be the generation that ends extreme poverty." - Bono

The crowd went absolutely nuts during that part. It's truly something to see.

Here's a link to the ONE Campaign: http://www.one.org/, where you can find out more information on how to fight poverty and AIDS. You can also sign your name to the declaration. They don't ask for a phone number or address, just your name, zip and email address.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tracks Of My Tears

Either this group has gotten really close, or they're all emotionally unstable (I vote for the latter). Tonight's American Idol elimination show featured the most crying I've seen on this show since Paula Abdul turned on the waterworks at Constantine Maroulis' elimination in Season 4.

The one most deserving of the tears was cute little AJ Tabaldo, who unjustly got eliminated instead of meek little Sanjaya Malakar. AJ was a class act the whole way and sang his butt off. He did not deserve to go. Not by a mile. He was one of the best singers in the competition.

Leslie Hunt was also eliminated, and that was unjust as well. Not that she sang all that great, but as long as Antonella Barba is still in the competition, another singer is getting completely hosed. But you couldn't cry too long for Leslie, because she provided one of the best send-offs ever by adding these lyrics to the end of "Feelin' Good": "Why did I decide to scat? America don't care for jazz!" HA! Sigh. I shall miss that kooky girl.

Nick Pedro and Alaina Alexander made expected exits. Nick was classy, going over to shake the hands of all of his fellow contestants, and he sang better than he did the other night. Alaina barely bothered to sing. She was an emotional mess and sounded like a big hot mess when she tried to sing through her tears, so she stopped and made the others come over to hug her while the band and backup singers kept going. It was quite uncomfortable to watch this whole thing.

In between all the tears, Kellie Pickler stopped by to do her dumb hick schtick. Oh, and sing a new song that she co-wrote. I actually kind of like the song, but her delivery was beyond dreary. And can we talk about her appearance for a second? First of all, she looks like Tammy Wynette in the 60's. Second of all, she looks like she's almost 60. And she's only bought shoes? I guess, if "shoes" is new slang for "implants".

Oh - and after tonight, if anyone ever sings "Feelin' Good" again, they're stupid and deserve to get booted.