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

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Judges Turn Blind Eye Again

It was right there for the taking - Neil and Lauren in the bottom 3 for the second time, along with Danny, Hok, Jaimie and Anya. And still the judges unanimously voted out Hok, despite a thrilling solo, and, in a split decision, voted out Anya, despite a much improved solo and solid performances all year (despite the lack of audience votes).

With Hok, Nigel pointed to his last two partner dances and how he has struggled with that. And although Hok is a very original solo dancer, they were looking for more diversity. Yet, with Anya, she struggles with the solos, and in the end this is a solo competition. WTF?! The judges are so maddening with their inconsistencies. Grrr!

I didn't find any of the girls' solos to be all that great. Actually, Hok was the only one to totally wow me. Danny showed off his musicality but not much dancing until his spins at the end. Neil just did more tricks again, and it wasn't that entertaining anyway. I actually enjoyed Anya's solo more than Jaimie's and Lauren's. Nigel said Jaimie's looked desperate, and if hers did, so did Lauren's. Both seemed like just a lot of running around and flailing to me.

So what I would like to know is ... WHY (besides Lauren's crotch shot publicity picture) are the judges so enamored with Lauren and Neil?! What the bloody hell have they done to warrant their stay on the show at the expense of better and more charismastic and likeable dancers Hok (they cut the wrong "Asian" tonight), Anya and JESUS (sob!!!!) Nigel made a point of saying to Lauren in Vegas that he was concerned about showing favoritism with her. Newsflash, Nigel. You've been doing it all year!

After this last cut, the Top 10 is: Danny, Dominic, Jaimie, Kameron, Lacey, Lauren, Neil, Pasha, Sabra and Sara. Now the voting is out of the judges' hands (thank god!)Guaranteed to be cut first is Lauren and probably Kameron.

Emmy Nominees Include Dick In A Box

With all the hype about The Sopranos receiving 15 Emmy nominations this morning, one of the all-time best nominations has been slightly overlooked. "Dick in a Box" from Saturday Night Live (Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg) was nominated for Best Original Music and Lyrics. AWESOME!!!! Let's hope they have all the Original Song nominations performed on the Emmy Awards broadcast. Heh!

Here's the video again, in case you were living on another planet and missed this:

As far as the other nominations go, here are the nominees in the major categories:

Drama Series: "Boston Legal," ABC; "Grey's Anatomy," ABC; "Heroes," NBC; "House," Fox; "The Sopranos," HBO.

Comedy Series: "Entourage," HBO; "The Office," NBC; "30 Rock, NBC; "Two and a Half Men," CBS; "Ugly Betty," ABC.

Miniseries: "Broken Trail," AMC; "Prime Suspect: The Final Act (Masterpiece Theatre), PBS; "The Starter Wife," USA.

Made-for-TV Movie: "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," HBO; "Inside the Twin Towers," Discovery Channel; Longford," HBO; "The Ron Clark Story," TNT; "Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy," Lifetime.

Actor, Drama Series: James Spader, "Boston Legal," ABC; Hugh Laurie, "House," Fox; Denis Leary, "Rescue Me," FX; James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos," HBO; Kiefer Sutherland, "24," Fox.

Actress, Drama Series: Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters," ABC; Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT; Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC; Patricia Arquette, "Medium," NBC; Minnie Driver, "The Riches," FX; "Edie Falco, "The Sopranos," HBO.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: William Shatner, "Boston Legal," ABC; T.R. Knight, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC; Masi Oka, "Heroes," NBC; Michael Emerson, "Lost," ABC; Terry O'Quinn, "Lost," ABC; Michael Imperioli, "The Sopranos," HBO.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters," ABC; Katherine Heigl, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC; Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC; Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC; Aida Turturro, "The Sopranos," HBO; Lorraine Bracco, "The Sopranos," HBO.

Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub, "Monk," USA; Steve Carell, "The Office," NBC; Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," NBC; Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men," CBS.

Actress, Comedy Series: Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives," ABC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine," CBS; Tiny Fey, "30 Rock," NBC; America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty," ABC; Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds," Showtime.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Kevin Dillon, "Entourage," HBO; Jeremy Piven, "Entourage," HBO; Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother," CBS; Rainn Wilson, "The Office," CBS; Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men," CBS.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Jaime Pressly, "My Name Is Earl," NBC; Jenna Fischer, "The Office," NBC; Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men," CBS; Conchata Ferrell, "Two and a Half Men," CBS; Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty," ABC; Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds," Showtime.

Actor, Miniseries or a Movie: Robert Duvall, "Broken Trail," AMC; Tom Selleck, "Jesse Stone: Sea Change," CBS; Jim Broadbent, "Longford," HBO; "William H. Macy, "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King Umney's Last Case," TNT; Matthew Perry, "The Ron Clark Story," TNT.

Actress, Miniseries or a Movie: Queen Latifah, "Life Support," HBO; Helen Mirren, "Prime Suspect: The Final Act (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS; Mary-Louise Parker, "The Robber Bride," Oxygen; Debra Messing, "The Starter Wife," USA; Gena Rowlands, "What if God Were the Sun," Lifetime.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or a Movie: Thomas Haden Church, "Broken Trail," AMC; August Schellenberg, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," HBO; "Aidan Quinn, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," HBO; Edward Asner, "The Christmas Card," Hallmark; Joe Mantegna, "The Starter Wife," USA.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or a Movie: Greta Scacchi, "Broken Trail," AMC; Anna Paquin, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," HBO; Samantha Morton, "Longford," HBO; Judy Davis, "The Starter Wife," USA; Toni Collette, "Tsunami, The Aftermath," HBO.

Other notable nominees include two great routines from last season's So You Think You Can Dance in the Choreography category: Wade Robson's Ramalama (Bang Bang) group dance from the Top 10 and Mia Michaels' Calling You (aka the Travis/Heidi bench routine). I suspect we'll see them nominated next year as well for Hok/Jaimie's jazz routine (Wade) and for Lacey/Kameron's contemporary routine (Mia).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tough Cut Coming On SYTYCD

Tonight's episode of So You Think You Can Dance was the last one before the Top 10 is selected. Tomorrow, one guy and one girl will get the most bitter cut of them all, just missing out on a spot on the tour, and it's going to be a very difficult cut for the judges to make.

My rankings for the night:

1. Sara & Pasha - Jazz
This was a really entertaining routine, and I love how they used their suspenders throughout the dance. They both did really well, but I thought Sara, in particular, shined.

2. Dominic & Sabra - Jive
They are so fun to watch, especially Dominic. He has personality in spades. I see him as a darkhorse to win this whole thing. He has the Benji-like personality that really gets people to vote, and he even has the technique I never thought he would have had during the opening week of the show. Sabra exudes so much confidence while she dances too. The only thing she doesn't seem to have a grasp on is her earring. haha

3. Lauren & Neil - Contemporary
Oh come on now! I call shenanigans! Two weeks in a rown in or close to their own style (jazz and contemporary) with the two best choreographers on the show (Wade Robson and Mia Michaels)?! Could the producers be any more obvious with their attempts to keep Lauren & Neil out of the bottom three?! This was their best of the season BY A MILE, but seeing as how this is their style, they better be good at contemporary. They continue to have problems with synchronization, however.

4. Danny & Anya - Foxtrot
Hmm, take this with a grain of salt because I admit I don't know what the proper foxtrot technique is. It looked like Danny had slightly slouched/hunched over posture from time to time, and that looked wrong to me. Something about the costuming for him didn't seem right either. But, as usual, his leaps and spins were exquisite. And Anya was terrific, nailing both the look and the technique down pat.

5. Lacey & Kameron - Hip Hop
Poor Lacey and Kameron. Since the first week, they've always gotten the shaft with their routines. Dan Karaty hip hop? Yikes. Kiss of death! I can't recall one really good routine he has done. And this was more of a pop number than a hip hop number, I thought. But, at the same time, this is supposed to be Kameron's speciality, and he even had a drawn-out solo to give himself the opportunity to stand out, and he just didn't. I feel bad that he keeps getting knocked while the judges lavish praise on Lacey, but let's face it, she's the reason he's never been out of the bottom 3. And he better hope he stays out of the bottom 3 because the judges will cut him in a hot second if given the opportunity.

6. Jaimie & Hok - Broadway
This routine seemed more contemporary than Broadway, but the choreographers have been blurring the lines of dance styles a lot this year, especially with these two (Jazz & Waltz). I agree with what the judges said about not really getting the piece and the characterization.

This is going to be a hard one to predict tomorrow. I think the fangirls will continue to keep Neil/Lauren safe, and Lacey/Kameron fans have definitely been spurred on to action. I'm hoping Dominic/Sabra stay in the Top 3 because if it comes down to Dominic/Hok/anyone but Kameron, Dominic may be in danger. The producers won't want three hip-hop males on tour, although Kameron seems more contemporary than hip-hop to me. On the girls' side, I'd think Jaimie, Anya or Sara are in the most danger. If Anya is in the bottom 3 and has another lame solo, they might just cut her right then. Sara is more unique, so I think she'd likely be safe. Jaimie will probably be gone if Lauren and Sabra are both in the Top 3 for the same reasons why Hok and Dominic would be in danger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Umbrella Cover

Are you like me and hate Rihanna's "Umbrella" after hearing it overplayed to death? I turned on Star 98.7 the other day and heard a coffee-house acoustic cover of the song that made me actually like the darn song. Apparently, the DJs at Star heard about this version via YouTube, played it on air, and now it's in rotation. How awesome is that?! That NEVER happens (coughpayolacough).

The artist is Marie Digby (MySpace link). She has a beautiful voice. Check it out:

She also has other covers on YouTube. I particularly like her "You Give Me Something" and "One of Us" She also made Linkin Park's "What I've Done" into a really pretty song. She Tori Amos'd it. Nice!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dancers Reveal Secrets

This week's filler on So You Think You Can Dance involved the dancers telling us things we may not know about them. So we found out that Lacey used to be a hair model, that Danny has a sunglass fetish, that Anya used to be blonde, that Dominic has a crush on Cat Deeley (and thinks she's 7 feet tall with a French accent), and that Lauren is racist.

Ok, maybe she's not necessarily racist. She's just STUPID and ignorant. She somehow thinks that she's been looking Asian lately (um, no. Choppy dark hair does not automatically make you look Asian) and that a million people have been asking her if she's Asian, so she made up this Asian identity named Misha (oh yes, that's SO identifiably Asian). And, she says, laughing like a loon, she sometimes goes to auditions and changes her name from Lauren Gottlieb to Misha Chen.

WTF?! As if her usage of fucking Popo Zau for her dance of death last show didn't already make me want to throw up in my mouth at the site of her.

Despite her idiocy, average dancing and general annoying personality, Lauren and her equally average partner Neil have become the judges' favorites throughout the course of the show. They got the pimp spot tonight AND a Wade Robson routine. Which was probably my least favorite Wade Robson routine ever on this show. Wade needs to kill the zombie dance moves already. The judges slobbered over it, and I fear those two will live to see another week again. They should've been gone at least two weeks ago. But even if they land in the bottom 3, the judges don't seem to want to let them go. Grr.

I think the judges used reverse psychology on Cedric/Shauna, praising them for a slow and clompy mambo. Might as well, because negative feedback only keeps them in the game. I'm hoping they used reverse psychology on Lauren/Neil as well.

Best of the night for me were Dominic/Sabra, who really sold their Shane Sparks hip-hop (Shane loves him some Ne-Yo, huh?). Lacey/Kameron were a close second with their Hustle (damn, seriously, can they give Lacey any more challenging dances? I want to see her do Latin!).

Just O.K. for me were Danny/Anya (I expected a lot more from Danny in a contemporary piece, and I think Nigel's right ... Danny doesn't connect enough with the audience), Hok/Jaimie (kind of dull), and Pasha/Sara (I liked the routine, but I thought they looked more like dancers pretending to be Benji and Heidi. They didn't look all that comfortable). I do think Danny/Anya got totally screwed with the lighting, though. They got none till the end, and I think that affected how I saw the performance.

I'm not sure who's going to hit the seal tomorrow, but I'm hoping for Lauren and Cedric or Neil to be gone.

Dueling Lyric Shows

Somehow, someone isn't getting sued over this, but two VERY similar game shows debuted this week on different networks.

On Tuesday, NBC introduced "The Singing Bee", which is described as "a variety-competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs -- even when the band stops playing.". On Wednesday, Fox introduced "Don't Forget The Lyrics", which is described as a show in which "contestants will choose songs from different genres, decades and musical artists. Then they’ll take center stage to sing alongside the studio band as the lyrics are projected on screen – but suddenly the music will stop and the words will disappear. Will the contestants belt out the correct missing lyric, or freeze under pressure?"

Gee, wonder why that sounds familiar?!

I only saw brief moments of "The Singing Bee" - enough to see Deanna Johnston of Rock Star: INXS as one of the band singers! The band starts off the song and then stops, leaving the contestant to finish the lyric. "Don't Forget The Lyrics", on the other hand, has the contestant do karaoke with a band (for a LONGGGGGGGGGG time) and leaves four or five words blank for the contestant to finish. And when the contestant can't sing in tune, this is a horribly painful experience. The show dragged on and on with the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" format. And the first contestant didn't even finish over the span of one show!

I would own these shows, but I think I'll just stick to watching one - "The Singing Bee". "Don't Forget the Lyrics" is too excruciating.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh Brother!

Man, have they filled the Big Brother house with the most collectively unlikeable people in a long while. They're not as awful as the Fiendsheep were, but they're also not as entertaining, which makes this cast worse. There are some people who are HELLA irritating, like Jen, and I can't find a single person to root for. I guess the guy who's America's player is as close as it gets, but I can't even care enough to remember the guy's name. And I can't care enough to check out the live feed spoilers either, and I was addicted to those the last two summers.

Anyway, the last two episodes have done nothing but make Jen look like a tremendous tool. On Sunday's episode, she had a total meltdown upon seeing her official Big Brother picture, claiming she looked horrible, it was such a bad angle, and blah blah blah vain-cakes. Check out the video with the hilarious ironic violin-of-sadness soundtrack:

First of all, there's no way she wasn't trying to fish for compliments. Second of all, seriously ... get a grip, woman! Gawd!

Jen also made an ass of herself when she told Dick she didn't want him touching her during the reward challenge. Which, fine ... but have some tact. Then on Tuesday's episode, she blatantly told a lie to Carol, Carol's annoying-voiced ex-BFF, and trouble-maker Joe, saying that Nick tried to kiss her but she wouldn't let him. I'm quite sure it's a lie because the producers surely would have shown tape if it had happened. Nick was PISSED when Joe immediately ran to him to tell him what Jen said (even after Jen asked him not to say anything to Nick) and cursed up a storm while telling Jen off for lying about that. Basically, Jen was jealous that Nick was flirting with Skeletor Daniele instead of her.

And then there's the shirts. Jen's wardrobe basically consists of shirts that include her name in it. Like "I'm Jenuine" or "Jenius". Barf.

Dick also told Jen off later during the veto competition about the incident during the reward challenge and how rude she has been to him the whole week. And, speaking of rude, everyone who participated in the veto competition literally tore up the house trying to find a hidden vetoes. Jameka was pissed that someone went through her personal things and dumped out a bag of dirty clothes to look for the vetoes. Jameka, by the way, hid a veto in a bag of hers that contained hair, and someone actually found it. That's kinda gross too.

Anyway, Daniele won the veto and kept Amber (who may be the world's ugliest crier and who looks like she's miserable most of the time) and Carol (who's pretty much the most nonchalant nominee ever) up on the block. I think it'll be bye-bye Carol on Thursday.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Brother-land

The Big Brother 8 house has an Alice in Wonderland theme, but for at least six of the housemates, living there will certainly be no fairy tale. The big twist of the season is that some houseguests will be sharing the house with their worst enemy. There are tree pairs of enemies amongst the 14 houseguests (and really, producers, if you're going to do this, at least make it fair and pair all of them with their worst enemies!).

The enemies are an estranged father/daughter, who very creepily look like Tommy Lee and a cross between Anna Nicole Smith, Nicole Eggert and Pam Anderson; ex-boyfriends who pretty much have done evil things to each other post-breakup; and ex-BFFs whose split we really don't know yet. So far, all we know is that one owes the other five dollars. There has GOT to be something more to this story.

The other houseguests are in their 20s, except for Tommy Lee Jr. and the current HoH Kail, who makes me want to hurl everytime she opens her mouth. In the first episode alone, she said that half the town works for her, that if one of her children chose a gay lifestyle she would cry, and that she wouldn't give up her seat on the bus for a pregnant woman because no one ever did for her.

Kail is not the only already annoying person in the house. Over-the-top Joe, upon finding out that his ex Dustin may also in the house, quickly told his roommates that he knew Dustin cheated on him because he gave him gonorrhea (sweet jeebus, TMI!!). I also have Jessica (the one whose ex BFF owes her 5 bucks) on my short list, and the jury's still out on the rest.

Oh, and there's another twist. "America" has its own houseguest - Eric ... "America's Player". The viewers can vote on actions and tasks that Eric does. For every five tasks which Eric accomplishes, he will receive $10,000. I'm not quite sure yet what these "tasks" mean, but hopefully it means who to vote for, who to nominate and not stupid-ass stuff like what to chose for dinner. Knowing BB, it's probably more of the latter.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Royal Tribute

Prince William and Prince Harry honored their late mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 46th birthday today with a huge concert at Wembley Stadium. Headlining the 6.5 hour concert were Diana's friend Elton John and her favorite band Duran Duran. Also performing were Nelly Furtado, Fergie, Lily Allen, Joss Stone, Tom Jones, James Morrison, Kanye West, P. Diddy, Roger Hodgson from Supertramp, Bryan Ferry, Pharrell, Will Young, Take That, Rod Stewart and others.

The highlights (and you can check them out on Vh1's website:
*Duran Duran's 3-song set of "Sunrise", "Wild Boys" and "Rio"
*Joss Stone's "Under Pressure"
*Roger Hodgson mixing in some "Cupid's Chokehold" with Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" in a little reverse sampling
*Watching Prince William "dance" to Nelly Furtado's "Maneater". It was so bad and awkward that Prince Harry was shown laughing at him on camera.
*The Andrew Lloyd Weber performances, especially Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman singing "All I Ask Of You". Also performing were Andrea Bocelli singing "Music of the Night"; Donny Osmond, another famous Joseph and the winner of Any Dream Will Do, the Idol-like BBC reality show searching for the next star of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat singing "Any Dream Will Do"; Anastacia singing "Jesus Christ Superstar" and some woman who butchered the "Someone mutters and the streelight gutters" line of "Memory".
*P. Diddy bringing back "I'll Be Missing You", which he recorded back in 1997 (coincidentally, the same year Diana died) as a tribute to Notorious BIG
*Rod Stewart leading the whole stadium in a sing-along, complete with arm waving, to "Sailing"
*A newly reunited Take That singing "Back For Good"
*Elton John revving up the crowd six hours after kicking off the show, singing "Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting" and "Tiny Dancer". Apparently, the Princes requested he sing "Candle in the Wind", but Elton vowed he would never sing it again after Diana's funeral.

*Fergie's mic not working for about 3/4 of "Glamorous" (like that matters anyway since she lip synch's the chorus!)
*P. Diddy being interviewed backstage saying that he is royalty in his country. WOW. Hardly. Big ego much?

Despite the star-studded lineup, what you really took away from the concert is how special and extraordinary Princess Diana really was. Interspersed between acts were video pieces on the Princess and how she touched so many people's lives. She was more than a Princess; she was a humanitarian and philanthropist, and she was, most of all, a great mother to William and Harry. Diana changed the face of the royals with her accesibility and relatability with the public. She was the "People's Princess", and her impact still lives on today. You can see that influence on her children, who sat in the second level of Wembley and looked just like any young adult there, dancing, singing and waving their arms in the air.

All the proceeds from this event went to charities Diana and the Princes supported.