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Archive for March, 2009

Top Downloads turned out to encompass every Tunes list in the history of I Tunes. So… we got the music world on a string. What did our Idols come up with?

Anoop tackled Usher, and his ” Caught Up” was competent, but pitchy. He also lacked a certain swagger in the vocals. Simply too smooth for his own good. He is a masterful balladeer, for sure, but balladeers do not a career have anymore.

Megan, god bless her heart, tried to do Bob Marley’s ” Turn The Lights Down Low”. and failed. I really love Megan as a person, she looks like a blast. But that was horrible. Bob Marley verges on an untouchable artist ( not quite there). Very unhappy with that.

DWP came with Rascal Flatt’s ( I called the artist!!!!!). “What Hurts the Most” is a song about losing the love of your life. Yeah. Dead Wife PIMPER. And whatever the judges  are smoking needs to be banned of the planet. it may be good shit, but it’s causing them to lose their minds.

I felt gross after watching DWP sing, so I did a tequila shot in the thirty seconds Allison’s tape was rolling, and then stood stunned as she massacred ” Don’t Speak”. That was not pretty. I love her, but it really wasn’t that good. I hope the borderline positive  reviews the judges gave her singing will save her ass from the bottom. But after last week’s revelatory performance, such a let down.

Scott came out with a better haircut ( thank God), his piano, and some Billy Joel ( thank God). I knew he’d gravitate to Billy if he had the chance, and he would knock Billy out of the park. He sounded his best since the audition- confident, on key, and mellow. He knew this song backwards, and the piano was great.

Matt went with The Fray. I do not like the Fray. No. Matt needs to knock it out of the park, and he sounds off pitch immediately. On the electric piano this time, he got better vocally as the song continued, but  I’m disappointed. I really wanted him to take a real risk with Kings Of Leon or something bluesy soulful rocker style.

Lil had to go with Celine, didn’t she? Come on. That is the most ridiculous song choice ever. ” I Surrender”? It’s not even a decent Celine song “decent” and ” Celine” is an oxymoron). She has some pitchy moments. No, not feeling it. What the hell is wrong with Lil? She was awesome in her semi-final performance. This is getting to be a huge train wreck.

The judges crack pipes must have been in use during the commercial break.

Adam does Wild Cherry? He’s doing ” Play That Funky Music”? Are you KIDDING ME?????????? Adam, nonononono… I was just starting to like you. This is insane, dude. No. No. No.

But then the music starts. And it’s bass heavier, not so disco like, and a pretty interesting revision of a disco classic. He allows himself some shriely moments, but I kinda enjoyed it against my better, music cool judgement.  It’s at least new and interesting. Everyone else has been so safe.I guess I am coming around.

Did Kara just say Studio 57? Studio 54, you moron. 54.

Kris closes the night with ” Ain’t No Sunshine”. Perfect song choice for the folk dude.  He’s on piano, not breaking out the funky Bill Withers guitar licks. And I am really loving it. ” Ain’t No Sunshine” is one of my favorites songs of all time. He even does a bit of the funk on the break. Love it.

Top Three- Kris, Adam, and Scott.

Bottom three- Megan, Matt, and Danny, but I bet Danny’s safe and Anoop will be bottom three ( cursed at first).

Megan, I adore you, but it’s time to go home.

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After all, with B.C.’s status for weed capital on North America, it led to way too easy jokes by our host, funniest man alive Russell Peters.

Of course, Nickelback opening the show with a song about strippers having things in their mouths was also a silly plan, as ” Be Somebody” is a far superior song. This opinion from someone who dislikes the band a great deal.

Peters took advantage of the increased interest in Bollywood by having dancers with him at the beginning, but let’s face facts, Peters is not a Bollywood dude, he’s a hip hop head, and he brought that to the floor. He was hilarious tonight.  Be proud, he’s Brampton’s favorite son.

Winners of the evening:

Songwriter- Dallas Green ( City and Colour)

Group- Nickelback

Rap Album- Kardinal Officiall

New Artist- Lights

Canadian Music Hall Of Fame-  Loverboy

Fan Choice- Nickelback

Artist- Sam Roberts

Album- Dark Horse ( Nickelback)

As for the performances-

Sam Robert’s ” Them Kids” was awesome.

But the two best performances of the night were City and Colour featuring Gord Downie, doing an amazing version of C&C’s  ” Sleeping Sickness”, and Great Big Sea featuring Hawksley Workman doing an awesome cover of Zeppelin’s ” Gallows Pole”.

Considering the weakness of the past year in Canadian music, it was a pleasant evening.

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It’s so natural. He needed to go. He needed to be better and failed.

Go…to the end of the road…

Sorry, prom flashback. Never mind.

The now admittedly sweetened group sing was as awful as usual. Next!

The less said about the Ford thing the better.

Ruben looked like… well, Ruben, and he was sweating heavy as he sang his bland R&B song that I have forgotten the title of already. Yeah. Whatever.

The eliminations start:

Collin’s future husband- safe.

Matt- bottom three. Shocked gasps and booing ensue.

Kris- safe, although he was again convinced otherwise.

RigPig and Lil- come on, we knew it’d be RigPig.

Smokey joins quasi-soul girl Joss Stone for a bland song I have already forgotten. Jeez, Smokey, you’ve done classics, but this was forgettable. Gimme “Going To A Go Go”!

More eliminations.

My girl- safe as a snug bug.

Anoop- still here

DWP- still here to torture me another day. Damn it!

To Scott and Megan. Both were predicted to be in the bottom three bi DI, but the addition of Matt means that DI is off significantly ( it had Matt at fifth- a comfy fifth). Scott joins the stools of shame, but is promptly sent back to the couches, and Matt and RigPig sit there.

Fuck me!!!! STEVIE WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, ” My Cherie Amour” was way pitchy and odd sounding, but he’s STEVIE WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DON”T CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It spent hours as a kid in between Bach and Brahms trying to learn Stevie songs from my growing collection of Motown records. My Cherie Amour was the first I tried.

Whoot! ” Superstition” is one of the greatest songs ever! As long as the Joni ( see: Grammy threads) don’t touch it. Awesome.

” Overjoyed”, over done on Idol, in the hands of the master, and he giveth the smacketh down, everyone. That’s how you do it, lame asses!

” All About The Love Again” is a more obscure Stevie song, but he sounded awesome ( with a shout out to the current President as well).

So then we return to the bottom two, and fortunately, I never have to write the words RigPig again.  And Simon cuts him lose after he sings, mercifully. Bye, Sarver,  and give your kid a hug.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Idol Tewer Opener… Michael Sarver.

Bleeeech.

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Motown, bay-bee!

I am a huge Motown freak, so seeing Smokey and Barry- wow, dude, I adore Smokey to itty bitty pieces ( the Miracles were always my favorite Motown act). But it’s not about Smokey, except he’s the mentor this week, and he has done this before ( as a guest judge, but it’s similar).

Matt takes on Marvin Gaye’s  iconic ” Let’s Get It On”, which is opening a family show in family hour. It’s just Matty and the pianer to open, but the band kicks in and it is smooth and sexy fun, despite some pitch issues. Suh-weet, he’s growin’ on me.

Kris comes back with another Marvin classic, ” How Sweet It Is” ( which was my secondary song choice for him). I still find him bland as a performer, but the vocal was pretty good.

Scott’s version of ” You Can’t Hurry Love” started strong with just the piano and Scott, but quickly devolved into a mess once the band started. Shoulda gone with Stevie, dude.

Megan was an even bigger train wreck with Stevie’s ” For Once In My Life”. She is a surprisingly jazzy singer, a rarity in Idol land, despite the limited range she has she could be an interesting artist. The song sounded like something I heard on “Love Boat” as a kid.

I had to go dissolve a kid sitch during Anoop, but left my notebook with my eldest. Anoop did Smokey’s classic ” Ooh, Baby Baby”. Her notes- interesting, a little pitchy, but good vocal.

Mike took on ” Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”. It’s a personal fave, and his version was heinous. Less said the better.

Lil went with a different girl group than I thought she would and picked ” Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas. She looked like she belonged in the Vandellas witht he dress and the hair ( and I WANT those SHOES!) but she sounded rushed and breathless, which threw her vocals into pitchy territory,

When I saw Adam before the break, I just about choked. He took another Smokey classic, ” T0 The Tracks Of My Tears” and did it unplugged. I wonder if he has been reading my mind, because he did everything I have begged him to do. He didn’t do the over dramatic, theatrical crap he had been pulling. He sang the song, he sang it the way he needed to sing it, and it was amazing. That was the performance I wanted to see form him. The best performance so far this season by anyone.

Danny went with ” Get Ready”, and I want whatever the judges are smoking if they thought that was any good. I know I hate the guy, but if he sang better, I would admit it. He didn’t.

Allison matched Adam tonight on guts and talent with a blazing version of ” Papa Was a Rolling Stone”.  Rock girl turned on the soul as well and gave me what I love.

My faves of the night- Adam ( shocker, I know) and Allison ( still my fave).

Bottom three- Scott, Mike, and Danny, but Danny will probably be fine and Megan will join the boys in the bottom.

Plus I get Smokey and Stevie tomorrow night? FUCKIN’ EH!

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Happy Birthday Wishes

jimhotHappy birthday to Jim Parsons, who is 36 today. He still is the best thing on the TeeVee machine at this moment.

You heard me.

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I remember being handed Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future novel A Handmaid’s Tale in high school English and promptly trying to figure out a way to get out of reading it, seeing as Atwood’s novels are dreary ( her essays are anything but). So I tracked down a tape of the film at the local video store and watched. It was dark, dreary, dystopian, like Atwood, but there was this young actress, luminescent even in the red burqua they made the handmaids wear.

That was Natasha Richardson.

By all accounts, she was like that in life- boisterous, warm. with a throaty laugh and an energy that consumed the space she inhabited. She convinced confirmed bachelor Liam Neeson to marry, and their nearly fifteen year marriage was one of the most sane, normal, human relationships in Hollywood history. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different- he, a working class lad from Ireland who fell into acting after a career as a boxer and a fork lift operator for Guinness ( that, my friends, is very Irish).  She was the member of a famous theatrical family whose legend predates modern acting, even film.  Her mother was an Oscar winning actress and activist. Her father was an Oscar winning film maker and well known rogue. Her uncle, her aunt, her sister- they all act. It’s the family trade. And she was wonderful at it.

It doesn’t take much for Natasha Richardson to worm her way into your heart by acting- the performance she gave as Patty Hearst is the stuff of legend. But her best performances never happened on screen. There was the electric 1993 production of Anna Christie, in which she and Neeson devastatingly portrayed lust while falling in love behind the scenes. Her now legendary turn as the luminous Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ reconfigured Cabaret, for which she was awarded a Tony award. Her most famous film role was that as Lindsay Lohan’s mom in the remake of  The Parent Trap, where she was amusing and charming and warm. It was my daughter’s favorite movie for years.

As a fan of film and theater, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ms. Richardson yesterday. She passed away in New York, after being transferred from Montreal, suffering head trauma after a fallon a ski hill. She was only 45 years old.  My heart goes out to Mr. Neeson, their two sons, Micheal and Daniel, her mother, sister Joely, and the extended family and friends of this astonishingly beautiful, gifted woman.

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And not just a single season pickup. CBS and Warner brothers announced officially what we fans already knew- our favorite physicists will be around for two more years.

Sadly, Charlie and Alan will be around for three more, on an unfunny, aging sitcom.

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31 million votes? Wowza.

Reviewing back, Matt and Anoop were still the best, and Danny sucked. That was heinous and I don’t care what anyone says. Who the hell votes for him ( Dial Idol has him at number one).

They launch into ” Trouble” as the group number and it’s awful the way those group sings are awful ( some awesome piano from Scott, though).

The Ford music video sucks like usual.

Okay, now for the real reason we are here:

Dead wife Pimper- safe

Soul diva- safe

Anoop Doggy Dogg- safe

Rocker chick and Rig Pig-  both in the bottom three ( so which of the Dial Idols is wrong- Megan or Alexis?)

A great little performance from Brad “I’d do him in a second” Paisley  ( well, I would).

Scott, Megan, Kris, Matt- all safe.

Adam and Alexis- Adam is safe, Alexis- damn it.

Ryan then turns around and sends Allison back to safety ( thank God!).

Carrie Underwood comes back again to sing her duet with Randy Travis. It’s lovely.

Simon admits that they would consider saving one of the two remaining ( bet it’s Alexis).

And the one safe is- Michael. Alexis was voted to go home.

Will the judges save her?

She launches into ” Jolene” again, her life depending on it.  Still some pitch issues, her voice cracking with emotion. She’s determined, I admit. Better than last night, full of anguish.

And the judges say- no.

Whoa.

Good news is- TV Guide’s piece yesterday proved wrong.

Next week is Motown ( oooooh… love me some Motown). The show airs Wednesday and Thursday due to the Presidential address.

Till next week, y’all.

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Randy Travis as a mentor? Actually, I think that’s cool- old style country cool. ( I admit to being a sucker for ” Forever and Ever Amen”.) Idol country weeks are generally a mixed bag, where favorites get eviscerated and others surprisingly shine.

This year- no different.

BTW, still hate that opening judges walk thing. Talk about indulgent, Simon.

Michael Sarver sings Garth the Great’s ” Ain’t Going Down Till The Sun Comes Up”, an ambitious choice, since it’s quick paced vocal lines can bring down some of the greatest singers. In fact, the only version of this song I like is the original. That has not changed one iota. It was competent, pitchy, and he fell behind the melody more than once.

It looks like the only judge that would be hired back this week will be Simon, but not yet. I think he was being unfair to the song itself.

My personal fave Allison came out and sang Patti Griffin’s legendary ” Blame It On Your Heart”.  She got breathy ( it’s another quick song with machine gun lyrics), she dropped a few notes in the process, but overall, for sixteen, mucho impressed.  Simon, though, called her ” precocious”, so he can bite me.

Kris Allen singing Garth’s ” To Make You Feel My Love” was dreary and bland, so I have no idea what the judges are talking about.

Lil Rounds tackled Martina McBride’s soaring ” Independence Day”, but she should have gone with Martina’s  gospel infused ” A Broken Wing”. The songs are similar in theme and style, but the chorus of the latter struck me as a better fit. But she didn’t read my mind, and ended up disappointing. She didn’t hit the notes I wanted her to hit, and the verse was pretty pitchy.

Adam has talent, but he’s making choices that makes it really hard for me to like him. Johnny Cash is up there with Dylan as an artist you don’t touch in my books ( unless you are Joaquin Phoenix pre-breakdown/Kaufman impersonation). I admit though ( all Adam fans, I know)- the first part of the song was well sung and I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would when I heard the word ” sitar-like”. Then he started to go all wild over the back end and he lost me again. This song doesn’t need the theatrics. He really needs to learn to edit and reign it in.

Scott went with another Martina song, ” Wild Angels” and I have to say, it was better than last weeks.  Pretty good. He is, however, a much better pianist than singer, and he’d make a great session guy.

Alexis tackled “Jolene”, and I really like it, despite her pitch problems.  Certainly better than Brooke’s last year ( and I liked Brooke’s version).  She sounded a bit breathless on that series of high notes. But overall, solid.

Danny- oh, Danny. This confirms my belief that all the judges are smoking some strong shit. That was TERRIBLE. He started too low, was completely off pitch, off tempo, he strayed from a great melody for indulgent craziness. Awful awful AWFUL.

Anoop…oh, Anoop… ” You’re Always On My Mind”- not on the sacred list ( I love three versions- Elvis’, Willie’s, and my personal fave, The Pet Shop Boys), but it’s one of those amazing, legendary songs that shouldn’t be messed with unless you are Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant.  He does it as the sweet ballad Willie Nelson intended, and he sang it on pitch, with a modicum of soul, sweetly, mournfully, lovely. I also really like the haircut. Anoop is back, indeedy do. Needs to take the cockiness down a bit still, though.

Megan, whom I adore for reasons beyond my comprehension ( I know what’s wrong, but somehow, I really don’t care, she makes me smile. She makes ME, a raging misanthrope, SMILE).  ” Walking After Midnight” is an overdone song, so I worry a bit.  She looks gorgeous, though. And the slightly jazzy tinge she gives the vocal suits her and the song surprisingly. She’s never gonna be one of those singers that his every note in the song, but she is a fantastic interpreter.  No weird dance this week. Those high notes are really squeaky. I’m impressed. And with the judges telling us about the hospitalization and every thing, I’m even more impressed. She saved the hacking for after her song. That might even explain some of that squeakiness.

Matt is up last this week, and his song is Carrie’s ” So Small”. I’m beginning to think Carrie is gonna be an untouchable.  I get that uneasy feeling every time I hear her name on this show in conjunction with the contestants song choices. He reconfigures it to be a soulful pop ballad, which suits him, but there are vocal issues. Another great pianist, though, another guy qualified for being a session dude if necessary. I’m actually enjoying this more than I thought, though. Simon’s Michael Buble comparison was spot on.

As for the judges being rehired? Well, they were better this week. But there was still some wackiness. They are currently on probation.

A much better week than last week ( almost anything would be better than last week).

My bottom three- Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey, and sadly, Lil Rounds. I think that Adam and Scott could be in trouble as well. ( I apologies to the Adam fans, but the rest were stronger, I’m sorry. I don’t think he’ll hit bottom three, but he’ll be on the lower end of the scale). Megan could also be down there, as she’s become quite polarizing.

And now, till tomorrow’s results show, everyone, I bid you adieu.

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It seems that there is a plan for a musical version of the 1989 noir comedy classic Heathers– the one where you love your gay dead son and you get fucked gently with a chainsaw, and look out for Draino in coffee mugs?

I’m dubious about this. Heathersis one of my all time favorite movies. But it’s also a movie of it’s time, which is to say, pre-Columbine and every other devastating school shooting of the last decade. Would the threat of blowing up a school be frowned upon in the post-9/11 world? And who the hell would they cast to play JD? Christian Slater IS JD. And he’s way too old for the part now.

I’m gonna take a wait and see approach.

PS: EW.com is reporting that Veronica Mars herself has read for the role of… well, Veronica in Heathers: The Musical.  Kristen Bell? Awesomeness!!! Like that bit of casting, I really do.

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I normally look upon stunt casting with a wary eye. When done right ( Paul Rudd’s sweet Mike on the final two seasons of Friends, Leslie Jordan’s wickedly fey Beverley on Will and Grace), it’s magical. When done just because ( Britney on anything), it’s cloy and distracting. It’s best if the stunt casting makes sense. It’s better when the guest star gets smashing lines. TBBT had been doing the stunt casting thing well. Till this week.

Summer Glau, star of The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox ( but produced by WB- hence the crossover), is actually quite dynamic on her show ( she’s honestly the best thing about it). But she was wasted on this episode with mostly monosyllabic answers to the constant attention of Howard and Raj. When the guest star gets no real funny lines on a sitcom guest spot, you have to wonder.

Fortunately, the Penny-Sheldon dynamic was fabulous despite the fact they were barely on screen together. Kaley Cuoco is truly turning into a charming and funny lead as the show goes on, because even without the guys to play off of, she was great, nonchalantly painting her nails as Jim Parson’s Sheldon gives wackadoodle directions to get his flash drive out of his locked desk drawer. ( The show is getting better with it’s callbacks recently, with mentioning of Howard’s new “relationship” with Leslie Winkle and the come back of “wackadoodle”). Jim Parsons, gifted physical comedian, spent nearly the entire episode sitting down, but still managed to be utterly delightful every second he was on screen. Johnny Galecki’s Leonard was also great this week, as he is having a ” I hate Sheldon” week and needles him more than usual ( but still plays peacemaker between Sheldon and a nosy Penny).

Things we learn this week:

  • Given enough time, Howard can actually come up with a clever pick up line.
  • Given the opportunity, Raj will steal that pick up line.
  • Penny has a job playing Anne Frank in a small 99 seat theater above a bowling alley. Hey, it’s an acting job, folks.
  • Sheldon keeps his flash drive locked in his desk, but the key for the desk in in his room, and nobody is allowed in his room.
  • Sheldon is way obsessed about trains.
  • Raj is susceptible to the placebo effect, and apparently cannot read labels on beer bottles.
  • Howard, though in a relationship, has a flawless reason to try and sleep with Summer Glau- ” It’s Summer Glau!”
  • The guys go to the Apple Store and mock the people at the Genius Bar.
  • Sheldon has a new packing system involving RDF tags, a scanner wand, and a complex cross referencing system.
  • Sheldon takes all the fun out of sarcasm, according to Leonard.
  • Sheldon’s vote outweighs the other three.
  • Sheldon is wary of voiding warranties, but is more obsessed with keeping season 1 of BSG on TiVo. Leading me to ask- don’t they have the DVDs?
  • Sheldon’s MeeMaw calls him ” Moonpie” because he is so ” nummy, nummy”. And only MeeMaw can call him that. For the first time, Sheldon shows a streak of sentimentality.
  • Leonard is reading Noble Laureate George Smoot’s ” Wrinkles in Time”.
  • Are you meaning to tell me Penny doesn’t know a USB port from a power button?

Overall, there were funny moments, but the use of Summer Glau was limited, and the real story got lost to the B story, simply because Jim and Kaley shine as the adversarial friends.

Penny line of the week: ” What up, Moonpie?”

Sheldon line of the week:’ It’s like talking to a chimp.”

Howard line of the week: ” One beer and it’s like he’s M. Knight Charmalamalan.”

Raj line of the week: ” You got me. Now, what are you gonna do with me?”

Leonard line of the week : ” Looks like you’re between a rock and a crazy place.”

Grade- B

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Dial Idol has a close race between Allison (NO!!!!!), Jasmine, and Jorge heading off into the sunset.

The new rule- Judges save. It’s not as horrible as the idea floating out there that the judges were adapting the SYTYCD judging model ( America votes the bottoms, judges eliminate after a dance off). But I know that Idol fans, for all their complaints of  Jennifer Hudson-Chris Daughtry- Michael Johns unfairness, prefer to have the vote without judges interference. I know I do- and  I love love LOVE the three singers mentioned above.

So the group car wreck- er- number- let’s just skip that. I’m too tired to even comprehend it right now.

Is it me, or is RyRy looking particularly stupid tonight. I am tired. Daylight Savings and all.

Do the producers put these callback moments through Autotune or something. They always sound better in these callbacks. Except Jasmine.

And why would I bother to watch anymore if Adam and Danny are really the chosen ones? I want Alexis and Allison or Lil if necessary.

The Ford Music Video- not that sucky.

Rig Pig- safe.

Allison- safe. ( I love it when DI gets it wrong…)

Jasmine- down to the stage.

JT Wannabe- safe

Married Hottie and Megan Joy- Married stays, Megan to the floor.

Jasmine and Megan… and Megan is safe! Whooo! So relieved. She’s at least interesting. Jasmine is not interesting at all. They are making her sing as the judges deliberate. Why, God? I hate the sing out.

I want my Kanye and Kelly. Where are they?

Randy tells Jasmine sorry, not good enough. She cries. RyRy comforts her. We get the package and whatever sets in for me.

Kanye comes out and does “Heartless”, which is one of the best songs off of 808s and Heartbreaks. He has never been a great singer, but this song uses his limited vocal range and mixes his more light, sing-songy rap style to excellent effect.

Did they shrink the swaybots this year? I hardly have noticed them.

Those crazy ass screaming teens are too young for you, Kanye ( I know exactly how old he is, we were born a mere month apart).

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how one performs on the Idol stage. Awesome Kanye.

Scottay- safe. No surprise.

Alexis- safe. Thank the soul of Jimi.

Mopey- safe. Geez. And you know something? Sky is blue.

Anoop Doggy Dogg- to the stage.

Madame- safe. Sun is yellow.

Jorge… Lil… come on, we know it Jorge. And there he goes to the stage. Lil is safe. No kidding.

And they are going to make us wait. Poor guys. I hate RyRy for doing that to you. But Kelly’s gonna sing. We love Kelly. The Original Idol.

( I am clearly a Kelly girl from way back when, and I honestly think that the slam her last album got was unfair- it’s a mature, beautiful piece of melancholia).

This Idol re-visitation is gonna be weekly. Cool. Kelly looks fabulous, and is sweet and charming. She launches into ” My Life Would Suck Without You”, which is awesome if a little to reminiscent of ” Since U Been Gone”. I adore her still.

And so, we come down to Anoop and Jorge. And Anoop is safe… poor Jorge is gonna sing as the judges chat.

My friend, the awesome Melissa in Baltimore, had been hearing that only one person would end up getting eliminated due to the phone mishap ( Idol-13 is a porn number… whoops).  But Simon puts that to rest with a sharp “No.”

That is Carrie singing ” Home Sweet Home”, a awesome cover of the Mötley Crüe road song classic. And we say goodbye to two.

Next week- more hell. This season is disappointing in so many ways.

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I will be honest- I started this week with my note book and pen, wondering why they had a Michael Jackson week, when the judges keep saying MJ is one of the untouchable ones. Stupid Idol.

Then the singing began- and not one of them were really any good. ( Adam fans, please don’t hurt me, but that was all kinds of off pitch and shouty, particularly the breakdown on the bridge.)

Even worse than the singing was the judging.

So this is my declaration- I have fired all four judges. Those who remember the season seven write ups, I fired both Randy and Paula last year for the ridiculous critiques they were giving. This year- all of them. Yes, even Simon. They aren’t even trying to hide the pimping. It’s awful.

I am not going to write up a recap this week because I am insulted as a fan. They don’t deserve anything from me after that show.

PS- Allison and Alexis were the two saving graces, but even there I was disappointed. And when do the stylists work their magic?

Epic fail, Idol.

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To future husband number four Matthew Gray Gubler, who is a gorgeous, sexy 29 today. I still want to feed him colcannon and Guinness. Or something else.
Catch Matthew’s wonderfully complex role as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, Wednesdays on CBS/CTV. Also, he is in the upcoming films (500) Days of Summer and The Great Buck Howard.

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I know it’s late. Busy week.

We open with paintball. Finally we get to see the guys play paintball. And typically, Sheldon is anal retentive and insane. Physics team paintball strategy meeting? Stargate episodes as strategy? Poor Howard, though, still forever a mama’s boy. Leslie Winkle is back, and she and Howard, trapped in a shack, talk about the difficulty of war ( she killed her team in a hail of friendly fire). Dialog lifted out of every classic war film ( including Raj’s tribute to Robert Duvall). Leslie and Howard start making out. Leonard calls to Howard, who replies ” war is hell” and continues to make out with Leslie.

TBBT universe is also in an economic crunch, and the boys are complaining about cutbacks. Sheldon’s theory is that they should all be fired to fund his research ( our Sheldon is full on back!!!!!) Leslie, though, tells Howard his request for new equipment is approved, leading to a discussion of quid pro quo in which the boys suss out Howard’s reason for failing to cover them in the paintball has to do with his hooking up twice in the shed with Leslie. Bombarded with opinions about how unfair it is that he’s getting rewarded for sexual favors, Howard points out that it is indeed unfair, but he was also having sex while they were not, and that’s merely delightful.

Howard, though, gets a taste of Howard’s own medicine when it becomes clear that Leslie is only using him as a bought and paid sex toy/arm candy when he almost is disinvited to Geneva on a field trip with Leslie after refusing to go to her sister’s wedding. Leslie insists she would be uncomfortable without using quid pro quo as then they would disintegrate into a real relationship with ” feelings and crap”. Howard accepts this and asks his mom to rent him a tux.

The actual A story involves Penny accidentally shooting Sheldon’s ” spot” on the couch with a paintball gun, causing Sheldon a few uncomfortable days in which he sighs incessantly during Halo night’s Chinese food meal. Leonard though, throws himself in the line of fire at the end of the show by admitting that he had actually been buying Sheldon’s cashew chicken from a different restaurant and putting into the bought containers from a now closed favorite. For two years. Sheldon goes into an existential crisis, but insists the cushion, recently cleaned and brought back, still isn’t right.

Overall, the episode had very funny lines, and real out loud laughter moments ( the look on Howard’s face after sex with Leslie- priceless). The story was a little repetitive ( how many times can we talk about Sheldon’s spot?), but as long as one can wring humor from it, I guess the writer’s will continue.

Sheldon line of the night- ” They don’t talk incessantly for no good reason?” in response to Leonard’s query about what makes a good friend.

Grade- B-

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The Wild Card Round.

I hate it. This would have eliminated Jordin Sparks and David Cook in previous seasons.

But I digress.

And truth be told, six of the eight gave far better performances tonight than in their previous tries. Jessie sang Chaka’s ” Tell Me Something Good” with soul and spunk, Matt Giraud nailed the Jackson 5’s ” Who’s Loving You”, Megan Corkrey shone on ” Black Horse And The Cherry Tree”, Jasmine dazzled with Christina Aguilera’s ” Reflection”, Ricky was all funky with stevie wonder’s ” Superstition”, and Anoop was on fire with ” My Perogative”. Only Von Smith’s ” Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” and Tatianna’s ” Saving All my Love For You” fell flat, and when eliminated again, Tatianna went drama queen histonic again. But the judges, in their wisdom, went with four people- Megan, Jasmine, Matt, and Anoop( I told you they wanted Anoop that badly. For all the producer’s pimping of Adam, Danny, and Lil, the judges seem to prefer Anoop.)

So we begin again next week, and who shall win is really up in the air. Last year, David Cook was barely on the radar, having dazzled with ” Billie Jean”, but still under the massive shadow of Archie. Lil appears to be the producer’s pick, but there are some interesting personalities in the mix.

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First, pity the musical genius that is MICHAEL JACKSON, who gave us Thriller and Bad and Off the Wall, ” Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” and amazing videos that fill our 80s loving hearts. The man announcing a ten date concert series at London’s O2 Arena is not Michael Jackson, no matter what he says. That is a shadow of a man. Saddest story in music, I think, when all is said and done. The series starts on July 8, and despite everything, I think it’s still a tentative stand. He looks mighty frail in the pics I’ve seen.

Coolness factor off the charts news- Daft Punk is to score the upcoming Tron sequel. How awesome is that?

And lastly, in so FRAKKIN’ AWESOME I MIGHT JUST PLOTZ news- Larry David’s genius keeps them coming back, I guess, as all four Seinfeld regulars are to appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm this upcoming season. Julia’s been on already ( I caught a bit of it on Sunday night- A Channel had it on). But yes- Jason, Michael, and Jerry are gonna be there. Whoot! closest thing we’ll ever get to a reunion!

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Start off with a heinous version of Katy Perry’s ” Hot N Cold”, in which my kids laughed with the obvious switch from ” bitch” to ” girl” in the lyrics. Gawd, that was not good at all ( eldest DD disagrees, but what does she know?).

Whatever, we knew Lil would get through ( and she was better tonight, IMO), and Scott ( I also thought he was better as well, but clearly, I am in the minority about Scott MacIntyre.) I also predicted Jorge over Ju’not, and was right on that account.

The last twenty minutes were reserved to the Wild Card show, which airs tomorrow. The judges have brought back Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Shriekianna (kill me now), Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, and Anoop Desai ( I called that one).

Jorge takes us out with a pleasant version of his song from last night, and I pray to God Shriekianna has a meltdown and we never hear from her again.

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A Big Bang Moment of Thought

Matt Mitovich over at TV Guide let loose this spoiler from an upcoming episode:
What happens when you arm a quartet of beautiful minds with glue guns and sequins?

Which begs the question: Do we really want to see Sheldon with a glue gun and sequins? And will Howard go all negs due to over indulgence in flashiness? Will Raj be able to tell Penny that her pet hobby is whackadoodleness? And will Leonard manage not to glue sequins to his glasses?

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I am back from a horrendous sinus thingy and chest cold to bring back the snark. And there was stuff to be snarky about. But less than the previous two weeks.

Yes- this week was actually pretty good.

Von Smith opened the show with a restrained ( for Von Smith) version of ” You’re All I Need To Get By”. The Tammi Terrell- Marvin Gaye classic is one of those songs I adore and refuse to believe anyone can sing it better than the soul king and his princess. And still, no one can. But Von surprised me and I didn’t hate him as much as i did when he tried to blast everyone’s ear drums out of their heads. It was far from perfect- he started too low and ended up shaky to start, and he seemed half a step off the tempo at times. But considering what I’ve heard from the previous two groups…

Is Simon calling you Clay Aiken like a good thing?

Taylor Vaifuna seems lovely, but that version of ” If I Ain’t Got You”- not so much. I normally hate girls who attempt Alicia Keys, who is an amazing singer and an intricate songwriter. The song was simply too big for her. Not pretty.

Alex Wagner-Tugman impressed in earlier rounds with a surprising soulful grit, but his version of ” I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”  was all over the place. He brought in the grit where it didn’t need to be, and his straight ahead vocals were good, not spectacular. He blew it.

Arianna Asfar is a cute kid, but she has apparently never heard my advice about ABBA. NEVER sing ABBA. The melodies are deceptive. Believe me, we own ABBA SingStar, and we cannot leave the easy stage due to the fact that those songs are impossibly complex melodically. And she dared to change it up, and it was a gigantic disaster. She was never on pitch, never on tempo, and the judges declaration of ” gloomy” was spot on ( a teenage girl singing a song about trying to make peace after finalizing divorce? Seriously?).

Ju’not Joyner surprised me with a warm, touching, soulful version of ” Hey There Delilah” A little pitchy at points, but it was sweet, gentle, even delicate.  Delightful. But I don’t think it’s enough unless the judges bring him back.

Kristen McNamara gained fame during Hollywood week as being part of Drama Queen’s drama. But she does have a really great rock-blues voice, and Tracy Chapman’s ” Give Me One Reason” was a really safe choice. She managed to incorporate four different keys in two minutes, and she hit every change flawlessly. The arrangement was sunnier than the original, so it fit the young singer better.  Again, though, as good as she was, it’s likely not enough.

Nathaniel ” Drama Queen” Marshall chose ” I Would do Anything For Love”.  Why? His performance was cabaret at best, bad drag act at worst.  I’m in Simon’s camp on this one- it was excruciating.

Felicia Barton is the girl who took the Ringer’s place, and she turned in a really great vocal on- shocker- an Alicia Keys song.  There were a few stray notes ( and one big whopper of a missed one), but it was consistently good. I wonder if it was enough.

Scott MacIntyre, though, won me over with ” Mandolin Rain”. Not a perfect vocal, and the judges are right to say he isn’t the best vocalist. But man, I believed that song, I believed him, and I love me some Bruce Hornsby. I want Scott to stay so I can see him play. The pianist in me needs that.

Kendall beard is another of those blonde country girl Idol loves, but she falls way short of Carrie and Kellie into Kristy Lee territory. Her vocals are not strong enough.

Surprise of the night was Jorge Nunez. I honestly thought he was some lame dude with an okay voice, but his version of ” Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was almost on par with Aiken’s season two masterpiece. I just don’t like the facial tics.

Producer’s Pimp Spot goes to the pimped to high heavens Lil Rounds. And finally someone deserved it. She kicked that Mary J. Blige song out of the park.  Plus, bonus on the self censorship.  She missed a couple of notes and was a little quick at the start ( nerves). But yeah, that, my friends, is how to use the pimp slot to your advantage. Take notes, Madame Lambert.

Can we just dump Danny and Adam? Just asking.

Push comes to shove, I think Lil has the ladies, Scott the gents, with Ju’not, Kristen, Felicia, and Jorge fighting for that last spot. I also think that who gets through weighs the judges choice. If two guys and a girl get in again, will they go all female to balance gender ( Idol loves symmetry)? Lord knows, although Simon would tsk tsk me in thinking such a thing.

BTW- I think it’ll be a guy who gets the third slot, and I’m thinking it’ll be Jorge, although I personally like Ju’not better.

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