EJ's take on entertainment and travel plus a few pointers in a fairly smart-for-old-person way

Thursday, March 4

girl's night on idol-the good, the bad and the really, really bad

Maybe I'm back in the AI game after watching girl's night. WARNING! If you choose to ignore me, just remember that I told you so-just in case some freaks keep her in the running. Next time Haeley Vaughn is slated to sing just mute the TV. It's similar (but opposite) to the Sirens effect on Odysseus. The dog howls, my head starts throbbing, neighbors knock on the door yelling to get out of the house . . . trust me it’s a mess; mute the TV as soon as you see her pick up the mic. Avoid the trauma.

Okay, 10 girls, let's make it 9 (you really can't count Haeley's noise as singing) girls competed and two will go home tonight. OMG if Haeley isn't one of them, my suspicions are correct – there are lots of stupid people out there. She should go home and make tons (literally) of her homemade headbands and take vocal lessons with the proceeds.

The night started with the best vocal performance to date during Season 9 from my picked-as-a-finalist-way-back-to-her-audition, Crystal Bowersox. She deserves an extra vote from the pity list, but she doesn’t even need it. When I heard CCR song I was already pumped; then I heard the song title and put my face about 11 inches from the TV and stared with my ears open. What I love, love, love about this chick is her independence and lack of butt kissing attitude. She can stand still at the microphone and capture attention with the story she’s telling through her voice. She doesn’t need all the extra fluff of choreography or playing to the camera. The bluesy-gospel spin in her version of Put a Candle in the Window must be embedded in my head. I find myself humming it and thinking about the performance. (Yes, I do sound a lot like her-my 3-year-old granddaughter just loves my voice). Bowersox is solid but she has more competition that I suspected.

I liked Lilly (albino hair) Scott before her performance but her rendition of Sam Cook’s song pulled me into that TV screen again. She was totally engrossed in the soul of the song, believing the lyrics that change is gonna come. I knew she was a keeper, but I didn’t know she was bonified, too! Another tip: bet on one of the girls who doesn’t fit the look of the traditional all-round American beauty. The best ones in the bunch are a little off-center as far as style is concerned-vocal and appearance and personality.

Okay, Siobhan Magnus is more than a little off center, but that girlish out-of-place collection of stuff she wore with those turn of the century shoes was kinda cute in a devious kinky way. I think she rag ties her hair and then forgets to take all the rags out. What? Oh, that’s on purpose. Okay. Yah I knew that; I just wondered if you did. Anyway, I’d given this girl back to her consignment shop designer but she stepped to department store rank for having the rocks to take on Aretha. She seems waaaay comfortable on stage, too. She didn’t hold back, wasn’t off key, belted it out when she needed to, hit an amazing note that the judges went ga-ga over (making them look desperate) but she actually appeared to have fun while she pushed the “advance to go” button. New dark horse. She was anything but forgettable!

The other contenda was my home girl Katelyn Epperly. The piano was a classy touch. The Coldplay song was on key and the notes rang full and true but somebody hit the wrong speed on playback. It was TOO slow. (The one time Ellen was on target and didn’t just endorse Randy’s opinion). Katelyn’s ride might go that extra mile because she IS that all American look girl. Just enough touch of style to be quirky in a normal way. But, those kinky curls look like Annie grew up and Miss Hannigan never brushed her hair.

The aforementioned females should move on. Period. I really don’t care if Michelle Delamour, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Lacey Brown or Paige Davis goes home. Just as long as the other loser joins Haeley it’s all good. Okay, I had my fingers crossed. Lacey is trying too hard and getting on my nerves and Didi’s last name sounds like a sandwich. Plus, the meowy thing? Really? I supposed that could be a blessing in disguise. When her attempt at a singing career crashes she could do cat food commercials. Michelle just wasted her voice again and was blah. She acts like she doesn’t have the energy to sing with passion so let her go home and take a nap. So pick one of the litter. Katie she knows how to say kiss me in six languages which should buy her another week. But, wait, did I say Lacey is getting annoying? Pick 2 or made it a 6 pack. Just make sure Haeley’s luggage gets on the bus. Please!

BTW Ryan has been kinda cute, but the other four regulars. YAWN. Gag (for Kara). YAWN.

So that’s the way it rolls tonight. If I am wrong I will look for the delete better and think of a good excuse.

Wednesday, March 3

Ungroupie me

Mediocre March 2
The topsy turvy world of American Idol got just a little dizzier March 2 when the boyz took center stage. A quick switch flip-flopping the performance nights made for nerves and excuses. Poor, poor shy boy Alex Lambert confessed he often produces pukage prior to performing, but somehow he managed to hold onto his dinner for this round. (maybe his mom cooked?) Crystal (I-wonder-if-she-has-health-insurance) Bowersox checked into a hospital where she was checked by doctors who then checked in with Idol VIPs, and said No go on the show. Then, of course, they all got checks. Not the contestants who work the endless hours away from their loved ones, of course.

So, let’s review the competition for pity votes. Add 1 for Alex-he didn’t make last week’s crowded list. Mama Bowersox pushed for frontrunner status last week. Depending on tomorrow night’s performance, that trendy hospital gown could be her golden egg. Just kidding. Tomorrow’s performance doesn’t matter all that much. Even if you imagine American Idol is all about who can sing, we already know Bowersox has the gift. Think images of mama rocking skinny toddler as she softly sings an acapella lullaby-unless you count the occasional moans from pain as accompaniment. Start dialing.

Back to the big time stage for the competition with the men. Whoops. Except separating the men from the boys, the wheat from the chafe, the rind from the melon, the soap scum from the tub—pick your favorite cliché here, was not much of a challenge. Clarity can be your friend. Not that all the guys are tone deaf, only 3-4 sucked that bad, but the group just ain’t that strong.

Let’s break it down (not MC Hammer break it down, but break it down as in take a closer look). In my totally unqualified opinion there was not much middle ground. Their chops were either very very good or they were horrid (yes, like the nursery rhyme).

• 3 big improvements from last week (2 in the super-sized improvement range)

• 1 stayed about the same but was already at the top so let’s use the cliché here of no harm no foul (maybe that’s why Alex didn’t spit up-the chicken was cooked)

• 1 slight puzzler-some parts unique, some parts uniquely bad. Things that make you go Hmmm (like MC Hammer this time)

• 4 guys tanked. The tanking action wasn’t even in the category of “I see potential” it was more like “I see dead people” I see faux singers with dead careers people.

• And the 1 straggler who was just there. Not impressive. Kinda annoying due to attire and accessories. Not annoying enough to get the boot but certainly not good enough to get a vote. He is just there and gets to hang around in the shadows.

Let’s match ‘em up and see who’s with me! Fill in the blank with the correct answers.

_____ and_____ gave up super-sized upgrades from last week and _____ got even better and he was already berry berry good to me (he could play baseball but he need to give up drooping & get pants that fit). If you answered Michael Lynche and Alex Lambert, then Lee DeWyze, give yourself a cookie. Your score is perfect so far. BTW the first two names do not have to be in that exact order.

Lynche impressed the audience and judges appearing as a seasoned singer with great stage presence and poise. Evidently he visited Miracle Max. I gave him up for mostly dead, but we all know there’s a big difference between dead and mostly dead. He still doesn’t have a great voice, but we’re talkin’ total package here. Total package plus 1 pity vote. Remember he’s the one who went to Hollywood while his wife did the whole giving birth to their first child thing. He’s a keeper. But, this is as good as he gets (write down my words here, I called it).

In contrast, Lambert, scratch that. I gotta go with Alex here due to the same last name as my BFF baby cakes Adam Lambert (hot stuff on Leno tonight). The sex appeal is a bit flat for the new Lambert. But, his voice was hot and the song worked for him. Recap: no deer in the headlights eyes, no pukage, no dashing around lost on stage for Alex. He sat on a stool and held a guitar in his hands resolving the problem of what to do with his hands and feet. He definitely knew what to do with his voice. Yahoo for you Alex! Top o’ the heap and throw in that pity ballot. Solid ground for the boy with potential but no experience. For a gullible second there I thought, Hey that’s what the show is all about, then I sobered up and figured out he’s not as polished as the others who were plucked from the street of regular Joe’s too-the street with the pro giving vocal lessons on the corner as opposed to pros on other street corners. He’s bonified.
DeWyze’s gravelly voice was a perfect fit for that great I’m-not-a-monogamous-creature anthem, Lips of an Angel. He tried to man up without his teddy bear (aka as his guitar) and replace it with a cold microphone stand. That part didn’t work out so much. He can stand in one place and sing into the mic deplete of dance moves. That’s all good. Tugging up on his drawers, however-not once but twice, is not all good. Just when I thought “No he didn’t” Yup. He did it again. Plus he’s handicapped due to NO pity points. A rarity and we can double or triple check. But I don’t think he has a sob story penned at this time.

Casey James still oozed sex appeal and gravelly notes onto the stage. Not as good as last week. But better than most of the other guys this week. He looked good, sound good and was kinda believable as a bad boy with his baby blue electric guitar. It complemented his blue eyes yet didn’t take attention away his rock solid performance and rock solid exterior mass. His pity vote status is pending further review.

The remaining contender remains high on the pity vote tally due to daddy daycare is Andrew Garcia. Probably tried a bit too hard to on a Jim Morrison song, but hey he doesn’t need to break a sweat yet.

The remaining vocals sounded like they’d benefit from karaoke class and really aren’t worth the strain on my digits to write about them.

Todrick Hall? NO, NO! It’s not there. Go home.

John Park? Ditto.

Tim Urban? Double ditto.

Aaron Kelly? Go back to your high school classes, please. Actually, AI could save a couple $$ on food and shelter costs and send the four of ‘em off with one farewell.

Jermaine Sellers? Straggler. Mediocre but kind of just lurking around. On second thought, nope. Give him up. Trade him for two Zhu Zhu pets and a Funhouse and wave bu-bye.

The judges? All four seemed less than entertaining tonight with lots of redundant comments they kept saying over and over (too cute). Really guys. Buy a thesaurus or consult with a dictionary. Find some new words. Wrong song, pitchy, and I’m a fan already sound like a telemarketer recording. I’d vote off the judges this week and start with the blank slate theory with five men and a bedpan (just in case the heaves visit again). Too predictable and unoriginal. Ellen wasn’t close to funny; the banana joke was pre-school level. Kara kept turning to Simon like an obedient domestic pet. Simon’s new love interest has obviously tamed the nasty beast within. Now he is a kinder gentler Simon and Randy . . . well, he’s still just Randy. Dawg.

Tomorrow night the girls close in for the kill. And did I say it’s stupid to pick girl/boy, girl/boy? Boot the lowest vote getters regardless of genitalia. That’s so 70’s mentality politically incorrect malarkey.

Tuesday, March 2

Another Colbert Nation groupie at Olympics

http://www.helium.com/users/506462/show_articles
http://celebrities.helium.com/how-to/9236-how-to-become-part-of-the-colbert-nati
Just another lesson in how/why we shouldn't take life so seriously. PLUS, a reminder of funny Canadian 'stuff' like take off hoser and let's watch Strange Brew again, eh? Ah, the Great White North.

So after I watched Stephen Colbert crawl into the fireplace (to show how "real" NBC makes the set) during an interview with Bob Costas, I'd say he's added another element to Olympic viewing. He definitely got lots of attention for the speed skating team that they would not have enjoyed without Colbert's sponsorship. Of course, the funny video of the interview has been copyright claimed by the Olympics. For now anyway, all uploads of the video seem to be off limits. Log in to www.colbertnation.com to watch shows featuring some of the Olympic medal winners and all of his hilarious Vancouver broadcasts.
From talking Bob Costas into riding a stuffed moose to accusing the Canadians of cheating and calling them out as "syrup suckers" Colbert's antics made the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics much more fun to watch. Yes, we tune in to see great athletes. Yes, I love to see dreams come true and all that fluffy stuff. But, I also really love it when a pretend sportscaster sings the national anthem(s) with a famed Canadian singer, or offers a beer to a medal winner or proclaims himself "assistant team psychologist" and proceeds to show viewers how he motivated these great athletes to capture medals. For the most part, the athletes seemed good natured. After all, Colbert served as primary sponsor prompting his loyal followers in the Colbert Nation to donate over $350,000 to the U.S. speed skating team. Even the previously disgruntled Shani Davis eventually came around and fended off Colbert in a skating "challenge". Record setting medalist Apolo Anton Ohno said he loves The Colbert Report and followed up with an appearance. Good answer! Merging the popularity of Ohno and Colbert could be so hot viewers might be tempted to miss viewing some shallow show- hmmm, (which one shall I pick?) like the Bachelor or Bachelorette.
Colbert, through his narrow-minded conservative character, does a great job of underscoring problems in politics, in society, with bears . . . pretty much all things important. Viewing The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report not only gives me a great daily dose of laughter (it's good for you to laugh, you know) but viewers get a good idea as to what's going on in the world. It's ironic-don't you think, that they often give a better picture of the news than supposed REAL news shows (like FOX-aka faux news). At least Comedy Central fake news is presented as such! But, that's a rant for another time.
Check out these Colbert articles and links to links: http://www.helium.com/zones/preview/9236
Stay tuned for The Biggest Loser! The show returns from a break due to Olympic cover. Yes, I am a groupie but it's all good. Maybe I will lose a few ounces or become inspired to eat a healthy meal. Stranger things have happened so stop laughing!
There's just something sooo hopeful about watching a 500lb guy workout and lose weight while I sit on the couch and enjoy my bushel of buttered popcorn, thinking how I will start my diet tomorrow.