Thursday, April 26, 2007

where's the dog? I like dogs...

My new favorite Idol is Lisa Simpson, the only star from the non-elimination.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

idol saves the world, part II...

They're feeding starving children. They're educating the illiterate. They're saving the world, one vote at a time and tonight they'll pat themselves on the back and, presumably, top it all off with another execution, narrowing the field of contestants to five.

Because THIS is Idol Gives Back. And this is not a SIMULBLOG, in the classic sense, because to publish only to say that Carrie Underwood sang this or Kelly Clarkson sang that is redundant and, frankly, boring.

So I'll pick up the action when the bottom feeders are announced and, of course, clue everybody who's not watching yet into what the much-anticipated SHOCKER! is. And I'll reveal whether LaKisha or Chris is waving goodbye. So there will be spoilers, so you know the drill.


Ryan, after majorly screwing up the opening intro, tells us we're in for the most shocking "result" in show history. Not an elimination, a result. And considering the camera can't stay away from Sanjaya, sitting with his sister in the audience, I'm holding onto my hope that Idol Gives [him] Back.
Melinda stands and is told she's safe. And considering she's the only one who could be a "shocking" boot, well...

And it's back to charity... Somebody wake me when it's time for the next "safe."


Back to the couch. Blake is told to stand. He is safe.


Phil is safe.


LaKisha is told to stand. She says she's fine. And she's told she's safe.


Chris and Jordin are told to stand. They're reminded of the songs they sang. Over 70 million votes were submitted. Both are told they're safe.

And that's what Ryan calls a "shock." If that were a true "shocker," we wouldn't have been talking about it all day.

The votes still count, and they will be added to next week's votes, when two of the kids will be executed.

Enough with the "shockers" already.


I can't believe I wasted two hours for this.

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it's a SHOCKER!...

Yes, Ryan uttered the "S" word at the end of last night's performance episode. Tonight we're in for the ultimate SHOCKER.


But, of course, any hardcore Idol viewer knows that what they consider a "shocker" and what we consider "shocking" are often two very different things.

So what could it be on this night where Nigel, Ken, Ryan, Simon, et. al., will be high-fiving each other over the gazillions of dollars they have raised to save all of the little children all over the globe?


It won't be an elimination night. After all, what a downer way to end such a star-studded show than to kick one of the kids to the curb and make them cry as they watch their funeral footage. So the shocker could be that everybody's safe, because all of the votes were just meant to profit charity, not to crush the dreams of a better life for LaKisha and her kid. (We're saving kids, remember?) The problem with this, as a "shocker", is that they've done it before, in season two, after Corey Clark was disqualified, so technically it's not a shocker.


They're staying true to the theme of "Idol Gives Back." And so, Idol will give us back Sanjaya!


They're going to admit that the votes really don't count and that Clay Aiken really won season two. And Jasmine Trias really won season 3.


They're going to announce that Brian Dunkleman is returning. (Okay, that would really be a shocker.)


They're going to reveal that the biggest corporate donors from last night were Chrysler and Pepsi.

How about...

They aren't going to run one single solitary commercial. And instead, they're donating the forfeited ad revenue to feed the starving kids. Yeah, right. And I'm the next Miss USA.


The super-duper-top-secret duet will be Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell singing You Light Up My Life. Don Imus and Howard Stern will provide back-up vocals. Okay. Maybe not.


Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick and the Three Stooges are going to issue a formal apology for this season. We all get our hours back plus a promise that next year will be better.

Or better yet...

It's gonna be a four-way boot! They just crown Jordin Sparks and Melinda Doolittle co-winners, give each of them a million dollar contract and finish out the rest of the season with a five-way showdown between Justin Guarini, Kimberley Locke, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice and Elliott Yamin. Hey. I'm liking that one.

So, what's your idea of a SHOCKER?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

idol saves the world, part I...

THIS is Idol Gives Back.

Or so says Ryan, as the two-day pat-itself-on-the-collective-back extravaganza begins. Oodles of money will be given for each vote. Children will be saved.

And it's all because of the show.


And somewhere in between the self-congratulations, commercials and the superstar guests, six contestants will try to stay in contention by adhering to the theme of "inspirational songs."

Chris Richardson (If I Could Change the World). Chris gets the unlucky lead-off spot this week and continues on his "nasal is a form of singing" crusade. And apparently he's starting the "off-key-is-also-a-form-of-singing campaign. The judges inexplicitly slather praise upon the boy in an obvious attempt to either lull his voters into lazy self-confidence or in an attempt to spur them to outvote the Phil folks. Either way, I miss Sanjaya.

LaKisha Jones (I Believe). LaKisha continues her "I-will-sing-every-past-Idol-song-on-Idol" crusade, because she's either demented or she's getting just really crappy advice. Randy and Paula remind her that she's not Fantasia. Simon again uses the word "shouting" before being shouted into silence by the audience. Luckily for Fantasia, uhh, I mean Carrie, uhh, no I mean KiKi, Chris was much worse.

Blake Lewis (Imagine). Blake takes on the enormous task of trying to duplicate the John Lennon classic. The judges are mixed, as am I. I'm grateful he didn't try to complicate the simplicity of the song, and what it had in sincerity, it lacked in conviction. Not bad, but not memorable. But he sure is looking cute.

Phil Stacey (The Change). Making it into the top three on country night gives Phil the guts to go country again with Garth Brooks. And, again, it's not a bad performance for the new VFTW pick, even though on a night of mediocre that's not saying a whole lot. The judges are unanimous in their thumbs up reviews, with Simon suggesting Phil more fully embrace his inner Josh Gracin.

Melinda Doolittle (There Will Come a Day). Melinda takes us to church with this Faith Hill tune. And she's fabulous in the Melinda Doolittle fashion, getting unanimous praise from the panel. As usual. The girl really is amazing. Too bad she's falling into predictability-ville.

Jordin Sparks (You'll Never Walk Alone). My new favorite, Jordin, gets the anchor "pimp" spot and belts out this classic most usually associated with Jerry Lewis and his telethon. Randy says it's one of the best performances ever in the history of Idol performances. Well, I don't know about that; I think it's more like in a night of bad performance it really and truly rocked. But it was good, a bit wobbly in parts, but far and away the best of the night.

So, now the tough part that really isn't all that tough.

Who I want: Chris, LaKisha, Phil.
Who should: Chris, LaKisha, Blake.
Who will: Chris, LaKisha, Blake.

Chris should have left weeks ago and didn't, so considering her visit to the seal last week, I think KiKi's time has arrived.

I won't be SIMULBLOGGING the two-hour lovefest tomorrow. Two hours is far too long. And besides, the last 10 minutes is really all that's gonna matter.

So...who's on your hit list?


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

finding the six: a SIMULBLOG!...

We're cutting the field in half, finally, just in time for the big "Idol Saves the World!" spectacular next week. Country night wasn't kind to half of the kids, so it's anyone's guess who's biting the dust tonight.

We do know, though, that we'll be clearing up any stupid idea that Simon was rolling his eyes at the Virginia Tech tragedy, we know we'll be hearing from Martina McBride, but we don't know why exactly, and we know that Idol will pull out its favorite "make one of the kids choose between his friends" trick.

Because THIS is American Idol.

And this is a SIMULBLOG, which means I'm typing as the action is unfolding live on the east coast, publishing at every important break, with spoilers galore, not to mention typos and incoherent thought patterns, so if you live in another time zone and want not to know before it's time for you to know, find somewhere else to hang out for the next hour. But come back and complain with the rest of us after the show.


Sanjaya asks Ryan why he's looking at him as Ryan asks "is your favorite safe?" See? The show wouldn't be the same without him. Sanjaya, that is. Not Ryan.

Simon sets the whole "I didn't disrespect VT" notion straight. And there's a Bucky sighting! Ryan says we're gonna hear from Fergie. (Why?) And Martina McBride. (Okay, we knew that.) And we get a sneak peek at Shrek III. (WHAT?)

This stupid one-hour result show really is getting on my nerves. There are plenty of Idols with CDs on the charts. Why can't we hear from them instead of Fergie? Hell, Bucky Covington's in the damn audience. Let him sing!

I'm not even going to dignify Ryan's visit with "normal people." Cause I gotta pee.

The kids are "Doin' Alright" in the group sing. But it's a bummer because the only choreography resembles a high-tech round of musical stools. But sound-wise, it's not offensive.

We find out what music the kids listen to. Oh goody. And we get to hear Fergie. yay. Now that's a country chick, for sure. I'd rather hear from Bucky or any of the Idol alumni. Ruben, Daughtry, Taylor, Katharine and Elliott must have had other plans tonight. Kelly will be here next week, and Fantasia, Carrie and Pickler have already made appearances.

Pretty good Ford COMMERCIAL! Ryan's hyping the "Idol is the BEST" charity special. I can appreciate all of the marquee names slated to appear, but I might have contributed had they made it an Idol reunion instead. Oh well. They didn't ask me.

Ryan's got the kids on the stage. And he says one group is the highest vote getters, and the other is, well, not.

Sanjaya is sent one way; Phil is sent the other.
Jordin is told to join Team Phil; LaKisha is sent to Team Sanjaya.
Blake is told to join Team Sanjaya; Chris is sent to Team Phil.

And Melinda gets to choose, just like I thought.

And she sits squarely on the seal. This girl's got class!

Ryan tells her to join Team Phil, leaving Team Sanjaya at the bottom.

Hawking Shrek the Third. Hearing Martina McBride. Her kid is cute.

The kids are on the seal, just waiting.

Blake is sent back to safety.

LaKisha and Sanjaya get their reviews. Over 38 million votes are sending Sanjaya home. He gets major hugs from LaKisha, and he and we get to see his funeral video to the sound of Daughtry, and the sight of Sanjaya's tears.

This show just got a lot more boring.


So long, Sanjaya. You made this season fun.

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3+3+1 = tradition...

So Nigel has announced that tonight's top seven results show will stick with tradition and separate the kids into two groups of three, leaving one of them to wander and wonder which group to stand with.

It was a crappy thing to do to George Huff in season three, and it's still a crappy thing to do, even though, if the kids have been paying attention over the years, they know it's coming.

This was the night, of course, three seasons ago, that Jennifer Hudson found herself packing her bags, because three divas in the top six is simply not allowed. The third season, which this season is rivalling as crappiest ever, was the estrogen-heavy one that brought about this need for gender parity, with eight women and only four men making the twelve. And only one of those men could hold a tune.

Who did we have? We had the elegant, brilliantly-voiced, but somewhat distant and boring LaToya. There was the effervesant and wild teenager with the big voice, Fantasia. And there was the hit-and-miss, great-when-she-hit, not-great-when-she-missed big girl, Jennifer. Hmm. Sounds oddly familiar.

Then there was the teenaged boy named John who couldn't hold a note in a paper bag but was lusted after by pre-teen girls everywhere. Hmm. And there were a couple of others.

The three divas were sent to one end of the stage. John and the girls were sent to the other end of the stage. And adorable George Huff, the only guy deserving of a spot in the finals, was told to stand with the "top three."

Obviously flustered, he took his place alongside the divas, only to be told he picked wrong. SHOCK! The three divas were in the bottom. It made George look like a fool, and I would have sworn they would never pull that trick out of another season's hat.


In season four Bo Bice was put in the Huff role, choosing to stand clearly in the center between the two groups, which consisted of Constantine, Carrie and Vonzell (in the top) and Anwar, Scott and Anthony (the bottom). Anwar was booted that night.

Last season Taylor was given the honor of choosing between the "good" group of Elliott, Katharine and Pickler and the "bad" group of Daughtry, Ace and Paris. After shaking Daughtry's hand to tacitly acknowledge that he didn't think the three bottomfeeders were, well, bottomfeeders, Taylor smartly followed Pickler wherever she went.

The point of the top seven tradition is to make the groups appear less than obvious, so any group with Melinda in it will be obvious, unless they want to go the three diva route again. I expect Melinda will be the first woman forced to choose between the groups. And I will be listening very carefully to hear if Ryan refers to the bottom three as, explicitly, the three lowest vote getters. Sometimes he does; other times he doesn't.

So with no advance notice, after checking out Dial Idol and its prediction that everyone but Phil is in danger tonight (gotta love that margin of error!) I would expect the groups to look something like this:

Phil/Sanjaya/Jordin in group A.
LaKisha/Blake/Chris in group B.

My money's on group B to hit the seal, with Blake getting the early pass.

Where you putting your money?


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the top seven: yee haw!...

They're gittin' it on tonight, as Martina McBride stops by to give the good ole boys (and the ladies) some good country lovin', so strap on your stirrups and grab your hat, it's country night.

Because THIS is American Idol!

Ryan begins the final seven episode by sending good thoughts to the campus of Virginia Tech. We all join in those good thoughts, and hope the VT community is on the road to healing.

So here they are, my initial impressions, subject to rewind, review and revision and, as usual, from worst to first:

The Sanjaya List:

Sanjaya Malakar (Let's Give 'Em Something to Talk About). Sanjaya, complete with curls and bandana, says he chose this song because, well, he's been givin' people to talk about. There was speculation after last week's successful outing that his Fanjaya's might not have flocked to the phones in an effort to save the boy. No worries this week, as he single-handedly destroys the number and Simon essentially tells him the joke was funny for awhile, but that they're trying to find an American Idol. (Interestingly no one on the panel refers to it as a "singing competition.") That should do it; Sanjaya will be safe again.

And the others:

Chris Richardson (Mayberry). Okay, it happened. I stopped listening. I can't bear it. Incomprehensible lyrics coming out of a nose is not my idea of good music. If Sanjaya didn't have his own list on which he is both worst and first, Sanjaya wouldn't be worst on the big board. In fact, Chris may get his own list next week. If he survives that long.

LaKisha Jones (Jesus Take the Wheel). Cardinal Rule: Do not try to sing a platinum hit from a past American Idol. It's just not smart. Carrie Underwood shouting a song is one thing; she's already won. LaKisha doing the same is another thing. I didn't think it would be possible for me to dislike this song more than I already do. I was wrong. And she gets appropriately admonished, and Simon finally says what I said weeks ago: KiKi peaked in her first performance.

Blake Lewis (When the Stars Go Blue). Hmm. I expect more from a pimp spot performance. I'm not understanding Randy and Paula's gush over Blake this week. He was pitchy throughout most of the performance. Blake, though, has enough cash stored in the bank to withstand one poor outing.

Phil Stacey (Where the Blacktop Ends). Martina picks up on what everyone has known for weeks: Phil can't start a song. And he must be on the producers' hit list this week, drawing the opening slot. If any one of them needed a hat, it's Phil, but he decides to go au naturel. But he delivers his best, by far, performance of the competition. He effortlessly cruises through the audience and tells Randy that he's a closet Josh Gracin when Randy suggests he try country music, which makes me wonder why, when he's had the chance, he has forsaken the country songs. All three judges agree that it was his best effort to date. And, as Simon observes, it only took 10 weeks.

Melinda Doolittle (Trouble is a Woman). Wow, Melinda looks FAB, performs up to Doolittle standards and, upon the advice of Simon, accepts her acclaim with gratitude rather than astonishment.

Jordin Sparks (A Broken Wing). My new favorite, Jordin, who seems able to adopt and adapt to each and every genre thrown at her, decides to sing a Martina song in front of Martina. She says she's nervous, and Martina suggests that she plant her feet and sell it. Jordin, who might be the only 17 year old to actually listen to her elders, does exactly that. And blows the roof, the walls and the floor out of the song, burying memories of Diana DeGarmo's version three seasons ago. The judges drool, with Simon conjecturing that the teenager might just win the whole competition.

Now the tough work, with only seven left.

Who I want: Phil, Chris, LaKisha
Who should: Phil, Chris, Sanjaya
Who will: Phil, Chris, LaKisha

I think it's time. Chris, your fans will save you. Phil, you've escaped more times than Houdini, even after crappy performances. LaKisha, what fans you have might let you down.

See ya KiKi.

So, your thoughts?

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Monday, April 16, 2007

rewinding american idol...

We're down to the final three.

Note to season six finalists: Make no mistake; THIS is an American Idol.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

it's time for a shock?: a SIMULBLOG...

I cannot begin to describe how I detest these one-hour results shows. The reasoning? They gotta give the booted kid enough time to sing the song that got them killed in the first place. Yeah. Right. Knock off the foolish banter or cut out one commercial. That'll be enough time.

But no. We must increase our time while our cast of characters continues to decrease.

Well, all I gotta say about this is: there BETTER be a GROUP SING!

Jennifer Lopez will make a repeat appearance to hawk her poorly-selling CD; it will be on the top of the charts tomorrow. We will get a FORD COMMERCIAL! We will get interviews with the kids, because we really haven't gotten to know them this season. We will get 37 minutes of commercials. We'll have to endure more appeals for contributions to the "Idol Pats Itself On The Back" spectacular. But we better not get repeat performances from last night by the bottom three.

There's a scent of a SHOCKER in the air, and most pundits, myself included, think it's gonna be KiKi's last stand. Dial Idol has everyone but Blake in dangerous territory, so it's anyone's guess who might fill the bottom tier. I wouldn't be surprised to see a LaKisha/Jordin tandem, if, for no other reason than to boost Jordin's stake a bit higher going into the final seven show. But I still expect Phil and Haley to be there, because, well, they've pretty much homesteaded the seal this season. They just won't leave. And since every bootee this season has been kicked to the curb in their first (and only) trip to the bottom three, it's unlikely they'll leave tonight.

But we can hope.

Because THIS is American Idol.

And this is a SIMULBLOG, which means it's being blogged live, as the action is unfolding in the Eastern time zone, complete with typos and incoherence, published at each significant break, so if you're from another time zone, like, for instance, Botswana, and you don't want the bad news until it airs in your neck of the woods, you might want to check out
Pogo. That Qwerty game is kicking my butt. But stop back by after the show to gnash teeth with everyone else.

Ryan kicks off the show with the expected banter and has a little fun with this season's whipping boy, Sanjaya. See? This season just wouldn't be the same without him. Sanjaya, that is. Not Ryan.

YAY! Group Sing! Very entertaining. But I'm going through group sing withdrawal, so anything would be good.

Skin alert Yellow. Haley's got clothes on.

Ryan tells us that over 35 million votes were cast last night, as Ryan takes us on a public opinion stroll, time that would have been better spent doing, well, anything else.

Ryan introduces the "first" guest. First? That implies more than one. This is not going to go well. And it's Akon who, I think, was the performer who tagged along with Gwen Stefani. That officially gives him one more American Idol performance than Brandon Rogers.

Okay, when exactly did American Idol become the Ed Sullivan show? (Young people, ask your parents.) That performance was needless and, quite frankly, annoying.

I'm not going to be a happy blogger tonight apparently.

FORD COMMERCIAL! The kids are Happily morphing Together! YAY!

Charity show. Charity show. Charity show. Yadda. Yadda. Whatever.

Phil gets reminded of his reviews, and he's sent to the seal.
LaKisha gets reminded and is told she's safe.
Jordin gets her reviews, and is told she's coming back for country night.
Sanjaya is told to stand, then gets a never mind.
Melinda gets her reviews and, shockingly, is told she's safe.
Haley is told she's back in the bottom three.
Sanjaya's told to stand. Then told to sit.
Blake is safe.
Chris and Sanjaya are told to stand. One is safe; one isn't.
Sanjaya is safe, and Chris is sent to the seal.

For the first time this season, the bootee will not be a bottom three rookie.

One of them is going to get sent back to safety. And it's Chris, leaving Phil and Haley waiting for the ax.

Jennifer Lopez performs, and that means potty break.

Well, at least we're going to lose some of the dead wood, so there shouldn't be too much outcry, pounding of fists, gnashing of teeth or death threats upon Sanjaya this week, because neither of the two remaining added enough to the entertainment value of the show to be missed.

Phil is told he's safe, and Haley puts up a brave face as she waves bye-bye to the audience and watches her funeral video to the sound of Daughtry. And she's given barely enough time to give her swan song.

So long Haley.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

livin' la vida loca con jennifer lopez!...

In other words, it's Latin night with JLo. And eight will become seven when it's all sung and done.

Jennifer Lopez drops by to cheer on the kids and give them mentoring assistance, and, unlike many of the celebrities with CDs to sell, she seems really into this role and gives them, at least on the surface, honest to goodness help.

I don't recall a Latin theme since the disaster of season three, and, to be honest, I really hoped that the powers that be had shelved the mere idea of a repeat. After tonight, I wish they had. And, after tonight, I'm sure they will.

Anyway, here they are, my early impressions, subject to rewind, review and revision and, as usual, with the exception of the Sanjaya list, from worst to first:

Haley Scarnato (Turn the Beat Around). Skin Alert is Red. Very high skin alert, but Simon points out what the rest of us have known since the beginning of the finals. Haley can't compete vocally, but she's the best looking of the gals, so, like Sanjaya, she's playing what she's got. And what she doesn't have is talent. Vocal talent, that is. Yikes. This one was really bad.

Chris Richardson (Smooth). Okay, I've heard this song before, but I've never heard what Chris sang before. Thankfully, he was mostly drowned out by his onstage Carlos Santana, but I don't understand the unanimous praise given to him by the judges. I just don't. Understand. Don't.

Phil Stacey (Maria, Maria). My problem with Phil's performance, aside from the voice crack that made my dog whimper, was that I could almost see him reading cue cards for all of the passion that he infused into this song. He gets faint praise from the judges, but is certain [again] to tell a daughter story, just to touch a few hearts who, in turn, will touch a few phones.

LaKisha Jones (Conga). LaKisha continues with the unflattering wardrobe and attempts to break out of her comfort zone with a little Gloria Estefan. Breaking KiKi's comfort zone apparently includes sashaying from the deck to the big stage while moving her upper body. Randy slathers praise, but Paula and Simon give it a basic "yuck."

Jordin Sparks (Rhythm is Gonna Get You). Jordin continues the string of mediocre performances because, as she tells Ryan pre-song, that she would prefer it be 80s night. But tonight mediocre is more than acceptable.

Melinda Doolittle (Sway). Melinda draws the shortest straw and gets the lead-off spot. Jennifer Lopez tells her to pull a Haley and put on the sultry and sexy, to which Melinda cries that she's not sexy. And she's right. She should have caught Dancing With the Stars when they gave the hip movement lessons. Vocally she's typically Melinda, which is bordering on predictable (re: boring), but, for the first time, Simon says he's not impressed. Neither was I.

Blake Lewis (I Need to Know). Blake needs to deposit the golf hat in the nearest depository, but turns in a smooth, better than mediocre performance of this Marc Anthony song, giving him top honors for the night.

Sanjaya Watch:

Sanjaya Malakar (Besame Mucho). It wasn't horrible!! No it wasn't. At all. Sanjaya gets the pimp spot, grows some facial hair, curls the locks and stays seated on a bench and unbelievably, sings in Spanish on Latin night. And he sings in tune. Okay, he could have pumped up the volume a tad, and he could have showed a bit more emotion, but by damn, it wasn't horrible. Not at all. And I'm just gonna vote for him.

Okay now the hard part, because nothing this season is going according to plan.

Who I want: Chris (please), Phil (please!), Haley (PLEASE!)
Who should: Chris, Phil, Haley. I don't care in what order.
Who will: Phil, Haley (how much longer can these two escape?), and (goin' out on a limb) LaKisha.

Oh hell. I've called Phil for weeks, so I'm calling Haley so Phil might actually go.

C'mon. Your turn. Who's buying the farm this time?

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

from 9 to 8: a SIMULBLOG!...

There's a scent in the Idol air. And all the signs point to a surprise. According to DialIdol, eight of the nine are in position to get kicked out of the arena. (That's everybody but Doolittle and a real good way to ensure a great prediction percentage!) The betting sites are putting their money on a Gina exit. But this is the traditional week of the first SHOCKER. Could LaKisha be headed home a week or two early? We're minutes away from finding out.

Because THIS is American Idol.

And this is a SIMULBLOG, where I'm typing as the action's unfolding so there will be typos and incoherent thoughts, so if you're in the West and you don't want to be spoiled, this might not be the best place to hang out for awhile.

Just be sure to stop back by and discuss the destruction.

As usual we are treated to the highlights/lowlights from the performance night before, just in case we have forgotten who was good (Melinda), who was bad (Haley), and who totally stunk up the joint (Phil). And then we get to watch 289 commercials, because somebody's gotta pay the bills around here.

Random thought: Blades of Glory looks like a movie somebody would have to pay me to watch.

And the kids have gone green with Kermit in the FORD commercial. Hmmm. Looks like a retread of last season.

Oh no. They're doing the three groups of three again, just like last season.

Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson and Sanjaya Malakar are in the first trio. (The Dudes.)
Haley Scarnato, Gina Glocksen and Phil Stacey are in the second trio. And Gina looks like she's ready to hurl.
Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones are in the third group. (The Divas)

The divas are sent to safety.
The three dudes are sent to safety.

And, just as I called it (along with every other blogger in the universe) Haley, Gina and Phil are the three lucky bottom-feeders.

Ryan tells us that we're in store for a "very special" live performance, carefully skirting the well-known fact that Michael Buble will be subbing for the sick Tony Bennett.

But somebody's gotta pay the bills, so we have to watch 2 hours of commercials first. (This must be why the results shows are going to an hour starting next week. Yeah. That's why.)

IDOL CHALLENGE!! Brain-buster! Pick A and text to 51555! Chicken Little!!

Yeah, yeah. It's Buble. I woulda preferred a group sing. Maybe when the show goes to an hour we'll get our group sings back, pointy-poses and all.

I really don't like commercials...

The bottom feeders are standing on the seal. Phil is sent back to the couch.

Haley and Gina exchange big hugs, and the judges try to make things all better.

Each of the girls are reminded of their reviews from the previous night. Both are looking sick. Just under 33 million votes cast, and Gina's told to get the hell out of Dodge. Everyone is stunned on the sofa. Gina is bawling, probably because she should never have waved goodbye before the two who stood with her on the stage.

She gets to watch her funeral video while Ryan holds her securely. I hope she doesn't throw Mr. Pickle into the ocean. And her song, Smile, seems sadly prophetic.

She shoulda lost the tongue jewelry.

So long Gina.

So, what's your thoughts? Please discuss.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the nine: it's TONY BENNETT!!...

Tony Freaking Bennett! These kids better know how freakin' lucky they are.

And it's my favorite of all of the episodes - the American Classics night (sometimes called Big Band, sometimes called the Great American Songbook, depending on the season), but it's REAL music with REAL lyrics (that mean stuff) and REAL melodies that don't need rollercoasters or curlycues.

And anybody who butchers the real stuff is gonna get stuffed like the turkey they are.

Because THIS is American Idol.

And as a rule, the kids treated these classics with the respect they deserved, well at least as much as this group can do.

Anyway, here they are, the early reviews, subject to rewind, review and revision and, with respect to the "special list", as always from worst to first.

The "Sanjaya" list:

Sanjaya Malakar (Cheek to Cheek). Tony Bennett says he loves the kid, because he's not afraid to do his own thing. And that's a large part of the reason he's still in this dance. Okay, so his vocals were off in parts and all over the map in other parts, Randy finally nails it that he's not as much a singer as an entertainer - an entertainer that's learning on the job and doing a damn good job at it.

The "Non-Sanjaya" List:

Phil Stacey (Night and Day). Phil says he's waiting all his life to meet Tony Bennett, who tells him to pick up the tempo on this classic. So, of course, he doesn't because Phil doesn't normally take advice. And all of a sudden I think I'm sipping a daquari in a Vegas lounge. Randy says eww to boos from the audience. Paula says he's a young Sinatra. Paula is obviously drunk. Simon doesn't feel the lounge vibe; he's feeling more like funeral parlor.

Haley Scarnato (Ain't Misbehavin'). I'm fighting to find something else to say about Haley's performance aside from the length of her skirt and the depth of her neckline. Give me a minute. Paula tells her that green is "her color." Simon tells her she has great legs. Give them a minute. Give me more time.

Gina Glocksen (Smile). Gina decides to begin and end this song on a stool in the middle of the stage, not that the song needs anything more. But her rendition could have used a little stage action. I think this is the first time I've called her boring. And it's the first time that I'm going to criticize the tongue jewelry, which, with a microscopic camera all but up her nose, would have been better placed in a tongue jewelry box for this performance.

Blake Lewis (Mack the Knife). So Blake plays a bit with the lyrics and doesn't slow down the tempo as Tony Bennett suggested, but given the lead-off spot, doesn't massacre this classic too badly. Randy uses the word "pitchy", Paula calls him a "kool kat" and Simon gives him a 7/10 while giving the band an 8. Me? I say a 6.

Jordin Sparks (On a Clear Day). My new favorite, Jordin, must have been in a hurry to get to the sock hop, taking very little time to break from the strict melody to interpret the lyrics. Randy and Paula gush shamelessly. Simon tells her she didn't make an old song sound fresh. I disagree with all of them. While technically good, artistically it was just too rushed, until the last note which lasted through the last several singers and into House.

LaKisha Jones (Stormy Weather). Just as she did with Diana Ross, whose suggestion she rejected, LaKisha disregards Bennett's advice to let the final note speak for itself. She ought to consider taking the word of two people with 80+ years combined experience. She fights through the opening third of the song, knocks it out in the middle and blows it with a cheap ending tag. But the judges fawn like they normally do with LaKisha.

Chris Richardson (Don't Get Around Much Anymore). The judges tell Chris that he made a old classic young, hip and cool. I hate admitting it, but I agree. For the first time, I didn't cringe during a Chris Richardson performance.

Melinda Doolittle (I've Got Rhythm) This is how you do it right there. At least according to Randy. She has FAB hair (obviously taking hints from Sanjaya), starts this song as a ballad then lets it loose in one of her best performances thus far. And she seems to have dropped the "aw shucks/who me?" routine, accepting the accolades graciously, even when Simon whines that they've been unable to be mean to her. Don't worry Simon, there's always Haley.

So, who's history? My track record has not been so good this year, but I'm not giving up.

Who I want: Phil and Haley. (Phil, because Haley gives me wardrobe fodder.)
Who should: Phil, Haley, Sanjaya. (Phil because Sanjaya gives me hairstyle fodder and makes people totally crap their pants every time he stays, and that's always a fun time.)
Who will: Phil, Haley, Gina.

Phil, it's time buddy. See you at the finale.

So...who's on your list?

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!