Left the television on as I was at church tonight, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship), for KidStuf rehearsal and other fun and frivolity. As I came in tonight, whatever channel I left it on was current showing "Barb Wire", the Oscar winning epic starring one of the greatest actresses of our generation, and a first ballot entry into the Silicone Gone Wild Hall of Fame, Pamela Lee Anderson. As I sat, I checked my email real quick, found comments made about Disney pictures I posted (more to come on Facebook and here as well), and started to turn on the DVR, when I got IMs from my buddy Langer and from Erin the Marine Wife.
Now, since I don't talk to either very much, I was cool with chatting with them for a few, but as I was, I felt myself getting dumber and dumber because Pamela raced around the screen in her black leather, shooting things and blowing things up (no, not THOSE things, I mean like helicopters and cars and stuff) and what have you. I feel like I need to call up The Dainty Steph Halpert and talk to her husband, Matt Halpert the Science... Guy... pert... to help regain those lost IQ points.
So, if I wake up tomorrow and forget how to tie my shoe, I blame you, Langer, and you, Erin the Marine Wife for forcing me to watch fifteen minutes of "Barb Wire". In fact, I lost three IQ points just typing that name.
AMERICAN IDOL RESULTS!!!
Seacrest comes out, reminding us that there will be three people advancing... the top chick, the top dude, and whoever has the next highest amount of votes. I like it because our top 12 isn't necessarily going to be a mandatory 6 guys and 6 girls, it might be 8 guys, 4 girls, or 5 guys and 7 girls or whatever.
During the "how they got here" recap montage, I like the fact they are playing "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson, perhaps to make up for Stephen Fowler's bad performance of "Rock With You"...
Can I just say, no one under 25 or maybe more fully how understands how magnificent of a performer Michael Jackson used to be. Now, he's a punchline, he's a joke, when you say his name, is automatically associated with little boys, or no nose, or the high pitched stupid voice.... but back in the 80s? Back in the days of "Thriller", when it first came out, or when "Bad" was first released... I mean, Michael Jackson was a bad, bad man, and holy crap he could dance.
I'll have to explore this further soon... but it helped me miss the usually terrible group performance, this time butchering Jason Mraz's hit "I'm Yours".
And now, we get the clips from last night... Jackie T dancing, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy ballad, Mike the Oil Rigger over doing the overdone "I Don't Wanna Be", Stevie Wright's disaster, Casey Carlson's facial twitch nightmare, Stephen Fowler's "Rock With You" that upon a 2nd viewing was terrible, some guy I can't even remember his name to tell you how boring he was, Tatiana the Annoying, Anoop Dawg's melancholy, Ann Marie's bad Aretha decision, Alexis Grace taking the show until... Danny Gokey takes the stage.
They are all on the Couch of Destiny now, as Seacrest grills them about how they are feeling and such. Cindy Warner told me tonight she just wanted some time to pluck Anoop's eyebrows. Now that she said that... holy smokes... those things might be their own Idol contestants.
My predictions are... Alexis Grace... Anoop Dawg... and Danny Gokey...
Tatiana the Annoying is just that. Get rid of her! Seacrest points out the three seats who will hold the top 12. Casey is up first... and she has to know there is no way she's going to get to sit in those Stools of Destiny. And its revealed--she is done. Stephen Fowler comes up next. And he's not in the Top 12.
Alexis Grace... she actually reminds me of what Gwen Stefani would have looked like at 21. And I think one of those Stools of Destiny has her name on it. And now... it has her booty on it, cause she is in the Top 12. She actually gets to sing her song again...
Jackie T and The Ballad of Ricky Braddy both walk up. This has to be tough, because this early in the show, they just had one girl move to the Top 12, you have to think that they won't have another finalist awarded this quickly. The Ballad of Ricky Braddy is not in the Top 12. Jackie T is also not in the Top 12.
Anoop Dawg and Mike the Oil Rigger come down next. So who makes it? Going on to the Top 12 is Mike the Oil Rigger. Dude! Rock on! I really like this guy, singing voice or no, he's a great guy to have around.
Just as well with Anoop. If he would have won American Idol, the terrorists win.
Speaking of which, there was a movie that came out a few years ago called "American Dreamz", which had the backdrop of a talent show much like Idol... one of the plots featured this Muslim kid who was pushed through to the finals only to suicide bomb the president, who was making a special appearance. Well, with Anoop gone, that's now out, I guess.
They are doing a feature of the new attraction at Hollywood Studios, called "The American Idol Experience". Its really a fun show, and I'll talk more about that in an upcoming post.
Coming down to the stage now is Carly Smithson and Michael Johns... what happened to her? She was so rockin' pretty! Now she looks like she planted her face into a paint tray of makeup. Time to fast forward.
Seacrest calls down Ann Marie Boskosomething. Brentoby Keith stands up as well. Stevie Wright stands up. Seacrest is calling them out all at once. And who makes the Top 12? None of them. This leaves Tatiana the Annoying and Danny Gokey, with one spot remaining. I would say that this country couldn't have possibly voted in Tatiana the Annoying... but seriously, look who our president is.
By the way, chicks love Danny Gokey. I heard a few people talk about Idol at church tonight, and the females I heard all talked about how much they loved Danny. So, I think this gives alot to The Goke. So, one is in, one is out, and... its... The Goke! Danny Goke knocks off Tatiana the Annoying, who is crying onstage, almost with a "that should have been me!!!" face.
So, its Alexis, Mike the Oil Rigger and The Goke who are now in the Top 12. No mention of how they'll choose the wild card singers. We do see the ones singing next week, and I recognize like, four of them.
The moment of the night, though... watching everyone onstage after The Goke finishes his song, clapping, celebrating, congratulating Alexis, Danny and Mike the Oil Rigger... and they flash to Tatiana, who is bawling her eyes out, her face in a "This sucks! I'm better than all these people! I am better than that blonde chick and that big fat oil rigger guy and that guy who the only reason he won is cause you stupid people out there fell for his whole sympathy 'my-wife-died' thing! I'm better than all of them! I deserve this!" Love it.
THE PERFORMANCE SHOW FROM TUESDAY NIGHT
They've made it through auditions... they made it through Hollyhell week... they made it through the Final Judgement... they've made it through The Lovely Steph Leann and her deadly face coverin' blanket... and now, here they are, the Top 36... they'll perform 12 at a time, and the top three from each group will move on to the American Idol Finals.
IS AMERICAN IDOL!!!
This time, there is no second chance. The guy with the highest vote, the girl with the highest vote, the next guy or girl with the highest vote all get slots in the Finals. The final three spots are chosen by the Wild Card Show... Seacrest just introduced the 12 performing tonight, though the names were spoken too fast for me to even type 'em down.
Jackie Tohn is first up... she's 28, and unlike Nate the Pansy, she really, really wants this. She'll be singing "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley. You might know this from "Ocean's 11", which took a very little known Elvis tune and made it famous. Personally, I love the song, its probably one of my two or three favorite Elvis songs. And Jackie isn't killing it, she's putting a bluesy tone on it... but not my favorite.
The Lovely Steph Leann just "mm"s me when I mention this, though that "mm" might be more from the cotton candy she's nibbling on, cotton candy that I bought for her at the Main Street Confectionary in The Happiest Place on Earth last week, along with the peanut brittle that she might get to tonight as well. I'm such a good husband.
Randy says it didn't blow him away, but he liked it. Kara loved Jackie working the stage. Paula enjoyed the fact that Jackie got her up dancing. Simon, with a smile on his face, still thinks Jackie played a "clown" tonight, with a gimmicky song. I totally agree with Simon.
To top it off, The Lovely Steph Leann hates Jackie's shoes. Oh the indignity!!
Ricky Braddy is next. Who is this guy? Hearing his montage is the most I've ever heard him speak. His family is holding a sign that reads, "The Braddy Bunch". I make fun, but really, if my name was Braddy, I'd totally be playing the Brady Bunch card. His song is "A Song for You" by Leon somebody, to which The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up and says, "I love Karen Carpenter's version of this." Of course she does. The Lovely Steph Leann loves all things Karen Carpenter.
Or instead of the Brady Bunch, maybe I'd call my website "Birmingham Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Braddy". That's funny! Once again, he's got a good voice... but the song kinda bores me. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Good stuff!"
Randy says, "This is the start of season 8! Unbelievable!" Kara says, "You killed it! Amazing!" This guy is shaping up to be Elliot Yah-meen Part 2: Good Teeth Strike Back. Paula loves him. Simon says, "Very good... I'm not jumping out of my chair... but you don't have any star quality."
And they spew the whole "this season is the best ever!" What are they going to say? "You know, we got some good people, but ain't none of them nearly as good as two years ago... but stay tuned anyway!" And when Seacrest is interviewing him, Ricky Braddy doesn't have his mic on. So no one knows what he just said.
Here comes Alexis Grace. She's cute, she's got flippy pink hair, looks comfortable in animal print clothes and is singing "Ain't Never Loved a Man" by Aretha. Oh geez... she's taking on Aretha. And instead of just copying Aretha, she does her own slinky, sexy take on it... and hey, it sounds great. And the little black dress doesnt hurt either.
Dig it! I loved it!
Randy said, "you done found the dirty and the soul! you worked it out!" Kara throws some forth some cliche, while Paula begins her tirade of butterflies and rainbows. And she almost cries. Is this really the chick I had on my wall in 9th grade? Eesh. Simon loved it as well.
So, after three... I pick Alexis Grace by a mile, followed by The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, and Jackie T.
And in the audience, we get a shot of Neil Patrick Harris and Ted Danson... I'm guessing they are in a movie or show coming up, because otherwise, that would be the most random pairing ever.
Idol goes country, with Brentoby Keith up next. And when they cut to do Brentoby Keith's montage, they screw up and show a still shot of some chick. Finally, the montage works. He's singing a song called "Hicktown", naturally, and from the first note, he's gone.
I look at The Lovely Steph Leann and simply say, "He's gone" and she doesn't even look up from her blanket. She just slightly nods her head to agree. I mean, Brentoby Keith isn't doing too bad... but its karaoke. Or like an opening act of a country band with some country term as a name, like "Jar of Pickles" or "Pork Rind Band" or "Tractor Pull". The kind of opening band that will be forgotten quickly, after Kenny Chesney or Martina McBride takes the stage.
Kara and Paula both wanted him to take a bigger risk, Randy says it was pretty good, and Simon? Paula says, "You are a country star, look what happened to Bucky Covington" and Simon asks, "What has happened to Bucky Covington?" My thoughts exactly.
Who doesn't love a chick named Stevie Wright? She's cute as a button, despite having about 103 teeth in the front top part of her mouth. Very, very toothy.
She's doing "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift, a great song choice, because Stevie and Taylor are only seperated by a year or two... and both I and The Lovely Steph Leann cringe when Stevie starts singing. Perhaps its nervous, The Lovely Steph Leann says she's flat, but either way... this is terrible.
Wow. She just blew the biggest audition of her life. Randy didn't like it. Kara didn't like it. They both tell her she went way, way too safe. I think the song was fine, she just did a terrible version of it. Paula searches for clouds and puppies, but can only come up with fog and a milkbone. Simon says, "It was terrible. There's no point booing, it was really terrible."
The Lovely Steph Leann is still "uuhhh" and "uugghhh" about the whole song.
Anoop Dubai, or Anoop Dogg as we might start calling him, comes up now. He sang "My Perogative" by Bobby Brown in Hollywood week, which was just weird, made even more weird by the fact it sounded good.
Anoop Dogg is taking on Monica's "Angel of Mine"... I gotta tell you, as much as he doesn't look like anyone who can sing such a song, he is a great singer.
Sometimes I wonder about the backup singers. Typically its three or four black chicks who sometimes sing better than the actual contestants... but do you think that they ever get the song they'll be backing up, and laugh amongst themselves, "I know that crazy white boy ain't even gonna try to sing James Brown, is he? I mean, its our job to back him up, but still..." So when they get this from Anoop Dogg, they think, "I know that crazy Indian boy ain't even trying to sing Monica, is he?" And he is. And did. I liked it.
Randy liked it. Didn't love it. Kara liked it. Didn't love it. Paula liked it. She just likes him. As for Simon, he thought the song was too grown up.
After half the contestants have gone, I gotta say its Alexis, Anoop Dogg, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith and Stevie Wright. I can only hope someone is better than The Ballad of Ricky Braddy for that 3rd spot.
Here comes someone with "I Love Pickles!" potential, that being cutie-patootie Casey Carlson. She's even got a superstar name. I mean, I'd buy a Casey Carlson CD before I'd buy a Stevie Wright CD.
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is the song she's going to sing... tough order. Go Casey. The first note is harsh, but she picks up quickly. Holy crap she's hot. But her song is not. It's just pretty good... but not great. The Lovely Steph Leann can't figure it out either, maybe its the music, but whatever, it just doesn't click. However, Casey Carlson is still frickin' hot.
Randy and Kara both sing, "Everything about that song was wrong..." and Kara says, "You picked the Police! No one goes after those songs!" and Paula tries to say something good by telling her how pretty she is (never a good sign), but that it didn't work. Simon says, "you look good, but the singing was atrocious, and you could not have chosen a worse song and arrangement."
And here comes Michael the Oil Rigger, from Jasper, TX. Mike from "Dirty Jobs" did the oil rigging once, and yes, its a dangerous, dirty job. Michael the Oil Rigger is doing Gavin McGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be", a song that really is... well, its overdone.
I think I've heard this song more on American Idol through the years than I ever heard it on the radio, especially in the last few years. Mike the Oil Rigger is rockin' out with it, looking like he's having a good time and all. I mean, its not awesome, its not great, but its good and it looks fun.
Randy says, "Yo, you can sing, but it started rough for me." Kara agrees its a crowd pleaser, but wanted more from him. Paula liked it lots. She got confused by watching the mic go from hand to hand as he sang, sort of like following the ball atop the words in a Sesame Street singalong. Simon says, "We like you. This wasn't the best vocal, but you might get through."
The Lovely Steph Leann likes him lots.
And here comes Ann Marie Boskovich who has "hot potential". She's the one who sang in her auditions, got sent out to find a better song, came back and made it through. She's also taking on Aretha, "Natural Woman", so we'll see if she can take out Alexis Grace in the top spot.
"before the day I met choo..." is what she sings, and The Lovely Steph Leann laughs. Ya know, its a good rendition. Again, not fabulous, but better than most. And as the song is winding down, she's getting better... wow, two Arethas done right in the same night. Remarkable. Ted Danson loved it.
Randy says it wasn't a good song choice. Kara agrees that the song feels old fashioned. Paula stumbles around, ending up at, "you did better than you've done before..." and Simon? "If we were searching for the best hotel singer in California, that would have been quite good. But your voice isn't good enough for that song."
For me, I thought it was great. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "if you do that song, you have to strip that song, do it different, you can't do Aretha."
With three left... here's my picks... Alexis Grace, Anoop Dogg, Ann Marie Boskovich, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Mike the Oil Rigger, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith, Casey Carlson, Stevie Wright.
Just saw the trailer for Wolverine: Origins. Just peed myself. I'm as giddy as Michael Jackson in a daycare.
Stephen Fowler, big, stocky and afro cool, he's the guy who forgot his lyrics during a song in Hollywood week and walked off stage. And he's singing "Rock With You" by Michael Jackson... he has the potential to blow me away right here. I love this song.
This is a song that the backup chicks probably went nuts over. Dude, Stephen is doing it! It's different, its not the same old boring ballad, its Michael Jackson when he was black, back before he was all weird and Chris Hansen's dream project.
The vocals weren't even that good, the song wasn't great, but heck, I liked it. Randy didn't like it. Maybe its because it was so different is why I like it... Kara didn't like it either. Paula actually chides him for getting a second chance and blowing it. Simon hated it, calling it the word of death: "Corny".
During commercial, I comment that Tatiana the Annoying is up next, and The Lovely Steph Leann groans. "Oh... she's gone. Oh, I hope she's gone." Seacrest even pokes fun at her laughter. She was all kinds of psycho annoying in Hollywood Week, with this terrible laughter.
"Saving All My Love For You" by Whitney. NO! NO! YOU DON'T DESERVE TO SING CLASSIC PRE-CRACK WHITNEY!!! EVER!!!
You know that scene in Spaceballs when Princess Vespa is in the prison cell, and singing a very low "Nobody Knows" and Barff says, "She's a bass!" That kinda reminds me of Tatiana the Annoying at the beginning of this song... however... admittedly... she's not bad. Both I and The Lovely Steph Leann really wanted her to be... but compared to most of the performances tonight, she's not bad.
She might even be good. I might have to rank her in my top three tonight. Crap.
Randy says, "you had some moments in this song that was like 'you can sing!'" Kara says, "Your like a roller coaster!" Kara asks where she fits? I say the exit door is good. Paula sounds like she's about to cry with every word. Beautiful and pitchy is Paula's description. Simon calls her a drama queen, and tells her she's completely, desperately trying to be famous. They all tell her to be annoying again!
Finally, its Danny Gokey, the guy who was best buds with Jamar. He's a church music director who lost his wife a month before he auditioned. The Lovely Steph Leann really likes this guy too. And then he sings, "Hero" by Mariah, and The Lovely Steph Leann actually shakes her fists and says, "No! I hate that song!"
Entertainment Weekly calls him Robert Downey Junior Jr, which is what she's been saying for weeks. Seriously though, I like this guy. The song is boring, one of my least favorite Mariah songs, but Danny Gokey is at least doing it, doing it, doing it right.
Randy is throwing his fist up, Kara is yelling, Paula is standing, Simon is just there. Randy says, "That was blazin' hot!" Kara bangs the table, Paula says, "I have two words... sold-out arenas!" Simon? "Back to the real world... it was good."
So, finally... I choose Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey, Anoop Dogg, Tatiana the Annoying, Stephen Fowler, Ann Marie, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Mike the Oil Rigger, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith, Casey Carlson and Stevie Wright.
I'll discuss the results show on this posting tomorrow night...