Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Discussing Diddy, Didi and Yogurt Mountain

To read the latest Idol recap, scroll down or click here

To read "Chirp", a piece of which I'm quite proud of and hope doesn't get buried and unread, scroll down farther or click here

We headed to dinner late tonight... out of our choices for dinner--Baha Burger, Chipotle, Dale's, Purple Onion, Jason's Deli, of which I didn't really want to go--we chose Baha.  We got there at 7:53.  They close at 8p, and we felt pretty bad walking in wanting food with five minutes to go.  So we walked next door to Pablo's Mexican.  Let me just say, it was fantastic...

My three rules of Mexican restaurants:
1) Keep the tea coming
2) Bring my sour cream out with my meal, not a few minutes after
3) Read rules 1 and 2 and follow them.

Our guy was great, filling our tea when it was barely at the half point full, and the sour cream was out with the food.  Awesome.  And while we were in there, we saw half of Idol, the half that saw Katie Stevens join the Bottom Three.  As Katie walked to the Silver Stools of Shame, we left, full and happy.

Full, yes.  Done, no.  We then went to this fairly new place that I like to call Build-A-Waist.  Otherwise known as Yogurt Mountain, where there are over a dozen kinds of frozen yogurt (I went with cheesecake, she with strawberry cheesecake), and at least 30 toppings (I went with coconut, peanut butter chips, cheesecake bites and graham crackers).  You fill up your cup and then pay by how much you have in there, at a rate of 45 cents an ounce. 

And now, full, overly full and happy, we return to The Cabana.

And here's some Idol chatter...

Fast forward through the recap, through Ruben Studdard singing, through the Ford promo, through the Clash of the Titans promo, through what seems like 15 sets of commercials... seriously, why is this show an hour long?  This can be knocked out in 30 minutes easy, even with a few promos and a performance.

They are killing so much time, talking to each contestant, talking to the judges about each contestant, droning on and on about nothing.

Fast forward through a Justin Bieber sighting--who is this kid, anyway?--and an Usher performance

Fast forward through another set of commercials

Safe so far tonight?  Lee Dewyze, Casey James, Siobhan Magnus, Aaron Kelly.

Didi Benami stands up and I call it--Didi taking a walk to the Silver Stools of Shame.  Now, Big Mike stands up.  Seacrest fakes Big Mike out by saying, "This is surprising, Mike would you walk over here, please..."  And amidst looks of shock, Big Mike walks.  Seacrest stops him, gives him a handshake and says, "You are safe."  Then Big Mike proceeds to yank Seacrest off of the floor, high in mid-air. 

C'Bosox stands.  She's safe.  Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban stand up.  Andrew is safe, Tim Urban joins Katie Stevens and Didi Benami on the Silver Stools of Shame... Seacrest sends one of them back to safety... and it's (please Didi... please Didi... please Didi...) Katie.  The Lovely Steph Leann shouts, "SUCK IT!" in frustration.

I'm afraid Didi Benami is going home tonight. 

Fast forward through commercials

Fast forward through Diddy Dirty Money

This exchange:

The Lovely Steph Leann: Who?
Me: Diddy Dirty Money
The Lovely Steph Leann: Who?
Me: It's Diddy.  You know, Puff Daddy?
The Lovely Steph Leann: Like, Sean Combs?
Me: Yeah.  He's Diddy, and I guess his group is Dirty Money.  I dunno
The Lovely Steph Leann: That's a stupid name

Fast forward through more commercials

My thought is that the only way the judges would use the Save tonight would be for Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus or now, Lee Dewyze.  And because Tim Urban nor Didi Behami's names are Crystal, Siobhan or Lee, there's no chance.

And I was right.  Didi Benami is gone.

I thought the Idol season was on an upswing.  I thought perhaps, after last night's show, with Usher, maybe, just maybe we were seeing things on the rise.  People were starting to step it up, we were getting rid of the chaff... and now this? 

This show sucks.

Ushering in a New Idol

Here's the thing... this is a bad, bad year for Idol.  Its Simon's last year, and rather than going out with a bang, its a slow whimper.  Kara the New Hotness was great last year, seeming to be a great (fine?) balance between Paula Abdul's dithering and blubbering, Randy's "dawg yo man dawg" and Simon's sometimes over the top cruelty.  This season?  She's slipping toward Pauladom faster than I can feel weird that a Billy Mays infomercial is on my tv right now.  That's fast.

Ellen DeGeneres is, in my mind, a disaster.  She's not funny.  She's kind of annoying.  She can't and won't give any kind of criticism without adding on how great they look, or how much she loves them or whatever.  I think she's terrible. 

So, we don't have alot going for us this year.  Even Seacrest has avoided saying things like "the best Idol season ever" and "the most talented group we've ever had".  This is bad mojo.  Yeah.

this is american idol

Tonight's mentor is Usher, one of those guys who, in 15 years, will be like Pat Benetar is now... "Wow, I didn't realize they did so much stuff that I like!"  Right now, on the iPod, Usher's duet with Alicia Keys, "My Boo", is tied for third (with "Rock Your Body" by Timberlake and "How to Save a Life" by The Fray") as the most played track, with 53 spins.  And who doesn't like "Yeah!" with Ludacris and Lil Jon in the background.

I'm watching this on Wednesday afternoon, and when I relay my concerns to The Lovely Steph Leann, who has already seen it--she tells me "I think its actually the best show this season thusfar.  Some were same ol, same ol... others were really good tonight."

The theme is Soul/R&B.  Usher jokes that he's going to be critical, which I wish wasn't a joke, but he does admit he will be brutally honest.  Good! 

Getting the lead-off spot tonight, the front runner not named Bowersox is performing "Through the Fire".   Originally done by Chaka Khan, Siobhan does the unthinkable tonight.  Stinks it up.  Like, wow.  Because I'm not only tone-deaf, I'm tone-devoid of ears, I looked at The Lovely Steph Leann to make sure I was hearing this correctly.

"She's not doing so hot, is she?" I ask.  The Lovely Steph Leann just grimaces and says, "No... no."

Randy the Dawg didn't like it much.  Ellen DeG didn't like the performance (but loves Siobhan).  Kara the New Hotness says that Siobhan delivers, and she just had an off night.  Simon the Cowell says it sounded like she ran a marathon, and singing while running out of breath--that is, it was all over the place.

Course, after the judges speak, its like they spend the next five minutes telling America that it was a fluke, and she's still really, really good.

Country man is taking on "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave, which is a bluesy classic from the day.  Usher's sound and the music CJ wants to make cannot possibly be more different and apart.  Usher says, though, "keep an eye on him..."

Seacrest says this song has never been done on Idol's stage before, if you can believe it or not.  A little rock, a little blues, a little rasp in the voice... dude, CJ is great tonight.

Randy the Dawg loves it.  Ellen DeG calls it generic (but she loved the song).  Kara the New Hotness also thought the song should have had more range.  Simon the Cowell loved it. 

So, perhaps for the first time, at least in recent memory, someone is doing an India.Arie song.  I've often wondered if I should put a "." in my name too.... d.$.  What do you think?

He sits, guitar in hand, on the outer part of the stage, back to the judges who are only slightly turned around towards him.   Now, while I wasn't a huge fan of the song itself, but he sounded really good.   Randy the Dawg liked it lots.  Ellen DeG says it was beautiful (and she loved him).  Kara the New Hotness says it was incredible.  Simon the Cowell says that Big Mike has finally come to a point to be taken seriously as a recordning artist.

The best looking of the contestants--though that doesn't translate into talent always--is singing "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted".  In rehearsal with Usher, she breaks down and cries... remember, she's the one who had the friend die before Idol. 

Am I wrong to believe the suggestions I've seen that Didi would have been better playing the guitar, or just going acoustic with a single guitar player while singing this song?  The piano behind her is nice, but its not all that great of a performance.  Seriously, I expected better.

Randy the Dawg says the performance kinda flatlined.  America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeG says it was dramatic and it was not her best (but she loves Didi).  Kara the New Hotness says that Didi has lost her way in the competition.  Simon the Cowell says it was muddled and old fashioned. 

But the real fireworks come when Seacrest comes out and tries to push her buttons by mentioning a possible connection to that song choice and her friend dying.  She never even admits that that was the reason that this song makes her emotional and moves her... and Seacrest says, "Tell us why..." even after she persists in not saying why.  Even Simon calls him out, saying, "Ryan!  Ryan!"

In the green room, the video shows Didi being hugged by the other Idols.  She hates Seacrest right now.

So, this guy.  I don't even think he deserves a nickname.  No more "Sounds Like Keith" or "Wish I Were Keith"... and what's he going to try and sing tonight?   One of the sexiest, most sensual "get it on" kinda of songs, "Sweet Love" by Anita Baker.  Let's just say "Sweet Love" isn't about being sweet with flowers and candy.  Song of Songs comes to mind.

And Tim is singing it.

Here's what Slezak said on Entertainment Weekly... For weeks, Tim has been squatting at the abandoned building at the corner of Cluelessness and Hubris that's been empty since Kristy Lee Cook vacated it back in season 7. He attempted ''Apologize'' even though its falsetto notes were well beyond his reach. He treated the raunchy ''Under My Thumb'' like a Land Before Time soundtrack selection. So why not choose Anita Baker's ''Sweet Love'' (the smooth-jazz equivalent of a Harlequin novel) and sing it with all the passion and emotional depth of a man reading off an eye chart at the optometrist's office?

Yeah, I feel that.  And right there on the stairs, he looks kinda creepy.  What on Earth made Tim Urban even choose this song? 

Randy the Dawg tries to find pros in a sea of cons.  He struggles.  Ellen DeG says she can't keep riding on the fact he's adorable.  She says, "Oh boy... why?"  (but she thinks he's adorable).  Kara the New Hotness says Tim ripped the soul out of the song--and Tim laughs.  Simon the Cowell says, "he's laughing because it doesn't make any difference to him what we say."  

That was dreadful.  When Simon the Cowell just tosses up his hands and says, "People will vote for you, you'll smile, doesn't matter, you'll be here next week, so... well done.  Whatever."  its bad times.

He's had a rough few weeks, perhaps finally moving past the "I did a good job in auditions" to "I should actually do something now."  And tonight, he picks "Forever", though I'm not sure when and where the song was written in conjunction with punching Rhianna. 

Not familiar with this song, so here we go... and ya know, its not bad.  I'm guessing with guitar in hand, Andy Garcia's version is probably a little different than Chris Brown's version.  But as it is, I like it.  I really like it. 

Randy the Dawg declares "Andrew is back!".  Ellen DeG says he finally moved past the other song (and she loves his smile).  Kara the New Hotness says she is so happy to say its one giant leap in the right direction.  Simon the Cowell says, "Miles better than the last few weeks... but as a person, you are boring."

Four words you don't want to hear tonight... "Katie takes on Aretha".  First, let's be honest, Aretha could fold up Katie Stevens and eat her in a sandwich.  Secondly, her singing "Chain of Fools" sounds like a worse idea than it is... no, its an equally bad idea. 

Not good.

The outfit is terrible, the sound is terrible.... its too bad that Idol can't pull a Survivor and do one of those "two eliminations tonight!" kind of episodes.  Katie and Tim would both be gone by the time this show rolls around next week.

Randy the Dawg said it was disconnected, but still loved the performance.  What?!  A young Christina Aguilera?  What?!  Ellen DeG said it was great. (and she loves her earrings)  What?!  Kara the New Hotness says she belongs in R&B Pop.  WHAT?!  Simon the Cowell calls Randy crazy for comparing her to Christina Aguilera.  He says it was "pretty good... but a little cold."

Last night, while at The Happiest Place in the Mall, The Lovely Steph Leann sent me a text around 9ish, and said simply "Lee was great!".  So I'm looking forward to this one.

Lee will be singing "Treat Her Like a Lady".  I've said it before, I really like this guys voice.  It sounds good, its got a rasp and soul to it.  Usher tells him that he's got to believe in himself, because, "If you don't... they won't." 

Who knew that, at the beginning of the season, this guy would be so friggin' good?  Love it love it love it.  This is where Daughtry started.

Randy the Dawg says, "Unbelievable!  Best I've heard in weeks!".  Ellen DeG says, "Unbelievable!  Best of the night!"  Kara the New Hotness says, "this could have been on your album."  Simon the Cowell says, "This might be the night your life changes forever." 

His face is like, "Holy crap... this is real..."

Two styles, she and Usher.  Two different styles.  She's going to be singing "Midnight Train to Georgia", instead of doing the guitar, she is sitting in front of the piano.  Now, this is a song that I've never been crazy about... don't get me wrong, Gladys Knight & the Pips brought it when they threw down on this one... but still, never dug it all that much.

C'Bosox is making me like it.  Let's not assume I'm going on iTunes now to buy it or anything, but I like her arrangement on it, and her take on the song.  Good job.

Randy the Dawg loved it.  Ellen DeG loved it.  Kara the New Hotness loved it.  Simon the Cowell loved it, but said the background vocals shouldn't have been there--The Lovely Steph Leann said the same thing mere seconds earlier. 

So, this kid going on 13 is taking on one of the greatest songs of all time, one of my favorite 25 songs of all time?  I defer to EW's Slezak...

Okay, Idol judges, I get it. You don't want to say anything nice about your season 8 champ. (Apparently, Simon Cowell's ''you deserved to be on this stage'' speech during last year's performance finale was supposed to be Pocket Idol's lovely parting gift.) But how is it possible that, at the end of Aaron Kelly's rendition of ''Ain't No Sunshine'' — which was the musical equivalent of watching in slo-mo as a toddler knocks a priceless vase onto a tile floor — none of you were inclined to point out that as far as the Idol stage is concerned, that song belongs to Kris Allen? I mean, that song was such a moment for Kris during Top 9 week last season, he repeated it during the finale, and throughout last summer's Idols Live tour. And yet all Simon could muster was that the song had been done brilliantly ''many times'' during previous Idol seasons. (Um, by my count, only Kris and season 1's Christina Christian have covered the Bill Withers ballad on the live Idol stage, although Lee Dewyze auditioned to the song this season. Correct me if I'm wrong though — as if I have to ask y'all to do that! Ha!)

What next? Is Aaron going to tackle Adam Lambert's ''Mad World,'' Fantasia's ''Summertime,'' and Kelly Clarkson's ''Stuff Like That There'' in quick succession? (Hey, he did David Cook's ''I Don't Want to Miss a Thing'' last week!) I declare these actions to be Rated CP...for ''Child, Please!''

Still, the most daft part of Aaron's performance was the way he totally discarded Usher's excellent advice to add more passion and emphasis on the succession of ''I knows'' in the middle of the song. Aaron's Usher-influenced second take in rehearsals was a vast improvement on his maiden voyage, but once he hit the Idol stage, he performed a brutal soul-ectomy on ''Sunshine,'' gutting it of any deeper meaning and reducing the lyric to a simple recitation about a rainy-day forecast in Los Angeles

Randy the Dawg said it started rough, but it worked out.  Sort of.  Ellen DeG thought it was good.  Kara the New Hotness just liked it.  Simon the Cowell says it doesn't compare to some of the great performances tonight. 

I agree.  I thereby rank Aaron Kelly dead last, behind Tim Urban and Katie Stevens this week for what atrocities he's attempted on this stage.  And I am hoping for a three-way dead tie in votes. 

Lee Dewyze... C'Bosox... Casey James... Andy Garcia... Big Mike... Didi Benami... Siobhan Magnus... Katie Stevens... Tim Urban... Aaron Kelly


Let's be straight up honest here... The Lovely Steph Leann has sinus issues and allergies.  As a result of such issues, she has a... what I mean is, sometimes when she's sleeping... that is, she... okay, she snores.  I don't say that to embarass her, I don't say that to call her out, I don't say that to put her down or shame her.  In fact, its really nothing more than sinus issues that she consistantly deals with, which is nothing to be ashamed of.  Do I snore?  Perhaps.  She says I do, though I've never heard the proof, so who knows--regardless of whether I do or not, that's not important.  The fact that she does is important to our little tale.

I have several decisions to make in the evening concerning bedtime... do I go to bed and go on to sleep before she does?  If I have to open at Starbucks, requiring a 410a wake up time, then yeah, there's a good possibility of that, or at least go to bed when she does.  Do I stay up, doing stuff I wanted to do, like watch something on DVR, or blog, or read or whatever, then go to bed later, hoping if she is wailing away, I can suffer through it?  Maybe.  If I have to open at  The Happiest Place in the Mall the next day, then I might be up a little later, or if I have the day off, I might stay up way late, then just go to bed and pass out. 

Our nights are always a little different.  Sometimes I nudge her with my foot, other times I bump her a little to get her to turn over.

This past weekend, The Lovely Steph Leann was out of town.  Its so weird how, when she's here, I have to deal with if and when she's going to be sawing logs, but when she's gone, the house feels a little lonely.  She came back a little worse for the wear, and on Monday was just feeling terrible... so much so, she called into work.  Won't get into details, but she just wasn't feeling up to par.

I had Monday off, save for a short meeting at Starbucks that I attended, so for me, it was a day of well intentioned, yet non-producing laziness that we all need every now and again.  Heck, I don't think I even showered until like, 2 or 3, which is when I finally got something to eat.  I had a hard enough time staying focused when I was in college... dear goodness, if there had been Facebook, Roller Coaster Tycoon, DirecTV, DVR or the expanse of the interweb then as there is now, I'm not sure I would gotten anything done--I'd have been that guy to work hard at getting straight 0's. 

Tuesday, I had a full day... had to be at Starbucks for what's known as a "princess shift", that being a shift of only 3 or 4 hours.  I was due in at 7, working til 11, then home to shower, grab lunch and head to The Happiest Place in the Mall by 130 to work until close.  So Monday, I was relaxing, but mentally preparing for time constraints--and lack of breaktime--the next day.   The Lovely Steph Leann spent time with her mom on Monday evening, feeling marginally better but oh so exhausted. 

I knew she was tired.  I knew the weekend away, though fun for her, had just zapped her of all energy.  And I knew full well she needed as much uninterupted sleep as she could possibly get.  So, even though both of our heads hit our respective pillows around 1130p Monday night, I knew there was a more than good chance of me moving to the futon later on in the evening.

Upstairs in The Cabana are three bedrooms.  The master is close to the front of the home, the back bedroom is large and though right now is more of a "catch-all" room, we do have plans for it, and the middle we just call "the guest room".  In this guest room is a high quality, fancy schmancy futon couch bed that, when the noise gets a little too much for me, I grab my pillow and my phone (making use of the alarm) and blanket and head there.  This past Monday night, it was just like that.  I sat up in bed, just grabbed my pillow and blanket and headed down the hall.  Because she was tired, it was one of those nights that I just didn't feel right about nudging her, or trying to move her around to quiet her sinuses... it was better just to let her be.  See, that's the kind of awesome hubby I am.

Once in the guest room, I folded down the futon to the bed, spread one of my mom's famous quilts over it, then lay down, pulling another of my mom's famous quilts over me.  Planted my head down, and drifted right on off to sleep.   It was about 12:15am.  Had to be at work in just under 7 hours, meaning I had to get up around 6:15.  Six hours sleep?  Wonderful.  I'll take it.




I opened my eyes, dazed, but not confused.  There's only one sound that could be. 



There's no mistaking that sound.  Its a sound I can hear coming from the next house.  Its a sound I heard many times in college cause we were all too broke to fix it.


The fire alarm batteries are dying. 


I rolled out of bed off of the futon bed and stood up.  Sigh.  The Lovely Steph Leann and I have discussed this very scenario before--one day we'd have to replace these batteries, and I said, "We have no 9 volt batteries" and she would say, "We might.  You will have to check."  I never checked, but I knew the answer then, just like at 1:50am. We didn't have any.

Didn't stop me from going downstairs to check.  I rummaged through the drawer that everyone has--the drawer of stuff that you don't know where to put it, and (chirp) stuff you don't need until you need it, at which time it somehow has magically disappeared to parts unknown, only to be found later when you either don't need it again or have replaced it and put the replacement back into that same drawer.  That's a crazy run-on sentence, but everyone knows what I'm talking about.

I found a few candles, some matched, a couple (chirp) of cookie cutters, some AA batteries, a few AAA batteries, two D batteries, a single C battery (who needs only one C battery?  In fact, what even uses C batteries anymore?) and a few other fun items.  But no 9 volt batteries.  Well, my solution?  Take out the batteries on the fire alarms, both of them upstairs, and replace them later.  I'll tell The Lovely Steph Leann and she won't let me forget, so it'll get done in a few days.  Then I can sleep.

But... there's a problem with this plan.  I'm a little shorter than I need to be for such a task.  Somewhere, in the confines of The Cabana is a five foot step-stool ladder.  Its somewhere.  But I don't know where.  Not too long ago, probably right after the 9 volt battery conversation, we had this exchange:

The Lovely Steph Leann:  Where is the stepstool ladder?
Me:  I dunno, haven't seen it.  We probably need to find it.
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Yeah, we do.

So now, at 2am in the morning, I have a crazy need for this particular stepstool.   Back downstairs, through the kitchen, I open the (chirp) garage door and flip on the light.  I'm tired, my vision is all jacked up, my throat is parched, I'm stumbling around even in the light, its not good times.  Bad times.

I scan the garage, and don't see it.  I check all the places that I've checked a few times before--the pantry, the small side porch, even (chirp) in the guest bathroom... like then, I find nothing.  I make my way up the stairs, into the guest room, look around the walls--its like, five feet tall, so its not as if its hidden between a CD case and a dresser, for pete's sake.  Nothing.  I stick my head into the back bedroom and even though there are many boxes of things yet (chirp) unpacked, again, there's nothing of a ladder shape.  I walk through to our little "bonus attic" room.  Nothing.  Except for a two foot tall Christmas Mickey Mouse that KT brought us a few years back (thanks KT!).

I stand at the end of the hallway, looking up at the fire alarm.   How am I going to get (chirp) there?  Not to mention that there's another fire alarm at the other end of the hallway, so I am not even sure which one is beeping.  Thinking, racking my addled, tired brain, I look around for something.  I grab the (chirp) rolling chair from the guest room out from the computer desk, and pull it into the hallway.  I stand on it and realize I'm still at least a foot or two short.  I roll it back, sighing.  I need another chair to stand on... or... maybe two chairs... maybe if I stack chairs... no, the folding chairs we have won't stack like that (chirp) and they would all over and I'd break my fool neck and... but what if... what if I had more than two chairs?  What if I... yeah... that might work...

I go back into the back bedroom and look around again, not for the ladder but this time for the folding chairs that we have in there... the five folding chairs we have in there.  You know in the movies when someone is looking for something, and the camera scans the room and it goes by several things that they person isn't looking for, scans right by the thing that is being sought, stops and then snaps back to the thing needed?  That's me with the chairs.  And, within three minutes, I (chirp) come up with this:

Not a groundbreaking design, that of a chair pyramid, but for 2:20 in the morning, I can live with it.  I climb atop the top chair, and reach up for the alarm.  It screws out of the ceiling, attached by two wires--one red, one white, immediately making me think that if I cut the wrong one, the bomb goes off... actually, if I cut either, The Lovely Steph Leann goes off, and that might be worse.  No battery compartment.  I look it over, move it around, and find the battery door.  I open it, and pull out the 9 volt.  I carefully place it back in the ceiling, climb down, move the chairs one by one (so as not to clink and wake The Lovely Steph Leann) to the other end of the hall, the one by our bedroom door, climb up again and pull out the other battery. 


Victory is mine. 

I move the chairs back down the hall, leaving them opened against the wall.  I'll deal with them later.  Its 2:25am, I have to be at work in about 4 and a half hours, so if I get to sleep, thats 4 hours.  I can live with that.  I mean, I already had about 2 or so, and though interrupted sleep isn't ideal, its what I got. 



...chirp chirp...

...chirp chirp...

...chirp chirp...

I open my eyes and sit up.  Seriously?  Like, seriously?  So, are modern day fire alarms set up now to keep chirping when the batteries are removed?  Both fire alarms now emit a high pitched chirp, almost in unison.   And what's worse is, they didn't start that "battery removed, replace it!" chirp when I pulled the battery out.. oh no, no no... they both waited until I was settled down again, with my eyes closed, then somehow coordinated an attack on my stamina.  

I suddenly have visions of me, hanging off of the ceiling by only the red and white wires, fire alarm in hand, pulling until they come loose.  I have visions of an Office Space printer style execution, with a bat in a field, while some gangsta sings, "Die mofo die mofo die!" in the background.  Visions of just hitting both of them hard with a hammer, as they remained planted in the wall. 

Exasperated, I open our bedroom door, change from PJ pants to some regular shorts, toss on a better t-shirt, and head downstairs.  To the garage.  To the car.  And to Wal-greens.  And into Wal-greens.  And to the battery aisle.  And to pick up a four pack of 9 volt batteries.  And back to The Cabana.  And back upstairs.  And back up the pyramid of chairs.  And out with the old, in with the new.  And back down the (chirp) pyramid of chairs.  And (chirp) moving the chairs back down the hall.  And back up the pyramid of chairs.  And out with the (chirp) old, in with the new.  And back down the pyramid of the chairs.  And moving the chairs back down the hall again, so when The Lovely Steph Leann comes out of the bedroom, she doesn't walk into a wall of folding chairs.


Blessed, sacred silence. 

Its 4:45am.  I have to be at work in a little more than 2 hours.  Which means I can hopefully get about an hour, to an hour and a half of sleep.  Maybe.  Maybe I can sleep... maybe...

Sleep comes.



I just lay there, open my eyes.  Not only are the fire alarms openly mocking me, but it woke me up 3 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off.  I get up, head to the bathroom and get ready for work.  For what was supposed to be anywhere from five to seven hours of sleep before a full day turned into maybe, possibly three to four hours of sleep in 90 minute segments.  And The Lovely Steph Leann slept through it all.


When I got home from The Happiest Place in the Mall, I was pretty doggone tired.  But it was managable.  The Lovely Steph Leann was on the couch and we discussed our days of work, and I shared with her my eventful overnight battle with the two fire alarms (chirp) upstairs.   We both agreed that the ladder was in fact, somewhere in this house.

Remember when I told you that my internal camera did the movie thing where I scanned the chairs, went past them, and came right back?  Well, in this same movie, as I stood in frustration with no ladder, walking out of the back bedroom, the camera would have then focused on the closet in the corner.  Because (chirp) that's where the stepstool was.  Then I had to figure out which alarm was chirping.  I stood under one and waited for it... chirp... not that one.  Went to the other, and waited for it... chirp... and not that one either?  Did I buy dud batteries?  Did I (chirp)... wait... is that coming from our bedroom?  I stick my head in the door, look up an lo and behold, there's another fire alarm.  I wait for it... chirp... not that one either, but does this mean there are more fire alarms?  I go into the guest bedroom, look up and right on cue, CHIRP.  Loud and clear.

I bring the ladder in, open it up, take two steps up and replace the battery.  Silence.  Silence.  Silence.

And even though its blessedly quiet now, I check the back bedroom, and yep, there's a fire alarm in there too.  Turns out there are five alarms upstairs.  Five.  I've only got one free battery.   And a day later, its sitting on an upstairs ledge.  I'm sure I'll replace the other alarms.  Maybe before the chirping.  Maybe.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The 100 Coolest Things of 2009... 50 to 41

First of all, thank you to everyone who has been visiting here either daily or at least every few days... I know for those of you who could care less about Idol--and let's face it, there hasn't been a lot to care about this season--its rather boring when all you see is idle Idol chatter when you come here looking for Happy Times stories, maybe a movie review, or even a mention or two of He Who Must Not Be Re-Elected's last week or so...  so, thank you.

Secondly... why aren't you a fan on Facebook, eh?  If you are reading this on Facebook, you need to go to Clouds to see any video that might be on the site, then search "Clouds in My Coffee" on Facebook and become a fan.  Its the right thing, nay, the cool thing to do. 

Third, we still aren't done with 2009 yet!  In case you missed it (and since I haven't done one of these in a month, you might have!), here's where we've been thusfar:

The 100th to 91st Coolest Things of 2009
The 90th to 81st Coolest Things of 2009
The 80th to 71st Coolest Things of 2009
The 70th to 61st Coolest Things of 2009
The 60th to 51st Coolest Things of 2009

And here we go with the next ten...

The 50th Coolest Thing of 2009... "Right Round" by Flo Rida
Yes, yes, I know the song is a few years old, and yes, I'd heard it before... but I'd never really taken to it until this year.  This year?  It's kinda catchy.  Silly, a little corny, somewhat stupid, partly annoying and all from a guy who's name is taken from a state with a space in between (I'm guessing "Ken Tucky" and "Oak LaHoma" were on the list.  What about Gior Juh?  Ha!  I got at least 46 more of these), but its use of the term "Benja-min Frank-ah-lins" alone makes me laugh.  Its a good work out song.  Not that I work out, but if I did...

The 49th Coolest Thing of 2009... "Mother Lover"
Well, this is a family show.  I keep it Rated PG, every now and again delving into a PG-13 territory, but for the most part, I keep it clean.  So, for this spot, I won't bother linking to it, I won't put up pictures, I won't do anything but give a nod to K-Dub and then say four words:

1) Mother
2) Lover
3) Timberlake
4) Hysterical

The 48th Coolest Thing of 2009... "The Rise and Fall of the WCW"
When I found out this video was coming out, I almost peed myself.  I was so friggin' excited, as I remember vividly the fabled "Monday Night Wars"--that being the battle between WWE on USA Network and World Championship Wrestling on Turner owned TBS.  I was a huge, huge WCW an, having watched it since 1986 or 87 as a kid, when it was called NWA (National Wrestling Alliance", a few years before WCW).

Anyway, I've always been fascinated by the downfall of the WCW in the late 90s, not just as a wrestling fan, but just from a business prospective.  You know how when someone gets straight zeroes in college (knew a guy) and you say, "Man, he had to work to fail that badly..."?  Well the guys running the WCW seriously had to work to fail this miserably.  This was chronicled in my pick for the 18th Coolest Thing of 2006, the book called "The Death of the WCW", and the DVD here is along the same lines.

Its a 3 Disc collection, with two discs devoted to classic WCW matches including stuff like Ric Flair vs. Magnum T.A. from 1985, the classic Flair vs Steamboat Chi-Town Rumble match from 1989, one of Sting's first matches, that being against Big Van Vader from 1992's Great American Bash, the unintentionally funny Bash at the Beach from 1998 with Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone against Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman, a huge War Games match in 1996 with Sting, Lex Luger, Flair, Arn Anderson, Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and nWo fake Sting.  Yeah, exactly.

Oh, and its got a match from 1998's Halloween Havoc between Diamond Dallas Page and one of my favorite wrestlers ever, Goldberg.  Goldberg absolutely ruled.  Page lost the match after getting hit with a spear AND a jackhammer. 

How 'bout that's Michael Buffer ("leeet's get reeeeeeady to ruuuuuuumbuuuuulllll") in the ring, and Tony Schivione on announcing duties.  Awesome.  By the way, I wanted to do that entrance at my wedding, the one where Goldberg comes out to pyro, and the smoke, and I yell, breath out the smoke, throw the punches and slap myself in the head.  The Lovely Steph Leann said no.  Party pooper.

But the real gem on this disc is the documentary that follows the origins of the WCW, from the beginning with Jim Crockett Promotions to the infamous "Black Saturday".  It took off when Hulk Hogan joined, turning heel (bad guy) for the first time in his career, and the fact that one of the chapters on the DVD menu is titled 'Mistakes Begin', followed by "Vince Russo" says it all.  If there is to be any criticism, it would be on the matches themselves... there should have been a little more surrounding each match, perhaps teh lead up to, and the aftermath, not just from bell-ring to pinfall.  And really, did we need to see a match between Lance Storm and Booker T?  To emphasize how badly things were going for the WCW, they took Booker T, a great wrestler and renamed him "GI Bro".  No kidding.

Great DVD. 

The 47th Coolest Thing of 2009... Lunch With...
It was a good year for reunions.  Lunch with Stan McDuffie in the spring of 2009 was great.  We graduated together, and hadn't seen the guy since the Samson High reunion of 2002.  We met at a BBQ joint in Homewood, and just shared life stories, our pain of what had then-recently happened in Samson and more.  It was awesome.

Not to long after that, I met up with Drew Roe, a fraternity brother of mine who also lives here in town.  That's the crazy thing about Birmingham... I share a city with so many people that I would love to see more of, but never do.  Anyway, we had some lunch, caught up, laughed, did some reminiscing, and had a good time.  Promised each other we'd do it again, and hopefully we will.

 Met up with Barrow, one of the coolest guys I've ever met, and the perfect name for one of my characters in the book I might eventually write.  Saw Tiffany Abbott at a Chick-fila.  Met with both Dayla Ellison and Rebecca Jourdan Samuelson (we'll get to her later) over lunch, two dear, dear friends that I was so excited to see again. 

This Spring's goal?  To have lunch or dinner with Chris McCall.  I'm planning on heading home for a day or two at the end of April, when The Happiest Place in the Mall is finally The Emptiest Place in the Mall, and I'm going to make it a point to find this guy. 

The 46th Coolest Thing of 2009... "The Princess & the Frog"
There's not much more I could add to what I felt about this movie when I wrote about it in December 2009, so here's some thoughts from that post...

Plot in a nutshell, its a Disney twist on the story of The Frog Prince, the story that has a girl kissing a frog who turns into a handsome prince. In this tale, however, Naveen, the handsome prince, has been turned into a frog by the voo-doo man, Dr. Facilier, and when he convinced our heroine Tiana to kiss him, she turns into a frog herself. Hijinx, hilarity and romance ensue as they, along with Ray the Cajun Firefly and Louis the jazz playing crocodile, try to find Mama Odie to help them turn back into humans again.

The animation is stunning. The film is beautifully drawn, and to its credit, its done so much so that there's no way this film could have been a computer animated feature--it would have lost most, if not all, of its charm. Tiana is a heroine who is working hard for her dreams to happen, not waiting around for someday, her prince will come, and that is to be admired. Much has been made about Tiana being the "first black princess", and yes, that's true, but this film definately takes liberties with history--she's best friends with a rich debutante named Charlotte, which alone is an impractical thought in the time period this film is set in. I didn't get caught up in that, though, and you shouldn't either.

One thing to be aware of when watching this film... you are witnessing the birth of a classic. This is a movie that, no matter how successful it will end up--and it will end up successful--that Campbell Isaiah and Lorelei Addison will watch, and their children will watch as well in 2040 on whatever home video format we're up to then. This is a movie that will be released in Blu-Ray and DVD in April of 2010, and will disappear into The Vault in June of 2011 or so, not to be available for 7 to 10 years.

This is the birth of a true Disney Princess, one that we'll be seeing with the likes of Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Aurora for a long, long time. The last time we saw a true Disney Princess emerge? Mulan. The last time we saw a true Disney classic not-named-Pixar unfold before our eyes? Yep. "The Lion King". That was the last movie heralded and beloved enough to go into The Vault (well, "Fantasia 2000" also is in The Vault, coupled with "Fantasia", but that's kinda another story)... For me, and perhaps I'm the odd case, this is exciting. I'm thrilled that Disney has finally broken through the ceiling they put on themselves with "Dinosaur" and "Brother Bear".

The 45th Coolest Thing of 2009... JT Wins Survivor
Someone sent me a message last year and said, "Hey, so there's a guy from Samson on Survivor.  Do you know him?"  Up until then, the only notoriety Samson had recieved was the terrible massacre from... well, I'm not going to say his name, he doesn't deserve a mention.  So I did some checking up on Survivor, and what do you know, James Thomas was going to be on the show... James, the little brother of Tammy Thomas, who was a friend of mine in high school and who graduated with me, the same Tammy who scolded me for not snatching up this pretty girl named Stephanie, my friend, who I had brought with me to the 10 year reunion. 

And with the country accent, the sly look and the aww-shucks personality, what the heck--JT won the whole shebang.  Seriously.  Like, holy crap, the kid in whatever elementary school grade when I was a senior won a million bucks on Survivor.  I have his picture in my yearbooks! 

Anyway, it was a fantastic season of Survivor, and I'm excited that JT is on the equally as stellar current season, the Heroes vs Villians Survivor.  And if he wins, or comes close to winning, I'm already planning on going to Samson for the Survivor party this year. 

The 44th Coolest Thing of 2009... "Party in the USA"
Oh shut up. 

The 43th Coolest Thing of 2009... "The Blind Side"
Just like "The Proposal", this is a movie that the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.  I thought "The Blind Side" was great when I walked out of the theater, and somewhere down deep, I knew iI was going to like it more and more as time when on.

Here's what I said in December of 2009 when I reviewed it for the first time:

Its full of laughs and heartwarming moments, but its never preachy or manipulative. The movie's intent it never to make you feel like you have to cry, and it doesn't seem like its showing you the "Hallmark" moments just for the awwwww factor... its part of the story. In movies with this "helping each other out" theme, there's always an uncomfortable moment when the kids hate the new person, only to have this togetherness scene that brings them together--"The Blind Side" never has that. SJ and Collins are nothing but loving and supportive of Michael, and it even enhances Michael's rebuilding of his life.

The movie is excellent... its feel good, its warm, its funny, its everything a family movie should be, one that pokes at you to say "awwww" without demanding you tear up or feel sympathy and guilt. After the movie was over, I leaned over to The Lovely Steph Leann, and in my most politically incorrect tone said, "We should go to Ensley and adopt a black child." She frowned at me, then rolled her eyes and got up to leave. She's good at that.

The 42st Coolest Thing of 2009... Walt Disney World with Ty & The McLeods
Talk about a whirlwind trip... I had a few days on my own, as The Lovely Steph Leann was out of town.  I thought, hey, why not go to Disney World?  The Lovely Steph Leann wasn't too keen on my going all alone, so I recruited The Honorable Rev'rn Ty Sharpton and Tommy Mc and Amy McL to come with (that's us, there, after being soaked in the Backlot Tour)

We left midday, got there at something like 1am, checked in, slept for just a little while, spent the full day at Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, then the next day, walked around Downtown Disney before coming back.  Wow it was fast.  And tons of fun, because Disney is always better with friends.

The 41nd Coolest Thing of 2009... New Shoes
Shoes are those things that you use, but don't realize how good they can be until you find a pair that fits you exactly right.  Thus, this:

During our trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth in June, my feet were getting blistered. The Lovely Steph Leann chalked it up to my Lugz that, while comfortable, were just not made for the walking, standing, running and walking more that we were doing for 14 hours per day, four days in a row--the Skecher tennis shoes weren't doing any better. After watching her to go New Balance and spend over a $110 on a pair of shoes (which, all these years in marriage later is almost still unfathomable), I decided it was finally time to get myself a good pair of sneakers. We discussed it, and, still coming to grips about the fact that I might have to spend that much to fit my wide feet into some comfy shoes, I went to a local shop called The Trak Shak.

The guy there wasn't old... but he knew how to size a foot. I told him what I was looking for--a pair of tennis shoes that could be used for three things--running, walking and if needed, playing tennis, if I ever decided to get my chunky tail up and do something. I told him that my problem was my feet were wide, and it was hard to find a good pair of shoes that I liked. He listened, he asked me to walk around and he told me that he could tell from my walk that I tended to walk inward, probably due to lack of good footwear. Long story short (too late?) I came out with a pair of Nikes that fit... perfectly. What size? 9 1/2. I call them my Trailer Shoes. Why? Cause they are "Double wide".

The whole story can be found here.

Up next... A "Sweet Thing"... Going where no man, save for over a dozen movies and at least three TV shows, have gone before... and later, more Disney... and even more Disney...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Late Night Miley... The Full Idol Coverage

Me, just returning from The Happiest Place in the Mall:  So, The Lovely Steph Leann, how was Idol?
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Eh, it was alright
Me:  So no superstars yet?
The Lovely Steph Leann:  No, not really.

It's been quite a weekend... The Happiest Place in the Mall has been rockin' for weeks now, and this weekend was no different.  Starbucks kept me busy on Friday, and early on Monday and Tuesday (today).  And in all that work, in all that scurrying around, we won't discuss "The Bill".  Yet, anyway.

I've been wanting to blog about my recent trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth, and some of the fun little stories that taking, among others, two special needs children can give you.  But no time.  Of course, there's always Happy Times stories to relate... and still, no chance to share 'em.  And lest anyone forgets, I'm looking for a job in the next few months... so there's that.

And here we are, almost into April, and yet, I'm still 50 spots away from listing the Coolest Things of 2009.  No, I haven't forgotten.  And I"m just warming up for "The Summer of 35", and Clouds in My Coffee's 5th Anniversary.  And still, so little time.

So I've got to discuss all that, and at some point, I need to really spill the guts on this travesty of legislation, that being the Health Care Bill that He Who Must and Will Not Be Re-Elected signed into law earlier today.

My intentions were to come home tonight, say goodnight to The Lovely Steph Leann, who already watched Idol, then come downstairs and watch that same show, and do my little report on it.  That was at 11pm.  Well, here it is at 12:21 in the morning, and what am I watching?  The end of WWE: Raw, where Batista and John Cena have one final face off before WrestleManie XXVI this Sunday! 

Alrighty, Batista talked trash, Cena finally called him on it, they scuffled, "security" came out, Cena and Batista got a few blows in, then while Cena stood in the ring, Batista stormed off to the locker room.   So its 12:27am. 

Let's see how far we can get in thirty minutes, shall we?



Tonight, they take on Billboard #1 songs... and guest "mentor" tonight, none other than Hannah Montana herself, Miley Cyrus.  Okay, let's get this admission out of the way first and foremost.   I like Miley Cyrus.  I used to not.  I used to think she was kind of annoying, and yeah, I kinda still do.  Her show is amusing at best, only in certain parts, and straight up, I'm more of a Emily Osment (Haley Joel's sister) fan--downloaded her EP off of iTunes, and its great.  Back to Miley.

The Hannah Montana movie was atrocious.  But the soundtrack?  Not so bad.  "Dream" and "Butterfly Fly Away" stand out on the soundtrack, as does "Hoedown Throwdown".  I also kinda dig on "G.N.O." and "Seven Things." 

You want to have a real theme night challenge?  How about the music of Billy Ray Cyrus?  One person gets "Achy Breaky Heart", and the rest get stuck with "Some Gave All", "Could've Been Me" and "Where'm I Gonna Live".  That would rule.

"Party in the USA"?  I'm addicted to that song.  I think that song is an absolute hoot, hitting every guilty pleasure nerve unlike anything since "Fergalicious".   Personally, and I don't say this because Miley is 17, I just don't think she's all that good looking.  Well, unless you count the "Party in the USA" video, something that conflicts me, because I kinda think that there, and only there, she's kinda hot, but at the same time I almost can't help but think ahead to Lorelei Addison's teenage years, and how if I ever saw her with shorts that short and a top cut that like that--or writhing around a stripper pole atop an ice cream truck (and hopefully, she'll be raised to never actually be in any situation involving a stripper pole AND an ice cream truck, even if it is on a kid's award show), I'd wring her neck--and I'd expect all of you to do the same. 

I will now go call Chris Hansen, admit my guilt, and then smash my face on the nearby halogen lamp.

Lee D is pulling out "The Letter" by the Box Tops, an old, old classic... "give me a ticket for an aero-plane...".  Its that song.  Miley says its a great song, and I'm guessing the first time she's ever heard this song was when Lee D practiced it for the first time.

As I'm listening to this song, I can't help but think that this song is not a doo-wop song, and not really a jazzy kind of number, but that's what Lee D is doing to it.  The Lovely Steph Leann told me earlier she enjoyed it.

Randy the Dawg loved it.  America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres... well, she kinda rambles a little like Paula.  Kara the New Hotness, a "of-age" Hotness thank you, raves about Lee D.  Simon the Cowell is like the other judges, surprised by the choice of the song.  He enjoyed the sound, but said the song wasn't a good choice.

Its almost 1am.. I'm exhausted... let's continue this tomorrow.  Who did you like, by the way?

Aaaaaaaaaaand we're back.  Its now Wednesday night, its almost 8p, we fired up the DVR and is now ready to watch....

She's going to try to take on "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins, but I'm guessing she's shooting for the Mariah Carey version from a few years back.  Did you know that "Against All Odds" was nominated for an Oscar for the 1984 movie of the same name?  Its notable, not just because its a great song, but its a terrible movie (so sayeth The Lovely Steph Leann"), and also because the Academy didn't ask Phil Collins to perform the song at the show.  Therefore, he sat in the audience as someone else sang it, and gave a frowny face.  Wouldn't you?

Another great... and I use that term loosely... song from a bad movie is "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder, from the Gene Wilder film "Woman in Red", also starring a soon-to-be Kelly LeBrock.  Its notable because not only is it Rated PG, but as a PG movie, it features not a topless scene, but an actual bottomless scene.  Not good times if you are 9 watching HBO at 4 in the afternoon and this comes on.

I'm talking about these things to avoid discussing Paige Miles, because she was absolutely terrible.  TERR-IH-BULL.  So bad that America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres told her that she looked great, and then said, "And I'll let Kara the New Hotness and Simon the Cowell critique the music..."

The Lovely Steph Leann warned me this was terrible, and Hurricane Rhett earlier tonight told me to watch out for her.  They were right.

Tim-may is being coached by Miley Cyrus, who tells him that he rocks. 

He's doing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, another Idol standard.  They should do a theme night called "Songs That Ain't Never Been Done On American Idol", which would eliminate the entire Aretha, Whitney (pre-crack), Mariah (pre- and post-skank) and Kelly Clarkson catalogs.

This song has been done to death alot as well... but I gotta say, Tim-may isn't doing too badly.  I mean, I'm not downloading his song on iTunes tonight, but its survivable.  After Paige Miles, the bar is set pretty low.

Randy the Dawg called it boring.  Ellen DeG said it was an audition for "High School Musical 6" and corny.   Kara the New Hotness called it Zac Efron & "Hairsprayey".  Let me tell ya, that's not a bad thing, because Zac Efron is not only loaded, he gets lots of dates.  Simon the Cowell didn't like it either.   I dug it a little.  Not a lot, but a little.

The Kid has is crushin' on Miley... its kinda funny.  Of course, he is younger than Miley, which makes me feel really old.  And you know what else makes me old?  That most kids now know Billy Ray Cyrus as Miley's Dad, not Achy Breaky Billy Ray.  Go figure.

Seriously?  Is he doing "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"?  Sigh.  My stomach, which is already a little quakey from this weekend's almost-illness, just turned a little when he tried for that high note.  Sad to say, but I like Tim-may better.

Randy the Dawg said "Thank God you started singing tonight!".  Ellen DeG said the song choice was perfect.  Its to be known that Aaron Kelly is sick, with tonsilitis, and Kara the New Hotness just raves about how brave he is to sing with his sickness.  Simon the Cowell says the same.

They cut to Miley in the audience, who is sitting by... her mom?  Is that her mom?  Wow, that woman has some choppers.  Reminds me of when Ross got his teeth whitened, combined as when Matt Dillion had the teeth added to impress Mary. 

She's doing "Me & Bobby McGee" tonight.  Miley says she loves that song, and I'd be willing to be the only time she's ever heard that song is when Billy Ray plays it on an old record on a random Sunday afternoon at home.

C'Bosox stands, guitar in hand, and if I may interject my own opinion here, Janis Joplin is perfect for her.  Randy the Dawg yells about her being a star.  Ellen DeG shows lots of love.  Kara the New Hotness tells her to let go, and how awesome she is.  Simon the Cowell gushes, making fun of other people as he does. 

As the big man comes in, he gives Big Mike a big bear hug, and Miley just fell in love.  He's singing Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman"... or maybe he's doing Michael Bolton's version?  We shall see. 

Channeling his inner Ruben Studdard, Big Mike comes out and pours velvet all over the microphone.  Its not a huge risk, really, but Big Mike is singing his kind of song.  Soul.  Smooth.  And I can dig it.

Randy the Dawg said it wasn't perfect, but he liked it lots.  Ellen DeG said it was a safe choice, but she loved it.  Kara the New Hotness said technically it was good, but kinda boring.  Simon the Cowell said the same thing. 

Here comes Andy Garcia, trying to work on "Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye.  Miley is suggesting that he put the guitar down, and sing straight up.  No, not that "Straight Up", he already did that.  And that goose has just about laid its final egg.

He sings it, it sounds 'eh', and Randy, Ellen and Kara the New Hotness didn't like it, and Simon the Cowell actually says "Maybe we overrated that Paula version you did, in hindsight..."  Wow. 

So, one 17 year old mentors another, and the 17 year old in question, Miley Cyrus, is helping the other, Katie Stevens, with "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie.  Thats the song that says, "I'm gonna miss you like a child misses his blanket...", one of the silliest lines in musical history.

Katie asks Miley how she deals with the negativity out there, and Miley says, "Well first, make sure you don't pole dance on the Kids Choice Awards show, secondly, don't get naked for a 'tasteful' Vanity Fair shoot when you are like, 15, and third, make sure all risque photos of you don't end up on MySpace."  She didn't say that, but she could have.  Should have.

Fergie is at home with her hubby, and yes, after hearing this, big girls do cry.  Fergie is doing it now because of what Katie did to her song.   And yes, Cindy Jo is weeping.  Not that she's a big girl, I meant "big girl" as in "grown up" and... what I meant was... oh, never mind.

Randy the Dawg liked it, while Ellen DeG called her the "dakota fanning" of Americal Idol.  Really?  Kara the New Hotness tells her pop with R&B leanings is her home.  Simon the Cowell, the voice of reason, then speaks unreasonably.  

Seacrest is calling numbers faster, so it must be a time constraint.

CJ has the line of the night, telling Miley, "I'm a big fan... of your dad's."  HA!  That was awesome.  CJ is doing "Power of Love", from Huey Lewis & the News, right outta "Back to the Future."  Great, great song.  Huey Lewis & the News were awesome back in the day... "Jacob's Ladder"... "Hip to Be Square"... "Stuck With You"... "Do You Believe In Love"... rock on, man, rock on.

And rockin' on is what CJ just did.  Awesome.  For me, I think this might be the best, for me, performance from CJ so far, I mean, for me.

Randy the Dawg liked it, Ellen DeG loved it, Kara the New Hotness loved it and Simon the Cowell hated it.  Somewhere, Cindy Jo is drooling. 

Miley talks to Didi, who is singing "You're No Good" by Linda Rodstant... Ronstant... Ronstadt?  Who cares.  Have'nt liked her in 20 years.  Seacrest just called Didi Banimi... which is a great name.  Go with it, Didi!

Personally, I thought she was great.  I can dig me some Didi. 

Randy the Dawg called it pitchy.  Ellen DeG didn't like the song choice.  Kara the New Hotness said it was over dramatic.  Simon the Cowell said "you singing 'you're no good' was ironic..."  Boo! 

So, what is the problem with the judges?  If the names don't include "Magnus" or "Bowersox", its almost as if they are pre-inclined to not like it. 

The Quirky One is singing "Superstitious" by Stevie.  Add him to the list of artists that the catalog has practically been wiped out, for better or for worse.

In the pimp spot, closing out the show, here comes Siobhan Magnus.  I will admit, however, I do like her... she's very likable, very fun, and very, very talented.  Whether I'd buy a CD from her, or download a song she's done remains to be seen. 

She does screech a lot, though.

Randy the Dawg says she's fearless.  Ellen DeG wants more.  Kara the New Hotness loves the expression by her.  Simon the Cowell says the audience might be split, and cautions her about the screeching. 

Here's where I rank 'em... CJ... Big Mike... Didi Benami... Siobhan Magnus... C'Bosox... Lee Dewyze... Tim-may Urban... Katie Stevens...Andy Garcia... Lil Aaron Kelly... Paige Miles 

And now to the results show...

The Top Eleven will get cut to The Top Ten, and this is a big deal, because the Top Eleven do not go on tour.  The Top Ten do.  The Top Eleven do not get paid for endorsement deals and touring and such.  The Top Ten do.  The Top Ten will make a heckuva lot more jack than the Top Eleven.

Seacrest reminds us of The Siobhan Bowersox Memorial Save card, which they may play to save and overturn any elimination as voted on by the American people.

And the group song tonight?  "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! is what we get.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I thought they were giving up group songs.  Dang."

Fast forward through commercials

Fast forward through the Ford Music Video

Siobhan's followers are in the audience, dressed up with fake blood on their faces, and calls themselves "Siozombies". 

Because Miley is the only one performing tonight, Seacrest is killing time like crazy by talking to the Idols on the couch. 

The Silver Stools of Shame are presented, and now we are up the results.  Siobhan stands up.  She really is like the Chick Adam Lambert (repetitive statement?).  Well, after the vote, she is staying on the show, heading on tour.

Lee Dewyze and CJ stand together.  This usually is bad, though it also usually comes at the end of the row, after four other people are told to sit.  After the nationwide vote?   Not yet.

Tim Urban and Paige Miles stand up together now, before we find out what happened with Lee and CJ... I like this change up on revealing results.   Paige is in the bottom three.  Tim is also in the bottom three.  CJ and Lee are still standing. 

Fast forward through commercials

Next week?  Usher comes to Idol, during the R&B Soul Theme Week. 

Fast forward through Miley singing

Fast forward through Miley talking

Fast forward through Miley still talking

Fast forward through commercials

Seacrest pimping Idol's charity site

Back to the business at hand.  CJ and Lee are safe... apparently, after we went to an earlier commercial, they were told to sit.  Botch.  Epic fail.

Aaron Kelly stands.  The Lovely Steph Leann kinda likes him, I find him kind of annoying.  He's safe. 

Didi Benami stands up.  This is good, which means she probably will be staying.  Seacrest points out that some contestants take a risk and gets praise, and others take a risk and get killed, and Didi agrees, saying, "I don't know what the judges want..."   Seacrest tells her to sit.

Big Mike stands up.  Next to him is C'Bosox, and on the end is Katie Stevens and Andy Garcia.  My guess is that Katie and Andy will stand together, and Katie goes to the Silver Stools of Shame.  Big Mike is safe.  C'Bosox is safe.   And now, Katie and Andy Garcia stand together.  And to the Bottom Three goes Katie Stevens... ha!   The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Oh, he's safe and can go on the tour.  I'm glad we don't go to those concerts."

And going back to the Couch of Comfort is Katie Stevens... The Lovely Steph Leann deadpans, "Yay."

Fast forward through commercials

Did you know that Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato are dating?  They are here to sing a song from the Disney Green movement album, "Friends for Change."  This was called "Make a Wave."   Joe has cut his hair, Demi is wearing a chandelier on her finger.

Fast forward through Joe and Demi singing

Seacrest:  So, Joe, you were in Dallas, and you saw Tim Urban audition!  How do you think things are going?
Joe Jonas:  Well, I guess not so good

Fast forward through commercials

We're back.  Who's going home?  Paige Miles.  That was a foregone conclusion.  The audience is groaning, but probably not because she's been eliminated, or because she is about to sing.   Simon the Cowell just flat out tells her she is going home, even before she performs, as they won't be using the save at all. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Winning 2010 Bracket

Alrighty... if you want to win your office pool, then read this blog.  Well, if you are in an office pool, you've already submitted your blog, but you can compare your bracket with mine. 

You want to win, then dig this:

In the Midwest...
Kansas over LeHigh
Northern Iowa over UNLV Runnin' Rebs
Michigan State over New Mexico
Maryland defeats Houston
Tennessee def San Diego State
Georgetown over Ohio
GA Tech over OK State
Ohio State over UCSanta Barbara

Kansas defeats Northern Iowa, though gets a scare
Michigan State wallups Maryland by 20
Georgetown takes out Tennessee
Ohio State big, over Georgia Tech

Kansas also wins a close one versus Michigan State
In a shocker, Georgetown takes out Ohio State's Evan Turner

Kansas, who would have lost to OSU, beats G'town for a Final Four berth

West Region
Syracuse rolls the Catamounts
Gonzaga over Florida State
UTEP defeats Butler (12 over 5!)
Vandy takes out Murray State
Xavier over Minnesota
Pittsburgh over Oakland
The Go Gators over The Fightin' Mormons
Kansas State over North Texas

Syracuse defeats Gonzaga
UTEP takes out Vandy. 
Xavier over Pittsburgh
Sadly, the Go Gators don't have enough depth for K'State.

UTEP's Cindy run stops at Syracuse, while Xavier takes out K'State! 

Syracuse takes out Xavier for the 2nd Final Four spot.

The East Regional
Kentucky big over East Tennessee
Texas slightly over Wake
Temple over Cornell
Wisconsin over the Terriers of Wofford
Marquette over Washington
New Mexico over Montana
Missouri over Clemson
West Virginia over Morgan State

Kentucky takes out Texas
Temple over Wisconsin
Marquette edges New Mexico
West Virginia dominates Mizzou

Kentucky beats Temple
West Virginia rolls Marquette

WVU beats #1 seeded Kentucky for the Final Four

South Region
Duke over Arkansas Pine Bluff
Louisville over Cal
Texas A&M over Utah State
Purdue survives a scare vs. Siena
Notre Dame over Old Dominion
Baylor over Sam Houston State
Richmond over St. Marys
Villanova over Robert Morris

Duke edge L'ville (had trouble with this one)
Purdue over Texas A&M
Notre Dame over Baylor
V'Nova over Richmond

Duke takes out Purdue
V'Nova over Notre Dame

Villanova gets to the Final Four via a beatdown of The Dookies

Your Final Four
Syracuse defeats Kansas 74-71
West Virginia defeats Villanova 65-59

Syracuse wins the NCAA championship by a beating of West Virginia 70-61

You heard it here.

Now, to win your office pool, line your bracket up with mine, and make sure that yours is exactly the opposite of what I have. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Siobhan Makes It a Race (with results)

After the tragedy, travesty and devestatery that was American Idol last week, The Lovely Steph Leann and I considered giving up.  We considered throwing in the towel and just waiting out the inevitable release of CDs by Katelyn Epperly and Alex "I Cried Like Adam Lambert at a Straight Party" Lambert.  But... here we are.. with the Top 12, for what its worth...



Here comes the Top 12 onstage, and going away is the Girls vs Girls and Boys vs Boys... now its everyone versus everyone.  All I can think is, Vote for the Worst is having the best season they could possibly imagine, and Season 9 of American Idol is only to the beginning of the Finals. 

Tonight's episode?  Songs of the Rolling Stones, including Mick "Liver Lips" Jaggar and Keith Richards.  Don't know if you know this, but Keith Richards actually died in 2003, they've just been propping him up like Bernie at every show, with Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman behind him moving his arms.

And away we go...

Big Mike
He takes the stage tonight, singing "Miss You".  The video clip shows him and his family, and I had completely forgotten that he had him a white woman wife.  She and the baby are cutie-patooties.  Big Mike prances around stage, tight jeans and chain included. 

"Miss You" is one of those songs that you might not know by title, but as soon as you "ooh ooh ooh" background vocals, you'd immediately go "Oh yeah, I know that song." 

Randy the Dawg says he wasn't crazy about it at the beginning, but thought Big Mike was awesome.  America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres said he didn't disappoint.  Kara the New Hotness, lookin' hot, said Big Mike had that Jaggar 'tude.   Simon said it was sung well, but kinda corny.  The Lovely Steph Leann said, "Yeah, it was alright."

Its probably good that Jaggar wasn't a mentor this week, otherwise Katie Stevens, Paige Miley and Lacey Brown would have been in trouble.  And not because of their singing.

Didi Benami
My last great hope for a hot American Idol sings next.  We see her mom during the video, and I'm a little shocked.  She looks like that kid from "A Family Affair"--the boy, I mean. 

"Playing with Fire" is her song, and she starts out all sultry (I almost typed "slutty" accidentally... whoops) on the stairs, and ambles her way down to the stage.  She sounds good, not great, but doesn't hit any huge notes to show off her pipes.  I think its really good, as a matter of fact.

Randy the Dawg says for the first time in weeks, she was on fire.  Ellen DeG liked the song and the fact she made the word "fire" two syllables.  Oh, the humor of Ellen DeG.  Kara the New Hotness loved the darkness of the song.  Simon the Cowell agreed with all the other judges.   The Lovely Steph Leann said, "Yeah, it was pretty good."

Could she be My Next American Idol?  We shall see.  

Casey James
His video shows his hometown off, and discusses his parents divorce.  He had some affliction early in his life, I wasn't really paying attention, though Cindy Jo is openly weeping, I'm sure.

"Its All Over Now" is the song he's singing, one I don't know that I have ever heard.  The Lovely Steph Leann already commented, "I don't know many of their songs", and I can concur with that... neither do I.

CJ makes this song sound like an Allman Brothers tune, a la Bo Bice.  If I'm being honest, it sounded pretty good.  Not great. 

Randy the Dawg said he liked it.  Ellen DeG says, "For most women, their hearts will start racing by looking at you... and for people like me... you know, blondes..."  She thought it was fantastic.  Kara the New Hotness says he was a rock star.  Simon the Cowell says CJ looks great, and played the guitar and sang well, but it was like an audition performance and he should have used the stage to make a great performance.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I thought it was pretty good.  It was better than the Gavin DeGraw song he did."

Lacey Brown
The Idol Who Has 9 Lives was born and raised in Amarillo by morning, which is just up from San Antoine.  Everything that she's got is just what she's got on.  When that sun is high in that Texas sky, she'll be bucking at the... what?  Oh, sorry, I was rambling. 

From 1967, here is "Ruby Tuesdays".  And why is she singing a song from a restaurant?  Was "You Belong at Applebee's" taken?  I kid, I kid!

I gotta admit, I love Lacey's voice, its unusual, its kinda raspy, and I think the Leigh Nash comparison has already been made by me and Kara the New Hotness (she reads the blog, what can I say).  Having said that, she truly does have 9 lives, as she should have been voted off weeks and weeks ago.  And tonight?  Its okay. 

Randy the Dawg says he wasn't jumping up and down vocally, but was pleasantly surprised by how Lacey held it together.  Then he calls it interesting, which is NEVER good.  Ellen DeG uses the word "weird" and "sleepy".  Kara the New Hotness says it was 50/50, and there were note issues.  Simon the Cowell says she performs like an actress, where everything is precise and exact, and she's got to stop over thinking it every week.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I thought it was alright."

Andy Garcia
The video shows Andy's parents, and how the childhood was rough and such.  Same ole.  His song is "Gimme Shelter".

Andy rocks it out, does his thing, so on.  I'd love to see 50's week, and have him do "La Bamba".  That would rock.  Or maybe Mexican One Hit Wonder Week, and have him do "Rico Suave".

Randy the Dawg says pitchy.  Ellen DeG said she loved it.  Kara the New Hotness says since the song is written about war, she wanted to feel the connection and power of that song.   Simon the Cowell questions Kara the New Hotness and says, "What do you want him to do, come on stage with a tank?"  He liked the effort, but it was better in rehearsal.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Yeah, it was okay."  Then she adds, "I really, really, really want to like him, but when she sings, I really just kinda like him." Then she concludes, "Either way, I really, really, really want Alex 'Don't Call Me Adam' Lambert back."

Katie Stevens
She has been told be younger, she has been told to be more mature, she has told to let loose, she has been told a thousand different things.  Tonight, she is singing, "Wild Horses".  The video shows baby pictures of Katie from her home, and I mention, "You do realize that these pics were taken in like, 1998, right?"

Sitting on a stool, dress flowing, she starts the song slow, and suddenly, out of nowhere, for the first time this season... the people in the front... holding their arms up... moving side to side... nay, swaying.


While the Swaybots sway, at least its something to keep your attention while Katie sings, because I don't think this is very good.  In fact, right before I could type the words, "I'm bored", The Lovely Steph Leann piped up, "I think this is kinda boring.  She can sing, but she's kinda boring."

I'd rather see Katelyn Epperly.

Randy the Dawg says it was sung well.  Ellen DeG liked it lots.  Kara the New Hotness says she wasn't technically perfect, but it was the right direction.  Simon the Cowell says she finally chose a really good song.  Whatever.  I was bored.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Of all the stuff she's done, its probably the best, but it was boring."

Tim "I Only Wish I Were Keith" Urban
He grew up in a big family, apparently with very fertile parents.  Heck, with all those kids, they could have been members of Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship).... is Tim's parents named Cranston or Wimberley?  Just curious.

"Under My Thumb" is the song, and it starts out with an almost Jamaican reggae sound.  Tim "Don't Call Me Keith" Urban has the guitar, bouncing while strumming.  I am kinda bored with this song too. 

Randy the Dawg didn't like it very much.  Ellen DeG thought she was a resort, drinking a pina colada, listening to a bar band.  Kara the New Hotness liked the originality, but not the song all that much.  Simon the Cowell applauds the attempt for a boring song itself, but says it just didn't work.  I was bored.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Yeah, but I liked it better than Katie's"

Siobhan Magnus
From her video, it wouldn't be hard to convince that the Magnus family came out of the Delorean, straight from 1974 hipsterville. 

"Paint It Black", which is my favorite Rolling Stones song, is what she'll be singing.  She looks stunning, by the way... its like she was starring in "She's All That" as the geeky looking girl that you knew was hot and would prove it by merely taking off her glasses and letting her hair down.  Tonight, the glasses are off, and she fluffed her hair, Katelyn Epperly style... rock on.

And rock on is what she is doing... Loved it.  Loved it.  Loved it.  Even before she just threw down on that ending note.  Loved it.

Randy the Dawg says "Yo.  Bringing the drama.  That was hot!  That was hot!".  Ellen DeG loved her look, loved her sound.  Kara the New Hotness says she was having flashbacks of The Unambiguously Gay Adam Lambert".  Simon the Cowell says it was the best of the night thus far.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "It was pretty good."  Then she adds, "I liked it."  Then she adds, "Her facial expressions remind me of Stifler's mom."  Uh, okay. 

Lee Dewyze
The rocker of the season this year sits with Seacrest and discusses paint colors.  It would take longer to explain than the payoff would make it worth it.   His song is "Beast of Burden", again like "Miss You", one of those you might not know much about, but you'd know it if you heard it.  I actually kinda like this tune.

Its not perfect, but he's got a great voice in my not so humble opinion.  I think the song is great, and you can tell the progression of Idol over the years as the lyrics, "...make love to me..." are sung loud. 

Randy the Dawg says it was dope.  Ellen DeG thought it was great, though was hoping for a bit more rock from Lee.  Kara the New Hotness says he is growing fast onstage.  Simon the Cowell says he really likes Lee Dewyze, but Lee needs to shine onstage.  Song was too safe.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I liked it."  Then adds, "I think Lee is my favorite guy.  Especially since they took away my Alex."  I liked it too, but I agree with Simon the Cowell.

Paige Miles
Seacrest is standing amongst the Swaybots, and sends it over to the video for Paige.  She's a good singer, but she's not the best--however, she's not Haeley Vaughn, and for that, I'm thankful. 

"He tried to take me upstairs for a ri-ide!" sings Paige Miles, belting out "Honkytonk Woman", yet another "don't know the title, but if I heard it..." song.  You know, as much as I hate to admit it, she sounds pretty good.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I've been waiting for this miracle that Simon says is inside Paige.  At least she's singing good." 

But she's not Katelyn Epperly.

You know who else she's not?


Its been too long since we've had a Pickles reference

Randy the Dawg says he liked it.  Ellen DeG says she's got star quality.  Kara the New Hotness applauds Paige for hitting big notes even though this week, she was struggling with her voice.  Simon the Cowell asks, and finds out she had laryngitis.  He thought the song was good, considering her issues this week, but said it was a little old fashioned.   The Lovely Steph Leann admits, "I thought it was good."

Aaron Kelly
So, his mom's name is Kelly Kelly.  No, not the wrestler.  The mom.  And Aaron's adopted, happened when he was very young... which was like, 1995.  Sheesh.

"Angie" is the song, and its a slow ballady type tune.  He's going to have to nail this one, otherwise he'll be chided for being old fashioned.  He starts out on the stairs, makes his way across the stage.  Like Paige, I'm pleasantly surprised that he sounds pretty good.  The Lovely Steph Leann sighs, and concedes, "Its the best he's done.  If were Ellen, I would tell him he's FANTASTIC!  Cause she says that alot."

Randy the Dawg says AK-16 was born to sing.  Ellen DeG says it was great, and liked it and Siobhan's song the best tonight.  Kara the New Hotness says he connected and was powerful.  Simon the Cowell admits that he thought Aaron Kelly plus Rolling Stones would have been a disaster, but he surprised and thought it was very good.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "A million billion times better than I've ever heard him.  It was really good."

Crystal Bowersox
So in the homerun position, C'Bosox.   Her daddy tears up in the video, The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Aww" and Cindy Jo has a weepy meltdown.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" is her song, and like usual, she starts out great.  She reminds me of America's Other Favorite Lesbian Melissa Ethridge, which is a very, very good thing.  She's got that bluesy thing going.

She powers through it, almost perfect and ends.  Another rock solid song.  She truly is the chick to beat... but... I edge Siobhan up a little more tonight.

Randy the Dawg said it wasn't her best ever, but it was great.  Ellen DeG says she was missing personality.  Kara the New Hotness agrees with Ellen and Randy.  Simon the Cowell says she came out the clear favorite, but this is the first time, she was beaten by someone--Siobhan.  Ha!  He reads the blog too!  C'Bosox says, "I didn't think I was the clear favorite... but thank you for saying it!"  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I thought it was pretty good.  You get the Kris Allen and The Unambigiously Gay Adam Lambert mix in her.  Wouldn't shock me if both were the final two--you got Siobhan, who says 'give me a note and I'll sing it', and you got Bowersox, who is really good."

So here is my Top 12, from first to worst...

Siobhan Magnus... Crystal Bowersox... Didi Benami... Lee Dewyze...  CJ... Paige Miles... Big Mike... Aaron Kelly... Andy Garcia... Katie Stevens... Tim "I'm Not Keith" Urban... ... Lacey Brown...

Prediction... I think that Tim "Not Keith" Urban and Lacey Brown need to be worried... which means that Didi Benami will get voted off.  Naturally.


Well, its a day later, I have just returned home from a night of slingin' magic to the masses at The Happiest Place in the Mall, and since its Wednesday night, what does that mean?  That means... The Idol Results Show...

The Lovely Steph Leann is still up!  Its like, 11:20 or so, and she's on the couch!  Apparently, she got sucked into about 6 episodes of "Felicity" on DVD, Season 2, and by the time 10 or so rolled around, she figured, hey, I'm up, I'll wait on my good lookin', good lovin', hard workin' man.  And so she did.



The good thing about results shows is that we can shoot through half the show on fast forward.  There's a group song that we won't see, there's a Ford commercial that we won't see, there's a couple of special performances that we won't see... well, we will, but it will be in 2x speed.

Seacrest tells us that the judges save is back in effect... what that means is, the judges can unanimously agree to "save" one person from elimination.  Last season the judges save was used on... used on... uh... I don't remember.  The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "Matty G." 

fast forward through David Cook's performance after a thirty second trial...

fast forward through commercial

fast forward through Idol group Ford commercial

fast forward through Idol group Ford Fiesta obnoxious promo

Time for results.  The Silver Stools of Shame are in full effect, reserved for the Bottom 3.  Pagie Miles is standing first.  And right off the bat, Paige Miles heads to one of the Silver Stools of Shame.

Lee Dewyze stands up next.  And he's safe, back next week.

Siobhan Magnus, who sang the best song of last night, stands up.  She's safe.  Duh.  Who would vote off such a talented... wait... oh, Katelyn Epperly, wherefore art thou?

Aaron Kelly stands up.  He sits, safe.  Andy Garcia and Tim "Not Keith" Urban stand.  One of these two will be in the Bottom Three, and I'm guessing Tim "Never Keith" Urban.  Aaaaand... I'm right.  Tim "Don't Call Me Keith" Urban joins Paige Miles in the Silver Stools of Shame.

fast forward through commercials...

fast forward through Oran... who?  Who the crack is this?  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Lord help, I'm so out of touch, I don't know who any of these people are..."

fast forward through more commercials...

One more person is in the Bottom Three.  I'm hoping its Katie Stevens, and I was fearful that it might be Didi Benami.  But Didi Benami is standing now.  And she's safe. Thank you, America.

Crystal Bowersox stands up.  I don't think she'll get kicked off until there are three people left... Siobhan Magnus being one of them.  This is what always happens.  But for now, she's safe.

Katie stands up.  Alone.  The Lovely Steph Leann says, "That sucks.  No one is standing with her."  This leaves Big Mike, Casey James and Lacey Brown, one of which will head to the Silver Stools of Shame.  Now, I'm guessing Lacey Brown.  By the way, Katie Stevens is safe, The Lovely Steph Leann grunts.

Big Mike stands up, again alone.  And again, he's safe. 

Lacey Brown and Casey James stand up together.  Lacey is wearing a flower the size of a pie plate in her hair.  After the nationwide vote... Lacey is in the Bottom Three, Casey is sitting down.

So Paige, Lacey and Tim "Not Keith" Urban.  Seacrest asks the judges if either of these are worth using the "save" tonight, America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres stumbles around with the answer, wanting to say "no", but saying "I dunno"... since you can only use a Save once per season.

And they send one person back to the seats... thats Tim "Not Keith" Urban.

fast forward through commercials

fast forward through Ke$ha's new song.  Having never heard "Tik Tok" or whatever her song was before, I figured I would give Ke$ha a listen.  That lasted 30 seconds, and it was 30 seconds that sucked, by the way. That was terrible. 

fast forward through more commercials

And who is getting kicked off, not even to make the Idol Summer Tour?  That would be Lacey Brown, the chick who had 9 lives has finally gone through all of them.  There is no way in the world I can possibly imagine the judges using the "Save" this early in the season...

To try to save her raspy tail, she sings "The Story" by Brandi Carlile, and right off the bat, I can tell you, she is going home.  Her and her pie plate flower upside her head.   Simon the Cowell, when asked by Seacrest if they'll save her, says, "Oh hellz to tha no!"  Actually, he said "We say no", but you get the point.