Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bad Love Night... ***With Results***

Results at Bottom of Posting...

So, here we are with another American Idol... and its one of those themes I hate--all love songs. No specific era, no year to work with... just love songs.

I've read some reviews already about what transpired last night, and from what I gathered, its not pretty. Taylor goes down in flames, they don't like My Girl McPhee, Daughtry takes on Bryan Adams and Pickles... oh Pickles.

The guest celebrity musician helper person is Andrea Bocelli, which I found out is blind. Had no clue. The other one is David Foster, a super producer who was huge in the 80s (he wrote the theme to St. Elmo's Fire--yeah, you've heard it, even if you don't know it), and he's written tons of stuff for Whitney Houston and Celine Dion and the like. Anyway, Foster produced Bocelli's latest album, so naturally they come hand in hand.

David Foster says "If you can't cut it in my studio, you're gone". This should be good. An honest celebrity musician helper person.

Starting off is My Girl McPhee, singing Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" from the Bodyguard soundtrack. I hate it when My Girl McPhee goes first... the first spot traditionally is a bad place to be. Once again... she looks incredible. The song is one my favorites from Whitney (great high school memory associated with that movie--see previous posting) and I think that My Girl McPhee is doing it justice. Its a big song.

Heard on the Rick & Bubba Show this morning:
Bubba (watching it back): Yep... they showed her dad crying again in the audience
Rick: Well, if my daughter's breasts were hanging out on stage for 30 million people to see, I'd be crying too.

Randy says he didn't like it. "You're talking about Whitney Houston in her prime, one of the best singers in the known world... you didn't come close." What?? What!?
Paula says something that doesnt make any sense, yet she didn't like the song. What?? What?!
Simon says "Very simple... by choosing that song, its like saying 'I'm as good as Whitney', and you're not." She's not as good as Whitney in Whitney's prime... few people were. But I thought My Girl McPhee was pretty doggone good.

I think Ryan just hit on her.

Its hard to know what Idol wants... first, they like it when you put your own style on things--but when you do, and do it well, as McPhee did, the judges want to know why it doesn't sound like Whitney. Its a no win situation.

Sidebar: Going back to the phrase "Whitney Houston's Prime", from the years 1987 to about 1995, Whitney was da bombdiggity. Even if you didn't like that style of music, even if you had no use for that flavor of R&B or whatever... you couldn't deny how good her voice was. From the beginning with "How Will I Know" to the end of her really good phase with the Bodyguard soundtrack, few voices compared.
My favorite six Whitney songs: 6) Run To You... 5) Saving All My Love For You... 4) You Give Good Love... 3) I Will Always Love You... 2) I Have Nothing... 1) I'm Your Baby Tonight

Elliott is next, and Ryan just used the term Yamenians to describe his fans. Holy crap... this episode of American Idol has official tanked already. He's singing "A Song for You" by Donny Hathaway, a song that I don't know that I'm familiar with.

Watching them practice with David Foster is cracking me up... Foster is kinda mean to them... he made Elliott sing the same line three times, telling him about the first two "What? That isn't going to get anyone excited."

I see Elliott Yahmean going the way of Clay Aiken--not the huge success that Clay had, but the style of music. As in, in two years, you'll hear the latest Elliott Yahmean song played on 94.5, or John Tesh's radio show, or Magic 96 in between their nine formats every hour.

No doubt he's got a great voice... but too bad this competition is about the whole package, not just the voice. One way to prove this contest is not rigged is to see Elliott in the finals, or to win the Idol championship--you know they are pushing one of the Big Four--Pickles, McPhee, Daughtry and Taylor.

Randy: "I hated the arrangement, but you sang great... sing it like Donny anytime, you were the bomb."
Paula: "You move me". She's crying. She's actually talking and blubbering and openly weeping.
Simon: "In parts [of the song], it was like a vocal masterclass... it was superb."

I thought it was just eeh.

Oh Pickles.

I read horrible things about her performance tonight, much like what happened last week. I think it was MSNBC that said it seems like Pickles is testing her fans to see how much she can get away with before they vote her off. Okay... so Ryan just asked Pickles if she had anyone special that she was dedicating her song to... Pickles says "Thanks for reminding me that I don't have a boyfriend and I'm lonely... you know "Ghost", the movie? (Ryan nods) I'm singing "Unchained Melody" (Pickles claps). You know that scene where they do the pottery thing? Isn't that sweet? Maybe I'll find someone to do pottery with like that."

I still like Kellie Pickler, desipte the fact she's an abosolute moron--but I can definately see why others don't. I can't even defend her anymore, so I'll stop trying.

She says she is going to be doing the Leann Rhime version of the Righteous Brothers version of "Unchained Melody", which--and I'm not a singer--has to be one of the hardest songs ever to sing. Watching her sing, however, I do know one thing--she needs to give her hairstylist a backhanded pimpslap with extreme prejudice. That bouffant thing in the front is unsightly.

Pickles is keeping the song alive, barley, as if she is only trying to get to the last note so she can impress American and redeem the song. And I'm not sure that she did it.

Randy: Pitch problems, the high note was okay... wasn't the right song.
Paula: Sunshine, happy, flowers, you didn't raise the bar, sunshine, flowers, daisies, I didn't feel the greatness, bunnies, babies, love
Simon: It was like the never ending song... so monotonous and so bland... no heart, no warmth... you were like a robot. (and the music cuts him off! Ryan explains they are running behind)

Cutting off Simon might have been good, though, before Simon had a chance to convince America that Pickles is falling apart. And they go straight to commerical, no banter with Pickles, no chance to let her make some stupid remark.

Oh Pickles.

Annoying Paris is up next... I wonder how she likes the fact that no one is talking about her at all... you got Taylor's Soul Patrol, Daughtry's rockin', Pickles being Pickles, My Girl McPhee's strong voice, and even Elliott's darkhorse status... but no one is talking about Paris at all. She's sining "The Way We Were" from Barbra "I Whine, I Sing but I Know All About What We Are Doing in Iraq Right Now, I'm a Lib, You Should Love Me, I'm the Best, My Songs All Sound the Same but Give Me Accolades ALWAYS" Streisand.

Paris is sporting the Donna Summer "Last Dance" 1978 hair flip tonight. Personally, she could do armpit farts to this tune, and it would improve on the original. In fact, I'd like to see that. I'd vote for Paris if she did 90 seconds of armpit noises... it would be taking a song, making it her own, adding her own style and all... but alas, she just sings. I used to have trouble because I didn't want to like Paris. Now? I could care less about her... is that even worse?

Randy: "I wasn't blown away... but I liked it."
Paula: "You might have over sang it, but I loved it"
Simon: "Good vocals, it sounds like you were trying to impersonate an older artist." What?? What?? And you dig on My Girl McPhee for NOT sounding or even trying to sound like Whitney Houston?

Taylor Hicks is next, and he's doing "Just Once" a classic 80s soul ballad from the 80s. Good song. David Foster and Andrea Bocelli both have said they love the song, and that Taylor has the potential to blow the audience away with it. Of course, having already read the review, the audience may have been blown away, but the judges were not.

Hearing him, the song is not doing it for me. I like the song, I am a big T-Hicks fan... but I'm just shaking my head, especially on this night.

Random Tori Spelling sighting! I loves me some Tori Spelling... I think I'm just addicted to her new show.

Okay, back to Taylor...

Randy says "Completely the wrong song for you."
Paula says "Fluff fluff fluff wasn't my favorite song fluff fluff fluff"
Simon says "That's what you hear in every hotel lounge across the country." You know, Simon is right--I wasn't wanting to use the word karaoke, but "lounge singer" is a good phrase to use.

And finally, Chris Daughtry, who is singing Bryan Adam's "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman." This was Dayla Ellison's favorite song in college... she was this chick from Dothan, one of the loudest girls I've ever known. She has four brothers, all older, which explains why she could bodyslam me in Hamil Hall. Where was I?

Okay, so David Foster says "Chris is great... if he delivers the performance of his life, he'll do amazing..." and they cut out the audio about one second before the video, so you get to see Foster mouth the word "...but...".

Admittedly, I like this song... its from "Don Juan DeMarco", the Johnny Depp film. However, its a sad reminder of how Bryan Adams rocked in the 80s ("Run To You"--not the same as Whitney's-- and "Cuts Like a Knife" and even "Heaven") but totally wussed out in the 90s ("Everything I Do, I Do it For You"--the Robin Hood song--and the dreadful "All For Love" with Sting and Rod Stewart, where they all officially lost their manhood). Anyway, Daughtry is doing okay with it.

Randy: "Love you, amazing"
Paula: "Fluff, sunny, Love You, fluff"
Simon: "Very good choice, very good song"

Who should be in the bottom three: Elliott, Paris, Pickles (gulp)
Who will be in the bottom three: Elliott, Pickles, Taylor

And during the show recap, the audio guy left some of the microphones on... you can hear indistinguishable chatter... Idol chatter?


And now, its time for the results... Ryan is looking chipper as ever... last night, over 47.5 million people voted... is this a good thing for our nation?

So, six are left, that being Daughtry, Pickles, Annoying Paris, Elliott Yahmean, Taylor and of course, My Girl McPhee. Wow... just heard something I've never heard:

Ryan: Simon, lots of calls to Fox about the judges, specifically about you... some are saying you were a bit unfair last night... how do you respond to that?
Simon: I think I was unfair to one person last night, and I'd 'd like to apologize because I dont think this person got the right appraisalwas judged too harshly. That would be Katharine. Sometimes playing it back you hear it differently.
Ryan: That was very classy
Simon: Well, when I heard it back, I realized we were a bit harsh
Randy (piping in): Yeah, a bit harsh

Of course, if my Girl McPhee gets voted off because people listened to Simon and the judges and voted that way, then this apology helps a whole lot, huh? Anyway, My Girl McPhee laughs and grins big, the Idols clap, McPhee's mom stands up clapping. Here comes the recap, and I'll just say this about My Girl McPhee... I told you so. Last week was better, but that was like asking OutKast to top "Hey Ya" the very next week. Paula's weepy meander is played back, while Pickles is replayed again.

Another Idol commercial... this time, to Blondie's "Call Me", and their all chasing a dog, while riding in a Ford. It ends with puppies. Who doesn't like puppies?

And introducing Andrea Bocelli and David Foster, from last night. They are singing, but I don't really care. I've tuned it out, pretty much.

Commercial is over... and here we go again. Let's get rid of Annoying Paris or Elliott Yahmean (Ryan used the term Yahmeanians last night... I'm stepping off the Elliott bandwagon for a minute, so as not to be called such things)

Hey, it's Lisa Turtle! She's plugging her O.C. appearance tomorrow. Ryan is breaking the 6 into three groups of 2... My Girl McPhee is going over to Group 1. Elliott Yahmean is up... and is going to the middle, starting Group 2. Pickles, who I think is in real danger this week, is up and starting Group 3. Annoying Paris is now going to join Pickles in Group 3. T-Hicks, who also could be in real danger this week, is up and going to join Elliott Yahmean in Group 2, putting Daughtry with McPhee in Group 1.

My Girl McPhee & Daughtry, Elliott Yahmean & Taylor and Pickles & Annoying Paris. Ryan is sending both Elliott & Taylor back to the couches... safe. So its McPhee, Paris, Pickles & Daughtry. Oh geez... I need a drink.

My guess is that Paris and Pickles are in the bottom two. And I'm guessing Pickles is finally done.

Just saw a commercial saying "WBRC Fox 6 is proud to be awarded the Associated Press Award for Alabama's best News". After working at NBC for almost 2 years and learning what I know about Fox, I'll tell you... I find that funny.

And we're back. Yahmean and Taylor are safe... Ryan just told us that Daughtry and My Girl McPhee are not only safe, but got the highest number of votes. WWWHHHHEEEEWWWWWWW......

Paula just basically said it should be Pickles going home, in her own fluffy way. Ryan is now sending Pickles home. Annoying Paris is safe... and here is the video of her "journey"... and here comes the "Bad Day" song, only its not Daniel Powter singing. Weird.

I like me some Kellie Pickler, who just said "I'm glad ot have been here, though I won't be here much longer... I know commercials are coming!" Anyway, she just did crappy too many times in a row. Seriously, though... I'd be willing to buy a Pickles cd, when (not "if", but "when") it comes out.

So now, I can say: MAC - FEE!! MAC - FEE!! MAC - FEE!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Weekend of iTunes

Happy Birthday this past Saturday to Amy McLeod, who turned 29 for the second time. I can't say that I've ever been more excited about a birthday card than the one I got you--I'll have to send it, I guess, because I don't know when I'll see you again. So expect it in the a few days. I could probably not sign it, and you'd figure out who sent it...

Song playing on iPod, set on shuffle: "Wild Wild West" by Will Smith, from Willennium

So... as I said before, I got my iPod. I went out and paid cash for a 60 gig black video Apple iPod, and I own it--no credit cards, no charging, no check... its mine, all mine. By the way, the iPod is currently on shuffle right now, so I'll give you the songs that come up as they do. Oh, and just for fun, I'll tell you that I was in the restroom a few minutes ago, with the iPod plugged in (in the other room--duh). I thought I heard the O.C. Supertones, though I didn't remember that song being on one of their albums. I was engrossed in the latest EW anyway, so I didn't pay much attention, and when I got back, I noticed this song was playing now:

Song playing now: "One Day I'll Fly Away" by Nicole Kidman, from The Moulin Rouge Soundtrack.

So, I did a flipback to see what Supertones song I had heard... turns out, it was "Come Around" from Factor 7. Some of you are enjoying that comment right now.

Anyway, I'm a nerd. I can't just have a screen on the iPod that says "Don't Cry" on one line, then "Guns N'Roses" on the next. No no. I have to have the top line say "Don't Cry", the next line say "Guns N'Roses", the next line say "Use Your Illusion I" (the album) then have in the info about the song the year (1991), the ratings ("Don't Cry" gets five stars from me--tops) then the genre (90s Rock), and finally, one day the lyrics. I have my catagories I want them in, and I want them organized a certain way... see, what took me so long, though, is that I had over 4500 songs to import.

Song: "I Know Why" by Sheryl Crow, from Wildflower

I worked on iTunes for about two solid weeks, organizing and catagorizing--remember, I had worked on loading cds into the computer for about three weeks prior. When I got the iPod last week, I was tempted to just plug it in and let it load, and re-organize later... I decided to have patience. So here was my iPod, sitting unbothered on the counter for 9 days... finally on Saturday morning, in the wee hours of say, 3am, I finished with iTunes, and was ready to load the iPod. I went to bed instead, having to be at work at like, 930am that very morning. When I got home, around 430pm, I figured I'd plug it in, give it an hour to load, and listen to it on the way out to Jon & Emily Taylor's house--with whom Steph and I had dinner plans.

Song: Fool For You, Nichole Nordeman, performed live on "Live at the Door"

Well, I plugged it in at 430p... by the time we were ready to leave at 630p, it had loaded about 760 songs of 4553. When we got home at 1030ish, it had loaded 3557 of 4553. So I went to bed, again. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, I got to hear my iPod in action. Very satisfying. Of course, the videos didn't work, so I had to figure that part out... you have to convert videos to iPod format, even if they show up in iTunes... and they take fooooorrreeevvveeerrr..... Currently, I have only one music video on it--"Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim. BUt I do have several Star Wars videos, including the classic "Star Wars Gangsta Rap", and the hilarious Law & Order type short "The Trial of Han Solo", on trial for shooting Greedo... did he shoot first? Was it self defense?

Song: Everytime I Close My Eyes, by Babyface.

Right now, its converting a few more into iPod playability... "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani, "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter and "Food Good Inc" by The Gorillaz..

Can I say how bitter I am that "Bad Day" is being played everywhere? This is what happened to "Barely Breathing" by Duncan Sheik, from 1997. Fantastic song.... loved it. I was on the verge of considering waiving my two year waiting period before it could jump into my top twenty all time songs.

"God" by Rebecca St. James, from the God album.

I have my Top Ten favorite songs, and as an extension of that, I have ten more behind it, making it my top twenty all time favorite songs... In order for inclusion into Dave's Top Twenty-and possibly Top Ten--I give it two to three years... this ensures that after hearing the song a thousand times, I will still like it... if it grows tiresome, or I find myself turning the channel when it comes on, then I'll know its not Dave Top 20 material. This is what happened to "Barely Breathing"... every station in Montgomery and Birmingham and Troy and Dothan played it all the flippin' time... and I grew tired of it within a year.

"If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger (There's One Coming Home)" by George Strait, from his 1st Volume of Greatest Hits

Unfortunately, this is whats happening to "Bad Day"... not that I think it was ever in consideration for Dave's Top 20, but as much as I hear it now, it probably not going to even come close to my top 100 when its all said and done. Sadly, repitition and overplaying is what is killing Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes", though its not played nearly as much, so Kelly has a chance to recover... Daniel Powter's run is just getting started on the radio.

Of course, KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" is on the fast track for a 2008 possible Dave Top 20 appearance.

"Love Me More" by PM Dawn, from The Bliss Album

Where was I? Who knows. Anyway, with the iPod, now its just a matter of tweaking the music, making sure the version of songs I have are what I want, correcting spellings and such... and converting my dozen or so videos to iPod formats. The longest will be the Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged show that I have-it clocks in at around 55 minutes. That might take days.

"When Did You Ever Listen To Me" by Rebecca Lynn Howard, from Forgive

The question I'm getting alot now is "What they heck are you doing with 4500 songs?", usually crossed with the comment "I dont even know 4500 songs..." My thought is, I love music... it makes me who I am. Songs, certain ones, take me back to a place when things were different... sometimes better, sometimes worse. Not that I would give up what I have now, namely Stephanie, my job, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship), a lifetime charter membership in the Deuce and my iPod, for anything--but sometimes its good, fun to remember.

"But Anyway" by Blues Traveler, from Live From the Fall

I mean, I hear "Sailing" by Christopher Cross, or "Old Man and Me" by Hootie & the Blowfish, or "Wanted" by Alan Jackson, or "Seven Bridges Road" by The Eagles or "Luv is a Verb" by dcTalk, and there's a story that goes with it. And amy one of you know there are certain songs that hit you in different ways... and so now I've got the capability of holding all the songs that may or may not affect me, or might affect me in the future, in the palm of my hand. Plus, you can't go wrong with anything that lets you hold the lyrics to both "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies, and "Numb" by U2 in your hands.

Music that has played while I was attaching links to this post...
"Piece of Glass" by Caedmon's Call, from Long Line of Leavers
"She" by The Monkees, from Listen to the Band box set.
"Its In His Kiss" by Vonda Sheppard, from Songs From Ally McBeal
"Lonely People" by Jars of Clay, from Who We are Instead
"I Wanna Luv You Up" by Color Me Badd, from C.M.B. (wait, how'd that get on there? that's not mine...)
"You Made Me Love You" by Jimmy Durante, from the You've Got Mail Soundtrack
"Long Time Gone" by The Dixie Chicks, from the Top of the World Tour live album
and from the catagory of "Bad 80s Hairbands With Crappy, Yet Awesome Music", it's "Sometimes She Cries", by Warrant, from the colossal, multi-dozen selling "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin' Rich"

As for something completey random, here's one more reason I like LL Cool J... check out his comments on money at the Hip Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment. (I don't know that I could have made that up if I tried...) Anyway, he says "Give 10 percent to your church, then 10 percent to your house". Cool J is a tither! Go God! Now, I'm going to listen to LL Cool J sing about "dying to creep 'tween your sheets"

American Idol again, Wednesday morning...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Votes are In

So, its raining like crazy by now, and I just got home from KidStuf practice... just in time to see the new results of Idol.

Notice the big weather map in the corner of the screen, highlighting the severe storm that is taking place somewhere probably 200 miles from here. Usually when weather comes up like this, they immediately go to James Spann, or Jerry Tracey, or the weather guy of the week over at CBS 42... Fox will mostly go to David Neal, but when Idol is on, you get (during commercials, no less) "coming up after Idol, we'll bring you the latest on the weather." Don't touch the cash cow.

Just saw a three minute clip for Kiefer Sutherland's new movie, "The Sentinel", also starring Michael Douglas. You also see Eva Longoria, from Desperate Housewives, but looking at all the trailers and previews, you'd never know it. She says like, four words combined in all the previews I've seen... its almost as if she's just the pretty face for the movie, with no line. "Eva, stand there, look all hot and crap, and don't say a word, okay?" Personally, I'm a Teri Hatcher fan myself, but thats me.

And the show is recapping last night's performances...

That Burger King commercial featuring the King in bed, waking up to see a guy sitting next to him, in front of a crowd of people... you know, the one advertising the McGriddle ripoff "The French Toast Sandwich"... completely freaks me out, yet amuses me at the same time. Sort of like any movie featuring Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen.

Speaking of, have you ever had the French Toast sticks at the BK? Being in college at Troy, I never was up early enough to actually eat breakfast (you know how it is... you get up just in time to put on clothes that don't match and rush off to make it to class about two minutes late). Anyway, when I would get hungry and go with Julie Echols and Jennifer Mullins to the Burger King, the BK would make me French Toast sticks, even though it was 9 pm. Loved that place. They took checks too... imagine my surprise when I first moved to Birmingham in 1998, when I tried to write a check at the BK on Hwy 31 they looked at me like "What the...?"

Back to the show... Rod Stewart is on the show. He's letting us know he's doing a 70s classics rock album soon, and Ryan is suggesting that as a theme for next year's show. Rod is now singing "The Way You Look Tonight"... which Frank Sinatra's version will never be topped. I actually wanted to use that song in my marriage proposal, back in the late 90s when I thought I'd propose to and marry Amy Wible, but that's a whole other story. Love you Steph.

Ryan just announced that next week, Andrea Bocelli will be the guest vocal coach, and the Idols will be taking on the "greatest love song of all time". You'll hear Whitney or Celine, I promise you.

And here we go... Ryan will be separating the Idols into two groups... Elliott is in Group 1, on the far side. Chris is Group 2. Paris is in Group 2. Elliott's gotta know this is bad.

Pickles is in Group 1. Yeah, this is bad. Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair is in... Group 2? Really?

My Girl McPhee is in Group 1, with Pickles and Elliott. Oh boy. And Taylor? Ryan doesn't send him anywhere, he just tells him he's safe. One of these groups is the bottom three. Ryan tosses up the "Taylor, join which group you THINK is safe." And we go to commercial...

So our two groups are: Elliott, Pickles and My Girl McPhee... the other group is Daughtry, Paris and Ace. I am guessing... the Daughtry/Paris/Ace group is the bottom three. Just a guess.

And we're back... Taylor decides to go to Daughtry, as Ryan says "Taylor... I'm sorry..." then Taylor turns around and heads to Pickles, My Girl McPhee and Elliott... So Ryan says "Taylor... I'm sorry, you are correct." The bottom three is Paris and Daughtry and Ace.

Ryan sends Paris back to the couch. So either Daughtry or Ace will go home... and finally... ACE GOES HOME!!! The fact that The Yutz Currently Known as Ace Young is now going home is not the surprise... the face that Chris Daughtry has the second lowest number of votes is the shocker.

They show the "goodbye" montage for Ace, complete with the requisite "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. Don't you know that Daniel Powter feels like the luckiest guy alive? I mean, not only has he got a great song that is played on stations like 96.5 and 94.5, but also on "hip" stations like 103.7 The Q... and Idol sends people scrambling to their computers every week to look up "who sings this song?" (that's how I found it).

Oh yeah... and Ace is singing, but is cut off about 45 seconds into his song. Who cares.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Someone to Watch Over McPhee

Taking a break from the iPod project, we're back with another Idol review... Ryan is onscreen right now, telling us "if you didn't vote, you can't boo". I just got off work at Starbucks (which, by the way, I'm leaving Vestavia for 280 the first week of May) and I havne't heard or seen anything about this night's show.

Tonight's famous singer working with the Idols is Rod Stewart... I like Rod quite a bit, actually. "Maggie May" has to be one of the best songs to come out of the 70s. In fact, when someone named Maggie orders a drink, I will put it up on the bar and say "Wake up Maggie, I think I've got a grande soy latte for you." Usually, when the Maggie in question is like, 14, she doesn't get it, but I crack myself up.

Old Rod has been doing "The Great American Songbook" lately, a collection of old standards from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and I think he's done... four volumes of them? Maybe three. I thought of checking them out, but I will stick with the traditional Rod--"Maggie May", "Infatuation", and two of my favorites, "My Heart Can't Tell You No" from 1989, and his unplugged version of "Reason To Believe", from 1993.

On with the show...

Daughtry is up first, doing 'What a Wonderful World". I'm wondering if its the Louis Armstrong version, or the "Don't know much about history..." Sam Cooke version--either way, its something different for him, so hopefully he can pull it off.

It's the Louis Armstrong version, which is a fantastic song. Daughtry is on the stage, with a single guitarist guy strumming along. The song sounds great--which is great because before, he's been rocking out and belting out his music, so its good to know he can actually sing without screaming. He looks like he's stepped out of the set of "Queer Eye" with that vest, however. Randy said "You just slayed 'em... man, it was da bomb!". Paula loved it, of course. Simon is smiling, and since he's been saying "You should change up your style some to show what you can do", and Chris did, Simon is happy. "I thought it was a GREAT performance." As did I... as did I.

Just saw a promo for Mission Impossible III... Tom Cruise is whacked out about Scientology (and Katie Holmes had her baby tonight) and everyone in the world thinks he's weird, going on and on about his religion. Christians, however, are not called weird... we're intolerant bigots who are naive to the real world. Perhaps thats why we are so reluctant to share our faith like Tom is doing. Now back to our show.

Annoying Paris is up, and it just struck me that this night is right up her alley. She was awesome doing some Billie Holliday during her audition, so this shouldn't be too far removed from what she's done. I think she closes her eyes and sticks her hand in a box of wigs and ends up wearing whatever comes out. She's singing Lady Holliday's "These Foolish Things", and like Daughtry, knocked it out of the park. I think if I knew Paris, I would never let her talk to me unless she was singing, because I can't stand to hear her talk.

Randy says "Your best performance" and Paula loves her. Of course. Simon says "You bewilder me. You talk Minnie Mouse, and yet, you sing in that very grown up way." I agree.

Taylor Hicks is singing Sam Cooke's "You Send Me", which, like most Sam Cooke songs, is a great song. Apparently, SNL or Mad TV did an American Idol parody, including one of Taylor Hicks--I would have liked to have seen that. Soul Patrol, baby. His voice is pretty good... waiting for the dance. He's just walking and singing... waiting for the dance... wait for it... wait for it... and... there is is. Spaz that he is, Taylor is the man.

Randy says "Keep it real, baby, keep it real--that was hot." Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says "It started with lame cabaret... and then... magic." I liked it all the way through. Soul Patrol indeed.

Okay, so I just pulled up to confirm what Paris was singing (I was right, its Holliday." I scrolled down, and apparently, Pickles SUCKED tonight. This might be bad for me. I haven't seen what My Girl McPhee has done--that might hurt me too much to know.

Here comes Elliott Yahmean. He's singing classic crooner song "It Had To Be You", and Rod Stewart comments that since Elliott is 27, he was born the same year that "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was #1. While I'm standing with my hand on the handrail to climb aboard the Elliott Yahmean Bandwagon, I'll have to admit, he can sing great--but he's got the performance stylings of a green scrubby pad. Not sure thats something you can fix.

Randy liked it alot. Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says, "It was a good vocal, but it lacked personality... I am slightly concerned for you." Remember, Elliott, as long as Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair is in the show, there's a chance you won't go home.

Oh Pickles.

She's singing "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a song that I'm not sure I've ever heard before. Rod's a dirty old man! Pickles says, after having him help her practice, "You took a load off my chest", and he smiled and laughed in that "You bet I would" sort of way. Perv.

Now to the performance... While she looks fabulous, its not a very good performance. She just doesn't sound good... and on a night like this, thats not good. Simon has his head on the desk. Right out of the gate, after the song, she says "I butchered it." with an almost tearful smile. Randy says "it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good." Paula loves her. Of course. Simon says "Boring. It didn't suit you. You could have just done 'Bewildered'."

If Latoya London and Jennifer Hudson can get voted off early, so can she. Oh Pickles.

The Yutz Currently Known as Ace Young is up now, singing "That's All". Rod said "It was brilliant." Um... right. Oh dear allah... Ace has his hair pulled back in pony tail. If George Michael were younger, I could see he and Ace being twins. Ace Young is a goob.

Randy says "Fals' (falsetto) is your thing, dude." Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says "It wasn't bad... a little bit nasally... but charming." Man, bring back Chicken Little, bring back Bucky, heck, bring back Brenna... no, don't do that. Get rid of Ace.

Finally, My Girl McPhee is coming up. She's singing "Someone to Watch Over Me", one of those great, sultry songs that I've always liked. The bigger and better the song, the easier it is to screw up. And she's not going to screw it up, I can tell. She's sitting on the edge of the stage, doing her thing. Wow she sounds amazing. Between the words "thing." and "Wow", instead of typing like I usually do during the song, I sat in silence, mesmerized--not by her looks (though that might do it) but by her voice. Amazing.

Randy says "You sailed on this... excellent." Paula loved it. Of course (she used the words "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "elegwant"). Simon says "you made everyone else look like good amateurs... it was a completely and utterly different league." You know what I think?

During American Idol 3, Fantasia (whom I never cared for) sang "Summertine" from the show "Porgy and Bess". It was one of the most riveting, elegant and beautiful performances I've ever seen--not just on Idol, but anywhere. Ditto for the Ruben Studdard performances of "Superstar" and "Kiss and Say Goodbye". I might be willing to consider arguments in favor of putting Katharine McPhee's "Someone to Watch Over Me" in that list. Yes, that good.

Also on this list: "Take Me To The Pilot" by George Huff (Idol 3); "Whippin Post" & "Vehicle" by Bo Bice (Idol 4); "Sin Wagon" by Amy Adams (Idol 2)... but McPhee might rank above all of these--if I'm talking about it during season 8, we'll know. Time will tell.

I just voted for the first time, ever.

Tomorrow's bottom three--Elliott Yahmean, Ace Young and (gulp) Pickles.

I've also decided, if I can work it out, I'm doing a running diary for the Idol finale, which will have My Girl McPhee and Daughtry in it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Bucky Stops Here

Before we get to Idol, here's my big news... I GOT MY iPOD! Sixty gigabytes of pure technology, $399.99 worth of musical Heaven. Now, I just gotta figure out how to use the darn thing.

Okay, so I know who got punted. Bucky. Let me get this right... I make it known that I kinda like Lisa Turtle, and she gets voted off. I say that I'm in line, with my ticket, for the Elliott Yahmean bandwagon... and he ends up in the bottom three. I say "...I almost liked Bucky..." and he gets the boot. So... using this rationale... GO ACE!! GO ACE!!

I'm watching the show now, and they are doing a group song, a medley of Queen hits--remember, the show was themed with Queen songs this week. Behind, they are showing the footage of this season's auditions, and when they get to "Under Pressure" (you would know the riff--Vanilla Ice ripped it off for "Ice Ice Baby") they let Chris sing the lead. He rocks it. This is what he should have sung. Of course, then Bucky has to go an ruin it by existing.

When they get to clips of the dearly departed, including Mandisa & Chicken Little they sing... "Another One Bites the Dust". Natch.

Great Odin's Raven... they are doing the cheesy Ford commercial together, and they are singing Pat Benetar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", a spot themed at a mini golf course... wearing horrendous clothes in it, its discovered that Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair picked the wardrobe. You know that scene (one of many) when Napoleon just shrugs and shouts "Gah... you're a friggin' idiot!". Yeah, that.

They are doing montages of the parents saying hello to thier proud Idols. Paris, who is 17, has a mom that looks 27. Daughtry's dad sounds like he rocked a little in his day. Elliott is crying (he is sitting next to Ace).

So, the Sports Guy has something called The Unintentional Comedy Scale, a rating of 1 to 100 on something isn't supposed to be funny, but definately is. Steven Seagal movies rank high on this scale. Anyway, I gotta say, Ace is ranking pretty high to me--he's wearing a muscle shirt, one of those workout shirts with no sleeves, that fit really snugly on the body. You know , the ones that were popular in, oh, 1989. He should be wearing Tyler Campbell's shirt that says "Get your tickets to the gun show", with arrows pointing at both upper arms.

Crap... I gotta sit through an hour of this. Next week, Rod Stewart will be working with the Idols--which is very cool. Rod gets cooler as the years go by, as he goes from a Shaun Cassidyesque former heartthrob to a Tony Bennettesque classic crooner.

They just showed a montage of Taylor's life back in Birmingham, including his bandmates. Ryan gives Taylor's fate--he's safe. My Girl McPhee, who looks pretty again, is up next. Here mom's name is Peisha, which means I'd have to make fun of her if I knew her. Daddy McPhee is crying on camera. Now, in the studio, My Girl McPhee is too. Ryan gives her fate--and she's safe. Daughtry's film is now. Daddy Daughtry says "I'm glad he's going after this... this is somethin' I'da wanna' ta dun..." He's from North Carolina, by the way. And he's safe.

Oh Pickles. Her grandfather is on camera now, with her little brother (both wearing Pick Pickler shirts, of course). If I had one of those, I'd wear it. She's tearing up, but is all smiles, as Ryan tells her she's safe. You know, I have to believe that when Ryan gets back to his apartment, and calls up his chick Teri Hatcher, when she says "So, how did the show go?"... he makes fun of Pickler. I firmly believe that.

So, this leaves Elliott Yahmean, Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Bucky... Bucky... and Paris on the couch, three of which will be in the bottom three. I just fast forwarded through his video, because frankly, I don't care that much. He's in the bottom three... and Ryan asked him to sing. Odd change of format... just fast forwarded through Ace's video as well... he wipes a tear away as Ryan calls him out for the bottom three. Paula is rambling--never before has anyone said so much to say so little... well, maybe John Kerry, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Chucky Schumer...

Obviously we know Bucky is in the bottom three, so I fast forward through his and Pari's videos because, again, frankly my dear, I just don't give a hoot. So, Ace, Elliott and Bucky are in the bottom three. And Bucky goes home.

Three things are a constant: They play "Bad Day" while showing the loser's "journey"... Paris will cry... and Ace Young will unconvincingly feign sorrow with a "glad it's you and not me" look on his face.

Alright... things I'm writing for posting in the near future: My iPod adventure... My Dream about Heaven... the Nic Cage Top Six... 1990-95: Best Music Ever?... and The Music of Billy Joel. We'll see how fast you get them.

I just turned off the VCR and on CMT is The Dukes of Hazzard... with Coy and Vance. Let me go before things get bad.

Oh, by the way, feel free to comment. Likes. Dislikes. Thoughts. Questions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Queen Idols and Other Fun Stuff

--The Review Now... The Results Show Is Coming Tonight--

The latest American Idol is coming up, but first a few thoughts since I haven't posted yet this week...

---So Logan Young, the guy held responsible for the Alabama probation that set the program back about seven years, was found dead in his home, with a suspicion of homicide. Looking forward to reading Scott's Rammer Jammer blog response to this one. Sad story, really.

---Very tiring weekend... the wedding shower for our friends Nick & DeLisa came off without a hitch. Something like, 20 people crammed in our apartment. Still, it was fun.

---Later that night, we randomly noticed there were about four firetrucks, a couple of ambulence and a few of those big Hoover Police SUVs parked in our parking lot, lights flashing. Seems there was a fire in our building (not just in our complex, mind you, OUR BUILDING) in one of the lower apartments. We asked a fireman if there was an issue, he said it was fine, and not to worry. So, I'm leaving for work today, and who do I run into in the parking lot? Two Hoover police detectives. They were investigating the fire... they just wanted to ask me some questions, kind of a "did you see anything?" and "have you noticed anything?" They told me "it was a small fire... we caught it quickly, but it could have been really serious for you here." Greeeeeaat. Not good times. Bad times indeed.

---Saw another preview for "Flight 93", the movie about the plane that was hijacked on 9/11, but was overtaken by the passengers and driven into the field in Pennsylvania. Do you ever see movies that you may or may not want to see, but feel like you NEED to see it? I plan on going alone, perhaps on a weekday afternoon and watch it. I'll tell you about it when I see it.

---As I type this, NBC's Conan is on in the backgroud... during commercial, I just heard 12 words that make me quiver... "Coming soon, Molly Ringwald and Kelsey Grammar as the angel of death." What???

Alright, enough chatter. You came here to read the review of American Idol, didn't ya? Let's get going.

Tonight, they are doing the music of Queen. I know he's dead, but that was a long time ago... so is it okay for me to say now that Freddie Mercury was one of the ugliest people ever? I mean, like, ever? He joins a select list of really, really ugly guys that includes Kurt Rambis, Steve Buscemi, Sandra Bernhardt and possibly Adam Morrison.

While on dinner break tonight, I walked up to Sneaky Pete's Cafe to eat (cheese hot dog, fries and Coke for $4.88), and they had on American Idol... so I was able to see three performances--Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Daughtry and Pickles. So I've had the evening to dwell on what I have seen. Pickles did Bohemian Rhapsody. More on this soon.

Bucky... Bucky... is up first. He says "I can just picture these guys coming into a bar..." What kind of bar are you frequenting, there, Buckyback? Anyway he's singing Fat Bott... Wait a minute, WHAT? WHAT?? Bucky Covington is singing "Fat Bottom Girls"? I... I mean, I... Uh... I don't even have a joke here.

So Bucky does his thing now, Randy and Paula like it lots, while Simon classifies it as "mediocre". I'll be honest with you... the song itself is one of the silliest songs in rock history. But Bucky made it sound pretty good... for the first time, I actually almost liked Bucky. Now I'll go cover myself in honey and streak through a bee farm.

Here come's Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair. He's doing "We Will Rock You". So, I'm watching the little video before it, with Ace talking with the members of Queen, and in one part, Ace does a little beat and says "Can we do it like this". The bassist looks at him and frowns "I'm not doing that. Not to my song."

Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair comes out, he's singing it as best he can. I mean, its pretty crappy. It's like he was waving his hand saying "Hey, Daughtry rocks, but hey, I can rock too! I can! See, watch me." If Lance Bass attempted to throw down on "Enter Sandman", I don't know that it would suck this bad. They pan the camera around the audience, and when passing the judges, Simon is sitting there, with his head down, in his hands. Please, let's get rid of this yutz. Randy says "Pitchy, just aight". Paula didn't like it, but was positive anyway. Simon says "complete and utter mess." Then he simply said "I hated it."

Sidebar: The first cassettes I ever bought were Starship's "Knee Deep In the Hoopla" (which does contain the worst song ever, according to Blender magazine) and The Jets self titled album (which is so obscure now, there isn't even album art for it). The first one I ever actually OWNED, however, was Queen's 1977 album "News of the World". My cousin left it to me when he came to visit in like, 1985. It contained "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", which unbeknownst to some of you, but beknownst to older folk like myself and Paula Mackey, are two songs that should ALWAYS be played back to back. Even on the album itself, there is only a second between the last guitar note on "We Will Rock You" and the words "I've paid my dues..."

If I'm ever President, one of the bills I'm pushing through Congress immediately is "You must always play these songs together on the radio." It will be a companion to the bill that states "You must always play the ENTIRE version of American Pie, not the short radio friendly version".

Oh, Pickles. As I said before, she's going to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song that I think it nearly impossible to fit into a 90 second window because of all the changes and tempos. She's dressed like Lita Ford (a heavy metal chick from the 80s) but still somehow looking cute and creepy at the same time.

Now, faithful readers (all six of you), if you've read my previous Idol entries, you know that Pickles is in my top four, along with Daughtry, Taylor and My Girl McPhee, but you also know that I've been critical of her too. So, when I say this, I hope you think its genuine... she rocked it. She actually sang this song and made it an enjoyable performance. Randy said it was entertaining, Paula liked it (of course) and Simon said what I agree with: "On paper, you singing this song should have been hideous... but it worked." And then, it led to this exchange:
Pickles: All this terminology... you have an accent, I can't understand you
Simon: Likewise
Pickles: I don't have an accent.

Oh Pickles.

Here comes Daughtry, singing "Innuendo", an obscure Queen song that the band says they've never performed live. As usual, Chris was good... but the song wasn't all that great. Probably my least favorite performance of his. Randy loved it, Paula said something incoherant, and Simon makes a good point... while the performance was good, it would have been awesome to see Chris pick a big Queen song to rock out on, not something obscure ("the reason they've never performed the song live is because its not a very good song" says he). I agree--can you imagine Daughtry on "We Will Rock You", instead of Ace?

As usual, my favorite moment of the show. My Girl McPhee takes the stage. She says she was going to sing "Don't Stop Me Now", a face paced song, but changed it to "Who Wants to Live Forever", a ballad, because for once she wants to just stand and sing. "Let the voice stand on its own", she says. The danger in this is, this is the type of performance that unless she absolutely NAILS it big, the judges--at least Simon--will say "I'm bored."

Fortunately for My Girl McPhee, she NAILS it big. Randy liked it lots, while Paula says "I love it when artists make a choice to change their minds". Shut up, Paula. And Simon liked it alot, mentioning that the lighting and tech guys made her look amazing onstage with thier spotlights (he was right--she looked just dee-lish)

If Elliott was Chinese, would he be Elliott Yaoming? Just asking. Anyway, because of the key changes all through the song, Queen admits that "Somebody to Love " is the hardest song in their library to sing--and its the one that Elliott Yahmean is doing. I said last week that I was in line to purchase my Elliott Bandwagon tickets. Well, after tonight, I've bought my ticket. I'm not on it, mind you, but I'm in the queue to climb aboard and take a seat. I still say this, thoug--he won't win. A top three is not out of the question--heck, look at Jasmine Trias.

He said that he used to do overnights at a radio station as a disc jockey... exactly what I used to do before voice tracking took over.

Anyway, Randy liked him, Paula loved him (of course) and Simon gave him props for picking--and pulling off--the hardest song in the Queen collection.

Now its Taylor's turn. My Girl McPhee aside, when I found last last week they were doing Queen, I was most eager to hear Taylor. My thought immediately was "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (then I thought "oh crap, I hope Ace doesn't butcher it"). Well, to begin with, he was singing "We Are the Champions", which I found a little disappointing... but then, he changed it to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". In the middle of his song, he kicks the mic stand, and it wobbles and doesn't fall over... he has to kick it again. Hilarious.

My man Taylor is all over the stage, dancing and shaking, and the great thing is, he's not doing Queen's version, he's doing his own version. Best song of the night. Randy loved it, Paula loved it (of course) and Simon says "Are you drunk? I thought it was ridiculous." I disagree. To put it simply, MSNBC said "Taylor is safe. Crazy, but safe."

And finally, Annoying Paris. She's singing "The Show Must Go On", a loud stadium anthem type song if there ever was one. Either her hair grew seven inches from last week to this, or she's wearing quite a wig. She comes out in black leather, clothes perhaps a little too snug to hide the baby fat she's still harboring, and she's belting out this song like crazy--doing a great job, but as I watched this, I was like "What the...?" That was just odd. And then Simon, after Randy and Paula gave her mad props, says "It was little weird". Yep, thats what I thinking.

Bottom three? Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Bucky and...this might be Daughtry's or Taylor's first trip to the bottom three. We'll see. Update tomorrow.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Fun for the Weekend

I'll be out of pocket for most of this weekend... after working tonight at the coffee shop, Stephanie and I are hosting a wedding shower for her/our friends Delisa and Nick tomorrow. I have to be there because its a "couples shower"... should be a hoot.

Two things: First... MY CAR IS PAID OFF SIX MONTHS EARLY!! WHOO-HOO!!! All we have left is my student loan, then we are DEBT FREE!!

Secondly... here's Dave's Mental Playlist Top Five (the top five songs rolling arond in my head for the week):
1) Black Horse & the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
2) Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson
3) Bad Day - Daniel Powter
4) Stupid Girls - Pink
5) Flood - Jars of Clay

Anyway, I dug up some links for your viewing pleasure... have some fun.

Let's say that everything in movies really happened. You'd need someone to put the events in order, right? I give you... the Movie Timeline. I warn you--it's addicting.


Entertainment Weekly has a great little article on a movie coming up, one I particularly will be there to see... that's right, its Sammy L. Jackson in... Snakes on a Plane.


For those of you, including myself, who are awaiting the new Dixie Chicks album, you can catch the first video here. Yes, Chicks, the reaction to your 2003 remarks was severe, but y'all aren't martyrs. Last I checked, you were still millionaires who are free to say what you like and record what you please. I'm not asking you not to be outspoken, just not to be dull.

How about you? Do you want to own a Scarface mannequin of your very own?
My first job? Technically, it was dusting furniture every Friday in a small overpriced furniture shop in Samson, for $2. Beyond that, washing dishing and waiting tables at a restaurant in same said small town. For Bill Murray? Selling chestnuts. David Lee Roth was a hospital orderly, or so sayeth this article.
Because I know Mikey Nipp loves both, here's something featuring BOTH K-Fed and DDR.
And finally... three people who give great hugs--Stephanie (natch), Ellen Donze and my mom (I can name few guys who give good manhugs, but I won't.) Anyway, not sure I'd want this from any of them, including Steph.
I'm sure I'll talk to you cats on Monday

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Idols: The Whole Country Went to Pot (plus results!)

**Just Added... Idol Results, at the bottom of posting**

Here we are, again, late Tuesday night... normally, I'd be in bed having to work early tomorrow, but I'm working tomorrow night instead due to some schedule changes... that means I can sit up and watch Idol, and review it for my four faithful readers.

Normally, I would have read some reviews at least about the show, but not this night. I know nothing about what's going to happen... I can only hope that My Girl McPhee, Pickles, T-Hicks and Daughtry do well, and Bucky craps himself onstage. Wouldn't that be funny?

First up--Ryan Seacrest is sporting a half-beard thing. Its like he stopped shaving after last Wednesday's results show, and this is all he got. Of course, he is 31... and reportedly dating a 41 year old, so I guess he's trying to look more manly.

Tonight's theme is Country (which is like giving Bucky, and maybe Pickles, an advanced copy of the test), so fittingly they have a country star helping out the Idols... tonight's B-list celebrity musician helper is Kenny Rogers, who just had a new album out--and it debuted in the top 20 on Billboard. Man, he's looking well preserved.

Taylor is up first, and he's singing "Take Me Home Country Roads". Mad props to John Denver. There's even a violinist. I like the original, and I like the spin T-Hicks is putting on it. I kinda miss the blue leisure suit, though... and I miss his bouncy trouncy pouncy founcy fun-fun-fun-fun-fun. Randy wasn't too impressed with the vocals, and Paula actually gave him a negative review. "But I still love you!" Simon was bored. "Safe, boring, lazy..." Truly the wonderful thing about Taylor is he's the only one. Heeeeeeee's the only one.

I recently downloaded Paula Abdul's video for the song "Vibeology" from her 1992 album Spellbound. Man, it took me back to the dances in the Samson High lunchroom... do they still do those? Anyway, if I ever figure out how to put videos onto my site, that will go up immediately. She may be a flake now, but she ruled in 1990-92.

Just saw the trailer for X-Men: The Last Stand... it is going to absolutely rock. That scene with Jean Grey in Wolverine's arms, pleading for him to kill her... I'm pumped.

Here comes Mandisa, singing "Any Man of Mine" by Shania Twain. She sounds fun, but her top is hideous... my mom made an afghan liked that once. Seriously... and I've refrained from saying this until now, because she never looked like this until now--she looks ginormous. The song was okay, though. Randy says "weird song choice." He liked the end, though (the last four bars). Paula says "you can sing the phone book..." but she (Paula) didn't like the song. Simon hated it all the way around. He said it was fun and cutesy, but not very good. I can see his point.

Simon just made a Desperate Housewives crack at Ryan, telling him to lose the beard.

Elliott Yahmean is singing "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks. Great song I remember from high school. And if I had played this version on a date back then, I would have gotten even less play than I did already--which was none. Well, there was this chick named Julie Phillips from Geneva, and I... wait, where was I? Oh yeah, Elliott. Randy loved it. Paula adores Elliott. She used the words "reckless abandon". Somebody smack her. Simon says "just a safe choice."

I'm beginning to like Elliott, because he honestly seems like a guy who is constantly thinking "how the crap did I get here? this rocks!" He seems pretty humble. I'm not on the Elliott Yahmean bandwagon, but I'm standing in the queue for a ticket.

Here comes Little Annoying Paris. She's like Starbuck's new Blackberry Green Tea Frappuccino... I can't decide if I loved it, or its the absolute worst thing ever. Its one or the other--there is no in-between.. She's singing Leann Rimes "How Do I Live?"... or perhaps its Trisha Yearwood's version? I like Trisha's better, so I'll say that Paris is copying Leann, because Trisha is a billion times better than Paris. Plus, Trisha's version is from "Con Air", one of my top five Nicolas Cage movies. Randy says he could tell that it was tough for Paris. Paula compliments before she gives criticism. And she actually gets booed. Simon smiles, says "I disagree with Paula" (and the crowd goes wild). He liked it alot. "Excellent choice of song, like early Dionne Warrick."

My algrebra teacher was Mrs. Maund, and she always looked like a little old white Dionne Warrick. In between all her cosines and theorems, I expected her to write 1-900-FUTURE NOW for the psychic hotline on the board.

Now, its time for Steph's Man with the Ace Hair, doing some song called "I Want to Cry", to which Kenny Rogers said "Ace matched with his song better than anyone else in the bunch." He's on a stool in the middle of the stage, with the Ron Burgundy "Hey Everyone, Come See How Good I Look!" Look on his face. This guy would have fit perfectly in N*Sync, as anyone but Timberlake. Randy said he was bored. Paula loved him (I would bet anything she's already left him her room key at least once). Simon liked it, finally. Ryan just revealed that Ace is single.

Oh, dear Pickles. Ryan is addressing with Pickles the whole "people are saying that the whole naive thing is just an act" and she's saying its not. So, either she's a very good actress and very deceptive, or completely stupid. Kenny is saying "she is what you see." Either way, two things I hate about most people, yet somehow I like Pickles. Maybe its her need for double sided tape tonight.

Anyway, she's doing "Fancy", as done by Reba. Remember, folks, this is an extremely loud, hard twangin' country song. She's starting from the middle of the audience tonight... good touch. And the song is great, in my opinion. To me, this was perfect for her. Randy says "Great". Paula loved it. Simon hates the song, but liked the performance. He said what we were all thinking... "It would be a shocker if you didn't do good tonight, wouldn't it?" This performance was what made me a Pickles fan to begin with.

I'd bet she would go nuts on "Sin Wagon", a song in my Top 10 All Time Best Thumping the Dashboard and Driving Fast Songs. (other songs in this catagory include "Everything Zen" by Bush, "Jesus Freak" by dcTalk and "Basic Instructions" by Burlap to Cashmere)

Daughtry is up next, singing keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us". His performance is like the Idol equivilent of Lloyd Dobler's boombox held high, blaring "In Your Eyes"... hard to resist. One thing about Daughtry is that he listens to the judges... Simon told him last week that although he was good at being a rocker, he needed to do something different, lest his rockerdom get old. And tonight, he did, and it rocked. Randy loved it. I think Paula just left Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair a note that says "Pass this key to Chris". Simon said it was boring.

Sidebar: I knew this frumpy, dopey looking guy in college named Matt Andress that would have girls fawning and throwing themselves at his feet simply by picking "Wonderful Tonight", one string at a time, on his mandolin. I only say this because it is a theory I have that for guys, it doesn't really matter what you look like, as long as you have style and attitude. Heck, Mike Dunn in 320-A of Alumni Hall was one of the goofiest, ugliest guys I've ever seen--and he scored alot. Alot. Even with Katharine Gates, while I was dating her. Of course, looking back, that was okay, because she was a really weird chick with a llama and... remind me to tell you this story later. (you only think I'm making up the part about the llama...)

Is it bad that, after last week's bottom three appearance, I'm actually nervous for My Girl McPhee? Don't they have therapists for this kind of stuff?

My Girl McPhee is singing "The Elvis in Me". Because my beautiful, wonderful, incredible, loyal, fantastic wife Stephanie reads this blog, I'll say only this: McPhee did well. Randy liked it. Paula loved it. Simon says "I don't know what to say..." to which My Girl McPhee says "you don't like country music... its okay. just say it." And Simon replies "You're right, I hate it." I think what makes me like McPhee over Pickles, besides the hotness factor, is that McPhee looks like she's always having fun... Pickles looks like she's trying to just do well.

I just saw a commercial for Cingular, where you can get ringtones for songs that Idols have sung... I'm not to that point. Yet.

And here comes Bucky. Bucky. When the theme is TV Themes, he's all about singing "Bad Boys" from Cops. And I have no clue what this dude is singing--for that matter, what he's even saying. Unlike Elliott, who is growing on me, I'm totally against Bucky. The costume department of Young Guns II called... they want their coat back. Randy says "aight". Paula loved it. Simon says "eh, okay."

I will say this... Kenny Rogers was great tonight. The Gambler actually had criticism for the Idols, telling them what not to do, how to fix things and such. Good times.

My prediction for the bottom three this week: Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Bucky... and either Elliott Yahmean, or (gulp) My Girl McPhee.

Read Entertainment Weekly's review of tonight's show right here. The first paragraph is priceless.


Its early Thursday morning, and its time to watch the results from American Idol. I worked last night, so I had to put the show on tape once again... but I'm here with my handy VCR remote and TV to give you the play by play.

They just brought out Kenny Rogers... he's had so many facelifts, he almost looks Oriental. Ryan is asking him about the group and such, but what I want to know is, "What the *&^% happened to Kenny Rogers Roasters???? here is the chicken?!?!?! Darn you Kenny!!!!"

While he's singing, I'll just tell you they used to have "All You Can Eat Chicken Bashes" on Mondays at Kenny Rogers Roasters, which was located where the McAllisters is now on Highway 31 (across from Ellis Piano). Michael, Tom, Shawn and I used to go over, plunk down the $6.95, and absolutely gorge ourselves on as much chicken, mac n cheese, mashin' taters, glazed apples and other stuff. Good times, very very good times. Then they closed. I felt like Kramer in the Kenny episode... I had a piece of chicken in one hand, other hand outstretched, and in a soft whimpering voice, whispered "...kenny...? ...kenny...?"

And back to the show we go. They showed the new Idol Ford commercial, a take off of the Hollies "Just One Look". And then Ryan took a potshot at Pickles. Bad Ryan, bad Ryan. Just announced that next week will be a show on the music of Queen. Wow.

Here comes the results...with 9 Idols left, its that time in the year when they stop doing the usual elimination process (go one by one, announcing the bottom three along the way...) This time they are splitting the groups in the groups of 3, with one of the groups actually being the bottom 3.

Taylor goes to Group 1. Mandisa goes to Group 2. Elliott Yahmean joins Mandisa in Group 2. Paris becomes the third-and final-person in Group 2. Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair starts Group 3. Pickles joins Taylor in Group 1, almost assuring that Group 1 is the safe one to be in. All they need is Daughtry to seal that deal.

And Daughtry joins Taylor and Pickles in Group 1. So that's gotta be the safe group. That leaves this year's Scott Savol, Bucky, and My Girl McPhee in Group 3 with Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair. Sigh. This could really go either way... Bucky is the liability in one group (with Ace) while Elliott Yahmean is the liability in the other, though having Mandisa and Paris there doesn't hurt.

As good looking as I think My Girl McPhee is, she needs to kick her clothing stylist in the teeth. Why is it out of all American Idol's resources, she can't come up with better clothes than what she does? Surely she doesn't think the mini skirt and the boots go well together?

Ryan announces that Group 1, with Pickles, Taylor and Daughtry, is safe. Duh. Perhaps one of thoes would be in the bottom three (My Girl McPhee was last week), but surely not ALL three at the same time. Now Ryan announces that My Girl McPhee, Bucky (Bucky?) and Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair are safe.

Leaving Paris, Mandisa and Elliott are in the bottom three. Really? Paris has a smile that says "You have to be $*&%@*^# kidding me". He does send Paris back to the couch, though.

With Elliott and Mandisa, this could really be a toss-up. Simon reminds us that America votes, and predicts that Elliott will stay. And Mandisa is going home.

Ever seen Ocean's 12, when Benedict blows up Rusty's old car... Rusty looks on, simply saying "...huh...". Thats kind of what this moment does for me. Huh.

She's holding back her tears, and the audience has this "Mandisa and not Bucky???" aura about them... as does some of the Idols, I think. And she name-drops Jesus again... I love it!

Okay, two funny things about this: Paris, who bawls every week when people get dropped, especially when Chicken Little and Lisa Turtle got punted, is not shedding a single tear. "Yes, I have the full black vote!! Go me! Go me!".

The funniest thing is they show the Idols when Mandisa's name is announced, and Taylor has his hands up like he's about to clap... he realizes suddenly that no one else is clapping, so he freezes, hands stopping in mid clap, with a "...uhhh..." mouth open look. Only his eyes dart around, like he's looking for someone else to clap... either he just knew it was going to be Elliott going, and he was clapping, or he heard "Mandisa" and figured everyone would clap, only they didn't. Funny stuff.

Alright, well, my top four--My Girl McPhee, Daughtry, Taylor and Pickles--are all safe. If we can just chunk Bucky, I think we'll have ourselves a real competition. And as I stopped the tape, I am watching a Shakira video... not sure that there is any woman that the world says I should be attracted to that I find least attrative. Excpet maybe Pam Anderson. And Anna Nicole Smith. Its always good when the last two sentences of your long posting include the words "Pam Anderson" and "Anna Nicole Smith".