Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Bad Idol 12 (now with results!)

With a look at Nick/Norman Gentle, Seacrest tells us the power is in our hands, and asks, "What have you done?".



All the contestants are on The Couch of Anxiety, awaiting a possible trip to The Stools of Destiny. Currently in those stools are Alexis, Mike the Oil Rigger and Danny Gokey. I think "Gokey" is too good of a last name to NOT have a nickname. I'll work on that.

Here we see the clips of "how they got here", that being the contestants that performed--and mostly blew it--last night. Its funny to see how excited the judges were back then, as compared to how brutal most of them sounded last night.

I'll mercifully--to me, not to you--fast forward the DVR through the usually painful group song. Equally as painful is the clips from last night, with most of the songs being butchered, and Simon telling Nick/Norm that he hopes he doesn't go through... which again, I have to say, why did they put him through to this round?

Seacrest holds some banter between the contestants and the judges, and talks about song selection with Jesse, who looks like a thinner, taller, more attractive Jeanine Garofalo.

First off The Couch of Anxiety is Allison. She did "Alone" and did that overdone song really, really well. Seacrest then calls Jesse down, after she did "Bette Davis Eyes". Then he calls down Matt the Welder, who did Tonic. Allison, Jessie and Matt the Welder stand together.

Who makes the cut, to the Stool of Destiny? Allison Iraheta. Rock on. I really like this chick, and am looking forward to seeing what she can do next. Honestly, that was pretty obvious how that would turn out.

Seacrest pulls down MLC and Kris Allen. MLC did the Corinne Bailey Rae song, while Kris Allen, who no one has really seen much of, did the weird version of "Man in the Mirror". Then Jenny V and Matt G come down. Jenny V has to know that she has no shot at this, probaby making her the most relaxed person in the room.

Seacrest then gives us the worst kept secret thusfar. He tells Jenny V to sit down. Then he tells Matt G to sit. Whats funny is Adam Lambert is not up here yet... he's going to be the last one chosen...

Finally, Kris Allen gets the nod to the Top 12. I disagree. He'll be out in the first two to three weeks. I'm going to fast forward again so I don't have to be creeped out by his "Man in the Mirror".

We get to see the montage of "retrospect" that we saw at the beginning of the season, including a shot of Pickles! I love Pickles!

It's always a good time to put a pic of Pickles on the site

And speaking of love, while I was at The Happiest Place in the Mall making magic, The Lovely Steph Leann shot me a text and told me someone I enjoyed was back on Idol... My Next American Idol Brooke White! I really loved this girl, she was just great...

Here's "I Am She Said" from last year's American Idol, featuring My Next American Idol Brooke White

And she tells Seacrest that the song she's about to sing is available on iTunes, as its her first single...

...guess what I just downloaded off of iTunes! It's "Hold Up My Heart" by My Next American Idol Brooke White!

Five more contestants sit on The Couch of Anxiety. Mishovanna, Kai, Adam, Nick/Norm and Jasmine all come down. I think I should probably think that Mishovanna is prettier than she actually is... but I don't think she's all that pretty...

He then tells Mishovanna, Kai and Jasmine they are all done, and go sit back on The Couch of Anxiety. That leaves Adam Lambert and Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell. America speaks, and does the right thing. After screwing up the presidential elections, they got this one right... though we kinda knew that Adam would make it through.

Next week, we'll see, among others, Nate the Pansy, Lil Rounds, Jorge Nunez, Kendall Beard, Blind Scott and Ju'not Joyner. I want Nate the Pansy to flame out so badly, but part of me feels guilty for saying that... because, remember, Nate "wants this soooo badly" and "music is everything to me".


We have Idol tonight, and not last night, as last night was taken up by President B. Hussein Obama giving us hope, faith, love and a future.

Fox tonight! Its two new hours of American Idol! Fox Wednesday Idol blog starts right now!



We are here at The Cabana, Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, ready to play judge and jury as a fresh group of contestants battle for our vote. Alexis, Mike the Welder and Danny "Yes, yes, his wife died, we know" Gokey are the first three in the Top 12 Finals.

And tonight? I was going to try and type all their names, but they are being announced too fast... so we'll just go one by one.

Let's start with Jasmine Murray, 17, from Columbus, Mississippi. She's going to sing one of the songs that I've been addicted to for a few weeks now, "love Song" by Sara Bareilles. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "It's a little low for her."

For me... Jasmine is doing okay. But not great. The Lovely Steph Leann's blanket stays where it is, wrapped tightly around her arms and neck, but still, she doesn't think it was all that great. I should get her a Snuggie.

Randy says "aight". Kara says, "All over the place". Paula agrees. Simon says, "You've got the attitude and the confidence, you just don't have a great voice. I don't think you are ready for this now."

In other news, I'm totally excited for "Race to Witch Mountain" mostly because of my mancrush on The Rock.

We're back! Next up is Matt Giraud. He's 23, from Kalamazoo, MI, and is doing "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay. Did I mention he's a piano player? Not tonight, though... Matt comes out, and... and... I like this guy.

He's not Chris Martin, but he has the whole grab the mic, straddle the mic pole, suck on the mic like John Mayer, kind of rock star singer thing going on. However comma that last note at the end was a little rough, and The Lovely Steph Leann flinched slightly.

Kara says, "I'm just not blown away". Paula tries to give a compliment by complaining. Simon says, "It was verging on a horrible performance." Randy says he is still pulling for him.

Jeanine Vailes is a 28 year old bartender from Washington DC. She did well in Hollywood Week, and tonight, she's going to sing "This Love" by Maroon 5.

I can't decide if the shorts she is wearing are actually shorts, or a belt. The first note is not good... and she doesn't get any better. The Lovely Steph Leann mumbles from the blanket, "I think she's kind of flat..."

I don't like this performance at all, and as Jeanine continues, The Lovely Steph Leann actually grunts twice.

Paula says, "Um... great legs." This is when she is not wanting to say anything bad. Simon hated it, "but you do have very good legs". Randy agrees on the legs, but says it was completely the wrong song. Kara is looking for something else pretty about Jenny V there.

Personally, I think that Jenny V looks like a man trying, and succeeding, to dress like a man. Jenny V does say, though, "I felt like I had to come out and be heard, because no one has seen me or heard me so far." Randy says, "It would have helped if it were in tune" and The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "Yes! Thank you! I am so glad someone agrees with me!"

But we should vote for her... because she wants this really badly, for so long.

We get told that Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell is coming up. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Please let someone sing! This whole show has been sucky so far... these first three have been pretty painful."

So, here comes Nick/Norman. How he has made it this far is beyond me. I haven't really found him funny, though I can appreciate his trying.

I laugh loudly, though, as he starts as Norman Gentle, and is singing "Am I Am Telling You (that I am not going)" from Dreamgirls, a song that helped earn former Idol Jennifer Hudson an Oscar.

I gotta tell you... his voice isn't bad. And after the first three so far, he's been the most entertaining we've seen. But if I'm the other Idols, and he gets one of the Top 12 spots (and you know he will) I'd be pretty hacked off, because I'd think that he didn't earn it at all.

Simon says, "I pray you don't go through to the next round". YOU FOUR PUT HIM THROUGH!!! HOLY CRAP!!! YOU KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!!! Simon! Randy! Paula! Have you EVER SEEN THE SHOW???

Randy enjoyed it, and Kara says it was very memorable. Paula laughs, and Ryan comes out and says, "This is the first time that anyone has ever gotten to 2nd base with our logo." And Seacrest and Simon make another gay joke--which I think is hysterical.

So the first 3rd of the show, here's where I rank 'em.... Matt G, Jasmine, Jenny V, NickNorm

Did you know that Paula is dissing the idea of Kara being that fourth judge?

Here comes 16 year old Allison Iraheta, who is in a painful banter with Seacrest, before revealing that she's going to sing "Alone" by Heart. Both The Lovely Steph Leann and I look at each other, upon hearing this nugget, I say, "Oh no", and she gets wide-eyed.

Carrie Underwood sung it the best it can be sung on this show, so retire it now. Heart has other songs.

Allison Iraheta isn't slaughtering it like I thought she would be... it actually is the best of the night, though considering what we've gotten thusfar, that's not saying a ton. She starts good, she has it good, she sounds like she is yelling a little in the chorus, but still...

Randy says, "You done blew it out the box", which is a good thing. Kara likes it lots too. "You're great", Kara says. Paula says something about puppies and feathers and rainbows and blue skies. Simon? "You're the best so far, by a clear mile. You were so boring in your interview with Ryan, but turned it into an amazing performance."

I do notice she has very square teeth.

Countryboy Kris Allen, 23, from Arkansas takes the stage next. He's going to take on... what? What? "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson? What? The Lovely Steph Leann informs me that this is her favorite Michael Jackson song, which is news to me, because I didn't even know she had a favorite Michael Jackson song. What else do I not know about this woman, three days before our 5th anniversary? Hmm??

We used to do a parody of this song in high school, and sing "I'm talking to the man in the bathroom, I'm asking him hurry up..."

As far as Kris Allen goes, I'm not even sure how I feel about this... it might be the first time that an Idol has given me the McGriddle Effect. The Lovely Steph Leann has this dazed, blank expression on her face, looking confused.

Kara says the last part was better than the first part. This was totally the wrong song for this guy... Paula says that Kris Allen nailed it. Simon agrees with Paula. Really? Seriously? Randy says that Simon is partly right.

It was okay... but weird. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but with tonight, I'd rank it right behind Allison Iraheta.

Megan Corkrey, 23, is the one with the tattoos on her arm, Carly Smithson-esque. She's doing some "Put Your Record On" by Corrine Bailey Rae, and artist who came and suddenly has disappeared like the wind. Perhaps she'll hook up with Timbaland and have a Nelly Furtado comeback.

I'm struggling with whether I find MJC hot or not. I think the tattoos that look like she dipped her arm into blue paint up to her shoulder kinda throws me off. Carly Smithson-esque.

As for the song, I like it... its a fun song, and MJC has this cool raspy voice that is doing the song justice. And I like the fact I can call her MJC

Paula says, "you picked the right song, the camera is in love with you, puppies, butterflies, sunshine, puffy poofy clouds..." Simon says, "Your a funny little thing aren't you?" He says she oversang the second part of the song, but he's rooting for her. Randy says she's in a Duffy/Adele/Amy Winehouse genre, while Kara says with the right song, she could be a hit artist.

The Lovely Steph Leann? "Her dress is terrible"

And now, its Matt Breitzke, a welder from Oklahoma, 28. Matt the Welder is along the same lines as Mike the Oil Rigger, a hard working joe from America who can sing. He's singing "If You Could Only See" by Tonic.

The Lovely Steph Leann pokes fun at me sometimes, because Tonic and Matchbox 20 came out at the same time, with "If You Could Only See" and "Push", respectively, and I picked Tonic as the band that would last, and Matchbox 20 as the one hit wonder. Boy, was I wrong.

I like this guy. The Lovely Steph Leann does too, as her foot is moving to the beat. I like the song, but it sounds like most people sound when they sing it well... he's doing nothing new with the song.

Simon, however, really likes Matt the Welder, but hated the song. Randy says it was boring too. Kara repeats the others, saying "It didn't show a good side of you". Paula also says the same thing, with about 200 more words than necessary.

He doesn't have a prayer.

So here's my list after 8 contestants... Allison Iraheta, MJC, Kris Allen, Matt the Welder, Matt G, Jasmine, Jenny V, NickNorm

Jesse Langseth, single mom, 26. I really like this chick, and I want her to do well. She was the one who almost didn't make it, and had to do a sing-off at the last minute. She's singing "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes.

I, for one, have never been a fan of this song. I think the song is kinda boring, and kinda whiney... that being said, Jesse Langseth is singing it just as well as can be expected. And... I still like this chick.

Randy says "okay, but not exciting. It was only a five note range." Kara says "this is your best look", and truthfully--yes, she's pretty hot. Kara liked the song well enough. Jesse is bantering back and forth with the judges, and Paula has found her captivating in all rounds. Simon says, "I think your forgettable."

FYI, Jesse is the sister of Grammy winner blues artist Jonny Lang, who I've never heard actually sing.

Kai Kalama, who just looks cool. He's got the poofy afro, the toned skin, the stubble thing going on... he'll be singing Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted", and I have high hopes for this guy, taking old school.

Kai is singing it well enough... but its kinda boring. And forgettable. I like the song, I like Paul Carrick's cover from the 80s, but Kai is kinda boring me. I expected more.

Kara sighs, tells him she likes him, but that he had pitch issues, and the song was old fashioned. Yes! That's what I'm saying! Paula was all about him, handing him her hotel room key. Simon says it sounded just like a ton of other performances over the years--yes! I agree! Randy agrees with the others, calling it very safe.

I feel like I'm saying a foriegn when I say Misho... Michavonna... I don't even know where her first name ends and her last name starts. I stumble through her name, and end up saying something like "meet ya vagina". The Lovely Steph Leann looks at me and says, "yeah, that's not it."

She's doing "Drops of Jupiter" by Train, a fun song to sing, one I used to... wait... Mishavonna Henson! They finally showed it onscreen! Mishavonna! Who names their kids Mishavonna? Misha, I can see... but why put the -vonna on the end? Its only going to confuse bloggers like me into accidentally saying something naughty.

I didn't like the performance. Paula tells her that she's a fan of hers... but... didn't like the song choice. Simon tells her she's very serious and needs to warm up. Paula says, "I think it was the 'drops of Jupiter'" and then laughs at her own unfunny joke. Kara looks like she rolls her eyes. Randy didn't like the song choice either, while Paula continues to crack up. Kara wants her to loosen up.

Mishavonna says she chose it because it was different, and hopes to show America that she can be crazy.

To close the show, Adam Lambert, 27, from Hollywood, Cali. He's got the prime "last spot" on the show, and he looks like a pop star, so you can tell the producers have a plan when they put these people in order to sing.

"Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones is the song of choice... wow. "I wasn't expecting this at all," says The Lovely Steph Leann from under her chenille blanket on the couch. I wasn't either... and I was actually thinking he'd go Timberlake, or John Legend or Fall Out Boy or even Coldplay or something... the Stones?

I think this is terrible... simply terrible. I say this aloud and The Lovely Steph Leann lifts her head and just laughs... she didn't really like this song to begin with, but likes Adam Lambert, and "is just effortlessly singing this song, and there are some crazy notes in there... yeah, I drink the Adam Lambert Kool-Aid."

Paula loved loved loved it. She goes and snatches her hotel key from Kai, and then stuffs it down the front of Adam Lambert's tight pants. Simon is trying to figure out what to say, "Parts of which were excrutiatingly bad, and parts that were brilliant." He says, "you'll either like it or hate it." Randy loved it. Kara loved it.

Sigh. I loved Allison and really liked MJC and Jesse. As far as the guys go, I guess I'd have to give it Adam, begrudgingly.

Here's my thoughts on the show, and how I rank 'em... Allison Iraheta, MJC, Jesse Langseth, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Kai Kalama, Matt the Welder, Mishavonna, Matt G, Jasmine, Jenny V, NickNorm

Final note... on the recap clips, when they show a bit of each performance to jog your memory before voting, they show Jenny V singing "This love has taken control of me, she says goodbye..." and The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Yep, I am ready to say goodbye to you."

Results blog coming late Thursday night, after I get off work from The Happiest Place in the Mall!

Missing The Lovely Steph Leann Now

This is truly what I go through everytime I'm apart from my dear, sweet The Lovely Steph Leann... I mean, that is, if I were Michael Bolton, The Lovely Steph Leann were Teri Hatcher and somewhere, Kenny G was providing soprano sax backup.

This was a find that was too good to pass up. Baby, this cheese is for you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 10th thru 6th Coolest Things of 2008

I knew that if I put all my effort into it, I would finish this list before the end of February! Don't forget, Facebookians, the numerous videos are not going to show up. Click on over to Clouds in My Coffee, then bookmark the page. Then check it daily. You never know what might pop up. Also, be a follower. I only have 7. I'm hypercompetitive. I want more.

The Introduction and Recap
The 100th thru 91st Coolest Things of 2008
The 90th thru 81st Coolest Things of 2008
The 80th thru 71st Coolest Things of 2008
The 70th thru 61st Coolest Things of 2008
The 60th thru 51st Coolest Things of 2008
The 50th thru 41st Coolest Things of 2008
The 40th thru 31st Coolest Things of 2008
The 30th thru 21st Coolest Things of 2008
The 20th thru 11st Coolest Things of 2008

The 10th Coolest Thing of 2008... Mom Votes
It just doesn't get any cooler than your mother voting for the first time in her life, and that's exactly what happened this past election.

Apparently, she was at the IGA (for you non-southern folk, the IGA is a local supermarket chain. Hometown proud, American IGA) with my sister, getting some groceries. Somehow, the topic of politics came up while she was in the grocery line, and someone asked my mother who she was thinking of voting for. When my mom informed them that in all of her then 75 years, she'd never voted, the good people at the IGA decided to fix that.

Barbara, who's been a cashier there for at least 20 years (in small towns like Samson, people stay in jobs such as this for decades, becoming town fixtures), went and got all the necessary paperwork and an absentee ballot, then visited my dear mom at home. Mother got signed up to vote, and then voted for the very first time. I'm proud to say she voted for John McCain, though I have to chuckle when she said, "Well, really, I didn't like either one of them, they were both terrible. But McCain was less terrible than Obama."

The 9th Coolest Thing of 2008... "Wall*E"
I cannot tell you how incredibly wonderful this movie is. From start to finish, its truly a masterpiece of animation... though I've discovered two camps when it comes to "Wall*E". You either really, really like it... or you really, really don't. There aren't a whole lot of in betweens.

We did a presale for this movie at The Happiest Place in the Mall this past October and November, and people who ordered it loved it. Really, really loved it. But many people who didn't order it didn't just say, "No thanks", they continued with "I was bored during that movie" or "I fell asleep" or "I thought that movie was ridiculous."

Poo on them, I say. In my book, Pixar can do no wrong, a lesson I learned after "Ratatouille", and here they hit a thousand home runs. There's no dialogue other than beeping and bleeping for 40 minutes, yet I was drawn in and enthralled the entire time, watching Wall*E's affection for Eve look and be more genuine than just about any other onscreen performance this past year. In the second act of the movie, granted, I think it does slip a little, but a slip from this movie still proves to be better than most.

How great is it that the best love story of all of 2008, besides Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, was between two robots?

And for the record, its "EVE" not "EVA". It drives me nuts to hear parents come in with their spawn at The Happiest Place in the Mall, pass by the Wall*E section, and say, "Look, Junior, its Eva!" No, stupid. It's EVE. Not Eva. Wall*E calls her Eva because he's a robot. You aren't a robot. It's EVE.

The 8th Coolest Thing of 2009... KT & J ROB
Our friends Katie Roberts and her boo Jason are awesome. We met her and her husband J Rob maybe a year and a half ago, in Jason and Emmy Turnbow's "Young Married" class, and instantly bonded with them. They are much like us, friendly, fun, goofy and social.

KT and I bonded too, becoming fast friends because we share alot of the same interests and commonalities--and because we think alike too. She is like me, saying whatever is on her mind (and also like me in sometimes not thinking about it before saying it). You know those friends that you can make uncomfortable observations to? Yeah, that's KT.  Jason is on the same wavelength... he says things that I only think, and make me go, "Yeah!  I believe that too!"  And perhaps thats why KT and J Rob match up so well...

One of my favorite pics of The Lovely Steph Leann and KT... this was the infamous BBQ Sauce incident.

For the longest time, they lived right across Highway 280, but she and J Rob finally bought a house, moving down Highway 280 a bit... when I say "a bit", I mean about 9 or 10 miles, which makes it harder to visit. KT and I don't get to chat as much as we did, and J Rob and I don't get to goof nearly as much, and I truly miss that, but they are both forever my buddies. And she reads the blog, becoming a regular before many others were.

KT... You Rock.  J Rob... You Rule. 

The 7th Coolest Thing of 2008... DVR
Digital Video Recording has changed my life. Right now, as I sit and type this out, I am watching WWE: Raw, specifically Shawn Michaels, "The Heartbreak Kid" take on JBL, with the winner going up against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 in April. Earlier tonight, I watched "The Amazing Race" and "Solitary". While I watch WWE: Raw, there's a little orange light on, telling me that I'm recording a movie called "Taking Chance", starring Kevin Bacon.

Other selections? "Fool's Gold" and "Being Erica", a movie and a show that The Lovely Steph Leann recorded. Seven episodes of "Samantha Brown: Passport to Great Weekends". "Pan's Labyrinth", "Meet the Robinsons", "Elizabeth I", "Sweeney Todd", "The Good German", "Blood Diamond", "Becoming Jane", some Hallmark movie that The Lovely Steph Leann may or may not get to, some show called "Lost in Austen" that she already watched, an episode of ABC 33/40 midday news show that I and Ryan Sherman both were featured on... in our list of "to be recorded", you'll find Samantha Brown, "Survivor", "Solitary 3.0", "The Amazing Race", WWE: Raw, "American Idol" and that Erica show that The Lovely Steph Leann wanted.

In much the way the iPod has changed the way I listen to music, the DVR has changed the way I approach television. No more needing to be in front of the tv at a certain time, no more setting our VCRs, hoping that not only did it set right, but that the tapes were still okay to record on, no more mixing tapes up and accidentally recording over an Idol episode that The Lovely Steph Leann didn't get to see... nay nay... its all on digital. Its all on our DVR.

It's a beautiful, wonderful thing. For the record, HBK just gave the Sweet Chin Music kick to JBL, knocking him out. I'm thinking of getting WrestleMania 25 on pay-per-view. And recording it on my DVR.

The 6th Coolest Thing of 2008... The Stamford, CT, Mission Trip
It's not a secret that I love New York City, and have relished in the fact that I've been there four times for missions. My fifth time in New York City came this past March, though it wasn't exactly a NYC trip... it was to Stamford, CT, where we'd work with Encounter Church, pastored by Landon Reesor.

One of my favorite shots of the trip, here's The Lovely Steph Leann freezing in a parking lot.
Not only was I able to go with team leaders Philip and Jill Waters, but also able to get to meet Taylor and Cindy Smith, and their kids, and KT and J Rob. What was also wonderful about the trip was my first chance to do missions with The Lovely Steph Leann--doing missions with your wife is amazing.

For those who want to read up on the trip, here's the blog I kept:

Part One: Gettin' There is Half the Fun?
Part Two: A Parade of Prayers
Part Three: Adventures at the Mall
Part Four: Walking on Egg Shells
Part Five: It's Not Sexy, But It's Got Teeth
Part Six: The Deterioration of the Response to Fight or Flight
Part Seven: The Manhattan Finale

In particular, I'll point you to my favorite entry (and the one that most people told me that liked the best) which is Part Five: It's Not Sexy, But It's Got Teeth, featuring one of my favorite all time moments with KT.

Great trip.

Coming... The Five Coolest Things of 2008

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The '09 Academy Awards

1059p... Good night, folks. Coming Tuesday? The Top Twenty Coolest Things of 2008.

1055p... And thats a wrap. "Slumdog Millionaire" goes home with like, 8 Oscars. And to end the night, we see a cool preview of movies coming up this year... and we're all pumped. Rob Downey Jr in "Sherlock Holmes", and Denzel in "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" and Pixar's new film "Up!" and "Terminator Salvation" and an Amelia Earhardt biography and Tarantino's new one and Amy Adams in "Night at the Museum 2" and "Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince" and Tom Hank's hair in "Angels & Demons" and "Ice Age 13" and Eddie Murphy's new bomb... rock on.

1053p... "Slumdog Millionaire" completes the Oscar domination, whether it deserved it or not. The Lovely Steph Leann finishes her night with 63 points, Mikey with 49 and I get up to 28.

1048p... Steven Spielberg comes out to not only give away Best Picture, but to introduce a montage of clips from the nominees, intersparsed with clips from other Best Picture winners and nominees (and in the case of "Saving Private Ryan", movies that should have won--it lost to "Shakespear in Love")

1046p... Sean Penn then rails against the people, the majority mind you, who voted for the ban on gay marriage in California, then shows some love to Barack Obama. Then he shows particular love to Mickey Rourke specifically.

1042p... And the Oscar goes to... Sean Penn in "Milk". The Lovely Steph Leann goes to 58 points, leaving Mikey with 44 and myself with 23. "I want to make it very clear that I know how hard I make it to appreciate me," says Sean Penn, after calling the audience commie, homo lovin' sons of guns.

1036p... Here comes the Best Actor winners, with previous winners Robert DeNiro, Ben Kingsley, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins and... Adrian Brody? All those legendary actors, and Adrian Brody? What was Al Pacino doing, making another crappy-end-of-his-career movie like "88 Minutes"?
Michael Douglas, one of my favorite actors, instroduces "Frost/Nixon". Robert DeNiro discusses Sean Penn, who actually smiles. I've seen him smile three times already--I don't know what got into him. Adrian Brody discusses Richard Jenkins, a character actor that you have seen in lots and lots of movies, yet you probably can't think of any of them, only to think "I've seen that guy somewhere!"

Anthony Hopkins talks about Brad Pitt, and that leaves Ben Kingsley to discuss Mickey Rourke.

1035p... We knew Kate Winslet would win this, but that doesn't make it any less freakin' awesome. KATE KATE KATE!!!!

Here is My Dear Kate's speech at the Golden Globes in January

1025p... Now its time for Best Actress, as they show previous winners. Presenting this year is Sophie Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard.

Shirley is speaking of Anne Hathaway, and it looks like Anne is about to cry. Marion is struggling to spit out English to My Dear Kate, who looks ravishing. Halle is introducing Melissa Leo, from some movie called "Frozen River", a movie that I'll never see, I'm sure. Sophie Loren, looking like a mummy, is discussing Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman is introducing Angelina Jolie.
1020p... She's here to give out the Best Director award, and of course, it goes to Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire". The Lovely Steph Leann approached fifty points with 48, Mikey has 39, I had 18.
1018p... Reese Witherspoon, a full member of The Ashley Judd Club, cause frankly, Reese is hot. Really, really hot.


1015p... Mikey and I were discussing Brad Pitt, and he asks me if I had seen the new trailer for Quentin Tarantino's new film, "Inglourious Basterds". Oh yes, I tell him, yes I have. And its glourious. Inglourious. Whatever...
I'd say this trailer is PG-13... the movie will most definately be Rated R. And Brad Pitt's accent rocks.

1011p... Queen Latifah, who had a great talk show that I do miss, but not as much as Ricki Lake, introduces the In Memoriam montage of people who have passed. She is singing "I'll Be Seeing You" as we see Bernie Mac, Ollie Johnston, Isaac Hayes (who gets a big applause), Ricardo Montalbon (another big applause), Van Johnson, Michael Crichton, Charlton Heston, directors Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, character actor Pat Hingle and of course, Paul Newman at the end, who gets the biggest applause.
You kinda feel bad for people like Ned Taven, who no one claps for.
We were wondering if they are going to show Heath Ledger again... they showed him last year, as the Oscars in 2008 were right after he died.
1008p... I'm currently 6-14. If I were a college football team, I feel like Charlie Weis would be my coach.

1005p... Hugh Jackman is back, welcoming Liam Nieson and Frieda Pinto from... you guessed it, "Slumdog Millionaire", giving out the award for Best Ferrin Film. I went with "Waltzing with Bashir" because it was the only one I'd heard of. The winner is? "Departures" from Japan. None of us won it.
10p... Then all three sings all three songs together. Peter Gabriel is probably outside kicking small animals. Or Verne Troyer.
Zac and Alecia announces the nominees again. The winner is? "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire." The Lovely Steph Leann runs to 43, Mikey to 34... and Yours Truly to 13.
Can I just say it... "Slumdog Millionaire" was a good film. But it is nowhere near as good as this. Not all these awards. Its supposed to be "inspiring" and "uplifting". I was neither "inspired" or "lifted up", I was just mildly entertained. Seriously.
956p... The Indian version of Jesse McCartney sings, "O Saya" from "Slumdog". Then, John Legend sings "Down to Earth". Then Indian Jesse McCartney teams with the Indian Britney, singing "Jai Ho".
950p... The montage of songs nominated for Best Score, done by the orchestra. Alecia Keyes and Zac Efron come out to announce the nominees. The winner is? A.R. Rahman for "Slumdog Millionaire".

The Lovely Steph Leann: 40
Mikey: 31
Yours Truly: 13
Best Song. Peter Gabriel, writer and singer of "Wall*E"'s song "Down to Earth" refused to perform the song at this year's ceremony because they cut all the songs down to a 1 minute version. He said that he didn't feel like it was a true sampling.

The nominees are 2 songs from "Slumdog Millionaire" sandwiching the "Wall*E" tune.
941p... Eddie Murphy (who is an Academy Award nominee, strangely enough) is out to do just that very thing... giving Jerry Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, something about some telethon he does. I kid, I kid, I know what "Jerry's Kids" is...
..and is it bad that even though its been on, every Labor Day, my entire life (since 1966, actually), I've not seen more than four minutes collectively of that entire thing? Jerry Lewis comes out, looking like he has lost some weight, looking very hunched and old.

He is in fact 83, will be 84 in March, and he looks like he's had a recent stroke, the way he moves and talks. Resembles Kirk Douglas when Kirk came out a few years ago.
938p... I had wings last night, and cheap chinese today for lunch... I'm waiting for the Jerry Lewis Humanitarian Award to be given out, so I can go to the restroom.
937p... Its kinda like NASCAR or the PGA tour or something... at some point, no matter whether
she wins or loses the rest, The Lovely Steph Leann now has an insurmountable lead. Now can she get the final six points to take the "most points ever"? Its very, very likely.

928p... Will Smith introduces Out-Stounding Sound Editing. I chose "The Dark Knight", as did the other two in the room. The winner is? "The Dark Knight". The Lovely Steph Leann goes to 35, Mikey has 28, I have 13.
Sound Mixing. Again, I got with "The Dark Knight". Again, I miss it. "Slumdog Millionaire" wins another Oscar, en route to the big ones. We all miss it.
Will Smith: "I am still here now. Hugh must be napping."
Film Editing. I went with "The Dark Knight", playing it safe again. The winner is... "Slumdog Millionaire" The Lovely Steph Leann goes to 37, Mikey stays at 28 and I still have 13.
923p... Here comes the Sound Awards, Mixing and Editing. I chose "The Dark Knight" for both of these. Here's a kickin' montage of 2008's action movies, with Ironman, Rambo, Bond, Hancock, Hulk, Indy, Batman, the Joker, Hellboy, Speed Racer, the Transporter and many others.
Will Smith rises from the stage (and hopefully from the crap that was "Seven Pounds") to do Visual Effects. I'm so far behind now, both Mikey and The Lovely Steph Leann stopped asking what I picked. Just as well. I went with "The Dark Knight", and "Ben Button" wins. The Lovely Steph Leann has 33, Mikey has 26 and I still have 11.
917p... Documentary Short Subject. I picked "The Witness-From the Balcony of Room 306". It looks like a Civil Rights film... but... the winner is "Smile Pinki". No one got it.

24 awards, 13 given out, and I've gotten 4 right. Sheesh.

Here's what Bill Maher thinks of you and your Jesus

913p... Bill Maher comes out for Best Documentary. Mikey and I both say, "Oh geez..." at the exact same time. I absolutely despise. He is a bigot, he is a racist, and he's a freakin' liberal snob who thinks anyone who believes in any God, especially Jesus, is ignorant and stupid. So there. And he even makes an anti-God joke while onstage.
I haven't seen any of the documentaries nominated, but whichever one is most Anti-American, or Anti-Military or Anti-Dubya... that's what will win. I picked "Trouble in the Water". The winner? "Man on a Wire". Sigh. The Lovely Steph Leann has 32, Mikey has 25, I have 11.

One of the winners balances the Oscar statue on his chin.

909p... They show in the audience, Kate Winslet, Adrian Brody, Mickey Rourke, Rob Downey Jr and several others, many of which have tears, look somber or are nodding in agreement. Except for Ben Kingsley, who is blinking like he's got something in his eye.
And seriously, dare Bill Condon and the orchestra strike up the band to cut them off? They probably could have talked for 20 minutes.
901p... Here's a montage for Best Supporting Actor, which is almost a shoo-in for Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight". Kevin Kline (winner for "A Fish Called Wanda"), Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine"), Christopher Walken ("The Deer Hunter"), Joel Grey ("Caberet") and Cuba Gooding Jr ("Jerry Maguire") all come out to present the nominees. Its cool that all of them are here, but especially Cuba--what else is he going to do? Absent is Javier Bardem, who won this last year for "No Country for Old Men."
Alan Arkin announces "Seymour Philip Hoffman". Ha! Cuba Gooding Jr announces Robert Downey Jr for "Tropic Thunder", with a "in blackface? Are you out of your mind?" Chris Walken is... well, Chris Walken. I almost expect him to offer some cham-pan-ya.


And the winner is? Heath Ledger. I'll be honest with ya... I've thought about this, and I think that Heath Ledger might have won this even if he hadn't died. He was brilliant in this film.

The Lovely Steph Leann now dominates with 31, Mikey has 24 and I finally break 10 with... 11. The Lovely Steph Leann's new goal is 42, which would tie Mikey's record score from last year.
853p... There's a musical montage now, with Beyonce and Hugh Jackman singing bits from random musicals. Not very entertaining. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens come out, somehow working in "High School Musical", along with Amanda Seyfriend and some guy from "Mamma Mia". Boooooooring.
842p... Keeping on the 2008 movie montages, here is the one on Comedy. It features Seth Rogan and James Franco watching the comedies from last year, and then they come onstage. Here's the Oscar for "Live Action Short", of which I went with "Manon on the Asphalt". This will ensure that it won't win.
The winner is...? "Spielzeugland (Toyland)". As soon as we saw the clip, and saw that it was a Holocaust short film, Mikey and I both groan. We knew this would win. The Lovely Steph Leann picked it, and chants, "Nazi movie! Nazi movie! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
The Lovely Steph Leann has 24, Mikey still has 20, I still have 7.

838p... Jessica Biel comes out to do the "Technical Award" montage. They always get supposedly pretty chicks to do these, as Jessica Alba came out last year for it.
831p... We continue on our movie journey as Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller come out together to give away Cinematography... and Ben Stiller is dressed as Joaquin Phoenix, with the ridiculous beard, sunglasses and staring off into space. I'm not sure if the joke is all that funny to the audience, but they are laughing all through this bit.
Ben Stiller/Joaquin is randomly walking around the stage. The winner is? "Slumdog Millionaire", giving the 3 points to The Lovely Steph Leann, with 23 points. The tie is broken, as Mikey stays at 20, and I stay at 7.
825p... Robert Pattinson from "Twilight" is here, with "Mamma Mia" star Amanda Seyfried to introduce 2008's Romance Montage. Both starred in movies I hated.

822p... And finally, SJP and James Bond are still here to give away the Academy Award for Makeup. I went, again, with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", though at this point, I'm sorta rooting for "Hellboy II: The Golden Army". And the winner is? Me! One more point for my 7 total, while 20 for the leaders.

819p... Here comes Costume Design, as I went with "Benjamin Button" again. This time, Mikey and The Lovely Steph Leann went with "The Duchess", so can gain 2 points... and the winner is? "The Duchess". 19 points for the leaders, still 6 points for Yours Truly.

815p... The Oscars are being given out in the sequence of "doing a movie", with Screenplays first. Sarah Jessica Parker the Horse and Daniel Craig are out doing Art Direction, of which I listed "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" as the winner. And the winner is? Yay, I got it! And so did Mikey (17pts) and The Lovely Steph Leann (17pts). I have 6 points.
808p... They remain out to give the Animated Short Film, none of which I, Mikey, The Lovely Steph Leann, nor YOU, have ever seen. And the winner? "La Maison en Petits Cubes". None of us got that. The Japanese director actually says, in his acceptance speech, "Domo negato, Mr Roboto".

803p... Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black are out now to present the Best Animated Feature, which includes "Kung Fu Panda", "Bolt" and "Wall*E", which I went with the last. Actually, they aren't presenting... they are showing a 2008 "Movie Yearbook of Animation".

Says Jack Black, "I make more money doing animation than live action. I take all the money I make from Dreamworks, then bet it all on Pixar at the Academy Awards."

And the winner is... "Wall*E". Finally, I get one (4pts)! And so does Mikey (15pts) & The Lovely Steph Leann (15pts).

Best Animated Feature "Wall*E"

758p... And now for Best Adapted Screenplay... I went with "Frost/Nixon", with the theory that this will be the only Oscar this will take tonight. And I probably should have gone with "Slumdog". And the winner is? "Slumdog Millionaire" Mikey and The Lovely Steph Leann have 11 points. Yours Truly has 0.
If "Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Picture, the terrorists win.
754p... Tina Fey and Steve Martin are out, presenting the award for Best Original Screenplay... out the five movies, I've only heard of three, only seen one, that being "Wall*E". And the winner is... "Milk". Mikey and The Lovely Steph Leann now stand at 7 points, I still have zero, as I chose "Wall*E". Mikey makes a point... "The gays always win over cartoons!"
748p... And the winner is... Penelop Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Score 4 points for Mikey and The Lovely Steph Leann, and zero for Yours Truly. This will be a long, long time. This is a Woody Allen movie, which is why I'll probably never see it. I'm not sure I understand anything that Cruz is saying right now.
743p... So, five previous winners of Supporting Actress, and they are giving out the award this year for Supporting Actress... normally, the previous year's supporting actress gives out supporting actor, and vice versa, same for Best Actor and Best Actress, I'm only guessing that they do that to keep someone who might be nominated again for the same award giving out that award...

...but this year, instead of showing film clips, the five previous winners are actually talking about each nominee's performance. This is a fantastic twist this year.
740p... "Mickey Rourke, say whatever you like tonight... we have a 7 second delay, but if you win, we'll move to a 20 minute delay"
737p... And its really funny that he's cracking himself up, sometimes holding back a laugh while sing. He gets a standing ovation from the audience when he's done, and great laughter when he sits in Frank Langella's lap.

735p... Hugh Jackman is bringing down the house with this opening... I personally love it when they acknowledge the stars in the crowd and Hugh brings up Anne Hathaway on the stage to do a "Frost/Nixon" bit... Mikey, The Lovely Steph Leann and I are rolling here.
732p... Hugh Jackman, a member in good standing in The Lovely Steph Leann's Colin Firth Club, is hosting... and even though we didnt know how funny his opening monologue would be--he's hysterical. He quips about Kate Winslet playing a German in "The Reader", and Robert Downey Jr playing an Australian who plays a black guy in "Tropic Thunder", both nominted...

"I'm an Australian, who plays an Australian in a movie called 'Australia'... and I'm hosting."

730p... Okay, we do a scoring game here. Each catagory has a certain number of points assigned to it, with the lesser, shot-in-the-dark awards like Animated Short and Foriegn Film being 1 point, and the big ones, like picture, director and main acting awards, being 5 points. Mikey won last year, Nikki Brown the year before and others in years before.

And Mikey has won this award four times since we've been doing it for the last 9 years.

721p... I'll be that Penelope Cruz spends 30 minutes per day getting her unibrow under control

713p... They show Mickey Rourke (remember, we're on ABC now), and The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I have to say, this is the best I've seen Mickey Rourke look in all these award shows and [they pan down and show the gaudy white pants and pointy cowboy boots]... and never mind."

705p... Frank Langella onscreen leads to this:
Mikey: He's been in some bad, bad movies
Yours Truly: Dude! He was Skeletor!

704p... Its Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, which leads to this exchange:
Mikey: I heard they broke up
Yours Truly: I had heard that he cheated on her
Mikey: I would
Yours Truly: Me too
The Lovely Steph Leann: Michael! David!

701p... Just turned it to ABC, where Robin Roberts and some other guy are doing a 30 minute Oscar special before the show, and who pops up but Kate Winslet... she looks better on E!

659p... Kate Winslet. Love 'er.


648p... After an unhealthy, ungodly amount of Zaxby's chicken, Zaxby's bread and Thin Mints, we're ready for this show to start. Mikey and I have already ogled at Kate Winslet (The Lovely Steph Leann: "Her hair looks awesome!") and made fun of Penelope Cruz' accent, then made fun of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and a few other things.

603p... We're watching the E! Academy Awards arrival show. Here's Michael Shannon, who might be the luckiest guy on the planet. He's looks like a gorilla, he's from nowhere, he's a nobody... and in "Bug", he made out with The Goddess, and in "Revolutionary Road", he made out with Kate Winslet. How does this even happen?
603p... Amy Adams. Hot. Freakin' hot.


6pm... Welcome! Its time for the 2009 Academy Awards! Mikey just showed up, bringing in Zaxby's chicken and lotsa sauce. We're picking our catagories and filling out our Oscar ballot... for the record, I'm picking wins for Kate Winslet, my favorite actress to win Best Actress for "The Reader", and Mickey Rourke for "The Wrestler".

I'm also picking "Slumdog Millionaire" to win the directing prize and the best picture award, even though I don't think it should win either. Personally, I think that Kate should win, and either Mickey or possibly Frank Langella should win for "Frost/Nixon"... I haven't seen "The Wrestler" or "Frost/Nixon" but I heard both are just incredibly.

If Mickey Rourke wins, we all win

Speaking of Mickey... if he wins, where does his acceptance speech fall in the "No One Knows What the *#&$ Will Happen" catagory? Like, it could be boring, or unforgettable for any number of reasons.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reports from The Happiest Place on Earth

So, here's our Walt Disney World vacation for our 5th Anniversary, 2009. I tried to figure out the best way to tell it without rambling, but the best way really was just tell some stories. Read the ones you want, skip the ones you don't, but along the way, I'll give you some great Disney tips and perhaps some food reports too... it might be two columns, it might be four, who knows... but, here we go...

I love seeing Cinderella's castle at the beginning of any of my Disney vacations. The broad base and moat, the tall blue spires that reach towards the heavens in... well, for lack of a better term, a majestic fashion. I know the castle doesn't do this for everyone.


Different things excite different people. I could care less about U2, I think Rammer Jammer is stupid and though I can dig on "Hey Ya!", its not my favorite joint... but in the same way that Mikey gets excited when he hears the opening notes of "With or Without You" in a U2 concert, or in the same way that Tyler Campbell jumps for joy when Rammer Jammer starts blaring from the band or in the same way that Mindy D'A starts breakin' it down when "Hey Ya" comes on the radio, I am about Disney World. (granted, I'm not sure that Mindy D'A breaks anything down when she hears OutKast, but I thought I'd name drop)

There's so much to tell in any trip to The Happiest Place on Earth, especially one that starts on a Thursday night, and doesn't end until Saturday of the following week. This was planned to be the 5th Anniversary vacation for myself and The Lovely Steph Leann--we had honeymooned here the first week of March, 2004, for 4 days before embarking on a 3 day Disney Cruise, so we thought a return for our fifth year kickoff would be grand. We'd already been 2 times in between, but who's counting.

Well, along the planning stages, somehow, someway, The Lovely Steph Leann's mom, Ruth, and Aunt Becky worked their way into the trip. Being a manager assistanty type person, a part payment for my hard earned work is the ability to get myself and three others into the parks pretty much most of the time. So, for you math skolurs out there, take myself, add The Lovely Steph Leann, throw in my just wonderful mother in law and now the aunt, and that makes four.

Discussions where had, compromises were negotiated, and no matter how I did or didn't feel about the entire thing, it was what it was, it is what it is, and Ruthy Campbell was paying for gas, so there ya go.

The thought was to leave late, late Thursday night, possibly around 10 or 11pm, drive all through the night and arrive at The Magic Kingdom around 8ish or so. The women would sleep in the car, I could drive the trip, and the next day, I'd be dead tired, but hey, I've done the whole "up for what feels like a bajillion hours" before. Well, we're taking this behemoth of a vehicle, a GMC Yukon, the type of SUV that cars like Toni Rocki Honda would actually orbit around, and I'm just not comfortable driving something that unfamiliar.

So, in my brilliance, I called up The Lovely Steph Leann a few days prior to departing, and suggested that we leave earlier, and get a room for Thursday night. She agreed, I called down and though Pop Century was completely full, we upgraded slightly for a night at Port Orleans Riverside...

...DISNEY TIP!!! There are several catagories of rooms, with the least expensive being "Value Resort", which is All Star Movies, All Star Sports, All Star Music and Pop Century. I highly recommend these, mostly because all you truly need is a bed at Disney. That being said, sometime it is nice to go a little better every now and then. "Moderate Resorts" include Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter and Carribean Beach. From there, you get to "Deluxe Resorts", which include the very pricey digs like Grand Floridian, Yacht & Beach Club, The Polynesian, The Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Saratoga Springs and a few others. Beyond that, you've also got Disney Vacation Club resorts, campgrounds and a few other places mixed in...

...which is cool because we'd never stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. Its kind of my thing now, I want to try to stay in the different hotels at some point, with the ultimate dream of mine being The Polynesian, with all its tropical atmosphere and tiki towers rising through the lobby. We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for a night in September of last year, when we went with our friends DeLisa and DeNick, and it was glorious.


The hotel we slept in... for about four hours. It was awesome. And breakfast was great, too.

Problem was, we actually didn't quite get out of town until around 6pm, or after, and truthfully, when you have three women picking at each other about which direction to head, and who it is to blame for why we left so late and so on and so forth, its easier to just sit in the back seat, plug in my earbuds, and keep quiet.

After all this, we finally rolled up into Disney World, or at least Port Orleans Riverside, around 430, maybe 5am Eastern Time. Check out at the hotel was 11am, and we hadn't even checked in yet. I laid my head to rest around 530p, The Lovely Steph Leann didn't get to lay down until closer to 6am. We slept until around 9, then had to get up and pack up the few things that we had taken out. It might be silly to pay for a room for only a few hours, but trust me, that sleep was invaluable--I wouldn't have traded it for anything.


The benefit of having so many days in front of you at The Happiest Place on Earth is that you can take your time doing everything. Magic Kingdom is not nearly the biggest size-wise, but has the most to do and is the park that is almost impossible to cover in a single day, so we had already planned to break it into two, perhaps three days, so we hit Magic Kingdom first, doing most of Tomorrowland... we rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, we toured the Monster's Inc Laugh Floor (both highly recommended rides), we rode Space Mountain--which, by the way, they will be closing later this year to update it, making it faster, darker and adding music.

We strolled into Pixie Hollow, which is located in Toontown...

... DISNEY TIP!!! The Magic Kingdom is comprised of seven different areas, each with its own style and atmosphere. Besides Tomorrowland, there is Main Street USA, which you walk on when you enter the park, finding various shops and such... Liberty Square, where you'll find the Haunted Mansion... Adventureland is the home of the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride... Frontierland has Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain... Mickey's Toontown Fair contains Goofy's Barnstormer kid coaster and The County Bounty... and finally, Fantasyland, a big area with all the major traditional rides like Mad Hatter's Tea Party, aka the teacups, Dumbo, Peter Pan's Flight, It's a Small World and so on...

...more specifically, the County Bounty, a huge pavilion of gifts and stuff. To the right side of the County Bounty, once you enter the big doors, you'll see two queues, one to meet princesses, and the other to meet fairies. We got in line, and for the first time, was able to meet Tinkerbell (who called my pin lanyard 'flitterific') and her fairy BFFs Silvermist and Rosetta.



FOOD!!! That night we ate at 1900 Park Fare, which is located at The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, at Cinderella's Royal Gala. Quite simply, its this huge buffet topped off with table visits by Cinderella, her boo Prince Charming, the Wicked Stepmother, and the two stepsisters, Drisella and Anastacia. The two stepsisters are my favorites, though, because they always seem to really play it up great.

Dessert was marvelous

Dinner for me consisted of yummy creamed potatoes and a large hunk of sliced roast beast, some mac & cheese, some other foods I can't think of, a bowl of chilled strawberry soup, and several little bitesized cheesecake tarts, berry tarts and chocolately junk. It was a-may-zing.


After just passing out within ten minutes of getting to Room 240 at Pop Century, I slept like a baby. And since we went slower on Friday, we had to be up early on Saturday to hit the ground running... and Saturday...

TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA!!! This was a ride we had been unable to ride last September due to the fact the wait was up to 3 hours in length. I had heard this ride was just unbelievably a fun ride to be on, so I wanted to prove it for myself... The Lovely Steph Leann and I raced... well, I say raced, but you have to understand, The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't run. She just doesn't. I was talking with The Dainty Steph Halpert earlier tonight, and she agreed, "Yeah, Stephanie doesn't run. I'm sure of that."

So when I say "race", we really just walked kinda fast. We got there and immediately got our fast passes, then immediately jumped in the currently-only-20-minute-wait-but-soon-to-grow-to-hours line. The queue is fascinating, as its as if your a toy sized being walking through Andy's room... everything is enlarged, from the crayons to the Tinkertoys to the Barrel o'Monkeys to the Scrabble game on the ceiling. In the back is Mr. Potato Head, telling jokes and singing and welcoming one and all to Toy Story Midway Mania.


Finally, we get to the ride, and are just giddy... seriously, we've heard from a ton of people that the ride is great, but truly, we really don't have much of an idea of what we'll be doing. We get in to the little car, both of us sitting behind brightly colored "guns" with a little pull string coming out of it. We throw on our 3D glasses, and suddenly are whirled in front of a screen with Woody and Jessie, as they tell us its time to practice. Pull back on the string, and a little "ball" flies across the screen, smashing "paint" all over a plate Jessie is holding.

Hold on... this is... kinda cool... this is really, really cool!

The little car zips around through various scenes, and we shoot ducks and plates and balloons and we try to ring the little alien guys and it was 100% incredible awesome. It was a ride you wanted to continue, so as soon as it ended, we hung out in the Pixar area until our fastpasses allowed us to ride it again. Over the course of our vacation, we rode Toy Story Mania five times.


...DISNEY TIP!! When you go to Hollywood Studios, you want to go immediately to this ride if you plan on doing it. Why? Because that is what every single other person will be doing. The fastpasses will sell out usually by midday, but even if you got one of the last ones they give, it wouldn't let you on the ride until 4, 5, maybe 6pm. My suggestion is to get a fastpass for it right off the bat, then either ride it then (allowing you to ride it again later with your fastpass) or just ride it a little later. The wait time will get up to an hour or more. If you aren't interested in this ride, though that's just weird, this is a good time to go straight to Tower of Terror and Rock'n Roller Coaster, because again, most people will be at Toy Story Mania


We headed over to The Beauty and the Beast stage show, which is about 30 minutes in length, but is worth it. The colors are vibrant, the music is great--yes, the songs are somewhat condensed, but its enough "Gaston" to whet your appetite--and the dancing is top notch. Plus, its a great chance to sit and relax, especially since the theater is covered, during the summer months it will be awesome. Another show that is along the same lines, though not quite as good is "The Voyage of the Little Mermaid", which is simply the Little Mermaid story.


Ursula looks cool, but beyond that, its just a so-so show. Its a good wake up, though, when onstage the ship is in the storm, and in the audience, you get rained on. Sprinkles, really, but it will make you wet. Beware.


They just started The American Idol Experience at Hollywood Studios, which both The Lovely Steph Leann and I jumped at. Earlier in the day, we passed the audition area, where you could sing for the judges to try and get on the show, but The Lovely Steph Leann refused to do so.

Though the "grand opening" wasnt until the next week, February 14th, they were showing "preview shows" all week. We filed in, and the stage looks like what the American Idol stage probably looks like in real life. There was a judges table, with the Coke containers sitting so you could clearly read "Coke".

The stage is set. The contestants are here. The dream is alive. THIS. IS. AMERICAN IDOL (lite)

A guy comes out, energizes the crowd and tells us how it all works (apparently, they do this on the real show too)... quite simply, three people perform, that being three guests who auditioned and were chosen. The audience picks the winner. Our host comes out, this chick with long legs and a bit too much makeup, and three judges come out, two girls and a non-British guy on the end.

Since its a preview day, the prizes won't be awarded today, but apparently, there will be four shows per day. The first three shows each produce a winner that goes on to the 7pm "Finals" show. The winner of that show, crowned the best singer of the day, gets a special "golden ticket" that allows her to go to any Idol audition in the country, and go directly to the front of the line.

The first girl to come perform is like, 15 or 16, and she does a great job even though she is singing "Colors of the Wind", on of my least favorite songs. The next guy does a forgettable country song (as in, I actually don't remember what it was) and the third chick does a loud version of "Independence Day". She starts off great, but loses it toward the end, but the crowd goes nuts anyway. The Lovely Steph Leann voted for the third chick, I went with the first one, but the third chick won out.


I got to meet Frozone!

There is an Art of Disney show that I highly recommend, because... well, its really cool. Afterwards, though, you spill into an area to meet some characters and see some animation, and they have a few kids areas too. We heard that Rhino the Hamster and Bolt were going to be there, so we got in line--we were the last ones in line, as a matter of fact.

Its Rhino and Bolt! It was awesome! It was beyond awesome... it was.... BE-AWESOME!

On our Times Guide, "The Characters of The Incredibles" was listed as being there, and though I love me some Incredibles, we had already met Mr. Incredible and Elastagirl. But after our pics with Rhino and Bolt, I glanced up, and saw a familiar blue color. In a voice that sounded like I was eight, I giddily exclaimed, "Steph! Frozone is up there!"


We scurried up the walk, and there was Frozone! It was one of the coolest things ever!


FOOD ALERT!!! For dinner, we traveled over to The Garden Grill, located at Epcot in The Lands. The Garden Grill is a character meal, but its known more for the restaurant itself. It spins. When I booked it, though, I was imagining a tower like building with a rotating top, much like the one that used to be in Florence, where I shared a dessert date with Mary Ann Crittenden in 2000.


The fact that I couldn't recall any such tall tower in Epcot, though, puzzled me. Its not in a tall tower, though... its on the 2nd floor of The Land (a building in Epcot that houses "The Circle of Life" ride, "Living with the Land" and "Soarin'") and when we first walked up, The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Oh, it must not be rotating tonight. That's too bad, I guess its broken."

So I ask our cast attendant about it, and he says, "No, its working!" I stared at the floor, at a small black seam on the floor at the top of the ramp. On the right side, the ramp was just there, not moving. On the left side, every so slightly, the floor was moving. You had to really look at it to tell, no doubt it took an hour or more for it to make a full revolution. There was the lower level of seats that was in a big circle, where you could overlook part of The Land lobby area, and another part of the circle allowed you to overlook the "Living with the Land" ride.

We sat on the second level, which was really just one step up. It was strange, because as I sat, there was a large rock on the outside of the "vehicle/restaurant", and twenty minutes later, I had to turn around and look behind me to see the same rock. The food was great, though. They served us roast beast, along with turkey and some other meat, potatoes (now, I'm not a huge fan of potatoes unless they are really creamy, but there were some rockin' creamed taters all over Walt Disney World) and some cranberry sauce that The Lovely Steph Leann was diggin'.

They even brought us Anniversary Dessert, which was really a cupcakey thing with a few candles on it. It was nice, though.

And on Sunday... its off to The Magic Kingdom!!

Idol's First Group of 12 (with Results!)

Here's the result update... for a recap of the performance show, just skip down past the line....

Left the television on as I was at church tonight, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship), for KidStuf rehearsal and other fun and frivolity. As I came in tonight, whatever channel I left it on was current showing "Barb Wire", the Oscar winning epic starring one of the greatest actresses of our generation, and a first ballot entry into the Silicone Gone Wild Hall of Fame, Pamela Lee Anderson. As I sat, I checked my email real quick, found comments made about Disney pictures I posted (more to come on Facebook and here as well), and started to turn on the DVR, when I got IMs from my buddy Langer and from Erin the Marine Wife.

Now, since I don't talk to either very much, I was cool with chatting with them for a few, but as I was, I felt myself getting dumber and dumber because Pamela raced around the screen in her black leather, shooting things and blowing things up (no, not THOSE things, I mean like helicopters and cars and stuff) and what have you. I feel like I need to call up The Dainty Steph Halpert and talk to her husband, Matt Halpert the Science... Guy... pert... to help regain those lost IQ points.

So, if I wake up tomorrow and forget how to tie my shoe, I blame you, Langer, and you, Erin the Marine Wife for forcing me to watch fifteen minutes of "Barb Wire". In fact, I lost three IQ points just typing that name.



Seacrest comes out, reminding us that there will be three people advancing... the top chick, the top dude, and whoever has the next highest amount of votes. I like it because our top 12 isn't necessarily going to be a mandatory 6 guys and 6 girls, it might be 8 guys, 4 girls, or 5 guys and 7 girls or whatever.

During the "how they got here" recap montage, I like the fact they are playing "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson, perhaps to make up for Stephen Fowler's bad performance of "Rock With You"...

Can I just say, no one under 25 or maybe more fully how understands how magnificent of a performer Michael Jackson used to be. Now, he's a punchline, he's a joke, when you say his name, is automatically associated with little boys, or no nose, or the high pitched stupid voice.... but back in the 80s? Back in the days of "Thriller", when it first came out, or when "Bad" was first released... I mean, Michael Jackson was a bad, bad man, and holy crap he could dance.

I'll have to explore this further soon... but it helped me miss the usually terrible group performance, this time butchering Jason Mraz's hit "I'm Yours".

And now, we get the clips from last night... Jackie T dancing, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy ballad, Mike the Oil Rigger over doing the overdone "I Don't Wanna Be", Stevie Wright's disaster, Casey Carlson's facial twitch nightmare, Stephen Fowler's "Rock With You" that upon a 2nd viewing was terrible, some guy I can't even remember his name to tell you how boring he was, Tatiana the Annoying, Anoop Dawg's melancholy, Ann Marie's bad Aretha decision, Alexis Grace taking the show until... Danny Gokey takes the stage.

They are all on the Couch of Destiny now, as Seacrest grills them about how they are feeling and such. Cindy Warner told me tonight she just wanted some time to pluck Anoop's eyebrows. Now that she said that... holy smokes... those things might be their own Idol contestants.

My predictions are... Alexis Grace... Anoop Dawg... and Danny Gokey...

Tatiana the Annoying is just that. Get rid of her! Seacrest points out the three seats who will hold the top 12. Casey is up first... and she has to know there is no way she's going to get to sit in those Stools of Destiny. And its revealed--she is done. Stephen Fowler comes up next. And he's not in the Top 12.

Alexis Grace... she actually reminds me of what Gwen Stefani would have looked like at 21. And I think one of those Stools of Destiny has her name on it. And now... it has her booty on it, cause she is in the Top 12. She actually gets to sing her song again...

Jackie T and The Ballad of Ricky Braddy both walk up. This has to be tough, because this early in the show, they just had one girl move to the Top 12, you have to think that they won't have another finalist awarded this quickly. The Ballad of Ricky Braddy is not in the Top 12. Jackie T is also not in the Top 12.

Anoop Dawg and Mike the Oil Rigger come down next. So who makes it? Going on to the Top 12 is Mike the Oil Rigger. Dude! Rock on! I really like this guy, singing voice or no, he's a great guy to have around.

Just as well with Anoop. If he would have won American Idol, the terrorists win.

Speaking of which, there was a movie that came out a few years ago called "American Dreamz", which had the backdrop of a talent show much like Idol... one of the plots featured this Muslim kid who was pushed through to the finals only to suicide bomb the president, who was making a special appearance. Well, with Anoop gone, that's now out, I guess.

They are doing a feature of the new attraction at Hollywood Studios, called "The American Idol Experience". Its really a fun show, and I'll talk more about that in an upcoming post.

Coming down to the stage now is Carly Smithson and Michael Johns... what happened to her? She was so rockin' pretty! Now she looks like she planted her face into a paint tray of makeup. Time to fast forward.

Seacrest calls down Ann Marie Boskosomething. Brentoby Keith stands up as well. Stevie Wright stands up. Seacrest is calling them out all at once. And who makes the Top 12? None of them. This leaves Tatiana the Annoying and Danny Gokey, with one spot remaining. I would say that this country couldn't have possibly voted in Tatiana the Annoying... but seriously, look who our president is.

By the way, chicks love Danny Gokey. I heard a few people talk about Idol at church tonight, and the females I heard all talked about how much they loved Danny. So, I think this gives alot to The Goke. So, one is in, one is out, and... its... The Goke! Danny Goke knocks off Tatiana the Annoying, who is crying onstage, almost with a "that should have been me!!!" face.

So, its Alexis, Mike the Oil Rigger and The Goke who are now in the Top 12. No mention of how they'll choose the wild card singers. We do see the ones singing next week, and I recognize like, four of them.

The moment of the night, though... watching everyone onstage after The Goke finishes his song, clapping, celebrating, congratulating Alexis, Danny and Mike the Oil Rigger... and they flash to Tatiana, who is bawling her eyes out, her face in a "This sucks! I'm better than all these people! I am better than that blonde chick and that big fat oil rigger guy and that guy who the only reason he won is cause you stupid people out there fell for his whole sympathy 'my-wife-died' thing! I'm better than all of them! I deserve this!" Love it.



They've made it through auditions... they made it through Hollyhell week... they made it through the Final Judgement... they've made it through The Lovely Steph Leann and her deadly face coverin' blanket... and now, here they are, the Top 36... they'll perform 12 at a time, and the top three from each group will move on to the American Idol Finals.



This time, there is no second chance. The guy with the highest vote, the girl with the highest vote, the next guy or girl with the highest vote all get slots in the Finals. The final three spots are chosen by the Wild Card Show... Seacrest just introduced the 12 performing tonight, though the names were spoken too fast for me to even type 'em down.

Jackie Tohn is first up... she's 28, and unlike Nate the Pansy, she really, really wants this. She'll be singing "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley. You might know this from "Ocean's 11", which took a very little known Elvis tune and made it famous. Personally, I love the song, its probably one of my two or three favorite Elvis songs. And Jackie isn't killing it, she's putting a bluesy tone on it... but not my favorite.

The Lovely Steph Leann just "mm"s me when I mention this, though that "mm" might be more from the cotton candy she's nibbling on, cotton candy that I bought for her at the Main Street Confectionary in The Happiest Place on Earth last week, along with the peanut brittle that she might get to tonight as well. I'm such a good husband.

Randy says it didn't blow him away, but he liked it. Kara loved Jackie working the stage. Paula enjoyed the fact that Jackie got her up dancing. Simon, with a smile on his face, still thinks Jackie played a "clown" tonight, with a gimmicky song. I totally agree with Simon.

To top it off, The Lovely Steph Leann hates Jackie's shoes. Oh the indignity!!

Ricky Braddy is next. Who is this guy? Hearing his montage is the most I've ever heard him speak. His family is holding a sign that reads, "The Braddy Bunch". I make fun, but really, if my name was Braddy, I'd totally be playing the Brady Bunch card. His song is "A Song for You" by Leon somebody, to which The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up and says, "I love Karen Carpenter's version of this." Of course she does. The Lovely Steph Leann loves all things Karen Carpenter.

Or instead of the Brady Bunch, maybe I'd call my website "Birmingham Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Braddy". That's funny! Once again, he's got a good voice... but the song kinda bores me. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Good stuff!"

Randy says, "This is the start of season 8! Unbelievable!" Kara says, "You killed it! Amazing!" This guy is shaping up to be Elliot Yah-meen Part 2: Good Teeth Strike Back. Paula loves him. Simon says, "Very good... I'm not jumping out of my chair... but you don't have any star quality."

And they spew the whole "this season is the best ever!" What are they going to say? "You know, we got some good people, but ain't none of them nearly as good as two years ago... but stay tuned anyway!" And when Seacrest is interviewing him, Ricky Braddy doesn't have his mic on. So no one knows what he just said.

Here comes Alexis Grace. She's cute, she's got flippy pink hair, looks comfortable in animal print clothes and is singing "Ain't Never Loved a Man" by Aretha. Oh geez... she's taking on Aretha. And instead of just copying Aretha, she does her own slinky, sexy take on it... and hey, it sounds great. And the little black dress doesnt hurt either.

Dig it! I loved it!

Randy said, "you done found the dirty and the soul! you worked it out!" Kara throws some forth some cliche, while Paula begins her tirade of butterflies and rainbows. And she almost cries. Is this really the chick I had on my wall in 9th grade? Eesh. Simon loved it as well.

So, after three... I pick Alexis Grace by a mile, followed by The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, and Jackie T.

And in the audience, we get a shot of Neil Patrick Harris and Ted Danson... I'm guessing they are in a movie or show coming up, because otherwise, that would be the most random pairing ever.

Idol goes country, with Brentoby Keith up next. And when they cut to do Brentoby Keith's montage, they screw up and show a still shot of some chick. Finally, the montage works. He's singing a song called "Hicktown", naturally, and from the first note, he's gone.

I look at The Lovely Steph Leann and simply say, "He's gone" and she doesn't even look up from her blanket. She just slightly nods her head to agree. I mean, Brentoby Keith isn't doing too bad... but its karaoke. Or like an opening act of a country band with some country term as a name, like "Jar of Pickles" or "Pork Rind Band" or "Tractor Pull". The kind of opening band that will be forgotten quickly, after Kenny Chesney or Martina McBride takes the stage.

Kara and Paula both wanted him to take a bigger risk, Randy says it was pretty good, and Simon? Paula says, "You are a country star, look what happened to Bucky Covington" and Simon asks, "What has happened to Bucky Covington?" My thoughts exactly.

Who doesn't love a chick named Stevie Wright? She's cute as a button, despite having about 103 teeth in the front top part of her mouth. Very, very toothy.

She's doing "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift, a great song choice, because Stevie and Taylor are only seperated by a year or two... and both I and The Lovely Steph Leann cringe when Stevie starts singing. Perhaps its nervous, The Lovely Steph Leann says she's flat, but either way... this is terrible.

Wow. She just blew the biggest audition of her life. Randy didn't like it. Kara didn't like it. They both tell her she went way, way too safe. I think the song was fine, she just did a terrible version of it. Paula searches for clouds and puppies, but can only come up with fog and a milkbone. Simon says, "It was terrible. There's no point booing, it was really terrible."

The Lovely Steph Leann is still "uuhhh" and "uugghhh" about the whole song.

Anoop Dubai, or Anoop Dogg as we might start calling him, comes up now. He sang "My Perogative" by Bobby Brown in Hollywood week, which was just weird, made even more weird by the fact it sounded good.

Anoop Dogg is taking on Monica's "Angel of Mine"... I gotta tell you, as much as he doesn't look like anyone who can sing such a song, he is a great singer.

Sometimes I wonder about the backup singers. Typically its three or four black chicks who sometimes sing better than the actual contestants... but do you think that they ever get the song they'll be backing up, and laugh amongst themselves, "I know that crazy white boy ain't even gonna try to sing James Brown, is he? I mean, its our job to back him up, but still..." So when they get this from Anoop Dogg, they think, "I know that crazy Indian boy ain't even trying to sing Monica, is he?" And he is. And did. I liked it.

Randy liked it. Didn't love it. Kara liked it. Didn't love it. Paula liked it. She just likes him. As for Simon, he thought the song was too grown up.

After half the contestants have gone, I gotta say its Alexis, Anoop Dogg, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith and Stevie Wright. I can only hope someone is better than The Ballad of Ricky Braddy for that 3rd spot.

Here comes someone with "I Love Pickles!" potential, that being cutie-patootie Casey Carlson. She's even got a superstar name. I mean, I'd buy a Casey Carlson CD before I'd buy a Stevie Wright CD.

"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is the song she's going to sing... tough order. Go Casey. The first note is harsh, but she picks up quickly. Holy crap she's hot. But her song is not. It's just pretty good... but not great. The Lovely Steph Leann can't figure it out either, maybe its the music, but whatever, it just doesn't click. However, Casey Carlson is still frickin' hot.

Randy and Kara both sing, "Everything about that song was wrong..." and Kara says, "You picked the Police! No one goes after those songs!" and Paula tries to say something good by telling her how pretty she is (never a good sign), but that it didn't work. Simon says, "you look good, but the singing was atrocious, and you could not have chosen a worse song and arrangement."

And here comes Michael the Oil Rigger, from Jasper, TX. Mike from "Dirty Jobs" did the oil rigging once, and yes, its a dangerous, dirty job. Michael the Oil Rigger is doing Gavin McGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be", a song that really is... well, its overdone.

I think I've heard this song more on American Idol through the years than I ever heard it on the radio, especially in the last few years. Mike the Oil Rigger is rockin' out with it, looking like he's having a good time and all. I mean, its not awesome, its not great, but its good and it looks fun.

Randy says, "Yo, you can sing, but it started rough for me." Kara agrees its a crowd pleaser, but wanted more from him. Paula liked it lots. She got confused by watching the mic go from hand to hand as he sang, sort of like following the ball atop the words in a Sesame Street singalong. Simon says, "We like you. This wasn't the best vocal, but you might get through."

The Lovely Steph Leann likes him lots.

And here comes Ann Marie Boskovich who has "hot potential". She's the one who sang in her auditions, got sent out to find a better song, came back and made it through. She's also taking on Aretha, "Natural Woman", so we'll see if she can take out Alexis Grace in the top spot.

"before the day I met choo..." is what she sings, and The Lovely Steph Leann laughs. Ya know, its a good rendition. Again, not fabulous, but better than most. And as the song is winding down, she's getting better... wow, two Arethas done right in the same night. Remarkable. Ted Danson loved it.

Randy says it wasn't a good song choice. Kara agrees that the song feels old fashioned. Paula stumbles around, ending up at, "you did better than you've done before..." and Simon? "If we were searching for the best hotel singer in California, that would have been quite good. But your voice isn't good enough for that song."

For me, I thought it was great. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "if you do that song, you have to strip that song, do it different, you can't do Aretha."

With three left... here's my picks... Alexis Grace, Anoop Dogg, Ann Marie Boskovich, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Mike the Oil Rigger, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith, Casey Carlson, Stevie Wright.

Just saw the trailer for Wolverine: Origins. Just peed myself. I'm as giddy as Michael Jackson in a daycare.

Stephen Fowler, big, stocky and afro cool, he's the guy who forgot his lyrics during a song in Hollywood week and walked off stage. And he's singing "Rock With You" by Michael Jackson... he has the potential to blow me away right here. I love this song.

This is a song that the backup chicks probably went nuts over. Dude, Stephen is doing it! It's different, its not the same old boring ballad, its Michael Jackson when he was black, back before he was all weird and Chris Hansen's dream project.

The vocals weren't even that good, the song wasn't great, but heck, I liked it. Randy didn't like it. Maybe its because it was so different is why I like it... Kara didn't like it either. Paula actually chides him for getting a second chance and blowing it. Simon hated it, calling it the word of death: "Corny".

During commercial, I comment that Tatiana the Annoying is up next, and The Lovely Steph Leann groans. "Oh... she's gone. Oh, I hope she's gone." Seacrest even pokes fun at her laughter. She was all kinds of psycho annoying in Hollywood Week, with this terrible laughter.


You know that scene in Spaceballs when Princess Vespa is in the prison cell, and singing a very low "Nobody Knows" and Barff says, "She's a bass!" That kinda reminds me of Tatiana the Annoying at the beginning of this song... however... admittedly... she's not bad. Both I and The Lovely Steph Leann really wanted her to be... but compared to most of the performances tonight, she's not bad.

She might even be good. I might have to rank her in my top three tonight. Crap.

Randy says, "you had some moments in this song that was like 'you can sing!'" Kara says, "Your like a roller coaster!" Kara asks where she fits? I say the exit door is good. Paula sounds like she's about to cry with every word. Beautiful and pitchy is Paula's description. Simon calls her a drama queen, and tells her she's completely, desperately trying to be famous. They all tell her to be annoying again!

Finally, its Danny Gokey, the guy who was best buds with Jamar. He's a church music director who lost his wife a month before he auditioned. The Lovely Steph Leann really likes this guy too. And then he sings, "Hero" by Mariah, and The Lovely Steph Leann actually shakes her fists and says, "No! I hate that song!"

Entertainment Weekly calls him Robert Downey Junior Jr, which is what she's been saying for weeks. Seriously though, I like this guy. The song is boring, one of my least favorite Mariah songs, but Danny Gokey is at least doing it, doing it, doing it right.

Randy is throwing his fist up, Kara is yelling, Paula is standing, Simon is just there. Randy says, "That was blazin' hot!" Kara bangs the table, Paula says, "I have two words... sold-out arenas!" Simon? "Back to the real world... it was good."

So, finally... I choose Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey, Anoop Dogg, Tatiana the Annoying, Stephen Fowler, Ann Marie, The Ballad of Ricky Braddy, Mike the Oil Rigger, Jackie T, Brentoby Keith, Casey Carlson and Stevie Wright.

I'll discuss the results show on this posting tomorrow night...