4.30.2009

Thelma and Louise

With all the depressing news out there lately--swine flu, bad economy, kids planning to bomb a local high school--this story sure lifted my spirits.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.


Thelma & Louise are going up for adoption tomorrow. I sure wish I could offer them a home. They're hoping that someone will adopt the two together...I hope so too!

4.29.2009

Go Filipe!

Just wanted to post real quick about the most inspiring contestant I've ever seen on The Biggest Loser. Filipe got voted off tonight, after losing 130 pounds in 17 weeks. He and his cousin Sione were determined not only to change their own health and habits, but also to inspire those in their Tongan family & community to do the same. (In their Tongan culture, it's accepted to be overweight; thinness is actually frowned upon.) Filipe plateaued a bit after he got home, but then his dad had a stroke. Filipe became refocused on his goals. He started hosting a free exercise class at his home for his community. A little blurb at the end says he continues to host the weekly exercise class, and that his dad has started attending the classes. I feel so proud of him...of them all, really!

As for the rest of the gang on the show...the final four are father & son Ron and Mike, Helen, and Tara. I'd been pulling for Tara for most of the show, but the last few weeks she's been getting on my nerves. It really bugged me when she was trying to keep her friend Laura there, even after it was discovered Laura had a fracture in her hip and needed to lay off the exercise. Jillian went off on Tara about her selfishness, and I was so glad Jillian did that. Now I'm sorta pulling for Mike, except, I don't like his manipulative dad, Ron. I almost want Mike to lose just to upset Ron. Now what kind of thinking is that? I also don't care for Helen much, but you know what? I don't even remember why! She did something early on that I didn't care for and I guess I've been holding a grudge. (I *am* a Scorpio after all...) So. I guess I really don't care who wins TBL this year. I'm more interested to see which contestant wins the $100,000 (or is it $10,000?) for losing the most weight after being voted off the show. I hope it's Filipe or Sione.

4.28.2009

Great night on AI

No time for a blow-by-blow of tonight's show, but I really enjoyed tonight. It's tough to rate the performances because I liked them all, but if someone pointed a gun to my head, here's how I'd rate them:

5. Matt. (My Funny Valentine) I agreed with Randy on this one that he was a little pitchy here and there. Simon came out of nowhere and raved about it. I think Simon does that to manipulate the voters. If he liked it, people will get complacent and not vote for Matt because they think everyone else is voting for him cuz Simon says.

4. Kris. (The Way You Look Tonight) I liked Kris when he sang, thought it was beautiful, but, compared to everyone else, he has to end up at #4. Sorry Kris.

3. Adam. I loved Adam's performance of "Feeling Good." He sounded great and that last note was amazing! (You gotta hear George Michael's and Seal's versions of this song, and of course, Nina Simone's. Great song!)

2. Allison. (Someone to Watch Over Me) This is one of my favorite songs (especially Ella Fitzgerald's rendition) and Allison did it great justice. She sounded great and soulful and passionate. Randy/Kara/Paula loved it, and here comes Simon pooh-pooing it. Actually, I don't think he criticized her performance so much as her criticized her lack of confidence. I just don't see that.

1. Danny. Danny. Danny. My oh my!!! He worked it out tonight on "Come Rain or Come Shine." He worked in the blues, and his raspy voice sounded fantastic. I absolutely loved it!!! I'll be downloading this one from iTunes, and I also put some calls in for Danny tonight.

Alright. I'm off to the grocery store. I'm actually going to cook a recipe tomorrow night--Honey Spicy Chicken, or some such thing. Imagine that.

4.22.2009

Let's Dance, Let's Shout!

We were treated to a Paula Abdul choreographed performance from the Idolettes tonight. They can dance and shout, but not at the same time. The song was obviously lip-synched, and I really think they should've just gone with one or the other. Paula's disco choreography was cute though.

So...tonight's it's a double elimination--who will it be?? Let's get to it.

Lil is....asked to walk to the other side of the stage. And her journey ends now. What? It's only 15 mins into the show. Where's the suspense?! (Of course there's no suspense--everyone knew she'd be going this week. The suspense will come between Anoop, Matt and maybe Danny.) And now, Lil has to sing again. As often happens, she sings it better tonight than she did last night. Paula said she sang brilliant tonight.

It's Freda Payne!! WHO? Oh...she sang "Band of Gold." She must be close to 60 and she sure is working that stage! I looked it up--she's 66! Damn--she just did a knee bend all the way to the ground! You go girl! And now, here's Thelma Houston! Don't Leave Me This Way....love this song! I might have to get up and dance!

OK, I'm back. And now...KC!!!! And the Sunshine Band!! I'm back up again! KC's still hanging in there.

Alright. Medley's over, time to get back to business. Kris and Adam are safe. Danny's up. And Danny's safe. Anoop...bottom 3. Now, will it be Matt or Allison joining him? It will be Allison. It will be interesting if she's eliminated tonight--no more girls!

Oh god...David Archuleta is coming up. His voice seems weird--I think he's going through puberty. Fast-forward.

And now...wh's going home? It's Anoop. Awww.... Here comes his swan song. I'm sorry...he's got a gorgeous voice. I'm sorry to see him go.

4.21.2009

Disco, disco duck!

It's Disco night on AI. Two, count 'em, TWO contestants will be eliminated tomorrow night. No one will be saved. Dunh-dunh-dunhhhhhh.

Simon's wearing his threadbare white tee again tonight. Surely he has enough money to buy some better cotton.

Here come the top 7. Thankfully, Matt's wearing his hat again. I think he performs better with it on.

Lil--I'm Every Woman--Chaka Khan. Uh-oh. Her very first note was week. And her hair's even longer this week. The rest of the song sounds okay, but I'm not blown away. I think I've just had my fill of her and am ready to see her go. Randy did the deep inhale...he said it didn't show her vocal control. Kara said we've been waiting for her to sing Chaka Khan or someone like that, but it wasn't worth the wait. Paula announces that Lil had no voice yesterday and that she was on vocal rest and credited her for a remarkable recovery. Simon comments that Lil looks so sad. (Oh, it just dawned on me that all four judges are speaking. That's okay...I'm prepared. Tivo is set to record 15 mins over!) She says she's not sad, and then Simon lays the boom: this is the last week she'll be singing. Lil contested everything the judges said--she did NOT sound karaoke tonight! (I don't think anyone said she did??

Kris--(hmm...Kris has his guitar out. This should be interesting. He saya he was worried about Disco week. I was worried for him. He chose She Works Hard for the Money--Donna Summers. I like it--the guitar & congo drums. Definitely made this his own and it sounds great! Love it! The audience is going wild. Kara said his risk in that arrangement paid off BIG TIME. Paula said it had a Santana feel for it and then made some goofy statement about him shopping in the women's department and finding the right fit. Simon said he needs a translator for this show, and then gave kudos to Kris for a fantastic performance. Randy said hie performance proves he's ready for the big time. I might just download this one from iTunes tonight.

Danny--September, Earth, Wind & Fire--he sounds good tonight. I loved it! Randy was skeptical about the song choice because there's not enough melody, but Danny worked it out. Kara was worried about Danny doing disco too...she said his pitch is so right on. Paula said he has one of the sexiest voices ever. I don't know if I'd say "ever," but in this song, he did sound kinda sexy. Simon couldn't fault singing, but found performance awkward and clumsy.

Allison--Hot Stuff, Donna Summers. Ooh...she gets the big stage production; stairs, moving panels. Her heels are pretty high--I hope she doesn't go up and down those stairs. She's doing a rocky-bluesy version...sounds good. You definitely forget that this girl is only 16. Randy didn't love the arrangement--overindulgent for him. But he said she's one of the best singers in the competition. Kara agreed with Randy on everything. Paula said she hit it off the charts with her last note. Simon said she came into the week as an underdog, but it was a brilliant performance.

Ryan says, "We've got ourselves a competition tonight!" I'll say!

Adam--If I Can't Have You, Yvonne Elmann. He already did disco so wanted to do something he could connect with emotionally. He's in the suit & tie tonight. He slowed the song down substantially and it's very tender. Uh-oh...Paula's tearing up. This is a lovely rendition and he sounds fantastic. I'm rewinding to watch again before the judges speak. Paula stood and Simon even clapped! Randy said, "you are ready right now, dude!" Kara said he's brilliant and his performance was inspiring. Paula felt his pain and vulnerability and said he's brilliant and awesome and that he'll be in the final. Simon didn't quite feel the pain, but he did something unexpected, and Simon loved the originality and the vocals were immaculate.

Matt--Staying Alive, Bee Gees. Hmmm...a hip-hoppy version. I....like it! So does Paula--she's up and dancing. Randy didn't love song choice or arrangement, BUT..."you can REALLY sing, dude." Kara said he brought disco back--liked his moves...it was a solid performance. Paula said he picks songs like she bowls--sometimes you bowl gutter balls, sometimes strikes...this was a strike. And...Simon didn't like it. Says it came over as despearate. Well, dude was almost kicked off last week--of course he's desperate!

OK. I've seen two previews for a new Fox show called "Glee" about a high school glee club. Gotta admit that I'm intrigued--it looks good.

Anoop and his pink sweater--Dim All the Lights, another Donna Summer song. Slow beginning sounded nice, the uptempo part sounds weird. Like 80s electronica....too much keyboard. Anyway, his voice sounds good. I think he might be in trouble though because the other performers were SO good. Randy didn't love this song choice either, but again, he can really sing! Kara thinks it could be on the radio and that he's really hitting his stride. Paula says "real men know how to wear pink." Simon, disagreed with everyone. Said it was mediocre at best. He prayed that the tempo wasn't going to come in...it did. Simon says it was his worst performance by a mile. I disagree with that--did Simon forget Michael Jackson week?

Lil & Anoop will be the bottom two and will head home, methinks. Matt probably rounds out the bottom three. Allison will be in the middle and Kris, Danny and Adam will be the top three.

I'm off to download some songs from iTunes!

4.15.2009

7 to 6 7

Idols are singing "Maniac" for the group song. I think they're actually singing live tonight. Danny sounded best on the song.

Here we go:

Allison is safe! Adam is safe! (Duh.) Anoop is in the bottom three again this week. I have mixed feelings about this. I actually need him to go this week to advance my standings in my pool, BUT...I don't want to see him go now.

Jennifer Hudson's back for the first time since she was eliminated from the show. She's back an Oscar winner AND a Grammy winner. Fantastic--and she looks fabulous. I really admire how she's come through the horrible tragedy that befell her family. (Which, by the way, they didn't mention on tonight's show.) I just watched The Secret Life of Bees over the weekend--she was good in that too.

Ryan asked Paula if she's surprised Anoop is in the bottom three...she said, yes, she's a little surprised. Then Ryan asked Simon if Anoop deserved to be there. Simon's answer. "Yes." Audience boos. Simon never disappoints.

Kris and Lil are asked to stand. Simon said, "We didn't get a chance to talk last night--you were brilliant." That's what America needed to hear last night! One of these two is in the bottom three--it is.....Lil. As it should be. Now, if Lil gets voted off tonight, I'll win points on the Entertainment Weekly game!

Matt and Danny are up. I'm guessing Matt will be in the bottom three. And I was right.

Now I'm guessing Ryan will send Anoop back to the couch. And...I was right again!

Fast-forwarded through Miley Cyrus. Her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Simon says he might consider saving one of the bottom two this evening, and it might be a surprise to that person. Ryan said, "So is that Lil?" Simon said, "We'll see." I don't think so. I think he means Matt.

Lil is safe. WOW. I'm SO surprised.

Matt now has to sing for his life. The girls (Paula & Kara) are standing for him--cheering him on. Now the judges are deliberating, and not paying any attention to Matt. Now Paula, Kara and Randy are swaying to the music. I think they just might save him tonight. He sang better than last night. The crowd's chanting for him to be saved. Matt felt it was better than last night too. Simon asks how many times Matt's been in the bottom three. Twice. Then Simon says that he doesn't see that Matt has any chance winning the competition. Paula yells, "What?!" Oh the drama! Then Simon says, "we've made a decision...it's good news." YES!

Next, Simon announces some bad news: 1. Next week two people will be going home. 2. Next week is disco week.

Bring it on! Valerie...are you ready?!

(Folks, don't worry. I'm not talking to myself--that's a shout-out to my friend Valerie...the Disco Queen!)

Hmm...who should sing what????

I think Adam should do a Bee Gees song...maybe "Staying Alive." He can hit Barry Gibbs' high notes. He could also do "You Make Me Feel." And I think it'd be a hoot to see him do "I Will Survive." I could see Danny doing "Boogie Wonderland." Lil needs to pull it out and should do "Last Dance," but she has to sing STRONGLY. This IS her last chance! Or, she could do "Don't Leave Me This Way." Allison could maybe pull off "Turn the Beat Around," or "Got to Be Real." I can't see Kris or Anoop doing disco--I have no idea what they should sing. Who's left? Oh, Matt. How about... "That's the Way (I Like It)"? Uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay, and maybe Kris could do "How Deep is Your Love." Yeah, that's the ticket. Oh, and Anoop can do "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." You can check these songs out on the right side.

What do you think they should sing? (By the way, if you want to leave a comment, but don't have a gmail account and password, just click "Name/URL" and enter your name to leave a comment. No account or password necessary.)

4.14.2009

AI goes to the movies

The theme tonight is songs from the movies. Quentin Tarantino is the mentor. I forgot that he'd done this before in season 3.

Up first: Allison - I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith, Armageddon. sounded a bit muted at beginning, but then built it up nicely. I think the song suited her--she did a great job.

Katie Couric's in the house!

Judges are only talking two at a time tonight instead of all four of them talking because of last weeks' snafu where DVRers missed Adam's performance all together. Simon says Allison is the girls' only hope in this competition. Simon has never heard a girl sing that song so well. Thinks we'll see her through to the end. Here's hoping!

Anoop - Everything I Do, I Do It For You - Bryan Adams, Robin Hood. (I think?) Quentin gave him some tips on bringing passion into the performance--let's see if he can manage. His voice sounds fantastic tonight. Randy thought he did a good job. Kara said he needs to work on pop songs and adding his soul to it. She said it was his best.

Alright. I'm okay with the two judges at a time, but, each time, one of the two needs to be Simon. It should be Simon and Randy, Simon and Paula, Simon and Kara. Hearing just Randy & Kara rate the songs means nothing. I don't like not hearing Simon's opinion.

Adam - Born to Be Wild - Easy Rider. Quentin said he looks forward to what Adam's going to do. The eyeliner is back! He is a great performer--works the stage, works the band, works the audience. He's so exciting to watch. Paula's tongue is blue tonight and she doesn't say anything important. Simon said it was vocally incredible, but that it was like watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Um...what's wrong with that?)

Matt - To Really Love a Woman - Bryan Adams, Don Juan DeMarco. I really like this song. I think Matt did a really nice job tonight. Randy thought it was interesting, they (he & Kara) didn't like the bridge. Not one of his best performances. Kara said he took away core melodies that make the song great. Looks like I'll have to call in some votes for Matt tonight--he might be in trouble.

Danny - Endless Love - Diana/Lionel. Danny said this song touches his heart the most. Danny's not performing with glasses tonight. Interestingly, Quentin told him to try to perform w/o his hands--to let the expression and emotion to come out of his eyes. Quentin gives interesting advice--more than most of the musicians that come on the show. Uh-oh......I heard an off note. Simon was a bit bored, but congratulated Danny for singing it since it's so personal to him and hard to do.

Kris - Falling Slowly from Once! Yay!!!!! I hope he does it well--I love this song...and that movie. (I'm gonna have to watch it this weekend.) Kris did a fine job. I loved it!!!! (Also, the song still brings tears to my eyes.) Randy didn't like it. He's a dummy. Kara said it was one his best moments and Paula said "Yes!"

Lil - The Rose, Bette Midler. (Oh no--another song that always brings tears to my eyes.) Her hair keeps getting longer and longer. I wish she'd go back to her short hair and be herself. I don't know--she sounds flat in the opening verse. When she goes into gospel mode, it's better, but still pitchy. And, it's not bringing tears to my eyes. I think Lil's gone tomorrow night--hers is the worst of the night. She wasn't terrible, but everyone else was really good. Paula didn't say whether she liked the song or not. Simon said it was too soft, too middle of the road, there were nice moments, but there are no excuses anymore. He says she's not the artist he thought she was. Lil tried to defend herself, but I don't think it'll be enough.

Rating tonight's performances is difficult! But, I'd say:

1. Kris
2. Anoop
3. Adam
. Allison
5. Danny
6. Matt
7. Lil

I originally had Adam as #1, but during the playback, switched it to Kris--it was my favorite of the night. Randy's a dummy. And then I realized how much I liked Anoop's performance. And Allison was so good too, so ultimately Allison and Adam are tied for third.

UPDATE: Check out Lisa de Moraes' recap. Best line: And, finally, Lil Rounds sings "The Rose" after Tarantino advises her to commit as much to the portions of the tune she sings straight as she does to the portion she makes into a gospel tune. We wish he'd advised her to commit to singing the notes in tune.

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I am sickened that the damn big-head Burger King is back. I HATE that ad campaign.

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If you can, check out Thrilla in Manila on HBO this month. It's about the big fight between Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975. Fascinating. I think it'd be interesting even if you're not a boxing fan. It talks about the original friendship these two had that ultimately lead to hatred (on Frazier's part anyway). It also goes in to the racial strife of the early 70's, and even features Imelda Marcos talking about her shoes (that segment was really about how dictators would pay to have these huge fights in their countries to turn the attention away from the nastiness going on.) Really interesting stuff.

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And finally, Deb's been trying to get me in to the Real Housewives of NYC. I watched a few episodes this weekend, and while I found it entertaining, I don't feel compelled to watch it every week. HOWEVER. I also saw the 30-min preview for the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and that looked like train-wreck TV. I might have to watch--it looked like a female version of The Sopranos. It starts in May, so it might make good summer watching, after all my shows end in May. We'll see.

4.09.2009

Scott's gone

Scott, Anoop, and Lil were in AI's bottom three last night. Scott had the fewest amount of votes and had to sing for his life....the judges elected not to save him. That was the right move. Earlier, Simon mentioned that of the bottom three, there was one that they'd possibly use the "judges save" for. I suspect that's Lil. They love her even though she hasn't really wowed the masses this season.

Flo Rida performed. I fast-forwarded. Kellie Pickler performed, I listened for a minute to her off-key performance and then fast-forwarded. Before all that, Frankie Avalon performed, and I sat there with my mouth open wondering, what the hell is he doing on American Idol? And then I tried to get "Beauty School Drop-out" out of my head for the rest of the night.

Here's Lisa de Moraes' roundup. The best line comes from one of the commenters: Country music fans, I love you guys, seriously. But, when I see performers like "Country Music Sensation" Kellie Pickler, sometimes I swear that you people will buy *anything*. I'm convinced that a Pretty Blonde Girl farting on a banjo for 3 minutes would crack the Billboard Country Chart.

(Of course I find that funny as a country music non-fan...sorry to you fans out there.)

4.08.2009

Damn you, live television

Even though it taped for an hour and three minutes, Tivo cut off before I got to see Adam perform on AI last night. And, of course, I hear on the radio this morning that Simon gave Adam a standing ovation--if I'm not mistaken, that's the first time Simon's stood up this season.

And I missed it.

Hopefully I'll be able to catch it on YouTube later on. I wasn't overwhelmed by any of the singers I did see last night, still, here's how I'd rank what I saw, from best to worst:

* Allison
* Anoop
* Danny
* Matt
* Lil
* Kris
* Scott

Please, please, please let Scott go home tonight. He's not that great a singer and, I hope this isn't too harsh, but I think he's getting a lot of sympathy votes because of his vision impairment.

Anyway, here's Lisa de Moraes' take. We'll see what happens tonight.

UPDATE: p.s. They need to go back to three judges. Too many people talking is what's causing the show to run over. This isn't the first time Tivo has cut off before the show ended. Kara, go bye-bye.

4.01.2009

The Top 9 and other stuff

I haven't watched last night's show yet, but did read Lisa de Moraes' recap. I've been preparing my house for some guests who arrive Thursday night, and so Monday and Tuesday nights I had to pull myself away from TV and Facebook. It was tough, but my house is clean.

Last night, I also spent about 90 minutes learning how to design and print a label onto a CD with my new printer. That's such a cool feature. By the time I was done with that, it was time for bed.

But...before I went to bed, I watched an episode of South Park called "Margaritaville" that basically explained the current economic situation better than I've heard any pundit do it. It might be a little blasphemous, so if that kind of thing bothers you, you might not want to watch, but it's very clever.



Forgot to mention that Deb and I saw Sunshine Cleaning over the weekend. It was a lot darker than we expected, but we enjoyed it. I guess I should expect a certain amount of darkness in a movie about two sisters who start a business cleaning up crime scenes, but that's not actually where the darkness comes from. The producers have promoted this movie like it's a cheerful, sunny movie like Little Miss Sunshine, but it really isn't. The plot meanders here and there, but it's worth seeing Amy Adams and Emily Blunt--they were great.