4.28.2011

Who will it be?

Who's going home tonight on Idol? We'll find out after an hours' worth of inane filler and fluff. I'm predicting (and hoping) Jacob, but we'll see. Bruno Mars and Crystal Bowersox, from last season, will be performing tonight. Okay, those two things won't be inane--everything else will.

See what I mean? The kids went to a British consulate to celebrate the Royal Wedding. I'll be so happy when that wedding is over. Fast forward.

Next comes the group sing. It's a Carole King song, and you know...she really did write a LOT of songs. The group sing is horrible though...everyone sounds off key. Maybe their ear pieces aren't working.

Ford commercial (yawn), then Crystal (yay!). She's so awesome...still sounds great!

Before we hear any results, there's a Q&A with questions from "America."

Ryan tells us he's calling people up individually in random order. Haley's up first. Jimmy Iovine comments on last night's performance. He said he agreed with Jennifer that Haley has the best voice up there, BUT, as an artist, she doesn't really know who she is yet, and if she goes up, it will be because the audience has gotten wind of that. And THANK YOU! Haley is SAFE!!! I was worried.

Scotty's next. Jimmy says Scotty is a phenom who comes with character, strength and confidence. Jimmy's worried that Scotty's subtlety gets lost in the AI environment. Ryan tells Scotty to hang on before announcing whether he's safe or not.

Instead he brings up Lauren. Jimmy says that Lauren only hears the negative in the critique. He thinks she'll be around for the long run. And again, Ryan tells her to hang tight.

Then he calls up Casey. Jimmy was disappointed because Casey was "on" and then he had to growl. He said Casey needs to realize that the family dog does not vote! HA! (Hey Kerri, maybe The Ricardos can vote!) But, Jimmy ultimately predicts Casey will be safe. And Casey has to sit down and wait.

For the second time tonight, Ryan hints that we may be surprised by the results and then we go to commercial.

James is next. Jimmy says when James sings heavy metal sometimes, it's not believable, but when he sings a melody with a great song with a "rock feel," he's much more believable. He adds that there's no doubt that James can win this thing. And Ryan tells us that James is safe. Of course he is!

And finally, Jacob comes up. Jimmy says that when he saw Jacob's outfit, he though Jacob went into the wrong dressing room since Dancing with the Stars is next door. He thinks Jacob could go home--he's on "banana peel status."

Jimmy then says "at this point in the competition, this is a horse race. We've got to stop comparing them to themselves and their progress every week. We have to compare them against each other. There's only one winner of American Idol."

Ryan brings Casey, Scotty and Lauren back up. Lauren is safe, so Scotty, Jacob and Casey (boo!) are in the bottom three.

But first, Bruno Mars performs "The Lazy Song." Cute little ditty. (His album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans is great, by the way.) I can relate to this song so much, especially on Sundays.
Today I don't feel like doing anything • I just wanna lay in my bed • Don't feel like pickin' up my phone • So leave a message at the tone • 'Cause today I swear I'm not doin' anything
Finally, it's results time. Ryan says the results are in random order tonight. Jacob is SAFE?!?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?! Wow. The person leaving the competition is CASEY. Fuuuuuuuuccckkkkkkkkkk. There goes my pool. Oh man. I'm so disappointed. Jacob over Casey?!?!? I just don't understand it.

Casey sings us out with I Put a Spell on You.

Ugh. I'm distraught. Casey goes and hugs all the judges while he's singing. Then Tivo cuts off, so I didn't see the end of the song.


My pool rankings:
RankAmericaMe
11NaimaThia
10ThiaStefano
9StefanoNaima
8PaulScotty
7JacobJacob
6HaleyLauren
5ScottyPia
4PiaPaul
3LaurenJames
2CaseyHaley
Winner!JamesCasey

4.27.2011

It's Carole King night as AI's Top 6 perform

Yep, the kids are singing Carole King tonight.  Helping them tonight, along with Jimmy Iovine is Babyface.  Haven't seen him in a long time.

Returning from last week's bottom three, Jacob's up first.  He's singing "Oh No, Not My Baby."  Jimmy admits that Jacob's in the most jeopardy, so he has to move the judges.  He's got on a bright yellow button down shirt, blue plaid jacket, and a purple and green striped tie....hurting my eyes.  He did better than he's done in weeks, and he seemed to know it.  Huge grin on his face when he was done.  He also seemed like he had fun.  Steven said it was beautiful.  JLo and Randy liked it too.  Randy said he brought himself back with an energetic performance.  Ryan made the same comment about Jacob having fun.

Lauren's next, singing "Where You Lead."  During rehearsals, Babyface tells her to push her high notes even higher.  She says she worries about hitting them.  Babyface says, "Have you ever gone for it and not hit it?"  She said "no."  Babyface pauses and says, "Duh."   Then Babyface apparently got kicked out and Miley Cyrus came on board.  Great job!   She even pulled a guy on stage and sang to him.  Does she know him?  I'm not sure.  JLo was proud.   Randy thought the song was safe and boring, but he liked that Lauren came out with a vengeance.  Steven said she shined when her voice broke.  He told her to keep breaking like that because it shows the character in her voice.  She's got tears in her eyes by the end.

The kids will be doing duets tonight, and Haley & Casey are up for the first duet.  They're singing "I Feel the Earth Move."   She looks fantastic tonight in a black sparkly dress.  I love these two together!  Steven asked Casey, 'How much you lovin' Haley?  It showed!"  Steven loved it. 

Scotty's next, singing "You've Got a Friend."  I wish anyone else but Scotty chose this song, since it's my favorite of Carol's.  During rehearsals, Babyface & Jimmy tried to get Scotty to start soft and not in his traditional "Scotty voice." Jimmy says he has to deliver subtlety and poignancy.   He sounded a little flat a couple of times, but otherwise did a nice job.  It was nice to hear something other than the same ole, same ole country from him; something a little soulful.  The tweens will love it--especially after he looked at them right through the camera at the end.  Randy said it was an excellent job--nice to hear his tenor voice instead of the baritone.  Steven said this was his "just right song."  JLo said his strength is in the storytelling, and he "told that story beautifully."

Before the commercial break, Ryan teases that we're about to hear the softer, more sensitive side of James.  He'll be singing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow."  Jimmy Iovine says Carole King and James were meant to come together.  He starts of acapella, and WOW.  Such a clear voice...awesome.  Applause, applause!!  That was fantastic.  Standing O from the audience, and a lot of woo-hoo's from JLo.  Steven loved the acapella section, and then mentioned it's the first song he ever made out with a girl to.  JLo thought the beginning was magical.  She also mentioned that he has not had one bad week since they got to the Top 13.  Randy said he proved that he's not just a great "rock singer," but that he's a great "singer."  Period.  Randy thinks he could win the whole thing.  I hope he does because I've got him to win America's vote in my pool.

Lauren and Scotty will be singing "Up on the Roof." And, the baritone is back.  They do a slow version of the song.  While they sound nice, I miss the doo-wop sound of The Drifters.  Toward the end, Scotty seemed to be singing to Lauren, but she never looked at him...she looked straight ahead.  It looked kind of weird.  JLo said Lauren "sang her brains off!" Oh, and Scotty did a good job too.

Casey's up next for his solo performance.  He's singing "Hi-De-Ho," which was made popular by Blood, Sweat and Tears.  It's got a nice jazzy blues feel.  Casey's in a black suit and a fedora.  I love it right off the bat.  I feel like I'm in a smokey blues club in Chicago.  That was awesome!  One of my favorite performances from Casey.  Randy said it was like the song was made for Casey, and it brought him back to New Orleans.  Steven said Casey's found his niche.  He said it was the best "mother....lovin'.....show I've seen."  JLo liked it, but wanted to see him loosen up a little in his movement.

Haley's next, singing "Beautiful."  This song goes back and forth between uptempo and slow.  I liked the uptempo moments much better than the slow.  I still love Haley though!  Steven said she nailed it just now.  JLo said it was beautiful and she has the most beautiful voice in the competition.  Randy said he didn't love the beginning, but the end was exciting.

I guess we have one more duet, and by my amazing powers of deduction, I predict it will be Jacob and James.  They're singing "I'm into Something Good."  They're both wearing white shirts and pants with black jackets.  James should've buttoned up his jacket--his shirt was dingy and he looked a little like a middle-aged man.  It was a fun performance--they sang to JLo in the middle of it, and then acted like they were fighting for her attention.

Tough to rate the performances tonight.  Everyone did a good job.  But, the order I rate the performances (not necessarily trying to predict who will be in the bottom three):

1.  James
2.  Casey
3.  Haley
4.  Lauren
5.  Scotty
6.  Jacob

As for a bottom-three prediction, I think it might be Jacob, Haley and....gosh, maybe Casey.  Only because I don't know if America likes the jazzy blues sound as much as I do.  We shall see!

4.26.2011

The one where NBC wore me down.

NBC practically beat me over the head with the fact that The Voice was starting tonight. The commercials and extended previews were getting ridiculous. When I first saw previews for it, I saw Carson Daly, Christina Aguilera, CeeLo and Blake Shelton. Eh. I like Blake, but it didn't really interest me. Until....I saw that Adam Levine is on too!  Now I'm watching, and am enjoying it.

Tonight are blind auditions, so looks aren't a factor. Christina, Cee-lo, Adam and Blake are coaches. They listen to each contestant, sight unseen, and if they're interested in working with that Voice, they turn themselves around. If more than one coach turns around, then the contestant chooses who they want to work with. Each coach will have 8 contestants on their teams, and then they'll work together and go into the weekly competition where America will start to vote. (I think...or maybe America votes at the end--I forget.)

Remember Frenchie from Idol? She performed tonight and is on Christina's team. It was good to see her.

In other news, I saw a great movie yesterday: Win Win with Paul Giamatti. It was written and directed by Tom McCarthy who also wrote/directed The Station Agent and The Visitor, and co-wrote Up, all of which I also loved. They each feature an unusual/unlikely friendship and have a certain warmth about them. Paul Giamatti was great, as always, and I loved Amy Ryan from The Office as his wife. I recommend all of these movies!

And finally, Treme started again last night on HBO. And Jon Seda is on this season. I love me some Jon Seda. (I hate his haircut on the show though. But, in a scene where he started shaking his hips while dancing salsa, I got over it.)

4.23.2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful book about a woman named Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in the 1950s. Doctors from Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, removed a sample of her cells, without her knowledge or consent, for research. Her cells were used in developing the polio vaccine and other medical developments, yet for years her family never knew the cells existed, and Henrietta never received recognition, nor did her family receive any compensation, despite the cells being sold the world over.

Rebecca Skloot is a terrific storyteller as she relays the story from the family's point of view, as well as from the scientific point of view, which was very interesting. She keeps the scientific discussion in layman's terms, so it never became dull or complicated. The book covers medical ethics (or lack thereof), science, racism, and history. As I read it, at different turns I was fascinated, appalled, laughing, crying, sympathetic, angry, horrified, touched...the feelings go on and on.

I highly recommend this to everyone.

In Rebecca Skloot's own words:

4.22.2011

Elimination night-from 7 to 6

After chatter with the judges, the show opens with Haley, Lauren, Jacob and Stefano performing Train's "Hey, Soul Sister." They sounded good together. (As I was watching, I was thinking that someone in DC should do a go-go version of the song. Kind of like they did with Ashlee Simpson's "Pieces of Me.")

After a commercial break comes the "AI official commercial" a.k.a. the Ford video commercial.

Casey, Scotty and James then perform Viva La Vida by Coldplay. Sorry fellas--this wasn't good. I don't like that song anyway, and your voices couldn't save it. The other problem was "choreography" and the fact that you weren't in sync.

Time for some Idol/idle chitchat with the contestants. And now we learn that Casey is safe, and Jacob is in the bottom three.

David Cook comes out to perform, "The Last Goodbye," the first single from his new album coming out in June. I still love his voice. **Applause, applause!** Hey he's going to be in DC on May 1 for a 5K race/walk to raise money for brain cancer research. He also brought his mom tonight so she could meet Steven Tyler. Cute.

More time filler -- the contestants went to a baseball game, and maybe some other stuff that I'm unaware of because I fast forwarded through the rest.

Lauren, James and Stefano learn their status next. AND......Stefano's in the bottom three again. Now it's between Haley and Scotty. And, Haley's in the bottom three, again. Poor Haley--she did great last night and Scotty was so boring. She doesn't have young tweens voting for her though. But then, Ryan told her right away that she's safe. Phew.

Katy Perry sings "E.T." Taking a cue from Lady Gaga, she and the dance crew have crazy costumes on and she's carried out to the stage. At least these alien costumes don't freak me out like Gaga's did with those pointy shoulders. Kanye was there in person too...thought we'd just hear him on the recording.

And now, the results. Dim the lights.... The person leaving us tonight is...Stefano. Finally. I have to say though, that the past two weeks have been his best, so the timing of this sucks. It would've made more sense if he went three weeks or four weeks ago. Still, someone has to go.

On to next week!

4.21.2011

AI night--Top....how many are left? I forget.

Ah...there are seven left.

In a new twist, the show opens with the five girls and one guy who've already been kicked off singing Pink's Rock Star. Naima got a little way overzealous with her dance moves, but otherwise, it was good to see them all again. I totally forgot about Ashthon even being in the competition. Pia still just knows how to march around and bend her knees occasionally. Paul brought back the black suit with flowers.

The singers are doing songs from the 21st century tonight.

Scotty is up first, but before he sings, we see the other contestants making fun of how Scotty holds the microphone (which I find so annoying). Lisa de Moraes in the WaPo, put it perfectly last week:
Scotty is once again holding his microphone like it’s a fife and he’s part of a Revolutionary War re-enactment event at which Washington’s troops are singing Lady Antebellum tunes.
Anyway, back to the show. Scotty's singing Swingin' by LeAnn Rimes. Same ole, same ole. Judges echoed what Jimmy said during rehearsal that he needs to step out of his box. Note: Steven Tyler has a huge red lipstick smooch on his cheek. Who did that? And why hasn't someone come to wipe it off? It's distracting. Anyway, Randy said Scotty's performance was boring. FINALLY. The judges see what I've been saying for weeks.

James is singing Uprising by Muse. James envisions a post-apocalyptic protest. Jimmy likes that it has substance. I love this song...I suspect he'll do well. James enters the studio with four snare drummers. James is totally channeling Adam Lambert, sang even higher notes that Adam, and does great. Judges loved it.

Haley's turn. She's singing Adele's Rolling in the Deep. AWESOME! I've been listening to Adele's new album, 21, non-stop for four or five weeks now. Gwyneth Paltrow did Turning Tables on Glee last night. I love hearing these songs...any time, any place. And, I loved Haley's performance...she had a couple of shaky notes, but I loved it anyway. Randy said she chose a perfect direction for herself. He mentioned she went a little sharp a couple times. Steven thought it was great. (BTW, the lipstick must be part of Steven's ensemble. It's still there.) JLo loved it too.

Jacob sings A Dance with My Father by Luther Vandross. Jacob's father passed away when Jacob was 12, so this song means a lot to him. He was very emotional during rehearsals. Something was wrong in the beginning, like something might've been wrong with the sound in his earpiece. He finally just pulled it out. I understand the judges comparing Jacob to Luther because of his music style, but to me, there's no comparison. Luther was so smooth, at all notes. I still think Jacob sounds like he's underwater when he's singing in the lower register. It grates on my ears. Randy said it was good, but it didn't make him jump out of his seat.

Casey is next singing Harder to Breathe from Maroon 5. Yay! He's playing guitar tonight. He's awesome!! Might have to download that one. He ended by kissing JLo on the cheek. And I think she blushed! JLo and Randy raved, but then Steven mentioned that Casey's already a cult hero, and then got bleeped because, based on my lip-reading skills, he said, "There's millions of people in America that are really angry because you piss them off because you're SO FUCKING GOOD!" The audience went crazy.

Stefano chooses Ne-Yo's Closer. Jimmy advises him not to whine and plead while singing, but to make it sexy. Ne-Yo makes it sexy, that's for sure.

That suit. And that hat. *Yummm*

Oh, I digress. Uh-oh, Stefano tries to show off some Usher moves...he's not quite there, but does okay. He sounded good. Judges liked it.

We finally get an explanation about the lipstick on Steven's face. His daughter Mia is in the audience, and she planted it there. Phew. I'll be able to sleep tonight after all.

Lauren ends the night with Born to Fly by Sara Evans. Lauren sounds good as usual, but I really don't care for her song choice. Steven liked it--asked her to sing more Alison Krauss or Shania Twain. (I personally believe that was his way of saying he didn't like the song either.) Lauren made a comment in her package about how she holds back because everyone's doing crazy notes and she doesn't want to fall behind. JLo told her she CAN do those crazy notes like the other contestants, that she should try, even if it's when she's by herself. Randy echoed what JLo said, but in a more wordy way.

OK, that's it. My rankings: 7. Scotty, 6. Jacob, 5. Lauren, 4. Stefano, 3. James, 2. Haley, 1. Casey

Yay--David Cook will be on tomorrow night. Can't wait.

4.16.2011

Oops. A belated Idol post.

Just realized I forgot to post anything about Idol's elimination show this week.  If you haven't heard by now, Paul was sent home.  (Haley and Stefano were the others in the bottom three.)  I fast-forwarded through most of the show, so don't really have much else to report, other than Casey and Haley sang a WONDERFUL duet together, and in my mind, really showed that despite a bad night on Wednesday, Haley still needs to be on the show.



Rumor has it that these two are dating. I think I can see some chemistry here.

Also of note, original idol, Kelly Clarkson, was there to perform with Jason Aldean. It's always good to see her.



And finally, my friends and I had a little debate about Idol via email this morning. I think my one friend is getting annoyed with me for pulling for Stefano's departure each week. (I didn't this week....I actually thought this week was his best so far.) She started her message with, "I hope Stefano wins the whole thing just cause the world has such a negative expectation of him! He is a Great singer who is trying hard and fighting against all odds." She then gave a very impassioned argument about her desire for Stefano, Lauren and Jacob to be the top 3, essentially because she feels they're truly "idols" and not just recording artists.

I was going to remind her that Stefano was once arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, but didn't go there. What I did say was, "...even though "Idol" is in the title of the show, the whole point of the show is to make lots of money by producing "successful recording artists." The shows producers (and I) don't really care whether or not the winner can be an "idol" or a role model. For me, it's about who do I want to hear on the radio (or on my iPod) and who would be fun to see in concert. This is why I couldn't get behind Pia...she might be okay to hear on the radio, but I wouldn't want to see her on stage. It'd be such a dull show."

And then my sister chimed in with the info about Stefano. And she added, "Every year there's always that one person that needs to go, but keeps getting the darn votes, think Sanjaya."

Amen, sis!

Oh...one more thing. I'm in a 3-way tie for first on my pool. If anyone but Stefano goes home next week, it might really shake things up.

4.15.2011

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Delightful consciousness! It brought to life and light my whole nature; in his presence I thoroughly lived, and he lived in mine. ~Jane Eyre



I decided to read this when I saw that a new movie was coming out this spring. There was also a contest on Goodreads.com where you were to read the book, write a favorite quote, see the movie, and take a quiz about the book by April 10 for a chance to win an iPad. I just finished tonight, so missed the deadline (I kind of had it in mind that the deadline was April 30, but I never bothered to check. Anyway, despite all that, I'm so glad I read the book.

I'm 40 years old and this is my first time reading Jane Eyre. I never had to read it in school and didn't even know anything about the plot. I only knew what I'd gleaned from the movie previews--which wasn't much--and had no expectations whatsoever. I was drawn in right away, and even though it took me quite a while to read the 523 pages, I enjoyed it immensely. I love Jane's strong character, and Mr. Rochester's passion. I always had a clear mental image what was happening because Charlotte Brontë took such care to provide beautiful detail of each scene.

I loved it, and I'll be seeing the movie tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.

4.13.2011

Will America survive after Pia's departure?

I don't know about the rest of America but I got over Pia's departure about 30 seconds after it was announced that she was going home.  I heard there was a group trying to convince Fox to bend the rules and bring her back.  Same people are asking Stefano to step aside.  Hey America--it's not his fault that she got fewer votes than he did!  Let's move on, people. 

Tonight's show starts with the announcement that JLo was named People's Most Beautiful People person.

Tonight's theme is The Movies.

Paul's up first in a new black suit with red flowers all over it.  He's singing Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger from Risky Business.  Will.i.am is back again this week.   Paul seemed to have fun on the stage.  He's always fun to watch.  I think his voice was a little too soft (that might not be the right word--maybe "weak" is better) for that song, but he was still fun to watch.  Steven liked it, said the crowd's reaction said it all.  JLo said it's great to watch him get more and more polished each week.  Randy said this should be his first number at his first concert.  Said he's definitely an artist.

Laura's singing The Climb by Miley Cyrus from the Hannah Montana movie.  Jimmy Iovine told Lauren she's a much, much stronger singer than Miley Cyrus.  Um, Jimmy, most people are much stronger singers than Miley Cyrus.  Jimmy told Lauren to go after Pia's votes now.   She did a great job.  I wasn't paying attention when JLo talked and didn't feel like rewinding.  Randy said it was like the song was written for her.  Steven said she moves him beyond tears.

Stefano is next.  He talks about being in the bottom three last week, and having to move on.  Jimmy and Will tried to keep him from giving up.  They boosted his ego a bit...say he has the chops to win.  He's singing End of the Road from Boomerang, by Boyz II Men.  He does a good job with this song, but I can't help but feel he's like a one-person boy band.  I wonder how he'd sound with other voices backing him up.  Randy said Stefano slayed the song, and it was his best vocal on the stage to vote.  "Stefano's in it to win it!"  Steven said he really knows how to milk a song.  It's "so not the end of the road for you...it's just the beginning."  JLo said it was "the shit!"  Of course we didn't hear that, but I can read lips.

Scotty performs Cross My Heart by George Strait from Pure Country.  Of course.  Not much to say here.  Same ole, same ole.  Judges loved it.

CASEY's next!  He first was going to sing Nature Boy by Nat King Cole, but the mentors felt it was too "quiet" when he needs to "roar" right now.  (I'm paraphrasing.)  Instead he sings Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight. (I'm already hearing the drums).  Casey's worried about losing himself in this process--he feels the first song was more "him."  But then, he ultimately went with Nature Boy!  Jimmy seemed kinda pissed that his advice was ignored.  He's got the upright bass and the piano's accompanying him.  Nice jazzy sound.  He does some scatting and he grunted maybe once more than was needed.  I liked it, but I don't think America will.  But, maybe I'm wrong--the crowd went crazy.  JLo said she was worried at first, but then realized, on this show, you don't have to be a pop singer.  She said she hopes America "gets it."  Randy reiterates what she said.  Steven said he's an artist in the truest sense of the word because he did it his way.

Haley's, the only other girl in the competition, next and performs Call Me by Blondie from American Gigolo.  I didn't know that song was in that movie.  It makes me sad to say that this wasn't Haley's best performance.  I still love her though.  Randy didn't love it.  It felt karaoke to him.  He said it wasn't a singer's song to show why she's there.  It didn't showcase her voice.  The other judges pretty much agree, but Steven seemed to like it a bit more than the other two.  JLo said she didn't want to say anything too bad because she doesn't want another girl to go home.  I'm going to have to put in some calls for Haley tonight.

Jacob's next.  He was going to start with To Dream the Impossible Dream, but Jimmy said he doesn't need to do 'corny' right now.  Jimmy suggested Bridge over Troubled Water from The Pursuit of Happyness instead.  I dunno if anyone can top when Clay Aiken performed this on the show.  I still hate Jacob's low range.  The judges will love it.  I was right.

James wanted to sing Sammy Hagar's Heavy Metal from the movie of the same name.  Jimmy hated it.  James is going to sing it anyway.  Zakk Wylde was on guitar.   I think this will bring James to the bottom three next week.   Even though his voice was okay, he should maybe have done a more familiar song.  Judges and the audience loved it.  JLo said it felt REAL.  Randy loved it.  Steve said it was outstanding.

So, I didn't really LOVE any performance tonight, but my faves were:  Lauren and Casey. 

Least favorite: Scotty, Jacob and James

4.10.2011

Thanks a lot, EW

Every Halloween, someone shows up on my doorstep with the Scream mask. I hate that mask. Scary films aren't my thing, but I did enjoy the first Scream.  Still, that mask really creeped me out, and always will.

So, I was a little annoyed and dismayed to open my mailbox Friday to find this:




Ack!!!!!!!

4.08.2011

American Idol results night

This will be a quick rundown cuz it's late.

Group song was a medley of rock & roll songs. Pia raised her left arm up each time she sang, for emphasis. Wow, when they were on stage, it just hit me that there are only 3 girls left and six guys. How'd I miss that before? I knew the guys were stronger this year.

Mostly fast-forwarding, but I see Russell Brand is there, so I watch. He's talking to them about performance and stage presence. I should've continued fast-forwarding.

Constantine Mouralis performs an.....interesting...rock-y, rendition of the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody.

Next was a clip of Gwen Stefani dressing the girls last night. Then there's a dumb thing about media training at TMZ. Fast forward.

Iggy Pop performs. Ryan introduces him by saying, "I don't know if you're ready for this" and apparently I"m not. Iggy Pop is shirtless with a fake tan and old leathery skin. EW. Fast forward.

The bottom line:
The bottom three were: Stefano, Pia, and Jacob. The audience seems shocked, but hey, someone has to be in the bottom. I need Stefano to go for my pool.

Turns out the person leaving tonight is PIA. Wow. I didn't see that coming. And now the judges don't have a save. The audience is booing like crazy. This is going to screw with all of my friends' pool results, I think.

JLo was in tears and said she's shocked and angry. Randy agreed and said Pia's one of the best singers in the competition. Maybe, but she has no stage presence and is dull to watch. So, I wonder who did the judges want to go home??! I suspect JLo would've had the same reaction with Stefano or Jacob. Whaddya gonna do?

Ryan made Pia sing one last time--she chose I'll Stand By You...and then Tivo cut off.

Here are my pool rankings...

RankAmericaMe
11NaimaThia
10ThiaStefano
9StefanoNaima
8PaulScotty
7JacobJacob
6HaleyLauren
5ScottyPia
4PiaPaul
3LaurenJames
2CaseyHaley
Winner!JamesCasey

4.06.2011

THIS. Is. American Idol.

The Top 9 are "rockin' it out" tonight, according to the Fox announcer.  I couldn't really hear what Ryan said for his intro because the music was too loud.  I know he said THIS. Is. American Idol, though.

Hey, the show's only 90 minutes this week, instead of 2 hours.  That's nice.  Gwen Stefani was brought in to style the ladies in her fashion line.  What do the guys get.

The theme for tonight is rock & roll.  The kids get to sing songs from those that have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  As I told a friend of mine, that's pretty wide open...Scotty will be able to do ANOTHER country song, I'm sure.

Steven Tyler gives a rundown on the R&R HoF.  He's going through some costumes on exhibit.  When he gets to one of his outfits, he says, "What about this guy over here?  What kind of a freak would wear this [bleep]?"  Later he goes to a wax bust of himself, and says:

video

This is why I love Steven Tyler!

On to the show.

Jacob is first.  He said this week is hard for him because he's not a rock & roll guy.  They show him singing Let's Get It On in rehearsals...Jimmy Iovine said there would be a population explosion nine months later if Jacob sang that.  Jacob said he can't get on stage and sing something that's not him.  He said, "It's very blunt, and says, 'Let's do it.  Let's do the nasty.'"  Instead he chooses Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror.  Then he challenges America--"if I end up in the bottom three it won't be because I sang the song bad, it won't be because I sang the song wrong...it'll be because everybody in America wasn't ready to look at themselves in the mirror."  Um, okay Jacob.  Go with that.  Still, he did do a GREAT job.  Great song for him.  Siedah Garrett, who wrote the song, sang background for him.  Steven Tyler made the audience give it up for her.  He said, "Finest song that's ever been written!"  Judges loved it.

Haley's doing Janis Joplin's A Little Piece of My Heart.  She talks about how the judges have been throwing around Janis' name throughout the competition with her.  She said, "you want Janis, I'll give it to you."  Jimmy and will.i.am tell her she needs to feel the song.  PERFECT!  I loved it!  The judges were so right.  JLo said she's showing she's a contender.  Randy said this is the Haley they loved when they first saw her.  Steven said "I couldn't find nothin' wrong with that."  He said she took it up a few notches from Janis.

Casey's was originally going to sing Sting's Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, but Jimmy said he was turning it in to a rumba.  Instead he's singing Have You Ever Seen the Rain by CCR.  Love this song--it always makes me think of a day years ago when my dad was singing along with the radio..in a falsetto.  He sounded good. Casey's got his upright bass tonight and does a great job.  His voice is perfect for this song.  Judges love it and Randy likes that he's showing the bass isn't just for polkas or jazz. Steven said he's a true musician.  JLo said she'd pay top dollar to be in the front row of Casey's show.

Lauren's singing Aretha's Natural Woman.  Jimmy said it's magic when you combine r&b and country.  will.i.am, said you combine country and soul, you get c-o-u-n-t-r-o-u-l.  Har, har, har.  I like that Lauren can put a country spin on things without being so country, like Scotty is.  I guess I prefer cross-over.  She does a nice job with the song.  She's got a little soul in her.  Steven loved it...said she's all grown up.  JLo loved it too.  Randy said it's one of the most difficult songs, and though he wasn't jumping up and down, but she did a good job.  (He mentioned people in previous seasons who took on that song and "laid it out.")

James is next.  Before commercial, Ryan tells us that a "very different James Durbin" will be taking the stage.  James is slowing it down tonight with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison.  As I've mentioned MANY times before, my favorite performance, probably ever, was when Prince performed this with Tom Petty and a bunch of others at a R&R HoF induction ceremony.  I was chatting with my friend Kerri earlier, hoping someone would do Prince tonight.  This will be close enough.  My favorite James performance yet.  He was totally channeling Adam Lambert tonight.  If his hair was black, they'd be twins.  Judges loved that he showed his tender side.  (He was tearing up by the end of the song.)

Scotty's next.  Will he venture out of his box?  He's doing That's All Right Mama by Elvis.  He says he's not doing Country Scotty.  We'll see. It's not his usual country, but it's bluegrassy--close enough.  I can't deny that he has a great voice, but he just doesn't do it for me.  Randy was excited about this new Scotty.  Steven agreed.  And so did JLo.  She liked that he had fun with it.

Pia's next, singing Tina Turner's River Deep Mountain High.  During rehearsals she's running all her words together, so it sounds like a jumbled mess. Hopefully she'll do it better live.  Eh.  Not really.  She's doing the exact same movements she does on her slow songs.  Nothing different.  She's no Tina Turner.  She's still gorgeous though, and her voice is great.  I'm just over her for this competition.  Steven said she killed it.  I disagree.  JLo said it was amazing, and she proved she can sing up tempo.  JLo recommended she study great performers like Tina Turner--she needs to get her performance into it.  She mentioned how Michael Jackson used to study Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.  Randy said all she needs to do now is work on the movement.  He added that Pia's in it to win it, which is about the 4th or 5th time he's said it tonight.

Stefano's taking on When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge.  Just hearing that he's doing this song, I already don't like it.  His voice is too high.  will.i.am tried to give him some performance tips.  My instincts were right.  I don't care for it.  He doesn't have any soul in his voice.  To me, he just sings without feeling, even though he does the facial expressions to make it look like he's feeling it.  I'm not sure if I'm describing that correctly, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I can't believe JLo used the word "amazing" to describe it.  Randy had more sense--he liked it, but didn't love it.  Steven liked it too.

Paul is up last.  He's singing Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues.  Jimmy says no one in history is cooler than Johnny Cash.  That's a lot of pressure.  At some point Paul asked if he should tone it down, and Jimmy and will.i.am were like NO!!!   Paul's best performance, methinks.  He was a lot of fun tonight.  Paul was awesome.  Randy loved it.  Steven said he loved it too.  And JLo too.

Wow...pretty good show tonight.

My top 3:  Haley, Casey, and James

Bottom:  Stefano  (I really only have one.)

The music gets loud again, so I have no idea what the banter with the judges at the end was about.  Nor do I care, really.  Til tomorrow...

4.05.2011

Nice touch.

So, I meant to give up Harry's Law a while back, but it ended up growing on me before I could. This week, Paul McCrane's character, an assistant DA, had a bit of a nervous breakdown and realized his life is not where he imagined it would be. He told Harry (Kathy Bates) that he always wanted to sing. At the end of the show, there was a lawyer gala of some sort, and Paul McCrane got up on stage to sing. The nice touch was that he sang, "Is It Okay If I Call You Mine," which is the song he sang in the move Fame 31 years ago. He sounded just as good now as he did back then.


One thing I've always enjoyed about David E. Kelly's shows--even when they get out of hand and over the top--is the music. He incorporates the music oh so well.