Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol (Results Show): And then there were 9

They scrapped the amusement park-like group number (yeah!). Instead of doing the group number, they broke the contestants into groups and each group performed their number before facing elimination. Lauren and Scotty went first. They did a duet called I Told You So. The country kids did a great job. I could actually hear that song as a single. Needless to say both were safe.

Next up was a duet by Jacob and Naima. They did a soulful rendition of Ashford and Simpson’s Solid. It was a solid performance .. but Ryan told us that one of them was in danger. It was no surprise when Naima was sent to one of the Bottom Three stools. Jacob was safe, at least for another week.

Fantasia sang her new song, Collard Greens and Cornbread. The song had a really smooth old school feel. The blonde hair? Not the greatest look but she did her thing including giving a little love to Steven Tyler at the end.

Next up were Pia, Thia and Hayley. The trio gave their take on Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. For the first time, I got that this is the Idol show at Disneyworld feeling. Pia was sent to safety and it came down to Thia and Hayley. Thia joined Naima in the Bottom 3 (and so far I was two for two!).

Paul, Casey, James and Stefano did their rendition of Band on the Run. They struggled with some of the harmonies a bit but the guys gave a good performance. Of course, Casey was safe. And so was James. It came down to either Paul or Stefano. Could I be three for three with my predictions? Well, I was WRONG! Stefano was in the bottom three!
Before we could find out Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx took the stage with their new song Rio from the movie,... Rio, a new animated family film. Wasn't crazy about the song but they get an A for effort. They had Brazilian dancers and drummers and even had a couple of guys doing Capoeira (the Brazilian form of martial arts).
Since two were going home tonight, it was all about who was safe. After that one walked to safety, the other two would be eliminated. So Paul made the walk back to the seats, leaving Thia and Naima to say their goodbyes.

So my bottom three was off by one (I had Stefano and not Paul), but I did pick the two that went home. I should probably play the lotto tomorrow and see if my lucky streak continues!

American Idol Recap: Time to Crocodile Rock!

Tomorrow two Idols are eliminated.
 I'm a huge Elton John fan and he's got enough songs to accomodate all of the Idols. So I was looking forward to what would happen ... especially since this week two people will be going home. So without further ado...

Scotty McCreery: As long as he can find a country song, he's alright. He even managed to find an Elton John song that he could countrify. I had never heard Country Comfort before, which might be a good thing, because I did not like what some other contestants did with some of my favorite EJ songs (see below). I could see this guy in the top three.

Naima Adedapo: I'm a big fan of I’m Still Standing; but I'm not a big reggae fan. I do give Naima credit for being one of the biggest risk takers we’ve seen on Idol since Adam Lambert. It was very mellow (almost too mellow) and I agreed with Randy when he said it was kind of corny. Let me add this: I would not have been standing if I had to wear those platforms!

Paul McDonald: Like Paul. Like Rocket Man. Didn’t like his interpretation or voice on this so much. Again, I’m agreeing with my dawg Randy that he did have some pitch problems. Will he make the bottom three, I'm not sure, but I think his chances are greater this week than they have been.

Pia Toscano: Despite what the judges told her last week, I just knew she’d be back with yet another balland. She nailed her version of Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. She also looked amazing in her short sparkly dress. She promised if she’s back next week (and I don’t doubt that she will be) that she’ll pick up the tempo a bit.

Stefano Langone: His version of Tiny Dancer left something to be desired. The judges noticed that he connected more with the audience. In other words, he walked across the stage and didn’t just sing with his eyes closed. Yet for me, he lacked emotion. He didn’t connect with the song. He could take a lesson from Casey and Jacob on how to interpret a song with feeling and meaning. He could be in the bottom three.

Lauren Alaina: Like Pia, Lauren nailed her song. She chose Candle in the Wind and put a country spin on it. Surprisingly it worked. She should be safe for at least another week.

James Durbin: No matter what, the boy’s got energy. He chose Saturday Night’s Alright. He walked through the audience and interacted with the judges. In previous seasons, Simon would have called his performance ‘indulgent.’ But the judges ate it up. Not a great vocal but a damn good performance.

Thia Megia chose Daniel because she has an older brother she’s close to. Nice sentiment. Nice girl. Nice performance … but I need her to go home. It’s time.

Casey Abrams: I’m sure last week gave him a shock. So this week he did a little soul searching. He got a haircut and trimmed up his beard. He also dialed down his performance of Your Song: less histrionics, fewer growls and a more measured performance. We got to hear him sing. His performance showed that the judges didn’t waste their save.

Jacob Lusk seemed to have taken a few cues from Casaey because he delivered a more subdued performance of Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word. This could have been a hot mess of oversinging and drama but he calmed down and his performance was better for it. Now if we could get him to dial back some of the facial expressions he makes while singing.

Hayley Reinhart: I had little to no expectations for the perennial bottom dweller but she surprised everyone by giving one of the best performances of the night with Bennie and the Jets. He was good. She got the crowd involved and she was actually a good way to end the show. It’s very possible that she won’t be in the bottom three this week.

Bottom Three

Naima Adedapo
Thia Megia
Stefano Langone

Going home Naima AND Thia

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrity Apprentice: Ding! Dong! The Witch is Gone!

Do you know the way to the Boardroom? Ha! I'll say a
little prayer for Dionne Warwick. Lawd knows she needs one!
As Team ASAP returned from the board room minus Nikki Taylor, the girls were not happy campers, having lost the RV challenge to a team lead by Gary Busey. They huddled together to lick their wounds after two loses in a row.
There wasn’t much time to sulk, though because there was another task on deck. This time, they’d be making a 30 second commercial for ACN (a multi-level marketing company) and their new videophone. Without hesitation, Nene (who has to be well over six feet tall) stepped up for ASAP and based on his experience directing videos and marketing himself, Lil Jon (who really is very little) stepped up for Backbone.

The girls were off to a good start with a suggestion from Dionne Warwick. She suggested they have her on one phone singing in a studio while working with an engineer in another city on a recording. The girls loved the idea.

The guys were the first group to work with the ACN rep. The ACN guy kept emphasizing emotion and connecting face-to-face with family and friends. Then, completely out of left field, Jose Conseco asks about communicating with others … beyond this planet. Huh? He elaborated by saying, "Communicating with aliens in a very positive, very personal, very funny way." Of course! It all makes sense now!

Luckily for their sake, the guys kept brainstorming. Lil Jon wanted something hip and envelope-pushing and the concept they came up with was just that. They’d have a guy talking to his parents and introducing his fiance … another guy! And not just any guy but Jose!

After meeting with the ACN rep, the ladies of ASAP decided they needed something with more emotion. They decided to go with a young girl who had gone to Paris for an exchange program who called home. Not only did she get to see her parents but she got to sign with her deaf mother (Marlee Maitlin).

Nene had her work cut out for her when assigning tasks. LaToya explained that due to her recent Lasik surgery she could barely see. Nene set her up as the time keeper. So for the rest of the episode, she periodically shouted times and told people it was time to go … not exactly a critical task.

Hope opted out of creating a PowerPoint presentation, opting instead to shop for set pieces. The only people who really worked hard for Nene were Star and Marlee.

Back on Backbone, Richard was contributing by assisting with Jose’s wardrobe. He was the gay ‘technical advisor.’ But we can’t go through a recap without at least one quizzical/disturbing/confusing Gary Busy moment.

Busey was cast as the father who setup the video phone to talk to his son. His wardrobe was simple, a robe. And what was under the robe? Absolutely nothing. Busey was going commando and the actress playing his wife got more than a peek when his robe opened up. He leaned over and asked her, if she got a look at “Big Wednesday.” Apparently, that’s what Busey’s fiancee calls his ‘apparatus’. I don’t know if that actress had nightmares about that whole scene but I did.

Meanwhile, the women waited for Dionne and Hope to return with the set pieces while LaToya walked around and told the time. These two weren’t the fastest horses out of the gate. Think about it? We have Hope, who just last week didn’t know what century we are in, and Dionne “Molasses Ass” Warwick out together. Did anyone expect speedy and quick from these two?

When they did get back, Dionne snapped into beyotch mode (is she ever really OUT of beyotch mode?) when others tried to help her set up her area. Finally, they made it through taping and then were off to editing. Well, almost all of them were off to editing. While Nene and Marlee did most of the work, the others on the team stayed in the editing bay as well to show their support, except for Ms. Dionne, who went home and went to sleep. I wish Nene would have called her on it. However, her absence was noted by Donald Jr.

When it was time to make the presentations, we had two very different commercials to choose from. Watch both here. I enjoyed both presentations and both commercials. The boardroom was going to be interesting.

I knew it was going to be close but I didn’t expect Nene to break out with the waterworks. She was so emotional, she broke down and cried. She really wanted to win and take some money to her charity, Twisted Hearts which helps abused women. Unfortunately, she didn’t win. And the ladies of ASAP were handed their third loss in a row.

Nene didn’t have to bring two women back into the boardroom, they all stayed. While her team members applauded her management style, Nene got taken to task for letting Dionne Warwick leave during editing. Dionne said she asked permission, Nene said she just up and left. When I reviewed the tape, it looks like she up and left and Nene didn’t stop her (but that could be editing).

Anyway, it came down to Dionne and LaToya and Dionne feeling victimized, offered to leave. She said she’d go. By the time she started to stand up and fight for herself, it was too late she was fired. I stood up and cheered. I’ve never been so happy to see someone get canned on this show. I’ve been disappointed. I’m been shocked. I’ve been surprised. Last night I was giddy. I actually jumped up and cheered. Good riddance!

According to previews for next week, we get to see what was termed as a “Meat Loaf Meltdown”! How much do you want to bet that he threatens to whip Busey like a side of mashed potatoes???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Fringe fans can rejoice. The shows been picked up for a fourth season! Ratings for the sci-fi show have increased since its moved from the hyper competitive Thursday night slot to a more laid-back Friday night spot.

Grey’s fans were treated to a shock at the end of Thursday’s episode as Callie and Arizona’s romantic trip to a bed and breakfast took a turn for the worse, in the form of a car accident. Through fishing around the web, I’ve heard that the accident brings Arizona and Mark closer and from what I have heard we don’t have to worry about another casualty at Seattle Grace. Although next week’s episode is a musical one… that could be a casualty in and of itself … or it could be great. Check out the first minute of next week’s episode and draw your own conclusions.

Oprah fans should circle Wednesday, May 25th on their calendars. That’s D-Day or rather O-day – the date for Oprah’s final show. And if you are tired of reruns, new episodes are slated to return on April 7.

Remember Bosom Buddies? Okay, you probably don’t but I do. Let me try to jog your memory. It was the show about two straight guys who dress like women to get into a cheap all-female apartment building in New York City. Remember now? It was the show that gave Tom Hanks his start. Anyway, Hanks is returning to network TV after more than 20 years as a guest on 30 Rock. No details have been released yet. He could do a cameo as himself or maybe he’ll play a character. When I know, you’ll know.

Even though he’s being touted as Michael’s successor on The Office, Will Ferrell is only set to do four episodes of the show. More than likely, he’ll be the bridge between Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott and his as-yet-to-be-named-and-still secret permanent replacement.

As of Friday, the sexy Sucker Punch has been sucker punched by A Wimpy Kid of all films. That’s right, so far, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has outperformed Sucker Punch in its first weekend out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol: Here's Your Top 10 ... or 11

He put a spell on the judges!
They started with 13, but making the Top Ten is what matters. Only the top ten will go on the Idol tour and make a little bit of Idol money. Eleven through 13 are just out of luck.

The dreaded opening musical number wasn't that bad this week. The Idols looked great, the boys dapper in black suits and the girls in silver dresses. They sang Ain't No Mountain High Enough ... but what really got me is what happened next. Stevie Wonder came out of no where to sing his Happy Birthday song to Steven Tyler. I loved it. I mean who doesn't love Stevie Wonder?

I didn't love Sugarland. What was up with the green pants?? Scotty has got me to have a greater appreciation for country music but not that much.

The first three up for elimination were Pia, Scotty and Lauren. Luckily, and to no surprise, all three were safe. Next, we had to sit through some weird package about James being a big wrestling fan but it all made sense when he and Paul stepped up next for their results. James's hero Hulk Hogan appeared to tell them they were both safe. By the look on his face, I don't know if he was happier to be safe or to meet Hulk Hogan!

The next trio to face elimination were Stefano, Jacob and Thia.  Jacob was safe while Thia and Stefano faced possible elimination. And then there were three ... Naima, Haley and Casey ... and one seat left over in the bottom three. Naima was safe and then it was down to Haley and Casey. Surprise! Casey was in the bottom three.

But before we could get the results, we had a performance from Jennifer Hudson singing her new single, Where You At? She looked beautiful and sounded even better but I thought the the black dress made her look a little hippy.

Against everything I believed in, Thia was safe, making it into the Top Ten leaving the two boys. As Ryan would say, "America voted and Stefano, ... you're safe. Casey you're going home."


But first, he had to sing for his life. Yet, before he got through the first verse, Randy stopped the music. It was unanimous. The judges were using the safe on Casey.

I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He wasn't just shocked or stunned or speechless, he was flabbergasted (and I don't know the last time I've used THAT word). Ryan added that this meant that two people would be eliminated next week, but the good news the producers decided that the tour would include all eleven finalists.

American Idol: Motoring Over to Motown

Eleven rhymes with heaven! And
although I wouldn't describe Motown
night as positively heavenly, it wasn't
hellacious either.
 The Top 11 take on Motown. So here's what I thought would happen. With the Motown songbook as deep and varied as it is, I though there'd be somthing for James Durbin to rock up, Jacob Lusk to gospelize and a ballad slow enough for Thia Megia to bore us to tears. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Casey Abrams: I’m not a fan and I’ve said so repeatedly. However,  I give credit where credit is due. He did a good job on Heard It Through The Grapevine. I didn’t think it was stellar and out-of-this world like the judges did, but it was one of his better performances. (He still scares me though).

Thia Megia: She surprised me. She didn’t do a ballad and although the pink frilly skirt left a lot to be desired (and those stilettos were a bit too high for our high school heroine), at least she was trying to be youthful and loosen up a little. Her Heatwave was solid. I think she’ll be safe this week.

Jacob Lusk: You just knew he’d excel in Motown week. His version of You’re All I Need to Get By was very good. He dialed back the histrionics and sang the song. He’s got a beautiful voice when he’s not going over-the-top and he showcased some of that here. A few of his facial expressions were priceless. Every time I see him, I think of that line from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.’ I think Jacob will make it into the top 10. All the hugs at the end of his performance though … it was a bit much … especially when they stopped the love train before the lone guy in the line could get his hug on.

Lauren Alaina: I loved her hair straight and the long dress she wore made her actually look almost elegant (except for the fact that it was too long and I was afraid she’d trip over it). Her version of You Keep Me Hanging On had her characteristic spunk. I like her.

Stefano Langone: Several seasons ago, Idol winner David Cook did a rock version of Hello and killed it. Any attempt at the song is going to draw comparisons and Stefano’s version just didn’t measure up. I agree with the judges that the boy has the chops but he doesn’t connect with the lyrics. Singing is best when it makes the connection between the singer and the song and subsequently the singer and the audience. Stefano was disconnected. I don’t think he’s in danger of being in the bottom three though.

Haley Reinhart: I don’t know who’s putting all these girls in high heels but Haley was descending that stair case as if every step held the risk of falling flat on her face. She didn’t fall flat but her version of You Really Got a Hold of Me was flat as a pancake. Bottom Three.

Scotty McCreery: He took Motown down to Nashville in his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Once in my Life. With his low register, I was wondering what Motown classic he could find but Once in my Life is one of those songs open to a variety of interpretations and his was a pleasant surprise.

Pia Toscano: She did another Stevie tune “All in Love is Fair.” Yet ANOTHER ballad! Yes, she can sing. Yes, she can look glamorous. But at this point, she needs to do something else. I was bored and so were the judges.

Paul McDonald: Of all of the contestants, I was worried about Paul’s song selection, even more so than Scotty’s. I was talking to my friend T (she and I do an Idol play-by-play during the commercial breaks) and I said the only thing I could imagine him singing was a Smokey Robinson song. Wisely, he chose Tracks of My Tears. It was a good choice and fit his voice. Another wise choice was to sing with his guitar which kept his odd, rambling drunk-looking dance moves to a minimum. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

Naima Adedapo: Her version of Dancing in the Streets included a whole section of actual dancing! Towards the end of her passable but not memorable version of the song, she broke out in a big African dance. She danced well but I don’t know if that will help or hurt her in the votes. Could be bottom three.

Last night’s closer was resident rocker James Durbin. Chose another Stevie Wonder classic, Livin for the City. It opened weak but when he got into his zone, he nailed it. He even threw in a few dance moves (not an all out Naima dance but still, the boy has got some moves). A good way to close the show.

Overall, Motown was good for the Idol wannabes.

Bottom 3

Going home … Hayley

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Take: Chris Brown

Who, besides the Hulk
takes off their clothes
when in a rage?
So Chris Brown appeared on Good Morning America to promote his new album F.A.M.E. (which stands for Forgiving All My Enemies or Fans Are My Everything). And although the album is doing very well (spawning three number one hits), co-host Robin Roberts wanted to talk about The Incident. You know The Incident, where Brown attacked Rihanna and got hit with two felony assault charges. Well two years after charges, plea deals, probation, community service and restraining orders, Brown is back and although some have forgiven many more have neither forgiven nor forgotten.

In the interview, Brown did a good job of holding it together. She tried to steer him to The Incident. He tried to steer her back to The Album. It made for a nice little dance. It was what happened after that made headlines.

Backstage Brown lost it. He stormed back to his dressing room, shouting and throwing a chair that shattered a window. He eventually tore his shirt off and stormed out of the studio. He tweeted, "I'm so over people bringing this past shit up!!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for there bullshit." Later, that post was deleted. He wasn’t done though, about an hour later, he followed that with this tweet, "All my fans!!! This album is for you and only you!!! I'm so tired of everyone else!! Honestly!! I love team breezy!!"

Number One – Dude needs help. Serious help. Violent outbursts are never called for or acceptable. Period. Anger management is definitely in order but I have to wonder if he doesn’t have some deeper issues going on. If the people around him don’t make sure he gets help then they shouldn’t be around him. It’s okay to have an entourage of Yes Men, as long as you have a few real friends who can always be straight with you. Those friends need to step to Chris Brown now and get him the help he needs.

Number Two –Chris Brown is straddling a precarious fence between two different worlds. On one hand, you have the black community, who are extremely forgiving (too forgiving if you ask me). We will forgive a multitude of sins: OJ (murder), MJ (inappropriate relations with young boys), Chris Brown (domestic violence), Marion Berry (smoking crack), Jesse Jackson (adultery), R Kelly (having sex with young girls – and peeing on at least one), Al Sharpton (the hair).

So of course, Chris Brown would be welcomed back with open arms to the black community. Fans love him on 106 and Park. Black radio and the hip-hop community will show him lots of love.

But GMA isn’t black America…

Earlier this year, Brown was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. I read a few message boards in relation to the show, and two years later many commenters didn’t want to see him. At all. Ever. Period. They were completely done with him. Two years didn’t make a difference. This is the GMA crowd.

Basically, Brown gave all of the people who have painted him as a violent Neanderthal have another reason to rally against him.

Maybe F.A.M.E. should stand for Finding Anger Management Exercises.

Just sayin’…

Monday, March 21, 2011

Celebrity Apprentice: Busey's the Boss

Would you want this to
be your boss?
 The train wreck that is Celebrity Apprentice chugs along. We’ve got the bossy covered in Star Jones, the diva in Dionne Warwick, the asshole in Jose Conseco, and the totally crazy in Gary Busey.  

This week’s task revolved around Camping World. The teams got to pick two RVs and create a complete outdoor experience while showcasing as many Camping World products as possible. The first task was to pick a project manager. ASAP went with Niki Taylor, none of the Sista Set (Star, Nene, Dionne) volunteered because as Nene said, “I’m black. I ain’t never slept outside.”

That sentiment was shared by Lil Jon (who actually is really little) when he said, “I’m the black guy. We don’t go camping.” I can agree with both of them, that’s pretty true. Anyway, they ended up with super model Niki Taylor heading Team ASAP and … wait for it … Gary Busey representing Team Backbone.

When it came to picking the RVs, Backbone went with the big flashy ones while ASAP chose the more middle class ones with the family feel.

You know what? Instead of doing the rest of this recap in chronological order, I want to tackle the personalities that made this episode interesting.

Gary Busey
It started with him and Meat Loaf as they came out of the boardroom from the week before. Meat had accused Busey of not being focused and he responded with, "Don't tell me what I'm not doing when I'm doing what you don't think I'm doing." I didn’t get it either, but he said it with such conviction that there had to be some truth (and sense) in it somewhere.

After he became PM, he went over to the president of Camping World, shook his hand and said charmingly, "I know nothing is free, but my heart to your heart is free." The president just nodded and smiled. Honestly, what else could he do?

As the task progressed, it became pretty clear that there was no plan in place, but that didn’t mean Gary Busey wasn’t busy being entertaining. He explained how he enjoys making definitions for words using the letters in the words. For example, Lucky is Living Under Correct Knowledge Yearly. Freedom is Facing Real Exciting Energy Developing Out Miracles. Of course team is Together Everyone Achieves More, although I’m not sure what everyone on Backbone was supposed to be achieving.

Jose Conseco
Jose could mean Judgemental Oversized Selfish and Egotistical … not to mention lazy. He did nothing but complain, nod off, sit next to Gary and toss a baseball. I was never into him, but now, I’m so over him.

Star Jones
Speaking of big egos, Star started the episode upset that no one had her back in the boardroom. She vowed she would not interfere in the next task or try to manage the manager. However, Star is always the boss or as Gary Busey might say Being an Overbearingly Smug Smartass. She monopolized the conversation with the Camping Word rep and used every conceivable opportunity to make Niki Taylor look like an imbecile. Speaking of …

Niki Taylor
The former supermodel had such a laid-back style that at times she didn’t really seem to have a style. Her ‘moment’ came when she and fellow model Hope Dworaczyk (2010 Playmate of the Year … yeah, I didn’t know who she was either) couldn’t figure out whether this was the 20th or 21st Century, which was the theme Niki came up with. Hope added that she knew a century was 100 years because there are 100 cents in a dollar. Mmmmkay…

Dionne Warwick
To return to Busey-speak for a minute, Dionne is a diva, Developing Into a Vicious Ass. She referred repeatedly to Niki as a hussy which was completely uncalled for, plus (and I know she’s older) she’s as slow as molasses. Niki sent her to Bed, Bath and Beyond with an hour to spare and as we saw her meandering slowly towards the entrance, we knew she would not be back in time. LOL!

Mark McGrath
Haven’t heard too much from him yet, but loved how ticked off he was at Jose for doing nothing. His attempt to get ‘evidence’ by taking a video of Busey and Conseco playing catch could have been a shrewd move. I’m looking forward to seeing him as a PM.

So back to the task, ASAP looked good. LaTonya Jackson actually did an excellent job giving the tour of  the RVs. While their RV looked good on the inside, the outside left a lot to be desired. They didn’t even have a Camping World sign displayed. The guys had a rocky start, but both Richard Hatch and Mark McGrath had plants brought in which gave the RV in NYC a more rustic look. They also had nice signage. Although they seemed like a long shot, the boys pulled it together and actually made this a competition.

In the boardroom, the boys actually won. So, Gar Busey lived to rant another day. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Niki Taylor who took full responsibility for the girl’s loss and got sent home. Star gave her props for being ‘classy’ but we all know she was just glad not to have been brought back into the boardroom.

As Niki left, the rest of Team ASAP rallied around her, giving her hugs and telling her they ‘loved her.’ I actually threw up in my mouth a little bit. Their ‘sweetness’ came across like rancid candy. Ewww!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Glee .. Enough Scoop to Hold You Until April

Now that Kurt and Blaine are officially Klaine, what’s next for the couple? Prom. Yes, Kurt and Blaine are going to have what show creator Ryan Murphy calls a ‘ripped from the headlines’ story about opposition to the boys attending the big dance together.

Murphy rhetorically asked TVLine, “Can you imagine two boys wanting to go to the prom in Ohio?” Well, seeing as I was born and raised in Ohio, I can say, “Yes, I can imagine it. In fact, it can and does happen with stunning regularity. When have you heard about opposition to gays attending a prom in Ohio? Umm, never.” Okay, I’m getting off of my Ohio soapbox now, but before I do, let me just add “Go Browns and LeBron, go to hell.” Okay, now I’m done.

Also, Kurt’s days at Dalton Academy seem to be numbered as he will return to McKinley High and there is a good chance that Blaine will be coming with him.

In other Glee news, Mercedes will be getting a love interest (so I guess my mission is accomplished). In case you didn’t know, Oxygen will be airing The Glee Project, a reality show in which the winner will win a role on the show. Murphy says Mercedes love interest might come from that show (I am still rooting for some love from a Dalton Academy Warbler).

As for the rest of Season 2, expect to see ….
  • Santana coming to terms with her sexuality.
  • Kristin Chenowith as April Rhodes will return to McKinley after her all-white version of The Wiz fizzles. She’ll sing an original song called “It’s 10 AM and I’m Drunk.”
  • Murphy is apparently besties with Gwyneth Paltrow, so not only is she due back for another episode this season, but expect her back in Season 3 as well.
  • The triangle between Rachel, Finn and Quinn will intensify.
In the April 12 episode, Sue compiles her personal Axis of Evil with Will’s ex Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), former glee club advisor Sandy Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) and Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby (Cheyenne Jackson). Per the rest of the season, expect the return of singing phenom Charice and the reemergence of New Direction’s original nemesis, Vocal Adrenaline.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol: Didn't See THAT One Coming

She could have used a Hero.
 Since the second performance show had a Birth Year theme, it was ‘cute’ that the intro to the elimination show featured a mash-up between Steppenwolf’s "Born to be Wild" (the guys) and Lady Gaga’s "Born This Way" (the girls). Get it both songs have Born in the title!

Personally, the intro performance always reminds me of something you'd see at an amusement park or as the opening number of a cheesy 70's variety show. I want the results! Of course, before we could get to the elimination, we had performances from Lee DeWyze and The Black Eyed Peas.

Lee debuted his new single, “Beautiful Like You.” I hope you heard it, because I doubt you’ll be hearing much of it on the radio. The Peas did their new song, “Just Can’t Get Enough” It’s a Peas song, so like most Peas songs, I liked it but didn’t love it. Fergie channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe in a beautiful white dress with flowing hair. Gorgeous.

But to the good part. The person I knew was going home didn’t go. The bottom three were: Naima, Karen and Hayley. And the first one sent to safety was … Naima! She was the one I’d picked to go home.

So it came down to Hayley and Karen … and Hayley was safe. Karen was left to fight for the judge’s save. She chose to sing "Hero." Her performance was good but not good enough. Two weeks in and so far, none of the guys has graced the bottom three. What does that mean? I don’t know. Does it mean anything? I don’t know that either.

Go Idol, It's Your Birthday!

Casey was sick when they shot this,
hence the Casey mask. He scares me.
Okay, it's not any one's real birthday but the Idols were tasked this week with picking a song from their birth year. This is the week that makes me feel old. I spend the whole time going, "She was born then? I had been out of college for five years!" Anyway, enough of my impending midlife crisis, here's the recap.

Naima Adedapo, "What's Love Got to Do With It" (1984)
The jazzy Naima had something I liked. The songs she chose showed a unique character and tone of her voice. This Naima, the one that sang last night and the one that did "Umbrella" last week, I'm just not getting. She was pitchy and I really didn't think she did anything new with the song.
In 1984, I was in 10th grade, halfway through the drama and trauma of high school.

Paul McDonald, "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" (1984)
 I like Paul ... but not last night. Despite his smile and quirky meandering around stage, he actually gave me the blues with his singing. J. Lo tried to give him a pass because he'd been sick, so I guess maybe some sympathy is in order. However, he reminded me of a drunk guy at a karaoke bar.
Also in 1984, I was watching copious amounts of MTV and plastering my walls with Duran Duran posters.

Thia Megia, "Colors of the Wind" (1995)
I felt like I was watching the Miss Teen America pageant. The dress, the hair, the song, all were very pageant-y. Thia has a wonderful voice, but she's boring. The kid is 15. I need her to select more youthful songs and actually attempt to look like a high schooler.
I think I was living in Phoenix in 1995. While I'm not quite sure where I was, I'm sure I wasn't watching any Disney movies!

James Durbin, "I'll Be There for You" (1989)
Although I'm getting tired of the faux hawk, James delivered, up to this point, the best performance of the night, and that's saying something because I've never cared for this Bon Jovi tune. James is the resident rocker this season and he's picked songs firmly in his lane (or his wheelhouse as Randy would say), although over the past few weeks, he's shown that he's more than a scream. He can actually sing.
In 1989, I was in my junior year of college wearing ridiculously big hair.

Hayley Reinhart, "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990)
I liked that she did something uptempo and poppy, I just wish she had done it better. She had a good energy and lots of movement, but I didn't think her vocals were that strong. The cabaret ending to the song felt disjointed to me. Also, when she talked to the judges, I was trying to figure out how she got lipstick all over her face. Was she trying to eat the mic and then slap it around her face? Could be in the bottom three again.
Meanwhile, in 1990, I graduated from college ... still wearing big hair!

Stefano Langone, "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (1989)
I'm glad Randy set the record straight. Simply Red remade the song. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (with Teddy Pendergrass on vocals) made it the classic it is. Jimmy Iovine talked to Stefano about nailing certain lines in the song. While the judges loved him, I didn't think he pulled it off. It must be the writer in me. I wanted him to connect more with the lyrics and really interpret them. I feel like he was running from big note to big note. Of course, that's just my opinion.
1988? Road trips and parties ...

Pia Toscano, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (1988)
The song was 1988 but the satin pantsuit was channelling 1978! Pia is an amazing vocalist and her version of the Whitney Houston number was very good, but I'm going to need her to change it up a little more because it still came across very ballady to me and I need to hear her do something other than a ballad.
1989 ... see 1988!

Scotty McCreery, "Can I Trust You With My Heart" (1993)
He's very consistent but, to me, he's not boring. He's got a very limited range and he's totally into traditional country. Even if he doesn't win, the kid definitely has a future in country music.In a complete sidebar, if Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman and Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith Show had a baby, it might look like Scotty.
1993 ... I was working as a radio news producer in Cedar Falls, Iowa ... and missing my big hair desperately!

Karen Rodriguez, "Love Will Lead You Back" 1989
Again, I was bored. She looked beautiful in her mini dress and thigh-high boots, though. She has a great voice and did the whole English/Spanish thing (after she said in her package, she didn't want to be known as the English/Spanish singer). But nothing about her performance stood out. She could be in trouble.

Casey Abrams, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 1991
Maybe it was the lights (with the green tint). Maybe it was the growling required in this Nirvana classic. Whatever it was, it scared me. I fully expected to have nightmares about Casey's Shrek colored lumberjack face spinning in circles screaming, "A denial! A denial! A denial!" I really don't get this guy ... but the judges love him.
1991 ... working for nothing as a news assistant at our local Solid Gold Soul radio station.

Lauren Alaina, "I'm the Only One" (1994)
She was back to her old spunky self. Thia could take some notes from Lauren on looking like a teen. Thia could return the favor and give Lauren some advice on how to nail her notes because Lauren missed a lot of them. However, she's got a quality about her I like. I think we'll see her again next week.
1994 ... Left Iowa and returned to Cleveland asking that perennial mid-20's question, "What do I want to do with my life?" 17 years later, I still don't have an answer ... but at least I'm not in Cleveland anymore! : )

Jacob Lusk, "Alone" (1987)
I was so hoping that Jacob had been born in 1988. If he had, he could have chosen "Groove Me" by Guy. I would have called and texted ALL NIGHT LONG had he done that song. In fact, I would have called and texted friends and told them to call and text for Jacob had he done that song. Alas, we got a gospelized cover of Alone. It was good but Carrie Underwood nailed that song a while back and I don't think his version was as good. Jacob has a great voice but I need less church, so his vocals have more of a chance to shine.

Bottom Three (My Choices)
... Thia goes home

Bottom Three (Prediction)
... Naima goes home

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Glee: Regionals!

Klaine gets kissy!
Now this is what I’m talking about! This was the Glee I’ve come to know and love. Lots of music. Loads of fun!

I’m a huge fan of The Warblers and Maroon 5, so opening the show with the Warblers singing Misery was perfect.

Klaine … or is it Blurt???
Now, I had heard rumors that The Grim Reaper would be visiting Glee in this episode, but I never expected that he’d come for Pavarotti the canary, the Warblers mascot and Kurt’s constant companion. Poor Kurt was heartbroken but it lead to a very respectful cover of The Beatles "Blackbird". What made the song even better was Blaine’s (Darrin Criss) expressions during the song. Midway through, it seemed as if he was seeing Kurt for the first time, as if the blinders had been removed and he was finally seeing what had been there in front of him the whole time.

He ended up asking to perform a duet at Regionals … with Kurt. And since those Warbler boys are just a bunch of softies, they handed the duet to Kurt without a pesky ole audition. At their first rehearsal, Blaine fessed up, telling Kurt he was using the duet as “an excuse to get to spend more time with you.” And before you know it, they kissed … and kissed again! Woo-Hoo! I think I’m going to go with Klaine, sounds classier than Blurt.

Original Songs
Meanwhile over at New Directions, Rachel was still struggling with her songwriting task. Her first endeavor was the horrific, “Only Child.” Finn wisely suggested that she dig deeper and try again. The entire group got into the act however after they received a cease and desist letter from My Chemical Romance, telling them they couldn’t use “Sing” (and you just knew Sue was behind it, which she was). Mr Shue encouraged the group to try their hands at writing an original song. The results were a very mixed bag.

“Trouty Mouth” was Santana’s ode to her boyfriend Sam’s fish-like lips. He was NOT impressed. Next up, Puck performed his homage to girlfriend Lauren, “Big Ass … Heart.” She was impressed but I don’t know why, the lyrics were more offensive than Puck’s cover of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls.” Next up was Mercedes with a sassy “Hell to the No,” the only song, of the three, I could hear myself listening to. Yet, it still wasn’t a good fit for Regionals.

So, Shue led them through a brainstorming session that helped them pen their second song for Regionals. The first was penned by Rachel after Quinn indelicately explained to her why she was back with Finn and planned to stay with him. Quinn gave a sobering view of their future – Finn would take over Burt’s car repair shop, she’d go into real estate. Rachel? She'd be too big for Lima. She’d move on and they’d stay put ... together. Reality bites.

Let’s start with the judges. Back for another round of choral competition was local anchor and man-about-town Rod Remington. This time he was joined by “former Tea Party candidate and home schooler” Tami Jean Albertson (Kathy Griffin) and former stripper-turned-Carmelite nun Sister Mary Constance (the divine Loretta Devine). Griffin’s character, a clear Sarah Palin knock-off seemed a little dated, but Remington and Sister Mary Constance had a few good lines. Last year's Regional judges were funnier.

Aural Intensity kicked off the festivities with a very energetic “Jesus is My Friend” – Sue’s attempt at pandering to the judges (which Mary Constance saw right through). Thankfully, that was the only Aural Intensity number we had to endure.

The Warblers were next and started with the charming and simple duet of Hey Monday's song "Candles". It was nice. It was good, but it wasn’t a favorite. I am not a fan of Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” but I did really enjoy the Warblers version.

Of course, the best were last. Before hitting the stage for her solo, Rachel reminded Finn that it was last year at Regionals that he told her he loved her. She also told him to listen closely to the words because she meant all of them. With that, she hit the stage and performed “Get It Right” where she tapped into the pain of having her best not be good enough. Finn did listen intently … maybe a bit too intently by the look on Quinn’s face.

The rest of the gang joined her for “Loser Like Me,” a catchy and infectious tune, inspired, in part, by Sue and her incessant bullying. The audience filled with foam fingers in the shape of an L were a nice touch.

Picking a winner wasn’t hard … so New Directions is headed to Nationals in New York City.

While Kurt was bummed to have lost, finally getting his man seemed like a damn good consolation prize. And speaking of prizes, the club gave Rachel the MVP award for the work she did on Regionals and her original song. She was truly touched (and I got a little misty).

All in all, I really enjoyed this episode… I will definitely be playing it a few more times … especially since we aren’t getting any new episodes until April 12!

My Mission
As Season 2 comes to a close, Mercedes is the only major character who has not had a love interest. It can’t be a weight issue because they hooked up Lauren and Puck. Besides, in real life, big girls have boyfriends. She’s pretty. She’s talented. She’s got personality. Why wouldn’t she have a guy? I think they should hook her up with one of the Warblers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Celebrity Apprentice: Kids and Claws

No one paid Lisa Rinna
any lip service. But Donald
liked her lips anyway.
This week’s task involved writing a children’s book and performing it in front of a group of precocious 4 and 5 year olds. No one on either team was eager to take on the project management for this task. A hesitant Meatloaf stepped up for team Backbone. Over at ASAP, Lisa Rinna was pushed by the rest of the ladies to take the helm (later Nene Leakes said this was part of a strategy to get rid of the Lip-Injected One).

The teams were told that their idea had to be original and the story had to revolve around one of their team members. So, let the brainstorming begin!

Mark McGrath showed some leadership skills when he stepped up for the guys and led the discussion. Before long they had come up with a story that revolved around Lil Jon as the new kid in school. After hearing it was difficult to make a story that rhymed, country singer John Rich rose to the challenge, determined to make a rhyme that worked.

Meanwhile baseball player and author (Lawd please don’t forget to include author), Jose Conseco was adamant as he voiced his ‘concern’ about the concept – mainly they couldn’t say that EVERYONE disliked Lil Jon because everyone would include his teacher and teachers shouldn’t dislike students. This played out a little too long but eventually Conseco got his way, if for no other reason than the team wanted to move on.

Well, there wasn’t a lot of moving over at ASAP. They eventually decided to build their story around LaToya Jackson, who’d play a young lion who didn’t know how to roar. Marlee Matlin suggested building the story around her so that she could teach the kids some cool sign language. Dionne Warwick quickly pooh-poohed that idea. After all, according to Dionne, the whole ‘deaf’ thing was a big downer and who wanted to depress the kids?

Of course, Marlee took offense and her fingers started flying. If her interpreter left a few of her choice words out, I’d understand. She was livid and rightly so. Nene’s take of the fight was hysterical, if not politically correct, as she attempted to mimic Marlee’s angry signing. And thus began a night filled with cat fights.

The claws were definitely out. The ladies hissed at Niki Taylor for suggesting their theme was a little bit mature for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Star and Lisa faced off over the book cover. Dionne and Lisa feuded over the music. Both Dionne and Star went up against Ms. Rinna when they wanted their names, and not the team name on the book’s cover. After all, they reasoned, Dionne ‘conceived’ the idea and Star ‘wrote’ it. In their world, no one else helped.

Conseco continued to play the bitch role over with the boys. Meatloaf accidentally sent them to the wrong location and, instead of getting over it, Conseco harped about it to anyone who’d listen. He also went on about Meatloaf not answering his phone. Who cares? Nobody but Jose!

Meatloaf got the last laugh though when he cast Conseco in the role of the teacher ... the female teacher. In a gray-haired wig, ugly dress and heels, Jose Conseco made a damn ugly woman. The only thing worse than his female impersonation was his acting skills. His delivery was as wooden as Pinocchio. It was painful to watch.

And watch we did. We had to watch both performances which included Star Jones as a barky dog and Gary Busey as the scariest five-year old I’ve ever seen.

Holly Robinson Peete, last year’s Celebrity Apprentice winner, was on hand as a judge and while she enjoyed both performances and books, there was a clear winner.

In the boardroom, Dionne knew ASAP had the win. Yet, Meatloaf had the most honest answer of the night. When Trump asked him who he’d bring back into the boardroom if they lost, he said whoever complained about him the most.

Alas, he didn’t have to worry about that. The guys won and one of the girls would be going home. Almost to a person they threw Lisa under the bus. They all hated her management style, her lack of organization and just about everything about her. Donald Trump did like one thing though … her lips ... or to be more specific, the fact that she had less lips now than she did a year ago. Yes, they actually discussed her lip reduction.

As if there was any doubt, she returned to the boardroom with Dionne and Star. Unfortunately, Lisa was too honest, admitting she had a lot to learn and that she was pushed into the PM role. Lisa was the first of the ladies to go, leaving us wondering who Star will go after next.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Round-Up: Delusions, Detroit and Divas

Well, at least he isn't receiving an
award for his fashion sense.
Winning or Losing? I Don’t Care. Just Go Away!
As bizarre as it sounds, Charlie Sheen really is winning … and I need it to stop. Sure, he was fired at the beginning of the week from Two and a Half Men but he’s still everywhere! He’s interviewed with every major network, called into a bunch of radio shows and by the end of the week, he was starring in a Funny or Die web video. Basically, he’s like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, the more attention you give him, the worse he’ll behave. Let’s all let him take his millions and retire to the Sober Valley Lodge with his goddesses.

Kid Rock, A Brutha From Anotha Mutha?
The Detroit chapter of the NAACP wants to honor Kid Rock with The Great Expectations award. I don’t get it. Do they have great expectations that one day he’ll make decent music? Anyway, Rock routinely performs with a Confederate flag prominently displayed in the background and that is ruffling more than a few feathers.

Adolph Mongo heads Detroiters for Progress and is an NAACP member who plans on boycotting the festivities. He shared his feelings about the flag with the Detroit News. He said, "It's a slap in the face for anyone who fought for civil rights in this country. It’s a symbol of hatred and bigotry." In response to such comments, the Detroit NAACP branch executive director Donnell White said, Rock "has consistently lifted up the Great Expectations of many persons... concerning the future of the city." For his part, Rock defends his use of the Confederate flag by saying, "Sure, its (the flag) definitely got some scars, but I've never had an issue with it. To me it just represents pride in southern rock'n'roll music, plus it just looks cool."

UPDATE: Rock was selected for the award for his work with Detroit youth.

Tuesdays with Ne-Yo
Singer Ne-Yo is headed to the Cartoon Network. He’ll be producing a show called I Heart Tuesdays. He told the Associated Press about the concept inspired by his younger sister. He said, it’s about, “a 16-year-old girl that inherits the curse of her bloodline and she’s forced to save the world from the unknown evil every Tuesday for the rest of her life.” If you want to catch Ne-Yo on the big screen, he’s got a role in Battle: LA.

I Knew I Liked Her
Ashthon Jones is an Idol no more. But at least she seems to have learned her lesson and in an exit interview with Entertainment Weekly she said more than the obligatory, “I had a good time.” She admitted that song choice might have done her in. And, when asked, she also said that being called a diva by J Lo may have turned some people off but added that a diva isn’t always what she seems. Ashthon said, “A diva is not always a person that has that attitude, you know, ‘I’m all that. I like to dress, I love to have make-up on, I like to do my hair…. I love to have confidence, but that confidence doesn’t come from myself. It comes from God, and that’s what I wanted America to see.” Spoken like a true DivaSoulSista!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Idol Bids Adieu to Ashthon Jones

Thirteen proved unlucky for Ashthon Jones who became the first contestant eliminated on American Idol tonight. Joining her in the bottom three were Karen Rodriguez (“I Can Fall in Love”) and Hayley Reinhart (“Blue”). Karen got the pass and then it was between Hayley and Ashthon and Ashthon got the boot.

Of course in order to drag the results show out to an hour, we have to have the obligatory musical acts. First up was Season Eight runner-up, Adam Lambert. Dressed down with little make-up, he did an acoustic version of his song, “Aftermath”. He told Ryan he wanted the audience to be able to focus on the lyrics and that the proceeds from the remix would go to the Trevor Foundation (a non-profit for gay teens).

Next up was Diddy Dirty Money who did “Coming Home.” What can I say; I’m not a Diddy Dirty Money fan. They were, however, better than the travesty that was last season’s performance by Ke$ha.

I can’t say I was shocked by Ashthon’s exit and from the look on her face, I don’t think she was surprised either. Surprisingly, Ryan asked her what song she wanted to sing. This is a change I’ve been waiting for, for years! I’ve never understood why they make the contestant’s sing the very song that got them kicked off. Anyway, Ashthon had a choice and still chose to sing that same tired Diana Ross song. Ugh!

I think she’ll be okay though. I really think Tyler Perry or David E. Talbert should pick her up and put her in one of their plays.

American Idol: Who's Your Idol?

Maybe if I send enough positive
vibes I can avoid being the first
one voted off this season!
Last night the real American Idol competition began. After massive auditions and the drawn-out drama that was Hollywood week, one of last night’s 13 performers will be crowned the 10th American Idol.

The contestants were asked to sing a song from one of their idols. The pre-performance packages focused on who they chose and why. Plus, a new feature in Season 10, each one worked with a noted producer on their selection.

Lauren Alaina, “Any Man of Mine” (Shania Twain)
This early frontrunner gave a solid performance; but, I agree with Steven Tyler who said that she’s going to have to step it up a notch if she plans on staying ahead of the pack. I'm interested to see what she'll bring next week, and she will be back next week.

Casey Abrams, “A Little Help from My Friends” (Joe Cocker)
Maybe it’s because his lumberjack look do absolutely nothing for me. Maybe it’s because I hate that damn song. Whatever it is, I don’t get the adulation (and all three judges gushed over him) for Abrams. Some are even predicting him for the win. Don’t get it but I’m sure he’s safe.

Ashthon Jones, “When You Tell Me You Love Me” (Diana Ross)
Ashthon is a diva. I like that about her. She’s got incredible stage presence and personality which, in addition to vocals, are an important part of making a successful American Idol (for anyone who doesn’t agree I have two words for you … Lee DeWyze). I like her. However, I didn’t like what she did last night. I wish she would have picked another song, a song more people were familiar with. I really think she’s going home.

Paul McDonald, “Come Pick Me Up” (Ryan Adams)
Don’t know anything about Ryan Adams (except I’m glad that he’s not Bryan Adams) or this song. Paul’s got a really unique voice and I hope he stays around (and I think he will) but not knowing (or liking the song) and watching him stagger (or is it dancing?) around on stage didn’t do much for me either.

Pia Toscano, “All By Myself” (Celine Dion)
It’s not a funny song, but it’s just so over-the-top dramatic that I have to laugh. Having said that, Pia gave a memorable performance last week of The Pretenders “I’ll Stand by You.” She matched that with this performance. The girl can belt out a tune!

James Durbin, “Maybe I’m Amazed” (Paul McCartney)
I love this song. When I heard James D. was singing it, I cringed. I knew there was a part at the end where he could do his patented scream and really go to town. I didn’t want to hear that. Surprisingly, he sang the song and sang it well - even throwing in a little falsetto. He did do a little of the scream thing at the end (I really don’t think he could help it), but it wasn’t the screamfest I’d been expecting (thankfully). He's a safe bet.

Hayley Reinhart, “Blue” (Leann Rhimes)
Yodeling is usually an automatic turn-off for me (it also makes me crave a cup of Swiss Miss cocoa) but she pulled it off. She looked stunning and sang well. It was a little too country for me but I’m sure a lot of people loved it. We'll see her next week.

Jacob Lusk, “I Believe I Can Fly” (R. Kelly)
Once again, Jacob Lusk took us to church complete with a gospel chorus (Casey Abrams had some back-up help too). I believe he’s safe but I also want to see him showcase his voice in a few other genres.

Thia Megia, “Smile” (Michael Jackson)
The arrangement was kind of off but it was well-sung. She’ll be safe. However, when Steven Tyler says “You’re so new and young … and you really gave it up,” it’s just creepy.

Stefano Langone, “Lately” (Stevie Wonder)
He took a classic ballad and gave it a club remix. J Lo loved it. I was horrified. I wonder though, if people who are voting are familiar enough with the song to even know what the ballad sounds like. We’ll see tonight. If the voters agreed with me, Stefano might be in the bottom three.

Karen Rodriguez, “I Can Fall In Love” Selena
Looking very Selena-esque, Karen nailed the signature song of the slain singer (portrayed by J Lo in the movie). J Lo didn’t seem that impressed and while her performance was good, it wasn’t memorable (I almost forgot to put her in this recap!)

Scotty McCreery, “The River” Garth Brooks
Like Paul McDonald, Scotty’s voice is very distinctive. As he moves through the next few weeks (and I think he will), I will be curious to see what his range really is. I want to see him get a little out of his comfort zone. He’s got a lot of fans and did Mr. Brooks justice. See you next week, Scotty!

Naima Adedapo, “Umbrella,” Rihanna
Nothing against Ri-Ri, but she’s a performer more than a singer and her songs don’t lend themselves easily to a vocal competition. I’m sure Naima wanted to show folks she could do more than jazz and she did with this number, but it didn’t showcase her singing. In fact, it was more a showcase for her dancing and ability to do reggae dancehall (which she threw in halfway through the song). Could be a bottom three.

Bottom 3: Ashthon Jones, Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone

Going Home: Ashthon

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glee: Sex Education

It's okay, Emma. I thought an Afternoon
Delight was a picnic!
I am a huge Glee fan, and it pains me to say, I haven’t loved the past two episodes, especially last night’s. Like a teen with raging hormones, last night (and last week’s) show was just all over the place. A lot of people hate the tribute episodes (Madonna, Britney and Gaga); but for me the past two overarching theme episodes (alcohol and sex) have been a little too scattered.

I had high hopes for Gwyneth Paltrow’s return and initially when she covered Joan Jett’s Do You Wanna Touch (the best Joan Jett song ever!), I was enthused. I think her Holly Holiday and Matthew Morrison’s Will Scheuster have great chemistry. However, they almost killed it with Kiss. Morrison should have never ever been allowed to attempt a Prince-esque falsetto. And what was the purpose of that tango again?

I also didn’t understand the renewed interested in the abstinence club, or the whole Puck and Lauren sex tape escapade, or, for that matter Finn’s renewed interest in Quinn. He dumps Rachel for making out with Puck (after Finn admitted he'd lost his virginity to Santana); but, he takes Quinn back … the one who lost her virginity to Puck, got pregnant and initially tried to pin the baby on him. Huh?

I did like Afternoon Delight. In fact, I woke up humming it this morning (which I did not like). I have to admit though, like Emma, I didn’t ‘get’ exactly what an afternoon delight was. For most of my adult life, I thought it was a picnic (I also thought Grace Jones's Pull Up to the Bumper was about parallel parking). I was also confused as to why Carl and Emma would go to Holly (a substitute sex ed teacher) for marital counseling, especially when Emma knew that Will was crushing hard on Holly (I think there was a pun there but no pun was intended).

Then there was the conundrum that is Santana. I’m glad that Naya Rivera got to show some acting range but it came out of left field. I liked it better when Santana was a bitch just to be a bitch. Now, I’m supposed to believe she is a bitch because of her love for Brittany? And Landslide? I didn’t get it. What did that song have to do with anything? Was she declaring her love for Brit or breaking up with her? If I didn’t get it, Brit didn’t get it either. I mean, earlier in the episode she admitted to thinking babies were delivered by storks.

On the other side of the gay coin, there was Kurt. I love the Warblers, I do; but they ain’t sexy — cute as little prep school buttons — but not sexy. I thoroughly enjoyed Kurt’s sexy faces and was horrified by Blaine’s request that Burt give Kurt the sex talk. How does a straight dad have ‘the talk’ with a gay son? Exactly what was in those pamphlets?? LOL! The actual discussion went well though. Burt and Kurt have some of the best chemistry on the show (and the best father-son relationship on TV).

Overall, the episode left me feeling kind of ‘meh’. I can’t wait til Regionals next week with two original songs!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Still Winning

I'd hate to see what losing looks like.
As you probably know by now, Charlie Sheen has been fired from Two and a Half Men. After what seems like an endless barrage of interviews about his ‘winning philosophy,’ his goddesses, his tiger blood and his incessant biting and nipping at the hand that has fed him for the past eight years, it’s over.

I am kind of getting tired of watching celebrity melt downs (Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan). In fact, I have not once sought out information about the pipping hot mess that is Charlie Sheen. Instead, I’ve had it forced on me at every turn. I can't turn on a television, listen to a radio show or surf the web without seeing Sheen.

So what now? I don’t know and neither does CBS. Although Sheen is out, the show might not be over. It is ironic though. It was Sheen’s bad boy antics that the character of Charlie Harper was actually built around. The part created as a vehicle for Charlie Sheen has to find another Charlie Sheen to play Charlie Sheen.

Sheen still insists however that he is winning. He released a statement today that said:

“This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension."

You have to wonder if a reality show isn’t in Charlie’s future. I mean, the guy is a reality producer’s wet dream. A celebrity living with two women, with two gorgeous baby mommas, a former (maybe current and future) drug user who gallivants with porn stars and oh yeah, who is completely off his rocker. The only question is whether it will air on E! or VH-1.

I haven’t ever watched even one full episode of Two and a Half Men, so it doesn’t even register as a blip on my TV radar. However, I wonder if fans of the top rated show will want to see John Stamos or another actor try to fill Charlie’s shoes (I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Charlie shoes because there’s no telling where those shoes have been or what they’ve done!).

In other Sheen related news, one of the goddesses, Rachel ‘Bree’ Olsen, walked out on Charlie and the other goddess, Natalie Kenly, on Friday night. After taking some time to cool off, she returned to Sober Valley Lodge. It was all good. Bree tweeted, “I chipped one of my warlock fangs on a great white shark I had to murder. Pissed me off and like an ass I took it out on her.” Uh-huh.

It's definitely sober living at The Sober Valley Lodge...

The Guiltiest of Pleasures: Celebrity Apprentice

Not only would I not buy pizza from this Pepperoni Profit,
but he'd probably scare me off of pizza for ever!
It was about 45 minutes into Celebrity Apprentice — after Richard Hatch (first Surivivor winner and former federal prison inmate) started acting like the super Bitch he apparently is and when crazed actor Gary Busey dubbed himself the Pepperoni Profit — that I knew this season of Celebrity Apprentice would be a train wreck of epic proportions.

I mean how can’t it be? The men have Meatloaf, Busey, Jose Conseco, Lil John, plus Hatch, Mark McGrath and David Cassidy. They also have the obligatory country singer, John Rich. Based on his singing and guitar strumming on the streets of New York City, I think his big song is Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. The women are knee-deep in bitchiness with Nene Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Starr Jones, LaToya Jackson, and Lisa Rinna plus Dionne Warwick, Nikki Taylor and Marlee Matlin (the last three I suspect are a lot bitchier than one would initially expect).

Before they could get to the main task, The Donald tasked them with coming up with a team name and selecting a project manager. Starr, who everyone agreed should be the first PM came up with the name ASAP. No, it didn’t stand for As Soon As Possible; it stood for Actors, Singers, Authors and Performers with a Purpose. Or was it Artists, Singers, Actors and Professionals. It could have been Arrogant, Self-centered, Assholes and Primadonnas. I don’t know … and neither did LaToya Jackson when Donald asked her to explain the name. She just couldn’t get it right even though Starr was there coaching her.

I forget who came up with it, but the men chose Backbone as their name … because they were strong and felt they had a lot of, well, backbone. They wisely shot down Gary Busey’s suggestion of Sperm Farmers. They chose Richard Hatch as their premier PM based on his success as the first Survivor. I think they figured he’d have a good head for reality show strategy.

The task was to raise money by running a pizzeria. So after choosing their locations, they were off to their perspective pizza paradises. It wasn’t all about sales; they had to learn the entire process. They’d be running the whole show from the register to the kitchen to the promotions.

It was Backbone’s promotions that gave birth to the Pepperoni Profit (get it profit because he’s there to make money and not prophet as in a religious guy). Rich and Lil Jon were coming up with how they'd promote the pizza and they asked Busey what he’d do. After a long pause, he goes into this fundamentalist pastor shtick sermonizing about pizza and the afterlife. Okay????

While those of us in the audience were scratching our heads over the Pepperoni Profit, Dionne Warwick was scratching her head over the credit card machine that she just could not figure out. I would imagine that after the first few orders, the sequence of steps needed to process an order would get easier but not for Whitney Houston’s godmother. The line snaked outside of the pizzeria while she hopelessly and helplessly tried to get a grip on the complex credit card machine. Starr jumped in and tried to help but Warwick told her with a confidence that completely masked her cluelessness that she knew what she was doing.

Of course, with the Celebrity Apprentice it’s just as much about getting friends with deep pockets to donate than it is completing the tasks and it seemed like both groups were getting some heavy hitters. A friend of Starr’s ordered 40 pizzas at $1,000 a pop. Since they had to actually make and deliver the pizzas, Starr made the executive decision to close two hours early so they could make the delivery.

However, before they closed, they were paid a visit by Curtis Stone, the yummy Aussie chef and former Celebrity Apprentice candidate. He stopped by both shops to sample the pizzas. The team with the best pizzas would take eight pies over to a firehouse where hungry firemen waited. What they didn’t know was that they’d get an extra $35,000 for the effort. Well, the girls won the taste test and while they managed to make their 40K delivery, they missed out on the firehouse.

However, over at team Backbone, all was not rosy as Richard Hatch barked orders and pretty much pissed everyone off … especially former teen idol David Cassidy. Apparently David Cassidy isn’t a very big guy and Richard Hatch (who is kind of big and husky), at several points, summarily pushed David aside while he was talking. David didn’t really like that and tried to say so. Still Hatch pretty much dismissed him again.

So it was off to the boardroom where Trump asked Starr about their team. She said that they wanted to show the world that women could work together. Of course, Lisa Rinna chimed in that they could have worked better together and the two went at it, which sort of disproved Starr’s statement.

It was also in the boardroom whereASAP realized what they had missed out on at the firehouse, but they still managed to win earning $115,268 to Backbone’s $54,104.

As the winners, all of the women lived to see another week (and from the previews a lot more drama) and it was one of the boys who would be fired.

From that point on it was pretty much the Dick and David show … Dick as in short for Richard and Dick as in that’s what the rest of team Backbone thought about Richard. David mentioned the dismissive treatment he received from Richard. Richard (acting like a Dick) called David ‘a little person’ (which everyone knows is the PC name for midgets). Instead of standing tall for himself, David deferred to big guy Jose Conseco to stick up for him.

Looking a little bit whiny and weak, David was the first man fired, leaving Hatch to survive another week.

I'm Back

I’m back from visiting family in beautiful balmy Cleveland Ohio. I did spend some time thinking about where I see this blog going and I came to some conclusions. First and foremost this site should be FUN. It should be fun for you to read and fun for me to write.

Next, it occurred to me, on the drive somewhere between Marietta and Canton, this is my blog so it should reflect what I like. What an epiphany! So I’m going to build the blog around television shows I watch and movies I want to see. So, expect to see commentaries on my favorite TV shows: Glee, American Idol, and Celebrity Apprentice come to mind, and movies I want to see (i.e. lots of comedies … romantic and otherwise, some action, some drama and practically no horror). I’ll be seeing on average one film a week and I’ll let you know what I’ll be seeing. Since I am not an official critic, I’ll be seeing them on opening weekend, and not at early screenings.

Also, I good friend of mine will be contributing posts on pop culture, TV and gossip.

Finally, in addition to TV commentaries and news, and movie reviews and news, I’ll be posting a Friday round-up of any news and gossip. I plan on posting at least three to four times a week.

This will be fun!