Archive for March 2005

 
 

Scott is a felon waiting to happen

You can see it in his eyes, you know? I always said he was creepy. Take a look at his mugshots.

I say we kick him off now and bring Jessica back. =)

American Idol Finalist’s Violence Rap – March 31, 2005

An “American Idol” finalist was once arrested for felony domestic violence after roughing up his infant son’s mother during a Valentine’s Day fracas, The Smoking Gun has learned. According to police, 28-year-old Scott Savol, one of the remaining nine “Idol” contestants, was busted following a February 2001 confrontation with Michele Martin at the woman’s Ohio home.

(Thanks for the link, George.)

Let the speculation begin

My Way News

Ted Koppel, who has anchored ABC News'”Nightline” since its inception a quarter-century ago, said Thursday he will leave the network when his contract expires at the end of the year.

When does Letterman’s current contract expire? Will they move Kimmel up? Or will they stick with news?

Honestly, I don’t think they’ll stick with news much past Koppel’s departure. They might try it for a short time, but the miniscule ratings will drop and they’ll need to try something different.

I suspect we’ll finally see an 11:35 ABC late night talk show by this time next year.

The new ‘Surreal Life’ cast

FOXNews.com – Foxlife – Jose Canseco, Omarosa to Star in TV Show

The new cast includes “America’s Next Top Model” judge Janice Dickinson, former slugger Jose Canseco, Sandi “Pepa” Denton of all-gal rap outfit Salt-n-Pepa, Bronson Pinchot from “Perfect Strangers,” Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth from the first season of “The Apprentice,” British model Caprice and motorcrosser Carey Hart.

VH1 – the home of D-list celebrities. Poor Bronson Pinchot. I want my PERFECT STRANGERS DVDs, dangit!

The new season premieres in September.

This week’s music release

I just found out about this one: Nellie McKay’s “Get Away From Me” was released this week in a “DualDisc” edition. These are discs that are CDs on one side and DVDs on the other.

And what’s on that DVD?

The DVD side of the DualDisc Get Away From Me includes the entire album in 5.1 Surround Sound and enhanced LPCM Stereo; “San Francisco Night – Live at the Independent,” an eight-song set recorded in High Definition video on November 23, 2004 capturing the unpredictable wit, musical elegance, and charismatic on-stage bravado of Nellie live in concert; and a bonus audio tracks page debuting two previously unreleased songs, “John-John” and “Teresa,” written and produced by Nellie McKay.

When there’s that much new stuff on the DVD, I don’t mind paying for the album again.

Last week’s TV ratings

For those of you curious about such things, USA Today has a breakdown of last week’s ratings.

GREY’S ANATOMY did very well in BOSTON LEGAL’s time slot. NBC’s Must See Thursday Lineup had record low viewership, though THE OFFICE did top LIFE ON A STICK, which had the much larger AI lead-in.

THE SHIELD’s ratings dropped — as should have been assumed — but are still ahead of last season. Last year, as I recall, they dropped very low, but were still good enough for renewal. I imagine strong DVD sales helped that out.

AI4 – Results – Group of 10

All the theories in the world don’t mean squat sometimes.

The bottom three were Nadia, Jessica, and Anwar. I got one out of those three.

Sadly, one of the best singers this week and so far this season is now gone. I’m not delusional; I know Jessica wasn’t going to win it all. In the end, this is just a whittling down process. Jessica was going to be cannon fodder. But when you listened to her sing last night, or singing “Total Eclipse” last week, you have to think it’s a tragedy that she’s gone all of a sudden.

Simon is right in that she never quite made that connection with fans. Singing quality isn’t the be-all and end-all of the pop music world. Popularity does count, as much as the judges tried to convince America otherwise tonight. Jessica didn’t quite get there. Her fan base never solidified. Now, she’s gone. I’m officially a Carrie man now.

Carrie should be very happy tonight. She’s the biggest winner. The two singers in the competition that would split votes with her — Lindsey and Jessica — are now gone. Carrie’s going to be in the Top Three now, almost for certain.

Nadia should be scared. Vonzell is paired up with her, and is pulling ahead. Two bottom three appearances in a row are not deserved for Nadia. Vonzell’s upside is starting to show through right now, and Nadia has one off week and pays for it two weeks in a row.

We’ll see what happens next week. I want to get rid of Scott, still. . .

As for the rest of the show:

The group singalong stunk again, but the commercial was their funniest one yet. Very cute.

Don’t Plagiarize: The Conclusion

An update to an earlier story:

The blogger talked to the student — and the student’s mother — and things have been settled as best they could. The kid’s name has been changed to avoid further embarrassment/harassment.

A Week of Kindness Blog: Laura K. Krishna is Just a Dumb Kid With a Nice Mom

I had thought I could make her sweat (as had been my plan practically since the paper solicitation fell into my lap) by sending her the link to the original story sometime on Wednesday, after she’d handed the paper in. I expected to be able to find out on Wednesday whether the paper had been turned in, and wait until at least then to make a call about snitching or not snitching. But the internet is full of beautiful freaks (I do love you so.), and the popularity of this blog came completely unexpectedly, meaning my little feint regarding turning her in was being taken as fact by way more people than I could contact.

Miss ‘The Office’? Don’t worry…

I missed the second episode of the American edition of THE OFFICE last night. So I checked my on-line TiVo scheduler and found some pretty good news:

The first two episodes of the series are being repeated on USA Network at 6 and 6:30 on Thursday night.

They’re also being rerun on BRAVO Thursday night at 11 and 11:30.

CNBC is also repeating those two episodes Friday night at 10 and 10:30 and overnight at 1 and 1:30.

Now THAT is a full court press.

AI4 – Round of 10

Last night, the girls trampled over the boys. It wasn’t even close.

Bo Bice: His band rocked. He, on the other hand, was boring. Bad song. Not terribly inspiring performance. The best thing about him last night was his little interview bit, in which he cleverly dances around all the drugs he did in the 90s to make him forget the whole decade.

Speaking of drugs: I’ve been watching AI for four seasons now. It’s almost sad to look at Paula Abdul. She used to be the den mother, there to provide support and encouragement in the face of Simon’s “meanness.” Now, though, she’s clearly out of her mind. She needs help. I’m not sure which drug it is she’s on, but she’s moved from self-caricature to someone in need of help. I used to joke about her taking “e” during the commercial break, but it’s just not funny anymore. Bring Deborah Gibson back to be the middle judge and let Paula get a room in Billy Joel’s wing of the Betty Ford Clinic.

Jessica Sierra may not have picked a good song, but she sang the hell out of it. Every note was spot-on. Her voice was clear and strong. Simon’s right that she has a problem connecting — you’ll see the comparisons later on with Carrie and Constantine. When those two look into the camera, they’re looking right at you and you feel it. Not so much with Jessica. Still, her voice is powerful and it would be a shame to lose it.

Anwar Robinson did “I Believe I Can Fly.” I’m not sure a grade school music teacher should be singing R. Kelly songs. I’m very happy to see the judges have been reading my critiques of Anwar, though. They finally nailed him for everything I’ve been talking about here in the past three weeks: Glory note at the end to make up for the slow start. Not able to carry the song completely. He’s not a bad singer, but he falls into the same playbook every week.

Randy Jackson needs to stop telling everyone that he’s “keepin’ it real.”

Nadia Turner tried on a Melissa Etheridge tune. I wonder if she’ll do “Black Velvet” next week. Will she follow Nikki McKibbin’s lead for the rest of the series? I thought she did a good job with the song, though. The only problem comes with her voice, in general. She doesn’t have that gravelly sound that’s really necessary to pull it off. She reaches for notes in those sections and, to my ear, comes off a half step short. She’s not off-key, per se, but just not quite powerful enough. It’s tough to describe. I think I just want something more karaoke-ish, perhaps. Good performance of the material, though.

Constantine Maroulis slowed it up this week with his best vocal performance of the season. He had a couple of notes that started a little shaky, but they both finished strongly, so people probably won’t notice them so much.

Remember what I said about Jessica’s lack of a connection? Watch Constantine. He knows how to work the camera. He’s staring into it for the entire song and singing directly at you. The Billy Idol sneer only came out once, and even then half-heartedly. Simon’s right — he did a better job than Bo this week, for sure.

Nikko Smith is one singer I vastly overestimated at the start of this competition. Those first thirty seconds were excruciating. After that, he sounded good. Once he got into the song and it picked up tempo, he was off to the races. He recovered well, but in a competition this strong, you’ll need to be consistently strong from beginning to end. All four girls were just that this week.

Anthony Federov did Elton John’s “Something About the Way You Look Tonight.” He didn’t copy Elton, either. He sang it higher in some spots, and I think that risk worked for him. He isn’t the strongest singer in the group, but I think he’s still good enough to go on. He should be in a Boy Band, though. Everything about his delivery screams that to me.

And what’s with all the ripped jeans tonight?

Carrie Underwood is the one to beat. Holy crap. She was amazing last night. This is that Martina McBride song that I couldn’t get the right title for earlier this year when someone else sang it. “Independence Day,” I believe? She came out strong, didn’t miss a note, pulled off the fast parts as well as the slow parts, and looked comfortable doing it. Yes, she sounded exactly like Martina McBride, but I think this is a good example of where karaoke can work.

Scott Savol committed career suicide tonight. This is the performance I can only title “Scott In Search of a Note.” Horrible. Off key. Pitchy. Terrible. It was an ambitious choice of song, all right, but he’s not capable of it. He was all over the map. Paula said he didn’t sound pitchy at all, at which point I came to the conclusion that she’s on Oxycontin and is losing her hearing.

Also, that little moustache type thing over his top lip really bothered me.

Kick him out now. Mercy killing, please!

Oh, yeah, this is your “crash and burn” performance of the night.

Vonzell Solomon did even better than Carrie Underwood. Again: holy crap. She sang a Whitney song and didn’t miss a single note, despite the vocal range necessary to pull it off. It was amazing. Vonzell is the real dark horse of this competition. Nobody really knew her at the start. But every week she’s getting a little bit better and showing herself off more. This week, she’s the girl in the spotlight. We have to keep an eye on her in the coming weeks, because she’s threatening Carrie right now. Hers was the performance of the night.

So, to rank them in order from best to worst: Vonzell, Carrie, Jessica, Nadia, then Constantine. You might be able to convince me to flip flop those last two. Anthony and Nikko are fairly close — almost interchangeable. Anthony gets a slight nod for not having such a horrific start, and probably as a point of personal preference. Bo was boring, Anwar stuck to a boring playbook, and Scott finally stunk.

Who do I think America won’t vote enough for this week? Three guys, that’s for sure. I’ll start with Anwar. The act is getting old. Scott deserves to be there, and I’ll put my faith in America that he will be. Bo hasn’t seen the bottom three yet, and his fan base may be taking that for granted. Combine that with an early and forgettable performance, and he winds up in the lowest grouping.

Anthony is on the bubble. I think he’s saved this week for being in the bottom three last week. His fan base was energized. I’d also consider Jessica to be on the bubble. Jessica’s there for a not-memorable song. As well sung as it was, it wasn’t enough to stick in people’s memories. Again, being in danger in past weeks might be enough to get her the votes this week. She’ll need a show-closing spectacle next week to save her, though. I really think that as good as she is, she’s not building the fan base that she needs to get too much further.

I’ll predict that this is the end for Scott, but my own fervent wishes might be clouding my worldview at the moment.

Don’t Plagiarize

This one’s making the rounds of the internet this week.

Comedy writer gets IMed by college student asking him to write a paper for him. He does. Badly. Then he blows the whistle and posts his evidence.

The writer is being badmouthed by those who think he did a bad thing in “taking advantage” of the student. I think he’s in the clear, and that it’s her fault for cheating.

Others think the whole thing is an elaborate hoax.

You make the call:

A Week of Kindness Blog: Laura K. Krishna is a Plagiarist.

I reached one more branch out to her, in the form of misspelling the name of the god of destruction as a liquor brand. [“Shiva”/”Chivas”] But it wasn’t enough to get her to tell me to [expletive deleted] myself, so I started making up my plan. Which was real simple: Take her money and cut and paste a paper together from the internet that was so obviously plagiarised that she’d be guaranteed to get caught. And then, if I was able to get the information out of her, I’d report her to whatever her school was, and who knows, maybe even pump her for double money in exchange for not turning her in. Either way, I’d eventually be writing the story up in this blog, and sending her the link to it.

(Edited to reflect the original story’s edit. Name changed to protect the alleged innocent.)

TiVo loads gun –

– shoots self in foot.

TiVo tests pop-up-style ads | Tech News on ZDNet

The company confirmed late Monday that it released the first in a series of advertising features to a random and limited number of subscribers to the digital-video recorder service. The first test feature–a tag–pops up on the screen when a viewer is fast-forwarding through an advertisement.

Mikalah wants a deal

Not quite a shocker:

New York Post Online Edition:

HEY Hollywood execs, fallen “American Idol” wannabe Mikalah Gordon wants a sitcom deal. “I realize that I’m a big drama queen, and I think that I’m gonna try to get my own sitcom, and I know that ‘The Nanny’ [Fran Drescher] is coming out with her new sitcom, and if she needs a daughter, I’m her girl,” Gordon told the popular TV news Web site, Zap2it.

Undeclared on DVD

I think I watched the first episode of the series and then lost track of it quickly. Now there’s word that there’s a DVD release coming this summer, and the show’s creator had some things to say about it.

This is the part that piqued my curiosity:

Undeclared – Apatow talks about music, extras, whether or not there will be a special edition, and whether the release is really in July!

There will only be one version of the DVD. it will be similar to the six disc set of Freaks and Geeks. We have an episode that starred Ted Nugent that we reshot which removed Ted.

Does anyone know why Nugent was removed from the show?

New Releases, 29 March 2005

I’m using the DVDJournal.com list this week. Here are some highlights. I, of course, strongly recommend listening to this week’s epic 15 minute podcast for all the details, asides, and reviews.

Apollo 13: 10th Anniversary Edition (1995)

One of the greatest movies of the 90s and, quite honestly, it would have to be on the short list of my favorite movies of all time.

Closer (2004)

I really would like to see this one. Maybe if it’s on sale cheaply enough. . .

Dark Shadows DVD Collection 17

That is not a typo. There are really 17 collections of DARK SHADOWS. Wow.

Islands in the Stream (1977)

…that is what we are. And we rely on each other aha. From one lover to another aha

That was disturbing.

The Lone Gunmen: The Complete Series (3-disc set)

Release of the week. Great show. Suffered for not being super-serious like X-FILES.

Murder She Wrote: Season One

Jessica Fletcher investigates a string of murders with only one thing in common: Herself.

Orgazmo: Unrated Special Edition (1997)

You know you want it.

I know I need a shower now for just typing that. . .

Teletubbies: Go Exercise With the Teletubbies Teletubbies: Oooh Springtime Surprises & Magical Teletubbies: Naughty Noo-Noo!

This is even more disturbing.

The Twilight Zone: Season Two (6-disc set)

These really look to be the ultimate editions of the series. Season 3 was just announced for the summer.

World Poker Tour: Season Two

If you’re a poker fan, there’s plenty to learn from rewatching episodes, even after you know who’s won. I rewatched a few of these shows a couple of months ago and spotted new stuff that I didn’t catch the first time around. This set might be worth it just for the commentary tracks. It’s very tempting.

Next week: ELEKTRA and SIDEWAYS. What a mix!

24 Discussion 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.

A plot revealed. A villain reviled. And Chloe talking too much! GOTTA LOVE IT!

This is your chance to discuss 24 in graphic detail. Spoil away.

Just remember — do NOT talk about the teaser at the end of the episode, and try not to bring in any outside knowledge from what you’ve read in the papers. Stick to the episodes. Thanks. =)