AI10 – Group Day

I’m torn on Group Day during “American Idol” Hollywood Week.  It’s such an obvious drama thing.  It has nothing to do with whether an individual will make a strong Idol contestant or not.  It’s about creating conflict and watching the mayhem that results.


On the other hand, it gives us a better insight into people’s characters.  We get to see who the selfish punks are who would kick a 15 year old kid out of their group, who the nutcases are who quit under the first bit of pressure, and who the opinionated know-it-alls are who think they’re the only right ones in the building.


This year’s two hour Group Night extravaganza was spectacular.  So while I may think it’s unnecessary and counter-productive, it makes for great TV and isn’t that what we all want?


The results from that show us, however, that Idol really wants a diva to win this year.  Badly.  Everyone who can screech, scream, and make a single note into a warbling mess without any regard for the rhythm or melody of the music got high praise.  The more you scream and wrench every note out of a single syllable, the more Randy, J-Lo, and Steven will love you.  Given the judging panel, that shouldn’t be a surprise.  Steven often harmonizes on that screaming.


Welcome to the backlash to the singer/songwriter successes of the last three years.  Well, the problem with them is that they weren’t as successful as Idol would have liked.


Last night also promised a big twist — which was the preview to next week’s episode.  OK.  Because the Idol producers can’t milk the Beatles catalog any more, can they?

Recent Random Tweets

Follow them as they happen at @AugieDB.  Here’s some catching up:

  • There are writers on the internet who love the em dash a bit too much. Sometimes, the good old fashioned comma will do the job just fine.
  • My daughter chooses to snack on goldfish while watching “Finding Nemo.” Ironic?
  • “Beauty and Beast”: if you live somewhere nobody “gets” you, run for a reclusive abusive boyfriend with Mommy issues and a fancy house.
  • I saw something today I haven’t seen in 7 weeks: grass in my backyard!
  • Having not watched the Grammys last night, I’m unsure how many of these tweets were serious and how many were jokes. Both odd AND funny.
  • I saw a girl today wearing cargo jeggings. Don’t the pockets on the outside of your thighs defeat the point of the jegging?
  • My daughter is going to grow up in a world without bookstores and music stores. Everything will be digital or mail order. Crazy!

Five Years Later, Diabetes Fail

Let’s flash back now to this very blog, January 20, 2006:

Pfizer Inc. hopes to begin selling Exubera, the first inhalable version of insulin to win federal approval, by midyear.

To which I wrote:

I’ll believe it when I see it, and not even then. I’ll believe it when there isn’t a class action suit a year later.


The promise of inhalable insulin has been around for as long as I’ve been diabetic — almost 19 years now. It’s right up there with the watch that will keep constant track of your blood sugar without taking blood. (That’s sorta out now, too, but with its own cavaets.)

In case you’re wondering what happened to this wonder drug, let’s consult Wikipedia:

As of October 18, 2007, Pfizer has announced that it will no longer manufacture or market Exubera. According to Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Kindler this is because Exubera “failed to gain acceptance among patients and physicians.”

At the time of Exubera’s discontinuation, several other companies were pursuing inhaled insulin… However, by March 2008, all of these products had been discontinued except for MannKind’s Afrezza product. As of March 2010 Afrezza was still under FDA review.

So, like I said, don’t get your hopes up when it comes to diabetes cures or medications.

Random SuperBowl XLV Thoughts

I DVRed the whole thing and fast-forwarded through the first half, with a smattering of stuff from the second.  Some initial impressions:

  • Cute, Motorola.  He’s reading “1984” in an ad for the XOOM tablet, featuring the masses looking like Apple Zombies.  Cute.  Congrats on being the first Android 3 tablet, due out just in time for the second generation of Apple’s tablet.  Good luck with that  OK, so it’s actually looking like it wil be out a couple months sooner — but what about that $800 price tag?!?  Yikes!

  • Very subtle of “Cowboys Vs. Aliens” to mention that it’s by “The Director of Iron Man” just before the shot of the energy cannon thing in the guy’s hand.

  • I loved loved loved the “Captain America” trailer on just about every conceivable level.

  • The Darth Vader commercial was as cute as all the pre-SuperBowl hype had it being.

  • I’m glad I wasn’t watching the halftime show with my parents.  It would have been tough explaining how The Black-Eyed Peas qualify as music. But, hey, at least we know that it wasn’t all lip-synched for a change.  Who in their right mind would lay down a track that awful-sounding to lip-sync to?

  • The half-time show is about spectacle, though, so good for them on that.  You can’t beat a “Tron” half-time show for that, can you?

  • Congrats to Usher on not pulling a groin muscle with that last jump over Will.I.Am.

  • GoDaddy isn’t even trying anymore, is it?  Their commercials are just teases for their website, which I have no interest in visiting afterwards.

  • The SuperBowl is like the “Ed Sullivan Show,” isn’t it?  Who’s the big name guest star in the audience tonight, kids?

  • Did that just make me sound 30 years older than I actually am?  Yes, I guess it does. I’ll shut up now.

  • OK, one last one: Heard the Groupon ad was insensitive, horrible, and pure evil.  So I watched them on-line. I laughed out loud, mostly because I knew they were the kinds of ads that would piss off a certain type of people.  I am evil, and that’s OK with me.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” Part 3 of 3

I had to stretch this out one more day, just because I found this video that has more than 1.5 million views:

It seems the video was originally a commercial featuring Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” This YouTube video remixes the commercial to our favorite Steinman/Tyler number.  It’s just weird and odd for a minute and then kicks in with the drumsticks.  Stick with it.

Someone later went in and remixed it with the Dan Band version of the song.

Can’t believe I forgot about this one, a cover version fo the song sung horribly, but with percussion from home appliances:

Three more videos to go!  We’re almost there!

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“Total Eclipse of the Heart” Part 2 of 3

Of course, “American Idol” has long had an association with the Jim Steinman/Bonnie Tyler hit.

We go all the way back to the first season wtih Nikki McKibbin’s cover:

Carly Smithson covered it in a latter season:

It gets wilder and wackier after this break:

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“Total Eclipse of the Heart” Part 1 of 3

Once upon a time, Bonnie Tyler recorded a Jim Steinman song. And it was good. It went to #1. This weekend, I found some “song facts” about the song, some of which are of questionable veracity. But that got me pushing through YouTube, nonetheless. So now, a video rundown of the great “Total Eclipse of the Heart:”

In 1984, she performed the song live on The Grammys broadcast. That’s a lot of hair.

In 2009, it became a viral video hit with a Literal Version that has to be seen to be believed. It’s impressive how they managed to fit the literal descriptions so neatly into the song structure:

The Dan Band covered it a few years ago, to hilarious effect. Warning: Language. A movie picked this version up to give it new life:

Lots more after the break, including more from Bonnie Tyler, herself.

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