Archive for the Category American Idol

 
 

“All By Myself”

Every now and again, “American Idol” needs the reminder that “All By Myself” is NOT a Celine Dion song. It’s an Eric Carmen song used to great effect in an episode of “The Drew Carey Show” once upon a time. (OK, if you want to dig into the roots even deeper, it’s a Rachmaninoff song being sampled here, which Carmen didn’t realize wasn’t actually public domain and had to get a license for after the fact.)

And how could they not mention Latoya London’s performance of the song, which has set the Idol standard for it:

Where Pia is all technical and precide, Latoya’s version of the song builds better and has more raw emotion. I think Pia did better last week, still.

That video clip is fun to watch just for Ryan Seacrest at the end, back in his “I’m everyone’s brother on this show” mode. Now, he’s “Smarmy television host in a suit.”

One more cool Carmen fact from Wikipedia: “Carmen’s full version has an extended piano solo and lasts over seven minutes”

Bonus Idol video of Asia’h Epperson (yeah, I had forgotten her, too) from season 7 doing the same song after the break. It wasn’t pretty, but she was also sick at the time:


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

AI10 – Round of 24 – The Girls

This is going to be long. I just wrote while I watched. I’m not going to edit it. Here it is, with all the verb tense screw-ups that made sense at the time:

Ta-Tynisa Wilson chose a bad Idol song.  This is an auto-tuned song that she’s trying to sing straight.  She got lucky that the new band is addicted to awful sounding synth effects, so she almost made it work.  But no.  Steven Tyler and J-Lo, as always, love everyone too much.  I’m glad Randy is so comfortable in the Bad Guy role.  He’s the only sane one on that panel now.  Crazy world, eh?
Wait a second, was she always “Ta-Tynisa?”  That names sounds different to me, and Idol does have a history of people changing their names before hitting this round…  GOOGLE!
Yup, that’s always been her name. Maybe she added the dash, but that’s it.  Ah, well…
Naima Adedapo went with “Summertime.”  Get ready for the Fantasia comparisons.  And she’s dancing to the opening music.  But she’s not going for the lower sultrier Fantasia version.  This one is more jazzy.  It’s OK. She stays on pitch and it’s good to hear a different version of it, but I’m not ready to crown her just yet.
And there’s Randy with the comparison.  Yup.
Two contestants in and my spellchecker is having a stroke…
Kendra Chantelle is showing great control and is hitting her notes.  The band is mixed a little too high, and the song itself never gets out of second gear, but her vocal is clear.  I like that.  And I think all the hand gesturing this season is going to bother me this year for some reason.
Rachel Zevita is a nut, isn’t she?  That makes her interesting, and a little bit, er, gothy? Crazy? Oh dear god, she’s a bit too melodramatic/theatrical.  Did she almost forget the words in the beginning there?  I just don’t buy her as a sex kitten. And her voice died somewhere near the judges’ table.  This is going badly.  She tried too hard and it didn’t work.  Ouch.  And the judges let her have it.  Is she going to cry?
Oh, boy.  ”I was having a good time.”  Words of death on this show.  The ultimate bad defense.
Karen Rodriquez went down the Mariah well.  Uh oh.  And then switches to Spanish, and I’m out.  Oh, boy, she’s really stuck in the middle of this song.  Even when she belts out a note, it still sounds like it’s in the middle of her range.  And the hand gestures are so literal it’s painful.
That “Love You, Mom” will get her a few votes.  The Spanish will carry Southern California, Texas, and Florida, though.
Someone needs to explain that “Romance Language” refers to Rome and not “romance,” though. UGH.
Or maybe I’m cranky tonight. I’m not liking anyone too much, really.
Lauren Turner has always reminded me of that friend living in the apartment next to yours in the city, not a pop star.  She’s the shoulder everyone cries on.  She’s the best friend you bitch about all your friends to.  Pop star? Not so sure.  Fair?  What is?
In any case, it’s an odd song, but she sang it well. I like the deeper part of her voice, which most of these girls don’t have.  And she held control of her voice, in and out of the power part.
And now J Lo is complaining she’s not acting enough.  A minute ago, they complained that a contestant was too Broadway.  Lauren, they complain, needed to get in the camera’s face and really act.  The judges are confusing us early this season.
Ashthon Jones really showed up in the group round, so I’m looking forward to this one.  Wait, her leggings have zippers?  Weird.  The song seems to fit her style, and she’s staying with it, acting without overacting.  Not my style, but she’s good at what she does.
J Lo is calling her a diva — in other words, just what Idol wants this season.
Julie Zorilla goes Kelly Clarkson.  She chose to sing in her prom dress. Or maybe her ballerina Halloween costume?  Oh, dear god, someone pin her arms to her sides. They’re annoying.  The band is overplaying and drowning her out.  The judges are not amused.  Ooh, this is bad.  It’s a power song that she doesn’t have the power for. SHe’s drowning.And she couldn’t hold teh falsetto at the end.
She’s meek.
Crash. And. Burn.  No worse than Rachel, but no better, either.
Haley Reinhart goes to Alicia Keys.  Oh, bot, that rarely works.  This is karaoke, like a little girl trying to play rock star or something.  Plus, I feel vaguely uncomfortable when she tries to play sexy.  What is she, like 17?
But, she has diva potential, so Idol wants her.
Randy called her karaoke, so at least we’re on the same wavelength.
“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.”  Steven Tyler wins comment of the night.
The problem, though, is that she’s a Miss America contestant, trying to solve the world’s problems through song and sharing her gift with blah blah blah.
Thia Megia goes a capella at the start. And she’s not oversinging it. The opening is soft and quiet and impressive. Everything else is controlled, vibrant, and shows some range.  I like her.  Will it be enough to get votes?  I don’t know, but for the first time, the band isn’t overpowering a singer.  Just her and the piano, and it works. It works big.  I like it.  She didn’t do all the runs, which every other singer on that stage tonight would have done.  Thank goodness for that.
If she cries now, she wins.
Dammit, that song might be our first Idol Moment of the season.
Probably the Judges’ Choice, if need be.
Lauren Alaina has had lots of air time this season, so she’s an early favoite for the Top 10.  This song is not showing off her voice, though. She has a much better voice than the range this songs gives her. Plus, the band is all over her.
She needs to choke up on that microphone a bit, too.
Not a bad performance at all, but it doesn’t do everything for her than it could.
Randy’s description of Lauren as a mix of Kelly and Carrie makes sense.
Pia Toscano to close means she’s going to be good, which isn’t a shock, given how strong she came on in Hollywood.
Wow.
SHe’s the ultimate Idol diva. Holy crap. Can hold a note. Can do power.  Can do something soft.  Can belt it out.  Best performance of the night by far.  IDOL MOMENT.
You know the thing that puts that song over the top?  She hit three classic Idol long notes in a row to end the song — WITHOUT making any of them into runs.
Holy crap.
Did Tyler just say “After Monday and Tuesday, even a week says ‘WTF’”?  I never realized that before. I’m so slow.
Watching the recap now is a string of disappointments next to Pia.  She’s the woman who made girls out of the rest of them.
She and Thia steal the night for me.

Ta-Tynisa Wilson chose a bad Idol song.  This is an auto-tuned song that she’s trying to sing straight.  She got lucky that the new band is addicted to awful sounding synth effects, so she almost made it work.  But no.  Steven Tyler and J-Lo, as always, love everyone too much.  I’m glad Randy is so comfortable in the Bad Guy role.  He’s the only sane one on that panel now.  Crazy world, eh?

Wait a second, was she always “Ta-Tynisa?”  That names sounds different to me, and Idol does have a history of people changing their names before hitting this round…  GOOGLE!

Yup, that’s always been her name. Maybe she added the dash, but that’s it.  Ah, well…

Naima Adedapo went with “Summertime.”  Get ready for the Fantasia comparisons.  And she’s dancing to the opening music.  But she’s not going for the lower sultrier Fantasia version.  This one is more jazzy.  It’s OK. She stays on pitch and it’s good to hear a different version of it, but I’m not ready to crown her just yet.

And there’s Randy with the comparison.  Yup.

Two contestants in and my spellchecker is having a stroke…

Kendra Chantelle is showing great control and is hitting her notes.  The band is mixed a little too high, and the song itself never gets out of second gear, but her vocal is clear.  I like that.  And I think all the hand gesturing this season is going to bother me this year for some reason.  I remember Debra Byrd once picking on a contestant for doing all the obvious hand gestures (finger running down the cheek on a lyric for cry”).  I hope they start reminding contestants of that in the future…

Rachel Zevita is a nut, isn’t she?  That makes her interesting, and a little bit, er, gothy? Crazy? Oh dear god, she’s a bit too melodramatic/theatrical.  Did she almost forget the words in the beginning there?  I just don’t buy her as a sex kitten. And her voice died somewhere near the judges’ table.  This is going badly.  She tried too hard and it didn’t work.  Ouch.  And the judges let her have it.  Is she going to cry?

Oh, boy.  ”I was having a good time.”  Words of death on this show.  The ultimate bad defense.  Crash and burn?

Karen Rodriquez went down the Mariah well.  Uh oh.  And then switches to Spanish, and I’m out.  Oh, boy, she’s really stuck in the middle of this song.  Even when she belts out a note, it still sounds like it’s in the middle of her range.  And the hand gestures are so literal it’s painful.

That “Love You, Mom” will get her a few votes.  The Spanish will carry Southern California, Texas, and Florida in the voting.  They are powerhouses.

Someone needs to explain to J-Lo that “Romance Language” refers to Rome and not “romance,” though. UGH.

Or maybe I’m cranky tonight. I’m not liking anyone too much, really.

More crankiness after the break, and two Idol Moments?


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

AI10: Round of 24 — Boys

It’s quite the cast of screamers they have lined up on “Idol” this year, isn’t it? But it’s those screamers that will likely stand out and make it through. It’ll be a brutal cut this week, losing 7 of those 12, though we know one or two might come back as Judges Choice. Still, I can’t easily name the 7 or even the five who should go. I have my preferences, though.

Casey Abrams is the one contestant right now that makes me want to jump up and start dialing the phone. He’s unpredictable, he’s funny, and he backs it all up with musical ability. It’s scary. Strange, but scary. What he did tonight made me laugh at least three times, and I like that.

Paul McDonald almost gets there into Casey’s stratosphere, but I’m afraid tonight’s karaoke may doom him. He’s awkward and unpredictable and I like that, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to carry him through. He doesn’t have a good background story to draw from like so many of the other “early favorites” do.

Robbie Rosen didn’t sing a Neil Diamond song. Bad move. He has this going for him: He’s young. That’ll get him a good number of votes. But if it’s all based on that song tonight, he’s done. So let’s eliminate him now.

Scott McCreery stands out. He’s the only country guy this year, and we’ve seen in previous seasons that the country voting bloc is a strong one. I think he’ll make it through.

Tim Halperin is doomed. I’m guessing that the rule came down for no instruments this week. He needed a piano. That’s when he does his best work. Without it, this week he sang a perfectly competent cover tune that I’ve already forgotten. Shame.

Jordan Dorsey is arrogant and not nearly as great as he thinks he is. However, he’s the only guy covering that genre of music this week with an Usher cover. That might get him votes. Otherwise, he’s done. Like Tim, he went the wrong way with his song selection and it’ll be his undoing. Also, he’s fawning and obsequious. Check out how quickly he agrees with the judges when they tell him he was wrong, and then how quickly he defends himself to Ryan Seacrest. I got whiplash from watching him bounce around so quickly like that.

James Durbin is going through. He’s basically warmed-over Adam Lambert, but to the rock side, as opposed to the theatrical side. Doesn’t do much for me, but it seems that the judges and the studio audience wants a screamer this year. Speaking of which

Jacob Lusk is a guaranteed Top 12 contestant. If the votes somehow don’t go his way, the judges will make him their choice. No doubt. I think he’s overrated and too wild and uncontrolled, but I know when I’m outnumbered. Still, I want to see the Jacob/James duet this season. I think we’d see a lot of cases of laryngitis after such a thing…

Clint Jun Gamboa will likely fall victim to the “Going First” death spot on the lineup. I’m not a big fan, so that doesn’t bother me.

Brett Loewenstern sounded absolutely awful to me. But, again, I fear I’m outnumbered. He’d be an easily one to drop off the show Thursday night, but he has a lot going for him in the 12 – 17 female demographic that controls the vote so much.

Jovany Barreto can sing. I believe that. I just didn’t like that performance tonight. He can go.

Stefano Langone is the contestant I always pair with Jovany in my mind. And he was good with his song, but not memorable. He didn’t scream nearly loudly or shrieky enough to get the votes.

So, that all said, who goes through from the audience vote? I’ll go with:

  • Jacob
  • James
  • Scotty
  • Casey
  • Brett

Judges will choose between Robbie and Paul for their choice. Or maybe they’ll just pick two girls, instead. We’ll see how tomorrow night goes.

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?

“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:


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

The Inbetweens for 28 Jan 2011

There are some topics that come to mind which are too long for Twitter and too short for a blog post. These are “The Inbetweens.”

  • I forgot to mention in my Milwaukee AI10 round-up that one of my favorite songs was used as a bed in the opening. It’s Marc Broussard’s “Home,” and it comes highly recommended. It’s available on Amazon MP3 and probably iTunes, though I don’t have a link for it there at the moment.

  • With any luck, the Nashville write-up will come this weekend, if anything interesting happened.

  • Who’s the guy who discovered Sea Salt? He must be making a fortune, because suddenly it’s all the rage. The latest is in Wendy’s French Fries. I hate it when the fries I like change recipes. Burger King never recovered from their change a decade ago. When Wendy’s made the switch, I was worried. But, I think it actually improved the fries. I love them.

But what’s up with Sea Salt? Cheaper? Latest health craze? Makes cooking quicker? What do you think it is? The cynic in me doubts that it’s in there because it just makes food taste better. That has to be an accidental side benefit.

  • Saw someone complaining the other day that Near Field Communications might change life as we know it if the next iPhone has one. Why the complaint? Because there’s an Android phone or two that have already had it for months now, and nobody got excited. This, the commenter said, was a sign of Apple Fanboyism in the press.

No, it’s a sign of reality. Android users don’t use their phone nearly as much as iPhone users do. Apps don’t fly out of the Android store the same way that they do with the App Store. And Apple has tens of millions of credit card numbers on file. Android — well, doesn’t. It’s the Apple infrastructure that makes the possibility of NFC so exciting. The pieces are in place if Apple wants to pounce on it.

“I’ve seen the NGP up close and the screen is the most beautiful gear I’ve ever seen in my hand. It punches the iPhone 4 screen in the junk,” said James Mielke, a producer at Tokyo game design studio Q Entertainment, on Twitter following the announcement.

The NGP is the “Next Generation Portable” that Sony plans to release for Christmas this year. It’s the next PSP. And the specs on it are so amazing that you know the battery life will be dwarfed by everything else in creation that runs on batteries. They claim it’ll run as long on a single charge as a Nintendo 3DS, but I’m not sure I believe those numbers either. Battery life is never up to the figures the manufacturers claim, after all.

  • “Strength to strength” is another one of those overused phrases I’d like to see banished from the internet. It used to be just Brits I heard use it, but now it seems to be a worldwide thing. Thanks for that import, UK!

AI10 – Milwaukee Try-Outs

Again, I’m only halfway through the two hour marathon of Idol greatness tonight, but some random thoughts from that:

  • Steven Tyler is filling the Ozzy Osbourne quotient of Crazed End of Career Whacked Out Ex-Druggie Who Might Say Anything Next on a Reality Show role. That said, I did laugh at the match/duck line that cracked up the entire staff in the studio. . .
  • The judges are still being pushovers. Randy’s initial instinct and Jennifer Lopez’s “no” vote were correct for Emma Henry, the girl who drove on a learner’s permit to the audition. She’s good for her age, but she’s not strong enough yet. She needs more training and more experience. She’ll be joining a large contingent of contestants in Hollywood who don’t stand a chance and will be easy cannon fodder. EASY. The only question is, will the judges toughen up on Hollywood Week? Or will they keep pushing people through until the last minute and then unleash the bloodbath?
  • The teenager who led the show with his deep singing voice, Scotty McCreery, won’t go far, either. He doesn’t have any range. He’d get boring after a couple of weeks in the top ten, except for the fact that the country viewers of Idol always vote for their own in strong numbers. He is good television as a novelty act, though. That voice is ridiculous, in a positive way.
  • Hey, Danny Gokey is alive!
  • Jerome Bell is overrated and screams too much. This, by the way, is a winning audition for Steven Tyler, contestants. Pay attention for the next set of auditions. Punctuate your audition with a high note into a scream (whether necessary or not) and you’ll go places.
  • And let’s start sucking it up, contestants. This is doubly true if you’re 15 or 16. Yes, “Idol” might change your life. (It has led to much more public stints in rehab for the likes of Jessica Sierra and Mikki McKibbin, for starters.) So stop year crying already. Come back next year. Just because you’ve been watching the show since you were a zygote doesn’t entitle you to winning it TODAY. A little crying today will save you lots of crying after the flight to Hollywood.

AI10 – New Orleans Try-Outs

I’m not sure I have anything terribly specific to say here. I didn’t write down contestant names, so going one by one would be impossible. But some general thoughts after three hours of this new season:

  • Steven Tyler needs to pull back on the food analogies. Telling people they’re delicious or that they’re like desert after lunch is getting to be old hat.
  • The producers will soon be tapping the judges on the shoulders and telling them they don’t have the budget to send this many people to Hollywood.
  • And with all the teenagers going, that’s TWO plane tickets for their parents or legal guardians.
  • And the 15 year old rule needs to be thrown out the window. Yes, that one kid (Jaycee Badeaux — I looked his name up) could sing, but shouldn’t he wait for his voice to crack before embarking on a musical career? They can’t all be Bobby Brady. Seriously, though, the kid was good and sang a solid tune, but his voice is still weak and needs more experience. He’s going to get eaten alive in Hollywood.
  • Somewhere, Simon Cowell is sneaking a peak at these shows and rolling his eyes at all the fair-to-middling contestants they’re putting through. There’s a lot of people who could use another year before going to Hollywood that they’re just fast-tracking.
  • One other lesson these contestants need to learn: Getting a ticket to Hollywood is NOT a life-changing thing. It’s a free plane ticket and an overnight stay in a hotel in Los Angeles somewhere. That’s it. Half of them will be returning home within 48 hours of getting there a few months later, so don’t celebrate your family’s rise out of poverty yet.

AI10 – New Jersey Try-outs

American Idol logo It’s a bold new beginning for American Idol. At last, they’ve acknowledged that the Meadowlands is in New Jersey and not New York City. They referred to them as the “New Jersey Auditions” this year. Maybe Nigel Lythgoe’s influence involves bringing truth to the series?

So, the season starts off with a typically over-produced melodramatic Michael Bay movie trailer worthy tease for what happened in the “off-season” with signing on two new judges before we get to business. I kinda like that the show wallows in its campiness sometimes.

That Ford banner ad at the bottom of the screen that doesn’t stretch to the edges? Reminds me of ads on an iPhone. I don’t get why they don’t fill in the rest of the space to the left and right for the HD feed, though.

But here’s the part that made me happiest: The first contestant was Rachel Zevita. You may remember her from Season Six. Jennifer Lopez said she did. I know I did. And, guess what? I wrote about her four years ago:

Rachel Zebita[sic] is this year’s opera singer. We had one last year who was very entertaining in the auditions (you can hear her here), but stunk came Hollywood Hell Week. Rachel made it through, so we’ll see if she fares any better.

The previous year’s contestant did a “Phantom of the Opera” song, as you may recall. I can’t believe I still do…

In any case, checking further into the archives, I saw that I didn’t mention her brief appearance during Hollywood week, and off she went.

More links for Rachel:

I have a lot more of the premiere left to watch, but I wanted to get this part out there. I love it when I can use the VandS archives. =)

UPDATE #1: Just finished watching the first day of auditions from the episode. I haven’t laughed this hard from watching television in years.  Steven Tyler is the perfect addition to this show’s cast. He’s just unhinged enough that, with his background, he might just say anything and it can be easily dismissed as “he’s a rock star.”  So when he tells a sixteen and three-quarters year old girls that her skirt had “just the right amount showing,” I had to hit pause and wait to compose myself.

Also, “Did you eat a lot of paint chips as a child?” cracked me up.  I bet the writers on the show are just happy to have a different character to write for. ;-)

On the other side, yeah, they did the whole “Jersey Shore” thing.  Tying the show into MTV’s hit reality series is, in retrospect, likely the entire reason that they admitted which side of the Hudson River they were filming on.  Ah, well. . .

It’s that time of year again

American Idol Season 10 debuts with Wednesday and Thursday night episodes this week. New judgments, new format, the works. Hmmm, I might just need to write about it a little bit this season. . .

AI9, Round of Two

It’s seriously not even close, is it? Crystal just wiped the floor with Lee, didn’t she? All of Lee’s shortcomings were on display tonight, while all of Crystal’s strengths came through. She played it ten times better than he did, and I almost had to feel sorry for him.

“Everybody Hurts” and “Beautiful Day,” really? Could they have been anything other than karaoke? I felt badly for him on “Beautiful Day.” Without that guitar, he might as well thrust his hands into his jeans pockets and stand there motionless.

Though I did have kind thoughts for him when I saw him just staring out into the crowd and taking it all in. You could see it was slightly humbling for him. He seems like a nice enough guy. He’s got a voice that would fit well in commercial bland copycat radio. He probably has a career.

But he’s nowhere near as good as Crystal, who somehow managed not to cry at the end of that lost song, barely. And, sure, her ode to Simon may have been awkward and she didn’t know where she was walking to in the introductions, but — she sang her face off tonight.

Tangent: The great thing about high definition TV? You can clearly read along with the contestants as the lyrics float up the teleprompter. I actually don’t have a problem with them being there, and I didn’t ever catch either Lee or Crystal relying on them. (Crystal sings with her eyes closed half the time, while Lee is glancing awkwardly to either side to avoid the camera, I guess. Still, the occasional grin was endearing.)

So, there you have it. An often boring season ends with the two strongest contestants, and one was able to pull it off.

While anything is possible, I think Crystal wins this one tomorrow. I love the Idol Finale show. It’s a true spectacle. Can’t wait to see what they come up with for Simon. And will Paula return to say her goodbyes while Andrew sings “Straight Up?” Will there be duets between the contestants and beloved contemporary artists? How much of a workout will the gospel choir get this year? What matching outfits will the Top 12 wear at the top of the show? etc. etc.

Three Things Failed Idol Contestants Say

Three are three tell-tale signs that an Idol contestant picked the wrong song.  They’ll say one or more of the following things to Ryan Seacrest:   • I knew that song already. • I love that song. • I had fun.   When a contestant uses all three, they’re done.

Bonus points if the judges start their critiques with “You look great.” 

Play along at home next week.    

AI9 – Round of 12

It’s Rolling Stones Week! I guess that’s good for some.

Chris Daughtry II isn’t bad, but horribly shy/awkward

Bucky II should get out from behind the guitar.

David Archuleta II/Kevin Covais II was too weak, not “vulnerable.”

Adam Lambert II’s screaming is fast becoming cliché, though it did make we want to go play “Paint It Black” on Guitar Hero again. It’s one of my favorite GH songs.

Ruben II sounds better than Ruben I and is ten times more mobile than the original was in Season Two.

Amy Adams II is going to wind up just like Amy Adams I – voted out quickly. (I think Allison Iraheta is still the only successful redheaded contestant in the series, and they do try to prop one up there every year.)

I did actually like the odd reggae remix that Jon Peter Lewis II did with his song. But, then, I’m not a Rolling Stones fan to begin with, per se, so I’m open to radical reinterpretations.

It’s too bad John Stevens II got eliminated last week…

The Fourth Judge

Ellen?   Don’t get me wrong; she was an entertaining distraction for an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance?” over the summer, but by the end of the two hours, the joke was getting a little thin.   Now, we’re seriously supposed to accept her as a judge of musical talent? Let’s put aside the jokes about the other judges for the moment, as they’ve at least made careers in the music industry.   I’m guessing “Idol” decided to go for something completely different and unexpected.  They wanted to be a little more lighthearted and entertaining.  They wanted someone to build up their biggest demographic — the stay-at-home mothers of the tweens who vote like fiends every week for the show.  Ellen fits that part, at least.   But — the fourth judge?  They should have just done away with it.  Leave it at three judges.  Let the show go quicker.  Let the judges talk a bit more perhaps.  How often did the show run over this last season?  It got so bad at one point that they only left half the judges talk after each performance.  Why not keep the breathing room offered by only three judges?  Let them explain themselves better.   Kara got on my nerves by the end of the season, but at least she had some musical background to draw on, and is fairly talented in that department.  Have you heard her version of this year’s “Idol” song?  It’s pretty good.  It wasn’t right for Kris Allen, but it’s a catchy enough ditty when sung the way she did it.   Ellen?  I’ll give it a shot, but consider my expectations very very low. I’m more looking forward to the parade of guest judges they had at the auditions…  

More Cool Links

  • “Joe Schmo” was a fabulously funny send-up of reality dating television, done as an improv show in which everyone’s in on the joke, except the contestants. Finally, the second season is being made available on DVD. This is Must Viewing TV.