March 26, 2009

American Idol: Top 10 Perform

I was absolutely exhausted last night so I didn't bother with a pen and paper to take notes so my review is the bare minimum.

Randy is attired in his ever-present cardigan, this time the shade of blue cotton candy. Kara's outfit was neither horrific or exciting enough for me to remember 12 hours later. Paula looked like a deranged ballerina. Simon was in his usual black t-shirt and Ryan, unfortunately, has still not fallen down the stairs.

It's Motown Week and Smokey Robinson in the guest mentor. The Idolizers get to travel to Detroit, the home of Motown, and meet not only Smokey but Berry Gordy! Awesome!

Matt got the craptastic first spot and performed "Let's Get it On". He is growing on me because I thought he gave a very solid, nuanced performance. He started behind the piano and then got up and sang to the audience. This type of music is definitely in Matt's wheelhouse.

Kris accompanied himself on guitar to "How Sweet It Is" and when I first heard what he would be singing, I was worried for Kris. However, Kris brought his A game and his voice was great.

Scott sang "You Can't Hurry Love", accompanying himself on the piano. He actually sounded pretty good when they showed the video blurb with Smokey but on stage . . . I'm just not feeling it. Scott is quickly putting himself into forgettable territory and he needs to bring some excitement and quickly. More of note was the fact he was wearing pink colored pants, a floral-y kind of shirt and striped jacket. I guess his dresser didn't show up last night?

Marlboro Megan (who is now apparently just Megan Joy, no Corkrey) really, really looks like if Mattel decided to make a blonde Amy Winehouse doll after spending the month in a crack den. Sheesh. I'm not understanding how a tight, turquoise blue strapless dress with various colors on it, a necklace made of Tinker Toys, hair in a swept up bun on one side of her head with a bright ass turquoise flower behind one ear and sparky blue eyeliner translates into Motown but I'm sure if I went on a 3 day bender, I would get it. She is performing "Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder and this thing is such a hot ass mess that even Stevie Wonder can see how horrid it is. I think someone needs to drive Mr. Wonder to the Idol studio so he can personally beat the shit out of Marlboro for massacring his song. This must be the worst performance of the night, I don't need to hear anymore.

Anoop is next and he's singing "Ooooh, Baby, Baby" by Smokey himself. Anoop does the man proud and the song justice. Maybe a few weak notes, but overall, Anoop has it going on. Very good, very strong, very sweet voice. The judges give him somewhat weak praise and basically tell him to bring Anoop Dawg back next week.

Michael is singing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and . . . ouch. I'm sure Michael is a nice guy but . . . well, he may be a good singer at the local bar and at church but I think he's out of his league in this competition. Strained, a bit all over the place and just not good. Not Marlboro levels of musical abuse, but he's definitely in the Bottom Three.

LRR is dolled up for Motown night, complete with a bouffanty-shag wig. I do like her dress though. She is singing "Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas. I like the song, it's catchy but LRR has just not delivered the incredible, big range of vocals the judges want us to believe she has. Sure, she can hit the power and glory notes but I'm starting to think there isn't anything else. A bit of skating by.

Adam Fucking Lambert is next and he will be singing "Tracks of My Tears" - - complete with a suit and slicked back hair! Holy cow! No ten pounds of foundation, no guyliner and no painted nails! Speaking of nails, Adam fucking nails this song. Jeebus. I actually have chills listening to him perform. Obviously the audience does too, because he gets a standing O from everyone - - including Smokey, Berry Gordy and Kara.

Gokey is singing "Get Ready" and at least he doesn't fanwank in front of Smokey so badly he fucks up his words, like he did with Randy Travis last week. Smokey gives him very valid advice about not leaving out key words like "You're outta sight" with his rendition . . . which Gokey pointedly ignores during his performance. Fuck Gokey. I am over him. Smokey Robinson gives you advice, the man has written over 4,000 songs - - he is classic, iconic and untouchable, judges, more so than any song and he gives good advice to Danny Lame Ass Gokey and Gokey is so full of himself he ignores it. Whatever, Gokey. Performance-wise, another typical Gokey-nated turn. Boring, boring, boring. Can someone vote this moron off my t.v.?

Horrendous Allison gets the pimp spot, ostensibly since she ended up in the Bottom 3 last week and who would know it's Motown week? Girlfriend dresses the same, regardless of the theme. Layers upon layers of clothing, kind of like the character of Allison from The Breakfast Club. So Breakfast Club is performing "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and . . . I don't get it. It's not totally horrendous but maybe I have an ear wax buildup problem because I don't understand why the judges are so hot and bothered over her. It's most definitely a waste of the pimp spot, that's for damn sure.

My analysis: This show belongs to Adam Fucking Lambert. He is in a league by himself. He is the only performer who is not only consistent but is creative and puts his own spin on things. Give him the freaking title already!

Adam Fucking Lambert is so fucking safe. Other than him, Anoop, Kris and Matt, everyone else totally underwhelmed me.

Should go: Marlboro Megan. She has outstayed her welcome and then some.

Will go: Michael. He was stuck in the middle of the competition and doesn't have the Vote for the Worst support that Marlboro does.

March 24, 2009

Are Tom and Katie Buckling Under the Strain of Their Fauxmance?

TomKat Do Tokyo, after Katie's $40,000 makeover; Source: Daily Mail

With the exception of the first few months of their relationsham back in 2005, I have felt that the bloom has long since worn off the professional rose known as TomKat. But it looks like the media outlets are finally starting to pick up on some tense and forced body language by the Dianetic Duo.

Famous magazine (a weekly from Australia) claims that the effort of selling themselves as the perfect couple in public is becoming tremendously difficult and, as a result, they are having more fights in private. It claims that their always perfect, happy smiles in public are because of the barrage of criticism their marriage has received and they feel they have to prove how in love they are by acting like everything is perfect all the time. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the strain is showing.

Lainey from Lainey Gossip states that loud, heated arguments were heard from their hotel room in Tokyo, where both were for the premiere of Tom's quasi-stinker Valkyrie, and Katie could be heard forcefully saying "no, no, no" to Tom's attempts to quiet her.

First, regarding Lainey's exclusive news - - I don't believe it because that would mean that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes share a hotel room together and I could sooner see Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Fisher circa 1959 sharing quarters than the Jesus Christ of Scientology and his mute muppet. I doubt Tom and Katie see much of each other when the media isn't present. In my opinion, this "match" is strictly for public consumption. I also doubt that Katie is allowed to say "no" unless it is so stipulated in her contract. And seeing as how Tom is the expert in everything from gynecology to chemical imbalances, I doubt he would allow this.

I do believe what Famous reported, with the exception of the two always having fake, perfect smiles. Since when? We all know that Tom lights up like a nuclear Christmas tree any time he sees someone with a badge that says "PRESS" so stories of his fake, perfect smile is fairly accurate. But at this point I wouldn't be willing to bet my lunch money that Katie Holmes is still in possession of her natural teeth. She barely smiles at all anymore, whether it be fake or genuine.

And this gets me to the main point of this post. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes both claim the profession of "actor". So why is it that these supposed thespians cannot manage to act their parts of a loving couple, even in the relative few minutes they are seen together? I see more enthusiasm and general affection when Tom sees his good buddies like David Beckham or Will Smith, or when Katie spots her black AmEx card.

If a real relationship is what they are selling, I'm not buying. I haven't been for a very long time. But for those less pessimistic, slapping extensions or a wig on Katie and slipping the press a story about her spending $40,000 on a body and image overhaul isn't going to get the job done. Never mind that many people today are out of jobs, losing their homes and/or survive on less than $40,000 per year - - although such wasteful and irresponsible spending is abhorring - - it does little good to trot out a "new Katie" in Tokyo when she returns home the same sad sack, in an unflattering choppy 'do and the most abysmal attire imaginable. Regardless of what Tom and Katie's "people" are saying, their body language and their eyes say it all.

Wrap it up, Camp Cruise. It's fairly obvious that Tom and Katie aren't the lead players in the most amazing love story ever. Heck, they wouldn't be believable in my local high school's drama department. Not only are they not in love (with each other, at least), neither one seems particularly vested in their business arrangement. So let's call it quits, issue that go-to PR-friendly statement about how the two of them will remain the best of friends while they continue to partner together in the upbringing of their child, let Tom return to Oprah's couch to bemoan his bad luck and Katie hit the Lifetime TV movie circuit, if she's fortunate.
The "normal" Katie Homes; Source: Daily Mail

March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joan Crawford

It may not be a popular opinion, but Joan Crawford is one of my favorite film actresses. Whatever your personal beliefs about her private life and mothering abilities (or inabilities, as it were), the lady could act. Due to the popularity back in the late 70s and early 80s of daughter Christina's tell-all Mommie Dearest, I think Ms. Crawford's acting abilities were panned and overlooked in favor of depicting her as a wire hanger wielding monster.

If you'd like to see some of Ms. Crawford's better efforts, check out Possessed (1931), co-starring Clark Gable, with Ms. Crawford as Marian, an employee in a box company who wants a better life and is willing to become Mr. Gable's mistress to do so; or Grand Hotel from 1932, with an all-star cast, including Ms. Crawford as a stenographer with plans of getting ahead at a hotel in Germany; or The Women from 1939, with an all-female cast and some of the wittiest lines to ever grace the silver screen and with Ms. Crawford playing her first true bad girl; or the role which brought her a much-deserved Oscar, Mildred Pierce (1945), a classic film noir based on James M. Cain's novel of the same name.

Depending on whose version you believe, today celebrates either Ms. Crawford's 101st, 104th or 105th birthday. Regardless, a happy birthday to Joan Crawford, who gave us several decades worth of entertainment, glamour and fun.

Happy Belated Birthday, Karl Malden


Happy 97th birthday to Karl Malden who celebrated his special day yesterday (I'm slow on the uptake).

Mr. Malden has had a career spanning some seven decades - - from a stage debut in 1937 to an Academy Award in 1951 from his performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire" to his greatest fame, the role of Det. Mike Stone on "The Streets of San Francisco". He was the face of American Express for an astounding 21 years and in 1988 was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a position he held for 5 years. His last appearance was on "The West Wing" in 2000 - - not too shabby for a kid who couldn't speak a word of English until he was in kindergarten.

Personally, Mr. Malden has been married to his wife Mona since 1938 - - quite a feat for anyone these days, much less an actor.

Considered to be a consummate professional, my favorite role of Mr. Malden's was his portrayal of Freddy Kassab in the miniseries "Fatal Vision", the true story of Jeffrey MacDonald's murderous rampage on his family. Freddy Kassab nearly single-handedly assured that his former son-in-law would not get away with butchering Freddy's beloved daughter and granddaughters and Mr. Malden played the part with tenderness, with command, with dignity and with the drive Freddy Kassab possessed.

So happy (belated) birthday, Karl Malden! May this year bring you much deserved happiness and joy and thank you for giving us decades of talent, joy and entertainment.

Karl Malden and his lovely wife

March 22, 2009

Charles Manson is Alone


Prison officials at Corcoran State Prison, roughly 150 miles from Los Angeles, have released an updated photo of notorious convicted murderer Charles Manson, along with the statement that he has his own cell (versus sharing) in their protective custody unit. He is also currently in good standing, after having some disciplinary issues in the past, and is in good health, a bit of ironic good fortune seeing as to the current medical condition of his once-devoted follower Susan Atkins.

For many people, myself included, seeing this recent photo of Manson is a shock. In stark contrast to the infamous 1969-1970 photo of a wild-eyed, monstrous looking Manson that branded him one of the most notorious convicted felons in the United States, this most recent photo shows Manson looking old and almost feeble. Certainly not the mastermind behind a drug-induced plan to create a "Helter Skelter" racial war.

But he was, no matter how old he gets. Manson is exactly where he belongs. You know, we are coming up on the 40th anniversary of the murders. Forty years that Manson has had that he denied his victims - - musician Gary Hinman, student Steven Parent, hairstylist Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Sharon Tate Polanski, her unborn son Paul Richard Polanski, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. And let's not forget his surviving victims, as well - - the families of these individuals who had to pick up the pieces of their families and their lives and try to go on after losing a loved one in such a brutal, vicious way.

The officials at Corcoran also stated that Manson continues to receive a lot of mail, as well as requests for visits, which baffles me. What could he possibly have to say, or offer, that would be of any interest to anyone? He is nothing more than a con man - - using a bunch of dropouts and drug addicts to commit murder for him, under the pretext of an imagined race war, all because he wanted to break into the music business and felt short-shrifted. Because Manson didn't get his way, nearly a dozen people had to die and innumerable families were torn asunder.

For what it's worth, Manson's next parole hearing is scheduled for next year. As he did not attend his 2007 hearing, it's doubtful he will attend the one next year. At least he is serving his time now, relatively quietly, without the assertions of new found Christianity (Atkins and Charles Watson) or pleas for compassion (Leslie Van Houton and Atkins).

Natasha Richardson 1963-2009

Source: imdb

Originally I wasn't going to write anything about Natasha Richardson, mainly because I felt I would only be reporting the news and not having anything to add. And while I'm not going to report on Ms. Richardson's medical condition, per se, because I think that has been reported on ad nauseum, I do want to say that while Ms. Richardson has certainly left behind a wonderful legacy with her body of work and, more importantly, her two sons, I also think she left a perhaps unintentional legacy of living a loving, full life and grasping every moment while you can.

If you're like me, you felt shock upon hearing of Ms. Richardson's demise at a young age and then sympathy and sorrow for her devoted husband, Liam Neeson, and their children. But what really stays in my mind is the fact that the week before her accident, even a day or hours before, she was living her life, going about her business, with nary a thought of being separated from her family. What happened to Natasha Richardson could happen to any of us, at any time.

So live your life now, be happy and enjoy every moment you have with your loved ones. Natasha Richardson did.

March 18, 2009

How Soon Before NBC Cancels "Kings"?

I ask in all seriousness because NBC is infamous for cancelling shows before they even get a chance to acquire a viewing audience or delve into really meaty storylines. "Kings" is probably one of the most innovative, unusual, creative shows I have seen in a while - - which means that the NBC PTB are probably chomping at the bit to write it a pink slip.

Take "The Black Donnellys". Totally different from anything on regular (i.e., non-cable) t.v. Sort of the poor man's "The Sopranos". Relative unknown actors in the lead roles but that can be good, because you don't associate them with anything else. Cancelled.

Or "Journeyman". Not necessarily innovative, as time travel has been dealt with before, most notably with "Quantum Leap". But "Journeyman" had a devoted following, as well as the spectacular assets of lead actor Kevin McKidd. The show was just hitting its stride when NBC pulled the plug.

How about "My Own Worst Enemy"? This show was advertised so much prior to the fall season starting, I honestly thought I wouldn't even need to watch the premiere episode and probably could have recited the commercials in my sleep. "Enemy" had the additional noteworthy talents of Christian Slater in the lead, dual roles of Henry and Edward and a plethora of storylines the show had not even begun to tap into when NBC drug out the axe.

"Kings" comes in, I suppose, as a mid-season replacement ("Medium's standard role, it seems -- another show not treated well by NBC, that deserves much better). The incomparable Ian McShane stars as King Silas Benjamin in a country that used to be the United States but after a great war some 20 years earlier, is now a place called Gilboa, with the King residing in a city called Shiloh. Unlike the reserved and not a hair out of place Queen Elizabeth, this King Silas is both a good guy and a bad guy. I certainly wouldn't want to work for him. There is so much backstabbing and illegal activities going on in his court or palace or administration or whatever you would call it, as it is no longer a presidency. Enter David Shepherd (Chris Egan, who looks so much like Matt Damon in certain scenes, it's disturbing), a member of Shiloh's military, who saved the King's son from a hostage situation, along with another soldier, and is rewarded by being pulled out of the line of fire in the active battlefield against a country called Gath and put in a position as publicity adviser. The "reward" is most definitely one of a questionable nature, as one of the King's advisers does not like Shepherd and has an itchy trigger finger that he is not hesitant to use. The King's son, rather than being appreciative of Shepherd risking his life to save the King's son, is angry that Shepherd got the position he himself wishes. After all, he was the one that was taken hostage, he should be getting the press and the rewards, not his savior. Oh, and apparently despite his actions and image as quite the ladies' man, the King's son appears to bat for the home team, albeit secretly, but the King knows. And the King has a longtime mistress, who has had his child - - another son. The King's daughter seems to be the only normal person living in the palace - - even the Queen is a snotty type who loves her position far more than her children or even her husband - - but she and Shepherd have developed feelings for each other. Much to the King's chagrin.

Quite a tangled web, wouldn't you say? I'm curious to see where "Kings" goes - - if NBC doesn't cancel it before it's given a chance to shine.

Check it out on Sunday nights at 8 pm.

American Idol: Adam is in a Ring of Fire, Anoop Goes From Zero to Hero, and Jesus Needs to Get Behind the Wheel and Drive Gokey Away

Country night at American Idol! Can I tell you how much I despise country night? Despite what Alexis Grace informed the viewing audience last night, not all people from the South automatically like country music - although I did think Randy Travis was a little peach.

Anyhow, the spaceship of a stage is back, along with the Announcer From Above who is still announcing the judges like some kind of intergalactic beauty pageant from hell. Randy is wearing his Dawg glasses, big old honking watch and a boring black and white cardigan. Kara looks like the costumers from either Space 1999 or Battlestar Galactica designed her silver lamé (or lame) dress. Paula is wearing a fruity kitchen tablecloth that shoves her girls up under her neck. Simon looks like he forget to put a shirt on and instead wearing a plain Hanes undershirt. Prepare for takeoff!

Unfortunately Seacrest doesn't trip on his way down the stairs. Too bad. He gives a shout out to St. Patrick's Day and the stage goes oh-so-subtle in varying shades of green with shamrocks everywhere. However, not a splash of green on any of the judges or on Seacrest.

Randy Travis is our guest mentor of the week and for some unexplainable reason, because I generally detest country music, I have always kind of liked him. True, he does look like his teeth are not only taking over his face but have dreams of taking over the world, but he seems like an affable guy. Idol gives us a montage of country music, which I quickly fast forward thru (thank you, DVR!).

Michael has the Kiss of Death First Spot and he will be singing Garth Brooks' (I think) "Ain't Goin' Down Till the Sun Comes Up". I figure that Michael will be okay this week, as he is from Texas and seems like he's a good old boy who would be into country. We get to see Michael practicing with Randy T. and fanwanking going on everywhere. Michael is earnest and obviously is in awe of being in Randy T.'s presence. I don't know this song, because again I despise country music in general, but it's got a catchy beat and apparently you have to sing really, really fast. Randy T. warns that it's not the kind of song that you can pick back up if you should forget or miss a word. Michael, be warned. So Michael performs and he doesn't miss a word or a beat. It's a fun performance and Michael looks like he's having the time of his life. The audience is even getting into it, which can be practically unheard of for the Kiss of Death First Slot. Randy, he of the big honking watch, is first from the Podium of Righteousness. Kara is next and I'm thinking that regardless of what her opinion is, if anyone is suffering from hypothermia that "dress" she has on would double very nicely as a medical or survival blanket. Paula liked Michael's performance and thought he had found a nice niche with the country angle. Mr. Sassy Pants (™ Nick Marshall aka Norman Gentle) is already in quite a mood because he didn't understand a word that Michael sang and thought on a scale of 1 to 10, he would rate a 1.2. The audience roundly boos Simon and Michael talks back, which immediately garners Michael votes, as far as I'm concerned. Heck, I thought it was fun and Simon was a bit harsh, so I plan on throwing Michael a few votes (okay, 10).

Three Pack a Day Allison and her magenta hair is up next and I really have absolutely no idea what she is singing but it sounds strangely like cats caterwauling in a metal garbage can. I honestly don't understand what the hype is all about over this girl because I think I can go into any hole in the wall bar at 2 a.m. and stick an inebriated 50 year old woman on stage and get the same result. Only the inebriated 50 year old woman will have more personality. So Kara, of course, totally kisses Allison's ass because she got the memo that TPTB want Allison in their Top 3. Kara thinks Allison could sing the alphabet. Hey Kara, I can sing the alphabet too but it doesn't mean anyone wants to listen. Paula thinks Three Pack is a complete artist but wants her to try to be vulnerable next time. How would we know? Three Pack sounds exactly the same, all the damn time. Simon thinks Three Pack gave a solid performance but he found it precocious. Is that British slang for "homicide inducing"? Randy thinks Three Pack's performance was "DOPE!". Unless maybe he was talking about himself.

Kris also now known as Tender Dawg was up next and my gosh, but he just keeps getting cuter and hotter every week. He's getting at least one vote from me just for being so darn cute. Kris ran thru his song with Randy T. with his guitar and it sure did sound pretty but Seacrest tells us that Kris will be performing without his guitar. Feelings of fear settle in my stomach because obviously Kris is not one of the Chosen Ones and it's much too early to lose the pretty. He is singing a Garth Brooks song called "To Make You Feel My Love" or something like that and damn! Who knew that Kris actually had a voice? He sounds very smooth and he is connected to the song, as far as I'm concerned (which may mean the judges hate it). Paula thinks Kris sounded vulnerable and it was a good, good performance without the guitar. Sassy Pants, surprisingly enough, thought it was TERRIFIC. I know, Kris, I think I'm going to pass out, too. He thought it was a great choice of song and Kris was fully in control. He also thought Kris proved he has a shot of doing really well in the competition. Randy stated, and I quote, it was a performance of "tender moments from my dawg, Kris." That guy is such a doofus. Kara thought Tender Dawg (™ Doofus) was very good, although she wondered aloud if it was country? Kara, if it wasn't country, sweetie, I don't think it would be on the approved list. Take a chug of Paula's "coke" and shut the fuck up.

Lil Round Rapper is next and Seacrest is sitting with her and did he do this with the other Idolizers and I missed it? Or are TPTB being completely in your face about the Idolizers they want in? Major pimpage, regardless. So LRR is going to "honor country" (WTF?) by singing "Independence Day" by Martina McBride. Um, okay. Randy T. thinks LRR has "big pipes". Did Randy T. catch an eyeful of her booty because that's big in my book, too. LRR appears to be wearing a huge fuchsia dinner napkin across her chest and I find myself completely distracted and entranced by it. Her performance, in my humble opinion, was boring. She appears to be skating to me, just waiting for the moment in every song when she can foghorn out that big note. Randy (because I suppose Sassy Pants refuses to give the first critique, like, ever) thought LRR was "interesting" but should have picked Dolly Parton. He thought it was an ambitious song but didn't think LRR felt comfortable during the performance. And to respond to the few boos that came in (unjustifiably), he's "keeping it real". Well, thank God for that. Kara states that she must be deaf to not know LRR is a great singer, therefore we all must be too. I agree there - - I must be deaf because I don't get it. Kara gives LRR props for standing her ground and choosing a song she wanted to, which perfectly demonstrates that LRRL is one of the Chosen Ones because no one else has gotten props for choosing whatever song they wanted and singing it. Doesn't everyone do that every week? Where were Marlboro's props last week for that drive-by audio assault of "Rockin' Robin"? One would assume she chose that, as well as choosing to "caw caw" at the end. I don't recall Kara giving her props for that. Kara seriously needs a big jug of Shut the Fuck Up. Paula starts off by telling LRR her hair, her makeup, her napkin was beautiful so you know LRR's performance basically sucked ass but the ladies, at least, are going to ignore the big pink elephant (or napkin, as it were) in the room and attempt to convince us that LRR was all that. Sassy Pants thought LRR sounded like one of those women at a wedding that is forced to sing a song they don't feel comfortable with. Thank God for Sassy Pants! I'll go back to calling him Simon, so long as he doesn't do something boneheaded. LRR attempts to talk over Simon, which is never a good thing. Simon repeats that the performance was simply not LRR, with LRR insisting (repeatedly) that she was trying something new. Like meh and boring? Seacrest comes out to break up the melee and very randomly tells Simon that Randy (not Travis, but Doofus) calls him "the little judge" behind closed doors. This statement reeks so badly of closet homosexuality that it's jawdropping because I'm sure that Seacrest would love for Simon to call him (or a part of him) the "little judge".

Adam Fucking Lambert is next and Seacrest chats him up on the red stools instead of the Confessional Couch in the Red Room of Coke. Seacrest asks if his song will be "signature Adam" and Adam says of course it will and the lyrics are awesome. We find out that Adam will be singing Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" . . . but a "Middle Eastern version". What? Randy T. is just as confused because he doesn't even "know what to think about this boy". Love it! Randy T. says Adam Fucking Lambert threw him for a loop and he doesn't see men wearing nail polish all that often. He gives Adam points for uniqueness though. I can't wait! So Adam comes out and starts the song and while, at least in the beginning, it sounds nothing like Johnny Cash, it does sound strangely enough like a Jim Morrison Does Country in the Middle East kinda thing. Adam is even dressed in very tight leather pants like JM would have worn. Adam overdoes the eyefucking and even does some vocal fucking and at one point, I think he's going to begin to hump the mic stand because he is really getting all hot and bothered. Nevermind the sitar and the random smoke bellowing out across the stage. It does appear the cameraman likes Adam because I think I can count his pores due to all the close ups. He does have some big pipes, to quote Randy T., though. Kara has never seen that type of country rendition (neither have we) and although she got her fix of Adam Fucking Lambert drama and the "eye thing" (code for eyefucking) she found it strange. It left her confused and yet strangely happy. This is the first thing tonight that Kara has said that makes absolute 100% sense. I completely agree. It was confusing and yet I loved it in ways I still don't understand. It was like an audio drug that took me to Paula's Happy Place, where unicorns frolic, there are rainbows aplenty, along with sitars and smoke machines. Paula gave Adam earned props for staying true to himself as an artist. She loved the song and the sitar. She figures Adam is either a quick study or a born natural - - or both. He raises his own bar each week and so now we will expect more and more from him. Simon is still laughing, as is Adam, over the performance and wants to know what the hell that was. He says there are probably a lot of people throwing their t.v. sets out the window and he found Adam's performance to be "absolute indulgent rubbish" and "really, really horrific". A bit harsh, Sassy Pants. Randy, very surprisingly, disagreed with Simon, and thought Adam sounded like Nine Inch Nails doing country - - "current, young and fresh". Wow, something relevant and sensible from Randy. Randy T. is still laughing in the audience.

Seacrest confirms that Adam Fucking Lambert has no plans for Nashville and reconfirms that Randy T. is still speechless over the performance. Good times! I fucking love Adam Fucking Lambert.

Scott is up next and he will be singing Martina McBride's "Wild Angels". Randy T. admits that he was thinking "not good" when he first heard Scott's song choice and after hearing his first run thru (with Scott on the piano) thought Scott should pick up the tempo a bit but was vocally fine. He stated that Scott surprised him more than anyone thus far. I thought Scott's performance was fluid, smooth and solid. He definitely is sounding better each week and sounds better with his piano. The high notes are a bit shaky but overall, I think a good choice for him. Paula found Scott impressive and lovely but thinks the piano might be a crutch for him and it doesn't allow the audience to see and connect with him. Scott interjects with "we can move it closer" and I immediately love that. Paula thinks he's a brilliant pianist and vocalist but thinks he should mix it up more. What do you want him to do, Paula? Come out on stage and break dance? Do handstands? The judges originally loved him because he could play piano and sing. Why try to change that now? Simon agrees with me and tells Paula she is not only stupid but disrespectful toward Scott. He says Elton John used to sit behind the piano, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Paula doesn't help her case by adding Billy Joel to the list. Randy bleats out a "Ray Charles" but nobody cares. Simon did find Scott's performance very similar to last week's performance. Scott does say that he is losing out on the song choices each week and, of course, the judges quickly try to cover that up because they don't want us to know that the all the Idolizers don't get to truly choose their own music. Randy was looking for hot, crazy, unbelievable vocals from Scott. Kara asks Scott to up his game, to wow us but says he does bring class and poise to the stage. Seacrest comes out and saddles up to Scott, who gets a wonderfully horrific look on his face. Seacrest does inform everyone that Scott works harder than most in the competition, and works with the band on song arrangements. He asks Scott who he is going to listen to - - Paula or Simon? Scott says if he makes the Top 10, he will eventually hit the stage without the piano but he's not saying when.

Alexis is next and she will be performing Dolly Parton's "Jolene", which I remember Brooke performing last season. In her little chat with Seacrest, Alexis says that not only everyone from the south loves country (not!) but she wants to show America her softer side. Randy T. thinks Alexis did a great job and understands what telling the story, vocally, is all about. He proclaims her "perfect" with nothing needed to be changed. He says that Dolly would be proud. Personally I thought Alexis gave a performance full of emotion with an almost unbelievably strong voice. She is far more impressive than Three Pack Allison, even if it looks like Hefty designed the bodice of her dress. Randy thought Alexis had some pitch problems and wasn't sure that she hit the notes "quite well". He thought she tried to bend it too much in a bluesy way that sometimes doesn't work. I think Randy is a DOPE! He thought it was a good song choice but not a good performance. Kara thought Alexis lost her edge a bit and found her a bit flat. Paula thinks the song was more effective for Alexis than Randy and Kara gave her credit for because Alexis took an artistic approach by showing all sides of her vocals. Paula doesn't care about pitch problems, she just enjoyed seeing Alexis' vulnerable side. Simon thought Alexis was "okay", but a little bit soundalike. The vocals were okay but ultimately forgettable. Seacrest asks Alexis if she would have done anything differently and Alexis promises to dirty it up next week.

Gokey is next and, naturally, he will be singing "Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. This is so obvious that Idol should just go ahead and tell the other Idolizers to fuck off and give Gokey the crown already. So we see and hear how Gokey was totally nervous in front of Randy Travis and he proves this by fucking up his run thru - - repeatedly. I would have paid good money to see Randy Travis look over to the camera and say "can you please get me someone who isn't going to waste my time and fuck up lyrics that every Chosen One on American Idol is contractually required to know?" So Gokey is basically laughing about being a big fat goober in front of Randy Travis and Randy T. says "it's one of those, on that night, you had better hope you are close to 100%" and "the pieces that Gokey actually knew, wow". Ha ha ha, this is one of the most unintentionally funny things ever on Idol. Seriously, Randy T. should get his ticket into heaven just for having to spend an afternoon with the Gokey One. So Gokey takes the stage in a mad scientist white jacket/lab coat and new clear framed glasses to match his "heavenly" appearance. Ye gads, enough with the connection to the God Squad already. So the performance is typical Gokey and the entire time I'm thinking "yes, Jesus, take the wheel and drive the fuck into a brick wall already because I'd rather deal with head trauma than being forced to drink any more of the Gokey juice." The audience, predictably, goes buck wild from the Gift of Gokey. So wild, in fact, that Kara cannot begin her critique and instead whoops into her mic. Help me, Jesus! Help me, Tom Cruise! ( ™ Ricky Bobby). So Kara finally tells Gokey that when he hits his stride, he's like none other. I really can't comment on that because has Gokey hit his stride? Where was it? What was it? She thought the front half of his performance was nothing spectacular but halfway thru, she thought "here comes Gokey!" Paula trips over her tongue because she is so dazzled by the Gokey brilliance. Didn't she see what happened to Pamela on Supernatural? Some angels sent by God are so bright, they just flat out blind you. Of course blindness could explain Paula's apparel choices. Paula disagrees with Kara slightly but then babbles so much Vodka-induced nonsense that not even Simon can understand her. She does eventually say that she thinks Gokey is brilliant and believes that Carrie Underwood would even go out and buy Gokey's record. It's the Vodka, people. Simon agrees with Paula although he doesn't think Carrie Underwood would waste her damn time or money on buying a Gokey record (or CD, as the case may be). He does say that the song can't be screamed from the beginning (Kara) and his only problem is what Gokey is wearing. He wonders if Gokey is going on some sort of polar expedition and why wear such an outfit when it's 80 degrees in LA? Gokey laughs because he has the Power of God behind him and tries to make a joke about how someone thought it looked like he was going to jump out of an airplane and reach for the pull cord out of one of the many pockets but, like Gokey, the joke falls flat. Randy admonishes Simon not to mess with the Gokey fashion. Of course, this is coming from a man who thinks Mr. Rogers' cardigans are fashionable and who himself has worn orange-tinted glasses to match his orangey cardigan. Case closed. He agrees with Kara. Thinks Gokey is a great singer, "crazy", was a little pitchy but will get it together. It's official, people. The Gokey Machine isn't going anywhere. So Seacrest be-bops out and wants to know if Gokey really let go and was it intentional? Has Seacrest always been such a douche?

Anoop is next and Anoop had damn well better bring it this week because I am NOT ready for Anoop to go home yet and I think he could be dangerously close to being in the Bottom Three for real this time, not like the shenanigans of last week. So Seacrest doesn't do a sit down chat with Anoop and what the fuck is that all about? We are forced to listen to his sit down with LRR but no discussion with Anoop Dawg? So very wrong. So Anoop tells us he is very apprehensive about country week because it's not his forte. Anoop will be singing "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson and I love this song, even being country. Elvis sang the hell out of it and I once played it for a piano recital. Randy T. tells us that it's hard to get Willie out of your head with this song but all doubt was gone once Anoop got into the first few lines of the song. (Go, Anoop!) Quoting Randy T., "heck, that was good, man!" He even goes further to say "people will rethink his capability as a singer" and "this will be the best anyone has heard from Anoop". Is there hope for my little Anoop? Anoop sings and, in my completely biased opinion, I think his performance is full of emotion. He has got PIPES and he shows them. And he is totally singing to me because I begged him to bring it this week. Love him! Paula starts off the judging by stating Anoop is back! Paula says she is so proud of Anoop and thinks he gave a great interpretation. He has tender, honest, sweet and amazing vocals that touched Paula's heart. Anyone else thinking Paula was wishing Anoop and his vocals would touch her elsewhere? Simon states, astutely, that Anoop went from zero to hero in a week. He proclaims it a good choice of song and one of his favorite performances of the whole night. He also tells Anoop "good for you" for taking a kicking last week but Simon takes back what he said, that Anoop deserved to be in the competition. He says Anoop delivered a great vocal and he's glad Anoop is back. Randy says this is the reason they wanted Anoop Dawg in the competition and Anoop proved it by really showing his vocal skills (mad skills! ™Doofus) and the arrangement was DOPE! Here we go with Doofus and his DOPE! obsession again. Kara says that what Anoop did was very hard to do, he took a classic song, basically one that is "untouchable" and made it amazing. Best performance of the night according to her, as well as the biggest surprise. Seacrest bops on out and asks Anoop if he is surprised by the feedback. Anoop says fuck, no. No, really, he said he would have to say no because he expects himself to do the best every week. Damn, I really love Anoop.

Marlboro Megan is next and, fuck me, she's going to be singing Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight". I love this song. Maybe I'm a secret closet redneck but I really like Patsy Cline. If Marlboro fucks it up, I may be enticed to fly to California and pull her hair out by the roots. So Randy T. says this song has been done "every possible way a human could think of . . . um, okay?" and I'm thinking well, maybe Marlboro will bust out the caterwalling cats like Three Pack Allison did. I'm sure Marlboro will do this song a way no one has ever done it before. Randy T. also says that Marlboro's version is "totally unique". I read into that as meaning it's awesomely craptastic. If she "caw caw"s at the end of it, this will be one of the best days of my life. So Marlboro comes out, wearing an evening dress with that horrendous tattoo showing and she's got one hand on her hip again, doing that weird sway and her boobs look like two oranges fighting to get out of the bodice of her dress and it's totally distracting and the tattoo is totally distracting and the weird swaying is totally distracting. Marlboro's voice shows some strain on the high notes. Not a total disaster, surprisingly, but still somewhat of a mess. I could actually hear Marlboro singing a 40s or "big band" song based on this performance. Not sure how commercial that would be today. Randy starts the judging by saying "I'll bet you're glad that's over!" Yep, we are too, Randy. He says he thought it was going to be a trainwreck (bring on the brutal honesty!) but he turned out being "quite impressed". Whatever. He called it rocky, bluesy, country soul jazzy and says it all really worked. Well, I do agree with the "rocky" part. Kara deemed it a perfect song, with a perfect look. She also tells Marlboro that she is a "winner". WTF? She elaborates by saying not many people with the flu would get up in front of 25-30 million people and do what Marlboro did, blah, blah, blah. I disagree. I think anyone on that stage would do exactly what Marlboro did because they all want to win. Nothing particularly admirable about it. Does it suck? Sure. One of the last things I would want to do if I was suffering from the flu would be to dress up and trot out on stage to perform but if I was competing for a record contract, etc., I sure would get up. Paula tells us that Marlboro has been to the hospital and back and she's a real fighter, a consummate professional. Lord, please. Can't Gokey touch her or look at her or something and immediately heal her? Simon tells Marlboro she should be sick every week as she sounded better this week than last. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or an insult. He also said she looked gorgeous, while I'm thinking she looked like a broken down, busted Crack Barbie.

Matt gets the Pimp Spot and he too will be punishing us with yet another Carrie Underwood song. Can Idol please remove the Carrie Underwood songs from their catalog? Randy T. says Matt's song choice, which I'm too lazy to look up, was an interesting choice, but he's not sure it's a great choice. He changes his tune (pun intended) when Matt sings his own version of the song, and his soulfulness came out. The camera then pans and shows Paula either sniffing or licking Simon's arm. Obviously Paula cannot handle these 2 hour shows. So Matt is decked out in a suit, very nice, and playing piano while he sings. He seems very comfortable performing and Matt and his voice (and even that huge bump on his forehead) are growing on me. The last note was a bit sketchy but shouldn't be a problem, based on the rest of the song (and the Pimp Spot). Kara says "there ain't nothin' small about you, that's for sure!" Uh huh. I can read so many things in the judges' comments. Kara also says Matt is an artist with true talent and, oh hell, she just loves him. Paula thinks Matt is authent - - uh - -authentic. It's a hard word, people. She thinks he was unparalleled tonight and "piercing thru so many people's hearts". I just write it, I swear. She also kudos Carrie Underwood. I think Paula is right roundly smashed. Simon says that yes, Matt is a heart-piercer (???) and doesn't believe he gets enough credit for his vocals. He even outsang The Gokey tonight. Yeah! Simon says Matt reminds him of Michael Buble, very comfortable, a terrific performance, one of the best of the night and very well done. Randy says that Matt's was his favorite performance of the night, has mad skills (™ Doofus) and "you got it goin' on, baby!" Ryan prances out and says "it's on!" and "now we have ourselves a competition."

Overall, a good night even with the normally crappy country theme. The best? Kris, Adam, Anoop and (yes) Matt. The worst? The ladies, once again, most especially Allison and Megan. Who will go home? Possibly Michael, as he got the craptastic First Slot of Death, but should be Allison or Megan who both need to get the fuck off my t.v. I am going to throw a few votes to Kris (okay, 10), Anoop (okay, 10) and even Matt (okay, 10). I'm even voting for Scott (10) but absolutely not for Allison or Megan who need a ticket to paradise or wherever it does not involve me listening to them any further.

Tune in for results on Wednesday night!

March 11, 2009

American Idol Top 13: Raising the Stakes on Michael Jackson Night But Don't Even Think About Being Creative

We're finally getting down to serious business now, as far as Season 8 is concerned on American Idol, and to demonstrate the point, the judges are now announced from some Voice Above as they stand on the massive stage and then walk, hand in hand, to the Judges' Podium of Righteousness. I hate it. Totally cheesey, although this show reeks of cheese and full of the type of self-importance all the judges and Seacrest like to think they are due. Seacrest is also individually announced by the random Voice Above and walks down the mile-long stairs and the entire time I'm thinking that if he should trip and fall I will never laugh so hard in my entire life.

Sadly enough, he makes it down safely and then has the nerve to say Simon likes to make an entrance. Because I'm sure that Seacrest fought tooth and nail over being singled out like that. One thing Seacrest does not like, people, is attention.

Anyway. Totally worthless discussion about how big the stage is and advice for the contestants (don't fear the stage; don't forget the lyrics). Intro of the stage and of the band. Announcement that tonight is Michael Jackson night, complete with a montage of MJ performing and videos. He was once a really good performer. It is confusing, though, as to how they are going to play this MJ theme off, as very few people sound like MJ (or should) and it seems that in seasons past the judges have felt that MJ is one of those "untouchable" artists. And after David Cook's version of "Billie Jean" from last season, which left even the angels crying from its beauty and poignancy, should they really subject the contestants to that? Reminder that tomorrow is a double elimination ceremony. Paula appears to already be three sheets to the wind so this should be an interesting evening.

Lil Round Rapper is surprisingly in the craptastic first slot of death. Because this is going to be a 2 hour show and American Idol is about nothing if it's not about filler, we are "treated" to film of Lil, with her kids and her husband and their life in an extended stay motel in Tennessee. Lil is attired in a disco-like type and totally bitchin' white jeans and she is singing "The Way You Make Me Feel". It's a-ight, Dawg. I'm not a Lil fan and she's not aggravating me to the point of scratching my own eyes out but I do think it needs to be the tiniest bit faster. It's an upbeat, quick little song, you know? Not like Lil is trying to make into a ballad or anything but I could totally see that happening and it ain't pretty. She does get shouty in a few places and for one brief moment, I am reminded of LaKisha Jones from a few seasons ago and I worry that Lil may try to wheeze out a massive glory note but fortunately she does not. Lil gets good reviews from the judges, which is not to be unexpected as the judges have found her to be one of the least offensive contenders and therefore a favorite. Paula thinks Lil looks lovely in her 70s/80s attire and digs her makeup, even the glittery shit on her face. She also thinks Lil sang like an angel - - yeah, an angel sniffing airplane glue. Wonder if Paula has angels on the brain because it certainly appears that her right shoulder had a hit and run with an angel and the angel lost, leaving behind the majority of its feathery wing. Simon, bless him sometimes, hates Lil's outfit with a blinding passion that he normally reserves for Seacrest and also thinks Lil's song choice was entirely too safe. Paula, naturally, is personally insulted that Simon doesn't agree with her fashion diva assessment of Lil and the two bicker about it (again, we have 2 hours and they need filler) before coming to the conclusion that Lil needs a powder puff. Why, I have absolutely no idea. This show literally is full of boundless stupidity. Kara thinks Lil got a little shouty or something but liked it and Randy thought this was the exact way to start the show. Ummm, with Paula saying something totally incoherent, Simon being bitchy, Kara being irrelevant and Lil wearing pants that makes her ass look the size of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man?

Scott is up next and we get to meet the parentals in his video blurb. Wow, they look really young. Turns out that Scott's sister is also visually impaired, the family has no history of it and genetics are a fucked up thing, aren't they? We get to see photos of little Scott and stories of how much he's loved music from a young age, and how he learned the piano very young. Scott is going to sing "Keep the Faith" and accompany himself on the piano. I'll be honest here - - I am prepared for Scott to be just all right, if that, and then immediately feel guilty that I don't like him more. Because I can see and he can't. I know, what's wrong with me? Hormones? Anyhow, I don't know this song which is kind of freaky because doesn't most everyone know nearly every Michael Jackson song? But back to Scott. His piano playing is very good and he sounds much, much better than he did a couple of weeks back when he sung the Bruce Hornsby song. He is definitely a stronger performer when he has his piano. So Kara starts off the judging and asks Scott if he learned that song just this week. Affirmative, Will Robinson. Okay, that's pretty darn impressive and my fingers are itching to vote for him on that basis alone. So Kara again busts out her "I'm so glad that people finally got to SEE you" crap and then says how powerful and inspirational Scott is. Paula too loves Scott. Paula loves her vodka as well. He he. Something is going on with Paula. Really. She then points the songwriter out in the audience and says pretty strongly that the songwriter (whose name I have absolutely no idea of) loved Scott's interpretation. Simon, perhaps still feeling pissy over the debate about Lil's outfit, basically hated the performance, as much as he likes Scott as a person. Scott says that he was trying to be artistic (love that Scott can totally talk over Simon because, well, he can't see him) and Simon retorts with "it's fine being artistic, just not on this show!" That is like the greatest thing ever because I think it's pretty much right there with the list of the Chosen Ones and the fact that the judges watch rehearsals prior to the show - - information we aren't supposed to know. I think someone forgot to tell Cookie last season that being artistic is a big no-no. So Paula gets her feathers in a twist and tells Simon that the album "Keep the Faith" came off of was the biggest selling record in Norway. How dare Simon forget that! Simon thinks Scott's performance was just old fashioned. Randy really doesn't say too much of consequence so who cares.

Danny Gokey is up next and his video blurb seems to go on forever. His family is basically like the Waltons and the Osmonds rolled into one, where the kids had to sing for freaking everything, and the kids got into all kinds of trouble but they could really sing and we see shots of the family sitting around Danny, laughing at something Danny is saying or doing because they all think he's going to be the next American Idol and they want to make sure they stay on his good side to get their payday. You aren't fooling me, Gokey family. So Danny is going to be singing "PYT" and I used to love this song. I was like 12, so don't judge. So Gokey starts the song off very slow and ballady and very much in his predesigned "box" of being the hero with the dead wife who's going to save us all from the abject depravity of life with his singing and I absolutely hate it. You cannot turn "PYT" into a ballad. It's a fact of life. Everyone knows this. Fortunately for the life of my t.v. screen, which was becoming dangerously close to merging with a remote control or a phone (anything within throwing distance), Gokey speeds the tempo up and rightly makes it back into a pop song, complete with some seriously funny white boy moves on the stage that resemble some random muscle spasms in his legs. Paula is up on her feet, dancing and singing along. I see her drinks probably began around 4 pm. Gokey's voice isn't bad. Not wonderful either but not bad. Paula believes that Danny Gokey is a true artist because when she shuts her eyes at night, she can still hear Danny's voice and words and knows exactly who he is. She also says that Danny is a total lock for the finals, which really should be against the judging rules, don't you think? Oh, and she is basically crying because she's so moved by Gokey's brilliance. Or more likely the brilliance of mixing Vodka and Vicodin. Simon feigns annoyance by pointing out that Gokey is only the third singer out of 13 on the night and Paula already has him in the finals. Simon does think the vocals were good, compares him to Michael McDonald but tells him his dancing is repulsive and he should never do it again. Randy thinks Gokey is wonderful, but of course Randy thinks any one of the 13 contestants could win the whole thing. Kara thinks Danny Gokey is nothing but joy, pure joy, which leads Gokey to remind everyone that he normally sings gospel for his church so this pop business is all new stuff. Whatever. Give it a rest, Gokey.

Michael Sarver is next and we see that he is from Jasper, Texas and he used to work as a roughneck. He didn't have a father growing up so it's very important for him to be a good father to his children. Awww, that is sweet, even to my hardened heart filled with black goo. He is going to sing "You Are Not Alone" and once again, I don't think I know this song! What the hell! Is no one going to bust out a totally ridiculous performance of "Thriller"? So Michael is sitting on the stage steps and he is just so happy about being on Idol, he has a great big smile on his face throughout the performance. Damn. It's very hard to snark on someone who is obviously taking this seriously and is so grateful to be where he is. He does have a better voice than I remember though. Simon starts the judging by stating the obvious - - Michael is not the best singer in the competition but he gives so much heart and passion, that really makes up for singing part. Kara agrees with Simon. Paula thinks Michael is a likable ordinary guy who picked the absolute right song and even says that by picking a slow song, it gives the artist room to color things up - - in pretty pastel colors, sequins and glitter, I'm sure. Seacrest comes out to shuffle Michael off the stage, but not before Michael tells Seacrest and everyone that he loves being on the stage and although the blue overalls he wore as a roughneck were cute, they weren't that cute. I think Seacrest is blushing. This is so many levels of awesome it's hard to describe.

Jasmine is next and from looking at her video blurb, she has an unnaturally attractive family. Beautiful cheekbones and skin. Life really isn't fair, is it? Jasmine is going to be singing "I'll Be There" and in some ways I'm not surprised because this just seems like the type of song Jasmine would choose although I really don't like it. It's been done to death, played to death. She can sing, although the performance to me is just so boring. The judges appear to be shocked at how tiny little Jasmine could belt out that performance. Kara thinks Jasmine should have gone something like half a note lower but it was still fantastic. Paula noticed some areas where Jasmine appeared to be singing under her register or something like that and there is definitely something going on with Paula. No, not her usual inebriation. Something is funky with her face, like she's either been pulled or stretched very recently, causing her eyes to swell, or she spent too much time fake baking because her skin looks funky and her eyes definitely appear to be swollen. Simon thinks Jasmine is a little bit robotic and wishes she would lighten up and act her age. Randy thinks it was a big song for Jasmine, because Mariah (name dropping for Randy) sang it.

Kris Allen is up next and his video blurb is actually halfway interesting because we've barely seen him at all this season. He looks about 20 and his wife is so tiny and so cute and blonde and they have a cute little apartment with matching aprons and they cook together and Kris' parents are painfully attracive in that abnormal way that makes you think alien life form, or deal with the devil. I swear, if Kris Allen wasn't bringing the pretty he would annoy me with all the cuteness in his life. So Kris is going to be singing "Remember the Time" and will accompany himself with the guitar. His song isn't bad. He's cute (of course), totally earnest and not a bad singer. I think someone forget to plug in his guitar though because I'm really not hearing it. But Kris is way into it. He is complete boy band material, minus the wife. Kara really liked Kris' performance and thinks it's great that we can see (finally!) Kris performing with his guitar. She also lets everyone know that Kris was helping all the other contestants all week, by accompanying them with his guitar. So Kris is not only unnaturally cute, has an unnaturally cute wife, apartment and appallingly attractive parents but is also a genuinely nice guy? Alien life form, for sure. So Kris blushes while Kara sings his praises all over Hollywood and then Paula and Simon create some type of ruckus which involves Simon supposedly undressing Paula. In any event, it completely and totally distracts us from the brilliant awesomeness of Kris Allen's being, which is exactly the point, isn't it? Very smooth, PaSi. So they get back on track and Paula picks up her critique where Kara left off, stating that Kris was helping everyone else because he knows the Michael Jackson catalog and she thinks, with deepest apologies to Kris, that he is adorable-sexy. The audience screams and squeals and Kris blushes some more. Paula in heat is a great thing, truly it is. Simon has no clue what Paula is talking about (join the party, Simon) and thinks Kris' performance was "interesting". Which could be a kiss of death or lead-in to a quasi-compliment from Simon, you just never know. Simon wasn't sure if the guitar was right for that particular performance and thinks Kris fucked up by letting the world know about his wife and the fact that he's married. The audience boos, of course, and Mrs. Kris sends Simon a death glare that is just too awesome for words. Simon had better start checking his back. But I do understand what he said, without much tact. Kris could certainly get the tween and teen vote, as well as female vote in general, because he's just so cute, so adorable-sexy (trademark Paula) but the tweens and teens may lose interest if he's taken. Because yes, at that age we are incredibly shallow. Randy thinks Kris is kinda cool and maybe just a bit like Jason Mrazzy. He thinks that Kris gave "a very well job done". Randy is kinda idiotic. Ryan interrupts to ask Simon if he's single or married and then tells Kris not to take marital advice from a singleton like Simon. Hmmm, the knives seem to be coming out tonight!

Horrendous Allison is next and we are forced to watch video showing her singing in some Marshall's or TJ Maxx-like store back home (? Texas? New Mexico? Arizona?) and the first thing I'm thinking is why are they making it sound like she's singing at the Met when it's a freaking department store and secondly, the local TJ Maxx and Marshall's by me do not have stages. WTF? So Allison, wearing what looks to be 50 pounds of clothing layered on top of layers and her blindingly blind hot fuchsia hair in her eyes hair are going to be singing "Give in to Me". Or maybe I should have said Allison and her hair were going to be shouting "Give in to Me" because I consider her a shouter more than a singer. So . . . as much as I don't want to like it, I will say it is miles ahead of the slice and dice job she performed on Heart the last time she took the stage. I have watched this show enough, and am bitter enough in general, to know the judges fucking love Allison (she's ONLY! SIXTEEN!) and regardless of how the official vote comes in, Allison and her fucking blindingly blind hot fuchsia hair aren't going anywhere. So Paula is going to start the judging and she simply cannot believe that Allison is such a fucking rock star because she's ONLY! SIXTEEN! I hope the producers or whomever are going to check Paula's judging station for a puddle because I seriously think she just wet herself over Allison and her fucking rock star persona. Simon, naturally, totally agrees and liked it although he thinks she's a bit on the dark side and maybe should lighten up. So Allison immediately makes this comment about the fact she's not cutting herself which has absolutely nothing to do with anything unless Idol is doing a public service announcement and then tells herself that was a weird thing to say. You think? Kara thinks Allison is a rock star too and she says it's ridiculous and when Allison hits those high notes, it's like the ceiling is coming off. I totally agree, Kara. And I think this is the smartest thing you've said in, like, ever.

Anoop is next and damn if I don't just love Anoop. How can you not love Anoop? He seems likable and he's kind of like "this is American Idol and all and it would be cool if I win, but fuck it if I don't", you know? So because Idol sucks balls and cannot contain their live shows within the hour-long format, Seacrest has a little sit down with Anoop to relive Anoop's dance with death on the Wild Card results show. Then we see a little video blurb with Anoop's parents telling us he was an only child and totally spoiled but he deserved it and then that pretty much ends Anoop's video blurb because he's not the Chosen Gokey. Anoop says he's going to be singing one of his favorite Michael Jackson songs ever and it's "Beat It". I would lying right now if I didn't say my heart stopped for a moment or two (okay, maybe a second or two) and I started to break out into a sweat because I worry that this is going to be either awesome or awesomely bad. So Anoop performs in his Noop Dawg way and it's actually very endearing and earnest and I am still totally on-board the Anoop Love Train with a nonrefundable ticket headed to whatever station Anoop decides to pull into. Maybe not the best song choice, all things considered, but his voice isn't bad and the crowd loved it. Obviously someone cut Paula off during the commercial break because she absolutely hated it. She pulls out the same tired card of a certain song being untouchable and when people try to perform it, it sounds like karaoke and I'm thinking well, if the song is untouchable, why the hell is it on their playlist? Honestly, take the song off if no one but freaking Michael Jackson can do it! It makes sense to me but when people like Paula pull shit like this it reminds me of those morons that are in the drive-thru at McDonald's and order a hot coffee and then get pissed when they put the cup between their legs or spill the coffee on themselves and blame McDonald's because McDonald's didn't warn them that hot coffee is actually hot and think that McDonald's should be forced to pay them for their own stupidity. If you don't want Anoop or anyone else to sing "Beat It" or any other song, take it off the list. Don't put it on there and then act offended and high and mighty because someone actually chose it. Simon thinks Anoop's performance was horrible and reprimands Anoop because his version of "Beat It" was lacking in the proper aggression it should have. Uh huh, because Michael Jackson surely looked and sounded like he was en route to kick the shit out of someone in his version. Simon further insults Anoop by insinuating that Anoop tried to be like Michael Jackson but utterly failed. So seeing Simon with his hackles up causes Seacrest to jump in and ask Simon if he now regrets making the Top Twelve the Top Thirteen and Simon, unduly harshly in my opinion, says after that performance, yes. Wow. Where did all this Anoop aggression come from? Back the fuck off my Anoop, now! Anoop himself, although shellshocked at the vitriol, conducts himself very well. He tells the judges it was his energy they originally liked about him and he was trying to bring that. The only good to come out of this Anoop abuse is the audience is totally riled up about the viciousness of the Anoop assault which thereby probably assures that Anoop's fans will burn up the phone lines keeping him safe.

So Jorge is next and we learn in his video blurb that his grandpa died and it sucked for his family but now that he is on Idol, everything is cool again. Jorge will be singing "Never Can Say Goodbye" and really, it's good. Jorge can actually stretch and use those vocal chords for good, which is more than I can say for many of these Idol-izers. Quite naturally, the judges didn't appreciate it. Randy thinks it's old fashioned. Kara thinks Jorge was connected enough to the song - - which seems to be a big concern for her so far this season. Being connected, I mean. Kara does ruminate over whether or not the problem was that Jorge had to learn the song. Paula has mad love for Jorge and wants to know why he chose that particular song. Jorge says that song is not his normal style, but it's not like he was going to sing "Bad" by Michael Jackson and Simon says something like oh, but you did. Man, but Simon is testy tonight! First, the Anoop hatred and now the Jorge bashing. Jorge does not look pleased and it's understandable. Michael Jackson is not an easy artist to sing and maybe all the "good" songs were taken?

Marlboro Megan is next and she was a pretty baby, pretty little girl, blah, blah, according to her mom, her divorce was hard but she's a great mother, blah, blah, blah, except for that atrocious tattoo on her entire arm. Marlboro and her totally nasty tattoo are going to be singing "Rockin' Robin" and I already know this is going to be total ass before Marlboro even opens her mouth. Really? This song? What the fuckity fuck in a world of fuckery? That was beyond hot mess . . . this song choice and performance was equivalent to calling Katie Holmes' performance in Mad Money an important and smart decision. Actually, we could smack that label on her marriage as well. Another story. So Marlboro doesn't quite go to the Puppet Master from Hell levels of stage spasming but her voice is terrible. She even says "Caw! Caw!" at the end, just to seal how truly terrible it all was. Did Marlboro lose a bet? Is all the ink from the atrocious tattoo slowly seeping into her brain? I really cannot imagine what excuse there is for this. If the judges beat the hell out of Jason Castro last season for singing Bob Marley they really should be hanging the noose for Marlboro right about now. Paula likes the unique and quirky tone of Marlboro's voice which proves how truly inebriated she is. Bitch is so drunk she's obviously lost her hearing. Kara thinks the song showed Marlboro's personality. What? Like crazy, tone-deaf, jacked up mess? Thank goodness for Simon to tell it like it is. He hated it with a blinding passion, hated Marlboro's jacked up moves and thinks if a new viewer tuned in right then and saw Marlboro's performance they would think the judges were off their damn rockers for putting this mess through. Truer words were never spoken. Simon is so offput with Marlboro that he points out Gordon Ramsey in the audience and asks for his opinion. Since Gordon doesn't have a mic and no one shows up with one we can't hear his response, but Simon assures us Gordy doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm sure Gordy could give a rat's ass what Marlboro sounds like, so long as she continues to shake her moneymaker at him.

Adam Fucking Lambert is next and he tells us how he grew up in San Diego but moved to L.A. as soon as he could get there to break into the business. He assures us that if he had tried the business and Idol earlier, he never would have made it. His parents are interviewed and they are so many levels of awesomeness, with Mom Lambert saying they just want Adam to be happy, making money isn't everything" and with Dad Lambert saying "making money would be cool though." Snap! I am nearly dying of curiosity, wondering if Adam Fucking Lambert will take the brass balls by the chain and actually perform "Thriller" because I will lose my freaking mind if he does. But he informs us that he chose "Black or White" and he comes out on the stage and prances around in that way of his and sings his little heart out and he is so much better than anyone else, even The Chosen Gokey, it's a freaking joke and they should just hand him the damn crown already. I mean, I wasn't necessarily a fan of the song when it was originally out but damn if Adam Fucking Lambert doesn't make me keep the beat and want to dance around or at least prance around my own bedroom, faux singing in the mirror. Honestly, this was the perfect song choice on a perfect theme night because Adam Fucking Lambert is probably the only Idol who can literally sound like Michael Jackson and act like Michael Jackson and it doesn't come off like an act. The crowd, predictably, goes nuts. Paula says that never in the history of American Idol has anyone been so natural on the stage as Adam Fucking Lambert and he's a natural and can marry fashion with music. Paula is basically in tears, so moved and blinded by Adam Fucking Lambert's pure brilliance and Adam looks like he's going to either burst into tears or another song. Simon tells Adam he is in a completely different league from the rest of the constestants, which just causes everyone to go even crazier than they were. Randy and Kara think Adam Fucking Lambert should be on the radio right freaking now and how come he's not? Randy says an album would totally sell. Right now. Kara even says "I hope Michael Jackson is watching tonight."

Matt the Dueling Piano Player is next and I feel sorry for him because he has to follow the absolute awesomeness that is Adam Fucking Lambert. So we see him playing ping pong with his family and his mom saying how great Matt is and his dad saying how great it is to be Matt's dad and Matt will be singing "Human Nature", accompanying himself on the piano. I love "Human Nature", it's one of the few slow Michael Jackson songs that I can tolerate and it's not meant to be a ballad or a powerhouse song. Matt absolutely kills it, and in a good way. Now, the last notes are painful to hear because he appears to be attempting to replicate Justin Timberlake hitting a glory note while on helium but the rest is about as good as can be. At least on a show where being artistic is frowned upon. Matt can go right ahead and join Kris in the boy band because he may have just out-Timberlaked Timberlake. Simon rightfully tells Matt how difficult it would be to follow Adam Fucking Lambert and says that Matt gave a good meat and potatoes performance. Is that a British thing? Well, I suppose that would be bangers and mash but whatever. Paula sang along with Matt (probably off-key) and of course she absolutely loves him and is probably about to go out of her mind, or what's left of it, having two incredibly incredible performances in a row. She even says she's blown away. Randy thinks Matt has the Robin Thicke/Justin thing going on. Of course Randy is more concerned with namedropping like these are his BFFs forever than being useful.

Alexis Grace gets the Pimp Spot and Ryan reminds the viewing audience that because there are 13 Idols tonight (instead of the normal 12) and because American Idol doesn't have a lock on the phone number for 13, be sure and pay close attention to Alexis' number because if you don't and you dial the normal exchange, you will reach a porn line. No joke. So we get to see Alexis' adorable little daughter again and I really don't remember much else because her daughter is so freaking cute. Alexis is going to sing "Dirty Diana" and I am really loving her hair, even with its pink streak, and I wish I could wear my hair like this. At least for a day or two. I'm not really feeling what Alexis is wearing, which looks like black bloomers but the song is a really good choice for her and she's even kind of grinding to the song and totally performing it. Given that Alexis has a very, very good voice and she's cute and her daughter is cute and she is in the Pimp Spot, she should totally be safe. I mean, are the judges' remarks even truly necessary? Kara thinks Alexis was naughty. Paula liked it but warned her about oversinging (which is rich, considering The Gokey One and Lil should be arrested for violating that edict). Simon didn't think it was nearly as good as Alexis herself thought it was. Randy decides to take Simon's side and pretty much says the exact same thing.

Obviously Adam Fucking Lambert, Matt and Alexis should be safe. They were at the end, and anything following Adam Fucking Lambert is going to be remembered. I suppose it's the Adam Effect. Anoop should be safe based on the reverse psychology of the Simon beating. The rest were a pretty big bag of meh overall, with the exception of Marlboro's assfest about birds and cawing. The others may get lost in the shuffle of ho-hum but nobody is going to forget that travesty.

As far as who will go home, honestly, I think it's anyone's guess at this point. Marlboro definitely should go home but otherwise, I'm drawing a blank.

March 8, 2009

Calling 911 Over McNuggets


I have always said that nothing people do ultimately shocks me, but then someone will come out and do something especially stupid or ignorant that will leave me wondering how on earth people dealing with that level of stupidity keep from killing themselves on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, police in Fort Pierce, Florida responded to three 911 calls made by Latreasa Goodman, who called to report that she had paid for a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets at her local McDonald's, the restaurant ran out and refused to issue her a refund.

Yes, calling 911 over this is absolutely ridiculous, particularly when you consider that Ms. Goodman's calls took the 911 operators away from potentially life-threatening calls. It definitely sucks when you get yourself in the mood for some Chicken McNuggets or whatever and you get there and they are out. Crazy, really, because how could they run out? I suppose the same way they run out of milkshakes, or how often the milkshake machine appears to break when you really would like a milkshake.

Anyhow, the story made the national news, being touted as a woman calling 911 because McDonald's was out of Chicken McNuggets.

What I find interesting about the story is that Ms. Goodman paid for a food item that McDonald's did indeed sell to her, only to be informed they did not have it and they refused to issue her a refund. This is what prompted the 911 calls, silly as they were. I want to know how McDonald's could refuse Ms. Goodman (or anyone else) a refund when they sold her a product they did not have. Whether it's a dollar-something Chicken McNuggets or a $500 t.v. set at an electronics store, is it right that the business can refuse a refund for selling something they do not have to sell? I don't think so. I think it smacks of fraud, quite frankly.

The cashier working at McDonald's told authorities that she refused to give Ms. Goodman a refund on the McNuggets because it was against McDonald's policy, but offered to give Ms. Goodman a different item, or even a larger portion of a different item for the same price, but Ms. Goodman became irate. This seems nonsensical to me. If McDonald's does not want to issue refunds, what is the point in offering the customer (who wants a refund for a legitimate reason) a larger portion of a different item for the same price? Isn't McDonald's losing money this way? And ultimately more than they would have lost by simply refunding the customer the original price? I understand not wanting to issue a refund on an item the customer simply didn't like, on principal, and offering the customer another choice, at McDonald's expense. But when the item advertised and sold is not available, they should give the customer his or her money back, period.

Incidentally, Ms. Goodman was cited for misuse of 911 and McDonald's issued her an apology as well as the refund she wanted, along with a complimentary meal.

March 6, 2009

American Idol Announces the Wild Cards

So we were blessed with a third night of Idol in a row, this time for the judges to allegedly announce their picks for the 3 wild card slots, after the 8 tortured souls perform. Again, does anyone think the judges haven't already decided and they are basically fucking with the 8 people at this point? No, didn't think so.

Fortunately Randy is not wearing those Shaggy-esque orange tinted glasses that he subjected us to the night before, nor the matching vest. He is, however, wearing a Mr. Rogers-like sweater along his usual big, honking watch and is, again, on the far left of the judges' Table of Righteousness. Paula is questionably attired in a hot pink leopard print dress (no, really) with a matching scarf of equally hot pink. I think we can tell already that Paula has been tippling, just from her choice of clothing. I swear, I think I saw a pet bed at Target made from the exact same pink leopard print material. Kara is wearing naughty librarian attire and Simon (gasp!) is in a blue sweater. Granted, it's sort of a dusty blue with shades of gray, but what? Simon is actually wearing a color other than black, white or gray? Naturally, when the judges are announced, Simon get a few boos from the audience, which causes him to grin because you know secretly he loves being "hated" and even goofy Randy gives out a hearty boo or two which really makes no sense because Randy likes to repeat most everything Simon says.

So we get to see the 8 contestants who are in this current death race for the coveted wild card spots. The camera pans over them, in case we are all too stupid to remember who was announced just 24 hours ago. Or maybe this was done for Paula's benefit. Anyhow . . .

Jesse is up first and in case anyone should forget who she is, Idol plays us a little tape to remind us that she is one of the five thousand single moms who are on Idol this season and Jesse, via video, states how happy she is to be given a second chance and how much she is going to impress us. Which really doesn't matter in the end because the judges are deciding her fate, not gullible America. So Jesse is going to sing "Tell Me Something Good" for us, but really for the judges. And honestly, could there be a better song title for a sing off? She should get brownie points just for that. So she sings and she sounds decent. Not jump out of your seat exciting, not Adam Fucking Lambert prancing around the stage excited, not even Jorge-babbling-in-Spanish excited but she certainly didn't tank. The song is pretty smoky and sultry and Jesse can do that.

So the judges are going to preside over their Table of Righteousness immediately and Kara tells Jesse there were problems in the song but overall Kara liked her presence. Paula pretty much repeats what Kara says, about how she likes Jesse's attitude and I think it's pretty clear that we're not going to get serious, honest evaluations of the performances because the judges have already made up their minds. Sucker I am, though, I will keep watching. Kara and Paula decide to have a conversation between the two of them which apparently doesn't include anyone else about how Jesse brought the sexy in the song. Simon reiterates what everyone already knows, that Jesse was the last minute switcheroo from the night before and he liked her performance but found it a bit self-indulgent because it was more about Jesse than anything else. Well, duh, Simon. Who else should Jesse's performance have been about? If she really wanted to be indulgent, don't you think she would have sung "Jesse's Girl"? Now that would have been nine different types of awesome. So then Paula and Kara have to get their panties in a bunch over Simon's comment because they are contractually obligated to go into a snit over a Simon comment at least four times per episode. Randy doesn't get to say a word. Or if he did, he was overshadowed by the KaPaSi nonsense going on.

Matt the Dueling Piano Player is next and apparently he decided that since he failed trying to sing Chris Martin last time, he would attempt to dress like him. Either that or Jorge's "it's 78 degrees here, it's FREEZING!" has gotten to Matt. So he apologizes for totally fucking up last time and announces that he's going to be singing the Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You". I'm not sure about this until Matt starts singing and I am surprised that it's fairly good. He took the judges' advice and has gone back to his bluesy roots (their words, not mine) and while he doesn't totally growl and blow it out of the box like Alex W-T (Team Alex, fuck yeah!) his voice does sound pretty good and now I can understand why RaKaPaSi brought him back (and not for his fashion sense). Kara thinks Matt can really riff and the way she's eyeing him, I'm thinking she really wants him to riff her and good. She does say it was a bit over the top at times (you think?). Simon tells Matt he was five freaking thousand times better than before but thinks his outfit is total ass and drops the T word - - Taylor Hicks. This sets everyone off, of course, because has any Idol winner been less commercial, relevant and successful than Taylor Hicks? So Seacrest comes out and asks Matt why he chose that particular song and Matt says something kind of irrelevant about how he knows the song and it's in his bones. Kind of like where Kara would like to be. Matt basically says he should have sang it to begin with, versus the Coldplay song, but he fucked up royally and so now he's here. Seacrest grins like a gay monkey on some good crack.

Marlboro Megan is up next and I have to say she reminds me of Crack Barbie, if there was such a thing. (Mattel, feel free to contact me). So she is going to sing "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" and she does that same spastic thing with her arms and legs that is so distracting you almost don't realize how craptacious she sounds. Almost. Is there such a thing as audible rape because if there is, I'd like to press charges, please. Paula thinks Marlboro looks great (Paula is impaired, remember) and she is full of joy, like her name (i.e., Megan Joy Corkrey). She thought the dancing (i.e., randomly spastic arm and leg movements) was great and she thinks Megan is great in general. Absolutely nothing about Marlboro's performance. Simon is next and he tells Marlboro that he likes her, always has and my heart sinks because it's pretty fucking obvious right now that Marlboro is in. She gave an assy performance but the judges aren't going to address that because they've already made up their minds to include her. Despite the fact she can't really sing and what she does croak out sounds suspiciously like Horrendous Allison. I predict neither of these girls will have vocal chords left in a month. So Simon does qualify his remark by saying that Marlboro doesn't give the best vocal performance but this is American Idol so who gives a shit about vocals? Randy . . . well, who cares what Randy said because you know it's the same thing Simon said. Kara beats the dead blonde horse by saying Marlboro is necessary because she's different. Being a cannibal is different too, Kara, but that doesn't mean I'm going to try it.

Von Smith is up next and he looks eagerly terrified. He is going to be singing "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" and if you know this song, you know things did not get better for Von. The beginning was rough - - rough like swallowing a handful of rusty nails, without water, and with swollen glands. Von also makes a whole lot of eagerly terrified faces and manages to get a few shouty shouts in the mix. Simon hated the beginning of the song and worries that Von is beginning to get boring. Despite earlier being told that seriousness was a good thing, now Simon thinks Von is getting too serious and whatever specialness he might have had, it's fucking gone now. Randy thought the song choice was weird and just didn't know about Von's performance. Kara hated the song and thought the entire performance came across as dark. But she does tell Von that he's talented and has what it takes, he just can't make good song choices. Dr. Paula tells Von that through her intense research and study of Von's previous performances she has determined that Von overthinks (something Paula clearly never does) and therefore limits his ability. Von quickly agrees while Paula mentally calculates whether or not, because of this brilliant psychological evaluation of Von, she can now write her own illegal prescriptions. Oh yeah, she also assures Von that he has the vocals and the talent. Which basically means that Von is toast because, as we all know, having vocal ability has absolutely nothing to do with success on American Idol.

Jasmine is now up and she looks like she fell into a Twisted Tie Dye machine on her way to the Idol studio. Her tie dyeish dress is a lovely shade of carnival cotton candy. Yum. Hope Paula doesn't have the munchies. Kind of, sort of taking Kara's earlier advice (stay in the Rihanna mold), Jasmine will be singing Christina Aguilera's "Reflection". I find her entire performance dull and predictable. Okay, I guess girlfriend can sing but there is absolutely nothing energizing or exciting about it. The judges all ridiculously feign surprise at Jasmine's big voice which is really nonsensical because I think even Scott could see a big voice coming a mile away. After all, didn't Kara tell Jasmine the night before that she really had to bring it and wow the judges? It's really early in the season for Kara to be getting as mentally impaired as Paula. Speaking of who, Paula absolutely loved Jasmine's song. Of course she did! It was totally Disney and totally fit into Paula's rainbow-filled world. Simon tells Jasmine a lot of what he told Matt the Piano Player - - she was five freaking thousand times better with this song than she was her last performance. Which, truthfully, isn't saying a whole lot because her last performance was terrible.

Ricky Bobby Braddy is next and he is wearing some of the tightest jeans I think I've seen around these Idol parts. Well, with the exception of Headband Wearing Nathaniel the night before - - I felt my nether regions going numb just watching the screen. Ricky Bobby is going to be singing "Superstition" and Paula is up on her feet and dancing along with Ricky Bobby's singing. The camera pans and also lets us see Anoop, up on the walkway over the stage, getting down with "Superstition". Anoop is so awesome. Ricky Bobby's singing is pretty good and I never would have thought he would pick "Superstition". Simon actually throws some praise Ricky Bobby's way, telling him he has chops but seems a bit offputting. Kara is all about Ricky Bobby, impressed with his song choice and his performance and looking at him like he's a big juicy steak at a Golden Corral buffet. Randy and Paula give Ricky Bobby praise but I'm thinking that he doesn't fit into the 3 they have already selected. Seacrest drives this point home by not even asking Ricky Bobby why he chose that particular song (as he has done with all the others) and doesn't even talk to him at all. Cold, Seacrest.

Here comes the crazy. It's Tatiana and in her annoying video clip she thanks everyone about a million times and repeats how much she loves to sing and how much this means to her. Fuck, if she gets through I will literally have to kill myself at some point during the season.

Seacrest actually gets down on one knee (because he does worship the crazy) and introduces Tatiana, stating that she will be singing "Saving All My Love For You" - - the same song she has sung previously. She is predictably great - - strong voice and not a bum note. She is wearing a bum dress though - - much too short for her frame. Simon gives her a hand to the forehead move after she is done, imitating Tatiana and her drama queen moves. Paula tries to critique her but Tatiana begins to scream and, oh Lord, that crazy scream is back. Paula asks where the newly found Puerto Rican accent Tatiana is sporting tonight came from and Tatiana thought it worked so well for Jorge, she might as well try it too. Both Paula and Simon point out to Tatiana that this was the third time she's sung "Saving All My Love For You" and they are both tired of it. Simon even wonders aloud if Tatiana should make it to the Top 12, will she sing a different version of this song every single week? Tatiana tries to say that she didn't have time to learn a new song as she was only notified Monday about her second chance. Simon calls b.s. on that one and Paula takes Simon to task for interrupting Tatiana. When did this become the Tatiana, Queen of Crazy, show? So Tatiana finally admits that she sang the same song again because she loves it and knows it and basically is too much of a lazy ass to be bothered to choose another song. Randy and Kara think Tatiana is kind of crazy and Kara is grateful that Tatiana isn't acting too crazy right now and Simon says just wait, that shit is coming. So then Seacrest somehow or the other gets Tatiana to get on her knees again on stage while he's standing beside her and it's all kinds of weird, mainly because Seacrest probably isn't used to a woman kneeling beside him.

Anoop is going to wrap up the evening and I am praying with everything I am worth that Anoop totally brings it tonight because I think the judges may try to pull some major shenanigans and only let one male in, to try and even out the male/female ratio. Despite what the producers said. And Matt the Piano Player did pretty freaking good so Anoop needs to be on fire. So he's wearing a totally awesome bright blue shirt and looks much more comfortable than he did the night before when he seriously looked like he was going to be facing a firing squad. So Anoop, via video, tells us how surprised he was and how being saved for last was all kinds of stressful. Anoop is singing "My Prerogative" and he gets all white boy rapper on us and while it's not the best vocal performance, it's all kinds of fun and the audience totally gets into it. Simon says that while Anoop sang the same song he did earlier (audition? Hollywood week?) it's perfectly okay because he's not Tatiana. He also says that Anoop is a crowd pleaser and the judges will have to take that in mind while making their decisions because being able to sing isn't always the most important thing when picking the best singer in the country. Kara hates to dance but Anoop's performance made her want to get up and dance. Paula, wink, wink, noticed Anoop's dirty moves. Randy thought . . . I don't know, did Randy think anything? Yeah, Randy thought Anoop "slayed" it, was even better than the last time he perfomed it and Randy was like "what?" Normal Randy.

So we go to commercial breaks and we are supposed to believe, because this is LIVE!, that the judges are actually deliberating this very minute on who will stay and who will go. I didn't get Alex W-T so Anoop better fucking stay.

So Seacrest begins calling random people out and they don't even dim the lights, that's how anti climatic this whole thing is. Jasmine is called out first and . . . she's in! No, really. The judges even say after "heavy deliberation". Yeah, the kind of "heavy deliberation" that can only be achieved in a three and a half minute commercial break.

So Jasmine starts to return to her Seat of Purgatory before she is rerouted over to the Stools of Safety, where Allison practically molests her. Jasmine looks absolutely shellshocked and you can tell that the people still sitting at the Seats of Purgatory are like "Fuck, really?"

Ricky Bobby is called out next and we all know the way Idol works. No way is he going through. Kara tells him no, that the judges saw more personality from him tonight but just not enough. I definitely don't think they could use that rationalization for Jasmine because, cute as she is, her performance was dull, dull, dull. Ricky Bobby seems to be taking it well though but for all I know, he's planning on slashing Kara's tires later.

Seacrest then orders Megan and Tatiana to come down together. This is totally obvious. The Crazy is out and Marlboro is in. Paula is elected to inform them and of course she must give the rationalization for why they chose who they did . . . and then she stares at them like Marlboro is Hansel and Crazy is Gretel and Paula just got a brand new oven before finally announcing that Crazy's dream ends here. So Marlboro gets to run over to the Stools of Safety, where Allison jumps her as well. Tatiana is left to wander over to the Table of Righteousness and get all emotional.

So Seacrest then says some something about "who gets the final stool? Find out next, LIVE!"

Only I don't because Idol is incapable of doing a live show within the 60 minute time frame and my DVR runs out! This happens, literally, like ten minutes after the show ended and while flipping directly to FOX I am instead confronted with Gordon Ramsey and Hell's Kitchen. Oh, bloody hell! I must know!

So I run to the computer, figuring surely they are crazy people like me who would go ahead and post the winners. Please, God, be kind and let Anoop in. I know Matt was all kinds of awesome as far as the judges thought but I need Anoop in this show!

No way. No freaking way. Matt and Anoop are in! So there is no Top 12, it's the Top 13! So much awesomeness. Even without Alex W-T.

So set your DVRs. Season 8 "officially" begins next week!