American Idol 9 Neil Patrick Harris Shows Up Joe Jonas, Not So Much

January 28, 2010

American Idol came to Big D once again and wound up apparently inviting 31 aspiring Pop stars to Hollywood. Guest judging last night’s song-fest, Neil Patrick “Doogie Houser” Harris and Joe “Camp Rock” Jonas. The difference between the two guest judges incredible with NPH at least making some witty commentary whereas Joe sat hunched over the table awkwardly mumbling a few words now and then. Tragic really. Neither compared to the beauty that was Katy Perry last night.

Julie Kevelighan returned, she auditioned season one slaughtering “Lady Marmalade”. This time she shows up with so much glittery eyecake she barely can open her eyes, wearing a sequined dress I dare say she made herself with one of her Grandmother’s doilies decorating the top. She held a hideous sign that she created and carried on so delusionally that she inspired Neil Patrick Harris to declare her ‘annoying’.
“Hi Sparkle” ~ Neil Patrick Harris

No, no, no.

Lloyd Thomas is from the projects here in Dallas and is weary of his job as a dock worker, I mean who wouldn’t be? He delivers plenty of Dallas flavor with his local colloquillisms (“you better leave right now..”) so I like him. Lloyd pulls out a Stevie Wonder tune and does a decent job with it.
“Overjoyed”

Sadly his taste of victory won’t take him past Hollywood.

I enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris’ verbal sparring with Simon, naturally “Good Bad and Ugly” music track utilized. I mean this is Texas.

Kimberly Carver delivers some North Texas Jazz Band sounds inspiring Simon to call her “Jazz TV”. Not sure what that is but I don’t really care.

She’s not long for the show and I’ll likely forget about her after I write this.

Time for another delusional contestant which brought us to Dexter Ward. The DMan amused me (he actually watched with me last night) comparing Dexter with Michael Irvin. Dexter has a cocky attitude as well and informed us that, ” I’m just being honest, the show is over.”

Well after he sang, it was over for Mr. Ward.

Barney and Friends ex-actress, Erica Rhodes, whips the panel into a frenzy with her rendition of the Barney song. I remember her very well, she was a precocious little girl and that quality remains, obviously. (A friend of mine worked for the show a number of years.) Her vocals are kind of high pitched and not that interesting for me.
Yes “Barney” girls grow up, “to be dirty little girls” ~ Neil Patrick Harris.
“I Love You, You Love me…”

Apparently she doesn’t crack that whip enough because she won’t get past Hollywood it seems. Back to the dino-show.

Dave Pittman came all the way from Arkansas, his interesting back story, he has Tourettes. Rather like how Mel Tillis could sing without stuttering, Dave can sing Tourettes free. “Crazy brave” Dave performed Sam Cooke’s “Bring it Back Home”.

He’s not going home, they put him through to Hollywood.

Miley Cyrus music played over the requisite montage of screaming hopefuls. Miley Cyrus? I guess because Joe Jonas was up next for his guest spot. I really have no clue. We’re welcomed back to “the round-up” by the cliche’ed horseback riding cowpoke image. Then an unnecessary explanation ensued of who exactly is Joe Jonas.

Todrick Hall, who came across as Mr. NiceNCharming performed a gooey song composed himself to smooze the show. Mr. Hall was in the Fantasia-starring “The Color Purple” . Goodie for him.

Joe Jonas just looked awkward and without any original thoughts floating through his lovely head.

Maegan Wright is from our lovely city of Richardson. She said it’s just she and her brother, her parents are divorced. So is she taking care of the boy alone? Anyway he’s borderline annoying. She has a passable voice, nothing really impressive, but it seems she brought half the city with her, now that was impressive.

Contestant Vanessa Johnston was so horrible you just must watch her, I had to: C’mon she’s a bouncing pink and purple wonder.

Loved the crotch tug. Nice touch.

Christian Spear 16 yr old Lukemia survivor, is the last of the night. She’s been in remission eight years now, so good on her. She hears those church bells ringing:

Her vocals did not particularly ring my bell but she goes through.

Next week the last for these audition rounds, but oddly we have to endure another Posh Spice appearance. Could the show not find anyone else?

Overall most of these kids will not have to sing this next tune, because they get to return soon.


American Idol 9: Sideshow Bob and Katy Perry Doesn’t Kiss a Girl

January 27, 2010

This week’s first episode moderately better than both last week’s offerings. Reason for that, were the contestants better singers? No. Katy Perry is the reason, Russell Brand you evil genius. There was another guest judge last night, Avril Lavigne, but outside her horny hoodie she may not have been there at all.

First contestant of the night was the hapless and clueless Neil Goldstein. He’s the first contestant I’ve ever seen who has hair that changes length film clip to film clip. Perhaps Neil is like one of those dolls whom you pull the hair out from their head to lengthen it or roll it back in to shorten it? He was just a bit on the sexually ambiguous side; not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Poor confused, conflicted and very sweaty Neil, he alone really liked the way he sounded. He put up a determined front insisting, utilizing some misplaced sort of Zen/Buddist borrowing mumbo-jumbo that he’s not leaving; his belief you create your own reality and his reality has him winning this reality show.

Reality check Neil, there is no Hope and your dreams dashed, you are not going to go any further. At least the show did not have to tazer him or haul him out in cuffs.

Of course an Idol audition show would not be complete without church pastors. Jim Ranger paraded his religion, his wife and three cute tots in his bid for America's easily swayed heart. What was it last night with the vests? Crissy Goldstein wore one and Pastor Pop had one on as well. I suppose that 's the next big thing with men, bring back the vest and pocket watches will follow. He made the unfortunate decision to pimp out his own song, "Drive". Apparently some sort of ode to his wife, something about singing to the radio, hair blowing in the wind. blah. He's put through, but trust me people, he won't go much farther. The Fundies would have loved him.

Damien Lefavor failed at doing a Righteous Brothers tune, he wailed like a cat who had his tail stood on. He was awkward, his entire schtick seemed like something staged, surreal. He lost that Loving Feeling but my feeling, or course, he never had it.

Following Lafavor’s fall from favor, Pat Benatar wanna be, Mary Powers who brought her 8 yr old daughter along to smooze Simon. The kid apparently a Big Fan of the man. Mary’s a rocker chick and wanted no one to make any mistake about it, her outfit straight off the racks from Hot Topic. The show put up an Adam Lambert montage in an attempt to tease the viewers into comparing Mary to Adam but likely the only thing they have in common, the dyed black hair. Her kid was very cute.

AJ Mendoza had at one point, submitted some music for Adam Lambert to listen to and review. Because Lambert supposedly gave him some positive commentaries he believed he had a shot at this show. He thought he could sing Living Color’s “Cult of Personality”, but proceeded to squeeze the song out through his teeth in a completely ridiculous way. Simon commented that Mendoza managed to sound as if he’s just left a dentist’s office still suffering from anesthetic. Well at least he left quietly, retaining a small amount of dignity.

Austin Fullmer was completely delusional, imagining he’s somehow attractive and sexually charged. He’s a skinny odd dude, from his poses and grimaces came across as having some sort of Mick Jagger ideal in his mind. He freaks out Simon and it’s a thumbs down all around. Over-inflated sense of self in tact he spouts off to the camera men some nonsense about bringing the ‘real man’ and Simon could not handle it.

Time for The Kinks’ tune, “I Want You to Want Me” and one of those Idol montages with contestants in hysterics, tears, bawling and squalling. One contestant, whom intitially I thought merely an Ashley Ferl look alike, turns out it seems it possibly the real Ashley, showed up and once again spouted tears for the show, this time not for Sanjaya but apparently for herself. Tragic.

Danny Gokey 2.0 featured next – his name, Andrew Garcia. He’s Hokey Gokey all over again from the goggles, the hats, the crying and bawling family. His father carried on emotionally for what seemed like 20 minutes about the gang lifestyle he took his kids out of for their benefit. Andrew is just quite thankful he did not have to “grow up dead”. Let me just say, once a gangbanger always a gangbanger, they don’t let you just walk.

I’ll dish, Andrew Danny-Gokey-en-espanol Garcia goes to top 24.

Apparently ProActiv the new sponsor of Idol and Katy Perry fearlessly showed off her bumpy yet make-up covered pre-Proactiv zits.

Another pastor of some sort, Tasha Layton, she sings Joss Stone’s “Baby Baby, Baby”. yawn.

Finally some fun comes a calling with super freak Jason Greene, a 21 yr old student. Had me wondering if perhaps he might have been a VFTW plant, Jason was almost too off the wall to be real. He prances, he eye-flirts, he flaunts and he sings “I Touch Myself” while slithering around. He even made a pass at Simon, then called Katy Perry ‘dirty’ for her low cut top. Best thing, he exited and handed Ryan his phone contact in a folded piece of paper. Ry passed the paper to a burly body guard looking guy who gave a nice leering smile and knowing nod to the cameraman.
He believes in magic:

Katy Perry’s tune “Hot and Cold” song segued into a montage of rejects culminating with Perry threatening to toss her Coke on Kara and telling Kara the panel should not let contestants through because of a sad story. It was just faux cat fighting but I do love Katy more for it, at the very least she was lovely and very entertaining.

Final (sob) story of the night, FosterCareKid. Chris GoLightly, sported a Justin Guarini/Sideshow Bob hairdo and a sob story that the innocent Idol viewers should eat up like good cake. He tries to have you think he’s been completely unloved all his life, no birthdays, no Christmases meanwhile bouncing around about 25 foster families.
He just wants someone to stand by him… but “it’s not a Lifetime movie” ~ Katy Perry :

If this true a sad commentary on either the Foster care system or this kid’s real life personna. Spoiler, he does make it to the top 24. Somehow though this sad sob story will eventually unfold and we’ll find out the real deal behind Chris.

Something special just for you dear readers, “Happiness” by Kara DioGuardi.

Yes, Kara has that sort of psychodelic thing going on doesn’t she? Stab me.


A.I. 9 Week of January 18th

January 21, 2010

American Idol’s Tuesday night audition show in the Windy City was all blow and no go, so we’ll just jump into Wednesday’s show held in Orlando. Things have to improve in the land of Mickey, right? Seems Ryan, Simon and Randy were feeling the party after glow, arriving in Orlando the morning after having spent an evening in Miami, blowing off a little steam. Likely to make getting over Chicago a little easier.

Wednesday night’s show started out with the now seemingly requisite oddball, a guy obviously thinking, if it works for Lady GaGa surely it will work for him. I’ll refer to him as GaGa Glitter, his outfit complete with a cape and going for that “Poker Face” look, pasted mirrors with a clump of white feathers on the right side of his face.

GaGa Glitter opens his mouth and basically bellows Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” with a voice much lower in register than I’d originally anticipated. Amusingly GaGa Glitter was quite sure he would land in at least the top three once he was allowed to go through. That did not occur but he was complimented on smelling nice and Ryan was kind enough to help him remove his mirrors.

Kristen Chenoweth was the guest judge, at least part of the night, she’s with that rather horrible show that most people seem to love, “Glee”. Her speaking voice is entertaining as she sounds rather like she’s sucked helium, perfect for appearing in the land of Mickey. I really was annoyed with the playing up Kara and Kristen’s “Ooo we’re BFF’s” act. Waste of a bloody five minutes. If you’ve recorded this, not watched it yet, time to fast forward.

Following GaGa Glitter, a parade of delusional crying and begging people began that wound up culminating with Seth Rollins. Now Seth was one of the Sad Story of the night contestants. It seems instead of viewers hearing any real singers so far this audition season, we’re just entreated to zingers and sob stories; the producers are going for the drama gold. What does this say? Producers altering their approach to the television viewers apparently just to up ratings, hell who wants singing when you can actually have tons of crying people shown or even the occasional on-camera arrest.

Anyway, back to Seth, he’s seemingly a nice guy, has his plump wife and two kids shown as his motivation to succeed. Kicker of the story, his son apparently diagnosed with a form of Autism. Sniff. He sings, “Someone to Watch Over Me”. He’s not horrible and Kara and Kristen love him. Kara takes it over the top to gush, “Oh, I just want to keep hearing you.” She then proceeds to take over Randy’s usual line including counting up to a percentage number not really known to man. (Gazillionmillion or something) Rollins exits with the “Fix You” song with wife and autistic son waiting to embrace him (the ‘normal’ child no where to be found) so I start to dislike him.

Disney tune, ‘Wish Upon the Stars’ or something, plays to a montage of crying and begging contestants to remind we viewers that of course, only the truly talented have a chance at Hollywood.

Jermaine Purifoy from TN, is not one of the crying begging fools and actually performs well, he makes it through to Hollywood stating how he’s ready to take risks.
Jermaine Purifoy c/o webemundo

Last contestant of the day a girl who was born with facial nerve damage, she’s attractive and doesn’t sound too bad, performing a Nora Jones tune. Even though she forgets the lyrics they let her through to Hollywood.

Next day brings Blake Lewis 2.0 and we know how that turned out. Beat Boxing is dead people, dead. When are we going to stop trying to bring it back, all that spitting and facial contortions. Stop it. Darling Daughter talking on her phone explained to her friend, “Some guy just did a wierd song by making all kinds of noise.” Pretty much it except he was murdering a Beatles tune, “Come Together”. I’ve no idea why but the judges let him through.

Cornelius Edwards comes in energetically singing and throws himself into the splits. I mean just bam crotch to the floor splits like one of the Kilgore Rangerettes. The show adds sound effects to play up the fact that the guy’s splitting double-stitched seamed denim might not have been the only thing ripping as he landed bolas al piso. Of course they send him through.

Last dude up, a country boy. How do we know this? He’s shown in a tatty straw cowboy hat and in one shot from his ‘home’, emerging from a trailer. Surely this season has shown the most trailer park vignettes than any of the others. You get the impression that at least half the folks trying out came from the local mobile home park. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Anyway, at the tender age of 15, making like Bonnie and Clyde without the Bonnie, young Matt Lawrence strode right into a local Wells Fargo or something – with a BB gun – attempting to rob the place. He wound up spending four birthdays in jail but if he’d been older than 15 at the time he’d have spent a good many more. Being a big fan of Irony, it amused me that he selected Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble”.

Coming up next week, Katy Perry (I’ve Kissed a Girl) and Avril Levigne (that Sk8ter Boi chick) will be ‘guesting’ in Los Angeles Tuesday, then Wednesday for the Big D show, Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas give it a go. (You’ll get to see Jason Castro’s brother, Michael give it another try – but trust me on this, he doesn’t go far again this season.)

Seems it’s the Prez’s State of the Union address time again also next week; that should fit right into the line up of reality television. Now only if we could have Simon Cowell judge that event it would make it moderately more entertaining.

The best part of the show last night? Why this of course!
There’s Something Wrong with Scooter:


Brett Favre Pulls Romo’s Pants on the Ground

January 18, 2010

Woo I love this wild and wooly Brett Favre moment. He played pretty well in the game, too.

High hopes for Superbowl for The Gunslinger, time to show the Saints how to really march.


American Idol Hits Hot-Lanta & Mary J. Blige is Love

January 14, 2010

I will have to pass on last night’s evaluations in honor of Dave, you know, Dave, thefunnystone on Vote for the Worst? Yeah, THAT Dave. Here’s why:

“Vanessa Wolfe is one of the best VFTW contestants of the night. Just about everything she says or does is awesome. She likes to jump off bridges because there’s nothing else to do in rural Tennessee. That’s not true. She could be making babies or making sandwiches. She calls herself 100% pure beef when she gets out of the water. Most of the other stuff she says though is unintelligible because her accent is so thick. So I’ll just picture her saying, “I wash myself with a rag on a stick” whenever she mumbles so I Can laugh to myself. When Vanessa sings, she sounds like an off key hick trying to sing a country song. So naturally, I loved her. Kara calls Vanessa authentic. Simon calls her ill prepared but distinct. So basically, the judges are saying she’s a terrible singer but believable as a hick. Well, duh. If you haven’t noticed over the past 2 nights, Idol has abandoned the pretense that they are judging singing and they’re now just giving Hollywood tickets to anyone who is deemed “likeable” and “authentic”. Somehow, Vanessa makes it to Hollywood, but not before she asks the judges if they are cereal. They’re not. But if the judges were cereal:
Randy would be Count Chocula.
Simon would be Cheerios (pip pip).
Kara would be that value store brand cereal you pick up because it’s on sale but then leave in the back of the cabinet after trying it once and realizing how awful it is.”

I completely commiserate with Dave , “What’s the budget on this show, $1? At least when I misspell shit, it’s because I write blogs at midnight while half buzzed on the liquor that got me through the show. What’s your excuse, Idol?”

To read more of Dave’s hiccup inducing hilarity be brave and click this link.

To have your hardened heart softened just a bit, watch Vanessa Wolfe’s video:


American Idol 9 Starts in the City of Brutally Boring aka Boston

January 13, 2010

Last night, as Everyone in the World knew (at least those equipped with a television and the FOX affiliates) the kick-off night for the ninth season of karoake contest extraordinaire, American Idol. First city visited by Simon Cowell and his entourage, Boston, now to be known for so many contestants being either brutally horrible or brutally boring.

One of the more entertaining contestants, on camera, and I am reaching here, American Idol Gamer Girl (Janet McNamara). She tragically believed playing the A.I. video game some sort of training and validation that she has what it takes to ‘win’ this show – in Real Life. Likely this could lead into a look at how playing too many video games can warp a person’s reality but that’s for another blog topic. Anyway as she departs she rather mannishly shakes Ryan’s hand, then inadvertently pops her accompanying friend upside the head. Delightful.

Next up, time for a nice little sincere story. Sixteen year old Maddie Curtis’ tale involves how her brother has Downs and then her parents apparently began adopting other babies with Downs. She’s a sweet girl whom has watched the show since she was eight years old. She sings Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluiah”, as my eleven year old interjected, “Like one of the voices behind Disney princesses, you know like Ariel or something”. Really pretty spot on. Immediately I flashed to animated Ariel sitting on a chunk of coral serenading her yellow fish.

(My kid and I have a pact that we must watch this show together. I’m sure one day, when she’s all grown up, she’ll make a fortune off of a book that will make folks think Joan Crawford really not that bad a Mom afterall.)

Loud annoying guy named Patrick is up next; he has an assemblage of people with him, wearing his ‘team’ colors apparently. They’re all dressed in bright blue and he wears a striped shirt in that same shade of blue with white stripes. He prances about singing Britney Spears, “Womanizer” and calls Simon, ‘sassy’. We learn Simon never had school chums and then Patrick hugs everyone promising to return. Thankfully with this perhaps being the last season, this something we need not dwell over.

Next up, I’ll call them The Montage Girls. Several female contestants flash across the television, nameless, brief snippets of their faces, songs and one or two bust shots. It’s like, yadda, yadda, girls who all sing alike, moving on…

I was mildly entertained by the next contestant, Amadeus DiRocco, seemingly a surrogate cousin to fictional Tony Soprano. He sings Muddy Waters’ “Hootchie Kootchie Man” and tells all the judging panel who profess to love him, he ‘doesn’t feel any need to be mean to people unless they deserve it’. Regarding the man’s singing, all I’m saying is this may have ran through the minds of Kara and company:
.

Some psycho trending guy up next, Derek something or other. We get a hokey preview of this guy with his blonde locks blowing in the wind in close-up, then he stops and smells the geraniums. Self-described as Chris Brown meets The Eagles, he likes how Brown ‘touches kids all over the world’. “Touches” – good one. He has some sort of mulitple personality singing disorder going on possibly, so we won’t pick on any of them.

Following Derek’s departure about twenty cast-offs featured, all crying tears of disbelief and self-delusional disappointment for not making it through. Totally worth the five to ten minutes of footage.

Odd Kimono Making Girl, another contestant tilted off the even keel of The Big Real by too much video games and Anime’. Janis Joplin absolutely dies again as Kimono Girl shrieks out “Piece of My Heart”. Another one bites the dust and heads for the psychiatric couch.

Next The Boy Band Montage. Luke Shaffer, Benjamin Bright, quickie moments in which they demonstrate their proficiency in sticking to the beat and notes and abilities to sound like most boy band singers in the world. And yes, they go through.

Following The Boy Band Montage, one of my favorites of the night for his Bizarro-Land-ness. Resembling Colin Meloy via hairstyle and geeky eyeglass frames but possessing none of the Meloy charm, Andrew Findley (sp?) enters the judging room. His entire schtick from the smart-ass commentaries to the judges, his look, his banter with Kara who said he needed a spanking, read like some sick script gone bad. Hilarious exit designed to communicate Andrew felt some sort of positive hormonal interest from the experience.

Ashley Rodriguez, a Berkley music major who shows a marked resemblance to certain Sunny family members, sang an Alicia Keys tune. And yes, she went through.

Tyler Grady fell out of tree, no background on why he was up a tree, but he broke both arms and was apparently a struggling drummer boy. He selects the cheesy “Let’s Get It On”… rocks a throw back Jim Morrison-skinny-guy-in-jeans-and-moppy-hair look. They send him out with The Stones, “Jumping Jack Flash” playing, pre-casting him as the show’s up and coming ‘rocker guy’. (Until someone better comes along.)

More scenes of unnamed and unannounced contestants ensue waving and jumping around with yellow tickets. This segued after about seventy commercials into a series of horrible auditions culminating with Lisa Waitress-Chick getting her ‘moment’ but from attributes that had nothing to do with singing. We do get a prolonged exit fully featuring her best asset.

Codzilla Boat guy rambled for way too many minutes then sang a rather horrible rendition of “Yesterday” but they let him through anyway. Likely to get that Codzilla boat ride out in the ‘ha’bor’…

Once again, seventy more commercials flash by until we viewers meet Portugese chick, Katy Stevens, who loves her Alsheimers stricken Grandmother. Sad story about how Granny may not remember her much longer, tears ensue and she sings to Grandmother at the kitchen table for the producers. She’s put through because she’s OMG only sixteen and has a great story. Surely viewers will want to see more of her dear Grandmother crying in the audience.

Joshua Blaylock who looks a bit like Rickey Martin, although keep in mind I was not wearing my glasses, was put through even though poor Joshua possesses one of those voices that sound as if he’s sucked helium, sort of like this man’s voice: (not in English but you get the idea).

The next parade of rejects had Long-haired Clueless Dude, what appeared to be William Hung’s brother and some Cowboy Bob guy. The show followed these stellar personalities with Hot Guy With a Sad Story, a cancer survivor who sings a bit like George Michael. “A bit” being gracious on my part, I mean, he DID have a sad story.

Norberto Guerrerro looked ready for Latino Drag Queen Night and as Simon so eloquently put it, ‘sang like a three year old girl looking like LaToya Jackson”, joined the reject pile. Bosa, a sweet natured boring Nigerian guy is put through, but barely. Last but not least, Leah Laurenti. She gets a nice little feature segment and sang “Blue Skies”, unanimously sailing through.


American Idol – Baby I’ll Give It One More Time

January 12, 2010

American Idol without Simon Cowell? Well seems that is true according to the announcement made by the man himself this past Monday. So, considering that it IS Simon Cowell’s last season on the show, I will definitely need to blog my always humble opinions of the show’s contestants and – oh what fun! – guest judges.

After last season I was thinking that this show was just getting too pedestrian, too predictable to bother with anymore. The ‘bloom had fallen off the rose’ for me. I mean seriously, think of it, after all of these past seasons there has been so few real success stories to emerge from the show, taking in context the enormous number of folks who have tried out and been on the program. Think back to season six, Blake Lewis, runner up, I’d forgotten him completely until I read this nice piece on the show this morning. There’s also a little mention of Taylor Hicks in the piece, but as always as the Idol side joke rather than example of Idol success.

Simon Cowell intends, through FOX, whom obviously they have complete faith in knowing what he's talking about, to bring his own show, UK sensation, X-Factor. Through the good folks at twitter.com I managed to keep up with the show as much as I cared to this past season and it’s obviously wildly popular over there for about the same reasons Idol hits the sweet spot here: kooky contestants, verbose judges, interesting bursts of talent here and there. Perhaps now, since Simon’s dear ‘Pauler’ has been unceremoniously ousted from Idol she’ll find a position on the X-Factor show; they do play off one another quite charmingly.

Here’s to another, possibly the last season of the world’s best known reality karaoke show.

(yes it’s not A.I. rather, Canadian Idol, but love it)