Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Georgia On My Mind

I got an email from a friend asking for a Georgia update. And she wanted the update via a blog entry. With a picture. So here it goes....

She's 5 months old now. And she's awfully cute. And really attached to my kids. And visa versa.

When my husband takes the kids to the bus in the morning, Georgia hollers at the top of her lungs. She doesn't bark like a puppy, she screams like a kid. Most mornings I put her on a leash and she follows the car, carrying on like a complete lunatic. And if I'm not ready for a morning walk, she stands at the back door wailing like a banshee. It's a bit unnerving.

This morning I drove the kids to the bus and decided to throw Georgia in the car. She was delighted to be included and seemed fine when the kids hopped out and boarded the bus. But as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, all hell broke loose. I am pretty sure that one of my eardrums is permanently damaged.

I serve as Georgia's voice since Georgia cannot speak for herself. I know exactly what she will say in any given situation, so I provide commentary on her behalf. Georgia speaks very fast (think stream-of-consciousness) and her voice is unusally high (think Alvin the Chipmunk). Each and every morning when she greets the kids (think jumps all over them) I put words to her actions ("oh-my-god-where-have-you-been-I-totally-freaking-missed-you-it's-been-like-2-years-since-I-last-saw-you-and-oh-my-god-oh-my-god-I-can't-stop-jumping-all-over-you-and-biting-the-crap-out-of-you-because-I-love-you-and-I-need-to-get-closer-to-you-I-need-to-literally-be-in-your-face-I-need-to-bite-your-face-oh-my-god"). But when Georgia screams at the top of her lungs like she did in the car, I am too busy being the voice of reason to be the voice of Georgia.

Yesterday I was at my daughter's swim meet when my son came down with one of his migraines. He usually vomits, passes out for a couple of hours and when he awakes, he's as good as new. But yesterday's episode was pretty bad. I tucked him in around 5:00 pm and he slept through dinner, slept through his bed time, slept through my bed time and finally appeared at my bedside at 1:00 am scaring the bejesus out of me. He wanted to know if his sister was home from the swim meet. Um, sweetie, it's 1:00 am, so, yes, yes she is. He wanted to know if he missed Monday Night Football. Um, again, it's 1:00 am, so, yes, I'm afraid you did. And lastly, he wanted to know if Georgia missed him. Absolutely. In fact, I bet you anything she makes a fuss over you in the morning. And with that, I put him back to bed knowing full well that Georgia would not disappoint.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chew on This

After school, Beck and I returned home to find a mess in the mudroom. Georgia had destroyed the throw rug and when she tired of that, she helped herself to a piece of art off the wall. It just happened to be a piece that Beck created last year after reading a biography on Barack Obama. Beck wasn't upset that his masterpiece was ruined, he just laughed and said, "I guess Georgia is a Republican." I told him not to jump to any conclusions, Georgia might just be frustrated with how Mr. Obama is handling his job as president. As long as she continues to love my Beck and not Glenn Beck, she can call my house her home (although she may be confined to her crate from here on out regardless of her political persuasions).

I'm not going to lie to you...she's driving me a little bit nuts with the chewing. Everything, and I mean everyfreakingthing, goes into her mouth. I know, I know, she's a puppy and that's what puppies do, but I grow weary. This morning I took her for a walk past the elementary school in my neighborhood. As luck would have it, there was a gaggle of children on the playground and as soon as they saw Georgia they swarmed us. A few of the (smart) kids asked if she bites before they reached down to pet her. I was loud and clear, an attempt at full disclosure, when I declared "Yes, she bites and it really HURTS because she's got teeth like a baby shark and she's not afraid to use 'em." But, that didn't stop some of the (dumb) kids who ignored my warning and entered the jaws of death. You know what? I can only do so much.

I managed to pull her away from the kids (before any skin was broken) and we continued to stroll down the street at a nice clip until Georgia literally stopped dead in her tracks. Up ahead was a child's wagon blocking the sidewalk. A small, blue, harmless plastic wagon that apparently looked like something out of a Freddy Krueger movie to Georgia. Two minutes ago she was gnawing on some poor kid's arm and now the sight of child's toy was wreaking havoc on her mental state. So I became one of those crazy dog people trying desperately to coo and cajole my poor pup into walking past the big, bad, scary wagon. I was even using that ridiculous dog voice that people use when they talk to animals, the one that registers several octaves above a normal voice. "Come on Georgia, you can do it. It won't hurt you, sweetie." But, to no avail, she was not budging. This went on for about a minute until she spotted a squirrel and took off at top speeds. Then I became one of those crazy dog owners who scream at their dogs at the top of their lungs as if they understand, "Georgia, I don't have my running shoes on, slow down or I'm going to kill myself!"

The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful. She snapped at a few falling leaves, actually catching several before they hit the ground. And she took bites at random bushes along the way, just for the hell of it. And she greeted every single person that we passed as if they were her best friend and she hadn't seen them in a year. And when we finally made it home, she was absolutely exhausted and collapsed in the mudroom.

And I did a jig.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet Georgia

It's been awhile.

My last blog entry was on Wednesday, June 2nd, the last day of school. So it's only fitting that I return to blogging today, Wednesday August 25th, the first day of school. In the past, I did a jig on the first day of school, but not this year. One, I was not ready to get back into a routine and two, I have been walking like Cro-Magnon man since Sunday when I pulled my back out, so the thought of doing a jig brings tears to my eyes.

How did I pull my back out, you ask? I'd like to tell you that I was trying out a new yoga position or lifting an exorbitant amount of weight over my head. But the truth is, I was lifting my puppy. My 12 pound puppy. Who, at the time, was chewing on electrical cords under my desk. I saved her life and in exchange lost the use of my spine. I'm really not that selfless; if I had to do it all again, I'd choose electric shock for Georgia and an intact back for me. (Note to crazy dog people: that was a joke.) (Kind of.)

So, yes, after about 3 years of my kids begging us for a dog, my husband and I caved. I was envisioning a small dog that didn't shed and didn't necessarily like people. We wound up with a yellow lab; a dog known for its excessive shedding, love of people and who will most likely tip the scales at 60 pounds when she is full grown. Not exactly the lap dog I had in mind.

For the most part, she's a good dog, but every once in awhile she gets all psycho and reminds me of that crazy pup in Marley and Me. She's lucky she's so cute, because I was not in the market for a new best friend, especially the four legged variety. I'm not saying that I don't like dogs, I'm just saying that nobody has ever confused me with Dr. Doolittle. But now that the kids are back at school, I'm all she's got. And somehow or another the two of us are going to have to learn to communicate.

This afternoon Georgia and I took a long walk to meet the school bus. She was ecstatic to see the kids, but then again Georgia would have been just as happy to see an ax murderer get off the bus. She doesn't play favorites, she loves everybody and everybody loves Georgia (or so Georgia thinks). My daughter was overwhelmed by all the homework she received on the first day of 8th grade. My son came home with a horrible migraine. Georgia, on the other hand, wouldn't know a bad day if it bit her in the face. Sure, she can be a pain in the neck (or the back, as the case may be), but she has already brought our family a lot of joy and something tells me...it will just keep getting better. I'll keep you posted.

Here's to a great school year!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today is my son's last full day of 4th grade. He is counting down the minutes. Next year, as a 5th grader, he'll be at the top of the school food chain. I asked him if his class toured the new 5th grade wing that is due to open in August. He told me that the school hasn't received "the certificate of loyalty or something like that, so we can't get in." "Do you mean the certificate of occupancy?" to which he replies, "yeah, that". I don't know what getting a certificate of occupancy entails, but I'm quite impressed with myself for coming up with the term, so I nod my head and smirk as if I am totally in the know. I figure I only have another year or two where he believes that I know everything, so why not play it up while I can, right? (Ok, I have one more year. Tops. Probably closer to 6 months.)

Yesterday was my daughter's last day of classes; today she takes her final math exam. A two hour, cumulative, algebra extravaganza. I'd rather gnaw off my own right arm than sit down and take that test. But as I often tell her when she complains about homework and studying, "I already passed 7th grade with flying colors." (and with my right arm intact.) Needless to say, we will be doing a jig at our house this afternoon. Most likely eating ice cream and candy for dinner. And probably having left-overs for breakfast.

And then tomorrow they both go back for a half-day of fun before closing up shop for the summer. No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks. I am a huge fan of the last day of school. I haven't personally celebrated one in a few decades, but I live vicariously through my kids, so the day is still up there on my list of favorites sandwiched between Christmas and Thanksgiving. Who doesn't love the day that marks a twelve week hiatus from studying and school projects, from carpools and after-school sports, from early bed times and early rise times, from dress codes and from routine (and usually means junk food for dinner)?

There's a joyous feeling in the air. We're happy and relaxed and looking forward to a great summer. We don't have much planned; there's plenty of downtime to recharge our batteries and enjoy the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. All is good. Until somebody tells me that they're bored....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Last Word on Idol

It's been so long, I almost forgot how to log on to Reid it and Weep.

So, my family sat down to watch the American Idol finale and within 10 minutes, our decision to abandon the the show earlier in the season was completely validated. I'm afraid American Idol's 15 minutes...is up.

We let the DVR get a good head start, but after fast forwarding through the commercials and the lame songs, we were caught up in no time (much to our dismay). I haven't watched a commercial in years, but it turns out, the Ford Fiesta commercials were the most entertaining part of the evening. I'm tempted to trade in my minivan for one of them babies, but I don't want one with sunflowers, thank you very much.

Alice Cooper can't sing. Was that a problem for anybody besides me? The Bee Gees looked like they were brought back from the dead. Hall and Oates? Really? If there is one singer that I dislike more than Big Mike, it's Michael McDonald. Would it have killed them to book a singer that had a hit after 1985? Maybe they were Simon's favorite singers when he was a teenager and this was a tribute to him? Lame.

Ok, Crystal and Alanis Morisette sounded great together and were a good match-up, but the best they could come up with for Lee was to pair him with Chicago because he's from Chicago? (and technically, he's from outside of Chicago.) Ridiculous.

At one point, I glanced around my den and my husband was doing some work on his laptop, my son was playing games on his iTouch, my daughter was Facebooking on her iMac and I was Googling "How to undo dreadlocks" on my iPad. That would not have happened a few seasons ago. And not because iTouches and iPads weren't around then, but because AI used to entertain us.

I could rant about the abundance of silliness, or about Paula's long-winded tribute to Simon (which was really all about her) or about how Janet Jackson is a has-been, but I won't. And I could go on about how much it annoys me that we sit through 2 hours of bad TV waiting for the announcement and Ryan finally acknowledges the winner with 30 seconds left on the clock, but I won't. Because I'm sick of sounding like a broken record.

(And just for the record, I'm pleased as punch that Lee won. Last night a friend texted me saying that Crystal had it in the bag. I told him that I wouldn't be so sure about that; the popular vote is a funny thing. And so we made a bet: if he won, that is, if Crystal won...I'd have to cook him Julia Child's beef bourguignon and if I won, that is, if Lee won...he'd have to cook me the meal of my choice. I need to get out my cookbooks and pick something delicious. I wonder what Lee would choose? The Idol producers would have me believe that Lee, who hails from Chicago, dines on pan pizza and hot dogs, but I know better.)

And...I could say that I will give it another try next season, but I won't. I'm officially done with Idol. Simon and I know when it's time to leave and it's definitely time to leave. But, I'm hesitant to wish for something new to blog about....because the last time I did that...I didn't like what the universe handed me. But I do miss blogging, so if you have any ideas, send 'em my way. But please don't suggest another television show...I'm turning my TV off for the summer (as soon as Glee wraps up).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm two hours behind because as of last week, my heart belongs to Glee...and Glee trumps American Idol. I'll take Rachel, Finn and Sue Sylvester singing Madonna over Aaron, Sioban and Big Mike singing inspirational tunes any day of the week. Tonight's episode was brilliant (Glee, not Idol).

Alicia Keyes, Princess of Soul, is tonight's guiding light (on Idol, not Glee) and first up is Casey James singing Don't Stop. Casey is going to have more success in the modeling business than he will in the music business. He is so handsome and has a flair for style. I think his voice is good, his guitar playing is great, but man is this guy stiff. On second thought, I think he'll make a better mannequin than model.

Lee Dewyze is singing The Boxer. I am in love. With Lee. With the song. With the arrangement. With his voice. And even with the sparkles in his hair.

Tim Urban is back to his old tricks. His performance is below par, but when the judges confront him with their negative feedback, Tim smiles and giggles and agrees with Ryan that nothing rattles him.

I Believe I Can Fly is a pageant song, but Aaron Kelly chooses it because he's been singing it since he was 5. My question to the 5-year-old Aaron is what's so wrong with the Itsy Bitsy Spider? I Believe is a big song when you're 5 and a big song when you're 16. But regardless of it's size, it put me to sleep and may have put Aaron in the Bottom 3.

Siobhan Magnus, who is dressed like Tinkerbell, is on my last nerve. This is the third week in a row that she chooses a lame song and then goes on the defense in a 5 minute rebuttal to the judges justifying her ridiculous choice. She can't play that eccentric card anymore; she's used up all her chances. If I want to watch an oddball misfit singing each week, I'll tune into Glee. Oh, wait, that's what I do. Well, alrighty then, I guess I have no use for Siobhan anymore. And quite frankly, I think America will agree.

Michael Lynche is singing about a hero. And he bores me. To tears. He just earned himself a spot in the Bottom 3 with Aaron and Siobhan.

Crystal Bowersox is the judges' favorite tonight. She looks beautiful (in a Medusa sort of way), sounds extraordinary and is choked with emotion by the time she finishes the song. Now that, my friends, is inspirational.

Idol Gives Back, the 2 hour fundraising event of the year, is scheduled for tomorrow night. In the spirit of giving, I'm not sure if they will have the heart to give somebody the heave-ho. But if somebody is packing a suitcase tomorrow night, I prefer that it be Big Mike's duffel bag. America had it right a few weeks ago and the judges went and screwed it up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elvis Night...

Adam Lambert has more charisma in his little finger than all of the 9 contestants put together. He's articulate, eloquent, engaging and the best mentor that American Idol has ever delivered. Heat Miser hairdo aside, it's great to see Adam back on Idol.

Ryan reminds us that the one save of the season has been used, so two Idol wannabees will be going home this week. I think we should make it three to celebrate the return of Glee to the Fox airwaves. In fact, let's send them all home and watch Glee three times a week.

That won't be happening, especially with Idol Gives Back right around the corner. With that said, who made it to the bottom three?

Not Crystal Bowersox.

Definitely Andrew Garcia. Adam does not mince words; he tells Andrew that he's boring and he gives him some constructive criticism. Does Andrew listen? No. Will Andrew go home as a result? Yes.

Not Tim Urbain...who is my favorite of the night. Simon says it best..."You went from zero to hero." And could he be any cuter? No, he absolutely could not. He's adorable.

Not Lee Dewyze who sings A Little Less Conversation like a rock star. The judges and Adam still want to see Lee smile more and lighten up, but I disagree...I like him just the way he is...a little mysterious, a little complicated and a little edgy.

Perhaps Aaron Kelly. In his introduction he says that Blue Suede Shoes probably isn't the best fit. Um, then why are you singing it, Aaron? He appears scared out of his freaking mind, so I opt to fast forward through his performance. I can't seem to look at him tonight, so I have to believe that a good chunk of America will feel the same way, and as a result, Aaron will suffer in the vote department.

Based on her performance, Siobhan Magnus should be in the bottom three, but she may get sympathy votes based on her comeback to the judges. After being criticized for seemingly not knowing what type of a singer she is, Siobhan fires back that she doesn't label herself, she just likes to sing. It reminds me of the interview segment in a beauty pageant when Miss America is asked "What quality do you like most about yourself and why?" But in case you haven't heard Randy say it a gajillion times - this is a singing competition (not a beauty pageant).

Unfortunately, Big Mike is going nowhere fast. He puts me to sleep singing about the ghetto. What is up with that nodding thing that he does with his colossol head while sucking in his lower lip? Slowly and methodically he nods his head yes as if someone is asking him a question. Maybe Big Mike hears voices in his ginormous head?

Katie Stevens will not be a top vote getter, but her performance should not land her in the bottom three. But it probably will....because Katie bugs people. The song she sings is called Baby What Do You Want Me to Do? But Katie's performance could be called, "Oh No You Di'int!" She's got some serious attitude going on complete with neck rollin' and head bobbin' and finger waggin'. The vocals are good, but I think America is going to side with Simon who thinks it's loud and annoying. Katie wants to be America's sweetheart, but sadly, she is not.

Casey James will be safe. I think. His performance is just ok, but I think he'll get the votes he needs. Unless, like me, America is getting sick of looking at his stiff neck. He moves like he is wearing an invisible neck brace.

So who is going home? I believe I've given you the Bottom Four and a Half...but if I had to pick two...then my money is on Andrew and Aaron.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Didn't Watch Idol This Week...

I don't have a good excuse as to why I didn't watch Idol this week, other than I'm just not that into it. The contestants bore me, the judges bore me and Vanity Fair arrived in the mail last weekend and I had a lot of reading to do.

But last night after watching The Good Wife and reading a lot of emails asking why I didn't blog about Idol, I decided to fast forwarded through the results show (at record speeds). I got a quick recap on everybody's performance and it was enough to give my two cents:
  • Yes, Crystal Bowersox is a great artist, perhaps in a league of her own musically. But there is nothing about her personality that draws me in...and I still have a hard time getting past her teeth. Sure, the veneers are a vast improvement over Hollywood week, but she still kind of skeeves me. I think she needs a good scrubbing from head to toe. I want my Idol to be clean. (and while I am not a fan of the group sing...Crystal cannot lip sync to save her life.)
  • Yes, Lee has a great voice and a great vibe, but I am soooo sick of the judges telling him that he has no confidence on stage. Lee has no confidence period, folks. His fellow contestants confirmed it...he doubts himself after every performance. That's his personality. The judges are constantly telling the Idols to be true to themselves...well, Lee is 100% true to himself; he is void of an ego. Unlike that big doofus Mike whose ego is bigger than his enormous body.
  • Casey James is more than eye candy...he can actually sing. But he's awkward and goofy and I just don't enjoy watching him. This from a girl who likes candy - both the mouth and eye varieties. He's got a neck the size of a giraffe's - not that there is anything wrong with that - but it's just uncomfortable to watch. Stiff. The guy is way too stiff.
  • Katie, Tim and Aaron are swell, but they lack originality. They all belong on the Disney Chanel, not Fox.
  • And what those three lack in originality, Siobhan makes up for in leaps and bounds. She's ok when she sings, but when she opens her mouth to actually speak and try to make sense? Yeah, no, she completely loses me. Every time.
  • The only thing that Andrew has going for him is that he's Lee's friend and roommate. So, for Lee's sake, I'm ok with him sticking around, but he brings nothing to the party.
As a group, they are the most unappealing Top Ten that Idol has ever showcased. I'm not just talking singing talent, I'm talking personality and charisma. I don't think any of them have what it takes to become a pop star.

So...Ryan starts the show by warning us to brace ourselves for a surprise or two. Whatever. Obviously one of the judges' favorites is the bottom vote-getter and surely they are going to exercise their right to save. Really? Was that so hard to predict? You know who I want to go home with week? Kara. But that's not going to happen.

So let's talk about Mike. The producers have been molding Mike into their teddybear since the moment his wife had her first contraction. By the time she was 9 millimeters dilated, the powers-that-be decided Mike had a good story. But I'm not sure America is buying it and based on this week's vote...clearly the producers missed the boat.

He is not nearly as charming as they think he is. Did you see his face when it became clear that he had received the lowest number of votes? Nothing likable about that face or that body language. In fact, he might have taken a lesson from fellow contestant Tim and freaking smiled! But he did not. At all. He looked pissed and if his fat biceps could have spoken, I think they would have said, "How dare you not vote for me, America!"

Even after Simon told Fat Mike that he would be around another week, his body language didn't say, "I am humbled, thank you for this opportunity. This is great!" it said, "Damn straight I'll be around another week. I deserve to be here." At least, that's how I translated the fist pumping and and chest thumping.

And speaking of body language, I didn't get the impression that the other Idols were totally overjoyed that Mike got the nod. There is not a lot of love between the Idols. I notice it each week when one of them learns that they are safe and returns to the couches. They don't high five one another or give each other hugs or words of encouragement. There is no sign of a strong group dynamic. (Which surely makes filming those Ford commercials an especially painful process.) I've noticed it on the judges' table, as well. Granted, Kara would sit on Simon's lap if they let her, but she rarely, if ever, has an exchange with Ellen (and visa versa). I'm just not feeling the love this season. Maybe Paula was the glue that held them all together.

Anyway, Mike might be around for another week, but I'm not sure I will be....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Usher is in the House

It's Soul and R&B night and Usher is here to mentor the Idols. He asks their permission to be brutally honest. He tells them he wants to help them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Usher only really wants to help Usher.

The camera pans the audience where we find Usher and his bodyguard chewing gum. What's up with the mentors and their love of gum this season? Regardless, I'm so glad that the bodyguard is there because the teens sitting behind Usher look menacing. Not.

First up - Siobhan Magnus. She's singing Though the Fire and after hearing her sing, Usher comments on her fashion sense (or lack thereof). And now that I'm seeing her on the big stage, I'm thinking that Usher didn't quite drive that point home. She looks a little bit like Hermes, the great messenger of the gods. He wore similar boots, but his had wings on them so he could fly. Siobhan is not flying, she is dying. This is the worst I've ever seen (or heard) her. Randy likes the way she looks. Of course he does.

There's a new Idol twist this week...after the commercial break the camera follows the Idol wannabees backstage after hearing their critique from the esteemed panel of judges. We see Siobhan making a bee-line for the snack table to drown her sorrows. And Big Mike is right behind her. Go figure.

Casey James is up next and he's singing I'm Coming. Casey looks good (no need for Usher to help with the fashion) and sounds good.

Usher tells Big Mike how to project and connect with the audience. I'm getting the feeling that Usher hasn't watched American Idol this season. And I'm getting the feeling that Usher is quite pleased with himself. There is not a humble bone in this man's body. As for Mike, he can project all he wants, bottom line is that this song, Ready for Love, is putting me to sleep. B-o-r-i-n-g.

Didi Benami is having a breakdown. So what else is new? She's always crying about something. Tonight it's the song What Becomes of the Broken Hearted that puts her over the edge. Usher thinks the audience will like that fact that she wears her heart on her sleeve. Present company excluded. Didi takes the stage and gives us all a good reason to cry. Horrible performance. She looks bad, she sounds bad, she is bad.

Tim Urban is singing Sweet Love and Usher asks Tim to sing it to him as if Usher is the person that Tim is in love with...um...awkward much? It seems that Usher is all about making the connection. So, Tim looks into Usher's eyes and sings, "With all my heart I love you baby..." Really, really awkward. And a lot of good it does, because when Tim gets up on stage, his performance is an abomination.
  • Randy says he sounds like a singing waiter with no vibe and no swagger. This might be the best critique Randy's given all season.
  • Ellen says that he moves as if he is sneaking into a bedroom. And she's spot on.
  • Kara thinks it's a cross between Broadway and Vegas. And she, too, is spot on.
  • And Simon says the reason Tim laughs all the time is because it doesn't matter what the judges say, he'll be back next week.
And he should be...for comedic purposes.

Andrew Garcia tells Usher that he's singing Chris Brown's Forever. Finally. Finally, Andrew redeems himself.
  • Yo, yo, yo...lots of yo's....and then an "Andrew is Back!" from Randy.
  • Ellen says it is a strong performance.
  • Kara says it's one great leap in the right direction.
  • And Simon, while he likes the performance, tells Andrew he is boring and needs to work on getting a personality.
Enter, stage left, Andrew's mother to the rescue. (Usher would have his hands full trying to talk fashion with Mrs. Garcia.) She tells Simon that Andrew is not boring and I think Andrew is about to have a heart attack as he pleads with his mama to be nice.

Katie Stevens tells Usher that she met him once at Epcot, but his gum-chewing bodyguard wouldn't let her take a picture. Katie sings Chain of Fools and does a fine job, but she's an old fart trapped in a teenage body.

As soon as I hear that Lee Dewyze is going to sing Treat Her Like a Lady, I know that we are in for a treat. This is by far the best of the evening. He sounds great, he looks great. He's my fave, for sure. Simon tells him to go back and watch the performance because this is the night his life may have changed forever. Now that is some serious kudos.

Even Crystal couldn't surpass Lee tonight. She comes close, but no cigar. She's singing Midnight Train to Georgia behind the piano instead of a guitar. She looks good and sounds good, but I think she is a little uncomfortable in stilettos behind a piano. She's better barefoot and strumming a guitar.

And the last person to let Usher show us how great he (Usher) is, is Aaron Kelly. He sings Ain't No Sunshine and it ain't nothing special. But there's no chance he's going any where this week.

Ok, roll the tape. I'm going to choose one or two words that sum up the performance.

1) Sioban: bizarre
2) Casey: suave
3) Mike: Shrek
4) Didi: bottom three
5) Tim: super freak
6) Andrew: redeemed
7) Katie: contrived
8)Lee: American Idol
9) Crystal: oozes talent
10) Aaron: just ok

Bottom Three: Didi, Tim and Katie. Who's going home? My money is on Didi. And I bet you anything....she cries.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who Will Tour This Summer?

It's an important night on Idol: if you get cut this week, you do not tour this summer. The camera pans the Top 11 and I think to myself, "Hmm, I don't really like any of them."

Before Lee Dewyze starts us off, he spends some time with Miley Cyrus, this week's mentor. I realize that she's sold millions of records, but unless Lee is looking to hook the under 9 crowd, I'm not sure what relevance Miley brings to the table. But enough of Miley, Lee sounds good. Not sure what's going on with that weird trumpet-playing guy, but I like the way Lee looks and the way Lee sounds. Randy, Ellen and Kara agree...but Simon doesn't think the song defines him. Contrary Mary.

Next up...Paige Miles. Whoa. She mentions that her shoes are very high. Little does she know that the shoes are the high point of the entire performance. Man, does Paige sound awful. Horrible. The judges hate it. But you know what? Good for Paige, because she "had fun doing it." That's code for: I know it sucked, I really screwed up. Unless one of the next 9 performers forgets the words or falls off the stage, I think it's safe to say that Paige will not be touring this summer.

And Tim Urban should thank her profusely. He sings Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Did I read that Hannah Montana is wrapping things up this season? Miley is going on to bigger and better things. Well, if Tim plays his cards right, he may get the next show on the Disney Chanel. He's adorable, but he's also ridiculous.

Aaron Kelly is younger than Tim, but sings like a big boy. He chooses I Don't Want to Miss a Thing and sings it well (considering he is sick). His voice doesn't look like it should be coming out of that head. But, Aaron is kind of growing on me (even if he admitted to having a crush on Miley Cyrus.) He's stiff in a David Archuletta kind of way, but he really does have an amazing voice. And I should remind you that this is a singing competition. In case you were not aware of that fact.

Crystal Bowersox actually looks good tonight. I like what they've done with her dreads. She's singing Bobby McGee and as you might imagine, she is in a league of her own. She is so very talented, but I'm afraid America (the Americans who text their votes) won't warm up to Crystal. Don't get me wrong, she'll be around for awhile, but unless she opens up a bit, I'm not sure America is going to embrace her. Oh, wait, she just invited Ryan to sit criss-cross-applesauce on the rug with her. There you go, she's trying to get down to our level. She's attempting to connect. Excellent.

Big Mike. It's going to take a miracle for Big Mike to win me over. His bear hugs bug me. Must he lift every person that he meets two feet off the ground? I can't look at him when he sings. His voice isn't the problem, it's his entire being. The judges aren't overly impressed with him this evening. They think When a Man Loves a Woman was a safe choice. He looks like a black Shrek to me. Too bad he isn't singing something from the Shrek soundtrack. Maybe next week. Ok, no miracle. I still am not a fan.

Andrew Garcia does not get a hug from Miley. She disses him with a handshake. Hmm. He's singing Heard it Though the Grapevine and the arrangement is just bizarre. Ok, I'm not going to waste any more time on him...he just proved it to me...that Paula song during Hollywood week was a fluke. End of story.

Katie Stevens finally looks like a teenager. Well, almost. She's singing Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry and she doesn't sound half bad. Hmm. It's a little opera-like, but really, not half bad. There is something fake and contrived about Katie. Randy applauds her for listening to the judges, but I disagree (go figure). Randy says she's listening, I say she's a puppet. She's got no originality, no spunk of her own. And...she's just not very likable.

When Casey James meets Miley, he says, "I'm a big fan of...your dad's." Ouch. Love that he says that, but is he really a fan of Achey, Breaky Heart? Man, I hope not. Casey is singing Power of Love and to say I hate this song is an understatement. He sounds exactly like Huey Lewis and that is not a good thing in my book. But apparently it is in Randy's book; he "believes it." Whatever. Ellen and Kara like the performance, as well. But Simon sides with me. He thinks it's old-fashioned and is disappointed that Casey doesn't make it his own. Me too, Simon.

Are we done yet? Nope, two more.

Didi Benami is singing You're No Good and it appears that she is in a high school musical. I am a little embarrassed for her and can't quite look at her, so I fast-foward to the end. Apparently I am not alone; Kara and Simon get the feeling that she is playing a character, as well. Didi feels the need to defend her performance and I am telling her to shut it while I fast-forward to Siobhan.

She might be my favorite. Such a pleasant, quirky little freak. She is so genuine and so unique and so very talented. She finishes singing Superstition and the camera pans to the judges but not before we get a headshot of Miley Cyrus chomping on a wad of chewing gum. Really, Miley? Where is your mentor? Stick with a Lifesaver next time. Siobhan will be busy this summer, for sure, even if Simon didn't like this particular performance, she's secured a spot on the tour bus.

Ryan cues the tape and we recap the evening:
1) Love Lee Dewyze.
2) Bye-bye Paige.
3) Tim, be sure to thank Paige...
4) Aaron can sing. Period.
5) Crystal = phenomenal
6) Mike = Shrek (When an Ogre Loves a Woman)
7) Andrew...WAIT A MINUTE...he might be worse than Paige! Is that possible? Yes, I think it is.
8) Katie is a Pop puppet.
9) Casey is going on tour.

And it seems that my DVD stopped recording the recap of Didi and Siobhan. But I think those ladies are fine.

Bottom 3? I'm going with....Paige, Andrew and Tim.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm on Vacation....

No Idol update...I'm on vacation and didn't watch the show in its entirety last night.

I'm in Florida and planning on retiring here someday. Unfortunately, my husband is not a fan of the Sunshine State, so I may have to live alone in my old age. But I love it here. Just wish it was 15 degrees warmer. Last night was downright freezing. My kids are both sunburned so at dinner (we sat outside) they were both shivering.

We haven't been spending much time on the beach on account of the chilly weather and freezing water temps. We rode our bikes to the Ding Dong National Forrest the other day. (That's not really the name of the place, but its something like that and that's what the Reids are calling it, so just go with it.) It's a 6000 acres national refuge. There is a tram that goes through the refuge, but we decided to bike it. It was lovely, but the only animals we saw were birds. Lots and lots of birds. And I am not a fan of birds. And as you might imagine, the birds attract lots and lots of strange people. With binoculars. And HUGE cameras. Needless to say, my daughter and I did a lot of laughing. Not with the people, but rather at the people. And my husband was not happy with us because he wanted us to be quiet (as did the folks we were laughing at, I'm sure).

At one point a flock of birds swarmed us a la The Birds and I freaked out. Horrible. But we caught a glimpse of the rare white pelican (really not sure how rare it is, but from the reaction of some of the bird watchers, I'm guessing it was a treat). I wanted to see a pink flamigo and an alligator, but I did not.

Truth be told, I think that my husband likes birds. If he pointed out one more nest, I was going to have him committed. Hmm. Maybe he'll retire with me to Florida, after all. You should have seen him taking pictures. Holy guacamole, I'm pretty sure we have more shots of cranes and pelicans than we do our kids. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

The bike ride was fun, but it was on a rocky trail (kind of like a mountain bike ride without the mountain) (LOVE the flatness of Florida). So my arms and legs were jiggling the whole time which caused Maddie fits of laughter every time she looked over at me. Beck wanted to know why nobody else was jiggling like me. Really, Beck? You want to go there? Anyway, my extremities were numb at the end of the ride. Which kind of worked to my advantage as we had a 10 mile bike ride home after our journey through Ding Dong National Park.

We also went kayaking. Maddie and I teamed up in one kayak and managed to get tangled up in the mangroves a few times. This is a girl who can do about 25 pull ups in a minute, yet, her upper body strength somehow disappeared when it came to paddling in the open waters. Luckily, my jiggly arms came through for both of us. I think I got a better ab work out, though, because we did a lot of laughing.

We did not see any manatees because the water is too cold. And that is putting it mildly. We did see plenty of birds. I wonder if bird watchers always liked birds, or if their love for birds developed later in life? And the reason I ask is because I want to be sure that there is no chance of me becoming a bird watcher in my old age. I mean, is there a possibility that I'll wake up one morning when I'm in my mid-sixties and decide I want to buy a pair of binoculars and go watch birds? Cause if that ever happens, I want somebody to stop me. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that my daughter will. On second thought, I can see her letting me do it just so she can laugh at me.)

The beach is beautiful, albeit shelly. I know this place is known for it's shells. Apparently it's the shell capital of the world...some of the prettiest shells I've ever seen. But, they are freaking everywhere. And if I were to swim in the ocean, which I will not, but if I were to swim in the ocean...the shelly bottom would really bum me out. You literally cannot walk on the beach without water shoes. And of course, I refuse to do that so I walk down the beach hopping and cursing and picking broken shells out of my sore feet. Sure, I could walk along the water's edge, but that would mean getting wet...and cold...and I have no use for that kind of Tom Foolery.

It was raining all morning, but the sun is out now...so I need to scoot to the beach and soak up the rays. I'll be back next week with some American Idol commentary....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines...

I have been singing that song Fireflies all evening and when I finally sit down for a little Idol time, Lee Dewyze opens the show with...you guessed it...Fireflies! I love his rendition. In fact, I like it better than the original version (as does Kara). I like being on the same page as Lee, not so much with Kara.

Alex Lambert is up next singing Trouble. He has an awesome voice (wish I could say the same thing about his hairdo, sadly...I cannot.) He is so sweet and so innocent and so vulnerable and so scared-out-of-his-ever-loving-mind. Man, I wish he could take a deep breath and relax. I am nervous watching him and can barely take a deep breath myself. That's not a good thing when the audience can't breathe.

Is Tim Urban really going to sing Hallelujah? Yes, he really is despite the fact that many Idols before him have already been there, done that. My favorite rendition is the one that Justin Timberlake sang for the Hope for Haiti telethon, but I must admit....Tim's performance is pretty darn good. In fact, I think it's Tim's best performance to date. Ellen runs on stage to give him a hug, which I suppose is better than a standing ovation. The rest of the judges agree - Tim Urban secured himself a spot in the Top 12.

Andrew Garcia did not. He is singing Genie in a Bottle and could use three wishes right about now. The poor guy never should have sung that damn Paula song back in Hollywood week...it's gonna be the death of him. He is so history....

Next up...Casey James...hair pulled back, looking cool, sitting on stool, strumming his guitar (sung to the tune of Pants on the Ground). This guy has swagger and he can sing; a great combination. He chose You'll Think of Me and Kara admits she's back on the Casey train. He's not the greatest performer, but he's certainly not the worst.

So who will join Andrew Garcia in the bottom two?

I suppose it could be Aaron Kelly. He sings I'm Already There and I'm starting to do the head bobs. He actually has a good voice, but the song is boring and I'm just not all over the 16 year-old-yes-ma'am-goody-two-shoes image. I have no doubt that he is sincere and real, I am just not drawn to his version of squeaky clean. So, Kara starts on one of her tirades about how the song is not relevant because it is about a father talking to his son and Aaron has no business singing it and blah, blah, blah. But before I can get to my fast forward button, Simon jumps in and stops her dead in her tracks defending Aaron and admonishing the judges to stop confusing the contestants by telling them what they can and cannot sing.

Amen to that, my friend.

I know they like to say that it's all about song choice, but at the end of the day, the Season 9 winner is going to have a whole slew of handlers who will decide what he or she can and cannot sing. So why act like the song choice and album type is up to the artist? Wasn't that the problem that Kelly Clarkson ran into after her first album? She wanted to do it her way and the powers that be had something else in mind...and so they parted.

Still, I wouldn't be sad to see Aaron Kelly go home (and back to high school).

Todrick Hall is singing Somebody to Love. I'm waiting for him to bring it home, but he never really does. It's hard for me to say anything nice about this guy; I am just not a fan. But the judges think he is the bomb tonight. I strongly disagree. Simon says that it's good in parts, but that Todrick is a Broadway singer. I absolutely agree. He belongs on Broadway, not on American Idol.

But I like him more than I like Michael Lynche. I've never warmed up to Big Mike and this week is no different. He is beyond cocky and to steal a word from Simon, I find this performance indulgent. I cannot wait for it to be over. And when it is...the judges fall all over him with praise and adulation. Randy thinks it is dope. (Have I mentioned that I think Randy is a dope? Yes, I believe I have.) Ellen thinks it is beautiful. And...OMG...Kara is literally moved to tears. Can you say drama queen? She thinks the song is relevant because This Woman's Work describes what Mike and his wife "have been through." I'm sorry, am I missing something here? What have they been through? Mike and his wife had a baby. Woman have been giving birth for tens of thousands of years. We're not talking about the Duggar family with 19 kids and counting - we are talking about one kid. Big whoops.

And to add insult to injury, Simon says that Michael's performance is the best this season. Maybe I should rewind and take a second look, because I am very confused. Really? Moved to tears? Does Kara see the same guy that I see? The only thing that is moving me to tears is that roll of fat on the back of his head. Gross.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Counting Down to the Top 12...

I think Katie Stevens is going home. She's singing Breakaway and it's just not working. The judges can say that this is a singing competition until they are blue in the face, but that's not completely true. Sure, you need to be able to sing, but you also need a personality and Katie is void of a personality.

Siobhan Magnus still reminds me of Ally Sheedy's character in The Breakfast Club, but she's not as dark (but definitely as strange). I like her a cappella start; she sings House of the Rising Sun beautifully. The first three judges like her performance, but Simon thinks she's too weird. Really, Simon? Ya, think? She is bizarre, but unlike Katie Stevens, she has a personality. And as a result, she'll make it to the Top 12.

Lacey Brown has The Story to tell. She sounds quite good, but at times her voice reminds me of Minnie Mouse. I wonder what Lacey looks like without all that make up? I used to have a friend in college who looked a bit like Lacey. She always wore thick, black eyeliner and one night I saw her without the makeup and I didn't recognize her, I had no idea who she was. I bet the same thing is true of Lacey: if she took off her makeup and toned down the fushia hair and let it dry naturally, I bet we wouldn't be able to pick her out of a line-up. But I digress, after tonight's song, I'm guessing that Lacey has secured a spot in the Top 12.

Katelyn Epperly has no business in the Top 12 after this performance, but I think her good looks and personality will carry her. She's singing Carol King's I Feel the Earth Move and she is not making it her own. She's standing behind a keyboard, but I'm not sure she's actually playing it. She hasn't glanced down at the keys once. I don't know what's worse, the song choice or the actual performance.

(I hate when the contestants hold up their fingers when Ryan is telling us the phone number to call. It bugs the crap out of me. Not as much as Randy bugs the crap out of me, but still, it's up there on my list of AI annoyances.)

Didi Benami is singing Rihannon and I'm digging her. My husband says she sounds like me (my husband is being nice). My daughter is telling me to stop singing (my daughter is being mean). Randy is doing that awkward laugh of his (my least-favorite judge is on my last nerve). I know Ellen is with me when she says, "Yes indeedy, Didi!" Kara and Simon agree - it's one of Didi's best performances and she will be back next week, for sure. (I'm still singing the song and getting nasty looks from my daughter).

But I betcha she wishes I was still singing instead of Paige Miles. Whoa. She's singing Smile and I want to cry. Seriously, what is up with Randy and that stupid laugh of his? When he starts his "critique" with that laugh, you know it's not going to be good. (As if Randy knows good. Or bad for that matter.) But in this case, he's right. This is the worst performance of the evening. When Kara asks her if she knows it isn't good, Paige alludes to the fact that there is a backstory, that this song is especially emotional for her to sing. Best line of the night is when Simon tells her that it sounds like something that would have been sung in 1974 at a Holiday Inn. And when Ryan tries to get the backstory, he comes up empty-handed. Because there is no backstory. There isn't a reason why Paige gets emotional when she sings Smile. The bottom line is that it's a horrible arrangement and she sang it horribly. End of story. And unfortunately, she's going to go home as a result.

You know what? I'm almost over Crystal Bowersox. I know she's good and I know she knows who she is and I know she's got confidence. And yes, Simon is right to say that he is one million, billion percent certain that she will be in the Top 12. But, I don't know, dawg, she's not my favorite.

But Lilly Scott is definitely one of my favorites. I loved her version of Patsy Cline's Fall to Pieces. I've always loved this song and Kara is right, Lilly makes it sound current and hip. Other than Lilly's very weird facial expressions and knitted earring, I like her quirky performance and hope to see more of her.

Tomorrow night...it's the boys' turn to wow us.

Monday, March 8, 2010

82nd Annual Academy Awards....

Ah, the Oscars...my favorite night of television. Granted, I could have shortened the show by about 2 hours, but what else is new? Had they eliminated the opening act with Neil Patrick Harris, I would have been in bed before the stroke of midnight. I was actually excited to see him, but he lost me as soon as he started singing that ridiculous song. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were all they needed. They were my favorite hosts to date; funny, charming, witty and entertaining. I could have watched just the two of them all night.

Penelope Cruz, looking stunning, presented the first award for best actor. I know that Christoph Waltz is very deserving of the award. He's been at it for years, in fact, he's what they call a 20-year overnight sensation. I'm very happy for him, but I would have rather seen Matt Damon up on that stage. I haven't seen either performance, so when I am not familiar with the movies, I vote purely on looks and in the looks department, Matt Damon wins hands down. In fact, given that logic, Matt should have won every award last night.

This is an Oscar first for me....are you ready? Cameron Diaz looked gorgeous. Who knew? Not I. I have been writing about her need for a good shower and a comb for years. Apparently she got the message. Her hair was combed, her dress was beautiful and other than her ruddy complexion (HD is not a friend to all actresses, I'm afraid) she gets an A+ on the red carpet. She and Steve Carell presented the award to the Up folks for the animated feature film. I am not a fan of animation. Then again, I never thought I'd be a fan of Cameron Diaz. Never say never. (It was a cute acceptance speech.)

It was a actually a good night for acceptance speeches. For the most part, I thought everybody did well. There were a few unprepared winners and a few annoying winners, but it wouldn't be the Oscars without them. After one particularly bad acceptance speech where the winner fumbled and drew a blank and was painful to watch, the camera panned to Steve Martin who quipped, "I wrote that speech for him." Perfect timing and very, very funny.

Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus presented an award together. Amanda's dress was one of my favorites of the evening. Miley's dress wasn't bad (it wasn't good either, but it wasn't bad), but her posture was preposterous. Way to kill a look, Miley....pull those shoulders up, back and down. I want to like this girl (not true, I just don't want to despise her), but she makes it difficult each time I see her in action. Based on the fact that the girls seems enamored with herself, you'd think she'd hold her head high - but that is not the case.

The cutest presenters were Robert Downey, Jr and Tina Fey. Their witty banter back and forth was adorable to watch. And while I love Tina Fey and think she is one of the best comedy writers of our day, she never manages to look good. Hmm. She's full of hysterical ideas and fantastic words, but not so much fashion sense. I guess the same goes for Mr. Downey. Still, they are two of my favorite celebs.

Did anybody else think that Molly Ringwald looked like Carol Burnett with a wig? She was very nervous up on stage during the John Hughes tribute. I was surprised there wasn't a Farah Fawcett slide show. Didn't she die this year, or am I off a year?

Weirdest Moment of the Evening: I don't remember which award it was...I think Documentary Short, or something like that, but the winner was in the middle of his acceptance speech when a fat, redheaded woman stormed the stage and interrupted him a la Kanye West. Who was that odd woman and why didn't anybody stop her?

Ben Stiller, dressed as one of those weird Avatar people, presented the award for Best Make Up. I thought I hated all things Avatar, but his take on it was very amusing.

Robin Williams presented the Best Supporting Actress award. Not sure who bugs me more: Robin or Mo'Nique. They are both quite taken with themselves. Mo'Nique scares me; I would not like to cross her path. Ever. But at least her speech was short and sweet. Well, not sweet. She comes across as a rather angry woman (and quite full of herself.)

Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker presented the award for Costume Design. Tom Ford looked fab. Sarah Jessica Parker, not so much. Hated her dress. Hated that her spray tan was too orange. And HATED the fact that she was chewing gum. Who chews gum at an award ceremony? I usually like the way the Sex in the City star looks, but not this time.

Ok, I'm starting to bore myself, so let's wrap this thing up.

Best Actor went to Jeff Bridges. Who used the word "man" way too many times in his speech. Man, he looks a lot like Colonel Sanders. But, man, is he deserving of the award. He's been married for, man, thirty some-odd years which is about 85 in Hollywood years. I liked how they did the personal tributes to the actors. Granted, by time time we got to the big awards I just wanted to go to bed, but it was still a nice touch.

Best Actress went to Sandra Bullock and not Meryl Streep (thank god). I must admit, I was not a Sandra Bullock fan until I saw The Blind Side. She was very good and hopefully this award means that she'll never have to be Miss Congeniality again. I loved her acceptance speech and I thought she looked exquisite.

The best part of the evening was when James Cameron and Avatar did not win. Harsh? Perhaps. I realize I am probably the only person in the world who hated Avatar, but surely I'm not the only person who finds James Cameron a tad bit over-celebrated? If I hear one more time what a genius he is, I'm going to puke. I already came clean: I am not a fan of animation. I like my creativity in the form of humans writing great lines and humans delivering them. Regardless, I'm glad the Academy recognized Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker. But talk about bad acceptance speeches...whoa, The Hurt Locker folks could have used a little help.

Ok, let's review dresses, shall we?

Here are some of my faves...
  • Loved Colin Firth and his wife - they looked beautiful together.
  • Already mentioned that I loved Sandra Bullock's look (but not her lipstick).
  • Enjoyed seeing Kristen Stewart dressed like a young woman, for a change.
  • Demi Moore looked beautiful in a very plastic surgeon kind of way. Loved her dress, but she's been nipped and tucked so many times, I don't know what is real and what is fake. Not that it matters, she looked great. Did she have her hips removed? Just wondering.
  • Ryan Reynolds is one of the best looking guys in Hollywood. Tall, dark, and very handsome.
  • I think my favorite dress was Helen Mirren's. She always looks elegant.
  • Meryl Streep looked pretty good, for Meryl Streep.
  • Did I mention that I thought Matt Damno looked good? Yes, I think I did.

And here are some of my not-so-faves....
  • Charlize Theron. It looked like she was being groped by her dress. The whole thing was wrong.
  • Kathryn Bigelow looked lovely, but the puckering of the dress was driving my crazy.
  • Was Jenny from the Block's dress made out of styrofoam?
  • Note to Mariah Carey: we know you have breasts and we are well aware of the fact that you have legs. There is no need to expose them every chance that you get. No need.
  • Is anybody besides me scared of Woody Harrelson? He looks like a psycho killer.
  • Rachel McAdams is such a pretty girl, but that dress was just....ugly.
  • Did Keanu Reeves lose 400 lbs? Holy guacamole, that guy is thin. And I was not a fan of the wooly facial hair.
  • Carrie Mulligan is adorable, her dress...not so much.
  • I can't believe I'm putting George Clooney on this list...but...his hair was too long. Way too long. So he's on the bad list. Maybe he's growing it out for a role. Hopefully they'll be wrapping up soon.
  • Kate Winslet dresses like an old fart. She really does. I didn't hate her dress, but I didn't like it either. I couldn't tell if it was old-fashioned or futuristic. I just knew I didn't like it.
  • Ok, now both ladies from Precious....it's politically incorrect to say they didn't look beautiful....but I'm saying it...they didn't look beautiful. Somebody needs to tell Mo'Nique that you are never fully dressed without a smile. And somebody needs to tell Gabourey Sidibe that stretch marks on the arms requires that those arms be covered up. There, I said it.
And that, is the 82 Annual Academy Awards in a nutshell. When he was wrapping the show up, Steve Martin said it best...he said that the show was so long, Avatar is now in the past.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Four More Go Home...

I tuned in for the girls' performances last night, but after nodding off for the 5th time, I finally turned the TV off and went to bed. I don't think I missed much. But I'm determined to make it through the results show.

We start off with I Gotta Feeling for the group sing. The hippy-chick with the mysterious illness is sooo out of place. She does not have a single commercial bone in her body and looks like a fish out of water on stage with the rest of the Idols. But, she is not completely alone; Big Mike looks like the group chaperone.

Let's cut to the chase, John Park is the first one leaving us tonight. I would have rather it been Todrick, but his day will come soon enough. The second dude to leave us is Jermaine Sellers. Unlike John Park, he does not leave on a high note. He gets all Churchy McJesus on us when he preaches that in God, there is no failure. Good to know. He goes on to explain that he was trained as a church singer. Also, good to know. I'm sure the church choir is thrilled to have him back.

Before two girls are sent packing, Danny Gokey pays a visit to the Idol stage. I always liked Danny. He's got a great voice and a good vibe. But, since he has decided to go country, he won't be making an appearance on my iPod any time in the near future.

Now it's the ladies turn. What is up with the trinkets in the hair this season? All the ladies are sporting silk flower headbands of some sort (except the hippy-chick).

I must admit, I am surprised that Michelle I-forget-her-last name is going home. She isn't my favorite, by any means, but I think Lacy Brown should go before Michelle. But, America has voted and joining Michelle is Haeley Vaughn. Whoa, her send-off song is the worst in Idol history. She cannot pull it together. Lucky for me, my DVR cuts her off while she's singing "gotta keep my head held high..." It's the perfect place to end her career, end the show and end this blog.

Until next week...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Boy oh Boy

This is going to be short and sweet because I want to watch the season premier of Parenthood tonight.

The first thing I notice is the new line-up at the judges table...Ellen and Kara are seated next to one another, but they rarely, if ever, interact. I bet you anything Ellen can't stand Kara, but she's too nice to admit it. Unlike me - who cannot say it loud enough: I abhor Kara. Have you noticed that she is incapable of speaking without wiggling and shimmying?

In addition to hearing the boys sing, we're going to see some video that will give us more insight into each contestant...

First up: Big Mike. What do we learn about Mike? He's "huge into theater". I think he's just huge. Period. He sings "This is a Man's World" by James Brown and the judges love it. The judges can have it; I just cannot warm up to Mike. I don't understand the appeal and I haven't from the gitgo.

John Park reveals that English is his second language. Perhaps that explains why he doesn't make a connection with the audience?? He sings Gravity by John Mayer and just about puts me to sleep. How do you say, "Your days are numbered" in Korean?

When introducing Casey James, Ryan Seacrest tells us that Casey has never watched American Idol. Hmm. In his up-close and personal Casey thinks he's surprising us when he broadcasts that he hasn't owned a TV for most of his life. Um, no sweetie, that is not a surprise. He sings "I Don't Want to Be" and even though I don't want to...I like him. He's cool without being in your face and arrogant (read: Big Mike). But the judges are not all over his rendition of the song. I get that, but I still think he should stick around.

OMG, Alex Lambert is stealing my heart. He's out-of-his-mind nervous and Ryan Seacrest makes him tell America that he threw up before his performance last week. Nice, Ryan. In the video, Alex blurts out that when he was in the 6th grade he made up his own language. Ok, now I want to throw up for him - but in a good way. He is adorable and promises to relax in this week's performance. And...he delivers the goods. The judges love him. Randy admits that he has his own language, too. Um, Randy...that is putting it mildly, dude. Ellen tells him that under that mullet is a great voice. Simon tells him he's got what it takes vocally, but now he needs "a killer, killer instinct." I'm routing for Alex and hopes he finds that killer instinct.

I don't want to spend any time on Todrick Hall. Like Simon, I do not think he's working out. Simon is ready to write him off...I already have....he's got to go. Dance off the stage, Todrick.

And joining him should be Jermaine Sellers. But apparently Jermaine has god on his side or he knows god or something like that...god only knows what Jermaine is talking about...all I know is that I am not a fan. I can't get past the fact that he butchers the English language every time he opens his mouth. "I rocks my onesie." Really? Tonight he looks like PeeWee Herman and sounds like I-don't-know-what. Did he just ask the judges what song he should sing next week? Cheater.

By the way...for all you Ellen naysayers...she is quite funny this evening.

Andrew Garcia is not. Poor Andrew, he can't live up to his "Straight Up" performance. All the breakdancing in the world is not going to save Andrew. I like his voice, even if Randy thinks it's pitchy and all over the place. Seriously, if I could, I would hit Kara. In fact, if Andrew would breakdance over and knock her out...that would be funny. And I would vote for him.

Aaron Kelly's turn. He loves photography and let's us know that the camera does not lie. Deep thoughts by Aaron Kelly. He's actually got a little swagger tonight even if he is singing an old fart song. He sings well, he just picks the wrong song. So what else is new? I grow weary of the song choice issue.

But I like Tim Urban's song: Come On Get Higher. He is very well-spoken. I find myself smiling as I watch his video clip describing last week's performance...which was a disaster. But, Tim doesn't whine or make excuses. He's adorable to watch and his is my favorite performance so far. The judges beg to differ...until Simon...the voice of reason agrees with me. And really, that's all that matters.

They saved the best for last. Lee Dewyze reveals that he's a nice guy who made some bad choices in high school. I'm so glad that he straightened himself out with the help of his teacher, Amy. I think Lee is hot. Smokin' hot. (and yes, I realize I am old enough to be his mother and so that's kind of gross). Other than almost losing his pants a few times during the performance, I think he's fantastic. He has so much passion; it's almost hard to watch him because his eyes reveal so much. He definitely needs more self-confidence, but at the same time, I don't want him to lose that vulnerable side. Love his voice, love his look. He's my fave...

Ok, now I'm going to give Parenthood a try....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Separating the Men from the Boys...

For the record, I prefer Simon in a tight t-shirt rather than a chest-baring, white (un)button-down. And as long as I'm commenting on the judges, let me just say that Ellen is even more adorable than I dreamed possible. Such a great addition. And...I didn't think I could possibly dislike Kara any more than I did last season, but, after just two nights, I can barely look at her. She spews complete nonsense and does so with an air of authority and an annoying swagger. And Randy? He's just a chair filler; a blob.

Now let's get the party started...

Toddrick Hall is too cool for school. Period. I think it's very telling that in his intro he describes himself as a writer, actor and dancer and fails to mention...singer. He does know that this is a singing competition, right? He's definitely a performer who feels at home on the stage, but he lacks the likability factor.

Aaron Kelly makes David Archuletta look like a freaking bully. Honestly, he is beyond sweet. I have no idea what song he is singing, but he sings it well. The judges seem pleased. Simon comments on Aaron's lack of confidence and Ellen counters by saying that she loves his humbleness. Randy says something philosophical like, "Sixteen. What a voice, dude. Wow." And I don't know what Kara is saying because I'm fast-fowarding through her pep talk and screaming at the TV telling Kara to shut the ffffront door!

Next up, Jermaine Sellers. I don't like his weird facial hair. I don't like his style. I don't like his over the top performance. I don't like anything about him. I don't like Jermaine Sellers.

And then it's Tim Urban's turn. He apparently was added after the fact when one of the Top 12 men couldn't fulfill his duties. He sings Apologize and it is beyond painful. Simon does not hold back and tells him that they made the right decision the first time around when they cut him. Ouch. Tim looks like he's going to cry and when the camera pans to his mother in the audience, she too looks like she's going to cry. Ellen tries to alleviate some of the uneasy tension by telling him that he's adorable (about 50 times), but it is still very awkward. I don't think that Tim is going to get a second second chance.

In his up close and personal, Joe Munoz tells us that he told his friends that someday he's going to be on stage and now it's finally happening. Finally? Cause you're like what, 18 years old, Joe? And it's finally happening? So you've been waiting forever. Well, enjoy it while it lasts, Joe. I already forgot him. Joe, who?

Tyler Grady is that 70's dude. The judges crack me up, they constantly tell the contestants to be true to themselves, to be who they want to be. So Tyler decides a long time ago that he wants to be Jim Morrison and when he gets up on stage and does his thing...the judges tell him to be somebody more current. At least, I think that's what they say, I can't hit that fast-forward button fast enough. Tyler bores me, the judges bore me. I'm bored.

Until Lee Dewyze opens his mouth. He sings Chasing Cars and I don't care what the buffoons say, I like Lee and his version of the song. I think he's adorable in a Chris Daughtry sort of way. Ellen and Simon agree: he's authentic and gives one of the best performances of the night.

Song choice, song choice, song choice. Apparently those words mean nothing to John Park who chooses God Bless This Child and proceeds to put me back to sleep. He might get the grandmother vote tonight, but he certainly isn't getting the under 65 vote. The camera catches his parents while Simon is telling John that he showed zero emotion. If looks could kill, Simon would be dead. Unfortunately, I think it's John Park who is going to be dead...dead last.

Now it's time to see the birth of Michael Lyche's daughter for the umpteen millionth time. I know the judges think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but me...not so much. I am not all over his enormous personality or his enormous biceps. And really, if we are being honest here, they aren't so much enormous muscular as they are enormous fat. Right? I'm just not feeling the love for Big Mike. His version of This Love is very lounge-lizard-like. I'm sure he'll be around for awhile and I'm sure we'll eventually get to meet his daughter, but I am not looking forward to either.

Ellen tells Alex Lambert that she likes the fact that he's holding on to the mullet. It's not really a mullet; he has a little flip on the end much like the do that Florence Henderson sported as Carol in the Brady Bunch. The resemblance is uncanny, really. But bad hairdos aside, poor Alex, this is thee most uncomfortable performance I think I've ever seen on Idol. Whoa. I just want it to END. Where is that giant hook to pull him off the stage?

You know who surprises me tonight? Casey James. Once I tune out Kara's rude antics, I really enjoy Casey's performance. Casey's got swagger. He's more than a pretty face, he can actually sing.

And the last man of the evening is Andrew Garcia singing a Fallout Boys song. I think the judges are too hard on him. I like his version and I think he has a great voice. It's just a damn shame that he looks like that....and following Casey "the eye candy" James doesn't help matters. But I think America will invite him back next week (and hopefully by then he'll have invested in some contact lenses).

I wish I could fast-foward through the next 3 weeks. Just give us the Top Ten already....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ladies First...

We're singing songs from the Billboard Charts. If you don't know the drill by now, you've clearly never watched the show (contestant Crystal Bowerbox apparently falls under this category). You need to sing well, make it your own, and for the love of Pete, do not sing a BIG song unless you've changed it to the point where it is unrecognizable to the judges. Don't even think about singing Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, or Randy will call you out so fast your head will spin.

So, do the contestants deliver the goods?

It's the first time I've ever laid eyes on Paige Miles (And by the way what is up with her eyes? They look like something you'd see on a creature in Avatar). She's good; I like her up until the very end when the camera goes inside her mouth for her final note. And then she shares even more when she tells all of America that she needs to "pee". Hmm. Bad song choice, bad word choice. Let's hope she doesn't get sewn into her clothes again next week.

Next up, Ashley Rodriguez. She sings a Leona Lewis song and is a little too plastic for me. She breaks the cardinal rule of Idol: singing a big song and not making it her own. Enough said. But I think she did enough to get invited back next week.

Janelle Wheeler is a wine sales rep. If she wins Idol, I want her old job. She sings Heart's What About Love. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this song on Idol, I wouldn't need the job as a wine sales rep....

Lilly Scott gets the most original award. She wants to be regarded as a musician, not just a singer. I think she proves that she is a musician and a great performer when she sings Fixing a Hole by the Beatles. She's been at this music thing for years living out of her car and performing on the streets of Denver. Her parents are in the audience tonight. Hmm. Did they not have a spare couch where Lilly could crash when she was trying to make it as a star?

Katelyn Epperly reminds me of Meg Ryan. She sings Oh Darling and I think she's just alright. Did Randy just call Ellen "E"? Yes, I believe he did. E is almost as cute as Katelyn Epperly. (R is not).

And the first disaster of the night goes to Hayley Vaughn. She's screaming I Want to Hold Your Hand at the top of her lungs and the top notes hurt my ears. She has a new nose piercing and new hair extensions and I can't get past her Chicklet teeth. She's a sparkly mess on stage and I do not want to see her back next week.

Hayley's disaster is followed by another...this one brought to you by Lacey Brown singing Landslide. She's got some bad, forced bed-head action going on and she's sporting a toga made out of my grandmother's table cloth. She's changing the melody and has a very odd way of annunciating. She was cut last year right before the Top 24....I think this year she'll be cut right after the Top 24.

Michelle Delamore sings Alicia Keyes' Fallen and sings it well, but she certainly doesn't make it her own. And yet, the judges don't call her on this fact. I think it's because she's got the look they want to know better and she does have pretty vocals. She'll be back and hopefully next time she'll shake things up a bit.

Didi Benami is this season's Brooke White. She sings The Way I Am and seems very happy with herself until the judges tell her that they are less than impressed. Simon actually tells her that it was dreary and a bit indulgent. As usual, he's spot on. She'll be back next week, hopefully having heeded their advice. Love that she is tear-free tonight.

Siobhan Magnus = Ally Sheedy from The Breakfast Club. She's odd and mysterious and has no idea what "dark horse" means. Wow. I am not a fan. I don't think she's a breath of fresh air; I think she's just plain odd.

Singing Hand in My Pocket complete with guitar and harmonica, Crystal Bowersox seems a bit out of place on the Idol stage. When Simon suggests that she does something a bit more creative to separate her from other subway station performers, she quips, "But they don't allow original songs." Really, Crystal? Never mind Simon's advice, my advice is get your hands on Season 1-8 and get yourself familiar with the show, for crying out loud.

And last, but not least is Katie Stevens who seems genuinely shocked after singing Feeling Good that the judges aren't feeling good. She is an old fart for a 17 year old. In fact, she's an old fart for a 40 year old. But Kara thinks she has "ridiculous chops" so I'm sure she'll be all set. Can I tell you how much I hate Kara's trite remarks? Ridiculous chops. Really?

So, I say Hayley Vaughn and Lacey Brown need to pack their bags, but we'll have to wait until Thursday to get the official word because tomorrow night is the boys turn to dazzle us....