People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two Down, Nine To Go

So instead of a whole group number on American Idol tonight, they are putting the kids into smaller groups to sing.  Why? I can't stand the group numbers as it is....this is even worse. It's like having to sit through the concert before the concert. At least by the time they get to my part of the country in the Fall, they've had months to prepare.

First up is Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. They sing some country song and then Ryan tells them they're both safe. Wow, that's a surprise. (And that's my sarcastic voice, in case you couldn't tell.)

Is it just me or are the Ford commercials getting even lamer than they've always been?  Also, why don't we ever see these commercials on TV at other times? They serve no purpose if no one ever sees them.

Next up is Jacob Lusk and Naima Adedapo singing Ashford & Simpson's Solid. I recognize the song, anyway, but it kinda sucked. Ryan tells them that Jacob is safe and Naima is not. Again, I exhibit absolutely no surprise.

I have a feeling that tonight is gonna be pretty tame and uneventful after last week's craziness. Two people will be going home, but they're almost certainly going to be some combination of Naima, Stefano, Thia and Paul.

Fantasia looks like a giant next to Ryan. I don't remember her being that large.

After Fantasia we have Haley Reinhart, Thia Megia and Pia Toscano singing Teenage Dream, Katy Perry. I only know this song cause of Glee and I thought it was just as inappropriate when they did it. Just saying. Ryan tells them that Pia and Haley are safe. Oh, he drags it out a little more than that, but that's what happens.

Oooh look, Idol winner Kris Allen and his little bitty teenager-looking wife are in the audience.  It's interesting that they haven't asked him to come sing or anything like that. They've had the non-winner Adam Lambert back twice.

All this stuff they're showing us about the house leaking and Mark Anthony and everything, that happened last week, right? And did anyone else notice that the stand in judge for Steven Tyler is bald?

Now we have the Idol band, Paul McDonald, James Durbin, Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone with their rendition of Band on the Run, Paul McCartney and the Wings. If I'm being honest, the only one of them who sounds good is James. And I don't even like him. Ryan tells them that Casey and James are safe.

So, wait, it comes down to the exact four people that I said it would.  I must be psychic.

The final person in the B3 is Paul. I'm slightly torn about this, cause I'm not sure if I like Paul or Stefano better, but since I don't care about either of them that much, and since I'm fairly certain that the girls will both be going home, it doesn't matter.

It just occurred to me that the best part of the judges already using the save is that we won't have to listen to the losers sing their way out. Please. Please, please, please.

So, we have the Jamie Foxx/ thing happening. They call it singing, but since I fast forwarded through it all, I didn't have to make that determination.

And, to absolutely no one's surprise, Naima and ThiaMariaMegia (I just couldn't resist) will be going home.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Idol Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Getting ready for Top 11 Redux on American Idol tonight. It’s also Elton John night and I love how they said there wouldn’t be restrictive theme nights this year. Then they went ahead and had these restrictive themes.

That’s Idol, always doing the stupid thing.

As usual, I’m starting late so I can fast-forward through commercials and other stuff….and…um, say what’s going on with Ryan’s hair?

I’m a little surprised about Elton John night, cause they haven’t done one since season 3, I believe, when he called them racist for having the three divas in the B3. I guess since J Hud has her Oscar now, all is forgiven.

So, let’s get right on to the singing…

Scotty McCreery: Country Comfort – Well, I could have called that one since Scotty only sings country music and Elton only had like two country-ish songs off his country album that only his most die hard fans have heard.

Naima Adedapa: I'm Still Standing - I like reggae, but I didn't like that. If she wanted to sing a song with a reggae feel, why not just sing Island Girl. Granted that song is about prostitution, but most people probably have no idea what the lyrics are anyway. Besides, shouldn't Casey have sung this song? Naima should go home now.

Paul McDonald: Rocket Man - I would never have called this one for Paul, maybe James, but not Paul. I think I was right, too, cause that wasn't good. His phrasing was all over the place and sounded kinda awkward, plus his voice got a bit lost. He would have been better on Sad Songs Say So Much or Tiny Dancer. But did he ask me? No!

Pia Toscano: Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - Right, she's singing another ballad. Color me completely unsurprised. But maybe that's her strategy. Tell America every week that the next week you'll sing something up tempo, but keep singing ballads. That way they keep you around to hear you do something different. The fact is, Pia has a great voice, so singing the ballads isn't really a bad thing. Look at Carrie Underwood, she was boring and just stood there singing the same type of song every week. And she won.

Did Pia just give away the theme for next week?

Stefano Langone: Tiny Dancer - It wouldn't be my first choice for Stefano and it's not one of my favorite Elton songs, but he sounded good. Stefano is basically always on tune and his voice has a very nice sound. There's no bad here.

I've just realized that I've put down all the Idols' names and I only have ten. I've forgotten someone. And I have no idea who, even as I'm looking over the list. That can't be good.

Lauren Alaina: Candle in the Wind - I actually thought of this one for Scotty, cause I figured it could be given a country twist. I'm so over Lauren. Even though every one seemed to like that - a lot - it was just kinda OK for me.

James Durbin: Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting - My friend Sandy picked this one for James and it's probably a good call for him. There aren't too many words and he can basically scream "Saturday" over and over and over again. Plus, they gave him real flames, so they clearly like him and it doesn't matter what he does. As usual, the judges like him so much more than I do. My husband's take on it, "that was cool."

I had no idea what he meant about having a Pepsi moment, so my husband explained it to me. Look, I have lots of thoughts and I can't keep every single memory of stuff that happened in the past in my head, so I honestly didn't remember that Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire during a Pepsi commercial.

Thia Megia: Daniel - Great, more boring songs for Thia. Actually, I figured she'd sing something from the Lion King. I love how she slowed it down so she could be even more boring than usual. I honestly feel sorry for her, cause she has a lovely voice and they probably should have told her to try out in a couple of years when she's learned to have a personality.

Casey Abrams: Your Song - I wasn't sure this was going to be a good choice for Casey, but the more he let it build, the more I liked it. It was a great decision to do something so quiet and laid back to show America that he can really sing. Plus, it was definitely time to clean up the beard and hair. I'm pretty sure he'll survive the dual elimination this week, just cause of being voted off last week. At least, I hope so.

Jacob Lusk: Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word - I like Jacob and I like how he changed the song around to really suit him. There were some pitch issues, but it never seems to matter when Jacob sings, cause he just carries you along on his personality. I agree with Randy (and I don't say those words often) that he probably should have used the modulation to go to his "Jacob spot."

Haley Reinhart: Bennie and the Jets - Haley! She's the one I forgot. Uh oh. I kinda thought they would save this song for tomorrow night's group Elton medley. I was thinking more like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for her, but then you don't want to sing a song with the word "goodbye" in it on Idol. This is one of my favorite Elton songs and Haley just made me hate it a little. I used to like Haley, too, so I guess things change.

My bottom three are Naima, Paul and Thia, with an extra side of Haley. I'll be happy to send any two of them home.

I'd even be OK if we sent home all four.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fresh Bao, How Quaint

OMG!! I made Char Siu Bao today and it was awesome!!

OK, to be honest, I made a dumbed down version, but it was still really, really good.

Instead of making the bao from scratch ("Did she really make fresh bao? Quaint!") I cheated and used these yeast rolls that come frozen. They are just good yeast rolls, a little sweet and very puffy. I thawed them out, let them rise, stuffed them and let them rise again.

But that was the only cheating part. I did make my own version of the barbecue sauce, so it may not be exactly authentic, but it tasted amazing.

I slow roasted a pork shoulder butt - just over 2 lbs.: first I covered it in salt, pepper, chopped garlic and olive oil, seared it in a hot pan and then put it on a grate in my roaster, with a little water (not touching the roast), covered it tightly with foil and roasted it for an hour at 350F and for three additional hours at 300F.

When it came out it just fell apart, so I shredded it up and put it in the sauce I had made, in the same pan where I seared the roast. I removed all the garlic bits that had fallen off the roast when I seared it, cause it was starting to look burnt, but left all the lovely pork flavor. Then I added a little more oil, about half a finely chopped onion and one finely chopped clove of garlic. While that sauteed, I added 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp salt, 3 tbls brown sugar, 1 tbls soy sauce, 2 tbls white vinegar and 5 tbls hoisin sauce. Keep in mind that these figures are all guesses cause I didn't really measure anything, but I just kept tasting it as I went along to make sure I had what I wanted.

Once I added in the roast pork (and I only used about 1/2 of it), the pork mostly soaked up the sauce, so it had the flavor, but wasn't all saucy.

I split up the pork into 9 buns (there are three of us and I wanted us to all have 3 each - cause we like to eat), twisted the edges up and let them rise again, and then steamed them in my metal veggie steamer for about 15 minutes. I don't have a bamboo steamer, but this worked just fine.

I did put two of them in the oven, just to see what would happen and they were good that way as well, just a little crunchier.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saving Casey Abrams

They say there's going to be a shock on American Idol tonight. Honestly, no one's departure would be that shocking to me, cause there isn't any one of these kids that I care enough about to miss when they're gone. And I can think of at least five of them that I'd rather never have to hear sing again.

I'm starting to watch well after the show has ended cause I was busy. But, as you know, I like to do that, since it allows me to fast-forward through pretty much everything but the ten minutes of actual elimination. You know what elimination is, right? It's the point of this entire hour.

Um....did Stevie Wonder just forget the words to Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Of course, I hit the FF button through most of the group number, but I had to watch Stevie. That was kinda weird though.

So let's start eliminating already.

First up is Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano and Scotty McCreery. If one of these people isn't safe, it should be Lauren. But, of course, they are all safe. No shocks there.

Fast forwarding through everything in the middle, next up is James Durbin and Paul McDonald. I think they are both safe, but Paul could be in the B3. I totally wouldn't be heartbroken if they wanted to get rid of James, though. Nope. Both safe. Per Hulk Hogan....whatever that's about.

Now, in center stage we have Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Thia Megia. I see Stefano and Thia in the bottom three. And I'm right. I think Stefano would be a huge draw for all the little girls on the tour, though, so I think he may stay. But maybe not. Maybe he's the shock. Cause since we know we're being shocked, then Thia is clearly safe.

Next up is Casey Abrams, Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart. I'd like it to be Naima, but it won't be or they won't have any woman of color on the tour. But maybe it's Casey and that's the shock?  Cause at this point only Casey or Stefano going home would be shocking. Naima is safe and on the tour.

Casey is in the B3. Not as much shocking as it is sad.

So Casey is going home. Isn't he? Sigh. I'd say the judges would use their save on him, but I don't think they would use a save this week cause of the tour.

Ryan introduces Jennifer Hudson saying that she is their only Idol winner with an Oscar. Um, Ryan, she didn't win Idol. How quickly they forget when it suits their purposes. Anyway, if you want to talk shock elimination, Jennifer Hudson fits that to a tee. The week of three divas in the bottom three. People still talk about it.

George Huff!!!!  I love George. His was a sad elimination.

Thia is safe and so it must be Casey. But really, it was just a matter of time. Bottom line, neither one of these guys is gonna win so they will have been eliminated sooner or later. It's just sad one of them won't get the tour money when a boring, inferior performer like Thia will.

Yep, Casey's a goner. It reminds me of when Chris Sligh was eliminated. Although he made the tour cause he was number ten. He was a better singer than Casey, but he was the same kinda fun guy. Honestly, Casey has been sick so many times, he's probably not a great risk for the tour. But I would still like to see him on it.

Wait a minute...hold the presses....Wow, they are using the save. I guess I am shocked. By that and by all of the bleeping out for Casey's swearing.

So how do they determine who goes on the tour when they cut two people next week? Oh, see, I ask these questions and it's like Ryan can hear me, even though I'm watching the show on the DVR an hour after it ended.  They all get to go on tour!

Yay, Casey! You win.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Motown is Lotown

I can't say I'm a huge Motown fan, but it's usually a good time musically. Motown night on American Idol should be great. If only the people singing were real artists and not these random kids.

I made some predictions earlier today as to which songs I think the kids will choose. If I'm right about any of them, I'll be sure to tell you.

Somehow, I always forget that Liv Tyler is Steven Tyler's daughter. It just doesn't seem like he should have kids, although I think he has at least four. That he knows about, anyway.

So, on to the singing....

Casey Abrams: I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye - I didn't pick this one for Casey, I picked it for James. I was thinking Casey was more Stevie than Marvin. It was very lively and almost in tune. Except for that last note. He even did that little Steven Tyler ee-ee-ee-ee thingy. I like him. He's different and he's happy to be different.

My husband is somehow amazed that Brad Whitford looks so old. Clearly, he's forgotten that Aerosmith was formed like back in the 60's.

Thia Megia:  (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave - Martha & The Vandellas - Sadly, I called this one for Haley, who would have been so much better at it.  Thia is just boring, even when she's trying to not be a Disney princess.  I'm sorry.  But she's cute, maybe she can act or something. 

Jacob Lusk: You're All I Need To Get By, Marvin Gaye - I was hoping he'd sing You've Made Me So Very Happy, just cause I could hear him going to church with it. But this choice is good, too. He seems to have reined it in a little this week and has more control over himself. In a way, that made it a little safe, but  that's OK, cause he was going way too far out the last couple of weeks. Clearly, the judges agree with me. They may have liked it even a little more than I did. 

What has gotten into Ryan? Why is he inviting people on the stage to hug sweaty Jacob? Eww. 

Lauren Alaina: You Keep Me Hanging On, Diana Ross and the Supremes - I thought she'd sing You Can't Hurry Love, so at least I got the artist right. I just can't like Lauren. There's nothing bad about the way she's singing and she's not boring like Thia, but it's just so passionless. And still sorta entitled, like look-at-me- I'm-beautiful-and-you-should-love-me, but it translates to I-have-no-real-life-experience-so-therefore-my-swagger-is-simply-posturing. 

Stefano Langone: Hello, Lionel Ritchie - I saw this on the list of Motown hits and I thought maybe someone would sing it, but then I thought it isn't really what I would call Motown, so maybe not. Plus, how is he gonna make this better than David Cook's rendition? Answer: He's not. It was just OK, with a kind of choppy arrangement that takes away from the song, I think. He'd have done better with my pick for him: Jimmy Ruffin's What Becomes of the Broken Hearted. Wait, the judges are calling him on lack of real emotion but they're giving Lauren a pass? Can you say favoritism?

Oh, man, I just realized that there are still six more people left to sing. Why is this show sooooo long?

Haley Reinhart: You Really Got a Hold On Me, Smokey Robinson - There was so much wrong with that, starting from her awkward decent down the stairs to her weird hand motions and yodel-y ending, I just don't know what to say. My husband, however, said "That was nice." Huh. 

Scotty McCreery: For Once In My Life, Stevie WonderMy friend Sandy and I were hoping that he would sing Let's Get It On, but what were the chances of that, really? It just would have been so incredibly awesomely weird that it would have been amazing. Well, it was a little weak vocally, but let's be honest, this kid is a country singer. He's gonna sound like he's singing country even if they hand him show tunes. Although, on show tune night he could always do something from Oklahoma. My husband said that Scotty could record that and it would be played on country stations right now.

Pia Toscano: All In Love Is Fair, Stevie Wonder - I really wanted her to sing Don't Leave Me This Way. I could hear her belting that out and being wonderful. We saw Thelma Houston live in the Superdome at a giant disco party like ten years ago. OK, there's nothing more to that story. We just saw her. Anyway, this isn't a well known Stevie song and its usually a problem when they pick a song people don't know. Pia's good, she's flawlessly on key and she looks beautiful, but people still may not vote for her cause that song isn't a favorite.

Paul McDonald: Tracks of My Tears, Smokey Robinson - I never would have thought of Paul singing Smokey. I was thinking more like You Are the Sunshine of My Life. In a way this is better, cause it's allowing him to sound a little different from his normal sound, although he still sounds like himself. Just read that sentence again, cause it does too make sense. The thing about Paul is that he's distinctive sounding, but not overpowering. Which is good, if it doesn't make him forgettable.  

Naima Adedapo: Dancing in the Street - Martha & The Vandellas - Well, I called one of them anyway. It makes sense that Naima would sing this, cause she likes to have fun on stage, even if she doesn't care quite as much about singing the right notes. So probably fifty percent of that was on tune, which may be a personal best for her.  The dancing and drumming was fun, although the dance looked more like the Funky Chicken than an African Tribal dance. But I've never been to Africa, so what do I know. 

James Durbin:  Living for the City, Stevie Wonder - OK, I like Stevie as much as the next guy, but I think we've heard more than enough of him tonight. Yep, that was just all screamy for me. But people seem to love this kid. I don't get it, but then everyone said the same thing when I loved Constantine Maroulis and Adam Lambert. So there you have it. 

My bottom three are Thia, Haley and Lauren. Honestly, I can barely remember Thia even being on the show tonight, so I think she may be in trouble. If I had to pick a guy for the B3, it would probably be Stefano. But I doubt any of the guys is going anywhere. 

Except on the tour. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Latin Idol for America

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Last night after American Idol, I felt the need to look up the top songs from the year I was born. Obviously, I need to know what song I'm gonna pick when its my turn to sing a song from the year I was born on Idol. You know, when they have Geriatric Idol.

I've pretty much made up my mind to sing People by Barbra Streisand. Or maybe Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann.

True story, I was singing for a wedding once and at the rehearsal, the groom suggested that the bride walk down the aisle to Do Wah Diddy Diddy. There was almost a divorce before there was a wedding.

It's late and I'm tired. As much as I like being able to fast forward through everything, starting the show after 9:30 pm is just too late for me.  I'm willing to sit through the bad group number and Ford commercial. This time. But I don't intend to do it all season unless they get way, way better.

I will, however, afford myself the pleasure of fast forwarding through Lee DeWyze and The Black Eyed Peas.

First up in eliminations, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Casey Abrams. This looks like an entirely safe group to me. And it is.

Next is Haley Reinhart and Paul McDonald. This could go either way. They could both be safe or both be in the bottom three. But probably, Haley is in the bottom three.  And she is.

OK, I did stop and listen to Lee for a few seconds. Question: Do you think the people who end up in the bands and as backup singers for the Idol winners think, just because he won a karaoke contest doesn't mean he's  better than me. I had to do this all the hard way, I didn't just shoot up to stardom on the coat tails of a TV show. 

Just me then?

Back to eliminations. We have Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and Pia Toscano up now. This looks like another entirely safe group. But maybe that's just what they want us to think. No, it's just what is.  All safe.

Next we have Stefano Langone and Naima Adedapo. I'm torn on this one. It seems like all the little girls should be voting non-stop for little cutie Stefano, but maybe not. If I was right yesterday, then Naima is in the bottom three. Hey, I was right.

Now it's Karen Rodriguez and Thia Megia. Well, we all know I think Karen is not safe this week. So we'll see if I was right or wrong.

I was right. America does like Thia more than I do.

So now we have pretty much the bottom three I thought we'd have and I'm still pretty sure that Karen is going home. And I'm pretty sure she knows it, too.

Yep. It's Karen. I don't think they'll waste their save on her, either.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Here We Are, Now Entertain Us

So tonight we have the Top 12 performing songs from the year of their birth on American Idol. Who thinks up these things? And why?  Sure it was fun 10 years ago when most of the kids had been born in the 80s.

This is usually the week I decide the order in which they will be eliminated. I don't feel like I know these people well enough to guess yet.  Maybe after tonight.

Naima Adedapo: What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner (1984) - No. You don't take on Tina if you don't have the pipes or the chops. She had neither, plus she took a pass on most of the notes.  That was just weak. It may be all about the feeling for her, but for some of us, it's about the melody.

They're remaking Arthur? What, did Dudley Moore die or something? (According to my husband, yes, he did like 4 years ago. Hmm, I must have missed that.)

Paul McDonald: I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John (1984) - His voice is normally wispy anyway, but tonight its pretty rough, so he sounds more like Donald Duck than Macy Gray. (Although, in my opinion, Macy Gray sounds like Donald Duck, too.) It wasn't terrible, but it really wasn't anything too special, either.

Thia Megia: Colors of the Wind, Vanessa Williams (1995) - OK, I get it. She's basically easy listening, like an elevator music artist. But she's cute and young and people like her. Otherwise, I don't understand the appeal.

James Durbin: I'll Be There For You, Bon Jovi  (1989) - I'm so very over him. But he sure was a cute little kid, wasn't he?  Honestly, he picks songs I like, so I agree with his musical taste, I just don't like the way he sings them.  Also, the scream he insists on adding to every song is just wrong. He's neither Adam Lambert or Steven Tyler. Not even close.

Haley Reinhart: I'm Your Baby, Tonight, Whitney Houston (1990) - Either this is actually one Whitney song that I don't know or I just don't recognize it the way it's being sung. Whatever. Haley's growl was interesting the first couple of times, but it's starting to get old.

I have a question....who's this Jimmy guy that's been acting as a mentor every week and what happened to the guest mentors? I must be fast forwarding through too much stuff.

Stefano Langone: If You Don't Know Me By Now, Simply Red (1989) - This was clearly the best pick of the songs he mentioned. By far. So I'm glad he chose it. I just wish he had slowed it down and caressed it a little bit more. Seriously, go listen to Mick Hucknall sing this and you'll agree with me. But he was still better than anyone else we've heard so far.

Pia Toscano: Where Do Lonely Heart Go, Whitney Houston (1988) - I thought the dance beat thing that came and went behind the song was a little off-putting, but let's be honest, she sang the song and it was good. I understood her, she hit all the notes, it sounded like itself, but not like a karaoke version of the original. Isn't that what they should all be trying to do?

Scotty McCreery: Can I Trust You With My Heart, Travis Tritt (1993) - Maybe I haven't mentioned this  before, but I'm not a fan of country music.

Karen Rodriguez: Love Will Lead You Back, Taylor Dayne (1989) - It doesn't matter if she says she's not just the Hispanic singer, when you sing some part of every song in Spanish, guess what? But even if she didn't, she still has that little something in her voice that says she's Hispanic. Also, she's still kinda boring.

I'm getting what the problem is here. Most of these kids have no passion in their voices. They are just singing and that's not enough.

Casey Abrams: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana (1991) - This guy has had lots of stomach problems and been in and out of the hospital since he started Idol. It worries me. I'm excited that he's switching it up and taking on Nirvana this week. He's not playing it safe, for sure, and no one can call him Joe Cocker after that performance. Absolutely the very best of the night!

I just want to point out that I started watching the show 45 minutes late and I'm just getting to the last two performers and its 9:56. So I almost caught up with the entire 2 hours.

Lauren Alaina: I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge (1994) - Can I just point out that her parents look young enough to by my children? I'm on board with the fact that she's adorable and she can sing, so the judges love her. She's a marketing dream. But there's just something so annoying about how...entitled...she acts. Maybe it's just more self-possession than any little kid should have, but I don't like it.  Also, you could hear by that slightly scratchy sound that she was sick, and I refuse to feel sorry for her like she wants me to.

Jacob Lusk: Alone, Heart (1987) - I'm worried about this. No one has done this on AI better than Carrie Underwood back in week two of the Top 12 in Season 4 (the scary part is I didn't even have to look that up). She did it and it was amazing.  I hate for them to sing songs that will get compared to someone who did it better before. Jacob has this way of overdoing things (maybe  you've noticed) and he gets screamy. I'm not sure that's a good sound for this song. Actually, that wasn't as bad as it could have been. The thing is, I like him and I want him to last. I think he's safe, especially since he went last.

My bottom three would be Naima, Thia and Karen, but I'm guessing that America likes Thia more than I do, so maybe the third person will be Haley.

As for who is going home....I think Karen has sung her last note in Spanish on the Idol stage.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TVs: Size Really Does Matter

So let me tell you about the amazingly bad customer service we got this one time.

On the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving, I had the bright idea to rent a flat screen TV for our living room cause we always watch movies here on Thanksgiving and our living room only has a 25 yr old 24" TV. I thought it would be a fun idea to have a larger TV so the 20 of us can watch the movies my sister always brings over. (Mostly stuff like Toy Story or other kid movies, cause that's the kinda people we are.)

Anyway, I called the closest RentACenter to us (about 5 miles away) and asked how much a weekly rental would cost. He said $300-500. I was like what??

We rent a TV, a stand, a DVD player and a bed every year when we go on vacation to the cottage and it costs $75 for all that. Of course, I realize that he did that because he didn't want to deal with just a weekly rental, they want rent-to-own people. But shouldn't there be some sort of standard rate or something?

So then I called another branch, which just happened to be probably the farthest away from me, closer to downtown, but still only about 8 1/2 miles. This place told me it would be $29.99/wk and that I could have it by the next day, Wednesday afternoon. It was going to be a 47 inch.

I spoke to two people there and made sure to ask both of them if the distance was a problem or if I should call a closer branch. Both told me it was fine, that they delivered all over the area and they took all my personal info, references, where I worked, my social security number, and lots of other important info that you aren't ever supposed to give to strangers over the phone.

So the day passes and I don't hear from them so I call the guy, Darrell, back. He says everything is fine and he will call me the next day to set up the delivery.

I don't hear from them in the morning, so I call again. Darrell tells me there was a problem because my house was not in my name. Um...yes it is. So we straighten that out and then he tells me that he just has to complete the final paperwork and he'll call by 1 pm to set up the delivery time.

I'm busy cooking and suddenly I realize it's 2 pm. So I call Darrell back. Hector answers the phone.  Hector's first language is definitely not English. I tell him who I am and why I'm calling and he says he's going to get Darrell. Hector comes back to the phone and in his accent, which I can barely understand, he finally manages to explain to me that Darrell said they can't deliver it to me cause I'm too far away. Um...what?

So I ask for Darrell and he says Darrell is not there. (So how he got that information from him is a mystery. But it took us so long to get to this point with our language barrier, I left it alone.) I ask for a manager and he says there is no manager on duty. I say someone must be in charge and I want to speak to someone who is. He says, fine, but there's no one here and puts me on hold.

Carlos comes on the line. Carlos and I can understand each other. He tells me that unfortunately, for a short term rental I'm just too far away. The End.

I'm not happy. I start calling other branches, but it's now 2:30 pm and they all tell me that they just can't do anything for me today. One place says they have a 42 inch that I can come and get and it'll only cost $65. So now it's more than double the money and I have to get it myself. No way.

I keep calling.  At one place, Lamar, tells me to call the corporate office and they will do something. So I call the 800 number and the customer service person says she'll contact the district manager and he'll call me back.

As it approaches 6 pm, I'm feeling pretty confident that there will be no TV for us. I'm disappointed and little mad, cause if I hadn't called them back, they never even would have told me.

I called back to the customer service department, mostly just to complain and while I'm on the phone with them, the manager calls me. He's a nice guy and he honestly feels bad. He says they should have given me his cell number or the number of the store where he was working that day because he could have done something if it was earlier. But it's just too late now.

He gives me his office number and his cell number and says that if I ever need another TV for a family function, he'll give it to me free for a weekend. We're about to hang up when he asks me to hold for a minute. He comes back and says he worked it out with another store that's closer to me and that they will keep the store open late and deliver a TV to me. It's smaller, only a 32 inch, but he won't charge me and I can keep it until Monday.

At this point, I'm feeling like this isn't even worth all the hassle, but since I've come this far, I agree.

Then Lamar - you remember Lamar, he's the one who told me to call the 800 number - calls me back and says he's going to get me a 37 inch TV with a DVD player and that it will be delivered soon.

Then enters Howard. He's the delivery guy and, after he got lost for a little while, he finally drops the TV off around 8 pm. I did feel bad, cause he was working late on the day before Thanksgiving and Lamar was keeping the store open late, since it was supposed to close at 7 pm.

The first thing Howard says when he comes in the door, "Did Lamar tell you about the remote?" No, I say, he did not. Apparently, there is no remote. Without it, we can't adjust the picture size, which is set on a very small square setting.  It's like this tiny little space inside the larger frame of the TV, which makes it, arguably, smaller than the amount of viewing space on the little old TV I already own.

We spend about an hour trying to find some way to adjust the size on the actual TV, but nothing.  Fortunately, we have lots of random TV remotes laying about, so after trying pretty much every single one of them, we finally find one that will allow us to fix the ratio aspect of the screen, change the channels and even turn the thing on and off.

That was actually a problem, not cause we're so very, very lazy and won't get up to change a TV channel (which we are) but because the power and channel switches are on the top back of the TV which is sitting on top of our other TV stand and is, therefore, much too high for the majority of my family members to reach it.

The moral of the story? There is none.

Or if there is, maybe it's that you might waste way too much time on something that isn't so important, but that doesn't matter as long as you get free stuff.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wild Card Pick The First To Leave on Idol

So after being completely and utterly underwhelmed and often bored by American Idol last night (and when you add in how saddened I was by the fact that these kids are so young that Pia thinks All By Myself is a Celine Dion song, Haley acts like LeAnn Rimes music is classic and Thia has no idea who Charlie Chaplin is - I cried a little actually), you can see why I'm ready for some Adam Lambert to shake things up tonight.  The Fabulousness that is Glambert is exactly what this season needs to make it interesting.

Does anyone know, is Adam the first non-winner (or winner, for that matter) to be asked back to the show two years in a row? If I wasn't so lazy, I'd try to do some research on that.

While I'll admit, this group is probably the most already professional sounding they've ever had, I don't think they are the best. Of course, every year they say this is the best group we've ever had, yada, yada, yada. It's never been true yet. I'd just say they've finally given up trying to find actual raw unknown talent (how many Kelly Clarksons can there be out there anyway) and are just taking the more seasoned performers. Don't even try to tell me these kids haven't been singing, to audiences, for a long while at this point. I won't believe you.

So right now, it's late again, I'm tired and I'm not prepared to deal with any shenanigans. Once again, I'm just gonna cut to the chase here by fast forwarding through almost everything.

Wait, Casey's in hospital? Um, why?

So I'm quickly fast forwarding through the beautiful Idol mansion, complete with dorm rooms. Briefly stopping to listen to the MJ medley and then hitting the mute button until it's over.

I did watch the Ford commercial, cause I usually like those, but that song wasn't very melodic, was it?

Onto the eliminations, first up, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Karen Rodriguez.

Safe, safe and not safe.  I called that.

GLAMBERT!!!!!  Um, where's all the sparkly stuff and exploding cannons?  A stripped down acoustic version of Aftermath....what's that about?  Either way, he's still about a thousand times better than anyone else  up there.

Lauren Alaina, Ashthon Jones and Haley Reinhart are up next.

Safe, not safe and safe.   Please. Oh, I didn't see that.  Both Ashthon and Haley aren't safe.

So I was close with the bottom three: Karen Ashthon and Haley. I was just wrong about Lauren. But that was probably just more about my not liking her than anything else.

I'm fast forwarding through this other guest number. I'm sure all the kids like this stuff now, but I'm not one of them.

Back to the bottom three.  If I'm picking one to leave right now, can it be Ashthon.  Well, Karen is YES!  Ashthon is done. Unless they use the judges' save on her. But that seems very unlikely.  Especially since she agreed that she sang the wrong song and now she's singing it again.

Look, she was a wild card pick anyway, so you know she's basically fodder.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Idol's Live Performances Start Out With a Whimper

I'm starting to watch American Idol really late tonight. Therefore, I'm gonna skip right to the chewy center and just critique the singing.

Lauren Alaina: Any Man of Mine, Shania Twain - I hate country music. I hate the fact that I had to go look up the name of this song cause I don't listen to country music. I've just decided that I'm not even gonna try to critique this cause I hate it. Cause it's country. I do like how the judges are trying to say nice things to Lauren, when it's clear that they didn't really like it either. Gotta be nice to little miss chosen one.

Casey Abrams: With a Little Help From My Friends, Joe Cocker - Casey is in the forgettable second place spot. This doesn't bode well for his tenure on Idol. But hopefully he's good enough to stick around for a while no matter what they do to him. Alright, keeping it real, he's no Joe Cocker, but that was still a great performance. I hope he lasts.

Ashthon Jones: When You Tell Me That You Love Me, Diana Ross - I just realized that she spells her name with a random H.  So why don't they pronounce her name Ash-TH-on??  I didn't like it. Sure, she hit the high note, but her voice sounded too thin and reedy and sorta breathless through most of the song. Also, she picked probably the only Diana Ross song that's not immediately familiar to everybody in the entire world.

Paul McDonald: Come Pick Me Up, Ryan Adams - I may be fast forwarding through too much stuff, cause I had to look up this song, too, and I'll bet at some point Ryan or someone is telling me what song they are singing before they start. Paul still has a real Rod Stewart vibe going on, but I'm not sure I liked that song too much. He was OK, but he's been better.  On the upside, his song choice allowed Randy to do some serious name dropping, which is something that's been missing this year.

Pia Toscano: All By Myself, Celine Dion - OK, she does know this is not really a Celine song, right? I forget sometimes that these kids are so young. Pia has probably never even heard of Eric Carmen.  So she had me up to the high note in the middle. Sure, she hit it, but then she lost the thread and didn't follow through. She did somewhat redeem herself with the glory note at the end, cause you know how Idol loves a glory note. I like Pia, though, and I hope she lasts a little while.

James Durbin: Maybe I'm Amazed, Paul McCartney - I keep waiting for him to do something amazing or maybe even just good. Ish. But it turns out, I just don't get him. He sounded wobbly and slightly off key to me for the entire song. The judges clearly don't agree with me, so I can only assume they are hearing something I can't. Maybe I'm being too hard on him, cause he's no Glambert, but so few people are.

Haley Reinhart: Blue, LeAnn Rimes - More country music. Why is this happening to me? I did take a moment to look up the song and found that LeAnn Rimes was born in all that crap about Haley growing up with this song....that was just in the last decade, right?

Jacob Lusk: I Can Fly, R. Kelly - Someone sings this every year, don't they? I like Jacob and this is the kind of soulful, church choir song that he should be doing, but I think he may have overdone it a little bit more than he needed to. Of course, knowing Jacob the way we do, that could totally be his motto, "I overdo things more than I need to."

Thia Megia: Smile, Michael Jackson - Of course, Thia has no idea who Charlie Chaplin is, but at least she didn't think this was just a song from Glee. I'm so sad right now.  My friend Sandy has taken to calling her Thiamariamegia because her name just doesn't rhyme enough. The beginning was beautiful, her voice does have a great tone, but it wasn't such a smooth transition into the sped up part. Like last week, she was good, but boring. Boring.

I'm starting to wilt a bit here, cause it's late and I see that there are still four more people who have to sing yet.  I've even glanced through their names to see if I even care enough to listen. But I guess I've come this far.

Stefano Langone: Lately, Stevie Wonder - Maybe it's just cause I'm tired, but I don't think this is his best effort. He was kinda manic and there was too much vibrato and too many runs for me.

Karen Rodriguez: I Could Fall in Love, Selena - She's gonna have to stop playing the Hispanic card at some point, right? Don't get me wrong, I like Karen, but she's starting to sound like a one-note song. I thought that was OK, but....see above re boring.

Scotty McCreery: The River, Garth Brooks - Country just keeps happening. If I'm being honest, the Scotty kind of country music isn't as annoying to me as the stuff that thinks it's pop music. That stuff is just wrong. This kind at least knows it's place. South of the Mason Dixon line.

Naima Adedapo: Umbrella, Rhianna - So Naima is in the pimp spot tonight.  Good for her. Of course, I've never heard this song before and I'm not a fan of this kind of music, but that being said, Naima did a solid job.

Overall, I was complete underwhelmed tonight. It was mostly music I didn't like or didn't know. Or both.

The person I'd lose is Ashthon Jones, cause she wasn't anything special. My bottom three would be Ashthon, Lauren and Karen. But I'm probably not on the same page as America.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Planes Are Definitely Getting Smaller, Right?

A new thing I recently started hating: plane rides.

While I’m willing to concede that I may have gained a few pounds over the years, I also think they made the plane seats smaller. Much smaller. 

Since most of my recent flights have been to New York City, I end up on those little puddle jumpers, which I hate anyway, now I have to contend with the fact that my butt barely fits in there and when you add in the seat belt, it’s like a torture device. Allow me to illustrate.

My last trip to New York City was about five months ago when I was going to interview for a job. Normally when I travel, I try to wear the most comfortable clothes I own. Not pajamas. I do not wear pajamas out of the house, although I realize that people do that now. (See, once again, my point is proven that people are idiots.) But still, I try to be comfortable. 

Except this time. 

I was going there and coming back in the same day, so I had to be dressed for my interview. Also, I bought a new suit, cause it’s always a good idea to be wearing brand new clothes when you are going to be stuck in them all day long. So I was in my new suit (but no nylons, thank goodness, because I had just been on vacation and my legs were quite tan), and flat shoes, carrying with me these new high heels. High heels. I never wear high heels and these were new skinny heels. Very high. It seemed like a good idea somehow. 

I only fell about three times. 

In Times Square. 

The last time, I grabbed hold of my about-to-be-new-boss’s arm and nearly pulled her down with me. Yep, I’m that classy.

So, back to the plane. By the time I headed back home, I was hot, uncomfortable and kind of full from lunch. The new clothes felt tight and restrictive. I was squeezed into this little plane seat, on the inside, and we were stuck there for a while. The seat belt barely went around me and was cutting off circulation to the lower half of my body. 

The plane didn’t take off right away for some unknown reason.  We just sat there on the hot runway tarmac and the air wasn’t on. I started to panic. I couldn’t breathe. I kept reaching up to turn that little air thingy on, but nothing was happening. The woman sitting next to me seemed way too close. I had to keep forcing myself to take calming breaths, because otherwise, I was gonna unsnap the seatbelt, push the chick out of my way and run, screaming, off the plane. 

Unlike that flight attendant guy, I didn’t plan on getting drunk first and using the emergency shute, although I wasn’t completely ruling it out, either. 

The one thought that kept me in my seat was that if I did completely whig out and have to be removed from the plane, I had to do this all over again, only later. I mean, I had to get home somehow and, short of renting a car and driving for 8 hours, which I wasn’t prepared to do, it was better to stay where I was.

I tried to convince myself that as soon as the plane took off, it would get better. The flight was only an hour, after all, if only we would get off the freaking runway and in the air!  But I wasn't feeling too confident.

I spent the entire hour plus of the flight taking calming breaths and trying not to panic. It was a close call.

My sister has been talking about taking a trip to NYC this Spring.

I'm thinking we should rent a van.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

After Two Hours of Nothing

Earlier today I heard a rumor that they weren't going to show us the wild card picks on American Idol until next week now.  What?? That mean would mean another week of having to listen to people who didn't make the cut this week. How would that make any kind of sense?  It's confusing because it would mean that they are apparently just changing things up as they go along this year.

So what I wanna know is, if that's true, how do they expect to fill two hours of show on American Idol tonight with nothing but the top 10 picks? I mean, I know that Ryan Seacrest is great at stretching out nothing into even more nothing, but this is a lot even for him.

OK, so I'm watching the show now and they've just explained what's happening tonight, but I'm still not sure.

Oh, I see how they are going to fill up two hours, they are just going to re-hash everything that happened in the last two nights. Please, Idol, I just saw all that and blogged about it.  I'm ready to move on.

Not crazy about the filler video of the guys talking about nothing. But I think I may be liking Scotty McCreery a little more than I did, country music aside, of course.

The first match up is between Scotty and Robby Rosen. (What's with the Scotty and the Robby thing? Grow up!)  I don't think there is any question here. Scott is staying and Rob is gone. Right? Right? Right!

The next match up is Clint Jun Gamboa, Jovanny Barreto and Jordan Dorsey. Personally, I'd like to see all of them gone and I won't be surprised if that happens. So. I exhibit no surprise.

After boring chick recap and filler videos, we have some decisions to make. Please, let's get to it, I'm ready to cut some of these people out of my life forever.

This match up is Pia Toscano and Lauren Alaina. I'd like to say they are both through. My husband thinks  Lauren is out, but I don't see that happening. Which, of course, it didn't. OK, I called it.  So far I've been right on every match. This can't last.

Now we have Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Julie Zorilla. Both out, please.  Although scarily, maybe not. Both sucked, but they were both high in the dial idol predictions, actually, they took spots one and two. I'm glad that dialidol was wrong. We actually had a chat about this on Twitter today, figuring that the dialidol results would be skewed this year because of the online voting.

Next is Kendra Chantelle, Karen Rodriguez and Ashton Jones. I think Kendra or Karen may go through, but not Ashton. My husband thinks Ashton is going through. But, as usual, he's wrong. Karen made it through and Kendra didn't. I would have called that one the other way.

Tim Halperin, Casey Abrams and Jacob Lusk.  If I'm calling it, Tim is gone and the other two go through. If only one is going through, it's Jacob. My husband wisely agrees with me this time. And we're both right.

Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia and Lauren Turner. We have two more girl openings, right? Probably Thia going through this time, but I'm not sure she really deserves it most. My hubby is basically just taking my lead from this point out, I think. Not to worry, cause Naima will be a wild card pick. Didn't I call all this over the last two days? Why do I even bother to watch?

Brett Lowenstern and Paul McDonald. Clearly Paul. Clearly. Either way, the one who doesn't make it will probably be a wild card pick.

This last girl pick, between Rachel Zevita and Haley Reinhart, should be Haley. But I'm a little worried. Please, please, please let it be Haley. Please. Yes!! As my husband pointed out, Rachel looks like a psycho. Plus, she's wearing one of my mother's scarves.

Between James Durbin and Stefano Langone, I'll take Stefano, cause I can't take the screaming or the whiny crying anymore. But I think James will make it.  Either way the loser will be a wild card pick.

I just want to point out that I called every single one of these as we went along. I'm like a genius or something.

There's still an hour left. So the wild card picks are singing tonight, yes? Yes.

So now we have the wild card picks and the first is Ashton. (I think they'll also pick Kendra and Naima. Just my thought. And the guys will be Brett, Stefano and Jordan.)

Ashton sings And I'm Telling You, Jennifer Hudson - I thought it was a little flat, honestly, but she's probably going through.

Stefano sings I Need You , Smokie Norful - He so deserves to go through. This guy is adorable and he's an amazingly good singer. This is a singing competition, right?

Kendra (and so far I'm right, three for three) sings Georgia on my Mind, Ray Charles - I liked her yesterday and I still like her today.  I'd put her through.

Jovanny (OK, so I didn't choose him) sings some song about an angel or something. It doesn't matter, cause he's not going through. We already have our resident Latina in Karen Rodriguez. Plus, he just is not as good as Stefano and Kendra were before him.

Naima sings For All We Know, Donny Hathaway.  That was just lovely. I feel sure she has to go through.

Robby (so I didn't get all the guys right, whatev) sings Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Elton John. That was a decent job, nothing thrilling though and, honestly, I just don't see him going through.

I think it will be Stefano, Kendra and Naima.

And the wild card picks are . . .  No, wait, first we'll watch JLo's new music video. I thought videos were over. I can't say I've ever heard a Jennifer Lopez song before. I wish I could still say that. I have a question. Who is the ugly white guy? And why? (OK, that's two questions.) Also, can I please have that time back?

After one more set of commercials, we finally get to find out that I was (not exactly) right and the three wild card picks are Ashton, Stefano and Naima.

I guess the Kendra thing was just my wishful thinking.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Girls Aren't Great


While I was looking over the spoiler list for the girls' song choices tonight on American Idol, I was somewhat saddened, although not surprised, by their lack of originality. I mean they could pick any songs they wanted (well, I'm sure not any song, since they have to be cleared, but still, I'm sure there's a pretty wide range of music to choose from) and they all seemed to choose wimpy songs, songs that have been done to death (or just better) before, or songs by artists they should never try to emulate their first time onto the big Idol stage. I'm just saying.

Have these kids not been watching the show for the past 9 years?? At least no one chose a Whitney song. I think the guys did this a bit last night, too, although the girls are usually the worst culprits; they pick songs they like or songs that fit the style they want to portray rather than trying to find the song that will sound great for them vocally.

Of course, as I write this, I haven't yet heard them sing. Maybe they'll all be amazing. Right.

Ta-Tynisa Wilson: Only Girl In The World, Rihanna - I don't like it. I don't know the song, but beside that point, she appears to be alternating between sounding shrill (with a huge side helping of off key) and being buried in the music. I'm calling her a goner.

Naima Adedapo: Summertime, George Gershwin - My friend Sandy is rooting for Naima, cause she has a cool name. I guess that's as good a reason as any. The fact that she chose Summertime is worrisome since Fantasia has mastered this song on the Idol stage. No one has attempted it since and done well in comparison. Maybe it's my sound system, but she sounds a little muffled and lost in the music as well. I'm not saying she was bad, parts were even very good, but overall, I didn't think it was that great. (Oh, look, Randy mentioned Fantasia, too.  See, I know what I'm talking about.)  I think she'll make the Top 10.

Kendra Chantelle:  Impossible, Christina Aguilera - I said I was going to root for Kendra, cause of Kendra the Vampire Slayer on Buffy.  It's good to have a reason for liking someone.  Actually, I think I made a solid choice, cause she was the best so far. I don't know this song, but she did a great job and I liked it regardless.

Rachel Zevita: Criminal, Fiona Apple - Another song I don't know, but that won't matter if she does a good job. First off she looks kinda awkward and not in a good way. Her scratchy voice started out sounding OK, but then as the words started coming faster, it made her sound a little mumbly. I wasn't impressed. Let's hope she's done.

Karen Rodriguez: Hero, Mariah Carey - When I was reading the list of names, I just couldn't place Karen, but now that I see her I remember her and I think I kinda like her. I worry about anyone who tries to take on Mariah, especially on such a well known song, cause you can't help but make comparisons. And let me explain to you all right here and now, you aren't gonna measure up to Mariah. But all that said, she did a tolerable job and adding in the Spanish really added to her voting block. I'd say she's a sure Top 10 pick.

Lauren Turner: Seven Day Fool, Etta James (Jully Black version) - Wait, did anyone else realize that there were two girls in the Top 12 named Lauren? I've heard so much about the other Lauren, that I didn't remember there was this Lauren. Her voice gets a little lost on the really low notes, but the song was fun and she actually showed some personality. I think she was even on key most of the time. She should stick around.

Ashton Jones:  Love All Over Me, Monica - Don't know this song, but the title alone makes me think of that song from the 80's You Got It All Over Him by The Jets. I always hated that song because Taylor and Moore (our local rock radio shock jocks) made so much fun of it. You can use your own imagination on that cause I'm not gonna explain. (In researching who sang that song, I found out that Rupert "Pina Colada Song" Holmes wrote it and Britney Spears did a cover. Weird.) Um, I think I missed her singing. I feel OK with that.

Julie Zorrilla: Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson - I had to sing a Kelly Clarkson song for a wedding a couple of weeks ago. I'm not Kelly Clarkson. Let's hope Julie has it in her. Nope. She looked very pretty, but the song basically swallowed her whole; it was just way too big for her. I think we may have heard the last of Julie.

Haley Reinhart: Fallin', Alicia Keys - That was good. That was just very, very good.  She took the song and made it her own. In my opinion, that was the best of any of the girls and better than most of the guys.

Thia Megia: Out Here On My Own, Irene Cara - Her name rhymes. I have a problem with that. She lost the melody a bit on the a cappella part, but overall, I liked it. It's a beautiful song and she did a tolerably good job. My husband, however, thought it was lame.

Lauren Alaina: Turn on the Radio, Reba McEntire - If she wasn't so obnoxious and so pimped on the show, I'd almost like her cause she's super cute. But she thinks too much of herself. Plus, she clearly wants to sing country pop, which in itself is an aberration and should not be allowed. If I liked that kind of music, I may have liked that performance. She's not going anywhere anyway.

Pia Toscano: I'll Stand By You, The Pretenders - My husband thinks she was the best one of the night. She was really great and she nailed that song.  But I feel sorry for her, cause I think she was put here as fodder and I don't think she'll make the Top 10. I hope I'm wrong, cause she deserves to stay.

Since I don't really care who stays or who goes, I'll base my guesses on who I assume they want to have stick around.  I think they want to keep Naima, Kendra, Karen, Haley and Lauren Alaina. And will maybe bring Thia back as a wild card.

If I'm picking who I thought was best, it would be Kendra, Lauren Turner, Karen, Haley and Pia.

Before posting this, I checked out dialidol and it's totally disagreeing with me, showing Ta-Tynisa and Julie as the top spots and Karen and Haley at the bottom.  Well, there's no accounting for taste.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Casey Abrams Puts a Spell on Idol

Are you ready for some Idol?

This week begins the live voting shows on American Idol.  Except that they aren't live. But whatever.

They are changing a few things this year, aside from the non-liveness of these shows. Apparently, this week the Top 24 will sing, the people will vote, and the top 5 vote getters for both guys and chicks will go through and the other 14 will be out.  Then there will be a wildcard week and the judges will each bring back one person, for a total of 13.


Anyway, moving forward, as in previous years, I'll just make a list of each kid, what they sing and record my thoughts. That's better than it sounds. Seriously.

I've read the spoilers and so I know who is singing what this week. But since I still don't know who everyone is, I'm relatively unspoiled as I start to watch.

Clint Jun Gamboa: Superstitious, Stevie Wonder - I have yet to get past the fact that this is the kid who was so mean to little Bieber2.0 and, therefore, I'm predisposed to not like him. Also, his glasses are stupid and he has vampire teeth. Alright, while I was busy typing all that, he was singing and I didn't really hear him. I guess the ending was good. He's probably safe.

Wait, there's online voting this year? OMG!! That almost makes me want to vote. I hope someone, at some point in this competition, is worthy so I can. 

Oh, and what does that mean for They're usually right, but now, who knows. 

Jovany Barreto: I’ll Be, Edward McCann - I have to admit, I was fast forwarding through some of the chatter before he sang and I may have cut off just the teensiest bit of his song.  But what I heard was kinda bland.  I don't think he'll be around for the top 10. 

Jordan Dorsey: OMG, Usher - This is not the kind of song I like. Honestly, I've never heard it before and I could have lived my whole life without hearing it. I don't think he really showed off anything too amazing about his voice either cause that didn't 
sound too good vocally. My husband's comment from the other room, "He sucked." I think he's a goner. 

Tim Halperin: Come On Over/Streetcorner Symphony, Rob Thomas - More music I don't know. What's happening to Idol that I don't recognize most of the songs? It's like a bad episode of Glee. Anyway, since I don't know the song, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but he sounded off key to me when he started out. No, forget it, he is off key and he sounds bad. In fact, I'd call it crap-like. Please tell me he's gone. 

Brett Loewenstern: Light My Fire, The Doors - Brett's a little weird in my book. But at least he's unashamedly himself and he chose to sing a song I know. The Idol powers that be clearly like him cause he got the wild lights and flame-y background. He was the best from the past three people, but still, it was a little boring. Other than the hair flipping. 

James Durbin: You Got Another Thing Comin’, Judas Priest - I'm already tired of this weepy, whiny Adam Lambert wannabe. So tonight, he'd better be amazing. I don't get the horse tail that he's wearing, but I have to admit, that he did a  great job.  Plus, he gets points for picking a song I know. He was the best of the night so far. Now he just needs to shut up and not ruin it. 

Robbie Rosen: In the Arms of An Angel, Sarah McLachlan - This guy's face is just all wrong. Look, it had to be said. You know you've been thinking it. His mouth and his nose are too big and his eyes are too close together. And he he needs to pluck his eyebrows and do something with that David Cassidy hairdo. He's chosen to sing probably my least favorite Sarah McLachlan song. I thought it was a bit wimpy and dull. 

So what's the deal with Randy being the only one who tells it like it is? Maybe it's that last seat. It makes you honest.

Scotty McCreery: Letters From Home, John Michael Montgomery - FYI, this kid is old enough to stop being called Scotty.  I hate country music. I hate it. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. Therefore, I don't feel that I should even try to weigh in on this performance. 

Stefano Langone: Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars - When I hear the song title "Just The Way You Are," I think Billy Joel. I guess that just tells my age, but whatever. It felt thin and a little too high to me, but everyone else seemed to like it. He might last a few more weeks. 

Paul McDonald: Maggie May, Rod Stewart - This guy definitely has his own style. He sounds like the love child of Macy Gray and Kim Carnes to me. But in a good way. I don't think he's really the Idol, but I think he's really good. He should stick around for a while. 

Jacob Lusk: A House is Not a Home, Dionne Warwick - The way he's staring into the camera is freaking me out a little. Shades of Constantine Maroulis who, I believe, actually made a few women pregnant from his into-the-camera-stare alone. But all that aside, Jacob is an amazing singer. He takes them to church every time and that's a great thing. 

Casey Abrams: I Put a Spell on You
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Well, Screamin' Jay wrote it anyway, but there have been lots of remakes. I think Steven Tyler said it all, that was crazy good. 

If I'm picking five guys to go through from tonight, it would be Brett, James, Paul, Jacob and Casey. Clint probably deserves it more than Brett for his performance tonight, but I don't like Clint.