People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eating Out Nightmares

This actually looks better in the picture than it did  live.
I think I may be turning into Gordon Ramsay.

So, last week, I didn't feel like cooking and even though we're broke, we decided to try out a new local restaurant, Milo's. They had recently bought and renovated what used to be a higher end eatery, turning it into more of a family restaurant. The interior was beautiful. It was clear that they had spent some money.

So, anyway, as we're looking at the menu, it seems too long to me, with too many choices. I can literally hear Chef telling them that.  But even with all the choices, I had a hard time picking anything I liked on the menu.  It was a lot of Greek food, which I don't particularly care for, sandwiches and breakfast. I'm not a fan of sandwiches for dinner. I'm not a fan of sandwiches in general and I want real food for my dinner.  Breakfast is actually OK for dinner, but I wasn't in the mood.

I thought my husband would have souvlaki, since he likes that, but he chose something I'd never heard of, called pastitsio. As it turns out, it was probably the most interesting sounding dish on the menu to me, too, so I ordered the same thing. It's a sort of baked Greek lasagna, with long ziti noodles, mixed with ground beef and cheese, and a layer of bechamel sauce on top.

See, now that sounds good, doesn't it?

But what we were served just wasn't that great. For one thing, they had put a sort of raw chunky tomato garlic marinara sauce on it over the bechamel. That was so wrong.

Plus, it came with a side of potatoes. Potatoes with a baked pasta. I chose mashed and they appeared to be instant and sort of brown and overcooked. Seriously, instant mashed potatoes as a side to a baked pasta dish. Maybe it's a Greek thing, but it's still kinda yucky.

I found myself pulling the dish apart. Mushy pasta, raw tasteless sauce, instant mashed potatoes.  I could literally hear Gordon telling the server how awful it was and then tearing the kitchen staff apart with a litany of exactly what was wrong and how they should fix it. I wanted to go help them fix it.

My husband stopped me, which was probably a good idea. Not that I really would have gotten all Gordon Ramsey on them. Maybe just a little. I mean, what harm could it do, cause we won't be going back.

Anyway, the baklava was OK.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Winner of American Idol Season 10 is....

So what started as a season full of promise this year on American Idol came down to a penultimate boring country teen-fest last night. I wasn't surprised. I could see this coming from a long way back. I felt the manipulating hand of Uncle Nigel, gleefully creating the scenario he wanted, pushing the pieces into place. It felt inevitable, yet somehow I still retained my belief in free will. It turns out, Nigel won. I'm just not sure why he wanted what was definitely going to alienate people. Like those who aren't interested in watching two bland teenagers sing random country karaoke for an hour. I'd imagine there are plenty of people like that. Of course, if they are anything like me, they figured, I've come this far, I should stick it out to the boring country end.

I'm not saying this season was all bad. Some good came of it. For one thing, I bought my husband a melodica for his birthday and if he doesn't learn to play it, I might. But the part of this season I'm going to miss the most, the part that leaves a gaping hole, is...well, actually, it's two parts: Paul F. Tompkin's (@PFTompkinsIdol reviews in NY Mag and Michael Slezak's (@MichaelSlezakTV) Buffy-tinged Idoloonies at TVLine. They made Idol so much fun for me this year and I salute them. Thanks for a great year, guys! I suspect that their reviews would not have been as much fun without watching the show, so that almost makes all the time I spent on this thing worth it. Although, next year, I'm tempted to test that theory.

Tonight we embark upon the F-list-Star Studded Finale. Although one assumes that Steven Tyler (who I read is performing tonight) will be singing with James Durbin (since they sorta had an agreement), I think it's interesting that the only spoiler I've read more than one place is about Casey Abrams singing with Jack Black. It's like even after about a thousand weeks of this show and an ending engineered by the powers that be, the only person anyone cares about this year is Casey.  I know I feel that way.

So I'm watching the group number, with the sound muted of course, and I just realized that every single one of these kids makes crazy faces into the camera. Seriously. Re-wind that and you'll see it, too.

James Durbin is first up to sing and, interestingly, he's singing a medley with Judas Priest. So I guess that deal he and Steven made had an escape clause. I'm still not a James fan, but I miss him only cause he would have made for a more interesting country-lite finale.

Instead of more singing, right now we take time to make fun of the people behind the desk, starting with Randy "In It To Win It" Jackson. I used to like Randy.

Next we have Jacob Lusk with Kirk Franklin. This is also interesting, cause I never expected it. Good on Jacob for sticking with what he knows and where he's going to shine. He definitely needs to engender some goodwill with America. And, oh, look at this, Gladys Knight. What the heck does she need to sell?

Did you just see?? My babies were on during the American Idol finale!

Now, it's time for Casey Abrams and Jack Black singing Queen's Fat Bottom Girls. That was fun. I'm just glad no one is going to pretend to judge anything this week.

On to the all girl group number medley. All I really notice is that Karen Rodriguez doesn't even try to sing any of the words in Spanish. Weird, cause I thought she was somehow under contract to do that in every single song she sings. Ever. After about an hour, the girls are joined by Beyonce, but by this point, I've left the room and I'm busy doing something else.

We move on to making fun of Steven Tyler. Yes, he swears on camera. We know.

Yay! Haley Reinhart is paired with Tony Bennett. I love her now. I'm not sure how it happened, but suddenly, she's good. I think it was cause of all the beatings she took.

Apparently, making fun of Jennifer Lopez isn't possible. All they can do is talk about how beautiful she is.

I have no idea what I'm seeing here now. Some sort of synchronized dancing from bondage people. Oh, wait, is that the Idols?  What is going on? Sometimes I think I need to pay more attention to this show and sometimes I'm glad I'm not. This is both of those times.

Getting back to the country music that all love so much, Scotty McCreery and Tim McGraw sing a lovely country song about death.

Just for fun, we get to re-visit all the stupidity and silliness from the early auditions. Actually, there's not that much.

Mark Anthony sings and Jennifer Lopez dances. Clearly, they plan to drag this thing out as long as possible with all sorts of unnecessary filler.

The boys' group sing. Honestly, I have nothing to say about any of this. I just want it to be over. Tom Jones joins them.  He looks older, but he sounds exactly the same. OK, maybe not exactly, but pretty close. Sometimes bringing these old guys on to this big stage tends to just show off how badly they've aged. He was not as bad as some we've seen. And you know it.

A shot of Ryan Seacrest in the audience, with security guard Aaron behind him, nodding his head in agreement to whatever Ryan is telling us. This is followed by some sort of Ford commercial where the Top Two talk about going home to invite a teacher back to the finale and then present them each with keys to a new Ford Focus.  Scotty and Lauren are told they get to pick any Ford vehicle they want. Apparently, Ford doesn't have any new hybrid to push this year.

Lady Gaga. That is all.

There's only about 38 minutes left of this show, which for some odd reason is on until 10:07 pm. Um, you couldn't have just gone to 10:05 or 10:10? Or added one more stupid nothing song and ended at 10:15? I don't like odd numbers. They're too uneven.

In any case, I was just hoping this thing was almost over. But no, we still have to live through Little Lauren Alaina singing with Carrie Underwood. It always amazes me when these kids think of someone from American Idol as an influence on their lives. Seriously, Carrie Underwood has only been around for a couple of years. But I guess when you're only 12, that's like forever.

More Beyonce, cause clearly once wasn't enough.

Bono and The Edge do some boring, silly Spider-Man musical thing with a guy I don't know. Didn't Bono used to stand for something? Besides commercialism? Don't even get me started on what I think about people who refer to themselves as "the" anything. Pretentious twits.

Please make this show end!!!  There's still 16 more minutes and it feels like an eternity.

Hey, here's something I actually like. Steven Tyler singing Dream On. I feel a little bad that Joe Perry and the boys dissed him by refusing to be on Idol. But he doesn't really need them for this anyway. That was cool, a live Steven Tyler concert. Just for me. That almost made living through these past two hours of hell worth it. Almost.

Only 10 minutes now. Ryan promised he wouldn't let my DVR cut off in mid-winner proclamation, so he'd better hurry this thing up.  We need to announce the winner and have them sing their own Do I Make You Proud That This is My Now Inside Your Heaven at The Time of My Life with No Boundaries.

And, now, finally, the winner is .... Scotty McCreery!

I never doubted it for a minute.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is Wanting Someone To Lose The Same As Caring Who Wins?

Please tell me that someone will at least stop these country cousins from singing all country music for the finale of American Idol. Please.

The only positive I can find is that tonight is only an hour and not two hours. Maybe God does love me.

So we start out the show with clips that prove all the people on American Idol were also annoyingly precocious children. Laura, watching the clip of 8 year old Scotty McCreery talking about AI, said, when I was 8, there was no AI. Well, when I was 8, there was no color TV.  So there.

Why do we have to bring up that Lauren Alaina was having voice problems? She does not deserve any pity. The more you try to sway my vote, the more I intensely dislike her. Intensely. Also, I blew out a vocal cord once, it was hemorrhaging, but I still managed to sing in a Christmas concert. You actually use a different part of your vocal cord for singing than you do for talking. And it doesn't hurt at all.

This week, the kids choose their first song from their favorites they've song this season, the second song is chosen for them by their Idol. Carrie Underwood chooses for Lauren and George Strait chooses for Scotty. Their third song is apparently the song that will be their first single. If they win, that is.

Scotty wins the toss, but chooses to go first, so it's like he's trying to jeopardize his chances. Or maybe he's just so confident of the win he wants to prove he can do it no matter what the odds.

Round One
Scotty McCreey: Gone, by some country person - It sounds exactly the same way it sounded the last time he sang it and I didn't listen.

Lauren Alaina: Flat On the Floor, some other country person - I have nothing to say. there no judging?

Round Two
Scotty McCreey: Check Yes or No, George Strait - Oh, look Scotty is singing a country song. Written by a country person and chosen for him by a country person. In a country sorta twangy way.

Somehow, Scotty has gotten cute. I hope he wins. I think he will, but I hope he does. I hope it's a landslide. 

Lauren Alaina: Maybe It Was Memphis, yet a third country person - I hope she loses. 

So here's the judging. Randy says Scotty had a slight edge in Round One and Lauren has a slight edge in Round Two. Let me guess, Round Three will be a tie?

Jennifer agrees with him. Steven gives both rounds to Lauren, cause she's prettier than Scotty. Um, yep.

So those people behind the table are acting like this show has been good so far. It has not. This show absolutely sucks so far.  

And now they are forcing me to watch some person I've never heard of auto-tune his way through some dance beat crap apparently written by American Idol viewers. Well, I had nothing to do with it and I resent Ryan's implication that I was somehow involved.

I've been saving this particular Twitter quote because I knew it would come in handy at some point.  Back in March, @ashman01 (Ashley Edward Miller) said, "I think we can all agree that the inventor of auto-tune needs to be taken out and publicly beaten to death." I believe that time has come.  

Round Three
Scotty McCreey: I Love You This Big - I'm so glad they found something for Jimmy to do this week. It's just not American Idol without him now. At least that's what I always say. The return of the swaybots, however, was something I could have lived without. OK, I feel like I have to weigh in on that song. It was kinda boring.  Laura said, I don't think that's a number one song. 

Lauren Alaina: Like My Mother Does -  Hey, is that a little tiny Leprechaun mandolin player? How cute is he!  Anyway, remember my intense dislike for Lauren from earlier? It has intensified even more since I had to sit here and listen to her sing three country songs. I hope I never, ever hear from or see her again. Ever.

First of all, can I just say how happy I am that we're not going to the concert?

Laura's comments...this is the worst finale ever. There were no standout moments and it was all country. Plus, no one cares about either one of these people.  I couldn't agree more.

It appears that the powers that be have decided that Lauren must win. I guess they just have to have a girl win this year so they don't have a fourth boring-white-guy-with-a-guitar as winner.

This entire show has been bent over backwards for her, to make everything think she was awesome, but she truly was as boring and bland and lifeless as always.  Of course, Carrie was pretty boring, too, and she won, so I guess there's no accounting for taste. My sister just called to ask me what they are hearing that the rest of us aren't? Cause she thinks Scotty was great and Lauren was just so-so.

Personally, I still think Scotty has this thing locked up. Not because I care, but because he's been the top vote getter every week since the beginning. That has to mean something.

I remember when I used to really care about who won this show. This year I'm more focused on hoping that Lauren loses. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Come Hell Or High Water

Let's get honest for a minute. Is anyone really hoping for a two-hour American Idol finale filled with boring mid-tempo country music? Cause that's just not right. I  mean, don't they already have Nashville Star for that?

The more I think about it, the more I think we need to see Haley in the finale. Even if just to give us something to live for.

So instead of Lauren and Scotty, let's have Haley and Scotty.  Would it really make any difference in the outcome?  I feel very confident that this horse has been bred for Scotty to ride to the winner's circle. I actually said that on a work conference call this week (why wouldn't we be talking about American Idol?) and it appeared that everyone else on the call was still actually innocent enough to believe that this entire thing isn't already staged from the beginning.

Silly people.

So, as we head into tonight's elimination show, I'm keeping my hopes up that Haley makes it into the finale. Of course, if the world really ends on Saturday, it won't matter.  But then I will be just a little miffed, since I've been forcing myself to watch this thing since Day One (many long, boring, country years ago) and I want to be there to say I Told You So when Scotty is crowned Country King.

I'm starting the show late tonight, after it's already over, actually, so I'm taking care to stay away from Twitter, cause I don't want to know who's in the Top 2.  The upside is that I'm able to fast-forward through as much as possible and that makes me happy.  What doesn't make me happy is that these kids got to meet J.J. Abrams, and you can just tell that they have no idea what that means. I mean, were they even born yet when Lost was on??

Alright. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Haley's home town visit made me cry. Just a little.

I happily fast-forward through the Ford music video and the Italian Jonas Brothers who are named after a virulent disease. (What? It's Ebola, right?) Well, I did hear just enough to recognize the sounds of a Casio organ with drum machine in the background.

Scotty and dozens of little girls cried during his home town visit. But for some reason, it didn't strike me as emotionally as Haley's.  Even though I did get the feeling from both of them that they just didn't expect so much adoration and support.

I'm thrilled to fast forward through who ever this chick is that's singing next. I still notice the random guy walking through yelling into a mic. What is that about? Just watching them, even in fast forward, it makes me grieve for the  loss of the woman's rights movement. The fact that so many people think that sexualizing woman is somehow empowering is just sad.

Interestingly, in Lauren's home visit the only tears shed are about the storm damage.  The homage of thousands of adoring fans is pretty much taken as her right. It makes me think about Cordelia's speech in that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode about how it's not just her right, but her responsibility to be so popular. I think it was "Earshot."  Maybe Michael Slezak will look it up and it can be part of this week's episode of Idoloonies.

So now we are about to find out the final two.  The first person in the finale is ... Scotty McCreery. Yep.

And, of course, as it was ordained from the beginning, he's joined by Lauren Alaina.  So Haley Reinhart, who can sing rings around the other two, is going home.

Please, please, please, can the world really end on Saturday?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Is and What Should Never Be

I'm not even remotely interested in watching American Idol tonight.

I'm pretty sure it'll be like 70% country music. On the bright side, since I mostly fast-forward through all the country music, the episode will be over quickly.

So tonight they sing three songs, one they pick, one chosen by Jimmy Iovine and one chosen by the judges. But don't worry that the Idols will be able to show any creativity on their own, Beyonce is here to help the kids pick appropriate songs (i.e., those already OK'd by Uncle Nigel).

So Round One is the songs they chose for themselves.

Scotty McCreery: Amazed, Lonestar - My friend Sandy was pointing out some articles today where they are already talking about how Scotty isn't going to be able to sell too many records. That may be true. But I don't think anything can derail the Scotty train on it's way to a confetti shower at the Nokia next week. He's been chosen to win this thing since the beginning, pretty much, and come hell or high water (both of which are apparently on the way this week) he's planning on doing just that.

Lauren Alaina: Wild One, Faith Hill - Oh, I'm supposed to be paying attention and having an opinion, aren't I? I just can't. Lauren always sounds the same to me. Sorta bland and cute and on tune, but not original or interesting.

Haley Reinhart: What Is and What Should Never Be, Led Zeppelin  - The first song I know and like. Not sure how I feel about Haley singing it, but still a great song. And decidedly not country. Oh, no!!  She fell......I was just admiring how she was running around, singing all those words and not losing her breath or sounding rushed....and then, oops!!  But she recovered fine and kept going. Hopefully, that gets her the sympathy vote. In any case, that was good. It started out a little unsure of itself, but once she got going, she did a great job.

Round Two is Jimmy Iovine's picks.

Scotty McCreery: Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not, Thompson Square - Um, are they any relation to the Thompson Twins? And when did Jimmy become such a name dropper? Apparently, he doesn't realize that Randy Jackson has the corner on all name dropping.

Lauren Alaina: If I Die Young, The Band Perry -  So we just heard Lauren singing an Aerosmith song at her audition and sound about a thousand times better than she has since. Why all the country music, why not do something like she did in her audition? I have to admit that she did sound pretty good on this song, right up to the point where she missed a couple of notes and didn't quite take the key change like she should have. But, overall, it wasn't bad.  I almost liked her.

Haley Reinhart: Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac - This song feels kinda played out to me.  Didn't someone already sing it this year? I'm too lazy to go back and check, but I think someone did. Or was that on Glee?  Whatever. If I wanted Haley to sing a Stevie Nicks song, I would not have chosen this one, cause there's no real hook and it'll be hard to have a moment. That wasn't bad or anything, but it was just sorta OK. I am noticing that the judges people behind the table don't dare be too critical of her. Look what happened last time they lambasted her, she's still here two weeks later.

Well, if Haley took Round One, thanks to Jimmy's picks, Scotty took Round Two.

For Round Three the judges people behind the table choose a song for each kid.

Scotty McCreery: She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers - I like this song. Yes, I know, it's a country song and all that, but I have no argument with Kenny Rogers. He may be country, but he's from my decade and he makes me feel all nostalgic. Can someone please tell me why country people sing songs with an accent? I mean, think about it, even Brits sing with no accent, but every hick singer south of Pennsylvania has a twang. I don't get it. I didn't hate Scotty, but I do wish he would have dialed back on that accent. 

Lauren Alaina: I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack - Wasn't this song already done, too? OK, so no one is going to make one of the two country kids sing outside of their comfort zone.  I'm glad we've established that. In any case, Lauren's not having a moment here and she should have at least tried. Being cute is just not enough, little Lauren. Nor is a bad spray on tan or sparkley legs.  This may be her last shot on the Idol stage and she just didn't do anything special at all. 

Haley Reinhart: You Oughta Know, Alanis Morrisette  - Please note that we get to see both Lauren and Scotty in a large group of people getting their song text. Haley is all alone in a car. Someone sang this at the finale last year with Alanis, didn't they?  See, I almost remember these things, but then I don't care enough to look them up and be sure. The verses sounded  like they were a little low for Haley's range, but the chorus was amazing. She kicked that one in the butt.

Haley gets my vote for this round, too. Maybe a tie between her and Scotty.

If everyone else is hearing what I'm  hearing, it's not looking good for little Lauren. But since America is deeply stupid and has crap taste in music and probably wants an all country finale, I'm most likely wrong. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Making Music

OK, I know you've all been waiting for this.  Or possibly not, since you didn't know existed. But you would have been waiting if only you'd known.

You may even have seen it already, as part of Blue Cross/Blue Shield's new ad campaign.  So here it is, my kids in their first TV commercial.

Well, to be totally honest, they're not exactly my kids.  They are my great nieces and one of my great nephews, Natalie, Emma and Joey.

And they will most likely not be in any further commercials.

But you never know and now you can say you knew them when.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Idol Score: Country=2; Ladies=2; Metal=0

Due to the sad, sad break down of Blogger for the past million hours, this Idol review is being posted a day later than it would have been. If the time frames don't exactly make sense, that's why.

I just can't take it anymore. American Idol is starting to break me.

Look, I know I'm not one to normally give a pass to anyone who talks back to the judges (or as I'll be calling them from now on, the people behind the desk). It never works out well when someone is rude. But honestly, after that beat down Wednesday night, I can't blame Haley for pushing back.

Now, watching all this hoopla and craziness, hearing about all the guest performers and everything that’s going to happen in the next very long hour, it makes me long for the simpler days of seasons 1 and 2. You know, when no one actually watched this show.

Anyway, after we have to re-live all that stuff that made me so angry last night, we start with a terrible countrified song with Scotty McCreery and James Durbin. Weirdly, James almost sounds better singing with a twang. OK, who is that chick who keeps kissing James on the cheek and does his wife know about her?

Next we have Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina with their own countrified ladies duet. What’s with all the country music? Why does American Idol hate me so much?

Finally, we are about to get to the elimination. The first person into the Top 3 is Lauren. I guess they were afraid that if she didn’t make it immediately, she’s be crying again through the entire show, like last week.

Because I’m watching live, I can’t fast-forward through the Lady GagMe performance of the same song that Haley sang last week. But I can mute it.

My friend Sandy is a huge Enrique Inglesias fan, or I’d be muting him, too. I’m just so not a fan of this kind of mess. No wonder American Idol ends up with the winners they end up with every year. People have absolutely crap taste in music. It’s random yelling and auto-tune and dance beat. I want to vomit all over the the swaybots jumping by the stage. Plus they stole part of a Lionel Ritchie song. Is anyone paying royalties on that?

I’m going to completely ignore where Ryan jumped off the stage after a balloon and the Ford commercial.

I was never much of a Jordin Sparks fan either, but I did think it might be interesting to hear her new song. I was wrong. That whole thing was so pointless and the lyrics sound like they were written by a first grader.

As for Steven Tyler’s single, well, the video wasn’t what I thought of for the song, but what do I know about videos anyway.  As for the song, it’s a little poppy for me, but it’s catchy. I just think it might be missing something. Like Joe Perry. For instance.

But it’ll most likely be a hit. Maybe it already is.

Back to eliminating people.....or putting them in the Top 3. The next person in the Top 3 is Haley. See, all that hate last night backfired on them.

So maybe it is James going home. That will still give us the Scotty/Lauren finale that’s been anticipated since day one.

And I’ll be so happy to not have to hear any more James screaming. Or watch him cry. But if it’s Scotty going home, I’m still OK with that.  Actually, can we just send them both home now and just skip next week’s show entirely?

As anticipated, Scotty goes on to the Top 3 and James is done. I figured he’d be out by next week anyway, so I’m not too surprised. Especially since Ryan said tonight would be interesting. I guess America, along with not being able to look at themselves in the mirror, is also not ready to give metal a chance.

Well, after the tour, James can go on to front some local heavy metal band and play lots of gigs in his home state.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Judges Who Weren't

Ryan says in just two short weeks, only 14 days, we will be at the Nokia Theater to crown the 2011 American Idol. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to that amazing, amazing day. I wish it was now.

The theme this week is Inspirational Songs and the Songbook of Leiber and Stoller. Yes, no one has ever  heard of them, but apparently they wrote pretty much every great song that was written. In the 50's and 60's.  So basically, this week the theme is the same as it's been for the past 10 or 12 weeks. Or however long we've been living in this nightmare we call Idol.

James Durbin: Don't Stop Believing, Journey - This song, thanks to Rock of Ages and Glee, has been completely done to death.  It was a theme on the Idol tour last year, too, if I recall correctly.  Not to say that it's not a great song. It is. But if you aren't going to be better than all the other remakes, you'd be better to not sing it.  James was not better. He was much, much worse. Pitchy and screamy and I don't care what anyone else has to say.  At this point, the judges (if we can even still call them that) are basically just reading the scripts and for some unknown reason, the script tells them that James must be in the finale.

Haley Reinhart: Earth Song,  Michael Jackson - I have never heard this song before in my life. My husband insists that she said it was by Michael Jackson, but I'm not convinced.  We were so busy talking about Steven Tyler's book (which I just started reading) that we weren't paying attention.  I don't want to go back and find out, cause I honestly don't care. I'm starting to like Haley even more just cause the judges (there's that word again) hate on her so much. The song itself was a little boring, maybe, but vocally she was at least a thousand times better than James. A thousand and one times. I'm not sure how JLo and Randy can sleep at night.

I'm actually so angry right now, I wish I could call them and tell them. Maybe I should tweet them...I don't know.

Scotty McCreery: Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning), Alan Jackson - I'm not surprised that he chose this song. He sang it just like he sings everything and he's basically sown up his place in the Top 2. I didn't notice, was there a flag flying behind him?

Lauren Alaina: Anyway, Martina McBride - She's wearing the curtains from Gone With the Wind, isn't she?  Ho hum. Same old boring, nothing singing delivered Lauren-style.

So JLo just admitted, that they want Lauren in the finale. But apparently not Haley.  I'm thinking now that they want Lauren and James and not Lauren and Scotty. But it doesn't matter.

Randy said he was worried about Lauren last week, but I call that re-writing history.  As I recall, he was quite generous with his praise, as they always are for little Lauren. I dislike her more each week. And I feel bad about it, cause she's probably just a little girl who is being manipulated as much as the rest of us.

OK, so they loved every one but Haley and she's in the forgettable number two spot. I'll miss you Haley, you were treated badly and forced out for three people who are not better than you.  But we all dislike them even more  now. Or at least I do.

And yet, we still we have to live through another round of songs. But first we have to be assaulted by the annoying, disgusting Lady Gaga. (I just mistyped that as Lady Gag and I think that may be a better name for her.) I don't understand people who have such low self-esteem that they feel they have to make themselves look like a freak just to get attention.

Haley Reinhart: I (Who Have Nothing) - Somehow I thought this song would go to little Lauren. She's the big drama queen right? Oh wait, maybe I meant James. *giggle*  OK, now I'm just taking cheap shots at little kids. Fine, I'm not nice. Deal with it.  Honestly, I thought her vocals were stronger on the first song, but that was still pretty darn awesome, if you ask me.  And kindly remember, that I don't really like her. I just think she should get props when she deserves props and not get beaten up cause Haley getting to Top 3 isn't part of the script.

You know what would be awesome, if James got voted off this week.

Also, I've been thinking about this "in it to win it" thing of Randy's.  Do you think he could be trying to subtly tell the contestants that he thinks they may just have wandered over from that NBC show that airs tonight opposite Idol?

Scotty McCreery: Young Blood - OK, his eyes are starting to creep me out. So Jimmy is worried about Scotty's emotional connection to this song. What emotion would that be exactly? Anyway, this was not one of Scotty's best efforts, but he's basically just phoning it in at this point and that's probably OK. I don't think anyone can envision a Top 3 that does not include Scotty McCreery.

The fact that the judges (we need another term for these people behind the desk) didn't call him on anything for that lame, boring performance makes me want to throw things. Big, heavy things, aimed right for those people behind the desk.

Lauren Alaina: Trouble - I actually called this song for Haley, who would have been amazing on it. She would have had no problem calling herself "evil." If Lauren has a problem with it, she should have picked another song. Anyway, she started out reminding me briefly of the Lauren we saw back in her first audition, but then she went to that fast part and got all winded and sorta lost the thread a bit. Disappointing. And the thing with Steven Tyler is just getting ickier and ickier.

Both Lauren and Scotty were so lacking compared to Haley's performance this round. I just wish everyone else agreed with me.

James Durbin: Love Potion No. 9 - This started out pretty good, it had some off moments, but he pulled it all together in the end.  Overall, I thought it was much better than his first song. He definitely sounds better when he sticks to his upper register.  But I want to know, who's really gonna buy a whole record of this kid screeching?

Who is going home? Probably Haley.  Who deserves to go home? Any one of the other three.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lusky Stankless

I'm a committeeman for a certain political party in our town and tonight was our endorsement meeting. At 7 pm. The only good part is I'm the rep for District 1, so I got to vote first and then I high-tailed it out of there so I got home in time to start American Idol at 8:20 pm.  Perfect timing so that I can watch the good stuff and fast-forward through everything else.  Although with the amount of extra padding the shows have had this year, maybe 8:45 would have been better.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I even care anymore, cause I don't. Care. I don't care. And yet here I am.

OK, the show is just starting and I'm trying to read Steven Tyler's lips....who is he saying "I love you" to, cause I'm pretty sure it's not me.  Or at least I don't think so. Maybe he knows I bought his book.

I want to fast-forward through this incredibly bad group number, but then I'm worried that I won't be able to fast-forward through something even worse that's yet to come.  My husband just asked me, "Who picks these songs, who thinks this is good, what the heck is wrong with them?" All very good questions. I wish I had the answer.

I was thinking today about all the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes (and sometimes right in front of our faces) on this show. All the many ways that Uncle Nigel and the judges attempt to sway our votes. I was thinking how no one could really fall for all that stuff, right? I mean, any normal, intelligent human being knows that they are being manipulated, right? Right??  But then I spoke with  my mom about who's going to be eliminated tonight. My mom is 83 years old and I always thought she was of above average intelligence.

But she was telling me about how Haley didn't do well and how good James, Scotty and Jacob were. What? She was completely being manipulated and she has no idea. None. Of course, she also thinks Jacob is straight. So maybe she's not as smart as I thought.

I'm not sure what omelet making has to do with singing, but I'm thinking maybe a new season of Hell's Kitchen (or is it Master Chef?) is starting soon and Gordon's contract wouldn't allow him to get out of this bit of cross promotion.

And see, now I'm happy I didn't fast-forward through the group number cause I got to fast-forward through Lady Antebellum.

Ryan says we might be surprised about who is going home tonight.  Please, please, please tell me it's Lauren or Scotty. Cause other than that, I don't see myself being surprised. Well, I guess it would be a little surprising if it was James, since he was pimped to the skies last night and he kinda sucked. And I would be less surprised if it was Lauren.

James Durbin is first up and he heads to the far side of the stage.  Lauren Alaina is next and she takes position on the near side.

I would be fast-forwarding through JLo's, um, thing that she's doing here, but my husband wants to see it. He's clearly a glutton for punishment. I absolutely don't understand this kind of display. I know they call it music, but I wish I was listening to Aerosmith right now.  I definitely don't understand the point of a lone white guy randomly walking around and yelling into a mic. I know everyone seems to do that lately, but I think it's stupid.

OK, back to eliminations. Next we have Jacob Lusk, joining Lauren. Then Haley Reinhart joins James. Which leaves Scotty to pick a group. Um, so that kinda makes it seem like Haley is going, cause I think no one would be surprised with a bottom two made up of Jacob and Lauren.

Wait, unless the surprise is about That can't happen, he's the favorite son this year. He's got to make Top 3. And yes, Scotty is safe and he declines to pick a group, which is the way it should be.

So, no surprise here, the bottom two are Jacob and Lauren.  But here's the question.  If it turns out that Lauren is safe, is she really in the bottom two? Cause how can we ever know.

In any case, Jacob is the one going home, and seriously, as much as I don't like Lauren, I think it's time to send Jacob home. I think he's ready to go, too.   Really, he was much better in the early rounds and he's been getting worse and worse under the pressure of this show.

Pia was signed like hours after she was voted off , I'm sure the same will hold true for Jacob.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Idol Love Hurts

Up until right now, I wasn't sure I even wanted to keep watching American Idol this season.

This isn't a Casey Abrams thing. Well, if I'm being honest, I should say it's not just a Casey Abrams thing. I didn't expect him to win and I figured he'd be lucky to make Top 5, so I'm not mad about his ouster. (Not too mad anyway.) But now that he's gone, I came to a realization. He was the most interesting thing about this year.

Without Casey, I'm left listening to five people that I don't care about at all. In fact, I actively dislike most of them.

Plus, there's the increasingly ridiculous themes. Now and Then? What does that even mean? It's like there's no point to them anymore.  If they'd let me pick the themes, I think I could do a better job.  In fact, I know I could.

But, clearly, no one listens to me.

Anyway, I was almost not going to watch - I'd even started watching The Voice to have something new - but then I thought, there's only 4 more weeks and I've lived through it to this point. I might as well finish it.

Besides, Sheryl Crowe....who doesn't love her? No, really.

James Durbin: Closer To The Edge, Thirty Seconds to Mars - Nothing will make me like this kid. I just don't get all the judges' praise.  That whole thing sounded like a total off key screamy mess to me.

Jacob Lusk:  No Air, Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown - Maybe my ears are off tonight, cause see above about off key screamy messes.  I'm just really over Jacob. He's continually letting his pompous show and it's not pretty.

OK, JLo, let's have a little chat. You can't tell them that they need to just sing the type of songs that they want to record, when you make them follow stupid theme weeks. Cause I don't think he's gonna find a Jordin Sparks song from the 60's for his next foray this evening.

Lauren Alaina: Flat on the Floor, Carrie Underwood - What's scary to me is that so far two of these kids have chosen songs from previous Idol winners, songs that wouldn't have existed without Idol in the first place. Like life imitating art. Or something. In any case, that was more like the Lauren from the beginning, but I still don't like her. Like my husband said, she's just what the world needs, another blond female country singer.

Scotty McCreery:  My husband and I were talking while they announced the song Scotty was singing so I missed it. I don't care enough to back up the DVR to find out. It's some country song. No surprise there. This one is a bit more upbeat than usual, but it's still a country thing.  The two tiny 12 yr old blond backup singers were a bit distracting.

Haley Reinhart: You and I, Lady Gaga - So this isn't the Eddie Rabbitt/Crystal Gayle song. No, it's not. And it's usually a bad idea to do a song that people don't know. But, actually, that wasn't bad, although she still has this weird accent sometimes that I don't get. I disagree with the judges though, cause I honestly thought she was the best so far tonight.

So we're halfway done....thankfully.

James Durbin: Without You, Harry Nilsson - This is a Badfinger song.  Harry Nilsson just covered it.  But none of these kids was alive for either one, so I guess it doesn't really matter. I was so busy proving that I was right about that, that I kinda missed his singing, but I think I hated it. Can I say right now that I'm sick and tired of this kid?? He's so weepy and whiny. If you want to be with your family, quit. Otherwise, shut up and stop trying to get my sympathy vote. I have no sympathy for you.

Jacob Lusk:  Love Hurts, Nazareth -  Now that was more like the Jacob we first came to know. But it's like too little too late, if you ask me.  Also, I'm sitting here and watching Jimmy Iovine and Sheryl Crowe tell Jacob to do exactly the opposite of what the judges have been saying. They're telling these kids to take risks and the judges are saying find your lane and stay in it. No wonder they love Scotty so much. He's never even put on his turn signal once this season.

Lauren Alaina: Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers - My husband said she looks like a Dairy Queen sundae or I Dream of Jeannie.  This song was OK for her, but she didn't really do anything with it or bring anything new to it. Except the little twang and I could have done without that.  Sorry, I'm just not ever going to like her.

Scotty McCreery: Always on my Mind, Elvis Presley - This was originally a Brenda Lee song and I'll bet more people think of it as belonging Willie Nelson than Elvis. But again, I'm nitpicking. Well, I have to have something to do while I'm trying to not listen to the singing. You know what? I didn't hate that. Maybe cause the Willie version came out the year I graduated from high school and since this version closely resembles that version, it makes me remember happy times. You know, when I was young and stupid.

Haley Reinhart: House of the Rising Sun, The Animals - Wow, I almost even liked that. I was especially pleased that she chose to not change the word "boy," cause I hate when they do that.

OK, Haley was clearly the best tonight, but the worst is a little harder to judge, since I pretty much hated the other four. Well, maybe I didn't hate Scotty as much as usual.

So that would make my bottom three Jacob, James and Lauren. I'd like to think Lauren is going home.