People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Idol Is Over, Who Won Again?

I know that American Idol is finally over for the season, but I wanted to go back and see how close I was, way back when we had our Top Ten, to determining the order in which they would be voted off:

My Picks
10. Erika Van Pelt
9. Elise Testone
8. DeAndre Brackensick
7. Heejun Han
6. Skyler Laine
5. Colton Dixon
4. Hollie Cavanagh
3. Jessica Sanchez
2. Phil Phillips
1. Joshua Ledet

What Really Happened
10. Erika Van Pelt !!
9. Heejun Han^
8. DeAndre Brackensick !!
7A.  Jessica Sanchez - SAVED
7B. Colton Dixon^
6. Elise Testone
5. Skylar Laine*
4. Hollie Cavanaugh !!
3. Joshua Ledet^
2. Jessica Sanchez *
1. Phillip Phillips *

!!Voted off where I guessed they would be
*Voted off within one place of where I guessed
^Voted off within two places of where I guessed

So I got three of them exactly right and three of them within one place. I think that's pretty good.

Maybe I should take up gambling.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And the Season 11 American Idol Is...

Wow, all these kids are back on the finale of American Idol tonight and I seriously forgot most of them. Also, I don't understand why there's an extended dance routine from complete strangers in the middle of their opening number, especially since this is a show that is supposed to be about singing.  Are these people from some other Fox reality show that I'm - mercifully - unaware of?

I'm kinda wishing that somehow neither Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez will win, but that in some sort of weird but incredibly fortuitous twist, Ryan Seacrest will be named the next American Idol. He deserves more than just money for being able to keep up the pretense that this show is still exciting and relevant.

John Fogerty is singing Have You Ever Seen The Rain with Phil and somehow Phil gets more applause. How can it be that I live in a world where this is possible? They also sing Bad Moon Rising, and John is such a nice guy that he doesn't even wince when Phil makes it sound all...wrong.

I hear Joshua Ledet performing Elton John's Take Me To The Pilot with Fantasia and once again I wonder why he didn't make it to the finale on his own, cause I think he was better than Fantasia. And she won.  Also, love how they just kept singing right into the commercial break. I like to think they'll still be there singing that same song all through this entire ep.

The ladies are doing some sort of disco medley with Chaka Khan. What's with all these one piece fitted cat suits? Cause seriously both Fantasia and Chaka could have done with slightly more concealing outfits.

During the Ford commercial, I detected screams for Phillip and yet not even a whisper for Jessica. Could that be a portent that we're gonna have another WGWG winner this year?

I kinda like that little guy who is there as Jessica's mentor. Can I go back to yesterday and vote for him to win? Question: Can they legally give a car to Jessica since she's not of age and may not even have a license yet? Look, these are just the kinds of things I think about.

I have no interest in this scantily clad pop singer, so I'm just gonna hit Mr. Mute Button and sit this one out. The lasers alone are giving me a migraine, I can't even imagine how terrible it sounds.

After the commercial break, we come back with Skylar Laine and her twin separated at birth musical inspiration, Reba McIntire singing some sort of rock-ish country song. I don't have enough interest to look up the name of it, and I'm thinking anyone who really cares probably already knows.

Next we have a tour of some random place they say is Steven Tyler's studio or apartment or garage or something.  Then Jessica Sanchez is up, singing more Whitney Houston, repeating her performance of I Will Always Love You. No one joins her on stage, so I'm guessing either she has no musical inspiration or who ever she wanted they couldn't get. Ryan doesn't explain why she's alone, so I guess we'll never know.

Did everyone know that she was on the first season of America's Got Talent? I just saw that when I was trying to find out if anyone else knew why she was all alone.

Anyway, now I join the guys, already in progress, singing a Neil Diamond medley. I think. Ah yes, and here is Neil himself. That's kinda fun.

I'm going to just ignore this weird "Singing the Phonebook" thing, cause it's not funny. And I'm sure even these kids wish they could have had nothing to do with it.

I'm glad there's this Jennifer Lopez section, cause my house is super hot right now and I need to go close all the windows and turn on the a/c for a little while. Plus I need to go potty and get a drink.

That was great! The break was long enough that I also got a chance to change into something cooler, clean up the kitchen and put away all the dishes in the strainer.

Ryan is scanning the crowd now, and recognizes Lauren Alaina, Taylor Hicks and then new couple Ace Young and Diana DiGarmo.  Ace looks crazy weird and then to make it even weirder, Ryan asks them on stage and Ace proposes. HE PROPOSES. On American Idol. (Then Constantine Maroulis re-tweeted someone who congratulated them on Twitter, cause all these people are sooooo classy.)

Anyway, since time is running out, Ryan basically pushes them to the side and announces Hollie Cavanaugh singing with Jordin Sparks. OK, I know I'm old, but when your musical idol is still basically a teenager herself, maybe you need a little bit more life experience. Or a lot more.

Other things may have just happened, but honestly, I was busy texting my friend Laura about Ace and Diana, and seeing what people thought on Twitter and I can really only do so many things at one time.

More of the guys, or some of them, performing a Bee Gees medley (badly) in honor of Robin Gibb passing this week.  (Just realized that this makes Barry the sole surviving Gibb boy, since Andy, Maurice and now Robin are all gone. And yes I know Andy wasn't in the Bee Gees, but he was still a Gibb boy.)

Here's my tribute to Robin, singing my favorite version of the Beatles Oh Darling from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Now we have Jessica singing And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going with Jennifer Holliday, who I guess is the original performer of this song on Broadway from back in the 80's or something. And here I thought it was a new thing for some musical that Jennifer Hudson was in. Or did she just make it popular?

Finally, some real music!!! Aerosmith on American Idol feels surreal, but I can turn up the volume all the way for the first time tonight. Or this season, for that matter. Does Steven Tyler even know how incredibly cool he is? And I love how Steven and Joe Perry love and hate each other at the same time. I guess when you've been together for 40+ years, you just develop that kind of relationship.

As we're closing in on the final ten minutes of show, Jessica and Phil sing a duet of Love Will Lift Us Up and again, interestingly, Phillip gets the screaming applause when he starts singing that Jessica does not get. Until the second time she sings (and Uncle Nigel has had time to get the "Applause" signs up for the audience). This is actually a good choice for these two, since it pairs a ballad singer (Jennifer Warnes) with a soulful singer  (Joe Cocker) in the original. But Phil and Jess still seem uncomfortably awkward singing together.

Now that we stand here at the last moment and Ryan is about to read the winner's name, I wonder if they've been putting up a smoke screen and Jessica is about to win, but then I realize that little girls with cell phones are the real winners here, when the fifth WGWG, Phillip Phillips is crowned American Idol 2012.

Was there really ever any doubt?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American Idol...It's Almost Over

I know I need to blog about American Idol tonight, but I really can't seem to care about this show anymore.

First of all, Joshua was robbed.

Secondly, I'm busy inputting nutrition info about the Orville Redenbacher's Kettle Korn Single Serve bags, cause I just ate one and I need to record it in my food diary. And, for some reason, it's not in there.

Oh, and I am a little curious as to why they changed from Wednesday/Thursday to Tuesday/Wednesday for the finale, since I almost forgot about it entirely. But I doubt anyone will ever give me a satisfactory answer anyway.

As a result of the night change, I had to record the show this week and so it's already been over by like an hour as I'm watching. That's a good thing, actually, cause it means I can watch the whole thing in about 20 minutes.

In any case, since I don't really like either of these kids and I couldn't care less who wins at this point, I'm not going to try to give specific commentary after each song. Unless they do something that just totally has to be pointed out. Like sucking.

Round One
Jessica SanchezI Have Nothing, Whitney Houston
Phillip PhillipsStand By Me, Ben E. King

OK, so they let Little Jessica Rabbit sing a Whitney song, as she's clearly demonstrated throughout this season that she can mimic Whitney and sound great doing it, but they gave P2 an iconic song known for it's simple yet strong melody, when he's proven, again and again, that melody is not his thing.

No, I don't think they're trying to throw this competition. Not at all.

They just don't want another WGWG* winning again this year.

The best part about watching this show late is that I get to fast forward through who ever this guy is, singing whatever that song is, that supposedly we all helped him write. I promise you, I had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

Round Two
Jessica Sanchez - The Prayer, Celine Dion
Phillip Phillips - Movin' Out, Billy Joel

So Jess is clearly gonna be spinning the divas tonight, but I guess that's her wheelhouse and we want her to win. Not me, but you know, some people somewhere, who are clearly in a position to do something about it.

Meanwhile, Billy Joel is turning over in his grave at what Phil just did to that song, isn't he?  I mean, like if Billy Joel were already dead and that didn't actually kill him. And notice how I'm not even mentioning when he messed up the words. Cause probably only Billy and I really noticed anyway.

Round Three
Jessica Sanchez - Change Nothing
Phillip Phillips - Home

I'm not sure why they think this little girl should sing songs about love and heartache and grown up emotions. She's not there yet, but maybe in a few millennium. Or is that millennia? No, I don't think that's a word. Anyway, if this is the kind of thing she plans on recording, I realize once again why I don't like her. I wouldn't listen to this crap if they were paying me.

Before even hearing Phillip, I would say that this round should go to him, cause he'll be singing as himself, which is basically what he does on every song. So it may finally sound the way it's supposed to sound. Probably. Or maybe not. I wasn't excited by that anymore than by what Jessica did. I will not be purchasing   this or anything like it. Ever.

Wow, was that like the most lackluster finale ever? Last year was all country and it sucked, but even that was more interesting than this year.

I'd say that Phillip should win, cause they don't want him to, and I hope they get what they don't want.

Whoever they are.


*White Guy With Guitar

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hometown Touring on American Idol

Oh no! I have to sit through hometown visits on American Idol this week, don't I?  Sigh.

So for our three selections tonight, the judges picked the first song, the kids pick the second and Jimmy Iovine picks the third. And here we go.

Judge's Picks
Joshua Ledet - I'd Rather Go Blind, Etta James - My husband walked into the room while Joshua was singing and said, "He should win, shouldn't he?" I think that says it all.

Jessica Sanchez - Some Mariah Carey Song - At this point, my computer decided to melt down and so I basically missed both Jessica's song and Phillip's song. Mostly cause I was busy having a melt down of my own.

But just before that, while we were listening to Jessica sing, we were both thinking, "wow, this is pretty weak." Then the judges came on and said good things about it, which makes make me positive that they are all doing drugs.

Phillip Phillips - I honestly have no idea what song he sang or what I thought about it.  I'm pretty sure he sounded exactly the same as usual. So depending on your outlook, that's either good or bad.

Idols Picks
Joshua Ledet - Imagine, John Lennon - I don't think this song did Joshua any favors. It basically has no hook and that arrangement didn't allow for any moments.  Add to that, that this is just the sort of song people either love or hate. I'd like to see him stay on and win, but I don't think that helped him any. Sure, he can babble on about how the song has a message or whatever, but I don't think people really care about that.

Jessica Sanchez - I Don't Want To A Miss A Thing, Aerosmith - OK, I'll admit it, Jessica's hometown package made me cry a little and just, almost, begin to like her. Just the teensy, tiniest bit.  But I'm sorry, this is not Jessica's night, cause I thought that was pretty weak, too.

Phillip Phillips - Disease, Matchbox 20 - The judges are saying this is just OK, but it sounded just the same as everything else he's done, excepting that one song he sang that one time (maybe last week or the week before?), so they should love it as much as they loved all the others. Except that they don't want another WGWG American Idol.

Jimmy's Picks
Joshua Ledet - No More Drama, Mary J. Blige - I was a little worried when he started this, cause I had no idea where he planned to take it. But I should have had a little faith in Jimmy. That was soooo good. Joshua should totally win this thing.

Jessica Sanchez - I'll Be There, The Jackson Five - Just before Jessica starts to sing, my husband chimes in with, "She should win. She's hot." Seriously?  Didn't we just agree that both her songs so far have been weak? "Yes, but she can sing and she's hot." Sigh.  This song was actually a good pick for Jessica, so score 2 for Jimmy, cause it was a perfect match for her voice. But it was a little on the boring side and Jessica really needed a good moment or two tonight.

Phillip Phillips - We've Got Tonight, Bob Seeger - At one point in there, Phil almost sounded like Seegs Baby. Which is what we called Bob Seeger back in the day, that being like the 70's when we were all weirder than we are now. Except for that one little lyrics mistake, that was actually good. I don't think it was great, but it was good.

Well, if there is any justice, Joshua will make it to next week. My guess is he will be joined by Phillip. Or maybe Jessica.

How's that for good guessing?

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Blog Post About A Blog Post

A wonderful, funny blogger that I know (or actually who I've never met in person, but I talk to her on Twitter and read her blog every day, so it's like I know her) made this blog post today. And I want to answer her, but the comment box didn't seem like it would be enough space. So I'm answering her here and maybe she'll see it. (I'm thinking she definitely will, cause I'm gonna tweet her about it.)

Anyway, go read her post, so what I'm saying will make sense. Probably.

When Lynn first started out blogging her posts were all very funny, she started adding in the occasional serious post, too, which is also good. When you can tell a good story, you can tell a good story, sad, funny or scary. Then some of her posts started being blogs about blogging (and she even mentions this herself a couple of posts ago), which is also fine. Its not like she's calling it a cooking blog or anything, it's just a blog blog. Where she blogs. So it's basically all good.

I honestly think she's begun to let things get in her head too much, though.  And I don't mean to her head, cause that's totally different. I mean, that she's allowing other people and their opinions make her be slightly defensive, even when she's being funny. She's still funny, but I'm picking up on a the-heck-with-you-and-your-mother vibe, that may totally be part of her personality (I'm almost certain it is, and good on her), and yet by creeping into her posts, it almost sounds like she's trying to pick fights.

I'm sure she isn't, at least not on purpose, but she's not afraid of a fight either. That's a positive in my book, cause I'm way too afraid to fight with people. Or not afraid exactly, more cautious. Cause I'm old and fat and slow and I'd totally get beaten to a bloody pulp. Oh, wait, unless we're talking about a sarcasm fight, cause then I'd slay all in my path. (Trust me, my husband tells me how mean I am all the time and it's absolutely true.)

So now I'm completely off track, which was supposed to be about hot button topics and whether you should just keep your mouth shut. I don't think so. Looking back on this blog, the most read post (not that I really pay attention to stats that much, I just like to see if any one anywhere has actually read it, and believe me when I say that each one of Lynn's posts gets more hits in a day than my most read blog post has ever received, ever) was this one about illegal immigrants who have been here for 15 years and haven't learned the language yet. I totally expressed my opinion here and although hundreds of people have read it, no one has commented. Hmmm...maybe my readers don't speak English either.

Since my opinions tend to be very, very definite and since I've found that most people don't like any opinion but their own, I generally keep quiet. I can totally hear someone express an opinion, even if it's the exact opposite of mine and not tell them to shut up.  But I've noticed that most people can't do that.  For instance, if my opinion is X and someone else's opinion is Y, even though X and Y are very close to each other, Y person will get all crazy and hot under the collar if I don't just admit that X is absolutely and unbelievably wrong and stupid and that the only correct opinion, in the history of the universe, is Y.  I'm not gonna do that.

But seriously, if you want to think Y is right, go ahead. I don't care. You think and believe what you want to think and believe and I'll do the same.

I've said all that to say this. I think people should be able to share any opinions they want ON THEIR OWN BLOG (!!) and that if you disagree, great. But keep that part to yourself.

Especially if it's about Ronnie Dunn.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sorry about the lack of American Idol review for last week. Not sure if anyone actually cares.  Cause I have a feeling that most, if not all, of my 10 or so readers a day are Googlebots anyway, just here to see if I have any interesting content, who then leave frustrated and complaining every time cause I don't.

But I seriously was working like 12 hour days and then Friday was my husband's birthday and we had a big birthday weekend kind of thing going on the last two days.  That is, we ate a lot. Which is basically what we do all the time anyway, only this weekend we went out and ate more. I'm pretty sure we blew our entire grocery budget for the week on eating out in two days. This is gonna be a hungry week.

But this makes up for the fact that we were both really sick for like three weeks back in January, when it was my birthday, so we did nothing. And I mean nothing, except for sit around shivering under blankets and eating Ramen noodles cause I was too sick to make actual chicken soup.

Then last night, we also went to the Philharmonic.  I tweeted about it; did you see that? Like one person noticed and cared. But we enjoyed it anyway.

And that brings me to my rant today. I was talking to my sister about American Idol, discussing who I like and why (no one) and who she likes and why (most of them) and realizing how differently we see these kids. One of the things she said was along the lines of, how they are "so young" and they have to "learn all these songs every week" and that made me mad. I think that anyone who wants to make music their career should know a few songs already.

Not just pop crap on the radio, but real music. Case in point. When I was a little girl, and I mean really little, like 2 or 3, I knew all the words to The Shadow of Your Smile and To Dream The Impossible Dream. But I also knew all the words to My Baby Does the Hanky Panky. This is because I loved music and I wanted to sing. So I listened to music. As a preteen, I listed to the normal kind of Top 40 stuff that the rest of my peers heard (although I was never a fan of disco) and that extended into my teens and early 20s (and I'm still a fan of 80's music), but I also listened to stuff from the 40's and 50's and 60's.  I listened to all sorts of music, too. Clearly, my genre is rock, but I also like classical. So, in my youth, when my brain worked a bit better than it does now, I could identify an artist, even on a new song, when I heard them. If that artist was Aerosmith, Brian Adams, The Canadian Brass or Bach. Of course, Bach hasn't turned out too may new things lately, but you get my point, right?

I listened to and still do listen to all sorts of music. I was never a fan of country, or rap for that matter, but that doesn't mean I haven't allowed myself to listen to and get a feel for them. Dance beat, electronica, show tunes, hip hop, gospel, alternative, country, classical, big band, pop and rock. There are so many kinds of music and I really have an appreciation for opinion about most of them.

It amazes me that these kids, no matter their age, will say they've never heard some iconic music from legendary stars. I mean, how can they not know Billy Joel? I'm serious. So what if it was 20 yeas before they were born, it's still being played on the radio.  When I was 14 or 15 (which would made it the late 70's), I knew all the words to songs from the 40's and 50's, I knew who the artists were and I knew which songs had been big hits and which were one hit wonders. Because I loved music and I wanted to hear it and know it all.

I didn't want to just show everyone how pretty I was and how nice I sound when I'm singing on  the big stage. And now you know exactly what I think of these kids.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little Stevie Meets Idol

Little Stevie Van Zandt from
Ryan says, we've got a great show for you tonight, on American Idol.

I seriously doubt that, Ryan. Seriously.

So tonight they are singing a song from the 60's and some...thing....else. I don't know, I wasn't paying attention, cause just then Ryan said that they had to bring in the big guns and my husband asked, "The Spice Girls?" So basically, it was all over at that point.

Hollie Cavanagh - River Deep, Mountain High, Ike and Tina Turner - Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the song Pia Toscano sang when she got kicked off? Hollie has definitely loosened up and that was one of her better performances and yet, it wasn't that great. She's still missing something for me (for you, for me), like an actual connection to the words. But maybe I'm just too picky.

Phillip Phillips - The Letter, The Boxtops - Maybe I ask this every week, but how is what he just did there in any way different from what he did last week, and the week before, and the week before that, and every single week since, like, January? I didn't hate it, but I didn't care about it either. In any case, that was more like the Joe Cocker version anyway, so I wouldn't even call it original.

WHAT??? How could JLo not know The Letter?? No, seriously, someone get her people on the phone. What gives her the right to judge a singing competition anyway?

Skylar Laine - Fortunate Son, Credence Clearwater Revival - Yes, CCR is a way better choice, although my husband said that she has a better chance to forget the words if she doesn't know the song.  I pointed out that she probably didn't know the other song either, since they are both from the 60's and not only wasn't she born yet, she was probably negative 25 or 30 yrs old then. Or more. How old is she anyway? Her parents might not even have been born yet. *shudder* I still hate country singing, but she was actually good. I may not even hate it if she wins this thing.

Duet (isn't this a new show on some other channel?) - Joshua and Phillip - You've Lost That Loving Feeling, The Righteous Brothers - Again, this could just be me, but Joshua's voice is just so much nicer, smoother and more melodic, even if the song seems a mite low for him. And I think he just missed a word there, which is definitely a no-no, but probably no one else noticed.

Jessica Sanchez - Proud Mary, Credence Clearwater Revival -  I had to look up her name, cause I honestly couldn't remember her. Just saying. There's something a bit uncomfortable in this little girl acting all sexy, at least for me. Right, they keep comparing this to Tina Turner, but she didn't do this until the 70s. Just saying. Again.

Joshua Ledet - Ain't Too Proud To Beg, The Temptations - I like Joshua. But that wasn't too amazing, no matter what Jimmy Iovine says. I guess everyone else loved it, too, so maybe I missed something.

Hollie Cavanagh - Bleeding Love, Leona Lewis - Be honest, could anyone else understand her when she said who sang this? It sounded like just mumbling to me. This is not my kind of music, so don't know this song, but I guess she did OK.  I do think she needs to be a little worried, no matter how good she is tonight, cause someone has to go and she hasn't been a favorite.

Phillip Phillips - Time of The Season, The Zombies - So where's the beatboxing? Oh, wait, that was Blake Lewis, who did this song way, way better. FYI. My husband: I don't even know who that is. Me: He's from season six. Him: You can remember that? From five years ago? Me: Yes. I can. And so should you and everyone else out there. Cause it was way, way, way better. Way better.

Trio - Skylar, Jessica and Hollie - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, Jackie Wilson - That was a little sad. They didn't seem to mesh well and I think Jessica actually missed a few words. But it doesn't count anyway. At least not to me. that Jeremy Sisto doing the voice over for that Advil commercial?

Skylar Laine - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, Dusty Springfield - Scarily, this is a song I'd sing if I were on Idol, too. Only I would have done it better. I was almost starting to like that, but then she sort of missed out on really big note part. I mean, she did it, but then she didn't do it. You know? But I'll give her a pass cause I think they really didn't give her enough time to do all the parts of this song that needed to be done.

Jessica Sanchez - You Are So Beautiful, Joe Cocker - That was actually kind of pretty. I just wish she had more life experience, cause I'm missing the connection to the song part of the song. This could actually be a bad week for her, cause she was voted off once before and her time may be coming up again.

Joshua Ledet - To Love Somebody, The Bee Gees- This song has been covered and covered and covered (although apparently not so  much that Joshua had heard it), but that was new. I mean, he just did an amazing job with a song he didn't know. No wonder I like him so much.

Once again, I think Joshua and Skylar were the best, but both Hollie and Jessica should get an honorable mention.  Phil Phillips was the most serious dud of the night. Maybe it's his time to go home.