Pay Me My Money Down

Every time he plays, it’s like his first time, what with the enthusiasm and enjoyment.
Here’s The Boss on a recent Conan O’Brien show, singing a Pete Seeger tune (from Bruce’s latest album, covers of Seeger tunes):

The One In Which Rob Gets A New Job

The ink is still wet on the contract that I signed.  The one that says I am now employed (well, I start in 10 days).
It’s been a long time coming.  Back in May of last year, when I was employed by MBS Radio, the CHTN portion of Magic 93/CFCY/CHTN was forced by the CRTC to go out on its own, and with it, a large portion of the staff went too.  What happened was CFCY and Magic 93 were MBS stations, and CHTN was a Newcap station.  Because of the small size of the market, it was deemed, a number of years ago, that it would be in the best interest of all to pool resources and building and office, and all work together.  Then, last year, the CRTC reversed that decision and said that CHTN would have to move into its own digs and operate as a separate company.  So, a bunch of people from the amalgamated MBS/Newcap group left with Newcap.

I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to leave and become part of the Newcap family of radio station employees.  I stayed at MBS and continued working for MBS, a company, shall we say, not known for its affection for its employees.  One of the people who did leave was the Creative Director. He and I comprised the Creative Department, and so when he left, I was on my own for a period of time, until such time a second writer was hired.  I had assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Creative Director, with the promise of compensatory financial remuneration shortly in the future.  In good faith, I waited for that remuneration.  It never came, but the promises kept coming, however each time they seemed to be more and more vague.  So, in July, fed up with doing more work for the same amount of pay, and with no other job or prospect awaiting me, I gave my notice that I would be leaving the company.  I was asked to stay on until September and help train the people who would be replacing me.  Since it was in my interest to get paid that extra month and a half, I agreed.
So, in September, I left for good.  I had a bit of money in my pocket from Sketch stuff, and a couple of pretty good paying freelance jobs that came up right after I left, so I wasn’t immediately concerned about money.  Too, I was fortunate to be eligible for EI, since they agreed that leaving the position was an option that I was more or less justified in taking.  So, while the money wasn’t flowing in, we were able to get by more or less.  As the months wore on into the new year, the “get by more or less” kind of swung to the “less” side of things.  Not a lot of prospects in terms of jobs, and the ones I applied for didn’t happen.
A couple of months ago, I was made aware that CHTN (Newcap) would be, sometime soon, hiring a bunch of new staff, and one of them was a second Creative Writer.  I pinned my hopes on getting that job.  It’s a job that I quite enjoy and one that I seem to perform well.
So, the anticipatory waiting began.  It seemed to take forever for the job to get posted.  First they had to wait (forever) to get CRTC approval on their switch from AM to FM.  That came (in February, I believe), along with the approval of adding a second FM station for Newcap.  Then came the wait for when the switch to FM would take place.  Maybe in May.  No, maybe in June.  July?  Probably July.
Finally, the job I was hoping for was posted.  I applied.  It took a couple of weeks for a response on my application.  In those couple of weeks, I had pretty much talked myself out of any chance to get the job.  I was feeling kind of low.  Like I said, I had kind of pinned my hopes on this job and the more I told myself I was a great candidate for it, the more the back of my mind told me I wouldn’t get it.  Finally, I was asked to come in for an interview.  It went okay.  Another 10 days of waiting.  Then, last night at 5:30, I was offered the job.  I was asked if I needed any time to think it over.  I said I’d been thinking it over for a number of months, and agreed to accept the offer.
So, today I went in and signed the contract.  I’ll be making a nice chunk of change more than I was at MBS.  From all accounts from my former MBS colleagues who made the move last year to Newcap, they are a fantastic company to work for.  Best of all, many of the people who moved from MBS last year were the people I most enjoyed working with at MBS.  So, I’ll be reunited with them all, and I won’t have to go through that awful “new guy” period where I’m learning names and protocols, etc.
So, I’m pretty pleased.  It’ll be great to work again with these people, and exciting to work at a radio station that, at this stage, really seems committed to giving PEI a couple of radio stations that will be fun to listen to.
Yay for me!

Brokeback Prison?

I’ve been wondering about this for sometime now.  In the Elvis Presley classic, Jailhouse Rock, are the following lyrics:

Number forty-seven said to number three:
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
I sure would be delighted with your company,
come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me.”

So, what exactly is going on between Number 47 and Number 3?  Are they both men?  One would assume such, since I doubt the jail was co-ed.  In the ’50’s, when this song came out, I wonder was there any thought about the potential homosexual suggestiveness of this lyric?
I mean, what the hell is going on?  Questions need to be answered!!!

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I’ll Say It… I’m In Love With Prince

So, there’s about 15 minutes of air-time to kill yet, before the last-minute announcement of who is the next American Idol.  It’s been an hour and 45 minutes of some really awful medley songs from “the idols” and some slightly better songs from some special guest stars.
We come back from a commercial break and Ryan’s at the podium.  He tells us that that’s it for the guest stars, no more surprises.  So, immediately I know there’s gonna be another surprise.  Especially with 15 minutes left.  He continues talking and I’m wondering if it’s gonna be some lame-duck music icon from decades past, or some lame-duck pseudo-icon from present day.  All of a sudden, Ryan gets interrupted by some horn blasts, and the lights go all funky.
It’s a little jarring, and takes me about two seconds to realise that *this* is the surprise.  Okay, so who’s it gonna be?  Cut to the stage and these two sexy women are dancing.  At the back of the stage, the doors open and somebody is silhouetted.  Somebody small.  He does some Michael Jackson dance moves (or should I say James Brown?).  Surely it’s not Michael, I think to myself.  And then, even before that thought finishes, I understand.  I understand but cannot possibly comprehend.  Because, right there, on the TV, during American Idol… right there, is Prince.
Prince.  On American Idol. 
The thought that it’s some Prince impersonator shoots through my mind, but I don’t believe it.  Yet I cannot believe what I’m seeing.
Prince. On American Idol.
And I gotta say:  He frigging owned that stage.  He sings a coy version of Lolita (from his latest, great album 3121), and he looks like he’s having lots of fun. 
Song ends and I’m very happy.  What a fantastic surprise!  And what a way to end the season.  Prince.  On American Idol.
Then he sings a second frigging song!  (Satisfied, also from 3121).
After that, I think Taylor Hicks won the competition.  I don’t care about that, though.  Friggin’ Prince was on American Idol.

Here’s the YouTube video.  It may not be available for long, so watch it early:

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Wise Man Say, Fools Rush In

I always get nervous when American Idol has theme nights where they attempt to tackle songs that are so iconic, such as tonight’s Elvis Night.  So many of these songs are so ingrained in our heads that it becomes really difficult to put your own unique, individual stamp on them.  Of course, when you’re talking about American Idol, “unique” and “individual” aren’t concepts that should be expected, so what difference, eh?
The Wise Man in this post’s title refers, of course, to Simon Cowell, who absolutely got his criticism perfectly right for each of the performers.  He was spot on with each and every song.  And the Fools Rush In part refers, of course, to the voters who will vote Katharine through, and vote Elliott home this week, based more on their looks than on their talents.
It’s pretty obvious to me that Elliott has been the cream of the crop these past few weeks.  (or, creme de la crap, if you’re not a fan of his).  Yet, he doesn’t stand a chance of going any further than this week, I don’t think, because he’s not the poster boy for Idolation.  Both his songs tonight were fantastic, I thought.  It will be interesting to see if his decision (I assume it’s *his* decision and not a handler’s) to sing lesser-known songs will work to his advantage or his disadvantage.  On one hand, he sang them beautifully and with emotion and feeling (something the other three lack, I think).  On the other hand, people may go “is that even an Elvis song?  I don’t like him for not singing my favourite Elvis song and for making me think.  And for making me look at his face, as it contorts into weird shapes.  And that tooth-gap.”
So, good luck, Elliott.  I will be totally amazed if you make it past this week, but you absolutely deserve to.  I wasn’t a fan early on, as you never really seemed to reach the potential of your voice.  But lately, as Randy would say “Dude, you brought it!”
Taylor, quite simply, has got to stop doing that silly little step-dance-step dance thing that he does when he sings up-tempo “fun” songs.  It’s an ill-fitting suit, that dancing, Taylor.  His performance of “In The Ghetto” started out okay, but as soon as he stood up, he seemed to lose the honesty of the song and tried to fake the emotion for the rest of it.  He lost me at that point.
Chris, again, did a really good job, but, again, he seems to lack any sense of emotion, or connection to the lyrics that he’s singing.  But he fakes emotion really well.  I suspect that America will buy it and be satisfied with him as their Idol.
Katharine, in my opinion, deserves to leave the show.  I doubt she will, though, because that would mean no more women left, and we can’t have that.  The last few weeks, she seems to be really reaching to find the truth of the songs she sings, and ends up, for me, over-singing.  That’s what she did tonight.  While Paula may like the fun and bouncy Katharine from the first song, I did not.  I don’t think fun and bouncy is her forte.  Sexy and seductive is her forte, whether we like it or not.  Her rendition of Can’t Help Falling In Love missed the mark for me, too.  I’d say it suffered from the Rita MacNeil Syndrome.  If you’ve ever seen Rita sing, she always has a smile on her face, regardless of the content of the songs she sings.  Her smile often belies the sadness that is inherent in a song.  Katharine, too, falls prey to that effect.  Can’t Help Falling In Love is a tricky song, when you look at the lyrics.  It’s not really a straight-forward love song.  It’s not like the singer is embracing the love that s/he is in.  It’s just that s/he can’t help feeling the love.  As she was singing that song tonight, I thought that the perfect direction to give a singer who’s singing that song is to imagine that you’re singing it to someone you love, but who is, say, physically abusive towards you.  I think in that direction, the sad truth of the lyrics could come out.
Anyway,  Katharine was, by far, the weakest tonight.  But she should be safe because she’s the last female in the competition.
Elliott will go, because I sense that America just doesn’t have the love for him that they do for the other three.  And American Idol is all about that love.  It’s not so much about the ability to convey emotion or a sense of understanding the lyrics of what you’re singing.   Just look pretty enough, honey, and the voice pitch machine will fix all the rest.

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The Idol To Interest Ratio

I just realised that my CAAIQ (Caring About American Idol Quotient) is inversely proportionate to the number of contestants still involved in the show.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still interested.  I still watch.  But, as the numbers dwindle (there are, for only a few more hours, still five contestants left), my apathy as to who wins increases.  Of course, at the beginning of each season, I still don’t care who wins, but I do have to admit that my CAAIQ is at least two points higher (with a 3.4 +/- accuracy rating).
Each week, it seems, it dawns on me with more clarity just how unlikely it’d be that I’d ever buy (or even illegally download) an album from any of these people.  None of the remaining contestants, I don’t think, would produce music that would come close to my tastes in music.  That goes for every contestant whoever appeared.
So, with little care in my heart, here I go with my somewhat-weekly diagnosis of the week’s performances and my choice of odds-on favourites to leave the competition.

Two songs each, last night.  Sometimes I think to myself, I should grab a pen and pencil (or get a laptop) and write down song choices, and thoughts as they came to me while I watched.  But that would seem too much like work, so no thanks.  I’ll do that when somebody approaches me with money to write these worthless weekly wrapups.  That is to say, I’ll not ever do that.

Elliott – I’m sorry, Elliott, but I don’t know if your name has one or two ‘l’s or one or two ‘t’s… I go with two of each.  I gotta say, Elllllliottttt has really turned it up a couple of notches the past couple of weeks.  Last night, I thought he was the strongest in terms of being consistently good with both songs.  His vocals have really seemed to improve, mostly, I think, due to increased confidence.  Or at least the appearance of increased confidence.  I still think his looks will ultimately fail him, as will Ryan’s propensity to Jewify the pronunciation of his last name.  It might very well be the way it’s pronounced, but I think The Ignorant Heartland of Ammurika would prefer Jewish names to be pronounced more like “Smith”.  At this point in the competition, the fickle audience is looking for any reason to oust a competitor, and two plausible exit-strategies for Elliott are 1) his poor dental work and rather cro-magnon forehead, and 2) the pronunciation of his last name.  Number two wouldn’t be an issue if Ryan (whose “Seacrest” is no doubt an Ammurikanized variation on Seacrestenberg) would pronounce it “YA-min” instead of “yah-MEAN”.  His singing has grown on me over the past couple of weeks.  His personality, not so much.  Yet it is growing.

Paris – I believe a number of weeks ago, I wrote a post suggesting that Paris sing Prince’s “Kiss”, to really ruffle the “keep her a 16 year old virgin forever” puritans out there.  Last night, she sang it.  If my post had anything to do with her choosing it, I apologize to everyone.  I thought it was terrible.  She  took everything great about the song (the sexiness, the naughtiness, the purpleness) and blanderized it.  Maybe it was the arrangement.  No, it was Paris.  Her second song was no better.  I think the pressure’s getting to her.  She’s trying too hard at not trying too hard.

Chris – Speaking of trying too hard. Chris, buddy, you gotta open up your heart and let the sun shine in, friend.  You sing from a very dark place.  Admittedly, you sing really well from that dark place, but man, are you ever getting boring with your serious attitude.  Song One you knocked the socks off it.  Song Two you sang too hard and in so doing, exposed the weakness in your talent.  You give it all you have, from the throat up, but you give your songs no soul, which lies deeper.  (Ugh on me for writing that sentence).  Seriously, dude, you probably deserve to win, but man, lighten up.

Katharine – I realised last night what it is about her that keeps me from embracing her as much as everyone else.  She reminds me of Catherine Zita Jones Douglas.  She’s got the same stature as the woman Michael Douglas has sex with.  Her closeups reveal the same sheen and glimmer of just-too-much makeup that CZJD has.  Mind you, if she reminded me of a pre-Douglas Catherine Zita Jones, then all bets off, she wins my heart.  But, the Michael-Douglas era Catherine has an aura of smirch about her.  And so does this Katharine.  Nope, can’t root for her.  And once I made that Zita Jones connection, the performance of her songs became irrelevant to me.  I think, though, that her songs were rather ordinary. Nothing to write home about.

Taylor – Taylor has got to stop dancing and trying to force his goofy, jokey sensibilities on Ammurika.  Yeah he loves to sing, yeah he has a great voice, yeah he’s passionate about it all, yeah he doesn’t mind looking the fool expressing himself… all these things should add up to a winning guy.  But they don’t.  Because of the dancing.  Because in that dancing, he shows us just how much (as Simon truthed it) he looks like anyguy at anywedding.  And, he’s not strong with upbeat songs, I don’t think.  When he does those, he becomes a moderate talent.  But when he sings soulful and bluesy, like he did on “Something”, well, it’s like he’s another person altogether.  I really enjoyed his rendition of that song, and thought it only lacked due to the necessary brevity of its arrangement.

The five, in order of their performance last night:

Elliott
Chris
Taylor
Katharine
Paris

I think Paris will go tonight.  At the beginning of the competition, I would have thought she was a sure Top Three candidate, but the last few weeks, she’s been slipping quite a bit in both the quality of her performances, and in the number of votes she gets, comparitively.
If not Paris, then I can see anyone else, except Chris, leaving.  I would only be surprised tonight, if Chris leaves.

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A Friend’s MySpace Space

I don’t have much experience with MySpace. I tried to set up a page there for myself, but found it too time-consuming. Plus, I already have this lovely site, so why do I need to bother with another.
However, I did receive an email today from a friend who just set up his own MySpace site. He even put up some of his music.
Check it out:
Moe Gorman’s MySpace Page

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Katharine MacPhee’s White Panties

I was a bit worried about American Idol’s theme this week:  Love Songs, as interpreted by Andrea Bocelli (who, coincidentally, has a new album out!  Imagine that!  What luck that Mr. Bocelli is a fan of American Idol, and has an album to hock at the same time!), with help from producer David Foster.
Okay, I can handle Andrea Bocelli (who, it turns out, was a pretty ineffectual assistant to the Idols. At least what we saw on the show), but my fear came when I heard David Foster and his egotistical smugness would also be an on-screen presence.  I’m not a fan of the pap that David Foster puts out, and feared that this would be an hour of ugliness.  Turns out that Foster really seemed to put “the kids” through the paces and was likely a necessary alternative to the sycophants who most likely surround these people all week long.  So, my respect for David Foster goes up a notch or two, for giving honest criticism and, at the same time, trying to help the Idols do their best.
Ugh.
Katharine MacPhee starts off.  Has anyone else noticed, that in the last three weeks, Katharine has really amped up the “I am making love to you, through the camera” sexuality?  Last week it was atrociously obvious.  This week, slightly less so, but still a full blast of “I am HOT”.  Her singing this week, I thought, was “meh”.  Not the greatest, but nothing bad enough to endanger her.  I agree with whichever judge it was that said she is not at her best, vocally, when she tries to push it.
But, how she sings really doesn’t matter at the moment, because right now, she is all about selling The Idea of Love.  Every ounce of her being is thrusting itself into Turning On The Boys.  Sex sells, baby, and I’m riding that pony all the way to the top!!  I’m wondering now, when they cut to her crying father, if he’s crying because of the beauty he hears in the song, or because he’s forced to witness the transformation of his virginal daughter into a high-class hooker?
Last night, she was literally spilling out of her yellow dress.  Her oh-so-tight dress.  Her breasts were pushed so high that I was scared they’d get nosebleeds.  And then there was the slit.  Near the end of her performance, when she really started pushing the song, a part of the slit on her dress comes undone (I assume it was taped together?) and she began showing a whole heck of a lot of leg.  As I was watching her performance, I was noticing what I thought was a panty line on the side of her hip (due, I guess, to the tightness of the dress).  I was thinking that she should have gone panty-less, to rid herself of the panty-line problem.  Well, good thing she wasn’t panty-less, because when she started strutting up the stage, near the end of her song, her wardrobe malfunction gave us all the briefest brief look at her briefs.  Her white briefs.  I’m sure of it.  I wasn’t imagining it.  And, yeah, it titillated me a bit.  I thought, for a moment, about searching the internet, to see if there was a picture of the moment somewhere (you know, to show you), but I didn’t.  I also thought about downloading the show and getting a still image of “the event” from the video.  But I really don’t want to be that guy.  I’d rather be the guy who advertises it in the title of the post.
So, Katharine will be safe, due to her sexuality.
Elliott, I had all but given up on you.  I kept hearing other people giving you credit for your talents, but I never saw them materialize, my friend.  You’ve always come up short.  Last night, though, you blew them all away.  The first 3/4 of the song, you were superb.  The last 1/4 you started to lose your sense of power, and I could feel the old trepidation and nerves seeping back into your performance.  But you held them off enough.  Easily, this was Elliott’s best performance of the season.  Therefore, he will be leaving the show tonight.  Stupid voters.
The only reason Kelly is still around is that the stupid voters like her stupid personality.  She is an onion that they can relate to.  Last week, her singing was just awful.  This week, equally hideous.  And her makeup was ugly ugly ugly.  She looked like a whore.  A male whore dressed up as a woman whore.  An old, ugly male whore, dressed up as an old ugly woman whore.  I mean, it was terrible.  Kelly, I think the Stupid Train is leaving tonight.  You really deserve to be gone from the competition.  I don’t even know if you ever belonged.  You are a robot.  A stupid robot.  A Stubot.
Paris’ performance was powerfully understated, I thought.  She sang very well, didn’t over-sing it, was full of emotion, and yet, it left me wanting.  I’m not sure why?  Actually, I think I do.  She sang “Memories” and I don’t know if she knew whether she was supposed to sing happy or sing sad.  So she sang both.  I don’t think she understood the song.  That, plus the song is shit.  Ugh.  I hate Babs so much.
Taylor gave another sub-standard performance that suffered from his flat, empty performance.  I don’t believe he was “into” the song.  He was singing the words, but only pretending to feel them.  It showed.
Chris was the second best, last night, I thought, behind Elliott.  As good as he is, his singing bores me now.  Isn’t that strange, how he can be the one you pin your hopes on (well, you know, your American Idol hopes, which, really, are the cheapest hopes in your chest) a few weeks ago, and now he just sits there, in his Alterna-Rocker Safety-Tub, bathing in his own wondrousness.  Who the heck are David Foster and Andrea Bocelli to dare try and teach Chris to be a better technical singer.  Like they said, he’s all in his head.
Ugh.  Too many words.  Who cares!
Bottom Three tonight:  Kelly, Elliott, Taylor

The Idol with the lowest number of votes…. will be revealed, right after the break.
[break] [/break]
Kelly.

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American Idol Into The 21st Century!!!

Last night, the American Idol kids (and their Uncle Taylor) performed songs from the 21st Century.  Today, as I sit in the early years of that same 21st century, I rank their performances.  I will start with the best performance and sink to the bottom of the barrel.

Taylor was the best of the bunch last night.  I don’t think I’d like to hang out with Taylor, because I think he’d spend most of the night looking for a microphone to sing into, so he’d be able to rid his soul of some, well, soul.  Men need to ejaculate every so often, to relieve the pressure of built up semen.  To Taylor, I think soulfulness is his semen.  It just builds up in him and he has to release it.  Those who tuned in to last night’s show saw him wank off in a pretty controlled way.  Simon wanted Taylor to stroke a bit harder, but Taylor said he just wanted to sing tonight, not to show off.  I found that to be a very interesting comment and makes me think that Taylor is pretty astute in knowing what he needs to do to make it far in the competition.  When I started this paragraph, I honestly didn’t know I’d be heading towards that Soulful Stage Masturbation analogy.

Paris was quite good, I thought.  She has incredible stage-presence for a 17 year old, and her voice is always exceptional.  As she was shaking her underage booty pretty good at one point, I knew that at least one of the judges would tell her to portray her age more.  I am not sure, but I think at least one did.  But I think that’s bad advice, or at least, cowardly.  I think that advice has more to do with them thinking that their viewers (ie, America) can’t handle sexuality from someone that age.

Elliott was pretty good, I thought.  I appreciated the jazzy version of that song he did (I’m always terrible remembering the names of the songs they perform).  I did get the sense that he was kind of always singing on the verge of total catastrophe last night, and didn’t look particularly at ease.  He strayed away from the proper notes a couple of times, and yeah, his stage presence leaves much to be desired, but I thought he was good.  He doesn’t have the face of an Idol, though.  A good radio-face, his.

Chris performed his song well, but I was glad Simon called him on singing the same types of songs week after week.  Been there, done that, Chris.  Now we need to see something else from you.  Interesting, too, to hear Simon comment on how a Creed song doesn’t fit in with the American Idol experience.  It must be such a tug-of-war for people like Chris and Elliott and Taylor to feel the need to conform to fit the Idol model, yet aspire to keep their individual and unique spirits alive.  Wow, what a touchy-feely sentence that was.

Katharine was just okay, I thought.  I got a little angry with the way the judges talked up her performance as if it was odorless shit.  It’s pretty obvious that they are trying to get her to go as far in the competition as she can, and are more than willing to lie to get her there.

Mandisa did a super job singing her gospel song, but I thought exactly like Simon did.  That it was totally self-indulgent.  I really didn’t like her for forcing that on us.  And yes, I realise that “forcing” is only possible if I don’t have access to a remote or movable legs.  But that couch was comfy, and the remote was a bit more than arm’s reach away.  So, yeah, I was Forced to listen to her preaching to me.

Bucky did a good job singing his country song.  I didn’t like the country song and I don’t like Bucky’s country persona. 

Ace has so fallen off the radar. I think his good looks are even starting to fail him.  I noticed a few times last night that he’s resorted to those smoldering-sexy-look-into-the-camera moves to try and compensate for his lack of talent.  What’s his name from last season did that all the time.  And I am gleeful that I honestly cannot remember what’s his name’s name.  Gleeful!

I didn’t actually get home in time to see Lisa‘s performance, but based solely on the 5 second recap at the end of the show, I have to say it was awful.

And that leaves Kellie as the worst of the night.  Now, maybe her actual singing performance wasn’t as bad as Lisa’s, but overall, Kellie’s deperate attempts to be noticed far outreach the patheticness of any other contestant.  You know that scene in some movie, where the aging actress starts to lose her mind, and she sits at the mirror and begins to apply lipstick to her lips, but it’s kind of too much, but rather than wipe off some of the lipstick, she begins to apply even more lipstick, so much so that it begins to cover her whole face, and her eyes get really wide and scary and lost and desperate as she’s grabbing the lipstick like it was a butcher’s knife and she’s swiping wildly at her face with her lipstick and it’s totally smeared all over her face as she begins to wail and have a complete nervous breakdown?  Well, that’s what happening to Kellie.  Only instead of smearing lipstick over her face, she’s smearing dumb.  Right now, the Pickler Smear of Dumbness ™ is being contained to the lips and chin and lower cheekbones, but you can see in her eyes that she’s lost her mind and it’s only a matter of time before she’s completely smeared in dumb.  I fear we won’t get to see that ultimate onstage moment, though, as her Idol days must surely be numbered.  I realise now that I was wrong in wanting Kevin to leave the show because I actually looked forward to seeing his lack of talent being displayed along with his false sense of importance.  Now, for pure potential car-crash shock value, there only Kellie.
Please, America, don’t vote out the Pickler.  I want to see her crash!

Bottom Three:  Kellie, Lisa, BuckyorAce (probably Bucky)
The one to leave:  Lisa.  Can’t say I’ll miss her.

American Idol – 50’s Week Didn’t Suck!

When I learned it was going to be a 50’s theme for American Idol this week, I shuddered at the potential awfulness of the performances.  And then when I learned that Barry Manilow was going to be involved, my shudder became a full-blown fever of fearful expectation.
Well, I was wrong.  Most of last night’s performances were pretty good, and the interpretations of the songs (thanks in part to Barry, who seems like a super smart arranger) were much better than I anticipated they’d be.
Onto the singers:
Mandisa – She always has a pretty face, and last night her very pretty face was surrounded by a fantastic hairstyle.  She wore a slimming black dress that did an amazing job of taking attention away from her oh so large posterior.  Of course, the camerapeople helped too, by not zooming in on it.  (and yes, I realise there’s a joke there about how, with the size of her ass, could the cameras *not* zoom in on her ass – her ass is a constant zoom shot, but I won’t go there.  I just won’t)  Her performance was stellar.  She’s been progressively improving each and every week, and her first week starting point was already top-notch, so she’s a threat to win it all.  Except, you know, she has a huge ass that America will never allow to become top Idol.
Bucky – I realised last night that Bucky doesn’t sing.  He rasps.  And he often rasps out of key.  I thought his performance of Buddy Holly’s “Oh Boy” was pedestrian and bland.  While it may have been a good song choice to fit his style and personality, I don’t think it’s a good choice to show off his singing (lackof) abilities.  Hmm.  Since he’s not a great singer, maybe a song that doesn’t show his lack of ability is a great choice.  Anyway, not very good tonight, Bucky.  And I’m partly saying that because I cannot get past your hair, both on your face and on your head.  Awful.  He’ll be Bottom Three.
Paris – She looked fantastic and she sang “Fever” even better.  I thought she rocked.  She seems so incredibly in control of her stage presence that it is frightening to think she’s just 17.  Wow, great performance.
Katherine – I’ve not yet liked anything that she’s worn.  None of her tops seem to fit properly, like she’s trying to keep the secret from her mother that she’s pregnant.  She looked pretty great last night, though, in an ill-fitting dress.  From the introductory segment on her experience with Barry, I was expecting to not like her song and song choice, but she did a super job.  Maybe the best I’ve seen from her.  She’s always in danger of bombing, I think, but last night she more than rose to the occasion.
Chris – My (and others) odds-on favourite to win the competition.  His rendition of I Walk The Line was superb.  If that was recorded today, it’d be a radio hit tomorrow.  Guaranteed.  This guy has it all and should be one of the final two.  Wonderful job.
Lisa – Apart from Kevin, Lisa is, in my opinion, the least talented of the remaining performers.  Some nights she shows glimpses of her potential, but last night it was a pretty uninspired performance.  She’s a Bottom Three finalist tonight.
Taylor – Taylor should be hoping that his fans remember the excellent performances he’s done in previous weeks because last night was terrible for him.  A terrible song choice, much too repetitive and not very challenging, vocally.  He tried to sell it, though, as best he could, but I didn’t buy it at all.  One of the evening’s three worst performances, but he’s built up enough good Karma to not be in the bottom three tonight.
Elliot – This was the most difficult song choice of the night, in terms of being a vocal challenge.  Elliot always seems to choose the most difficult songs and I’m never sure he succeeds in pulling them off.  Last night, he had moments where he seemed out of synch with the music, like he was trying to rush through his lyrics.  He seemed quite nervous early on, but by halfway through the song, he found the groove and was pretty sharp to the end.  I loved his honesty, though, about not really digging Manilow’s songs.  Good for him.
Kellie – I absolutely hated this performance.  Maybe I’m soured on Pickler (get it?), but I seem to have lost any ability to adore her naive stupidity any longer.  I wonder when America will tire of her?  I thought her Walking After Midnight was very much a “by the book” performance, without heart or feeling.  Barry is all about finding the story of the song, and singing the emotion behind that story, and she totally failed, in my opinion.  She should be a Bottom Three, but America will love her ditziness for a few more weeks, before they crash from her sugar-rush sweetness.  No, wait.  I’m changing my mind.  She’ll be a Bottom Three contestant tonight.  America is tiring of her.  Just wait and see!
Kevin – I’ve voiced my opinion of Kevin a few times.  Basically, I don’t think he belongs in the competition, and the only reason he is there is because he’s willing to play along with the “untalented nerd pretends he’s sexy and talented” angle.  Last week, he did an okay job with his song (still it was the worst of the week, IMO).  Last night, his performance was actually pretty good.  Great song choice for him, and performed as well as he could perform it.  Enough to keep him around for another week (or two?).  I loved Simon’s noncommittal comment about how his performance will really be appreciated by those who like Kevin’s performances.
Ace – Oh, Ace!  You are free-falling to the bottom of the talent pool.  Expectations were so high for you a few weeks ago, but a couple of poor performances since have made people look past your oh so pretty looks.  Maybe our ears were blinded (huh?) by your beauty all along.  Maybe you were always just mediocre?  Anyway, this week was a bit better than weeks past, enough to keep you safe from the Bottom Three (unless America has a hate-on for you, in which case you’re sunk).

Bottom Three – Bucky, Kellie, Lisa

Contestant to leave – Lisa

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