Thursday, April 30, 2009

American Idol - Top 5 (Part 2)

The results came in and WOW. Talk about being wrong. I wasn't even close tonight and I'm glad about it but we'll get to that in a second. First, I'm glad to see the Idols singing the medley instead of lip synching. When they all have careers on Broadway, they are going to have to sing and move around as a group. It's just good practice. 

Natalie Cole looks more and more like her father every day. Not the way he used to look. The way he looks now. (EDIT: I'm leaving this in to show what a jerk I am but Natalie Cole is in need of a kidney transplant and is on dialysis 3 times a week. I'm awful.) Taylor Hicks played something really quickly and muted based on how I watched it. And Jamie Foxx auto-tuned away his genuinely good singing voice. It was a poor night for superstar guests. 

One more thing: Did Simon make me like him again with his praise for Danny and Allison and his other comments at the end? I think he did. I can never stay mad at you, Cowell.


Kris Allen - Kris does not belong here. I was definitely surprised but he was the first one sent back to the safety couch. Guess that iTunes leak wasn't a good gauge for the public's voting. If you can't trust that, what can you trust? Now, I know how Jack Bauer feels. I'm still going to download Kris' performance off Tony Almeida - I mean, iTunes.

Adam Lambert - This was the biggest shock since the flash forward episode of "Lost." My jaw dropped as much as Kara's. Should I wait for Randy and Simon's immature gigglefest or continue with my blog? I'll continue. I cannot believe he was in the Bottom 2. This brought me joy. I know there are huge Adam Lambert fans and he can truly sing but I'm so glad. An American Idol should be a genuine performer not an actor that can sing. Good job, America. This is pure payback for picking sides in the "Which group do you think you belong in?" crap they do every season.

Matt Giraud - He was the one that should have gone home this week. He was so elusive though. He was turning American Idol in "Final Destination 5." (I can't believe there are four of them, either.) He made it really far and he gave a great performance but the other Idols were simply better than him.

Final Thought: Danny and Allison? I'm so happy for Allison but I am definitely confused by what happened. In all fairness, when my mom asked me who the best ones were this week, I said Danny and Allison. It's just surprising that this happened. Does this mean that supposed frontrunner Adam will be making a Chris Daughtry-like fourth place exit? Can Kris overcome Danny for the Finals? Did I just put Allison in the driver's seat? Well she is 17 now. See you next week.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol - Top 5 (Part 1)

It's Rat Pack Week. The host for Rat Pack Week...Jamie Foxx. I was confused by this but I will never doubt Jamie Foxx again. How can you? Look at all he's accomplished. After watching him with the Idols, I felt like I could do anything with Jamie Foxx at my side. Is he rentable?

Kris Allen - "The Way You Look Tonight" - It was so beautiful. Like him. I said it. He's a beautiful person. You wanna fight? A recent leak on iTunes showed he's the second-most downloaded Idol (after Adam). How can he not be in the finals? Except Simon, the judges loved him tonight. Why does Simon hate him so much? He doesn't think he can win the competition? He's the only guy who's album I would buy. Jamie Foxx agrees.

Allison Iraheta - "Someone To Watch Over Me" - Ever since I read that she adds an 'H' in front of some words in her phrasing, it's glaring. "Someone to hwatch over meeeee." It's like when Stewie does the Kool HWhip thing on Family Guy. 

But she still sings amazingly. I just wish I had never had that pointed out. The judges liked it but that doesn't seem to matter. While Paula has been tremendously better this year, she is still awkward. I figured out what it was. Paula has an multi-syllable-adjective-a-day calendar. Alluring? Stellar? I'm on to you, Abdul.

Matt Giraud - "My Funny Valentine" - Jaime Foxx fixed him! Wow. He snuck in a falsetto at the end but it was fine. This was probably my favorite Matt performance since "Georgia." I didn't know he could sing that well. It makes me question what else I don't know about the world. Should I be eating beets? Is it time to start reading the Twilight books? Do my dogs need more attention? Jamie Foxx, thank you. Because of this, I will see "The Soloist"...on DVD.

Danny Gokey - "Come Rain Or Come Shine" - This week is ridiculously good. I said that Danny needed a magical performance in last week's blog and he went for it. The end was arranged differently and I really liked it. Though Danny usually tends to leave you thinking a performance was better than it was by blowing out the ending with huge singing. However, this time I believe it was a good performance. Also, I think that hand gesture during the phone numbers was supposed to be a heart but it looked like a bean. Do a better heart, Danny.

Adam Lambert - "Feelin' Good" - Hair down. Didn't like it. The trend continues. It was over the top. The arrangement was rough. It was so theatrical like always. And then for Simon to say that theatrical is fine because that's who he is. How do all the awesome theatrical singers of Idol past feel about that statement? I'm done with Simon. He's wet. He's indulgent. He needs to leave the show or start critiquing the actual performance on stage and not giving a prepared response leading to a predetermined Finals of Adam and Danny! Where am I? 

Bottom Three: This is tough because you have to put people that you like in the Bottom 3. I predict Allison, Matt, and Danny. I really think Kris is more popular than Danny even though he has one of those living wives. Matt isn't one of the top two popular people and neither is Allison (she wasn't even top four last week). As much as I hate to do it, I think it is time for Allison to take her red hair and go. We get one more week of the Mole Man. I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm so wrong.

Going Home: Allison Iraheta 

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Night At Citi Field As An Ugly Betty Extra

I had been meaning to be an extra for some time just to experience a real TV show filming. When "Ugly Betty" was looking for Mets fans to fill in Citi Field for an upcoming episode, I jumped all over it. I've got two thumbs and am a huge Mets fan!

Apparently, there are extra lifers. They live to be extras and let everyone know how much they love it. I met one. He told me he got to play a dead guy on a show (will refrain naming it to be nice). Shortly after that, I found out he was a photo of a dead person on a memorial wall, not an actual body. That's real background work when you can't even play a dead person in three dimensions. Dude was proud of it.

The holding area for extras is a desolate warehouse. Plastic tables and folding chairs as far as the eye can see. SAG seating and Non-SAG seating are strictly divided like Germany before 1990. Wait, I can do more. Divided like numbers on a fifth grade math test. Wait. Divided like a house with an inability to remain upright. Anyway, SAG is apparently better. They get more pay. They get seats with an index card reading "SAG" on it. They get food. When SAG is done eating, Non-SAG is allowed to go up and pick the carcass of the craft service table. The best example was the Ugly Betty cupcakes. There were possibly two left when SAG was done. I'd describe the cupcakes but they were crushed and left for dead. SAG can be cruel.

Once shooting began, we were led like cattle through the bowels of Citi Field to the best seats in the stadium. These are the padded recliner-like seats you dream about being in as you gaze upon them with binoculars from the upper deck cursing the rich people that never use them or give them away. Why are these empty every time I watch the game on TV?

The scene has Betty and three other cast members attending a Mets game. About 60 of us fill in the seats behind. I'm 9 rows back of America Ferrera mostly because I didn't push my way to the front. A man teaches us the hand signals he will be flashing to indicate action on the field. (i.e. A closed fist means a strike out.) When a signal goes up, we are to mime our reactions - pretend to clap, point where the ball goes, shake fist in anger, make sure the box doesn't close in on you. The signal man has no sense of the pace of a game. There is no possible way for a strikeout to happen that quickly after a double. The imagined player just slid into second! What is this, Amateur Hour?

After the first take, a set PA comes up to me and taps me on the shoulder. I am leaving my seat and everyone around me is wondering what's going on. She informs me that I am to return to my seat during filming like I just went to the bathroom during the game. Apparently this is a huge deal. All the other Mets-attired extras are trying to figure out what made me so special. I felt like the chosen alien from the crane game in "Toy Story."

My opportunity of having my lower torso in the shot was taken away as fast as it was given. The soda vendor, on the next take, moved faster than in the previous take and went into my row blocking my way back to my seat. As any person attending a real game would do, I waited for him to finish but the scene ended by then. The important people liked that take and I was told (with apologies) to stay in my seat the rest of the way. This was supposed to be upsetting as the other extras consoled me. I mimed anger.

Redemption came when they changed camera angles. I moved, along with half of the extras, to a different set of seats to fill in the new background. This time, a different PA tapped me on the shoulder and told me to count to 20 and get up and take a seat a few rows up. I was living the extra dream. The director yelled action and I counted. I went with a good pace. I thought about using Mississippis but I chose against it. On 20, I got up and moved down three rows. When I got there, a soda was handed to me. I tried passing it further down the row but the guys indicated they didn't order it. Sweet! Free fake soda! I really hope this gets on the show because you will see me get up, take a better seat, and get a free soda. The later the take they use, the more entitled to the soda I will look. By the end, I had my hand out waiting for the soda.

For the next scene, the PA told me to count to 10 and return to my original seat. Have any of these people ever been to a baseball game? Why would I do that? It makes no sense. I reluctantly did it but only because I knew it would up my chances of being noticed thereby pleasing my mother. 

I don't know when it will air. I'll post it when I find out. Overall, it was a cool experience seeing how they set up the shots and all the equipment that is required. I won't go into all the detail but let's just say it's more than the Handycam I use for my videos. We were only there for 6 hours which is unheard of for extra work so I was definitely spoiled on my first time. Will I do it again? Sure. Just have to find a 15 hour block in my schedule that works.

Random things:
  • America Ferrera has a really tiny head. I'm not sure why it looks so large on camera.
  • There is no way to clap with genuine enthusiasm without touching your hands together.
  • The girl who plays Hazel on "Gossip Girl" had to do the scene with sky-high heels and a skirt (Seriously? Not practical for a game.). It was really cold out. To put in perspective, Ol' Tiny Head was in a sweater, poncho, pants, and Uggs. She got away with it because she never had to stand up.
  • Extras must be known to be weirdos. There was one woman that had a Mr. Met stuffed animal. Every time a crew member asked her to move, she asked, "Mr. Met too?" Nobody ever acted annoyed or worried. It was frightening.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

American Idol - Top 7 (Part 4)

Disco week is over and we're down to the Final Five. Hopefully with this Final Five, the last one standing won't be a ridiculous letdown (Thanks Battlestar Galactica). Anyway, my wife made me fast forward through the washed-up disco superstars of the past. After going back, I can't blame her. They moved so carefully, it felt like the Hall of Presidents in Disney World. I had bad dreams of an animatronic KC attacking me because I refused to get down on the specific night he asked me to. Also, I can't take David Archuleta. He's always out of breath and smiling. How does he do a whole concert if he can't perform one song without being winded? Is he still using his baby lungs? When do those fall out so he can breathe like a grownup?


Allison Iraheta - I'm praying this position is merely a result of Matt getting saved by the judges and everyone rallying behind him. She should not leave until the Top 3. It's time for America to start thinking about albums. Are you going to buy a Danny or a Matt album? Now answer the question imagining the physical album is in front of you. (That was my "A Time To Kill" moment.)

Lil Rounds - Everyone knew she was going home so they didn't waste any time. She was gone before any guest performances. If she didn't come back out at the end to hug Anoop, I would have sworn Idol had security escort her out. I've never seen an early favorite flounder this badly in 8 seasons of Idol.

Anoop Desai - He's a better singer than Matt. This is a singing competition. Anoop had almost as many chances as Matt throughout the season. (I forgot that they made it a Top 13 for Anoop.) He wasn't going to win but I was pulling for a Top 5 for him. On a side note, he's the second Idol to be booted for singing a song about making the room darker ("Dim All The Lights"). Megan "Spiggles" Joy sang "Turn Your Lights Down Low" on her last week. Is there something to that? The remaining five should stay away from Nelly Furtado's "Turn Off The Light" just to be safe.

Final Thought: Danny needs to do something other than just sing a song next week. I think he can pull off an acapella version of something beautifully. If he keeps his vocals tender, he can put himself back in the Finals discussion. As for Allison, there isn't much she can do. Even a "brilliant" from Simon got her nowhere. She's in trouble. Next week's Bottom 3 is going to be crazy. Adam, Danny, and Kris have never been and one of them has to go according to my superior mathematics skills (each remaining Idol is a finger on my hand). Who will join Matt and Allison in the Bottom 3? I guess we'll have to wait for the performances.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol - Top 7 (Part 3)

It should be the Top 6 but they saved Matt Giraud last week so we have 7 again. However, two will go home this week and all will be well again. Was it me or did Ryan mail in the "THIS is A-MER-ican Idol?" There should be a good ten second pause between "THIS" and "is." Disappointing. It's disco week and I expected awful. Did I get it?

Lil Rounds - "I'm Every Woman" - She finally gave the judges what they wanted in song choice and it still didn't work for her. I hate when I agree with Randy because it means I may have had a stroke or regressed back to the age of 15 months. Regardless, I did feel this was all over the place and simply not good. She tried to put too much Lil into it without having a plan. If there was an upside, this was her best wig. Hands down.

Kris Allen - "She Works Hard For The Money" - It was so good. He's back (as he should be) in the "Who's going to be in the finals with Adam?" talk. The judges tried to ruin Kris' chances again by babbling like children but at least they ended on praise. I can't wait for his album.

Danny Gokey - "September" - He has not been that great for a couple of weeks now. This was a little boring for an upbeat song. I agree with Simon that he doesn't seem to have a special moment in him. He comes out and sings a song well and that's it. I'm running out of love for the Gokes.

Allison Iraheta - "Hot Stuff" - She rocked out Hot Stuff. I agree that it was a weird arrangement but she stayed true to herself. Oh no. Did I just say that? It wasn't karaoke or pitchy. What's happening? For her, for me, that wouldn't have happened on a cruise ship or in a hotel lobby. Make it stop. It was authentic Allison. She knows who she is as an artist. Mommy. Give that girl a phonebook. I have to go.

Adam Lambert - "If I Can't Have You" - His hair was in "Kevin's going to enjoy this one" mode. It's like Robin Williams' beard and an Oscar nomination. It just happens. It was really good. True to his hair. Kara said he looks like a cross between the guy from Saturday Night Live and Clark Kent. Some people are going to get on her because they think she meant Saturday Night Fever but I see it. There's some Chris Kattan in there. I'm with you Kara.

Matt Giraud - "Stayin' Alive" - I'll take a cue and do this Simon-style. "No, he's not." He tried really hard again. When he goes into a falsetto, it hurts my head. It has been good to see him go from cocky in the auditions to giving it his all each week. I still think he's going home with Lil but he deserves to go home second.

Anoop Desai - "Dim All The Lights" - The stylists really got him ready to try out for a Wham tribute band. That or he needs to catch that time machine if he wants to make his audition for Miami Vice. Hurry, Anoop! He can sing and Top 5 is nothing to be ashamed of.

Bottom Three: I'm feeling Lil, Matt, and Anoop. Anoop has been in the bottom three the last few weeks and with there not being many weeks left, that should change. To be fair, Anoop is not far behind Danny but I still think Danny is better. Though, if Anoop does well next week and Danny continues his decline, anything can happen. Remember Chris Daughtry? There's not much left to say about Lil and Matt. I said it all last week. Time to go home.

Going Home: Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sample Chapter From New Dan Brown Book

Dan Brown's new book will be released in September. The book is called "The Lost Symbol" and will bring back the recurring hero Robert Langdon. Tor's Take is thrilled to get a sample chapter of the book. Enjoy.


A warm breeze whipped through the Alabama evening. This humid Saturday was one that would be remembered for some time. Robert Langdon had just finished his shower noting that his new buzz cut took considerably less effort to maintain. His body was tired and the images of what happened that afternoon only intensified the fatigue. Langdon could still hear the roar of the crowd as he buttoned his shirt. He closed his eyes and replayed the events in his mind.

The football arrived in his arms like a newborn, a newborn that he would cradle and protect for as long as he was responsible for it. Langdon surveyed the field and headed forward. Barreling down on him was the opposing team but he knew just how elusive to be. As he increased his stride and used his blockers, open field awaited. Once he got to it, no one could catch him.

The red end zone got bigger with each pump of his legs. Upon crossing the goal line, the stadium erupted and the band played the school's fight song. Though the other team had ceased their pursuit, something was still chasing him. His teammates met him on the sidelines where he received pats on the back and high-fives.

Langdon was jolted out of his mental highlight reel. High-five. He realized that was it. That's what's been chasing him. It was a sign. A symbol.


"What was it about that phrase?" Langdon mused. He took out an old notepad that he kept in his blazer. He played with the phrase some more. 





"Oh no!" It was at this point Robert Langdon realized Jenny had AIDS. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Going To The Movies: Dr. Walter Bishop

Thanks to a lull in paranormal activity in the Northeast part of the United States (seems to be the only place it happens), I was able to go to the movies with Dr. Walter Bishop. He was not too pleased about going without his son, Peter, but we thought it best if he had a full escape from the lab. Plus, I took a class in adolescent psychology so I thought I could manage. Just apply the knowledge four times as much.

We went to see "Crank: High Voltage" and once I got him a medium popcorn with green m&ms in it ("Only green"), he was settled in for the rest of the film. After it was over, we had the following discussion about the movie:

So Dr. Bishop...

Dr. Bishop
Call me Walter.

Ok, Walter, what did you think of the film?

Walter stares off in thought.


Dr. Bishop
(shakes head)
I think I just remembered where I left my mechanical pencil. It's in the sun visor of my Datsun.

What does that have to - Wait, you had a Datsun?

Dr. Bishop
Yes, I built it on my sabbatical.

You built a Datsun?

Dr. Bishop
Actually, I built two of them but only one of them ran on Coca Cola.

Riiiight...let's talk about the movie. I didn't really care for it. I'm usually ok with crazy Jason Statham plots but an artificial heart that needs to be charged hourly by grabbing telephone wires?

Dr. Bishop
Take me to my lab.


Dr. Bishop

What about the movie interview?

Dr. Bishop
Take me to my lab!

Kevin and Walter get in the car. We skip ahead 20 minutes to the lab. Walter is thumbing through a filing cabinet. He finds a file and opens it.

Dr. Bishop
Aha! Here it is. In 1981, I did some work with a mechanical heart that could pump the blood of a gorilla for three hours using an external battery pack. I suppose it could be adjusted to work with an internal battery. Would you like to help me do some research?

Of course. Are you serious?

Dr. Bishop
No. I just wanted to see pictures of my Datsun. See?

Walter hands him a photo of the Datsun.

It's nice.

Dr. Bishop
Thank you.

So anyway, movie?

Dr. Bishop
It was garbage.

Wonderful. I'd like to thank Dr. Walter Bishop for taking some time away from stopping monsters and weird stuff from destroying the world.

Dr. Bishop
Do you have any more Skittles?


Dr. Bishop
I'll just go make some. Astrid!

Walter leaves.

Well, I hope you will tune in next time when I go to the movies with Benjamin Linus once I figure out how to get to him.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Terrible TV Show Ideas

I posted this on my blog a couple of weeks ago but then decided to submit it to McSweeney's. They don't accept things that have been posted elsewhere so I took it down. Turns out I didn't need to because they rejected it. So I'm putting it back up. Enjoy it even though they didn't.
  1. Former Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater is forced to inhabit the bodies of random people throughout time. Coming soon: Michelle Kwan-tum Leap. "Let's hope the next triple lutz is the triple lutz home."
  2. A tribe of 10-year-old girl robots learns to coexist with the Pilgrim settlers that have inhabited their land. Coming soon: Smallpox Wonder. "They're bringing love and laughter and high fevers everywhere."
  3. Cameron Diaz, Alicia Silverstone, Julia Stiles, and Ellen Pompeo help the less fortunate and oppressed out of trouble. Coming soon: The A-Cup Team. "They titty the fool...just not a lot."
  4. A mystery writer with a short attention span and not a lot of time to live stumbles upon murder investigations and helps the police. Coming soon: Murder, She Tweeted. "@sheriffmetzger found body...know who dunnit #homicide"
  5. A blind musician moves in with a family and gets free rent in exchange for babysitting and providing musical accompaniment during dinner. Coming soon: Ray Charles In Charge. "He's not going to stand for that 'new boy in the neighborhood' crap."
  6. One of the hardest working people in show business and one of the laziest private investigators the world has ever known team up to take down the bad guys. Coming soon: Timberlake And The Fatman. "They always manage to get there Justin time."
  7. A British ruminant mammal becomes a proper butler for a family that loves to hunt. Coming soon: Mr. Belve-deer. "If he doesn't keep a good house, they'll have him for dinner."
  8. A hip and famous American writer moves to Oakland, California to become a substitute teacher at the local high school where he will mentor kids and suffer from dropsy. Coming soon: Hangin' With James Fenimore Cooper. "Let's all do the Bumppo."
  9. A 16-year-old roller disco with the help of a Greek Muse graduates medical school and becomes a resident surgeon at Eastman Medical Center. Coming soon: Xanadu-gie Howser. "What he lacks in precision and dexterity due to his lack of arms and hands, he more than makes up for with boogie oogie."
  10. A funny and bright little girl, abandoned by her parents, seeks shelter in a vacant apartment where she spends her days perfecting her recipe for the perfect pint. Coming soon: Punky Brewmaster. "This girl's got some hops."
Blogger's Note: I actually googled "small boob celebrities" because I had no knowledge of celebrity chest sizes. Also, I was also working on Pee-Wee Herman's Head but the description ended just being too close to Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

American Idol - Top 7 (Part 2)

I feel empty after last night's results show. On the one hand, I got the Bottom 3 correct (though it was easy). On the other hand, we still have seven contestants. The show started off with the Idol medley of "Maniac" from "Flashdance." I did not enjoy it at all. For me, "Maniac" is one of those untouchable songs because no one will ever do it as well as Chris Farley. Anyway, on to the results:


Anoop Desai - Like he said on the show, it's not up to the judges or him to say whether his performance was good enough to be safe. America is not a big fan of Anoop. He has put in two great performances in a row and gotten Bottom 3 status each time. He will be lucky to crack the Top 5. Still nothing to sneeze at. I mean, I'd sneeze at it but I hold myself to higher standards. 

Lil Rounds - I thought she was going home but she was not the lowest vote getter. This means Simon will actually set her on fire next week after she's done singing. Part of me thinks she's ready for it though. She seems to be carrying a lot of supplies in the back of her pants. Hopefully amidst all of that junk, there's a fire extinguisher.

Matt Giraud - He was the lowest vote getter and sang worse than the previous night. How could he not? He was away from his comfort instrument and had his Idol fate on the line. Simon said to him that he doesn't think he can win the competition and then proceeded to use the Judges' Save on him. What? You don't have to use it, judges. Do they know that? Why would you waste it on someone that you don't think can win it all? That's like landing on $5000 and giving Pat Sajak your Free Spin. It doesn't make any sense. Sure Matt was happy and crying. He should be. Now he has to go through the process of getting voted off again next week.

Final Thought: So there will be two contestants voted off next week. I predict Lil and Matt will be those two. I don't see how another week saves them. Truthfully, that would leave the best five. Disco week should be fun. I can't wait to hear Adam do "Don't Leave Me This Way" or even better, "Disco Duck."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Idol - Top 7 (Part 1)

It's Songs From The Movies Week with mentor Quentin Tarentino. The guy can direct anything. His suggestions for the singers were so perfect each time tonight. I know he's a little off in terms of public comportment but he does know how to make something better. This night was a large improvement over last week and it was not as easy to pick an actual Bottom 3 (I can pick a voted Bottom 3 but for bad singing, not easy). Only 2 judges get to talk this week because of last week's gigantic overrun (and they still went over).

Allison Iraheta - "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" - Odd arrangement of it. Not the music but the words she got to sing. It seemed to skip around. Kind of like she took all of the lyrics and threw them at the wall and sang the 30 closest to her. Anyway, it was really good as usual and Simon finally liked it without saying an unnecessary vote-draining insult (awful clothes/not likable).

Anoop Desai - "Everything I Do, I Do It For You" - I hate this song so much. It was so overplayed when it came out and then it became a love song cliche like anything off the Bodyguard soundtrack. But I liked it tonight which is a testament to Anoop. He sang it really well. Too bad there isn't room left in the competition for him. The judges (Kara and Randy) liked it and Simon was angry he didn't get to say anything.

Adam Lambert - "Born To Be Wild" - I did not enjoy his prance out onto the stage to start the song. It was awful. I hate when they say he is the real deal. Everything is so calculated. It's a performance from the moment the song starts. Here's how I picture Adam's preparation: "When I was in Tommy, I got a lot of good reviews for this fist pump I did so I thought I would give it a shot here." I may be old fashioned but a fist pump should come from the soul and not some predetermined plan. Rocking should not be choreographed.

Matt Giraud - "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" - Big night for Bryan Adams. Is this Canadian Idol? I kid. I feel like a broken record but it started out good (just like "Let's Get It On" and "Part Time Lover"). Then it got not so good and then ugly. I would have preferred it to just be him at the piano instead of the whole band and the background singers. Anyway, I still think he's back next week. 

Danny Gokey - "Endless Love" - No glasses. Is that allowed? Quentin took away his hands too. Danny does tend to use his hand to "knit" through the lyrics. It's a knitting motion. Anyway, this was Stripped-Down Danny. Paula thought the beginning was not so good. Simon thought it was boring. I have to agree. I like Danny and he can sing but he is not the frontrunner I thought him to be. He's just an awesome singer and this makes me sad.

Kris Allen - "Falling Slowly" - Brilliant. I love this song. So good. I'm so angry that my wife told me that Randy didn't like it before I watched it this morning. Randy said he knew the song but I don't think he did. He likes to name drop and that would have been the perfect time to drop Glen Hansard. Kara loved it and so did Paula but because of time restraints, Ryan cut Kara off leaving Kris with minimal praise. Not right. I'm sure he's thrilled. Still, my favorite of the night.

Lil Rounds - "The Rose" - I thought she did fine and she added the gospel part to it which was actually really good. Simon ripped her apart again and was extra cruel. She fought back which was good and she did it respectfully which was smart. Though, I know how Lil could have done better tonight. She should have written the Mary J. Blige story, made it into a movie, and done a song from that. She's just not trying anymore if you ask me.

Bottom Three: I'm looking at Matt, Anoop, and Lil. Matt was not that great this week and he could have been. I think he's been hanging on to that last safe spot and this week it's not there. Anoop was in the Bottom 3 with his "True Colors" last week so there's no reason to think another great performance like tonight will land him anywhere but. Poor Anoop. Lil has been beat up too many weeks now. She is not going to win and I truly feel everyone else is better. I'm also feeling a slight chance of a Danny shocker but I hope not.

Going Home: Lil Rounds

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NoBuddies - Don't Mess With Taxes (Episode 9)

We at NoBuddies (just me, they hate when I speak for them) feel that Tax Day should not be a worrisome time. At the very least, you should spend 3 minutes and 9 seconds for yourself and you can take that strangely accurate amount of time and use it on our next episode. It has taxes and masking tape and anger and humor. That's 4 things! I'm no accountant but I think you can write it off or maybe deduct it from the amount in Box 19. Again, not an accountant. Enjoy.

Tax Day is upon us and Bill is starting to feel the pressure. Cal does nothing to alleviate it.

Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by William Franke & Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Tor's News Nuggets: 4/14/09

The Obamas welcomed a new dog into the White House. It is a Portuguese water dog and it goes by the name of Bo. The canine choice angered a lot of people including many animal rescue organizations but no one was more outraged than Tom Wopat who was sure he was the President's favorite Duke.

Parishioners at a church in Sweden unveiled a statue of Jesus they built that was made completely out of Legos on Easter Sunday. Some people think the statue is distasteful but I think the statue is fine. My problem is that instead of a "Please don't touch the statue" sign, they went with "Lego my Jesus."

According to crash tests, smaller cars like the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris do not perform as well as larger cars in severe crashes. Still waiting to find out the results of their other ridiculously obvious crash tests. I have a good feeling about eggs.

A 5-year-old rode the subway alone for 34 stops this morning in New York City. He tried to get help finding his mom but made the mistake of starting his plea with "Excuse me, if I could just have a minute of your time." He is currently being treated for bruises from dismissive coin tosses.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Carlos Mencia Responds To South Park

After Kanye West posted his response to this week's South Park, Carlos Mencia felt the need to come out and say something as well on his blog. I'll post it here.


I'm shocked personally. None of that stuff is on his Wikipedia page.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Goodbye, Blindy McNoSee (AI Top 8 Part 2)

I promised a good friend of mine that I would make that the title of my blog after Scott was sent home packing. However, I promise that is it for the Scott bashing. He doesn't deserve any more.


Lil Rounds - The early favorite beside Danny finally found her way into the bottom three. There's only so many weeks you can spell the judges' hatred with popularity. Eventually, it catches up to you. Lil looks like she is going to snap any second. After she gets voted off, she's going to show up at Randy Jackson's house wearing Mary J. Blige's skin on her face yelling, "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?!?! IS IT?!?! I'M MARY J! REAL LOVE IS ABOUT TO TURN INTO REAL PAIN!!!" 

Anoop Desai - Anoop did not belong in the Bottom 3 after his last performance but we are getting down to the wire here so being good one night doesn't necessarily mean you will stay. When Anoop does get voted off, I would love for him to put each of the judges in their places. He seems like he's holding back some things. "Frat boy on a dare, Kara? Really? Let me ask you this: Did you really write all those songs or did you get help from four people? [holding up 3 fingers] I have your package artist right here! [a cruder gesture]"

Scott MacIntyre - I have been an awful person to Scott in these blogs. I took out my frustration with America and the judges on him which was misplaced. He seems like a genuinely nice guy with a great sense of humor. I feel like he has a long career ahead of him as an adult contemporary singer and what he accomplished was inspirational. I wish him all the best. (See? I told you I'd do it right.)

Final Thought: I was wrong about Allison! That made me so happy. She is the better female and one of the three best singers left in the competition. If this is going to shape up properly, Lil, Matt, and Anoop will be the next ones to go leaving an incredible Top 4. Finally, Ryan needs to give it up on the suspense dialogue. It's getting a little retarded. "Last week you were in the Bottom 3. This week given a placement in the competition...[contestant's name] come over here...stop...turn around and sit...on those seats way over there...but not...I'm sorry, [contestant's name], you are...the opposite of not not safe. Here's a tissue. Your ears are bleeding....from joy!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Funny Stuff That Ain't Mine: Everyone Poops

It's not fall down funny but it's enjoyable.

American Idol - Top 8 (Part 1)

It's Songs From The Year You Were Born" Week. I remember when I first started watching Idol, some of the songs were from before I was born. Now, I think some were from last week. I'm so glad they got rid of the judges' entrance. That was like when the bridal party enters the reception but with even more forced applause and no promise of good food at the end. This week, I'm going to review the performance and then put what song that person should have done (if they picked the wrong song) or could have done (if they picked the right song but I wanted to hear another one).

Danny Gokey - "Stand By Me" - This was a terrible arrangement of the song. It started off good but the middle was totally mailed in and then the end was better. This was not that great of a performance for Gokes. The judges liked it, as usual, but he has been hit or miss lately. Also, isn't it cheating to find a cover for a song you like? If he wanted to do "Stand By Me," he should have done the right thing and been born in 1961. SHOULD HAVE DONE: Bette Midler's "The Rose"

Kris Allen - "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" - He's in the middle of the crowd like Matt last week. Not a cool spot. Why did he pick this song? I enjoyed it but the judges did not and why should they? They won't praise Kris because he wasn't one of the three they picked on Leno (Danny, Adam, Lil). After last week's amazing performance, he was screwed this week no matter what. Also, Simon needs to give up on the word indulgent. Simon has not been great this year. Too busy flirting with Paula to give his usual correct assessment. SHOULD HAVE DONE: John Waite's "Missing You"

Lil Rounds - "What's Love Got To Do With It?" - This is the best Lil has been in my opinion. Her look was better though leather vests belong on someone leaning against a hog outside the Broken Spoke Saloon. Oddly, the judges were not impressed. They ripped her to shreds again. Can she take it anymore? This was the first time she said "If there's a next time..." as opposed to "Next week, I'll do better." Not looking good for Lil. SHOULD HAVE DONE: Lionel Richie's "Hello" or Phil Collins' "Against All Odds"

Anoop Desai - "True Colors" - Wow, Anoop! I thought you were on your way out. It was beautiful. So good. I loved Anoop's reaction after Randy said, "Dude, you can really sing." It was like, "Gee thanks, jerkoff. Yeah, and I had sex with your wife and you're still fat." Anoop is the first contestant to wear on his face the realization that all the judges (even Simon sometimes) are idiots. COULD HAVE DONE: Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time" 

Scott MacIntyre - "The Search Is Over" - This was awful. I wanted it to stop. That near the end note was something special (in that it came from a special person?). He needs to go home before I get meaner and crueler. I can't take hearing Kara and Paula stumble to find complements for an awful performance. Send him home. SHOULD HAVE DONE: Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You" (See? I need him to go home.)

Allison Iraheta - "I Can't Make You Love Me" - They can't stop Kelly Clarkson-ing her red hair. It's distracting. The performance was really good. After last week's ok No Doubt, she came back strong. She is one of the Top 3 in this competition right now but the judges won't give her praise (see Kris above). Simon said she's not likable? Really? That's not going to help keep her out of the Bottom 3 this week. COULD HAVE DONE: En Vogue's "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) or Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under The Bridge"

Matt Giraud - "Part Time Lover" - In my wife's mind, Nikko Smith made this song untouchable. I actually thought Matt did a good job with it. They put the hat on him to cover the forehead mole. He got to move around and show his rhythm. It was no Nikko but it was still good. Not standing o good, Kara, but regular good. SHOULD HAVE DONE: Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" or Prince's "Raspberry Beret"

Adam Lambert - "Mad World" - Simon gave him a standing ovation. Simon. It was good. He didn't do the screaming thing. Adam is funny to me. I understand his talent. I find him tremendously likable when they interview him. He's just hit or miss for me when he sings in terms of my own personal taste. Regardless, tonight was very good. The last note was a little tough but he did nail it in the practice performance that they use for the night's recap so the lasting memory is of him hitting it. COULD HAVE DONE: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Open Arms" or Tommy Tutone's "867-5309"

Bottom Three: I'm looking at Scott, Allison, and Lil. It kills me to put Allison here but I have to be realistic. America is not voting for her like they should and the judges aren't helping. She should be safe for another week, though. For me, it was a toss up between Lil and Anoop for the third spot. I went with Lil because Anoop was better and gave a genuine apology for the Kara thing which makes two great performances this week to Lil's one.

Going Home: Scott MacIntyre

Monday, April 6, 2009

NoBuddies - Pregnant Girl Part 2 (Episode 8)

Wondering how Cal will handle being a dad? Don't know what I'm talking about? (Click here, jerk.) Welcome back. Good, right? You still didn't watch it. Come on! It's good. Do it. Do it. Do it.

The second part of pregnancy episode. Will Cal do the right thing and be a father to Alexis and his baby? If you've been watching NoBuddies at all, the answer is no.

Bill - William Franke
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Gray - Sean McCormack
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

American Idol - Top 9 (Part 2)

Top Downloads week was a disaster (minus Kris and Danny) so I'm going to work quickly and put it behind us. We need as much time as possible to recuperate before next week. I want start by saying that David Cook and Lady GaGa made the night. David Cook is still awesome even if I'm not so sure about his new album. And Lady GaGa rocked Poker Face. I know I'm apparently anti-Lady GaGa (I'm not) but her piano and violin opening to Poker Face was incredible. Once she got into the regular version, it was ok but that opening...Wow! Anyway, onto the results:


Allison Iraheta - This is not good. If you make it into the Bottom Three once, it could be an accident but if it happens twice, it means America is not digging you for realsies. I don't get it. She's one of the four best singers in the competition no matter how you rank them. Even if the judges use the save on her in the next two weeks, what stops her from going home the following week? She's in trouble.

Anoop Desai - Uptempo song = Bottom Three. Slow ballad = Safe. It really comes down to whether Anoop wants to have fun or stay in the competition. I don't think Anoop can win so I hope he has fun next week and enjoys touring. Top 8 is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm kinda down on Anoop for back-talking to Kara. It was pointless and made him look like a bully. Kara has four phrases ("package artist," "not the right song," "I have words," " i.e. Everyone wants to get it on with you") and you don't debate someone like that. It's like telling off a duck.

Megan Joy - It was time and she knew it. She put on a brave face because she achieved what she wanted, she didn't want to get ripped to shreds anymore, and she needed to be back with her son. I also liked that the judges didn't even care about the Judges' Save and told her to enjoy the moment. Spiggles will be missed but she was a cool, uninhibited, klutzy, hot girl.

Final Thought: This was my worst week of predicting the Bottom Three thus far (1 out of 3). Unfortunately, unless the judges really praise Allison next week, it looks like she'll be back. I think it's time for Anoop or Scott to go next but we'll see. Lil should be in more trouble than she is but she can thank Ryan for playing the adorable-kids-hugging-the-judges card.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

American Idol - Top 9 (Part 1)

This week's American Idol had 2 great performances and then a whole lot of disappointment. It was Top Downloads Week and that meant that if a song has ever been downloaded, they could sing it tonight. Just looking at my downloads, I was looking forward to some kickin' tunes. Oh well, looks like Idol was not sexy enough for Right Said Fred tonight and it will be just another day without Jon Secada. I'm on today. You are in for a treat, readers.

Anoop Desai - "Caught Up" - It was weird. He slowed it down so much. Urshur would not be happy with this. Plus he had that chain that I'm thinking was holding his left arm on. Again, weird. Anoop should be fine.

Megan Joy - "Turn Your Light Down Low" - That was awful. Spiggles needs to go. It sounded like she was trying to do Charles Nelson Reilly. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I've already listened to the Lauryn Hill version six times this morning to try to get rid of it. Not working.

Danny Gokey - "What Hurts The Most" - Danny Gokey's grandfather died since the last show. It is both fortunate (haters are tired of his grieving) and unfortunate (the guy can't grieve) that it did not come up. Anyway, it was really good. I'm glad he did this because he's had a couple of rough weeks. This was one of those two great ones I talked about earlier.

Allison Iraheta - "Don't Speak" - I like her but I didn't love it. Still she's better than most. The judges were really focused on her clothes. I guess they didn't love it either but want her to stay in the competition so they picked on the outfit. Allison should stop listening to the stylist. Doesn't she remember how awful they made Carly Smithson look last year? Also of note: Paula called her guitar an axe. That sounded about as natural as a bear and a hamster getting it on. Don't be cool, Paula.

Scott MacIntyre - "Just The Way You Are" - Oh man, does he try to out-boring himself each week? "This week, I'm going to drone a single low note and next week, I'll sit in the middle of the stage with my back to the audience for three minutes doing nothing." Son of a... The judges thought it was his best performance so he's safe. Grrrreeeeeaaaaat.

Matt Giraud - "You Found Me" - This might be the newest song ever done on Idol. At the start of it, it seemed like we were headed back to Coldplay territory but he got it back. The judges did not like it and thought it sounded too much like The Fray. He may have taken a step back this week after some great weeks. At least, he can curl up with his giant face mole for comfort.

Lil Rounds - "I Surrender" - Celine Dion? Really? Why Lil? Moving her way through Destiny's Child looks, this week she had a Kelly Rowland thing going on. Well, Kelly Rowland if she was going to the prom. It started off a little crummy but then she belted notes and it was good. She should be fine but, like Simon said, she seems to be fading in terms of confidence and just flailing on the stage. (Not physically flailing like she's miming falling off a building but metaphorically flailing.)

Adam Lambert - "Play That Funky Music" - This is asking for trouble. I am not going to like this. It's the worst. The judges loved it. I don't get him. Does anyone else notice that he screams and looks ridiculous? It's all an act. A terrible, rapist-looking act. He makes me uncomfortable.

Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine" - Brilliant. That was so good, I am going to spell his name right from now on. He's earned that. He's my new favorite. Hands down. Is it too early to Kris-en him the champion? (Oh God, that was so well done. I told you I was on.)

Bottom Three: I think Megan, Matt, and Lil are in the bottom three. I want Scott in there but I think he's going to get a huge boost from the judges' comments. Lil will be ruined mentally if she is in the bottom three but I have a bad feeling that's where we're headed. Matt was not great this week so I don't see how he avoids last week's fate. And Megan was downright terrible.

Going Home: Megan Joy