Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Top Chef - 4/30/08

Antonia is determined to do better this week. There was a gratuitous shot of Mark brushing his teeth and shaving shirtless. Don't know where that came from.

Quickfire features Oprah's personal chef and Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (which I really like, but I can imagine the chefs will poo poo). They only have 15 minutes. There is a mad dash in the kitchen. Given 15 minutes and rice? That's tough. I like Dale's idea of fried rice. Spike's stuffed tomatoes don't seem like they would have enough time to cook properly. Maybe I'd do some sort of Spanish rice with Mexican spiced shrimp? I love shrimp quesadillas, so that might be good. Mmmm.

Antonia made Salad and Rice with steak.

Nikki made fried rice with lots of veggies.

Richard made tomato steak with tomatoes, looked yummy.

Stephanie made Brown Rice Pancakes with scallops.

Spike made Stuffed tomatoes, and they looked like they had enough baking time

Lisa made a grilled shrimp with lime and rice and some avocado in there.

Dale made fried rice featuring long beans.

Mark made miso glazed turkey, which was called tough and dry. not good.

Andrew made the rice into a crust for fish, and it was called clever, but not necessarily good.

Mark, Stephanie, and Lisa ended up in the bottom. Dale, Richard, and Antonia were in the top, with Antonia winning. I would have been in the bottom probably because I liked the idea of Lisa's. ;)

This week's challenge is all about simple, nutritious, affordable meals. $10 budget! And I think they are going to be cooking with kids, because Padma said "simple enough for a child to help with."

Shopping is a challenge. Everyone gets chicken pretty much except for Dale, who got Chicken Bratwurst.

For no known reason, we got a shot of Mark playing the didjeriedoo.

Antonia got to talk to her daughter and told a knock knock joke which I am not going to teach to my daughter, but it was funny.

I was right, and they get kid helpers. Antonia has a problem because she misses her daughter so much. I can understand. She got a boy, which she said should be easier than a girl, who would remind her of her daughter.

Spike's making soup again, and his kid cut himself a little when peeling, but he goes right back to it. Good kid.

Mark is making a veggie curry, and Lisa thinks that's stupid to make for a family, but I disagree, I make curry and other Indian food all the time for my family. In fact, I have a killer Hard Boiled Egg Curry that would be perfect for this challenge.

Tom was cute checking out what all the little chefs were doing.

All of the people they are serving to are kids, except for the guests.

Richard made roast chicken with black beans, plus apple, avocado, and beet salad. Went over well, though he could have left off the chicken skin.

Lisa made Roasted chicken with edamame, and a peanut butter and apple french toast. Chicken didn't get the best reviews.

Dale made Turkey Bratwurst with potatoes, onion, red cabbage and apples. The kids seem to like that more than the judges.

Spike made Pasta Putanesca, Carrot Soup with orange, and semi-baked apples. The kids are super excited about the pasta, and it goes over well with everyone.

Nikki made a Roast Chicken with mixed veggies, tomato and cucumber salad. Looked yummy.

Mark, as mentioned, made a vegetable curry, cinnamon rice, cucumber salad. Sounds delicious. Padma says it is too sweet, and he is criticized for not enough protein. He should have put in some chickpeas.

Antonia made a chicken veggie stir fry with whole wheat pasta. She got high marks for that, because she knows how to cook for kids healthily.

Andrew made Chicken Paillard and something else. He talks too quickly.

Couscous with with eggplant and zucchini, chicken in peanut & tomato sauce, then apples with maple and granola for dessert. Not so good. The couscous is not done well.

Time for judges table. Nikki, Antonia, and Andrew are tops. The winner is Antonia, and I am glad. Last week she had blatant disregard for the rules, and ended up in the bottom. This week, she embraced them and won.

In the bottom are Lisa, Stephanie, and Mark. Mark thinks he is there because Tom hates him. He totally should have used more veggies and some beans, more complex veggies. Lisa was told her stuff was bland, and she was aghast. Padma went so far as to say that she despised Stephanie's dish, and that the tomato and peanut butter was disgusting. Ouch. Plus, she cooked couscous wrong. It's hard to mess up couscous.

In the end, it's Mark leaving, and Tom made sure to tell him that he doesn't hate him. I think it was time for him to go, he's been lacking in several challenges. I'll miss his accent.

American Idol: Down to 4 - Results Show 4/30/08

It's really getting down to the wire now! Who will it be tonight? Will they try to explain Paula's flub? This... is American Idol.

KLC is in attendance, knowing that she did the Patriotic song much better than David Archuleta.

The group sing is a tribute to Neil Diamond, and I don't know what the song is they started with, but I sure do wish that Jason had sung it last night. For the first time in the season, they are attempting dancing. David Cook takes the stage like a rockstar. Song Sung Blue is too low for both the girls, and Brooke grins through it, proving yet again that her grasp on song's meanings is very fragile. Everyone hugs Archuleta before he gets to take off with a song about a salvation show, right up his alley. He was loving that, you could tell. David Cook ends it like a rockstar.

After the break, we see that Constantine Maroulis and Gina Glocksen, both unable to leave Idol behind, are cohosting a show about American Idol on TV Guide Network. That's progress right there.

Ryan addresses "rumors" about Paula, basically saying that she is staying put, but not giving us any insight into what the heck was going on.

Jason Castro is first to find out his fate, (or J. Cas, if you prefer, I don't). He is safe. What the hell. Ridiculous.

David Archuleta is out next, and he is also safe. Boo. Looks like he was expecting to be in the bottom, and he is stunned to go to the couch.

(Next week is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week. That's a good wide theme. Thank you.)

There's a teaser for So You Think You Can Dance, and I am so more than thrilled. Yippee!!!! Stay tuned for blogs on that one! Nigel needs a haircut. Blatant Coca-cola spot.

David Cook is up next. He is safe and I am happy.

The bottom two are Syesha and Brooke. Syesha is there by virtue of her being unmemorable. Brooke is there by virtue of a god-awful first song. They are going to have to wait to find out which one is not going to rocking the rock and roll hall of fame for a little while. It's time for Natasha Beddingfield!

(I really like this song, it's catchy - Pocket Full of Sunshine). That girl has pipes. Paula was dancing. I suspect, however, that Paula would dance to butterflies flying by. After her song, Natasha goes and fawns over David Archuleta. Ryan says that David A. wants to bring Natasha to the prom. She says she has a dress, Ryan brings up that she also has a boyfriend. lol.

Next, it's time for Viewer Calls. Ick. Ick. Ick. First, it's a question from a 10 year old. Paula blathers on about how American Idol is hard. Paula and Randy mention animated cats, Randy insists he would be a Dawg. Simon kissed a girl when he was 9, and she called in. That was kind of cute. He remembers her name, too, which is awesome. It's actually kind of cute. Simon seemed embarrassed.

Ford Commercial time. The Idols can miraculously clean up unsightly things. I miss Syesha's afro.

And now, Neil Diamond. I fast forwarded through him. He wants you to buy his new album. I am not going to.

We finally get to see who is going home. Brooke is already crying, and is unsurprised when Ryan tells her she's done. (I cheered). I think that Brooke will do well, and have a recording career, but I am glad that she is not going to grace the Idol stage again. I still can't stand Celebrate Me Home. Worst. Song. Ever.

As her boot off song, she is singing I Am, I Said, and she attempted to restart it, but was denied by the band, who stridently played on. David Cook tried to hug her in the middle of the song, and she seemed to shrug him off. Go cry Brooke, go cry.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hell's Kitchen: 4/29/08

I cannot believe that Vanessa has to go see a plastic surgeon for her burn. That sucks. I also felt for Ben, because I don't think he did that badly last week. Someone on another blog mentioned that they think Ramsey likes Ben and therefore is holding him to a higher standard.

Poor Vanessa - can't even be near heat with her burn? That's not easy in a kitchen.

The challenge is to create something gourmet out of something seemingly normal - a Fine Dining Pizza.

Matt was getting the serious silent treatment in the Men's Kitchen, where the Women's Kitchen was working really well together, seemingly. Each person did an individual pizza, and then decided on an Ultimate. Jen had an herbed crust, a sundried tomato, and prosciutto pizza, with fried basil with a balsamic glaze over it. Vanessa was hoping they would choose hers, but to no avail.

Ben's pizza was chosen on the other team, without even finishing all of the tastings. Chantrelle mushrooms, chevre cream, something else, sounded yummy. Petrozza was annoyed, because he wasn't even done his pizza.

Some of the mushrooms were gritty, and that's no good. Ben washed them, and Matt was high and mighty about how "some people's cooking skills are beginning to show." The girls won it, with lack of gritty mushrooms. Their pizza is going to be a Special on the menu the following night. They get to go to Santa Barbara to a famous $90 hamburger, in a helicopter. As a punishment for losing, the men have to prep for all the pizzas.

Complaining in the prep kitchen, Louross is called a Bitch by Ben. Yeah, that's mature. We'll see how that goes. For lunch, the men get a "thin ass burger, no mustard, no ketchup, on a bun." Meanwhile, the women are treated to Kobe Beef Burgers with Black Truffle Fries. Mmmmmm.

The prep is really hard for Vanessa, because she just can't be near the heat. She goes to talk to Ramsey about what she might be able to do. He basically says suck it up and stay, or leave. She decided to leave, because she felt that she couldn't be there 100%. Ramsey seemed to be sad by her departure, but I think it was a good decision. She couldn't help, she couldn't cook, she couldn't be near the heat, so she would have gotten in the way more than anything.

As a special "treat", Hell's Kitchen is offering Pizza Delivery, and the men get to deliver in a glorified golf cart or something close to it. Yipes. That's just cruel. Well, I think they almost deserve it, because they can't work together for anything. They deserve hardship.

Jen starts out well on the hot appetizer section, and sends out the risotto perfectly. Ben (being picked on again) is going to be delivering the pizza. Bobby claims again he is the Four Star General, when Matt is attempting to serve disasterous eggs, then breaks yolks left and right. There were some problems in the women's kitchen, Corey showed that she was not the brightest bulb in the lamp by being befuddled by the concept of not sending out anything on a table if the whole table is not ready. Ramsey then gets upset at Rosann who can't mash veggies. He actually sent the table out without the veggies, and Jen helps to get them right.

Over in the men's kitchen, Louross is having a terrible time cooking a steak, and he charred them. Petrozza brilliantly slivered off a bit of them charred outside and exposing the pretty center.

Kristina is flipping out about fallen souffle's in the women's kitchen, but I have to say I am impressed at the completion of the service! The men and the women finish their service!! That's a first for the season.

Each team has to nominate one person to go up for elimination. The men nominate Louross, the women nominate Christina (and she has to tell Ramsey that). Ramsey doesn't think that Christina is the weakest chef, and Jen pisses Ramsey off a little by being too confident.

Ramsey doesn't eliminate anyone because Vanessa has already gone. He says it's his gift to them for completing the service. He leaves them with "Now, piss off, and get some sleep." Classic.

American Idol: Top 5 - Neil Diamond Night

Am I the only one who thinks this could be either terrific or utterly horrendous? I wonder if any of the contestants is a Neil Diamond fan. Like, Saving Silverman Neil Diamond Fan. Somehow, I think not. Well, Maybe David Archuleta.

Let's get to it then, shall we?

Ryan wastes no time in reminded viewers that we all failed Carly Smithson. She's probably watching from home with a pint of Ben & Jerry's (it was free cone day, after all).

Oh, joy, everyone is singing not one, but two - yes, two - Neil Diamond songs. Couldn't they have done one Neil Diamond song, and one song of their choice? That would have been nice. Apparently, we are only going to hear judges critiques after the second song. I will make my
comments in the order I hear the songs.

Jason Castro (Song 1: Forever in Blue Jeans): The guitar seemed kind of weak in the begining of the song, and the low register of the song is a little low for Jason, but I really liked the way that he sounded on the higher register. I wish he would stop squinting through songs. I think that Jason wouldn't know what the heck to do with himself if he wasn't holding a guitar. I don't think he needed it with this song, but he did a pretty good job. He is very pleasant, and I think he would do well on the radio. Is pleasant enough? Not sure. He's like warm milk before bedtime.

David Cook (Song 1: I'm Alive) - David decided to interview Seacrest for a moment, and we learn that Seacrest listened to a lot of Neil Diamond as a child in the back of a station wagon. Interesting. Now onto his first song. I have never heard it before, but it is cool. I think that David found the right place to use as his low range boundary with this song, and he is rocking it more than he has in a couple of weeks. The song seemed really really short, I wish it had been longer. That's a good thing. I likey

Brooke White (Song 1: I'm a Believer) - Brooke is trying too hard to have fun, she's got a forced bounce, and her guitar playing was unnecessary. She looks terrified, and panicky. I thought her vocals were rough and shaky. Paula apparently liked it, she was dancing, but I didn't love it. It wasn't terrible, but I wish I hadn't been watching her. She made some seriously strange faces.

David Archuleta (Song 1: Sweet Caroline) Leave it to David A. to pick the two absolutely cheesiest songs in the whole Neil Diamond catalogue. At least he is singing something a little upbeat. It's been weeks and weeks and weeks. Somehow he's made Sweet Caroline into a gospel Christian Rock song, like he does with every song. And his voice is so so so froggy. Ugh. I am so done with him.

Syesha Mercado (Song 1: Hello Again) Syesha got extensions for the occasion. I like her better with shorter spunky hair. Her vocals are totally impressive, she just doesn't feel unique. She did a really good performance of this song. I like her more than David A, at least she's got a purely nice voice. The last note was nice.

(Can I just comment that it was hilarious that Paula read her comments for both songs? Must have been comments from the dress rehearsal. Ryan's face was priceless. I was glad that Simon called Brooke a nightmare, because she was)

Jason Castro
(Song 2: September Morn) - Total elevator music, I am so bored right now. The end was really bad. I think a poor choice of song. It was painful. He is in serious trouble after that.

David Cook
(Song 2: All I Really Need is You) - A softer side of David Cook, and it's still good. He knows how to use his voice, and this rocks out into almost a Power Ballad. I want him to win so much, because he is the only one I would like to hear for an extended period of time. He hit some really nice falsetto notes, and I thought it was fantastic. Go David. I was glad that he got a lot of judge praise.

Brooke White
(Song 2: I Am I Said) - This is much much better. She is much more at home behind a piano. This is not painful, this I could enjoy on the radio. Does Brooke have to be sitting down and half hidden to be decent? She redeemed herself a lot with this one. Her outfit is absofreaking-70's-lutely awful, but I can forgive her.

David Archuleta (Song 2: America) - I wish that David Cook had sung this song. It would have felt more authentic. Can David A. perform in any way except for standing stridently in the middle of the stage and bouncing a little? He implores us to like him, reaching out his hand with desperation towards us. I decline his invitation. I wish David Cook had sung this song. At least it wasn't slow and plodding. And when he is done, he just stands there with the same look and the same expression every week. Every week. I said it before, I am so done with him. I almost wish he would have a moment like Clay had when he came out in the red leather pants. Almost. It might be too disturbing, though. Just remember, America. If you don't vote for David A, you are just downright unpatriotic. That's right. Remember when Kristy stirred all sorts of patriotism? Same here. Got it?

Syesha Mercado
(Song 2: Thank the Lord for the Nighttime) - What fun. I think this was a very wise choice for Syesha, but why in the name of all things sacred do they not turn down the backup singer's microphones? Seriously? It's so annoying, and it's been like this the whole season. Syesha did a really great job with that song, and showed her versatility. She had fun, and she showed some real personality. I do think that Simon hit the nail on the head when he said that she is a talented actress/singer

My favorites tonight are David Cook (miles above the rest) and Syesha. Jason and Brooke are in trouble, and I think that David Archuleta could be in the middle. He'll probably get the most votes, just because. First round, Brooke definitely sucked the most, and then in the second round, Jason was the worst. (I am not even mentioning David Archuleta, because he is sadly not going anywhere).

I kind of liked the lack of fluff in the show tonight. I know it won't last, but it was refreshing for a change. I am so pleasantly surprised that I might just put Saving Silverman on my Netflix queue. Thank you, Neil Diamond. I take back most of the unkind thoughts I had of you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites - Week 10

Oh, sad sad recap, the end of the Ozzy Era. It's going to get interesting from here on out.

Erik tells everyone is was a good idea not to tell him about the Ozzy vote. James can understand the strategy, and Amanda is really upset by the flip. No more cuddles for you, Amanda. She claims it's game on. I hope so. I do like her.

James has a nasty cut on his finger which is getting infected. Parvati is feeling vulnerable and needs to mend some fences. She starts her fence mending by telling James that she is planning on bringing girls to the finals. James goes on about not being able to resist the apple (same speech we heard in China). James is mad mad mad. End of cuddle time for you too, Parvati. Amanda is trying to keep her calm when she is talking to Parvati and Cirie, she's feeling vulnerable and out of the loop.

Reward Challenge:

It's the Survivor Auction! Each person was given $500, and there is no sharing of money or items. Most items are covered.

Cirie gets hot dogs, french fries, and all the fixings, for $120.

Erik gets the next item for $80, and Jeff goes Let's Make a Deal on him. Erik takes what's behind door number 2. Wise choice. He gave up Octopus and gets nachos. Score.

Natalie gets Fruit Bat Soup for $240. She doesn't want it. James, the bat connoisseur, asks if he can have it, and Jeff says ok. James expertly removes the skin for a delectable treat. I'll just take his word for it.

Next is an uncovered item, and there is a bidding battle for a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and a glass of milk. Amanda gets it for $280.

Natalie gets the next covered item for $240. It's a bottle with a note. She gets to send someone to exile and takes their money. It turns out that there is a new new new Hidden Immunity Idol on Exile!! Natalie sends Jason, who hadn't bought anything yet. Bonus. Jeff made a dig at him - "This time maybe you'll get a real idol." Snap.

Natalie gets the next item for $380. It's an entire chocolate sheet cake. Insane. She has 60 seconds to eat as much cake as she wants with three others. She chooses Parvati, Alexis, and Cirie. Yeah, that's not an alliance. It was a chocolate fest. Erik got a little weird and offered $40 to lick Cirie's fingers. And with that image burned into my head forever, the auction is over.

Back at camp, everyone complains about Natalie's decision to send Jason to Exile for another chance at the Idol. There is a speech about him being a bitch and bitch is guaranteed to find the idol in two days. The others are upset because Jason is a real threat in challenges.

Over on Exile, Jason begins his search, planning to use the Hidden Immunity Idol to get an alliance with Natalie. Wonder if Natalie feels that way. With seemingly no difficulty, Jason tracks down the new Hidden Immunity Idol and he is feeling really fantastic.

And back at camp again, the women start scheming how to get Jason feeling complacent. Natalie says that she will basically tell him that he owes her and she needs to win Immunity, and then they will blind side him just like they did Ozzy. Could just work.

Time for the Immunity Challenge. It turns out it is Erik's 22nd birthday! At least he got some cake in a pre-birthday celebration. At least the women have decided that they are not going to knife poor Erik in the back if they manage to fenangle the advantage, and they are not going to vote him off on his birthday.

The Challenge is a recap of a bunch of previous challenges, in a bracket style elimination. I like this kind of Challenge. Before the challenge began, Natalie whispered to Jason that anyone but James needs to win, and not to ask any questions, she'll explain herself later. He seems to accept that.

Jason, James, Erik, and Amanda make it through the first round (a Break-the-plate round). The next round is digging for a key in the sand. James and Erik are up first, then Jason. Then there is a puzzle which turns into a wheel that lowers planks via a pulley. James and Erik get their puzzles together first, and they move on. The next round is a rope bridge with two planks to get across. James fell in and lost a plank, had to go get it, and Erik took a huge lead. James made up some ground, and it was a tight race at the end, but the Birthday Boy won Immunity. The girls (and Jason) cheered for him. Bet that made James feel really good.

The girls are gleeful at the plan seeming to go their way. Parvati said "all the girls were screaming and jumping up and down inside their heads." Honey, you were not silent. She then says that the girls are like a Black Widow Brigade. "We're taking the boys, and spinning them around and around when we need them, and then we'll devour them." Nice. While Jason is off going to check the nets, the girls decide to rifle through his stuff (never ok in my opinion). THey find the Idol and put it back. Natalie goes to have a little fake Heart to Heart with Jason. He is so gullible.

I think we are seeing more of Natalie tonight than in any other episode. She says that she is getting to be more herself, and she turns out to be a "stone cold bitch." ha ha. I kind of like her.

Amanda and James have a little talk about how she is really upset at the way things seem to be turning out. James says he is voting Parvati.

Natalie has another confessional about flossing her teeth with Jason's jugular. Wow. That's imagery.
Tribal Council

Nothing really new is said, but Jason does not use the Hidden Immunity Idol. The back to back blind side was a success. James was told to go have Medical look at his (very bandaged) finger.

Next week, James gets some medical attention, and the family member reward is coming.

Here's how the votes went down.

Amanda - Jason
Alexis- James (huh? Chink in the armor?)
Jason - James
Cirie - Jason
Parvati - Jason
Erik - Jason
Natalie - Jason
James - Parvati

Set Your DVRs: LOST is new tonight!

Just wanted to send out the alert. It's on at 10 PM now. Who's excited? Me, me, me!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Top Chef - 4/23/08

Because of the aforementioned power outage, I missed the beginning, so I'll jump right in on the quickfire! Looks like dessert. Now I want dessert.

The ones on bottom are Antonia, Spike, and Mark. Dale, Lisa, and Richard came out on top. Richard won the Quickfire, and his recipe is going into the Top Chef Cookbook.

All of the aspiring chefs then get to go out to see Second City and see an improv comedy show. Am I the only one who smells a challenge here? As soon as the Improv group asks for an ingredient after getting color and emotion, the chefs realize that this is their Challenge.

The courses are going to be:

Yellow Love Vanilla (Spike and Andrew)
Depressed Purple Bacon (Mark and Nikki)
Magenta Drunk Polish Sausage (Antonia and Lisa)
Green Perplexed Tofu (Dale and Richard)
Orange Turned On Asparagus (Steph and Jennifer)

Could have been worse. I can see some possibilities there.

They decided to draw numbers for courses. No knife pull. They decided on their own who to work with.

Immediately, Lisa makes me angry when she decided to use chorizo instead of Polish sausage, because Polish sausage is so lowbrow. Let's ignore the challenge entirely, shall we?

Spike gets to make his squash soup! He is so happy! Vanilla Squash soup? That's odd.

Richard scored some free beef fat and he is planning on using it for marinating the tofu. Dale runs back into the equipment room to see big empty shelves where their machinery is supposed to be. It's improv, baby!!

Dale is using store bought curry sauce. I bet the judges won't like that.

More improv, the chefs have to pack up all their cooking stuff and go to their apartment kitchen to finish up. The comics are coming there. Gladware to the rescue!!

It's a cramped finish in the much smaller kitchen. Spike gets to do a lot of loving with his soup. He is obsessed with that soup.

The Squash Soup with Vanilla Creme Fraiche is first - it goes over wonderfully.

Next is the Orange Turned On Asparagus. They had some fun with the plating, and they had some fun with the presentation. Unfortunately, the actual taste was not as successful.

The Green Perplexed Tofu comes out with GIANT blocks of tofu. The dish went over very very well.

The Drunk Magenta Polish Sausage was next, and the judges were very upset that they didn't use the Polish sausage, and the fact that Antonia and Lisa had shots for themselves and didn't share? Not ok.

Mark and Nikki's Purple Depressed Bacon went over very well, too. Mark's purple sunglasses were amusing.

Padme called in Dale, Spike, Andrew and Richard in for the top. Spike must be so happy for his soup. I kind of want to try the Beef flavored Tofu, so I am happy that Dale and Richard won. They got $2500 worth of Calphalon. Not my favorite cookware, but a good brand (I work part time at a high end kitchen store, I love love love Kitchenaid 5-Ply Stainless, or Viking, if you are using stainless. End of digression).

Antonia, Lisa, Stephanie, and Jennifer were sent back in the bottom. Antonia and Lisa were unapologetic about the lack of polish sausage. Stephanie and Jennifer were too focused on the imagery of their dish instead of the taste.

Jennifer was sent packing, home to Zoi.

Lisa - get off your high horse. The challenge said Polish sausage, use polish sausage!

American Idol: Down to 5 - Results Show 4/23/08 (Gah - interrupted!!!)

To begin the night, Paula clapped heartily for herself and Ryan gave Simon a kiss on the head. Awkward.

Now, the Top 6 sing All I Ask of You from Phantom. The two Davids sound nice together, Jason sounded forced. The weak link in the three women is Brooke, though at least I could hear her. I could not really hear Syesha. The final chord seemed a bit odd, but I may be wrong.

Upon hearing the recap, I really want to silence David Archuleta. His song gets more and more unbearable every time I hear it. After that is over, Ryan gets to have a little sit down with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ryan asks him what he thought of Brooke's mulligan. Brooke looked stricken that he brought it up again. She pouts expertly. Guess she learned that from the kids she nannies. Lord Webber also brought up Jason's odd song choice, which he really disagreed with.

The Ford Add is to Tainted Love, and everyone is kind of punked out. David Cook's hair is awesome. Syesha and Carly also pulled off the look well. Jason? He had random beads in his dreads. Cause that's so punk. Punks love beads. And David A. got a little mousse in his hair. Not so much. Brooke's hair was insane.

President Bush and the First Lady love American Idol and Idol Gives Back. That is all.

Simon starts the whittling down process by calling out both Davids. Cook is ever so more eloquently spoken that Archuleta. Both are safe, and we learn that Neil Diamond is going to be the theme next week. Yipes.

There is a little package about former Idols who are on Broadway. I miss Clay Aiken before he looked like a KD Lang. It was good to see Tamyra.

Leona Lewis performed, apparently Simon discovered her. She's pretty good, I guess, I like the song.

Next up are Brooke and Syesha. Brooke defends her decision to call a Mulligan, and then talks and talks about how she is known to talk to much. Brooke is safe, Syesha is in the bottom 2. That's BS, right there. Brooke pouts about being safe.

Carly and Jason are up next to find out their fate. Shockingly, Jason is safe and Carly is in the bottom two. That's also total BS.

They each get a chance to sing an encore, which is nice, instead of making them sing after being voted off. I am still so upset at this bottom 2, they were two of the strongest last night.

Then my freaking power went out, and my f-ing receiver wouldn't restart. There was much swearing, I missed the end of the show. I know that it ended with Carly being voted out, and that is so upsetting. I will truly miss her. At least she won't have to sing Neil Diamond next week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hell's Kitchen: 4/22/08

There is a lot of griping about Ramsey picking on the aspiring chefs, which - have they ever seen the show, wouldn't they expect personal attacks? Ramsey makes them clean the kitchens, and Corey left halfway through the clean up, which was not cool.

In the morning, Corey tells Ramsey that she wants to leave her team, and then he asks them who is the strongest chef on their team. Corey thinks she is, and all of the other girls think it is Jen (I am surprised).

The men's team says that Ben is the strongest chef on their team.

Ramsey announces that they are going to have a Family Dinner Service with a whole new menu. Since the aspiring chefs are having a hard time memorizing the normal menu, this ought to go over well.

The Challenge is to make pasta. Rosann announces that she is going to have no trouble, since she is Italian. Matt decided that he was going to be the drying rack instead of rolling any pasta. Jen was doing a good job cranking the pasta. Craig was busy disassembling his machine. It certainly was a good effort.

The women end up getting more good pasta on the first arm (almost a full pound more). The men's second arm was deemed wonderful. The women still end up winning by more than a pound of pasta. The brute strength of the men didn't do any good. Matt (as always) looked like he was going to cry about losing.

The men have to prep all the new menu items, and the women get to go to the amusement park. Louross' ire is pointed right at Craig. Why not Matt? As a bonus for losing, Ben gets to shovel pony poop from the pony rides for the Family Night entertainment. That just (literally) stinks.

For some reason over in the men's kitchen, they are putting a lot of importance on Craig's pasta section.

In an amusing moment, Ramsey tells Jean-Phillippe to take his tie off and loosen his shirt, which he didn't want to do. That was funny.

You'd think that Burgers, Onion Rings, and Wings would be easy. Ben tried to send out an unseasoned unbreaded onion ring, and Matt (not crying, though looking like it), sent out half raw chicken wing.

The women's kitchen seemed to be doing better, until Vanessa caught a pan on fire and then spilled burning oil on her hand. Ow. Ow. Ow. She heads to the hospital, and the women are one down.

The men are serving out tiny overcooked burgers, and the women are doing a great job. Ramsey berates the men for getting to excited for doing well (not as well as the women). Craig started to send out the wrong dish (meatball sauce instead of clam), and then the clam was undercooked. While he was finishing that, the women finished up their service admirably, and then Ramsey sent the women in to help the men. Humiliating for the men. Craig flipped out for no apparent reason at the end, not good.

In the end, the Women Won the night, and Jen was called the best cook in both kitchens. She is impressing me. Also surprising, Ramsey chooses Bobby as Best of the Worst, to nominate two for the ouster.

Vanessa has returned, and she has to go see a plastic surgeon for her burn! That sucks.

Up for nomination are Craig and Matt. Matt seriously looks like the eagle from The Muppets. Ramsey also pulls Ben up to be in danger of elimination.

Best quote possibly ever.

Ben - "I'm going to give you 100%"
Matt - "I'll give you 125%, Chef."
Craig - "I don't know percentages, but I'll, um, give you more than that."

Giant Hat Boy is gone gone gone. He's so stupid, I will not miss him.

American Idol: The Top 6 - Andrew Lloyd Webber Night

Tonight, Tonight, won't be just any night...

Good to know that AI is using Green energy for the finale, though until then, they will enough lights to use enough energy to power a small country.

First, the hopefuls meet Andrew Lloyd Webber, and we are treated to an overview of his work. Brooke is sucking up to him vociferously, as is expected.

Paula got a weird hairstyle for the night, and it didn't make her any more coherent.

Syesha Mercado (One Rock and Roll Too Many from Starlight Express) - I've never hard this song before. Even though she tried to go all Michelle Pfiefer with the sitting on the piano in the beginning, I thought that she started a second too early, and hit some bum notes. It was awkward when Ricky Miner was dancing with her. She seemed like she was trying too hard to show the personality, it seemed very rehearsed. She does have a lovely voice. I think the judges were right that it was one of her best performances, but I don't think it was her best. Still, not bad at all.

Jason Castro (Memory from Cats) - Andrew Lloyd Webber seemed as grossed out by Jason's dreads as Mariah Carey was. "I'm kind of nervous, it's kind of a popular song," said Jason. Ummmm, yeah. I'm just happy that he is singing this song so that David Archuleta can't sing it. The song started ok, but didn't blow me away. His lower register is definitely not as strong as his higher one. The middle kind of muddled about, but I think when he ended it, he did a pretty decent job of it. And Randy - too much melody? What kind of critique is that? That's ridiculous. I thought that it showed that he can feel songs, if nothing else. His sincerity was refreshing. I thought that Simon was also very harsh on him. It's not like it's a happy song, so why complain that he seemed miserable? I thought it was ok.

Brooke White (You Must Love Me from Evita) - This is just about my favorite song from the movie Evita, I am a big Madonna fan. Brooke's going to have to work hard t make this work. And . . . she messed up in the first moment (again), and started over (again). I don't believe in you, Brooke, not at all. You should disappear. She didn't seem to feel the song at all. I must not love you. Her dress looked like something my butterfly obsessed five year old would wear. She was really breathy and over thinking it, and she did not feel it. I do not understand why Simon was so forgiving to her for stopping. For once, I think that Paula is the only judge on the money. Brooke can go.

David Archuleta (Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera) - How awkward, the David Archuleta fan club took the stage. How strange, he has turned a song from Phantom into a would be Christian Rock song. I am so booooored with him. He tried to change it too much. I could hear this in an elevator. And, am I wrong, or did he forget his words halfway through. I am so angry about this song. He struggled to keep his eyes open, and did a decent job. I hated the ass kissing from the judges. I am angered right now. I am soooo glad that Simon told him it was weak. Totally annoying arrangement, now I want to go listen to Emmy Rossum and sanitize my ears of David A.

Carly Smithson (Jesus Christ Superstar from Jesus Christ Superstar) - Love that he stopped her from singing All I Ask of You. This song is freaking perfect for her. She's changing it up in an interesting and a natural way, and she is performing. Again, the damned backup singers are too loud. I love her dress, I am in love with her performance, I think this is my favorite she has done. Go Carly. Loved her tonight. She had to shout, she had to be heard over the back up singers.

David Cook (Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera) - I still think he should have sung Heaven on Their Minds from JC... but oh my god, he gave me chills. He hit that high note, and he hit is spot on. I did not like the way he ended it. He was trying to bring the rock to it, and he didn't need to. But I still loved it. My friends did not like it as much as I did, I really couldn't find nearly as much wrong with it as they did.

I will be voting for Carly and David Cook most. I might throw in a vote for Syesha. Brooke needs to go go go go go. I hope that David A. ends up in the bottom 3. He deserves it for that crap. I hated it much more on the recap.

I just listened to Heaven on Their Minds again, and yeah. David Cook should have sung it. It would have been amazing. I have a cast recording that is more rocked out than the version than the one below, but man... he could have done it so much more than justice. *sigh*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yay for a New Season - Doctor Who!!!!!

I finally got to watch the Season Premiere (Christmas Special) episode of Doctor Who that premiered on Friday night on SciFi.

Oooooh, was it ever worth the wait!

How can you go wrong with Doctor Who in the first place?

Then, add on in this episode, Kylie Minogue, and better yet, she's playing a character named Astrid!!! I think I was obligated to love this episode from the get go.
I won't go into details, but oh my... so so good. I do love The Doctor. I waited for a long time for this premiere, and I am never disappointed.

I do know that The Runaway Bride (from the Christmas episode a couple seasons ago) is going to be the new Companion, and I am not sure how I am going to like that - she's no Billie Piper. But, I am prepared to go in with an open mind, and I will love it I am sure.

Still, Rose, how I miss you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites - Week 9

Dabu awakes and Jason is feeling Godlike in his Immunity win against Ozzy. Just in time for a Reward Challenge (that was quick!).

Jason and Natalie are chosen as leaders. Jason's team is Ozzy, Amanda, and Erik.
Natalie's is James, Parvati, and Alexis. Poor Cirie is sent to Exile, with nothing there for her but solitude. That sucks.
Jason is a pretty quick swimmer. The puzzle bit is tough. Ozzy made up all sorts of time in his leg, and wasted no time getting back, putting up a whole lot of puzzle pieces. The first attempt is wrong, but a little input, and Team Ozzy, Erik, Amanda, and Jason wins. They win a wonderful cultural/food reward.

You know, I wouldn't mind seeing that team go to the top 4. They are all good players, deserving, and mostly likable. They head to Yap for their reward. It was amusing when Erik was distracted by the topless women. "That's probably more boobs than I have seen in my life." Funny.

Erik became the butt of many jokes, too much beatle nuts and local beer, and then he got sick.

I bet Amanda was happy to have her Ozzy all to herself without Alexis insinuating herself into the situation.

Cut to poor Cirie on Exile, where it is pouring and miserable. She is set to scheming by herself, trying to figure out ways to get rid of Ozzy.

Back at Camp, James is trying to work, and Parvati griped at him for doing anything while people are trying to sleep. He is getting upset with her.

Have people not learned anything? Ozzy goes off about the food, in a seriously annoying and unwise move. No better way to piss people off than to brag about food. Parvati and Alexis were really annoyed with him. Amanda starts to ponder to James about the Threat of Parvati and her precious Girl Alliance.

Time for Immunity Challenge

There was an ominous wink between Alexis and Natalie as Jason handed over the Immunity necklace. Didn't like that.

It's an Endurance Challenge. Rather like one last season or the season before, with one hand tethered to a bucket above their head, standing on a log, big buckets of colored water poised to fall on their heads. Jeff enters with temptations. Cirie and Erik quit for a bowl of Candy, and then Alexis gets excited about the next hidden temptaion, followed by Natalie, and neither one of them get the Cookie and Milk, and James follows them (no Cookie). Alexis did some major pouting about being deprived of cookie, and I think that Jeff took pleasure in denying her. Ozzy disappointed me by being swayed by three chocolate glazed donuts. It's down to Parvati, Jason, and Amanda, and it started to rain. Amanda had to go pee and was forced to quit, that sucks.

Jeff comes out with the Ultimate Temptation, which is a Feast for Everyone. Cirie was crossing her fingers when she promised not to vote him out for the food. So was Amanda. That's just tricky. Jason decides to trust them, and everyone gets to eat, Parvati gets Immunity. This could spell trouble for Ozzy. The feast was on. I want to know why no one told Parvati that she should be the one to step down. I guess she is feeling stronger in her multitudes of Alliances. That was 6 and a half hours? That's crazy crazy crazy.

Ozzy is the first to say that he is still planning on voting for Jason. Cirie thinks that it is the best time to get rid of Ozzy, because he thinks he is in control. Parvati is flip flopping. Ozzy is a little too confident, I really think tonight would be the time for him to play the idol.

At Tribal Council, Ozzy is just a little too cocky about his position. This could be trouble for my fave. He does not play the Idol, and Cirie started looking pleased with herself. Nothing beat Eliza's bug-eyed reaction to Ozzy's ouster, but I was so sad. I hope that Amanda takes it all now. She was totally shocked. It'll be lonely on the beach for her now. And how sad is it that Ozzy was brought down in part by love of donuts?

Here's how the votes went down:

Jason - Ozzy
James - Jason
Amanda - Jason
Erik - Jason

Parvati - Ozzy

Alexis - Ozzy

Cirie - Ozzy

Natalie - Ozzy
Ozzy - Jason

I am saddened, but I also think Ozzy just got too comfy as king of the roost. I mean, he quit the challenge for donuts. He almost deserved his ouster.

Next week looks good, with the trickiness of trying to mend fences, and Girl Power trying to conquer all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Top Chef - 4/16/08

Spike starts out the show half naked and pissed That people wanted him off last week. Ryan did some yoga and Zoi's girlfriend is sad. Dale and Lisa have totally different personalities and don't get along. On to the Quick Fire.

Lots of Beer. Each chef can taste three beers before choosing one. The theme is Simple Pleasures.
Richard made a Grilled Tuna sandwich. No smoker in sight.

Andew made a Trout with Gastrique.

Dale made a Pork tenderloin dusted with pretzel dust. oops.

Antonia made Miso glazed Cod

Nikki - Citrus shrimp.

Stephanie - mussels with vinagrette

Mark - Juniper Lamb and honey

Ryan - lamb something

Spike - not sure what it was, but it was odd.

Lisa - Bacon Cheeseburger, with chips.

Jennifer amde seafood beigets. I can't spell that. They looked yummy.

Nikki, Spike, and Dale are in the bottom. Richard, Stephanie, and Jennifer get top marks, with Jennifer winning Immunity.

They are going to the Bears game to cook for a Tailgating party. The fans will pick top 3 and bottom 3.

30 minutes to shop, $350. Spike grabbed up 350 wings. Wow. Mark is feeling intruded upon when other people take shrimp, and with the best quote ever, "How can I throw a shrimp on the Barbie?"

The prep work for the Challenge was quick and pretty well done, including Mark exploding a blender. At the end, they run out of room in the fridge, and they actually tape the thing shut. Hope that the tape doesn't break.

Back at the apartment, there is some drinking and some men in a bubble bath. Wait, what?

At the challenge, they can choose between gas or charcoal grills, and Mark says he is the only one with "testicular fortitude" enough to use a charcoal grill. Funny.

Stephanie made a Pork Tenderloin with bacon something.

Dale made Ribs in a tandoori and potato salad. That looked amazing. I love Indian food, so hey...

Spike made wings with jicama pineapple slaw. That also looks good.

Antonia made jerk chicken. Mmmmm.

Ryan made bread salad, chicken, and poached pear and had the fans help him serve it. He was working the crowd, that's a plan.

Andrew made beer mustard glazed shrimp with potato parsnip puree with apple chutney and bacon. He's wearing a helmet and I am embarrassed for him.

Nikki made a pathetic portion of sausage and pepper, with store bought sausage, and she ran out of peppers and onion before the judges got there.

Lisa made Skirt steak and corn cake

Jennifer made chicken and quinoa tabbouleh

Richard made a Pate Melt. I want that.

Mark on his manly grill make chicken skewers with chowder, and it was a mess presentation-wise. That could bite him.

Time for Judges Table.

Antonia, Dale, and Stephanie go back first, and they are the Top 3. The winner was Dale, and I am happy with that. I want his recipe. I love Tandoori Chicken, and I would love to try ribs like that. Also, he is a Chicago native, and I think he wanted this win more than almost anyone.

In the bottom 3 are Mark, Nikki, and Ryan. Nikki's store bought sausage and lack of condiments and random shrimp was criticized. Ryan's elitist non-tailgate food with poached pears was criticized. Mark's rough chowder ("I didn't feel like straining it") and lack of presentation and tasting off a serving spoon was criticized. Any of them could be going home.

I was happy to see Ryan gone, he was really annoying. He refused to cook Tailgate food, for a Tailgating challenge. Stupid. Buh-Bye.

Next week is a Pastry challenge. That could be dangerous. The improv looks interesting.

Good week!

American Idol: Down to 6 - Results Show 4/16/08

After last night's suck fest, I wouldn't be surprised with anyone's ouster. I hope beyond hope that David Cook is safe, because he is the only one I can bring myself to care much about anymore. I didn't realize just how much I liked Michael Johns until he was gone. *sigh*

Starting out, we are treated (and I use that term loosely, very loosely) to a Group Sing featuring One Sweet Day. Please make it stop. You know what a sweet day will be? Tomorrow. When I never have to listen to another Mariah Carey song. Jason starts it out shaky and earnest, and then Kristy Lee takes over in a screechy solo. David Cook looks slightly embarrassed at having to sing this. The Top 7 are still bad at choreography that doesn't involve standing in formation and gesturing oddly, then marching to a new formation. There was a terrible attempt at a duet by David Cook and Syesha, where she ran off on a trilling run and seemed to lose the harmony completely. David Archuleta looked pleased, this is just the kind of boring stuff he dreams of recording someday.

I'm going to have to check out the song writing competition's finalists. It has to be better than last year's horrid offering of This is My Now. And look, they've brought one of the co-writers of that crap to the show tonight. I bet the other guy has realized his awful mistake and is somewhere shoving a butter knife in his ear.

Recap of last night, with Brooke pouting backstage at Simon's critique, because she didn't feel like she got enough pouting in last night. I really wish that David Cook had just sung his song in a slightly higher key, it would have been so much better, and I don't know why no one else has mentioned that it was too low for him!

There is a new twist in camera work, with the finalists backstage while Ryan, Max Headroom style, calls them out one by one via the monitor. That's weird.

The Couch of Comfort and the Stools of Sorrow are gone, and we are back to the two groups on either side of the stage. Because there are seven left, I predict Ryan is going to put them in two groups of three and have the final person choose between the two groups. He loves to do that. It's always awkward.

Jason goes into one group, and David Cook is dispatched to the other. Carly's style has reverted to 1983, apparently, and she also accuses Simon of being too hard on her. I don't know if that is smart. She joins Jason. Next is Kristy Lee, who calls Simon "a butt at times." She joins David Cook.

Ford Commerical time, and I actually kind of like David Archuleta's hair all slicked down. Not so much David Cook's. Captain Combover needs a bit of volume.

Now, it's time for Elliot Yamin and his New Teeth. Paula liked him. I didn't love it, but it was better than anything we heard last night. Sadly, Elliot's mother, who was always in the audience during his season, passed away this week. Now, that's just sad.

But let's not let the sadness get us down, it's time for more results!

Syesha is in the group with Jason and Carly. Brooke is out next, and she is grouped with David Cook and Kristy Lee and tries to sway the vegetarian vote by taking Simon's comment that she was like a meatless hamburger as a compliment. Somehow I don't think Simon meant it that way.

David Archuleta is alone back stage, with no group. My dream is that Ryan comes back from break and announces that David A. is gone, no need for the groups.

I'd forgotten the only bearable thing about last week's results show was the lack of Viewer Call ins. Guess they are back in full swing this week. We find out the Kristy Lee is not getting her favorite horse, the one she sold to come to the show, back. We learn what records the judges first bought, and Simon actually had a little zinger picking on Paula. Then, a called claims to be "the Megan from Paula's Show," and Paula obviously has no idea what she is talking about, and then she insults Simon using several of her own song titles. And David Cook is single. My goodness, can someone make this stop already?????

To add insult to injury, it's time for Mariah Carey to sing. I fast forwarded as much as I could, but then I caught up to live tv and had to hear her. Why do people buy this crap? I think one of the backup singers was trying to out sing Mariah, and there was some strange squeaking going on. I think this is worse than almost anything we heard last night. Mariah thinks so much of herself, it's sickening.

Back to the business at hand. Here comes David A to find out which group his is in. Kermit the Frog is safe for another week, but which group does he belong to? First, David Cook and Syesha are switched in their groups. Here comes the inevitable "Choose your Group," and David A. sat down in the middle of the stage, and then Ryan tries to get him to go to the group with David Cook, Carly, and Jason. When that fails, David Cook sits down next to him.

Bottom 3 is Brooke, Syesha, and Kristy Lee. That's about right. Syesha is sent to safety first, and Brooke is safe to warble and pout another week. Kristy Lee Cook is out, after weeks in the bottom. She at least has a good attitude about it. Ryan begs the man who bought her horse to return it. She is celebrated home, and I hate this song more and more every time I hear it. Kristy sings her boot off performance to Simon, which is cute.

Next week is Andrew Lloyd Webber Week. I predict David Archuleta will sing Memory from Cats. I wonder if anyone will sing On My Own from Wishing He Were Somehow Here Again? I bet that Brooke will sing Don't Cry for me, Argentina, and start bawling in the middle of it. And I would love to hear David Cook sing Heaven on Their Minds from Jesus Christ, Superstar. Still, Andrew Lloyd Webber is so much better than Mariah Carey, I cannot even put it into words.

Until next week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hell's Kitchen: 4/15/08

Tonight starts with Jen going on a tirade about Corey choosing her, and Christina was crying about the nomination. The men are questioning Corey's game play strategies, saying she played that card too early, which may be true.

The next day brings an apartment full of chickens. Ramsey calls the chefs and tells them each to grab one and bring it to the kitchen. Ramsey then makes a show of nearly beheading a chicken, but at the last moment, doesn't, and tells them to put the live chickens back in their cages. The challenge is to cut up chickens. Jason again ignited my anger by claiming that the men are going to win because they are men, and "this isn't the dusting and sweeping challenge." Idiot.

The women do really well, with I think four of them getting full marks and the others getting 6 out of 8 pieces.

Jason made another chauvinistic comment, before getting 6 out of 8. Petrozza and Ben bring in perfect scores. Craig only got 2 pieces, which sealed the women's victory.

As punishment, the men have to pick peppers on a hot day on a farm.

As a reward, the women get to go out to restaurants on Sunset Strip. I think that Ramsey likes to see women win things like this so that he can go on the town with pretty women.

Matt threw a little tantrum about Craig's inability to chop up a chicken.

Out on the town, the women and Ramsey run into Aaron, the crier from last year. I bet the producers knew, though Mr. Voiceover claims that Ramsey did not know he would be there.

Back at the apartment, Corey is not above using sex appeal to try to get the men to spill team secrets. And the first one (the only one!) to fold? Jason. Jason blabbing about all the others, to the lowly women.

Time for cooking. Bobby is made to cook tableside. Jason is put on the dessert station and has no idea what all the desserts are. Ridiculous.

What I think is funny is that Matt keeps picking on Craig, when he looks like he's going to cry all the time. Look in the mirror before complaining about others, Matt. Nuff said. However, Craig is sucking completely, and Jason throws a little tantrum about being put on the spot, then he still can't recite the menu, and he says he wants to go home. I hate almost nothing more than a quitter. At least he pulled it together and got the dessert menu down, just in time for Craig to get a piece of crispy bacon.

Over in the women's kitchen... am I the only one disturbed by Vanessa's ponytail hanging over the food? I have long hair, I know how it sheds.

Bobby served up some chicken table side, and out of desperation, cuts them up family style, and some diners on the women's side make SOS signs out of bread, which was amusing.

Jason again blames his inability to make desserts on the fact that he has testosterone. Men apparently can't bake, either. He's such a moron. Ben tried to serve nearly uncooked salmon, and Ramsey shuts it down.

Christina and Petroza are picked to nominate one person each from their team to nominate for eviction, there is no winning team.

Why do so many of these chefs smoke? Doesn't smoking mess with your palate? I have never smoked, but it seems to make a difference in how you taste things. I know it's a really high stress occupation, and that is probably the reason, but still.

Petroza nominates Jason, and Christina nominates Vanessa. Why does Jason think that he deserves to stay because he hasn't done well yet? Does Ramsey seem like the forgiving kind? Vanessa breaks out the tears.

Please excuse me as I do a Happy Dance, Jason is gone. "Maybe if I had cried like a chick, I would still be safe." I knew he was going to pull out one more zinger. He's so annoying. I am thrilled to not see him again.

American Idol: The Top 7 - Mariah Carey Night

American Idol, why must you torture me? First, you boot Michael Johns, and then you have an entire week dedicated to Mariah Carey? Are you kidding me?

Maybe it won't be as bad and painful as I anticipate, but I'm not holding my breath.

Let's get started then.

Oh, look, in the audience, it's Teri Hatcher, Murderess of Melody.

I don't care how many songs Mariah Carey has had at Number 1 on the charts, I barely know any of them, and I do not like the ones I do know.

David Archuleta (When You Believe) - Why am I not surprised that David A. is a huge Mariah Carey fan? His song choice sounds like everything he has sung to date. I am so bored. People are going to love this, because people love crap. (My dear readers excluded, I hope). Blahhhhhhhh. He sings the same kind of thing every week, and it is getting old. Got old for me about 3 weeks ago at least.

Carly Smithson (I Can't Live) - She looks fantastic! That is a beautiful dress, and a gorgeous necklace. The color is perfect on her. Home run, fashion wise. Very nice job working within her alto range, but then when she went up higher, it sounded strained and throaty and all over the place. I wish it had stayed how it was in the beginning. I ended up feeling kind of pained. At least she looked pretty. Randy is crazy, the beginning was the best part of the song.

Syesha Mercado (Vanishing) - Best so far, but that doesn't say much. I mean, she has a great voice, she sang the song really really well, but I just can't get her personality. She was kind of channeling Beyonce from Goldmember tonight. I guess she is the best yet, but. . . but, but, but. I don't know if I am going to remember her by the end of the night.

Brooke White (Hero) - No, but you know, but you know, why is she so inarticulate? She started out really shaky and off key. If she wasn't playing the piano, it would be even more obvious how off key she is. She was all over the place, the piano was boring, and didn't add much. She was randomly shouty for no reason. She looked super nervous, too. There was a closeup of her, and she was physically shaking like a leaf. Her dress was pretty, but that's the best thing I can say about the thing. And she doesn't shut her mouth when the judges are talking? Hush!!!

Kristy Lee Cook (Forever) - She's looking rather Barbie tonight. The song was not my least favorite. I mean, it was still Mariah Carey, it was still slightly sucky. Only slightly, though. Better than Brooke by a mile. She looked pretty. I guess that's something.

David Cook (Always Be My Baby) - He must have been so upset when he heard what the theme was this week. Again he starts a little low. Did he not get my note from last week (Mumble mumble, what?). It's just too low and kind of plodding. I can't really blame him, I blame Mariah Carey entirely. He tried his best to turn it into a Power Ballad, but it's hard to turn crap into gold. It's just always crap. Still, I think I will vote for him, because I don't want him gone. I cannot believe that Randy stood up for that. If he had gone up into a slightly higher key, it would have been soooooo much better. I think the judges really don't want him gone, because they are fawning over him so much. I mean, I don't want him gone, either, but they could have mentioned that you couldn't hear half of the song because it was too low. Just a mention.

Jason Castro (I Don't Want to Cry) - I think Mariah Carey was frightened of Jason's dreads. When she hugged him, she looked like she didn't want to touch them. I think Jason is the best of the night. He is still a bit nasal when he goes for the power notes, but he seemed to connect with the song better than in past weeks. The drums were kind of cool in the arrangement. The best part about it was that it didn't sound like a Mariah Carey song. Randy needs to leave the vague analogies to Simon. I thought this was the best performance of the night.

My bottom 3? Brooke, David A, and Carly. Brooke needs to go home after tonight, it was a total mess.

I think I will throw some votes out there for Jason and David Cook. Syesha and Kristy Lee were middle of the pack for me.

Please, please, please return to something decent next week? How about Songs You Like to Hear.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites - Week 8

Ozzy and the others at Malakal are still in disbelief at Ami "betraying" them, and Erik is feeling like the luckiest boy in the history of Survivor. I think that Ami "betraying" them wasn't the worst move, it was strategic, but the way that she handled it was very bad and led to her demise in the game. Shoot people in the foot, if you must, but do it in a clever way, so they don't hate you for it. That's the key in the game.

Over on the Airai beach, Eliza and Jason are having a clandestine conversation under cover of the nigh with only the bats in the cave to hear them. Jason told Eliza he has the (Fake)Hidden Idol, and she is excited by the prospect.

And it's merge time! Leaving their beaches for a completely new camp. How interesting. Erik tells Ozzy that he will be open about any power plays that others try to make. He says that he is like a monkey to Ozzy's zookeeper in the game. Kind of like Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat?

The girls alliance (Alexis, Natalie, Pavarti and presumably Amanda) in Airai make a decision to keep mum on their closeness. Let's see how long that works.

On their merge beast, a feast greets them, and Eliza is bitterly disappointed by the ouster of Ami.

It turns out that they can choose which former beach to live on, and they choose Malakal without question.

Part of the feast is grilled bats, and that's a bit icky. James claims it tastes like Juicy Rabbit. They name the new tribe Dabu, which Erik tells them means "Good," but then admits in confessional means nothing, he made it up. That is freaking hilarious, and I instantly like him more.

In the night vision, we see Ozzy getting cozy with Alexis, and that leaves Amanda looking rather jealous. Kicking the old girl to the curb, Ozzy? Not sure about that. Alexis is instantly on Amanda's Big List of People I Hate. And the claws come out.

Cirie is getting the heebies about the new people touching all of the former Malakal's stuff. Jason tries to get in with Ozzy, who realizes that he probably has the (Fake) Hidden Immunity Idol, and also seems to want to show Jason that there is only one Ozzy of Greatness.

Eliza and Pavarti are discussing the ouster of Ami, and Eliza is feeling pretty vulnerable, with Pavarti refusing to commit to alliance with her. Pavarti and Amanda reunite happily, and Pavarti complains about Eliza staring at her, and brings up the possible alliance with Alexis and Natalie. Amanda is not happy about that idea, in fact, she is angry and upset, because, as she put it, "I don't want to go up against Alexis at the end, she's a motivational speaker!" Well, that, and she's a dirty Ozzy-thief, but Amanda didn't mention that. This might be trouble for Pavarti! You don't make alliances for other people.

Jason pulled Eliza aside and promised to give her the (Fake) Hidden Immunity Idol if she loses the challenge, so that anyone they vote for would instantly be out if everyone else is voting for Eliza.

This could get really good.

At the Individual Immunity Challenge, Probst asks the new Dabu tribe their name, and Alexis tells him, and includes Erik's bogus translation. Probst says nothing, though I am sure he knows that it is a giant crock. I mean, it's not dead grandmother, but it's a good whopper.

The Challenge is mostly mental, as they have to stay under a grate as the tide comes up, submerging them more and more. Panic is the enemy. Amanda is out first, she says that she was dozing. Pavarti and Alexis are out next, followed by Cirie, who I did not expect to last as long as she did. Natalie is out next, followed by Eliza and Erik.

James, Jason and Ozzy are the final three. After breathing water for a while, James is out next. Jason wins it by a hair, and Ozzy looked really upset with himself. Is this when Ozzy is going to have to use his (real) Hidden Immunity Idol? Could they both be played? That could get interesting.

Back at camp, Jason is totally annoying about beating Ozzy. He claims he "dominated" Ozzy, and I think that is going a little too far.

Eliza overhears Pavarti, Cirie, and Natalie talking about voting her out, and scampers back to ask Jason for the (Fake) Hidden Immunity Idol. They go off to collect it.

Amanda tells Cirie that they should vote out Alexis, especially after seeing Ozzy chatting it up with her again.

Eliza unwraps the (Fake) Hidden Immunity Idol and flips out at Jason, sure that it is fake. She seems still willing to try to play it, and I am going to laugh.

Tribal Council

Probst wastes no time asking Alexis what she thought of the merge. She says that there are people who are strong Physical Players, strong Mental Players, and strong Social Players. Alexis then uses past tense talking about Eliza's game, saying that she "lacked" Social skills. Oops, Alexis. A little cocky, there?

Probst makes a crack about Eliza's giant eyes - "You can't miss your eyes when you roll them." That's funny. Then Pavarti also attacks Eliza for being a little snake. She pleads her case for staying in, by saying that she is unlikable, and that's why they should keep her. Nice.

And Eliza plays the stick. Ozzy looked like he was going to fall out of his chair laughing. Probst unwraps the stick, and tosses it in the fire, then Eliza outs Ozzy for having the real one. As Probst tossed the stick in the fire, Ozzy said "Come on, man, that took hours to make!" Classic.

Bye Bye, Skelator Girl.

The Votes go down like this:

Pavarti - Eliza
Alexis - Eliza
Natalie - Eliza
Jason - Ozzy
Ozzy - Eliza
Cirie - Eliza
Amanda - Eliza
Eliza - Ozzy
Erik - Eliza
James - Eliza

It looks like Ozzy's in danger next week. Hope he can work it out. I make no secrets of my favorites.

American Idol: Down to 7 - Results Show 4/10/08

I am totally unsure about who is going home this week. Last year, they balked at sending anyone home on Idol Gives Back Week, but they also didn't have a separate Results Show (if I remember correctly).

Randy's looking odd tonight (those sideburns are nearing mutton chop territory, and they look painted on), but Paula is looking nearly coherent. Simon looks ever like Simon.

Recap of last night - including recaps of two performances I fast forwarded through, and now I am happier than ever for my fast forwards.

A group sing - complete with the blasted choir - of Shout to the Lord. Gag. What if one of them was Jewish (or some other religion, or like me, none at all?). What a steaming pile of crap*. I want that time back, AI.

Next is a strange celebrity bad lipsynching video of I'm a Believer, with bad green screen mixing of the celebs together. That was also quite awful.

Down to the Business of the Night.

Who will be on the Couch of Comfort? Who will be on the Stools of Peril?

Brooke is full of excuses for her emotions, and is sent to the Sofa of Solace.

David Cook is out next, his hair in full attention (he looks a bit like a rooster), and is quickly told to join Brooke.

David Archuleta comes out next to discover his fate, there is much screaming of adoring fans in the audience. Despite being borrrrrring, he is also safe.

Before the break, Seacrest said "Look at the stools, what does that mean for the people backstage?" If that is his way of eluding to this being a waste of a results show, with no one being eliminated, I am going to be more than angry at wasting an hour of my time.

Forrest Whitaker takes us back to Sad Africa.

Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown perform No Air, which I actually kind of like. It's been stuck in my head for a while, from hearing it on the radio. Jordan is then presented with a bunch of plaques for having tons and tons of downloads. That's cool.

Ford Commercial time, and the effects were pretty cool.

Jason Castro is next up to be told his fate for the night. Ryan awkwardly asks him how much his ukulele cost, and it looks like it was a $600 well spent, as he is safe.

Kristy Lee Cook is next, with lots of blue eyeshadow. She is sent to the Sofas of Solace, which leaves Carly, Syesha, and Michael in the bottom 3. Michael I am of course really upset about, because he was the only one I really liked this week.

When Seacrest cut to the break, saying "Which one will have the lowest number of votes?" Carly gave a little wave and said "Me!" silently. I sure hope she is wrong. I think Syesha's time has come.

Idol Gives Back unites everyone, including all three Presidential Hopefuls. See, American Idol viewers, they DO care.

And ANOTHER break. Bahhhhh.

Syesha and Carly are safe, and Michael Johns is teased with the possibility of a non-elimination week like last year, but alas...

I, personally, am peeeeeeeeaved. He was seriously the only one I liked much at all on Tuesday, and I will absolutely miss him. I was not ready for him to be celebrated home, not at all.

Now I guess I just absolutely want David Cook to take it all.

I hope that Michael makes wonderful cds and gets a lot of air play. Go for it, Michael. Paula looked as shocked as I am. Shocked. I guess America likes terrible drivel songs. Michael got to sing us out, and couldn't hit the high notes, not surprisingly. Carly looked miserable. Now I wish she had been right in her prediction.

*Disclaimer for my religious readers, I don't have a problem with your religion, I just have a problem with crappy sappy songs