Saturday, February 28, 2009

American Idol Results Show - 2.26.09

Ha ha ha - just realized that I posted this on my other blog, which is about books I read with my kids. Ooops.


American Idol Results Show - 2.26.09

Blah blah blah, ba-waaaaah, This is American Idol.

blah blah stupid banter betwixt Ryan and Simon. Even Simon had enough of it, saying "Can it be a little less about me and more about the show?" I agree.

It's the dreaded Group Sing, and this week, it's Ne-yo's Closer. I could be sure that Nick/Norman didn't know all the words. Matt Giraud has got some insanely swively hips. They put Megan in hot red jeans, but couldn't keep down the shimmy/flail. Matt B. looked like he'd rather be not trying to dance. There was a lot of slightly uncomfortable close dancing, and I was glad when it was over. They sounded pretty good together, I guess, but it was just weird. I swear, Nick/Norman yawned when it was over.

After a recap, Ryan asked Nick/Norman what he would do if he didn't make it through, and he basically asked if anyone wanted to hire him. Matt B. stood up to talking back to Simon, and it was weird. Ryan tried to create drama that wasn't there. Jesse liked her song choice (so did I), and Jeanine agrees that she overcompensated, but still went showing as much legs as possible.

Allison is first to hear her results. I wish her hair was a different shade slightly. He pulled Jesse down with her before letting her know her fate. Also joining them was Matt B. Justice is served, and Allison is through. I hope to see Jesse back for the Wildcard show.

She got to do an encore performance of Alone, and she really does really remind me of Kelly Clarkson in the face. Her voice is raspier than Kelly's, but it works for her. I still can't believe this girl is just 16 years old. Amazing. I can't wait to see more of her, and I hope that she has a long run of it.

Next up, Megan and Kris are up, and are joined by Matt G and Jeanine. One of them is in the Top 12. I think it might be Megan. Jeanine is mercifully sent back to her seat, and no one is suprised. Matt is also sent back. I bet he will be back for the Wildcard, because the judges like him so much. Simon is in the pissiest mood I've seen him in in a long time. Kara was saying some things that made sense, and Simon just kept interrupting her.

In the end, it's Kris who is through (and I am pleased - I like him). Megan will probably be back for the Wildcard Show. Maybe between now and then, she can spend some time dancing in a straight jacket, because I really think her "I learned to Dance From Charlie Brown" is what did her in. Kris is a good looking guy, and I like him better than Roughneck Dude.

Time for some filler from season's past, and I fast forwarded. It's late, and that was unneeded.

Brooke White is back, too, for more filler. She's got some terrifically big hair, and she's behind a piano. She urges contestants to not google their names, so they probably won't be reading this blog. If they do, HI!

American Idol wants you to buy Brooke White's CD. I don't much care, so fast forwarding I go.

Back to the business at hand, Mishavonna, Kai, Nick/Norman, Jasmine, and Adam are up. Mishavonna, Kai, and Jasmine are sent back quickly. Agreed x 3. So, it's between Nick/Norman and Adam.

America voted, and Nick/Norman's time is done on AI. He was amusing, but I'm glad that he didn't make it. I want Adam to calm down the theatrics a bit, and I want him to lessen up the emo hair. I thought that his version of Satisfaction was appreciably better tonight than last night. I don't much care for his screechy high notes. David Cook could sing circles around him and not even break a sweat.

Nexy week it's Arianna Afsar, Junot Joyner, Kristen McNamara, Nathanial Marshall, Lil Rounds, Jorge Nunez, Kendall Beard, Scott McIntyre, Felicia Barton, Von Smith, Taylor Vaifanua, and Alex Wagner-Trugman. I like Alex and hope that Nate crashes and burns with his weird headband obsession, strange hair, and unfortunately beady eyes. He's got a good voice, but I just can't handle his style. I think that Lil is overrated, and Von is kind of cool. Scott is good, and he's got a great story, but vocally, I don't think that he competes.

Are you happy with tonight's results? What are you hoping to see next week, besides better songs performed better?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 2.27.09

Must the recap be so long and involved? I guess so.

Seth is feeling cocky about being spared. Giovanni let him know that he still doesn't think that Seth deserves to be there. Robert decided to lighten up the mood a bit with a Ramsey impersonation. He had some of the movements down pat. I wonder what Ramsey would say about it.

Bright and early the next morning, Ramsey gathered the chefs in the dining room, and asked who the strongest on the Red Team was. Carol said it was either herself or Andrea. Danny claimed to be the strongest on the Blue Team.

Hell's Kitchen is opening for breakfast, in 30 minutes.

The women delegated, and Seth broke out a recipe he had gleaned from a Gordon Ramsey book for eggs, and the others said he could run with it.

And who will they be serving? Kids! Pacific Coast youth football and cheerleading - the Red Team will feed the Cheerleaders, and the Blue Team will feed the Football players.

One kid ordered a tomato omelette without the tomatoes. Ok. I knew a kid once who ordered cheeseburgers without the meat, so... Colleen joined in cheering instead of cooking, excited that she could fit in her cheerleading uniform.

The blue team, in the meantime, quickly got their food out. The women were dragging. Coi couldn't get pancakes cooked.

Seth was incapable of cooking scrambled eggs in time, and while he was slowing things down, the women caught up and they each had 40 out of 50 served. The women picked it up and finally won a challenge. The cheerleaders cheered for them. Colleen tried, too, but spelled victory wrong in her cheer (V-C-I-T-O-R-Y). The satiated children swarmed around Ramsey to get autographs, which was funny.

As punishment for the men, they have to clean the very messy dining room and the very messy kitchens, and they also have to prep both kitchens for dinner service that night.

As a reward, the women will be going camping. No one is very excited. Then, Ramsey announces they will be Beverly Hills Style Camping, which is lounging, poolside. I'm sure Ramsey was happy to see the women win, as he urged them to get their bikinis.

Ben and Danny got into it, and Danny claimed to be the best cook ever, and there was cursing beeps all over the place. The women were not sad to hear tension in the men's team.

The women went to the "Pretty Woman" hotel, the Beverly Wilshire. That's pretty slick. They went to the pool and were waited on happily, including having suntan lotion (or was it block?) sprayed on them and rubbed in by an attractive pool boy. I wonder if the reward would have been different if the men had won.

When they returned, the men were still prepping, and the women rubbed it in. Still, the men didn't finish the prep before the women got down into the kitchen, and that wasn't good. Sabotage? Don't know.

Before dinner service, Ramsey asked the men if they had bonded as a team. They answered affirmatively, and I don't believe a word of it.

At the beginning of service, Giovanni's pasta water was not boiling, and that was not appreciated. Coi made a grave error on the women's team, and tried to cook pasta before it was ordered. Not acceptable.

Seth sent some scallops to the pass, but they were "rubber scallops." Ramsey made him eat it, and he didn't get the point.

Meanwhile, Andrea was looking for sauce that was not prepped beforehand, and went into the men's kitchen to look for it. Ramsey asked if the sabotage was on, and Ben got to the sauce. Coi was still unable to make proper spaghetti, and Ben's first attempt at the sauce was bad (he didn't taste it first - not smart). Danny got to making more sauce.

Andrea took some charge in the kitchen, and their appetizers went out finally. Danny's sauce was accepted, which made him feel really cocky.

Unfortunately, the men sent out a brown and disgusting hunk of romaine in the caesar salad. J admitted his mistake in third person ("J feels like a jackass." Now, J, never do that again). Ben started cooking entrees, and unfortunately, had terribly butchered lamb chops. Robert called them "pieces of carpaccio on a bone." Not good.

LA had to work with Colleen, and that was friction, because Colleen wants to chat, and LA does not. I side with LA.

Danny was on garnish, and there was chicken sitting at the pass waiting for mashed potatoes from him. And waiting.

Colleen couldn't seem to keep orders straight, and Seth couldn't stop flapping his gums while Ramsey was calling out orders. Then, he wiped his sweat with a cloth, and used the same cloth to wipe the pan. Ick. Yuck. Ick.

Some spaghetti lobster was sent back to the kitchen for being undercooked and having nearly no lobster in it. Food was being sent back left and right, and Coi dropped a plate about to go to the pass. Ramsey called it a loss for both teams, and shut the kitchens down. Both teams had to pick two people to go up for elimination.

After discussion, The Blue Team nominated Seth and Ben, even though Ramsey said that the butt of lettuce was one of the worst things he saw that night, saying that's how reputations are ruined in minutes. The Red Team nominated Colleen and Lacey, even though Coi offered to put herself up for elimination during the discussion. Coi admitted that it was her worst performance so far, but it looked like the nominations would stand.

The four nominees stated their cases. Ramsey sent Ben back to the line, and the person leaving tonight is Seth. I really dislike Colleen, but Seth needed to go.

As a twist, Lacey was transfered to the men's team. Robert was not pleased, but the women were thrilled.

In closing, Ramsey said "Seth had all the passion in the world, but he's a crap cook."

Survivor Tocantins: 2.27.09

Sorry this is late, I was out last night. This is why I love my dvr!

After Tribal Council, Erinn of the Superfluous N was trying to cover her butt because of her alliance with Candace. Coach thought that she was lying and had aligned herself with "the wrong person." That would be not Coach, of course.

In the morning, Erinn was feeling vulnerable still. She hopes to out-perform Sierra and Debbie. Jerry's stomach was not feeling right, and he skipped both dinner the night before and ate a very light breakfast of what looked like only rice. He professed to put on a strong facade and tried not to complain too much.

I think if I was going to be on Survivor, I would be getting my stomach used to lots of beans and rice beforehand. Just saying.

Over at Jalapao, there were attempts for fishing. They managed to catch a few minnows, and were trying to throw the net. They used the minnows as bait and JT caught some nice big fish, while Stephen caught what looked like another minnow. There was some Survivor feasting. Joe said that the fish tasted like victory.

Reward Challenge

6 members of the tribe will be blindfolded and tied together in pairs. The remaining tribe member will guide pairs through a maze - first to a water tower to fill buckets, and then back to a receptacle, and then repeat with corn.

Winning tribe gets comfort in the form of an umbrella, chairs, pillows, blankets, and a hammock. The winner also gets to choose a member of the loosing tribe to go to Exile, who will in turn choose someone from the winning tribe to go with them.

Joe is caller for Jalapao, and Debra is caller for Timbira. Each pair of people first needs to find water. Stephen is the first to get water with Spencer, followed by Sierra and Erinn for Timbira. Debbie screamed herself hoarse as Brendan and Jerry were completely inept at following directions. Jalapao quickly got three buckets of water, and Timbira had a different idea of all going in one long conga line. Jalapao got their water flag raised first, and quickly started on their corn, finishing before Timbira even had a chance to finish with their water.

Jalapao sent Brenden back to Exile, and chose Taj to go with him again. They will return in time for the Immunity Challenge. Coach looked particularly pissed at having lost.

He urged the tribe not to blame other people, and then went off with Tyson talking about how Sierra and Erinn flipped out during the challenge. Tyson said that Coach likes himself to be heard, and Coach called Tyson his assistant coach. Tyson said that if they get put on separate tribes, he's going to demand to be called Coach. Please, don't, Tyson. One of him is enough.

Jalapao was thrilled and set up their new tarp to keep the rain off.

Coach said that he wasn't going to worry about comfort, but was just going to worry about winning the game. He said that he would be burried in the sand up to his neck with tarantulas biting him, and he would still win. Somehow I don't think so.

Over at Exile, Taj got the clue this time.

You must search around,
You can and you should
The item desired
Is surrounded by wood.

She shared the clue with Brenden immediately. They seem to be forming an alliance. Taj told Brenden that if they can't get to Exile together again, they should choose Stephen and Brenden says her tribe should choose Sierra. What they are working on here is a four-member secret alliance that will hopefully make it to the merge. Clever.

Jalapao was comfortable with their new and improved shelter.

Time for Immunity Challenge.

Two members at a time of each tribe will race to roll giant tribe colored crates to the finish line, and then they have to stack the crates so that the design spells out the tribe name, and then the tribe members have to climb the stairs made by stacking the crates to get to the top of the tower.

First for Jalapao was JT and Taj, and Brenden and Debra went for Timbira.

Sierra and Tyson and Sydney and Stephen were out next. Joe and Sandy followed, and then Erinn and Coach. Brenden and Jerry and JT and Spencer raced out next. Coach and Tyson brought back the 5th block, and Timbira had a big lead. Spencer and Taj tried to make up some time. Taj wore a long dress to the challenge, and I don't know about that piece of logic. I lost track of some of those teams in there, but all that matters is that Timbira started stacking first. Jerry was feeling very badly.

Timbira started their stacking first, led by Erinn, but hit a bit of a roadblock. Jalapao made up a lot of time, and they were neck and neck at the end. Sandy got smooshed by a crate, but Jalapao managed to get theirs done first, and Jalapao took immunity.

Back at the Timbira camp, Erinn noticed that Jerry was really not feeling well. Coach said that she got an "evil look" in her eyes when she realized that she might be safe. He really wants to keep with Erinn, and went to Sierra and Debbie and told them that he wanted to surround himself with people with integrity. We'll see if they buy it.

Tyson went to Jerry and told him to be strong because they still wanted to vote for Erinn. We'll see about that.

Brenden, in search of the Idol, went to check out the statue next to Tree Mail. He felt all around it, and finally lifted it's grass skirt and lo and behold, found the Idol! Huzzah!

He immediately buried it in the woods.

Jerry claimed to be feeling somewhat better, but Tyson was hoping for a blindside, saying "I love seeing people cry when you crush their dreams." He is becoming one of the more quotable people this season.

Tribal Council

Tyson said that they just need to regain momentum, and Probst said that he noticed that Erinn was offering help at the Challenge, but people were ignoring her. Brenden thinks that the tribe communicates well, but Jerry said that the team needs a leader, and thought it should be Brenden. Coach thinks that of course, he should be the leader, and said that he told people with his eyes that they should grab what they grabbed on the truck in the beginning. I wonder how that telepathy is working for him. Erinn thought that maybe he wants to be leader, but it's something that Brenden does better. Coach of course thinks that he is the better leader. Of course he is. He also claims that it's not about ego. Right.

In the end, Coach ended up - what's this? - voting for Jerry instead of "Evil" Erinn, and sick Jerry is sent packing. I am sad, because I think Jerry had a lot of potential, but I am happy that Coach found out that his word is not gospel.

Next week, Sydney turns on the flirting, and Tyson is going to go a little insane and get to naked grass skirt dancing. Taj is going to bring her idea of a secret cross-tribal alliance to Stephen. This could get good. Now - if they bring JT in on that Alliance, it could be a winner!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Top Chef - 2.25.09

Finale Time!

Hosea has a lot to prove, Carla is hoping to go steady to win it, and Stefan is cocky.

The final challenge is to cook a three course tasting menu, with or without dessert. They will be serving to a table of 12 guests.

And of course they have help.

Richard, Casey, and Marcel, from previous seasons.

Hosea drew knife #1 and chose Richard.

Stefan chose Marcel, which is funny, because Hosea said that Marcel reminded him of Stefan, and then Stefan admitted that Marcel is "kind of a twat, but who isn't?"

Carla happily chose Casey.

Hosea absconded with foie gras, and that made Stefan pissed. Hosea also snagged all the caviar.

Casey told Carla that she should sous vide the sirloin, and Carla has never used that before, but Casey taught her how.

After prep, they were treated to a voodoo tarot card reader, and Stefan wanted to know if he had a chance at romance with a girl named Jamie.

I guess "lesbian" reads "challenge" to him.

Next morning, they are told they have to make a fourth dish - a passed appetizer, with New Orleans traditional ingredients. They are choosing who gets what with a King Cake. Whoever gets the baby gets to choose who gets what - Alligator, Fish, and Crab.

Hosea got the baby, and chose Redfish, gave Carla crab, and Stefan was saddled with Alligator.

They returned for more cooking.

Hosea's menu (minus the appetizer) is:

Trio of sashimi
Scallops and Foie gras with pain perdu
Venison loin with wild mushrooms.

Stefan's menu (minus the appetizer) is:

Halibut & Salmon carpaccio
Squab with braised red cabbage & schupfnudeln
Ice Cream & chocolate mousse with vanilla syrup & lollipops

Carla's menu (minus the appetizer) is:

Seared snapper with saffron aioli & crouton
Sous-vide ny strip steak, potato rod with merlot sauce
Cheese tart with apple coins and marmelade

The special guests include Fabio, and Ti Martin, who's place it is.

Hosea's appetizer is blackened red fish on corn cake with creole remoulade and micro cilantro. It looked really delicious.

Stefan's (cockily prepared) appetizer is alligator soup with celeriac and parsley and puff pastry. It went over well.

Carla's appetizer is shiso soup with blue crab and salsa. It also seemed to go over well.

Rocco Dispirito, Hubert Keller, Branford Marselis, Fabio, Susan Spicer, John Besh, Tory McPhail, and Ti Martin join Gayle, Toby, Tom, and Padma, in the tasting.

The first courses are served. John Besh thought that Carla's dish was something special. Others agreed. Hosea's dish didn't pop "in the mouth" though it looked pretty, and Fabio thought it was underseasoned. Tom didn't like Stefan's technique of freezing his fish to slice it thin.

The second courses are served. Hosea obviously worked with Richard, with foam galore. Carla's meat is tough, so the sous-vide was not a good idea. Stefan's squab was very good and very him. Gayle adored Hosea's dish. Rocco said he was tired of foie gras. Poor guy. Let me get him a tissue. And then I'll steal his foie gras.

The third courses are served, and Casey's other idea about making a souffle instead of a tart for the cheese course also backfired, because the oven wasn't turned down, and the souffle curdled. Carla decided not to serve the souffle because it was not right. Carla chose to tell the judges about her failed souffle. Gayle said that she is disappointed to not see the souffle, but was glad to know it was supposed to be there, and she called Stefan's dessert dated. The judges seemed to like Hosea's dish.

Fabio grudgingly gave the edge to Hosea. Others disagreed with him, so we'll see. Carla is feeling low, saying that it was not the best meal of her life, and that's sad.

Judge's Table

Carla's appetizer and first course were good. The meat and potatoes dish got good marks for sauce, but that's about it. Casey's suggestions of sous-vide and souffle brought her down, and Tom said that she suffered because she let her sous chef talk her out of the food that got her to where she is, and that's not the best idea.

Hosea admitted that it was fun to stick it to Stefan a little. The judges said that they wanted more seasoning from the sashimi. They loved his second course, and the venison went well, too. Toby said that the meal had a beginning and two middles, because there was no dessert.

Stefan's first trip into cooking alligator was very good. Gayle called him on his carpaccio tasting watered down, and Tom called it bland. The squab was very strong.

Carla broke down in tears, saying her food is good when she makes it. She allowed Casey to steamroll her a bit, and it didn't go well. I wish we had seen her original menu.

There was much discussion about who the winner should be.

In the end, it is Hosea, and I am pleased. Pleased, pleased, pleased. I wanted Carla to win, but she blew it at the final moments. Stefan was so damned cocky, and such an ass, I just couldn't stand it if he won. Poor Carla.

Hootie Hoo to you, Carla.

And congratulations to Hosea.

I love Top Chef.

American Idol - 2.25.09

It's time for the second batch of 12, and let's hope that they do better than last week, shall we?

Kara says there are no second chances. Wonder what she calls the Wildcard show, then?

And is it just me, or is Alexis looking a bit like Hermie? I'm just saying.
Jasmine Murray (17, Mississippi) Love Song - Sara Borelis. I have thought previously that Jasmine is totally overrated, and this song doesn't start out well for her. Her tone is nice in the low notes, but she can't hit them, and when she gets to the even slightly higher notes, she gets shrill and shouty. She knows how to work the stage and the camera likes her, but I still stand by my thought that she is entirely overrated. She got on her best Carrie Underwood Strut, but I don't think it did any good for her. Randy said it was pitchy and said it felt weird. Kara said that she is young and commercial, but agreed that it was all over the place. I am so happy that the judges are agreeing with me so far. Paula said that she wanted to disagree, but she couldn't. She did like Jasmine's confidence. Simon said that she has a great look, great attitude, and the confidence, but unfortunately, she doesn't have a good voice. He thinks perhaps she needs to mature into her voice a bit more. I am so happy that the judges didn't fall all over her, because they have in the past.

Matt Giraud (23, Kalamazoo) Viva La Vida - Coldplay. The dueling piano player is a favorite of mine from the beginning. He seems really nervous and I heard that in his voice. It caused him to lose some control and sound shaky, but his tone was really good. He didn't rock out the chorus like it kind of needs, and his high notes were simply not there. I wanted him to do better than this, but I think sadly, he's gone. The end was a complete mess, when he went off on some runs. Just a complete travesty. Oh, Matt. Kara told it like it was, saying that he chose the total wrong song, and though he blew her away in Hollywood, this didn't show what he's capable of. Paula said he was a favorite of hers in Hollywood, and said it was a really risky song. She said his performance was better than rehearsals were, and that makes me wonder how awful he was in rehearsal. Simon said that it was verging on terrible, calling it a jerky strange wannabe popstar. Randy said that he is still rooting for Matt, but he needs to work it out. In other words, Randy said nothing of consequence.

Jeanine Vailes (28, DC) This Love - Maroon 5. Did we see her at all before? She has a good tone, but seemed off the timing of the song, and completely off key. She said that she wanted to do something that she was comfortable with, and I sure would hate to hear her try something that pushes her limits. She was ardent, but didn't seem to understand the meaning behind anything she was singing. It was horrendous. Paula complimented her legs and had nothing more to say and passed it on to Simon, who said it was painful, a struggle, and a completely inappropriate song - but agreed that she has fantastic legs. Randy said that the best part was the end, because it was over. Kara said that so much is pretty about Jeanine, but said that the song was entirely overdone, and that everything about it was wrong. Jeanine said that she wanted to prove herself because she was underexposed before. Randy said it would have been better if it had been in tune, and Simon said that she was better under the radar. Jeanine did some begging for votes, and it was almost pathetic. Paula said that she was suprised to hear that Jeanine felt confident and comfortable with the song. Kara came right out and said that Jeanine doesn't deserve a spot in the top 12. Jeanine tried to pull the age card, because she's one of the oldest in the competition this year. Um... then she should have had more time, theoretically, to become a good singer. She failed.

Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle (27, CT) And I'm Telling You. Oh god, he's come out as Norman. In shorts. And a suit jacket with tails. If that stern man in the audience was his father, he did not look amused. He stripped off the Norman costume bit by bit, and ended with a very impressive long and strong note, but seriously? I'm kind of speachless. Simon says that he prays that Nick/Norman doesn't get through to the next rounds, and called it horrific comedy. Randy said it was one of the most entertaining, even though the vocals weren't all there. Kara said at least he is memorable, and, like Simon, he wears the same shirt every week. She says that she doesn't see him in the music market, but he's amusing. Paula said that singers come in all shapes and sizes, and she said that he seems to be channeling Olivia Newton John half the time, and says that he's fun and memorable, but this is probably not the stage for him. I'd tend to agree.

Allison Iraheta (16, LA) Alone - Heart. She was funny with Ryan beforehand, complaining about having to go to Idol High School, just in a room with the tutors. Carrie sang this song and I thought it was atrocious then. Allison has an amazing natural voice. When she got into the rocking part, she gave me chills. She did have a couple rough bits, but I'll forgive them for the awesome bits. Let this be a lesson to you, Jeanine - THIS is how you come from previous underexposure to be amazing and memorable. Randy said that she blew it out da' box. Kara said that Allison doesn't even know how good she is. Paula is the first to pull out the "you could sing the telephone book," line. Could we please retire that phrase? It was old when she said it about Justin, and not true. Paula said that Allison has a Kelly Clarkson vibe, and I'd agree. Simon said that she transformed on stage, and that she was without a doubt the best of the night so far. Yes, I agree.

Kris Allen (23, Arkansas) Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson. From the first note, I was worried. I think it was too low for Kris, and though he has a decent tone to his voice, he seemed really awkward on stage. I don't think that he's bad, but I don't think that he's memorable. He definitely got better as he went on into the song (while the back-up singers tried their best to outsing him). Ok, I might change my mind about him... the end was quite strong, and his long notes were impressive. The very last couple notes were rough. Kara agreed with me, and said that the back half was better than the first half, which was rough. She said that it was the wrong song, though, because it didn't show what she fell in love with in Hollywood. Paula dropped some songwriter's names, and said that she thought he was charming and nailed it. Simon agreed - shocker - with Paula. Randy said that he thought he would miss the guitar, and didn't. He called Kris "baby," and Simon objected in the background as Ryan fought to take back control. Gotta love live tv.

Megan Joy Corkrey (23, Salt Lake City) Put Your Records On - Corrine Bailey Ray. She's another one with an adorable son. She's got a great jazzy voice and I love it. I despise her dress, though. It looks like she stole it out of her childhood dress up trunk - and didn't jive with her sleeve tatoo. She had a weird shaky thing going on with her arms and hips - like if you make a barbie doll dance, and they can't move at all the proper places. She had some issues with the high notes, but she's so unique in her tone. I think that Allison was way stronger, overall, but Megan did well. Paula said that she picked the right song, and that she is interesting, relevant, hip, and the camera loves her. Simon called her a funny little thing, but thought that it started out really well, but then she went out and oversang the second part of the song and got shouty. I would agree with that. Paula kicked in saying that Megan reminds her of Nelly Furtado, and I can see that in her face. Randy loves the smokey jazz thing and wants to see more. Kara called her a package artist, and that she could be a breakout hit artist. I really dig her voice.

Matt Breitzke (28, Oklahoma) If You Could Only See - Tonic. Even though his movements looked like he was moving in slow motion, his voice was all there, and I was digging the acoustic beginning of the song. I like him much more than Roughneck Dude who made it through last week. I think by far the strongest guy of the night, overall, based on pure potential. He has a really good tone, and I enjoy him. Simon said that he really likes Matt, but he hated that song, and wished he could have talked him out of it. He thought that the performance was uncomfortable, and is disappointed. Randy agreed that the performance was boring, and was "cool Matt," and should have shown more energy for the song. Kara said it was one-dimensional. Paula said that the song didn't celebrate who they fell in love with. I wish that his performance had been better (it was very odd, in a stuck in quicksand kind of way), but I still liked his voice.

Jesse Langseth (26, Minnesota) Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes. She has a really sweet 8 year old daughter, and she's the one who won the sing-off with Frankie, so she'd better rock the song. The start was good, though I wish she wouldn't squint at me. I think Jesse needs bangs, pure and simple. Back to the vocals, it was strong. I would like to hear more of her, please. I just wish she would open her eyes. Maybe she was going for Bette Davis Eyes. Randy called it uninteresting, and wanted more. Jesse asked what kind of more (and not in an annoying way). Randy said he wanted more range. Kara said that she took some risks and she liked it. Paula said that she really liked it, and said that she kept remembering Jesse during auditions. Simon worried it was forgettable, and "too school for school." Jesse seems pretty cool. I wouldn't mind seeing more of her. She's not better than Allison, though.

Kai Kalama (27, California) What Becomes of the Broken Hearted. He has a great look, but I could do without the snarly face he kept giving. I kind of want his hair to be longer or shorter. It's at an odd mushroomy length right now. Still, he sounded decent. Nothing to get super excited about, though. Megan was doing her strange little shaky dance up in the balcony, and I wonder if she learned to dance from her son. Kara said that she really thinks Kai is a good guy, but thought he had some pitch issues, and found the song old-fashioned. Paula said that it's obvious that Kai likes throwback songs, and it was really good except where he fell off-pitch. Simon said that he has heard many performances like it in the past few years, and found the performance corny. He said that Kai would make a good back-up singer. Randy agreed, and called it a really safe performance.

Mishavonna Henson (18, California) Drops of Jupiter - Train. We saw pretty much nothing of her previously, so she'd better impress. She's got a fantastic voice on her, though I could do without the bubble skirt, please. She had a bit of a nasally tone at times, but if she can get away from that, she's got a good voice. She sang the song like she was annoyed, scowling throughout, and I'm not sure about that choice. Her last note was a little rough. Paula said that she is a fan of Mishavonna's voice, but didn't like the song choice. Simon said that he finds Mishavonna to be really serious, and for some reason, the performance left him cold. Randy agreed with Simon that she seems much older than she is. Kara wanted her to loosen it up a bit. I would agree with that. Then Paula sneezed and the judge's comments were over. Mishavonna attested that she is, in fact, crazy, and not so serious as she seems, so we should vote for her.

Adam Lambert (27, Hollywood) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones. I wanted to like Adam, but he just can't help channeling his inner Liza Minelli on high notes. My husband hates him because he killed a Stones song. He's a bit too much, honestly. I think he seems cocky and too self assured, and that works better in musical theatre than in this kind of competition. His emo hair seems forced, and I wish he wasn't quite so dyed. I didn't hate him as much as my husband did, but still... I'm torn. Paula thinks it's the Adam Lambert concert, and would have kissed his shoes, I think. Simon said parts were excruciatingly bad, and some parts were brilliant. I would agree with that. Randy said that he is the most modern person on the show, and said it was a bit manic, and called it da' bomb, and tried to get the Twilight fans behind Adam, saying he was like Robert Pattison. Kara complimented his range, and I agree with that. I think he has some fans, so I would not be surprised to see him go through.

My votes are going to Allison (05), Megan (07), Kris (06) I think, and Matt (08). I'll throw one or two at Jesse (09), too. I liked her. This one is much harder than last week, when most everyone sucked. This week, only half of them sucked.

Who are you rooting for?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Amazing Race - 2.22.09

After last week's fun start, I am really looking forward to seeing where this week takes the Race.

Margie and Luke are first to leave, and have to fly to Munich, Germany, and then drive themselves to the town of Rupholding. Tammy and Victor borrowed their driver's cell phone to call and make reservations for their flight. That is a good idea. Many other teams have the same idea and many plans are made en route to the airport. Steve admits that he didn't treat Linda very well last week, and then berated her for wearing her rain jacket in the cab. Yeah, he's a quick learner. For Linda's part, she's hoping for a beer challenge in good ol' Germany.

I actually think that Margie and Luke were the only team who did not obviously borrow cell phones. They still managed to get the 7:10 flight, along with Jamie and Cara, Kisha and Jen, Steve and Linda, Mel and Mike, Brad and Victoria, Amanda and Kris, and Tammy and Victor.

The other teams got on an 8:45 flight.

Once in Germany, the teams got the happy driving experience of the autobahn.

Tammy and Victor are the first to arrive in Rupholding, and then Amanda and Kris have to wait 15 minutes for the next cable car up the mountain.


Teams must choose an instructor, and one member must paraglide in tandem down the mountain. The other team member takes the cable car back down. If wind conditions are unsafe, they can wait for them to improve, or just take a 60 minute hike down the mountain.

Tammy is first, and the wind conditions were unsafe, so she took the hike. Mel hurt his groin last week, so he decided to just wait. Victoria decided to take the hike, along with Kris. Cara was waiting, but Margie went on the hike. Luke (who likes Cara and Jamie) told them to do well. Cara waited a while longer and then decided to do the run. Linda ran too. Christie was waiting, but decided to run. Mel tried to tell Mark and Michael not to be afraid, but I think he forgets that he's trying to frighten stunt men. Mark (or Michael, I don't know them apart yet) decided to do the run. Everyone else decided to run, too, leaving Mel waiting for the wind to change.

And change it did!

While he was about to take off, Tammy arrived at the bottom of the mountain, and they got the next clue.

Teams must drive 25 miles to Schonau am Koningsee where their next clue awaits.

Margie came in second, followed by Kris, then Victoria. Linda got a little lost on the hike, and Cara and Mark and Jen passed her, followed by Christie.

Mel landed and brought them in fourth.

It's Detour Time.

Balancing Dolly - Ride a segway along a 2 mile obstacle course.

Austrian Folly - Throw pies at targets (their partner's face), until they find a cherry pie.

Tammy and Victor chose the pies, and found the cherry filling quickly.

They have to travel on foot to the woodcutters, who will cut a small piece of wood for them, and give them their next clue.

They have to drive to Saltzburg and find Schloss Hellbrun, the Pitstop.

Meanwhile, Mark and Cara got to the bottom of the mountain, followed by Jen, while Linda wandered around the German countryside, completely lost. She worried most about what Steven would think. Christie showed up in the right place, and Linda wandered by a road crying.

She was rescued by a German driver, who brought her back to the cable cars. Penalty there, I'm sure.

Tammy and Victor arrived first at the pitstop, and each won a hybrid gokart. Phil commented about their pie encrusted fashion statement, but it didn't matter because they were first.

Amanda and Kris also chose the pie throwing, and also had quick luck finding the cherry pie, and enjoyed tasting bits of it as they went to the woodcutters.

Mel and Mike decided to do the Segway (claiming to be Segway pros), and though Luke wanted to do the Segway, Margie wanted to do the pie, so pie they did. Mel and Mike were very quick with the Segways, so maybe they have a set at home.

Cara and Jamie chose the Segways, as did Kisha and Jen and Michael and Mark. Linda and Steven and the Christie and Jodi did the pies. Christie and Jodi couldn't find the proper wood cutter, and just took off with a big log, wondering who would stamp it for them. I do not like them. Not one bit. Steven and Linda got their cherry pie, and went in search of the right woodcutter.

Mel and Mike came in second (after trying to scale a closed gate, and finally getting it opened for them, but not before they got an awesome raised eyebrow from Phil), followed by Amanda and Kris, and Margie and Luke, then Brad and Victoria. Jamie and Cara came in next. Michael and Mark got lost on the way, and Kisha and Jen were also having power struggles.

It was a battle at the end, with Kisha and Jen coming in 7th, but Jen admitted that Kisha is driving her nuts. Mark and Michael came in 8th, and Christie and Jodi came in 9th. Steve and Linda came in last, and were eliminated. I am not sad to see them go, though I appreciate the determination. There were pie-encrusted tears (on their part - I am sadly pie-free)

Next week, looks like some drama in store. Amanda and Kris have a problem with a disappearing fanny pack. Can't wait!

(I think I am rooting for Brad and Victoria. They just seem cool. I also like Margie and Luke, and maybe Cara and Jamie.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 2.19.09

It was a good start - and I am still sad that Ji had to quit. Lacey and Colleen need to go. Soon. Andrea is peaved to have lost her, and Lacey accused her of "turning on her bitch switch." Andrea wished that Lacey had been the one to fall and twist her ankle. I can't help but agree.

The chefs didn't get to bed until 3, and then were awoken with banging pans at 6 AM, and brought to an undisclosed location.

Before they went inside, Chef Scott asked if anyone had a heart condition or was afraid of heights. No one opted out. They had to get into protective clothing and grab barf bags.

Enter the meat processing plant.

They got a tour of the anatomy of a cow. Colleen's grandmother was a butcher so felt confident.

Their challenge involved big plastic cows, and had to identify cuts of beef. First, one person had to identify the cuts of meat, and then had to locate the cuts on the cow.

Ben went first and got one wrong. Giovanni had to figure out what to switch. Andrea got two wrong and had to replace two. The men were correct on the cuts first. Paula got the cuts of meat right for the women. The men's first chance at the cow was 3 wrong, and so was Colleen's attempt. Seth rearranged the cuts with confidence and the men ended up with 7 wrong after his go. Lacey and Robert went head to head, and Robert still ended up with 6 wrong. Lacey upped the women's mistakes to 6. Ben and Paula went against each other on the next round, and Ben was quicker and won it for the men.

The women have to butcher sides of beef.

The men get to go wine tasting and have a steakhouse dinner. They are going to be taking a private jet. Robert got all spiffed up, and turns out that he was supposed to be getting married on that very day, but they decided to put the wedding on hold for his chance on the show.

The women had to move the sides of beef off the truck, and Lacey was useless. No one liked it much. It was about 1200 lbs of beef per trip, and then they had to butcher it (hope they are doing a good job with it).

The men happily chow down on their steak after their vineyard tour.

The women have tastings of the less popular parts of the cow - tongue, hearts, liver, served with a side of barf bags. Andrea used the barf bag liberally, and gave the team a tearful "I hate losing" speach.

I don't know how those cuts were prepared, but I've had tongue, heart, and liver, and it's not bad prepared well. Ramsey must have had them prepared in the worst possible way.

The men returned to gloat while the women finished their butchering. It was annoying.

Because of their experience with meat during the day, and the huge amounts of beef in the kitchen, Hell's Kitchen is going to be a Steakhouse, with one team cooking and the other one serving, switching on and off.

Andrea gave a (better, less pukey) pep talk, and the women vowed to win.

The men cook first, and dedicate the night to Robert and his fiancee. Each team will have two hours to feed as many diners as they can.

The women had troubles writing out their tickets. Giovanni thought they were being slow on purpose to sabotage the men. Ben decided to make dessert and it was ready before the appetizers. With ice cream. What?

Lacey delivered a caesar salad with anchovies and the diner didn't want anchovies, and almost cried when she had to return it and Ramsey got mad at her.

Meanwhile, Giovanni, who is an executive chef at a steakhouse, couldn't cook steak properly. He sent some out practically mooing, and others were too well done. Lacey forgot to bring a ticket up, and they only had one fillet left. Seth was told to cut some more fillet, and failed entirely, bringing the wrong meaning to the word butcher. Ramsey was pissed at the waste, and Giovanni said that he molested the fillet - "People have gone to jail for less than that!"

The kitchens switch off, and it's the women's turn to cook. Andrea started out by hollering at the men that she wanted some orders, and very nearly swore at the dining room. Charlie couldn't remember if he had taken orders for tables, and asked Ben to find out for him. Colleen couldn't get orders right in the kitchen, and then men were entertaining the diners in the meantime. Ramsey had Colleen repeat the orders over and over again. 45 minutes into service, and salads are leaving the kitchen, but coming back, because Koi's shrimp was raw.

Charlie was busy dropping bacon all over diners and their table, and Jean-Phillippe was really upset with him.

Andrea was cooking the steak, and it was going out. A lot came back, but Ramsey said that most of it was actually cooked as it was ordered, and accused the men of trying to sabotage. Carol heard an order wrong and the last one messed up, losing a NY Strip thinking it was supposed to be a ribeye.

The worst waiter on the men's team is deemed to be Charlie. The worst waitress is unsuprisingly Lacey. The winner, serving more food, was the women. As much as I want to see Lacey and Colleen gone, I think the women did a better job.

The men had to decide who to send up for elimination. Seth, Charlie, and Giovanni were brought up. Hard choice. Charlie because he was inept in the dining room? Giovanni because the steak chef couldn't cook steak? Seth because he couldn't butcher or cook?

The men nominated Seth for lack of "kitchen ettiquette" and Charlie for being so horrible in the dining room. Seth asked for a person by person vote, and J said that Ramsey asked him who was nominated, so Seth should shut his mouth. Ramsey denied Seth's request.

Charlie said that he could cook, and needs to learn Ramsey's way. Seth says he has a lot to learn, and loves being yelled at, and then absolutely absolutely talked too much in his defense. Ramsey asked where the off button was for Seth, and eliminated Charlie, saying he didn't feel Charlie's committment and talent after three services.

Survivor Tocantins: 2.19.09

Jalapao was working hard to make some fire back at camp with their newly acquired flint they picked up from Tribal Council. Sandy gloats to herself about how Carolina kept her in the game. Spencer confessed that Sandy is next to go. We'll see.

The next morning, they were happily sampling some local produce, but Joe declared they need protein, and suggested termites. They found a termite hill and went grub and termite hunting. Spencer was all for it, being a hungry teenager.

Cause nothing beats a big fat grub.

Over at Timbira, Sierra enlisted Brenden to help her find the idol, because he was the one who didn't vote for her in the beginning. The others were concerned that they hadn't seen them for a while, and Debbie caught them digging a massive hole in the beach.

Quick thinker, Sierra told her that they were building a massive fire pit. Candice looked dubious and said that she didn't think the effort was worth it, and she would just stay at camp.

Sierra admitted in confessional that she didn't really think it was worth the effort to keep looking for the idol because it would just make people suspicious. Good point.

Coach is hungry. There are cooking discussions with lots of thoughts of lovely spices and limes, but it seems like a pipe dream. Candice wants to cook the rice and beans at the same time. Coach disagreed, because Coach thinks he's always right. Coach thinks that Candice is just like him. Candice thinks (correctly) that Coach has an ego the size of Brazil.

Over on Jalapao, Taj revealed that she is married to a famous NFL player, and Stephen feels left out because he has no idea who it is. JT thinks that maybe Taj doesn't need the money she'd get from winning Survivor...

- Immunity and Reward (for fishing gear)

It began to rain as the challenge started. Three members from each tribe (at a time, even men and women) will race through the water to grab a ball. Members from the other tribe will try to stop them from getting baskets in any way possible. First to 3 baskets wins.

It's like Team Powerball. In the water. In the rain.

It's kind of awesome.

Debra's sitting out.

Taj, Stephen, and Sydney from Jalapao are taking on Sierra, Candice, and Tyson for Timbira. Candice scored after much back-and-forth, and Timbira leads it 1-0.

Next round is JT, Joe, and Sandy for Jalapao, taking on Erinn, Brendan, and Tyson for Timbira. Tyson scored for Timbira.

Third round is Candice, Sierra, Erinn for Timbira vs. Sierra, Taj, and Sydney for Jalapao. Taj had a power run, but missed the basket. Sydney rebounded and got one in for Jalapao.

Fourth round is JT, Joe, and Spencer for Jalapao vs. Brendan, Coach, and Jerry for Timbira. JT scored for Jalapao and Coach sucked.

Fourth round is Stephen, Sydney, and Taj vs. Sierra, Candice, and Tyson. It was a crazy battle for the winning point. There was thunder and lightening in addition to the pouring rain (was it really safe to be in the water???), and Stephen scored finally for Jalapao, winning it.

Jalapao sent Brenden to Exile, and as we learned in the Survior Preview, he got to choose someone from the winning team to go to Exile with him. He chose Taj.

It seemed to stop raining as soon as they got out of the water. How's that for irony?

Back at camp, JT was impressing Stephen by teaching him how to tie knots and fish. Stephen wanted to be the best spear fisherman ever. JT said they had better be there for a while. Stephen hopes to have cemented a relationship with JT and says "If he sees me as the goofy, awkward right hand man, he'll want to keep me around for a while."

Over at Exile, Brenden and Taj got some rice, and then got to choose one of two urns. Taj's was empty, but Brenden had a clue to the Immunity Idol.

If You Want to be safe, take a peek,
But in Tribal homelands is the thing that you seek.

He is also presented with a choice - stay on his own tribe after Exile, or Mutiny and go to Jalapao? He says he plans on staying with Timbira.

Taj convinced him to show her the clue, because the idol would be his anyhow. They decided it was probably back in their own camps. Brenden realized it was a different idol than the one that Sierra was looking for.

Back at Timbira's camp, they all compared wounds from the challenge, and questioned Coach's actions not speaking as loudly as his words. Candice said she didn't see what Coach was bringing to the table except a lot of talk.

Debra and Tyson brought this trash talk to Coach, who says that Candice is cancer on the team.

The Exiles returned, and Brenden told the others on the tribe that Taj got the clue, and not him, and that she went off by herself, and told them that Taj seems to be on the outs with her tribe.

Candice and Erinn wondered if they should not go for Coach at this point, and let him dig his hole deeper. Coach tells people to vote for Sierra, but plans on voting for Candice himself. Jerry talked to Tyson, who wanted to keep Candice, despite Coach's plans. Coach went to tell Sierra that he wasn't going to vote for her, and was planning on voting for Candice. Let the scheming begin!

Tribal Council

The original vote for Sierra was discussed. Candice said that there was some resentment for Sierra because she got the easy helicopter ride when they all went on their hike. She also said that the others might find her talkativeness offputting (it didn't work out well for Carolina). Coach admitted that he trusts Brenden completely and thinks he was telling the truth about Exile. Jerry said that they have gotten to know people really well and have built trust. Erinn said that she didn't think they should be so quick to trust one another. Debra said that she feels like she knows people well enough to trust them. Has she ever seen this show before? You can't just go trusting people.

Candice was shocked/pissed to see the votes for her. Coach looked smug, and Sierra looked relieved. First blindside of the season, and well done. Do I think she deserved to go? No - I was hoping for Coach to be taken down. But, I hope his time will come soon.

Erinn voted for Candice and that surprised me. They seemed to be tight. See - don't trust anyone.

Can't wait for next week! What did you think of tonight? Any favorites emerging?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top Chef - 2.18.09

It's down to the wire - Finale, Part 1!

Fabio's rocking a faux-hawk, and I'm not sure about that look. Carla's look is really great - she had her hair straightened, and it makes her look less crazy. Stefan is cocky as ever. Hosea is also much unchanged.

And they are in New Orleans - with Emeril.

(I kind of hate Emeril. No real reason except a visceral one. And, he released pans that we tried to sell at the store I work for, and he never used them on his show. Ever. So, we couldn't sell the pans. They finally ended up going on clearance. At least we didn't have to listen to people saying "Hey, look - Emerilware! BAM!" 40 times a day after they were gone... At least Rachel Ray uses the wares she peddles.... but I digress.)

Quickfire Challenge

They don't have to compete in their quickfire challenge? Who will? Jamie, Jeff, and Leah.

What the heck???

They have a chance to get back into the competition (in honor of New Orleans' rebirth)????

The winner will join the finalists in the elimination challenge, and will have a chance to get into the finale.

They have an hour to create a dish with crawfish (yum). Emeril will be judging.

I thought it was amusing to see some live crawfish crawling across the table.

Leah made Crawfish Soup with Andouille Sausage. The judges seemed to like it.

Jeff made Crawfish and grits with andouille and beer. Total poker faces.

Jamie made Corn Cake, greens, poached egg with tasso, adouille and crawfish cream sauce. Sounds delicious.

The winner of the Quickfire (the most important Quickfire of the Season!) is Jeff. I would have prefered to see Jamie win. The twist is, in order to make it to the finale, Jeff has to WIN the Elimination Challenge.

All Five will go to Emeril's restaurant for dinner, and Jeff got a (product placement!) copy of Emeril's new book.

Elimination Challenge

The Cheftestants will be catering an annual masquerade ball for ~100 people. They have to create 2 dishes and 1 cocktail, and 1 dish has to be creole-style - influenced by French, Spanish, and African-American. They have 5 hours to prep and cook (in Emeril's restaurant kitchen), and then have 1 hour to get ready at the event.

The winner will get ....

(in my best Price Is Right Voice)

A New Car - a Toyota Venza, to be exact.

In our short during the commercial break, we learn that Fabio always dresses as a woman for Halloween. Like Wonder Woman. I'd like to see that.

The kitchen is totally stocked. Turtle meat. Veal. Very cool.

Hosea's menu is:
Duck, Andouille & chicken gumbo
Pecan Crusted Catfish
Pomegranite and Blood Orange Hurricane with Grand Marnier & Rum (yes please, I'll take one now)

Carla's Menu is:
Oyster Stew (she's hoping Emeril has shucked Oysters hanging around, that did not happen. She is not comfortable with shucking oysters and has to do 100)
Shrimp and Andouille Beignet
Non-alcoholic cranberry spritzer (not sure how that will go over - they asked for a cocktail)

Stefan's Menu is:
Duck and Rabbit Gumbo with Creamy Grits
Apple Beignet
Black Cherry and Rum cocktail

Jeff's (predictably complicated) Menu is:
Fried Oyster with freshmade sausage
Crawfish Pot de creme
Cucumber Mojito (I'd try that)

Fabio's Menu (with more dishes than required) is:
Sausage and Rabbit Maque Choux with grits
Crawfish and Crab Stew with Caserecci Pasta
Muffaletta Bread
Bell Pepper Martini - he called it a Trinitini (hmmmm... not sure about that one)

Stefan felt confident enough to take a smoke and use pre-made sausage, which Jeff scoffed at.

Tom came into the kitchen to check in. Tom wasn't sure about Fabio's Italian influence, and Carla's oyster shucking was worrisome (he brought up that she should have steamed them), thought Stefan was calm to the point of cocky, and he appreciated Hosea's black roux, which is essential for good authentic gumbo.

Each Cheftestant got a Bartender to help them out.

Gayle is back! The judges are all decked out in Masquerade finery.

Hosea forgot some cream and needs a whisk. Carla gave him some cream, but noted that no one helped her shuck any oysters. Stefan went to help out.

Fabio thought the party-goers reminded him of an "old porno movie with the masks." Oh, Fabio.

The judges tried out Jeff's offerings first. His cucumber mojito was really neat.

Next was Stefan and his ego. His roux was not dark enough, but his grits were appreciated.

Fabio and his charm were up next. His pasta was appreciated, but it wasn't spicy enough.

Carla's non-alcoholic cocktail kicked off her loving dishes. Her dishes were appreciated.

Hosea's offerings were spicy, and they liked his gumbo.

Stefan thought that Hosea's gumbo sucked, and said that you can make different kinds of gumbo with different kinds of roux. Keep telling yourself that.

Judge's Table

Jeff's cocktail was the favorite cocktail of the night. They really seemed to like his dishes and he got a dig in at Stefan for not making his own sausage.

Fabio's Italian influence was appreciated, but they wanted it to be spicier. They liked the way his cocktail smelled, but didn't really like the way it tasted. Fabio said that he just likes things sweet.

Stefan's gumbo over grits was different - though the grits were good. The roux was not dark enough, and Gayle didn't think the flavor was deep enough. He said he is not cocky, he is just beyond stressing. Surrrrre.

Carla tried to say that she thought her Oyster Stew was heavy on Bay, but the judges told her that it was not at all. They loved it. Her non-alcoholic cocktail was refreshing and fine, and they loved the flavor and the freshness of the beignet.

Hosea apologized for his drinks being a bit watered down because it was late in the evening. The judges really appreciated his gumbo. Tom was worried about the fish dish, but it ended up being wonderful.

The Europeans are in the bottom this week!

The winner for the night is Carla - so Jeff is going home - and Carla gets....

A New Car!!!

(Yes, I watched too much Price Is Right growing up. Attempted to watch the Drew Carey hosted version this week - he's really painfully bad)

The loser is, sadly, Fabio. I was hoping for the overly cocky Stefan to get the boot. Maybe his near-loss will check his attitude a bit.

I think it was the Faux-hawk that did poor Fabio in.

American Idol Results Show - 2.18.09

It's time for the first results show of the season, and Paula's hair is still looking ashen. Maybe it's the HD, but she needs some help, stat.

We are reminded through a clip package about the group we saw last night. There was one very short non-singing clip of poor under-exposed Ricky, and only one bit of Tatiana insanity. It's spin control, ladies and gentlemen, spin control.

For the first group sing, they decided to do a choral treatment of Jason Mraz. Not sure that was a good idea. I adore this song, but I don't know about the group sing. Jackie looked crazy and seemed to be singing twice as many words as anyone else. They sounded pretty good together, though. Maybe they practiced for the group sing more than for their own individual songs. Problem is, Jason Mraz is a unique individual, so putting his song into a homogenized group effort.... just foolish.

After a recap of the (couple) highs, and the (many) lows from last night, it's time to tease the actual results. First, there was a demonstration of Tatiana's crazy as she showed off her Paula Jewels. Danny looked a bit confused/concerned sitting next to her.
Casey is up first, and agreed that she chose a foolish song. Unsurprisingly, she's gone.

Stephen had another really bad song choice, and he is also gone.

(And Paula needs to take hair care tips from Kara, who has shiny and gorgeous hair. Just saying)

Alexis and her fedora are in the Top 12. Justice has been served.

To stretch the Results Show to an hour, Alexis got a chance to perform again. She's still wonderful.

After the break, Jackie and Ricky were called down together. Jackie still loved her performance. Ricky is not in the Top 12, but I hope to see him in the Wildcard Round. America did not appreciate Jackie's performance, either, and she's out.

Anoop and Michael are next to find out their fates. Sadly, Michael and his boring voice are through to the Top 12. I would bet on seeing Anoop again in the Wildcard Round. Michael bored me with his rendition of I Don't Wanna Be (again) and I am sad. At least it was close between the two of them. Bring Anoop back to make a different song choice, judges.

There was a plug for the American Idol Experience in Orlando, and who would have thought that Carrie Underwood and David Cook would sound good together? I liked it.

Before moving on, Ryan brought out Carly Smithson and Michael Johns from last year, for more plugging. See? You don't have to win to be successful. They sang a duet of The Letter, and it was pretty good.

Ann Marie and Brent were next, along with Stevie. They are quickly dispatched, but not before Randy misused the word neither while referring to the three of them.

So, it's down to Danny and Tatiana. Tatiana shook her hair dramatically several times and was joyously at a loss for words. Their fate is drawn out over a break. Of course.

Happiness and JOYYYYYYY!!! Danny is through and Tatiana is off of my television, but not before she could throw a little dramatic fit and look like she wanted to feign fainting. Go Away. Don't come back. (I have a sinking feeling she might be back for the Wildcard Round, because the producers like her). After Danny sang his encore, Tatiana stole some more camera time with her blubbering.

Next Week, it's the next group of 12:

Megan Corkrey
Kris Allen
Mishavonna Henson
Matt Breitzke
Allison Iraheta
Matt Giraud
Jasmine Murray
Kai Kalama
Jesse Langseth
Adam Lambert
Jeanine Vailes
Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell.

This group is full of unknowns or lesser knowns. Purely off the cuff, I'm guessing Adam Lambert, Megan Corkrey, and Matt Breitzke are going to go through, but I could be completely wrong. Hope for better song choices!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol 2.17.09 - First Group of 12

Ryan is looking rather preppy tonight, don't you think? I think there was nary a flatiron in sight. And Paula looks straight out of the fake tanning spray booth, which she must have been in when the other judges had the "We are all wearing just black and white to the first live show, right?" meeting. Paula attempted to give some advice to the contestants, but didn't make any sense. The judges made some comments about Ryan's new hair do, and Simon accused him of stealing his style.

I am so excited for the nitty gritty of the show, I can hardly stand it.

And WHY do they have to do themes for these nights? Why can't they just let the kids sing what they want to? At least it's a broad theme - Hits on the Billboard Top 100 since it began.

Jackie Tohn (28, NY) A Little Less Conversation - In her interview, she was wearing some sort of 80' reject giant shoulder-padded monstrousity jacket. Her style is no better for her performance, looking like she raided Katy Perry's and Lindsay Lohan's closets. (And I'm not even going to touch the shoes with that enemble) Yes, it's bad. She sounds like a mediocre bar singer, totally sub par. Randy said he wasn't sure if he was good on the vocals, but appreciated her performance. Kara liked her big personality and ability to work a stage. Paula practically gushed over her. Simon thought she worked the stage but acted a clown, with an ungainly performance and gimicky vocal. I would agree. The booing began. Oh, and Simon also hated her outfit. Thank you, Simon, for being the voice of reason.

Ricky Braddy (26, North Carolina) A Song For You - Leon Russell. Have we ever seen this guy before? He apparently came straight from serving chicken finger to having microphone troubles in the Red Room. I think the dude is wearing a chocolate brown or dark purple velvet jacket. That's bold. He's got a really good voice, and I wish we had seen more of him before. I don't know if he is unique, even though he's good. I don't think he has much of a chance of getting through tonight, just because the other guys have gotten so much more air time. Maybe he'll be back for Wildcard Week. I really love his range, and he has a very natural tone. Some of his falsetto was really good. He got a "Yo, What's Up" from Randy, and a Dude. Kara loved it, and called it effortless and amazing, and told him he has a wonderful gift. Paula brought up the fact that Ricky wasn't featured previously, but said that he deserves to go far. Simon said it was very very good, but said he doesn't see the Star Quality or charisma in Ricky. We'll see. Ricky's parents have "Braddy Bunch" T-shirts and told everyone about Hope that work out for them. You can even pre-order Ricky's iTunes debut through the site.

Alexis Grace (21, TN) Never Loved a Man - Aretha Franklin. I liked her to start with, and her daughter is adorable. I think she forgot her dress and left the dressing room in her slip. Oops. She remembered her jewelry. Once again, the back-up singers were too loud (can't they fix that), but luckily, Alexis' song needed very little back-up. She's got a great voice and is really feeling the song. Watching her, I have already forgotten about Jackie's performance. She's got a real voice on her, even if she does need help getting dressed. I love her alabaster complexion because it makes me feel better about my own. I much prefer that to the carrot-complected Hollywood regulars. Yes, Paula, I'm talking to you. Randy said that she found the soul and worked it out. Kara said the genie is out of the bottle, and appreciates how far Alexis has come, and she loves it. Paula loves Alexis' passion and confidence. Simon said that Alexis is the best tonight, by a mile, so far. He loves her confidence, and calls her a dark horse, and says he's reminded of Kelly Clarkson watching her. I could see that.

Brent Keith (29, Ohio) Hicktown. They had a technical difficulty and almost missed showing Brent's tape (Stevie Wright's came up instead, frozen.... awkward!), and instead had to walk him down to the stage before it came up. He's the one that Paula and Kara went under the table for. And that was weird. He's a cutie, and he reached out earnestly to the audience with once outstetched hand (many times). It sounded like mediocre karioke to me. There have to be better men than him here tonight. I have heard better at my local karioke bar. He was a terrible performer and I didn't feel engaged at all by him. Randy said he had a country swagger and could see him at a chili cookoff. Kara thought he played it a little safe, and wanted more range from him. Paula agreed with Kara, but thought Brent could make a great country star, like Bucky Covington and Josh Gracin. Simon said "but what has happened to Bucky Covington?" (Here's what Bucky's up to, if you care. I do not.) He said that Brent ended up being forgettable. Brent attested that he didn't think country fans would find him forgettable. He talked back to Simon. Leave now.

Stevie Wright (17, CA) You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift. She started off very weak. I think she was really nervous, and the song started way too low for her. Sorry, Stevie. I wanted her to be really good, but she totally bombed. Can I just take this moment, when I am trying to ignore how bad she is sounding, to say that I really want the legging and the skinny jean to die (again). It really is a dreadful look for almost everyone. Stevie paired her ill-advised skinny jeans with a terrible bubbly top and looked very hippy. Randy admitted that it was just not good. At all. Kara said that she wanted her to be young, but she didn't choose a good song for her voice. At all. Paula's hair looks ashen, and she also admitted that Stevie bombed it. Simon thought the others were being polite. He said at least she's gotten some experience, but said she pretty much has no chance of getting through. I hope he's right.

Hey - Neil Patrick Harris is in the audience! That's awesome!

Anoop Desai (22, NC) - Angel of Mine - Monica. Immediately, the "Noop Dawg" came out. I would really rather not. I wish he had chosen something a bit more upbeat for his showcasing song. He's got a really awesome voice, but for a ballad, I don't know if was better than Ricky's. Those damned back-up singers really need their microphones turned down. Anoop hit a couple nasal notes in the higher registers. Sadly, I don't think I'll vote for him tonight, even though I really liked him coming into this. Ricky was much better, with a better song. Paula still gave him a Standing O. Of course she did. Randy said Anoop Dawg was in the house, but said that the whole thing was kind of sharp. He's still a huge fan. Kara said it was a hard song to sing, and didn't think he nailed it like he needed to. She does believe in him, though. Paula says that America has connected with him already, and said he's got a Brian McKnight feel to him. Simon wanted to know why Anoop chose the song, and he said it was the first R&B song he remembered hearing. Simon thought it was too serious a song. Anoop said that he wanted to show he was thankful to America. Simon brought up the very valid point that Anoop has massive likeability, and maybe America should forget he sang that song and just take his thanks to heart if they want to vote for him. I don't think I will. I'm going by talent at this point, even though I loved Anoop previously.

Casey Carlson (20, MN) Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police. Before coming on the show, she worked in a Bubble Tea shop, so that's pretty cool. Bold move, trying to sing something that Sting sang. It would be one thing if she sounded good, but it's a terrible song for her voice. I was thinking earlier that Danny Gokey could rock out a Sting vocal. Casey, not so much. She attempted to do a little growl thing, but failed miserably. She breathed in all the wrong places, and sounded weak and dreadful. Randy mumbled for a second before saying it was wrong for her, and weirdly karaoke. Kara said everything about it was wrong, and that she wanted to hear her doing a girly anthem, and hated the performance entirely. Paula tried to find something good to say, and told Casey that she is beautiful, but her phrasing was weird, and didn't think that she was thinking about what she was singing (she also mentioned that Casey needs to watch the pulling faces and winking. I agree). Simon asked Casey what she thought, and she said she had fun. He said "That's good, but you sounded atrocious." This is making my voting look a whole lot easier.

Michael Sarver (27, TX) I Don't Wanna Be - Gavin Degraw. It's everyone's favorite roughneck with the adorable family. I thought he was off time with the music a little, and didn't sound rough enough (which is ironic, if you think about it). He sounded almost ... choral in parts. he did the strange bobbing dance that so many people do when they don't know what else to do. Occasionally, he squinted at the audience with feeling, I suppose. He was very very weak on high notes. I did not enjoy that at all. Randy said Michael can really sing, but didn't like the song on him, and didn't think he performed it very well. Kara thought the song was a crowd pleaser, but didn't like it for Michael. Paula thought he did a real good job, and showed a different side. She thought the switching of microphone from hand to hand was distracting. I didn't notice. I was too busy noticing I didn't like the vocals. Simon said they he likes Michael, but didn't like the song at all. He still hopes that America votes for Michael, because he wants him to do well. Can I just say that Michael looks to be on a larger scale than Ryan?

Ann Marie Boscovitch (22, TN) Natural Woman. She's the one that the judges had go out and change her look and then come back. I thought that the song choice was foolish, since no one could out do Kelly Clarkson's performance of it. That was the moment that I sat up and said "Whoah," about Kelly. Ann Marie, I wanted to like. But her strange, slightly weak vocals, pointing, and squatting, did not make me like her. Randy asked Ann Marie how she thought she had done. She thought it was pretty good. Randy did not. Kara thought that the song was too big for her, and old fashioned. Ann Marie said "Something not as good?" Don't. Talk. Back. To. The. Judges. Paula thought Ann Marie did better than in previous auditions, which makes me wonder how she made it this far. Simon thought she could win The Best Hotel Singer in California, but thought that, very simply, her voice was just not good enough for the song. At least she's pretty.

Stephen Fowler (26, OH) Rock With You - Michael Jackson. I still don't think he should have made it though after his lyric-forgetting tantrum in Hollywood. I really don't like this song, and I don't think he sang it so well. I thought in parts he was off-key, and I thought his stage presence was weak, and his breathing was off in places. His voice broke a bit in his long high-note hold. It was totally boring, in my opinion. Why didn't Jamar make it instead of him? I am angered. Randy said he didn't get the vibe of the song, and didn't think it was the joint for him to be singing, and he was all pitchy. Kara said she got more from him when he was at the piano and forgot the lyrics. Stephen said he is more comfortable with a piano. Paula said at least he remembered the lyrics. Simon said he wished that Stephen had forgotten the lyrics because it was a terrible arrangement, and a really pointless performance. He called it corny, and I totally agree. Bye, Stephen.

Tatiana Del Toro (24, Puerto Rico) Saving All My Love For You - Whitney Houston. Please let this be the last time we ever see her. Her dress is cute. She's got a good voice, but her mic seemed too quiet. I don't care how good she sounds, I can't handle watching her on tv any more. She had a couple rough notes in there, but finished with a nice high note run. After the night's sucky women (except for Alexis), she sounded good. I still don't care. Randy thought she had moments. Kara thought it was a roller coaster, but wondered if Tatiana fits anywhere. Paula said that Tatiana is the most talked about person on the show so far (not always good, but most talked about). The reserved Tatiana is unfamiliar. Simon said that Tatiana is a complete and utter drama queen, who wants fame more than anyone he's known (except for a dig at Paula). She said that she looks at marketing as a business, and wants to market herself. Simon said surprisingly, the vocals were not bad, but said that the demure Tatiana was weird and made him nervous. Tatiana tried to sell the idea that her laughing was completely out of character. I don't believe her. She's trying to get into the Top 12. She tried to say that he bizarre behavior was because she was nervous and a multifaceted woman. Go away, Tatiana. I'm voting for Alexis.

Danny Gokey (28, WI) Hero - Mariah Carey. Finally! Please don't disappoint! They gave Danny the pimp slot. Why is he singing Mariah f-ing Carey? He did well with it, but I wish he had sung something more rocking. Paula stood up immediately to bop strangley. I can hear that this song has a lot of meaning to him, and he did really well bringing his all to the bridge. His falsetto was nice. I wish he had sung something else, but I'm voting for him and wishing him the best. Randy called him the Redeemer of the Night and said it was blazing hot. Kara said it was great and gave everyone hope. Paula said he was wonderful and predicted sold-out arenas. Simon thought it was good, but thought the arrangement was heavy handed.

Remember, to vote, it's 1-866-IDOLS-##

My votes are for Ricky (02), Alexis (03), and Danny (12).

If Tatiana gets through, I am going to be very angry. Very.

What did you think?