Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Idol - 3.31.09 : Top iTunes Downloads

I'm glad to see that Adam's hair is again not in front of his face. Maybe he will be better again.

Paula's got another prom dress on. Interesting. She is not hiding any props under the table, but they may be in the poofs of her skirt.

Whoa - what the heck have they put poor Allison? SHe looks like a complete moron. Wonder if it will somehow mesh with the song choice. The theme this week is iTunes Popular Downloads. The top 9 got to visit with Ryan in the AT40 studio.

Anoop Desai (Caught Up - Usher) Never heard this song before ever, and while I think that Anoop probably has a better voice that Usher. I think he thinks that a sneer gives him some sort of street cred. I mean, he sounds good, but this is a terrible song. An absolutely terible song. I am bored, and I think that Anoop is in serious trouble. Randy thought Anoop should check it out, and thought we should know that it is interesting that Anoop brought the swagger - I took it to be the sneer. Randy also thought it was not a very good song choice, because Usher's songs are not singers songs. Kara thought it was too safe and too close to the original, and wondered if some frat boys dared him to sing it. Paula mumbled about him being a balladeer, and signature hits and blah blah mumble. What? Simon thought it was a complete and utter mess. Sadly, I agree. Simon thought he came over as a wannabe. Anoop is better than this song. Simon said it gave him a headache. Anoop talked back to the judges, which is never a good idea.

Megan Joy No Longer Corkrey (Turn Your Lights Down Low - Bob Marley/Lauren Hill) Is she wearing Mom jeans? She may like this song, but it's a mess, kind of like the jewelry box that threw up around her neck. Not as bad as last week, but still, it's a mess. She is absolutely gorgeous, but she needs to go. Kara said she really likes Megan, but she thinks she's in trouble, and said that she was actually irritated by Megan's voice. Paula (looking a little haggard tonight) said that Megan needs to leave her comfort zone and surprise them with something. She wants Megan to rip hearts out with a ballad, sitting on a stool. Simon said the song was boring, indulgent, and monotonous. Randy said it was like watching paint dry, and just because you love a song doesn't mean you can sing it well. Megan talked back to the judges too. Can I say again, NEVER a good idea.

Danny Gokey (What Hurts the Most - Rascall Flats) Danny brought it down this week, and I think he sounds quite good. He's not shouting, which has been a criticism I've seen of him. I liked it quite a lot, and I don't even really like the original. Something about Danny's gravely tone makes me prefer his version. Paula said this is where Danny thrives, and she would hit repeat on the song on a cd in her car. Simon thought it was his best performance so far, calling his performances two snails performing with a racehorse. Randy thinks tonight's show starts right here. Sorry, Anoop and Megan. Randy thinks the cool thing about Danny is that he can keep the movement. Danny said he wanted to stay behind the mic because that was out of his comfort zone. Kara thought he moved everyone in the audience, and said he gave her goosebumps. I liked it a lot. My friends (viewing companions) don't like him and find him annoying.

Allison Iraheta (Don't Speak - No Doubt) Allison broke out her guitar for this performance. I wonder if she thought the dress and outfit would be in homage to Gwen Stefani. Not so much, sweetie. She looks like Cyndi Lauper put through a blender. She was really really great in the beginning, but she went a little off on the chorus. Her ennunciation is still abyssmal, and she mumble mumbled her way through most of the song. Still, I liked it for the most part. Randy said she did her thing, whatever whatever, but hated her outfit. My friend thinks she looks like a troll doll. I can see it. Kara said that the rock in her comes out no matter what she's wearing, so she doesn't need to put all the forced punk rocker clothes on. Kara said the outfit distacted from the very decent vocals. Paula stumbled over saying some strange things about axes. Simon said the outfit was like Halloween, and thought they lost Allison's identity because of it. He also asserted that she shouted the song. I really like her, but she needs to shop at normal stores.

Scott MacIntyre (Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel) His strangely poofy hair makes him look oddly like Kirk Cameron. I'm bored bored bored. It's strange and very very bad. Kara thought he made some smart decisions tonight, and loved what he did with the song. Paula thought he made you forget about his challenges and just love him. I don't think so. Simon thought it was a new Scott and loved the performance. Oh for heaven's sake. He was terrible.

Matt Giraud (You Found Me - The Fray) Oh my goodness, where was he when he started singing? He was placed in the center of the crowd for no apparent reason, and oh geez, he's murdering this very nice song. Matt just went down in my ranks considerably. This is the reason they make stages. He should have been on it. The placement was bizarre, and then he shouted and it was cringeworthy. Sigh. Paula appreciated the contemporary song, but aborted the wonderful things about him, and thought it was like karioke, and was reminiscent to the horrible Cold Play song. Simon said he sounded like he was trying to be something he wasn't. Randy said the problem was that he just chose the wrong song. Kara said that he is just not a rock singer. He's dreadful tonight.

Lil Rounds (I Surrender - Celine Dion) I'm bored before she even started singing, and her helmet of hair and her completely horrendous dress, I just couldn't pay much attention at all. It was boring and flat in places. I don't think she has the chops for the song. Randy thought it was the wrong song choice, but dude, she can sing. Kara thought she should have sung a different song, but liked some of her notes. Paula said she doesn't want to see an adult contemporary Lil Rounds, she wants something young and hip. Simon thought it was a wedding song. In an attempt to get Lil more votes, they dragged out her cute kids. Such tactics won't work on me.

Adam Lambert (Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherries) The pompadour is back, and I like it. What I don't like is his layering of three bad shirts from the 80's. I thought the performance was pretty good, but then he screached up into the notes the judges like and I do not. Still, it's been a dreadful night so far, and I think this is my favorite so far. Paula called him unique and riveting and compared him to Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger. I wouldn't go that far. Simon thought it was very good. Randy said he was in the star zone. Adam gave a shout out to Ricky Minor and the band. Kara drooled on him.

Kris Allen (Aint No Sunshine) Instead of the guitar, he's going with piano this time. More aptly, the keyboard. I think he's doing a really lovely job of the song. It's definitely his own version of it, that's for sure. He's moved up the ranks in my opinion with that one. He looked a little pained on the last note, but it sounded good. Randy called it so creative and so cool. Kara said "That is Artistry," and I would agree. It was lovely. And current. Paula gushed that it should be the first cut from his album. Simon said he brought some confidence to the stage, and loved the arrangement.

Who should go this week? Oh, Megan comes to mind. Anoop, Matt, and Scott were quite dreadful as well. Lil was also bad and screachy. Danny was really good, Allison was ok, but I really don't know if I can get behind that outfit. I will be voting I think for Danny (03) and Kris (09), and I'll throw a couple votes at Adam (08) and Allison (04).

What did you think? Who should go home?

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Amazing Race: 3.29.09

Well, drat. I was out of town last night and Amazing Race started late because of some sport or another... so I missed the end. Drat. I'll blog what I've got.

Starting out, the teams have to get to Pukhet, Thailand, and find a statue of a giant gorilla. Their only clue to find the gorilla is a picture, but it is at the zoo.

Margie mentioned that sometimes she just feels like resting her arms, but Luke needs to communicate somehow. So, she deals with it. Jamie and Cara said they are hoping for someplace quieter, because the noise in India bothers them. Hmmm.

Kisha and Jen got bombarded by hungry children when they were in the taxi, and it was really sad.

All people book an 8:50 AM flight and are off.

In Thailand, the race is on for the gorilla, and people get cabs. Most people are off and have no idea where they are going. Cara and Jamie are not very kind about talking to the cabbie. Several teams hopped out in a crowd to ask people where the gorilla is. Most people are told to go to the zoo.

But Mel and Mike's cabbie is sending them to the beach. Ruh-roh.

Teams have pictures taken with a tiger, and they have to lie on the ground and have an elephant squat over them. Interesting. And then they have to go back to the tiger to get their next clue.

Michael and Mark noted that one of the handlers only has one arm. Ooooh. That's scary.

Not really a strenuous roadblock, is it?

Michael and Mark finish first and head to an herb shop. They have to ask the proprieter to open up one of 99 herb drawers, and hope to reveal a clue. If there is no clue, they have to try another drawer.

Jamie and Cara came up with a nickname for Michael and Mark - The Tweedles (as in Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee). I can totally see it. They certainly have a high opinion of themselves.

Jamie and Cara and The Tweedles arrive at the Herb Shop first, and Jamie and Cara did a lot of yelling. They need to calm down. Michael and Mark got lucky and got their clue first.

Mel and Mike finally found their way to the zoo after a detour to the beach.


100 Barrells - Teams prepare a fishing trip for 10 days at sea, with 47 barrells full of water and 53 fish barrells needing to be arranged properly on the boat.

2 Miles - Teams have to use rickshaws (and tire pumps in the case of flats), and one member has to pull the other 2 miles.

Michael and Mark pick the rickshaws.

Kisha and Jen got their clue next and picked the barrells.

Margie and Luke (on a pick of Luke's) got the next one.

Tammy and Victor got the next one. Jamie and Cara were really annoyed. They finally got their clue after much annoyance. They chose the barrells.

Michael and Mark pumped up their tires, and then put all the pumps in a box near the rickshaws instead of leaving them lying there. And then he didn't keep the pump. That could be a bad idea. They did ask their cabbie to lead them there, which could have be clever, but it smacks of cheating.

Tammy and Victor also did the rickshaws but did not pump up their tires.

Jamie and Cara also did the rickshaws.

Michael and Mark made up a lot of time, heading off to the pit stop first. I'm impressed. However... they incurred two 30 minute penalties. First, they were not allowed to put the pumps in the box (that was considered tampering), and second, they were not allowed to hire help to get their taxi to lead them on the rickshaw route. Oops.

I would totally have chosen the rickshaws.

Kisha and Jen started the 100 barrells and it looked unpleasant.

Margie and Luke chose the rickshaws, too. I think that was a good plan. The team members were allowed to switch on and off. (And Tammy and Victor dropped the rickshaw before getting their next clue... will that give them a penalty? Nope - but they saw a parking spot for the rickshaws and had to go a) Margie and Luke had a trouble because Luke couldn't hear Margie when he was pulling, so she couldn't get his attention.

Cara and Jamie got their clue for the pit stop and... my dvr cut out. boo. I'll have to pick up what happened later.

Survivor Tocantins: Recap Show

(Sorry this is a late recap, I wasn't home much last week)

Just in case we forgot, there was a recap of how much Coach sucks, and how neat the Secret Alliance could be if it doesn't fizzle, how awesome JT is (tooth cracking and all). So, what haven't we seen?

We see why everyone thought Sierra didn't want to be there the first day. She looked utterly ill.

Tyson thought that Coach looked like the love child of Stephen Segal and The Last of the Mohicans. Then Coach busted out some crazy talk about being honed and shaped like a hardened sword. Sydney was automatically pegged as "The Hot Blonde that Will be a Shame to Vote Out." Taj was hoping to kill them with kindness. I'm not sure if her insane tirades fit that bill.

Here's a reminder: Brazil in HD = magnificent.

Timbira was having troubles in the beginning with no fire, and wondered what it would be like to eat dried beans. Instead, they gather minnows and Debra noted that it tasted a little like sushi. They also found a "fruit that smells like a foot." Mmm, yummy.

Jalapao's fire went out at one point, and even with flint, they had the devil of the time getting it started. Stephen wanted to prove himself capable and failed pretty miserably. JT took a try and also failed. Sydney, claiming to be more than a girly girl, having grown up camping with her dad, took about 2 minutes to start it. Stephen called her a Woodland Goddess.

Tyson, meanwhile, didn't get any food for his tribe, or start fire, but he got naked and danced around camp like a madman. He fashioned his buff into a loin cloth and did some butt popping. He and Debra did some horsing around. Coach found Tyson attractive "but not in a sexual way." Tyson said he might end up having to move someplace "a little less Mormon-y."

There was a shot of some ROUS looking creature that made me go "What the hell's that???" A Tapir?

Coach decided to delegate cooking beans and rice to Sierra, and treated her like she was crazy when she said it would be nice to have some companionship. He was totally condescending to her, and it was seriously obnoxious. He explained in confessional that he was trying to wean Sierra off her helplessness because people keep coddling her. He thinks he's a mother bird or something, and explained to her that he wanted to gently push her out of the nest. She kind of saw where he was coming from. I still think he's an ass.

Over at Jalapao, everyone was sooty and dirty, and Sydney helped JT build a floor so they could get their shelter off the dirt and get a little cleaner. Stephen wanted to help, but they just kind of stared at him.

And over at Timbira, there was a battle for leader between Brenden and Coach. Coach was building chairs (and that is one of the first times I've ever seen him do something). There was a build-off, basically. Debbie and Erinn enjoyed the contest, because it was work they didn't have to do, and figured out different contests they could do - like Water Carrying, and the like. Brenden conceded the win to Coach, but brought up (in confessional) that they didn't really a coach, they need a leader, and friends.

Taj was lamenting about the bugs and lack of facials at Camp, and got some sympathy from Stephen and Sandy. She said she just doesn't want to go home looking like a wreck. She seemed to get over it well.

Timbira worried about snakes, because Coach had been talking in his sleep about a recurring nightmare he's had since when he lived in the Amazon. (He had to bring that up). Then, Debbie found a snake skin next to their shelter. Yipes.

Jalapao decided to play ball with Jabota (the "fruit that smells like feet") - Joe and JT had some fun. It was nice to see Joe speak. JT's shorts are quite something. Just saying. JT is probably hoping for some kind of ball game challenge, because he's really quite good. One of the funnier moments was when one of their "balls" almost brained Taj, who was sitting in the water.

Coach decided his tribe would be cheered off with a little Tzachovsky, and did some jungle conducting. He's just trying to show how well rounded he is, but Erinn said "Who is this jackass?" I'm liking Erinn of the Superfluous N.

Tyson and Coach went off to make their plans, and I swear they pledged their undying love for one another. Well, Coach promised never to vote off Tyson, and Tyson said "I'm the same" but never said the words.

JT and Stephen's unlikely bromance was also showcased. Stephen really wants to learn to do some actual Survivor Skills.

Over at Exile, the Secret Alliance was discussed with Stephen and Brenden. Stephen got a "pretty boa" made out of about a 4 ft snakeskin. Brenden was honest about the state of his tribe, so that he would feel comfortable with the Secret Alliance, and then he showed off his Nature Man skills, starting a fire quickly, but it didn't last long because the rains came. They spooned "for all we were worth" in the rain, and Stephen said "nothing could have prepared me for lying against a hunk of man." Hilarious. I'm also liking Stephen.

And the sunrise is glorious.

They agree to no more cuddling after the merge. Funny.

So excited for a new episode this week! Yay!

(And, ok, the Special "I Get That A Lot" looks funny. Probst ringing up groceries? Hilarious.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 3.26.09

LA spoke to Lacey about her piss poor attitude, saying that she is not there to win, but instead is there to win trips and prizes. Robert thinks she should be learning from them instead of being so stupid.

The challenge starts with tartar. Ramsey served them Tuna tartar and called it beef, and sea bass tartar, and called it scallop. All the chefs were fooled. Someone on the red team has to sit out, and LA volunteered. It's blind taste test time.

And I still have to say, I have no idea how chefs can smoke. It dulls the pallette.

Ben and Andrea got Fillet mignon, and both got it wrong. Fried egg white was good for both of them, and so was beets. Romaine lettuce stymied Andrea, who thought it was celery, but Ben got it.

Robert and Giovanni go head to head on turnip, and failed miserably. Pea tendrils (what?) were also both failed. Amazingly, neither of them got lobster. Robert loves black truffles, supposedly, but could not identify it, saying it tasted like "bleep." Giovanni was a big fail, too.

Carol got mushrooms, and calves liver, and Lacey missed them both. Brocolini was a miss for both, but they both got sweet potato.

Paula and Danny have the final challenge - a dish, and name 10 ingredients in it, with a point for each. They were blindfolded like the others, and got minestrone soup. Paula won it for the women, by a small margin.

The Winning Team gets a photo shoot with TV Guide. The women rejoice. Giovanni gets some hugs.

The Losing Team will be waiting on the Winning team to serve them lunch during the photo shoot - and they have to prep both kitchens for service that night. Because that went so well last time.

Lacey was bitter about serving "those snooty bitches." Man, she's pleasant.

Ben dropped a glass when the flash bulb went off and spilled all over everyone. That was kind of funny. Giovanni looked like a pimp.

Lacey continued to have the worst attitude ever.

Service begin, and was shaky in the beginning, but picked up. And Eric McCormick's in the dining room. Lacey was falling apart. Danny had to walk her step by step through her service, and she practically began crying. Then she really began crying. She was flustered and couldn't cook meat, and Ramsey tossed her out.


He had a pantry discussion with her and gave her a second chance.

Ben went to calm her down, and ended up burning his finger. Robert was rushing around and doing appetizers all by himself, and ended up splitting his pants.

Carol was falling apart in the women's kitchen, and wasn't communicating with Andrea, who kept asking when she would be ready. Because Carol didn't talk to her, Andrea's fish was a mess.

Oooh, Robert Patrick is in the dining room, too.

Lacey was supposed to do a VIP table, and messed up the meat severely. Ramsey kicked her out for good this time.

And good riddance. At least she got a proper goodbye to the kitchen, unlike J, who just left. Unfortunately, no one liked Lacey, and no one will miss her.

Carol was still having troubles, and got some meat sent back because it was rare. She refired and they were still not cooked. At least she told LA that her food was going to be later. Then, of course, Ramsey got upset at LA.

And the men, without Lacey, rallied. They finished up service while the Red Kitchen was floundering. Ramsey shut them down.

The Red Team were sent up to decide who should go. Carol said she would nominate herself. Then, she got mad when Andrea nominated her, too. LA also got some votes, mostly because she is quiet and sometimes slow.

So, who actually is going up for elimination? LA is up, and so is Carol. When pushed, Paula also said that Andrea had some votes. All three went up in front of Ramsey.

In the end, it was LA going home. Carol and Andrea were given another chance. I don't think Carol really deserved it. Oh well. LA was too quiet for her own good.

American Idol - 3.26.09: Results Show

Oh, Joy. Ruben Studdard is on the show tonight. My fast-forwarding finger can't wait. I really can't handle him.

Ryan asked what was up with Simon and Paula last night, and there was lots of inappropriate banter.

Recap time. It's as I remembered it.

We've got a medley of Motown hits for the Group Sing. The three girls sounded fantastic together, and Megan's waggly hips actually work for this kind of music. Matt joined them for the second song in the medley, and then Scott and the others. The singing was set with video clips of motown greats. Adam's emo hair is back, and I am disappointed.

The Ford Music Video is set to Pocket Full of Sunshine, and I really like the song. Having the blind guy setting the pieces into a puzzle seemed a bit odd, but maybe that's just me.

Oh, look, Ruben... there he went. He sweats as much as ever, and I still don't like him.

Geez. Now, there's a plug for the private plane they flew to Detroit.

Now down to business. Adam is safe. No surprise there.

Holy cow. Travesty. Matt is in the Bottom 3! I wonder if he suffered because he went first, with the second part of the show being so much better.

Kris got psyched out by Ryan for a second, but is safe. Good.

Michael and Lil were told to stand at the same time. Lil is safe, and Michael is where he belongs in the bottom.

Smokey Robinson did a duet with Joss Stone. If Megan could polish herself up, she could sing stuff in the same genre as Joss Stone. I can only assume that Smokey Robinson was happy to sing with Joss... he's long since lost the ability to make facial expressions aside from slightly creepy half-grin. Still, they sounded good together. I thought the song was rather boring, sadly.

Allison was saved from a repeat of her Bottom 3 last week (that she didn't deserve at all). Anoop is also safe. Danny is safe, and yay. I could have predicted that either Scott or Megan would be in the bottom 3. I think they both deserve to be there, and Matt does not. In the end, it's Scott in the bottom 3. (Megan offered to help him over to the chair, after being stunned I think that she was not in the Bottom 3 herself... Ryan brought him over instead)

Incredibly, he was not to be in the bottom 3 for long, as Seacrest let him know that he is safe, and walked him back across the stage. Booo. He totally belonged there.

Before we find out who's going home (and see if the judges save them), it's time for a Stevie Wonder medley. Anoop and Danny were getting their groove on to Superstition. Both of them could do the song justice, I think. Kara and Paula were also getting very into the songs.

And I am out of DVR Buffer. Boo. I hate commercials.

In the end, justice was served, and Michael is going home. (Unless the judges save him. They are totally not going to save him). His performance was pretty bad, and he's gone. I will not miss him.

Carrie, sing him out.

Anyone hear what next week is?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol - 3.25.09 Motown Week

Introductions were shown on screen tonight, and it was odd. Why they keep futzing around with things that work fine I have no idea. Oh well.

Paula is wearing a ballerina outfit, I think. It's like a 5-year old's party dress. Very strange. Also very strange was odd pseudo-flirting between her and Ryan. Huh?

(Note - I will not be able to blog the whole show tonight, started very late. I'll be finishing it tomorrow)

First, we get a brief introduction to Motown History and music. The Top 10 got a tour of the Motown Museum, and met Smokey Robinson and Barry Gordy, the founder of Motown (and I may just have his name wrong. Sorry about that.)

Smokey came back to LA for guest mentoring duties. Looks like Aint No Mountain High Enough might be the group sing tomorrow, from the rehearsals.

Matt Giraud (Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye) - Matt sounded excellent on the song, and started off behind the piano, but got up after the intro to sing by himself. I like him playing the piano, but he did a really nice job. He is excellent at the octave switching, and it sounded effortless. Randy was yo, really happy, yo, dude, man, and loved Matt's fals(etto, I assume). Kara thought it was sexy. Paula thought he was sexy cool and didn't overdo the riffing, like many people in this day and age. Then she mumbled something about jeans. Simon thought it was a brilliant song choice, and loved Matt's voice on the song.

Kris Allen (How Sweet it Is - Marvin Gaye) - He has his guitar again, and I like that. His shirt, not so much. Looks like he was attacked by the guy from A Beautiful Mind. This song always reminds me of American Pie. He sounded really good on the song, and it got Paula up dancing. He certainly does have a good presence... if only I could remember him when he leaves the stage! Kara loved that Kris did his own version of the song, and not a copy of other versions, and thinks he did everything right. Paula loved the song choice and thought it was brilliant. Simon thought it was smart, but he needs to be more confident in himself. He wants more swagger from Kris. I like Kris as he is. Randy thinks he is consistent and is in the zone.

Scott MacIntyre (You Can't Hurry Love - Diana Ross) Boooooring in the beginning. And even though he upped the piano tempo, he was still really boring. Yawn. I'm so bored by him. He's a good piano player, but I don't think he's a good vocalist particularly. Paula loved it. Simon thought it was bad. He didn't like the piano playing, and then he dissed the back up singers. Randy called it a very hotel performance. Kara loved it and thought it brought tempo. She was not crazy about the liberties he took with the melody. Paula still stood up for him. Paula then went under the table and got a box of crayons a coloring book for Simon. What?

Megan Joy Corkrey (For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder) Her hair is kind of Carrie Underwood, and unfortunately, her voice is not in good form. It's a mess. Simon looked embarrased when they cut to him. I thin Megan is gone. He outfit is bad, her voice is bad tonight, and the whole thing was just ridiculous. She was better with the flu. Randy says yo, and has mad love for Megan, but dude, it was a trainwreck, and called it rushed and hectic. Kara wished she had sung My Guy, which would have been a good choice. Paula's breath is taken away by Megan's beauty, but agreed it was a bad song for her. Simon said the good news is she looks good, but the bad news is, it was horrible.

Anoop Desai (Ooh, Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) This is a very good song for his voice, and also has very nice falsetto. He does seem to be wearing about 5 layers, which is confusing, but I can forgive questionable fashion choices for such a good song. Nice job, Anoop. It was slow without being boring. Kara thought his chest voice was really strong, but some of the falsetto was a bit off. Still, he showed his skill set, and she wants to see more of his ability to change a song up. Paula wanted more confidence, but loved his phrasing, delivery, and falsetto. Simon thought it was a great vocal, but worried that Anoop looked half asleep during the performance. Randy wants some more energy next week, but enjoyed the crooning swooning balladeer.

Michael Sarver (Aint too Proud to Beg - Temptations) He was sick and missed the trip to Motown. This is better than last week's train wreck that should have sent him home (instead of Alexis - boo!). There's just something I don't dig about him. Still... yes. Much better than last week. His final notes were kind of all over the place, though. Paula thought it felt old Las Vegas Loungey (and she got booed!), and wanted him to be more dominating of the song, instead of letting the song dominate him. Simon thought it was painful, and wanted it to end, because he was screaming and shouting. Randy thought it was corny. Kara thought it lacked artistry. I'm actually suprised that the judges didn't like it more. Not disappointed. lol.

Lil Rounds (Heatwave) - I'm not sure what they did with her hair. I think they tried to make her look retro, but it just looked like a helmet. She's got a flappery dress on. Her performance wasn't terrible, but she seemed to be shouting half the time. There was no change in level the whole time - it was all one shouty bit. I didn't feel like she connected with the song much. Randy thought the front of the song was a little bit of torture, and felt like she was rushing though the whole thing. Agreed. Kara thought Lil looked great, but felt that Lil disappointed in being the diva everyone wanted to hear. She also agreed with me that Lil did a good bit of screaming. Predictably, Paula loved it. Simon thought it was an authentic Motown tribute, but didn't think the song gave her a Moment to shine. He reminded everyone that she is an excellent singer, but wants her to pick a song that allows he to blow everyone away.

(I will finish tomorrow)

Adam Lambert (Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson) Wow - he looks so much better (imo) with his hair in a pompadour instead of emo-ed out. And he's actually singing instead of screaming. See - this Adam I can see being appealing. I'm not saying that the pompadour is the best look for him, but I like it better than emo. I still think that many of the other men in the competition have a better falsetto than Adam does, sounding more natural and less ... Liza. That said, this is the absolute best I have ever seen him, and I could actually root for this Adam. It's nice to see his face. Kara did a rare standing O for him, and called it one of the best of the night, and threw out her favorite word, artistry. Paula (predictably) fell all over herself for him. She also loved seeing his face and the lack of (overwhelming) makeup. Simon said is was undoubtably THE best of the night, and summed up the points they've been making about originality, song choice, and all that. Randy liked that he showed his range and sang such beautiful tender moments. I would have to agree. My god, I liked him. A lot. I wish he would ditch the emo hair.

Danny Gokey (Get Ready) I'm happy to see Danny doing something upbeat. He did not take Smokey's advice and sing the end of the verses himself, instead giving it to the background singers. Honestly, I think it worked out fine, and think he would have sounded rushed if he had tried to sing them himself. I just love his voice, every freaking time I hear it. The night has hit it's stride. H even did a little dance move with the back up singers near the end, and he had a great time. This was wonderful. He has been teetering on the verge of cheesey, and this pulled him back. Paula called it a first class performance. Yikes - Simon thought it was clumsy and amateurish. Randy said he has a dope voice, and loves the energy. Kara loved the personality, thought it was good, not great, but loves him. The judges were rushed because the time was getting away from them.

Allison Iraheta (Papa was a Rolling Stone - Temptations) She had troubles with lyrics in rehearsals, but sounded really good. How will she do tonight? I think fantastic is a word. She is so amazing for being 16. She got a little mumbly sometimes, but it wasn't terrible. I really adored her. Her last note was amazing. Nothing short of. Randy called it blazing hot. Kara says she sings like she's been singing for 400 years, and said it comes from god. Paula (with a drawn on mustache from Simon - what?) said that she's awesome, and amazing. Simon said she's a survivor, and this was one of her best performances.

Tonight was really good, overall! While Matt, Kris, and Anoop had some really great moments, I only really remember the last three of the night. I can't believe how much I liked Adam. I think it's Megan or Scott going home. Michael was ok, but I still don't like him. Lil was also not good - just shouty and bland. Megan was just a total mess. I think her time has come, even though I have liked her... terrible performance.

What did you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Amazing Race - 3.22.09

The Sinister Stewardesses are still in it, but there's a Speed Bump to overcome. I can't explain why I dislike them so much, but I do... so I hope that they have troubles. I guess this season has lost the Annoying Disfunctional Couple that I usually dislike, so my ire has turned towards them.

From Siberia, to India. Talk about a shock to the system. They are heading to Jaipur, or "The Pink City," through Moscow (they *must* connect in Moscow) and find a famous Sacred Tree for their next clue. Margie and Luke headed out first, and Luke said that his mom does the communicating, and he does the strategizing. I can see that. Tammy and Victor were next, followed by Jaime and Cara and Mel and Mike, then Mark and Michael, Kisha and Jen, and Christie and Jodi.

Seems like there is going to be a bottleneck in Moscow, so they will end up on the same flight from there to Jaipur, and they all ended up on the same flight.

In Jaipur, there are some taxi difficulties - including Mel and Mike getting their things stuck in the taxi's trunk when they tried to change cabs because their cabbie didn't know where they were going. The cabbie ended up getting directions (they hope) and they hope to get their luggage upon arrival.

Christie and Jodi's cab had to stop for gas, and they were annoyed.

The way to the Sacred Tree brought them through some of the poorer parts of the city, and Luke was brought to tears. Jaime and Cara were close to tears as well.

Tammy and Victor got to the Sacred Tree first, and the clue was a telephone, and they had to dial a number (one of four). The number they dialed was in hard to understand English, but their cabbie listed to it and knew where it was sending them. The others arrived and had a hard time finding the phone (or realizing it was a clue) and spend some time looking under roots before figuring out that the phone was out of place and catching on.

Though they started out in first place, Christie and Jodi got to the tree last, because of the gas stop.

Road Block

One team member must care for a group of camels, using a set of traditional tools. They have to gather enough food and water to suffice.

Victor got there first, and had a good start before the others arrived. Mel decided to do the task, and it was a foolish choice, because it was pretty physical and he was struggling. Some of the later teams didn't see the baskets that were supposed to be used for the feed - and used the buckets for both, even though the clue specifically said to use traditional tools. I wonder if that will come back to bite them. Mel caught on first, but the others saw him and followed suit.

Mel and Mike finished second, even with the problems. Cara and Jamie and Margie and Luke finished next, followed by Kisha and Jen, Mark and Michael, and Jodi and Christie.

After they were done, they headed to Puppet Store in a bazaar. (but not before Tammy did a header walking across the camel grounds to congratulate Victor)


Movers - Must choose a rickshaw loaded up with a huge amount of barrells, and then pedal 1.5 miles and then search through their containers for a small metal elephant.

Shakers - Go to a busy intersection, don traditional outfits and makeup, and join a dance troupe to earn tips. Once they earned 100 rupies, they could exchange them for the next clue. (I don't like when they have to get money from people who might not really have a lot of money to start with. Just saying.)

Tammy and Victor decided to dance, and did a good job, finishing before anyone else got there. Mel and Mike did the same task. Michael and Mark did the rickshaw, but pretty much everyone else danced. Luke had a hard time dancing, to the music, but said that he read faces to try to get the beat.

Christie and Jodi had a Speed Bump before they could do the Detour. They had to go to a place with an elephant, and decorate him with traditional paint to the satisfaction of the proprieter, before heading on.

Tammy and Victor, meanwhile, were unstoppable, and got to the Pit stop first. They each won an ocean kayak. They were excited about that one. (The local with Phil is playing the nose flute. Crazy and very cool)

Mel and Mike headed to the Pit Stop, and Jamie and Cara were heading out next.... but they couldn't find their cabbie, who had all of their bags and left, apparently. They finally found him and did some hollering at him, which I understand because of frustration, but it made me like them a little less. Margie and Luke were on their way as well.

Michael and Mark had a hard time finding their elephant, and it looked like Christie and Jodi (who finally got to the Detour after some elephant painting) might catch up.

Mel and Mike arrived at the Pit Stop second.

The editing showed Christie and Jodi finishing right before Michael and Mark, and both headed out to the Pit Stop.

Kisha and Jen came in third, followed by Margie and Luke, and Jaime and Cara.

In the end, it was Michael and Mark coming in 6th, leaving the blondes in the dust (just barely).

Christie and Jodi were stymied by the Speed Bump, and I am not upset about that.

Who will be the ones I root against now? I like most of the teams left. Tammy and Victor sometimes bug, but not critically, and Michael and Mark just seem really boring... I pretty much like the others.

Next week, Thailand! And Margie's fainting. That's got to be scary for Luke, who can't communitcate without her. Cant wait!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 3.19.09

Carol thought that her wanting to punch Andrea in the throat was going to get her put on the chopping block, but Andrea said that Carol wasn't the weakest, but she wasn't feeling the effort from LA. LA is pissed about being singled out.

The morning after elimination, Ramsey has a "treat" for them - tapas style dishes from his restaurant in London. It's Salmon Six Ways. Now it comes down to the challenge - Tapas style cooking. Each team will create 5 tapas style dishes - from leftovers - in 20 minutes. The team with the most winning dishes will win.

J spoke about J in third person again, and it bugs.

Lacey was nearly sent back to the Red Team to even it out, but instead, he sent Giovanni over. Robert was mad that they gave the men the weakest from the women, and gave the women the strongest of the men.

Each chef has to create a dish. Giovanni was helpful to the women, and Lacey had no clue what to cook. Robert called her a "fat bitch," and I wonder if he has a mirror. just saying.

Paula - Pepper steak & eggs.
Danny - Filet mignon with wild mushroom ragout

Ramsey loves both dishes and gives each team a point.

Lacey - Mushroom bruschetta with a rubbery leak
LA - Asparagus and ginger soup

Ramsey hated both dishes (and said that LA's soup looked like it came out of the bottom of the dishwasher, and said something about camel bodily fluids, but it got bleeped out) and no points were awarded.

Carol - Ginger rubbed seared tuna with leeks (she thought it was soy sauce, but it was balsalmic)
Robert - peppered pasta with butternut squash and lamb loin

Ramsey didn't like Carol's, and while Robert's was too large for tapas, the flavor was spot on, and the men took a point.

Andrea - open face lobster and asparagus ravioli with a pinot reduction
J - lobster with fennel and leek broth.

Ramsey called J's phallic, and boring. The women took a point.

Ben - grilled tuna, grilled asparagus, fennel fronds
Giovanni - Tapas surf and turf with lobster.

Ramsey had a really hard time deciding between the two dishes. It makes me wonder how they decided who would be going head to head. In the end, Giovanni won it for the Red Team, and there was much rejoicing.

Ramsey let the Blue team know it was very close, but they still have to prep both kitchens for service that night, and it's tapas night, so they are using smaller plates, which they have to wash and polish up.

The Red Team is going to the horse races. Giovanni took the time to chat with the women who were bickering with each other, and told them they need to put aside differences, so they can win.

The Blue team was prepping, and Lacey was pouting and crying about how hard it all is. There seemed to be some foreshadowing about the risotto prep when the ratios were questioned. Lacey pouted and cried about polishing plates. After some more pouting and crying, she threatened to leave. She stomped around the kitchen complaining about everyone, and then announced that she quit. Now, don't tease like that, Lacey. She left the kitchen, and said that she is really a nice person and a good worker. Ben went to beg her to come back, as he did (we were reminded by the editing) two weeks earlier. She was dragged back. I was sad.

Giovanni hopes to pull the Red Team together (and, as Andrea put it, even out the hormones a little), and bring them out on top of service.

Ramsey tasted the risotto after Carol made it, and it was like mush. The foreshadowing of the rice cooking was indeed that, and J made mushy horrible clumpy rice for both kitchens. Ramsey took risotto off the menu for both kitchens and it took another half hour to get some food out.

Unfortunately, it went back. Carol's pasta was raw, and Andrea didn't say anything. Ramsey made them both sit in the dining room and eat the pasta, which was grossly undercooked. They had to finish the plate before they could go back to service.

J continued to be incapable of sending anything out correctly. He was burning salmon and sending some out raw. Ramsey took him into the back room to set him straight. Let's see if the talking to helped.

Over in the Red kitchen, LA couldn't get her sauce right, and was looking half asleep. Ramsey called her a cow, and she didn't like that treatment.

J didn't learn his lesson, and sent out rubbery scallops, and he was kicked out of the kitchen. (And it would seem, out of the game for good. Buh-bye) After that, the Blue team had a really hard time recovering.

In the Red Kitchen, Giovanni was doing a really good job organizing and leading the kitchen. Paula was sending out perfect meat.

Ramsey was at his wits end with Ben, too, and took him into the back room for a verbal whipping, too.

Despite the issues, both teams finished service.

Andrea and Carol got into it again after the service. I'm not sure who I want to side with in this argument, but my gut is with neither of them. I think they both think they are much better than they actually are.

Ramsey had each person on the Blue Team go up and think about one person they don't want on their teams.

Ben immediately apologized for his performance. Robert did some yelling at Lacey.

Robert voted for Lacey to leave, calling her a cancer, and told Ramsey about her threats of quitting, calling it blackmail.

Lacey voted to get rid of Robert. Big surprise. She said they don't understand each other as people, and that's why they can't work together.

Danny voted to boot Lacey, because she has a piss poor attitude.

Ben also nominated Lacey, because she is not a team player.

Even though he got no votes, Ramsey called Ben forward with Lacey. Ramsey wanted to know why Ben didn't nominate himself, and he said it was because he had a lot to offer to the team, but ultimately, he admitted that he dropped the ball that night at service.

Ramsey psyched Ben out and made him think he was going home, but in the end, gave him one last chance, and told them to learn to work together, or else. I could have predicted this outcome, because J was gone tonight anyhow.

Looks like a lot of blow ups next week. Can't wait for the fun!

Amazing Race - 3.15.09

Ok, so I know I am way late blogging this... better late than never?

The last Pit Stop was at the Theatre of Music in Siberia. The Dreaded Flight Attendents are first, and were disappointed in their wish for a warm place when they revealed the clue was to take the Transsiberian Railroad across Siberia to a place with many letters. (Christie and Jodi actually had a funny quote - "Any place with that many consonants is not going to be warm).

Kisha and Jen caught up with Christie and Jodi, and found their way to the train station together, only to discover that there is only one train a day, and it's 10 hours later, so... all teams are on the same train. It's a sleeper car, but the beds are a bit too short for most people.

Mike wondered if Luke would create a new stereotype - the sinister deaf kid. Luke didn't seem upset about that designation. Their use of the blind u-turn is not a secret anymore.

Off the train, Kisha and Jen ran in a different direction than anyone else, and the mad dash was on to get a taxi. Cara and Jaime had their taxi stop so that Luke and Margie could follow them, so the alliance continues. Mel and Mike got into third place in their taxis, followed by Victor and Tammy, and Mark and Michael almost got hit by cars. Kisha and Jen finally found their taxi, and Jen bemoaned the fact that Kisha dared to not follow the pack. *sigh*


Russian Bride - Teams choose a car with a four speed manual transmission (lada), go to an apartment complex, find the waiting bride, bring her to the church, and get a picture taken.

Russian Snowplow - Teams also drive ladas, and operate cumbersome snow plows through a training course (each person has to take a turn).

Cara and Jaime and Luke and Margie choose snowplows, and Tammy and Victor tag along. Mel and Mike go for the Brides. Mike said he likes to choose whatever seems to be more fun, and he'd rather party with virgin brides than snowplows. Heeee. I like him.

Tammy and Victor especially have a terrible time driving. Cara and Jaime and Margie and Luke stopped at a gas station for directions, and Tammy and Victor asked a cabbie for directions, zooming off as soon as they got directions, trying to lose the teams behind them. Luke is suspicious of their sportsmanship. It is a game.

Others arrive and head out for their respective detour choices. Mel and Mike found their bride after a very short (looking) search, and she looked lovely.

Cara and Jamie passed Tammy and Victor, who kept stalling their car. All three get to the snowplows at about the same time. Some confusion occured when it wasn't clear what vehicles were snow plows. Margie almost started driving what looked like a bulldozer. They eventually figured it out, and were on their way.

Christie and Jodi had an encounter with some drunk Russians ("They reeked of vodka and they had bad teeth") who seemed to be leading them astray, but they didn't listen.

Tammy had some trouble with the stuck shift, as did Cara. Luke couldn't wait to get his turn.

Kisha and Jen also found their bride, and Christie and Jodi finally found theirs.

The search for the church was still on.

Tammy and Victor finished the detour first, and headed off to the largest library with the longest name in all of Siberia. Jaime and Cara and Margie and Luke also finished quickly and went on their ways.

Mark and Michael arrived at the snow plows, and did a seemingly quick job. Mel and Mike dropped off the bride and got a picture, and went to find the library.

Kisha and Jen had troubles driving stick, and Christie and Jodi were led to the wrong church by a local (did this one also reek of vodka?). I supressed a snigger. They got directions back to the city to get the bride to the wedding. The bride looked none too pleased.

Margie and Luke arrived at the library first, with Cara and Jaime and Tammy and Victor right behind.


One team member must run a race - in their underwear. (To the delight of many Phil fans out there, Phil demonstrated what underwear look like. Thanks for that) They have to partner with two local runners, and run a little over a mile in their skivvies, after a mandatory 10 minute warm up, to the largest theatre in Russia. Luke was the runner for their team, and Victor was jealous of Tammy, saying he wished he was running in his underwear throught the streets. Cara was disappointed when she didn't get a lot of cat calls, and she walked a whole lot of the way. Not sure about that decision. Mike decided to do the race instead of his dad, and everyone was happier that way.

Kisha and Jen finally found their church and headed out to the library. Christie and Jodi were not far behind (seemingly) and decided to try to hire a cab to follow to the library, because they can't handle navigating.

Luke was embarrassed by running in his underpants, but he was fast and arrived at the finish line first. For winning the leg, a fully clothed Phil told them that they won a trip for two to St Lucia. Very nice. Runnig a race in undies there would be less of a hardship.

Tammy came running in next, and Jaime was not happy to hear that Cara was walking part of the race. Still, Cara got there, and they came in third.

Next on the course, Mike was wishing he hadn't been wearing his "big Russia boots" and Mark felt like an exhibition running through the streets.

Kisha and Jen had issues driving on ice, and almost got into an accident several times, stalling their car in the middle of the road.

Jodi and Christie finally found a cabbie to follow, and managed to keep themselves calm.

Jen finally got the car restarted.

Mike arrived at the finish line, and it was -4C. They came in 4th. Mark arrived not long afterwards, and they had a bit of a problem finding Phil, to be told they came in 5th.

Jen had to change into underwear for the race, because she doesn't wear any. Christie or Jodi (I can't tell them apart) had a problem because she was wearing a thong. Lots of cat calls were heard for both girls. Christie/Jodi slammed her finger in the door of the car before they left the car, and got some medical help.

And it's a non-elimination leg! So, sadly, the Dastardly Stewardesses are not eliminated, but have to perform a Speed Bump during the next leg. I guess they make good tv, but I still hope that thy fail in regaining ground.

(I'll finish fomatting later, if I can.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol - 3.18.09: Results Show

The big graphics behind Ryan are truly dizzying, and distracting. Is Randy wearing a cravat? And did Paula raid a vampire's closet? A kind of slutty vampire? Simon continues to to be ridiculously casual.

I fast forwarded through the recap. We all saw it, no need to re-do.

Oh, yeah. The group sing, it's Trouble. Scott got to play the piano. I'm totally digging Megan's pants, but the girl still can't move. Lil's outfit was regrettable. I don't think the singing was anything to really comment about. It was ok, but nothing to write home about, and the choreography was clumsy and awkward, as has come to be expected.

It's Ford Music video time! It's set to one of my favorite songs to sing on Rockband, Here it Goes Again, and involved a lot of water balloons. Kris really is very camera friendly, I'll give him that.

After that, we got to see what happens after people get booted off the show. Amazingly, they don't just open up the big ol' hole in the floor and send them to the shark pit; they actually have a little send off celebration. Who would have thunk it?

Ryan asked the finalists some questions, including poor Michael, who's daughter asked him why he didn't want to be with her anymore, since he's on the show. That was sad. Apparently, everyone was wearing masks during dress rehearsal, to keep Megan's contagion contained. For fashion's sake, masks are off now, so I hope that the bugs are well behaved.

Danny is pronounced safe, and Lil and her terrible top are also safe from elimination. I wish we could eliminate her shirt (and of course, replace it with something else, but really... did girl not look in the mirror?). Anoop's great performance last night ensured him a place in the Top 10. Allison and Michael were told to stand next. Paula blathered on about how no one deserves to go home, and predicted Allison would be in the bottom 3, and she was right. Oh no! Michael sat down again, but not for long, because it turned out that he also is in the bottom 3.

(I fast forwarded through Brad Paisley, because I don't care)

Scott is told to stand next, and he is not in the bottom 3. Oh well. Megan and her virus are also safe. Yay! (yay about Megan, not the virus). Matt is also in the Top 10. Kris, with his best performance so far, are safe too. Alexis, who didn't do super well on Jolene, and Adam and his insane take on Ring of Fire are the final two to learn their fate. Simon said that Adam's performance was worse upon watching it back, but Randy (who brought up that Adam's Ring of Fire was based on Jeff Buckley's version) said that Allison is in the bottom three. Why yes, Randy, she is. Turns out, he meant Alexis, and he was right.

The bottom three consists of two of my favorite girls, and someone who I keep forgetting. I hope that Mr. Forgettable goes home. Allison is at least safe.

It's time for a duet with Carrie and Randy Travis. Is she wearing a hair net, or did she just get a really bad hair cut? I hope it's just teased and tucked up. She looks like she's getting ready for a Barbie Prom. It's a bad bad outfit. Carrie sounds good, even though I don't really like her. I swear the flower in her hair looks like a tarantula perched up there. Not good. Kind of scary. She and Randy Travis sound nice together, too. It was mostly a Carrie song, with Randy Travis playing guitar and singing a bit, but not much. Not bad. And I don't usually like Carrie.

Ryan took a seat with the bottom 2, and Simon admitted that the judges might use their save on one of them. I bet it would be Alexis.

Will they do it? Michael is safe, and it would be Alexis going home. Nooooooo!!! Michael is so boring and forgettable.

The judges get to decide if they are going to use their save after Alexis' encore performance. She sang for her life, and looked ready for tears. Unfortunately, I dont know if it was strong enough to save her. She would have had to kill it. I really love her, and I will be so sad to see her go, but I don't think that they should use their save on her. I hope to hear more from her in the future, though.

But will they use it? Nope! I am sad. She is so sweet and pretty, and very talented. She left with dignity and lots of grace, true to her name.

And apparently, Obama is pre-empting American Idol next week. What's up with that? So, next week, the performances will be on Wednesday, with a Results Show on Thursday. Since there is no Survivo, I can handle that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol - 3.17.09: Grand Ole Opry Night

My, but Kara is shiny tonight, and Simon looks like they dragged him out of bed. His t-shirt uniform is a bit odd next to the two ladies. I can't tell if Paula's dress has roosters or flowers on it. I wouldn't be surprised if Randy busted out some Cosby sweaters, so I won't even mention him. The lighting crew had some fun briefly for Saint Patrick's Day, but only briefly.

I suppose we should get on with it... Country Night/Grand Ole Opry Night... (and, though they did play at the Ryman Auditorium for their Union Street tour, sadly Erasure is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry... sigh.) There was a montage of how great Randy Travis is, and I still don't care much. He's the mentor of the week.

Michael Sarver (Aint Going Down 'til the Sun Comes Up - Garth Brooks) This song is dense with lyrics, and that could be a problem. Michael's from Texas, and is the only one that I could think of s not having a hard time with country. He did a good job, but it seemed really karioke and mumbly. I don't know if the song is really a good showcase for a voice as it is a showcase for memorization skills. Michael's tone is very throaty, and I don't really like it. So, he got the words. Congratulations, but... eh. Randy said it showed a fun side to him, but didn't really show off his vocals. Kara missed his big notes, but was impressed by the lyrical memory. Michael said that country music is about having fun. Paula liked that he had fun with it, and then stumbled over complimenting the harmonica player. Simon said that he couldn't understand a single word Michael sang, he might as well have been singing in Norwegian, and called it clumsy. I would agree with that. Hey, Simon also called it karioke. Thank you, Simon. Michael talked back to Simon (bad idea) and said that if they were all perfect, they wouldn't need the show. He bugs me.

Allison Iraheta (Blame it on Your Heart - Patty Loveless) - Her leather jacket nearly matches her hair, and it's pretty cool. She's also got a flower in her hair that is the same color, and it's pretty. I've never heard the original song, but Allison has such a great voice, she can rock it out. She had a couple breathing problems in there, but nothing fatal. She impresses me. Kara broke out the "you could sing the alphabet" praise, saying that Allison made it her own and sounded great. Paula called it a rock solid performance, but wants Allison to experiment with her vocal capabilities more. Simon thought it was good, and a little tuneless in parts, and agreed that she is rock solid, but verging on precocious. Randy had time to say it was dope before getting cut off by the bwah-wahhhhh. Still trying to figure out the timing with four judges I think.

Kris Allen (To Make You Feel My Love- Garth Brooks) - Kris is pulling out the guitar again in rehearsal, but ditched it for the performance. Randy Travis was impressed with him in rehearsals, and I have to say, Kris could be a dark horse. He knows how to use his voice, and has a good tone. His falsetto is really beautiful. His ennunciation is strange in parts, though. I never like it when someone tells me to listen to their art. His last note was a little shaky, but overall, it was nice. Paula was suprised (pleasantly) at the honest, pure, and vulnerable performance. She did worry that he had some pitchy moments, but thought it was a smart choice to go without his guitar. Simon thought it was terrific, and loved the way he was in control of his vocals. Randy thought it was really cool, and enjoyed the tender moments, and called him a tender dawg. Kara said it didn't even seem country, it was just very Kris Allen. Nice. I would have to agree. I enjoyed him.

Lil Rounds (Independence Day - Martina McBride) I think Lil is wearing a prom dress. Not sure. It's odd looking, that's for sure. Lil got a little interview time with Lil, who talked up the Mansion. I like Lil's hair tonight. It's looking less like the top of a pineapple (it is looking a little like prom hair, though... oh well. Can't have it all). Lil was determined to honor the country and not put too much r&b into the song, and she did sing it as country. Some of her high notes seemed a bit strained, and she sounded a little sharp. Just a tad. She didn't need to put in the run at the end, in my opinion, but her last power note was strong. It was decent. Randy thought it was an ambitious and interesting song choice, and didn't like the beginning. He didn't think she sounded comfortable in the song. Randy wished she had sung I Will Always Love You, and I'm so glad she didn't. Kara liked the second half of the song more, and still questioned the song choice, but admired Lil standing her ground on her choice. Paula thought everything was going right for Lil tonight, but she wanted more of the chorus. Simon kept calling Lil "Little," which was funny. He said it sounded like a song she was forced to sing, and didn't like the song choice. Lil also talked back to Simon. Just stop.

Adam Lambert (Ring of Fire - Johny Cash) Randy Travis was left completely speechless by Adam, who is doing a strange sitar-infused version of the song. Adam's hair is looking a little peacockish tonight, and it was like Jim Morrison doing Johny Cash. My husband hates everything about Adam. I have to say, this is the least I have hated him so far. He did find a way to put some of his high notes into a song that doesn't have high notes, and his high notes always sound so Liza Minelli to me. I know that people who love Adam will drool over this performance. It was unique, that's for sure. Kara was left nearly speechless, and said it was all a little strange, but she kind of liked it. It left her confused and kind of happy. Paula stammered about how much she loves Adam, and said it sounded like Kashmir Led Zepplin. Simon said "What the Hell was that?" and warned Adam to never go to Nashville. He thought it was indulgent rubbish. Thank you. I think that about Adam most of the time. Randy said it was Nine Inch Nails doing country, and loved it. Gah. It was just so over the top theatrical, and not in a good way... but I know there are lots of people who love him.

Scott MacIntyre (Wild Angels - Martina McBride) - Randy was unsure about the song choice, but in the end, he thought it would be ok. I think that Scott got his leather coat at the same place as Allison. Someone smoothed his hair down some, and it looks better. The song is boring and I don't enjoy his voice. I think he is a better piano player than he is a singer, honestly. I think I fell asleep halfway through. When the tempo picked up, it just seemed weird. He's ok, but I just don't like his voice. Blah. Paula thought it was impressive and lovely, and thinks he works harder than others. She worried that the piano is a bit of a crutch, and said that people need to see him as a showman. Scott was funny and said they could push the piano closer. Simon thought it was a stupid thing to say, wondering what else she would like Scott to do. Simon worried more that the song choice was very similar to the previous week, and said that both song choices were forgettable. Randy wanted hot, crazy, unbelievable vocals, and he was just hearing kind of nice. Kara wanted Scott to up his game, and wow them. Simon said the key is to just pick better songs.

Alexis Grace (Jolene - Dolly Parton) Hey, Alexis remembered to wear her dress! It's another kind of prom-dressy, but at least it's a dress. Brooke White did a joyful version of this song last year, which could be ok, if the song wasn't a kind of angry song. Right from the beginning, Alexis seemed to understand the song better than Brooke ever did. Her high notes are not the stongest if she doesn't put a lot of power behind them, but I really love her lower range. It is not my favorite performance of Alexis', but it kicked Brooke White's butt. Randy wasn't sure if she hit the notes right, and thought she tried to make it too bluesy. Kara wanted edgey angst from Alexis. I'm actually glad that she stepped out of the box they've put her in. Paula thought that she took an artistic approach, and loves seeing the vulnerable, soft side. Simon thought it was ok, but didn't think it was totally memorable. I liked it quite a lot and I am glad that she did something a bit different.

Danny Gokey (Jesus Take the Wheel - Carrie Underwood) He had a really rough time with the lyrics during rehearsal. I don't really like this song, and I think it is a weird choice for Danny. He wandered around stage looking a little bored, until he hit the chorus, and then he got a little more into his stride. I thought it was a little off, still. Not my favorite. I love him, though. Kara loved it when he hit his stride, but agreed with me that the front half of the song was not that great. Paula loves when artists build a story, and would be upset if he always sang at the full tilt, because then we wouldn't appreciate the power. Simon hated Danny's outfit, but thought that the light and shade in a song was necessary. Randy thought that the verses were pitchy and needed more support.

(Kara needs to stop telling people to be the same all the time. She's bugging me, and I really like a lot of what she says, but people should be allowed to change it up and take chances sometimes. Just saying)

Anoop Desai (You Are Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson) I enjoy the Pet Shop Boys cover of this song, and the Willie Nelson version, and the Johny Cash version. Can Anoop measure up? Someone also got at Anoop's hair with a brush or a comb and some styling products, and it looks good. His voice is really great tonight. I don't know about wearing a hoodie with a jacket, but that's neither here nor there. That a pretty good performance, and I am happy, because I like Anoop and want him to do well. Paula is proud of his song choice, and said it fit him like a glove, unlike last week's choice when the glove did not fit. Simon said that Anoop went from zero to hero, and loved the song choice, and likes that Anoop can take the criticism that he got last week and improve upon himself. Randy really wanted Anoop-Dawg in the competition, dude, and thought the arrangement was dope. Kara said it was a classic, almost untouchable song, and he made it his own.

Megan Joy (Corkrey) (I Go Walking After Midnight) - I think this song choice is brilliant for her voice. Her dress is coordinated with her tattoo, I think, and she put on some of her waggle dance. She's got such a unique sound, and she made the song very bluesy. Her transitions into some of the high notes were very weak. Overall, much better than last week, much more herself. She seems to have a cold. Randy said it could have been a trainwreck, but ended up being a perfect choice for her. Kara said that not a lot of people with the flu would be able to go out and do a performance like that. Holy cow, Paula said that Megan has been in the hospital and back and missed dress rehearsal, but still did wonderfully. Simon thought if this was what she sounds like with the flu, she should always have the flu, but thought that Megan was a bit too made up. I think she looks lovely. I think I will be voting for her.

Matt Giraud (So Small - Carrie Underwood) Randy worried about his song choice, but enjoyed Matt's version. Behind the piano again, the dueling pianist sounded very very good. I've never heard the original song, but for the most part, I enjoyed Matt's version. I'd like to see a piano duel between Matt and Scott. I wonder who would win. Just curious. Sadly, Matt's final high note was weak. Kara thinks that Matt is an artist and a true talent, and thought he was amazing. Paula thought Matt brings authenticity, but had a hard time pronouncing it. Paula then congratulated Carrie on being so good. Simon said that Matt deserves more credit for his vocals. Randy thought it was his favorite performance of the night.

I think that Allison (02), Megan (10), Anoop (09), Matt (11), Kris (03), and Danny (08) were the best. I also like Alexis. Oh, and I forgot about Michael by the time the recap came, and that's not good. I think it could be him or Scott going home. All in all, it wasn't as bad a night as I expected. Still, I would have liked nearly any other theme more. They will always have country night, and I will never look forward to it.

What did you think?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 3.12.09

No more Colleen!!! Yippee!! I don't blame Ramsey for getting rid of her in spite of her not being nominated.

J was rocked from being nominated, and apologized to his son's picture.

Ramsey talked to the Cheftestants, and let Lacey know he was impressed with her performance. This week, they are doing a Bar Mitvah. Ben cheered, saying they were his people. Coi has catered many Bar Mitvahs and loves them. The Bar Mitvah Boy's mom and grandma came in and told the cheftestants that the boy loves mom's burgers, brisket, and chicken soup. The teams have 45 minutes to create fantastic fine dining versions of these dishes.

Why do I have the sinking feeling that Ben is going to disappoint, because he is totally sure of himself?

Carol is planning a burger stuffed with bleu cheese, which Andrea hated the idea of for kids. She then took a poll and asked what temp she should cook the burger to, and everyone said medium well, and she said, ok, I'll do it medium then...

Bar Mitvah Boy is judging. Giovanni and Andrea are up first with the chicken soup. Giovanni's won.

Ben's and LA's briskets are up next. This one went to LA, and Jewish Ben's Brisket was denied.

Carol's Bleu Cheese Burger vs. Robert's Kobe Burger were up last. Both chefs couldn't stop talking their burgers up. Max didn't like the bleu cheese, and Robert's burger won it for the men (and Lacey).

The Blue Team headed off to a spa for a day of relaxation.

Carol was still proud of her bleu cheese burger. She and her ego have to help the Red Team get the dining room ready for the Bar Mitvah. Poor Jean-Philippe had to work with Francisco (from seasons past) who couldn't be more flamboyant and stereotypical. LA said "I'm gay, that dude is parade gay."

The blue team got some serious spa treatments, with J talking about J in third person, and Robert showing too much skin.

Andrea and Carol butted heads some more. and couldn't put together a dance floor.

Ben and Lacey bonded a bit while getting massages.

There was the typical annoying behavior when the Blue Team returned from their reward.

Ramsey impressed upon the Cheftestants that it is super important for the Service to be completed for the Bar Mitvah. The winning recipes are on the menu.

First off, Andrea's mushroom risotto was sent back for not having enough mushrooms. Carol tried to hop in and help her, but she denied the help, and fixed it herself.

For the second part of the punishment for the Red Team, they had to hold Max's chair for the Hora dance. They all hoped not to drop him. Ben (remember he's Jewish, because he's not going to let you forget), wishes he had gotten to take part.

J missed the part of an order where Ramsey said no dressing on a salad, and it did not make Ramsey happy.

The Entrees can't go out until Max has been served. Coi forgot to put the burgers on, and then they were sticking on the grill. They were cold when they were brought up to the pass, and that's a not good at all. Ramsey kicked trash cans and they got fixed.

What was not fixed was Danny's plates, which had schmutz on the bottom of them.

Coi was also have problems with the meat, and Carol was stepping on her feet. LA tried to help Coi cut the brisket, but she refused the help.

Over in the Blue Team, Lacey was starting to show her true colors and flipping out about small things.

And on the Red Team, Andrea and Carol were fighting like cats.

Meanwhile, in a move that looked totally scripted, the Bar Mitvah cake fell flat on the floor when Francisco bumped into Jean-Philippe. The cheftestants sent out desserts instead. (looked to be planned that way anyhow).

As a final surprise for the Bar Mitvah Boy, the Harlem Globetrotters made an appearance. Robert said what I was thinking - "I remembered those guys when they were on Scooby Doo, man."

During clean up, Andrea tried to apologize for stepping on Carol's feet, but Carol said she had wanted to punch Andrea in the throat.

Since both teams finished service, Ramsey decided that the Blue Team won because they had more determination throughout service. Ramsey picked Andrea as the strongest in the Red Team, because she bounced back. No one seemed pleased with that decision.

When Ramsey asked who she nominated, Andrea said she didn't have any real decisions. Ramsey didn't like that answer, and I thought he was going to fire her right there. In the end, she put Coi and LA up. I was stunned that she didn't put Carol up, given their animosity. LA said that Ramsey hasn't seen the best of her yet, and she's not very loud, but she wants to stay. Coi says that she's a wonderful team player. And when Ramsey was about to give his decision, Coi spoke up and said that Andrea was the weakest in the kitchen. Carol and LA agreed. In the end, it didn't matter what they said - Coi was sent packing. There were tears.

Next week, Andrea and Carol continue to get at each other, Lacey threatens to quit - again, and Robert said he would hang up his Chef's Coat and become a crack whore. o....k....

Survivor Tocantins: 3.12.09

After the recap, we see a happier Jalapao. Taj explained her baffling vote for Joe, saying that she just didn't want to put Sandy's name down. What?

She and Stephen went out in search of the Immunity Idol, finding it up the Tree Mail Statue's butt. Who came up with that idea? It looked like the Tree Mail Idol shat the Immunity Idol. Taj decided to let Stephen hold the idol, but warned him not to let it show. He said that he is planning to keep it in his possesion as long as he can, and theoretically, it is his, even though they found it together. I really hope the Secret Alliance works out, because Taj seems to blab her mouth easily - like telling people that he husband is the famous football player.

Over at Timbira, Brenden is working on the fire, and Sierra took the opportunity to chat with Brenden about the fact that he didn't tell her about the planned alliance. Brenden told her that he has the idol. Sierra claims that their alliance is going to take over the whole world. In Survivor foreshadowing, that means something is going to go horribly wrong.

Reward Challenge

The challenge will be played in rounds. One tribe member will be seated on a spinning platform. Another tribe member will grab a rope attatched to the platform and run, causing it to spin and the seated person to get dizzy. The seated person will then have to (stagger) make their way across a balance beam. If they fall off, they have to start over. Lather, rinse, repeat, until 3 tribe members are through.

Winners get a trip to the Charmin Cafe, with strong coffee, pastries, a modern toilet, and plenty of charmin - which they might need after having coffee for the first time in days. Just saying. The two going to Exile will include a member of the winning tribe who will not get to go to the cafe.

First to sit is Tyson, pulled by Brenden for Timbira, and Joe will be pulling Taj for Jalapao. Taj was first off and had some serious equilibrium troubles. Tyson made it through first. Coach pulled Erin next, and Stephen pulled Spencer. This is like a version of that game with the baseball bat on your head spinning around. I forget what it's called. Spencer made it across for Jalapao. Next, Joe spun JT and Brenden spun Sierra, who looked like she was going to throw up. Everyone looks dreadfully drunk. It's hilarious. JT made it across for Jalapao. Stephen is pulling Sydney, and Coach is pulling Debra. Anyone notice that Coach again took the easy role in this challenge? Sydney was doing a great job, but fell off near the end. She made quick work of regaining her ground, and won it for Jalapao. Brenden was sent to Exile, and chose Stephen to go with him. Tyson was getting suspicious of Brenden's standing with the other team.

At the Reward, Taj tried to connect with her tribe some, since she has been at Exile so much. There was an additional reward of letters from home. Tears were free flowing. JT's mom showed a rare display of affection in the letter, telling him that she loved him for "the third time in my life." That's sad.

Back at Timbira, Tyson told Debra and Coach that he was concerned about Brenden making connections with the other tribe. They said "don't tell Sierra" because she wouldn't be with them. Coach didn't like the possibility of Brenden being in charge at a merge.

Coach insisted that he knew the meteorological patterns in the area, and said that there was no way the rain was going to hit them. Boom, downpour. Erinn of the Superfluous N said that she wouldn't be surprised if when it's all over, Coach comes out and says "Gotcha, I'm an accountant, and I've never left Nebraska." Somehow, that wouldn't shock me, either.

Brenden and Stephen bonded at Exile, and decided to build camp. Stephen said his first impression was "positive, but wary." He is not planning on putting all his eggs in the Secret Alliance Basket. Smart guy.

There was an awkward conversation between Sydney (who dreamt of her boyfriend and a plate of chips and salsa) and Spencer (who has not come out to his tribe that he is gay) when she asked if there was a special girl in his life. Not so much. I can admire him not wanting to be flamboyant about it if that's not him, but I hope that he doesn't find his secrecy coming back to bite him in the ass.

It's Immunity Challenge Time.

Two members of each tribe will alternate launching balls out into a field. Whichever tribe catches five balls first (any color) wins.

Sydney and Stephen are launching for Jalapao, and Debbie and Erinn are launching for Timbira. JT caught the first ball, which goes to show why he was excited for the challenge when he saw the tree mail. He swiftly caught another. Brenden caught one for Timbira, and then another. It's tied. JT got another one for Jalapao, and lost a tooth in the process. There was a search for the tooth since he threw it - to which he said, "It's only half of it." He kept playing, and Probst took custody of the tooth. Tyson caught one for Timbira, and Half Toothed JT grabbed the fourth one for Jalapao. Tyson scored again for Timbira, and again. It's tied again. And one flew right into Tyson's net, winning it for Timbira. JT lost half a tooth for nothing. He's pissed.

And again, Coach was completely irrelavant to the challenge.

Half Tooth said that he doesn't want to get rid of anyone, but Spencer's in trouble. Joe hurt his knee at the challenge. Taj mouthed off for no apparent reason, and was mad that Joe has never come to her to talk to her about an alliance. She was hot, she said. It was irrational and stupid. This made her a target.

Stephen sagely said that he might be best served by Taj going home without him surrendering the Idol, because then it would be his alone, but then he would lose some connection with the others in the Secret Alliance.

when to chat with JT and Joe, to plead his case. JT says it's probably going to be Spencer or Taj. And it's time for Tribal. Who will it be? Will the Secret Alliance stand?

Spencer admitted that he sucked in the challenge, and Taj said that there was some definite tension after their loss, and she said that she did blow up and get upset. I say she was acting like a wet cat, lashing out at everyone for no reason. Spencer said that feelings change when you feel like your head might be on the chopping block. Joe said that he hasn't heard Taj say that she doesn't have the idol, and she truthfully said that she doesn't have it (because Stephen has it, unless he gave it to her).

So, who's out? I have a bad feeling for Taj, because she wouldn't shut up. She did not play the idol.

Turned out, she didn't need it. The youngest player ever is out. I'm sad, because I liked him. I wish that Jalapao had won Immunity, because I find more of the Timbira tribe (Tyson, Coach) really unpleasant and want them gone. Maybe next week.

Question is, will Coach actually step up and accomplish anything, or just continue to be all about talk (that is wrong half the time, anyhow)?

It's two weeks before the next show, which is on a Wednesday night, and looks like Tyson will be more naked, Coach will be more annoying, and Stephen will chat with JT... about the Secret Alliance??