Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm only a week late with this...

Alright, let’s talk about the Oscars. This is the first time I’ve watched the entire ceremony in years (or really, ever) so I might as well blog about it.

Obviously, I loved Hugh Jackman. He’s kind of the only reason I watched. I hate that I’m that easy. Luckily, Hugh is more than just a handsome face. He was a charming host, indeed, and I liked the two musical numbers. The musical tribute to Musicals was a smidge under-rehearsed, but I’m always up for a dose of Beyonce, lip-syncing and nipple-slips and all. I LOVED the new format – it made the three-hour program seem to go by much faster. Some people are dogging the way they passed out the acting achievement awards (5 former winners gave a little speech to each nominee), but I thought it was fantastic. It gave each nominee due credit and also gave the award itself a sense of gravitas and distinction. Sometimes the other nominees get ignored, especially if there’s a clear favorite. For example, we all knew Heath Ledger would win for Best Supporting Actor (if he hadn’t, I think the Kodak Theatre would have spontaneously combusted), but I was glad that the other nominees, who didn’t have a prayer, got their asses kissed appropriately before losing.

I wasn’t invested in the awards themselves because I haven’t seen any of the movies, with the exception of The Dark Knight, so I have no comment or argument with how it all turned out. However, I did enjoy watching Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black shame the gay-haters out there – that’s always fun. And I bought the Slumdog Millionare soundtrack less than five minutes after the ceremony ended, because GOD… I love Bollywood. For your info, if you see me anytime in the next few weeks, there’s a good chance I’ll scream Jai Ho in your face, that’s how much I love that song.

Enough about the awards and junk, let’s talk about the gowns! (after the jump)…

‘Twas a good year for Oscar fashions, my friends. Lots to see and lots to talk about. Unfortunately, though, there weren’t many epic fails to speak of. The world suffered a great loss when Cher stopped attending the Oscars. A great loss, indeed.

The Best:

Anne Hathway in Armani Prive

Anne Hathaway is definitely the winner this year. I love this gown. It’s everything an Oscar gown should be: glamorous, sparkly, and very fitted. I love how the beading swirls around her curves.

Kate Winslet in Atelier Yves Saint Laurent

Kate Winslet was resplendent in this grayish-bluish Yves Saint Laurent gown. I like the asymmetry and the lace. However, I think I would like it more without the asymmetry – strapless or with both straps – because sometimes it is better to just PICK ONE.

Amy Adams in Carolina Herrera

Amy Adams was one of the few actresses in red, and she stood out in a good way. I’m not keen on the swath of fabric pinned to her sternum because I feel like it hides what could have been a very eye-catching bodice. In fact, it almost looks like it IS hiding something. Perhaps she is pregnant, or maybe she had a mishap at dinner. Anyway, the necklace is… random, but she definitely needed something up there to avoid looking boring.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte

The Nataport looked stunning. LOVE the color. And the detailing in front, with the beading and the pleating and the twisting, is interesting without being busy. I’m not sure why she chose to match her lip-stick with the dress, but that’s a small complaint.

Alicia Keys in Armani Prive

Alicia Keys had a good night. I love the color on her and the construction of the bodice is clever and different. Normally, I would balk at the idea of bunching up the fabric around one boob, but in this case it’s flattering and elegant. And the slit is a nice touch because it shows her legs, which brings it on home how great this color is with her skin tone.

Taraji P. Hensen in Robert Cavalli

Girlfriend is wearing the hell out of this Roberto Cavalli gown. It is beautifully made, for one thing, and it fits her like magic. The tiered fabric reminds me of Christian’s and Chris March’s dress from the avant garde challenge of Project Runway: Season 4, which is probably why I like it so much. I will say that the choice of white makes this dress come dangerously close to looking like they wrapped her in toilet paper.

The not great, not bad:

Sarah Jessica Parker in Dior

SJP showed up dressed like a horny ballerina. At least the huge tulle gown is balanced by her massive boobs leaping out of the top of her bodice. Seriously, even I was distracted. I like how Matthew Broderick disappears into the background of this photo – all eyes go straight to the globes. Anyway – it’s a pretty dress. The color is, apparently, barely mint, but it appears almost white in most of the photos I’ve seen. I don’t hate it at all, but it was a challenging dress to pull off, which she proved by almost tripping over it as she came on stage with Daniel Craig.

Miley Cyrus in Zuhair Murad

Mily Cyrus is getting a lot of flack for this dress, but I’m thinking that has more to do with her than the actual gown. I’m actually kind of fascinated; it calls to mind flowers, and the ocean, and Dutch tiles – all at the same time. The worst thing about it is that awful shell-looking thing on her belt. I don’t get that at all.

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab

Angelina looked gorgeous, as usual, so no one can put her in the ‘worst’ pile. But I can call her out for wearing another boring black dress. What saves it for me are the green earrings. Great choice, for sure.

Heidi Klum in Roland Mouret

Heidi’s dress is interesting, indeed. I wish I could have been there so I could inspect the area for the safety wires and mirrors. How is this dress staying together? Normally, I don’t like dresses that make me think of origami, but I’ll admit that this is kind of neat.

Just bad:

Tilda Swinton in Lanvin

Tildes is one of the tiniest women in the world and yet she is wearing something that makes her look lumpy. Why? And the colors are so dull. I think I could come around to liking the top, if it wasn’t for that awful skirt.

Sophia Loren in Armani Prive

Sophia Loren’s gown has been around for awhile, showing up on several Red Carpets this season, with limited results. I don’t know if it’s the color, the color in conjunction with her skin, or what, but I think she looks like a giant, beached jellyfish. Those curly things on the bottom remind me of calamari, which doesn’t help.

Jessica Biel in Prada

Jessica Biel’s dress must be ill because it looks like it just threw up. Either that, or its sticking its tongue out at America.

Beyonce Knowles in House of Dereon

Beyonce is wearing a House of Dereon creation that can only be described as an abomination. First of all: that gold pattern looks like a couch made in Boca Raton (in 1978). The seaming widens her and makes her look three times as big as she is. The bottom is so heavy and full that it makes her head look freakishly small. And why is she standing like that? Don’t air out your pits on the Red Carpet!

Lisa Rinna in Gustavo Cadile

Who invited Medusa?

Since I’ve been turned to stone, I’ll stop there. What did ya’ll think? Did I leave anyone out – for good or fug?

Friday, February 27, 2009

5,000 hits = anti-climax...

At some point in the past month, unnoticed and unheralded, this blog reached its 5000th hit. Ya’ll, I’m not impressed.

I’m such a schizo when it comes to blogging – and not just when it comes to consistently updating. Indeed, I’ve always felt like this blog has some sort of borderline personality disorder. It’s random and unfocused and flaky (what does say about me, I wonder). Calling it a pop-culture blog is very generous, because I actually just blog about what I like with no regard for the stuff I don’t. But I do love the idea of people reading my words. I’m only human. And I really like looking at my stats to see where the hits are coming from (apparently, I have a strong following in Poland *shrugs*). So, I’m kind of half-way interested in exploring ways to increase my traffic.

All of the literature I’ve read about blogging points out that the most successful blogs establish a niche, or at least have a theme of sorts. Mine, on the contrary, follows a fanciful path, in tandem with the strange ebbs and flows of my interests and thoughts. The other thing good blogs do, apparently, is keep it short. Look at Perez Hilton, for example. He draws some graffiti on a picture and writes something bitchy, whereas I state a thesis and expound for pages and pages and pages, like you care. And finally, the popular blogs have original content filled with new information. I prefer to comment on things that are already out there.

*thinks about it* The results of my brooding are after the jump…

I’ve thought about it. Regarding the characteristics of successful blogs: I’m never going to be satisfied posting pithy opinions. I’m a thinking person and I believe opinions are useless if they aren’t backed up. So we can scratch that off. I can, however, try to be more original. Maybe I can try to write a few more editorial posts about what’s happening in the world… or something. What I can certainly do, I guess, is be more topical.

My most popular posts are definitely about TV, especially Reality TV. I’ve gone through so many weird phases with those posts, though. I started out writing full recaps, but that got to be too much. And why would anyone write recaps when there’s Television without Pity? So then I started doing reactions – off the cuff commentary, short and sweet, sometimes focusing on the clothes or whatever, and that’s all fun but I couldn’t help feeling that it was just like all the other garbage littering the interwebs. I’ve even tried recapping by formula, like Rich at FourFour and his ANTM recaps, or the fine young lady at Kroki Refur and her Supernatural recaps. But the idea of all that screen-capping and gif-making makes me tired. I would have to find some sort of unique spin on doing recaps that wouldn’t bore me or make me ill.

If this blog was to reflect my patterns of pop-culture consumption in any accurate way, it would be about music. Pop music is my first and true love. And I suppose I could do better about posting videos and news about my fav artists. But I’ll never be Arjanwrites or Stereogum. Why would people settle for me?

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing reviews for movies and books, but I don’t read enough or see enough movies to keep an active blog. And honestly, most of the time I don’t have very strong opinions about them, which would be boring for you.

No one wants to hear about work, so that’s out of the question. And I’m poor, so I don’t really do anything exciting or go anywhere exotic. Booooooring.

And then there’s the menzzz. It’s fun to post pictures of gorgeous guys, but I fancy myself a little more sophisticated. I don’t want to have an eye-candy blog; that’s just too easy.

I guess the real question is what I want the purpose of this blog to be. I think some bloggers are doing it for the money. Hits can generate some serious cash-flow, if one advertises correctly and the content is good. Making a buck, though, takes a lot of work. Basically, it’s a full-time job. I’m not sure I’ll ever be interested in blogging full-time – it seems pretty risky and I like having a day job. Another purpose could be keeping up with friends and possibly making new ones. I’m very grateful to the people who have found this blog and comment regularly, because it makes the experience rewarding and fun. But when a blog becomes too personal, it can become exclusive, which is not the direction for which I’m aiming. And really, if I wanted it to be super-personal, I’d write in a journal.

I suppose there’s always the possibility that I’m on the right track, as long as I start posting more regularly. Should I try to focus the blog more, or is it fine the way it is? Thoughts? Concerns? Funny stories?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Premeditating Dancing with the Stars(?) Season 8

Here we are again – a new season of Dancing with Stars. What kind of shenanigans have the casting people been up to since picking Cloris Leachman?

Here’s the short list:

Belinda Carlisle – former Go-Go
David Alan Grier – comedian specializing in racial (and mostly not funny) humor
Jewel – Prolific singer-songwriter and terrible poet
Shawn Johnson – extremely flexible pixie
Lil Kim – Ex-con and rap star, enjoys showing up in public wearing bedazzled pasties (once fondled by Diana Ross)
Gilles Marini – his penis starred in the Sex and the City movie
Ty Murray – married to Jewel and works in something called Rodeo
Steve-O – Jackass famous for playing a Jackass on a show called Jackass
Nancy O’Dell – holds a microphone for a living
Denise Richardson – used to be married to Charlie Sheen, now stars in a reality tv show about how she used to be married to Charlie Sheen
Lawrence Taylor – this year’s guy who used to play football and was apparently very good at it
Chuck Wicks – sings country and dates Julianne Hough
Steve Wozniak – rich, smart, and besties with Kathy Griffin

The twist this year seems to be pre-established relationships between contestants and partners, which might make it more excited, but will more likely piss me off because of the havoc it will wreak upon the voting. Jewel is married to Ty. Maksim is engaged to Karina (gag!), and Julianne is practically engaged to her partner Chuck. I swear to God, if he proposes to her at any point during a live telecast I will stop watching this show forever.

Anyway – let’s go through them one by one, paying special attention to their chances in the competition, their professional partners, and whether or not they qualify as a star (answer: nope).

Ah Belinda Carlisle… it’s OK that she looks a little stretched out in the face. We lived through Pricilla Presley, so this is nothing. I’m excited to see how she does; I mean, we know she’s got the beat (yuck, yuck) so I think she’ll be proficient at least. And unless she’s found religion or something, I know she has spunk and sass and sexy, so the Latin dances won’t intimidate her like they have so many of the other women on this show. She is paired with Jonathan Roberts, whose best partner so far has been Marie Osmond. That is, until he let her totally trump his authority by forcing him to choreograph some sort of puppetmaster/toyland danse macabre in the finals, from which I may never recover.

I don’t think David Alan Grier has been funny since In Living Color, which isn’t any indication of his dancing abilities, but it might be an indication of how unexcited I am to see him on my television screen. The bright side, I suppose, is he is paired with Kym Johnson, who remains one of my favorite professionals. Kym has come sooo close to winning a trophy, not once but twice, so I find myself in the awkward position of pulling for David Alan Grier. And I don’t think I like it.

The only Jewel album I own is that pop album she released back in ’03 (I think), which was a critical and commercial bomb. I, however, loved it, especially the first single and razorblade commercial, Intuition. But back to the topic at hand, I’ve always liked her, despite her tendency to speak in dizzy metaphors and disconnected parallelisms. Her partner is Dmitry Chaplin, the first of three So You Think You Can Dance alums. I didn’t watch his season of SYTYCD, but I’ve seen the videos, and ya’ll… he is HOT. This could get awkward, because this boy is capable of some seriously fiery chemistry with his partners and psssttt… her husband is standing right there.

Ty Murray, who is famous because he’s married to Jewel, which is as good a reason to be called a star as any, especially when we’re talking about this show, competes in the rodeo. I suppose I should probably steel myself for waltzes and tangos set to songs about boots and tractors and dead children. How many performances will it take before he takes off his Stetson? Well… we’ll probably never know -- $10 he’s the first to go. Oh wait, I take that back. Show won’t let that happen, not after all the trouble they went to casting a real married couple. He’ll be dancing with Chelsie Hightower, our Mormon vixen from the last season of SYTYCD. I love her and everything, but seeing her dance without Mark will make me emotional, and not in the good way.

Awwww… it’s Shawn Johnson! Despite being two years younger than Cody Linley (the youngest contestant ever, until now), I predict she’ll show more poise and grace than most of the women with whom she is competing. And maybe we’ll get to hear Bela Karoly yell at her during rehearsals (how awesome would that be!?). She is paired with Mark Ballas, which makes me ECSTATIC because I’m pretty sure Shawn will do well, which means weeks and weeks of Mark Ballas on my screen. The only thing that disappoints me: Mark won’t be able to sex up the dances as much as he (and I) would like, because that would be kind of statutory.

Apparently this show doesn’t do a background check because here is Li’l Kim. Perhaps Show isn’t concerned about her rap-sheet because she wasn’t incarcerated for a violent crime (perjury and conspiracy ain’t no big thang). Personally, I love her. She’s outrageous and unpredictable, or at least that’s what her wardrobe choices would indicate. In the most bizarre and incongruous pairing since peanut butter and cheese, Li’l Kim will dance with Derek Hough, who is as whitebread as they come. I’m thinking they’ll get along just fine, but wow… I didn’t see that one coming at all.

Gilles Marini, better known as Dante in the Sex and the City movie, is this year’s completely unknown/kind-of-famous-but-only-for-one-thing (and we all know what that thing is…) Latin hunk, following in a long line of gorgeous and successful studs like Christian de la Fuente, Helio Castoneves, and of course, Mario Lopez. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak, other than his two lines in the movie, so I don’t know what to expect from him at all. Not that it matters – have you seen him? His partner is Cheryl Burke, and I think I like her less and less every year. Not really sure why.

Steve-O? Really? The thing is: this show is an amazing form of career rehabilitation. So many of the contestants have used this show as a platform from which to make a comeback, and it pisses me off that someone out there thinks Steve-O deserves such an opportunity. I mean, he is absolutely insane. Why would this show invest in a guy who likes to staple his balls together? It isn’t like he’ll be allowed to do any of that stuff on live TV, and frankly, I don’t think he has anything else to offer. You see, people like Steve-O do outrageous things, like pissing on reporters on the red carpet, or showing up for a talkshow completely blitzed and breaking furniture, because they didn’t get enough love and attention as a child, or something. They MUST be the center of attention. People like Steve-O, who are devoid of intelligence and personality, find that the only way to attract the amount of attention they crave is to commit gross acts of self-destruction and humiliation, which they claim they enjoy doing because it makes people laugh. Yeah, we’re laughing, but not because it’s funny. We’re laughing because it’s so pathetic, we’re not really sure what else to do. When Jackass was on the air, I remember asking myself why any sane person would do stunts like the ones they did. Some of them, I think, were after fame. Some were just stupid. And still others were just weak and found themselves being pressured into doing things because it would make them cool in the eyes of their bros. A few of the guys were even kind of endearing because they seemed to realize how amazingly stupid it all was, even as they let the camera film them eating feces. Steve-O, however… seemed different. There was something about him that was out of control… kind of unhinged. I understand that he has a high pain threshold, and that’s great, but a lot of the things he did weren’t even funny, so all he was really doing was tearing up his body for no reason. I’m saying: the boy ain’t right. And poor Lacey Schwimmer is going to have to deal with him. Oh, Girl… from a high-class Gay to a probably high masochist. My condolences.

I don’t watch those pre-primetime entertainment shows, so the only thing I know about Nancy O’Dell is that she helped Wendy Pepper make it to the finals of Project Runway, thus putting her on my shit list for life. She’s pretty, though. She is paired with Tony Dovalani, who hasn’t gotten close to winning this show in a really long time. I’m starting to think he’s bad luck. And why do they always stick him with the older ladies (not that Nancy O’Dell is all that old, but compared to everyone else…)? Is he some sort of expert in old lady dancing or something? What, was Mark Ballas’s dad not available?

I don’t like Denise Richardson. I don’t think you like Denise Richardson. But apparently, some strange sub-set of some demographic does… how else do you explain her reality show getting renewed for a second season? I saw Wild Things (didn’t care for it) and that’s about as far as my knowledge of her goes, other than her bitter divorce and custody battle with Charlie Sheen, for which I couldn’t care less. So here again, I find myself forced to pull for someone I don’t really like. Why? MAXSIM! The good news is I think she’s perfectly capable of making it far. She’s got an athletic build and they look great together. The people online seem concerned about her ability to focus and keep up with everything, but Maxsim has a way of bringing out the best in his partners, usually by making them cry. God, I love him. (Damn you, Karina Smirnoff!!)

Lawrence Taylor is the new former football player who will most likely make it to the finals unless he is just completely uncoordinated and/or mentally slow. As usual, I have no idea who he is. He’ll be dancing with Edyta – and girlfriend, if this isn’t your year I think you should probably just give up.

Chuck Wicks is some sort of country artist, although I certainly haven’t heard of him. Of course, that’s not even the point. He is dating Julianne Hough, who also happens to be his partner. Geez, Show: talk about stacking the deck. What the hell? For that, I will NOT be pulling for this couple, even though I just adore Julianne. I’m sorry – I cannot support outright favoritism from the producers.

And finally, that big teddy bear of a man, Steve Wozniak, who is probably the cutest, most adorable, most socially awkward man in the entire world. I’m still not over his break-up with Kathy Griffin (Ok, it wasn’t so much a break-up as much as a never-happened, but still…). He won’t last long in this competition, I don’t think. I can’t imagine that he has any kind of grace or panache, even if he has a spitfire like Karina helping him out. A part of me think these two will clash – Karina can be very impatient and Steve is going to need a lot of TLC. But then again, he is so sweet, perhaps Karina will warm to him and be less of a bitch. We’ll see.

Ok, so. Obviously I have to pull for Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas. That’s the easy choice and I’m all about convenience. But I’m looking out hard for Max/Denise and Jewel/Dmitry. And of course, Steve (but not Karina).

MVD 2-19-09 The Bird and the Bee / Love Letter to Japan

How dumb is it that I’m calling this a Music Video of the Day when I haven’t posted an MVD since last June? That’ll learn me to start things I have no intention of finishing.

Anyway – I’m obsessed with this song. It’s off The Bird and the Bee’s second album, entitled Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future. If you haven’t heard of The Bird and the Bee, it’s a pair of indie pop artists named Greg Kurstin and Inara George. Inara is the vocalist and her stylings are breathy and seductive and sweet, qualities which are very appropriate for the retro, throwback vibe they’re going for, but also ironic and satirical when she sings songs with lyrics like, “Would you be my f*cking boyfriend?”

Most of their stuff is a kind of mélange of retro styles (lounge, psychedelia, folk, jazz) infused with electro-pop and dance. In other words: heaven. Today’s selection, however, falls into the pure pop category.

I’ve been humming and singing and caterwauling the chorus around the office for the past week or so, and my co-workers are none too pleased. I think they’re having flashbacks of the Womanizer era, a time when not even the hounds of hell could stop me from constantly chanting the chorus of Britney’s first single from Circus. After a brief, yet exhaustive meeting (we meet about everything, don’t you know?), they decided that although this new phase was annoying, it was infinitely better than before, because at least this song has a few more words besides ‘womanizer’ and ‘oh, oh, oh’. While they credit me for my personal growth, I was warned that this junk would most definitely be coming up on my evaluations. I wonder: is it illegal to discriminate against one’s pop music preferences?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

… Reacts to the American Idol Top 36 Group A

Just so you know, I’m typing this about one hour before watching the results so my commentary isn’t colored by the outcome. It’s more honest that way, no?

Aside: this is Kara Diogaurdi's first live show. How are we feeling about her? I think I like her. She's a little bit of lucidity sitting between two lumps of dumbass. By that I mean, she compensates for Randy and Paula without preventing us from enjoying their altogether pointless, but occasionally entertaining, presence. Well played, show... well played. /Aside.

A blanket comment about the six girls who performed: they all sucked. If I had my way, not a single one of them would move on to the Top 12. The worst offender was definitely Stevie Wright, who had the worst performance I’ve ever seen on live television. Poor dear, bless her heart, I truly felt sorry for her, which is something I try very hard never to do, especially when it concerns a contestant on Reality TV. She was nervous and scared and totally in over her head, and the arrangement and key she chose didn’t do her any favors, either. She seems like a great girl, so I hope she can move on from this without taking it too much to heart. The others were forgettable and bad; Casey, Anne Marie, and Jackie gave us weak vocals paired with awkward stage presences (Jackie also decided to wear her crazypants, which… unhelpful). Their performances were so awkward, in fact, that I was unable to sit through any of them without my finger poised over the mute button, which I pressed every time I could no longer handle the horror (often). Tatiana, meanwhile, gave a decent performance of a song I just adore, but, just like everyone else in the world, I couldn’t get her behavior during Hollywood week out of my mental periphery. Thus, she is doomed, despite of all her efforts to corral her crazy. I think Alexis is the sure-fire choice for the Top 12, even though I wasn’t particularly enthused with her Aretha Franklin tribute. She was certainly the best of the worst, though.

The men, thank GOD, were a different story. I didn’t like Stephen Fowler’s Michael Jackson cover. However, I heard enough to recognize his potential. His failure was his song choice, which is unfortunate, but hey… that’s life. Brent Keith is certainly easy on the eyes, and I applaud his (attempted) strategy of singing something sincere and true to the artist he wants to be, but his nerves got the best of him. Michael Sarver is a personal fav of mine from the auditions and Hollywood, but I can’t say I enjoyed his very karaoke version of Gavin Degraw’s I Don’t Wanna Be. Having said all that, all of those guys were better than every girl, in my humble opinion.

Ricky Braddy was a revelation and I can’t understand why the show would throw him to the wolves like they did. As good as he is, we had never really seen him until last night, so he’s cannon fodder. I can’t help but feel like the show sabotaged an amazing singer. A singer they didn’t sabotage is Anoop, who I’m totally in love with, you guys. I loved his song choice – it was unexpected but welcome – and he interpreted it very well. Anoop would be the obvious choice for the Top 12 if it wasn’t for Danny Gokey.

Ya’ll, I have beef with this guy (do not yell at me, please). I can’t deny that he is talented, but I can’t get over how much Show is manipulating me into liking him. I mean, talk about favoritism. He has been given the pimp treatment from the very first time he said ‘dead wife’. I wish this show wasn’t so desperately transparent about where it would like us to park our emotional RVs. Like, why does his sad story make him more likeable (and more deserving of screen time and positive edits) then any other contestant? Of course, I’m sorry that his wife died… that is, well… it’s awful. But I’m not sure I can appreciate using that terrible circumstance as his hook. I realize that Show might be more guilty of exploiting his wife’s death than he, because I don’t think anyone would consciously do it, but I… I don’t know… it makes me squirm. And then he decides to sing Hero and dedicates it to all the people going through hard stuff (which is everyone, true, but he’s really referring to himself), and I’m like, I GET IT! I KNOW! You’re a GOD DAMN INSPIRATION! You’ve been through HELL but now you’re RISING ABOVE and don’t we all WISH we were as CAPABLE of surviving CRIPPLING GRIEF with that kind of GRACE??!

What I’m asking: would America like him AT ALL if he didn’t have his sob story? True, he has a great voice and he’s cute and his bromance with Jamar was ingratiating, but really… would he be any kind of front-runner if the show hadn’t decided to constantly mention the untimely passing of his spouse (over and over and over) at the expense of all the other contestants, who may or may not have lost loved ones recently, but perhaps decided not to cry about it in front of a camera? Does it make you like him any LESS if you let it sink in that he might be using his wife’s death as a way to connect with the voting public, ie the entity that controls his fate on a gameshow? Does it make you at all uncomfortable that the odds are you wouldn’t even know his name if he hadn’t decided to talk about his dead wife the very first chance he got, regardless of his intentions? Without the fortunate ingredient of pity added to his storyline, would we give a crap about him at all?

My answer is yes, of course I would. He’s obviously a good person and the boy can sing. I loved (LOVED) his performance of Hero – after all, it was one of the few performances off the night that didn’t make me wince or choke or any other kind off unpleasant, involuntary muscle spasm - and I’m completely on board with America if America so chooses to put him in the Top 12. The truth is, I’m not a heartless bitch – and I don’t think he would ever exploit his situation for personal gain. But I do think he is using American Idol as some sort of platform, whether it’s building awareness about the disease that took his wife, or simply giving people hope or whatever… but that is not, I mean, really not, why I watch this show. Call me cynical, but I like my reality t.v. trashy and unwholesome and fame-whorey… you know, the way things used to be...

So: there’s no way Danny Gokey won’t claim the first spot in the Top 12, and I'm sure he will be followed by Alexis (by default). Since they are going to make me choose, I want Anoop to grab Spot No.3, while also reserving a Wildcard Spot for Ricky Braddy.

Woot! I finished just in time for the results show!...

… Reacts to the Results of American Idol Top 36 Group A after the jump...

2 out of 3… not bad, not bad. I winced just a little bit when Michael Sarver beat out Anoop, but I’m not unhappy. Michael is incredibly sexy – totally my type – and I think he’ll be great in the competition, IF (note, big if) he can pick the right songs.

I’m crossing my fingers Anoop can sneak in with a Wildcard.

Oh, and how disappointing that Tatiana mostly kept it together as the ax came down. HOW DARE SHE RETAIN HER DIGNITY! Is it weird that I think I’m going to miss her?

Adieu, crazy lady, adieu… your insanity is matched only by your entertainment value.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It’s time to play catch-up…

You Guuuuuuuuyyyyysssss….

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since Aretha totally stole Obama’s thunder at the inauguration, although her beautiful mug (and that glorious piece of madhattery) isn’t the worst thing that has stalled at the top of this humble blog in its history. Indeed, this particular hiatus was entirely unintentional. Well… maybe it was a teensy bit intentional, but only because I’m a damn sloth. It used to be I had hours upon hours everyday to plan, meditate and write for this blog, but you see… times have changed.

My new job is fantastic. For the first time since I’ve worked for my company, I’m actually busy. Like, balls to the wall from clock in to clock out. I have even found myself, and dare I say it?, totally STRESSED OUT! I come home at night completely wiped, with just enough energy to cook dinner and check my email. After that, it’s only a matter of time before I lose consciousness, and I usually fill that little bit of time with mindless television or listening to a new playlist on my iPod. Oh, I’ve tried to write some things, but after a couple of sentences, my prose descends into madness, and if that’s the kind of stuff you like, you might as well just read something like this.

What a terrible time to be braindead! So much has happened in the culture of pop…

1. The Feasts of Fug that are the Grammies and the Golden Globes came and went…

2. Speaking of the Grammies, Jennifer Hudson totally makes me cry… like, every time I see her, I’m reduced to a quivering, slobbering mess…

3. Christian Bale went off on some poor lighting techie and got parodied more than the Single Ladies video…

4. I still haven’t seen any of the big contenders for this year’s Academy Awards (except for Dark Knight), but I still plan on watching the ceremony because of HUGH JACKMAN…

5. I did, however, see New in Town, which was kind of horrible (better luck next time, Harry Connick, Jr.) …

6. Kelly Clarkson’s new single came out and I, predictably, couldn’t love it more if it was wrapped in bacon and served on a Krispy Kreme…

7. In other music news, there is no news. We’re in the dead time between the holiday blitz and summer singles, and the only bright spot is, yep, Kelly Clarkson (album releases March 10 [write that down])…

8. We're ankle-deep into the best season of Supernatural EVER!! Are you watching? Well, why the hell not!?

9. American Idol has finally slogged through the audition rounds and the Top 36 duke it out for spots in the Top 12, starting this week. Personally, I’m on Team Anoop

10. The new cast of Dancing with the Stars has been announced and I think I actually miss Cloris Leachman (and I can’t believe I just said that)…

11. The Amazing Race 14 and Survivor 18: Tocantins (toe-can-sheens) (alt. token-cheese) (alt. toucan-jeans) are up and running, the former looking mighty entertaining and the latter looking zzzzzzz…

12. And Chris Brown totally beat the crap out of Rihanna and the rumors are flying -- kind of like his fists! Was it a STD? A love triangle? Was Chris passing bad checks? Did Rihanna forget the safeword?

In personal news…

1. I just shelled out a nice wad of cash to join a gym, which is great news for my health and well-being, but very bad news for this blog…

2. I, along with some friends at work, have started a bookclub, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. We picked The Memory of Running as our first selection…

3. Happy Belated Birthday to Li’l Sis, who turned 22 (red velvet cupcakes, mmmm…) and Happy Belated Birthday to Niecikins, who turned 0.5. I heard she celebrated by attempting to crawl for the first time, although she only managed to scoot backwards a little bit. THEY GROW UP SO FAST!! I guess this means I should probably get cracking on that baby blanket I promised to have done by the time she turns 1.

4. The weather is turning warmer and that always brightens me up. I’m even more pleased that I managed to get through most of the winter without getting sick. Big hugs to all of you suffering out there; I’ve heard this year’s flu strains are particular menacing. Here’s a virtual bowl of chicken soup.

I’m crossing my fingers that I feel inspired to start posting again consistently, even if it’s just to comment on the reality T.V. shenanigans. But if I don’t, you can always yell at me by email…