Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some almost end of the week things

  • EW has a couple of ways to make American Idol less cheezy and I couldn't agree more.

    Especially the parts about cutting out the filler/advertisements/product placement.

  • I was watching both So You Think You Can Dance and America's Got Talent last night and I was left with two impressions. First of all, I can't get into SYTYCD. Everyone this year is just too pretty.

    The novelty of AGT has worn off for me. I'm thinking that this stage (The Gong Show stage) the bad acts probably should have been left to highlight reels and not prime time. I'm all for a talent competition that has nothing to do with dancing or singing, but some of the crap on this show is ridiculous.

    I also watched Master of Champions and it's not very good. Aside from the girl who shot a bow and arrow with her feet and popped a balloon with the arrow, there wasn't much on that show that excited me. Oh, Johnny Mosely, I'll be you wished you hadn't left The Real World/Road Rules Challenge.

  • Congress is starting to piss me off.

    At a time when we have real issues to deal with (the economy, high gas prices, the war, immigration, health care, minimum wage, campaign finance reform, global warming, etc.), the Republicans have whipped out two of their tried-and-true, bring-out-the-base issues that really have no bearing on the long-term future of this country: constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage and flag burning.

    Don't our elected officials have anything better to do with their time?

    Oh, that's right, I forgot: This is an election year.

    And when the party in power is taking a hit on everything else (the war, corruption charges, the economy), there's nothing that distracts the public better than the bread-and-butter fundy Christian issues.

    It makes me sick.

    I guess I wouldn't feel so repulsed if I thought that the poeple pushing the flag burning amendment actually felt that way, and weren't using the issue for their own political gain.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I have found a new show

And it's called "America's Got Talent".

Seriously.

This show is funny. As. Hell.

The fact that it has David Hasselhoff on it as a talent judge is enough to make it worth checking out. And then the acts that are on it make it even better.

Think of all the bad auditions that American Idol had. And then open it up to non-singing acts. That's "America's Got Talent".

My wife thought I was going to have a seizure at a couple of points.

The good:

The 4 Asian guys who sang acapella (and I'm not just sticking up for my peeps)

The ventriloquist who did the "Godzilla" routine

The bad:

Rappin' Granny

The dancing cow

And the ugly:

The juggler who kept dropping his stuff (and still got through)

The world's oldest male stripper

This show had me rolling on the floor, especially when you saw Brandy and Piers going for Hasselhoff's "elimination" button when he wouldn't press it.

I'm definitely going to be tuning in for this next week.

I watched the first half of So You Think You Can Dance, but as I said before, I just can't get into it, so I will probably ditch that show for "America's Got Talent" on Wednesdays and "Master of Champions" on Thursdays.

What is it with the variety shows now?

Yes, they're cheap to produce, but it makes me wonder how long they'll last.

Other News


People magazine is running an article in which VCM talks about her struggles with bulimia. There's video over at CNN.com. I wonder if she had come out with this earlier if it would have helped or hurt her (since compelling backstories tend to garner votes).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My life since American Idol ended

Cue the blog.

(It's the last time I'll open with that until next season. I promise.)

So what have you all been up to lately?

Not a lot here. It's summer time and that means days of wishing I was anywhere but in an office.

I've been watching "So You Think You Can Dance", but not as faithfully as I did last year. Between that and Dancing With the Stars, I think the novelty may have worn off for me. I'm also disappointed that they discarded super-hot Catherine Zeta-Jones lookalike hostess Lauren Sanchez for not so hot British hostess Cat Deeley.

Maybe it's because I really can't dance (I can't sing either, but that doesn't stop me from watching American Idol), but I just can't get into the show this year. Nigel is also annoying me.

Anyway, with Battlestar Galactica over until next October(?) and Doctor Who gone creepy, I'm really kind of hurting for TV to watch. I am looking forward to Rock Star: Supernova which starts in July; hopefully it will build on last year and thankfully both Dave Navarro and super-hot ├╝ber-MILF Brooke Burke are back for more. We'll see how that goes.

I'm looking for a "new" car to replace my piece of crap Oldsmobile Alero. I'm actually looking for an early/mid-90s Honda Civic, Prelude or Accord. As long as it doesn't have any major mechanical problems and the AC works, I'll be happy. I just need something that will get around 30 mpg (city).

There was a guy here in town who was selling a 91 Accord. I called him about it and was going to meet him yesterday (Monday), but when I showed up, the car had a plastic tarp over the driver's door and was sitting at an odd angle. As I approached the car, I noticed that the wheels and tires were missing, the hood was gone and the driver's door window was smashed.

Back to square one.

In other news, I read today where a 14 year old girl who met a guy through MySpace.com is suing them for $30 million dollars because she made arrangements to meet this guy in real life and he sexually assaulted her.

I find this to be absurd. I don't think MySpace gives out personal information so any contact info she gave him was her fault. And what kind of parent lets their kid roam freely around the internet without giving them the "don't give out your real name, your phone number, your address or where you go to school to anyone" talk? Litigious parents, apparently.

With any luck, I'll be inspired to blog more feverently about Rock Star than I have been about So You Think You Can Dance.

And if anyone has or knows someone who has a car they're willing to sell for less than $2,000, let me know.

Friday, June 02, 2006

American Idol 5: Reflections

Cue the blog.

With the fifth season of American Idol wrapped up, I'd like to look back and talk about some of the things I liked and didn't like about the show this year.

First of all, let me say that the 12 finalists we got this year were, top to bottom, deeper in talent than any other group to have made it that far. With the exceptions of Bucky and Kevin, everyone else was at least second-tier talent, and I'd say at least half of them were better than some of the fourth and fifth place finishers from years past.

Some people have complained that there were no "compelling" people this year (read: drama), and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Aside from Kellie Pickler, no one was truly polarising in the same way others have been (John Stevens, Anthony, Scott, Constantine). I'd also say that for the most part, the best singers were advanced and the worst were cut.

When it came down to the final five (and certainly the final four), there was not a single person among them who would have caused outrage if they had won. They were all good.

And that's not a bad thing for a talent competition to have.

My list of gripes about the show is still long and contains many of the same things I have complained about before, but here goes again:

  1. I find it inexcusable that the show ever runs over, especially after the results have been given and it's time for the eliminated finalist to sing their song. I have an idea: cut back on the meaningless banter and some of the product placement and give the person their swan song.

  2. When it's time for someone to go home, don't play a patronising song by some guy we (the audience) doesn't care about. I want to hear the eliminated person singing and talking, not Daniel Powter (or whoever it is they use next year).

  3. In the finale results show, don't bring on a musical guest who 1) has nothing to do with the competition, and 2) isn't singing with the American Idols.

    How the hell does Prince rate two songs in the finale episode?

    I didn't tune in to watch Prince; I was watching to see the American Idol finalists come back to preview the tour.

  4. Fox needs to stop pimping some contestants at the expense of others. It's no concidence that almost all of the 12 people who were eliminated in the semi-finals were given little or no face time in the auditions and Hollywood rounds. Some of them truly faltered (Patrick, Stevie, Becky), but others just weren't given a chance.

    When some of the other contestants didn't do so well, they had a cushion of votes to fall back on. If someone hasn't been seen before and has an off-night, they're guaranteed to be gone.

    I know some people are tired of the "face time" argument, but Kellie, despite her vocal inferiority to others, stuck around because Fox was pimping her early on and her sob story got her votes. If not for those extra votes being handed to her, she would not have lasted as long as she did because her singing never improved and her dumb blonde act became tiresome.

  5. Some songs need to be permanently removed from the American Idol songbook. Let's start with "Against All Odds" and "On Broadway".

  6. Bring back guest judges and coaches who aren't obviously pimping their own work. While some where genuinely helpful and gave lots of good advice and help (Barry Manilow and David Foster to name two), what the hell was Shakira doing on the show?

  7. Let the contestants sing longer versions of songs. When there were 8 people left, each finalist got to sing 90 seconds of a song. That's 12 minutes of music in an hour long show. I know American Idol is Fox's cash cow, but to have only 1 minute in 5 devoted to music is a disgrace. Especially when the show starts to run over time and they're obviously hurrying at the end.

    How about cutting out the 8 minute intro at the beginning of the show for the guest artist? How about cutting back on some product placement and the inexplicable random per-song interview some people get and others don't? How about putting the judges on a timer and not letting them ramble on and on?

  8. Get new judges. At least replace Randy and Paula.

    I know the chemistry at the judges table is part of the success of the show, but it's gotten to the point where everyone knows what each of them is going to say.

    The R-bonics that start off each review have become tiresome and I know Randy Jackson is smarter than he comes across. Is he looking for street cred? Is he just trying to be cool? When he tries to give advice and actually do some coaching, he can be very insightful, but when he resorts to his "dawg" and "aiight" comments, he's simply annoying.

    Something was obviously wrong with Paula this year. Either she's deep into the meds or she's not taking the right doseages. Sometimes she was incoherent and other times she was just plain bizarre. The people on stage deserve better.

    The one judge I would leave alone is Simon. Aside from being a jackass when he doesn't really need to be, he still speaks for the majority of viewers and is about 90% right with his comments. He's the most level-headed of the bunch and when he's not trying to get a rise out of people, he gives the most constructive advice of all of them.

  9. Change the voting. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Enabling powervoting is the single biggest downfall of the show. The votes should be to kick someone off, not advance the person who has the most powervoters.

    I think for the first six weeks of the finals, the judges should be able to do some judging. Each of them can protect one person. Those three people can be picked publicly (Paula: "I think Taylor did a great job and I want him to move on") or privately (Seacrest: "The judges have chosen to protect Taylor, Paris and Chris" Everyone else is in danger of elimination. Then, with six people left, everyone is in play.

    This would let the judges do some actually judging and it would eliminate the most deserving people because the public knows who is the worst. However, because of powervoting, sometimes the most undeserving people can be sent through when they should be sent packing.

I'm sure there's more I want to talk about, so if I think of anything, I'm sure I'll be adding to this list.