Monday, April 30, 2007

Back after a week off

I was out of town last week and couldn't blog the show, but I'm back this week.

First up is Laila and Maksim. They're doing the quickstep and they're pretty good. She looked like she was having fun, especially considering how hard the quickstep is. Aside from John O'Hurley, I don't remember many stars doing it well. The judges loved it and I think they did well, too.
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-10
The High Lord's Score: 8

Next up is one of the people who should be kicked off this week, John and Edyta. I think right now, it should either be John or Billy Ray who gets the boot because they're clearly the worse dancers left. He's not light on his feet and he's plodding along while Edyta does all the work. John's not nursing wounds like George was, but he looks he's going at about half speed.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-8
The High Lord's Score: 6

The judges must be feeling generous tonight. All their scores seem about 2 points too high.

If this scoring keeps up, the World's Cutest Couple should benefit. Did Apolo just say there's an "Asian American Hall of Fame"? Why am I not in that? How did I not know about this? In other news, did you also know that there's an Asian-American History Month? There is! And it's got 31 days, too! (May). Someone call the AAHOF and tell them they need a High Lord!

Back to the dancing . . . they're definitely cute and graceful. I wasn't blown away, but they were good. He seems very natural on the dance floor, which is more than I can say for some of the other dancers (Ian, John). I think the judges might give them a 30 . . . that is until Len started rambling. Maybe someone needs to induct him into the Crotchity Old White Man Hall of Fame. How can they give Laila 10s and Apolo 9s? WTF?
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

Billy Ray helps Cheryl coach Ian up. The segment is pretty funny, but will it help him be less robotic? I think Ian has hit the wall. He's neither as talented as Drew nor as driven as Emmitt and I don't think Cheryl can get any more out of him. They were okay but not fantastic. How can they get 9s when they gave Apolo less?
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 7

Billy Ray looks like he's going to the prom in Kentucky. Can Karina's earrings (in the filler interview) be any bigger. They almost have their own gravity well. Billy Ray almost looks graceful. Karina's doing all the dog work, but at least Billy's trying. I like John better, but I think he'll stick around for a while.
The Judges's Scores: 5-6-6
The High Lord's Score: 6

The last to go in the ballroom round is Joey. He and Kym are doing the foxtrot. I guess I'm not a foxtrot guy because most of the guys have bored me tonight. Joey looks like he's having fun (which is always good) and he's singing along with the music instead of counting along in his head.
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-10
The High Lord's Score: 8

The ballroom round ends and Laila kicks off the latin round. Except for the fake-looking smile she's got, I rather liked it. I don't think she's going to win, but she was good tonight.
The Judges's Score: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

That gives Laila the first perfect score of the season. I didn't think it was that good, but it was deserved.

John and Edyta are dancing to "Under Pressure" and that same guy who massacred "Hungry Like the Wolf" is singing. Is this the Latin round or the ballroom round? I can't tell from John's dancing.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-7
The High Lord's Score: 6

Is Cheech going to try his hand at dancing next season, after losing on the singing show?

I think the judges really want Billy Ray gone. It seems to me they're overpraising John and lowballing Billy Ray.

Joey thinks he's the frontrunner, but I think it's Apolo. He's technically near-perfect, energetic and he's got tremendous chemistry with Julianne. If Laila got 10s, they had better give Apolo 10s, too. Plus, Julianne had "wardrobe malfunction" which is always good.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-10
The High Lord's Score: 10

And for once, Bruno is the "voice of reason" and he's right. Are they running short on time or did they plan on dispensing with the filler before the latin dances?

Ian comes back and Cheryl is shaking for all she's worth. Ian just strikes me as too mechanical. Passionless is the wrong word, but he seems hung up on the technical aspects of dancing and isn't feeling it.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

Back for more are Billy Ray and Karina. I'd almost rather hear Sanjaya than the guy who's singing right now. Like John, Billy Ray lets his partner do all the moving. This was better than the last dance, but not by much.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 6

They're running over time and if they'd just shut Samantha up, they could have finished on time. I'd like them to shut Samantha up.

Closing out the show are Joey and Kym again. Going last isn't nearly the advantage it is on American Idol; in fact it might be a disadvantage since they limit votes and people can use them all up early in the show. Is this the latin round or the 50s round? Why is there a jive? They're good. I don't think they're as good as Apolo, but Joey's got the most raw talent (boy bander, duh!) of the dancers. On paper, this is his show to lose, but I think Laila (and her inflated judges's scores) and Apolo will give him a run for his money.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Apolo, Laila, and Joey are going to be in the finals. Everyone else is just waiting around to see what order in which they're going to be kicked off. Billy Ray needs to go home. Then John followed by Ian. After that, it's all about who peaks at the right time.

Someone recommend your friendly neighbourhood High Lord for the Asian-American Hall of Fame!

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mission Accomplished: American Idol ends world hunger

Some thoughts on "Idol Gives Back":
  • I wonder if the brass at Fox knows that they have a lesbian on their show. Don't tell Sean Hannity.

  • Il Divo bored me so much that I switched the split screen over to "Cash and Treasures" on The Travel Channel.

  • Hugh Laurie does a great New Zealand accent.

  • Melinda is safe. No shocker there.

  • We still can't get rid of Sanjaya. I'm just happy there hasn't been an FRC sighting (yet).

  • At least Ryan bothered to shave tonight.

  • Blake is also safe. So what's the shocker? Given who is left, the only thing that would make the results "shocking" is if Jordin got canned. I guess it could be that no one is going to get booted. That would be shocking, although not exactly unexpected. After all, it would let them keep the feel good moment of the show and they could get another week's worth of advertising revenue out of their sponsors.

  • Does that Rascal Flatts guy get hair tips from Blake?

  • My friend Robyn from AIC just had an Idolgasm after seeing her man Tom.

  • If you haven't already, go over to IdolingAlong and wish Jennifer a happy birthday.

  • Phil is safe. Apparently there is no bottom 3. I'll bet there's no one getting kicked off tonight.

  • Mrs. High Lord says I'm not allowed to take her to Africa or she might come back with a dozen orphan kids.

  • Hey, look! It's Jeff Beck. That rocks!!!!!

    Oh, yeah, and Kelly's there, too.

  • So that's what happened to Dunkleman.

  • Lakisha is safe. That means either Chris or Jordin will be eliminated . . . if they really are going to boot someone.

  • Why can't every Elvis impersonator do the young, skinny, good-looking Elvis, instead of the fat, drug-addicted, overweight, sequined Elvis?

  • [Robot voice=on]Warning! . . . Warning! . . . Ashley sighting! . . . She's crying! . . . Warning![/Robot voice]

  • When do we get to see Paul David Hewson?

  • Chris is safe. So is Jordin (who was picked by DialIdol as the only one who was statistically safe this week). I think Jennifer just had a mini-heart attack. But it does make sense that they wouldn't whack someone on a feel good night. Mrs. High Lord thinks all the Idols were told in advance that none of them were going home.

So they're going to eliminate two people next week. I guess that makes sense, although I'd have thought that they'd extend the show an extra week.

In advance, I'm picking Chris and Lakisha as the two who will be sent packing next week.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Since Sanjaya's been gone . . .

Here we are, halfway through the Idol finalists and Seacrest wastes no time in patting Idol on the back with this whole "Idol Gives Back" thing that they've been shoving down our throats all season. Call me a cynic, but the best people I know do lots of great things and don't tell anyone about it. They just do it because it's the right thing to do.

Of course, American Idol can't do that. What would they be without promotion, product placement and mentioning every sponsor who has send them a check. Not that the end result of this whole thing is bad, but it just seems to be a whole lot of self-aggrandisement to me.

On the flip side, the guest coach this week is Bono, who I never thought would go on American Idol. But then again, if this will advance his agenda, I'm sure he's willing to do it.

First up is Mr. Nasally Is a Singing Style. I've never seen the charm of this guy and I don't think he should still be around. Others have gone before him who were more deserving of this spot (Sabrina, Stephanie). If Phil weren't still around, I'd say he's was my least favourite singer left. This may be his week, though. Unless Lakisha flames out, I see a bottom three performance for him.

The other thing that's bugging me about this show is that they're taking up a lot of time with the "Idol Gives Back" stuff instead of letting the kids sing. Isn't Simon telling us that this is a "singing competition"? If it is, why aren't they singing.

Going second is DW. I don't know the song but if she's trying to do her best Faith Hill, she's doing alright. Not great. Vocally, she sounds good, no pitchiness and she lets her big voice go. The judges fawn all over her but I was just one big "aiiiight" on her tonight.

Going third is BBB who gets the random viewer email. He's singing "Imagine" a song everyone seems to love, but I think is overrated. Unlike other weeks, he goes for a straight cover and doesn't try any re-arrangements. It looks like he took the "don't mess with the classics" advice from Randy and Paula seriously. If they get on him for not making the song his own, I think I'm going to scream. Overall, it was another "aiight" performance. What was Randy's criticism about? What do you do with this song? The performance was okay? Did Randy want him to moonwalk or something?

What's up with me tonight? I'm just a big humbug, I guess. Maybe the cynic in me is just tired of listening to how great Fox, Coca-Cola, Ford and Cingular/AT&T Wireless are.

Now we get to hear CSM with another song by a different Idol winner. Didn't she learn from trying to sing Carrie? This time it's Fantasia, whom as you may remember, I disliked. She needs to be wary of oversinging this one, as she's prone to do. I like her singing this more than Fantasia, but the song is still bad (as it was season 3). And she's oversinging. It could have been worse, but it was nothing special.

He's not getting the Pimp Spot, but Lieutenant Ilia gets the random viewer email and reminds us that he has young children you should call in and help support. My buddy Mike will either be happy or he'll be horrified that he's singing Garth. I thought it was bad. Forgettable and he had pitch problems.

Going last is Jordin. She starts out strong and then brings on some uncomfortable Ace-like unnecessary falsetto. I need to revisit dinner because I'm in a pissy mood tonight. Maybe I need a 24 hour waiting period between grading tests and watching American Idol. Jordin was like the others, not great but not bad either. For once, though, she succumbed to oversinging. I give her another "aiight".

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

Wasn't Bono the guest coach this week? If so, where was he? What's up with that?

Last week, the person in the pimp spot made only the second appearance in the bottom 3 over the last three years. Another anomaly of this year is that the Dead Man's Spot hasn't been nearly as deadly as in year past. Will Chris be in the bottom 3 after this week? He should be.

Who should be in the bottom 3: Chris, Lakisha, Phil
Who will be in the bottom 3: Chris, Lakisha, Phil

Who should go home: Phil
Who will go home: Chris (although it wouldn't surprise me if Lakisha got whacked)

I'm going to publish this and flip over to the DWTS results show. Maybe I should have had a nap because I just wasn't impressed by anyone tonight. I think the singing was overshadowed by the "Idol Gives Back" stuff.

Dancing With the Stars results

Okay, I've sat through a bunch of filler. Actually, I haven't really been watching it as much as it's been on while I've been getting ready for the end of the grading period.

It's either John and Edyta or Heather and Jonathan. Mrs. High Lord thinks it's going to be Heather.

Neither are strong dancers. If not for Billy Ray, John would be the worst of the remaining contestants and Heather has peaked. She's better than I thought she would be, but she clearly cannot compete with Laila, Apolo and Joey.

We get some more filler and it's Heather and Jonathan who are getting the boot. No real surprise. I think she did well all things considered, but her disability was clearly an impediment in a sport that basically requires two good legs.

I'll miss her. Now we just have to eliminate John and Billy Ray to find the best dancer among this season's crop of celebs.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Out of Town

I don't know how many of you guys are watching Dancing With the Stars, but I won't be blogging the show tonight. I'm out of town on business and I won't get back until tomorrow (notice that I didn't let my trip interfere with American Idol), so there will be no show recap or ratings tonight. I probably won't be watching the recap show tomorrow since that's when the Idols will be singing, so this may be the one week that you'll just have to forgive me for not blogging.

At any rate, I think it's pretty clear that John and Billy Ray are the weakest celeb dancers left and that it seems like the show is a toss-up between Apolo, Laila and Joey, with Ian possibly being the spoiler (if Cheryl can coach him up some more).

I'll blog (at least the last 10 minutes of) the results show after American Idol so we'll find out who gets kicked off this week. My money is on John since he doesn't have the Achy-Breaky/Hannah Montana vote and his show hasn't been on TV is close to a decade.

High Lord. Out.

(not that I was ever "in" today)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

American Idol results

Before the show starts, let me express my pleasure that Clyde got eliminated. He was the worst dancer left and clearly needed to be gone. An athlete is still going to win, probably Apolo or Laila. Everyone else is fighting for scraps.

I'm also enjoying "Notes from the Underbelly". Unfortunately, I missed the first half because ABC moved it on me. As someone who does not have kids, I find it very funny. My wife, who does have kids, says it's funny, too.

Back to the Idol. According to our friends over a DialIdol, Phil is safe and everyone else is statistically in play. The bottom three will be Lakisha, Blake and Sanjaya.

I can only hope that the show kicks Sanjaya off before the Idol Gives Back extravaganza and he overshadows the whole shebang. If there was a week for the Idol TPTB to intervene, this is the one. Of course, they might not have to if "America" takes care of business.

Are we going to have a Martina song or a group sing? Maybe both. Nope, we're getting Fergie and Martina. WTF?!?!?!

How the hell does Fergie merit an appearance on this show? Why not save her for tomorrow or how about . . . never?

The only thing I know is that they're going to pull the George Huff Stunt again.

Can we get rid of the Seacrest spots? I really don't care for his Jaywalking wannabe skits.

Oh, yea!!!! Group sing! Jo Dee Messina, too. Who would have thought that at this stage, there would be more more guys than girls left? Not me. This isn't my favourite song, but at least we get to hear them all singing. And isn't that what this show is about?

I wonder how many people actually miss the Idol Challenges.

I just now realised that this in an hour long show tonight. I guess that explains why Fergie is inexplicably on the show along with her collagen-enhanced lips. How many more ways can they torture me on the show tonight?

The Ford commercial is to one of the greatest 80s songs ever, but I could have done with less filler, especially the back-patting and self-promotion.

The front row is Jordin, Chris, and Blake. The back row is Melinda, Lakisha, Phil and Sanjaya. Just off hand, I'd say that the two groups are going to be:

1. Jordin, Chris, Blake
2. Melinda, Lakisha and Phil

Sanjaya will be declared safe and have to choose.

The other possibility will be:

1. Jordin, Chris, Blake
2. Lakisha, Phil, Sanjaya

Melinda will be put into George Huff's shoes.

In either event, the obviously safe group would be Jordin, Chris and Blake. Which means one of them is going to get whacked. Of course, I could be wrong. All this extra time during the results show is giving me too much time to speculate. I'm about to start recording these shows, too, and then watch them on fast-forward.

Seacrest splits them into two groups:

1. Blake, Lakisha, Sanjaya

2. Chris, Jordin, Phil

Melinda is declared safe and told to join the top 3. Have I mentioned how much I hate this stunt? Of course, that's what Fox is all about. Utterly classless.

She pulls a Bo and doesn't take sides. Then Seacrest sends her over with Chris, Jordin and Phil.

That makes DialIdol 3-3 in picking the bottom 3.

Blake is the only surprise, but is this just his "Rueben" appearance in the bottom 3 because all of his fans think someone else is voting for him? He is the obvious choice to be declared safe, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Lakisha's ouster would be surprising, but not necessarily unexpected. The word around the blogosphere is that she peaked too early (like Ace) and her OTP act has worn out its welcome and she's not getting new voters. Of course, Sanjaya getting kicked off would be surprising because he's got such a cult following, but there's only so much he dedicated "Fanjayas" can do for him; like Lakisha, I don't think he's picking up new voters either.

After a string of a zillion commercials, we get some pimping of Shrek 3 and then Mrs. High Lord is very, very happy to see Antonio.

I'm happier to see Martina McBride. She sings and puts everyone on the couches to shame. Of course, that's why she is already an accomplished performer/singer and the others are still trying to make it. And she steals Seacrest's line. Can she take his job, too?

We're back after another endless string of commercials and Blake is predictably declared safe.

That leaves Sanjaya and Lakisha. I'll bet it's Sanjaya. They really don't want him overshadowing their whole "Idol Gives Back" crap next week.

There's some suspense, some stretching out . . . and it's . . . Sanjaya who gets the boot!

Somewhere, little Ashley, and thousands of girls like her, are bawling their eyes out. Lakisha is in tears after her close brush with elimination. We see his farewell video and then he gets to sing his way off with three minutes to go.

So now the spectre of Sanjaya winning won't be hanging over the Idol orgy of self-congratulation and he can sit back for the next two months and wait to collect his cash on the tour.

The line about the hair in the song was pretty funny as well.

Now that he's gone, what will people talk about? Singing, maybe?

I'm going to see what else is being written about this.

High Lord. Out.

American Idol . . . Finally!

I've finally gotten around to watching last night's American Idol. The guest coach is the always-lovely Martina McBride, who is a better singer than Shania and better looking than Sara Evans (don't tell my friend Mike I said that).

There is a refreshingly little amount of filler at the beginning of the show and then we get to see Lieutenant Ilia who shows up at rehearsal in a goofy cap but is going chrome dome for the performance. He's actually not bad, but I think he's in trouble, considering the competition and the fact that he's going in the Dead Man's Spot, which could claim its first victim of this year's finals. The judges are high on him, though.

I'm forwarding through the commercials and good-gawd!!!, how many ads can they pack in to the show. I wish they'd do away with some of these and just let the kids sing.

Next up is Jordin who's succumbed to the AFE and is trying out one of Martina's signature songs. Her tone is good and she just stands there and sings the song. The only thing that might hurt her is going early in the show, but otherwise her stock is rising. Simon thinks she could win and he's right.

Did I just see FRC in the audience? I have to go back and check . . . yes, it was him.

Going third is Hello Kitty who gets the random fan email and to answer the question people ask every week, he's got a Guarini-doo on his head. He has no business still being in this thing. I know he's got his fanboys/girls out there, but I am overwhelmed by the sheer craptasticness of this performance. His timing sounds off and I'm not sure what key he's singing in.

I'm forwarding through the banter between Simon and Seacrest; Simon shouldn't be bitching. After all, he's one of the people who put him through to the voting rounds.

I just counted and now we're inundated by nine advertisements: an extra-long Ford commercial, Burger King, Claritin, Orbitz, Home Depot, A Night at the Museum (movie), On the Lot (TV show), House (TV show), and Idol Gives Back (shameless self-promotion).

CSM also goes AFE on us and tries out a Carrie Underwood song. I'm not crazy about it, but then again, it only reinforces my image of her as an OTP. Vocally it was okay, but I don't like this song when Carrie sings it, so I'm not crazy about it when Lakisha does it.

After getting a hug from Martina, Chris is up next and I wouldn't be unhappy (or surprised) if either he or Phil get whacked later tonight. And he even gets in a plug for Coke (did they have to pay extra for that?). And he's flat on one of those long notes. That combined with his nasal voice just doesn't do it for me. His pitch problems alone should get him canned.

As a side note, my friend Mike asked what I thought about Chris's shout out to the people at Virginia Tech. I'm not sure it was that insincere. He's from Virginia and he's college age, so it's very plausible that he has a lot of friends who go there and follow the school. I don't think he was pandering for votes.

I'm going to steal a name from the girls over at The Joy of Idol and start calling Melinda, "DW" because she looks like Arthur's sister. You be the judge. The song is pretty good and unlike Lakisha, she departs from her usual fare with a fast-paced, old school country song. I think she's trying to separate herself from the pack and stave off charges from Blake and Jordin.

I read a commentary that said that if Melinda stumbles she is hurt more than Sanjaya performing poorly because he has such low expectations. In some ways, on a show that is built on popularity, she is a victim of her own success and talent. You can read more here.

Getting the Pimp Spot is BBB who admits he doesn't listen to much country music. Blake doesn't sound country and in my mind, going in was the most likely to implode. I'm not crazy about this performance, but then again, it may be due to the fact that I don't really like this song. I give him a big "aiiiight".

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

Tonight, with seven singers left, we're guaranteed to get the top 3, bottom 3, and 1 safe person who has to choose which group to be in. Aside from the stunt they pulled on Judd a few years ago, this is the most classless thing they do on the show. And they do it again and again and again. Bo was smart enough not to fall for it, and I hope no one bites again this year.

Who should be in the bottom 3: Chris, Phil, Sanjaya
Who will be in the bottom 3: Chris, Lakisha, Phil

Who should be eliminated: Sanjaya
Who will be eliminated: Phil

I think Phil has been in the bottom 3 too many times. I don't think he's picking up fans either, and that's deadly at this point of the game. If there is a surprise elimination, it will be Lakisha, but I think she's got a couple more weeks left in her.

We'll find out in about an hour and a half.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm bad

I got home late and didn't watch American Idol last night. I'll have to do it after I get home from work later today. I promise I'll watch it before the results show tonight.

In the mean time, let me know what you guys thought. I'll check the comments after I blog the episode.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dancing With the Stars, week 5

This is the second week without Creepy Brian and it's time for another round of dancing. I'm thinking that the following dancers are on the hot seat: John, Billy Ray, Clyde and maybe even Heather. I wonder how much longer the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Paul McCartney will get before the judges start giving her scores based on her actual dancing and not on a handicapped scale.

There is a definite top tier, made up of ex-boy band singers and professional athletes, two groups who have historically done well on this show. An ABC homer/soap opera star is the only missing demographic from the top group. In my opinion, Apolo, Joey, and Laila are the cream of the crop.

I think Ian is in the middle. He's not the greatest of dancers, but Cheryl is getting the most out of him and coaching him up like she did for Drew and Emmitt. I don't think he's going to win, but he's giving 100% and getting good results. John, Billy Ray and Heather are also giving 100%, but I don't think they have the talent (Billy Ray), youth (John) or ability (Heather) to win.

Clyde is the only one who looks bored and has been portrayed as not putting forth as much effort as he could, but I also think his body has more miles on it than he's letting on. Still, he's better than Master P.

Ian and Cheryl are first. I usually don't pay attention to the filler before the dancing but for some reason I did this week; was Ian arguing with Cheryl? Note to Ian: Cheryl is the two-time defending champion, listen to what she says!. The dance is okay; his pants are too tight and there a couple of missteps. I really wish they would get new singers; the ones they have suck. At least they weren't butchering "Hungry Like the Wolf" this week. Plus, Cheryl did away with the bad extensions she had last week.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

I really wish they'd bring Lisa Channing back. But I'm happy that Samantha was showing off the twins this week.

In the two-hole are Elena and he-who-can't-leave-the-microphone-alone. Why was Clyde in China? Now he's being portrayed as busy, not just neglectful of his dance training. He's not the most graceful person and to me it looks like he didn't put a lot of effort into this week.s I think he needs to go bye-bye. The judges give it to him, especially for an illegal lift.
The Judges's Scores: 4-5-4
The High Lord's Score: 5

Going third are Heather and Jonathan, who acknowledge that she's been treated with the kiddie gloves. Jonathan obviously didn't watch "The 40 Year Old Virgin" . . . The "H" was pretty funny, though. Why didn't she get a knee wrap that was flesh-covered? Anything else is drawing attention to her leg. Was her fall staged? The dance itself was pretty good, but not fantastic.
The Judge's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Now we get to see Joey and Kym, who have to live up to the 10 they got last week. Why are Lance and Carlton visiting Joey? What's up with this song? First, Sanjaya butchered it last week on AI and now we have to hear it on DWTS. I'm not buying the romance in the "story" (whatever that means). Technically it's okay, but I thought it was missing that something. Not bad. Not great.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-9
The High Lord's Score:

John and Edyta don't want anyone to notice his dancing, so she's wearing as little as possible. I like him because he's trying, even if he's not as good as John O'Hurley, as self-deprecating as Jerry Springer, or as funny as George Hamilton. He wasn't great, but not horrible either. His biggest problem is that he cannot compete with the other contestants who are half his age.
The Judges's Scores: 6-6-6
The High Lord's Score: 6

We get some comic relief from Laila's boyfriend. So far, she's the best of the night. The judges will probably give them 9s. I don't think Maks has to coach her up much and I'd say she will make the final 3. "No Maks was going to get hurt in the making of this dance" . . . BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
The Judges's Scores: 9-10-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

Apolo and Julienne, who were just voted "Cutest Couple" for the yearbook, are trying to unleash the "inner tiger". She's into with the animal-pattern dress and no pants. They want to win, and this effort should help them out a lot. They appeared to be the most into the dance and they have obvious chemistry, unlike some of the other couples (cough . . . Clyde/Elena . . . cough). And Mrs. High Lord likes Apolo's "cute tushie" (her words, not mine).
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score:

Why are Billy Ray and Karina getting the DWTS Pimp Spot? Maybe because it's not a sure like like it is on American Idol. The intro piece sets us up with low expectations. Was Billy Ray really dancing or was Karina just rubbing up against him for two minutes? They, too have chemistry problems, not as bad as other people but Billy Ray just isn't a convincing actor. That may fool the Hannah Montana crowd, but that just doesn't cut it on this show.
The Judges's Scores: 6-6-5
The High Lord's Score: 6

That's it for the show. I think Clyde needs to be eliminated. As Carrie Ann said, he's clearly the worst dancer left at this point, but I don't know if John's fans will come through for him. I'd say the bottom 2 will be some combination of John, Clyde and Billy Ray.

None of them are going to win and now it's just a matter of who is voted off in what order (kind of like Phil, Chris and Sanjaya on American Idol.

In other news, Mrs. High Lord and I watched "Notes From the Underbelly" last week, and then it was promptly moved to another time slot. When you combine that with the fact that we like the show, it's the kiss of death (just as it was for shows like Firefly and Boston Public).

Lisa Rinna and Macy Gray are going to be on tomorrow. [sarcasm=on]Yea.[/sarcasm]

High Lord. Out.

Did Dubya learn his lesson?

Or is there something else at work here?

I read that this afternoon, Dubya expressed "horror" as his reaction to the shooting at Virgnia Tech and I saw just now on the NBC Nightly News that he may visit the campus as early as tomorrow.

How long was it before Dubya and his cronies acknowledged the conditions in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Wasn't Mike Brown on CNN saying that they "just learned" of the situation at the Superdome on Thursday after the hurricane hit (on Sunday) even though pictures had been all over every news outlet since Katrina made landfall?

My question is this: Why does Virginia Tech get such a quick reaction, while he waited four or five days before doing anything in New Orleans?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What's up with the hour-long results shows

I can't believe we're going to have to sit through a results show that's about 10 times as long as it should be. What's up with this? DWTS was an hour last night and now we have to sit through 54 minutes of filler, product placement, drunk judges, advertising and pseudo-gay banter between Seacrest and Simon.

Do they really have an hour's worth of stuff to do? I hate this crap. The results shows should only be about 5 minutes long, but here I am, along with millions of other people, ready to endure 55 minutes of superfluousness.

I'm told that J-Lo is going to sing and that Seacrest is going be the hand that pats Fox on the back (some more) when he announces a bigger, better "Idol Gives Back" show.

The other good news I've heard is that next week's guest is the very beautiful and talented Martina McBride for the country-theme week.

Seacrest starts the show telling us the singers brought "flair, passion" and something else to the performance show yesterday. Did he see the same show I did? 'Cuz I saw none of that last night.

I wonder if we're going to get a group sing tonight?

And YES! "Bailamos"! Haley and Sanjaya are horrible together. I've missed these things. Yup, that was me taking "Things You Never Thought You'd Hear the High Lord Say" for $800. And how about Phil, wearing his hat down over his pointy ears like Spock in all those "Time Travel Back to Earth" episodes? I think Jennifer just had an idolgasm.

DialIdol says Blake is the only one who is statistically safe and that the bottom 3 are Chris, Jordin and Lakisha. I wonder if that's going to hold up once the text messages get counted.

Who knows the answer to the Challenge? Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!

More filler. Seacrest tries his hand at a "Jaywalking" segment and gets a kiss from some strange random woman.

You know you're getting old when you don't know the guy singing (Akon) and he's got the #1 song in America right now. Is he a reincarnation of Shaggy? Was it just me or did anyone else just see Lorne Michaels in the audience trying to sway?

Where's Ashley, the crying Sanjaya fangirl when you need her?

Next we get Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video combined with the Turtles to make a Ford commercial.

Then we get a view of how they're sitting. On front row are Melinda, Haley, Blake and Chris. On the back row are Phil, Lakisha, Jordin and Sanjaya.

I think a lot of good can come out of the "Idol Gives Back" stunt, but if I have to hear about it over and over and over for the next two weeks, I'm going to have to go out and club a baby seal or something. Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but all of this shameless self-promotion is really getting on my nerves.

The Tony Bennett skit is funny, though.

We come back and get the recap.

I'm betting they go front row first. Based on the seating, I'm betting they put Haley in the bottom 3 first, then go to the back row. Phil gets sent to center stage before cutting to commercial when it's time to announce whether it's Jordin or Sanjaya. After the break, Jordin makes a surprise appearance in the bottom 3 and another commercial break. J-Lo will sing and then we find out who gets eliminated.

Seacrest fills some time talking with the singers. Haley pretends that she wasn't pissed off that Simon in effect told American that she can't sing.

They start in the back row (surprise!)

Lieutenant Ilia, bottom 3. CSM, safe.

Jordin, safe. I guess DialIdol was way off.

Hello Kitty, sit down and be stew for a while.

Melinda, safe. Haley, bottom 3.

Sanjaya, stand up, sit down; it's like going to Mass.

Blake, safe.

That means Chris or Sanjaya will be in the bottom 3. I'm betting it's Chris. Yup.

Phil, Haley or Chris. No surprises there; in fact, I think I picked this last night.

After a break, Chris gets sent back to the couch and is safe. Seacrest lets Phil and Haley sweat for a while as J-Lo comes on and sings.

I'm not a huge Jennifer Lopez fan, but she is one of the prettiest women around. She's not drop-dead gorgeous, but she's pretty. She can be made up or she can just hang out, and that's rare among the Hollywood Diva types. Ashley Judd is the same way. When you see Celine, you know she's high maintenance. But J-Lo seems very girl-next-doorish. Only she's got a multi-million dollar empire built around her name.

I might like the song more if I could understand the words. Did you hear that? J-Lo loves me!!!!!!! Te amo, tambiƩn J-Lo!!!!

: : waves hand, uses the Jedi Mind Trick on all four of my readers : :

None of you will tell Mrs. High Lord I said that.

: : Jedi Mind Trick again . . . just to be sure : :

We're back to find out whether it's Phil or Haley who's going to get whacked. After an hour show, the bootee had better get a chance to sing their way off . . .

Haley gets the axe, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. She was never as bad as some people (including myself) made her out to be. Her problem was that she got lumped in with four other girls who looked and sounded the same, and even though she was the last one of them standing, she didn't have the voice to compete with this year's heavyweights.

Her final performance is actually pretty good. I think in other years, she might have finished in the top 5, but this just wasn't it for her.

So who's next? Certainly Chris and Phil should understand that they're in danger. Sanjaya's welcome is now worn out and I wouldn't be surprised if Idol turns on him like they did to FRC two years ago. Lakisha needs to step it up or she could be facing elimination, too.

Now let me know what you guys think.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

AI: "Elite" 8

Was that Mickey Dolenz in the audience?

Here we go with a bunch of filler and shots of Jennifer Lopez in various stages of (un)dress as she meets the "Top Ocho". All the guys (except for Sanjaya) are clearly in love with her, even Phil is making the dough-eyes at her.

Going in the Dead Man's Spot is Melinda; is Fox trying to mess with my statistics? Melinda is a much better back-up singer than she is a Latin singer. She needs to use more hip when she dances. The vocal is okay, if a little un-inspired. For the first time, she looks awkward on stage. I don't think she's in danger of being in the bottom 3, but she had better be glad that Latin week is now and not in three weeks. Randy and Paula fawn over her as usual, but Simon hit it on the head tonight.

Following Melinda is CSM who gets the random viewer email. She's actually trying something new that's upbeat and not a big ballad. What are the odds that she spills out of that top? The last time someone tried this song (on Gloria Estefan night), they got lost and she falls behind a little bit, but it's a hard song. She did much better than I expected. Paula said she was being safe, which she wasn't. She wasn't as good as Randy said, either. At least she tried something new.

Following the early frontrunners is Chris who can't help but sing through his nose. Why is this guy still around? What's his charm? I don't get it. He's the #5 or #6 singer left; definitely better than Phil and Sanjaya, about the same as Haley. I thought it was bad.

Is Paula back in the sauce?

Wrapping up the first half of the show is Haley. She's trying her hand at "Turn the Beat Around" which could (and probably will) blow up in her face. She's back in the short shorts, but not blatantly showing off the girls. Diana did this so much better. She's not bad either, but has a couple of lyrical missteps that she covers well, until she stops singing two thirds of the way through and lets the back-up singers do all of the work. Simon gets it right for her; she can't win with her voice.

Lieutenant Ilia is next and he's oogling J-Lo at rehearsal. She got goosebumps; I can't get past the golf cap that makes him look 50 years older than he is. I also think Phil's bad. This has bottom 3 written all over it. Have you heard Randy use the word "pitchy" tonight? I haven't, which is odd, but we should have heard it several times.

Seacrest tells us Jordin and Blake are up next, which can only mean that Hello Kitty is in the Pimp Spot. What is this week, Bizarro World? Melinda sings first, Sanjaya last. This is just not right.

We find out Jordin loves 80s music and she reminds J-Lo of Michael Jackson, which may or may not be a good thing. Unlike Melinda and Haley, Jordin doesn't stumble over the words, partly because this isn't as hard a song, but also because she's slowed it down a little, which is a smart move. I'd say this is the best so far tonight, but still wasn't great.

BBB is also in a hat, but it looks good and doesn't make him look old. Blake just threw down on everyone. Everyone else is fighting for scraps tonight. I severely dislike this song, but Blake does a very good job. I don't think he's had a truly off night and he adapts to the themes well. That will translate into sales and the studio very well. I think he made up a lot of ground on Melinda tonight.

Singing in the Pimp Spot is Hello Kitty, a guy who shouldn't still be around. Is he going to sing in Spanish? It certainly couldn't be worse than him singing in English. Can we send him to Venezuela for Latin American Idol? The vocal wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn't anything to write home about either. Plus, the smoldering eyes he's stolen from FRC are creepy and smarmy, just like they were for Constantine. And who are Sanjaya's super-gay friends? (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

Latin/Gloria Estefan/J-Lo takes its toll again. Simon says no one is breaking out, but that's not the singers's fault; it's the theme! No one is going to do these songs well except for actual Latinos. Everyone else can't help but crash and burn.

Who should be in the bottom 3: Haley, Phil, Sanjaya
Who will be in the bottom 3: Chris, Haley, Phil

Who should go home: Phil
Who will go home: Haley

I could be wrong, but I think Sanjaya has one more week before he makes his appearance in the bottom 3, which will also be the week he gets the boot. Both Haley and Phil will be the two who are the final candidates for elimination, and it's just a matter of this week or next as to when they get whacked.

I'm going to publish this now, but I'll update it in about an hour when the DWTS results are announced.

DWTS Results

We're watching House and DWTS on the split-screens. I'm skipping most of the show but it's good to see past champion Drew reunited with Cheryl singing with Big & Rich. And why can't Clyde leave the mic alone?

Where's Debbie Gibson in the audience interviews? At least we got to see Carlton.

Billy Ray and Karina are safe, as are Apolo and Julianne. One is a surprise, one is not. You figure out which is which.

Are there going to be psychics on tonight? After a break, we see some world-champion dancers we don't know along with Mrs. High Lord's favourite part of the results show: Jimmy & Guillermo. They're pretty funny as usual.

Dammit! Why can't we get rid of Creepy Brian!?!?! He was eliminated last week!

We get some tips on dancing from the judges while House watches people throw up on a plane.

Laila and Maks are safe as are Clyde and Elena. I think that means that this is definitely Leeza's week to go.

Mrs. High Lord also think there's some history between Maks and the judges. She says when they give he and Laila feedback, he always looks like he's got an angry retort but he bites it back. Of course, personality conflicts are nothing new; Louis isn't on the show this year because reports said that he was too much of a diva on last year's DWTS tour and made people cry. To me, Maks comes off as kind of a jackass, so it wouldn't surprise me if he and Carrie Ann or he and Len have had some words in the past.

Joey's safe. Ian's safe. Leeza's in the bottom 2.

Heather's safe. John is in the bottom 2.

So who's going home? My money is on Leeza. John has the "nice old man" vote happening for him. Leeza just doesn't have as many fans.

And that's who gets the boot. Is anyone surprised? John isn't going to win; next week might be his time. Or it might be Clyde's time.

How about Samantha interrupting Leeza in the interest of time? Yup, she she turns it up to 11.

High Lord. Out.

American Idol: Sanjaya's still here and it's Latin Music Night! (pre-show blog)

That's right, they get their own Grammy Awards show and tonight's guest coach is J-Lo (not to be confused with K-Lo or J-Hud) who may or may not turn out to be a good coach and will probably be on tomorrow night to hoc her new album/project/movie.

After Gina's surprise ouster last week, I think it clearly puts Haley and Phil on notice that they're next; all that matters is the order. I think Sanjaya has a week more, maybe two, in him before his number is up and then we find out who the elite singers are this year (if you can call any of them this year "elite").

Lakisha is dropping on my board; she does the same thing over and over, and looks pissed off while doing it. Unless she changes up (and quick), I think she's in for a Mandisaesque early exit. Another person whose stock has been either stagnant--or on some people's boards dropping--is Melinda, who is the top of the heap this year, but her "Who are you clapping for? Lil 'ole me?" act is starting to wear on some people (namely a seemingly-intoxicated Leah Remini on yesterday's Ellen).

The people who are slowly creeping up everyone's power rankings are Blake and Jordin, who have managed to stay under the early radar, show some originality and manage to not screw up.

If you remember, I predicted that people would be voted off in this order:

12. Brandon
11. Chris R.
10. Phil
9. Stephanie
8. Sanjaya
7. Haley
6. Chris S.
5. Jordin
4. Gina
3. Lakisha
2. Blake
1. Melinda

As you can see, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

So with a third of the field gone, I'm revising my order.

The clear bottom tier consists of Sanjaya. He's in a class/universe/mirror-world all by himself. Nothing he does can get him more fans, and nothing he does can get him fewer votes. He's riding a crest of grandmothers, teenie-boppers and the VFTW crowd. He will finish where he finishes.

The second tier is Phil, Chris, and Haley. None of them are going to win. As Haley says, they're all punching the Idol clock and are just waiting to find out the order in which they will get canned.

The top tier is the remaining third of the finalists.

Melinda is still at the top of the heap, but the gap between her and everyone else has been closing. She needs a break-out, balls to the wall, "You wanna piece of me?" performance that puts this thing away for her. She needs to come out with her whoopin' stick, show some attitude and crush everyone in one fell swoop. The only problem is that I don't know that she has it in her.

The other early frontrunner is Lakisha, who I don't think is picking up new voters. At this stage, that is the name of the game. Unless she can diversify her performance catalog, she will be gone before May because no one new is voting for her. Yes, she has a powerful voice, but that won't sell records. Her personality is at best aloof and at worst caustic. When she is being critiqued, she doesn't look pleasant and that will not get her new votes.

The undisputed leader among the guys from Day 1 has been Blake. Despite being chastised by Randy and Paula for "messing with the classics", he's got the one thing the other do not: a unique style. We've had Melindas before (K-Lo), we've had Lakishas before (Mandisa) and we've had Jordins before (Diana). Blake is someone wholly new. His arrangements, even when they're not so good, are refreshingly original. And by not trying to take on the power vocalists head on (cough . . . Sabrina . . . cough), Blake is picking up lots of new voters. I think he got the bulk of Chris Sligh's voters, a few of Brandon's and I think he's even stealing some away from Chris Richardson.

The other person who has been gaining steam recently is Jordin. She's not a belter like Lakisha and Melinda, but she can do it if she wants to. But like Blake, she learned from Sabrina and Stephanie and isn't trying to go head to head with this year's big voices. She comes off as older than her actual age, but still has enough "teenager" moments to be appealing to the younger crowd. I think she got almost all of Stephanie's votes and she'll probably get a bunch of Gina's because people perceived Haley as having undeservedly advanced at the "rocker-girl's" expense.

It is still my opinion that Melinda is going to win. After all, this thing is hers to lose and she hasn't screwed up yet. However, both Blake and Jordin are making a game of it and Lakisha seems to be somewhere between treading water and slipping under a bit.

Without having heard anyone sing yet, I'm picking Lakisha, Phil, Chris and Sanjaya to have a rough Latin night. Melinda and Haley could do well, but they could also stumble depending on their song choices. I think Blake and Jordin are going to seize this show by the balls and make a statement that they're in it to win it.

Of course, I've been wrong before, and I probably will be again.

I'll see you again in an hour and a half or so and let you know if I'm right or wrong.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dancing With the Stars . . . and no more Creepy Brian!

Shandi is gone which makes me sad. But her partner is also gone, and that does not make me sad.

The show is only an hour and a half long tonight, but that's still means we're in for 40 too many minutes of filler than we need.

In other news, how 'bout that Battlestar Galactica? We find out who four of the "Final Five" Cylons are: Chief Tyrol, Colonel Tigh, Anders and Billy's replacement. I'm betting that Starbuck is the fifth (and she's in Lee's head for right now). They've made a big deal out of Hera--the daughter of Helo and Sharon--being the future for the humans and cylons, but what about Tyrol and Callie's baby? Isn't he a half-breed baby, too?

Anyway, back to the show. We get introduced to the remaining dancers and reminded that it was Shandi who got canned last week.

Who will it be this week? If you're betting, Billy Ray, Leeza, John and Clyde are all in danger this week, but I'd say the way the show is going this year, there are probably on two or three couples who are guaranteed to be safe (Ian, Joey, Laila) and everyone else is in play.

Going first are Laila and Maks, who vow to play by the rules this week. They have a couple of missteps and miss a couple of marks, but are pretty good. At least we don't have to hear the singers try and pass off a totally inappropriate song as a paso doble. It's tough going first and the judges are pretty hard on them, but they give some constructive criticism.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Tom tells us that there's going to be a big surprise tomorrow. I wonder what that could be . . . a performance by The Jets or Erasure, maybe.

Next we get to see Apolo and Julianne, who she claims have a "brother/sister" thing going on. Hey, I'm from the great state of West Virginia and that means a whole different thing here. They want to get back to the top of the bakc, and I'd say they will probably get there tonight. I think the paso doble people have a tougher job this week and the waltzers should do well, especially these two, who are in better shape and more athletic than some of the others (cough . . . Clyde . . . cough . . . John . . . cough).
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

The couple who was almost eliminated is next. Leeza and Tony are next and I wish the guy singing "You Give Love a Bad Name" would have a heart attack right about now. Note to Leeza: black leather isn't your thing. The dancing itself seemed a little robotic and she looked a little stiff. I think she's back in the bottom 2 tonight.
The Judges's Scores: 6-5-5
The High Lord's Score: 6

Len has decided to play "bad cop" tonight, and even though the crowd is booing him, I'm not sure the dancers don't deserve it this week.

I think Ian and his partner Cheryl will probably win, and they get to do the waltz. I'm not sure I like Cheryl's hair extensions; they make her look like Carrie Ann. She has definitely coached him up. If she wins again this year, they may as well just hand her the trophy again next year, because the only way she's going to lose is to be paired up with Miss Piggy or Cain Marko.
The Judges's Scores: 7-9-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

I'm surprised that Carrie Ann was the low score for them, especially considering what a humbug Len is being tonight.

Colonel Bren Derlin and Edyta are next and I think he's trying as hard as he can . . . and they're dancing to Queen. These singers are really, really, really awful. Freddie Mercury is turning over in his grave right now. The dancing actually isn't that bad. Don't get me wrong, it's not great, but John doesn't look like he's counting along in his head. Plus, his mother is there. And we get to see a lot of Edyta's skin. Their scores are low, but they probably deserve those numbers.
The Judges's Scores: 6-5-5
The High Lord's Score: 7

Clyde and Elena had the lowest scores last week, but enough votes to be out of the bottom 2, so this week will be interesting. What are the odds that he tries to take the mic from Samantha in the post-dance interview? Clyde looks awkward on his feet and I thought their dance was rather boring. I think they're also candidates for the bottom 2. They weren't as bad as the judges said and I don't think they're not trying, but they could have been much, much better.
The Judges's Scores: 6-4-5
The High Lord's Score: 5

Do we see Karina going off and crying to try and get them some much-needed votes or is it because Billy Ray really is that bad? He's certainly not great, but he is trying, which would be like me being on American Idol. He's still counting out loud. The judges roundly pan his technique but praise his work ethic, which probably means he'll be back next week. The judges give them undeserved 7s, probably out of sympathy.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 5

Heather and Jonathan get to go next and she's tripping over her leg, which Tom reminds us about once again. She looks bored and also a little robotic. Technically, it was okay, but it could have been better. Not as boring as Clyde, but still not great. The judges are going to give her more undeservedly-high scores.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

Last to go are Joey and Kym, who should have been wearing Jedi robes instead of a suit last week. He wants 9s and 10s and he might just get them; being in a boy band and having worked with choreography before certainly helps (Drew Lachey). The paso doble is probably one of my least favourite dances on the ballroom shows, but Joes does well. The judges will give him 9s and may a 10. Can they give him the encore two weeks in a row?
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 9

So who's going home tomorrow night?

I'm guessing either Leeza or Clyde. Laila seems to have peaked a little too early so she needs to get her mojo back (and soon!).

I think now the others are going to step it up if they want to match the 9s and 10 that Fatone got this week.

We'll find out after the singing tomorrow night on Fox and the surprise guest on this show (Simple Minds or Level 42, do you think?).

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

There could be a surprise tonight.

I'm not going out on a limb and guessing about a surprise elimination, but I think there will be a surprise person in the bottom 3.

According to DialIdol, Melinda is the only one who is statistically safe while everyone else in is play. They also claim that the three lowest vote getters were Gina, Lakisha and Haley.

Even though she was in the Pimp Spot, I think this is the week either Lakisha or Blake makes an appearance in the bottom 3. Blake had the unfortunate luck of going first and Lakisha has shown that she is a full-on OTP. I'm guessing that one of them will be in the bottom 3, but will then immediately be sent back to safety, but that's still an appearance in the bottom 3.

According to MSNBC, Tony Bennett won't be on the show tonight. Apparently, he's got a cold, so they're trying to find a replacement.

I have an idea: How about a group sing?

The show starts with the recap and then goes straight to commercial, including the obligatory Ford product placement which features Kermit the Frog.

We have three groups of three:

First up are Blake, Chris, and Sanjaya.

Next up are the obvious bottom 3: Haley, Phil, and Gina.

Last are the Three Divas 2.0: Jordin, Lakisha, Melinda.

Surely, it can't be this easy . . .

Group three is declared safe, which is a no-brainer (this week). Group one is also quickly put out of their misery, leaving a bottom 3 of Gina, Haley and Phil.

I think I predicted this last week.

That makes my predictions from tonight wrong, but my predictions for last night correct (so far).

Gina should be safe. She was strong last week, faltered a little this week, but should be in good shape. If there's a surprise this week, it would be if she gets eliminated. Haley is the weakest of the girls this year, but she's got the sex kitten appeal going for her.

Phil is my choice to go home because I think he's a bad and inconsistent singer. We'll find out after the mystery replacement for Tony Bennett. Oh, how I wish it were a group sing.

If you're bored (like I am during the "challenge"), check out this very nice article on the American Idol backup singers.

Seacrest gets in a plug for Tony's new CD because the man can't be there himself, but Michael Buble is ready to fill in. I'm not a fan (mostly because the "big band" genre seems too lounge singer to me), but he was entertaining. I still would have liked to have heard the idols singing "Get Back" or "Hello, Good-bye". Plus, Buble gets a plug in for Tony's CD.

Phil gets sent to safety. NOOOOOO!!!!!! Dammit!!!!!!

That means either Haley or Gina will get whacked. The elimination music starts as the girls get a recap of last night's performances and then we find out who goes home.

Haley is safe and Gina gets kicked off, which is a surprise.

I'm perplexed by this week's results. Make no mistake about it, Gina was never going to win, but she clearly deserved to make it past Sanjaya, Phil, Haley and probably even Chris.

The other Idols are going out on the stage and unfortunately, Gina doesn't go straight for Sanjaya's jugular. If I were her, I think I would have kicked the crap out of him in front of God and everyone who watches American Idol. Now that would be entertainment.

That set's the Elite 8. Can Sanjaya make it another week, or will someone take out a hit on him?

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol, 9 to go

That clip of Sanjaya and his faux-hawk has been all over the news and I flip the channel every time it comes up. Part of it is because Sanjaya's hair has taken on a life of it's own. The other part is how smug and arrogant he comes off when he's telling Simon, "You're just jealous you couldn't pull it off."

Chris Sligh got a lot of grief for talking back so Simon but Hello Kitty seems to have gotten a free pass. Maybe it's because everyone was just stunned by his sheer badness. There's also the fact that he is this season's polarising figure. He's the JPL, Mikayla Gordon, FRC of this year. People either love him or hate him. And idiots (like me) blog about him ad nauseum.

I think it's fair to say that no one really thinks he's a great singer. He's serviceable, but definitely third tier. From what I can gather, the people who like him do so because of his backstory and personality. I don't see the charm, but he's got his supporters and that will probably carry him for at least another week or two.

The guest artist is Tony Bennett and the theme is standards, which is something Tony might know a thing or two about.

First up is BBB in the Dead Man's Spot. I'm guessing Tony isn't a Blake fan, but I can see him doing a good job at this karaoke favourite. The vocals are good, if unspectacular, but the performance was pretty good. I'm biased against it because on my last cruise, three people sang "Mack the Knife" at karaoke. I thought it was okay, but he could have done a lot better. I think he's sandbagging. I wonder if going first is going to hurt him in the voting.

I think if I have to hear another ad for "Idol Gives Back" I'm going to throw up. And to think we have to sit through this for another three weeks . . .

Going in the two-hole is Lieutenant Ilia, who's growing his hair back in the rehearsals. Tony says Phil is one of the better singers he's hear and I wonder if Tony has suddenly gone tone-deaf. New Papi's bald again for the performance and his pitch is off . . . way off. Aside from looking freaky and just a little creepy (not as bad as Creepy Brian, though), he sounds awful. At least he did to me. The arrangement was slow and he still can't sing a song in one key. Simon was right on about this one. He says he was trying to focus on his wife, which may or may not explain why he sounded so bland and disconnected. Maybe Phil needs a conjugal visit.

Melinda gets to go next and Tony loves her. The transition between the boring beginning and the second part was good. And the money not helps her out a lot. I think she is solidifying herself as the frontrunner, staving off charges by Jordin and Blake. I just wish she would do more than squint when she sings. At least she got Simon to admit sometimes he's mean just to be mean.

Batting clean up is Chris R who will from now on be known as just Chris since the other one got canned last week. He's another guy whose charm I don't understand, but a lot of people like him. Like Blake, he does a good job with one of the standards. I'm still not crazy about him, but I think he's helping himself a lot tonight . . . except with some of the more nasally big notes.

We're running out of time, so they rush from Chris to Jordin, whose star has been rising over the last two weeks. She seems so much older than 17 (and that's a good thing). Vocally, she is the second-strongest tonight behind Melinda and I think she's done a good job of picking up everyone who had originally voted for Stephanie and Sabrina.

Gigi is next and she could have a good night with the standards. After gaining a lot of ground last week, she follows up with a snoozer of a performance. Not bad, but not as good as she could have been. She does a good job, and is stretching herself a little and going out of character, but I thought it was just a little staid.

Was it just me or was Tony struggling to find nice things to say about Hello Kitty? He's wearing a white suit and tucked his hair down. His voice is pleasant, but doesn't have a lot of power behind it. Nothing anyone says about him will affect the voting because the people who like him will vote for him even if he is awful (which he often is). If we could vote people off this show (which is the way it should be)

We get a shot of Haley who is almost wearing a dress tonight. If she were wearing this outfit at my school, she'd get sent home for violating the dress code. She's reading the Katharine McPhee playbook and doing a pretty good job of capitalising on the fact that she's got the sex-kitten label all to herself this year. Her vocals were pretty good, but not great. It helps Haley that she brought the girls along this week to help her out. Simon says it was "pagenty" which may not be a word, but is spot-on.

That brings us to Lakisha in the Pimp Spot. She always looks angry to me. Unlike Melinda who looks like she's just happy to be there, I think Lakisha appears somewhere between agitated and annoyed (and that's when they're saying nice things about her). She belts out another song; while her vocals are good, I'm getting tired of her doing basically the same thing over and over and over. I didn't care for the performance, but the singing was very good. I just wish she'd try something different.

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

At this stage of the show, the singers are scrambling to pick up on the voters from the people who have been eliminated in the last week or two. The core fanbase for each singer is pretty much set, so they need to figure out how to attract all of the voters who are in play.

The big winner over the past two weeks has been Jordin, who may sneak into the finals at the expense of Melinda. Mrs. High Lord says Jordin is more marketable and I think she does a good job of picking up the younger voters who might otherwise vote for the other belters.

The conventional wisdom is that Jordin, Lakisha and Melinda are going to split votes among the belters. This is what happened in season 3 to Fantasia, Jennifer and LaToya. What she learned that Stephanie did not is that she cannot compete directly with Melinda so she's not even trying. I think Jordin is taking a different track and instead of trying to compete head to head with the other two, Jordin is carving out a nice little niche for herself by appealing to the younger crowd, while also trying to steal away some of the Melinda and Lakisha voters a handful at a time.

Jordin will probably pick up all of Sanjaya's voters when he gets kicked off because the young kids tend to vote for the younger singers (John Stevens and Diana Degarmo, for example).

I think this is the week Phil gets the boot. A subpar performance combined with going early in the show will spell his doom. I'd also look for Blake to make a surprise visit to the bottom 3 this week; going first won't help him.

Who should be in the bottom 3: Haley, Phil, Sanjaya
Who will be in the bottom 3: Gina, Haley, Phil

Who should be sent home: Phil
Who will be sent home: Phil

Now I'm going to take a break and see who gets eliminated from Dancing With the Stars.

Dancing With the Stars

I can't believe I'm about to sit through an hour-long show that should be six minutes long.

Are those the Pussycat Dolls? No, they're over on the CW. It's just Ciara and some of her dancers showing off their flexibility. We saw Survivor get a ride over from their nursing home and then Josh Grobin. Why is this show so damn long!?!?!?

Filler, filler, filler.

We find out that Shandi and Creepy Brian are in the bottom 2. Everyone else is safe except Clyde & Elena and Leeza & Tony.

That means it's either Leeza & Tony or Shandi & Creepy Brian who are going to get the axe. I think Leeza has more name recognition and that means she'll be sticking around.

I won't be sorry if it's Shandi & Creepy Brian who get whacked; we'll find out in a second.

After some more false suspense, the second couple eliminated is Shandi and Creepy Brian. Last week the younger, blonder, hotter girl stayed, but this week, even her considerable legginess couldn't save her.

I think Shandi probably got more votes, but Leeza's undeservedly high scores are what kept her around.

That's it for me tonight. We'll see what happens tomorrow on American Idol.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dancing with the Stars, week 3

I'm still kind of surprised at last week's elimination of Paulina. She was neither the worst nor the the best and her middle of the pack scores from the judges led me to believe that she was probably going to be safe. I guess no one, and I mean no one voted for her, because the sheer badness of Billy Ray was kept around for another week or two, while she wasn't bad.

I guess that's what she gets for being in the Giselle Zone.

For the record, I'm putting my score down before we get the judges's.

First up is Shandi and Creepy Brian. How did she get paired up with him? Not only is she way too tall for him, but she doesn't have that crazy-I-could-be-psycho look in her eyes like he does. Since when is "Crocodile Rock" considered to be jive song? She's pretty good, but Creepy Brian still freaks me out. She looks like she's she's more relaxed than last week (although in a couple of spots, you can see her counting along).
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Is it just me or does DWTS have as many commercials per break as American Idol now?

Next to go are Major Derlin (who has his own action figure) and Edyta. Their tango is very dramatic, perhaps to cover up for his deficiency in the talent department, but I think he still scores points for trying. How long that's going to carry him, I don't know, but it's working. Technically, there's nothing special about John and Edyta is doing most of the work, but I think they'll still score pretty well.
The Judges's Scores: 7-6-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

The next pair is Clyde and Elena. Unlike Emmitt and Jerry, Clyde just never looks comfortable. Maybe having mom around will help him. Nope. Is it because each of his arms are longer than Elena is tall? He's lanky and tall, and there's nothing he can do about that. He's trying (like John) but he just comes off as awkward (unlike John). He's light on his feet, but the rest of him looks off-balance.
The Judges's Scores: 6-5-5
The High Lord's Score: 6

Len seems to be in a bad mood tonight. Why does Clyde always grab for the mic when Samantha asks him a question? Maybe because she's three feet shorter than him.

Laila and Maksim are next and they're probably the early frontrunners. What is it with Bond movie songs this year? First "Diamonds are Forever" on AI and now "Goldfinger" on DTWS. At least it seems to go with the tango theme. I'm still partial to Tia's tango from season 2. Laila is good, if a little robotic. Technically it was better than John, but didn't seem as much fun. I wasn't aware of the tango rules, but didn't anyone learn from Mario last year? I think their scores will suffer because of this.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

Next are Apolo and teenage crush Julianne. He still needs to shave. They're good. His youth helps him out a lot. There's no way John our Clyde could pull this routine off. If Liala is the girl to beat, it's Apolo for the guys.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

Mrs. High Lord might co-opt the TV to watch basketball (a sport I don't have any interest in) or 24 (a show I didn't get sucked in to).

Did Joey just try the Jedi Mind Trick on us? He and Kym are dancing to the Star Wars theme, which could be either super-cool or just plain dorky. Kym looks hawt in the slave-girl Leia outfit and their tango actually isn't that bad. Even if his padawan rat-tail needs to go. At least we don't have to hear that guy sing who massacred "Hungry Like the Wolf". The homage to the ANH poster was pretty cool. Tom missed the "Impressive . . . Most impressive" line, though.
The Judge's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

Cheryl took Ian to see the Malefactor which was quite a trip, and that should score lots of points with the ladies. Their jive is technically good, as I have come to expect from Cheryl's choreography and slave-driving. Ian isn't the most talented of the guys, but he can be coached up.
The Judges's Score: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score:

The person I thought would have been whacked last year is next. Leeza and Tony bring their tango. They seem to be moving at about half speed. The tango may not be a fast dance, but the choreography didn't do her any favours. It looked slow to me. I think she should be the one to go this week (until Billy Ray gets his turn).
The Judges's Score: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 6

I can't believe they gave Leeza higher scores than Laila.

Heather and Jonathan are next and they waste no time in reminding us that she has a prosthetic leg. Is this the week it goes flying off? Is she going to do a flip (forward or backwards) every week? Their jive is okay. Not spectacular, but not bad either. Heather looks like she's counting along in her head, too.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

Mrs. High Lord says Laila and Maksim must be seething right now because two inferior dancers (Heather and Leeza) got higher scores. Of course, if you know that one of the rules of tango is not to break the hold until the end and you saw that they penalised the dancers last year who broke the rules (cough . . . Mario . . . cough), you really don't have any reason to be pissed off.

Wrapping up the show are Karina and Billy Ray, who is clearly the worst dancer left. Of course, he knows how bad he is and he's trying the best with what little talent he's got, so that makes him kind of endearing to the crowd. I don't know about you guys, but I may have to watch this on tomorrow's recap show because the knuckleheads over at WCHS-TV decided to have their weekly test of the Emergency Broadcast in the middle of Billy Ray's dance. Now they're back. Billy Ray isn't just counting along in his head; he's actually counting out loud. The dancing is neither gawd-awful nor good. I'm just happy he's trying.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 5

The judges were uncharacteristically kind to Billy Ray and it looks like the big losers are going to be Clyde and Edyta. Plus, he makes another "achy, breaky" joke.

Who should be eliminated: Billy Ray
Who will be eliminated: Leeza

That's it for me. No one was outright bad, although some people have some ground to make up.

High Lord. Out.