Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm sure Donny will be insufferable now

At least when it comes to his Vegas show and his sister.

Truly, is anyone surprised at the results show last night? Kelly was eliminated first; her 9 point deficit going into the finale made it clear that she wasn't going to win. While she was a nice story, she was the weakest dancer to survive into the top 3; she was taking up Joanna's space.

As with past seasons, the judges evened out the scores, ensuring that the winner was determined by the fan voting, not TPTB rigging the show as they did back in season 1.

I'm not unhappy with the results; in face, for a show that is half technical competition and half popularity contest, DWTS consistently gets the winner right. The sole glaring injustices are John O'Hurley losing to Kelly Monace and Sabrina Bryan getting whacked six weeks too early. Every other winner has been deserving.

Also, if Mya had won, there would be no great groans of protest. She is the best dancer of the season; not head and shoulders above everyone else like Brooke Burke was a few years back, but clearly the best of this crop. What killed Mya was Dmitry's freestyle. I think if she had built up a four or five point lead going into the final show, it would have at least been a game, but the second they announced that Mya and Donny were tied, it was all but a given that Donny was going to get more fan votes.

Maybe if Len hadn't bee such a jackass early on, Dmitry and Mya may have taken a little bit more risk in their freestyle.

As for the rest of the show; it was still 115 minutes too long. Some of the bits were funny, but most of it was typical vapid reality show filler. I thought about live-blogging the results show, but decided against it because I didn't really want to pay attention to something so bad for so long.

Did you know that next "season" kicks off in about three months (right around the time NASCAR starts up and Jimmie Johnson starts in on his fifth straight Cup championship). Julianne has announced that she will not be back, which means that I am offically declaring the lovely Kym Johnson to be the Future Mrs. High Lord 2.0. I hope she can repeat. If not, I hope they give Cheryl a good partner who actually has a chance at winning. Or that they let me give the show a try and pair me with Chelsie (because she's the only female pro who is shorter than me).

At least Idol is about to start soon.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just crown Donny now

I wonder if Joanna and Derek were sitting at home yelling at their TVs, "My god! Kelly is dancing like crap and we're at home!?!?!?!"

After last night's show, I think it's safe to say that Donny is probably going to win and it's all Dmitry's fault. His choreography stunk. More on this later.

First of all, there is no question that Joanna deserved the third spot in the finale. However, since the fan voting is 50% of the scoring, I can see how Kelly Osbourne got through. That still doesn't make it right, though.

Louis got more out of Kelly than I think anyone else would have, and to be fair, Kelly is one of the most improved dancers that the show has ever had on. However, since this is the finale, the best celeb dancers should still be around and this year, Joanna was sacrificed for a feel-good story.

Mathematically, Kelly is dead in the water. She's 9 points behind Donny and 11 points back from Mya. She would have to bring in about 40% of the overall fan voting to even be considered for a chance at winning, and since DWTS limits the number of votes each phone line/email address/text plan has, powervoting will not get her through.

That leaves it a toss up between Donny and Mya.

Going into the freestyle, Mya had a five point advantage over Donny. This is where Dmitry let her down. I like that he put together a solid dance. Too many pros string together a bunch of tricks and don't have a coherent scheme for their final performance (Maks, Tony: this means you).

This is what killed Stacy's chances at winning.

Dmitry didn't listen to Mya and they had an uninspired, safe jitterbug. Mya's strength has been her latin dances and Dmitry let her down. Donny, on the other hand, went with a safe, uninspired Broadway-themed dance and it worked. It played to his strengths, which Mya's was just aiiiiiight.

Carrie Ann was ready to put Donny and Kym in the Hall of Fame; it wasn't that good, but it was right up his alley. Since their scores from the first round were flipped, the only points that separate the two are the two extra points Mya got from the Megamix round.

Donny should be able to make up those two points with the Osmond vote alone. I think if she had picked up a score of 10-9-10 and kept her cushion at four or five points, she would win, but as things stand, I think it will be Donny taking the Mirror Ball Trophy, probably much to the consternation of Marie, who will have to hear about it for the next thirty years.

Tonight is a 115 minutes of filler following V, then a couple of weeks until the next "season" starts.

In other news:

Congrats to Jimmie Johnson for his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Championship. That's the kind of dominance that is unparalleled in sports.

How is Peyton Manning not the MVP of the league right now. I know a lot of people want to give it to Brett Favre, but the MVP isn't about how much better Brett is this year than he was two years ago, it's about teams game planning around Manning (Miami) and coaches fearing him so much they're taking stupid chances to avoid giving him the ball back. And he's still beating them!

Katee Sackoff on The Big Bang Theory last night was funny. It's good to see she's still getting work after the cancellation of the new Bionic Woman.

I went to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs last weekend and was delightfully surprised. I'm happy to report that Mr. T is alive and well. I hope they find a way to work him into the new A-Team movie.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Miscellaneous updated and random musings

Good day, all.

Even though I broke up with DWTS, I've kept up with the show and am watching it no-filler style. Last week, I was not sorry to see Aaron go (Mrs. High Lord can't stand him) and this week, I'm afraid that Kelly will be the one to get the boot.

Donny could be a surprise elimination, but I think he has enough family and friends to keep him around. While Kelly is the best story, she is clearly the weakest dancer of the group and deserves to be eliminated this week. That would leave us with a finale that includes the best dancer (Mya), the hottest contestant (Joanna) and the best performer (Donny).

The odds would then be on either Mya (highest scores) or Donny (most fans) to win, although Derek could slip Joanna by if they can split enough votes between the other two. Of course, that's wild speculation because Kelly could sneak into the finale and really F things up.

In other news, I'm really enjoying V. On one level, I wish things would move faster and get right to the part where the Visitors start eating people, but that also means that the anticipation that's building is good for viewers. I just hope it doesn't get cancelled between now and March, when it's supposed to resume.

Is it just me or has the Idol juggernaut been rather quiet of late? I don't watch Ellen, so I don't know if she's mentioned anything on air, but it seems to me that they're having a quiet off season. I did see that Kris has released his first CD; I haven't picked it up yet, so if anyone has it, let me know how it is.

Some buddies of mine and I just started a D&D (3rd Edition) game. It's nice to get back into the swing of things, but I'm taking some time to get used to the rules. Yes, I know they're on to 4th edition already, but I haven't got those books yet.

Three of my five fantasy football teams suck. Two are aiiiiight. I've got Joe Flacco and Ray Rice so I'm living and dying with the Ravens.

Check back later and I'll have some thoughts on the DWTS finale.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

V: Then and Now

I don't know how many of you watched the "Five" pilot last night, or the re-runs of V, V: The Final Battle and V: The Series on the Sci-Fi Channel (I refuse to call it by that new name), but I enjoyed the pilot episode of V.

It was a nice set-up for what could be a long-running sci-fi show on network TV. At least it won't be killed early by Fox like Brimstone, Firefly, Millennium, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, et al. I think that without the success of shows in the sci-fi genre like Lost and Heroes, as well as arc-driven shows like 24 and Buffy, this new crop of shows including Flash Forward and V would never get made.

I also wonder how Battlestar Galactica would have fared if it had been given a bigger budget and been broadcast on NBC instead of Sci-Fi.

Anyway, back to V.

There were several plot lines that were nicely set in motion, but at heart, I wonder why the Visitors didn't simply conquer the planet. After all, they have demonstratably superior technology, so why not just take over. This was the basic failing of the 80s series: the aliens needed water and humans (both for food and as slaves to serve as soldiers).

Now, what do they really need?

Water is one of the most abundant compounds in the universe. Why come to earth to get it?

Humans as food? It's not practical to use a top-line predator as a food source. There is too much necessary to raise humans to maturity as opposed to using non-sentient domesticated animals like cows or chickens.

They need a rare element to power their ships? So just wipe out the population of the planet and mine all they need.

And why would they spend decades infiltrating human society. The time and resources necessary to pull all this off would be better spent by simply showing up, demanding the planet's unconditional surrender and then threatening to drop a fusion device into the sun causing it to go super-nova.

Until this basic premise is plausibly explained, the series will seem a little contrived. At least to me.

Still, there were many things to like. We saw that there are a few humans who are aware of the Visitor's reptilian origins, as well as some that are placed highly in the social structure of our planet.

However, this makes me wonder a couple of things:

First, if there are humans who know that certain "people" are aliens in disguise, why not expose them? Just show up one day with a Visitor, rip off his/her "skin" on TV and when they finally show up, we'd be ready.

Second, if there are Visitors who have been here for a while and they know their bretheran are coming, why not expose themselves so we'd be ready? Sure, we might make guinea pigs out of them, but 1) we'd know that there are other species out there, and 2) we'd know that they were coming to take over the planet. That way, we'd either be ready to fight back or have some sort of Torchwood like contingency that would destroy the planet rather than let it fall to an invading alien species.

Anyway, despite this nitpicking, I enjoyed the show last night, and will be tuning in.

Just show me more hot alien babes. And get Inara her hair back.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I never thought it would come to this

Dear Dancing With the Stars,

In a million years, I never imagined that I would be writing this . . .

I think we need to break up. Or at least take some time apart.

We've been together for these last 8½ "seasons" and I just can't take it anymore. I'm not replacing you with another show; infidelity has never been the issue. In fact, I've watched you and DVR'd shows like The Big Bang Theory and American Idol and watched you instead.

I just feel like I'm growing into a different person and you're not.

You've always been good to me. Before, I never thought of ballroom dancing as "sport" but you've made me appreciate the athleticism and energy that dancing requires, not to mention the committment that is necessary. It's just you have some glaring defects that you can't/won't fix.

First, let me say that there are many things I like: Tom Bergeron is the best reality TV show host in the world. Strong pro dancers like Cheryl, Mark, Julianne, and Derek bring out the best in people. Have I mentioned the eye candy factor?

Yet despite this, I can't go on watching you. Samantha Harris annoys me. Maybe if she'd just stand there and jump up and down instead of talking, I'd enjoy her more. Please replace her permanently with Drew Lachey.

I coped well with you rigging season 1 for Kelly Monaco to win (even though she would have won anyway), but I can't handle the way Grumpy Len bashes Mya and Dmitry for no reason, while praising others for doing the exact same thing. His expertise is an asset, but his being a jerk turns me off and doesn't make me want to listen to what he has to say.

We stuck together through schedule and timeslot changes, a revolving door of dancers and endless filler, some of which is very, very funny, and some of which is just plain awful.

I guess my problem is that while you are superior to other contest shows (including American Idol), you're not the best dance show on TV (that would be the one on Fox). I like that Bruno, Carrie Ann and Len actually do some judging that influences the results of the show. I like that the voting system discourages powervoting.

But I can't understand why you don't try and keep up with the times. Introduce some new dances: contemporary, lyrical, hip hop. You do a good job of getting some reasonably relevant C-list celebs, but you handicap your best pro dancers with crappy celeb dancers. Lots of people tune in to watch Cheryl and Anna T. and Kym and Maks, but when you pair them with the likes of Wayne Newton, Tom Delay, Steve Guttenberg, Chuck Liddell, Mark Cuban, Jerry Springer, Denise Richards, Debi Mazar, Willa Ford et al. But why would people tune in to watch their favourite pros get eliminated early?

Will you change for me? Probably not. There are millions of viewers out there who seem content with you just the way you are. Have you tried new things? Sure you have: new dances like the jitterbug, Argentinean Tango, etc. and a couple of gimmicks like the "dance off" sometimes work and sometimes don't, but I appreciate that you've tried some little things. I just don't know that they're enough.

I'm not saying I won't tune in. I think you knew this was coming when I stopped live-blogging at the beginning of this "season". I'm not saying I won't come back, but for right now, I think it's better that we took some time to re-evaluate where we are.

I'm sorry.

-Dave

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Halloween Blog

Well, not really. But Halloween is coming up on Saturday along with the end of Daylight Savings Time, which means that for those of you who will be out late Saturday night, you get an extra hour before the bars close.

Each year, we've seen a steadily-decreasing number of kids in costume coming to our house. Of course, we're buying the same amount of candy and someone has to eat it . . .

Here are a few thoughts for this week:
  • I cannot fathom why Len doesn't like Mya and Dmitry. His comments are non-sensical. This week, he said he didn't like their intro. Yet he doesn't rip anyone else for the same thing. He's also gotten on Dmitry's choreography, but doesn't take it out on anyone else. What's up with Grumpy Len. I'd really like to see him gone from the show. He just seems too old.

  • This week's bottom 3 was Melissa, Louie and Michael. Melissa was (deservedly) whacked immediately, then Louis and Michael had their (pointless) dance-off. Did I hear that next week is another double elimination? If that's the case, why did they expand the field to 16 celebs?

    I'd rather have a season of single-eliminations than an expanded field with some two-fers thrown in. As it is, we're seeing too many people who have not shot at winning, only to hang on to false hopes for too long. Does anyone think Michael, Melissa or Louie ever had a legitimate shot at winning? The survivor of that troika was going to get eliminated next week anyway.

  • At this point there are two legitimate contenders: Donny and Mya. Aaron, Mark and Joanna have an outside shot at the finale, but they've been too uneven to win. Kelly and Michael are hanging by threads and are only still around because of fan voting.

    If I were a betting man (which I'm not), this is the order I think people will be voted off:

    Michael
    Kelly
    Mark
    Aaron
    Joanna
    Mya
    Donny (winner)

    The further this thing goes on, the more important fan voting becomes and I think that's where Donny has a leg up on everyone else, even if others are better dancers. As long as Len is handicapping Mya by two points per show, she and Donny will be about even as far as judges's scores go and since the fan votes break all ties, he'll come out with the "much-coveted" Mirror Ball Trophy. If Len would get his head out of his bum, Mya would be the runaway favourite to win.

  • Was it just me or was the sound off for the whole show last night? They sounded like they were on speakerphone for the entire show. We even tried switching between the regular and HD channels, plus I went downstairs to watch for a few minutes on another TV and the sound was all jacked-up.

  • Taylor Swift is too skinny for her own good.

  • This week, I got victimised by Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. I have some combination of them in three leagues and in those leagues, I lost because those guys had a bye week.

  • I've been watching some of my BSG DVDs and the show still holds up. It was criminal that it never got nominated for any Emmys or Golden Globes.

  • I'm addicted to dried pineapple right now. Each week, I eat about two pounds of the stuff while sitting at my desk. I guess it's better than eating two pounds of chocolate, right?

  • My office could really use a nacho bar and slushie machine in the break room.

  • For the last week or so, my granddaughter has had a stomach bug that's caused her to puke late at night and spend all day passing gas and explosive poo. That is why I don't have kids.
Whatever you do for Halloween this year, have fun and be safe!

Next week: Michael Irvin gets canned. Derek Hough coaxes more out of Joanna than anyone else could. Donny and Future Mrs. High Lord 2.0 continue to shine. Len is still a jerk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October updates

Yeah, I know I've been a bad blogger, but I'm on the verge of breaking up with DWTS because the season is just too darned long. If they'd cut the field back to ten dancers, I might come back full-on, but for now, I feel like we're moving apart from one another.

With 16 couples, there are just too many people to keep track of. Then when they pair some of the better pros with sub-par celebs (Cheryl/Tom and Maks/Debi), it seems like they just don't want me to tune in any more. It would help if they'd bring back the Future Mrs. High Lord instead of making me crown Kym Johnson as Future Mrs. High Lord 2.0.

In DWTS and some other news, here are some random thoughts:
  • DTWS is on at the same time as two of my other favourite shows: Monday Night Football (which has actually had some good games on) and The Big Bang Theory, which CBS moved to the 9:30 slot.

    I think this is a plot by the Eye; thinking that I'll watch their other lame shows by putting my favourite show on last. It used to be that I'd watch BBT then watch DTWS on the DVR after a half hour delay. Now I'm watching BBT on the DVR on Tuesdays. Take that, CBS!

  • Speaking of BBT, I'm not sure I like the Penny/Leonard hook-up. The unrequited love/sexual tension angle is gone, just like it was gone when Ross and Rachel hooked up at the end of season 2. Sheldon is still funny as hell. So was Wil Wheaton's guest appearance last night. My only complaint is that Sheldon (and his photographic memory) would have known if Wil's grandmother was still alive.

  • Even though Natalie is gone, I'm not sure she really had a chance to win. Yes, there are worse dancers still left (Louie, Michael) as well as some who are less consistent (Aaron, Melissa). Yet the fact of the matter is that the people who really had a chance to win at the beginning of the season (Donny, Mya) while the people who have an outside chance (Mark, Joanna) are still there, plus a hanger-on (Kelly).

  • Speaking of Mya, does anyone know why Len doesn't like her? Or does he not like Dmitry?

  • This past week, I was victimised by Tom Brady and/or Randy Moss in three fantasy leagues. My teams suck.

  • We really need to get rid of Samantha Harris. Bring back Drew Lachey! Please!!!!

  • Have I mentioned that Mrs. High Lord's new TV is fan-freaking-tastic.

  • Is there any team more dominant in any sport than Hendrick Motorsports's #48 team? (The answer is "no", by the way) They're about to win their fourth consecutive championship and everyone around them has basically given up.

  • My Jaguars needed overtime to get by the lowely St. Louis Rams.

  • I hate the cold.

  • The only thing missing from my new mancave is a fridge and posters of beer girls on the walls.

  • I'm really looking forward to "V" on ABC. I wonder how long it take ABC to move the series to Friday and kill it.

  • I need a new computer. I've burned up two in the last six months and I'd like a new box for when the Star Wars MMO is released sometime next year. Right now, the one I built for myself runs about $1,400 with no operating system. I guess I'll be going back to Baltimore on TDY to make some money.

  • The people who hit the panic button in Tallahassee need to calm down. Yes, Bobby Bowden isn't bringing in the kind of success you got used to in the 90s. but don't forget that when he arrived, the Noles were 3-27 in the three previous seasons and there was talk of dismantling the program. He's earned the right to retire whenever he wants, dadgummit.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Placeholder Post

Howdy, everyone. Well, all five of you who read the blog when it's not Idol season.

DWTS starts here in about six minutes and I've decided that I'm going to skip the live-blogging for the next couple of weeks. Until the cast is whittled down to a manageable size, I'm going to record the show on the DVR and then watch it no-filler the next day.

I just can't handle investing my time and energy in a bunch of celebs who have no chance at winning just so ABC can rake in some more advertising dollars.

Plus I want to watch the Packers/Vikings game on MNF and The Big Bang Theory at 9:30.

So check back with me tomorrow night and I'll have some thoughts on DWTS, my five fantasy football teams and the Battlestar Galactica "complete series" boxed set I just got.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DWTS: Do it yourself edition

Last weekend, Mrs. High Lord and I took a road trip to Cincinnati. We cashed in some of the Marriott points I've been racking up going on travel and paid a visit to Ikea, the Cincinnati Premium Outlets and Jungle Jim's. Since my youngest stepson moved out, we've now got a bonus room in what used to be the basement.

Much to the consternation of the kids, we're keeping the big TV and replacing it with a new LCD flatscreen. Mrs. High Lord calls it "her TV". The old TV is going downstairs where we're going to hook up the Wii and stereo receiver. We got a stand for the new TV, plus a futon for the basement and some early Christmas gifts for people. It was a good trip; now I just need to teach some more centralised training so I can pay for it . . .

Now back to the dancing.

Last week, we were introduced to the sixteen couples, and to no one's surprise, Ashley Hamilton and Macy Gray got whacked. Why are we being subjected to so many dancers? Do we really want to see a bunch of people who have no chance at winning plod through week after week? (The answer is "no", by the way).

How many more celebs will injure themselves over the next three months? I'm betting on at least four injuries that feature someone being treated by paramedics and/or getting carted away in an ambulance.

On the DVR, I saw that Leonard and Penny ended up in bed. This, of course, is a major mistake. "Friends" was never the same after Ross and Rachel did it (the first time) and BBT just lost a major source of jokes as well as the odd sexual tension that made the first two seasons tick.

The show starts and Grumpy Len is gone!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!!!! I'm feeling better about tonight's show already.

First up are Joanna (who?) and former champ Derek. If anyone get get a model to win, it's Derek . . . no, wait, he already did that. Their jive is filled with big hair and skin (not a complaint). As always, he doesn't ask Joanna to do too much. They have some good chemistry and despite a couple of missteps, they will stick near the top of the leaderboard.
The Judges's Scores: 6-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

Going second are Natalie and Alec. They draw the quickstep. Hopefully, having two fast dances tonight will keep the show moving. God knows they need to get everyone in quickly. She's doing the counting thing. Technically they were okay, but she's still very nervous and it shows. I think they'll definitely hang around for a few more rounds. Natalie has a lot of potential and she's solidly in the middle of the pack, which lots of room to improve.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Baz is much better in the middle seat than Grumpy Len. Can we replace Len with Baz and Samantha with Drew? Is that really too much to ask?

My fan faves this season are Chuck and Anna. He strikes me as this year's Ty. I appreciate that he is way out of his comfort zone and is trying really hard. Does he have a lot of talent? No; in fact, he's probably got just a shade more natural dancing ability than me. Is he going to win? No, but given that he has lots of room to improve, he could go far (like Ty). They're doing the tango (dance #3 for the night). This reminds me of Warren and Kym's Matrix-inspired Paso from a couple of years ago. It suits him very well and Anna has gone back to her Jerry Rice playbook and choreographed well for him. They have a some timing problems, but overall, it was pretty good.
The Judges's Scores: 6-7-6
The High Lord's Score:

Sabrina and former two-time champion Mark are also doing the jive. She's not as cute as Shawn, but if anyone can coax every ounce of potential out of her, it's Mark. Are the polka-dots there only to distract us? He's doing more dancing than she is. I put her solidly at the top of the bottom third of the field. It wasn't as good as Carrie Ann said. Bruno hit the nail on the head.
The Judges's Scores: 7-6-6
The High Lord's Score:

My fantasy football teams officially suck. I guess I'm due. I think I'm 2-3 going into tonight's game. The one league I'm dominating is my work league. Even so, I was struggling going into the late game yesterday when Peyton Manning caught fire and brought in close to 50 points. If only I could spread a little bit of that magic around to my other four fantasy football teams.

Getting paired with the newest DWTS pro, Michael needs to step it up to finish close to where the other football players were in the past. Anna is trying, but like a lot of first-year pros, she got a dud for a partner. His quickstep is serviceable, but his footwork is clumsy and heavy. His posture isn't bad, but the counting thing is holding him back. I'd like to see them stick around only because she's so hawt.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-6
The High Lord's Score:

The first crying spat of the year is had by Debi who doesn't respond well to Maks's yelling. Hey, Harold Wheeler, Gordon Sumner just took out a hit on you. Their tango is a big aiiiiiiight for me. Not great, not awful. I'll just say it was meh. The judges are certainly low-balling the scores tonight, which is good.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Do I really have to sit through another hour of this? These two hour performance shows are way too long. Have I mentioned that there are too many couples this season?

Louie and Chelsie are perhaps the shortest couple to be on the show. They're doing the jive. I don't know what to make of him, but I know I hate the music for the jive. It's not as energetic as Melissa & Mark's, but it's not bad either. I guess I'm just underwhelmed by the dancing tonight. No one has jumped out and wowed me.
The Judges's Scores: 6-7-6
The High Lord's Score: 7

If next week's show seems to drag on this long, I'm going to wait until there are only six couples left to even think about live-blogging. I'm just happy Len's off this week. I can only hope that Tom wasn't joking when he said Len would be gone next week, too.

The leaders among the guys last week were Aaron and Karina. I'm not sure what it is, but he annoys me. Their quickstep starts with a Muppetts gimmick, which makes me laugh. The actual dancing is actually pretty good. I think we're about to see our first 8 paddle of the night, even if the pair has their share of problems (some timing issues, a couple of missed marks, etc.). It wasn't as good as the judges said, but it was still the best of the night.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

Kelly and Louis made Ozzy and Sharon cry; let's see if she can do it again. They draw the tango. Plus they're in a bad spot, following the night's #1 performer. I think she'll definitely stick around for another couple of weeks, which will give her time to improve into the top half of the field. Kelly has her moments; in parts she looks confident. In others, she's clearly scared witless and is counting way too much. The stumble at the end won't help her.
The Judge's Scores: 6-7-6
The High Lord's Score: 7

The recipient of last week's elimination scare, Kathy and Tony get the quickstep. I hope he's been taking choreography lessons from Julianne. They seem to be moving at two-thirds speed. I thought it was short on content and missing something. If Simon were on this show, he'd call them forgettable. I'm yawning.
The Judges's Scores: The Satan Score
The High Lord's Score:

Is it good or bad when the lowest score of the night so far is 18?

With another quickstep, Mark and Lacey dance rings around Cathy and Tony. They're more athletic than the other couples and their routines show it off. I think he could be very good if he sticks around for a few weeks. His technique is good, but he needs to lighten up a little.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

The big Fuddy-Duddy didn't like Mya and Dmitry's Viennese Waltz, even if it was one of the best dances of the night. It's a good thing he's not here tonight. I liked it. She's definitely got a lot of natural talent plus she does a good job of selling the performance. If they gave Aaron 9s, they have to do the same for her. What are the odds that Harold Wheeler selects "Lady Marmalade" for her at some point this year?
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

If I were a Division I-A team ranked in the Top 10, I'd be really nervous right about now. How long do you think it will be before LSU, Texas, Florida and Alabama get assassinated by an unranked conference rival?

With two couples left, Tom and Cheryl get the 11th spot. I thought TPTB at ABC owe Cheryl big for sticking her with Wayne a few years back, but apparently, they didn't get the memo. Unless the virulent right-wing conspiracy works overtime to keep him around, I think he'll be gone within the next three weeks. His tango is stiff and slow, but it's not the worst of the night. At least until he almost drops Cheryl at the end.
The Judges's Scores: Satan again! Don't tell the Fundy Christians!
The High Lord's Score:

Drawing the Pimp Spot are Donny and The Future Mrs. High Lord 2.0. I think he's the frontrunner to win. There are a couple of people with potential (Aaron and Mya come to mind), but as of right now, he's the whole package: natural talent, dance background, and the best performer of the bunch. Of course, we've seen people plateau early and not win (Stacy Keibler). Let's hope Kym's choreography doesn't kill him like Tony, Maks and Edyta have done to some other celebs. They're doing the jive. If Mrs. High Lord ever leaves me, yeah, I'd hit that. And I'm not talking about Donny. The one downside of Mrs. High Lord's new TV is that I can see individual beads of sweat on Donny's brow. I like that he sells the dance more than any of the other celebs. His technique is not ballroom-perfect, but the jive doesn't have to be. I thought it was the best of the week.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-8
The High Lord's Score:

My top three are: Aaron, Donny, Mya
My bottom three are: Kathy, Michael, Tom

My pick to go home is either Kathy or Michael. The order doesn't matter because the other one will get canned next week.

Now I'm going to watch BBT on the DVR. I'll be going no-filler for the results tomorrow. If I get Mrs. High Lord's new TV hung on the new TV stand, that is.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DWTS: The longest season ever, Part 2

After last night's show, I'm still wondering why they have 16 celebs and why Grumpy Len is still on the panel. TPTB at ABC needs to send Len a memo to lighten up. He's seriously getting on my nerves for being such a jerk.

There were eight guys dancing last night, and these are my general observations.
  • There are only three and a half guys who even have a chance at winning: Donny, Aaron, Mark and maybe Louis. Chuck, Michael, Ashley and Tom are just taking up space.

  • Our friend Jennifer is surely overjoyed to know that Maks is both shirtless and single.

  • While I'm disappointed that the Future Mrs. High Lord isn't on the show this year, the ever-loverly Kym Johnson is.

  • The new girl Anna Demidova is pretty hawt, too.

  • I think Chuck (for whatever reason) really wants to win. He doesn't have a chance, but I think he could go far because he actually seems likable and he has lots of room to improve. Now, if only he can make it through the first two eliminations . . .

  • Macy Gray's head is frickin' huge. I'll lay the over/under at week 4 for when it causes her to fall over and knock out someone in the audience.

  • While a portion of the viewing audience might be Osmonded-out, I think Donny is the preliminary favourite to win. He's got a built-in fanbase, is (hands-down) the best showman who's ever been on, and he's got a lot of natural talent. A career in show-biz doesn't hurt him, either.

  • I'd still make out with Marie Osmond if Mrs. High Lord were to leave me.

  • Harold Wheeler needs to pick better music for the dancers. "Kung Fu Fighting"? Really? WTF? Yes, we know Mark Dacascos is Asian, but let me say that again . . . What the F?

  • Michael said he wants to do better than Jerry (Rice, not Jones). News flash: Not gonna happen. He's going to disappoint Emmitt. Now all we need are Troy, Moose and Deion to have an all-Cowboys DWTS HOF class.

  • Cheryl got screwed. Again. And not in the good way.

  • In one of my five fantasy leagues, I went into the Monday night game up by about 60 points. I was done. The other guy had two players left. Guess who? Peyton Manning and Desmond Clark. I lost by 2 points. Two freakin' points. What the F?

  • Will the usual culprits sabotage their celeb partners's chances with bad choreography? Tony, Edyta, Jonathan and sometimes Maks: I'm talking to you.

  • Is Louis still a diva? How long will it take to make someone cry backstage?

  • I didn't recognise Kelly Osbourne when she first came out last night. That's a compliment.

  • If Taylor Swift is on the show this year, do you think Kanye will rush the stage?

  • Ashly Delgrosso, we miss you!

  • This weekend, Mrs. High Lord and I are going to Cincinnati to visit Ikea, Jungle Jim's and the outlet malls. I got a gazillion Marriott points after spending half of my summer in Baltimore, so we've got a free night coming. We need a new TV stand for the new TV we just bought. The big TV is going down to the basement where we'll set up the Wii and we're going to replace it in the living room with a new LCD bigscreen. I'm very excited.
I'm sure I'll think of more, so I'll be back tomorrow for the first results show. Next week, I'll live-blog the dancing shows and FF through the results shows on the DVR.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

DWTS: The longest season yet

As we wait for Idol to start, it's time for another "season" of Dancing With the Stars. I can't understand how they can have two "seasons" a year and not think that they're saturating the TV market with celebrity dancing.

I also wonder how many C- and D-listers they can dig out of the woodwork who actually think they have a shot at winning. Don't get me wrong, but I think the show is almost to the point that I've had my fill of it.

Of course, I addressed some of this at the end of last year when I made the following suggestions:

1. Only have one season per calendar year.

2. Have fewer celebrities.

3. Open up the dancing styles to include non-traditional ballroom and latin dances.

Did they listen to me? Obviously not.

This time around, there are 16 celebs and their pro partners. That's right: 16!!!!!! That's twice as many teams as should be competing in a Division I-A college football playoff. You can't tell me there are 16 celebs we care enough to watch for a solid four months of ballroom dancing.

If they're going to do a Spring and Fall edition of this show each year, there should be 10 couples per "season". Otherwise, the other six people are just there to fill space and get kicked off. "Line 'em up and mow 'em down", as they say.

Each "season" there are two or three people who can win, two or three more who can string together a few good weeks or come on strong and then there's everybody else. These "TOGs" (The Other Guys/Gals) are only there to make sure ABC has a full run on the show. They don't have a shot at winning despite their feel good story (Ty), their good looks (Tia) or the fact that they do improve from week to week but still aren't a top tier competitor (Marissa).

The fact of the matter is that once the first two weeks of dancing are complete, everyone pretty much know who's going to be in the top four. No one else has a chance. So why make us sit through eight extra weeks of bad dancing? The answer is that ABC has bills to pay and celebrity dancing shows are cheap to produce. Plus, DWTS consistently brings in higher ratings than the other dancing shows, especially that one on Fox.

My other problem with having sixteen competitors is that it's another four weeks when people can get hurt. Yes, SYTYCD starts with 20 dancers, but they eliminate two per week. Unless DWTS does the same, how many people are going to blow out a knee, tear a biceps muscle or have some other injury? You'd think the celebs signing up for the show would be concerned about this.

The group that is thrilled about having more dancers is the professional athletes. Misty May-Treanor aside, adding couples practically guarantees that a football player or former Olympian will win. Everyone else is fighting for scraps. Hear that, Über-MILF Brooke Burke? You were the last non-athlete to win.

I also wonder how much longer they can go on doing the same dances over and over without injecting the show with some fresh blood. I appreciate that fuddy-duddy Len wants to keep the show "traditional", but since a lot of the viewers like the non-ballroom dance styles (hip-hop, disco, lyrical, contemporary, etc.) it seems to me that they had better find a way to incorporate them into the show otherwise we (the audience) will grow tired of watching the same things over and over and over (which is how I feel some weeks).

I also think that the pros want to expand their horizons a little, too. Lacey is always on the edge of what Len likes, as are some of the others. Plus, I think Carrie Ann and Bruno want to move a little bit out of the box, too.

We'll see how this plays out over the next few months.

Having said that, I won't be live-blogging the show this week. I can make a bunch of excuses, but mostly I just feel like being a slacker tonight. Plus, I don't feel like investing in a bunch of celeb dancers who will be gone in two months and I won't remember who they were.

I will be back with the live blog for next week's DWTS (provided I get more sleep next weekend than I got last weekend).

How was everyone's summer? I spent six weeks in Baltimore doing centralised training for my agency. It was a lot of fun, although spending a month in a bed that's not my own gets real old, real fast. I did get to visit with my sister and uncle in New York City for a weekend and went into DC a couple of times.

I'm also happy that football season has started up again, despite the fact that my fantasy teams are getting slapped around left and right (and not in the good way). My Seminoles are up-and-down; they had a good game against Miami, only to lose on a dropped pass on the final play, they struggled against Jacksonville State (who?) and stomped BYU in Utah. While I am happy to see the Noles back in the Top 20, I was hoping to see BYU run the table and make the B(C)S hampionship game.

ABC, CBS and ESPN continue to confound me by showing three of my favourite shows at the same time: Monday Night Football, DWTS and The Big Bang Theory. I don't know why they do this to me. Plus, they move BBT to 9:30, which severely ticks me off. It's a good thing I'm getting a second DVR soon, so I can record all the shows I want to see.

Tomorrow, I'll post some general thoughts on tonight's show, plus some more unsolicited musings and random blather.

High Lord. Out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So this is Paula's replacement?!?!?!

In case you haven't heard, Ellen "Mrs. Portia DeRossi" DeGeneres is taking Paula's seat at the Idol judges's table.

I've only had a little bit of time to gauge the reaction of the blogosphere, but it seems lots of people are in full-on "WTF?" mode, including our friend Beckeye.

Since this news is only a matter of hours old (at least to me), I am a little ambivalent about the move. On one level, Ellen clearly knows nothing about the music industry. She's not a performer, producer or executive. However, being one is not necessarily an asset (see "No Boundaries" by Kara DioGuardi).

What Ellen brings to the table is some good, old-fashioned fan-girlism. I don't think that's a bad thing. Like Paula, she's a relentless cheerleader for the singers on the show, but she's also not loopy (that whole thing with Anne Heche, notwithstanding . . . and besides, most of that was Anne's loopyness, not hers).

I think TPTB at Idol were growing tired of Paula's unreliability (like showing up for the audition shows) and the audience has tired of her meandering blather. The only thing I question about this move is why they're keeping four judges.

I'm no fan of Kara, and I think the judges table should go back to three (as they're already pressed for time). I have no problem replacing Kara and Paula with Ellen (or someone else), but I think the four-judge panel is still too much. I'll have to cogitate on this move for a little longer before I pass final judgement, but I'd like to see how Ellen does before writing off the show altogether.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The second most important person in the Idolverse is leaving

Howdy, all. Sorry I've been such a bad blogger this summer, but something has finally roused me from my blogging summer:

Paula announced she is not returning to Idol.

While some people think this is a negotiating tactic, it seems to me that she's burning her bridges by making this announcement publicly. We'll see how this plays out, but if she's gone, the most underrated aspect of the show goes with her.

I've said before that if one of the four judges got their seat taken it should be either Kara or Randy. Both fill essentially the same position on the panel, and neither has much contructive to say.

It is widely accepted that Simon is the most indespensible person on the show. While I agree with that, I think Paula is very close. Sure she's a human train wreck with breasts, but Idol needs someone who is on the side of the singers, no matter how poorly they have performed, if only to balance out Simon's nasty, snarky side.

Having a "cheerleader" both in the literal and figurative sense keeps the show upbeat in a way that Simon, Randy and Kara will not be able to manage. I think Paula is rightfully put off by the big bucks 19E has thrown at both Simon at Seacrest. While I think Simon deserves the bucks, Seacrest does not. I do not understand how he's worth $15 million a year; Idol is not about him, but somehow he thinks it is.

I'll have more thoughts on this as the story plays out. Who knows, maybe she will be back (with a big pay raise).

If not, the first American Idol broadcast without Paula Abdul will be the "jump the shark" moment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finally . . . it's the end of the journey . . . or is it the beginning?

I hate to open with such a deep philosophical question, but given that last night's post was a monster, tonight's will probably be just as long and the fact that I'm going to see Terminator: Salvation at midnight, why not?

Mrs. High Lord and some of the other people at work (all with two X chromosomes) think Gilles got robbed last night. While I understand their sentiment, is Shawn undeserving of the win? I think not. Yes, Gilles was the most consistent of the celebs and he always performed at a high level. Some times, this pays off (see Burke, Brooke), but not always (see Keibler, Stacy).

I think that Gilles's (and Melissa's, too) problem was that he was so good right out of the gate, he couldn't improve. Contrast that with Shawn who had some ups and down but finished much stronger than she started the season. Like Ty, she steadily improved and her progress was tangible and easily visible.

Like Idol, if someone on DWTS seems like things are coming easily, the audience won't necessarily vote for them. We like people who are average (or bad at something) and then work hard to get better. That's why Ty is such a great story and a great competitor to be on the show. Dancing is also one of those things that you can't fake (like singing). There's no band or backup singers to cover for slip-ups. You either get the steps right or your don't.

That's why 10 celebs started the season without a real shot at winning (maybe 9, although Lil Kim's chances were remote). Shawn improved and got lots of votes because she's young and perky. Under the Idol voting system, I think Gilles would have won. However, with only five votes per phone line and email address, the influence of powervoters is diminished, if not erased entirely.

Based on talent alone, Melissa should have been in the Top 2 along with Gilles, but her two point deficit going in to the fan voting spelled her doom. Still, she showed that with four days notice a hawt girl with a little bit of ballet training, some experience as a professional cheerleader and a lot of talent, anyone can advance to the finale of DWTS.

With 8 "seasons" of DWTS under our belts, let me touch on a couple of points that I think would make the show better:
  • Cut down on the number of contestants. I know ABC wants to drag this thing out as long as they can, but this is an issue of 1) availability, and 2) safety. How long can they mine the C- and D-lists for celebs who are willing to give up four months of time to commit to ballroom dancing? Pretty soon, they're going to run out of enough viable live bodies to put on the dance floor twice a year.

    Also, how many people have to have major injuries for the show to collapse? Eleven weeks is just too long and too many opportunities for people to hurt themselves. We've seen blown Achilles tendons, broken ribs, eyes gouged, torn biceps, shin splits, etc. and pretty soon celebs might get gunshy at being on if they know that they could end up having major surgery following an appearance on the show.

    Drop the number of couples down to 10. That takes three weeks off the show, but it will pay off in the long run.

  • Replace Samantha Harris with Drew Lachey. Or Melissa Rycroft. Or anyone else. The Queen of Unintentional Comedy is one of the show's few weak links.

  • Get better music. I know Harold Wheeler is doing his best, but there has got to be better and more theme appropriate tunes for people to dance along to. ABC can certainly afford to open up their check book and get the rights to better songs than they've had.

  • More Kym Johnson. 'Nuff said.

  • Tell fuddy-duddy Len to get over his aversion to hip-hop. To attract younger stars (and by extension a younger audience), the show needs to take a page from the SYTYCD playbook and bring in the following styles: contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. I know the old guy in the middle seat will whine and complain, but it will be good for the show. You don't have to do it every week, but ballroom and latin dances only are getting old.

    After all, there are only so many different ways to present the cha-cha-cha or the foxtrot. Mix up the styles and don't be afraid of non-traditional dances.

  • Don't ever invite Julianne's real-life boyfriend to be on the show. I want to believe that if my wife ever leaves me, I've got a shot.
I'm sure I'll come up with some more tips for DWTS, but that's it for now.

While I'm waiting for the show to start, I'd like to briefly touch on the Michael Vick story that's going on in the NFL. In case you hadn't heard, he just go out of jail for financing a dogfighting ring. There are certain people in this country who think he should be banned for life or flayed or worse.

For fighting dogs. Dogs. Not humans. Dogs.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a dog person. I know some people are and that's fine. I'm not.

What does Michael Vick have to do in order to get on with his life? He lost his job. He went into bankruptcy. He lost basically any chance at getting another endorsement contract. He's out millions of dollars. He spent 23 months in prison and will spend two years on probation. For financing a dogfighting ring. Dogs.

Where is the outrage at a guy like Leonard Little? You remember him, right? He plays defensive end for the St. Louis Rams. In 1998, he went to a birthday party, worked his blood alcohol level up to 0.19, then turned his car into a two ton weapon and killed a 30 year old mother of two. He served 90 days in jail, four years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Then in 2004, he was pulled over again for DUI and speeding.

Remember, Leonard Little didn't kill a dog. He killed another HUMAN BEING. Susan Gutweiler. He hasn't even told her kids that he's sorry. Why shouldn't Vick get a second chance if Little can get a $17.6 million contract.

Or where is everyone's outrage over Donte Stallworth of the Dolphins? Remember him? He was allegedly drunk and used his Bentley to run over a guy in Miami. That's a guy . . . another human being. Not a dog. Where are the calls to ban Stallworth for life like there were for Vick right after he got arrested.

There are lots of people playing professional football who are not the kind you want dating your daughter. These include convicted spouse/child abusers, drug users, gun-toting thugs and some who are just plain stupid. I recognise that the NFL is about talent and not character, but for people to think that Michael Vick shouldn't get another chance to play because he did bad things to dogs, that's outrageous.

Back to Idol.

I've been reading around the blogosphere and from the informal survey I've taken, it seems that the majority of people think Adam is going to win. Like Gilles, he's been too good all season. However, also like Gilles, he could be upstaged by the pretty young kid who's got nothing to lose and low expectations.

Our friends over at DialIdol predict a Kris upset, but statistically won't make the call. Remember that last year, they predicted the landslide win for David Cook and claim a 97% accuracy rate.

A friend of mine says the oddsmakers in Vegas are paying 2-3 for Adam and 6-5 for Kris (that is, you have to bet $3 to win $2 on Adam and $5 to win $6 for Kris). I'm just happy that no matter which of the guys wins, I won't be outraged (like I was when Fantasia beat Diana or I would have been if Archuleta had beaten Cook).

Both guys seem like genuinely nice people and I think both could be very successful in the music industry. Last night's show didn't help them, though. Was it just me or was the final singing show of the season rather boring?

Seacrest introduced them as "the glam rocker vs. the acoustic rocker", yet neither did a whole lot of rocking last night. Why did they not get to sing whatever they wanted? Why is Simon Fuller picking a song for them in the finale? And if they're trying to be contemporary pop stars, why were the aforementioned Simon Fuller picks both over 30 years old?

And who let Kara go near the CCS? That was the worst steaming mound of bantha poodoo anyone ever dumped on the Idol stage (which is saying a lot considering how gawd-awful the CCS usually is). We can only hope that next season, they come up with something better or do away with the song altogether.

After tonight, what will we do until next year beginning in December? I hope you guys will check in with me every now and then. I know I don't blog other stuff as often as I should, and without Idol, I'm really something of a boring guy (hell, even with Idol, I'm a pretty boring guy!), but I hope everyone will take a moment every month or so and drop me a line.

Have I mentioned that I'm going to see the midnight showing of Terminator: Salvation? Have I also mentioned that I'm still pissed at Paramount for not having a midnight screening of the new Star Trek?

We're back in the big theater for the finale. How do I score tickets to this show next year? I guess I should suck up to Fox/Fremantle/19E if I want to get comped, huh?

Seacrest opens the show and makes it all about him and the judges. Blech. The piece mocking what each of the four says is kind of funny, especially considering how mean-spirited the show has been to the singers in the past (remember the whole "other door" thing from a couple of years ago?).

Then Seacrest cuts to Mikalah Gordon (why can't we rid ourselves of her?) in Conway and Carly Smithson in San Diego. Someone please get LaToya on the line and send her to Arkansas, pronto!

Now it's time for the Top 13 group sing. It's too bad Alexis, Jasmine and Jorge won't be going on the tour with other 10 of them. What are the odds that Alexis stabs Megan or Scott for taking up her spot? At least Scott didn't fall off the stage.

Next up, David Cook gets some stage time. Welcome home, big guy! I thought they did away with the swaying mosh pit.

I'm afraid that I fell behind in the live-blogging. My father called, so I had to put the DVR on pause. The call dropped because cell service along I-10 in north Florida blows. If he calls back, I'm going to have to take another call.

Without a commercial break, Idol cuts to the semi-regular finale "awards" segment where they mock the different singers who didn't quite make it to Hollywood or the big stage. I FF through the bad audition segments. Why didn't Norman Gentle make the Top 13? He would have been waaaaaayyyyy more entertaining than Jorge.

Skipping yet another chance to sell some airtime, Seacrest introduces Lil (and her Rounds) along with Queen Latifah, whom I love, but absolutely shouldn't wear lycra.

Now we break for some commercials and then Anoop and Alexis take the stage for the bubbly "I'm Yours" along with Jason Mraz.

Seacrest asks all the Kris fans to stand, which can only mean that there will be a gratuitous shot of his hawt wife . . . and there she is. What would be his farewell montage then airs. I like the guy, but I don't know that his style is Idol worthy. He gets a one-on-one performance with Mr. Nicole Kidman.

Now it's time for the girls to sing one of Fergie's many songs that involves spelling. It leads into an appearance by the former Black Eyed Pea herself. After their song ends, will.i.am takes a break from presidential campaigning and teleporting around the Wolverine movie to sing his latest song.

Was it just me or did they just bleep Fergie? The Fox HD feed just cut to the Fox logo and there was no audio. The TV upstairs (which is not on the HD feed) didn't have an interruption, so it may have just been me.

Now it's time for more "awards". Of course they bring back Bikini Girl who uses this opportunity to show off her new boobies. I mute the TV. And I really didn't need to see Kara falling out of her dress.

Remember my promise, America: If you, the good people of the United States will amend your constitution to allow me to become president, I will enact and then enforce a law that prohibits reality show results episodes to exceed 30 minutes in length. Upon passage of such law, I will immediately abdicate in favour of someone imminently more qualified.

The next Idol to sing is Allison along with 80s icon Cyndi Lauper. Damn, I lurve me some Cyndi. I love the unplugged "Time After Time". Why couldn't she be the mentor for 80s week?

Kris's parents seem like the nicest people. I guess the apple don't fall far from the tree, huh?

Then we get some face time with Adam's family. His mom is kind of hot; not like Bo's mom, but close.

If there was one thing that could ruin the show for me tonight (besides the inane filler and other crap that stands between me and the finale results), it's having to listen to Gokey sing again. His duet with with Nicole Ritchie's dad. Wasn't "Hello" the song where that girl made the creepy clay sculpture out of Lionel's big head? What the hell song are they singing?

Jambo nipe senti moja! Yeah, jambo, jambo!
Way to party o' we go'n'! Oh, jambalai!
Jambo nipe senti moja! Yeah, jambo, jambo!


It's 9:14 and it's time for Adam's farewell video. Then he takes the stage in a suit he borrowed from the prop room for The Running Man along with KISS. How the hell did they get the guys on the Idol stage? I'm sure they told Gene that it would make them a gazillion bucks. Adam should have come out in the make-up.

This is what should have happened last night: rockin' the house. This was even better than David Cook with ZZ Top last year, and that was the benchmark for collaborations between the Idols and an established act.

Carlos Santana gets some screen time. It looks like Idol has brought out the big guns this year. Matt G covers his third eye with a fedora, sings a verse of "Black Magic Woman" and is then joined by the other Idols for the best group sing of the season.

Then it's time for some Ford product placement. I'd feel gyped if all I got was a crappy Fusion Hybrid and Bo and Carrie got Mustangs.

WTF is Steve Martin doing on sage with Lieutenant Rasczak and Megan? Was Rascal Flatts booked this year?

Oh, wait . . . Steve plugs his new album. I know I'm cynical about the people who appear on Idol (cuz the majority of them are there to sell something), but Steven Martin (Pink Panther movies aside) is a Renaissance Man of sorts. He's not only an accomplished author, comedian and actor, but he's a fantastic banjo player. It's too bad he didn't show off a little while Michael and Megan were singing.

After a quick break, the guys take the stage wearing black suits singing some Rod Stewart. Wasn't he a mentor on the show a few seasons ago? For standards week or something? He was shilling for his latest CD I believe. Now here comes Rod and he looks like he got his jacket back from Randy.

Why do they have people on Idol if they're not singing with this year's crop? I like it when the final show of the season is about closing out the season, not having washed-up has-beens on.

Oh, Heaven help us! I can't believe they're bringing Tatiana back. Actually, I can believe it. I think I'm going to be sick.

According to my clock, there are 15 minutes left in the scheduled part of the show. Then the guys take the stage for a rousing rendition of "We Are the Champions". Adam overpowers Kris, which is something we should expect. What I didn't expect was an appearance by Roger Taylor and Brian May. I think "Princes of the Universe" would have been much more appropriate.

They cut to a quick Coca-Cola commercial then the stage is left with only Seacrest, Kris and Adam. Simon has some uncharacteristically kind words for the pair. Then some guy brings out the results of the performance show and in an Idol first, the results are "certified", whatever the hell that means.

It's time for results. Seacrest dims the lights and announces the winner as . . .

Kris!!!!!

Holy crap! DialIdol got it right! Good for you, Kris! He gets a trophy, too? I'll bet Fantasia feels like she was ripped off . . .

Now Kris has to do the unthinkable and sing the big steaming turd that Kara helped write. I think that's the only thing Adam is relieved he doesn't have to do.

I'm stunned. Mrs. High Lord is speechless. I'm going to have to cogitate on this for a little while. I think even Kris thought Adam was going to win.

Check back later this week or early next for some final thoughts on this season. Thanks for stopping by and come back next year (if not before).

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get ready for a big night!

That's right, folks, it's time for the final Idol singing show before "America's" voting determines the next Idol champion and the much-anticipated DWTS results show. The only question is when I'm going to get around to watching "Glee" on the DVR.

Last night, last week I broke down the Idol Top 3, so I won't re-hash the same arguments here tonight. Suffice to say that I think this thing is Adam's to lose. Kris, while he's had a good run, also has that just-happy-to-be-here look and I think Adam's rabid fans will come through for him tonight. Kris's only hope is for all of Danny's (and Lil's and Matt's and Anoop's) voters to vote for him until their fingers bleed.

Short of that and to the casual fan who votes for the best performances, the winner will be Adam. He has simply been too consistent, too powerful, and too slick to lose. Sure he flirted with elimination, but then again, so did Rueben.

I'm not willing to write Kris off completely, but I wouldn't give him more than a 25% chance of winning tomorrow. At least he'll get a free Ford car, second place billing on the tour and a recording contract that probably won't be as restrictive as if he had won outright.

Before the show starts, let me start by being an equal opportunity basher. Lest people think that I only dump on Dubya and his legion of corrupt cronies, let me take a shot a Nancy Pelosi for being stupid. She claims the CIA misled her about waterboarding and other torture methods being used on detainees in Guantanamo Bay and other secret undisclosed CIA prisons. As House Minority Leader, I'm sure she was briefed on all sorts of national security matters including the techniques being used to pry information from people who really didn't want to give it up.

To believe otherwise is naive. It would also be less than professional for the CIA to deliberately mislead someone in Congress about their activities, especially since Congress controls all spending.

So why would Pelosi lie (or perhaps you'd prefer a Bushism, "misremember") about the briefings? The answer is, of course, political expediency. She doesn't want to come across as a hypocrite and she thinks that she can talk her way out of it. When will people in Washington learn that lying is worse than being wrong.

Not that it's not just politicians who think this, just ask Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.

Seriously, what's the harm in saying, "Yeah, the CIA briefed us on waterboarding and other things they were doing to detainees. I didn't like it, but at the time, it seemed like the thing to do. Plus, if I'd come out against it, Dubya and his buddies would have eaten me for lunch in the papers, so I went along with it. I regret it now, and I am going to make sure that it never happens again."

See how easy that is? So why don't more people do it. Can you imagine how Bill Clinton's presidency might have been different if he had just said, "Yeah, Monica went down on me. I regret that unlike JFK, I wasn't bagging this generation's Marilyn Monroe, but yeah, I was having sexual relations with an intern. Oh, by the way, what does this have to do with the reason why Ken Starr was appointed Special Prosecutor? Why am I even being asked this question? Doesn't he have anything better to do with $50 million of the American taxpayers' money? These Republicans are out to get me so bad, this is the best they can do?"

Now Nancy Pelosi has painted herself into a corner and doesn't have a graceful exit. Americans are a forgiving lot. Just ask Nixon. Or Ollie North. Or Andy Pettite. If you come clean with us, offer up the proper amount of contrition and ask to move on, we'll probably let you. But if we (collectively) smell a cover-up, there will be hell to pay.

As the head of the Democratic Party, Obama needs to get this under control. And quick. If it means publicly calling for Pelosi to step down as Speaker, he needs to do it. The longer the Republicans can use this as an issue to distract us from the real problems we face, the harder it will be for him to push his agenda. I don't know what Nancy Pelosi was told or what went on in the CIA briefings, but there are certainly enough people around who will hang her out to dry if she's caught lying. And that's bad for all of us.

Now, let's talk Idol!

Tonight's show is 61 minutes long. How much actual singing do you think there will be?

Various sources are reporting that next year, Simon and Kara will both be back. So which of the judges will be going? The smart money says Paula will be gone, but as I've said before, Randy should be the one who departs. Having four people sitting at the table has done nothing for the show except make it run over. Kara says nothing that Paula or Randy don't already cover and except for the viewer phone calls, there has been no single "innovation" that has been more detrimental to the show than adding the fourth judge.

I think Simon will last maybe a year or two longer, but he is clearly bored by the whole thing and it shows. My other suggestion would be letting Seacrest go, but I doubt that will happen. If Idol wants to bill itself as a "singing competition", it needs to get back to the singing and the judges (all of them) need to remember that and stop making the show about them and the host. All I know is that something needs to be done.

Let the show begin!

Who will it be? Each of them are singing three songs (if they don't run over time). Hey, Randy, my dad called and said the last time he wore that jacket, he had hair.

Kris smartly chose to close the show, so EBA starts the show revealing that he's always been ADD. His personal pick is "Mad World". Personally, I'd have gone with "Tracks of My Tears" which was the highlight of the season. Or he should have brought back Allison for "Slow Ride". He descends the stairs and has basically the same performance as he did about two months ago. I don't love it, but it shows that his vocals are pitch-perfect when he wants to be. Kara is right that he put the others on notice that he was going for the win.

Surprisingly, there is no commercial break before the Acoustic Assassin takes the stage to sing "Ain't No Sunshine". I wish he had picked something other than a ballad, because he's boring me to death and that's not something he can afford to do if he doesn't want to come in second place. Someone wake me up when he's done. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .

The judges all say nice things about him.

Now it's time for the Simon Fuller choice. Have we ever seen Simon Fuller? Are he and Simon Cowell the same person? Do you think he phoned Clive Davis and asked, "What song can I pick for these kids to kill their chances at winning?"

For Adam, he picked "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. I like the shiney suit on Adam, but I think I actually liked Syesha's version better. Overall, it's good and shows that Adam can sing just about anything and sell it convincingly. The judges fall over themselves to praise him. Kara says it was his best interpretation so far; no, Kara, that happened back in Motown week. Simon, was Adam ever out of the game? What the hell are you talking about?

Simon picked Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On". Smartly, Kris goes acoustic and this plays right to his strengths. I like it, and this might just put him back in the game. The vocals are good, but the arrangement and performance are even better. Based on tonight's first two songs, I'd say Kris is having the better night. Randy is high. Kara is consistent in her praise. Paula and her spray-on tan babble nonsensically. Simon didn't like it, but he's wrong; this was the perfect performance for Kris.

My problem with Kris is that while he's likable and talented, I really don't remember what he does good or bad. Unlike Adam, even when I hate his song, I remember what he did.

My clock says 8:41 and it looks like they might actually finish on time. And it only took them a season to figure out how it's done.

For the twentieth time, Seacrest reminds us that Kara co-wrote the CCS, titled "No Boundaries". Adam muddles through the song which sucks even by the low standards of Idol. I don't hate the performance, but I hate the song. He does the best he could. Why does it have to be a power ballad? People in the audience are swaying; I'm trying not to regurgitate the Nestle Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies I just ate.

I can't believe we have to sit through that schlock again. But Kris goes through the motions anyway. Man, this song turns the Meter O'Suckitde all the way to 11. This should be reason enough to fire Kara. Like Adam, he does the best that he can with the craptastic hand he was dealt. They should have quit after "A Moment Like This".

The Good
Kris, "What's Goin' On"

The Bad
Adam, "A Change is Gonna Come"
Adam, "Mad World"
Kris, "Ain't No Sunshine"

The Ugly
Adam, "No Boundaries"
Kris, "No Boundaries"

Based on tonight, I think Kris came out ahead by the slimest of margins. However, as a season's worth of work, Adam was the better performer and singer. He was more consistent and overall simply better. I think it will be closer than last year, but not as close as the year Rueben slipped by Clay.

Those are my calls. If you're only here for the Idol, see you tomorrow. If you read the DWTS segments, stick around for the marathon results show.

DWTS Results

The show opens with Lady Gaga which I skip to help some of my stepson's little friends unload a hand-me-down playhouse for the grandbabies. We then get the recap which shows us that Shawn & Mark and Gilles & Cheryl are tied for the lead. I don't think this is an accident.

After the season 1 debacle, the judges have made sure that the leading couples are tied for the lead going in to the fan voting, so they can say that the results are determined by the viewers not someone at ABC making "the call" and giving the competition the appearance that it was rigged (like season 1 was).

Now the eliminated celebs come back to show off how much they didn't deserve to win. You'll forgive me if I switch over to watch "Glee" for a few minutes during the filler. Still, it's good to see the couples who were previously voted off. It would be kind of like Cally, Dualla and Billy getting to see Earth.

There's a short break in the filler to reveal that Anna won the pro dancer competition, probably because she's hawt as hell. I wonder who they're going to get to pair with her. After all, she's something like 8 feet tall; I could motorboat her without even having to lean over. Don't tell Mrs. High Lord I said that.

Over on Fox, "Glee" is predictable, but also very funny. I only hope Fox doesn't move it to Friday nights to die. Speaking of moving to Friday nights, have we started the funeral watch for "Ugly Betty". What's the deal with networks canceling good shows due to low ratings only to replace them with even crappier shows that are going to get poorer ratings.

The root problem is that TV viewership is down across the board. Part of it is the programing and part of it is that there are 275 channels available for people to watch. The new reality of ratings is that even for a show like American Idol, the number of viewers is declining. I think if the networks took into account the people who watch shows on DVR, ratings would go up. Of course, this means that they're FFing through the commercials, which is not good for people trying to sell advertising.

Between the Interweb, TV via cell phone and DVR, there has to be a new business model that makes television profitable without turning over good shows because some suit thinks they're underperforming.

By the way, the "Glee" version of "Don't Stop Believing" is really, really good. Here's the audio only.



Over in the world of DWTS, it looks like they're done with the filler and the three finalists are recapped. Shawn calls Melissa "a beautiful dancer" which is probably the understatement of the night. Jason Mesnick is officially a moron.

In other news, I've heard rumours that Khan might be in the next Star Trek movie. I liked the Khan stories and Wrath of Khan is generally regarded as the best of the Trek movies (I disagree; I think it's The Undiscovered Country), but wasn't the point of the Trek "reboot" to get away from the old canon. If they're going to bring back the Khan storyline, why bother with the new look? Can't they come up with an original plot? They tried re-hashing an episode once and the results was horrendous (The Motion Picture). So why do they think redoing an old episode with the new crew will be any better?

If you're listening, JJ Abrams and Paramount, not only do you need to have a midnight showing of the next movie, you need to come up with a Trek story we've never seen before.

The Gilles-Melissa-Shawn troika is introduced then Shawn delivers her final scored dance, the Michael Jackson-themed cha-cha-cha. The way she's dressed, I feel creepy again. I think with the voting over, she's loosened up and is having fun again. Her freestyle was the second best last night and she's in the running to be the champ. If I were her, I think I'd have hired DAG to cap Gilles with a lead pipe back stage
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Since each of the couples gets to pick their dance and the judges want to punt for the results so not to appear culpable in whoever comes in second and third, I think each is going to get a 30 for their dance tonight.

Next up, Melissa is on and we're reminded that she only had four days notice for the show, and now she stands a very good chance at winning. Her liability last night was Tony who's choreography wasn't up to Mark or Cheryl's. Granted, that it was better than what he did to Stacy, but he still threw in too many tricks without any coherent theme running from beginning to end. That's a shame because Melissa's samba shows off how good he can be. Her sparkly blue outfit mesmerises me. Who out there wouldn't hit that? If you said, "no", you're lying (or dead). Do you think Tony will forever the be guy who's like the 90s Buffalo Bills and chokes when the title is on the line?
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Wrapping up the show are Gilles & Cheryl. I think it's interesting that all three couples are dancing for more scores. In the past, they've eliminated one of the three finalists before the first hour was up. In his filler piece, Cheryl reveals that she why she is the best pro on the show. If she gets even a mediocre celeb partner, she'll take them to the top 3 or 4. Her back-to-back championships are testament to that. They're doing the once dance I don't quite understand: the Argentine tango. I still don't get it, but it looks good.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

There are 20 minutes left in the show and that means 18 minutes of filler. Yawn. As I predicted, the judges leave the show in the hands of the fans and their voting. It's too bad we can't vote Samantha Harris off the show.

After another inexplicable appearance by Lady Gaga (What? No more Celtic Woman?) and a much too long commercial break, the second runner up is revealed to be Melissa & Tony. That sucks for them. I think it came down to Tony's crappy choreography because she certainly had all the talent necessary. You can't blame the fans for this one; they kept her around despite the broken rib week. I guess those two points really do matter.

With 5 minutes left in the show, DWTS is close to running over. Who will win? Mrs. High Lord thinks it will be Gilles. Tom tells us there is a 1% margin between first and second.

(scary music)

(fake suspense)

(Samantha babbles)

(more scary music)

The winners are . . .

(cheering by the audience)

(Vote for) Shawn & Mark!!!!

Woo-hoo!

I guess the pep talk by Apolo worked. Gilles & Cheryl are great sports about losing, even though you can tell it's killing them.

This makes Mark the third two-time champ and the first to not go back-to-back. Shawn is the youngest champ, the third Olympian and the fifth athlete to win (fourth if you don't believe auto racing is a sport). I'm very happy for them, although one truth about this season is that of the three finalists, I think everyone would be happy if Gilles, Melissa or Shawn had won.

Tomorrow night, we'll batten down the hatches for a two hour Idol results show then I may go out at midnight to see the new Terminator movie.

Check back.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why is the DWTS finale always a three-way?

. . . but the Idol finales are head-to-head.

I read an interesting commentary about how predictable the DWTS finale is this "season" (they mean that in the good way). I tend to agree because, let's face it, if you started watching the show from the first episode you know one of the following three people was going to make it: Gilles, Melissa or Shawn.

Contrast that with Idol where the early indications were that Lil, Gokey, Adam and even Alexis were the odds-on faves, but there were two or three other people in the mix. Personally, I like shows that are wide open, but it's nice to see that the three most deserving dancers are still left (as opposed to Idol where the top three most deserving singers were not present last week).

Here's my breakdown of the three couples going into tonight's show:

King of the Hill
From day one, Gilles has been the one to beat. While I still don't understand what qualifies him as a "star", he is undeniably the most talented and the most consistent dancer this season. I think the contest is his to lose, but if he slips or misses a step (not likely), the other two will pounce on him mercilessly.

Underdog
Despite only having four days notice, Melissa has grabbed the show by the jugular and goes for broke nearly every week. Like Gilles, I'm not sure she's really a "star", but her natural talent has carried her thus far. I think without her injury problems, she would be even with Gilles, but not being the frontrunner might be a good thing for her. Hopefully, it will spur her voters to turn out with a few extra calls/texts/emails, although the way ABC limits voting by line and by email dilutes the influence of powervoting.

The Athlete
Professional athletes of all stripes have fared well throughout the history of the show, and Shawn is no exception. Like Melissa, she's been the victim of some suspect judges's comments, but the other thing people have to remember is this: she's only 17!!!!! Sure she's used to performing in front of people, but she's also just goofy girl who's been asked to so some very grown-up things. Thankfully, Mark knows how to avoid coming off a creepy and as he has demonstrated in the past, he knows how to bring out the best in his partner.

The Pros
For a couple of years, Cheryl has been handicapped with crappy partners. This year, she hit the jackpot (again). Mark is a fantastic choreography and former champ. The only liability among the pros is Tony, who use to make all of his dances about him (like Edyta still does). I think he's learned from the people who've won; Julianne and Derek are also masters at bringing out the best in their partner. After torpedoing Stacy's chances at winning, Tony appears to have gotten his act together and I think they'll make a good run at the title.

The Verdict

Here are the odds I'm giving on the winner:

Shawn - 8 to 1
Melissa - 4 to 1
Gilles - 2-1

Note that I do not endorse gambling.

Each couple is doing two dances tonight; we've only got a 1 hour show so with any luck it means there will be a minimal amount of filler. They're doing the first-ever "paso face off" and then the legendary "anything goes" freestyle. Tomorrow night, after an hour of Idol, there's the waaaaaaayyyyyyy too long 120 minute DWTS results show.

Then on Wednesday night, after the two-hour long Idol results extravaganza, I'm debating on whether or not I want to go see the Terminator movie at midnight. I don't know how much sleep I'm going to get this week. Should I just plan on spending all day Saturday in bed?

First up, each couple will be doing the paso under the tutelage of one of the judges. (Vote for) Shawn and Mark get some tips from Bruno, Melissa and Tony get a visit from Carrie Ann and Len takes Gilles and Cheryl. They do it in a group format with each couple taking some solo time.

Shawn looks way too serious; I don't like this dance for her. Melissa borrowed her outfit from Mel B (not a complaint). I catch her counting a couple of times. Gilles is (almost) shirtless, making Mrs. High Lord very happy.

I'm not a fan of everyone doing the paso; you should know that my favourite dance is the quickstep. I thought they were all good. Melissa was half a beat off in a couple of places, Shawn didn't look entire comfortable and even Gilles spent most of the dance appearing constipated.

Are they going to score each couple individually? I'm not. Here's how I rank the paso.

3. Melissa
2. Shawn
1. Gilles

Yes, they do score each couple. Here are the judges's scores:

Shawn - 9-9-10
Melissa - 10-9-10
Gilles - 10-10-10

Is that Sarah Michelle Geller sitting behind Tom?

Next week I might be going to Baltimore to teach my agency's centralised training in Baltimore. I'll be away for close to a month. My only qualm about going is that Mrs. High Lord might take over my spot in the middle of the bed.

The schmucks at ABC canceled "Samantha Who?" which ticks me off to no end. I understand that ratings were down from last season, but when you move a show to an unfamiliar timeslot, what do you expect? I really liked that show. I'm just glad "The Big Bang Theory" is on a different network.

Speaking of Big Bang, I ordered matching "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock" t-shirts for me and Mrs. High Lord. In case you don't know how this works, here's a quick tutorial.



It's a surprise, so if you see her, don't tell Mrs. High Lord.

With a two point deficit going into the freestyle, Shawn and Mark have to avoid falling further behind. In this competition, being in third place means her voters will have to work overtime to get her into contention. She gets a surprise visit from former champ Apolo Anton Ohno, which makes Mrs. High Lord even happier. Sporting glittering masks and black garbage-bag outfits that are sure to come off halfway through, the pair starts us off with a freestyle that has much less hip hop that I thought it would contain. It's fun and loaded with tricks, but I think Shawn is just a smidgen off her game tonight. I don't know what it is, but I think they're going to come up a couple points shy of perfect.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

My biggest complaint about most freestyles is that the choreographers tend to go from one trick to the next with very little content in between. This one wasn't as bad as others we've seen, but I think Cheryl will definitely put together a better routine.

Melissa and Tony are next. I have a feeling that unless someone trips and falls, everyone is getting a 30 for the freestyle, making the point gap very small and making the viewer votes that much more important. In their filler piece, Melissa clocks Tony upside the head once for good measure. Between her paso outfit and this glittering bikini top, I'd like to reiterate one thought from earlier in the season: if I weren't already married, yeah, I'd hit that. And I'm not talking about Tony. I like the hip hop, although I think the over all presentation suffers from doing too many tricks and not having enough content in between. Still, it was much better than what Tony did to Stacy (in case you haven't figured it out, I still haven't forgiven him for that).
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

Len is a fuddy-duddy about the hip-hop. Booooooooooo!!!!!! Wow, Shawn just vaulted into a solid second place . . . this thing could be wide open after all.

Closing out the show, Gilles and Cheryl have a good idea about what they need to do. Even if they "only" get 9s, they'll still be solidly in second place. Anything more and they're at least tied for first. I can't fault any routine that's to the tune of "Flashdance" and includes legwarmers. Unlike Tony's choreography, Cheryl knows how to put together a dance that starts and ends with a "story" (whatever the hell that means). They work in plenty of tricks, but it's not too many. The fact that there was very little hip-hop will get them points from Len. The Judges's Scores: 9-10-9
The High Lord's Score:

I'm very excited about the return of Wipeout. Yes, I am very easy to please.

Between "Flashdance" and "Gonna Make You Sweat", I had a flashback to Elizabeth Cobb Middle School and Grad Nite '91 in Disney World. When the dust settles, we find Shawn and Gilles tied for first place. Melissa is essentially locked out of the winning position by virtue of her third place standing according to the judges. She needs a massive turnout by her fans to over come the two point scoring deficit.

Right now, I'm calling Gilles the winner because he's been more consistent, but with only one more scored dance to influence the voting totals, he can't afford to stumble. I think Shawn will finish in 2nd place with Melissa not in first or second place.

It's a shame that two of these couples have to lose because these three have been the faves since the "season" started. Still, in the tradition of all "vote off" reality shows [Connor MacLeod voice=on]There can be only one[/Connor MacLeod voice].

Tomorrow night is a big night. See you then.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cheese dip for everyone!

Will this be the night when Danny Gokey finally gets whacked? In case you haven't figured it out by now, I can't stand the guy and I don't think he should make the finale. I usually try to not take sides, but in this case, I'm openly rooting for his ouster.

Our friends at DialIdol predict that Danny is the lowest vote-getter but they are unwilling to make a call.

I watched last night's performances again, and Gokey is clearly the weakest singer still around. Not only has he mailed in the same performance every week, he's starting to babble more when he gets some interview time and that annoys me to no end. The best of the night was Kris's "Heartless". It was fresh, original and for the first time unseated Adam as the most memorable performance of the night.

Adam appeared to spend the night sandbagging. I think he was holding back. With a wide open selection for his last song, Adam decided on an Aerosmith song, in a kind of underhanded way at taking a swipe at Gokey. Of all the singers to appear on the show, Adam is the most self-aware of his place within the game that is Idol. He's far more calculating and devious than he wants you to believe and he knows that he's going to sail into the finale and has to save up for next week.

I think he really doesn't care who he faces off against next week; he's going to crush either and take the whole thing in one fell swoop. Check out this article on Adam and how the game is played.

This past week, Mrs. High Lord finally talked me into giving away some books. Yes, I know, it's hard to believe: I gave up some of my books. We took them to a local bookstore and they gave me $385 in store credit towards buying more books. If they were paying 30¢ on the dollar, how much did I actually pay for those books? (Sorry, I know I promised some of you there would be no math in this blog)

The show starts and there is some awkward and unfunny cross-promotion between Idol and Ben Stiller's new movie.

Then Seacrest tells us that 80 something million votes were cast and less than a million votes (that's sixteen 12-year old girls with unlimited text messaging) separated the first and second place singers. I wonder how many separated second and third place.

The Ford video/product placement blows. It needs some XX chromosome eye candy 'cuz these guys just aren't cutting it for me. At least DWTS is 50/50 boys/hawt girls. Alicia Keyes comes out . . . does this mean there's no three-way group sing?

No, there's a kid from Africa singing with the Idol back-up singers. How much other filler can they pack into the next 53 minutes?

Let me count the ways: Jordin Sparks (good filler). Katy Perry (bad filler). Homecoming videos (only good filler if they show Gokey forgetting the lyrics to "Billie Jean" and that confused girl in the bikini top trying to hug Adam . . . maybe she was trying to straighten him out).

As they come back from the break, we get to see the fallen Idols in the audience, no doubt prepping for their roles in next week's results shows.

Seacrest tells us that he's going to give us some results and called Gokey to the stage. I am tempted to mute the TV so his babbling doesn't lower my IQ by twenty or thirty points. I should email a guy I know in Milwaukee and find out if they think he's really as big a tool as he comes across on TV. How convenient is it that a huge crowd has gathered outside an AT&T store?

The extended Gokey homecoming segment is making me physically ill. And look, he (in a roundabout way) mentions his dead wife. Immediately after the segment, Seacrest gives Gokey his results. They're going to put him through, aren't they . . .

. . . And, no. Seacrest makes him sit down. Mrs. High Lord was about to throw the remote control back out into the yard.

Kris gets called out and we learn he gets free cheese dip for life. Yay, Kris! Are all his fans between 8 and 12 years old? That would certainly explain who is doing all the texting for him. His segment is much less annoying. Maybe it's the lack of tears from the singer that makes his homecoming that much more palpable. Did everyone in the state of Arkansas show up for Kris?

Seacrest then gives Kris his recap. Like Gokey, Kris has to wait for the news. We get sent to commercial before Adam's recap with the promise of an appearance by Jordin and the results.

We come back from the break and my friend Mike needs to go change his shorts because he just had an Idolgasm. It's okay, Mike! She's legal now!

I'm not crazy about this song, but I am always happy to see Idol alums back on the show, especially the champs. Who the hell was it that said she was a bad influence on young girls because she was "overweight"? I forget who that was, but that person needs to be bitch-slapped around.

One thing I don't understand is why the King and his cohorts are dressed up as "Kingons" in the new BK/Star Trek promos. The Klingons don't even appear in the movie! WTF?!?!?!

For the past year and a half, I've been trying to find some training in San Diego through work, not to see Adam, but because it's close to Tijuana and even the homeless people out there are friendly. If you're going to be homeless, southern California is the place to do it. One thing I don't like about Adam is that he's too guarded. He's that way because he knows everything he says and does will be dissected ad infinitum. He still manages to come across as spontaneous, but I think he's way too far into the game to be completely open. Appearing with a bunch of children is sure to garner him some votes when he advances into next week.

Maybe the girl who bum-rushed the stage is his girlfriend. Even the Marines love him.

Adam gets his recap, then Seacrest sends him to the couch while Katy Perry gets her boost in sales. Gokey complains about all the commercials . . . finally something we agree on. I would much rather watch Katy singing about kissing a girl than dressing up as a sequined Elvis. Hey, Katy, Lynda Carter called . . . she wants her Wonder Woman costume back.

It's 9:56 and it's time for some results. At this rate, whoever gets canned won't get to see their good-bye video or sing their way off.

After the break, Seacrest puts Kris through to the finale. That means Paula's pre-ordained Danny/Adam finale won't be happening.

Then, because they're running short on time, Seacrest pauses for a long moment and puts Adam through to the finale.

Kara can't believe that she spent so much time slurping Danny and now he's gone.

Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!

Whew! This means there will be an Adam/Kris finale next week.

The Glam Queen vs. the Acoustic Assassin.

I'll post some more thoughts on how I think this will go down next week.

I'm just happy I don't have to replace another window and look for my remote control in the dark.

High Lord. Out.