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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What happened to the Clive Davis Wheel of Death™?

Seriously, did he screw over K-Mac so badly that they just had to dump him?

By adding the fourth judge and not being able to shut the other three up, Idol has run into a time crunch so bad that not only do the kids only get two songs, but they had to extend the show tonight to 64 minutes.

We go into this week with Adam as the undisputed frontrunner, Gokey as the guy who's limping along and Kris as the silent assassin. More on this later.

My dear friend and former classmate Ashley pointed us to this link over at MSNBC where they dissect the different ways Idol tilts the playing field in favour of a couple of singers. All I can say is this:

What the hell took you so long to realise this, MSNBC?!?!?!?!?!

By far the most egregious offense Idol has wreaked upon the singers is face time. Although the Pimp Spot has proven itself over the past few years, nothing gives a handful of singers the edge more than early face time in the audition rounds. They think they're bringing "drama" to the show when in reality, all they're doing is setting some singers up to succeed (Carrie Underwood, Danny Gokey, David Archuleta) while lining others up only to mow them down (Melinda Lira . . . aw-hell, no one remembers the others anyway!).

The Pimp Spot has been money until this year when I think Idol went out of their way to backload the show with the bad singers or people they wanted off. How else to explain Matt and Lil's appearance there? Still, going last has been the best place to sing and will continue for as long as the show is around.

This year, there are three guys around, something that has never happened in the history of Idol. The only other time the top 3 has been all one gender was season three when Fantasia robbed Diana of the title and Jasmine snuck into the Top 3 ahead of LaToya.

Here is my breakdown of this season's final three:

The Leader
Adam is clearly the favourite at this point. Where Gokey started the season as a TCO, his performances have been mostly the same and largely unremarkable. If not for the judges slurping him for no apparent reason, he'd be gone. Adam, on the other hand, has done a nice job of changing up his performances, varying his style and presentation and overall, he appeals to a wide swath of the viewing audience.

Having said that, Adam carries some liabilities. First of all, like all singers, there are some people who simply will not vote for him. Just as there are people out there who think Gokey is too smug, there are people who think Adam is too theatrical (read: gay). He also has to worry about being the most talented singer, but not the most popular (see Doolittle, Melinda).

However, I think that the sexuality thing is a non-issue, especially now that gay marriage is becoming legal left and right, and there's no doubt that where Melinda was shy and mousy, Adam is right there in your face and he's not afraid to pick up the swagger that cost Melinda the championship.

Needs some help
Like Adam, Gokey has a big fan base who is turning out to vote for him. They've been moved by the story of his late wife and pick up the phone and sent texts ad nauseum (that's my nauseum, not necessarily yours). I don't see the charm of this guy, but then again, I didn't think The Arch was that special either. I think Danny is a run of the mill singer who would be nothing without the Pimp Job Idol did on him, not only with the massive face time, but the constant slurpage by the judges.

Gokey's biggest problem is that for every person out there who loves him, there are two who absolutely loathe him. Check out this clip that was brought to my attention by our friend Jennifer. This sums up my feelings on Gokey, and a lot of other people's, too. If we were voting people off, Gokey would have been gone about six weeks ago.

The Lurker
Remember back in season three when we got to this point in the season, we looked out on the stage and said to ourselves, "What the hell is Jasmine doing there?"

That's Kris Allen. He's been flying quietly under the radar as other singers have been popped off one by one and now, with only two other opponents, he's ready to strike. Here's what Kris has going for him: He's not Adam and he's not Danny.

If the fans of all the other singers who were voted off can't bring themselves to vote for Adam (because I don't think Matt or Lil or Allison's voters are going to Danny), they can always pick up the phone for Kris. He's like the Ross Perot of this season's Idol. If the winner were picked this week, I think Kris would split the electorate and there would be no one with a 50+1 majority.

He could assassinate Gokey this week and sneak into the finale against Adam. I think the aforementioned Matt/Lil/Allison fans are looking for someone to focus their anger on and it's Gokey. The best way to get back at him is to vote for Kris. After all, Adam's fans got their much-needed kick in the butt two weeks ago when their guy was in the bottom 2 and Gokey wasn't necessarily the second-lowest vote-getter, but the perception is that he took Allison's spot in the top 3.

I just don't know that he can get past Gokey's legions of adoring fans who will powervote like mad this week or Gokey's bargain with the Dark Lord Mephistopheles.

The Verdict

Here are the odds I give to each of the remaining singers at winning. Note that I do not endorse gambling.

Kris - 10 to 1
Danny - 6 to 1
Adam - 2 to 1

For the odds given by MSNBC, click here.

Before we get on to the show, let's give a big warm, round of applause to Dick Cheney, who is doing everything he can to ensconce the Democrats in power for the next thirty years. Here's a word of advice to any Republican who would like to see their party return to prominence: The more you let ideologues on the far right of the party run their yaps, the more votes you're handing to the Democrats.

Sure this plays well with the fundy Christian "base", but everyone else is just rolling their eyes. Running further to the right will not help you. That's what's gotten you to the point where the party is now: only 21 percent of the public identifies itself as "Republican".

American is, and always has been, run from the middle. That's where the majority of Americans are: just like a Bell Curve. You all do remember what a Bell Curve looks like, right? The more either party caters to the extremes, the further from the middle they get. The further from the middle you get, the fewer elections you're going to win.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of Americans are what we would consider to be fiscally conservative and socially center-left. Most Americans care first about their "pocketbook" issues: jobs, health care, education, and second about social issues: gay marriage and abortion. Even then, the majority of Americans do not want Roe vs. Wade overturned and a growing majority of young people, who are the future of both parties, favour allowing gay marriage. They also want balanced budgets, reasonable taxes and plenty of government services.

By failing to recognise this dynamic, the Republican Party is resigning itself to oblivion and irrelevancy, something we (collectively) cannot afford to let happen. Two party rule is central to how our country works and for the Republicans to implode is to allow the Democrats free reign until a viable third party can emerge.

Dick Cheney has spent the last 8 years locked in Dubya's insular little world and the Republicans have slathered themselves in six years of unbridled and unopposed rule and now that they're out of power, they don't know how to act (other than as spoiled little babies).

The moderates of the party need to unite and take the party back with the following basic ideas which will play well across America: reasonable taxes, fiscal responsibility, limited government (which includes getting out of peoples's personal lives) and personal responsibility. If they do this, things will be fine. Eventually.

Now, it's time for some Idol.

I know Idol can't just dump a judge mid-season like they've done to some of their other "improvements", but does anyone think there will really be four people at the table next season? One of them clearly has to go. The smart money is on Paula, but I think it should be Randy to get canned. He's basically the most worthless of the judges. He adds little to the conversation and his same six catchphrases have gotten way too old.

Drawing the opening spot is MWJD. Each kid is singing two songs and he didn't know the first one by Terence Trent D'Arby. He starts out trying (badly) to dance. This is a very Gokey performance. In fact, it sounds like just about everything else he did (right up until "Dream On"). Paula picked it, so I can't blame him for that, but it's no masterpiece. Nor is the camera work. I'm sure they're going to slurp him for the scat, when they've ripped others for the same. In case you didn't know this, I'm not a fan. Predictably, Randy slurps him. Kara whips out her harshest criticism yet (about his dance). Paula gushes, but then again, she's already written him in to the finale next week. Simon calls his dancing "desperate". Danny says he was "about having fun" which means even he knew it sucked. Then he runs his yap incoherently for a little while. I went to get the chocolate chip cookies out of the toaster oven.

Next up is Kris who had his song picked by Kara and Randy. He gets the selection by way of some carefully crafted product placement. Seacrest calls him the "dark horse", not to be confused with Bad Horse. I hate this song. Smartly, he does pretty much a straight cover from behind the piano. His pained, funny (not ha-ha funny) faces annoy me. If this were season 5, Randy would rip him for "song choice" and he would respond in VCM's voice "I didn't choose it!" He did the best he could with the crappy hand he was dealt. Kara even manages to rip him on a song she chose; hey, Kara, if you want Kris to make the song his own, let him pick it himself! For once, I'm yelling, "Tell it, Simon!"

The last of the troika to get his song is EBA. Simon drops some names about how he got clearance for Adam to sing U2. Of all the songs in the U2 catalog, this one of my least favourite. He gives us some understated Adam while showing off his vocals that are everything Gokey's are not. There's a little too much of "the false" for my liking, but of the three singers who had to make-do with someone else picking their song, he did the best. I really wish Clive Davis were here to pick something absolutely craptacular for the kids.

I liked Simon booing Randy like Randy does for him sometimes. At least Kara is consistent in her comments; while she rips Kris for not making the song his own, she praises Adam for going doing his own thing.

We come back from break and there's some filler featuring Carrie and Idol Gives Back.

Kicking off the second "half" of the show (at 8:38), Gokey goes AFE on us with Joe Cocker. I have a feeling I'm not going to like it. He gets some time in the Pimp Chair, despite the fact that they're running short on time. He babbles on for a while before starting to sing. Seacrest calls him the "pride of Milwaukee"; no Ryan, that would be Al Jarreau or the Zucker brothers. The first part is actually pretty good. He sings it softly and doesn't try too hard. Then (predictably) the shouting start. It's definitely not as bad as last week, but nor does he show us anything we haven't seen or heard before. Gokey must watch Idolotry because he's not seal-clapping for himself.

Realising that they're running out of time, Seacrest skips the commercial (surprise, surprise!) and rushes Kris back on stage. He's singing Kanye and he's got his guitar back. Kara had better eat her words when he's done. I'm not a fan of this song, but Kris almost makes me like it. The only thing he could have done to the song that would have been more drastic would have been going a cappella like Bo when he sang "In a Dream". If this doesn't get him into the finale next week, America needs a reality check.

The last performance before the finale is Adam with an Aerosmith song that wasn't in Armageddon. I like the song choice; it lets him have a big over-the-top performance of a song by a big over-the-top band. His harmonies with the back-up singers were a little off. I think the people who don't like him will like him even less and the people who lurved him will only lurve him more. Of the three, Adam is the shoo-in for next week's show. It wasn't his best of the season, but it was good enough.

The Good
Kris, "Heartless"

The Bad
Adam, "Cryin' "
Adam, "One"
Danny, "You Are So Beautiful"
Kris, "Apologize"
Danny, "Dance Little Sister"

The Ugly
no one tonight

I would have ranked "One" and "Apologize" higher if I could only get past my bias against those crappy songs.

My pick to go home tomorrow is Gokey. I know I thought he was going home last week, but I think that all of the other voters who despise Gokey will get behind Adam and/or Kris and Danny will be the one left without a chair when the music stops.

I don't think I've ever heard Simon beg people to vote the way he did for Adam tonight. Has that ever happened before? He's right in this: Adam's fans cannot afford to be complacent. By the way, I saw Cowell on Oprah earlier this week and he picked Adam to win.

And look, the show ended right on time!

DWTS results


I haven't been paying much attention to the pro dancer contest this season, but this week, both Mrs. High Lord and I are very happy; she gets to see more of Maks (she's hoping for shirtless) and I get to see some more of Kym (because we can never have enough). Do we really care who wins this thing? I think they've got a large enough stable of pro dancers; just bring Ashly Del Grosso back!

The only reason I want Mayo to win is so I can spend an entire season making sandwich jokes. Personally I want Anna to win because she's hawt. Plus, each of her legs are longer than I am tall.

The "build a dance" was fun, although it was a little creepy watching Derek dancing with Julianne (although that's okay in parts of the great state of West Virginia).

I didn't pay much attention through the rest of the filler, but now it's results time.

Despite Kristi lurving Ty, I think he's going home. He just doesn't deserve to be in the finale. The first couple declared safe are Gilles & Cheryl. Duh. Watch out, everyone! Cheryl is deadly in the top 3.

Next to be declared safe are (Vote for) Shawn & Mark. Good for them. If anyone was going to be voted off instead of Ty, I thought it was going to be them.

That leaves the two lowest scoring couples according to the judges paddles. Our friends at DialIdol predict Shawn as the lowest vote-getting celeb, with only Gilles as statistically safe. I don't trust DialIdol as much with DWTS because it doesn't take into account text messaging and because the judges actually have an impact on the results.

Speaking of DialIdol, it's 9:56 and they show Adam in the lead of a statistical dead heat. Gokey is in second and Kris is not in first or second place.

So who will get kicked off? We've taken up 58 minutes so far to do what should take 3. Vote for me for Prez!

(Scary music)

(More scary music)

And . . . Ty & Chelsie get the boot. I really like the guy, but this time "America" got it right. He's definitely the nicest person to have been on the show and certainly the most improved, but the other three are simply better dancers.

We'll miss him, but next week's finale should be the closest in the short history of the show.

See you tomorrow for the Idol results.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Four couples, two hours and Kirk is hawt again

What are the dancers going to do for two hours tonight? I'm considering watching the season finale of Big Bang and then going no-filler for DWTS.

Before we get to the show, I'd like to briefly address the new Star Trek movie, which I went to see on Saturday afternoon. I will not be seeing it in the theater twice. So screw you, Paramount!

Overall, I liked the movie. It wasn't quite a fresh "re-imagining" like BSG, but nor was it a cheezy remake that was poorly executed, like Planet of the Apes or Lost in Space. While acknowledging what has come before, they did a good job of explaining how they were coming up with an entirely new continuity.

Plus, it was nice to see Leonard Nimoy provide that nice bridge between the old and the new. I liked the tone of the movie, which had just enough humour to be reminiscent of the old TV show. At the same time, it wasn't preachy as Trek tends to be. The CGI was nearly seamless and ILM pulled out all the stops.

Does the movie have problems? Sure it does: (Young) Spock is kind of a jackass, there are some glaring boneheaded tactical decisions (like going aboard the Romulan ship with only two guys and not a transporter pad full of red-shirts with phaser rifles) and there's absolutely no way Kirk goes from being a cadet to XO to captain in the span of one movie day.

The casting is generally spot on, from Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike to the familiar Enterprise command crew and even the bad guy from Iron Man as the captain of the USS Kelvin. While no one can truly replace Shatner as Kirk, Chris Pine does an admirable job of making the role something that is neither homage nor caricature. I had a hard time buying Harold as Sulu, but the rest of the supporting cast is solid. √Čomer is passable as McCoy, although I wonder why they had an Australian actor play a guy from Mississippi. What's wrong JJ Abrams, Michael Clarke Duncan wasn't available?

I'm sure my friend and former roommate Daniel nearly wet himself when he saw Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson (he was in love with her when we were in college). Unlike some other shows, the new Trek doesn't let the SFX take over, but nor it is as deep and layered as the BSG mini-series/pilot/movie. I thought it was a good intro to the new Trek universe that had both a lot of style and substance. The girls being back in mini-skirts was nice, too.

Even the girl who sits next to me at work liked it, and she generally doesn't like action or sci-fi. She did say that while she thought the guy who played Kirk was hawt, she thought he got less hot the more he talked. I think the same thing about the girls on Baywatch.

Check out this video from the Onion about the new Trek. I think it's funny as hell.



One final thing I enjoyed was that they seemed to go out of their way to incorporate some of the more iconic and familiar lines from the TV show and movies. These ranged from the sentimental (Spock: "I am, and always shall be, your friend.") to the predictable (McCoy: "He's dead!") to the absolutely necessary (Scotty: "I'm givin' it all she's got, Captain!"). You could tell the movie was written by fanboys.

You should also check out the Weekend Update segment from this past week's SNL where the new Kirk and Spock beg Trekkies to go see the movie. It, too, is funny as hell.



So don't be a dickhead and go see Star Trek. Of course, you shouldn't go see it more than once just to punish Paramount for not having a midnight showing. Because Paramount is run by dickheads.

(Can you tell I'm still bitter about this? I'm so ticked off, I'm considering downloading the movie off the Interweb just because I can; not that I endorse piracy, nor do I want to watch a bad hand-held movie cam version of the film, I just want Paramount to understand how peeved I am at them)

Let's get to the dancing . . .

There are eight dancers left and two hours of show. That's a half an hour for each couple. That's a lot of filler, because you know they're only going to be dancing for two minutes at a pop. They're doing one ballroom and one latin dance they haven't done before.

Inexplicably, Ty Murray is one of the four remaining stars and he's clearly out of his league. The other three have been the front-runners from the git-go and I don't look for that to change. Lil Kim has made things interesting so far, but I didn't think she was going to win. She could have made the finale, however, something I don't think Ty can do. Of course, I didn't think he's survive last week either, so anything can happen.

Before the dancing starts, we get a waaaaaayyyyy too long recap of the four remaining couples. Why couldn't they cut this show down to an hour and then show "Samantha Who?" right afterwards. The filler is killing me.

Finally, 30 minutes in, Melissa and Tony lead off with the quickstep. Even though she had the least amount of lead time (she was tapped for the show only three days before the first performances), Melissa has consistently been at the top of the heap. Like Gilles, I can't understand who's voting for her, but her high marks from the judges have bouyed her all season. Where Tony did his best to torpedo Stacy's chances at winning, he's done an admirable job of exploiting Melissa's natural talent while not choreographing for himself. This quickstep is light and fun, even whimsical, just like the music they picked for her. After last week's perfect score, this wasn't quite as good, but it was close. I thought it was much better than Carrie Ann and Bruno. Are they talking them down to temper expectations.
The Judges's Scores: 9-10-9
The High Lord's Score: 9

Following Melissa are Gilles and Cheryl. It's interesting that the four remaining dancers are pretty low on the name-recognition scale. Mrs. High Lord likes watching Gilles shake his booty. Their ballroom dance is the waltz, which should be good. Like Tony did for Melissa, Cheryl choreographs the perfect routine for her partner. She does a lot more dancing, but she exploits Gilles's strengths. It helps that they also get good music. I didn't like it quite as much as the first dance of the night, but it was good. I can't believe the judges didn't nitpick them, too.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score:

We watched the season finale of The Big Bang Theory and then FF'd through the first half hour of DWTS. I really hope Penny and Leonard get together. Of course, half of the fun of the show is watching them stumble through their relationship. We rooted for Ross & Rachel, too, but when they finally got together it was like half of the point of the show was over with. Why couldn't me and my nerdy roommates have a neighbour who was as hawt as Penny? (Who also happened to be interested in me!)

Next up are Shawn and Mark. She always looks stiff in her interview segments, like she's reading from a card. Their first dance is the Argentine tango, which I still don't understand. She's doing thing counting thing. Either that, or that's how they're supposed to look. Technically they appear to be spot-on, but I'm not a good judge of that for this dance. My score is low because I don't know what I should be looking for. All three judges fawn all over them, which is a good sign.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 8

My employer may be sending me back to Baltimore for three weeks in June and/or July. Do I really want to be in Baltimore in the middle of the summer? Mrs. High Lord was there in August, so it can't be horrible.

Ty and Chelsie draw the closing spot. Who expected him to still be here this week? You, there . . . in the back: Sit down. She's done so much more with less than anyone anticipated. They open with the Viennese waltz, which should get him at least 8s. At least he acknowledges in his intro piece that Kim is a better dancer. They have some sync problems, but nothing fatal. He clearly doesn't have the natural talent of the other celebs, but if he were Gokey, Kara would slurp all over him for his "effort". Overall, I thought it was a good, solid dance. There weren't fireworks, but nor was it bad.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

With everyone having danced once, it's now time for the latin rounds. Of course, we can't go straight to the dancing. We have to have some filler, first.

Mel & Tony's latin dance is the cha-cha-cha which is very sparkly. They're appropriately flirty, but although they seem to be a little off in their timing. Maybe the (unnecessarily) harsh comments earlier in the night got to them. I was aiiiiiiight on them, but the judges might actually give them higher scores.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

Mrs. High Lord says that if Samantha is going to wear a dress as low-cut as she is, she needs to get a more even spray tan.

If she could, Mrs. High Lord would replace me with Gilles and his butt. He and Cheryl aren't subtitled, even if his parents are. Unfortunately, we find out Gilles is married. Mrs. High Lord is plotting her demise already. They're doing the salsa which is very ruffly. It's high energy and executed well. They could end the night with 60 points. He's one of the few celebs I've never seen do the counting thing.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Next up with the jive are (Vote for) Shawn & Mark. She is a contender partly because of her competitive nature but also because her partner has the same knack for choreography as Julianne and Derek. Only he got the good partner and they got the crappy ones. They're out of sync early on and she doesn't have the full extension she needs. As a pair, they're clearly the #2 couple of the night.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score:

Grumpy Len strikes again!

Wrapping up the show, Ty and Chelsie with the samba. I foresee bad things happening. It's not as bad as I expected, but nor is it in the same league as the other dances of tonight. He needs a big showing from his fans in order to stick around. Melissa is potentially vulnerable, but I think she's got as many fans as he does. Overall, they were charming, if a little awkward in parts. He's obviously the most improved dancer to ever appear on the show, but I simply don't think he deserves to still be around.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

The obvious choice to get eliminated is Ty & Chelsie. They've got a monumental hole to dig out of based on the judges scores. To be fair, I didn't think they'd outlast Lil Kim last week, so you never know.

Tomorrow, the Idol kids get two songs instead of the usual three then it's time to kick off the last dancers before the three-way finale on DWTS.

Go see Star Trek. Once.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Paramount, you suck

Let me lead off the blog tonight by expressing my extreme disappointment with Paramount Studios for corporately squelching any midnight screenings of the new Star Trek movie. I can't quite understand why they did this because it seems to be perfect opportunity to generate buzz.

After all, if even a mediocre movie like Wolverine can mostly fill a theater in the great state of West Virginia, a highly-anticipated movie by JJ Abrams like Star Trek ought to have SRO. I've been trying to figure out Paramount's rationale for this, but everything sounds like gibberish.

Here's the bottom line:

There are only a handful of movies I am willing to pay money to see in a theater not once, but twice. Star Trek happens to be one of them. Terminator: Salvation, not a chance. Transformers, maybe. G.I. Joe, definitely not.

If there were a midnight showing of Star Trek tonight, I'd be there in a heartbeat. In fact, I was planning on wearing this shirt.

However, since there is no midnight show, I'm going to wait until the weekend to go see the movie. First of all, if I'm shelling out the bucks for an evening movie ticket, it had better be for an "event". Like a bunch of nerds going to see a movie. I did it for all the Star Wars movies and I'd do the same for Star Trek. I will not pay the evening movie ticket price just to see a movie with a bunch of schmoes who will probably talk through the whole thing.

That's one advantage of seeing a movie like Star Trek with a bunch of fanboys and fangirls: everyone shuts the hell up.

Second, Mrs. High Lord wants to see Star Trek and she doesn't do midnight showings. That means I'd be paying to see it twice, regardless of how good it is. As things stand, I'll pay to see it once in the theater, because unless the movie is phenomenal, I'm going to wait for it to come out on DVD or (more likely) HBO before I see it again.

By phenomenal, I mean that it must rival anything else Western Civilization has ever produced, up to and including the Roman Coliseum, the Porsche 959, Michelangelo's David and the 79¢ slushie. Anything short of that means I won't pay money to see it in a theater twice.

So why the hell is Paramount waiting until Thursday night to unveil the movie? You got me. I've fired off nasty emails to the local theater and Paramount, but it hasn't produced any results (not that I expect to hear anything back).

Just so you know, Paramount, you had your chance to get my money twice and you blew it. And I'm sure I'm not the only person in this country who feels this way.

Now to the Idol discussion!

The general sentiment I've picked up from around the blogosphere is that if the four remaining singers were judged on last night's performances alone, Gokey is the obvious weak link. Even his apologists are having a hard time coming up with lame rationalisations for how craptacular his cover of "Dream On" was. Still, not many people seriously think he's going home (a lot are hoping, but no one can say for certain).

If there is another shocker this week (Ty lasting another week being the Big One), it will be Idol's TCO Danny Gokey going home tonight after all the pimpage they've given him this year. Of course, I thought Idol handed the crown to Archuleta last year and it looks like the votes actually do count because he lost.

What Danny has going for him is the massive amount of face time he was given at the beginning of the show. The story of his wife dying just before the auditions created an instant [patronising voice=on]"Awwwwwwwwww"[/patronising voice] bloc of fan voters who have rabidly stuck by him all season. Unfortunately for him, that's also what he has going against him.

Each year Idol/19E/Fremantle/Fox picks one or two singers and anoints them. Previous recipients of this treatment include "Miracle Baby" Anthony Fedorov, "Golden Boy" David Archuleta and "Girl Next Door" Carrie Underwood. They start off with a built-in advantage over people who didn't get any face time or have a camera follow them home to watch them milk cows.

The first couple of seasons, it worked wonders but over the last few years, the audience (which is smarter than anyone suspects) has started to catch on. That's part of the reason why I think Archuleta lost last year. People go so tired of having him shoved down our throats, the voters of the most recently evicted singer went to anyone other than The Arch.

I think that's happening to Gokey. For as many people out there who lurve him, there are an equal number (if not more) who loathe him. Maybe not him personally, but what Fox has done with him. It might be different if he had grown as a performer or shown some diversity in his selections, but Gokey has basically done the same thing week after week and not done anything to pick up new fans.

A sharp contrast to this is Adam, who changes up his look, his tone, and his style from one week to the next. Do we get the manic, over-the-top "Play That Funky Music" performance, the what-the-hell-was-that? "Ring of Fire" or the absolutely brilliant "Tracks of My Tears".

I don't think Gokey is picking up new voters. This was Chris Daughtry's problem about three years ago. He, too, was basically a OTP (tilt head back, hold mic stand, glare at camera) and he got the boot on this very week because his bloc wasn't expanding.

There are not many potential voters out there who are ambivalent about Danny. People either love him or they hate him. And if people despise him, they're not about to vote for him when their guy gets kicked off. Seriously, do you think Matt's voters are picking up the phone for Gokey? I'd say they're either voting for Kris, or they're not picking up the phone at all.

Allison has survived a number of close calls and I don't think she's going to win, but she's been gradually expanding her fan base. Same thing with Kris. He's got a little bit of Ty Murray's aw-shucks demeanor and he usually picks good (if a little vanilla) songs.

Adam is in a class all his own and right now, I'd say this thing is his to lose.

I think Gokey is the odd man out tonight. His solo performance was ghastly. It was made even worse when in his post-judging comments came off as if he thought it was the greatest thing since the invention of the Thermos™. His duet with Kris was similarly weak; the judges praised their harmonies, but everything else was bad. He had no interaction with his partner, even though Kris was trying. I thought he came off as snobbish. Compare that with Allison and Adam, which was [Guy Fieri voice=on]off the hook![/Guy Fieri voice] good.

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

But I'm hoping that Gokey gets whacked at about 9:56 EDT tonight.

Finally, it's time for the show.

I liked this week's mentor; Slash seemed to take an active interest in the kids and although he didn't give out great advice, I don't think he was just on to cash a paycheck (Gwen Stefani, I'm talking to you). I hope the group sing tonight isn't lip-synched.

Our friends at DialIdol predict that Adam is safe while everyone else is in play. Since DialIdol started up four years ago, I can't remember a season when the results have been so close. Does this mean that there are just that many more powervoters or has the talent gap shrunk?

The Ford commercial blows chunks (as usual). Did it end early? That's what it looked like to me.

Seacrest then jumps right in to the group sing, Alice Cooper's "School's Out". Gokey is predictably bad. Allison cheezes it up. The sound guy should be fired. Slash shows off. Adam shines. Kris is . . . well, he's just kind of there.

How great would an Adam & Allison tour be if Slash went along with the kids?

The kids are sitting (from left to right) Allison, Gokey, Adam and Kris. Does the sitting order mean anything? It used to be predictable as far as getting results, but I think they've changed things up.

Seacrest asks Danny about his "money" note, which he thought was good. Upon further review, he apparently heard the same thing we did because he acknowledged just how (non-awesomely) bad it was. Glad we cleared that up, Gokeyheads.

Next to take the stage is Paula who Seacrest says has never taken the stage. I thought she was pushing one of her new singles last year. Did I miss something?

When is Randy going to perform and shill for his newest project? Or have that reunion with Journey featuring Arnel Pineda that I've been calling for? I think Paula wearing less clothes than Edyta does. And she's lip-synching. Maybe it's because of the painkillers. I wish she'd go back to dancing under waterfalls like in the video for "Promise of a New Day".

After Paula, it's time for No Doubt; I guess Gwen Stefani needs some more money. They're singing an old song; what's up with that? Her entrance wasn't as good as Adam's down those same steps.

Of all the changes they've made to the show this season, getting rid of the viewer phone calls was the best one.

We come back from the break and the kids get the preview of what happens when they go back for their homecoming. Look! There's Elliott! Jennifer just had an Idolgasm. Now it's time for results.

Seacrest brings the foursome out and tells that they are not announcing a bottom 2 or 3.

Allison's name is called first. Then Seacrest recaps for the other three. While Ryan runs his yap, the director inexplicably cuts to Simon who has no clue the camera is on him. As a result, he looks like he was drugged.

The first person announced to be safe is Kris. I was hoping it would be Allison. By the way, her heart rate just doubled. So did Gokey's as the spectre of his elimination just became a reality.

As the kids sweat, we're reminded that Chris Daughtry was once on the show. Then Seacrest reminds us that he was whacked unexpectedly, perhaps (hopefully) foreshadowing another "shocker" this season. Daughtry (the band) shills for their new album and plays their new single. I'd much rather listen to a dozen Idol alums plug their latest CD or single than see No Doubt on the stage ever again.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the members of Daughtry Chris's old band from before he was on Idol? If they are, hooray for Chris hanging on to his peeps from before he got famous.

There are 12 minutes left in the show and Chris gets some face time. Seacrest (figuratively) kicks him in the balls by asking how it felt to be eliminated. Then he (rhetorically) asks who will get the boot later (Please, please, please, please be Danny!).

In case you hadn't heard, The Big Bang Theory got picked up for another season. Woo-hoo!

The next person to be declared safe is . . . (music that's not quite as scary as DWTS's) . . . Adam.

Duh.

That leaves Gokey and Allison as the final two to get their results. Seacrest tell us that Danny is . . . safe.

Dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn you, Simon for your incessant pimpage of the guy with the dead wife! There's no way he deserves to be there while she gets sent packing.

That smashing sound you just heard is my remote control going through the window.

Did you know that she's just seventeen years old?

That leaves us with a three way sausagefest for the Top 3, a first for Idol. As Allison sings her way off, I am plotting ways to infect Gokey's karma with some sort of bovine flu virus.

Next week, the Top 3 go home before coming back to sing two songs. I guess Clive Davis got cut out by the fourth judge.

I'm going to go find my remote control now.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Idol: Headbanger Edition

Well, maybe not. But this week, the guest mentor is Slash of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver. I have high hopes for tonight's show. Not only because I really want Idol to rock the house, but also because I think the one TCO who is not favoured by the theme is Gokey.

I don't anticipate a shocker, but it would be nice if Danny would get booted off tomorrow night.

Tonight each singer is doing one solo performance and then they're pairing up for a duet. While I've been calling for duets theme for a couple of years now, the only reason they're doing it this season is because they've added a fourth judge to run their yap and it's cut into the show's time ('cuz you know they're never going to cut out a commercial break).

First up is EBA with some Zeppelin. Thankfully, he doesn't change the song as it's already prone to the screeching to which Adam is unfortunately given. At this point, I don't know that going in the Dead Man's Spot really hurts him, but after last week's scare, this doesn't bode well. While this isn't quite the perfect song for Adam, it fits him like "Drift Away" did for Bo. That is, quite well. I actually like it a lot. I'm just happy they skipped the six minute guitar solo in the middle. Contrary to what Kara says, Adam is not a "rock god".

After last week, I was afraid that Allison wouldn't survive until rock week, but thankfully, here she is. Can Idol possibly pack in another commercial? She's singing Joplin, which ought to be good. Simon didn't think anyone could top Adam's "Whole Lotta Love" but guess what . . . Allison did. She's a natural belter but manages to keep the shouting under control. The performance isn't bad, either. Did you know she's only 17 years old? Randy didn't like it, but he's wrong.

Why were the judges bashing Allison? Are they trying to talk up Gokey and Adam? Remember, Paula has already written those two into the finale.

Next we get the first of the duets, this one featuring Gokey and Kris. The vocals are okay, but they don't interact in anyway; it was an awkward performance. Kris seemed to be trying, but Gokey was just standing there and ignored him. Have I mentioned that I'm not a Gokey fan?

Kris goes into the Beatles songbook and I think this is the right move for him. He's not the classic "rocker" type and drawing from the Lennon/McCartney catalog gives him credibility. If I had my way, the first three solo performers tonight would advance because I think they're the strongest performers still left. Overall, Kris was good but he wasn't great. His voters don't need to work overtime, but if they get complacent, he could be gone.

Why can Simon not respect anyone else who is on the show? Must he constantly make a fool of himself? Is he that bored?

As surprising as it is, MWJD is one of this season's TCOs and he's never sung from The Pimp Spot. He's singing Aerosmith and I forsee lots of shouting. I can't buy him as a rocker. Of course, I don't think he deserves to still be around either. The big high notes were especially ugly. Is Simon going to tell Danny the same things he told Allison? Randy actually doesn't slurp him right up, even though he would have ripped into another singer for doing the same things. Will the negative comments cut into his votes, or will it spur his legion of followers to get full use out of that AT&T unlimited text messaging plan?

One thing I've noticed about Gokey is that he's very much like Archuleta in this way: he's an interview moron. Where The Arch couldn't get through a question without devolving into a giggling idiot, Gokey just babbles. It's almost as annoying.

The final song of the night is Adam and Allison rocking out "Slow Ride". Unlike Kris and Danny, they actually have chemistry. I have a problem with this song, not for any thing they've done but because even though it's the easiest song on Guitar Hero III, I still get booed off the stage every time I try and play. This was the perfect song to end the night.

The Good
Adam & Allison, "Slow Ride"
Allison, "Cry Baby"
Adam, "Whole Lotta Love"

The Bad
Kris, "Come Together"
Gokey and Kris, "Renegade"

The Ugly
Danny, "Dream On"

Who should go home:
Danny

Who will go home:
Danny

I know I called it wrong last week, but since week 4 is the week for shockers, I think Danny will get canned. Sure, he got to sing the final solo of the night, but the Pimp Spot was co-opted by Adam & Allison's perfect duet. Plus Danny's money note turned the Meter O' Suckitude all the way up to 11.

If Danny doesn't get eliminated, it will be Allison.

DWTS Results

I just tuned in to see that Melissa & Tony are safe along with Cheryl & Gilles. This pick the next pro dancer "competition" is a waste of time. Just get to the results! Pare this show back to the 10 minute length it should be!

Mrs. High Lord and I are looking at getting new cell phones. I like the Samsung Impression and LG Xenon for AT&T Wireless and the LG Voyager for Verizon. Sprint is pissing me off, so we'll probably be switching providers. Does anyone have any recommendations?

In the week 4 shocker, Lil Kim & Derek get canned. My jaw is on the floor. I know Ty wants to win--but let's face it, he doesn't stand a chance--and the look on his face said, "Dammit! I have to come back for another week!"

I'm happy that Ty will be back, even if he's the weakest dancer to advance this far. This is either a credit to Chelsie's mad skillz as a choreographer or a measure of how dadgum likable Ty is (probably a little bit of both).

Tomorrow, barring any unforseen family emergencies, I'll be live-blogging the Idol results which hopefully will see two shockers in one week as Danny gets the boot.

High Lord. Out.