Friday, February 29, 2008

David Archuleta and Carly Smithson are Week 2 Idol Thoughts Readers Faves

David Archuleta ran away with the top spot on the list of Idol Thoughts reader favorites for the second straight week, followed (at a distance) by fellow Davids Hernandez and Cook. Carly Smithson, meanwhile, leapt from #6 to #1 in Week 2, with last week's #1 girl Ramiele Malubay slipping to #3.

Here are the results of the Idol Thoughts Readers' Favorite Polls:

1. David Archuleta, 68%
2. David Hernandez, 12%
3. David Cook, 6%
4. Jason Castro, 4%
5. Chekezie, 4%
6. Michael Johns, 3%
7. Danny Noriega, 2%
8. Jason Yeager, 1%
9. Luke Menard, 1%
10. Robbie Carrico, 1%

1. Carly Smithson, 33%
2. Brooke White, 26%
3. Ramiele Malubay, 18%
4. Alaina Whitaker, 4%
5. Kristy Lee Cook, 4%
6. Kady Malloy, 4%
7. Amanda Overmyer, 4%
8. Asia'h Epperson, 3%
9. Syesha Mercado, 2%
10. Alex Lushington, 1%

Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific Starts Performances Tomorrow!

Lincoln Center Theater's production of South Pacific (the first-ever Broadway revival!) begins performance tomorrow at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, starring two-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara and Brazilian opera star Paulo Szot.

By all accounts the show looks and sounds amazing, and tickets are going fast, so be sure to order yours now. And if the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein doesn't interest you, perhaps hot guys do? If so, check out the pics of Matthew Morrison (Lt. Joe Cable) and Szot (Emile de Becque). Smokin!

To order tickets, visit

Photos by Joan Marcus

More David Archuleta Videos: Performing "You're All I Need" on Star Search and Dreamgirls' "I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)"

Here's a couple youtube videos of American Idol frontrunner David Archuleta performing on Star Search. Both songs ("You're All I Need to Get By" and "And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)") were also sung by contestants on American Idol -- Kelly Clarkson (and later Jasmine Trias) belted the former, while Tamyra Gray, LaKisha Jones, and, of course, Jennifer Hudson have wrapped their voices around the latter.


Singing "You're All I Need to Get By"

Singing "And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)" (vocals only)

BIG BROTHER SPOILER: The Nominated Couples Are...


Stop reading now if you don't want to know the nominated couples from Big Brother


Sharon and Joshuah, this week's HOH, have nominated Matt/Natalie and Ryan/Allison for eviction.

Rumor: The OC's Mischa Barton to Join Cast of Gossip Girl

According to Michael Ausiello over at, The OC star Mischa Barton has been approached to join the cast of Gossip Girl.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! When will be people learn this girl can't act?

Click here for the article

Picture: Justin Timberlake In a Speedo!

This picture, of Justin Timberlake in a speedo and sportin' a porn-stache, is from the upcoming film The Love Guru.

I mean!!!

America, What Are You Thinking? Alaina, Alex, Jason and Robbie Eliminated from American Idol

Ok, I am now officially worried about what this year's American Idol Top 12 is going to look like.

Sure, Jason Yeagar and Robbie Carrico were good choices to go (although I, personally, would have sent pretty boy Luke Menard packin'), but Alex Lushington and Alaina Whitaker? What?

True, neither gave a stellar performance last night, but there's no way either girl wouldn't be way better in the Idol long run than Kady Malloy or Kristy Lee Cook. In fact, I had started to believe that Alaina could do some real damage in this competition, and Alex was the closest thing the show had to an artist who could actually have some radio relevance. There was no way either was gonna win the competition, but the Top 12 will be weaker because of their absences.

And how heartbreaking was Alaina's reaction to her dismissal? Poor thing, I think she had taken Simon's words about her being a dark horse in the competition to heart.

As for the rest of the show -- well, there wasn't much else going on. (I'm choosing not to focus on that abysmal group sing -- 20 people is just way too much to have perform simultaneously). Oh yeah, there were the announcements that the Top 12 will be singing songs by the Beatles and that Ruben Studdard has recorded an exit song, and we got clips of last year's "Idol Gives Back" in anticipation of this year's reprise (which will apparently feature Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dog, Carrie Underwood, Reese Witherspoon, Daughtry and more). 'Cause, ya know, Idol is generous and stuuuuuuuuuuuff.

Just not to Alaina, Alex, Jason and Robbie.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol Top 12 Will Sing Beatles' Tunes

David Archuleta may have hit it out of the park by singing "Imagine" on this week's American Idol, but it won't be the last tune written by a Beatle we hear this season.

Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe announced on Ryan Seacrest's radio show this morning that the theme for the Top 12 finalists (airing March 11) will be Beatles songs. They've been trying to get the right to the Beatles catalogue for years, and it looks like they've finally succeeded.

Even though we've got one more week of semifinals, it's fun to start thinking now about who might sing what -- Smithson taking on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club"? Johns crooning "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

Which songs do you think the contestants should tackle?

American Idol Elimination Prediction: Jason, Luke, Kristy and Kady in the Danger Zone

I've ranked the contestants (click for the BOYS and for the GIRLS) -- now it's time to figure out who's going home!

Years of Idol history have shown that, especially during the first few weeks of the show, having the worst performance doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the boot. In fact, it's often better to get lambasted by the judges than to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Keeping that in mind, here's my take on where the Top 20 stands:

Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
Boys: David Archuleta, David Hernandez, Jason Castro
Girls: Carly Smithson, Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White

Archuleta, Smithson, Hernandez, and White all gave very stand-out performances this week, and should be in no danger. Castro and Mulabay, meanwhile, still have enough good will from last week that they should be fine as well.

Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Boys: David Cook, Michael Johns, Danny Noriega
Girls: Asia'h Epperson, Syesha Mercado, Alaina Whitaker

This group was not necessarily good enough for shoo-in status, but they are also not in extreme danger of imminent elimination. Though Johns, Epperson, Mercado and Whitaker have performed better in the past, there were far worst performances this week, so they should stick around for at least one more week.

Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Boys: Luke Menard, Jason Yaegar, Chekezie, Robbie Carrico
Girls: Amanda Overmyer, Alex Lushington, Kristy Lee Cook, Kady Malloy

Chekezie stepped up his performance vocally, but he's still doesn't seem to be strongly connecting with the audience, so there's a chance he could get the boot. Carrico, meanwhile, gave a ho-hum "rock" performance, and as such could easily fall through the cracks. What do we know about this guy, other than that he used to date Britney Spears?

In more danger, however, are pretty boy Menard and bland Yeager -- both were pretty bad on Tuesday night, and will likely be shown the door.

As for the girls, Alex and Amanda had disastrous performances, but I think they still have enough fans to remain in the competition...for now. That's not the case, however, with Kristy Lee Cook and Kady Malloy, who continue to disappoint.


Elimination Prediction
Boys: Luke Menard and Jason Yaegar
Girls: Kristy Lee Cook and Kady Malloy

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

READ: Ranking the Top 10 Guys -- David Archuleta Wipes the Floor With the Competition

READ: Ranking the Top 10 Girls -- This is the Best Group of Finalists Ever?

Ranking the American Idol Top 10 Girls: This is the Best Group of Finalists Ever?

Ok, what's going on in Idol-land? Is it just me, or did the girls kinda suck tonight?

I'm starting to get a little concerned that what a few weeks ago seemed like "the best group ever" is now looking like a big bust. I'm not giving up hope yet, and I still think the themes (the 70's?!?) are preventing the contestants from really showing us what they can do, but if they don't start stepping it up, and soon, we could be in for a rough couple of months.

Having said that, there was at least one stand-out performance this week. Here are my rankings of the Top 10 girls...

1. Carly Smithson
(Last Week: #1)
I know some of y'all hate this girl, or think she's a "ringer" or something, but I just love her. I mean, her voice is spectacular, and, though it's possible she's pulled the wool over my eyes, she comes across as extremely genuine to me. Amazing as she was, Simon is right -- she hasn't yet chosen the song that's given her the moment. But when she does...
Grade: A-

2. Brooke White
(Last Week: #4)
Who's surprised that Brooke chose a Carly Simon song during 70's week? Anyone? Anyone? I'm not sure "You're So Vain" showed anything in Brooke's voice that we haven't seen before, but by choosing this song she probably secured the Boomer vote, and likely bought herself at least a few more weeks in the competition. Now the big question -- if this girl went to beauty school, why is her hair always such a mess?
Grade: B

3. Syesha Mercado
(Last Week: #2)
This girl is gorgeous, and she's got the high notes, but her voice is not nearly rich enough to pull off a song like "Me and Mr. Jones." You need a Jennifer Hudson-esque instrument to really hit this one out of the park. Still, she's definitely got presence, and I'd be shocked if she doesn't make it to the Top 12.
Grade: B-

4. Alaina Whitaker
(Last Week: #5)
This girl has the potential to do real damage in this competition, but she's gotta learn to pick less cliched songs (and be a little screechy when performing). Is it a rule every teenage country singer has to perform this song? (Perhaps Carmen Rasmussen, who sang it back in Season 2, has the answer to that question.) Still, I think she's adorable, and she definitely has a strong voice -- if she chooses better songs, she could find herself going far in this competition.
Grade: B-

5. Asia'h Epperson
(Last Week: #6)
If you're gonna take on the song that Latoya London hit out of the ballpark back in Season 3 (Latoya's performance tops my lists of the Ten Best Semifinal Performances of All Time), you better bring it. Let's face it -- the song is all about the big note, and, despite what Randy and Paula said, Asia'h just didn't nail it tonight. On top of that, her voice actually disappeared at one point during the low notes early in the song. Definitely not the triumph Asia'h must've imagined she'd have. (And, as a side note, even if she had been 100% healthy, she still wouldn't have been able to pull this one off).
Grade: B-

Continue Reading for #'s 6 through 10

READ: Ranking the Top 10 Guys -- David Archuleta Wipes the Floor With the Competition

POLL: Which of the Top 10 Girls Was Your Favorite? Who's Going Home?

Josh and Sharon Win HOH, as as Chen-Bot Teases "New Chapter" of Big Brother 9

Operation Condor is now complete.

The Big Brother 9 mission to remove each of the houseguests from the top row of the Memory Wall was a success, as Amanda and Alex were sent packin'. Sharon and Josh, who won the Power of Veto last week, are the new HOH's.

What's more interesting, however, is Julie Chen's big tease at the end of the episode -- that a "new chapter" of Big Brother will begin after next week's elimination. By that point four couples will have been eliminated from the game, leaving 8 houseguests still around -- the perfect chance for the show to return to it's individual player roots.

And can I say -- not a moment too soon! This season has been difficult to get into, partly because there has been so much going on already (a houseguest leaving, oral sex, orgies, trips to the hospital), and partly because the "'Til Death Do Us Part" theme is making it hard to really invest in any one player. I loved Alex, but he didn't stand a chance with Amanda as his partner; ditto Parker and Jen. I'm hoping that if (or when) they do make the change to an individual competition, it'll seem more like the Big Brother I know and love.

Of course, with Big Brother you have to "expect the unexpected," so perhaps the "new chapter" is not the dissolution of the couples. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

POLL: Which of the Top 10 Girls Was Your Favorite? Who's Going Home?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ranking American Idol's Top 10 Guys: Archuleta Wipes the Floor With the Competition


Is David Archuleta gonna run away with this whole thing?

Right now, it's looking like American Idol's 17-year-old wonder boy is gonna wipe the floor with the competition, as his rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" was head and shoulders better than any of the other Top 10 guys. (They also showed an adorable video of David performing in front of Season 1 contestants, including Kelly Clarkson -- click here to see that video).

As was the case last week, and again perhaps due to the restrictive 70's theme, there were very few stand-out performances, and lots of solid-but-not-spectacular showings from the rest of the guys. Some improved over last week's performances; others fell short of the promise they've showed in prior rounds.

Here's my rankings of the Top 10 guys:

1. David Archuleta
(Last Week: #2)
I mean! This kid is just unbelievable, with a voice so pure it defies description. After hearing Ruben Studdard and Jennifer Hudson sing this song on this show I was waiting to be let down -- and that was so not the case! The purity of David's voice (so pure!) elevated it to levels of true greatness (at least greatness within the realm of Idol). This is actually my favorite non-Lenon version of the song I've ever heard. Though I do think David is gonna win this competition and will become a huge star, I would advise the judges from anointing him champion too quickly -- there's still months left of the competition, and we know what happens to frontrunners (ahem, Senator Clinton).

2. David Cook
(Last Week: #4)
Why don't more of you like David Cook?? He's got an understated charm, he's not all me-me-me, and he sounds freakin' fantastic every time he sings. Fall in love with him, people! I thought tonight was actually his best performance yet, though I would advise against taking extended guitar breaks during a 90 second song. Still, definitely a triump, and a Top 12 without him would be a real shame. (And as for the "film" that Simon hated -- I loved it! The geeky rocker? Perfection!)
Grade: A-

3. David Hernandez
(Last Week: #7)
Wow, this kid is sure hot and cold -- his Hollywood week audition was great, but last week's show-opener was stiff and awkward. Tonight he was back on form, showing off great vocals and even a dash of panache. If he keeps this up, he could find himself Phil Stacey-ing his way into the Top 10.
Grade: B+

4. Chekezie
(Last Week: #9)
Far and away the most improved guy of the week, Chekezie finally lived up to the billing I've been giving him for weeks. Despite another questionable outfit and some awkward dance moves, he greatly improved his stage presence and vocals, sounding, actually, quite excellent (if not as good as Elliott Yamin, who sang this song back in Season 5). Will it be enough to overcome that rough first performance (and even rougher suit that he continues to defend)? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Grade: B+

5. Michael Johns
(Last Week: #3)
The guys does have charisma, he's cute, and he can sing, but there's something almost too effortless about his performances. It might end up backfiring on him -- the contestants who end up doing the best on this show are the often the ones who seem like they are really working (think Fantasia or Taylor Hicks). If he had sounded a bit better I might be more forgiving, but this was, as Simon said, definitely his weakest performance by a mile.
Grade: B-

Continue reading for #'s 6 through 10

AMERICAN IDOL POLL: Which of the Top 10 Guys Was Your Favorite? Who's Going Home?


VIDEO: David Archuleta's "Imagine," David Hernandez' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and David Cook's "All Right Now"

Read American Idol's Ten Best Semifinal Performances of All Time

Video: David Archuleta's "Imagine," David Hernandez's "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," and David Cook's "All Right Now"

Relive the Top 20 performances of the David's...

David Archuleta, "Imagine"

David Hernandez, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

David Cook, "All Right Now"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

POLL: Top 10 Guys -- Who Was The Best? Who's Going Home?

Who Are the Next Four to Go on American Idol?

One week does not a star make. However, on American Idol, a good first performance could propel you all the way to the finals, and a poor one could mean you're finding yourself trying to catch up for weeks.

So how will the first week of performances impact this week's results? I'd say, based on the strength of their 60's performance (in addition, of course, to what they did during their initial auditions and Hollywood week), David Archuleta, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson and Ramiele Mulabay will all cruise into the Top 12. Jason Castro, who had no screentime coming into last week, will also most likely be a finalist, barring a major meltdown in the next two weeks.

David Cook, Brooke White, Syesha Mercado and Asia'h Epperson also performed well last week, and with ample airtime during the initial stages of the competition, they are also looking good to make it at least one more week. Alaina Whitaker was a wildcard coming into last week, and she really delivered, so if she follows it up with another strong performance she should be okay as well.

David Hernandez, Robbie Carrico, Danny Noriega, Amanda Overmyer and Alex Lushington are all on the fence -- they could slip through the cracks if they don't come out and give memorable performances. While any one of them could go home, I'd say there's a few other contenders in more serious danger.

Yep, I'm talkin' about Jason Yaegar, Luke Menard, Chekezie Eze, Kristy Lee Cook and Kady Malloy. While Yaegar's biggest sin was being boring, Menard and Eze were borderline painful (despite Luke's cutie patottie-ness). Jason's going to have to prove he's more than a cheesy cruise-ship singer with a B-grade voice, while Chekezie better remind us all that he can really sing. As for Luke, I can't imagine a scenario in which he does enough to impress -- basically he's gotta hope for a Jason and Chekzie meltdown.

On the girls side, both Cook and Malloy were pretty much trainwrecks last week (with Kristy Lee being the slightly worse of the two), so they'll both have to step it up this week to survive. Hopefully Kristy Lee has recovered from her "illness" (and learned a song other than "Amazing Grace"), while Malloy one more chance to prove she has personality beyond a killer Britney Spears impresion.

So, going into the performances I'm guessing Luke, Jason, Kristy Lee and Kady are most in danger. Of course, anything could happen, and all of this could be irrelevant in less than 24 hours. Guess we'll have to wait and see...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Video: Jennifer Garner Being Attacked by Gary Busey on the Oscar Red Carpet

I was watching Ryan Seacrest do his thing on the Oscar red carpet last night on E!, and lo and behold -- the sh*t hits the fan. This is one of the most awkward live television moments I have ever seen -- and I love it!

Video: Jimmy Kimmel is F*cking Ben Affleck

Not quite as funny as Sarah Silverman f*cking Matt Damon, but pretty hysterical nonetheless (the 'We are the World' part is my favorite!)


IDOL MADNESS Final Four Results -- Finals Now Set, Vote Now!

The results from the Final Four of IDOL MADNESS are in, and the Finals are now set!

Competing for the title of IDOL MADNESS winner will be Clay Aiken and Elliott Yamin. Clay took out Bo Bice in a heated battle, while Elliott fended off a surge from Carrie Underwood. Carrie and Bo will repeat their duel from Season Four in the consolation round to determine 3rd and 4th place, while the battle between Elliott and Clay in the finals should be epic!

Ace Young took the top spot in the Consolation Round, and therefore gets the #5 spot. Constantine Maroulis took 6th, followed by Jasmine Trias in 7th and Josh Gracin in 8th.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

BIG BROTHER SPOILERS: Two Houseguests Rushed to the Hospital, Veto Winners Decided

Drama in the Big Brother house -- and this time it's real!

TWO Big Brother contestants were rushed to the hospital last night -- Amanda, who fainted and had seizures after going into anafalactic shock (she is hypoglycemic), and Allison, who had a severe allergic reaction to something she ate.

They have both since returned to the house, so I guess they are okay, but be warned, the video below of Amanda fainting is pretty scary.

In other Big Brother 9 spoiler news (STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW), Joshuah and Sharon won the Power of Veto. They are planning on not using it on either Matt/Natalie or Alex/Amanda, and at the moment, it seems as thought the house is planning on evicting Matt and Natalie.

Stay tuned for more info...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ten Best American Idol Semifinal Performances of All Time

As we finish up the first week of this year's American Idol 7's Semifinal round, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at what I see as the Top 10 Semifinal performances through the years.

A couple of notes on this list:
-This year's performances are not included
-Starting in Season 4, the format changed from voting contestants into the Top 12 to eliminating the lowest polling contestants from the competition, so Season 4 and 5 contestants had 3 Semifinal performance, versus just 1 for contestants from Seasons 1-3.

And, the list...

1. Latoya London, "All By Myself" (Season 3)
I can still remember the moment when I literally fell off my bed as Latoya hit the impossibly high note in Eric Carmen's ballad. "Anymooooooooooooooooooooore" -- Jaw. On. Floor. Aside from Kelly Clarkson's first performance in the Top 10, this may be the most surprising performance I have ever seen on the show, made all the more so because we had not seen Latoya onscreen for even one minute leading up to the semifinals. Her personality ultimately ended up disappointing me later in the competition, but her vocal work in her first performance is truly unforgettable.

2. Melinda Doolittle, "My Funny Valentine" (Season 6)
Talk about a class act! Melinda showed what a pro she is, effortlessy giving this classic her own bluesy, soulful spin. Every note in this rendition was letter-perfect, and she couldn't have come off more humble or likable. If she ever gets around to making a CD (come on, where's the Melinda record deal announcement??), this is what the music should sound like.

3. Kelly Clarkson, "Respect" (Season 1)
I know, I know, how could I not put Ms. Kelly at number 1, especially when this was the very first the audience was seeing of the sassy Texan? Her vocal work and irrepressible personality were astoundingly clear as she wailed the Aretha classic, all the while missing which camera she was supposed to be looking into. (If you can get your hands on this performance, it really is a must watch, as Kelly adorably, and consistently, is looking anywhere but where the camera is). Coming into this week, Justin was the one to watch. At the end of the week, it was Kelly people were talking about.

4. Chris Daughtry, "Hemmorage" (Season 5)
If Bo Bice started the rock trend on American Idol, Chris Daughtry hammered it home. After a solid cover of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" in the first week of the semifinals, Daughtry stepped it up about 8 notches on this Fuel song, transporting himself and the viewers to the middle of a slammin' rock concert. Bice may have been credible within the world of AI, but Daughtry took it to another level. It's no wonder he's had such a successful post-show transition into the rock music world.

5. Clay Aiken, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (Season 2)
His initial audition was shocking for the discrepancy between the way he looked and sounded, and his semifinal performance of the Journey classic "Open Arms" was great, but it was his stunning Wildcard rendition of the Elton John tune that really put Clay Aiken on the map. Standing tall in the center of the stage, looking confident but not cocky, he saaaaaaaaang his way into the hearts of millions. This was the moment, I believe, that Clay Nation really began to take shape.

6. Fantasia, "Something to Talk About" (Season 3)
That voice. Those lips. That sassy personality. Ms. 'Tasia announced her presence to the world as the final performer of week 1's semifinals in Season 3, and never looked back. Flawless.

7. LaKisha Jones, "And I Am Telling You" (Season 6)
Taking on the Dreamgirls classic just a month after Jennifer Hudson had been awarded the Oscar for singing the same song, LaKisha fearlessly tore into this tune, making it clear she was a force to be reckoned with. The power of this performance, however, may have been her ultimate downfall -- she may simply have peaked too soon. Still, one of the most passionate performances the semifinal round has ever seen.

8. Kimberley Locke, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (Season 2)
Sure, she sang this song in her initial audition, and by the time she reprised the performance in the second week of semifinals (which also featured Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken) there was already some "Rainbow" fatigue, but her controlled and beautiful rendition of the Judy Garland chestnut made clear Season 2 wasn't just going to be a boy's race to the finish.

9. Bo Bice, "Whipping Post" (Season 4)
Until Bo Bice picked up that mike stand and went to town on the Allman Brothers Band tune, the closest thing AI had to a rocker was Justin Guarini (and that ain't too close). With this performance Bice, who had received very little screen time coming into the semifinals in favor of fellow "rocker" Constantine Maroulis, established himself as a showman, a vocal talent, and the "credible rocker" of Season 4.

10. Katharine McPhee, "Since I Fell For You" (Season 5)
Although she was dressed rather plainly in jeans and a top for her first Semifinal appearance, the effortless way Katharine handled the runs on this Barbra Streisand tune made it clear she was gonna be a contender.

Honorable Mentions:

Blake Lewis, "Somewhere Only We Know" (Season 6)
Chris Richardson, "Geek in the Pink" (Season 6)
Melinda Doolittle. "Woman" (Season 6)
EJ Day, "I'll Be" (Season 1)
Jennifer Hudson, "Imagine" (Season 3)
Tamyra Gray, "And I Am Telling You" (Season 1)
Ruben Studdard, "Superstar" (Season 2)
Ace Young, "Father Figure" (Season 5)

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Let me know.

American Idol 7 Top 24 Videos: David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Alaina Whitaker and Carly Smithson

Enjoy these videos of the American Idol Top 24 performances of Idol Thoughts reader faves David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Alaina Whitaker and Carly Smithson.

David Archuleta

Jason Castro

Michael Johns

Ramiele Malubay

Alaina Whitaker

Carly Smithson

American Idol: America Gets It (Mostly) Right, as the Producers and Simon Lay it on Thick

Oh, American Idol elimination episodes, how I have missed thee.

I say that with only a little bit of sarcasm. The beauty of four eliminations, however, is there isn't too much time for padding, so the show didn't feel overly bloated this evening. In addition, America got it (mostly) right, eliminating Garrett Haley, Amy Davis, Joanne Borgella and, ahem, Colton Berry.

I'm consciously choosing to focus on the postivie, since the elimination of Haley means the closest thing this season had to a Sanjaya is now gone, and the ouster of Davis and Borgella means America is actually voting with their ears and not their eyeballs (the pretty Davis, who so could have become this season's Haley Scarnato) or hearts (the lovable Borgella, whose early exit proves America likes it's plus-size black girls to be able to wail -- or at least sing on key).

Then there's Colton. The kid wasn't gonna win the competition -- I get that. But I'm still gonna miss him just a little bit, and I'd certainly rather see him perform next week than either Luke Menard or Jason Yaegar. The truth is, he wasn't either good enough or bad enough to make a solid impression Tuesday night, and that was his downfall. Ah well.

But why did Simon have to go and be such an as*hole? The kid's not going to be the next Justin Timberlake, fine, but he could have a career in musical theater. In regional musical theater, but still! Did Simon have to be so mean?

Speaking of hearts of darkness, what's with the spotlight on the eliminated contestant's parent? Does it get any more tragic than watching parents experience their child's dream being crushed in extreme close-up? This device has got to go.

Amongst other notable moments from tonight's show:

-We got our first "group sing" of the season. 24 people is a lot of people to work into a number, and this one goes right up there with most awkward ever. Congrats Season 7!

-The tears! My goodness these contestants are starting early. During the clip packages this week it was all "This is the biggest opportunity of my life" and "I can't believe how lucky I am to be here" BS, and now they are already weeping for each other? What's going to happen by the Top 12 -- seizures?

-Finally, we got to watch the "world premiere" of Paula Abdul's new video for "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow." Shockingly enough, she didn't embarrass herself, and the song is actually pretty catchy. I could have used a little more dancing, and Simon and Ryan's "cameos" at the end couldn't have been any more cheesy, but all in all I'm a little impressed she was able to get herself together like that. Is America ready for a 21st century dancin' and "singin" Paula Abdul?

Schizophrenic Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites Sends Yau-Man Packin'

No doubt, this season of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites has been entertaining. The problem is, I feel like I'm watching a show with multiple personality disorder!

At times, I'm watching a show with old favorites -- hey look, it's James! Awwww, Cirie made a funny! But then, suddenly, I'm watching a show where I don't recognize half of the people. What's going on here?

Clearly the airtime of this season was going to weigh in the favor of, well, the favorites -- the audience knows and wants to see them. But aside from Joel, Cathy, Mikey (I think) and Chet, I couldn't name another fan. Oh, Tracy -- there's one more. I'd like to know these people -- I'm just not being told anything about them. It's an odd thing for a Survivor fan -- I'm used to rooting for the underdog, and now I'm rooting for the titular "favorites." But, seriously, how can I not? They are much more dramatic and interesting!

Speaking of the faves, they eliminated Yau-Man tonight, thanks to Cirie commandeering the game. It's too bad he's been eliminated so early -- he really didn't get the chance to show off his charming quirkiness this season as much as he did the last time he was on the show. The logic for his elimination is slightly shady -- apparently, as Jonathan Penner said, "he's either the weak link or the biggest threat, I'm not sure which." Bottom line -- the foursome needed to vote with Cirie or risk losing one of their own, and Yau-Man took the hit.

Cirie's power play was slightly out of character for the hysterical "couch potato," and, if I'm being honest, was ill-advised at this point in the game. She's still going to be the low man on the totem pole of the Ozzy/Amanda/James/Parvati alliance, but now she's made a power play and created a stink when a stink wasn't necessary. Why the two alliances didn't turn to each other and say "Let's just vote off Cirie" is beyond me.

Ultimately, I'm glad they didn't -- I like Cirie, and it looks like she's determined to make her presence felt in the game this go round. I'm not sure she chose the sturdiest alliance to join, but I'm curious to see how things will turn out.



BIG BROTHER 9 SPOILER: This Week's Nominated Couples Are...



Stop reading now if you don't want to know who this week's nominated couples are.


Head of Households James and Chelsia have nominated Matt/Natalie and Amanda/Alex for eviction.

Stay tune for more...



IDOL MADNESS Final Four: Friday Report

Reminder: Voting in this round ends February 24 at 11:59PM EST

All totals are as of Friday 2/22 at 5PM EST

Vote away!! (Click on any match-up to vote)

#1 Carrie Underwood vs. #2 Elliott Yamin
Elliott 470,863
Carrie 393,442

#2 Clay Aiken vs. #5 Bo Bice
Clay 371,288
Bo 234,718

Consolation Round: Jasmine, Ace, Josh, Constantine
Ace 82,612
Constantine 34,821
Josh 3,271
Jasmine 7,875

Thursday, February 21, 2008

American Idol Poll Analysis: David and Ramiele Are this Week's Idol Thoughts Readers' Favorites

Vote in the Top 12 Girls Polls

Vote in the Top 12 Boys Polls

The people have spoken...kind of.

I've had polls running here on Idol Thoughts over the past few days, trying to figure out who y'all love and who you're ready to say goodbye to.

The 'Big 3' of the boys seem to be David Archuleta (37%), Jason Castro (23%) and Michael Johns (18%), who together amounted to 78% of the 'favorite' votes. Conversely, Garret Haley is the clear choice to go home with 32% of the vote. He's followed by Chekezie Eze (23%), Luke Menard (15%) and Jason Yaegar (13%).

In terms of the girls, it seems Ramiele Mulabay was the runaway favorite, grabbing 38% of the vote. Alaina Whitaker is currently in second place, with 18%, followed by Syesha Mercado, Asiah Epperson, Carly Smithson and Brooke White. Hugging the bottom are Kristy Lee Cook and Amy Davis, with just 1%, and Joanne Borgella, who didn't receive a single vote!

Not surprisingly, then, Amy and Joanne topped the list of who should be voted off this week. Amy grabbed a whopping 49% of the vote, with Joanne taking 22%.

Voting will stay open -- it'll be interesting to see how Idol Thoughts readers' favorites change from week to week. Should be fun!

American Idol Top 24 Elimination Prediction: Amy, Joanne, Luke and Jason in the Danger Zone

I've ranked the contestants (click for the BOYS and for the GIRLS) -- now it's time to figure out who's going home!

Years of Idol history have shown that, especially during the first few weeks of the show, having the worst performance doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the boot. In fact, it's often better to get lambasted by the judges than to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Keeping that in mind, here's my take on where the Top 24 stands:

Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
Boys: David Archuleta, Michael Johns, Jason Castro
Girls: Carly Smithson, Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White, Syesha Mercado, Asiah Epperson

The members of this group has either large existing fanbase (Archuleta, Johns, Smithson, White) or gave stand-out debut performances -- none of these folks are going anywhere.

Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Boys: David Cook, David Hernandez, Robbie Carrico, Danny Noriega
Girls: Alaina Whitaker, Alex Lushington, Amanda Overmyer

Not good enough for shoo-in status, but not in extreme danger of imminent elimination, expect this group to last for at least one more week. (Whitaker is an exception here- she was excellent last night, but may suffer from lack of screen time.)

Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Boys: Garrett Haley, Luke Menard, Jason Yaegar, Chekezie Eze, Colton Berry
Girls: Amy Davis, Kristy Lee Cook, Joanne Borgella, Cady Malloy

Garrett Haley was definitely the weakest of the boys, but his wispy looks (and Simon's harsh comments) probably earned him some sympathy votes. Chekezie talked back to Simon (never a good idea, especially this early in the game), but he's different enough from the other contestants I think he'll stick around. I'm worried about Colton -- his middle-of-the-road showing may spell doomsday. However, I'm predicting bland and boring Jason Yaegar and Luke Menard will be the first two to go.

As for the girls, Amy was easily the weakest of the Top 24 -- it's a no-brainer that she'll be sent packin'. Cady Malloy and Kristy Lee Cook made terrible song choices and may end up joining her, but I think it's more likely to be Joanne Borgella, who threw away the good will she'd engendered over the past few weeks with a totally off-key (and off-base) performance.


Elimination Prediction
Boys: Luke Menard and Jason Yaegar
Girls: Amy Davis and Joanne Borgella

Who do you think will get the boot tonight? Take the polls now!

Ranking the Top 12 American Idol Girls -- Same-Same Won't Win the Game

Ok, it needs to be said -- 60's music sucks.

Perhaps that's unfair to blame it on the decade. Maybe and it's more accurate to say -- American Idol contestants singing 60's music sucks.

What the heck was Nigel Lythgoe thinking? As I said in my discussion of the boy's performances yesterday, the semifinals used to be the round where the contestants got to show what kind of artists they pictured themselves as. Not anymore -- tonight, we got a whole bunch of same-same performances of a deceptively limiting genre. As was the case with the boys, a few of the girls showed promise and potential, but none busted out in a big way tonight.

And it's a real bummer, because there was more excitement going into this year's Top 24 than I can remember in years. People were psyched about what this year's crop had to offer, and instead of wow'ing us, they were held back by their choice of songs.

Of course, the songs aren't entirely to blame -- many of the contestants appeared cripplingly nervous and certainly didn't show themselves off in the best light possible. Not all were terrible -- in fact, several were in the "quite good" range, falling somewhere right in the middle of spectacular and total trainwreck. But I can't help but be disappointed by the performance of even my favorite of the night's girls, Carly Smithson -- she sounded great, but what the heck was that song?

I'm not quite ready to declare this group overrated -- yet -- but they are gonna have to really step up their games next week to keep America's interest. We've seen hundreds of auditions in the past six years of this show -- some were amazing, and some were nightmares, but what we've definitely seen too much of is same-same auditions. We need something to make our jaws drop and our backs stiffen. Lets see if this crew can bring it.

Here's my rankings of the Top 12 girls:

1. Carly Smithson
Grade: B+
Simon's right -- there has been a buzz about this girl, and not all of it good. Carly needed to really step up and show what she's got this week, and she did -- to an extent. Vocally, she was off the charts -- song choice and personality-wise, not so much. Still, she tops the list for sheer vocal prowess, and I have no doubt that when it comes time for her to wrap those chords around a better song, it'll be the chill moment I've been waiting for.

2. Syesha Mercado
Grade: B+
This girl bugs me, she just does. However -- she can saaaang. She tempered a bit of her yelling, and gave a solid (if, at time, slightly tuneless) performance. She's gorgeous -- if she would just now shut her mouth.

3. Ramiele Malubay
Grade: B
I didn't fall in love with this girl instantly, but she won me over tonight with her well-considered performance. I can't say I'm ready to go on the campaign trail, but I'm becoming a bit of a believer.

4. Brooke White
Grade: B
Brooke is another one I wasn't initially so fond of, but she projected an air of unpretentious joy during her performance tonight, and sold me on the fact that she might just be a Carly Simon Jr. Her voice isn't as great as some of her competitors, but if she can carve out her own niche in the competition, she might go pretty far.

5. Alaina Whitaker
Grade: B
Alaina was the biggest surprise of the night for me -- I fell for the charm of her youth and the power of her voice. Not to mention the fact that she looks just like Carrie Underwood -- it's eerie! If the voters give her a chance, she could be a force to be reckoned with.

6. Asiah Epperson
Grade: B
There's a throatiness to Asiah's vocals that I can't decide whether I like or not, but there's not doubt the girl can sing, and she does appear to be having a good time. I'm not loving the personality, but perhaps she'll grow on me...or not.

Click here for #'s 7-12

Ranking the Top 12 Guys: Jason Castro Makes Quite a First Impression

POLL: Which Top 12 Girl was the best of the night? Who's going home? Vote now!

POLL: Which Top 12 Guy Was the Best? Who is Going Home? Vote Now!

IDOL MADNESS Final Four: Thursday Report

sReminder: Voting in this round ends February 24 at 11:59PM EST

All totals are as of Thursday 2/21 at 4:30PM EST

Vote away!! (Click on any match-up to vote)

#1 Carrie Underwood vs. #2 Elliott Yamin
Elliott 294,508
Carrie 252,507

#2 Clay Aiken vs. #5 Bo Bice
Clay 330,194
Bo 211,689

Consolation Round: Jasmine, Ace, Josh, Constantine
Ace 54,629
Constantine 26,169
Josh 3,214
Jasmine 6,107

Ranking the American Idol Top 10 Girls: #'s 6 through 10

6. Ramiele Malubay
(Last Week: #3)
When you take on a song like "Don't Leave Me This Way," you've got to really tackle it, and while Ramiele is still "the little girl with the big voice," she just didn't deliver tonight. It's a tough song, at least partly responsible for Latoya London's ouster in Season 3, but even so, it was a strangely tepid performance, especially for a girl who has displayed oodles of personality in earlier rounds. Definitely a disappointment.
Grade: C+

7. Kristy Lee Cook
(Last Week: #10)
Sorry Kristy, but like the song you sang tonight says -- you're no good. Though definitely an improvement over last week, there's just nothing special about this girl, and there's others in the competition who do what she does better -- Alaina's a better country singer, and Brooke's got the folk market covered. If only she could sing "Amazing Grace" every week she'd sail through to the Top 12.
Grade: C

8. Amanda Overmyer
(Last Week: #8)
I want to like this girl, I really do -- she's certainly unique, and she's showed moments of real vocal inspiration in earlier auditions. Tonight's performance, however, was a trainwreck -- she was behind the music, her voice was all over the place, and she looked lost on stage. I'd like her to stick around for at least another week to see if she can get back on track, but right now she's on shaky ground.
Grade: C-

9. Kady Malloy
(Last Week: #9)
This girl can sing opera and do a killer Britney impression, but will she ever be able to actually sing a song well on the Idol stage? This was a terrible song choice (her second straight), and her pitchiness, of course, did her no favors. How long is this girl gonna coast on the fact that she can imitate other people's voices?
Grade: D+

10. Alex Lushington
(Last Week: #7)
What a mess, and, what makes it even worst, she knew it! After last week's strong showing Alex was primed to make herself a real contender in the competition, but a terrible song choice and totally tuneless performance may be her undoing. Her outfit was cute (if not totally appropriate for the song), but next to Carly, Syesha and Asia'h, this girl's starting to look like an also-ran.
Grade: D

READ: Ranking the Top 10 Guys -- David Archuleta Wipes the Floor With the Competition

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

POLL: American Idol Top 12 Girls -- Who Was the Best? Who is Going Home?

Ranking American Idol's Top 12 Guys: Jason Castro Makes Quite a First Impression

Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe 60's music as a theme just didn't work. Maybe the guys were nervous. Whatever the case may be, tonight's Top 12 guys on American Idol just didn't blow me away.

Don't get me wrong -- there is a lot of potential in this group, and some of the guys were actually quite excellent. Even better, there's only one potential Sanjaya in the bunch (we'll get to Garrett Haley in a bit). But all in all, I think I expected a bit more from what many (including myself) have referred to as the best group of finalists ever. I'm willing to cut them some slack, however -- it is the first week, and as far as first weeks go, it definitely could have been much worst.

I do think the theme was at least partly to blame for the lack of fireworks on the stage. Usually in the semi-finals the contestants can choose any song they'd like, giving us the chance to see how they view themselves as artists. Gina Glocksen singing an Evanescence song, for example, defined her as the "rock girl" for the season, while Chris Richardson's performance of "Geek in the Pink" let us know what kind of artist he aspired to be. Restricting the contestants' choice of song so early in the competition is a bummer, and their choice of mostly ballads even more so.

However, many overcame those obstacles; others -- not so much.

As for the judges -- Simon was mostly right on, Paula was puffier than usual (sober? pilled up? I'm not quite sure), and Randy was, well, Randy. That about covers that.

As I will do throughout the season, here's my rankings of the Top 12 guys:

1. Jason Castro
Where did this kid come from? Having not heard him sing a single note so far this season, I didn't know what to expect, but he came out with and performed with originality and such effortless charm that I was instantly won over. He looked like a natural with the guitar, and though he's certainly no vocal powerhouse, he definitely posseses a distinct style. Does he have the chops to survive week-in-week-out of this competition? I'm not sure. But for now, I'm happy with what we've got.
Grade: A-

2. David Archuleta
How freakin' adorable is this kid? I just want to squeeze his cheeks! "Shop Around" was an interesting choice for young David, and it took me a minute to get used to seeing him bop around the stage, but he ultimately pulled it off with aplomb. And that voice! Sounding much more mature than his 17 years, the kid showed he's really got the goods. Expect to see much more of him in the next three months.
Grade: A-

3. Michael Johns
This guy's good. I knew he was good going into tonight's performance, and I believe he was good having seen it. Unfortunately, he chose to sing a song we've seen him sing before. Why, Michael, why? This was his chance to really set himself apart from the pack, and although it was very well sung, it was the same song we saw sung last week about a dozen times, at times better than Michael sang it tonight. He's still a frontrunner, but he lost some originality points in my book.

4. David Cook
There's an understated charm to this guy, and his unconventional take on "Happy Together" brought a refreshing dose of originality to the stage. And while his vocals aren't perfect, he's a credible rock singer with what seems to be a pretty versatile instrument. I dug it.
Grade: B+

5. Colton Berry
I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is, but there's something about this kid I really like. His voice is great, and he's got a soulful stage presence that, at least for the moment, is on the right side of too theatrical. But more than that, there's a lightness and genuineness to him that I find quite endearing. I hope he sticks around a little while.
Grade: B+

6. Robbie Carrico
This performance was pretty good, however, while I can't say anything bad about it, I can't say it was particularly memorable either. What's special about this guy? He may tap into the Bo Bice/Bucky Covington fanbase and ride that wave for awhile, but American Idol? I don't see it.
Grade: B-

CONTINUE READING FOR #'s 7 through 12

Who was the best of the Top 12 guys? Who will go home? Take the polls now!

Hysterical Youtube Video: "Charlie Bit My Finger"

I'm not a big viral video guy, but this is literally one of the funniest things I have ever seen. No joke.

In fact, I find it so ridiculously hysterical, I've watched it every day for the past week every time I needed a pick-me-up. It's better than drugs.


IDOL MADNESS Final Four: Wednesday Report

sReminder: Voting in this round ends February 24 at 11:59PM EST

All totals are as of Wednesday 2/20 at 5PM EST

Vote away!! (Click on any match-up to vote)

#1 Carrie Underwood vs. #2 Elliott Yamin
Elliott 147,324
Carrie 134,102

#2 Clay Aiken vs. #5 Bo Bice
Clay 242,207
Bo 181,766

Consolation Round: Jasmine, Ace, Josh, Constantine
Ace 32,574
Constantine 13,074
Josh 2,223
Jasmine 1,983

In the Heights Parodies Rihanna's "Umbrella"

Check out this hysterical parody of Rihanna's "Umbrella" by the creators of the new Broadway musical In the Heights. The show is fantastic -- fresh, original, and full of passion. I saw it last summer Off-Broadway and am going back next week to see it on Broadway...

Also check out In the Heights parody video of High School Musical and Zac Efron


SPOILERS: American Idol Top 10 Girls' Song Choices




1. Carly Smithson, “Crazy On You” (Heart)
2. Syesha Mercado,“Me And Mr. Jones (changed from Mrs. to Mr.) (Billy Paul
3. Brooke White, “You’re So Vain” (Carly Simon)
4. Ramiele Malubay, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (Thelma Houston)
5. Kristy Lee Cook, “You’re No Good” (Linda Ronstadt)
6. Amanda Overmyer,“Carry On My Wayward Son” (Kansas)
7. Alaina Whitaker, "Hopelessly Devoted To You” (Olivia Newton-John)
8. Alexandrea Lushington, “If You Leave Me Now” (Chicago)
9. Kady Malloy, “Magic Man” (Heart)
10. Asia’h Epperson, All By Myself" (Eric Carmen)

At first glance, I'd say this is a much more exciting group of songs than what the boys delivered. Carly tackling Heart sounds fantastic; ditto Amanda on Kansas and Syesha going with "Me and Mr. Jones." Brooke singing Carly Simon is a no-brainer, as is Alaina doing Olivia Newton John (young country girl Carmen Rasmussen did the same song back in Season 2). Asia'h is whipping out the old Idol standard "All By Myself," meaning she'll have to compete with the ghost of Latoya London's classic performance (which ranked #1 on my list of Ten Best Semifinal Performances of All Time). "Don't Leave Me This Way" also has an Idol precedent (Latoya and Melinda both sang it), but Ramiele should be able to put her own spin on it. I'm not sure Kady or Kristy Lee's song choices will be doing them any favors, and I'm curious to see what Alex will do with the Chicago tune.

Should be an interesting show!

What do you think? Good choices? Anything stick out?

Spoilers courtesy of Joe's Place blog

Ranking the Top 10 Guys: #'s 6-10

6. Jason Castro
(Last Week: #1)
His interview package couldn't have been more charming, but unfortunately his performance lacked some of that sparkle. I still dig him, and this performance was far from a trainwreck, but I'm starting to wonder if he's a bit of a one-trick pony in a competition that requires nothing if not versatility. He is adorable, though, and does seem to have a strong sense of himself as an artist, so I'll cut him some slack for less-than-stellar vocals this week.
Grade: B-

7. Robbie Carrico
(Last Week: #6)
Maybe if Robbie was more distinctive, or, well, better, I would be more understanding of his "rocker" defensiveness. As is, however, he's a B-grade Bo Bice, and I'm not sure I have much use for him. He's not bad -- in fact, his voice is pretty good, and if he was rockin' at the local karaoke bar I'd probably be pretty into him. But rocker or not, he's just not original -- and that's a pretty big Idol sin.
Grade: B-

8. Danny Noriega
(Last Week: #8)
I wanna love Danny so bad -- as the first sassy gay boy the show has ever had, he really is breaking new ground. And as his "-ish" comment proved, he's funny! The problem is, I kinda hated his vocals tonight --the whole song felt just off-key to me. I know the boy can sing, but he's yet to wow me with a performance. When that happens, I'll definitely jump right on board.
Grade: C

9. Jason Yeager
(Last Week: #10)
He can sing, and if he chose the right song he might actually be a contender in this competition, but as is he's nothing but cruise-ship. And American Idol ain't no cruise ship.€
Grade: C-

10. Luke Menard
(Last Week: #11)
Ok, I hate this kid. I know, that's harsh, and two weeks ago I was ready to fall in love with him based on nothing but his photograph, but there's something about his high pitched voice and cheesy smile that's driving me crazy. Yes, he sang mostly on pitch, but the admission of his a capella roots means I now can't help but picture him snapping his fingers and creating fake drum noises. Yuck. Here's hoping America voted this wanker off.
Grade: D

Read American Idol's Ten Best Semifinal Performances of All Time

AMERICAN IDOL POLL: Which of the Top 10 Guys Was Your Favorite? Who's Going Home?

POLL: American Idol Top 12 Guys -- Who Was the Best? Who Will Go Home?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BIG BROTHER SPOILER: Message From Departed Houseguest


Stop reading now if you don't want to know!


As I reported last week, Big Brother 9 houseguest Neil Garcia has left the house due to family reasons (click here to read the full story). He has issued a statement, which doesn't do much to clarify the reason he left, but here it is:

"Thank you so much for the outpouring care, support, and concern from all the BIG BROTHER fans. This has been a difficult time for my family, which I am dealing with privately. The drama is slowly being resolved, and all is headed to a brighter place.

I am now happy to say, that I am spending time with close friends and family. I wish Joshuah the best of luck and hope that he keeps up our brilliant strategy to win the big prize with my replacement, Sharon. Please know that I will NOT be back to the BIG BROTHER house and contrary to some web speculation, I was not let go for health reasons. Eeek! Again, thanks to each and every one of you for your support during all of this Big Brother business.

All my Love,

Neil Garcia, BIG BROTHER 9

P.S. -Shit Happens- >: O"

There you have it. Thoughts?

IDOL MADNESS Final Four: Tuesday Report

Reminder: Voting in this round ends February 24 at 11:59PM EST

All totals are as of Tuesday 2/19 at 4PM EST

Vote away!! (Click on any match-up to vote)

#1 Carrie Underwood vs. #2 Elliott Yamin
Elliott 44,045
Carrie 27,284

#2 Clay Aiken vs. #5 Bo Bice
Clay 132,978
Bo 114,641

Consolation Round: Jasmine, Ace, Josh, Constantine
Ace 10,125
Constantine 9,811
Jasmine 1,055
Josh 784

New Dancing with the Stars 6 Cast Announced: Will the Women Rule?

The new cast of Dancing with the Stars cast was announced tonight on Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, and, as usual, it's quite the eclectic group!

Here's the list (with professional partners in parenthesis):

Actress Marlee Matlin (Fabian Sanchez)
Magician Penn Gillette (Kym Johnson)
Broadway actress Marissa Jaret Winokur (Tony Dovolani)
Talk show hot Adam Carolla (Julianne Hough)
Figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (Mark Ballas)
Actor Christian de la Fuenta (Cheryl Burke)
Tennis player Monica Seles (Jonathan Roberts)
R&B singer Mario (Karina Smirnoff)
Actor Steve Guttenberg (Anna Trebunskaya)
NFL star Jason Taylor (Edyta Sliwinska)
Actress Shannon Elizabeth (Derek Hough)
Actress Priscilla Presley (Louis Van Amstel)

At first glance, I'd say the women have the advantage -- I'm guessing Yamaguchi will have the technical skills thanks to her years in skating, Winokur has tons of performance experience, and Matlin will have the mature elegance that Dancing voters seem to love.

In terms of the guys, Mario has some fancy footwork, but his experience is in the R&B field, while de la Fuenta is gorgeous -- but can he dance? Taylor could surprise (as athletes Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ono have in the past), but as much as I love Monica Seles, it's hard for me to imagine her having the grace it would take to win this competition. As for Gillette, Carolla and Guttenberg -- forget about it, they don't have a shot.

What do you think of this motly crue? Any early favorites?



Monday, February 18, 2008

Team Bruno Wins Dance War in the Longest Two Hours of TV Ever

I'm sorry, but a show that was only on for six weeks does not need a two hour send-off. I'm just saying.

Team Bruno was awarded the mysterious grand prize in the finale of Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann in two of the loooooongest hours of television ever. There were only six performances, and two of them we had already seen before! Drew Lachey embarrassed himself "crooning" "Steppin' Out" and dancing like a fool, and there were probably eight different clip packages "reliving the journey." Gag me.

Don't get me wrong -- there were parts of this show that I really enjoyed, and with a little tweaking I think it could actually be really good. As for this season, Zach, Phillip, Qis and Chris were cute, Lacey and Mariel could really sing, and there were a few numbers that actually featured some inspired choreography. But all in all, I just didn't become invested in these groups -- while all of the individuals were talented, none, to me, were real superstars. Luckily, we've got a great season of Idol about to kick into gear, Dancing with the Stars starting in a few weeks, and So You Think You Can Dance and Step It Up & Dance right around the corner, so, really, as a two month diversion, Dance War could have been much worst.

In the end, it turns out the "recording contract" that's been promised all season is for the whole group (I had thought, perhaps, it went to just an individual), and the two groups debuted their singles this evening. I'm not sure the last time a co-ed group of adults singing and dancing like show choir was anywhere near relevant in the contemporary music scene, but good luck to Team Bruno, I'm sure they'll find tons of success (read as much sarcasm into that as you'd like).

The episode was most notable for announcing the new cast of Dancing with the Stars (which you can see by clicking here), which reminds me -- Carrie Ann and Bruno have day jobs. Will they have lost some of their credibility as judges now that they've exposed their own work to the public, and even blubbered on national TV (I'm talkin' to you, Carrie Ann!) It's probably a silly question, considering they didn't have much credibility to begin with, but seeing them take this cheesy show so seriously makes me look at them slighly differently, I must admit. Maybe with Len back sitting in between them everything will seem like Dance War never happened.

Team Bruno's hoping that won't be the case.

DANCE WAR: Inside Contestant Info, Including Zach and 'Dancing with the Stars'' Julianne Hough are Dating!



Big Brother Spoiler: Power of Veto Winners



If you don't want want to know who has won the Power of Veto cermony this week, stop reading now!


Matt and Natalie won the Power of Veto, and elected not to use it. Therefore, Jen/Parker and Ryan/Allison remain on the block, and one of the hometown sweeties will be sent home.

Stay tuned for more...

The Sh*t Hits the Fan on Big Brother: Is Joshuah the New Dick Donato?

Wow -- it took at least a few weeks into Big Brother 8 for the sh*t to really hit the fan, but already in week 2 this season's houseguests are going to the mat!

It appears as though the house has some animosity toward Amanda, and they (especially Joshuah) were not afraid to express it. Chelsia also doesn't seem to have a problem biting her tongue. In fact, the arguing gets so nasty, this video clip is definitely not safe for work.

Did Joshuah really need to use language that nasty? Are there shades of Dick Donato lurking underneath his sunny surface? Will this outburst come back to bite him in the ass, or is the house so vehemntly anti-Amanda that they won't care?

Watch the video below and let me know what you think.