Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AMERICAN IDOL Poll: Which of the Top 5 was your favorite? Who's going home?

Dancing with the Stars RESULTS: Derek Hough and Shannon Elizabeth Eliminated

I didn't like her from the start. There, I said it.

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough were eliminated tonight from a "dramatic" episode of Dancing with the Stars that saw Christian de la Fuente saved by a medical miracle (or something like that), as well as the viewer votes. While I'll miss cutie Derek, Shannon never grew on me, and I'm much happier that Marissa Jaret Winoker has another week to dance (who would have thought she would make it to the Top 5?)

As for the rest of the "dramatic" results show -- blah blah, filler, blah.

Peace out Shannon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Carly's Gone From Idol -- It Just Ain't Right

I'm still in mourning.

Until I can compose myself, I will quote Ann Powers from the Los Angeles Times:

"I have to stand up for the woman who showed the most passion, the strongest need to sing, of any contestant this season. I’ll confess, now that it doesn’t matter any more, that the very qualities others hate in Carly make her admirable to me.

Carly understands psychic darkness. She shows her humanity, but never apologizes for it. She has a sexual side. She loves to rock and to push her voice to the limit. Her ruling emotion is fury, not bashfulness. Carly Smithson is not a princess. She is a queen. I hope the pop world still allows her some corner in which to rule."

More to come.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol Elimination Prediction: The Girls Are in Trouble!

Well, that was sure....interesting.

The Top 6 sang their hearts out to the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, now it's time to figure out...who's going home?!?

Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
David Archuleta, David Cook

Even though I personally found David Cook's performance borderline tedious (and this is coming from the guy who can't stop listening to Cook's "Little Sparrow," "Be My Baby," and "Billie Jean" on repeat), I have no doubt Season 7's rocker will be safe this week. Ditto David Archuleta -- though he wasn't in any danger anyways, his reconfiguring of Phantom's "Think of Me" was, especially for little Archie, pretty damn inspired.

Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Jason Castro

Even though 60% of his rendition of "Memory" was pretty painful, I thought he salvaged it in the last moments of the song. Regardless, the fact that the judges gave him such a drubbing means his fans will come out in full force, and should buy him at least another week in the competition.

Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson, Brooke White

Yes, I think it's the ladies who are going to be in trouble this week, despite the fact that Carly and Syesha gave two of the best performances. Carly wailed her heart out on "Jesus Christ Superstar," sounded great, and actually looked like she was having fun -- but will it be enough? And why won't they give her the last performance slot, for goodness sake? Though David Cook is clearly my favorite, Carly has so become the underdog I'm pulling for (think Kimberley Locke or Elliott Yamin).

Syesha was actually more likable than ever last night, and choosing a sassy song that allowed her to show off some personality was pretty brilliant. Is it too little, too late? And will the fact that she led off the show in the dreaded first performance slot do her in?

And then there's Brooke. Oh, Brooke. In seven years of watching this show, I have never seen someone stop their song and start over. Never. I mean, if Camille Velasco can get up there and be professional, Brooke has no excuse. Having said that, her performance wasn't god-awful, and she's bound to pick up some sympathy votes for just being fragile. Will they carry her through another week?


Elimination Prediction

Bottom 3: Brooke White, Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson

At this point in the competition, giving your best performance can actually be to your detriment (see Kristy Lee Cook last week), so I've gotta go with...

Eliminated: Syesha

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

POLL: Which of the Top 6 was your favorite? Who's going home? Vote now!

Which of the Top 6 Was the Best? Who's Going Home?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Song Spoilers for Andrew Lloyd Weber Week on American Idol

Spoilers for tonight's show:

Syesha -- "One Rock & Roll Too Many" (Starlight Express)
David Cook -- "Music of the Night" (Phantom of the Opera)
Carly Smithson -- "Jesus Christ Superstar" (JCS)
Brooke White -- "You Must Love Me" (film adaptation of Evita)
Jason Castro -- "Memory"(Cats)
David Archuleta -- "Think of Me" (Phantom of the Opera)



Video: Kelly Clarkson Performing "Ave Maria" for the Pope

Kelly Clarkson can sing anything. Anything!

Here's a video of her singing "Ave Maria" for the Pope this past weekend. Amazing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AMERICAN IDOL POLL: Which of the Top 7 Gave the Best Performance? Who's Going Home?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nigel Talks About Tonight's American Idol Elimination -- Is Michael Johns in Trouble?

According to an interview American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe gave on Sirius radio, tonight's results might "surprise quite a few people." He cited Constantine Maroulis' ouster as a reminder that it is important that the singers do well each week, and that someone at the front of the pack could be gone in a moment.

Of course, he did not mention any names, but my gut is telling me he's referring to Michael Johns. I predicted that Michael would be in the Bottom 3, but based on what Nigel has said, could he be the one getting the boot?

What do you think?

Video of So You Think You Can Dance Dancers on Idol Gives Back

Here is video of the kids from So You Think You Can Dance performing on last night's Idol Gives Back. They killed it!

From what I can tell (they're moving so fast!), the dancers are Season 1's Nick, Melodie, Jamile and Ashlee; Season 2's Benji, Travis, Dmitry, Donyelle; and Season 3's Lacey, Danny, Pasha, Cedric, Dominic, Hok and Lauren.

Burning question: where was Season 2's Heidi and Season 3's champ Sabra?? Discuss!

American Idol Top 8 Elimination Prediction: Michael, Syesha and Carly in the Danger Zone

I've ranked the contestants, we've (hopefully) donated lots of money to charity, now it's time to get down to the real business at hand...figuring out who is going home on American Idol!

Here goes...

Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
David Archuleta, Jason Castro

Little Archuleta continues his reign over the Green Zone, delivering a solid "Angels" that ensures that he's not going anywhere, while Jason scored huge points with a restrained "Over the Rainbow" which should allow him to glide through to the Top 7.

Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
David Cook, Brooke White

After weeks of spectacular performances, Tuesday's blunder for David Cook should appear as just a blip, but as we know on Idol, one bad performance could mean an unceremonious boot-ing. Still, I think he's got enough goodwill loaded up to make it through to next week. Brooke's uninspiring, though pleasant, take on "You've Got a Friend" could mean she is danger, but I think she'll be saved by two things: the fact that she performed last, and the fact that she was in the Bottom 3 last week. I'd be surprised if she makes a return appearance.

Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Syesha Mercado, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook

First of all, Syesha -- what were you thinking? Terrible, terrible, terrible song choice -- cliched and a bit insulting. And talking back to the judges? Not such a great plan. Kristy Lee gave her best performance of the competition, but now she's in danger of her fans thinking she's safe. Michael Johns could have the same problem -- an unspectacular "Dream On," coupled with performing first, means he could slip through the cracks. As for my girl Carly -- step it up! She's definitely in more danger than she's been in all season, and her angry rendition of "Show Must Go On" might mean that the show will go on -- just without her.


Elimination Prediction

Bottom 3: Michael Johns, Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson

Eliminated: Syesha

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Step It Up and Dance -- April 10 Preview

For those of you, like myself, already obsessed with Bravo's Step It Up and Dance, here is a preview of tomorrow night's episode. Enjoy!

Ranking the American Idol Top 8: Archuleta Returns to the Top, Johns and White Hug the Bottom

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For a night that featured "inspirational songs," last night's American Idol wasn't particularly inspiring.

Something funny happened, though -- several frontrunners stumbled, and a couple of has-beens stepped up their games. Will it matter when it comes time to figuring out who will be eliminated? Perhaps not. But when I take a look at my rankings for the week, I can't help but be surprised. David Cook plummeting to #6? Jason Castro at #2? What's going on here?

Let's dig in are my rankings from last night's show:

1. David Archuleta
You just had to know that little Archie was looking forward to singing a "message" song -- he's done it practically every week since the show started! He made a wise choice with Robbie Williams' "Angel," and got to show himself off to excellent effect. This kind of song is his bread-and-butter, and he nailed it.

2. Jason Castro
The dreadlocked one has a range that is about 2 inches wide, but when he finds a song that fits inside of it, he's golden. This version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was perfect for Jason, and he appeared relaxed and sounded (relatively) great. Those familiar with the arrangement he did know that it was pretty much a carbon copy, but I'm guessing he gave a David Cook-esque jolt to those who had not previously heard this particular version.

3. Syesha Mercado
Okay, first things first -- this is the absolute worst song choice she could have made, and it will very likely put her in danger of being eliminated. I mean, do not sing a song sung by a former winner (as the coronation song, no less), and do not sing a song that LaKisha Jones got lambasted for attempting during Idol Gives Back week last year. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Having said that, I do have to give Syesha some props -- she sang the hell out of the song (even if it did pale in comparison to Fantasia), sounding better than she has all season. Still -- terrible, terrible, terrible song choice.

4. Kristy Lee Cook
I can't believe Kristy is still alive in the competition (and neither can Kristy!), but if she keeps nailing country tunes like Martina McBride's "Anyways," she may be around for a while longer. This is a tough song to sing -- Martina doesn't always sound great wailing it -- and Kristy pulled it off with aplomb. She's still boring as hell, but there's no doubt the girl has found her niche and is stepping it up.

5. Carly Smithson
Oh, Carly. This is a great song -- Paris Bennett tore it up back in Season 5 -- and Carly, as always, hit the notes with panache, but why doesn't she look like she's having more fun? Relax girl! Simon is right -- she came off angry, which didn't fit the tone of the evening. If she doesn't start picking songs that she (and the viewers) can really relate to, she's gonna go way before she should, which would be a true shame.

6. David Cook
After weeks of topping my rankings, David took a major stumble this week, choosing an obscure song and not sounding very good singing it. And as much as it kills me, I'm gonna have to agree with Simon that the performance came off a bit arrogant. He's got tons of goodwill loaded up from his previous triumphs, however, so he shouldn't be in too much danger of elimination.

7. Brooke White
This was a genius song choice from Brooke, and evoking Carole King in her 60's-esque dress was a smart move. The problem is, when she's not sitting behind the piano, the absolute average-ness of her voice comes shining through. She was fine last night, but as I said to my companion, if you had never seen her perform before and this is what she brought to the table, it'd be hard to get what all the fuss is about.

8. Michael Johns
Definitely not the weakest singer of the night, Michael's problem is that he was the most forgettable. Writing nearly 12 hours after his performance, I can't for the life of me remember what he sang! (Oh yeah, it was Aerosmith's "Dream On" -- cliche!) And what's the deal with the ascots? Um, no. After two strong weeks, the Aussie could be in a bit of trouble.

So, there's my rankings -- thoughts? Make sure to vote in the poll of who was the best and who should go home, and check back later today for my thoughts on who will be eliminated (hint -- it's not the #7 or 8 person on this list).

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

POLL: Which of the American Idol Top 8 Was Your Favorite? Who's Going Home?

Song Spoilers for American Idol's Top 8 -- UPDATED

As I say every time song spoilers are circulating around the internet, take 'em with a grain of salt. Heck, last week Entertainment Weekly posted a list that was completely wrong, so we won't know for sure what the American Idol Top 8 will be singing until tonight's show.

Having said that, here are a few rumors floating around...

David Cook -- "Innocent" by Our Lady Peace
David Archuleta -- "Angels" by Robbie Williams
Jason Castro -- "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version
Syesha Mercado -- "I Believe" by Fantasia (stupid! stupid!)
Brooke White -- "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor (genius! genius!)
Kristy Lee Cook -- "Anyways" by Martina McBride
Carly Smithson -- "The Show Must Go On" by Queen
Michael Johns -- "Dream On" by Aerosmith

more to come...

Monday, April 07, 2008

American Idol's Top 8: The Order They Will Fall

Ok, I'm in a bold mood today, so I'm gonna run with that and make some bold predictions for how American Idol's Top 8 will fall. It's a foolhardy enterprise, since longtime Idol watchers know anything can happen at any moment on this show, but I'm gonna go for it anyways.

Yep, I'm feeling that bold. Here goes...

8th Place: Syesha Mercado
Despite the fact she's a "pretty girl with a good voice," as Dolly Parton said, Syesha has yet to really connect with the audience, evidenced by her multiple appearances in the Bottom 3. The problem lies with her poor song choices and annoying interview clips, and unless she really turns the heat up this week, I'm anticipating an 8th place finish.

7th Place: Kristy Lee Cook
There's only been one week where she hasn't been sent to the Bottom 3 stools, and yet bland Kristy Lee is still alive in the competition. What gives? Apparently a pretty face and a country twang (not to mention a well-time patriotic ditty) go a long way. However, don't expect it to go any further than 7th place.

6th Place: Jason Castro
The dreads have done well by Castro so far, but with Mariah Carey and Andrew Lloyd Weber theme weeks on the horizon, this guy's lack of versatility is definitely going to be tested. There's only so far pretty eyes and a goofy/adorable smile can take you.

5th Place: Brooke White
Brooke's sunny, folksy appeal may be fading, if her Bottom 3 appearance this past week is any indication. She's still got at least a few more weeks of life in her, but her Carly Simon-esque shtick may be getting a bit tired. Still, expect her to be the 2nd highest female finisher.

4th Place: Michael Johns
He's finally turned on the star power these past couple of weeks, but I'm guessing 4th place is the highest the Aussie will go. Like Melinda Doolittle before him, despite definite chops he's almost too mature (and unoriginal) to really thrive in the competition.

3rd Place: Carly Smithson
If Carly could relax and start really connecting with the songs she sings, she would be a serious contender for the title. I mean, her voice is amazing! As is, though, the Irish lass is going to have to settle for, at best, a 3rd place showing.

2nd Place: David Cook
Clearly the most musically inventive contestant of the season, and perhaps the one who possesses the best vocal instrument, David might just be too edgy to take home the title. It shouldn't matter, though -- he's done enough to impress that even a runner-up finish should translate into pop stardom.

1st Place: David Archuleta
Though his frontrunner status has taken some hits in the past several weeks, and David Cook has stolen a lot of his thunder, the teen vote should still catapult little Archie to the winner's circle. I'm slightly less confident that he's going to be a mega-star than I was during the Semifinal rounds, but there's no denying this kid's phenomenal vocal skills and adorable face.

What are your thoughts on this list? Spot on? Way off? Sound off and let me know!

Project Runway Will Move to Lifetime This Fall

Who saw this coming? Not me!

Bravo's Project Runway, the highest rated program on that network, will move to Lifetime this fall. Wowza.

The following is from Variety:

"Lifetime has its designs on "Project Runway." The hit reality skein will hop from Bravo to Lifetime effective this fall.

In a stunning network hop, "Project Runway" producer The Weinstein Co. has signed a five-year deal with Lifetime to move the show - cable's top-rated reality skein - to the femme-centric cabler. Show's sixth season will premiere on Lifetime in November.

The move has prompted Bravo owner NBC to file suit in New York Supreme Court against the Weinstein Co.

"We believe that this lawsuit is without merit," said Weinstein counsel David Boies. "While good for the market for lawyers, it is always unfortunate when parties try to win in court what they have lost in the marketplace.""

What do you think about this news? Will you still watch Runway on Lifetime?

And what does this mean for Bravo's other reality shows (Make Me a Supermodel, Top Chef and my newest obsession, Step It Up and Dance)?

So many questions!

So You Think You Can Dance's Neil Will Join Off-Broadway Cast of Altar Boyz

Neil Haskell live and in person. In a small theater. I am so there.

The So You Think You Can Dance third place finisher will join the Off-Broadway cast of Altar Boyz on April 22. The show, playing at New World Stages, is about a boy-band whose goal is to spread the word of God. Haskell will play the role of Luke, joining current cast members Michael Kadin Craig, Jay Garcia, Ryan J Ratliff and Ryan Strand.

It won't be Neil's first appearance on the New York stage -- he previously appeared in the ill-advised Twyla Tharp/Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changing. I actually saw the show and remember Neil well -- admittedly more for his cute-cute-cute face than for his dancing.

Can he sing? Who cares!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

American Idol Elimination Prediction: Ramiele, Kristy Lee, Carly and Syesha in the Danger Zone

The Top 9 sang their hearts out to the music of Dolly Parton, now it's time to figure out...who's going home?!?

Green Zone - Safe by a mile!
David Archuleta, David Cook, Michael Johns

The three boys spend their second consecutive week in the Green Zone -- all three gave above-average performances (Archuleta was especially impressive in re-finding his groove), and none are in danger of elimination this evening.

Yellow Zone - On Shaky Ground!
Brooke White, Jason Castro

Brooke's blah take on "Jolene" and Jason's slightly more inspired rendition of "Travelin' Thru" stayed close enough to each performer's comfort zone that both should have no problem making it to the Top 8.

Red Zone - Danger, Danger, Danger!
Syesha Mercado, Ramiele Malubay, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook

First of all, Syesha -- what were you thinking? Could she have made a more predictable song choice than "I Will Always Love You"? She may have just written her own exit ticket right there. Carly, once again, sounded great, but, again, something was missing, and I'm afraid it may result in another trip to the Bottom 3 for my Irish gal. Kristy Lee Cook was in her country zone, but sometimes when the audience expects you do well, the votes don't turn up. And what words are there left to describe Ramiele Malubay, aside from boring, uninspired, insipid, karaoke-esque...


Elimination Prediction

Bottom 3: Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Kristy Lee Cook

Eliminated: Ramiele

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SPOILER: American Idol Top 9 Song Choices for Dolly Parton Week

As always, take American Idol song spoilers with a grain of salt, but according to, this is what the Top 9 will be performing tonight:

David Cook: "You Know I Love You"
Kristy Lee Cook: "Two Doors Down"
Michael Johns: "Islands in the Stream"
Carly Smithson: "Jolene"
David Archuleta: "Travelin Thru"
Ramiele Malubay: "9 to 5 "
Brooke White: "Coat of Many Colors"
Syesha Mercado: "Eagle When She Flies"
Jason Castro: "I Will Always Love You"

Should be a fun night!