Tag Archives: Reality TV

American Idol Season 7: And the Winner Is…

I went into last night expecting to be disappointed, not because I felt Archie had more fans than David Cook, but also because season 7 of American Idol has been so crappy that it would have been poetic to have it end in tragedy too.

But alas, it did not. In fact, they really made me look foolish by giving us several gifts.

Let’s review: first, David Cook’s fun “Sharp Dressed Man” with ZZ Top. The performance itself wasn’t so great, but it was fun, which was nice. Also, good to see that ZZ Top is still alive and that Sharp Dressed Man is still a good song, and that American Idol didn’t remove all of the instrumental bits.

Then came a real gem, the second “gave me chills” moment of the season, when Brooke White delivered a gorgeous rendition of “Teach Your Children” with Graham Nash. Nash was humble and restrained, White was on-key, confident, and natural. The entire ballad was not only beautiful, but also well captured. The mix favored the harmony over the melody by just a little, just enough to highlight Brooke – after all, it was her performance – but not overdo it. All in all, it was a home run, and it was so easy to enjoy a connection with Brooke’s entirely sincere happiness at having just performed with Graham Nash.

In case anyone forgot, the best part of the night – by far, in my book – was the fantastic Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Robert Downey Jr. skit as backup singers to Gladys Knight. Jack Black can be a comic genius at times, and his overplayed backup singer was classic, especially when he went off-stage to tend to Downey and return with his pants down – inexplicably. Also, his facial expressions were key to delivery. Well done producers, well done.

Now, as you might know if you’ve read my blog, I am not a David Archuleta fan. I find him to be a singer without a niche, lacking finesse; he has the instrument, but doesn’t know how to control it. He can’t sing a melody without peppering it with runs and vocal tricks. His music is lite FM adult contemporary blandness. His interviews tank consistently as he can’t form a sentence beyond the general “It feels so cool” boringness. And his eyes scare me more than a little. There’s just no substance there to like. My opinion only. This is what bothered me so much: the judges, especially worthless Randy Jackson, with the only exception being Simon once in a while, were unable to offer a single bit of criticism on his last 5 performances. The gave him a free pass most of the season, even when he flubbed lyrics.

So imagine my surprise when during the finale, he came out and capably sang OneRepublic’s beautiful “Too Late to Apologize.” I take that back, it wasn’t just capably, it was flat out great. It was actually better and more controlled than the lead singer from OneRepublic himself! It was really a good note to end on, no pun intended.

And then came the last few moments, when the more deserving David Cook was crowned Idol and began crying. The touching “This is your fault!” he yelled at his brother.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this was still the worst season of Idol, but David Cook may be my favorite Idol yet – the only one whose record I might actually consider listening to. So I have to say, it ends on a high note, and despite my threats, I’ll probably be watching next January.

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American Idol: Worst Season Ever

Must the judges continue to lick David Archuleta’s balls after every single song this “Aw shucks!” nerd delivers? His silky smooth voice hasn’t found its niche, except perhaps as a second rate Michael Buble/Josh Groban. Archie never met a run he didn’t like, I can’t remember the last time I heard the dude sing a melody. Is he so “cute” and non-sexually threatening that no one dares critique his completely boring adult contemporary ballads lest he not become a marketing machine to pander to 14 year old girls? Yuck.

The reason I think this season stinks is because through the entire season, I have only had one “gave me chills” performance: David Cook’s take on Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello.” Everything else pales in comparison.

Usually, there are songs that make me shut up and songs that can give me pause as I think “this is awesome.” There were several great moments – I loved Carly’s “Crazy On You,” and I really dug Jason Castro’s “Hallelujah.” Many will rally for some of Chikeze’s performance during Beatles week, but for me, I can count the “Wow, cool!” moments on one hand, and the “gave me chills” moments number just one. And while Syesha gets better and Cook solidifies his fan base, tweenage girls everyone should prepare to be let down by AI7 Idol winner David Archuletta’s utterly dismal first album.

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Damn, Dustin Diamond is a Douche

Somehow, I’m embarassed to admit, I got sucked into watching VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club this weekend. Normally, I find the show to be an uninteresting train wreck. Over Christmas break, a few of us were sitting around in front of the TV and I caught several episodes in a row where Dustin Diamond, the guy who played Screech on Saved By the Bell, mouthed off to the drill seargant and got himself the title of “bad boy.” To make a long story short, he became a pain the ass by continuing to eat cheeseburgers and generally annoy everyone throughout the “season.” He also made a very loud and obnovious point to pimp his sex tape – yes, seriously – at every opportunity.

Fast forward to this weekend, when they are airing “Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp.” In some weird twist, they have “brought back” some previous contestants (read: cheap Omarosa-style publicity stunt) to revisit the Fit Club. Now, unlike a show like The Biggest Loser, where contestants work out, eat healthy, live on set, and lose up to 12 to 15 lbs or more each week, these celebutards are given fluff goals like 1 or 2 lbs to lose each week, and they routinely fail because it’s a joke: they show up for a day or two each week, they eat whatever the hell they want, regularly talking about how they fell short, and admit to working out a day or two each week. It’s not a “fit club,” it’s a few attention-starved chunky idiots who can’t stick to a diet.

Anyway, leave it to worthless Dustin Diamond to start his princess behavior again. After carrying on, he let the “drill seargant” get to him when he quit…again. He quit one challenge before it started. He quit another when he claimed to be “out of lung capacity.” Then he skimped on a third the WWE “Divas” hosted. He claims they pushed him too hard and then, when the drill seargant said he wanted the WWE Divas to kick his butt, he suggested he couldn’t be a party to an illegal threat of violence.

But the part that kills me is how Diamond is suggesting that he’s being targetted because he’s Jewish and not because he’s en effing pansy. He’s a whiny, arrogant, big fat baby and he acts like a spoiled child who needs to be shipped off to military school. Every insult – for which these shows are known! – prompts a phone call to his lawyer or to his “manager” (aka his wife). It has nothing to do with being Jewish, Dustin, it has to do with being a grade A douche bag.

Dustin Diamond is effing worthless. He, much like the previously mentioned Omarosa, should never be allowed on TV again. Reality TV may be the crack of programming, but there are some people who are best left completely ignored. Dustin Diamond is one of them.

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American Idol: The Most Talented Season Ever

I’ve been sick for over a week now. A nasty bug has been going around my office, and last Friday I started developing a fever. I slept for 3 straight days. A week plus later, I’m still with fever and now bronchitis and pharyngitis and I’m on antibiotics and narcotic cough syrup, my chest and arms are sore from coughing so much, I’m a wreck. Yesterday I stayed home, and one of the habits I have is turning on the TV and then sleeping with it playing in the background.

It just so happens that I have the American Idol season 5 final still on my DVR. So, since mid-day TV generally stinks, I put that on. For those who can’t place it, season 5 included Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee, Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Lisa Tucker, Ace Young, Mandisa, among others. Let me tell you: these kids could sing. They put this year’s crop to shame with their tight harmonies. When the women did their medley, I was seriously impressed. In retrospect, even guys who weren’t even front runners still had some serious pipes.

I also decided that despite the fact that I railed on Katherine McPhee recently, she really should have won season 5. She was – or rather, is – an outstanding vocalist. She truly outsings everyone in season 7, including the very entertaining David Cook, powerhouse Carly, and even the “can’t-do-no-wrong-but-ever-so-awkward-lip-licking” David “Archie” Archuletta. The power and grace she displayed in the finale (and what I recall her displaying the rest of her season — but then, those memories are a few years old) are really of professional quality.

Take a look at the American Idol website and peruse the past seasons. I think it’s a safe bet that season 5 included the most talented singers. Obviously, we’ll never know what kind of musicians many were, since until this season, one wasn’t allowed to use instruments. I also think it’s safe to say that without the use of instruments, people like Brooke White and Jason Castro might have been voted off the island weeks ago, since they both have displayed a propsensity for massive awkwardness without an instrumental crutch.

In reviewing the seasons for the “most talented season ever,” I also think it would be neat to have an American Idol “all star” bracket. If I were to compile a list, my top 12 might include Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolittle, Trenyce, David Cook, Kelly Clarkson, Anwar Robinson, Carrie Underwood, Paris Bennett, Elliot Yamin, Bo Bice, and Clay Aiken; I think it would be hard to leave Clay Aiken out, despite my general reaction to him – measles, a dry heave – you can’t deny his killer voice.

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Video Vault June 15, 2007

I’ve been watching this show “America’s Got Talent, which is the stateside version of “Britain’s Got Talent,” which spawned this cute little entertainer, Connie, who sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow and this guy, who sings opera.

“Cocky” seems to be the prevailing “cool” attitude these days, but while most find it a merely a turn-off, some will regret their cockiness forever, like this idiot bicyclist.

Every heard of this band “The Wrong Trousers?” Here’s their gem cover of Video Killed the Radio Star and a short concert that includes a great Flaming Lips cover.

Two dudes play the theme to Beverly Hills 90210 on the same guitar, which is kinda cool.

And lastly, the vanishing doorway, which is a fantastic prank.

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