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Offline CeeeJay

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Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« on: March 01, 2007, 07:19:10 AM »
I'm going to start publishing the stories daily from Idiot box...there are many many prior...but i'll do it from this point forward!!

published march 1, 2007

Hunt is on for source of Idol contestant photos

SKIN PICTURES: The Antonella Barba story is the gift that keeps on giving for Idol this season, providing the necessary buzz during the mid-season lull before the competition gets heated, and it looks like it’ll keep delivering, at least for the foreseeable future. Idol’s producers have stated that they’re not going to give the 20-year-old college student the bounce from the show, not for the merely tawdry party pix and private snaps that emerged last week, nor the much more explicit sex photos that hit the net last Friday, and which it’s universally agreed are likely fakes.

“You know what, whoever sold those is despicable,” said judge Simon Cowell at a Playboy Mansion party Tuesday night, when cornered by Access Hollywood reporter Laura Saltman and shown some of the photos. “I really mean that. It's despicable. That is private property. Out of order. Honestly. It's repulsive."

The hunt is on for the source of the photos, with one suspect being Barba’s ex-boyfriend, a Catholic University lacrosse player who was given a calendar featuring the cheesecake lingerie and wet t-shirt shots by Barba as a gift. Another suspect is best friend Amanda Collucio, who auditioned for Idol with Barba. At the Playboy party, former Idol contestant Bo Bice even weighed in on the personal cost of Idol to Saltman: “You learn who your friends are. Your friend base becomes a lot closer so you do, you got to watch your back.”

Of course, where one person might see tragedy, another sees opportunity – “She really looks sexy here,” said Playboy founder Hugh Hefner when shown the photos, who was then asked whether he’d approach Barba to pose for the magazine when she exits Idol. “Very real possibility,” he said. “Yes, absolutely.”

Extra was also all over the story, revealing that a poll they’d taken showed that 67 per cent of their readers thought the photos would hurt Barba’s chance of winning Idol. Actually, there are a few more likely obstacles in the way of Barba’s Idol win – their names are Stephanie Edwards, Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones. In somewhat related news, Tuesday night’s Idol gave a big boost to Fox’s new show, What You Watching, Dumbass? ... I mean, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? The Jeff Foxworthy-hosted show pulled in 26.6 million viewers, the best series premiere in Fox network history according to Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel.



published march 1, 2007

Boys are back, Idol’s women hold their own
Melinda catches judges’ praise and audience applause


American Idol Top 10 finalist Lakisha Jones.


This week’s Idol script is that the men have come back, and that the women need to prove themselves after, well, proving themselves last week.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this isn’t the Brothers Karamazov.

Gina Glocksen is the first up, and she disappoints Simon, who thought she would be edgier. Randy disagrees — for some reason, he seems to think that a Heart cover is edgy.

Alaina Alexander turns in a pallid version of the latest Dixie Chicks single that (rather too easily) turns Natalie Maines’ defiant declaration of principles into yet another self-esteem anthem.

Lakisha Jones follows with a Gladys Knight hit that should have left the room like a Soyuz missile; her first note resonates like a storm in a forest, but what follows sounds hobbled. She can afford to coast — there’s a target rich environment to be taken out before she has to worry — but one suspects that Idol’s scriptwriters have her set up for a trial by hubris.

Melinda Doolittle steps into Lakisha’s slipstream with a simmering performance of My Funny Valentine; Randy and Paula yap approvingly, and Simon calls it incredible, which prompts a gale of applause from the audience, proof withholding worthless praise makes your good opinion mean more.

Antonella Barba, the focus of most of Idol’s press in the last week, chooses a Celine Dion song and presses it as flat as last year’s prom corsage.

After a brief flurry of accusations at the judges’ table about who voted Jennifer Hudson off Idol, Simon points out that it was the voters who did the deed, and that nothing he says will probably have any effect on tonight’s vote if, for some perverse reason, voters decide to keep Barba on the show.

If Lakisha — or the audience — ends up following the Idol script that would see her choke, Stephanie Edwards is her only other real competition besides Melinda.

The less said about the rest of the contestants the better — the last half hour of the show would have been more profitably spent sorting the paper clip jar on my desk.

 
 

 
 
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Offline CeeeJay

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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 07:31:42 AM »
published march 2, 2007

Extreme elimination
Touching moment delivered by Idol’s lifeless hands
 

I dread the opening musical number on Idol’s elimination night.

Last night’s show kicked off with the remaining 20 contestants belting out Three Dog Night’s Joy To The World, with a pleading eagerness that counts bad breath and sleeplessness among its side effects.

The song was overplayed when I was still trying to outrun bullies after school in my earth shoes, so the only way to survive it is to scrutinize the faces of the singers for some pained sign that they’re suppressing a grimace.

The contestants are singled out for judgment and possible elimination; the men go first, and Ryan Seacrest tries to tease some drama from the ritual by asking Jared Cotter — far too good looking to head home so early, let’s be honest — to walk down to the podium, but he stays and a moment later Seacrest offhandedly cuts the very unremarkable Nicholas Pedro.

Seacrest breezes past Stephanie Edwards, Sabrina Sloan and Melinda Doolittle before giving Alaina Alexander the bad — but hardly surprising — news. She’s far from shocked, but struggles through a verse of the Dixie Chicks before the backup singers take over for the chorus and the remaining girls bury her in a group hug.

Theoretically, this is supposed to be touching, but Idol’s dead hand delivers it like a tax bill.

Season five Idol finalist Kelly Pickler, fresh from a serious Nashville makeover, shows that being unremarkable isn’t a hindrance after you exit Idol. Sanjaya Malakar and AJ Tabaldo are singled out for elimination next, but — as predicted here; just send money — Sanjaya’s charm keeps him in the game. Lakisha Jones barely stands long enough to hear that she’s safe, and Seacrest teases out the news that Antonella Barba is staying before giving Leslie Hunt the bad news, and she fixes the camera with a pitiable, unblinking stare as the judges try to pave over the moment with platitudes.

RICK McGinnis/Metro Toronto
 
 


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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 10:43:10 AM »
Idol’s men are limp
By RICK McGINNIS
Metro Toronto Wednesday March 7 2007
While I was frantically trying to make the deadline after last Thursday’s American Idol, I apparently missed a little “moment” while Leslie
Hunt sang her swansong as the credits rolled.
Right at the bitter end of her Idol tenure, Hunt ad-libbed that “Why did I decide to scat?”, then “Americans don’t care for jazz” — apparently accusing Idol’s voters of poor musical taste.
Scatting is ill-advised at the best of times, and America probably doesn’t care much for jazz these days, but it’s not like Leslie’s bellowy version of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, with her boomy, uncertain lower register was going to revive the Jazz Age single-handedly. Watching the moment on YouTube a few days later, she just looked petulant and graceless. But I digress.
Blake Lewis kicked off last night’s Idol with 311’s All Mixed Up, and neither Randy nor Paula recognize the song. Simon commends him for his song choice, saying that “this part of the competition can become very karaoke” — a curious criticism in a show that’s little more than the most hypertrophied karaoke competition ever.
Sanjaya does John Mayer’s Waiting On The World To Change — a rare political moment on Idol, though he fails to impress the judges.
Sundance Head covers Jeremy by Pearl Jam; Simon says he felt like Sundance was shouting the song at him, which is an irrelevant criticism of a Pearl Jam song — what would Simon have said if Sundance got really wild, and sang a song about
school shootings as a ballad.
It would have been original, at the very least, but despite all protests otherwise, Idol isn’t at all about originality.
Handsome Jared Cotter shifts into Idol safe mode, covers Stevie Wonder, and gets told that he’s running on the fumes of his apparent popularity.
The rest of the show gets more unmemorable — limpid versions of dreary song choices — until Chris Sligh manages to look like he thought about really trying, but a week before the final 12, there isn’t a single guy in the running who looks like a threat to the best three women.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 10:42:48 AM »
LaKisha sings while the inevitable inches closer
By RICK McGINNIS
Metro Toronto - Thursday March 8 2007
Less than a minute into last night’s Idol, we were informed by host Ryan Seacrest that judge Paula Abdul was missing.
The credits rolled and Paula was back, but not before fellow judge Randy Jackson made a joke that implied that she was orally
servicing him; obviously, this Idol was going to be a bit more entertaining than the night before.
Jordin Sparks launched into Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker, a manic, flailing performance that was still more animated than anything
the men had done, which can only force one to reflect on the mystery of Idol, where 31 million people will voluntarily tune in to something that so very poorly entertains them.
Sabrina Sloan, who we will doubtless still be seeing a month from now, sings some anthemic bit of self-help balladry, the sort of overwrought inspirational ditty that Whitney Houston made famous, marrying the narcissistic with the erotic — and look how it turned out for her.
Antonella Barba follows, and introduces her very forgettable performance with a secret that all the contestants have been asked to reveal before they perform.
After a week of revealing photos, some topless, Antonella doesn’t have a lot of secrets anymore, so she tells us about the violin
lessons she’s been taking since she was a child.
There’s a grainy video shot of a pretty little girl in a pouffy red dress playing her fiddle; it’s the sort of thing that a parent finds heartbreaking, being forced to imagine their own child’s innocence being burnt away over a decade and a half, displaced by an eagerness to appeal to some smirking dude who can’t wait to copy the photos into an e-mail to his friends and hit “send.”
The rest of the show can be summed up duly: Stephanie Edwards uses her considerable amount of voice to do nothing particularly
original, though it sounds great.
LaKisha Jones sings, the judges genuflect, the inevitable inches ever closer.
Melinda Doolittle blithely tells us about her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, then reminds us that she’s LaKisha’s only real competition.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2007, 07:26:18 AM »
Idol turns into celebrity telethon
By RICK MCGINNIS
Metro Toronto - Friday March 9, 2007

After last night’s American Idol kicked off with the finalists singing Steelers Wheel’s Stuck In The Middle Of You, I begin to steel myself for what now seems inevitable: Toto night, the very special Starland Vocal Band episode, and the spectacle of LaKisha Jones
struggling with 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. I have a pair of chopsticks and a hammer ready under glass, ready to spike my eardrums with — just in case.

Elimination kicks off with LaKisha and Blake Lewis being called to centre stage to be told they’re safe — might as well get that over with. Chris Sligh comes next, gets to wait for the commercial break, and gets told that he’s safe. I’m thinking, Ryan Seacrest: Master of Suspense. Jordin Sparks and Phil Stacey get passed on before Jared Cotter gets sent home.

Next up are the professional backup singers, Melinda Doolittle and Brandon Rogers, who get into the top 12, as do Gina Clocksen and Chris Richardson. Idol’s gift to country music, and the show’s salient success story is the night’s musical guest; she performs the
sort of featureless modern C&W pop ditty that reminds why I love Tammy Wynette and Merle Haggard so much.

Antonella Barba and Stephanie Edwards get called up next, and Antonella seems to know what’s coming. Ryan tells her that  she’s “grown up a lot” on Idol, which is a strange way of saying “you’ve had your private life violated, and had to endure the mockery of millions, but at least you’ve got a shot at Playboy. Good luck with that.”

Before the night ends, though, Ryan announces Idol’s big news — the transformation of two Idol episodes midway through the top 12 into an all-star celebrity telethon to combat poverty in Africa and the U.S. It’s a grand, commendable gesture, but one can’t help but wonder why it took six seasons for the show to do something like this with its considerable clout. Sabrina Sloan and Sundance Head are the last to go; the judges are flabbergasted, and Randy basically calls bulls**t on America’s vote.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 07:25:49 AM »
Idol audiences getting older
AGING IDOL: The ominous idea that American Idol’s audience is aging got a new burst of speed with a story in the Philadelphia Enquirer this weekend on an episode of The New Adventures Of Old Christine where Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her mommy friends obsess over Idol. For Enquirer TV columnist David Hiltbrand, it wasn’t just that last week’s Idol featured guest coaches who haven’t had hits since Petticoat Junction was on the air, but that the CBS sitcom — which Hiltbrand calls “TV’s ultimate  mommy show,” featuring characters that he calls “late boomer” — made Idol both a part of the plot and a character point.
“That’s a deadly cultural marker for the Fox singing contest,” writes Hiltbrand, “the equivalent of looking up to see vultures circling.
It’s the ultimate confirmation that the kids have moved on and the adults have taken over.  Now if only they could figure out how to text-message in their votes!”
In his column in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, TV columnist Alan Sepinwall takes issue with the theory that we have Howard Stern
and the votefortheworst.com website to blame for the persistence of Sanjaya on the show. The website, whose express mission is
to mess with Idol by stuffing its digital ballot boxes, has been taking a lot of credit for Sanjaya’s safe status despite his wildly  inadequate performances, but Sepinwall isn’t having any of it.
“Remember,” he writes,“only three weeks ago, the  Web site was backing Antonella and Sundance, and did either of them make it
to the finals? No. They didn’t have enough juice to get Sundance past Sanjaya, and they didn’t have enough to get Antonella
past Stephanie or Haley...”
“Sanjaya is still around for the same reason Kevin Covais made it two weeks into the finals last year, for the same reason John
Stevens outlasted Jennifer Hudson in season three (pre-VFTW): He’s a nonthreatening teenage boy whom young girls and older women (by far the two biggest voting blocs the show has) find cute. No more, no less.”
And, I’d hasten to add, he’s here because guys with big record collections and snarky young people whose favorite bands include
The Arcade Fire don’t watch Idol — or don’t admit to it — and certainly don’t vote. The young girls have been there from the
beginning, but as I’ve said over and over, the tipping point for the older women — the “Old Christine” demographic — was probably
Taylor Hicks’ win last year. Idol’s producers can either ignore this demographic shift, or cater to it knowing that these women have
more money than teenage girls.
So on next year’s Idol I say we can expect more commercials for menopause relief, musical guests like Neil Diamond and Christopher Cross, and the altogether depressing spectacle of young people singing songs from albums that were hits before they were born, like Carole King’s Tapestry, the Eagles’ Hotel California, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, a cultural fetish as boomer ubiquitous as copies of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 08:18:24 PM »
Interesting comments CeeJay!  Thanks for posting.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 06:58:24 AM »

published march 28, 2007

Gwen Stefani quite useless Tells two Idols she can’t help them
 
Introducing last night's Gwen Stefani episode of Idol, host Ryan Seacrest explained to the audience that the remaining ten Idol contestants are allowed to perform songs that influenced Stefani and her band No Doubt, which is good, because the next two hours would be hell if we had to listen to versions of Hollaback Girl and Don't Speak all night.

Stefani tells the camera that the bands she loves aren't known for their "big singing and amazing voice," which is a nice thing to let us know, and utterly at odds with the Idol ethos. She also looks like she's had her nose done, but that's got nothing to do with anything - I'm just saying, is all.

Coaching LaKisha on a Donna Summer's Last Dance, she says that "I should be asking her for advice," which is flattering - and true. What LaKisha doesn't have is Stefani's abundant personality, which has little to do with singing ability, though it might ultimately be the cause of the downfall we've all begun to anticipate.

Chris Sligh does Everything She Does Is Magic, pulls off a decent enough Sting impression, and does little to lift the evening out of its hyperkaraoke rut. Gina Glocksen is contestant closest to Stefani in terms of image and vocal ability, and she chooses to do I'll Stand By You, a latter day Pretenders ballad that's a long way from Kid or Brass In Pocket. It's clear that the Pretenders have influenced Stefani, but so have The Smiths, and this was like choosing a tune from a Morrissey solo album instead of How Soon Is Now. It was also dull.

Sanjaya is the first contestant to actually take on a song Stefani actually sang, which he sings in a sort of topknot fauxhawk that'll be all over the internet today. His actual performance is immaterial, as we all know by now, and while I'm at it I think I'll just skip over Haley Scarnato as well.

There's more Police with Phil Stacey, and more big tent karaoke, and more Donna Summer from Melinda Doolittle, whom Stefani also admits that she had nothing to teach. It was a very predictable Idol less than halfway through, right down to Melinda's performance which was up to its usual high standards.

Blake does The Cure and spares us the beatbox, which is the best thing he's done so far. Simon calls him the "frontrunning guy," which is, in case you aren't English, called damning with faint praise. Jordin Sparks does the first No Doubt song of the night; she was only 11 when it came out, which would explain why she sings it with an easy familiarity no other performer could probably manage.

Chris Richardson closes the night with Don't Speak, undersells the chorus big time, and underlines why a decent voice doesn't always sell a song that, like much of the music Stefani says influenced her, doesn't have much life beyond its original performance.

 
 
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 06:59:36 AM »
published march 29, 2007

Fat and funny shot down

The obligatory joke about Sanjaya’s hair was dispensed with on the top of last night’s American Idol results episode, as Ryan Seacrest walked out on the stage wearing a wig modeled after the pony mane fauxhawk that generated the most buzz after Tuesday night’s tepid performance show.

Before the night’s drama, there’s the weekly Ford commercial, featuring the final 10 in cowboy drag singing the Bobby Fuller Four’s I Fought The Law.

It’s the most insipid Ford spot so far, compared with the swaggering original, never mind the Clash cover. Swagger isn’t something we’re seeing much of in this season of Idol.

Commercial break over, Seacrest goes through the semifinalists to net the final three; Phil Stacey is the first one called, Hayley Scarnato is the second, and Sanjaya is safe for another week, which either validates some gnomic strategy, chalks up another pyrrhic victory for votefortheworst.com, or testifies to the text-messaging skills of soccer moms.

Gwen Stefani performs one of her utterly forgettable solo numbers, which features a lot of cute but dreary choreography, a small but sturdy chorus repeated incessantly, and chants of “oh” and “ah” that are supposed to fill in the bits in the middle.

A fellow named Akon runs around the stage a lot in the role of what the industry calls “street.”

Chris Sligh joins Phil and Hayley in the center of the stage, but Ryan gives Phil a reprieve and sends him back to join the rest of the pack.

Simon predicts that “it’s bye-bye Curly” tonight, and he’s right, proving that fat and funny goes about as far in Idol as it does getting dates in college.

He exits singing and telling Phil Stacey that “you owe me 50 bucks.”
 
 
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 10:38:31 AM »
LOL on Phil and owing him money. Phil just KNEW he was safe and he had such a smug look on his face. OOPS.. you are in the bottom 3!

BTW, We need a Fauxhawk smiley face!!! Please Rob find us one!
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 12:04:32 PM »
tex did u see the comparision from Philip from south park and Phil ?? lol i posted it yesterday in the mess of top 10 or wahtever that topic was.

i don't like phil anymore!! i don' tlike his voice he sounds like kermit the frog or something lol
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 07:06:46 AM »
American Idol’s Sanjaya survives because he’s fun - Tuesday April 3/07

ALL SANJAYA, ALL THE TIME: There are other singers competing on American Idol this season, though it seems so very long ago now that we were talking about LaKisha Jones’ virtual lock on the prize, especially now that we’ve entered the Sanjaya era. One day we’ll all look back and laugh about this I’m sure – and if we haven’t, it’ll be because it has really been an alien plot, and we’re toiling in the guano mines for our sentient pigeon masters under huge murals of a porcelain-toothed, pony-maned Sanjaya.

According to Tom O’Neil on a Los Angeles Times entertainment blog, Sanjaya is a master showman of camp, playing on the same forthright but largely ignored strain of enthusiastic bad taste that gave careers to Liberace and Tiny Tim. He’s really just Taylor Hicks with better hair – a middling talent at best, but an enthusiastic performer delivering the goods to an audience that could care less about “song choice” or vocal chops.

“Sanjaya,” O’Neil wrote, “is exactly what "American Idol" deserves. Early on in the TV season producers played up the worst acts as a way to pump ratings. Now it's their own fault that one deliciously, hilariously lousy act survived and is drumming up legions of fans the same way that camp rockers like Ozzy Osbourne fill football stadiums - because they know how to ENTERTAIN.”

The rest of the contestants are exhausted and running on fumes, but Sanjaya is thriving, according to an L.A. Times blog devoted to Idol insider news. (If case you thought Metro was devoting a lot or resources to Idol, the L.A. Times should probably rename itself the L.A. Idol.) Joanna Weiss, TV critic for the Boston Globe, thinks Sanjaya is a master player, galvanizing a disparate fan base using everything from charm to appeals to pity, while the perverse element behind movements like votefortheworst.com tip the balance, and individuals like Brian Brickley of Burlington, Calif., who says he’s voted for Sanjaya about 300 times to amuse himself and make his fiancée mad.

“Sanjaya is bringing out all the people who would love to see the show a) brought down a peg or b) destroyed,” writes Ken Barnes on USA Today’s Idol Chatter blog. “They're the folks who would love to see Sanjaya win so the show takes a huge credibility hit and hordes of viewers decide never to watch again. They'd love to see it become a laughing stock. They'd love to see Simon squirm over his pledge to quit if Sanjaya wins. They're the kind of people who are sick of Idol striding over the contemporary TV landscape like a Zilla and would love for it to suffer a crippling blow.”

In the meantime, a woman who calls herself J has called off her hunger strike after 16 days for medical reasons, after pledging to starve herself to protest Sanjaya’s reign of terror, and none other than Little Richard told Access Hollywood’s blogger Laura Saltman that he loves Sanjaya but won’t see him win since “they will call American Idol a joke.” As for me, I’d be blissfully ignoring all of this if I wasn’t being paid to spend many, many waking hours contemplating it all; if anyone deserves pity right now it’s me.
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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 12:20:33 PM »
published april 4, 2007

Bennett saving some Idol face
....But then he tells Sanjaya he’s a personal fan
 

Tony Bennett's stint as celebrity coach on last night's Idol felt like deja vu, as Bennett did his time in the same role on Canadian Idol last year. As Ryan Seacrest announces him with a career montage, I realize that I'll be deprived of some of my bile for this show; I actually like Bennett quite a bit - he's not the instrument he once was, but he still knows more about delivering a song than the sum of every charting Billboard artist working today. I can only hope Sanjaya does something particularly gruesome.

The first singer up is Blake Lewis, who tells us that he's doing Mack The Knife. Tony - am I just projecting when I hear a note of condescension? - tells him that the song is "pre-rap, Mack the Knife being a very sharp gangsta." He worries that Blake won't be able to deliver the meaning of the song. Blake actually doesn't have a bad voice for this sort of thing - there's a bit of Mel Torme in his tone, and he has fun with it, and spares us the beatbox once again, which means he's taken the warning about embodying a gimmick to heart.

Phil Stacey does Night And Day with a bit of Torme tone and a lot of Sinatra phrasing; if nothing else, the show's vocal coaches are giving the male singers decent records to listen to while rehearsing. This doesn't mean he does a good job, but at least the next 60 minutes will be endurable.

Melinda Doolittle comes on next, blows I've Got Rhythm all over the ceiling, gets a standing ovation from the crowd, and an avalanche of praise from the judges, except for Simon, who says - as if filling a weekly quota - that the first half was "a bit cabaret." Whenever he says that, I keep thinking he means it reminded him of Joel Grey in whiteface and Nazis.

Chris Richardson's Don't Get Around Much Anymore is cruise ship Ellington, with a pumped-up backbeat and a showy finale. The judges call it "hip," which is only true if you've forgotten - or never knew - just how hip Duke Ellington actually was. Jordin Sparks does On A Clear Day You Can See Forever; she's sweet, and a bit underwhelming, but I'm starting to believe that she's going to win this, and that makes me sad.

Gina Glocksen's version of Smile makes me sad, too - it's a lovely song, and perfectly in its simplicity, but between Gina and the arrangement, there's far too much going on. And then I think I must have had an acid flashback, because I think Tony Bennett told Sanjaya that he was a big fan. I kept replaying it over and over with my TiVo, but there it was, again and again. Kids: Stay in school; don't do drugs.

He's dreadful, as usual, but rocks the hair and dances with Paula at the judges' table while sweetly slaughtering Cheek To Cheek. God help us, but he'll probably survive tonight's vote, and I feel even sadder.

As far as I can tell, Tony tells Haley Scarnato not to sing Ain't Misbehavin' like she's a total slut. Her performance is about on the level of Renee Zellweger in Chicago, which is just about what we deserve these days, but she'll make it easier for Sanjaya to stick around another week. LaKisha's Stormy Weather starts out shaky but gets big fast, and I know in some dark place of my heart that every mistake she makes will only make it easier for Idol's voters to eventually vote her off in pursuit of something well to the south of excellence.
 
 
~Honesty Is The Best Policy, But Insanity Is A Better Defense~
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Offline CeeeJay

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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 07:16:53 AM »
published april 12, 2007

First Idol elimination

After the usual throat-clearing small talk about the previous night’s competition, this week’s elimination episode of American Idol began with a mournful group singalong to Enrique Iglesias’ Bailamos.

It’s the first hour-long elimination episode, though the fact that a long segment is devoted to Ryan Seacrest doing street interviews about the contestants suggest that the producers are struggling to fill the hour.

After an entirely unnecessary musical number by Akon, this week’s Ford music video/commercial is unveiled — the remaining 8 sitting in a boxy auto lip-synching to Happy Together while their faces morph together — a digital gimmick that was once groundbreaking, but can obviously be knocked together by an intern with an old Powerbook nowadays.

The unlikely comic highlight of the night comes during a sequence devoted to Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell’s trip to Africa, where some

schoolgirls inform Cowell that he has man boobs (or “mannaries,” which is the scientific term, I believe.)

We’re halfway through the show before the elimination actually begins.

Phil Stacey isn’t safe, but LaKisha, Jordin, Blake and Melinda are. Haley Scarnato isn’t, and neither is Chris Richardson.

Sanjaya — as confidently predicted in these pages yesterday — lives to agitate the country’s cultural nervous system another week. Seacrest tosses Chris back to the finalists, leaving Phil and Haley to dangle while Jennifer Lopez does her guest spot.

Lopez hits the stage in so much dry ice fog that I’m certain she’s doing a song from Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans, and I start scanning the stage for keyboardist Rick Wakeman in his trademark cape.

Alas, it’s merely a number from her new album, which she sings while dancers dressed like death squad paramilitaries dance menacingly behind her, an ominous prelude for Haley Scarnato’s exit from the show.
 

 
~Honesty Is The Best Policy, But Insanity Is A Better Defense~
~Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Don't Have Film~

Offline CeeeJay

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Re: Metro News - Toronto - Idiot Box Rick McGinnis
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 06:39:01 AM »
Published April 18, 2007

It’s country night on Idol
Least distinctive singers get a chance to shine before the finals
 
It’s country night on Idol, with celebrity coach Martina McBride. Country has been well-served by Idol — as much as R&B or whatever euphemistic update of MOR is represented by Taylor Hicks and Clay Aiken. At this point, though, one is forced to point out that we’re talking about New Country, and not the very different music made famous by Hank Williams Jr. and Tammy Wynette. It’s a world as far away now as the Internet is from cave paintings.

Phil Stacey is up first — I’m still unable to refer to anyone (but Sanjaya, and that hurts) by their first name; it’s a measure of how Sanjaya has managed to stand out, which says everything telling about Idol. Phil has exactly the right sort of voice for new country — keening, a bit playful, and almost entirely twang-free.

Jordin Sparks does a McBride song, pulls it off as credibly as Phil, and judge Simon Cowell openly suggests the possibility that she could win. Sanjaya chooses Bonnie Raitt’s Something To Talk About; it sums him up better than, say, All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin’

Over Tonight. He’s weak-voiced and occasionally off-tempo, but I’ll eat my Kinky Friedman t-shirt if he’s voted off tonight.

“I know this has been funny for awhile,” says Simon, before insisting that he’s gone far enough and must stop now. LaKisha is next, and chooses a Carrie Underwood song that’s a long dusty road away from her comfort zone. Chris Richardson, on the other hand, sounds “nondescript, nasally and tinny” in Simon’s words; Chris defends his nasal tone as suitable to the material, and he’s right — you’ll hear singing like this any time of day on CMT.

Melinda Doolittle sells Julie Reeves’ Trouble Is A Woman like a feed salesman at a country fair, and makes it possible to imagine that she might be the last singer standing. Blake Lewis closes the show with a Tim McGraw tune and the least identifiably country — old or New — vocal of the night; it might as well have been a cover of an obscure OMD b-side. Blake and Melinda are the exceptions that prove the rule that country has allowed the least distinctive singers on the show a chance to shine at least once before the finals.
 
 
~Honesty Is The Best Policy, But Insanity Is A Better Defense~
~Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Don't Have Film~

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