The Sunbaked King

What’s Hot or What’s Not: American Idol, Top 4

Matt Giraud got booted out ahead of Allison Iraheta, which is sad, but not as sad as I thought it would be. Down to the wire with four on the line, and it’s Rock Night! And as another way of providing awesome entertainment (or simply just become “unpredictable”), the producers have provided us with a little twist: duets. Now my EXCEL program is well-prepared for a double-song night, but it didn’t quite expect this one. So what I’ll do is to grade the individuals in each duet separately, as though they had sung the song alone. Their two performances will then be averaged to get the final ranks and percentages.

Enough with the formula stuff. Let’s begin!

Top 4
Rock Night

4 Danny Gokey. Dream On/Renegade. Vocals: 4th/1st + Appeal: 3rd/2nd + Bias: 3rd/3rd = 78.63%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.8.

INDIVIDUAL: O. M. G. That was shocking. Randy, A+? Really?! I give him an F for that valiant effort! That last note was an EPIC FAIL. While some parts of the song worked, most of it didn’t. There are only two words for Danny after that performance: “Dream on.”

DUET WITH KRIS: Well, in opposition to my comments for Kris, Danny sang “worse” than Kris did tonight. He should have brought more of the growl that I missed and saw last week. However, another decent attempt.

3 Allison Iraheta. Cry Baby/Slow LoveVocals: 2nd/4th + Appeal: 4th/4th + Bias: 4th/4th = 82.63%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 6.4.

INDIVIDUAL: It was bit of a bore. And she looked like a rock-and-roll edition of the Troll. A dangerous, feisty, red-haired Troll.

DUET WITH ADAM: They may actually be right about this one: Adam may have given Allison a shot at the final 3.

2 Kris Allen. Come Together/Renegade. Vocals: 2nd/1st + Appeal: 2nd/1st + Bias: 2nd/1st = 87.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.4.

INDIVIDUAL: Kris lacked that “rock” edge in his voice, which is kinda weird given that I saw it in his “Renegade” performance with Danny. “Come Together” is a song that’s been sung so many times in this show, sometimes more than twice in a season, and Kris’s rendition, while vocally proficient and full-sounding, lacked oomph. It’s not his genre.

DUET WITH DANNY: Better vocals compared to Danny, which is both surprising and unsurprising. Surprising because he’s the king of easy listening and heartfelt ballads; unsurprising because he sang with Danny Gokey, who’s nothing but all about being God-sent. In any case, he did well with that performance.

1 Adam Lambert. Whole Lotta Love/Slow Love. Vocals: 1st/1st + Appeal: 1st/2nd+ Bias: 1st/2nd = 90.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.

INDIVIDUAL: What a way to start the show! That was awesome, awesome in supremely metallic italics. I was asking for something more from Adam last week, and he served it to me big time. The shrieking, which was reason for some concern (some in little italics), shone absolutely perfectly tonight. Adam really kicked ass. Rock God? That maybe a stretch, but not so much. I’m not really a fan of rock, and he, all connotations intended, made me a believer.

DUET WITH ALLISON: It just oozes out of him naturally, doesn’t it? Great performance, and a fantastic duet with Allison. They played off each other’s energy, and they sounded great.

adam-lambert-2

This night really played to Adam’s strengths, so it’s no wonder everyone deems him safe. He won’t be going anywhere tonight.

I hope Allison goes home tomorrow.

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol, Top 5

So we’re down to five. And this maybe the best bunch of five we’ve ever had! Let’s see:

Season 1 – Kelly, Justin, Nikki, Tamyra, RJ (Didn’t watch that season, but from what I’ve heard, Tamyra has that big-voiced black diva sound that I do not like; Justin’s a loser, and Nikki should have gone before Tamyra. Plus RJ looks weird. So that’s 1/5.)

Season 2 – Ruben, Clay, Kimberley, Josh, Trenyce (Not a fan of Ruben, Kimberley, Josh, or Trenyce. I don’t think Ruben’s a velvety teddy bear. So that’s 1/5.)

Season 3 – Fantasia, Diana, Jasmine, LaToya, George (Worst season yet ever in the existence of American Idol. HATE. 0/5.)

Season 4 – Carrie, Bo, Vonzell, Anthony, Scott (Carrie’s awesome, Bo’s cool, Anthony’s like, my best friend. Scott is just yakkee. 3/5.)

Season 5 – Taylor, Katharine, Elliott, Chris, Paris (Taylor’s just blah, and during that time, I hated Katharine McPhee with the passion of ten thousand burning suns. You robbed Elliott, you bitch! Hahaha. 3/5.)

Season 6 – Jordin, Blake, Melinda, LaKisha, Chris, Phil [They eliminated Chris and Phil on the same week.] (Again, not a fan of big-voiced black girls, so that cancels out Melinda and LaKisha. Not a fan of Phil Stacey, either, because he’s just smarmy as hell. This season has my favorite contestant of all time, though, but he’s just one soul. So… 2/6.)

Season 7 – Cookie, Archie, Syesha, Jason, Brooke (Hmm… I rooted for Brooke at some point, and when she got eliminated, I started rooting for Syesha. During the season, I was very critical of Archie, and Cookie grated on my nerves on some weeks. Of course, the abomination that is Jason kept on surviving week after week, which just annoyed me to no end. I’ll have to give this one 2/5, though. Only the two Davids really stood a chance.)

And what of Season 8’s Top 5? See comments below.

Top 5
Songs from the Rat Pack

5 Matt Giraud. My Funny Valentine. Vocals: 5th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 4th = 75.00%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 4.4.

Not impressed. It lacked oomph, it lacked charisma, it lacked– Kara was right– emotional connection. It’s like he sat there and just sang. I think Simon’s just justifying the judges’ decision to save Matt two weeks back. I think Matt’s going home tomorrow.

4 Allison Iraheta. Someone to Watch Over MeVocals: 4th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 5th = 78.50%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 6.9.

First time (or is it the second time?) that I liked Allison’s performance. Her flat vocals actually didn’t sound that flat, and if it did, it worked for that sultry jazzy feel that was so popular during the Big Band era. Nice job, Allison. I would still want an all-male final four, though, but that’s as fine a way to leave the show as any.

3 Kris Allen. The Way You Look Tonight. Vocals: 3rd + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 1st = 88.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.5.

It had a soft, fantastic, heartfelt start, and a smooth, easy-to-listen finish. However, I didn’t quite like the part where the tempo quickened, because it reduced the laidback effect somewhat. Furthermore: stay away from falsettos, Kris. It was jarring, and marred an otherwise technically proficient performance. BUT. Still good. Kris is consistent, and dark horse is an understatement.

2 Adam Lambert. Feeling Good. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 2nd + Bias: 2nd = 89.25%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.1.

Another lightshow treatment for Monsieur Adam Lambert. Why does the show love bathing him in light? Hee. OMG = that one note held for eternity. Great performance from Adam, per usual. I’m beginning to want something more from him, though. I’m not sure what. Maybe it’s just me asking more from my favorites.

1 Danny Gokey. Come Rain or Come Shine. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 2nd = 89.75%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.6.

Katherine McPhee sang this in Season 5, and that was one of the few moments I was impressed with her. (Damn that Somewhere Over the Rainbow performance that took Elliott Yamin out of the competition.) So was I impressed with Danny? I wasn’t. At first. I thought this was going to be right up Gokey’s alley, but the beginning of his performance disappointed me. Bland, boring, benign. But something happened in the middle. Something AWESOME. He just went freaking nuts and went all out with the vocals. Wow! Now this is the Danny I heard in the auditions! That raspy voice, that amazing range! WTG, Danny Gokey!

danny_gokey_again

Overall, a great night. I don’t think I’ve ever been this satisfied for all the performances in general before. Even Matt had his moments, and he wasn’t really truly awful. I have to say, though: third time’s probably not the charm for Mr. Giraud.

But to continue the comparison with other seasons: Adam, Kris, Danny, Allison, Matt. 4/5. Guess who’s the odd (wo)man out! Odd woman out… hmmm… that sounds witty…

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 7, Again

The judges used their save on Matt Giraud. My thoughts on the matter: based on that performance, Matt shouldn’t have been saved. Based on his general appeal and talent, however, the judges totally made the right call. I would have wanted to see Matt perform again. (Isn’t it funny that this is the second time Matt’s been saved? Lucky him.)

Top 7, Again
Disco Night

7 Allison Iraheta. Hot Stuff. Vocals: 7th + Appeal: 7th + Bias: 7th = 55.00%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 7.3.

Ouch. It had a promising start, but like all Iraheta performances, the start is where the potential ends. Everything, including her voice, falls flat after.

6 Lil Rounds. I’m Every Woman. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 6th = 66.25%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 6.1.

I missed Lil because I was watching Celebrity Apprentice on my laptop. I guess that’s a relief, given the circumstances. I think I’ve crossed over from hating Lil to pitying her. Simon was right, she looked so sad upon hearing the judges’ comments. I want to pat her back and give her a chocolate cookie, and then send her on her merry way. (I watched the performance on rickey.org to be able to judge.)

5 Anoop Desai. Dim All the Lights. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 5th = 71.25%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 5.6.

Move, Anoop! Move! Not only your body, but your voice! Move it! I like to move it, move it! Haiz, I’m tired. I’m gonna go to bed now.

4 Matt Giraud. Stayin’ AliveVocals: 2nd + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 3rd = 73.25%Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 4.3.

Thank goodness for something that closely resembles my mind’s vision of disco. Unfortunately, that was a messy rendition of the Bee Gees classic. I was all out ready to declare him my number 1, but then everything felt rushed, his vocals suddenly strayed off the rails, and… I was sad. This is turning out to be a confusing, depressing night.

3 Danny Gokey. September. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 3rd = 74.75%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.9.

It was a good effort, but the performance lacked oomph. Disco just isn’t Danny’s thing. However, I have to agree with Kara: Danny is almost always on perfect pitch.

2 Adam Lambert. If I Can’t Have You. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 1st + Bias:1st = 78.25%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.1.

My least liked performance to date. Adam usually does the screechy thing, and at other times, he does the emo thing. This is the first time he combined the two, and it was not that good. Cheers for acknowledging the guy who helped him create the arrangement; jeers for not fulfilling my dream of a wild disco performance from Le Lambert. Again, can someone define disco for me? Isn’t it, by definition, upbeat? Or at least psychedelic? I’m confused.

1 Kris Allen. She Works Hard for the Money. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 2nd = 80.25%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.4.

Nice, controlled performance, but it left me wanting for more. I hope I’m not missing the point, because as much as I love Kris Allen, was that really a disco performance? Isn’t disco supposed to be, you know, lively and dance-y and motion-y? And yet he’s number one. Go figure.

kris_allen

No one gets the green and blue colors tonight. I’m in a foul mood.

Who I want to go home: Lil Rounds and Allison Iraheta
Who’re probably going home: Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 7

Scott. Gone.

Top 7
Songs from the Movies

7 Allison Iraheta. Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 7th + Bias: 7th = 65.00%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 7.3.

Oh. My. God. I hate this song. It’s an overplayed song that’s better left off to suffer in Armageddon. As for Allison’s performance: flat almost all throughout. She had her moments at the beginning, but she suffered from middle to end. *sigh* Okay, time for some further analysis. I can see Kelly Clarkson in Allison. I really do. But Allison feels like Kelly trying to do what she’s doing now eight years ago. She has potential, I don’t doubt that, but she slipped into this “rock” persona too soon.

6 Lil Rounds. The Rose. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 6th = 70.25%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 6.2.

Let’s play a little logic game. Allison is to flat as Lil is to _________. Honestly, I feel a little bit of sympathy for Lil. It’s like she never gets anything right. And she’s tried almost everything! Maybe she should do a Syesha and sex it up a little bit. Do some theatrical singing. Maybe that will shock the judges and make them praise her.

5 Matt Giraud. Have You Ever Loved A Woman. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 3rd = 73.50%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 4.3.

Oh no. What happened? Overall, it was a decent performance, but “decent” doesn’t cut it at this stage of the competition. And when he hit the chorus and the bridge, the vocals just went EVERYWHERE. That was a big, big mess. On a more positive note, however, his Bryan Adams rendition was better than Anoop’s; those rogue notes just turned me off completely. (I guess that wasn’t that much of a positive note, after all.)

4 Anoop Desai. Everything I Do (I Do It For You). Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 3rd74.75%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 5.7.

Anoop, oh Anoop. I don’t know. It was good, yes. But it felt lacking somewhat. I guess Quentin’s right, it should have been sung with more edge. But the nice thing about Anoop is that he picks songs that I like; he sings them with sincere emotion which I feel; and he’s Anoop. If he goes home, I will feel sad. (Jai Ho? No? Why?)

3 Danny Gokey. Endless Love. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 5th = 75.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.8.

My love for Danny is waning. The first time I heard him during the auditions, I was like, “Wow. That’s my bet for American Idol.” But DannyDeadWife got in the way, the know-I’m-safe smirks came after, and most important, the “feel good” songs just kept on piling, one after the other. One more inspirational song, and I’m off the Danny train. Sad. I used to have a ride-all-you-can pass on that thing before.

2 Kris Allen. Falling Slowly. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 2nd = 82.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.7.

Before anything else, Quentin Tarantino is so hyper! Before anything else again, Kris should shave that mustache! Before ending this comment, I think it’s time to praise Kris! Praise.

1 Adam Lambert. Born to be Wild. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 1st = 88.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.2.

ELECTRIC. I AM SCORCHED.

adam_lambert_again

Now that Scott’s gone, all the cannon fodder are gone. Wee! Everyone’s got a chance of surprising us. Furthermore, the judges will have to use their save sooner or later. Only two more performances before Top 5, and if they want to make The Judges’ Save a significant part of the show, they have to use it. If not tomorrow, the week after.

What will Adam do next? 🙂

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 8

Megan caw-cawed her way to oblivion, and all was well with the world… temporarily. However, given that the universe takes as it gives, something positively nasty is going to happen later. Will it end up with Scott safe to sing a part of my life away for another week? Or will it result to an elimination that everyone’s going to cry “Foul!” about?

Top 8
Songs From the Year [They] Were Born

8 Scott MacIntyre. The Search Is Over. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 8th = 53.50%. Peak Position: 8th. Average Ranking: 10.

I was about to say this was good, but why does he always feel the need to explain his choices?!? EYES EYES EYES EYES EYES EYES EYES– wait, there’s a lyric somewhere in that song– “Now I look into your EYES, I can sing forever.” Oh the irony!

7 Allison Iraheta. I Can’t Make You Love Me. Vocals: 5th + Appeal: 8th + Bias: 7th = 61.75%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 7.4.

That song, I love; Allison, I don’t. Can the judges save Kris Allen instead of Allison Iraheta please? (PLEASE.)

6 Anoop Desai. True Colors. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 5th = 68.75%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 6.

It sounded as though he was eating his words. He sang competently, but I loved one other performance more (Always In My Mind).

5 Danny Gokey. Stand By Me. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 3rd = 71.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.8.

I hate renditions that attempt to change the classic originals by mixing in too much embellishments. Case in point, right here. While the end provided something that came close to “unique,” it should have been the entire song, not only the end. This is Danny’s lowest ranking to date. Maybe I’m just grumpy.

4 Kris Allen. All She Wants to Dance. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 2nd + Bias: 2nd = 72.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.8.

It’s a toneless song. It didn’t fit his voice at all. He sang in the mosh pit, and he didn’t rise above the crowd; he seemed consumed by it. This is the first time I felt Kris falter, and, given the DialIdol predictions, I sincerely hope he would not get eliminated. (PLEASE.)

3 Lil Rounds. What’s Love Got to Do With It. Vocals: 3rd + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 6th = 72.75%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 6.2.

She’s no Tina Turner, but this was the best– and most interesting– I’ve heard Lil so far. However, this performance also made me realize that Lil Rounds is never going to have that moment. She’s not cut out for this, and I predict that she WON’T be in the Final 3. To think that she was groomed to be the best female contender earlier on.

2 Matt Giraud. Part-Time Lover. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 3rd = 75.00%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 4.2.

This was AWESOME. Everything– from the vocals to the performance to outfit– screamed “EAT THIS BIATCHES.” I know I compared Matt to Paris last week, but this week I’m going to compare him to Adam Lambert. Like Adam, I am always on my toes, wondering what new facet of himself (or his voice) he’s going to show.

1 Adam Lambert. Mad World. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 1st = 89.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.4.

A standing ovation from Simon. I am speechless.

adam_standing

A standing ovation from Simon. I am still in awe.

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

Yearend Series 2008: These Are A Few of My Favorite Things (I)

I know, I know. It’s past the first quarter of the year already. But there are some things you just cannot NOT do, you know?

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Welcome to the Annual These-Are-A-Few-Of-My-Favorite-Things Awards. For the next two days, I shall regale you with a tribute to all things I loved in the year 2008. For the first day (which is today), we shall take a look into the visual and auditory media that have held my mind and my spirit in such rapture and awe. Without further ado, we begin with…

Favorite Song

The nominees are:

Burnin’ Up, Jonas Brothers
Lucky, Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat
A Little Too Not Over You, David Archuleta
Lovebug, Jonas Brothers
Touch My Hand, David Archuleta
My Hands, David Archuleta
Can I Have This Dance, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Circus, Britney Spears
Crush, David Archuleta
You Can, David Archuleta

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

archuleta cover art from new-music-now.blogspot.com

You Can
David Archuleta

I don’t think it’s fair to have four of David’s songs in my top 10 and not make him bring home the bacon, do you? Archie surpassed the second placer (who, incidentally, was still him) by a small margin. Sorry, Britney, try again next year.

Show me that good things come to those who wait.


Favorite Movie

The nominees are:

Cloverfield, directed by JJ Abrams
Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr.
The Happening, Mark Wahlberg, directed by M. Night Shymalan
Wanted, Angelina Jolie
Mamma Mia, Meryl Streep
The Dark Knight, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger
Wall-E, Pixar Animation Studios
Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller and a star-studded cast
High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens
Pineapple Express, Seth Rogen, James Franco

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

the_dark_knight

The Dark Knight
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

The brilliant performance of Heath Ledger, the complex ethical and moral undertones surrounding the film, and pretty much the general kickass awesomeness of The Dark Knight put it way ahead of its competitors. I’ve watched a total of 31 films in 2008, give or take 3, and nothing expresses the “wow” factor more than this dark film of twisted heroism.

Why so serious? 🙂


Favorite TV Series, Reality

The nominees are:

The Amazing Race, Season 13: Nick and Starr win
American Idol, Season 7: David Cook wins
America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10: Whitney wins
America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 11: McKey wins
Hell’s Kitchen, Season 4: Christina wins
Top Chef, Season 4: Stephanie wins
Top Chef, Season 5: Hosea wins

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

whitney_antm

America’s Next Top Model
Cycle 10

Among all the shows listed above, I only got ANTM Cycle 10 right. I picked Whitney from the very start, cheered her on even as she got in the bottom two so many times, dismissed rumors of fixing, and laughed as Tyra got her plus-sized model wish. If David Archuleta won American Idol… the award would have went somewhere else. (And really, I still do think The Amazing Race is the best reality TV show of all time.)

Tyra: Let’s not use “plus-sized,” let’s use “full-figured.”
Paulina: Let’s just call it “beautiful.”


Favorite TV Series, Drama/Comedy

The nominees are:

Well… I don’t think there’s any contest last year.
The Favorite Thing Award goes to:

gossip_girl

Gossip Girl
Season 2

OMG you guys I can’t believe, like, I missed out on this!!1!! I mean, fine, missing the first season was sooooo L to the ame, but who cares, I’m back in!!! Loving Blair and Chuck and Serena and Eric and Lily and bleching Vanessa, and the entire Humphreys (really, who likes them anyways). Squeeek! Gossip Girl, include me in the email blast!!!1!!

You know you love me…


Favorite TV Series, Local

The nominees are:

Iisa Pa Lamang, ABS-CBN 2
Lipgloss, ABC 5
Pinoy Dream Academy, Season 2, ABS-CBN 2

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

iisa_pa_lamang_characters_again

Iisa Pa Lamang

One word: Isadora. With a villainess like that, who needs Claudine Barreto? I could watch an entire show with only Isadora plotting. The next best thing about the show are the dialogues. It’s as if the show decided at some point to stop pretending like it was a serious soap and embraced the innate campiness of Filipino soap operas. It utilized the usual soap opera conversation repertoire and cranked it up a thousand notches. Without such a show, you wouldn’t hear this:

Scarlet: Hanggang sa pool ba naman, sinusuot mo pa rin yang diamond necklace mo?
Katherine: Of course! Diamonds are forever… just like me.

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That’s the first part. The next part deals with my favorite lifestyle treats.

The Annual Favorite Things Awards shall continue… after the break.

Filed under: Cinema, Geekery, The Couch Potato, TV, Yearend

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 9

Michael Sarver, that nice oil drill guy from Jasper, Texas, got sent home. It might be justice to a lot of people, but not to me. Michael Sarver over Scott “3-Mice” MacI– I even forgot his name, I’ll try to remember it later on. Really? Anyway, enough blabbering about the past, past is past and present is present, and present says we’re down to 9. Will Adam blow everyone out of the water again? Will Danny continue his sad descent into obscuredom, while Kris continues his rise to superstardom? Is Scott ever going to wear shades?

Top 9
iTunes Top Downloads Night

9 Scott MacIntyre. Just the Way You Are. Vocals: 8th + Appeal: 9th + Bias: 9th = 42.00%. Peak Position: 9th. Average Ranking: 10.5.

Yuck. Absolute bullshit from the judges. And: EYES.

8 Megan Joy Corkrey. Turn Your Lights Down Low. Vocals: 9th + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 5th = 57.50%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 8.25.

Don’t know what to make of it, dawg. There was the bleating part, like she was a sheep in pain, but there was a bit of sultriness to it. Maybe she was channeling a sultry sheep in pain. Hmmm… that was perhaps the point? Objectivity aside, I’m liking Megan more and more each week. Sad her. Megan should not go before Scott, NO NO NO NO WAY!

7 Lil Rounds. Surrender. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 8th + Bias: 7th = 62.25%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 7.

I really, really, REALLY wished she sang Beyonce. If she did, this would have sustained my interest after the first line that she sang. SNOOZE.

6 Allison Iraheta. Don’t Speak. Vocals: 5th + Appeal: 6th + Bias: 8th = 66.00%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 7.5.

It almost worked… almost. But then the lights went on, the guitar was left to the side, and the performance became a piss-poor imitation of No Doubt‘s version. BOO! And two things not related to the performance: 1) she looks like one of those popular toy Trolls (TM A Friend Of Mine Who I’m Forgetting Right Now, Sorry); 2) she said she grew up listening to this song– but I was 12 when this became popular, which means she was… compute, compute… 4 when this became a hit. EPIC FAIL! n00B. (Or maybe I misinterpreted and I’m the n00b.)

5 Anoop Desai. Caught Up. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 4th = 70.75%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 6.

That was some shitty arrangement. I don’t know if it was totally Anoop’s fault that his performance bombed. The background beat was, like, WTF? Poor Anoop-dog. If this was recorded in a studio, this would have FLOWN, dawg!

4 Matt Giraud. You Found Me. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 5th = 73.25%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 4.75.

Is it weird to say that Matt Giraud reminds me of Paris Bennett in Season 5? I bet you don’t even remember her. She was this little black girl that had the ability to change her voice in so many ways– a chameleon, in other words. Matt’s like that. Justin Timberlake one week, Jason Mraz the next, The Fray during another. I actually liked it.

3 Kris Allen. Ain’t No Sunshine. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 2nd = 84.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.5.

This was a tough decision. My Top Three are very, very clear, and perhaps my number one is slightly ahead of the other two in some ways. But between Adam and Kris? Muy dificil. But with a margin of of 25 basis points, I have to give this one to Adam. Kris tried to create a moment, but I don’t think it reached that far. But it was very, very good, and it gives me hope that the Final Two are not as clear-cut as I once thought it was.

2 Adam Lambert. Play That Funky Music. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 2nd + Bias: 1st = 84.75%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.75.

It was no Tracks of My Tears, but Adam did his THANG DUDEPARECHONG. And Adam doing his thing is always a good thing. I’m also feeling the hair brushup or whatever that thing’s called. Dude has a pretty face and must not hide it behind layers of emo hair. Play that funky music, white boy! Play that funky music!

1 Danny Gokey. What Hurts The Most. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 2nd = 86.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.25.

Wow. Those were superb vocals– clear and piercing and powerful. I thought Danny was totally in his element tonight. I felt goosebumps run over me– it’s been some time since I got that feeling from my original American Idol bet. The performance was not enough to dethrone Adam Lambert, but I finally see the contender in Danny. Again.

danny_gokey_poses

It’s good to see Danny return to some fantastic form, and hurray for Kris for being consistently good. Boo to Allison for failing, and boo to Scott for trying to be contemporary. Clothes do not make the American Idol, unless you’re wearing shades. Scott go home!

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

100 Words

heaven + ground + storm + archuleta + happening + rejection + pasok + flapjacks + forgotten + incredible + california + hermit + games + good + journey + taipan + cows + single + knight + kaban + sunday + boob + four + wall + aisle + august + tomb + chris + iphone + entry + history + sassy + wall-e + birthday + way + breakfast + clone + sumosam + study + darkness + competition + poem + jacques + death + coffee + eavesdropping + contented + corollary + catch + atenista + eagle + embers + other + recovery + melancholia + retreat + one + sidebar + thunder + q + hush + coat + waltz + letters + exam + know + family + musical + incomprehensible + leche + minutes + comeback + comeback + universe + blast + joke + brothers + yearend + series + 2008 + 2009 + goodbye + forgotten + sing + united + nations + avenue + honeymoon + american + hopeless + rest + idol + night + honors + honesty + hot + half-empty + hee + hope + 100 =

100 posts in 100 words.

I’ve gone a long way, and there’s no sign of stopping.

I will never tire of writing.

Filed under: ...And Others, Being Blue, Bibliomania, Cinema, Domesticated, Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Gadgetry, Gastronomy, Geekery, Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Rat Race, Sunshine, Testimonial, The Couch Potato, Them, TV, Untamed, Utter Joy, Utter Sadness, Vanity, Yearend

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 10

Last week, Alexis got booted out to the shock of those who knew Scott MacIntyre should have gone home. Which is probably just me. But anyway, “fixed top four” rumors can no longer be true, which is probably a relief. Let’s get it on!

Top 10
Motown Night

10 Scott MacIntyre. You Can’t Hurry Love. Vocals: 10th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 10th = 43.50%. Peak Position: 10th. Average Ranking: 11.

Eyes.

9 Megan Joy Corkrey. For Once In My Life. Vocals: 9th + Appeal: 10th + Bias: 4th = 61.50%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 8.33.

Oh, Megan Joy Corkrey. Last week was a fluke, after all. But I don’t hate you as much now. While we’re on good terms, I think this is the best time for us to part ways. (And I have to say, barring the tattoo, you are really pretty.)

8 Anoop Desai. Ooh Baby Baby. Vocals: 8th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 5th = 66.75%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 6.33.

When I first read that Anoop would be singing Ooh Baby Baby, the first thought that entered my head: OOH! BRITNEY! Imagine my disappointment. It just fueled my dislike of Motown night more. (Sneaky little thing dangling that song title in my mind…) As for Anoop? I think he would have kept me awake if he sang Britney’s song. It was ONE BIG BORE.

7 Lil Rounds. Heatwave. Vocals: 7th + Appeal: 8th + Bias: 8th = 68.75%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 7.

In Season 2, Kimberly Locke sang this during the Top 12 performances, and she hit the seal. She didn’t get eliminated, but instead went all the way to Top 3, where she was beaten by Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. But that night was a wake-up call for her; I don’t think she hit bottom 2 any time after that. I think that the same thing might happen with Lil. Interesting thing: for the first time in this entire season, I found myself invested a little– A LITTLE– in her.

6 Michael Sarver. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 9th + Bias: 6th = 69.75%. Peak Position: 6th. Average Ranking: 6.33.

Is it just me, or is Michael Sarver getting younger? Even his voice in his interviews sounds like he’s in teens. Maybe it’s just me. In any case, I thought his vocals were really strong, but he just lacked the presence and the power to back it up. I guess it’s getting obvious that I find Michael endearing; I wouldn’t be sad if he left, but that’s one hell of a sincere guy.

5 Matt Giraud. Let’s Get It On. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 5th + Bias: 6th = 73.75%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 5.

Maybe I’m just sleepy, but I’ll try to do this objectively: great shifts in pitch, the falsetto is something that he can pull off successfully, and he has pipes that rank at the upper half of the bunch. Whew. Now let my sleepy self talk: Motown songs are a bore, and I’m faulting Matt for not making it more interesting.

4 Allison Iraheta. Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 9th = 74.25%. Peak Position: 4th. Average Ranking: 8.

Perhaps her best performance to date. But after Adam’s performance, everyone else is in deep shit.

3 Danny Gokey. Get Ready. Vocals: 3rd + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 3rd = 80.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.67.

After Adam’s performance, nothing can be better. Not even Danny.

2 Kris Allen. How Sweet It Is. Vocals: 2nd + Appeal: 2nd + Bias: 2nd = 83.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.33.

Ever since Oz sang this in the original American Pie movie, I have fallen in love with the song’s cutesy melody and beat. The song’s simplicity is its gift; there’s nothing you can do to screw it up. Kris didn’t screw it up–in fact he delivered– but in some small insignificant irrelevant way, I thought that the song choice wasn’t really that challenging to begin with. It’s like Kris knew it was a cutesy song, and for him to sing it– all the fans would swoon.

1 Adam Lambert. Tracks of My Tears. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 1st = 90.50%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 3.

That was perfection. No Egyptian rhythms, no weirdness, just plain old good singing. And from Adam, a moment of tenderness. Love. There is only love. And there is no doubt now who I want to win this entire thing. I’m sure Adam the rocker diva will emerge again next week, but this performance will always serve as a reminder that he once sang beautifully– without makeup, without nail polish, without facade– and that he can do so again.

adam_lambert

Picture taken from americanidol.com.

Adam, FTW! Scott, for the boot!

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV

What’s Hot and What’s Not: American Idol Top 11

You know the drill: 50% Vocals, 30% Appeal/Marketability, 20% Kerwin Bias. To recap last week’s performances: Danny kicked ass, Adam stirred people’s souls, and Alexis was a dirty little Diana. Remember those names, because you’re going to see them earlier in this list than usual.

Top 11
The Grand Ol’ Opry Night

11 Scott MacIntyre. Wild Angels. Vocals: 10th + Appeal: 11th + Bias: 11th = 50.00%. Peak Position: 11th. Average Ranking: 11.5.

Give him Stevie Wonder glasses, please! For the love of God, if he’s gonna stay long, give him Randy Santiago shades! It will make me like him more, promise! Randy Travis, what’s not quite right is his EYES! AND!!! Paula made sense! Simon is wrong! Stop making me write exclamation points! I am going to hell!

10 Allison Iraheta. Blame it on Your Heart. Vocals: 11th + Appeal: 9th + Bias: 9th = 61.50%. Peak Position: 10th. Average Ranking: 10.

I really don’t hate Allison. But there’s just something in her voice that I dislike. (Amazingly, this “something” in her voice is precisely the reason why people like her.) Maybe she’s just not my cup of tea. Her voice sounds flat at times, and I agree when Simon said it was a bit toneless.

9 Lil Rounds. Independence Day. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 9th + Bias: 10th = 70.50%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 7.

Country wasn’t made for everyone. While Lil’s vocals were good, they lacked that spark. Maybe because she held back on her R&B style? I would hate boxing her into that category, but whatever. I’m not really that invested into her, anyway. And the long back-and-forth between the judges? Tiresome and not at all enlightening. This space is full of BLAH, MEH, and *shoulder shrugs*.

8 Alexis Grace. Jolene. Vocals: 7th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 6th = 70.75%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 5.5.

My like for Alexis cannot compensate for this so-so performance. I’m thinking I liked it better when Brooke White sang it last year, and I didn’t even like it all that much then. And what’s with the dirt comments? I hope Christina Aguilera week comes around and she picks “DIRRRTY.” I would love to see her wearing those big red gloves.

7 Michael Sarver. Ain’t Going Down Til the Sun Comes Up. Vocals: 7th + Appeal: 7th + Bias: 3rd = 71.00%. Peak Position: 6th. Average Ranking: 6.5.

His voice really suited the song, and he must have worked quite a country twang in that performance. It was fun and enjoyable to listen to. Another side of me thinks, however, that it took effort to sing those words, and it showed. There was a slight struggle there.

6 Adam Lambert. Ring of Fire. Vocals: 9th + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 8th = 71.75%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 4.

I feel harassed, molested, and kicked in the head for good measure. I don’t feel good. I should file a lawsuit.

5 Megan Joy Corkrey. Walking After Midnight. Vocals: 6th + Appeal: 7th + Bias: 7th = 72.00%. Peak Position: 5th. Average Ranking: 8.

Hmmm. Interesting.

4 Danny Gokey. Jesus Take the Wheel. Vocals: 4th + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 4th = 75.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.5.

Isn’t it one of the cardinal rules of American Idol NOT to sing the hits of an alumnus? And an especially spectacular one like Jesus Take the Wheel? He took it right out of the park when he reached the chorus, but even then, I kept on wondering how he could take on someone like Carrie Underwood. I mean, Carrie, really? Man, my favorites are depressing me tonight. Thank goodness for Kris Allen.

3 Matt Giraud. So Small. Vocals: 3rd + Appeal: 4th + Bias: 4th = 76.25%. Peak Position: 3rd. Average Ranking: 5.

I take back what I said about the cardinal rules of singing in American Idol (see Gokey, Danny). It can be done. Matt did it with enough competence, and did the song justice. I wish he’d go far. This guy’s versatility is something to look forward to week after week.

2 Anoop Desai. Always on My Mind. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 3rd + Bias: 2nd = 82.50%. Peak Position: 2nd. Average Ranking: 5.5.

Wow. Second set of goosebumps for the night. His song choice was perfect, his vocals were spot-on, his delivery was flawless, and his control was just impeccable. That was spectacular. I love his personality, I love him taking all the praises in, and I love that he said “impetus” during his interview. Definitely the best I’ve seen from Anoop.

1 Kris Allen. To Make You Feel My Love. Vocals: 1st + Appeal: 1st + Bias: 1st = 85.00%. Peak Position: 1st. Average Ranking: 2.5.

That was amazing in so many levels. From some other contestant, it would have probably bored me, but Kris transformed the song into something quite touching. When he sang the first few notes, I got goosebumps. Pure is right. Tender is right. Beautiful is right. Whoever doubted Kris’s chances in going far can think again. This boy can sing.

ai8_kris_allen

Picture taken from americanidol.com.

Like I said, those were pretty disappointing performances from Danny, Adam, and even Alexis. My second tier bets, however– Anoop, Kris, and Matt– churned out amazingly “vulnerable” vocals, stealing the spotlight from the abovementioned crowned ones. Country is never an easy genre for those who have not grown accustomed to singing it (Lil), but it sure can revive the chances of those who were brought up with it (Megan).

So who’ll be out? I dearly hope it’ll be Scott’s turn tomorrow.

Filed under: The Couch Potato, TV