Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What's next for Rosie?

Well, the news is out: Rosie O'Donnell is not renewing her contract, and will be leaving The View at the end of June. Although she says she'll be back as a "guest host," my guess is she'll only appear on her own terms, when it's advantageous for her; say, when she's got her scrapbooking/craft items being sold on QVC this summer, or when her new book on fame/celebrity is released.

I don't blame Rosie for leaving. It's the right move. She was too big a force for that show, and there are far less-restrictive ways for her to get her message out there and express herself. She's already got a blog with a thriving audience, so even when she leaves TV, she'll still have a public platform.

My guess? She'll join Howard Stern at Sirius satellite radio for a HUGE bundle of cash. She'll have flexible hours and who knows, maybe she'll even set up a studio in her own home and do the show from there. Radio would allow her the luxury of not having to do the whole hair and makeup thing, and she'd be able to state her views without being censored.

Whatever she decides to do, I'm pulling for her. Good luck, Rosie!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mystery of the Dying Honeybees

I'm concerned about the news that honeybees are dying off mysteriously around the United States and Europe. It's so weird: I noticed a dead bee yesterday on my front steps, and another one today out in the garden. When I saw the second one, it made me do a double take, because (and I know this is a little gross) there were no other bugs around it. Usually, when something dies like that, nature takes its course and the bug is fed upon almost immediately by other bugs. Not this time.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tonight's episode of LOST...a clue!

Did you spot the "easter egg" in tonight's episode of LOST?

When Desmond handed his robes back over to the white-haired monk at the monastery, there was a picture on the desk. It was a pic of the monk with a white-haired woman....the SAME woman who worked in the jewelry store where Desmond went to buy Penny an engagement ring in his earlier flashback episode. She was the creepy lady who said, "You're not supposed to buy this ring, Desmond."

Hmmmmm........the plot thickens!

So long, Sanjaya!


I have to say....those folks at really know their stuff. They accurately predicted the Top 3, the Bottom 3, AND that Melinda would be in the middle of the pack. They also had Sanjaya with the lowest number of votes, but I refused to believe it until the skinny kid sang!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

R.I.P. Don Ho

Legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho passed away today, at the age of 76. I was lucky enough to meet him back in 1991, and found him to be gracious and friendly and very kind. I'd always wanted to meet him, ever since he appeared on that episode of the Brady Bunch, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see him perform in person, and get to speak with him one-on-one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bye bye, Stripper girl!

Finally...Haley Scarnato was sent home on the American Idol results show.

Her lack of clothing couldn't cover up for her lack of talent. So long, and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol : Top 8 recap

After all the hype for Latin Music Week (JLo in da house!) you had to know there was no way the show could live up to it all.

Sure enough: tonight's show fell flatter than a tortilla.

Melinda went first, singing "Sway" with all of the oomph and excitement of Applesauce Night at the local Senior Center. Randy and Paula trotted out their usual gushy compliments, but Simon hit the nail on the head when he told MindyDoo he didn't like it, and found it "lazy" and "boring."

Lakisha was up next, and girl needs to fire the stylist who squeezed her into that horrid red and black ruffled number. UGH. She had fun singing "Conga" but I was so distracted by her exposed boobs (looming large front and center while she sang) that I could barely pay attention to her performance. The judges were underwhelmedk too (Randy and Paula said it was "fun", but Simon mused that it probably wasn't nearly as much fun for the folks at home watching).

Chris sang Smooth, and JLo's contribution to his performance was to get him to sing it in a higher key. Didn't help...he still sounded nasally and whiny for most of the song, but hit his stride at the end when he got out from behind the mike and started dancing. Randy said he did a good job, Paula was all hot and bothered (her drooling over Chris is getting a little embarrassing already), and Simon praised him for sounding "more contemporary" than the previous two performers.

Haley came out in yet another hooker-for-hire outfit and butchered "Turn the Beat Around" with her paper thin, breathless vocals. Randy's groan was priceless: "Uhhhhhhhhhh......Gawwwwd....keepin' it was karaoke." Paula agreed it "wasn't a singer's song" and Simon called her out on her transparent tactic of "wearing as little as possible every week because you can't get votes based on your vocals." Ouch! The truth hurts!!

Phil chose Santana's "Oh Maria", and the smartest choice he made tonight was wearing a hat that covered half his face. Way to go, Phil! It was a so-so performance, good but not great, and as Simon pointed out, "There was nothing original about it."

Jordin sang "The Rhythm is Gonna Get You" and did some runs at the end that gave the song her own stamp. Again, Randy and Paula threw out some useless comments (That was hot, you're adorable) and Simon was forced to play the bad guy when he pointed out that there was nothing stunning about the performance--or any of the other performances thus far tonight. Yawwwwn.

Blake, where o' where has the beatbox gone? If ever there was a night to trot it out, this was it, but sadly, he didn't comply. I thought his version of "I Need to Know" was whiny and sharp, and that his clothes looked rumpled and goofy. The judges tripped all over themselves to rave that he made the perfect song choice, and was the best of the night. Was I watching the same performance?

Last but certainly not least, we had Sanjaya, sporting a skeevy goatee and curly locks while staring longingly into the camera. Bleh. He sang a sappy ballad but "wasn't horrible" according to Simon, and I agree.

The entire night was a colossal borefest.

You ARE the father!

It's official...Larry Birkhead has been confirmed as the father of Danilynn, Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter.

Virgie Arthur, Anna's estranged mother, has already declared her intention to fight for joint custody.

Ugh. The circus continues...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

American Idol: Results

Bye bye Gina....I was hoping this was Haley's week to go home, but I wasn't surprised. You alienated your rocker fans last night with that ballad. Bad choice!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

American Idol: Top 9 Performance RECAP

Ryan says we're expecting 9 superlative performances tonight, because the evening's mentor is none other than Tony Bennett! I love Tony B., and respect his work and career, but I'm not sure if even HE has the power to whip this crew into shape.

Blake Lewis: Came out singing a mellow version of Mack the Knife. I like Blake, but his performance reminded me a little too much of John Stephens. He seemed really uncomfortable until the very end.

Randy: That was, uhhhhh, a very good way to start the evening. This is kinda your thing, so I liked it, dude.
Paula: Tonight you personified pizzazz. You're just cool!
Simon: Good choice of song, you performed it well, I'll give you 7 out of 10, the band 8 out of 10.

Phil Stacey: Tony Bennett said Phil is one of the better singers he’s ever High praise, indeed. Phil was in fine voice, and hit some terrific notes!

Randy: So, check it out, dawg...I don’t know man, it just didn’t hit me. It was kinda disconnected for me.
Paula: Here’s the good news: you’re reminiscent of a young Frank Sinatra. I still need you to have more joy and warm those vocals up. I need to have that personality come through.
Simon: I think it had all the joy of someone singing in a funeral parlor.

Melinda Doolittle: She sang the heck out of her song, as usual, but I can’t help it: I just don’t enjoy watching her. If I close my eyes and listen, she sounds great, but visually, she comes across so old.

Randy: You come out here and give everyone a lesson in singing.
Paula: You’re like a master class for everyone else to watch. You were flawless.
Simon: I didn’t like the first half, it was a bit cabaret. I liked the last half, it was great, fun, it had personality.

Chris Richardson: He didn’t have the strongest vocal of the night, but he was the most entertaining so far. The audience was on their feet from the first moment he appeared, and grooved along with him throughout his rendition of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

Randy: What’s really cool about you tonight, you came out there with a vengeance. That was hot! One of your best performances to date.
Paula: You made it so hip and so cool...this was your best performance, bar none.
Simon: I thought that was very good, very believable, and I agree you made it kinda hip. One of the strongest tonight.

Jordin Sparks: She started out a little boring, but kicked it up about 30 seconds in and started to relax and have fun with it. I think she’s every bit as good as Melinda, but far more fun to watch, and with greater commercial appeal.

Randy: We got some heat up here! That was very controlled!! Hot!
Paula: You really are this magnet of joy, you exude when you come onstage, I’m just so frickin’ proud of you!
Simon: Well, “magnet of joy” I think you sang it very well, but you didn’t make the song young and current. It was very traditional.

Gina Glocksen: This could be a tough week for our rocker chick. How will she handle an American standard? She chose, “Smile”, a song that Tony Bennett said holds a lot of emotion for him when he sings it. Unfortunately, Gina’s version lacked drama, even though she sang all the notes well....the performance itself didn’t pack any punch. She also didn’t do anything to put her own stamp on it.

Randy: That was a very nice controlled performance, I actually kinda liked that.
Paula: That was flawless and sentimental.
Simon: I can’t rave about the vocal, sorry Gina, two girls came out before you and completely outsang you.

Sanjaya Malakar:
Tony Bennett said he’s a big fan of Sanjaya’s because he comes out each week and does something different, so he’s interesting to watch. “He dares to be different,” said Tony B. He came out looking like a smarmy lounge singer (slicked back hair plastered to his head) and even took Paula for a little twirl. His voice was whispery and weak in the beginning, but eventually warmed up...he wasn’t ear-splittingly awful, but he’s clearly out of his league.

Randy: I can’t even comment on the vocals anymore, but you’re an entertainer now.
Paula: I get why people love you: you’re charming. I love the suit. Thank you for the dance.
Simon: Uh, let’s try a different tactic this week: “Incredible.”

Haley Scarnato: they showed her waiting in the wings before the commercial break, we got a glimpse of her “barely there” green sequined outfit this week. Gotta hand it to Haley: she’s going to make sure she pulls out all the stops and works the sex appeal angle for all it’s worth. Loved the smackdown she got from Tony Bennett, telling her she was “ruining the story of the song” (Ain’t Misbehavin’) when she tried to sex it up and sing it to multiple people. She promptly ignored his advice, and sang the song like a stripper looking for dollar bills. I didn’t find her performance sexy, so much as trashy. Apparently, the judges agreed, because Randy and Paula didn’t have the guts to give Haley any sort of critique at all this week.

Randy: Uh, I really thought this song style would fit you, but, uh, what do you think Paula?
Paula: Uh, did I mention, green is a good color for you?
Randy: Uh, um, you know, I want to hear what Simon has to say!
Simon: No, that’s rude. Say what you think of the performance!
Paula: Uh, no, we want to hear what YOU have to say.
Simon: I think you’ve got great legs. It should have been a good style of song for you, but I thought it was pagent-y.

LaKisha: The look on Tony Bennett’s face as she was could see he was genuinely enjoying her practice performance. She came out and commanded attention (instead of begging for it, the way Haley had so desperately just moments before). Her voice is the highlight, and the big note at the end was killer! Go LaKisha!!

Randy: LaKisha, check it out, I loved this. That was the bomb, baby!
Paula: This is the most gorgeous you’ve ever looked. You did an amazing job.
Simon: Back on form LaKisha, that was a sassy, great performance.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Dancing with the Stars: Week 3

Shandi and Brian: Trying hard this week to stay out of the "red light' that bathe the bottom two ("It burns!" claimed the beauty queen). She's sooo much larger than her partner, her arms always seem to be in the way. She's certainly beautiful to look at, but she's got an ungainly awkwardness about her that is difficult to get past.

Len: The jive is full of fun, vitality and energy, it's an All-American dance, and it was a great job. (He did mention her arms going all over the place, though)
Bruno: It's all about precision. Great performance, but watch your free arm!
Carrie Ann: I was more impressed this week, you did better, but watch your strength. Build your core.

Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a 21 out of 30

John and Edyta: "All I do is listen to Edyta" strategy, John. She appealed to the actor in him, to give him direction for the tango. His shoulders looked a little hunched, and some of his steps were flat-footed, but he certainly had the "tango snarl" downpat.

Len: you want to see flex knees, sharp staccato got into the character, but you lost your hold a few times. Character was great, technique was not as good.
Carrie Ann: You had a good frame, it was solid, decent, you could have done more with the theatrics.
Bruno: I think it was really mafioso tango, I thought the character was spot on. Technically wasn't perfect, but interpretation--great.

Scores: 7, 6, 7 for a 20 out of 30

Clyde and Elena: They brought in Clyde's mom to demonstrate Zydeco dancing, which didn't appear to have ANYTHING in common with the jive, but it made for a poignant video clip. Poor Clyde...when his bottom half moved, his top half was nearly still, and vice versa.

Carrie Ann: There's something so endearing about you. I know you have more.
Bruno: It was like a jive through a dense fog. We have to see the goods. Where's the beef?
Len: I thought you were really coming along last week, but this week, you've made a Uturn. You never pointed your toes, your arms were dangling a dancer, it didn't happen.

Scores: 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16 out of 30

Laila & Maksim: They tried to build tension and uncertainty showing that Laila had lots of traveling this week....ha! I'm not buying it. This girl is set to win this competition, there's no way she's NOT going to rock out the tango. Her focus and intention when she dances is the best in the competition...why don't they just hand this girl the ugly disco ball trophy and get it over with?

Bruno: You started well, why the long break in the middle? It spoiled it!
Len: Bruno is completely correct, once you take up hold, you don't break it until the end.
Carrie Ann: They're right, you broke the rules, but you're still the most fantastic girl out there.

Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 out of 30 Whoa...they must be getting tons of votes for the judges to give such harsh numbers. They know darn well Layla is safe, so they're trying to create some false drama. America, don't be fooled!

Apolo & Juliane: They're young and there any doubt their jive will be great? They kept the pace quick and lively, although her short platinum wig reminded me a bit too much of a post-meltdown Britney in her rehab pics.

Carrie Ann: It was a little sloppy.
Bruno: You're so much fun, you should be a ride in Disneyland ( wish, Bruno)
Len: You ARE a dancer, and you were really good.

7, 8, 8 for a 23 out of 30...overly generous

Joey & Kym: What was the purpose of having R2D2 there? What does Star Wars have to with the tango?? Doesn't matter, they came out and did a great, campy dance, complete with a glowing green light saber at the end.

Len: It was good! One bit of advice: your bum sticks out a bit!
Carrie Ann: That was a well rehearsed, tight, solid, entertaining performance
Bruno: The Force is still with you! Watch your posture, well done.

Scores: 8,8,8 for a 24 out of 30

Ian & Cheryl: Ewww...Cheryl taunted Ian that he has to "show Bruno what you got"...then to really drive the point home, she took him to a male strip club, to show him how to move his hips for the show. Oh man...someone have some ice water ready for Tonoli. Their performance was energetic and quick, and I don't think enough can be said about Cheryl Burke's considerable talents as a choreographer. She knows EXACTLY what moves to throw in for maximum impact.

Bruno: Always knew you had it, but you finally flaunted it.
Len: You messed up on the last few bars, but a great jive.
Carrie Ann: It was a 9 until the end...the jive is your dance.

Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a 24 out of 30...overly harsh!

Leeza & Tony: "The most challenging part of the tango is the dang frame!" says our perceptive gal Leeza. She says she's driven to do well this week, and will channel her primal feelings out onto the dance floor. Bleh...who can tell what she's feeling behind that black veil and all the Botox? Their dance was boring and the song was insipid, but they DID hold frame. Yawwwwwwn. Not even Gibbons' almost-flash of boob (and her "tramp tattoo") did nothing to generate excitement.

Carrie Ann: You brought it to the floor this week.
Len: It was very well performed.
Bruno: I was right, a touch of the lady of the night never hurt. You're back in business.

Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a 24 out of, I think it was only so-so

Heather & Jonathan: Oh lord, here we go again, marveling at the one-legged wonder. The judges said they're not going to judge her any less harshly than the dancers with two legs, but they're clearly giving her special consideration. The footage of her going in to get a "more bouncy foot" was pretty cool, though.

Bruno: We have to rename you, "The Incredible Heather Mills"!
Carrie Ann: You blew my mind. You make me want to dance.
Len: You've got such great musicality in your dancing. If you can do the jive, you can do any of these dances.

Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a 24 out of 30

Billy Ray & Karina: Ooohh...did you catch the promo before the commercial break? I loved how Karina had big smiles for Billy Ray, but as soon as she thought the camera was off, she made a face, rolled her eyes, and walked off stage with nary a glance at her partner. Hmmm....something tells me the latin bombshell and her country boy aren't exactly getting along in real life. She was all smiles again when the break was over, but we're not buying now! Ha!! Karina took him horseback riding to get him to "channel his inner cowboy." Billy Ray seemed to think he'd stink up the dance floor, and what was up with all that eyeliner he had on?

Oh could see him counting the steps out while he danced (two, three, four).

Carrie Ann: That took balls. That had moments of brilliance.
Len: What I liked, you looked as though you're really trying to do it, part of it was Transylvania, but well done.
Bruno: It's not quite Rhett Butler yet, but keep trying.

Scores: 7,7,7 for a 21 out of 30...Billy Ray got the same as Laila Ali? No way!

The show tonight didn't have any really super performances that stood out...I think they need to give these folks LOTS more time to practice, or throttle back on the difficulty of the choreography.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Is Howard Stern ruining American Idol?

I think it stinks that Howard Stern is trying to mess with AI--you'd think the "King of All Media" would have bigger fish to fry these days--but he certainly wasn't the first one to get the ball rolling. has been doing this for years, with only moderate success. Why? Because in every season prior to this one, there were at least a few standout favorites that had HUGE fan bases to protect them and set things right eventually. Even the entire state of Hawaii couldn't save Jasmine Trias and her annoying little flower tucked behind her ear once it got down to the really talented contestants. Kevin "Chicken Little" Covais, John "Howdy Doody" Stephens, Paris "Gladys Knight wannabe" Bennett, Trenyce and her olive oil chasers before performing...every single one of them was cast aside eventually, and rightfully so.

The reason the whole Vote for Sanjaya thing is working this year is because, in my opinion, this is the weakest group of contestants they've ever had. Chris Sligh tried in vain to rally his "Fro Patrol" (a blatant ripoff of Taylor Hicks' Soul Patrol fan juggernaut) but the fact is, he wasn't very good the last few weeks, and America isn't tone deaf.

LaKisha has a great big voice, but she's not exceptional--she's just the best of this very limited bunch. Neither is Melinda Dolittle, whose "oh, you mean, gulp, you like me? reallllly?" modesty act is wearing really thin.

The scandals hit a little too soon this year (Antonella Barba and her sex pics, Sundance and his lousy performances earning him a top spot in the semifinals over other people who clearly were better than him) and there's just not enough style OR substance to any of the contestants. have crazy-ass Sanjaya, with his wacky hairdos and scary Michael Jackson whispery personality, and it's about the only interesting thing left to latch onto.

Sad fact of life: nobody likes to back the losing horse. Everybody wants to vote for the guy who wins because then they can crow the next day and say, "Ha ha! I voted for him, too!! I called it....I'm awesome!!" If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. People know Sanjaya can't sing well, but they're voting for him anyway because when it comes right down to it, it DOESN'T MATTER...90% of the contestants you see on this show will be back working at Wal-mart within 2 years.

I wouldn't be surprised if The Powers That Be at American Idol were secretly thrilled at Howard Stern's actions, because it keeps people talking about what is actually a horribly lackluster season of AI.