Friday, March 28, 2008



I'm talking about this too late to help anyone, mostly because I was ashamed of my own viewing habits. But I watched this season of The Celebrity Apprentice, and I have to tell you, it kicked ass. There were some outrageous fights, and it produced the single greatest contestant ever: Piers Morgan. He was both the most entertaining and overall best candidate this show has ever seen.

They set up the finale to be a jingoistic battle between "good guy" American Trace Adkins and the evil Brit, Piers. Problem was, throughout the season, Piers was aggressive and definitely obnoxious, but also so clearly superior in fundraising and wit and smarts. Also, though he's quiet, Trace was often also really condescending in his attitude about anyone who's different from him.

There was all kinds of great shit this season, such as Christian hypocrite S. Baldwin, too-invested in his Sopranos role rat-boy Vinnie Pastore, and the return of uber-bitch idiot Omarosa.

It looked to be like a close finale, with all signs pointing to Trace, until he got up and sang his new single. At that point, I checked DialIdol and saw he was actually in the bottom three and likely to be sent home.

The best was when Trace thought he had it in the bag, because everyone talked about how nice he was. (you know, in a homophobic, surly sort of way.) But, sadly for Trace, his charity was something about people who are afraid of peanut butter, which he ended up raising about $12k for, mostly because Ivanka threw him a bone and bid on a dinner with him. Meanwhile, Brit Piers out-Americaned him by choosing the Intrepid Fallen Heroes as his charity, and he raised about a half million dollars for them.

But hands down, Piers's best move? They held an auction, and he got his pal Simon Cowell to call in and bid. A guy in the auction audience raised the bid to $50k, so Piers, via phone, told Simon that. So Simon raised his bid to $75k. At that point, the guy in the audience, who Simon couldn't see, dropped out. But Piers told Simon he'd countered with $85k, therefore forcing Simon to raise his bid to $100k. Bloody well done, Mate.

In Idol news, here's Chikezie's exit interview.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ten Comes Eze

Oh, WHY? With Rozerem Ramiele, Smug Syesha, and Cuntry Kristy still there, we just had to boot Chikezie?

We suck at voting. And I really liked him. I am now officially keeping my remaining love to myself, as I feel jinxed at this point and I don't need Castrocopia hunting me down if I put the hex on their honey.

That stupid fake mosh pit sucks. Get the children to sit down for fuck's sake! Old people watch this show and we don't want to see their crappy hand-waving as the kids perform.

I actually felt bad for Carly having to admit that she's not pregnant. Just every available fat cell has migrated from Brooke to Carly since this competition began. Seriously, I'm on this shit. I'll leave Carly alone for eating her way through this. But someone please force a donut down Brooke's face. If she keeps this up, she's going to look older than Michael Johns in a hurry.

Also? I love K Lo! But that song blew.

On the upside, did you see who was in the audience last night? Blurry, but still a cute little tomato and hot mojito.

Fuckin' Chikezie, man. This blows.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten the Hard Way

You know I love the gambling. And when you're shooting dice, the number ten can come easy or hard. If it's two fives, that's the hard way, and that's how Idol's roll on songs from birth year came up last night. Five good, five not-so-good.

It was a good thing they chose this "birth year" theme this week, because if it weren't for Michael Johns and David Archuleta, it could've just been another '80s week. And yet, despite the preponderance of tunes from my high school formative years, this week passed by with nary a flashback to prom. Well, other than Paula's once-again drunked-up demeanor and fucked up clothes.

Look closely up there. Not only is she sporting the elegant, elbow-length version of the Billy Idol fingerless gloves, encrusted with Madge's leftover jewels from the "Material Girl" video shoot, she's also showing off her impressive drunkard's lazy eye. Nevertheless, she still tried to rise above and offer pearls of advice, actually being the only judge to change her game this year. Sure, she did fall back on some of her standard cliche "texture" lines, but in her yammerings, there's also the highest level of truth this year. That's my dear Paula. In this crap-game of a show, she's our amiable Stickman, calling the rolls, but without any real power.

The show will stop at nothing to undermine her credibility, so Ryan, playing the Pit Boss, at one point picked up Simon's Coke cup, insinuating there might be something other than Coke in it, and then turned it upside down to show it was drained, and then looked accusingly at Paula.

Good times.

Anyhow, Ramiele was the first to crap out with her shouty version of "Alone." We were then informed that she's sick this week, along with Randy. Randy manifested his sickness by being harder-to-please than usual. Or perhaps Paula drained the happy juice from his cup, too, leaving him cranky. Or maybe someone spiked his cup with a dose of reality as he read the recent Billboard charts and saw that his album isn't exactly burning it up yet. Ramiele, however, manifested sick by just being out of tune. Honestly? I'm a little sick of the sickness on this show. If they're going to keep pushing that excuse, I want to see some sickness man. I wanna see someone hobble onstage, totally afflicted with flesh-eating bacteria or ebola or cholera or something. And since we're so into other people's covers this year, they may as well come out scabby and snot-nosed while singing Richard Cheese's version of "Down with the Sickness."

Chikezie, unfortunately, wasn't able to pull "If For Only One Night" out of the '85 unfunk. Personally? I've grown to really like Chikezie. Like, a lot. And I thought he sounded great. But the tweeny SRO portion of the studio that they've misnamed the "mosh pit" may have claimed its second victim last night as Chikezie unwisely acknowledged the audience and sang to them.

Worse, he then backtalked Simon about it who then scolded him like a dealer catching a bettor past-posting.

David Archuleta gave a really strange Up With People sort of performance on some song called "You're the Voice." If there was any doubt that the producers, contestants, and even judges aren't kept aware of the internet buzz, Simon's not-even-thinly veiled stab about the song choice removes all question. He remarked that he doubted David chose the song himself -- a very obvious reference to stage-daddy Jeff, who's been the subject of Joan Crawford-like comparisons for a couple weeks now. He also said he could picture David doing that song in a theme park with animated creatures around him. Uh. Yeah. I thought the show was shooting for that with this kid?

Kristy has secured the red states' votes with her version of "God Bless the USA."

Simon thought it was clever. I thought it was manipulative and pandering. And I somehow feel I'm going into the RNC files and being tagged as a "dissident" and possible terroristic threat for saying that. Nevertheless, this chick's number had come up at least three weeks ago, and yet the other person in the bottom two with her kept going home every week, and I expect we'll see another replay of that this week, as her patriotism will ensure her safety.

Speaking of Kristy and other people who went home instead of her, here's a brief digression for you. Last week, my pal Don appropriately tagged Kristy's "I can blow your socks off" comment as the quote of the season. I agree. Unless we take into account contestant's off-show comments. Lucky for me, TMZ still has a major hard-on for my Mojito, and because of their persistent ways, they captured the ultimate himbo magic quote. "Are you a pilgrim?" Seriously, I love the kid, but that was some funny shit.

Some more funny shit? Carly singing her heart out to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and being so happy and the judges having none of it. NONE. It's like she was the shooter and she placed her chips and thought she rolled a winning hard way and the dealers had to tell her that house rules mandate that the bet was off for the come-out roll. Again, bitch has a great voice. Again, she can't really sing all that distinctively, and then she went sharp on the last note, and almost as though she was willing it back into tune, she crouched herself lower to bring it down.

She keeps doing this distasteful shit. Making humping motions while she sings, wearing fug clothes, and being one big exposed nerve, needing acceptance. At least she looked less pregnant this week, although I suppose that could be a detriment if you follow that thought to conclusion. But even though she tried and thought she hammered it to the wall, along came Randy and Simon with pliers to pull that nail out.

Now, pardon the cross-show reference here, but her reaction? She looked like Barney, realizing he'd just lost another slap-bet to Marshall.

(For real here. If you've got two minutes to spare, click the link. It's some funny shit. And it'd be perfect for the yet-to-come Neil Diamond week!)

I was a bit shocked by Randy and Simon's reactions, to be honest. I don't like her, so it's not shocking that I thought it was an over-boiled performance with some problems. But clearly, the judges have flipped the script on this lass and are just knocking her down for whatever agenda they have. Nevertheless, as Marshall sings, it was awesome, and I laughed and clapped. Also of note is that Carly obviously read up on the backlash to her taking last week's civil rights anthem "Blackbird" and babbling that she was like a broken bird and how it didn't fly with the audience, so she stood there, verbally slapped and taking it like a mute. Awesome. The only thing did say was to Ryan, that she had gone to the bathroom before coming on stage. Thanks for that info, Carly.

So that brings us to the "winning" five of the dice pair. Brooke did The Police's "Every Breath You Take." Always an interesting song, and I do love The Police, though not as much as this funny lady does. Much like the standard "Night and Day," this isn't really a romantic song as much as it is a bit of a creepy, stalker song. But sweet Brooke went straightline with it. She had a false start, which actually takes balls. And her mistake was letting the band come in. Always a bad idea to have Ricky Minor fucking up your thang. I take notes and I know I logged that they fucked up the arrangement to Chikezie's song, too. And I don't recall which songs it was other than Carly's, but I also know that the backup singers totally sabotaged a couple people tonight. They were more flat than steamrolled paper and someone needs to slap them.

But I agree with Paula that Brooke's major asset is that her voice is distinctive enough that I know it's her. I also think she sounds a bit like Tori Amos, but I can't picture her ever singing "Crucify" so it doesn't really matter.

Syesha did alright. She went shades of Tamyra and sang "If I Was Your Woman" which allowed her to be loud. But I still think she's in danger, because she did that weird baby cry again and she's just sort of smug and when Simon told her that her voice has limits, she reacted to his candor like this.

Michael Johns benefited hugely from the gayness of this year's show. Any card-carrying gay can tell you that older people should avoid backlighting. That is, unless it's so blinding it erases any trace of wrinkle or shadow.

He'd been skating on goodwill, but it was time for him to take the bull by the horns in the competition. Instead, he took the Queen by the balls and did "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions." Obviously, I'm putting him in the "good" for the night, though I can't articulate why.

Birthday boy Jason Castro stayed squarely in his box and did Sting's "Fragile." Again, for reasons I can't really articulate, Nothing Like the Sun has always been one of my favorite albums, though I rarely cop to that admission in public. Jason put a little Spanish spin on it, which I really liked. I'm no soothsayer, but I knew that Simon's comments were soon forthcoming, I just didn't know which week they'd appear. "You have to take this more seriously." When pressed, Jason said that he's taking it seriously.

Seriously. That's what he looked like. That's why people love him. He's like Kermit the Frog with dreads and prettier eyes. He doesn't have the biggest vocal range and he's not the most polished, but there's just a laid back, goofy likeability to him. Or, perhaps I just wanna hang out with him because I have a feeling he's a great hookup with the chronic. Either way, he's now officially at the point in the competition where he'll keep surviving, but it'll get tougher with the judges as they'll play the "box" game with him. They'll like it some weeks and commend him for "knowing who he is and what works for him," and then the next they'll tell him he needs to step out of his box, and then if he does dare to, they'll tell him he was uncomfortable and awkward and to get back in his box and Paula will be happy he's in the box and Simon will be a little frustrated and Randy, who cares what he'll say, but by the time we've done all that dancing and climbing around the fucking boxes, it'll be top four anyhow.

And that leaves us with David Cook, who tonight had a monster roll of the dice. Again, sensitive to internet backlash, when all the pissy-pants people harped that his "Hello" was the Incubus version, this week Ryan was careful enough to mention that he was doing Chris Cornell's version of "Billie Jean." This is almost a sad night for me. Sad because, although I'd liked the fucker before, I still retained enough venom to take a few jabs at him. But he is a smarty, isn't he? (Clearly, all that extra cranium isn't wasted.) He comes right out and addresses his big old fat skull, de-fanging me on that one. He's sticking with his comb-over, and now we know why since we've seen him without hair.

And then he comes out and shows us how nailing it to the wall is really done. Shit, if it were any more nailed, it'd be crucified. He nailed that like Kristen nailing Client Nine -- in every way possible. And the show is so totally behind him now. Perhaps he was the stealth chosen one all along. (atonement for Daughtry?) But now they're even blocking him to minimize the nettlesome skull problem.

I still don't think he looks good on camera, and I'm not quite convinced of his "originality" since he's doing other people's arrangements. But I do think he has good taste, and a great voice. He doesn't have that goat-like vibrato that pissed me off with that other fauxcker dude a couple years who's sold multi-platinum. And he's got a decent X factor, too. Not smug so much as playfully cocky.

It was so good, he even earned himself the inaugural ones of these.

It might come easy, or it might come hard. But it just goes to show you how on this show, with one big gamble, and a good toss of the dice, your luck can change that quick.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beverly Jackson's Chapbook -- Every Burning Thing

The incredibly talented Beverly Jackson has published her chapbook Every Burning Thing.

I don't have my hands on a copy yet, but I will soon. Bev isn't just talented, she's also a true and generous patron of the arts and I'm so thrilled to see this accomplishment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Amanda Over.

I really can't believe we sent home Amanda and are keeping Kristy, Ramiele, and Syesha. Leave it to American to flatline the entertainment. Sure, Amanda couldn't sing very well. Shit, the girl could barely speak. But she was a lot more interesting than those other three on stage.

HUGE thanks and props to Don for nursing me through my near-Pauler levels of incoherency.

I am feeling much better now! Why? Because I'm hoping this spoiler ends up being true! I know Danny will win it, too! And I'll be happy. But I'll also dial like mad to try and get my mojito some summer love on tour.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Hard Night's Daze

My buddy Susan asked me to pinch hit for her this week. Seems she is still in a mojito stupor, prone on her bedroom floor and unable to crawl to her keyboard and bang out her usual insightful, cynical, funny, and scathing American Idol review. So she asked me to fill in. I made her a fresh mojito and sat down at her computer. Now, you may label me an enabler, but what's a friend to do? So Susan has the week off as she works through her David Hernandez-less AI funk. And I have her very big, expensive shoes to fill.

First off, I want to put things in perspective: with the exception of 40 year-old Michael Johns, all of the contestants this season were born after John Lennon died. Feel old? Okay, let's continue.

The Beatles finally opened their songbook to American Idol, hopefully to attract a new generation of fans, and surely with an eye on their catalog becoming available on iTunes in 2008. AI took advantage of this generosity by doing not one, but two Beatles weeks!

Amanda Overmyer was first up and did—what else?—a rocker! "Back in the USSR," a McCartney song, was a perfect choice for her. She strutted around all flat-haired and gravelly-voiced and did her thing. She took some heat from Simon, who said she was predictable and in "danger of becoming boring." Amanda responded, "Ballads are BORING!" Damn straight! It's the seventh season of AI, and most contestants still haven't learned to stay away from the long, slow, boring, sleep-inducing tunes. This chick is growing on me. She knows who she is, and isn't going to stoop to doing some wimp-ass ballad.

A cowboy boots clad Kristy Lee Cook was next, and did the Lennon song "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away." She obviously never heard this song before, because she picked it based on the title alone. Kind of like going to the track and picking a horse because you like its name, then hoping you hit it big. But she didn't pick a winner. The judges used words like "boring," "safe," and "predictable" to describe her performance. Simon said she was the musical equivalent of wallpaper: "You notice it, but don't remember it." Her response? The line of the week, if not the year. "I CAN BLOW YOU OUT OF YOUR SOCKS AND YOU KNOW IT!" I bet she can. And she may very well have to if she wants to make the top ten. Bottom three on Wednesday night. I predict she'll get the boot this week.

Troll doll David Archuleta tried to redeem himself with McCartney's "The Long and Winding Road." He had the little girlies planted in the front row squealing with this performance, and better yet, he even remembered the words! Randy said he brought the hotness back to his game. Paula mumbled something about purity and character, and Simon said it was "Amazing," then clapped. A Simon clap is like a two snaps up from Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier . He's through easily to the next round.

Michael Johns tried to squeeze the Beatles masterpiece "A Day in the Life" into a minute and a half, which is like squeezing War and Peace into a Reader's Digest condensed book: it doesn't work. Simon called it "a mess" and said he needs to sort himself out. I agree. Even Michael knew it wasn't a good performance.

I admit, I'm a Michael Johns fan. I think he's got a very good voice, an appreciation of rock history, and a natural, comfortable stage presence. But he's coasting now. Or maybe he's peaked? We'll see.

After last week's great version of "Let It Be," Brooke White came out and did George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun," which is one of my all-time favorite songs. It wasn't a very good performance. Granted, it IS a happy song, but Brooke looked like she was on a triple dose of Prozac. I'm a Brooke fan, but her performance could have been straight out of an overly-happy Target commercial. Randy called her "awkward," Paula called her "yellow," and Simon said she was "terrible" with "horrible dancing." She needs to stick with McCartney songs. My predication: now that Paul is a single man again, Brooke will leave her husband to date Paul. He loves blondes. And she's not a bitchy, water chucking gold digger like Heather Mills. You heard it here first.

David Cook. I thought by the time we'd gotten this far into Season 7, someone on the AI styling team would have fixed his hair. Whatever, this guy is really growing on me. With his performance of "Day Tripper," this was his third strong week in a row. With a guitar slug across his body, he ripped through the song, even adding a Peter Frampton-like voice box bit near the end. This led Paula to comment he was ready for a Geico commercial, a joke Simon didn't get. David really got into the whole rock star thing, complete with throwing his guitar pick into the crowd afterward. Simon said he wasn't as good as he thought he was. But he was.

Afterward, David showed Ryan how to use the voice box thingy, but for some reason Ryan didn't want to talk into it, even though the judges clearly wanted him to. What was that all about? Afraid of David's saliva, Ryan?

Carly Smithson, the former professional singer, did McCartney's famous civil rights-inspired "Blackbird." Randy said her performance was "cooliosis." Paula blathered on about tone and song choices. Simon called it indulgent. I usually find myself agreeing with Simon, but in this case I think he was wrong. Carly has done some rockers recently, and I think this was a good chance to show off her amazing voice, and really let it rip. I still think she is the frontrunner in this competition. Oh, and she sported off a new tattoo, the number 7 on her right ring finger. She said it was for Season 7 of AI. But all I could think of was the Seinfeld episode where George wanted to name his future child 7 after Mickey Mantle's uniform number.

Here she is, letting it rip:

Jason Castro. OK, I need to get this off my chest. I CANNOT look at this guy anymore without seeing Susan's comparison of Jason to John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.

That said, the judges weren't too wild about this performance, but I actually think it was one of his best weeks. Not that he was very good, but that the sing-songy style of "Michelle" fits his style perfectly. And yes, Jason, those are French words in the song. BTW, are we still supposed to call French fries "freedom fries"?

Sporting some cleavage, Syesha Mercado crooned out "Yesterday" in what she hoped was a very pained, heartfelt performance. The judges all liked it, with Simon saying it was the song Brooke should have chosen. Personally, I thought it was horrible. Boring. She'll be in the bottom three Wednesday night. She doesn't even rank a picture. Now let's all sing the schoolyard version: "Leprosy, now my skin is falling off of me. I'm not half the man I used to be..."

Let me say this about Chiekezie. The Beatles + Chiekezie = WOW! The judges were a bit mixed, but this guy is quickly becoming my favorite contestant. He has energy, charm, a good voice, and is totally infectious. After last week's great rendition of "She's A Woman," he did "I've Just Seen A Face" this week. Not as good as last week, but he is gaining more confidence, and improving week to week. He even tried his hand on the harmonica—or as it used to be known—the mouth organ (see Kristy Lee Cook's review).

Up last was Ramiele Malubay, who did "I Should Have Known Better." When it comes to Ramiele, I go back and forth (watch your dirty minds). She has a good voice, but there is something seriously lacking with her, and I don't just mean height. Simon summed it up best: "It is what it is." She'll land in the bottom three Wednesday, but will stick around another week.

Susan is beginning to stir. I'll post this review now, then get some fresh coffee into her. Let me leave you with this final thought:

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, "The Beatles did."
—Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

Read some

Check out Jordan Rosenfeld's Lorian Hemingway Short Story honorable mention "Shut-Ins".

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz has a new story up at Static Movement, "An Early Fall". And you can check out this review of her chapbook, Mother Love by Steve Hansen.

Guest Blogger

As much as I'm wishy-washy on The Beatles, another week of AI defiling the Lennon-McCartney songbook is a bit too much for me to take. I'm afraid that halfway through the review, I'd end up looking like this.

Therefore, for this week, I've recruited the help of my good friend and Beatles lover, Don Capone.

Don's a great writer and really funny guy. His debut comic novel Into the Sunset is now available.

And he's also got a great collection of short stories, titled Stories from Sunset Hill.

I'm sure he's going to crack you up. So tomorrow, enjoy the smooth word stylings of Don, while I go lament the absence of Maks from Dancing with the Stars in this manner.

The Perfect Storm of Non-Productivity

This week is pretty funny. Monday was St. Patrick's Day, and now today as everyone is nursing their hangover, they also have to get their NCAA March madness brackets in good order for the tournament this week. Then all the Christians have Good Friday and Easter. Something tells me there's not a lot of actual work being done in offices.

I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day because, well, does it really need explained? (Please reference Moltisanti, Christopher, when he was shot and then awoke and said, "I had a dream that I died and went to hell. Every day was St. Patrick's Day. Forever." ) But I do have friends who think they're funny and spent the day yesterday prank calling me. I'd answer the phone to have the Dropkick Murphys blaring in my ear. Oh, ha ha. It's funny. Until about 3 PM and call number 58. Then, not so much. Then, when it still doesn't relent, it gets funny again around 8:30 PM. Then, a couple hours later, again, the funny leaves.

But I do celebrate March Madness. Love it. So I'm furiously working on finalizing my bracket and first round picks because amidst all this mayhem, I'm having my office moved today and tomorrow. I wish you all luck and hope you nail down the final four in your office pools.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Last Call

Well, since no one else has a David Hernandez site, here's a collection of my Mojito's post-boot interviews so far. Yeah, he's borderline desperate for a deal of some sort. But he's also such a fuckin' cutie. Naturally, he doesn't blame AI for sticking him with that song, but I do. He picked two other songs and couldn't have them, so he ended up with that one. But he's got more class than I do and takes it in stride.

David's EW exit interview

Mojito at MSN

on the radio with Ryan

on American Idol Extra, compliments of MJ

AI Extra pt. 2

Also, he'll be on Ellen on Monday, and you know she requires dancing. YAY!

Also of note on AI Extra is that Constantine is back and skeevier than ever. And Sanjaya is always lingering around like Connie v. 2.0.

In the "you can have your Cake and eat it too" news, the band Cake, whose song was used in the Ford commercial this week, was miffed about it yesterday and had a message on their website along those lines. Said message is removed as of today; apparently all the suits smoothed it over and paid up for the song. What? They'd given all the cash to Heather Mills for the Lennon/McCartney songs and couldn't afford the rights to a Cake song for the commercial? So even though it's a non-issue now, I thought I'd mention it because I really like Cake and figured I'd give 'em a link.

Cheers, David. I hope he does get somewhere, cause he does have a really nice voice. And, in the words of Derek Zoolander, he's really, really, ridiculously good looking. He can stay coy, because coy would work on him. But don't be skittish. Own it, Mojito!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

He'll Be On Top

I'm still in a bit of a snit today, but figured I might as well get a few more comments out there to get over it and to catalogue the entertainment value we threw away last night.

First, the obvious nasty reaction:
Know how I like to make cracks that some of the AI losers could have lucrative careers in gay porn? Well...

Not since Ryan declared that Paula is the compassionate judge have we had such an unlikely euphemism. But you bet that "Pizza Bistro" has now entered my vocabulary.

No need to kill the cat, he satisfied the curiosity:
David Mojito Hernandez's last words? "I'll be back on top."
Was this a funny Freudian slip?
Was it just unfortunate wording?
Was it his unconscious little subversive rebellion?
Was he deliberate in those words and trying to turn Ryan on?

In other news last night, Jim Carrey was there. Fuck. People talk about how David H was somewhat offputting because he comes off as desperate. I admit to laughing at plenty of Jim Carrey schtick, but this guy's been defining desperate for nearly ten years now. Comics can fall into that mode. Believe me, I understand the desire to be funny to make people like you. But the desperation hits uncomfortable levels when they need to show their artistry and be dramatic. And when that fails to bring them accolades, they revert back to crazy person, or, worse, go for the soft-touch family thing. Gag.

Also there last night? Kat McPhee. Still gorgeous. Still has a great voice. Still sings pretty meh. Couldn't we have sent her home last night instead of David?

Yeah. Still snitty.

But here's my big question that I keep forgetting about: What's the story with the new director? For like, forever, Bruce Gowers has directed the show. There was a brief kerfuffle about a backstage scandal, and it got immediately and efficiently squashed in the media. But now, John Pritchett is directing the show. It's not quite cloak-and-dagger material, but I bet there's some good shit in all that.

Lastly -- Lennon/McCartney again next week. Madone. What, they're going to let the eleven of them pick from the other 13 songs that didn't get used this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I am so mad! I HATE IT ALL!

I find this all terribly unfair to me personally. Last year, they had to rub out AJ Tabaldo. Now, consecutively Danny and David.

The old ladies had their Clay. The old yups had their Taylor and SOULPATROL shit. The straight guys had McPhee and Underwood. Fat folks had Ruben. Diva lovers had all of season three! Tweeners had their stupid Justin and Constantine and Daughtry. WHY IS IT SO FUCKING HARD TO KEEP A HAPPY, HOT GAY GUY AROUND FOR ME? Particularly one that has no problem with nudity! Bitches in this country don't KNOW entertainment!

Oh, I'm so mad. The things I'd have done. I just got the screencaps working 'round here, and I was about to bust out my susanstyle telestrator red pen and point out all the hot minty goodness that was David Mojito Hernandez. But Great Oden's Raven you done all fucked that up, didn't you now?

Well. You know I can't just let shit go. So here's a sample anyhow. (don't you love it when I'm sloshed while watching this show?)

What now? I'm supposed to make do by analyzing Jason Castro's pants? Too late! There's already a site for that.

Aw, fuck it. It's back to vodka for me. But I'm also taking a page from David's auditions. If I can't be with the one I love, I'll love the ones I'm left with. David Cook, Jason Castro, Chikezie, and even Michael Johns -- SING BITCHES! Sing it good!

While My TV Gently Weeps

Yeah, I know. I admitted that the mojito was a tough drink to mix correctly. And last night, David Hernandez poured way too much sugar into the mix and failed to properly shake it up, baby and turned the whole thing into a schmalty, sappy mess. I don't care, I still love him.

My poor Mojito, though. Already, he's the vest guy? This is the stylists' idea to get people to stop thinking pervy about him? I don't think it's gonna work, Dave. Don't try to sublimate it under a vest. Own it. That's your only hope now. He is, clearly, sweet natured, and his voice was still decent but he was so lost on that stage singing "I Saw Her Standing There." Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Beatles fan ever. I enjoy some songs, but the only time I ever really appreciate that one is when Dustin Hoffman finishes brushing his teeth and then quietly sings it to Charlie Babbitt. There will be no enumerated list about his job at the pizza shop and how the lyrics of this song are ironic to David's situation because it's just demoralizing.

But hey, on the upside, Kristy was a country trainwreck and David Archuleta closed it out with a hilarious choke job!

Oh yeah, there was bad last night, and there was plenty of boring, too. But let's start with those who were better. Even after the sylists had a go, David Cook decided to stick it out with the elfin combover, and, in related news, his acrimonious relationship with the camera continues. This week, it acted like he gave it a wedgie in gym class. But he sang "Eleanor Rigby" and had the massive flashing lights and loud band and he really did do pretty good with it. I like his singing out of the side of his mouth and his cocky insouciance toward that bitter camera and the judges just eat him alive.

Fangs O'Flanigan did "Come Together" and the judges salivated. Admittedly, I thought she sounded just fine and was among the best of the girls. But if the camera was petulant about David abusing it in gym class, it makes me think that ole Fangs must've taken the cruelty to even higher levels -- like she gave it a swirly. You know what she looks like to me? She looks like Cher and Bette Midler conspired to create an egg and had Bugs Bunny fertilize it.

One word: Butterface.

Brooke did "Let it Be" while barefoot at the piano and it was okay. Again, she knows what works for her, but in a few more weeks, I can easily see Simon finally getting bored. On the upside, Ryan fetched her shoes and was totally down with them. Also to be noted here, Paula's comment to Brooke was that she "feels her heart." Paula was like a goddamn cardio-thorasic surgeon last night she was feeling so many hearts. Jason Castro got the exact same comment. Not since Dr. Christina Yang have I seen someone so loopy about feeling hearts.

Amanda Overmyer let the stylists put a touch of poof in her hair and she mumbled her way through "You Can't Do That." I still don't think her voice is all that good, and I still don't think she's all that great, but she is different and I definitely want her to stick around for disco and standards night.

The best surprise of the night, though? Chikezie! He was so good Ryan couldn't stop himself from accosting him.

Chikezie did "She's a Woman" and he had the stage presence that my poor Mojito lacked. He just tore it up. Also because of Chikezie, we got another jumbled comment from Paula, who, at the start of the show, had so eloquently orated about taking risks and how the rewards can be great. But after Chikezie sang, she lost command of syntax and told him not once, but twice, that "the reward paid off."

Also of note is that Chikezie, Fangs, and Amanda were the chosen ones to sit down and have a chat with Ryan as extra-special pimpage even before their intro-films rolled.

And that brings us to the boring section of the Beatles tribute. So boring, I don't feel like commenting about most of them. Instead, just a list: Syesha, Remiele, Jason Castro, and Michael Johns. Syesha and Remiele did not take a sad song and make it better. Jason did give us the little tidbit in his interview that he failed music class. On him? Cute. He did "If I Fell" and he strained on some notes but it was overall acceptable and he's still got spark, unlike the two girls who have yet to do anything of note.

Michael Johns, meanwhile, sang "Across the Universe" and managed to, yet again, raise the bar for mediocrity. Fans had flocked to him during the audition rounds and I've a feeling they're ready to flock away from him. Lamentable that he doesn't even have the checkered past to rely on to give him some entertainment value. But like his compatriot Michael Hutchence, he is strangling his own life on this show.

And that brings us right back around to the bad. Kristy Lee Cook tried to do "Eight Days a Week" and I was highly entertained because it made Hernandez's performance seem like a polished and posh production in comparison. She knew she sucked, too. When you make faces like this while performing, it's not a secret to your subconscious that you're coming off so poorly that you won't even get the Edy's ice cream gig when you're mercifully finished.

But, this is Idol, where we save the best for last. Okay, so I was salivating for it. I even had this next picture waiting, fretting that I'd never get a chance to pull it out. But on the most-watched night after the biggest build-up and with the grand finale slot, it happened. David Archuleta choked. BIG!

What? I'm supposed to say that it humanized him? Fuck that noise! Believe me, there's a lot more I could say. I hold back typing plenty because he's only seventeen, y'all! But I'm at least going to call a choke when it happens. And this was. It was a bone in the throat, Chuck Palahniuk novel, Greg Norman in the Masters epic fucking choke!

The kid will be safe, there's no question about that. But still, the magnitude of his choke is undeniable. He benefits immensely from having the final spot, because they don't have time to edit in the live version for the recap portion. Instead, they use the tape from the dress rehearsal, where he came off much better.

But it still happened. Hold on to your garments, kids, because he kept fumbling on the words and going out of tune, and just when he seemed like he was starting to pull it back together, it'd unravel yet again. Randy and Pauler were gentle about it, but Simon prefaced his remarks saying something about in the interest of fairness or whatever, and I knew it was game on. And then, what I was waiting for even more than the tank performance happened -- Archuleta's reaction to anything less than slobbery praise. Certainly, I'll share the moment with you. But first, allow me the indulgence of setting it up.

Three guys took some heavy heat from Simon last night. And the three of them handled it completely differently.

First, my Mojito. He is sweet, but over the past week, I noticed that he's not sweet to the point of stupid. He handled all the media with grace by simply answering the questions about his past with a repeated non-answer of it's a singing competition and I'm here to focus on that. He didn't get snotty or lash out, and he kept his comportment like a pro every time. But in all the tapes -- and yes, I did watch them all because I have no life -- I did notice his tell. When the interviewers would ask the question, he'd grind his back teeth just slightly, but enough that it would register and show in his jawline. And last night, Hernandez had the same reaction not to the judges, but when Ryan said, "It's been a tough week for you." At that second, his jaw tensed as his teeth ground until Ryan moved it in another direction and followed up, saying something about song selection and David relaxed again. But he didn't even register that slight annoyance when Simon said he was "corny and verging on desperate." Here's how he took that comment:

Next was Michael Johns. When Simon told him it was all a bit "monotonous," here's how he reacted:

Understandable that he'd be a little annoyed. But that really was the extent of his reaction to the comment. It was twenty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, and I have a feeling Michael was in that band and already a longtime performer. So with his advanced age, I assume he's heard worse and he can handle it.

And then there was Archuleta. I'm not fucking with you here. It was like the perfect confluence of stage lighting and candid reaction to culminate in this one, brief moment of bliss. While Simon started talking, the lights behind David A were a deep blue color. The kid's smile dropped as Simon said he was going to treat everyone fairly. Then, Simon said, "It was a mess." I shit you not, the screen behind David went from blue to black, and he looked like this.

It was split-second eerie, which is what made it hilarious!

And with that, I think I'll end now and, like John and Paul said, let it be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Idol Odds

Oh. My. God. Wanna catch up with season six's Melinda Doolittle and Chris Timberfake Richardson are up to? Edy's Slow Churned. Don't miss clicking on the different flavors to hear songs about them. Too fucking funny! Are these the bright careers Paula babbles to them about? Then again, I guess if I had my choice of making fat coin from singing about ice cream or sitting my fat ass at a desk all day where the only for amusement is checking out Edy's sites, it's not so funny. And yet, it is! It is that funny!

Also, for those who adore Jason Castro, I found this fansite for him already: Castrocopia. Enjoy!

And if you're still missing Danny, here's his exit interview.

Also? Tonight, for that expansive Lennon-McCartney songbook they've opened up for the kids? 25 songs. That's right. There are 25 songs for 12 of them to pick from. Actually, probably 24 songs for 11 of them, since you know they'll give David Archuleta his top pick. The other ones? They'll probably be assigned and the kids will have to eat shit when the judges rag on their song choice. Not cool, AI. Not cool.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I'm so happy! I'm so sad.

So we just had to give Danny Noriega the boot last night, huh? He was fierce and he was flaming and ultimately, he was just tmth. To be honest, though, I really do think he failed to make the cut simply because Chikezie had the advantage of the pimp spot and though Danny was terrific in his interviews and had a great voice, he squandered some of his performances. I'd have loved to have seen what he could do, and the top 12 will be more boring without him, but someone has to hire this kid as a host of a show or something. But, on the upside, at least we kept the stripper around!

Yes, we kept hot Hernandez in the race, and I really couldn't be happier. We also kept cagefighting Kristy over Asia'h the lackluster diva'h. Therefore, I guess we can say that America accepted sex and violence, but still rejects anything served blatantly flambe.

So anyhow, back to David Hernandez.

David, he's not getting a lot of love out there in cyber-Idol land, so I've decided to take it upon myself to rectify this gross oversight and claim him as my pet this year. Yes, there will be embarrassingly long and reader-tedious, indulgent paragraphs devoted to him here. They will be filled with poor metaphors and fangirly, steadfast praise. Kinda like the following:

I know I waffled. I was smitten in Hollywood and then wrote it off to a different, strange fixation, but I'm back to it. I adore him. He really does remind me a bit of my cute cupcake Elliott. They both have great soulful voices and sometimes make poor facial expressions while crooning. More importantly, they've both been scripted as underdogs with a propensity for sweet, humble dispositions and somewhat leaky tear ducts.

But there are also noticeable differences. David has nicer hair, more photogenic choppers, a rockin' body, better fashion sense, a much more flamboyant past, and that Latin chic working for him.

I cannot have another cupcake. It's not fair to Elliott, and it'd be even more unfair to David. So let me tell you what David is.

If you're an occasional reader here, you may have noticed that I have unflagging love for Pauler. If you're a frequent reader here, or happen to know me, like, at all, then you know that this devotion is a kindred spirit type of thing. In other words, I'm an unrepentant boozehound. If you're here reading this now, you can look in the upper left corner and see my common drink of choice -- the vodka martini.

However, David Full Monty Hernandez is not common. And as spring approaches, I find myself changing menus and gravitating toward things that remind me of sun and warmth and fun. And my exotic, intoxicating beverage of choice becomes the mojito.

This isn't an easy thirst to quench, the taste for the mojito. The recipe can be risky and risque, a little too much here or there and you go over the top. You've got to take your time and carefully strip the mint leaves from the stems. Then you add just the right amount of sugar to sweeten it up and muddle them together. Add a dash of lime for tart kick. Then, instead of vodka, they're made with warmer, sweeter rum, and topped off with a spritz of soda water to give it all that fun little fizz. And they're best when they're served not completely straight up; you gotta have a couple cubes in there to keep 'em cool. (was it too much with the italics? you can tell me if it was.)

Oh, they're labor-intensive, that's for sure. But if you put a little love into 'em, by the time you're done, they're a totally mouth-watering mix of perfectly balanced complements: Warm rum and refreshingly cool mint, syrupy sweet balanced with a feisty kick. And man, do they sneak up on you and get you giddy crushed!

So there it is. David Hernandez is my Mojito of AI 7. David, baby, good luck. Simon, Nigel, and all -- gracias, you mixed this season well.

I drink your mojito! I drink it up!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

This one time, at band camp...

First, let me apologize for the crap quality of the pics this week. It's really cold here and I didn't want to go run an errand to pick up new dvds and I only had one so I recorded at slow speed and the result are these grainy, low-grade captures like we're examing home videos for proof of UFOs. But you'll get the idea.

Basically, I don't have much to say about the girls anyhow. Unlike the boys, they mostly bore me. I wanted to like Asia'h because she has that smoky voice but instead of going with it, the arrogant twat thinks she can sing all these big, money-note numbers that totally don't suit her while she immaturely bounces around like someone shoved one of Michael Johns's kangaroos up her ass. And when Paula told her last night that she nailed the song, Asia'h breathlessly unleashed the idiotic riposte of "I know!" Such a wannabe diva'h.

Also, I would prefer if I would at least like Syesha, because now I feel like a total racist for not liking any of the black people this year. But I don't like her, and I thought them giving her the final slot was an act of desperation to make sure that at least a couple of black people get through to the final twelve so that they don't get slammed with the Elton John outrage, racist smears again. (Because, you know, he certainly isn't going to accuse them of being anti-gay this year.) What was entertaining, however, was how she totally got screwed with judges' comments because they'd acted like such jackasses the rest of the show. But instead of coming across as controlling themselves when Syesha finished, they came off as twice as assholey and somewhat rude to her when she wasn't deserving of it.

Brooke continued in her Colbie Caillat coffeehouse vein with a stripped down version of "Love is a Battlefield." That's fine. She knows what she can do, and what she can't (unlike Asia'h) but I do wish she'd get a sense of humor and be able to unleash the monster coffeehouse hit "Smelly Cat" by Phoebe Buffay.

Simon kissed Amanda's ass for her Joan Jett number, while she stood there, surly and unresponsive to his over-the-top praise. Even asshole Daughtry took more joy than she does. But she did at least look better. Generally, she's packing more pancake than IHOP on her face, and without it, she looks twenty years younger. Again, I wanna like her because she's different, but she got a big boost from the backup singers who were shockingly in tune for a change and sang over her.

Kristy did Journey, but that song just doesn't work for me anymore unless Amy Adams is crawling over a table toward Will Ferrell and they're getting ready to make animal noises. I do recall Kristy saying her most embarrassing moment was when she was seven, she thought she was a dog. Drank out of a dog bowl and moved about on hands and knees for a whole year and barked at people. Clearly, she's trying to curry Simon's favor and court the doggie-style lovin' male viewer's votes with that ploy. And that leaves everyone else, who were all so boring I don't remember much. But, because of her Journey choice, Kristy also marks the portion of the evening when things started to unravel with the judges.

Sure, it started earlier, when Randy informed us that he recorded the Whitney Houston song "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." Paula, for some reason, found this information tedious and barely held her intoxicated shit together through it all.

But then, later in the show, big scoop emerged here, people! I did not know this, but Randy dropped a bomb about his past. Get ready. Are you ready for it? Randy worked with Journey! I did not know that! Crazy cool, huh?? Like, WOW! As Danny would say, that's just TMTH!

And, at that point of the program, it all fell apart. Pauler's had enough of Randy's band camp routine, so she did her best David Hernandez impression as she climbed into Simon's lap and they cuddled their way through the horror of Randy talking about Journey, almost as if he does this sort of thing all the time.

The funniest part about all this? Paula had kicked the show off by babbling about the hair and makeup of the '80s and then taking credit for singlehandedly popularizing the poof-ball hairdo popular in the '80s. (I'm so sure Madge now feels her stylistic influences are inferior.) Then, after Brooke sang, she had to stand in the middle of the battlefield as Randy tossed the first grenade about how Paula choreographed that video, but then Paula let loose with her moron artillery and said she didn't, and then we got into a while name drop-bombing thing and Simon didn't care, and it was all so trying for Paula she ended up saying this:
"I don't understand what's going on here."

And as she said it, she looked like this:

Which yeah, that's pretty much par. We all know that Paula is so fucking lost that OnStar would tell her to piss off. But it just goes to show that Paula IS more lucid this year, because she can't usually articulate how lost she is, so this is actually progress, people.

Anyhow, another contestant later and two more slurps from her "Coke" cup, she was still lost. And she looked like this.

Then there was a commercial break. And when they came back, Paula had Simon laughing. Just laughing and giggling away, he was, and she said it was because he was telling her to talk about moths and mellonballs.

Now, I know it's a running joke to make fun of what Paula says by inserting nonsense words the way she does. Like, "Golden light! Colors of the rainbow! Texture!" But I'm not making up the moths and mellonballs quote. Ryan seemed lost now, she she got demonstrable about it. Moths and mellonballs!

Then, when it all got a little too much to handle, she went cannibal on Cowell.

So that was the show. Believe me. If you missed it, it wasn't half as entertaining as these pictures lead you to believe.

So we didn't find evidence of UFOs. But if you were scouring the tapes for proof of Paula's rumored sobriety, you'd have also come up with zero documentation.

Donna & Don

Two of my favorite writers and people, yo! Donna George Storey interviews Donald Capone about his novel, Into the Sunset. Clever, funny! Moths and Mellonballs!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Full Monty

Last night in Idol, the contestants had to bare their souls and speak about their most embarrassing moment.

Between Danny and David (and David), just when you thought things couldn't get any gayer on Idol, out flounced Luke Menard with his "embarrassing" tutu picture and he then falsettoed his way through "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." Wait. Was that a falsetto? Or is that just his voice? I don't even care. It's now official. Allow me to docent you through this mini-gallery of things that are less gay than American Idol 7.

Then precious David Archuleta sang that Phil Collins song and Simon called upon him to stop being so gloomy, which I thought was a pretty mild warning. But, for me, it's already happening. He's so precious and yet he's so scripted and yes it's already wearing a bit thin. He's good. Right now, everyone else knows they're vying for second place on this show. And yet... So full of naked ambition, this kid and his team.

And then out came Danny.

He's still full of elan and sass and though I love "Tainted Love" he's just not coming up with the goods in his performances yet. He sounds good, but somehow dull. Simon recently admitted to using Botox, while rejecting Viagra. Yet his face did betray expression while watching Danny kick and wiggle.

Can you imagine what his face would've looked like if he didn't have his nerves deadened?

They then doubled down and had David Hernandez perform next. It was a completely regrettable segment from start to finish. For his "most embarrassing" reveal he talked about boogers which certainly didn't endear him to anyone, and then he came out and came out as he sang a Celine Dion song titled "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." Do we really need to enumerate the ways in which this song coincided with the stripper news? Well, I'm an obvious fuck, so I think we do.
1) It certainly all DID come back to him yesterday, didn't it?
2) The lyrics?
When I touch you like this
And I hold you like that
It's so hard to believe but
It's all coming back to me

Are you fucking kidding me, David? I can't even boldface the dirty parts because it's all so strippery. Chrissakes! Why not just add a line saying something like, "When I touch you like this, and you put a five in my g-string like that..."

Oh, he put on his brave camera-fucking face and tried to smolder his way though it. And the camera DOES love him.

He doesn't quite have the skeeve factor Constantine had when he'd filth his looks into the camera, but David gives it a winning shot, alright.

But when it was all over, they had Simon's mic live before they should've and if you were paying attention you could see him lean into Paula and make his crack, telling her to comment on how "he stripped that down."

But getting Pauler to actually make a comment like that? Shit. She has actually said a few coherent things this season. But I shit you not, here is a verbatim quote from her last night:
"I, you know, there's something, first of all, let's get back."

I replayed it and wrote that down to make sure. Now, I don't recall who she was critiquing when she said that, but it just doesn't really matter, does it?

Anyhow. Back to the man-candy. Ah well. I know I won't be the only one terribly distraught if he gets the boot tonight. I've a feeling Ryan is also hoping he sticks around so that it can all come back to him at some point. He's probably steam-ironing bills as we speak.

Then we had the kangaroo-fucker on, first talking about how he got beat up while dressed as a kangaroo. You know how he reminds me of Tim Daly. Well, for a couple weeks, I've been thinking about what great television it would be if Michael Imperioli would run across stage in the middle of one of Mike's songs and just slap him across the face and then run offstage. So when he told the beating story, I pictured Michael Imperioli as the one beating him up, with his little Dalyish face poking out of the kangaroo body. It was good.

Not so good was his performance. This guy is taking mediocre to rocketing heights, and I've also finally figured out why, although he is, admittedly, passably attractive, he does nothing for me. He's fucking old. I know, I know we all thought Taylor was old. But Michael Johns has that laid-back vibe because he's old. And he's bordering on frumpy most of the time. He can't even get me to feeling pervy, because he's basically age appropriate for me! Who the fuck needs that?

Also? Can someone please tell me if INXS really sang "Don't You Forget About Me?" Because, frankly, I thought it was Simple Minds, and I know Billy Idol covered it. But was Randy off his rocker or am I just ignorant?

Anyhow, then we moved on to David Cook. Cook is not like Hernandez, in that the camera does not like him. In fact, the camera fucking hates him.

But as Randy said, Cook emo'd out to Lionel Richie's "Hello" and I have to admit that I really liked it. I have to admit that I really like this fucker. I can't help it. I tried to hate him. And I will continue to make fun of him. But I'm kind of rooting for him. He's got long eyelashes and actually has a sense of self and just doesn't seem like a prick. Even though the camera acts like David stole its lunch money, he doesn't glare into it in defiance.

That said, seriously. I REALLY like this group of guys a hell of a lot better than last year's. But if they kick the Dancing Queen off tonight along with Luke? We'll be rapidly hurtling to levels of homeliness on the boys' side not seen since, well, last year.

Managing to bring the fugly-pretty all the way was once again Jason Castro. He sang "Hallelujah." Know what's smart about Castro? He takes the fucking band out of the equation. He either minimizes their arrangement or, like last night, just used a single guitar behind him. When you eliminate the horrible sounds that band produces, you're already ahead of the game, you know? Beyond that, he chose the best song by a mile and he walks the line of exploiting his stoner vibe while still seeming to pass for decent enough for middle America.

He did talk about losing a dread of his while on a date, though, and I will give him this snippet of advice. Keep it groomed, Castro. Keep it groomed. Right now, in the face, he actually looks a bit like a young John Travolta with that big nose and those cool blue eyes that pop against his dark pupils and in contrast to his eyebrows. But it's only a hop-skip-and missed shave away from ending up looking like a disaster like this, man:

And then Chikezie performed some Whitney Houston song which I used to think was either a carelessly worded Christian song about praising God, or a blatantly pornographic song about a guy with a big dick, considering it goes "he fills me up, he gives me all the love that I need."

Which, again, brings filthy me back to thinking of David Hernandez, because if he was nude stripping, that takes cojones, and I do mean that literally, you know?

I don't know. Luke will definitely get bounced tonight, but Chikezie went last, so he'll probably survive, which means America will have sent the stripper packing. It makes me sad.

But if he does survive, I have one piece of advice for him. Don't be bashful about it David. You're having trouble with song choices. Listen to me. Stop talking about your gymnast clothes and to Randy about your shoes. And here's what you should sing next: "You Can Leave Your Hat On."