Thursday, April 30, 2009

4 Idols Left . . .

Well, it's the next day so that oughta tell you how busy we are. I mean, we haven't blogged about Idol yet. Seriously, where are our priorities?? This, together with my overloaded inbox, shows how crazy things have been around here.

But since we pretty much love blogging about this show, I want to say something. I do think, however, that Magistra said it best this week with this paragraph from her weekly post:

Next up was the LIVE! group song, which was much more in tune this week thanks to the absence of Lil Rounds. Matt Giraud kept throwing random riffs and falsettos into the performance wherever he felt like it. Kris Allen showed us that snapping and dancing are not two of his talents. And Adam and Danny received the biggest screams. During the performance of “I Got Rhythm” I found it interesting that Adam was not asked so sing one of the lines that included “I got my man/gal, who could ask for anything more.” I wonder whose decision that was.
What more can I say? Apparently, lots.

Let's start with the annual, not so surprising anymore, bottom 3 fake out. I really thought Adam was going to sit down and not choose. But I still admire how he handled it. Plus, I think it shows he hasn't been watching Idol all these years. He's been, you know, on stage.

But my biggest beef with the bottom 3 fake out is this . . . though they didn't specifically say what exact order they're all in, it stands to reason that Adam was probably in 3rd place. So technically he could've stood in either group and still have been right. If you're 3rd, you're both in the top 3 and the bottom 3. So, really, it was just a little "shocker" since it kind of really wasn't.

It's anyone's game at this point. It made sense for Matt to go. I've not ever seen such a great top 5. There's usually someone I can't stand at this point (and usually up to the top 2 or 3). But this year, that isn't the case. Lil left a week ago.

And that little bill? For $6,000? For that food fight they had? Seriously? I'd like to see the bill Dreamworks gets for the advertising for their new movie that Jaime Foxx slipped in before that commercial break. If maids cleaning cake are charging 6 grand, I can't even imagine what that cost.

And next week is rock week. Does it really matter anymore? Disco wasn't quite disco (thankfully). Jazz wasn't quite jazz (a bit of a bummer). Rock will be . . . what. I don't really care. Truth is, I've always liked theme weeks because the Idols have to find a way to sing a song that fits the genre while still making it their own and keeping it relevant. To a nerd like me, that's like Pi Day. I think it's great that it just doesn't matter. You know why? Because it means these Idols are they best they've had. They practically make us forget the theme because they're so good at making anything their own. This is the best Top 5 we've ever had. They usually have one or two stinkers in there by now, but not this year. You know, since Lil left.

I think next week is Adam's week. I'm expecting some serious Queen madness! (I hope you're reading, Greg!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol does the Rat Pack

Well, that will teach me to look up AI spoilers. Someone wrote up a list of what the Idols would be singing that they got from "a source from Ricky Minor's band" and all of them were wrong. They're either liars or the source is messing with them. I like the idea of the latter. Reminds me of when I would write wrong answers on my math test to screw over the chick who was cheating off of me to my left. I love when the geeks get one on the others.

And 2 numbers?? I guess by 2 numbers for each Idol, they meant numbers to call, not 2 performances each. Lame.

And I'm not generally one to look up spoilers. I only did it to help the kids become familiar with Rat Pack songs during our research of the Rat Pack itself so that they would excitedly recognize the songs. We listened to Jazz and Big Band all day yesterday. And yet, we categorically did not hear even one of those songs. Not one. Who knew the Idols would go all balladeer on us last night? So much for my "Hey kids, see that? Jazz is great music that makes you snap right along to it!"

But I am totally digging the look--all the Idols looked hot, hot hot. There's something about a crooner dressed in a suit that makes a girl melt a little.

Thing 2 pointed out that there were 5 Idols and 5 members of the Rat Pack and proudly used the word "coincidence" correctly. I love Word Girl.

So, they seriously invited Jaime Foxx to be a guest mentor?? Right after hosting Miley Cyrus?? That just seemed odd. Kind of like serving up crap for dessert after a mediocre meal. I'm having a really hard time liking Jaime Foxx after his little tirade about Miley. I'm not a Miley fan, but he was totally inappropriate. I had wanted to see that movie "The Soloist" but his tirade ruined it for me. Stupid Jaime Foxx.

I have to admit he was a pretty good mentor for the Idols, though. [sound of crickets chirping] Yep, that's all I've got.

I was hoping for Michael Buble. Sigh.

I warn you now. The Idol conspiracy theorist in me is in full force. Get ready.

Kris - "The Way You Look Tonight": First of all, I can't listen to this song without hearing a very nasal-y "I love the way YOU look EVERY NIGHT, Chandler Bing! Rha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha." It's disturbing. That being said, I think Simon was on drugs tonight, because Kris was awesome. He didn't mess with the integrity of the song while still giving it that very recognizable "Kris" sound. Artistry. This boy has it. He has such control and that last note was gorgeous. It gave me chills. He really is a "contemporary crooner." Simon was completely off base. Simon is stupid.

See, this is the point in the season where I start to hate Simon for putting his arrogant need to be right ahead of anything else. Simon doesn't know music. He knows what sells, I'll give him that. But when it comes to music, he is often wrong. And every season around this time, he starts to predict the final 2 (though I think it's hilarious how all of the judges have predicted just about all of them right into the finals . . . um, little memo to the judges--only 2 can be in the finals despite what you say or do, save or no save). Earlier this week, Idiot said that he would put money on an Adam-Danny finale. [Conspiracy Theorist] Hmmmm, I know! So that everyone keeps thinking Simon is sooooo cool and so good at what he does, let's have Danny and Adam have the more memorable 4th and 5th spots while giving the easier-to-be-forgotten spots to those other three. Oooh and then, Simon can slam the first 3, no matter how good their performances are, and tell them they don't have what it takes to win this or be a star. Then Simon can sit and smirk and smugly shrug and congratulate himself on being so freaking awesome and smart when Adam and Danny are safe and the others are in the bottom 3. [/Conspiracy Theorist] Hmph. Friends reference #2 (from 1:40 to the end).

Allison - "Someone to Watch Over Me": Did everyone catch the crazy fu man chu on the pianist? Wow! I love this song. She gave me chills, too. She did a beautiful job. I love her voice! I love how she can totally hold out power notes with such clarity and beautiful tone while having a rock-edge almost breathless raspiness in her lower register. This girl is awesome. And 16?? Simon is stupid. He's all doom and gloom. How can he seriously listen to that 16-year-old girl and think she doesn't have what it takes?! Have I mentioned that she's 16?! (Okay, 17, but barely!). SIXTEEN! Remember Diana Degarmo? Camille Valesquez? Jordin Sparks?? This girl can sing her butt off. And Simon's, too. He's just too busy being in love with himself to notice. Idiot.

Matt - "My Funny Valentine": See, when I hear this song, I really hear this (start at 1:05). Janice has apparently ruined many a jazz standard for me. So, Matt. I love the look and love the hat especially. No matter what he does, he still looks like Justin Timberlake. He, as usual, starts out shaky and gets better throughout. I think this guy has a major case of stage fright and I don't think he's ever really gotten over it. I'm always nervous for him and as much as I'd like to see him do well, he usually starts out a bit, well, not. And it's too bad, because they guy really does have mad talent. I personally liked the R&B vibe he gave the song. I like the riffs. Even though it wasn't perfect, as he got better, yes, this performance gave me chills, too. Simon was way too harsh on the first two. Then he praised this one. I don't get it. He claims his issue is confidence. I like Matt. A lot. But I actually think Kris and Allison have him beat by a mile when it comes to confidence. Stupid Simon.

Danny - "Come Rain or Come Shine": Hmmmm, not sure what Danny means about making it his own by giving this song a "bluesy feel." It IS a blues song. Maybe he was just nervous because Jaime Fox got in his personal space. He looked very nice and he was totally rockin' the house. Like Mark says, Danny has been consistently good (a la Ruben) so he sort of maintains rather than improves, but is that a bad thing? Danny is good, but I still think Simon is pitching his two pet favorites. Danny doesn't ever use his falsetto, which is fine, but I sort of like falsettos. His performance left Kara so breathless that she used a non-word saying he had "swag." Methinks she's been sitting next to Randy too long. What??

Adam - "Feelin' Good": Here I was all excited for a real jazz number and he rocked out. So, for those keeping count at home, that's 3 ballads and 2 rock numbers. So Disco week wasn't really disco. And jazz week really wasn't jazz. I'm starting to not really care what next week's theme is. Oooooh unless it's 80s! I want to see Adam do some Queen. I'm going to go ahead and leave that sentence. Think what you want. He would be phenomenal doing anything by Queen. If we're going to talk about "swag," Dude, Adam has swag. Lots and lots and lots of it. The staircase. The lighting. The white suit. It was really good. What can I say about Adam? He's got God-given talent. You can't learn that. It's all natural, raw TALENT. And I mentioned that I love when the guys use their falsettos, right? LOVE when Adam goes all Opera-mad, tongue sticking out, on his songs. I didn't love the arrangement, to be honest, but I can't deny that he performed the heck out of it. And that note at the end? Holy Moses! Boy can sing. Word.

When they wrapped up the show with Ryan standing by Adam, you could so clearly see their "opposite" suits . . . it was like a human Ying-Yang. In so many ways. And yet not. Wow, that's so very, very Zen. Ohm.

And did Ryan say, "Tomorrow night, Taylor Hicks, Natalie Cole, and Jaime Foxx?" What? No Michael Phelps? Well that's a motley crew if I ever heard one.

Best to worst:

They were all good but Matt was shakiest. But Simon is stupid, so I have no idea what will happen at this point. It'll be Adam and somebody in the finale, but I'd like to see it be Kris to be honest. Or Allison.

And an honorable mention goes to Paula for having an exquisite vocabulary even if she sometimes delivers her lines as if she's stoned. I like Paula and think she's smarter than we all assume. She used the word "alluring" tonight. I don't think the other judges or Ryan even know what that means. I love Paula.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I AM clairvoyant!!

I was only kidding! I was being sarcastic! Holy cow, I *am* clairvoyant!!

Hannah Montana duet with David Archuleta

Monday, April 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

It's been too cold for too long.
Today hit 93.
I don't want to complain because I'm mostly sick of the cold.
And I prefer heat to cold.
But geez, it's April, you know?

*****

After cleaning up from the Harry Potter party, we were exhausted.
We grabbed a bite at a new diner in town.
I had my hair up.
The teenage waiter was awkwardly cute when he told me,
"Has anyone ever told you that you look like Sarah Palin?"
And then he said, "Oh, I hope I didn't offend you.
I don't know who you voted for.
I don't like what she stands for or anything,
but she's, you know, pretty."
I choose to take that as a compliment, I guess.
Though I don't think I look like Sarah Palin.
Or Tina Fey.

*****

Yeeha! The Idols are singing two songs each this week!
And they're choosing Rat Pack Standards!
It's like Christmas in April (even if it's 93 degrees)--I'm so excited!!

*****

Dan Brown's new, much anticipated book is coming out this fall.
I LOVE the DaVinci Code.
This one is about Masons and it's another Robert Langdon story.
We've been waiting for this one.
We're pretty pumped.

*****

We host a book club.
We have 14 members, male and female.
We love it.
We read cool books
and we eat foods that go along with whatever book we've read.
It's both a literary and literal feast.

*****

Mark and I got the movie Doubt from the Redbox.
I really enjoyed it.
Excellent camera angles.
Cool themes.
Very thought provoking.
Superbly acted.
Ambiguous ending.
Had a foreign film feel.
Loved it.
No wonder it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards. Brilliant.

*****

I thought this was cool if a bit cheesy in parts.
Mostly, I liked it and smiled the whole time.
And cried.
It's very sweet.
Watch it.
You won't be disappointed.

*****

Thing 2 told me this past week,
"You are awesomer than Adam."
As in Lambert.
He's a big fan,
so that's a mighty big compliment.

*****

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Magical Birthday

Our kids have been excited for their respective Star Wars and Harry Potter parties for a couple of years now. This past year, our birthdays felt somewhat dampened by my Dad's passing and we didn't do our usual celebrating. So, this year we really enjoyed these theme parties that we've been excited about for so long! We've already posted about our Star Wars extravaganza. Now it's time to tell you about our Harry Potter party!

It started with very awesome invites in Harry Potter font, printed up in green with the Hogwarts Crest on parchment paper, and sealed with red wax and an "H" for Hogwarts. These were delivered by owl . . . kids found their invites on their pillows with feathers sticking out of it. Some kids got really creative and even RSVPed via owl, too! So cool.


And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the HUGE help we got from some very artistic friends of ours who helped come up with ideas and helped us out with fun decorations for the party. My friend Cristin is the artist behind the Portrait of the Fat Lady (she did a GREAT job) and her kids and our kids did most of the signs and notes.

We go all out with birthday parties, but as for number of guests, we're not crazy when it comes to that. We've always heard that a good rule of thumb is to invite as many guests as the age the birthday child is turning (so if you're turning 3, have about 3 guests . . . you get the idea). We have seen many party ideas online where people invited 50 guests. Are they insane? Anyway, to each his/her own. We had 8 kids, including our 2. It was a good-sized group for this event and a nice mix of girls and boys. And what an event it was! We love creative theme parties--the kids enjoy them, we have fun with them, they're memorable, they're creative, and we look at it as part of our gift to our kids.

So, party details. The weather cooperated (yay!), which is always a hit or miss thing with April birthdays, so we were able to do many activities outside, including Quidditch. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, the kids arrived and the first thing they had to do was run through the "brick wall" (red streamers) at King's Cross Station (our side yard) to get to Platform 9 3/4 (our porch) and catch the Hogwarts Express (black chairs set up on our porch).

Here are the young witches and wizards on the Hogwarts Express
(Mark played many roles for the party--here he is wearing his prefect badge)


Mark used his magic wand to tap on the bricks (Thing 1 made the bricks) in the proper way to open the door to . . . Diagon Alley (set up all around our living room)!

Here, to the sounds of a Harry Potter soundtrack (courtesy of Thing 2, who won it in a costume contest back when we celebrated at one of those midnight parties for the arrival of Book 7), the kids were greeted by Professor Minerva McGonagall (me) and they did a number of things (and we had Harry Potter Uno and Wizard Chess set up for them to play while they waited for their turns):

1. They withdrew a pouch of galleons from Gringott's Bank (the invite told them that a deposit had been made in their names) -- they needed this money to buy supplies at the other shoppes.



2. They then purchased their cauldrons:


3. Then they were fitted for robes -- notice the cool sign. We hung all the "robes" (Men's XL black t-shirts cut down the front) and the measuring tape on that cool coat rack (from our clinic):


4. They then visited Olivander's Wands where each wand chose its owner (notice the triangle for the "ding" to signify that that was the wand for them!):



video

5. They then purchased their brooms at Quality Quidditch Supplies:


There were many additional shoppes to see and visit in Diagon Alley:


But after the young wizards and witches had purchased their supplies, it was time to make our way to the Great Hall:


The great hall was decorated with a starry ceiling, the 4 house crests, a magical banner, and a fancy set table. Here we enjoyed homemade Pumpkin Pasties while hearing announcements from Dumbledore (Mark) about rooms/corridors and 3rd floor owlery that were off-limits (just like in the book), permission to apparate so that Filtch (me) doesn't have to vacuum floo powder, and a warning about using good behavior so as not to lose house points. Then, Dumbledore excused himself to attend to some business.





Then the sorting began:

One by one, I (Professor McGonagall) called out each child's name. The kids each took a turn sitting on the stool and placing the sorting hat on his or her head. The hat then began to speak to tell them which house they were in (we had 2 in each of the 4 houses).

We managed this with a rigged walkie talkie behind that pillow. The kids LOVED it. And Mark was seriously AWESOME at the voice and what to say. I wish I'd gotten better video of it. It was HILARIOUS. Then each child went over to the buffet and chose his or her appropriate house crest and clipped it to the party bag they got when they got to the train station.



The birthday girl was happily sorted into Gryffindor.

Thing 2 was gladly sorted into Slytherin (he has a thing for bad guys--I hear lots of little boys have this?)

Then it was time to attend classes:

Herbology Class


In Herbology Class with Professor Sprout, the kids had to put on headphones and dig up mandrakes (we used potatoes and drew funny faces on them and "planted" them). All the other kids would scream when the mandrakes got pulled out of the ground.

They also tasted gillyweed (nori for sushi) as part of class.

After Herbology, we snacked in the kitchen on magic wands (Red Vines) and Niffler Droppings (pretzel nuggets) and Basilisk Scales (Chips) as well as more Pumpkin Pasties and also Butterbeer (Lemonade).



Thing 2 worked really hard and diligently on decorating these cups--such a great job!


We then took them up one of the 2 staircases to Charms with Professor Flitwick. My pictures from this aren't the best, but here they made Magic Postcards with crayons and paper clips and index cards (where you scratch your name into the black over the colors).

(Sorry, not the greatest pictures)

As we walked around the castle, they used spells like "Alohamora!" to open doors and "Lumos" to turn on lights (or when I lit the candles in the great hall). The kids REALLY got into character and were so creative with it.

After Charms, we attended Defense Against the Dark Arts where Professor Snape filled in since Professor Lupin was unable to attend (something about a full moon . . . ).



For this class, the wizards and witches learned to make anti-dark wizard missiles and really enjoyed that! Here are two short videos from that class:

video


video

(Those are film canisters that you fill half way with warm water and then quickly drop in an Alka Seltzer tablet and close with a lid and put it upside down and then stand back . . . POP and they fly 15 feet in the air! BIG hit with the kids. Plus, it's magic!)

Next up . . . Divination Class with Professor Trelawney:

We decorated the kids' room for this class by putting cushions all around a little table that had gems and smelly candles and a crystal ball on it. After I looked in the crystal ball and told them their fortunes (cake, presents, etc.), they got to make their own fortune tellers (those folded paper ones we used to make in school when we were little) of their own by choosing magical colors (bronze, magenta, etc.) and numbers and writing some very fun Harry Potter-like fortunes inside. They really enjoyed this class, too.

Next, we went down 2 flights of stairs (it would've been 3 but the 3rd floor owlery was off limits) to the dungeon for Professor Snape's Potions Class. Mark was a mean Snape and threatened them with detention if they didn't behave. He also unfairly took points from Gryffindor and totally showed favoritism to his Slytherin students!

The ingredients for the potion


Mixing up our bubbly, colorful, smelly potion in the dungeon (our 160-year-old basement works really well for this) . . . Mark set up a table with a black tablecloth and candles and a "cauldron."

After classes, it was time for Quidditch! We used our backyard as the Quidditch field and we'd found a way to play "Muggle Quidditch" (even though the invitation said that Hogwarts was disguised as a Muggle house and that Memory charms had been placed all around so that we could practice magic without fear, we still thought it would be prudent to play Muggle Quidditch instead of flying and zapping things with our wands). J.K. Rowling wrote rules to the game and everyone had a lot of fun with it (though it wasn't entirely without injuries). And we still used our brooms to play, because, well, why not?

Our Quidditch Teams
(we're so glad the weather was so so so very cooperative!)

Playing Muggle Quidditch:

video


More Quidditch Fun -- the kids loved this and played for a long time while I helped prepare the grand feast in honor of Gryffindor's new Head Girl, Thing 1!

Since the Harry Potter books talk about pretty normal food being served in a magical way, we were going to make grilled chicken tenders and jacket potatoes and carrots, etc., but then as we were shopping, we had this stroke of genius . . . at .88 a piece!

Thing 1 chose which of the meals to get and we got enough for everyone and served them in the great hall--it was perfect! It was just like in Harry Potter!

I lit the candles . . . Lumos!

And the great feast began!

After the great feast, it was time to adjourn to the Gryffindor common room. To get there, we had to say the password to the Portrait of the Fat Lady . . . FlibbertyGiblet! Then the pocket doors slid open and we were able to enter for Thing 1 to open her presents:


My very artistic friend Cristin did that--isn't it great?

Everyone was so creative in their gift giving and packaging! That little bag was from Hedwig with a little something ("Owl Poop" Bridge Mix) for everyone! Thing 1 LOVES her cool HP-related presents and packaging and all the thoughtful things everyone got for her. She's working on thank you notes (which are report cards with the kids' O.W.L.s from their classes).

Then it was time to go back to the Great Hall for Quidditch Cake!

Gryffindor was playing Slytherin, as represented by the M&Ms and edible gold and silver glitter on the left and right. The other M&Ms are spectators.

The 4 house crests (getting a little chocolaty from the frosting)

A very happy (and flushed) birthday girl

The trick wand candles didn't work so well, darn it. I love that it was nice enough to eat cake outside and enjoy the nice weather. The kids continued to play outside on the Quidditch Field and inside of Hogwarts until they left.

When it was time to go, the kids got to make a trip to Hogsmeade where they were able to visit Honeyduke's for sweets and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes for jokes:



Mark and I stayed up late into the night (morning?) putting together the candy. It was really fun! We also designed wizard cards (Mark made up names and characteristics for the front and back of all the cards) for the chocolate frogs. So fun . . .



There were so many little detailed touches all around, just like for the Star Wars party. The kids made really cute signs and pictures that we taped all over the upstairs hallway--notices about Quidditch practice, a Lost and Found notice for Neville Longbottom's Rememberall, a "Beware of Basilisk" sign that Thing 2 drew, many different announcements and notices made by Thing 1, etc.



We also had a "Beware of Mountain Troll" sign on the bathroom with 2 troll pictures on the mirror in the bathroom:


It was really such a fun, FUN time. We love theme parties and this year's kids' parties have been SO much fun, especially since Star Wars and Harry Potter are so big around here and favorites of ours.

Thing 1 turns 10 next year and we're approaching 10 and up parties a little differently--basically, in addition to family celebrating, the birthday child gets to choose a couple/few friends to spend the day with and a couple/few activities, too. Both of them are already planning. :P Something along the lines of I take them out for lunch and dessert and something like bowling or mini golf or lazer tag . . . you get the idea.

I'm glad, too, because as much fun as these parties are, they're also a lot of time and work. We think it's totally worth it. Like I've said before, it's part of our gift to the kids and something we can always be glad we've done. :) Happy Harry Potter Birthday, Thing 1! We love you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Double Elimination on Idol

I'm going to keep it short and simple.

I loved the Paula dance stuff. I hate it when they lip sync. When you saw all 7 on stage--2 stood out as having true rhythm in their very bones: Matt and Adam. Whatever their singing abilities, those 2 have artistry and you can tell they actually feel their music. And they are the only two who can dance.

HATED the washed up disco medley. OMG, it was uncomfortable and painful. When I was a little girl, my mom used to take me to Miss Senior Sweetheart. It was a little like that for me, only this time, the talent, and I use that term incredibly loosely, sucked. Botoxed faces and tight dresses on people who shouldn't be wearing tight dresses (without slips to boot), old ladies who sounded AWFUL and looked like Big Bird if Big Bird ever wore something totally revealing and inappropriate, saggy breasts pushed up and out with a wonder bra that did no wonders unless a squished jello look is sexy, and washed up Vegas Lounge performers (KC, what the ??). What a horrible, horrible thing to inflict on us, the faithful Idol viewers. That was just cruel.

And little David Archuleta came out and sang and it wasn't good either. He apparently hasn't stopped smiling since starting the competition 2 years ago. It makes my cheeks hurt to imagine how it must hurt. Did you catch that his mom is in his band? That was her on the keyboards. Though she kind of looked like David Cook's mom, I'm not sure. I can't wait for the David Archuleta-Miley Cyrus duet! I mean, like, it's gonna be 2 kewl 2 rule.

But ding, dong, Lil is gone. And Anoop. I'm down with that. I love that Anoop sang his swan song with his hand in his pocket like he was hanging out at a bus stop. He has reminded me of Zach Braff for much of this competition and that just clinched it.

I'm quite pleased really. The top 5 who remain are awesome and it's always so nice to get rid of those barnacles that just cling on and on (and on and on) and move forward with a boatload of true talent. I'm excited.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol Recaps

Just as a note--Mark's is in black type and mine is in blue. Below. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Disco, disco, disco . . .

I am feeling a little cheated this week. No intro videos. No retrospective on disco and its relevance today. And more Lil Rounds. Honestly, I don't know why I watch this show sometimes! ;) I will go on the record, though, and say this is the best Disco Week I've seen on Idol in eight seasons. And the judges were fairly well behaved this week, and I see we're back to hearing from all of them after each contestant. I guess that's what skipping the intro videos can do.

Some other random observations: Ryan is very white. Just thought I'd mention it. I think Adam's pinky ring was the biggest ring I've ever seen in my life. It dwarfed Paula's ring by a mile. I'm so sick of any excuses starting with "I'm just . . ." Is it enough to have fun, or do you actually have to be good?! I'm surprised Simon missed a chance to associate shopping in the womens department with Ryan. And are we talking about ladies' underwear now? Randy really wanted to say this was a talented 6 rather than 7, but he was trying to be PC. There was some camera on the set this week that wasn't working right. The picture was jumpy during both Danny's and Allison's performances. So which guy from Saturday Night Live does Adam resemble?

Lil Rounds. I thought for sure she'd pick a Donna Summers tune, but Chaka Khan is close enough. How can Lil even think she was that original. I mean, she did try singing out of tune, and she did add a few runs here and there, but it was basically karaoke minus the scrolling lyrics at the bottom of the screen and a few drunk Japanese execs. And it's truly sad when Lil tries to defend herself by attacking criticism that wasn't even there. Here's how I remember it in my mind, and remember, I have perfect recall.
Lil: That was not karaoke and y'all are crazy if you think it was copycat.
Simon: We never said it was karaoke.
Lil: Well, I can see it in your eyes, fish 'n' chips, so cool it.
Simon: Your performance was hideous, but I didn't say "karaoke."
Lil: You want to, though. Don't you? Let's add lame, predictable, ridiculous, amateurish, out of tune, and nauseating while we're at it.
Simon: Your words. Not mine. Until now.
Even the outfit and hair extensions scream "I'm trying to be someone I'm not." I had enough 4 weeks ago. What do I have now?

Kris Allen. Again, my favorite of the night, although I could have used a bit better explanation of the song. This is the sound he keeps coming back to, and I think it suits him well. If I heard just a few bars of his guitar work I could probably say it belonged to Kris. I love the latin/carribean smooth jazz kind of sound he brings. His arrangements are so artistic and perfect. I always love when they bring Ricky Minor (obviously groovin' hard), Fidel the Cuban Washboard Guy, and Cesar Conga Dude up on the stage. For some reason it just feels good.

Danny Gokey. I think Simon was a little harsh with him, but I can see what's happening. Danny is kind of like Ruben Studdard was: steady and dependable. He's been outstanding this entire year but hasn't been able to muster a lot of originality to show growth. His interpretation tonight was different enough from the original to keep me interested, though. It doesn't hurt that I love Earth, Wind, and Fire either. Danny's another contestant that knows who he is and what he can do, so that keeps him competitive.

Allison Iraheta. Is that latex? And do they let minors buy clothes like this? Third straight performer with a well-defined style. I wasn't a huge fan of this performance, but man! This girl is great! Looking at her parents you'd never guess she can sing like this. I'm getting a little worried for her, though, since she's been hovering in or near the bottom 3 lately.

Adam Lambert. Apparently Adam is French tonight. The undeniable truth is that he is an amazing vocalist, and probably has the most talent of the bunch. It is incredible what he comes up with each week, even if he has help with the arrangements. Learning to survive in the music industry is learning to tap into resources in and around you. I didn't like his performance as well as Kris's, but I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't amazing. Randy's right: Adam is already there.

Matt Giraud. The hat is back and so is Matt. He gives off such an authentic R&B vibe up there it's unreal. This wasn't his best performance, but he was solid. I think we're approaching his competitive limit, though. He doesn't quite have enough to catch Adam, Kris, and Danny, but I'm glad to see him hold his own this week.

Anoop Dasai. I have a striped shirt from 1988 that will match Anoop's vintage, What Was I Thinking sweater. I think there's a skinny little tie to go with it, too. The bad news for Anoop is that the lyrics of his song do not bode well for his chances. Anoop's vocals were good, but the performance was sort of mediocre, and Anoop knew it. I did enjoy his father's half-hearted, "I really want to get into this but my manners prohibit it" kind of thumbs-down gesture.

BOTTOM 3: Lil, Anoop, Matt
DIMMING THE LIGHTS: Anoop
RETURNING CHAKA'S INNER GODDESS TO LOOK FOR HER OWN: Lil

Idol does Donna Summer, I mean Disco

Oh when oh when is big band night?? So, Disco. Can't complain, thankfully. Except for a couple of things. I will complain about some things. Let's begin.

I must say, I was particularly clairvoyant tonight, predicting what Simon would say before he said it. And being spot on every time. Uncanny.

Dramatic opening (again, so much better than the old recaps they used to do), "THIS is American Idol," Ryan runs down the stairs, hurries through his cue cards lickety-split, introduces the judges as fast as he can (someone either read my blog or recognized on her own how stupid and tedious the stage entrance was for the judges), quick get the idols on stage, no mentors, no intro videos, hi, bye, everyone leave but Lil and GO! Pant, pant, pant . . . obviously Fringe viewers were ticked. Two weeks of going over. Clearly that ain't happening again this week, Idol Powers That Be. Nuh-uh.

Too bad we couldn't move that fast through the first performance.

Lil Rounds - ("I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan) She couldn't have chosen a more predictable diva choice. My clairvoyance began when I noted a couple of notes in that Lil was sick. Not that that excuses her bad singing on any other weeks. Or this one for that matter. And she's right, you know. That wasn't Karaoke. That was Karaoke on steroids at Disneyland. Except that it was bad Karaoke on steroids at Disneyland. Hell, she even looked like Donna Summer. Holy crap, it was bad. So so bad. So very, very bad. And she had to overtalk again. UGH. Why, oh, why did Ryan have to ask what her inner goddess was saying. We all want her inner goddess to shut up when on stage. Did she look ticked or what. Man, she was boring holes into the judges. They were spot on tonight--she has no idea who she is as an artist. But she had fun. Whoopee. The only positive thing I can say is that I don't like pantsuits and yet she looked nice. Yep, that's all I've got. She is the antithesis of original and her time is so far past up it's like watching a child who won't go to bed when it's bedtime. Done. Done, done, done. Two eliminations tomorrow? They should both be for her. For emphasis.

Kris - ("She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer) Um, this guy is nothing short of brilliant. And cute brilliant at that. I loved it. LOVED it. For a second week in a row, I seriously preferred his performance to Adam's! Gasp. We suffered through an uncomfortable introductory interview by Ryan where we learned that Kris chose this song because a woman worked hard to make money. Riveting. How much does Ryan get paid to ask questions? Ryan's losing his edge as far as I'm concerned. I think it's in his closet somewhere. I think if he'd just step out and be authentic, it would be less uncomfortable because maybe he'd be less awkward. So, Kris. WOW! Brilliant performance. Fabulous arrangement. LOVED it. Loved it. Randy so totally went over the top in his compliments. You know why? Because he BLEW it last week. Idiot. Kris is fantastic. I don't care where he shops. Brilliant!

Did you notice all the extra Fringe commercials tonight, too? We saw several (as we zoomed through them on our TiVo). I think that was a big "Take that!" to the Idol producers.

And you know else is so uncomfortable to watch? Those stupid shots of the idols that are about to sing. You know, the ones where they're acting out goofy stuff to fill the time during the AI pre-commercial theme music like "Oh, I can't see very well" and what's that? Allison is wearing Danny's glasses? Oh! Hahahaha. Yeah, not funny. Just smile and wave.

Danny - ("September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire) The guy can sing, but my clairvoyance shined through again when I predicted that Simon would say it wasn't a great performance. Have you seen Earth, Wind, and Fire? The singer in that group is INSANE on stage. Danny looked like he was simply meandering around while singing the crud out of that sung (boy can sing). I don't have much to say on this other than that--good vocals, boring performance. Sing with the back up singers, stroll around the stage, sing with the back up singers, yadda yadda. Loved the shot of Danny's sisters, though. There were like a million of them. Reminded me of Joey Tribbiani. Paula yells out that she'll see him in the finals. I'm not sure what finals she's attending, but the rest of us will be enjoying Adam vs. Kris, methinks.

Anyone else notice the odd blond girl behind Simon that kept cheering during his criticisms? Very strange.

Allison - ("Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer) Again I ask, what was she wearing?? She was rather provocative tonight for a 16 year old. It was a bit odd to hear her rocking out about wanting some hot stuff and hot lovin' while dancing seductively on the stage. I'm guessing her mother has no idea what that means based on her sweet "where's my translator" smile from the audience. She's so cute. Gotta get me a mini one of those for my pocket. Allison is the only girl worth anything in this competition and always has been. Not my favorite performance for me for her, but still very good. She definitely needs to be the last girl standing in this.

Adam Lambert - ("If I Can't Have You" by the Bee Gees) His voice is beautiful, gorgeous, soothing, inspiring, pitch perfect . . . I love the tone of his voice. It was a great performance again, but of course he doesn't deliver anything less than amazing time and time again, so that wasn't surprising. I kind of wish he'd done something up tempo, truth be told. I don't want the unexpected, slowed-down fast songs to lose their ability to wow us and I fear they could if overused. That being said, he's still brilliant. And the tone of his voice combined with the passion he exudes pierces to the core. And his false, as always, is gorgeous. Love him. Paula was melting into a "pool of Abdul." I knew Simon would love it but not be jumping out of his seat over it. My foreknowledge strikes again. Paula, yet again, predicted that he'd be in the finals (well, duh). She has now predicted that 3 people will be in the finals. I don't think she's clairvoyant.

Matt Giraud - ("Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees) He looks so much like Justin Timberlake that it's almost distracting. I loved the funky vibe on this song and Matt's got some nice Timberlake-like moves, too. I liked it. Love his voice. He'd be even better in a studio, but dude has rhythm, style, and a serious mojo when it comes to music. And he has a falsetto that is out of this world. And artistry? The word of the season? Yeah, that. He has artistry.

Bowling, shopping, "Pauler" is on one tonight. Her plays on words are so fun. I'm going to put her in my pocket, too. And did some dope in the audience audibly cheer when Simon dissed the performance? Not very bright.

Camera cuts to Anoop doing a little "oh, I didn't shave!" routine. Ugh. Smile and wave. That's it. Ryan drinks out of Kara's glass. Honestly, grown up Hollywood types often remind me of everything I didn't like about high school. Blech.

Anoop - ("Dim All the Lights" by Donna Summer) Our resident frat boy. I like how he had some facial scruff to go along with the untucked shirt, making him look like he's late for math class this time. Man, he's really mixing it up. It was good, but why was that the last performance of the evening? They usually save the wow factor for the end and that was more like a slight snooze fest. I mean, dim the lights? Yikes.

And now a word about the save. STUPID save. So stupid. I've NEVER liked the idea. And I still don't. It's a STUPID ratings ploy. And it's stupid. When they introduced it, they did it all Idol-dramatic like talking about early exits like, GASP, Chris Daughtry and Tamyra Gray. Have I mentioned the word stupid? Because those were STUPID examples. Chris was in 4th place and so was Tamyra, so the stupid save wouldn't have done jack squat to save them. You hear me? Jack. Squat. The save can only be used up until the top 5. So it's really not a save at all, but more of a twofer. Two people get kicked off in one week instead of one at a time. So STUPID. So, you don't get the scare of the bottom 3. You know, those weeks where a favorite is inexplicably at risk of getting booted and people panic and vote like mad the next week to make sure that doesn't happen again? Yeah, can't do that this week. They're there. They're gone. STUPID. Stupid save.

Want more clairvoyance? That stupid save is going to do more harm than good. Someone who shouldn't be going home just might all because of that stupid save. Grrrrr.


Best to worst tonight:

Kris
Adam
Allison
Danny
Matt
Anoop
Lil
Lil (for emphasis)

Who should go home: Lil, twice over. Okay, Lil and either Matt or Anoop.
Who will go home because of the stupid save: Lil and someone who shouldn't (like pretty much anyone other than Matt or Anoop, though I could handle Allison or Danny as long as one of them accompanies Lil, because let's face it--the finale should be Adam versus Kris where it comes down to what style you prefer. Or I like them both, so who cares as long as they both do well). Stupid save.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally, I keep My End of the Bargain!

Today's post is brought to you by the letter H. At first I thought this letter would be fairly easy to spotlight, but as I've tried to think of my favorite things, making them fit the letter has been harder than I would have originally thought. Here goes my best effort at listing "10 Things I Like That Start With H (In No Particular Order)."

1. Hot and Spicy. I love any food that makes my tongue tingle and mouth burn. It's a little bit better if I get a little perspiration on the forehead and have to sniff just a little bit. If I turn red all over and need a gallon of water just to take the edge off the burn it starts to be a little much. Spicy of the Mexican variety is the best, but Japanese wasabi, Portuguese red pepper, Indian curry, and Thai chili sauce are all in the running.

2. Home Run. Baseball has long been my favorite sport. I love to play it, watch it, read about it. Whatever. I'm a little sad that I didn't think to go up to Cooperstown when Cal Ripkin, Jr. and Kirby Puckett were enshrined. Well, if by some strange chance Will Clark gets in there, that's a no-brainer. Every year I somehow convince myself that this year is the year for the San Francisco Giants (this year included), so here's to the men in black and orange. (As an aside, one of the saddest days of my childhood was when a supposed friend stole hundreds of baseball cards, including the 1986 Topps Update set, containing rookie cards for Will Clark, Bo Jackson, and eventual steroid kings Barry Bonds and Jose Conseco. Then he had the gall to try and trade those same cards to me and then lie and tell me I must have lost them. Jerk.)

3. Home Business. Anyone who has been following this blog in the least understands how we feel about our business. I can't put a price on commuting down the stairs, walking about 25 feet for a lunch break, and seeing my family countless times throughout the work day.

4. Happy Kids. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are almost always happy--laughing, playing together, smiling--and if they are a bit on the unhappy side, it usually means they are hungry or tired. We definitely have great kids. (I'd post a picture, but we have so many all over this blog already!)

5. Harry Connick, Jr. I know when I first became aware of him, Harry was billed as the second coming of Frank Sinatra. He's so much more than that. He's a fantastic pianist, and he gives one of the best concerts I've seen. I've been fortunate enough to see him during is "We Are in Love" tour and later at the Newport Jazz Festival with Stacy when he was performing from his "Come By Me" album. If you like big band music with a New Orleans funk vibe, he's the one for you.

6. Holidays. Anyone who has read anything on this blog knows that holidays tend to be a big deal--even the so-called "minor" ones. Besides celebrating all Christmas Eve, and feasting on Japanese fare on New Year's, we look for unique meals on St. Patrick's Day, buy the leftover candy the day after Easter, eat way too much on our Portuguese-style Thanksgiving, and find some other way to tie food in with any holiday we can think of. And don't forget birthdays! Thanks to Stacy, they are a thing to behold around here!


7. Herbie Hancock, Billie Holliday, and all that jazz. I love jazz music. If I'm being honest, Hancock and Holliday are not my favorite (although I do have CDs by each of them). Being a trombonist I am almost required to choose J.J. Johnson as a favorite artist, and I do so gladly. Other favorites are Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and a whole host of others. Add seeing Wynton direct the Lincoln Center Orchestra to my "must-do" list.

8. Hunger. I'm actually not a huge fan of hunger, but my hunger usually leads to . . . food! As if you didn't know already, food is a pretty important "event" at our home. I love trying new recipes from other countries and cultures. Depending on the day, I enjoy working in the kitchen, cooking old standbys or coming up with something new. And now it's after 9 pm and I'm wondering what I can find in the kitchen right now. Must . . . resist . . . the . . . urge . . .

9. Hershey's. As in chocolate. Even though we have ready access to a lot of Hershey's chocolate, I'm not necessarily partial to it, and I recognize that it has its shortcomings compared to some international types. But I can usually go for a good piece of dark, dark chocolate, and I don't need those boxed chocolates with various creams or cremes or flavors or liqueurs or swirls or nuts or whatever. Plain. Dark. Chocolate. Our friend who works at Hershey Foods once helped Stacy get some really dark chocolate--about 70% cacao if I remember correctly--and that was some good stuff. It reminded me of a chocolate bar I loved in Japan: the Meiji Black (86% cacao--even better). The good thing is I am actually able to savor it over time without devouring it in one sitting.

10. Home. As much as I love to travel and see new places (and old ones, too) I love to be home even more. I don't usually get restless energy that needs to be taken elsewhere. I can find plenty of things to do around here to stay busy and content. And being home with the family is the best of all. In fact, I'm sitting here tonight basking in the wonderful day we've had as a family, a bit jealous that I worked enough that I missed out on some of the fun and games Stacy and the Things had. Fortunately I got to eat lunch together, play The American Girl Game, eat some pizza, go to Thing 1's violin lesson, play Mario Kart, and read some of Thing 2's story to him. If that's not living, I don't know what is!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our Resident Comedian

Today

Thing 2 walks by looking adorable and I exclaim, "How did I get the cutest little boy in the whole world?!"

To which he responds, nonplussed, as he walked outside to play, "You growed him in your tummy."


Easter Sunday

So we do an Easter Egg hunt in the backyard, come back to the kitchen table, and count our loot. The kids get to choose 2 chocolates to eat before dinner.

Thing 1: Thank you, Mommy and Daddy!

Mommy: You’re welcome.

We look at Thing 2 expectantly who obliviously continues to count his loot.

Mommy, looking at Thing 2: You’re welcome, Thing 1 (well, I used her name, but you get the idea)!

Thing 2 looks at Mommy like she’s crazy.

Mommy, looking at Thing 2, repeats: Thank you for saying thank you, Thing 1. You’re very welcome, by the way. It’s so nice of you to say thank you, Thing 1!

Thing 2 looks at Mommy and wrinkles his nose and sneers slightly while furrowing his brow.

Mommy, still looking at Thing 2 trying to help him get the message, again says: You’re welcome, Thing 1!

Thing 2 gives his "what are you talking about" look again and exclaims, “I’m not Thing 1. SHE is!” and points at Thing 1.

Mommy: I know. I’m just saying it’s so nice of her to say Thank You. What do you think?

Thing 2: Oh! (Rummages through his loot.) I think I’ll have . . . a Krackel and . . . a Special Dark.

Daddy, jumping in to help: I think that Mommy is trying to get you to say thank you.

Thing 2: Oh. Thank you.


Later that night . . .

Thing 2 has this habit of asking, now and then, for more food before bed, mostly as a means to prolong bedtime. When we say no (on principle of hey, it’s bedtime—sometimes we do a bedtime snack when we’ve had an early dinner and are up late or something, but sometimes he’s simply trying to get away with staying up later), he can get highly dramatic (I thought this was a girl thing?).

He tried this tactic on Easter Sunday. Some of the things he called out from the stairs include:

I’m starving!
I’m so hungry, I’m starving!
My tummy hurts because it’s hungry!!
I think I need food! I can’t sleep without food!
I’m not going to bed, because I’m hungry!

(Meanwhile, Mark and I are in the living room, trying to watch Amazing Race and trying very hard to hold our ground.)

A little later, he bursts into the living room all indignant and points at his face and yells, “See!! A tear! That’s how hungry I am!

We’re not giving in, Thing 2. Go upstairs and go to bed. Next meal is breakfast.

He stomps up the stairs screaming and crying.

More from stairway:

Screaming, crying,. . .

But I’m STARVING!!

I’m NOT going to sleep!
My tummy hurts!
I'm so hungry!!
That’s it! I’m going to go to the kitchen and make myself a snack.

(At this point, Mark looks at me and says, He better not. I don’t know what I’ll do if he tries that.)

I have tears!! I’m SO HUNGRY!!!!!!!!

Then he started to really turn on the melodrama:

I’m going to starve to death!

After a while (clearly we weren’t relenting), he calls out:

Daddy? One more thing. If you want to kill your son, FINE!

And then for emphasis:

In case you didn’t hear me . . . One more thing. If you want to kill your son, FINE!

Eventually he settled down and went to sleep. I couldn't resist sarcastically greeting him the next morning with, "Oh, I see you survived the night."

Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And then there were . . . (Spoilers)

. . . 7. I love Matt and am glad they used the save. However, he wasn't good tonight and I knew he wouldn't be for three reasons:

1. No piano
2. He doesn't do well under pressure
3. Um, hello?!

I hate to be cynical and jaded, but I think it's a ratings ploy. I really do. Next week, he (or Anoop) and Lil will leave and the cream of the crop will remain and we'll sit back and watch the order to see who will battle Adam and lose the finale.

Miley Cyrus? Abysmal. Horrible. Indulgent Rubbish! She, no kidding, made me long for Megan Joy, so that says something. At least if someone is going to sound horrible, they may as well entertain, rather than bore me. Blech, it was awful. She sang through her nose and I didn't understand half of what she said. I think she was climbing something?

I'm glad they didn't put 2 groups of 3 up there and have the 7th person choose which one to join. Maybe it's because the bottom 3 were so obvious. Or the top 3. Either way.

Jennifer Hudson was great. I enjoyed that.

The Ford commercial was cute.

The female judges seemed high.

Biggest shock of the night was Adam saying he liked the cheerleaders in the movie.

Disco next week. I hate disco. And yet, I can hardly wait to see what Adam will do. LOVE Adam.

Idol Top 7

My opinions tonight may surprise you. But I must start out by perhaps stating the obvious. How is it that 5 adults, several producers, and an entire crew can't rein it in to keep their show in the 1-hour time limit? And honestly, it's their eighth year, the judges should have clued in by now.

Here it is all nice and simple like: STOP TALKING SO MUCH. They go on and on and on and on and on with the first few Idols (and with each other) and then rush through the final 2 as if they're running out of air.

So what happens next? I can only assume that Fringe viewers wrote letters of protest that their show was cut off by Idol. Fox caught grief and passed it on to the Idol producers who then sufficiently scared Ryan into keeping it moving and the judges into quieting 2 of their team per performance, but who apparently didn't get the memo to Lil who felt the need, agaaaaaaain, to argue back to the judges trying to justify why her songs still suck.

And they still went over!! You know what would've saved some time? If they'd STOP TALKING SO MUCH. Why must we sit through such ridiculous numbers of hyperbolic adjectives to describe each judge? We see them twice weekly on every show of every year. Randy, Kara, Paula, Simon. We get it. Hell, the 7 Idols we hardly know barely get a cursory walk on stage with maybe enough time to smile or wave. Take note, Ryan. STOP TALKING SO MUCH.

First off, Kara? Provocative? How exactly? Do you even know what that means? And did we need to spend so much time on Paula's bejeweled ensemble? Or Randy's yellow stripe? Vibrant? Congenial? Are you kidding me?! I don't think you even know what those words mean.

iTunes, Coke, AmericanIdol.com . . . we get it already. And, newsflash, we TiVo these shows. So besides skipping the commercials, we fast forward all the in-show commercial advertising, too. Except the blatant, giant red cups. We just ignore those while the judges don't STOP TALKING SO MUCH. My word, even their explanation of why only 2 of them can talk this week instead of 4 took far too long.

So tonight we got to sit through all of that PLUS the insufferable Quentin Tarantino. Didn't like him when he was on the show before. I was only marginally more impressed this time. Either way, I still don't get why he ever even has a role in this setting. He has no place judging or coaching musical contestants. He's a movie director! Now, maybe if he'd been directing tonight's show instead of "coaching" the contestants, they wouldn't have run over. Who knows. It's just insane that they presented a several minute bio about this guy when they don't have time!! Argh. He's so . . . weird! He's like kinda shifty-eyed psycho, kinda over-the-top manic, and kinda Marty McFly in a bowling shirt all at the same time. Not sure how he pulls that off, but it's odd and a little uncomfortable.

So, songs of the cinema. Or cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Here we go.

Allison Iraheta (Don't Want To Miss A Thing):

Quentin's sage advice: Sing it while I sit in a chair.

This theme week is just not complete unless someone sings this most-overplayed Idol song. This song was too low for her. But despite that this was not at all her best week (and I liked the song even less than I thought I would on her), she finally got the praise she deserved. Let's just hope her number one position tonight doesn't hurt her in the voting. Tonight's song notwithstanding, her performances until now should propel her forward. I have no idea why this girl has even ever set foot in the bottom 3. She is the best girl they have and has been all along. And Simon finally said it tonight. Girls' only hope indeed. Rock on.

Anoop Dawg (Everything I Do, I Do It For You):

Quentin's invaluable advice: Rough it up. (What the . . . ??)

Dude, that was AWESOME. I loved it. Wanna know how much I don't like this song? My first boyfriend held my hand for the first time during this movie and I still don't like this song. And I've grown so very tired of this song over the years that I always switch the station when it comes on the radio. And despite all that, I loved this song on Anoop tonight, Dawg. That was hot! I like it better than the original! By a mile. If this performance were on the radio, I wouldn't switch it like I would the original. It was in key, sung well, and performed well. I really liked it. Not sure it'll save him from the bottom 3, but I'm digging the rumpled up, math geek, Indian, frat boy singer.

Adam Lambert (Born To Be Wild):

Quentin's wise advice: None really. He likes Adam, "only got a taste," and he liked it. (Funny coincidence--I just read a comment on YouTube today where someone wondered what Adam tastes like. What an odd question. I don't know. Pop rocks?). Methinks Mr.Tarantino was a little starstruck with Adam.

If anyone can pull off any song, it's Adam. He was, yet again, freaking amazing. This was not at all my favorite performance by him, but that's mostly because I don't like this song either. Yes, that's 3 for 3 for those keeping score at home (actually, I like the Aerosmith song; it's just so very overdone on Idol). That said, I've got nothing but praise for Adam. I LOVE this guy and think he is one of the hottest, most likable, most talented Idols they've ever had. Ever. Perhaps Paula said it best yet again when she explained that Adam "dares to dance in the path of greatness and fortune smiles on him" or something like that. I like the Monkees wool cap he wears when he meets with the guest mentors. Nice. And his falsetto is insane. INSANE! This guy is supernatural. There is no other explanation for that kind of freaking raw talent.

Matt Giraud (Have You Ever Loved A Woman):

Quentin's shrewd advice: Don't lose the lyrics.

After what Daughtry did with this song, no one should ever touch it again. Including Bryan Adams himself. Because, yes, it's another overdone, overplayed song. And another one I don't really like. But you know what? Matt was awesome tonight (except for that one little part in the bridge where he hit that really wonky note). I loved it! I love his look, his easy manner, his madskillz on the piano, his voice, his arrangement, his touch of soul on songs like this . . . I think it was great. He went into his false when I didn't expect it and I liked it. I'm totally worried for him. If we have another pre-Lil casualty, I might just scream. And it wasn't nearly as bad as the 2 judges said it was. Ugh.

Danny Gokey (Endless Love):

Quentin's prudent wisdom: Put your hands in your pockets. Honestly, I don't know how the Idols would've ever pulled off this week without him.

Urgh. Yes, you guessed it. Not this song! This song is normally a duet. Rickey Smith did this song in Season 2 and it was HOT! Watch:



He did BOTH parts. Danny did a good job with this song, but it wasn't great. It was good. It was copycat (but with a harp). He looks so much like my cousin Little Johnny that it distracts me, especially this week without his funky glasses. But I digress. I don't know. It was just . . . okay. Heartfelt, good, well done, yes. But just okay. And yet again, he didn't follow the mentor's advice. His hands weren't in his pockets. I saw them.

Kris Allen (Falling Slowly):

Quentin's inspiring counsel: Have you thought about playing an instrument? Think about it, but it doesn't matter either way. Aren't you glad I'm here?

Dude, this was DA BOMB TONIGHT!! I loved this performance. WOW! I actually liked it even better than Adam's! I'm telling you, this song during the right love scene in the right movie would MELT me. Day-um! DAY-UM! I really loved this! What a gorgeous song!! Fabulous. Beautiful. Wonderful. I loved it. Kris is utterly adorable and has such a great look and manner. I really, really like this song. It's hauntingly, deeply gorgeous. It started out well and got better throughout and it was raw and it was pure and it was GOOD. Randy was wrong. Kara was SPOT ON! He DID have moments in there. She felt it. I felt it. It was AWESOME.

Lil Rounds (The Rose):

Quentin's most inspiring advice: Commit to singing it straight so that when you switch to gospel, it really soars (this was actually the best advice of the night, even if Lil Diva ignored it completely).

Argh. Does it matter anymore? You know why they had her sing last and had Simon critique her? So we can finally be rid of her. It'll stick in people's memories more to NOT vote for her. I actually like this performance on her more than any of her previous ones and at least she didn't do Whitney or Celine (we had predicted The Bodyguard for sure), but it's too little too late. And she's just not as original as so many of the others this season. She has already overstayed her welcome. I would've preferred a little more Lite FM singing from Scott to this drivel. I'm done with Lil. But of course you already knew that since I was done with her like 7 weeks ago. It's so passe already. What did Paula say to her? The road is long? What? Simon was right. And her back talk is intolerable. And she must be frustrated after weeks and weeks of not getting what they're saying, I'm sure. But she's not getting it and it's time to be done.

And still . . . 3 minutes over.

Fringe fans are renewedly mad. Can't say that I blame them. Now that Simon can't blame the girls, who will he blame? Maybe Mr. Tarantino has some suggestions? Sit in a chair, put your hands in your pockets, and don't lose the lyrics.

Heaven help us tomorrow when we have to suffer through a Miley Cyrus performance. Have I mentioned we have TiVo?

Best to worst tonight:

Kris
Adam
Anoop
Danny
Allison
Matt
Lil

Boquinha out.