Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol Top 5 Results: Bye, Bye, Brookie

The first thing I notice is that all of the singers are wearing shoes! Hooray. Maybe they read my post.

Looky...there's Kristie Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) in the audience. She looks happy.

I catch a little bit of the Up With People group sing and it's just awful. Really, really bad. After the break Ryan interviews Gina Glocksen and Constantin about their reality show. Oh brother. Ace Young is sitting in front of them. It's a reunion of the idol wannabees.

During the recap I realize how weak last night's show was. Brooke was soooooo desperate in the first song and what were those ugly silver bellbottoms she was wearing? You have to really search to find something that ugly. Jason was atrocious. Archy sounded like a kid singing at the Six Flags concert pavilion. The only person who was worth the price of admission was David Cook...and only his second song at that.

Regardless...I'm predicting Jason Castro and Brooke White will be in the bottom 2. Brooke should be going home...finally.

Jason Castro--or JCas as Ryan calls him--is on the seal first. Amazingly, he admits he didn't know any of the Neil Diamond songs. Where has this kid been for the last 20 years? Shock! He's safe.

Archy is front and center. He lookis drugged. Maybe his daddy spiked his Koolaid. Everytime he talks he sounds completely vacuous. Archy is safe and nearly gets lost going to the safe sofa. Maybe he really is drugged.

David Cook comes out after the break. I wish he'd shave. He's safe.

Like I've said many times...this is a year for the guys.

Sycreecha and Brooke come out together. I'm afraid Brooke is going to combust before this over.

How cute. In the question and answer session, Simon gets a call from the first girl he ever kissed.

Nope, I still don't like Neil Diamond. Yep, he's still very self righteous. I caught a little bit of him dancing and it was very creepy. Thank goodness for my TIVO.

Finally, we're at the moment of truth. Syscreama and Brooke come back down to the seal. Brooke's already having a breakdown. This is fun to watch. Sorry. Hooray!!! She's going!!! She's sobbing. Loudly. At least her husband gets to cut his hair. Hopefully, Brooke will go back to being a nanny and we'll never have to hear from her again. She is not attractive when she cries. True to herself, she stops after singing a couple of bars and starts up again. Goodbye.

So far my favorite American Idol night of the season.

Are you listening Norah O'Donnell? Mika Brzezinski?

I have a friend who says, "everyone loves a list." I think he's right.

Here's a list of words I wish news pundits would stop using:

1) Clearly
2) Essentially
3) Quite frankly
4) Obviously
5) Actually

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol Top 5 Recap: Diamonds in the very rough

Let me start by disclosing I’m not a Neil Diamond fan. His songs have always seemed a little self-important to me. That said, I think Diamond's diverse song book offers up worthy tunes for Syscreecha to belt out, Archy to inspire us, Jason to strum through (Song Sung Blue anyone?), Brooke to over-emote about, and David C. to turn on their easy listening head. Everyone’s singing two Neil Diamond tunes tonight. Oh boy. Won’t that be fun? One more thing...if Archy sings "I Am, I Said", I'm turning the television off. I just won't be able to take it and I want you to have fair warning.

Oh yeah, I read that Neil Diamond is 67-years-old and he's the oldest Idol mentor yet.

Extra points for anyone who can guess who Simon will tell "you're lucky you have two songs to sing tonight," first.

Jason Castro (power ranking: 3) Song Choice: #1 Forever in Blue Jeans, #2 September Morn
#1 Boring. Okay, but boring.

#2 Boring. Boring and not okay.

Judges after round 2: Randy: Not the best Paula: Jason needs to get out of his comfort zone Simon: This is not the Jason we put into the competition. Both songs were forgettable.

David Cook (power ranking: 1) Song choice: #1 I'm Alive #2 All I Ever Really Need is You

#1 David gave Neil Diamond goosebumps in the rehearsal. I don't like the song, but that's not DC's fault.

#2 I like this a lot. A rocker ballad. Excellent.
Judges after round 2: Randy: You rocked the house! Paula: I feel like I'm looking at the American Idol. Simon: Brilliant

Brooke White (Sweet Blonde) (power ranking: 5) Song choice: #1 I'm a Believer #2 I Am, I Said
You know how I feel about Brooke. I want her to go home. Why? Because she's the most insincere, sincere person I've seen on television in a long time. She talks too much. And, I just don't like her. Sorry.
#1 Brooke is back to the inappropriate smiling. She looks completely frantic and desperate through the whole song. Please go home.

#2 Ryan unfortunately asks Brooke an open-ended question subjecting us to boring, nonsensical babble. She sings and for Brooke it's tolerable. She gets into her squeak mode toward the end. Not horrible, but I still hope she's going home.
Judges after round 2: Randy: Nice job. Paula: Everyone loves who you are. Simon: I really hated the first song, but this is the Brooke we like.

David Archuleta (power ranking: 2) Song Choice: #1 Sweet Caroline and #2 America
#1 This is one Neil Diamond song I sort of like, but Archy has ruined it forever for me. I hate it. The arrangement was unrecognizable. Horrible.
#2 Love the sentiment. Hate the song. Archy totally misses one of the early high notes when his adolescent voice cracks at just the wrong point.

Judges after round 2: Randy: You are in the zone. Paula: Your voice is on point. I love you. Simon: Smart choice of song.

Syesha Mercado (power ranking: 4) Song choice: #1 Hello Again and #2 Thank the Lord for the Night Time
#1 Syscreamsha pulls another one out. Unfortunately, she performed barefoot again...I'll be counting off. Completely unnecessary indulgence. Still...I give round 1 to her.

#2 Barefoot again. Syscreecha is really into herself tonight. Very Broadway.

Judges after round 2: Randy: You're finally realizing who you are. Paula: Theatrical Simon: You are a very good actress. I think you may be in a little trouble tonight.

[Judges after Round 1: Randy liked Archy and Syscreecha. Paula somehow judged both of Jason's songs...before he sang them. Simon says it...they should ALL be glad they're singing two songs tonight. I get a lot of pleasure when he calls Brooke's performance a nightmare.]

My top 2: Syscreamsha and David Cook
My bottom 2: Brooke White and Brooke White. Just kidding...Brooke White and Jason Castro

Going home: Brooke White

5 people in the news who should just sit down and be quiet

Reverend Jeremiah Wright

Miley Ray Cyrus

Roger Clemens

Jimmy Carter

Brooke White

American Idol Top 5 Power Rankings

The most amazing thing about this week's power rankings is that Syscreecha may actually end up in the final three. Really! One of the secrets to performing is said to be to start big and finish big and that's exactly what our ice princess is doing. She actually would have been ranked third this week, but (as promsed) she dropped a point due to her barefoot performance:

1. David Cook (no change)
2. David Archuleta (no change)
3. Jason Castro (no change)
4. Syesha Mercado (no change)
5. Brooke White (+1, but only because of Carly's surprise elimination last week)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Book Review

If you like big, epic novels, you might enjoy Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald. The book begins when James Piper elopes with Materia Mahmoud, the 13-year-old daughter of wealthy Lebanese immigrants and continues for four more generations into the roaring '20s. Fall On Your Knees has a massive amount of characters--including four sisters, plots and it's not always easy to read. Some folks might even find parts of the story offensive as it deals with sin, guilt, lies, betrayal, love, hate, and redemption. I have a bias against "Oprah Book Club" books, but I couldn't put this one down. At times it was dark and foreboding with words so heavy I felt like I was shoveling my way through them, at other times I laughed out loud at a character's turn of a phrase. Let me know what you think if you read it.

How they'll look four years from now...

Everyone knows being President ages a person. The folks at Pop Photo have digitally altered photos of the three candidates so we know how they'll look down the road. Guess it comes with the territory, but I don't want anyone doing this to me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol Top Six Results Recap: Carly Out

The three worst performances last night were (in order of badness): Brooke White (Sweet Blonde), Jason Castro, and Davey Archuleta. Of course that doesn't necessarily translate into who will be in the bottom 3. My prediction is Brooke White, Jason Castro, and Carly Smithson will be in the bottom 3.

Brooke should be headed back to the Mormon complex, but this is American Idol. I'm thinking we might see Jason leaving us. There's even a chance Davey could be a surprise elimination since goodbye songs like "Think of Me" have been oddly prophetic in years past:

Think of me
Think of me fondly when we've said goodbye

How's that for hedging? Personally, I want to see Brooke outta here and I won't be happy unless she goes. I'm tired of her smaltzy schtick (can you say that when you're describing a Mormon), she's obviously having some sort of mental breakdown, and I don't think she even sings that well.

By the way, this is the only group-sing I'm sitting through all season, and it's only because Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber piqued my interest when he told the LA Times the group number was “something I suggested...It's a bit of an odd choice perhaps. I think it will work. We'll see.” Yes, we will ALW...yes, we will.

ALW is at the piano and the six are going to sing "All I Ask Of You," from Phantom of the Opera. Very nice. Ooh there's that cute little girl from Little Miss Sunshine. ALW looks like a proud father up there with his six mentorees. I thought he did a great job.

We have the requisite recap and here's what we don't hear about: Archy forgetting the lyrics, Jason having no clue that Cats was about cats, Brooke delivering a really poor performance (besides forgetting the lyrics), Carly forgetting the lyrics...

Why do they keep saying this is the first time someone (Brooke) started singing a song then stopped and started over. The same person--Brooke--did it before. Here's the link...and here's what I wrote the last time she did it:
Brooke (Sweet blonde) does something I have never, ever seen anyone in 7 seasons of American Idol do. She has a “misfire” and just restarts her song. It’s like the President reading the first line of the State of the Union address and just stopping and starting over. Weird. Surely the judges will count off for that!

Oh well, it's like Hillary Clinton's lies...if you say it enough maybe people will believe it.

ALW disses Jason again for not taking his advice and making such a poor song choice. I think he (justifiably) is mad because Jason had never heard of him.

Now the elimination. David and Davey are called up first. We know DC is safe, just go sit on the safe sofa. Davey looks like the other David's little brother. They're both safe.

We get a backstage shot and Jason is actually yawning. Not exactly the tense scene the director was anticipating I suppose.

Brooke and Screamesha are called out. Please, send Brooke home. Oh, no. Ryan gave Brooke an opening and she runs with it. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. Be Quiet! Oh man. Brooke is safe to torment us yet another week. I am sick to my stomach. She's not even in the bottom 3. Screamesha is on one of the two stools of doom.

After the break...Jason and Carly front and center. One will go into the bottom 2. Jason was certainly the worse of the two, but at this point who knows? Jason is safe. So...the two worst performers--Brooke (Sweet Blonde) and Jason are on the safe sofas. And, two of last night's best performers--Carly and Syesha are on the stools of doom. The show may have jumped the shark tonight.

After some meaningless chit chat with the judges, Carly and Screamesha sing their songs to fill some time. After a break, Ryan tells Carly she's history. Back to the pub. Back to the tattoo parlor. Screamesha lives to sing another day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American Idol Top 6 Recap: I Don't Know How To Love Them

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber--king of musical theatre--is the guest mentor this week. “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats,” “Phantom of the Opera," "Sunset Boulevard"...there's a massive songbook to choose from tonight. I'm almost betting my house that Archy will inspire us with something from "Dreamcoat" and it wouldn't surprise me if Brooke White (sweet blonde) will try, "I Don't Know How to Love Him". Screamesha and Carly should be able to find something that's up their big voice alleys, but Jason might have a tougher time staying in his ukelele-strum niche. Since Screamesha loves to choose the big iconic songs...I'll go out on a limb and predict she tries to outdo Madge and Patti Lupone with "Don't Cry For Me Argentina." So here we go.

Straight off the top we see David Duchovny and his adorable little boy in the audience. Allison Janney is sitting behind them. Ryan introduces ALW in the audience and I'm wondering who the homeless folks are sitting next to him. Well, that's just an aside and even if he doesn't have any friends it certainly doesn't diminish the lord's talent.

Syesha Mercado (power ranking 4) Song Choice: One Rock & Roll Too Many

This week’s fun fact: Her mom, Zelda, was a Motown back-up singer.

Syesha starts off in her training session with a stupid question to ALW, but redeems herself with some terrific warbling. ALW tells us Syscreecha could bring the house down. We'll see. Okay, barefoot...counting off in the power rankings. Something's off in the beginning...either the pitch or the rhythm. Maybe both. We get to the screech part and she's better. Ricky Minor, the orchestra conductor, dons a fedora and starts danching with Screameesha. Randy thinks this is Syesha's best performance and she could be a big Broadway star. Paula agrees and says this is Syesha's happy place. Simon agrees and calls her sexy.

Jason Castro (power ranking 3) Song Choice: Memory
This week’s fun fact: Remember the little girl in the audience last year who couldn’t stop crying when she saw Sanjaya perform? Well, this year she’s abandoned Sanjaya for Jason. Yep, little Ashley Ferl was in the audience a couple of week’s ago sobbing inconsolably through Jason’s performance.

Jason divulges he's never seen any of ALW's shows. That probably isn't the smartest thing he could admit. ALW is taken aback at Jason, the dreads, and the fact that he's singing Memory. Doesn't look like he or Jason have much confidence in the performance at this point. Well, at least Jason is wearing shoes on those ginormous feet of his. He sings sweetly. Breathily and squeakily and off tune...but sweetly. Oh no, the mosh pit is waving their arms. Stop it. Randy is underwhelmed to say the least. He calls it a trainwreck. Paula says everyone's used to hearing the song by a female power balladeer and that's not what Jason is, but Jason is unique. Simon says it was the longest 2 minutes of his life. He says it was like a young guy being forced to sing a song by his Mum and Dad at a wedding. Hilarious. (Oh yeah, I think I saw Courtney Cox in the audience).

Brooke White (power ranking 6) Song Choice: You Must Love Me

This week’s fun fact: Her husband isn't going to cut his hair until she gets eliminated from American Idol. (Sorry, even the gossip about Brooke is boring.)

I read today that ALW really liked Brooke. I don't know, I think maybe she just reminded him of Sarah Brightman. There's so much backlight on Brooke's hair it looks like it's on fire. In fact, her hair is done just like Sarah Brightman's. Weird. Oh my goodness!!! Sweet blonde does it again!!!! She does a mulligan!!! She just stops and starts over!!!! Last time the judges didn't count off for it, they better this time or I'm going to be really mad. Can you imagine paying $250 for a Broadway show and having the lead singer/actress just stop the song and start over??? Okay, I'm over the rant. I just HATE this performance. She's almost talking the song. AWFUL! HORRIBLE! MAKE IT STOP!! Randy says it wasn't great. Randy, sweetheart, it wasn't even tolerable! Paula calls Brooke out and tells her she must never stop and start over. Simon says it was too dramatic and Sweet Blonde will be disappointed when she sees it back. Brooke looks really angry. This could have been the worst performance of the season. I'm not kidding. Worse than Beatles night with Kristy Lee Cook. I think Jason is probably jumping up and down backstage. Whoa, we were almost safe...Brooke starts blabbing. No wonder the show always runs late.

David Archuleta (power ranking 2) Song Choice: Think of Me
This week’s fun fact: Naomi Judd who was a judge (Judge Judd, hahahahahaha) for Star Search confirmed that Little David’s dad is a nightmare. She called him “the worst stage dad.”

I finally realized what’s been bothering me about this Davey-mania. The show is American Idol, not the Nickleodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards. Can you really picture yourself buying a ticket to an Archy concert? Ever? Can you imagine ever--ever!!!--buying a CD of his big, inspiring tunes? No. No. No. No. No. Of course not. I rest my case.

Even ALW can't imagine a boy singing "Think of Me" from Phantom. Archy's all breathy and shucksy when he sings to ALW. ALW looks unmoved. He tells Archy to open his eyes. He should have told him to open his eyes and stop licking his lips. Interesting, ALW says he just can't watch someone's who's got his eyes closed all the time. Amen. Archy sings and once again I just don't see the big draw. he just looks and sounds like a little boy on a big old stage. Inexplicably, Randy says it was da bomb. Paula calls Archy absolutely perfect. Perfectly boring maybe. Simon agrees with me calling it one of Davey's weakest performances of the live shows and forgettable, but enough to keep him in the competition.

Carly Smithson (power ranking 5) Song Choice: Jesus Christ Superstar

This week’s fun fact: No fun facts about Carly. She’s not a fun girl.

Even ALW points out the woman snaking down Carly's arm...I don't understand it, but he says a girl with that needs to sing "Jesus Christ Superstar." Go figure. this is my favorite Carly performance ever. She doesn't seem nearly so angry. Appears to be having some fun. Doesn't look too bad. And, she's wearing sleeves. Way to go Carly. Randy thinks it was good. He even compliments her outfit. Paula likes what she did with the chorus. Simon says it was one of the best performances of the evening. Tomorrow night will be interesting, because even though she deserves to say I don't think Carly has much of a fan base.

David Cook (power ranking 1) Song Choice: Music of the Night
This week’s fun fact: Rumors are that David's dating “So You Think You Can Dance” star Lacey Schwimmer. Spies say he’s been missing curfew to rendezvous with her.

Well he's got the last position, so David Cook must be stellar tonight. I'm proud of David. He says he grew up doing musical theater and loves ALW. This will be a huge departure from what we've heard him do previously--I hope he pulls it off. Beautiful. Subdued. Hot. Best. Of. The. Night. Randy calls it amazing and unbelievable, molten hot. Paula says it proves David is well-rounded and has a beautiful instrument. Simon says he made the most of it.

Okay, I was ready for Jason to go home or maybe Screameesha....but pack your bags Brooke. You're going back to the temple. Even with the hair you're no Sarah Brightman. Speaking of hair, at least Sweet Blonde's husband will be able to cut his.

Monday, April 21, 2008

American Idol Top 6 Power Rankings

Season 7 is definitely shaping up to be a battle of the guys. The Davids are duking it out week after week for the top position. On the female front, Brooke White (Sweet Blonde) is having a very public breakdown. I think we need a mercy dismissal. And, no matter how many times the judges tell her to chill out, Tattoo Carly just looks angrier and angrier as the weeks go by.

1. David Cook +2
2. David Archuleta -1
3. Jason Castro -1
4. Syesha Mercado +1
5. Carly Smithson +2
6. Brooke White -2

Jordin Sparks Grounded With Career-Threatening Throat Injury

Just when she was set to start the biggest tour of her life, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks has been diagnosed with a severe throat illness. Apparently she has an "acute vocal cord hemorrhage" that could end her career before it gets started. Jordin's been ordered to rest her vocal cords and may have to have surgery before it's over.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rock & Roll In The Heartland

We had an earthquake in the midwest. The epicenter was 128 miles east of St. Louis near Bellmont, Illinois. It woke us up about 4:30 this morning. Did you feel it?

Vladimir Putin's Softer Side

Vladimir Putin dumped his 50-year-old wife Ludmilla and is set to marry a super-flexible 24-year-old gymnast named Alina Kabaeva. Apparently a June wedding is in the works. Isn't that romantic?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Identify the guy in this a prize

First person to correctly identify the actor in this commercial wins a prize. Leave your answer as a comment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Idol Top 7 Results Recap--Kristy Lee Cook rides off into the sunset

If you missed the Mariah tunes last night, don't beat yourself up. It wasn't that great. Consensus is the guys did lots better than the gals, but that's not saying much. I won't be downloading anything from ITunes.

As a reminder:

My Top 3: David Cook, Archy, Syesha
My Bottom 3: Carly, Jason Castro, Brooke White (sweet blonde)

My guess is that we'll be Celebratin' Brooke Home shortly.

Have you noticed how Simon winks when he's introduced? Don't you think it's hot when a guy has perfected a good wink?

First up is Jason Castro. Okay it's the two group game. Jason is put in one pile. David Cook comes out and is put in a second pile. Carly (tattoos are front and center again) is put into Jason's pile. Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) gallops out to center stage and is put into David's pile.

Old buddy Elliott Yamin from two seasons ago comes out. He has new teeth, new hair, and the same great voice. He looks a little bit like Dr. House. I remember when he used to look like an Amish farmer. Sounds good. I might buy his CD.

Elliott leaves and our two piles reassemble. Syesha, with a sort of Sanjaya ponyhawk thing going on, is next on the seal. She is tossed into the Jason, Carly pile. Brooke White (sweet blonde) is next--blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...she talks and talks and talks until being told to go to the David & Kristy pile.

Mariah sings. She looks great. Sounds good.

Talent show Davey is summoned to the seal and told he's safe. Now there's a last minute switch. This is silly. The new groups are 1) Syesha, Kristy Lee, and Brooke White.... and 2)David Cook, Jason, and Carly. David's told to join the group he thinks is safe. Poor Archy looks completely lost and bewildered. Finally Ryan tells us that Carly, David Cook, Jason and Archy are safe. Carly lets out an other-worldly squeal that is not becoming.

Kristy Lee, Syesha, and Brooke White...Brooke starts the waterworks. Syesha is sent back to safety on the couches. Brooke talks until Ryan interrupts her to tell us poor Kristy Lee is going home. Unfortunately Brooke is safe to torment us with another folk tune and more jabbering next week. Our horse-loving blonde is riding off into the sunset. She took a lot of abuse and smiled all the way through it. I still kind of like her.

Kristy Lee Cook (power ranking 6) Song title: "Forever"
I think Kristy Lee (horse-loving blonde) looks like Jenna Bush tonight. Great dress. I like this arrangement a lot. Kind of a Barbara Mandrell sound. Randy agrees it was pretty decent. Paula gives her props for choosing the right song and stepping up her performance. She also likes the arrangement. Simon says she managed, but was whiny. Rating: Not bad

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol Top 7 (Try To) Hit Mariah's High Notes...Recap

I'm still angry about the Michael Johns fiasco. Not just his premature demise, but also the callous way Ryan handled the whole thing. Let's send Ryan home, how about that?!!$%^&

It's Mariah Carey week on American Idol. I'll give Mariah her due, but it's at least partially her fault (and I do hold her personally responsible) that all these would-be divas and divos add unnecessary runs and ridiculously high, glass-shattering, ear-splitting notes and embellishments and insist on powering out otherwise tolerable pop and R&B tunes, sliding in and out of as many vocal extremes as they can shove into 90 seconds.

Given the nature of all Mariah songs, here's who I expect will do well tonight: Syesha and Carly. Here's who I can't imagine in a million years singing a Mariah song: Brooke White (Sweet Blonde), Jason Castro, and David Cook. I'm guessing little pageant boy Davey Archuleta will be fine (but not memorable...please, please, please don't sing There's Got To Be A Way even though you're drawn to those songs about homelessness, poverty, and peace) and Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) may actually do okay if she chooses the right song (Hero? When You Believe?). She could also be horrific (remember how she butchered Eight Days a Week?).

Be watching for David Cook's ailing brother, Adam, in the audience tonight. Adam's being treated for his second bout with brain cancer.

David Archuleta (power ranking 1) Song title: "When You Believe"

Gee whiz. Look who's first. It's our boy in the bubble, little Davey Archuleta. He doesn't feel worthy to be in the presence of Mariah Carey. Uh. He isn't. Ewwww. Davey's wearing leather pants and it really gives me the creeps. He's in his element singing the chorus and inspiring the world. Predictably, the judges just ooh and ahhhh over Archy's performance. Randy calls it da bomb. Paula says Archy's made Mariah proud. Simon says he set the benchmark. Archy's humble and almost starts crying. Rating: Good

Carly Smithson (power ranking 7) Song title: "Without You"

Simon’s girlfriend spilled the beans over the weekend that Carly is singing “Without You.” Technically, that’s a Harry Nilsson song, which I don't think is fair...but since she's sitting in last place in the power rankings I don't think it makes much difference. Face it, this whole night is a big old gift to Carly and her big old voice.

Carly actually sounds restrained which is a new thing for her in this competition. We don't see any of the weird facial expressions until the chorus, so it's a nice reprieve. I'm also thrilled that she's covered up that awful tattoo of the big woman snaking down her arm. This is the first time I've kind of liked her. Randy disagrees with me and likes the middle more than the beginning. Paula agrees with me that Carly showed some restraint. Simon says she didn't pull it off even though she's capable. He thinks she's overthinking her performance and is wound up. Rating: Not bad

Syesha Mercado (power ranking 5)Song title: "Vanishing"
Syesha knows to work the room and has dressed the part of the diva...shiny gold lame cut down to there. Okay, time to concentrate on the song. Meh. Just okay. Poor man's Mariah. I do like that her lipstick matches her dress perfectly. Randy thought it was a good try because the song was hard. Huh? Paula likes it because no one knows the song. Huh? Simon thinks it was a mistake to pick a song no one knows. I'm baffled, but still didn't like it too much. Rating: Not Bad.

Brooke White (power ranking 4) Song title: Hero

Brooke (sweet blonde) is dressed like a Mormon version of a diva. Oh yeah, she is. She's singing the Carole King version of Hero (if there was one). I can't wait for it to end. Boring. Oh yeah, one foot is barefoot, so she's already dropped a point in my power rankings. Very obnoxiously she puts her shoe back on and runs to the judges' box. Randy says the bridge was bad (the part with the big notes), Paula calls her authentic and identifiable but sped up too much (?), Simon brings us back to reality and says it was like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun. I understand what he's saying perfectly. Rating: Boring

Kristy Lee Cook (power ranking 6) Song title: "Forever"
I think Kristy Lee (horse-loving blonde) looks like Jenna Bush tonight. Great dress. I like this arrangement a lot. Kind of a Barbara Mandrell sound. Randy agrees it was pretty decent. Paula gives her props for choosing the right song and stepping up her performance. She also likes the arrangement. Simon says she managed, but was whiny. Rating: Not bad

David Cook (power ranking 3) Song title: Always Be My Baby

Amazing how much better this guy looks than he did a few weeks ago. The song's okay, but kind of like last week there's only about four notes until the very end. When he finally blows it out he's great. We get a glimpse of his brother and it makes me sad. Randy gives him a standing ovation. Paula says it could have been a movie soundtrack. Simon calls it daring and original. Rating: Good

Jason Castro (power ranking 2) Song title: "I Don't Wanna Cry"

For some reason I notice right off the top of the song that Jason--who's sitting on a stool--has these enormous feet. I'm not kidding. You'll notice now that I've pointed it out. I kind of like the song, but he's a little too mellow, too sincere and too fidgety for my taste. Randy says he felt like he was at a beach luau. Paula says she'd love to be at that luau. Simon agrees with Paula and calls him cool. Rating: Boring

Top 3: David Cook, Archy, Syesha
Bottom 3: Carly, Jason Castro, Brooke White (sweet blonde)

Monday, April 14, 2008

American Idol Top 7 Power Rankings

It took me a few days to recover after last week's surprise elimination of my boyfriend...Michael Johns...but (finally) here are the power rankings for the remaining seven contestants.

Due to some weak performances by former standouts, Jason Castro and David Archuleta have moved up. In fact, it's the first time since week 3 that little David has reclaimed the #1 position. A pattern of poor song choices, hideous wardrobe, and a huge likeability problem lands Carly Smithson dead last.

1) David Archuleta
2) Jason Castro
3) David Cook
4) Brooke White
5) Syesha Mercado
6) Kristy Lee Cook
7) Carly Smithson

Can't We All Just Get Along????

All this name calling. Hillary—whose latest tax return showed a joint income with Bill Dawg of more than 100 million dollars in the last seven years—is calling Barackstar an elitist. Barackstar has responded by calling Hillary Annie Oakley.

It all started when Barackstar told a group of wealthy San Franciscans that small-town Pennsylvanians and Midwesterners “cling to guns or religion” because they are “bitter” about their economic status. I’d remind both of them that some people enjoy hunting as a hobby, just like other people enjoy wine tasting or golf or photography as hobbies. I’d also remind them both that those of us who cling to religion don’t do it because we’re bitter, but rather because our faith in God gives us purpose, direction, joy and comfort.

I think this so-called “mis-statement” by Barackstar is exactly the opening Bill Dawg and Hill have been waiting for. Suddenly she has a 20-point lead over him in Pennsylvania. Plus, now she’s making a new argument to uncommitted superdelegates that she’s “electable” and he isn’t…nevermind that just 37% of Americans had a positive feeling toward her as of the end of March.

To listen to Hill and Bill, it’s the big city latte liberals versus the blue-collar, pro-labor, Rooseveltians. Today, that is. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bang The Drum Slowly

A friend told me she had a dream last night and I was playing the drums. She said I was really good.

What would cause someone to dream something like that??

Best American Idol performance of the year!

Shout to the Lord! Awesome.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

American Idol Results--Shock And Aussie

As a reminder...
My top 3: David Archuleta, Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde), Jason Castro
My bottom 3: Carly Smithson, David Cook, Brooke White (sweet blonde)

My prediction: Carly Smithson is packing her bags

I skipped past the recap of last night's 2 1/2 hour show, past the blah, blah, past the Up With People segment.

Brooke (Sweet blonde) comes out in her lucky cowboy boots and immediately puts one in her mouth by making some comment before the results about being on next week's show...unfortunately, she's safe.

David Cook, front and center,is rightfully nervous. He's safe.

Pageant boy little Davey Archuleta is next. He's safe and his dad is thrilled.

Jordin Sparks performs. There's so much reverb it sounds like she's singing in a really big shower.

Jason Castro is up. He's safe.

Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) looks like a million bucks and she's safe.

Syesha Mercado, Michael Johns, and tattooed Carly Smithson are in the bottom 3.

I can't tell if Carly looks nervous or just supremely ticked off. Randy thinks it's a surprising bottom 3. Paula says America got it partly right, but doesn't tell us which part we got right. Simon says America has a connection with him. I guess that means he agrees with the bottom 3. Can't say I think Michael Johns belongs there, but my love for him could be coloring my opinion.

Shock! Michael Johns is eliminated and going home. Hmmmmmmm. Let's think about this. Is anyone worse than Michael Johns? How about Syesha, Carly, Kristy Lee (horse loving blonde), Brooke White (sweet blonde), and Jason Castro to name a few.

Michael Johns (power ranking 1) Song: Dream On
Michael’s had two fabulous weeks. He’s been able to straddle the humble-but-hot line successfully. He doesn’t seem quite as calculating has our old bud Constantine, which makes him even more appealing. Michael’s found his niche with his recent blues/soul vibe. I hope he sticks with it, but I'm afraid he sees himself as a rocker. Yep. I was right. We have the rocker Michael tonight and he's not nearly as good as the last two weeks. I'm still in love, though. Randy says there were some pitch problems and he doesn't see our Aussie as an Aerosmith type rocker. For the first time, Michael turns me off by arguing with Randy. Paula looks naked and talks about her chihuahuas. Hmmmm. She likes it. The song I mean. Simon thinks it was a good performance, but he also doesn't like Michael as a rocker--he, too, prefers him in the R&B world. Not bad.

Robbed. He was robbed I say!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

World's Best Delivery Guys

Since my husband's office is in our home, we get a lot of deliveries. We love our delivery guys. If our dog is outside they always give her a cookie. She missed them this morning, but here's how they left a package at our door today:

Now that's service!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Idol Top 8 Perform: Inspiration Point

Inspiration night…that’s the theme. I’m hoping the schmaltz is kept to a tolerable level.

I’ve decided that after their performance tonight, I’m putting each singer into one of the following categories: Good, Not Bad, Boring, Dreadful. Another judging note…I’m counting off in the power rankings for anyone who doesn’t wear shoes.

Michael Johns (power ranking 1) Song: Dream On
Michael’s had two fabulous weeks. He’s been able to straddle the humble-but-hot line successfully. He doesn’t seem quite as calculating has our old bud Constantine, which makes him even more appealing. Michael’s found his niche with his recent blues/soul vibe. I hope he sticks with it, but I'm afraid he sees himself as a rocker. Yep. I was right. We have the rocker Michael tonight and he's not nearly as good as the last two weeks. I'm still in love, though. Randy says there were some pitch problems and he doesn't see our Aussie as an Aerosmith type rocker. For the first time, Michael turns me off by arguing with Randy. Paula looks naked and talks about her chihuahuas. Hmmmm. She likes it. The song I mean. Simon thinks it was a good performance, but he also doesn't like Michael as a rocker--he, too, prefers him in the R&B world. Not bad.

Syesha Mercado (power ranking 4) Song: I Believe
Syesha is the singer who has outperformed her talent in this competition. There’s no denying she knows how to look and play the part of an American Idol. Unfortunately, she just doesn’t have the singing ability. As usual Syesha looks great. Song starts rough with surprisingly little emotion. She sounds better when she starts belting the song out, but it all seems very forced to me. Syesha wants to be Whitney, but she just isn't. Randy gives her credit for taking on a big song, but says Syesha didn't have a connection to the song. Syesha argues with Randy. Paula says Syesha made the song her own and this is one of Syesha's "most shining nights." Simon says technically Syesha was good, but lacked emotion. Not bad.

Jason Castro (power ranking 6) Song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Jason needs to do something drastic to stay in this competition longer than a couple of weeks. Since he’s great at connecting with the emotions of his song (eg. Hallelujah) he might do really well tonight. We're back to the strumming. I sort of feel lik I'm hearing a tune on Sesame Street. Yes, it's sweet, and wonderful. But, Jason, please do something different. Randy calls it molten hot. Paula says Jason is definitive. Simon says fantastic. I say Boring.

Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) (power ranking 8)Song: Anyway
I’m in the minority, but I give this girl props for being age appropriate, pleasant, smart, and competitive. What she doesn’t have is an enormous amount of versatility. I still predict a pretty decent country music career for her (Kelly Pickler, anyone?. Randy says it was really good. Paula says this was Kristy's best performance. Simon says it was very good and Kristy Lee (horse loving blonde) looks like a star. Good.

David Cook (power ranking 2) Song: Innocent
Didn’t see it myself, but apparently the judges were on Larry King last night and all but declared the two Davids will be in the final sing off. Maybe yes and maybe no. Never discount the backlash of people who are anti-preordained frontrunners (you might want to read through some of my posts on Hillary Clinton). Who dressed David tonight? He looks like a reject from Sgt. Pepper's band. It also looks like he's dyed his hair or something. From the first bar, I hate this performance. No really, hate it. Now remember...I'm a David Cook fan, but this is unlistenable. Bad. Randy says it's not one of David's strongest weeks. (No Kidding) Paula says David is well defined (?). Simon agrees with me and says he didn't like the performance or the white jacket. Dreadful.

Carly Smithson (power ranking 7) The Show Must Go On
I’m anxious to see what Tattoo girl wears after Simon’s smackdown last week. She can’t afford any more wardrobe disasters. If you haven’t seen this video of Carly before the tats, check it out. I just keep asking: Carly, What Happened????? Right now she falls into singers I can listen to, but can’t watch: Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles. She supersizes every song she sings. Plus, I think the tattoos cost her any chance of ever being in the finals. Seriously…she’s just not mainstream enough. So, now Carly's going to oversing a Queen song for us. Alright, I'll sit back and listen before I judge. She's dressed better, but Carly, why so angry? I think she's not just oversinging, she's marching and protesting and waving a sign at me. I just want to tell her, relax already. Randy says it was just okay for him. Paula says Carly never connected with the song. Simon says she looked good, but oversang the song, and came off as angry. He also predicts she may be in trouble this week. Dreadful.

David Archuleta (power ranking 3) Song: Angels
Our pageant boy is all dressed up in his big fella clothes and ready for the talent segment. Lookie, there's his daddy waving to his little meal ticket! I'll give it to him, he sounds great. I just don't care for the dude. Randy says it was the hottest moment of the season. Paula calls the performance fantastic. Simon says it was the best song choice of the night, but not David's best performance. For me personally, I rate it as Boring. But as an impartial judge I'll give him a Good.

Brooke White (power ranking: 5)You've Got A Friend.
I’m just not much into this girl. Here’s why: She rarely seems to have the appropriate emotion for the song she’s singing (ie., Jolene, Every Step You Take); her meltdown last week was self-indulgent and manipulative, she talks too much, she seems entitled, she doesn’t wear shoes, she appears to believe she’s morally superior to the rest of us sinners, she can’t dance, she looks way older than 24, and she hasn’t done a single thing that’s surprised me. Well, here's another non-surprise...Brooke White (Sweet Blonde) is going to sing that folk tune favorite "You've Got A Friend". B word. Boring, that is. Brooke White (Sweet Blonde) sings. Meh. It just goes on and on. Nothing new, Nothing original. Totally forgettable. Randy says not her best performance, just okay. (Brooke interrupting the whole time). Paula says it was a perfect way to close the evening. (Brooke tells Paula she loves her). Simon says nice, but not original. Brooke wants to talk, but the show is over and we have to see the recaps so Ryan cuts her off. Boring and Dreadful.

My top 3: David Archuleta, Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde), Jason Castro
My bottom 3: Carly Smithson, David Cook, Brooke White (sweet blonde)

Packing her bags: Carly Smithson

As they say in South Carolina: "Vote and Vote Often!"

Results Thursday!

What We Didn't See On American Idol Last Week

From People Magazine:

Brooke’s Breakdown
Brooke White had a difficult time catching her breath after learning she was in the bottom three for the first time last night — and it took nearly all the Idols to calm her down. As tears streamed down her face during the break, a recovered David Cook walked down the couch to hug her. Then, Carly Smithson stepped in with assistance, using her hand to fan cool air on Brooke’s face and assuring her, “It’s going to be okay.” Even producer Nigel Lythgoe offered sympathy, rubbing her back as David Archuleta wrapped his arms around her. Even after Brooke got the news that she was safe, the tears just kept on coming … and coming … and coming.

This makes me like Brooke even less (if that's possible). Considering that David Cook had been rushed to the hospital after heart palpitations and spiking blood pressure the night before, and he didn't have a breakdown, Brooke's reaction to being in the bottom 3 seems totally self-indulgent. I think she needs to get over herself.

Tonight's American Idol

The theme is inspirational songs. I'm not sure if that's inspirational songs in the truest sense (eg. Wind Beneath My Wings and other cheesy tunes) or if it's songs that have inspired the singers. If it's the former, maybe little David A. can choose everyone's songs.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Barack and Roll

A new American Research Group poll in Pennsylvania shows the Democratic primary is tied. Hill has lost six points in a week and Barack-star has gained six points. With two more weeks to go:

Clinton 45% (-6)
Obama 45% (+6)

In North Carolina, Gallup tracking poll says:

Clinton 43%
Obama 52%

Let's just get this part of the race over with already.

End of Month Resolution Check Up #3

Here's a check up on how I'm doing on my Eight in Oh, Eight resolutions...

1) Hit the links. No. It's been raining, raining, raining, golf yet.
2) Try eight new restaurants. Zero new restaurants.
3) Pay cash 100% of the time. Okey dokey.
4) Learn to knit. I'm so proud of myself. I finished two whole scarves and they actually look quite good! I've started another and I'm signed up for a knitting class Thursday night.
5) Go to 8 new movies (Netflix don't count). John and I went to "21" the weekend it opened. We'd both read the book Bringing Down the House, so we were anxious to see it.
6) Make a trip to Italy (the cruise is scheduled for 8/08!). Still scheduled.
7) Have 8 dinner parties. We had eight people over for Easter Dinner. Leg of lamb, mmmmmmm.
8) Start learning Italian (see #6). Still working my way through my Italian CDs on my commute to and from the office. Just finished lesson 21 of 35. Now I can: greet people and introduce myself, have a snack, go to the airport, make plans for the weekend, point out clothing I want in the shops, talk to someone on the phone, discuss the weather, talk about my family and yours, order something to eat and drink, ask directions, listen to the radio and watch television, travel by train, check into a hotel and order room service, take a tour of Italy, go on a job interview (!), discuss sports (even a boxing match), describe my home, discuss what's in the newspaper, and go to the bank. Whew.

So, progress on 6 out of the 8. How are you doing on keeping your 2008 resolutions?

Oops...She Did It Again

Pinocchio Clinton was caught in another truth-twister.

From CNN:

Sen. Hillary Clinton will stop telling an emotional story about a uninsured pregnant woman who died after being denied medical care, Clinton's campaign said. A hospital has raised questions over the accuracy of the story, and Clinton's campaign has said although they had no reason to doubt the story, they were unable to confirm the details. In the story, Clinton describes a woman from rural Ohio who was making minimum wage at a local pizza shop. The woman, who was uninsured, became pregnant. Clinton said the woman ran into trouble and went to a hospital in a nearby county but was denied treatment because she couldn't afford a $100 payment. In her speeches, Clinton said the woman later was taken to the hospital by ambulance and lost the baby. The young woman was then taken by helicopter to a Columbus hospital where she died of complications. Watch why the story is raising questions »

As recently as Friday night in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Clinton said she was "just aching inside" as she was listening to the story.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Rick Castrop in a statement said, "we reviewed the medical and patient accounts of the patient" after she was named in a newspaper story about Clinton's stump speech.

"There is no indication that she was ever denied medical care at any time, for any reason. We clearly reject any perception that we ever denied any care to this woman."

A hospital spokesperson confirmed to CNN the woman had insurance. She said the hospital decided to come forward after people in the community began to question if they had denied her care.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston RIP 1923-2008

Ben-Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Ten Commandments, The Agony and The Ecstasy, Planet of The Apes, El Cid, The President's Lady, Julius Caesar, Mister Roberts...are just of few of the great movies Actor Charlton Heston starred in. He was also one of the first actors to make a stand against racism and became active in the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., he was married to the same woman for sixty-four years, he was active in conservative politics, he was interested in the environmental movement, and he was the winner of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He also was outspoken in his disdain about our culture's emphasis on political correctness calling it "tyranny with manners":

"...the God fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle- class Protestant-or even worse, evangelical Christian, Midwestern or Southern- or even worse, rural, apparently straight-or even worse, admitted heterosexuals, gun-owning-or even worse, NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff-or even worse, male working stiff-because, not only don’t you count, you are a down-right obstacle to social progress. Your voice deserves a lower decibel level, your opinion is less enlightened, your media access is insignificant, and frankly, mister, you need to wake up, wise up, and learn a little something from your new-America and until you do, would you mind shutting up?"

In his later years he had a hip replacement, prostate cancer, and in 2002 was diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.

You may not agree with everything he said, but I respect his right to say it...and, I thank him for some great flicks. His movie about Andrew Jackson, with Susan Hayward playing his wife Rachel, The President's Lady, fostered my love of Presidential biographies. Put it in your Netflix queue.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My 2nd Knitting Project

Do you like it?

(If you're related to me, you're probably getting a scarf for Christmas...)

Before the Tats...Carly Hennessy (Smithson)

She actually looks and sounds great here. What happened?

The Lord's Prayer

My friend Carol in Omaha sent me this. It's precious and will definitely put a smile on your face. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

American Idol Top 8 Power Rankings

Here they are...this week's power rankings!

1. Michael Johns
2. David Cook
3. David Archuleta
4. Syesha Mercado
5. Brooke White (Sweet blonde)
6. Carly Smithson
7. Jason Castro
8. Kristy Lee Cook (Horse-loving blonde)

David Archuleta may have peaked too early, while Michael Johns and David Cook continue too rise. When it comes to style and star power, Syesha has it nailed and could give Carly a few pointers. Brooke White is in danger of falling into the same trap that plagues Jason trick ponyitis. And Kristy Lee Cook is...well, Kristy Lee Cook.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

American Idol Recap--And Then There Were 8

Here's how I ranked the performances last night:
Top 3: Jason Cook, David Arculeta, Michael Johns
Bottom 3: Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Brooke White (Sweet Blonde)

Any one of the girls--Ramiele, Syesha, Brooke (Sweet blonde), Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde), or Carly could be going home tonight...but, I’m sticking with Ramiele to hit the country road.

Before the results are announced, I have some suggestions for the still-viable, as of this second, contestants:

Brooke White (Sweet Blonde): Stop oozing sweetness out of every pore on your body. There was nothing to smile about in the song about that husband-stealing tart “Jolene”, but you did it anyway. Last week you did the same thing during the stalker song “Every Step You Take.” Stop it. It’s annoying. Not everything in this world is puppies, gumdrops, or marshmallows. And stop talking.

Tattoo Girl Carly: Please wear sleeves next week.

Syesha: You’re not Whitney, Mariah, Dolly, or Celine. You’re also not going to win this thing.

Michael: You’re on a roll. Don’t choke.

David Archuleta: I can’t look at you without thinking theme park, high school musical, or talent show. I’m sorry. I think it’s too late to break out of the pigeon hole you've stuck yourself into, but it’s worth a try. Otherwise, I think you're going to be relegated to a career in Christian/Inspirational music. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Paula: Take your meds before the show next week. Your comments last night were ridiculous and nonsensical. Calling little David A. glorious? It’s not like he’s a Rembrandt or anything. Telling Brooke White “you are who you are”? What does that mean, anyway?

All contestants: Wear shoes. I will start counting off points next week in the power rankings if you're not wearing shoes.

Now on with the show...

Michael Johns is on the seal first. He's moved to the safe sofa.

Little David Archuleta tells us that his song had a great message. Thanks for sharing David. He's safe.

Carly Smithson comes out looking as good as she ever has on this show. She's actually wearing sleeves! Maybe Simon had an impact. Ryan tells her she's safe.

David Cook, comes out looking like a guy who was rushed to the hospital less than 24 hours ago, oh yeah...he was. Safe.

Ramiele Malubay, in her dad's t-shirt is the first one in the bottom 3 and walks off to the stools of doom.

Kristie Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) looks great as usual, and as usual she's in the bottom 3.

Syesha Mercado prances to center stage. She's sent to the safe sofa.

Brooke White (Sweet Blonde) & Jason Castro come out together. Jason's dreads look really limp like they need a good hosing down and some air drying to fluff them up a little. Brooke takes an opening from Ryan and starts talking. She shuts up long enough to find out she's in the bottom 3.

Time out. Dolly's performing and I'm watching a real pro. Love her.

So it's Ramiele, Brooke White (Sweet Blonde), and Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde). Brooke (Sweet blonde) is crying, but it doesn't make her shut up. She's talking, talking, talking.

Brooke (sweet blonde) is safe to sing and talk for another week/

Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) is safe.

Ramiele is outta here.

Ramiele Malubay (power ranking 9) Song: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
Someone’s voting for this girl, I just don’t know why. This song has a definite gospel vibe, but Ramiele’s phrasing is all wrong. Not to mention her lower register is almost non-existent. Randy says its was a pretty good performance. Paula is proud of Ramiele. Simon calls Ramiele's performance forgettable and reminiscent of what you would hear on a cruise ship. Maybe Ramiele could get her friend Danny Noriega to hook her up on one of Rosie's cruises!

Hillary: Between Barack And A Hard Place

After using an unfortunate metaphor comparing herself to Rocky Balboa (Rocky lost to Apollo Creed in a split decision), it appears that Hill has been overtaken by Barack-star in a Pennsylvania poll. Public Policy Polling is reporting that Hill has lost the 26 point lead in Pennsylvania she held just two weeks ago and now trails the boy-wonder by two points.

American Idol Wannabe David Cook Rushed to Hospital

Big Baby-Headed American Idol rocker contestant David Cook was rushed to the hospital after his performance last night. Show medics insisted after the Little Sparrow singer's blood pressure skyrocketed and he complained of heart palpitations. David was treated and sent back to the AI apartments.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

American Idol Top 9: Welcome To Dollywood!

If it’s Tuesday, it must be American Idol. Ah yes. We’re down to single digits…just 9 contestants are left standing. Dolly Parton is season 7’s first mentor, and I can’t wait. I predict the girls will do well, the guys--not so good. We'll see.

Making tonight even better Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsay is back, right after Idol! Yep. Politically incorrect Ramsay is once again turning up the heat. Can’t wait. No molly coddling. No pussy footing. No namby pamby. No treating anyone with kid gloves. No walking on egg shells. Chef Ramsay expects perfection and if he doesn't get it…off with their aprons! Guilty pleasure. Love it.

Oh yeah. Here are Paula's picks for the final four: Carly Smithson, David Archuleta, David Cook, Brooke White (sweet blonde)and Michael Johns. [Yes, you counted correctly. Paula picked five people for the final four.] Regardless, Carly isn't going to make it. My predictions for the final four are David Cook, Brooke White (sweet blonde), David Archuleta, and Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde). Shocker, right???

Brooke White (sweet blonde) (power ranking 5) Song: Jolene
Yecccchhh. I know I’m in the minority, but this girl makes me nuts. Poor man’s Carly Simon. I’ll leave it at that. Unfortunately for Brooke she’s chosen to sing “Jolene” which is also the song the producers chose to intro Dolly’s segment which just ran. She’s alright, but certainly doesn’t sing the tune like Dolly did. Randy agrees with me--it wasn't a stellar performance. As usual, sweet Blonde talks. Paula says Brooke is who she is. Brooke agrees and compliments Paula on her hair. Simon also agrees with me and says Brooke (sweet blonde) looked awkward with the backup players. Brooke (sweet blonde) gets a perplexed expression on her face and seems confused by the criticism. She assures Simon that it's okay if he didn't like her performance.

David Cook (power ranking 1) Song: Little Sparrow
I’m almost ready to declare big-baby-headed David the winner of this year’s competition. The buzz is with him after his Billy Jean performance. Every time I hear David sing I’m more convinced that I would actually spend money on his CDs. I love how David’s styling is always appropriate to the song. Excellent. Randy likes that David showed his range and calls it hot. Paula likes his haircut. She’s right! That’s what’s different! He looks mucho better. Simon doesn’t think he was as good as last week, but he was still good.

Ramiele Malubay (power ranking 9) Song: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
Someone’s voting for this girl, I just don’t know why. This song has a definite gospel vibe, but Ramiele’s phrasing is all wrong. Not to mention her lower register is almost non-existent. Randy says its was a pretty good performance. Paula is proud of Ramiele. Simon calls Ramiele's performance forgettable and reminiscent of what you would hear on a cruise ship. Maybe Ramiele could get her friend Danny Noriega to hook her up on one of Rosie's cruises!

Jason Castro (power ranking 4) Song: Travelin' Thru
I’m sorry to say, but Jason, the gig is up. You’re just too one-trickish for American Idol. I love you, and you will have a great, lucrative career making CDs for Pottery Barn. It was sweet, pleasant, listenable. I might even call it wonderful if it wasn't the same thing week after week after week after week. Randy likes the middle. Paula says Jason was confident. Simon says he didn't like it all--that it's the same performance every week. Whoa! Simon almost said exactly what I said only in reverse. He said if it was the first time he saw him, he wouldn't get it.

Carly Smithson (power ranking 6) Song: Here You Come Again
Everyone but me is going to be so shocked when this girl is eliminated. Maybe not this week, but it will happen soon. She’s just not likeable. I don’t want to invite her into my home ever again. I want her and her tattoo arm and her scary tattoo-faced husband to go back to their tattoo business and Irish pub and live happily ever after. Just get off of my television. Thank you. For this song Carly is wearing her Goth makeup, big red pants, black boots, and a black halter top. Wardrobe intervention, stat! She’s not oversinging like she usually does, but the high notes sound squeaky and thin. Randy says he thinks it was probably one of the best performances of the night. Paula is beside herself with nonsensical praise. Simon says it was good, but not as great as Randy or Paula think. He also agrees with me (again!!) and says she needs to “have a word with whoever’s dressing you.” So the elephant in the room has finally been called out. No not Carly. I’m not that mean. It’s just that she’s not attractive when she sings. If she wants to be a star, she needs to start looking like one. Carly’s outfit is Torrid all the way (if you know what I mean). Irish Lassie looks livid.

David Archuleta (power ranking 3) Song: Smoky Mountain Memories
Poor little David. Torn in so many directions. Does he listen to his stage dad? Simon? Himself? Please someone help this guy. Dolly doesn’t have kids. Maybe she can adopt him. I shut my eyes and little David sounds pretty good. I open my eyes and he looks like a middle schooler on a big stage. The mosh pit is in full wave for David. Randy says this was the best performance of the night. Paula calls him glorious. Simon says the song choice was perfect. David says, Aw shucks, shuffles, and grins.

Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) (power ranking 8) Song: Coat of Many Colors
We should be in Kristy Lee’s wheelhouse tonight with the country tunes. Dolly says Kristy Lee (horse-loving blonde) took her (Dolly's) song based on a true story and made it her (Kristy Lee's) own. I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not. After Kristy Lee (horse-loving blonde) is kicked off the show, Carly needs to use her stylist. Kristy Lee always looks great. Now Randy is quoting me! This is scary. He says this is “definitely your wheelhouse.” Paula says this is her best performance. Simon calls it pleasant, but forgettable.

Syesha Mercado (power ranking 7) Song: I Will Always Love You
Syesha on country-music night? This should be good. I just don’t think Syesha has nearly the voice that either Dolly or Whitney have. Oh no, this is starting to sound like an Idol goodbye song. Poor Syesha. Randy says it was alright. Paula calls her voice velvety. Simon says it was good, but not great.

Michael Johns (power ranking 2) Song: It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
Michael needs to deliver another great performance like last week’s to keep his momentum going. When he meets Dolly he’s totally starstruck and it’s adorable. He tells Dolly the first concert he went to was to see her. I like this bluesy version. Hot. Kind of a BB King/Clapton-esque arrangement. A little slow, but I liked it. Randy calls it blazing hot. Paula calls him a rock star, a blues star. Simon says this is Michael's best performance.

So, I was all wrong. The guys were great. The girls were just okay.

Top 3: Jason Cook, David Archuleta, Michael Johns
Bottom 3: Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Brooke White (sweet blonde0