Charlottes Web Blog







April 1, 2008

Moon Productions is closing down for good.

Okay. April Fool's!

I think I needed to do that more than anything else. This morning is not particularly kind.

I dreamt last night I won the lottery, but damn if I could see the numbers I had picked!

It's the first day of April and it's raining; how appropo!

I need more coffee.




April 4, 2008

I don't know about y'all, but this has been on VERY exhausting week for me; exhausting and stressful. Thank goodness for those mindless things, like stupid television shows and video games and roleplaying!

Although, in roleplaying this week, I'm in a bit of a creative slump for various reasons. I have to chuckle though, at an old home that protested how much it was thriving; it seems to sadly be on the nose-dive and sailing fast. There are those, too, that seem to be having a lot of medical emergencies that just don't add up.

A bit of a shocker was American Idol this week.

David Archuleta sang awesomely well; good song choice, too. He has such a sweet pure voice. However, his style, for me, is rather dull. Brook White was good, though I did think her ensemble were oddly sorted together, but hey, she's kooky-sweet anyway! Kristy Lee Cook sang well, but I thought the song presumptiuous for her to sing; it's obvious she didn't grow up without money, as Dolly Parton had done — and thusly the inspiration for that song. I was hoping she would get the axe this week. I heard that Brittany Spears actually had intended to sign Kristy, but then grew bored with the project — and undoubtedly, Kristy.

Syeshaa likely could well have ended her life last night tackling "I Will Always Love You." As Simon said, when she tackled it in the manner that Dolly originally sang it, she did quite well. It's when she tried to outdo Whitney Houston—

Carly Smithson sounded wonderful; she did such an excellent job with the song. I do have to agree with Simon, however, that she needs to start dressing better. Doing a beautiful song like that with that huge tattoo showing really was distracting and took from the song.

David Cook was just ubër-fantastic! Poor fellow though; did you see how hard he was panting after he finished singing? His blood pressure was through the roof and he was rushed off to the hospital to be treated for this and nearly suffered a heart attack. He's going through some rough times, with his brother sick with cancer and all.

Ramiele Malubay wasn't a complete shocker to be sent home; I think she's far better a performer and singer than Kristy. While I think she's cute as heck and has an awesome voice, she consistently chose songs that didn't really fit her, or didn't show off her talents as she had earlier in the show, specifically during the auditions.

Next week is the big America Gives Back show. I thought last year's was incredibly well done, and since just making a phone call to vote ensured the producers of the show gave ten cents toward the worthy cause, I had no problems racking them up a bill on my account.

Had to love the watching the Tango with Steve Gutenberg and the professional dancer, Jonathan, as partners on Dancing With the Stars. It was a hoot. Somehow, I felt that, they were affording steve the chance to put on a funny show knowing he was going to be the one axed last night.

Julianne was one little hot chicka out there dancing to Kylie Minogue (who was pretty smokin' in her BDSM get-up). Okay, so did John Bergeron really think that Kylie was dressed to kick butt as a crime fighter? *blinks*

And now Men in Trees is on hiatus; apparently to tape new episodes, since this week's wasn't exactly a cliff-hanger. Have to love the endearing friendship that developed between the hunky Cash and the gay fellow, David…

I got hooked on High School Reunion; much better than my own reunion, I must say! sadly, next week is its last episode.

Anyone else think Top Chef is rather … dry … this year? I learned that one of our clients at work is a prominent chef at a very prominent restaurant — and best friends with Tom Collichio. I might have to go off my diet for the night and amble my way downtown to the low-key, casual trattoria and sample the wares myself.

Speaking of which, I've now reached TWO of my goals on my diet; even cheating a couple of days and having a few cookies that I shouldn't have had. Hey, those new lemon Girl scout cookies are just … awesome. And thankfully gone for another year! I feel great — physically and about myself. I don't even miss those nights of ordering take-out to be delivered; the meals I have now are far more satisfying. The big test for me was, going to Bed, Baths & Beyond the other day, and NOT pulling into the Burger King next door.

My next goal is to lose another ten pounds before I see my doctor on May 12th.




April 11, 2008

Adam Corolla unicycled his way off Dancing with the Stars. I seen that one coming… did you?

So, were you like me and thought the contestants gave a better show on American Idol than the accomplished stars on the second annual Idol Gives Back on Wednesday night?

If you missed the big event, I have my run-down and comments here.

7:30 p.m. To heck with regular primetime; it's going to be a long night.

7:31 p.m. The show's opening performances are a combination of the most recent cast of FOX's so You Think You Can Dance — I was happily surprised — and the top eight American Idol contestants singing "Don't stop the Music." Thankfully, the Idol contestants are moved to the side very quickly because, let's be clear, none of them have any stage presence and the so You Think You Can Dance group is superbly fantastic.

7:34 p.m. NASCAR champ Jimmy Johnson is the first person to introduce the Idol Gives Back call-in number.

7:39 p.m. Maria shriver arrives on stage to the strains of "Maria" from West side story; that's just … so wrong. Hm. She quotes both Gandhi and an ancient Hopi prayer, which makes about as much sense as a Kennedy married to a Republican governor.

7:41 p.m. Ben Stiller is back joking about how his Whitney Houston cover album, titled "Stiller Whips Whitney's Ass For Charity", lost $3.2 million for Idol Gives Back. His new goal? To raise a googillion dollars. But Ben, that sounds crazy! He responds, "Isn't that what American Idol is all about? Convincing crazy people they can be on television?"

7:45 p.m. Snoop Dogg and Charlie Wilson perform.

7:50 p.m. On his good days, Triple H wants to rip off your head and drink your blood, however, tonight, he just wants you to give to charity.

7:51 p.m.Sorry, but could they have had Paula Abdul make her commentary about the high percentage of American children who are obese (while so many other children still go hungry) when she wasn't standing next to a man who spent a goodly chunk of money on radical stomach-stapling surgery (Randy)?

7:54 p.m. The Teri Hatcher-James Denton jokes horrendous, though not so much as Hatcher's version of "Before He Cheats". I wanted to mute my TV, but I love Band From TV, with Greg Grunberg on drums, Denton on guitar and Jesse Spencer on fiddle.

7:57 p.m. I love Mary Murphy but her screams tonight I could do without. It's funny, because she's annoying. It's also annoying, because she can be pretty annoying.

8:00 p.m. The Jonas Brothers?!? OMG!!! How awesome is that.

8:01 p.m.How many people in the audience are aware that Billy Crystal had a minor league at bat this spring? And who cares? He welcomes either Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana, whichever one most closely resembles Danny Noriega. Cyrus and Crystal make jokes about how she's young and he's old. She also manages to plug her two CDs and her movie, wedging that information smoothly into the charity special. See? He's never heard of her! And she's never heard of him!

8:06 p.m. I could have done without the Hannah Montana performance. But she had to so we'd have the best of both worlds!

8:07 p.m. It's Ryan Seacrest II at the CBs studio. I'd call in, but only if I could talk to Carly Smithson and have a heart-to-heart with her about that tattoo. Yeah. We get it. She has a tat. Now cover it up so you can concentrate on how better you can sing. Live Seacrest says we're already over $15 million, but Bono cautions me that that isn't enough. After meeting Sophia, an African girl with AIDs, many viewers may agree.

8:16 p.m. Fergie and John Legend; how about Fergie's rubber pants, hm? I didn't find her performing particularly well in this song.

8:18 p.m. Heart. Yeah, they're a bit old. But damn; still hot. As amazing as it is to see Heart, the Idol producers seem determined to keep everyone's eyes glued to Fergie's pants, which are technological marvels capable of standing up to cartwheels. Good little slide there to ensure Anne didn't have to strain her older voice for those parts that Fergie took over; though Anne wasn't particularly thrilled to see Fergie.

8:26 p.m. Ryan wants to make it clear that the Idol contenders aren't the only people answering the phone. He means that to be reassuring…

8:27 p.m. Patriots-slayer — my hero! — Eli Manning makes this a very bad moment for any New England sports fans who may be watching.

8:35 p.m. It's been said before many times, but it bears repeating: David Beckham should never speak. We're up to $18 million dollars, which is good. Bono, though, still isn't satisfied. Annie Lennox is downright miserable. She was miserable last year, too. Is this her new gig?

8:42 p.m. After apparently crying in Africa just seconds earlier, Lennox hits the stage to give the night's best performance thus far, or at least its most emotional.

8:49 p.m. Last year, Idol made Celine Dion perform with a freaky dead Elvis. This year, she's in south Africa. I wonder if she misses the freaky dead Elvis. I did. I'm not a Celine fan.

8:50 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel shows up and makes some stale jokes about how tight Simon Cowell's shirts are and how his man-boobs are the size of the Olsen Twins. OK. Fine. That part was funny. Then he goes back to nipple jokes. Kimmel cuts to a montage of Simon discovering how many American children don't have health insurance. It's a great cause.

8:55 p.m. "Jimmy Kimmel, I just want to say how much I love the Jay Leno show," Simon adds, before introducing the return of Carrie Underwood, shouting through George Michael's "Praying For Time." somewhere Eli Stone is very confused, whoever he is. (Okay, I know who he is, but having George Michaels be like some God on the show turned me off of even considering watching it.)

9:04 p.m. Ellen DeGeneres didn't have time to host this year's benefit, but she found time to record a filmed plea, one that starts with "Hi, it's me… Oprah." Gotta love Ellen.

9:07 p.m. First Kimmel. Now Sarah Silverman. Initially doing her Randy Jackson impression: "There's so much amazing talent on stage right now," she says (standing alone). But Silverman finds nothing funny about the number of children killed by malaria each year. Neither does Forest Whitaker and his wife (whom Silverman disses distastefully), in Africa highlighting the need for resources as simple as mosquito nets and basic medical supplies.

9:13 p.m. British Prime Minster Gordon Brown pops up to simultaneously pledge the equivalent of $200 million in mosquito netting and to teach the millions of Americans watching that the prime minister of England is Gordon Brown and not whats-his-face.

9:17 p.m. Reese Witherspoon is awesome. She was in New Orleans. It's important to remember that outside of the touristy areas, there's still an awful lot of The Big Easy that needs rebuilding.

9:21 p.m. The night's second Top Eight Group sing is set to "seasons of Love," a song which, if nothing else, was designed to be sung by a group. I am a tremendous fan of the Broadway play, "Rent" and while the Top Eight didn't bring me to tears, it reminded me of being there at the theater on Broadway, sitting silently in tears drawn deep into the plot. The contestants did an outstanding job with this song.

9:25 p.m. Dane Cook isn't funny. He does, however, have a very popular Myspace page. They aren't the same thing, though the media often confuses the two.

9:32 p.m. Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens. 'Nuff said.

9:33 p.m. Miley's back. Oh great gods above, we are SO not worthy of Hannah Montana. She's never watched American Idol. She doesn't care about American Idol. She doesn't care about charity. Why is this 15-year-old girl wearing Fergie's pants? And why is she bumping and grinding around the stage? Oh yeah. Right. For charity.

9:36 p.m. Miley and that guy who plays her dad in real life went to Kentucky. Because she didn't want to make the poor children jealous, Miley didn't wear make-up or hair products to visit their trailer. Or Fergie's pants. Did she make you cry, too?

9:38 p.m. Want proof that American Idol knows its target demo? Miley Cyrus has received about twice as much screentime tonight as the Top Eight contestants who are thrice more talented than Miley Cyrus!

9:39 p.m. Ladies and gentlemen… Your Russian Idol. Oh no. Wait. That's Robin Williams dusting off his Moscow on the Hudson schtick and ripping off Yakov smirnoff's old routine. The camera catches an unamused Simon, who seems to agree that Yakov smirnoff is getting utterly screwed here. Randy is trying to laugh; Paula doesn't know where she is. Whoops — now he's stealing from Borat. Now he's talking about Simon's man-boobs… Whoops! Now he's squeezing Simon's bum!

9:49 p.m. Tyra Banks thinks giving back to charity is fierce.

9:50 p.m. Hmmm… somebody to introduce Brad Pitt and pay tribute to the City of New Orleans at the same time. Who would be perfect?

9:52 p.m. Geez, squealing fans at the Kodak Theatre… Where were you when Brad Pitt needed you for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?

9:54 p.m. How silly that for all the hype about Pitt's appearance, he's really just here to introduce Daughtry. Anybody else have any doubts that the audio we're hearing from Daughtry playing for kids in Uganda was re-recorded in Hollywood? And as for the African kids being encouraged to try to sing along to a song they've never heard in a language they don't know… snarky. But good for Daughtry.

10:02 p.m.We knew that two hours wouldn't be enough time to contain Idol Gives Back. It turns out that 150 minutes wasn't enough either, as Mariah Carey, accompanied by Randy Jackson on bass, has some singing to do. I turn the channel to Boston Legal.

10:05 p.m. I peek in, and dressed all in white, the Top Eight close out the show in spiritual fashion. Um… why is Syeshaa wearing shorts? And why does the song end in a shouting contest between David Cook and Carly Smithson? Back to Boston Legal. I'm thrilled Boston Legal is back.

10:06 p.m. I don't want to be a downer, but on last year's show, Seacrest kept updating us on the dollar figures regularly and the show was well over $30 million before the end of its East Coast airing. Should we read anything into the lack of updates since the $19 million mark?

10:07 p.m. I hope you've enjoyed this installment of Miley Cyrus Gives Back. Remember that website, eh? snarky. Back to Boston Legal.

And while I felt Carly was the one going to go — I've been surprised (and wrong) before — the departure of Michael Johns the following night is not surprising either. While I thought he did fairly well, I don't think he's up to snuff like those that remain, even Carly. She's got it but she's been too concerned to show off that tat.




April 16, 2008

Tax time is over for another year. This Alternative Minimum Tax thing is a killer though. Tony and I decided that in order to survive we need to either: (a) rob a bank, (b) win big on the lottery, (c) lose our jobs and go on welfare, or (d) buy a house and worry about the mortgage situation.

However, because the feds have got us again by the bankbook, buying a home is not even an option.

On to inane things…

Dancing With the Stars was pretty predictable this week. Those who caught the audience's eye in the beginning are starting to show how weak they truly are now that the competition has been whittled down. I think Kristie Yamaguchi is the shoe-in to win the title this year. She is absolutely beautiful and ever-so-graceful. She's really the only consistent contender.

After Monday night, I figured that either Priscilla, Marlee or Shannon would get the boot.

It was painful watching Priscilla trying to show surprise on her muchly botex'ed face. I was sad though; she does have a regal elegance about her.

Last night's American Idol was pretty awesome; the contestants are wearing down — or at least some are. Brooke faltered; and while they thought Kristy was good, I didn't think so and found her boring (as I do really most every week). Carly must've heard all the complaints about that tattoo of hers; she looked great and sounded wonderful. David (Archuleta) was predictable; so much so that he no longer is one I look forward to hearing. David (Cook) and Jason were my two favorites. Jason's got those beautiful eyes and his face is so expressive and passionate; David's just a remarkable and talented fellow. Was awesome too, to learn his cancer-afflicted brother was flown there to see David on stage last night.

I think tonight, it could well be Brooke sent away, but more possibly, Kristy.

The conclusion of last night was a very emotional Boston Legal. It left me a little teary-eyed.

Today, allergies are my bane…




April 18, 2008

Kristy Lee Cook got the boot on American Idol. It was about time. Brooke sure did wig out there didn't she? She seemed to think it was her leaving after her very unstellar performance.

Nah. Next week Brooke, dear.

I wasn't surprised to see Syeshaa in the bottom three. I think this year, a whole different genre of talent is preferred over those easy, laid-back soulful types like Syeshaa is.

It's been a very long week this week.

Is it Friday yet?



April 22, 2008

My morning started off with stopping to get my coffee and a huge — I mean HUGE — gander stood right at the entrance to the parking lot to the deli — and he did not want to move! He did though; my car was bigger but maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan what a look he gave me.

So, I park the car and as I pulled into my favorite spot, I saw why! six of his hens were out eating nearby — with all of their babies!! OMG!! It was so awesome. Here's a pic of the brood. I didn't manage a pic of the gander though, or rather, they let me watch and of course I snapped photos! When I went to leave, the big gander was back where he started off at the driveway, head tucked and chest puffed out, watching his family…

Geese        Geese

I sill wish I had been able to snap a pic of the wild turkeys the other day, too. I haven't seen the babies out the rest of the week though; they must be sleeping in.

Last night on Dancing With the Stars Marlee Maitlin was really struggling. It was bad enough that she faltered a lot on her solo dance, but when she joined in with the group dance, she was lost. I think it will be time for her to go this week. Kristie Yamaguchi was simply awesome and adorable. Yep. She's my choice for this season to win.

Tonight, Andrew Lloyd Webber is the mentor for the American Idol hopefuls. As Simon quoted, it has the potential to be disastrous!

I need a vacation.



April 24, 2008

Needless to say, I didn't get to see the live performance of American Idol — nor my other Tuesday night favorites — *slides grudging eyes to Tony* and I was not particularly pleased; oh I could have set the VCR to tape them all, but I had lost my joy of enjoyment that night…

I did catch the recaps and videos the following day, and will catch up with Boston Legal online, or just wait and buy the season on DVD.

With the way TV is going, and the cost of everything — I've been slowly building my DVD library to include my favorite TV shows, like Boston Legal, Men in Trees and some of the cable-TV shows like Tombstone.

So, a bit of critique on Tuesday night's Idol performances…

It certainly was a flub-your-lyrics night; poor, poor Andrew Lloyd Webber to witness it. On one hand, we had Brooke White's jaw-dropping stop-and-reboot on "You Must Love Me," and on the other, David Archuleta's badly botched second verse on "Think of Me."

While Carly didn't botch the lyrics, I think it was her rhyme-busting substitution of the song title ("Superstar") when she should've repeated "Jesus Christ" on her first run-through of the chorus that was her demise. Though, certainly, she was phenomenal. That she get voted off last night was the stupidity of American, and building a fan base for the young and too-cute David Archuleta and the obviously-deranged Brooke White (ever watch her EYES?! Freaaaaaaaaaaky!).

Seriously, I felt Brooke, even David Archuleta should have been booted. It was his second (maybe third?) time of forgetting the lyrics, which in past seasons has been unforgivable by the judges (but David's cute, yes, and young), and Brooke has had her own miserable mishaps and just plain horrible performances.

However, Carly will not be gone and forgotten; I'm already anticipating her CD. As for Brooke? Why would I buy her CD, when I have the CDs of those original (and much better) performers she emulates, like Carly Simon, Sheryl Crow and the awesome Carole King?

But back to the judges on Tuesday. Hmmm, it certainly appears that when a preordained member of the final two forgets his lyrics for the second time in seven weeks, all three judges flagrantly ignore it. And when a cannon-fodder contestant like Syeshaa Mercado dares to deliver a showstopper that's oozing with sass and sex appeal, you will not hear one word implying that she's in any way a threat to crack the top three, only the nagging implication that she'd be better off pursuing a career in musical theater than getting her hopes up for a "This Is My Now" moment. The judges may never give her the standing ovation she thinks she deserves, but I'll say this much for her: she's never quit trying to wow 'em.

And. How could Paula use the phrase "absolutely perfect," and how could Randy dub David (Archuleta) "the one to beat" following a performance in which the line "Imagine me, trying too hard/To put you from my mind" got reworked as "Imagine me, [mumblemumble] softly/[Mumblemumble] my mind" (I'm not even gonna harp on the lack of breath support during several big notes.) And conspiracy theorists take note: The show's producers chose to cut to a weird overhead shot (showing the back of David's head) at the very second he began to struggle with the lyrics. Yeah, Simon called it one of Little David's "weakest performances" but then promptly declared the performance was "absolutely gonna get you through to next week." To take an adjective from the cranky British judge: Appalling!

At least the little, cute David himself had the courage to look out into the audience and mouth what looked to me like a sheepish "sorry" — though whether it was to his dad, to his fans, or to Lloyd Webber himself, I'm not certain.

I hear Paula's leaving the show. Yeah. We heard that about Simon last year, and he's still there…

The weird thing is, even if the judges had done their jobs, called out David's mistakes, and opined that he'd put himself at risk of a bottom-three moment, there's no freakin' way America would've given him the boot, certainly not after the Brooke White Incident.

Let me pause here for a moment to collect my thoughts, maybe even dab the corners of my eyes with a Kleenex.

As far as her "You Must Love Me" goes, it wasn't the fact that Brooke "lost the lyric" (her words) only a few seconds into Madonna's Evita deathbed ballad, promptly stopped the band, and basically cried, "Do-over!" but rather as Simon pointed out, the flub seemed to shake the G-rated nanny to the core, and it made the performance tense and uncomfortably tremulous. Indeed, Brooke's escalating nerves over the last few weeks — the piano blunders during "Hero," et al — seem to indicate that the Idol stage isn't the right venue for her. I think at this point even Brooke's biggest fans would have to admit that a sixth-place finish should be her happy ending.

But… they didn't. They instead let a brilliant and far superior vocalist and performer go.

The deejays and crew on my favorite radio station that I listen to while driving to work crack me up; they are convinced all the inmates at ever facility for the mentally insane called in to cast their vote for Brooke Tuesday night. Ergo, "She was on the alien spaceship with meeeeeeeeee! She's sooooooooooooo nice…"

Still, while I think America would be doing the right thing if they had sent Brooke and cute David to the bottom two, I fear the producers got their way — and it's made me very … very … cranky.

Never before have I been more in agreement with Paula, and less in agreement with Simon, than with regard to their respective opinions of Jason's "Memory." But his performance touched me in a way that never would've happened if it had been trotted out in the traditional Big Diva Number fashion. Paula's point that there was a Joe Cocker quality to the performance made perfect sense; Simon's "miserable" label left me aghast. I mean, there's a purity to his voice, and an emotional connection so deep, it transcends the occasional wobble of pitch. I know I'm veering dangerously close to a Paula-ism ("It further identifies your unique being as an artist!"), but I guess my point is either you get him or you don't. And I get him. And love him. And those eyes. Mmmhmmm.

Rocker David, meanwhile, wowed in a different way, and in a way that made complete strategic sense at this point in the competition. Sure, he could've put a Rocker!(TM) twist on "The Music of the Night" or some other Lloyd Webber number, but after weeks of unexpected arrangements and heartfelt deliveries, the Cook's recipe needed an extra tablespoon of straightforward, spot-on vocals. Because, surely, somewhere during that unsteady opening verse of "Always Be My Baby" last week, the man's detractors were groaning that Idol is a singing competition. Although Rocker David didn't necessarily hit a home run tonight, he hit a double, right up the middle, which was exactly what he needed to do to secure his spot; even more impressive, he did it with his best hair ever!

Still, whatever happens at the finale, whatever horrid composition wins the Idol songwriting competition, my personal Season 7 moment like this, the interval in which I believed, I flew without wings, discovered my now, and indeed, was made to feel proud, happened when Carly sang "Superstar" — which Missy schwartz, and Lord Lloyd Webber himself so wisely counseled her to do this week. I was enthralled and squealing like an overstimulated teenager as the heavens parted and the spotlights shone down and obliterated the dark cloud that's been following my favorite Irish barmaid for the last several weeks. There she was clad in that divine paisley explosion, shedding her insecurities, throwing her soul down on the stage for everyone to see (and hiding her controversial tattoos), and belting out a banshee rock number worthy of her Guinness-soaked instrument.

Superstar, indeed! Rock on Carly-girl.

Now, as far as what happened on the results for Dancing With the Stars — otherwise known as the Shannon and Derek show — Marlee Matlin was voted off as I had expected she would be, making a gracious exit, thanking the judges, her family and the fans for an experience that had inspired many viewers and made her a viewer favorite.

Speaking of graciousness, there was none of that in the taped hissy fit of Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough, who vented after Monday's low scores for the rumba by behaving like spoiled kids. Shannon tearfully insisted she'd delivered the hip action the judges said was lacking. A raging Derek lashed out in defense of his "showmance" partner, griping that other dancers were making sloppy moves and earning 9's and 10's for their scores.

Maybe they're two crazy kids swept up in a May-July relationship or maybe it's all a ratings ploy; either way, after they were declared safe, Shannon made amends, saying, "We got really heated last night and we want to apologize." *clucks tongue* And Derek stood next to her with his face covered in lipstick kisses.

Tune in next week for more of Romancing with the Stars, with maybe a little dancing thrown in.

It was Men in Trees that saved my sanity last night. I never laughed so hard… Had to laugh at the man-kiss between Cash and Jack. Okay, so it was mouth-to-mouth but I think Cash thought he was about to revisit Deliverance.

My boss will be away for the entire week next week. There is a God.

As if gas has gone up so high it makes my head spin, rice is now another commodity that has shot way up in price. Rice.

Can we bleed any more?



April 30, 2008

Tomorrow is May already. Wow. Didn't we just have Christmas last week?

It was an emotional night Monday night on Dancing With the Stars — oh ye of little faith didn't think it could happen!

Jason Taylor and Edyta leapt to the top of the leader board with 55 out of a possible 60 points. This was a huge comeback week for Jason! At least that's what ABC wants us to think. For the quickstep, Edyta's choreography relied heavily on gimmicks, like Jason leaping (seen it, been there), Jason tossing a prop stack of papers into a non-breeze to the delight of the judges (uh… wow?), and Jason falling onto Edyta's prone body horizontally after performing a handstand (this was admittedly impressive and also pretty hot). My favorite sequence, though, involved Jason's solo high kick and Jason's smiley jazz hands. All of this "posing" distracted from the way Jason and Edyta's footwork wasn't quite matching up throughout the dance. Oh, well — he got a "Ten!" anyway. Okay, two of 'em. Later, Edyta took us back in time to a routine that hooked the audience, taking Jason on a magic capelet ride through a paso doble set to the Monday Night Football theme song. I'm sure a lot of people will complain about how this paso was just like Edyta and Cameron Mathison's "Superman" one, right down to Jason's knee walk and right-on-the-beat dramatic poses. I just gaped.

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark dropped down to second place at the end of the night. First of all, Kristi and Mark finally did a rehearsal package on the ice; I want to be Kristi when I grow up. During their first dance, the Viennese waltz, it was difficult to focus on anything except the enormous sequined umbrella and Mark's inexplicable naval uniform, though I think they made it work. Mark knows he doesn't need to use props to distract from Kristi's limitations (because she has, like, zero), and he knows the judges know that, too. Their final pose, getting cozy behind the umbrella, reminded me of Allison and Ivan's "Sexy Love" hip-hop number on So You Think You Can Dance that I had flipped for and got all disppointed when Allison didn't make the final cut. Anyway, later, Kristi donned forest green fringe while Mark stomped around the floor in a sparkly shirt for their cha-cha. The hip-hop moves were minimal, and not even that hip-hop, though that didn't stop former Fly Girl Carrie Ann from awarding Kristi two snaps above the head — and then revising the snap count to three. Of course, Len was grumbly over the hip-hop and lowered their score from a deserving 10 to an 8.

Marissa Jaret Winokur had to play "passionate" this week with the tango and the rumba — and once she got over the insecurity hump about possibly not being able to "bring sexy back," she turned in two of her best dances to date. I'm surprised she's still around, to be honest, but she is just too fun to let go. I found Marissa and Tony's rumba to be "a little careful;" Bruno wanted it "a little dirty…You could have pushed a little bit more on the sex." (What a keen lovemaking tip from Bruno, hm!!) I loved both Marissa's and Tony's costumes for the tango — Marissa's floor-length, black-lace-over-hot-pink gown was her most flattering outfit, and the way it fluttered about in the breeze when she twirled made the accompanying moves look all the more impressive. Carrie Ann gave Marissa the ultimate we're-rooting-for-you speech, insisting that someone like Marissa is "what this competition is all about." Doesn't she say that every week, and it's usually about, like, some guy's ass. Oh, well. Carrie on…

Mario and Karina did not fare so well. The judges have consistently avoided giving Mario an outpouring of solid encouragement. While I agree he's rather stiff at times, he is entertaining and sexy and sweet, and deserves better. I highly suspect the lower scores are due to Karina; it is she whom I feel the judges just totally dislike (well, so do I after her match-up with the other Mario, and her attitude when they didn't win the title). His mambo was my favorite dance of the night, just because how many people can pull off those blinding white pants? (I know, I know, the other Mario. I know. But those were soooooooo November 2006, okay?) Mario 2.0 (his actual last name is Barrett!) had to learn an extra set of choreography for his new music video and basically admitted to sort of giving up on the fox-trot during rehearsal footage and after the dance itself. The judges said it wasn't elegant and lacked control; all three really dug Mario's excellent mambo — the dance he was truly excited about this week.

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek… Okay, so I'm just going to ignore the whole showmance/personal element of Shannon and Derek's packages because they're beginning to annoy me so much. Okay, and all that apology spiel that is just so not genuine coming from her mouth; oh yes, I was already rooting that she be eliminated just for THAT alone! The dances are what should matter, and I thought both dances they performed were pretty downright … awful. I was shocked when the judges claimed to have enjoyed that clompy tango; it was hideous. In this dance, Shannon seemed more wonky and doll-like than Marie Osmond during her season 5 freestyle nosedive. Then, later, came the pair's woefully misguided mambo, during which both dancers "seduced" the judges on or near the table. "Ain't nothin' wrong with this?" the accompanying lyric asked. Hmm. When Derek's (closed) crotch and (open) chest ends up directly above Bruno's face, and Shannon ends up writhing directly below Len and caressing his face, I beg to differ. Oh, yes, I thought, they are SO gone.

Cristián de la Fuente and Cheryl… What can I say? Cristián was on his way to having a pretty decent night before his arm cramped up in the middle of his samba. I was pained watching Cristián after that dance because he was so clearly devastated — his simple lament of "live television" said it all, much like Tom's wise, sweeping statement of the night: "Change is one of the eternal things." Until that point, Cristián really seemed to be in a good groove this week. Even his rehearsal package was his cutest to date, as it featured his daughter Laura, who speaks in Spanish and lives in a playhouse. (In fact, I feel so sorry for Cristián I won't even mention how he dedicated a dance set to "I'll Make Love to You" to his daughter. Oh, too late.) His waltz lacked content, according to Len, but Bruno remarked on Cristián's "twinkling bedroom eyes" (seriously, how does Bruno get away with this sort of thang every week?), so all was well.

So, before last night's elimination show, I had to wonder (and do enter cataclysmic music and sounds if you will for the dramatic effect): Will Cristián's injury cost him his spot in the competition? Will Marissa continue to improve or plateau? Did America think Shannon's apology was just as smarmy and nauseous as I did? And which is more likely to occur tonight: Pyromania or Hysteria?

OHHHHHHHHHHHH YES! DEF LEPPARD! On Dancing With the Stars of all shows! Joe Elliot's voice was still right on. *Happy sigh*

Tick-tick-tick… and Shannon, your journey ends tonight…

Wait. That's so American Idol. But, the result is still the same. Bye-bye biatch.

Okay, were you bored too last night watching American Idol?

Neil Diamond, of all people. Boring songs. Boring night, though David Cook simmered things up with his raunchier versions of Neil's hits. OH yeah.

Simon was sure bitchy too; he is clearly still upset at Carly's departure and is especially cruel to Brooke and the little David. Not that their performances impressed me either.

Syesha is still just — good enough for Broadway.

So, who will leave. For me, it's a toss-up between Syesha and Jason will be told that their moment like this is over and that they won't get their now… I think, truly, little David should be the one to leave, but as Simon said to his second song, "You were smart." Yeah. Hit on the hearts of Americans by singing "America." Insta-votes.

After that, my night went downhill, and I was left pondering all sorts of things on life…

I'm still not in a happy place today…


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