AGT Group 3 Results

19 07 2012

I thought Group 2 was weak… AGT’s Group 3 proved that it can always get worse.

Honestly, the caliber of acts that took to the stage on Tuesday night was at an all-time low, if you ask me. There were one or two deserving of moving into the final rounds. The stand outs were obvious, because their competition was virtually invisible.

I would even go further in saying that the acts that were ‘stand outs’ got a BOOST from their fellow contestants because they performed so badly. It helped their own chances… They LOVED the drag act, the magician and the guy who couldn’t get balanced. They applauded the juggler who set fire to the stage, the kid who actually made a Britney Spears song sound worse than a Britney Spears song, and the out-of-tune Glee club. Mediocrity  lowers the bar, so that acts like The All Wheel Sports, the Comedian and the Untouchables have a chance at a birth in the finals… whether they deserve it or not.

So the acts that have made it through this round of eliminations are…

1. Jacob Williams the Comedian

2. Lightwire Theatre (the only elite level performance of the evening…)

3. The Untouchables mini-salsa-dancers

4. All Wheel Sports

 

Thoughts?





American Idol Recap: Top 9

29 03 2012

The Top 9 Idol show last night was definitely the best of the season, and arguably the best Idol show I’ve ever seen.

…and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve seen a heck of a lot of ‘Idol’ shows in my day. I’ve probably seen every episode, of almost every variation of ‘singing competition’ on TV. Even all the Canadian ones…

So I say this with extensive experience in my pocket, and with sincere reverence for the show that changed modern TV… Last night was absolutely a NEW level of ‘high’ for this show and a swift shot to the juggular of all the shows competing with it.

The format remains unchanged from the first time the ‘Idols’ hit the stage Season 1, the reason producers DONT tweak with the current format is beacuse every year, it is the PERFORMERS that make the show different and memorable. Sometimes, they dont. Remember Diana Degarmo? Exactly.

Last night’s theme was ‘Our Idols’ – meaning the contestants picked songs to sing from their personal favourite artists. And the legend, Stevie Nixx was there as a mentor. Usually, this theme is a recipe for disaster. Songs you belt out in the shower, in the car and infront of a full length mirror have the tendancy to flop on stage. But since the idol have already been forced to sing Whitney, and songs they dont really know… this was probably a relief to most.

In other years, I feel like this wouldve resulted in campy versions of hit songs by artists like Mariah, Usher, Justin Timberlake – current songs that would get them votes rather than actually choosing a classic song from a great artist.

Instead…

Colton – started off the night with waht I thought would be the knock out performance of the night. And it was. His best by far, and maybe even second only to Jessicas Whitney performance. But I could be slightly bias, he sang my absolute favourite song that I didnt think anyone else in the world knew. Everything by Lifehouse is a song I have sang to and cried to more than any other song in my life. Obviously, Colton and I are the same age and apparently were both affected by the haunting melody and beautiful lyrics. He resurrected this song for me, and even for those who didn’t know the tune. I will be downloading this one…

Heejun – was criticized last week for not taking the competition seriously. I was a little worried for him this week, picking his own song. But he, surprisingly, knows his voice VERY well. He chose a song that let us hear the rich tone and vibrato he has when he opens up. He didnt hold back at ALL on this song and it was his best performance by a long shot… He needed that to get back in the game.

Skylar-  Her Idol is Melissa Lambert. Shocker. You can tell she’s like, a mega fan. This song was probably one of the only ones I felt was a little bit too much liek the original, and therefore MORE of a ‘I’ve always wanted to sing this song’ rather than a creative homage. It didnt really show off her vocals, but it DID show her comfort level within the female country rock genre. That’s her ‘thang’.

Jessica- Is just a MASSIVE star. Idol prodicers must be licking their lips and thanking the heavens for finding this one. She is the perfect little Idol package. She has a KILLER voice (she slayed a Beyonce song better than the Queen B herself…) she has amazing stage presence, and a true sense of herself as an artist… oh, and she’s 16. Steven has had hangover that last longer than that.

Joshua– Took on Mariah. I wouldve expected it more from the girls… but Randy is right, this guy has such a special, unique talent that he needs BIG songs to show them off properly. He showed it off alright. Another well deserved standing ovation from the judges. Every week, I feel like we are at a Joshua concert when he steps onto the stage – he is in command, he conncets with the music and the audience is right there with him. Such a pro.

Hollie – Still hasnt found her stride. She sang Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood. Yes, it’s a big song. It’s also a shower/car/bedroom song. If you dont do anything to change it, and you dont hit every single note… it’s karaoke (or Carrie-oke…sorry.) If there is justice, Hollie will go home tonight… the other performances of the night were in a different league.

Deandre – Finally got to pick an artist he COULS sing, and chose a soulful Eric Benet song. This is EXACTLY the direction Deandre needs to follow. I wouldnt say that I would pick up an album liek that, BUT I can marvel at the unique, distinct and fresh spin on dated R/B. This song was due for a refresh, and Deandre delivered… wow, that voice.

Philip – I would buy a ticket to a Philip Philips concert in a heartbeat after last night. You know EXACTLY what you’re going to get with this guy. Straight up acoustic rock n roll soul. This guy was going to inherit a pawn shop… now? It felt like a concert, like you didnt want the song to end, it didnt cut off in strange places to get to ‘the chorus’, he rocked out on that stage. The cutest thing in the world, was watching Stevie Nixx fall in love with him too!

Elise– Ended the night with Zepplin. Seriously. Zepplin. Not just Zepplin,  Whole Lotta Love Zepplin. NOBODY can touch songs like that… right? Wrong! Elise absolutely took over the night with her version of that song. It was pure rock n roll, it was new but stayed clsoe to the Plant original. Her vocals were spot on, and I wish she could sing 70’s rock every week. Holy smokes, girl can KILL a classic rock song like no other… who knew?!

Now you can see how Jesus Take the Wheel was a bit…underwhelming?

Everyone pulled out the big guns and had a Star Moment of their own on stage las tnight. Who the HECK will go home tonight, I don’t want to be disappointed after such an unforgettable night.





Survivor One World: February 22

23 02 2012

Episode 2 of the ALL NEW season of Survivor.

Remember the rant I went on last week? The one about the producers finally giving Women a chance to bear greater roles and responsibility and step up their game?

Well, I don’t think THESE particular women got the memo.

From my seat on the couch, as a long-time dedicated Survivor watcher, I can fix any problem and lay a lot of blame. However, I also constantly have to remind myself that things are different when you are LIVING it rather than just being an armchair critic of a situation. I believe there are some strong women on this tribe, I also commend the fact that they decided to name a leader and take some direction. I give full marks to Sabrina for stepping into that role without being petty or catty or overtly authoritative. Assigning roles was probably a smart move (if not a little bit ‘animal farm’ mixed with ‘Lord of the Flies’) because it establishes some semblance and order.

Another good move? Refusing to be Colton’s ‘Saturday night with the girls’. You know what I mean. Colton has a ‘hard week’ and needs a girls night to gossip and fawn and complain about the elements. It’s obvious that Colton is an odd fit at the boys camp, but then, so is Leif, Greg and even Jonas and Bill. You have to find a few other misfits and ban together despite differences. Mid way through the episode, Colton caught on. He showed his Idol (mind out of the gutter) to a select group, who made an about-face the instant they realized… they should be friends with the Idol carrier.

Not that the boys have anything to worry about. They may not see  Tribal Council until the merge.

Another challenge lost by the women because they lack communication skills and teamwork. This challange was ALL about teamwork – the women were scattered and trying to be a one-woman show. The major weak link was Kat, but to be fair… she was the only one to try. Had someone else been the first to attempt the balance beam walk…. would the results have been different, or would there be another scapegoat?

The challenge may have been lost by Kat, but apparently the women are hanging onto the archaic strategy of voting out the oldest and keeping the young. Nina was first on the chopping block. She isnt in the group of ‘5’ that decided to align themselves in the first 5 minutes of the game.

At Tribal Council, Kat embarassed herself even more by wilting under pressure from others about her lack of execution. Didnt matter. Nina was voted out. The Ex LAPD.

I don’t see much changing on this tribe unless the women can find a way to be better communicators than the men. That’s the one true strength advantage they potentially have over their male counterparts. Can they get it together? It’s just getting embarassing.

Thoughts?





Survivor One World Premiere

16 02 2012

Another Survivor Premiere.

There have been like…over 20, and I still get a kick out of watching people try to build fires, run after local game, construct a lean-to shelter and use their new buffs as fashion accessories.

I love it. When does watching adult human beings chasing chickens get old? I say never. I could watch that all night… I should suggest it as the premise for a new FOX game show to fill the summer months. Who’s with me?

I digress… let’s start at the beginning.

Jeff announces a few twists to this new season.  The first, NO Redemption Island. Once you’re voted out, you’re going home. Traditional Survivor rules. The second, it’s Girls against Guys – making it a classic battle of the sexes (who doesnt love that?!) and easier to define the teams from the get-go. It always takes me at least a month to deferentiate between teams, the obvious distiction helps in this case. Finally, both teams will be sharing a camp. Two tribes, one camp. They will all have varying resources, be responsible for their own shelter/fire/activities/jobs etc. The difference is, they are face to face with the other team, which will make the social game much more important moving forward.

I could analyze the group dynamics of male vs female or deep dive into the psychology of two teams sharing one space… but I’ll spare you my prognosis of the entire situation. However, this is my blog and I want to talk briefly about a few things.

In past Survivors, one of the moot points that has perpetually plagued the show is the lack of strength in the female game. Sure, we’ve had a few dominating ladies… but they rearely win and they rarely have friends. What we DO see are a lot of women who latch onto a strong male and enjoy the ride until the end. Then they plead their case to the jury and boast about their ‘social’ prowess. Some have won based on this tactic. Similarly, in most Survivor seasons, there comes a point where the girls have one shot, one chance to pool their votes and take out a strong male figure… 9 times out of 10, the plan falls through, and the ladies retreat to their male leaders. It’s unspoken, but I think there have been a few conversations behind the scenes about how to reinvent the strategy of the female player. Forcing the women to be on ONE team, might just do the trick. The Women will make decisions for their team, the women will be responsible for the daily activities and role allocations, the women will be forced to work together in order to beat their male counterparts. Personally, I’m very intrigued to see this play out. Will this format give more power and responsibility to the women of the game… or will they squander this opportunity.

After last night, I’m not sure the group has embraced this chance to be formidable foes or proven competitors. We’ve got a few Type A’s who lack leadership quality, we’ve got a few ‘latchers’ looking for male attention, and we’ve got a few who were very quick to negotiate for the guys help. Sad. Watching the women scrounge for food, listlessly try to ignite a flame, unsuccessfully build shelter, instead…spend time weaving a roof for the men in exchange for fire.

Oy, it’s weak and embarassing. I sure hope they can shape up after a few days…

At the challenge, they showed once again that the competition is mismatched and lopsided… it reminded me of when it was girls vs boys in dodgeball or king of the hill… boys are MUCH more competitive. It’s not anti-feminist, there are alot of HIGHLY competitive girls out there (I’m one of them) but in general, a group of boys competing against a group of girls have the edge in pure combative exertion. No doubt, the girls will find their stride and take a few challenges, but they need to use teamwork and a levelhead to counteract the male physical dominance.

During the challenge, one of the girls landed hard on her wrist, was taken away for X rays. Therefore, the game was over… the men chose to take the victory instead of completing the task. The girls were surprised, I was not.

So at Tribal Counsel, the girls wasted no time in stabbing eachother in the back, and spitting insults at each other. Already. Jeff was absolutely right in saying the ‘men have you exactly where they want you’. The instant discord within the group will only weaken the team, making them ripe for destruction from within.

No one was voted out tonight, because the girl with the broken wrist would not be returning. Probably wouldve been prudent and well advised to save the overt clash for a later tribal… now it’s just going to be, awkward. Think ladies, think!

As I say, I’m very interested in this format and I’m hoping (as producers are, I’m sure) that this genderline split will actually improve the ladies’ game.

Thoughts?

 





Wednesday February 15th: TV Night

15 02 2012

Holy TV Night Batman! It’s a PVR overload tonight…

Need a refresher?

Survivor: One World”  PREMIERES tonight! (I’m trying to look past the lame-name. Sounds like a video game…no?)

also…

American Idol CONTINUES with a 2 hour GROUP WEEK tonight! (remember how I said I would never forgive producers for making me wait a week to hear actual singing? Well, I’m over it. My night has arrived.)

also…

it’s Wednesday night which means Modern Family, CSI and Criminal Minds are ALL new and ALL on tonight.

It’s an embarrassment of TV riches.

Remember those nights, like 2 weeks before Christmas when there was quite literally NOTHING on TV and you were waiting for the Yule Log to air? Or how about those weeks in the summer when you are forced to watch The Bachelor Pad or insipid game shows with washed up hosts. You almost felt guilty staying in and watching TV. I mean, wouldnt you just have salivated at the thought of a TV night like this one? It’s happening to me right now, I’m sitting at work licking my lips at the thought of my TV line up for tonight.

You know they say there are 3 types of people.

Those who live for the Anticipation, those who live in the Moment and those who live to Talk about it.

Let me share a little something with you. I am a person who lives for the anticipation – excitment about a trip or an event or the expectation of something ‘happening’ makes me lose sleep, lose focus and at times, lose my mind. The event itself may be great, may be just OK, may be a dud… The build up is what I live for. People who live in the moment, enjoy each exciting event as it’s happening. Those who live to talk about it are your classic ‘takes a million pictures’ ‘posts everything to facebook’ ‘has a million stories’ ‘makes a scrapbook’ after the fact… that’s their enjoyment, reliving and retelling.

As an “Anticipation” person, this day is killing me.

What can I tell you about tonight…
There are a few new twists on this most recent installation of Survivor (besides the cheeseball name). Redemption Island is no more, and the teams are now sharing the same camp… I’m very interested to see how that works or doesnt work. I get the feeling the social game is becoming more and more important.

So you know where I’ll be tonight… hope you’ll join me in enjoying what promises to be a great TV Night.





American Idol: Hollywood Week pt.1

9 02 2012

One of my favourite weeks on TV all year… Idol Hollywood Week !

I love catching up with old faces from auditions, I love seeing them take the stage and sing acapella, I love the backstage drama, and I LOVE group performances.

Last night, Hollywood week began (part one) and will continue tonight (part 2). So we saw the hopefuls take the stage and sing one song, acapella to remind the judges who they were and refresh our memories. Some people, kill this round. Some people have the confidence and gravitas to nail this kind of pressure to a wall and paint over. Some people want this dream so bad, they sing their hearts out of their chest to the judges. It’s ridiculous the talent some poeple have. Don’t you wish you could be THAT talented at….anything?

Some people choke on their nerves. If in that situation, that would likely be me. I feel like the cameras, the 3 judges, the empty stage and your peers looking on would be too much for the average person to handle. Talented or not. The key is to get excited rather than mortified. I feel for some of the people who have never left their town before, nevermind flown a thousand miles to the land of ‘opportunity’ in Hollywood. I also feel for those people who are blessed with a beautiful voice, but just DONT have a strong personality to give them the chutzpah it requires to perform under such pressure.

The real drama will unfold tonight – particularly after last night’s ‘cliff hanger’ as a girl literally take a nose dive off the stage. Also, group rounds really test the character and perseverance of the contestants. There are people who cannot work in ‘teams’. There are people who still require a full 9 hours of sleep to function. There are people who feel the need to cry in any stressful situation. Those truths are part of the formula that makes group day so…. entertaining.

Safe to say, I know exactly where I’ll be when the clock turns from 7:59 to 8:00 tonight.





People’s Choice Awards 2012: The Pre-ramble

11 01 2012

I will likely be live-blogging from the People’s Choice Awards executive seating section… my couch. 3 feet away from all the action, best seats in the house.

I love live blogging from Awards shows (even if they are fake awards shows….) because they inspire instant conversation topics. We are voyeurs, we love to ‘watch’ without being ‘watched’. we love to criticize without being criticized… we love to be in pajamas while other suffer in high heels and spanx (or is that just me?).

So tonight I will be watching.

Yeah I know… this is not an important “Award Show”. You wont see The Brad and Angelinas, The Clooneys, The Streeps or even The Goslings in the audience. This is not The Oscars.

It’s shameless self promotion, it’s shameless ‘upcoming projects’ promotion, it’s a chance to fill an entire stadium filled with screaming Team Edward fans to kick off the ‘Award’ season. This is feeding (the already completely bloated) Egos.

also… I would just like to discuss the word ‘People’ in the title of this Award show. Who are… ‘People’? Are YOU ‘People’? I realized, probably last year or the year before… I am not ‘People’. Because ‘People’ are the ones who are thanked for their fanatical support, the ones who have apparently made it possible for an elite sub group of people to succeed, the ones who have made dreams come true, and the ones who vote for Transformers at ‘Movie of the Year’ , ‘Water for Elephants’ as Best Drama and vote for a winner in a category called ‘Favourite Celebreality Star’…

Who are THESE PEOPLE?

They are People in a very specific age group, that’s who.

I’m not offended, nor do I feel left out… these are not MY Award shows. Mine are coming… my nights of pure enjoyment watching billion dollar careers make their way across a red carpet aren’t far off.

Until then… let’s have some fun at tonight’s Peoples Choice Awards. First person to shout out to ‘Baby Blue’ … gets a remote thrown at them.








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