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  • March 31, 2006

    NCAA Tourney Pool-Final Four Update

    [Posted by ]

    Basketball's Final Four hits the court tomorrow and so it's time for another quick Dummocrats' pool update.

    While four teams are left to battle it out for the national championship, only three teams are still alive in our pool. Here's how it's going to break down.

    Daddy's rather controversially named "deth 2 dubai" team wins if:

    • LSU beats George Mason
    • George Mason beats LSU

    Our own James wins if:

    • LSU beats Florida
    • Florida beats LSU
    • Florida beats UCLA

    Finally, regulators (I don't know whose team this is) wins if:

    • UCLA beats George Mason
    • UCLA beats Florida
    • George Mason beats UCLA

    So, three teams with a couple shots each. Good luck!

    Posted by at 10:27 AM | Comments (2)

     

    March 30, 2006

    Me for Wisconsin Governor

    [Posted by ]

    Scott Walker's recent decision to drop out of the Wisconsin gubernatorial race means two things to me. First, I will no longer get emailed pdfs and Word documents from the Walker campaign. Since the campaign gave me no effective way to unsubscribe from these emails all I can say is good riddance. I wouldn't have voted for a spammer anyway. Second, with Walker out, there just may be room for another GOP candidate to challenge Mark Green.

    I believe that I could be that candidate. Oh sure, I don't have any government experience or influential connections or overflowing campaign war chest. What I do have, however, is an unbeatable issue. If elected, I hereby vow to guarantee the speedy removal of dead animals from Wisconsin's roads. My internal polling has shown almost unanimous support for this stance. Not only that, most people were willing to pay anywhere from $2-$5 extra on, for example, car registration renewals, in order to fund a more aggressive dead animal removal program. This is a can't miss issue folks. Gross dead animals on the highway affect everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to church-going grannies, from rednecks to Madison liberals, from Illinois tourists to our state's impressionable children. Gross dead animals are equal opportunity offenders and the citizens of this state deserve to have a system set up that guarantees their speedy removal.

    The best thing about this issue, from a political standpoint, is that the only real response to my call for the speedy removal of dead animals is this: "I too vow to guarantee the speedy removal of dead animals". Other candidates can't come out against the issue because the public is solidly behind it. And, because I said it first, even if they do support my stance, they're going to appear to be Johnny-come-latelys.

    So if I do decide to throw my hat in the ring, please consider voting for me. Or, ask the Green or Doyle campaign what they plan to do about Wisconsin's dead animal problem. After all, I'm not in this for political glory. At the end of the day, I'm just sick of all the damn dead animals.

    Posted by at 11:06 AM | Comments (6)

     

    March 29, 2006

    American Idol Top Ten Results-Lisa Voted Off

    [Posted by ]

    I think Lisa is boring to watch, but she seems like a really sweet 16-year old. So, on one hand I was sad that she was voted off tonight, but, on the other hand, I'm happy I don't have to listen to her anymore. It's hard to watch a likeable person get ripped on and put through the ringer every week.

    As for the rest of the show tonight, Ace and Katharine joined Lisa in the bottom 3. Ace isn't a surprise since he sucks. Katharine is a good singer and she's beautiful, but there's nothing there to really grab people and make them into rabid fans. To paraphrase Simon, she simply doesn't have that elusive "it" factor.

    Next week's theme is country, so we're not going to get rid of Pickler anytime soon. And hopefully the remaining contestants will cut another cheesetastic single soon (anyone remember last year's Tsunami Tsingle?). I'd rather listen to a bad medley than a performance like tonight's duo of Shakira and Wyclef Jean. They're just not my cup of tea. Part of the fun of Idol is that the singers sing real songs, not stupid raps performed over a sampled beat.

    So long Lisabot. I wish she would have tapped into her professed love of rock music and stepped away from the Kelly, but she's young. She'll learn.

    Posted by at 08:39 PM | Comments (5)

     

    March 28, 2006

    21st Century American Idol

    [Posted by james]

    Oh oh stereo, video, sci-fi sex let's go go go - let's go. 10 Left for the 21st Century extravaganza! Who will stay? Who will go? Will this be the week that America finally stops Covaising Lisa? We shall find out.

    Lisa is up first with doing a Kelly Clarkson song. OK, I have to be honest - I think this is probably Lisa's best performance yet, and the crowd seems to like it. Unfortunately for Lisa, the judges disagree. Vehemently. Randy says it was just "all right" for him. Paula says the song was a poor choice. Simon says that the song was just "too big" for her, and that there were parts that were "actually painful." I dunno, judges- I think you're overdoing it. It wasn't that bad. Sorry judges - B+.

    Venus ramp, sexy tramp Hickler is up next doing a song called "Suds in a Bucket." Wow, she doesn't play dumb in the pre-song interview. She doesn't have the makeup gun set to whore this week, either. Whoa, but it's painful when she tries to hit the high notes. The judges criticize the song. Not her, the song. Hey, whatever judges. At least she toned it down this week. I wonder if she was made aware of the growing backlash against her? C.

    Ace sets out to feminize "Drops of Jupiter" this week, wasting no time by running his hand through his hair as he sings they lyrics "in her hair." Gag. Ace, you make Nathan Lane look straight. Oh my, now he's exposing a scar on his chest as he sings a lyric about a "scar." Hell, Ace, you make Tom Cruise look straight. The judges don't like it, and Paula says that even though she dislikes it, "it's refreshing after the last 2 performances." Ouch! And she asks about his scar. GAG. Ace, you fail. Freako psycho horror show. F.

    Taylor explains the meaning of "Soul Patrol" and tells us that he's doing "Trouble" because he's looking to show off a great vocal range. I dunno, I'm not really hearing the promised range-showcase. Randy doesn't like it. Taylor says that he wanted to "sing a song tonight, as opposed to [scream?]." Simon quite liked it. I didn't think it was that great. Hopefully for T, the Soul Patrol Vegas vamps like better than I did. B.

    Mandissa is doing "Shackles," a testimonial. Wow, it's like my tv accidentally got switched to EWTN or something. "I JUST WANT TO PRAISE YOU!!!" belts Mandissa. Hey, it was a good performance. Good vocal. Randy didn't love it or the song choice, and the crowd loudly disagrees. Paula makes some half-clever comment about "The Church of Mandissa." Wow, I think Paula is sober this week. Welcome to the wagon, Honey. Simon thought it was "a bit indulgent. Not for me." I'm gonna give her an A-.

    Chris comes out campaigning hard for the job of Live lead singer by having Seacrest tell us that he "worships" them. Chris tells us that he's doing a Creed song. It's pretty heavy for Idol. And you know, while it's good, I don't think it's excellent. Randy didn't love it, Paula makes it clear that she wants to have an affair with Chris, and Simon thinks that Chris "stepped over the line" with that song. "Creed wouldn't be caught dead on this show. This is American Idol!" Good point. B+.

    McPhee is doing Christina Aguilera. And it's terrible. TERRIBLE! Poor song choice. Poor vocal. Oh, McPhee, you're trying to live a life that's completely free. You should stick to Jazz/Blues. Randy liked the song choice, but didn't love the performance. Paula thought it was her "best." Hey, I want drunk Paula back! Simon says it was the best tonight, but doesn't look enthused. C- from me, McPhee.

    Bucky is gonna do some Tim McGraw, because he "flat out like[s] it." He comes out dressed like Tim McGraw, but sounds nothing like Tim McGraw. Sub-par performance. He's not even really singing, he's ... growling the lyrics or something. Randy liked the song choice. Paula had nothing drunk-sounding to say, but she tells him to watch his "diction." Simon says its OK. I think Bucky's going home, kids. D+.

    Paris is doing Beyonce's "Work it Out." She's dressed the part, and she's dancing the part. This is really not my style of music, and the song + performance are both probably a bit inappropriate for the show, IMHO. Randy thinks it was the bomb, best of the night. Paula thinks it was awesome. Simon calls it precocious, like a little girl trying to be Beyonce. I'm not even sure how to rate this one - so I'll go with... C-?

    Elliot is doing a Gavin DeGraw song that Bo Bice did last year, but he wants to switch it up with a soul vibe. And wow, it sounds like terrible, terrible karaoke. What is this dancing he's trying to do? Wow. Scary. Though Paula can't stop screaming for him, and Randy is very impressed. Paula needs to shut up. Simon has a mixed review.

    Most everyone sucked tonight. I'm having a hard time both coming up with 3 for my "best" list and limiting it to three for my "worst" list.

    Best:
    Mandissa
    Lisa
    Chris

    Worst:
    Ace
    Bucky
    Paris

    Predicted Departure: Bucky.

    Posted by jkhat at 08:10 PM | Comments (3)

     

    March 23, 2006

    Politics & Civility

    [Posted by ]

    I live in a small building with just 5 apartments. The other day I noticed a "Vote Yes" on the referendum to withdraw troops from Iraq sign in the front lawn. I live in a very liberal neighborhood, so it's no surprise that someone in my building supports the referendum. My question is whether it's rude for them to put the sign up.

    On one hand, it's a free country and they should be able to express their political views. On the other hand, it's a shared space and the sign purports to represent everyone who lives here. It certainly doesn't represent me.

    So what do you think? Is it more important to express your political opinion or to be considerate of the people you share space with?

    Posted by at 12:59 PM | Comments (6)

     

    March 22, 2006

    American Idol Recap-Kevin Voted Off

    [Posted by ]

    Let the conspiracy theories begin! Kevin was voted off tonight. Or was he? According to the folks at DialIdol, it was Elliott's turn to go home. Did the Idol producers intervene and get rid of Kevin to neutralize the threat poised by the subversive crew at Vote For The Worst? Or, did America finally tire of the joke and vote one of the worst singers out. Only Ryan Seacrest's hairdresser knows for sure.

    As for the rest, Barry Manilow sang "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing". It was boring. If you have to see Barry Manilow perform live, don't you want to see "Copacabana"? I know I do.

    After that, Ryan delivered the results. It was quick and painful for the bottom 3: Lisa, Bucky & Kevin. And then, just like that, Chicken Little was gone. Look for him in a regional production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soon.

    Posted by at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

     

    NCAA Tourney Pool Update

    [Posted by ]

    With the NCAA basketball tourney set to start up again tomorrow, here's an update on our site pool. "Cats" is the clear leader after the first week, and even with the dubious choice of Kansas in the Final Four, the team is looking pretty good.

    Below you'll find a breakdown of the standings, including the possible points for each team.

    Team Current Points Sweet 16 Elite 8 Final 4 Final 2 Champion Total Possible Points
    Cats 50 12 5 3 2 1 158
    Deth 2 Dubai 45 11 7 3 2 1 161
    Motherto1 44 10 7 4 2 1 168
    Kansas Tornado 44 10 5 3 1 1 136
    OTBE 44 11 6 2 0 0 84
    We Can't Beat Duke 42 10 4 3 2 1 146
    Jsnisu 41 9 6 4 2 1 161
    Regulators 40 9 6 4 2 1 160
    Counterop's Dummocrats Picks 40 10 5 3 1 1 132
    Michkelsey 40 9 5 1 1 1 116
    The Unabrewer 39 9 6 4 2 1 159
    Motion W's 38 10 7 4 2 1 162
    Badgers87 38 8 3 2 1 1 114
    Rock City Rockers 36 8 5 2 2 1 136
    Kahoks 36 7 5 1 1 1 112
    He Hat Me 35 7 5 3 2 1 143
    Mermermer 30 4 3 0 0 0 42
    Squibbly 28 5 4 3 2 1 132
    Posted by at 04:14 PM | Comments (6)

     

    March 21, 2006

    Amazing Race Recap-Episode 4

    [Posted by ]

    Tonight on the Amazing Race, the lovely mother-daughter duo of Wanda (or as Phil says, "Wander") and Desiree were eliminated. The team got increasingly testy with each other as they struggled with navigating themselves through Germany and although I really liked them, I'm almost glad they were Philiminated because I'd hate to see them turn on each other any more.

    Tonight's leg started up where we left off last week: in Moscow's Red Square. As teams hit the mat, Phil gave them the news that this was the dreaded "TBC" leg and the Race was still on. Teams headed to the airport to search for flights to Germany. Ultimately, only Eric & Jeremy, Lake & Michelle and the Hippies were able to get a flight out that night, while the rest of the teams would have to wait until morning.

    Once in Germany, teams headed to Stuttgart and Mercedes' famed test track. Teams had to take a spin (with a professional driver at the wheel) on the nicely named "Wall of Death". Call me evil, but don't you wish the Weaver family had had to do this last season?

    After some minor bunching at the track, the three lead teams headed to a Roadblock I'll call "Lena's Revenge". Poor Lena was the Mormon sister from Season Six who was eliminated along with her sister after unrolling hay bales in a Swedish field for 8 hours. Now Lena works on the casting for The Amazing Race and I can't help but think she had a hand in this Roadblock. 11 Travelocity gnomes (bitch all you want about the product placement, but it helps pay the bills) were hidden in a field and teams had to uncover various gnome tops and bottoms to find them.

    Eric and Jeremy flew through the detour, but Lake & Michelle had troubles finding the field until they picked up some drunk guy to help them. With a hand from Hans they were on their way. The Hippies joined them and then the two teams worked together to get to their next destination. Hilariously, they had to take an unplanned detour to drop Hans off at home. Moments like that are why I love the Race. You're in the middle of a race for a million dollars and you have to drop some drunk guy off at home first. I love it.

    While all of this was going on, the rest of the teams were navigating their way from Stuttgart to the field, with the exception of Wanda and Desiree and the Danis, who were going in circles. Wanda & Desiree were lost and the Danis were too lazy to quit following them. I want to like the Danis, but then they do stupid things like hook up with Eric & Jeremy and follow other teams that clearly don't know what they're doing. Ugh.

    The detour, in a Bavarian film studio, was the exact opposide of "ugh". Teams had to dress in Lederhosen and choose to either break fake bottles over each other's heads until they found the clue (but they had to wait for a cuckoo clock to chime before each bottle break) or learn a traditional German folk dance. No matter what option teams chose, hilarity ensued. This would have been Race perfection if somehow wacky animal hijinks could have been added to the mix.

    In the end, Eric & Jeremy finished first and managed to gross out Phil with a mention of "tongue wrestling" with the Danis. Also pissing off Phil were the Hippies, who had to be alternative and race to the mat backwards. Give it a break, boys. The complete order of finish was:

    1. Eric & Jeremy
    2. Lake & Michelle
    3. Hippies
    4. Fran & Barry (I know)
    5. David & Lori
    6. Joseph & Monica
    7. Ray & Yolanda
    8. Danis
    9. Wanda & Desiree

    Next week: laundry!

    Be sure the check out the Viking Pundit for more.

    Posted by at 10:14 PM | Comments (2)

     

    American Idol - Melissa Gone and Covais Rolls On

    [Posted by james]

    I'm not gonna get around to watching American Idol until later in the week, so I've channeled the great Karnak for this brief "pre-cap":

    Lisa: ZZzzzz.... Boooo-rinng.

    Covais: "I'm a sex machine." Please, America, start laughing with me.

    Ace: is still teh gey

    Pickler: "Oh, I'm so delightfully naive! How do you say that word, "poeeh-seur?"" "Tee-hee-hee."

    Elliot: 100 stylists at his command and he's stickin with the bowl cut.

    Bucky: Started the pre-song clip with "We don't do it like that back on the farm..."

    McPhee: smirk, flirt, smirk, flirt.

    Taylor: "Hey!"

    Paris: Best headbobbing of the night. "Oh no you di-int!"

    Chris: Picks the coolest song of the night, Simon says he should have a hit record with it.

    Mandissa: Best of the night.

    Getting the boot: Lisa.

    Posted by jkhat at 08:37 PM | Comments (7)

     

    March 19, 2006

    The Case Against Referendums

    [Posted by ]

    Referendums are all the rage in my neck of the woods. On April 4, Madisonians will vote to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and in November they vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In between, numerous school districts will sponsor referendums to request more money for our children.

    I'm going to vote "no" on both of the major Wisconsin referendums, but my opposition to them got me thinking about how I feel about government by referendum in general. Do I feel so negative about referendums because I oppose the specifics of the latest batch, or do I think referendums are a bad idea in general?

    After much thought, I'm coming out against referendums in general. I've supported greater public participation in government before. I read Strong Democracy, by Benjamin Barber in college and I was intrigued by the idea of participatory politics (side note: for those of you concerned about left wing college professors, please note that I graduated with a Political Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison! The liberal professors weren't able to turn me into one of them because my father actually discussed the issues of the day with me. The lesson: bitch less about your kids' teachers and actually talk to your kids). But now, I think referendums are a threat to the rule of law.

    Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy. It's a representative republic. There's a world of difference between the two. At its essence, democracy is rule of the majority. A republic, on the other hand, is rule of law. In a democracy (or through a referendum), the law is determined by the wavering passion of the people. In a republic, that passion is filtered through elected officials. Those officials are not bound to public opinion, they're bound to the law. It's funny to me that so many people mock politicians who govern according to the polls, but then turn around and support various referendums to "send a message to Washington". We send messages to Washington all the time. They're called elections. And, believe me, politicians pay attention to them.

    I see three big problems with a reliance on referendums. First, they can create a tyranny of the majority. The gay marriage ban amendment is a great example of this.

    Second, they polarize and simplify debate. For an example, I'll once again turn to Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. The referendum is a yes or no question about whether to amend the constitution to ban same sex marriages and contracts that mimic marriage. Lots of people think that marriage is a sacrament that should only be shared by a man and a woman, but they think gay couples should have some legal recognition of their relationships. What do these voters do? Referendums eliminate the middle ground where most of the governing is actually done.

    Finally, the public is ignorant. I mean that in the nicest way. The truth is that we the people do not have all the answers. We're busy living our lives, not vigorously analyzing all the issues of the day. That's why we hire people to do the governing for us. In the aftermath of the Dubai port debacle, it's easy to imagine a national referendum passing that prohibits certain US businesses and government agencies from brokering deals with Muslim nations. Would the public, ruled by their prejudices and insults, have any idea of the consequences of their actions? I don't think so. I think they'd place their vote and then leave it to their representatives to deal with the mess they created.

    Referendums are the public's way of micromanaging their elected representatives. Lately it seems like we're in danger of turning into a nation of pointy-haired bosses.

    Posted by at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)

     

    March 17, 2006

    The Ghosts of American Idols Past

    [Posted by ]

    While Kelly Clarkson is off collecting Grammys and looking for a boyfriend and Clay Aiken is doing something in hotel rooms, last year's American Idol runner up, Bo Bice, is living the glamourous life in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Yesterday afternoon, Bo performed a short set at The Dry Bean bar and restaurant. I missed out on going to see him, but here's a picture a friend of mine took with her cellphone.

    She said Bo was very skinny and pale, but that he was sporting a wedding ring (sorry ladies) and talked about his new baby son. Poor Bo. Last year at this time millions watched him perform every week. This year, he's in a bar in Wisconsin in the middle of a March snowstorm. Bo went from being the leader of a bar band to being...the leader of a bar band.

    Posted by at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

     

    March 15, 2006

    American Idol- Melissa Voted Off

    [Posted by ]

    Tonight's American Idol results show/fillerama featured a supremely boring performance by Stevie Wonder. While he was singing, I kept daydreaming about how Randy, Paula & Simon would critique him if he was a contestant. My guess is that it wouldn't be pretty.

    On to the results: Ace is in the bottom three. Kevin is safe (hey, way to go Vote for the Worst. Joining Ace on center stage are Melissa and Lisa. Lisa is so distraught that she can't even look up. Poor little thing.

    Ace is safe so it's down to the Lisa and Melissa. Mercifully, Ryan quickly tells Melissa she's gone. She takes it like a pro, and honestly, she's had to have known for the last week that she was probably going home after tonight.

    I kind of liked Melissa. She was way better than Pickler last night. It seems to me that Kellie is benefitting from all of her early show pimpage. She has the luxury of surviving a crappy performance. Melissa, who had virtually no early airtime, had no such advantage. So it's so long Melissa and we're in for another week of Pickler's phoniness, Kevin covaising his way through the competition and Bucky's bouncing curls.

    Posted by at 08:59 PM | Comments (4)

     

    Illegals - Selling the Gay Sex Americans Won't Sell

    [Posted by Laura]

    Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has seen an influx of new residents, many of whom are here illegally. There are many gas stations where you can take part in the new slavery by "hiring" an illegal day laborer. You can pay them next to nothing for a one-day job with no benefits and no future and giggle over the fact that not only do you not have to pay employment taxes, the government further subsidizes this ripoff by providing social services including medical care in the local emergency room. Or let them work all day and don't pay them at all.

    However, many local companies have re-established themselves, to the point that the shifty contractors who hire these men are unable to fully employ the continually growing crowd. It's been clear for a long time that President Bush agrees with Mexican President Vincente Fox on the need for completely open borders and is stealthily working toward that goal. President Bush aided and abetted this illegal immigration when he approved suspending "provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act that would have required government contractors to pay prevailing wages in Louisiana and devastated parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended sanctioning employers who hire workers who cannot document their citizenship."

    The wage-depressing results of that are also clear:

    The Latino influx has rankled many longtime residents, who say the arrivals have depressed wages in some sectors. "I'm working for $6 an hour!" yelled one African-American man at Mayor Ray Nagin's first town-hall meeting last month. "They're bringing in Mexicans and expecting us to work for the same money. Is slavery over, or what?"

    But now that so many illegals are here with more arriving daily, they need to earn something to subsist. This was just sad - Richard over at Metroblogging New Orleans noted in Trabajo -- and I DO mean "HO" that you can hire someone from the Exxon/Day Labor Center to do more than just your drywall.

    We certainly needed to bring in illegals for this - after all, Katrina just decimated the local gay prostitution industry. Yet another case of illegal undocumented immigrants doing the work no one else will do.

    Posted by Laura Curtis at 06:57 AM | Comments (4)

     

    March 14, 2006

    American Idol - Field of Twelve

    [Posted by james]

    In the off week, we learned that Pickler is a huge fraud, that Chris has already had a job offer, and that Kevin has a large fan base for all the wrong reasons.

    Tonight: Stevie Wonder night. Attention Wilbon: YES, Stevie himself is on hand.

    Ace does "Do I Do." Ace, who I'm still convinced lip-synched last week, has an overblown and cheezy intro that rivals his overblown and cheezy personality. And what do you know, it looks like he's lip synching again this week. Ask yourself : don't you think that clapping your hands while holding the microphone would make a noise of some sort, esp when it's apparently sensitive enough to pick up Ace going "ahhch!" and "oooch!" at the end of every verse? Not on American Idol. They must have a magic microphone. The judges don't like it. And I give it an F, because he cheated.

    Pickler is up next. Oh, what word will the feigning bumpkin purposely mispronouce next?

    "Blame it on the Sun" is the winner. Kellie sets up an excuse for any words that she might forget by saying "oh my, oh dear, I just don't know this genre of music!" Well gollie gee, Kellie P, I guess you dun ne'er heard it there on tha farm!" GAG. It's a sub-standard performance. Randy calls it a "non-event." Heh. "I love the shoes," says the Dog. "They were on Sale!" responds a giggly Pickler. Oh, so delightfully down to earth and cute, right? Don't count on it - the contestants shop on Rodeo Drive each week, on Idol's tab. Kellie, quit laying it on so thick. I give it a C-. Oh, wait, the post "I'm so cute" act just bought you a D+, hon - I've seen some sights but man you're somethin'. Next time just get off the stage, feigning bumpkin.

    Elliot cries when he meets Stevie, saying that he's always dreamed of meeting him. Seems genuine. He does "Knocks me off my feet," and in the pre-performance clip, Stevie says that he is "very impressed" with Elliot. You can't really get much higher praise than that, can you? The judges don't think it's his best performance. I agree. B+.

    Mandissa says that her feet are killing her and Seacrest gets down and takes her shoes off. She does "Don't you worry 'bout a thing." Stevie again says that he was "really really impressed" with her. Hmm, I wonder if he's going to say that for everyone? Well, everyone except for Ace and Pickler, that is. I think that the performance is OK. It's only above average because of Mandissa's vocal range. The judges are also underwhelmed, but Simon says "Best so far." I give it a B.

    Bucky does "Superstition," after saying in the pre-show bit that he'd never heard it, or any other Stevie wonder song before. Whereas Pickler pretends, Bucky really is this ignorant. WHOA HAIR! Bucky has been fluffed and puffed for the performance! All in all I give it a B+. Probably his best performance so far. Randy says it wasn't the greatest vocally but that he really enjoyed it. Paula "actually enjoyed hearing [him sing Stevie] too." Simon says one of his best performances so far, but hates the Jessica Simpson style hair. B+ from me.

    Melissa is up next - I've given her a lot of flak over the last few weeks, but somehow I've started to like her a bit. She says that her voice "has been hurting a bit" lately - oh god, how much more annoying can it get? Ouch, this is not good. Say it with me: off key. Oh, and she forgets the lyrics. Yikes. The judges don't hate it, and Simon even calls it "[her] best performance so far." Boy are we on different pages. D.

    Lisa, what song will you bore us with this week? Whoa - "Signed, Sealed, Delivered?" I can't wait to see how you make this one boring. Hmm. I don't know exactly what she's doing, but she has succeeded in boring it up. She's slowing down the refrain. It's funny, I used to think that this girl had a ton of talent, but now I think she's a one trick pony. It's not that she's bad, it's just that she's not great. Not a star. Randy says he was bored, but that the end "was hot." (note to Dog: it was "hot" because it was so exciting that the song was almost over.) Simon thinks it was one of the best of the night. C+.

    Covais has a 5 and 8 year old come up on stage and give him their hand-made "Kevin/Chicken Little Rocks" sign. Aww, how stagedcute. I know I'm watching on tivo, but how are kids that young up this late? Kevin plays into his joke-of-the-show "sex symbol" title by mentioning it, in a serious tone. His rendition of "Part Time Lover" is good... for a high school talent show! Oh, poor Kevin. Kid, you're going to become part of the American Lexicon. "Dude, do you really want me to come along or are you just Covaising me?" The judges laugh as they rate him. Simon: "it was appalling." Thank you Captain Obvious. Randy and Paula wholeheartedly disagree, and Chicken Little comes back with "Thats OK (Simon), I wasn't expecting much from you anyway." Whoa. D, Kev. But I have a feeling that you're gonna be in this for a long time.

    McPhee does "until you come back to me." I just don't like this girl - it's the goofy smirks that she makes while singing - she thinks that she's being cutsey and flirtatious. I know plenty of girls like that - trust me, guys usually make fun of them behind their backs. The judges are all impressed with her performance. Simon says she reminds him of Kelly Clarkson. I thought the performance was good. Probably the best of the night (as long as you look away from the tv.) A-.

    Taylor does "Livin for the City," because it reminds him of a city back home. The performance is good, but I'm not really wowed. There have been much better Taylor songs. It gets better towards the end. I'm torn between giving out a B+ or A-. In light of the other grades I've given tonight, this merits an A-.

    Paris sounds great in her pre-performance clip, let's see if she brings it to the stage during "All I Do." Hmm, I think she does. It's a fairly strong performance, given the song she chose. I was just starting to think that maybe I've been giving out too many "A's" in the later part of the show, but Simon concurs by saying "it's like we're watching 2 different shows - the beginning was ok, but the second half...." I agree. A for Paris.

    Chris brilliantly picks "Higher Ground," made famous by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He announces that he plans on mixing the 2 versions, but it sounds 100% RHCP to me. Nice song to close the show. It would normally be an "A," but since his showmanship and song choice were so great, he gets a plus to hang on that A. A+.


    Best
    Chris
    Paris
    Taylor
    McPhee

    Worst
    Covais
    Melissa
    Lisa


    Voted Off Prediction: Lisa

    Posted by jkhat at 08:50 PM | Comments (15)

     

    March 12, 2006

    NCAA Tourney Pool

    [Posted by ]

    Bring out your brackets! Bring out your brackets! Like last year, Dummocrats will be hosting its own NCAA basketball pool. The pool is free via Yahoo. You need to create a team and then join our group. Here's the scoop:

    GroupID: 27124
    Password: tourney06

    It's free and we will give out a prize to the winner, probably the standard Amazon gift certificate, unless someone has a better idea. I also think the worst team should get something.

    Yahoo doesn't count Tuesday's play-in game, so you have until Thursday morning to make your picks. The scoring system gives you one point for the first round, 2 for the second, 4th for the third and so on.

    If you don't already have an account with us, be sure to get one now so you can chat about the pool and, most importantly, so we know who you are if you win ;-)

    To help you out, CBS has a handy printable bracket.

    As always, a few final notes:

    1. My team will stink. I'm no competition.
    2. Even if you know nothing about basketball, have some fun and join us. The NCAA tourney is one of the few things that liberals, conservatives and even Clay Aiken fans can enjoy together.
    3. Go Badgers!

    Posted by at 06:43 PM | Comments (6)

     

    American Idol-Top 12 Preview

    [Posted by ]

    American Idol's top 12 perform on Tuesday. As usual, once the finals begin we'll be "treated" to a series of theme nights. This week it's the songs of Stevie Wonder. Ho hum. Nothing against Stevie Wonder, but why pick someone that most of the contestants sing already?

    But, Stevie Wonder it is, and here are my recommendations for each of our lovely and talented finalists.

    Ace: I don't know if Ace can sing up tempo songs. If he can, then "Sir Duke", if not, then "Isn't She Lovely". Either way he can throw in a little falsetto and freak people out.

    Bucky: What is Bucky supposed to do with a theme like this? My recommendation would be to pick a ballad and try to countrify it. It should sound so completely different from the original version that it can't really be judged against it. So, how about a country arrangement of "I Just Called To Say I Love You". If he pulled it off, it could be great.

    Chris: If he wants to win, "Higher Ground" a la the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the no brainer choice.

    Elliott: "Send One Your Love" isn't about range, it's a song that highlights phrasing and tempo, which are Elliott's strong points. I think he'd do a stellar version of it.

    Katharine: "If You Really Love Me" has a jazzy feel to it. If she doesn't sing it then Elliott should.

    Kellie: "For Once In My Life" is an Idol favorite and a good song for someone like Kellie who's an okay singer but is basically getting by because the judges are pimping her so hard. She's not a challenge and neither is this song.

    Kevin: We all know he's already going to sing "My Cherie Amour", right? It's inevitable.

    Lisa: She wants to sing rock, so this week doesn't help her. She could try to rock out a little on "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It".

    Mandisa: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered". I can already hear her exhuberant take on this.

    Melissa: After last week, Melissa is in the "rocker chick" box. So, to stay in that box she should try singing "I Was Made To Love Her", but change the "her" to "him" so voters aren't scared off by any lesbian references. Like it really matters. I'm sure Melissa is getting voted out no matter what she sings.

    Paris: "Uptight" would be a good bouncy choice for Paris. The judges won't love it, but there's not a lot of good Stevie Wonder songs for her unless she chooses something like this.

    Taylor: "Superstition". It's not that I think Taylor is very funky, but I can easily imagine him doing his twitchy, herky jerky Elaine Bennis dance while singing this.

    Posted by at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

     

    March 11, 2006

    Dubai & Consequences

    [Posted by ]

    Now that American politicians and the media have managed to drag Dubai through the mud, they're coming to the realization that they may have also done some lasting damage to our country's relationship with one of our few Arab allies. Nice job! As Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, said:

    he doesn't think opponents of the deal on Capitol Hill gave much thought to the possibility that blocking the deal could boomerang and end up hurting U.S. companies. "It's the law of unintended consequences," he says.

    The biggest loser in the short-term, according to Reinsch, is the Bush administration, which has been trying to create a Middle East free trade zone modeled on NAFTA that would extend trade privileges with the United States to countries from North Africa all the way to Iraq by 2013.

    Our wonderful representatives in Congress have screwed numerous businesses (and the middle class folks who are employed by them) in their zeal to gain some quick political points in time for the mid-term elections.

    But Congress isn't the only bad guy here. I have rarely been as disgusted with the reporting of a story as much as I have been with how the Dubai Ports deal has been presented in the media. Did any reporter investigate why DP World wanted this deal? Or what their work has been like in the rest of the world? Of course not. The assumption was simply that these "scary Arabs" wanted to infiltrate American ports and blow them up or something. I never read any talk about what DP World could actually bring to port security. At least not until I read this after the deal was killed:

    A top Gulf businessman in the transport business, and with links to the US, portrayed the outcome of the controversy as a huge missed opportunity. He said the DP World deal would have given US Customs and Port Authorities unparallelled insight and resources around the world.

    “If US customs wanted to make an intervention on a suspected container they would have been able to do so as part of a seamless ­supply-chain service in the country of their choice. This is already happening today. However, the tie-up would only have cemented this relationship further and dramatically contributed to strengthening security,” he said.

    Morever, why haven't I seen a slew of profile pieces about Dubai and its leaders? If this is such an important story, then shouldn't we know more about the country we're dealing with? Americans have a negative opinion of Dubai because they don't know anything about it. Would that change if they:

    • Remembered that the UAE gave $100 million to Hurricane Katrina victims last year
    • That Dubai's leader, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, personally gave nearly $10 million to 9/11 victims in the weeks following the attack.
    • That the US military already uses ports in Dubai for its warships and was firmly behind the port deal
    • That Dubai's Emirates Airlines flies into JFK twice-daily non-stop from Dubai. Think about what that means for a second:
      The home-country security for these flights is the responsibility of Muslim security officers and screeners. Any of these flights could simply veer off course and take out a skyscraper in a matter of seconds. Any of them could carry a nuclear weapon into our skies and detonate it over a city. Why are no politicians propounding on this threat? Should we shut them down? Even if we did, would that really end the threat?

    A great (and rather lonely) article in the Hawaii Reporter really sums it up nicely:

    The UAE is no democracy, but it is a trade-oriented society rightly seen as the “Hong-Kong of the Gulf.” About 60 percent of the UAE’s 3.4 million residents are non-native. The UAE is currently host to more US Navy ships than any foreign port. It is a banking, tourism, and shipping center for the entire region. In surveys, a plurality of Iraqis indicate the UAE is the country they would most like to emulate.

    Among Islamic countries the UAE is one of the most progressive. If we choose to wall ourselves off from a country such as this, then what are we doing in Iraq or Afghanistan? The entire strategy of forcing the development of democracy is at question and the questions are being asked by the usual isolationist forces on both left and right joined by hordes of political opportunists.

    We can bring about mutual respect with the Islamic world based on the spread of democracy, trade, cultural and diplomatic exchanges -- and military action as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Failing that, the options only get uglier: fight a nuclear war, or surrender to gangs of nuclear armed head chopping baby killers. A U.S.-Soviet style detent is not even a temporary option with nuclear terrorists.

    No strategy is without risk. President Bush’s strategy emphasizing development of broad military, political, diplomatic and economic relations with Muslim societies as full or partial allies in the war on terror has paid off in terms of thousands of terrorists captured or killed. The risk of abandoning this strategy is far greater than the risks associated with continuing it.

    The only reason I know anything about Dubai is because of the Maktoum family's involvement in horse racing. Sheik Mohammed is arguably the world's top owner and breeder of thoroughbred horses. By following his racing enterprise, you can actually learn a lot about Dubai's ruler. One thing you quickly learn is his immense pride in his country. The Maktoum family has built Dubai from an oil-fed city into the great trading, financial and tourism center of the Middle East. It's an amazing accomplishment.

    What American politicians and media members have done is dismiss that accomplishment and defined Dubai soley in terms of the race and religion of its people. We just told the Maktoums that the only thing that really matters about them is that they're Arab and Muslim.

    I really wouldn't blame the UAE if they got out of a whole bunch of business deals with American companies in the next few weeks after the way they were treated. And, I'm so rooting for one of the Maktoum's horses to win the Kentucky Derby this year. Go Discreet Cat!

    Posted by at 09:08 AM | Comments (8)

     

    March 09, 2006

    Why I Might Support McCain for President

    [Posted by ]

    I had a revelation this morning. I think I'm going to back John McCain if he runs for President in 2008.

    Too many liberals are so blinded by their white hot hatred of President Bush that they simply can't see what's going on in the world around them. If we have a President that isn't the de facto cause of all the world's evils, perhaps these people can be brought slowly down the road back to sanity.

    For example, in an article about an upcoming conference on Islam in Madison, the writer starts with this little gem:

    Mustafa Gokcek isn't about to deny the obvious.

    Thanks mostly to the policies of the Bush administration, the great rift between the Muslim and Western worlds clearly has widened in the last year, acknowledges the 29-year-old Turkish native and UW-Madison grad student.

    And there's no better proof, he says, than the tens of thousands of angry protesters who greeted the president on his recent trip to India and Pakistan.

    Here are four things that are so wrong about this statement and prove my thesis that one of the dangerous side effects of Bush Derangement Syndrome is a serious case of ignorance.

    1. Since when did India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan and Nigeria (among others) become part of the West? Either the Muslim world has a rift with everybody (including itself) or the West just got a whole lot less exclusive. I'm opting for the former.
    2. How could the rift between the West and Muslims get any wider than when Muslim extremists killed 3,000 of us on our own soil and Muslims around the world cheered them on?
    3. What policies of Bush's are making this rift even wider? Muslim terrorists have been trying to kill us for years. If Bush has made any real policy changes it's in his shocking decision to fight back when people try to kill us.
    4. Hmm, so the best recent example of the rift between Muslims and the West are protests of Bush in India and Pakistan? Huh. I seem to remember Muslims protesting something all over the place recently. What could it be? Oh yeah, they were protesting against free speech. BDS sufferers like to ignore that.

    Almost anyone could be President and the majority of the Muslim world is going to act exactly the same. But maybe if Bush is out of the way, more Americans can see the truth of what is happening. Muslim extremists don't hate Bush's policies. They hate America and the freedom she stands for. I think it's really important that we all realize that.

    I've never been sold on McCain as a President, but he's respected by everyone. No one, other than some conservatives, hates him. He's been a firm backer of the War and he's a fiscal conservative. We could do worse than McCain. With a President McCain maybe more Americans will get on board the sanity train and stay away from the appeasement wagon.

    Posted by at 07:26 AM | Comments (39)

     

    March 08, 2006

    American Idol Recap: The Great Eight Men

    [Posted by ]

    Tonight, better known as "Bucky Covington Memorial Hour", kicks off with a little Gedeon. In his intro, we learn that Gedeon's a painter. You know, I can totally see Gedeon painting "happy little trees". Instead of trees, Gedeon paints records. While he's explaining his art, all I can concentrate on is the way he over enunciates every single word. When he sings "When a Man Loves a Woman", he does the same thing. He's so busy being a perfect enunciator that he forgets to sing with soul. He isn't terrible, but it's kind of boring. A 6.

    My boy Chris reveals that he was once the victim of a bad dye job. He looks much better as a baldie. Anyway, tonight we see the softer side of Chris as he sings some metal ballad I don't know. There's a lot of Eddie Vedder-vibrato going on, but it doesn't matter because Chris has that rare talent to make us feel the meaning of whatever he's singing. Randy and Paula seem almost bored with praising him. But Simon, as usual, gives some useful criticism. He's right when he says that Chris needs to lighten up a little bit, at least some of the time. At the end of the day, we're watching a talent show and we want to have fun. Chris has to be careful to not turn into the downer of the night. That said, I still love him. A solid gold 8.

    Kevin follows Chris with a horrid rendition of "Vincent". Oh god, someone make him stop. Now! He too over enunciates. Is this the new trend? Anyway, he stinks and Simon is the only one who'll be honest with him about it. He doesn't belong in the finals. A 2.

    As we return from the break, Taylor talks about how jacked up he was to meet Kristopher Kross. That's cool. I'd be excited to meet Kris Kross. Either Daddy Mack or Mack Daddy. It doesn't matter.

    Oh god, Bucky has an identical twin brother named Rocky (I'm not kidding). There are two of them. NOOOOOO! Anyway Bucky's singing some boring country song. I have nothing against country music, but I do have something against boring music. Yawn. Bucky's voice is all harsh and strained. He's terrible, but he's still better than Kevin, so I have to give him a 3. The judges seem to like him way more than I do. Except Simon, who basically tells him he's going home. I love Simon.

    Dear little Will is going to sing some James Taylor. Aw man, if these kids are going to sing stuff by sensitive seventies singer songwriters, why can't they pick someone like Jim Croce or Gordon Lightfoot? Will sings "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You". Will is going to be revealed to be Donny Osmond's secret love child, isn't he? That said, it was a pretty good performance. Randy and Simon hated it, but Paula loved him. I think it deserves a 6.

    Taylor dresses in a bunny rabbit costume in his intro. Okay, what's up Doc? He sings "Taking It To The Streets" and I think his voice sounds weak and reedy, but there's still some kind of energy in the song. Maybe he's sick and he's fighting through it. The audience seems to really love it so it's possible that Taylor just sounds better live. I dunno. I thought he was okay, but not fantastic. The judges gush over it, but to me it's just another 6.

    Get out your lighters! Elliott hits the stage to sing Bryan Adam's "Heaven". Oh dear, this is the worst Elliot has ever sounded. I think he wanted to sing a song people are more familiar with, but this wasn't a good choice. He sounds off key or something. Heh. Randy & Paula completely disagree with me. Simon doesn't like the song choice. Yay, Simon! Elliott takes the criticism gracefully. He's a good guy, but tonight he's just a 5. Sorry. Vote for Elliott, he deserves another chance.

    Ace closes the show with some Michael Jackson. I don't know this song, but Ace is really doing a bang up job singing it in his falsetto. If Kevin is a secret Osmond, is it possible that Ace is a lost Gibb brother? The song is about someone giving him butterflies inside (please don't think about that in terms of who (or what) might give Michael Jackson butterflies), but Ace is kinda giving me some butterflies with this song. Wow. The best of the night. A 9.

    My ranking:

    1. Ace
    2. Chris
    3. Will
    4. Taylor
    5. Gedeon
    6. Elliott
    7. Bucky
    8. Kevin. Note, after seeing Kevin's performance again at the end of the show, I'd like to change my grade to a 1. Ugh.

    I hope like hell that Bucky and Kevin leave tomorrow, but I'm a little afraid that Elliott might be gone.

    Posted by at 07:58 PM | Comments (5)

     

    March 07, 2006

    Amazing Race Recap-Episode 2

    [Posted by ]

    Tonight, the Amazing Race stayed in Brazil as Lisa & Joni were Philiminated. The screechy sisters were done in by their inability to drive an old VW Bug. After listening to them bitch about the driving, it occured to me that we've never seen teams drive in really bad conditions. I can remember teams having to deal with fog and crappy cars, but they've never had to drive through snow. Once someone drives through Chicago in a snow/freezing rain storm, then they can bitch about how hard the driving is. Wusses.

    BJ & Tyler won tonight's leg (and a trip to Tahiti). Even more amazingly, Tyler actually spoke! With two legs in, it's time to rank the remaining teams (tonight's placement in parentheses).

    1. David & Lori (4): I love these two. They know their limitations and choose the right detours. They don't bitch at each other. They reference Mr. Wizard. And, best of all, I just get a kick out of watching how much they dig each other. How refreshing. They're fun and capable and right now I hope they win.

    2. Wanda & Desiree (5): Two capable women who've excelled in all aspects of the race: choosing tasks, dealing with each other, working the locals and self-navigation. They could very well be the first all-female team to win.

    3. Ray & Yolanda (6): This couple hasn't gotten any breaks in the Race, but they improved quite a bit from last week. I like their calm demeanor and respect for each other.

    4. Danielle & Dani (8): Really. They aren't the best of Racers, but I liked that they were self aware enough to realize that just being cute isn't going to cut it. I don't think they're going to win the Race, but I do think that if they just got a little break they could win a leg.

    5. BJ & Tyler (1): Not nearly as annoying as I thought they'd be. They're also clearly the best Racers right now. They kick ass at the tasks, handle the locals well and don't bitch at each other. Formidable hippies.

    6. Joseph & Monica (3): She's going to fall to pieces if they have any setbacks at all. She's not "maybe" going to fall to pieces. It's a guarantee. She's Flo, part 2, which may mean that they're going to win, but I hope not.

    7. Fran & Barry (9): My Team in my office pool, unfortunately. They seem to have a knack for making the exact wrong decisions at every turn. The only reason they're still in the Race is that Lisa & Joni and John & Scott were just truly awful teams. I think this couple grossly overestimates their physical abilities. They might be in far better shape than the average 6o-year old, but they're not racing against other 60-year olds. They need to use their brains, not their brawn. Sadly, it looks like they're lacking in the brain department.

    8. Lake & Michelle (7): Abrasive husband and doormat wife who think she's not a doormat because every once in awhile she tells him to calm down. They'll be in the Race for a few more legs, but that's it. Good riddance.

    1,000,000. Eric & Jeremy (2): I loathe these guys. Their attitude towards women is absolutely disgusting. I don't mind that they're hot after some of the women on the Race. That's fine. I'm sure if I was doing the Race with a girlfriend we'd comment on the attractive men. But it seems like that's the only way they know how to relate to women: as something they want to sleep with. They do Race stuff with the men and I don't think they can take women seriously enough to view them as competitors. They're not concerned that Danielle & Dani might beat them, just that they might not f*ck them. God, I hope they beat them. Speaking of beating, I also didn't appreciate their comment about beating on Phil like a woman. Neither did Phil, judging by his raised eyebrow. So far, they're good Racers, but horrible people. Girls, stay away from these two. Stay far, far away.

    Next week: Commies! Okay, it's Russia, but it's always fun to say "Commies"!

    Click here for Viking Pundit's recap.

    Posted by at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

     

    March 03, 2006

    Former President Derangement Syndrome

    [Posted by Laura]

    Memo to President Carter: You are no longer in office. We just call you President to be polite. You no longer represent the United States of America, except in an honorary capacity when asked to, like at state funerals for people we don't care much about. You have no right to make promises on behalf of the United States or broker any deals whatsoever in the name of the United States, except insofar as the current officeholder or his subordinates authorize you to do so.

    Jimmy Carter, apparently suffering from Former President Derangement Syndrome, had the audacity to make

    a personal promise to ambassadors from Egypt, Pakistan, and Cuba on the U.N. change issue that was undermined by America's ambassador, John Bolton. "My hope is that when the vote is taken," he told the Council on Foreign Relations, "the other members will outvote the United States." ...

    "One of the things I assured them of was that the United States was not going to dominate all the other nations of the world in the Human Rights Council," Mr. Carter said. However, on the next day, Mr. Carter said, Mr. Bolton publicly "demanded" that the five permanent members of the Security Council will have permanent seats on the new council as well, "which subverted exactly what I have promised them," Mr. Carter said.

    Aside from your hope that "the other members will outvote the United States" - and yes, I damn well DO question your patriotism! - whatever possessed you to involve yourself in this matter? Even if those ambassadors are ignorant enough to not be aware of your true position in this country, unless you are suffering from dementia, Alzheimers or the like, you have no excuse. You are a private citizen, and have been for a long time. Accept it. Please. You're embarrassing yourself.

    Posted by Laura Curtis at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

     

    March 02, 2006

    American Idol-The Final 20-Who Got Voted Off?

    [Posted by ]

    Results show/filler hour. Confession time: I only half-watched this. Impressions & results:

    • "Love The One You're With" medley featuring the women. Paris is going from cute and talented to annoying.
    • Carrie Underwood looks great but "Jesus Takes The Wheel" is a horrible song. Bo-RING. Hey Carrie, in the future the crowds won't be booing, they'll be shouting for Mr. Bice.
    • The girls: No surprises as the bottom three are Kinnick, Brenna & Heather. Brenna is the lowest vote getter. Good riddance. Heather gets a fonder farewell and Kinnick just gets another week until her inevitable departure.
    • The guys: David, Kevin & Sway are the bottom three. David is the low man on the totem pool. Go back to your woods. Sway is a sweet, little angel and my heart breaks for him when he's eliminated. And I have to endure another week of Kevin. Thanks America (you idiots).

    Posted by at 08:10 PM | Comments (7)

     

    March 01, 2006

    American Idol Recap-The Top Ten Men

    [Posted by ]

    Last night, the women sucked. Tonight, will the men be any better?

    Taylor starts the show with "Easy Like A Sunday Morning". Longtime Idol fans, do you remember when Season 1's Jim sang this? It's not a train wreck like that, but it's too mellow and boring. Taylor is supposed to be this crazy, gray-haired guy. Crazy, gray-haired guys shouldn't be singing Lionel Ritchie. That said, it was an okay performance, better than last week. A six.

    PSA-Paula is already bitching at Simon. I think she's hammered. Lucky bitch.

    Elliott sings some song I don't know. His mom is sick, so we should vote for him. I don't really know what Elliott's ethnicity is, but it occurs to me that he'd be about 10 times more attractive with a Art Garfunkelesque "Jewfro". All that said, this performance is just excellent. He was able to change up the tempo throughout the song and turned something I had never heard before into something I really enjoyed. The crowd loved it. So did Randy, who gives him a standing ovation. Even Simon thinks it was great. A solid 9. There's something about Elliott...

    Ace sings "If I'm Not Made For You" by, uh, someone. Mrs. Butterworth? Aw, Ace uses a beenie as a blankey. Isn't that sweet? Ace is making some weird singing faces today. It's not very attractive. I loved him last week, but this is just boring, wussy and reminiscent of last year's A-Fed. The judges like him, but their praise seems tepid. Simon, as always, tells the truth and tells him he stunk. A 5-that's it.

    Who's next? Gedeon! He's trying awful hard to emote for the camera. But when he stops worrying about that, he actually does a good job of singing "A Change is Gonna Come to Pass". He's got a nice bluesy and gospel vibe. He believes it. He's like a preacher. He's a throwback and I like him. I'm giving him a 7 tonight. Simon likes him too, so I feel validated.

    Kevin "I'm still here?" Covais bleats his way through "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". I think there were some goats in the grapevine. Parents of America, I beg you, please take the phones away from your pre-teen daughters tonight. We don't need to be subjected to another week of this subpar singing. I think people are clapping for him because they feel sorry for him. Randy thinks he can actually sing. Paula must be sharing her drugs. Paula thinks he infectious. Like the frickin' bird flu. Simon says he sucks. He's right. It's bad, really bad, it's a 2.

    Sweet, little Sway is going to sing "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder. Predictable. Sway's voice is a little rough. He sounds tentative and scared. He does get a little bit better towards the end, but folks, I think Sway is going home tomorrow because this is just a 3.

    Darling Will is here to sing Kenny Rogers' "Lady". I love Will. I love Kenny Rogers. Please let this be good. Oh my GOD, Will was 12 when Justin and Kelly were rockin' the Idol stage. That's hilarious. Will looks exactly like Peter Brady as he stands straight and still at the microphone. At least he sounds better than Peter. This is an interesting performance. Technically his voice is great and it's completely different than Rogers' version. It leaves me a little cold until Will hits the last, sweet note. Nice! Although his face was kinda creepy. The judges don't like him, but I give him a 7.

    You know what would have been better? If Will had sung Styx's "Lady". That would have been an awesome shout out to Freaks & Geeks. Oh well, maybe next week.

    Blechy, I mean Bucky is going to sing "Gwrarth Bwooks". I think that means Garth Brooks. Believe me, I hate to say this as much as you all hate to read it, but Bucky sounds great on "The Thunder Rolls". It's totally karaoke, but it's good karaoke. The guys are so much better than the girls this year. I still think Bucky is going home tomorrow, despite this rather excellent performance. A reluctant 7.

    David's going to sing Frank Sinatra. I'm shocked. Shocked! "The Way You Look Tonight" is my favorite Sinatra song and David is kind of butchering it. The original was about the exhilaration of realizing you're in love with someone. David's version is kind of sleazy. It's more like he's leering at a stranger than celebrating a lover. I hated it and so did the judges. A 2.

    Chris sings "Hemorrhage" by Fuel. I'm afraid I'm not going to like it. I'd rather Chris bring a hard rock edge to a song rather than sing harder rock songs. Two notes in and I change my mind. He's so great and it makes me sad that he needed Idol to make it. He should be the lead singer of a successful band. He might be the only Idol contestant EVER who sings with passion. Awesome. He makes me forget I'm watching a cheesy talent show. A 10. The first of the season.

    My order:

    1. Chris
    2. Elliott
    3. Gedeon
    4. Will
    5. Bucky (I know)
    6. Taylor
    7. Ace
    8. Sway
    9. David
    10. Kevin

    I predict that Sway & Bucky will be gone with the wind tomorrow.

    Posted by at 08:26 PM | Comments (29)

     


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