Thursday, May 22, 2008

Separated At Birth?

At left is "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan. At right is Randy Jackson.

Funny Photos Part Deux

I found a few more that tickled me...

I see that Constantine subscribes to the Simon Cowell school of chest hair exposure.

These two look like they got lost on their way to a Zena: Warrior Princess convention.

"Hey kids! Try to look like even bigger idiots. Thanks!"

Newsboy cap? Check. Earpiece? Check. Futuristic sunglasses? Check. Pocket Square? Check. Overblown sense of self importance? Check.

Here he is again. I don't know why.

Boy, Chris Sligh is really hanging on to that 'FroBob he's got.
I guess it was pretty hot out there...

Funniest Photos From Last Night (Part 1?)

Here is my own personal photo gallery of the funniest photos from last night's red carpet. Please to enjoy...

Jerry was there just in case David Cook's Baby Mama showed up and tried to hit David Archuleta over the head with a folding chair. Just kidding, but what the heck was The Springer doing on that red carpet?

I hate Constantine. I really really do.

This picture makes me really sad for Ace. I smell a whiff of desperation.

Oh, no...Wait a second. That desperation was coming from Janice Dickenson. Sorry Ace.

Oh look, it's Sanjaya's sister.

I don't know why this is funny. It just is.

Simon is wondering why the eff Randy is dressed like Captain Kangaroo.

David Cook and David Archuleta Guitar Heroes

Here are both of the guitar hero commercials, top one David Cook, bottom David Archuleta. Decide for yourselves which is better...

I Just Watched The Guitar Hero Commercials...

...both Cook's and Archuleta's. I have to say, I was a little disturbed. Cook's cute but I wasn't prepared for the sight of him dancing around in his underwear. A little too much skin for me. And Archie's just felt wrong. I felt like a schoolteacher flirting with a student.

But I must say, commercial vs. commercial, Cook's was much better. He really committed, you know. Archuleta just couldn't quite pull off the underwear dancing. Plus, his boxers were so big they looked like they would swallow him whole. Funny concept, though. I hope they got nice paychecks from that. Tad bit embarrassing.

I prefer Sitar Hero myself...


Mariska Hargitay, everyone. At least, that's how I originally planned to open this post about the American Idol season finale. I was going to throw out a pithy opening, use a few lines to discuss why Randy was dressed like a riverboat blackjack dealer, and move on to Ryan's strange and awkward dancing during the Donna Summer number. But once the results were announced, that plan flew out the window. Because as soon as Ryan said, "David Cook," I was so flabbergasted, so shocked, so speechless, and so THRILLED that the rest of the American Idol season 7 finale extravaganza seemed inconsequential.

I absolutely did not expect David Cook to win last night. If you read my post yesterday I really put forth what I thought was a quite sound postulation on the imminent win of David Archuleta. I seriously thought the guy had it. I didn't want him to win, but I didn 't imagine that he could be beat. Because if you read the message boards and blog comments you know that Archuleta has huge amounts of support. But I completely underestimated the will of those Cookie Monsters out there. Cook supporters turned out to vote in droves, and they must have kept at it all four hours, because he won by 12 million votes, according to Ryan Seacrest.

I think it's amazing that Cook, who has been a bit different, who represents the rock end of the music spectrum rather that the cheesy ballad singer end won American Idol. Cook really connected with the American Idol audience because he really can sing, he seems authentic, and he is such a nice guy. After the results were announced, you could see he wanted to be cool about it but just couldn't keep it together. Cook and his family are going through this crazy triumphant moment on television while another of the Cook sons is losing his battle with terminal cancer, and it seemed overwhelming for them all. I was touched by Cook's tears, and by his interaction with his mother and his brother, and by his brother's looking into the camera and saying, "That's my brother."

I guess what I'm saying is that this win couldn't have happened to a nicer guy and a nicer family. I'm so happy it turned out this way. David Archuleta will be fine. Nothing could stop that kid or his father's ambition, so I'm sure we will be seeing an album from him quite soon.

Anyway (deep breath) back to the show last night. Wow. I really don't have much snark in me this morning (other than to point out again Randy's really odd jacket/cravat situation). The show was absolutely the best finale in American Idol history. They jam packed that thing with celebrities and great musical numbers with cool performers. It was really entertaining. In past years I remember watching the finale and just wishing they would get to the end, but the show last night was really well done. The musical numbers where the Idol contestants sang with other acts were particularly great. Here are some of my favorite moments from the finale (and there are quite a few):

  • Mike Myers as Guru Pitka trying to shave David Cook's beard. Now I'm going to have to see that movie even though I can't stand Jessica Alba. Darn you Myers and your funny characters.

  • Seal singing with Syesha. When Seal came out, I knew that they were going to have some great talent show up.

  • Ryan dancing during the Donna Summers number. I had to mention it again, we were rolling on the floor laughing. The guy has no rhythm.

  • The guys singing with Brian Adams and especially Michael Johns singing "Summer of '69."

  • Jason Castro singing Hallelujah again, with such confidence. He did it even better this time.

  • Brooke White singing "Teach Your Children" with Graham Nash. I loved it when he kissed her hand at the end.

  • David Cook rocking with ZZ Top. I wonder what the teenagers in the pit thought about those old guys with their beards. I kept saying to my husband that I wished they had rocked some songs like this earlier in the season.

  • Gladys Knight and the "Pips" as reinvented by Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. I had tears streaming down my face. This is off topic but it's so fantastic that R.D. JR has made such an incredible comeback. I've always loved him and am happy to see him off the drugs and back in the movies.

  • David Archuleta singing "Apologize" with OneRepublic. Again, this would have been a great song for him earlier in the season. This type of song is exactly what he should be doing. I was blown away. (But still bothered by his closed eyes.)

  • Simon Cowell apologizing to David Cook just before the results were read. He admitted that the previous night's competition had been closer than he thought, and that his comments were disrespectful. I was shocked, because Simon doesn't admit he's wrong very often, as certainly not as forcefully as he did last night. Pretty classy.

  • Of course, the announcement of the winner. We went nuts at my house.
I still haven't taken it all in. I'm sure it will take a couple of weeks to sink in that the show isn't on. With the season finales of Bones, House and AI I'm preparing myself for the deep TV depression that will sink in next week when there is nothing on to watch. For now though, I'm just basking in the post-Idol glow of a well deserved victory for a worthy Idol contestant.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

David vs. David

When the show started last night, for a minute I thought Ryan Seacrest had been fired and replaced by that "Let's get ready to ruuuummmmbbblllleee..." guy. But no, it was the beginning of a whole boxing theme that they carried on throughout the show. David One and David Two came on stage in satin robes and boxing gloves, and the boxing announcer got to say, " American Idol!" I wonder how furious Seacrest was to be upstaged in this manner.
Anywho, I thought the boxing theme was a bit odd, and somewhat inappropriate considering that, in true physical combat, Cook would kick Archuleta's ass without breaking a sweat.
OK, before I go any further I have to say something that I've wanted to say all season. This will make some of you angry, but...I HATE David Cook's boots. What's the deal with those cowboy boots he always wears? They make his feet look humongous. It's like he's all head and feet. Can't they get the guy a more streamlined pair of shoes?

In other clothing news, Kristy Lee Cook was sitting in the audience (next to Michael Johns!) wearing a shirt that looked like it had been slashed by Freddy Krueger.
All right, all right. I'm done with my sartorial snarking. But here is something else that's weird. During Ryan's voiceover in the introductory video package, he says that the two Davids are going after, "A heavyweight title reserved only for superstars," and on the screen flashed a picture of Chris Daughtry. What??? I played it back to be sure, and yep, they show Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, and Carrie Underwood. Chris Daughtry did not win American Idol, remember? He was voted off in what was probably the most shocking send-off in the show's history. How can they include his face in that montage when he did not win the title? I seriously don't know what is going on with the producers this season. That just seems sleazy to me.

Also kind of dirty in that video package, Ryan calls Archuleta "a 17-year-old phenom," while he refers to Cook as a "25-year-old bartender." Ouch. Why couldn't he have been a 25-year-old rocker, or a 25-year-old sensation? Archie is a phenom while Cookie is just a bartender. It's like a not so smooth subliminal message.

And why is Andrew Lloyd Webber back? I know why Clive Davis gets to chime in, but why Sir Andrew? I don't like that guy. He's rude, but doesn't seem to care that he's always insulting people.

After the weird video package that included Jim Lampley, the guys were up on stage with Ryan and they showed what nice guys they both are, with Cook stating that the competition was already over as far as he was concerned and all they were doing last night was "having fun."

Fourteen minutes into the show the singing finally started. Round one songs were selected by Clive Davis. Cook, having lost the coin toss, went first with U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." He did great, as he usually does. It wasn't a "Billie Jean" kind of performance, and I wasn't blown away, but it was good.

Then came Archuleta, who was given Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," and that's when the musical ass whoopin' began. If you've been reading my blogs at all, you know that I have never been much of an Archie supporter, but last night the guy was in it to win it. He showed more emotion in that first song than we've seen out of him all season. When I saw that performance I knew that Cook had no chance. Archuleta was just fueling the fire of his fans and anyone who may have been on the fence about who to vote for. It wasn't "flawless" like Randy wanted to pretend it was, he definitely tanked a couple of notes, but it was fantastic and it came at the crucial moment. I have to hand it to the kid, he did a great job. So round one went to Archuleta.

I'm going to pretend that round two never happened. The guys had to pick songs from the songwriter contest, which I think is completely unfair. I wish they would stop doing that songwriter contest, the songs are always terrible, and it puts the contestants at such a disadvantage to have to sing them. Cook had no chance to regain some of his momentum in round two because of the song. So for me, round two was a draw. I have emptied it from my mind.

The Davids got to pick their own songs for the third and final round. David Cook sang Collective Soul's "The World I Know" and again, he did a great job. I loved the song and at the end he teared up, which makes me love him even more. I wanted to punch Paula when she told Cook he was "Standing in your truth." What does that even mean? Simon was right though, when he said that Cook should have sang "Hello" or "Billie Jean," the truth of which was borne out when Archuleta came out to sing his last song. Not that the Collective Soul song wasn't good, because it was, and any other night he would have killed with it, but what Simon was saying is that he should have used his last opportunity to remind voters of the amazing things he had done during this season. Which is exactly what Archuleta did.

For his final song, Archuleta reprised his performance of John Lennon's "Imagine." That was the performance early in the competition that made everyone say, "Here is the next American Idol." And when he sang it last night, even though it wasn't as good as the first time he performed it, it did exactly what he planned. We were all reminded of that moment when we first really took notice of him. So it was a very smart move. Cook really should have done the same thing. Instead of wanting to create a "progression" with a new song, he should have used some strategy and brought out one of his showstoppers from earlier in the competition. When Archuleta came out and sang "Imagine" for the second time, he guaranteed his win. Simon summeed it up when he said, "What we have witnessed, is a knockout."
I have to tell you, I voted for Cook last night. I've liked him all season and he did a great job last night, so I wanted to give him my support. But I don't think the results tonight will be a surprise to anyone. Archuleta has to win after the performances he gave last night. I can't see any way for Cook to pull a TKO out of this one.